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Drought
5:19 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

California Drought To Persist, Even Worsen

Credit National Weather Service - Hanford

Predictions suggest the California drought is likely to persist, and even worsen in some areas. Ed Joyce reports from Sacramento.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center says complete drought recovery is "unlikely this winter' in California.

Kevin Werner is NOAA's Western Region Climate Director.

He says the 2012-to-2014 period is the driest on record in California.

And low reservoir storage reflects that.

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Drought
4:31 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Private Well Failures Spike In Tulare County

Each red dot on this map represents one household with a dry well in Tulare County.
Credit Tulare County Office Of Emergency Services

The drought in Central California has hit many farmers and homeowners hard. Perhaps those hardest hit are in Tulare County where the number of dry wells spiked this week. 

New data released today from the Tulare County Office of Emergency Services reports the number of private well failures in the county grew by 19 percent since October 6.

Andrew Lockman with the agency says the increase is due to more homeowners reporting dry wells and new data from partnering agencies.

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Tribal Gaming
9:46 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Judge Rules Chukchansi Casino Closed For At Least Two More Weeks

Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino could be close for weeks, which leaves 1,500 employees without a paycheck.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The federal judge who issued the temporary closure of the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in Coarsegold last week ruled Wednesday that the operation will remain closed for at least until the end of the month.

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Government & Politics
5:43 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

California Supreme Court Declines To Hear High Speed Rail Case

file photo
Credit High Speed Rail Authority

The California Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of two lawsuits that challenged the way California plans to pay for High Speed Rail. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the decision paves the way for the project to move forward.

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Government & Politics
12:45 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Supermajority Fight Shapes California Legislative Races

Credit Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

The California governor’s race and statewide ballot measures may claim most of the spotlight this election season. But below the radar, a handful of pivotal legislative races could shift the balance of power at the state Capitol. Ben Adler has more from Sacramento on the battle for a Democratic supermajority.

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Tribal Gaming
11:10 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Fight Over Chukchansi Has Deep Roots, Casino Still Closed

Tex McDonald leads the faction that attempted an ambush of the casino last Friday.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

Factions of the Chukchansi Indians have been going at it for decades. Last week their tribal dispute escalated to a boiling point endangering the public. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports from Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino near Coarsegold.

In the hills of Madera County a 25 year old family dispute has surfaced.

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Valley Edition
11:26 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Valley Edition: Oct. 14 - Chukchansi; Luis Chavez For Senate; Visalia Arts Forum; Apple Festival

Valley Edition October 14, 2014
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition Ezra David Romero reports on the tribal dispute and closure of the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino. VE Host Joe Moore talks with Luis Chavez who's running for state senate, and he chats with Visalia Times Delta reporter James War

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Business & Economy
8:45 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Fits and Starts: Central Valley Economy Beginning To Bounce Back

Tom Barcellos, owner and operator of T-Bar Dairy stands in front of his Holstein herd in Porterville, Calif. (Tulare County)
Julia Mitric Capital Public Radio

As brutal as the Central Valley economy has fared over the last several years, it’s starting to bounce back. Our series “Fits and Starts” on California’s uneven economic recovery continues with a look at the Central Valley.  

The collapse of the housing market devastated cities like Stockton and Modesto. But the Central Valley’s agriculture industry weathered The Great Recession just fine. It even saw record growth, with one painful exception: dairy.

“It was a bloodbath,” says Tom Barcellos, who owns T-Bar Dairy in Porterville.

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Business & Economy
8:45 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Fits and Starts: Bay Area Housing Boom Prices Out Some People

: Joann Avila (left) and Lorraine Nessel, with their dog Bijou, in the West Oakland home they’ve rented for the last six years. They’re moving out in December because their landlord is moving back in.
Capital Public Radio / KPCC

Editor's Note: Five years after the Great Recession officially ended, the California economy looks like a patchwork quilt. All this week, we feature a series from our partners at Capital Public Radio and KPCC on how the strength of California’s economic recovery varies depending on where you live. Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler kicks the series “Fits and Starts” with a look at the Bay Area, where the tech boom has driven the unemployment rate down – and housing prices up.
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  The recession hit Damon Grow swiftly and very hard.

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Tribal Gaming
4:53 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Fight For Control Of Chukchansi Tribe Escalates, Casino Shuttered

Member of a rival faction of the Chukchansi Tribe attempted to take boxes out of the casino but were stopped by Madera County Sheriff's Deputies.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

A tribal dispute that began Thursday night at a hotel and casino outside of Coarsegold continue Friday. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports on the standoff that led to the evacuation of 500 guests and employees.

The impromptu closure of the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino has left the mountain communities around it with more questions than answers.

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Wildfire
2:10 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Cal Fire Air Tankers Cleared To Fly After Yosemite Crash

File photo
Credit Twitter.com / CAL FIRE PIO Kevin Berlant / https://twitter.com/CALFIRE_PIO

Cal Fire's fleet of 22 firefighting air tankers are back in service. The planes were on a safety stand down after a tanker crash this week in Yosemite National Park. Ed Joyce reports from Sacramento.

The Tuesday crash killed pilot Geoffrey Hunt as he was about to drop retardant on the Dog Rock Fire near Yosemite's west entrance.

The safety stand-down was intended to give officials time to inspect the remaining aircraft and allow other pilots time to recover.

Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott:

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Election 2014
8:46 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Proposition 46 Has Physicians and Attorneys At Odds

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

As the November election approaches, one state proposition has drawn the most money from top contributors. Proposition 46 would raise the cap on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases. But as Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone tells us from Sacramento, the measure could change the way doctors practice.  

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Fracking
6:41 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

California Makes Changes To Fracking Regulations

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The state of California is making some changes to its new fracking regulations based on nearly 100,000  comments from the public. This is the third version of the regulations for fracking, which injects sand, water and chemicals underground to release oil.

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Environment
6:32 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Environmentalists Sue To Stop Bakersfield Oil-By-Rail Project

A coalition of environmental groups is suing Kern County to block the expansion of a railyard at the Alon Refinery in Bakersfield.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A coalition of environmental groups is suing Kern County over its approval of a project that would expand oil-by-rail shipments at a Bakersfield refinery. 

The Kern County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the railyard expansion at the Alon Refinery on Rosedale Highway in September. The project would allow the refinery to process crude oil from the Midwest, delivered to Bakersfield by train.

Kassie Siegel is with the Center For Biological Diversity, one of the groups in the lawsuit. 

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Government & Politics
2:27 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

California Hospitals Preparing For Potential Ebola

A microscopic image of the Ebola virus.
Credit US Centers For Disease Control

There have not been any diagnosed cases of Ebola in California. But hospitals are preparing, just in case. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

Emergency rooms in California are now asking for travel histories from patients. The change follows the case of a man in Dallas who contracted the Ebola virus in Africa and then flew to the United States. 

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Election 2014
12:30 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Potential School District Reserve Cap Drives Debate Over Prop 2

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This November, California voters will be asked to weigh in on Proposition 2 – the constitutional amendment that would create a state budget reserve. As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, a little-known new law tied to Prop 2 has some school officials and parents upset.

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Election 2014
12:26 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Prop 45 Would Give Insurance Commissioner Final Say on Health Premiums

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A measure on the November ballot would give California’s elected insurance commissioner power to reject health insurance premium increases for people in individual and small group plans. But as Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone in Sacramento explains, that policy change would be more complicated than it seems.

When the Affordable Care Act set up a state-run health insurance marketplace, it created a framework through which more than a million people signed up for health care within months. But it also created a new state agency that insurance companies must answer to. 

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Health
11:30 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Female Fresno State Student Diagnosed With Tuberculosis

Fresno State campus.
Credit Fresno State / Fresno State Official Facebook

A female Fresno State student was recently diagnosed with active tuberculosis, Fresno County health officials announced Thursday.

David Luchini, the assistant director of the county’s department of public health, says the female student was diagnosed about a week to ten days ago. Luchini says the student was infectious.

"Now we're working very closely with the Fresno State medical staff to identify students who we consider close contacts to the student who has tuberculosis, to get these contacts screened with a TB skin test," he says.

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Inside FM89
7:49 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Valley Public Radio Celebrates Launch of 'Jazz Night In America'

Host Christian McBride
Credit Anna Webber

NPR Music, Member Station WBGO, and Jazz at Lincoln Center has joined forced to create the next generation of jazz programming from public radio with Jazz Night in America. The new program can be heard Saturday nights at 7:00 p.m. on Valley Public Radio beginning October 11th.

 Hosted by multiple Grammy Award-winning musician Christian McBride, Jazz Night in America presents content on multiple platforms and from across the nation to share this uniquely American art form and reinvigorate public media jazz programming for audiences today. 

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Government & Politics
9:52 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Biden Stumps For Renteria, Padilla In Bakersfield

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at CSUB in a rally for Alex Padilla and Amanda Renteria.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Vall

It was a classic political stump speech at CSU Bakersfield Tuesday as Vice President Joe Biden worked to lend some White House prestige to congressional hopeful Amanda Renteria and Secretary of State candidate Alex Padilla. 

Biden: "Ladies and gentleman, you're not going to get two better choices than the two people standing behind me, so don't let them down."

Speaking before a packed crowd at CSUB's Icardo Center the Vice President delivered a speech that hit on two major issues, immigration and the middle class. 

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