Local News

Thursday, Dec 12 2013 08:46 AM

'First Look': First News for Dec. 12

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Bakersfield Californian employee Adam Wages helps with a box of toys donated by Brad Ward of Atlas Pool to the CHP's CHiPs for Kids Toy Drive Thursday morning.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    The Bakersfield Californian's Jennifer Self joins Scott Cox on "First Look with Scott Cox" in the parking lot of The Bakersfield Californian during the CHiPs for Kids Toy Drive Thursday morning.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    CHP officer Robert Rodriguez waves to motorist near the end of the CHiPs for Kids Toy Drive held in The Bakersfield Californian parking lot at the corner of 18th and H streets Thursday. A bounty of toys and cash was donated during the event.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    The Bakersfield Californian's Adam Wages has a laugh with CHP mascot Chipper during the CHiPs for Kids Toy Drive Thursday morning.

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

COUNCIL APPROVES SMALL RAISES FOR POLICE: The Bakersfield City Council approved a one-year contract Wednesday granting small pay raises to Bakersfield Police Department officers and detectives but increasing what they must pay into their own pensions. The agreement approved in a vote Tuesday, is just the second labor agreement the two entities have reached in 6 1/2 years. This means hourly wages for Bakersfield police officers, which currently vary from $26.46 to $32.22, will rise to $26.59 to $32.38, depending on pay grade. Detectives, whose hourly wages ranged from $29.77 to $36.27, will see an immediate increase boosting them from $30.47 to $37.12 depending on pay grade. Read the full story here.

MAN SENTENCED TO 29 YEARS FOR BASEBALL BAT BEATING DEATH: An argument last year between Travis Karon Brown and a woman he'd been living with ended abruptly when Brown grabbed a baseball bat and struck her in the head. Brown, 25, ended up beating Charla Haar to death. Prosecutors say Brown beat 39-year-old Haar to death April 27, 2012 at their residence in the 3700 block of Eucalyptus Drive in east Bakersfield. The two had been arguing over whom Haar had been dating. He was sentenced Wednesday to 29 years in prison for pleading no contest to crimes including voluntary manslaughter and willful cruelty to a child. Read the full story here.

MOTORIST CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH CRASH THAT KILLED BICYCLIST: A motorist that struck and killed a bicyclist in mid-September has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Prosecutors filed the charge Tuesday against Ashley Bell in connection with the Sept. 17 crash that killed Tony Ray Rumple. Bell struck 47-year-old Rumple as he drove south in the bike lane on Coffee Road. Police have said alcohol and drugs did not factor into the crash. Bell was legally talking on her cellphone using a hands-free phone device at the time. Read the full story here.




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

REGIONAL BOWL GAME PREDICTIONS: Check out Californian sports reporter Zach Ewing's regional bowl game predictions on bakersfield. com. Ewing predictions for the following games: Bakersfield 37, Mission Hills 31 -- Bakersfield Christian 42, View Park 26. Read the full story here.

PIPELINE THAT OPENED SINKHOLE UNDER REPAIRS: Crews are continuing to repair the failed pipeline that opened a sinkhole that swallowed a car Friday near the corner of First and L streets. A contractor has been hired to repair the aging 36-inch sewer line that failed, causing the sinkhole. The line was more than 50 years old and had been scheduled for repairs. The cost of the repairs is not yet known, and it will probably be a couple weeks before it's completed. Read the full story here.

OPTIMAL HOSPICE CARE IS SEEKING NEW VOLUNTEERS FOR THE NEW YEAR: The hospice care provider is recruiting home and facility visitors, certified pet therapy teams, veterans and other compassionate people to brighten the lives of hospice patients and their loved ones. Optimal will offer volunteer orientation trainings in January and February. To volunteer, call 716-4000. Read the full story here.



FACEBOOK TO JOIN S&P 500: Facebook will join the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index, replacing technology supplier Teradyne Inc. The Associated Press reports that S&P Dow Jones Indices on Wednesday announced a broader reshuffling of several of its market trackers. It will be effective after the close of trading Dec. 20. Shares of Menlo Park-based Facebook Inc. have surged 86 percent this year. The company is also joining the S&P 100 index.



NEW HEALTH CENTER: Omni Family Health will break ground next week on a new site in Oildale. The 15,600-square-foot clinic at 210 N. Chester Ave. will have 22 exam and consultation rooms when it is finished. The clinic will offer primary and specialty health care, behavioral health and a pharmacy. The project will cost about $5.75 million and the site is expected to open late next year or early in 2015. Omni is a federally qualified health center that provides care to the under served and uninsured. It already has 17 sites throughout Kern County. Read the full story here.



CONDORS LOAN LEADING SCORER TO AHL TEAM: Bakersfield's leading scorer, Chris Collins, has been loaned to the Norfolk (Virginia) Admirals of the American Hockey League. Collins leads the Condors with 11 points (six goals, five assists) with nine of those points coming in the past eight games. An eighth-year pro, Collins has previously played 190 games at the AHL level, including 24 last season. Read the full story here.



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