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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:
ANIMAL CRUELTY: A Maricopa woman faces felony animal cruelty charges. At about 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Kern County Sheriff's Deputies went to a home in the 400 block of Olive Street to check out stories of dogs there going for a long time without food or water. They found one dog dead and four others that appeared severely malnourished, with no food or water at the site. The owner of the dogs, 35-year-old Summer Lynn Joplin, wasn't home but was later arrested and booked into the Taft Jail for Felony Animal Cruelty. She's out on bond. The dogs were taken to a vet who confirmed they were severely malnourished. Read the full story here.
DENTIST HEARING CONTINUED: An administrative hearing against a dentist accused of harming patients in Bakersfield resumed Monday with a graphic video of an oral surgeon quickly prying some of that allegedly shoddy work out of a patient's mouth. The Bakersfield Californian reports the video showed Dr. Dennis Smiler easily popping out implants that were lodged in Sheila Rios' mouth, but not fully surrounded by bone. Smiler pointed out that Rios had bone loss around 180 degrees of the implants, which were placed by Dr. Robert Tupac. Tupac is accused of dental negligence but was not present as the hearing continued in downtown Los Angeles. The hearing began in February but was continued after four days packed with testimony from Rios, another past patient, former and current employees of Tupac's and a Bakersfield dentist who reported his concerns about Tupac's work to the Dental Board of California. The state Attorney General's office filed an accusation against Tupac last year on behalf of the board. Read the full story here.
MERLE HAGGARD'S HOME: A local museum agrees to house a country superstar's boyhood home. The Kern County Museum Foundation voted 7-to-1 Monday to accept, with conditions, the boyhood residence of Merle Haggard, a 1935 boxcar house built by Haggard's father on Yosemite Drive in Oildale. There are stipulations -- the present owners have to make arrangements to remove the house and raise 50,000 dollars for renovations. Museum officials say the Haggard house would be an international draw for Kern County. Read the full story here.
BAKERSFIELD'S FOUNDER OFFICIAL LANDMARK: The final resting place of Bakersfield's founder becomes an official landmark. On Saturday a plaque was unveiled in the Pioneer Section of Union Cemetery, as arranged by the City Council's Historic Preservation Commission. Since the mid-1800's many local notables have been buried here, including Col. Thomas Baker, Civil War Soldiers, judges and even gunslingers. The historic designation mean no changes can be made to the existing grave sites or the character of the section.
POSITIVE OUTLOOK ON BAKERSFIELD: Things are coming along well -- that's the assessment of Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall as he talks about California's ninth-largest city. The mayor appeared Saturday on KERN's Real Estate Hour. The mayor says he's also encouraged because the city's sales tax income has increased for the past three successive quarters. In his fourth term, Mayor Hall is Bakersfield's longest-serving mayor.
WHISKEY FLAT FALL FESTIVAL: Making the most of a summer slump, the folks at Kernville presented their first ever Whiskey Flat Fall Festival over the weekend. The festival was put together by the Kernville Chamber of Commerce after many businesses were down about 30 percent from a low river which led to a short rafting season. Brad Alexander of Kernville's Pizza Barn tells 23-ABC the event paid off even if they don't break even. The cost of admission was given back to the chamber of commerce. The city's next event is Christmas in Kernville along with the original Whiskey Flat Festival in February. 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.
A YEAR LATER, ONLY THE OUTCOME IS DIFFERENT: What happens when a 2008 Scion is traveling south the wrong way on a road at 3:47 a.m. at 55 mph, and a 2009 Toyota Corolla straddling two lanes is traveling north on the same road, and at least one driver is alcohol-impaired? In this case, which occurred a year ago Monday, Breana Webb, the 18-year-old driver of the Toyota, was killed and her four passengers injured. Early Monday morning, experts in vehicular accident reconstruction hired by the attorney of 34-year-old Martin William Juarez, the driver of the Scion, closed the northbound lanes of Coffee Road between Stockdale Highway and Brimhall Road to re-enact the accident. Juarez will stand trial in January on charges including second-degree murder. Read the full story here.
WORK OF LOCAL DENTIST AGAIN CRITICIZED AS NEGLIGENCE HEARING CONTINUES: An administrative hearing against a dentist accused of harming patients in Bakersfield resumed Monday with a graphic video of an oral surgeon quickly prying some of that allegedly shoddy work out of a patient's mouth. The video showed Dr. Dennis Smiler easily popping out implants that were lodged in Sheila Rios' mouth, but not fully surrounded by bone. Smiler pointed out that Rios had bone loss around 180 degrees of the implants, which were placed by Dr. Robert Tupac -- who is accused of dental negligence. Tupac was not present as the hearing continued at the Office of Administrative Hearings in downtown Los Angeles Monday. Read the full story here.
ZOO VISITOR'S LAWSUIT OVER ATTACH BY A RACCOON IS REJECTED BY JURY: A jury Monday found in favor of a Bakersfield zoo owned by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office in a case involving a 2010 raccoon attack. Ian Smith was visiting the zoo with his autistic daughter when the attack occurred Jan. 31. He filed a lawsuit in Kern County Superior Court seeking more than $25,000 in lost wages, as well as medical expenses and general damages. During the attack, the raccoon bit through Smith's finger, and also bit his foot and leg after charging at Smith and his daughter. Read the full story here.
COMPOSITE OF SEXUAL ASSAULT SUSPECT RELEASED: Bakersfield police have released a computer-generated composite of the suspect wanted in connection with a sexual assault in southwest Bakersfield. The assault was reported early Saturday by a teen girl who said she was confronted by a man in the 2400 bock of Akers Road, police said. The girl said the man brandished a knife, pulled her into an alley and sexually assaulted her. The suspect is described as being in his 30s, 5 feet 5 inches tall, about 150 pounds and wearing a black shirt and blue jeans. Read the full story here.
DEAD, STARVING DOGS FOUND AT MARICOPA RESIDENCE: Deputies arrested a Maricopa woman on suspicion of animal cruelty after finding one dead and four severely malnourished dogs at her residence. Deputies responded to the home of Summer Lynn Joplin at 2:45 p.m. Saturday in the 400 block of Olive Street. A Kern County Animal Control veterinarian performed an exam on the dead dog, which revealed malnourishment was a contributing factor in its death. The veterinarian said the four other dogs were extremely malnourished. Joplin was arrested Saturday and later released on bond. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
CAPTCHA: A US-based start-up claims to have broken security tests used to tell humans and computers apart online. Vicarious said it had developed technology, based on the human brain, which could solve text-based Captcha tests 90 percent of the time. A Captcha is a graphic or sound users must type on to a web page to prove they are human. The company said its artificial intelligence software can also perceive images and has used its Recursive Cortical Network software to solve Captcha tests as a step towards thinking machines, not for nefarious purposes. Vicarious hopes eventually to use the technology for robotics, medical image analysis, and online searching.
SAMSUNG: The NBA is making Samsung its official supplier for handsets, tablets, and pretty much any screen of any size. Samsung Electronics will be showing up all over NBA broadcasts and events, from the Summer League in Las Vegas through the Finals. Every referee will get a Samsung Galaxy Note tablet for rewatching plays at halftime and between games. And the league will use Samsung technology for reviewing calls courtside during games. The deal, according the Wall Street Journal, is for three years and $100 million. The league declined to comment on those figures.
THE HEALTH REPORT
FOOD RECALL: Reser's Fine Foods has expanded its recall of prepared salads and other ready-to-eat items over fears they're contaminated with listeria. The expanded recall covers everything from pasta and potato salad to chicken, fish and other items. All of the recalled products were produced at Reser's plant in Topeka, Kansas. Consumers can check a list of recalled items on its website. The recalled salads, which include hundreds of items, were distributed nationwide and to Canada.
CONCUSSIONS: Health experts have some bad news for high school football players: There is no particular type or brand of helmet or mouth guard that will keep you relatively safe from a concussion. The companies that make helmets and mouth guards often claim that their own products can reduce players' risk of a sports-related concussion or lessen the impact of a concussion that does occur. The manufacturers cite "laboratory research" that purports to show one brand is safer than others, and a group of researchers wanted to see if they could verify such claims, according to a presentation they made at a national meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The research team tracked more than 13-hundred high school football players from 36 schools during the 2012 season. When the researchers compared the rates of concussions for each type of helmet, they found essentially no difference by brand or by year made. Nor was there any difference in the severity of concussions.
THE SPORTS REPORT
CSUB'S ARAUJO IS WAC VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DENVER -- CSUB senior outside hitter Debora Araujo was named Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week. The native of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, led the Roadrunners to a pair of wins last week to extend their winning streak to six matches, the longest for the program at the Division I level. Read the full story here.
TAFT WINS IN VOLLEYBALL: TAFT -- Risha Alaiasa had 12 kills and 12 digs to lead the Taft College volleyball team to a 25-5, 25-10, 25-8 Central Valley Conference victory over West Hills. Tiffany Mapusaga added 11 kills and seven digs for Taft (14-4, 7-2 CVC). West Hills is 0-9 in the CVC. Taft visits Porterville on Friday.
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