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BY THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:
PIT BULLS ATTACK: A pit bull attack in Oildale leaves a woman with major injuries. It happened just before 8 a.m. Thursday in the 800 block of Washington Avenue. Deputies say a man was attacked by two pit bulls as he entered his son's backyard, and a woman who heard the man screaming was also bitten in the face and upper torso by another dog when she came to help. Deputies shot the dogs several times. Two were killed instantly, the other was injured and was euthanized by Kern County Animal Control. Read the full story here.
HIGHWAY 178 CLOSURE: After two days of nonstop work clearing debris from two rock and mud slides, Caltrans officials said they would reopen one lane of Highway 178 through Kern River Canyon in time for the Friday morning commute. Cal Trans officials say areas along the highway shoulder and the hillside have been filled in where heavy rains Sunday and Monday exposed culverts and washed away chunks of the roadway, but crews will continue working through the weekend to finish repairs and reopen the second lane. For road info, you can call 1-800-427-7623 or visit the Caltrans website. Read the full story here.
CONTAINMENT ON THE SHIRLEY FIRE: The nearly 900-acre Kern County fire sparked Sunday night by a lightning strike was 100 percent contained Thursday afternoon. Known as the Shirley Complex fire in the Kern River Ranger District in the Sequoia National Forest, the blaze has still closed several roads and campgrounds, including more than nine miles of Rancheria Road. The Forest Service says although there will continue to be interior burning within the fire perimeter and smoke will continue to be visible, the fire no longer poses a threat to local communities. The fire has involved more than 500 firefighters and has cost $1.4 million to date. Read the full story here.
TODDLER IDENTIFIED: A 3-year-old has been identified in what police are calling a 'suspicious' death in Taft. On Aug. 19 officers went to the 300 block of San Emidio Street on reports of an unresponsive toddler. Deputies and rescue personnel tried unsuccessfully to revive Kylie Richards. The coroner's office has performed an autopsy but says the cause of death is pending further studies. Read the full story here.
ANIMAL SHELTER REACTION: A Kern County Supervisor responds to the City's sudden notice to kick them out of the Animal Shelter. Appearing on KERN's Ralph Bailey show, Zack Scrivner says he and Supervisor Mike Maggard were having productive conversations about the issue with City Manager Alan Tandy, so he doesn't blame Tandy. On Wednesday County officials were told they have until September 30 to pull their part of the operations from the shared facility on Mount Vernon Avenue. Those 700 animals would have to be moved to an as yet undetermined site. Assistant City manager Steve Teglia tells the Bakersfield Californian the County showed no sense of urgency in pursuing a final agreement.
KERN COUNTY FIGHTING POLLUTION: The Valley Air District says we're doing a good job fighting pollution. On Thursday, the District lifted the air alert that was on since Monday, with officials reporting we're on our way to attaining the elusive federal health standard. That's because at no time during the three day alert did the Valley exceed the one-hour ozone standard...despite high temperatures and ideal conditions to produce ozone. So it looks like more folks were going inside for that burger, not idling their engines at the drive-up.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending across bakersfield.com.
DREAM CHASER COMPLETES TEST IN KERN COUNTY DESERT: Kern County...it's time to meet Dream Chaser. The Dream Chaser is a vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing spaceplane that is expected to provide NASA with a safe, commerically-operated transportation service to the International Space Station and back again. The seven-passenger spacecraft is still in its early testing stages, and on Thursday, a test version of the craft successfully completed a captive-carry test at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in eastern Kern County. Read the full story here.
PIT BULLS MAUL TWO PEOPLE IN OILDALE: Two people were mauled -- one seriously -- by three pit bulls in Oildale Thursday morning after a man entered the fenced backyard where the dogs were kept and a female neighbor came to his aid. Police shot and killed two of the dogs; the third was injured and later euthanized. The unidentified woman, described by Kern County Sheriff's deputies as in her 50s, suffered major injuries including numerous bites to her upper body, arms and legs. The man, also unidentified but described as in his 30s, suffered moderate injuries. Statistics provided by Kern County Animal Control show the office responded to 220 confirmed dog bites through July of this year. There were 407 bites in 2012, up from 236 in 2011. Read the full story here. Read the full story here.
TWO PEOPLE STABBED IN OILDALE: A woman and man were stabbed in Oildale Wednesday evening. Deputies said they responded 10 p.m. to the 200 block of Francis Street for a report of a woman screaming for help. They found 47-year-old Shannon Sales suffering from a stab wound to her stomach. Deputies said they also found 34-year-old Wesley Housley with a cut to his face. Both Sales and Housley were taken to an area hospital. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Kern County Sheriff's Office at 861-3110 or contact Secret Witness at 322-4040. Read the full story here.
FRESNO STATE DELAYS FRATERNITY SORORITY RUSH TO CURB ALCOHOL ABUSE: Fresno State students looking to join a fraternity or sorority this year will have to wait an extra month for the Greek community's annual recruitment event. Paul Oliaro, vice president of student affairs, said the delay will help students make a more successful transition to college life. He said it also comes partly in response to the fatal hazing incident last fall involving an 18-year-old fraternity pledge. This year the university also is putting a nine-week cap on orientation before new recruits may be formally initiated into a Greek house. Both measures and other campus-wide initiatives targeting drinking are aimed at curbing alcohol abuse. Read the full story here.
STOCKDALE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREVIEW: High school football season is here and Californian reporter Zach Ewing is previewing games and teams throughout the county. Today on bakersfield.com his preview of the Stockdale High team is getting lots of attention. Zach writes that this year, if the Mustangs avoid injuries and turnovers -- two things that have plagued them the past two seasons -- this is an SWYL title contender. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
YAHOO: Yahoo has topped Google as the most visited website in the U.S. last month, according to the latest report from Com Score. Yahoo received more than 196 million unique visitors last month, compared to 192 million for Google. This is the first time Yahoo has returned to the top spot for U.S. web traffic since May 2011. Microsoft properties, Facebook and AOL round out the top five most visited Web properties.
NFL SUNDAY TICKET: A meeting that Google CEO Larry Page had with National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell this week has sparked speculation that the Internet giant may attempt to acquire rights to the popular NFL Sunday Ticket package after DirecTV's exclusive contract with the league expires next year. Sunday Ticket rights were among the topics discussed at the meeting, which also included a Google's head of content and business operations at its YouTube subsidiary. DirecTV has had exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket since 1994.
THE HEALTH REPORT
SLEEP: Insomniacs of the world: If you think taking a long run today will make you sleep better tonight, think again. While exercise has long been a prescription for insomnia, new research suggests that exercise doesn't immediately translate into a better night's sleep -- unless you stick with it for months. A recent study found that aerobic exercise can lead to more rest at night for people who suffer from existing sleep problems, but only if they maintain an exercise regimen for about four months. The study appears in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
CIRCUMCISION: Fewer American parents are having their newborn sons circumcised, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the largest decline comes in Western states. In 1979, about two-thirds of boys in Western states got circumcised. By 2010, the CDC reports, the numbers out West had dropped to 40 percent while the nationwide rate was 58 percent. There are a range of potential reasons behind the decline, including mixed messaging on the health benefits. Several insurance companies have also stopped covering circumcision.
THE SPORTS REPORT
BLAZE BOUNCES BACK TO BEAT 66ERS: SAN BERNARDINO -- Juan Silva had two hits and an RBI, and the Bakersfield Blaze made a strong pitching night stand in a 2-1 win over Inland Empire. Jake Johnson, Kyle McMyne and Pat Doyle combined to hold the 66ers to seven hits Thursday night, while combining to strike out five. Danny Viscioso also had two hits, and Kyle Waldrop drove in a run. The Blaze bounces back from a loss Wednesday, 5-3, to Inland Empire. Read the full story here.
CSUB WOMEN OPEN SOCCER SEASON: Cal State Bakersfield opens its women's soccer season tonight when it hosts Southern Utah at 7 p.m. on the CSUB Main Soccer Field. CSUB, which has played as a Division I independent since the university moved out of Division II in 2007, is joining the Western Athletic Conference this season. The Roadrunners went 6-11-2 last season. CSUB returns seven starters and 14 letterwinners from last season. Two Roadrunners, senior midfielder Erica Shelton and junior forward Emily Noethe, were named to the preseason All-WAC team by a vote of conference coaches. Noethe tied for the team lead with six goals last season and Shelton added four goals. Read the full story here.