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Paradise Irrigation District settles with trust | Almond exports stalled | Low-cost internet available

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The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Tuesday, May 10.

Paradise Irrigation District settles with Fire Victim Trust

The Paradise Irrigation District announced yesterday that it has reached a settlement with the PG&E Fire Victim Trust for $189,495,000 in damages caused by the 2018 Camp Fire. District Manager Tom Lando said the funds will help support the irrigation district's operations after the fire.

"The settlement does allow us to actually be viable indefinitely," Lando said.

However, the district won't be seeing the entire $189 million, as the trust says it is currently only paying 45% of its claims. Lando said they were told to expect possible increases in that payment in the future. In addition to funding the operation of the district, the settlement funds will also help with repair efforts, including the rebuilding of Reservoir B, which is used for drought relief.

— Alec Stutson, NSPR

California almonds growers unable to export crop

A billion pounds of California almonds could be sitting in warehouses instead of being exported by the start of the July harvest.

The problem is companies are finding it more lucrative to return shipping containers empty instead of loading them with American exports.

Manteca almond grower and shipper Dave Phippen said he has had to build extra warehouses just to store his surplus crop.

“The slower it takes us to get product to a foreign destination the longer it takes for a grower to become paid,” Phippen said. “The proceeds from last year’s crop come in the next calendar year and the growers use last year’s crop proceeds to produce this year’s crop.”

Phippen noted that this year fertilizer costs have tripled and energy costs have doubled.

He hopes the Ocean Shipping Reform Act now in Congress will force companies to take American exports if they want to bring goods into the U.S.

— CapRadio Staff

Low-income Californians to receive discounted internet service

Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and other internet providers have agreed to deliver discounted service to low-income people in California and throughout the country. The service is part of the Affordable Connectivity Program, announced by the Biden Administration Monday.

Geoff Neill is with the California State Association of Counties, which has been advocating for funding to close the digital divide.

"The federal subsidies combined with these discounted rates from some of California's biggest broadband providers will be really important in connecting low-income customers, in communities that are connected, to the modern world," Neill said.

The $1 trillion infrastructure package passed by Congress last year included funding that provided $30 monthly subsidies on internet service for millions of lower-income households. People can determine their eligibility and sign-up for the program at getinternet.gov.

— CapRadio Staff

Largest student-run powwow held for the first time since the pandemic

The nation's largest student-run powwow was held in person at Stanford University over the weekend, the first time that's happened since the pandemic hit. The theme was intergenerational resilience.

Native Americans have faced higher death rates from COVID-19 than any other racial group. Over the last two years, many powwows like most cultural events, were canceled. Some tribes found other ways to connect. Grace Carter is a sophomore at Stanford and co-chair of the powwow.

“So I'm Cherokee, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and they started doing these video series where you would go online, and then they just talk about — kind of like a State of the Union address — of what's going on in Cherokee Nation,” Carter said.

She said she was proud of her community's ability to adapt, but she missed powwows and the chance to come together and share cultural traditions like language, dance and food.

— Annelise Finney (KQED), The California Report

Stories from NPR partner stations are edited by NSPR Staff for digital presentation and credited as requested

In other news

  • Are California companies about to get more transparent?: “California legislators are advancing two bills that would require companies to report more data about pay and internal practices. Business groups oppose the bills and say the data could be taken out of context.” — CalMatters
  • A window into Yuba City’s past: “Since it opened its doors in 1970, the Sikh Temple Gurdwara of Yuba City on Tierra Buena Road has been a source of pride and controversy for an established segment of the community that has as much of a storied past in the area as nearly any other group.” — The Appeal-Democrat

In case you missed it

Headlines is published every weekday morning at 8:30 a.m. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and NPR One. Theme song Borough is courtesy of Blue Dot Sessions

Angel Huracha has been a part of the journalism field since 2006 and has covered a range of topics. He is a graduate of Chico State with a Bachelor's degree in news-editorial and public relations with a minor in English.
Alec Stutson grew up in Colorado and graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in Radio Journalism, 20th/21st Century Literature, and a minor in Film Studies. He is a huge podcast junkie, as well as a movie nerd and musician.
Adia White is a broadcast journalist and producer with nearly 10 years of experience. Her work has appeared on WNYC, This American Life, Capital Public Radio and other local and national programs. She started at North State Public Radio as a freelance reporter in 2017 before leaving for a stint at Northern California Public Media in Santa Rosa.