Thursday, December 22nd, 2022
Thousands of flights were canceled, and homeless shelters were overflowing Thursday amid one of the most treacherous holiday travels seasons the U.S. has seen in decades, with temperatures plummeting 50 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas and forecasters warning of an impending “bomb cyclone” that could make conditions even worse before Christmas.
A new U.S. Forest Service (USFS) visitor center in Lake Isabella that will open in 2025. Construction is scheduled to begin by 2024, according to a press release from his office. The property was purchased by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers located at 6212 Lake Isabella Boulevard. The new site of the visitor center will replace the previous one that was demolished as part of the Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project.
The high cost of doing business in California is costing the state businesses, according to a survey from Claremont McKenna College. The 2022 Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey found that 64-percent of businesses have left California over the past 30 years and relocated to lower-cost states, namely Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Oregon. Las Vegas was the top destination.
A state of emergency was declared overnight as officials assessed the damage from Tuesday's 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Humboldt County. Two people died from medical emergencies, while another dozen was injured. Both numbers could still rise. Experts say there's now an 11 percent chance of a quake stronger than magnitude-five hitting in the next week. Residents are left shaken, with more than 80 aftershocks already reported so far.
The sale of existing homes in the U.S. continues to slide, and California has seen some of the largest declines in the nation. Data released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors shows existing home sales nationwide dipped 7.7% from October to November and were down 35.4% from the previous year. November was the 10th consecutive month of declines. The dip was more severe in the western United States, where existing home sales fell 12.5% in November and were down 45.7% from a year ago.
In light of the holiday weekend, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is taking extra precautions on the roadways by implementing a Maximum Enforcement Period in Kern County. A Maximum Enforcement Period means all available officers will be on duty. The period begins tomorrow after 6 p.m. and continues through midnight on Sunday, Dec 25.
The parents of a man and girl killed by an alleged impaired driver are suing Greenfield Union School District, alleging the area where the two were standing when hit was used as a bus stop despite being located “on a high-speed, heavily-traveled roadway.” The suit filed earlier this month by the parents of J.J. Malone, 19, and Caylee Brown, 10, alleges the district regularly used an area near the corner of Panama Lane and Hammond Way to drop off Granite Pointe Elementary School students. Malone and Brown were waiting for their younger brother on Dec. 8, 2021, when a car went over the sidewalk and hit them.
The average price of regular unleaded gasoline dropped to $4.37 per gallon statewide Monday, down 15 cents from a week ago and 93 cents from a month ago, according to AAA. In the Los Angeles area, regular unleaded is $4.47/gallon. Despite the decline, California is still well above the national average of $3.14/gallon.
Traveling to and from Californian airports can already be a hassle, but while the busy Southern California-based airport is included in the UC Berkeley study, Heath Montgomery, the director of public relations at LAX, explained that the roads that could be impacted by flooding aren’t the same pathways that lead travelers to the airport or other structures. a new study shows that climate change can make the trip even worse, if not impossible.
Consumer banking giant Wells Fargo agreed to pay $3.7 billion to settle a laundry list of charges that it harmed consumers by charging illegal fees and interest on auto loans and mortgages, as well as incorrectly applied overdraft fees against savings and checking accounts.
Last week, the Los Angeles city council approved their new mayor, Karen Bass’ state of emergency on homelessness. The approval will allow Mayor Bass to take an aggressive approach to house homelessness. According to city officials, Bakersfield declared a shelter crisis relating to homelessness back in 2018. Gonzales said even though it has been a few years since the declaration, they understand Kern County continues to have a problem and there's more work that needs to be done.
Monday, December 19th, 2022
The weather week looks like Highs around 60 with overnight lows in the mid 30s. No moisture anytime soon.
In his quest to rise to House speaker, Kevin McCarthy is charging straight into history — potentially becoming the first nominee in 100 years unable to win the job on a first-round floor vote. The increasingly real prospect of a messy floor fight over the speaker's gavel on Day One of the new Congress on Jan. 3 is worrying House Republicans, who are bracing for the spectacle.
The Senate has passed a sweeping annual defense authorization by a vote of 83 to 11. The legislation authorizes $858 billion in national defense funding and rescinds the U.S. military's COVID vaccine mandate. Additionally, a nearly five percent pay raise for service members is included along with provisions to strengthen air power and cybersecurity capabilities.
Twitter has been engulfed in chaos since billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the helm, cutting the company’s workforce in half, upending the platform’s verification system, reinstating previously banned accounts — including those of white nationalists — and suspending journalists who've been covering him. You do have other choices like Mastodon and even Tumblr. A tremendous number of social media users are jumping off the blue bird and going elsewhere.
A federal judge on Friday said he will block part of a new California measure that critics say was designed to make it nearly impossible to challenge the state's gun laws in court. U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez said he plans to issue an injunction because the law would force people who challenge any of California's famously restrictive gun laws to pay the government's legal fees if they lose.
Nearly a dozen people were seriously injured when a flight to Hawaii was rocked by severe turbulence on yesterday about 30 minutes outside Honolulu. Eleven people were hospitalized in serious condition and nine others were in stable condition. A call came in shortly after 11 a.m. about the injuries on a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Phoenix. Responders treated 36 people and of those, 20 people were transported for further medical treatment.
The new mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, said Sunday her administration will start moving homeless people from tent encampments into hotels and motels through a new program that launches tomorrow. On her first day as mayor of Los Angeles, Bass declared a state of emergency on homelessness.
Thursday, December 15th, 2022
A cold and frosty morning indeed. We'll hit the mid 50s for the rest of the week with overnight lows continuing around 30. Cold temperatures will continue to dominate the short-range forecast. A Freeze Warning will remain in place until Monday of next week.
The “Firefall” in Yosemite National Park is one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful and elusive spectacles. For just a few days in February, the sun sets at the perfect angle to backlight Horsetail Fall with vivid orange colors. Sunlight shining through the waterfall looks like graceful flowing lava or liquid fire. The “Firefall” has become so popular in recent years that park officials are requiring reservations to enter Yosemite between February 10-27, 2023. The window for making reservations will open at 8 a.m. Friday.
In light of the stormy weather that came through California last weekend, it is highly recommended you check road reports of you are going to be doing any traveling. This is also the time of year you want to stock you car with blankets, road flares, perhaps water and snacks, and traction devices to keep you from getting stranded.
Home prices should be flat throughout 2023, with a drop in the number of houses sold, according to the National Association of Realtors' annual forecast. But he said people "concerned about their housing wealth" should feel secure. He forecasts the median home price to remain essentially unchanged and possibly tick up to $385,800 from this year’s median price of $384,500.
People might be used to being a secret Santa for other people, but have they considered playing that role for pets? Kern County Animal Services is giving people the opportunity to do so while working to spread holiday cheer to shelter pets this season. Donations of gently used blankets, treats, and toys for the dogs, but more than anything, we want to see these animals get a permanent home. If you've ever considered adopting, now is a good time.
For those that got an email that said their student loan was forgiven, it's an error. The United States Department of Education mistakenly sent out about nine million emails informing recipients of student debt forgiveness last month. Thus far, no one has received debt forgiveness.
Wednesday, December 14th, 2022
Our KRV weather remains cold. A high of 54 today, and 31 overnight.
A rescue for a horse and its rider took place near Bodfish on Saturday, December 10th. Lake Isabella firefighters say they found the rider after the horse bucked them off just before 1:30 p.m. The horse fell into the Edison Flume near Miller Street. Firefighters treated the rider and took them to a local hospital. According to the firefighters, they then created a dirt ramp with the use of backhoes to save the horse from the flume. The horse was returned safely to its owner.
A nearby ski resort is now under new ownership. The owner and operator of Mountain High and Dodge Ridge Resorts has purchased China Peak Mountain Resort in Lakeshore. For the past 12 and a half years, China Peak was owned by its general manager, Tim Cohee. The new owner and Cohee have been colleagues for many years and look forward to working together, as Cohee has agreed to remain as China Peak's operator.
Economists at Goldman Sachs expect Fed policy makers on Wednesday to signal their median expectation is for rates to hit a range of 5% to 5.25%, up by half a percentage point from their last projection. Some investors also continue to make moves in anticipation of the Fed cutting interest rates during the second half of 2023.
State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are now proposing legislation requiring schools across the state to have Narcan on campuses in case of overdoses. Narcan is a brand name for the prescription drug naloxone, used to treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency. The legislation comes after fentanyl deaths accounted for more than 80% of all drug-related deaths among young Californians in 2021.
California’s Attorney General, Rob Bonta, announced a $5.7 billion multistate settlement against Walgreens for its role in the opioid epidemic Monday morning. “The settlement will resolve allegations that the company failed to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at its pharmacies,” a news release said.
A large study by U.S. highway safety regulators found that more than half the people injured or killed in traffic crashes had one or more drugs, or alcohol, in their bloodstreams. Also, just over 54% of injured drivers had drugs or alcohol in their systems. Acting NHTSA Administrator Ann Carlson said the study found that nearly 20% of the drivers tested had blood-alcohol levels of 0.08% or higher, exceeding the legal limit in every state.
Argentina will play for a World Cup championship after a dominant 3-0 win over Croatia in yesterday's semifinal. Argentina will take on the winner of France and Morocco on Sunday.
Tuesday, December 13th, 2022
Clear and cold is the weather description for the next several days. Highs in the KRV in the low 50s, with overnight lows below the freezing level.
Heavy snow fell in the Sierra Nevada while downpours at lower elevations triggered flood watches Sunday across large swaths of California into Nevada. The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab in Soda Springs, California reported Sunday morning that more than 43 inches had fallen in a 48-hour span. The U.S. Forest Service issued an avalanche warning for the backcountry in the mountains west of Lake Tahoe where it said “several feet of new snow and strong winds will result in dangerous avalanche conditions.”
The Supreme Court on Monday refused a request from tobacco companies to stop California from enforcing a ban on flavored tobacco products that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in November. R.J. Reynolds and other tobacco companies sought the high court's intervention to keep the ban from taking effect by Dec. 21.
Dave Chappelle asked the crowd at his comedy show to "make some noise for the world's richest man." They did. Lots of booing. At the end of the show, Chappelle was talking about the need to get along and communicate with people with different viewpoints and perspectives. He invited Musk onstage. The billionaire obliged, wearing an "I Love Twitter" T-shirt. Loud boos filled the arena – along with some cheers, too.
It’s a matter of when and not if Costco decides to raise its membership fee from $60 annually, the company's Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti told investors last week. The last price increase came in 2017 when memberships increased by $5.
Joel William Mallette, 33, had red and watery eyes, slurred speech and smelled strongly of alcohol when stopped in a Toyota Solaris the afternoon of Dec. 7 on northbound I-5 north of the Kings County Line. The officer said he was conducting speed enforcement when he spotted the Solaris south of Twisselman Road and visually estimated it as traveling 105 mph, then confirmed a speed of 107 mph using radar. Mallette was taken into custody and his blood drawn, according to the warrant.
With the winter holidays right around the corner, drivers may see some vehicles traveling through California without a front license plate attached. This may leave some drivers confused about whether that is allowed in the state. According to California law, all vehicles registered within the state must have a license plate on the front and the rear. Those who do not adhere to the law can face a fine of up to $196.
The Harlem Globetrotters will stop by the Mechanics Bank Arena during their 2023 World Tour on Friday, February 17th. The iconic Globetrotters will face off against the Washington General while in Bakersfield. The game will feature players Hammer Harrison, Bulldog Mack, and TNT Lister. Lister is the first female player to play with the Globetrotters since 1993. Tickets start at $40.
Monday, December 12th, 2022
We had rain and an accumulation of low-level snow over the weekend. The sky will be clearing this afternoon, but it's going to remain cold. Today's high at just 45, and the overnight low at 26 degrees.
While La Niña has decided to stick around for a rare, triple-dip winter, we may soon be saying goodbye to the climate pattern that’s been with us, on and off, since 2020. An updated outlook released by the Climate Prediction Center Thursday confirms La Niña is expected to continue through winter, as has been expected for several months. That tends to bring a dryer winter to the southern half of the U.S. and a wetter winter to the northern half.
Back-to-back winter storms are hitting most of the country and the first system is making a significant impact in California. This week up to five feet of snow was expected in the Sierra Nevada. Meanwhile, in Lake Tahoe winds have been so fierce that a ski lift at a resort was forced to shut down. Those winds and heavy rains across Northern California also left an estimated 76 thousand people without power this weekend. One woman in that area even witnessed a powerline falling during heavy downpour.
There is a mountain of stories of people who have been manipulated, scared, scammed and threatened out of tens of thousands of dollars by scammers pretending to be everything from Amazon Prime employees to lovestruck royals from abroad. Now, the United States Attorney's Office is warning California residents about a new telephone scam where scammers pretend to be employees of the federal government and tell people they owe money. Just hang up on them.
There has been an uptick in illnesses recently during this season of change. It's a mixture of a resurgence of COVID infections, respiratory illnesses, and the flu. And now officials are recommending people put their masks on again in order to minimize the spread of viruses. Young children tend to be the most at risk of these illnesses.
Forty Kern County World War II veterans were celebrated during the ceremony. Hundreds of people came out for the unveiling of the Kern County WWII memorial. Many of them, veterans themselves. The memorial has six pillars. Each featuring the emblem of one of our country’s military branches during World War II. Below those emblems are the names of Kern County’s World War II warriors who gave their lives to fight for our freedom.
A bunch of Santa lookalikes took to the ski slopes to spread some seasonal cheer yesterday. More than 300 jolly ol’ elves — all dressed in red — dashed together down a mountain with white beards and Santa hats flapping in the breeze at the Sunday River ski resort in Maine. A skiing Grinch and a skiing Christmas tree joined the party. Quite a sight.
Thursday, December 8th, 2022
Sunny and cool in the KRV. Highs in the low 50s, with lows near 30. A good chance of more rain coming our way Saturday and Sunday. Partial clearing Monday.
It's been nearly two weeks since a local family has heard from their loved one. Nathan Jackson surprised his mom Ronda Craig for Thanksgiving in Wofford Heights. The following Friday he left the house for Bakersfield and that was the last time they saw him. His mom and cousin Brandon Kimble say while he was on 178 in the canyon and supposed to call them when he reached his destination...but he never called them, and never made it to his destination.
Good news for those hitting the road: gas prices should continue to fall. Oil prices hit their lowest level of the year on Monday, December 5th, dropping to just over $74 a barrel. That's 43 percent lower from the peak of over $130 a barrel in March.
Flu cases statewide are spiking, impacting hospitals filled with cases of COVID-19 and RSV. With mask mandates gone, holiday travel and gatherings, California is reporting some of the highest flu activity in the nation. According to Kern County Public Health, the surge is even impacting Kern County, which is reporting high flu levels.
California’s minimum wage is set to increase at the start of next month and, despite mounting inflation, it will be the smallest increase since 2018. The new minimum wage for businesses in the state, regardless of the number of employees, will increase from the current rate of $15 an hour to $15.50.
Two California state prisons will be closing down in the next few years. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced the planned closure of one prison, as well as the contract ending for another, on Tuesday, December 6th. The department is also expected to deactivate some facilities in six prisons, including in Tehachapi.
Close to 43,000 people died in a traffic crash in 2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That's up from about 39,000 deaths in 2020, and trends for the current year show the problem is only getting worse. In 2022, early estimates from the NHTSA showed more than 9,500 people were killed in traffic crashes within the first three months of the year.
Law enforcement officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 were honored yesterday with Congressional Gold Medals, praised as “heroes” for securing democracy when they fought off a brutal and bloody attack by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. Some recipients refused to shake the hands of Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy for their lack of support with what happened.
Wednesday, December 7th, 2022
Showers should arrive today in Kern County, followed by drier, colder conditions for the remainder of the work week. Saturday and Sunday could also bring additional showers. Tonight, the snow level is going to drop to around 4,000 feet, so expect snow in the high elevations.
Here is better news. According to the state Department of Water Resources, the northern Sierra snowpack is 155% of normal through Monday. Meanwhile, the central Sierra and southern Sierra snowpacks are 166% and 216% of normal, respectively.
California's Sierra At Tahoe Ski Resort has reopened for the first time since 2021's devastating Caldor Fire. The fire was one of several megafires in that record fire season, destroying pine forests in the Sierra Nevada.
The Ridgecrest Police Department arrested a woman after she fatally shot her boyfriend on Sunday, December 4th. According to the Ridgecrest Police Department, Joseph Paul Danny Loza Jr, 24, was shot and killed by his girlfriend, Renee Molina, 22, after the two were "involved in a domestic altercation."
California could become the first state to fine big oil companies for making too much money, a reaction to the industry's supersized profits following a summer of record-high gas prices in the nation's most populous state.
The Kern County Sheriff's Office is searching for a man that went missing Nov. 25 out of Wofford Heights. Nathan Jackson, 42, was reported missing by a family member Nov. 26, said the department. He did not arrive at his expected destination is Bakersfield and has yet to be found.
The latest unofficial election results now show that Democratic candidate Melissa Hurtado has a 12-vote lead over her Republican opponent David Shepard in the race for State Senate District 16. Hurtado has 68,302 votes, compared to Shepard's 68,290. Election results are set to be officially certified by December 16th.
Some cities in the United States are higher on Santa’s naughty list than others. A new analysis from WalletHub compared 182 cities, including 150 of the most populous in the nation, to determine which were the most “sinful.” The list included rankings for “Anger & Hatred,” “Jealousy,” “Excesses & Vices,” “Greed,” “Lust,” “Vanity,” and “Laziness,” and was based on dozens of metrics including violent crimes per capita, drug use, number of casinos, the teen birth rate, Google searches for pornography and the term, “Tinder,” and tanning salons per capita (among many other factors). Los Angeles was the country’s 6th most “sinful” city. Spoiler alert. Las Vegas came in at numero uno.
Tuesday, December 6th, 2022
We will be clearing up tomorrow here in the Kern River Valley. The chance of showers will continue today with a high in the mid to upper 50s.
Interstate 5 has been shut down just north of Redding due to dangerous road conditions from some extreme winter weather. There were several accidents, some involving semi-trucks. The traffic is being held back at Fawndale, about 10 miles north of Redding.
It’s an incredible story of survival and bravery, as a Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy was shot in the head this morning in Rosamond and survived. Deputy Michael Valdez was shot in the head Friday morning. According to the Sheriff’s Office, this wasn’t a graze wound. The bullet cleanly entered and exited his skull but got stuck in his hat. Deputy Michael Valdez is a new hire with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. He just wrapped up field training five weeks ago but now he already has combat experience.
Dec. 10, it finally all comes together – the Kern County World War II Memorial. The sculpture at its center will tug at heartstrings in a way you might not expect. The new memorial in Bakersfield’s Jastro Park commemorates not just the challenges, traumas and triumphs of the battlefield, but the sacrifice, the courage and the heartache of the Home Front as well. This bronze sculpture designed and cast by world class sculptor and Bakersfield native Benjamin Victor – is what it holds, literlly in its heart. Sand from the honor-soaked Normandy battlefields of Utah Beach and Omaha Beach.
Long-awaited trial data on a treatment for Alzheimer's Disease shows potential in fighting the disease. Phase three results on the medication Lecanemab were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The results suggested that at 18 months, the new medication was associated with more clearance of amyloid, a protein associated with Alzheimer's, and less cognitive decline.
Several U.S. cities where home prices skyrocketed due to an influx of new residents during the pandemic are now seeing prices drop quickly — and many of them are here in California. The prices are dropping more in San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, and Riverside.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving holiday. Of that number, 49 million will be heading out on the road. The best times to take to the roads is really before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. Wednesday is the absolute peak day for travel, about 42% higher than normal volume.
Governor Gavin Newsom was in the North Bay talking about wildfire prevention and highlighting investments in stopping fires before they start. It's what many believe may have contributed to a less severe fire season this year. Newsom gave a shout-out to the men and women of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection who he says battled more fires this season compared to 2021, about 7,300. but those wildfires burned far less acreage statewide.
Californians are known for grumbling about traffic, housing costs, and overall quality of life. But in recent years, celebrities, businesses, and regular people have gone from complaining about the state to leaving it entirely. Since 2010, about 7.5 million people moved from California to other states, while only 5.8 million people moved to California from other parts of the country.
It will surprise no one that it can cost an arm and a leg to purchase a home in a pricey town like Los Angeles. But what may shock you is how much you need to earn annually to make home buying work. An analysis from the real estate site Redfin finds that would-be homeowners now need to earn $200,000 or more in eight U.S. cities, including L.A. and San Diego.
Disneyland ticket prices jumped an entire 9 percent in October and now its Floridian sister park is doing the same. As of December 8th, Disney World will be increasing the prices of tickets, add-ons, and passes.
The U.S. Men's National Team tied Wales, 1-1, in their first game of the World Cup, which is being played in Qatar. Tim Weah put the U.S. up 1-0 after 35 minutes of play. The U.S. would hold onto the lead until the 82nd minute. Both teams earned one point in Group B. The U.S. will play its next game on Friday against England.
Amazon, Meta, Snap, Zillow.
All of these tech companies have something in common. They’ve laid off hundreds, if not thousands, of employees in recent months. Meta let go of 11,000 people earlier this month, about 13 percent of its staff.
Friday, November 18th, 2022
Sunny and dry weather continuing into the weekend. Daytime highs in the mid 60s and lows in the mid 30s.
California will likely have a $25 billion budget deficit next year, state officials announced Wednesday, ending a run of historic surpluses and acting as a warning to other states about a potential recession. Democratic-controlled California taxes rich people more than other states, meaning most of its drop in revenue is because the uber-wealthy aren't making as much money as they used to.
The annual Turkey Shoot is happening tomorrow at the Kern River Gun Range. You can win a turkey and other prizes. All guns and ammo are supplied, and it's for all ages. The turkey shoot is target based. No turkeys will be harmed. Tomorrow from 10am to 12noon at the Gun Range at Cyrus Canyon Road and Sierra Way near the airport.
U.S. Rep. Karen Bass defeated developer Rick Caruso to become the next mayor of Los Angeles on Wednesday, making her the first Black woman to hold the post as City Hall contends with an out-of-control homeless crisis, rising crime rates and multiple scandals that have shaken trust in government. With more than 70% of the vote tallied, Bass had amassed an insurmountable lead of nearly 47,000 votes. She had 53.1%, with Caruso notching 46.9%.
A woman who authorities said drove with 30,000 fentanyl pills in her vehicle has pleaded no contest to a felony drug charge. Court records show Johana Gallegos pleaded no contest to transporting a drug, and charges of drug possession and child cruelty were dismissed. A 14-year-old was in the vehicle when she was pulled over, according to a sheriff’s report.
AAA predicts that this year will be the third busiest for Turkey Day travel since the organization began collecting Thanksgiving travel data in 2000. About 54.6 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more to get to their destinations.
The families of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie have reached a $3 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed after authorities concluded he strangled her during a cross-country trip in August 2021.
The settlement was signed Thursday by Sarasota County Circuit Judge Hunter W. Carroll. A lawyer for Petito’s parents said whatever money is received will go to the Gabby Petito Foundation dedicated to locating missing people and curbing domestic violence.
Thursday, November 17th, 2022
Despite recent rainstorms across the state, California’s historic drought shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. With the lack of meaningful regular precipitation, capacity at California’s reservoirs continue to decline, putting stress on the state’s water supply. The state’s largest water reservoirs, Lake Oroville in Butte County and Shasta Lake in Shasta County, currently sit just shy of half of historical averages. Shasta, the largest state reservoir with a capacity of 4,552,000 acre-feet of water, is currently at 31% capacity. Historically, capacity at Shasta Lake is usually around 57% this time of year.
There's a bit of relief at the pump with Thanksgiving around the corner. There's a bit of relief at the pump with Thanksgiving around the corner. The national average is $3.77 a gallon, which is $0.13 less than a month ago and $0.36 more than a year ago. In the grand scheme of things, it's much cheaper than the all-time record high in June of $4.86 a gallon.
Productivity in the workforce has slowed down to levels seen almost 100 years ago, and long term, this could have big consequences for the economy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics creates a productivity score for the country based on how many products companies make—and the hours employee's work. Levels have fluctuated back and forth since COVID began, but the decline we’ve seen this year is the sharpest plunge in 48 years.
The Kern County District Attorney’s Office received a $585,000 grant from the State Office of Traffic Safety. It will fund a specialized prosecution team for DUI cases. District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said that the funding is essential to reduce crime and give justice to victims. The team will also partner with other organizations to provide training to prosecutors and investigators.
State air regulators are considering new laws to phase out big rigs and other trucks with internal combustion engines and replace them with zero-emission vehicles. The proposed Advanced Clean Fleets regulation would include vehicles that transport agricultural commodities. Farmers who rely on trucking companies for timely transport of their produce are voicing concerns.
Heavy traffic, delays and long commute times could be on the Thanksgiving menu for American drivers. AAA predicts that this year will be the third busiest for Turkey Day travel since the organization began collecting Thanksgiving travel data in 2000. About 54.6 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more to get to their destinations.
The Consumer Protection Safety Commission urges consumers to no longer use Future Motion’s One-wheel self-balancing electric skateboards due to an ejection hazard. The CPSC said that four deaths have been blamed on the skateboards, along with numerous injuries. The CPSC said that skateboards failed to balance the rider or suddenly stopped while in motion.
Wednesday, November 16th, 2022
The United Nations projects the world population will reach ED 8 billion yesterday. China will likely lose its title as the world's most populous country soon. The U.N. projects India will overtake China in 2023. The U.S. is the third most populous country.
Walmart proposed a $3.1 billion legal settlement on Tuesday over the toll of powerful prescription opioids sold at its pharmacies, becoming the latest major drug industry player to promise major support to state, local and tribal governments still grappling with a crisis in overdose deaths.
According to a new study, more than 40 percent of America's Gen Z are struggling mentally. Millions of Gen Z young adults are dealing with mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 75 percent said the pandemic contributed to it, with more than half reportedly taking medication to deal with symptoms. Roughly 20 percent are seeing a therapist regularly. Kern County currently has a suicide rate higher than the state average.
In an interview with ABC News, former Vice President Mike Pence said he was angry when he found out Trump tweeted that the vice president "didn't have the courage" to stop the Electoral College count from going forward. He said "I turned to my daughter who was standing nearby, and I said, 'It doesn't take courage to break the law, it takes courage to uphold the law."
More than $600 million will be paid to customers who are owed a refund by several airlines for flights that were significantly delayed or canceled, the Department of Transportation said. Additionally, the DOT is imposing fines on six airlines that, the DOT said, did not provide timely refunds to passengers.
The University of Idaho is mourning the loss of four students. Officers were responding to a call about an unconscious person lying on a road when they made the discovery. The four deaths are classified as homicides.
The prices for vet services are up more than 10 percent compared to last year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's the biggest spike like this in records going back two decades. This is happening because medical supplies and lab tests are more expensive now. Worker pay has also increased.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Tuesday it would back proposed federal legislation to safeguard same-sex marriages, marking the latest show of support for the measure from conservative-leaning groups.
Tuesday, November 15th. 2022
Police made dozens of arrests and impounded numerous vehicles at multiple “sideshow” events over the weekend where participants blocked streets to perform stunts. Around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, police were called to Ming Avenue and Stine Road and arrested two adults and a juvenile and impounded a vehicle, according to a Bakersfield Police Department release. Others involved left and went to the intersection of Wilson and Stine roads and tried to block traffic. One of the participants, a 16-year-old boy, intentionally tried to hit an officer with his vehicle, police said. He led officers on a chase that ended when spike strips disabled his vehicle.
Thousands of workers at the 10 University of California campuses went on strike Monday as their union negotiates for higher wages, amid other contract demands. The members say some receive salaries so low that they cannot afford housing near or on campus.
Law-abiding marijuana enthusiasts could find themselves in a bit of a predicament following voter approval of a recreational cannabis initiative in Missouri. Though it soon will become legal for adults to possess and ingest cannabis, it could take a couple more months before they can legally buy it.
USDA Forest Service said they are scheduling a public meeting for Saturday, December 3, starting at 12 pm at the Miracle Hot Springs Picnic Area. According to the Forest Service, on Thursday, October 20, officials removed the Miracle Hot Springs tubs on the Kern River Ranger District of the Sequoia National Forest. They said the removal of the tubs was because of a death in the area on October 17, and other public health and safety issues.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos awarded Dolly Parton with the Bezos Courage and Civility Award. The award comes with $100 million dollars to give to the charities of the recipient's choosing. Bezos is estimated to be worth $171 billion. He told CNN on Monday that he plans on giving away most of his fortune.
Former Vice President Mike Pence is reflecting on the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol. In an interview with ABC News, Pence said he was angry when he found out Trump tweeted that the vice president "didn't have the courage" to stop the Electoral College count from going forward. "I turned to my daughter who was standing nearby, and I said, 'It doesn't take courage to break the law, it takes courage to uphold the law," Pence said.
An injured 10-year-old child helped to lead rescuers to her mother’s crashed car Sunday night in Visalia. According to authorities, the 10-year-old girl walked over half a mile to a gas station around 10:00 p.m. to tell somebody that her mother had been drinking and had crashed their SUV. She told people at the gas Visalia Firefighters were able to safely remove the woman from the vehicle and she was flown to the hospital to be treated for serious injuries.
Monday, November 14th, 2022
We're going to be dropping to around the freezing mark overnight for the next few days. Daytime highs in the low 60's. No moisture in foreseeable future. If you have had your eye on a new car, well it might be a good time to buy.
New car prices are finally coming down, although just by a little. Analysts say cars are still mostly selling for more than manufacturers' sticker prices, but not as high as they were previously. According to Edmunds, for the first half of the year, new car prices averaged 700 dollars over sticker price. Now that's dropped to about 230 dollars over sticker price.
The number of deaths from COVID-19 around the world are dropping significantly. The World Health Organization or WHO says there's been a 90% decrease in global covid deaths since February. Health leaders credit vaccines and treatment for the decline, however they still encourage people to remain vigilant against the virus.
Whether it’s real or artificial, the cost of your Christmas tree could go up this year. “Like all areas of agriculture, real Christmas tree reproduction, the costs are up,” said Marsha Gray, the executive director of the Real Christmas Tree Board. The organization represents companies that produce real Christmas trees grown in the U.S., and those that are imported.
Two teachers in Arizona lost their jobs after students found their Only Fans account that had featured a video made in a classroom, according to news reports. The Today’s News-Herald reported that middle school science teacher Samantha Peer, who made online pornography under the alias “Khloe Karter,” and her husband, Dillon Peer, were former employees of the Lake Havasu Unified School District.
Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto won election to a second term representing Nevada on Saturday, defeating Republican Adam Laxalt to clinch the party’s control of the chamber for the next two years of Joe Biden’s presidency.
California Farm Bureau, the state’s largest agricultural nonprofit, representing over 29,000 members, including over 20,000 small family farms, congratulated Assemblymember Robert Rivas on his caucuses’ selection as the next Speaker of the California Assembly. Assemblymember Rivas, from Hollister, is the first Speaker from an agricultural area since Cruz Bustamante in 1999.