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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
JUDGE MAY VOID JENNIFER CRISP'S GUILTY PLEA: The Crisp & Cole mortgage fraud case took an odd turn Tuesday when a federal judge indicated he is considering whether to annul Jennifer Crisp's guilty plea to one count each of mail and wire fraud. It was unclear what new information prompted Fresno District Court Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill to schedule an evidentiary hearing on the matter. Jennifer Crisp is scheduled to be sentenced March 31 along with her husband David and her parents. Jennifer faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Read the full story here.
COUNCILWOMAN SORRY FOR 'FILIBUSTER' CHARGE: Councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan has apologized to colleague Terry Maxwell for saying at the last council meeting that he'd victimized the panel with a 55-minute "filibuster" on widening 24th Street. Sullivan, who represents Ward 6 to the south, said in an email to Maxwell and other council members Feb. 14 she was "humbled and put in my place" after her comments at the Feb. 12 meeting. Maxwell, who represents Ward 2, said he was impressed by Sullivan admitting she was at fault. Read the full story here.
COUNCIL TO TACKLE PANHANDLING, ROADWORK, DROUGHT: The city's draft panhandling ordinance outlawing "aggressive solicitation" will get a first reading by the Bakersfield City Council Wednesday, during a meeting that also includes workshops on major highway projects and a drought update. The council will hear the proposed panhandling ordinance, which would make "aggressive solicitation" illegal and ban all soliciting near banks, credit unions and ATMs, in parking lots and structures after dark, and on medians and public transit. 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.
DEPOSITIONS REVEAL DEPUTY MISUNDERSTOOD SHERIFF'S OFFICE DRIVING POLICIES: The Kern County sheriff's deputy criminally charged in connection with the deaths of two pedestrians was mistaken about parts of the Sheriff's Office's driving policies and procedures, according to a deposition provided to The Californian Tuesday. Under questioning Feb. 18 by civil attorneys for the victims' families, Deputy John Swearengin said it's necessary to call for permission before turning on lights and siren when responding to an emergency. He told the attorneys he couldn't remember who had taught him that, but it's something he'd been told multiple times. Swearengin also said he was trained that he could drive above the posted speed limit, depending on road conditions, even if he hadn't initiated Code 3. Both those statements are inaccurate. Read the full story here.
PERSON OF INTEREST WANTED IN WASCO SHOOTING: A Hispanic male in his early 20s was shot Tuesday around 3:20 p.m. on the corner of Poplar Avenue and Fourth Street in Wasco. Kern County sheriff's Lt. Dean Marshall said the man was airlifted to Kern Medical Center where he remained in critical condition Tuesday night. Sheriff's detectives are searching for 24-year-old Mario Quintana-Cruz as a person of interest. He is described only as a Hispanic male. Read the full story here.
MAN ACCUSED OF MULTIPLE ROBBERIES, CARJACKINGS: A man allegedly involved in multiple attempts Tuesday to steal car keys and carjack vehicles was finally arrested by Bakersfield police after the last car he tried to take wouldn't start. Edidiong Okon Udo, 29, tried to steal keys from a person in the 2200 block of Truxtun Avenue. The first vehicle had three juveniles inside but they managed to flee before it was involved in a collision at 21st and D Streets. Police allege Udo then approached another woman, and after taking her purse and keys, pushed her to the ground. He fled on foot when he couldn't start the car and was found by police. Udo was taken into custody in the 3000 block of North Sillect Avenue. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
RADIOSHACK TO CLOSE STORES: RadioShack announced plans Tuesday to close up to 1,100 stores across the country, but the company didn't say which stores or when, or how many employees will lose their jobs. USA Today quoted RadioShack CEO Joseph Magnacca as saying the business tried to cut some product lines "too deeply." RadioShack has tried to specialize in wireless devices and accessories.
THE HEALTH REPORT
HIV PREVENTION DRUG PROMISING: Sometime in the future a shot given every one to three months might help people cut their risk of getting HIV. Two studies reported at an AIDS conference Tuesday showed an experimental drug worked to prevent infection with the AIDS virus when it was tested in monkeys. Dr. Robert Grant, an AIDS expert at the Gladstone Institutes, told the Associated Press that "this is the most exciting innovation in the field of HIV prevention that I've heard recently." He went on to say that "if it works and proves to be safe, it would allow for HIV to be prevented with periodic injections, perhaps every three months."
THE SPORTS REPORT
BASKETBALL: LIBERTY FALLS TO EDISON: The No. 2 seed Liberty Patriots lost a 39-35 decision to No. 6 Fresno-Edison in a Central Section Division I semifinal. Read the full story here.
SOUTH CAPTURES DIV. III BOYS SOCCER TITLE: FRESNO -- Tuesday night at McLane High's stadium, the Rebels used a late penalty kick by Jesus Barajas to break a tie and lift the Rebels to a 2-1 win in the Central Section Div. III boys soccer title game over Fresno High. It was South's first section title since the 1996 girls basketball team. And the Rebels did it the hard way, as the No. 9 seed that won all four playoff games on the road. Read the full story here.
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