Local News

Wednesday, Jul 24 2013 07:22 AM

'First Look': First News for July 24

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

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

ELECTION: Leticia Perez or Andy Vidak? Local voters went to the polls Tuesday to decide which of those two will represent them in the 16th State Senate district. As of late last night, Vidak was ahead 54 to 46 percent. The special runoff will fill the seat vacated by Michael Rubio. The 16th covers parts of Kern, Kings, Tulare and Fresno counties. Read the full story here.

MISSING PERSON FOUND: Bakersfield police have canceled a missing-person alert for an elderly woman who was considered at risk because of her age and possible medical condition. Police say 80-year old Ruth Kendrick had been located as of 7 p.m. Tuesday. She had last been seen at 2 p.m. Tuesday at her group home, Leandras Residence, at 2804 Tar Springs Ave. Read the full story here.

BODY FOUND: A body discovered Sunday in Wofford Heights may be that of a mother of two who disappeared two weeks ago. Twenty-two-year-old Brandi Tanner was last seen taking a walk from her home about four blocks from where the remains were found. Her father, Dan Tanner, says one of his neighbors discovered the body. That man told Tanner he had just seen Tanner's story on the news. The Kern County Coroner is conducting an autopsy. They hope to have Tanner's dental records by Wednesday so they can confirm the identity. Meanwhile, Sheriff's detectives are investigating. Read the full story here.

ARREST: The rap sheet of a Taft area man gets a little bit longer. Around 10:30 p.m. Monday, Kern County Sheriff's deputies caught up with 29-year-old Brandon Turner in the 2700 block of Taft Highway in Dustin Acres. He was wanted on two felonies and one misdemeanor warrant. After he was arrested, deputies say they found Turner in possession of at least two ounces of suspected methamphetamine and a scale. Read the full story here.

MURDER CONVICTION: The third and final defendant charged in the beating death of an elderly east Bakersfield woman has been convicted of murder following her third trial. Twenty-year old Angelique Nash is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 20. She faces life in prison without the possibility of parole for her role in the death of Dorothy Session in 2010. Prosecutors said Nash, her sister Katila, and David Deshawn Moses were looking for an empty home to burglarize on April 14, 2010 and thought they had found one when they came upon Session's house in the 1500 block of Camino Sierra. They unexpectedly found Session home, and Moses beat her because they didn't want to leave a witness. Angelique Nash was acting as a lookout to make sure no one came along and surprised the other defendants as they burglarized Session's home. The prosecutor had offered Nash a 15-year prison sentence before the second trial began, but she refused. Read the full story here.

SUSPECTS SOUGHT: Bakersfield police are asking for your help locating two suspects wanted for fraudulent use of an access card and possession of stolen property. Police say the victim's vehicle was burglarized in the 2600 block of Mount Vernon Avenue on June 5 and a wallet was stolen. The victim's access card was used at the Home Depot at 8700 Rosedale Highway. The first suspect is described as Hispanic, in his 30s, with a heavy build, black hair and mustache. He was last seen wearing a gray tank top, black sweatpants and white tennis shoes. The second suspect is described as Hispanic, in his 30s, with a small build, black hair and mustache. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans and white tennis shoes. Anyone with information regarding the identity of these suspects is asked to call BPD. 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

VIDAK MAINTAINS STRONG LEAD IN STATE SENATE SHOWDOWN: Republican Andy Vidak had a commanding lead Tuesday night in the brutally contentious battle for the 16th Senate District seat. But his victory wasn't quite certain. Yet. Election night results came in just before midnight, giving the Hanford cherry farmer 54.03 percent of the vote in his closely watched race against Bakersfield Democrat Leticia Perez. Perez had 45.97 percent, and sat a distant 5,833 votes behind Vidak. But there are thousands of votes still waiting to be counted. Kern County reported that 2,345 votes remained to count Tuesday night. Kings County had 185 uncounted ballots. How many remained in Fresno and Tulare Count was not certain. Read the full story here.

BIG-RIGS CRASH, STOP TRAFFIC AT HIGHWAY 99 AND LERDO: A traffic collision involving several big-rigs forced the closure of southbound Highway 99 at Lerdo Highway Tuesday evening. The California Highway Patrol reported at least four semis were reported involved at the scene, including one with a driver trapped inside a rig, and a minor injury. A call of a truck on its side was reported to the CHP at about 5:40 p.m. Another message said one of the trucks' unspecified load had been spilled. Multiple emergency units were on the scene as of 6 p.m. Read the full story here.

MISSING WOMAN FOUND: Bakersfield police have canceled a missing-person alert for an elderly woman who was considered at risk because of her age and possible medical condition. Police said 80-year-old Ruth Kendrick had been located as of 7 p.m. Tuesday. She had last been seen at 2 p.m. Tuesday at her group home. Read the full story here.

THIRD DEFENDANT FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER ELDERLY WOMAN'S DEATH: The third and final defendant charged in the beating death of an elderly woman was convicted of murder Tuesday following her third trial. Twenty-year-old Angelique Nash is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 20. She faces life in prison without the possibility of parole for her role in the death of Dorothy Session in 2010. Prosecutor David Wilson said that, after two mistrials, getting a conviction was a relief. "It's been a long time coming," Wilson said. He said a lot of time and effort went into this case, but it was worth it considering the horrific nature of the crime. One factor that he believes made a difference in this trial was the obtaining of and playing of a recorded call Nash made from jail to her father. Read the full story here.

LOIS HENRY: TUNNEL WATER PLAN PROMOTED, BUT IS KERN BUYING? Columnist Lois Henry writes about one of her favorite topics -- water. She says: Gov. Brown's point man on water came to Bakersfield Tuesday to try and shore up support among water contractors for the administration's proposed "twin tunnels" project to route water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. I don't think he hit his mark. Jerry Meral, deputy secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, was an engaging speaker who gave a lot of information about this complex subject. But he couldn't give audience members what they really wanted: How much water could contractors count on via the tunnels? And how much will it cost? Read the full story here.

 

THE ENERGY REPORT

EPA FRACKING RESEARCH REVIEWED BY COMMITTEE: The U.S. House of Representatives is hosting hearings this morning on Environmental Protection Agency research about the impact of Hydraulic Fracturing or Fracking on drinking water supplies across the country. The subcommittee of the environment and the subcommittee of energy will hold a joint meeting -- which is already under way this morning. The EPA is conducting a wide range of studies about the impact of fracking on water sources, and the agency is expected to release a report next year about its research. The joint committee will also look at how the EPA investigated claims of groundwater or drinking water contamination in Texas, Wyoming and Pennsylvania. Read the commitee charter here.

BAKERSFIELD CHAMBER TO HOLD FRACKING DISCUSSION: Speaking of fracking, this is also a hot-button issue facing Kern County, the state and the country as oil companies aim to unlock billions of barrels of oil using the controversial method. The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce will play host to a discussion about the practice at 8 a.m. Monday at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bakersfield. Visit bakersfieldchamber.org for more information.

 

THE TECH REPORT

INTERNET CONNECTION RANKINGS: The U.S. is falling further behind in world rankings of average Internet connection speeds. That's the verdict from the latest State of the Internet Report by Akamai, the networking company that handles about a third of global Web traffic. The U.S. dropped one place to ninth overall, at 8-point-6 megabits per second. Sweden now takes eighth place with an average connection speed of 8-point-9 megabits per second. Even Sweden couldn't overtake Internet-speed titans Latvia and the Czech Republic though.South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong took the top three spots.

FORD INTERCEPTOR: Ford has announced that it has new surveillance mode technology integrated into its Ford Police Interceptor designed to warn police officers of unexpected approaches from the back of their vehicle. When a person approaches the police vehicle from behind, the protection system automatically sounds in chime, rolls up the driver side window, and locks all the doors. The goal of the technology according to Ford is to help negate some of the risk a police officer faces when working in his vehicle at night. The new Surveillance mode is available for the 2014 Ford Police Interceptor sedan and utility vehicle.

 

THE HEALTH REPORT

RETAIL MEDICINE: Parents appear to be skipping the pediatrician's office in favor of retail clinics located in chain drugstores like CVS or Walgreens. New research published this week takes a closer look at this trend. Some parents opt for the retail clinics for the convenience and the one-stop shopping experience of being able to buy medications they need right away. But some health groups have been questioning whether a child may be better served going to a pediatrician familiar with their medical history. There are an estimated 6,000 clinics at retail stores that treat minor illnesses such as sore throats or ear infections. Most offer appointments seven days a week, have limited wait times, a fixed pricing system, and are covered by most insurance plans. Many of these clinics are staffed by non-pediatric nurse practitioners and physician assistants, not actual pediatricians.

MENTHOL CIGARETTES: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said menthol-flavored cigarettes likely pose a greater health risk than regular cigarettes, and signaled it was considering regulatory action that could restrict sales, a move that could take years. The FDA said current data don't show that menthol cigarettes are more toxic, but does suggest that the flavoring increases smokers' addiction and makes it harder to quit. The FDA will fund additional studies on the issue. U.S. authorities also would have to weigh the economic impact of a menthol clampdown, with industry opponents warning a ban would spark a massive black market. Also to note, with total U.S. retail sales of about $25 billion, menthol cigarettes represent a major source of federal and state tax revenue.

 

THE SPORTS REPORT

BLAZE FALL TO NUTS: The Bakersfield Blaze out-hit Modesto 8-5 Tuesday, but only scored one run in the Nuts' 5-1 win that opened a three-game series. Kyle Waldrop hit his 22nd double of the season leading off the Blaze seventh inning and scored on Yovan Gonzalez's double to left field. Modesto had a 3-0 lead at that point after scoring once in the first and twice in the second. The Nuts added two more runs in the seventh on Jared Simon's two-run single with the bases loaded. The series with Modesto continues tonight. Read the full story here.

 

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