Local News

Wednesday, Nov 13 2013 07:07 AM

'First Look': First News for Nov. 14

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

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

NEW CEO NAMED AT KMC: There's a new CEO at Kern Medical Center. On Monday, County Supervisors appointed Russell Judd to the position left vacant after the September firing of Paul Hensler. He's expected to start work Dec. 16 under a five-year contract. Judd comes from Bakersfield's Mercy hospitals, where he has been president and CEO since 2004. He's not new to the county hospital. From 1991 to 1996, Judd was a member of their administrative team. KMC has been under fire in recent months after budget discrepancies were discovered. Read the full story here.

LOCAL PROSECUTOR ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE: A Kern County prosecutor is on administrative leave and the subject of a criminal investigation in connection with allegedly falsifying part of a transcript in a child molestation case. The prosecutor, Robert Murray, said the situation is nothing more than a joke taken the wrong way by the deputy public defender assigned to the case. Murray said he's done nothing criminal and has nothing to hide. District Attorney Lisa Green said Tuesday that Murray was placed on paid administrative leave Nov. 4. Her office is conducting an investigation it expects to submit to the state Attorney General's office this week.  Read the full story here.

GANG MEMBER CONVICTED: A local gang member is convicted of first degree murder. Jose Melgoza, a member of the Colonia Bakers, was found guilty Tuesday by a Kern County jury. On September 22, 2012 he shot and killed Trinidad Ortiz, a member of the same criminal street gang, over what authorities say was disrespect over a drug sale. Melgoza faces 50 years to life when sentenced next month. 

COUNTERFEIT PLEAD: A Bakersfield woman pleads guilty to counterfeiting. Shannon Johannsen, 35, appeared Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Fresno. Authorities say she was busy from October 12, 2012 until March of this year with an operation that included computers, printers, paint, powder and numerous digital images of U.S. currency. She passed the phony cash at retail store and a casino in Kern County. Sentencing is scheduled Feb. 4. Johannsen faces a maximum 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Read the full story here.

HOME INVASION INJURIES: A Lamont woman is recovering from injuries suffered during a brutal home invasion. Around 10 p.m. Friday authorities say a man and two women went into a house on May Street. The man reportedly struck and kicked the resident repeatedly in the torso, arms and face until she was knocked out. She awoke to find money and other items stolen. The victim was hospitalized with injuries including a broken arm and facial wounds. All three suspects are described as Hispanic, one possibly named Jessica. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kern County Sheriff's Office. You can make an anonymous report by calling Secret Witness at 322-4040, or by texting TIP-411, key word KCSO.

LOCAL TYPHOON SUPPORT: Local Filipinos are being forced to stay strong as their friends and neighbors suffer through the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Rey Cadiz works in a restaurant in Delano and is one of many Filipinos anxiously waiting to hear from friends back home. A & J Seafood in Delano, both customers and store employees have been hit hard by the storm. The business owners left in October to help the victims. The Associated Press reports desperation is growing in the area where aid has been slow in coming after the typhoon. Aid officials are hoping the reopening of two airports helps the cause, but roads are closed so trucks can't get through. Mobs that overran a rice warehouse triggered a wall collapse that killed eight people and security forces shot it out with an armed gang.

WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM

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

PROSECUTOR UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR ALLEGEDLY FALSIFYING TRANSCRIPTS: Kern County prosecutor is on administrative leave and the subject of a criminal investigation in connection with allegedly falsifying part of a transcript in a child molestation case. The prosecutor, Robert Murray, said the situation is nothing more than a joke taken the wrong way by the deputy public defender assigned to the case. Murray said he's done nothing criminal and has nothing to hide. District Attorney Lisa Green said Tuesday that Murray was placed on paid administrative leave Nov. 4. Her office is conducting an investigation it expects to submit to the state Attorney General's office this week. Read the full story here.

RUSSELL JUDD NAMED NEW KMC CEO: Russell Judd, the president and CEO of the two Mercy hospitals in Bakersfield, will take the top job at Kern Medical Center, the county's financially battered hospital. But in a twist, Judd will not be a county employee. Instead, the county will contract with a management firm created by Judd that will run KMC for it. The arrangement is designed to give Judd more flexibility in KMC's operation and an ability to quickly pursue marketing and business opportunities that would be slowed or stopped by the methodical churn of county bureaucracy. Read the full story here.

OH DEER! WILD ANIMAL WANDERS INTO BAKERSFIELD BACKYARD: As the sun rose at about 6 a.m. Tuesday, Donald Vereen looked out his kitchen window and saw something strange in the left corner of his southeast Bakersfield backyard. Vereen, director of the Bakersfield City School District's Educational Foundation, said he saw what looked like a log. But by 8:30 a.m. the "something" in his backyard was staring back at him. It turned out to be a deer that had wandered into his backyard. Vereen's home is adjacent to Highway 58 but exactly how the deer got to his home, remains a mystery. By Tuesday afternoon, the deer was scared off by a local team of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Its whereabouts are unknown. Read the full story here.

SECOND PERSON DIES FROM MOJAVE-AREA COLLISION: A second person died Sunday in the aftermath of a three-vehicle collision Friday night on Highway 14 north of Mojave. Nicole Hoffman, 19, of Valencia, died Sunday at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, from injuries suffered in the accident. A passenger in Hoffman's car, Robert Corona, 25, of Castaic, died Friday night following the accident. According to the California Highway Patrol, Hoffman was driving north on Highway 14 in a Honda Civic when she made a U-turn and was struck by a northbound Toyota Tundra driven by Joseph McMillan, 56, of Ridgecrest. Read the full story here.

PARTS OF CENTENNIAL CORRIDOR COULD BE BUILT EARLY: With construction of controversial Centennial Corridor more than a year away, city officials hope to build unrelated parts of the project sooner to improve traffic congestion, add jobs and spend federal highway funds before other jurisdictions might raid them. Caltrans officials suggested the idea to city officials roughly six weeks ago, City Manager Alan Tandy said Tuesday. Caltrans' Environmental Impact Report on Centennial Corridor, once expected this spring, is due in January. Construction won't begin before early- to mid-2015. Read the full story here.

 

THE TECH REPORT

TARGET: Target has come up with an answer to Amazon.com. Copy it. The discount chain's latest online offerings have a distinct Amazon feel--from recurring deliveries for diapers to on-demand streaming video and free shipping and discounts for its members. All emulate similar offers from the e-commerce company. Target's headquarters here is also taking on some perks more typical of West Coast technology companies than a Midwestern retailer. That includes vintage arcade games, a boccie ball sand pit and a red basketball court stamped with the retailer's bull's-eye logo in the new common area. Target this year is spending about as much of its $2.3 billion U.S. capital budget on improving its technology, developing mobile apps and modernizing its supply chain as it is on opening and remodeling stores. Next year, the company will spend more on those investments than on stores.

GOOGLE THROAT TATTOO: It looks like Google Glass was just the beginning. Google now appears to be aiming a few inches lower, working on a temporary electronic tattoo that would stick to the user's throat. Google-owned Motorola Mobility has filed for a patent that says the tattoo would communicate with smartphones, gaming devices, tablets and wearable tech like Google Glass via a Bluetooth-style connection and would include a microphone and power source. The idea is that wearers could communicate with their devices via voice commands without having to wear an earpiece or the Glass headset. In images attached to the filing, the tattoo appears to be between a postage stamp and a Band-Aid in size.

 

THE HEALTH REPORT

STATINS: The number of Americans taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs is set to double under new guidelines unveiled Tuesday by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. The goal of prescribing statins to as many as 70 million people is to reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes in the United States, not merely to get patient's LDL cholesterol -- the "bad" kind that's most closely linked to disease risk -- into an ideal range, experts said. The new guidelines distinguish between patients who would benefit most from high-dose statin therapy and those who can take a lower dose less likely to cause side effects. Under the new guidelines, physicians should prescribe statin medications to all patients with high odds of suffering a heart attack or stroke in the short-term -- that is, those who have had such an event already, patients with Type 2 diabetes, and those with exceptionally high levels of LDL cholesterol linked to familial risk. But the guidelines also recommend that patients with a 7.5% risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack over the next decade be prescribed statin medication as well. Americans spent 21 billion dollars on cholesterol-lowering medications in 2010, including statins marketed under such brand names as Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor.

 

THE SPORTS REPORT

FRONTIER MAKES QUICK WORK OF BHS: No. 7 seeded Frontier finished a quick sweep of No. 10 Bakersfield, 25-16, 25-11, 25-14, in the first round of the Central Section Division volleyball playoffs on Tuesday. The result was a big change from the teams' previous matches when they battled five long sets. On Tuesday, Frontier used runs of 16-1 in Game 2 and 12-1 in Game 3 to polish off an impressive victory and advance to play at No. 2 Clovis West in Thursday's quarterfinals. Read the full story here.

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