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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.

W.W. Norton

Perhaps no job in America has been more romanticized and mythologized than that of the cowboy. From movies to songs, much of what we know about cowboys and the American West is often just a caricature of real life. A new book by  Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist John Branch aims to give us a different sort of look into the life of one prominent rodeo and cattle ranching family. It’s called The Last Cowboys – A Pioneer Family In the New West.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Think for a moment about neighborhoods in Fresno. Maybe you thought of the Tower District, or Fig Garden? Or perhaps it was Woodward Park or Sunnyside. What about the area west of Highway 99, between Clinton, Herndon and Grantland Avenues. Today it’s a checkerboard mix of subdivisions, rural homes, and farmland. And getting across Highway 99 to the rest of Fresno, and over the railroad, and Golden State Boulevard is a traffic nightmare. Now, the city is starting a new effort that aims to solve some big problems for area residents.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

The trade conflict between the U.S. and China is heating up, and while tariffs on the steel and agriculture industries have taken center stage, the conflict has quietly moved into another less visible sector: It’s greatly disrupted the recycling industry. These new policies are already affecting businesses, but over time they could impact residents and city governments and even undermine state environmental policy.

If you’re a regular Valley Public Radio listener, you probably already know that your health depends a lot on where you live. But just 10 years ago, that field of research was still emerging.

A new report from a local education reform group is calling for big changes in the Fresno Unified School District. Called Choosing Our Future 2.0, the document is from Go Public Schools Fresno, calls for new personalized accountability measures for students, and for personalized student success plans.

Today on Valley Edition we learn how international affairs are causing a problem for local recycling operators, and how one Fresno neighborhood is looking forward to a new city plan that could solve a big traffic problem for people who live west of Highway 99. We also talk with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Branch about his new book "The Last Cowboys," and Diego Arambula, Executive Director of GO Public Schools Fresno about their new Choosing Our Future 2.0 report. Plus Kerry Klein talks with journalist Suzanne Bohan about her new book on health disparities.

Pianist and vocalist Tony De Sare joins the Fresno Philharmonic for the final pops concert of the 2017-2018 season Saturday at Fresno's William Saroyan Theatre. The concert will feature De Sare performing Gershwin's Rhapdosy in Blue as well as pop hits by Elton John, Billy Joel and John Lennon. De Sare joined us on Valley Public Radio to talk about his career and the Fresno concert. 

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

A year ago, two universities were vying to open the first medical school in the San Joaquin Valley. On Wednesday, one took a big step forward—while the other fizzled. 

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

The San Joaquin Valley’s newest university is expanding: On Wednesday, groundbreaking ceremony for a new campus of California Health Sciences University.

The 90-acre plot of land between Highway 168, Temperance and Alluvial Avenues in Clovis is part of the university’s plan to operate a family of schools of medicine and health. The School of Pharmacy’s inaugural class will graduate later this month.

James Gathany, via Wikimedia Commons

Debug Fresno is a pilot project aimed at developing a technique to control a nasty species of invasive mosquito known as Aedes aegypti. It involves releasing millions of mosquitoes infected with wolbachia, a naturally occurring bacteria, in three test areas in Fresno and Clovis. It may seem like a paradox, but the ultimate goal is to reduce the overall A. aegypti population, and techniques like this have succeeded in other parts of the world.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Summer is approaching in the San Joaquin Valley, and that means it’s not only the season for sunscreen and paletas, but also mosquitoes—something local authorities are working on. For the last two years, the Fresno area has been the site of an experimental mosquito control program. And it’s back again. Here we examine the project’s latest, scaled-up season, and why it appears to be working.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Over 5,000 people came to the Central Valley this weekend to watch the first World Surf League team competition, live. The event took place at Kelly Slater’s world-class wave pool in Lemoore, and some think this surf ranch is the next frontier for the sport.

Chris Estep loves to watch surfing. He says he and his wife watch the competitions whenever they can, but always from their home in Fresno, via livestream video.

Valley Public Radio listeners are familiar with the work of writer Howell Hurst. The former Kern County resident has had several of his short stories featured on the station's program Valley Writers Read. Now he has a new book "I Can't Hear the Drums Anymore" which collects many of those stories. He joined us on Valley Edition to talk about his writing. 

Central Sierra Historical Society

In recent years, the forests of the Central Sierra have changed dramatically. Drought, bark beetles and climate change have helped to kill millions of trees across the region, and years of fire suppression have also contributed to an unhealthy ecosystem in many areas. Now the Central Sierra Historical Society Museum at Shaver Lake has launched a new website and museum dedicated to the changing forest. We talked with retired forester John R.

Today on Valley Edition we get a preview of tonight’s gubernatorial debate, learn about efforts to control an invasive mosquito in Fresno and Clovis, and go surfing in Lemoore. We also talk with the organizers of a new museum exhibit about the epidemic of tree mortality in the Sierra, and with former Kern County author Howell Hurst about his new book.

On this week’s Valley Edition, we learn why open field agricultural burning has increased in recent years, and what’s being done about it. We also look at the race for the 22nd Congressional District, and find out why what has long been considered a “safe” seat for Republicans is drawing more attention and money this year. Later in the show we get an update on political unrest in Armenia, and on Tulare County’s connections to Joseph James DeAngelo – the accused Golden State Killer.

Coalinga Regional Medical Center website

A long-standing Fresno County hospital is closing. Coalinga Regional Medical Center announced Tuesday it will shut its doors within six weeks.

The hospital’s facilities are set to close by June 15. CEO Wayne Allen came on only three weeks ago, shortly before S&P Global Ratings put the hospital on CreditWatch due to the deterioration of its financial situation.

Allen was hired to turn the hospital’s finances around but he says he was too late. "What’s happening is the business is financially broke; insolvent," Allen says. "And we had to go into a closure mode."

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley has improved dramatically over the last few decades, partly thanks to a set of sweeping clean air laws passed in the early 2000s. Over the last few years, however, one major polluting practice has risen steadily. And although it’s unclear if the increase has had an impact on air quality, advocates are concerned it will if the trend continues. We report from a family farm outside Fresno on what’s being done about open agricultural burning.

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