By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
NICK URICCHIO DIES AT 87: Nicholas Mario "Nick" Uricchio, the local restaurateur known for bringing Beverly Hills sophistication to downtown Bakersfield through Uricchio's Trattoria, died Sunday. He was 87. His 17th Street restaurant helped spur a downtown resurgence at a time when the area's negative reputation kept many people away. Nick Uricchio suffered from Parkinson's disease and respiratory problems. His health declined after the death of his wife, Phyllis, in 2012. He died in a local nursing home while watching pro football on television. Read the full story here.
NEW KMC CHIEF OPTIMISTIC IN FIRST REPORT TO SUPERVISORS: New Kern Medical Center CEO Russell Judd has been on the job for less than a month, but even though he's running a hospital that lost $11.3 million in the first five months of the fiscal year and is still recording its patient care on paper, he's optimistic that the hospital can turn itself around. Judd told Kern County supervisors Monday that the doctors, administrators and other employees want to move forward, fix the problems and get the organization "where they know it can be." Read the full story here.
LOCAL FLU DEATH TOLL RISES TO SEVEN: On the same day that loved ones buried a 30-year-old local woman who died of influenza last week, the Kern County Public Health Services Department released new numbers showing the flu is gaining momentum locally. April Rose Dunlap was laid to rest at Shafter Cemetery Monday after a funeral at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wasco. She died on Tuesday at Kern Medical Center. The number of people hospitalized with flu-like symptoms in Kern County has grown from 30 to 49 over the last six days. The death toll rose by one to seven Monday. Read the full story here.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
RED ALERT: THE COLOR PURPLE DECLARED: If you thought a "red alert" was bad, try purple. Each day, scores of schools in Kern County hoist a color-coded flag to let parents, students and staff know what kind of air quality to expect that day. The Bakersfield City School District instructed schools to go to purple alert, but red flags remained on school flag poles because purple flags don't exist. They have simply not been needed at school sites. What Level 5 meant for teachers and students was a ban on all outdoor activity, except the most basic movement between classrooms, cafeterias, restrooms and school buses. P.E. classes could not be held outdoors, and students and teachers were essentially cooped up in classrooms all day. Read the full story here.
SUSPECT SOUGHT FOR POSSIBLY PHOTOGRAPHING JUVENILE GIRL: A man who may have been taking photographs of a juvenile girl while she was shopping is being sought by Bakersfield police. Police said that at about 3 p.m. on Dec. 26, customers in a Valley Plaza store noticed a man kneeling next to the girl, who was wearing a skirt. When customers alerted the girl that the man was possibly photographing her, he left the store. He is described as Hispanic, in his 30s, 5 feet 10 inches tall with a heavy build, brown hair and a thin full beard, wearing a "Cal" T-shirt. Read the full story here.
SUSPECT SOUGHT IN DOLLAR GENERAL THEFT: Bakersfield Police are searching for a suspect in connection with the theft of merchandize in December from a Dollar General store. Police said the theft occurred at about 10 p.m. Dec. 10 at the 401 Union Ave. store. The suspect allegedly tried to conceal store merchandise in a bag and leave without paying. When confronted by a store employee, the suspect, described by police as a black male, brandished a knife and fled. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
GOOGLE BUYS NEST: Google says it has acquired Nest, the maker of highly styled digital smoke alarms and thermostats, for $3.2 billion in cash. Nest, based in Palo Alto, has generated lots of buzz and sterling reviews for its aesthetic design approach to common everyday home appliances. Since its launch in 2011, the Nest Learning Thermostat has been a consistent best seller.
THE HEALTH REPORT
POLIO: India is marking three years since its last reported polio case, a landmark in the global battle against the disease. It is seen as confirmation of one of India's biggest public health successes, achieved through a massive and sustained immunization program. India's health minister hailed it as a "monumental milestone".
THE SPORTS REPORT
STOCKDALE ISSUES STATEMENT ON SNOW: Stockdale principal Ramon Hendrix released a statement Monday, commenting briefly on the firing of football coach Mike Snow and the upcoming search for his replacement. "We are thankful to Mike Snow for his contributions to the STHS football program over the last six years," Hendrix wrote in the statement. "We wish him well in his future endeavors. "The search is on for a new head coach who will provide leadership for the Stockdale football program. This person, who will join an excellent team of coaches, will continue to provide positive experiences and strong character development for our student-athletes in the tradition of excellence that has been established in Stockdale athletics for nearly 23 years." Snow was let go as football coach last week, though he remains on the school's teaching staff. He gave The Californian a statement Sunday. Read the full story here.
CHECK OUT SCOTT IN 60: