With 2017 coming to a close, we've compiled a list of the top stories according to you, the audience, from each month. Here is part one of the top news stories for Northern California.
- Governor Brown signed an extension to the current cell phone driving bill in late December 2016. The new rules still impact where you can put your phone and how you can use it when driving. The law no longer allows Californians to hold their phone while operating a vehicle. If caught, you could be fined $20 then $50 for each following offense.
- A Sacramento woman sued the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain, claiming it used her image in promotional materials without her permission. Leah Caldwell, who represented herself in the action, filed a petition in federal court against the chain, the photographer she said shot the unauthorized photo of her and another person.
- Joe Zuiches, a 42-year-old resident of Olympic Valley and a member of the Squaw Valley professional ski patrol since 2012, was killed during avalanche control operations. The incident happened before the resort had opened to the public at the top of Gold Coast Ridge at Squaw Valley. The cause was believed to be the detonation of an explosive hand charger.
- Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation banning semi-automatic rifles with “evil features.” The new law also makes people with assault weapons register the gun with the California DOJ and pay a fee.
- Rising Sacramento River levels prompted state officials to open, for the first time in more than a decade, the weir located four miles upstream of the Tower Bridge. The Sacramento Weir is a barrier that protects the City of Sacramento from excessive flood stages, according to the California Department of Water Resources. It has 48 gates that move Sacramento and American River floodwaters west to the Yolo Bypass.
- An immediate evacuation from the lower levels of Oroville and other areas were issued due to a "hazardous situation" that developed with the dam's spillway. The Butte County Sheriff's Department said an eroding hole was found in the auxiliary spillway, which eventually turned out to be a disaster for the region.
- Four days after an eroding hole was found in the dam’s spillway, relatively lighter water flowing from Lake Oroville’s emergency and main spillways continued. Water began flowing from the emergency spillway for the first time in its nearly 50-year history. Chunks of rock, concrete and other debris loosened by erosion from the nearly mile-long spillway created a 200-foot-long, 30-foot-deep hole.
- The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning as the levee along the north fork of the Mokelumne River was expected to fail. A partial collapse of the levee occurred and crews tried to use boulders and sand bags to shore it up before it collapsed even more.
- The consistent and ongoing complaints over high PG&E bills in the area caused a California lawmaker to investigate the issue. Senator Jerry Hill said unexpected rising bills was a concern and they were specifically looking at what would cause a spike from the year to the next.
- Downed trees, flooding and even a collapsed shoulder on Highway 50 caused challenges on the roads following a day of heavy rain and winds. Caltrans closed eastbound Hwy. 50 to begin long-term repair work to the shoulder, but released traffic later in the day.
- A toy store owner passed away and his family uncovered his hidden collection of model trains. The storage facility was the size of a basketball court and packed with vintage toy trains. Some called the secret warehouse in Sacramento a collector’s dream.
- A Fairfield resident posted a warning on his social media accounts about solicitors allegedly looking to scam PG&E customers. The poster said two people knocked on his door and claimed they work for PG&E, while asking to see the person's energy bill. However, the resident was smart and immediately contacted PG&E and were told the company doesn't have representatives go door-to-door to customers asking for personal information.
- Surveillance video showed a woman walk into a Food 4 Less in Riverside with her daughter by her side. At one point, the toddler wandered off and police said the mother never looked for her child, instead, she continued shopping. A Good Samaritan even brought the 2-year-old to the mother, and she reportedly responded, "Oh just leave her." After paying for her groceries, the mother left without her child.
- Floodwaters were receding in the Feather River and gold fever hit Oroville. Weeks of raging waters stirred up mineral deposits in the river bed. At that point, prospectors were looking to strike it rich. The damaged spillway at Oroville Dam mixed with heavy rains acted like a blender in the Feather River: Old gold deposits once buried by mud and sand could have been pulled up from deep crevices.
- The Sacramento Police Department arrested a suspect in a Land Park quadruple homicide. Salvador Vasquez-Oliva, 56, was charged with four counts of homicide. The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office confirmed that four-deceased found in a home were two adults and two juveniles.
- There are 417 national parks in the U.S., spanning across more than 84 million acres. And if you were 62 or older, $10 could have got you into all of them for the rest of your life. The offer has since expired and is no longer available.
- Despite reports stating she had been found safe, the parents of missing Annalise McClanahan-Calvert said their daughter had not been found, though they had spoken to her since her disappearance. Annie’s mother, Kelly Ercolini said her daughter did call from a pay phone, but the 16-year-old didn't give her parents any information to her whereabouts.
- A missing Sutter County teenager, Annalise McClanahan-Calvert, was located on April 12 and a man was arrested, charged with rape and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, according to the Sutter County Sheriff's Office. Allen Gene Turner, 38, was arrested and booked into the Sutter County Jail
- Osterhoff, also known as Dan-O, passed away unexpectedly after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was only 37-years-old. In his honor, his family and friends were planning a tour of town to show his 3-year-old daughter Harlow his artwork. From Bottles and Barlow to Low Brau to Dad's Sandwiches, part of Dan-O's heart and soul is spread all over Sacramento on at least three dozen buildings.
- Wildflowers are nature's fireworks and as we rediscovered this year, California is one of the best spots in the world to see them. There is something so amazing about seeds that hibernate for years, waiting for the perfect time to bloom before going dormant for years again.
- A body found in the Feather River on May 9 was missing Yuba College student Alycia Yeoman, according to the Sutter County Sheriff's Office. The 20-year-old had been last seen driving her car in Yuba City on March 30. The vehicle was found the next day in a Live Oak orchard, and her cell phone was later traced to an empty field behind a Yuba City Walmart three days after her disappearance was reported.
- But by October 2020, if you fly often, you may want to dig in those filing cabinets. Under the REAL ID Act, your current California driver's license or ID won't be considered federally-compliant, which means you won't be able to use them to fly or enter any federal building.
- In a way, the Feather River discovery brought some peace to 20-year-old Alycia Yeoman's family. With her body found, they could bring her home as they continued their heartbreaking journey, hoping to find some closure.
- Going by the YIMBY movement, millennials are catching on. Millennials are more educated than any other generation but they earn 20 percent less than baby boomers did at their age. They are seeing their wages decline, undergoing longer periods of unemployment, and according to census data, more than 20 percent of them live in poverty -- up 14 percent from 1980.
- Ruben Contreras and Judith Jaimes of Woodland, California, received news that would forever change their lives: their 7-year-old son, Ruben Jr., was diagnosed with Diffused Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). In May, the family received results from an MRI. They were heartbroken to learn that the brain tumor has only grown and spread. Ruben Jr. may only have two months left to live.
Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield responded to what was described as a 'real world security incident.’ Officials later said the security incident officials responded to turned out to be a false alarm. Initially, there were reports of potential gun shots outside the Base Exchange. The base immediately responded to ensure the safety of all its personnel, dependents, and retirees.
A woman was found dead and a child with multiple stab wounds inside a Placerville home. Deputies were looking for a 2002 white Ford Explorer at the time. They believed the vehicle could have been connected to the homicide.
How late is too late to the keep the booze flowing? Senator Scott Wiener's LOCAL [Let Our Communities Adjust Late-night] Act became the first bill ever to pass the Senate to allow – but not require – local communities to extend alcohol sales hours in bars and restaurants past 2 a.m.
Hundreds of demonstrators slowed down traffic near the Roseville Galleria because of an anti-Sharia Law event and counter protests. The "March Against Sharia [Law]" protest was one of 29 across the country hosted by ACT! For America, an organization that hails itself as the "NRA of national security."
A 3-year-old girl died following a dental procedure in Stockton, according to the Stockton Police Department. Officials say the young girl died in the hospital after receiving the procedure at Children's Dental Surgery Center.
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