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WEEK DECLARED "RED RIBBON WEEK"
10-24-2014 - AP The assembly has declared the next seven days to be Red Ribbon Week in an effort to stop increasing drug abuse among school children. Assemblymembers passed a resolution making the proclamation with help from the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs. Students and parents are being asked during the week to commit to living in a drug-free environment.
SMALL FIRE AT SEQUOIA NAT'L FOREST
10-24-2014 - AP Firefighters are trying to figure out what sparked a fire at the top of a giant sequoia tree that has spread to about three acres in Sequoia National Forest. The fire was discovered northwest of Solo Peak in Giant Sequoia National Monument. The U.S. Forest Service says no homes are threatened by the fire. All recreation areas will remain open.
SENTENCING IN DUI DEATH
10-23-2014 - ST A Bakersfield woman has been sentenced to three years in prison for causing the death of her passenger when she lost control of her car while driving drunk. Milessa Mavity is the cousin of Clayton Goldman, who was killed in the 2012 accident. She says she's not happy with the sentence given to Tessa Jennings this morning. "It's a huge injustice for somebody to be able to take someone's life and only have to face three years, and only 85 percent of the punishment." Jennings had a blood-alcohol content of .24 when she lost control of her car near Sidding Road and Highway 43 and slammed into a tree.
TEHACHAPI TO LOSE MANUFACTURING PLANT
10-23-2014 - ST General Electric is moving their wind turbine manufacturing operations out of Tehachapi to Pensacola Florida, which will affect 37 local jobs. GE spokeswoman Lindsay Theil says the move is not intended to reflect badly on the operation in Tehachapi. "When we look at the cost footprint, what really makes sense for us, is to streamline the operations to Florida." Theil says 14 jobs will remain in Tehachapi when the plant closes in November to support testing of new wind turbine development. The plant was responsible for building the machine heads and hubs of windmills that are used all over the western U.S.
CAUSE OF DEATH FOR A PRISONER A MYSTERY
10-23-2014 - ST The Kern County Coroner's Office says toxicology tests need to be done to determine how a prisoner at the Lerdo Pretrial Facility died. 50-year-old Reginald Hill of Bakersfield was found Sunday evening and taken to San Joaquin Community Hospital where he died.
15 ARRESTED IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SWEEP
10-23-2014 - AP Sheriff's deputies have arrested 15 people in six Kern County communities on outstanding domestic violence warrants. The arrests were made Tuesday during the 12th-annual National Family Violence Apprehension Day. Sheriff's offices throughout the country are urged to take part in the nationwide sweep once every October.
FREEWAY IMPROVEMENT PACKAGE APPROVED
10-23-2014 - AP An $82 million freeway improvement package has been approved by Bakersfield City Council. The improvements are slated for Highways 58 and 99 over the next two years. Councilman Willie Rivera says, though the price tag may cause some sticker shock, the city is getting a good deal. "The bid we're actually approving this evening is actually significantly lower than what we originally budgeted. So, there's a tremendous amount of savings that we're realizing, which is good news." A $9.5 million construction management contract will push the final price tag over $90 million. The bid was expected to come back at over $100 million.
COUNCIL APPROVES POLICE FUNDING
10-23-2014 - AP The city of Bakersfield will spend around $2.4 million on new vehicles, equipment and personnel for the city's police department. Bakersfield City Council approved the additions during its meeting Wednesday night. 15 new officers, lieutenants and technicians will be added to the force using the money.
PLAZA BRICKS SAVED IN FOUNTAIN PLAN
10-23-2014 - AP About $270,000 will be spent to reconstruct the fountain at Centennial Plaza, with the aim of saving thousands of engraved bricks at the site. The city plans to install a new, above-ground circular fountain in front Rabobank Arena. The commemorative bricks will be set in mortar in various areas of the arena's plaza.
NWS: WINTER MOISTURE WON'T STOP DROUGHT
10-23-2014 - AP Meterologists with the National Weather Service say Kern County residents can expect average rainfall and slightly warmer weather this winter. Brian Ochs with the NWS office in Hanford says areas of the southern valley may actually receive slightly above-average levels of precipitation, but it still won't be enough to reverse exceptional drought conditions. "You'd probably be expecting about three inches between December, and January, and February, and March as well." Ochs also says mountain snowpack will also remain close to average.
FREE SAFETY DEVICES AT RED CROSS SEMINAR
10-23-2014 - AP The Kern County chapter of the American Red Cross says it will give away free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and surge protectors to the first 50 families registered for a safety seminar this weekend at the organization's headquarters at Niles and King streets. They say 30 spots remain for the east Bakersfield event.
BAKKEN CRUDE TRANSPORT STOPPED IN SACRAMENTO
10-23-2014 - AP A fuel company has agreed to stop unloading Bakken crude trains in Sacramento after the city's air quality district mistakenly authorized the operation. Environmental law group Earthjustice claims the permit was given to Interstate Oil Company without a proper environmental review. The same group is also trying to stop North Dakota oil trains from entering Kern County.
OILDALE WOMAN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED
10-23-2014 - AP Sheriff's deputies are looking for a man who sexually assaulted a woman at knife-point at her Oildale home. It happened early Wednesday afternoon on Decatur Street west of North Chester Avenue. The victim was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect is described a six-foot, clean-shaven white male in his 20s that weighs approximately 180 pounds.
NEW REVEALATION IN TAFT SHOOTING TRIAL MOTIONS
10-22-2014 - ST The D.A.'s Office has gotten new records showing that a teen who opened fire in a Taft High School classroom reported being bullied nearly two years before the shooting. Public Defender Paul Cadman says prosecutors did their job in letting him know about the reports regarding Bryan Oliver after they came in Tuesday afternoon, but the school is in the wrong for waiting to release them. "It is an absolute outrage that the high school has been hiding these records. And I am very suspicious regarding the civil case that's occurring, the outrageous conduct of the high school." Deputy D.A. Mark Pafford says he's disappointed in the late release of the records in the Bryan Oliver case, but it won't change anything from a prosecution standpoint. He says no teabagging was involved in what he says was a fight. The judge also ruled that a video depicting a cartoon character cutting another one, then baking her internal organs into cupcakes, will be admitted. Pretrial motions are expected to finish Monday, with jury selection staring immediately after.
FARMERS CONCERNED ABOUT GROUNDWATER REGS
10-21-2014 - AP Kern County farmers say they're concerned about new regulations aimed at stopping what state legislators believe is the overuse of groundwater. Kern County Farm Bureau president and farmer Greg Wegis says, if a county-elected agency cannot figure out a way to replace used groundwater with water from other sources by 2020, the county's multi-million dollar agriculture industry will suffer. "If we cannot find new water supplies or ease environmental regulation, 12,500 jobs could be lost." Farmers discussed the regulations with a panel of groundwater and law experts at the Kern Ag. Pavilion on Tuesday.
PSYLLID QUARANTINE EXPANDED
10-21-2014 - AP The quarantine for the Asian Citrus Psyllid has been expanded to nearly 150 square miles in and around Bakersfield. The California Department of Food and Agriculture opted to expand the quarantine Tuesday. The pest, which can carry a devastating citrus greening disease, was recently found near Pumpkin Center and Rexland Acres.
CHP LAUNCHING SAFETY CAMPAIGN
10-21-2014 - ST The California Highway Patrol is conducting year-long a campaign on Kern County highways and some Bakersfield city streets in an effort to reduce the number of deaths related to impaired driving. The CHP says, from October of 2011 to 2012, there were 15 deaths and 288 injuries on county roadways.
JURY SELECTION UNDERWAY IN MURDER CASE
10-21-2014 - ST Jury selection is underway in a death penalty case where a man has been accused of killing his wife and mother in law in Oildale. Prosecutors say Robert Fuller shot Susan Sowders-Fuller and Sharon Cannon in 2009 while two children were at the home in the home on Plymouth Street, south of Roberts Lane.
MAN HIT BY TWO TRUCKS IN SW BAKERSFIELD ID'ED
10-21-2014 - ST A 31-year old Bakersfield man who was hit by two pickups in southwest Bakersfield has died two days after the accident. Pablo Antonia Metta was trying to cross Gosford Road, north of White Lane last Friday morning when he was struck. He was taken to Kern Medical Center, where he died of his injuries Sunday night.
CORONER: MAN HIT AT OILDALE INTERSECTION ID'ED
10-21-2014 - ST The Kern County Coroner's Office has identified an man who was hit and killed by a vehicle in Oildale as 55-year-old Alajandro Banales of Bakersfield. Banales was crossing the intersection of Roberts Lane and Sequoia Drive during the evening of Oct. 4 when he was hit. He was taken to Kern Medical Center where he later died.
WORKERS POUR NEW BRIDGE
10-21-2014 - ST Workers have poured 650 cubic yards of cement into a new bridge that will pass over Highway 178 at Morning Drive. Project manager Kris Budak says different agencies had to lay pipes and wiring inside the bridge before the concrete could be poured Tuesday. "We have PG&E gas and electric, AT&T, we have an East Niles waterline, and, really, the coordination between all the utilities - everybody's been working so well together that we're on schedule." Budak says once the bridge has set and hardened, they will work on pulling the support structure away. She says the project will be completed by the middle of 2015.
INDUSTRY MANAGERS MEET AT OIL AND GAS SUMMIT
10-21-2014 - ST Around 100 petroleum industry managers attended the West Coast Oil and Gas Awards Industry Summit at the Bakersfield Marriott to hear legislators talk about hydraulic fracturing, oil trains and the impacts of both on the state. Spokesman Daniel Creasey says Tuesday's event dealt with getting good information to the public. "It can be challenging to translate from a business environment... to the general public, and I think that's a challenge that the industry faces as a whole." Creasey says, using hard data, the message is getting out, but he also says it's an uphill fight against environmental groups that are adept at public relations work.
SUPERVISORS APPROVE ELECTRONIC DATA SYSTEM
10-21-2014 - SuzG Department heads from Kern County's public safety agencies got their wish on Tuesday from supervisors, who gave final approval to a $5 million electronic data system that lets them share important case files. District attorney Lisa Green said the current system that's been used for years won't even let them go paperless. "It's very outdated and outmoded, and we're very much in favor of having all of the criminal justice partners on the same page with the courts." The case management system from Tyler Technologies will be purchased with money that was set aside in the budget for information technology projects.
PUBLIC HEALTH: EBOLA OF NO CONCERN TO KERN COUNTY
10-21-2014 - AP The public health officer of Kern County says area residents shouldn't be concerned about catching the Ebola virus. Dr. Claudia Jonah says the virus, which has not been reported in California, can only be transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids. "The general public, at this time, is not at risk. It's healthcare working taking care of infected patients that are at the high risk." Jonah says the current outbreak, which began after a man brought the viral infection to Dallas from Liberia, is actually the fourth seen in the U.S. and the first seen outside of a rural environment.
MAN CONVICTED OF CHILD ABUSE
10-21-2014 - AP A man has been found guilty of hitting and slamming his two-year-old son if front of his Ridgecrest home just over a year ago. Edward Czajka was convicted on a count of felony child abuse in Kern County District Court on Tuesday. Czajka faces up to six years in prison when he's sentenced in November.
$4.6 MILLION IN REIMBURSEMENTS NOT COMING TO COUNTY
10-21-2014 - AP Kern County says it's missing out on $4.7 million in Williamson Act tax reimbursements this year. The state owes the county $28.5 million since the reimbursement component was suspended in 2007. The act gives a property tax break to farmers who agree to not develop their land for other purposes.
BPD LOOKING FOR GAS STATION ROBBERS
10-21-2014 - AP Bakersfield police are looking for two people who stole cigars from a gas station. The two suspects are alleged to have robbed the Valero Corner Store on Gilmore Avenue and Buck Owens Boulevard during the night of Oct. 5. You can view a photo of both suspects here.
ROBBER HITS SW RABOBANK
10-21-2014 - AP Bakersfield police are looking for a man who robbed a bank in southwest Bakersfield. Sgt. Joe Grubbs says it happened just after noon Tuesday at the Rabobank at White Lane and Gosford Road. "He came into the bank, handed over a note demanding money and was given some money. He then left the bank, and was last seen northbound away from the bank." Grubbs says police arrived shortly after the robber left, and also says no injuries were reported. The robber is described as a 5-foot-5 or 5-foot-6 white male with dark brown hair and framed glasses. You can view surveillance photos of the suspect here and here. (Photos: Bakersfield Police Department)
SMOKE ALARM ALERTS EAST BAKERSFIELD FAMILY OF DANGER
10-21-2014 - ST A family in east Bakersfield was able to get out of a burning home after being woken up by a fire alarm. Kern County firefighters were called early this [tue] morning to the home on Kentucky Street near Lake Street and had the fire knocked down within nine minutes. Food left on the stove is being blamed for the fire, which caused $25,000 damage.
MAN FACES CHARGES FOR PRISON DRUG SMUGGLING RING
10-20-2014 - AP A man faces federal charges after prosecutors say he tried to smuggle synthetic marijuana into the Taft Correctional Facility for his brother. 44-year-old Steve Harris faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. It is alleged Harris schemed with other people to bring spice into the prison for 41-year-old Trey Harris.
BORON BURGLARY YIELDS NINE ARRESTS
10-20-2014 - AP A investigation into a Boron burglary netted nine arrests. Robbers took food, furniture and personal items from a home on Ferguson Street in August. Seven were arrested for the burglary and credit fraud using information stolen from the home. Two were arrested after they were found using drugs at the home of one of the suspects.
CORONER NOT SURE WHY BABY DIED
10-20-2014 - AP The county coroner isn't sure why a four-day-old infant died in east Bakersfield over the summer. Aiden Bonds was found unresponsive at his home near Alta Vista Drive and Niles Place just before 9 a.m. on July 15. Sheriff's deputies are still investigating the incident.
AGENCY DISCUSSES JUVENILE JUSTICE
10-20-2014 - AP Members of the Kern County Network for Children focused Monday on the juvenile justice system and its effect on families during a two-hour discussion in downtown Bakersfield. Deputy public defender Teryl Wakeman says the legal process can be confusing for the parents of troubled teens, but also says elements of juvenile law and adult law remain the same. "If anyone has any questions, of if their kid is in trouble, they should contact a lawyer, they should contact the public defender's office - if they have a court date that's set, they should definitely contact us." Wakeman says juvenile delinquency is down in Kern County this year, but still remains a problem.
BPD: CITIZEN VOLUNTEER UNIT TAKES STREETS
10-20-2014 - AP The Bakersfield Police Department's citizen volunteer unit has taken the streets to help officers downtown. 34 volunteers have begun patrols in citizen volunteer vehicles, with the aim of leading police toward possible criminal activity. They will also help the public with directions and information about downtown buildings.
$3.6 MILLION IN CAP-AND-TRADE FUNDS TO FARMERS
10-20-2014 - AP The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded $3.6 million for farmers that will be put toward the installation of irrigation systems that reduce water and energy use. Over 90 projects will be funded throughout the state. The funds come from a cap-and-trade auction program.
DEPUTIES CHARGED FOR FIRING GUN
10-20-2014 - ST Two Kern County Sheriff's deputies are being charged with firing a gun in the Golden West Casino parking lot on Union Avenue in Bakersfield, then trying to conceal evidence of the shooting. Assistant D.A. Scott Spielman says Robert Patrick and Patrick Klawitter fired the gun in September and are being charged with a misdemeanor. "Both charges in this case can carry up to six months for the concealing of evidence, or up to a year for the grossly negligent discharge of a firearm." Spielman says if they are convicted, Klawitter and Patrick would serve their time in the Kern County Jail.
CHRISTMAS PARADE DEADLINE APPROACHES
10-20-2014 - ST The deadline for businesses, marching bands and non-profit agencies to enter a float in the 33rd Annual Bakersfield Christmas Parade is coming this Friday at 4:30 PM. Parade Coordinator Mira Patel says he expects the December 4th parade to run close to two hours. "We typically take about 100 entries. We're more than three-quarters of the way there, I would say. It's just a matter of getting the last-minute folks who can make it out." Patel says they are also looking for vendors to set up at eight locations on the parade route to sell food, hot chocolate and souvenirs.
TRIAL SET TO BEGIN IN TAFT HIGH SHOOTING
10-20-2014 - ST A teen accused of opening fire inside his classroom at Taft Union High School, seriously wounding Bowe Cleveland in 2013 has been assigned a courtroom for his trial, which is expected to last more than a month. Prosecutors and defense attorneys for Bryan Oliver are working on what will and won't be admitted during the trial, and the first potential jurors are scheduled to be interviewed Thursday.
POLICE LOOKING FOR STORE FLASHER
10-20-2014 - AP Police say they're looking for a man who exposed himself at a convenience store in southwest Bakersfield. It happened Oct. 12 near Wilson and Stine roads, but police were unclear about where exactly the crime took place. The suspect is described as a black male in his 20s with a slim build and braided hair. You can view a photo of the suspect here. (Photo: Bakersfield Police Department)
THREE INJURED IN BACKYARD DIGGING ACCIDENT
10-17-2014 - AP Three adults received moderate injuries after they cracked a glass container filled with a nerve poison while digging in their backyard in McKittrick. The three individuals arrived at Kern County Fire Station 21 just before 10 a.m. yesterday seeking medical aid. A Hazmat crew was able to remove the rest of the chemical from the yard.
TEEN WHO WRECKED JEEP AT LARGE
10-17-2014 - AP The California Highway Patrol is looking for a 17-year-old who wrecked his Jeep and ran from the scene north of Cuddy Valley Road, abandoning his passenger at the crash site with major injuries. The unidentified driver crashed on Scott Russell Trail early Thursday. The passenger was airlifted to Kern Medical Center.
DELANO SHOOTING VICTIM ID'ED
10-17-2014 - AP A man who was shot to death near Fremont Elementary School in Delano has been identified as 48-year-old Johnny Holguin. Holguin was found with multiple gunshot wounds near 13th Avenue and Clinton Street around 11:30 p.m. Thursday. Police are still trying to figure out who shot the man.
OILDALE INFANT FOUND DEAD
10-17-2014 - AP Sheriff's deputies are investigating after an infant was found dead in Oildale. 3-month-old Ryder Lambert was found unresponsive just after 5 o'clock in the morning Thursday at a home near Ray and McCray streets. The coroner's office is still trying to figure out what caused the child's death.
KERN CO. UNEMPLOYMENT STILL FALLING
10-17-2014 - AP Labor analysts say Kern County's unemployment rate fell another six-tenths of a percentage point in September to 8.9 percent. State labor market consultant Steven Gutierrez says growth is happening despite seasonal declines in agriculture. "We normally see agriculture go down this time of year, but what's helping is that we're seeing some good growth in major sectors." Gutierrez says the best growth is being seen in government and manufacturing. The county continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the valley, but still trails the state average of 7.3 percent and the national average of 5.9 percent.
CAL/OSHA EBOLA REQUIREMENTS RELEASED
10-17-2014 - AP Cal/OSHA has released a series of requirements that aim to stop the spread of Ebola - if the viral infection were to be found in California. Juliann Sum, the agency's acting chief, says the guidelines were first adopted in 2009, and specifically address how workers can best protect themselves from the disease. "They will protect workers as long as people are aware of them. The guidelines that we're putting out are guidelines on how to understand these requirements and implement these requirements." The regulations urge healthcare, aviation, mortuary workers to wear proper protection and receive the correct training.
HONOR FLIGHT FUNDRAISER RIDE SET FOR SATURDAY
10-17-2014 - AP Motorcycle-riders in patriotic garb will venture from Oildale to Glennville on Saturday morning to raise money for Honor Flight Kern County. Over 200 bikers will begin their valley-to-mountain run at 8:30 a.m. near Arvin Street and North Chester Avenue. They aim to be in Glennville by noon.
TEHACHAPI WALMART HEARING SET FOR MARCH
10-17-2014 - AP A Kern County judge will decide on March 27th whether developers can build a Walmart in Tehachapi. The hearing date between the retail giant and Tehachapi First was set Friday. Tehachapi First, which is against the construction of the supercenter, claims Walmart's environmental report under-emphasized the amount of noise and traffic that would be created by the proposed store.
HOMECOMING FLOATS DESTROYED, BUT THE RALLY GOES ON
10-17-2014 - ST Wasco High School administrators and County Sheriff's deputies are trying to figure out who set fire to the homecoming floats of the junior and senior classes. Principal Kevin Tallon says students arrived to Homecoming Day today, and discovered that both trailers and all of their work were destroyed. "It was clearly intentional. There was evidence at the scene that led us to the conclusion that it was intentional." Tallon says the community came together and donated another trailer, along with materials and labor to put new floats together in time for this afternoon's Homecoming rally.
PEDESTRIAN HIT IN SOUTHWEST
10-17-2014 - ST A man is in critical condition after being hit by two pickups on a busy southwest Bakersfield street. Police Sergeant Bill Ware says the 31-year-old man was crossing the northbound lanes of Gosford Road, north of White Lane Friday morning, when he was hit by one truck and thrown into the path of the second one. "The drivers of both vehicles, it did not appear that alcohol or drugs were a factor with them, nor does speed." Ware says the drivers stopped to help the man until paramedics arrived and took him to a hospital. The accident closed northbound lanes for nearly two hours.
GET BUS INVOLVED IN ACCIDENT
10-17-2014 - ST One person was taken to a hospital as a precaution after a chain reaction accident in southwest Bakersfield involving a GET Bus. It happened after 11 AM this morning on White Lane near Wilson Road when a pickup tried to pull around the bus, clipping its left rear bumper then being hit from behind by another pickup when it stopped. No one on the bus was hurt.
TRIAL DATE SET FOR ACCUSED EAST SIDE RAPIST
10-17-2014 - ST A man accused of raping three women and attempting to rape a fourth in their homes has had his trial date scheduled for January 5th after the judge denied his motion to relieve his defense attorney. Prosecutors say Billy Ray Johnson faces 21 rape and burglary counts for the 2013 attacks in east Bakersfield.
$5K REWARD OFFERED FOR TRUXTUN RECYCLING SHOOTER
10-17-2014 - AP A $5-thousand reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot two people at the Truxtun Recycling Center, killing one. 65-year-old Kyu Bo Song was found dead at the business north of Truxtun Avenue on 18th Street last week. You can view photos of both suspect vehicles here and here. (Photos: Bakersfield Police Department)
15 POUND OF POT FOUND IN LAMONT HOME
10-16-2014 - AP A Lamont man is jailed after sheriff's deputies say 15 pounds of marijuana was found was found during a search of his home. 39-year-old Antonio Cruz was arrested Thursday night on marijuana sale and cultivation charges. Detectives also found a gun, seeds, and $80,000 cash during the search.
CSU-B PRESEASON POLLS RELEASED
10-16-2014 - AP Western Athletic Conference coaches believe the Cal State-Bakersfield men's basketball team will finish fifth this season, while members of the media are expecting the Roadrunners to finish sixth. WAC tournament champion New Mexico State was selected first in both men's polls. Meanwhile, coaches and the media believe the Cal State-Bakersfield women's team will top the WAC this season after finishing second last year. The Roadrunners men begin their season Nov. 8 against Whittier College, the women open their season Nov. 14 against Air Force.
DIGNITY HEALTH, SAINT AGNES TO SET UP NETWORK
10-16-2014 - AP Dignity Health says it's going to partner with Fresno-based Saint Agnes Medical Center to create an integrated health network. Both hospital agencies say the partnership will establish a seven-hospital system from Stockton to Bakersfield that will allow Dignity Health customers receive care from Agnes doctors and vise-versa.
BIG METH BUST IN SOUTH BAKERSFIELD
10-16-2014 - AP Kern County sheriff's deputies have arrested a pair of Cathedral City men suspected of trying to sell 10 pounds of methamphetamine out of a south Bakersfield parking lot. Spokesman Ray Pruitt says 34-year-old Refugio Mercado and 28-year-old Belen Tapia were the subjects of a month-long investigation and were arrested Wednesday. "The methamphetamine has a street value of approximately $350,000. So, we would consider this a very large seizure of methamphetamine." It's not known where Mercado and Tapia were selling the drugs. Mercado was also charged for possessing cocaine.
BALASSA TO STAND TRIAL IN MARCH
10-16-2014 - AP A Tehachapi man accused of killing two people at an apartment on Cherry Lane will stand trail on March 23 of next year. 28-year-old Joaquin Balassa is accused of killing 57-year-old Guy Koukal and 54-year-old Jose Fajardo on Sept. 1. He entered not guilty pleas to two counts of murder last month.
ALLEGED HWY 58 FLASHER ARRESTED
10-16-2014 - AP A man accused of exposing himself and depicting sexual acts at vehicles traveling on Highway 58 near North Edwards has been arrested. Sheriff's deputies say 26-year-old Kirk Antosh was wanted in Los Angeles County for similar violations. Dispatchers have received at least 12 calls about the man over the last few months.
BRAUN SETTLES SEXUAL HARASSMENT SUIT
10-16-2014 - AP A Bakersfield electric company has settled a suit with former employees alleging sexual harassment at the company's office north of Taft. Braun Electric will pay nearly $83,000 to former female employees who say their male boss pressured them for sex and subjected them to grotesque remarks. The company says the manager has since been fired.
8MINUTEENERGY ONE STEP CLOSER TO CONSTRUCTION
10-16-2014 - AP Solar plant developer 8minuteenergy is one step closer to constructing its $150 million solar complex on 640 acres of farmland near Bakersfield. Supervisors have approved conditional use permits for the over 130-megawatt Redwood Solar Farms, which will generate power for 65-thousand Californians.
BC PRACTICES QUAKE SAFETY
10-16-2014 - ST Bakersfield College took part in the annual Great California ShakeOut, with students and faculty taking part in the statewide drill. Chemistry teacher Mike Daniel says his students responded well. "We dropped down next to the benches, then we waited for the second alarm, and then we carefully evacuated." The 7.3 magnitude 1952 White Wolf quake near Tehachapi killed 12 people and heavily damaged many buildings in the county.
TWO HURT ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL
10-16-2014 - ST Two girls on their way to Foothill High School are recovering at Kern Medical Center after being hit by a car on Morning and Eucalyptus drives, with one of them in critical condition. CHP Officer Robert Rodriguez says the driver, Esmeralda Sanchez may have been distracted while she was driving this morning. "Possibly looking for something in her glove box, or maybe somewhere on her seat, and was not paying attention fully to the roadway." Rodriguez says 17-year-old Gina Fields and 16-year-old Erin Gutierrez were in the crosswalk at the time of the accident.
HIGH-RISK SEX OFFENDER AT LARGE
10-16-2014 - AP Jailers are looking for a high-risk sex offender who failed to report to his parole officer. 52-year-old Robert Schriver of Bakersfield was released from the Lerdo Detention Center on Oct. 10 after being convicted of child molestation. Shriver is described as a 5-foot-8, 125-pound white male with brown eyes and hair. His last known address is 1219 S. Union Ave. You can view a photo of Schriver here. (Photo: California Department of Corrections)
MURDER SUSPECT TO BE ARRAIGNED OCT. 22
10-15-2014 - AP A man accused of strangling a man to death and stuffing his body in a recycling bin will have his arraignment on Oct. 22. The decision was made for 50-year-old Peter Garcia in Kern County Superior Court on Wednesday. Police found Efren Estrada in the container near Wilson Road and I Street earlier this month. Garcia was arrested last Friday.
MAN WANTED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT ARRESTED
10-15-2014 - AP Police have arrested a homeless man accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl at an east-side park. They believe 29-year-old Kenneth Garvin assaulted the girl at Heritage Park near Mount Vernon Avenue and Bernard Street on during the morning of October 2nd. Garvin was jailed on multiple charges, including lewd acts with a child and sexual battery.
TEHACHAPI MAN ARRESTED FOR POT
10-15-2014 - AP Police have arrested a 27-year-old man for possessing over 60 grams of marijuana at a Tehachapi skate park. Joshua Wehust was arrested for drug possession and public intoxication Tuesday. It is believed Wehurst was trying to sell the pot to other people in the area.
NTSB: FIREFIGHTING PLANE MAY HAVE HIT TREE
10-15-2014 - AP NTSB investigators say the the pilot of a firefighting aircraft battling the Dog Rock Fire at Yosemite National Park may have accidentally clipped a tree and tore one of its wings off before crashing. 62-year-old Geoffrey "Craig" Hunt of San Jose died after his twin-engine tanker smashed into a mountainside last week.
BPD LOOKING FOR WRECKING YARD ROBBER
10-15-2014 - AP Police are looking for a man who broke into the office of an auto wrecking yard in southeast Bakersfield last month. It happened during the morning hours of either Sept. 13 or 14 at the Pick Ur Part shop on South Union Avenue. The suspect is described as a Hispanic or white male with a mustache and goatee. You can view photos of the suspect here and here. (Photos: Bakersfield Police Department)
ENVIRONMENTALISTS SUING FOR BETTER VALLEY AIR
10-15-2014 - AP A San Francisco environmental group has filed a lawsuit against the EPA, urging the implementation of more-stringent air quality standards for the San Joaquin Valley. Earthjustice says it wants the agency to nearly eliminate industry and vehicle-created fine particle pollution. The group is also suing to install the standards in Los Angeles.
FLAG RAISED AT SUNSET CAMP
10-15-2014 - AP Volunteers with the Dust Bowl Historical Foundation have raised the American flag at one of the most-famous Dust Bowl-era camps near Lamont. It happened at around 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Sunset Camp east of Lamont as a lead-in to the organization's annual Dust Bowl Festival this weekend at Sunset Middle School.
"GREAT SHAKE OUT" SLATED FOR THURSDAY
10-15-2014 - AP A statewide earthquake drill is planned for Thursday in an effort to raise awareness about earthquake safety and the drop, cover and hold practice. "The Great Shake Out" is scheduled for 10:16 a.m. Government agencies, schools and other organizations will take part in the drill.
RENTERIA FUNDRAISING UP TO $1.5M
10-15-2014 - AP The Democratic hopeful for the District 21 U.S. House of Representatives seat says she's happy with the $1.5 million she's raised so far. Amanda Renteria released her most-recent campaign fundraising figure on Wednesday. In June, Republican incumbent David Valadao said he raised about $1.9 million.
BPD WANTS SECRET WITNESS TO CALL BACK
10-15-2014 - ST The Bakersfield Police Department wants to talk to a Secret Witness with the code name "G.C." in connection with the murder of a Delano Corrections Officer in the southwest. Detective Jeff Watts has questions about the August murder of 60-year-old Carl Crawford in his Hempstead Lane home, near Castle Elementary School. Watts' number is 326-3514
BURGLARIES FORCE LOCKDOWNS
10-15-2014 - ST East High, Horace Mann Elementary, Compton Jr. High, Harding Elementary and Heritage Academy had to be put on lockdown for 90 minutes while Sheriff's deputies looked for a man who broke into to houses in east Bakersfield. Spokesman Ray Pruit says the man took a gun from the first home on Shirlee Court and confronted people in a second home on Corto Street before possibly getting into a car and driving away. "A Honda with a black roof, gold in color, lowered, being operated by a white or Hispanic woman that was heavyset." Pruitt says the suspect was a six-foot-tall Hispanic man with several tattoos.
FINAL STRETCH OF PARKWAY CLOSER TO COMPLETION
10-15-2014 - ST Construction workers are pouring the concrete foundation for the final stretch of ther Westside Parkway in west Bakersfield. Construction manager Mark Wittgraf says his workers are moving right on schedule. "This is estimated at two lanes in each direction for two miles, they should be done in about two and a half more weeks." Wittgraf says another 12 inches of concrete will be poured on top of the foundation and finish the landscaping, lighting and signage, with the intent of opening the last stretch between Allen Road and the intersection of Heath Road and Stockdale Highway by the end of the year.
SUPERVISORS AGREE TO RE-TEST ARVIN GAS LINE
10-14-2014 - AP Kern County Supervisors have agreed to a plan that would let the county re-test a gas line that leaked in Arvin back in March, displacing eight families from their homes. Board chair Leticia Perez says the vote was unanimous in a closed session Tuesday to test the Petro Capital Resources line along Nelson Court. "If testing reveals the absence of explosive gases, this would enable the fire department to lift the March 11 evacuation order." But not before the state and the nearly 40 residents still displaced by the rupture also OK the results of that test and a soil toxicity test. Petro Capital Resources says the homes are safe.
HEALTH OFFICERS: EBOLA NOT LIKELY, BUT COUNTY READY
10-14-2014 - AP Kern County public health officers say Ebola will likely not pose any risk for county residents, but they are urging doctors and nurses to prepare in case if things were to take a turn for the worse. During Tuesday's supervisors meeting, health officer Claudia Jonah says local practices are communicating with each other and the state. "Kern County is well-positioned (to plan), so, if we had to make a response, people would not have to feel as though it's the first time they've thought about it." Jonah says local health agencies are planning to launch educational campaigns soon about the virus.
VETS REMOVE CLASP FROM DOG'S LEG
10-14-2014 - AP Police are looking for a person who inserted a metal clasp through one of the hind legs of a dog brought to the Bakersfield Animal Care Facility. The dog arrived at the facility just before 11 a.m. Tuesday. Veterinarians were able to successfully remove the clasp, and the dog is now being rehabilitated by a local adoption organization.
MAN ADMITS TO SELLING METH
10-14-2014 - AP A Bakersfield man has admitted that he was trying to sell over 74 grams of methamphetamine earlier this year and may now face life in prison. 32-year-old Juan Lopez entered a guilty plea in federal court Tuesday. In April, deputies found the drug, guns and cash in Lopez's vehicle.
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS HOSPITALIZED
10-14-2014 - AP Two Bakersfield construction workers are hospitalized in Madera after being struck by an alleged drunk driver. 32-year-old Mauricio De La Garza plowed into a construction median along Highway 99 in Madera early Tuesday, hitting 59-year-old Vicente Suarez and 41-year-old Fernando Rangel. De La Garza is jailed for felony DUI.
ELECTRIC CUSTOMERS TO RECEIVE CREDIT
10-14-2014 - AP Californians may see an automatic credit of $35 or more on their October-November electric bills. The public utilities commission says the credit is part of a state cap-and-trade program, with the hope that the extra money will be used to buy LED light bulbs or energy-efficient appliances. A similar credit was given in April.
ALLEGED HEROIN DEALER JAILED
10-14-2014 - AP A south Bakersfield man is jailed after roughly a half-pound of heroin was found at his home. 27-year-old Jesus Garcia was arrested after drug enforcement officers found the heroin and $10,000 cash at Garcia's home on Mallard Court off Teal Street on Tuesday afternoon.
PROPERTY TAX BILLS SENT
10-14-2014 - AP The Kern County treasurer has mailed roughly 390,000 property tax bills to area residents, totaling over $1 billion in potential revenue. Property owners on an installment plan will have to pay up by Nov. 1 and Feb. 1. Taxes will be late on Dec. 10 and April 10 respectively.
DUST STORM WARNING POSTED FOR KERN CO.
10-14-2014 - AP The National Weather Service has posted a dust storm warning for northwestern Kern County through 10 p.m. Tuesday. Meteorologists say visibility will be limited near Delano, Taft, Bakersfield and along the I-5 corridor. Gusty conditions will continue through the night.
SMALL WILDFIRE IN SOUTHERN COUNTY MOUNTAINS
10-14-2014 - ST Kern County Firefighters and three helicopters were able to contain a quarter acre wildfire near the Pine Mountain Club community in the southern county. Fire Captain Tyler Townsend says a hand crew and three helicopters responded Tuesday morning after getting a call reporting smoke coming from the north side of Sawmill Mountain. "The fire didn't get into the timber, it stayed in the brush. It was a slow moving fire that was being driven downhill towards the community of Pine Mountain Club." Townsend says Pine Mountain Club was not in any danger. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
BC HOLDS FIRST AG SUMMIT
10-14-2014 - ST State Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross was one of the main speakers at the first annual Kern Agriculture Summit at Bakersfield College, which tackled the issue of keeping farms viable during the drought. Ross talked about how to strike a balance between the needs of environmentalists and farmers at today's event, saying it's a challenging problem. "We can't grow food without water. And so, how do we come together to think about the future and pay it forward, so to speak." Ross says the lack of snowpack in previous years has been a big problem, but both sides need to be more flexible where appropriate.
AG DEPARTMENTS, LOCAL AGENCIES FIGHTING AGAINST PSYLLID
10-13-2014 - AP Kern County's department of agriculture says it's experiencing little push-back from the public after expanding a Asian Citrus Psyllid quarantine into a southeast Bakersfield neighborhood. Assistant agriculture director Glenn Fankauser says they've been telling residents in the Rexland Acres neighborhood that the citrus greening disease that the psyllid can carry would not only affect commercial citrus farms, but also trees in backyards. "You can, right now, go out to your backyard in the wintertime and pick oranges - you can have fresh-squeezed orange juice. People need to understand that, if we get psyllid and we get the greening disease, there's not going to be any live citrus in Kern County." The insect was found in the neighborhood last month, and can carry a citrus greening disease that could devastate the county's nearly $700 million citrus industry. An educational meeting was held at Fairview Elementary School on Monday night, which was also attended by the state department of agriculture and UC's cooperative extension office.
QUESTIONS STILL EXIST IN SHOOTING OUTSIDE OF ARVIN
10-13-2014 - AP The Kern County Sheriff's Office is still trying to figure out what prompted a weekend shooting between two groups of people southeast of Arvin that left a 27-year-old man dead. Spokesman Ray Pruitt says deputies found Pedro Garcia-Medina dead in mountainous terrain seven miles east of Comanche Point Road and Tejon Highway on Sunday night, but also says not much is known beyond that. "We have not made an arrest at this point, but we do anticipate, once the investigation is concluded, submitting the case to the (district attorney's) office." Pruitt says detectives are still in contact with both parties involved in the shooting.
MAN INVOLVED IN REXLAND ACRES SHOOTOUT DIES
10-13-2014 - AP The man who was transported to Kern Medical Center with serious injuries after a shooting in southeast Bakersfield's Rexland Acres neighborhood has died. 33-year-old Raul Aguilar died just before 4 a.m. Monday. He was wounded near Rexland Drive and Barber Way at around 10 p.m. the prior night. It is not known if the shooting was gang-related, and no arrests have been made.
INMATE ESCAPES FROM TAFT CORRECTONAL FACILITY
10-13-2014 - AP The Taft Correctional Facility is looking for a man who was found missing during a Monday morning bed check at the prison's unfenced minimum security satellite camp. 26-year-old Daniel Villanueva was serving an over nine-year drug sentence out of Florida. His projected release date was in 2022.
DUST MAY IMPAIR VALLEY AIR QUALITY
10-13-2014 - AP The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District says gusty winds and blowing dust may worsen the air quality in the Kern Valley through Tuesday night. Pollution analysts with the agency issued a cautionary statement on Monday, saying people with respiratory problems should avoid outdoor exposure and heavy exertion until Wednesday.
AARON'S TO PAY $28 MILLION TO CALIF. CUSTOMERS
10-13-2014 - AP Rent-to-own retailer Aaron's will pay just over $28 million to its California customers after the company was accused of breaking consumer privacy and protection laws. About 100,000 Californians will be eligible for refunds. The state is accusing the company of installing spyware on its computers and charging bogus fees. Three Aaron's scores are located in Bakersfield.
FARM BUREAU NOT ENDORSING SALAS
10-13-2014 - AP The Kern County Farm Bureau says it's not endorsing Rudy Salas' reelection campaign this November, despite what's being said by a Salas-supporting coalition. Keeping Californians Working sent out mailers saying the farm bureau endorses the assemblyman. The farm bureau says it's politically neutral and will not endorse a candidate this election cycle.
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