News

On this week’s Valley Edition: Former Fresno City Councilmember Oliver Baines is heading a new police reform commission. He shares his vision for the department, and talks about why previous efforts have fallen short. 

We also speak with men who survived a disease outbreak at Avenal State Prison, not COVID-19, but valley fever. It was almost a decade ago, and they’re still seeking justice today. 

Plus, parents discuss what it’s like to raise black children in the San Joaquin Valley. 

Estevan Parra

June is Pride month, but this year the worldwide event will largely be celebrated virtually in light of COVID-19. To learn more about the impact of the pandemic on the LGBTQ community, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke to Estavan Parra, the LGBTQ and gender coordinator for the Cross Cultural and Gender Center at Fresno State.

City of Fresno Facebook

The Fresno City Council announced Thursday it’s creating a police reform commission. Council President Miguel Arias said the commission will be headed by former council member and police officer Oliver Baines.  

The news came after the council sat through a workshop about social and economic justice led by the Fresno State NAACP. 

Christian Viscarra

Protesters demanded justice Tuesday for a 16-year-old boy who was shot by Fresno police in 2017. More than 50 people gathered at City Hall chanting “Say His Name” and “Don’t Shoot.”  

The protest was in honor of Isiah Murrietta-Golding who was shot in the back of the head by Fresno Police Sgt. Ray Villalvazo. A surveillance video of the incident from a nearby daycare was released in 2019. Protester Dez Martinez says she saw the video.

Kern County Library Facebook

The Kern County Library hosted a conversation between the Sheriff’s Office and local African American leaders Wednesday afternoon. 

During the livestream meeting, a series of panelists asked Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood about different incidents and practices in the department. 

American Public Media

Booms, busts, bubbles, recessions, inflation – today's financial world is complex, and often overwhelming. Navigating news and numbers is increasingly difficult. That's where Marketplace comes in. And now Valley Public Radio listeners can hear the innovative journalism and interesting voices that have made Marketplace a favorite of nearly 14 million weekly listeners nationwide.

Play On: Heroes Among Us

Jun 9, 2020

This week on Play On our theme is "Heroes Among Us" - We pay tribute to first responders and essential workers on the front lines of COVID-19. Featuring music by Hailstork, Barber, Foss, and Schubert. Hear these recent performances by the Fresno Philharmonic with conductor and music director Rei Hotoda, on this episode of "Play On."

Fresno County Department of Public Health

With a total of more than 200 deaths and 8,000 cases tallied so far, the burden of COVID-19 continues to grow in the San Joaquin Valley and foothills. This week, the rise in numbers has put three Valley counties on the state’s watch list.

The state’s goal for each county is for less than 8 percent of all COVID-19 tests to turn out positive, a measure called the “positivity rate.” But in Fresno, Tulare and Kings Counties, the positivity rate is above 10 percent.

Govenor Gavin Newsom Facebook

Many people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, but some have found assistance through a multi-million dollar state government program called Expanded Subsidized Employment, or ESE. However, Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget proposal cuts the funding to that program. 

  

The Fresno County Public Defender's Office held a protest Monday against police brutality and in honor of George Floyd. About a hundred protesters started at the public defender’s office and walked to the Fresno Police Department. 

Organizers said this protest had a specific message for police officers. Camille Slack, a paralegal, said the organization is calling for police to intervene when they see other officers abusing their power.  

More than a hundred people gathered at an elementary school on Friday in Madera to protest police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The people behind the protest were black high school students.

Eighteen-year-old Mary Idowu led the protest which started with a “No Justice, No Peace” chant. A recent graduate of Madera South High School, Idowu said it’s important for society to see a well-organized peaceful protest from young people.

Alice Daniel

Last November, we brought you the story of Manuel and Olga Jimenez. They’re a Woodlake couple who created a mile-long community botanical garden in their town to inspire and teach kids. Hundreds of young people have volunteered at the Bravo Lake Botanical Garden since it was started 17 years ago.

The Equal Justice Society

Racism in America can take on many different forms, and the nuance between things like overt and covert racism can make discrimination much more difficult to see, discuss and ultimately address. To learn more about this topic, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Chris Bridges from The Equal Justice Society. He is an Oakland-based attorney who also leads trainings on implicit bias.

Kern County Public Health Facebook page

As protests continue across the country, let’s not forget there’s still a pandemic in our midst. As of publication, 194 people across the San Joaquin Valley and foothills have died due to COVID-19 out of more than 8,000 known cases of the disease.

Angelo Frazier

Following more than a week of protests over the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, debate continues within the African-American community about how to bring about reform in policing. To learn more about how different generations are responding to this moment, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Pastor Angelo Frazier of the RiverLakes Community Church in Bakersfield, who has been leading prayer vigils in the midst of community protests. She also spoke with Fresno State NAACP Chapter President D’Aungillique Jackson, who organized the protest Sunday in downtown Fresno. 

On this week’s Valley Edition: What is the best strategy to protest police brutality following the death of George Floyd? We ask local organizers from Fresno and Bakersfield.

We also head to Woodlake where the couple who built a mile-long community botanical garden are now memorializing the lives lost in Tulare County to COVID-19. 

 

Plus, a local epidemiologist discusses the impact protesting may have on the spread of the coronavirus. 

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above. 

City of Fresno Facebook

The Fresno City Council approved a resolution Thursday requiring anyone who enters City Hall to wear a mask. 

Kenneth Chacón

This week on The Time of Our Life with Mark Arax Fresno poet Kenneth Chacón reads William Saroyan's "70,000 Assyrians" and discusses the impact of Saroyan on his own work and on our times.

Madi Bolanos

 

More than 100 people gathered in scorching hot temperatures on Tuesday to stand against a potential riot at the River Park shopping center in north Fresno. This group, which included Fresno police officers and community activists, was responding to a social media post that attempted to incite violence under the name of Black Lives Matter. 

 

When a post promoting violent looting in north Fresno gained attention on social media Monday, Fresno State’s NAACP student chapter and other organizations made it very clear that the post was not associated with the Black Lives Matter movement.   

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