By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
DELANO COMMUNITY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY REOPENS: Closed since 2011, the Delano Community Correctional Facility reopened Tuesday in a move that will provide jobs and build a stronger local economy. The facility will create 89 permanent jobs as well as 25 ancillary jobs in Delano. The facility can house 578 inmates as part of the state correctional system's reduction of its prison population. The state is under a federal court order to reduce its prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity. Read the full story here.
MURALIST SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS FOR STABBING IN DOWNTOWN BAR: The three-year prison sentence handed down Tuesday to a muralist accused of attacking a man last year with a window scraper rankled a few people. Lorne Shankle, for one. He was on the receiving end of Antonio Saldana's July 2 assault at Guthrie's Alley Cat downtown bar, suffering head and neck injuries and undergoing emergency surgery. He spent five days in intensive care. Saldana, 46, waited until Shankle's back was turned before attacking him. And Shankle said it wasn't the first time Saldana had ambushed him. Read the full story here.
BUSINESS PEOPLE SEEK ANTI-PANHANDLING ORDINANCE: Inspired by a mother whose son is battling drug addiction, downtown business officials will ask the Bakersfield City Council on Wednesday to get tough on panhandlers. Members of two business associations said people asking for money have increasingly become a problem for property owners and shoppers. The city is looking to have a similar code enforcement like the one recently approved in Visalia. Their existing ordinance bans "aggressive solicitation" near banks and ATMs. A new change approved last month also outlaws panhandling in parking lots. Bakersfield has an ordinance prohibiting loitering "under circumstances manifesting the purpose of engaging in drug-related activity" -- but no anti-panhandling ordinance. 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.
DRIVER PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO DUI CHARGES FILED IN DOUBLE-FATAL CRASH: A woman accused of driving drunk in a 2012 crash that killed two people pleaded not guilty Tuesday to six felonies including DUI vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence. Terri Lynn Papadakis, 48, is next scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 21. She's being held on $700,000 bail. Papadakis was driving a 2002 Mitsubishi Montero that collided with a 1990s Honda Accord the evening of April 20, 2012. Two people in the Honda -- 19-year-old Aubrey La Jonte Crofton and 14-year-old Angelo Reyes -- were killed, and two others were injured. Read the full story here.
DISTRICT PAID $900,000 TO SETTLE WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUITS: The Kern High School District has agreed to pay two former employees a total of $900,000 to settle wrongful termination lawsuits. John Fox and Clemon Williams Jr., former assistant directors in the district's maintenance and operations department, sued in September 2011, saying they were fired after calling attention to problems in the way maintenance contracts were awarded. The lawsuits had sought several million dollars for lost wages, retirement benefits and emotional distress. The pair contended they were fired for whistleblowing. Read the full story here.
BODY OF MISSING MCFARLAND MAN FOUND IN ORCHARD: The body of an 83-year-old McFarland man with Alzheimer's disease who had been missing since last week was found Tuesday afternoon in an almond orchard north of town. Bartolo Rodriguez was last seen Friday in the 300 block of 7th Street. His body was found just after 2 p.m. in an orchard on Davis Road, north of Elmo Highway near Highway 99. An autopsy will be conducted later this week to determine the cause and manner of death. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
ROKU: Roku, the maker of an online video streaming set-top box and HDMI dongle, said it will work with two Chinese TV set manufacturers this year to build its software directly into "actual TV" sets. The announcement came at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
THE HEALTH REPORT
ALCOHOL: America may have an alcohol problem according to a new government report that calls on doctors to talk to their patients more about heavy drinking. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said "Alcohol screening and brief counseling can help people set realistic goals for themselves and achieve those goals." Studies have shown such care can reduce alcohol intake by 25 percent among heavy drinkers. That might bring public health benefits, considering high alcohol intake is linked to about 88,000 U.S. deaths each year.
THE SPORTS REPORT
RIDGEVIEW GIRLS BASKETBALL ENDS DROUGHT AGAINST STOCKDALE: After years of falling short, the Ridgeview girls basketball team finally beat its greatest nemesis. Spurred on by an aggressive pressure defense, the Wolf Pack downed visiting Stockdale 64-38 in non-league action on Tuesday night. Stockdale (2-7) came into the game with a record of 15-0 against Ridgeview since the 2004-05 season, the farthest back the history of the rivalry is documented. Wolf Pack coach Michael Martin said he believes Tuesday night's victory is the first-ever for Ridgeview over Stockdale in girls basketball. "I talked to the girls today about making history tonight by beating Stockdale," Martin said. "This is huge for us." Read the full story here.
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