Local News

Thursday, Nov 14 2013 06:58 AM

'First Look': First News for Nov. 14

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

NEW CHALLENGER FOR LOCAL SENATE SEAT: We know of at least one challenger local State Senator Andy Vidak will face in next year's election. Erin Briscoe reports Luis Chavez made his candidacy official Wednesday with a stop in Bakersfield. Chavez is a Democrat who used to work for a Fresno County supervisor. He also spent time on staff with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Vidak, a Republican, owns a farm in Hanford. The 16th District becomes the 14th in the 2014 election cycle. Read the full story here.

SUSPECT WANTED: Authorities need your help in finding a man wanted for petty theft and possession of a stolen vehicle. Daniel Koch, 29, also has warrants from outside Kern County and is wanted for questioning in other theft investigations. Koch is described as white, 6 feet tall, 180 pounds with blond hair, blue eyes and tattoos on his lower face and neck. His last known address is in the 300 block of Churchill Drive, near Highway 58 and Union Avenue. Koch has been spotted in Woody and is known to frequent Oildale. If you know where he might be, you're asked to contact the Kern County Sheriff's Office. Read the full story here.

RE-OPENING FACILITY: Bakersfield city leaders are considering a plan to re-open the Mesa Verde Correctional Facility on Golden State Avenue. A public hearing to approve a permit that would restore operations there was extended to the end of the month. City planner Paul Hellman said if plans move forward, the detention facility would house four hundred minimum security detainees and employ about one hundred staff members. The facility closed in 2009 after a conditional use permit expired. The Board of Zoning Adjustment plans to vote on a permit Nov. 26. The meeting will take place at city hall north. The public is invited to attend. 

MAN WANTED FOR INDECENT EXPOSURE: Bakersfield police need your help locating and identifying a man wanted for indecent exposure. On Nov. 6 at about 1:35 p.m., a man approached two women while they were standing in the front yard of a house located in the 100 block of L Street. He exposed his genitals and made sexual comments to the women. He's described as black, 20-years-old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 150 pounds with unkempt afro hair, last seen wearing a green jacket and blue jeans. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Bakersfield Police. Read the full story here.

MOST GENEROUS CITIES: A new survey has Bakersfield among the nation's top ten generous cities. Craftsy.com offers classes on everything from photography to cake decorating. and they recently interviewed 10,000 students on where the giving of handmade gifts is greatest. Top of the list, Manchester, New Hampshire, then Port St. Lucie, Florida, Spokane, Worcester Mass., Virginia Beach, Virginia and Bakersfield. We're just ahead of Little Rock and six places in front of New York City. According to the survey, craftsy people in Bakersfield spend 12 hours a week on handmade projects, more than anywhere else in the U.S.

TWO AIRLINES MERGE: The merger of two major airlines could have an impact on passengers right here in Bakersfield, and for Meadows Field Airport. Airports Director Richard Strickland says Bakersfield will likely keep all the flights it has now and could add another destination. There are three US Airways flights daily to Phoenix from Bakersfield, and Strickland says the big merger between US Airways and American Airlines probably won't change that. He says it's possible once American completes its takeover of US Airways they may seek to add a flight to Dallas where its hub is located. Any word on a new destination will likely come in the next year.


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

SEARCH WARRANTS NET 7 ARRESTS, DRUGS, GUNS: Three search warrants executed Wednesday afternoon netted Kern County investigators seven arrests along with narcotics and firearms. The warrants were served in the 2100 block of Lester Street in Bakersfield and properties in the 100 block of Hughes Avenue in Oildale. At Lester Street, officers found narcotics and a person with two outstanding felony warrants. At the Oildale locations, investigators found more narcotics plus firearms, ammunition, counterfeit U.S. currency and stolen property. Read the full story here.

SHOPPING CART SUMMIT TO ADDRESS THEFT: In an effort to clean up southeast Bakersfield, Ward 1 Councilman Willie Rivera said Wednesday he's planning a shopping cart summit Nov. 25, to hear from representatives of four city departments how best to keep carts in store parking lots. Illegal dumping has been a problem in Ward 1 for more than a generation, said Rivera, who considers the abandoning of stolen shopping carts especially vexing. Stealing a shopping cart is a misdemeanor in Bakersfield, punishable by a fine of up to $500 or up to six months in jail -- or both. Read the full story here.

AN UNEXPECTED CAREER, AN EXCEPTIONAL LIFE: Michael Gagner was an advocate for Lou Gehrig's disease after he was diagnosed with the disorder nearly 14 years ago. On Tuesday, 56-year-old Gagner died from respiratory failure. He and his wife Stacy Inman created the now 10-year-old Kern County Walk to Defeat ALS, established a local support group, tested equipment and successfully lobbied Congress to allow those with ALS to bypass Medicare waiting periods. A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 18 at First Congregational Church, 5 Real Road. Read the full story here.

OZONE IMPROVEMENTS COULD END $29 MILLION PENALTY: Valley air officials aren't hanging up a "mission accomplished' banner, but they are celebrating the historic attainment of a federal ozone standard that could mean the end of a $29 million smog penalty charged annually to San Joaquin Valley motorists. The $29 million fine translates to a $12 annual fee on people's car registration bills. Today, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District's governing board is expected to vote to ask the EPA to lift the multi-million dollar penalty, most of which is paid through auto registration fees. Read the full story here.

4 MARINES KILLED IN ACCIDENT AT CAMP PENDLETON\: SAN DIEGO -- Four Marines were killed Wednesday in an accident at Camp Pendleton, base officials said. The accident happened at 11 a.m. during a range maintenance operation at the San Diego County coastal base. The Marines were clearing the range of unexploded ordnance, a Marine official said. No further details were released. The identities of the dead were withheld pending notification of relatives. Read the full story here.



NETFLIX: The world will view Netflix a bit differently after the next few weeks. The company announced the roll out of a more streamlined TV interface that will unite viewing experiences across the board. In the next two weeks Netflix will roll out its new TV interface. The move aims to make the user experience for the 37.6 million Netflix subscribers worldwide more streamlined and intuitive. When the rollout is complete, Netflix said more than 50 percent of Netflix users will view the new interface. Apple TV, the upcoming Xbox One, and Wii will keep their specific interfaces for now.

ONLINE PRIVACY: Results of a new Harris Poll show four out of five people have changed the privacy settings of their social media accounts, and most have made changes in the last six months. What's more, the poll, commissioned by anti-malware vendor E-SET, reveals clear evidence that, contrary to what some believe, young people actually do care about the privacy of their online personas. The E-SET poll is that latest proof of what could be the return of privacy as a social norm being referred to as the Edward Snowden effect. Some 40 percent of survey takers, aged 18 and older, said they had made changes to their privacy settings in the last three months. The survey found people older than 45 are less likely to check social media privacy settings, with 26 percent in that age group having never made any changes to their privacy settings.



KIDS: To temper the discomfort and trauma that can result from the fear and pain of chronic health conditions, many hospitals have come up with innovative ways to help children get through the experience. According to a report in the Wall Street journal, hospitals are relying on several strategies to make the experience easier for children including using dolls or puppets to act out anecdotes about recovery from illness; Providing special devices that allow painless IV insertion; Giving children pre-surgery tours of operating rooms; and offering diversions during medical tests, such as goggles that allow children to watch movies during an MRI. Asheville, North Carolina's Mission Children's Hospital recently spent $60,000 to provide the children with those goggles. Not only do they make the MRI experience less frightening for children, they also eliminate the need for sedation, saving time and money while reducing health risks.

GUIDELINES: Next time you go for a checkup, don't be surprised if your doctor gets on your case about your weight. The medical profession has issued new guidelines for fighting the nation's obesity epidemic, and they urge physicians to be a lot more aggressive about helping patients drop those extra pounds. Doctors should calculate your body mass index, and if you need to lose weight, they should come up with a plan and send you for counseling. The guidelines were released this week by a group of medical organizations that include the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology.



FRONTIER GIRLS WIN D-II TENNIS TITLE: It took some titanic play from Frontier girls tennis players Madison Swaney and Angela Ragus, but the two freshmen came through in a big way. The two helped the Titans secure a 5-4 victory at home on Wednesday over Fresno-Central in the CIF Central Section Division II championship. The division title was the first in the history of the girls tennis team at Frontier, which entered the playoff bracket as a No. 4 seed. Read the full story here.

MUSTANGS WIN 7TH SECTION TENNIS TITLE: CLOVIS -- Perfect symmetry had never been more beautiful for Stockdale's girls tennis team Wednesday night at Buchanan High School. The Mustangs finished off Buchanan 6-3 for the Central Section Division I championship on the same court where the Bears ended Stockdale's season 371 days ago -- by the same 6-3 score. Read the full story here.



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