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Inside FM89
5:14 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Valley Public Radio To Break Ground On New Facility May 19

A rendering of the new broadcast facility for Valley Public Radio which breaks ground May 19th, 2015 in Clovis at Temperance and Alluvial Avenues.

Valley Public Radio/FM89 is breaking ground for a new permanent facility at a ceremony on May 19th 3-5PM at the Technology Park in Clovis.  The Assemi Family, together with the James Irvine Foundation and lead donors, have made it possible for Valley Public Radio to raise $1.6 million dollars in preparation for ground breaking and the start of construction.   These funds are dedicated to building a new facility, which can further community reporting and support civic engagement. 

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News
2:32 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Fresno Parks High On City Leader's Budget Priorities

Fresno City leaders are vowing to use growing revenue to restore neglected city parks. Many parks fell into disrepair as a result of budget cuts during the recession.

With the city’s tax base recovering, the Mayor and City council members say now is the time to fix and expand the city’s public parks.

Standing in a park in East Fresno, Mayor Ashley Swearengin says the city should spend nearly 6-million dollars on repairs and renovations across the city.

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Health
5:38 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

New Legislation Would Allocate $1 Million For Valley Fever Research

Some experts say drought conditions may increase the risk of valley fever in California.
Credit Valley Public Radio

The fight against valley fever may reach a new milestone. A bill in the state legislature would fund research for this disease in hopes of finding a cure. 

The bill introduced by State Senator Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, would allocate $1 million to fund research into a valley fever vaccine. Valley fever- also known as coccidioidomycosis- cases have increased dramatically over the last decade, including in the Central Valley. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nearly 9,500 cases were reported nationwide in 2013.

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Environment
5:36 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

New Program Brings Solar Power To Low-Income Fresnans

Solar panels were installed on a Fresno home as part of the Low-Income Weatherization Program.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A new statewide program using cap-and-trade money to fund solar panels for low-income residents launched this week  in Fresno. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports.

Salvador Mendoza and his family are one of the first 1,780 households in the state to receive rooftop solar panels through California’s Low-Income Weatherization Program.

Mendoza has lung disease and lives in one of the most economically impoverished parts of Fresno.

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News
1:46 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Kern County Hit Hard By Low Oil Prices

Most drivers in California have cheer the long run of low oil prices and the effect it has in driving down the price at the pump. But for Kern County the low prices are bad news for the county and the industry that thrives there. The low price has created what some call a ‘fiscal emergency’.

Kern County is routinely one of the top oil producing counties in the country with an industry more than 100 years old.

But that production has made the county massively dependent on the industry and the global price of oil.

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Drought
1:16 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Brown Defends Delta Tunnels Project, Agriculture Industry

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at the Association of California Water Agencies conference Wednesday in Sacramento.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Gov. Jerry Brown says opponents of his Delta water tunnel proposal should just “shut up.” He spoke to the Association of California Water Agencies in Sacramento Wednesday.

One day after the State Water Resources Control Board set mandatory reduction requirements for every local water agency, Brown thanked the agencies for helping California through the drought.

And then, he turned to what many in the room believe is their future water source: two tunnels underneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to move water south.

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Health Care
11:51 am
Thu May 7, 2015

Nurse Practitioner Scope Of Practice Bill Passes Senate

file photo

Nurse practitioners could care for patients and prescribe medications without a doctor’s supervision under a bill that’s passed the California Senate. Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

Democratic Senator Ed Hernandez has tried for years to allow more medical professionals to provide primary care, given a significant doctor shortage. This bill would expand what’s called the “scope of practice” of nurse practitioners.

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Valley Writers Read
4:10 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

"Lulu Garlic, Contraband" By Robert Walton on Valley Writers Read

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by local author Robert Walton, titled "Lulu Garlic, Contraband." 

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News
2:35 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Fresno County DA Launches Anti-Corruption Task Force

The Fresno County DA is launching a new public integrity Unit to crack down on elected officials and public employees breaking the law. The plan is to investigate complaints about misbehavior from the public.

Through letters, fax and e-mail Fresno County DA Lisa Smittcamp is hoping to ferret out public officials and employees breaking the law.

Smittcamp says the newly formed three-member unit will follow up on complaints of wrong-doing.

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Environment
5:24 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

New California Bill Aims To Prevent Pipeline Gas Leaks, Arvin Evacuations

Yesenia Lara stands outside her home on Nelson Court, one of the eight homes evacuated back in March because of a gas leak.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Last year, several Kern County families were forced out of their homes for more than eight months because of a gas leak. Now, a bill in the California legislature would help prevent future cases like the one in Arvin. Fm89’s Diana Aguilera reports.

The bill would require state regulators to prioritize the testing of oil-related pipelines running near schools or homes.

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Valley Edition
12:37 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

On Valley Edition: May 5 - Oil Wastewater; Fresno Police; Drought; The Wrecking Crew

Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

On this week’s Valley Edition, we hear special reports on the controversy over farmers using treated wastewater from oil producers in Kern County, and efforts by Fresno police to build trust with young men of color.

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Oil Industry
12:21 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

What's In The Water? Some Kern County Farmers Are Irrigating With Oil Wastewater

In Kern County the petroleum industry and the world of farming are becoming more and more linked.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

In Kern County the oil industry and the world of farming are working hand in hand, but not everyone is happy about that. As Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports there are growing concerns over the use of oil field wastewater used to irrigate prime farmland.

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Arts & Culture
11:48 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Documentary Showcases Musicians Behind LA's Biggest Hits

The film "The Wrecking Crew" is at the Tower Theatre Friday night.
Credit Fresno Filmworks

What do The Beach Boys, Glen Campbell and Frank Sinatra and The Monkees have in common? They all relied on the same group of backup musicians, studio pros in LA in the 60's and early 70's known informally as "The Wrecking Crew." While you probably haven't heard their names, you have heard their music.

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Drought
11:27 am
Tue May 5, 2015

My Valley, My Story: Rosa Garaby Has Lived Without Running Water For Five Years

Rosa Garaby has lived without water for five years.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Imagine going to your kitchen sink to wash dishes, but when you turn on the tap little or now water flows out. That's the reality in homes of many people across the Central Valley, especially as the historic drought worsens.

As part of FM89's series My Valley, My Story featuring first person accounts from people throughout the San Joaquin Valley reporter Ezra David Romero visits the Madera County community of Chowchilla, where one family has lived without water for five years. 

"My first name is Rosa Garaby. I've been here 38 years."

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Education
10:47 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Does Fresno Need A New Vocational Education High School?

Fresno Unified Board Trustee Brooke Ashjian wants the district to build a new high school that focuses on vocational classes
Credit Brooke Ashjian

Local schools have a lot on their plate, preparing students for life, a job and the possibility of a college education. But what about students who likely won't attend college? The answer used to be in vocational education classes, things like auto shop and wood shop. But increasingly those classes have disappeared from schools with the emphasis on standardized testing and college readiness.

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News
3:16 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Some Young Fresnans Remain Skeptical Of Police Outreach

A police instructor explains to 15-year old Raymond Rojas how the simulator works.
Credit Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

In Fresno tonight, police officers and teenagers will meet to look for ways to build trust and bridging the gap between them. The violent protests in Baltimore have thrust the issue dramatically back into the spotlight. Outreach to young people in Fresno is being pitched as essential to improving relations between police and the people they are supposed to protect.

Standing in a dark room, on a platform surrounded by eight-foot tall projection screens is a skinny 15-year old named Raymond Rojas.

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News
4:34 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Fresno Mayor Swearengin Announces Budget Proposal

Mayor Swearengin and staff

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin is proposing her vision for the city’s 1.2 billion dollar budget. Valley Public Radio’s Jeffrey Hess reports the budget calls for more cops, fire fighters, and street repairs.

The budget has finally recovered after taking a deep hit during the great recession when it appeared possible the city could default and declare bankruptcy.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin says that money should be used to add 43 police officers, more fire fighters, and restore cuts made when the budget collapsed.

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The Moral Is
5:04 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Commentary: Educators Need To Do Better

Credit Fresno State

We expect professionals who serve our community to exhibit not only high standards of technical expertise, but also to treat their clientele with respect. Such minimal expectations were contradicted by recent violations of professional behavior in our local schools. In this edition of The Moral Is, Jacques Benninga, professor of Education at Fresno State, decries a low standard of educator ethics in recent headline-making news stories.

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Community
3:48 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Gallup Poll: Valley Cities Don't Feel Safe

Credit Gallup

A new national survey indicates three Central Valley communities are among the worst in the nation when it comes to resident’s perception of safety.

A Gallup poll recently released shows that Fresno residents say they are the least likely to feel safe and secure in their neighborhoods. The Stockton-Lodi region and Bakersfield ranked second and third.

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Environment
3:41 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Brown Revises Bay Delta Water Plan, Faces Criticism

California Governor Jerry Brown has revised his plan to restore habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, much to the dismay of environmental groups. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the plan also includes design changes for the proposed twin tunnels that would carry water south.

Governor Brown sold his plan to build two tunnels in the Delta with the promise that habitat would be restored. The number most commonly mentioned was 100,000 acres. Brown says that was just an “idea” with no way to pay for it.  He now proposes 30,000 acres.

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