The Focus

Deals startup enters Fresno State partnership

It may be a David versus a double Goliath clash, but recent startup company Fresno Coupons expects to hold its own against coupon giants Groupon and Living Social, at least in the Central Valley area.
To help its standing, Fresno Coupons has partnered with Fresno State athletics in a $150,000 deal to help provide greater credibility to the business and make it possible to offer coupon specials for tickets to Fresno State sporting events, including football games.

Wet work

Irrigation tech firms promise water, money savings

Drought and concern about future water shortages has boosted investment in high-tech methods of retaining ground moisture, conserving water and recycling water.
More agricultural processing plants are recycling grey water onsite for authorized reuses including irrigation. “They are working towards that,” said Lee Ann Eager, president and chief executive officer of Fresno County’s Economic Development Corporation.

Yosemite gearing up for 150th anniversary celebration

Yosemite area businesses are counting on an influx of visitors as celebrations get underway for the national park’s 150th anniversary.
For the last few years, nearly 100 volunteers representing everything from tourism interests to local diners surrounding the park have come together with plans for festivals, activities, art and even merchandise to mark the occasion.

Dairy dilemma

Bureaucratic blunder keeps local producers down

Dairy farmers are experiencing record prices driven by global demand for milk and dairy products.
It’s great news after three years of low dairy product prices that drove many Central Valley dairies out of business.
Dairy farmers are also benefiting from a big drop in corn prices resulting from a bumper corn crop.

FAX bus app first for Fresno startup

A new mobile application development startup plans to release a free app for Fresno Area Express bus riders next month.
Fresno’s ScholarDev Apps debut application is Fresno Transit Free, available April 3. It offers FAX riders information including schedule, route planning and other information. It will be available on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform.

Banks: Water at top of list in making loans

California’s $45 billion agriculture industry — supplier of half the nation’s fruits and vegetables — faces significant burdens because of the drought.
Farmers are clearing orchards, rationing water and rethinking their long-term business strategy. Making matters worse, growers on both the east and west sides of the Valley expect a zero water allocation for this year, according to initial estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Water Resources.

Bankruptcy filings fall as recovery continues

Some industries not out of woods yet

Bankruptcy filings have been on a downward slope since the economy started to improve in 2010, but the numbers are starting to bottom out for a few industries.
Last year, bankruptcy filings totaled 26,816 in the United States Bankruptcy Court’s Eastern District of California.

Fresno Grizzlies find a new radio home

The Fresno Grizzlies have struck a three-year media agreement with One Putt Broadcasting in Fresno to broadcast all 144 regular season games.
That makes KYNO 1430 AM the Grizzlies' new flagship radio station.
The new agreement follows the expiration of a three-year agreement with Wilks Broadcast Group that made KJZN 105.5 FM the radio home of the Grizzlies triple-A baseball team starting in 2011.

Ag takes to magazine advertising to spread health message

Although the Internet and mobile devices are commanding more attention in ad campaigns, magazine advertising continues to be a strong tool in boosting brand recognition and reminding consumers of the health benefits of San Joaquin Valley farm products.

Covered California expands call centers, boosts Latino outreach

(AP) — The executive director of California's health insurance exchange says he is hiring 400 call center workers with the goal of alleviating telephone backlogs that have frustrated applicants.