Local News

Monday, Jul 22 2013 07:35 AM

'First Look': First News for July 22

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

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

ONE DAY MORE: Voters in the 16th state Senate District will head to the polls tomorrow to decide the race between Republican Andy Vidak and Democrat Leticia Perez. They actually agree on more than they disagree when it comes to many of the major issues of the contest. They agree on water, taxes, fracking and same-sex marriage. Each also believes the other is a bad choice for the Senate job. But Perez supports California's high-speed rail project. Vidak doesn't. Perez supports an increase in the state's minimum wage. Vidak opposes it. Read the full story here.

SILVA'S DEATH: In a story in Sunday's Californian, experts weighed in on the use of hogtying to help subdue unruly suspects. This is related to the death of David Sal Silva who died after a confrontation with deputies from the Kern County Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol in the midnight hours between May 7 and May 8. Reporter Steve Mayer wrote: Witnesses say Silva was hogtied. The Kern County Sheriff's Office has been less precise. The use of the hogtie restraint by law enforcement has been controversial for at least two decades. So controversial -- and dangerous, say critics -- that some police agencies, including the Bakersfield Police Department, have banned it entirely. There has been strong reaction to the story with more than 35 comments online. Read the full story here.

KGET FACADE: Part of KGET-TV 17's building came crashing down Saturday night, but that didn't stop reporters from putting together the 11 o'clock newscast on time. The Bakersfield Fire Department said that a roughly 12-by-40-foot-long portion of the building's second-story facade had collapsed. KGET's building is located at 2120 L St. The crash damaged windows and electrical wires but no one was injured. Still, firefighters searched the debris twice to make sure no one was trapped under rubble. Read the full story here.

LAKESIDE BOND: The Lakeside Union School District in southwest Bakersfield is desperate to retire $10 million in debt coming due and may issue a bond so controversial that the legislature is considering restrictions on its use. It's called a capital appreciation bond, or CAB. And it's expensive. The Lakeside school board will hold a special meeting Aug. 6 to consider strategies for dealing with the crisis. Depending on which financing options they choose and how they're structured, the new debt could cause property taxes to go up for property owners in the district. CABs are long-term, extremely high-interest bonds that have led to exorbitant debt obligations across the state, typically $6 for every dollar borrowed but often much more. Lakeside has just two schools in the district and 1,300 students. Read the full story here.

RANCHO FIRE: A brush fire near Lebec was 92 percent contained by Sunday night. The quick-moving fire started Friday afternoon on southbound Interstate 5 north of Fort Tejon Road and at one point threatened 26 structures, according to a Kern County Fire Department news release. The fire burned 722 acres, but more than 500 firefighters restrained the blaze will help from four air tankers, five helicopters and three bulldozers. Read the full story here.

LOST MOTORCYCLISTS: Kern County Sheriff's personnel helped four people out of the wilderness south of Lake Isabella Sunday night. Search and Rescue, Air 5 crew and Kern County Fire Department personnel began searching for four lost motorcyclists after a call came in from a cellphone at 4:21 p.m.. 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

HOW WAS SILVA RESTRAINED AND DID IT KILL HIM? More than 10 weeks after the death of David Sal Silva, silk flowers and family photos still adorn the east Bakersfield street corner where his heart stopped beating. Exactly what happened on that street corner in the midnight hour of May 7 and 8 will be crucial to the outcome of three high-profile lawsuits expected to be filed this month. Lawyers say one of the most important questions is exactly how law enforcement officers restrained the 33-year-old father of four before he died. Specifically they want to know whether Silva's ankles were bound to his wrists behind his back, in what is commonly called a "hogtie" position. Witnesses say Silva was hogtied. The Kern County Sheriff's Office has been less precise. Read the full story here.

WESTSIDE PARKWAY GETS OFFICIAL OPENING DATE: The Westside Parkway, Bakersfield's first new freeway since Highway 58 was completed in 1976, will open at 10 a.m. Aug. 2 with a ribbon-cutting atop the bridge at Coffee Road, city officials said Friday. Parkway construction is ongoing. Its next two miles, which will extend the six-lane freeway to the Heath Road and Stockdale Highway intersection, won't be completed until late next year. But officials understandably are thrilled, because this five-mile stretch of six lanes, between Truxtun Avenue west of Highway 99 and Allen Road, represents a large piece of the city's transportation puzzle completed. "It's a big project, it's unusual for a city to manage a project of this size," said Janet Wheeler, outreach manager for the Thomas Roads Improvement Program, which administered the project on behalf of the city. Read the full story here.

TWO KILLED IN HIGHWAY 14 CRASH: A crash from Thursday continues to get a lot of attention from bakersfield.com readers. Two people were killed in a crash Thursday afternoon on Highway 14 just north of Dove Springs. The coroner's office says thirty-year-old Jad Kobeissi of Newhall was the driver of a vehicle that overturned on northbound Highway 14 at about 4:30 p.m. Also killed was 51-year-old Hoda Breidy-Thacker, of Torrance. Read the full story here.

BUSINESSES FRET OVER ISABELLA LAKE'S LOW WATER LEVEL: Historically low water levels at Isabella Lake are raising serious concerns among the area's recreation and tourism industry, where businesses are working to adapt to -- or, in some cases, resist -- what some fear could be a prolonged threat to the local economy. Kern River rafting trips ended much earlier than normal this season because of the drought, denying local inns, restaurants and stores the summer customers they rely on to support them throughout the year. Kernville and Lake Isabella business people have responded by shifting their emphasis to activities that don't require strong currents -- such as paddleboarding, kayaking and fishing -- and by asking local politicians and government officials for help. Read the full story here.

NEWS GOES ON AFTER COLLAPSE AT TV STATION: Part of KGET-TV 17's building came crashing down Saturday night, but that didn't stop reporters from putting together the 11 o'clock newscast on time. Weekend anchor Kelsey Thomas said she was composing a story at the station's 2120 L St. office at about 9:30 p.m. when she heard a loud boom and the lights went out, except for in the editing bay where she was working. Determined to have the piece ready for the late news, Thomas continued to work while another reporter ran out to investigate and called 911. Bakersfield Fire Department personnel found that a roughly 12-by-40-foot-long portion of the building's second-story facade had collapsed. The crash damaged windows and electrical wires but no one was injured. Read the full story here.

 

THE ENERGY REPORT

OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS: The U.S. Air Force will consider leasing land on Vandenberg Air Force Base for private companies to extract offshore oil and gas from the central California coast. The proposal would allow oil companies to use onshore equipment with new extended reach "slant drilling" technology to access deposits several miles offshore. Sunset Exploration and Exxon Mobil recently asked the Air Force to revisit their proposal to use the technology to build an oil and gas drilling project on the base near Lompoc. Over the next several months, the military will study whether the new type of drilling is compatible with the base's space and satellite-launching missions and determine if it is economically, environmentally and politically feasible.

 

THE TECH REPORT

E-RATE: U.S. Federal Communications Commission moved to revamp a subsidy program aimed at bringing faster Internet to schools and libraries. The FCC voted to propose various changes to how schools apply for and spend funds from the E-Rate program; for instance ensuring that the program would prioritize investments in faster broadband connections over some older technologies. The program helps schools and libraries get discounts on Internet services and digital devices and is funded by fees Americans pay on their monthly phone bills The program's spending has been around $2 billion a year but demand has more than twice exceeded that amount.

MEAN MOWER: Honda and Team Dynamics have partnered on one of the most peculiar products of the year: a lawn mower capable of speeds well over 100 mph. The aptly named Mean Mower will only cut grass at 15 miles an hour, but for lawn warriors off to the race-tracks the performance goes up considerably. Honda used a 1000 c-c motorcycle engine and fiberglass in the body to keep the mower light. A high capacity oil cooler and secondary water cooling radiator have also been added. No word yet on when the novelty mower will be available for public consumption. Consumers with very, very large yards will simply have to wait.

 

THE HEALTH REPORT

VITAMIN WATER: A court ruled that a lawsuit alleging deceptive labeling for Coca-Cola's Vitaminwater drinks may proceed as a class action. The Center for Science in the Public Interest and consumers in New York and California first filed a lawsuit in 2009, alleging deceptive labeling and marketing for the soft drink, which included claims that the drink could reduce risk for eye disease, promote healthy joints and support "optimal immune function."

MALPRACTICE CLAIMS: A large new study took a close look at medical malpractice claims to get an idea where most cases are coming from. Researchers reviewed documents, looking specifically at claims for primary care doctors, since these physicians are often the first line of care for patients. They found the most common malpractice claims were missed diagnoses with death as the most common consequence. The most common missed diagnoses for adults were cancer and heart attacks, followed by appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy and bone fractures. For children, the most missed diagnoses were related to meningitis and cancers.

 

THE SPORTS REPORT

BLAZE BEAT JETHAWKS: Junior Arias and Juan Duran homered as part of a five-run first and the Bakersfield Blaze held on for a 10-7 victory over the Lancaster JetHawks in Sunday afternoon's California League baseball game at Sam Lynn Ballpark. Duran and Arias had three hits apiece, with Duran finishing with three RBIs. Read the full story here,

 

CHECK OUT OUR SCOTT IN 60 FEATURE:

 

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