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Central California

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Bakersfield lawmakers requested $3 million in the state budget last week to research treatments and conduct outreach for valley fever.
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Central California wasn't always the mecca of U.S. agriculture. Historically millions of acres of wetlands shrouded the region, but river diversion for irrigation dried all but five percent of the rivers and streams in the area. We question whether a change in waterways will impact community health.

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The sustained fire power and reach of seven news outlets – combined with community outreach efforts – have yielded results as we approach the one-year anniversary of the new Reporting on Health Collaborative and its series on the toll of valley fever.

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What got me interested in San Lucas was contaminated drinking water there, but my reporting revealed deeper issues like the ability of local government to function, how to do business in a town without water, and tense dynamics between government and the private sector.

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Drilling for oil and gas using high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" may soon be a source of controversy in California. As a 2013 California Endowment Health Journalism Fellow, I'll examine what the potential health risks are and how state agencies plan to regulate the industry.

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Carmina Ramos' 2-year-old son was suffering an asthma attack and gasping for air as her boyfriend barreled 80 miles an hour on a two-lane, country road to Children's Hospital of Central California, about 45 miles away. Police stopped the car, and drew their guns as they shouted instructions...

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Joel Diringer is founder and principal of Diringer & Associates, a Central California-based health policy and data consulting firm with expertise in program planning, coalition building, budgeting, data research, fund development and regulatory issues. He has 20 years of experience in health policy and programs that work with diverse groups, including farmworkers, safety net providers, advocates and government. Diringer has been working on children's health coverage in California on both a statewide and local level.

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