Local News

Monday, Jul 15 2013 07:13 AM

'First Look': First News for July 15

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

SPORTS COMPLEX FIRE: Fire rips through a sports complex used by kids in Ridgecrest. Two buildings at the Kerr McGee Youth Sports Complex caught fire early Sunday morning, destroying sports equipment used by the Indian Wells Valley Youth Baseball Association. When Kern County firefighters arrived at the northwest corner of West Church Avenue and South Downs Street, they discovered two buildings on fire. A burning one-story building was located approximately 600 feet from a burning two-story building. It was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived and sustained extensive damage. The two-story building had a concession stand on the bottom floor and office space on the top floor. The fire destroyed the top floor, while the first floor sustained moderate water damage. Dollar amount of the damage is set at 50,000. No one was injured. Read the full story here.

HIKER RESCUED: A lone hiker who became ill in a wilderness area between Pine Mountain Club and Quatal Canyon Road used her cell phone to call a Kern County Fire Department helicopter to her rescue. Two Kern County Fire Department engines and one helicopter responded at 2:45 p.m. Saturday to a report of a lost hiker, in an area southwest of the Pine Mountain Club community. The 41-year-old victim was hiking alone when she began to feel sick due to a possible heat-related illness. The woman called 911 on her cell phone, was located, and chopper crews lowered a hoist to raise the woman into the helicopter. The woman was treated at a nearby hospital and released. Read the full story here.

PISMO DEATH: An SUV driven by a Bakersfield woman struck and killed a 31-year-old Pismo Beach man on Saturday afternoon south of San Luis Obispo. At 1:30 p.m., a 2007 Toyota 4-Runner driven by 66-year-old Linda Ford of Bakersfield struck a 2008 Triumph 1050 motorcycle ridden by the Pismo Beach man. Ford was taken to French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo for treatment of minor injuries and was not arrested. The accident remains under investigation. Read the full story here.

GRASS FIRE: Kern County Fire crews help put out a 50-acre grass fire in eastern San Luis Obispo County as it crossed the western border into Kern County. Firefighters responded at 4 p.m. Saturday to reports of a grass fire on Highway 58 west of McKittrick. One hundred people battled the fire, including fire crews from CALFIRE and the Bureau of Land Management, and two air tankers and two helicopters were used. There were no reported injuries. Read the full story here.

GARAGE FIRE: A two-alarm garage fire late Saturday in northwest Bakersfield caused an estimated $175,000 in damage to the garage, three vehicles, and the attached house. Kern County Fire Department responded at about 9:25 p.m.Saturday night to a report of a garage fire in the 12400 block of Mezzadro Avenue. Firefighters were able to confine the fire to the garage, two vehicles parked in the garage, and a third vehicle parked in the driveway. The garage sustained minor structural damage and the contents of the house sustained smoke damage. There were no injuries. Authorities say the fire wasn't deliberately set, but they're still investigating. Read the full story here.

MADRIGALI CASE: The Kern County District Attorney's Office will file a motion Monday to charge 57-year-old Mark Madrigali with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife. Trivia Madrigali suffered gunshot wounds June 12 at their home on Telegraph Avenue. She died Wednesday morning at age 51, and the death has been ruled a homicide. Mark Madrigali says the shooting was an accident. He's being held on charges of attempted murder, assault with a gun and spousal abuse. The D.A. wants to increase Madrigali's bail from the current $1.5 million. Read the full story here.


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

CONTROVERSIAL CONDO COMPLEX UP FOR CITY, COUNTY VOTE: Southwest Bakersfield residents who convinced the city Planning Commission in June to vote against a proposed condominium complex will continue their fight before the Kern County Board of Supervisors and Bakersfield City Council this week. The condominiums proposed by Black Ops Real Estate IV LLC for a 10.2-acre parcel at Ming Avenue and River Run Boulevard would require a zone change and an amendment to the Kern River Plan Element. The Kern County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider making an advisory recommendation on the River Plan amendment to the city of Bakersfield. Then on Wednesday, the Bakersfield City Council will hear an appeal of the project by McIntosh & Associates, which represents Black Ops. More than 50 residents convinced the Bakersfield Planning Commission to deny the zoning change and River Plan amendment at its June 6 meeting. Read the full story here.

LOIS HENRY: THE KERN COUNTY GRAND JURY SWINGS AND MISSES BADLY: Californian columnist Lois Henry writes that she was absolutely floored by two recent Kern County grand jury reports, because of "how utterly lame they were." Lois writes that one report was so bad, that it may be legally actionable. First, was a report issued May 15 on the death of logger Bill Bennett in Tehachapi back in 2011. Second, and even worse was a report issued June 17 delving into the decades long water fight between North of the River Municipal Water District, known as NOR, and Oildale Mutual Water Company. Lois writes that both reports contain misleading information, outright errors and are one-sided in the extreme. But the Oildale water report may actually have crossed the line into libel. Read the full story here.

CAR DRIVEN BY BAKERSFIELD WOMAN STRIKES, KILLS PISMO BEACH MAN: The California Highway Patrol reports that an SUV driven by a Bakersfield woman struck and killed a 31-year-old Pismo Beach man on Saturday afternoon south of San Luis Obispo. The CHP says that at about 1:30 p.m., a 2007 Toyota 4-Runner driven by 66-year-old Linda Ford of Bakersfield struck a 2008 Triumph 1050 motorcycle ridden by the Pismo Beach man. The man, who died as a result of the collision, has not yet been identified. Ford, who was taken to French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo for treatment of minor injuries, was not arrested. According to the CHP, Ford was driving north on Highway 227, south of Tolosa, and struck the unidentified man, who was traveling south, while she was making a left turn into a private driveway. Read the full story here.

COUNTY EXTRA HELP WORKERS LIVE IN LIMBO: Certain county jobs are endangered as the county grapples with the Affordable Care Act's mandate to provide health insurance to all full-time employees, which may be defined as those who work 60 hours or more in a two-week period. The county has about 690 extra-help employees who are not eligible for health insurance through the county, according to a June report by the Kern County Administrative Office. Last month, the county appeared to be stuck between two expensive options: Failure to provide these workers health care coverage by Jan. 1, 2014, could trigger more than $17 million in fines; offering them insurance would cost as much as $8 million, according to the report. But there was another, probably cheaper choice: cut extra-help employees' hours to 59 per two-week period. Last week, the Obama adminstration announced it would delay the employer mandate one year, to 2015. But the county still has to figure out how to address the issue. Read the full story here.

KIDS SCREAM, SPLASH AT NORTHEAST BAKERSFIELD'S NEW SPRAY PARK: Wearing a pink and white polka dot bathing suit, 10-year-old Natalie Romero stood beneath a yellow water bucket and jumped in excitement as water dropped on her head. "This is awesome," Romero said as she raised her hands in excitement. "I want to come here every day." On Friday, Siemon Park Spray Park, located at 3300 Redlands Drive in northeast Bakersfield, became Bakersfield's ninth spray park. Read the full story here.



MANPOWER CUTS LEAD TO RAIL DISASTER: The train hauling millions of gallons of crude oil that slammed into a Canadian town got there with a crew of one -- staffing permitted by law though opposed by labor leaders who've warned of the risks. The union representing workers at Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway fought the company policy that allowed a solo operator to drive and park the train for the night and says the disaster points to the dangers of manpower cuts. In the U.S., crews of at least two people are the norm, that's down from five 50 years ago. Some non-union short-line railroads are using one-person crews and others are pushing to do so according to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.



VERIZON: Verizon Wireless is making it easier for parents to control their children's wireless phone usage. The company today launched Verizon FamilyBase, an Android-based service that lets parents monitor and limit calling, texting, app usage and app purchases as well as set time restrictions and review contact lists. Parents also can remotely lock a phone on demand. The service is available for $5 per month for up to 10 lines and is available on most Android phones.

TiVo: Remember TiVo? Well, the pioneering digital video recording service is back. TiVo has developed a "transportable digital video recorder" which would allow viewers to download content to a mobile device, according to a patent application. Officials at TiVo declined to comment on the application, which names co-founders James Barton and Mike Ramsay as the inventors.



APPLE JUICE: After more than a year of public pressure from consumer advocates and concerned parents, the Food and Drug Administration will set a new limit on the level of arsenic allowed in apple juice, matching the threshold currently permitted in drinking water. FDA officials emphasized that the agency has been monitoring arsenic levels in apple juice for decades, and most products on the market already meet such a standard. The issue gained national attention in 2011 after a report on "The Dr. Oz Show," that noted various brands of apple juice tested by the show contained high levels of arsenic. The FDA chided Oz at the time for not drawing a distinction between organic and inorganic arsenic. Both can occur naturally, but only the inorganic form is a carcinogen.

HAND DRYING: It's well known that effective hand washing remains our best defense against germs -- but what about hand drying? Are all methods created equal? A recent study of hand drying methods by researchers in Australia put this question to the test and found that from a hygiene perspective, paper towels are superior to electronic air dryers. They found that paper towels reduced the numbers of all types of bacteria on the hands and hot air dryers were the least effective method of removing bacteria. Testing of the paper towels after use, showed that many bacteria are transferred from the hands to the paper towels.



HANEY FIFTH IN WORLD YOUTH GAMES 1,500 AT UKRAINE: The competition keeps getting better, and Blake Haney keeps getting faster. The latest iteration of this elite game played out Sunday in Donetsk, Ukraine, in the 1,500-meter final at the IAAF World Youth Championships, where Haney finished fifth in 3:44.69, the best placing and fastest time ever recorded by an American in the race. Read the full story here.

BLAZE FALL TO QUAKES: The Bakersfield Blaze managed just four hits Sunday, falling to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 4-1 at LoanMart Field. The Quakes wasted no time breaking out to an early 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the first inning, with one out, Rancho strung together four consecutive singles, the latter two leading to runs. The series continues tonight. Read the full story here.




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