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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
CONSERVATION AGENCY VOTES TO BUY FORMER CANYONS DEVELOPMENT: The Metropolitan Bakersfield Habitat Conservation Plan Trust Group voted unanimously Thursday morning to acquire a "crown jewel" of habitat ground -- 847 acres of upland and bluffs above the Kern River. The land, once destined for more than 1,300 homes as part of the controversial The Canyons development, is now on its way to becoming a haven for endangered species and as an open air conservation classroom for Bakersfield. Conservation Plan Trust members said the land will used as "habitat first." Read the full story here.
FEW SURPRISES IN 32ND ASSEMBLY DISTRICT FORUM: A 32nd Assembly District forum was short on surprises Thursday on the Central Valley's key issues -- including water, high-speed rail and the minimum wage -- but revealed a few clues to future strategies for the race's three candidates. Less than six weeks remain before the June 3 primary pitting incumbent Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, against Republican hopefuls Romeo Agbalog and Pedro Rios. As the incumbent in a Democratic-heavy district, Salas has the advantage and is not expected to suffer from new state primary rules that send only the top two performers on to the general election. Read the full story here.
SISTER OF FACEBOOK MOGUL TELLS WOMEN TO DARE: Randi Zuckerberg, founder of media production company Zuckerberg Media and sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, stood center stage at the 25th Bakersfield Women's Business Conference Thursday. Her message to the sold-out audience in her keynote address was to take risks and use technology's possibilities to shape their futures. Her aim at the women's conference was to encourage women to overcome the crippling fear of failure. 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.
OFFICERS BUST OPEN WRONG DOOR IN SERVING SEARCH WARRANT: Jessica Walker was drawing a bath for herself and her 7-month-old daughter late the evening of April 19 when her Chihuahua began barking loudly at something outside. Walker looked out the window and saw Bakersfield police officers huddled by her front door. As she walked from the bathroom to the top of the stairs the door was smashed open and officers holding "big guns" yelled for her to get on the floor. Police searched for weapons but found nothing. They had the wrong apartment. Officers eventually showed her a mugshot of a man and asked if she knew him. She said she did. He was her next door neighbor. Walker was given a claim form to contact the city regarding repairs to her front door. Read the full story here.
CALTRANS VS. HIGHWAYMEN: Thieves aren't the biggest obstacle to Caltrans' goal of watering Kern County freeway landscaping only half as much now we're in a drought. They are, however, among the most unpredictable. Someone has been stealing parts made of brass and other metals to sell them, or opening the valves to get water and wasting the precious resource. Whoever they are, the highwaymen are costing Caltrans more than $5,000 a month in parts to repair freeway irrigation systems in Bakersfield. The obvious culprits would be members of Bakersfield's homeless population but a Caltrans maintenance supervisor said he doesn't think the homeless are entirely to blame. Read the full story here.
MAN ALLEGEDLY TRIES TO SELL 5 POUNDS OF METH TO INFORMANT: A Bakersfield man was indicted Thursday after allegedly trying to sell 5 pounds of methamphetamine to a government informant. Edwin Rigoberto Mayorga-Fajardo, 42, tried to sell the drug on April 8. When officers attempted to arrest Mayorga-Fajardo he drove off and a chase ensued. While fleeing, officers said they saw him throwing packages of meth from the vehicle. Mayorga-Fajardo was eventually stopped and about 4 pounds of meth were recovered. He was jailed on suspicion of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of up to life in prison and a $10 million fine. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
SMARTPHONE 'KILL SWITCH' BILL FAILS: A bill that would have required smartphone manufacturers to install a "kill switch" in their devices in case of theft failed in the California Senate Thursday. The "kill switch" would make the phones inoperable if they're stolen. Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco sought the legislation to protect people from thieves who might not find the smartphones as attractive if they didn't work. But the phone industry prefers for customers to opt in to the technology such as by using a free app to protect the phone and the information on it, according to The Associated Press.
THE HEALTH REPORT
NEW AMBULANCE STATION: Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. is opening its third ambulance station in Tehachapi. The new location is known as Hall Ambulance Post 11 and will be at 108 Pinon St. The ambulance service says six paramedics and six emergency medical technicians will be assigned to Post 11, with a paramedic and EMT working each 48-hour shift.
THE SPORTS REPORT
CARDIAC CONDORS: Cardiac finishes don't get any better than what transpired Thursday night at Rabobank Arena. First, Bakersfield's Collin Bowman did the improbable, tying Game 4 of the ECHL Western Conference first-round series against Utah with less than one second left in regulation. Then Andrew Carroll, who played a huge role in the game-tying goal, lifted the Condors to a 3-2 victory, 13:26 into overtime. The win gives the Condors a 3-1 edge in the best-of-seven series with Game 5 tonight at 7 at Rabobank Arena. Read the full story here.
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