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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:
MORE COPS? Will Bakersfield Police be able to add to their numbers in the light of local fiscal woes? That was the question at Wednesday night's City Council meeting. Ward 2 Councilman Russell Johnson wants to add 10 more officers because of an 18 percent uptick in crime in 2012. Increasing the city's force to 389 officers -- the highest in the city's history -- would cost about $1.3 million dollars. But other agencies like the Bakersfield Symphony may feel the cut. Council members decided to discuss the issue about half way through the new fiscal year which starts July 1. The council is expected to adopt the proposed 2013-2014 city budget at its June 26 meeting. Read the full story here.
POT SHOPS: A proposed ban on local marijuana dispensaries draws a passionate crowd to the Bakersfield city council chambers. People spoke out Wednesday night as the city considers an ordinance banning medicinal marijuana dispensaries. Proponents pleaded for the council not to impose the ban. In fact, 24 people submitted cards to the City Clerk to speak against the ordinance. The council voted 6 to 0 to move forward with the ordinance. The issue returns for a final vote at the June 26 meeting, and if approved could become law within 30 days. Read the full story here.
PRISON SHOOTING: Officials say a prison inmate shot dead by guards during an uprising at Wasco State Prison was kicking another prisoner in the head at the time. Prison Lt. Floyd Harl said Wednesday that the guard who fired at 21-year-old Angel Torres Monday morning was trying to save the other inmate's life during a fight involving at least 40 men. Harl says the guard fired one bullet. Two other inmates also were taken to outside hospitals for treatment. Harl says it's unclear what caused their injuries. Several inmate-made knives were recovered. Torres had been at the prison since March. He was serving 11 years for assault with a deadly weapon with gang enhancements out of Riverside County. Read the full story here.
MAN WANTED: A man wanted for raping a woman near Lamont remains on the loose. A woman walking along South Union Avenue around 9 p.m. May 24th accepted a ride from a guy. The man drove her to an isolated area near Lamont and sexually assaulted her several times. The woman was able to escape to a nearby house. The suspect is described as white in his mid to late 30s, 5'8", 200 pounds, bald with a tattoo on his stomach which contained the letter L. He was driving a 2000's model four door sedan possibly a Volkswagen model. If you have any information about this case contact the Sheriff's Office.
GRAND THEFT AUTO: Bakersfield Police are on the lookout for a suspect wanted for grand theft auto. A guy got out of his truck and forced his way into a victim's vehicle in the 1100 block of California Avenue around 10:45 Sunday night. He took off in the victim's vehicle with the truck following behind. The suspect is described as Hispanic. The suspect vehicle is a white Toyota crew cab pickup truck. Anyone with information on the case is urged to call BPD. Read the full story here.
ID THEFT AND BURGLARY: Bakersfield Police are searching for a woman wanted for identity theft and burglary. On May 3 someone reported their locker was burglarized in the 7300 block of District Boulevard. Later that day, the victim's credit card was used by the suspect at the Walmart Supercenter on Colony Street. The suspect's photograph was captured on video surveillance. She's described as Black in her mid 20s to early 30s. 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
PROPOSED BAN ON MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES IN CITY DRAWS PASSIONATE CROWD: The Bakersfield City Council heard heartfelt testimony from proponents of medical marijuana following the first reading at its Wednesday meeting of a proposed ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries. The issue returns for a final vote at the June 26 meeting, and if approved could become law within 30 days. Bakersfield City Attorney Ginny Gennaro explained: "This is really a continuation of some historic direction by the council. In the clearest and simplest form, you are simply taking your resolution from 2004 and codifying it into an ordinance. It will give you, it will give us, the city attorney, your police department, an additional enforcement tool that has been endorsed by the California Supreme Court." Proponents of medical marijuana pleaded fervently for the council not to proceed with the proposed ordinance. Twenty-four people submitted cards to the City Clerk to speak against the ordinance. Read the full story here.
PRISON SAYS GUARD WHO SHOT INMATE DID IT TO PROTECT ANOTHER: Officials say a prison inmate shot dead by guards during an uprising at Wasco State Prison was kicking another prisoner in the head at the time. Prison Lt. Floyd Harl said Wednesday that the guard who fired at 21-year-old Angel Torres Monday morning was trying to save the other inmate's life during a fight involving at least 40 men. Harl said the guard fired one bullet. Two other inmates also were taken to outside hospitals for treatment. Harl said that it was unclear what caused their injuries. Several inmate-made knives were recovered. Torres had been at the prison since March. He was serving 11 years for assault with a deadly weapon with gang enhancements out of Riverside County. Read the full story here.
GARCES BACKSTOP SWEANEY EXPECTED TO BE FIRST LOCAL PICKED IN 2013 MLB DRAFT: Amid all the projections and predictions swirling around the Major League Baseball Draft, which begins today and continues through Saturday, Garces senior Jake Sweaney has a comforting outlook on his own fate. "There really is no 'worst-case scenario,'" Sweaney said. "It's a great thing." That's because even if Sweaney doesn't become a professional this summer, he'll head instead to Eugene, Ore., where he'll catch on scholarship for the Oregon Ducks. Read the full story here.
DEREK CARR IS A PRETTY BIG DEAL -- AND HERE'S WHAT HE HAS TO SAY IN BAKERSFIELD STOP: The Fresno State football caravan -- for the record, it's called the Bulldog Express -- made a stop at The Marketplace on Wednesday, and Californian reporter Zach Ewing went to check it out. He talked with Bakersfield Christian graduate Derek Carr, who is along for the RV ride and who has become the face of Fresno State for the next year or so. That started with a stop in his hometown Wednesday, when he reiterated the high expectations he has for his senior year, and will likely end with his selection in next spring's NFL Draft. The Fresno State football caravan -- for the record, it's called the Bulldog Express -- made a stop at The Marketplace on Wednesday, and Californian reporter Zach Ewing went to check it out. He talked with Bakersfield Christian graduate Derek Carr, who is along for the RV ride and who has become the face of Fresno State for the next year or so. That started with a stop in his hometown Wednesday, when he reiterated the high expectations he has for his senior year, and will likely end with his selection in next spring's NFL Draft. Read the full story here.
POLICE RELEASE COMPUTER-GENERATED PHOTO OF ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING SUSPECT: The Bakersfield Police Department released a computer generated photo Wednesday of a suspect wanted for attempted kidnapping and annoying a child. Police say a girl was riding her bicycle on Saturday east in the 4800 block of Baybrook Way when she noticed a vehicle following her. As the vehicle approached her, the suspect asked her climb in the vehicle and go for a ride. Police says the suspect reached out the driver's side window and tried to grab the victim's hand. As the victim rode faster to get away, the suspect also sped up, still trying to grab her hand. The victim was able to hide from the suspect, at which point he drove away. The suspect is described as Hispanic, in his 20s, with a stocky build and short brown spiked hair. He was last seen wearing a light brown T-shirt. The suspect vehicle is described as a dark, navy blue, older model, 4-door vehicle with scratches on the driver's side door. Read the full story here.
THE ENERGY REPORT
OIL PRICES: Oil prices closed at 93.80 but in trading this morning oil is up beyond 94 dollars per barrel. The Energy Department said U.S. crude oil inventories shrank by 6.3 million barrels in the week ending May 31, thanks to a sharp drop in imports. Analysts expected a drop of 1 million barrels. Separately, the American Petroleum Institute said stockpiles shrank by 464,000 to 387.3 million barrels. Tighter supplies tend to push oil prices higher. The Associated Press said analysts doubted that the latest move higher was the start of something dramatic.
THE TECH REPORT
SMARTPHONES: A new study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project finds that 56 percent of American adults own smartphones. Thirty-five percent have mobile phones that aren't smartphones, with 9 percent owning no cell phone at all. The research also found that wealthier Americans have a higher likelihood of owning a smartphone, but younger adults regardless of income level are also very likely to be smartphone owners. Android users are on the rise now representing 28 percent of all mobile phone users in America, with iPhone users at 25 percent and BlackBerry users at 4 percent
VIDEO GROWTH & LTE: LTE and video go hand in hand, as improved network speeds will help drive 60 percent annual growth in video traffic on mobile networks through 2018, according to the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report. Video consumption averages 2.6 gigabytes per subscription per month in some networks, driven by the continual growth in the amount of content available as well as the improved network speeds. Ericsson predicts 60 percent of the world's population will be covered by LTE in 2018. Here in the U.S. AT&T's LTE footprint now tallies 261 markets, Verizon's LTE network is nearing 500 markets, while Sprint's LTE serves 88 markets.
THE HEALTH REPORT
THREE-DAY WALK FOR THE CURE: Susan G. Komen for the Cure is canceling half of its 3-day charity races next year because of a drop in participation levels, a spokeswoman for the breast cancer organization said Wednesday. Komen said its 3-day races will not return next year to Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tampa Bay and Washington D.C. Seven other races will go on as planned. Participation in the 3-day events has declined 37 percent over the last four years, according to the group. Participants must raise at least twenty-three hundred dollars to walk 60 miles over three days.
NATIONAL PARK FOOD: Visitors to the national parks this summer will not only get a taste of nature, they'll also get a taste of healthier fare at the parks' restaurants, snack bars and stores. The National Park Service announced the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program that makes certain all its parks offer healthy food and beverage choices. Some options include lentil soup, bison hot dogs, grass-fed beef, black-bean sliders, fish tacos, fresh tomato soup and produce from local farms. About 23 million people buy meals in national parks each year. The parks will continue offering long-time favorites such as hot dogs and ice cream, along with the new choices.
THE SPORTS REPORT
SWEANEY LEADS DRAFT STOCK: Garces senior catcher Jake Sweaney may be the first area player drafted in today's Major League Baseball Draft. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Sweaney is ranked No. 88 on Keith Law's list of top 100 prospects for ESPN.com. If he doesn't sign with a team, Sweaney will attend the University of Oregon on a baseball scholarship in the fall. Sweaney hopes to be drafted within the first five rounds of the draft -- the first two begin at 4 p.m. today. Sweaney hit .489 for Garces this season with 14 doubles, eight home runs, 39 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.
DEREK CARR RETURNS TO BAKERSFIELD: Fresno State rolled into town on Wednesday and leading the way was Bakersfield's own Derek Carr, the Bulldogs quarterback. Carr was part of Fresno State coach's "Bulldog Express" tour that is Coach Tim DeRuyter effort to promote the football program around the Central Valley. Carr has been named to the Heisman Pundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List, one of 29 players given a preseason chance at college football's famous MVP award. The Bakersfield Christian grad is also hoping to lead the Bulldogs to a second consecutive Mountain West championship and a berth in a major bowl game.
BLAZE LOSE SERIES FINALE: Juan Silva homered and had three RBIs, but the Bakersfield Blaze lost the finale of a 3-game series to the High Desert Mavericks, 15-9 Wednesday in California League play. Marquez Smith and Juan Silverio had three hits for Bakersfield, which returns jome to open a 4-game series with Lake Elsinore tonight.