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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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California’s wildfire, blackout crisis: Who’s to blame?

The utility that serves more than 5 million electrical customers in one of the world’s most technologically advanced areas is now faced again and again with a no-win decision: risk starting catastrophic deadly wildfires, or turn off the lights and immiserate millions of paying customers.

Anger rises as California utility imposes more blackouts

Frustration and anger mounted across Northern California as the state’s biggest utility began another round of fire-prevention blackouts Tuesday that could leave millions of people without electricity, some for five days or longer.

Utility says power lines may have started 2 California fires

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. power lines may have started two wildfires over the weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area, the utility said Monday, even though widespread blackouts were in place to prevent downed lines from starting fires during dangerously windy weather.

Excavator blamed for island-wide blackout in Puerto Rico

An island-wide blackout hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday as the U.S. territory struggles to repair an increasingly unstable power grid nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria. Officials said an excavator accidentally downed a transmission line.

Blackout hits Puerto Rico after 2 power plants shut down

A blackout hit Puerto Rico’s capital and surrounding areas on Thursday after two of the U.S. territory’s main power plants shut down as officials warn the power company is struggling to remain operational.

Blackout hits northern Puerto Rico following fire, explosion

An explosion and fire at an electric substation threw much of northern Puerto Rico into darkness late Sunday in a setback for the U.S. territory’s efforts to fully restore power more than five months after Hurricane Maria started the longest blackout in U.S. history.

Senators urge NFL to end blackout rule

WASHINGTON – Senators from both parties warned the National Football League on Thursday to get rid of a four-decade-old TV “blackout” rule or risk congressional action to restrict the league’s lucrative antitrust exemption, which allows NFL teams to negotiate radio and television broadcast rights together. The blackout rule, which bars home games from being televised in a local market if they have not sold out, is unfair to fans who have helped the league reap billions of dollars in revenue from broadcast rights to games that are among the most-watched programs on TV, lawmakers said.

Blackouts less likely thanks to new technology

Reflecting on the 10th anniversary of the largest energy blackout in the United States, two Washington state power system experts said major improvements to the power grid make that type of calamity a far smaller possibility. On Aug. 4, 2003, a series of system outages left much of the northeast United States without power for at least two days. The blackout affected about 45 million people in eight states.

TV dispute drives fans to bars

Spokane football fans desperate to see Seattle Seahawks playoff games that aren’t available to them on their home TV sets are filling up chairs at local watering holes. Last weekend, the Park Inn on Spokane’s South Hill saw twice the usual Sunday crowd during the broadcast of the wild-card playoff between the Washington Redskins and the Seahawks.

KAYU blacked out on DirecTV over fee dispute

A contract fight has unplugged KAYU-TV’s programs from DirecTV subscribers in the Spokane and North Idaho region. A blackout – which began Aug. 13 – leaves DirecTV customers in need of an antenna to watch FOX 28 shows.