Local News

Wednesday, Mar 12 2014 06:58 AM

'First Look': First News for March 12

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

ISLAMIC CENTER DELAYED OVER ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS: Opponents of a proposed Islamic Center, school and mosque in west Bakersfield succeeded Tuesday in delaying the project and forcing its supporters to complete a costly Environmental Impact Report. After the Board of Supervisors meeting where the matter was considered, a project consultant charged that the opposition -- which argued at one point that Muslims use a lot of water and would wake neighbors up early with their praying -- was religious, not environmentally based. Ultimately, Kern County supervisors voted to send the project -- at Driver Road and Stockdale Highway -- back to planning staff. Read the full story here.

MOO CREAMERY FEARS LOSING BUSINESS OVER FRACKING PETITION: Moo Creamery's owners are enduring a backlash, complete with nasty phone calls and threats to picket their Truxtun Avenue restaurant, over an anti-fracking petition they insist they never signed. Circulated among California food and beverage professionals, the petition seeks a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial but highly effective oilfield technique used frequently in Kern County. No other local businesses were listed as having signed the 145-name petition. Owners Richard Yoshimura and Jessica Pounds said it remains a mystery how the restaurant made the list in the first place. Neither he nor his wife had any idea what fracking even was. Read the full story here.

LAW ENFORCEMENT MEETS TO DISCUSS INTERNET CAFES: Members of several county law enforcement agencies met Tuesday at the Civic Center Justice Building to discuss recent court opinions against Internet cafes and talk about how to close them down. An opinion issued Friday by the 5th District Court of Appeal in Fresno affirmed that sweepstakes or Internet cafes that sell Internet time offer "unlawful slot machine"- style gambling. Tuesday's meeting did not result in a plan for immediate action against Internet cafes. Law enforcement officials will convey what they discussed Tuesday to their bosses and continue meeting to refine a plan. Read the full story here.


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

WEAPONS CACHE SEIZED AT OILDALE HOME: Agents in full black armor and helmets with rifles raised marched Tuesday morning into an Oildale neighborhood to serve search warrants that resulted in the discovery of hundreds of weapons there and at a third location in San Bernardino County. Between the two Oildale locations and the third site in Apple Valley, more than 300 firearms, including rifles, handguns and assault weapons, were seized. Agents also found two World War II-era hand grenades and one mortar round. Read the full story here.

BOY SUFFERS MINOR INJURY AFTER FIRING GUN NEAR BUS STOP: A normal morning walk to a northeast Bakersfield school bus stop took a dangerous turn Tuesday when four 8- and 9-year-old boys found a loaded .357-caliber handgun on the ground, and one of them fired it. While waiting for the bus one of the boys began playing with the gun, Kern County sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said. It went off. The recoil was too powerful for the boy to handle, and the butt of the gun struck him in the forehead. The boy suffered a small cut. The gun fired just as a school bus with 38 children aboard pulled up to the stop near North Inyo and Crawford streets at 8:15 a.m. Read the full story here.

TAFT WOMAN IDENTIFIED AS VICTIM OF SUNDAY CRASH: A Taft woman killed Sunday in a one-car accident on the Taft Highway near Enos Lane was identified Tuesday. Kathleen Ann Kauk, 64, died about 6:10 p.m. when her car ran off the road about 1.4 miles west of Enos Lane. Read the full story here.



WIRELESS TELEPHONE PLANS: The California Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday approved the first wireless telephone service plans under a program meant for households with limited incomes. The CPUC says the plans under the California LifeLine program are expected to help make wireless voice, text and Internet access more affordable for low-income people. Previously California LifeLine was only for landline telephone services. The CPUC says the first business it expects to approve to offer the services is Telscape Communications. For eligible households, the plans could include 1,000 voice minutes and 200 text messages for free, or for $18.10 a month, unlimited voice minutes and text messages.



DOLORES HUERTA HEALTH CARE SPOKESWOMAN: Covered California has announced that civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, co-founder of United Farm Workers, will be a spokeswoman for a new campaign encouraging Californians to get health care coverage before open enrollment ends March 31. Covered California is working hard to recruit Latinos, whose enrollment levels have lagged those of the state's general population. Huerta is featured in English and Spanish radio spots and YouTube videos calling on Latinos to sign up for insurance. In the segments, Huerta reminds her audience that access to health care is a cornerstone of the decades-long struggle for Latino-American equality. Read the full story here.



STOCKDALE HIRES SHELTON AS FOOTBALL CRASH: To guide its football team into the future, Stockdale High chose a new coach who is connected with its past. The school introduced 2004 graduate and former North High assistant Brett Shelton as its head football coach on Monday. Shelton replaces Mike Snow, who was relieved of his coaching duties in January. Read the full story here.

OLD GUYS RULE: Sixty-year-old Hank Pfister and his 43-year-old-doubles partner, Mike Noel, demonstrated on Tuesday night that despite their age, there is still plenty of magic left in their tennis games. Pfister and Noel rallied from a slow start to down teenagers Trevor Johnson and Cassell King, 2-6, 6-4, (10-6) in first-round doubles action at the Bakersfield Open tennis tournament, a United States Tennis Association Pro Circuit Futures event held at Bakersfield Racquet Club. Pfister and Noel, both Bakersfield natives, drew a throng of supporters to the night's featured doubles match. Read the full story here.




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