Fires on the mountain
Things got hot for Butte County firefighters Monday night (June 5), when a total of 14 fires broke out between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. in the Table Mountain and Yankee Hill areas. The first was a grass fire near Oroville, and the next eight were grass fires along Cherokee Road between the railroad tracks and the top of Table Mountain. All the fires were small and easily contained. The next wave of fires was located in the Yankee Hill area. Three were set in abandoned cars, one was a trash fire, and the last was a grass fire that covered two acres. Firebugs are suspected, and three investigators who worked all night were back in the area Tuesday morning looking for clues.

A dam fine stamp
At a time when people can make their own damn stamps and mail letters with them, a dam stamp with a local landmark on it may be no big deal. Then again, Oroville Dam is a big deal, at 770 feet the tallest dam in the country and a fitting candidate for a new series of stamps called “Wonders of America: Land of Superlatives.” The U.S. Postal Service recently released such a stamp (pictured here), and you can get it—or at least order it—at your local post office.

City spends your money
The Chico City Council met in an all-day budget session Tuesday (June 6), which means it decided how to spend a bunch of money. For one thing, it gave initial approval to create a new police special operations unit—and hire five officers and a community services officer—to cover downtown and the university area. It also unanimously approved a number of redevelopment-area allocations, including $14 million in yet-to-be-identified neighborhood improvements, $5.2 million to upgrade East Eighth Street, $1.1 million to widen Highway 32 in east Chico and $195,000 for new fire hydrants. The council split 4-3 along liberal-conservative lines, however, on further RDA allocations, with Andy Holcombe, Ann Schwab, Maureen Kirk and Mayor Scott Gruendl voting in favor of spending a total of $2.6 million on various park improvements and Dan Herbert, Larry Wahl and Steve Bertagna dissenting. Final budget approval will take place June 20.

Valley Oak does silver
Valley Oak Children’s Services is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month as a friend to child care providers and parents in Butte and Glenn counties. VOCS helps parents receive free, state-supported child care and providers get licensed and create safe, healthy environments. The organization also helps find child-care environments for children with disabilities and behavioral problems and advocates state-supported child care to legislators in Sacramento. VOCS’s Child Care Food Program pays for nutritious meals for children in state-supported child care centers in Butte, Glenn and Sutter counties.

“We want to make sure child care is an economically viable career,” VOCS Executive Director Karen Marlatt said.