Top Local Stories of 2018

The year 2018 brought change, devastation, courage and kindness into the community. Let's take a look back at the top stories of the year.

Posted: Jan 1, 2019 10:56 AM
Updated: Jan 1, 2019 11:31 AM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - The year 2018 brought change, devastation, courage and kindness into the community. Let's take a look back at the top stories of the year.

The Camp Fire

We start with the biggest story of the year, the Camp Fire, which started on the morning of Nov. 8.

It is the deadliest wildfire in California's history. A total of 86 people died in the fire and more than 50,000 people were displaced.

The fire ripped through the town of Paradise, Magalia and Concow destroying more than 14,000 structures.

For over two weeks first responders worked to bring the fire to full containment.

The Carr Fire

Just months before the Camp Fire, the Carr Fire ignited on July 23. The fire forced thousands in Shasta County to evacuate their homes and rush to find safety.

The fire tore through 100,000 acres and burned more than 1,600 structures and left hundreds of families without homes.

Like the Camp Fire, no one expected the Carr Fire to spread as fast as it did. 

The fire left nothing in its path, taking the lives of six people.

Growing Homeless Population in Chico

The growing homeless population in Chico also made big headlines in 2018.

In March, Mayor Sean Morgan said the public feedings are a problem and city leaders are ready to take action.

"Because someone again some well-intentioned person has come along and they're making the problem worse," he said. "They're actually working against the community. They're working against the good things we are trying to do. How do we keep things going in the right direction?" 

A meeting to discuss the Sit-Lie ordinance on Sept. 5 was filled with chaos and disruption.

And on Nov. 6, the ordinance that expired in 2016 was reinstated after a 4-3 vote from the Chico City Council.

Marijuana Legalized in California

Jan. 1, 2018, marked the first day for full legalization of marijuana use in California.

That means cannabis dispensaries began opening along the state for recreational use, but only in cities that approved it themselves.

The City of Redding in Shasta County opened its first dispensary in September called Synergy.

On Dec. 8, the City of Oroville adopted a commercial cannabis ordinance, but Butte County still prohibits all recreational cannabis activities.

Chico Heat Suspends 2019 Season

In October, the Chico Heat baseball team announced the team will not be playing in the 2019 season.

The Great West League, a summer league for college baseball players, disbanded after it was revealed that half of the franchises in the six-team league weren't paying their bills.

Families and fans who supported this league for years will have to find something else to do next summer.

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