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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
CRISP & COLE DEFENDANT GETS 6 1/2 YEARS: A defendant in the Crisp & Cole federal mortgage fraud case was sentenced Monday to 6 1/2 years in prison for one count of conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud. Jayson Peter Costa, a 41-year-old Bakersfield resident, had admitted in a plea agreement he was not properly licensed to do the loan processing work he performed at Tower Lending, the Bakersfield mortgage brokerage central to the 15-defendant fraud case. Costa admitted to causing lenders losses of at least $7.5 million between 2004 and 2007. He is scheduled to turn himself in May 5. Read the full story here.
NEIGHBORS CONCERNED ABOUT HEALTH DUE TO TOXIC GAS IN HOME: Residents on Nelson Court in Arvin have experienced nose bleeds, migraines, fainting and coughing during the past year. They thought it might be caused by diabetes or pregnancy. Now they're worried about bigger issues such as cancer after learning they've been breathing toxic gas from a long-time leaking gas pipe. Air samples taken March 18 from Elvia Garcia's home at 1312 Nelson Court showed toxic gas levels 13 times higher than levels deemed safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At least three dozen people and their pets were evacuated from eight Nelson Court homes a week ago after officials discovered the leaking low-pressure gas pipeline. Read the full story here.
AMBITIOUS DOWNTOWN DESIGN PLAN GETS UNDER WAY: A downtown urban design plan aimed at unifying and reinvigorating farflung business districts -- the first of its size and scope here -- could flower this spring with new financial support and public input. All are signs of potential change for the city's traditional but not entirely successful retail district. The Downtown Bakersfield Development Corp vote was to hire Santa Ana-based PlaceWorks to create an urban design plan at an estimated cost of $120,000 that will be paid over a number of years. The plan could entail new signage, lighting, parking, and open space. The $2,000 PG&E grant will pay for volunteers and artists to paint murals April 12 in the Wall Street alley east of H Street, and on five downtown traffic signal control boxes. Read the full story here.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending across bakersfield.com.
ARVIN WOMAN DIES IN CAR ACCIDENT: An Arvin woman was killed Monday afternoon when the car she was a passenger in was struck by another vehicle in Lamont. The Kern County Coroner's office said 48-year-old San Juana Coronado died at 4:09 p.m., about an hour after her car was struck at the intersection of Edison and Di Giorgio roads. She died at a local hospital. The California Highway Patrol is investigating. Read the full story here.
LAWSUITS FILED BY WITNESSES IN DAVID SILVA CASE: Lawsuits have been filed in federal court on behalf of five people who allege Kern County sheriff's deputies unlawfully detained them and improperly seized their personal property after they used their cellphones to record a confrontation between law enforcement and David Sal Silva in May of last year. All five plaintiffs are represented by attorney Daniel Rodriguez, who confirmed Monday evening the lawsuits were filed on Friday. A hearing to set a trial date is scheduled for July 7. The plaintiffs are suing Kern County for damages in an amount to be determined at trial. Read the full story here.
BPD INVESTIGATING HOMICIDE ON CHRISTMAS TREE LANE: Bakersfield Police said a 35-year-old Bakersfield man was shot and killed Monday morning at a residence in the 4100 block of Christmas Tree Lane. Shawn Christian Ibarra was shot just before 5 a.m., police said. Police said Ibarra armed himself with a breaker bar and forced his way inside through the front door, threatening a guest of the homeowner. The homeowner, fearing for his safety and the safety of his guest, fired one shot, striking and killing Ibarra. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
GOOGLE GLASSES: You'll want to be stylish with your Google Glass, which some people have described as looking geeky or too futuristic. According to the Associated Press, Google is now partnering with the makers for Ray-Ban and Oakley frames to make its technology not only accessible, but even more appealing. Right now Google has made Glass available only to select testers, but the Mountain View company plans to make it more widely available by the end of the year, the AP says.
THE HEALTH REPORT
VALLEY FEVER DIAGNOSIS: There's a new, faster way to diagnose valley fever, and the test was developed in a Fresno hospital's lab. The Fresno Bee reports that the new DNA test can give results in five hours. That's a lot faster than the two-plus weeks it takes for a blood or culture test. Once someone knows they have valley fever they can get treatment for the sometimes fatal infection. The new test is called real-time polymerase chain reaction. The Fresno Bee reports that "the DNA signature of the valley fever fungus can be detected in a matter of hours. PCR copies a section of DNA that can then be tested on the spot." Read the full story here.
THE SPORTS REPORT
BUNZ RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL AFTER INJURY; BROSSOIT HEADING TO NHL: Condors goaltender Tyler Bunz, hit in the throat by a puck during Saturday night's game against Ontario, was released from a Fresno hospital on Monday afternoon after suffering damaged vocal cords and a fractured larynx. The good news: no surgery required. Bunz initially went to a Bakersfield hospital after Saturday night's game but coach Troy Mann said he had to go to Fresno where there was an ear, throat and nose specialist on hand. In other news, former Condors goalie Laurent Brossoit, who was moved up to AHL Oklahoma City late last week, was called up to Edmonton on Monday to cover for the injured Victor Fasth. Brossoit will be on the bench tonight in San Jose. Read the full story here.
AIKENHEAD NAMED WAC PITCHER OF THE WEEK FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK: CSUB lefty Taylor Aikenhead was named WAC pitcher of the week for the second straight week after striking out 10 North Dakota players in a 4-1 win Friday.
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