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CHP LOOKING FOR SENIOR VOLUNTEERS
11-21-2014 - AP The California Highway Patrol's office in Buttonwillow is looking for motivated senior citizens that would be willing to help officers with administrative and field work. They say their senior volunteer program is critical in CHP's efforts to improve public safety. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 15.
HIGHWAY PATROL HOLDING TOY DRIVE
11-21-2014 - AP The highway patrol will be parked out in front of the Walgreens on Buena Vista Road and White Lane in southwest Bakersfield, trying to fill patrol cars with new toys that will be given to needy children over the holidays. Officers will be accepting CHiPs for Kids donations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
DUI CHECKPOINT IN BAKERSFIELD AREA
11-21-2014 - AP Police will be setting up a DUI and driver's license checkpoint somewhere within the greater Bakersfield area this weekend. They say the Saturday checkpoint is part of a wide-ranging effort by local police and sheriff's deputies to reduce the number of impaired and dangerous drivers on the road.
GARCES FB COACH STEPS DOWN
11-21-2014 - AP The head coach of the Garces Memorial High School football team has stepped down after only one season. In a news release, Tim Antongiovanni says the decision made sense to him and his family. The Rams went 1-9 this season.
REBATES MAY COME TO PG&E CUSTOMERS
11-21-2014 - AP PG&E natural gas customers may see a credit on a future bill if the California Public Utilities Commission goes through with a plan to order the utility to refund as much as $400 million. The agency says the rebates would come after the utility made inappropriate actions in a court case earlier this year.
TCSD TO HOLD OFF ON ACTION AGAINST SUPT.
11-21-2014 - SuzG The Taft City School District says the legal process involving Superintendent Ron Bryant must play out before any action is taken regarding his job, and that won't happen until at least January. Bryant was busted last weekend for a third DUI while on paid leave for a previous case. The school board says the law limits what they can do.
WIFE OF RAIL YARD MURDER VICTIM TO NOT FACE MURDER
11-21-2014 - AP Murder charges will not be filed against one of the two people implicated by sheriff's detectives in the killing of a railroad worker in Tehachapi. Deputy district attorney Ester Schlaerth says the wife of the victim, 35-year-old Sabrina Limon, did not appear in court Thursday. "Mrs. Limon was not filed on at this time because of insufficient evidence." 24-year-old Jonathan Hearn, the man alleged to have shot 38-year-old Robert Limon in a BNSF maintenance shop in August, could face the death penalty. Detectives believe Hearn and Sabrina Limon fell in love before Robert Limon's death.
DEATH PENALTY NOT SOUGHT FOR BALASSA
11-21-2014 - AP Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing two people at an apartment on Cherry Lane in Tehachapi. Deputy public defender Paul Cadman said the district attorney's office made the right call regarding his client, 28-year-old Joaquin Balassa. "I always thank my colleagues at the district attorney's office privately when they do what I think is the right thing regarding the death waiver, and I'm happy to thank them publicly. I think it's the right thing to do." Balassa is accused of killing 54-year-old Jose Fajardo and 57-year-old Guy Koukal in September. The district attorney's office says the charges didn't merit capital punishment.
ARVIN MAN GUILTY OF MURDER AFTER CHILD'S DEATH
11-21-2014 - AP An Arvin man has been convicted of second-degree murder after he slammed his Cadillac Escalade into a car at a stop sign, killing a six-month-old in the back seat. Prosecutors say a drunk Alfredo Moreno tried to flee the scene after wrecking Jan. 19 near South Union Avenue and Berkshire Road. He faces up to life in prison.
MAN KILLED AFTER WRECK ID'ED
11-21-2014 - AP A man who died after crashing his truck in east Bakersfield has been identified by the Kern County coroner as 49-year-old Nicholas Bustamonte of Edison. Bustamonte was pronounced dead Kern Medical Center after 11 p.m. Wednesday, just hours after he wrecked near Edison Highway and California Avenue.
WOMAN CONVICTED OF CHILD ENDANGERMENT
11-21-2014 - AP A woman accused of leaving her two-year-old in a field in Tehachapi overnight has been convicted of felony child endangerment. Stacey Nikkel faces up to six years in prison when she's sentenced in December. The child was taken into protective custody after bystanders found her on June 15.
BODY FOUND IN RIVER
11-21-2014 - AP The Kern County coroner is trying to identify a man whose body was found in the Kern River. He was spotted by the sheriff's search-and-rescue team at mile marker 23 of the Kern River Canyon early Thursday afternoon. Volunteers from Kern Valley and Bakersfield Search-and-Rescue helped retrieve the body.
TIED-UP DOG ABANDONED IN FENCED YARD
11-21-2014 - AP A rescue organization is trying to save a dog that was tossed into a fenced yard in the Rosamond area after her hind legs were bound. Marley's Mutts says the two-year-old boxer mix is getting her injuries treated in Tehachapi after being recovered earlier this week. They're asking those with more information to call Kern County Animal Services at (661) 868-7100.
CITY TAKING APPLICATONS FOR GET BOARD
11-21-2014 - AP The city of Bakersfield is asking people interested in joining the Golden Empire Transit board to submit their applications by Christmas Eve. Cindy Parra's term expires in January. She was one of two people named by city council in September to replace Norris Ledbetter and Howard Silver after the GET bus strike and numerous route complaints.
MCCARTHY NOT HAPPY WITH OBAMA'S PLANS
11-21-2014 - AP Bakersfield congressman and House majority leader Kevin McCarthy is not happy with President Obama's decision to revamp the country's immigration system with executive orders. McCarthy says Thursday's announcement damaged the prospect of any cooperation between the White House and Congress. He also called the actions a "power grab."
UFW HAPPY WITH OBAMA'S IMMIGRATION ACTIONS
11-21-2014 - AP The United Farm Workers of America say they're happy about President Obama's decision to act unilaterally on immigration reform. The organization says the executive actions will give at least 250,000 farm workers an opportunity to stay in the country without fear of deportation under the president's work permit plan.
NEEDY GIVEN THANKSGIVING DINNER
11-21-2014 - AP Volunteers fed around one-thousand members of Bakersfield's needy and homeless population during the 24th-annual Feed the Needy Thanksgiving Dinner at Set Free Ministry downtown. Annie Hutchings, who helped put Thursday's event together, says there were some new faces serving food this year. "We have a lot of new volunteers that have never done this before, and they're like, 'Oh my gosh, there's a lot of hungry people out there - I can't believe how hungry some of these folks are.'" People who attended the event were served a traditional dinner of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.
UC APPROVES TUITION HIKE
11-21-2014 - AP The University of California has approved a controversial tuition hike that will raise rates by as much as five percent in each of the next five years. Regents on Thursday voted 14-7, breaking a three-year freeze. UC says it may reduce the increases if Gov. Brown gives more money to the university system.
PG&E FINED NEARLY $11 MILLION
11-21-2014 - AP PG&E has been fined nearly $11 million by the California Public Utilities Commission after a natural gas explosion that destroyed a house in Carmel. The commission says the utility did not give their workers needed tools to stop the flow of a leaking distribution line in the city back in March.
CSUB PUTS UP 27 POINTS IN LOSS
11-21-2014 - AP The Cal State-Bakersfield men's basketball team put up a Division I-worst 27 points in their 51-27 non-conference road loss to San Diego State. The Roadrunners missed their first 20 shots and only scored 12 points in the first half Thursday night.
THANKSGIVING RECESS IN TAFT HIGH SHOOTING CASE
11-20-2014 - ST Bryan Oliver ended up spending a day and a half on the stand as a defense witness, talking about what happened the day he wounded Bowe Cleveland with a shotgun round and fired at Jacob Nichols in 2013. Oliver told jurors Thursday that he had used the rumor that he had created a hit list to stop people from bullying him, and that the tactic worked for a time. During cross examination, Deputy D.A. Mark Pafford asked Oliver how he could have been aware of how many rounds were in his shotgun, or how students reacted when he came in if he had indeed blacked out. Trial resumes December 1st.
SHOWERS COMING TO EAST PORTERVILLE
11-20-2014 - SuzG. ST Tulare County is paying $30,000 per month to provide portable showers for people in east Porterville, where hundreds of home wells have run dry. People have to bring their own soap and towels to the showers, and for many it will be the first hot water they've felt in months. The drought has forced them to bathe from buckets and drink bottled water.
CONDORS DROP MORNING GAME
11-20-2014 - AP The Bakersfield Condors dropped a morning game to the Stockton Thunder 3-2 at Rabobank Arena. Forward Tyler Shattock notched two goals for Stockton. Kellen Jones and Josh Currie scored the two goals for Bakersfield. Both teams will make the trip to Stockton for games against each other Saturday and Sunday.
MAN WANTED FOR STEALING PISTACHIOS
11-20-2014 - AP Sheriff's detectives are looking for a Los Angeles-area man they say stole a shipment of pistachios from a farm in northern Kern County valued at over $200-thousand. They say Hovnan Khalatyan used fake documentation to pick up the nuts in July. We have a photo of the man here. (Photo: Kern County Sheriff's Office)
BPD LOOKING FOR MAN WHO TRIED TO LURE KIDS
11-20-2014 - AP Bakersfield police are looking for a man who tried to lure children into his car with candy while they were walking to school. They say it happened Wednesday just before 7 a.m. on Dravite Drive, southeast of Panama Lane and Ashe Road. We have a composite photo of the suspect here. (Photo: Bakersfield Police Department)
GREAT SMOKEOUT TODAY
11-20-2014 - SuzG. Today is the annual, Great American Smokeout, the day the American Cancer Society urges everyone to kick the habit for a day. They hope people take the opportunity to quit tobacco for good and say it's never to late to try. The offer a wide range of support services to that end. Visit the KUZZ news page for a link to their site. [cancer.org]
SUSPECT, VICTIM'S WIFE JAILED IN RAIL YARD SHOOTING CASE
11-19-2014 - AP A pair of arrests have been made in connection to the August shooting death of a 38-year-old BNSF railroad worker in Tehachapi. Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt says 24-year-old Jonathan Hearn of Hesperia, and the wife of the victim, 35-year-old Sabrina Limon, were jailed Tuesday. "Jonathan Hearn and Sabrina Limon had begun a romantic relationship in the months leading up to Robert Limon's murder." Pruitt says both Hearn and Limon are being held without bail and should appear in court Thursday.
OLIVER TAKES STAND IN TAFT SHOOTING TRIAL
11-19-2014 - ST The suspect in the Taft High School shooting took the stand as the second witness in the case where he is accused of the attempted murder of Bowe Cleveland. Bryan Oliver testified that he blacked out before he walked into the school with a shotgun and opened fire in the classroom in 2013, then regained his senses. He said Cleveland and Jacob Nichols had called him names like ginger and used homosexual slurs many times towards him, which led him to open fire. Prosecutors asked him about a story that he had written where the main character blacked out before killing several people at a high school reunion. An earlier witness testified that Cleveland had bullied Oliver.
MAN'S TIRADE TRIGGERS BOMB SQUAD CALL
11-19-2014 - AP The Kern County Sheriff's Office is trying to figure out whether to arrest a man after his tirade at Kern Central Credit Union in Lamont triggered a bomb squad call-out and the evacuation of multiple businesses and an elementary school along Main Street. Sgt. Scott Lopez says Raymond Hernandez left a suspicious jacket on a counter after arguing with bank employees. "It turned out to be not an explosive device. It was all done as a safety precaution to ensure the safety of the citizens of Lamont." Lopez says they were called to the scene after 3 p.m. Wednesday. A block of Main near Segrue Avenue was closed for hours.
BAKERSFIELD TO COMPLY WITH SB7
11-19-2014 - AP The Bakersfield City Council has opted to comply with California's prevailing wage law for public works contracts. The resolution was passed 4-1 Wednesday. Terry Maxwell voted against it, saying the state is hooking cities on "the drug of money," then attaching strings. "This is the way crack dealers work. They give you something that you gotta have, then they continue to increase their demands from you - they want more and more." If council opted to not comply with Senate Bill 7, the city could have lost out on over $14 million in gas tax revenue.
BAKERSFIELD COPS TO RECEIVE RAISES
11-19-2014 - AP The Bakersfield City Council has unanimously approved pay raises for police officers and detectives. The new, one-year contract with the police union guarantees pay increases between two and three percent, with even more money being given to bilingual officers. The raises will take effect Dec. 1.
COUNCIL PASSES ENGINEERING CONTRACT
11-19-2014 - AP A $17 million engineering contract for the Centennial Corridor Project has been approved by the Bakersfield City Council. The city is going to fund nearly 90 percent of the deal using federally earmarked money. The resolution was passed Wednesday night on a 5-1 vote.
BUSINESS LEADERS WANT IMMIGRATION REFORM
11-19-2014 - SuzG Local business leaders say they're glad President Obama is acting on immigration reform, but congress needs to finish the job when Republicans take control of the senate next year. At a Wednesday news conference downtown, Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce CEO Cynthia Pollard said businesses need a visa system that adjusts to the needs the market. "We need to attract and retain the workers that our farms, our laboratories and our industries need across the economy need to compete and grow." The chamber is calling for a sensible approach to immigration that also protects the borders.
KCSO SEIZES DRUGS, CASH
11-19-2014 - AP Two traffic stops and the service of two search warrants has led to the arrest of four men and the seizure of a pound of heroin and five pounds of marijuana. Kern County sheriff's deputies also found $17,000 cash while going through the homes on Layne Street in east Bakersfield and Greenfield Park Drive in south Bakersfield.
TAFT WOMAN PLEADS NO CONTEST TO CHILD ABUSE CHARGE
11-19-2014 - AP A Taft woman accused of bruising, scratching and biting her fiancee's two-year-old son of has pleaded no contest to a felony child cruelty charge. 18-year-old Ashlynn Westbrook accepted a deal Wednesday that will lead to two other charges being dropped. Westbrook was arrested in August and will be sentenced next month.
CONDORS PLAY MORNING GAME
11-19-2014 - AP The Bakersfield Condors are looking to get back on the winning track during a rare morning game at Rabobank Arena against the Stockton Thunder. The puck will drop at 10:35 a.m. The Condors dropped a pair to the Pacific Division-leading Idaho Steelheads last weekend.
BPD LOOKING FOR BURGLARY SUSPECT
11-19-2014 - AP Bakersfield police are looking for a 20-year-old woman who broke into a parked vehicle in west Bakersfield and stole a credit card. It happened Halloween morning on Padua Court, near Krebs Road and Fruitvale Avenue. We have a photo of the suspect here.
CSUB URGING BUYING TICKETS IN ADVANCE FOR SOCCER GAME
11-19-2014 - AP Cal State-Bakersfield is urging fans to buy their tickets in advance for Saturday's men's soccer game against San Jose State. They say they're expecting a huge turnout for the 7 p.m. contest at the Main Soccer Field. Tickets can be purchased at the Icardo Center and online. We have a link to the purchase site here.
KCSO ARRESTS ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECT
11-18-2014 - AP A man has been arrested for robbing an Oildale convenience store at gunpoint. Sheriff's detectives believe 22-year-old Andre Leiva brandished the gun Tuesday morning at the El Tejon Mini Mart near El Tejon Avenue and Sanford Drive. They're still looking for a woman who may be connected with the heist. We have a photo of her here. (Photo: Kern County Sheriff's Office)
PROSECUTION RESTS IN TAFT HIGH SHOOTING TRIAL
11-18-2014 - ST The prosecution has rested its case against alleged Taft Union High School shooter Bryan Oliver, who is accused of seriously wounding Bowe Cleveland. On Tuesday, jurors saw an interview Oliver gave to an officer just hours after the 2013 shooting, where he claimed he didn't remember walking to school that day, and that he questioned pulling the trigger of the gun he brought. He also told the officer that he wanted to hurt Cleveland and another boy who bullied him, but also said he wasn't sure if he wanted both of them dead. The defense will present its case Wednesday.
NEW CSUB RES. HALL OPENS
11-18-2014 - AP Cal State-Bakersfield has completed construction on a new, 500-bed student housing complex. University president Horace Mitchell says the $41 million facility near Don Hart Drive East and Kroll Way is vastly better than the current dorms on the northwest corner of campus. "We've been careful about not saying bad things about them, because students have to live there while we're building this one, but this is light-years ahead of what students have there." The school's current dorms opened in 1972. Students will move into the new dorms in January.
GROUP WANTS LESS FRACKING NEAR SCHOOLS
11-18-2014 - AP An environmental group says too much fracking is happening near schools. Californians Against Fracking attorney Madeline Stano says the oil extraction method needs more scrutiny. "350,000 students in California are exposed on a daily basis to the pollution and contamination of fracking within one-and-a-half miles of their school." Tupper Hull with the Western States Petroleum Association disagrees. "It is safe, it is an effective oil production technology, and there is no particluar risk." Stano says three wells exist within 1,200 feet of Sequoia Elementary in Shafter.
BAKERSFIELD MAN DIED FROM STAB WOUND
11-18-2014 - AP The Kern County coroner says a father of four that was found wounded in front of a west Bakersfield home on Waterbury Drive died from a stab wound. 28-year-old Matthew Odom was rushed to Kern Medical Center on Sept. 15, where he was pronounced dead that morning. Bakersfield police haven't named a suspect in the case.
CORONER NOT SURE WHY BABY DIED
11-18-2014 - AP The Kern County coroner says further studies are needed before they can determine what killed a two-month-old in east Bakersfield. Sheriff's deputies performed CPR on Daphne Tomas before declaring her dead at a home near North Baker and Irene streets early Sunday morning.
BAKERSFIELD MAN IN FATAL VISALIA CRASH
11-18-2014 - SuzG The California Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash in Visalia involving a semi driven by a man from Bakersfield. A 32-year-old Porterville woman was killed Monday evening when 31-year-old Nabor Hernandez apparently ran a red light as he was hauling a load of oranges. A driver of a third car caught up in that crash was not hurt.
KCSO LOOKING FOR HELP FINDING KILLER
11-18-2014 - AP Sheriff's detectives are turning to the public for help figuring out who killed a 35-year-old man found alongside Tower Line Road east of Bakersfield. Oscar Perez was discovered shot multiple times on Oct. 4. Those with more information are being urged to call (661) 861-3110.
GANG MEMBER SENTENCED FOR KILLING
11-18-2014 - AP A gang member has been sentenced to 23 years in prison after a fatal shooting in east Bakersfield. Reginald Simon pleaded no contest to a count of voluntary manslaughter in September. Prosecutors say Simon killed 21-year-old Michael Harris north of Pioneer Drive and Sterling Road after leaving a 2013 party.
BAKERSFIELD HOME SALES OUTPACING STATE
11-18-2014 - AP Home sales in Bakersfield are outpacing statewide averages, which were up 4.4 percent in October but down 5.3 percent from a year ago. Affiliated Appraisers owner Gary Crabtree says affordability is driving sales in Bakersfield, which were up roughly seven percent last month. "People in Bakersfield can purchase a medium-priced home for about half of what you could in the rest of the state." Crabtree says home sales in Bakersfield were down by about four percent compared to last year. Realty website PropertyRadar says about 33-thousand homes were sold in California last month.
CORRECTONS OFFICER ACCUSED OF ASSAULT
11-18-2014 - AP A misdemeanor complaint has been filed against a sheriff's detention officer accused of assaulting an inmate at the jail in Lerdo. The district attorney's office says the incident happened Sept. 25, but wouldn't say what exactly prompted the charge against James Allen.
MEMORIAL HOSPITAL GAINS ACCREDITATION
11-18-2014 - ST Bakersfield Memorial Hospital has been accredited by the Society for Vascular Care as a recognized chest pain center, for using the newest and most successful methods to treat heart attacks. A Dignity Health release says people wait about two hours before going to the emergency room for heart attack symptoms, when going sooner leads to better outcomes.
MCCARTHY APPLAUDS HARVICK
11-18-2014 - ST Bakersfield congressman and majority leader Kevin McCarthy took to the House floor to congratulate Bakersfield native Kevin Harvick on his NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. McCarthy said Harvick is someone kids across Kern County who are race fans can emulate.
SENATE VOTES DOWN KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE
11-18-2014 - AP The Democrat-controlled Senate has narrowly voted down a plan to construct the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would deliver crude from Canada to the U.S. The Tuesday vote was 59-41. 60 votes were needed for passage.
BLAZE RELOCATION STALLS
11-17-2014 - AP Negotiations to relocate the Bakersfield Blaze to Salinas have stalled after the franchise failed to close a deal to buy land for a proposed new stadium. Blaze owner D.G. Elmore says negotiations with Hayward Lumber fell through Monday. He says the Single-A baseball team will now consider other options in Salinas.
OFFICERS ID'ED AFTER OFFICER-INVOLVED CHASE SHOOTING
11-17-2014 - AP Bakersfield police have named the three officers who opened fire and killed a man after he led police on a high-speed chase on Highway 178. Frank McIntyre, Edgar Aguilera and Valeria Robles opened fire on 22-year-old Ramiro Villegas after he crashed his Jeep on Mount Vernon Avenue late Thursday. All three are on paid leave.
12-YEAR POLICE VET ID'ED AS SATURDAY SHOOTER
11-17-2014 - AP The officer who shot at a man after he allegedly fired rounds at a police cruiser during a drive-by in southeast Bakersfield is identified as a 12-year force veteran. Robert Pair is on paid leave. 20-year-old Rodimiro Portillo faces two counts of attempted homicide after the Saturday incident near East Planz and Cottonwood roads.
ROUGH HARVEST FOR CITRUS GROWERS
11-17-2014 - AP Citrus growers in northern Kern County are having a difficult harvest this year. California Citrus Mutual vice president Bob Blakely says the lack of usable irrigation water has forced some farmers to take drastic measures. "We saw an increase in the number of orchards left untended this year, and an increase in the number of crops bulldozed out because of a lack of water." Blakely says the fruit harvested this year is also smaller, which is likely a direct result of the hot and dry summer. He says, because small fruit doesn't sell as well, there will be a negative economic impact.
MAN ID'ED AFTER FIRE
11-17-2014 - AP The man who was found in a burning car in a residential garage in Bodfish has been identified by the Kern County coroner as 61-year-old Dale Laub. Laub was found inside the garage on Fussell Street just after 6 p.m. Sunday night. A gun was also found at the scene. An autopsy has been scheduled for later this week.
MOTORCYCLE CRASH KILLS ONE
11-17-2014 - AP A man who died after crashing his motorcycle into another vehicle in Buttonwillow has been identified by the Kern County coroner as 44-year-old Allen Siedmiorka of Bakersfield. It happened just after 5:30 a.m. Monday at Highway 58 and Wasco Way. Siedmiorka was found dead at the scene.
TAFT CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPT. ARRESTED FOR DUI AGAIN
11-17-2014 - AP The superintendent of the Taft City School District has been arrested for his third DUI in just over a year. Ron Bryant was jailed Saturday after being placed on paid leave following his second DUI in August. In a news release, district board members say they're saddened, but wouldn't comment further.
MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN SMURFING SCHEME
11-17-2014 - AP A Bakersfield businessman has admitted hiding as much as $2.5 million from the federal government in a deposit-structuring scheme. Prosecutors say 63-year-old Michael Seguine tried to skirt a law forcing banks to report all deposits over $10,000. Seguine faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced next year.
ASSISTANCE OVER $12 MILLION AFTER NAPA QUAKE
11-17-2014 - AP Disaster assistance has now eclipsed $12.1 million following August's 6.0-magnitude South Napa Earthquake. The Governor's Office on Emergency Services says that figure includes $5.6 million in FEMA grants and $6.5 million in state disaster loans.
TAFT HIGH SHOOTING TRIAL HALTED
11-17-2014 - ST The judge has called off testimony for a day in the Taft High School shooting case. Jurors in the attempted murder trial of Bryan Oliver were excused before testimony started Monday morning after one of the jurors fell ill before they were led into the courthouse. The juror was taken away in an ambulance, but their condition is not known. Jacob Nichols, a student who was shot at by Bryan Oliver in 2013 but not hit, was expected to take the stand, but will likely do so when the trial resumes Tuesday. Bowe Cleveland, who was seriously wounded in the shooting was the prosecution's first witness. Oliver's defense attorney plans to argue that his client was bullied all his life, then snapped.
BOMB SCARE SHUTS PART OF THE 58
11-17-2014 - ST A suspicious device near the side of Highway 58 in south central Bakersfield caused police and the CHP to divert traffic from the Chester Avenue exit while the Bomb Squad checked it out. Sergeant Joe Grubbs says a Caltrans worker called police when he spotted the device Monday morning in a homeless camp in the bushes near South Olive Street and Brundage Lane. "Officers from the Bomb Squad came out, rendered the device safe, and at about 11:08 AM traffic was opened back up." Grubbs says the device was a PVC pipe that was capped on both ends, with holes in the cap, and batteries were found nearby, but he says it likely was not a bomb, but they didn't want to take any chances.
RENEGADES GET BOWL GAME
11-17-2014 - ST Bakersfield College will host a community college bowl game after winning their last five football games of the season. The Renegades will host Chaffey College from Rancho Cucamonga in the Western State Bowl at Memorial Stadium on November 22nd.
AMBULANCE EMPLOYEE HURT IN DUI CRASH
11-17-2014 - ST A Taft man has been arrested for DUI after sideswiping one vehicle and running head-on into a vehicle from Hall's Ambulance. Fermin Garcia crossed a double-yellow line Saturday night on Highway 119, south of Harrison Street, and at least one person had major injuries. All three drivers were taken to Kern Medical Center.
REMAINS FOUND IN CREEK IDENTIFIED
11-17-2014 - ST The Coroner's Office has identified remains found in Poso Creek west of McFarland as those of a Wasco girl who was reported missing in June. The decomposed remains of 17-year-old Yoselin Calderon were found in the dry creek bed west of Highway 43 on November 5th. The cause of her death is being investigated.
SUSPICIOUS DEATH IN BODFISH
11-17-2014 - SuzG Sheriff's homicide detectives are trying to determine what happened to a man whose body was found inside a burning car in Bodfish. The car was discovered around 6:00 Sunday evening in a garage on Fussell Street when firefighters arrived to put out flames in two buildings, the victim may have been shot in the head. A gun was found nearby.
MAN KILLED IN SOUTHWEST ACCIDENT ACCIDENT
11-17-2014 - SuzG A man who was killed when his truck went off Hwy 119 and overturned this weekend is identified as 57-year-old Melvin Edward Hagle of Taft. Investigators say the crash happened about 12:15am Sunday, two miles west of Buena Vista Road in southwest Bakersfield.
TWO ARRESTED AFTER WEEKEND OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING
11-17-2014 - ST Two people are in custody for allegedly shooting at a police cruiser in southeast Bakersfield. Rodimiro Portillo Jr. was booked for attempted murder Saturday morning near East Planz and Cottonwood roads. Janeley Cervantes faces child endangerment charges for having a three-year-old in that vehicle. No one was hurt.
MORE DETAILS RELEASED ON SHOOTING
11-14-2014 - AP A police investigation continues after three officers opened fire and killed a Bakersfield man following a high-speed chase on Highway 178. Sergeant Joe Grubbs says 22-year-old Ramiro Villegas did not comply with the demands of officers after exiting the freeway at Mount Vernon Avenue and crashing his Jeep just after 9 p.m. Thursday. "He was yelling obscenities, using the F-word - things like that - and making aggressive and confrontation movements toward the officer." Grubbs says the man was shot after he reached for his waist band. A weapon was not recovered at the scene.
TAFT HIGH SHOOTING TRIAL CONTINUES
11-14-2014 - ST Jurors in the Taft High School shooting case heard from students and staff about what happened in the science classroom when Bryan Oliver opened fire, seriously wounding Bowe Cleveland. Many of the students who testified today said they thought it was part of a planned drill dealing with an active shooter on campus! but realized it was real when they saw Cleveland get hit with a shotgun blast. Two campus supervisors and a teacher talked about getting Oliver to drop the gun and subduing him, as well as applying pressure to Cleveland's wound until paramedics arrived. Teachers and campus supervisors testified earlier in the morning. Trial will resume Monday morning.
TEHACHAPI MOTHER STANDS TRIAL, ACCUSED OF ABANDONING CHILD
11-14-2014 - ST Trial has started for a woman accused of abandoning her two-year-old daughter in a stroller in a vacant field in Tehachapi. Prosecutors says Stacy Nikkel left the toddler strapped into the tipped back stroller in the field on Cherry Lane in June. Sheriff's investigators say the girl was left there overnight, and a passerby found the girl the following morning.
TRIAL BEGINS IN OILDALE DOUBLE MURDER CASE
11-14-2014 - ST Trial has begun in a death penalty case where a man is accused of killing his wife and mother in law in their Oildale home. Prosecutors say Robert Fuller violated a restraining order in 2012 and shot Susan Sowders-Fuller and Sharon Cannon in front of two children.
FORMER BAKERSFIELD HOOPS STAR CHARGED
11-14-2014 - AP Former Oklahoma City Thunder center and Bakersfield basketball standout Robert Swift has been charged with a gun crime after police last month found a grenade launcher and a sawed-off shotgun in his room. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports Swift was charged Thursday. Police believe he was working as a debt collector for a Seattle-area drug dealer.
CRISP & COLE OFFICE MANAGER SENTENCED
11-14-2014 - AP An office manager who worked for a Bakersfield real estate firm that swindled millions out of banks and mortgage companies between 2004 and 2007 has been given 18 months of prison time. 52-year-old Sneha Mohammadi was the last of 10 defendants sentenced in the Crisp and Cole case.
ENVIRONMENTALISTS SUING DOGGR
11-14-2014 - AP Area environmental groups are suing the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, saying they're issuing too many permits to drill oil in Kern County without proper review. Associated of Irritated Residents president Tom Frantz says his group is asking for a cumulative impact report on over 200 permits recently issued to Aera Energy. "From the drilling, to the fracking, to the extraction of the oil - it all needs energy, and energy is provided by fossil fuels that pollute our air." In a statement, Aera says they're committed to responsible drilling, but wouldn't comment further.
BPD MAKES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SWEEP
11-14-2014 - AP Bakersfield police say they made a pair of felony domestic violence warrant arrests and seven misdemeanor arrests during a recent sweep. Officers also served 92 warrants for attempted domestic violence on Friday, made two open arrests and seized a gun from a felon.
ST. JUDE "DREAM HOUSE" UNDER CONSTRUCTION
11-14-2014 - AP Workers have broken ground on a new house in northwest Bakersfield that will be raffled off to benefit Saint Jude Children's Hospital. The hospital says they plan to begin selling tickets for the house at The Estates at Northwood Ranch in April of next year. The home will be given away in June.
ROAD WORK TO CLOSE REAL ROAD SECTION
11-14-2014 - AP A section of Real Road between Stockdale Highway and Elcia Drive is closed for a construction project aimed at improving driving quality. The Bakersfield Public Works Department says the road will remain closed until 3 p.m. Saturday to allow for workers grind and pave trouble spots.
CRUDE PRICES UP AFTER HITTING FOUR-YEAR LOW
11-14-2014 - AP Crude oil prices have rebounded from a four-year low on speculation that OPEC may cut oil production. The price for a barrel of crude went up $1.61 to $75.82 on Friday.
SEQUOIA, KINGS CANYON NAT'L PARKS MULLING FEE HIKES
11-14-2014 - AP Both Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks may raise entrance fees to mirror prices seen at other parks throughout the country. Under the proposal, a single-vehicle admission would jump from $20 to $30, and season pass fees would also go up. Public comment is being accepted through December.
GROUPS HELPING WITH HEALTHCARE SIGNUPS
11-14-2014 - SuzG A coalition of 30 health and community groups is ready to help people sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act. Candy Garza is a certified enrollment counselor with Dignity Health Systems and says a lot of people were overwhelmed last year when the Obamacare signups began. "People started their applications and weren't sure if they were completing it correctly, so they came back and walked them through the steps to make sure everything was entered right." Open enrollment begins Saturday and lasts through Feb. 15. A link to the coalition website can be found here.
MEMORIAL HELD FOR LOCAL TEST PILOT
11-14-2014 - ST A thousand family and friends of the Tehachapi pilot who was killed when SpaceShipTwo broke near Mojave was remembered at a memorial service in Lancaster. Thursday's ceremony for Michael Alsbury featured a rare flyover by the WhiteKnightTwo Mothership that carried the experimental craft to its final flight October 31st.
MAN SHOT BY POLICE AFTER CHASE
11-14-2014 - AP Bakersfield police aren't saying what prompted an evening chase on eastbound Highway 178 that ended with a man being shot to death by an officer. Sergeant Joe Dougherty says police opened fire on the unidentified man just after nine after he exited the freeway at Mount Vernon Avenue and crashed. "I can tell you that we're involved in a vehicle pursuit with the car, and the car struck hit a street light, (then) the driver got out and was uncooperative with the officer's commands." Eyewitnesses say the officer began firing rounds at the man after he raised his arms. The incident forced closures of Mount Vernon Avenue at Mall View Road and 178 at Haley Street.
TAFT HIGH SHOOTING TRIAL STARTS
11-13-2014 - ST Prosecutors opened the Taft Union High School shooting trial by showing jurors the shotgun used by Bryan Oliver when he opened fire in his science classroom, seriously wounding Bowe Cleveland. Cleveland told jurors that Oliver came into the science classroom in 2013, and shot him once in the chest with a shotgun. He then described how he told Oliver that he was going to die, and Oliver told him, "I know." Prosecutors also played surveillance footage from the school showing him walking with the gun. Oliver is on trial for attempted murder. Before the trial, his defense attorney said Oliver snapped after being bullied.
OILDALE MAN SENTENCED FOR SEX WITH GIRL
11-13-2014 - ST An Oildale man has been sentenced for engaging in sexual acts with an underage girl. Deputy district attorney Felicia Nagle says Anthony Searles-Harris threw drinking parties in 2012 to lure girls for sex. "He was sentenced to 12 years to be served in the Department of Corrections. He was also required to register as a sex offender." Searles-Harris and co-defendant Randy Miller gave the girls alcohol and drugs at the parties. Miller was convicted earlier this year and sentenced to one year in jail, but was released with time served and put on three years probation.
BEAR VALLEY SPRINGS MAN FOUND DEAD
11-13-2014 - AP The body of a missing Bear Valley Springs man has been found in the Tehachapi mountain range after search-and-rescue crews led a multiple-day search. 42-year-old Jeremy Wiggins left his home on Nov. 10. Police believe Wiggins may have committed suicide.
MAN SENTENCED FOR FAKE MOVIE AUDITIONS
11-13-2014 - AP A Bakersfield man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after prosecutors say he lured women to hotel rooms for bogus movie auditions in 2012, where he exposed himself and persuaded them to disrobe. Anthony Jefferson was sentenced Wednesday after pleading no contest to burglary, felony impersonation and indecent exposure.
MCCARTHY NAMED MAJORITY LEADER AGAIN
11-13-2014 - AP Bakersfield Congressman Kevin McCarthy has been re-elected House Majority leader in Congress, that decision coming during a leadership election on Thursday. McCarthy, who took over the position in July when Eric Cantor lost in his home state the primary, says he was honored by the selection and would "continue to fight for our communities".
PROBATION SEARCH LEADS TO ARREST
11-13-2014 - AP An man has been arrested after a probation search turned up over 12 pounds of marijuana, 70 grams of methamphetamine and $5,000 cash at his home on Kincaid Street south of Virginia Avenue in east Bakersfield. It happened at around noon Thursday. 21-year-old David Jacobo was jailed for drug sale and possession.
GET TO ROLL OUT DIGITAL INFO SYSTEM
11-13-2014 - AP Golden Empire Transit will roll out a new, all-digital system early next year that will give riders real-time information about where their bus is through their computers, smart phones and tablets. Spokeswoman Gina Hayden says the system will also benefit GET by providing more-accurate rider counts. "We could not determine how many customers were using each individual stop. That's really a big thing for us now." The system will also let GET post arrival times on electronic signs the downtown transit center, Cal State-Bakersfield, Bakersfield College and the Valley Plaza Mall.
DMV TO EXTEND OFFICE HOURS
11-13-2014 - AP The California Department of Motor Vehicles says it's going to temporarily extend its office hours and open on Saturdays to better accommodate a new state law that allows people in the country illegally to apply for driver's licenses. The DMV says it expects to process around 1.4 million applications after the law, AB60, takes effect in January.
MAN JAILED FOR FORGING CHECKS
11-13-2014 - AP A Bakersfield man is jailed after stealing money from a McFarland farm in a check-forging and theft scheme. 37-year-old Jorge Ortega was jailed late last week. Sheriff's detectives say Ortega cashed six forged and stolen checks from his employer at a market, totaling over $3,000.
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