Redding Police Contract — Snowpack Report — Higher Ed & May Day Rallies — Realignment — Spring Storm Damage — Undocumented Worker Permits — PG&E Restarts Diablo Reactor

For newscast Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

REDDING POLICE CONTRACT

The Redding City Council approved a new four year contract last night (Tuesday) with the Police Managers Association, which would save the city $660,000 over its term. The new agreement brings the Police Managers in line with Measures A and B, approved by voters last fall.  The compaion measures, which were advisory in nature, had to do with Cal-Pers retirement contributions and retirement health benefits. Under the new contract the 19 managers will pay the entire employee portion of their retirement under Cal-Pers, which was paid for by the city. Employees with five or more years of service will also now pay up to maximum of 50% of their health care costs and more for prescription co-pays. The managers will also receive a 2% salary increase beginning in 2015. Council member Patrick Jones, who championed the measures last year, cast the lone dissenting vote, telling the council while he appreciated the gesture, the contract does not go far enough. (Click here for a transcript of the story by Northstate Public Radio news reporter Kelly Frost)

SNOWPACK REPORT

About a third of California relies on mountain snowpack for its water supply. But after an exceptionally dry winter, snowpack water content is at about 40% of normal for this time of year. John King is with the Department of Water Resources. He says even with late snow in March and April, the snowpack did not come close to normal levels. King said we had a normal December and January, and its really hard to make up for the lack of water in the wettest months of the year. Despite the low snowpack this year, an unusually wet season last year has kept reservoirs fairly full. The DWR expects to be able to deliver 60% of water requested by the customers. The water goes to more than 25 million Californians and nearly a million acres of irrigated farmland. DWR will plan for the possibility of another dry season next year.(Story by California Capitol Network reporter Kathleen Masterson)

HIGHER EDUCATION RALLY AT CAPITOL

The heads of California’s three higher education systems are lobbying Governor Jerry Brown and state lawmakers to change their budget priorities. California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott joined the UC president and CSU chancellor at the Capitol today (Tuesday). CSU Chancellor Charles Reed says the state should put 100 million dollars of anticipated savings in Californnia’s prison system into higher education. All three leaders are urging voters to approve the governor’s proposed November tax initiative. If it fails, the UC system would likely raise tuition again. The CSU system would reduce its enrollment. And community colleges would have to cut courses in the middle of the academic year.  (Story by California Capitol Network reporter Ben Adler)

MAY DAY RALLIES

Authorities have begun removing protesters from a building owned by the Catholic archdiocese in San Francisco that was occupied during May Day protests. KGO-TV reports that at least 6 people were taken out of the building in handcuffs this (Wednesday) morning. The removals appeared peaceful. Television footage showed officers in riot gear assembled around the building around 5 this morning. About 200 people took over the building yesterday (Tuesday), with two men on adjacent rooftops at one point lobbing pipes and bricks at a line of police officers. The building has been targeted for previous protests.  (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press)

REALIGNMENT CAUSING BUDGET SHORTFALLS IN ORANGE COUNTY

Orange County is tapping into its reserves to cover a sheriff’s department budget shortfall blamed mostly on the state’s prisoner realignment program. The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to take $11.4 million from reserves to cover much of the department’s deficit. City News Service says county Budget Director Frank Kim told the board that state prisoners are taking jail beds that had been rented by the federal government to house Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Marshals Service detainees. The federal government pays $118-$123 per bed while the state reimburses the county $60-$70 per bed. A federal court order equired the state to reduce its overcrowded prison population. A state law that took effect on October 1st shifted lower-level offenders to county jails. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press)

REALIGNMENT RELATED PAROLEE CHARGED WITH MURDER IN SACRAMENTO

Authorities say a man charged with the attempted murder of his girlfriend was a parole violator who had been released early from county jail due to overcrowding. Raoul Leyva, who is 33, was in county custody because of the state’s realignment plan, which sends lower-level offenders to jails instead of state prison. A San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputy says Leyva was released by a county judge two days after he was ordered to serve a 100-day jail term for the parole violation. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press)

SPRING STORM AG DAMAGE IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

A fierce spring storm that shredded Central California orchards last month caused more than $20 million damage in Kings County. Other San Joaquin Valley counties are still tallying the damage to crops when quarter-sized hail pummeled the area on April 11th. The Fresno Bee says the storm mowed down cotton, kiwi,, cherry, apricot, peach, plum and nectarine crops. Hardest hit were fruit tree growers. King County grower Jon Tos says he lost about 90% of his peaches, nectarines, plums, prunes, apricots and cherries. Kings County deputy agriculture commissioner Steve Schweizer says the county plans request disaster assistance. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press)

PG&E STORIES

The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant has restarted its Unit 2 reactor six days after the California central coast plant was shut down because jellyfish-like creastures clogged seawater intake screens. Pacific Gas & Electric spokesperson Tom Cuddy says the Unit 2 reactor was safetly returned to full power of Monday. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press)

Police say a California woman robbed a bank and fled to a PG&E office to pay her utility bill. The Fresno Bee says 51-year-old Gwendolyn Ann Cunningham was arrested at the downtown Fresno PG&E office shortly after Tuesday morning’s Bank of America heist. Cunningham told detectives she went to the PG&E office to pay her utility bill. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press)

ON THE CALIFORNIA REPORT

Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Activists Take to the Streets Across California

Thousands of people throughout California joined the worldwide May Day action Tuesday, with agendas as varied as the protesters themselves.

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Lawmakers Want to Issue Work Permits for Undocumented

Frustrated with the slow pace of reform at the federal level, some state lawmakers have been pushing a bill that would allow California to issue its own work permits to undocumented immigrants. Reporter: Sasha Khokha

Music Bridge: “Lost in Laos” by Dengue Fever, from the album “Dengue Fever”

Late Rains Don’t Make Up for Dry Winter

Despite what felt like a late-season deluge, this will go down as a dry winter in California’s record books. The season ends with water content of mountain snows at just 40 percent of the long-term average. Reporter: Craig Miller

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