Local News

Wednesday, May 07 2014 06:58 AM

'First Look': First News for May 7

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Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:

ARVIN STILL IN THE DARK ABOUT LEAKING GAS LINE: Arvin City Council members and Mayor Jose Flores fired questions Tuesday at a Petro Capital Resources LLC's spokesman on the safety of residents who were forced to evacuate due to a gas leak and were left without answers. PCR discussed the leak -- which has left more than three dozen people displaced for more than a month. PCR spokesman Larry Pickett said the company is not going to release the results until it has a comprehensive study. And since the evacuations, problems have persisted. A home has been burglarized, despite PCR paying for security to be on site 24/7, and a pool table was stolen and lifted over a barrier. Read the full story here.

KERN COUNTY TEACHERS OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED: Independence High's Kip Glazer and Palm Avenue School's Melissa Bradex were honored Tuesday as 2013-14 Kern County teachers of the year. Marie Sampson, a teacher at Woodrow Wallace Elementary School in the Kernville Union School District, was named an alternate. The Kern County Superintendent of Schools office selected the trio from a pool of 51 Kern teachers nominated by schools and districts. The finalists are eligible to apply for California State Teachers of the Year honors later this year. Read the full story here.

COUNTY GETS TOUGHER ON PROBLEM HOTELS: Kern County supervisors, citing disgusting health and safety violations, voted to impose higher fees on and require more inspections of troubled hotels and motels Tuesday. Supervisor Mike Maggard said these businesses sometimes house people in insect-filled rooms with urine-soaked beds and other deplorable conditions. Supervisor Leticia Perez remembered seeing a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl at the Tropicana Motel on Union Avenue crouch down to eat a snack. When the girl hunched down, Perez said, her shirt slid up, revealing a back covered by bed bug bites. The Tropicana was closed in the fall by Kern County Public Health Services for health code violations. Read the full story here.


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

TEEN FOUND 'PRESSED UP AGAINST' PEER: Two witnesses countered a former Kern High School District aide's account of what he observed when he found a male and female autistic student half-dressed in an Independence High School bathroom Oct. 15, 2009. Last week, aide Matthew Hoyt testified that he found the students an inch apart from each other. But the two witnesses Tuesday -- a police officer and developmental psychologist -- said in Kern County Superior Court that after speaking with the aide at the time, they understood the male student was "pressed up against" the female. The detail has distinguished the plaintiffs' argument that the female student was sexually assaulted from the defense's that no assault occurred. Read the full story here.

BAD NEWS FOR SINGLE MOMS: Remember the old saying, "If mama ain't happy, nobody's happy?" Well, it's true, according to a new study by researchers at the California Center for Population Research at UCLA. When single mothers lose their jobs, their children suffer ill effects into young adulthood, the study found. It looked at 30 years of data comparing people whose mothers were laid off to those whose mothers were not laid off. The study found "significantly higher" rates of depression among the children of laid-off mothers, even among people in their late 20s. They were more likely to report poor appetite, difficulty sleeping and trouble getting motivated, among other symptoms. Read the full story here.

DELANO PRISON INMATE DIED MONDAY: A Kern Valley State Prison inmate was found unresponsive in his cell Monday and died about an hour later at Delano Regional Medical Center. Ruben Romero, 38, was found at 9:48 a.m. and declared dead at 10:36 a.m. An autopsy was performed Tuesday and his cause of death remains unknown. The incident is under investigation by Kern Valley State Prison officials in Delano. Read the full story here.



SMARTPHONE 'KILL SWITCH' RECONSIDERED: California Sen. Mark Leno will push again on Thursday to require "kill switches" in smartphones that would allow owners to lock down the devices if they're lost or stolen. But many industry representatives believe customers should have the option to turn on a "kill switch" rather than for it to automatically be activated on a new smartphone. But on the other hand, their critics say the industry is against "kill switches" because the industry makes a lot of money from people who lose their phones and buy new ones.



BIG GIFT FOR BAKERSFIELD MEMORIAL: The Munger family is donating $1.5 million to the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation. That's on top of the $2 million the successful farming family donated in 2012. Chief philanthropy officer Sue Benham said that combined the donations are the largest gift from a single donor in the hospital's history. The original gift established the Sarvanand Heart and Stroke Center at Memorial, which when it opens next year is expected to bring to Kern County advanced cardiac technologies that local patients now must go out of town for. The second gift will expand on that by funding the consolidation of services in a new hybrid endovascular catheterization lab. The new lab will enable patients to have surgery immediately if an emergency arises during a normally routine cath lab procedure. Read the full story here.



FRONTIER BASEBALL COACH SUSPENDED: Frontier High baseball coach John Moncier has been suspended for the remainder of the season following an incident with an umpire during a game last week, the Kern High School District confirmed Tuesday. The disciplinary action comes at a crucial time for the Titans (23-6), who wrapped up a Southwest Yosemite League championship Tuesday. Playoffs start next week. The veteran coach's suspension, a decision made by Frontier principal Dan Shannon, stems from an April 29 game at FHS against Stockdale, when Moncier was ejected after an exchange with umpire Mike Jones. KHSD spokesman John Teves said Moncier used foul language, made physical contact with the umpire and set a bad example for student-athletes. Read the full story here.




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