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Fresno County

The County of Fresno hopes to see more industrial park developments in its future. The Board of Supervisors voted today to ask county staff to explore possible sites for an industrial development of at least 1,000 acres that could be home to distribution centers, advanced manufacturing companies or other businesses. The county is considering sites in the vicinity of Highway 99 in the Fowler, Selma and Kingsburg area, as well as in the Malaga area southeast of the City of Fresno.

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In 2014 the California cotton industry got a wake up call. Somewhere in the supply chain of turning high end cotton into fabric the products were being laced with inferior fiber. And now as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports consumers can be sure they’re getting what they pay for.

 

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Ulta Beauty may be the biggest beauty product supplier in the country, but the announcement the company will build a distribution and fulfillment center in Fresno could be about much more than eyeliner and lipstick. Some experts think the Central Valley could develop into the hub that supplies on demand products for the entire west coast. But why is the area so enticing for internet retailers, and do these centers provide good jobs?

In the bathroom of her central Fresno home, Roe Borunda looks through tote after tote filled with all manner of makeup.

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There’s been so much theft of agricultural products like walnuts in Tulare County that agricultural leaders hope to come up with a plan to prevent thieves from selling the commodities. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

 

Over the past couple years thieves have stolen whole truck loads of nuts in the Central Valley worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even after making some changes to nut selling regulations Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita says people are stealing nuts right out of orchards during harvest.

 

Courtesy of Brett Lebin

The start of the month marks the first time that cannabis growers in the state can receive agricultural energy rates from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  FM89’s Ezra David Romero explains.

Downtown Fresno Partnership Facebook page

A year ago this Friday, Fresno leaders picked up fifteen golden sledgehammers and kicked off the project to rip out the 53 year-old Fulton Mall and replace it with a redesigned Fulton Street. It’s an ambitious project that officials hope will help jumpstart business investment on what was once Fresno’s main street, but for decades has been a struggling six-block pedestrian mall. So a year later what’s happened, both on the mall and off?

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A research center near Visalia is in the process of breeding a citrus tree resistant to a disease that has the industry on edge. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

 

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.

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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.

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