Local News

Tuesday, Sep 10 2013 07:17 AM

'First Look': First News for Sept. 10

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:

KERN MEDICAL CENTER CEO FIRED: He's out -- the top dog at the county-run hospital has been fired. Kern County supervisors fired Kern Medical Center CEO Paul Hensler Monday evening after a meeting in which they learned more troubling information about the public hospital's tangled finances. Supervisor Mike Maggard says the board has lost confidence in Hensler. County Administrative Officer John Nilon said the most troublesome revelation is that the hospital has over-budgeted by about $1.6 million a month for the current fiscal year. KMC staff reported that the hospital will run an estimated $9.6 million beyond budget from July to December alone. Nilon says the board will initially focus on making cuts at KMC but it may not free up enough cash soon enough. He said the county could take money out of reserves, but supervisors may also have to reopen the budget to cover the shortfall. Read the full story here.

LAMONT COMPOSTING PLANT: A judge will soon decide the fate of a controversial Lamont composting plant where two brothers died. Arguments concluded Monday without a ruling in the non-jury trial regarding Community Recycling and the county Board of Supervisors' efforts to shut it down and fine it $2.3 million after the brothers died there in October 2011. The Bakersfield Californian reports the matter most vigorously debated Monday was whether the facility represented an imminent danger when the board voted to close it. The facility employs about 100 local residents, but it processes some 2 million gallons per day of human waste that the Lamont Public Utility District says would spill out onto Highway 223 if the facility closes. Read the full story here.

SEXUAL ASSAULT: A northwest Bakersfield woman is sexually assaulted, and police are hunting for the suspect. Around 11:30 a.m. Monday police went to a home in the 8700 block of Fox Run Drive. The resident told them she heard a loud noise in her garage. She says she went to investigate, and encountered a man who grabbed her. The man reportedly struggled with her before sexually assaulting her. The woman was hospitalized with moderate injuries. The suspect is described as a Hispanic in his 30's, 5-foot-10, with a shaved head a goatee. He was wearing a dark shirt with sleeves to the elbows and dark knee-length shorts. The victim says the guy also had tattoos on the right side of his neck and both forearms. He was driving a tan or silver four-door sedan. Anyone with information is urged to call Bakersfield Police. Read the full story here.

CAUSE OF DEATH STILL UNKNOWN: An autopsy is done on the woman found dead last weekend in her burning Southwest Bakersfield home. But the Kern County Coroner says they'll need more tests to determine the cause and manner of death of 56 year-old Clara Basta. Her body was discovered Saturday morning at her home on Kilkenny Court. Police say it looks like the fire was intentionally set. A car belonging to Basta was abandoned Sunday at an unspecified location. 23-ABC's Larissa Wohl says Basta's Facebook page reveals more information about her. That appears to be the same car found Sunday. Authorities say a second car and woman associated with the Basta's home have been located but they haven't released any specifics. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Bakersfield Police. 

ROBBER ON THE LOOSE: High resolution photos are out of the suspect in an August 20th robbery. It happened about 8:30 p.m. at the AM/PM mini-mart at 3333 Union Avenue. A clerk told authorities a guy came in, picked out a carton of Camels, a carton of Marlboros, two large Snickers bars and a bottle of Clear Eyes eye-drops. He then reportedly tried to pay for the stuff with a card that didn't belong to him. When the clerk refused, the guy grabbed the loot and took off. Another employee tried to stop him but the man reportedly threatened that person with a knife. The suspect is described as white, mid to late 20s, 6-3 or 6-4, 200 pounds, with short dark hair, and wearing sunglasses. Some very clear surveillance photos released Monday show the guy without the shades. You can take a look at Bakersfield.com, and if you know this guy, you're asked to call Bakersfield Police. Read the full story here.

STUDENT ATHLETE SYMPOSIUM: Local coaches and trainers are coming together to discuss head injuries. The eighth annual Head Injuries in Student Athletes Symposium happens Thursday at the Kern High School District. It's sponsored by Hall Ambulance, and they report that 20 percent of the nation's high school and college football players suffer some sort of head injury every year. They remind parents to get help if their kids show signs of a concussion, including confusion, vacant stare, or delayed response.

WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM

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

WOMAN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED IN NORTHWEST BAKERSFIELD: Bakersfield Police are searching for a man wanted in connection with a sexual assault that occurred Monday in northwest Bakersfield. Police said a woman in the 8700 block of Fox Run Drive heard a noise in her locked garage Monday morning. When she investigated, she encountered the suspect and was sexually assaulted. The woman sustained moderate injuries and was taken to a local hospital. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 30s, 5 feet 10 inches tall with a shaved head and a goatee with no mustache. He was wearing a dark shirt with sleeves to the elbows and dark knee-length shorts. He also has tattoos on both forearms and on the right side of his neck. The suspect's vehicle is described as a tan or silver four-door sedan. Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call BPD at 327-7111. Read the full story here.

SUPERVISORS FIRE CEO OF KERN MEDICAL CENTER: Kern County supervisors fired Kern Medical Center CEO Paul Hensler Monday evening after a meeting in which they learned more troubling information about the public hospital's tangled finances. "The Board has lost confidence in Paul Hensler's ability to continue managing Kern Medical Center," Board of Supervisors Chairman Mike Maggard said in an email statement. "Accordingly, the Board has terminated Mr. Hensler's contract immediately and he is dismissed immediately." Read the full story here.

CASE OF COMPOSITING FACILITY WHERE TWO BROTHERS DIED GOES TO JUDGE: The fate of a controversial composting plant now rests in the hands of a Kern County judge. The matter most vigorously debated Monday was whether the facility represented an imminent danger when the board voted to close it. Arguments concluded Monday in the non-jury trial without a ruling in the case of a Lamont-area composting facility that the county Board of Supervisors tried to shut down and fine $2.3 million after two brothers died there in October 2011. Read the full story here.

BVARSITY ALUMNI REPORT: So how are Kern County high school football alumni doing in college football and the NFL? Well, the first couple of weeks of football season have been a lot of things for Kern products, and "boring" is not on the list. After a five-year run as a backup quarterback (two with the Giants, one with the 49ers, then two more with the Giants), David Carr was cut by New York this preseason. No official word on whether this means retirement for the 34-year-old former No. 1 pick. Read the full story here.

MISSING: THE WORLD'S MOST INTERESTING BEER BOTTLE: Police and beer lovers are on the lookout for a missing beer bottle stolen from this weekend's Village Fest. The missing inflatable bottle of Dos Equis Lager is described as green, about 25 to 30 feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds. The tethered inflatable, worth between $3,000 and $4,000, was taken sometime between festival closing. Anyone with information about the missing bottle is asked to call 833-3783. Read the full story here.

 

THE TECH REPORT

DATA REQUESTS: Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft all filed petitions Monday with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, as part of a renewed effort to reveal more information about government data requests. The companies had already petitioned the U.S. government to let them be more specific in reporting the volume of national security-related requests they receive, following the first leaks in June about government surveillance programs such as Prism. The companies said Monday they are pushing harder now because those previous efforts did not pay off.

TARGET VIDEO: The latest entrant to the online-video distribution business already has a bull's-eye on its chest. Retail giant Target is said to be nearing the commercial introduction this fall of its Target Ticket service. The company told employees last week that it will soon offer the service to customers,and will offer 15-thousand titles including new releases and next-day TV shows. The titles will be available to stream or download on PCs, Macs, iOS and Android devices.

 

THE HEALTH REPORT

EATING DISORDERS: The news is not always all good when obese teenagers lose weight. Such young people seem to be at risk for developing eating disorders that slip the attention of health professionals, scientists report. Forty-five percent of the patients in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine eating disorders clinic in the last year were adolescents with a history of obesity. In the journal Pediatrics, the scientists describe two teenagers in whom "despite regular medical check-ups and obvious signs of malnutrition, eating disorders were not identified as such and consequently worsened." Both developed their eating disorders in the course of efforts to lose weight.

ANTI-SMOKING ADS: A graphic, deliberately shocking, anti-tobacco campaign starring former smokers -- including a woman who lost her voice box to throat cancer -- helped 100-thousand Americans kick the habit permanently. And government researchers say an estimated 1.6 million people at least tried to quit smoking after seeing the first national mass media anti-smoking initiative funded by the U.S. government. The series of ads, called "Tips," featured images of an 18-year-old wearing an oxygen mask; a 57-year-old Army veteran with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; 52-year-old Terrie Hall who was diagnosed with oral and throat cancers. The 2012 campaign reached nearly 80 percent of US smokers.

 

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