Click Here for the Latest Artist Profile!
 
  Click Here for Today's News!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A MOUNTAIN LION IN THE SOUTHWEST? MAYBE NOT
04-23-2014 - SuzG A big cat that was photographed in west Bakersfield on Monday may not have been a mountain lion after all. Police had alerted residents along River Run between Stockdale Hwy and Allen Road, after a TV news report, but the Bakersfield Californian says a Fish and Wildlife biologist who saw the photo thinks it was a bobcat.
CONDORS TAKE PLAYOFF LEAD
04-23-2014 - ST The Bakersfield Condors have a two games-to-one lead after beating the Utah Grizzlies 4-3 in a first round playoff win at Rabobank Arena. Center Joel Boda got the overtime goal for the Condors. Games 4 and 5 in the seven game series are at Rabobank tomorrow and Friday.
THREE ARRESTED ON BURGLARY CHARGES
04-22-2014 - JL Ronald Reagan Elementary School had to be placed on lockdown while police searched for three burglars in the Seven Oaks neighborhood of Bakersfield. A woman in a car and a 16-year-old boy who is well known to police were arrested Tuesday on Rockridge Way near Ming Avenue, the third man was captured in a yard. A letter carrier first saw them leave a house the Stockdale Country Club.
BURGLARY SUSPECT CAUGHT INSIDE BANK
04-22-2014 - JL A burglary suspect was caught hiding inside the Valley Republic Bank on California Avenue near Mohawk Street. 35-year old Norberto Lopez Jr.was arrested early Tuesday morning on suspicion of burglary and possession of stolen property after police found a smashed window on the second floor of the business and caught Lopez under a desk.
MAN ARRESTED FOR BATTERY IN SOUTH TAFT
04-22-2014 - JL A 47-year-old Taft woman required stitches to the inside of her mouth and had a possible concussion and bruises after a domestic fight. Sheriff's deputies and Taft Police responded Saturday afternoon to the battery in south Taft. 42-year old Michael Hastings took off but deputies found him hiding in a neighboring backyard.
MAN BUSTED FOR DRUGS IN FORD CITY
04-22-2014 - JL A 34-year-old Taft man was arrested after police say they found him with over a gram and a half of methamphetamine and a syringe. David Tyler was taken into custody Saturday morning on Tyler Street near Harrison Street in Ford City when officers responded to a report of possible fighting. Deputies found that both Tyler and the 29-year-old woman he was with were on probation for illicit drugs.
TWO ARRESTED AFTER STAGED ROBBERY
04-22-2014 - JL Two men are behind bars after staging a robbery at a Carl's Jr. in Lost Hills. 31-year old Ernesto Huerta and 30-year old Christian Orozco were arrested last Thursday after Huerta who managed the restaurant reported that he was robbed at knifepoint as he opened the store in the morning. Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt says surveillance tape led deputies to dig deeper. "They were able to determine that the robbery had been planned by Huerta who we originally believed was the victim and Orozco." Pruitt says the pair planned to split the $1,500 Orozco took from the safe. He says Orozco was a former employee of the restaurant.
LOCAL SCHOOLS USE NEW ANTI-BULLYING APP
04-22-2014 - JL A new app is helping Kern County educators in their fight against bullying. Studies show more than 160,000 students in the United States miss school every day because they're afraid of being bullied, and Daryl Thiesen with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office says it's an issue here as well. "It's not that it's occurring more, it's just that there are more ways that kids are cyber-bullying or doing other things that are mean and hurtful and that type of mistreatment is increasing." The app allows students to file reports about bullying by using their smartphones or computers. The app's creator hopes to have it in use in 32 states after its performance is reviewed in May.
TWO BUSTED FOR DRUGS IN TAFT
04-22-2014 - JL Kern County sheriff's deputies found over 3 ounces of suspected methamphetamine and more than $14-thousand in cash inside a home on Lexington Avenue near S.10th Street in Taft. 41-year old Antonio Olivas and 29-year old Roxana Gil were arrested Tuesday morning during a probation search.
JURY RETURNS VERDICT IN JULIE FARMER REAL ESTATE TRIAL
04-22-2014 - JL Former Crisp and Cole office manager Julie Farmer was convicted on half of several counts against her including conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud. A jury reached a verdict Tuesday afternoon in the case after a $30-million fraud scheme that sent former partners Crisp and Cole to prison for 17 and a half years each.
MAN SENTENCED FOR KILLING ANOTHER WITH ONE PUNCH
04-22-2014 - ST A Bakersfield man convicted of punching another man and causing his death has been sentenced to 16 years in prison. Deputy D.A. William Schlaerth says Travis Lamb punched Richard Gilroy in 2013 in the parking lot of the Vons on Olive Drive, causing Gilroy to hit his head on the ground and go into a coma. "This jury, I think says even if you throw that one punch, you're responsible for everything that happens after that." Schlaerth says Gilroy never recovered and died two weeks later from his injuries. Lamb was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and assault.
CAUSE OF DEATH FOR INMATE STILL UNRESOLVED
04-22-2014 - ST An autopsy has been performed to determine how an inmate at the Tehachapi Correctional Institution died, but further testing is needed. 51-year-old Daniel Campos of Chino was taken to Tehachapi Hospital Saturday afternoon, where he was pronounced dead.
NEW BOARD MEMBER IN WESTERN COUNTY COLLEGE SYSTEM
04-22-2014 - ST The West Kern Community College District has has selected Manny Campos to serve in a provisional appointment on their Board of Trustees. Campos will be taking over for Carolyn Hosking next month. He will fill out the final six months of the elected term for the seat which will be up for election in November.
ROLLOVER NEAR KERNVILLE
04-22-2014 - ST Kern County Firefighters had to rescue a woman suffering from major injuries in an overturned vehicle on Sierra Way at Camp 9 on the northeast side of Lake Isabella. Fire spokesman Brett Grassi says two other people, possibly children, were taken from today's accident to a nearby home. "Firefighters investigated that area, and they found two additional patients with very minor injuries." Grassi says the CHP had to close Sierra Way to let rescuers work. He says it was a bit windy, but an medivac helicopter was able to land and get the victim to a hospital.
NEW INFORMATION ON A SUSPECTED DUI INJURY ACCIDENT
04-22-2014 - ST The Bakersfield Police Department has confirmed that a man who was arrested for hurting a 20-year-old girl in a suspected DUI crash into an Oildale gas station is a former officer. The CHP says Kristofer Carter slammed into an SUV at the Shell station on Merle Haggard Drive at Highway 65 Monday, seriously injuring Leann Harris, who was pumping gas. Carter is expected in court Wednesday.
DUI SUSPECT HEADED BACK TO COURT FOR MORE CHARGES
04-22-2014 - ST A man who is already charged with killing a woman in a DUI crash in east Bakersfield is due back in court this afternoon to face domestic violence charges. Prosecutors say Joseph Maine was arrested last Friday for spousal abuse. He was already out on bail for allegedly killing Vanessa Carrillo and her unborn child in a crash on Monitor Street in January.
MARKING EARTH DAY IN BAKERSIFLED
04-22-2014 - ST The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is hosting an Earth Day event today at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. The focus will be energy and water conservation. The 11:30 AM panel will feature representatives from PG&E, Keep Bakersfield Beautiful and Kern Green on making a positive impact on the environment.
SUSPECTED DRUNK DRIVER DUE IN COURT
04-22-2014 - ST A man charged with both murder and manslaughter in the death of a 17-year-old girl who was his passenger in his car is due in court this morning. Prosecutors say 24- year-old Cesar Duarte was street racing when lost control of his Mercedes on Harris Road near Old River Road in November, killing Iman Amin when he hit a brick wall.
DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY COMING UP
04-21-2014 - JL Local law enforcement is giving the public a chance to get rid of their unused or expired pharmaceutical drugs at a nationwide Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday. The Kern County Sheriff's Office is taking part for the seventh year, and spokesman Ray Pruitt says the event is well-received. "People show up and they're just very excited and pleased that they have a place to drop off a lot of these used medications." Drop-off sites will be open from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in Bakersfield, Buttonwillow, Delano, Frazier Park, Lake Isabella and Wasco. It's free and no questions are asked.
BAKERSFIELD MAN ENTERS PLEA TO SEX CHARGES
04-21-2014 - JL A Bakersfield man appeared in court Monday to answer to charges that he committed sex acts with several children. 57-year old Daniel Holthaus pleaded not guilty. Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt says the abuse happened for quite a while. "Deputies conducted an investigation into allegations that he had had continuous sexual contact with four different children over a period of time extending to about 15 years." Holthaus is being held on $1.4-million bail. He faces charges including continuous sexual abuse of a child and lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years.
BPD SAYS MOUNTAIN LION SPOTTED IN BAKERSFIELD
04-21-2014 - JL Bakersfield police are warning the public about the sighting of a mountain lion. A local TV station received a picture of the animal which was seen around 9:30 the morning of April 18th at River Run between Stockdale Highway and Allen Road. BPD advises you to avoid jogging, walking or biking alone. Mountain lions are most active and dawn, dusk, and at night.
WOMAN HURT IN DUI CRASH AT GAS STATION
04-21-2014 - ST A man has been arrested on DUI charges after driving his pickup truck into an Oildale gas station, seriously hurting a 20-year-old girl who was pumping gas. CHP Officer Robert Rodriguez says 31-year-old Kristofer Carter was headed west on Merle Haggard Drive this afternoon when he tried to make a right turn, but jumped the curb at the Shell station. "Witnesses put it at about 90 miles an hour traveling westbound on Merle Haggard." Rodriguez says the pickup hit an SUV, which slammed into Leann Harris, who was pumping gas. The impact sheared the pump from the island. Harris was taken to Kern Medical Center with major head trauma.
COUNTY UNEMPLOYMENT TICKS UP
04-21-2014 - ST Kern County's unemployment rate went up to 31.1 percent for the month of March, up from 12.5 percent in February. State Employment Development Department spokesperson Sheila Urdesich says more jobs were added from March of last year. "Non-farm employment added 4,700 jobs, and farm increased by 600 jobs." Urdesich says 7,300 jobs in the ag sector were lost last month, and 11-hundred were added to other sectors, with government adding 600 positions, and construction hiring another 300.
SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES SEARCH FOR MISSING MAN
04-21-2014 - JL The Kern County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help locating 35-year-old Wesly Wachob Jr., also known as Michael Smith. Wachob was arrested in the Lamont area March 31st on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. His family has not had contact with him since his release from jail April 2nd.
CAUSE OF DEATH FOR LERDO INMATE
04-21-2014 - JL The Kern County Coroner says an inmate who was found dead at Lerdo Jail died of natural causes. The body of 42-year old Pedro Castro was discovered on February 20th around 5:00 am at the jail. Sheriff's deputies investigated the incident.
INFANT DIES OF SUDDEN UNEXPLAINED INFANT DEATH
04-21-2014 - JL The Kern County Coroner says a 9-month old boy died of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death. Casen Martin died at the emergency room of Mercy Hospital around 4:30 pm February 17th after being found at a home on San Ramon Court east of Hughes Lane in Bakersfield.
MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO OILFIELD DAMAGES
04-21-2014 - JL Two Bakersfield men pleaded guilty after the FBI and the Kern County Sheriff's Office says they stole logic controllers and other equipment from oil fields owned by several companies. 33-year old Derek Brown and 22-year old Bryan Schaub of Bakersfield entered their pleas Monday. The controllers are computers that control the opening and closing of valves in the oilfields.
FIRE SHUTS CANYON BRIEFLY
04-21-2014 - SuzG Highway 178 at the mouth of the Kern River Canyon had to be closed for about 90 minutes Sunday evening while firefighters put out a small grass fire. The flames near Old Kern Canyon Road were reported around 5:30, however, there's been no word on how the fire started.
A TEHACHAPI PRISON INMATE DIES
04-21-2014 - SuzG An autopsy is scheduled this week to determine how an inmate at the Tehachapi Correctional Institution died. 51-year-old Daniel Campos of Chino was taken to the hospital around 4:00 Saturday afternoon, but no other details surrounding his death have been released.
QUAKE RATTLES BODFISH AREA
04-19-2014 A 4.3 magnitude quake reported Saturday morning near Bodfish. The US Geological Survey reports the temblor struck at 5:15 a.m., about 8 miles south of Bodfish. Several people posted on social media that they felt it, describing it as a rattler.
SOUTH LAKE MAN ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF EXPLOSIVE DEVICE
04-18-2014 - JL A man from South Lake near Weldon was arrested by sheriff's deputies from the Kern Valley substation for possession of an explosive device. 25-year old Isaiah Stead was taken into custody Friday afternoon after deputies got reports of an explosion at a house on Larson Street off Highway 178 in South Lake. Deputies say Stead also had drugs and a stolen vehicle.
BAKERSFIELD MAN ARRESTED ON SEX CHARGES
04-18-2014 - JL A 57-year old Bakersfield man was arrested after an investigation showed that he had sexual contact with underage children. The Sheriff's Office says Daniel Holthaus had continuous contact with four different children as young as 6 years old over a 15 year period. He faces several sex-related charges.
GOVERNOR PARDONS TWO FROM KERN COUNTY
04-18-2014 - JL Governor Brown has pardoned two people who committed crimes in Kern County. The Bakersfield Californian reports Brock Eli Trotter and Willie Beathia III were among 63 people pardoned Friday. Trotter was sentenced in 1999 for burglary. Beathia served five months in prison after being sentenced in 1989 for drug possession.
FIRST RESPONDERS TO RACE AT KERN RACEWAY
04-18-2014 - JL First responder teams from across Kern County will be racing Saturday in the 911 Series at Kern County Raceway. It's a way for the agencies to have a little friendly competition and to raise funds and promote awareness. Six teams will line up for the inaugural race, and Ed Whiting from Taft PD says they're ready to win. "If another agency comes along and they win the race, that's good for them, and we're very happy for them, but we're not gonna just hand them the race, they're going to have to earn it." Taft PD joins the Sheriff's Office, BPD, County Fire, Bakersfield Fire, and Shafter Police for the event where the gates open at 4pm.
CHP TARGETING ERRANT DRIVERS
04-18-2014 - JL The Highway Patrol is out in full force Friday on Highway 99 between Modesto and the Los Angeles County line targeting errant drivers. They're looking for drivers who speed, pass unsafely, follow too closely, or turn improperly. Over 1,200 accidents happened on that stretch of Highway 99 between January 2012 and May 2013.
ANIMALS RESCUED FROM HOME IN STALLION SPRINGS
04-18-2014 - JL Seven dogs were rescued from a home in Stallion Springs after complaints about mistreatment of the animals on the property on Arlington Place. Officers who responded to the house Thursday morning around 11:00 say the home was abandoned and the dogs were living in inhumane conditions. The dogs are being evaluated by Kern County Animal Services.
STATE CUTS SOME WATER LOOSE
04-18-2014 - ST The state Department of Water Resources says increased rainfall and runoff is allowing them to boost the State Water Project allocation to 5 percent, from zero percent. County Water Agency boss Jim Beck says they won't be able to get the water until September. "So whole we won't be able to access that water today, it will provide water during the year we can use to meet the shortage we are currently experiencing." Beck says the County will get more than 49-thousand acre-feet, which will give his organization more flexibility in future water use, when citrus and other crops really need them.
JURY GETS CASE IN MORTGAGE FRAUD TRIAL
04-18-2014 - ST The case went to the jury Friday afternoon in the trial of former Crisp and Cole office manager Julie Farmer, who's facing charges of mortgage fraud. Farmer is accused of putting false information on an application for a loan, using the applicant as a straw buyer. Farmer is the only defendant in the $30-million scheme who failed to take a plea deal.
MAN WHO KILLED BOUNTY HUNTERS MAKES A PLEA DEAL
04-18-2014 - ST A Bakersfield man who shot and killed two bounty hunters as they were serving a warrant on another man pleaded no contest to two manslaughter counts and a weapons charge. Stephen Stewart faces 38 years in prison when he's sentenced May 20th for shooting brothers Brandon and Zachary Sims on Kamloops Drive near South Laurelglen Blvd. in 2012
SMALL BRUSH FIRE IN SOUTHWEST
04-18-2014 - ST Bakersfield and Kern County firefighters were able to contain a small grass fire in the Kern River bed to two acres, but they don't know how it started. KBAK-TV reports the fire broke out Thursday morning near Jewetta Avenue and Stockdale Highway. No structures were affected.
STOLEN CAR FOUND IN CANAL
04-18-2014 - SuzG Search and rescue divers from Bakersfield were called in to help sheriff's deputies and tow truck operators pull a stolen car out of a canal in Wasco. That operation took place around 3:00 Thursday afternoon on McCombs Avenue at Wildwood Road, following a report of a submerged vehicle. The car was stolen in Visalia.
WORK CONTINUES ON ARVIN GAS LEAK
04-17-2014 - JL It's been one month since residents of eight homes in Arvin were evacuated because of a flammable gas leak and there's still no word when they can return. County Fire says a vapor extraction system continues to remove contaminants from the soil at Nelson Court near Varsity Avenue. Canisters placed inside the homes are monitoring the gas levels. The cause of the leak remains under investigation.
YOUNG PEOPLE LEARNING JOB-SEEKING SKILLS
04-17-2014 - JL More than 300 young people from Kern County are learning how to enter the workforce. The PG&E Summer Jobs Program held a media event Thursday at the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County in east Bakersfield. Michael Davalos is taking part in the ten-week program. "Just having the opportunity to be in this program and learn about what I can accomplish. The activities that they do here will help me get a job in the future." Teenagers ages 15 to 18 go through intensive pre-employment screening courses and are matched with local employers for summer jobs.
ANIMAL SHELTER LOOKING FOR FOSTER PARENTS
04-17-2014 - JL Kern County Animal Services is working to reduce the number of stray dogs and cats by asking people to become foster parents to animals that are too young to be adopted. Spokesperson Maggie Kalar says thousands of strays come into the shelters each year, and they often have to be euthanized. "We want to avoid that at all costs which is why we're putting out a plea to the community to let people know that we are still in dire need of foster families." The shelter is currently looking for homes for 86 puppies and kittens under the age of two months. Foster parents receive training and support to care for the animals.
COUNCIL RENEWS AGREEMENT WITH HOMELESS CENTER FOR TRASH PICKUP
04-17-2014 - JL City council members extended their agreement with the Bakersfield Homeless Center for another year to continue the Freeway Litter Removal program. The program started last May with one crew of six employees and now has 18 people working in three crews. There are now three job development programs at the center: greenwaste, highway clean up and a program with animal control.
FARMER BREAKS DOWN ON STAND
04-17-2014 - JL Mortgage fraud defendant Julie Farmer broke down and wept during intense cross examination in her federal trial for allegedly defrauding lenders. The Bakersfield Californian reports the Assistant U.S. Attorney cornered the former office manager for Crisp and Cole into admitting Thursday she put false information on an application for a loan.
BPD RAIDS INTERNET CAFE
04-17-2014 - ST An internet cafe in central Bakersfield that had resumed operations despite a ban has been raided and closed down by police. Sergeant Joe Grubbs says they got several complaints about the Hotspot Cyber Center on Oak Street, south of Chester Lane from several businesses. "Clearly it's a concern for neighboring businesses, in that it's not bringing the right clientele to the area of those businesses." Grubbs says they were surprised that one of the 12 cafes ordered to close in March tried to resume operations. He says a report will be given to the D.A's Office, and if charges are filed, arrests will be made.
MAN SENTENCED IN DEADLY DUI CRASH
04-17-2014 - ST A Bakersfield man who killed a Lamont man in a hit and run DUI accident has been sentenced to prison. Defense attorney Arturo Revelo says Virgilio Juarez-Gonzalez accepted a plea deal for two years, eight months in prison, with credit for one year's time served for the October death of Elias Reyes-Campos. "Then he will be placed on parole. He has to pay restitution to the victim's family, and also some fines and fees." Revelo says Juarez-Gonzalez could have faced more than six years behind bars if he was convicted at trial. Four DUI charges were dismissed as part of the agreement.
ARREST AFTER DOWNTOWN STABBING
04-17-2014 - SuzG A 44-year-old Bakersfield man has been arrested following a stabbing incident at the Mint Bar on 19th Street downtown. Officers found two men suffering moderate stab wounds around 1:45 this morning, and caught suspect Bryan Christy several blocks away. He's also charged with brandishing the knife at a bar employee.
WOMAN HELD TO ANSWER IN SON'S DEATH
04-17-2014 - ST A Bakersfield mother charged with murdering her four-year-old son four years ago has been ordered to stand trial. Alexis Barrow also remains jailed on $2-million bail. Prosecutors say the child, Mark Dixon, died of head trauma at the family's trailer on Rosedale Hwy. They insist he was hurt falling off a counter.
COUNCIL ADOPTS PANHANDLING ORDINANCE
04-16-2014 - JL The Bakersfield city council approved as part of its consent agenda an ordinance banning aggressive panhandling. There was no discussion Wednesday evening as the panel adopted the resolution defining the ban which includes approaching or following someone if it makes them afraid or intimidated. The ordinance takes effect in 30 days.
LAWMAKER WANTS VALLEY TASK FORCE
04-16-2014 - JL A State lawmaker says a task force to seek solutions to the economic challenges faced by communities in the San Joaquin Valley needs to be formed. Stockton assemblyman Jerry McNerney says the panel should include representatives of federal agencies that would coordinate with each other and local leaders to help improve the region's sagging economy.
RAMP CLOSURE EXTENDED
04-16-2014 - JL The round-the-clock closure of the Chester Avenue/H Street westbound on-ramp to Highway 58 has been extended to April 25th. The Thomas Roads Improvement Program says the closure is needed for modifications to an adjacent pump station in conjunction with the State Route 58 Gap Closure Project.
HOME PRICES SURGE
04-16-2014 - JL A research firm says California home prices have surged to a new six-year high amid lackluster sales. DataQuick said Wednesday that the median sales price for new and existing houses and condominiums reached $376,000 in March, up 6 percent from $355,000 the previous month.
MAN ARRESTED IN MOLOTOV COCKTAIL INCIDENT
04-16-2014 - JL A Bakersfield man is in custody after police say he threw a molotov cocktail through the front window of a house on Landfair Drive near Ming Avenue. The device didn't ignite. BPD sergeant Joe Grubbs says officers gathered evidence around 11:50 Tuesday night. "Which led them to a suspect who has since been identified and arrested. That individual's name is Marco Guiterrez, 24, of Bakersfield." Grubbs says they're looking for another suspect. Nobody was hurt but two adults and four small children were inside the house. Guiterrez was booked on six counts of attempted murder.
KC FIRE GETS NEW ENGINE FOR ARVIN STATION 54
04-16-2014 - JL Kern County Fire Station 54 in Arvin has a new engine. Spokesman Brett Grassi says the 2006 Pierce Quantum Pumper will help firefighters to do their jobs more efficiently. "It's bigger, obviously it's a little bit quicker, so driving along the streets, driving on the outside rural areas here of Arvin will allow our response times to be a little bit quicker, a little bit more efficient." The new engine unveiled Wednesday has more equipment and replaces an older model that's been in service since 1997.
FIREFIGHTERS PRACTICE A TRICKY RESCUE
04-16-2014 - ST The Bakersfield Fire Department practiced rescuing a person trapped in a car under a bus during a drill in south Bakersfield. Battalion Chief Anthony Galagaza says repetition in a controlled environment helps during real emergencies. "Making that discipline to make it second nature, so when you're on scene, you're not constantly thinking, 'What do I do now?' You're able to see it and commit to action at that point." Firefighters used the Jaws of Life, as well as airbags to lift the bus off of the car during the exercise at a tow yard.
POLICE NAME SUSPECT IN MOTORCYCLE HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT
04-16-2014 - SuzG. ST Police have identified a suspect wanted for severing the leg of a 90-year-old motorcyclist in a hit and run crash in east Bakersfield as 33-year-old Juan Armando Cortez of Bakersfield. Sergeant Joe Grubbs says Cortez is wanted on several charges stemming from Monday's accident. "Felony hit and run, driving without a license, no proof of insurance, and an unregistered vehicle." Grubbs says they were able to follow a trail of debris and human tissue from the accident scene at East Truxtun Avenue near Miller Street to Dolores and Gage streets where an abandoned Dodge minivan was spotted. Click on the link to see Cortez' picture. Juan Armando Cortez
PAROLEE CAUGHT AFTER LONG CHASE
04-16-2014 - SuzG A failed traffic stop near Delano has led to the arrest of a parolee in east Bakersfield. Deputies say they lost track of 27-year-old Jose Ayon Navarro last night, but found him at near his house on Dolores Street, along with ammunition and three-quarters of a pound of meth. He's also charged with cutting off his GPS ankle monitor.
GOVERNMENT RESTS IN FARMER TRIAL
04-15-2014 - JL The government rested its case in the trial of Julie Farmer who is accused in the $30-million Crisp and Cole mortgage fraud scheme. The prosecution finished its case around 4:20 Tuesday afternoon. The defense says they plan to put Farmer on the stand and will begin their case Wednesday morning at 8:30.
FIRE DEPT ENDS OPEN BURNING
04-15-2014 - JL The Kern County Fire Department has issued a mandatory end to all open burning in the county. Issued Monday, the ban puts an end to burning earlier than usual because of higher than normal temperatures, low humidity and dry vegetation. Open burning normally ends in May.
THREE BUSTED FOR DRUGS IN FORD CITY
04-15-2014 - JL Three people from Taft were arrested on drug charges during a traffic stop at 4th and Ash Streets in Ford City. 29-year old Victor Alsept, 32-year old Michael Martin and 37-year old Amy Swartz were taken into custody early Monday morning and face charges including being under the influence, possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia.
LOCAL SHOPPERS WEIGH IN ON ECONOMY
04-15-2014 - JL KUZZ News spoke with shoppers at the Rosedale Costco and got their thoughts about the economy. Steve from Bakersfield says he's noticed the stores are fuller these days. "And it seems to me that people have a little more spendable assets than they did in the past, so I think things are on an upswing." Gallup says consumer spending stalled in March but remains above levels seen in previous years.
KERN'S ECONOMY DOING WELL
04-15-2014 - JL The latest Gallup Poll shows the nation's economy holding steady for the last three weeks, but how is Kern County doing? Most people surveyed by Gallup say things are getting worse, but Richard Chapman with the Kern Economic Development Corporation says the county's economy is growing at a moderate rate. "Now it's not as robust as 2012 and we had about 6% annual growth. Last year we had 3%,2013, so we're predicting probably 2 1/2, 2%." Chapman says manufacturing and renewable energy industries are doing well and construction continues to grow at a pace of 10 to 12 percent each year.
NO WORD ON HOW BAKERSFIELD INFANT DIED
04-15-2014 - JL The Kern County coroner is still waiting for further tests to determine the cause of death of a 1-month old infant on "O" Street near 40th Street in Bakersfield. Kailance Williams was found not breathing at the scene on Sunday morning around 8:30. Police say there were no obvious signs of trauma.
POLICE SEARCHING FOR ROBBERY SUSPECT
04-15-2014 - JL A man wanted for robbery and criminal threats is on the run from Bakersfield police. The suspect went into the Wal-Mart on Gosford Road March 16th and took a box cutter and a tire tube then took off. He threatened employees when they tried to stop him. He's described as Hispanic, 40-45, long black hair and a goatee.
INSURANCE DEADLINE LOOMS
04-15-2014 - JL It's not just tax day. Today also is the two-week extension deadline to sign up for health coverage through California's insurance exchange. Consumers who were unable to create an account or fill out an application because of technical problems on the Covered California website have until midnight to secure a health insurance policy and avoid a tax penalty.
COUNTY FIRE ADDS SOME COLOR TO THEIR TRUCKS FOR A GOOD CAUSE
04-15-2014 - ST The Kern County Fire Department will be doing its part to promote Sexual Assault Awareness Month by putting teal ribbons on all of its fire trucks. Chief Brian Marshall says they want to do what they can to help the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. "Even though we will only be having the ribbons on our fire trucks for a month, the cause doesn't end. We're bringing it to the forefront." The Alliance will be handing out teal ribbons and placing signs in businesses throughout Bakersfield in an attempt to show people who are suffering at the hands of another that help is available to them.
COUNTY FIRE TRYING TO SOLVE LAMONT FIRE CAUSE
04-15-2014 - ST The Kern County Fire Department is looking for the person who lit a fire at a dentist office in Lamont. Arson investigators say they want to question the person seen around the business on Alicante Avenue on April 8th. Anyone who has information on the fire is being asked to call 877-FIRE-TIP.
TAFT PROJECTS MOVING FORWARD
04-14-2014 - JL Local developer Geary Coats says a new hotel at Main and 6th Streets in Taft is close, and a contract with Dollar General has been secured. The Taft Midway Driller reports Coats also announced a new RV park during Monday's State of the City luncheon, and the return of a Taco Bell restaurant at a yet-to-be-announced location.
TWO AGENCIES GET HEALTH CARE GRANT
04-14-2014 - JL The Kern Economic Development Corporation and the East Bakersfield High Health Careers Academy won a $15-thousand grant to prepare local workers to fill health care positions in Kern County. The grant will be used to pay for medical equipment for academy students to practice treatments as well as to shadow professionals at Kern Medical Center.
KHSD APPROVES RAISES FOR TRANSPORTATION WORKERS
04-14-2014 - JL Transportation workers at the Kern High School District will be getting a 5 percent pay raise after board members approved the increase at a special meeting Thursday. About 200 bus drivers and shop employees will get a 1 percent increase this year and 4 percent next year. The District approved raises last Monday for teachers, supervisors and classified and trade union workers.
DRUG TRAFFICKING RING THAT RAN DRUGS THROUGH CENTRAL VALLEY DISMANTLED
04-14-2014 - JL Officers have dismantled a drug trafficking organization that sent narcotics smuggled in from Mexico through the Central Valley to communities across the United States. California Attorney General Kamala Harris says the bust included the arrests of 11 people. She says the group worked with street gangs to smuggle methamphetamine and cocaine through San Diego to the Valley and then distribute it to other states.
DELANO-AREA FUNERAL HOME HAS LICENSE PULLED
04-14-2014 - JL The license of a Delano-area funeral home was revoked after an investigation determined employees overcharged for funeral expenses. Lane Family Funeral Home's license and the license of funeral director Padraic C. Lane were pulled effective December 16th. The funeral home overcharged on several expenses for services for a family in January 2011.
ARRAIGNMENT POSTPONED IN TEHACHAPI ANIMAL ABUSE CASE
04-14-2014 - JL A court appearance was postponed for a Tehachapi Unified School District maintainance worker who allegedly gassed three cats in a fabricated kill box. Robert Hutton was set to be arraigned Monday but the D.A. in Mojave is still investigating and no charges have been filed. Hutton was arrested March 31st at Monroe High School after he told a Kern County Animal Services officer that he had killed the cats.
FARMER TRIAL CONTINUES
04-14-2014 - JL Julie Farmer plans to testify in the Crisp and Cole mortgage fraud case. Tuesday is Day Five of the trial and the government plans to wrap up its case by noon. No word exactly when Farmer will testify but the trial could end this week. The former third-in-command at Crisp and Cole is the only defendant in the $30-million fraud scheme who failed to take a plea deal.
BAKERSFIELD PAROLEE KEPT A WEEK AFTER HIS CASE DISMISSED
04-14-2014 - JL A 20-year-old Bakersfield parolee found dead in his jail cell in Alaska was being held even though his case had been dismissed more than a week earlier. The case against Davon Mosley was dropped March 27 after California authorities declined extradition. Mosley was arrested in Anchorage March 16 on a fugitive warrant from California after attacking family members with a machete. He died April 4.
CALTRANS AND BIKE BAKO ON SAME PAGE REGARDING BIKE IMPROVEMENTS
04-14-2014 - JL Caltrans is backing new designs to make bicycling and walking safer and easier, and local bike enthusiasts are on board as well. The new guidelines call for bike lanes to separate cyclists from traffic. Lauren Franconi of Bike Bakersfield says it compliments what the city of Bakersfield is planning. "The bike paths and the bike lanes, we are working very closely with the city planning department on that, and with Kern COG also." Kern COG finds funds for improvements to facilitate non-motorized transit and has adopted a Bicycle Facilities Plan which is a funding conduit for improvements in non-motorized transportation.
TAX RETURN DEADLINE LOOMS AT LOCAL POST OFFICES
04-14-2014 - JL Last-minute tax filers have few options when it comes to getting those forms postmarked before the deadline Tuesday. Bakersfield postmaster Lenore Menchaca says post office windows will remain open only until 5:00 pm for you to buy postage and mail your returns. "And the other option is going out to 3400 Pegasus Drive, and they will be open and accepting mail until midnight." But she says the windows at Pegasus will be closed at 5:00 pm just like every other post office branch. She says the drop boxes at Pegasus will be cleared every 30 minutes or so.
SUSPECT SOUGHT IN HIT AND RUN
04-14-2014 Bakersfield police are looking for the suspect in a hit-and-run accident that left a 90-year old motorcycle rider with a severed leg. It happened around 1:40 Monday afternoon at East Truxtun Avenue at Miller street. Sergeant Joe Grubbs says the driver of a 90's Dodge Caravan failed to stop at the stop sign on Miller. "Officers were able to follow an evidence trail to the 1100 block of Dolores Street where they located the suspect vehicle, however the suspect has not yet been located." 33-year old Armando Cortez was last seen wearing a light colored baseball cap, light colored shirt and dark pants.
GAS PRICES CONTINUE TO CLIMB
04-14-2014 - ST Difficulty in getting ethanol supplies to gas refineries that are switching to summer blends have increased the price of a gallon of regular gas in Bakersfield by 11 cents in the past week. Triple-A spokesperson Marie Montgomery says gas exports to other countries has increased, boosting prices throughout the state. "As a consequence, our supply of California gasoline is lower than it was maybe a few weeks ago." Montgomery says some refineries are also offline for routine maintenance, reducing production capacity as well. She says prices may level off after the Memorial Day weekend, but it's not a sure thing.
YOU CAN RELIVE A BIT OF WWII HISTORY THIS WEEKEND
04-14-2014 - ST An Icon of World War II will be flying over the skies of Bakersfield this weekend. The Memphis Belle B-17 bomber will be offering rides to the public at the Epic Jet Center. Pilot Bob Hill says the bomber was not a comfortable place for the crew. "Veterans were typically at minus 40 degrees Cecilius at altitude. That's why you see all the pictures of them wearing the fleece-lined suits, etc. You take your glove off, and it would be frostbitten within a minute." Flights cost $450. Hill says they will also offer rides in a P-51 Mustang for $1,595.
EARLY WEEKEND CRASH SNARLS TRAFFIC
04-14-2014 - SuzG It took nine hours to clean up Saturday's firey gas tanker crash on southbound 99 in Bakersfield that had cars backed up all the way from 7th Standard Road to Lerdo Hwy. It happened around 4am when the truck wound up on its side at the Hwy 65 overcrossing. The driver was pulled from the cab by witnesses and suffered only minor injuries.
A PREVENTABLE FIRE IN OILDALE
04-14-2014 - SuzG Hot BBQ coals are blamed for a fire that caused about $5-thousand worth of damage to a detached garage on Rench Road in Oildale, just off Norris Road. The flames were discovered around 10:15 Sunday morning, and firefighters say they briefly threatened a nearby home, resulting in a reinforced alarm.
INFANT DEATH UNDER INVESTIGATION
04-14-2014 - SuzG An autopsy is planned for a one month old baby who was found not breathing at an apartment on O Street at 40th Street in north Bakersfield. First responders say the Kailance Williams was deceased when they arrived around 8:30 Sunday morning, but there was no sign of foul play.
SHOOTING IN DOWNTOWN
04-14-2014 - SuzG An ex-felon is back in jail for attempted murder and having a gun, after a shooting at the Ink Bar in downtown Bakersfield. Police say the victim, 25-year-old Tony Stewart, suffered a non-life threatening wound early Sunday. Deputies arrested 48-year-old Robert Graham in Rosedale that same morning.
FATAL CRASH ON THE 58
04-14-2014 - SuzG One of the people who died in a rollover crash between a van and a pickup truck on Hwy 58 at Fairfax Road was a 20-year-old man who'd moved to Bakersfield. Yonadan Diaz Inga was one of three young adults in the truck that was hit by the van at high speed Saturday morning. That driver from Las Vegas also died.
MAN FOUND GUILTY IN EAST BAKERSFIELD MURDER
04-11-2014 - JL A Kern County jury found a man guilty of first-degree murder in the death of an 84-year-old Bakersfield woman. Margy Lou Licastro was stabbed to death with a knife from her own kitchen during a burglary in her Baker Street home in January 2012. David Webster was found guilty Friday of first-degree murder with a special circumstance. He'll be sentenced in May and could get life without the possibility of parole.
DEPUTIES CLEARED IN FATAL SHOOTING
04-11-2014 - JL Two Kern County Sheriff's deputies who shot a man after a chase after he allegedly pointed a gun at one of them were cleared of any wrongdoing. The Sheriff's office says the shots fired by Deputies Aaron Warmerdam and Jeffrey Kelley March 26th were within department policy. 41-year old Christopher McDaniel was killed after leading deputies on a pursuit on a stolen motorcycle and then pointing a handgun at Warmerdam.
STILL TIME TO VOLUNTEER FOR CLEAN-UP
04-11-2014 - JL The Great American Clean-up sponsored by Keep Bakersfield Beautiful happens in Bakersfield Saturday and organizers say it's not too late to volunteer. Spokesperson Jessica Felix says they already have 55 teams scheduled to clean up 40 locations around town, but they can use more help. "You can go to any Albertson's in Bakersfield at 7:30 in the morning. They're very welcoming of late adds for the volunteer side of things." The mission of Keep Bakersfield Beautiful is to engage people to take greater responsibility for improving the community.
WOMAN CHARGED IN ANIMAL CASE IN LEBEC
04-11-2014 - JL Charges have been filed against a Lebec woman for mistreatment of several animals at an abandoned home on Canyon Drive near Louise Way in Lebec. Maggie Kalar of Animal Control Services of Kern County says Debra Hjelm, also know as Debra Clowes, is accused of causing 25 cats and one dog to live in inhumane conditions. "There's a lot of trash and debris piled up, and it just wasn't the proper living conditions that we like to see or a conducive environment that we like to see animals living in when they're being cared for properly." Hjelm was arrested Thursday. Kalar says the animals will hopefully be adopted out.
WASCO MEN BUSTED ON DRUG CHARGES
04-11-2014 - JL Two Wasco men were arrested on drug charges after an investigation revealed they were involved in sales of methamphetamine. 46-year old Miguel Tapia and 49-year old Rene Olivo were taken into custody Friday morning after officers served a search warrant at a house on D Street near the Amtrak Train Station. Officers found meth and paraphernalia inside the house.
MAN KILLED BY TRAIN ID'd
04-11-2014 - JL The Kern County coroner has released the name of the man struck and killed by a train as he was walking on tracks northeast of Garces Circle. 50-year old Paul White of Bakersfield was killed Thursday morning near the Chester Avenue overcrossing. The engineer told detectives White didn't move when he sounded the horn and hit the brakes about a quarter mile away.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]