Local News

Tuesday, Mar 18 2014 07:07 AM

'First Look': First News for March 18

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

COUNTY OFFERS INTERNET CAFES FINAL AMNESTY: The district attorney's office sent cease-and-desist letters Monday to county sweepstakes or Internet cafe owners with a rare offer of eleventh hour amnesty. The letters began being hand-delivered Friday by Kern County Sheriff's Office deputies and local police. They went to about 25 Internet cafes from Ridgecrest to Bakersfield that are open or have been recently. In the letter, the county advises cafe owners to stop all gambling immediately, including illegal sweepstakes, and contact the district attorney's office by Friday. Cafe owners who do not cease all gambling activity will be prosecuted for the entire period of time during which they've operated. Read the full story here.

LOVE BLOOMS AND COUPLE MARRIES BY THE RAILROAD TRACKS: The trial of a suspected felon is what brought Kathy Hall and Brad Smith to their wedding day Monday. Both were summoned for jury duty last August. Both were running late. They met near the train track behind the Kern County Superior Courthouse while waiting for a train to pass. Monday, they were married at the same location they met. The pair rolled up to tracks on a Harley Davidson chopper and left together on the bike. Smith's hobby is riding motorcycles. Read the full story here.

HOSPITAL WORKS TO PREVENT CHILDREN'S BURN INJURIES: Children comprise 40 percent of the patients treated at San Joaquin Community Hospital's Grossman Burn Center, and scalding is the most frequent type of injury the center sees. Most often, it's an accident in the kitchen or bathroom, where it only takes a second for little ones to get into trouble. The hospital has an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of burn injuries in children. It distributes a flyer with safety tips for babysitters, and last month began handing out bathtub thermometer cards to pediatric patients. The cards can be hung on a shower arm and dipped to test bath water. Read the full story here.


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

CHECKPOINT RESULTS IN SIX ARRESTS ON SUSPICION OF DUI: A DUI/driver's license checkpoint Saturday resulted in six alleged DUI arrests, and 35 drivers who went through the checkpoint did not have a valid driver's license. The checkpoint was held from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the southbound lanes in the 200 block of Union Avenue, police said. a total of 1,457 vehicles were screened. Twenty-three vehicles were impounded. Read the full story here.

CHP HIRING DISPATCHERS: The California Highway Patrol is accepting application for public safety dispatchers in Bakersfield, Fresno and Merced. Duties will include operating the radio and computer equipment, dispatching personnel and resources, and screening calls from officers, public media and allied agencies as well as handling 911 calls. Applications will be accepted until April 3. Applicants can log on to chpcareers.com under Public Safety Dispatcher. Read the full story here.

PIPELINE LEAK IN ARVIN LEADS TO VOLUNTARY EVACUATION: Some homeowners were told they could voluntarily evacuate an area near Arvin High School on Monday as workers continued repairing a pipeline that had been leaking gas for about a week. Kern County Fire Department spokesman Sean Collins said the leaking petroleum-based product was nonhazardous and residents in the area near Varsity Avenue and Mahin Drive faced no danger. The smells had been noticed by residents for several days. The work is expected to continue Tuesday. Read the full story here.



NEW APP TO WARN OF FLOODS: The American Red Cross says it's rolled out a new Flood App to give people real-time information about floods. The app is to provide audible flood and flash flood warnings and watches, even if the app is closed. The Red Cross says features include one-touch "I'm safe" messaging to send to family and friends and a toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm to let others know where you are. The Flood App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.



CHOCOLATE NUTRIENTS: Here's a pill that could be tasty. Eighteen thousand men and women across the country will be part of a study aimed at testing whether the nutrients in dark chocolate can help heart health and prevent strokes. The Associated Press says it will be the first large test of cocoa flavanols. In previous studies it was found to improve heart-related health factors. AP quoted Dr. JoAnn Manson, the preventive medicine chief at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, as saying, "People eat chocolate because they enjoy it." Researchers want to see if there are strong benefits to the nutrients, but without the sugar and fat.



CSUB WOMEN HEADING TO ST. MARY'S FOR WOMEN'S NIT: The Cal State Bakersfield women's basketball team will begin play in the Women's National Invitational Tournament on Friday in Moraga against St. Mary's after earning the WAC's automatic berth in the tournament. The winner of the matchup will face the winner of UTEP and Arkansas State, which will be Friday in El Paso. St. Mary's was a semifinalist in the West Coast Conference, losing to No. 18 Gonzaga in the tournament. Their leading scorer is Jackie Nared, who averaged 21.8 ppg this season. A time for the game will be announced today. Read the full story here.




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