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A month after the most destructive wildfires on record in Calif., federal and state agencies have put up almost $180 million in grants and loans for recovery. After President Trump approved a disaster declaration Nov. 12th, FEMA and federal and state partners started support survivors in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. After the first month, FEMA had already approved nearly 30 million in Housing Assistance grants for home repair or replacements and rental expenses and more than $13 million in Other Needs Assistance grants for repair or replacement of personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, moving expenses and other disaster-related needs. The SBA also approved more than $125 million in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners and businesses.

A man from Yreka plunges his car into the freezing Klamath River in Siskiyou County. Emergency officials say the man survived for several hours trapped in the upside-down car. They say 28-year-old Michael Finn breathed out of a pocket of air in the car until he was rescued about five hours after he car skidded off State Route 96 into the river yesterday. The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s dive team pulled the man out and tow truck pulled his car out of the river. The man was treated for exposure.

A new letter to state regulators says PG&E’s equipment in Pulga and Concow had been damaged before the Camp Fire November 8th. The letter says a tower had bullet holes, a fallen hook and a broken tower arm. Plus the utility company says it was one of their workers who first discovered the fire and called 911. There’s no determination of what caused the fire so far, but investigations continue into PG&E’s Caribou-Palermo electrical transmission line as well as a power pole in the Big Bend circuit, both items are situated in Butte County. There had been two power outages reported the morning of the fire and in between the two outages, the fire was spotted. And the next day the utility company says an employee saw a power pole down with bullets and bullet holes in it. There was also noted damage and failure — including worn-out equipment on one of the lines, a broken C-hook, a flash mark and other problems. Then even later on Nov. 12th more evidence of damage on Concow Road in Butte County where there were several snapped trees, some on top of downed power lines.

An audit for the 2017-2018 budget for Mendocino Coast District Hospital has been approved by its directors. The budget shows a nearly $2.5 million loss though instead of $3.5 million which had been estimated last July, the end of the fiscal year. The hospital’s auditor says breaking even is about controlling expenses and improving the way they charge for procedures and collect revenue, something they’ve already been working on. The hospital lost income at about 4 percent last year, apparently lower than most small hospitals across the country, but the debt load is higher than most. The hospital also has a union issue with some workers, at an impasse on contract talks with the United Food and Commercial Workers.

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