Local News

Friday, Sep 13 2013 07:36 AM

'First Look': First News for Sept. 13

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

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

GANG MEMBER SENTENCED: A Bakersfield gang member is sentenced for his role in a shooting near a local hospital. Thomas Palenzuela, 21, was sentenced to 58 years to life for attempted murder after he pulled a gun and threatened a man he was arguing with near Kern Medical Center in April 2012. When the man's father tried to intervene, Palenzuela struck him with the gun and took aim at the son. The father jumped in front of his son as Palenzuela fired and was shot in the arm. Palenzuela was acquitted of charges filed in connection with the April 8, 2012 shooting outside the Hookah Lounge in the 5000 block of California Avenue. Palenzuela is a member of the Varrio Bakers criminal street gang. Read the full story here.

MAN IDENTIFIED: We've learned the name of a man who died after the motorcycle he was riding collides with another vehicle. Authorities say around 10 Wednesday night, 57-year-old James Gregory Brown was riding through the intersection of Planz Road and South H Street when he was hit by an SUV. The motorcycle burst into flames, and emergency crews gave Brown medical aid, but he died at the scene. No word on what led to the crash, which is being investigated by Bakersfield Police. Read the full story here.

REWARD: The Secret Witness Program is offering a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and filing of charges against the guy responsible for the Sept. 7 robbery of the Chase Bank on Mt. Vernon Avenue. Police say the suspect is described as possibly Hispanic, in his late 20s to early 30s, with a heavy build. He was last seen wearing a dark blue bandana covering his face, a gray T-shirt with a hood and blue jeans. The car he was driving is described as a newer model, charcoal gray possible Volkswagen Passat. Anyone with information is asked to call the Bakersfield Police Department or Secret Witness at 322-4040. Read the full story here.

HEAD ON HIGHWAY 178 COLLISION: A headon collision takes the life of a Wofford Heights woman and closes Highway 178 near the mouth of the Kern River canyon. Around 2:15 p.m. Thursday, California Highway Patrol officers were called to the scene where they found a big rig and a probation van had crashed into one another about four miles into the canyon. Kimberly Fowler, 43, died in the emergency room at Kern Medical Center after the van collided with the other vehicle. The roadway was expected to be back open by 6 p.m. Read the full story here.

SUPERINTENDENT IN KERN COUNTY: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is in Kern County this week as part of a tour of schools around the state to get a sense of educational needs in a critical transition year. The Bakersfield Californian reports California K-12 schools are in the process of updating their curriculum to meet new academic standards that have been adopted in most of the country, and next year a new standardized test will be issued to measure progress toward meeting them. Torlakson is visiting schools in Arvin, Bakersfield and Delano over two days, including elementary and high schools and a community college. Read the full story here.

DANGEROUS PEST IN CENTRAL VALLEY: It looks like a dangerous pest has found it's way into the Central Valley.The Fresno Bee reports at least a hundred of the tiny Asian citrus psyllids were found this week in Dinuba. Two of the insects were caught in traps, while dozens more were found in trees at neighboring homes. Valley farmers have been fighting to keep the psyllid from harming the state's two billion dollar citrus industry. So far none of the specimens found in Tulare County has carried the bacteria that's devastated crops in Florida and other parts of the world.

WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM

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

TEACHER WITH REPEAT DUIs TO RESIGN: A teacher at a Kern County alternative school has given notice after coming under fire for repeatedly driving under the influence. Brandi Lynn Sherman, who is on paid administrative leave, will resign effective Sept. 30, said Kern County Superintendent of Schools spokesman Rob Meszaros. She teaches ninth through 12th grades and independent studies at Sillect Community School. Sherman has been caught driving under the influence of alcohol three times since 2011. Read the full story here.

GANG MEMBER SENTENCED TO 58 YEARS TO LIFE FOR EAST BAKERSFIELD SHOOTING: In April of 2012, gang member Thomas Palenzuela was involved in a shooting outside a Bakersfield hookah lounge. Just weeks later, while on probation for a different gun-related charge, he shot a man. Earlier this year the 21-year-old beat the rap on the hookah case. Thursday, however, he was sentenced to 58 years to life for attempted murder in the second shooting. Kern County Superior Court Judge H.A. "Skip" Staley said Palenzuela used a gun and inflicted physical and emotional injury on his victims. Read the full story here.

HIGHWAY 178 MAJOR INJURY CRASH: Highway 178 reopened Thursday afternoon, following an accident involving three vehicles and a big rig that closed the road in both directions for four miles east of the mouth of the Kern River Canyon for 3 1/2 hours. Four people were injured in 2:16 p.m. accident, two seriously. CHP said a van driven by 81-year-old James Fowler of Wofford Heights was traveling east. As it approached the stopped traffic the van veered across the solid yellow line and clipped the left rear of a car driven by 33-year-old Dionisio Silva of Bakersfield. The impact pushed the van into the path of the westbound big rig, which was moving at less than 15 mph. Read the full story here

STATE SUPERINTENDENT VISITS KERN COUNTY: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is in Kern County this week as part of a tour of schools around the state to get a sense of educational needs in a critical transition year. California K-12 schools are in the process of updating their curriculum to meet new academic standards that have been adopted in most of the country, and next year a new standardized test will be issued to measure progress toward meeting them. Torlakson is visiting schools in Arvin, Bakersfield and Delano over two days, including elementary and high schools and a community college. Read the full story here.

WEEK 2 FOOTBALL PREDICTIONS: Check out sports reporter Zach Ewing's week two football game predictions, including tonight's live stream, Centennial vs Clovis game. Watch the game at bakersfield.com starting at 7 p.m. Read the full story here.

 

THE TECH REPORT

AT&T: AT&T has been struggling to expand its 4G LTE network, and today reports say the company is dropping $1.9 billion in order to do so. The chunk of cash will buy unused spectrum from its biggest competitor, Verizon. The deal between the two companies will see upgraded service for 42 million users across 18 states. In return, AT&T will hand over advanced wireless spectrum licenses to Verizon in five different markets including Phoenix, Los Angeles, Fresno, Albuquerque and Portland. Verizon expects the licenses to be worth as much as $225 million.

TWITTER IPO: Twitter filed for an initial public offering Thursday, taking the first step toward what would be Silicon Valley's most anticipated debut since Facebook's last year. Twitter has been valued by private investors at more than ten billion dollars, and is on track to post $583 million in revenue this year according to eMarketer.

 

THE HEALTH REPORT

HAPPY, HAPPY: Those looking for greater happiness and satisfaction in life should head to northern Europe according to the 2013 World Happiness Report released this week by Columbia University's Earth Institute. Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden are the world's happiest countries, according to the survey of 156 countries. Rwanda, the Central African Republic, and Togo are the least satisfied with their lives. The United States came in at number 17, but it still lags behind Canada, Australia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Mexico.

MEASLES: This year is on track to be the worst for measles in more than a decade, according to new numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And health officials say people who refuse to vaccinate their children are behind the increasing number of outbreaks. There were 159 cases of measles in the United States from January 1 through August 24. If that trend continues, there will be more cases in 2013 than in any year since 1996. Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. But it can be prevented by the M-M-R vaccine. According to the CDC, three out of every 1,000 children in the United States who get measles will die from the disease, even with the best of care. SSHealth officials are concerned younger physicians might not recognize the signs of measles, since there have been only pockets of the disease since 2000.

 

THE SPORTS REPORT

CENTENNIAL CAN EARN A LOT OF RESPECT WITH WIN OVER CLOVIS: Nothing Centennial coach Kevin Sneed saw on Clovis' game film struck him as extravagant. Perhaps that's why he is so impressed with the Cougars. "They're well-coached, they're disciplined in all areas, they have great tradition," Sneed said. "That's kind of what we want to be. That's what Centennial's always been." The Golden Hawks (1-1) can take a big step toward that goal tonight when they play host to the Cougars at 7:30 p.m. You can watch that game when BVarsity streams the game live starting at 7 p.m. on bakersfield.com.

CHECK OUT OUR SCOTT IN 60 FEATURE: 

 

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