Local News

Thursday, Sep 26 2013 07:00 AM

'First Look': First News for Sept. 26

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

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

MANHUNT: A manhunt is underway for the suspect in a double homicide in McFarland. Around 11 Tuesday night, Kern County Sheriff's deputies were called to a home in the 31 thousand block of Sherwood Avenue. They found 53-year-old Fernando Valdez and 29-year-old Fernando Valdez Jr. suffering from gunshot wounds. Both men were taken to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead. Authorities are looking for a man in his 20s wearing a dark ski mask. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's office, or the Secret Witness hotline at 322-4040. Read the full story here.

POT IN TEHACHAPI : Two people are in custody after pot was found growing at a Tehachapi home.Kern County drug officers, a code compliance officer and Child Protective Services showed up at High Noon Tuesday at a house in the 18 thousand block of Alps Drive. Authorities say a hundred marijuana plants were growing on the property. They were seized, along with an assault rifle. Four kids were taken into protective custody. Deputies arrested 31-year-old Savannah St. Clair for child endangerment. Andy St. Claire, 29, was booked on weapons and drug charges. Read the full story here.

ALCOHOL IN KERN COUNTY FAIR: Authorities are cracking down on alcohol at the Kern County Fair. The Sheriff's Office reports that undercover detectives, members of the Joint Vice Task Force and agents from California Alcoholic Beverage Control have made over 60 arrests since the fair began. Crimes include selling or furnishing booze to minors, and minors in possession of alcohol or using fake I.D. The squad will keep looking for offenders until the Fair wraps up on Sunday. 

SEX OFFENDER AT LARGE: Local law enforcement needs your help finding a man released from jail on felony sex charges who failed to report to his probation officer and register as a sex offender. 22-year old Theodore Steele, who also goes by the name "Teddy," is described as white,5 feet 11 inches tall, about 140 pounds with green eyes and light brown hair, although he may have a shaved head. He is known to frequent Valley Plaza, the Southwest Bus Terminal, the Downtown Bus Terminal and the Oildale area. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Kern County Probation Office or notify law enforcement. Read the full story here.

FIRE DANGER: When it comes to fire danger, Kern County's elderly face more danger than others. Bakersfield Fire Battalion Chief Anthony Galagaza says people over age 65 have the greatest risk of dying in a fire. You can make things safer by testing smoke alarms monthly and changing the batteries at least once a year. Seniors and those around them should also have an escape plan, making sure all exits are passable. For more tips, Google the FEMA website.

CENTENNIAL CORRIDOR: A group of local residents has threatened to sue the city of Bakersfield if the Centennial Corridor freeway is built. The secretary for the Westpark Homeowners Association threatened the Bakersfield City Council with a lawsuit Wednesday if the project continues. More than 40 Westpark residents sat and listened to council members share their doubts about going into debt to pay Bakersfield's share of the federally funded Thomas Roads Improvement Program. After more than an hour of debate, the council voted 6-1 to approve a validation action. It was the legal first step toward later borrowing as much as $270 million, to match $570 million in federal funds secured for the city by former congressman Bill Thomas of Bakersfield. If the validation is challenged in court, the city estimates defense costs would rise to $175,000 to $225,000, and a court decision could take as long as 18 months. 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.

COMMUNITY LEADER SAVED FROM CHOKING RECALLS HARROWING INCIDENT: Pauline Larwood usually doesn't eat steak but she recalled that the filet mignon she was dining on at a downtown restaurant Monday night was "really good." Until she started to choke. "I remember the lodging, having my bite of steak stuck in my throat and turning to my husband to see if he could do a Heimlich on me and it didn't work. Then I felt other arms around me but then soon after that I blacked out," she said. Speaking Wednesday from her shared room at Mercy Hospital Downtown with a voice raspy from the incident, Larwood said she didn't remember anything about what happened as doctors performed an emergency tracheotomy on her using a folding pocketknife with an approximately 3 1/2-inch blade and a pen. Read the full story here.

REPORT: WORKER KILLED IN PG&E DEMOLITION DISREGARDED SAFETY ORDERS: A Los Angeles man who died last year while working on a Bakersfield demolition job, failed to fix safety problems his supervisor had pointed out just before the accident, according to an apparent state investigative report. The document reiterates calls for stronger oversight of contractors by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., owner of the Coffee Road plant where the worker died and where another demolition accident last month severely injured a Bakersfield man. The June 19, 2012, accident occurred as 51-year-old Luis Roberto Minjarez was torch-cutting sections from an old, 3-million-gallon fuel tank at the plant. Read the full story here.

DNA SWAB, FINGERPRINTS TAKEN FROM PRINCIPAL ACCUSED OF HUSBAND'S MURDER: Detectives took a DNA swab and fingerprints Wednesday from the elementary school principal accused of fatally shooting her husband. Defense attorney Kyle J. Humphrey said the swab and prints were collected at his office after Kern County Sheriff's detectives called informing him they had a court order for that data. Farmworkers found Todd Chance's body at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 25 in the field about 16 miles from his southwest Bakersfield home. Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt has said Jenea Chance remains the sole suspect in his death, and detectives have received information regarding a possible motive. Read the full story here.

TWO MCFARLAND MEN SHOT, KILLED: A father and son were shot and killed in McFarland Tuesday night and the suspects remained at large Wednesday. The coroner's office identified the men as 28-year-old Fernando Valdez Jr. and 53-year-old Fernando Valdez Sr. Valdez Jr. was shot at 11:05 p.m. in the 31000 block of Sherwood Avenue in McFarland. He later died at Delano Regional Medical Center. Valdez Sr. was shot at the same time and died at 4:09 a.m. Wednesday at Kern Medical Center. No suspects have been identified and the motive remains unknown. Read the full story here.

CITY COUNCIL CONTINUES HIGHWAY PROJECTS DESPITE LAWSUIT THREAT: The secretary for the Westpark Home Owners Association, a group of residents whose houses would be destroyed if the Centennial Corridor freeway segment is built, threatened the Bakersfield City Council with a lawsuit Wednesday if the project continues. After more than an hour of debate, the council voted 6-1 to approve a validation action. It was the legal first step toward later borrowing as much as $270 million, to match $570 million in federal funds secured for the city by former U.S. Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Bakersfield. Read the full story here.

 

THE TECH REPORT

GOOGLE: Google's same-day delivery service made its public debut to most of the Bay Area Wednesday morning, as the search engine giant becomes the latest tech company to deliver online purchases to customers' homes just hours after they click the purchase button. The public launch makes Google's once-exclusive service available to everyone who wants same-day delivery from San Francisco to San Jose. Shopping Express is a Web and mobile site where customers can shop from more than 15 Bay Area retailers including Walgreens, Staples, and Target, and Google will deliver the purchases that day within a three- to five-hour window. The cost is $5 for each store pickup. Google also announced the Shopping Express applications for Android and iOS smartphones.

INTERNET USE: It may seem impossible, but 15 percent of American adults say they don't use the Internet or email, saying the Internet isn't relevant to them; they don't want to use it or have any need for it. The new finding is part of the report, "Who's Not Online and Why," from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. While 34 percent said the Internet is just not relevant to them, 32 percent say their sense is that the Internet is not very easy to use. 19 percent say the cost of an Internet connection, as well as the expense of owning a computer, is too high. 7 percent say there is a physical lack of availability or access to the Internet.

 

THE HEALTH REPORT

NEW MOMS: Ever wonder why you just can't get enough of that baby? It might come down to your nose. A small study shows that a pathway linked to the reward center of the brain becomes very active when women who just gave birth get a whiff of a newborn. The researchers tested newborn smells on 30 women. Half of the women had given birth three to six weeks before the experiment, and the other women did not have children. The smells were collected from pajamas that newborns were wearing two days after birth, and none of the babies belonged to the mothers in the experiment. The women were asked to breathe in the odor. While both groups of women said they liked the smell, there was more activity in the targeted area of the brain in the new mothers.

STUDENT ATHLETES: Athletic trainers should be on the lookout for mental health problems among student-athletes, a panel said on Wednesday. Representatives from the National Athletic Trainers' Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other organizations said athletic trainers are in a unique position to reach out to college athletes and refer them to counseling. About 30 percent of college-aged people reported having some type of mental illness during 2010 and 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Timothy Neal, chair of the task force and assistant director of athletics for sports medicine at Syracuse University said he has seen everything from athletes with anxiety and eating disorders to those who are suicidal.

 

THE SPORTS REPORT

ADAMS TO TAKE OVER AS BC QUARTERBACK: It is Cruise Adams' chance to be Bakersfield College's starting quarterback. BC coach Jeff Chudy said after Wednesday's practice that Adams will make his first collegiate start on Saturday when the Renegades open National Northern Conference play at home against Ventura at 7 p.m. "We're going to start Cruise and see what he does," Chudy said. "We've got to get better at that spot." Adams, a freshman from Garces High, replaced starting quarterback Darrik Martin in Saturday's 45-23 loss to Fullerton College after Martin threw an interception on BC's first possession of the third quarter. Adams was 8-for-15 for 139 yards and a touchdown. Martin, a freshman from Golden Valley, had completed 7-of-16 passes for 63 yards when he was replaced. Read the full story here.

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