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Fresno

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. 

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

A major scandal rocked the auto industry two years ago when it was discovered that the car company Volkswagen had been systematically cheating on diesel emissions tests. That scandal might soon turn into a big boon for electric cars in the Central Valley.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Police officers across the country and in the Central Valley have been under increasing scrutiny and pressure for how they deal with civilians in the field. At the same time, some departments are acknowledging that their role is morphing into one that is just as concerned with identifying and helping people who might be suffering from a mental illness as it is enforcing the law. Fresno’s Police Chief Jerry Dyer says he is making changes within his force in an attempt to separate committed criminals from people who need a softer form of help.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Fresno Police say they have made a significant arrest of a number of high-level Bulldog gang members. More than a dozen suspected gang members were arrested in an early Friday morning raids.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer says the arrests stem from a month’s long multi-agency investigation that included roughly 300 local, state and federal law enforcement agents.

Police have been using a wiretap to monitor the gang for months leading up to the arrests.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Immigration advocates in the Central Valley are joining protests against the decision by the Trump Administration to phase out DACA. About three dozen people rallied in Fresno on Tuesday, promising to fight.

Xavier Vasquez was 13 years old when he came to the U.S. illegally. Now, at 27 he is a college graduate and has just filed to renew his DACA status for the third time.

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, allows Vasquez to legally work in the county and be spared from deportation.

http://www.garrybredefeld.com/

The first eight months of Garry Bredefeld's return to Fresno City Hall have been eventful. Some of his proposals, like adding a display of the nation's motto "In God We Trust" to the city council chambers, and a ban on marijuana dispensaries have either become law, or are on their way to doing so. Others, like his plan to allow city employees with concealed weapon permits to carry their guns while on the job, have met with opposition from either his colleagues on the council or Fresno Mayor Lee Brand.

Office of Rep. David Valadao

Two Valley congressmen are among a group of 6 Republicans asking President Donald Trump to maintain deportation protections for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

The president is considering ending the Obama-era program called DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. That allows eligible immigrants to avoid deportation and legally work in the country if they apply with the Federal Government.

GVWire

Longtime Fresno Bee reporter, columnist and editor Bill McEwen has a new job as news director for GVWire.com, a news website run by Fresno-based housing developer Granville Homes. After 37 years in the local news business, McEwen joined us on Valley Edition to talk about his role in this new venture, plus his thoughts on editorial independence, and how GVWire will cover news stories involving the Granville company.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Downtown Fresno’s 116-year old ‘Helm Home’ has been a landmark for generations because of its distinctive shape. The mission revival-style home, sometimes called the Alamo House was once at risk of being condemned, but today it’s been impeccably restored to its former glory with high ceilings and flawless wooden floors.

Violin On Fire

Fresno rock violinist Patrick Contreras is known for his creative use of the violin and mixing it with other genres. His latest project mixes the sound of violin with mariachi, rock, soul and hip-hop. It's called El Violin.

Contreras calls this sound Chicano violin music.  He's opened for artists like BB King, Al Jarreau, Stanley Clarke and others. He's been featured on a World Star Hip Hop 3 times as Talent Of The Week and has well over a Million Views on his YouTube Channel.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition our team reports on the doctor shortage in the region, a unique Fresno library for toy lending and a look in to the latest Fresno County Crop Report. We are also joined by Bill McEwen with GVWire, the groups newest news director. Ending the program we hear from violinist Patrick Contreras about his new project "El Violin."

FUSD website

The interim Superintendent of the Fresno Unified School district says they are developing a comprehensive plan to respond to the needs of LGBT students.

Interim Superintendent Bob Nelson says he is working on a plan that will include specially trained staff to help LGBT students navigate the world and graduate from school.

Nelson says concerns from some in the community about the treatment of those students, including those as young as 11 years old, pushed him to take steps to make sure they are included and safe at school.

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