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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – A new NBC show from the producers of “The Biggest Loser” is looking for people in Bakersfield to be part of their reality show scheduled to air in February. The concept of the show is to bring divorced couples together to compete in series of events set in a tropical location. The winning prize for the estranged couple is a $500,000 trust fund for their children.

    “This show takes a positive approach to bringing divorced couples back together to compete in various physical and mental challenges. Set in a tropical location, the couples must co-exist, put any issues aside, and work together to take on small challenges for the one thing they still agree upon – the love of their kids. The prize for the winning couple/divorced parent team is up to a $500,000 trust fund for their children.

    “Our goal is that through this experience, couples will learn to better communicate with each other, in turn becoming better co-parents and improving their family dynamic.

    “The show is set to air in February 2015 on NBC and we are hoping to find fantastic couples in the Bakersfield area,” according to NBC Casting Producer Vanessa Bond.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA -  Warrant in hand, this CHP officer is making an arrest. "Jose Montero. I have an arrest warrant for you."

    Jose Montero has done nothing to be arrested, but love his son, Anthony.  The first grader has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and this arrest is part of the annual MDA lock-up fundraiser at the original Roadhouse Grill.
    And it's a chance for Jose to show his son, he'll do anything for him. "Find a cure."

    What loving father wouldn't cry to hear their son's muscles weren't growing like the rest of his body.  That's what doctor's told him in January. "We just noticed he was not running as quick as the other kids were. Going up and down the stairs became a problem," says Montero.   

    We caught up with the family 2 months after Anthony's diagnosis. Then, there were no noticeable signs of the disease.

    But, he must wear leg braces as it progresses. "Yah, it's tough." 

    To stop that pain for the over 160 families in Kern County living with it and find a cure.  That's why more than 45 people agreed to be jailbirds for a few hours Thursday like Jose and his son.  "Gentlemen, I'm going to lock you up."

    And raise bail money for the MDA, in hopes of freeing the ones they love from the disease.

    For more information: click on the following link: 

    http://www2.mda.org/goto/bakersfield

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - You've probably heard a southern or Midwestern accent, but what about a Central Valley accent?

    Stanford University researchers are looking at how Californians talk, comparing different cities. They say Bakersfield has a dialect all on its own.

    Teresa Pratt, Stanford PhD student and researcher Teresa Pratt said, "We know there's variation out there and it's our exciting job to find why it's happening, who's doing what."

    Bakersfield resident Steve Aguirre said, "I think we do have an accent, coming from Bakersfield."

    The Voices of California project is analyzing the differences in dialect, focusing on the Central Valley.

    Pratt said, "We've gone to three sites in the Central Valley so far Merced, Redding and Bakersfield."

    Stanford University professor Penny Eckert said, "We wanted to get into what you might call the real California and the Central Valley is such an important part of California."

    While many people associate vocabulary like dude and whatever with California, researchers say there's more to our state than surfer slang.

    Pratt said, "Specifically in California, much of what we know is based on speakers in Los Angeles and in San Francisco. We want to be able to fill in those gaps and say what's happening in Central Valley. California is so much more than just those big coastal cities."

    Eckert said, "There's a lot of southern influence in Bakersfield."

    Researchers say many families in our area moved from southern states during the dust bowl -- separating Bakersfield accents from other areas of the state.

    The project started in 2010. Each year they research a different city. The group is in Sacramento this week, conducting interviews. They say they hope to continue adding to the project for years to come.

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    TEHACHAPI, CA - The bear was shot and killed at this corner, as residents nearby were told to stay inside. Police say they had to shoot it eight times to finally take it down.

    Take a look at this picture given to us by Stephanie Flores. She took this photo from her front door, as the bear sat on her porch watching people nearby.

    Police say they tried to keep the bear on the porch until Fish and Wildlife officials arrived. But officers say, the bear soon became aggressive and moved in the direction where a group of kids were walking to school, about one block away.

    Police say the bear caused an immediate threat to the children, and they were forced to shoot it.
    Thursday afternoon, 12-year-old Ben Castillo met the officers who helped him. Castillo says the bear was following him on his bike.  "It was very scary. During my first hour of class I was shaking and telling all my friends what was going on."

    "I'm anticipating some criticism for our department and likely our officers because of this shooting but I'll sit here and accept that criticism gladly rather than stand here and be talking to you about a child that was mauled by that bear," says Tehachapi police chief Kent Kroeger.  

    On Wednesday, a young black bear that was seen wandering east Bakersfield since Tuesday night, was tranquilized with three darts, and died shortly before it was set to be released into the wild.

    Wildlife officials aren't sure what caused the bear's death, but do say there was water in the drainage ditch where the bear was eventually captured.

    They say the female bear most likely drowned.

    Also in Tehachapi, a social media post last week indicated someone is claiming this cinnamon-colored black bear, as a pet.

    Wildlife officials note, it's illegal to feed a wild bear, let alone take one into your home.

    Wildlife officials said they're looking into the post.

    The Tehachapi Police Department says a thorough investigation will be completed. Officers are also looking into getting tranquilizers since they don't have that type of equipment.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- California State University of Bakersfield students are heading back to campus on Monday, September 15 and will be greeted by the sound of construction. The new dorm project is well under way and is expected to open next January.

    Luxury living has almost arrived at CSUB thanks to a $41 million project financed by the chancellor's office.

    The current dorms were built in the 1970s.

    "So we have bedrooms on either side of a community living space for each of our suites. We also have suite exclusive restrooms so a maximum of six people of six people will be using a restroom. We have a sustainable design which has a lot of ecofriendly design elements that help us reduce our energy costs, "said Therese Dozier with CSUB student housing.

    CSUB Freshman Madeline Engelbrecht, who has been living on campus for the Summer, will be one of the first students to live in the new dorms.

    "I'm so excited. I've heard great things about it and they're all brand new and everything. I'm just really excited to move over there," said Madeline Engelbrecht,

    Right now just 350 students can live on campus. In January, those 350 plus 150 more will move into this new facility totaling 500 on campus living spaces.

    The university is still debating what they will do with the old dorm area once vacated.

    "The other residence halls will be repurposed but I'm not sure what the purpose is at this point," said Dozier.

    The new 150,000 square feet complex is not only dorms but a multipurpose room, game room, classrooms, and other spaces which will be able to be used by students and the public.

    This is phase one of five new housing phases to eventually be rolled out. By the 5th phase, the campus should have 1,500 living spaces for students.

    "Our campus has been long considered a commuter school and this is just a really awesome move in the direction of the new era for CSUB for it to you know increase the student life here on campus and attract top notch students to our campus and our community," said Dozier.

    The official ribbon cutting is November 18, But they won't be able to move in until the quarter begins in January.


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    The Great Kern County Fair is back in town and there are several concerts and exhibits new to this year's show. Check out the Kern County Fair calendar here for more info.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Local motorcyle enthusiasts revved up their engines and rode down the highway in a memorial one remembering those lost in 9/11.
    About 400 riders, many of them veterans, gathered last night at Bakersfield Harley Davidson and joined together as they filled the highway making their way to Shafter's Minter Field.
    This is the eighth year the memorial ride has taken place.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Creative children with a talent for drawing are encouraged to submit an entry to the Healthy Air Living Calendar contest.
    The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District is looking for local children to contribute artwork acompanied with a clean-air message for a children's calendar promoting ways we can all live healthy air lives.
    The organization will select 14 entries and print 20,000 copies of the calendar, which will be distributed free of charge to schools, community groups, healthcare facilities, churches and nonprofit organizations throughout the Valley.
    The contest is open to all Valley students, kindergarten through high school age.
    Below is a description for contest entries and rules from San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District:
    Guidelines for creating a winning Healthy Air Living calendar entry:
    ·         Paper should be placed sideways, in landscape orientation, so it is 8-1/2 inches high and 11 inches wide
    ·         Artwork should be in color. Medium can be paint, pen, crayon, marker, pencil or even computer-generated art. Vivid colors that reproduce well are recommended.
    ·         Artwork should contain a message about how to live a Healthy Air life. Examples of past messages are “Less cars, more feet,” “Hacer del mundo un lugar major,” “Don’t pollute! Keep the air clean.”
    ·         Bilingual and Spanish-language messages are encouraged.
    Fourteen pieces of art will be selected for the calendar. Artists must include their name and address, phone and/or email contact, age, grade and school on the back of the entry. Please mail art flat, not folded, to: 2015 Kids Calendar, Valley Air District, 1990 E. Gettysburg Ave., Fresno, CA 93726, or submit your art at the nearest District office.


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    DELANO, Calif. - The Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Club is holding their annual event this weekend in Delano, Sept. 12 - 14.
    The event will be held at Memorial Park and will include features in the exhibit building.

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    Bakersfield, CA -- On October 8 at 7 p.m., candidates for the 21st Congressional district in the November 4 election will face each other in a debate on KGET TV-17 in Bakersfield and KSEE 24 in Fresno.

    Democrat Amanda Renteria is challenging incumbent Republican David Valadao.

    17’s Jim Scott and KSEE 24/KGPE 47’s Evan Onstott will moderate.

    This is your opportunity to ask questions of the candidates.

    • Please email your question to our newsrooms: 17news@kget.com for Bakersfield and newsdesk@cbs47.tv or newsdesk@ksee.com for Fresno. If we select yours, we might send a news crew to record you asking it.

    • Or, record your question on your cell phone and email it to us.

    • Please use the subject line: 21 Congress Debate Question.

    • Please be sure to include your name and phone number with the email.


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    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The US Department of Transportation has awarded California nearly $35 million for six projects throughout the state, according to an announcement today by Caltrans. 

    The funding stems from a grant program by the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program (TIGER).

    “Improving California’s transportation infrastructure is vital to economic development and job creation,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “I congratulate the local governments and agencies who are spearheading these efforts in their communities to ensure Californians have safer roads and greater access to multiple transit options.”

    The projects funded are:

    $11.8 million for the East Side Access Improvement Project: This Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority project will create a network of bike lanes and sidewalks for bicyclists and pedestrians to access the new Regional Connector/1st Central Station in Los Angeles, set to open in 2020.

    $10.25 million for Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station: This project will improve several components of the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station near the Los Angeles community of Watts, which is a major transfer point for many commuters. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority project will lengthen the Metro Blue Line platform, enhance pedestrian and car access and link existing rail, bike and bus facilities.

    $10 million for State Routes 57/60 Confluence Project – Freight Corridor Bottleneck Relief in Diamond Bar: Forecasted to ultimately cost $256 million, this realignment project will relieve congestion and improve safety along this regionally and nationally significant goods movement corridor. Grant funding was awarded to the Cities of Industry and Diamond Bar.

    $1.5 million for West Sacramento Broadway Bridge Plan: The grant will complete the environmental documentation phase of a new Broadway bridge crossing the Sacramento River, connecting the cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento. The City of West Sacramento took the lead in applying for the grant to complete project authorization and the environmental documentation phase. 

    $1 million for San Francisco Bay Core Capacity Study: Study will evaluate and prioritize a package of investments that expand transit capacity and connectivity to major core San Francisco job centers (Downtown, Civic Center, South of Market and Mission Bay) to account for current and forecasted job and housing growth. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, in partnership with several local and regional transit and transportation entities, spearheaded the grant application.

    $235,000 for Old Town Goleta: Hollister Complete Street Corridor Plan: The grant will fund a planning project to develop a Complete Streets Corridor Plan for the redesign of the Hollister Avenue Corridor, with a goal to make streets within the corridor safer and more convenient for all users and all travel modes. Funding was awarded to the City of Goleta in Santa Barbara County.

    The TIGER program, which began as part of the federal Recovery Act, offers federal funding possibilities for large, multi-modal projects. These federal funds leverage money from private sector partners, state, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies. Since 2009, California has received a total of $106 million for transportation projects across the state.


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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The SPCA and KGET are teaming up again for another round of pet adoptions to raise money for our local animal shelter.
    The SPCA is a No-Kill shelter and relies fully on support from the community and donations to stay afloat. 
    The adoption event will be held next Tuesday, Sept. 16, from 5 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.outside of the KGET studios at 22nd and M Street in downtown Bakersfield. 
    Lunch will also be served this year starting at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., courtesy of Halliburton.
    For $5 you will a hot dog lunch, chips, water, and a KitKat bar.
    Come out and Unleash Your Love and support the well-being of animals in our community.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The 20-year anniversary of Bakersfield's Village Fest was a success and may be "one of the best year's ever," according to Jim Luff, president of CARE. 
    The sold out event had an increase of $18,000 in ticket sales compared to last year's sales, with a total of 7,065 patrons attending.
    Luff said they had a total of $100,000 in event sponsorship, bringing their total gross income to approximately $375,000. He expects will net between $175,000-$180,000 after expenses are paid to vendors, restaurants and bands. 
    A portion of the profits will be placed in an endowment fund, about $180,000, (60 percent), and the remaining $72,000 to be donated to  local organizations serving children such as the Bakersfield Police Activities League, The Boys and Girls Club, CASA and League of Dreams over the next year.
    "The crowd was very well behaved for so many people with no incidents of any type reported," said Luff. "The event was a complete success and perhaps one of the best years ever - fitting for our 20th year anniversary."

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A local high school is keeping the competition on the football field and stepping up to help the coach of the opposing team. Liberty took on Fresno-Central Friday night, but off the field -- the two schools came together to help a football coach who overcame cancer.

    The patriots and central grizzlies have a history.

    Liberty High School athletic director Tim Davis said, "Since 2010, we've met them in the playoffs won some, lost some. We had one of our biggest wins back in 2010 in playoffs."

    While that competition is sure to continue -- off the field, the focus is on finding a bone marrow donor for central coach Justin Garza.

    "It's bigger than the game. Football is big for tonight, but in the big picture, your health and somebody else's family and the struggles of it. It just brings that to the forefront," said Davis.

    Coach Garza was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2010. He's now in remission and in need of a bone marrow transplant.

    Nearly two dozen Central Valley high schools have joined in coach Garza's search, holding marrow drives, signing up an estimated one thousand people to the national registry.

    Garza said, "It's, I can't even use words to describe how it makes me feel personally."

    Now Liberty High is joining in the effort to find a match for coach Garza.

    Davis said, "A couple of my coaches confronted me a couple weeks ago about this coach and they have known him and some of these registries they were doing to get bone marrow for Justin Garza."

    "It's not surprising when you see these guys step up and doing because they're such great stand up guys. It's just a way to, a tip of the hat, a nod. The people that you coach with and work with. I'm just proud to be a coach. Especially at a school like this,"said Garza.

    Organizers say 41 people signed up for the registry at Friday night's game.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA-Two big rigs collided Sunday night on northbound Highway 99 near Panama lane. Only three lanes are open as of Monday morning.

    The semis tangled just after 11:30 p.m. Sunday. Officers said the lead big rig started having mechanical problems and tried to pull over. That's when the rig right behind it hauling beer slammed into it and burst into flames.

    The beer spilled all over the roadway leaving a big mess to clean up. The lead big rig that was rear-ended was hauling tires. The driver of that rig was uninjured.

    There were two people in the rear rig. The driver was transported to the hospital just as a precaution. The passenger complained of minor pain.

    All lanes were shut down for about 45 minutes until the fire department was able to contain the flames.

    Another accident almost happened near the same area this morning when a completely unrelated driver was driving through the accident area and almost slammed into a sheriff's cruiser.

    "We had the road closure set up and this individual drove into the cone pattern," said California Highway Patrol Sergeant Brian Avery. "We're fortunate enough to the have the sheriff's department here helping with traffic control and the individual that's suspected of being under the influence of alcohol almost collided with a sheriff's vehicle."

    Fortunately there was no collision. The suspected intoxicated driver was pulled over for a field sobriety test.

    CHP officials expect the other two lanes to reopen later Monday morning.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Police are investigating a Monday morning homicide in northwest Bakersfield.

    Investigators say officers were dispatched just after 6:30 Monday morning to the 9400 block of Waterbury Dr. regarding the report of a man down in the front yard of a residence.

    When the first officer arrived at 6:40 am, he located a man suffering from a traumatic injury. The victim was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

    Investigators have determined that this case is a homicide. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Damacio Diaz at (661) 326-3513 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.




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    FRESNO, Calif. - Three men were in Fresno court today for child pornography charges, including a former Kern County resident who was sentenced for receiving and distributing the illicit material.

    The US Department of Justice says former Kern County resident Robert Aron Sprenkle, 36, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for receiving and distributing child pornography.  His prison-time will be followed by 15 years of supervised release.

    The justice department says Sprenkle received and distributed child pornography through the internet between Sept. 29 and Nov. 4 of 2012.

    The court also sentenced a Fresno man, 29-year-old Benjamin Ruiz, to 21 years and 10 months in prison for producing child pornography.

    Court documents state that Fresno law enforcement received a lead from Concord police in July of 2012 indicating Ruiz in producing child pornography in Fresno in Sept. of 2010.

    In a separate case, 28-year-old Bradley Allen Vaine, of Fresno, pleaded guilty to two counts of receipt and distribution of child pornography.

    Court documents state that Vaine received and distributed images of child pornography through the internet on Oct. 25 and 27 of 2012.

    Vaine is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 8.  His plea deal contemplates a sentence of 25 years in prison and a lifetime term of supervised release.  The justice department says that his actual sentence will be determined at the discretion of the court at the hearing.

    The three cases were results of Project Safe Childhood, a national Department of Justice program designed to combat what they say is the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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    The Bakersfield Police Department has released the results of the DUI and driver license checkpoint that occurred Saturday night in the 4700 block of Panama Lane between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m.

    Police say that zero drivers were arrested for DUI charges.
    Twenty five people were found to be driving with invalid licenses, 10 of which were suspended.
    Fourteen vehicles were impounded.

    The other 11 vehicles were released.

    Police encourage anyone who suspects a drunk driver to call 911.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A 2-month-old infant died Sunday in the hospital after her parents called 911 and said that she was gasping for air and choking, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

    The child was identified as Rowan Gonzales.  She was reportedly fed and put to bed by her parents, but was found choking a short time later. Kern County Sheriff's deputies responded to the call at an apartment in the 3300 block of North Chester Avenue at approximately 6 p.m. Sunday.

    Rescue personnel performed CPR on the child and transported her to Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. The Sheriff's Office says that the apartment was determined to be in substandard condition, without electrical power. Five other children living in the home were taken into protective custody.

    Homicide detectives were called to take over the investigation. The death is being treated as suspicious, and an autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause and manner of death.



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    ARVIN, Calif. - A report has been released outlining the toxicity levels in Arvin homes that forced residents out six months ago, showing that it is now safe for them to return. Residents, however, are asking for a second opinion.

    The report outlines toxicity levels from Aug. 11 to Aug. 15. Tests were not initially conducted to determine gas levels in the homes before those dates, at least not to the same extent as the vapor intrusion risk assessments.

    With nothing to compare current levels to, residents are wary of the all-clear signal. Environmental health officials say the amount of chemicals in the Arvin homes is no different than levels in other areas of the county.

    Petro Capital Resources, the company that owns the pipeline, hired a company to assess the levels of dangerous chemicals remaining from a leaky gas line in March.

    "It's not like we don't trust them," said resident Andy Lara. "We're thankful about everything they did. I think that's what they had to do anyway. We just needed the county to check the work and make sure that everything is good before they try to send any of those kids to those houses."

    The county is in the process of getting approval from the state to do an independent study, at the request of the residents.

    County environmental health officials say one of the homes will need continued monitoring, due to slightly higher benzene levels.

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