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Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition Reporter Ezra David Romero takes a look into whether cannabis cultivation will  become big agriculture if marijuana is legalized on all fronts in California. Also on the program we talk about local Muslim response to Islamophobia, Donald Trump, terrorism and more. Joining the conversation are Islamic Cultural Center Fresno Imam Seyed Ali Ghazvini and UC Irvine professor of Middle Eastern History Mark Andrew Le Vine.

Roger's Helicopters

The names of three of the four people killed when a life flight helicopter crashed in Kern County are now known. However, the cause of the crash remains a mystery.

Pilot Thomas Hampl, Nurse Marco Lopez and Paramedic Kyle Juarez as well as the patient all died when the helicopter went down east of McFarland in Kern County Thursday night.

The SkyLife Helicopter was transporting a female patient from Porterville to San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield.

American Ambulance CEO Todd Valeri says only about two dozen people work in the life flight division.

Fresn County Sheriff's Office

In light of last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino leaving 14 dead, local law is enforcement speaking out. 

The terror attack in Southern California shocked the state and has reignited the conversation about gun control.  Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims says she doesn’t think more restrictions on gun ownership will work.

MIMS: “Well, I don’t think it’s any secret where I stand when it comes to our second amendment.  I think we need more law abiding citizens out there with weapons to be able to protect themselves and other people.”

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

A few weeks ago we brought you a report about how rare maps are shedding new light on the history of racial discrimination in Fresno. In the 1930’s many neighborhoods with high minority populations were frozen out of government backed home loans by the federal government, in a practice called redlining. But that wasn’t the only government backed segregation that happened in the San Joaquin Valley. In fact, decades ago, in some prestigious Fresno neighborhoods being white was a requirement. FM89’s Diana Aguilera visits one of them with this special report. 

Leaders in the city of Fresno are now promising tougher enforcement of city codes and the potential criminal prosecution of slum lords. The move is in response to the highly publicized problems at the Summerset Village Apartments.

Crews are still repairing the gas lines at the complex, where as many as 1,800 people lived in just 200 units.

In response, City Manager Bruce Rudd says they are hiring more inspectors, creating a code enforcement ‘strike team’, and potentially criminally prosecute landlords who refuse to fix problems with their buildings.

http://www.bakersfield.com/thebakersfieldsound

Kern County is known around the globe for the way it revolutionized American music.  In Robert E. Price's new book "The Bakersfield Sound," he recounts how a generation of displaced Okies altered musical history. The book remembers household names like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard as well as lesser known names that influenced American music.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/01/the-county-kern-county-deadliest-police-killings

According to the British newspaper The Guardian, more people have died at the hands of law enforcement this year in Kern County than in New York City, which has 10 times the population. In fact the 13 deaths so far in Kern County in 2015 make it the highest per capita rate of deaths due to deadly force by police and sheriffs in the.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition Host Joe Moore speaks with The Guardian's Jon Swaine about the paper's series "The County" looking at police violence in Kern County. Also on the program KVPR's Diana Aguilera reports on the history of housing in Fresno County and how some people groups weren't allowed to buy in certain areas of Fresno. 

The Fulton Mall has been a source of controversy since before it was built decades ago. Last week, the Fresno City Council took what could be the final vote deciding its fate. But opponents says the fight is not over yet. In fact, there are still challenges facing the project.

At their most recent meeting, the Fresno City Council approved a $22,400,000 contract with American Paving to rip out the Fulton Mall and replace it with a street drawing cheers and applause from crowd of supporters.

City of Fresno

Construction on California’s high-speed rail project is set to give local drivers some headaches. Starting next month work will begin on the demolition of the Tuolumne Street bridge in downtown Fresno.

The bridge, which links Highway 99 with the central business district will eventually be replaced by a new higher bridge that will span both the union pacific and high speed rail tracks, and will accommodate 2-way traffic.

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