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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
KHSD OWES FAMILY OF ASSAULTED AUTISTIC TEEN $1.5 MILLION: A Kern County jury Wednesday found the Kern High School District negligent in allowing an autistic teen to be harmed in a school bathroom, and awarded the girl's family nearly $1.5 million in damages. The civil suit stemmed from an October 2009 incident when two autistic teenagers were found in an Independence High School bathroom naked from the waist-down. The trial had to determine whether what occurred in that bathroom was rape or consensual sex, made more difficult by the fact both students involved have the mental capacity of small children, with little speech skills. Read the full story here.
COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS PAY TRIBUTE TO BC BENEFACTOR: Positive adjectives to describe Dr. Norman Levan, who died Sunday at age 98, flowed from speakers who payed tribute to the Bakersfield College benefactor. Some characterized the late dermatologist and philanthropist as "curious," "unique," "witty," "brash" and "opinionated." Others shared running quotes and shared memories about his love of food, reading and tennis. More than 100 guests -- which included a group of past and present college presidents, caretakers and medical professionals representing organizations as near as Los Angeles and as far as Jerusalem -- gathered Wednesday at the BC campus on Panorama Drive. Read the full story here.
GOP POLITICAL FIRM OWES MORE THAN $46,000 IN TAXES: The delinquent corporate taxes owed by Western Pacific Research, the Republican political consultancy firm owned by Mark and Cathy Abernathy, are far larger than was first reported by The Californian Wednesday. On Tuesday the California Franchise Tax Board said the Abernathys owed $7,066.18. But an agency spokesman called the newspaper Wednesday afternoon to say it had erred and Western Pacific Research actually owes $46,414 in California state corporate taxes. 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.
BABY FOUND DEAD IN SOUTHWEST BAKERSFIELD HOME: A 2-month-old baby was found dead by her family Wednesday in its southwest Bakersfield home. Samantha Cappello was declared dead at 7:03 a.m. in the 5300 block of Kenyon Avenue. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday to determine the cause and manner of her death. Read the full story here.
BANK OF AMERICA ON MING AVENUE ROBBED: A Bank of America branch was robbed Wednesday after a man walked in, passed a note to the teller and then fled. The incident occurred at 12:51 p.m. at 2708 Ming Ave. A silent alarm was activated during the hold-up but police arrived at the scene after the suspect had fled. The suspect is described as white, 6 foot to 6 feet 4 inches tall with brown hair and a mustache. He wore a tan, short-sleeved shirt and light-colored pants. Read the full story here.
MAN USING STOLEN CREDIT CARD SOUGHT BY POLICE: Bakersfield police are seeking a man wanted for using a stolen credit card at a Lowe's Home Improvement store. On Jan. 24 the suspect entered the store at 7825 Rosedale Hwy. and allegedly used a stolen credit card to purchase items. The suspect's image was captured on surveillance. He is described as a Hispanic male in his 30s with brown hair, wearing a gray, long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
APPLES BUYS BEATS: Apple is officially buying Beats for $3 billion, just shy of the rumored price leaked a few weeks ago, the companies announced Wednesday. Still, many think Apple is wasting its time with Beats, a CNN report said. The music streaming service has an estimated 500,000 customers. But on Wednesday, CEO Tim Cook made his case. In a statement, he said the deal brings together "extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world." Apple expects the deal to close in late summer or early fall.
THE HEALTH REPORT
SUICIDE PREVENTION: A group of local mental health advocates concluded Wednesday that middle-aged men, veterans and the elderly are among key demographic groups people working to prevent suicide need to do a better job of reaching. About 40 social workers, counselors, educators and others turned out for the inaugural Suicide Prevention Advisory & Resource Council meeting. Organizers hope it will become a quarterly gathering of local professionals studying ways to keep people from taking their own lives. Meghan Boaz Alvarez, a mental health unit supervisor for the county and director of the Kern County Mental Health Crisis Line, said certain groups at high risk for suicide must be better educated about mental health resources and the county's 24-hour crisis hotline. She said that "One 15-minute call might really make a difference for somebody who really needs someone right then." Read the full story here.
THE SPORTS REPORT
KERN'S BEST TO TAKE ON TOP PLAYERS FROM CENTRAL COAST: The annual Senior High School All-Star Baseball Challenge will have a new look this season: Bakersfield All-Stars will take on a team from the Central Coast. The game is set for 7:15 p.m. Saturday at Gerry Collis Field at Bakersfield College; player introductions will begin at 6:45. Tickets for the game are $5 for adults, $3 for students and children age 13 and younger free. Read the full story here.
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