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Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

An annual fundraiser this weekend for the Fresno County Republican Party is attracting national attention. Controversial former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is slated to speak at the party’s so-called First and Second Amendment celebration.

The event was initially billed as a Second Amendment celebration.

But Fresno County Republican Party Chairman Fred Vanderhoof says with recent unrest on college campuses, hearing from the firebrand sheriff has become an important defense of free speech. Arpaio is known for his strident views on immigration enforcement.

Laura Tsutsui Joins FM89 News, On-Air Team

Sep 26, 2017

All Things Considered Sunday listeners may noticed a new voice on the FM89 airwaves. Laura Tsutsui is a reporter, on-air announcer and production assistant for Valley Public Radio, and is now heard every Sunday as local host on All Things Considered. She first joined the station as a news intern, and now contributes to both the news and production teams.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Farmers are relying more and more on technology to help them manage their crops and often that means working with unmanned aerial systems. Using drones to make two dimensional maps of orchards isn’t anything new, but one agricultural researcher – Ali Pourreza – in Central California is taking existing drone technology to the next level.

“I thought, okay, two-dimensional imaging has been around a long time and it's helped a lot, but right now we have the capability to make 3D models,” says Pourreza.

Kerry Klein / KVPR

A few weeks ago, the Fresno Police Department busted a sex trafficking ring among the Bulldog Gang—unfortunately, only the latest of many sex trafficking cases uncovered recently in the Valley. This kind of crime is likely what comes to mind when you think of human trafficking—but another kind of trafficking also occurs in the Valley, sometimes in plain sight, and law enforcement officials worry it’s more common than anyone knows.

Fresno Housing Authority

The City of Fresno is getting a closer look at the projects hoping to get a slice of $70 million in cap-and-trade money that the state has set aside for the area. A meeting Wednesday meeting is one of the final steps before the city submits its plans to the state. 

The potential projects seeking funding are wide-ranging, from a 15-story apartment building on Fulton Street to electric car chargers, and a new park in Chinatown. All of the proposed developments are either in downtown, Chinatown or Southwest Fresno. 

Westlands Water District website

Last week was a bad one for one of California Governor Jerry Brown’s biggest priorities – the project known as California WaterFix. The board of the Westlands Water District voted 7-1 to reject a proposal to participate in, and help pay for the $16 billion twin tunnel project. That vote has left many asking whether the project has a future. 

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports stories on human trafficking, 3D orchards and condors. We also hear from KVPR Reporter Ezra David Romero about the latest on the proposed delta tunnels. Later we hear from Bakersfield Symphony Stilian Kirov and ending the program we are joined by Paula Poundstone. 

Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra

The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra begins its new season this weekend, and it marks the third season under the leadership of music director and conductor Stilian Kirov. He joined us this week on Valley Edition to talk about Friday night's opening concert, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, a stage play by Tom Stoppard with music by Andre Previn.

NPR

Comedian Paula Poundstone is already a familiar name to NPR listeners, thanks to her appearances on Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me. Now fans can hear even more of Paula, with a new NPR-produced podcast, a new book, and a tour that take her to Fresno for a performance Thursday night September

Estavan Moreno

Passengers on an Allegiant Airlines plane had to exit onto the Tarmac at the Fresno Yosemite Airport today after the cabin of their plane filled with smoke.

Flight AAY514 landed shortly after noon today on one of Allegiant’s daily runs from Vegas to Fresno.

Shortly after landing the plane ran into problems.

Passenger Estevan Moreno took videos showing smoke filling the cabin.

Two new reporting projects launched this year by Valley Public Radio's news team are helping to highlight pressing issues facing residents across the San Joaquin Valley, including water pollution and the regional shortage of doctors. 

"We think it's important to take the time to do real in-depth reporting on some of these issues. And while a lot of our coverage is focused on illustrating problems where they exist, we're also looking to focus on possible solutions too," says Valley Public Radio's Director of Program Content Joe Moore. 

The Tejon Tribe is the only federally recognized Native American tribe in Kern County. Home to some 900 members, the tribe only regained its federal status in 2012 and is looking to raise its profile in the community, as well as preserve its language. This weekend, the tribe is welcoming the community at-large to learn more about the the tribe at a pow wow to be held at CSUB September 23rd and 24th. Gloria Morgan joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the tribe and the event this weekend. 

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

For about the past year, two San Joaquin valley school districts have allowed some parents and staff members to carry a concealed firearm on campus if they have a concealed carry weapons permit and seek the permission of the district superintendent.

However, under a new bill on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk, that authority could soon be revoked.

The California Legislature has approved Assembly Bill 424, which would strip that authority from superintendents in all but a few narrow circumstances.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

When people think of homelessness, they often think of big cities like Fresno or Bakersfield. But in the mountains of Madera County it's a lingering problem. And as the short-term rental market grows, some fear the housing shortage in the communities just outside Yosemite will only get worse. 

Serenity Village is a seven-unit affordable apartment complex in Oakhurst targeted at helping homeless people get back on their feet.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports on homelessness in the Oakhurst area and about concealed weapons in Kingsburg. We are also joined by NPR's Felix Contreras in an interview with Dolores Huerta. Later we hear all about the City of Clovis' plan to build tiny alley cottages. We also learn all about the Tejon Indian Powow in the south valley and hear about a new book focused on the history Highway 99. 

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