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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Government & Politics
3:03 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Madera Community Split On Proposition 48, Casino Plan

The site of the proposed casino along Highway 99 in Madera County.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

In just a few weeks Proposition 48 will ask California voters to approve or reject a plan to build a new Indian casino on Highway 99 north of Madera. Members of the North Fork Rancheria say it’s a vital importance to the future of their tribe while critics, largely backed by other casinos, say it would set a dangerous precedent for what they call "reservation shopping." FM 89’s Diana Aguilera explains what this proposal means for the county and the city of Madera.

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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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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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Health
4:48 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Cases of Enterovirus D68 On The Rise In California; Local Hospitals Prepare

Children's Hospital Central California says they are taking the necessary precautions to protect patients from Enterovirus D68.
Credit Children's Hospital Central California

California public health officials announced Friday that 14 people have now been diagnosed with Enterovirus D-68, a respiratory virus that has sent children to emergency rooms across the country. Out of the 14 cases, there were no cases confirmed in the Central Valley.

So far, the virus has affected children ages ranging from 11 months old to 15 years of age in the state, epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez said. Mild symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, coughing, fever and muscle aches. Health officials say symptoms can escalate for children with asthma, triggering severe wheezing.

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Government & Politics
5:38 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Brown Signs Immigration Reform Bills Into Law

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed three immigration reform bills which experts say may have a big impact throughout the state.
Credit Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to sign three immigration reform bills into law is drawing praise from local immigration experts. 

Senate Bill 1159, introduced by Sen. Ricardo Lara and signed by Brown, will allow undocumented immigrants to apply for professional state licenses to work as doctors, nurses, dentists, and in other fields.

Jessica Smith-Bobadilla is the director of the New American Legal Clinic at San Joaquin College of Law.

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Health In the Central Valley
5:01 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Brown Signs Bill To Help Fresno County Continue Indigent Care

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Sunday in an effort to help Fresno County continue to provide health care services for the indigent and undocumented population. The bill, introduced by Assemblymember Henry T. Perea, comes several weeks after the county voted to eliminate a health safety net for undocumented immigrants.

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Government & Politics
2:38 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Ten Years Later, Will Fresno County Voters Keep Zoo Tax?

Visitors fill up the underwater viewing area at the Sea Lion Cove exhibit.
Diana Aguilera Valley Public Radio

After struggling to keep its accreditation back in 2004, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo got a boost from voters with a special sales tax. Now a decade later the zoo is again asking voters for their help on the November ballot. But as FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports, some say Fresno’s zoo is already being saved.

Nearly eleven years ago Angel Arrellano wrote a letter to her local newspaper.

“Dear Fresno Bee. My name is Angel and I am nine. I heard that the Chafee Zoo is having money problems.”

Along with her letter, Angel sent something extra.

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Wildfire
4:56 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Suspects Identified In Courtney Fire, Arson Fires

The Courtney Fire burns to the shore of Bass Lake on Sunday September 14.
Credit Don L. Weaver / Valley Public Radio

Cal Fire officials say they have identified suspects responsible for starting the Courtney Fire, and a series of arson fires in Oakhurst.

Investigators say a juvenile is suspected of intentionally starting 13 fires in Madera County. Officials say the fires were all sparked in the Oakhurst area over the past few months, but do not include the Courtney or the Junction fires.

Officials also say they now know who’s believed to be responsible for starting the Courtney Fire that burned more than 300 acres near Bass Lake.

Bernie Quinn is a battalion chief for Cal Fire.

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Wildfire
6:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Bass Lake Residents On Edge After Courtney Fire

A burned SUV sits on a driveway of a destroyed home on Monday afternoon near Road 426 and Cedar Drive in Oakhurst.
Diana Aguilera Valley Public Radio

Cal Fire officials appear to be gaining the upper hand on the Courtney Fire that destroyed over 30 homes near Bass Lake in the mountains of Madera County. The blaze has burned over 300 acres and is now 90 percent contained. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports.

Hundreds of people remain in evacuation after the Courtney Fire tore through houses and buildings.

As fire crews continue to make progress, some residents are returning to their homes. But there are others who never left.

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Wildfire
7:37 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

UPDATE: Courtney Fire Near Bass Lake Destroys 33 Homes, Now 90 Percent Contained

The Courtney Fire burns to the shore of Bass Lake on Sunday September 14.
Don L. Weaver Valley Public Radio

UPDATE: 9/18/2014 - 9 A.M.

Cal Fire officials say the Courtney Fire is 90 percent contained.

UPDATE: 9/18/2014- 7:30 A.M. 

Containment of the Courtney Fire has now risen to 80 percent. As of Wednesday evening, all evacuations have been lifted.

UPDATE: 9/17/2014 - 6 P.M.

Cal Fire reports the Courtney Fire is now 70 percent contained. As of Wednesday evening all evacuations have been lifted. 

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Community
6:55 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

New Complaint Alleges Unfair Labor Practices At Gerawan Farming

Credit Gerawan Farming

The ongoing dispute between the United Farm Workers union and a major valley farming company has reached a new level.

Earlier today the General Counsel of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board filed a complaint alleging that Gerawan Farming forced workers to participate in an effort to decertify the union.

In the complaint the counsel alleges that the company’s unfair labor practices have unlawfully tainted the decertification process.

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Health
11:39 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Student At New Pharmacy School Plans To Give Back To The Central Valley

The Central Valley has struggled with a long list of health care issues for decades. Now with the opening of the Valley’s first and only pharmacy school in Clovis just weeks ago. Instructors and students hope to make a dent in the problem and attract more health care professionals to the region. FM 89’s Diana Aguilera explains how one young man plans to help by giving back to the community he calls home.

Meet 25-year-old Jose Vera. Ever since Vera was young there was one thing that always sparked his imagination.

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Education
4:08 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Bomb Threat Prompts Early Release At Fresno's Bullard High School

Students at a Fresno area high school were sent home earlier today after a bomb threat and rumors on social media prompted safety concerns. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports.

Two teens were arrested today after the principal at Bullard High School received a bomb threat via email, prompting an early release of students.

The suspects, who are 18 and 17 years of age, are also believed to be responsible for recent graffiti vandalism on campus, and at two nearby churches. Some of the messages sprayed on walls included “the oppressed will rise” and a black skull.

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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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