Local News

Monday, Mar 31 2014 06:56 AM

'First Look': First News for March 31

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

NEW FRACKING RULES LEAD TO CONFUSION, LAYOFFS: Permitting delays related to California's new hydraulic fracturing law are taking a toll on Kern County oil field employment. As The Californian's John Cox reported, oil services giant Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday it is laying off or reassigning 110 workers in Bakersfield, Shafter and the Los Angeles Basin because of delays its customers face in getting approval to "frack" wells under Senate Bill 4. Halliburton said it will redeploy about 70 California employees to other states but not cut its Kern County workforce. Read the full story here.

LOIS HENRY: MOTHER NATURE GOT HELP SHUTTING DOWN HWY 178 : Mother Nature may have gotten a bad rap on those landslides that closed Highway 178 during the height of tourist season last August. As The Californian's columnist Lois Henry reported, a tremendous storm whipped through eastern Kern County and dropped heavy rains in the Kern River Canyon the night of August 19. Rock, mud and debris skittered down the canyon walls and closed the highway in at least two places near the Southern California Edison power plant a few miles east of the mouth of the canyon. It took Caltrans 10 days to get the road fully open again, at a cost of more than $500,000. Read the full story here.

SECOND ACT NEARS FOR HISTORIC DELANO RADIO SITE: More than six years after its historic shortwave radio broadcasts went off the air, the obscure yet visible buildings, antennas, and satellite dishes that comprise the Delano Transmitting Station still aren't booked for a second act. As The Californian's Theo Douglas reported, for nearly 63 years, this flat land was home to one of the first transmitting stations around the world that broadcast official Voice of America news, sports and cultural programs internationally. In the near future, however, all or part of this 800-acre site southwest of Garces Highway and Melcher Road could go to a nonprofit or a state or local agency like the city of Delano. Read the full story here.


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

HOW OFTEN ARE POLICE CALLED TO THE PADRE?: How safe it is around The Padre Hotel downtown following a March 22 stabbing inside? BPD Sgt. Joe Grubbs provided statistics covering Jan. 1, 2013, to March 25 of this year. During that time, the department recorded 255 calls for service. Here are the top three types of calls: peace disturbance -- verbal: 60, peace disturbance -- loitering-refused to leave: 33, peace disturbance -- fight: 30. Read the full story here.

WOMAN WHO JUMPED OUT OF MOVING VEHICLE RESCUED FORM KERN RIVER CANYON: A woman who apparently jumped out of a moving vehicle and then fell 75 feet into the Kern River Canyon Friday night was rescued in a dramatic joint effort by the Kern County Fire Department and Sheriff's Office. Blanca Pena, 37, of Bakersfield, plunged off of Highway 178 just west of the Richbar Campground area about 8:40 p.m. Deputies did not release more information about why Pena may have jumped out of the vehicle. Pena had sustained serious injures and was taken to Kern Medical Center. Read the full story here.

EX-MISSIONARIES FIND BLESSINGS AT HOME: For three years Matthew and Rachel Clayton lived in a "rustic," tin-roofed house on stilts in the remote jungles of Papua New Guinea. On Sunday Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire gave the missionary family their own home for the first time since they left that tin-topped building on the far side of the Pacific Ocean. The home was donated to Habitat for Humanity by Bank of America, and Golden Empire matched the Claytons to the home. They will pay for the home but at an "incredibly low price." Read the full story here.



FACEBOOK INTERNET ACCESS: Two thirds of the world population does not have Internet access. Facebook already has more than a billion users on its service, but before it can sign up the rest of world it needs to get them online. According to a CNN report, the social media company announced a new step in its ambitious plan to bring affordable, basic Internet access to "every person in the world." Facebook's new Connectivity Lab will research and test experimental technology including drones, satellites and lasers to spread the reach of the Internet to isolated locations that currently do not have Internet.



BURN CENTER DONATION: A $5,000 donation is going to help burn survivors who are treated at San Joaquin Community Hospital. Hospital officials said its foundation received a Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California Community Grant. The money will pay for burn compression garments and facial masks for pediatric burn survivors, the hospital announced. Of those cared for at The Grossman Burn Center at the hospital, more than 40 percent are children.



JAM STAYS HOT WITH WIN OVER WARRIORS: Forward Ike Diogu scored 32 points and guard Jerel McNeal added 20 to lead the Bakersfield Jam to a 115-109 victory over the Santa Cruz Warriors at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Diogu was 14 of 21 from the field and also led the Jam with 11 rebounds. It was the eighth win in 10 games for Bakersfield (22-25), which had won seven straight wins before Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Defenders. The Jam and Warriors square off again at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Santa Cruz. Read the full story here.




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