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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:
BODY FOUND IN BURNING CAR IDENTIFIED: The body found inside a car on fire in southwest Bakersfield has been identified. Ramiro Mendez, 83, of Bakersfield was discovered early Saturday morning in a car near Pacheco Road and Young Street. The body was found when Bakersfield firefighters initially responded about 6:45 a.m. to a report of a trash fire in the area. When they arrived they found a vehicle engulfed in flames. After putting out the fire they discovered Mendez's body inside the car. Read the full story here.
TAFT MAN ACCUSED OF BEATING TODDLER: Jury selection is underway in the trial of a Taft man accused of beating a toddler to death. Dustin Wedel is charged with first degree murder in the 2011 death of 3-year-old James Fanshier. The boy was in the care of Wedel and his biological father's ex-girlfriend. Wedel has pleaded not guilty.
TAFT PRISON: Taft city officials moved Wednesday to reach a deal with the state to house inmates at its correctional facility following an eleventh-hour decision by Los Angeles County supervisors to reconsider a $55 million contract with the city. Despite having worked together for more than a year to transfer 512 prisoners to the Taft Community Correctional Facility beginning in December -- and having a contract -- the supervisors deferred a final vote until their meeting next Tuesday. Read the full story here.
MAN ON THE RUN CAUGHT ON CAMERA: A TV news reporter helps Bakersfield Police nab a man on the run. On Tuesday authorities released a photo of 51-year-old Raymond McClinton, a parolee and registered sex offender wanted for disabling his GPS tracking monitor. 23-ABC news reporter, Chris Ornelas saw a guy matching McClinton's description at a local bus stop around 5:30 p.m. Ornelas called the cops who came and placed McClinton under arrest.
MEN WANTED FOR BURGLARY: Kern County Sheriff's investigators are trying to identify two men wanted for burglary. It happened September second around 12:35 a.m. when the guys showed up at a home in the 600 block of Florito Street in southwest Bakersfield. One man reportedly took a TV out of a travel trailer in the driveway as the other waited outside. They took off on foot, but surveillance video caught their images and you can take a look at Bakersfield.com. The suspects appear to be young white or Hispanic men. If you have any information, you can contact the Sheriff's office or call Secret Witness at 322-4040. Read the full story here.
FATAL CAR ACCIDENT: One person is dead after an accident west of Bakersfield. It happened around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday on northbound I-5 at Stockdale Highway. The California Highway Patrol reports it was a solo crash where an SUV rolled and came to rest on the center divider. Two people were trapped in the vehicle and 32-year-old Maria Anderson of Corcoran pronounced dead at the scene. Northbound traffic was passing along the shoulder, and the southbound lanes were shut down so a helicopter could evacuate the injured. No word on what led to the crash. All lanes were back open by 2 p.m. 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.
BODY FOUND IN BURNING CAR SATURDAY WAS LOCAL RESIDENT: The body found inside a car early Saturday that was on fire near Pacheco Road and Young Street has been identified as a Bakersfield resident. The Kern County Coroner's office identified him as 83-year-old Ramiro Mendez. His body had been found when Bakersfield firefighters initially responded about 6:45 a.m. to a report of a trash fire in the area. When they arrived they found a vehicle engulfed in flames. After putting out the fire they discovered a body in the car. Read the full story here.
WOMAN KILLED IN I-5 ACCIDENT IN BUTTONWILLOW: A Concord woman was killed Wednesday afternoon in a traffic accident along Interstate 5 in Buttonwillow. Maria Milliza Buenafe Anderson, 32, died at about 12:25 p.m. when she lost control of her vehicle and it overturned, according to Kern County Coroner's office. The accident occurred about one mile north of Stockdale Highway. It is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol. Read the full story here.
HIGHWAY 58 WIDENING A BOON FOR 'CITY OF DEAD-END FREEWAYS': In an effort to reduce traffic and improve safety on a stretch of 1970s-era highway used by nearly 80,000 vehicles a day, city officials broke ground Wednesday on the $18.6 million widening of Highway 58 west of Cottonwood Road. "We have the unusual characteristic, in Bakersfield, of a freeway that gets narrower as it comes into town, and drops a lane as it picks up traffic," said City Manager Alan Tandy, one of several current and former officials who said improvements are vital. Once that three-mile expanse of Highway 58 is widened to six lanes, in about 15 months, former U.S. Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Bakersfield, said the controversial Centennial Corridor link to the Westside Parkway, and later Interstate 5, will be essential. Read the full story here.
SUPERVISORS SET TO DISCUSS FUTURE OF EMBATTLED RESIDENCY PROGRAM: Kern Medical Center's family practice residency program -- a source of much-needed general-practice doctors -- could be transitioned to a major local nonprofit. A deal is being finalized to have Clinica Sierra Vista run the training program, with the hope it will draw more young doctors to Kern who then stay here after graduation, Clinica CEO Steve Schilling said Wednesday. The program appeared to be ailing last year when hospital administrators proposed not bringing in a new class of residents to save money, a suggestion that was met with an torrent of community opposition. The notion of partnering with Clinica to continue the program emerged late last year. Read the full story here.
3 ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH NARCOTICS, FIREARMS SEARCH: Kern County Sheriff's deputies conducting a probation search in north Bakersfield arrested three men on suspicion of narcotics and firearms violations. The search Tuesday in the 5600 block of Patton Way found 8 pounds of marijuana, small amounts of methamphetamine, two firearms and ammunition. Isaac Figueroa, 35, Edward Figueroa, 32, and 35-year-old Brent Perkins were arrested. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
T-MOBILE TO OFFER FREE DATA SERVICE FOR TABLETS: T-Mobile wants to broaden its customer base beyond phones. So the company on Wednesday announced it will give owners of iPads and other tablet computers some free data service for life. But there's a limit, the Associated Press explains. AP says the free service will be limited to 200 megabytes of high-speed data per month -- enough to upload about 800 Instagram photos or listen to more than three hours of streaming music. The company expects people will buy plans for more data because they'll get used to having it. T-Mobile marketing chief Mike Sievert told the AP that T-Mobile hopes to encourage people to buy LTE tablets.
YAHOO ACQUISITION: Yahoo's latest acquisition will bring image-recognition technology to its Flickr service for sharing photos. The Associated Press says Yahoo bought a startup called LookFlow. Yahoo will get five engineers in the deal. The financial terms of the deal announced Wednesday weren't disclosed.
THE HEALTH REPORT
KERN'S KIDS' FITNESS: Kern County kids backslid a bit on some key fitness measures from the 2011 to 2012 school years. That's according to new data released by the state and crunched by The Californian on Wednesday. The numbers come from testing kids in grades 5, 7 and 9. In what the state calls two of the most important categories -- aerobic capacity and body composition -- the overall Kern County numbers from the 2011-2012 to 2012-2013 school years mostly worsened a bit when you look at the percentage of children in the so-called "healthy fitness zone." The data show that in 2012-2013: The percentage of Kern kids in the healthy fitness zone for aerobic capacity was 54.7 for 5th graders; 55.8 percent for 7th graders; and 56.7 percent for 9th graders. The percentage of Kern children in the healthy fitness zone for body composition was 47.1 for 5th graders; 48.6 for 7th graders; and 56.2 for 9th graders.
HEALTHY EATING: The AIS Cancer Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital will host free healthy eating workshops Tuesday. The workshops will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the cancer center's third floor conference room at 2620 Chester Ave. Light refreshments will be offered, along with free recipe cards. The event is free but seating is limited. Call 323-4673 to RSVP.
THE SPORTS REPORT
CARR LIGHTING IT UP FOR BULLDOGS: Get used to seeing the name of Bakersfield Christian graduate Derek Carr in the Fresno State media guide and program. Carr, with six or seven games left in his career, already owns nine career records at the school, including pass completions (849), completion percentage (.664), most 300-yard passing games (15), and touchdown passes (86). The 6-foot-3 senior set the TD record last week in a victory against UNLV. The Bulldogs are 6-0 and the top-ranked team in the BCS. Standings from a non-qualifying conference. Read the full story here.
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