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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
BOEHNER COMES TO KERN TO PITCH WATER BILL: House Speaker John Boehner dug his shiny loafers into a swath of powder dry Kern County dirt on Wednesday and promised to move quickly on legislation aimed at easing the pain of California's historic drought. Boehner and his partners on the legislation all agreed that, yes, the drought is the biggest obstacle to farmers getting adequate water in the near term. But they denounced as "idiocy" and "nonsense" California's management of its water system. Read the full story here.
CONDORS SALE TO OILERS APPROVED: The sale of the Bakersfield Condors to the ownership group that owns the National Hockey League Edmonton Oilers has reached a conclusion. On Wednesday, the ECHL Board of Governors voted to approve the change of ownership at its winter meeting in Philadelphia. The Bakersfield City Council voted 7-0 with no discussion to approve a change of ownership, allowing the Katz Group of Companies to run the Condors and have them continue to play at the city-owned Rabobank Arena. The new lease runs through the 2023 season. Read the full story here.
THE SHOE FITS: NORDSTROM RACK MAY BE COMING TO BAKERSFIELD: Nordstrom Rack, BevMo!, Sprouts Farmers Market and several other national chains may be coming to Bakersfield this year, a local commercial real estate broker told an audience Wednesday. Other retailers planning to open locally this year include: Aldi, a Germany-based grocery retailer; Dunkin Donuts, a Massachusetts-based chain that said in October that it hopes to open a Bakersfield location; and La-Z-Boy, a Michigan-based furniture retailer best known for its recliners. 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.
PASSENGERS DETAIL INJURIES SUFFERED IN ALLEGED DUI CRASH THAT KILLED TWO: Tyruss Crofton said he was traveling in a car driven by his cousin when suddenly his head started spinning. He wasn't sure what had happened, but each time he tried turning his head to the left he felt something jab him. It was his broken collarbone protruding from his skin. Crofton's grisly recollection about the April 20, 2012 crash that killed his cousin and a friend came at the beginning of Wednesday's preliminary hearing for Terri Lynn Papadakis, which will continue this morning. Papadakis, 48, is charged with six felonies, including two counts of DUI vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence. Read the full story here.
PILOT ERROR CAUSE CRASH THAT KILLED BAKERSFIELD AIRMAN: A U.S. Air Force investigation has determined that the August helicopter crash in Okinawa that killed Centennial High School graduate and decorated flight engineer Tech Sgt. Mark Smith was caused by pilot error. Smith died, 30, Aug. 5 when his HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed and burned during a training exercise. According to the findings, the pilot was flying with a second chopper in a low, circle 8 pattern and mistakenly thought a mid-air collision was imminent. His low-altitude maneuver sent the helicopter crashing into the jungle. Read the full story here.
GARCES PARTS WAYS WITH SWIMMING COACH BILL POTTER: Longtime Garces swimming coach Bill Potter said he was fired without cause from the school. "They fired me for 'breaking Catholic code,' which is pretty much what the Diocese of Fresno fires you for when they have no reason to fire you," said Potter, who ran the aquatics program at Garces for 16 years and won multiple Central Section championships. Garces athletic director Lela Steiber confirmed that Potter was no longer coaching at the school but said she could have no further comment. Zak Brown is the Rams' new swimming coach. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
LIVE-STREAM SUPER BOWL: Fox will use a free live stream of the Super Bowl to help promote its sports-themed TV Everywhere iPad app -- Fox Sports Go. The day of the game, Fox will offer a free preview of the app, which is typically restricted to subscribers of certain pay-TV providers with which Fox has TV Everywhere deals in place. Fox said it's the first time the Super Bowl will stream in an iPad app. The game won't be available on the smartphone version of the Fox Sports Go app due to "league restrictions."
THE HEALTH REPORT
COLD AND OBESITY: Dutch researchers say keeping homes a little chillier as temperatures drop outside might help people burn more calories and protect their health. We spend about 90 per cent of our time indoors at home, school or work, scientists say. Now a paper published Wednesday proposes a little cold keeps that doctor away since regular exposure to mild cold could increase energy expenditure to tackle obesity.
THE SPORTS REPORT
CONDORS SALE TO OILERS APPROVED: The sale of the Bakersfield Condors to the ownership group that owns the National Hockey League Edmonton Oilers has reached a conclusion. All that is left is for the parties involved to make a formal announcement. That will come Thursday in a media conference with Oilers President Patrick LaForge and Condors President Matthew Riley at 10 a.m.
GARCES PARTS WAY WITH SWIMMING COACH PORTER: Longtime Garces swimming coach Bill Potter said he was fired without cause from the school. "They fired me for 'breaking Catholic code,' which is pretty much what the Diocese of Fresno fires you for when they have no reason to fire you," said Potter, who ran the aquatics program at Garces for 16 years and won multiple Central Section championships. Garces athletic director Lela Steiber confirmed that Potter was no longer coaching at the school but said she could have no further comment. Typically, Garces defers all comment on personnel matters to the Catholic Diocese of Fresno, which could not be reached Wednesday night. Zak Brown is the Rams' new swimming coach.
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