Government & Politics

News about government and politics

Change Of Destination Expected For High Speed Rail

Feb 18, 2016
California High Speed Rail Authority

A big change appears to be in the works for California’s high speed rail project. Valley Public Radio’s Jeffrey Hess has more.

The original plan was to connect cities in the Central Valley to Burbank in Southern California with the first functional stretch of track. Now according to multiple media reports, the High-Speed Rail Authority appears ready to run the first trains from Bakersfield to San Jose.

The rail authority is expected to release a report tomorrow detailing the need for the change.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The Central Valley is often considered as the epicenter of poverty in California. But one Fresno-based nonprofit thinks they have found a way to lift more families off the bottom of the economic ladder. The name of the program is the Fresno Bridge Academy.

Beningo Garza, who goes by Bennie, knows exactly what he wants in life.

“Because I want my own home. I want a big home for my wife and kids. I want a boat. I want things,” Garza said.

But recently the 36-year old came to a realization.  

“And you can’t get that one welfare.”

Legal Challenge Could Freeze Billions In Funds For California's Bullet Train

Feb 11, 2016
California High Speed Rail Authority

The future of California's high speed rail project may now rest with a Sacramento judge. Oral Arguments wrapped up Thursday in a case that says the project has strayed from what voters approved in 2008.

Stuart Flashman is the attorney representing Central Valley landowners who oppose the project. He wants the judge to stop high-speed rail in its tracks.

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Last month National Park Service officials made headlines when they announced their plan to remove the historic names from many of Yosemite National Park's treasured amenities, like the Ahwahnee Hotel and Curry Village, it sparked a public outcry.

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.

Fresno County

Fresno County has released a controversial report into the 2009 death of Seth Ireland. The 10 year-old died after he was severely beaten by his mother's boyfriend. County social workers had investigated complaints regarding the family at least four times in the year before the boy's death. 

The report was an internal review of actions by the county's Department of Children and Family Services. It details how individual social workers evaluated the case, including some instances where they didn't follow protocol, or act swiftly enough. 

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).

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.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The city of Bakersfield is searching for ways to tighten its fiscal belt thanks in part to lower oil prices. Over the past twelve months, city sales tax revenue has been nearly 5 percent below budget expectations. That’s left the city council considering mid-year budget adjustments, seeking to trim $1.4 million  from this year’s books.

California Gov. Jerry Brown Calls For Fiscal Discipline In State Of The State Address

Jan 21, 2016
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

In his record 14th State of the State address, California Gov. Jerry Brown urged continued fiscal restraint and warned of a pending economic slowdown that could stunt the state’s recovery from the Great Recession.

In his speech at the state Capitol Thursday morning, the four-term governor called for preparation for a slowdown, increasing the state’s voter-approved Rainy Day Fund and continuing to pay down debts.

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