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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. REMEMBERED: Volunteers of all ages picked up trash in southeast Bakersfield Monday morning, to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. The event sponsored by Stop the Violence, brought groups of volunteers to clean up neighborhoods near Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Bakersfield. There was also an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Awards Breakfast, that raises money for scholarships and recognizes people working to improve their communities. Gaurdie E. Banister Jr., CEO of Aera Energy LLC, was the guest speaker. At night, local leaders like Mayor Harvey Hall and Police Chief Greg Williamson participated in a candlelight procession from the Kern County Courthouse to First Presbyterian Church on 17th Street. Once there, a crowd of more than 300 heard a number of speakers urge them to keep King's dreams alive. (Scroll down to see video.)
PLEA DEALS TAKEN IN MARKETPLACE ROBBERY, CHASE: Plea deals have been accepted in connection with an early December robbery at The Marketplace and subsequent car chase in which one person was shot by police and three men were arrested. Eric Miles Jr. and Brandon Burns are scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 19. Miles, 23, pleaded no contest to grand theft, resisting arrest, recklessly evading a peace officer and receiving stolen property. Burns, 27, pleaded no contest to grand theft. Read the full story here.
GANG MEMBER ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY SELLING METH, GUNS: A year-long drug trafficking investigation led to the arrest of a gang member who police said was selling large amounts of methamphetamine and guns, including an assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine. Daniel Davis, 26, of Bakersfield, was arrested Dec. 29 and has pleaded no contest to meth possession for sales. Police said the plea deal stipulates an eight-year prison sentence. Police said Davis is a documented member of the Warlord Bloods criminal street gang. 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.
SUSPECT FONDLED WOMAN AT LOCAL PARK: Police say a man sexually assaulted a woman at Grissom Park and then ran from the area. Police said the suspect approached the woman at 1:10 p.m. on Jan. 9. He pushed her against a table and fondled her. The suspect is described as Hispanic, 30 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 150 pounds, short black hair, wearing a white tank top, dark jeans and having a circular tattoo on the right side of his neck. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Detective Mitch Galland at 326-3557. Read the full story here.
THREE SHOT NEAR DELANO BAR: Three people were shot near a Delano bar early Monday morning, two of the victims suffering gunshot wounds to the head and neck. Delano police said the shooting occurred at 1:14 a.m. near Rosy's Place in the 600 block of Garces Highway. The victims -- three Hispanic males -- were taken to a local hospital. Two of them were listed in serious to critical condition. An investigation is ongoing. Read the full story here.
ROBBERY SUSPECT BRANDISHED GUN AT STORE EMPLOYEES: Police say a suspect robbed a grocery store and then brandished a gun at store employees who chased after him. The robbery occurred at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 23 at the Albertson's at 3500 Panama Lane. Police said the suspect concealed merchandise and ran out the back door without paying. Store employees followed the man and saw him get in a vehicle, police said. The suspect then brandished a gun at them. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
COMMON PASSWORDS: SplashData has issued its list of the most commonly used passwords of the year. These are, of course, also the most stolen passwords as well. This year, the worst choice is 123456- narrowly beating the perennial favorite "password."Also in the top ten -- 12345678, abc123, iloveyou, and adobe123.
THE HEALTH REPORT
WHOOPING COUGH: Once thought to be nearly eradicated, pertussis surged last year in California, with hundreds more cases reported in 2013 than in the previous year. California health officials cite a variety of reasons for the uptick of the highly contagious respiratory disease also known as whooping cough. A major contributor, according to the state, was declining immunity among children who had been vaccinated years earlier and had yet to get the booster shot recommended at ages 11 or 12. Other factors include the cyclical nature of the disease and an increasing number of parents opting out of immunizations for their children.
THE SPORTS REPORT
FORMER NORTH BASEBALL COACH SAM BARTON DIES AT 85: Sam Barton had a simple requirement for the high school boys he coached: Work hard and do what you're supposed to do. "He ran practices right," said George Culver, who played as a junior varsity player for Barton at North and eventually played nine seasons in the major leagues. "When we played the games, we were ready to play." Tony Silver, who succeeded Barton as North's varsity baseball coach in 1979, said Barton expected nothing but the best. "If you didn't work hard, if you weren't disciplined, he wouldn't put you on the field," he said. Barton, 85, died Sunday night after a lengthy illness. The Stars won outright or shared South Yosemite League baseball championships six straight seasons from 1972-77, including a Central Section championship in 1976. He coached baseball for 21 years. Read the full story here.
WATCH VIDEO FROM THE MLK DAY CLEAN-UP: