Marc Albert

Reporter, Morning Edition Host

North State Public Radio reporter Marc Albert joined the staff in 2010 as a morning program host. Formerly a reporter at the Oakland Tribune, Alameda Sun, Berkeley Voice and other publications, Marc is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz and attended the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. A California resident since 1987, Marc has lived in Kyoto, Japan, Georgetown, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand. He originally hails from New York City. His first public radio experience was at age 16, answering phones during pledge drives at the storied WBAI. He later served as a volunteer reporter at KUSP-Santa Cruz, WBAI-New York and KPFA-Berkeley before embarking on a decade plus sojourn in print journalism. He has proudly called Chico his home since 2008.

No, the Oroville Dam is not about to collapse.

Officials are responding to a story making the rounds on social media purporting to show that the dam could fail at any time. 

The official retort? “The dam is sound.” That’s a summary of a brief statement from the Department of Water Resources, throwing proverbial cold water on a story dated April 25, and published on the website Catholic.org. The story claims that signs suggest that Oroville dam could fail at any moment.

An era of California history will end a year from next January when the once and current governor, Edmund Jerry Brown leaves office. And even though the next gubernatorial election is a good 16 months away, what looks like a crowd of candidates are testing the waters.

Among them, former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin. Before she set off on a North State campaign swing, we reached her at her home in Davis.

As the former head of public schools from 1995 through 2002, there’s little surprising that Eastin is focused on education.

Here's your daily briefing...

Water, Water Everywhere: With reservoirs replenished after an epic rainy season and plenty of snow blanketing the mountains, state regulators yesterday suspended a rule requiring water districts to prove they had access to enough water to supply their customers for three years.  

The first in a series of seven public meetings concerning recovery and repair efforts at the Oroville Dam is scheduled for this afternoon in Gridley. The meetings are being hosted by the California Department of Water Resources, the entity that manages the facility. According to the DWR, the public will be invited to ask questions directly to department leaders and experts. An informational session begins at 5:30 with a presentation and question and answer period starting at 6:30. The meeting will be held at the Butte County Fairgrounds in Gridley.

Faced with the choice of closing fire stations or raising taxes, Butte County Supervisors avoided making any decisions Tuesday, but did punt the toughest decision to the Chico City Council, hoping to deflect blame.

Warning of a looming budget shortfall exceeding $3 million, County Administrator Paul Hahn said all services will come under review.

“We’re not going to have a magic answer here,” Hahn said. “We’re going to have to make some significant reductions in the county’s general fund budget. And that, primarily is composed of public safety.”

Major traffic headaches in the Siskiyous where an overturned big rig has blocked all lanes of southbound Interstate 5. There is no detour available. Caltrans says they may be unable to reopen the highway before night fall. The big rig and its spilled load rest near Flume Creek in Shasta County, about six miles south of Dunsmuir.

A major shake-up in how Butte County residents are protected from fire is scheduled to go before the board of supervisors today, as officials try balancing rising costs with static revenue. NSPR’s Marc Albert has more:

The board commissioned a report last year seeking organizational and other efficiencies that would reduce costs.

US Bureau of Reclamation

Despite the clear skies and warm temperatures, expect rapid rises on the Trinity River over coming days, creating potential danger to boaters and those fishing.

The US Bureau of Reclamation will be sharply increasing the volume of water shooting down the Trinity River starting Saturday. The extreme flows are meant to mimic natural spring floods that occurred before construction of the Trinity, Lewiston and Whiskeytown dams were constructed in the 1960s.

A 50-year-old Tennessee teacher is in custody at the Siskiyou County Jail after local authorities, acting on a tip from authorities in Nashville, located Tad Cummins and a missing 15-year-old girl near Cecilville.

The girl has been missing since March 17. It is believed that the two were on last spotted at an Oklahoma Wal-Mart on security cameras March 19.

Acting on a tip from Tennessee authorities, Siskiyou County sheriff’s deputies spotted the suspect’s vehicle early this morning. Authorities have received more than 1,500 tips in the case.  

Marc Albert

Authorities announced a $10,000 reward for information resulting in the arrest and conviction in an unsolved murder that occurred four years ago.

The reward is being offered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is also assisting with the case.

The victim, 52-year-old Jeronimo Valladares-Mata of Corning, was shot a single time in the head while sitting inside his pickup truck at a mobile home park on the 3500 block of the Esplanade in Chico on April 6, 2013. He died six days later.

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