Fresno

Most counties and cities in California have seen their budgets recover from depths of the Great Recession. That’s not the case in Kern County though, which relies heavily on taxes from oil. That tension has put a popular public asset in the middle of a years-long fight over its future. In the end, 2017 could be a year a big change for the Kern County’s public libraries.

The list of issues facing libraries in Kern County is lengthy.

A lot has happened in Fresno in the last eight years under the leadership of mayor Ashley Swearengin, who leaves office next month. The city weathered a major economic storm, adopted a new general plan that attempts to rein in sprawl, removed the Fulton Mall, and started building major new water infrastructure. The city also added a police auditor, started construction on a bus rapid transit line and adopted a new development code.

Lucasfilm

There's a new Star Wars film out in theaters this month, Rogue One. While George Lucas sold the franchise to Disney for billions several years ago, the California native will forever be associated with the Star Wars brand.

Serna family

A group of residents in Kern County is calling for an external investigation of the most recent deadly police-involved shooting in Bakersfield.

Just before 1 am Monday, Bakersfield police responded to reports of a man with a gun hassling people.

They found 73-year old Francisco Serna walking near his home. According to police, an officer shot Serna because he was approaching them with his hands in his pockets and did not follow commands.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson is explaining in more detail why he has decided to end his tenure next year. A defiant Hanson says he is not caving to public pressure for his ouster.

Hanson has been superintendent for 12 years and during that time has helped solidify the district’s budget and improved educational results.

Fresno Police Department

The Fresno Police have determined that the fatal shooting of an unarmed 19-year-old Clovis man in June was justified. However police Chief Jerry Dyer says the shooting of Dylan Noble still raises

Noble was shot four times in a convenience store parking lot earlier this year after refusing to follow dozens of police commands to show his hands.

During a press conference Friday, Dyer told reporters that the department has determined that because Noble would not show his hands, officers were justified to use deadly force.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

After decades of complaints from residents, a vote this week by the Fresno City Council could signal what some think is a new direction for southwest Fresno. The city is considering a new specific plan that will guide the future of the 3,000 acre neighborhood west of Highway 99 and south of Highway 180. At its heart is a goal to remake the area, and reduce pollution by telling big industrial facilities to move elsewhere.   

When she was a little girl, Kimberly McCoy lived near some of the heavy industry that marks parts of southwest Fresno.

Armen Bacon / Fresno State

Author Armen Bacon joins Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore to talk about her new collection of essays, "My Name Is Armen Volume 2: Outside The Lines." Published by Fresno State, the new book finds Bacon telling stories about her life and the people she has met in Central California.

Heyday Books / Fresno State

Illustrator and author Doug Hansen's work is immediately familiar to many Fresno area residents. For years Hansen worked as a staff illustrator for the Fresno Bee, producing a popular series on local landmarks and places throughout Central California. Now an art professor at Fresno State, Hansen has taken his love of illustrating California scenes into a new field - children's books.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

We talk politics in a special post-election Valley Edition this week. Should the media and political establishment put so much emphasis on predictive polling? What does a Trump administration mean for the Central Valley, and for local GOP leaders like Kevin McCarthy and Devin Nunes? And what do local races and voter turnout tell us about future campaigns?

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The impact of a Donald Trump presidency on the Central Valley is still a great mystery. However, modern American presidents have broad powers that they can put into effect quickly. There are more than a few very specific actions Trump could take that would directly affect Central California.

Some of the bigger promises made by president-elect Trump will require the cooperation of the Republican-controlled Congress. Promises like a border wall, mass deportations, and repealing Obamacare will take some time.

coveredca.gov

November marks the start of Covered California’s insurance open enrollment. 2016 will be the fourth year that residents in the Central Valley can shop online for private, federally-subsidized health insurance.

Valley Public Radio spoke with Executive Director Peter about changes going on in the exchange that both people with insurance and the uninsured need to be aware of.

First, Lee says it all begins with knowing if you are eligible to sign up or change your current plan:

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The future of one of the most prominent public officials in Fresno could be on the line Tuesday, but his name won’t even be on the ballot. The results of a vote on a local school bond and the political leanings of two new Fresno Unified School Board Trustees could be a signal about how much local support there is for district superintendent Michael Hanson.

Voters in Fresno are casting ballots on a $225 million school bond called Measure X and on two new trustees to take a seat on the board.

Pianist Giuseppe Andaloro returns to Fresno this weekend for the third time with a concert for the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concert Series at Fresno State. The Scilian-born pianist rose to internationally acclaim after he won the 2004/2005 Busoni Competition. In Fresno he will perform a selection of pieces including works by Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Rachmaninov. He joined us to talk about his career and his upcoming concert, as well as the experience of playing Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto, with Vladimir Ashkenazy as conductor. 

As Election Day draws closer, the race between incumbent Republican David Valadao and Democratic challenger Emilio Huerta in California's 21st Congressional District is heating up. FM89's Joe Moore reports both sides have turned recently to negative TV ads in an effort to gain an edge.

If you were watching the World Series in Fresno or Bakersfield, or most any other TV program you probably heard an ad that sounded a lot like this…

PRO VALADAO AD: “This is a story of corruption, of how Emilio Huerta got rich hurting the poor.”

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