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Fresno County

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California prisoner Louis Baca and his family tried everything they could think of to keep the convicted murderer out of Pleasant Valley State Prison. Their big fear? Valley fever.

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Although California is the world’s 9th largest economy and a hub of tech innovation, some of the state’s residents live in communities that lack basic services ­like clean water and functioning sewage systems.

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Radio journalist Farida Jhabvala examines how one facet of health reform might help uninsured families in Fresno, California's poorest county - but political leaders there don't want to participate.

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California's Central Valley has by far the highest agricultural production in the country. But those who work the land often don't benefit from the fresh fruits and vegetables they harvest.

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Tulare County, a poor, semi-rural county in California's Central Valley, has a one-third of its population on Medi-Cal — California's version of Medicaid. This is more than any other county in the state, yet the resources to care for the Medi-Cal population are few.

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California's Central Valley grows fruits and vegetables for the whole country, employing farm workers to care for and harvest the produce. But the recession and drought conditions have forced farm workers out of work, and now many of them are in need of food aid.

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Ms. Zoua Vang is First 5 Fresno County's advocacy/PR coordinator. She joined First 5 Fresno County in January 2005. Ms. Vang handles First 5 Fresno's internal and external communications and helps to craft as well as promote the agency's advocacy platforms. She holds bachelor's degrees in broadcast journalism and history. Before joining First 5 Fresno, Ms. Vang spent more than five years producing award-winning stories as a reporter and anchor at KSEE-TV (the NBC affiliate in Fresno). Prior to KSEE-TV, she worked as a reporter-trainee at KSTP-TV (the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis, Minn.).

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Mr. Kimble has taught in the psychology department at CSU Fresno for over 30 years and has specialized in psychology of physical disabilities for over 20 years. In the 1960s and 70s, he was the director of the Commission on Aging in Fresno County, coordinating establishment of over 30 programs. He also served as director of the Friendship Center for the Blind for 23 years and is active in the Fresno Human Services Coalition, composed of over 50 nonprofits.

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Dr. Katherine A. Flores is director of the Latino Center for Medical Education and Research Center, a unit of the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program. The center is intended to address the serious shortage of Latino physicians and other health care professionals in the area by guiding individuals to become health care professionals who ultimately return to the San Joaquin Valley and provide culturally competent health care services to the medically underserved.

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