News

Joel Martinez

As COVID-19 cases in the San Joaquin Valley continue to climb, the Fresno County Department of Agriculture recently secured nearly one million masks to help protect the county’s agricultural workers.  

 

Melissa Cregan, the agricultural commissioner for the county, said the masks came from California’s Department of Food and Agriculture and the Office of Emergency Services.

 

“We’ve probably received over 800,000 of the face coverings and we’ve distributed probably over 700,000 of those,” said Cregan.  

 

Fresno State / Fresno State Official Facebook

 

As coronavirus cases are surging, so are reports of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. But even as mental health professionals are needed more than ever, those who graduated from one Fresno State nursing program are being told to return to school.

 

City of Fresno Facebook

The Fresno City Council voted Tuesday to approve its billion dollar budget, just in time for the July 1 deadline. However, it will have to be reconsidered in three months. 

Office of the Governor of California Twitter page

On Sunday, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered bars to close in seven California counties, including four in the San Joaquin Valley: Fresno, Kern, Tulare and Kings. He also recommended bar closures in eight others. Health officials in Kern County, however, say the order was made without consulting them.

 

Fresno Alliance

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department reported 507 positive COVID-19 cases at the county jail on Monday. That’s almost a quarter of the total jail population, but testing has still been limited to one part of the facility. 

The sheriff’s department reported its first cases of the coronavirus on June 19th. That’s when 13 incarcerated people who were being transferred out tested positive for COVID-19. The 13 had been housed in the jail’s north annex. 

Play On: Songs of Hope

Jun 30, 2020

In this episode of Play On, we turn our focus to the inspiration, joy and hope we can find in vocal music. Dr. Anna Hamre and Rei Hotoda will discuss their collaboration in vocal and symphonic performance, and we’ll hear the Fresno Master Chorale and the Fresno Philharmonic perform Francis Poulenc’s Gloria.

Fresno County Department of Public Health

California was one of many states to set a record this week for the number of new cases reported in a single day. For a closer look at what’s been happening in our seven-county coverage area of the San Joaquin Valley, we bring you this update for the week of June 19-26, 2020. Meanwhile, you can always find up-to-date information for your county here.

The outlook

Bakersfield High School Website

As residents call for cities to defund police departments, some parents and students want the same in their school districts. The Kern High School District board is voting on its annual budget Monday and ahead of that meeting, community organizers have been circulating a petition to defund the district’s police department.

Kern High School District has its own police department. Only two percent of districts in the state operate one; most contract with a local city. 

Are you feeling helpless in the midst of this pandemic? Do you want to assist others, but you just don’t know how? Well, there are lots of community benefit organizations, or non-profits, that could use your help. They’re losing vital funding and human resources even as they are being asked to deliver more services. FM89’s News Director Alice Daniel spoke with Matthew Jendian, the director of the Humanics Program at Fresno State, to find out more about volunteering and giving opportunities.

Courtesy of Patrick Contreras

This week we spoke to a musician who, like others, lost a lot of work when the pandemic hit: Performances were postponed, or cancelled altogether. Patrick Contreras, a Fresno violinist, started to offer front lawn concerts to make ends meet, and the idea has taken off. He says he’s heard from other musicians across the country, asking how he’s made it work. 

On this week’s Valley Edition: Black community leaders in Bakersfield are meeting with law enforcement, and calling for more transparency. They tell us about the push to establish a community police advisory board.

Plus, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in every county in the San Joaquin Valley. We bring you our weekly health update. 

Later, we speak to Fresno violinist Patrick Contreras who told us how he’s kept busy during the pandemic, even after losing every major booking for the year.

Every Neighborhood Partnership Facebook

When COVID-19 struck, Every Neighborhood Partnership teamed up with local agencies in the Valley to expand food distribution, provide access to diapers and formula, and help struggling families make ends meet. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with the Fresno-based organization’s executive director, Artie Padilla, about his approach to community service. He says he focuses on what’s working in a community, rather than on what is broken.

Kern County Library Facebook

It's been one month since the death of George Floyd and communities across the country are debating the reallocation of funding from law enforcement agencies to social services. But in Bakersfield this week, the city council voted to increase its police budget and hire more officers. The funding came from Measure N, a sales tax passed by voters in 2018 to address community priorities.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and Fresno County’s Registrar of Voters settled a lawsuit this week that will allow a church with Black Lives Matter banners to  host a ballot drop-box.

Play On: Beyond Borders

Jun 24, 2020
Dinuk Wijeratne

In this episode of Play On, as we confront a global pandemic, we rediscover our shared humanity by exploring music with a global reach. Our guests include composer Dinuk Wijeratne and pipa virtuoso Wu Man. We’ll listen to work by Wijeratne, Zhao Jiping, and Gabriela Lena Frank. Hear host David Aus talk with Fresno Philharmonic Music Director Rei Hotoda and hear recent archival performances from the orchestra.

On this week's show:

Dinuk Wijeratne, Between Figure and Ground

Gabriela Lena Frank, Escaramuza

Amar Shergill

The funeral for a man who was hit by a truck at a Black Lives Matter protest in Bakersfield and later died was held this past weekend. The driver of the truck has not been arrested or charged with any crime. 

John Chacon / CA Department of Water Resources

In March, the COVID-19 relief bill known as the CARES Act set aside $900 million to help Americans pay their utility bills. Earlier this week, a broad coalition of water agencies delivered a letter to Congress advocating for more funding.

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand Facebook

The City of Fresno announced the 37 members of the new Police Reform Commission Friday. The city council, mayor, and mayor-elect all committed to taking the recommendations seriously. 

Prisons and detention centers across California continue to be at risk for more COVID-19 outbreaks. An ACLU attorney representing detainees at the ICE processing facility in Bakersfield says a staff member there has tested positive for the virus.

In a case conference for a class action lawsuit against the Mesa Verde Detention Center, ICE’s attorney said a medical provider at the facility had tested positive for the coronavirus. That’s according to Angelica Salceda, an ACLU lawyer in the meeting. She said the woman went to get tested on her own accord. 

Families United for the End of Life Without Parole

Although businesses are reopening, reports of new cases of COVID-19 are still on the rise throughout the San Joaquin Valley. You can find up-to-date information for your county here. Below is an update for the week of June 15-19, 2020.

The outlook

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