Local News

Friday, Sep 27 2013 07:22 AM

'First Look': First News for Sept. 27

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

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

MONEY REWARD: Officials are offering a reward in the case of a prominent Delano man found dead. The Delano Chamber of Commerce has raised $5,085 in just three days as a reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for 88-year old John Espinoza's death. Espinoza's body was found last week stuffed in the trunk of his submerged car in the Friant-Kern Canal. Espinoza was last seen at his house Sept. 18, and the vehicle was spotted in the canal the evening of the following day. No suspects have been identified and the motive remains unknown. Delano police say the investigation is ongoing. Read the full story here.

TEHACHAPI HEALTHCARE CHIEF RESIGNS: The chief at a local healthcare district has stepped down. Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District Chief Executive Officer Alan Burgess retired last week. Burgess notified the hospital staff via an email on the night of Sept. 19, stating that his resignation was effective immediately. A spokeswoman says Burgess retired for health reasons. The notice comes amid the hospital board's CEO performance review. The evaluation has been conducted in closed session at the August and September regular board meetings, with no details disclosed thus far. Read the full story here.

GRANT AWARDED TO ASSIST HARD-TO-REACH PEOPLE WITH HEALTHCARE: Kern community-based organizations have netted a $500,000 grant to help them get hard-to-reach people -- such as the homeless and recently released inmates -- enrolled in health insurance. The Bakersfield Californian reports Jan Hefner, director of community wellness programs for Mercy and Memorial Hospitals, confirmed they received the one-year grant with a phone call Thursday morning, but she did not know the grant's official start date. The money comes from The California Endowment's Get Covered Initiative, which is designed to jump-start enrollment in the Affordable Care Act among people newly eligible for coverage. The Endowment is a private health foundation. Read the full story here.

CHOKING INCIDENT QUESTION: WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?: This week's rescue of a prominent Bakersfield woman after she choked on some dinner has people asking what they'd do if someone needed emergency aid. And what if the Heimlich Maneuver doesn't work? Gabby Tomeo of the Kern County Red Cross chapter says the first thing to do is call 9-1-1. Tomeo appeared on 1180-KERN's Ralph Bailey Show. On Monday, Dr. Royce Johnson of KMC was on the scene and performed an emergency tracheotomy on former County Supervisor Pauline Larwood, who is now recovering. For specifics on the more common first aid techniques, and to register for a local class, go to redcross.org.

SUSPECT WANTED FOR CHECK FORGING: Bakersfield Police are on the lookout for a guy who allegedly goes around cashing forged checks. On March first, he reportedly passed one at the Vons on Olive Drive, and ten days later attempted the same thing at the Money Mart on Union Avenue. Both checks were reported stolen out of a mailbox. The suspect is white, 5-8 to 5-10, about 160 pounds with short brown hair, light mustache and beard. He been seen in a Red 2000 Toyota Corolla, license number 4-JSE-127, and a white 2005 white Lexus, license 5-LIK-086. Read the full story here.

FIRE DRILL IN SHAFTER: If you see smoke near Shafter on Friday, it may not be a 9-1-1 situation. The Bakersfield Fire Department is giving their new recruits some live training at a donated building on Zachary Road. It goes on from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Officials say live training using real structures is a valuable opportunity to get close-up documentation of one of the most dangerous parts of a firefighter's job. 

WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM

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

AUSTIN POWERS ACTOR PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO CELL MATES DEATH: A former actor who achieved fame as a henchman in the first "Austin Powers" film pleaded not guilty in Kern County Superior Court Thursday to a charge filed in connection with the beating death of his cell mate in 2011. Joseph Son, 42, was immediately led out of Department 1 following his arraignment before Judge H.A. "Skip" Staley on a charge of assault by a life prisoner with force causing death. His next court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 7. Son is eligible for the death penalty under the charge, but prosecutor David Wolf said a decision on whether to seek death has not been made. Read the full story here.

DEVELOPER BUYS 175 ACRES IN SEVEN OAKS: Bolthouse Properties LLC has sold 175 acres within southwest Bakersfield's Seven Oaks master-planning community to a Mission Viejo company with plans to build 750 homes there over about the next four years. Buyer Pacific Cascade Group said it hopes to hire local homebuilders to help it develop the property directly south of Grand Island Village. It has targeted spring 2015 for the first home openings. The development is expected to including a gated apartment community, an assisted lived/memory care facility and a shopping center by Bolthouse Properties. Read the full story here.

REWARD MONEY RAISED IN CASE OF BELOVED MAN FOUND DEAD IN TRUNK: The Delano Chamber of Commerce has raised $5,085 in just three days as a reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for John Holguin Espinoza's death. Sometime last week, the 88-year-old was found stuffed in the trunk of his submerged car in the Fraint-Kern Canal. Espinoza was last seen at his residence Sept. 18, and the vehicle was spotted in the canal the evening of the following day. No suspects have been identified and the motive remains unknown. Delano police said Thursday the investigation was ongoing. Read the full story here.

JURY FINDS BAKERSFIELD MAN GUILTY OF VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER IN 2012 KILLING: A 26-year-old Bakersfield man charged with murder after fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend after a fight in June of last year has been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter. Police reports say Al Lee Bradley shot 31-year-old Ricky Wofford, followed the injured man and then fired again at point-blank range. Wofford was struck in the neck and face and bled to death. The verdict in the case of Bradley was returned earlier this week and sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22. He faces up to 11 years in prison. Read the full story here. 

KERN TO RECEIVE $500,000 TO ENROLL PEOPLE IN NEW INSURANCE: Kern community-based organizations netted a $500,000 grant to help them get hard-to-reach people --such as the homeless and recently released inmates-- enrolled in health insurance. The money comes from The California Endowment's Get Covered Initiative, which is designed to jump-start enrollment in the Affordable Care Act among people newly eligible for coverage. The grant will be used to hire 12 people at Mercy and Memorial Hospitals. Other new hires will work out the Kern Medical Center and Garden Pathways. Some of the money will also buy iPads to be used by enrollment counselors. Read the full story here.

 

THE ENERGY REPORT

THE RACE TO CLEAN UP COLORADO: When record flooding hit Colorado earlier this month, the flood waters swamped the state's oil and gas wells. More than 37,000 gallons of oil have leaked into state rivers since the floods. According to National Public Radio, the rise of hydraulic fracking has created an oil and gas boom across the eastern Rockies. Of course, oil is not the only thing to have been spilled into rivers -- raw sewage and animal waste has been just as problematic for a state trying to clean up the mess left by the flooding.

 

THE TECH REPORT

iOS 7: Apple's iOS 7 brought several new features to the company's iPhone and iPad. But something that didn't get a lot of attention was its transition animations between the homescreen and the individual apps. It turns out the animations might be a bigger issue than intended, since some Apple fans are claiming it literally makes them sick. A message thread on Apple's forums has become a venting ground for queasy and frustrated users. One user says "It hurts my eyes and makes me dizzy" People have also flocked to Twitter saying that the new iOS makes them motion sick.

DirecTV: DirecTV plans to hike the fees on its subscription packages in 2014, but not higher than the 4.5 percent increase that it took in February, CEO Mike White said earlier this week. White blamed the hike in subscription fees on increased programming costs, which he said contributed to the net loss of 84,000 subscribers that DirecTV posted in the second quarter. Despite subscriber losses, DirecTV has managed to grow revenue through price increases. U.S. revenue jumped by $286 million to $5.94 billion in the second quarter.

 

THE HEALTH REPORT

KROKODIL: A poison control center in Phoenix, Arizona is reporting that it has received calls regarding what is believed to the first two cases of krokodil use in the U.S. A doctor there told CBS news that his center dealt with two users of the dangerous drug known for its widespread use in Russia in the past week. Krokodil is an opioid derivative of morphine, but fast-acting and eight to 10 times more potent than morphine. A homemade version of the drug is made using ingredients including codine, iodine, gasoline, paint thinner, and lighter fluid. It has been gaining attention internationally, in part because it is cheaper than buying heroin. The drug got its nickname from the Russian word for crocodile, because users tend to develop scale-like, green skin. Officials report that skin can fall off following use, resulting in exposed bones. The drug also causes blood vessels to rupture and death of the surrounding tissue. According to a 2011 profile in TIME, the average user does not live longer than two to three years.

 

THE SPORTS REPORT

STOCKDALE GIRLS TENNIS FINISHES STRONG: : Stockdale finished serving notice to the rest of the Southwest Yosemite League girls tennis teams' on Thursday that they're all playing for second place. The Mustangs beat host Bakersfield High 9-0. Stockdale (8-3) completed the first half of SWYL play 5-0 as a team and 45-0 in individual matches. Read the full story here.

CSUB VOLLEYBALL ENTERS WAC COMPETITION: Cal State Bakersfield, playing its first-ever Western Athletic Conference volleyball match, defeated Seattle University 3-1 on Thursday night. Read the full story here.

CHECK OUT OUR SCOTT IN 60 FEATURE: 

 

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