The county is building a new $4 million call center for its Human Services department after the busy agency "outgrew its current facility” says Kings County Supervisor Doug Verboon. ”They just brought in modular buildings recently and are bolting them together - fast-tracking the construction. Verboon expects the new Call Center, which helps residents with their benefits, will be open by year’s end.

See's Candy coming to former Payless Shoe space

Payless Shoes may be gone from the Target shopping center in Hanford but See’s Candies will be coming in shortly. That is according to the center's owner Dave Paynter, who says See’s is remodeling the space and should be in by early November. “It is a seasonal store for the holidays.”

Cannabis farmers get no help from UC farm advisers

Don’t look for advice from your local farm adviser if you are one of those new marijuana farmers looking to plant your crop in California. Cultivation questions on all sort of exotic crops are typically welcome for the experts at the UC Co-op Extension. But don’t expect any help on how to grow your pot crop to be bigger or more profitable.

"We are prohibited by law from making any comments on marijuana,” says Tulare/Kings farm adviser Kevin Day. Humboldt County farm adviser Yana Valachovic agrees, saying the UC gets federal funding and the word has come down some time ago "not to get involved.”

One UC pot project underway includes an aerial survey of how much pot is being planted in the state with the coming of the new law that allows cultivation. UC professor Van Butsic says “we can track what goes in the fields and in greenhouses but not in those big warehouses" in the future. As for acreage, he expects most marijuana farms will be an acre or less and the statewide total may come to 50,000 to 100,000 acres.

City of Huron to grow alfalfa to reduce nitrogen

The Bureau of Reclamation is approving a plan by the city of Huron to grow alfalfa on 188 acres of reclamation land in an effort to reduce nitrogen and other contaminants produced by the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Alfalfa is a preferred plant to remove nitrogen as it can convert large amounts of nitrogen to protein, which can later be harvested to feed livestock. The city is under order to reduce nitrogen concentrations in its effluent from its wastewater treatment plant.

John Lindt is an independent business reporter. He can be reached at