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Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

When Jennine Ochoa became pregnant at the end of 2017, she didn’t know what to expect. At 42, she’d waited longer than most women to start a family. But she said her first five months were easy. “I had no morning sickness, nothing,” she said. “It was completely uneventful until May.”

That’s when a dust storm rolled over her home in rural Tulare County in California’s arid San Joaquin Valley. “A week later I started coughing really bad,” she said. “The hardest I've ever coughed in my life, to the point where I was vomiting.” In just one week she said she lost 10 pounds.

Coming up next on Valley Edition: Overcoming valley fever can be tough enough, but what if you get it while you’re pregnant? It affects a small but concerning demographic. Also, arsenic is in our groundwater, and some studies say it could get more concentrated over time. Water experts from across the state are gathering in Fresno this week to discuss it. Earlier this year, Kern County was sued over its county supervisor districts. Will the same thing happen in Tulare County? We explore what redistricting could mean for Latino voters.

California Health Care Foundation

When it comes to addictive substances, opioids like heroin and fentanyl have in recent years been dominating headlines around the country. And rightly so: Nationally, the number of opioid overdose deaths more than quadrupled from 2000 to 2016. But as concerning and dangerous as opioids are, we shouldn’t forget about another addictive substance that’s long been known to disrupt lives: Alcohol.

Matt Black/Magnum Photos / Courtesy of The California Sunday Magazine

We’ve brought you stories about undocumented immigrants in the San Joaquin Valley before, and many of them are struggling with changing policies under the Trump administration.

John Chacon / California Department of Water Resources

In June of this year, the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Communications published a research article linking over-pumping of the San Joaquin Valley’s groundwater to rising concentrations of arsenic. The research caught the attention of water leaders from across the state, and on Thursday, October 11, many will be gathering at Fresno State for a symposium to discuss the problem of arsenic in groundwater and workshop solutions to it.

Tulare County

Currently, four out of the five Board of Supervisor districts in Tulare County have a majority Latino population. On the surface, it looks like Latinos should be well represented. But dig a little deeper and the story changes.   

“What you have in Tulare and in many other communities in the Central Valley are small farmworker communities where many of the residents are not U.S citizens and if they are U.S citizens they’re not necessarily registered to vote,” says Jesus Garcia, a local demographic consultant.

Author and Fresno State professor Steven Church has written several books, many of them as compilations of essays. His latest is called “I’m Just Getting to the Disturbing Part: On Work, Fear, and Fatherhood."

Celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas and the arrival of 2019 with a diverse collection of holiday special programming on FM89. From classical masterpieces to jazz, pop, and world music - as well as the spoken word - there's something for everyone. Happy holidays from Valley Public Radio! Note: Programming subject to change. Check KVPR.org for updates to the schedule.

Hanukkah Lights 2019
A perennial NPR favorite with all new Hanukkah stories for 2019. Hosted by NPR’s Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.
Monday December 3, 2018 – 1:00 PM

CLOVIS, CA - The Board of Directors of White Ash Broadcasting has named Joe Moore as Valley Public Radio’s new President & General Manager. Moore has been serving as interim president since the spring, following the death of longtime President & GM Mariam Stepanian. In 2010, Moore was hired as Valley Public Radio’s Director of Program Content. In that role, he helped develop the station’s award-winning local news department, and accelerated the station’s adoption of new technologies from a new content management system to the KVPR mobile app.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

September is over, and that used to signal the end of wildfire season. But as 2017’s massive Thomas Fire showed us, wildfires in California can rage on well into December. Meanwhile firefighting has gotten a lot more complicated; there’s drought to contend with, and housing development in fire-prone areas. Six California firefighters have been killed on the job so far this year. And it’s a number that isn’t falling, unlike in other parts of the country.

Valley Public Radio

In January of this year, a state law went into effect that requires public schools throughout California to test their drinking water for lead by July of 2019. Lawmakers enacted the regulation in an effort to improve water quality at schools. And while thousands of water districts have now tested their water for lead, a special report out of the education news website EdSource found many ways in which the law is lacking.

San Joaquin Valley Town Hall

With the onset of fall comes announcements for music and entertainment. This week, we talk with and organizer from one of the Valley’s oldest public lecture series on the upcoming season for the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall. Joining us in the studio is Vice Presidents of Programming, Joyce Kierejczyk. We talk about the season’s opening event, happening next week, and highlights from this year’s lineup. Tickets for the season can be found on their website.

This week on Valley Edition: A look at California’s changing wildfire season through the lens of health: Why firefighter deaths aren’t falling in California the way they are in the rest of the country. We also add context to a mailer from Devin Nunes's campaign against an unusual opponent: The Fresno Bee. Plus, Tme Magazine says it’s a book everyone will be talking about this Fall -- Nazi sympathizers in the U.S. during World War II. We hear from the author, a Fresno historian. And Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Sonia Nazario talks to us about immigration and media literacy.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

A few weeks ago, you might have heard our interview with Vice News reporter Alexandra Jaffe about the ongoing contention between Tulare County Congressman Devin Nunes and The Fresno Bee. After The Bee published a handful of stories about Nunes’s investments and public image, he responded by calling the paper a “left wing rag.” He also aired a 2-minute television and radio ad claiming the Bee is on a “crusade” against him.

Sonia Nazario

It's hard to go through a news day without hearing something about, say, border control or that term, fake news. Well, next week, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario will address both topics at a Bakersfield College forum.  Nazario recently spoke with FM 89’s Monica Velez and talks about how she went from being an investigative reporter to more of an advocate for immigrants.

The event “Immigration and Journalism: A Conversation with Sonia Nazario” will be at Bakersfield College on October 9. To register and for more information go to bakersfieldcollege.edu. 

Bradley Hart / Thomas Dunne Books

Over the last year and a half, we’ve seen how the Trump Administration has threatened to pull away from trade agreements, close borders, and champion an “America First” agenda. But this isn’t the first time that phrase has gone around. Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, many in the U.S. actually favored a similar isolationist policy, with hopes to keep the U.S. military out of World War II. And it wasn’t just isolationists touting this idea. Among their ranks were Nazi sympathizers.

KVPR

Valley Public Radio has announced the hire of Alice Daniel as the station’s news director. A longtime correspondent for KQED’s The California Report, Daniel will supervise the station’s growing local news department.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Two weeks ago, Fresno County published its suicide prevention strategic plan. The county has been developing this plan for almost two years. During that time, its rate of suicide matched the state’s at about 10 deaths for every 100,000 people, but it wants to bring that number below the state average. Lately, though Fresno isn’t the only county looking at how to reduce the risk of suicide.

 

Kern County

Lidia Gonzalez still lives in the same part of Delano she did a year ago. But even though she’s in the same place, she says one big thing is different- the district she lives in and the Kern County supervisor who represents her. 

She says it’s not just the districts that changed, but how the people in them are responding to the changes.

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