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Even before the coronavirus, Tiffani Quinto had some experience with pandemics.

“You know I lived through H1N1,” she said. “I was a buyer at the time at Valley Children’s. And it’s similar to that.”  

Now she’s the supply chain management contract coordinator for Community Medical Centers in Fresno. She says medical supply distributors operate on an allocation system based on a hospital’s previous purchase history.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

What do you do if your printing business is suffering because of COVID-19? Well for one Fresno business, employees are going with the times.

Dumont Printing is still dealing in its usual trade: signage. But instead of company mailers and event announcements, it's making "Keep Distance" decals.

“Immediately we started selling social distancing floor graphics to try and help the small business who is still open and has blue tape on their floor,” said Susan Moore, Dumont’s president and owner. 

Screenshot OnwardCa.org

Bitwise Industries got a shout-out from Governor Gavin Newsom Thursday as he announced relief for small businesses. The Fresno-based tech company is creating a resource for those laid off due to the pandemic: OnwardCa.org

Fresno Convention Center

The Fresno Convention Center is the new site for an emergency field hospital, the county announced Friday. The effort is to take pressure off of local hospitals by treating COVID-19 patients whose cases are less severe. 

“At the end of the day we need to make sure our hospitals are kept open for those who need critical care the most,” said Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig. 

The county’s original plan was to use the fairgrounds but the state rejected that site because it did not meet current building codes. 

 

 

What’s it like to be on the frontlines of medicine during a pandemic? FM89’s News Director Alice Daniel got a firsthand account from Dr. Patil Armenian. She’s an associate professor of clinical emergency medicine at UCSF Fresno and she works at Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno. 

 

Tower Yoga Website

As residents and business owners take on the city of Fresno’s “shelter in place” recommendation, which went into effect Thursday, many are turning to the web to keep their services going. 

The city released a list of “Essential” and “Non-Essential” businesses. Officials are advising residents to cease trips to non-essential businesses, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Grocery and hardware stores made the “Essential” list, but bars and hair salons did not. 

Madi Bolanos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As state and local officials advise older Americans to stay indoors and away from crowds amid coronavirus concerns, supermarkets are working to accommodate their needs. 

 

This week, Vallarta, an American supermarket chain that caters to Latino customers,

Madi Bolanos

The city of Fresno issued a voluntary shelter in place order Wednesday to go into effect Thursday at midnight. Residents are being asked to leave their homes for essential services only.  

Fresno Unified School District

Three Valley districts have made the decision to close their schools starting Monday until April 13: Fresno, Clovis and Central Unified. They’re the latest across the state to announce a blanket closure of schools due to coronavirus concerns.  

In a press conference Friday, Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson said preserving the health and well-being of students is the district’s priority.   

This week on Valley Edition: COVID-19 cases are on the rise in California, but what does that mean for the San Joaquin Valley? We learn how the disease is affecting our healthcare system, education and the economy and we get some advice on how not to panic. 

We also interview an author whose latest book was inspired by murders in the 1980s committed by the so-called “Lords of Bakersfield.”

And, we check in with StoryCorp San Joaquin. You’ll hear the first of many segments  coming straight from the Valley.

 

StoryCorps

Valley Public Radio has partnered with the personal history project StoryCorps and its 2020 mobile tour. Since February 12, StoryCorps has been in Fresno and Bakersfield documenting the stories of residents in the San Joaquin Valley. As part of our collaboration, we’ll be airing segments over the next year based on some of these recorded conversations.   

Madera County Department of Public Health

Madera and Fresno County public health departments confirmed single cases of the coronavirus Saturday; both are isolated cases with a known source of transmission, officials said. 

A Madera County resident tested positive for the coronavirus following the resident’s return from a recent Princess Cruise trip, according to a statement from the Madera County Department of Public Health. 

The patient has been isolated and is in stable condition, according to the statement by Madera County Public Health Officer Dr. Simon Paul.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra was in Fresno Friday to remind residents to fill out the 2020 Census. Fresno County is one of the hardest-to-count regions, and Becerra urged residents not to ignore their chance to be represented.

Fresno Rogue Festival

This weekend and next, take a chance on Fresno’s Rogue festival, an annual tradition in the Tower District that has performers and attendees bustling from show to show. 

To preview the fringe festival, we spoke to Donald Munro who covers art and culture in the San Joaquin Valley on his website, The Munro Review. We talk about how the festival has changed over the last 19 years, and how Munro decides what shows to see: he starts with a program, a block of time, and open expectations. 

Alice Daniel

 

The Armenian oud master Richard Hagopian has been playing the instrument, similar to the lute, since he was a kid. He’s 82 now. This Saturday Feb. 29, he’ll be speaking and performing at a public memory event at Fresno State documenting the history of local Armenian-American music production in the San Joaquin Valley.

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: With Tuesday’s primary election just days away, we look at what’s at stake for those down ballot races, and what some candidates are doing to turn out voters. And we sit down with Fresno mayoral candidate Jerry Dyer.

Plus: We hear from an Armenian oud master who is helping to preserve the history of Armenian-American music in the San Joaquin Valley. 

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above. 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

 

Supporters of Massachusetts Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren packed into a downtown Fresno business Monday to hear from someone who used to be her competitor.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro addressed around 50 people at the Fulton Street Coffee shop. The 45-year-old was also a presidential candidate, but ended his bid in January. He said running alongside Elizabeth Warren proved to him that she deserves the democratic nomination.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

The San Joaquin Valley lies underneath one of the two most polluted air basins in the country. That’s why, in 2018, two communities here – one in Shafter and one in south-central Fresno – were selected among the first to participate in Assembly Bill 617, an ambitious state law that enables local involvement in air protection.

On this week’s Valley Edition: We sit down with candidates Jim Costa and Esmerelda Soria to talk policy and politics as both vye for the 16th Congressional District seat.

 

Plus, you’ve heard her as a panelist on ‘Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!’ the NPR news quiz show: this weekend, comedian Paula Poundstone is coming to Fresno. The standup comic tells us why improvisation is key to a good show. 

We also ask if community efforts to clean up the San Joaquin Valley’s dirty air are working.

To begin the first broadcast of the 2020 season of Young Artists Spotlight, we feature three talented string soloists from Fresno's Simba School of Music: Hasina Torres, cello; Izzy Knittle, violin; and Anjeli Macaranas, violin. All three are students of violinist K.C. Simba-Torres. They perform works by J.S. Bach, Elgar and Sibelius, in this broadcast hosted by David Aus. 

Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from The Bonner Family Foundation.

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