Local News

Tuesday, Oct 01 2013 07:01 AM

'First Look': First News for Oct. 1

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

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

OBAMACARE: Over 50,000 Kern County residents are expected to qualify for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care. They can start searching their options Tuesday when the state launches Covered California. Among the local agencies ready to answer your questions is the Department of Human Services. That's assistant director Pam Howell. You can also apply at Clinica Sierra Vista. 23-ABC reports the coverage becomes effective in January, but people who qualify need to enroll and pay their premiums by December 15. The main website is coveredca.com. Read the full story here

MAN IDENTIFIED: We've learned the name of the man killed in a hit and run crash south of Bakersfield. It happened September 15, around 6:20 a.m. in the southbound lanes of Highway 99 near Copus Road. Authorities say 23-year-old Jose Alberto Espinoza of Bakersfield was walking along the roadway when he was struck by an unknown vehicle. Espinoza died at the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact the California Highway Patrol. Read the full story here.

WESTSIDE PARKWAY: A bit of tweaking is being done on the recently opened Westside Parkway. Tuesday through Friday, the eastbound off-ramp at Truxtun Avenue will be shut down so city crews can install a guard rail. The work will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Some recent accidents along the Parkway have led to improvements being made. Traffic along Truxtun should not be affected. 

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: As many as 10,000 Kern County workers stand to be furloughed in the federal government shutdown. The Bakersfield Californian reports Kern County has 10,200 federal employees. Only 2,800 work for a federal agency other than the Department of Defense. But while active military personnel will continue working, most of the Defense Department workers here are not active military. The majority of the 8500 Edwards Air Force Base employees are civilians who will be sent home without pay. The remaining 2,100 are military personnel. Military workers will also be without a paycheck -- but are required to be on duty, pay or no pay. The Bakersfield field office of the Bureau of Land Management will shut down. Bakersfield's federal courthouse will remain open. Read the full story here.

ONE-CAR ACCIDENT MAN IDENTIFIED: The man who died in a one-car accident on Highway 223 just west of Interstate 5 has been identified. Jose Ramirez, 20, of Bakersfield died just after 4:30 p.m. Sunday about a half mile west of I-5. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING: Officer-involved shooting in southwest Bakersfield. It happened Monday at about 11:20 p.m. as two marked Bakersfield Police patrol vehicles were travelling southbound on Real Road, just south of Stockdale Highway, on their way to a patrol call, when a suspect outside the 7-Eleven at 3601 Stockdale Highway began firing at the officers. One officer returned fire. The suspect took off but was later located and taken into custody. No one was injured. Police say the suspect pointed a gun at an employee of the 7-Eleven and forced her back into the store before firing at officers. One suspect is in custody.

WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM

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

'OBAMACARE' GOING LIVE: President Barack Obama's health care law has survived the Supreme Court, a battle for the White House and rounds of budget brinkmanship. Now comes the ultimate test: the verdict of the American people. A government shutdown could dampen the rollout Tuesday as insurance markets open around the country. But it won't stop the main components of "Obamacare" from going live as scheduled, glitches and all. The biggest expansion of society's safety net since Medicare will be in the hands of consumers.  Read the full story here.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN WILL IMPACT 10,000 LOCAL JOBS: As many as 10,000 Kern County workers stand to be furloughed in the federal government shutdown. But while active military personnel will continue working, most of the Defense Department workers here are not active military. The majority of Edwards Air Force Base employees -- 8,500 of them -- are civilians who will be sent home without pay. The remaining 2,100 are military personnel. The Bakersfield field office of the Bureau of Land Management will shut down with only a fraction of the office's workers still on the job. Read the full story here.

VICTIM OF HIGHWAY 99 HIT-AND-RUN IDENTIFIED: The man killed along southbound Highway 99 near Copus Road on Sept. 15 has been identified as a Bakersfield resident. The Kern County Coroner's Office reported that 23-year-old Jose Alberto Espinoza was the victim of a hit-and-run about 6:21 a.m. just south of Copus Road. The California Highway Patrol is continuing the investigation. Read the full story here.

CITY OFFICIALS PLEDGE SUPPORT IN INTERNET CAFE FIGHT: Tired of tolerating drug use and disorderly conduct, and finding used syringes and discarded underwear in common areas, business owners aired grievances against Internet cafes Monday at a downtown hair salon that is next door to one. Typically, cafe owners say their business is similar to the sweepstakes in the McDonald's restaurant Monopoly game. But city officials say their establishments are outlets for illegal gambling. The Kern County District Attorney's office is awaiting two appellate court rulings expected in November to strengthen its legal footing, before filing cases against the cafes. Read the full story here.

EXPLOSION, POWER OUTAGE CAUSE UC BERKELEY EVACUATION: At least one person was hospitalized and a mandatory evacuation was ordered at the University of California at Berkeley Monday after an explosion followed a power outage across campus. Fire crews were also trying to free about 20 people trapped in dormitory elevators across campus as a result of the outage, said a UC Berkeley spokesman. Authorities reported an apparent ammonia leak in a room at Latimer Hall. That was followed by an explosion near California Hall shortly before 7 p.m. Read the full story here.

 

THE ENERGY REPORT

GOVERNMENT: BP LIED ON GULF SPILL: Government attorneys claimed Monday that BP lied to the U.S. government and withheld information about the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico after its well blew out in 2010, attorneys told a judge Monday. The Associated Press reported that lawyers for the London-based oil giant denied those accusations and said there was no way to prepare for such a unique blowout a mile below the sea floor. Second-guessing the company's efforts to cap the well was "Monday morning quarterbacking at its worst," BP attorney Mike Brock said during opening statements of the second phase of a trial over the spill.

 

THE TECH REPORT

MLB: Major League Baseball is working closely with Apple on a project that uses iBeacon indoor mapping technology, which incorporates Bluetooth Smart and iOS 7 software. The goal of the trial is to develop different ways to interact with fans at the stadium. An app developer for the MLB, said that the organization is looking at ways to customize the MLB app to enrich the experience for fans. Some examples include providing the app owner with details about the stadium a map to the location of their seat, and highlights of the stadium, such as the history of the building.

TEXTING ZONES: New York's governor announced a plan to put "texting zones" on state highways. In an effort to reduce the number of distracted drivers on the roads of New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed a plan to put "texting zones" on the New York State Thruway and state highways, where drivers can pull over and respond to text messages. This is, in part, a response to the fact that New York has seen a 365 percent increase in tickets issued to distracted drivers between the summers of 2012 and 2013.

 

THE HEALTH REPORT

CO-SLEEPING: The number of infants who sleep in a bed with an adult or another child has doubled over the past 17 years -- a troubling development given research showing that bed sharing increases an infant's risk of death from sudden infant death syndrome, accidental suffocation, and entrapment in bedding material. According to a new government-funded study, the percentage of nighttime caregivers who reported that an infant usually shared a bed rose from 7 percent in 1993 to 14 percent in 2010.

VACCINES: Researchers have linked parents not vaccinating their children for whopping cough to outbreaks of the disease that occurred in 2010 in California. Researchers analyzed all the non-medical exemptions for kids entering kindergarten from 2005 through 2010 in California. The researchers matched this exception list to the number of pertussis cases diagnosed during the 2010 outbreak that led to 9,000 cases, 809 hospitalizations and 10 deaths reported. California tightened non-medical vaccine exemption rules in 2012. The researchers flagged 39 clusters of high rates of non-medical exemptions, and two whooping cough disease clusters. A closer look showed people in the exemption cluster were about two and a half times more likely to be in the whooping cough cluster.

 

THE SPORTS REPORT

CSUB FALLS TO NEW MEXICO STATE IN VOLLEYBALL: New Mexico State outhit and outblocked Cal State Bakersfield on Monday night on the way to a 3-0 victory in a Western Athletic Conference volleyball match in Las Cruces. After 16 matches on the road, the Roadrunners play their home opener Thursday, hosting Chicago State at 7 p.m. You can learn more about the Runners season by watching Roadrunner Rundown at 10 a.m. on bakersfield.com. Read the full story here.

 

 

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