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Fresno

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Cities across the country are vying for the chance to be the site of Amazon’s second headquarters. Fresno officials sent in their pitch today.

Most cities flirting with Amazon are highlighting tax incentives and existing amenities like international airports. But mayor Lee Brand says Fresno’s offer may seem counterintuitive.

“Fresno is not offering any tax incentives to Amazon,” Brand says.

When he died in a tragic bicycle crash in 2015, Ed Lund left a void in both the city's art and cycling communities. Ed was a gifted artist, worked with students at Fresno State and was a passionate cyclist. He died while competing in a road rally in Sonoma organized by cycling great Levi Leipheimer, the GranFondo. Now Ed's friends and family are organizing a rally of their own in Ed's memory.

For 53 years downtown Fresno's main street was a car-free zone. But after a year and a half of construction, the six-block long Fulton Mall has been removed, and replaced by Fulton Street. Backers hope the project will kick off a wave of investment and revitalization in the area. But critics abound, with some saying it won't work, and others saying it will displace existing businesses and residents, and will set off a wave of gentrification. Others still say despite the new streetscape, nothing really will change.

http://www.garrybredefeld.com/

A Fresno City Councilmember is apologizing for remarks he made two weeks ago that some community members have interpreted as racially insensitive. Councilmember Garry Bredefeld found himself in hot water after wading into the controversy over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

A crew of Central Valley ‘Hot Shots’, the highly trained California firefighters who take on the most dangerous tasks, are in Puerto Rico to help that island nation recover from Hurricane Maria.

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much in common between a California wildfire and the massive hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico. Fire destroys a vast swash of land in flame and hurricanes do their damage with wind and water. But look a little closer at the aftermath and the hot shots say the two disasters have more in common than one might suspect.

Fresno Fair Website

A big change is coming to the Big Fresno Fair.

Starting this year, unaccompanied minors will not be allowed into the fair after 7 o’clock on Friday and Saturday nights.

Stacy Rianda with the fair says the change of rules is in reaction to occasional violence that has broken out at the fair in recent years.

Heather David / Cal Mod Books

Sixty years ago, taking a road trip in California was a lot different than it is today. In the days before superhighways, Airbnb and navigation software, a family vacation likely included a stop at a roadside motel. Hundreds of these "mom and pop" establishments popped up along the highway in places like Fresno and Bakersfield, offering a clean room, a swimming pool, and maybe even something exotic, like a faux-Polynesian tiki-themed cocktail lounge. Flashing neon signs and space-age architecture were designed to catch the eye from a moving car and bring in new customers 

Jeanine Evans

Law enforcement in Las Vegas, Nevada are putting together the pieces of what lead to the most deadly mass shooting in modern American history. But already, the impacts are being felt here in the Central Valley.

A number of other Central Valley residents also attended the concert, which is an annual event.

Janine Evans went to the festival for the first time with her sister and her friends, who go every year.

Saint Agnes Medical Center

Amidst a shortage of physicians in the San Joaquin Valley, local opportunities for graduate medical training are expanding.

For the first time in its 88-year history, Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno is becoming a teaching hospital with the launch of an internal medicine residency program in July 2018. It will accept 16 residents the first year and grow to 40 after three years.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

An annual fundraiser this weekend for the Fresno County Republican Party is attracting national attention. Controversial former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is slated to speak at the party’s so-called First and Second Amendment celebration.

The event was initially billed as a Second Amendment celebration.

But Fresno County Republican Party Chairman Fred Vanderhoof says with recent unrest on college campuses, hearing from the firebrand sheriff has become an important defense of free speech. Arpaio is known for his strident views on immigration enforcement.

Fresno Housing Authority

The City of Fresno is getting a closer look at the projects hoping to get a slice of $70 million in cap-and-trade money that the state has set aside for the area. A meeting Wednesday meeting is one of the final steps before the city submits its plans to the state. 

The potential projects seeking funding are wide-ranging, from a 15-story apartment building on Fulton Street to electric car chargers, and a new park in Chinatown. All of the proposed developments are either in downtown, Chinatown or Southwest Fresno. 

Estavan Moreno

Passengers on an Allegiant Airlines plane had to exit onto the Tarmac at the Fresno Yosemite Airport today after the cabin of their plane filled with smoke.

Flight AAY514 landed shortly after noon today on one of Allegiant’s daily runs from Vegas to Fresno.

Shortly after landing the plane ran into problems.

Passenger Estevan Moreno took videos showing smoke filling the cabin.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

For about the past year, two San Joaquin valley school districts have allowed some parents and staff members to carry a concealed firearm on campus if they have a concealed carry weapons permit and seek the permission of the district superintendent.

However, under a new bill on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk, that authority could soon be revoked.

The California Legislature has approved Assembly Bill 424, which would strip that authority from superintendents in all but a few narrow circumstances.

The highway plays an important part in the mystique of the American West. From the so-called "Mother Road" of Route 66 that wound from Chicago to LA, to the picturesque beauty of the California coast along Highway 1, our highways are more than just transportation infrastructure, they are a part of our culture. That’s certainly the case here in the middle of the state, where a ribbon of concrete and asphalt has stitched together towns big and small for decades – Highway 99.

FPU

Fresno Pacific University has a new leader, Dr. Joseph Jones. The private, non-profit Christian university has been a fixture in southeast Fresno for over 60 years, also operates campuses in Merced, Visalia and Bakersfield. An ordained minister with a Ph.D in criminology, Jones brings a uniquely community-focused vision to the Mennonite Brethren affiliated campus. He joined us on Valley Edition to talk about his vision for the university, and issues ranging from campus diversity to peacemaking and racial reconciliation in the community and nationally. 

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