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Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Blasting operations are scheduled to take place around 3 p.m. Tuesday for the Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project, according to the Lake Isabella Dam Task Force. Both directions on Highway 155 will be closed for a short period during the blasting.

 When is it time to retire from driving?  Experts say the answer isn’t the same for everyone. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found conversations about what mature drivers are facing and experiencing on the road, and if they’re able to continue driving, usually don’t happen until after a traffic collision or incident. AAA also said people shouldn’t be too quick to judge older drivers because they’re some of the safest drivers on the road.

A tentative deal was reached Tuesday between Los Angeles school officials and the teachers union that will allow educators to return to classrooms after a six-day strike against the nation's second-largest district, officials said.

The Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump's transgender military ban to go into effect on Tuesday, dealing a blow to LGBT activists who call the ban cruel and irrational. The Justices did not rule on the merits of the case, but will allow the ban to go forward while the lower courts work through it.

And I thought I would let you know that tomorrow is National pie Day in case you wish to plan ahead. But if you think about it, it's tomorrow somewhere right now. Enjoy.

Monday, January 21nd, 2019

Sunday , the Kern County Fire Department was dispatched to reports of a vehicle over the side on Hwy 178 in the Kern River Canyon. First arriving crews were able to locate a vehicle that went over the side and down into the canyon. The Primary search found one victim that appeared to have been thrown from the vehicle and was pronounced dead on scene. A secondary search was completed with no other victims found. The Kern County coroner’s office has identified the driver as 47-year-old Phillip Edward Turner, of Frazier Park

Well, the Superbowl is set for February 3rd with the L.A. Rams taking on the ever present New England Patriots. Some would say there some bad officiating in both the NFC and AFC championship games, and they would be right. 

Kamala Harris, a first-term senator and former California attorney general known for her rigorous questioning of President Donald Trump's nominees, entered the Democratic presidential race on Monday. Vowing to "bring our voices together."

John Travolta's John Gotti biopic "Gotti" has topped the 39th annual Razzie Awards with a co-leading six nominations, while President Donald Trump also earned a nod for worst actor. 

 According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Motorola is expected to bring back the Razr phone with a few upgrades. The flip phone first came out in 2004. The new Razr phone is expected to be a smartphone with a foldable screen. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Razr will be sold exclusively through Verizon and will cost about $1,500. It’s expected to be released sometime in February.

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Bakersfield Saturday, Jan. 19 for the second annual Women's March Kern County. The event had over 70 organizations, food booths and artisans, according to Kimberly Kerchmer, executive director Women's March Kern County. The morning started with guest speakers, music and performances. The march started at noon.

Friday, January 18th, 2019

  Californians were cleaning up and drying off Friday after a series of storms dumped heavy rain and snow throughout the state, caused at least six deaths and forced the rescue of more than a dozen people in rushing rivers. Road crews will be working to clear mud, debris and trees that blocked some roads from Malibu to San Francisco. In Ventura County, residents were urged to avoid coming into contact with storm runoff or ocean water for several days after flooding at an RV park sent 4,500 gallons of sewage into a river.

Big football games on Sunday. The NFC championship game between the L.A. Rams and the New Orleans Saints, and the AFC championship game will take place in Kansas City with the Patriots coming in to play the Chiefs. By the way, a recent poll shows that the Patriots are the most disliked team in the NFL and that the majority of football fans to not want them to make it to the Superbowl. 

Monday, we comemorate Martin Luther King Jr. with a holiday. There will be no Tradio program on Monday on KCNQ radio. It will return Tuesday. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office says she was forced to nix her Afghanistan trip after after President Donald Trump barred her from using a military aircraft and she was told by the State Department diplomatic security that it was too dangerous to fly there commercially. It is normal procedure to plan these trip in secret by many governmental departments to insure the safety of those travelling. By announcing the trip, President Trump made the trip too dangerous. 

The rush is on for those impacted by the government shutdown. Federal workers aren’t the only ones hurting. Families relying on food stamps are being told it’s time to ration. Across the country, people and organizations are stepping up to help federal workers. The shutdown is hitting people who don’t work for the government.  

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

A man has been arrested for a shooting in Wofford Heights. The victim, whose name was withheld, was found Wednesday afternoon on Evans Road. He’s expected to live. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation led to 64-year-old John Raymond Rener, who was taken into custody without incident on Lakeview Terrace. Rener was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide and assault with a deadly weapon.

The Kern River Valley and Kernville chambers of commerce announced that local businesses want to help furloughed government workers in the valley. The chambers reached out to local restaurants and grocery stores to work with them to help take care of those people directly affected by the shutdown. If you have a business that is willing to open a "tab" to those affected by the shutdown, please contact either the Kern River Valley or Kernville chambers of commerce.

California endorsed a rule Wednesday that will allow home marijuana deliveries statewide, even into communities that have banned commercial pot sales. The regulation by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control was opposed by police chiefs and other critics who predict it will create an unruly market of largely hidden pot transactions, while undercutting control by cities and counties.

The number of furloughed federal employees seeking unemployment benefits jumped in the first two weeks of the shutdown, topping 10,000 during the week of Jan. 5. The Labor Department said Thursday that is double the number of federal workers who sought aid in the previous week. Typically fewer than a thousand former federal employees apply for jobless benefits each week.

The Trump administration does not know how many children were separated from a parent or guardian last year, but it's "thousands" more than the the 2,737 it has previously acknowledged, according to a new inspector general report .

Bob Costas, who stepped down as NBC’s prime-time Olympics host two years ago, has left the network’s sports division altogether. On Tuesday, Costas told the New York Post of his decision to leave NBC Sports, saying his departure was settled “quietly and happily for all concerned.”

 An earthquake has rocked the East Bay for the second day in a row. A 3.5 earthquake shook the East Bay this morning around 6:30 a.m. The USGS says the earthquake happened near Berkeley and was about 7 miles deep. Yesterday, a 3.4 earthquake shook the East Bay around 4:45 a.m. near Piedmont.

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

A rough week in store weather wise. Up to 6 inches of rain is likely to fall on the coast and in the valleys and one or more feet of snow will pile up in the mountains. A foot of snow is expected in the Southern California mountains with several feet in the Sierras. Flash flooding will become a concern, especially in urban areas. There is a threat of mudslides and mud flows, especially downhill from burn-scarred areas in all parts of California. Winds could gust more than 40 mph across the valleys and could reach more than 60 mph in the mountains. Significant travel delays at major airports and on the roadways are likely throughout the week. The strongest of the storms will be Wednesday and Thursday.

The Trump administration cannot put a question about citizenship status on the 2020 census, a federal judge in New York ruled Friday in a boost to proponents of counting immigrants. In a 277-page decision that won't be the final word on the issue, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ruled that while such a question would be constitutional, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had moved to add it to the census arbitrarily and had not followed proper administrative procedures.

With the government mired in shutdown week four, President Donald Trump is rejecting a short-term legislative fix and digging in for a fight, declaring he will “never ever back down.”  Air travelers endured waits of more than an hour to get through domestic checkpoints at the world’s busiest airport in Atlanta on Monday. Delta Air Lines says it's on pace to lose $25 million in revenue this month as federal employees and contractors remain grounded by the partial government shutdown.

The setting is different, but the complaints of teachers who are out on strike in Los Angeles are echoing those heard in walkouts nationwide. Unlike protests that closed schools last spring in states including West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona, the strike that began Monday is unfolding in a liberal-leaning state and one of the country's biggest cities.

The Kern County Superintendent of Schools is reporting closures on Tuesday due to weather. The El Tejon Unified School District is now on a full closure due to snow and/or ice. Peak to Peak Mountain Charter is also closed for the day. No closures in the Valley or in Bakersfield have been reported. The stormy weather is expected to pick up again this week. 

California Highway Patrol dispatch centers have received several 911 calls since mid-November of last year of suspicious people posing as disabled motorists in order to receive money from passing motorists. According to officials, the vehicles have been described as dark colored SUV's many of which have out of state license plates. If motorists don't stop, officials said that a man jumps in front of the vehicle. These reports have come in from many cities throughout the Central Valley and CHP is currently conducting an investigation into the reports.

For the second day in a row Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia is shut down due to weather. Storms have hit California, leading to snow and rain in the area.

Netflix is raising the prices of its U.S. subscription plans by 13-18 percent. This is the largest increase since the company launched its streaming service more than a decade ago. This will impact the existing 58 million U.S. users and any future subscribers.

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Facing potentially colossal liabilities over deadly California wildfires, PG&E will file for bankruptcy protection. The announcement Monday follows the resignation of the power company's chief executive a day earlier. Shares plunged by 50 percent before the opening bell. PG&E said Monday that it's given the required 15-day advance notice that it plans to file for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection.

 A wind-driven fire erupted early Monday morning at a green-waste collection site in southeast Bakersfield. The Kern County Fire Department said the fire started in some wood chips at the Mt. Vernon Composting Facility, at South Mt. Vernon Avenue and East Planz Road. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

President Donald Trump on Monday rejected the suggestion that he temporarily reopen government while negotiations continue on his proposed border wall, signaling no speedy resolution to the partial government shutdown now into a fourth week.

Authorities say a worker at a California citrus orchard has died after a blade from a wind machine fell off and struck him. The Fresno Bee reports a 600-pound (272-kilogram) propeller struck 53-year-old Richard Escobedo on Jan. 3 at the orchard operated by Wonderful Citrus northeast of Visalia.

Canadian air traffic controllers have been sending more than just radio signals across the border this weekend. They ordered hundreds of pizzas for their American counterparts working without pay due to the ongoing US government shutdown. Peter Duffey, president of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association, said the controllers were looking for a way to help the American controllers as they faced their first payday with no pay on Friday.

A California federal district court judge halted the Trump administration's weakening of Obamacare's contraceptive mandate Sunday, a day before the new rules were to take effect. The first one would allow non-profit and for-profit employers, including publicly traded companies, to receive an exemption based on their religious beliefs. The second would let all but public companies obtain an exemption based on moral objections. Government employers cannot request exemptions.

After a ceremonial swearing-in Friday, new Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer is on the job. She was officially took office on last Monday. She was asked what her top priority will be in her new role. Zimmer stated that her priority as district attorney will be to work very hard to reduce violent crime in Kern County.

The government shutdown is now the longest in United States history, and among the 800,000 federal employees going without pay, some essential employees in Kern County are frustrated by continuing to work without pay. Many have resorted to applying for unemployment benefits, but those still working are not eliglible, and the frustration is growing. Some have had to dig into savings to survive and others are beginning to question whether or not to continue to work under the federal government. 

A massive teachers strike in Los Angeles, the nation's second-largest school district, is all but inevitable starting today after the two sides did not renew negotiations over the weekend. Talks broke down Friday when the teachers' union rejected as "woefully inadequate" a new offer from the LA Unified School District.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts on Rosedale Highway, has been closed by the Kern County Public Health Services due to rodent droppings found in the store. A health inspector observed rodent droppings behind sugar and flour pallets in the back food-storage area on Friday. The investigator noted that a “deep cleaning” is required. (and you thought they were just sprinkles)

A mass drug overdose at a home in Chico, California, has killed one person and sent more than a dozen people to hospitals, police said. Chico Police Chief Michael O'Brien said the main substance involved is believed to be fentanyl -- the most commonly used drug in overdoses, according to a recent government report.

If you've got some spare time, and you'd like to make a difference in someone's life...Optimal Hospice is looking for volunteers. Optimal Hospice Care says they need people who can offer all sorts of things from companionship to bereavement support to pet therapy, even some karaoke singers. Optimal cares for more families in the Kern County area than any other hospice. Training is free and they are willing to work around your schedule. Volunteers are needed in Bakersfield, Lake Isabella, Taft, Arvin, Lamont, Delano and Shafter.

A person died in a fall at the Amazon fulfillment center construction site in Oildale on Saturday. The Kern County Fire Department said firefighters were called out to the center, which is being built across from the Meadow Fields Airport near Merle Haggard Drive, Saturday afternoon after getting a report of a fatal fall at the site. While the department handled the initial investigation, it has since been transferred to the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration for further investigation.