Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

merced

On this week’s Valley Edition:  Why is it so difficult to find childcare in the Valley? One university looks to high school students as part of the solution.

Sometimes it’s hard to find good healthcare too, especially if you’re living in a rural area. We look at one local hospital’s efforts to increase rural access to doctors. We also talk about what it means that Fresno State’s nursing master’s program just lost its accreditation. And we catch up with three Valley teenagers lobbying their representatives in Washington, D.C. for climate change reform.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

When it comes to access to mental health care at public schools, California ranks at or near the bottom according to a Columbia University report. But one Merced high school is going against that tide with an entire course dedicated to mental health. Kids are responding so positively, they’re becoming advocates themselves.

Among those students is 18-year-old Jonathan Swart.

This week on Valley Edition: We’ve moved from Tuesdays to Fridays!

 

A Los Banos mother explains why she became an activist for the multiracial movement, and in Merced, we talk to high schoolers about a mental health class they initiated.

In Bakersfield, an unusual event uses games and humor to encourage attendees to think about what they want - after they die.

No, Gavin Newsom Didn't Just Kill California's High-Speed Rail Project

Feb 15, 2019
CA High Speed Rail Authority

Governor Gavin Newsom’s remarks on California’s embattled high-speed rail project in his State of the State address Tuesday seemed to confuse just about everyone. Supporters and opponents alike questioned whether he’s scaling back the project, or even abandoning it. Turns out … he really isn’t changing all that much. Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler explains.

These words made heads spin across the nation:

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Ten years ago, the city of Merced was ground zero for the housing crisis in California. Just a few years before that, the University of California’s brand new Merced campus opened outside the city, which arguably drove the overdevelopment that set up the city to fall so hard during the recession. Now, a decade later, the university has invested in the city with a new downtown building—but that’s not the only new development happening at UC Merced.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

 

We all know what a port looks like. There’s water and ships stacked high with shipping containers. But those are often in busy areas on the coast: Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland. Well, one Central Valley county has decided to get in on the shipping and distribution game. That county is partnering with the Port of Los Angeles to give their region a boost for distributing around the world.

 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

UC Merced isn’t the first place people think of when it comes to finding new ways to prevent the spread of HIV globally. But thanks to one professor the university is now working with scientists around the globe to find an alternative way to prevent the virus from infecting people.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A new map released by NASA earlier this year shows that large portions of California are sinking. The worst of it is in the San Joaquin Valley. One of the main reasons is the over pumping of groundwater, especially in the last five years of drought.

All that sinking and all the snow melting in the Sierra has Central Valley water managers like Dustin Fuller worried.

Lucasfilm

There's a new Star Wars film out in theaters this month, Rogue One. While George Lucas sold the franchise to Disney for billions several years ago, the California native will forever be associated with the Star Wars brand.

Merced Rescue Mission / http://www.mercedrescuemission.org/about-us

Homelessness is a big problem throughout the valley. It’s not just in large cities like Bakersfield and Fresno though. Smaller towns and rural counties are facing their own challenges in serving those in need with food, shelter and often mental health and substance abuse treatment. But what happens when finding a place to do all those things runs into community opposition?

Google Street View / Google

EDITORS'S NOTE: As of Monday October 10, 2016 the hot meals program has reopened at a new location.

Original Post: 

The Merced County Rescue Mission is looking for a new home for its hot meals program.

http://www.ncclf.org/new-grocer-in-central-fresno/

A new partnership between two California groups is making it a little bit easier for residents of one older Fresno neighborhood to get fresh healthy food. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports. 

For the first time in more than 15 years a new grocery store is set to open in an underserved Central Fresno neighborhood.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For the first time in nearly a decade, Fresno is not one of the top ten cities in the nation for auto theft. 

The study released this month from the National Insurance Crime Bureau shows that at least when compared with other cities, Fresno is faring better when it comes to vehicle theft. As recently as 2011, Fresno led the nation in stolen cars. Last year it dropped to number nine, and this year all the way to 13.

High-Speed Rail Authority

Supporters of California’s ambitious High-Speed rail project are making a lot of big promises about what the line can achieve, everything from less greenhouse gas emissions to fewer cars on the road. One of the most far-reaching claims is the potential to revolutionize towns where there will be stations like Fresno and Merced.

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.

State Approves UC Merced Expansion

Feb 17, 2016
University of California, Merced

The University of California has received the go-ahead from the Brown administration for a billion dollar expansion of its Merced campus. The Department of Finance approved the project today. Ben Bradford reports from Sacramento.

The University of California plans to add 10,000 undergraduates to its campuses in the next three years. As a key part of that, the UC Merced campus would double in size and expand from its current 6,700 students to an even 10,000. To pay for it, UC system chief financial officer Nathan Brostrom says the university is turning to a new funding model.

Jeffrey Hess

After nearly two decades of legalized medical marijuana in California there is a sudden mad dash among valley communities to establish local regulations and bans. But do the bans actually drive growers and dispensaries out of business? Valley Public Radio takes a look.

In a small nondescript house in Merced, Darcy Louise Johnson looks over the dozens of marijuana plants growing in the garage.

 “They are healthy. They are green. You can see some of the leaves are shimmery from an oil I sprayed on them,” Johnson said showing off her plants.

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

UPDATED: 5:56 PM - FM89's Diana Aguilera reports on what law enforcement officials know about the suspect.

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.

Lance Johnson / Licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr user LanceJohnson http://www.flickr.com/photos/lancejohnson/5703722259/

When UC Merced first opened its doors in 2005, campus enrollment was just 875 students. Now a decade later, over 6,000 students attend the newest University of California campus, and thousands more are being turned away. As the only UC campus in the San Joaquin Valley, campus leaders hope to expand the number of available slots to over 10,000 by the year 2020 to meet growing demand.  

Pages