Tulare

 

 

This year’s theme at the World Ag Expo: Ag is Essential. Presentations will center on how the industry has pivoted to continue operating during a pandemic. 

Jennifer Fawkes, marketing manager for the World Ag Expo, hopes the event will help people better understand how food is grown and transported during the pandemic. Many exhibits will focus on tools and technological innovations in the ag industry.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Farmers donning boots and stetsons, marketing-types in polos: The 2019 World Ag Expo in Tulare has a good mix of both. You’ll also find trailers that self-load hay bales, and a so-called, “rugged phablet” - that’s short for phone-tablet - that can withstand being dropped in water. And there's ag groups galore: Future Farmers of America, American Dairymen, and one called FarmHer.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

When Tulare Regional Medical Center reopened its doors back in October, it was a new beginning. The embattled hospital had been closed for a year after its previous owner had bungled its finances so badly —and suspiciously—that declaring bankruptcy became the only way to start over.

On this week’s Valley Edition: Highlights from this year’s World Ag Expo, including technology that aligns with California’s clean energy goals. We also revisit a Navy Veteran who was facing deportation proceedings, but now might be off the hook.

Plus: Stranger than fiction? We go inside an explosive report linking election meddling and a secretive Israeli intelligence agency to a hospital in Tulare.

Later, we’ll speak with a Fresno-born composer whose work helped earn the Mary Poppins reboot an Oscar nomination.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Local hospitals in three San Joaquin Valley communities are making big plans for the future, including an expansion, a reopening, and a bankruptcy filing.

In Kern County, Adventist Health has announced plans to build a new hospital in Northwest Bakersfield. The facility will be built near the intersection of Coffee and Brimhall Road, adjacent to the development known as the Bakersfield Commons. It’s unknown when construction on the new facility might begin. Adventist Health currently operates a hospital in downtown Bakersfield on Chester Avenue.

Little A Books - Amazon

Fresno readers likely know the name Diana Marcum from seeing her byline in the Fresno Bee. During her tenure there, her longform journalism brought insight into people’s lives with the narrative quality rarely found in newsprint. As her career took her to the LA Times, Marcum won a Pultizer for her coverage of California’s great drought.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For several years, California dairy owners have faced tough times, with low prices and stiff competition from farmers in other states. Many had been looking forward to a new federal milk pricing scheme set to take effect in November as a chance to boost profits. But now, the valley's dairy industry is in the middle of a trade war, threatening lucrative dairy exports to China and Mexico. We spoke with Annie AcMoody of Western United Dairymen of Modesto about how the new retialtory tarrifs are affecting local dairy owners. 

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Plans to reopen a shuttered hospital in Tulare County took a big step forward last week. The board of the Tulare Local Health Care District voted to move ahead with a plan to reopen the Tulare Regional Medical Center under the operation of Adventist Health, which operates hospitals in Hanford, Selma and Reedley. TRMC has been closed since last fall when a fragile situation between the board and the prior management company reached a breaking point, and the district sought bankruptcy protection.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Last week, the city of Tulare ousted its mayor after he got involved in a heated argument on Facebook. The argument centered around agriculture and its impacts on the environment and the economy—but the story is far bigger than a few punches thrown on social media.

Nunes for Congress

 

One of the nation’s top political forecasting groups has announced that the forecast for one Central Valley district is shifting.

Parks Fee Hike
The National Park Service has backed off its plan to raise entrance fees at popular parks like Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon to $70. Under a revised plan announced Thursday, the new entrance fee would be $35.00 starting June 1.  The park service says the majority of the increased revenue will stay in the parks to help on a backlog of maintenance. Overall, across all parks, entrance fees rise $5 under the new plan.
 

Nunes for Congress

Tulare Republican Congressman Devin Nunes may be one of the most unlikely national political figures of the past year. The chair of the House Intelligence Committee was already in the news for his role in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Now with his controversial classified memo about alleged wrongdoing by FBI officials in a FISA warrant for Trump aide Carter Page, Nunes is back in the headlines. Is it a real scandal, as House Republicans have claimed?

TRMC

Last week a bankruptcy court judge allowed the Tulare Local Health Care District board to part ways with HCCA, the private company that has been running the Tulare Regional Medical Center for several years. It marks an end to a relationship that had become bitter following a recall election earlier this year. It also has led to the temporary closure of the hospital, which has directed patients to nearby facilities in Porterville, Visalia and Reedley. So what's next, and when does the hospital hope to reopen?

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The future of the troubled Tulare Regional Medical Center is in doubt, as the elected board of the public hospital voted last weekend to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. It's the latest chapter is a years-long fight for control of the hospital, which is run by a private company under contract with the district, Health Care Conglomerate Associates. 

Andrew Janz

The 2018 mid-term election is a year-and-a-half away, but Republican Congressman Devin Nunes has already drawn a challenger in the race for the 22nd Congressional District, Democrat Andrew Janz. The political newcomer and current Fresno County Deputy District Attorney faces a tough challenge. Republicans have a double-digit voter registration edge in the district, and Nunes has easily defeated Democratic opponents in each of the last three election cycles.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The 50th Annual World Ag Expo in Tulare has now officially come to a close. The massive fair draws farmers and agricultural professionals from all over the world to check out the newest in farm equipment and technology as well as cut deals and make professional contacts.

HCCA

This month in Tulare, voters are being asked to weigh in on a big issue – whether or not to support a $55 million bond measure for hospital construction at the Tulare Regional Medical Center. The hospital last issued an $85 million bond back in 2005 to fund a new tower for the hospital. But the project went out of control, and construction stopped as the money ran out, with the tower incomplete.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio / White Ash Broadcasting

The World Ag Expo began its three day run in Tulare Today/Tuesday. FM89's Ezra David Romero reports this year’s show is as much about software as it is farm equipment.

There are plenty of new tractors this year at the World Ag Expo. But it's not companies like John Deere and Caterpillar stealing the limelight. It’s rather groups that make products that fit in the palm of a hand. Marisa Carpenter is a spokesman for the expo.

Tulare County Symphony

The Tulare County Symphony is a vital part of the south valley's musical landscape. This year the orchestra has assembled a season featuring a varied selection of musical masterworks, guest soloists and new ideas that aim to bring new audiences to classical music. Musical director and conductor Bruce Kiesling joined us on Valley Edition to talk about their upcoming concert on October 3rd at the Visalia Fox Theatre, featuring music of Latin America, as well as the rest of the 2015/2016 season. 

Tulare Union High School website

Public schools in California would be banned from using ‘Redskins’ as a team name or mascot under a bill headed to Governor Jerry Brown.

Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo says it’s time for California to restrict what many consider a racial slur.

Alejo: “The ‘R word’ was once used to describe Native American scalps sold for bounty at a time when our state condoned the killing of native peoples. Such terms have no business being used as a mascot in our public schools or otherwise.”

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