Local News

Monday, Mar 03 2014 07:05 AM

'First Look': First News for March 3

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Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:

HANDLING OF RACIAL VIDEO CONTRIBUTED TO GARCES PERSONNEL CHANGE: Garces Memorial High School's principal is stepping down in part because of her delayed response to "very racial, hard things" one freshman said about another in a video posted online last year, a Diocese of Fresno official said Saturday. Richard Sexton, the diocese's superintendent of Catholic schools, said Principal Kathleen Bears ultimately acted "appropriately." He said the verbally abusive student was expelled, but "I think we could have responded faster." Sexton said the racial statements stemmed from a football practice on campus in August. He said a Garces student made statements against another Garces student in a video posted on social media. Read the full story here.

WITH CITY AS HOMELESS CENTER'S LARGEST EMPLOYER, ITS CLIENTS ARE MOVING OUT ON THEIR OWN: A man earning minimum wage and a woman's sober budgeting have changed seven lives in east Bakersfield -- and made talking to them about it very, very hard. That's because the Miller family is back together under their own roof for the first time in 24 months. As reported exclusively in Sunday's Californian by Theo Douglas, the city has employed 107 Bakersfield Homeless Center clients since January 2009 to sort green waste, pick up highway trash and work in its animal shelter. As a result of those 107 jobs, 234 homeless center clients -- who live at the center -- have found their own housing and moved out. Read the full story here.

COUNTY TO PAY $8.8 MILLION TO FAMILIES OF PEDESTRIANS FATALLY STRUCK BY DEPUTY: The families of two pedestrians struck and killed by a cruiser driven by a Kern County sheriff's deputy will receive $8.8 million in a settlement reached Friday with the Kern County Sheriff's Office and the county of Kern. The settlement is believed to be the largest for an "automobile accident" case against the county, according to an attorney who represented some of the plaintiffs. Daniel Hiler and Chrystal Jolley, 24 and 30, were struck and killed Dec. 16, 2011, by Deputy John Swearengin's patrol vehicle at the intersection of Norris Road and Diane Drive in Oildale. Read the full story here.


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

BHS KICKS OFF COMMUNITY FUNDRAISER FOR GRIFFITH FIELD RENOVATION: Bakersfield High School is selling personalized tiles to raise money for an upgrade of its aging football and track facilities. The Kern High School District in December approved the allocation of about $19.9 million to modernize Griffith Field. Among other things, that would cover the cost of improving the athletic field and stadium. Other renovations would include adding elevators, seating and structures for concessions and restrooms. But district funding would only pay $460,000 for a grass football field and $107,000 for a dirt track. Administrators and boosters want to raise another $1.5 million privately. Read the full story here.

BAKERSFIELD COLLEGE'S BID AGAINST SANCTIONS DENIED: Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Allen Sumner has denied Bakersfield College's bid to have sanctions removed or reduced against it's football program. On May 14, 2013, BC's football program was stripped of all victories from the 2011 and 2012 season, including the state championship win over City College of San Francisco in 2012. In a ruling dated Friday, Sumner ruled that BC "failed to exhaust its administrative remidies" by not going to binding arbitration. The infractions stemmed from meals, work and housing that was made available to football players. Read the full story here.

FORMER NFL PLAYER SELLING BAKERSFIELD MANSION FOR $2.8 MILLION: Former NFL quarterback David Carr has put his Bakersfield mansion -- complete with "Star Trek"-themed theater -- on the market for $2.8 million. The Seven Oaks home has six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a 10-car garage and an impressive "backyard oasis." Another room features a huge "Incredible Hulk" statue, a Spiderman figure, a wall of guitars, a drumset and a framed John Elway jersey. Carr was the top NFL pick out of Fresno State in 2002 but has not played since 2012. Read the full story here.



DRYDEN CENTER RENAMED FOR FAMED ASTRONAUT: NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, long a powerhouse of aerospace research, technology and testing in eastern Kern County, has been renamed in honor of former test pilot and NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. NASA said in a news release that the facility is considered the federal agency's center of excellence for atmospheric flight research. The late Hugh L. Dryden, the center's namesake since 1976, will continue to be memorialized in the renaming of the center's 12,000-square-mile Western Aeronautical Test Range as the Dryden Aeronautical Test Range. Read the full story here.



THE AIR WE BREATHE: The latest Check Before You Burn season brought a big increase in wood-burning curtailments to the San Joaquin Valley. There was a 102 percent increase over last year for the season that began Nov. 1 and ended Friday in an eight-county area governed by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The air district says that in the valley portion of Kern County, there were 51 prohibitions this season compared to 36 the previous season. The air district says wood-burning is limited or banned on days when levels of fine-particulate matter, also called PM2.5, are expected to exceed federal health standards. PM2.5 is linked to everything from lung disease and respiratory illness to premature death.



CONDORS ROLL PAST IDAHO, 7-1: Bakersfield scored six goals in the first 10 minutes, 14 seconds and cruised to a 7-1 victory before 4,175 at Rabobank Arena. George Hughes started it when he came off the bench and ripped a one-timer from the top of the left circle at 1:16. Jordan Knackstedt got the first of two goals from the right circle at 2:35 and Bakersfield was up 3-0 when Chase Schaber scored at 5:26. Read the full story here.



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