Local News

Tuesday, Oct 22 2013 07:37 AM

'First Look': First News for Oct. 22

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

ALMOND DELIVERY PLAN GONE WRONG: A truck driver sits in jail after hauling a load of almonds for a fake local trucking company. Francisco Martinez, 32, admitted he was a little suspicious of the delivery job he was offered Oct. 9. Martinez said he was paid $180 and told to pick up 43,000 pounds of almonds from the Sunny Gem facility in Wasco and drive them to a location on 46th Street in Los Angeles. His orders were to park the truck at the location and just walk away. The truck he drove reportedly had a stolen license plate. Martinez is charged with six felonies including attempted grand theft. Bail is set at $230,000. Read the full story here.

HORSE TRAILER PLUNGES OFF ROAD: One person is dead after a truck pulling a horse trailer plunges off a mountain road west of Kern County. Around 1 p.m. Monday, Ventura County Sheriff's deputies got a report of a vehicle over the side on Pine Mountain Road at Highway 33. They found the wreckage about 800 feet down, with a body inside the truck. Authorities said the crash may have happened several days ago. The name of the victim has not been released and the Ventura County Coroner is investigating. 

BAKERSFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT GRANT: Bakersfield Police have another $340,000 on hand to improve the driving situation. On Monday they announced two grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety. One is for the department's Selective Enforcement Program, the other for Sobriety Checkpoints. Traffic deaths around the state were up by 2.6 percent in 2011, and the final figures for last year are also expected to show a rise. DUI's account for almost 30 percent of all road deaths. The BPD will use its grant money to provide things like saturation patrols, distracted driving enforcement, and specialized training for officers. 

SUSPECT WANTED: Authorities are searching for the suspect in an armed robbery near Lamont. On Oct. 10 at about 10:15 a.m. a guy wearing a dark hoodie, ball cap and jeans went into The Barn Mini Mart on South Comanche Drive. He pulled a handgun on a clerk and demanded money, then took the cash and fled westbound on foot. The man is described as Hispanic, 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall, 180 to 200 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. If you know anything you can call Secret Witness at 322-4040. Read the full story here.

WESTSIDE PARKWAY CONSTRUCTION: Some roadwork Tuesday will help keep the Westside Parkway from flooding when it finally rains. From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. workers on Calloway Drive will close the northbound slow lane between Glen Eagles Drive and Marby Grange Way so they can finish a retention basin. Drivers are asked to watch out for heavy equipment and personnel in the area. Calloway should be back to normal in time for the afternoon commute.

KERN COUNTY FAIR NUMBERS UP: Attendance at the 2013 Kern County Fair was its highest in nearly two decades. The 12-day fair attracted 454,595 people, a 21 percent increase over 2012 and the most since nearly 462,000 attended in 1994. Figures released Monday show the numbers improved significantly across the board from last year. Concessions were up 6 percent. Fifteen percent more cans of food -- about 4,500 pounds worth -- were collected for the Community Action Partnership of Kern. And exhibits such as jams, jellies and minerals along with livestock exhibits all had more exhibitors. Read the full story here.


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

FRESHMAN KEENE TOPS FIELD IN GIRLS GOLF AREA CHAMPIONSHIP: Three years ago, Lexi Keene knew more about being the lead in a play than she did having the lead in a golf tournament. But times change, and Keene, a Stockdale freshman, can tell you all about both after she won the Central Section South Area championship by shooting a 3-over-par 75 on Monday at Mifflin-Buena Vista Golf Course. Making matters sweeter for Keene was that her Mustangs won their second consecutive area title, shooting 442 to Liberty's 448 and reversing the Patriots' victory in the decisive Southwest Yosemite League tournament last week. Read the full story here.

DRIVER SAID HE WAS SUSPICIOUS WHEN HIRED TO TRANSPORT 43,000 POUNDS OF ALMONDS: Francisco Javier Lopez Martinez admitted he was a little suspicious of the delivery job he was offered Oct. 9. Martinez said he was paid $180 and told to pick up 43,000 pounds of almonds from the Sunny Gem facility in Wasco and drive them to a location on 46th Street in Los Angeles. His orders were to park the truck at the location and just walk away. Martinez later told deputies he was unemployed so, despite his misgivings, he took the job. That's how he landed in Lerdo Jail charged with six felonies, including attempted grand theft. Martinez is being held on $230,000 bail, with his next court hearing scheduled for Thursday. Read the full story here.

COMMUNITY LEADER WELL FOLLOWING RESTAURANT RESCUE: Pauline Larwood still faces challenges eating but otherwise is doing well one month after doctors performed an emergency tracheotomy on her in a restaurant when she choked on a piece of steak. Now she's sticking to fish for protein. "I still have some lingering effects. I can't eat everything. I started out on just eating soup," Larwood said. "I'm kind of staying away from meat." Larwood, 71, had trouble swallowing before the Sept. 22 incident where she was dining with lawmakers and doctors at The Mark on the first day of a valley fever symposium when she choked on a bite of filet mignon. Read the full story here.

SHAFTER, STATE CLOSE TO DEAL TO REOPEN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY: The city of Shafter is just days away from inking a five-year deal with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to reopen the Shafter Community Correctional Facility. Shafter City Manager John Guinn said the Shafter City Council approved the current version of the deal last week. Guinn said the city has already started the process of hiring the 86 workers who will staff the facility and is preparing to bid out the construction work that will be needed to meet the CDCR's needs. Read the full story here.

SUSPECT WANTED IN CONNECTION WITH ARMED ROBBERY: Kern County Sheriff's deputies are asking the public's help in identifying a suspect wanted for armed robbery. At about 10:18 a.m. on Oct. 10, the suspect entered The Barn Mini Mart at 11336 South Comanche Drive near Lamont, deputies said. The suspect brandished a handgun and demanded money, then ran west from the store. The suspect is described as Hispanic, 30 to 34 years old, 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall, 180 to 200 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and a moustache. He was last seen wearing a dark baseball cap, dark hooded sweatshirt and jeans. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 861-3110. Read the full story here.



AT&T UVERSE: AT&T U-verse has expanded its live TV channel offerings to include Android devices and UVERSE.com. Earlier this month, the company announced that it has added more than 100 live TV channels to the U-verse App. With the addition of the U-verse App on Android tablets, the company is now offering live TV channels on more than 30 devices. In addition to live channels, the U-verse App and Uverse.com website offers customers thousands of On Demand TV shows and movies. They also give customers the ability to manage their DVR remotely.

APPLE: Apple is expected to unveil a new batch of iPads today, as rivals, including Samsung and Amazon.com, look to chip away at the company's lead in the tablet market. Apple's Mini is a big draw, for consumers and rivals and is the world's best-selling tablet computer, and is estimated to account for nearly two of every three iPads sold. The company is now readying a revamped iPad Mini with a high-resolution "retina" display. It's also working on a thinner, lighter version of its standard iPad, using a thin film instead of the glass found in existing models, based on information from the company's parts suppliers. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. The new iPads come at a critical moment as the tablets are now Apple's second-biggest source of revenue after the iPhone



SPANKING: Spanking may leave a lasting impact on children, well past their initial punishment. Children who were spanked often early in life by their mothers were more likely to be aggressive later in childhood compared to kids who weren't spanked at all, a study published in Pediatrics concluded. Being spanked by dads was also linked to vocabulary and language problems in kids. The study involved more than 19-hundred families in 20 medium to large U.S. cities. Mothers who were still spanking their child by the age of 5 -- no matter how often -- were more likely to have a child who was more aggressive than his or her peers by the time they turned nine. Children who were spanked at least twice a week by their fathers at the age of 5 were more likely to score lower on vocabulary and language-comprehension tests.

HAIR LOSS: Scientists say they have moved a step closer to banishing bald spots and reversing receding hairlines after human hair was grown in the laboratory. A joint U.K. and U.S. team was able to create new hairs from tissue samples. Far more research is needed, but the group said its technique had the "potential to transform" the treatment of hair loss. The study results were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. So far, the technique has been tested only in mice, but it has managed to grow hairs on human skin grafted onto the animals. If the research pans out, the scientists say, it could produce a treatment for hair loss that would be more effective and useful to more people than current remedies like drugs or hair transplants.



BC FINISHES FOURTH AT WSC WOMEN'S GOLF TOURNAMENT: GLENDALE -- Kendall Huser shot an 86 to lead the Bakersfield College women's golf team to a fourth-place finish among five teams in Monday's Western State Conference tournament at Brookside Golf Course. Huser finished eighth individually, while teammates Jessica Madrid and Melissa Lopez each shot 93 for the Renegades, who take a week off before playing 36 holes in the WSC finals in Solvang. Read the full story here.



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