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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
EVEN IN DROUGHT, ASSESSOR RACE IS KICKING UP MUD: Assessor-Recorder candidate Jon Lifquist and two of his big supporters -- current Assessor-Recorder Jim Fitch and Assistant Assessor Tony Ansolabehere -- have used the county email system to organize campaign activities for Lifquist. Paul Stine, a local conservative political observer, uncovered the emails through a public records request and shot them off to Russell Johnson and media outlets. Johnson violated state elections law by failing to file, within 24 hours, campaign finance reports detailing $1,000 donations he received. Johnson received 48 such $1,000 contributions between March 18 and May 17. Read the full story here.
MAYOR BREAKS HIP IN FALL: Bakersfield Mayor Harvey L. Hall was in good condition Thursday at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital after surgery to repair a fractured hip sustained the previous afternoon in a fall outside City Hall South. Hall, 73, slipped and fell slightly before 1 p.m. Wednesday and was transported by an ambulance from his own firm, Hall Ambulance Service. He is in recovery and his prognosis is good. Read the full story here.
JUDGE DENIES MOTION TO WITHDRAW PLEA, SENTENCES DEFENDANT: A defendant's motion to withdraw his plea in what was originally a torture case was denied Thursday and he was sentenced to four years, eight months in prison following a discussion in which he claimed his former attorney "coerced and threatened" him into taking the deal. Kristopher Lawless, 28, was sentenced Thursday by Judge Gary T. Friedman on charges including spousal abuse and dissuading a witness. He should be released in several months due to time served. He has been in custody since November 2012. 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.
THREE TODDLERS FOUND ABANDONED IN UNINHABITABLE HOME: Three toddlers found abandoned in an east Bakersfield apartment Thursday morning had been left alone for as long as two days with little food and required medical care. Police found them at 9:45 a.m. after responding to the 1300 block of Niles Street. According to police, the mother may have left the children in a relative's care two days earlier. Police said, however, the relative may have abandoned them. Read the full story here.
MAN SUSPECTED OF BANK ROBBERY ARRESTED IN HARDWARE STORE: The Bakersfield man police believe responsible for a bank robbery Wednesday was arrested Thursday after being spotted in a hardware store. Steven Doria, 47, was arrested by police at Floyd's General Store, 2020 S. Chester Ave., after a tip from someone in the store. According to police, Doria is suspected of robbing the Bank of America at 2708 Ming Ave. Wednesday afternoon. Doria was on post-release community supervision at the time of the alleged robbery. Read the full story here.
MAN SHOT AND KILLED SUNDAY IDENTIFIED: The man shot and killed Sunday on Flower Street was identified Thursday as 26-year-old Joshua Lambert. Lambert suffered multiple gunshot wounds at 8:45 p.m. and died about two hours later at Kern Medical Center. The incident occurred when Lambert and another man were shot at in the 1600 block of Flower Street. The second man was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
FACEBOOK SPAM: For the second time in just over a week, Facebook has done an about-face on a feature that has bothered some users for a while, according to a CNN report. Fewer automatic posts will be showing up in your News Feed telling you what a friend is listening to on Spotify, which level they just defeated on "Candy Crush" or when they've posted a filtered selfie on Instagram, the report said. The social-media giant has announced it will be giving those posts less clout in its News Feed algorithm -- the tool that decides which posts you're mostly likely to want to see -- while giving extra emphasis to actions your friends choose to share.
THE HEALTH REPORT
DIET SOFT DRINK STUDY: A study paid for by the American Beverage Association has found that dieters who drank artificially sweetened drinks lost more weight than a group that cut out soft drinks entirely. The study divided 300 adults into two groups. One was allowed to drink diet sodas, and the so-called water group was not. Both were asked to cut calories and to exercise. The typical diet soda participant lost 13 pounds over 12 weeks, compared with 9 pounds over the same period for other group. Researchers at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, which conducted the study, speculated the difference came down to a finite amount of willpower. Those denied soft drinks probably ate or drank more calories elsewhere. But don't get too excited. A previous study at Purdue University found that long-term, diet soda drinkers have as many health problems as those who drink regular soda.
THE SPORTS REPORT
BILL KERNEN RETRING? NOT SO FAST: In an about-face, Kernen announced Thursday that he was postponing his retirement and will return next season as the Roadrunners' baseball coach. Kernen announced on May 8 he was retiring, effective July 1, so he could return to New York City and return to playwriting, which he did for several years starting in the mid-1990s. According to a CSUB news release, Kernen will remain head coach under his current contract "with a year-to-year option moving forward." According to CSUB spokesman Corey Costelloe, Kernen signed a four-year extension to his original contract after the 2011 season. Read the full story here.
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