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Despite recent disasters, the North State’s economy is plugging along at a steady pace, and according to Robert Eyler, a professor of economics at Sonoma State University, it will likely continue to do so.


Eyler delivered his annual economic forecast in Redding last week, part of a daylong conference held by Chico State’s Center for Economic Development. Low interest rates and tame inflation should fuel lending and business activity without risk of overexpansion. However, risks do remain. 


Chico State has been closed to most since the Camp Fire started on Nov. 8. Classes are set to resume at the university on Monday, Nov. 26th. NSPR’s Sarah Bohannon sat down with Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson on Tuesday to check in on Chico State’s current state of recovery.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo


Firefighters battling the Camp Fire are set to receive some major help as soon as Wednesday; five of inches of rain is expected Wednesday morning through Sunday. While the rain will help with fire containment, it's also problematic for evacuees, many still living outside in encampments, and for those still searching for human remains. The rain will also bring about environmental issues. Once rained upon, the debris and ash of an entire town is expected to be turned into a toxic stew that will from the foothills down into the area's watersheds. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

Long after the retardant drops end and the hot shots and news crews move on, the danger across wildfire burn scars remains. Special teams of geologists, biologists, soil scientists, and hydrologists are dispatched to assess damage, plan fixes and identify potentially fatal hazards. 

Shane Ede / Flickr, Creative Commons

The brain is all about the survival of the being. To help us survive, during the day our brains create memories that are consolidated and adapted during Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep. But if a trauma occurs, sometimes the brain can't consolidate and adapt memories. If this occurs repeatedly it can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. 

Bureau of Reclamation / Flickr Creative Commons

Drilling work is underway at Shasta Dam where federal officials trying to determine how realistic and how expensive it would be to increase the capacity of the largest reservoir in California. The $1.4 billion plan would add another eighteen and a half feet to the dam. Any higher would create pricey issues at the Pit River Bridge. 

CA Dept of Insurance / Flickr, Creative Commons

Nearly 1,100 homes and more than 20 businesses were destroyed by the recent Carr Fire in Shasta County. Atop the emotional and financial strain of the losses, some are finding obstacles they weren’t expecting.

NSPR’s Marc Albert spoke with California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones about fire recovery, consumer rights and being properly prepared. 

Jones advsises that those who have a dispute with or question about their insurance or insurance company contact the California Department of Insurance.  

stnorbert / Flickr, Creative Commons

A bill sitting on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk attempts to address the long waits faced by students for counseling. If approved, Senate Bill 968 would require each University of California and California State University campus to have the equivalent of one, full time ‘mental health counselor’ for every 1,500 students.

Language in the bill claims one in four students has a diagnosable mental illness and that only 60 percent of students seek care.

Kari Greer/U.S. Forest Service

Wildfires have spread loss and misery across much of California this summer. While firefighters and weather conditions are breaking up blankets of smoke from the Carr Fire and Mendocino Complex the peak of fire season is far from over. New devastating conflagrations in coming months are almost a certainty – meaning more bad air quality likely is too.

NSPR's Marc Albert interviewed Venessa Vidovich, supervising public health nurse for the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency's Communicable Disease Unit about the dangers that lurk in wildfire smoke and how best to avoid them. 

Map used courtesy of Cal Fire

On Sunday, The Mercury News published "Homes in the fire zone: Risk growing as more people move to once rural regions,” which was reported by Lisa Krieger and delved into why California’s fire seasons seem to be getting worse, and why large areas once thought nearly immune from such risks are now recognized as quite vulnerable. 

Northern California was mentioned as having many at risk communities. This included the entire City of Chico that is considered to be in the Wildland Urban Interface, defined as where homes are built near or among lands prone to wildfire.