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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
$6.5 MILLION WINNING LOTTERY TICKET PURCHASED IN DELANO: One man's $10, Delano convenience store scratch ticket proved worthy when he won a $6.5 million lottery prize. Edgar Cabanban Jr. found a "LIFE" symbol on his California Lucky for Life scratch ticket, which is the game's top prize. He will receive $5,000 a week for 25 years. He may choose between the weekly payments or a lump sum of $3 million. The ticket was purchased at the Fastrip Food Store, at 805 Garces Highway in Delano. The owner of the store will receive a retailer bonus of $32,500 for selling the winning ticket. Read the full story here.
GANG HOMICIDES ARE DOWN, BUT VIOLENCE CONTINUES: The number of gang-related homicides and shootings was down during the first three months of this year compared to the same time last year, although a recent spate of violence has erased much of that positive trend. Bakersfield police Lt. Joe Mullins said the city had 16, or possibly 17, gang-related shootings and one homicide during the first three months of 2014, compared with 24 shootings and eight homicides during the same period last year. However, gang-related shootings have jumped to 25 during the past three weeks. Read the full story here.
VICTIMS' FAMILY LOOKING FOR CLOSURE AT KILLER'S MAY SENTENCING: Vincent Sims sighed with relief when he heard that the accused killer of his two bail bondsmen sons had accepted a plea deal with a stipulated sentence of 38 years in prison. The news meant that Sims and his family wouldn't have to sit through a trial and listen to the grisly details of the April 2012 killings. Stephen Michael Stewart, 28, pleaded no contest Friday to two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of Brandon and Zachary Sims. He had been charged with two counts of murder and had faced life without parole if convicted. Read the full story here.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending across bakersfield.com.
POSSIBLE MOUNTAIN LION SIGHTING REPORTED IN BAKERSFIELD: Bakersfield police warned residents Monday of a possible mountain lion sighting on Friday morning. A citizen sent a reporter at KGET Channel 17 a photo of the lion through social media, saying she spotted the animal at 9:30 a.m. at the River Run between Stockdale Highway and Allen Road. Police encouraged residents to not hike, bike or jog alone. While mountain lions typically avoid people, the animals' habitat is starting to conflict with the human population as California's population grows. People who encounter one, authorities said, should not run -- they should pick up any small children, face the lion, make noise and try to look bigger by waving their arms and throw rocks or objects at the animal. If attacked, fight back, police said. Read the full story here.
ALLEGED DRUNKEN DRIVER CRASHES INTO GAS STATION PARKING LOT: An alleged drunken driver drove onto a center median and ran through two red lights before jumping a curb and driving into a Shell gas station parking lot, injuring a woman pumping gas. Kristofer Randall Carter was traveling west on Merle Haggard Drive at 12:45 p.m. when he drove onto the center median west of Wings Way and struck a row of bushes. The 31-year-old left the scene and continued driving west even though his left front tire had gone flat. Carter failed to stop at red lights at the intersection of Pegasus Drive and Highway 65. He then turned to the right, jumped a curb and drove into the gas station parking lot at Merle Haggard and Highway 65. Carter struck a 20-year-old who was pumping gas. She was taken to the hospital with major injuries. Carter was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and hit and run. Read the full story here.
DEPUTIES SEARCH FOR MISSING 35-YEAR-OLD MAN: The Kern County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's assistance in locating 35-year-old Wesly Wachob Jr., also known as Michael Smith. Wachob Jr., from Florida, was arrested in the Lamont area March 31 on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance and booked into jail. His vehicle was found abandoned April 2 near Highway 99 and Highway 166 and towed to a storage yard. His family has not had contact with him since his release from jail April 2. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 861-3110. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
APPLE OFFERS FREE RECYCLING: Just in time for today's Earth Day, Apple says it's offering free recycling of all its used products. The Associated Press reports that Apple had already been giving out gift cards at some of its stores in exchange for iPhones and iPods that were good enough to be resold. But now Apple says it will recycle any product at stores for free -- but you won't get a gift card if the item has little or no resale value, the AP says. Apple also says it's going to use renewable energy in all its offices and stores to reduce pollution.
THE HEALTH REPORT
WAKE UP!: Take comfort, sleep-deprived parents of newborns. You suffer with purpose. In a new article published in the journal Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, Harvard University biology professor David Haig writes that infants who wake frequently at night to breastfeed are delaying the resumption of the mother's ovulation -- and therefore preventing the birth of a sibling with whom they would have to compete. Studies have found higher mortality rates among sibling infants and toddlers born close together. Haig argues that the benefits of delaying the birth of a rival were strong enough to force an evolutionary response.
THE SPORTS REPORT
KEY CONDORS PLAYER OUT WITH HEALTH ISSUE: For Condors coach Troy Mann, it's time for adjustments. The Condors flew home for Utah on Sunday, pleased to get a split against the Utah Grizzlies in the first two games of the best-of-seven playoffs series, but concerned for a fellow teammate Matt Thurber, left behind in a Salt Lake City hospital. Thurber remained in the hospital on Monday due to complications from the flu and Mann was preparing for tonight's Game 3 knowing that a valuable cog will be missing from this point on. Read the full story here.
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