Government & Politics

News about government and politics

Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

City of Fresno officials are promising today they still plan to hold the owner of the Summerset Village apartments accountable for hundreds of code violations. The statement from City Manager Bruce Rudd comes just hours after the Fresno Bee reported that the city's code enforcement department has suspended $290,000 in fines against property owner Chris Henry. 

Fresno is now one of the first cities in the nation to allow residents to install so-called tiny houses on their property.

Tiny houses are a growing trend nationwide of extremely compact homes, usually just a couple hundred square feet, often built on mobile trailer beds.

However, most cities prohibit them unless they are built on a permanent foundation.

Under the city’s new development code, Mayor Ashley Swearengin says residents are now permitted to roll a tiny home onto their residential property.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The City of Fresno appears to have cleared a major legal hurdle in its effort to turn the Fulton Mall back into Fulton Street. FM89’s Joe Moore reports.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller ruled in favor of the city in a federal lawsuit brought by Fulton Mall supporters who want want stop the project. Muller also denied the Downtown Fresno Coalition’s request for an injunction on the project, which could clear the way for construction as soon as next month. 

Fresno Police Department

There is now a $10,000 reward for tips related to the New Year's Day murder of a Fresno convenience store clerk.

On Wednesday police released security camera video of the crime. It depicts the suspect, who they say is probably in his late teens, lurking outside the central Fresno store waiting for customers to leave.

When the store was empty the man lured Gurchuran Singh Gill toward him and stabbed him. The man tried to break into the cash register but failed and left with a few stolen items. 

Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

Governor Jerry Brown has set the dates for the special election to fill the vacant seat for 31st Assembly District. A special primary will be held in three months on April 5th. The top two candidates from that contest will advance to a special election on June 7th. That of course is also the date of regular June primary for all other races. 

Courtesy of Brett Lebin

Dozens of California cities and counties, including many in the Central Valley, are moving quickly to pass bans on medical marijuana growth and sale.

The bans are often modeled on existing rules in Fresno and Kern Counties that prohibit either the cultivation or sale of medical marijuana.

Brenda Linder, a lawyer who works with medical marijuana clients, says the reason for the rush is new state regulation that sets a March  deadline to adopt local rules or otherwise they will default to what the state dictates.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

  As 2015 comes to a close, Valley Edition asked two local journalists to help us take a look back at the top stories of the year. Evan Onstot of KSEE 24 and Robert Price of the Bakersfield Californian joined us to talk about the biggest news events of the past twelve months, with an eye towards stories to watch for 2016. Among the stories that stood out to our panelists:

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary investigation into last week’s deadly helicopter crash that killed four.

The SkyLife helicopter crashed last Thursday east of McFarland while transporting a patient from Porterville to Bakersfield.

The NTSB report does not add any new insight into why the helicopter went down but does confirm that it hit the ground in open, hilly terrain and that all major components were in the debris field.

KGOV / KGOV

California lawmakers gathered in Bakersfield today for a State Senate hearing on how to prevent pipeline “dig-in”accidents like the one in Kern County that killed an Earlimart man last month. FM89’s Joe Moore reports.

Fresn County Sheriff's Office

In light of last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino leaving 14 dead, local law is enforcement speaking out. 

The terror attack in Southern California shocked the state and has reignited the conversation about gun control.  Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims says she doesn’t think more restrictions on gun ownership will work.

MIMS: “Well, I don’t think it’s any secret where I stand when it comes to our second amendment.  I think we need more law abiding citizens out there with weapons to be able to protect themselves and other people.”

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