Local News

Friday, Feb 08 2013 12:54 PM

Worth noting in the community: Utility payment scam warning, more

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Southern California Gas Co. is warning customers about a payment scam that's hit customers of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. So far there's no indication SoCalGas customers have been hit.

People posing as being with LADWP are demanding customers pay their energy bills with pre-paid cash cards, or else their service will be shut off that day, according to a SoCalGas news release. In the scam, customers are sent to another phone number where information is obtained from a pre-paid cash card and value is removed.

SoCalGas customers can pay by going online, using pre-enrolled direct debit, by mail, or in person at an authorized payment location. The company provides written notification for past due accounts before service is shut off.

The utility says customers can report suspicious activity to SoCalGas at 1-800-427-2200 or 1-800-342-4545 in Spanish, or police.

The U.S. Forest Service is reminding visitors to remove their trash when visiting, and that it's illegal to remove natural or archaeological resources from the forests without authorization, according to a forest news release.

People are urged to check with the Forest Service before doing anything that might disturb archaeological resources or remove natural resources from public land to see if authorization is needed or available. The public is also urged to report anyone seen dumping trash, spray-painting rocks, taking artifacts, or engaging in other illegal activity on forest land, the news release said.

Tips of abuse or misuse of forest land in the Kern River Ranger District can reported to one of the local offices at 760-376-3781 or 760-379-5646 (from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays). The "contact us" link at www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia can also be used.

A partnership between Kern Schools Federal Credit Union and Norris School District has led to the donation of about 900 jackets and sweatshirts to students in needy areas of the community, according to a credit union news release.

The credit union gathered unclaimed items from the school district's lost and found bins to give to children in low-income neighborhoods.

Applications are being accepted from people who would like to serve on a new Kern Food Policy Council that will work on a 10-year plan to end chronic hunger and food insecurity.

Community Action Partnership of Kern through funding from the United Way of Kern County and the California Endowment is leading development of the council, according to a CAPK news release. It is to include people from the private, public, non-profit and government sectors, farmers, farmer's market managers, restaurant owners and chefs, grocery store managers, transportation representatives, food wholesalers, producers, processors, managers of food chains and food retailers.

Applications should be mailed or returned to CAPK at 300 19th St., Bakersfield, CA 93301 or faxed to 336-5257. Access the application at capk.org or uwkern.org. For more information, call Tomeka Powell at CAPK at 336-5236 x 1193 or tpowell@capk.org.

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