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Of all places in the Central Valley the City of Hanford has been targeted by a number of companies wanting to establish medical marijuana cultivation businesses. After one business dropped out last month, two others are now interested.

 

Hanford Sentinel Reporter Seth Nidever joined Valley Edition this week to tell us more and to chat about what one water district near Hanford is doing to prevent flooding from snowmelt. 

 

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports stories on how Madera County is dealing with ICE working in the county, drone racing and how crops are faring with all the rain. FM89 Reporter Jeffrey Hess interviews  Fresno County Department of Public Health Director David Pomaville about what the county is doing to investigate lead levels in children. We also chat Hanford Sentinel Reporter Seth Nidever about how Hanford is reacting to medical marijuana companies would like to set up shop in the city. Plus we’ll talk with Valley Musician Omar Nare.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in March, Dennis Spear watches his 15-year-old son Matthew Spear pilot a tiny metal drone through a course at a park outside Fresno.

“[They’re] like a swarm of angry bees, ” Spear says.

Drones have exploded in popularity as the price of the tiny machines has fallen. More than 700-thousand drones were sold in the United States last year.

These drones aren’t what you may have seen in the neighborhood or heard about on the news. They are smaller than a Frisbee and are very light weight.

www.slosymphony.org

The Fresno Philharmonic welcomes its sixth candidate for the vacant position of music director and conductor to the community this week with José-Luis Novo. He'll lead the orchestra in a concert Sunday at the Saroyan Theatre featuring music of Mozart, Dvorak, Ravel and Stravinsky, with guest artist violinist Chee-Yun.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

On this week's Young Artist's Spotlight we feature string players from the Bakersfield Youth Symphony Orchestra. 

For three decades the Bakersfield Youth Symphony Orchestra has brought together music students in the south valley to perform high-caliber professional-level symphonic music. BYSO is an affiliated group of the Bakersfield Symphony, operating under its board of directors with able assistance from manager Brent Williams, parents, Symphony coaches, and private teachers. Funding is provided by corporate and private contributions, player tuition, and ticket sales.

Violet Ruth Bergen

While immigrant rights and sanctuary cities may be flash points right now in today’s political climate, it may be easy to forget that the San Joaquin Valley has a long history of opening its doors to immigrants as well as refugees fleeing struggles in their home countries. On Tuesday, April 4, Fresno State is hosting a symposium to educate students and the community about some of their newest neighbors: Syrian refugees.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Valley congressman Devin Nunes is at the center of a political storm in Washington D.C. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have asked him to step aside from the investigation into potential connections between President Donald Trump and Russia. Some are worried that Nunes is too close to the president. But will the scandal will harm Nunes’ popularity?

For most of his seven terms in office, a public appearance by Congressman Devin Nunes would not be big news.

That is not the case anymore.

Fresno Arts Council

For the fourth year the Fresno Arts Council is marrying art and agriculture into a show. The 2017 Arts Alive in Agriculture Showcase will be made up of local artists.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our reporters take a look at what Congressman Devin Nunes' future looks like and how inmate visitations are going online in the region. We also hear from Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler about what Governor Jerry Brown's proposed transportation deal could mean for the state. Later, KVPR Reporter Kerry Klein interviews two speakers from the Syrian Refugee Symposium taking place at Fresno State Tuesday April 4.

Teresa Douglass / Tulare County Sheriff's Office

Technology like Facetime and Skype has made talking face-to-face over long distances as easy as opening an app. Now even jails are offering video calls to connect inmates and their families. But some civil liberties groups say the new technology shouldn’t replace in-person visits.  

Before this year, if you wanted to visit an inmate in the Tulare County Jail, you would go to the facility, sit on opposite sides of a glass partition, and speak through a phone.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders have a huge challenge this week: Convince all but one Democrat in the California Legislature to vote for new fuel tax increases and vehicle fees to repair the state's crumbling roads and highways, an incredibly unpopular vote.

To tell us more about the deal Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler joined KVPR's Ezra David Romero on Valley Edition. Take a listen to the interview below.

Drivers in Fresno are expressing a largely negative view about the tax. Among them is truck driver Abraham Baec.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Valley congressman Devin Nunes is in the middle of a political firestorm regarding the investigation into ties between President Donald Trump and Russia. Friday, he made his first public appearance in the valley since the controversy over his handling of the investigation erupted. His stop drew hundreds of protestors.

Nunes was set to speak Friday at the annual Ag Lenders Society of California Conference in Fresno about the state of water in California.

It was a private event and Valley Public Radio was not permitted to attend the speech.

Today on Young Artist's Spotlight we feature a performance from four of the five members of the Bakersfield Youth Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet. All four are new to the group this year. The group has played pre-concert music for the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and for the Community Concert Association concert which featured the Presidio Brass. The group's founder and coach is Steve O'Connor, trumpeter, who serves on the BYSO board and plays in many local organizations, including the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, the Bakersfield Municipal Band and the Bakersfield Winds.

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, hit a serious snag last week. A planned vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the GOP replacement plan, called the American Health Care Act, was canceled at the last minute. So what's next in the effort to bring major changes to the nation's health care policies? Will the Republicans try again to replace a law they have maligned for years? And what options does President Trump have through his executive authority to change the way the Affordable Care Act is being implemented?

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A new map released by NASA earlier this year shows that large portions of California are sinking. The worst of it is in the San Joaquin Valley. One of the main reasons is the over pumping of groundwater, especially in the last five years of drought.

All that sinking and all the snow melting in the Sierra has Central Valley water managers like Dustin Fuller worried.

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