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Tuesday, Jan 07 2014 06:49 AM

'First Look': First News for Jan. 7

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Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:

MOTHER OF CITY'S FIRST BABY OF 2014 HELD ON DRUG CHARGES: Mother of Bakersfield's first baby of 2014, Robin Faye Howard was arrested Jan. 2 on an outstanding warrant in connection with selling methamphetamine. She's spent the past three days in custody, separated from her 6-day-old daughter, Addison. Howard's attorney, Mark Anthony Raimondo, said he's hopeful Howard can post bond and reunite soon with Addison. Judge Michael Lewis set Howard's bail at $25,000 Monday following her arraignment. Prosecutors charged Howard with possession of meth, possession of meth for sales and possession of drug paraphernalia. A preliminary hearing in the current case is scheduled for Jan. 21. Read the full story here.

MEMORIAL VP NAMED NEW CEO AT MERCY HOSPITALS: A longtime Bakersfield Memorial Hospital executive has been picked to lead Mercy Hospitals. Bruce Peters will start work as president and CEO of Mercy Hospitals -- meaning Mercy Hospital Downtown and Mercy Hospital Southwest -- on Jan. 20. Mercy's previous president, Russell Judd, resigned in December to lead local public hospital Kern Medical Center. Peters has worked as Memorial's vice president/chief operating officer for more than 12 years. He is also currently Dignity Health Central Valley's chief strategy officer, a title he will also leave behind. Read the full story here.

DISTRICT WITHHOLDS DETAILS ON WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT TERMS: The Kern High School District has finally reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed by two former employees who alleged they were wrongfully terminated more than two years ago for calling attention to the way maintenance contracts were awarded. The lawsuits filed in September 2011 sought several million dollars for lost wages, retirement benefits and emotional distress. Neither side Monday would discuss specific terms of the agreement. Read the full story here.


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

POLICE SEEK 2 SUSPECTS IN J.C. PENNEY THEFT: Bakersfield Police are seeking two women who allegedly stole items from a Valley Plaza store and then threatened a employee who tried to stop them. The incident occurred around 4:20 p.m. Sept. 3 at the J.C. Penney store. According to police, two Hispanic women in their 20s took merchandise and left the store without paying. When confronted by a store employee outside the store, one suspect brandished a knife and the second verbally threatened the employee. The knife-brandishing suspect is described as 5 feet 6 inches and weighing 200 pounds, wearing a gray shirt and blue jeans. The second suspect is described as 5 feet 6 inches and weighing 160 pounds, wearing a gray shirt and black gym shorts. Read the full story here.

BAKERSFIELD MAN SENTENCED TO MORE THAN SEVEN YEARS FOR RECEIVING CHILD PORN: A Bakersfield man was sentenced to seven years, three months in prison Monday for receiving child pornography. William George Gray, 51, received more than 600 images of child porn between Oct. 30, 2011 and Jan. 2, 2013, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner. Read the full story here.

MURDER SUSPECT PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO ALLEGED GANG SHOOTING: An alleged gang member who turned himself in at a local TV news station after being named a murder suspect pleaded not guilty Monday. Brendan Sanders, 18, was ordered held without bail following his arraignment. Sanders was wanted in connection with the 1 a.m. Nov. 24 fatal shooting of 35-year-old Jerry Gray. Read the full story here.



SPONSORED DATA: AT&T will let companies cover the cost of delivering some data over the carrier's mobile network, letting subscribers click on videos and other content without worrying about their monthly data caps. The Sponsored Data service sets up a new way for the carrier to get paid for delivering data over its network. Revenue would help to cover the cover of building and running its growing mobile network. The program could also encourage more overall data use. Sponsored data streams may be more appealing to consumers because they won't count against data caps.



TEENS AND CONCUSSIONS: Teen athletes with concussions should skip their homework. Researchers say parents should have their concussed kids lay off high-level mental activity including homework and reading. But no video games or texting either. Restricting such activities could help kids with head injuries heal as much as five times faster. Teenagers who continue intense cognitive activity may take more than three months to recover for symptoms. Those who take a break from all the stimulation? Twenty to 50 days, according to the study published Monday in the Journal of Pediatrics.



BLAZE NAMES EX-MLB INFIELDER KELLY MANAGER: Nine-year Major League veteran Pat Kelly will manage the Bakersfield Blaze in 2014, the Blaze and Cincinnati Reds announced Monday. Kelly, who played for the Yankees, Cardinals and Blue Jays, has managed the Reds' Rookie affiliate in Billings, Mont., for the past three seasons. He replaces Ken Griffey, Sr., a three-time MLB All-Star who managed the Blaze for the past three seasons. Joining Kelly on his staff is pitching coach Tom Browning, who pitched 12 seasons for the Royals and Reds and was a Major League All-Star in 1991. Read the full story here.




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