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Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Diocese Rolls Out Survivor Compensation Program. Lawyers Claim It’s Because Of Proposed Law

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno has been under pressure the last few months to release its own list of priests who have been acccused of sexual abuse. Although a list hasn’t been released yet, the diocese is rolling out a settlement program for survivors. Some attorneys who represent survivors find it to be strategic and controversial. “The problem with that process is it allows the Catholic bishops and the diocese to hold onto the secrets and to continue thus the practices they’ve...

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Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For some, the closing of Borders bookstores seemed to signal another nail in the coffin for book lovers. Another reminder of the fragile state of an industry being taken over by technology, e-readers and Amazon.com. But in Fresno and other San Joaquin Valley towns, some independent bookstores are not only doing okay, some are actually thriving. Valley Public Radio's Juanita Stevenson reports.

Segment 1: Foster Kids
FM89’s Tracey Scharmann reports on how a program at a local college is helping former foster youth gain not only an education, but also a solid foundation in life as independent adults. Host Juanita Stevenson also talks with guests Colleen McGauley, Executive Director, of CASA of Kern County; Cathi Huerta recently retired director of the Fresno County Department of Social Services, Margaret Jackson, Director of the Cultural Broker Family Advocate Program, and Deshunna Ricks, former foster youth.

Farmers, Government Seek to Prevent Heat Illness

Jul 26, 2011

It's mid-morning under a sunny and nearly cloudless sky at Paul Betancourt's farm, about 20 miles southwest of Kerman. Two workers are getting ready to disk the wheat field with the tractor and irrigate the cotton. Betancourt has been monitoring the temperature.

"It was 86 when you drove up and the forecast for Fresno is 99," he says. "It's usually a little cooler out here. We've kinda done the heavy lifting for the day already."

One of his employees, Ruben Elenes, has been a farmworker for 15 years. He knows how to protect himself from the sun.

Area Foster Youth Go On to Collegiate Success

Jul 26, 2011

There are 58,000 children in foster care in California and for many of them turning eighteen and aging out of care is overwhelming. Counties provide independent living programs to assist foster youth with this transition, but a different type of support is needed for those entering college. When former foster youth Kizzy Lopez was asked to help create a program at Fresno State to provide support for this incoming population, she made it happen.

CA Citizens Redistricting Commission Redraws the Lines

Jul 22, 2011

While it doesn't get nearly as much attention as the state's on-going budget debate, behind the scenes, work is underway on a set of maps that could dramatically alter California politics for a decade to come. The State's 14 member Citizens Redistricting Commission is currently at work on redrawing the lines of the state's assembly, state senate and congressional districts. And in a state where major decisions such as the budget and big social issues often are decided by just one or two votes, the stakes for all those involved are high.

Last month, when California lawmakers passed a new state budget, they also passed a bill prohibiting local school districts from laying off teachers. Backers, including the California Teachers Association, say that the law protects students from class size increases and will save teacher jobs. School districts say it ties their hands, especially with the prospect of a midyear $1.5 billion funding cut if revenues fall short of projections.

Lawsuits Pit Businesses Against Disabled Customers

Jul 19, 2011

In 1990, the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law, prohibiting discrimination against the disabled. It requires the removal of physical barriers in public spaces so the disabled can have full and equal enjoyment of community facilities.

But in recent years, Clovis businesses have faced a surge of lawsuits for buildings that aren't up to ADA construction requirements. This has led to a heated debate within the community over the rights of the disabled and the survival of small businesses in the recession.

Segment 1: Disability access lawsuits hit local businesses
Over 20 years after the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, compliance with the law's requirement of equal access remains controversial. Recently, it's pitted business customers with business owners, resulting in dozens of lawsuits. Reporter Shellie Branco brings us this report on both sides of the access issue.

Sept. 29 marks the beginning of the American Library Association's annual "Banned Books Week," a commemoration of all the books that have ever been removed from library shelves and classrooms. Politics, religion, sex, witchcraft — people give a lot of reasons for wanting to ban books, says Judith Krug of the ALA, but most often the bannings are about fear.

"They're not afraid of the book; they're afraid of the ideas," says Krug. "The materials that are challenged and banned say something about the human condition."

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Valley Public Radio Named Nonprofit Of The Year For Senate District 14

CLOVIS, CA – Valley Public Radio is proud to announce it has been selected as a 2019 California Nonprofit of the Year by Senator Melissa Hurtado for Senate District 14. Joe Moore, President & General Manager of Valley Public Radio, says the honor is a tribute to the station’s service to the valley. “For over 40 years, Valley Public Radio has been a trusted source for news and classical music in Central California. To be recognized for our service to the community is a great honor, and the...

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Valley Public Radio Wins Regional Edward R. Murrow Award For Investigative Reporting

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has awarded Valley Public Radio a 2019 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting. The honor is for a story reporter Kerry Klein produced for broadcast on FM89 titled “The Fresno Detention Facility ICE Doesn't Want You to Know About.” The story exposed a previously undisclosed site in downtown Fresno used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to hold detainees. Following the broadcast of the story, ICE changed...

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