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Alice Daniel

Brianna Cisneros is the youngest of four siblings. On this cool December evening, she’s sitting at a table in her backyard with her two sisters, her brother and her father. A dog barks nearby, there’s music playing from a neighbor’s house down the street. Signs of normalcy in a not so normal year. 

Vietnam War veteran, Chongge Vang, 80, has been confined to his Sanger home during the pandemic, keeping busy with chores on his two-and-a-half acre property.

“I have nothing to do, so I have to walk around and then clean up, water all the trees, all the fruit, you know. That’s what I do,” he says. 

@careforkids on Twitter

As the first 327,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine begin arriving in California, most San Joaquin Valley hospitals expect their initial shipments within the next few days.

@oaklandabosol on Twitter

As COVID-19 infections continue to rise throughout the San Joaquin Valley, they’re also ravaging the Valley’s prisons. That’s why two advocacy groups have planned protests this weekend outside prisons in Kings, Fresno and Kern Counties.

Daren Miller

In early October, complications from diabetes forced Bessie Miller into the operating room. The former state employee and well-known advocate for West Fresno had needed round-the-clock oxygen for years, and because of poor blood circulation, calf injuries that wouldn't heal eventually left her legs in need of amputation.

Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

As COVID-19 caseloads climb throughout the state and country, many counties in our region, including Tulare and Fresno, are now reporting record-high numbers of patients with COVID-19 in area hospitals.

Fresno County Sheriff's Office Zoom call

In a press call on Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that regional stay-at-home orders are imminent. He explained that these orders would be triggered locally when intensive care units in a particular region’s hospitals become so crammed that they’re more than 85 percent full. The nine counties of the San Joaquin Valley make up one of the state’s five designated regions.

Matt Levin, Anna Laven and Sonia De La Rosa

California Governor Gavin Newsom has a plan to use $750 million dollars of federal coronavirus relief funds to purchase motels and other properties that will be converted into housing for those experiencing homelessness. But, there’s a catch. If the properties are not purchased by the end of the year, the money goes back to the federal government.

Sergio La Porta and Anna Ohanyan

Last week, Russia negotiated a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, ending a six-week war that left thousands dead. The dispute was over Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory within Azerbaijan’s border but inhabited nearly exclusively by ethnic Armenians, many of whom are now forced to flee their homes - some reportedly burning them to the ground before they leave.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Ed Welker is relatively new to Avenal State Prison. He’s been incarcerated there only since March. But when he was recently moved to a new dorm in a different yard, he saw a familiar face. “One of the officers that are working right now in the building that I’m in, in the 2 yard, is the regular building officer over on the 5 yard, where I just came from,” he says.

https://covid19.ca.gov

A rise in COVID-19 cases has prompted another round of business restrictions in most California counties, including those in the San Joaquin Valley.

 

Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that 29 counties would be rolling back into the purple, most restrictive tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, including Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Merced Counties, which had been in the red tier for weeks.

 

Courtesy of Fresno Veterans Home

Wednesday was Veterans Day. In honor of the holiday, FM89’s news director Alice Daniel spoke with a couple who live at the Fresno Veterans Home and have been married for 70 years. They’ve had their share of challenges during the pandemic, including living apart for three months. But as you’ll hear in this audio postcard, they’ve gotten by with love and a sense of humor. 

 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

 

Later this month, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is set to release a report detailing how well its clean air programs are meeting federal requirements for reducing emissions. It’s called an equivalency demonstration, and it’s released annually every November.

Clint Olivier, Jim Boren and Amanda Renteria

Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock speaks with Jim Boren, executive director of the Institute for Media and Public Trust at Fresno State, Amanda Renteria, CEO of Code for America and Clint Olivier, former Fresno City Council member and executive director of the Business Federation of the Central Valley about how California voters decided some key issues, and how political divisiveness is affecting local politics.

Ivy Cargile, Jesse Rojas, Dora Westerlund and Adriana Saldivar

With just days to go in this election season, one key group has been drawing a lot of attention - Latinx voters. And their impact on elections is particularly important here in California, given that they make up the state’s largest ethnic group.

The Central Valley’s reputation as home to some of America’s greatest poets continues to grow. Fresno-based poet Anthony Cody was recently named a National Book Award finalist for his collection “Borderland Apocrypha,” inspired by a series of lynchings following the Mexican-American War. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with Cody about being a finalist for one of the nation's most prestigious literary prizes.

Terry Delamater

 

Depending on a county’s status in California’s reopening blueprint, most of the state’s gyms are allowed to operate either exclusively outdoors or indoors with tight restrictions on capacity. In Kern County, however, some gyms have been designated as essential, allowing them to circumvent those guidelines.

Sammy Caiola, Tom Holyoke and Tad Weber

The future of stem cell research, cash parole and kidney dialysis clinics are now in the hands of California voters. And those are just three of the 12 propositions on the November ballot. To better understand the impact these propositions could have on the state, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke to Tad Weber, Fresno Bee opinion editor; Tom Holyoke, Fresno State professor of political science; and Sammy Caiola, CapRadio health science reporter.

Courtesy of Vicki Blair

 

 

A cup of coffee in one hand, David Blair rolls up the garage door to his warehouse and points out a few remaining 55-gallon barrels filled with honey.  

“We send it off to Sue Bee as soon as we can. We don’t really store it here,” says the third generation beekeeper from Kerman.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1,300 people have died of COVID-19 in the seven counties of the southern San Joaquin Valley and foothills, according to official counts by county health departments and the state. The tallies aggregated in those health department dashboards, which represent between one and two percent of all who’ve tested positive for the virus, capture those who were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 and whose death certificates listed the virus as a primary cause of death.

 

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