By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
BCHS WILL HOST STATE BOWL GAME: Bakersfield Christian High School will play Los Angeles View Park Prep in the CIF-State Southern California Division IV Regional Bowl Game at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Centennial High in Bakersfield. The Eagles had to wait an extra day to discover who they would play because of a legal challenge to the state CIF's decision to exclude El Cajon Christian from the Division IV selection process. The winner of Friday's game earns a berth in the CIF-State Championships, which will be played Dec. 20 at the StubHub Center (formerly the Home Depot Center) in Carson. Tickets for Friday's game are $12 for adults, $8 for students, seniors and children. Read the full story here.
KERN GROWERS WORRY CITRUS FREEZE WORSENING: County agriculture officials found frost damage Monday in all but one of 19 citrus samples gathered from across Kern County on Friday, raising fears of widespread financial losses for local growers. Regulators and industry people say the freeze has only worsened in the three days since, and they expect damage to be worse when they test again later this week. In preliminary testing from Friday, mandarins suffered the worst, with half of the six samples tested showing enough damage to write off an entire block of 20 to 40 acres of fruit. Roughly 80 percent of the Valley's $1.5 billion citrus crop remains to be harvested. Read the full story here.
COUNCIL TO CONSIDER SMALL RAISES FOR POLICE: Bakersfield Police Department officers and detectives will get small pay raises but be responsible for more of their own pension contributions according to a proposed labor contract the Bakersfield City Council will consider Wednesday. It would give "all unit members," including police officers, senior police officers, training officers and detectives, a "half of 1 percent" raise effective Dec. 16. Bakersfield police detectives would get an additional 1.8 percent raise retroactive to Oct. 21. 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.
TWENTY-FOUR ARRESTED DURING PROBATION SWEEP: A probation sweep in Bakersfield Friday resulted in 24 arrests for various violations. One of Kern County's Most Wanted, Daniel Valenzuela, 29, was arrested during the sweep. He'd been a parolee at large since Oct. 8. Read the full story here.
CHOOSING CHAIRMAN OF SUPES NOT AS EASY AS 1, 2, 3: For the first time in decades the Kern County Board of Supervisors will formally review how it chooses its chairman. Since 1971 the board has chosen its next leader on a rotating basis with the goal of having each of the five districts take its turn after a four-year wait. But current Chairman Mike Maggard said he wants to change tradition into official county policy. And he plans to bring it up at today's regular meeting. Under the change Maggard is proposing, Supervisor Leticia Perez's Fifth District would have to wait a sixth year before claiming its turn at the county's helm in 2015. Read the full story here.
TENNESSEE MAN SENTENCED TO NINE YEARS FOR RECEIVING CHILD PORN IN KERN COUNTY: A Tennessee man was sentenced to nine years in prison Monday for receiving more than 600 images of child pornography in Kern County between March 9 and March 13 of 2006. 36-year-old Christopher Joseph Kirk will be required to register as a sex offender and his access to minors, computers and the Internet will be restricted. Kirk pleaded guilty on Sept. 23. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
TECH COMPANIES UNITE AGAINST SURVEILLANCE: A coalition of tech companies is urging President Obama to curb U.S. government surveillance programs that take personal information off the Internet. They're concerned about potential damage from revelations about the National Security Agency's snooping on web surfers. The Associated Press said the coalition includes Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft and others. The businesses wrote an open letter printed Monday in newspapers and a new website called reformgovernmentsurveillance.com to express their concerns.
THE HEALTH REPORT
COVERED CALIFORNIA HAS MAJOR BACKLOG: Trying to get signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act? California's health insurance exchange -- known as Covered California -- has a backlog of 25,000 paper applications. They have to be processed by Dec. 23 for the applicants to get health insurance in the new year, the Associated Press reports. Exchange spokesman Roy Kennedy said Monday that all the applications are from insurance agents who were unable to access the online portal in the first few days after it opened Oct. 1. Staff has been added to help. But the California Association of Health Underwriters says insurance agents are being asked to check the site for clients whose complete applications need to be entered.
THE SPORTS REPORT
BCHS TO HOST REGIONAL BOWL GAME: A big football weekend for Bakersfield got bigger Monday, when Bakersfield Christian learned it would host the CIF Southern California Division IV regional bowl game. The Eagles, who will play Los Angeles-View Park Prep at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Centennial, are the first Central Section team to host a state bowl game. The news came after El Cajon-Christian's appeal to become elgible for the game was denied in San Diego County Superior Court. BCHS figured it was in the game either way, but Eagles coach Jerald Pierucci said getting confirmation was nice. Read the full story here.
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