– October 24, 2014

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Latest Local News

Written on 10/24/2014, 10:07 am by Business Journal staff
Assemblymember Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno) is hosting an Ebola symposium in Fresno next week with information about the virus's outbreak and emergency...
Written on 10/24/2014, 8:30 am by Business Journal staff
Humana, Key Medical Group and Kaweah Delta Health Care District have partnered to create an integrated delivery system that will result in more coordinated care and an increased emphasis on preventive services for members.  The multi-year partnership means that Humana will be Key Medical Group's exclusive medicare advantage HMO partner in Tulare County. Key Medical Group is an independent physician association that currently holds contracts with 128 primary care physicians and 300 specialists in Tulare and Kings counties.  Through Key Medical Group physicians, Humana members will have in-network access to Kaweah Delta facilities and supportive services.  "The new Key Medical Group, Kaweah Delta and Humana agreement will bring better patient care coordination, more cost-effective quality care and a world-class patient experience to Humana members in Central California," Lindsay Mann, CEO of Kaweah Delta, said in a prepared statement. The new partnership between the groups will focus on care coordination and measures as defined by the National Committee for Quality Assurance Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set. This includes diabetes care and treatment, breast cancer screenings, colorectal cancer screenings and high-risk medication. 
Written on 10/23/2014, 11:55 am by Business Journal staff
The Fresno Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group will host their third annual Six-Minute Marathon at Railroad Park in Clovis on Saturday. The event aims to help raise awareness for those affected by the disease and the public is invited to attend, participate and learn more about those affected by pulmonary hypertension. The marathon name comes from the fact that patients with pulmonary hypertension often struggle to breathe and six minutes of activity feels like running a marathon.   Registration for the event begins at 11 a.m., the walk begins at 11:30 with a barbecue and live music to follow. Community Medical Center clinical staff will be on hand during the event.  President of the national Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Rino Aldrighetti, will be visiting from Washington DC to recognize the Fresno support group as one of the largest and most well-attended support groups in the nation. In addition to providing support for patients and their caregivers, the Fresno Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group offers opportunities to patients to be part of cutting-edge treatments and participate in clinical trials.  The group is currently applying for accreditation and would be the first accredited program in the nation. 
Written on 10/23/2014, 11:02 am by Business Journal staff
Local officials gathered in Mendota today to celebrate the start of a 60-megawatt solar project. First Solar, Inc. is building the project expected to be completed next year. About 410 construction jobs will be created from the project, which is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 21,000 average California homes. The project site is located west of Highway 33 on California Avenue. Arizona-based First Solar purchased the project, originally developed by a joint venture called Northlight Power, last year.
Written on 10/23/2014, 10:30 am by Business Journal staff
Hanford Marketplace developers are asking the local community for input on what businesses and restaurants they would like to see in the new shopping center. The 500,000-square-foot project was approved in August and will be located at the northwest corner of Highways 198 and 43. Costco Wholesale will anchor the development.  An online survey has been set up and connected to the Hanford Marketplace Facebook page. The survey asks the public which retail or restaurant locations they would like to see in the Costco Center & Hanford Marketplace. Demographical information is also requested in the survey but the questions are optional.  Data generated from the survey will be used to help bring in potential tenants and residents are encouraged to share the survey with their friends and family on social media. Construction updates, pictures and basic information about the project will be frequently posted to the Hanford Marketplace Facebook page. 
Written on 10/23/2014, 8:59 am by Business Journal staff
Central Valley foreclosure rates continue to be lower than the national average, according to new data from CoreLogic. The real estate statistics firm listed Fresno's foreclosure rate at 0.80 percent for the month of August, a decrease of 0.37 percentage points compared to last year.  Nationwide, the August foreclosure rate was 1.61 percent for August 2014.  Fresno's mortgage delinquency rate also decreased in August and 2.87 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent compared to 4.13 percent for the same period last year.  The August foreclosure rate in Madera was 0.89 percent for August 2014 compared to 1.34 percent last year.  The mortgage delinquency rate also fell to 3.36 percent from 4.45 percent in August 2013.  Foreclosure rates in the Visalia-Porterville area were 0.82 percent for the month of August, a decrease of 0.44 percentage points compared to 1.26 the same time last year.  The mortgage delinquency rate was 3.12 percent compared to 4.32 percent in August 2013.  The foreclosure rate for August was 1.02 percent in the Hanford-Corcoran area, compared to 1.42 percent last year.  The mortgage delinquency rate also decreased to 3.76 percent compared to 5.04 percent last year. 
Written on 10/22/2014, 4:33 pm by Business Journal staff
The City of Hanford was recognized along with consultants Quad Knopf and Zumwalt-Hansen & Associates for a plan to revitalize the city's eastern downtown and entrance. Given out by the American Planning Association, California Chapter Central Section, the Planning Award of Merit praises the City of Hanford for its comprehensive planning of a small jurisdiction. Sharing in the praise are Visalia engineering firm Quad Knopf and Hanford-based Zumwalt-Hansen & Associates, who worked with the city on the Hanford Downtown East Precise Plan. The plan included policies and strategies to revitalize a 17-block section of Hanford's east downtown and entrance to the city, with suggested urban design, parking and other improvements. Specifically, the plan serves as a guide for city leaders on zoning for mixed use and permitted land uses for the area, along with form-based code for frontage types for commercial, mixed use and residential buildings. It also contains development regulations, landscape guidelines, street improvements, traffic calming guidelines, parking policies, technical studies for noise, traffic, cultural resources and air quality and a focused environmental impact report. One of the major focuses of the project was the China Alley Revitalization Plan, which aims to improve an area identified as one of 2011's Most Endangered Places in America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Besides the Hanford Downtown East Precise Plan itself, the award recognizes the City of Hanford for its extensive public outreach plan, numerous steering committee and community workshops, along with a one-mile walking tour of the area, to gather input and comments from the public. The Planning Award of Merit will be presented to the city at the Hanford City Council meeting on Oct. 71 at 7 p.m. in the Hanford Civic Auditorium, 400 N. Douty St. in Hanford.
Written on 10/22/2014, 2:11 pm by Business Journal staff
Two Fresno organizations were awarded $20,000 each from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. as part of the utility's program to support economic and job creating efforts throughout its Northern and Central California territory. Now in its second year, PG&E's Economic Vitality Grant Program is investing $200,000 to support the work of 10 organizations that prop up small businesses and promote workforce development. Among them, the Fresno Career Development Institute will use its $20,000 grant to support job skill training and career pathway support for 20 single mothers and fathers from underserved communities. Another $20,000 will go to the UC Merced Small Business Development Regional Network in Fresno to support training for business consultants available to local entrepreneurs and small businesses. Other grantees include the Kern Economic Development Corporation, Butte County Economic Development Corporation, the City of Monterey, United Roots in Oakland, Mujeres Unidas y Activas in San Francisco, America’s Job Center of California in San Luis Obispo, New Vision Santa Rosa and the Downtown Stockton Alliance. The nonprofit organizations were selected out of nearly 130 applications based on factors like community need, strength of plans presented and demonstrable links to job creation.
Written on 10/22/2014, 1:45 pm by Business Journal staff
Property values in the southern San Joaquin Valley increased 5.5 percent in the last year, the state Board of Equalization reported. The region, made up of Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties, combined for $3.96 billion in assessed property values in 2014-15, an increase of $206.4 million over 2013-14. Fresno County had a 5.7 percent growth in assessed value, while Tulare County grew 4.8 percent, Kings County grew 1.1 percent and Kern County grew 5.9 percent. "Higher property values are an encouraging sign that California's economic recovery is finally gaining traction throughout our state," said BOE Member George Runner, who covers the agency's second district. "This is good news, especially for homeowners still underwater and workers who still need jobs." Statewide, the total value of state and county assessed property increased for the fourth straight year, rising 6.1 percent from the previous year to $4.918 trillion. The value of state-assessed property, mainly privately owned public utilities and railroads, totaled $93.3 billion in the latest year for a 2.7-percent increase. In all, 55 out of 58 counties posted year-over-year increases in assessed value, with most of those increases being more than 2 percent.
Written on 10/22/2014, 12:13 pm by Business Journal staff
China Peak Mountain Resort will be conducting a hiring fair all day Friday and Saturday at Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis. Representatives from the resort will be at the former Gottschalks location at 1200 Shaw Ave. from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 24 and 25. China Peak is hiring for the 2011-2012 winter season and needing to fill more than 300 positions. Available positions include:• Building and yard/janitorial crew• Cashiers/guest services• Food service• Hotel personnel• Lift attendants• Parking attendants• Purchasing/warehouse• Rental technicians• Ski/snowboard instructors• Terrain park crew A banner will be displayed outside the building, which is east of the mall entrance. For those that miss the event, another job fair will be held at China Peak on Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Employees at the resort benefit from free skiing and riding privileges, plus discounts on food and services. More information about employment opportunities can be found online at www.skichinapeak/employment.aspx. China Peak is located about 65 miles northeast of Fresno near Huntington Lake. The 1,400-acre resort was long known as Sierra Summit before former employee Tim Cohee acquired it in 2010.

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