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Kern County Fire Department

Erskine Fire Burns Near Lake Isabella In Kern County

(Editorial Note: This is an evolving story likely to have updates) The Erskine wildfire near Bakersfield exploded in size late Friday to more than 30,000 acres and, at last update, was 5% contained. The fire has already consumed about 80 homes and could threaten another 1,500 structures. Fueled by drought-parched vegetation and pushed by high winds, the fire near Lake Isabella northeast of Bakersfield grew quickly overnight. The fire is burning in a populated area putting many homes and other...
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Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

By Growing Feed Indoors This Sheep Farmer Says He's Saving Lots of Water

Shipping containers have been used for everything from community gardens to pools and even homes. In rural Madera County one farmer is using these containers to help him save water on his sheep farm. He says a shipping container could actually be a solution to drought. At Golden Valley Farm, about 10 miles northwest of Madera, Mario Daccarett’s employees are milking 500 sheep in rounds of 12. As they hook up long clear suction cups to each animal’s set of teats, milk drains down tubes into a...
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How Reddit Helped Find A Graffiti Artist Who Defaced National Parks

Colorful acrylic paintings on red and gray rock formations and profiles of people smoking cigarettes, signed with a repetitive "Creepytings," caused an uproar on Reddit more than a year ago. Now, the uproar is calming.After spending a month drawing and painting on the rocks in seven national parks, Casey Nocket, 23, of San Diego, was banned this month from national parks and other federally administered lands, according to the National Park Service.The conviction is owed largely to a band of...
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On Valley Edition

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Interview: Agustín Lira And Patricia Wells Talk New Album 'Songs Of Hope And Struggle'

It’s not every day that two Fresno musicians release a new CD on the prestigious Smithsonian Folkways record label. But Agustin Lira and Patricia Wells aren’t your typical Fresno musicians. In 2007 Lira was honored as a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment For the Arts. The co-founder of the group El Teatro Campesino, Lira was an important part of the United Farm Workers movement dating back to the 1960’s and has remained active in both music and local issues since then. ‘ Now...
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Joe Moore/KVPR

We Won't Be Put 'Back In The Closet': Fresno's LGBTQ Community Reacts to Orlando Shooting

Residents of the Central Valley are continuing to react to the murder of more than 50 people in a shooting at an LGBTQ club in Orlando. The mass murder has created waves of outrage across the country. Sunday night, hundreds of people marched in the Fresno’s Tower District for a candlelight vigil remembering the victims of the worst mass shooting in American history. Jason Scott with the advocacy group Gay Fresno says the attack is causing great sadness and anger but also resolve. “People are...
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Underserved Central Fresno Neighborhood To Get A Large Grocer This Year

A new partnership between two California groups is making it a little bit easier for residents of one older Fresno neighborhood to get fresh healthy food. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports. For the first time in more than 15 years a new grocery store is set to open in an underserved Central Fresno neighborhood. The 45,000 square foot Vallarta Supermarket on Clinton Avenue near Highway 99 is currently under construction. A portion of the funding for the project is coming from the California...
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Interview: Fresno Bee Reporter Barbara Anderson On Zika

Ezra David Romero

Quay Valley: Is Kings County Ready For A High-Tech Town?

Kings County is known for farmed products like cotton and milk, as well as prisons and the Naval Air Station in Lemoore. The rural county is home to four cities and dozens of small places like Kettleman City on Interstate 5. Now a Southern California group wants to build a brand new high tech town in this agricultural county. Many people who visit Kings County don’t even realize they’re there. That’s because they’re zooming by along Interstate 5 from Los Angeles to San Francisco. About half...
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New State Law to Bring Arsenic-Free Drinking Water to Tulare County Community

Many valley residents struggle to access drinking water—some don’t have enough, while others face contamination. Now, a new law allows the state to step in and help those in need. In its first success story, the law didn't just bring water to a community; it helped end a standoff with a neighboring city. It’s a sunny afternoon in Tulare County, and Reinelda Palma and Javier Medina are taking me on a tour of their neighborhood. They live in a small community called Matheny Tract, right on the...
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California High-Speed Rail Authority

Giant Girders Lifted Into Place For Fresno High-Speed Rail Bridge

Work is progressing on the high-speed rail project’s most visible landmark in downtown Fresno, the new Tuolumne Street Bridge. Workers today began lifting the first of 42 massive steel and concrete girders into place. The beams are 149 feet long and each weighs 83 tons. They will one day carry vehicle traffic from both Highway 99 and downtown Fresno over the Union Pacific and high speed rail tracks. Officials with the California High-Speed Rail Authority say that construction on the bridge is...
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Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Young Artists Spotlight: Lindsay Guitars 2016

A group of 15 guitarists paid a visit to Young Artist Spotlight this week. The Lindsay High School Guitars, directed by Nancy Wills, is a top-notch group of high school musicians that perform around the region. The group is made up of beginning, intermediate and advanced guitarists.
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Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Valley Public Radio Moves Into New Home

After many seasons of planning and fundraising, a year of design work and another year of construction Valley Public Radio moved into its new home in Clovis on May 19th. The 10,500 foot state-of-the-art broadcast center is located at the corner of Temperance and Alluvial Avenues in the Portal Sierra Research and Technology Park. The project includes new broadcast studios for the station, more than doubling the studio space when compared with the station's old home. While station operations...
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Inside FM89

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Technology Makes FM89's New Home More Flexible, Efficient

Valley Public Radio’s new home isn’t just an impressive piece of architecture, it’s also opening up new doors for the station’s programming thanks to state-of-the-art broadcasting technology. Unlike the station’s old home, the new building is designed from the ground up for digital broadcasting and data storage and delivery. Fiber optic lines allow for the station to receive programming from NPR and other producers over the internet, in addition to satellite delivery of programming. Over five...
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New Season Of Invisibilia Comes To FM89 June 17

Invisibilia is Latin for "invisible things." The program explores the unseen forces that shape human behavior -- things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions -- interweaving narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently. The show is co-hosted by a trio of NPR's award-winning journalists, Alix Spiegel, Lulu Miller and Hanna Rosin, who have roots at This American Life, Radiolab and The Atlantic. In the first season,...
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This week on Valley Edition: President In Yosemite; Laura's Law; Agustín Lira And Patricia Wells

David Aus Joins FM89 Broadcast Team

Valley Public Radio listeners have likely noticed a new voice on the FM89 airwaves, that of David Aus. The station’s newest classical announcer, David can be heard regularly on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, and Tuesdays from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM hosting Clearly Classical and other FM89 programs. David’s voice is familiar to many in the Fresno area. In addition to being an in-demand pianist, composer, arranger and educator, he also is a radio veteran, with nearly 10 years of...
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Life In the Valley

Kerry Klein/KVPR

My Valley, My Story: Local Painter Uses Art to Explore Her “Bracero” Heritage

Right now, Clovis Community College is hosting an exhibit from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. It’s all about the Bracero program, a controversial government campaign in the mid-20th century that brought Mexican men into the U.S. seasonally to work the fields. Alongside the Smithsonian exhibit are paintings by Eliana Soto, a local artist whose grandfather was a Bracero. She tells Kerry Klein about exploring her family’s history through art as part of our first-person...
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