Fresno

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office is making progress filling a backlog of vacant correctional officer positions at the county jail.

The office is expected to give a mid-year update to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday including their need to fill 39 open jobs. That's down from 66 openings just three months ago.

But Sheriff's spokesman Tony Botti says that number is only going to grow over time.

How much privacy would you be willing to hand over to a police department in exchange for a promise of increased safety? Some say the Fresno Police Department is testing the very limits of that question with their Real Time Crime Center. Technology can help, but does it also have its limits?

There is a scene in the popular Batman movie The Dark Knight where Batman turns every cell phone in Gotham into one super surveillance network to help him hunt the Joker. His right-hand man Lucius explains the system this way:

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The water is safe to drink.

That’s the message from the City of Fresno after residents in the northeast part of town reported discolored water. The issue came to the city’s attention with social media.

Public Works Director Tommy Esqueda said Thursday the city extensively tested the water in the lines and at five of the homes and found that the problem is not in the public water delivery system.

Valley Children’s Hospital has regained its level two trauma designation.

The designation means critically injured children can be taken right from the site of their accident to the hospital. Previously they would be sent to Fresno’s Community Regional Medical Center or to Modesto.

Children’s gave up its designation 10 years ago due to an inability to maintain the services needed for 24-hour trauma care.

Children’s CEO Todd Suntrapak says that is no longer the case.

While election day may still seem far away for many Californians, the residents of the 31st Assembly District don't have to wait until June to vote. Instead they'll be asked to select a candidate in April to fill the seat left vacant after Henry T. Perea resigned last year. That's in addition to the regularly schedule primary in June and general election in November for the seat. Four candidates are vying for the spot, including front runners Clint Olivier , (a Republican) and Joaquin Arambula (a Democrat).

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Small could be the new big, at least when it comes to houses. The so-called "Tiny House Movement" has taken off in the last year with numerous shows and even a popular Netflix documentary about living in homes of just a few hundred square feet. For one local company, tiny homes are huge business.

At a time when many potential homeowners are going big, a small but growing number of people are downsizing into homes that are smaller than your average garage.

That is where Nick Mosley and his father Pat come in.

Henry R. Perea - Facebook

There’s a new candidate in the race to become Fresno’s next mayor. FM89’s Joe Moore reports Henry R. Perea’s announcement that he plans to run could shake up the race to lead the 5th largest city in the state.

After years of rumors, Perea made it official Friday, announcing his candidacy to replace the termed out Ashley Swearengin. Perea has served on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors since 2004, and before that he was a member of the Fresno City Council.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Thursday is the final day of annual count of the 2016 homeless people in Fresno. City leaders have extolled the progress in reducing the number homeless people while at the same time defending its method of counting the homeless population.

Last year’s count showed a dramatic decline in Fresno’s homeless population.

Advocates criticized the report because it followed the city breaking up homeless encampments and therefore they claim it did not count a sizable portion of the population.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The Fresno Police Department is rolling back a controversial threat prediction program after public backlash. The department is no longer using a portion of a program called ‘Beware’ which issue color-coded threat assessments when responding to calls.

The Department came under fire after reports surfaced of them using a function in ‘Beware’ to scan the internet for information about a person and issue a green, yellow, or red warning label. It even labeled a city council member as yellow for unclear reasons.

Communities throughout the valley are rushing to ban medical marijuana. In part one of this two part series, Valley Public Radio introduced you to the people pushing or resisting the ban and how they have affected your community. In part two, we some of the people to find out how they are dodging the ban.

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