madera

More than a hundred people gathered at an elementary school on Friday in Madera to protest police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The people behind the protest were black high school students.

Eighteen-year-old Mary Idowu led the protest which started with a “No Justice, No Peace” chant. A recent graduate of Madera South High School, Idowu said it’s important for society to see a well-organized peaceful protest from young people.

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

The Madera City Council passed an ordinance last night to support residents who were about to be evicted before the holidays, and before state law Assembly Bill 1482 goes into effect, enforcing stronger renter protections. Residents were overjoyed by the unanimous decision. 

City of Madera

Madera City employees say they haven’t seen a cost of living increase in years, and tonight they’ll be picketing outside city hall, before the council’s meeting, in protest. 

Salary negotiations are not on the council’s agenda, but protesters hope their presence highlights the wage issue. Members of the Madera Affiliated Employees Association are working under a contract that expired at the end of June

City of Madera Facebook Page

Residents of a Madera apartment complex are being evicted en masse, and some suspect the landlord is issuing evictions to avoid upcoming renter protections. 

Last Friday, residents at the Laguna Knolls complex were issued letters saying they have until four days after Christmas to leave. 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Across Fresno and Madera Counties, about 2,600 kids are currently in foster care. Although foster parents, attorneys, social workers and judges work together to move cases through the court system, some needs fall through the cracks. An organization called CASA connects foster youth with volunteers to try to make sure that doesn't happen. The volunteers are also known as CASAs, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. But the organization argues there aren’t nearly enough volunteers to fill the need.

 

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

As the U.S. trade war with China continues, farmers in California’s Central Valley are feeling the pinch.

Jay Mahil is one such farmer: he grows almonds in Madera, and is the fourth generation in his family to do so. He says he normally exports a lot of his crop overseas to China, but with the trade war, he and other nut growers are starting to get edged out.

“You know, some of the other countries have been capitalizing on this, especially Australia,” says Mahil.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

  Educators in Madera voted overwhelmingly this week to accept a new contract offer from Madera Unified School District. Teachers there were on the verge of striking, but with this agreement, they have a short term fix.

North Fork Casino environmental impact statement

A case challenging plans by a Madera County Native American tribe to build a casino and hotel resort has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case, known as Stand Up California versus the federal Department of the Interior, questions the government's ability to bring land into to trust for the co-called "off-reservation" gaming site of the North Fork Rancheria Mono Indians.

Madera County

Madera County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward with a plan for a new cultural and performing arts center in downtown Madera. The project would create a joint powers authority to build the facility, which includes the City of Madera, the Madera Unified School District and the Madera County Arts Council. The center would be built where probation and the district attorney’s offices are now, and would include renovation of the historic county library. It’s unknown how much the project would cost.

AARON SALCIDO / Zocalo Public Square

Could the San Joaquin River, long a dividing line in the heart of California, unite the state in pursuit a more metropolitan future for the Central Valley?

Whether that happens will be determined in Madera County, on the north side of the river from Fresno. There, a new city, consisting of multiple large planned communities, is finally under construction after decades of planning and litigation.

This week on Valley Edition, we learn about plans from a Canadian company to mine for gold in Mariposa. We also talk about the local political impact of the "Nunes Memo" and learn why the Delta smelt had a bad year, despite the end to California's drought. Plus we talk with Madera DA candidate Sally Moreno and learn about a new exhibit in Kingsburg. 

The race for Madera County District Attorney is likely to be one of the more interesting local contests in 2018. It pits incumbent DA David Linn against challenger and current Fresno County prosecutor Sally Moreno. The race took on a new tone in late 2017 after allegations surfaced that Linn had made racist and sexist remarks on the job.

This week on Valley Edition, we get the latest on allegations that Madera County DA David Linn made sexual and racist remarks about employees and crime victims in the workplace. FM89's Kerry Klein reports on what Monday's move by the Board of Supervisors to censure Linn and ask for his resignation means for the county, as well as Linn's denials and claims of political retaliation. 

Linguistics professors and students at Fresno State are hard at work on a mammoth task - saving the language of the Chukchansi tribe of Mono Indians. One thing makes their task especially difficult - there are only 12 speakers of the Chukchansi language left. We talked with professors Brian Agbayani and Niken Adisasmito-Smith about their work, and the challenges of not only documenting the language for posterity but also keeping alive and in active use. 

High Speed Rail Authority

The decision by the California High-Speed Rail Authority to build the northern section of track first is having big consequences for the location of the project’s heavy maintenance facility. The facility and is highly sought after by several valley communities, and is expected to bring with it around 1,500 jobs.

In the authority’s new proposal, the first section of functional track would run from San Jose to Shafter.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Just a few decades ago Fresno used to be the center of the American Fig Industry, with orchards stretching for thousands of acres. Now most of the trees planted by J.C. Forkner almost 100 years ago are gone and are replaced by homes and shopping centers.

What do General William Tecumseh Sherman, the Greek god Zeus and Sir Lancelot all have in common? They've all lent their names to popular beers from local craft breweries. It turns out the San Joaquin Valley is in the midst of a craft beer boom, from Bakersfield to Turlock, making it one of the area’s hottest food and beverage trends. What's behind the explosive growth, and is there a definitive local style of beer?

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For years, the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust has worked to preserve the river bottom from development between Friant Dam and Highway 99. While the parkway, and its partner agency, the San Joaquin River Conservancy have amassed thousands of acres of land along the river, much of that land isn't regularly open to the public. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

It’s been nearly six months since officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking for California’s high speed rail project in Fresno. But as Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports construction crews Tuesday started building the project’s first bridge in Madera.

After months of underground work, it’s the obvious sign of construction on California’s $68-billion bullet train project.  Over the next eight to 10 months crews will assemble the viaduct over the Fresno River and Highway 145.

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