Central Valley

News
1:26 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Drought Causing Increase In Bad Air In Valley

Credit Flickr-TPMartins

  California’s prolonged drought is causing a sharp rise in air pollution in the Central Valley. That’s according to an annual report on air quality in California.

While smog and Ozone continue to improve in the Valley, the four year long drought is pushing up dangerous particulate matter pollution rates.

The dry weather is causing loose soil which is kicked into the air says Heather Heinks with the Valley Air District.

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Health
3:32 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Fresno County Approves Temporary Health Care Program For Undocumented

Advocates and community members celebrate Tuesday's board of supervisor's decision.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Health advocates are celebrating today as Fresno County Board of Supervisors approved a temporary health care program for undocumented residents.

The board voted 3-2 to implement a short-term program to provide limited specialty care for unauthorized immigrants.  

Activist Sandra Celedon-Castro is with Building Healthy Communities.

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Immigration
5:07 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Feds Transfer Immigrants To New Detention Center In Bakersfield

The detention center, a former prison, will house up to 300 men and 100 women who are awaiting their final outcome of their immigration proceedings.
Credit Google Map

The Central Valley is now home to a new detention center for immigrants facing deportation. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports.  

Federal officials have already moved around 60 people into the new center in Bakersfield since its doors opened two weeks ago.

Virginia Kice, a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says the Mesa Verde Detention Facility will house up to 400 people.

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My Valley, My Story
10:27 am
Wed March 25, 2015

My Valley, My Story: What It's Like To Get Sick In London, California

FM89's series My Valley, My Story features first person stories from people throughout the San Joaquin Valley. This week KVPR's Diana Aguilera visits London, an unincorporated town in rural  Tulare County with a population of nearly 2,000 people, to find out what it’s like to get sick when the nearest hospital is about 30 minutes away. 

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Health
5:58 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Fresno Advocates Urge Supervisors To Take Action, Provide Health Care For Undocumented

Health advocates rallied in downtown Fresno urging the board of supervisors to take action in an effort to provide access to specialty care for unauthorized immigrants.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

It’s been over three months since undocumented residents in Fresno County lost access to a program that provided specialty health care. As FM89’s Diana Aguilera explains, local health advocates rallied Tuesday to support its return.

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors was expected to vote on an agreement with a local company that would have restored at least some access to specialty care for undocumented residents. Instead the board postponed the discussion.

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Education
5:43 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

UC Regents To Vote On UC Merced Downtown Expansion

UC Merced has created the 2020 project in an effort to respond to the demand of its current and future students.
Credit University of California, Merced

UC Merced is running out of space to keep up with growing enrollment.  Now, the university is asking the UC Board of Regents to expand campus offices to downtown Merced. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports.

The regents will vote Wednesday whether to approve $1.3 million dollars for construction of a campus administrative center in downtown Merced. 

Daniel Feitelberg, vice chancellor of planning and budget at UC Merced, says bringing offices to the downtown area is vital not only for the university but also for the city.

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Health
1:42 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Valley Children's Hospital Opens Clinic In Bakersfield

The new outpatient clinic in Bakersfield is offering six pediatric specialties.
Credit Zara Arboledo / Valley Children's Hospital

Valley Children’s Hospital has opened an outpatient clinic in Bakersfield in an effort to help ease the growing demand for pediatric specialists in Kern County.

The clinic on 34th street opened its doors Monday. 

“We’re able to start seeing patients that would of normally had to travel to Madera a little bit closer to home in Bakersfield,” says Kari Boscacci, the director of Ambulatory Operations.

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Business & Economy
3:38 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

World AG Expo Brings Big Money To The Region

World Ag Expo 2015
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

As the world’s largest agricultural trade show comes to an end today in Tulare County, FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports on how the farm show boosts the local economy.  

The World Ag Expo in Tulare isn’t only about the latest in farm technology. It’s also about bringing outside dollars into the Valley.

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Immigration
1:45 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Obama's Immigration Program To Start, New "Dreamers" Eligible To Apply

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will began accepting applications for the extended version of DACA on Feb. 18, 2015.
Credit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Next week applications will start rolling in from the first wave of immigrants seeking temporary deportation relief under President Barack Obama’s executive order. Despite strong opposition from Republicans in Congress, Obama’s immigration plan aims to shield up to five million unauthorized immigrants from deportation out of the estimated 11 million living in the United States.  

As soon as Feb. 18, newly eligible immigrants will begin applying for relief under the extended version of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

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Government & Politics
3:04 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

New Bill Would Train Doctors, Boost Planned UC Merced Med School

AB 174 would provide resources to fund a two-year planning effort to establish a medical school at UC Merced.
Credit University of California, Merced

With physicians in short supply throughout the Central Valley, two legislators are hoping to recruit more doctors and start the process of creating a medical school in the region.

Assembly Bill 174 would put $1.85 million into a partnership between UC Merced, UC Davis and UCSF- Fresno. Assembly Member Adam Gray, D-Merced, recently proposed the bill, which was co-authored by Senator Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres.

Gray says if the bill becomes law, it would expand enrollment in UC Merced’s medical school partnership bringing future doctors to the Central Valley.

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Health
3:04 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

With Covered California Deadline Approaching, Officials Urge Enrollment To Avoid Penalty

Covered California executive director Peter Lee urges Fresno residents to sign up during the second open enrollment period.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

With the second enrollment period of Covered California coming to an end, state officials are making their last rounds encouraging more residents to sign up and avoid a tax penalty.

There’s about 275,000 Californians who have recently signed up for a health insurance plan through Covered California. But now people have less than two weeks to enroll as the February  15 open enrollment deadline approaches. Those who miss the date, could face a tax penalty.

Executive Director Peter Lee made a stop in Fresno Wednesday afternoon at an insurance exchange office.

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Health
5:50 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Merced Pediatrician Arrested, Placed On Leave

Merced Police Department (file photo)
Credit Merced Police Department

A Golden Valley Health Centers pediatrician was taken into custody for allegedly placing a camera inside a patient restroom at the health centers’ clinic in Merced.

Officers arrested Dr. Carlos Teran Tuesday morning at the 847 Childs Avenue clinic. The investigation was sparked after a woman found a camera inside a flower pot in the unisex bathroom Friday afternoon, Lt. Tom Trinidad says. After collecting statements from staff, Teran was taken into custody.

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Health
5:26 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Community Medical Centers To Expand Pediatric Partnership With UCSF

Community Medical Centers, which owns and operates CRMC, announced Monday its plan to expand pediatric specialty care and residency program.
Credit Community Regional Medical Center

The ongoing battle over pediatric services between two Central Valley hospitals reached another level Monday. 

Community Medical Centers and UCSF plan to strengthen their partnership in the valley by expanding pediatric specialty care and a pediatric medical education program at CMC’s downtown Fresno hospital.

The center’s announcement came weeks after rival Valley Children’s Hospital revealed a plan to build its own pediatric residency and fellowship programs, after working with UCSF for years.

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Health
5:45 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

California Tests Inmates For Valley Fever

Valley Fever is an infection caused by the fungus Coccidioides which is common in the soil in the Central Valley.
Credit Craig Kohlruss / The Fresno Bee

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is spending more than $5 million dollars to test around 90,000 inmates for the potentially deadly illness. The goal is to reduce number of infections, and determine who can be housed at both Avenal and Pleasant Valley Prisons.

The results from the newly available skin test will reveal who is at a higher risk of catching Valley Fever and who is not. Those found to be in high-risk groups will not be transferred to the two prisons.

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Community
6:12 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

46,200 Immigrants Apply For Driver Licenses In First Three Days Of New Law

The DMV predicts about 1.4 million undocumented immigrants to apply for driver licenses under AB 60.
Credit CA Department of Motor Vehicles

Thousands of California immigrants are taking advantage of the state’s new driver license law. According to new numbers released today, 46,200 undocumented immigrants have applied for driver licenses during the first three days since the law took effect on Friday.

The Department of Motor Vehicles revealed the following statistics:

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Government & Politics
11:39 am
Tue December 23, 2014

With New Driver License Law, Indigenous Groups May Be Left Behind

The Binational Center for the Development of Oaxacan Indigenous Communities offers driver's education workshops specifically for those who speak Mixtec.
Credit BCDOIC

Starting in 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles expects about 1.5 million undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver license. For many, this will be their first time legally driving in the state.

Immigration advocates applaud this change but also say there's a big concern. Some are worried they will fail the behind the wheel test since it won't be offered in the native languages many immigrants speak.

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Health
4:46 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Valley Children's Returning To Old Name, Creating Health Network

Children's Hospital Central California is switching its name back to Valley Children's Hospital, and creating a new network of pediatric care.
Credit Valley Children's Hospital

Children's Hospital Central California announced three big changes they say will improve quality of care for children in the Central Valley.

First, Children's Hospital Central California is returning to its old name Valley Children's Hospital, which it hasn't officially used since 2002.

Second, the hospital revealed its own new health network that will provide a full spectrum of pediatric services for kids in the region.

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Community
11:56 am
Thu December 4, 2014

LGBT Center In Merced Told To Take Down Rainbow Flag

The rainbow flag hangs in the front office of the LGBT community center in Merced after workers were asked to remove it from the flagpole by the building's owner.
Credit Marissa Chavez / Merced's LGBT Community Center

Workers at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in Merced say they had to take down a rainbow flag from a flagpole earlier this week after the owner of the building asked them to do so.

The LGBT center had flown the rainbow flag since it opened on August 31.  But staff members say they recently received a letter from the building’s owner, and took down the flag.

Chris Jervis is the president of Gay Central Valley, which operates the Merced LGBT center.

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Government & Politics
5:56 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Valley Residents Look Forward To New Immigration Policy

Lucia Aldarete may be one of up to 5 million undocumented people who may benefit from President Obama's executive action.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Undocumented residents in the Central Valley are speaking out today after President Obama revealed his executive action on immigration Thursday. As FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports, reactions to the president’s announcement are mixed.

For nearly 24 years, Lucia Aldarete says she has been living with the fear that one day she will be deported back to Mexico. The Fresno resident says she couldn’t imagine what life would be like without her three children, who were born in the United States.

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Health
12:51 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Covered California Hopes To Enroll More Latinos, But There's A Problem

Covered California executive director Peter Lee urges Fresno residents to sign up during the second open enrollment period, which started Saturday and runs through February 15.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

With the second open enrollment period of Covered California in full swing, state officials are boosting their efforts to reach out to Latinos. Yet, there are many people in the Central Valley who are living in the shadows when it comes to enrolling for health care.

Covered California officials say they're proud to have signed up 1.2 million people for health insurance during the first year. But Executive Director Peter Lee says there’s still some things they want to improve.

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