LOCAL AND REGIONAL NEWS

Oil companies may soon start fracking in Kern County. Online comments can be sent to this link.  https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage&currentPageId=149605

They can also be mailed to: Bakersfield Field Office, Attn: Bakersfield RMP Hydraulic Fracturing Analysis, 3801 Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93308.



Thursday, May 23rd, 2019


For a while now, Bakersfield’s beer breweries have set up shop in a semi-official brewing district near the industrial area of White Lane and Gosford Road. However, changes to the city’s microbrewery ordinances could bring more local brewers to Bakersfield’s booming downtown. Lesson here:  "Alcohol Good......Marijuana Bad".


All cannabis dispensaries in Kern County are expected to close their doors this Friday, May 24 after the Kern County Board of Supervisors voted it was the last day the shops could legally sell cannabis.For dispensary owners Russell and Jennifer Romandia, who own The Crop, there's an instant concern about how their more than 6,000 patients are going to get the medicine they need. 


The Kern County Animal Shelters are overflowing and are in desperate need of volunteers. Director of Kern County Animal Services Nick Cullen says more animals are being placed in the shelter than are being adopted. KCAS says in order to avoid having to put animals down, they need more foster parents for animals. While not everyone can foster, KCAS hopes more will volunteer. If you would like to volunteer, you can visit the KCAS website.


Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. received approval Wednesday to establish a $105 million fund to help survivors of recent California wildfires started by the utility's equipment. A federal judge overseeing PG&E's bankruptcy case approved the utility's wildfire assistance program to provide relief for people who lost property during the huge fires in 2017 and 2018.


California lawmakers moved ahead Wednesday with tougher rules that limit parents from choosing whether to vaccinate their schoolchildren as a handful of opponents shouted "We will not comply" inside the Senate. Senators sent the measure to the Assembly as the nation struggles to stem the highest number of measles cases in decades and as state efforts to strengthen vaccine requirements draw emotional opposition.


Bakersfield City Council heard from Pastor Angelo Frazier and several others on a proposal to add the nation's motto "In God We Trust" on Bakersfield Police cars. Some residents consider the proposal an infringement on the first amendment of separation between church and state. City Councelmember Jacquie Sullivan says the proposal will be in the June agenda.



Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

  

For the past two days firefighters have been chipping the remains of hazardous fuel trees, at the Kernville Golf Course, which were felled during the winter. The smaller diameter branches will be piled and burned today. All burning operations will depend on weather conditions, including smoke dispersal and resources. Smoke may be visible from Burlando Road, Kernville, and Wofford Heights. For safety, please use caution when driving near the golf course, as firefighters, smoke and equipment will be in the area.


Fracking on more than a million acres of public land in California. It's just an idea right now, but it has many throughout the Central Valley concerned. The proposal is based on a plan the Bureau of Land Management drew up in 2014 and the land up for grabs has been available for decades. The BLM took public comments on Tuesday in Bakersfield to address the long-time-coming proposal. A quick fact check: This BLM proposal doesn't open up all public land and just because the land can be drilled or fracked, doesn't mean it will.


This evening, the Bakersfield City Council will hear a proposal to put "In God we trust," decals on Bakersfield police cars, but opponents say the slogan disrupts the separation of church and state. To some, it's four simple words on a bumper sticker, to others it's a religious statement that doesn't belong on a government-issued vehicle.


The Kern County Firefighters Union (KCFU) has reached an impasse with county administration over how to fix a $9 million budget deficit. The negotiations between the county and its fire union have been going on for over a year now. The problems include overtime, staffing levels, and department spending. Now that both sides are at an impasse, they will be brought to the mediation table.

All cannabis dispensaries in Kern County are expected to close their doors this Friday, May 24 after the Kern County Board of Supervisors voted it was the last day the shops could legally sell cannabis. For dispensary owners Russell and Jennifer Romandia, who own The Crop, there's an instant concern about how their more than 6,000 patients are going to get the medicine they need. When it's taken away, people are looking for an alternative. Whether that's going back to the opioids. It's not a safe.


A news release from the U.S. Forest Service highlights what the Hume Lake Ranger District, Western Divide Ranger District and the Kern River Ranger District have to offer. All three districts offer a chance for visitors to either hike, fish, bike or camp out. Park officials are also reminding visitors that the use of glass food and drink containers along the shorelines of the Kern River and Isabella Lake is a hazard and are still prohibited. The release also points out that a temporary closure order has been issued to prohibit public access to areas of the Tule River in concurrence with Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. The closure order starts Tuesday and will stay in effect until further notice.


The Kern County Sheriff's Office released their stats of Lightning in a Bottle festival declaring it a success on their end. The festival saw close to 18,000 festival goers on the busiest day and with that many people, there were a few incidents. There were 15 total incidents involving narcotics, which resulted in three felony arrests and 12 misdemeanor arrests.


The unofficial start to the summer is just days away. According to AAA, the number of travelers this weekend will be a record-breaker. Doug Shupe with the Auto Club of Southern California said they expect the Highways and Byways to be busy this weekend. 


California Gov. Gavin Newsom is creating a task force on homelessness as the state grapples with a housing crisis. The Democratic governor made the announcement Tuesday in Oakland, where county officials reported last week that the number of people experiencing homelessness increased 43 percent over the last two years. Newsom described homelessness as an epidemic of statewide concern but says it will be best addressed at the local level.



Tuesday, May 21st, 2019


The Kern Valley Broncs held on to a 5-4 lead against the Blue Raiders from Caruthers to win the D-V softball championship, as well as defend their title. 


Ford is cutting 7,000 white-collar jobs, or about 10% of its salaried staff worldwide, as part of a cost-cutting effort it says will save the company about $600 million a year. Ford says workers will begin to be notified of cuts starting Tuesday, and the terminations will be completed by the end of August. About 2,400 of the jobs cuts are in North America, and 1,500 of the positions were eliminated through a voluntary buyout offer.


Residents in the Kern River Valley are experiencing a home owner insurance cancellation epidemic. Insurance experts have seen hundreds of residents between the cities of Bodfish and Wofford Heights receive notices of cancellation or non-renewal letters. Experts foresee the trend continuing as the the number of insurance carriers willing to cover fire-prone areas continues to decrease. Judy Hyatt, President of the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce says home owner insurance is not difficult to obtain it's just costly. Another option residents have is the California Fair Plan that offers home owners who live in extreme high risk fire areas fire insurance policies to protect their homes. It is typically more expensive than a standard policy.


Another AARP driver safety program is coming to the Valley on Tuesday, June 4th in Kernville. The class is from 8am to 5pm and purely instructional. No driving is required, but rather, they emphasize safe driving procedures for older drivers. It may make you eligible for a discount on your insurance. The cost is $15.00 for AARP members and $20.00 for non members. Call Gene for more information at 760 417-0579.


Kern County Animal Services announced on social media that they are in "urgent" need of foster fur-parents. In a Facebook post, KCAS said their kennels are full and at capacity. If you're able to foster a dog you can visit KCAS at the Bakersfield Shelter at 3951 Fruitvale Avenue. Contact our local shelter in Southlake for more info. 


Three people were arrested on suspicion of DUI and the vehicle of an unlicensed driver was impounded Saturday during a patrol targeting intoxicated motorists, according to the California Highway Patrol. The saturation patrol took place from 6 p.m. to midnight in unincorporated Kern County, officers said. Anyone who sees a suspected drunken driver is asked to call 911. 



Monday, May 20th, 2019


A cannabis delivery company has confirmed its herb-on-demand operations, Driven Direct, is coming to Cal City. In a recent press release, Driven Deliveries, Inc. boasts as the world’s first and only publicly traded cannabis delivery company. The company says they will work directly with brands and retailers to deliver a broad range of cannabis products to its Cal City customers. Driver Direct also added that their delivery service will be similar to Amazon's model.


Ford is cutting 7,000 white-collar jobs, or about 10% of its salaried staff worldwide, as part of a cost-cutting effort it says will save the company about $600 million a year. Ford says workers will begin to be notified of cuts starting Tuesday, and the terminations will be completed by the end of August. About 2,400 of the jobs cuts are in North America, and 1,500 of the positions were eliminated through a voluntary buyout offer.



In 2018 4,294 people were charged with DUI in Kern County. It was the most in a decade and a modern record. Today there is proof the problem is still getting worse. So far in 2019, from January 1 to May 16, the district attorney's office has filed 1591 DUI charges. That's on pace to match last year's DUI total, but we haven't even hit thee peak drinking and driving summer months yet.


The hotly debated Senate Bill 50 may have met its demise yesterday as law makers tabled a vote on the issue until 2020. SB 50, written by San Francisco’s Scott Weiner, would change state law to allow multi-family buildings like apartment complexes, townhomes and duplexes in areas zoned for single family homes near transit lines and areas with lots of jobs.


War of Will has won the 144th Preakness. After finishing well out of the money in the Kentucky Derby from the No. 1 post, War of Will charged to victory after again starting from the rail on Saturday. Everfast finished second and Owendale took third.


We all know the frustration traveling the canyon behind a slow moving driver who refuses to use the turnouts. Yesterday afternoon, my family and I were returning from a wedding in L.A. and found ourselves climbing the canyon road at 30 to 40 mile per hour with at least 15 other cars. The entire time, all I could make out was a truck pulling a trailer in the uphill distance. When we reached the 2 lane portion at the top of the canyon, we eventually saw who it was leading the sluggish parade. It was the Kern County Sheriff's Search and Rescue. My first thought was..."if anybody would know the courtesy rules of driving the canyon, it would be law enforcement official".  I was wrong, but because of my respect and admiration for what Search and Rescue does, I quickly decided to let it slide. 


Saturday, the Bakersfield Police Department officially issued a missing person poster for McFarland City Manager, John Wooner. Mayor Manuel Cantu of McFarland said although this disappearance is out of character and hard on Wooner's family and the community, officials have to keep the city running appropriately no matter what. Wooner told family members that he was going to stop by the Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery to visit his father's gravesite and he would be home after, but he never made it home.


More than $10,000 has been raised to help young local burn survivors go to a special week-long summer camp. The money was raised at the Bakersfield Firefighter's Burn Foundation's 10th annual "Send a Kid to Camp" fundraiser held at the Outback Steakhouse on Stockdale Highway Friday.





Friday, May 17th, 2019


There is going to be a hazardous waste drop off at the Kern Valley Transfer station. It is tomorrow from 9am to noon. Paints, batteries, old oil, pesticides, etc. Dispose of it properly by dropping it off tomorrow from 9 to noon. 


California Highway Patrol said a driver is facing DUI charges after a passenger was killed in a rollover crash on southbound Highway 99 just south of the California Avenue exit. Officers said the driver of a Honda somehow lost control of the vehicle and crashed. The driver of a Fed Ex truck didn't see the crash until it was too late. They lost control and the truck ended up on its side. The driver of the Fed Ex truck wasn't injured.


The mystery continues tonight for people living in McFarland. It's been two days now, since anyone has seen or heard from the McFarland City Manager. City council mayor, Manuel Cantu, says they talked about what they can do to support for Wooner's family and how to run the city in his absence. Over the last few years, Cantu says Wooner has been vital to making McFarland what it is today.


For the first time in four months, the unemployment rate in Kern County dropped as 7,400 jobs were added to the local economy compared to the same point a year ago. The county's unemployment rate for April was 8.4 percent, down from 10 percent in March. The unemployment rate had been rising steadily rising since bottoming out at 6.5 percent from September to November.


The California Living Museum will host its 36th Birthday Bash. On Saturday, May 18, guests can head to the zoo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to celebrate. Trout cake will be served to the animals, docents will stroll the grounds with ambassador animals and the Bakersfield Police Department K-9 team will also be a part of the party. Kids 12 and under will enter free with an adult. 


The Trump administration cancelled nearly $1 billion in federal money for California's high-speed rail project Thursday, further throwing into question the future of the ambitious plan to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Federal Railroad Administration's announcement it would not give California the money came several months after sniping between President Donald Trump and Gov. Gavin Newsom over the project. The administration will still try to force California to return another $2.5 billion that has already been spent.


Bakersfield Police Department announced Wednesday they are searching for McFarland City Manager John Wooner, 57, who is missing under suspicious circumstances. Wooner was last seen Tuesday driving a silver Dodge Durango at the Hill Crest Cemetery about 5:30 p.m. in Bakersfield.


Walmart, America's largest retailer, said Thursday it will raise prices on some products as a result of the Trump administration's tariffs on Chinese goods. They said they are going to continue to do everything we can to keep prices low. However, increased tariffs will lead to increased prices, we believe, for our customers.


There has been much talk about the dissappointment fans have shown regarding the final season of Game Of Thrones. A petition to HBO to remake the eighth and the final season of "Game of Thrones" with new writers has surpassed a quarter of a million signatures. The petition called showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss "woefully incompetent writers" when they have no source material. 


 California City City Manager Bob Stockwell resigned from his position during last night's city council meeting, appointing Anna Linn as the interim for the time being. His resignation was effective at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday. Stockwell is one of two Cal City officials to have been placed on paid administrative leave in the past two months. In April, Stockwell was placed on leave following issues that were raised during a performance evaluation.


Just in case you had thoughts of traveling to Venezuela any time soon, you should know U.S. flights to Venezuela are being suspended due to safety and security concerns, officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said.


San Francisco, long one of the most tech-friendly and tech-savvy cities in the world, is now the first in the United States to prohibit its government from using facial-recognition technology. The ban is part of a broader anti-surveillance ordinance that the city's Board of Supervisors approved on Tuesday. Eight of the board's 11 supervisors voted in favor of it. The ordinance, which outlaws the use of facial-recognition technology by police and other government departments, could also spur other local governments to take similar action.


Thursday, May 16th, 2019


Bakersfield Police Department announced Wednesday they are searching for McFarland City Manager John Wooner, 57, who is missing under suspicious circumstances. Wooner was last seen Tuesday driving a silver Dodge Durango at the Hill Crest Cemetery about 5:30 p.m. in Bakersfield. The department asks for anyone who has information on Wooner's whereabouts to call them at (661) 327-7111.


A new grant is helping Kern County keep centers open to keep residents from over-heating during Bakersfield's extreme temperatures. The grant is for the staff, services, and transport of the people to the centers. Of course ours is the Lake Isabella Veterans and Senior Center on Lake Isabella Boulevard.


The Kern County Sheriff's Office says a 911 call regarding an armed man led to an illegal casino bust in Oildale. Deputies with the Metro Patrol Section were initially called out to the Long Branch Saloon at 900 North Chester Avenue around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday after receiving a call about a man who entered the business carrying a sawed-off shotgun. When deputies arrived at the business they found 26-year-old Jorge Sandavol inside, armed and allegedly blocking people from leaving the saloon. A search warrant was served on the saloon after discovering that it was running an illegal gambling casino. 


Missouri’s Republican-led Senate has passed a wide-ranging bill to ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, acting only hours after Alabama’s governor signed a near-total abortion ban into law.


This weekend, it's the celebration of History Days at the Kern Valley Museum. It's all organized by the Kern River Valley Historical Society and will take place both Saturday and Sunday. Dutch oven cooking demonstrations, gold panning, and live music. It's free and open to the public. 


The Kern County District Attorney, Cynthia Zimmer, announced that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has changed their decision regarding the release of approximately 120 inmates to Bakersfield this morning. According to the District Attorney, after collaboration with Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin, Assemblyman Vince Fong, and Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh they reached out to the CDCR through the Governor’s Office last night with concerns about the abnormally large number of inmates scheduled to be released.


Police are calling a local marijuana advocate a threat to the public. Now, they've taken away his guns.According to court documents, David Abbasi has become hostile and shouldn't have any guns. But Abbasi says he's not a dangerous person and this is all part of a corrupt government conspiracy against him. Last week, he was arrested for pointing a gun at a teenager after their dogs got into a fight.


California fire investigators say Pacific Gas & Electric power lines caused wildfire that killed 85 people last year. Cal Fire said Wednesday the lines in the Pulga area ignited the Nov. 8 fire that killed 85 people in Paradise. The investigation also identified a second nearby ignition site involving vegetation and electrical distribution lines, also owned and operated by the San Francisco-based utility.


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will declare his bid for the presidency on Thursday, a campaign spokesperson said on Wednesday, joining the almost two dozen other candidates already competing for the Democratic nomination.


American women are having fewer babies according to a new report by the National Center for Health Statistics. It reveals in 2018 there were just over 3.7 million births, a 32 year low. Birth rates declined across nearly all age groups, with the biggest drop among teens, but when it comes to women in their late 30s and early 40s, the rates are up.



Wednesday, May 15th, 2019


The Bakersfield Police Department said the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is planning to release between 100 and 120 inmates in Bakersfield. According to the press release, the inmates will be dropped off at the Grey Hound Bus Station at 1820 18th Street, between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday. The press release goes on to say "a majority of the subjects being released are not being paroled to Bakersfield or Kern County and should be seeking transportation to other areas in the state after their initial release in Bakersfield.



Tuesday, May 14th, 2019


The Bakersfield Condors couldn't quite muster up a comeback effort in Game 6 against the San Diego Gulls Monday night. In a must-win game for the Condors. The final score was 6 to 2. It is the farthest the Condors have ever made in the AHL playoffs. See ya next year. 


Disney's takeover of Hulu is just about complete. Comcast on Tuesday agreed to sell its ownership stake in the streaming video service to Disney. The sale won't happen for at least another five years, but Disney will take full operational control of Hulu right now.


Amazon, which is racing to deliver packages faster, is turning to its employees with a proposition: Quit your job and we'll help you start a business delivering Amazon packages. Amazon says it will cover up to $10,000 in startup costs for employees who are accepted into the program and leave their jobs. The company says it will also pay them three months' worth of their salary. The offer is open to most part-time and full-time Amazon employees, including warehouse workers who pack and ship orders.


Graduation for the Senior class is drawing near for Kern Valley High School. The ceremony will take place on Thursday the 30th at 5pm on the football field. Congratulations to the students and their families. 



The East Hills Mall auction has been postponed to May 20 at 10 a.m. It was scheduled to be auctioned yesterday morning, but the original owners are allowing another week for the current owners to come up with a past due payment of more than 7 million dollars. 


Lawyer and local marijuana advocate, David Abbasi, has been arrested and charged with misdemeanors related to firearm possession Friday. According to the Bakersfield Police Department Abbasi had flashed a gun at a teenaged boy Sunday, April 28, in east Bakersfield. During their investigation officers found the conflict began after his and another persons dogs attacked each other. According to the Department, Abbasi did not have a concealed weapons permit and was unlawfully carrying the gun.


Yesterday, China announced it is imposing tariffs on $60 billion worth of American goods. News that causes growers like Steve Murray, founder and owner of Murray Family Farms, to feel uncertain about. He exports several of his crops to China and said before the trade wars started, he paid a 15 percent for tariffs. Murray said tariff price tag increased to 25 percent and he expects it to potentially reach 50 percent. The tariffs are not only causing concerns among farmers, they are also taking a hit on Wall Street.


An Alameda County Superior Court jury ruled against Monsanto in another lawsuit claiming that its popular herbicide, Roundup, causes cancer. Alva and Alberta Pilliod of Livermore claim that exposure to Roundup caused both of them to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The jury agreed, awarding the couple $1 billion each in punitive damages for a total of $2 billion. They were also awarded $55 million in compensatory damages.


Here's something that may not be for everybody. A different kind of festival is coming to Bakersfield in June, but rather than art and music, this one focuses on one thing - death. The 'Before I Die" festival is a day-long event that covers every facet of death, from funerals to hospice care to ghosts and even the afterlife. The festival works to help people plan ahead with a variety of death-related topics.


A woman who befriended an elderly man with dementia then drained him of his savings was sentenced Monday to five years in prison. 61 year old Donna Crick pleaded no contest to a single charge of theft or embezzlement from an elder or dependent adult. Eighty-one other charges that had been filed against her were dismissed under the plea agreement, which stipulated the prison term. Crick was arrested Dec. 5 on allegations she wrote checks to herself and made ATM withdrawals from the 92-year-old victim's account totaling $172,000. 


Bakersfield police were called to the Valley Plaza Mall over the weekend for reports of a massive fight involving dozens of teens. Officers responded to reports of a fight in the parking lot of the mall at around 4:30 p.m. Saturday. According to police, 30 to 35 teens were involved. Police say the crowd dispersed as soon as officers arrived on scene. No arrests were made and no injuries were reported.




Monday, May 13th, 2019


The Bakersfield Condors won a must-win Game 5 on Saturday night against the San Diego Gulls in double overtime, 2-1. Joe Gambardella scored first in the first period. The Gulls tied it up in the second, 1-1. Both teams were scoreless in the third, sending the game into overtime for the third time in five games. The Condors trail in the series, 3-2 and will play game six tonight in San Diego. Hopefully, game seven will happen Wednesday at Rabbobank Arena.


Mothers around the world are celebrated each May. In Bakersfield, one mom says it’s a holiday she’ll always remember as the day she went into labor with a healthy eight-pound baby, Isaac Xavier, at Memorial Hospital.


Search and rescue efforts are underway to find a missing 16-year-old. Tulare County Sheriff's Deputies say the teen was in the Tule River around 6:45 p.m. Sunday, when he suddenly went under the water, but never came back up. The Tulare County Sheriff's Dive Team is at the River, searching the water near the Coffee Campground stairs, between Springville and Camp Nelson.


A public auction of East Hills Mall has been rescheduled to next Monday at the request of the shopping center's former owner, according to information provided by the company handling the property's foreclosure. The notice may suggest Modesto-based Retail Equities LLC has granted local developers additional time to make up a payment of more than $7 million they missed last summer. An auction had been scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday on the steps of Bakersfield City Hall South, 1501 Truxtun Ave. But now it is set for the same time, same place on May 20.


This weekend, it's History Days at the Kern Valley Museum put on by the Kern River Valley Historical Society. This is the museum’s way of thanking the community for their support. So, put on your best western duds and come on out and join the fun!  Saturday, there will be our marvelous Dutch oven cooks, Native American crafts, demonstrations of butter churning and gold panning, and tractors on display in the field across from the Museum. On Sunday, there will be music in the Pack Station.


Few things seem to unite more people than robocalls. The annoying scam phone calls are illegal, but something that we all seem to have experienced at one point or another. Connie Alarcon with the Better Business Bureau says one of the primary drivers of the problem is new technology. And despite efforts to crackdown, it's only getting worse. The FCC estimates that as many as half of all phone calls made in the U.S. this year will be robocalls.


A strong earthquake struck a lightly populated area of Panama near its border with Costa Rica on Sunday, causing some wooden porches to collapse and products to shake from store shelves. Authorities had no reports of serious damage or injuries more than two hours after the tremor. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a 6.1 preliminary magnitude.


A Connecticut man has been indicted on charges that he threatened to kill President Donald Trump and sent letters he claimed contained anthrax. Gary Joseph Gravelle of New Haven faces charges including conveying false information about an explosive and threats against the president.


A California Highway Patrol Officer is recovering Sunday morning following a hit-and-run crash on Cottonwood Road and highway 58. The officer stopped for a light, and when he proceeded, he was by a pickup driven by 48 year old Juan Moreno of Bakersfield. Moreno then fled to a nearby residence where he was eventually arrested and charged with suspicion of a DUI and felony hit-and-run. Officials say the officer suffered minor to moderate injuries and was taken to Kern Medical where he was later released. Officials say he is expected to make a full recovery.


A man already in police custody for several felonies has been charged with murder in the death of 38-year-old man who was found in Caliente. According to the Kern County Sheriff's Office On December 18, 2018, 38-year-old Marcos Munoz was found dead on Bena Road, west of Caliente Bodfish Road, in Caliente. The Kern County Coroner ruled Munoz died of multiple gunshot wounds. Michael Pinon has been charged with first degree murder in connection with Munoz's death. Pinon was already in custody for four other felony charges.





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