Peggy Lemaux, Biologist UC Berkeley

Two research sites in Central Valley have earned a $12.3-million dollar grant to study how the drought is triggering genetic changes in plants. The goal is to see how plants respond genetically to drought conditions and if more hardy plants can reveal the secrets of how they survive.

The scientists will work at the UC Kearney Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Parlier and the UC West Side Research and Extension Center in Five Points. The focus of the research is on Sorghum which, according to researcher Jeff Dahlberg, is particularly drought resistant.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

New data from researchers at UC Davis and Fresno State present a disturbing picture about disconnected youth in Central California. As many as 17 percent of valley teens are either not in school and don't have a job. That's more than double the statewide average of 8.2 percent. Left unaddressed, the disconnect could worsen the valley's poverty problem and contribute to other social ailments from crime to health issues. 

Rescue mission website

The Fresno Rescue Mission is zeroing in on a new location as high speed rail construction is set to demolish their existing building. The goal now, according to the mission’s head, is to keep operating during the move.

Mission CEO Reverend Larry Arce says there is actually an upside.

Because streets are being realigned Arce says space is opening up in the same area for them to construct a new building better suited to their needs.

Joe Moore/ Valley Public Radio

The Club One Casino in downtown Fresno has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy but the casino’s owner says this is not a sign of trouble.

In a Bankruptcy filing, the Club One Casino detailed more than $9-million in debt it owes to its top 20 creditors.

Chapter 11 allows a business to reorganize that debt.

Casino owner Kyle Kirkland says they have no intention of closing.

“We have been open 7300 days in a row. We are not going to close,” Kirkland said.


Bakersfield has become the first city in the nation to call for the extension of a federal solar panel tax credit.

The Bakersfield City Council voted 5-1 Wednesday night in favor of a resolution supporting extending the tax credit past its 2016 expiration date. The credit is officially called the Solar Investment Tax Credit and was established in 2005 to help jump start the solar panel industry.

City Council member Willie Rivera says the solar sector is still growing in Bakersfield, and ending the tax credit could take away an economic driver.

The recent Cyber Dust secret text messaging scandal at the Fresno Unified School District is exposing gaps in California’s public records law. The app allows users to send confidential text messages that are deleted as soon as they are read. Superintendent Michael Hanson has admitted he asked senior members of his staff to use the app for district business for a short time in 2014. Now open government advocates are asking a big question: Are we entering a new age of government officials using technology to hide from public scrutiny?

How Can Fresno End Poverty?

Oct 12, 2015
Yellowfeather Noriega /

In 1984, Dan Whitehurst, then-mayor of Fresno, California, appeared on Late Night With David Letterman to discuss a depressing distinction: his city had been ranked the least livable in America by Places Rated Almanac. During the discussion, Letterman asked if there’s even anything to like about Fresno. “It seldom gets over 120 [degrees],” Whitehurst said.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Two Central Valley Counties are among the first in the state to take an aggressive evidence based approach to California’s prison re-alignment. This is the first time the so-called Results First initiative has been used in California.

Kern and Fresno Counties are two of the four California counties to apply the Results First Initiative in their jails. website

Muslim students at Fresno State have been excused from classes today following concerns about nationwide anti-Muslim protests. The President of the college made the decision at the requests of students.

The Saudi Student Association at Fresno State went to the college President Joseph Castro late Thursday evening to say they were worried about protests that are rumored to occur around the nation today and tomorrow.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak visited Fresno Thursday night to talk technology at the opening of the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall Lecture Series.

Wozniak spoke to a packed crowd at the William Saroyan Theater, including more than 1,000 students, about the importance of science, engineering and technology in the modern economy.

Wozniak says despite disadvantages in the valley such as high poverty and unemployment, it is possible for young people here to replicate his success.