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Some big changes could soon transform the Fresno State campus, if university president Joseph Castro has his way. Students next month will vote on a plan to pay for a new $80 million student union facility to replace the existing one, which is nearly 50 years old. The university is also studying the feasibility of building a new performing arts center, which would hosts events that are too big for existing on-campus theaters, but too small for the massive Save Mart Center arena.

Ezra David Romero

There are over 1,400 dams and water diversion structures throughout California. Most of the time, we don’t pay much attention to them – they do their job and fade into the background. But months of massive storms after years of drought have suddenly brought the state of our dams and reservoirs to the top of the public agenda.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition FM89's Jeffrey Hess reports on the first Clovis City Council election in eight years. We also hear from UC Merced Professor Roger Bales about how it may be time to update the way California manages reservoirs. Later we hear from Fresno State President Joseph Castro. We end the program with a discussion about Downtown Fresno with Aaron Blair the President of the Downtown Fresno Partnership.

Fresno State / http://www.fresnostate.edu/president/investiture/images/castro-photos09.jpg

Fresno State President Joseph Castro says he wants to see any new effort to build a public medical school in the San Joaquin Valley be a collaboration between the UC and CSU systems.

Last month, Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula introduced a bill in Sacramento that would authorize a new medical school at Fresno State. But the state’s master plan for higher education calls for medical schools to be the domain only of the University of California.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A research center near Visalia is in the process of breeding a citrus tree resistant to a disease that has the industry on edge. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

 

California fire officials are already preparing for a hot fire season despite the ample rain and snow the regions received. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

 

Jeremiah Wittwer with Fresno County Cal Fire says there’s a lot of extra grass and brush growing in the region because of the rain. He says come summer when the vegetation dries out there’ll be a major fire hazard.

 

Valley Public Radio

This week on FM89's Young Artist's Spotlight we feature the students of the University High School Flute Choir. UHS Instrumental Music Director Randall Cornelison writes the following about the ensemble, which is directed by former UHS student, and current Fresno Pacific University student Frank Velasco:

Fresno County Sheriff

The Fresno County officials have issued a disaster declaration over concerns about a weakened levee in the western part of the county. County officials say the declaration is a precautionary step.

A portion of a levee near Tranquility has been badly damaged by heavy rains and high flows in the San Joaquin River. The levee stopped leaking last night but officials fear the situation could worsen.

Crews are currently trying to fix the damage to avoid a collapse, which could potentially flood homes and farms in Tranquility, Mendota, and Firebaugh.

Assemblyman Seeks Valley Fever Funding, Overhaul Of Reporting Guidelines

Feb 21, 2017
Courtesy KABC Los Angeles / Center For Health Journalism Collaborative

Responding to a surge in cases and inconsistent reporting practices, Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) introduced legislation Tuesday that would allocate millions of dollars to valley fever vaccine research and streamline information sharing.

Assembly Bill 1279 would bring $2 million to an already-established state fund for valley fever vaccine research and create guidelines for how local, state and federal agencies report cases.

3D Imaging Could Answer Fundamental Questions About Valley Fever

Feb 21, 2017
TGEN

A Phoenix-based laboratory is capturing detailed images of the fungus that causes valley fever, hoping to better understand how it works.

The research could shed light on why the disease spreads at higher rates for Americans of African, Filipino and Mexican descent than others, said Bridget Barker, an assistant professor at Northern Arizona University and the Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN).

Kerry Klein / KVPR

Today, we’re taking advantage of the season and venturing out into the snow. We’ve gotten a lot of it this winter, so it’s the perfect opportunity for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Or at least snowball fights.

A native New Englander, Kerry loves the winter—as long as she’s bundled up and warm. Ezra: not so much. But as far as winter activities go, snowshoeing is his jam. And who doesn’t love seeing their breath in the air and hearing ice crunching under their feet?

Kerry Klein / KVPR

Animal shelters in the San Joaquin Valley are inundated every year with thousands of rescued dogs, cats and even pigs. But what happens to the animals that no one seems to want? While some shelters may euthanize, others go to great lengths to keep them alive. One group of animal rescuers has found a creative solution to a supply and demand problem.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition FM89's Jeffrey Hess reports from the World Ag Expo about what farmers think about President Trump. We also hear about what all this rain means for Lake Isabella. Later we hear from Reporter Kerry Klein about a group that takes the region's excess chihuahuas and send them to Minnesota. We also hear from Bakersfield California Reporter Harold Pierce on his latest piece on Valley Fever. And we end the show with a our latest  installment of the stations podcast Outdoorsy. 

Juan Solis Lives A Life In The Shadows, His Health Destroyed By Valley Fever

Feb 21, 2017
Casey Christie / The Bakersfield Californian

When Juan Solis shuffles out of his dark bedroom, he’s careful not to get too close to the windows.

He makes sure he only walks his dogs at night.

If he must go out during the day, he lathers on sunscreen, makes sure his legs and arms are covered, even during the peak of summer in Bakersfield’s blistering heat. And he never forgets his sunhat.

Thomas Weiler / Faith in Fresno

Faith leaders from all over the world have traveled to Modesto this week for a meeting dedicated to social justice. FM89’s Kerry Klein says it’s the first event of its kind in the U.S.

It’s called the World Meeting of Popular Movements, and it’s convened by The Vatican--though Pope Francis won’t be making an appearance. The meeting is a chance for faith leaders and advocates to discuss migration, workers’ rights and housing, and the environment. 

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