Monday, June 18th, 2018
Bakersfield police officers were able to find a victim of a shooting in east Bakersfield Saturday thanks to a ShotSpotter alert. Officers said they received a ShotSpotter alert for a possible shooting around 8:15 a.m. but no victims were found. Nearly five minutes later, officers received a second ShotSpotter alert. Officers found an adult man suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital where he is expected to survive.
Investigators with Delano Police Department are investigating a shooting that killed two men. Officers say they received the call about 9:30 p.m., and when they arrived they found two men who had been killed and a third man suffering from a gunshot wound. The third man was taken to a hospital.
The combined powers of superheroes, the Pixar brand and a draught of family-friendly films helped "Incredibles 2" become the best animated opening of all time, the biggest PG-rated launch ever and the 8th highest film launch overall. Disney estimated Sunday that the film earned $180 million in its first weekend in North American theaters — far surpassing industry analysts' loftiest expectations which had the film pegged for a $120 to $140 million debut.
Friday, June 15th, 2018
The coroner's office released the name of a woman who died in a crash Monday on Highway 155 near Lake Isabella. 39 year old Jeannie Ream, 39, veered off the road in her 2014 BMW around 9 p.m. west of the lake near Air Force Way, her vehicle crashing into boulders and catching fire, according to officials. Ream died at the scene.
The Kern County Coroner's Office identified a Wofford Heights man who was found dead in Taft Wednesday morning. The coroner said 31-year-old David Ray Steelman was shot and killed on Crystal Street just north of Olive Avenue. KCSO deputies were called to the scene just before 6 a.m., and Steelman was pronounced dead at the scene. Anyone with information is asked to call the Kern County Sheriff's Office.
Kern County Public Health Services has confirmed the first locally reported human case of West Nile virus for 2018. West Nile virus is passed to people via infected mosquitoes. The risk of serious illness is low for most people, but some can develop a serious neurological illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis. The best advice is to avoid mosquitos and get rid of any standing or stagnant water in pots, tires, or any other containers around your property.
State lawmakers approved a $139 billion budget Thursday that uses California's massive surplus to boost funding for homeless programs, welfare, child care and universities while also socking some money into savings. The budget, which boosts spending 9 percent for the fiscal year beginning July 1, was approved with support mainly from Democrats.
Soccer fans in the U.S. are getting ready for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. FIFA announced that the United States, Mexico and Canada will host the World Cup in eight years. According to a list put together by WalletHub, the best city for soccer fans in the U.S. is Los Angeles. Rounding out the top 5 of American soccer cities are 2. Orlando, Fla. 3. Seattle 4. Portland, Ore. 5. New York.
Mary K. Shell, Bakersfield's first female mayor, died of an undisclosed illness around 6 a.m. Thursday with her family and dogs by her side. She was 91. Shell was born and raised in Bakersfield, spending much of her life serving the community. Mary K. Shell went on to serve as mayor from 1981 to 1985, before serving three terms as fifth district Kern County supervisor from 1985 to 1997. She was the second woman to join the board.
Thursday, June 14th, 2018
For the first time, the Kern County Library is offering a one-time amnesty program. They will take care of all your fees, so you come back to the library. Kids, teens and adults have the opportunity to get a clean slate by either reading, donating or returning overdue books. The program runs June 25-30 and again July 30 to Aug. 4.
Elder abuse cases are on the rise in Kern County, and it comes during a time when county officials are trying to shine a light on the issue. The Kern County Board of Supervisors declared June 2018 "Elder Abuse Awareness Month" in the county, and World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is set for tomorrow, June 15. Despite the push to educate, the problem is rampant in Kern and growing rapidly.
Apple is reportedly making security updates that will make it harder for law enforcement to unlock your iPhone. According to CNN, the tech company is changing software to disable data transfer through the charging port an hour after the phone was locked.
Kern County Sheriff Deputies say the bodies found in a grape vineyard appear to be burned. Officials say it's unclear where the victims died or if they were killed in the vineyard. At this time deputies do not have an age, gender or race on the victims. Homicide detectives are on the scene.
Fly your flag proudly today. The United States celebrates Flag Day every year on June 14. That was the day in 1777 the Second Continental Congress adopted an official flag for the newly formed country. The day officially became a holiday a little more than 170 years later.
The drummer who helped Elvis Presley launch his music career, D.J. Fontana, has died, his wife announced today. Dominic Joseph Fontana was 87 years old and died in his sleep Wednesday night in Nashville, according to the Associated Press reports.
The 2018 World Cup in Futbol, (soccer to Americans), begins today in Russia. Game one began at 8am this morning with Russia playing Saudi Arabia. Conspicuously missing is the U.S. soccer team that did not qualify for the World Cup this year.
Wednesday, June 13th, 2018
Triple V Dairy in Tulare, a farm co-owned by Rep. David Valadao and his extended family, has been seized by Rabobank after failing to pay two loans totaling $8.3 million. Fresno Superior Court ordered the farm animals and equipment will be auctioned to pay off some of the debt.
More than 250 firefighters raced to the hills overlooking Los Angeles to battle a blaze that ignited Tuesday afternoon in thick brush surrounded by mansions. Helicopters repeatedly dropped water on the flames as teams of firefighters on the ground set up a perimeter around the houses. Firefighters aided by light winds and moderate temperatures quickly made progress against the 32-acre blaze and no homes were immediately lost.
A proposal to split California into three states will be on the November statewide ballot, according to KABC in L.A. Backers of the proposal, called CAL 3, said last month that they delivered 600,000 signatures to the office of the California Secretary of State. Under CAL 3, the Golden State would be split into Northern California, California, and Southern California. Kern County would be a part of Southern California along with San Diego. Los Angles would be included in the New California.
Kern County Sheriff's Office is responding to two alleged homicides that happened overnight. The first homicide was reported out of Arvin around 5:00 a.m. Wednesday near Tejon and Di Gorgio roads. The call originally came in as a fire, but when KCSO responded they located two victims in a grape vineyard. The second homicide was in Taft near Crystal Street and Olive Avenue.Deputies received a call of a man down in the area. When deputies arrived, officials performed CPR and the man was pronounced dead. Officials said there was no signs of trauma to the victim's bodies.
Rattlesnakes have come out of hibernation, and they’ve already bitten at least two people in Kern County. Most snakebites occur in Southern and Central California, he said, noting that they usually occur in the foothills. The best advice for avoiding snakebites: Be aware of your surroundings, and don't put your hands and feet in places you can’t see. Wear boots and protective clothing when you're hiking as well.
Tuesday, June 12th, 2018
Former President George H.W. Bush is celebrating his 94th birthday in Maine. Bush is relaxing at his home in Kennebunkport on Tuesday, eight days after being released from a hospital where he was treated for low blood pressure. Chief of Staff Jean Becker says the nation's 41st president wants a low-key day and "no presents."
It's hard to describe the destruction caused by wild land fires the last two years. However, Chief Brian Marshall says his team is ready to minimize future damage this season. After the last two wild land fire seasons, Kern county fire Chief Marshall says it's only a matter of time before there is smoke in the air. This year the chief says his department is ready, adding another helicopter base in the Kern River Valley. The department has 47 fire stations throughout the county, along with bulldozers and hand crews in Lake Isabella, Tehachapi and Lebec. The county also has Helitacks, helicopters with the capability to fly at night.
A woman is dead following a crash on Highway 155 near Lake Isabella. The crash happened just after 9 p.m. Monday west of the lake near Air Force Way. The car ended up 100 down an embankment, according to California Highway Patrol. CHP says the driver, 38, veered off the road in her 2014 BMW, crashed into boulders and caught fire, according to officers. The driver died at the scene, CHP said. Her name has not been released by officials. The cause of the crash remains under investigation. CHP officers say she was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Monday, June 11th, 2018
The California Highway Patrol says a 68-year-old man from Bakersfield was riding his motorcycle westbound on SR 155, about a mile west of Rancheria road, when he applied the brakes and lost control on a turn. CHP estimates he was traveling about 45 miles per hour. The motorcycle struck a dirt mountainside and ejected the rider, who sustained major injuries and later died at the scene. CHP says it appears someone tried to stop for help, but bad cell service forced them to drive away to get cell reception to call for help. At this time, there is no evidence of drug or alcohol impairment.
Los Angeles County Fire says they expect to have full containment of the South Fire, burning near Santa Clarita, sometime Monday. As of Sunday evening, the fire was holding at 175 acres burned and 75% contained. Good news, evacuations were lifted Saturday night and traffic on the I-5 re-opened by Sunday morning. No structures were damaged and no injuries were reported.
Each year, animal shelters across the country pledge not to euthanize any adoptable pets for "Just One Day." On Monday, June 11, Kern County Animal Services will open its doors and offer pet adoptions for free. The national event is also aimed at making Kern a "No Kill" county, for just one day. The Lake Isabella shelters will also offer adoptions, but only until 4 p.m.
A dozen wildfires that burned thousands of homes in California's wine country and killed at least 15 people last October were started by Pacific Gas & Electric power lines and utility poles, state fire officials said. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection released its investigation Friday for some of the wind-driven fires that ravaged Mendocino, Humboldt, Butte, Sonoma, Lake and Napa counties. Falling trees and tree limbs hitting power lines were the most common cause, but one fire erupted after PG&E tried to re-energize a downed line, investigators found.
Folks in Bakersfield are delighted to see water in the Kern River well into west Bakersfield, but it won't last. The water you see now is a delivery. Under a decades-old agreement, Bakersfield sells water to the Rosedale Rio Bravo Water District. In usual circumstances, it gets there via canals. But canals this year weren't available, so the riverbed is simply the most efficient way to get the water where it needs to go. It's taken out of the riverbed using a turnout near the Park at River Walk and channeled where it needs to go. Once the water district has what it paid for, the river will run dry.
On Saturday, Justify won the Belmont Stakes to become the 13th Triple Crown winner in history. Justify took the Kentucky Derby and Preakness earlier this year and won the Belmont Stakes in wire-to-wire fashion. Justify's trainer, Bob Baffert, wins his second Triple Crown. He also won with American Pharoah in 2015.
More than 1,800 homes have been evacuated because of the fire in southwestern Colorado. That's according to local officials. The fire was reported June 1 and is located about 10 miles north of Durango in southwestern Colorado. As of Saturday morning, it had burned more than 8,600 acres and was 10 percent contained.
The apparent suicide of globe-trotting celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain on Friday touched off a profusion of shock, sorrow and sympathy from fans and admirers around the globe. But the high-profile suicides of much-adored celebrities like Bourdain, and other individuals of note, may do more than inspire sorrow among fans. Kern Behavioral Health & Recovery Services. "It can reduce the barriers" between simply knowing about suicide and considering it as an option. Suicide rates have seen a steady increase this decade in Kern County, a 32.7 percent increase in an eight-year span.
Friday, June 8th, 2018
The Kern County Elections Office says a petition to allow medical marijuana businesses to operate in Kern County has been submitted to the office for verification. Officials now must perform a random signature verification within 30 days. If the required signatures are met, the initiative measure will be placed on the ballot and will be voted on in November. The ban on commercial cannabis businesses would remain in effect, according to the county.
With the Fourth of July right around the corner, CAL FIRE officials are working to crack down on the use of illegal fireworks around California. On Thursday, CAL FIRE officials announced that more than 50,000 pounds of illegal fireworks had been confiscated and seven arrests have been made over the last two weeks. A CAL FIRE press release states that a long investigation into the illegal fireworks ring took place in multiple locations around California.
The Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on Thursday night to win their first ever Stanley Cup. The Capitals, who before today hadn't won a Stanley Cup in their 44-year history, set a record for most playoff appearances (28) before winning the championship in NHL/NBA/MLB/NFL history.
With the news of Anthony Bourdain's apparent suicide being reported, we learn that suicide rates inched up in nearly every U.S. state from 1999 through 2016, according to a new government report released Thursday. More than half of suicides in 2015 in a subgroup of 27 states were among people with no known mental health condition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. Suicide is rarely caused by any single factor, health officials said, but information from coroners' reports suggest many of the deaths followed relationship problems, substance use and financial crises.
Thursday, June 7th, 2018
The votes from Tuesday night's primary election show that in a state increasingly turning a deeper shade of blue, Kern is staunchly red. Celebratory cheers rang out in droves at the GOP watch party at Centro 18 Tuesday night. Kevin McCarthy, David Valadao, and Shannon Grove all saw overwhelming Republican support in the California Primary, no surprise to Republican voters in Kern County. But what is surprising, a small majority of registered voters in Bakersfield are Democrats. And across California, for the first time Independents outnumber Republican voters.
KFC has announced that it’s testing vegetarian fried chicken, and it could be here in the United States before long. CBS News reports that move comes as KFC's U.K. restaurants are trying to stick to new British government guidelines that advise overweight adults to eat just 400 calories at breakfast and then 600 more at lunch and again at dinner. It's testing the plant-based chicken in the U.K. and Ireland. If it's a hit, they'll launch it as a permanent product, next year. (chickens everywhere are hoping for success)
The Kern County Veterans Service Department unveiled its newest historical display Wednesday. Uniforms donated by veterans and their families are now in a glass-encased kiosk, open for the public to view. Dick Taylor of the Veterans Service Department says there are eight uniforms on display. "They range in everything from the Revolutionary War, that replica, all the way through World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq," he said. The department received a Revolutionary War uniform replica. In fact, it's one that was worn by an actor in the film "The Patriot."
Unofficial results indicate Cynthia Zimmer held on to an early lead Tuesday to become the next district attorney of Kern County, ending a tough, highly divisive race between her and Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman. Her top priority will be an immediate reduction of crime, "most of which is gang-related." Her second priority: "the protection of people in smaller cities in rural areas outside of Bakersfield. That would be us. Zimmer grew up in the small city of Coalinga, said she knows how important it is for such communities to get the attention of law enforcement. And her third priority will be to work with legislators and other prosecutors to "stop the destructive effects that our liberal (state) Legislature is having on law enforcement."
Justin Fleeman is planning to return to work for an organization that may not welcome him back with open arms. Fleeman has spent months criticizing the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and its leader, Donny Youngblood, as part of his campaign for the sheriff's seat. After losing the race to Youngblood in Tuesday’s election, Chief Deputy Fleeman said he will be returning to the department on June 18. “I’m going to go back to work just like I have been for many years,” he said. “The election’s done, the people have spoken. [Youngblood] is my sheriff, and I’m going to work as hard for him as I can.”
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein trounced a field of 31 competitors in California' primary and will face a general election challenge by a Democratic state senator who is promising generational change. With nearly 3 million votes counted as the day closed, Feinstein held about 44 percent. Fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon finished second with 11 percent.
Kern County voters will have the chance to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries in the general election. The dispensaries are currently banned, but an initiative to overturn the ban now has enough signatures to appear on the November ballot. With more than 20,000 signatures, Kern Citizens for Patient Rights says the community is ready to stand behind medical marijuana.
While all Kern County precincts (and nearly all statewide precincts) have reported, the elections office has 30 days to certify the results. Also, there are absentee and provisional ballots still to be counted. We will note that Supervising Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer holds 54 percent of the vote over Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman, and Sheriff Donny Youngblood held off challenger Justin Fleeman. Youngblood got 67 percent of the vote.
Wednesday, June 6th, 2018
Cynthia Zimmer holds a slight lead over her opponent Scott Spielman for the Kern County District Attorney's Race.
Current Kern county sheriff Donny Youngblood is holding strong in the polls and looks poised to retain his seat. Earlier today, Youngblood was winning with 65.3 percent of the vote.
The race for California's governor is on. Gavin Newsom and John Cox were selected among 27 candidates to head to the General Election in November.
The race to represent Kern County in the U.S. House of Representatives' 23rd District will see two county residents do battle. Unofficial results show incumbent Kevin McCarthy, who also serves as House Majority Leader has nearly 70 percent of the vote. Tatiana Matta, of Rosamond, is