By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
MAN WHO BURIED FRIEND'S BODY IN YARD SENTENCED TO 38 YEARS IN PRISON: Frank Jude Valles buried his friend Alphonso John Hyde in his yard after he died of a heart attack. Valles said he was following a Native American ritual by burying the body and not telling authorities. On Wednesday, Valles was sentenced to 38 years in prison. He pleaded no contest last month to voluntary manslaughter and 12 counts of grand theft. Bakersfield police began a homicide investigation in August 2012 after Valles' wife told them she'd recorded a conversation in which Valles offered their gardener thousands of dollars to help move a body. Police found Hyde's remains in two yards. Read the full story here.
GARCES COACHES FILE CLAIM AGAINST KERN HS DISTRICT: Eight Garces football coaches, including head coach Jim Maples, are pursuing legal action against the Kern High School District, the Kern County Superintendent of Schools and the CIF Central Section. The coaches, who are represented by local attorney Daniel Rodriguez, have filed a claim Wednesday alleging that those entities used and spread information from a private conversation that they illegally recorded. The recording was allegedly the basis of a Catholic Diocese of Fresno investigation into possible recruiting violations, which in turn led to Maples being place on administrative leave this past summer. Read the full story here.
TEEN CHARGED IN 1-YEAR-OLD'S DEATH MAKES COURT APPEARANCE: The accused killer of 1-year-old Kai'Dan Timothy Webb made a brief, tearful appearance in court Wednesday as her arraignment on charges of second-degree murder and assault on a child under 8 causing death was postponed to Dec. 26. Asiah Hines, 17, is at Juvenile Hall and held on $100,000 bail. An autopsy determined the boy died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries. 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.
STATE BOWL GAME PREDICTIONS: Check out Californian sports reporter Zach Ewing's state bowl predictions on bakersfield.com. And remember the BVarsity crew is renting an RV for the weekend, and we'll rumble down to the StubHub center early Friday afternoon for a special mobile edition of BVarsity Live before Bakersfield Christian kicks off with Modesto-Central Catholic at 4 p.m. After that, it's Bakersfield and Loomis-Del Oro in the Division I state championship at 8 p.m., followed by another BVarsity Live edition starting as close to 11 p.m. Read the full story here.
LAWSUIT FILED IN CONNECTION WITH JULY DEATH AT RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITY: A lawsuit filed against a Bakersfield residential care facility Wednesday alleges that employees in July unlawfully restrained and killed a developmentally disabled man who'd been living at the facility. The lawsuit filed by Matthew C. Clark of Chain, Cohn, Stiles on behalf of the family of Joseph Adam Lynch says employees of Mountain View Ranch Residential Care held Lynch face down on the ground for 15 minutes on July 9. Lynch, 26, stopped moving after three minutes, according to the lawsuit, but the three employees never provided medical care to him or checked if he had a pulse or was breathing. Read the full story here.
POLICE SEARCHING FOR CARGO TRAILER STOLEN FROM MAN'S DRIVEWAY: A man suspected of stealing a cargo trailer earlier this month is being sought by police. Bakersfield Police said the theft occurred at 2:10 a.m. Dec. 5 from a driveway in the 5800 block of Twin Lakes Drive. The white 6-foot-by-12-foot single-axle enclosed cargo trailer contained the victim's work tools. The suspect is described as Hispanic, 5 feet 11 inches, weighing 200 pounds and wearing denim jeans. He was driving a white Ford F-150 extended cab pickup with chrome wheels. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
MOBILE ONLY HOMES: Poor Americans are driving the mobile-only trend, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC survey found that around 55 percent of adults whose income falls below the poverty line had only mobile phones in their homes during the first half of 2013, which is up 3 percent from a year earlier. The data is not entirely surprising, since consumers with lower incomes are less likely to have money to spend on both mobile service and landline home phones. Additionally, over the last several years in the recession and its aftermath, the number of people using the government's Lifeline mobile service for low-income Americans has grown.
THE HEALTH REPORT
BLOOD PRESSURE: A smaller number of older Americans with hypertension could be put on blood pressure-lowering medications if doctors follow new advice from a panel of experts. The guidelines, published online Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, raise the threshold for treating those over age 60, recommending that doctors don't prescribe medications until levels reach 150/90 instead of the previous recommendation of 140/90 that was issued 10 years ago.
THE SPORTS REPORT
BAKERSFIELD CHRISTIAN'S MATT SMITH IS A STAR ON BOTH SIDES: Matt Smith has scored 21 touchdowns and is a top defensive player who leads Bakersfield Christian with nine sacks. So which side of the ball is he more valuable? "It's tough to put a value on Matt Smith on both sides of the ball because he plays such a vital part defensively, and he's such a big, huge part of the cog offensively," BCHS coach Jerald Pierucci said. One thing is certain: Smith will play a huge role Friday on both sides of the ball as the Eagles (12-2) face Modesto-Central Catholic (14-1) in the CIF Division IV State Championship bowl game at 4 p.m. at the StubHub Center in Carson. Read the full story here.
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