Fresno

Business & Economy
12:58 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Developer Plans Apartments, Retail in Downtown Fresno’s Former J.C. Penney Building

Shay Maghami said the first floor of the building will be used for commerical use.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

A diamond in the rough. That’s what Los Angeles developer Shay Maghame sees in the 90-year old former J.C. Penney building on downtown Fresno’s Fulton Mall.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin joined Maghame at a press conference today, announcing plans for apartments and retail in the long vacant building, which overlooks Chukchansi Park.

“We stand ready to make sure this is a good business experience for you,” Swearengin says. “We know we are on the right track and your investment proves it.”

Maghame calls the building “The Diamanti.”

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Environment
10:39 am
Tue August 13, 2013

How Will Global Warming Impact the San Joaquin Valley?

Rising global temperatures aren’t just an international concern, they’re also an important local issue, especially when it comes to public health. How will climate change affect everything from rates of asthma and valley fever to wildfires and natural disasters?

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Government & Politics
9:48 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Immigration Rights Advocates Begin March To Bakersfield

Dr. Gonzalo Santos, 63, has lived in the U.S. for over 30 years, but has only recently become a citizen.
http://www.pilgrimageforcitizenship.org/ PICO California

A group of marchers is en route from Sacramento to Bakersfield in an effort to garner support for immigration reform. The 21 day Pilgrimage for a Pathway to Citizenship began August 12 in Sacramento, and is expected to end September 2, after making stops in Merced, Fresno and other Valley cities.

Cal State Bakersfield Professor Dr. Gonzalo Santos is among the 11 marchers making the 285-mile trek. He says the nation’s immigration laws need revamping.

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Business & Economy
8:08 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Could Fresno Be A Stop on Elon Musk's Proposed Hyperloop?

An artist's rendering of Elon Musk's proposed "Hyperloop" transportation system
Elon Musk

It's an ambitious project that would connect San Francisco and Los Angeles with a high speed transportation system running through the San Joaquin Valley. But it's not California's planned high speed train system. Instead it's called the Hyperloop -  the latest concept from billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.

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Technology
10:56 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Google's 'Project Loon' Takes to the Skies Over Fresno

A Project Loon balloon floats over Fresno on July 26, 2013.
Credit Google / https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ProjectLoon/posts

Tech giant Google has turned to the skies above Fresno as the latest site for a test of an experimental balloon-based internet technology. 

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Education
6:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

FUSD's Michael Hanson Praises Waiver for 'No Child Left Behind' Act

Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Michael Hanson (file photo)
Credit FUSD

A day after the U.S. Department of Education gave eight of California's largest school districts a waiver from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson praised the decision, saying it will improve accountability and student performance, and "allows us to do work very differently." 

The districts, which include Sanger Unified and Fresno Unified, are all members of a coalition called the California Office to Reform Education or CORE.

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Government & Politics
5:37 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Fresno Fire Chief Resigns Following Domestic Violence Charges

Fresno Fire Chief Rob Brown resigned on Tuesday
Credit City of Fresno

Fresno City Manager Bruce Rudd announced the resignation of Fire Chief Rob Brown this afternoon.

Brown had been on paid administrative leave since mid June, after he was arrested and charged with felony domestic violence following an altercation at his north Fresno home.  

Deputy Fire Chief Kerri Donis will continue her duties as Interim Fire Chief. Brown had been on the job since April 2012.
 

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Education
4:25 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Fresno and Sanger School Districts Get 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver

Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson (file photo)
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Two Valley school districts – Fresno Unified and Sanger Unified – were granted a one-year waiver from requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act today by the U.S. Department of Education. The move will allow school officials to introduce their own plans for a new statewide curriculum and avoid costly penalties under the law.

The districts were among eight in California to receive the waiver, and are all members of a coalition called the California Office to Reform Education, or CORE.

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Community
12:00 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Fresno Nonprofit Aids Afghan Women, Infants with New Hospital

Physcians work with a newborn at Afshar Hospital's neonatal unit in Kabul.
AMOR - American Medical Overseas Relief

Right now in Afghanistan, infants who otherwise might die are getting a new chance at life at Ashfar Hospital in Kabul. The 24 bed neonatal department is the latest addition to the facility that first opened in 2009. It was constructed by a Fresno based non-profit organization called AMOR, which stands for American Medical Overseas Relief.  The NGO also runs the facility, which provides health care services for thousands of Afghans.

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Community
11:39 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Faith Based Group Calls For Cap On Fresno Payday Lenders

Josie De La Fuente successfully paid off a payday loan with assistance from a Fresno based financial literacy instiute at Fresno Pacific Seminary.
Ezra Romero Valley Public Radio

Josie De La Fuente and her 30-year-old son live in a small two bedroom apartment in Southeast Fresno.

Just over a year ago, she joined the ranks of the thousands who turn to short term high interest loans to make ends meet.

She says taking out payday loan ensnared her.

“Imagine me getting a payday loan,” De La Fuente says. “Paying a 300 dollar loan and with all the bills that I have. You know the car payment, the apartment the rent and all that stuff. It’s not gonna help me and I’m not gonna have any money left with all of that.”

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Arts & Culture
2:27 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

For Dan Pessano, 40 Years of Keeping 'Good Company' in Fresno

Dan Pessano is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his "Good Company Players" theater group this year. The company is also the subject of a new book by the Fresno Bee's Donald Munro.
Credit Good Company Players

For generations Fresno residents have laughed and cried with the actors of the Good Company Players. Now celebrating 40 years on the stage in Fresno’s Tower District, the community theater company, and its founder Dan Pessano, are the subject of a new e-book from Fresno Bee features writer Donald Munro – called “The Company We Keep” – it’s available for download on the 

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Music
8:27 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Fresno's Karen Marguth Brings Jazz Stylings to International Audiences

Karen Marguth

It's not often that international jazz critics and festivals turn their attention to artists from Fresno. But Central California vocalist Karen Marguth is the exception to that rule. In 2010, veteran jazz critic Christopher Loudon called Marguth "one of the finest American jazz vocalists" in a JazzTimes article about the singer.

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Development Watch
6:07 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Olivier Pushes Law to Waive Fees for Infill Development in Fresno

Clint Olivier
Credit City of Fresno

Jump-starting infill development is the focus of a new city ordinance being advanced today by Fresno City Councilmember Clint Olivier.

His draft ordinance, called the Best Utilization of Infill Land Development Act, or BUILD, would eliminate some development fees for new residential  construction on small vacant lots within the city.

It would waive fees that go to pay for police, fire, traffic and parks services.  

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Government & Politics
5:22 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Fresno City Manager Mark Scott To Leave Job For Burbank

Credit City of Fresno

Fresno City Manager Mark Scott announced today he is leaving his job to take a similar position in the city of Burbank. Mayor Ashley Swearengin will promote current assistant city manager Bruce Rudd to replace him. The move is effective July 19th.

Scott spent the last three years on the job in Fresno, dealing with a number of issues ranging from budget deficits and hits to the city’s credit rating, to controversy over animal control and development lawsuits between the city and the counties Madera and Fresno. 

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Government & Politics
1:10 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Fresno Fire Chief Rob Brown Placed On Leave Following Domestic Violence Arrest

Fresno Fire Chief Rob Brown
Credit City of Fresno

Fresno Fire Department Chief Rob Brown was placed on administrative leave today by City Manager Mark Scott. The move comes hours after Brown was arrested by Fresno County sheriff's deputies after an alleged domestic violence incident at his Fresno home late Wednesday night. 

According to the Fresno County Sheriff's Department, Brown was arrested on charges of felony domestic violence and criminal threats. Jail logs indicate that Brown was released from the Fresno County Jail on bond early Thursday morning. 

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Government & Politics
5:44 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Measure G Defeated, Mayor Announces Budget, Layoff Plans

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fresno’s Measure G officially went down in defeat today. With around 600 votes left to count, updated numbers from the Fresno County Elections Office show that the controversial residential trash outsourcing measure now trails by of 801 votes.

The move is a defeat for Mayor Ashley Swearengin and ends her effort to sell off the service to a private contractor in order to generate additional money for the crash strapped city’s general fund.

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Government & Politics
11:15 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Analysis: With the Fate of Measure G Undecided, What's Next?

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Right now at a warehouse in Southeast Fresno, county elections workers are busy verifying signatures on the last handful of provisional ballots that will decide the fate of Measure G, the controversial residential trash outsourcing initiative. As of the most recent vote count released last Friday, the measure is currently failing by just 193 votes, with around 2700 ballots left to count.

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Valley Edition
2:18 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

On Valley Edition: Summer Scoop; Fresno State President; Fresno Bikes; Police Violence

This week on Valley Edition we talk to the new president of Fresno State, Joseph Castro; kickoff our summer-long series on ice cream traditions in the San Joaquin Valley with a look at small town scoops; question the future of Fresno's plan to become more bicycle friendly and talk about what's being done to prevent miscounduct by law enforcement.

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Community
5:34 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Eight Things That Have Changed Since the Last Time Fresno State Had A New President

Incoming Fresno State President Joseph Castro
Credit Fresno State

A lot has happened in Central California since the last time Fresno State had a new president. On Tuesday, the California State University Board of Trustees  selected Hanford native Joseph Castro as the eighth president of Fresno State. He will replace the soon-to-retire John Welty, who has led the university since August of 1991. We thought we'd take a look back at how much Fresno has changed over the past 22 years.

1) The city grew. A lot.

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