California

Wildfire
6:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Bass Lake Residents On Edge After Courtney Fire

A burned SUV sits on a driveway of a destroyed home on Monday afternoon near Road 426 and Cedar Drive in Oakhurst.
Diana Aguilera Valley Public Radio

Cal Fire officials appear to be gaining the upper hand on the Courtney Fire that destroyed over 30 homes near Bass Lake in the mountains of Madera County. The blaze has burned over 300 acres and is now 90 percent contained. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports.

Hundreds of people remain in evacuation after the Courtney Fire tore through houses and buildings.

As fire crews continue to make progress, some residents are returning to their homes. But there are others who never left.

Read more
Environment
11:47 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Can't Afford To Dig A New Well? You'll Have To Hire This Guy

Eugene Keeney delivers water all across Central California. He says the calls came in extra early this year.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio.

With fires raging in the region and no sign that the drought will ease up, farmers and even homeowners are on the hunt for water. The initial answer is to dig a new well. But wells are expensive. In this piece FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports on a solution that many Valley homeowners rely on.

Eugene Keeney hooks his 2,500 gallon water truck to a fire hydrant on the northern edge of Clovis. 

Read more
Business & Economy
5:41 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

California Economist: No Surprise Tesla Chose Nevada

In a big blow to California, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval says Tesla Motor Company will build a car battery plant in the Silver State. Sandoval says it will be the world’s biggest and most advanced of its kind.
Credit Tesla Motors

In a big blow to California, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval says Tesla Motor Company will build a car battery plant in the Silver State.  Sandoval says it will be the world’s biggest and most advanced of its kind. 

California was one of five states vying for the plant that is estimated to build enough batteries to power a half-million vehicles by the year 2020.

Stephen Levy  with the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy says he wasn’t surprised the electric car company chose Nevada over the Golden State.

Read more
Environment
5:49 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

California's Cap and Trade System Could Help Ease Central Valley Pollution

The Central Valley could benefit from these funds since many counties ranked among the worst in the CalEnviroScreen 2.0 report.
Credit The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

California’s cap and trade program could help clean up pollution in the Central Valley. FM89’s Diana Aguilera explains the early stages of the effort.

A few months ago the state came out with a report ranking the most polluted places in California. Many Fresno County neighborhoods ranked among the worst.  

Now the California Environmental Protection Agency is hoping to use that data to clean up these areas through the state’s cap and trade system.

Read more
Health
5:35 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Local Health Officials Worried: Whooping Cough Epidemic Strikes California

The last time California reached a whooping cough epidemic was in 2010. Health officials say it peaks every three to five years.

For the first time in four years, whooping cough has reached an epidemic level. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports how this peak has local health officials worried.

California health officials have recently confirmed that cases of pertussis also known as whooping cough have reached epidemic proportions in the state.

The Department of Public Health reported more than 3,400 cases so far this year. That’s a thousand more cases than all of last year.

Read more
Environment
5:33 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Shirley Fire Threatens Homes, Prompts Evacuation

The Shirley Fire sparked Friday in the Sequoia National Forest, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate.
Credit Incident Information System

  Update: As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, the blaze is 90 percent contained and has charred 2,646 acres. All evacuations have been lifted.

A rapidly moving wildfire in the Sequoia National Forest has already engulfed 2,200 acres and is threatening 1,000 homes near the Kern County community of Lake Isabella. KVPR’s Diana Aguilera reports.

Pushed by strong winds, the Shirley Fire has already destroyed homes and is burning in steep, rugged terrain about 40 miles northeast of Bakersfield.

Read more
Valley Edition
12:30 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Instagram Art Show Highlights KVPR's #droughtvoices

A view of the Friant Kern Canal heading towards the town of Orange Cove, California.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

Guests in interview above: Don Martin of Metro Galleries and KVPR Reporter and Producer Ezra David Romero. 

Over the past few months Valley Public Radio Reporter Ezra David Romero has covered California's historic drought.

He's written stories, snapped photos and launched an Instagram reporting collaborative with youth reporters, farmers and other social media users called "Voices of the Drought" using the hashtag #droughtvoices. 

Read more
Government & Politics
1:36 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Senate Waits On Health Care Bill For Undocumented Immigrants

“In my view, expanding health care for all Californians is not a question of if, but a matter of when,” said State Sen. Ricardo Lara.
Credit Creative Commons licensed from Flickr user Glenngould / http://www.flickr.com/photos/for_tea_too/1957375742/

A bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to enroll in Medi-Cal is on hold for now.

Senate Bill 1005, known as the Health for All Act, was put on hold in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Friday giving advocates time come up with funding solutions.

State Sen. Ricardo Lara introduced the bill in February.

Besides expanding services to the undocumented, Lara’s bill would create a health insurance marketplace. This would allow undocumented people who earn too much to qualify for Medi-Cal the chance to buy private coverage with the help from the state.

Read more
Environment
5:55 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Innovation Needed To Crack Central California's Monterey Shale

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The much talked about oil boom to come out of Central California is on hold, unless new technology finds a way to safely crack the Monterey Shale that could hold over 13 billion barrels of oil.

Read more
Health
5:46 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Mosquitoes Have Fresno County Health Officials On High Alert

This invasive type of mosquito was first detected in California and Fresno County last summer.
Credit Fresno County Department of Public Health

Two different types of mosquitoes – one that carries West Nile Virus and another that can spread dengue and yellow fever have Fresno County health officials on high alert.

The county says a crow reported earlier this month tested positive for West Nile Virus. Officials have also detected the presence of another invasive mosquito species that can spread potentially serious tropical diseases. In severe cases, the more serious symptoms stemming from these diseases can lead to death.

David Luchini is the assistant director for the county’s Department of Public Health.

Read more
Government & Politics
4:23 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

New Bill Would Allow Undocumented Immigrants Medical, Professional Licenses

State Sen. Ricardo Lara says the bill would ensure that more Californians have an effective means of economic mobility and self-sufficiency.
Credit Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

With immigration reform efforts seemingly stalled in Washington D.C., the California legislature is continuing to take its own steps to address the undocumented immigrants who call the state home. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports on one new bill that would help a variety of undocumented professionals.

In order to practice medicine doctors have to provide a social security number to obtain a license from the state. This process automatically excludes undocumented immigrants from applying.

Read more
Community
7:00 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Kentucky Derby Favorite California Chrome Owes Success To Valley Roots

California Chrome as a yearling.
Harris Farms

It’s every horse owners' dreams. A fairy tale come true.

A modest and agile colt with four white feet and a giant white blaze on his chestnut face born in the San Joaquin Valley is now the favorite in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

Just a month ago at the Santa Anita Derby, California Chrome dominated the field.

That win in Southern California is just the latest chapter in a remarkable story that has its roots in Fresno County. David McGlothlin, gave me a tour of where it all began, at the Harris Farms in western Fresno County.

Read more
Environment
9:54 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Voices Of The Drought: Rushing To Measure The Snowpack

Christine Bohrman is a hydrographer for Pacific Gas and Electric.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

Traditionally the April 1 snow survey marks the peak of the year’s snowpack, but with a string of early spring storms surveyors are rushing to measure the pack with just days to get their measurements in. Valley Public Radio reporter Ezra David Romero helped in the effort as a snow surveyor on a recent trip.

---

At 6,000 feet Christine Bohrman, our pilot and I hop out of a helicopter into a snow laden meadow below Courtright Reservoir in the Sierra National Forest.

Read more
Environment
4:13 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Voices Of The Drought | Blog #droughtvoices

“When House Speaker John Boehner visited Bakersfield to call for drought relief with Valley GOP leaders we met in what felt like the most arid field on earth. Well-dressed reporters littered a recently plowed cotton field adjacent to a giant canal."
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

In this occasional series the Valley Public Radio news team explores the impacts of the drought through the voices and sounds of Central California. 

We invite listeners and viewers to engage in the series by leaving comments on stories and by sharing Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts using the hashtag #droughtvoices.

Posts and photos using the hashtag may appear on the Voices of the Drought Tumblr page alongside stories the news team produces.

Read more
Business & Economy
5:37 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Fresno At The Top Of The Pack For Solar Energy

Fresno County alone has 5,553 solar unit installs since 1999.
Credit http://openpv.nrel.gov/visualization/index.php

It’s no secret that solar energy is a trend, but did you know that the Fresno metropolitan area is ranked first in the top 10 metro areas for solar power in the US?

The organization One Block Off the Grid – the Priceline of solar installations – was on a mission to find out which parts of the US use the most solar energy. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory held their answer through their database the Open PV Project.

Read more
Environment
7:20 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

"Praying For Rain" At The 2014 World Ag Expo

Devon Burnias, left, is a second generation farmer south of Tulare, Calif.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

It’s a rather dry year here at the 47th annual World Ag Expo in Tulare. Water or the lack of it is on everyone’s mind.

Even though the official slogan of the expo is “Agriculture: Feeding Tomorrow’s World,” Charles Sarabian, an engineer with Preferred Pump and Equipment in Fresno, says the real theme of the show is how to conserve what little water is left.

“I think it’s what’s on everybody’s minds and it’s what makes agriculture grow without water there is no agriculture," Sarabian says. 

Read more
Valley Edition
12:04 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Valley Edition Feb 11: Drought From Three Perspectives; Fresno's Fulton Mall; 2014 World Ag Expo

More than 70 countries will be represented at the 2014 World Ag Expo
Credit World Ag Exp Live Camera / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we discuss the drought in California from three perspectives: the Naval Air Station in Lemoore, farmworkers and the mayor of a city with little to no water allocation this year.

Also, Valley Edition Host Joe Moore talks about the future of Fresno’s Fulton Mall with both those who are in support of a drivable mall and those who want to keep it intact. It’s also the kickoff of the 2014 World Ag Expo.

Read more
Environment
5:23 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Rain Might Fall But It Won't Fill The Valley's Deficit

Credit US National Weather Service Hanford California

California’s drought is causing big concerns for residents and farmers up and down the state. But while a storm is expected to bring some precipitation to the area Thursday, FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports the valley’s rainfall deficit is actually worse than the season totals indicate.  

---

According to independent meteorologist Steve Johnson, more moisture has evaporated from the ground than has actually fallen from the sky this rainy season.

Read more
Government & Politics
11:38 am
Fri November 8, 2013

With Donnelly's Entry, 2014 Governor's Race Begins to Take Shape

Asm. Tim Donnelly's (R-Twin Peaks) campaign RV, parked in front of the State Capitol Thursday in Sacramento.
Ben Adler Capital Public Radio

A tea party California Assemblyman has become the first Republican to officially enter the 2014 governor’s race.  Democratic incumbent Jerry Brown is widely considered the frontrunner, assuming he decides to run for a record fourth term.  But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the race to face Brown in California’s new “top two” primary system is wide open.

Read more
Government & Politics
4:21 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Valadao Calls On GOP Leadership To Address Immigration Reform

Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford)

Congressman David Valadao (R-Hanford) has renewed his call for the House to take up the issue of comprehensive immigration reform this year. He made his comments this week speaking on Valley Public Radio's Valley Edition.

The Hanford Republican says that the House GOP leadership should bring the bill, HR 15 up for debate. The measure would address a variety of immigration issues, including border security, a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for those currently in the country illegally. 

Read more

Pages