Kerry Klein

Reporter

Kerry Klein is a radio and print reporter who’s covered issues ranging from air and water quality to renewable energy and space exploration. After stints at KQED, the San Jose Mercury News, and NASA, she freelanced for outlets like The Atlantic, Science and Stanford Magazine. In 2015, she was awarded a grant from the Public Radio Exchange to report a national story on the health effects of noise pollution.

After growing up near Boston, Kerry graduated from McGill University with a B.S. in geology. When she began working as an exploration geologist and geothermal energy analyst, radio reporting was a distant and unlikely future. But she found meaning in media while hosting a talk show at a Montreal public radio station and later while producing a podcast for Science Magazine. She subsequently studied science journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is excited to be exploring community health and the rich diversity of the San Joaquin Valley here at KVPR.

When she’s not in front of a computer or microphone, Kerry can be found biking to the rock climbing gym, practicing her violin, or sewing a retro cocktail dress.

Ways to Connect

On this week's Valley Edition: Governor Gavin Newsom announced California was pulling the emergency break on its reopening plan due to the state’s rising COVID-19 numbers. We go to Firebaugh to get the reaction of this small Fresno County farming town that has fought hard to keep cases low. 

Plus, we discuss the growing humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh following the six-week war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

And we talk with award-winning journalist Farai Chidaya about her new podcast, Our Body Politic.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Ed Welker is relatively new to Avenal State Prison. He’s been incarcerated there only since March. But when he was recently moved to a new dorm in a different yard, he saw a familiar face. “One of the officers that are working right now in the building that I’m in, in the 2 yard, is the regular building officer over on the 5 yard, where I just came from,” he says.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

More than 3,300 inmates and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at Avenal, which is the highest total of any prison in California and possibly in the entire country. So far, the virus has killed eight of the prison’s incarcerated men.

https://covid19.ca.gov

A rise in COVID-19 cases has prompted another round of business restrictions in most California counties, including those in the San Joaquin Valley.

 

Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that 29 counties would be rolling back into the purple, most restrictive tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, including Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Merced Counties, which had been in the red tier for weeks.

 

City of parlier

 

After many weeks of holding steady, COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise, not just in other parts of the country, but also statewide and here in the Valley. Daily new cases are at the highest they’ve been since early September, case rates and positivity rates are increasing, and all Valley counties—other than Madera and Tulare Counties, which are already in the “widespread” tier of the state’s reopening blueprint—are in danger of retreating back to more restrictive tiers.

On this week's Valley Edition: Now that California voters have said no to the idea of restoring affirmative action, we take a look at what this will mean for public higher education.

Plus, in honor of Veterans Day, we talk to Peggy and Edward Pastana about how their bond helped them overcome an accident that recently kept them apart.

And a documentary from a UC Merced professor explores the refugee experience through the eyes of children.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

 

Later this month, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is set to release a report detailing how well its clean air programs are meeting federal requirements for reducing emissions. It’s called an equivalency demonstration, and it’s released annually every November.

Adventist Health

Nearly eight months in, the COVID-19 pandemic is still looking grim: Nationwide, the virus has killed more than 230,000 people, and this week, for the first time, more than 100,000 cases were reported in a single day. Twice.

Flickr user JKehoe_Photos (CC BY-ND 2.0)

It’s the end of October, which means we’re stuck with a pandemic holiday weekend. With health experts across the board discouraging trick-or-treating and gathering indoors, how can we celebrate safely?

 

Rest assured that there are ways to minimize the risks of celebrating Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. We offer some safety tips and creative alternatives to traditional festivities as part of this week’s COVID-19 update.

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: Latinx voters are among the largest and most diverse voting blocks in California. We’ll ask our panel, how are campaigns connecting and mobilizing these voters in the final days of the election season? 

Plus we take a deeper look at proposition 23. It requires dialysis clinics to have a doctor on site at all times, but will it really improve patient care? 

We’ll also hear another segment from StoryCorps San Joaquin. 

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above. 

Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

 

Now that most counties in the San Joaquin Valley have graduated out of the most restrictive “purple” tier of the governor’s reopening blueprint, many schools are preparing to bring students back to campus, and some already have.

How are schools phasing in-person instruction back in, what’s the fate of extracurricular activities, and what precautions are schools taking to keep students safe? This week’s COVID-19 update breaks down what in-person learning could look like across the Valley.

On this week’s Valley Edition: Election season is underway. As Valley voters cast their ballots, we discuss how a predicted high voter turnout could impact local congressional races. 

Plus, a community choir is figuring out a new way to sing together in the pandemic: in their cars with the help of an FM radio transmitter. 

We also speak with the Fresno poet who is a finalist for the National Book Award. 

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

Terry Delamater

 

Depending on a county’s status in California’s reopening blueprint, most of the state’s gyms are allowed to operate either exclusively outdoors or indoors with tight restrictions on capacity. In Kern County, however, some gyms have been designated as essential, allowing them to circumvent those guidelines.

 

 

This week on Valley Edition: More and more young candidates are running for office. We talk with three Valley youth vying for seats on local school boards.

 

Plus, teaching online is challenging enough. But getting kids to sing in a chorus over the internet? That’s really tricky. Choir teachers are coming up with new ways to make music.  

We also delve into more ballot propositions and update you on the pandemic. 

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

 

Families United to End Life Without Parole

On a bright afternoon in June, a group of protesters wearing masks gathered in a dusty parking lot outside a prison in rural Kings County. One of them held a megaphone up to a cell phone. “My name is Jacob Benitez, I’m an inmate calling from Facility F right here at Avenal State Prison,” crackled the voice on the other end of the call.

On this week’s Valley Edition: COVID-19 cases are soaring at Avenal State Prison, and inmates there say postponed visitations, rule changes, and constant bed moves are taking a psychological toll. 

Plus, honey bees have already been hit hard by disease, drought and development. Now, the Creek Fire has killed millions more. 

We also continue our election coverage, and delve into more propositions. 

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

Healthy Fresno County Facebook Page

Last week, Fresno County businesses celebrated that the county had advanced into the red, less restrictive tier of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan. Then, this past Tuesday, they learned that they may be forced to close back up again, as early as next week, if the county’s case rate doesn’t improve. A Kern County administrator warned the same could happen to its residents if they let their guard down too soon.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1,300 people have died of COVID-19 in the seven counties of the southern San Joaquin Valley and foothills, according to official counts by county health departments and the state. The tallies aggregated in those health department dashboards, which represent between one and two percent of all who’ve tested positive for the virus, capture those who were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 and whose death certificates listed the virus as a primary cause of death.

 

Fresno County Department of Public Health

 

When we seek to quantify the toll that COVID-19 is taking on our communities, we typically turn to official statistics like confirmed cases, hospitalization rates and, of course, death counts. But what if that final tally is an undercount, and the death toll is really much higher?

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