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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from 'First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
REAL ESTATE AGENT SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS IN PRISON: Former Crisp & Cole Real Estate agent Michael Angelo Munoz was sentenced Monday to two years in prison for his role in the infamous mortgage fraud case. Munoz pleaded guilty in November to two counts of mail fraud and agreed to forfeit $1.3 million as a "reasonable reflection" of his financial gains under the criminal scheme, which federal prosecutors say took place between 2004 and 2007. Prosecutors accused Munoz of being one of several "straw buyers" in whose names Crisp & Cole purchased homes using falsified loan applications. Read the full story here.
INVESTIGATORS LOOKING INTO WHETHER AD FOR 'HUMAN SKIN' WALLET WAS REAL: Investigators have not yet been able to track down the person who posted the Bakersfield Craigslist ad selling a wallet allegedly made of human skin retrieved from a Nazi concentration camp. Kern County sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said Monday the case has been referred to a senior deputy in the vice unit to determine not only who posted the ad, but whether the wallet is actually made of human skin. Prosecutors have said they're not sure what, if any, charges could be brought against whoever posted the ad. Read the full story here.
HIGH-SPEED RAIL AGENCY POISED TO APPROVE FRESNO-BAKERSFIELD SECTION: The California High-Speed Rail Authority board is poised to forge ahead with approval of its Fresno-Bakersfield bullet-train route when it meets Tuesday and Wednesday in Fresno. A 20,000-page report detailing the potential effects of construction and operation of the 114-mile segment will be up for public comment for at least four hours Tuesday afternoon and evening. The report, along with thousands of pages of technical appendices, details how the rail line could affect homes, businesses, farms, streams and wildlife habitat along the route. 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.
VICTIM SUFFERS TRAUMATIC HEAD INJURY IN UNPROVOKED ATTACK: Police say the victim of an unprovoked attack last week suffered a traumatic head injury. The incident occurred at 4 p.m. April 26 when a man struck the victim in the face with his elbow, police said. The victim was taken to the hospital. The attack happened in the 1100 block of South P Street, south of Belle Terrace and west of South Union Avenue. The suspect is described as white, 30-40 years old, about 6 feet tall, with reddish-blond curly hair. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Detective Chris Feola at 326-3871. Read the full story here.
AUTISTIC GIRL IN ALLEGED SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE WAS SMART: A former teaching aide testified Monday that an autistic girl allegedly assaulted at Independence High School was smart and did understand some of what was happening in class, despite her severe learning disability. The testimony was elicited to bolster claims the then-15-year-old girl understood what happened to her and therefore suffered trauma. The girl was found naked from the waist down in an Independence bathroom with an autistic teenage boy in October 2009. Monday was the fourth day of a civil trial in which the girl's family is suing the Kern High School District over the incident. Read the full story here.
TWO MEN ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY AIMING LASER AT AIRPLANE: Two Tehachapi men were arrested early Monday after allegedly twice aiming a laser at an airplane. A local pilot told police he'd been temporarily disoriented by a laser while landing at Tehachapi Airport at 9:18 p.m. Sunday. A Tehachapi police officer accompanied the pilot back into the air, and the plane was again targeted. Police said officers were able to identify the source of the laser as a residence in the 1400 block of Cimarron Court. 47-year-old Daniel Roy Mahler and 52-year-old Mario Guillermo Manero were booked on suspicion of discharging a laser at an occupied aircraft. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
GOOGLE WALLET: By saying "send money" out loud, some people could soon have the ability to wire friends cash with their eyeglasses. According to TechCrunch, Google is planning to debut Google Wallet on Google Glass. The company is already well into testing the system internally and reportedly has plans to rollout the service to all Glass users shortly, the report said. According to TechCrunch, Google will take a 2.9 percent fee or 30 cents (whichever is higher) for the transactions.
THE HEALTH REPORT
FUNGUS CAUSING VALLEY FEVER: The Associated Press is reporting that the fungus that causes valley fever has been discovered for the first time in Washington state soil. Now, the Associated Press says, the Washington Department of Health has warned doctors and veterinarians about valley fever. San Joaquin Valley residents have long known that inhaling the airborne spores of the fungus can cause all kinds of health problems, even death. Dr. Tom Chiller of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said scientists have become "quite certain ... the fungus has moved beyond its normal geographical range." Read the full story here.
THE SPORTS REPORT
BLAZE WINS 5TH STRAIGHT: The Blaze beat Inland Empire 6-5 Monday at Sam Lynn Ballpark for its fifth straight victory. Read the full story here.
EX-CSUB PITCHER MCCARTHY HONORED: Former Cal State Bakersfield right-hander Mike McCarthy, who plays for the double-A Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs in the Boston Red Sox organization, has been named Pitcher of the Week. Read the full story here.
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