merced

The Great Historic Fresno Scavenger Hunt

This week on Valley Edition we step into the doors of a Merced health clinic that serves the homeless. The City of Merced was hit hard by the economic crash and foreclosure crisis in the past decade. In an already poor and medically under-served region, the recession created a new group of homeless people who have very limited access to medical care. But one determined doctor, aided by Golden Valley Health Centers staff and student volunteers from UC Merced, is striving to ensure these people don’t fall through the cracks.

Rebecca Plevin / Valley Public Radio

Below a Highway 99 overpass, and sandwiched between the D Street homeless shelter and the railroad tracks, is an unlikely beacon of hope for Merced residents low on luck. It’s an RV that houses Golden Valley Health Center’s mobile health clinic for the homeless.

Nick Arellano, 55, has come to the mobile unit to see Dr. Salvador Sandoval, the homeless clinic’s doctor. Arellano has long hair and blue eyes that shine from his weathered face.

“How are you doing?” Sandoval asks.

California High Speed Rail Authority

The federal agency that oversees the nation's railroad system has officially approved plans for the first leg of California's controversial high speed rail system.

The Federal Railroad Administration's approval on Wednesday was a necessary step to allow construction to begin early next year on the Fresno to Merced component of the system. 

The approval by the FRA will allow the California High Speed Rail Authority to proceed with purchasing right-of-way from landowners for the system. 

Merced Democratic Congressman Dennis Cardoza announced his retirement today, effective Wednesday at midnight. Cardoza told the press that "sensitive family needs" prompted his resignation. Last October, he announced that he did not plan on seeking re-election.  His seat in California's 18th Congressional district includes Merced, as well as portions of Modesto,  Stockton, Madera and Fresno.

Lance Johnson / Licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr user LanceJohnson http://www.flickr.com/photos/lancejohnson/5703722259/

UC Merced may be less than a decade old, but the struggling economy and environmental concerns are already leading campus officials to explore the possibility of directing some of the university's future growth to off-campus locations. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The US Department of Justice announced this morning that it has reached an agreement with Merced County that will let election officials there avoid the process of having to clear many voting decisions with the federal government.

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