News

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A new report from the Fresno Police Department appears to show a pattern of African-American residents being over-represented in interactions with police. African-Americans were disproportionately more likely to be interviewed than Hispanic or white residents in all areas of the city.

While they only make up about 6% of the city’s population, black residents made up between 20-to-25% of all field interviews according to police logs from the Office of Independent Review.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Publir Radio

The USDA and the National Center for Lesbian Rights are working to meet the needs of rural LGBT residents in the valley. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports over 200 people attended the California LGBT Rural Pride Summit Thursday in Visalia.

The effort to preserve a healthy population of salmon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a huge challenge. Those little salmon have a lot of factors working against them. Now a bill in the House of Representatives is trying to take on one of them, the striped bass.

The “Save Our Salmon Act” by Republican Jeff Denham of Turlock would update a 1992 environmental law that manages fish in the Delta. That law sought to increase the number of salmon, but it also set out to double the number of striped bass.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

The last time we reported about the Fresno Needle Exchange, it was an illegal program, operating without support from policymakers and under threat of police intervention. It became legal in 2012 under a state law. Now, the program is more popular than ever, and it new research suggests it’s making the community safer.

Michael lives in north Fresno. He’s 56. He studied social work and he’s now self-employed. He has a daughter in nearby Dinuba. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Oliver Baines has a unique perspective on the issue of Black Lives Matter and law enforcement. Currently the only African-American on the Fresno City Council, Baines also served around 12 years as an officer with the Fresno Police Department.  Speaking on Valley Public Radio’s Valley Edition Tuesday, Baines recalled his own experiences with racially biased policing, while pleading for calm and understanding in the wake of recent shootings and protests.  Baines said the often heated rhetoric from people on both sides of the issue serves to distract from the goal of racial reconciliation.

Race, police involved shootings, and the Black Lives Matter movement have captivated the Valley’s media attention over recent weeks. The case of the fatal police shooting of 19-year-old Dylan Noble, an unarmed man from Clovis, rocketed back into the news last week with the release of police body camera footage of the shooting. The video was released, in part, due to public pressure to see the informative but graphic scene.

But some are questioning the motives for the intense media scrutiny.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

It’s not every day that a musician from Fresno is honored by the National Endowment For the Arts with a prestigious national fellowship. But Bounxeung Synanonh one of the leading performers of the traditional Lao instrument the khaen recently received national recognition for his artistry from the group.

MAGGIE STARBARD / NPR

Dan Charles reports on agriculture for NPR. Over the past year he reported a series on farmworkers across the country. Recently he wrote a  post on NPR's food blog The Salt titled "Inside The Lives Of Farmworkers: Top 5 Lessons I Learned On The Ground." In this interview Valley Edition Host Joe Moore interviews Charles about this list and his reporting. 

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition Reporter Jeffrey Hess explores why certain police shootings - like the shooting death of Dylan Noble - receive more attention than others. We also hear from Fresno City Councilmember Oliver Baines about his time as a police officer, his response to police involved shootings and more. Later FM89 Reporter Kerry Klein reports on the success of Fresno's needle exchange program. We also hear from NPR's Dan Charles about his latest article focusing on the five things he's learned while reporting on farmworkers.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The Visalia City Council is set to take up debate tonight whether to send a sales tax increase to voters this November. The half-cent tax on retail sales would bring in about $10 million a year to help fund public safety, road and facilities maintenance.

It would be in addition to Measure T, an existing voter-approved sales tax that funds law enforcement in the city. Because the new tax would not be dedicated for any one specific use, it only requires a simple majority to pass.

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