Fresno

Henry R. Perea - Facebook

Northeast Fresno's water problem - corroded residential pipes that have resulted in rusty water that in some cases contains lead - isn't just an issue for the residents involved, it's now the latest issue in the 2016 mayor's race. 

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Have you ever called your doctor or hospital seeking an appointment and been told the wait will be weeks or maybe months? You have been affected by the Central Valley’s doctor shortage.

Now more than one group is pushing a potential solution, locally sourced doctors from a new medical school.

Being in a waiting room at the doctor’s office isn’t the most pleasant place to be.

But waiting to get into that waiting room can be even worse.

That is what health care experts call a ‘doctor shortage’ and in the valley it’s bad.

John Chacon / CA Department of Water Resources

Widespread concern in northeast Fresno about rusty water that can contain elevated levels of lead is the latest issue in the Fresno mayor's race, while the city continues to maintain that its water is safe to drink.

Speaking in separate events within minutes of each other, mayoral candidates Lee Brand and Henry Perea exchanged comments today about the city's response to the problem, both past and present. 

Federal and local officials have signed an agreement that could bring the Temperance Flat Dam project one step closer to reality.

On a windswept hill overlooking Millerton Lake, local and federal officials signed an agreement to begin a feasibility study of the project.

The study is necessary to draw down money from the state’s water bond as well as federal matching dollars for the multi-billion-dollar dam.

Fresno mayoral candidate Lee Brand has earned the endorsement of one H Spees, of his former rivals in the June primary. Spees came in third place behind both Brand and Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea in the June 7th election.

Fresno mayoral candidate Lee Brand has earned the endorsement of one H Spees, of his former rivals in the June primary. Spees came in third place behind both Brand and Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea in the June 7th election.

Michael Conner

The water crisis in Flint Michigan has led a lot of people across the country to ask what’s in their water.  Residents of Northeast Fresno are growing increasingly frustrated with their own water problem that’s been a decade in the making, one that they say is threatening their health.

When you walk into Mari Rose’s modest northeast Fresno home, you are greeted several friendly cats and given a warning ‘don’t drink the tap water’.

“There it is. Like a yellow…looks like pee,” Rose says.

It has been one year since the Fresno Sheriff’s Office began allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents into the county jail to check for undocumented immigrants. Now, immigration advocates are calling for an end to the practice.

Rallying outside the county courthouse, a small group of advocates held signs reading “ICE out of Fresno”.

Luis Ojeda, who himself is living in the country without documentation, says the practice sows fear in the Hispanic community that leads to fewer people reporting crimes.

Ezra Romero/KVPR

Residents in a valley community with one of the highest concentrations of dry wells will soon be getting some relief.  For years, residents in East Porterville have watched their wells dry up in the drought forcing them to rely on water delivery and tanks.

Now, the state of California is offering to pay to hook up the tiny unincorporated community to the much larger city of Porterville.

Eric Lamoureux with the Office of Emergency Services says the state will make an initial $10 million dollar investment to begin hooking up the roughly 1,800 homes in East Porterville.

President Barack Obama and the first family visited Yosemite national park over the weekend to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

The Obamas took in the sights of the popular park as part of a two-day stay, including hiking to Glacier Point.

Obama himself gave a short speech in front of the Yosemite Falls saying preserving the national parks for future generations is a huge task.

 

New salary numbers are out today for top City of Fresno administrators. Last year the city’s highest paid employee was retiring pension fund manager Stanley McDivitt, who was paid  $345,000, including a $150,000 leave payout, nearly equal to his entire annual salary. Former Chief Information Officer Carolyn Hogg earned $279,000, including a $100,000 severance package.

The disclosures were released this week by city officials as required by Fresno's Transparency Act.

California High-Speed Rail Authority

Work is progressing on the high-speed rail project’s most visible landmark in downtown Fresno, the new Tuolumne Street Bridge. Workers today began lifting the first of 42 massive steel and concrete girders into place.

The beams are 149 feet long and each weighs 83 tons. They will one day carry vehicle traffic from both Highway 99 and downtown Fresno over the Union Pacific and high speed rail tracks. Officials with the California High-Speed Rail Authority say that construction on the bridge is ahead of schedule.

CMAC

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin delivered a message about long term changes in the city's direction Wednesday in what will be her last State of the City speech.

It was something of a victory lap for Swearengin who is nearing the end of her second and final term in office. Before a crowd at the Convention Center, she touted improvements over the last seven-and-a-half years in a number of areas, from the city’s financial health to Fresno’s shrinking homeless population. 

http://www.ncclf.org/new-grocer-in-central-fresno/

A new partnership between two California groups is making it a little bit easier for residents of one older Fresno neighborhood to get fresh healthy food. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports. 

For the first time in more than 15 years a new grocery store is set to open in an underserved Central Fresno neighborhood.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Fresno police say they have made an arrest in the case of a hit and run that seriously injured a prominent local doctor. It appears a police lapel video camera helped solve the case.

Dr. William Dominic was hit and badly injured while riding his bike back home from his job at Community Regional Medical Center in February.

The case went cold until a tip came in this week pointing toward 22-year old Brianna Sandoval, who had previously been stopped by a traffic cop for an unrelated reason in April.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For the first time in nearly a decade, Fresno is not one of the top ten cities in the nation for auto theft. 

The study released this month from the National Insurance Crime Bureau shows that at least when compared with other cities, Fresno is faring better when it comes to vehicle theft. As recently as 2011, Fresno led the nation in stolen cars. Last year it dropped to number nine, and this year all the way to 13.

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