Jeffrey Hess

Reporter

Jeffrey Hess is a reporter and Morning Edition news host for Valley Public Radio. Jeffrey was born and raised in a small town in rural southeast Ohio. After graduating from Otterbein University in Columbus, Ohio with a communications degree, Jeffrey embarked on a radio career. After brief stops at stations in Ohio and Texas, and not so brief stops in Florida and Mississippi, Jeffrey and his new wife Shivon are happy to be part Valley Public Radio. 

Jeffrey has been in public radio for four and a half years and believes in the power of radio as a medium for great story telling. He sees the vital role that public radio can play in people's lives especially through increased community engagement with the internet and social media.

Ways to Connect

Fresno State University

With President Donald Trump promising to revive the repeal of the Affordable Care Act this week, a new poll of Central Valley residents offers insight into the local reaction to proposed changes to the law, commonly known as Obamacare. Overall, according to new research by Fresno State’s Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, 47% of Central Valley residents oppose repealing the law. 29% say they support partial repeal, while 17% say they want full repeal.

Since 2013, the law has resulted in the uninsured rate being cut in half.

Joe Moore - Valley Public Radio

It was a loud and defiant first court appearance for 39-year old Kori Muhammad the man accused of four murders, including three that police say were motivated by racist hate.

Muhammad entered the courtroom shouting that more natural disasters would strike the U.S. and saying ";let black people go with reparations." He shouted second phrase - demanding reparations - at least two more times during the short court proceeding.

City of Fresno

Fresno has its first female City Manager. Mayor Lee Brand today introduced Wilma Quan-Schecter as the replacement for the retiring City Manager Bruce Rudd.

Quan-Schecter, who is 43 years old, has been with the city for 9 years and has a background in city planning. At the announcement at Fresno City Hall, Quan-Schecter says she is excited to step into the role.

Fresno PD

Fresno police say the man suspected of going on a murder spree Tuesday morning is cooperating with their investigation. Kori Ali Muhammad has walked police step-by-step through the process of how he killed three people and is showing no remorse for his crimes.

Chief Jerry Dyer on Wednesday explained to members of the media a second-by-second breakdown of the rampage that left three men dead, including playing recordings of the gunshots captured on police tracking equipment.

Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

This post will be updated

Three people in downtown Fresno are dead in an apparent murder spree Tuesday morning.

The suspect is 39-year old Kori Ali Muhammad. He was already wanted for the murder of a security guard at a Motel 6 on Blackstone Avenue in Fresno last week.

Shortly before 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, Muhammad allegedly shot and killed a PG&E worker in his company truck near Van Ness north of Divisadero. A co-worker driving the vehicle was not shot and rushed the victim to the police headquarters where he died.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Many communities in the Central Valley struggle to provide enough green space and parks. In Hanford, residents have tried to figure out what to do with an 18-acre patch of dirt next to a popular city park. A vote by the city council tonight could begin the process of making a final decision about its future. Valley Public Radio’s Jeffrey Hess reports the scrap of land is the source of a surprising amount of controversy.

At Hidden Valley Park in Hanford, families, children, dogs and ducks enjoy a picture perfect afternoon.

Reports of high levels of lead in children in two zip codes in Southeast Fresno have raised new concerns about the health of young residents.

A report by the news agency Reuters found that in one zip code, the percentage of children with high lead exposure is three times that of Flint, Michigan.

Valley Public Radio’s Jeffrey Hess spoke with county Public Health Director David Pomaville about why rates are so high and what is being done about it.

In part, Pomaville says they are doing more outreach but are also looking to the federal government for help.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in March, Dennis Spear watches his 15-year-old son Matthew Spear pilot a tiny metal drone through a course at a park outside Fresno.

“[They’re] like a swarm of angry bees, ” Spear says.

Drones have exploded in popularity as the price of the tiny machines has fallen. More than 700-thousand drones were sold in the United States last year.

These drones aren’t what you may have seen in the neighborhood or heard about on the news. They are smaller than a Frisbee and are very light weight.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Valley congressman Devin Nunes is at the center of a political storm in Washington D.C. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have asked him to step aside from the investigation into potential connections between President Donald Trump and Russia. Some are worried that Nunes is too close to the president. But will the scandal will harm Nunes’ popularity?

For most of his seven terms in office, a public appearance by Congressman Devin Nunes would not be big news.

That is not the case anymore.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Valley congressman Devin Nunes is in the middle of a political firestorm regarding the investigation into ties between President Donald Trump and Russia. Friday, he made his first public appearance in the valley since the controversy over his handling of the investigation erupted. His stop drew hundreds of protestors.

Nunes was set to speak Friday at the annual Ag Lenders Society of California Conference in Fresno about the state of water in California.

It was a private event and Valley Public Radio was not permitted to attend the speech.

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, hit a serious snag last week. A planned vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the GOP replacement plan, called the American Health Care Act, was canceled at the last minute. So what's next in the effort to bring major changes to the nation's health care policies? Will the Republicans try again to replace a law they have maligned for years? And what options does President Trump have through his executive authority to change the way the Affordable Care Act is being implemented?

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

President Donald Trump has introduced what many in Washington D.C. call his ‘skinny budget’. It’s the new president’s first public step laying out where he thinks federal spending should, and shouldn’t go. The budget is also a reflection of the administration’s policy goals and priorities, and includes big cuts to non-military discretionary spending. Valley Edition host Joe Moore spoke with reporter Jeffrey Hess about how cities in the Valley might be impacted by potential cuts to everything from block grants to anti-homelessness measures. 

A key rating agency has given the City of Fresno a big boost. A positive report from Standard and Poor’s could mean big savings for the city.

S&P has upgraded the city’s bond rating from BBB- to an A+. That is a five-level increase.

Officials say that means the city can borrow money at a much better interest rate, saving an estimated $35 million over the next two decades.

Mayor Lee Brand says the ratings improvement means the city will be better able to respond to years of austere budgets and cuts.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Ulta Beauty may be the biggest beauty product supplier in the country, but the announcement the company will build a distribution and fulfillment center in Fresno could be about much more than eyeliner and lipstick. Some experts think the Central Valley could develop into the hub that supplies on demand products for the entire west coast. But why is the area so enticing for internet retailers, and do these centers provide good jobs?

In the bathroom of her central Fresno home, Roe Borunda looks through tote after tote filled with all manner of makeup.

Twice as many stores in the Central Valley sell flavored cigarettes and alcohol than sell fresh fruits and vegetables. That's the finding of a new state health survey. 

The Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community survey, released Wednesday, found that it’s far easier to find tobacco or alcohol than it is to find fresh food, especially in low-income neighborhoods. 

Fresno-based pediatrician Dr. Razia Sheik says in Fresno County, for example, just 39% of stores carried fresh fruits and vegetables.

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