Diana Aguilera

Reporter

Diana Aguilera is a multimedia reporter native of Santiago, Chile. It was during her childhood in Santiago where her love for journalism sparked. Diana moved to Fresno while in her teens and is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno. While earning her degree in journalism and minor in Latin American studies, Diana worked for the Fresno Bee. Her work as a general assignment reporter continued after college and was recognized by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2014, she joined Valley Public Radio. Her hobbies include yoga, traveling and reading.

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Education
11:09 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Fresno County Library Opens Four New Literacy Centers

The Fresno County Public Library celebrates 30 years of literacy services by opening four new centers in the Central Valley.
Credit Fresno County Public Library

For more than 30 years the Fresno County Public Library has helped people learn how to read. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports on the expansion of this effort in the Valley.

The Fresno County Public Library announced today the opening of four new literacy service centers throughout the Central Valley.

The county’s free literacy services has expanded to the Tranquility, Mendota, Sanger and Orange Cove libraries.

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Environment
5:49 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

California's Cap and Trade System Could Help Ease Central Valley Pollution

The Central Valley could benefit from these funds since many counties ranked among the worst in the CalEnviroScreen 2.0 report.
Credit The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

California’s cap and trade program could help clean up pollution in the Central Valley. FM89’s Diana Aguilera explains the early stages of the effort.

A few months ago the state came out with a report ranking the most polluted places in California. Many Fresno County neighborhoods ranked among the worst.  

Now the California Environmental Protection Agency is hoping to use that data to clean up these areas through the state’s cap and trade system.

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Health
4:07 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Fresno County To Eliminate Health Safety Net For Undocumented, Ending Contract For The Poor

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors plans to end its indigent care contract with Community Regional Medical Center.
Community Hospitals UCSF Fresno

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted today to end specialty health care services to its undocumented residents and took a step to end its contract for medical services for the poor.

The county took advantage of a recent court ruling to exclude undocumented residents from the program. The change would take effect December 1.

In a majority vote, the county also took a step to end its long running contract with Community Regional Medical Center for its indigent population.

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Community
4:05 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

In Groveland, Community Healing Puts Rim Fire in the Past

Lydia Berwick kept serving at the Mountain Sage Cafe as the Rim Fire crept closer to Groveland.
Diana Aguilera Valley Public Radio

Nine months after the Rim Fire tore through the nearby forest, Kevin Reynolds and Randi Jones decided to live out a dream.

Reynolds: "We kind of wanted to rise from the ashes just to let people know there are still opportunities out there."

The two of them opened an old-fashioned meat market they had envisioned before the fire hit. Instead of being scared by the fire the couple says they were inspired.

Reynolds: The fire really didn’t affect our decision to open a meat market.  We knew that there may be some issues but people still need to eat.  

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Health
8:15 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Fresno County's Undocumented Residents Face Uncertain Health Care Future

Building Healthy Communities, an activist group in Fresno County, is rallying for health care for all county residents.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Juana Paredes is a farmworker who lives in Fresno. A couple days ago, she took her daughter and niece with her to the Mosqueda Community Center and joined others in a rally to stop Fresno County from dismantling a program that offers health care to undocumented residents.

Sitting in the front row, Paredes says she showed up because she has a clear message to Fresno County— continue health care services for the undocumented.

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Wildfire
6:48 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Wildfire Prompts Evacuations Near Oakhurst

A webcam operated by CalTrans captures the smoke from the Junction Fire burning close to the city of Oakhurst on Monday afternoon.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A brush fire burning near Oakhurst in the Central Sierra Nevada, named the Junction Fire, has grown to 1,200 acres and prompted authorities to evacuate over 1,500 homes. 

The Madera County Sheriff’s Department declared a local emergency and has issued the mandatory evacuation for all businesses, and residents along the 41 corridor between CA-49 and Road 632, which is also known as Sky Ranch Road.

Erica Stuart, the spokeswoman for the department, says the Red Cross evacuation center is now being moved to Coarsegold.

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Environment
9:56 am
Fri August 15, 2014

One Year Later, Questions Still Burn About The Rim Fire

The Rim Fire burn area was over 400 square miles.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

 We now know who ignited the Rim Fire that scarred part of the beauty of the Sierra Nevada. But many other questions about the response to the fire still remain. In the second piece for our series on the fire, FM89 reporters Ezra David Romero and Diana Aguilera revisit the fire’s burn area and discover that people in the region are still wondering why the fire got so big.

Three weeks ago Wesley Wills had a flashback. 

“We were driving down Big Oak Flat Road and just saw it blowing up again like flame lengths of over 100 feet,” Wills says.

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Environment
5:25 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Bow Hunter Accused Of Starting Rim Fire Pleads Not Guilty

The blaze engulfed more than 250 thousand acres, costing around $127 million to fight the Rim Fire.
Credit Mike McMillan / US Forest Service

The hunter accused of starting the massive Rim Fire last year in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park surrendered to federal authorities today.

Wearing a white t-shirt and jeans with his wrists and ankles cuffed, Keith Matthew Emerald pleaded not guilty on a four count indictment today in federal court in Fresno.

He turned himself over to U.S. Marshals Service this morning prior to his afternoon arraignment on charges that his illegal campfire grew beyond his control and sparked the largest wildfire recorded in the Sierra Nevada.

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Breaking
1:25 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Columbia Man Indicted For Starting Rim Fire

file photo
Credit US Forest Service

The hunter who is alleged to have started the massive Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park has been indicted by a federal grand jury. 

The four count indictment alleges that Keith Matthew Emerald, 32 of Columbia started a fire and let it grow out of control on August 17, 2013 in the Clavey River Canyon.

According to authorities, Emerald was on a solo bow-hunting trip in the area and was rescued by a helicopter approximately an hour after the fire was first reported. 

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Environment
11:23 am
Tue August 5, 2014

One Year After The Rim Fire, Locals Share Frustration Over Prosecutor's Silence

Firefighters battle the blaze on September 5 during a hotshot burning operation.
Mike McMillan US Forest Service

Nearly one year ago, a small fire near the Tuolumne River just west of Yosemite National Park grew into the largest blaze ever recorded in the Sierra Nevada. By the time the Rim Fire was contained in late October 2013, it had burned over 400 square miles, forever changing lives and the landscape. Today many residents and county officials are still frustrated by the investigation and are searching for answers.

Randy Hanvelt remembers the moment last year when a small wildfire in Tuolumne County a year ago became a raging inferno.

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Wildfire
7:40 am
Tue August 5, 2014

The Rim Fire, Revisited: A Timeline

It's been nearly one year since the Rim Fire destroyed a vast swath of the Central Sierra, including a portion of Yosemite National Park. Within days of the fire, authorities told the public they knew the cause of the fire, and who did it. But after months of waiting,  no charges have been filed, no suspects have been named, and residents are demanding answers.  In this Rim Fire timeline we look back at the fire that became the largest ever recorded in the Sierra Nevada. 

Environment
4:48 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

UPDATE: El Portal Fire Near Yosemite Now Over 3,900 Acres; 34 Percent Contained

El Portal fire is burning south of the area scorched by last year's Rim Fire.
Credit Yosemite National Park

Update: 11 a.m. 7/31/14 - The El Portal fire has grown to 3,900 acres and is still 34 percent contained. According to authorities the evacuation order for Foresta will be lifted at 3:00 p.m. on Friday.   The Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120) leading into Yosemite Valley has now reopened. 

Update: 11 a.m. 7/30/14 - El Portal fire has grown to over 3,500 acres and is 34 percent contained. From fire authorities: 

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Government & Politics
4:02 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

In Fresno, De Leon Backtracks On Tumbleweed Comments

During his trip to the Central Valley, Kevin de Leon, right, takes a tour of Roosevelt High School with Luis Chavez, a Fresno Unified Board Member.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Incoming State Senate President pro tem Kevin de Leon made his first official appearance in Fresno today just weeks after controversial comments about the San Joaquin Valley and high speed rail. FM89's Diana Aguilera reports.

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Kevin de Leon visited Fresno's Roosevelt High School today to learn how Fresno Unified plans to use about $90 million dollars in state funding to retrofit aging campuses for energy efficiency.

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Health
10:35 am
Fri July 11, 2014

11,000 Stuck In Fresno County's Medi-Cal Backlog

Irving Toscano became newly eligible for Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act.

California’s poor continue to face month long waits in getting state health coverage. FM 89’s Diana Aguilera reports how a young couple in Fresno County is dealing with the backlog.

Paola Martinez and her husband Irving Toscano thought they had done everything right to get health care coverage.

They made sure they met the Medi-Cal eligibility requirements, they filled out the paperwork and signed up through the Covered California website at the end of March.

But ever since then, they’ve been waiting.

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Health
5:48 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

New Study Links Pesticides And Autism

Over the years health officials have raised concerns over exposure to pesticides. But now a new report from UC Davis suggests it could be an even bigger concern for pregnant women.

A new study reveals that pregnant women who live near areas where pesticides are used are more likely to have a child with autism.

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Government & Politics
11:08 am
Fri June 20, 2014

McCarthy's New Role As Majority Leader Could Benefit Central Valley

McCarthy was elected to Congress eight years ago, and has served as the House majority whip since 2011.
Credit Joe Moore

A Valley congressman is now one of the most powerful men in Washington. FM 89’s Diana Aguilera reports on what Kevin McCarthy’s new post might mean for the valley.

It's official. House Republicans elected Kevin McCarthy as House majority leader.

The Republican lawmaker from Bakersfield and grandson of a cattle rancher will become the youngest person to serve in the second-ranking role. He’s 49.

McCarthy, replacing Eric Cantor, will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the chamber and will decide what bills come to the floor.

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Health
5:35 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Local Health Officials Worried: Whooping Cough Epidemic Strikes California

The last time California reached a whooping cough epidemic was in 2010. Health officials say it peaks every three to five years.

For the first time in four years, whooping cough has reached an epidemic level. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports how this peak has local health officials worried.

California health officials have recently confirmed that cases of pertussis also known as whooping cough have reached epidemic proportions in the state.

The Department of Public Health reported more than 3,400 cases so far this year. That’s a thousand more cases than all of last year.

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Environment
5:33 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Shirley Fire Threatens Homes, Prompts Evacuation

The Shirley Fire sparked Friday in the Sequoia National Forest, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate.
Credit Incident Information System

  Update: As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, the blaze is 90 percent contained and has charred 2,646 acres. All evacuations have been lifted.

A rapidly moving wildfire in the Sequoia National Forest has already engulfed 2,200 acres and is threatening 1,000 homes near the Kern County community of Lake Isabella. KVPR’s Diana Aguilera reports.

Pushed by strong winds, the Shirley Fire has already destroyed homes and is burning in steep, rugged terrain about 40 miles northeast of Bakersfield.

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Education
6:00 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Fresno State Breaks Ground On New Research Center

The $24 million The Jordan Research Center will be dedicated to agriculture and engineering research.
Credit Fresno State

Fresno State officials broke ground today on a $24 million agricultural and engineering research center.

The 30,000 square-foot facility will host labs and foster collaboration among students and faculty in the university’s agricultural, engineering and science and math colleges.

The Jordan Research Center aimed at solving agricultural challenges will be located on the corner of Barstow and Woodrow avenues.

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Health
5:54 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

FDA Puts Valley Fever On Key Funding List

Valley Fever is an infection caused by the fungus Coccidioides which is common in the soil in the Central Valley.
Credit Craig Kohlruss / The Fresno Bee

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will include the fungus that causes valley fever on a list of pathogens eligible for federal research funding.

Experts like John Galgiani from the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona say the move will aid in the development of drugs to treat the disease.

"It's another example of increasing recognition of the importance of this problem," Galgiani said. "And repeated recognition can only help but identify this as an unmet need deserving of further funding."

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