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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 County Public Library Facebook

Many public and private establishments across the San Joaquin Valley are closing temporarily in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This comes after increasing recommendations from federal, state and local officials to maintain social distancing.

Fresno, Tulare and Kern Counties have closed all of their library branches. Fresno’s libraries will be closed until April 14; Kern County libraries will be closed until April 13; and Tulare County libraries will be closed until the end of March. However, patrons can continue to use online library resources. 

Ezra David Romero / KVPR

The spread of COVID-19 is forcing many people to work from home, but for farmworkers that’s not an option.  

Take Eucebia and Alejandro; the couple asked to go by their first names only. They have three kids and no savings. In the past two weeks, they’ve been asked to leave two picking jobs, first in almonds, then in grapes. The second job at Fowler Packing only lasted two days before the contractor told them to leave.

“She said that there wasn't going to be any work, that everything had been canceled,” Eucebia said. 

Stephanie Erikson

The National Park Service announced that while Yosemite remains open, its visitor centers, hotels and restaurants are now closed in response to COVID-19 concerns.

 

Scott Fiester with the Mariposa Chamber of Commerce said the temporary closures in Yosemite are the latest blow to Mariposa businesses already reeling from sharp travel declines in response to COVID-19.

 

Updated at 8:53 p.m. ET

West Virginia is no longer coronavirus-free.

It was the final state without any reports of infection by the highly contagious coronavirus, but on Tuesday evening Gov. Jim Justice announced officials have confirmed the state's first case.

"We knew it was coming," Justice said at a news conference.

"We've prepared for this and we shouldn't panic. We should be cautious. We should be concerned, but we shouldn't panic. We ought to be West Virginia mountaineer strong always," he added.

As a writer, Lily Burana already spends a lot of time working alone at home, about an hour outside New York City. And as an extrovert, Burana says she relies on her social network to balance out the lonely hours.

"It's really hard, because at the end of the day, I look forward to shutting my laptop and taking my daughter to a playground, or going shopping, or meeting a friend at a museum, or having a coffee," Burana said. "And all of those things have to be tabled for now, out of a sense of obligation to not turn myself into an accidental vector."

Updated at 5:52 p.m. ET

The European Union is locking down its borders, imposing a 30-day entry ban on nonessential travel for non-EU citizens to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the measure Tuesday night, saying people in the member nations can still move freely between those countries.

The ban went into effect immediately.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Unified Supt Bob Nelson announced Monday that while schools remain closed, meals will continue to be served. 

“The last thing that will go down at Fresno Unified is feeding kids every day,” said Nelson at a press conference.

Every school site offered meals Monday, but Nelson said the district is monitoring where families are picking up meals and will consolidate meal distribution sites, starting Wednesday. 

As the number of coronavirus cases grows in the U.S., we're hearing a lot about how social distancing, self-monitoring and even quarantine play into containment efforts.

But what do those terms mean, and when do they apply?

We asked experts and found out there is some overlap and lots of confusion.

Here's a quick guide for what you need to know.

Q: Why is all this happening?

Fresno County

Fresno County confirmed a second case of COVID-19 Saturday evening. Both cases identified so far have been travel-related. In a press conference Sunday, a county health official said the department is also monitoring up to 70 individuals, to track symptoms. While the risk of community transmission is still low, the best defense is to practice good hygiene: wash hands, avoid large crowds, and stay home if you’re sick. 

Updated on March 16 at 1 p.m. ET to reflect new guidance on play dates during school closures. This is an evolving story and guidance from health authorities is evolving quickly.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer will be the city’s next mayor, according to Wednesday afternoon’s election results from Fresno County. In a press conference before City Hall Wednesday, Dyer reiterated his wish to unite the city, and create “One Fresno,” which was his campaign slogan.

In his remarks, Dyer highlighted the need to bring investment and business to the area. Dyer wasn’t specific about where he plans to prioritize development, but said the city can only be as prosperous and successful as its worst neighborhood.

Valley Public Radio

This week on Young Artists Spotlight we feature four talented musicians from Bakersfield performing in a string quartet. All of the students in this ensemble attend Stockdale High School in Bakersfield and are members of the Bakersfield Youth Symphony. 

Performers:
Brian Shih, violin
Ian Kim, violin
April Park, viola
Anna Jian, cello

Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from the Bonner Family Founation. 

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

 

Polls show candidates Andrew Janz and Jerry Dyer are neck and neck. And that race, along with other local races, could be decided next Tuesday. If one candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, there’s no runoff in November. But do people know that? 

We spoke with several Valley residents at a local Fresno farmers market - and many were unaware of Tuesday’s primary and its significance.  However, one Clovis man who is not eligible to vote said he finds the whole system baffling. 

Valley Public Radio

Our performers this week on Young Artists Spotlight are a string quartet from the Simba School of Music in Fresno. They call themselves Free26 – they are all 7th graders and all but one have birthdays on the 26th. Clever kids. They’ve been playing together for many years. The cellist and violist have played together since they were 2 years old. They all went to Fresno's Manchester GATE School and now go to Computech Middle School in the Fresno Unified School District. 

Penelope Freeman: violin 1
Izzy Cobb: violin
Xavion Torres: viola
Betsy Woodward: cello

This week on Young Artists Spotlight, we  welcome vocal performers from Fresno State, as well as Dr. Maria Briggs and Dr. Cari Earnhart. In addition to the performances, Briggs and Earnhart will discuss the upcoming Fresno Art Song Festival (Feb 29) and the CSUF Carmina Burana gala (Mar 13-15).

Performers:

Jordan Pulido - Ночь (Night) Op. 44 No. 1 - Anton Rubinstein 

Zueignung Op 10 No. 1 - Richard Strauss

Aunika Bull -  Sweet Suffolk Owl by Richard Hundley (1619) 

V’adoro Pupille by George Frideric Handel 

This week on Young Artists Spotlight, we welcome music students from California State University, Fresno. Each of the three student musicians will perform with collaborative pianist Dr. Shing-Ming Liao. Soloists this week include Amanda Steinhauer, xylophone; Robert Bennett - clarinet; and Arianna Knee, flute. Matthew Darling, Fresno State Music Department chair, also joins host David Aus this week to help introduce artists and to talk about their Carmina Burana gala taking place in March and Art Song Festival, happening later this month. 

Ansel Adams / Library of Congress

Back in 1927, baseball legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig came to Fresno to play exhibition matches, sometimes playing with all Japanese-American teams. One of those players was Kenichi Zenimura, an immigrant from Japan.

 

In a 1999 documentary film about him, “Diamonds In The Rough,” narrator and actor Noriyuki “Pat” Morita says that, “He’ll always be remembered as Zeni, ‘Dean of the Diamond.’” 

Those words, “Dean of the Diamond,” are memorialized on his gravestone. 

 

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.

Christina Lopez

 

 

Mike Wallford has been living in East Bakersfield for 60 years. He said the city always tries to dump unwanted facilities in this part of town: a sewage treatment plant, a dog pound, he said, and now a homeless shelter.  

 

“They bring out all the trash out there; we’re tired of taking it. Take it out to Rosedale, to Haggin Oaks,” said Wallford. “They don’t want it. I don’t want it either.” 

Rosedale and Haggin Oaks are more affluent communities where there are no homeless shelters. 

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