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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

Alex Hall/KQED

 

 

Four people were shot dead and six others wounded in a shooting Sunday night in the backyard of a Southeast Fresno home. 

"This was a gathering, a family and friend gathering in the backyard, " Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley said at a press conference Sunday. "Everyone was watching football this evening when unknown suspects approached the residence, snuck into the backyard and opened fire.”

Shooters opened fire on 10 people in the backyard. Others inside the house were not harmed, police said. 

Cal Spill Watch

Juan Flores remembers sitting in a meeting in July when his phone started blowing up. He’s a community organizer with the non-profit advocacy group Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment. “A fellow colleague in environmental justice work, he literally called me three times,” he says.

Not wanting to disturb his meeting, Flores declined the calls at first. “By the third time, I said now this is something important and serious so let me actually step out and take the call,” he says.

On this week's Valley Edition, we go up in the air for an aerial view of Kern County’s Cymric Oil Field. And on the ground in Tulare County, will a village of tiny homes help solve the homeless crisis? 

You may know McFarland for the Disney movie about an against-the-odds cross country track team winning the state championship. But now the town is in the spotlight for a different reason - two investigative reporters tell us about its “second chance” police department. 

 

Rebecca Plevin / Valley Public Radio

The individual health care costs of a severe case of valley fever can be devastating. But with thousands of cases of the fungal disease each year in California, what’s the cost to society? A new study makes an astounding estimate.

On this week’s Valley Edition: The first African American park superintendent was instrumental in building a wagon road into Sequoia National Park back in 1903. Now for Veterans Day, a portion of Highway 198 will be renamed for this dynamic Colonel.

We also take you to Tulare County where a dynamic mother-daughter team advocates for infrastructure improvements and basic needs, like drinkable water, in unincorporated communities.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

After more than a century of milk production, California’s oldest dairy is closing. The owner isn’t getting out of agriculture altogether, however—he’s switching out cows for trees.

VINOTHCHANDAR VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

The non-profit health advocacy group March of Dimes has released its annual preterm birth report card, and once again, San Joaquin Valley counties ranked among the worst in the state.

U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons

For this segment of The Weekend, we’re taking you to the Mojave Desert – specifically to the Kern County City of Ridgecrest, which boasts the western hemisphere’s largest collection of Native American Petroglyphs.

Open enrollment began this month for Covered California, the state’s public health insurance exchange. This year, there’s good news for low-income and even middle-class Californians.

The biggest change is a boatload of new subsidies. Over the next three years, California will spend nearly one and a half billion dollars on premium assistance for those who make as much as six times the federal poverty level—that’s up to $72,840 in annual income for an individual, or $150,600 for a family of four.

Jason Scott / Valley Public Radio

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to recognize the Armenian genocide, marking a first in more than three decades.

It was a “historic day,” says Berj Apkarian, Fresno’s Honorary Consul to the Republic of Armenia. He says the Fresno area’s Armenian community, one of the largest in California outside of Los Angeles, is abuzz with the news out of Washington. “The Armenian nation in the civilized world have been waiting for over 105 years to bring justice to this cause,” he says.

EPA AirNow

On Monday, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District issued a warning of unhealthy air conditions due to wildfire smoke from Northern California, an alert it repeated on Wednesday. Why then, for days, were online air monitors showing relatively healthy air? It’s the result of the size of the particulate matter blowing into the Valley, but also the level of information that air authorities share with the public.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Jovita Torres Romo lives in a grayish bungalow surrounded by cactus and succulents and strung with Christmas lights. It’s located on one of the handful of streets that make up Tombstone Territory, an unincorporated Fresno County community that’s been her home for 30 years. It’s quiet, except for the few days a week when her young grandchildren come over to watch cartoons and play in the backyard. “I like it here,” she says through a Spanish interpreter. “I raised five children here, they grew up in this house, and I like living outside the city in the county.”

On this week’s Valley Edition: California is trying to manage its groundwater better, but some communities, already grappling with unsafe drinking water, worry they’ll be left behind by local agencies to fend for themselves.

And a Bay Area conservation group just purchased the world’s largest privately owned giant sequoia grove: 530 acres of pristine forest.

Plus: We hear from journalists about two upcoming projects. One of them is run by young women throughout the state, the other is an effort to improve education reporting in Fresno. 

Craig Luther

While the impeachment inquiry carried on in Washington, pockets of people took to the streets across the country on Thursday to support President Trump. One anti-impeachment rally took place in Bakersfield.

Wikimedia Commons

Police in Kings County are tracking down the suspects believed to have been involved in stealing $50,000 worth of inventory from a Lemoore factory.

The goods are cheese: Mozzarella, to be exact, stolen from Leprino foods, one of the world’s largest mozzarella producers. “Their cheese is usually in the forms of 6-pound loafs, blocks, or also shredded cheese that comes in bags,” says Lemoore Detective Osvaldo Maldonado.

 

 

On this week's Valley Edition: Two violent incidents shook the Sikh community in Bakersfield this year; now a women’s group is running a resource hotline in English and Punjabi.

And one father in Fresno who lost two children to gun violence has a strategy for fighting it in his own neighborhood. Is it working? We follow him to find out.

Fresno Police Department

Following a ceremony Wednesday at City Hall, the City of Fresno has a new chief of police.

After 18 years as chief, Jerry Dyer passed the baton to Andy Hall, a 40-year-veteran of the force who’d been deputy chief since 2016.

Singing Hall’s praises for nearly 10 minutes, Dyer credited Hall with making Fresno’s streets safer by increasing the number of officers working in the traffic bureau. "There are hundreds of families that did not have to bury a loved one as the result of your efforts," Dyer said addressing Hall. "So thank you for that.”

Kaiser Permanente Fresno

The San Joaquin Valley’s largest city will soon be home to a new nursing program.

Through a program offered by Samuel Merritt University in partnership with Kaiser Permanente Fresno, registered nurses will be able to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing. Although the private health sciences university is located in Oakland, students would be based entirely in Fresno. Each cohort of 24 nurses would continue working while taking part-time classes at a university building at Cedar and Herndon.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Dennis Hutson’s rows of alfalfa, melons, okra and black-eyed peas are an oasis of green in the dry terrain of Allensworth, an unincorporated community in rural Tulare County. Hutson, currently cultivating on 60 acres, has a vision for many more fields bustling with jobs. “This community will forever be impoverished and viewed by the county as a hamlet,” he says, “unless something happens that can create an economic base. That's what I'm trying to do.”

Big Fresno Fair

To the estimated half a million visitors it attracts each year, the Big Fresno Fair is synonymous with carnival rides, fried food, and horse racing. But to hospitals, the fair means something completely different: fewer visits to the emergency room.

Joyce Eden, director of emergency services at Saint Agnes Medical Center, says she was recently talking about it with a colleague. “I said ‘watch it for the next two weeks, my numbers will be lower for the next couple weeks,’” she says. “And so far they have been.”

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