Local News

Wednesday, Jan 29 2014 06:51 AM

'First Look': First News for Jan. 29

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

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

DIOCESE DUMPS MAPLES AS GARCES FOOTBALL COACH: Garces fired head football coach Jim Maples on Tuesday, ending a two-year tenure full of on-field successes and off-field controversy. According to a press release from the Diocese of Fresno, Maples was told he was being replaced. Maples was 22-4 as the Rams' head coach, winning the 2012 Central Section Division II championship and finishing as section runner-up this past season. The press release stated only that Richard Sexton, superintendent of Catholic schools for the diocese, "thanked Coach Maples for his service to the Garces football program, but explained to him that Garces has decided to take a new direction in its football program." Read the full story here.

HEALTHCARE, PENSION COSTS COULD PINCH CITY BUDGET: Mindful that employee pension and healthcare costs are going up by $3.5 million even as sales tax revenue has gone down, city officials began drafting Bakersfield's proposed 2014-2015 Fiscal Year budget at a kick-off meeting Tuesday. While the insurance agency's investments are since back in the black, it posted just a 1 percent profit on investments during the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year. Read the full story here.

PRELIMINARY KERN CITRUS FREEZE LOSSES EXCEED $100 MILLION: The December freeze was bad for Kern County's citrus crop, but Tuesday it got a lot worse. Preliminary estimates suggest losses will easily top $100 million, and maybe more. Even as area farmers are dealing with one of the worst droughts in history, county Agricultural Commissioner Ruben Arroyo told the Kern County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that local growers of lemons, tangerines and mandarins have lost as much as half their crop to freeze damage. Arroyo estimated 15 percent of Kern County's Valencia orange crop and 35 percent of other large orange varieties also are damaged. Read the full story here.

WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM

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

BODY RECOVERED FROM CANAL: The body of an Arvin man was recovered Tuesday afternoon from a canal about a half mile north of where a vehicle was discovered earlier in the day. Deputies said Arvin-Edison Water District officials discovered the body of 18-year-old Alejandro Pantoja. The vehicle was found at 7:30 a.m. about a mile east of Rockpile Road and Sunset Boulevard northeast of Arvin. Deputies said it may be related to a missing person case under investigation by the Arvin Police Department. Read the full story here.

ALEC CHECK'S DEFENSIVE PLAY PRESERVES CENTENNIAL WIN: Centennial was down one point and its two best players, and Independence was close to the one victory it wanted most. Then Preston Green scored on a putback with 6 seconds left, and freshman Alec Check blocked Isaac Clark's layup at the buzzer to preserve Centennial's thrilling 69-68 victory at home Tuesday over Independence. It was also a brilliant coming-out party for the freshman, who scored 19 points and came up with several big plays. Read the full story here.

THREE ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH SUBWAY ROBBERY: Three people have been arrested in connection with the robbery of a Subway sandwich shop Sunday evening. The robbery occurred at about 9:21 p.m. at the Subway at 2612 Oswell St. Police said witnesses reported two suspects -- one armed with a gun -- entered the business and ordered employees to the ground. One of the suspects removed and took the lower portion of the cash register. They ran from the business and entered a car occupied by a third suspect. Zani Maree Funke,25, Kevin Lee Jones, 25, and Ryan Church Kohr, 24, were each booked on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy. Read the full story here.

 

THE TECH REPORT

INTERNET ACCESS: Internet access is getting quicker throughout the world, according to cloud service provider Akamai. Releasing its "State of the Internet" report for third quarter of 2013 on Tuesday, Akamai pegged the average global connection speed at 3.6 megabits per second, a 10 percent increase from the second quarter and a 29 percent leap from the same quarter in 2012. Gains in the average connection speed ranged from 0.2 percent in Egypt to 259 percent on the French island Reunion.

 

THE HEALTH REPORT

CANCER BREATH: A simple breath test might reveal if a person has early-stage lung cancer, according to a new study. Researchers tested the exhaled breath of people with suspicious lung lesions that were detected on CT scans. The breath was tested for levels of four cancer-specific substances. Having elevated levels of three of the four was predictive of lung cancer in 95 percent of patients.

 

THE SPORTS REPORT

FRESHMAN ALEC CHECK'S BLOCK PRESERVES CENTENNIAL WIN: Centennial was down one point and its two best players, and Independence was close to the one victory it wanted most. Then Preston Green scored on a putback with 6 seconds left, and freshman Alec Check blocked Isaac Clark's layup at the buzzer to preserve Centennial's thrilling 69-68 victory at home Tuesday over Independence. Read the full story here.

GARCES FIRES MAPLES AS FOOTBALL COACH: Garces fired head football coach Jim Maples on Tuesday, ending a two-year tenure full of on-field successes and off-field controversy. According to a press release from the Diocese of Fresno, Maples was told he was being replaced. Maples was 22-4 as the Rams' head coach, winning the 2012 Central Section Division II championship and finishing as section runner-up this past season. Before that, he was Garces' defensive coordinator. Maples also coached at East, where he won the 2004 D-II section title. He is 62-42 in nine years overall. Read the full story here.

 

CHECK OUT SCOTT IN 60:

 

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