Community

Community
5:34 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Eight Things That Have Changed Since the Last Time Fresno State Had A New President

Incoming Fresno State President Joseph Castro
Credit Fresno State

A lot has happened in Central California since the last time Fresno State had a new president. On Tuesday, the California State University Board of Trustees  selected Hanford native Joseph Castro as the eighth president of Fresno State. He will replace the soon-to-retire John Welty, who has led the university since August of 1991. We thought we'd take a look back at how much Fresno has changed over the past 22 years.

1) The city grew. A lot.

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Community
11:34 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Tamejavi Event To Celebrate Valley's Diverse Cultures

'No Longer Strangers,' the Tamejavi Culture and Arts Series Grand Finale, will take place May 18 at the Tower Theater in Fresno.
Credit www.Tamejavi.org

The first Tamejavi Fellowship Cultural Organizing Program will present ‘No Longer Strangers,’ the grand finale of the Tamejavi Culture and Arts Series, at the Tower Theater in Fresno on Saturday (May 18) at 6 p.m. Myrna Martinez, with the American Friends Service Committee, and fellow Pov Xyooj, join Valley Edition to discuss the event.

Martinez says the presentation will be a multimedia event, featuring traditional musical instruments, dancing, and spoken word performances. She says the event will combine and elevate the stories of the Valley’s diverse immigrant communities.

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Community
4:12 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

'Maker' Re-Creates Victorian Era Downtown Fresno With Cardboard

The centerpiece of John Rupe's cardboard city is the old Fresno County Courthouse, which was demolished in 1966.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

John Rupe doesn't have a time machine. But he does have laminated cardboard, glue and thin sheets of copper - just enough to take a trip back in time to a Fresno that hasn't existed for over nearly a century. That year is 1900. 

Rupe has always loved Downtown Fresno. 

"I explored," Rupe said. "I was in Hotel Fresno in the 80's and it was vacant back then... I was in the Sun-Maid Raisin plant before it was demolished and the Republican Newspaper building, which has been demolished too."

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Community
5:44 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Fresno Runner Recounts Experience at Boston Marathon

Brad Castillo, right, was less than half a mile from the Boston Marathon finish line when the bombs exploded. He's pictured with his brother-in-law and fellow runner, Phillip Gonzalez.
Brad Castillo

For 17 years, Fresno resident Brad Castillo had strived to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

On Monday, he was less than half a mile away from the finish line – or, at his pace, about four minutes away from realizing his dream – when the mass of runners stopped. At that point, Castillo didn’t know there had been two explosions at the finish line.

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Valley History
2:12 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

How Jackie Robinson Almost Became A Fresno State Bulldog

Baseball great Jackie Robinson was recruited by Fresno State in 1939.
Credit http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/robinson/ / Library of Congress - public domain

Before he broke baseball's color barrier in 1947 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson nearly wound up as multi-sport star for the Fresno State Bulldogs.

In a move that would likely run afoul of today's NCAA recruiting regulations, the school offered the star a number of incentives in an attempt to lure Robinson to the campus, including a new set of tires for his aging 1931 Plymouth.

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Community
3:37 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Young Couple Calls For 'No More Slumlords'

Sergio and Ashley Cortes are starting a multimedia organization called 'No More Slumlords.'
Rebecca Plevin Valley Public Radio

Sergio and Ashley Cortes knock on a door in a run-down apartment building near downtown Fresno.

Sergio Cortes greets the young woman that cautiously cracks open the door. Ashley Cortes stands behind her husband, clasping a clipboard, ready to take notes.

“We’re basically doing canvassing of apartment complexes owned by JD Homes, and we want to talk to the tenants to see if they have any problems with JD Homes, like any stuff that’s not being fixed, anything that’s broken,” Sergio Cortes says.

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Military
9:51 am
Tue March 5, 2013

California National Guard Troops Preparing for Deployment to Afghanistan

Fifty California Guard troops and fifty from Nevada and Washington will take up medevac operations as part of Operation Enduring Freedom
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The California Army National Guard is deploying about 50 soldiers as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.  

About a hundred medics, pilots and mechanics from California, Nevada, and Washington are flying out today. This is the third such deployment for Sylvester Wilson. He’s from Rancho Cordova, near Sacramento.

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Community
9:07 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Coalinga 'Deportee' Plane Crash Sparks Search, 65 Years Later

Carlos Rascon, director of cemeteries for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno walks past the grave of the 28 'deportees'
Rebecca Plevin Valley Public Radio

Author Tim Z. Hernandez was digging through old newspapers at the Fresno County library when a dramatic headline from the late 1940s captured his attention.

“I stumbled upon this headline that said, ‘100 people see a ship plunge to the earth’ or something like that. It was just really a captivating headline. I instantly realized after reading it that it had to be tied into Woody Guthrie’s song, says Hernandez. 

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Community
12:55 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

CartHop: Fresno's Moveable Feast

Dusty Buns, owned by Dustin and Kristen Stewart, serves fresh local fare with a twist at CartHop and their restaurant on North Van Ness Boulevard and East Weldon Avenue in Fresno.
Credit Ezra Romero / Valley Public Radio

The food truck, once known for dreaded boring prepackaged sandwiches or carne asada tacos, has taken a turn for the better. The trucks have gone gourmet.

They no longer do boring. In fact, many food trucks across the nation have created infusions of local produce with a unique and somewhat international flare.

The evolution of the roach coach hit Fresno in 2012 in the form of what locals call CartHop. The traveling band of six local gourmet food vendors meet in three locations for lunch across Fresno and plan to open the door even wider to foodies in 2013.

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Community
5:53 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Fresno to Explore Possibility of Downtown 'Public Market' in Former Gottschalks Building

The vacant, city owned portion of the former Gottschalks department store building in downtown Fresno could become the home of a new public market.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

A national expert on public markets toured Fresno today to explore the potential of creating a year-round indoor market for the valley’s agricultural and prepared food products. 

The bottom two floors of a downtown parking garage, once home to the Gottschalks department store, could become the home of a new indoor public market for produce, baked goods and other food items, according to officials with the city of Fresno.

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Community
3:42 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

New Report Gives A Snapshot of California

California has the ninth largest economy in the world, its workers are staying unemployed longer and home prices are rising. These are a few of the tidbits in a new report by the state’s non-partisan Legislative Analyst.  

The Legislative Analyst gives us California in a snapshot.  The state’s economy is number nine, right between Italy and Russia.  

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Local Authors
11:03 am
Tue December 4, 2012

New Memoir By Bakersfield's Doug Davis Recalls Turbulent Desegregation Battle

Most people know Bakersfield's Doug Davis as one of the San Joaquin Valley's top jazz musicians and educators. And while he's written music ranging from jazz to classical, his latest project takes him away from the keyboard of his grand piano, and instead to a keyboard of a different sort. 

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Transportation
7:04 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Caltrans Picks Preferred Route For Centennial Corridor Freeway in Bakersfield

A map from Caltrans depicting three options for the Centennial Corridor route
Caltrans

Plans to connect Bakersfield's Westside Parkway across Highway 99 to Highway 58 are becoming clearer today, as Caltrans has selected what it calls a "preferred alternative" for the proposed Centennial Corridor freeway.

The alignment, known as "Option B" would travel west from the current Highway 58 interchange across Highway 99 though the West Park neighborhood. The freeway's path would then turn northwest, crossing both Stockdale Highway and Truxtun, in order to connect with the Westside Parkway near Mohawk Street.

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Downtown Revitalization
12:38 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

New Ice Rink Brings People to Downtown Fresno

Fresno teens Christina Gurrero and Teo Martinez cautiously navigate the ice
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

Downtown Fresno's Fulton Mall has a different look this season, as a new outdoor ice rink is earning rave reviews from residents of all ages. Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore has this report. 

Just a few days before downtown Fresno's newest winter attraction was set to open, Christy Gordon didn't think it would happen. 

"You know on Wednesday it was just so hot. Just walking to the office which is right by here, I thought, 'I don't know how they're going to pull that off.'"

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Crime
12:42 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Fresno Workplace Shooting Leaves Three Dead

Three people are dead following a shooting at the Valley Protein Plant in Central Fresno, including the alleged shooter.

The shooting took place at around 8:30 a.m. at the meat processing plant located near Blackstone and Hedges Avenues. The facility is also known as Apple Valley Farms.

The shooter, 42 year old Lawrence Jones, died of what is being described as a self inflicted gunshot wound. 

Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin issued the following statement on the shooting:

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Disaster Response
1:25 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Californians Helping East Coast Recover from Sandy

Hundreds of California first responders and utility crews are on the East Coast helping in the recovery efforts after Superstorm Sandy. 

More than four million people on the east coast are still without power. But utility crews from PG&E, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric are helping in the restoration efforts. Tim Bedford is Incident Commander with PG&E. He and 162 workers are helping restore power in Flushing New York. Bedford says it may take longer than the original two weeks they anticipated.

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Downtown Fresno
4:41 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

In Fresno, Downtown Planning Effort Faces Fiscal Crunch

An artist's rendering of a revitalized Fulton Mall outside the Kern Street entrance to
Moule & Polyzoides, Architects and Urbanists

The City of Fresno's effort to draft a vision for a revitalized downtown hit a roadblock on Tuesday, after the Fresno City Council rejected a proposal to allocate an additional $70,000 to the project on a 4-3 vote. 

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Earthquake
12:19 am
Sun October 21, 2012

Earthquake Strikes Central California, 5.3 Magnitude

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck central California late Saturday night, according to the U.S. Geologic Survey. The quake, which was felt in Fresno and throughout the Central Valley struck at 11:55 p.m. and was centered 30 miles northwest of Coalinga.  Info from the USGS:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/nc71863625#summary

2:39 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Hazing Suspected In Death of Fresno State Student

Lead in text: 
The Los Angeles Times reports that a Fresno police investigation into the alcohol related death of 18-year-old Fresno State student Philip Dhanens is focusing on allegations of hazing. The Times reports that members of the Theta Chi fraternity, who held the party at which Dhanens reportedly consumed alcohol, are not cooperating with the investigation.
Fresno police are conducting a hazing investigation after leaders of a Fresno State fraternity where a freshman drank himself to death told 15 pledges they couldn't leave a room until they finished multiple bottles of liquor, the Fresno Bee reported, citing a court document.
Community
3:43 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Missing Yosemite Park Employee Found Alive Near Wawona

Jessica Rose Garcia
Courtesy Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park officials announced today that missing 23-year-old park employee Jessica Garcia has been found alive. 

Search and rescue crews located the missing employee on Tuesday in a rugged area around two miles from the South Fork Drainage of the Merced River.

Garcia was reported missing after she failed to show up to work on Sunday. She was last seen near Wawona on Saturday. 

From the official press release:

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