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. 

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Two Fresno City Council members are taking a stand against what they consider to be secretive bonuses to top administration officials.

Several high-ranking city leaders were given more than $200,000 in bonuses and deferred compensation over the past two years. The issue raised the ire of the City Council because they say Mayor Ashley Swearengin did not follow city law and disclose their total compensation. Disclosure of public employee pay is required by the city’s 2010 Transparency Act.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The Kern County Board of Supervisors has approved new rules that supporters say will streamline oil and gas production.

The unanimous vote by the board Monday endorses a new environmental report that will make most surface production activities go through a process similar to the one to get a building permit.

The state will still regulate subsurface operations.

High Speed Rail Authority

Will California’s high-speed rail system be German enough?

That question is not a joke, as I learned last month while riding Germany’s popular high-speed rail. In fact, it’s a more important question than the ones Californians have been myopically asking for years about the costs, funding, and construction deadlines of the state’s controversial project.

State Insists High-Speed Rail Remains On Track

Nov 6, 2015
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

After appearing to pick up steam this year, California's ambitious high-speed rail project hit a snag this week. Opponents are accusing the High-Speed Rail Authority of hiding higher cost estimates. The state insists that costs remain on track, although the trains may not be ready to run on time. Ben Bradford reports from Sacramento.

In January, after years of delays and legal battles, Governor Jerry Brown finally celebrated the groundbreaking for California’s High Speed Rail line.

Police: UC Merced Stabbings Not Terrorism

Nov 5, 2015

UPDATE: 6:22 PM - Authorities say they now know what prompted UC Merced student Faisal Mohammad to go on a stabbing rampage Wednesday, leaving four others injured. 

According to Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke, a manifesto found on Mohammad's body during the autopsy indicates he was upset at fellow students after being kicked out of a campus study group. The manifesto contained the names of intended victims and a detailed, minute-by-minute account of his planned attack. 

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

UPDATED: 5:56 PM - FM89's Diana Aguilera reports on what law enforcement officials know about the suspect.

Fresno State Athletic Department

The Fresno State student who allegedly posted a threat of on-campus violence using a popular social media app Monday is out of jail today. 18 year-old freshman Christian Pryor has posted bail after being arrested on felony charges of making a criminal threat. The Fresno State football walk-on was held in the Fresno County Jail on $20,000 bond. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The bark beetle has killed so many trees in the Sierra Nevada that officials are worried that people visiting places like the Sierra National Forest are in danger just by being there. Last week Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency when it comes to the dead trees and is asking for federal resources to remove them safely. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports from the Bass Lake area on what the Forest Service is doing to protect visitors.

Fresno State / Official Facebook Account

Nov. 2, 6:40 PM - Fresno State officials say that police have taken a student into custody after learning about a social media shooting threat at the university.  

Around 2 p.m. police arrested Christian Pryo on a charge of terrorist threat, in conjunction with a social media posting.  The 18-year-old freshman from Los Angeles is a Fresno State football player. He was booked into the Fresno County Jail. FM89’s Ezra David Romero has more.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The CEO of California’s High Speed Rail Authority is defending the project after Assembly Republicans issued calls for an investigation into project management, following an explosive LA Times report.

The article alleges that the rail authority actively concealed information that ran counter to their projections about the project’s cost and engineering challenges.

Assembly member Jim Patterson says rail CEO Jeff Morales has not been up front about the project and should testify under oath before an Assembly committee.