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KHSD hires two new special education employees

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 05:17

The Kern High School District appointed two coordinators in special education at a school board meeting Monday night at the KHSD district office.

Michelle Mills and John Eldridge, program specialists at KHSD schools according to the district website, will begin their new roles July 1.

It's time to vote! Here's how.

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 05:00

Yes, it's been a pretty sleepy primary. But actually, there are a lot of interesting, impactful races on Tuesday's ballot -- most intriguing, believe it or not, a county assessor's contest.

We're picking finalists to run in several statewide offices including governor as well as always competitive westside state Assembly and congressional seats and the aforementioned assessor's post (though someone could win that one outright).

Red-light cameras, playing fields go to council

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 02:01

Adding playing fields at city parks and new convention center theater lights, and saving up for a new arena ice chiller will all be weighed by the Bakersfield City Council at its meeting Wednesday.

The council will also consider a two-year extension of the city's contract with Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems, which operates red-light cameras at 12 intersections in Bakersfield.

Two more Crisp & Cole defendants sentenced

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 01:45

Two defendants in the Crisp & Cole Real Estate mortgage fraud scheme were sentenced Monday in federal court.

Christopher Lance Stovall, 41, of Bakersfield, was sentenced to 12 months in prison, followed by 30 months of supervised release, for four counts of mail fraud and aiding and abetting.

HERB BENHAM: French Open is down-to-earth tennis

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 00:31

We like stories, especially ones that flow leisurely like the summer Kern rather than end abruptly.

Tennis flows in that its storylines move from tournament to tournament and one year melts into the next. This is the second week of the French Open, (Roland Garros, insiders call it). Roland Garros is played on red clay (the players call it dirt) and if tennis had an egalitarian appeal, you could imagine a kid with a racket and a couple of dead balls hitting against a wall on a baked-dirt lot. Maybe a stretch, because tennis at a high level involves coaching, gear, travel and usually private clubs; still, there is joy in hitting a ball back and forth in the simplest of settings.

First cuts announced at KMC; more coming

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 23:37

The first cut won't be the deepest.

On Monday Kern Medical Center CEO Russell Judd announced plans to terminate the home health care and outpatient physical therapy departments at the county hospital in August.

Funeral services for June 3, 2014

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 23:32

Services scheduled

Travis Luman Bullock, 24, Bakersfield, May 24. Chapel service 11 a.m. June 3, Basham Funeral Care Chapel; interment at Hillcrest Memorial Park. Basham Funeral Care.

Night vision goggle training to bring several fire departments together

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 20:10

It's wildfire season again.

And the Kern County Fire Department is doing something about it.

'First Look': Political consultants talk elections, turnout

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 20:01

It's hard to pinpoint who will win the seat for Kern County Assessor-Recorder. But regardless, two political consultants are predicting very low voter turnout.

Democrat Gene Tackett and Republican Tracy Leach gave their thoughts on the election Monday on "First Look with Scott Cox."

HOLLY CULHANE: Paid or unpaid, managing interns 'tricky business'

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:19

As with the swallows that annually flock back to San Juan Capistrano, you can mark your calendars for the arrival of summer interns at local companies. It is a decades-old tradition, theoretically established to give students practical experience and a leg up on landing a full-time job.

But too often companies use summer interns as cheap, or even free labor to cover for full-time employees' vacations, or to catch up on grunt-projects.

‘First Look’: First News for June 2

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:04

Lead stories from “First Look with Scott Cox’s” Top Stories:

LAST-MINUTE EFFORTS TO PROTECT SNAILS, BATS FAIL TO HALT 200-JOB MINING PROJECT: Mining executive Lutz Klingmann says he might have made special accommodations if the environmentalists had spoken up sooner about endangered snails. But at this point, he wasn't about to just walk away from Soledad Mountain. His company had spent nearly 30 years preparing to mine gold and silver at the butte outside Mojave. But it all suddenly came to a halt after the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity filed for an emergency endangered species: the Mohave shoulderband snail. Environmentalist want additional analysis of the area done but Klingmann said he is moving forward exactly as planned. Read the full story here.

Menudo cook-off a tasty attraction in Bakersfield

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 16:54

Rows of tables topped with striped multicolor fabrics, grinders and bowls of red chili, and pasilla and black chili pepper coated the Kern County Fairgrounds with color Sunday at the 16th annual Menudo Cook-off.

More than 70 teams brought pot-fulls of the traditional Mexican soup, and thousands -- organizers estimate close to 15,000 -- packed the fairgrounds for tastes.

BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 01:55

SCAM: Heads up on a new scam going around town. The other evening Janice Rivera, who lives out near Jenkins Road, said a man showed up at her door saying he was there to upgrade her security panel. Her husband let him in, but Janice was wise enough to ask for his identification. "I looked at the man and said, 'You have a Vivant employee badge on.' He told me that Vivant bought out Monitronics. I said, 'No, they didn't, I would've received an email.' I told him no thanks and goodbye. He then left without saying another word. A few minutes later, I remembered that I did receive an email from Monitronics, quite a few months ago, warning of this happening.... Beware and be alert!"

MOVE: I spent the last week moving into a new home, and I could not have done it without some superior customer service from a few local companies. Jesus and Ryan of Hansen's Moving and Storage were quietly efficient and friendly, and Rich Johnson of Johnson's Painting squeezed me into his schedule to spruce the place up. Also kudos to local Realtors Dutch Toews and Gary Gibson, who made the process seamless. These are times when you welcome those local connections in a town like Bakersfield.

Funeral services for June 2, 2014

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 01:34

Services scheduled

Ignacio Alaniz, 91, Lamont, May 29 in Lamont. Visitation 4 to 8 p.m. June 4, Hillcrest Chapel; funeral 10 a.m. June 5, St. Augustine Catholic Church, 10601 Myrtle Ave., Lamont. Hillcrest Memorial Park & Mortuary.

Ask TBC: Why are the recycling drop-off locations closing?

Sun, 06/01/2014 - 21:00

Q: I noticed today that metro Bakersfield recycle drop sites will close June 30. Please tell me the reason for this decision.

I mainly recycle cardboard products at the Thorner Elementary and Bakersfield College sites, and as evidence of the bins always being full, so do other folks in the area.

Derek Carr drafted by Raiders in second round of NFL Draft

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 07:14

Ever stared at the phone and willed it to start ringing? Derek Carr knows the feeling.

And, though it came a day later than he would have liked, Carr got the call he wanted Friday afternoon: The Oakland Raiders were on the other line, telling the Bakersfield native they were about to make him the 36th pick in the NFL Draft.

“I’m just so fired up that they called,” said Carr, a record-setting quarterback at Fresno State who graduated from Bakersfield Christian. “When that pick came up, and I saw they were next, I was just waiting, looking at my phone. It started ringing, and I almost forgot how to answer it, I was so excited.”

For the second straight day, the Carr family gathered at David's house in southwest Bakersfield to watch the draft. After the phone call and just before Oakland's pick was announced on live television, Rodger Carr, Derek's father, emerged from the house and yelled, "Raiders!"

Arvin air sample results show gas leak spewed toxins

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 02:56

Kern County Environmental Health Services released an analysis of air samples in Arvin homes -- eight weeks after residents were evacuated because of a gas leak -- that found high levels of at least two toxic chemicals: benzene and naphthalene.

The air sample results were taken on three dates -- March, 24 and 31, and April 15 -- by Advanced GeoEnvironmental Inc., a company hired by Petro Capital Resources LLC, the owner of the pipeline, and provided to the county. When PCR refused to release the results, the county did, instead, on Thursday.

District attorney to fight for more resources

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 02:10

Budget maneuvering has begun at the county of Kern.

On Tuesday, District Attorney Lisa Green will ask the Kern County Board of Supervisors to approve the hiring of two deputy district attorneys, an investigator and a legal secretary to investigate and prosecute a growing number of crimes committed in Lerdo Jail and local community correctional facilities.

Caltrans: Alternative B still best Centennial path

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 01:33

Alternative B through the Westpark neighborhood remains Caltrans' preferred and least expensive route for Centennial Corridor, the controversial freeway link between Highway 58 and the Westside Parkway -- but would require the demolition of far more homes and businesses than previously thought.

With its release Friday of the project's draft Environmental Impact Report, the state transportation agency found Alternative B would improve traffic throughout metropolitan Bakersfield -- but as currently planned would require the demolition of 200 single-family homes, 110 multiple-family structures and 121 commercial buildings.

BEYOND BAKERSFIELD: News from around Kern County

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 01:30

PORTERVILLE: A Porterville man out of jail on bail was nabbed by law enforcement officers after he allegedly stole thousands of dollars worth of cargo.

On Thursday, Robert Wayne Blackwell, 35, broke into the back of a trailer that was parked on Highway 65 a few miles north of the Kern County line, according to The Recorder. California Highway Patrol officers witnessed Blackwell break in to the staged, locked tractor trailer at about 1:30 a.m., according to the report.