News

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

California is in the middle of reversing decades of ‘tough on crime’ policies. Realignment and propositions 47 and 57 have been instituted to lighten the load in county jails and state prisons.

Now lawmakers are examining a system that sometimes keeps people in jail before they have even been convicted. Criminal justice reformers say California’s use of cash bail has created an income-based justice system.

So here is how this works.

Let’s say you are arrested and charged with a crime and find yourself in the Fresno County Jail.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports stories about a pesticide linked to Parkinson disease, cigarettes and a new way to measure the snowpack. We also hear about Former Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin's new job. Later we hear from Ellen Hanak about a new study about water and the San Joaquin Valley from the Public Policy Institute of California. Ending the show we learn all about the Buena Vista Edible Schoolyard in Bakersfield from teacher Dylan Wilson. 

Kerry Klein / KVPR

It’s springtime in the valley, which, for many of us, means it’s time to clear the weeds out of our backyards. The same goes for growers, but the landscape of industrial weedkillers is changing. A California judge recently ruled that the main ingredient of the popular herbicide RoundUp must be labeled as a carcinogen. Now, another popular herbicide is facing some scrutiny over its health impacts as well.

Weeds kill crops. Kurt Hembree says that’s because they’re pernicious moochers.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

After five years of drought there’s so much snow in the Sierra Nevada that state water officials are preparing for a massive runoff year. But the traditional way of calculating the snowpack has a huge margin of error and as Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports a new way to measure it could greatly decrease that inconsistency.  

Every winter and spring a network of snow surveyors manually tally how much snow is in the Sierra Nevada. They do this by measuring snow depth in the same spots every year.

The Fresno City Council has postponed a vote on legislation that would undo a key component of the city’s newly adopted general plan.

 

It’s an amendment that would require developers of multi-family apartment complexes outside of downtown to seek conditional use permits. Those permits add significant time and money to a building’s construction timeline, but they allow for feedback from the city and neighbors.

Mike McMillan / US Forest Service

A new study about how wildfires are started in the US found that people are responsible for more fires than lightning. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

 

Of the 1.5 million fires the study looked at from 1992 to 2012 84% were started by people. University of Massachusetts at Amherst researcher Bethany Bradley says that’s helped tripled the length of fire season in the US, and grow the affected area by seven times. She says fires caused by lightning usually happen in the late summer.

 

Courtesy of Brett Lebin

The start of the month marks the first time that cannabis growers in the state can receive agricultural energy rates from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  FM89’s Ezra David Romero explains.

Today on Young Artists Spotlight, we hear talented young string players from the orchestra. First, Benjamin Pegram and Joshua Hahm perform two movements each from J.S. Bach's Partita No. 2 for solo violin. Those performances are followed by a string quintet, which performs Franz Schbuert's String Quintet in C major.

Benjamin Pegram 

Bach's Partita No. 2 for Violin Solo in D minor, BWV 1004
Allemande
Courante

Joshua Hahm

Bach Partita no. 2 for Violin Solo in D minor, BWV 1004
Sarabande 
Gigue

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Fresno Unified Trustees are putting forward a resolution to declare the school district ‘safe place’ for undocumented students. The move is in response to student concerns about the Trump administration’s deportation policies.

Two-thirds of Fresno Unified School district students are Hispanic and district trustees say the heightened talk of more immigration enforcement has rattled the student body.

Join Valley Public Radio for the first event in our series of community gatherings called “Be Public: Live.” This new series of panel discussions about important issues in the region will be hosted at Valley Public Radio’s new broadcast center in Clovis. The initial event takes place Thursday March 23rd at 7:00 PM and will feature a discussion with local health care leaders surrounding the future of health care in the valley.

Westlands Water District website

The federal Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday how much water water districts across California should expect to receive this year. Eastside growers in the Friant Division within Fresno County should receive a 100 percent allocation. Ryan Jacobsen is the CEO of the Fresno County Farm Bureau.

 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The Sierra Nevada snowpack is so big this year that water managers are worried that one warm storm or a couple warm days could inundate reservoirs in the region. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports from Friant Dam.

 

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Something is about to happen in Clovis that hasn’t happened in nearly a decade. A small army of county employees will descend next Tuesday to administer the first city council election there since 2009. While some say it's a sign that things in the city have been running well, others say the odd election format discourages the participation of both candidates and voters.


Sara Hamilton / California Agriculture http://calag.ucanr.edu/archive/?article=ca.2016a0025

A new study says a Fresno-area summer camp may help children at risk for obesity adopt healthier lifestyles.

According to the study, families who participated in the Healthy Lifestyle and Fitness Camp in Fresno consumed more fruits and vegetables at home, and their children measured steady weight loss.

This was compared to kids who participated in non-nutrition themed summer camps. The study was published in the journal California Agriculture.

Downtown Fresno Partnership Facebook page

A year ago this Friday, Fresno leaders picked up fifteen golden sledgehammers and kicked off the project to rip out the 53 year-old Fulton Mall and replace it with a redesigned Fulton Street. It’s an ambitious project that officials hope will help jumpstart business investment on what was once Fresno’s main street, but for decades has been a struggling six-block pedestrian mall. So a year later what’s happened, both on the mall and off?

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