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News about government and politics

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

  U.S Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited the World Ag Expo in Tulare on Tuesday. In a town hall meeting, Perdue told a room of farmers and industry leaders that he wants the Trump administration’s rollback of regulations to extend to agriculture.

 

“We’re trying to look at every regulation that may impede your productivity and that’s what we’re gonna talk about today,” said Perdue. “I want to hear from you very candidly.”

 

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Last week we brought you an investigative story about a secretive building in downtown Fresno that’s being used to process individuals coming into custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. There’s no sign on the building, its address is not listed on the agency’s website, and immigration attorneys are concerned about the detainees’ access to due process.

CA High-Speed Rail Authority / Office of Asm. Jim Patterson

For the first time since 2012, the state legislature is giving the California High-Speed Rail Authority a thorough audit. This comes just weeks after the agency’s top consultant revealed that the project’s Central Valley section is now nearly $3 billion over budget due to delays and additional design expenses. The audit comes at the request of Assemblymember Jim Patterson. The Fresno Republican has been one of the rail authority’s staunchest critics for years. Now he's asking state leaders to consider a “Plan B” for the ambitious but troubled project.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio News

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra met with local officials from across the San Joaquin Valley in Fresno today.

After addressing DACA and criminal justice reform, Becerra said that over the weekend he plans to meet with employers, like growers, to discuss what to expect from federal immigration authorities now that California is officially a sanctuary state.

"I want to make sure employers understand what their rights are but also what their responsibilities are toward their employees," he said.

www.ice.gov

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is responding today to Valley Public Radio’s reporting about the agency’s presence and practices at a facility in downtown Fresno.

In that report, we described an unmarked, under-the-radar Fresno facility that processes and detains individuals coming into ICE custody. We also reported that ICE had not responded to multiple opportunities to comment on the story before it was published.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A Kern County Superior Court Judge has issued a ruling in favor of a Bakersfield bakery owner in a LGBT civil rights lawsuit. Judge David Lampe sided with Cathy Miller, owner of Tastries Bakery, who refused to sell a cake to a lesbian couple. Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio filed a complaint with the state, which in turn brought legal action against Miller for violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act. It's a state law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, as well as sexual orientation.

 

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Update Tuesday 2/13:

Kern DA: Serna Shooting Was Justified

Feb 2, 2018

Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green has determined that Bakersfield Police officer Reagan Selman acted reasonably when he shot and killed 73 year-old Francisco Serna in December 2016. Serna was unarmed, and suffering from dementia. Police later discovered the item he was holding in his pocket was a crucifix.

 

Google Maps

The City of Fresno has reached a tentative agreement with an outside group that could result in a new park on city-owned property in southeast Fresno. FM89’s Joe Moore reports the partnership could resolve an issue that has concerned city officials and residents for over a decade.

Nunes for Congress

Tulare Republican Congressman Devin Nunes may be one of the most unlikely national political figures of the past year. The chair of the House Intelligence Committee was already in the news for his role in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Now with his controversial classified memo about alleged wrongdoing by FBI officials in a FISA warrant for Trump aide Carter Page, Nunes is back in the headlines. Is it a real scandal, as House Republicans have claimed?

The race for Madera County District Attorney is likely to be one of the more interesting local contests in 2018. It pits incumbent DA David Linn against challenger and current Fresno County prosecutor Sally Moreno. The race took on a new tone in late 2017 after allegations surfaced that Linn had made racist and sexist remarks on the job.

VA Expands Programs To Target Suicide

Jan 29, 2018

The Veterans Health Administration has tried a number of ideas to drive down the suicide rate among veterans.

The VA is about to start automatically enrolling most new veterans in mental health care, starting in March. People who work with veterans say the program, mandated by an executive order from the White House, is a great idea, but they worry about the impact on an already strained system.

City of Fresno - WRT

The City of Fresno has adopted a new parks master plan. On Thursday, the city council unanimously approved the document, which took over a year to develop. It’s the first time in decades the city has come up with a comprehensive plan for its parks infrastructure. The city says it needs 1,100 acres of new green space in the city, much of it south of Shaw Avenue.

Laura Tsutsui / KVPR

Back in September, President Trump announced that the Obama-era DACA program would end in six months. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals gave many immigrants who came to the U.S. as children the opportunity to pursue higher education and work in America. Congress is struggling to agree on a replacement, and DACA recipients have little to fall back.

 

One such DACA recipient is Antonio Jauregui.

 

Women's March Makes Its Way To Conservative Kern County

Jan 23, 2018
Christina Lopez / Vall

Millions around the country and world made their voices heard this weekend during the second annual Women’s March. Homemade signs for women’s rights, equality for all, and support for immigrants were raised in Bakersfield -- an unlikely scene in the heart of conversative Kern County, which voted majority Republican during the 2016 election. FM89’s Christina Lopez attended the first annual Women’s March in Kern County this past Saturday, exactly one year since President Trump was sworn into office, and shares this report.

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