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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:
RIDGECREST HIGH-SPEED PURSUIT: Two people taken hostage during a 40-mile high-speed pursuit in Ridgecrest remain in critical condition with major injuries as authorities reopened Highway 395 Saturday and searched for a motive in a series of crimes that left the kidnapper and a Ridgecrest woman dead. The Bakersfield Californian reports a spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff's Office declined to identify the man and woman held for more than an hour Friday while law enforcement pursued 39-year- old Sergio Munoz of Ridgecrest south on 395. A third victim, identified as Thaddeus Meier of Ridgecrest, was shot at least three times by Munoz and remains hospitalized in unknown condition at a Los Angeles-area hospital. A fourth victim, identified as Brittany Matheny, was fatally shot by Munoz when he shot Meier shortly before 5:30 a.m. Friday. Read the full story here.
POSSIBLE RAPE IN SOUTHWEST BAKERSFIELD: Possible robbery and rape in southwest Bakersfield. Bakersfield Police responded around 2 a.m Saturday to a house in the 5400 block of Cherry Tree Lane where officers contacted the teenage victim who told them she was confronted in the 2400 block of Akers Road by a man in his 30s, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds and wearing a black shirt and blue jeans. The man brandished a knife and demanded she give him her cell phone. The man then pulled the victim into an alley where he sexually assaulted her. The victim told police the guy took off in a light brown, older model SUV, driven by an unknown person. Anyone with information on the incident should contact the Bakersfield Police Department at 327-7111. Read the full story here.
FIRE IN OILDALE: Fire at an Oildale apartment duplex. A vacant, two-unit duplex under renovation sustained significant damage during an accidental fire in the kitchen of one unit at about 2 p.m. Saturday. Kern County and Bakersfield City Fire firefighters responded to the 100 block of Cooper Avenue and had the fire out by 2:15 p.m. Damage is set at $40,000. Authorities say renovations to the duplex were nearly complete and electrical power to the building had just been restored on Friday. The unit of the duplex where the fire happened is un-liveable, and the other unit will be accessible only on a temporary basis for residents or an owner needing to retrieve items. Read the full story here.
MOUNTAIN BIKER RESCUED: An injured mountain biker is rescued in Kernville. Sheriff's deputies teamed with County firefighters on Saturday around noon to rescue the mountain biker in an inaccessible off-road area near Wagy Flat Road. Firefighters were able to reach the man but the area was too wild for them to carry him to safety. A Sheriff's helicopter responded and airlifted the man out. He was taken to a medical helicopter and flown to a nearby hospital. No word on the man's condition or his identity. Read the full story here.
ARTIFICIAL TURF DOWNTOWN: You won't see Mayor Harvey Hall watering the lawn at Bakersfield City Hall North. That's because artificial turf is being installed outside the building. 23-ABC reports the irrigation system was causing floods in the building's basement, so they called in the Courts and Greens company, whose owner Gerald Ogden says business is booming. Homeowners and others say the turf cuts back on water bills and helps the environment. Bakersfield's Water Resource Department says the county is experiencing drought conditions, so everyone is advised to go easy.
CALIFORNIA WATER LEVELS: California water officials say low water levels in reservoirs should be a warning that conservation measures might be necessary to get through next year, the Associated Press reports. The Fresno Bee reports Pine Flat Reservoir in the Fresno County foothills is at 16 percent capacity and most of the state's other large water-storing reservoirs are well below average. California is coming off one of the driest winters on record.
WHAT'S TRENDING LOCALLY ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending across bakersfield.com.
DAY OF TERROR IN RIDGECREST AND ON HIGHWAY 395: 2 DEAD, 3 UNINJURED: Two people are dead and three people, two of them hostages, were injured following a gunblazing high-speed chase through the Kern County desert at daybreak Friday. The suspect was identified late Friday as 39-year-old Sergio Alberto Munoz of Ridgecrest. He was a heroin dealer who had wanted to enact revenge on people he considered snitches, the sister of one of the first two early-morning shooting victims said. Ridgecrest Police Investigations Sgt. Jed McLaughlin said Munoz was a convicted felon. He was known to Ridgecrest police, and had committed prior traffic, drug and property crimes. Read the full story here.
FIERY WRECK CLOSES I-5 AT GRAPEVINE: Northbound Interstate 5 was closed on the Grapevine Friday night after a semi truck which may have lost its brakes crashed while coming down the hill. The truck hit at least two other vehicles, jackknifed, rolled onto its side and burst into flames, CHP logs indicated. The accident happened just before 10 p.m. and led to a complete closure of northbound lanes. By 10:30 p.m. two northbound lanes were back open, with lanes 3 and 4 said to be closed indefinitely. No injuries were immediately reported. Read the full story here.
VICTIM REPORTS RAPE IN SOUTHWEST BAKERSFIELD: Bakersfield Police Department officers responded to a residence in southwest Bakersfield on Saturday, on a report of a possible rape and robbery. Officers contacted the teenage victim who said a man brandished a knife and demanded she give him her cell phone in the 2400 block of Akers Road. The man then pulled the victim into an alley where he sexually assaulted her. The victim told police the man fled in a light brown, older model SUV, driven by an unknown person. The suspect is described in his 30s, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds and wearing a black shirt and blue jeans. Anyone with information is asked to call the Bakersfield Police Department at 327-7111. Read the full story here.
SUSPECT BREAKS FRONT DOOR, BURGLARIZES BAKERSFIELD BUSINESS: Bakersfield police say a man used a cement object to break the front glass doors of a southwest Bakersfield business and then steal cash from inside. The burglary happened about 1 a.m. Sept. 18 in the 4300 block of Stine Road, police said. The suspect is described as white, in his 20s to 30s, medium height and thin build, and was last seen wearing glasses. Anyone with information regarding the suspect's identity is asked to call the BPD at 327-7111. Read the full story here.
INJURED MOUNTAIN BIKER RESCUED IN KERNVILLE: Kern County Sheriff's Department officers teamed up with Kern County Fire Department firefighters on Saturday to rescue an injured mountain biker in an inaccessible off-road area in Kernville. County firefighters responded to reports of an injured mountain biker near Wagy Flat Road. Firefighters were able to reach the man but the area was too wild for them to carry him to safety. A Kern County Sheriff's Department helicopter responded and airlifted the man to a nearby hospital. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
TOP APPS: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Based on some new data from Distimo, the analytics firm's top global apps are as follows: YouTube became the top free iOS app, displacing former No. 1 Despicable Me: Minion Rush. Angry Birds Star Wars II was the top paid iOS app. From a market share perspective, the Apple App Store is still leading with 65 percent, compared to 35 percent for Google Play. Continuing a trend, the top apps on both platforms were games, with two developers, Supercell and King.com Limited leading the way.
3D PRINTED GUNS: Police in the U.K. city of Manchester have seized a 3D printer and what they alleged were 3D-printed gun parts during a raid on alleged criminal gangs. The first mostly viable printed gun appeared in the U.S. earlier this year, courtesy of a libertarian outfit called Defense Distributed. The U.S. State Department got Defense Distributed to take its designs offline, but not before they had been disseminated across the globe. Police agencies in Germany and Australia have been testing the concept to see how viable such weapons are. The U.K. has banned private handgun ownership since the 1996 Dunblane school massacre. Greater Manchester Police said on Friday that they had carried out a series of raids in the city that turned up a 3D printer and what they suspect to be a "3D plastic magazine" and a "trigger." One person was also arrested on suspicion of making gunpowder.
THE HEALTH REPORT
PAINKILLERS: In a policy reversal by the Food and Drug Administration, vicodin and other hydrocodone-based painkillers would be placed under stricter prescribing limits to curb abuse. The FDA agreed to recommend by early December reclassifying the pills as a Schedule II substance. Hydrocodone combinations, are currently Schedule III, the third-highest level on a five-stage scale that takes into account the potential for addiction. About 131 million hydrocodone products were dispensed in 2011, more than double the number for oxycodone pills, which have greater restrictions, according to an FDA report. The Drug Enforcement Administration has been asking the FDA to recommend reclassifying the products for about a decade. Schedule II reclassification would limit refills to a 90-day supply instead of the current five refills within six months.
PET FOOD: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday it is issuing a proposed rule aimed at improving the safety of food bound for farm animals and pets. The rule would require companies that make animal feed and pet food sold in the United States to identify potential hazards and put in place procedures to prevent and correct them. Long in the making, the rule comes days after the agency turned to pet owners for help in an ongoing investigation into jerky products, most made in China, that have killed nearly 600 dogs and cats and sickened thousands of others in the United States since 2007.
THE SPORTS REPORT
BAUTISTA WINS KERN AMATEUR: Neil Bautista knew exactly what was at stake when he walked up to his 10-foot par putt on the 18th green at Mifflin-Buena Vista Golf Course on Sunday. After struggling a bit on the front nine, Bautista rallied with a stellar play following the turn to finish the round at even-par 72, and the two-day tournament at 2-under 140. Read the full story here.
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