features

Marc Albert

So packed was the room, that forty minutes into the meeting, aspiring candidates had to prop open both doors to the outside with garbage cans to let in the cool night air.

Coming less than a week after the national Women’s March buoyed opponents to President Trump, enthusiasm was high at the Chico library where the crowd gathered to parse four prospective Democrats looking to win the seat of California’s 1st Congressional District.

There was the attorney from Auburn, Jessica Holcombe:

“They’re stealing from us! They’re taking our Medicare, they are taking our Medicaid, and we know that Social Security is on the chopping block.” 

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.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (or HUD), a household is defined as rent burdened when tenants pay more than 30 percent of their gross income on rent, and across California it’s pretty common. Data collected in 2016 by the U.S. Census Bureau showed a little over half of the households across California were experiencing rent burden, and 29 percent were experiencing severe rent burden, which means they were paying more than half of their income on rent.

Suzi Rosenberg / Flickr

As rent prices rise across California, many struggle to find safe and affordable housing. But students face additional difficulties when they come to a new town, have little rental history and the additional burden of paying for their education.  

For Chico State students on a budget, affordable housing exists, but it often comes with other costs. Finding a cheap place to rent often means having more roommates than you’d prefer, signing a fixed-term lease, or living in a location that isn’t ideal.

Editor's Note: We are re-posting this story, originally aired August 10, 2017, after the FCC voted today to repeal the so-called "net neutrality" rules that regulate businesses that connect consumers to the internet. You can read more about today's vote in this NPR story.

A recent vote by the federal government could bring real changes to anyone using a computer. The proposal would roll back net neutrality and create internet fast lanes for owners of websites willing to pay more. NSPR's Nolan Ford talked with consumer advocates, internet service providers and tech companies here in the North State about the potential impacts of new legislation.

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.

Adia White

It’s been three days since the mass shooting in Rancho Tehama where five people were killed and 14 were injured by 43-year-old Kevin Janson Neal. During his shooting rampage, he targeted a local elementary school and officials recognize that swift response from the school’s staff saved many lives that day.

In California, there are no statewide specific active shooter regulations for schools other than that schools need to have a plan. It’s up to each school district to decide what that plan is and how to implement it, so school plans vary across the state.  

CA DWR

From above, it looks miraculous. A massive canyon filled in, and near tragedy transformed into triumph, and officials, including Grant Davis, director of the California Department of Water Resources, are justly proud.

“This project is a stunning feat. I’ve been told by engineers and dam experts from across the country just how impressed they are by the amount of work completed in such an accelerated timeline,” Davis said Wednesday as he delivered on his predecessor Bill Croyle’s vow — to have a working gated spillway at Oroville Dam by Nov. 1.

While the progress certainly breaks the recent trend of snail-paced construction projects in California, officials may be exaggerating the accomplishments and downplaying remaining dangers.

Rebecca and Glenn Kyler

Tales of frantic escapes, towering flames, fear, loss and deliverance have the nation in awe of California’s ongoing wildfires.

Four days after the fires broke out, the situation remains frenetic. California Governor Jerry Brown summed up the urgency before a bill signing ceremony Thursday. “Some places are beginning to be contained, but the fires are burning, the winds can come up — they’re not as calm as we’d like them to be, and so, the next couple of days, very, very serious,” he said.

There’s no perfect plan when it comes to preparing for disasters, but you can make sure they catch you at your best instead of your worst.

This year the North State endured the Wall Fire that destroyed 41 homes, the Ponderosa fire that destroyed 32 and the Helena fire that destroyed over 70. Of course, there was also the Oroville Spillway evacuation, when more than a hundred thousand people had to leave their homes with only an hour’s notice.

Pages