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Heat stress likely caused the deaths of a California family while they were hiking

A Northern California family found mysteriously dead in August on a hiking trail in the Sierra most likely died from a combination of hyperthermia and dehydration, the local Sheriff who led the investigation said Thursday. The news sheds light on a case that has confounded investigators and the public and raised new questions about outdoor recreational activities in an era of rising temperatures and climate fueled extreme weather. "This is a real tragedy," Mariposa County Sheriff-Coroner...

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COVID-19 In Depth:

ERIC PAUL ZAMORA EZAMORA@FRESNOBEE.COM

Valley Children's doctors brace for a rise in rare pediatric condition following Delta surge

Six-year-old Bryce Moore shouts from one side of the small soccer field where he is practicing for his first game. His mom, Fresno resident Jennifer Moore, describes him as a happy, go-lucky kid. But nine months ago he was anything but that, she says. Moore and her husband tested positive for COVID-19 in November 2020. She says Bryce, then 5 years old, tested negative and didn’t show any symptoms associated with the virus. “My husband and I got through that and recovered,” she says. “Then at...

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UCSF Fresno, American Ambulance, Sierra View Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center websites

Valley hospitals stretched thin by latest COVID-19 surge

United States Forest Service/ Art by Alison Saldanha

DANGEROUS AIR: As California burns, America breathes toxic smoke

Western wildfires pose a much broader threat to human health than to just those forced to evacuate the path of the blazes. Smoke from these fires, which have burned millions of acres in California alone, is choking vast swaths of the country, an analysis of federal satellite imagery by NPR’s California Newsroom and Stanford University’s Environmental Change and Human Outcomes Lab found.

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Nadia Lopez / Fresno Bee

Laura Garcia stands outside her home with two of her kids and their ducks, chickens and goats in Raisin City, a small unincorporated community southwest of Fresno. It’s a morning in early September, and she’s wearing a mask because her oldest daughter, Jennifer, who attends Raisin City Elementary school, tested positive for COVID-19 in late August. 

She suspects her daughter contracted the virus at school. She says she reached out to other parents in her daughter’s class to let them know. 

 

Jeffery Robinson, Kat Fobear, Nick Patrick Gonzales and Chris Jarvis

The International Imperial Court System, one of the oldest and largest LGBTQ non-profits in the world, uses galas and drag performances to raise money in support of the community. Fresno’s chapter, the Imperial Dove Court, has made a lasting impact here in the Valley. To learn more, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with LGBTQ historian Chris Jarvis, licensed marriage and family therapist Jeffery Robinson, Fresno State womens’ studies professor Kat Fobear, and Nick Patrick Gonzales, also known as Miss Nikki, who is a former empress of the court.

Gov. Newsom signed a $15 billion climate change package Thursday, the largest investment of its kind in the state’s history. He signed the bill in Three Rivers, near the site of the KNP Complex fire that continues to threaten the giant sequoias.  

 

“You've got trees that quite literally date back over 3300 years ago. You can't rebuild a giant sequoia,” he said.

 

He emphasized the devastating effects of climate change when he referred to the strategies firefighters are using to protect the giants.

California's Firefighters Keep Getting Injured While Training. And Some Have Died

Sep 21, 2021
Illustration by Alborz Kamalizad / Photography courtesy of Cal Fire

Even as he lay dying on the side of a Southern California mountain – his lips blue, the color gone from his face – wildland firefighter Yaroslav Katkov wanted to push on.

“We’re getting to the top. We’re finishing,” his captain recalled Katkov saying after collapsing atop a ridge during a training hike in hot weather, according to state records.

Katkov’s speech was garbled. He tried to stand, but couldn’t find his footing. His body temperature was reaching dangerous levels. He was suffering from heat illness.

Joseph Rosamond

There are many ways to be heroic. Some of them are death-defying—like rushing into a burning forest to save hundreds of strangers—but some aren’t, and even talking someone down from a panic attack, or offering a ride in the middle of a wildfire, can pay dividends in serendipitous, even life-saving ways.

                                                                                                                                         

On this week’s Valley Edition: We continue our podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool. This week: the heroes, big and small, who helped more than 200 campers survive being trapped by the Creek Fire.

 

Plus, the strain on local hospitals as they cope with the latest surge of COVID-19.   

And a never-before seen art exhibition is headed to the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above. 

UCSF Fresno, American Ambulance, Sierra View Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center websites

Yet again, Central Valley hospitals are overflowing with COVID-19 patients, which has stretched our medical systems thin and created disturbing consequences for anyone in need of critical care. To learn more about how hospitals are coping with the most recent surge, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with Donna Hefner, president and CEO of Sierra View Medical Center in Porterville, Dr. Danielle Campagne, medical director of American Ambulance, Dr. Robert Ferdman, assistant chief of hospital medicine at Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center, and Dr.

E.F. Kitchen / Courtesy of the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection

A never-before-seen collection of works by contemporary art legends like David Hockney, Helmut Newton and Jean-Michel Basquiat is headed to the Bakersfield Museum of Art. The exhibition, titled “On The Edge,” is comprised of more than 150 objects from the private collection of LA-based art enthusiasts Joan and Jack Quinn. In advance of the exhibition’s opening on Sept. 30, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke to Joan Quinn about the close friendships she enjoys with many of these artists and why she wants to exhibit their works here in the Central Valley.  

 

ERIC PAUL ZAMORA EZAMORA@FRESNOBEE.COM

Six-year-old Bryce Moore shouts from one side of the small soccer field where he is practicing for his first game. His mom, Fresno resident Jennifer Moore, describes him as a happy, go-lucky kid. But nine months ago he was anything but that, she says. 

Moore and her husband tested positive for COVID-19 in November 2020. She says Bryce, then 5 years old, tested negative and didn’t show any symptoms associated with the virus. 

The fires inside Sequoia National Park continue to grow, now burning nearly 6,000 acres. The Colony Fire and the larger Paradise Fire make up the KNP Complex. Monday night, the Paradise Fire moved downhill, crossing the middle fork of the Kaweah River and the Generals Highway. The complex is currently threatening the communities of Mineral King and Three Rivers. Mandatory evacuations have been issued for Mineral King and orders have expanded for parts of Three Rivers. 

 

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New Podcast:

STORYCORPS ONE SMALL STEP

Take One Small Step To Help Our Divided Country Reconnect

T ake a minute and think back to the last time you really listened to someone whose political opinions were very different from your own. Was it a few weeks ago, a few months ago, was it ever? Valley Public Radio and the public history project StoryCorps are inviting you to meet the challenge. It’s called One Small Step ; meet a stranger with a different political view for a personal, 50 minute conversation about your lives. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock speaks with FM89's News Director...

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