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. 

Alicia Griffin/Kris Robinson / Flickr

Farmers markets are full of bright colored produce at this time of year. Think sweet stone fruit, tart berries and tomatoes of every color. People love tasty heirloom tomatoes but they can be hard to grow and they’re expensive. That’s why researchers want to create a stronger plant. They’re doing this using a new twist on an old technique.

Scott Stoddard is an expert when it comes to tomatoes. He plants rows and rows of the fresh-market crop on farms across Merced and Madera counties for the UC Cooperative Extension. 

How can you tell if a driver is stoned?

Jul 13, 2016

In a famous scene from the Coen Brothers' cult classic "The Big Lebowski," Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski is cruising behind the wheel of his car, tunes blasting as he sips beer and smokes pot. In a classic stoner move, he tries to flick his lighted roach out the window - except that it's closed. The burning roach ricochets onto his lap, causing him to wildly swerve and then crash into a garbage can.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The USDA is hoping to encourage more African Americans to take up careers in agriculture. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports from an outreach event held today in Fresno.

The small USDA office in West Fresno was packed with more than 40 African American people ready to learn how to make their farming dreams a reality. The event is part of the USDA’s efforts to attract minorities and young people into farming professions.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Have you ever called your doctor or hospital seeking an appointment and been told the wait will be weeks or maybe months? You have been affected by the Central Valley’s doctor shortage.

Now more than one group is pushing a potential solution, locally sourced doctors from a new medical school.

Being in a waiting room at the doctor’s office isn’t the most pleasant place to be.

But waiting to get into that waiting room can be even worse.

That is what health care experts call a ‘doctor shortage’ and in the valley it’s bad.

 

PolitiFact California looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates and groups and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire.

Proposition 63, a gun and ammunition control initiative on California’s November ballot, would require instant background checks for the sale of ammunition statewide.

FILE: Vote-by-mail ballots are sorted into their appropriate district after arriving at the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder building in Norwalk.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

FILE: Vote-by-mail ballots are sorted into their appropriate district after arriving at the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder building in Norwalk. Maya Sugarman/KPCC

As the rest of the country turns to the national political conventions and vice presidential picks, in California, the final counts from the state's primary election results still await certification by the Secretary of State.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla has until Friday to sign off.

Fresno County Department of Public Health

Zika has finally appeared in Fresno County. An adult woman tested positive for the virus after traveling internationally and developing flu-like symptoms. Health officials won’t reveal where she traveled.

Fifty-five cases of Zika have been reported in California since January of last year, out of almost a thousand nationally. None are believed to have been transmitted locally, though some were spread through sexual contact.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Air quality is a tremendous problem in the San Joaquin Valley. Our air is consistently ranked the worst in the nation, alongside the Los Angeles area, and it’s been linked in Valley residents to immune problems, emergency room visits and even premature death. It’s an old problem, but local officials have put forth a bold new solution.

If it were winter, you could turn to the east from almost anywhere in the San Joaquin Valley and admire the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

John Chacon / CA Department of Water Resources

Widespread concern in northeast Fresno about rusty water that can contain elevated levels of lead is the latest issue in the Fresno mayor's race, while the city continues to maintain that its water is safe to drink.

Speaking in separate events within minutes of each other, mayoral candidates Lee Brand and Henry Perea exchanged comments today about the city's response to the problem, both past and present. 

PolitiFact California looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates and groups and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s achievements are many: Body builder. Movie star. Governator. Honorary Forest Ranger.

Yes, he was named an Honorary Forest Ranger by the federal government.

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