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    1. Coronavirus: 7 new deaths, 158 new cases reported in Orange County on Oct. 1 – Orange County Register

      Coronavirus: 7 new deaths, 158 new cases reported in Orange County on Oct. 1 – Orange County Register

      The Orange County Health Care Agency reported seven new deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday, Oct. 1.

      There have been 61 deaths reported in the last three days – though not necessarily when they happened – increasing the cumulative total to 1,275 deaths.

      Of the 1,275 deaths in Orange County, 457 were skilled nursing facility residents, 89 were in assisted living facilities and four was listed as homeless.

      The county’s breakdown of deaths by age is as follows:

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    2. Aging in the 2020s isn’t how Grandma aged – Orange County Register

      Aging in the 2020s isn’t how Grandma aged – Orange County Register

      Picture for a minute how your grandparents and great-grandparents lived when they were 60 or 70 compared with how you (if you are a senior) or your parents live today.My grandfather retired as a federal agent when he was only 58 years old. He enjoyed his hobbies, church, occasional social outings (and a lot of TV) until he passed away 39 years later. Forty percent of his life was spent in quiet retirement.Times have changed. We see rock stars touring into their 80s.

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    3. Los Angeles-Orange County’s 16.8% joblessness rate highest in U.S.

      Los Angeles-Orange County’s 16.8% joblessness rate highest in U.S.

      Los Angeles and Orange counties in July had the highest unemployment rate among the nation’s largest metropolitan areas as stiff pandemic limitations throttled businesses.

      My trusty spreadsheet, filled with a Bureau of Labor Statistics ranking of 51 regions with 1 million or more residents, tells me L.A.-O.C.’s 16.8% joblessness ranked No. 1 ahead of 16.4% in New York and Las Vegas. All three cities depend heavily on tourism, an industry hard-hit by pandemic-related lockdowns. Boston at 15.5% was next; then came Orlando at 15.3%, another tourism-heavy economy.

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    4. California legislation: State could be first to develop its own generic drugs

      California legislation: State could be first to develop its own generic drugs

      California is poised to become the first state to develop its own line of generic drugs, targeting soaring drug prices and stepping into a fiercely competitive drug market dominated by deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies.The Democratic-controlled legislature overwhelmingly approved a measure Monday that would direct the state’s top health agency to partner with one or more drug companies by January to make or distribute a broad range of generic or biosimilar drugs — including the diabetes medicine insulin — that are cheaper than brand-name products.Senate Bill 852 also opens the door for ...

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    5. 2 O.C. men sentenced to prison for scamming distressed homeowners during ’08 recession – Orange County Register

      2 O.C. men sentenced to prison for scamming distressed homeowners during ’08 recession – Orange County Register

      Two Orange County men were sentenced Wednesday to five and 12 years in prison for their roles in a Santa Ana-based home loan modification scheme during the Great Recession in 2008.

      Aminullah “David” Sarpas and Samuel Paul Bain started Santa Ana-based U.S. Homeowners Relief in late 2008 during the collapse of the housing industry that tipped the nation into a recession.

      The company promised distressed homeowners relief on mortgage payments in exchange for advance fees ranging from $1,450 and $4,200, prosecutors said. The two falsely promised they had a 97% success rate lowering mortgage payments for clients, prosecutors said.

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    6. Brea woman sentenced in multi-million dollar Medicare fraud scheme

      Brea woman sentenced in multi-million dollar Medicare fraud scheme

      A Brea woman was sentenced Thursday to a year and one day in prison for her role in a multi-million dollar Medicare fraud scheme related to false billings for unnecessary services.

      Grace Hong, who was convicted in 2019 of three counts of healthcare fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit health fraud, also was ordered to pay $2.4 million in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

      The scheme centered on a Walnut-based therapy clinic operated by Hong and her husband, Simon Hong. Prosecutors alleged that from 2009 to 2012 the owners of the clinic billed Medicare for physical- and occupational-therapy services that were unneeded and not actually provided.

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    7. Pandemic economics pushing So Cal cities to consider cannabis – Orange County Register

      Pandemic economics pushing So Cal cities to consider cannabis – Orange County Register

      From Hawthorne to Laguna Woods to Montclair, cities throughout Southern California are considering the idea of licensing cannabis businesses as a way to offset revenue losses triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

      Other cities, such as Costa Mesa, already allow some marijuana operations but are considering permits for more segments of the industry as a way to grow their tax base, bring more jobs to town and expand cannabis access for residents.

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    8. Federal loans to OC businesses may have saved more than 700,000 jobs

      Federal loans to OC businesses may have saved more than 700,000 jobs
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      After the coronavirus pandemic wreaked disaster on businesses large and small, an emergency federal loan program was a lifeline for many, including more than 64,000 Orange County companies that received billions of dollars to help pay their expenses.

      Most importantly, the Paycheck Protection Program may have saved nearly 740,000 jobs here in the short term, according to newly released federal data.

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    9. Majority on O.C. School Board talk against masks, social distancing for next school year

      Majority on O.C. School Board talk against masks, social distancing for next school year
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      When the Orange County Board of Education met this week to talk about how schools should reopen from the coronavirus shutdown, one of the central subjects of the debate was conspicuously missing: facemasks.

      In a spacious room with at least 40 people – in front of an online audience that over the course of the evening grew to more than 700 – only one board member, Beckie Gomez, as well as county employees and a handful of attendees, wore facial coverings.

      All the missing masks aligned with the agenda set by the board’s conservative majority at its forum Wednesday night in Costa Mesa.

      Though the Orange County Department of Education recently released its official suggestions for how school districts should re-open – emphasizing guidance from public health sources – the board’s conservative majority wanted to discuss other ideas, emphasizing less social distancing and more traditional in-class education.

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    10. Kaiser begins reopening closed clinics in Orange County, starting with La Palma – Orange County Register

      Kaiser begins reopening closed clinics in Orange County, starting with La Palma – Orange County Register

      Kaiser Permanente is starting to re-open medical offices in Orange County that it shuttered in March, when the coronavirus pandemic was expected to swamp local hospitals.
      The company said this week that it reopened its medical office in La Palma to staff, and is preparing to let patients back to other temporarily shuttered local clinics.
      A few specialty departments at the La Palma clinic — ophthalmology, optometry, pediatrics and podiatry — opened Monday, June 8, and family medicine opened Wednesday, said Kaiser spokesman John Stratman.

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    11. OC leaders set guidelines to safely reopen businesses when time comes – Orange County Register

      OC leaders set guidelines to safely reopen businesses when time comes – Orange County Register

      Taking the temperature of employees arriving for work and making sure face masks are widely worn are among guidelines Orange County supervisors approved Tuesday, April 28, for safely reopening businesses once state closure orders are rescinded.

      Over the past couple weeks, board Chairwoman Michelle Steel and Supervisor Don Wagner conferred with a handful of representatives of industries, including restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues and healthcare providers, to draw up a list of seven rules that businesses will be expected to follow upon reopening to protect the health of employees, customers, vendors and the general public.

      Neither county nor state officials have given a date to reopen businesses, though they said progress has been made in limiting the spread of the coronavirus and rules could be loosened soon.

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    12. Despite coronavirus slowdowns, property taxes still due on April 10 – Orange County Register

      Despite coronavirus slowdowns, property taxes still due on April 10 – Orange County Register

      Bars are shuttered. Restaurants are open for takeout only. County offices are closed to the public.And while many are hunkered down in homes rather than going to work, one thing remains unchanged in the age of coronavirus: Property taxes still are due April 10.Tax collectors in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties all have issued notices saying they don’t have the power to waive the property tax deadline — even though tax offices are being closed to the public.But local officials will consider waiving late fees on a case-by-case basis for those unable to pay ...

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    13. Drive-thru coronavirus swabs start at two Orange County hospitals

      Drive-thru coronavirus swabs start at two Orange County hospitals

      A pair of hospitals in north Orange County are the first two local medical facilities to begin drive-thru swabbing for the novel coronavirus.

      The two sites on Monday, March 16, set up outdoor stations to swab the nose or throat of people seeking to be tested for the infection. Both facilities running the drive-thru testing are part of the Providence health system, but a spokesman for Providence would not confirm the locations.

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    14. Mission Hospital’s $80 million cancer institute opens in Mission Viejo

      Mission Hospital’s $80 million cancer institute opens in Mission Viejo

      An $80 million cancer institute Mission Hospital will give south Orange County patients an option for treatment closer to home.

      On Thursday, Nov. 7, the hospital is opening the first two floors of its four-story, 104,000-square-foot Leonard Cancer Institute.  Located across the street from Mission Hospital’s main campus and next to the Shops at Mission Viejo, the institute is the first cancer research and treatment facility based in south county, hospital officials said.

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    15. These 10 new Orange County restaurants had the biggest buzz in 2019

      These 10 new Orange County restaurants had the biggest buzz in 2019

      Forget the critics for five minutes. Here are the restaurants you were excited about in 2019. We took a look back at our digital analytics to find the 10 restaurant opening stories readers clicked on most and they ranged from food halls to ethnic eateries and steak houses.

      Lots of restaurants have opened since the first of the year, but some of the flashiest and fanciest didn’t even make this list. If you want to know which establishments were heavy hitters according to readers, here’s a recap of what local foodies were buzzing about this year.

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    16. California projected to have nation’s weakest housing markets in 2020

      California projected to have nation’s weakest housing markets in 2020

      California housing markets were voted “most likely to underperform” in a poll of market analysts.

      Zillow and Pulsenomics LLC asked more than 100 real estate gurus to predict what would occur in 2020 housing markets. Collectively, this group saw U.S. home values up 2.8%.

      As for 25 major local markets, those folks polled did not like what they saw in California, with the state home to five of the six U.S. metro areas with the poll’s worst outlooks. Here’s what was revealed …

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    17. Most Influential: Meet Orange County’s 100 top influencers for 2019

      Most Influential: Meet Orange County’s 100 top influencers for 2019

      News Most Influential: Meet Orange County’s 100 top influencers for 2019 2019 Orange County Register 100 Most Influential. (Collage by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG) By Todd Harmonson | tharmonson@scng.com | Orange County Register PUBLISHED: December 23, 2019 at 8:50 am | UPDATED: December 24, 2019 at 7:14 am Influencers make their marks in Orange County in myriad ways.

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    18. Top Workplaces 2019: See the list of 140 Orange County honorees

      Top Workplaces 2019: See the list of 140 Orange County honorees

      More than 600 people from Orange County’s top companies and organizations turned out Thursday, Dec. 12 at City National Grove of Anaheim for the Orange County Register’s 12th annual Top Workplaces gala.

      The event honored 140 firms for their excellence at work.

      This year, 192 employers agreed to take the survey. Combined, they employ 38,586 people in Orange County. Of those employees who received questionnaires, 37,760 responded, either on paper or online.

      The list of all 140 winners:

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    19. California homeowners slashing asking prices at post-recession high – Orange County Register

      California homeowners slashing asking prices at post-recession high – Orange County Register

      Forget what’s fashionable in floor plans, decor or color palettes. This year’s hot housing flavor is something every house hunter can agree upon: a price discount.

      It seems the stagnant pace of homebuying in recent months — amid shaky economic news and geopolitical uncertainty — has made property owners painfully aware they’re overvaluing their homes. Thus, a faddish marketing tool has been employed and the price adjustment is back in style.

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    20. Here’s how Mission Viejo plans to find money to buy Casta del Sol Golf Course – Orange County Register

      Here’s how Mission Viejo plans to find money to buy Casta del Sol Golf Course – Orange County Register

      Mission Viejo  has about $8 million available in reserves that it could use to buy the Casta del Sol golf course and keep the property from being converted into other uses, such as housing, city officials said.

      Using money from reserves would let the city buy the course, priced at $13 million, without having to issue a bond and incur debt, City Attorney Bill Curley told the City Council at its Sept. 24 meeting. Council members largely spoke in favor of buying the course, but decided to wait until Oct. 8 to make a decision, saying they wanted more time for the public to weigh in.

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    21. High housing costs, homelessness still plague Orange County. Help needed in your own backyard

      High housing costs, homelessness still plague Orange County. Help needed in your own backyard

      Orange County has gotten older, smarter, more politically active and more prosperous in the past two years, an annual barometer of economic and civic life found.

      Family financial stability improved, as did third-grade performance and high school graduation rates. Opioid use declined slightly, resulting in fewer hospitalizations and fatal overdoses.

      But even in affluent, picturesque Orange County, one out of every eight residents lives in poverty, thousands are homeless and residents grapple with runaway housing costs.

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    22. Laguna Woods residents complain about the lack of co-op lenders

      Laguna Woods residents complain about the lack of co-op lenders

      Nearing bought a Laguna Woods co-op with her late husband in 2002, with financing by National Cooperative Bank, or NCB.
      Today, she owes less than $29,000 on a property worth about $200,000. If she could pull some of that equity out of her home, money wouldn’t be so tight.
      Linda Nearing (Photo by Jeff Lazerson)
      But NCB told Nearing she can’t qualify to refinance her home loan or take out a home equity line of credit.

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      Mentions: Local Business
    23. Bubble watch: Odds rise that Southern California home price start to drop – Orange County Register

      Bubble watch: Odds rise that Southern California home price start to drop – Orange County Register

      Numerous indexes offer context for a Fitch Ratings’ report that said appreciation was “slowing from a gallop to a trot.”

      For example, look at the Federal Housing Finance Agency price index for California. It rose at a 5.2% annual rate in the first quarter. That’s no loss but it’s also far below the 16.7% pace seen in 2014. Please note, these are the smallest gains in seven years.

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