Valley Public Radio News

Hear local reports on the economy, government, education, health and the environment on Valley Public Radio during All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Valley Edition. 

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Up to 1800 residents living in an apartment complex in Fresno have been without heat or hot water after several gas leaks were discovered. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports how long these residents could be without basic necessities.

Tenants at the Summerset Village Apartments have been without natural gas for 12 days. They can’t cook, they don’t have hot water, and the heaters don’t work. The majority are Southeast Asian refugees with many elderly and young residents.

POLITIFACT: Have Costs Dropped 'Several Hundred Million Dollars' For California’s Bullet Train?

Nov 24, 2015
California High-Speed Rail Authority

Questions about high costs have dogged California’s high-speed rail project for years.

Now, leaders of the controversial bullet train network say some expenses are, in fact, trending downward. That led Capital Public Radio’s PolitiFact reporter Chris Nichols to check out the facts.

In recent weeks, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has faced criticism that it concealed higher cost estimates. Those estimates, if correct, could add $8 billion to the project’s $68 billion price tag.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For years, Hanford has enjoyed one of the most vibrant downtowns in the Central Valley. However, in the last decade, the area has seen its fortunes decline as vacancies have risen. Recently the city council eliminated laws that prevented things like movie theaters and hotels to be built outside of downtown, in favor of a more "free market" approach. 

POLITIFACT: Is The Private Sector ‘Unwilling’ To Fund California’s Bullet Train?

Nov 23, 2015
Califonia High-Seed Rail Authority

California’s bullet train project has faced new criticism in recent weeks. Its leaders have been accused of hiding higher cost estimates and failing to win funding from the private sector.

One recent attack by a Central Valley state lawmaker caught the attention of Capital Public Radio’s PolitiFact reporter Chris Nichols.

Plans to build a high-speed rail network from LA to San Francisco rely heavily on private funding.


A Bakersfield police detective is under arrest today after he allegedly took bribes from a drug dealer. 

The FBI and US Department of Justice allege that detective Damacio Diaz accepted thousands of dollars in bribes from a drug dealer. In exchange, the FBI alleges Diaz tipped the dealer off to law enforcement activities and the confidential names of informants.

In a 16-count indictment, Diaz is also charged with retaining seized narcotics with the intent to distribute, disclosing the contents of a wiretap investigation and filing false tax returns. 

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Today marks the kickoff of “A Day With HIV” photo exhibit at the Fresno Art Museum. FM89’s Diana Aguilera visits the display.

The gallery shows 19 posters of people from around the nation that are living with HIV. It’s a snapshot of their lives and it's part of a campaign hoping to reduce the stigma related to HIV and AIDS.

Jena Adams with the Fresno County Department of Public Health helped organize this event.

google street view

The Fresno City Council could approve a land deal Thursday that could clean up a long blighted plot of downtown. However, the total sale of the land is a small portion of the money the city spent acquiring it.

The land is at the corner of Stanislaus and L streets in downtown Fresno, right next to a long vacant gas station that has been the source of hundreds of calls to police. A previous attempt to rehabilitate the site with more than $1,000,000 in federal Housing and Urban Development funds collapsed.

At one time there were over 10,000 grizzly bears in California, but people’s fear of the enormous animal drove the bears to extinction. The last California grizzly bear was shot in Tulare County in 1924. One group would like to see the bears thrive again. But as Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports not everyone thinks the idea is a good one..

If there’s one word that epitomizes the state of health care today, it’s change. Nowhere is that more clear than in the San Joaquin Valley’s hospital landscape, where longtime friends have turned into bitter rivals.

But what’s behind the shifting alliances that have divided much of the Fresno health care market in recent years? The answer could be one word, networks.

Earlier this year, Craig Wagoner the CEO of Fresno’s Community Regional Medical Center made an announcement that might have puzzled a lot of people.

Fresno leaders are moving forward on plans to award a construction contract for the reconstruction of the Fulton Mall even though is best bid is still more than 2-million dollars over budget.

City staff want the council to select a bid from American Paving for the project despite the fact the company overshot the projects's $20-million target.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin said they are taking the bid to the council anyway and will continue to work to reduce the cost.