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.

From the looks of the “bathtub ring” around Lake Oroville, the vise of drought is quickly tightening around California’s neck. Fortunately, those looks are quite deceiving.

If you’ve had a gander recently at the largest state-owned reservoir in California, you’d might have a feeling of deja vu. It’s looking much like it did during the depths of the state’s recent drought.

Lacking lures found elsewhere, the North State has long viewed itself as distinct. A sort of under-the-radar California. Sure, our surf breaks are behind boats, and we lack movie moguls and high-tech business parks, but we’re not choking on traffic, and most are winning the struggle to keep a roof over their head. Though some of that may be changing.

A Chico police sergeant who retired as an investigation got underway is facing a misdemeanor assault charge after allegedly choking a suspect who was retrained by handcuffs.

The charge was filed Wednesday against Sgt. Scott Ruppel by Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey. Ruppel served for 20 years on the force, prior to his abrupt retirement Sept. 14. Ruppel was scheduled to appear before internal affairs investigators the same day.

Bus riders in Tehama County have something to look forward to. Authorities announced Wednesday that they’ll commence Saturday service on three routes beginning with the new year.

The service will link Red Bluff, Gerber, Tehama, Los Molinos and Corning. Buses will run between 8 a.m. and 3:45 pm on lines 1 and 2 and a special, Saturday only route 6. The Saturday bus service is being subsidized by a one-year grant from funds raised through the state’s cap and trade program.

Marc Albert

As deal-making over the Republican tax reform bill proceeds in Washington, local critics were briefly out in force in Oroville Tuesday, picketing the office of Congressman Doug LaMalfa, a supporter of the bill. 

The supportive honking of horns far outnumbered one-fingered salutes from drivers as about 75 demonstrators appeared in front of the office of Republican Congressman Doug LaMalfa. 

State regulators say former Chico Mayor David Guzzetti misused nearly $12,000 in political campaign funds between 2012 and 2015 and have proposed a fine twice that amount.

Then the treasurer of Chico Conservation Voters — a group supporting local environmental issues and liberal candidates — Guzzetti stands accused of using campaign cash for personal uses 148 times over the two-and-a-half-year period. 

As the deadliest and most expensive fire season in state history continues into December, elected officials are examining ways to better alert the public during fires and other emergencies.

Thousands of firefighters from as far away as Siskiyou County are arriving in Southern California as several major late season wildfires threaten cities in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

Flames, driven by high winds have forced evacuations and threaten parts of the city of Ventura.

Rebecca and Glenn Kyler

Technological advances have made it easier to spread word in an emergency, but they’re hardly fool-proof. 

That was the consensus of a joint-legislative hearing held Monday in Sacramento in the wake October’s devastating wildfires.

Issues with warning systems surrounding recent emergencies in the North State were also amongst the topics discussed.  

Ken James / California Department of Water Resources

State officials insisted Thursday that hundreds of recently revealed cracks in the new Oroville Dam spillway are normal and don’t threaten the integrity of the recently completed first stage of work.

In a conference call with reporters Thursday, DWR spokeswoman Erin Mellon said the hairline cracks were first noticed in late August. The cracks, which number in the hundreds, were first reveled to the media this week. Mellon downplayed their importance.