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. 

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Health
5:01 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Fresno Ranks High For Pedestrian Related Deaths

file photo
Credit Creative Commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/digitizedchaos/5913317383/

In 2012, 29 people were killed in car accidents in Fresno – and 14 of those were pedestrians.  

That means just about half of all those killed in collisions in 2012 weren’t even in a car, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Environment
9:22 am
Tue April 29, 2014

New Pollution Mapping Tool Aims To Aid Environmental Justice Fight In Central Valley

Credit The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

Last week, the state of California released a new interactive online map that lets you look at how environmentally burdened your neighborhood is compared to the rest of the state. The tool, called CalEnviroScreen 2.0 combines both data on pollution sources and the demographics of a community, including poverty, unemployment and linguistic isolation to compute a score that reflects a community’s overall environmental burden.

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Business & Economy
12:06 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Downtown Fresno's Cosmopolitan Restaurant Headed To Selland Parking Lot

The Selland Arena parking lot could become the new home of one of Fresno's oldest restaurants if the city council approves the sale of the property to Cosmopolitan owner Gary Lanfranco.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

One of Fresno's oldest restaurants could soon have a new home, in what is now a parking lot at the Fresno Convention and Entertainment Center.

On Thursday the Fresno City Council is set to vote on a proposal to sell a portion of the city-owned lot at the corner of Ventura and O streets to Gary Lanfranco, owner of the Cosmopolitan Bar & Grill. 

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Health Care
6:17 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Judge Rules Fresno County Isn't Required To Provide Health Care To Undocumented

Community health advocates expressed their dismay today after a judge ruled that Fresno County is no longer required to provide health care to undocumented residents.

Superior Court Judge Donald Black overturned a portion of a 30-year-old court order this week, saying the county had proven a change in law no longer requires it to pay for specialty medical services for undocumented individuals.

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Drought
4:59 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Governor Brown Issues New Executive Order In Reponse To Drought

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Governor Jerry Brown’s latest executive order to combat the drought has some aid for farmers, fish and firefighters – and some requests for all Californians.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

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Government & Politics
2:35 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Caravanning To El Paso, Fresno Sikhs Protest Year-Long Detention

The group at the start of the excursion in Fresno, Calif.
Cayden Mak 18millionrising.org

A caravan of mostly young Valley Sikh-Americans are on their way to Texas today after launching a media campaign using the hashtag #ElPaso37 in protest of the detainment of 37 Punjabi refuges on hunger strike who are seeking political asylum. FM89 reporter Ezra David Romero reports from where the protest began in Fresno.

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Business & Economy
4:11 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Kern County Officials Hope To Lure Embattled Sriracha Factory

The hot sauce company Huy Fong Foods was founded in 1980 in Los Angeles.

Back in 2010, the city of Irwindale was so excited to lure the factory that makes Sriracha hot sauce to their area, they helped finance the $40 million project.

But earlier this month that same city council designated this once desired business as a public nuisance, over complaints from residents about spicy odors and burning eyes.

Sriracha sauce creator David Tran is now being peppered with offers to relocate his plant to other states and counties, including the San Joaquin Valley. The move could create hundreds of jobs and bolster the local economy.

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Environment
5:24 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

New Analysis Of Pollution Burdens Ranks Fresno, Valley Counties Worst In State

Central Valley counties ranked among the worst in the CalEnviroScreen 2.0 analysis
Credit The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

A new ranking of environmental health in California shows that many Fresno County neighborhoods rank among the worst in the state when it comes to pollution.

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment's CalEnviroScreen 2.0 database examines how the state's approximately 8,000 census tracts rank on a variety of indicators in two major areas: pollution exposure and socioeconomic factors that increase vulnerability to pollution. The database combines the two to give each tract a score.

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Government & Politics
12:11 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Valley Political Races Heat Up Ahead Of June Primary

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

California's June primary election is just over 40 days away. That means candidates are kicking their campaigns into high gear across Central California. So what are the hot races to watch? We recently spoke with the Fresno Bee's state and local politics reporter John Ellis to get his analysis of the most competitive races including:

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Agriculture
9:34 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Farmer Suicides Cast Shadow Over U.S. Agriculture

America’s farmers are dying. But it’s not just because they’re aging. In 1978 the average age of the American farmer was 50, today it’s around 58. But there’s another even more troubling issue facing those who grow our food -  farmers taking their own lives.

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Health Care
9:05 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Advocates Urge 'Vigilance' to Ensure Care for New Medi-Cal Patients

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California’s Medi-cal program has seen a huge surge in enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento about what those patients can expect when they try to see a doctor. 

California officials say they’re pleased to see 1.9 million have signed up under the Medi-Cal expansion.  

Toby Douglas: “1.9 million is far more than we ever projected, and there are even more that we’re working to get on as quickly as possible.”

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Environment
4:07 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Spring Rain And Snow Mean Increased Water Allocations

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Rain and snow may not have pushed California out of its drought, but the late season precipitation will mean a little more water for State Water Project users. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, there

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Health Care
7:43 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

'Bumpy' California Enrollment Period Ends With Over 3 Million Health Care Sign-Ups

California health officials say the open enrollment period for insurance has been ‘bumpy’ but it has ended with more than 3 million people signed up for coverage. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento.

About 1.9 million Californians have new Medi-Cal coverage, and just under 1.5 have signed up for private insurance.

Among the people with private plans, about half had insurance agents or enrollment counselors sign them up. Peter Lee of Covered California says that’s something to keep in mind for the next enrollment period.

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Education
10:01 am
Thu April 17, 2014

New California Community College Scorecard Shows Affects of Recession

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A new study says students at California’s Community Colleges are achieving many of their academic goals. But Community College officials say they’ll be recovering from the drastic cuts during the Great Recession for years to come. Capital Public Radio’s Max Pringle reports. 

Paul Feist with the California Community Colleges says there’s a lot to like in the findings of the “Student Success Scorecard.”

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Education
7:37 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

California Bill Would Put English-only Instruction Back Before Voters

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A voter-approved  law that requires all California public school classes to be taught in English would go before voters again in 2016 under a bill now in the state legislature. Capital Public Radio’s Max Pringle reports.

Professor Patricia Gándara with the UCLA Civil Rights Project says a state-commissioned 2006 study proves that English-only instruction has few, if any, benefits.

Gándara: “The conclusion was that there had been no appreciable closing of the gaps between English learners and other students as a result of Prop. 227.” 

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Government & Politics
7:18 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Brown Calls Special Legislative Session on New Budget Reserve

Governor Jerry Brown's Director of Finance, Michael Cohen, discusses the governor's "rainy day fund" proposal with reporters at the Capitol Wednesday.
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown is throwing the full weight of his office behind his push for a new state budget reserve by calling the legislature into special session next week.  But Republicans say he’ll have to strengthen his proposal to win their support.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

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Community
3:55 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Creative Fresno Celebrates 10 Years

Creative Fresno has
Credit Courtesy Creative Fresno

Back in the mid 1980’s writer and urban planner Charles Landry was the first to describe how creativity and specifically those involved in creative professions could transform a city – something he called the Creative Cities movement.

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Government & Politics
11:58 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Carl Bernstein: Still Searching For The 'Best Obtainable Version Of The Truth'

Journalist Carl Bernstein will speak in Fresno on Wednesday
Credit Courtesy Carl Bernstein

Few journalists have made a bigger imprint on American history than Carl Bernstein. Together with his Washington Post colleague Bob Woodward, Bernstein helped uncover the Watergate scandal, which eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.

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Education
6:01 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

New Teacher Dismissal Bill Deal Has Governor's Support

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

After three years of bitter disputes, there appears to be a deal in the California legislature on a bill that would make it easier for school districts to fire teachers accused of abusing students.  But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, not all education groups are on board.

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Environment
5:53 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Cap-and-Trade Money Would Go To Affordable Housing and Transit Under Proposal

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (file)
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Money generated from California’s cap-and-trade program would go to mass transit, sustainable affordable housing and high speed rail under a proposal by Senate leader Darrell Steinberg. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, Steinberg is backtracking from his previous proposal.

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