Kerry Klein / KVPR

Modern Medicine Saved These Kids’ Lives—Now It’s Failing Them As Adults

Becoming an adult is a challenging transition for anyone—but it can be especially hard for those with severe chronic diseases that, until recently, had been fatal. This is the story of one young adult undergoing some major life changes, and the doctors trying to pave a smoother path for people like her. Rachael Goldring is getting married in October. This bubbly 24-year-old health blogger already picked out the venue, the decorations, and the music—but what she’s really excited about is her...

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Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Fresno County Sends Back Millions In Unspent Funds Intended For Child Care

Finding enough money to pay for child care is a struggle for many Central Valley families. But last year despite the region’s high poverty rate, Fresno County returned $10 million in unspent money to the state that was earmarked for child care for low-income families. County officials say it’s not their fault the money went unspent, and blame state rules that exclude too many families and an income cap that hasn’t kept up with the times. Now, they are pushing for change, with a bill in the...

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Kerry Klein / KVPR

Hurexit? Proposal To Split Coalinga-Huron Unified Reaches State

When local school districts aren’t performing, parents typically turn to school boards or parent-teacher organizations to bring about change. But in one small Fresno County city, education advocates are thinking bigger, trying to enact a much bolder and more ambitious kind of transformation. It’s 8 a.m. in the city of Huron and the Chevron on Lassen Avenue is bumping. Between drivers filling their tanks, cashier Lydia Ramirez serves kids loading their backpacks with breakfast burritos, candy,...

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Environment

Many Of California's Salmon Populations Unlikely To Survive The Century

Wild Chinook salmon, probably the most prized seafood item on the West Coast, could all but vanish from California within a hundred years, according to a report released Tuesday. The authors, with the University of California, Davis, and the conservation group California Trout, name climate change, dams and agriculture as the major threats to the prized and iconic fish, which is still the core of the state's robust fishing industry. Chinook salmon are just one species at risk of disappearing....

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Agriculture

After Massive Bee Kill, Beekeepers Want Answers From Fresno County

The Beekeeper When Rafael Reynaga came to check on his bee colonies in a Fresno almond orchard, he found a carpet full of dead bees on the ground. Reynaga picked up a hive and found two inches of bees at the bottom. He says most were dead, but a few were still moving. Dead bees reek, Reynaga says, like a dead rat. He's been working with bees since the 1980s but he says he'd never experienced a bee kill firsthand until this February. He'd lent two hundred hives to his brother, fellow beekeeper...

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The Arts

Fresno Art Museum Celebrates Local Artists, Women With New Exhibits

The Fresno Art Museum often features works by acclaimed modern artists from around the world. But with a set of new exhibits opening this week , the museum is turning its attention to local artists. The museum's director Michele Ellis Pracy joins us on Valley Edition to talk about the exhibits by Nancy Youdelman, Leslie Batty and Maurice Cohen. Youdelman has long been an important feminist artist in the valley, inspired by the legacy of Judy Chicago during her tenure at Fresno State. Batty's...

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Water

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Oakhurst’s Water Is Radioactive, But Cleanup Is Right Around The Corner

In late April, we launched a series called “Contaminated” where our team explores communities in the region affected by water unsafe to drink. In our first story, we visited a Fresno County community that can’t afford to maintain the arsenic treatment plant the federal government funded 10 years ago. We continue today with a look at a Madera County mountain community where residents have been exposed to a different hazardous material in water for decades—but they could have clean water by the...

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Government

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

'In God We Trust' Debate Highlights Role Of Religion In Fresno Politics

Religion and politics are once again mixing at Fresno City Hall. One councilmember has put forward a plan to add the words ‘In God We Trust’ to the council chamber wall. The result of that vote could be the latest sign that the connection between politics and the city’s religious faithful is still strong. The Wilson Theater in downtown Fresno comes to life on Sundays when it transforms into the Christian Cornerstone Church, the home of Pastor Jim Franklin. The theme of the sermon this weekend...

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Education

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/29/strengthening-kern-county-one-degree-at-a-time/

Interview: Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian On "Kern Promise"

A new collaboration between the Kern High School District, Bakersfield College and CSUB aims to get students on a speedy pathway from high school to community college, and eventually a four-year college degree. It's called the "Kern Promise" but Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian calls it the key to revitalizing the community. She joined us on Valley Edition to talk about how the project works, and also how the campus is planning to spend money approved by voters last fall when...

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Fresno State / http://www.fresnostate.edu/president/investiture/images/castro-photos09.jpg

Fresno State's Castro Says Talk Of New Valley Medical School Should Include UC

Health Care

Clinica Sierra Vista

In Kern County, Expanded Mental Health Services On Hold Thanks To State Budget Concerns

The Affordable Care Act may be staying in place for now, but the long-term future of health care is still far from certain. And that uncertainty is already taking its toll on some health care programs--with ripple effects felt throughout the Valley. If you peruse the Airbnb listings outside Bakersfield, you may stumble upon Broken Shadow Hermitage—a 3-bedroom getaway in the Tehachapi Mountains. The owner, Rick Hobbs, says it’s a great place to meditate and commune with nature. “You can hear a...

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Saturdays at 10:00 AM; Wednesdays at 7:00 PM

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

That Sinking Feeling: Corcoran Fears Floods Thanks To Subsidence, Snowmelt

A new map released by NASA earlier this year shows that large portions of California are sinking. The worst of it is in the San Joaquin Valley. One of the main reasons is the over pumping of groundwater, especially in the last five years of drought. All that sinking and all the snow melting in the Sierra has Central Valley water managers like Dustin Fuller worried. He's managing an army of earth movers that are scraping top soil off farmland that surrounds the Corcoran State Prison in Kings...

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Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Watchdogs And Feds Say San Luis Reservoir At Risk If An Earthquake Strikes

Some of the same people who warned state leaders about the probability of Oroville Dam failing are now sounding the alarm at San Luis Reservoir in Merced County. It’s the first time since before the drought began that San Luis Reservoir in the hills west of Los Banos is nearly full at about 97 percent . Thousands of drivers wrap around the man-made lake daily and many stop at the Romero Overlook Visitors Center to stretch their legs. From the site there’s a view of the dam, rolling hills and...

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Community

ESY Kern

Edible Schoolyard Program Blooms In Kern County

There are a lot of efforts to bring health foods into school and the elementary school curriculum. One of the most interesting examples can be found in Bakersfield at Buena Vista Elementary School, home to something called an "edible schoolyard." A joint project of the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District and the Grimm Family Foundation, the Edible Schoolyard Kern program also has expanded to sites in Arvin and Shafter. Assistant Garden Teacher Dylan Wilson joined us on Valley Edition to...

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Now Playing

Be Public Live: June 1, 2017

The Valley’s Doctor Shortage: Impacts, Root Causes And Potential Solutions

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Outdoorsy 7: Rock Climbing And Rattlesnakes

Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to get outdoors. There are, of course, lots of fun things to do outside this time of year, but one sport is attracting locals specifically to rock faces everywhere. Today’s episode focuses on that activity, and especially on safety. We’re talking about rock climbing, which may sound intimidating, but when done right is actually very safe. In this episode we talk climbing basics, staying safe from one particular critter that could really ruin your...

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Valley Public Radio

Valley Edition: May 23 - Chronic Diseases; Laura Rosenthal On Rep. McCarthy; Outdoorsy

This week on Valley Edition our team reports stories on child care, chronic diseases and the Punjabi language. We also hear from Laura Rosenthal with CALmatters on President Donald Trump's relationship with Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Ending the program you'll hear our latest episode of Outdoorsy. This time we talk all about rock climbing.

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SPECIAL REPORT: The Valley's Opioid Epidemic

Kerry Klein / KVPR

Treat, Educate And Revive: The Valley’s Three-Pronged Approach To Opioid Overdose Prevention

Host intro: Last week, we brought you a story about the San Joaquin Valley’s opioid epidemic, which manifests in inordinately high rates of painkiller prescriptions and hundreds of overdose deaths every year. This week, we explore three strategies that health officials and advocates are using to take aim at the problem. FM89’s Kerry Klein begins at a safe space for drug users. For over 20 years, meth and heroin users from around Fresno County have relied on the Fresno needle exchange for free...

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Drone Racing Buzzes Into The Valley

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in March, Dennis Spear watches his 15-year-old son Matthew Spear pilot a tiny metal drone through a course at a park outside Fresno. “[They’re] like a swarm of angry bees, ” Spear says. Drones have exploded in popularity as the price of the tiny machines has fallen. More than 700-thousand drones were sold in the United States last year. These drones aren’t what you may have seen in the neighborhood or heard about on the news. They are smaller than a Frisbee and are...

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Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

NASA Launches Pilot Project To Measure Snowpack From The Sky

After five years of drought there’s so much snow in the Sierra Nevada that state water officials are preparing for a massive runoff year. But the traditional way of calculating the snowpack has a huge margin of error and as Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports a new way to measure it could greatly decrease that inconsistency. Every winter and spring a network of snow surveyors manually tally how much snow is in the Sierra Nevada. They do this by measuring snow depth in the same...

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Kerry Klein / KVPR

How Burning Man’s Trash Is One Kern County City’s Treasure

The city of Arvin, south of Bakersfield, is struggling to stay healthy. Nearly a quarter of its 20,000 residents fall below the poverty line, and surrounding Kern County has one of the highest diabetes burdens in the state. As part of an ongoing effort to get kids out of the house and active, an event last week connected Arvin middle-schoolers with free bicycles—but where the bicycles came from may surprise you. When Jorge Rocha heard the announcement at school that free bikes were available...

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