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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:
PG&E PLANT: If explosives and large-scale demolition jobs are your idea of entertainment, get ready for a big show in Bakersfield early next month. But you'll have to get up early on a Saturday to see it. The Bakersfield Californian's John Cox writes at about 5 a.m. on Aug. 3, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. plans to bring down the last standing structure at the old Kern Power Plant west of Coffee Road just south of Rosedale Highway. The San Francisco-based utility is working with Bakersfield police to shut down a portion of Coffee Road that morning. There is expected to minimal impact on Rosedale Highway traffic. Next week, the company plans to notify neighbors about the event so that they are not frightened by the resulting boom. PG&E said it is still trying to determine how far the sound will travel, and so it has not yet decided how widely to spread word of the event. Read the full story here.
CENTENNIAL CORRIDOR: Here's the latest on Bakersfield's Centennial Corridor project. More than 199 single-family homes and 36 businesses stand in the way of the proposed route for the freeway connection, but acquisition of these properties will not begin until fall 2013 at the earliest. The most hotly debated segment of the project eventually will connect the new Westside Parkway to Highway 58 and Interstate 5, if Caltrans' preferred route for the project, the so-called Alternative B, is built. Read the full story here.
ISABELLA DAM : The Isabella dam looks OK after Wednesday's 4.3 magnitude earthquake near Lake Isabella. Instruments at the dam monitored by the Army Corps of Engineers recorded the quake, and staff members inspected for anything unusual. But no evidence of change or damage was found. The Corps plans to make safety improvements to the dam starting in 2017. That includes raising it 16 feet. Read the full story here.
BUILDING COMES DOWN: A downtown Bakersfield building constructed in the year of the Tehachapi Earthquake comes tumbling down at the hands of man. On Thursday, the 61-year-old building in the 2200 block of L Street was demolished to make room for a new Hertz Rental car location. The 1952 earthquake had a profound affect on the downtown area.
WATER FIRE: The Water fire in the Lebec area was 95 percent contained as of Thursday morning and fire officials were expecting minimal activity throughout the day. The fire has burned 612 acres and 25 homes are still threatened. The blaze began Tuesday morning west of Interstate 5 and north of the Fort Tejon exit. Read the full story here.
MISSING WOMAN: A Bakersfield mother of three has been missing since last week. Police say 26-year-old Tamika Anderson was last seen Friday, July 19th, downtown at 8th and L Streets. 23-ABC reports her family is worried that something terrible has happened to her. Anderson is African-American, five feet tall and weighs about 160. She was last seen wearing a black halter top and black shorts. Anyone with information needs to contact Bakersfield Police.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending across bakersfield.com
PG&E TO BLOW UP REST OF POWER PLANT: If explosives and large-scale demolition jobs are your idea of entertainment, get ready for a big show in Bakersfield early next month. But you'll have to get up early on a Saturday to see it. At about 5 a.m. on Aug. 3, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. plans to bring down the last standing structure at the old Kern Power Plant west of Coffee Road just south of Rosedale Highway. The San Francisco-based utility is working with Bakersfield police to shut down a portion of Coffee Road that morning. There is expected to minimal impact on Rosedale Highway traffic. Next week, the company plans to notify neighbors about the event so that they are not frightened by the resulting boom. PG&E said it is still trying to determine how far the sound will travel, and so it has not yet decided how widely to spread word of the event. Read the full story here.
CENTENNIAL CORRIDOR PROPERTY NEGOTIATIONS WON'T START UNTIL AT LEAST FALL: More than 199 single-family homes and 36 businesses stand in the way of the proposed route for the Centennial Corridor freeway connection, but acquisition of these properties will not begin until fall 2013 at the earliest, Bakersfield transportation officials said Thursday. The most hotly debated segment of Bakersfield's ongoing freeway construction, the Centennial Corridor, eventually will connect the new Westside Parkway to Highway 58 and Interstate 5, if Caltrans' preferred route for the project, the so-called Alternative B, is built. Alternative B would cut through the middle of the Westpark neighborhood, southwest of California Avenue and Highway 99. The exact numbers of properties in its path are expected to change slightly next year when Centennial Corridor construction design happens. Read the full story here.
POLICE SAY MAN PUSHED FEMALE PASSENGER FROM CAR DURING PURSUIT: A story we brought you yesterday continues to trend on bakersfield.com. Bakersfield Police early Thursday arrested a man in Oildale after a car chase during which a female passenger was pushed from the vehicle and a parked car was hit before the suspect wrecked and fled officers on foot. It all began when officers tried to stop a vehicle for a stop sign violation in the 200 block of Lincoln Street and the vehicle didn't yield, according to a police news release. Police said the suspect struck a parked car in the 500 block of Bernard Street, and at one point the female passenger was pushed out of the moving vehicle. She was taken to Kern Medical Center. Police said the car finally stopped after hitting a fence in the 500 block of Date Street. After a short pursuit on foot, police arrested the suspect, identified as 27-year-old Mario Baltier. Read the full story here.
DEPUTIES ARREST MAN ACCUSED OF ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE, MAYHEM: And yet another story we talked about yesterday is attracting readers: Kern County sheriff's deputies have arrested a man on suspicion of attempted homicide and aggravated mayhem three months after his apparent victim had his arm amputated from the injuries. Deputies' investigation began initially after an April 20 altercation in the 200 block of Warren Avenue in Oildale. Deputies talked to 29-year-old Johnny Garza who was treated for multiple stab wounds and lost his arm, according to a sheriff's news release. Garza was initially admitted to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital but was then taken by ambulance to Kern Medical Center where the amputation of his right arm occurred, Ryan Dunbier, sheriff senior deputy, said Thursday. Deputies identified 41-year-old Salvador Padilla as the suspect and obtained an arrest warrant. Then Tuesday, they went to the 3300 block of Mesa Drive and took him into custody with the help of K-9 deputies, Air Support and Metropolitan Patrol. Read the full story here.
FATHER SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS IN DAUGHTER'S DEATH: The news of his daughter's death hit Dan Tanner hard, but he'd suspected something bad had happened when Brandi Tanner went missing more than two weeks ago. "It's like a sixth sense that families have," Tanner said of the feeling he got that his daughter was dead. The coroner's office confirmed Thursday evening that a body found in Wofford Heights Sunday was 22-year-old Brandi Tanner. Her cause of death is pending additional studies. She was last seen alive July 8. Read the full story here.
THE ENERGY REPORT
HALLIBURTON PLEADS GUILTY: Halliburton Energy Services has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection with the 2010 Gulf oil spill, the Department of Justice said Thursday. Federal officials said in a news release that a criminal information charging Halliburton with one count of destruction of evidence was filed in federal court in Louisiana. Read the full story here.
BERRY IMPROVES FRACKING MONITORING: Berry Petroleum has contracted with Houston-based MicroSeismic to build an array of seismic monitors for the Midway-Sunset Oil Field in western Kern County. MicroSeismic's buried array system will help engineers keep a closer eye on hydraulic fracturing for by continuously monitoring Berry's operations in the field. MicroSeismic has extensive experience in Kern County with fracking monitoring.
THE TECH REPORT
4k TV: Chinese TV maker TCL has announced the first 50-inch 4K screen to be released in the U.S. for under a grand. The $999 TV will be available in September and is an edge-lit LED LCD and includes, among other things, four HDMI ports and a USB connector for viewing pictures or playing MP3s. 4-K is a term used to describe Ultra-High definition TVs. U.S. Broadcaster have not yet adapted the format, but it can be found on some DVDs and Blu-Rays.
SALES: Even with the economy still sluggish, the Consumer Electronics Association said it expects sales of smartphones and tablets to continue to drive industry growth in the U.S. The trade group expects that sales in two device categories alone will represent a third of all industry revenue in 2013. Smartphone unit shipments are projected to reach 127 million this year with revenues exceeding $37.8 billion. Tablet unit sales are projected to reach 87 million with revenues surpassing $27.3 billion.
THE HEALTH REPORT
CAT ALLERGIES: A research team from Cambridge University discovered how cat-related allergens are detected by the immune system, which could lead to the development of new treatments. They say allergic reactions occur when the immune system mistakes allergens for dangerous bacteria and triggers an immune system response. By understanding the triggering mechanism, scientists say there are drugs in clinical trials for other conditions that could potentially be used to treat and prevent cat allergies. It is estimated about 10 percent of the population is allergic to animals, and 30 percent of asthma sufferers experience symptoms caused by pet dander which is difficult to avoid as it can be found in a home several years after a cat has ceased to live there.
FULL MOON: Researchers found evidence of a lunar influence in a study of volunteers sleeping in tightly controlled laboratory conditions. The volunteers were unaware of the purpose of the study and could not see the moon from their beds. Findings revealed that around the full moon, brain activity related to deep sleep dropped by nearly a third. Melatonin levels also dipped. The volunteers also took five minutes longer to fall asleep and slept for 20 minutes less when there was a full moon.
THE SPORTS REPORT
BLAZE WIN SECOND STRAIGHT: Ryan Wright and Juan Perez each had a pair of RBIs to lead the Bakersfield Blaze to a 4-2 victory over the Modesto Nuts on Thursday night in Modesto. The Nuts took a 2-0 lead in the first with the Blaze cutting that in half in the second when Steve Selsky scored off a Wright single. Bakersfield went ahead in a two-run fourth when Juan Duran and Wright both scored on a Perez single. The Blaze got an insurance run in the eighth when Wright scored on a sacrifice fly by Brian Humphries. Shane Dyer (4-4) pitched 6-2/3 innings for the victory with Pat Doyle getting the save. The victory was the second straight over the Nuts. Read the full story here.
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