Local News

Thursday, Jul 18 2013 07:25 AM

'First Look': First News for July 18

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:

TRAYVON MARTIN MARCH: More than 150 protesters brought fallout from the Trayvon Martin case to Bakersfield late Wednesday afternoon with a marching, chanting demonstration in front of the Liberty Bell downtown. Organizers from the NAACP Bakersfield Branch pressed for civil rights charges to be brought against George Zimmerman, the 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted Saturday of shooting and killing Martin, a black teenager, on Feb. 26, 2012 in Sanford, Fla. Event co-organizers with the Bosses in Black Social Club in Bakersfield drew parallels to Kern County. Read the full story here.

TEEN BIRTH RATE: As California's teen birth rate reached its lowest level in two decades, Kern County's teen birth rate dropped but remained among the highest in the state. A new report from the California Department of Public Health shows that statewide, the teen birth rate -- defined as the number of births per 1,000 teens 15 to 19 years old -- plunged 60.5 percent from 1991 to 2011. Kern's teen birth rate also fell, from 62.2 in 2009 to 52.7 in 2011. Despite the progress, Kern's combined teen birth rate from 2009 to 2011 was 57.6, twice the state's rate and the fourth highest among California counties. Tulare County was first with a three-year teen birth rate of 60.2. Read the full story here.

ABORTION: Abortion took center stage when more than 60 residents visited the Bakersfield City Council meeting Wednesday to critique the city's proposed Human Life ordinance. The proposed ordinance would place restrictions on the termination of human life within the city of Bakersfield. Councilman Terry Maxwell says the issue remains in the Legislative and Litigation committee. Maxwell says the committee will probably look into the matter in September. Read the full story here.

KITCHEN FIRE: An unattended stove is blamed for a fire in northeast Bakersfield that leaves one person injured. Around 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, city crews were called to 2105 Duke Drive where they found heavy flames in the kitchen. Nineteen firefighters made an aggressive attack and had things under control in under 10 minutes. Before firefighters arrived, a resident of the home was pulled out by her daughter with the help of a Bakersfield Police officer. She was taken to a hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported, and damage is estimated at $25,000. Read the full story here.

MISSING WOMAN: A Wofford Heights woman has been missing for more than a week now. Twenty-two-year-old Brandi Lee Tanner was last seen about 8 a.m. July 8. Authorities say she may be in the company of some friends or associates in the Ridgecrest area. Tanner was last seen wearing a white shirt and blue denim shorts. She's 5-6 and weighs 170, with reddish brown hair and brown eyes. If you know where she is, you're asked to contact the Kern County Sheriff's Office. Read the full story here.

MARIJUANA SHOP SHOOTING: Two people are shot dead inside a Bakersfield marijuana shop. Just before 10 a.m. Wednesday, police were called to the First Reliable collective at 217 Chester Ave. They found 23-year old Devin Daniels of Bakersfield and 55-year old Tony Sherman of Los Angeles inside the business. Witnesses reported a dark colored SUV leaving the scene at a high rate of speed. The driver was possibly a black male, with a female passenger. 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

DOUBLE HOMICIDE AT MEDICAL MARIJUANA SHOP: Two men were fatally shot inside a medical marijuana shop on Chester Avenue Wednesday, marking what may be the first homicides to occur inside a pot dispensary in Kern County. Bakersfield police spokeswoman Michaela Beard said the department received a call at 9:49 a.m. of a shooting inside First Reliable, a medical marijuana collective at 217 Chester Ave. Officers found two people dead inside. The victims were identified Wednesday evening as 23-year-old Devin Scott Daniels of Bakersfield and 55-year-old Tony Conrad Sherman of Los Angeles. Read the full story here.

DEMONSTRATORS CALL FOR JUSTICE AMID TRAYVON MARTIN OUTRAGE: More than 150 protesters brought fallout from the Trayvon Martin case to Bakersfield late Wednesday afternoon with a marching, chanting demonstration in front of the Liberty Bell downtown. Organizers from the NAACP Bakersfield Branch pressed for civil rights charges to be brought against George Zimmerman, the 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted Saturday of shooting and killing Martin, a black teenager, on Feb. 26, 2012 in Sanford, Fla. Event co-organizers with the Bosses in Black Social Club in Bakersfield drew parallels to Kern County. The club's president and founder, Desirae Wiley, called for justice in the cases of local youth who have been killed with no criminal charges filed. "We want to get justice here just as well as around the country," she said. Read the full story here.

HIGHLY TOUTED PITCHING PROSPECT ASSIGNED TO BLAZE: Robert Stephenson, a right-handed pitcher whose fastball averages 95 mph, has been assigned to the Bakersfield Blaze by the Cincinnati Reds and he will make his California League debut on Friday when the Blaze hosts Visalia. Stephenson was Cincinnati's first-round pick (No. 27 overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Alhambra High School in the Bay Area city of Martinez. Read the full story here.

COUNCIL HEARS ARGUMENTS FOR, AGAINST HUMAN LIFE ORDINANCE: Abortion took center stage when more than 60 residents visited the Bakersfield City Council meeting Wednesday to critique the city's proposed Human Life ordinance. The ordinance, titled "Restrictions on Termination of Human Life," was considered May 20 by a council committee. The committee tabled it indefinitely, amid concerns it would expose the city to costly litigation. The City Attorney's office is drafting a similar, but less-binding resolution. Read the full story here.

CALIFORNIA AND KERN TEEN BIRTH RATES DROPPING: As California's teen birth rate reached its lowest level in two decades, Kern County's teen birth rate dropped but remained among the highest in the state, according to a new state report. Statewide, the teen birth rate -- defined as the number of births per 1,000 teens 15 to 19 years old -- plunged 60.5 percent from 1991 to 2011, according to the California Department of Public Health report posted online Tuesday. Kern's teen birth rate also fell, from 62.2 in 2009 to 52.7 in 2011, according to the state figures. Read the full story here.

 

THE ENERGY REPORT

TWO KEY OIL PIPELINES ON DEVELOPMENT TRACK: A Canadian company's plan to build a Midwest oil pipeline is quietly on the fast-track to approval. As the Keystone pipeline remains mired in the national debate, Enbridge Incorporated of Canada is hoping to begin construction next month on a 600-mile-long pipeline that would carry tar sands from Illinois to Oklahoma. The company is seeking an expedited permit review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its Flanagan South pipeline. Unlike the Keystone project, which crosses an international border and requires State Department approval, the proposed pipeline has attracted little public attention. Enbridge is seeking regulatory approval under the Nationwide 12 permit process. Those permits are limited to utility projects in which each water crossing disrupts no more than one-half acre of wetlands. The Flanagan South pipeline would cross the Missouri and Mississippi rivers as well as hundreds of smaller tributaries.

 

THE TECH REPORT

SIRIUS: AT&T will provide mobile connectivity to SiriusXM Radio, which intends to broaden its in-vehicle presence beyond satellite radio and into security and other services for Nissan automobiles. Using a combination of satellite and cellular networks, SiriusXM promises to provide Nissan vehicle owners with emergency support for accidents, stolen vehicle tracking and roadside assistance. The company did not provide a timeline for its work with Nissan.

BRIGHT HOUSE: Bright House Networks said Wednesday that it launched a Hosted Voice solution which it is targeting at mid-sized businesses. The company said the cloud-based product is a facilities-based Voice over Internet Protocol service which offers add-on features such as unified messaging, mobile "follow-me" features, overflow queue and enhanced call logs. In November, Bright House agreed to buy cloud communications provider Telovations and is using assets from that deal to launch the hosted voice solution.

 

THE HEALTH REPORT

DOWN SYNDROME: U.S. scientists say they have moved a step closer to being able to treat disorders caused by an extra chromosome. They have "switched off" the chromosome that causes the symptoms of Down's syndrome in human cells in the lab. Humans are born with 23 pairs of chromosomes. People with Down's syndrome have three copies of chromosome 21. Researchers inserted a gene into the stem cells of a person with Down's syndrome grown in the lab. The gene plays a role in normal cell development but is able to silence the extra copy of chromosome 21.

SMART KNIFE: Surgeons may have a new way to smoke out cancer. An experimental surgical knife can help surgeons make sure they've removed all the cancerous tissue. Surgeons typically use knives that vaporize tumors as they cut, producing a sharp-smelling smoke. The new knife analyzes the smoke and can instantly signal whether the tissue is cancerous or healthy. The smoke picked up by the smart knife is compared to a library of smoke signatures from cancerous and non-cancerous tissues and the results appears on a monitor. Scientists tested the new knife at three hospitals on 302 tissue samples from 91 patients. The smart knife correctly spotted cancer in every case.

 

THE SPORTS REPORT

BLAZE GAINS NEW PITCHER TO DEBUT FRIDAY: Robert Stephenson, a right-handed pitcher whose fastball averages 95 mph, has been assigned to the Bakersfield Blaze by the Cincinnati Reds and he will make his California League debut on Friday when the Blaze hosts Visalia. Stephenson was Cincinnati's first-round pick (No. 27 overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Alhambra High School in the Bay Area city of Martinez. He was named by Minor League Baseball as the Reds' No. 1 pitching prospect at the start of this season and Cincinnati's No. 3 prospect in the organization. Read the full story here.

 

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