By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
SCHOOLS' OFFICE SEEKS $200K FROM RACCOON-ATTACK VICTIM: The Kern County Superintendent of Schools office is going after a man maimed in a raccoon attack for more than $206,000 in legal costs related to his unsuccessful lawsuit over the incident. 34-year-old Ian Smith filed a lawsuit in Kern County Superior Court in December 2010, accusing KCSOS of negligence after a raccoon that had escaped from its enclosure at the California Living Museum attacked him Jan. 31, 2010, in front of his autistic, then 8-year-old daughter. The superintendent's office is seeking to recoup costs associated with depositions, expert witness fees, court fees, exhibits and other expenses related to defending the case. Read the full story here.
SERIES OF SHOOTINGS BELIEVE RELATED TO GANGS, RETALIATION: When a gang member is shot at, it's rarely the last volley. Retaliation becomes rampant, and a Kern County Superior Court search warrant that became available this week gives a glimpse of that type of back-and-forth violence. The warrant indicates a series of related shootings between a criminal street gang and other people in late August and early September. No one was killed, but two men were injured. Read the full story here.
FEW SIMILARITIES BETWEEN BAKERSFIELD, MISSIONS HILLS: Both Bakersfield High and Mission Hills will presumably wear helmets and pads and use 11 players at a time in tonight's CIF Southern California Division I regional bowl game. Past that, finding similarities will be tough when the game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Mission Hills and on Brighthouse Channel 11. Bakersfield (11-2) runs an option offense with dual-threat quarterback Asauni Rufus and a hyperactive 3-3-5 defense that thrives behind no-name players. Mission Hills (12-1) is more traditional, running a pro-style offense and a defense with three big-time recruits. Read the full story here.
WHAT TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending across bakersfield.com.
RESIDENTS GROUP OBJECTS TO PROPOSED ISLAMIC CENTER, SCHOOL: Plans to bring an Islamic cultural center and school to Bakersfield are being challenged by nearby residents who cite health and safety concerns. The Buckaroo Residents Group is made up of families living on Buckaroo Court just north of the proposed 9.6-acre site on Stockdale Highway at Driver Road in western Bakersfield. Residents are concerned about how traffic would flow into the area if the school and mosque are built. Read the full story here.
CONDORS' COACH HAS BLUNT ANSWERS FOR FANS: Three dozen Condors season-ticket holders had the chance to talk to coach Troy Mann last Saturday about the season, but his answers were very blunt. One fan lamented the Condors play in the neutral zone; another questioned the physical play of the team and one railed on what he perceived as a lack of emotion. "My goal is to get to the AHL ASAP and 5-13-1 is not cutting it," he said at one point. The two biggest problems this year, he said, has been goaltending and the inability to score. Read the full story here.
DRUG DEALER SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS FOR ATTEMPTED EXTORTION: An admitted drug dealer was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday after being found guilty of attempted extortion. 37-year-old Michael Culp had been charged with kidnapping for ransom, torture and robbery in what prosecutors said was the abduction of a former drug dealer on April 23, 2012. He was acquitted of torture and robbery, and jurors found him guilty of attempted extortion instead of kidnapping. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
UNLOCKED PHONES: The FCC and wireless carriers are reportedly close to an agreement that would streamline the process for customers who want to unlock their cell phones. According to Reuters, the agreement is expected soon that would require carriers to process or deny unlocking requests within two business days at the end of their contracts. According to Reuters, the final points of contention the carriers and the FCC are hammering out include questions on how soon the new policy would be adopted, how prepaid phones would be dealt with and how to keep unlocked phones off of black markets.
THE HEALTH REPORT
FLU SHOTS: Flu shots reduced the number of U.S. flu cases and hospitalizations last year by an estimated 17 percent, that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccinations prevented more than six million cases of the flu, according to a CDC model that compared the actual number of flu cases and hospitalizations with the projected number that would have occurred had there been no vaccinations. Fewer than half of U.S. residents were vaccinated for the flu last year. The CDC said an additional 30,000 hospital visits could have been avoided if the vaccination rate had been 70 percent.
THE SPORTS REPORT
DRILLERS BASKETBALL LOSE TO CLOVIS EAST: The Bakersfield High boys basketball team did plenty of things well enough to win its quarterfinal game of the Lloyd Williams/Kern Schools Shootout against Clovis East. The Drillers shot well from the field, their rebounding was solid and they competed hard for 32 minutes. But all of that good was undone by Bakersfield's inability to take care of the ball against the Timberwolves' tight man-to-man full court pressure defense. Hindered by 28 turnovers, the Drillers lost 62-57 on Thursday night at North High. Read the full story here.