Soreath Hok

Reporter

Soreath Hok is a multimedia journalist with 16 years of experience in radio, television and digital production. At Valley Public Radio she covers local government, politics and other local news. A Cambodian-American, Soreath began her journalism career in Fresno, graduating from Fresno State with a B.A. in English and minor in Mass Communication & Journalism. Her first media job at KFSR, the campus radio station, helped to launch her career in broadcast news. She worked as a producer at two Fresno stations, KMPH FOX 26 and KSEE 24, before moving to KCRA 3 in Sacramento. After more than 10 years behind-the-scenes as a producer, Soreath explored other creative outlets outside of news in advertising, marketing and social media. Most recently, she started a social media marketing company in Sacramento, before deciding to move back to Fresno to help with her family’s business. Now, she’s happy to be back in her hometown, returning to the medium that started it all for her.

Ways to Connect

 

On the next Valley Edition: Now that pandemic restrictions on places of worship have lifted, some temples serving Punjabi Sikhs have partnered with COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

Plus, what happened after a brush fire tore through four immigrant-owned businesses in a Tulare County community. 

And the danger reckless driving poses to wildlife in Yosemite. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above. 

 

The City of Fresno began inspecting a series of blighted, vacant commercial buildings on Monday as part of an ordinance the city council passed in June. 

The first is the former Gottschalks building on Fulton Street in downtown Fresno. On the outside, most windows are smashed out and boarded up. 

City councilmember Miguel Arias heads inside with inspectors. They’re all using cell phones as flashlights. 

“This is the kind of stuff we gotta look at, the gas line is off completely,” Arias says, pointing toward the ceiling.

 

On the next Valley Edition: With the recent excessive heat wave and the drought, small farmers worry about the survival of their crops. 

Plus, the legislative effort to overturn a state law that allows some workers with disabilities to earn less than the minimum wage.   

And Fresno’s Cambodian community launches a weekly night market. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above. 


 

 

The crowd is slowly filling in on this Friday, as triple digit temperatures blaze the grounds of Fresno’s largest Cambodian temple at Clinton and Valentine.

Guests are taking refuge in corners with shade, watching singers perform on the main stage. 

Other visitors braving the sun are lined up at vendor booths, set up in rows along the main courtyard. The smell of cooked meats fills the air. Danny Kim says this is all familiar to him.

“I travel to Cambodia a lot and night market is the most popular thing in Cambodia.” 

Gladys Dick McKinney has just made a quick stop for strawberry jello at the Dollar General on Highway 180.

She’s making a cake for her brother’s birthday but before she heads out, she takes a minute to talk to me about the proposed name change and even asks me to sit in her air conditioned car. 

 

She says she’s lived here all of her life and doesn’t mind the name.

 

“As far as Squaw Valley offending me, that name does not offend me. And I'm a Indian woman, a mother,” Dick McKinney says.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

California's Central Valley expects record temperatures this weekend, reaching dangerous levels in places like Fresno. Valley Public Radio's Soreath Hok reports that people are looking for ways to defend against the heat.

 

On the next Valley Edition: Rural communities throughout California lack vital healthcare infrastructure: how some local counties are grappling with vaccine deserts. 

Plus, the political fight to bring safe drinking water to San Joaquin Valley communities.

And how to prepare for yet another summer of dirty air. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above. 

 

 

 

On the next Valley Edition: In 2020, more patients died at a psychiatric hospital in Fresno County than at many prisons three times its size. An FM89 investigation looks into why.

Plus, State Legislators and Governor Gavin Newsom arrive at a deal that will allow undocumented residents 50 years and older to apply for Medi-Cal. 

 

 

And a new book by a Fresno State history professor looks at the Declaration of Independence from the perspective of those who stayed loyal to Britain.

 

As City Councilmember Tyler Maxwell and I get on the FAX bus at Shaw and Cedar, a cool blast of air greets us. Our fare is free but that ends in September. Maxwell says the zero fare experiment was helpful during COVID, especially for low-income residents without cars. FAX busses returned to full capacity last week.

“I can't tell you how many stories my office has gotten over text, email, phone call, just saying what a huge relief this has been for so many families, especially during the pandemic,” he says.

 

On the next Valley Edition: When was the last time you really listened to someone with a different political view? We introduce our collaboration with StoryCorps’ One Small Step.   

Plus, author Mark Arax discusses how history intersects with race and real estate in the city of Fresno.  

And how the pandemic forced one LGBTQ entertainer to assess his mental health. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above. 

Fresno City leaders voted to adopt a $1.4 billion budget Thursday, which some called ‘historic’ for its focus on community improvements in underserved areas of Fresno. 

 

“This is to me, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make those key investments, particularly in those disadvantaged neighborhoods that we've never had the opportunity to really invest in,” said City Council President Luis Chavez.

 

At Spano Park in North Fresno, overlooking the San Joaquin River, Paying Her gazed at the open space below, as she recalled how difficult it’s been to access the river with her family.

 

 

“We usually access it through parking at that particular glass building,” she said, pointing to a nearby office complex. “And then walking down, which is very rough, especially for me, as I do have young kids,” she said. 

 

After over a year online, Madera South High School adopted a hybrid schedule in April so students could return to classrooms a couple of days a week. 

But inside Rodia Montgomery-Gentry’s 12th grade economics class in early June, it felt like school was already out. Desks with plastic dividers lined the room but there were only three students.

“Everyone, would you mind turning on your camera? It’s our last day might as well,” Montgomery-Gentry is heard addressing students on her screen.

On the next Valley Edition: A state law requires schools to track attendance during the pandemic, but the frustrations of teachers and students at one Madera high school tell a different story than the numbers.

Plus, we discuss how school districts are planning to make up for the learning loss students experienced during the pandemic?

And a local historian tells us why he thinks Juneteenth should be a national holiday. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above.

 

Hundreds of supporters cheered and clapped in front of Fresno City Hall today as the Pride flag was raised for the first time ever.

City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria spoke at a podium lined with rainbow colored balloons.

“Today marks a new and important chapter in the city of Fresno as we demonstrate our commitment to equality and justice for all,” she said.

Mayor Jerry Dyer attended the ceremony in support, after conversations with members of the LGBTQ community changed his mind about allowing the flag to fly at City Hall. 

On this week's Valley Edition: Why one small town in the San Joaquin Valley is a destination for unaccompanied minors crossing the Southern border, and how it’s preparing for an anticipated increase this year. 

Plus, how has the pandemic impacted the Central Valley’s LGBTQ+ community? And a new podcast tells the story of a Stanislaus County defense attorney accused of murder. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above.

 

After multiple conversations with the LGBTQ community, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer has agreed to raise the Pride flag at City Hall. 

 

It will fly for the first time on city property Friday, June 11 during a flag raising ceremony, which Dyer said he will attend. 

 

Dyer became emotional as he spoke about attending the Pride flag raising ceremony at Fresno City College earlier on Friday. 

 

On this week's Valley Edition: Beginning last summer, dozens of Fresno County non-profits came together to fight COVID-19. They’ve been so effective at community outreach, other counties are following their lead.

And, Corcoran is sinking. The local author of an article explaining it in the New York Times tells us why. 

Plus, Fresno State’s new president shares his vision for the university. Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above.

Fresno city leaders are at odds over a resolution city council passed last week that would allow elected officials to decide which honorary flags to fly at City Hall.  

 

The discussion over the resolution came with a heated exchange when Councilmember Esmeralda Soria spoke about a request to raise the Pride flag.

 

“What makes me extremely sad is that you are supposedly saying that we want a One Fresno, but as soon as we are trying to raise the Pride flag, you make it an issue,” she said.  

 

On this week's Best of Valley Edition: In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we revisit the story of an immigrant family from Vietnam whose generosity and foresight helped them get through the past year.

Plus, we take a look back at important conversations we’ve had in the past few months about anti-Asian rhetoric and violence during the pandemic, as well as the rise in misinformation and conspiracy theories.  

Listen to these stories and more in the podcast above. 

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