Local News

Tuesday, Feb 18 2014 06:52 AM

'First Look': First News for Feb. 18

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

OXY MOVING AHEAD WITH CALIFORNIA SPINOFF: Occidental Petroleum Corp. would have a freer hand to develop its substantial Kern County assets under plans announced Friday to spin off the company's California operations. The move set for completion by early next year addresses analysts' concerns that Oxy has been spending too much money on its California operations and not getting enough return on that investment. As reported by The Californian's John Cox, carving out the California operations would reduce that drag on Oxy and give the new company more flexibility to exploit what's been unsurpassed investment in the prospective Monterey Shale formation. Read the full story here.

OFFICIALS HOPE AIRPORT SOARS ONCE AGAIN: Eight years ago the shiny new William M. Thomas Terminal at Meadows Field Airport opened amid fanfare and dreams of growth at the county's main airport. Then the recession hit and fuel prices climbed. International flights died 13 months after starting, and the momentum at Meadows Field quietly whimpered and faded. In 2011 the county refinanced the $13.2 million loan it took out to build the new main terminal, as reported in this morning's Californian. Over the coming years, the department will chip away at the remaining $7.3 million balance one $468,000 annual payment at a time. Read the full story here.

AG TEACHERS FEAR FOR FUTURE OF PROGRAMS: Foothill High School is one of a dozen schools in KHSD offering agriculture education, a set of classes designed to expose students to careers in farming, ranching and related industries. Most school districts pay for the classes with funds from the Agricultural Career Technical Education Incentive Grant Program. As reported in a front-story in the Sunday Californian, that's a matching grant program that this year provided $4.1 million to 314 agriculture education programs in California. In the state budget that Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled last month, the grants designed to encourage compliance with ag education academic standards are eliminated, and that has supporters of agriculture worried. Read the full story here.


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

TWO CHP OFFICERS KILLED IN FRESNO COUNTY CRASH: The California Highway Patrol was mourning the loss of two officers Monday after their patrol car flipped over while responding to a multi-vehicle crash. Killed in the accident were 33-year-old Officer Juan Jaime Gonzalez of Fresno, and 34-year-old Officer Brian Mitchio Law of Clovis. The officers were travelling south on Highway 99, headed toward the crash site near Kingsburg. The officer who was driving the Ford Crown Victoria tried to swerve out of the way. He lost control and collided into the guardrail. Both died after their vehicle overturned. Read the full story here.

ALLEGED CARJACKER LEADS DEPUTIES ON HIGH-SPEED CHASE: A Bakersfield woman was shaken up but uninjured Monday night after an armed carjacker allegedly used a handgun to commandeer her car, thereby triggering a police chase on highways and rural farm roads that exceeded speeds of 100 miles per hour. The victim was reportedly accosted at about 5:45 p.m. in the 1600 block of Niles Street in east Bakersfield by 24-year-old Jaime Gomez who forced the woman to give up her Lexus. At one point, the suspect tried to lose his pursuers by taking a turn through a farm orchard but a sheriff's department helicopter maintained line of sight throughout. Gomez was arrested on suspicion of carjacking and other charges. Read the full story here.

AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATING GIRL'S DEATH: Detectives with the Bakersfield Police Department are investigating the death of a Bakersfield toddler. Few details were available Monday night but Ella Gonzalez, who was nearly 4 months of age, was found dead Monday at a residence in the 3300 Block of McCourry Street in south Bakersfield. An autopsy is pending. Read the full story here.



DOCUSIGN: Microsoft and eSignature service DocuSign announced a long-term partnership that will make it easy for Office 365 subscribers to submit and sign documents without leaving Microsoft's Office apps. This new solution will be available in the Office Store early next month and was built on top of Microsoft Office platform. The app will be integrated into Outlook, Word, SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server 2013. All the documents will be stored on OneDrive for Business (formerly SkyDrive).



LONELINESS DEATH RATES: A new study shows that people who feel consistently lonely have a 14 percent higher risk of premature death than those who don't. The impact of loneliness on early death is almost as strong as the impact of being poor, which increased the chances of dying early by 19 percent. The director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago said loneliness is a risk factor for early death beyond what can be explained by poor health behaviors. Some of the problems that contribute to loneliness as people age include loss of mobility, loss of hearing and blindness.



BROSSOIT SILENCES ACES: Back in November, as a member of the Alaska Aces, Laurent Brossoit totally frustrated the Bakersfield Condors as he shut them out in back-to-back games in Anchorage. On Monday afternoon, Brossoit showed the Aces he is equally as good in a Condors sweater as he stopped 27 shots in a 3-0 victory for Bakersfield at Rabobank Arena. Read the full story here.




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