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Ezra David Romero

An explosion of building is ramping up just north of Fresno in Madera County. This area of rolling hills on the way to Yosemite could become a city the size of Clovis. All this development could be good for the county's finances, but as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports people who already live there say it could change their way of life.

Kimberly Gomes is a realtor who grew up in the Madera Ranchos. It’s an unincorporated community of less 10,000 people just minutes from Fresno.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

An old prison in Coalinga is getting a second life as a facility that deals with medical marijuana. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports even though the project has a green light there are hurdles still ahead.

 

The sale of the 77,000 square foot Claremont Custody Center from the City of Coalinga was finalized late last month for $4.1 million to Latchkey Pioneers LLC. The prison will hold a few cannabis related businesses including Reggae Artist Damian Marley’s partnership with Ocean Grown Extracts. The company will make cannabis oil.

New American Media

Back in November, Fresno County residents may remember a phone scam following the accidental shooting of Sheriff’s Deputy Rod Lucas. Residents were receiving calls asking for donations on the deputy’s behalf—even though the sheriff’s office said it would never solicit donations by phone. Consumer fraud like this isn’t new, but research suggests that some San Joaquin Valley communities are prime targets. New efforts from law enforcement aim to stem the tide.

KVPR

President Trump scrapped a trade deal today that was in the works under the Obama Administration. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports that part of the agricultural industry was looking forward to the deal.

The Trans Pacific Partnership or T.P.P. would have lowered tariffs for a dozen Pacific Rim countries like Vietnam and Malaysia. California Citrus Mutual President Joel Nelsen says the citrus industry was looking forward to working with the countries before President Trump signed an executive order to pull out of it.

 

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

A company with the goal of turning Fresno into the next Silicon Valley is announcing a big expansion. Bitwise, which bills itself as the entrepreneurial future of Fresno, is adding three new buildings to what they are calling a ‘technology campus’ downtown.

The additional three spaces, all within close proximity to each other in downtown Fresno, would take the space Bitwise provides from 50,000 to 300,000 square feet.Bitwise provides from 50,000 to 300,000 square feet.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

As the generation that pioneered organic farming begins to retire, they’re searching for different ways to continue their agricultural legacy. Some growers are passing on their farms to their kids, but as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports not all organic growers are as lucky to have a second generation that wants to take over the family farm.

Elton Morris / Creative Commons: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode

The United States Department of Agriculture published a final rule Tuesday to allow lemons from Argentina into the country. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports this decision has the California lemon industry on edge.

 

This announcement doesn’t sit well with the $650 million dollar US lemon industry. California Citrus Mutual President Joel Nelson says the citrus industry as whole is afraid of pests making into the country.

OPEC website

Last week, the 13-country oil cartel known as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties, or OPEC, announced that it would massively scale back its oil production. OPEC is responsible for producing about one-third of the world’s oil. The move is an attempt to increase the price of a barrel of oil which has been hovering around $40 a barrel for the last couple years. That’s down from about $100 in 2014 and $140 before the Great Recession.

The move appears to be working as the price of oil is now on the rise.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Californians will vote in a couple weeks on whether or not the recreational use of marijuana should be legalized or not. And as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports one Central California city is looking at how it can cash in on this green revolution.

Patrick Keough wanted out of Coalinga about five years ago. The 18,000 people or so that call this town in the hills of the coastal range home couldn’t support his realty company.

Even before the death of United Farm Workers co-founder Cesar Chavez in 1993, California's farm labor movement had lost its momentum.

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