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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
NORTH HIGH RALLY LEADS TO PUBLIC APOLOGY TO SENIORS: Administrators at North High School made phone calls and classroom rounds Wednesday apologizing to seniors named by a truancy officer as failing during a Tuesday pre-graduation rally. One of two truancy officers who ran part of the senior program stopped the event to ask 30 seniors to leave the gymnasium because they were not eligible to graduate. With dean of students present, the students were called by name as a form of motivation to other seniors. Many students who attended the school assembly thought it was unfair and even "degrading" to single out students who were just short of graduation eligibility. Read the full story here.
CRISP & COLE DEFENDANT FINGERED AS PART OF THE "SCHEME": A key figure in the Crisp & Cole mortgage fraud ring testified Wednesday that Julie Farmer -- the lone defendant in the case to go to trial -- was definitely part of the "scheme" to buy and sell local properties with falsified documents, something that later cost banks millions. Farmer developed strategy for Crisp & Cole Real Estate and was part of its "core staff" and managed about 30 to 40 employees of it and its mortgage brokerage Tower Lending. She has maintained her innocence, arguing she had a limited role in the office and was not aware of any fraudulent activity or conspiracy. Read the full story here.
ATTORNEY REPRESENTING EMBATTLED MORTUARY SAID DISPUTE STEMS FROM MISUNDERSTANDING: The attorney representing a Lake Isabella mortuary that allegedly failed to provide prepaid burial services said Wednesday he expects it "will be fully vindicated," and contends the dispute stems from a misunderstanding of the pre-need arrangements and the complications of Medi-Cal eligibility requirements. The mortuary owners and funeral director have filed a response denying the accusations. The complaint states that Sierra Valley Mortuary buried a 91-year-old woman in her hospital gown and failed to perform cosmetology services and embalm her. The woman had paid $11,500 for pre-need funeral contracts that included those services. Read the full story here.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending on bakersfield.com.
HEAD-ON COLLISION KILLS 1, INJURES 4: A Bakersfield man died Wednesday afternoon after the car he was riding in slammed head-on into an SUV carrying two children on Eucalyptus Drive. The victim was identified as Jason Harmon. According to the CHP, a Ford Taurus was headed eastbound on Eucalyptus near Morning Drive at a high speed about 3 p.m. while weaving from side to side. The driver of the Suburban was traveling westbound on Eucalyptus. She slowed in order to avoid a collision but the CHP said the Taurus struck the SUV head-on. The impact pushed the Taurus into a utility pole, shearing the vehicle in half. Harmon was ejected and died at the scene. Read the full story here.
SOLAR PANELS COMING TO LOCAL SCHOOLS: The Kern High School District is taking a serious look at energy efficiency options that could save the district millions in the long run. The district spent approximately $8.7 million for electricity in 2013, and costs have increased between $200,000 and $300,000 each year for five years. KHSD is considering proposals to address those increases and funding options to pay for them. The options include a roof mount system that is popular locally for residential and commercial buildings; shaded parking structures similar to those at Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield; and a ground-mount structure housed off-site -- the least expensive of the three. Read the full story here.
HALF POUND OF METH FOUND IN WASCO DAY CARE: An early morning search Wednesday of a Wasco residence used as a children's day care facility resulted in a man's arrest and the seizure of nearly a half pound of methamphetamine worth $20,000. Angel Soto, 24, was arrested during the 6:30 a.m. search of the home in the 400 block of F Street. He is being held on suspicion of various narcotics-related charges, plus destruction of evidence and participation in a criminal street gang. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
INTERNAL COMPASS IMPLANT: Smartphone mapping features are great for getting directions, until you lose signal. But you could avoid getting lost in the woods with a guiding system embedded in your body. Electronic engineer and biohacker Brian McEvoy has designed the first internal compass, and will be the first test subject. According to a CNN report, the 'Southpaw' -- inspired by the North Paw bracelet - works by sealing a miniature compass inside a silicon coat, within a rounded Titanium shell, to be implanted under the skin. An ultra-thin whisker juts out, which is activated when the user faces north, to lightly brush an alert on the underside of the skin, the report said. The implant would be located near a shoulder.
THE HEALTH REPORT
RELAY FOR LIFE UNDERWAY: A reception will be held today for cancer survivors, volunteers and others to help get ready for Bakersfield Relay for Life in May. Last year's Relay -- the major American Cancer Society fundraiser -- registered almost 1,800 cancer survivors for the traditional survivor lap that begins every Relay event. The free Survivor Reception will be from 4 to 6 p.m. today at St. Philip the Apostle Church at 7100 Stockdale Highway. Survivors can register and enjoy refreshments. Survivors who have already registered online can pick up their special purple survivor T-shirt. Relay also needs about 900 volunteers. They and survivors can register at relayforlife.org/bakersfieldca or call the Bakersfield American Cancer Society office at 327-7827.
THE SPORTS REPORT
CONDORS' BROSSOIT NAMED TO ECHL ALL-ROOOKIE TEAM: Condors goaltender Laurent Brossoit was named to the ECHL all-rookie team Wednesday. Brossoit is the fourth Condor in the ECHL era to be named to the team, joining goaltender Brian Stewart (2010-11), forward Matthew Pope (2008-09), and forward Todd Griffith (2006-07). Brossoit, assigned to the team by the Edmonton Oilers, has made 36 appearances with a record of 24-9-2. He is tied for first in the league in wins (24), is first in shutouts with eight; is second in goals-against average (2.05) and tied for second in save percentage at .924. Brossoit's eight shutouts tied an ECHL record only accomplished by two other goaltenders in the league's 26-year history. Read the full story here.
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