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POLICE LOOKING FOR COUPLE WHO BURGLARIZED NEWSPAPER
09-17-2014 - AP Police are looking for a man and a woman they say burglarized the downtown Bakersfield Californian offices. It happened between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. Wednesday near the corner of 17th and Eye streets. The male suspect is identified as a 16-to-25-year-old white or Hispanic male carrying a skateboard with a medium build, a white baseball cap, a dark shirt, a dark backpack. The female suspect is described as a white or Hispanic female with medium height and weight, a dark dress, and a white purse. You can view photos of both suspects here and here. (Photos: Bakersfield Police Department)
GRAND OPENING FOR HIGH-TECH MEDICAL FACILITY
09-17-2014 - ST San Joaquin Community Hospital has opened a new X-ray and ultrasound center in Shafter. The Quest Imaging Center on Lerdo Highway will offer patients cutting edge technology and expertise for people who may not be able to get to Bakersfield for the services. The all-digital technology will reduce the time it takes for doctors and patients to get results from the imaging.
SETTLEMENT REACHED WITH SEPTIC COMPANY
09-17-2014 - ST The Kern County District Attorney's Office and County Department of Public Health have settled a civil suit against a Bakersfield company that built and installed septic systems without a permit. Kangarooter Incorporated has agreed to pay $10,000 in penalties, and they are not allowed to remove sewage unless they have proper permits and licenses.
NEW SCIENCES CENTER COMING TO BC
09-17-2014 - ST Construction crews are starting to renovate an old maintenance building on the Bakersfield College campus to convert it into a STEM Success Center. BC President Sonya Christian says the college was given a $500-thousand grant from Aera Energy to build a facility where Science, Technology, Engineering and Math students can use the new facility for homework and video conferencing. "We can have a live video and audio connection for our students to be able to talk about innovative technology that's happening in the industry." The $1.6-Million project should be up and running by the beginning of the next school year.
HEALTH SEMINAR HAS A BIT OF GOOD NEWS
09-17-2014 - ST The Kern County Public Health Department continues to promote healthy living, hosting a daylong seminar at the downtown Marriott. Spokesperson Mariel Mehdipour says they started hosting the seminars four years ago, and people are taking health more seriously. "When we first started, we were number one for deaths related to heart disease and diabetes. Now we are number four in deaths related to heart disease." Mehdipour says people have been cleaning up parks around the city, forcing the criminal element out and holding fitness classes while making them more inviting to families.
HAZING DEATH SENTENCINGS
09-17-2014 - SuzG Two former fraternity members at Fresno State have been sentenced to 90 and 30 days jail time, community service and probation for the death of an 18-year-old Bakersfield man. Philip Dhanens had a blood alcohol level of .36 when he died after being forced to drink hard liquor during an initiation. A third man previously took a plea deal.
ATV FIRE CAUSES SIGNIFICANT FARM DAMAGE
09-17-2014 - AP An ATV fire in a shop caused about $60,000 in damage to the Paramount Citrus facility in Lost Hills. Firefighters were called to the fire in northwest Kern County shortly before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Kern County Fire Department says it was able to save the rest of the farm, and no injuries were reported.
ARVIN COUNCIL APPROVES STATE GAS LINE PETITION
09-17-2014 - AP The city of Arvin will turn to the state for permission to test the city's gas lines six months after a gas leak forced the evacuation of eight homes in the city. Arvin mayor Jose Flores says, with nearly 40 Nelson Court residents still not able to return to their homes, something had to be done. "It was devastating for these families, and the council has been very concerned about the families being homeless - even though they've had a place to stay." A resolution was passed unanimously Tuesday night by Arvin City Council. Flores says he believes the state will give the city permission to test the lines.
SUPERVISORS EXTEND DROUGHT EMERGENCY
09-17-2014 - AP The exceptional drought in Kern County has forced supervisors to extend its county-wide emergency declaration. The board voted unanimously to extend the declaration during its meeting yesterday afternoon. County administrative officer John Nilon says the declaration had to be made again. "It's a declaration that allows the county to apply for certain funds and certain reimbursements, and it is appropriate at this time to continue that declaration." The U.S. Drought Monitor says nearly 60 percent of California and the majority of Kern County remains in an exceptional drought, which is the highest drought level.
SUPERVISORS APPROVE SOLAR FARM PLAN
09-17-2014 - AP Kern County supervisors have unanimously approved a plan that may pave the way for the construction of a 630-acre solar farm about six miles southeast of Bakersfield. 8minutenergy president Tom Buttgenbach says its Redwood Cluster Solar Project should create enough energy to power 65,000 homes. He says the project's impact is small, but the message remains clear. "We can show, especially here in California and the rest of the world, that you can combine a prosperous economy with a clean economy." Buttgenbach says the project would create 550 temporary construction jobs and 24 permanent full-time jobs.
COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS DEPLOYED THROUGHOUT STATE
09-17-2014 - AP The Kern County Fire Department says it has 76 firefighters deployed to fight nine active wildfires throughout the state of California. Spokesperson Brett Grassi says that about an average number for this time of year, despite the heightened wildfire activity in the state. "We're fortunate enough to have enough indiviguals that are trained that go out each and every year to spend a long time away from home - two weeks to a months at times." Grassi says they've sent as many as 120 firefighters in past years to serve on incident command and strike teams.
MAN GETS PRISON TIME FOR TRYING TO SELL METH TO COP
09-17-2014 - AP A man will spend the next four years in prison after prosecutors say he tried to sell 30 pounds of methamphetamine to a police informant in Bakersfield. 21-year-old Marco Granados of Fontana was sentenced in federal court yesterday. Court documents say Granados and his cousin tried to sell the drugs the undercover cop last October.
FIREFIGHTERS INVESTIGATING APARTMENT FIRE
09-17-2014 - AP Firefighters are investigating an east Bakersfield apartment fire that caused about $30,000 damage. It happened just after 8:30 a.m. Tuesday near Lake Street and Mount Vernon Avenue in the lower floor of the two-story building. The rest of the $500,000 structure was saved.
BAKERSFIELD MAN GETS PRISION FOR ATTEMPTED MARIJUANA RING
09-17-2014 - AP A Bakersfield man will spend four years in prison after prosecutors say he took part in a large-scale marijuana distribution ring. Prosecutors say 39-year-old Martin Barragan worked with others to try to grow and distribute some 900 marijuana plants in 2012. He was sentenced in federal court on Monday.
FEDERAL BEETLE REGULATIONS LIFTED
09-17-2014 - AP Kern County will no longer have to follow federal regulations urging the protection of the threatened Valley Longhorn Elderberry Beetle. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the beetle has vacated a habitat range that includes Kern, Tulare and Kings counties. The regulations made construction more expensive in all three counties.
COUNTY AHEAD OF GROUNDWATER LAW CURVE
09-16-2014 - ST Governor Brown has signed three pieces of legislation that directs local water agencies to come up with and implement groundwater management rules, or the state could take over the operations. Kern County Water Agency General Manager Jim Beck says they are ahead of the curve for coming into compliance by 2017. "Fortunately, our local water entities as well as the County of Kern have already begun working on the formation of the Kern Groundwater Authority." Beck says the results of the plan wont be seen for a couple of decades, but the Groundwater Authority is working on a balance of power between agencies that store water above and below ground.
RUNWAYS NEED UPGRADE
09-16-2014 - ST The Director of Kern County Airports told the Board of Supervisors that an overhaul needs to be done in the runways and taxiways at Meadows Field. At today's meeting, Richard Strickland said the county would not have to foot the majority of the bill. "Even a project of this magnitude for the main runway, we fully expect we'll see a 90 percent grant funding from the FAA." Strickland says engineers are looking at eliminating some of the taxiways, as well as repaving the runways for the first time since 1998 to get rid of cracks and improve grip in wet weather to keep planes from sliding.
WOMAN ID'ed IN DROWNING
09-16-2014 - ST The Kern County Coroner's Office says the drowning death of a woman in northwest Bakersfield was accidental. Fifty-nine year-old Lenora Mae Moss was found at the bottom of the swimming pool Sunday at her home on Lupine Avenue near Olive Drive. She was taken to San Joaquin Community Hospital, where she died a few hours later.
TAFT FOOTBALL COACH SPEAKS OUT ABOUT REMOVAL
09-16-2014 - ST The head coach of the Taft Union High School football team who was placed on administrative leave after reporting a football hazing incident says he's being punished for doing the right thing. Jarrud Prosser told District trustees Monday night that his removal sends the wrong message to students who may want to report something they see as wrong. "I'm removed from something I love for doing the right thing. I fear administrators have strengthened the code of silence by the handling of this." Parents and players packed the high school auditorium and called for Prosser to be reinstated, but the board took no action and refused to speak with the media.
MURDER INVESTIGATION IN WEST BAKO
09-16-2014 - ST Police are investigating an apparent homicide after a 28 year-old man was found outside of his west Bakersfield home. Sergeant Joe Grubbs says officers were called to the neighborhood on Waterbury Drive, near Columbia Elementary School just after 6:30 Monday morning. "He was right outside the front door, actually found in the front yard." Grubbs says Matthew Dale Odom had obvious signs of trauma when he was taken to the hospital, and people inside the home were interviewed as well as any neighbors who might have seen or heard something.
RECORD ROADRUNNER ENROLLMENT
09-16-2014 - ST The first day of the fall quarter at Cal State Bakersfield has broken enrollment records. Just over 86-hundred students were on the Roadrunner campus on Monday. Students can now go for a Bachelor's Degree in Agriculture Business or a Master's in Nursing. Both are new programs.
CLOVIS MAN JAILED AFTER CARJACKING, ATTACKING HOMEOWNER
09-15-2014 - AP A carjacking suspect is jailed after breaking into a home in south Bakersfield. The Bakersdield Police Department says it happened at around 5 p.m. Monday when 26-year-old Ian O'Daniels of Clovis first stole the car near Appleblossom Drive and Stine Road - he later abandoned the vehicle a few blocks away from the scene. After fleeing on foot, he was later arrested after he broke into a house near Wible Road and Kennedy Avenue and attacked the homeowner with a large kitchen knife. BPD says the homeowner sustained minor injuries. O'Daniels was booked into the Kern County Jail on multiple charges, including parole violation, carjacking, robbery, and assault with a deadly weapon.
CARRIER OF LETHAL CITRUS DISEASE FOUND NEAR PUMPKIN CENTER
09-15-2014 - AP An known carrier of a disease that's deadly to citrus plants has been found roughly eight miles southwest of Bakersfield. Kern County agriculture commissioner Ruben Arroyo says the Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards has launched an investigation after an Asian citrus psyllid was found near Pumpkin Center just over a week ago. "Once we find an insect of concern, like the one we found here off of Highway 119 near Pumpkin Center, it triggers a response." Arroyo says the insect, which has been found twice before in Kern County, can carry the incurable Huanglongbing. The disease poses no threat to humans.
VIRGINIA UTILITY COMPANY BUYS KERN COUNTY SOLAR PROJECTS
09-15-2014 - AP A utility based out of Virginia is finishing the final paperwork on the purchase of two solar projects in Kern County. Dominion Energy says it's going to purchase a section of the Goose Lake project in northwest Kern County and the Catalina Solar II project in the county's section of the Mojave Desert. Spokesperson Ryan Frazier says the company may also make additional Kern County purchases in the future. "We're enjoying Kern County with these projects that we're working on right now, and we're hoping to continue the great relationship." Frazier says the projects will add about 30 megawatts to the company's solar network. Both purchases should be finalized by next year.
KCSO INVESTIGATING DEATH OF OILDALE INFANT
09-15-2014 - AP The Kern County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a two-month-old in Oildale. Rowan Gonzalez was found choking by his parents shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday at an apartment just north of the intersection of West Day and North Chester avenues. The child was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Five other children who lived at the apartment are in protective custody.
BAKERSFIELD MAN ADMITS TO METH SALE
09-15-2014 - AP A Bakersfield man faces life in prison after admitting that he tried to distribute a large quantity of methamphetamine in 2012. 29-year-old Dimas Mazon entered the plea in district court yesterday [Monday], and is currently jailed without bail. Mazon was arrested after arranging the sale of a pound of the drug.
FORMER KERN COUNTY RESIDENT SENTENCED FOR CHILD PORN
09-15-2014 - AP A former Kern County man will spend the next 10 years in prison after prosecutors say he received and transmitted child pornography over the Internet in 2012. The sentence was handed down to 36-year-old Robert Sprenkle in district court earlier today [Monday]. He was arrested after moving to Florida.
DRUG DEALER SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS PRISON
09-15-2014 - AP A undocumented Mexican migrant who dealt drugs in Bakersfield with his cousin has been sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison. 38-year-old Rene Salas-Mendoza was sentenced on Monday. Salas-Mendoza was arrested after police found seven pounds of meth, a pound-and-a-half of cocaine and a half-pound of heroin at a stash house he maintained with 46-year-old Miguel Sanchez-Mendoza.
CALTRANS: REHAB WORK WILL CLOSE HWY 178 RAMPS
09-15-2014 - AP A pavement rehabilitation project will lead to the periodic closure of on and off-ramps along Highway 178 in Kern County this week. Caltrans says both eastbound and westbound lanes of the the freeway will be affected between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. through Friday. Work will range from Union Avenue to the Fairfax over-crossing.
CHECKPOINT YIELDS NO DUI ARRESTS
09-15-2014 - AP No DUI arrests were made at a checkpoint police set up in southwest Bakersfield. The Bakersfield Police Department says some 1,400 vehicles passed through the checkpoint at Panama Lane and Stine Road on Saturday. They say 25 drivers were found without a valid driver's license. 10 were found with a suspended license.
HEMET WOMAN SENTENCED IN SEQUOIA POT FARM CASE
09-15-2014 - AP A woman who put together a large-scale marijuana grow in Sequoia National Forest will spend the next four years in prison. Prosecutors say 46-year-old Marcelina Botello Arias of Hemet tried to grow nearly 10,000 plants at the park, and used illegal pesticides and other chemicals that killed native oak trees and vegetation.
MCCARTHY: POCKET CONSTITUTIONS AT MY OFFICE ON WEDNESDAY
09-15-2014 - AP Republican congressman Kevin McCarthy says he'll honor Constitution Day by handing out pocket constitutions to the public. Residents can pick up the constitutions by stopping by McCarthy's offices on Empire Drive in Bakersfield on Wednesday. McCarthy says families can pick up as many as two constitutions. Schools can pick up as many as 20.
SEX OFFENDER FOUND
09-15-2014 - ST California City Police officers have arrested a high-risk sex offender from Bakersfield. 42-year-old Scott Lee Hilt failed to check in with his parole officer after he was released from prison last week. He was found Saturday evening and booked into the Mojave Jail.
BODY OF MISSING WOMAN FOUND
09-15-2014 - ST The body of a woman who went missing from Bakersfield has been found in her car in Los Banos. The CHP located 76-year-old Virginia Lamar Gregg's Toyota Camry Saturday afternoon. Lamar was last seen Thursday, but the Merced County Coroner's Office says foul play was not involved.
JAIL DEATH INVESTIGATED
09-15-2014 - ST An autopsy will be performed on a man being held in the Lerdo Pretrial Facility who died in his cell. 56-year-old Michael Richard Sprango of Bakersfield was found not breathing in his cell Friday night. Deputies performed CPR on him, but he was later pronounced dead.
BAKERSFIELD RESIDENT SENTENCED TO HARD LABOR OVERSEAS
09-15-2014 - SuzG A young Bakersfield man who was arrested in North Korea has been sentenced to six years hard labor for "hostile acts". Sunday's trial for 24-year-old Matthew Miller lasted 90 minutes. He reportedly torn up his visa in April and asked for asylum. In a CNN interview two weeks ago, Miller said he'd apologized to North Korea and asked the U.S. to help.
CAUSE OF INFANT DEATH RELEASED
09-15-2014 - ST The Kern County Coroner's Office says a two-month old girl who was found not breathing in her southwest Bakersfield home died of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death. Samantha Cappello was unresponsive when paramedics were called to the home on Kenyon Avenue near Wilson Road in May.
TASER TURNED ON DEPUTY
09-15-2014 - ST A Bakersfield man is behind bars after he turned a Taser on a Sheriff's deputy as they tried to arrest him at a Motel 6 in east Bakersfield. Thirty-one-year-old Richard Romo and a woman were wanted on a warrant for taking her one-year-old child out of San Louis Obispo County. Deputies pulled out the Tasers when pepper spray had no effect. The officers were not hurt.
TWO-MONTH OLD FOUND UNRESPONSIVE
09-15-2014 - SuzG An investigation is underway into the death of a two-month-old baby on North Chester Avenue in Oildale. Rowan Gonzales was found unresponsive in the home around 6:30 Sunday night and taken to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. The death of any child in Kern County is investigated as a matter of routine.
MAN ARRESTED FOR HATE SPEECH, POSSESSING ASSAULT WEAPONS
09-12-2014 - AP A man is jailed on hate crime and weapons charges after police executed a search warrant at his house in Taft. The investigation was triggered after 31-year-old Jack Dennis was suspected of using hate speech in an act of vandalism. Police found religious materials and assault rifles during the search of Dennis' home near Harding Street and Green Avenue on Friday.
PERSON INJURED IN VALLEY ACRES FIRE
09-12-2014 - AP One person is hospitalized after a house fire near the intersection of Acadia and Cypress streets in Valley Acres northeast of Taft. The Kern County Fire Department was called to the scene just before 4 p.m. Friday. The fire caused about $75,000 in damage. Firefighters say the victim was treated for minor injuries.
TAFT HIGH FOOTBALL RETURNS TO PLAY
09-12-2014 - AP The varsity football team at Taft High School has returned to play after hazing allegations led to the suspension of eight players and the cancellation of a game last week. Interim head coach Brian Durkan says his team has responded well since Taft administrators gave their OK for the Wildcats to continue their season. "These guys want to play. All they really want to do is play football. All the politics of it can be with other people. We just want to play football." Head coach Jarudd Prosser was placed on administrative leave earlier this week, but is still being allowed to teach physical education at the school.
DELANO GETTING READY FOR NEW COMMUNITY CENTER
09-12-2014 - AP A new community center in Delano is slated to open in either spring or summer of next year. Recreation manager Sumeet Batth says Delano residents have been waiting for the new, $2.8 million facility to open since voters passed a tax initiative seven years ago. "The city of Delano is very excited for the new community center. Residents are just anticipating the opening." The city will also pay for the new facility with block grant. Baath says the facility will feature a game room and exercise facilities.
TRASH FIRE BURNS APARTMENT
09-12-2014 - AP Arson investigators with the Bakersfield Fire Department are looking into a garbage fire in east Bakersfield that climbed up a wall and into a second floor apartment. It happened just after 10 a.m. Friday near the intersection of Owens and Quincy streets. Firefighters say the apartment was vacant at the time, and caused about $5,000 in damage.
GROVE: ABORTION BILL WASN'T DISCRIMINATORY
09-12-2014 - AP Bakersfield assemblywoman Shannon Grove is denying claims of discrimination in a bill she authored that would have banned abortion based on the sex of the fetus. The Republican says she's specifically refuting the claims of San Francisco politician David Chiu, who said Grove's bill was written with the stereotype in mind that Asian people would be more likely to abort females.
AGENCIES INVESTIGATING BAD SMELL IN MCFARLAND
09-12-2014 - AP The Kern County Fire Department says it's not sure what's causing a terrible odor in McFarland. Firefighters say they weren't able to find a source of the smell after multiple residents called 911 recently. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District says it has launched its own investigation into the matter, but refused to say what they're looking for.
NEW SAFE PASSING DISTANCE LAW ABOUT TO TAKE EFFECT
09-12-2014 - AP A new law will soon take effect that will require California drivers to give bicyclists more room on the road. The law will take effect Tuesday, requiring drivers to give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing them. A previous law required only a safe passing distance, but did not specifically say what that distance was. Violators may face a fine of up to $220 if they injure a bicyclist and $35 for a violation.
HIGH-RISK SEX OFFENDER AT LARGE
09-12-2014 - AP Police are looking for a high risk sex offender who failed to check in with his parole officer after being released from prison. The Bakersfield Police Department says they're looking for 42-year-old Scott Hilt. He is described as a 5-foot-9 black male with brown hair and hazel eyes. We have a photo of Hilt here. (Photo: Bakersfield Police Department)
BPD LOOKING FOR SUBWAY ROBBER
09-12-2014 - AP The Bakersfield Police Department is looking for a man who robbed a Subway at gunpoint in south Bakersfield. It happened just after 9 p.m. Thursday just west of the intersection of White and Hughes lanes. The suspect is described as a 5-foot-9, 200-pound Hispanic male in his 30s. We have photos of the suspect here and here. (Photos: Bakersfield Police Department)
HIGHWAY PATROL OFFICERS HONORED FOR HEROISM
09-11-2014 - AP Two California Highway Patrol officers are being honored for trying to save three victims of a crash at Rosedale Highway and Verdugo Lane over the Labor Day weekend. Spokesman Robert Rodreiguez says Larry Boshers and Dave Harris put their own lives at risk on Aug. 30. "Officer Harris battled the flames and was able to temporarily extinguish them while the girl, the right-front passenger, crawled over the driver and exited." Boshers then chased 29-year-old Dontrell Collins, who was jailed on DUI and vehicular manslaughter charges. Two victims died, the third was pulled from the vehicle by witnesses.
SEARCH FOR NEW GET BOARD MEMBERS UNDERWAY
09-11-2014 - AP Bakersfield City Council has begun its search for two new city appointees to the Golden Empire Transit board. The search comes after both Howard Silver and Norris Ledbetter were removed by council yesterday night, following a strike that halted service for over a month. Council is hoping to have the new members named by the next regular session.
HUNDREDS OF POUNDS OF POT FOUND AT SEQUOIA NAT'L FOREST
09-11-2014 - AP U.S. Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife officers confiscated roughly 130 pounds of marijuana from a vehicle in Sequoia National Forest. Officers found the pot in the vehicle just after 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, and found another 57 pounds stashed in a nearby culvert. The pot is valued at $1,500 per pound.
TAFT POLICE INVESTIGATING DEATH AS HOMICIDE
09-11-2014 - AP Taft police are investigating the suspicious death of a man inside his home near the corner of Lucard Street and Wildcat Way as a homicide. The man, who is described as a white male in his 40s, was found in his living room during a welfare check just before 2 a.m. Thursday. The man's name has not been released.
LIGHTSEY JURY SELECTION HAS BEGUN
09-11-2014 - SuzG Jury selection has begun in an unusual case to decide if a man convicted of a Bakersfield murder 20 years ago was fit to stand trial. The Supreme Court ruled Christopher Lightsey should not have been allowed to represent himself at a competency hearing. He was sentenced to death for robbing and killing William Compton in 1993.
TEHACHAPI POLICE KILL BEAR
09-11-2014 - AP Tehachapi police killed a bear after it began walking the streets near Anita Drive and C Street while children were on their way to school. It happened this morning after the bear was spotted on a house porch at 7:20 a.m. - the bear was put down 15 minutes later. It's the second such bear spotting in Kern County in as many days. A bear found in east Bakersfield died yesterday after being tranquilized.
MEN KILLED IN TEHACHAPI APARTMENTS ID'ED, DIED OF BLUNT TRAUMA
09-11-2014 - AP The Kern County coroner says the two men who were murdered in a Tehachapi apartment complex died from blunt force trauma. Deputies found the men after being called to the apartment on Cherry Lane just after 3 a.m. on Sept. 1. The men have been identified as 54-year-old Jose Fajardo and 57-year-old Guy Korkal.
JOBS FAIR FOR VETERANS
09-11-2014 - ST More than 100 veterans looking for work attended a job fair in central Bakersfield. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and University of Phoenix's "Hiring Our Heroes" event had nearly a dozen employers. Mojave's Scaled Composites spokesman Lane Kirk says these types of fairs are tailor-made for his company. "With a military background, I think it comes with a lot of good work ethic, and attention to detail. Which are things we look for." The U.S. Chamber says many veterans have a hard time adjusting to civilian work, because they've never had to fill out a job application, but they catch on quickly.
TWO ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT IN WEEDPATCH
09-11-2014 - ST Two men who Kern County Sheriff's deputies say have gang ties have been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and drug possession after the victim showed up at kern Medical Center saying he was hit over the head with a glass bottle. The assault happened in April on Florence Street, and deputies served warrants on the suspect's homes before arresting them.
COUNCIL REMOVES APPOINTED GET BOARD MEMBERS
09-10-2014 - AP The Bakersfield City Council has chosen to remove a pair of city-appointed Golden Empire Transit board members over the way they handled the recent mechanics and bus drivers strike that stopped service for 35 days. Both Howard Silver and Norris Ledbetter were removed from the board in a 4-3 vote Wednesday night. Vice Mayor Ken Weir says both men made a poor decision by telling council that they wouldn't resign during a press conference last month. "It was a press conference that, to me, came off poorly. It came off very defensive to a point of arrogance, to me. I was very disappointed in that." Weir asked both men to resign in a letter.
KCSO: MAKESHIFT MOUNTAIN POT FARMS DESTROYED
09-10-2014 - AP The Kern County Sheriff's Office says some 3,600 marijuana plants were destroyed after deputies discovered several makeshift farms near Caliente and Bodfish. Spokesman Ray Pruitt says deputies with the major violator unit found the sites on Monday and Tuesday. "When they served the search warrant, they discovered several marijuana grow sites, and they had received information that led them to these grow sites from concerned citizens in the area." Pruitt says the plants would have put roughly $11 million of pot on the market.
BAKERSFIELD FIRE DEPT. INVESTIGATING SUSPICIOUS HOUSE FIRES
09-10-2014 - AP Arson investigators are looking into a pair of suspicious vacant house fires in east Bakersfield. Firefighters say they were called to the fires at around 3 a.m. Wednesday near Pacific and Robinson streets and Pearl and Haley streets. Both fires caused a combined $70,000 in damage.
VIRGINIA MAN ADMITS TO TELEMARKETING SCAM
09-10-2014 - AP A Virginia man has admitted to running a telemarketing sweepstakes scam that targeted residents of Bakersfield and several other California cities. Prosecutors say 35-year-old Wladimir Rocha, along with another man, tricked elderly people into sending him money for prizes. Rocha faces up to 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
RESTRIPING WORK NEAR HWY 178 AND MORNING DRIVE TO START SOON
09-10-2014 - AP East Bakersfield drivers are being warned to look out for one-way traffic and construction crews as workers restripe the interchange of Highway 178 and Morning Drive. Work will take place either Thursday or Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., depending on when restriping work west of Fairfax Road is completed.
MAN HOSPITALIZED AFTER BEING HIT BY CAR
09-10-2014 - AP A Bakersfield man is hospitalized with major injures after being struck by a car on a dimly-lit east Bakersfield street. The California Highway Patrol says 37-year-old Oscar Gonzales was wearing dark clothing and walking across Washington Street near Larcus Avenue just before 8 p.m. Tuesday when he was hit by 25-year-old Pedro Heredia.
BPD: DUI CHECKPOINT THIS WEEKEND
09-10-2014 - AP Police are planning to set up another DUI and driver's license checkpoint somewhere within the greater Bakersfield area. It will happen Saturday in an effort to raise the awareness of the dangers of impaired driving. Five DUI arrests were made at a checkpoint last weekend near the intersection of 24th and G streets in downtown Bakersfield.
CSU-B ADMINISTRATOR TO TAKE PRES. JOB AT CAL POLY-PONOMA
09-10-2014 - AP An administrator at Cal State-Bakersfield has been named as the first female president of Cal Poly-Ponoma. Dr. Soraya Coley has been the acting provost and vice president of academic affairs at CSU-B for nearly a decade. She will take over in Ponoma in January.
REWARD OFFERED FOR INFO ON EAST BAKERSFIELD SHOOTER
09-10-2014 - AP A $5,000 reward is being offered for information on who shot and killed an east Bakersfield man last week. The Bakersfield Police Department says it's offering the reward in connection with the murder case of 51-year-old Arthur Richardson. Richardson was shot at his home near the corner of V and 8th streets on Sept. 1.
BPD LOOKING FOR MAN WHO TRIED TO LURE CHILD
09-10-2014 - AP Police are looking for a man who tried to lure an 8-year-old child into his car near a school in east Bakersfield. It happened during the afternoon of Aug. 22 near Bessie E. Owens Primary School at the corner of East Potomac Avenue and South King Street. The suspect is described as a 5-foot-8 hispanic man with a medium build and black, wavy shoulder-length hair. He was driving a black, older-model Chevrolet Aveo. You can view a composite photo of the suspect here, and a photo of the suspect vehicle here. (Photos courtesy of the Bakersfield Police Department)
BEAR CAUGHT IN EAST BAKO SUDDENLY DIES
09-10-2014 - ST State Fish and Wildlife officers are working to figure out how a black bear running through an east Bakersfield neighborhood died after it was tranquilized. State Wildlife biologist Vickki Moreno says the bear was spotted around 1AM in a yard on Royal Way and Eucalyptus Drive, and ended up in a canal on Quantico Drive and East California Avenue around 9AM. "The animal needed to be tranquilized, so that way we could relocate him to a safer area." Department veterinarians will determine how and why the bear died . She says he probably came down from the hills searching for food in preparation for hibernation.
VOLUNTEERS TREATED TO LUNCH
09-10-2014 - ST Kern County Red Cross volunteers were treated to a lunch at Bakersfield Fire Station 1 to honor their hard work in the past year. Executive Director Amy Smith says it's something they do every year. "Our volunteers don't do it for recognition purposes. But it's just an opportunity for us to say 'thank you so much'". Smith says volunteers and equipment were sent all over the country to help with disasters like the Napa earthquake, Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, and the Washington State wildfires. The Bakersfield Fire Department hosted Wednesday's lunch to show their appreciation for making their job easier by helping people who have been driven out of their homes by fires.
PLAYOFF RUN ENDS FOR BLAZE
09-10-2014 - ST The Bakersfield Blaze season has come to an end after the team lost to the Visalia Rawhide in Game Four of the Cal League Northern Division playoffs. The final score was 7-2. The Blaze were named the League's North Division champs at the halfway point of the season, and made it to the second round of the playoffs.
MC VICTIM WAS BAKO MUSICIAN
09-10-2014 - SuzG. A local musician who was hurt in a motorcycle crash this weekend has died of his injuries. 52-year-old Timothy Dooley lost control of his bike around 1am Monday on Hwy 178 and Morning Drive and passed last night. Dooley was known for his links to the Bakersfield Sound. KERO TV reports his family has asked for privacy.
MOTORCYCLE RIDER DIES FROM MONDAY CRASH
09-09-2014 - AP A man who crashed his motorcycle near Highway 178 and Morning Drive on Bakersfield's eastern edge has died. The Kern County Sheriff's Office says 52-year-old Timothy Dooley of Fresno wrecked his motorcycle shortly before 1 a.m. Monday. He died at Kern Medical Center just before 7 p.m. Tuesday.
BUSINESS LEADERS THRILLED, ENVIRONMENTALISTS SADDENED BY OIL-BY-RAIL DECISION
09-09-2014 - AP Members of the environmentalist community say they're disappointed by a Kern County supervisors decision to let crude be transported by rail into the county. Earthjustice spokesperson Gordon Nipp told supervisors before their unanimous vote Tuesday that the long-term effects of a major rail catastrophe aren't worth a short-term financial reward. "There's been nine major accidents in 2013 and 2014 so far. We all hope Kern County gets by without catastrophic train accidents, certainly, but it is very troubling." Kern Economic Development Corporation president Richard Chapman, meanwhile, says the plan will bring needed job growth and tax revenue. "It is one of the top two or three industries in the country with the highest multiplier effect of nine. So it's not just the jobs on site, but eight additional jobs. With the approval of supervisors, the crude shipments should start moving through Kern County next summer.
MAN PLEADS NO CONTEST TO OILDALE TEEN KILLING
09-09-2014 - AP An man who prosecutors say shot a teenager to death at a party in Oildale has entered a no contest plea. Kevin Kingsbury did not admit to the crime, but acknowledged that prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction. The Army veteran is accused of shooting 19-year-old Dillon Wilson and wounding another teen near Orchid Drive and Deerbrook Street two years ago.
TAFT PRISON ESCAPEES STILL MISSING
09-09-2014 - AP The Taft Correctional Institution says it's still looking for three men who turned up missing during a weekend bed check at its minimum-security satellite camp. Prison spokesperson Dale Patrick says all three men were declared missing shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday. Another man escaped the unfenced camp on Sept. 2.
LAMONT MAN KILLED IN CRASH IDENTIFIED
09-09-2014 - AP A man who died after hitting a metal pipe fence near the intersection of East White Lane and Cottonwood Road has been identified as a 22-year-old Lamont man. Kern County coroner Donny Youngblood says it's not known whether Jose Lopez was on drugs or alcohol when the crash happened just after 2 a.m. Monday.
BAKERSFIELD CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER CONSTRUCTON ZONE CHANGE
09-09-2014 - AP Bakersfield City Council will vote on whether to pay about $33,000 to reconfigure a construction project after the deaths of endangered foxes indigenous to the San Joaquin Valley. Council on Wednesday will decide whether to drill eight-inch holes in concrete barriers in the Highway 178 construction zone after two kit foxes died.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE TRENDING DOWN IN KERN COUNTY
09-09-2014 - AP The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says Kern County's unemployment rate has improved to 10.4 percent this year. Economist Todd Johnson says the trend is promising, despite the county's unemployment rate being higher than California's rate of 7.8 percent and the U.S. rate of 6.5 percent. "The high was 16 percent for July in 2010. Each July since then, it has dropped." Kern County has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the San Joaquin Valley, behind only Madera County's 10 percent. Two valley counties - Tulare and Merced - have unemployment near 13 percent.
NEW COMMUNITY CENTER COMING TO DELANO
09-09-2014 - AP Delano will be home to a new, $2.8-million community center next year. KERO-TV reports the center will be near the Delano Technology Center at 11th Avenue and Albany Street and will feature a game room and exercise facilities. The city will pay for the center with a block grant and a tax initiative passed seven years ago.
CHURCH ASKING SUPREME COURT TO STOP BULLET TRAIN
09-09-2014 - AP An east Bakersfield church has filed a lawsuit asking the supreme court to block a $9 billion bond package for a intrastate bullet train that would run near the church. The First Free Will Baptist Church at East California Avenue and Exchange Street says the bond process hasn't been transparent. They also claim that the money won't be spent on what voters asked for.
CITATIONS AND SUSPENSION IN TAFT HIGH HAZING
09-09-2014 - ST The Taft Police Department is investigating the hazing incident at Taft Union High School that caused administrators to cancel a varsity football game. Lieutenant Peter Aranda says they started their investigation at the request of the District after a victim reported the incident last week. "Eight students have been issued citations for their involvement in the incident, and were released to their parents." Aranda says they are still interviewing other members of the team. He says their report will be sent to Kern County Juvenile Probation, and it will be determined if charges will be filed. The Taft Union High School District has taken action following the hazing incident among varsity football players. Superintendent Blanca Cavazos says action above the citations given by the Taft PD have been taken. "The students that were cited have also been suspended at this time, pending the outcome of this investigation." Cavazos says head coach Jarudd Prosser has been placed on paid administrative leave as head coach, but he will continue to teach PE, because it is a coaching issue, not a teaching one. She says the move is not disciplinary, but is part of the ongoing investigation.
DRILLING HOLES IN A BAKERSFIELD ROAD
09-09-2014 - ST Geologists will be working along and near 23rd and 24th streets, taking soil samples to determine conditions and engineering properties for the 24th Street Widening Project. Crews will on the streets through September 15th, and at least two lanes in each direction will be open at all times during the daytime work.
TWO SENTENCED FOR OILFIELD THEFTS
09-09-2014 - ST Two Bakersfield men have been sentenced to two years in federal prison for stealing computerized valve controllers from five different oil fields. Thirty three year-old Derek Brown and 22-year-old Bryan Schaub will also have to pay more than $240-thousand for the 2011 and 2012 thefts.
A DEADLY CRASH CLOSES A MAJOR INTERSECTION
09-09-2014 - ST Police say drugs or alcohol do not appear to be a factor in a deadly crash in southwest Bakersfield. Sergeant Joe Grubbs says a southbound Mercury Villager ran a red light at Ashe Road and Panama Lane high speed Tuesday morning, hitting an eastbound Hyundai driven by 79-year-old Stanley Eugene Henry. "The driver of the silver Hyundai succumbed to his injuries from the collision here at the scene." Grubbs says Henry's Hyundai was shoved 200 feet, clipping a City truck. Another pickup was also involved, but neither driver was hurt. The female driver of the Mercury was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. The intersection has been reopened.
ARREST IN PEDESTRIAN DEATH
09-09-2014 - SuzG A 63-year-old Bakersfield man is jailed on charges of DUI and hit and run, after an elderly woman in a wheelchair was pinned against a wall. 67-year old Maria Laquin died of her injuries Monday, one day after the crash near the Wilson Towers seniors building. Police say Renold Elder was driving erratically. His arraignment is Wednesday. Bail is $50,000.
KCSO INVESTIGATING ROSAMOND TODDLER DEATH
09-08-2014 - AP A two-year-old is dead after drowning in a backyard pond in Rosamond. The Kern County Sheriff's Office says the boy was found unresponsive by his father at the home near the corner of Imperial and Manchester avenues shortly before 4 p.m. Monday. The child was reportedly playing his younger sibling at the time and was not being supervised.
15 MO. RIDGECREST CHILD DEAD IN APPARENT DROWNING
09-08-2014 - AP A 15-month-old Ridgecrest child is dead after drowning in a bath tub. The Kern County Sheriff's Office says Ryder Evans was pronounced dead after being transported to the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital on Sunday. He was found in the bath tub shortly before 5:50 p.m. at a home near West Ward Avenue and North Cory Street.
HIGH SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR THREATNING LEGAL ACTION
09-08-2014 - AP A Tevis Junior High School vice principal is threatening a lawsuit against the Bakersfield Police Department after being jailed for bringing a gun to school. The attorney for 51-year-old Kent Williams says the concealed-carry permit holder was arrested illegally on Aug. 28. He was later released from jail after it was determined that he didn't break any laws.
WHEELCHAIR-BOUND WOMAN DEAD AFTER BEING STRUCK BY VEHICLE
09-08-2014 - AP A 63-year-old Bakersfield man faces driving while under the influence and hit-and-run charges after striking a woman in a motorized wheelchair with his vehicle. Bakersfield police say Renold Elder hit the woman shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday while driving erratically at the Wilson Towers parking lot near Wilson Road and Agate Street. The woman later died on Monday.
CHILD ID WRISTBANDS AVAILABLE AT KERN COUNTY FAIR
09-08-2014 - AP The Kern County Sheriff's Office will operate child identification wristband booths again at the Kern County Fair this year. The wristbands are free from Aug. 17-28 and feature the child's name, the parent's name and a phone number. The wristbands helped reunite over 450 kids with their families last year.
MAN ARRESTED AFTER S. BAKERSFIELD CARJACKING AND CHASE
09-08-2014 - AP A carjacking at a Jack in the Box in south Bakersfield led to a high-speed chase that ended with a roll-over crash in the foothills. Police say 18-year-old Matthew Hopkins stole the car near Colony Street and Panama Lane just after 11 p.m. Saturday. Hopkins was arrested while walking away from the wreck east of Caliente on Bena Road.
ARSON INVESTIGATORS LOOKING INTO FIRE NEAR OLEANDER
09-08-2014 - AP Arson investigators with the Bakersfield Fire Department are looking into a fire that destroyed a garage near the Oleander neighborhood. Firefighters say it happened just after 3 a.m. Monday at a lot near the corner of Brundage Lane and F Street. The unattached house was vacant at the time. No injuries were reported.
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