Five things you need to know this week


1. Dollar General. The Madera County Planning Commission this month will consider approval of a Dollar General store in Coarsegold. The location of the 9,100 square foot, one-story store will be a 1.2-acre lot along Highway 41, the main thoroughfare to Yosemite National Park’s south entrance. The store’s developer, Embree Asset Group of Phoenix, Ariz., is also considering Three Rivers, the gateway community to Sequoia National Park’s south entrance, as a potential location for a Dollar General.

2. Zika virus. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that physicians now ask every pregnant woman if they or their partner have been an in area with a known outbreak of the Zika virus. The CDC also reported that the virus can be transmitted by females through unprotected sex. Previously, experts believed it could only be transmitted by males. Although the species of mosquito that transmits the Zika virus through bites has been detected in Tulare County, there have been no reports of mosquitoes carrying the virus locally. However, the Tulare County Public Health branch did confirm this month that one Tulare County resident has tested positive for the Zika virus  after traveling to Central America, the first case in the county.

3. GMO tomatoes. Last month, a group of scientists announced they’d found a way to genetically modify a tomato so that it can stay firm and colorful for up to 14 days after harvesting. Coming soon to a produce aisle near you.

4. Americans are getting shorter. A recent study that looked at 18.6 million people born from 1896 to 1996 in various countries found that U.S. adults have become shorter over the years. The researchers cited this stunting of growth may be due to worsening American diets.

5. California’s End of Life Option Act. California’s physician-assisted dying law took effect June 9, 2016. The law allows doctors in California to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill people with less than six months to live who want to hasten their deaths. There is an approval process involved that could take more than a month. 

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