Wells Fargo & Bank of America are tops in market share among financial institutions here. The annual FDIC market share report is out for the Hanford metro area. The ranking says Wells Fargo leads all other banks in deposits with $369 million and a 23% market share. They have two branches here.

The No. 2 bank is Bank of America with $262 million in deposits with one branch and a 16% market share. Both banks have improved their market here in the past three years. The No. 3 bank, Bank of the West, has lost market share from 2019 when it enjoyed a 14.6 % share vs. 10.4% in 2021. Also losing share has been Citibank. The top 10 financial institutions have $1.6 billion of your money on deposit — up from $1.2 billion in 2019.

Pace of homebuilding up from last year

King County jurisdictions have permitted 223 new homes valued at $67 million through Sept 30. That is up from just 167 last year at this time but down from 2019 when 319 new homes valued at $75 million got permits as of Oct 1. Figures are from Construction Monitor. In 2018 there were just 206 over the same 9 months.

COVID cases fall here— vaccination rate still lags

The good news is that like all of California, COVID-19 new cases are down by about half from a month ago. The bad news is that Kings residents' vaccination rates still lag most counties in the state with just 42% receiving at least one shot. Tulare is at 50%, Fresno is 59% and San Luis Obispo sits at 63%. If the new cases are going down, hospitalizations are still going up with 64 Kings residents with COVID in hospital beds as of Oct 1. That is  compared to 27 Aug. 1.

Kings River flow not record low

The water year ended September 30 and the Kings River flow over the past year was low, but not the worst ever. There was 395,000 acre-feet of natural flow coming down the Kings River — enough to keep it from the record low reported in the 2014-15 water year, according to a press release from the Kings River Water Association. The lowest flow was in 2014-15 when only 361,000 acre feet came down the mountain. Runoff this past year was just 23.49% of average.

Corcoran making plans to honor Ray Lerma

Corcoran City Council held a recent meeting to express their desires of having a building named in honor and memory of former City Council member Raymond Lerma.

Giant fulfillment complex planned along Hwy 99

Madera County is processing an application for a 122-acre, three-million-square-foot fulfillment center located at Ave 7 just north of the Fresno city limits. Named Riverwood Fulfillment center, the county issued a Notice of Preparation of a Draft EIR of the big project. No tenant name has been announced.

The five-level building would feature an automated storage and retrieval system with storage units moved by low profile robotic equipment. The total floor area of the proposed facility is approximately 2,900,000 sf. The facility would operate 24-hours a day, 365 days per year. The proposed site plan includes 325 trailer stalls and approximately 1,800 parking stalls.

Animal activists disrupt Foster Farms plant

News reports say a large group of animal rights activists disrupted operations at a Foster Farms facility in Livingston for hours last week.

Demonstrators chained themselves together on top of a moving truck, blocking traffic in and out of the chicken processing plant. Eleven were arrested.

Kings County is the home of a large chicken industry as well as home to one of the largest meat processing plants in the Valley. Both have faced disputes with similar groups.

Boswell Foundation endowment

Thanks to a $100,000 philanthropic investment to the Ag One Foundation at Fresno State, the J. G. Boswell Foundation has established an endowment to support the University Agricultural Laboratory in memory of its longtime company farm manager, Dave Cosyns.

Cosyns began a 45-year career with the company after he graduated from Fresno State in 1971, and managed its Kern County operations until his passing in 2016. He developed his love of farming at a young age in his family’s farming operation in Orange County and later in Tulare.

The endowment will help to support the Fresno State farm, officially known as the University Agricultural Laboratory. Its 20 units and 1,000 acres provides students, faculty, staff and community members endless opportunities for hands-on training and research.

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