News

Andrew Janz for Congress

The 2018 mid-term election is a year-and-a-half away, but Republican Congressman Devin Nunes has already drawn a challenger in the race for the 22nd Congressional District, Democrat Andrew Janz. The political newcomer and current Fresno County Deputy District Attorney faces a tough challenge. Republicans have a double-digit voter registration edge in the district, and Nunes has easily defeated Democratic opponents in each of the last three election cycles.

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/29/strengthening-kern-county-one-degree-at-a-time/

A new collaboration between the Kern High School District, Bakersfield College and CSUB aims to get students on a speedy pathway from high school to community college, and eventually a four-year college degree. It's called the "Kern Promise" but Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian calls it the key to revitalizing the community.

Courtesy Fresno Philharmonic

The Fresno's Philharmonic's Pops Concert Series continues this weekend with a concert at the Saroyan Theatre in Fresno celebrating the music of Louis Armstrong "It's A Wonderful World." The orchestra will perform with trumpeter and vocalist Byron Stripling and conductor Chelsea Tipton II, who joined us at Valley Public Radio for a talk about the concert. 

Google Maps

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have heightened in recent weeks. Hanford Republican Congressman David Valadao recently returned from a trip to South Korea and Japan. He spoke with Valley Public Radio about his trip and what he learned.

Interview transcript highlights:

Q: Why did you make the trip to South Korea?

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

In late April, we launched a series called “Contaminated” where our team explores communities in the region affected by water unsafe to drink. In our first story, we visited a Fresno County community that can’t afford to maintain the arsenic treatment plant the federal government funded 10 years ago. 

We continue today with a look at a Madera County mountain community where residents have been exposed to a different hazardous material in water for decades—but they could have clean water by the end of the year.

Kaiser Family Foundation

California’s Republican congressmen were crucial to getting the American Health Care Act passed through the U.S. House of Representatives last week. One change to that bill was key in getting the support of at least one of those congressman: additional money for something known as ‘high-risk pools’.

However, they are not a new idea in health care and in fact have been tried before right here in the Golden State. California’s experience could help inform how the policy might work if it becomes law, and the challenges it could face.

Valley PBS

Earlier this month Valley PBS launched a documentary miniseries called "Tapped Out: The History and Battle over Water in California’s San Joaquin Valley." 

The four-part series examines the history of water in California. Each episode delves into a different part of the history and future of water in the region and includes the voices of farmers, water leaders and environmentalists.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjZZXfBu0Rs

A drug and corruption investigation that has rocked Kern County area law enforcement for the last two years has grown into a new stage.

Last week two former Kern County sheriff’s deputies accepted plea deals with the U.S. Attorney office on charges they conspired to steal and then later sell marijuana, which the department had confiscated as evidence.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports on water contamination issues in the Oakhurst area as well a piece about changes to the American Health Care Act. Later, we're joined by the Bakersfield Californian's Lois Henry to talk about her latest column on police corruption. FM89's Jeffrey Hess also interviews Congressman David Valadao about his recent trip to the Korean Peninsula. Ending the program we hear about a new documentary series by Valley PBS and Filmmaker Jeff Aiello called "Tapped Out."

The Kern County city of Arvin has received funding to drill a new drinking water well to serve its nearly 21,000 residents.

The EPA has agreed to provide the city with $2.5 million in funding for the well, which will replace an existing well that's polluted with arsenic and is located adjacent to a Superfund site. That site is home to extensive soil contamination from herbicides and pesticides left behind by an agricultural chemical company that operated there in the mid-twentieth century.

State Farm To "Exit" Bakersfield Facility By 2021

May 4, 2017
bakersfieldvision2020.com

Insurance company State Farm has announced that it plans to close eleven facilities nationwide over the next four years, including one in Bakersfield that employs about 740 people.

The company says the plan to “exit” the facilities will help it run more efficiently. The changes will affect over 4,000 employees nationwide.

However, Justin Tomczak with State Farm says that these jobs will not be lost entirely.

Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy

Local Republicans played a big role in today’s passage American Health Care Act in the U.S. House Representatives.

During a victory press conference in the White House Rose Garden, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield said repealing the Affordable Care Act will be a positive for the American people.

Office of Rep. David Valadao / Valley Public Radio

Republicans in Washington are once again pushing hard for a vote on the American Health Care Act as some moderate members say they will now vote ‘yes’ on the bill. One remaining holdout, however, is Central Valley Congressman David Valadao. 

He spoke with Valley Public Radio on Wednesday about his position on the bill.

Republican representative Valadao says he’s still on the fence over whether to support or oppose the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood took his argument that the county should declare itself as a non-sanctuary county to the Board of Supervisors today.

The move came despite a failed effort last week by the Sheriff to place it on Tuesday’s agenda. His request was rejected by the county’s attorney for legal and procedural reasons.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Religion and politics are once again mixing at Fresno City Hall. One councilmember has put forward a plan to add the words ‘In God We Trust’ to the council chamber wall. The result of that vote could be the latest sign that the connection between politics and the city’s religious faithful is still strong.

The Wilson Theater in downtown Fresno comes to life on Sundays when it transforms into the Christian Cornerstone Church, the home of Pastor Jim Franklin. The theme of the sermon this weekend is organizing your life to put Jesus first.

Pages