Local News

Thursday, Sep 19 2013 07:19 AM

'First Look': First News for Sept. 19

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Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:

NEW DETAILS IN OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING: Details are released in the officer involved shooting that killed two Bakersfield men outside a local hotel. Police say one of those men, 32-year-old Justin Harger, was a parolee wanted by the U.S. Marshal's Service for assault with a deadly weapon. On Monday around 12:30 a.m., police learned Harger had pulled into the parking lot of the Four Points By Sheraton on California Avenue. His passenger was 34-year-old Jorge Ramirez. Five officers went to the hotel. After making a traffic stop, police say both men got out of the car and Harger started shooting at officers who returned fire. Both Harger and Ramirez died at the scene. Officer Daniel Brewer was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the head, and he's been released. Both Harger and Ramirez had numerous prior convictions. Read the full story here.

ARREST MADE IN SUSPECTED ROAD RAGE: An arrest is made in a case of suspected road rage in northern Kern County. The incident happened August second as 19-year-old Oscar Hernandez-Rios of Canoga Park was driving on Highway 99 near Delano. Deputies found him suffering from gunshot wounds to the arm and leg and he was treated at Kern Medical Center. On Tuesday, a man identified as Christopher Deleon was arrested without incident on Fifth Street in McFarland. A search turned up a loaded handgun, rifle and ammo. Deleon was booked on charges including shooting at an occupied vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent felony. Read the full story here.

OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING IN McFARLAND: Nobody injured after an officer involved shooting in McFarland. On Monday afternoon, Kern County Probation officers went to a home on San Lucas Street to do a compliance check on 24-year-old Stephen Espinoza, who they believed had a shotgun. When they got there, they reportedly saw another probationer, 23-year-old Jesse Sanchez, run inside the house. Officers arrested him in the backyard as he tried to jump a fence. They found Espinoza hiding in a bedroom closet, but he refused to show his hands. Instead, he reportedly turned toward an officer who fired a shot that missed. Espinoza was then taken into custody. A search of the home turned up loaded .22 handgun and 12-gauge shotgun with pistol grip, plus body armor. Both Espinoza and Sanchez are jailed on various charges. They had been on post-release community supervision after passage of AB-109. The officer who fired the shot is on administrative leave. Read the full story here.

MISSING WOMAN'S CAUSE OF DEATH: We know what killed a woman who went missing from her home in Wofford Heights. The coroner's office says 22-year old Brandi Tanner died due to meth intoxication and the manner was accidental. Tanner was a mother of two who was missing for nearly two weeks before her body was found in July in the 200 block of Choppo Drive in Wofford Heights. Read the full story here.

ACUTE METH IS CAUSE OF DEATH: We know what caused a Bakersfield man to die. The Kern County coroner reports that 49-year-old Earl Wiseman of Bakersfield died of acute meth effect and the manner of death was accidental. On July 5, officials said Wiseman's grandson found his body in his home on South Real Road. Deputies arrived at the home just before 4 p.m. and determined that Wiseman was suffering from obvious trauma. The grandson went to check on Wiseman when they hadn't heard from him for several days. Read the full story here.

TRAFFIC DELAYS: Traffic delays are in store for drivers in northeast Bakersfield. Construction is underway on the new Highway 178, Morning Drive interchange. The work stretches out to Canteria Drive at the Mesa Marin sports complex. On Thursday and Friday, from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., drivers can expect delays of up to 15 minutes while concrete barriers are installed at each end. Lanes will be closed on 178, and flaggers will redirect traffic.


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

NEW OFFICE PROJECT WILL TEST LOCAL MARKET: A local group recently began soliciting tenant interest in Stockdale Centre, a six-building, 270,000-square-foot office development proposed across Coffee Road from the Town & Country Village shopping center along Stockdale Highway. Owner GC Investments, which includes members of the Giumarra farming family, has hired an architectural firm to put together designs and a commercial real estate brokerage to market the 15-acre property to potential office space users. Read the full story here.

PROBATION OFFICER FIRES AT SUSPECT IN CLOSET: A probation officer shot at but didn't hit a suspect hiding in a closet who he believed was armed with a gun. At around 5:20 p.m. Monday, probation officers arrived to the 200 block of San Lucas Street in McFarland to conduct a compliance check on 24-year-old Stephen Espinoza. Officers believed he was in possession of a shotgun after another probationer, 23-year-old Jesse Sanchez appeared to remove an object from his waistband as he shut the front door. Espinoza was found hiding in a closet in the bedroom and he refused to show his hands. An officer fired one round but did not hit Espinoza, who surrendered. Officers searched the home and found a loaded .22-caliber handgun, loaded 12-gauge shotgun with a pistol grip and body armor in the residence. Read the full story here.

ARREST MADE IN ROAD RAGE SHOOTING: Deputies have arrested a man believed to be involved in a road rage shooting in early August. Deputies said a 19-year-old man from Canoga Park suffered a gunshot wound to his arm and leg while driving on Highway 99 in the Delano area. The injured man was taken to Kern Medical Center and treated, and deputies discovered the shooting was an apparent road rage incident. Christopher Deleon, 34, of McFarland was booked Tuesday on suspicion of shooting at an occupied vehicle and assault with a deadly weapon. Read the full story here.

POLICE SAY SUSPECT FIRED AT OFFICERS DURING TRAFFIC STOP THAT LED TO TWO DEATHS: Bakersfield police said Wednesday that officers opened fire on two men in the parking lot of a hotel earlier this week after one of the men -- wanted for assault with a deadly weapon -- pulled a gun and shot at officers. Both men died in the shootout and Officer Daniel Brewer suffered a gunshot wound to the head but has since been released from a local hospital. Police said they recovered the handgun 32-year-old Justin Bryan Harger used to attack them. Read the full story here.

METHAMPHETAMINE OVERDOSE KILLED WOMAN WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND WEEKS AFTER SHE WENT MISSING: A 22-year-old woman whose body was found in Wofford Heights July 21 died as a result of an accidental methamphetamine overdose. The Coroner's Office said Brandi Tanner was last seen alive July 8. Her body was found in the 200 block of Choppo Drive. She was identified through dental records. Read the full story here.



BLACKBERRY: Struggling BlackBerry is sharply paring its workforce. The device maker is preparing for deep staff cuts--up to 40 percent of its employees--by the end of the year, people familiar with the matter said. The layoffs will cut across all departments and occur in waves, likely affecting several thousand workers, the people said. BlackBerry had 12,700 employees as of March, the last time it disclosed a total number. The cuts come as the once dominant smartphone maker looks for ways to get a handle on costs and shrink its operations to better fit a world in which competitors such as Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.have eaten deeply into its market share.

HOTEL Wi-Fi: Many business travelers are basing their decisions about hotels and airlines on the availability and quality of the Wi-Fi they offer. That is one of the conclusions from the latest iPass Mobile Workforce Report, which surveyed more than 1,300 mobile workers. Hotel Wi-Fi is almost as important as a comfortable bed to the mobile workforce surveyed, yet 81 percent have had unsatisfactory experiences with hotel Wi-Fi in the past year, according to the report. Three-quarters say that a bad Wi-Fi experience in a hotel would prevent a return visit.



SUICIDE: The 2008 financial crisis that devastated many Western economies also reaped a heavy toll in suicides among men, a study published this week suggests. Health researchers analyzed data for suicides among people older than 15 in 54 countries, comparing rates before and after the crash. In 2009, there were 4,884 more suicides compared with the normal trend, they said. The increases occurred among men, rising 3.3 percent in 2009. Among women, though, there was an overall decline of 0.5 percent.

VIRAL TESTS: It happens too often: A doctor isn't sure what is causing someone's feverish illness but prescribes antibiotics just in case, drugs that do not work if a virus is the real culprit. Now Duke University researchers are developing a blood test to more easily tell when a respiratory illness is due to a virus and not a bacterial infection, hoping to cut the dangerous overuse of antibiotics and speed the right diagnosis. It works by taking a fingerprint of your immune system to show how its genes are revving up to fight the bug. That's very different from how infections are diagnosed today. And if the experimental test pans out, it also promises to help doctors track brand-new threats, like the next flu pandemic or that mysterious MERS virus that has erupted in the Middle East.



CONDORS FOCUSED ON BUILDING BETTER TEAM: The Bakersfield Condors are focused on building a better team this season.Condors President Matthew Riley said that while the Condors have been good over the years in various areas such as community involvement, they have never reached those heights with the on-ice product. "One of the things we haven't done is be really great on the ice," he said Wednesday during a Media Roundtable at Goose Loonies restaurant. "We've had some good seasons but we've never been really great." Former ECHL head coach Troy Mann said the Condors are pretty much ready to go personnel-wise. Training camp starts in 16 days and ECHL season is just 30 days away. Read the full story here.



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