Local News

Wednesday, Apr 23 2014 07:03 AM

'First Look': First News for April 23

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

FARMER FACES UP TO 30 YEARS IN PRISON FOLLOWING CONVICTIONS: Even as some of her loved ones came apart emotionally, the former office manager for the defunct Bakersfield real estate firm Crisp & Cole remained outwardly calm in U.S. District Court as she listened to the jury's stunning verdict Tuesday. Julie Farmer, the only one of 15 defendants who decided to fight federal fraud charges rather than accept a plea deal, was found guilty, with a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. Farmer was found guilty of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Read the full story here.

COUNTRY CLUB NEIGHBORS AT ODDS OVER PROPOSED GATES: Residents of a small cluster of high-end homes just outside the front gates of Bakersfield Country Club hope to secede from the surrounding neighborhood to shelter themselves from unsafe drivers and crime. But their proposal to gate off Pinehurst and Wingfoot drives has earned them the ire of surrounding neighbors who argue the gates will create only a "false veneer of security" while pushing the bad traffic their way. Kern County supervisors will hear the case for the gates Tuesday. Read the full story here.

MAN SENTENCED TO 16 YEARS FOR FATAL PUNCH: Travis Michael Lamb punched a 39-year-old man, who later died. A year later, that's one of the few facts in his case that's indisputable. What exactly led up to that punch, including whether the decedent was a willing participant and whether Lamb was shoved or threatened, remains unclear. A jury last month convicted Lamb of three felonies including involuntary manslaughter. On Tuesday, a judge decided on the mid-term of 16 years. Lamb has 448 days of in-custody credits, and must serve 85 percent of the sentence. Read the full story here.


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

RESTAURANT MANAGER ALLEGEDLY STAGED CARL'S JR. ROBBERY: Investigators solved a burglary allegedly hatched by a Carl's Jr. manager and a buddy in about as much time as it takes to serve a Western Bacon Thickburger. Ernesto Huerta, the manager of the Carl's Jr. at 21937 Highway 46, told deputies he was opening the restaurant at 5:50 a.m. April 17 when a man wearing a ski mask and wielding a knife approached him. The man held the knife to his throat and ordered him to open the store's safe. Huerta did as instructed and the suspect got away with $1,500 in cash. A short time later they determined the robbery had been planned and staged by Huerta and 30-year-old Christian Orozco, a former employee. Deputies said the two planned to split the money. Read the full story here.

PHOTOGRAPHED ANIMAL IS JUST A BOBCAT, BIOLOGIST SAYS: A photo of what a resident believed could be a mountain lion is most definitely not one, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The animal in question is likely just a large bobcat, which are spotted more frequently in the Bakersfield area. The giveaway is the absence of a tail, Kern County wildlife biologist Vicky Monroe said Tuesday. And while bobcats and mountain lions usually have some color variation, there are instances, like this one, where there's crossover in their coloring. Monroe said they generally avoid human conduct and activity, and if one is spotted, as in the case with any wildlife, you should just leave it alone and enjoy it from afar. Read the full story here.

THREE ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH RESIDENTIAL BURGLARIES: A mail carrier who heard an alarm and saw two men run from a residence to a car was able to get a license plate number and description of the vehicle, information that helped police make an arrest. Officers responded to the 400 block of Vista Verde Way in west Bakersfield at 10:22 a.m. Tuesday regarding a residential burglary. Police found the front door of the residence had been kicked in, but not property was taken. At 11:50 a.m., officers responded to the 10900 block of Rockridge Way -- west of Vista Verde -- for a report of two Hispanic males getting out of a white sedan, looking into the garage windows of a residence and then entering its back yard. Melanie Martinez, 22, of Lamont, 18-year-old Glenn Sagan of Bakersfield and a juvenile are suspected of committing several burglaries in the Bakersfield area. An investigation is ongoing. Read the full story here.



GOOGLE GLASSES: Google is asking nonprofits in the United States to think of how they'd use Google Glass in their charitable work. According to the Associated Press, the five best ideas proposed by May 20 will get a free pair of Google Glass, a trip to Google for training and a $25,000 grant for their project. For example, the AP says, a researcher in Nepal is using Glass to track rhinos to protect them from poaching.



TRAINING FOR SICKLE CELL: Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder characterized by sickle-shaped red blood cells that often clump together and create blockages. Physicians familiar with the disease and the pain management it requires are sorely lacking in Kern County, which is why the Hina Patel Foundation for Sickle Cell Disease is holding an educational seminar for health care providers. It will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center. Foundation co-founder Bhavna Patel, who lost a teenage daughter to sickle cell, told The Californian that "With cutting-edge research and new treatments, patients in other areas are living into their 40s, but here in the Central Valley they're dying in their 20s and 30s because people don't understand it." Read the full story here.



BRODA SCORES IN OT, LIFTS CONDORS TO WIN OVER GRIZZLIES: Two dramatic goals lifted the Condors to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Utah Grizzlies on Tuesday night at Rabobank Arena. Greg Miller tied the game with less than five minutes left in regulation, and captain Joel Broda won it with his first goal of the series 7:39 into overtime when he beat Aaron Dell with a backhander from the low slot. The victory gives the Condors a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven playoff series with Games 4 and 5 on Thursday and Friday nights at Rabobank. Read the full story here.




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