Joe Moore

Director of Program Content

Joe Moore is the Director of Program Content for Valley Public Radio. He supervises the station's news and music programming, website and radio operations, and is the host of the weekly program "Valley Edition." He is a native of Fresno and a graduate of California State University, Fresno. He has over 14 years of experience in all aspects of radio production, operations and management. Prior to joining Valley Public Radio in 2010 as the Director of Program Content, he spent six years as the station manager of KFSR, and taught audio production at Fresno State. In 2008 he was named one of Fresno's "40 Under 40" by the publication Business Street. Prior to joining Valley Public Radio, he was also active on the boards of several local non-profit organizations. His hobbies include photography, hiking and travel. Joe has a strong interest in local history and architecture, and is an avid baseball fan.

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Environment
11:21 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Effort to Approve Mine on Jesse Morrow Mountain Falls Short

Jesse Morrow Mountain
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Plans for a controversial aggregate mine on Jesse Morrow Mountain east of Sanger have stalled after the Fresno County Board of Supervisors failed to approve the project after a marathon meeting Tuesday night. The supervisors were being asked to reverse a decision by the Fresno County Planning Commission, which rejected the project in May. 

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Animal Control
5:38 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Local SPCA Says Contract Extension Talks Are Dead

Fresno City Hall
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Talks between the Central California SPCA and the City and County of Fresno on continuing the organization’s contract for animal control services beyond October 1, 2012 have fallen apart.  County and city leaders had hoped to reach an agreement to extend the current contract on a temporary basis through the end of the year to give more time to find a permanent solution.

The organization's executive director Linda Van Kirk issued the following statement today:

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Health
4:08 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

New Yosemite Hantavirus Infections, Death Reported

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Officials at Yosemite National Park have announced that a second person has died after contracting hantavirus during a park visit, and another is likely sick from the disease.  Earlier this month, two other people were diagnosed with the rare pulmonary disease and one died from the illness.

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1:44 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Science Museum At Former Castle Air Base to Close

Lead in text: 
A science and technology museum at the former Castle Air Force Base in Atwater is closing its doors due to financial woes. The Merced Sun-Star reports that the non-profit foundation which operates the museum is planning to file for bankruptcy.
ATWATER -- The Castle Science and Technology Center will be closing permanently, according to officials with the nonprofit that runs the museum. The Challenger Learning Center foundation board has announced that it is meeting with an attorney to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, said Dave Olsen, foundation chairman.
Foreclosures
5:33 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

HUD Secretary Donovan Visits Fresno, Touts Refinancing Progress

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Congressman Jim Costa and KVPR host Juanita Stevenson talk on FM89's Valley Edition, Tuesday morning.
Credit Charmion N. Kinder / HUD

The nation's top housing official visited Fresno today to generate support for the Obama administration's efforts to stem the foreclosure crisis. 

Shaun Donovan, Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development met with homeowners and members of the media today, saying that preventing foreclosures is key to stabilizing property values and boosting the economy.

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Health
2:39 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Fresno County Reports First West Nile Death of 2012

An elderly Fresno County woman is dead today after contracting West Nile virus. Her death is the second in California associated with the virus this year. She had been hospitalized prior to her death.

The Fresno County Department of Public Health released a statement today indicating that there have been 26 cases of West Nile virus in humans throughout the state this year. In 2011, the state reported a total of 158 cases with 9 deaths. Fresno County had 9 reported cases of the illness in 2011, with no deaths.

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Education
6:57 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Dinuba Unified, ACLU Settle Suit

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Dinuba Unified School District have settled a lawsuit over a controversial education program for English language learners.

The suit alleged that the district’s Second Language Acquisition Development Instruction program led to some first and second-grade students falling behind their peers.

The program emphasized grammar, spelling and sentence structure. Critics said the program didn’t expose students to literature and vocabulary.

Government & Politics
1:10 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Fresno's Credit Rating Takes Another Hit

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The City of Fresno's precarious financial position is leading to more repercussions in the investment community. On Friday, the firm Standard & Poor's downgraded the city's credit rating from "A" to "BBB." Last month, the two other major credit ratings agencies, Fitch and Moody's issued similar downgrades.

The rating of "BBB" is Standard & Poor's next to lowest "investment grade" rating. The firm also gave Fresno's  financial outlook a "negative" rating, meaning future downgrades are possible. 

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Government & Politics
4:16 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Moody's: More California Cities Could Declare Bankruptcy

Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

More California cities may file for bankruptcy and default on bonds in the coming months, according to a report released today by a major credit rating agency.

In a report titled “Why Some California Cities Are Choosing Bankruptcy” Moody’s Investors Service warned that the risk of more municipal bankruptcies in the state has gone up.

So far this year, three California cities have filed for bankruptcy, Stockton, San Bernadino and Mammoth Lakes.

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Education
12:16 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Fresno State President John Welty to Retire Next Summer

Fresno State President Dr. John Welty announced today that he plans to retire at the end of the academic year
California State University Fresno

Fresno State President Dr. John Welty announced his retirement today before an assembly of university faculty and staff. His retirement will take effect in summer of 2013, after the conclusion of the current academic year. He will turn 68 later this month.

Welty began his term as university president in 1991, and oversaw a period marked by both growth and controversy. Welty led the effort to build the Save Mart Center, the new addition to the Henry Madden Library and several other major campus buildings.

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Health
4:10 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Hantavirus Sickens 2, Kills 1 in Yosemite

Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

One California resident is dead and another is ill today after contracting a rare disease spread by deer mice while vacationing at Yosemite National Park. Officials with the State Department of Public Health announced today that they believe the individuals contracted the disease while staying at Yosemite's Curry Village.

Hantavirus is rare in the state, but the disease is often deadly. Since 1993 there have been 60 cases of the disease in California, and about one third of those cases have been fatal.

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Environment
4:08 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Capitol Rally For Valley Air Tackles Fracking, CEQA Reforms

Around 40 environmental and public health activists from the San Joaquin Valley staged a rally today at the state capitol, pushing for a wide range of regulatory and legislative actions that they claim will improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley.

The Central Valley Air Quality Coalition traveled to Sacramento to gather public support and to meet with legislators on a number of environmental issues. The group is asking the legislature to fund more air quality monitors in the Valley and in the Sierra, as well as to restore a monitoring site in Arvin that had been moved.

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Environment
4:09 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Environmental Groups File Suit Over Water Contamination

A map shows water wells in the state that indicated the presence of chromium 6, from 2000-2012.
State Water Resources Control Board

Two major environmental groups have filed suit against the California State Department of Public Health for what they call a failure by the state to set rules for the safe amount of a toxic chemical in drinking water. Hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, gained widespread attention as the chemical that sickened residents in the film Erin Brockovich. 

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Politics
11:41 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Merced's Dennis Cardoza Resigns From Congress

Dennis Cardoza (D - Merced) represents California's 18th Congressional District

Merced Democratic Congressman Dennis Cardoza announced his retirement today, effective Wednesday at midnight. Cardoza told the press that "sensitive family needs" prompted his resignation. Last October, he announced that he did not plan on seeking re-election.  His seat in California's 18th Congressional district includes Merced, as well as portions of Modesto,  Stockton, Madera and Fresno.

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Science
5:28 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Bakersfield Shines In Shark Week Spotlight

The Discovery Channel's Sharkzilla, a 58 foot model of the Megalodon found at Bakersfield's Shark Tooth Hill sits on the beach at Ventura, CA.
Koral Hancharick Buena Vista Museum of Natural History

Bakersfield's Shark Tooth Hill is known by paleontologists worldwide for its impressive collection of fossilized remains from around 13 million years ago. Earlier this year, one particular fossil, a tooth from a pre-historic shark known as the Megalodon, captured the attention of the producers of the Discovery Channel's Shark Week.

Koral Hancharick of Bakersfield's Buena Vista Museum of Natural History says that the ancient creature would make today's great white shark look quite small in comparison. 

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12:15 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Fight Over Armenian Genocide Museum Continues

Lead in text: 
Plans for museum dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide have been mired in controversy for years. The legal battle between the Armenian Assembly of America and the Cafesjian Family Foundation took a new turn last week, but the effort to make the Washington D.C. museum a reality is far from over.
WASHINGTON - An Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial may someday arise from the ashes of an excruciating legal fight that's estranged one-time allies and shows no sign of abating. But for now the unrealized potential lingers, like a ghost, inside a glorious wreck of a building near the White House.
11:10 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Bakersfield's Varner Wins Olympic Gold

Lead in text: 
Bakersfield native Jake Varner walked away from the London Olympics with a gold medal, after he defeated Ukraine's Valerii Andriitsev in the 96 kilogram freestyle wrestling division on Sunday. He's not the first San Joaquin Valley wrestler to win a medal at the Olympics. In 2004, Fresno's Steven Abas won silver at the Athens games in freestyle wrestling.
LONDON -- It's never clear at the Olympics exactly where gold medalists go after they get their prizes -- mixed zones, press conferences, TV interviews. The hours after that brief moment on the podium are a whirlwind. But sometimes it's absolutely clear where they come from.
9:40 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Easton Residents Struggle With Polluted Water Wells

Lead in text: 
Residents in the Fresno County town of Easton get their water from backyard wells. But many of those wells recently tested above the official limit for certain toxins. It's just the latest case of rural San Joaquin Valley residents struggling to find safe water to drink. Dan Morain of the Sacramento Bee reports.
In the village of Easton, where summer temperatures regularly reach beyond 100 degrees, some lawns are unusually green for this time of year, and people think twice before drinking from the tap. Teresa Ruiz runs an accounting business in a sun-bleached office building on the main street, and her mom, Stella Ruiz, counsels workers about immigration issues, accepting produce gleaned from the fields as partial payment.
Developing: Fire Watch
6:43 pm
Sat August 11, 2012

Fire Threatens Community of Meadow Lakes

UPDATE: Sunday 6:30 p.m. The Lanes Fire is now 80 percent contained. CalFire reports that 11 firefighters have been injured.
UPDATE: Sunday 7:30 a.m.
CalFire officials now say that the Lanes Fire has consumed only 138 acres and is 30 percent contained. Over 500 firefighters are at work battling the blaze. 
----
Residents in the Fresno County mountain community of Meadow Lakes are being advised to evacuate their homes today due to a brush fire burning near the "four lane" section of Highway 168. 

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Reporting on Health
2:58 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

State Hospital Infection Rate Drops, Many Valley Hospitals Above Average

Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

California hospitals experienced a 10 percent drop in the number of serious infections over the past year, but a number of San Joaquin Valley hospitals are still above the state average, when compared with similar hospitals elsewhere in the state.

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