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A federal judge ordered the Fresno Police Department to release edited body camera footage Friday related to the 2017 death of an unarmed Fresno resident, Joseph Perez. The family is suing for wrongful death and excessive force in federal court. 

 

In 2017, Fresno County Sheriff’s received a “check the welfare” call regarding the 41-year-old dad of two. The 9-1-1 caller describes Perez as a “Hispanic gentleman kind of running sideways and backwards and kind of throwing his arms up in the air.” 

 

And now to StoryCorps San Joaquin, a series documenting the stories of Valley residents, based on our collaboration with the personal history project. In this conversation, Gabe Mora interviews his life partner, Don Simmons, a Fresno State professor and historic preservation enthusiast. They talk about building their life together in Fresno. For Don, he didn’t expect to grow to love this city, especially after a life-changing tragedy on 9/11.

Tulare County Sheriff's Office

 

Slowly and steadily, COVID-19 is loosening its grip on the San Joaquin Valley. New cases are dropping, intensive care units are becoming less impacted, and every day, thousands more people are being vaccinated against the virus.

StoryCorps

And now to StoryCorps San Joaquin, a series based on our collaboration with the personal history project, StoryCorps. In this edited conversation from February's 2020 mobile tour in Fresno, 64-year-old daughter Nadine Takeuchi asks her 88-year-old mother Harumi Sasaki about her experience as a Japanese-American teenager living through the Hiroshima bombing.  

On this week's Valley Edition: Thousands of migrant workers come to California each year to do temporary labor in the Valley and send money back to their families. What has the pandemic been like for them? We go to Delano to talk to some workers from Mexico who have been living in a hotel for the past four months. 

 And, we speak with four registered nurses who work in ICUs throughout the San Joaquin Valley about the toll of treating COVID-19 patients over the last year. 

 

Madi Bolanos / KVPR

 

Small groups of men sit outside a Motel 6 just off Highway 99 in Delano. For more than half a year, this is their home. They sit on the stairs or on the grass. One group leans against a fence, surrounding an empty pool. They’re chatting or taking in the sun; some with phones to their ears talking to loved ones back home in Mexico. 

 

Fresno State Website

There are a record number of women in Congress who are also raising children under the age of 18. So many that a “Moms in the House” caucus was established in 2018. But how are the experiences of these working moms influencing legislative priorities? That question is at the center of research co-authored by Fresno State Associate Professor of Political Science Lisa Bryant. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with her about the study and its origins.   

 

Laurin Paskin, Bridgette Wilson, Connie Green and Ashley Bowers

Now that vaccines have become more widely available, it’s easy to forget that ICUs are still full of COVID-19 patients fighting for their lives alongside battle-weary nurses who have been deep in the trenches of this pandemic for nearly a year.

John English / Valley Public Radio

Embrace your inner "public radio nerd" with our all-new Public Radio Nerd hoodie. This high quality, locally-printed navy hooded sweatshirt will let everyone know you're a proud public radio nerd. The sweatshirt displays both the Valley Public Radio and NPR logos. This new hoodie is exclusively available to members who donate $20 a month or more during our spring fund drive. But hurry, as this hoodie is available in very limited quantities, unisex sizes M, L and XL.

How The West Is Battling COVID-19 And Valley Fever

Mar 3, 2021
Lauren J. Young / Science Friday

This interview was originally broadcast during the January 15, 2021 episode of Science Friday. You can find the original piece here.

 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California has filed a new complaint against the Tulare County Jail for its living conditions during the pandemic, alleging that the jail is failing to adequately test for COVID-19 and that its social distancing policy violates inmates’ constitutional rights. Filed last Thursday in federal court, the supplemental complaint is the latest development in a lawsuit originally brought against the jail last summer.

The Fresno Unified School District announced a potential reopening plan Tuesday for in-person learning. The new agreement between the district and the Fresno Teachers Association outlines a return to a hybrid model that includes in-person instruction by April 6th. 

Superintendent Bob Nelson says the increased ability to vaccinate all district employees changed the conversation. 

“This time last week, I could not have reasonably said we were going to vaccinate everybody by March. Today I can and that’s a huge change,” he said.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

 

Lawyers sent a letter last week to the Kern County Board of Supervisors complaining that information presented at a recent planning commission meeting about a controversial proposed ordinance on gas and oil drilling was inconsistent with the timeline of the actual county document.  

 

Mike Morgan / NPR

Valley Public Radio listeners will now be able to hear the hit podcast Throughline as a new weekly radio broadcast on KVPR, airing Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m beginning Thursday March 4, 2021. NPR’s history show provides the story and perspectives often missing from history textbooks to help you understand events in the news and ideas dominating our national conversations today.

Valley Public Radio has launched a new weekly podcast dedicated to bringing local listeners up-to-date information about the COVID-19 pandemic. On each episode of COVID-19 This Week: San Joaquin Valley, host Kathleen Schock and health reporter Kerry Klein will explore the latest developments in vaccine distribution, new variants of the virus, and the impact to essential workers and communities in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Ever since the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began, every week has brought news of extremes, with success stories followed by supply problems and other hiccups in access and distribution. This week was no different, and included supply disruptions due to winter storms as well as an unexpected boost from the governor.

Madi Bolanos / KVPR

Armando Celestino walks between rows of grapevines in a Madera County vineyard. He’s handing out small zip lock bags to farm workers filled with hand sanitizer, masks and information on the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Celestino works with Centro Binancional, a community organization that assists those who speak, indigenous languages like Mixtec and Zapotec.

 

UC Merced

People tend to listen more when someone uses powerful, authoritative language regardless of whether the person talking is a man or a woman. At least that’s according to one new study, co-authored by UC Merced Assistant Professor of Economics, Ketki Sheth. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with her about the research, and what the implications are for women in the workforce. 

On this week's Valley Edition: Farm workers across the San Joaquin Valley are showing high levels of interest in getting the COVID-19 vaccine but they say information about where to go is scarce. 

 

But there is plenty of medical mistrust within communities of color and the reasons are complex. We talk about why.

 

Madera Community College and UCSF Fresno

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that among Black Americans, only 42% intend to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Many have suggested that the reluctance to get vaccinated among Black Americans and other communities of color is a function of the mistrust that some in those populations have in the health care system. To better understand this issue, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with Dr. Kamell Eckroth-Bernard, a vascular surgeon with UCSF Fresno, and Angel Reyna, President of Madera Community College. 

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