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. 

Flickr user WBUR, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Right now in California’s Sierra Nevada, an estimated 66 million trees have died, due to a deadly combination of drought and bark beetles, which take advantage of dry, thirsty trees. But could we prevent beetles from ever attacking trees in the first place? Researchers have been asking this question for decades, and a new tool fends off bark beetles using the very thing that makes them so deadly.

5 things to know about legalizing recreational pot in California

Aug 17, 2016

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Will it be the fifth to legalize recreational pot this November? We traveled to Sacramento to host a live event about the pros and cons of Proposition 64, which would legalize adult use of cannabis.

The town hall was moderated by Larry Mantle, host of KPCC’s AirTalk, and Beth Ruyak, host of Capital Public Radio's Insight. It was hosted by California Counts, a collaboration with KPCC in Los Angeles, KQED in San Francisco, Capital Public Radio in Sacramento and KPBS in San Diego.

Kristen Lepore | KPCC

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Will it be the fifth to legalize recreational pot this November? We traveled to Sacramento to host a live event about the pros and cons of Proposition 64, which would legalize adult use of cannabis.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

There are a lot of the type of mosquito that could carry the Zika virus in Fresno County. Crews are currently working to stop the spread of the mosquito across the region. But as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports there’s just not enough funding at the moment to do research on a large scale.

As Katherine Brisco blows into a six-inch cardboard tube she’s releasing male mosquitos in the middle of a suburban Clovis neighborhood park. She says the males don’t bite.

“They’ll be all over you, but they won’t bite you,” says Brisco with Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District. 

401kcalculator.org/ flickr

Throughout the Central Valley, communities are grappling with how to keep their towns safe with enough cops and firefighters on the beat. Many have found that traditional revenue sources simply aren’t enough, and are turning to special taxes. But how they are doing so diverges down several different paths. Community reaction to tax increases seems to plays a big role in how local political leaders decide to act.

In this photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, condemned inmate Martin Navarette peers out his cell on death row at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif.

AP Photo / Ben Margot

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.

California Legislature Kills Fentanyl, Whistleblower Protection Bills

Aug 11, 2016
Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) chat in a Capitol hallway Thursday before their committees took up more than 500 bills combined.
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) chat in a Capitol hallway Thursday before their committees took up more than 500 bills combined.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

California lawmakers churned through more than 500 bills one-by-one in the blink of an eye Thursday.

The Senate and Assembly appropriations committees froze some measures while advancing and amending others – all without any debate or explanation.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The city of Fresno now says complaints about discolored water in Northeast Fresno were being diverted for years to the private email account of the former surface water treatment plant manager. That is one of the findings of an investigation into why the problems went untreated for more than a decade.

The first reports of rust colored water began rolling in shortly after the treatment plant opened 2004.

But the issue did not gain steam until residents began connecting on social media earlier this year.

Community Water Center

When we talk about water in the San Joaquin Valley, it’s often to highlight water problems, like dry wells, contaminated drinking water or, more recently, toxic algae in lakes and reservoirs. But the news isn’t all bad: local advocate Susana De Anda recently received an award from the White House for her work bringing clean water to San Joaquin Valley communities.

HCCA

This month in Tulare, voters are being asked to weigh in on a big issue – whether or not to support a $55 million bond measure for hospital construction at the Tulare Regional Medical Center. The hospital last issued an $85 million bond back in 2005 to fund a new tower for the hospital. But the project went out of control, and construction stopped as the money ran out, with the tower incomplete.

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