LOCAL/REGIONAL NEWS 7am-8am-9am-12pm-5pm

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

The Kern County Homeless Collaborative reports that 1,330 homeless people were counted in shelters and on the streets during the annual Point in Time Homeless Count that happened in January. The count took place on Jan 30-31. The count showed a 50-percent increase in the number of homeless people versus the count from 2018. The 2018 count found 885 homeless people. The PIT count drew 49 percent more volunteers who helped count and survey those experiencing homelessness in Kern County.

California is calling in the National Guard for the first time next month to help protect communities from devastating fires like the one that largely destroyed the city of Paradise last fall. It's pulling the troops away from President Donald Trump's border protection efforts and devoting them to fire protection, another area where Trump has been critical of California's Democratic officials — even repeatedly threatening to cut off federal disaster funding.

If President Trump's proposed Space Force happens, Kern County supervisors want to welcome it. On Tuesday, supervisors adopted a position in support of establishing the first U.S. Space Force base, pursuing a future installation in Kern County. Should it happen, it could mean high-paying jobs and development in Eastern Kern County.

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

A special meeting held by the Kern County Board of Supervisors yesterday resulted in two medical marijuana dispensaries being forced to close before the end of the month. The Plum Tree Collective and Tanner Vest, both located in Rosamond, have been given orders to shut their doors by March 28th. District II County Board Supervisor Zack Scrivner put forth the proposal for the quick shutdown.

Space Force, the newest division of the U.S. military is going to need a home, and many think it should be in Kern County. Starting with Chuck Jager breaking the sound barrier, Kern County has been the spot for many major air and space accomplishments. During their afternoon session on today, the Kern County Board of Supervisors will make an official decision to pursue the Space Force's first base.

Consumers may already be turning away from buying fur coats accessories, but New York state could make it illegal. According to the New York Post , Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) has introduced an anti-fur bill that would ban the manufacture of all pelts in New York by 2021. The bill is similar to the anti-fur regulations in place in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Like Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz,” the Southern California city of Lake Elsinore is being overwhelmed by the power of the poppies. About 150,000 people over the weekend flocked to see this year’s rain-fed flaming orange patches of poppies lighting up the hillsides near the city of about 60,000 residents. Interstate 15 was a parking lot. People fainted in the heat; a dog romping through the fields was bitten by a rattlesnake. I would guess it may have broken a record for selfies in a poppy field. 

The third and final supermoon of 2019 is set to be seen on Wednesday, just ahead of the official start of spring in the U.S. The next supermoon won't rise again until Feb. 9, 2020. Wednesday's supermoon will appear just a few hours after the Vernal Equinox. If the current weather forecast holds, we will be mostly cloudy with a chance of rain. 

Fantasies of buying 423 castles or 2,143 Ferraris could become reality this week now that the Powerball jackpot has topped half a billion dollars. Wednesday's estimated jackpot, $550 million, is the eighth largest in Powerball history. (If you're impatient and want all your millions at once, the lump-sum cash value option is $335 million.)  Your chances of winning? 1 in 292,201,338. 

Apple on Monday quietly announced new versions of the iPad Air and iPad mini, the company's first refresh for those products in years. Typically Apple creates fanfare around the arrival of new hardware. But this year it wants the focus of its upcoming spring press event to be all about its rumored streaming service. 

Rabobank, National Association, will be acquired by Mechanics Bank after entering a into a definitive agreement. Mechanics Bank has 44 branches throughout California while Rabobank, N.A. has 100 branches nationwide, combined they will have 144 branches nationwide with $17 million in total assets. The transaction is expected to go through in the third quarter of 2019. All Rabobank banks will be called Mechanics Bank after the merger. 

Monday, March 18th, 2019


he Bakersfield Police Department conducted a DUI/Driver's License checkpoint in the 4100 block of Truxtun Avenue on Saturday night.

No arrests were made for anyone driving under the influence out of the 1,753 cars screened, according to BPD.

However, police say eight drivers were found to be driving without a license and seven motorists were driving on a suspended license.

A tanker truck leaking gasoline caught fire and caused an explosion that injured two people and sent up a huge plume visible across Los Angeles on Sunday, authorities said. The blast reverberated through storm drains and sent manhole covers into the air, fire department officials said. Dozens of firefighters took nearly two hours to douse the stubborn blaze in a neighborhood about 6 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

Two Union Avenue hotel owner/operators agreed to pay more than $26,676 in costs and restitution and make improvements at their hotels, the Kern County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday. An environmental and consumer-protection action was brought against Bharat “Bobby” Patel and Juan Angel Zazueta regarding the Residence Inn and the Gateway Motel. An additional penalty of $150,000 was suspended on the condition that Patel and Zazueta comply with the terms of the judgement. Could someone tell us how to get ahold of the owners of a certain motel property on Lake Isabella Boulevard?

Attention Raider Nation. The Coliseum Authority has approved a lease agreement to keep the Raiders in Oakland for at least one more season. The board voted Friday to approve the lease with the Raiders for 2019 with an option for 2020. The deal still must be approved by the Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, but no hang-ups are expected.

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, billed as the largest children's museum in the world, has removed its display of Michael Jackson items. Following HBO's latest documentary on the late pop icon, "Leaving Neverland," which depicts sexual abuse claims from two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, controversy has arose in almost every facet of his remembrance.

If you're a healthy older adult looking for ways to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, don't turn to that age-old standby: daily low-dose aspirin. It's no longer recommended as a preventative for older adults who don't have a high risk or existing heart disease, according to guidelines announced Sunday by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. 

After no one matched all six numbers in Saturday's $495 million drawing, the jackpot is growing to an estimated $550 million for Wednesday's drawing. The cash value lump sum is an estimated $335 million.

Friday, March 15th, 2019

Two wounded people have been detained after an armed robbery and police shooting. An officer was on patrol Thursday night on Planz Road when he saw an armed robbery in progress at the La Villa restaurant, police said. Moments later, that officer fired his gun at the suspects at the front of the restaurant. The robbery suspects got away, but shortly after that two wounded “subjects” that matched the descriptions of the robbery suspects arrived at a hospital. Police responded and detained those people.

Kern County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Justin Fleeman has filed a claim against Kern County, alleging numerous counts of defamation, false light, invasion of privacy, violoations of the Labor Code, violations of his civil rights and more against the KCSO. claim, he states that when he told Youngblood he was planning to run against him, Youngblood said he felt “betrayed.” Fleeman said Youngblood “intentionally mislead the public” about Fleeman during the campaign.

California is free of drought for the first time in more than seven years and only a small amount of its territory remains abnormally dry as a very wet winter winds down, experts said Thursday. More than 93 percent of the state is free of drought or dryness, and areas of abnormal dryness along the Oregon border and in parts of four southern counties amount to less than 7 percent of the state, the U.S. Drought Monitor said in its weekly update.

Allergy season is officially upon us with high pollen levels expected to last through the weekend. Dr. Patrick Leung has been an allergy specialist in Bakersfield for over 40 years and said this year is already one of the worst he's seen. This pollen is already triggering people's allergies before spring has even officially started. Allergies affect more than 50 million Americans and is the sixth leading chronic illness among adults in the country.

A small plane ran into another aircraft on a Los Angeles-area runaway in a fiery crash that killed one person and injured another. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says a Cessna with two people aboard landed Wednesday night at Compton/Woodley Airport. A North American T-28 then landed and ran into the Cessna, which was still on the runway. The Cessna exploded into flames.

A woman was shot at a Fastrip in Southwest Bakersfield Thursday afternoon, according to BPD. According to BPD, around 1:17 p.m., officers were dispatched to the Fastrip in the 3700 block of Ming Avenue for reports of a shooting. When officers arrived, they found a woman suffering from a gunshot to the torso. The woman was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries.

Kern County has seen the deadliest flu season in five years, and data suggests it could be a while before the season winds down. As of last week, seven people have died due to the flu this season and 19 people have been hospitalized, a large jump from two deaths and 11 hospitalizations last season. This year still has a ways to reach the 2013-14 season, when 11 people died from complications related to flu.

The gulf between Americans who oppose and those who support the death penalty has been deep and wide for decades. So it came as no surprise when the response in Kern County was sharp and immediate Wednesday following Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement that he has placed a moratorium on the executions of 737 death row inmates in California. Indeed, in 2016, more than 53 percent of California voters — and more than 69 percent of Kern County voters — opted to reject Proposition 62, which would have replaced capital punishment with life without parole. The same year, Proposition 66, designed to speed up death penalty appeals, was passed by 51 percent of voters across the state.

The 31st annual Kern County Science Fair took place at the Rabobank Convention Center on Tuesday. Congrats to some local winners out of about 630 fourth- through 12th-grade students.

Plant Nutrition....First Place — Kasey Lassen / Woodrow Wallace Middle School

Environmental Science....Third Place — Trevor Stanton / Woodrow Wallace Middle School

Biology....First Place — John Erick Tarcena / Woodrow Wallace Middle School

Product Science II......Second Place — Ella Mauer / Kernville Elementary

Chemistry I.....First Place — Miliani Barraza / Woodrow Wallace Elementary