Water watchers wanted: Care about groundwater? You should—it’s probably the most important natural resource Butte County has. In order to monitor and test the amount and quality of the water underground, the county is looking for 16 volunteers to be on a new Water Advisory Committee, which would help develop standards for monitoring and managing county groundwater.

If you’re smart enough to operate a dipstick, you’re probably qualified to be on the commission, said water department Program Manager Eric Miller, who described the commission’s activities as “kind of like a big science experiment” and noted that this was the public’s big chance to help decide how the county uses its groundwater. Call 538-4343 for more info.

Run for the border: Butte County sheriff’s deputies and officers from a host of other agencies busted what appears to be another large outdoor pot grow sponsored by a Mexican drug cartel in the mountains near the Poe power dam last week. Dozens of cops, including county SWAT officers and federal Department of Justice agents, took more than 1,000 plants out of the ground, confiscated about 200 pounds of still-drying marijuana and arrested three Mexican nationals from Mazatlán, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The suspects were taken without incident and booked into Butte County Jail to await federal charges.

Last year around this time, when sheriff’s deputies busted a similar growing operation near Feather Falls, they shot and killed two suspects, also Mexican nationals, who were armed with assault rifles. Due to pressure from the Mexican government and U.S. crackdowns at the border, it has become common for Mexican drug cartels to grow pot in remote, forested areas in California. If you ever stumble on a pot field in a forest, getting the hell out of there is probably a good idea.

Potted plants and firearms: According to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, in the early hours of Saturday morning, three males, an adult and two teens, unlawfully entered a woman’s house in the Chapmantown area of Chico and demanded to use the phone to call a cab. When the woman told them to leave, they went outside and banged on the screen door and demanded a taxi. When she told them that she would call a taxi, the adult male picked up a potted plant and ran around the front yard with it over his head, threw it through her front window and then fled.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Anthony J. Anderson for criminal threats, unlawful entry into an occupied residence, vandalism and possession of a loaded firearm. He is being help without bail in Butte County Jail. The boys were released.