Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many basic questions about the virus have been answered, including how it spreads, how it responds to treatment, and how it affects the body. But even those lessons learned apply mostly to generally healthy people and those with the most common pre-existing conditions, and unknowns still abound for many population subsets—including pregnant women.


Henry Meraz, Leah Whitworth and Etisha Wilbon

On Thursday, the CDC announced something that many have been waiting for, permission for fully vaccinated people to take off their masks in most settings. It was presented as a significant step toward normalcy. But just before that announcement was made, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock had this conversation with mental health professionals about the complicated feelings some of us have about getting back to normal.

Earlier this week, Gov. Gavin Newsom extended the drought emergency declaration to much of California, including the San Joaquin Valley. To better understand the significance of that decision, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke to journalist Steven Greenhut. He is a columnist for the Orange County Register and the author of a book for the Pacific Research Institute called “Winning the Water Wars.”

Kaweah Health Medical Center

For many of us, hospitals are pillars of communities, representing safety nets that we hope will always be there. But there’s no guarantee they will be. A new report estimates that California’s hospitals have suffered billions of dollars in losses in the last year, and that they could lose billions more before 2021 is through.

Library of Congress

While teaching a history course at Fresno State, professor Ethan Kytle stumbled upon the forgotten history of a farm labor crisis in 1942 that inspired Fresno residents to leave their jobs, and classrooms, in order to work in the fields. Kytle, along with co-author Blain Roberts, wrote about the crisis for the online magazine Boom California. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with them about the conditions that led to this labor shortage.

Nicole Nixon, Ben Christopher and Ivy Cargile

It is increasingly likely that Gov. Gavin Newsom will face a recall election later this year. What is less clear is when it will happen, how much it will cost, and what it will mean for the political future of the governor and those running to replace him. To discuss these questions, and more, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with Ivy Cargile, assistant professor of Political Science at CSU Bakersfield, along with political reporters Ben Christopher at CalMatters and Nicole Nixon at Cap Radio.

California State Parks

The Cal Ag Roots podcast series “We Are Not Strangers Here” explores the history of Black Americans in rural California. This week's Valley Edition features an episode from the series, titled “Back to the Land: Allensworth and the Black Utopian Dream,” produced and hosted by Caroline Collins.  

@aydraj (with editing by @naliniasha_art)

The Cal Ag Roots podcast series “We Are Not Strangers Here” explores the contributions of Black Californians to agriculture and rural communities. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with its producer and host Caroline Collins about the importance of preserving that history and the origins of the podcast.

Alice Daniel / KVPR

On this week's Valley Edition, we continue our series looking at how people are processing the pandemic. Last week, we heard from a hip hop dance instructor who says she’s taking more time to slow down and enjoy simple pleasures. This week, a funeral manager talks about his experience. He says it’s been surreal and the grief comes in waves. FM89’s news director Alice Daniel produced this audio postcard.

California Department of Public Health Open Data Portal

*Correction 4/24: This interview inadvertently implies that Eric Bream employs undocumented workers, which he does not.*

Pace Press/Linden Publishing

The new historical novel “Tears of Honor” by Fresno author James Ardaiz documents the experience of Japanese-Americans during WWII. The sweeping narrative includes two boys from Calwa who are forced into an internment camp, and ultimately show their loyalty to America by joining the Army and fighting in the war. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with Ardaiz about the novel and the extensive research he conducted while writing it. 

D’Aungillique Jackson, Arleana Waller, Aaron Foster and NaTesha Johnson

Last summer’s reckoning over police brutality against Black people, led both Fresno and Bakersfield to establish commissions of community members, charged with making recommendations for reform.  Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock checked in with some of the activists involved to see how the work is going, and to hear their response to the murder conviction of Derek Chauvin. She spoke with Bakersfield activists NaTesha Johnson and Arleana Waller, along with D’Aungillique Jackson, president of the Fresno State chapter of the NAACP, and Fresno-based anti-gun violence advocate Aaron Foster.

Kerry Klein


As of this week, more than a half million San Joaquin Valley residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. For some, that means being able to more safely visit grandkids or elderly parents, while for others it’s a ticket to spending more time in public or feeling more secure in person-to-person interactions at work.

UC Merced

Temperatures are on the rise, wild flowers are in bloom, and many are feeling pulled to the great outdoors. Among them is Leigh Bernacchi, a researcher at UC Merced and the author of the new guidebook “Sequoia and Kings Canyon: Hiking, Camping, Waterfalls and Big Trees.” She spoke with Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock about some of the best off-the-beaten-path places to visit in the parks.

Jared White and Stephanie Ayanian

Two upcoming documentaries on Valley PBS cover Armenian-Americans’ struggles grappling with cultural identity and intergenerational trauma, a century after the Armenian Genocide. Valley Edition host Kathleen Schock spoke with Jared White and Lilit Pilikian, the husband and wife team behind the film “100 Years From Home.” It documents Lilit’s quest to find the home her ancestors fled during the genocide. She also spoke with Stephanie Ayanian, producer of the film, “What Will Become of Us.” It explores the lasting impact on the descendants of genocide survivors.

Kerry Klein

The end of the pandemic may finally be approaching: With 1.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in the San Joaquin Valley, 15 percent of adults have now been fully vaccinated, and another 12 percent have received at least one dose. Meanwhile, all Valley counties have now advanced out of the purple, most restrictive tier of the state’s reopening blueprint, signifying what is hopefully the last stretch in the return to normalcy for California’s businesses and places of worship before Governor Gavin Newsom plans to fully reopen the state’s economy in mid-June.


The early days of the pandemic were challenging for truck drivers. As other workers were told to stay home, truckers kept going, delivering food, clothing and cleaning supplies for stores and hospitals throughout the country. On the road for days or weeks at a time, many were fearful of bringing the virus back to their families, and the temporary closures of rest stops left them uncertain whether they’d find a safe place to use the bathroom or sleep.

Clockwise from top left: Gena Lew Gong, Nikiko Masumoto, Geri Yang-Johnson and Ya-Shu Liang

Members of the Asian American community have been sounding alarms over the dramatic increase in anti-Asian rhetoric and violence over the course of the pandemic. But it was another tragedy, the mass shooting in Atlanta that left eight dead, six of whom were women of Asian descent, that centered a national conversation about racism and discrimination against Asian Americans.

Community Medical Centers


Like in so many places across the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic crept up on the San Joaquin Valley. Some of the region’s first official cases were linked to outbreaks on cruise ships that came into port in March, but as we later learned, the virus was already circulating long beforehand.

Jasmine Singh

Days before the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020 board certified psychiatrist Dr. Jasmine Singh spoke with Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock about coronavirus panic. One year later they spoke again about anxiety, depression, collective trauma, and what the pandemic has done to our mental health.