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Latest Local News

Written on 07/21/2014, 5:13 pm by Business Journal staff
health-network-opens-visalia-clinicFamily HealthCare Network opened its newest community health center in downtown Visalia July 16.
Written on 07/21/2014, 4:17 pm by Business Journal staff
The Fresno Regional Foundation is offering $600,000 in grants to area nonprofits to help them make a positive impact on children growing up in poverty. The funding is being offered as part of the foundation's 2014 High Impact Grant Cycle to support San Joaquin Valley organizations that work to improve educational and financial opportunities for families and children during critical years leading up to 3rd grade. Grants range from $25,000 to $250,000 depending on the funding scenario. Accelerator grants range from $100,000 to $250,000 fro two years for organization that are already collaborating with school districts or educational providers to address gaps and align services in the education pipeline. Connector grants range from $50,000 to $75,000 for one year for organizations that want to coordinate, connect and share information between different partners involved in education. Advocacy grants range from $25,000 to $75,000 for one to two years to help organizations identify and accomplish a specific policy or procedural change to improve outcomes for low-income children in areas of health, education and parent engagement. Interested applicants must participate in the foundation's grant information session taking place July 23 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the California Health Collaborative, 1680 W. Shaw Ave. in Fresno. Those that are unable to make it to that session may participate one of two webinars being held July 24 and Aug. 6 from 11 a.m. to noon. Registration for the grant information sessions as well as grant applications are available at by visiting and clicking on the "Grantmaking" tab. Other questions can be answered by calling (559) 226-5600. The High Impact grants are part of a larger initiative called The Fund for the San Joaquin Valley, which aims to build a $20 million endowment through community giving to solve the region's most pressing challenges. The James Irvine Foundation seeded The Fund with a $3 million grant in 2011.
Written on 07/21/2014, 3:28 pm by Business Journal Staff
Pana-Pacific, a technology-based company currently located at 80 Van Ness in Fresno, is moving into a new 150,000 square feet industrial building in the Fancher Creek Business Park near Belmont and Fowler avenues in east Fresno. City of Fresno, Pana-Pacific and construction officials on Monday turned shovels to break ground on the new industrial building that will allow Pana-Pacific to add approximately 100 employees over the next two years. The $8.3 million project is the first large project to utilize the City of Fresno’s iDIFER (Industrial Development Impact Fee Elimination or Reduction) program. Under iDIFER the city is for a limited time, eliminating or reducing development impact fees for qualifying industrial job-producing projects. Pana-Pacific was able to save $168,000 in impact fees, said Scott Anderson, project manager for Penstar Group in Fresno. Penstar is the developer for the new Pana-Pacific building. Pana-Pacific supplies communications, truck audio and video, satellite radio and mobile appliances to Fortune 200 Companies on a global basis. The new building expands Pana-Pacific’s operating space from 90,000 square feet to 150,000 square feet. Anderson said there is no reason why technology-based companies can’t succeed in Fresno. “The workforce is ready to go,” he said. “This is the ideal location,” said Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, who participated in the groundbreaking ceremony. She said iDIFER is working. “We needed to give people a break on fees,” she said. “Also we wanted to be a partner. This is about expediting the process.” Swearengin said the project approval process took just 30 days. “The City of Fresno was willing to work with us,” said John Trenberth, president of Pana-Pacific. “They saw the importance and what it means.” Swearengin added that by growing the job base, the city is starting to make a dent in Fresno unemployment. Sal Quintero, a member of the Fresno City Council, representing District 5, said Fresno needs diversity in its economy and Pana-Pacific provides that needed diversity.
Written on 07/21/2014, 2:23 pm by Matthew Craft, AP Writer
(AP) — Stocks are closing lower as U.S. companies turn in mixed quarterly results and as investors worry about tensions with Russia over the downed airliner in Ukraine. Hasbro fell 3 percent Monday after the toy maker reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that fell short of analysts' targets. Six Flags Entertainment fell 4 percent after the theme-park operator reported revenue that came up short of what investors expected, partially a result of sluggish attendance. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,973. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 48 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,051. The Nasdaq composite slid seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,424. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.47 percent.
Written on 07/21/2014, 2:20 pm by Michael Liedtke, AP Writer
(AP) — Netflix's second-quarter earnings more than doubled as new episodes from one of its hit series helped the Internet video service surpass 50 million worldwide subscribers for the first time. The gains announced Monday include an additional 570,000 U.S. subscribers, slightly more than Netflix's management predicted. The quarter is typically the company's slowest of the year, as people spend more time outdoors instead of watching video. Investors applauded the second-quarter results as Netflix's stock rose $4.65 to $456.60 in extended trading. The shares have surged by 23 percent this year while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has increased 7 percent. The second quarter featured one of Netflix's marquee attractions, "Orange Is The New Black," which returned for its second season in early June. As with Netflix's other original series, all 13 episodes of "Orange Is The New Black," were released simultaneously so subscribers could watch the story unfold on their own schedules. "Orange Is the New Black," set in a women's prison, received 12 of the 31 Emmy Award nominations bestowed upon Netflix programming for this year's awards. Netflix's Emmy nominations eclipsed the 24 garnered by longtime pay-TV channel Showtime, which collected 24, but lagged far behind HBO's pace-setting 99 nominations. The Internet video service's vast library also includes thousands of previously released movies and shows already shown on traditional TV networks. Netflix Inc. ended June with 36.2 million subscribers in the U.S. and another 13.8 million customers in roughly 40 other countries. The Los Gatos, California company picked up 1.1 million subscribers outside the U.S. in the second quarter, a figure that also topped management's projections. The company expects to add another 3.7 million worldwide subscribers in the current quarter ending in September, including 1.3 million U.S. customers. It also plans to start selling its Internet video service in six more European countries in September, including Germany and France. As part of its effort to continue attracting subscribers, Netflix disclosed plans to start selling gift cards this fall in brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Germany. The company so far has only sold gift certificates online. The second-quarter performance will likely alleviate any concerns that a price increase imposed in early May would undercut Netflix's growth. Netflix raised its rates by $1 to $9 per month for Internet video streaming in the U.S., but the company eased the blow by allowing existing subscribers to continue paying the old price for at least two years. As Netflix's video-streaming service steadily grows, the DVD-by-mail rental business that once was the company's foundation is slowly crumbling. The DVD rental service shed another 391,000 subscribers in the second quarter to end June with fewer than 6.3 million customers. That's a decline of 55 percent in less than three years. Netflix earned $71 million, or $1.15 per share, during the April-June period. That compared to income of $29.5 million, or 49 cents per share, at the same time last year. This year's earnings per share were a penny above the average estimate among analysts surveyed by FactSet. Revenue climbed 25 percent from last year to $1.3 billion, matching analyst projections.
Written on 07/21/2014, 1:41 pm by CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press
(AP) — Gov. Rick Perry said Monday he is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops over the next month to the Texas-Mexico border to combat criminals that Republican state leaders say are exploiting a surge of children and families entering the U.S. illegally. Perry, a vocal critic of the White House's response to the border crisis — and who is mulling a second presidential run in 2016 — said the state has a responsibility to act after "lip service" from the federal government. He rejected suggestions that Texas was militarizing local communities by putting National Guard troops on the ground or that crime data along the border doesn't justify additional resources. The deployment will cost Texas an estimated $12 million a month. Texas Adjutant General John Nichols said his troops would simply be "referring and deterring" immigrants and not detaining people — though Nichols said the National Guard could if asked. "We think they'll come to us and say, 'Please take us to a Border Patrol station," Nichols said. More than 3,000 Border Patrol agents currently work in the region, and Perry has repeatedly asked Obama to send the National Guard to the border. Much of the area has been overwhelmed in recent months by tens of thousands of unaccompanied children illegally entering the U.S. U.S. Customs and Border Protection didn't respond to a request for comment Monday. As governor, Perry is commander in chief of Texas military forces unless those forces have already been mobilized by the White House. But if Perry deploys National Guard troops it is up to Texas to pay for them, while an order from Obama would mean Washington picks up the tab. "Gov. Perry has referred repeatedly to his desire to make a symbolic statement to the people of Central America that the border is closed," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. "And he thinks that the best way to do that is to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. It seems to me that a much more powerful symbol would be the bipartisan passage of legislation that would actually make a historic investment in border security and send an additional 20,000 personnel to the border." Earnest also said the White House hasn't received the kind of "formal communication" with Perry's office that usually accompanies such deployments. President George W. Bush sent 6,000 National Guard troops to the border in 2006, and Obama eventually extended that deployment while ordering a second wave of National Guard forces to Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico in 2010. But the second round saw reduced numbers of troops, and most of their work was limited to air patrols in counterdrug operations. Perry announced last month that Texas would steer another $1.3 million each week to the Department of Public Safety to assist in border security through at least the end of the year. In a letter to Obama on June 20, Perry made several requests for help along the border, including 1,000 National Guard troops, additional helicopters and giving troops "arrest powers to support Border Patrol operations until sufficient Border Patrol resources can be hired, trained and deployed to the border." It's not clear why Perry would need the Obama administration to authorize arrest powers and the governor's office has not offered details ahead of the announcement. Texas law simply states that the governor can "adopt rules and regulations governing enlistment, organization, administration" of the Texas State Guard. In a White House letter to Perry on July 7, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett laid out steps the administration was taking to deal with what the president had called an "urgent humanitarian situation," but did not mention the National Guard. Obama met with Perry two days later in Dallas, and the administration has worked with Mexico and other countries the immigrants are leaving to make it clear they will not be allowed to stay in the U.S. On previous border deployments, National Guard soldiers have served in support roles — administrative, intelligence gathering — while the Border Patrol expanded its ranks. Some National Guard troops already participate in counter-drug operations on the border, though they don't have arrest powers. Since October, more than 57,000 unaccompanied children and teenagers have entered the U.S. illegally — more than double compared to the same period a year earlier. Most have been from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where rampant gang violence and intense poverty have driven tens of thousands of people outside their borders. Their numbers overwhelmed Border Patrol facilities in the Rio Grande Valley, leading Perry and the Texas Department of Public Safety to argue that Border Patrol agents distracted by groups of children and families were leaving gaps. Most of those children have been turning themselves in to the first person in a uniform they see. ___Sherman reported from McAllen, Texas.
Written on 07/21/2014, 1:39 pm by LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent
(AP) — The chief financial officer of Donald Sterling's properties says the billionaire may be forced to sell a large portion of his real estate empire to cover $500 million in loans if he persists in refusing to sell the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. Darren Schield, who oversees the finances of The Sterling Family Trust, testified Monday that three banks are ready to recall their loans to Sterling because of his decision to dissolve the trust. His move was designed to rescind agreement for the sale of the Clippers, a team he bought for $12 million. Schield said if Sterling has to dump $500 million worth of apartment buildings he could destabilize the Los Angeles real estate market. Sterling's lawyer suggested there are other options for raising the money.
Written on 07/21/2014, 12:50 pm by Ben Keller, Business Journal staff writer
Fresno's 2035 General Plan was the first order of business for the new Foundation for Fresno's Future during a press conference this morning promoting the city's blueprint for the next 20 years. With the plan up for approval by the city council in the next several months, the foundation's three board members reminded those in attendance that there is still time for residents to give their feedback to ensure a safer, more vibrant future for Fresno. Community members can share their thoughts on neighborhood improvement, parks and recreation, public safety, transportation, downtown revitalization and other issues contained in the plan by visiting the foundation's website at Speaking at a residence in the Fresno High District, Tim Rios, senior vice president of corporate community development for Wells Fargo, highlighted the importance of the general plan in addressing opportunities for low and moderate individuals. "There's no greater pleasure than seeing those in Fresno succeed," said Rios, who helped form the Foundation for Fresno's Future over the last few months. "Especially those that have had the hardest time. Those that are living in moderate- or low-income communities." Another foundation board member Arthur Moye, founder of MBS Accountancy Corporation in Fresno, said that it's business attraction and job creation that are among the most crucial components of the general plan. "Also of interest is a focus on recruiting cutting edge industries to Fresno and allowing them a way to operate here easily and developing a workforce to staff those industries," Moye said. Dora Westerlund, president and CEO of the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation, said the plan also focuses on fixing up existing neighborhoods and encouraging the construction of new homes and buildings in underutilized lots within the city's limits. "This type of development is particularly important given that it protects property values and promotes a ripple effect for nearby businesses and neighborhoods," Westerlund said. It's been 12 years nice the city has rewritten its General Plan, which is required by state law to guide the city's growth until the year 2035. Fresno's draft 2035 general plan was developed under the leadership of the General Plan Citizens Advisory Committee based on the feedback of thousands of local residents, businesses, property owners and city officials. The document contains a number of strategies to enhance economic development, increase public utilities and services, improve health and wellness, provide for parks and schools and contain urban sprawl with greater infill development. While no public opposition has been voiced against Fresno's vision for the future, Rios said it's still important for the public to get involved in the process and take ownership in the evolution of their city. "Even if it's going to sail through approval, I want to know day one what my role is in making it a reality and that's the appeal for me," Rios said. The general plan can be downloaded at It will be up for review until Aug. 18. After that, it will be up to the Fresno City Council to either accept or reject the blueprint.    
Written on 07/21/2014, 12:43 pm by Business Journal staff
Wawona Packing Co. has issued a voluntary recall of some of its peaches, nectarines, plums and pluots over concerns about potential listeria contamination. The recall was initiated based on internal company testing, with Wawona shutting down and sanitizing packing lines at its Cutler facility. The fruit was packed between June 1 and July 12. "We are aware of no illnesses related to the consumption of these products" said Brent Smittcamp, president of Wawona Packing Co., in a statement "By taking the precautionary step of recalling product, we will minimize even the slightest risk to public health, and that is our priority." Consumers with questions may contact Wawona Packing at (888) 232-9912 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit
Written on 07/21/2014, 12:36 pm by Associated Press
(AP) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be hosting a real-time question and answer session on Facebook. Clinton will be taking questions during her visit at Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters Monday afternoon to promote her best-selling book "Hard Choices," and will likely be asked if she's considering another shot at becoming president. Clinton's appearance comes after she said in an interview with TV host Charlie Rose last week that if she decides to run in 2016 she will have "a very specific agenda." Clinton says she does not want to decide until after she becomes a grandmother later this year. The former first lady leads Democratic presidential primary polls by wide margins but has not yet decided whether she will make another run for the White House.

Latest State News

Written on 07/21/2014, 2:20 pm by Michael Liedtke, AP Writer
(AP) — Netflix's second-quarter...
Written on 07/21/2014, 1:39 pm by LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent
(AP) — The chief financial officer of...
Written on 07/21/2014, 12:36 pm by Associated Press
(AP) — Former Secretary of State...
Written on 07/21/2014, 8:39 am by TOM MURPHY, AP Business Writer
(AP) — Botox maker Allergan will cut...

Latest National News

Written on 07/21/2014, 2:23 pm by Matthew Craft, AP Writer
(AP) — Stocks are closing lower as U.S....
Written on 07/21/2014, 1:41 pm by CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press
(AP) — Gov. Rick Perry said Monday he...
Written on 07/21/2014, 11:13 am by The Associated Press
(AP) — U.S. airlines have been adding...
Written on 07/21/2014, 11:09 am by JULIET LINDERMAN, Associated Press
(AP) — Johns Hopkins Health System will...