Local News

Monday, Mar 17 2014 07:18 AM

'First Look': First News for March 17

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

WEST HIGH NEIGHBORHOOD QUIET AFTER MASSIVE LOCKDOWN: An hours-long firefight between Bakersfield police and a suspected car thief in a residential southwest neighborhood ended Friday evening with the suspect being taken to the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. The man was identified as 29-year-old Miguel Villanueva of Bakersfield, would allegedly caused the shutdown of an entire neighborhood, the lockdown of nearby West High School and the mobilization of a small army of law enforcement officers. After a standoff stretching some four hours, Villanueva was shot multiple times during one of several exchanges of gunfire with police . His condition was listed by police as stable Friday evening. Read the full story here.

BAKERSFIELD COLLEGE SEEKS TO ADD FOUR-YEAR DEGREE: Bakersfield College has been rallying support for a state Senate bill that would establish temporary baccalaureate degree programs as part of a pilot community college effort to meet region-specific workforce needs. In Bakersfield, that subject area is nursing. The bill, Senate Bill 850, would grant select two-year campuses authorization to offer four-year college degrees in subject areas intended to address most urgent local workforce needs. Research shows that an advanced level of nursing education means higher pay, improved management and leadership opportunities and better patient outcomes, the Californian's Lauren Foreman reports in Sunday's Californian. Read the full story here.

HUGE MODEL HELPING SCIENTISTS PLAN ISABELLA DAM FIXES: It's the only significant structure standing between Bakersfield and what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers calls the "probable maximum flood." The 61-year-old earthen dam at Isabella Lake, 40 miles northeast of the city, has been the target of years of study, evaluation, planning and public comment since Army Corps officials concluded the twin dams face a triple-threat: seepage, earthquakes and overtopping during a rare, cataclysmic flood. Now a team of scientists charged with designing a "fix" for the dams has built a scale model one-third the size of a football field to help them understand how the newly designed dam will handle a variety of water flows -- from moderate to monsterous. Read the full story here.


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

DEPUTIES FIND MAN, 59, DEAD IN CAR: A 59-year-old man was found dead in his car early Sunday afternoon in east Bakersfield by Kern County Sheriff's deputies. Todd Lawrence Lavine of Bakersfield was found unresponsive in his vehicle in the 600 block of Morning Drive at 12:17 p.m. An autopsy is scheduled for this week. Read the full story here.

ARRESTS MADE IN JOINT LASER STRIKE SEARCH: A joint search involving the FBI, Bakersfield police and Kern County Sheriff's deputies Friday into the pointing of a laser at a sheriff's helicopter earlier this month resulted in the arrest of two men in connection with multiple other charges. Timothy Wilson, 49, and Patrick Florez, 45, both of Bakersfield were taken into custody at a home in the 1400 block of 4th Street. A stolen motorcycle, a usable amount of methamphetamine, narcotics packaging material, a scale used for weighing narcotics and narcotics paraphernalia were confiscated at the residence. Read the full story here.

MAN SHOT SATURDAY NIGHT DIES AT KMC: A 23-year-old Bakersfield man shot Saturday night on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard died just before midnight at Kern Medical Center. Alonso Gonzalez was found by Bakersfield police about 10 p.m. in the 300 block of MLK Boulevard with gunshot wounds. He died in the KMC emergency room at 11:43 p.m. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective T. King at 326-3857. Read the full story here.



NEW USE FOR GOOGLE: A man in Northern California may have stumbled upon a new use for Google. He googled his own name and found his mug shot -- and the fact that he was wanted by San Leandro police. The AP reports via the San Francisco Chronicle that Christopher Viatafa turned himself in after seeing the information online. The Chronicle reports that police allege he got into an argument at a private party at a San Leandro senior center and fired several shots. Nobody was hurt. But he's accused of shooting into an inhabited dwelling, the newspaper's report says.



AUTISM AWARENESS CONFERENCE: The 19th annual Autism Awareness Conference was held Friday at Hodel's for a sellout crowd of 400. Psychologist Robert Naseef showed a delivery room photo shot shortly after the birth of his child. In it, Naseef cradles son Tariq in his arms and they gaze at each other. He noted the eye contact between the two. The point Naseef was trying to make was like most children on the autism spectrum, his 34-year-old son started out normal. It wasn't until he was a year old that something went terribly wrong. "Thirty-three years ago he stopped talking ... and he never spoke another word," Naseef said. It's that moment when typical child development starts veering off course that family dynamics begin a long, slow evolution into something entirely different, and that was the dominant theme of this year's conference. Read the full story here.



GRAND CANYON TAKES SERIES FROM RUNNERS: Grand Canyon scored five runs in the final two innings to pull away for a 9-2 victory over Cal State Bakersfield in the finale of a three-game Western Athletic Conference series Sunday at Hardt Field. The Roadrunners (7-11, 1-2) managed just four hits, but managed to hand close until the Antelopes (9-9, 2-1) added four runs in the eighth and another in the ninth to build a comfortable lead. Read the full story here.




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