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Valley Edition
12:29 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Fresno Grand Opera Enters New Era With Modesto Partnership

The Fresno Grand Opera will present Andre Previn's opera "A Streetcar Named Desire" on Sunday February 15th at the William Saroyan Theatre
Credit Fresno Grand Opera

This Sunday the stage of the William Saroyan Theatre comes alive in the Fresno Grand Opera’s production of Andre Previn’s opera “A Streetcar Named Desire.” But it’s not just a great chance to hear world class-musicians, it’s also a big moment for the company as it enters a new era.

Last year the Fresno Grand Opera and the Townsend Opera in Modesto joined forces in a partnership that at least in Central California is unprecedented. The companies now share both the same programming, and the same management staff, while remaining distinct entities. 

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Movies
12:13 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

"McFarland, USA" Director Finds Inspiration In The San Joaquin Valley

Kevin Coster stars in the film "McFarland, USA" as McFarland High School cross country coach Jim White
Credit Disney

It’s just 129 miles from the star-lined sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard to the dusty streets of McFarland, in rural Kern County. On the surface it might be hard to think of two parts of the state that could possibly be more different. But a major new motion picture featuring one of Hollywood's biggest stars has brought the two places together in an unlikely way. 

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Education
12:04 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Education Funding Debate Begins At California Capitol

PTA members listen to a speaker Monday at the California State PTA Legislative Conference in Sacramento.
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

California’s economy is on the rebound, but there’s little extra revenue to go around for the next state budget. As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, there’s one area that will see a big increase in funding: it’s education. And that’s sparking a debate at the Capitol over how to spend the money.

Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature’s majority Democrats agree on the need to raise per-pupil K-12 spending. The governor also wants to set aside money for adult education and career tech programs. Here’s H.D. Palmer with Brown’s Department of Finance:

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Environment
11:58 am
Tue February 10, 2015

California Will Strengthen Oil Drilling Waste Rules

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

California says it will do a better job of monitoring oil drilling that could affect the state’s groundwater supply. From Sacramento, Katie Orr reports on a new plan out Monday.

Drilling for oil can be messy. About 90 percent of the fluid that comes up is waste water and the oil companies have to dispose of it somewhere. California lets them inject the waste back into the ground in designated locations. But last summer the state became aware that some of these injections were happening in unauthorized locations. That prompted a review of the practice.

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The Moral Is
9:14 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Commentary: Music Is Important For Every Age And Generation

Kaye Bonner Cummings

Music connects people with the deepest part of their being, both for the young and the old, bringing joy, and many other benefits. In this edition of The Moral Is, Kaye Bonner Cummings of the Bonner Family Foundation of Fresno champions music for every age and generation.

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Government & Politics
10:19 am
Mon February 9, 2015

The Legal Battle Over Foie Gras Continues

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Legal wrangling isn't scaring connoisseurs and chefs from enjoying foie gras. It's still legal to serve the fatty duck or goose liver in California, but that could change again. As Lesley McClurg reports the state of California is appealing a federal ruling that lifted the state’s ban on serving the delicacy.

Amit Raheja is a regular at Mulvaney's B&L in midtown Sacramento. Foie Gras is one of his favorite dishes. Tonight it's seared with huckleberry compote.  

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Environment
10:11 am
Mon February 9, 2015

California Legislature Wants Oversight On Water Bond Money

file photo
Credit John Chacon / California Department of Water Resources

California voters have approved spending billions of dollars on water management projects. But some lawmakers are worried about where the money will go. They’ll hold two oversight hearings this week. 

In total, California has $7.5 billion in bond revenue to work with. Most will be allocated to state departments through the budget process.

Democrat Mark Levine chairs the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife committee, which will hold an oversight hearing on the bond. Levine says the state should be cautious.

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Environment
4:42 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Central Valley Gets Millions For Drought Relief

The Friant Kern Canal is part of the Central Valley Project (file photo)
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The Federal government is giving California’s Central Valley millions of dollars for drought relief. From Sacramento, Katie Orr reports on Friday's announcement. 

The US Bureau of Reclamation is allocating about $30 million for the Central Valley Project, a water project which stretches 400 miles and provides enough water for a third of California’s farm land. The money will go toward drought monitoring, pumping projects and water efficiency efforts, among other things.

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Government & Politics
3:04 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

New Bill Would Train Doctors, Boost Planned UC Merced Med School

AB 174 would provide resources to fund a two-year planning effort to establish a medical school at UC Merced.
Credit University of California, Merced

With physicians in short supply throughout the Central Valley, two legislators are hoping to recruit more doctors and start the process of creating a medical school in the region.

Assembly Bill 174 would put $1.85 million into a partnership between UC Merced, UC Davis and UCSF- Fresno. Assembly Member Adam Gray, D-Merced, recently proposed the bill, which was co-authored by Senator Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres.

Gray says if the bill becomes law, it would expand enrollment in UC Merced’s medical school partnership bringing future doctors to the Central Valley.

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Health
10:58 am
Thu February 5, 2015

California Lawmakers Want to Remove "Personal Belief" Exemption From Vaccine Law

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

U.S. and California State Senators say it’s time to change a law that allows parents to opt out of vaccinations for their kids. Democratic State lawmakers propose a bill to require children to be vaccinated before they attend school, unless there is a medical reason. Capital Public Radio’s Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone visited a Sacramento school where a number of parents have chosen not to vaccinate their kids because of personal beliefs.  

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Government & Politics
10:39 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Atkins Wants New Vehicle Fee For Transportation Projects

The speaker of the California Assembly wants the state to put an extra $2 billion a year towards transportation projects. To pay for it, she wants to charge a new fee on every vehicle in the state. (file photo)
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The speaker of the California Assembly wants the state to put an extra two billion dollars a year towards transportation projects. To pay for it, she wants to charge a new fee on every vehicle in the state.

Arnold Schwarzenegger rode voters’ anger over higher vehicle license fees to the governorship in the 2003 recall election.

Schwarzenegger in 2003: “I will immediately destroy the car tax!”

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Young Artists Spotlight
6:41 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Young Artists Spotlight Highlights Flute Quartet, Harps, Violin

A flute quartet performs on FM89's Young Artists Spotlight
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

We begin the 2015 season of Young Artists Spotlight with a performance from a number of talented young musicians, including a flute quartet, two harpists and a violinist. 

Youth Orchestras of Fresno Flute Quartet:
Mai Schweizer; Lillian O'Day, Beth Wilson and Jamie Hellwig

Harp soloists:
Aria Delgado
Carter Williams

Violin soloist:
Benjamin Pegram

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Valley Writers Read
6:17 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

"Apology" by Valerie Schultz on Valley Writers Read

This week on Valley Writers Read, we here a moving story by Kern County author Valerie Schultz titled "Apology." Hear the author read this story about love and loss.

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Health
3:04 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

With Covered California Deadline Approaching, Officials Urge Enrollment To Avoid Penalty

Covered California executive director Peter Lee urges Fresno residents to sign up during the second open enrollment period.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

With the second enrollment period of Covered California coming to an end, state officials are making their last rounds encouraging more residents to sign up and avoid a tax penalty.

There’s about 275,000 Californians who have recently signed up for a health insurance plan through Covered California. But now people have less than two weeks to enroll as the February  15 open enrollment deadline approaches. Those who miss the date, could face a tax penalty.

Executive Director Peter Lee made a stop in Fresno Wednesday afternoon at an insurance exchange office.

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Government & Politics
1:54 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

DMV Issues 57,000 "AB 60" Driver Licenses In First Month

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

It’s now been a month since California’s new law took effect that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver licenses. The Department of Motor Vehicles says issued nearly 60,000 such licenses in that first month.

57,000 undocumented Californians obtained driver licenses from January 2nd through the 30th. That means each applicant provided proof of identity and residency, and passed both the DMV’s written rules-of-the-road test and its behind-the-wheel exam.

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Environment
12:07 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Research Project Will Help Scientists Understand Major California Storms

Forecasters with the National Weather Service are predicting that an "atmospheric river" will bring much needed rain to Northern California this weekend.
Credit National Weather Service - Hanford

 “Atmospheric rivers” play a huge role in determining California’s water supply. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, a team of scientists is launching state-of-the-art equipment by land and sea to study the storms.

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Environment
6:12 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

California's Drought Worsens Uranium Pollution In Valley Wells

File photo
Credit John Chacon / CA Dept of Water Resources

California’s drought isn't just causing wells to go dry, it's also contributing to a long running water pollution problem.

A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey looked at over 100 private domestic drinking water wells in the San Joaquin Valley. It found that around 1 in 4 had uranium levels above those considered safe by the EPA. Most of the wells were on the east side of the valley, which is home to sediment from the Sierra Nevada which naturally contains uranium.

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Health
5:50 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Merced Pediatrician Arrested, Placed On Leave

Merced Police Department (file photo)
Credit Merced Police Department

A Golden Valley Health Centers pediatrician was taken into custody for allegedly placing a camera inside a patient restroom at the health centers’ clinic in Merced.

Officers arrested Dr. Carlos Teran Tuesday morning at the 847 Childs Avenue clinic. The investigation was sparked after a woman found a camera inside a flower pot in the unisex bathroom Friday afternoon, Lt. Tom Trinidad says. After collecting statements from staff, Teran was taken into custody.

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Yosemite
12:12 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Rare Red Fox Spotted In Yosemite National Park

Credit Yosemite National Park

Often when we hear news about threatened or endangered species, it’s bad news – populations dwindling, and species struggling to survive. But last week there was a bit of good news, when park wildlife biologists made an amazing discovery. For the first time in nearly 100 years, the rare Sierra Nevada red fox was spotted in Yosemite National Park last month. It’s a major milestone for a species that is thought to consist of only 50 individual animals.

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Measles
11:47 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Measles Discussion On Valley Edition

Credit Fresno County Department of Public Health

On Monday a child care center in Santa Monica closed after a baby there contracted measles. It’s just the latest case in California  – at least 92 since December – that has health officials worried about a possible widespread outbreak.

Last week the measles concern hit Fresno County after officials revealed that a man with the virus visited the third and fourth floors of Community Regional Medical Center, as well as Fashion Fair Mall and Winco Foods on Kings Canyon and Peach between January 22nd and 25th.

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