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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:
LITTERBUG TICKETS: You can expect a ticket if you litter in Kern County. Sheriff's deputies began working overtime last week issuing citations to litterbug motorists, reportedly focusing on trash haulers and an area of eastbound Highway 58 near the Bena Landfill. Approximately seven deputies at a time will be on freeway litter patrol countywide. The overtime is being funded by a one-time, one-year $100,000 grant from the Kern Council of Governments for "special enforcement of litter and debris regulations." The city of Bakersfield's ongoing war on trash is being paid for in part by two additional one-time Kern COG grants of $100,000 each. A third grant has helped pay Bakersfield Homeless Center crews to pick up trash since May. Read the full story here.
NEW SCHOOL BOUNDARIES: In anticipation of two new schools opening next year, the Bakersfield City School District will hold four informational meetings to spread the word about proposed new attendance boundaries. Fletcher Elementary School and Cato Middle School are scheduled to open on adjacent campuses in northeast Bakersfield in August 2014. The District will hold four informational meetings next month to answer questions about attendance boundary revisions proposed for the 2014-15 school year. The new boundaries were designed to reduce overcrowding and maximize the number of students attending schools close to their homes. Read the full story here.
TRAILER FIRE IN RIDGECREST: Fire all but destroys a double-wide trailer home in Ridgecrest. Around 3 p.m. Tuesday Kern County crews rolled out to the 800 block of East Coral. They forced the front door and made an aggressive attack, getting things under control in about five minutes. However, there was extensive smoke damage to the structure, with loss set at $25,000. The home's occupant is okay, and officials say the trailer did not have a smoke alarm. Cause of the fire is under investigation. Read the full story here.
BOMB THREAT AT HOBBY LOBBY: Bomb Scare at the former Mervyn's building near downtown Bakersfield. It's now the Hobby Lobby, and around 3 p.m. Tuesday, an alarm sounded causing customers and workers to evacuate. According to 23-ABC, employees told the shoppers two different bomb threats were called in on two separate phones. The store was closed while Bakersfield Police and city fire crews searched the building, but they found no explosives.
FOOD STAMPS CUT: Bad news for you if you're on food stamps. At the stroke of midnight on Nov. 1, a temporary boost in food stamp benefits will end and $5 billion will be cut from the national budget. 23-ABC reports according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cuts would trim away $36 a month for a family of four getting the maximum benefit of $668 a month. More than 47 million Americans rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program known as SNAP -- more widely known as food stamps.
BODY FOUND IN EAST BAKERSFIELD: A body found at an east Bakersfield home is being investigated. Deputies responded early Tuesday afternoon to a house in the 1200 block of Lincoln Street. Officials say there was nothing suspicious about the scene, but it was being treated as a crime scene until proven otherwise. No information has been released about the identity of the deceased person, or cause of death.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending across bakersfield.com.
TWO MEN ASSAULTED IN DOWNTOWN BAKERSFIELD : Two men were assaulted Monday night in downtown Bakersfield. Bakersfield Police said the assault occurred just before 9:30 p.m. at 22nd and F streets. No information was available on the victims' condition. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at 327-7111. Read the full story here.
BCSD PROPOSES NEW ATTENDANCE BOUNDARIES : In anticipation of two new schools opening next year, the Bakersfield City School District will hold four informational meetings to spread the word about proposed new attendance boundaries. Fletcher Elementary School and Cato Middle School are scheduled to open on adjacent campuses in northeast Bakersfield in August 2014. With record enrollment this year, the district said it was time to update its boundaries. Read the full story here.
NEW DETAILS EMERGE ON SPACE PLANE LANDING AT EDWARDS : New details have emerged about the rough landing encountered Saturday by a new, smaller version of NASA's space shuttle when it touched down at Edwards Air Force Base. The Dream Chaser space plane is vying to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station in four or five more years. Saturday's test of the automated plane went perfectly, right up until the end when the left landing gear deployed too late, with the result that the plane actually skidded off the Edwards runway. Read the full story here.
KERN DEPUTIES START TICKETING LITTERBUGS : Throw a paper coffee cup out of the car window, or haul an uncovered load of trash out to the landfill -- and get a ticket back. That's the message from Kern County Sheriff's Office deputies, who began working overtime last week issuing citations to litterbug motorists, reportedly focusing on trash haulers, and an area of eastbound Highway 58 near the Bena Landfill. Approximately seven deputies at a time will be on freeway litter patrol countywide. The overtime, around 20 hours a week, is being funded by a one-time, one-year $100,000 grant from the Kern Council of Governments for "special enforcement of litter and debris regulations." Read the full story here.
DOCTORS IMPLORE SUPERVISORS TO KEEP RESIDENCY PROGRAM; VOTE POSTPONED : The family medicine residency program at Kern Medical Center is, depending on whom you listened to Tuesday, either a painfully expensive program with flawed internal controls or a legacy service that is the pumping heart of the county hospital. After listening to four hours of the sometimes-passionate public discussion, Kern County supervisors couldn't decide whether to keep the program or transfer it to Clinica Sierra Vista, pushing off a decision until next Tuesday. Clinica could run the program for $1.4 million less than KMC is spending in even the worst-case scenario. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
LOOKING AT PHONES: We all sneak a peek at text messages or emails to pass the time in boring meetings. And yet, we'd also probably all admit that we find it irritating when others do the same. But a new study from researchers at Howard University and the University of Southern California finds big differences in who's bothered by it--and by how much. They found people are particularly bothered by managers who take calls during meetings, men are nearly twice as likely as women to think it's okay to check text messages at a business lunch. The researchers found that while about two-thirds of people younger than 30 approved of texting at a business lunch, just 20 percent of those between age 51 and 65 thought it was acceptable. Meanwhile, roughly half of men said it was okay to answer a call at a business lunch, but only a quarter of women said the same.
YOUTUBE: YouTube is increasing its efforts to generate more revenue with its most popular videos producers. Thousands of YouTube creators will now be able to launch paid channels, which charge a monthly subscription fee of 99 cents or more. The paid channel initiative began in May as a pilot program with a few dozen accounts. Now any video creator who has 10,000 subscribers and has been verified by YouTube will be able to set up a new paid channel and charge a fee for access to their content. Creators can set their own subscription rates, though YouTube has final authority to determine pricing. Every paid channel will offer an initial 14-day free trial.
THE HEALTH REPORT
POLIO: The World Health Organization said it has confirmed Syria's first polio outbreak since 1999, putting all of the Middle East at high risk of a revival of the virus. Twenty-two children near Syria's border with Iraq, were reported on Oct. 17 to have become paralyzed and traces of the wild polio virus were found in samples taken from 10 victims, a W-H-O spokesman said. The Polio virus invades the nervous system to cause irreversible paralysis within hours. A U-N refugee agency says more than 4,000 Syrians surge daily into neighboring countries to flee the 2 1/2-year civil war. The outbreak is a set-back to the World Health Organization's 5.5 billion dollar initiative to make the world polio-free by 2018. There's no cure for polio, and it can be prevented only through immunization. It is transmitted through contaminated food and water and mainly affects children younger than 5 years old.
RED BULL: Red Bull didn't give him wings -- it gave him a heart attack, a lawsuit alleges. Brooklyn father Cory Terry, 33, died during a basketball game after downing the caffeine-laden beverage -- and his relatives are blaming the world's largest energy drink maker. Their 85 million dollar lawsuit is believed to be the first wrongful death suit against Red Bull. Red Bull declined to address the case. But a spokeswoman says the company has sold some 35 billion cans in 165 countries over the past 25 years "because health authorities across the world have concluded that Red Bull Energy Drink is safe to consume." Terry, a construction worker was a healthy, active nonsmoker -- and an avid Red Bull drinker, according to his grandmother.
THE SPORTS REPORT
BCHS WINS CENTRAL SECTION DIV. II GIRLS GOLF TITLE: Bakersfield Christian won the Central Section Division II championship in girls golf, shooting 481 to beat Lemoore (500) and Fresno-Bullard (503) at the par-72 Lemoore Golf Course. Julia Stewart shot 80 to lead the Eagles; Jenna Shepherd shot 90, Genna Edwards 96 and Payton Yee 98. Southwest Yosemite League champion Liberty shot a season-best 419 and finished third in the Division I competition, rebounding a week after a disappointing second-place finish at the South Area championships. Read the full story here.