Fresno

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Farmers in the western part of the San Joaquin valley will receive 5% of their water allocation from the Central Valley Project. That's the word from the federal Bureau of Reclamation.

If it’s an April fool’s joke, farmers, water managers and Fresno County leaders aren’t laughing.

After two years of zero percent allocation, the Bureau announced that this year, despite El Nino conditions, many growers on the valley’s west side, will only get five percent of their promised water.

Farmer Sal Parra says the announcement is a gut punch.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Autopsy results have been released in the case of a Fresno law enforcement activist who died earlier this year, shortly after posting online that he feared for his life.

John Lang’s body was found barricaded in a burning house on Van Ness Avenue in late January.

His body also had stab wounds.

Today, the Fresno County Coroner officially ruled his death a suicide, saying that the stab wounds were self-inflicted, and that the actual cause of death was smoke inhalation.

Ezra David Romero

There’s been an arrest  in the beating of an elderly Sikh man in Fresno. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports on the case which is being called a hate crime.

With help from the FBI and home surveillance footage, Fresno Police arrested 22-year-old Daniel Wilson Jr. and a 17-year-old Tuesday  in a hit-and-run case from December. Police Chief Jerry Dyer says the two first beat 68-year-old Amrik Singh Bal and then later ran him over with a car in Northwest Fresno.

COURTESY OF ANDRE YANG

A Fresno poet has won one of the nation’s most sought-after book awards. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

The Academy of American Poets has selected thirty-four year old Hmong-American Mai Der Vang as the winner of this year’s prestigious Walt Whitman Award. Each year the honor goes to an emerging writer to make possible the publication of their first book.

Vang says she was shocked by the news.

Courtesy of Good Company Players

It's always an exciting time for theatre in the San Joaquin Valley, but there's recently been some developments on that front in terms of new productions. Fresno Bee arts reporter and theatre critic Donald Munro joined Valley Edition Tuesday March 22 to discuss upcoming shows including a Broadway production coming to Fresno. 

Productions:

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A Fresno police sergeant has filed a lawsuit against the city, saying he was the subject of discrimination because he is Hispanic. In court documents, Sergeant Paul Cervantes claims that he has been demoted, targeted for workplace harassment, investigation and criminal prosecution because of his race. 

Howard Watkins - used with permission

Over 50 years after he helped his led a grassroots effort to save the old Fresno County Courthouse from the wrecking ball Doug Vagim remains a self-described government watchdog. The former Fresno County Supervisor now wants to become the City of Fresno's next mayor.

Courtesy Fresno Police Department

Dr. William Dominic was riding his bicycle home from work in late February when a car struck him and drove off. Dominic was severely injured and as of Wednesday was still being treated in the hospital.

The FBI says that the student who carried out a knife attack on the UC Merced campus in November was, in fact, a ‘self-radicalized’ Muslim. 

According to the FBI, 18-year old Faisal Mohammad had visited websites associated with the self-described Islamic State and viewed other extremist propaganda in the weeks leading up to the attack.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin is flatly rejecting the concept of city-sanctioned homeless encampments. 

The mayor is responding to that suggestion from a candidate seeking to replace her.

Earlier this week on Valley Public Radio, Fresno County Supervisor and mayoral candidate Henry Perea suggested that if elected, he would be open to the concept of city-sanctioned homeless encampments.

Yellowfeather Noriega / http://survivingfresno.blogspot.com/

Fresno mayoral candidate and current Fresno County Supervisor Henry R. Perea supports the idea of city sanctioned encampments for Fresno’s homeless population. 

Speaking on Valley Public Radio’s Valley Edition, Perea says city and county officials have been making progress in getting many homeless people into housing. But he adds the problem of people living on the streets has become more visible since the city closed down several illegal downtown encampments in 2013. Perea says legalized encampments should be an option. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Most valley residents didn’t know the name Bill Patnaude. But it’s likely that many if not most, have experienced his work. From the shimmering stainless steel of Fresno’s City Hall to the massive concrete forms of the Fresno State Madden Library and the university's student union, his works stand out as iconic buildings on the valley landscape. His legacy is in the minds of many who knew him, as he passed away last Friday at the age of 78.

The Dolores Huerta Foundation

Immigration advocates are starting a new outreach effort in Kern County to enroll undocumented children in Medi-Cal. This is the first year undocumented kids can enroll in the government-sponsored insurance program.

City of Fresno

Most people in Fresno known Lee Brand as the city council's resident policy guru. The rental property developer and manager has authored or co-authored over a dozen pieces of legislation during his seven year tenure at city hall, covering everything from negotiations with labor unions to city financial safeguards. 

Now Brand hopes to shift gears, from legislator to chief executive of California's fifth largest city. Brand says he's up for the challenge, both on both the policy and leadership sides of the job. 

https://twitter.com/NWSHanford

This past weekend’s El Nino caused storms brought needed rain to the region and as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports enough fell in the Valley to mark a milestone in California's drought. 

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