.Tuesday’s Briefing: PG&E Files for Bankruptcy; Oakland School Board Closes Roots Middle School

Plus, last year's wildfires caused an estimated $12.4 billion in insured losses.

Stories you shouldn’t miss for Jan. 29, 2019:

1. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, a move that allows the embattled utility to continue operating while it devises a plan to deal with its massive debt, reports Sammy Roth of the LA Times$. PG&E listed about $71.4 billion in assets and nearly $51.7 billion in total debts. The bankruptcy move likely will also result in higher energy prices for millions of Californians.

2. The Oakland school board voted to close Roots Middle School in East Oakland in a cost-cutting move, reports Ashley McBride of the San Francisco Chronicle. The board likely will vote to close other schools in the coming months as it attempts to cope with a $30 million budget deficit — and the prospect of teachers going on strike while demanding 12-percent raises.

3. California’s wildfires last year caused $12.4 billion in insured losses, reports Paul Rogers of the Mercury News$, citing a new analysis from the state insurance commissioner. And “the numbers are expected to go higher. On Jan. 8, the German-based insurance company Munich Re estimated total losses from the Camp fire alone at $16.5 billion and said that $12.5 billion of that was insured.”

4. California plans to purge millions of inactive voters from county registration rolls, following a settlement with a pair of conservative groups that was spurred by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last June, reports John Wildermuth of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The high court ruled, according to the settlement, that “‘current federal law requires the cancellation of a registrant’ who misses two consecutive federal general elections, doesn’t respond to a registrar’s notice, and then misses two more.”

5. And ICYMI: 13-year-old Richmond figure skater Alysa Liu, who trains at the Oakland Ice Center in downtown Oakland, became the youngest person in history last weekend to win a U.S. skating title.

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