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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.

Tanya Nichols

A new novel from Fresno-based author Tanya Nichols tells the story of an attorney, her young client, and how they both must deal with tragedies in their lives. The Circle Game is Nichols' second novel, and is set here in the San Joaquin Valley. She recently joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the process of writing the book, teaching creative writing at Fresno State, and about the inspiration for the novel.

Join the staff of Valley Public Radio for an open house event Wednesday June 13th at Cafe Smitten in Bakersfield. It's a chance to meet the KVPR news staff, as well as fellow public radio listeners in Kern County. And if you have the new KVPR app on your phone, we'll treat you to a Cafe Smitten coffee drink of your choice.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

*Correction as of June 15, 2018: The California Department of Public Health has announced that it initially overestimated the state’s overdose deaths due to fentanyl by a factor of two. While we originally reported 750 fentanyl-related overdose deaths statewide, the corrected total is 373 – an increase of 56 percent over the year before, not 300 percent. Likewise, Kern County reported 10 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2017, not 20.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

The Trust for Public Land just released their latest Park Score rankings of park systems in 100 cities throughout the nation. While Fresno has scored low in the past, some groups have tried to draw attention to the city’s parks. The rankings come during an effort to add an initiative to the November ballot that would raise money for parks.  

This year, the Trust For Public Land ranked Fresno at 94 out of 100 cities. The city was the lowest ranked from 2012 to 2015, but did make steady improvements in following years.  The city was ranked 90th last year.

Shervin Lainez

Pianist and composer Pascal Le Boeuf returns to northern California in late May with a nine-piece jazz-classical hybrid ensemble for a string of performances from his large scale work “Ritual Being.” This suite explores the differential manifestation of human behavior at micro (individual) and macro (en masse) scales, and how these "rituals" can be propitious or disastrous. FM89’s David Aus spoke with Pascal about this tour, his recent Grammy nomination, and what it’s like to compose for and perform with a jazz quintet and traditional string quartet.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

A lot of the news around Bitcoin has to do with its value rising and falling. Many have decided to invest with hopes its value goes up. While the total number of those with Bitcoin is just a fraction of the world’s population, some of them happen to live in Fresno. FM89’s Laura Tsutsui reports that some of these users aren’t necessarily hoping to strike it rich, but instead are trying to understand how cryptocurrency could be a part of our lives in years to come.

Anthony Yang is a researcher and content developer in Downtown Fresno.

Forbes.com

Archie "Red" Emmerson is not a household name in California, but perhaps he should be. He's one of the most powerful forces in the Sierra, and one of the largest private landowners in the U.S. With his company Sierra Pacific Industries, he’s built a billion-dollar logging empire that has grown even more successful thanks to being aggressive in the field of logging trees in the wake of recent wildfires, like the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park.

GVWire

With two weeks to go before election day, we talk politics with GV Wire's Bill McEwen. On this week's segment we explore why former Fresno mayor Alan Autry is endorsing Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa for governor, and what President Trump's endorsment of Republican candidate John Cox means for the party's downticket candidates. 

Today on Valley Edition, we learn about one of the most closely watched races in the June primary, the contest to be Kern County’s next sheriff. We also talk politics with GV Wire’s Bill McEwen and learn how local entrepreneurs are embracing Bitcoin and the world of cryptocurrency. Later in the show we talk with journalist Chloe Sorvino of Forbes about her recent profile of Sierra Pacific Industries, a company that dominates the timber industry in the Sierra. And we also chat with musician and A&M Records co-founder Herb Alpert ahead of his upcoming performance in Bakersfield.

Christina Lopez / Valley Public Radio

On June 5, Kern voters will put their voices where their ballots are and either decide to reelect incumbent Sheriff Donny Youngblood for a fourth term or award the duty to Justin Fleeman, a Senior Chief Deputy for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. FM 89’s Christina Lopez reports.

Herbalpert.com

Even if he didn't sell 72 million recordings, with 15 gold albums, and five number one hits - Herb Alpert would still be a music industry icon. For while he's best known as the trumpet player behind the instrumental pop sounds of the Tijuana Brass of the 1960's and 70's, his role as a record producer is also legendary. A co-founder of A&M records, he went on to sign and record superstars from Sergio Mendes to The Carpenters, Cat Stevens, Peter Frampton, and Sting.

Fresno County Sheriff's Office

Local law enforcement and elected officials met with President Donald Trump today in Washington D.C. They discussed California’s sanctuary state policies and how they’ve impacted communities. As Valley Public Radio’s Monica Velez reports, one county sheriff thought the meeting was productive.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said she wants to see Fresno County say “we don’t agree with SB-54,” which restricts when state law enforcement can interact with U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities. She said they discussed strategies to have full disclosures with ICE.

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