Government & Politics

News about government and politics

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.

Fresno Fire Department - Facebook video by Sooji Lee

The Fresno Fire Department has released its final report on last year’s accident where Captain Pete Dern fell through the roof of a burning garage, suffering critical burns on a large portion of his body. The incident was captured on video and made national headlines. 

Jeffrey Hess

After nearly two decades of legalized medical marijuana in California there is a sudden mad dash among valley communities to establish local regulations and bans. But do the bans actually drive growers and dispensaries out of business? Valley Public Radio takes a look.

In a small nondescript house in Merced, Darcy Louise Johnson looks over the dozens of marijuana plants growing in the garage.

 “They are healthy. They are green. You can see some of the leaves are shimmery from an oil I sprayed on them,” Johnson said showing off her plants.

Fresno Police Department

Fresno police say a local auto shop is connected with at least eight cases of identity theft. On Tuesday officers served a search warrant at Monkey Wrench Tire and Wheel on Clovis Avenue and found evidence of credit card fraud. Lorenzo Lopez Jr. has been charged with seven felony counts of identity theft in connection with the case. Police allege that Lopez used personal information of customers to establish credit and make fraudulent purchases. Police say others customers of the shop may also have been victims, and urge them to call police at 621-6320.

Fresno's Fulton Mall in downtown
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fewer bike racks and trash cans, the elimination of directional signage and fancy lighting are some of the things that city officials say have been cut from the project to tear up and rebuild downtown Fresno's Fulton Mall. 

Administration officials explained to the Fresno City Council Thursday what they had to eliminate in order to reduce the price of the project below a $20 million cap and avoid using general fund dollars

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. 

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