The News

Fresno State mock trial team preps for big year

The mock trial program at Fresno State has been relatively under the radar since the first group of students began presenting simulated law cases around nine years ago.
As the latest academic year begins, however, the program is enjoying a little more recognition on campus and across the country since making it to the national championship in Orlando, Florida in April.
The team is now getting invitations from the likes of Yale and Stanford to compete in campus tournaments testing their legal knowledge and tact in the courtroom.

Fresno State study finds ‘helicopter parenting’ can hurt job prospects

Recent college graduates entering the workforce can already expect the slow recovery of the economy and high unemployment rates to hinder their transition into the professional world, but new research suggests a threat may also be found closer to home.
A recent study by two Fresno State Craig School of Business professors found that students who have overly-involved parents are failing to develop vital professional skills.

Visalia dumps Great Lakes Airlines for SeaPort

The Visalia City Council this week decided to wave goodbye to Great Lakes Airlines and welcome SeaPort Airlines to serve Visalia through the federally subsidized Essential Air Service (EAS).
The vote was 3-2 to go with Seaport rather than quit the EAS program altogether and qualify to receive $2.7 million for airport use. According to a city staff report, the “take the money” option was second best, saying it “would provide substantial benefit to the airport, but having reliable air service provides a greater benefit to the community.”

Fresno’s Fiore Di Pasta expanding

Fresno pasta maker Fiore Di Pasta is following the demand for gluten-free products as it expands its facility on Jensen Avenue.
The company has been churning out pasta products like tortellinis, ravioli, manicotti, entrees and even sauces for the last 15 years from its nearly 23,000 square-foot processing plant at 4776 Jensen Ave. in southeast Fresno
Now, Fiore Di Pasta is preparing for the future with a new 36,000 square-foot building being built by Valley Steel Construction of Fresno on the north side of its 4 1/2-acre property.

California franchise bill sits on Gov. Brown’s desk

A bill sitting on Governor Brown’s desk this month may lead to significant changes for the franchise industry in California. If passed, Senate Bill 610 will require companies to find a “substantial and material breach” of contract before terminating an agreement with franchisees.

Catering trend brings hot meals home

Several new meal service trends have come to the Fresno area this summer, ensuring customers can enjoy decadent meals served up right at home.
One local catering trend offers customers a homemade weekly dinner delivered oven-fresh right to their door.
Patty Ochinero of Ochinero’s Catering said she only began offering the meals to residents in Fresno and Clovis in August, but already has seen a growing demand for the service.

Pesticide ban could lead to almond pests

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation will likely ban some chemicals that are high in volatile organic compounds, including pesticides used on almonds, pistachios, walnuts, citrus, grapes, alfalfa and cotton.
The ban would take effect from May to October 2015 and 2016 in parts of the San Joaquin Valley.
The specific areas affected include San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, and Tulare counties and parts of Kern County.

Pool construction at five-year high

Water is the topic on everyone’s minds this summer. Where to get it, how to conserve it and how much is left are common questions residents and municipalities are asking each other. But as the statewide drought deepens, some have begun asking another question — are swimming pools in poor taste?
For some communities the answer has been yes, and dozens of cities and water districts throughout the California have increased regulations on pool construction and maintenance. Some communities have even placed an outright ban on building new pools.
Local pool construction companies, however, don’t believe their products are wasteful and say business is booming despite the drought.

Svenhard’s sells Oakland plant for Exeter base

Svenhard’s Swedish Bakery has sold its 5.14-acre Oakland plant along busy Highway 880 for new development and will utilize some of the $8 million in proceeds to relocate all operations to Exeter in Tulare County.
So says the company’s Operations Manager David Kunkel. The family-owned firm, in business since 1893, owns a plant in Exeter with around 40 employees.
“We should have about 55 percent of our operations in Exeter by March,” Kunkel said, taking the workforce from 40 currently to 90.

Television show to highlight Fresno’s ethnic cuisine

One of the Central Valley’s best kept secrets will finally be shared when a new show premiering on ValleyPBS brings viewers into local restaurants for a look at some of the most authentic ethnic cuisine around.