Local News

Monday, Mar 24 2014 07:07 AM

'First Look': First News for March 24

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Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:

LOIS HENRY: AIR BOARD WANTS TRUCKERS TO PAY FOR ITS MISTAKES: There's the real world. And then there's the world the California Air Resources Board lives in. Californian columnist Lois Henry said that in CARB's world, it's perfectly acceptable to force trucking companies to buy expensive, shoddy equipment that not only doesn't work, but poses a serious safety risk and claim it's for the public good. CARB mandated that companies replace pre-2007 model trucks or retrofit them with filters to cut particulate matter from their emissions. They retrofitted 24 of their 48 trucks with the PM filters at a cost of $340,000. That money came straight out of their pockets because CARB said they didn't qualify for any grants. Read the full story here.

IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE . . . IT'S A COUNTY SUPERVISOR: First District Kern County Supervisor Mick Gleason has a new ride. The former U.S. Navy jet jockey has traded his two-hour drive from Ridgecrest to Bakersfield in for a 30-minute commute over the mountains in a '66 Beechcraft Debonair. Gleason bought the plane in December and said it's already making it easier to do his job. The Beechcraft has a snappy white, red and blue paint job, a new 225-horsepower engine and a new propeller. Gleason paid for the plane himself but he's hoping the county will treat his plane like it did his car and pay him mileage to fly the craft. Read the full story here.

BPD HOPES NEW ACADEMY FILLS OUT FORCE: The Bakersfield Police Department's current complement of sworn officers has declined again, from 355 in late January to 352 today, but a new police academy of 42 could have the department fully staffed by late August. Another training academy for city police officers began last week, and despite six drop-outs, the 42 remaining is more than enough to bring BPD up to its full complement of 389 sworn officers this summer. Like departments nationwide, Bakersfield has had difficulty hiring police when confronted with aging populations, improved background checks and a younger generation of applicants more likely than its predecessors to have some type of criminal past. Read the full story here.


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

WHAT WORK IS BEING DONE TO THIS DOWNTOWN BUILDING?: What's with all the work being done to the building at 18th and Eye streets downtown? Bakersfield city officials said Friday that the construction on the building is only for remodeling the exterior. The commercial building is being stuccoed and crown molding will be added at the top of the structure. Old windows are being replaced as well. The construction will involve replacing 52 windows and doing additional stucco and stucco repair work. The work will be complete in early to mid-April. Read the full story here.

FIVE TAKEN TO HOSPITAL FOLLOWING STOCKDALE HIGHWAY CRASH: Five people were taken to a local hospital for complaints of pain Saturday evening after a crash at Stockdale Highway and Buena Vista Road. Police said a green Ford Expedition was driving east on Stockdale when a black Range Rover turned directly in its path. The Expedition's driver, 39-year-old Javier Ceja and passengers 35-year-old Anna Ceja and three juveniles were all taken to a hospital. The driver of the Range Rover, 45-year-old John Fosbinder, was uninjured. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor and an investigation is ongoing. Read the full story here.

MAN STABBED AFTER ARGUMENT AT DOWNTOWN HOTEL: A man was hospitalized early Saturday morning after being stabbed in the abdomen in downtown Bakersfield. Bakersfield Police Department officers responded to a call of a stabbing victim at 12:34 a.m. Saturday and found 22-year-old Anthony Rodriguez with a "minor" stab wound to his abdomen. An investigation revealed that Rodriguez and an unidentified adult male were inside the Padre Hotel when they became involved in an argument. The suspect stabbed Rodriguez with "an unknown sharp object," then fled the hotel. Rodriguez was taken to a local hospital. Read the full story here.



FARMING TECHNOLOGY: The major drought in California has the agriculture industry, government and residents hoping for some high-tech solutions for a very old problem. Most local investors and venture capitalists want software, cheap-to-make mobile apps that gather and monetize data about people, and consumer goods like phones, smart watches and futuristic thermostats, a CNN report said. Two founders of WellIntel have invented a monitor that gathers real-time data from water wells using sonar, the report said. Farms or rural homes with wells on their property can choose to keep their information private or share it anonymously.



HEALTH CARE SIGNUPS: Demographers have predicted March is the month the state's Latino population will surpass that of whites, making Hispanics the majority in California. The Californian's Courtenay Edelhart reports that is why it's critical to get more Hispanics into Covered California ahead of the March 31 open enrollment deadline, and why the state has been recruiting hard with public service announcements and advertisements targeting Latinos. It worked on Saturday. Fifty-two-year-old Angel Martinez signed up for health insurance at a Covered California enrollment workshop and it was the first time in his life he had ever had a policy. "Before, doctors wouldn't see me because I didn't have insurance," Martinez said through a translator at East Bakersfield Community Health Center. "When my coverage starts, I'm going to get checked out from head to toe." Read the full story here.



ROADRUNNERS FALL IN SERIES FINALE: The Cal State Bakersfield baseball team was its own worst enemy as it tried to complete a weekend sweep of Western Athletic Conference rival North Dakota on Sunday. CSUB pitchers issued seven walks and the Roadrunners' normally reliable defense made two costly gaffes on routine plays, enabling North Dakota to claim a 6-3 victory at Hardt Field. All three of CSUB's runs, as well as four of its nine hits, came in the ninth inning. The late rally, which featured triples by Mylz Jones and Oscar Sanay, eventually ended with North Dakota starting pitcher Jeff Campbell retiring the final two batters to close out the game. Read the full story here.




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