Local News

Wednesday, Apr 02 2014 07:17 AM

'First Look': First News for April 2

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

JANE GOODALL SOWS SEEDS OF HOPE IN BAKERSFIELD: It was after Jane Goodall read "Tarzan of the Apes" as a child that she decided she would grow up, travel to Africa and study the great creatures. When she shared her excitement with others, people laughed at her and told her "those aren't the kinds of things that girls do." But it didn't stop her. Goodall, a world-renowned primatologist, spoke Tuesday at Bakersfield College to more than 2,000 guests about her research on chimpanzees. Goodall, who will be 80 on Thursday, has spent more than 50 years studying and sharing her unique research on primates and on human and animal interaction. Read the full story here.

WAS JENNIFER CRISP'S 'BREAK OF A LIFETIME' JUST? It doesn't happen a lot, but every so often criminal defendants get probation instead of prison time simply because a harsher penalty would leave their children parentless. Does that mean the parents, or at least the mothers, receive a get-out-of-jail card? As Californian reporter John Cox reporter, such considerations arose this week when Jennifer Crisp was given five years probation and ordered to pay restitution of $1.7 million instead of serving prison time. In handing down Jennifer's sentence Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill said he "can't even begin to imagine" what it would have been like to have a parent in prison when he was in fourth grade, "let alone two." Read the full story here.

HOSKING WIDENING A HARBINGER OF TRAFFIC, JOBS: Jeff and Jacki Mickey got a hard lesson in the importance of reading the fine print when work crews showed up last Thursday to begin widening Hosking Avenue between Wible Road and Hughes Lane. As Californian reporter Theo Douglas reported, that's the day their vague understanding of how a highway expansion might impact their daily lives came into alarming focus and they realized just how close cars would be coming to the front of their house -- and their bedroom windows. As a result of the widening, Mickey's had to relocate the home's propane tank and shorten his carport so much that when he parks his pickup truck one set of tires is in the dirt. Read the full story here.


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

DETAILS ABOUT DEPUTY-INVOLVED SHOOTING REMAIN SKETCHY: Sheriff's officials have been unusually tight-lipped about last week's deputy-involved shooting, leaving usually routine questions -- including whether a man who was fatally shot fired his weapon, and the names of the deputies involved -- still unanswered Tuesday. The only new detail released about the March 26 incident is that a wounded sheriff's K-9 is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery Friday. When pressed for more detail Tuesday, sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said he had not been authorized to release more information. Read the full story here.

MOTHER ARRESTED IN DEATH OF 4-YEAR-OLD FROM 2010: The mother of a 4-year-old boy who died under suspicious circumstances four years ago has been charged with his murder. Alexis Dixon, 31, was taken into custody late Monday evening and is being held on $2 million bail on charges of murder and assault on a child younger than 8 years old resulting in death. Deputies said at the time that Mark Allen Dixon suffered from suspicious injuries and possible head trauma. The boy's injuries were not consistent with explanations that had been given as to how he had been injured. She's scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. Read the full story here.

POLICE WARN OF 'IRS' SCAMS: Bakersfield police warned the public Tuesday of an ongoing financial scam with people falsely identifying themselves as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service. Victims report they have been contacted by telephone by individuals pretending to be with the IRS who tell them they have past due fines. The scammer then instructs the victim to purchase a pre-paid credit card to pay the fine. The suspect then asks the victim to provide the card information and the money is transfered to him. The BPD reminded residents not to provide any information over the telephone to someone who initiates the call. Read the full story here.



NASA SUBORBITAL FLIGHT: Space development continues. NASA is asking for "proposals from U.S. commercial suborbital reusable launch vehicle providers to integrate and fly technology payloads," according to a NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center news release. Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for Space Technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington, was quoted as saying, "America's pioneering efforts in opening up near space -- from Earth to the edge of space -- for testing new space technologies has taken off and continues to soar."



HOSPICE HOME TO BREAK GROUND: Hoffmann Hospice will break ground April 9 for an 18-bed residential facility located in the Seven Oaks Business Park near the intersection of Buena Vista Drive and Bolthouse Drive. The Californian's Courtenay Edelhart reports that the 25,000-square-foot residential, three-wing Hoffmann Hospice Home is tentatively scheduled for completion in the spring of 2015. Director of Development and Marketing Gretchen Daughtery said: "We had identified a gap of patients who were appropriate for hospice but because of the level of care they required, the families had no place to take them." Some observers applaud the effort to build Bakersfield's first inpatient hospice, but others aren't sure it's such a good idea. There are eight hospice agencies serving Kern County, and they're divided on the wisdom of helping patients in a dedicated hospice facility rather than at home or in hospitals, nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. Read the full story here.



CENTENNIAL POWERS PAST FRONTIER: Madison Aurin struck out eight in five innings and Madison Hightower ripped a two-run homer to help the Centennial softball team remain perfect in Southwest Yosemite League play with a 4-2 victory Tuesday over Frontier. The win was the eighth straight for the first-place Golden Hawks, who improved to 6-0 in the SWYL and 11-3 overall. Read the full story here.




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