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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.
SUSPICIOUS FIRE AT SCHOOL PLAYGROUND
10-13-2014 - ST Kern County Fire arson investigators are looking into how a fire started on a playground at an elementary school in northwest Bakersfield. Endeavour Elementary Principal Matt Diggle says Sunday's fire destroyed the entire plastic and metal jungle gym at the school on Meacham Road near Calloway Drive, and it could take a while to replace it. "Right now, we're probably looking at three to four months at least before we're able to get to the point of putting these things in. It could even be the end of the school year. So, this is a significant loss for the kids." Diggle says the school is ordering more balls and other items to keep the kids busy during recess. Damage is estimated at $30,000.
ANOTHER WAYWARD BEAR IN BAKERSFIELD
10-13-2014 - ST State Fish and Wildlife officicers tranquilized a black bear that was lounging in a tree in a northeast Bakersfield neighborhood, and took him back up into the mountains. The bear was spotted this morning at the home on Patagonia Way, near Panorama Drive in the City in the Hills. Officers say the 80-pound bear was one that had wandered into east Bakersfield over a week ago.
LOCAL BUSIESS MAKES DONATION TO HELP KIDS
10-13-2014 - ST A fundraiser held by a Bakersfield carwash raised around $95-hundred to help the Kern Environmental Education Program, or Camp Keep. Sparkling Image Carwash donated half of Friday's proceeds to the camp, that teaches fifth and sixth grad kids about nature during a five-day stay at the central coast.
DEADLY CRASH IN LOST HILLS
10-13-2014 - SuzG A man who was killed when his vehicle drifted off Hwy 46 in Lost Hills and overturned was 27-year-old Willibaldo Padilla-Porras of Salinas. That crash happened around 4:30 Sunday morning, just west of Lost Hills Road.
DUI CRASH IN SOUTHWET
10-13-2014 - SuzG A Bakersfield man is facing charges that include child endangerment, after a DUI crash on Stine Road just north of White Lane. Police say 25-year-old Ryan Witten had been drinking and his license was already suspended when he hit a man pushing a metal cart around 7:00 Saturday night. The victim's injuries were minor, but Witten also had two kids in his car.
DEPUTIES INVESTIGATE A SHOOTING IN THE SOUTHEAST
10-13-2014 - AP/SuzG Sheriff's deputies are investigating a late night shooting that happened in the Rexland Acres neighborhood of southeast Bakersfield. Sgt. Bill Smallwood says there was some kind of fight on Rexland Drive near Barber Way between two men with guns. "Upon arrival, they located a subject suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. That subject was transported to Kern Medical Center, and he's listed in critical condition." Smallwood says they're trying to determine if it's a case of self defense. It's not clear if the gunman is in custody.
ONE DEAD, ONE HURT IN SHOOTING NEAR ARVIN
10-13-2014 - SuzG Deputies are investigating a deadly shooting that happened near the Sycamore Canyon Golf Course outside of Arvin. One man was killed and another was hospitalized after the incident around 7:30 Sunday evening on the 38-thousand block of Comanche point, where people in two vehicles began shooting at each other.
TEEN JAILED FOR SOCIAL MEDIA THREAT AGAINST SCHOOL
10-10-2014 - AP A 16-year-old boy has been arrested after Bakersfield police say he wrote a social media post threatening to shoot up an area school like Sandy Hook Elementary. Sergeant Joe Grubbs says the teenager made the post targeting Liberty High School on Yik-Yak, which broadcasts anonymous messages to other users near the sender. "We can't just sit back and say, 'Oh, that doesn't look real.' We have to find out. In this case, the suspect that was arrested indicated that it was a joke, however, it caused a great deal of disruption at Liberty High School." Grubbs says the message was sent from a phone registered to an address less than three miles away from the west-side school on Jewetta Avenue.
TEENAGER IN CLOWN COSTUME ARRESTED
10-10-2014 - AP A teenager has been arrested after police say he was chasing children in a clown costume near Monitor Street and Pacheco Road in southwest Bakersfield. He was arrested today at his home near Pacheco and Barry Street. The teen said he did it after reading an hoax about an axe or club-wielding clown terrorizing students two miles south at Golden Valley High School.
MAN ON PROBATION JAILED FOR SNATCHING PURSES
10-10-2014 - AP A 33-year-old Bakersfield man on probation with an ankle monitor is jailed for burglary after police say he snatched four purses from women, three of them elderly. Gerald Davis was arrested at his home on Edwin Drive south of Beardsley Avenue on Friday. Davis is alleged to have stolen two of the purses from a Winco near Hageman Drive and Coffee Road.
JAILED SEX OFFENDER DIED FROM TRAUMA
10-10-2014 - AP The Kern County coroner has confirmed that a high-risk sex offender who was jailed at the Lerdo Pretrial Facility died from blunt force trauma after being assaulted there last weekend. 34-year-old Christopher Pettenger was rushed to Kern Medical Center on Saturday after he was found unresponsive in his cell. He died at the hospital on Tuesday.
JUVENILE JAILED AFTER BOLTING FROM DEPUTIES
10-10-2014 - AP A juvenile wanted on a felony warrant is behind bars after a pursuit on foot through a residential neighborhood in Lamont. Sheriff's deputies say the juvenile darted Friday afternoon while being served the warrant at his home near Middleton Lane and Main Street. He was arrested after barricading himself inside a home near Florence Street and Ralph Avenue.
NARCOTICS SWEEP YIELDS FOUR ARRESTS
10-10-2014 - AP Four people have been arrested on narcotics and other charges after sheriff's deputies issued a pair of search warrants in Wasco. Two adults and a juvenile were arrested and a stolen vehicle was recovered at a residence near 3rd Street and Maple Avenue on Friday morning. Later that morning, a fourth arrest was made near 1st Street and Poplar Avenue.
MAN WHO SEXUALLY ASSAULTED WOMAN AT LARGE
10-10-2014 - AP Sheriff's deputies are still looking for a man who sexually assaulted a Bakersfield woman after he forced her into her home at knifepoint. It happened just before 9:30 a.m. Friday near South Real Road and Terrace Way. The suspect is described as a five-foot, 18-to-25-year-old Hispanic man with a shaved head, a short goatee and a tattoo on the side of his neck. You can view a composite photo of the suspect here. (Photo: Kern County Sheriff's Office)
BPD LOOKING FOR CREDIT FRAUD SUSPECTS
10-10-2014 - AP Police are looking for two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card at two Lowe's Home Improvement stores in Bakersfield. BPD says purchases with the card were made at Lowe's locations on Rosedale Highway and Colony Road on Sept. 13 and 14. One suspect is described as a black man with a large build, collar-length hair and a goatee. The other suspect is described as a black woman with a medium build. We have surveillance photos of both suspects here and here. (Photos: Bakersfield Police Department)
HUGHES LANE TO BE CLOSED FOR RAILROAD CROSSING CONSTRUCTON
10-10-2014 - AP The rebuild of a railroad crossing in south Bakersfield has forced the closure of a portion of Hughes Lane. The San Joaquin Valley Railroad says Hughes between White Lane and Pacheco Road will remain closed until 5 p.m. next Tuesday. Segments of the road, however, will remain open for motorists who need to get to businesses and homes in the area.
SUIT FILED AGAINST KERN HS DISTRICT
10-10-2014 - AP Several civil rights groups have filed a lawsuit against the Kern High School District, saying the district's disciplinary policies unfairly target Latino and African-American students. Camila Chavez, the executive director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, says the district's expulsion and suspension policies are too reactionary. "What we're looking for are district-wide policies and practices that really change the way the district suspends, expels and involuntarily transfers students." Chavez says lawsuit was filed Thursday in Kern County Superior Court. The group claims the policies led to the expulsion of some 2,200 students during the 2010 school year, which led the state.
CSU-B HIRES NEW DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
10-10-2014 - AP Cal State-Bakersfield has a new director of development in place that will be tasked with raising funds for the school. Michigan-based Melissa Watkins began her new job with the school on Oct. 1. The school says Watkins has raised about $60 million for non-profits throughout the west and midwest.
HWY 58 CONSTRUCTON TO LEAD TO CLOSURES
10-10-2014 - AP Construction will force the closure of portions of and ramps along Highway 58 over the next two weeks. Starting Monday, daytime closures of the freeway on-ramp near Chester Avenue and H Street can be expected. Sections of freeway between Highway 99 and Cottonwood Road will be closed during overnight hours.
KERN COUNTY STILL LEADS STATE IN OIL
10-10-2014 - AP Kern County continues to be California's runaway leader in oil production. The Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources says the county produced over 140 million barrels of crude last year. Los Angeles County was second with 25 million barrels.
WASTE COLLECTING EVENT IN CENTRAL BAKERSFIELD
10-10-2014 - ST People who want to get rid of bulky or electronic waste will be able to stop by the Lassen's Store parking lot on California Avenue in central Bakersfield and drop it off during the 10th annual Make A Difference Day. Keep Bakersfield Beautiful spokesperson Jessica Felix says they'll even take used clothes Saturday that you may have thought about tossing. "Sure, you could pt it in your trash can, But why, if somebody from the Bakersfield Homeless Center can use it? And you can get rid of all of this stuff in one drive through." Felix says used oil filters, construction waste, and old electronics can also be dropped off. Tjey'll even take long hair for Locks of Love.
BAKERSFIELD PLANE INTERCEPTED BY AIR FORCE FIGHTER
10-10-2014 - ST A plane that took off out of Bakersfield had to be escorted by an F-15 fighter out of restricted airspace during President Obama's visit to Los Angeles. The FAA says says there's no indication the airspace violation Thursday night by the Cessna 340 was intentional. The plane turned around and headed back to Bakersfield.
ARREST MADE IN THE CASE OF BODY FOUND IN RECYCLE CART
10-10-2014 - ST Police have arrested a man suspected of killing another man and dumping his body in a blue recycling cart in south Bakersfield. 50-year-old Peter Garcia was arrested Thursday afternoon in connection with the death of Efren Estrada, who was found in the cart Sunday in an alley on Wilson Road and South H Street.
BPD LOOKING FOR BURGLARY SUSPECT
10-09-2014 - AP Bakersfield police are looking for a man who attempted to rob a restaurant in east Bakersfield. It happened at around 4 a.m. last Saturday at the Mesa Mexican Grill just east of Mount Vernon Avenue and Bernard Street. The suspect is described as a 5-foot-9 or six-foot, 20-to-30-year-old white or hispanic male weighing between 280 and 320 pounds. You can view photos of the suspect here: 1, 2, 3. (Photos: Bakersfield Police Department)
EXPLOSIVE SCARE NEAR SCHOOL
10-09-2014 - ST Mount Vernon Elementary School on Potomac Avenue and Mount Vernon Drive had to be locked down after someone told them there was a device in an empty field next to the school that looked like a grenade. Director of school support Warren Ramay says they called the sheriff's bomb squad Thursday morning and followed procedure to keep the students safe. "They were moved across campus to a different classrooms - usually, it involves closing windows or curtains." The lockdown was lifted after bomb techs detonated the device and took it away to examine it. There were no injuries.
EARTHJUSTICE FILES SUIT AGAINST SUPES OVER "BOMB TRAINS"
10-09-2014 - AP Area agencies have partnered with a San Francisco-based environmental group in a lawsuit, aiming to stop an oil-by-rail plan approved by Kern County supervisors that would send hundreds of tankers to a Bakersfield refinery. Supervisors' chair Leticia Perez says she was not surprised by the suit filed Thursday by Earthjustice. "It's a typical method employed by these groups to prevent these projects from moving forward. Luckily, we engaged in a painstaking effort ensuring that what we did was legal." Earthjustice calls the mile-long trains that would carry Bakken crude from North Dakota to the Alon Energy refinery "bomb trains."
HUNDREDS TURN OUT TO VETS STAND DOWN
10-09-2014 - AP Roughly 600 veterans turned out at Stramler Park in north Bakersfield to receive a helping hand from the Red Cross and the California Veterans Assistance Foundation during the 16th-annual Kern County Veterans Stand Down. Veterans Assistance Foundation president Deborah Johnson says multiple services were provided to the veterans in attendance on Thursday. "Supportive services, haircuts, clothing - anything that they need - flu shots, housing, employment assistance, we have it all at the park." Johnson says the event is successful every year because it brings services from throughout Bakersfield and Kern County to one centralized location.
WOMEN GIVEN MURDER SENTENCE IN GIRL'S DEATH
10-09-2014 - AP A woman accused of torturing her niece to death and letting her die in the backseat of her car has been found guilty of murder. 20-year-old Wendy Gomez is accused breaking two-year-old Karla Isidro's skull multiple times after she took custody of the girl. Gomez failed to call 911 for seven hours after Isidro died in September 2013.
WARRANTS ISSUED IN ESTRADA CASE
10-09-2014 - AP SWAT members searched a pair of homes in southeast Bakersfield in the investigation of a man who was found dead in a recycling bin last weekend. Three residents of the homes near Wilson Road and South J Street were also taken to police headquarters for questioning Thursday. 34-year-old Efren Estrada was found in a container near both homes last Sunday.
CARECEN PROTESTS OUTSIDE MCCARTHY'S OFFICE
10-09-2014 - AP Members of the Central American Resource Center held a rally and candlelight vigil outside Bakersfield Congressman Kevin McCarthy's office, asking him to adhere to laws that protect migrant children fleeing to the U.S. from violence in their home countries. CARECEN spokeswoman Tessie Borden says both parties have been using the laws in a political game. "We don't feel like children ought to be put in that kind of a position. We feel like they deserve protection. They should not be pawns in a political game." Bodren says CARECEN has been holding rallies at the offices of congress members throughout California.
BEAR FOUND NEAR BAKERSFIELD
10-09-2014 - AP Another bear that roamed near Bakersfield had to be moved back to the woods by California Fish and Wildlife officers. The 75-pound black bear was found near Bakersfield's east side in a tree on residential property along Kern Canyon Road, just north of the Hillcrest Memorial Park at 5 a.m. Thursday. The bear was safely tranquilized and moved elsewhere.
BUST YIELDS POUND OF METH, THREE ARRESTS
10-09-2014 - AP A methamphetamine bust at a home near Acadia Avenue and Redwood Drive in Shafter has yielded three arrests. Sheriff's deputies and police found a pound of the drug while serving a search warrant on Wednesday. 21-year-old Joseph Gudino of Bakersfield, and 28-year-old George Ramirez and 31-year-old Cindy Olivo of Shafter were jailed.
MAN WANTED FOR STEALING SKID STEER
10-09-2014 - AP Deputies are looking for a Bakersfield man who they say sold a stolen skid steer to an area recycling company. 26-year-old Ryan Tripp is alleged to have taken the skid steer from the equipment yard of a farming company in north Bakersfield in August. A tractor was also stolen from that lot, but it is not known if Tripp is connected with that crime.
VALADAO, RENTERIA SPAR IN DEBATE
10-08-2014 - AP Republican U.S. representative David Valadao and challenger Amanda Renteria debated for about an hour on KGET-TV on Wednesday night. Renteria said the federal minimum wage must be raised. "It's an incredibly important point that the congressman and I disagree on. I believe the federal minimum wage should go up, and the congressman doesn't." Valadao said the minimum wage should be a state, not federal, discussion. "We want to make sure that our nation is competitive and every state has the opportunity competitive. What was passed here at the state is sufficient, I think it was a good start. Both said they wanted to pass an immigration reform bill, specifically AR-15. Valadao said he likes AR-15, because it focuses on security and a citizenship pathway. "Border security must be the first spot to start, but I also believe fixing our visas and our guest worker program has to be our second step." Renteria, meanwhile, blamed Valadao for HR-15 not getting passed. "Every one is together, but we don't have a leader that can go out and get more friends to sign on." Valadao and Renteria participated in their final debates on Wednesday, and both sides will now focus on November.
SEX OFFENDER DEAD AFTER JAIL ASSAULT
10-08-2014 - AP A high-risk sex offender has died after an assault left him unresponsive at the Lerdo Pretrial Facility. Ray Pruitt with the Kern County Sheriff's Office says 34-year-old Christopher Pettenger was rushed to Kern Medical Center on Saturday after being assaulted. "We did an investigation into the incident as soon as Mr. Pettenger was discovered, because we knew, at that point, that his injuries were serious." Pettenger died Tuesday afternoon. He was jailed in June after failing to report to his parole officer.
EXPLOSIVE FOUND AT HOSPITAL
10-08-2014 - AP The Kern County Sheriff's Office's bomb squad had to be called to Kern Mountain Hospital in Mountain Mesa after an employee brought an explosive device to work. Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt says the employee found the device at a charity near Lake Isabella on Wednesday morning. "The employee, initially, did not know who they should have notified in regard to the device, so they made the decision to bring the device to the hospital and seek some advice or assistance." The bomb squad was called at around 11:30 a.m. and was able to determine that the device was explosive after moving it elsewhere. Pruitt says deputies are trying to figure out who donated the device to the charity.
ARVIN FAMILIES STILL DISPLACED BY GAS LEAK
10-08-2014 - AP Families displaced by a gas leak in Arvin are still waiting for an all-clear from regulatory agencies letting them return to their homes. Gustavo Aguirre with the Central California Environmental Justice Network says eight families living on Nelson Court have been waiting for nearly seven months, and still no timetable for return has been set. "Little information has been brought to them from any end - from the county, from the company, or from other agencies." Nearly 40 people have been displaced by the leak. Arvin City Council last month petitioned the state to let the city test private gas lines, hoping to avoid a similar incident in the future.
TAX DEADLINE APPROACHING
10-08-2014 - AP Next Wednesday is last day for individuals using California's automatic filing extension to file their income tax returns without penalty. Residents have until the close of business on Oct. 15 to get their tax returns in, either through the mail or electronically. About 1.5 million people use the extension annually.
"TEAM FIRESTOPPER" TO VISIT EAST BAKERSFIELD
10-08-2014 - AP Red Cross volunteers plan to hand out free smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, surge protectors and fire extinguishers to 50 east Bakersfield families during its "Team Firestopper" campaign this weekend. The group also plans to hand out flyers with fire safety tips to 2,000 homes on Saturday morning.
CANYON CRASH VICTM ID'd
10-08-2014 - ST The Kern County Coroner's Office has identified the motorcycle rider who died after a collision in the Kern River Canyon as 51-year-old Ricky Dean Taylor of Bakersfield. Taylor was riding in the Canyon Sunday morning, when a minivan crossed the divider and hit him head-on.
VP BIDEN VISITS BAKERSFIELD
10-08-2014 - AP Vice President Joe Biden spent his Tuesday in the southern valley campaigning for Democratic congressional hopeful Amanda Renteria. Biden, during a 45-minute speech at Cal State-Bakersfield, said he'd like to see Renteria unseat Republican incumbent David Valadao. "All we have to do to win is stop making excuses. Stand up, say what we're for and say, 'Here I stand! Here's where they stand! Make your choice!" Biden also championed immigration reform and strengthening the middle class during his speech Tuesday.
MAN KILLED IN RECYCLING CENTER BURGLARY
10-08-2014 - ST Police are investigating a violent robbery at a recycling company in east Bakersfield that left one person dead. Detective Louis Wood says officers were called Tuesday morning to the Truxtun Recycling Center on East 18th and Inyo streets. "Officers responded to the location and found two victims inside the business - an adult male and an adult female suffering from gunshot wounds." Wood says the man, who was identified as 65-year-old Kyu Bo Song, was pronounced dead at the scene, and the woman was taken to Kern Medical Center with major injuries. He says witnesses describe the suspects as two men of an unknown race wearing dark clothing.
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