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Marshall W. Johnson / Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Valley Author Pens "Zoot Suit" Novel For Young Adults

Seventy five years ago this month, the streets of Los Angeles turned violent in an event that came to be known as the Zoot Suit Riots. The cause is still unclear, but we know this: for 10 days in 1943, white service members attacked young Latino men on the streets of Southern California, while police turned the other way. The attacks are the subject of a new young adult novel by acclaimed children’s author Margarita Engle. In 2009, the Clovis author’s book "The Surrender Tree" won the...

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Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Last month, interior department secretary Ryan Zinke wrote in an op-ed that the U.S.’s national parks are being loved to death. He specifically lamented the National Park System’s $12 billion backlog in deferred maintenance. But another symptom of the overwhelming power of tourists is ecosystems that need to be rehabilitated.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, joined Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in Fresno today. The invitation-only event drew protests, despite attempts to keep the location secret.

Ivanka Trump and McCarthy were the guests of honor at a private luncheon for “Protect the House,” a group committed to keeping GOP control of Congress. The event was at Harris Construction, hosted by Fresno businessman Richard Spencer.

Laura Tsutsui

Last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions made changes to the qualifications of those seeking asylum in the United States. Now, people fleeing domestic or gang violence no longer qualify for asylum. 

To be granted asylum, people have to prove they’re in fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion. An immigration appeals court during the Obama administration ruled those fearing domestic and gang violence fall into the “social group” category. Sessions overturned that decision.  

Today on Valley Edition, we go to Yosemite to hear the lengths the park service and conservation groups went to in order to preserve the treasured Giant Sequoias of the Mariposa Grove. We also learn what locals are saying about Trump administration’s move to change the rules for people seeking refugee status in America, fleeing violence in their home countries. Later in the show we talk with reporter Hannah Furfaro about new developments in our quest to understand autism, and why law enforcement agencies need better training when dealing with people on the spectrum.

New research into autisim is revealing insights into early childhood development, and a growth spurt some suggest could be linked to autisim in young boys. That's the takeaway from a new study profiled in the news publication Spectrum, by former Fresno Bee reporter Hannah Furfaro.

John Madonna Construction / Caltrans District 5

In May 2017 a massive mud and rockslide closed Highway 1 near the Monterey and San Luis Obispo County lines. The scenic road is one of the most beautiful in America, and popular destination for valley travelers, but it’s also incredibly challenging to maintain, even in a normal year. And 2017 was not normal. Floods rendered a bridge near Big Sur unstable, and cause the massive slide near Mud Creek. For the past year crews have worked to rebuild the road there and stabilize the hillside. Now comes news that the end might be in sight, with a planned reopening slated for the end of July.

Marshall W. Johnson / Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Seventy five years ago this month, the streets of Los Angeles turned violent in an event that came to be known as the Zoot Suit Riots. The cause is still unclear, but we know this: for 10 days in 1943, white service members attacked young Latino men on the streets of Southern California, while police turned the other way. The attacks are the subject of a new young adult novel by acclaimed children’s author Margarita Engle. In 2009, the Clovis author’s book "The Surrender Tree" won the prestigious Newberry Medal, the first book by a Latina to receive the honor.

Recent state data that had raised the alarm on opioid overdose deaths turns out to have been inaccurate. 

In late May, new data from the California Department of Public Health had pointed to an alarming trend: The number of Californians who died of overdoses due to the street drug fentanyl had tripled between 2016 and 2017. We reported on the problem here, as did other news outlets.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

As summer tourism heats up at Yosemite National Park, officials there are reopening one of the park’s most popular destinations. On Thursday, the park unveiled the newly restored Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

The ceremony on Thursday marked the reopening of the stand of over 500 giant sequoias. The grove of 300-foot-tall trees had been closed to the public for three years while the park carried out its biggest ever restoration project. The goal: Reduce the human impacts on the trees while still keeping them accessible to visitors.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The Fresno City Council voted 5-1 today to put a tax on marijuana dispensaries and related business before voters this November.

The tax proposal comes at the same time that the city is studying a change to zoning laws to allow a limited number of medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the city.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer says he’d like to use some of the money from the tax to step up the city’s enforcement of illegal marijuana dispensaries, other drug dealers and human traffickers.

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Whether you're an Apple or Android user, you can now take Valley Public Radio with you wherever you take your smartphone or tablet. The station has launched its first-ever mobile app - known as "KVPR" which is currently available for download in both the iTunes App Store and the Google Play marketplace. The app features one-touch access to Valley Public Radio's live audio stream, making it even easier to listen to the station. Users will also find the latest news coverage from the station's...

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Mark Arax On The "Wonderful" Empire Of Stewart And Lynda Resnick

By some measures, Stewart Resnick is the biggest farmer in California. His empire of almonds, pomegranates, pistachios and citrus covers over 120,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley. Known today as The Wonderful Company, Resnick and his wife Lynda have grown their multi-billion dollar fortune on products like POM Wonderful pomegranate juice and Wonderful Halos mandarin oranges. And despite California’s drought, in recent years they’ve kept growing, thanks to shrewd management of their most...

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Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Fears Grow Among Valley Recyclers As China Denies U.S. Recyclables

The trade conflict between the U.S. and China is heating up, and while tariffs on the steel and agriculture industries have taken center stage, the conflict has quietly moved into another less visible sector: It’s greatly disrupted the recycling industry. These new policies are already affecting businesses, but over time they could impact residents and city governments and even undermine state environmental policy. Among the warehouses and distribution centers in south Fresno, the calls of...

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Valley Public Radio Remembers Host Franz Weinschenk, 1925-2018

Longtime Valley Public Radio host Franz Weinschenk died last week at age 92. From 1992 through 2016 he hosted the popular program Valley Writers Read on Valley Public Radio. The program featured short stories from local writers, both professionals and amateurs, and showcased the valley’s rich literary traditions. “Franz had an amazing spirit about him,” said Joe Moore, Interim President of Valley Public Radio. “He had so much energy and passion about what he did, and in the case of our...

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