Local News

Monday, Apr 14 2014 06:51 AM

'First Look': First News for April 14

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Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:

SPEEDING VAN CAUSED FATAL HWY 58 ACCIDENT KILLING 4: The Saturday morning accident that killed four men on Highway 58 west of Fairfax Road was caused when the driver of a speeding van lost control as he changed lanes, crossed the median and crashed into a pickup pulling a gardening trailer. The California Highway Patrol said 40-year-old James Luschen of North Las Vegas, Nev. lost control of his 2006 Chevrolet Express van about 7:40 a.m. The van struck the left side of the 1997 Chevrolet 3500 pickup, rolled over the cab portion and ejected Luschen before landing on the embankment south of the highway. The cab of the gardening truck was crushed. The roof had to be cut off in order to retrieve the bodies. Debris was scattered across the highway. Read the full story here.

KHSD INVESTIGATING WHETHER PHOTO VIOLATED ANTI-GANG POLICY: The Kern High School District is investigating whether a Spring Fling Week celebration turned into a gang policy violation. Ten students were photographed twisting fingers into what appeared to be gang signs and sporting what looked like gang colors Thursday at an Independence High School dress-up event. The photo was posted on Twitter. Ian Pickett, a former track and field coach at Independence, emailed The Californian a photo and letter to the editor about the theme picked for Thursday's dress-up day -- a theme that started as "Hip Hop vs. Hippie" but became "Homeboy vs Hippie." It was unclear how the change occurred. Read the full story here.

PROSECUTORS WON'T FILE CHARGES IN DAVID SILVA'S DEATH: No criminal charges will be filed against the Kern County sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers involved in the struggle that ended with the death of David Sal Silva, District Attorney Lisa Green announced Friday following an independent investigation that included reviewing Sheriff's Office and FBI reports and hiring an outside pathologist. Silva's death was not a homicide, and law enforcement used reasonable force to arrest him, Green said. Silva's family, and the attorneys representing it, disagreed with Green's conclusion. Attorney David K. Cohn said he's looking forward to questioning the officers under oath, and said his investigation will be more thorough than the one conducted by the DA's office. Read the full story here.


In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending across bakersfield.com.

WILL LOCAL VONS BECOME ALBERTSONS?: There is talk that Safeway -- owner of Vons stores -- is being sold to Albertsons. So how will this affect our local stores? The short answer is that for now, no one really knows. The seven Vons stores in Kern County will merge with Albertsons stores as part of a $9.4 billion transaction last month orchestrated by a private equity firm that owns Albertsons. But a Safeway spokesman said last week there will be no store closures. Read the full story here.

PASSENGER DIES, 5 SUSTAIN INJURIES WHEN PICKUP ROLLS NEAR ROUND MOUNTAIN ROAD: A Bakersfield teenager died after a truck he was a passenger in rolled onto its side in an off-road dirt area south of Round Mountain Road and east of Amaya Court late Friday afternoon The 17-year-old, identified as Stephen Chambers, was among five passengers -- all Bakersfield teenagers -- in a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado. The others suffered minor and moderate injuries. The CHP reported that the victim was among two passengers riding in the bed of the pickup without safety equipment. Read the full story here.

DOWNTOWN SHOOTING: 1 WOUNDED, 1 ARRESTED: A shooting early Sunday in front of a downtown bar left one man wounded and a second under arrest. Bakersfield police responded to reports of shot fired at the Ink Bar & Nightclub, 1919 K St., at about 1 a.m. Officers found 25-year-old Troy Stewart of Bakersfield, suffering from a single gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A short time later, deputies arrested 48-year-old Robert Graham of Bakersfield. He was charged on suspicion of attempted homicide, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of cocaine. Read the full story here.



A SMARTPHONE BY AMAZON?: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon could produce a smartphone this year. The Journal says it would have a "3D-like screen and multiple sensors for tracking eye movement." People who have been briefed on Amazon's plans say the phone is coming soon, according to The Journal.



DRUG TESTING FOR DOCTORS: Proponents of an initiative called the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act hope there are enough signatures to get it on the November ballot. As The Californian's Courtenay Edelhart reported Sunday, the initiative would: mandate drug testing for doctors to prevent physician substance abuse; require physicians to use a state prescription drug database to catch drug addicts consulting multiple doctors; and eliminate the state's 38-year-old malpractice cap, currently $250,000 for children and others who are not wage earners. The initiative is named for the children of its chief proponent, northern California Internet entrepreneur Bob Pack. In 2003, his pregnant wife, son, daughter and two of their friends were on a sidewalk when a drunk driver high on painkillers jumped the curb and plowed into them. Pack's son and daughter were killed. The two other children survived, and so did his wife, but she lost the twins she was carrying. Read the full story here.



BHS' MARTIN CAPS OFF HIGH SCHOOL CAREER WITH TOP HONOR: It took a little bit of time for Bryce Martin to get over the disappointment of narrowly missing out on his dream of winning a state championship. But now that the Bakersfield High senior has had some time to reflect on the end of his stellar high school wrestling career, he realizes how special it was just to make the state finals. Martin, the BVarsity Wrestler of the Year, was the only local grappler to reach the gold-medal round of the CIF State Championships this year. He finished the year with an impressive 39-2 record. Read the full story here.




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