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Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

A seventh suspect was arrested in relation to the mass shooting at a Southeast Fresno house party in November that left four dead and six wounded. 

 

Ger Lee of Fresno is being held in Minnesota pending an extradition hearing. 

 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Police announced today that they have arrested six suspects related to the November 17 mass shooting at a house party in Southeast Fresno that left four men dead. Although police confirmed the shooting was gang related, none of the victims themselves were gang members. 

Milken Family Foundation

Teachers often give their time and money in ways that are hard to quantify. But this year, one Fresno teacher has been recognized by the Milken Family Foundation for her work with the Sunnyside High School Video Production Academy. Katie McQuone is one of 40 teachers nationwide to receive this annual award. 

Listen to the interview above to hear McQuone talk about how she engages the at-risk students she teaches.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

This year is the 80th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s book, “The Grapes of Wrath.” In his novel, Steinbeck profiles the Joad family as they travel from Oklahoma to California, escaping the Dust Bowl, in search of work. Many families made this journey during the Depression era. In some communities, these Dust Bowl refugees were met with threats. But in others, like Weedpatch just south of Bakersfield, they were welcome.

Valley residents give back to their communities in a variety of ways, ranging from donations and philanthropy to mentoring and volunteering within the community. Collectively, these volunteer efforts not only make a huge difference in the lives of others, but can also benefit those offering their time and money.

On this week’s Valley Edition: A show about giving. A woman who grew up in a Weedpatch migrant camp during the Dust Bowl era is now welcoming a new set of people who feel displaced. 

Also, community advocates who work tirelessly to improve the lives of so many in our Valley share advice on how we as citizens can help out.

And later, who gives more than teachers? We talk to one whose video production classes give kids a voice.

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above. 

Courtesy of Christopher Moua

The arts can unite and heal us in immeasurable ways, and few people need more uplifting right now than Fresno’s Hmong Community. That’s in light of last month’s horrific mass shooting that left four men of Hmong descent dead and six others injured. Renee Ya is the co-founder of Tiger Byte Studios, which is putting on a seven day arts and media celebration in Fresno to coincide with the upcoming Hmong New Year.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

At the Fresno Fairgrounds inside the Industrial Education building, a large photo of Xy Lee holding a guitar hung above a stage. Beneath it, family and friends gathered around an open casket. There were floral arrangements in the shape of a guitar and a huge heart. 

“Right now, they are going to start playing the ritual, the Hmong ritual, to send the spirit back to its original place,” said Yeng Lee, Xy Lee’s uncle. 

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Here in one of world’s most productive agricultural belts, we have lots of potential for community-supported agriculture—or CSAs—in which consumers connect directly with local farmers by subscribing to weekly boxes of fresh farm goods.

While many small-scale CSAs still operate in the San Joaquin Valley, some of the more prominent ones have been forced to shut down—including Fresno-based OOOOBY, a long-time service with thousands of subscribers that closed its doors very suddenly in November.

In The Studio: Making College Work After Foster Care

Dec 13, 2019
Courtesy of Guardian Scholars

Many students struggle to transition from high school to college, but that challenge is intensified for students coming out of the foster care system. At UC Merced, the Guardian Scholars program provides resources for these students that allow them to reach graduation at rates approaching the general student body. FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Guardian Scholars Program Coordinator Edith Ramirez, as well as two UC Merced students who have benefited from the program’s support – Michael Grey and Alyssa Garcia.

Roque Rodriguez

And now for the Weekend, it’s time for Fresno’s Annual Swede Fest where amateurs and sometimes expert filmmakers take scenes from their favorite movies and remake them with friends and family using lots of household props. We hear from one of the founders, Roque Rodriquez.

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: It’s hard enough being a kid in the foster system. But imagine making it through college without family support. One university program is helping students beat the odds and graduate

Plus: We live in the food basket of the world, but community-supported agriculture programs tend to have a short shelf life here in the Valley. In the wake of a popular Fresno CSA shutting down, we find out why they're so hard to run.

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

The family of a local legislator has made significant donations to a committee formed to oppose the mayoral campaign of former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

Campaign filings show that between October and November, Juan and Amy Arambula, the parents of Fresno County Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, donated nearly $100,000 to a political action committee called “Rising Together, No on Dyer for Mayor 2020,” which has created a Facebook group with hundreds of followers and published at least one video attack ad against the former police chief.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Two former governors were in Clovis today to celebrate renewable energy milestones. At Clovis Unified’s Buchanan High School, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown were presented with the one-millionth solar panel to go on a roof in California. 

The panel in question was about the height of a door, and double the width. It took two people to carry it out on stage. 

Flanked by high school students and solar workers, the former governors touted the state’s energy policies, and took a jab at the federal government.

Esmeralda Soria For Congress

Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria grew up in a farm worker family. That legacy wasn’t lost on her on Tuesday when a well-known labor activist and civil rights leader endorsed her 2020 campaign for Congress.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

It’s state law that residences need heating and electricity, and the building has to be in good condition to be habitable. While this sounds straightforward, those who rent their homes sometimes struggle with landlords who are unresponsive and don’t make the proper repairs.

We’ve told you about a podcast we’re hoping to roll out sometime next year called The Other California. It will take a more intimate look at the part of the state where we live, the area that is often considered fly-over or drive-through territory. The phrase comes from a book of essays on the Central Valley by the well-known author and Oildale native Gerald Haslam. I recently caught up with Haslam to find out why he called the book, The Other California: The Great Central Valley in Life and Letters.

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

Alfredo Gonzalez, 42, sat down in the Project Rebound office at Fresno State on a Wednesday morning. He was there to register for a two-day criminal justice class that would count for one unit toward his bachelor’s degree. 

 

“Although I’m at (Fresno) City I’ve been part of Project Rebound since before I got out of prison,” he said. The program helps formerly incarcerated people go to college and graduate. 

 

Alice Daniel / KVPR

Students at Terronez Middle School joined us for a conversation about the Hmong New Year celebration taking place at their school Friday, Dec. 6 from 5 - 7:30 p.m. The event includes dancing, singing, games and lots of food.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Even with his eyes closed, Doug Martin can recognize the sound of every tractor on his Hanford ranch. There’s the big silver work horse, and the 40-year-old Oliver that can still run his backup generator, but the one he looks at with love is a tiny green thing from 1958. “The first time I plowed ground with it, I was seven years old,” he says, recalling how he mishandled the plow and feared he had ruined the fields. He hadn’t; his father simply re-plowed them. “This little tractor did a lot,” he says, laughing.

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