News

US Army Corps of Engineers

When Isabella Dam was built back in the 1950’s northeast of Bakersfield it was hailed as a great engineering achievement. The structure held back the mighty Kern River to provide water for farmers and communities, and helped protect the Southern San Joaquin Valley from floods.

This weekend, the Fresno Philharmonic continues its Masterworks Concert series with a performance featuring the music of Aaron Copland and George Gershwin. It’s also something of a job interview, as guest conductor Aram Demirjian is one of the six finalists for the position of music director and conductor of the orchestra. He is currently the conductor and music director of the Knoxville Symphony and was the Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony. He joined us to talk about his career, the concert, and his Armenian heritage. 

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The 50th Annual World Ag Expo in Tulare has now officially come to a close. The massive fair draws farmers and agricultural professionals from all over the world to check out the newest in farm equipment and technology as well as cut deals and make professional contacts.

State Water Resources Control Board

The state has released new data on California’s drinking water--and they reveal almost 300 public water systems are out of compliance with state standards.

The data and an interactive map are part of the state water board’s new Human Right to Water Portal. They reveal 292 non-compliant water systems across the state. Violations include unsafe levels of arsenic, nitrates, and other contaminants, as well as non-compliant treatment techniques. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week on FM89's Young Artists Spotlight we feature a performance by the Bakersfield High School Chamber Singers. Director Christopher Borges leads the group in performances of material ranging from the medieval choral music to contemporary pop songs. 

Selections:

Dixit Maria, by Hans Leo Hassler (1562-1612)

A un giro sol, by Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Sweet Day, by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

Estrela e lua nova (arr. Heitor Villa-Lobos)

White Winter Hymnal (pop song)

Just the Way You Are (girls’ group Valentine gram)

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we get an update on the situation at Oroville Dam, a progress report on plans for a new freeway in Bakersfield, and take a look at how county budgets could take a hit with a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Here's this week's show:
 

KMC / Kern County

Much of the focus on the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act has been on the newly insured people who stand to lose their coverage. But there could be consequences that reach far beyond just people’s health care and impact nearly every taxpayer in the Central Valley. Repealing the law without a replacement has some county lawmakers worried.

Republicans in Washington D.C. are busy figuring out their way forward on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Brooke Ashjian

For the first time in a decade, the Fresno Unified School District is searching for a new superintendent. School board president Brooke Ashjian told Valley Public Radio in an interview on Valley Edition that he believes morale in the district is the "highest I've ever seen it" following the departure of longtime superintendent Michael Hanson on February 1st. Ashjian, who was one of Hanson's strongest critics reiterated his claims that the FBI investigation into district school construction practices is still active, contrary to statements made by the former superintendent.

National Archives / https://www.archives.gov/files/education/lessons/japanese-relocation/images/order-posting.gif

On February 19, 1942 President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Oorder 9066 which led to the forced removal of Japanese-American citizens from their homes and farms on the west coast, placing them in internment camps. Many of the families that were rounded up and sent to the camps came from the San Joaquin Valley. Many stayed there for years, and some lost their homes and farms.

Caltrans

For years going from east to west in Bakersfield has been a major ordeal. The State Route 58 freeway for decades has hit a dead-end where it meets Highway 99. Travelers on the highway have been force to take the surface streets of Rosedale Highway to continue traveling on SR 58. That soon could change though, as the Centennial Corridor Freeway project aims to connect SR 58 from Highway 99 to the new Westside Parkway freeway, which already exists north of the Kern River. The project is slated to begin construction in a few months.

David Aus

Today on Young Artists Spotlight we hear a performance from two classical guitar ensembles from Central Unified School District in Fresno, led by instructor Brian Garcia. He writes this about his students and the guitar program:

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood and Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims were among the law enforcement officials who met with President Trump today as part of the Major County Sheriff’s Association conference. 

Mims: “He pledged his support for law enforcement saying that we’re going to work together to keep our communities and nation safe.”

Mims says Trump also repeated his calls to step up deportations of individuals suspected or convicted of crimes who are in the country illegally.

David Aus To Host "Sunday Night Jazz"

Feb 8, 2017

David Aus Assumes Host Duties For “Sunday Night Jazz”

Loyal FM89 listeners may have noticed a new voice behind the station’s long-running jazz programming on Sunday nights. FM89’s David Aus, who has been with the station for the past two years as a classical announcer is the new host of the Sunday Night Jazz program, which can be heard from 9:00 PM – Midnight on Sundays.

Kerry Klein / KVPR

Host intro: Last week, we brought you a story about the San Joaquin Valley’s opioid epidemic, which manifests in inordinately high rates of painkiller prescriptions and hundreds of overdose deaths every year. This week, we explore three strategies that health officials and advocates are using to take aim at the problem. FM89’s Kerry Klein begins at a safe space for drug users.

For over 20 years, meth and heroin users from around Fresno County have relied on the Fresno needle exchange for free medical care and all the clean syringes they need.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports on stories about the opioid epidemic in the region, sanctuary cities, high speed rail and a new  housing development in Madera County. We also  hear from the CEO of Valley Children's Hospital about collaboration with Kaweah Delta Hospital. And we hear about a new Kern County coffee shop with a mission to help people trapped in sex trafficking. 

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