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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
CHARGES FILED AGAINST ALLEGED DRUNKEN DRIVER IN FATAL SOUTHWEST CRASH: Prosecutors have charged a suspected drunken driver with second-degree murder in connection with a Jan. 3 crash in southwest Bakersfield that killed a 22-year-old woman. Alex Anthony Rubio, 24, is also charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing bodily injury, and hit and run causing death or permanent serious injury. Police said Rubio ran from the scene of the crash that killed Princess Flores Almonidovar, a respiratory therapist at San Joaquin Community Hospital. Read the full story here.
AIR OFFICIALS BEMOAN HORRIBLE WINTER CONDITIONS: Air pollution control authorities are reeling from the worst wintertime particulate pollution ever seen in the valley, just months after celebrating the historic attainment of the summer ozone standard. At Thursday's meeting of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District in Fresno, the district's 14-member board listened as staff blamed this winter's historically dry weather for building a high-pressure ceiling over the valley that has trapped unhealthy -- some say deadly -- particles of soot and dust at ground level, despite significant reductions in emission rates. Read the full story here.
PLANNERS SEND 24TH STREET REPORT TO CITY COUNCIL FOR APPROVAL: The city's final Environmental Impact Report on plans to widen 24th Street through downtown and improve its intersection with Oak Street was praised and pilloried by residents Thursday night but recommended for certification by the Bakersfield Planning Commission. After more than three and a half hours of discussion, the commission voted 7-0 to adopt a resolution recommending the Bakersfield City Council certify the final EIR. It also added a recommendation that if federal guidelines deem soundwalls too expensive, the city should consider building them with its own money. 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.
SUSPECT CARJACKS GARDENING TRUCK WHILE LEADING POLICE ON CHASE: An off-duty Bakersfield police officer on his way to court Thursday ended up with a busier morning than expected when he tried to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation and was instead led on a chase than involved a carjacking before the suspect was taken into custody. Philip Hidalgo, 33, carjacked a gardening truck with an attached trailer and led officers on a chase through downtown Bakersfield. Hidalgo threw gardening tools from the trailer into the roadway during the pursuit, police said. Hidalgo was arrested on suspicion of crimes including carjacking, felony evading arrest and drug possession, police said. Read the full story here.
ANOTHER FLU DEATH BOOSTS LOCAL DEATH TOLL TO NINE: The influenza death toll in Kern County rose by one to nine on Thursday, according to the Kern County Department of Public Health Services. The department did not disclose the patient's age or gender. It wasn't immediately clear whether the person had a flu shot. As of Thursday, 69 people have been hospitalized with flu-like symptoms this flu season in Kern, including 44 sick enough to be sent to intensive care. Sixteen tested positive for the H1N1 strand of the disease, which disproportionately affects the young and middle-aged. Read the full story here.
MAN DRIVES FOR HELP AFTER BEING STABBED SIX TIMES: A California Highway Patrol officer was interrupted during a traffic stop in Rosamond Wednesday by a man who'd been stabbed in the back. Joe Artiga pulled up behind the officer at 10:52 p.m. at the intersection of Rosamond Boulevard and Eagle Way and told the officer about his injuries. Artiga had been stabbed in the back six times.He was taken to Antelope Valley Hospital and an investigation is ongoing. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
OLYMPICS ON FACEBOOK: Comcast's NBC Olympics division has said that it will team up with Facebook to drive viewers to its multi-platform coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia next month. NBC said the Sochi games will mark the first time that it will post video content on Facebook. NBC said it'll also look to spark Facebook conversations by assigning Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes to field questions from viewers watching the Olympics while using Facebook.
THE HEALTH REPORT
WART REMOVER FIRES: The Food and Drug Administration warned that more than a dozen consumers have accidentally started fires, burning themselves or objects in their homes, while using one kind of wart removal product. The products contain a mixture of liquid dimethyl ether and propane. Labels warn that they are flammable. FDA did not name brands involved in the incidents but products containing the ingredients include Dr. Scholl's, Compound W, generic and store brands.
THE SPORTS REPORT
ROADRUNNER MEN WIN FIRST WAC GAME: SEATTLE -- Cal State Bakersfield spotted Seattle the first seven points of the game, then went on a tear. The Roadrunners won their first Western Athletic Conference game in school history 61-57 over the Redhawks on Thursday, thanks to a 20-4 run late in the first half that erased a 10-point deficit. Read the full story here.
SHANNON'S CLUTCH FREE THROWS LEAD CSUB WOMEN: During Thursday's brief afternoon practice, Cal State Bakersfield worked on hitting free throws in pressure situations. That proved prophetic. CSUB sophomore guard and Stockdale graduate Alyssa Shannon sank two free throws with 23.4 seconds left to lift the Roadrunners to an 80-78 win in the team's first-ever Western Athletic Conference home women's basketball game. Read the full story here.
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