Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

It’s the end of an era in downtown Fresno.

After years of hard fought battles over the fate of the Fulton Mall, demolition is underway. Dozens turned out for an official ground breaking on a project to pull out the six-block pedestrian walking mall in downtown Fresno and turn it back into a street.

Music blared and Fresno Fuego fans banged drums to celebrate what many see as a new chapter in the history of downtown Fresno. The vision of supporters is to revive the downtown corridor by opening up the corridor to vehicle traffic.

StoryCorps Legacy

Regular listeners to NPR are familiar with the concept of the Segment StoryCorps. The organization records thousands of conversations between family members and loved ones each year. Through the group’s StoryCorps Legacy program, the organization works with hospice organizations across the country, including Hinds Hospice in Fresno. In this story Emily Stuart interviews her grandmother Dorothy Stuart about approaching the end of her life.

DOROTHY STUART: “I’m a colorful person. I used to have magenta hair before magenta hair was in.”

Jakara Movement

The first homicide of 2016 in Fresno was of a Punjabi man at a liquor store. A week earlier an elderly Sikh man was deliberately hit by a truck and then beat up by two men. Police consider the attack a hate crime and are offering a $12,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the two men suspected.

This week on Valley Edition we discuss the reasoning behind the hate crimes against the Sikh community and why criminals are confusing Sikhs and Muslims in their hate acts.  Listen to the discussion above. 


  Throughout  this fall we’ve been telling you about the community of West Fresno. This historically African American community is now one of the city’s most diverse community, with immigrants from across the globe. It’s also been traditionally overlooked by city planners, where many streets lack basic infrastructure like streetlights and sidewalks. The one thing the neighborhood doesn’t lack is heavy industry, much to the concern of neighbors.

City of Fresno

The City of Fresno has reached an agreement with two local school districts to keep a handful of campuses open on weekends for community recreation.

The deal which was announced Monday involves both the Fresno Unified and Central Unified school districts.

The agreement aims to open seven high school campuses by March, with an additional seven to open by May. The campus grounds will be open between 9am and 5pm on weekends.

Fresno Unified School Board President Luis Chavez says the effort is a partnership between the districts and the city. 

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

A few weeks ago we brought you a report about how rare maps are shedding new light on the history of racial discrimination in Fresno. In the 1930’s many neighborhoods with high minority populations were frozen out of government backed home loans by the federal government, in a practice called redlining. But that wasn’t the only government backed segregation that happened in the San Joaquin Valley. In fact, decades ago, in some prestigious Fresno neighborhoods being white was a requirement. FM89’s Diana Aguilera visits one of them with this special report. 

Residents at the Summerset Village in Fresno are finally getting some answers about fixes to their troubled apartment complex. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports on today’s announcement.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin says that apartment owner Chris Henry has hired Regency Property Management to make repairs to the complex. Up to 1,800 residents have been without hot water or natural gas for almost three weeks after gas leaks were discovered at the complex.

Zoyer Zyndel

FM89's series My Valley, My Story features first person accounts from the lives of people throughout the San Joaquin Valley. This week reporter Diana Aguilera brings us the story of transgender activist Zoyer Zyndel. He talks about the struggles he's faced and his hopes for the valley's LGBTQ community. 

"I was assigned female at birth but I live my life as male. and so my sex did not correspond with my gender. Gender is a function of the brain and I've always saw myself in my brain as a male."

Ezra Davd Romero

FM89's series My Valley, My Story features first person accounts from the lives of people throughout the San Joaquin Valley. In this piece FM89’s Ezra David Romero visits the tiny town of Fairmead near Chowchilla in Madera County and meets an elderly couple grappling with water issues at their rural home. 

“My name is Joanne De Freitas. Almost two years ago our well started collapsing.”

“We had Anderson pump come out and they were able to go down a little bit further, but our pump is at 287 feet and we can’t go any further than that.”

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

It’s been more than two weeks since residents at a Fresno apartment complex have been living without heat. FM89’s Diana Aguilera visits the site and learns how residents are coping with the cold temperatures.

Ever since November 13 Amelia Padre and her 22-year-old daughter have been living in a nightmare. No hot water, no heat, and no natural gas to cook with.