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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:
FATAL STREET RACING CRASH: A fatal crash in southwest Bakersfield may have been the result of a street race. It happened around 4:15 a.m. Wednesday on Harris Road west of Old River Road. Police estimate a Mercedes-Benz was traveling at over 80 miles an hour when it lost control before hitting a wall and a light pole. The driver, whose name has not been released, was hospitalized, and a girl riding in the car, identified as 17-year-old Iman Badia Amin of Bakersfield died at the scene. A witness told authorities the Mercedes was racing with a white Lexus RX-300, license number 5-SHK-189. Police are now looking for the possible driver, identified as 23-year-old Miguel Garcia of Bakersfield. If you can help locate Garcia, you're asked to contact the BPD. Read the full story here.
MAN ACCUSED OF RAPE: A local man is accused of raping his friend's girlfriend as she slept. It happened when a guy invited his friend 21-year-old Christopher Ramon to his home in late August to hang out and have a few drinks. Ramon's buddy eventually passed out in the back yard. Authorities say Ramon then went inside and raped his friend's girlfriend. Deputies say the girlfriend went to bed about 2 a.m. She awoke sometime between 4:30 a.m. and at first believed her boyfriend was having sex with her. She looked up, saw Ramon, pushed him off her. Ramon faces charges including rape and burglary. He goes back to court Nov. 20. Read the full story here.
CUL-DE-SACS IN DOWNTOWN: As support grows for building cul-de-sacs shielding downtown "tree streets" from 24th Street traffic immediately north, the Bakersfield City Council voted 4-2 Wednesday to continue its discussion of the issue in January. The Bakersfield Californian reports City staff recommended the council simply hear and discuss a report on the cul-de-sacs, but Ward 5 Councilman Harold Hanson and Ward 2 Councilman Terry Maxwell made motions continuing the discussion until January, the next time all council members will be present. Vice Mayor Ken Weir was absent Wednesday. The City Council approved a resolution in November 2012 allowing the closing and construction of cul-de-sacs on Beech, Myrtle, Spruce, Pine, Cedar and A streets south of 24th Street -- if all homeowners between 22nd and 24th streets agreed, and residents with corner properties on 24th Street donated a portion of their land. Read the full story here.
BAKERSFIELD POLICE SWEEP: Fourteen people are in jail after a warrant sweep by Bakersfield Police and Kern County Probation. Officials say it was part of the ongoing effort to combat domestic violence. On Wednesday, a dozen people were arrested for outstanding domestic violence warrants, and two more on unrelated warrants. The officers got an assist from the Alliance Against Family Violence, which offered its services to victims and their families. Read the full story here.
IMMIGRATION ACTIVISTS AT MCCARTHY'S OFFICE: Thirteen women vowed Wednesday evening to stay in the lobby area of Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s Bakersfield office overnight as part of a protest to get him to meet with them on immigration legislation they’d like the House of Representatives to take up soon. Bakersfield police officers rotating on 30-minute shifts stayed inside with the protesters Wednesday evening and it appeared they’d be staying with them overnight during the unusual sit-in. But McCarthy met with the women late Wednesday night, and according to Vince Fong, a spokesman for McCarthy, they left sometime before midnight. A spokeswoman for the United Farm Workers of America, Maria Machuca, issued a statement saying McCarthy met with the women "past 11 p.m. today," referring to Wednesday night. Read the full story here.
PRISON REALIGNMENT MEETING: Kern County leaders are getting together to talk Prison Realignment. April Thompson of Cal State University Bakersfield says the event is co-sponsored by the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State L.A. It happens on Nov. 13 in the Walter Stiern Library at CSUB, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. If you want to participate, you can show up a half hour early and register, or go to patbrowninstitute.org and click on events.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending across bakersfield.com.
ELON MUSK, MAN BEHIND TESLA, PAYPAL, SPEAKS TO PACKED CROWD AT CSUB: Paypal co-founder and Tesla Motors creator Elon Musk spoke to an estimated 500 people Wednesday night at CSUB's Dore Theatre, as the inaugural speaker of the CSUB Distinguished Speaker Series. Musk was a millionaire at 28 after selling his first company, Zip2 Corp., to Compaq Computer Corp. for $307 million -- his share was $22 million. Then he started X.com, which morphed into Paypal. When it sold in 2002 to eBay for $1.5 billion, Musk made $165 million. In rapid succession he began SpaceX in 2002, Tesla Motors in 2003 and SolarCity in 2004. Read the full story here.
MAN ACCUSED OF RAPING FRIEND'S GIRLFRIEND AS SHE SLEPT: A longtime friend invited Christopher Andrew Ramon to his home in late August to hang out and have a few drinks. Ramon's buddy eventually passed out in the back yard. Authorities say Ramon then went inside and raped his friend's girlfriend as she slept. Ramon, 21, was held to answer on charges of rape and burglary Wednesday. His next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 20. Deputies say the girlfriend went to bed about 2 a.m. She awoke sometime between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. and at first believed her boyfriend was having sex with her. She looked up, saw Ramon, and pushed him off her, according to deputies. She then told him to leave the residence and called 911. Read the full story here.
HARRIS ROAD CRASH KILLS 1; POLICE SAY 2 CARS RACING: A car that Bakersfield Police estimated was traveling at more than 80 mph on Harris Road crashed early Wednesday morning and killed a 17-year-old passenger. Police said about 4:15 a.m. the Mercedes Benz rolled over about 150 yards west of Old River Road after the driver lost control and struck a wall and a light pole. Iman Badia Amin of Bakersfield died at the scene. The identity of the Mercedes' male driver was not released. A witness told police the Mercedes was racing a white 2006 Lexus RX300 SUV prior to the accident. Police said the Lexus -- California license 5SHK189 -- was possibly operated by Miguel Garcia, 23, of Bakersfield. Police have not been able to locate Garcia. Read the full story here.
PROTESTORS STAGE SIT-IN AT MCCARTHY'S OFFICE: Thirteen women vowed Wednesday evening to stay in the lobby area of Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s Bakersfield office overnight as part of a protest to get him to meet with them on immigration legislation they’d like the House of Representatives to take up soon. Bakersfield police officers rotating on 30-minute shifts stayed inside with the protesters Wednesday evening and it appeared they’d be staying with them overnight during the unusual sit-in. But McCarthy met with the women late Wednesday night, and according to Vince Fong, a spokesman for McCarthy, they left sometime before midnight. A spokeswoman for the United Farm Workers of America, Maria Machuca, issued a statement saying McCarthy met with the women "past 11 p.m. today," referring to Wednesday night.. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
GOOGLE BARGE: Google broke its silence on the floating barge structure it is building in San Francisco Bay. They said in a statement that while things may change, they're exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology. The structure was discovered in late October, prompting a visit from the U.S. Coast Guard. A second barge has been spotted in Portland, Maine.
BLOCKBUSTER: Dish Network said Wednesday that it plans to fold all 300 of its remaining Blockbuster retail stores, and that it will also halt its DVD-by-mail service by early January. The satellite TV provider, which bought Blockbuster through a bankruptcy proceeding, said it will continue to use the Blockbuster brand to sell streaming movies to subscribers who use its Blockbuster @Home and Blockbuster On Demand products.
THE HEALTH REPORT
STREP APP: While most of us skip visits to the doctor when we know it's just a cold, what about when it's accompanied by a nagging sore throat? Should we head to the doctor's office for a strep test? Boston Children's Hospital researchers believe they have found a way to potentially reduce unnecessary medical appointments by using a new risk assessment tool that combines a patients' symptoms with data tracking the incidence of strep infections in a local area. In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the researchers examined medical records from more than 70,000 patients older than age 15 who visited outpatient clinics for strep tests and found that having a sore throat along with a fever, but no cough put a person at higher risk of having strep. These patients were justified in seeing a doctor to have a physical exam and strep test. The study also found that those with "low-risk" symptoms who lived in places where strep wasn't widely circulating had a very low chance of having a positive strep infection and would have been fine skipping a trip to the doctor. The study's authors said developing an app doctors can use to track strep trends should be fairly easy, and could be similar to one developed recently by researchers at the hospital to track the flu. If the new technology is developed and widely adopted, some 230,000 doctor visits could be avoided each year.
THE SPORTS REPORT
HARVICK HELPS NORTH WITH GOLF DONATION: He's 2,500 miles removed from his roots, but there is no doubt about it: Kevin Harvick remains an 08er at heart. That point was driven home Wednesday when Harvick presented the North High boys and girls golf team with quite a collection of golf equipment. Twenty-one new red Puma bags in all -- 11 for the boys and 10 for the girls -- all filled with complete sets of clubs as well as balls, shoes and a couple of shirts for each team member. Harvick grew up just a short walk from North High and has made it a point to help those at his old alma mater through his Kevin Harvick Foundation. Harvick, third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings as the series heads into its final two weekends, said he's thankful for being in position to give back. Read the full story here.
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