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Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

To Prevent Preterm Births, New Program Helps Black Women Be Their Own Advocates

In Fresno County, around 10 percent of all babies are born before 37 weeks of gestation. That’s higher than the national average, and among the highest of all California counties. For African-Americans, the numbers are even more concerning: From 2013 to 2015, black babies were 63 percent more likely to be born premature than white babies. But a new program in Fresno is trying to bring those numbers down by teaching women not just about health, but also about leadership and advocacy. Andrea...

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Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The state of California on Thursday greenlighted a suite of energy projects to serve the San Joaquin Valley, for a total investment of over $56 million.

The California Public Utilities Commission has approved almost a dozen pilot projects to improve energy infrastructure in 11 disadvantaged communities across the Valley.

Courtesy of Anna Armstrong

Leading up to the November election, forecasters predicted that Republican incumbent  David Valadao would win the 21st Congressional District. The District includes all of Kings County, and parts of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties.

It wasn’t until last week, as vote counts were finalized, that the race was decided in favor of Democrat TJ Cox. “We kind of flagged it as a potential upset,” says Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball. “That said, I ultimately was pretty surprised that Valadao ended up losing.”

Syrian American Medical Society

Ever since the Arab Spring in 2011, the Middle Eastern country of Syria has been in a near-constant state of civil war. As a result, residents there rely heavily on aid workers from non-governmental organizations for medical care. And the president of one of those NGOs, the Syrian American Medical Society, lives right here in Fresno.

Dorothea Lange / Library of Congress

While some valley congressional districts flipped from red to blue, much of the state’s remaining republican strongholds are still in the San Joaquin Valley -- particularly Kern, Madera and Tulare Counties. This has a lot to do with the Dust Bowl, and the migrants who came to California in the 1920s and 30s. In fact, there’s a link between support for Republican candidates in the 2018 midterms and the degree to which a county’s population came from Dust Bowl states.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

In Fresno County, around 10 percent of all babies are born before 37 weeks of gestation. That’s higher than the national average, and among the highest of all California counties. For African-Americans, the numbers are even more concerning: From 2013 to 2015, black babies were 63 percent more likely to be born premature than white babies. But a new program in Fresno is trying to bring those numbers down by teaching women not just about health, but also about leadership and advocacy.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Ethan Chatagnier is a Fresno State graduate, and he's just added to his Central Valley connections by making Fresno and Highway 99 the setting for two of the stories in his new book, “Warnings from the Future.” Across a total of ten short stories, Chatagnier writes about ethical dilemmas and conflicted characters. In a recent interivew, the Fresno State alumnus spoke to us about his process and how he decided to incorporate familiar places into his stories.

Listen to the interview above to hear more.

On this week’s Valley Edition: What does the Dust Bowl have to do with the 2018 midterm elections? A political scientist working in Abu Dhabi connects the dots.

We also learn about a program that empowers African American women in the valley to advocate for their own health. And, the 21st congressional district just flipped. How did forecasters get it wrong?

Listen to the show above to hear that and more.

Alice Daniel

We're introducing an occasional series called Mind the Gap, where we ask people at least 60 years apart in age for their take on topics both personal and political. For our first Mind the Gap, you’ll meet Raymart Catacuton. He’s 18, attends Fresno City College and works at a thrift store in the Tower District. And you’ll hear from Rose Marie Carillo. She’s almost 80, and she’s very active in her church where her husband of 59 years was the pastor. She says it's been tough since he died, back in September. One way she passes the time is to shop in the same thrift store where Raymart works.

Genoveva Islas

A Fresno-based organization that helps Valley communities access healthy foods and safe places to exercise is spreading its reach to help prevent domestic violence among Latina immigrants. Cultiva La Salud was awarded a grant that was awarded by the non-profit Prevention Institute and the Blue Shield of California Foundation.

Listen to the above interview to hear Genoveva Islas, program director for Cultiva La Salud, talk about what the grant covers and what they will do with the funding.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Last month, business news company Bloomberg released its annual Brain Drain Index. It uses Census data to analyze which American cities are losing advanced degree holders, white-collar jobs, and STEM career opportunities. Topping that list this year is Hanford, California.

Shelsy Hutchison, a teacher with the Business Academy at Sierra Pacific High School, has a few ideas why Hanford might be at the top.

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Valley Public Radio Announces Joe Moore As New President & General Manager

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...

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KVPR

Valley Public Radio Announces Alice Daniel As News Director

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. Valley Public Radio’s interim President Joe Moore said Daniel is the right fit to lead the station’s journalism efforts. “Alice is a talented reporter and educator, who always finds a way to bring out something special or unexpected in her stories,” said Moore. “Six years ago we...

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Valley Public Radio Mobile App

Whether you're an Apple or Android user, you can now take Valley Public Radio with you wherever you take your smartphone or tablet. The station has launched its first-ever mobile app - known as "KVPR" which is currently available for download in both the iTunes App Store and the Google Play marketplace. The app features one-touch access to Valley Public Radio's live audio stream, making it even easier to listen to the station. Users will also find the latest news coverage from the station's...

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