2017: A look back

2017 has been filled with many ups and downs, and people in the North State have certainly been through a lot.

Posted: Dec 29, 2017 6:54 PM

2017 has been filled with many ups and downs, and people in the North State have certainly been through a lot.

We certainly have been through a lot this year, beginning with the breaking of the Oroville Dam Spillway.

It was a rainy start to 2017 showing just how much of a difference a year can make.

The second wettest year on record finally brought the state's 5-year drought to an end, flooding streets, orchards, and dams.

No one expected this to get out of hand. Many were excited to see water rush down the Oroville Dam Spillway, but weeks later a worker noticed concrete flying in the chute.

This would eventually lead Sheriff Kory Honea to order almost 200,000 people to evacuate.

Beloved Pleasant Valley teacher and Coach Brett Silva was killed in a head-on car crash by an impaired driver in January. Silva left behind his wife and 4 kids, and the family is still searching for answers.

Jump to march, when Chico police officers shot and killed 25-year-old Desmond Phillips after responding to his dad's 911 call.

This led to a several month long investigation, with the department eventually concluding the shooting was justified. His dad is still trying to seek justice in the civil court.

The justice for Aly Yeoman campaign quickly gained ground in the spring when 20-year-old Aly Yeoman mysteriously went missing after going to dinner with 37-year-old friend Mike Lizzarraga.

A little more than a month later, a fisherman found her body in the Feather River in Live Oak.

Sutter County investigators said they found no evidence of foul play and have no idea how she ended up in the water, leaving the family with many unanswered questions.

The summer brought oppressive heat, with what seemed like never ending triple digit days.

Many flocked to the water, but not without tragedy.

3 kids were killed in boating accidents in Lake Shasta, leading officials to further consider the need for stricter boating education.

The heat also brought some of the most devastating fires in Northern California's history.

The Wall, Ponderosa, and Helena fires, among others, burned hundreds of thousands of acres and destroyed thousands of structures.

Governor Jerry Brown later declared October 28th a day of remembrance of these fires, ordering flags to be flown at half-staff over the state capitol.

It was also one of the deadliest years on highway 70.

13 people died in car crashes with many others injured, bringing the death total to 35 since 2010.

One Oroville man even took it upon himself to rent out a billboard and nicknamed the road blood alley, reminding people to slow down.

Caltrans says the department is actively working to widen the road and make it safer, hoping to start the project in 2020.

The opioid crisis gained national attention in the fall. According to the CDC more than 33,000 people died in 2015 from opioids, and an ER doctor says Butte County is certainly no stranger to the problem.

All year people have been talking about the spillway and the much anticipated November 1st deadline, when the DWR said it would have a fully functional spillway and complete Phase-1 of the more than $500 million project.

It did meet the deadline, but not without backlash soon after, when hundreds of hairline cracks were found along the main chute.

The department said there is nothing to worry about and the cracks are expected, but many did not share that sentiment.

The Federal Energy Regulation Commission later agreed that no repair is needed at this time

In November, the small community of Rancho Tehama suffered immense heartache when a man went on a deadly shooting spree through the community.

He killed 5 people and, unsuccessfully, tried to get inside the elementary school.

Many say the school's quick decision to immediately go into lockdown saved countless children’s lives and prevented what could have been one of the deadliest school shootings in history.

The recent months have also brought lots of controversy about the legalization of marijuana and the January 1st deadline for the recreational pot market.

Though recreational marijuana is legal in California, many cities and counties have banned any kind of commercial activity as well as put restrictions on its cultivation and use, causing tension between local government and marijuana enthusiasts.

Coming full circle, the variability of California’s weather is showing its colors once again, except this time instead of incessant rainfall, December was one of the driest months on record.

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One more warm day on Sunday then cooler weather ahead with some clouds and mountain showers possible.
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