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News
1:35 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Victim's Family Calls On Governor Brown To Block Killer's Parole

Mike Morganti's sister Vikki Van Duyne
Credit Alisha Gallon, Office of Jim Patterson

The family of a Clovis murder victim, Fresno law enforcement and politicians are in Sacramento today calling on Governor Jerry Brown to stop the parole of a convicted murderer.

David Weidert is up for parole for the 1980 murder of 20-year old Mike Morganti who was beaten with a baseball bat and buried alive for allegedly planning to testify against Weidert in another case.

Prosecutors say Weidert forced Morganti to dig is own grave.

Opponents of his release say the crime is too extreme to allow him to be paroled.

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News
4:48 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Fresno Looking To Cut Chukchansi Park Rent In Half

Chukchansi Park sign
Credit Photo Flikr: Frank Bonilla

The Fresno City Council could be poised to cut the rent on its minor league baseball stadium in half in an effort to attract a new buyer for the team.

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homelessnes
4:01 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

New Documentary Explores Homelessness In Fresno

Credit Brittani Fanciullo

There's a new documentary about homelessness in Fresno. "Our Lives: Surviving the Streets of Fresno" not only tells the stories of 10 people directly affected by homelessness, it was shot by them. 

Lisa Lindsay joined Valley Edition host Joe Moore for an interview  about the documentary. She directed the film and also is a supervising librarian for the Fresno County Public Library.

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Health
3:32 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Fresno County Approves Temporary Health Care Program For Undocumented

Advocates and community members celebrate Tuesday's board of supervisor's decision.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Health advocates are celebrating today as Fresno County Board of Supervisors approved a temporary health care program for undocumented residents.

The board voted 3-2 to implement a short-term program to provide limited specialty care for unauthorized immigrants.  

Activist Sandra Celedon-Castro is with Building Healthy Communities.

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Agriculture
3:18 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Almond Rush Raises Tough Questions During Dry Times

Almond Orchard near Newman, California
Credit Lesley McClurg / Capital Public Radio

Conveyer belts carry millions of kernels through sorting machines in a giant processing plant in the western San Joaquin Valley near Newman, California.      

Jim Jasper: “So the almonds go in there.”

Jim Jasper is the president of Stewart and Jasper Orchards.

Jim Jasper: “We can speed this up… we can slow it down…”

Last year the facility hulled and shelled more than 40 million pounds of almonds -- most of which were headed overseas.

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Drought
12:59 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Valley Edition: Why Are Almonds At The Heart Of California's Water Wars?

File Photo
Credit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

California's drought and last week's mandatory water cutbacks announced by Governor Jerry Brown have ignited a national controversy over valley agriculture. Brown called for a mandatory 25 percent reduction in water use by residents in cities, but his order left out agriculture. 

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Valley Edition
12:17 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Valley Edition: April 7 - High Speed Rail; Almonds And Drought; Fresno Homelessness Documentary

Valley Edition April 7, 2015
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we discuss drought, almonds and much more. The program begins with a piece by KVPR Reporter Jeffrey Hess on how the implementation of high speed rail in California is affecting businesses and homeowners in Central California. 

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News
6:28 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Central Valley Residents Say High-Speed Rail Is Running Them Over

Daryl and Shawna Archer

Some home and land owners in the pathway of California’s high-speed rail project are claiming the rail authority is treating them with disrespect and presenting low-ball offers in an attempt to for the project through. Those are claims the head of the rail authority strongly denies.

  A couple hundred feet behind the Kings County home of Daryl and Shawna archer are freight train.

“These are refrigerated cheese cars. They come twice a day. Once empty, once full going back,”

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Environment
12:18 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Drought-Tolerant Plans Growing In Popularity

Drought tolerant landscaping is a booming business in California (file photo)
Credit City of Fresno

As we enter a fourth year of drought, California nurseries and gardening centers say interest in drought-resistant plants is on the rise. Capital Public Radio's Steve Milne reports.

Greg Gayton is a horticulturist at the Green Acres nursery on Jackson Road in Sacramento. He's helping a customer shopping for tomato plants.

Gayton: "How you doing today? You finding everything okay?"

Gayton says the nursery has posted new signage promoting plants that require little water.  

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Immigration
5:07 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Feds Transfer Immigrants To New Detention Center In Bakersfield

The detention center, a former prison, will house up to 300 men and 100 women who are awaiting their final outcome of their immigration proceedings.
Credit Google Map

The Central Valley is now home to a new detention center for immigrants facing deportation. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports.  

Federal officials have already moved around 60 people into the new center in Bakersfield since its doors opened two weeks ago.

Virginia Kice, a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says the Mesa Verde Detention Facility will house up to 400 people.

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Valley Writers Read
6:04 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Memories of Brooklyn by Franz Weinschenk on Valley Writers Read

A persecuted German family that was lucky enough to get out of Nazi Germany before WWII started life over again in Brooklyn, New York.  The story describes how they dealt with their new neighborhood, living conditions, work, schools, illness, and America's deep depression.

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Young Artists Spotlight
6:02 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Tulare County Soloists Part 2 - Young Artists Spotlight 2015

Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

This week on Young Artists Spotlight a performance from five talented soloists from Tulare County.

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Drought
4:28 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

California, Is It Time To Wave Goodbye To Your Front Lawn?

Photo submitted by Hannah_75 to the Valley Public Radio series Voices of the Drought.

While agriculture is California’s largest consumer of water, Governor Jerry Brown wants to increase the focus on commercial and resident users. Jeffrey Hess with Valley Public Radio reports they are a big focus of Brown’s new mandatory water restrictions.

Golf course, cemeteries and other large plots of land will soon be required to reduce their usage under the new rules.

Governor Brown also wants to remove 50-million square feet of lawn around the state and replace it with drought resistant landscaping.

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Drought
4:22 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

California Farmers React To The 25 Percent Mandatory Statewide Water Reduction

A field in Hanford. Submitted to the Valley Public Radio series Voices of the Drought by Brant Oliviera who runs Oliviera Hay in Hanford.

Governor Jerry Brown announced Wednesday the first mandatory water restrictions in the Golden State’s history. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports on how farmers in the Central Valley are reacting to the plan.

With the lowest snow pack in history Governor Jerry Brown says the drought demands unprecedented action. He’s mandating new conservation methods including new agricultural water use reporting guidelines.

Cannon Michael farms 10,000 acres of tomatoes and corn in Central California. He says the impacts on agriculture from the edict are limited.

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Environment
1:06 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Brown Issues Mandatory Water Conservation Order For California

Gov. Jerry Brown announces mandatory water conservation requirements for California near Lake Tahoe Wednesday, at a site that on April 1st in a typical year averages five feet of snow.
Credit Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

For the first time in the state's history, a governor of California is imposing mandatory water restrictions.

Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order Wednesday that mandates a 25 percent cut in urban, potable water use in cities and towns from now through next February.

He announced the action near Lake Tahoe, after watching the state Department of Water Resources conduct a survey that showed the Sierra snowpack at a record-low five percent of normal for April 1st.

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Drought
10:51 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Drought: California's 2015 Cotton Planting May Be As Small As The One In 1910

Stock Photo
Credit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

California was once the number one cotton growing state in the nation, but the drought has changed that. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports on why the total cotton acreage in the state has dropped.

California cotton farmers are in the process of planting over 170,000 acres of the crop.

That sounds like a lot, but according to Roger Isom the number of acres expected to be planted in the state this year have plummeted to the point of plantings not seen since around 1910.

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Community
6:38 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Cesar Chavez: The Next Catholic Saint?

Credit Cesar Chavez Foundation

People from all over the country are celebrating the life of Cesar Chavez today. He would have turned 88. Now as FM89’s Diana Aguilera explains, some are also using the late labor leader’s birthday to bring back a movement to make Chavez a Catholic saint.

Supporters of the civil rights activist say the canonization of Cesar Chavez is not a far-fetched idea. This past weekend at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in San Jose, where Chavez once lived, Father Jon Pedigo renewed the call for sainthood. He says Chavez performed miracles of social change worthy of a saint.

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Drought
4:25 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Drought: Fresno County Lettuce Crop Cut In Half

File Photo
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The drought has become so bad in Central California that it’s now affecting the ingredients in your salad bowl. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports on a major drop in the lettuce harvest in the region. 

During the first few weeks of spring the Central Valley usually harvests almost the entire supply of the nation’s head lettuce, but this year the supply is meager.

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Valley Edition
2:50 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Valley Edition: End Of Life Care; Fresno PD; Catacomb Party; Almond Milk

Valley Edition March 31, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we take a look at several issues surrounding a difficult topic, death and dying. We’ll learn about a movement to help spur conversations about end of life decisions, a new report on palliative care in California, and a new bill that would bring physician assisted suicide to the Golden State.

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Crime
12:38 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Two Dead In Murder-Suicide At Fresno Doctor's Office

The Sang Pediatric office in downtown Fresno was the site of the shooting.

Update:

A mother of seven children and a man are dead in an apparent murder-suicide that shut down parts of downtown Fresno for several hours today. The shooting brought out dozens of cops and even the swat team.

Fresno Police initially believed the 43-year old man was an active shooter potentially with hostages inside a small medical office when they approached this office in mid-morning.

However, when swat officers finally made it inside Sang Pediatric Deputy Chief Pat Farmer says they found body of the man and that of the woman, dead from shotgun wounds.

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