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PHONE LINES GO OUT IN WEST AND NORTH COUNTY
07-29-2014 - ST The Kern County Sheriff's 911 dispatchers had to field calls from McFarland after a Verizon land line cable was cut, causing an outage to that city as well as others. Taft and Glennville were also affected by the outage, which lasted for several hours.
PAROLEE CAUGHT IN MEXICO
07-29-2014 - ST A convicted sex offender who was released on bond for stabbing a Bakersfield Vietnam veteran in the neck has been arrested in Tijuana. Thirty two year-old Isaac Alawdi slipped a GPS monitor after making bail in 2013 for the 2012 attack of Fidel Valencia. He's being held in San Diego on parole violations charges.
HIGH SPEED RAIL CONSTRUCTION SET TO BEGIN
07-29-2014 - ST Construction on the $68-Billion Fresno to Bakersfield stretch of the California High Speed Rail is slated to begin at the end of the year. The Bakersfield Californian reports some buildings have been demolished in the Madera to Fresno stretch. The entire project that would connect San Diego to San Francisco is expected to be completed by 2029.
MAN KILLED BY OUT OF CONTROL TRUCK
07-29-2014 - SuzG. Wilson Road in southwest Bakersfield had to be shut down for four hours this morning after a man was killed by a truck that ran onto the sidewalk near Castle Elementary School. Police say the victim was hit by a Chevy 2500 pickup around 6:45, but the 29-year-old driver did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The truck also hit a tree and came to rest next to a house.
NO SIGN OF HIT LIST TIED TO SCHOOL SHOOTING
07-28-2014 Sheriff's deputies have not been able to find a rumored hit list allegedly written by a Taft teenager accused of opening fire in his high school. Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman says Bryan Oliver never made the list before the shooting at Taft Union High School in 2013. "As soon as this story broke, there were all kinds of rumors about hit lists, and telling people not to come to school, and all of these types of things. And we investigated and have been asking for it, but it just never materialized." Prosecutors say Oliver went into the science classroom and severely injured Bowe Cleveland with a shotgun. They say he also fired at another student, but missed. The District Attorney's Office declined to comment.
PLAZA BRICKS TO STAY PUT FOR TIME BEING
07-28-2014 - ST The Bakersfield Public Works Department has postponed the planned removal of engraved bricks and tiles at Centennial Plaza in front of Rabobank Arena after a questions arose about the project. City Operations Manager Stuart Patteson says his office got a couple of calls over the weekend. "Someone on the City Council had indicated that they wanted to know more about both the project, and any alternatives to the project." Patteson says his department is open to any options to save the bricks. He says the matter will be discussed at the August 13th meeting of the City Council.
MAN ARRESTED FOR FATAL HIT AND RUN
07-28-2014 - ST Police have arrested a man accused of driving away from the scene after hitting a motorcyclist in southwest Bakersfield who later died of his injuries. Sergeant Joe Grubbs says detectives got a tip as to Antwan Rowell's whereabouts Friday evening. "Rowell was in an apartment located in the 1100 block of Knotts Street." Grubbs says Rowell hit 43-year-old Emanuel Deshawn Hayes, of Los Angeles on Ahse Road, south of Wilson Road July 17th, then took off. He says Rowell's passenger was the cousin of Hayes, but she has not been charged.
INMATE WALKS FROM MIN SECURITY CAMP
07-28-2014 - ST An inmate at the Taft Correctional Institution's minimum security camp has been reported missing. Twenty nine year-old Ricardo Garcia Esquer turned up missing today during morning roll call.He is serving a 65 month sentence for possessing cocaine with intent to distribute.
PLEA IN TAX FRAUD CASE
07-28-2014 - ST An Arvin man has pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of filing false tax returns with the IRS. Forty five year-old Fredrico Garcia caused the 147 false returns to be filed to collect refund money between 2007 and 2008.
REALTOR ENTERS PLEA IN FRAUD CASE
07-28-2014 - ST A Bakersfield realtor accused of renting out vacant properties that she didn't represent remains in jail on $150,000 bail after pleading not guilty to charges of getting money under false pretenses, conspiracy and forgery. Jessica Arranaga is scheduled to be back in court August 7th. Co-defendant Ricky Segura Jr. is free on bail, but no court date has been set.
FIRE DAMAGES GARAGE
07-28-2014 - ST City firefighters needed about 10 minutes to knock down a fire in a detached garage that caused $25,000 in damage and threatened a home in central Bakersfield. Firefighters were called to the home on Q Street, near 10th Street Monday afternoon. The fire was kept to the garage, causing heat damage to three cars.
POT GROW OPERATION SENTENCE
07-28-2014 - ST A Mexican national has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for operating a marijuana grow near the Greenhorn Creek Trail in Kern County. Twenty two year-old Jose Luis Garcia cut down native oak trees and other pants in that section of the Sequoia National Forest and used toxic chemicals to protect the pot plants from animals and bugs.
MORE TESTS NEEDED IN PRISONER DEATH
07-28-2014 - ST The Kern County Coroner's Office has to conduct toxicological studies on a woman who died in her cell at the Downtown Jail after an autopsy proved inconclusive. Twenty eight year-old Chantel Baker was found unconscious in her cell July 17th. Deputies tried to revive her with CPR, but she died at the scene.
THREE ARRESTED IN SHOOTING INCIDENT
07-28-2014 - ST Three people have been arrested in connection with a gang-related shooting in central Bakersfield. Richard Dorado was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon for firing at a home on Forrest Street near 8th Street Sunday afternoon. A search of the home he shot at led to the arrests of Nicholas Salinas and Kaitlin Forucci after officers found stolen driver's licenses.
NO MOVEMENT ON BUS STRIKE
07-28-2014 - ST The strike by more than 200 Golden Empire Transit bus drivers and mechanics has entered its third week, and no new talks have been scheduled. GET officials have offered to enter into binding arbitration and is offering a one and two-year contract extension while negotiations continue, but the Teamsters union have rejected all offers, and are asking for a four percent raise.
MORTGAGE FRAUD SENTENCING POSTPONED
07-28-2014 - ST Sentencing for a defendant in the Crisp and Cole mortgage fraud scheme has been rescheduled. The federal judge agreed to postpone the sentencing of Jerald Teixeria until February, 2015 to give him a chance to demonstrate a good faith effort to paying a restitution order.
WOMAN KILLED BY TRAIN ID'd
07-28-2014 - SuzG The Coroner's Office says the woman who was hit by a train July 23rd as she stood outside her car in Tehachapi died of blunt force trauma, but it's still not clear why she was there. The victim is identified as 62-year-old Sheila Peterson Evans of Bakersfield. Union Pacific Police have declined to comment on the investigation.
CHILD INJURED BY SUV
07-25-2014 - SuzG. A three year old child from south Bakersfield is recovering from being hit by an SUV and police are investigating how it happened. They say youngster ran into the path of the vehicle around 7:15 last night on Sandra Drive near Planz Road. The child's injuries are described as non life-threatening.
GET STRIKE ROLLS ON
07-25-2014 - SuzG. The strike by Golden Empire Transit bus drivers and mechanics in Day 11 today and no new talks are scheduled. The union has rejected binding arbitration in its bid to get better pay and treatment for GET workers. The district says those changes will lead to service and job cuts, but it will give out new bus passes next month to those who already bought one.
CAL STATE FUNDING CUTS NOT THAT BAD, SAYS CSUB
07-24-2014 - ST State funding for the California State system fell short of the requested $237-Million to $142-Million for the fiscal year. Spokesperson Irma Cervantes at Cal State Bakersfield says all schools were hoping to expand. "We were hoping to be able to enroll 20,000 students statewide. And now, we're only given the funding to enroll an additional 10,000 students." Cervantes says CSUB students enrolled for the Fall semester this past Spring. She says there will not be a decrease on the campus, but they will have to wait until next year to see if funding increases to add more students.
DRIVE IN MOVIES AROUND THE CORNER
07-24-2014 - ST-SuzG A Bakersfield company is working to bring back the experience of a drive in theater. Cinertain owner Jason Sanders says he and his wife missed going to the movies in the family car, so they got a giant screen and a 600-pound film projector. "We can set up in an empty parking lot, play a movie for 250-350 people, and tear it down at the end of the night, and no one knows we were there." Sanders will debut his system at Pioneer Village at the Kern County Museum Friday night with a screening of "Back to the Future", although people will be sitting on the lawn at Pioneer Village and not in their cars. Tickets are $5 for the general public.
PURSUIT ENDS IN ARREST
07-24-2014 - ST A man has been arrested after leading Sheriff's deputies on a five-minute chase through Wasco. Deputies were called to the 1100 block of D Street this afternoon to a report of a domestic violence incident, when 42-year-old Javier Pizano fled the scene in his car. Pizano was not connected to the original call, but was running from a felony warrant.
WOMAN KILLED BY TRAIN
07-24-2014 - ST-SuzG We're still waiting to learn the identity of the woman who was killed in Tehachapi when her car was hit by a train at a railroad crossing. The Tehachapi News reports the victim was outside her vehicle Wednesday night at Tehachapi Boulevard near the Lehigh Cement Company when she was struck. Railroad authorities aren't commenting.
MAN CHARGED FOR STARTING WILDFIRE
07-24-2014 - ST A Perris, California man has been indicted in federal court on arson charges for setting the Nicolls Fire east of Lake Isabella. Edgardo Fournier is accused of lighting several fires while trying to escape from law enforcement at a marijuana grow that had more than two-thousand pot plants. If he's convicted, he faces a 10 years to life sentence and a $10-Million fine.
BUS STRIKE TALKS BREAK DOWN
07-23-2014 - ST A proposal by the Golden Empire Transit negotiators to the union representing more than 200 bus drivers and mechanics who have been on strike since July 15th has been rejected by Teamsters negotiators. GET spokesperson Gina Hayden says both sides met this morning. "At this time the union is indicating that they will continue to strike until the District meets their demands." The union has also rejected the idea of arbitration. Hayden says there is not enough money in the budget to give the drivers what they want. No new talks have been scheduled.
CITY COUNCIL HOLDS SPECIAL MEETING
07-23-2014 - ST The Bakersfield City Council has given City Manager Alan Tandy a positive annual performance review after seven weeks of delays. At a special Council meeting Wednesday night to go over the evaluation, Vice Mayor Ken Weir spoke about the heated exchange at last week's meeting. "As Vice mayor of this City Council, I would like to apologize to our City Manager for that happening. And I will do everything that I can to make sure that nothing like that happens again." The review allowed the passage of a 1.5 percent increase for police, fire, and other supervisorial positions.
CITY MOVES TO COMBAT DROUGHT
07-23-2014 - ST The City of Bakersfield is taking measures to conserve water during the drought by cutting back on landscape watering and not washing official vehicles as often. Recreation and Parks Director Dianne Hoover says families will also start seeing the effects of the drought on August 1st. "All nine locations of our city spray parks will have to close." Hoover says the reduction of landscape watering will help, but some sprinkler heads at parks and other places have been broken, causing excess water to drain to gutters.
WILDFIRE CONTAINED
07-23-2014 - ST The U.S. Forest Service says the Nicolls Fire, east of Lake Isabella has been fully contained. A few hand crews will patrol the 1,680 acre burn zone after the last containment line was established Saturday night. The cause of the fire, which started July 11th, is still under investigation.
CORONER IDs MOTORCYCLE RIDER
07-23-2014 - ST The County Coroner's Office has identified an L.A. man who was killed when a driver in southwest Bakersfield hit him then fled the scene. 43-year-old Emanuel Hayes was on Ashe Road, south of Wilson Road last week when he was hit on his motorcycle. He died Monday at Kern Medical Center. 24-year-old Antwan Marcal Rowel is wanted in connection to the crash.
CONDORS NAME NEW COACH
07-23-2014 - ST The Bakersfield Condors have hired a new head coach to replace former coach Troy Mann. Jean-Francois Houle spent four seasons as a head coach of the the Quebec Que, building a record of 174-101. His father, Rejean Houle, played more than 700 games for the Montreal Canadiens, winning 5 Stanley Cups.
FIRE DAMAGES GARAGE IN SOUTHWEST
07-23-2014 - ST A tossed cigarette caused $15,000 in damage to a garage at a home in southwest Bakersfield. Firefighters were called to Escondido Court near Harris and Ashe roads Tuesday night. Firefighters just had to do mop-up work, because neighbors used garden hoses to knock down the flames.
BUDGET PIE A LITTLE BIGGER
07-23-2014 - SuzG. Supervisors have agreed to spend a $25-million budget balance on a long list of priorities that includes letting several non-profits maintain their level of service. At Tuesday's general fund update, Jeff Frapwell from the County Administrator's Office said there are 183 new and existing building and maintenance projects. "The total of those estimated projects is $68-million. That breaks down to $37.8-million to major maintenance projects, and $31-million in capital projects." Kern County also saw $6.2-million in new tax assessments, however, all departments were ordered to cut their budgets by five-percent to save Kern Medical Center.
BALL IS NOW IN UNION'S COURT IN BUS STRIKE
07-22-2014 - ST The Golden Empire Transit Board of Directors held a closed session meeting to consider a proposal by the Teamsters union representing more than 200 striking bus drivers and mechanics. Union spokesman Chester Suniga won't disclose details of the proposal, but says they got a response from the Board this afternoon. "We'll take it to the membership, then the membership votes on it. And it's either 'yes' or 'no'". GET spokesperson Gina Hayden explains what will happen after the union vote. "If they voted to accept whatever came out of the negotiations, then it would go to the GET Board." Hayden says the board would then vote to approve or deny the union vote. Drivers are still on the picket lines.
POSITIVE NEWS ON CITY CRIME RATES
07-22-2014 - ST Crime in Bakersfield for the first six months of 2014 is down from the previous year, with a nine-percent drop in violent crime and a 46-percent drop in the murder rate. Police Sergeant Joe Grubbs says since the 2006 recession, they didn't have a big enough budget to hire officers. "We've been on a couple-year process of hiring additional or new personnel." Grubbs says there is a new Academy class set to graduate next month, and they will have a greater impact on crime in 2015 as they gain street experience.
BODY OF MISSING SWIMMER FOUND IN KILLER KERN
07-22-2014 - ST-SuzG The Kern County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team has recovered the body of a 19-year-old Bakersfield man who was swimming in the Kern River about four miles being pulled under by the current, despite the efforts of friends to pull him out. The group had been jumping into the water off a large rock.
NEW RULES FOR SKATE PARKS
07-22-2014 - ST The Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Department has changed the rules at the city's skate parks, allowing the use of two-wheeled scooters in them. People who use them are required to wear the same safety gear that skaters do. Bikes are still not allowed in the skate parks.
CATS SAVED FROM FIRE
07-22-2014 - ST Kern County firefighters were able to save seven of 11 cats that were found in a burning apartment in Shafter that caused $30,000 in damage. Crews were called to the 600 block of Kern Street Tuesday evening and forced the door open, then got the cats out and gave them oxygen.
FIRE GUTS OILDALE HOME
07-22-2014 - ST A two alarm fire at a vacant two-story home in Oildale is under investigation after causing $80,000 in damage. County firefighters were called to the home on McCord Avenue, west of North Chester Avenue a little after 5 O'clock, Tuesday afternoon. The second alarm was called to protect two other homes from the flames.
MAN WANTED IN FATAL HIT AND RUN
07-22-2014 - ST Police are looking for a man they believe hit and killed a motorcyclist in southwest Bakersfield. Investigators say 24-year-old Antwan Marcal Rowel hit the unidentified man last Thursday on Akers Road, south of Wilson Road. The victim died of his injuries Monday at Kern Medical Center.
GET BOARD TO MEET ABOUT BUS STRIKE
07-21-2014 - ST The Golden Empire Transit District is calling a special meeting for Tuesday to discuss the undisclosed proposal from the Teamsters negotiating team regarding the strike of more than 200 bus drivers and mechanics. GET spokesperson Gina Hayden says three board members are at a training seminar out of the area. "One of the Board members is returning home for the meeting. So there will be a quorum of three Board members." Hayden says Tuesday's special meeting will only cover the topic of the strike and the proposal that was given to them last Friday. Drivers and mechanics have been on the picket line for a week.
KERN COUNTY SENDS HELP TO WILDFIRE FIGHT
07-21-2014 - ST The Kern County Fire Department has sent six people as part of an 80-man team to help battle the Carlton Complex wildfire in Washington state. Captain Sean Collins says they hit the ground running when they arrived Sunday. "We help with putting together the plan, the operations, tactical needs to support the resources here on the ground that are actually fighting the fire." Collins says the fire has burned more than 379 square miles, destroyed 150 homes and is only two percent contained. He says they could be there for up to two weeks. The Kern County chapter of the Red Cross is sending a person to help with the relief effort in the Carlton Complex wildfire in Washington state. Disaster Program Manager Tessa Lovro will be in charge of oversight and direction of the relief effort.
GANG MEMBER CONVICTED IN SHOOTING
07-21-2014 - ST A jury has convicted a member of the Bakersfield West Side Crips of a murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors say 24-year-old Devon Mondine shot two people during a confrontation in 2013. Mondine then shot both victims again while they were laying on the ground, killing one of them. He's set to be sentenced in August.
SEARCH CONTINUES FOR SWIMMER
07-21-2014 - ST The Kern County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team will continue their search for a person who was last seen swimming in the Kern River about four miles east of the mouth of the Kern River Canyon. Volunteers will be going into their second full day of searching for the person who was reported missing Sunday. They can only look for the person in daylight.
SENTENCING FOR CHECK FRAUD
07-21-2014 - ST A Bakersfield man has been sentenced to a year in federal prison and will have to pay more than $91,000 and perform community service for cashing checks in order to hide how much money he had. Miguel Jaramillo cashed more than 50 checks for $10,000 or less to keep from filing a Currency Transaction Report because he did not declare the money on his taxes.
DRUG HAULER FACES TIME
07-21-2014 - ST A man has pleaded guilty in federal court to transporting drugs through Bakersfield with intent to distribute. 37-year-old Enrique Reynosa was pulled over on Highway 99, south of Taft Highway with six pounds of meth and eight pounds of cocaine and more than $1,500 in cash. He faces 10 years to life when he's sentenced in September.
PLEA DEAL IN DUI DEATH
07-21-2014 - ST A man has entered a no contest plea for gross vehicular manslaughter and will be sentenced in August for killing a girl in southwest Bakersfield while he was driving under the influence. Martin Juarez was driving on the wrong side of Coffee road, north of Stockdale Highway in 2012, killing 18-year-old Breanna Webb.
CHP BUSTS MECHANICS
07-21-2014 - ST The CHP, working with the state Bureau of Automotive Repair busted 15 people who offer mobile vehicle repair services in Kern County. The two-day undercover operation involved plainclothes officers calling people who put social media ads offering repairs and setting up appointments.
COUPLE PLEAD IN CHILD TORTURE CASE
07-21-2014 - ST A Bakersfield couple has pleaded guilty to torturing a two-year-old boy who was in their care because the mother was homeless. Marcelino and Denice Guzman face seven years to life for beating the boy with sticks, belts, open hands and fists and burning him with cigarettes in 2012.
BANK HEIST ATTEMPT
07-21-2014 - ST Police are looking for a woman who tried to rob a bank in southwest Bakersfield. Sergeant Joe Grubbs says the woman went into the Wells Fargo on White Lane and Gosford Road Saturday morning. "She approached an employee, and displayed a note that she was robbing the bank." Grubbs says other employees approached her while she gave the note to the teller, and she took off without getting any money. Grubbs says the suspect between 5'10 and 6-feet tall, between 180 and 200 pounds with a black ponytail and a baseball cap.
EIGHT DISPLACED IN OILDALE FIRE
07-21-2014 - ST Five adults and three children were forced out of a two-story triplex in Oildale after a fire broke out in the attic of the building. The Kern County Fire Department says the fire at Lincoln Avenue and Oildale Drive caused $60-thousand in damage on Saturday. The cause of the fire is being investigated.
18TH STREET STABBING
07-21-2014 - SuzG. Bakersfield Police are looking for four men who were involved in a fight where another man was stabbed. It happened around 2:00 this morning on 18th Street at N Street. The victim has moderate but non-life threatening injuries. The suspects drove a late model, blue compact car that had a rear spoiler.
SMOKING CAUSES APT FIRE
07-21-2014 - ST-SuzG A woman and a child had to evacuate their apartment on L Street near 2nd Street in Bakersfield after a fire that was started by a cigarette. Damage is $25-thousand. Firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to other units Sunday morning and no one was hurt.
FELINES, LIZARD SURVIVE FIRE
07-21-2014 - ST-SuzG A that fire caused $40-thousand in damage to an east Bakersfield apartment unit is being called suspicious. Firefighters were called out Sunday morning to East 19th Street and East Truxtun Avenue. No one was in the building, but two cats and a snake were rescued.
SWIMMER MISSING IN KILLER KERN
07-21-2014 - SuzG. Kern County Search and Rescue crews will resume their search this morning for a 19-year-old man presumed to have drowned in the Kern River. Witnesses say the man had been with a group of people who were jumping off rocks into the water, about three miles past the mouth of the canyon off Hwy 178.
CRASH CLOSES SUSHI BAR
07-21-2014 - SuzG. A woman who crashed into a Bakersfield sushi restaurant on California Avenue apparently hit the gas pedal on her Tesla sedan instead of the brakes. That was around 8:00 Saturday night at the Shogun Palace and two people inside the building had minor injuries. The restaurant is closed for repairs.
DRIVE BY SHOOTING ON Q STREET
07-21-2014 - SuzG. Bakersfield Police are looking for suspect information following a drive by shooting that happened this morning around 2:30 on Q Street near 10th Street. The victim, a man, is in stable condition at the hospital, but there is no suspect information. The gunman was riding in a black, four door Honda.
MAN BEATEN DOWNTOWN
07-21-2014 - ST Bakersfield Police have arrested five people for attempted murder downtown. Officers were called to the north alley of 20th and Eye Street Friday night, where they found an Hispanic man suffering from life-threatening blunt force trauma to the head.
WOOLLOMES AVENUE FATAL
07-21-2014 - SuzG. A 45-year-old man who died when he lost control of his car and hit a light pole near Delano has been identified as Minh Pham of Westminster. That accident was around 5:30 Sunday afternoon on northbound 99 just south of Woollomes Avenue.
BROWNING ROAD FATAL
07-21-2014 - SuzG. A 19-year-old Delano man has died in an accident on Browning Road after he lost control of his car and hit a pole at the intersection with Garces Highway. Javier Obegon Jr. was taken to Delano Regional Medical Center shortly after 9:00 Saturday morning. The crash is being investigated.
GIRL SHOT TRYING TO BREAK UP FIGHT
07-19-2014 A Bakersfield man is jailed, accused of shooting his own 13-year-old daughter. Sheriff's deputies say it happened when he fired a handgun while trying to break up a fight. A 27-year-old man was also hit by gunfire just after 7:30 p.m. Friday in the 3200 block of Kentucky Street. Investigators later arrested the girl's father, Edgardo Acosta, along with her stepmother and another man. The girl has been transferred to Valley Children's Hospital in Madera.
TALKS MOVE FORWARD DURING BUS STRIKE
07-18-2014 - ST The Teamsters Union has put forth a proposal that could end the strike by Golden Empire Transit drivers and mechanics. GET spokesperson Gina Hayden says she can't give specifics of the proposal that was presented at this morning's 90 minute meeting. "It was not within the limits that the GET negotiating team could approve." Hayden says the union has been asked to present the plan to its members. If they agree with the proposal, the Transit District Board will schedule an emergency meeting to consider the deal. She says some of the Board members are at a training seminar out of the area, but some of them would come back if they have to.
COUNTY UNEMPLOYMENT TICKS UP
07-18-2014 - ST Shifting job sectors in the Kern County workforce raised the June unemployment rate a tenth of a point to 10.2 percent. State Employment Development Department spokesperson Sheila Urdesich says harvest season is getting underway. "non-farm employment lost a thousand jobs, and farm employment gained 35-hundred jobs." Urdesich says another three-thousand government jobs were lost in June's count, but that counts teachers who are not working during the summer break, and is only a temporary dip in the statistics.
STING OPERATION LEADS TO ARREST
07-18-2014 - ST Deputies from the Sheriff's Rural Crime Investigation Unit arrested a man who stole farm equipment that they planted in Shafter. The equipment was under electronic surveillance, and they got an alarm Thursday that tipped deputies off to the theft. They tracked the equipment to 33-year-old Juan Garibay's Riverside Street home. They found the equipment, as well as a Honda Rubicon ATV that had been reported stolen. Garibay was booked into the County Jail on possession of stolen property and possession of a stolen vehicle.
RECOUNT IN KERN COUNTY HALTED
07-18-2014 - ST Former Assembly Speaker John Perez is calling off the vote recount he requested in Kern and 14 other counties in the race for state controller. Perez finished third in the June 3rd primary. He was just 481 votes behind fellow Democrat Betty Yee. Perez picked up only a handful of votes in recounts this week in Kern and Imperial counties.
NEW PROGRAM AT HEART HOSPITAL
07-18-2014 - ST The Bakersfield heart Hospital has started an outpatient wound healing program to help people who have injuries that have trouble healing. The program is designed for people with diabetes, poor circulation and infections. Patients can use hyperbaric therapy which increases the oxygen in a person's body to help speed healing.
DEATH PENALTY HANDED DOWN
07-18-2014 - ST A Bakersfield man convicted of killing two people who were dating in different locations has been given the death penalty. Prosecutors say Erran West killed Levon Vines and Ernestine Denise Trejo in 2010 in furtherance of a gang.
MAN ARRESTED FOR PAINTBALL SHOOTING
07-18-2014 - ST Kern County Sheriff's deputies have arrested a Taft Heights man for hitting a Maricopa man with a paintball gun in a drive by shooting. Mario Gurrola shot the victim several times in the face, Monday at the intersection of Highways 33 and 166. The victim followed Gurrola to the Jolly Kone in Maricopa, where he tried to keep him from leaving, but he was hit as Gurrola fled.
MAN SENTENCED IN TODDLER DEATH
07-18-2014 - ST A gang member convicted of killing a two-year old girl with a stray bullet as he fired at another gang member has been given life without parole. Anthony Chacon hit Ka-Mya Robinson, who was playing in a yard a few doors down from the 2012 argument. Chacon was arrested at the Mexican border after fleeing the scene.
NEGOTIATORS MEET, BUT BUS STRIKE CONTINUES
07-17-2014 - ST Negotiators on both sides of the Golden Empire Transit strike accepted County Supervisor Leticia Perez' invitation to sit down for the first time since drivers walked off the job. Perez says they met at her office for a couple of hours this morning, and things were frosty at first. "The tone improved over the course of the two hours they were there together. We set another meeting, and we'll set as many as we need to bring this thing home and close this chapter." Drivers are asking for a four percent wage increase over three years and moving part time drivers to full time status. GET administration says they don't have the budget to meet those demands. Bus passengers at the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter are frustrated by the strike. Dion Laws says even though the buses are not rolling, he still has places to go. "We have to walk miles downtown. Take all these long streets. Hot, you know, bothered. You can get a heat stroke in this weather." Laws says it's hard for his daughter, who he's been taking to medical appointments. He says he hopes both sides in the strike come to an agreement soon.
MAN FORCED FROM HOME COMES HOME
07-17-2014 - ST Herbert Jackson has been handed the keys to his home nearly two weeks after Bakersfield code enforcement officers forced him out because the Monticello Avenue residence was deemed uninhabitable. The 85-year-old Jackson says he had lived there since 1950, and stayed even after a 2008 electrical fire killed power to the home. "I would just move in and out. But now the Lord is paying me back, and He's given me a place to lay my head." Volunteers and community groups got together to bring the house back up to code, and got furniture and appliances for Jackson.
CAR VS MOTORCYCLE IN SOUTHWEST
07-17-2014 - ST A motorcycle rider was taken to a hospital with major injuries after an SUV broadsided him and took off in southwest Bakersfield. Police Sergeant Dennis Moore says the unidentified rider was headed south on Akers Road, south of Wilson Road Thursday evening when the vehicle pulled out from Marilyn Place. "It's a silver or white SUV. Lexus. It would have driver side damage." Moore says Akers was closed for several hours between Wilson and Kennedy Avenue. He says the motorcycle did not appear to be speeding.
CHARGES PENDING IN BIKE CRASH
07-17-2014 - ST The Nevada Highway Patrol says charges are pending against a man who hit and seriously injured a Bakersfield bicyclist in a tunnel near Zephyr Cove in Lake Tahoe. 48-year-old Clarence Aldridge was headed east through the tunnel on U.S. Highway 50 when he was struck from behind by a semi driven by 39-year-old Richard Pettay of Carson City.
JURY RULES IN MURDER CASE
07-17-2014 - ST A member of the Bakersfield Country Boy Crips gang has been convicted of murdering a man at a market in east Bakersfield. Jimmy Lee Baker is scheduled to be sentenced in mid-August for shooting 21-year-old Floyd Bean Jr in 2013. Bean was in Roy's Market on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to buy a soda.
ELECTRICAL FIRE DAMAGES HOME
07-17-2014 - ST An electrical malfunction at a home in central Bakersfield caused $5,000 in damage before City firefighters were able to put it out. Crews were called to the single-family home on V Street, east of Union Avenue around 6: 15, Thursday evening, and knocked the fire down within a few minutes. There were no injuries.
SURVEY WORK IN DOWNTOWN BAKO
07-17-2014 - ST A work crew will be surveying a couple of streets in downtown Bakersfield as part of the final design for the 24th Street widening project. The crews will be taking measurements from 7AM until 3PM Friday on 23rd and 24th streets, but traffic is not expected to be too heavily impacted.
APARTMENT FIRE IN THE EAST
07-17-2014 - ST Bakersfield and Kern County firefighters needed about 20 minutes to knock down a fire at a vacant apartment that had spread through the attic to another unit in east Bakersfield. An electrical fire sparked the blaze at the unit on Niles Place, near Niles Street early this morning, causing $70,000 damage.
INMATE DEATH IN DOWNTOWN BAKERSFIELD
07-17-2014 - ST Kern County Sheriff's investigators are looking into the death of a woman who was found unresponsive in a cell at the Central Receiving Facility in downtown Bakersfield. Jail staff performed CPR on the 28-year-old Bakersfield woman Thursday afternoon, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy has been scheduled.
DRUG RING INDICTMENT
07-17-2014 - ST Three Bakersfield men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for running a drug distribution ring. Manuel Rivera, Edi Bustamante and Juan Angel Lopez face distribution charges as well as possessing 500 grams of methamphetamine for sale.
BUS STRIKE NEGOTIATORS TO MEET
07-16-2014 - ST Representatives from Golden Empire Transit and the Teamsters union representing more than 200 striking bus drivers and mechanics will be meeting after being invited to sit down by a County Supervisor. The representatives will meet in Leticia Perez' office at 8AM Thursday, but drivers will remain on the picket lines.
FIGURING OUT NEW WATER REGS
07-16-2014 - ST Cal Water's District Manager in Bakersfield says it's still not clear how new state fines for wasting water outdoors will work, with the city, county and other agencies all involved. But Rudy Valles does expect to get even more calls now from people who see water being wasted. "I think we're going to get a few of those. In fact, we got a call, someone reporting US wasting water." Valles says they respond as quickly as possible to leaks and other problems, but calls are prioritized for urgency and they may not be able to come out right away.
SUMMER DROUGHT UPDATE
07-16-2014 - ST Kern County groundwater levels have dropped by at least 10 feet since the beginning of the drought that has hit the state, but the message at a luncheon to discuss the drought's impact is that there is still enough for farmers this year. Semitropic Water Storage District general manager Jason Gianquinto was one of the speakers at today's event at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. He says he's hopeful that a predicted El Nino system appears later this year. "We definitely need a couple of good years to get back to where we were. But even if it was wet, we would not get all of the water that we have had historically, because of the changing of policies." Gianquinto says many of the policies restrict water flow to the Southern Valley to protect water quality in the Delta.
TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO HUGE DRUG SIEZURE
07-16-2014 - ST A CHP traffic stop in south Bakersfield has led to the seizure of 83 kilos of cocaine. Officer Robert Rodriguez says the officer pulled a semi over Tuesday morning on northbound Highway 99 at Panama Lane, and asked Jee-Leung Tsoi of Ontario, Canada if he could search the cab. "His Canine hit on the vehicle, letting the officer know that there were possible drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle." Rodriguez says the officer found several duffel bags filled with coke that had a street value of $3-Million. Tsoi was arrested and booked into the Kern County Jail.
FINAL UPDATE ON NICOLLS FIRE
07-16-2014 - ST Firefighters are mopping up and putting out hot spots at the Nicolls Fire which has blackened 1680 acres east of Lake Isabella. Hand crews have 95 percent containment on the blaze, and most of them have been released from the wildfire.
STABBING IN SOUTH BAKERSFIELD
07-16-2014 - ST One Bakersfield man is recovering from non life-threatening stab wounds and a woman is in jail after the attack in south Bakersfield Sheriff's deputies arrested 18-year-old Marisol Gonzalez for stabbing the unidentified man. She was booked into the County Jail on assault with a deadly weapon and spousal abuse charges.
HIT AND RUN VICTIM ID'd
07-16-2014 - ST The Kern County Coroner's Office has identified a Bakersfield man who was killed in a hit and run accident south of Oildale. 32-year-old Travis Wade Shellenberger was hit July 10th while he was walking south on the bridge of North Chester Avenue that goes over the Kern River. The woman who hit him drove to work, then notified the BPD. The investigation is continuing and she has not been arrested.
MAN FACES HARD TIME AFTER CONVICTION
07-16-2014 - ST A Bakersfield man has been convicted of sexually assaulting three teenage girls and is scheduled to be sentenced in August. Daniel Cruz molested two girls, who were under 14 years old, and threatened a third with rape if she didn't hug him. Cruz faces a term of 75 years to life in prison.
DEPUTIES TAKE DOWN SUSPECTED DRUG DEALER
07-16-2014 - ST A 30-year-old Bakersfield woman is in the County Jail on charges of possessing controlled substances for sale and using her home to sell them. Sheriff's narcotics deputies served a warrant at Monica Valente's home on Kincaid and Warren streets this morning, where they found methamphetamine and 21 pot plants.
BUS STRIKE GOES INTO SECOND DAY
07-15-2014 - ST Golden Empire Transit bus drivers are walking picket lines at the terminals on Chester Avenue and Valley Plaza, as well as GET headquarters, demanding better wages and benefits. Joe, who was marching at the downtown terminal today says he had hoped to avoid a strike, but the message has to get across to management. "We all have bills, we all have properties, we're all homeowners. We've got to do what we've got to do. We just want a fair contract and overall, our hours to remain the same. 40 hours a week." Drivers are asking for a four percent raise and the elimination of part time driver positions. The Teamsters union will be paying drivers $200 per week while the strike continues. GET spokesperson Gina Hayden says the ongoing drivers strike affects at least 20-thousand fares per day. "About 30 percent of our customers are students. And about 30 to 40 percent of our customers use public transit to go to and from work. So, we do recognize the difficulty for them." Hayden says the strike is having a ripple effect on regional transit systems. Customers who use public transportation to commute to Bakersfield from other parts of Kern County are being dropped off at empty terminals, with no way to connect to their normal GET bus route.
HUNDREDS LEARN ABOUT STATE OF CITY
07-15-2014 - ST Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy told 300 people at the annual Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce State of the City Luncheon that he is looking forward to things that will be happening within the next year. Before Tandy spoke at today's event at the downtown Marriott, he said road improvement and other projects will be getting underway in the coming months. "The economy has been a little better. Not by leaps and bounds, a gradual improvement. So that's allowed us some additional flexibility." Tandy says more than $360-Million will be paid for property acquisition and contracting for the hiring and construction.
PROGRESS IN WILDFIRE IN EASTERN COUNTY
07-15-2014 - ST Firefighters working on the ground and in the air have gotten 80 percent containment on the Nicolls Fire burning in rugged terrain east of Lake Isabella. The fire has scorched 1680 acres since starting last Friday, and crews had to be dropped in by helicopter to build containment lines. There is still no estimated timeframe for full containment.
MORE TESTS NEEDED IN INMATE DEATH
07-15-2014 - ST The Kern County Coroner's Office is awaiting the results of a toxicology test on a female prisoner who died in an infirmary cell at Lerdo Jail. 24-year-old Breanna Miller was not breathing when she was found in her cell last Friday. An autopsy proved inconclusive.
JOB FAIR FOR OUTLET MALL
07-15-2014 - SuzG The Outlets at Tejon is hosting another jobs fair in Bakersfield, as the retail development prepares to open next month. The hiring event is Wednesday morning, 9:00 to noon, at the Bakersfield Adult School on Mt. Vernon Avenue and East Belle Terrace. Applicants should dress for success and bring resumes.
ELECTRICAL FIRE IN SOUTH BAKERSFIELD
07-15-2014 - SuzG An electrical fire in a shop building behind a house in south Bakersfield has caused $50,00 damage to the structure, but firefighters were able to keep the flames from causing major damage to the home. The fire on Laurel Drive near South Chester Avenue was reported around 1:00 Tuesday morning.
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