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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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Today on Valley Edition, we learn how residents in the Kern County community of Lamont are excited about something many of us take for granted: sidewalks. We also learn about a new Buszzfeed investigation into a hit man with roots - and many victims - in the San Joaquin Valley. Plus we explore the problems of the recycling industry, and talk with Fresno author Tim Z. Hernandez about his new book "All They Will Call You."

Kerry Klein / Julia Lyu Mears

The United States' recycling industry is facing a growing crisis. China earlier this year announced policy changes that restrict its imports of the U.S.’s recyclables—changes with tremendous implications, since a third of the U.S.’s recycling exports have historically gone to China. We explored those policy changes in May, speaking with recycling companies and policy experts about what’s changed, and how to find new markets for all that plastic and paper we can no longer ship overseas.

University of Arizona Press

Five years ago, Valley Public Radio brought you the story of one man’s search for names that it seemed had been lost to history. Fresno author Tim Z. Hernandez was searching for the families of the 28 passengers who died in a plane crash in western Fresno County in 1948. The passengers on the U.S. Immigration Service flight were Mexican nationals en route from Oakland to El Centro.

Christina Lopez / Valley Public Radio

On the outskirts of Kern County lies the community of Lamont. It is an unincorporated area 10 miles southeast of Bakersfield home to over 15,000 people. This corner of the county is made up of migrant farm workers, small business owners, and immigrant families, majority Hispanic. 

This week on Valley Edition we learn why the operators of food pantries in the valley say they are facing a new problem - hostility towards Spanish speakers. We also learn how growers, packers and retailers are new technology like blockchain to improve the tracking of food as it flows through the supply chain. It's all part of an effort to reduce the severity of foodborne illness outbreaks like the one that recently tainted romaine lettuce. We also speak with journalist Amanda Fortini about her new piece in the California Sunday Magazine about the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting.

Monica Velez

While the governor’s race heats up one top candidate made another visit to the San Joaquin Valley, where he met with locals and received endorsements from law enforcement officials.  

USGS photo

The recent images from Hawaii of the eruption of the Kilauea volcano have been captivating.  But closer to home, a much larger eruption once took place not that far from Fresno. Some 765,000 years ago - the blink of an eye in geologic time - a volcanic eruption created the Long Valley Caldera near present day Mammoth Lakes and forever transformed the eastern Sierra landscape. It's just 76 miles from Fresno, and it created a caldera 20 miles long and ten miles wide. While no eruptions are anticipated in the area anytime soon, Mammoth is still a hotbed for geologic activity.

Joshua Dudley Greer for The California Sunday Magazine

The tragic shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival last October in Las Vegas has largely faded from the headlines and Twitter timelines in recent months. But the story of the worst mass shooting in modern American history – a tragedy which left 58 dead – didn’t end when the sun rose on October 2nd last year. In fact, it was just the beginning of the story, as journalist Amanda Fortini writes in a new piece for the California Sunday Magazine, examining the aftermath in the Las Vegas community.

Flickr user Derek Dirks, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

After it was first reported in March, the recent E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce appears to be drawing to a close. But that’s only after it sickened 172 people in 32 states and resulted in one death in California. Why did it take so long to get under control? One reason is that produce can be difficult to trace from farm to fork, through the sometimes dozens of suppliers, distributors and wholesalers that make up the produce supply chain—but two recent initiatives are attempting to change that.

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

We’re standing in a fridge that’s the size of a two bedroom apartment at Food Link Tulare County. The ice box is stacked with produce and dairy products that will soon be in the fridges of Tulare families. Development director for the food bank, Nicole Celaya, says some families who need food won’t get food.

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The Future Of The Arts In The Valley - July 18

Valley Public Radio Launches New Mobile App

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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