Local News

Wednesday, Sep 18 2013 07:31 AM

'First Look': First News for Sept. 18

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

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

KMC INTERIM CEO: A familiar face is taking over for now at Kern Medical Center. On Tuesday, supervisors named County Administrative Officer John Nilon as interim CEO of the hospital. He replaces Paul Hensler, who was fired last week. Supervisors also discussed increasing a loan to KMC to pay back money owed to the state. The hospital's Chief Financial Officer Sandra Martin asked for $113 million, which is up from the original amount of $101 million. Read the full story here.

SENTENCING: The getaway driver in an East Bakersfield murder gets life without parole. That's the sentence handed down Tuesday to Maxamillion McDonald, who was found guilty of first-degree murder. In August of last year, 71-year-old Guadalupe Ramos was walking out of the Foodsco store on Haley Street when authorities say Christopher Patterson knocked her down while grabbing a necklace from her. This caused a heart attack that killed Ramos. Her daughter Natalie Ramos tells 23-ABC about the agony of her mom being killed just two weeks after her son was murdered. Patterson is awaiting trial. A third defendant, Lawrence Slaughter has also been sentenced to life in prison without parole. Read the full story here.

CALTRANS ACCIDENT: An early morning accident west of Bakersfield leaves a road worker with major injuries. Around 3 a.m. Tuesday, Caltrans subcontractors were repaving along a closed lane on Highway 58 near General Beale Road. Jaime Romero-Gamarra, 25, of Sacramento was removing plastic markers while seated on the lift gate of a pickup going five miles an hour. A company Freightliner truck was shadowing them from behind at the same speed. At one point, the driver of that truck sped up toward the Ford rather than stopping, pinning Gamarra between the two vehicles. He was airlifted to Kern Medical Center with major injuries. Two other workers were hospitalized with minor to moderate injuries. The accident is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol. Read the full story here.

RAPIST SENTENCED: A convicted Bakersfield rapist learns his fate. Anthony Rodriguez, 19, was convicted August 19th of rape and kidnapping after he raped a woman in March 2012 in Martin Luther King Jr. Park. That crime got him 30 years to life in prison when he was sentenced Tuesday. Rodriguez was arrested after DNA evidence linked him to the crime. Read the full story here.

BAKERSFIELD COLLEGE ATHLETICS: Bakersfield College files legal action against the athletics board that stripped away its state championship. School officials announced Tuesday that papers were served last Friday to the California Community College Athletics Association as well as the Southern California Football Association. Earlier this year, BC had last season's record wiped away after sanctions were levied over alleged favors to players. The school is also ineligible for post-season play this season. Three appeals to the CCCAA have been denied, and BC President Dr. Sonya Christian says the only way to resolve the issue is through legal redress. They've hired attorney C. Christine Maloney of Foster Employment Law to handle their case. Read the full story here.

BOOKS DONATED TO KERN COUNTY SCHOOLS: The local law community is making an investment in Kern County's kids. The Kern County Bar Association Charitable Foundation commemorated Constitution Day by donating more than 400 books to Kern County schools and libraries. The donated books were copies of "The Bill of Rights in Translation: What it Really Means," by Amie Jane Leavitt, and "The United States Constitution" by Karen Price Hossell. The books target fourth- through sixth-grade students. Constitution Day was Tuesday. It commemorates the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, in Philadelphia. 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.

GUN, NOTE FOUND IN CAR OF MAN AUTHORITIES BELIEVE WAS KILLED BY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL WIFE: Detectives recovered a .38-caliber revolver and a note written on white paper in the car of a Bakersfield man who authorities allege was shot and killed by his wife. The details of the note found in Todd Chance's 2011 black Ford Mustang were not disclosed in search warrants filed in court this week. The note was found under the driver's seat, as were a pink towel and car keys. The warrant says detectives believe 45-year-old Chance was shot in his 2011 black Ford Mustang on Aug. 25. He suffered two bullet wounds to the chest. Read the full story here.

AGENCIES TO PAY MILLIONS IN TAX ASSESSMENT SETTLEMENT: County officials settled Occidental Petroleum's property tax assessment challenge Tuesday, costing state and local governments $31 million in property tax money. Seventeen agencies including schools, special districts and the county of Kern will have to send refund checks to the oil company. Among the major agencies to see a drop are the Kern County Water Agency, Kern High School District, Taft City School District, Kern Community College District and Kern County Superintendent of Schools office. Read the full story here.

FOUR INJURED IN CRASH ON HIGHWAY 58: Four people were injured --one seriously-- when the driver of a big rig shadowing a Caltrans truck that was removing plastic markers hit the gas instead of braking and crashed into the Caltrans vehicle. Jaime Romero Gamarra, 25, was airlifted to Kern Medical Center with major injuries, the CHP said. John Salser, 24, suffered moderate injuries. Two other Caltrans workers suffered minor injuries. Officers said the crash happened at 3 a.m. Tuesday on Highway 58 east of General Beale Road. Read the full story here.

KERN FAIR: IT'S FINALLY HERE: On Tuesday at the Kern County Fair, exotic birds, turkeys and elephants behaved like pros, strutting their stuff for a media preview. The birds are part of a new show at the fair, which begins its 12-day run today at the new, and earlier, opening time of 1 p.m. The show, which runs up to 30 minutes and features five to six birds, will be presented three times daily (as will the turkey stampede) in the KC Loop. Read the full story here.

RAPIST SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON: Convicted rapist and kidnapper 19-year-old Anthony Rodriguez was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison Tuesday. Rodriguez raped a woman in March 2012 in Martin Luther King Jr. Park, police have said. He was arrested May 4, 2012 after DNA evidence linked him to the crime. He was found guilty Aug. 19. Read the full story here.

 

THE TECH REPORT

VOD: Watching live TV is still a viable option, but on-demand viewing, and especially the ability for consumers to watch content "on their own terms," is now playing a major role in how U.S. viewers consume television, according to the Nielsen company. Nielsen said that set-tops with VOD capability can be found in about 60 percent of U.S. homes -- a marked increase from only five years ago, when only 37 percent of all homes had such capabilities. Surprisingly, Nielsen found that with a new wealth of programming available to them, consumers are primarily watching feature films across VOD.

UNLOCKED PHONES: Several months after calling for legislation to unlock cellphones, the White House filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission asking that all wireless carriers be required to unlock all mobile devices so that users can easily switch between carriers. In March, the Obama administration said that consumers should be allowed to own "unlocked" phones, which spurred new bill proposals and committee discussions about the issue. The FCC also said it supported cellphone unlocking. But, while there have been small steps toward making cellphone unlocking standard, the idea had lost some momentum, and the administration appears to be trying to bring it back into the legislative arena.

 

THE HEALTH REPORT

FOOD ALLERGIES: Researchers report that the U.S. health care system and families are hit with a heavy tab when it comes to medical care, purchasing allergy-free foods and other out-of-pocket expenses for these children. $25 billion a year to be exact. Chicago researchers surveyed more than 1,600 caregivers of a child with a food allergy, looking specifically at the economic impact of care. $4 billion went to direct medical costs from going to the doctor or ER, $770 million went to family-related costs like time off work, $6 billion was spent on other out-of-pocket expenses like special foods, and $14 billion was racked up for lost opportunity, meaning a caregiver had to leave or change jobs due to the food allergy. About eight percent of U.S. kids have food allergies.

CHILDHOOD OBESITY: There's more evidence to suggest the USA's epidemic of childhood obesity is stabilizing, and the reasons may be that kids are eating better and watching less TV. Between 2001 and 2009, U.S. adolescents increased physical activity, ate more fruits and vegetables, ate breakfast more, watched less TV and ate fewer sweets, a new study says. Researchers analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of 35,000 U.S. students, ages 11 to 16. Consumption of fruits increased from an average of two to four days a week in 2001 to five or six in 2009; vegetables from an average of two to four days a week to almost five. Sugary soft drink consumption declined from almost five drinks a day to about four. And the average number of days a week they ate breakfast increased as well.

 

THE SPORTS REPORT

STOCKDALE RALLIES AGAINST TEHACHAPI IN VOLLEYBALL: There was no question Stockdale's volleyball team was better Tuesday night when it was backed into a corner. The Mustangs beat Tehachapi in five games at home, fighting off two match points in the fifth game on a night of furious rallies and close games. The final score: 26-24, 20-25, 25-22, 23-25, 16-14. It was only the second loss of the season for 14-2 Tehachapi, which had beaten Stockdale in a tournament earlier in the season. Read the full story here.

 

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