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McCarthy Will Join Tulare Ag Expo ‘Listening Session’ on Farm Bill



Speaker Kevin McCarthy returns to the Central Valley this week for the World Ag Expo in Tulare. (AP File)
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Several members of the House Agriculture Committee will hold a listening session at the World Ag Expo in Tulare on Tuesday. Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, will be among them.

David Taub

Politics 101

“The event will bring together farmers, ranchers, producers, agribusiness owners, and more to solicit public feedback — an integral part of the Farm Bill reauthorization process,” A committee news release said.

The session will be chaired by Rep. GT Thompson, R-Pennsylvania. Several members of the Central Valley delegation on the committee, including Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford — the expo is in his district — John Duarte, R-Modesto; and Jim Costa, D-Fresno are expected to attend.

The event takes place 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Heritage Complex Banquet Hall within the World Ag Expo. Those wanting to attend will need a ticket to the expo. A live stream is available.

The World Ag Expo runs Tuesday through Thursday.

Also in Politics 101 …

  • Former councilwoman takes DUI plea deal.
  • Bitwise and Fresno helping small businesses.

Jewel Hurtado Takes Plea Deal on DUI

Jewel Hurtado

Former Kingsburg Councilwoman Jewel Hurtado accepted a plea deal to settle her 2021 DUI arrest.

Hurtado pled no contest to one count of driving under the influence, with two related charges dropped. Judge Charles Lee sentenced her to a suspended sentence/probation, six days in the Adult Offender Work Program, attendance at an alcohol program — in which court records say she has already enrolled — and payment of  $1,891 in fees.

She was arrested in Fresno by the California Highway Patrol in June 2021. Court records show she had a blood alcohol content of 0.11; 0.08 is the legal limit to drive.

Hurtado won a seat on the Kingsburg council in 2018 at the age of 20. She declined to run for re-election in 2022. She has since moved to Fresno.

Bitwise Program to Help Small Businesses With Marketing Needs

A new program launched by Bitwise Industries and the city of Fresno last week will offer grants for small businesses to improve their digital game. The goal of the Digital Empowerment Center is to offer 1,500 businesses help with things like website design, digital marketing, and digital payments.

The effort is funded by the taxpayers. The Fresno City Council approved $1 million for the program. The money is from federal pandemic relief funds.

Thilani Grubel, Bitwise vice president, said several small businesses had a hard time adjusting during the pandemic from in-person service to a digital world.

“When we first went into lockdown in March 2020, we realized that all of these small businesses, especially in downtown … don’t have a way to keep their business going, all those restaurants,” Grubel said.

Fresno City Councilman Miguel Arias said spending public money on business assistance is a worthwhile investment.

“We’re going to see that money put to good use and further develop the small business community in the tech sector in our city,” Arias said.

“We’re helping or bolstering our economy by serving these folks,” Grubel said.

Bitwise and the city of Fresno are partnering to help small businesses with a new, $1 million program. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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