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. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Farmers in the western part of the San Joaquin valley will receive 5% of their water allocation from the Central Valley Project. That's the word from the federal Bureau of Reclamation.

If it’s an April fool’s joke, farmers, water managers and Fresno County leaders aren’t laughing.

After two years of zero percent allocation, the Bureau announced that this year, despite El Nino conditions, many growers on the valley’s west side, will only get five percent of their promised water.

Farmer Sal Parra says the announcement is a gut punch.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Autopsy results have been released in the case of a Fresno law enforcement activist who died earlier this year, shortly after posting online that he feared for his life.

John Lang’s body was found barricaded in a burning house on Van Ness Avenue in late January.

His body also had stab wounds.

Today, the Fresno County Coroner officially ruled his death a suicide, saying that the stab wounds were self-inflicted, and that the actual cause of death was smoke inhalation.

Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon, U.S. Air Force / Department of Defense - Wikimedia Commons

An overnight high-speed chase in Kings County has left two dead after the driver sped into the Lemoore Naval Air Station and crashed into an F/A-18 fighter jet.

The California Highway Patrol began the pursuit around 11:40 last night near Hanford when a driver failed to stop for a patrol car.

CHP Officer Justin Montooth  said at one point during the chase the driver went the wrong way down Highway 198 before going to the base.

Local Elections Yield Results, But Receive Few Votes

Mar 30, 2016
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Presidential elections receive by far the most attention, but it’s also the race where individual voters have the least direct effect. The undercard races for local offices, such as city council and board of supervisors, offer the greatest opportunity for residents to exert influence and directly engage with elected officials, yet they receive some of the least attention, engagement and votes. 

Will Cannady recalls his first success influencing local government. Cannady is a high school history teacher in the Pocket neighborhood of Sacramento.

Trump Fuels Citizenship Drive Among Immigrants

Mar 30, 2016
Jean Guerrero / KPBS

It’s been almost half a century since Concepción Álvarez, a 75-year-old Mexican immigrant who lives in northern San Diego county, became eligible for U.S. citizenship.

But it wasn’t until this year that she decided to undergo the naturalization process. The reason? She points to Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

“I think we are all waking up, because we’ve never heard things so ugly as what that man says,” Álvarez said.

Kerry Klein / KQED

When we last visited the Central Valley farm town of Lindsay, Amy Huerta and her brother, Luis, were in the middle of a pretty intense dinnertime conversation about voting.

“I mean, these are things that matter,” says Luis, who can’t vote because he’s undocumented. Amy is 18, and she could be the first in her family to vote, so he’s putting a lot of pressure on her.

California Farmers Already Adapting To Climate Change

Mar 29, 2016
UC Regents

UC Davis agricultural economists say climate change is affecting what crops are planted in California. Ed Joyce reports from Sacramento.

The study looked at 12 crops in Yolo County, using 105 years of local climate data and 60 years of county planting history.

UC Davis agricultural economist Dan Sumner says warmer winter temperatures would reduce "chill hours," potentially reducing yields for some crops, while extending the growing season for others.

And that could cause growers to change planting practices.

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

With California's June primary looking more consequential every day, a new PPIC poll shows Donald Trump with a commanding lead among the remaining Republicans running for president.

Trump is preferred by 38 percent of likely voters, followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 19 percent. The poll was finished just before Florida Sen. Marco Rubio exited the race, and both he and Ohio Gov. John Kasich registered 12 percent in the poll.

COURTESY OF ANDRE YANG

A Fresno poet has won one of the nation’s most sought-after book awards. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

The Academy of American Poets has selected thirty-four year old Hmong-American Mai Der Vang as the winner of this year’s prestigious Walt Whitman Award. Each year the honor goes to an emerging writer to make possible the publication of their first book.

Vang says she was shocked by the news.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A Fresno police sergeant has filed a lawsuit against the city, saying he was the subject of discrimination because he is Hispanic. In court documents, Sergeant Paul Cervantes claims that he has been demoted, targeted for workplace harassment, investigation and criminal prosecution because of his race. 

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