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Craig Kohlruss/The Fresno Bee

Mendota Leaders Prepare For ‘Increase’ In Central American Unaccompanied Minors

Marvin Cornejo left the small village of Azacualpa, El Salvador at just 16 years old. When he first arrived in Mendota as an unaccompanied minor five years ago, he was surprised to learn it wasn’t much different from his hometown. He had imagined the city would have skyscrapers like Los Angeles, but it was surrounded by fields. “I got to Mendota and I was like, ‘it’s not that bad,’” he says. “You would go to the store and speak Spanish and they wouldn't look [at you] weird; they're going to...

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Hundreds of supporters cheered and clapped in front of Fresno City Hall today as the Pride flag was raised for the first time ever.

City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria spoke at a podium lined with rainbow colored balloons.

“Today marks a new and important chapter in the city of Fresno as we demonstrate our commitment to equality and justice for all,” she said.

Mayor Jerry Dyer attended the ceremony in support, after conversations with members of the LGBTQ community changed his mind about allowing the flag to fly at City Hall. 

Madi Bolanos / KVPR

Next Tuesday, California is slated to reopen its doors following more than a year of pandemic-related restrictions. The state’s reopening system, known as the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, will dissolve, and businesses and houses of worship will be permitted to open without capacity limits or distancing restrictions.

On this week's Valley Edition: Why one small town in the San Joaquin Valley is a destination for unaccompanied minors crossing the Southern border, and how it’s preparing for an anticipated increase this year. 

Plus, how has the pandemic impacted the Central Valley’s LGBTQ+ community? And a new podcast tells the story of a Stanislaus County defense attorney accused of murder. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above.

 

Christopher Goffard

Christopher Goffard is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist with the Los Angeles Times and the host of the popular podcast, “Dirty John.” His current project is another crime related podcast, this time set in Stanislaus County. It’s called “The Trials of Frank Carson.” Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with Goffard about the podcast and what it has to say about the inner workings of the criminal justice system.

Estevan Parra, Brian Poth and Kathleen Arambula-Reyna

As communities in the San Joaquin Valley grapple over the recognition of Pride Month, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock got reactions from local leaders in the LGBTQ+ community. She spoke with Estevan Parra, coordinator of LGBTQ+ and gender programs and services at Fresno State, Kathleen Arambula-Reyna, festival director and board president of the Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival, and Brian Poth, co-founder and executive director of The Source LGBT+ Center in Visalia.   

Craig Kohlruss/The Fresno Bee

FM 89’s Madi Bolanos reports on the expected arrival of unaccompanied minors to the small city of Mendota, in western Fresno County. She tells us about Marvin Cornejo, a young man who traveled as an unaccompanied minor from a small town in El Salvador to Mendota in 2016. He’s 21 years old now, living in Fresno and attending California State University, Fresno, where he is studying chemistry with the goal of becoming a family doctor.

Craig Kohlruss/The Fresno Bee

Marvin Cornejo left the small village of Azacualpa, El Salvador at just 16 years old. When he first arrived in Mendota as an unaccompanied minor five years ago, he was surprised to learn it wasn’t much different from his hometown. He had imagined the city would have skyscrapers like Los Angeles, but it was surrounded by fields.

“I got to Mendota and I was like, ‘it’s not that bad,’” he says. “You would go to the store and speak Spanish and they wouldn't look [at you] weird; they're going to talk to you in Spanish.”  

Bakersfield violinist Brian Shih performs Mozart with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, and more.

Help Us Investigate PG&E’s Power Lines

Jun 8, 2021
Marc Albert / KRCB

California’s public radio stations are investigating the safety of Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s power lines ahead of wildfire season. We want your help. Email pictures of the lines in your area to fires@kqed.org

Kerry Klein / KVPR

In early April, Monterey County and a group of community organizations held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in a school gym in the rural city of Soledad. In a promotional video produced about the event, locals shared what brought them out to get their vaccinations. “I did it to protect my kids,” said Greenfield farm worker Rosa Chavez in Spanish. “My family encouraged me to take the COVID vaccine…and I feel more secure now,” said Soledad resident Maria Ruiz.

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Tracking California's Coronavirus Cases

Valley Public Radio is monitoring cases in seven counties in the San Joaquin Valley and foothills. Check back each afternoon for updates to this snapshot, and scroll down further for more detailed information. And for a statewide perspective, a team of public media reporters are gathering information from California health departments every day to keep you updated on the latest confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19. This dashboard also provides a localized look at COVID-19-related cases...

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