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. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The city of Bakersfield is searching for ways to tighten its fiscal belt thanks in part to lower oil prices. Over the past twelve months, city sales tax revenue has been nearly 5 percent below budget expectations. That’s left the city council considering mid-year budget adjustments, seeking to trim $1.4 million  from this year’s books.

California Gov. Jerry Brown Calls For Fiscal Discipline In State Of The State Address

Jan 21, 2016
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

In his record 14th State of the State address, California Gov. Jerry Brown urged continued fiscal restraint and warned of a pending economic slowdown that could stunt the state’s recovery from the Great Recession.

In his speech at the state Capitol Thursday morning, the four-term governor called for preparation for a slowdown, increasing the state’s voter-approved Rainy Day Fund and continuing to pay down debts.

Communities throughout the valley are rushing to ban medical marijuana. In part one of this two part series, Valley Public Radio introduced you to the people pushing or resisting the ban and how they have affected your community. In part two, we some of the people to find out how they are dodging the ban.

Fresno Fire Department - Facebook video by Sooji Lee

The Fresno Fire Department has released its final report on last year’s accident where Captain Pete Dern fell through the roof of a burning garage, suffering critical burns on a large portion of his body. The incident was captured on video and made national headlines. 

Jeffrey Hess

After nearly two decades of legalized medical marijuana in California there is a sudden mad dash among valley communities to establish local regulations and bans. But do the bans actually drive growers and dispensaries out of business? Valley Public Radio takes a look.

In a small nondescript house in Merced, Darcy Louise Johnson looks over the dozens of marijuana plants growing in the garage.

 “They are healthy. They are green. You can see some of the leaves are shimmery from an oil I sprayed on them,” Johnson said showing off her plants.

Fresno Police Department

Fresno police say a local auto shop is connected with at least eight cases of identity theft. On Tuesday officers served a search warrant at Monkey Wrench Tire and Wheel on Clovis Avenue and found evidence of credit card fraud. Lorenzo Lopez Jr. has been charged with seven felony counts of identity theft in connection with the case. Police allege that Lopez used personal information of customers to establish credit and make fraudulent purchases. Police say others customers of the shop may also have been victims, and urge them to call police at 621-6320.

Fresno's Fulton Mall in downtown
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fewer bike racks and trash cans, the elimination of directional signage and fancy lighting are some of the things that city officials say have been cut from the project to tear up and rebuild downtown Fresno's Fulton Mall. 

Administration officials explained to the Fresno City Council Thursday what they had to eliminate in order to reduce the price of the project below a $20 million cap and avoid using general fund dollars

Amber Kinetics

The Fresno City Council has approved a land lease that will make Fresno the site of an innovative new energy project. Kerry Klein reports from downtown.

California has one of the most aggressive renewable energy policies in the country: by 2030, renewables like solar and wind must produce half of all our energy. But, to meet that goal, we’ll have to get a whole lot better at energy storage.

Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

City of Fresno officials are promising today they still plan to hold the owner of the Summerset Village apartments accountable for hundreds of code violations. The statement from City Manager Bruce Rudd comes just hours after the Fresno Bee reported that the city's code enforcement department has suspended $290,000 in fines against property owner Chris Henry. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Some popular Yosemite landmarks including the Ahwahnee Hotel and Curry Village will soon be getting new names thank to a lawsuit over intellectual property associate with the park.

Longtime concessionaire Deleware North contends that it owns the trademark to the names, and wants $50 million from the new concessionaire Aramark, which takes over March 1st. The National Park Service disputes the trademark claims. Scott Gediman is the Yosemite spokesperson.

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