March 14, 1994 |
In this agricultural heartland of California, an endless valley of boom towns, the words "slow growth" are spoken in the whisper of someone confessing heresy. Behind closed doors, city and Fresno County elected officials concede an unspoken fact of life here: The tract houses swallowing up 20 square miles of prime farmland each year are economic losers, lining the pockets of a few developers and slowly draining city coffers. But when it comes to voting down the projects in public, critics gripe, these same elected officials turn pussycat.
July 22, 1998 |
"Royal yaks for sale," reads the sign a few miles north of downtown Fresno on California 99. Could there really be a herd of the shaggy, long-horned Tibetan bovines in the sweltering flatlands of the Central Valley? It's possible. Around the country, rare-breed enthusiasts raise the creatures for yak cashmere and yakburgers (like ostrich and emu, they're supposed to be lower in cholesterol than beef).
August 7, 1994 |
Of the successes that rose from the Dust Bowl migration here, none has been more stunning than that of the Tatham family, horse traders extraordinaire who parlayed a few nursing homes into a $200 million fortune in real estate and farm holdings. Their journey from Oklahoma poverty to Fresno riches was recently captured in a major book, "Rising in the West," the story of an Okie family from the Great Depression through the Ronald Reagan years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2005 |
The Millerton New Town -- more than 3,000 houses rising in the foothills above Fresno -- was all set for approval when it quietly disappeared from the agenda of the Board of Supervisors a few weeks ago. At the last minute, the builder decided not to seek the board's go-ahead after it was revealed that the entire development was based on a supply of federal water that didn't exist, at least not legally. But no one here -- not the developer or the county or the U.S.
December 6, 1995 |
FBI Agent Jim Wedick was in his Sacramento office trying to close the books on the biggest political corruption case of his career--a sting that netted four crooked state senators and 10 other public officials--when the call came in from Fresno County. A city councilman allegedly was shaking down a developer on a rezoning vote. The angry developer had captured the $10,000 deal on a hidden tape recorder.