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UKRAINE DELEGATION VISITING BAKERSFIELD
10-01-2014 - AP A group from Ukraine will arrive in Bakersfield this week to learn about American civil law, making it the first time since 2009 that a foreign delegation has visited the city. The delegates will land Friday night at Meadows Field and will meet with local attorneys, judges and Kern County dignitaries during their trip.
SUPES FORMALLY OPPOSE PROP 47
10-01-2014 - AP Kern County supervisors have formally voiced their opposition to an initiative on the November ballot that would reduce non-violent property and drug felonies to misdemeanors, saying it would take too much power away from the county's district attorney. The resolution to oppose Proposition 47 was passed unanimously during the board's Tuesday meeting.
HWY 178 OFF-RAMP CLOSED THURSDAY, FRIDAY
10-01-2014 - AP The reconstruction of a retaining wall along Highway 178 in Bakersfield will force the closure of the freeway's westbound off-ramp at Fairfax Road. Crews will close the ramp Thursday and Friday between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Motorists that need to access Fairfax can still do so from the Oswell Street off-ramp.
REWARD OFFERED FOR INFO ON CHICKEN KILLINGS
10-01-2014 - AP Sheriff's deputies are looking for a person who killed over 900 chickens with a golf club at a Foster Farms facility south of Fresno. It happened at around 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 20 in the town of Caruthers. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.
WALMART OPENS SMALL STORE
10-01-2014 - ST Walmart has opened its new Neighborhood Market in Oildale, and people were lining up to get inside after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Jeff Florez was at Wednesday's grand opening. He says going into the 41-thousand square foot store was better than he expected. "I like it, because it's more accessible, the layout is friendly, and I can find things easy." The store employs 95 people and will be open 24 hours a day. Walmart is also moving forward with plans to build a Supercenter on Calloway and Olive drives.
LACING IT UP FOR A GOOD CAUSE
10-01-2014 - ST Links for Life's "Lacin' It Up" event in Taft, the Park at Riverwalk and downtown Bakersfield drew more than 100 people who walked to raise kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Mary Van Blake says she's a breast cancer survivor, and it was important for her to walk in Wednesday's event as a way to thank the organization for the help they gave her. "Anybody in Kern County that doesn't have any money can still get a mammogram. It's not a money thing, it's just getting the word out that this is available to you." There will be another "Lacin' It Up" event in Tehachapi Saturday morning.
FIRE AT TEMPLE IN SOUTH BAKERSFIELD
10-01-2014 - ST Bakersfield City firefighters are looking into what sparked a fire at an Indian temple on Wilson Road west of South H Street this morning. Captain Mike Lencioni says they were called to the Shree Durga Shiva Vishnu Temple around 4:45, where the fire in a classroom caused a lot of smoke damage. "I would say at this time, anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000. No injuries to firefighters or civilians." Lencioni says they had to cut holes in the roof to let the smoke out and were able to get the fire out in about 10 minutes.
FIRE AT APARTMENT COMPLEX
10-01-2014 - SuzG Arson investigators say a fire at a fourplex on Flower Street near Miller Street in east Bakersfield is "suspicious". Flames were visible from a vacant, second floor unit when crews arrived at 8:15 Tuesday morning, and all four apartments sustained about $75,000 in damage.
MOLESTATION CONVICTION
10-01-2014 - SuzG A Bakersfield jury has convicted a local man of forcing a child under age 14 to perform sex acts at a house party in Oildale. 28-year-old Anthony Searles-Harris was accused of bringing young girls to parties in 2012 and giving them alcohol and drugs. He faces 14 years in prison when he's sentenced next month.
ASSESSOR EXPLAINS COUNTY BUDGET SHORTFALL
10-01-2014 - AP A nearly $800 million devaluation in wind farms will mean less-than-expected county property tax revenues this year. During Tuesday's supervisors meeting, assessor Jim Fitch said he was disappointed with the $2.7 million shortfall, but also said that it's difficult to predict just how much money a wind farm will bring to the county. "We are very, very troubled by the fact that we have such limited time to work with these properties, and we're always going to have these types of corrections to come through." The shortfall will slice about $1.8 million from county operations and $900,000 from fire departments.
SUPES ADD MONEY TO KMC CONTRACT
10-01-2014 - AP Supervisors have agreed to a deal to add $5 million to the management contract for Kern Medical Center. The hospital's management firm says it will use the money to attract a chief medical officer and better-qualified employees to KMC. The initial contract was $11 million.
SUPES DELAY INDIAN WELLS VALLEY AG VOTE
09-30-2014 - AP County supervisors opted to not vote on an emergency ordinance that would have temporarily halted agriculture in the Indian Wells Valley. The decision was made after three hours of public comment from property owners and farmers. Pistachio farmer Rod Stiefvater told the board that, if the ordinance were approved, it would bankrupt his business. "I have done what any capitalistic farmer would do, in terms of going out and expanding pistachio-growing. I feel that I have not done anything wrong at all." Realtors also said they were against the ordinance, saying that it would severely hurt property values. However, private well-owners say agriculture has overtaxed the valley's aquifer. Supervisors will look at the issue again later this month.
SHOTS FIRED AT MCFARLAND HOME
09-30-2014 - AP McFarland police say they're not sure why a group of people opened fire at a house near 9th Street and West Kern Avenue, injuring a man living there. The victim was transported to a hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound after the shooting, which happened after 9 p.m. Sunday.
RURAL MURDER VICTIM ID'ED
09-30-2014 - AP A woman found dead in the backyard of a home near Lamont has been identified as 36-year-old Yolanda Hernandez. Hernandez died from blunt-force trauma Sept. 18 at the home on Adobe Road south of East Bear Mountain Boulevard. The suspected killer, 35-year-old Juan Carlos Montes-Figueroa, was arrested a day later.
BAKERSFIELD BROTHERS ARRESTED IN KILLING
09-30-2014 - AP A man has been arrested for killing a man in southeast Bakersfield. Police say 23-year-old Fernando Romero shot 43-year-old Juan Ramirez near Jones Street and Fishering Drive on Sept. 21. Romero's brother, 34-year-old Horacio Romero, was also jailed for destroying evidence and being an accessory to murder.
STREET GANG ARRESTED AFTER ROBBERY
09-30-2014 - AP Four Bakersfield teens and a 22-year-old are in custody after police say they participated in a street gang and robbed a house in west Bakersfield near Stockdale High School. Police say it happened just before 10 a.m. last Friday near White Lane and Roma Way. The five suspects were arrested after they were found in a nearby vehicle.
GPS DATA LEADS TO STOLEN PICKUP
09-30-2014 - AP An arrest warrant has been issued for a Bakersfield man alleged to have stolen a pickup from an oilfield. The Rural Crimes Unit of the Kern County Sheriff's Office says it found the Vintage Production Oil Company truck near Fairview Road and Monitor Street in the garage of 27-year-old Michael Pacheco after recovering data from the vehicle's built-in GPS.
ANIMAL CLINIC CELEBRATING 15,000th SURGERY
09-30-2014 - AP A southwest Bakersfield-based spay and neuter organization is celebrating its 15,000th surgery. Critters Without Litters will perform the surgery Wednesday morning, and will present a special gift basket to the owner of pet when he or she arrives at the clinic near White Lane and Stine Road.
BPD LOOKING FOR MAN WHO MADE FRAUDULENT PURCHASES
09-30-2014 - AP Police are looking for a man who made several purchases along Ming Avenue with a stolen credit card. They say the fraudulent purchases were made on June 21 at the Target at the Valley Plaza Mall and at a Toys 'R' Us near Ming Avenue and Lymric Way. The man is described as a heavy-set black male in his 20s with a shaved head and moustache. You can view a photo of the suspect here. (Photo: Bakersfield Police Department)
TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR BIDEN AT CSU-B
09-30-2014 - AP A limited number of tickets are available for Vice President Joe Biden's appearance at Cal State-Bakersfield next week. Biden will be campaigning for Democratic congressional hopeful Amanda Renteria at the Icardo Center next Tuesday afternoon. Tickets can be picked up at 1522 18th St. Ste. 223 in Bakersfield, 1224 Jefferson St. Ste. 2 in Delano, 804 N. Irwin St. Ste. A in Hanford, and at 577 7th St. Ste. 104 in Sanger.
SUBURBAN L.A. MAYOR KILLED
09-30-2014 - AP Sheriff's deputies in Los Angeles County say the mayor of Bell Gardens has been found shot to death in his home, and allege his wife pulled the trigger during a fight. They say Daniel Crespo was shot at around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday after he hit his 19-year-old son. Crespo's wife is now in custody.
MAN SENTENCED IN DEATH OF PASSENGER
09-30-2014 - ST A man who was high on methamphetamine when he ran from Sheriff's deputies has been sentenced to 25 years to life for causing the death of his girlfriend. Rufina Puentes says she does not accept Fredrico Anguiano's apology for the 2013 death of her sister, Guillermina Puentes. "I don't think it was an accident, and I don't think he was sorry. He's just a selfish man." Prosecutors say Anguiano was pulled over for a minor traffic violation and sped away on Oswell Street and Brundage Lane, then crashed into a trailer on Oswell near Edison Highway, killing Puentes.
MILESTONE IN PARKWAY CONSTRUCTION
09-30-2014 - ST Concrete is drying on the last bridge to be built for the Westside Parkway in west Bakersfield. City project engineer Luis Topete says the Renfro Road overpass is the last major portion to be built before the Parkway is completed. "And that extends the freeway two miles, from Allen Road to Heath and Stockdale." Topete says the Parkway should be finished by December or January, but the bridge will probably be finished before then. He says there are plans to extend the Westside Parkway to Interstate 5 in the next 15 to 20 years.
FATAL CRASH INVESTIGATION TO TAKE A WHILE
09-30-2014 - SuzG The investigation into a deadly weekend crash in Oildale between a sheriff's deputy and a civilian is being handled by the CHP, and a final report could take months to complete. 72-year-old Nancy Joyce Garrett was killed early Saturday on North Chester Avenue near China Grade Loop when Deputy Nicholas Clerico's cruiser hit her car as he responded to a call. He was also hurt in the crash.
GOV SIGNS PLASTIC BAG BAN
09-30-2014 - SuzG. Governor Brown has signed a bill that will ban one-time-use plastic bags at major retailers starting next year. In 2016, the ban will expand to convenience stores and pharmacies. The bill sets a statewide standard and lets stores charge 10-cents for a paper bag, but manufacturers say the ban will cost jobs.
FOURPLEX DAMAGED IN SUSPICOUS FIRE
09-30-2014 - SuzG. Bakersfield arson investigators are calling a fire this morning at a fouplex on Flower Street near Miller Street "suspicious". Flames were visible from a vacant, second floor unit when crews arrived at 8:15, but all four apartments sustained about $75-thousand in smoke and water damage.
PRISON AHEAD FOR OILDALE MOLESTER
09-30-2014 - SuzG. A Bakersfield jury has convicted a local man of forcing a child under age 14 to perform sex acts at a house party in Oildale. Twenty-eith-year-old Anthony Searles-Harris was accused of bringing young girls to parties in 2012 and giving them alcohol and drugs. He faces 14 years in prison when he's sentenced next month.Another man, 28-year-old Randy Miller, was previously sentenced to a year in jail and probation for his role at a party.
KMC CEO PLEASED WITH AUTHORITY
09-30-2014 - SuzG. Kern County now has the legal footing to create an independent hospital authority to run Kern Medical Center, after Governor Brown signed a bill expressly for that purpose. KMC CEO Russell Judd told Supervisors today he was excited that a major hurdle has finally been cleared, but there's still a lot of work ahead. "Writing an ordinance will take a lot of time, there will be a lot of public input, we'll be before the board, I'm sure, many times as we work out those details, but its a great start. We've now got our bill and now we start doing the hard work." Public hearings must also be held before the hospital authority can take over management at KMC.
MAN SENTENCED FOR SHOOTING WIFE
09-29-2014 - AP A 55-year-old man will spend the next 14 years in prison after admitting to shooting his wife. Loren Johnson was sentenced Monday on one count of attempted murder. Prosecutors say Johnson told an emergency dispatcher that he opened fire at his wife at their east Bakersfield home at Catalina Drive and Ridgemoor Avenue during an altercation on Aug. 16.
INTERNET GAMBLING, OTHER BILLS SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
09-29-2014 - AP Three bills authored by Bakersfield state senator Rudy Salas have been signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Salas says the bills signed Friday will cease gambling at Internet cafes, allow methane from dairies to be used in a process to create renewable energy, and allow county supervisors to create a hospital board for Kern Medical Center.
MAN SENTENCED FOR BRINGING DRUGS INTO KERN COUNTY
09-29-2014 - AP A Fresno man will spend nearly the next five years in prison after prosecutors say he was found transporting cocaine and meth through Kern County. 37-year-old Enrique Reynosa was sentenced in federal court Monday. The drugs were found in Reynosa's pickup during a traffic stop last January on Highway 99 south of State Route 119.
CRISP & COLE DEFENDANT SENTENCED
09-29-2014 - AP One of the defendants in the Crisp & Cole mortgage scam will spend the next three years in prison and will be ordered to pay nearly $3 million restitution. Julie Farmer will report to prison in December. Farmer was the only person involved in the 15-person, $20 million scheme to not accept a plea deal.
CSUB SUSPENDS ATHLETIC DIRECTOR SEARCH
09-29-2014 - AP Cal State-Bakersfield has suspended its search for an athletic director. The school says it was able to identify two candidates for the position, but neither received enough support from administrators. In the meantime, the school says it has extended the contract of interim AD Kenneth Siegfried through the end of the school year, and will restart its search next year.
BC AIMING FOR FOUR-YEAR DEGREE PROGRAM
09-29-2014 - AP A new law has been passed that would let California community colleges apply to teach certain four-year degree programs by 2017. Bakersfield College spokeswoman Amber Chiang says the state is looking for 15 schools that would be willing to offer the programs that the state wants to develop "...in areas that aren't served by the CSUs." "Community colleges are designed to give two-year degrees, so this will be a very incredible departure from our typical educational pattern," Chiang says. Community colleges can apply to teach the programs at the start of next year. BC will apply to offer industrial arts because, Chiang says, it would be most-beneficial to Kern County's agriculture industry. The school wanted to apply to teach nursing, but Chiang says, because it's a program already offered by UC and CSU, it cannot be offered by a community college under the new law.
SELF-STORAGE BURGLARS AT LARGE
09-29-2014 - AP The Bakersfield Police Department says it's looking for three people who burglarized a self-storage facility in north Bakersfield. They say it happened just before 9 p.m. on Sept. 1 at Extra Space Mini Storage near Chester Avenue and 40th Street. You can view a photo of the suspect vehicle here. (Photo: Bakersfield Police Department)
MEN ARRESTED FOR STEALING AC PARTS
09-29-2014 - AP Police have arrested three Bakersfield men for stealing $200,000 worth of air conditioning components from at least 15 area businesses. 26-year-old Cody King, 26-year-old Danell Green and 37-year-old Garry Holder were jailed Monday. Police say the men had nearly 400 pounds of aluminum condensers and nearly 40 pounds of copper piping in their possession when they were arrested.
KING FIRE ALMOST CONTAINED
09-29-2014 - AP The nearly 100,000-acre King Fire burning east of Sacramento in northern California is expected to be contained by the weekend. Wet weather helped firefighters last weekend reach 92 percent containment. Just over 3,400 personnel are still working the fire, down from over 8,000 just a week ago.
ENERGY BILL EQUALITY
09-29-2014 - ST Governor Brown has signed a bill authored by Bakersfield State Senator Jean Fuller that equalizes the energy bills of people who live in hot climates like Kern County and the Inland Empire and cooler coastal communities. Mindy Spatt is a spokesperson for The Utility Reform Network, or TURN. She says the state Public Utilities Commission will put together a plan that should be in effect by next summer. "With this bill, we're going to make sure that default pricing is not being imposed on the customers it's going to hurt the most. Those that live in hot climates." Spatt says energy rates will fluctuate during the day, but they won't be as large in the Central Valley as in the past.
FUNERAL SET FOR FORMER CHIEF
09-29-2014 - ST Funeral plans have been announced for former Bakersfield Police Chief Eric Matlock, who passed away after losing his battle to cancer at the age of 65. Matlock will be laid to rest at Hillcrest Memorial Park on Kern Canyon Road at 1PM, Thursday. The public is invited to attend.
FATAL DEPUTY CRASH UNDER REVIEW
09-29-2014 - SuzG. The Sheriff's Office says the investigation into a deadly weekend crash in Oildale between a deputy and a civilian is being handled by the CHP, and a final report is yet to come. Seventy-two-year-old Nancy Joyce Garrett was killed early Sunday on North Chester Avenue near China Grade Loop when Deputy Nicholas Clerico's cruiser hit her car as he responded to a call. He was also hurt in the crash. Garrett's age was originally reported as 68 based on a Coroner's Office news release.
FATAL CRASH WITH DEPUTY
09-29-2014 - SuzG A special unit of the CHP is investigating a deadly crash between a car and a Sheriff's deputy cruiser this weekend, and there's no word on when that work will be done. The collision at 1:45 Sunday morning on North Chester Avenue and China Grade Loop killed 68-year-old Nancy Joyce Garrett of Bakersfield. The deputy was enroute to a call. His injuries are moderate.
ARRESTS MADE IN WASCO STABBING
09-29-2014 - SuzG Two teenage boys have been arrested for an attack in Wasco that sent two men to the hospital with multiple stab wounds. Deputies say it happened around 9:45 Saturday morning on Poplar Avenue near Sequoia Drive. The first suspect captured is a 14-year-old, the second boy is 16. The victims have major injuries.
TIRE FIRE GENERATES A LOT OF SMOKE
09-29-2014 - SuzG Smoke and flames that could be seen near the municipal airport this morning in southeast Bakersfield prompted several neighbors to call the fire department. A half dozen engines were dispatched to Oliver Street near Cottonwood Road, but crews found it was a pile of discarded tires that was burning in a nearby field. They had the fire out in 10 minutes.
ROAD CLOSURES IN SOUTHEAST
09-29-2014 - AP Freeway bridge reconstruction work will force daytime closures of Madison and P streets at Highway 58 today in Bakersfield. Both streets will be closed from 8:30am to 3:30 in the afternoon through Friday. Look for detours at Union Avenue and Cottonwood Road.
ARRESTS AFTER BAKERSFIELD SHOOTING
09-29-2014 - ST Police arrested a man and a woman in after a shooting in southeast Bakersfield missed the intended victim. Officers were called to a home on Horne Street south of East Planz Road Sunday night, where 21-year- old Miguel Berrezella was IDd as the assailant. He was booked for attempted murder. 21-year-old Alexis Rodriguez was booked as an accessory.
CRASH VICTIM IDed
09-29-2014 - SuzG A Delano man who was killed in a crash with a big rig has been identified as 21-year-old Horacio Ramirez Herrera. Investigators say he lost control of his car around 6:00 Saturday night on Northbound 99, about 2.5 miles south of Lerdo Hwy. There are no other details about the crash.
DROUGHT COULD AFFECT CROPS
09-29-2014 - ST The drought gripping the state could lead to smaller sizes of many crops in Kern County and the Central Valley. The Sacramento Bee reports grape, almond, rice, orange and pistachio crops could be hard hit by the lack of water. The agriculture economy will suffer revenue losses totaling about $2.2-Billion this year.
CIVIL AIR PATROL MEMBERS HAILED FOR HELP AT FAIR
09-26-2014 - AP Two Civil Air Patrol members are being hailed as heroes after they assisted a man with an epileptic disorder at the Kern County Fair. Cadet Jerry Avalos says the man approached CAP's booth on Wednesday, signaling that he needed help finding water so that he could take his medication. "I was a bit scared, because I though he was going to pass out, or something. So, I was trying to do it as quickly as I can, and I just did it." Both Avalos and Captain Christopher Ince then secured the booth and helped the man find water.
ENERGY STORAGE PROJECT OPENS IN TEHACHAPI
09-26-2014 - AP A one-of-a-kind, $50 million wind and energy storage project has been opened in Tehachapi. Cal Rossi, a region manager for Southern California Edison, the operator the Tehachapi Energy Storage Project, says the facility's nearly 11,000 lithium-ion batteries can hold about eight megawatts of power. "This is cutting-edge, and I think it's notable that it is the first in North America - this type of a project. I think it should be a source of pride." Rossi says the project is a joint venture between SCE and the U.S. Department of Energy, who put up half of the money for the project.
SW BAKERSFIELD STABBERS ON LAM
09-26-2014 - AP A man is in stable condition after being attacked and stabbed by three men in southeast Bakersfield. It happened just after 6 p.m. Thursday near Monitor Street and Pacheco Road. The Bakersfield Police Department says all three suspected attackers remain at large.
BPD LOOKING FOR VERIZON STORE ROBBERS
09-26-2014 - AP The Bakersfield Police Department is looking for two men who attempted to rob a Verizon store in southeast Bakersfield. It happened just before 9 o'clock Thursday night near Mount Vernon Avenue and Columbus Street. Both suspects are described as a 5-foot-8, 185-pound Hispanic males in their mid-20s. You can view photos of both suspects and the suspect vehicle here. (Photo: Bakersfield Police Department)
SIX DROP-OFF LOCATIONS FOR DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY
09-26-2014 - AP The Kern County Sheriff's Office will operate six local drop-off locations for this year's National Prescription Take-Back Day. Deputies will be accepting expired and unused pills and formulas at substations throughout the county from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The substations will be located at: 1350 Norris Rd. in Bakersfield, 181 E. First St. in Buttonwillow, 455 Lexington Street in Delano, 632 Laguna Trail in Frazier Park, 748 F St. in Wasco, and at the Kern Valley substation at 7046 Lake Isabella Blvd. in Lake Isabella.
KING FIRE 74 PERCENT CONTAINED
09-26-2014 - AP Crews have gained 74 percent containment of the nearly 100,000-acre King Fire east of Sacramento. Just over 7,200 firefighters are still working at the fire, which is down from nearly 8,000 earlier this week. The U.S. Forest Service says damp weather should help firefighters this weekend.
FORMER BPD CHIEF PASSES AWAY
09-26-2014 - ST Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Williamson is remembering former Chief Eric Matlock as a mentor to him as he made his way through the ranks. Williamson says Matlock, who lost his battle with cancer at age 65, had an open-door policy when it came to improving the Department. "He would just say, 'come on up', and I could come up and sit in the chair across from him, and he would voice his opinion, or give us some direction on which way to go." Williamson says Matclock retired in 2004, but was always interested in what was happening with the BPD, often chatting and asking questions when they would run into each other on walks in the neighborhood or at the grocery store.
STUDENTS LEARN HOW TO LEAD
09-26-2014 - ST The Kern County Middle Grades Leadership Conference at Bakersfield College gave more than 500 student leaders from 80 elementary and middle schools the chance to learn skills that they could take back to their schools to build character among their peers. Panama Elementary fifth grader and student body president Ethan Guerrero says one piece of advice stood out at today's event. "Being a good leader is: sometimes you have to step forward and take take your place in front, but sometimes you do have to step back." The kids heard from a magician who told them that taking control of their lives will take them far.
HARVICK HAS SIGHTS SET ON WIN
09-26-2014 - ST Bakersfield native and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kevin Harvick turned a qualifying time of nearly 163 miles an hour and a 22 second lap time to grab the pole position for this weekend's Triple-A 400 in Dover, Delaware. It's Harvick's seventh pole of the season, and he'll be working to improve his position in the Cup Chase this Sunday.
LOCAL HERO CAT GETS ANOTHER HONOR
09-26-2014 - SuzG Seven Kern County Veterans and a famous Bakersfield cat have been honored by the Exercise Tiger Association for their bravery in the face of danger. Joe Acosta from the Veterans Center says each received a Medal of Combat Valor at today's ceremony, and explains why Tara the Cat was included. "She behaved just as those warriors that we send to war behave. She put herself in harm's way just as the other veterans have put themselves in harm's way." Tara made news around the world in May when she charged a much larger dog that was dragging away her family's four year old boy by the leg.
POLICE LOOKING FOR SHOOTING SUSPECT
09-26-2014 - SuzG Bakersfield police are looking for the man who shot another man on Real Road south of Chester Lane during a robbery. The victim has moderate injuries after the attack that happened around 9:30 Thursday night. A red, older style four door sedan was seen in the area and may be linked to the crime.
MAN ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED RAPE OF RIDGECREST WOMAN
09-25-2014 - AP A 43-year-old man accused of drugging and raping a Ridgecrest woman at his home has been arrested. The Kern County Sheriff's Office says Robert Borders was booked into jail early Tuesday morning just after the alleged rape. Deputies say the victim met Borders after being jailed for public intoxication the prior night.
CSUB CLOSES ANIMAL CARE FACILITY
09-25-2014 - AP Budget cuts have forced Cal State-Bakersfield to close its Facility for Animal Care and Treatment. Spokesperson Irma Cervantes says the decision to close the animal rescue center, which catered to injured birds, was made by the school's biology department over the spring. "It was unfortunate that it came to that decision, because FACT is a facility that is very near-and-dear not only to the CSU-B campus, but the community as well." The facility closed its doors for good last week. Cervantes says injured birds can still be taken to the California Living Museum on Alfred Harrell Highway in east Bakersfield.
BAKERSFIELD COUPLE JAILED FOR CREDIT FRAUD
09-25-2014 - AP A Bakersfield couple is jailed after police say they stole credit card numbers from people across the country. 24-year-old Adrian Tinoco and 29-year-old Marcella Cordero were arrested at their west Bakersfield home on Williamsburg Place on Wednesday on burglary and credit fraud charges.
TEHACHAPI MAN TO FACE TWO COUNTS OF MURDER
09-25-2014 - AP A 28-year-old man will stand trial on two first-degree murder charges after two bodies were found in his Tehachapi apartment. The decision was made Wednesday in Kern County Superior Court. On Sept. 1, deputies found 54-year-old Jose Fajardo and 57-year-old Guy Koukal dead in Joaquin Balassa's Cherry Lane apartment.
BPD LOOKING FOR MAN WHO CARVED SWASTICA AT COURTHOUSE
09-25-2014 - AP Police are looking for a man who carved a swastika into a sign at the federal courthouse on 19th Street in downtown Bakersfield. They say it happened on Aug. 26 just before 10 a.m. The suspect is described as a 5-foot-10 or six-foot white male between 25 and 35 years old. He has a scruffy beard, a medium build, and weighs about 180 pounds. You can view a photo of the suspect here. (Photo: Bakersfield Police Department)
POLICE LOOKING FOR MAN WHO STOLE BIKE
09-25-2014 - AP The Bakersfield Police Department is looking for a man who stole a bike off of a rack outside of a supermarket on the city's southwest side. It happened just after 5 p.m. on September 2nd at the WinCo Foods location on Panama Lane. The suspect is described as a 5-foot-10, 180 pound white male between the ages of 18 and 22. We have a photo of the suspect here. (Photo: Bakersfield Police Department)
HWY 58 CONSTRUCTON WILL LEAD TO CLOSURES
09-25-2014 - AP Freeway bridge reconstruction work will force daytime closures of Madison and P streets at Highway 58 south of the Oleander neighborhood. Both streets will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. next Monday through Friday. Detours will be set up at Union Avenue and Cottonwood Road.
GARAGE FIRE CAUSES $10K DAMAGE
09-25-2014 - AP County fire investigators are looking into a garage fire near Bakersfield's eastern edge that caused about $10,000 damage. It happened just after 4 p.m. Thursday on Fairfax Road. Firefighters were able to save the $120,000 house on the property.
KING FIRE GROWS TO 95,000 ACRES
09-25-2014 - AP Over 8,000 fire personnel are now working the King Fire east of Sacramento, which grew to nearly 95,000 acres Wednesday night. The U.S. Forest Service says firefighters were able to increase containment of the fire to 43 percent on Thursday, but they say breezy conditions are making fighting the fire more difficult.
A PLAN FOR BRICKS AND A FOUNTAIN
09-25-2014 - ST The City of Bakersfield will propose a plan to the City Council that would beautify the Centennial Plaza in front of the Rabobank Arena while preserving engraved bricks that were laid when the plaza opened in 1998. Assistant to the City Manager Chris Huot says they will present two plans for the water fountain at the October 22nd meeting. " One would replace the existing fountain with an above-ground circular fountain. The other option would be to do sort of a two half-moons, and have a walkway in between." Huot says they will also propose moving many of the engraved bricks to an area between the ticket office and the outdoor stage area, where there is less foot traffic.
ACCUSED MURDERER'S FATE IN THE HANDS OF A JURY
09-25-2014 - ST A jury is deliberating the case of a Bakersfield man accused of killing a woman and burning her remains in a trailer park on Edison Highway. Prosecutors say Alejandro Leon stabbed 31-year-old Evelynn Chuca to death in June and tried to cover the crime. Sheriff's detectives found burned body parts in a tote bag as well as a fire pit.
NEW RULES AND INCENTIVES TO CLEAN UP THE AIR
09-25-2014 - ST The Valley Air District is offering an incentive of up to $25-hundred to replace old, high-polluting fireplaces to cleaner units. Spokesperson Jamie Holt says there will also be three options when the "No Burn" season goes into effect. "Okay to burn", "Not okay to burn" or... "'Yes, you can Burn', but only have an EPA certified device. And that device must then be registered with the District." Holt says the incentives are designed to allow more people to light clean fireplaces without causing air pollution levels to rise, which cut down on the number of days it was okay to have a fire last year.
CITY COUNCIL REVIEWS REPORT ON BPD
09-24-2014 - AP The Bakersfield City Council spent three hours combing through a 100-page report that criticized the Bakersfield Police Department's response times, diversity, lack of staffing and community relations. The $100,000 study by the International Association of Chiefs of Police says BPD must improve in at least 34 different areas. Vice mayor Ken Weir says, regardless of what the report says, he believes Bakersfield still has an outstanding force. "We have a great police department. People work hard, they're committed to their jobs, they're committed to the service of this community, and we don't need to change a lot of that." Council took no action on Wednesday.
COUNCIL NAMES TWO NEW GET BOARD MEMBERS
09-24-2014 - AP The Bakersfield City Council has unanimously selected its two new Golden Empire Transit board members. Vice mayor Ken Weir says that the vote was needed, and that both Cindy Parra and Elliott Kirschenmann will make great replacements for Howard Silver and Norris Ledbetter, who council opted to fire on Sept. 10. "The GET board has no board at this point, they have no quorum, and I think it's important that we move forward. We have awesome applicants here." Silver and Ledbetter were canned after a bus drivers and mechanics strike halted service for over a month. After the strike, Weir asked both men to resign.
RECORD SALES EXPECTED IN FAIR AUCTIONS
09-24-2014 - AP The Kern County Fair is expecting record livestock sales for this year's 4-H and Future Farmers of America junior livestock auctions. $1.9 million was generated from the auctions last year, which was sharply higher than the $1.2 million figure generated in 2012. Fair CEO Mark Olcott says he's expecting sales in excess of $2 million this year. "It has been on an up-turn. I think a lot of it has to do with the ag. and oil that we have here. The oil industry has been very supportive as well." The auctions will start Thursday morning at 10 a.m. for market swine, then market goat and market lamb auctions will follow at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday. Saturday, alpacas will be auctioned off first at 10 a.m., then rabbit, poultry, cavy and turkey will be auctioned off at 10:30 a.m., springer heifers will be auctioned off at 11 a.m., replacement open and bred heifers will be auctioned off at 1:30 p.m., and market steer and market heifers will be auctioned off at 2 p.m.
MAN IN DUI CRASH CHARGED WITH MURDER
09-24-2014 - AP A 22-year-old man who lost control of his car and killed a man in a crash near the Cal State-Bakersfield campus has been charged with second-degree murder. Prosecutors say Rodolfo Contreras was speeding and drunk at the time of the March 8 wreck near Gosford Road and Stockdale Highway, killing 54-year-old David Aggio.
BPD: GRAFFITI SUSPECT JAILED FOR METH, MISCHIEF
09-24-2014 - AP A man suspected of causing $7,400 in graffiti damage in Bakersfield has been jailed on criminal mischief and drug possession charges. Police say 19-year-old Misael Flores was found tossing a bag of methamphetamine away when cops arrived on Sorrano Avenue in southwest Bakersfield on Tuesday. They say over 130 graffiti cases were linked to Flores.
LAKE ISABELLA WOMAN JAILED FOR BURGLARY
09-24-2014 - AP A woman is jailed after deputies say she burglarized a residence in Lake Isabella. The Kern County Sheriff's Office says it found stolen money in 59-year-old Eva Rogers' possession when she was arrested in Bakersfield at around 5 p.m. Tuesday. Deputies say they later found a stolen pistol at Rogers' home.
PG&E: GAS LINE CONSTRUCTON UNDERWAY
09-24-2014 - AP Construction is underway on a new underground natural gas line and regulator station in southwest Bakersfield. PG&E spokesperson Katie Allen says the company is hoping to have the work near Ashe and Berkshire roads done by November. She also says motorists can expect occasional traffic delays in the area until the project is done.
BAKERSFIELD GROWTH OUTPACING OTHER CITIES
09-24-2014 - AP The financial website WalletHub says Bakersfield is the eighth-fastest growing large city in the country in terms of socio-economics, and the fastest-growing in large city in California. The study looked at over 500 cities, weighing population increases against metrics like job growth and the local poverty rate. They say the fastest-growing city is Austin, Texas, while Mesa, Ariz., is the slowest-growing city.
EARTHQUAKE BLAMED FOR INCREASED NAPA STREAMFLOWS
09-24-2014 - AP Several dry and low-flowing streams and rivers near Sonoma are gradually filling up with water again after last month's south Napa earthquake, puzzling some residents there. Thomas Holzen with the U.S. Geological Survey says geologists may have found an answer. "We believe it's shallow groundwater. It's now just able to get out a lot more easily than it used to be able to." Sonoma Creek, which is near the epicenter, has risen three cubic feet since the 6.0-magnitude quake. Holzen says he expects the greater streamflow to continue into next month.
LINES STRENGTHENED ALONG KING FIRE'S NORTH EDGE
09-24-2014 - AP Fire crews have gained 38 percent containment of the King Fire, which is burning in northern California. Growth of the 93,000-acre fire east of Sacramento has been slowed after firefighters spent Tuesday strengthening existing containment lines along the fire's northern edge. Currently, over 7,600 firefighters are battling the fire.
KIDS CAUGHT PLAYING HOOKY
09-24-2014 - ST Kern High School District Police officers, working with other law enforcement agencies conducted a truancy sweep in central and southwest Bakersfield, targeting 87 students who have habitually missed school. Chief Mike Collier says the operation ran most of Wednesday morning. " We contacted 62 out of the 87. And about 10 citations were issued to truant students." Collier says students who stay home from school are more likely to go out during the day and cause trouble or commit crimes. He says there will be more sweeps held at random times this school year.
BODY FOUND IN EAST BAKERSFIELD
09-24-2014 - ST Kern County Sheriff's homicide detectives are looking for clues in a homicide investigation in east Bakersfield. Spokesman Ray Pruitt says a man walking in the field Wednesday morning on Pioneer Drive across from Esperanza Street found the body about 100 yards from the pavement. "Based on an initial assessment of the crime scene, it does appear that he was most likely shot where his body was located." Pruitt says no arrests have been made, and detectives are interviewing people who live near the field to see if they heard or saw anything.
NEW LAB OPENS AT CSUB
09-24-2014 - SuzG Cal State Bakersfield is celebrating the opening of a high tech fabrication lab that's available to both students, the public and grade school kids. The so-called Fab Lab is one of 10 workspaces being funded by Chevron, which is committed to building a local work force with skills in science, math and technology.
VALADAO SENDS INVITE TO VP BIDEN
09-24-2014 - SuzG Republican Congressman David Valadao of Hanford is inviting Vice President Joe Biden to get a first had look at the devastation in the valley caused by three years of drought. His letter to the VP comes the day after democratic challenger Amanda Renteria announced Biden would be in Bakersfield October 7th to support her campaign for the 21st Congressional District.
ONE DEAD IN SHED FIRE
09-24-2014 - AP One person is dead in a shed fire just west of Centennial High School. Captain Tyler Townsend with the Kern County Fire Department says it happened at around 3 p.m. Tuesday on Troutdale Court north of Chinook Avenue. "Twenty firefighters responded to the incident. Upon arrival, fire crews were faced with a 10-by-10-foot shed fully involved in fire." Townsend says crews were able to put out the fire before it spread to the $250,000 house on the property and a neighboring house. County fire investigators and arson crews are still trying to figure out what happened.
CORONER: NOT SURE WHY BABY DIED
09-24-2014 - AP The Kern County coroner isn't sure why a two-month-old baby was found dead in south Bakersfield last month. Sheriff's deputies found the body of Sotero Lopez of Grover Beach during an investigation of a home near O'Neill Avenue and Post Street on Aug. 10. The coroner investigation finished yesterday [Tuesday], labeling the death "unexplained."
JAM, SUNS CELEBRATE PARTNERSHIP
09-24-2014 - AP The Phoenix Suns organization says it's excited to begin its new partnership with its new NBA D-League affiliate, the Bakersfield Jam. The Jam welcomed members of the Suns organization to its annual tip-off dinner at the Dignity Health Event Center Tuesday night. Suns general manager Ryan McDonough says the partnership, which was announced in May, made perfect sense to him. "We asked a number of people where they though the best D-League situation was in terms of the facilities, the ownership, the commitment to winning, the community support - and it was almost unanimous that it was Bakersfield." The Jam begin its season at home November 14th against the Texas Legends.
SUPERVISORS AGREE TO SEND LETTER OF CONCERN
09-24-2014 - AP Kern County Supervisors will send a letter to the California Energy Commission, asking for additional safety measures to be put in place for the proposed Hydrogen Energy California project west of Bakersfield. Mark Lamboy, who would the the closest farmer to the facility, told supervisors that more safeguards - like air quality sensors and a bond for farmers - need to be in place. "It's critical that we don't have any risk to these crops that we grow. It's just a big concern of ours, and we feel it's the wrong place for this kind of a facility." The plant would create ammonia-based fertilizer and more than 300 megawatts of of electricity, meaning that oversight would fall solely on the energy commission in Sacramento and not locally.
KERN COUNTY METH PROBLEM GETTING WORSE
09-24-2014 - SuzG Supervisors are looking for money to battle the methamphetamine problem in Kern County, after learning it's worse now than it was in 2008. Dr. Dixie King with the Kern Stop Meth Now Task Force says a study six years ago found more than a third of all resources were spent on the problem in some manner, but prison realignment contributed to a spike in arrests this year. "Booking county-wide in 2014 - 33 percent of all bookings were for meth-related crimes." That's not counting the costs for impacts to families dealing with meth. County administrator John Nilon was tasked with finding money for intervention programs.
MCFARLAND MAN SURVIVES DEADLY CRASH
09-24-2014 - AP The highway patrol says a McFarland man was able to survive a deadly rural crash near Porterville. 37-year-old Antonio Nunez was driving on Road 160 in rural Tulare County Tuesday morning when a car drove out in front of his pickup. The resulting crash killed both people in the car. Nunez walked away uninjured.
KING FIRE 35 PERCENT CONTAINED
09-24-2014 - AP Crews have gained 35 percent containment of the 90,000-acre King Fire that's threatening some 12,000 homes in Northern California. That's up from 18 percent on Monday. Firefighters say they will focus on strengthening containment lines ahead of windier conditions and continued low humidity.
COUNCIL TOUTS COMMITTEE PASSAGE OF PROP. TAX ORDINANCE
09-24-2014 - AP Bakersfield City Council has passed a resolution in committee that aims to protect a proposition which limits swings in the city's property taxes. The resolution specifically preserves Proposition 13, which residents approved in 1978. Council will formally vote on the resolution at a regular session on Oct. 22.
COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS HELP FIGHT HUGE WILDFIRE
09-23-2014 - ST The Kern County Fire Department has sent 50 firefighters to help battle the King Fire, which has blackened more than 138 square miles of forest east of Sacramento. Fire Captain Tyler Townsend says they have sent five Type-3 engines that carry a crew of three. "Which have off-road capabilities. Four-wheel drive, they carry about 500 gallons of water, and they're led by a Battalion Chief." Townsend says they have also sent 24 members of the Rio Bravo Hotshot crew to help other hand crews on the fire lines, and 11 other firefighters to help with logistics. he says they could be deployed for up to 14 days.
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