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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Big 6:
ANIMAL CONTROL DIRECTOR FIRED: Another Kern County leader is shown the door. This time it's Animal Control Director Jen Woodard. On Tuesday, Kern County Supervisors Chairman Mike Maggard broke the news on KERN's Ralph Bailey Show that Woodard has been fired. Woodard oversaw the shelter during a turbulent period, which continues as they break ties with the city after an agreement could not be made to share facilities on Mount Vernon Avenue. Maggard says a new county shelter has now been secured on Fruitvale Avenue, and they plan to step up spaying and neutering efforts. Deputy Director Shyann Shull has been named interim director. On Monday, Supervisors dropped the axe on Kern Medical Center CEO Paul Hensler. Read the full story here.
STUDENT LEFT BEHIND ON BUS: A special needs student is inadvertently left behind on a Kern County Superintendent of Schools bus for more than five hours. It happened Monday to the 8-year old boy who attends a KCSOS class on the campus of San Lauren Elementary School in northwest Bakersfield. KCSOS provides transportation to and from the campus, which is part of the Beardsley School District. Assistant Superintendent Chris Hall says after the substitute bus driver finished her route, she parked under an awning at the KCSOS bus yard at 705 S. Union Ave., leaving the vehicle at about 8:35 a.m. At about 1:55 p.m., an employee saw movement on the bus and investigated. That's when the boy was discovered. The district immediately called the boy's mother at work in Wasco, and she asked that her son be taken to her at work. Hall called the incident "devastating" and said the district has apologized to the family and will review its driver policies to avoid similar situations in the future. Read the full story here.
LAKESIDE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT : In order to have more time to explore other options for paying down its debt, the Lakeside Union School District Tuesday night tabled a vote on a controversial bond issue. The Bakersfield Californian reports the district has more than $10 million in debt coming due in June 2014 and no way to pay it. As a result, it is considering borrowing still more money, including a capital appreciation bond that could cause property taxes in the district to rise. A consultant presented the board Tuesday with strategies to get the district in a better financial place, but a group of agricultural land owners, whose property taxes would rise the most, urged the board to wait. Read the full story here.
WEST NILE VIRUS: Kern County sees its 10th case of West Nile Virus this year. The California Department of Public Health reported Tuesday the latest confirmed case of the mosquito-borne disease is a 61-year-old woman who was hospitalized but is now recovering at home. According to the state health department, about 80 percent of people infected with the virus do not have symptoms. The other approximately 20 percent may exhibit flu-like symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, fever and body aches. Less than 1 percent of infected people become more seriously ill, and may suffer from tremors, coma, stupor, numbness and paralysis. Read the full story here.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING: A Sacramento man is behind bars after Bakersfield Police arrest him on charges including human trafficking. A little before 10:30 p.m. Monday, police were called to the 900 block of Real Road after getting reports of a possible sexual assault. They found an adult female victim with obvious injuries. She told police she had been forced into prostitution over the last year by a man identified as 36-year-old Hasani Syas. On Monday, when the woman tried to escape, he reportedly hit her, choked her, raped her and threatened her life. The woman was hospitalized for treatment. Syas was arrested on charges of sexual assault, human trafficking, spousal abuse, pimping and making criminal threats. Read the full story here.
KERN RIVER CANYON FIRE: It looks like a fire in the Kern River Canyon was started by a flare gun. The River Fire was first reported around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. It grew from 20 acres to 120 acres by 3 p.m. County fire crews attacked it from Rancheria Road, and by ferrying across the Kern. They expected to make progress as the winds died down after nightfall. One person has been arrested in connection with the fire, and reportedly admitted to starting it with a flare gun. Three other people were detained. 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.
BOY, 8, FORGOTTEN ON SCHOOL BUS: An 8-year-old special needs student was inadvertently left behind on a Kern County Superintendent of Schools bus for more than five hours Monday. The boy attends a class on the campus of San Lauren Elementary School in northwest Bakersfield. After the substitute bus driver finished her route, she parked under an awning at the bus yard at 705 S. Union Ave. At about 1:55 p.m., an employee saw movement on the bus and investigated. That's when the boy was discovered. Read the full story here.
COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL DIRECTOR FIRED: Kern County supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to fire controversial Animal Control Director Jen Woodard. It was apparent that Woodard's job was in jeopardy from the beginning Tuesday afternoon, after her plan for developing a county spay-neuter program was rejected by supervisors. They voted instead to seek outside proposals to design an aggressive, targeted spay-neuter program using $250,000 that they had earmarked for that. "The supervisors felt a change in leadership was necessary," said Board of Supervisors Chair Mike Maggard. Read the full story here.
NORTH BAKERSFIELD CRASH INJURES 3, CLOSES SOUTHBOUND CHESTER AVENUE: A one-car accident Tuesday night in north Bakersfield left three people injured and a vehicle engulfed in flames. Bus stop bystanders helped remove the vehicle's three occupants before the car burst into flames. The southbound lanes of Chester Avenue were blocked for more than an hour following the 8:45 p.m. accident at the intersection of West Columbus Street and Chester Avenue. All three of the vehicle's occupants were taken to a local hospital with injuries. Read the full story here.
FRESH & EASY MARKETS SOLD TO LA-BASED COMPANY; LOCAL CLOSINGS EXPECTED: The sale announced Tuesday of the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chain will mean the closing of some of Kern County's six stores. It's just not known yet which ones. Tesco, the chain's creator and Britain-based owner, agreed to sell its more than 150 stores to Los Angeles-based Yucaipa Cos. Terms of the deal were not announced. Fresh & Easy operates stores in California, Nevada and Arizona, and employs about 5,000 people. There are four stores in Bakersfield, plus one each in Wasco and Delano. Read the full story here.
SUSPECT ACCUSED OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING, SEXUAL ASSAULT: Bakersfield police have arrested a suspect accused of forcing a woman to engage in acts of prostitution over the past year and of beating and sexually assaulting her when she tried to escape. Police arrested 36-year-old Hasana Syas of Sacramento, in the 900 block of Real Road on Monday evening after responding to a call of suspicious circumstances. The victim had obvious visible injuries. Police said the victim tried to escape Monday and Syas hit, choked, sexually assaulted and threatened to kill her. The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Syas was arrested on suspicion of offenses including human trafficking and sexual assault. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Bakersfield Police Department at 327-7111. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
SUPER TV BOXES: A new breed of super set-top TV boxes lets you take command of your pay-TV service, at home and on the go. Satellite TV operators DirecTV and Dish Network led the charge with digital video recorders that let you record five or more programs at a time. These super DVRs have evolved to let you watch programs on your smartphone and tablet at home and away. Now cable companies such as Comcast, Cox and Time Warner are at work on their own. And TiVo has a trio of new super DVRs for those who don't want to wait for their pay-TV service to roll out more powerful products to their market.
THE HEALTH REPORT
OBAMACARE: Obamacare is giving marketing a bad name. Regardless of what you think about the merits of the health care reform, there's no doubt that it's been the worst new-product rollout in memory. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed in early 2010, but perhaps the largest piece of the health care law is just now coming into view. On Oct. 1, many currently uninsured Americans will have the opportunity to enroll in the health care exchanges created by Obamacare, giving them the opportunity to buy health insurance. Yet three years after the passage of Obamacare -- which itself took place after two years of heated, publicized debate -- Americans understand very little about the program. In fact, a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly half of all Americans (44 percent) don't realize that Obamacare is actually the law of the land. Fewer than one in four Americans has gotten any information recently about the health care law from a doctor, a health care organization, a federal agency or a state agency.
THE SPORTS REPORT
CONDORS: Condors coach Troy Mann was looking for some toughness and he found it in returning forward Brett Lyons. Mann was also looking to add a bit more skill up front and got that in rookie forward Louke Oakley. The team announced the two signings on Tuesday, bringing the roster to 19 as training camp is set to open on Oct. 4. Lyon played 48 games for the Condors last season after being acquired from Orlando. He led the team with 218 penalty minutes. He had 20 fighting penalties and also scored five goals and five assists. Read the full story here.
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