Local News

Tuesday, Apr 15 2014 07:04 AM

'First Look': First News for April 15

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

CONSTRUCTION OF WATER TANK HAS NEIGHBORS FEELING POWERLESS: Linda Burton has lived for two decades in a quiet neighborhood in northwest Bakersfield, where the lawns are green, the neighbors are friendly and the homes are in fine repair. Now she believes that dream is being threatened by a Big Red Monster. In the neighborhood near Old Farm Road, north of Rosedale Highway, Vaughn Water Co., which supplies water to thousands of homeowners in the area, is building a half-million-gallon water storage tank on the other side of Burton's backyard fence. The new water tank, according to Vaughn Water Co. General Manager Van Grayer, is there to maintain a consistent water supply to the city's northwest. The tank is 24 feet tall and 60 feet in diameter and when finished, will also include a 10-foot-tall, 250-square-foot metal building, three above-ground booster pumps and security lights. Read the full story here.

MORTGAGE FRAUD DEFENDANT JULIE FARMER TO TESTIFY: Mortgage fraud defendant Julie Farmer intends to testify in her own defense at her federal trial set to resume Tuesday. In an email sent Monday, Farmer's lead attorney said Farmer wants to testify and bring out the true facts in the case. It was unclear when Farmer might take the witness stand the case may conclude this week. The prosecution expects to wrap up its case by noon Tuesday, the trial's fifth day of testimony. Read the full story here.

ANTIQUE WWII PLANE VISITS BAKERSFIELD: The engines in the plane could be heard above Meadows Field Airport as the restored plane, named the Memphis Belle, took flight. The Memphis Belle is one of only 12 B-17s that still fly today. The purpose of the Liberty Foundation and offering the rides is to educate the public on American history and to honor the veterans who were a part of it. Public 45-minute rides in the B-17 cost $410 for Liberty Foundation members and $450 for non-members. Tours on the inside of the plane while it is stationary are free. Read the full story here.


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

LICENSE OF DELANO AREA FUNERAL HOME REVOKED FOR OVERCHARGING: The licenses of a Delano-area funeral home and its funeral director were revoked after an investigation determined employees engaged in "fraud, misrepresentation and misleading conduct" in overcharging for funeral expenses. The state Cemetery and Funeral Bureau made its decision after concluding the funeral home overcharged on several expenses in January 2011, including a decedent identified only as "M.C." Relatives of M.C. paid $695 for a cloth-covered casket, $650 in transportation from the funeral home to the burial site in Lancaster and $1,000 in cemetery costs. The funeral home overcharged $200 for the casket, $504 for transportation and $431.74 for cemetery costs. Read the full story here.

MOTORCYCLIST SUFFERS MAJOR INJURIES IN HIT-AND-RUN: A 90-year-old motorcyclist suffered major injuries Monday after being struck by a van that witnesses say ran a stop sign in a crash that occurred east of Beale Avenue and north of East California Avenue. Bakersfield police said the van was later found abandoned nearby in the 1100 block of Delores Street and has been impounded. Police are searching for 33-year-old Armando Cortez for questioning regarding his involvement, if any, in the crash. Read the full story here.

INFANT LESS THAN 8 WEEKS OLD FOUND DEAD AT HOME: A nearly 2-month-old infant was found dead in a home Sunday, northeast of downtown.Bakersfield police responded to a call for an infant not breathing and found Kailance Williams dead at about 8:30 a.m. at 4032 O St. There were no obvious signs of trauma to the child. According to the Kern County coroner's office, the infant was just less than 8 weeks old. The investigation is continuing and an autopsy has been scheduled. Read the full story here.



GOOGLE BUYS DRONE MAKER: Google has bought a business that it says could bring Internet to remote parts of the world. The Associated Press says Google bought Titan Aerospace, which it described as a maker of solar-powered drones. It said that "atmospheric satellites could also be used in disaster relief and assessing environmental damage." Google and Facebook are both working on plans to get everyone on Earth online, AP says.



DIABETES DOUBLES OVER TWO DECADES: The prevalence of diabetes in the United States has nearly doubled in the past two decades, according to a study published Monday. The study authors found that this rise in diabetes from 5.5% to 9.3% of the U.S. population over the last 20 years paralleled the growing rate of obesity in America, a CNN report said. Better screening tools such as a hemoglobin A1c diagnostic test have also helped physicians identify more diabetes cases, the researchers say.



AREA'S BEST SET FOR VALLEY ALL-STAR GAME: Several of the top high school basketball players in Kern County will showcase their skills in the Valley High School All-Star game Saturday at Stockdale High. Boys and girls all-star teams from Kern County will play against all-star teams from players from the Antelope Valley. Read the full story here.

CSUB BASEBALL SET TO FACE RANKED CAL POLY: Fresh off its first three-game series sweep since the start of the season, Cal State Bakersfield plays host to third-ranked Cal Poly at 6 tonight at Hardt Field in a non-conference game. The Mustangs (30-5) are No. 3 in both the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls this week, the highest ranked team the Roadrunners have faced in their six-year baseball history. Cal Poly is No. 4 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. Read the full story here.




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