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Fresno Agencies Team Up For Human Trafficking Awareness Month

California is one of the nation’s top states for human trafficking, a complex crime that is difficult to combat. But in the Central Valley, nonprofits are working with law enforcement to tackle the issue from multiple perspectives. Valley Public Radio's Kathleen Schock spoke with Sarah Johnson from the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission and Jessica Pittman from the Central Valley Justice Coalition about the work taking place to end this widespread problem.

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Mollie's House

We’ve just heard on Valley Edition how several agencies are working to reduce human trafficking in the Valley. Now we’re going to turn to the story of a survivor.

A young woman, who asked to be identified only as Hazel, spoke with Valley Public Radio's Kathleen Schock about her journey from forced prostitution to safety. Hazel also discussed the support she receives from the faith-based nonprofit Mollie's House, whose founder, Torella McAllister Minor, joined in the conversation.  

Fresno EOC

California is one of the nation’s top states for human trafficking, a complex crime that is difficult to combat. But in the Central Valley, nonprofits are working with law enforcement to tackle the issue from multiple perspectives. Valley Public Radio's Kathleen Schock spoke with Sarah Johnson from the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission and Jessica Pittman from the Central Valley Justice Coalition about the work taking place to end this widespread problem.

California has moved its primary election earlier in the year. Instead of June, voters will now cast their ballots in March. For Fresno and Madera Counties, there are other changes intended to update voting technology and increase voter turnout. Fresno has adopted the new Voter's Choice Act Model, which means voting centers have replaced polling places, and every voter is mailed a ballot. Madera County adopted the model in 2018. 

 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Chronic absence plagues most school districts in the San Joaquin Valley. We know that students who can’t make it to school miss out on learning, and research shows that missing even three days a month over time can put students a year or more behind their peers. Thursday, the Fresno County Office of Education hosted a conference looking at ways to reduce chronic absenteeism. 

This week on Valley Edition: January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. We talk to people on the front lines tackling this complex problem. 

Plus, elections are changing in Fresno County as it adopts the Voters Choice Model. Madera County is also using that model, so ahead of this year’s primary, we ask the county clerks what local voters need to know.

And later, we hear from one of the nation’s leading researchers on chronic absence in schools.  

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

Kern County Fire Department Twitter

The Kern County Sheriff's Office recommended evacuation Wednesday afternoon for those within a 6-mile radius of Taft Manufacturing Co. at 19705 South Lake Road in Taft after reports of a chemical leak. Members of the Kern County Fire Department were able to stop the leak early in the afternoon, a spokesman said, but they still have to neutralize and clean up the spilled substance which leaked for at least two hours.

 

Lisa Lee Herrick

Lisa Lee Herrick reads from her recent essay Eating Thirty In Fresno: Finding Home At Hmong New Year  in the online publication Boom California and talks with FM89’s news director Alice Daniel about why so many Hmong refugees came to Fresno after the CIA’s secret war in Laos under the guidance of their leader General Vang Pao and why decades later, the city’s Hmong New Year is still a global draw.

On this week's Valley Edition: Doctors find an unconventional way to treat severe valley fever - it's the extraordinary story of a 4-year-old boy and a medical mystery. 

And writer Lisa Lee Herrick tells us how the Hmong New Year has evolved from a traditional harvest celebration to something much bigger - and why Fresno’s festivities continue to draw huge international crowds. We also hear from Fresno mayoral candidate Andrew Janz.

  

Alice Daniel

Fresno mayoral candidate Andrew Janz came to the studio to discuss his campaign strategy and vision for the city ahead of California’s March 3 primary. Janz is facing former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

 

Researchers have been trying to understand valley fever for decades, but the playing field remained small until recently. 

“When I started in valley fever research just six or seven years ago, the field was largely full of professors and senior clinicians and really didn’t have many of the junior faculty and students as part of the group,” said Katrina Hoyer, an assistant professor at the University of California, Merced. “I think they really wanted people, there just wasn’t much funding.”

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StoryCorps trailer
Ryan Dorgan

StoryCorps Mobile Tour To Visit The San Joaquin Valley In 2020

Groundbreaking personal history project StoryCorps will visit California’s San Joaquin Valley in 2020, as one of 10 stops on its annual nationwide tour, in partnership with Valley Public Radio. The StoryCorps MobileBooth – an Airstream trailer converted into a mobile recording studio will be in Fresno from February 12, 2020 through March 20, 2020, located the Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC) in downtown Fresno. As the trailer travels around the country between January 5 and...

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Kathleen Schock Joins Valley Public Radio As Host Of Valley Edition

Valley Public Radio is pleased to announce that Kathleen Schock has joined the FM89 team as the new host of the station's news magazine program Valley Edition. The program airs Friday mornings at 9:00 AM with a rebroadcast at 7:00 PM, and is also available as a podcast. A Fresno native, Kathleen has a bachelor’s in international relations from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Fresno State....

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