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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:
OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING: At about 3:30 p.m. police got into a chase with suspects after a reported robbery near the Chase Bank in the Marketplace on Ming Avenue. The suspects crashed at Ashe and Stockdale Highway. Police closed down Stockdale in both directions, and also closed off Mei Yen at White Lane as they looked for the suspects. One person was taken into custody, and shots were fired. No word yet on any injuries. During the search, the Panama Buena Vista Union School District offices on Ashe Road went on lockdown. Read the full story here.
WOMAN STRANGLED: The coroner's office has determined a woman found dead in her garage in September was strangled. Prosecutors charged Patrick Edward Terrel on Nov. 19 with the murder of 56-year-old Clara Marie Basta. Terrel is the son of Basta's roommate and girlfriend. The 37-year-old is being held without bail and his next court hearing is scheduled for March 11. Police reports say he burglarized Basta's residence in the 4200 block of Kilkenny Court, killed Basta and set several small fires around the residence. Police said the crimes were committed Sept. 7. Read the full story here.
MAN ACQUITTED: A Bakersfield man is acquitted in the death of his girlfriend's unborn baby. On Wednesday, a Kern County jury found 28-year-old Justin English not guilty on counts of murder and attempted premeditated murder. He faced life in prison if convicted. In August of last year, English was arrested after somebody shot and injured his girlfriend, 40-year-old Pauline Reyes, at a motel on Union Avenue. She was seven months pregnant, and the baby died. English said he didn't do it, and no other suspects have been named.
INFANT DIES: A baby dies during a road trip through western Kern County. Around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, deputies responded to a rest stop on I-5 near Buttonwillow, after getting a report that a 7-month-old infant had stopped breathing. The child was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities say the baby was on a family trip from Southern to Northern California. Sheriff's detectives and the corner's office are investigating the cause of death.
LOCOMOTIVE CATCHES FIRE: A diesel locomotive catches fire in Old Town Kern. Around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Bakersfield Fire Department got multiple calls about smoke and flames coming from an engine between Jackson and King Streets, near the old SP depot. Train travel was halted in both directions while crews got into the cowling and put the flames out in about 10 minutes. Damage was limited to the engine compartment, nobody was injured, and the cause of the fire is under investigation. Read the full story here.
TRAFFIC DELAYS: Drivers in northeast Bakersfield can look for more delays Thursday and Friday while work continues on Highway 178 at Canteria Drive next to Mesa Marin. Lots of dirt is being hauled around for shoulder work on the Morning Drive interchange project. It takes place between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day, and motorists should be prepared to stop for up to five minutes.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending across bakersfield.com.
MOTHER SAYS INVESTIGATORS CONFIRMED BODY IN CANAL IS THAT OF ERIKA PADRON LANGO: The mother of a 26-year-old woman missing for almost two months said coroner's office investigators have told her the body pulled from the Friant-Kern Canal Tuesday is that of her daughter. Esther Padron said investigators called her Wednesday evening and said fingerprints taken from the body matched the prints of her daughter, Erika Padron Lango. The daughter went missing the night of Oct. 9. Her husband, Julio Lango, told police she left their Delano apartment to visit a friend. Erika Lango never arrived at the friend's home or at work the next day. Extensive searches in the Delano area turned up nothing. Read the full story here.
EARL WARREN CUP WINNER ACES COMPETITION: Kaitlin Macaranas captured Bakersfield High School's coveted 2013 Earl Warren Cup Wednesday night by correctly answering the question of which U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down President Bill Clinton's use of the line-item veto. The answer was Clinton v. City of New York. With that, Abba's "Dancing Queen" song blared across Bakersfield High School's Harvey Auditorium, confetti and balloons dropped, and Macaranas self-consciously held the eighth championship trophy. Read the full story here.
POLICE SHOOT DRIVER ON ASHE ROAD IN CHASE FOLLOWING ROBBERY: Bakersfield police shot a suspected robber on Ashe Road Wednesday afternoon after he slowed his car to let three other suspects escape and then tried to speed away. Roadways were closed for hours where the shooting occurred in the area of White Lane and Ashe Road as officers diverted traffic along other streets. The suspect suffered moderate wounds from being shot, and both he and a second suspect were in custody. Two others remained at large Wednesday evening. The incident began about 3:20 p.m. at The Marketplace when a man who had set up a meeting online to buy an electronic device from several people was then robbed by them. Read the full story here.
MURDER DEFENDANT SAYS OFF-ROAD CRASH CAUSED 2-YEAR-OLD'S FATAL INJURIES: A man charged with the murder of his girlfriend's 2-year-old son told investigators the child suffered fatal injuries when the two of them were driving off-road in Berry's Dodge truck and crashed. Matthew Berry's explanation was included in a search warrant filed in court by Kern County sheriff's investigators. A search of Berry's truck turned up both adult and children's clothing, a traffic ticket and two plastic baggies containing marijuana. Berry, 26, was arrested Nov. 20 after being found with the body of Pharaoh Van Vactor. The coroner's office determined Pharoah died of blunt force trauma. A bus driver came upon Pharaoh and Berry beside a road outside California City. The driver realized the child was dead after the two boarded the bus, and alerted authorities. Read the full story here.
CORONER: WOMAN FOUND IN GARAGE WAS STRANGLED: The coroner's office has determined a woman found dead in her garage in September was strangled. Prosecutors charged Patrick Edward Terrel on Nov. 19 with the murder of 56-year-old Clara Marie Basta. Terrel is the son of Basta's roommate and girlfriend. The 37-year-old is being held without bail and his next court hearing is scheduled for March 11. Police reports say he burglarized Basta's residence in the 4200 block of Kilkenny Court, killed Basta and set several small fires around the residence. Police said the crimes were committed Sept. 7. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
RUSSIA'S FIRST SMARTPHONE: Russia's first smartphone -- a quirky, dual-screen device with a traditional LCD-color display on one side and an electronic-paper display similar to the Amazon Kindle on the other -- began selling in Russia and several other European countries on Wednesday. The Yotaphone will be sold for about $675 in Europe and for $600 in Russia, slightly cheaper than top competitors like the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S4. The Russian phone, which uses an Android operating system, is an attempt by a European company to jump into the handset market, largely dominated by American and Asian manufacturers. At a kick-off event, the chief executive of Yota Devices said the introduction of dual screens was "a revolution in telephone architecture." The Yotaphone made a strong showing in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where it won a Best of CES Award for "Hottest Mobile Device."
TENNIS CHANNEL: The Tennis Channel said Wednesday that it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a court ruling in May which allowed Comcast to carry the network on a premium sports tier. The network has complained that Comcast discriminated against it in favor of Comcast-owned networks such as The Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network. Last year, the FCC ordered Comcast to distribute Tennis Channel in an additional 18 million homes. A Circuit Court decision overturned that ruling. Tennis Channel's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court may be its last chance to secure a slot on Comcast's expanded basic tier, where it carries Golf Channel, ESPN and several other sports networks.
THE HEALTH REPORT
MALE CONTRACEPTIVES: A contraceptive pill for men has moved one step closer after Australian researchers successfully made male mice infertile. Australian scientists genetically modified mice to block two proteins essential for reproductive organs. The result was that even though the mice had sex normally and were otherwise healthy, they were infertile. Researchers now wants to replicate the genetic process chemically, and believe a male contraceptive pill could be possible in about 10 years.
ECSTASY: Federal officials report that the number of U.S. teens who wind up in the emergency room after taking the club drug Ecstasy has more than doubled in recent years, raising concerns that the hallucinogen is back in vogue. Emergency room visits related to Ecstasy in pill form and Molly, the newer powder form, increased 128 percent between 2005 and 2011 among people younger than 21. ER visits rose from about roughly 4,500 to more than 10,000 during that time. The study comes on the heels of a string of Ecstasy-related deaths. The drug produces feelings of increased energy and euphoria, and can distort a person's senses and perception of time. It works by altering the brain's chemistry. Users can become dangerously overheated and experience rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure and dehydration, all of which can lead to kidney or heart failure.
THE SPORTS REPORT
ROADRUNNERS WANT MORE FROM THEIR BIG MEN: The Roadrunners' front line of 6-foot-10 starting center Abdul Ahmed and 6-11 backup Zech Smith have seemed like afterthoughts recently. They've combined for 28 points in CSUB's last four games. Relying on guard play isn't a bad thing, but when you have the biggest front line in team history, maybe it's time to put more emphasis on those players. Cal State Bakersfield basketball coach Rod Barnes certainly thinks so. "The thing is, we've got to get those guys more involved on a consistent basis because we've become a little more perimeter oriented than we need to be," Barnes said. Read the full story here.
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