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. 

Fresno mayoral candidate Lee Brand has earned the endorsement of one H Spees, of his former rivals in the June primary. Spees came in third place behind both Brand and Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea in the June 7th election.

Fresno mayoral candidate Lee Brand has earned the endorsement of one H Spees, of his former rivals in the June primary. Spees came in third place behind both Brand and Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea in the June 7th election.

As Hillary Clinton makes headlines as the first female presumptive presidential nominee for a major party, there's an interesting contrast in local politics.

Among the 15 Los Angeles City Council members representing nearly 4 million residents, Nury Martinez is the only woman.

"I am embarrassed I have no explanation," Martinez said of the numbers. "People are in shock that [in] the second largest city in the country, we have this gender issue in Los Angeles."

The picture around the state isn’t much better when it comes to gender equality.

Michael Conner

The water crisis in Flint Michigan has led a lot of people across the country to ask what’s in their water.  Residents of Northeast Fresno are growing increasingly frustrated with their own water problem that’s been a decade in the making, one that they say is threatening their health.

When you walk into Mari Rose’s modest northeast Fresno home, you are greeted several friendly cats and given a warning ‘don’t drink the tap water’.

“There it is. Like a yellow…looks like pee,” Rose says.

Study: Water Windfall Beneath California's Central Valley

Jun 28, 2016
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A new study finds California’s Central Valley has three times more water beneath it than previously estimated. As Capital Public Radio’s Amy Quinton reports, researchers say that doesn’t mean accessing the groundwater will be cheap or easy.

Researchers at Stanford University found what they call a “water windfall” deep beneath the Central Valley. Stanford Earth Science Professor Rob Jackson is the report’s co-author.

Monday June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, and Fresno County is offering free HIV tests throughout the week. In 2014, the county reported 94 new cases of HIV/AIDS.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone 13-64 years old be tested at least once, and they encourage mothers to be tested with each pregnancy. The CDC also recommends annual testing for those who inject drugs, have an STD, or have more than one sexual partner.

Free rapid HIV tests will be available at the Fresno County Health Department until Thursday, June 30. 

Supporters of the Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson gather in Pasadena at the second annual Politicon event. Johnson was one of the conference's headliners.
Mary Plummer/KPCC

Supporters of the Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson gather in Pasadena at the second annual Politicon event. Johnson was one of the conference's headliners. Mary Plummer/KPCC

Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson told a small, but enthusiastic group this weekend that they may be looking at the next U.S. president given the upheaval of this year's campaign for the White House.

Kern County Fire Department

(Editorial Note: This is an evolving story likely to have updates.)

(update 6/27 5:38 p.m.)

Fire crews are making progress today on what is being called the most destructive wildfire in Kern County history, and some residents are beginning to return home.

The Erskine Fire has burned more than 45,000 acres and has destroyed 200 homes near Lake Isabella. It also killed two people.

It has been one year since the Fresno Sheriff’s Office began allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents into the county jail to check for undocumented immigrants. Now, immigration advocates are calling for an end to the practice.

Rallying outside the county courthouse, a small group of advocates held signs reading “ICE out of Fresno”.

Luis Ojeda, who himself is living in the country without documentation, says the practice sows fear in the Hispanic community that leads to fewer people reporting crimes.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The Valley Air District is asking the federal government to do more to help clean up the air in Central California. 

The district has submitted a petition to the U.S. EPA asking the agency to adopt more stringent national standards for cleaner trucks and trains.

The district’s executive director Seyed Sadredin says despite on-going local efforts to reduce ozone and particulate pollution, meeting the newest federal health standards would require reducing fossil fuel emissions by another 90 percent. And that he says isn’t something the district can’t do alone.

Ezra Romero/KVPR

Residents in a valley community with one of the highest concentrations of dry wells will soon be getting some relief.  For years, residents in East Porterville have watched their wells dry up in the drought forcing them to rely on water delivery and tanks.

Now, the state of California is offering to pay to hook up the tiny unincorporated community to the much larger city of Porterville.

Eric Lamoureux with the Office of Emergency Services says the state will make an initial $10 million dollar investment to begin hooking up the roughly 1,800 homes in East Porterville.

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