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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:
ARIZONA FIRE: As a raging Arizona wildfire was killing 19 members of an elite crew of firefighters, some residents who evacuated small towns near the blaze huddled in shelters and bars, watching their own homes burn on TV. The deaths of the Hotshot crewmembers cast an additional pall over the state and drew condolences from President Barack Obama and others. Read the full story.
RESCUE: Crews rescue a pair of motorcyclists who went missing in the mountains of eastern Kern. Kern Valley Search and Rescue volunteers and the crew of a Kern County Sheriff's Office helicopter found and aided the motorcyclists Sunday. The two men in their early 20s had walked to the Kern River looking for their campsite after their motorcycles were disabled. Their motorcycles were found near the Freeway Ridge Trail and the helicopter crew spotted the riders near the river by the White Water Tour Camp. Search and rescue member reached the men at the campground and took them to Highway 178. The men were slightly dehydrated and had mild sunburns, but did not need medical care. Read the full story.
CRIME SWEEP: Big sweep in an eastern Kern community. California City police swept the city Saturday arresting 16 people on suspicion of various crimes, including parole violations, drug crimes and arrest warrants. The department sent out the majority of its police force to conduct the probation and parole sweep with help from the California Highway Patrol. Officers say they expect to conduct more sweeps this summer. Read the full story.
STABBING: Stabbing suspect on the loose and Bakersfield police need your help to catch her. Charges of assault with a deadly weapon are waiting for 27-year old Kyla Labat of Bakersfield who authorities say stabbed a young juvenile girl around 10:15 Thursday night at the intersection of Clifton Street and Texas Street. The victim was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. Anyone with information regarding Labat's whereabouts is asked to call the Bakersfield Police Department. Read the full story.
FIRE: Fire at a Rosedale guest house. Flames torched the house and another house was damaged by fire Saturday afternoon about 1 p.m. It happened in the 15800 block of Marty Avenue where flames quickly spread to a travel trailer and fence separating the guest house from another home. The second home, an assisted living facility, sustained minor damage to the eaves and an outside wall. Damage to that structure is set at about $5,000 with damage to the guest house at about $60,000. Firefighters are fairly sure the fire started in the guest house but the cause is still under investigation. Read the full story.
BODY FOUND: A grisly discovery in a weir in Oildale. The body of a man was found at about 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the Calloway Weir near Riverview Park in Oildale just east of Golden State Avenue. Bakersfield Police reported they found the man in the water "obviously deceased." Kern County Sheriff's Department Search & Rescue personnel assisted in removing the man from the water. It is unknown how long the man had been in the water. There were no signs of foul play. No word yet on the man's identity. Investigation is continuing and the cause of death is pending the results of the investigation by the Coroner's Office. Read the full story.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending across bakersfield.com
MAKING IT LEGAL: KERN COUPLE EAGER TO RECEIVE MARRIAGE LICENSE TODAY: Litcatzin "Lee" Yoakum and Erica Vargas plan to legally tie the knot today, but for them, March 26, 2011 will always be the day they got married. That's the date that Yoakum and Vargas exchanged vows at the Bakersfield Museum of Art surrounded by family and friends in a "full-blown wedding," as Vargas recalled it. The brides wore the same white V-necked dress, which gave their loved ones a good laugh after they shopped separately but still picked identical dresses. But today will offer the 29-year-old women the opportunity to change that particular. Kern County is slated to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples again following a historic week that culminated with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifting a stay on same-sex marriages Friday. Read the full story.
DEPUTY'S REPORTS DETAIL FINDING OF BODY IN CARPET: Reports newly available in Kern County Superior Court detail the case against Eddie Rivas, accused of murder in the death of 18-year-old Mia Ramirez. Clara Rivas smelled a foul odor coming from her garage and decided to clean it with the help of her boyfriend. They began moving items around and came to a large, rolled-up rug. Rivas asked her boyfriend, Alejandro Sanchez, to move it so they could continue searching for the source of the smell. Sanchez tried to shift the rug but couldn't budge it. He looked in the hole at one end of the rug and could make out a shoe inside. Sanchez hugged Rivas and ushered her out of the garage while telling her they needed to call 911 because he'd found a body. That's the account in the reports. The son of Clara Rivas, Eddie Rivas has pleaded not guilty to murder and other offenses in the death of Ramirez. The body of Ramirez was found by Sanchez June 11, and deputies tracked down 20-year-old Eddie Rivas and took him into custody the same day. The Rivas family lives in the 900 block of Vista Street, south of Niles Street and west of Oswell Street. Read the full story.
LOIS HENRY WRITES: KERN PUTS SOME RETIREES ON A CASH-BACK PROGRAM: Columnist Lois Henry writes: When she read the letter from the Kern County Employees' Association earlier this month, retired KMC nurse Nancy Davis nearly had her third heart attack. There had been a reporting error by Kern County payroll, the letter informed her. The error would result in a "benefit adjustment." Her monthly checks would be cut by about $600. Oh, and she was told she must repay nearly $16,000 in overpayments for the last three years. "I couldn't breathe," recalled Davis, who retired in 2009. In all, 31 retired KMC nurses received similar letters because of the same reporting error by the county, KCERA Executive Director Anne Holdren told Lois Henry. Read the full story.
MAN'S BODY FOUND IN WEIR: A man's body was found at the Calloway Weir near Riverview Park in Oildale just east of Golden State Ave. about 1 p.m. Saturday. Bakersfield Police reported they found the body in the water "obviously deceased." Kern County Sheriff's Department Search & Rescue personnel assisted in removing the body from the water. Personnel from the Kern County Coroner's Office also responded. It is unknown how long he had been in the water and there were no signs of foul play. The deceased person has not yet been identified. The investigation is continuing and the cause of death is pending the results of the investigation by the Coroner's Office. Read the full story.
ROSEDALE GUEST HOUSE DESTROYED BY FIRE: A Rosedale area guest house burned down and another house was damaged by fire Saturday afternoon, according to the Kern County Fire Department. The guest house, in the 15800 block of Marty Avenue in northwest Bakersfield, caught fire about 1 p.m. Flames quickly spread to a travel trailer and fence separating it from another home. The second home, an assisted living facility, sustained minor damage to the eaves and an outside wall, said Engineer Cary Wright. Read the full story.
THE ENERGY REPORT
GAS TAX JUMPS: Already owner of the highest gasoline taxes in the country, California's gas taxes jumped up 3.5 cents today. The state's motorists now pay 72 cents per gallon in taxes. The San Jose Mercury News reported taxable sales of gas in California have fallen from 15.9 billion gallons in 2006 to 14.6 billion gallons last year, a result of the recession and vehicles that get better mileage. That translated to a $157 million shortfall in revenue last year. And consumption of gas was down nearly 53 million gallons in the first two months of 2013, about a 2 percent decrease.
THE TECH REPORT
GOOGLE: Google is developing a video game console and wristwatch powered by its Android operating system, according to people familiar with the matter. The Internet giant hopes to design and market the devices itself and release at least one of them this fall. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment. The hardware plans are the latest sign of Google's determination to build on the success of Android, the software it launched in 2008 that powers 75 percent of all smartphones and 57 percent of tablets shipped globally.
iPHONE: If You're an iPhone user and you haven't upgraded to a 5 yet, odds are, you're sticking it out and waiting for the 5S. The prediction of a September 20 release date is being ventured by Dave Smith, technology editor for International Business Times. He's also suggesting that a low-cost iPhone 6 -- possibly an iPhone Light -- will be released a week or two later. That's based on leaked photos of brightly colored plastic iPhone casings.
THE HEALTH REPORT
PROSTATE CANCER: The adherence of eight new World Cancer Research Fund lifestyle recommendations has been found to significantly reduce the risk of developing highly aggressive prostate cancer. The eight lifestyle recommendations encourage physical activity and the consumption of healthy foods. The study, published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, was carried out by researchers at UCLA. Men who adhered to fewer than four of the recommendations were at a much higher risk of developing aggressive tumors than those who adhered to more than four. The team found that eating fewer than 500 grams of red meat per week greatly reduced the risk of aggressive tumors among the study subjects.
DIABETES 'REVERSE VACCINE': A "reverse vaccine" that allows people with Type 1 diabetes to produce their own insulin has passed its first test with human subjects, according to a new study. Experts say the success points to a potential new strategy for treating those in the early stages of the disease. The therapy is designed to protect cells in the pancreas that make insulin, a hormone the body needs to convert sugars and starches into energy. In people with Type 1 diabetes, the immune system goes haywire and attacks those insulin-producing cells for reasons that medical researchers don't understand. Researchers dubbed the treatment a reverse vaccine because it suppresses the immune system instead of stimulating it. As hoped, the experimental vaccine reduced the number of immune system cells that went on the attack.
THE SPORTS REPORT
LACAVA STEPS DOWN: Garces High boys basketball coach Geno Lacava has stepped down after 20 years, during which time he won 10 Central Section titles in various divisions. That is a section record, according to historian Bob Barnett. Lacava ranks fifth in section history with 428 wins, against only 175 losses. Garces assistant Matt Robles, who has been an increasingly active member of Lacava's staff, is the new head coach. Lacava said he will stay on as an assistant. The Rams reached the Division II section title game this season before losing to Hanford West in double overtime. It was Lacava's 13th title-game appearance in 20 years. Read the full story.
HARVICK: Bakersfield's Kevin Harvick finished 10th at Nascar's Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway on Sunday. The race was won by Matt Kenseth. Harvick is still sitting fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, 66 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.
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