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. 

UC Berkeley Labor Center

Politicians in California and Washington D.C. are busy trying to figure out the future of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Should it be fully repealed? What will the replacement be? Should there be a replacement at all? While the potential replacement is still a mystery, two researchers at the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education took a look at the potential impact of full repeal on the San Joaquin valley’s job market. They claim job losses from a repeal of the law would be worse than job losses caused by the drought.

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

The early days of President Donald Trump’s administration have left all manner of people scrambling to keep up and understand the local impacts of a series of executive orders. One major change is the threat to withhold federal funds from so-called “sanctuary cities”, that is cities that claim to not work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to find undocumented immigrants. But what even is a sanctuary city and is Fresno in the crosshairs?

When he explained his executive order targeting ‘sanctuary cities’ last week, President Trump described the order this way.

Flickr User Sharyn Morrow

Recently, you may have heard a startling statistic: drug overdoses now kill more Americans than car accidents. For some years, the same holds true here in the San Joaquin Valley. The lion’s share of those overdoses are from opioids—street drugs and heavy-duty painkillers either derived from opium or made in a lab. Now, health officials are trying to prevent the problem from becoming worse.

Lee Brand / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand took office a little less than 30 days ago, and it’s been an eventful first month. Last week he unveiled his plan to tackle one of the city’s biggest issues – substandard rental housing - conditions that in many cases are unsafe and unhealthy. The plan, which includes a baseline inspection of the city’s existing rental apartments and homes, is one of the biggest changes in years in the way city hall works. It’s also the first big test of Brand’s new administration and his relationship with the city council as it goes up for a vote on Thursday.

Francisco Letelier

People in the Central Valley have painted murals for decades. They’ve represented civil rights and worker equality as well advertisements for companies. But FM89’s Ezra David Romero found that many murals painted today in places like Fresno have taken on a very different tone than murals painted just a few decades ago.

 

In the 1960s John Sierra started painting murals in the Fresno area.

His paintings had a strong political bent and many were mobile because of the lack of available walls.

Caltrans Central Valley District 6 Facebook

A series of traffic collisions involving around 50 vehicles closed Highways 41 and 198 this morning near Lemoore. CHP Officer John Tyler says dense fog was a major factor in the crashes.

Tyler says visibility was 100 to 200 feet from the front of each car this morning out where the accidents took place on Highway 198 around 8:30 AM this morning.

A Fresno judge has ruled in favor of the state in its effort to list a popular herbicide on the database of carcinogens. 

Monsanto has sued California over its decision to list glyphosate, the main ingredient of its weed-killer Roundup, as a carcinogen. As a result, property owners would need to notify the public under Proposition 65 of wherever Roundup had been used.

John Chacon / CA Department of Water Resources

The Fresno city council on Thursday approved a plan that could be the first step in clearing a harmful chemical out of the city’s drinking water.

The plan will authorize a feasibility analysis on removing the chemical 1,2,3-TCP from city water. 1,2,3-TCP is a known carcinogen that was used decades ago as an industrial solvent and pesticide additive. It’s been detected in 45 of the city’s 270 wells.

California Endowment

New data from an on-going study about mortality rates in Central California reveals that alcohol, drugs and suicide are fueling significant increases in the mortality rate among white residents. The data are staggering: deaths from accidental drug poisoning in Fresno County are up over 200 percent since 1990, while suicides by hanging and strangulation are up over 120 percent in the region.

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Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

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.

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