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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
MCFARLAND WOMEN'S PRISON TO REOPEN: The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has signed a contract to reopen a women's prison in McFarland that will house about 260 inmates. The facility primarily will house female inmates whose sentences expire in less than two years, and will provide enhanced rehabilitation and recidivism reduction programs. The correctional facility closed in 2009 following state budget constraints.Inmates are expected to be admitted this fall. Read the full story here.
CANCER FUND'S NEW CAMPOUT FUNDRAISER OPENS FRIDAY: It's too late to organize a competitive team for Campout Against Cancer, the debut fundraiser for a new initiative to raise money for local families battling the disease, but it's not too late for individuals to enjoy the two days of festivities that begin today. The event features a "kiddie camp" with activities for children, concession stands with food and drinks, and music and dance performances including concerts by the rock groups Ruby Supreme and the John Hollins Band. But the main attraction is eight different "extreme games" including such challenges as a 200-foot zip line and a rock climbing wall. Read the full story here.
SHAFTER SCHOOLGIRL DIES; SCHOOL TO CONTINUE FUNDRAISING: Students at Sequoia Elementary School colored paper flowers and decorated them with photos to honor Isabel Rodriguez, a former student who died March 28 after years of battling an unknown medical condition. Students operated lemonade stands, contributed coins in collection boxes and distributed flyers to help defray the family's medical costs. Staff and students helped organize an enchilada dinner and silent auction. Fundraising efforts to help the family deal with medical bills and funeral costs will continue. The school has a goal to raise $10,000. About $3,100 had been raised by Thursday on an online donation site. Read the full story here.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending on bakersfield.com.
18 SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY RESIDENT ADVISERS FIRED OR RESIGN: San Jose State University, scene of a racially tinged series of hazing incidents involving a freshman student from Bakersfield, has fired 18 resident advisers at several of its dorms. University spokesperson Pat Lopez Harris said she could not comment on why the employees were let go because it is a "personnel matter," but several students said an incident involving underage drinking on campus prompted the purge. The employee shakeup follows by seven months a complaint by a black student that he had been harassed by four white roommates at a campus dorm. Read the full story here.
CORONER'S OFFICE: CHILD DIED FROM ACCIDENTAL HANGING: A 2-year-old died from accidental hanging Wednesday afternoon in Derby Acres. The child, Aiden Green, was found at 4:53 p.m. tangled up in mini blind cords in a trailer in the 20000 block of 4th Street. He was pronounced dead about 90 minutes later at Mercy Southwest Hospital. Read the full story here.
FORMER DELANO RESIDENT ARRESTED ON FEDERAL CHILD PORN CHARGES: A former Delano resident who fled after being indicted in 2013 on federal child pornography charges was captured in Mexico earlier this week. Michael David Wilson, 30, was arrested late Wednesday night in Mexicali, Mexico. Wilson was indicted in July 2013 for receiving and distributing child pornography and a warrant was issued for his arrest. His capture came after a resident alerted authorities about Wilson's possible whereabouts after his mug shot was posted on an ICE app. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
FACEBOOK'S FACE RECOGNITION: Facebook still isn't as good as humans when it comes to identifying people in photos, but it's getting awfully close. According to a CNN report, Facebook researchers published a paper last month in which they detailed the capabilities of a new artificial intelligence system known as "DeepFace." When asked whether two photos show the same person, DeepFace answers correctly 97.25% of the time, the report said. It creates 3-D models of the faces in photos and then analyzes them using artificial-intelligence technology known as "deep learning." Facebook already uses facial-recognition technology to suggest tags on photos uploaded by users.
THE HEALTH REPORT
HALL BUYS WASCO-BASED AMBULANCE COMPANY: Hall Ambulance has bought another ambulance company, increasing the share of territory claimed by Kern County's largest ambulance service. The Californian's James Burger reports that documents sent to the Kern County Board of Supervisors indicate Hall Ambulance -- owned by Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall -- bought Kern Ambulance on March 27. Kern Ambulance was based in Wasco and provided service to Wasco, Lost Hills and a long strip of territory running from just north of Bakersfield to the northwest corner of Kern County. On Tuesday supervisors are slated to transfer control of Kern Ambulance's exclusive operating territory to Hall.
THE SPORTS REPORT
BLAZE OPEN SEASON WITH WIN OVER MODESTO: It took the Bakersfield Blaze just one game to accomplish what it needed nine games to do last year. Home runs by Marquez Smith and Junior Arias helped carry the Blaze to a 9-5 season-opening victory over the Modesto Nuts on Thursday night before an announced crowd 957 at Sam Lynn Ballpark. A year ago, Bakersfield lost its first eight games. Read the full story here.
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