By The Bakersfield Californian
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
WITNESS: JULIE FARMER HELPED MOVE MONEY TO DECEIVE LENDERS: A former loan officer at Tower Lending -- the mortgage brokerage of disgraced Crisp & Cole Real Estate -- detailed in federal court Thursday how he believes defendant Julie Farmer deceitfully used money and straw buyers to secure home loans. Christopher Lance Stovall was testifying during the third day of Farmer's trial in U.S. District Court in Fresno, where she faces multiple fraud charges related to a huge Bakersfield mortgage fraud scheme led by David Crisp and Carl Cole. Stovall testified for more than two hours Thursday morning about two transactions in which he said money had to be deposited into borrowers' checking accounts to convince lenders the applicants had adequate assets to buy homes. He said Farmer was the one who made sure the money was deposited.Farmer has maintained her innocence, saying she neither participated in nor was aware of any fraudulent activity. The trial continues today. Read the full story here.
HISTORIC BUILDING REVEALED BENEATH STUCCO SURFACE: Some will surely wonder why businessmen of old would slap a stucco facade over a beautiful, stately, historic building in downtown Bakersfield. The Californian's Steven Mayer writes that whatever their reasons may have been, workers on Thursday began stripping the facade from the building on the northeast corner of Chester Avenue and 18th Street -- revealing what appears to be an architectural gem beneath the surface. The concrete and brick structure has been empty since 2002 when a fire damaged the roof. At that time, it housed a restaurant called Tapas. It was built in 1910, and for the first chapter of its life, it was The Security Trust bank. Later it became an old-fashioned drug store with a soda fountain. What it becomes next will depend on the next tenant or owner. Read the full story here.
SENTENCING POSTPONED FOR DEFENDANT WHO KILLED MAN WITH A SINGLE PUNCH: A single punch knocked Richard Joseph Gilroy to the ground and into a coma. The 39-year-old died about two weeks later. Gilroy's sister traveled from Ohio to address her brother's killer in court Thursday morning. Rita Gilroy said her nieces and nephews are growing up without a father, and she misses her brother's frequent phone calls and text messages, his laughter and love. Twenty-eight-year-old Travis Michael Lamb did not react to her comments. He'd been scheduled for sentencing Thursday, but it was postponed to April 22 to give his attorney time to collect character statements, review the probation department report filed in the case and file a motion regarding a past felony "strike" on Lamb's record. He faces up to 18 years in prison. 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.
MAN KILLED IN HIGHWAY 178 CRASH IDENTIFIED: The 65-year-old man killed in a head-on collision Tuesday on Highway 178 has been identified as James Edmund Dardis Jr. Dardis, of Caliente, was killed when his vehicle was struck about 1:30 p.m. by one driven by Theresa Ann Bell, 48, of Lake Isabella. Both were declared dead at Kern Medical Center, according to a California Highway Patrol news release. The accident occurred at Kissack Bay in Mountain Mesa, and closed the eastbound lane of Highway 178 for more than two hours. near Paradise Cove. Read the full story here.
WOMAN FOUND DEAD OF DRUG OVERDOSE AT JASTRO PARK: A woman was found dead from a drug overdose Thursday morning in Jastro Park. Police responded at 6:51 a.m. and found the woman slumped over in the passenger seat of a car, Bakersfield Police detective Eric Schimon said after a passerby saw the body and reported it. Read the full story here.
NORTH HIGH RALLY LEADS TO PUBLIC APOLOGY TO SENIORS: And still trending is a story we brought you yesterday about North High. 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 Dustin Green present, the students were called by name as a form of motivation to other seniors. A spokesman for the Kern High School District said "it was a very poor choice." Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
YOU CAN NOW 'EXPLORE' GOOGLE GLASS: If you're interested in Google Glass, April 15 is a big day. The company says that starting at 9 a.m. PDT that day, U.S. residents age 18 or older can place an order to buy the Internet-connected eyewear for $1,500. Orders will be taken at http://www.google.com/glass/start/how-to-get-one/. Google isn't saying how many of the devices it will sell. But you can sign up at that website now to be reminded to return April 15. Google says on its website that "we're expanding little by little, and experimenting with different ways of bringing new Explorers into the program."
THE HEALTH REPORT
CHILDREN AND CHOLESTEROL: A new study says that nearly a third of children have cholesterol problems that put them at risk for cardiovascular disease in future years. Of 12,700 children between the ages of 9 and 11 who were screened in Texas, about 1 in 3 were found to have borderline or high cholesterol. That's according to the study by the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. The findings were particularly unnerving because problems were found in children regardless of their weight. Obese youngsters were more likely to have abnormal cholesterol levels, but 35 percent of children who were not obese had abnormal cholesterol, too.
THE SPORTS REPORT
2013-2014 HIGH SCHOOL WINTER SPORTS ALL-LEAGUE TEAMS ANNOUNCED: We announce the all-league teams for high school winter sports. Check out the list for boys and girls basketball and boys and girls soccer. These athletes were picked by league coaches. Read the full story here.
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