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KGET: Local News

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  • 09/16/14--09:20: Carjacking suspect arrested
  • BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A CLovis man was arrested yesterday after leading Bakersfield Police on a chase through the 4600 block of Planz Rd.

    The suspect, identified as Ian O Daniels, 26, allegedly carjacked a vehicle in the 5000 block of Appleblossom Dr. before abandonong the vehicle and fleeing law enforcement officials on foot.

    During the pursuit, Daniels forced entry into several residences in his attempt to evade officers. He eventually forced entry into a residence in the 3200 block of Kennedy Ave. where he was confronted by the homeowner and engaged in a violent struggle.

    At this time, officers confronted the suspect at the residence as Daniels was wielding a large kitchen knife. He then tried to flee out the back door of the residence but was apprehended with assistance of a police K-9.

    Once Daniels was taken into custody and transported to an undisclosed hospital, then, booked into the Kern County Jail for Parole Violation, Carjacking, Robbery, and Assault with a Deadly Weapon as well as multiple counts of burglary.

    The resident who was in the confrontation with Daniels did not sustain serious injuries, nor was he treated in a hospital.


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    FRESNO, Calif. - A Fresno court handed down sentences for two Bakersfield drug trafficking cases Monday, sending two men to prison for at least four years, according to the US Department of Justice.

    Bakersfield resident Martin Barragan, 39, was sentenced to four years in prison for using an interstate facility to aid racketeering. Court documents state that Barragan conspired with others to cultivate and distribute more than 900 marijuana plants between June 1 and Nov. 30 of 2012.

    Marco Antonio Granados, of Fontana, was sentenced to four years and one month in prison for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute over 500 grams of methamphetamine . Court documents state that Granados and his cousin met with a confidential informant in a parking lot on Weedpatch Highway Oct. 16 to negotiate the sale of 30 pounds of methamphetamine.

    The justice department says Granados was arrested after he and his cousin showed the informant a cardboard box filled with methamphetamine in the cargo area of their vehicle. The vehicle was found to have 31 individually wrapped and "food saver" sealed packages of methamphetamine.

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    FRESNO, Calif. - Two men charged in connection with the hazing death of Bakersfield man Philip Dhanens at a Fresno State fraternity party were sentenced Tuesday.

    Aaron Raymo, 26, and Leonard Serrato, 30, were sentenced to three years probation, 30 days in jail, and 90 days in a work program.

    Another man, 23-year-old Daniel Baker was sentenced July 30 to three years probation, 30 days in a work program, and 200 hours of community service, after pleading no contest to a single misdemeanor charge of hazing.

    Philips, 18, was a freshman pleding the Theta-Chi fraternity when he died of alcohol poisoning. Police say Dhanens and other pledges were locked in a room with eight bottles of hard liquor, and told they couldn't come out until the bottles were empty.

    Police say Dhanens drank an estimated 37 one-ounce shots of liquor in roughly 90 minutes.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Kern County Supervisors have appointed three interim county directors to permanent positions as department directors.

    Each of the three directors had served their departments for many years before being promoted as interim directors.

    Dena Murphy was appointed Director of Human Services, Greg Fenton was appointed Director of Engineering, Surveying and Permit Services, and Bill Walker was appointed Director of Mental Health Services. 

    None of the promotions from interim to permanent director will result in an increase in compensation. 

    "We're very pleased to announce these well-deserved appointments," Board of Supervisors Chairman Leticia Perez said. "We know that Dena Murphy, Greg Fenton, and Bill Walker will continue to lead their departments to provide excellent service to the people of Kern County." 

    According to a release from the Kern County , Ms. Murphy oversaw several administrative and service divisions and had a central role in developing the Department's CalWORKs program to help recipients of family assistance to re-enter the workforce. Mr. Fenton assisted several large industrial, commercial, and residential projects through the permitting stages to on-time and on-budget completion, including the recently opened Tejon Ranch Outlet Mall. 

    Mr. Walker had a key role in forming a Mobile Evaluation Team to identify and assess individuals in potential crisis situations who need mental health services, and he was instrumental in developing the Psychiatric Evaluation Center, which relieved Kern Medical Center of emergency psychiatric treatment responsibilities. 


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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Kern County artists are invited to participate in an educational program designed to bring the arts to Central Valley prisons.

    Selected artists would be contracted by the Arts Council of Kern to offer programming in visual arts such as painting, drawing, and sculpturing.

    The arts council asks artists to have the ability to create appropriate programming for a specific audience, submit reports on a variety of factors, be responsible for accurate invoicing for time and travel expenses, comply with strict privacy policies, and work at least eight hours a month.

    ACK says that training is mandatory and will be paid. The positions will pay a minimum of $30 per hour, and artists will be reimbursed for travel expenses. Supplies, once approved, will be paid for by the California Arts Council.

    The program is funded by the CAC and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

    Interested artists must submit a resume, along with a small excerpt explaining their interest in the project and three examples of their work. Submissions can be sent to david.gordon@kernarts.org.

    Questions can be sent to info@kernarts.org, or asked by phone at 661-324-9000.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The war veteran charged of sexually abusing a child under the age of 14 plead no contest Tuesday.

    Ignacio Jimenez plead no contest in Kern County Superior Court to continuous sexual abuse of a child. Two other charges -- oral copulation with a person under 14, and possession of matter depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct -- were dismissed.

    Jimenez, who served in Afghanistan, was charged with forcing a girl into oral sex, allegedly while recording it with a cell phone.

    Investigators say that the abuse dates back two years, at least five times.

    Jimenez is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 15.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted today to remove Kern County from regulations protecting the Valley Longhorn Elderberry Beetle.

    The deregulated area also includes Kings County and Tulare County, according to Fish and Wildlife, which states the beetle is no longer making its habitat within the three county limits.

    For decades, protecting the beetle has been costly and a burden for local communities, making infrastructure and economic development projects more expensive, according to Fish and Wildlife.

    Today's announcement means "farmers, small businesses, and cities are no longer subject to unnecessary Endangered Species Act requirements and mitigation for the Elderberry Beetle," according to Fish and Wildlife.

    Congressman Kevin McCarthy issued a statement concerning the beetle and the deregulation:

    “Today’s decision provides needed relief to our local communities that have been forced to expend precious resources to protect a species that is not even located in our region.  With the removal of Elderberry Beetle regulatory mandates from our local area, our communities can continue to focus on creating jobs rather than endure unnecessary and onerous environmental regulations.

    “However, it is unfortunate that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has withdrawn its own proposal to delist the Valley Longhorn Elderberry Beetle as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.  I strongly encourage the Fish and Wildlife Service not to withdraw this proposal and to reopen the public comment period so that constituents from other areas affected can provide the most up-to-date facts that show this species has recovered.”

    Below is some background information provided by Fish and Wildlife on the Valley Longhorn Elderberry Beetle:

    ·         The Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle was listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1980.

    ·         A FWS 5-year species review concluded in 2006 recommended delisting the beetle.

    ·         In 2010, a petition was filed with FWS to delist the beetle as threatened under ESA and remove any beetle critical habitat designations.
    ·         FWS proposed a rule in 2011 to formally delist the beetle and critical habitat, which can be reviewed here.

    ·         On April 16, 2013, the Porterville City Council adopted a resolution calling on FWS to delist the beetle and any critical habitat designations.  The resolution can be reviewed here.

    ·         On June 10, 2014, Congressman McCarthy, California State Senator Jean Fuller, and California Assemblywoman Connie Conway sent a letter to FWS Director Daniel Ashe calling on the Service to act on its own recommendation by finalizing its proposal to delist the Elderberry Beetle as a threatened species.

    ·         Congressman McCarthy secured language in the Fiscal Year 2015 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Appropriations Act (H.R. 5171) that would prevent FWS from withdrawing its proposal to delist the Elderberry Beetle and encourages them to delist this species.  The legislation is pending.


    Elderberry Beetle image from riverpartners.org


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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Bakersfield Police Department is asking for help in locating who they say is an at-risk missing juvenile.

    Brittany Lopez, 14, was last seen Sept. 13 at approximately 6:30 a.m. in the 5700 block of Fairfax Road.

    BPD describes Lopez as a hispanic female who is five feet seven inches tall and 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Police say she was wearing a black shirt and dark green shorts.

    She is considered at-risk due to her age.

    Police ask anyone with information regarding this case to contact them at 661-327-7111. Anonymous text tips can be sent to 274637 by sending BPDCRIMES along with a message.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Bakersfield police said speed and alcohol appear to be factors in an early morning motorcycle crash that resulted in the death of 26-year-old Cody Jimenez.

    It happened just after midnight Wednesday morning at the intersection of Alfred Harrell Highway and Tuscany Villas Drive.

    Bakersfield police said the rider was traveling south on Alfred Harrell when he lost control and was thrown from his bike.

    He was taken to Kern Medical Center where he later died from his injuries.

    The investigation is ongoing.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The drought is affecting the key component of this year's Volkslauf Mud Run -- by making it less muddy.

    Last week organizers announced they wont have as much water or mud on the course as previous years due to the drought. However, they said this year's race will be just as fun.

    "The first water people encounter is in Devil's Dog Ditch and this year that ditch will mostly be dry but we will try to put a little water in there," Race Director Denise Haynes. "What we are going to be doing on a lot of obstacles is putting in sand ... so you don't have the mud to swag through you will have the sand to trudge through so that will slow people down and create a challenge."

    Registration is lower than least year's event, according to Haynes, but adds that she doesn't believe the lack of water to be the blame.

    Haynes said they usually get a last minute surge of participants as race time draws near.

    The race starts on Oct. 11, and runners can enter a 5k or 10k run. Registration ends Sept. 30.

    Visit volkslauf.com for more information.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - September is child cancer awareness month and there is only one place in town where pediatric cancer patients can be treated: The Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center.

    Usually young people have to travel to Los Angeles or Fresno for treatment. But for a year now about 300 young people have been directly or indirectly treated at the CBCC.

    Angela Arambula started treatment at the CBCC one month ago when she and her family learned that what they thought was a sore neck was actually Hodgkins Lymphoma.

    "She's always been so healthy. we never thought this could happen to her. so we thought right away it was just a pinched nerve or tonsils or something," said Chris Arambula, Angela's dad.
         
    Angela had surgery immediately on Aug. 26 and now she visits the CBCC daily for chemotherapy, blood work, or overall checkup.
         
    "I feel like you don't really live a normal type of life still because you're here all the time," said Arambula.
         
    But she would need to give up more time if her doctor was further away. The CBCC has been bringing pediatric oncologists from UCLA Medical Center for more than a year to work with local pediatric patients. 
         
    "Not all care can be done here but a majority of simple care for which people had to travel has been minimized," said Dr. Ravi Patel, Medical Director at CBCC. "So their follow ups, their radiations, some of their chemotherapy, all of that we're trying to do here so it makes the burden a lot easier for the families and the children."
         
    Patel is stationed at CBCC and is able to see Angela all the time. While they are both of different religious faiths, they share the same belief that she will get better.
        
    "It makes me really comfortable and just to know that he has the same belief makes me feel good," said Arambula. 
        
    Both of their faith in her recovery seems to be working. With just one treatment, her tumor has reduced by 80 percent.

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    The remaining three members on the Golden Empire Transit board voted yesterday to give GET CEO Karen King a raise adding up to nearly $4,100, according to GET Spokesperson Gina Hayden.

    The raise amounts to a 1.9 percent increase on top of her annual salary of $213,642.

    The move comes after board members completed King's performance evaluation, though the raise is characterized as a "cost of living increase," according to Hayden.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A judge has sentenced a Bakersfield woman convicted of animal cruelty to spend 9 months in jail.  

    Davina Beasley pleaded no contest to one felony count of animal cruelty back in August.  She will also have to serve three years probation.  Beasley was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty after animal control arrived at the 1100 block of Lomita Drive in June.  

    Authorities say when Kern County Animal Services arrived at the residence, two fighting dogs had been separated.  But they found that a female pit bull mix had been injured from stab wounds.  




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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - In recognition of Constitution Day, Congressman Kevin McCarthy's Bakersfield office is giving out free pocket constitutions to the public.

    “The Constitution is the guiding document that has made it possible for the United States to become the greatest nation in the world,” said Congressman McCarthy. “I encourage all interested members of our community to come by my office and pick up a pocket Constitution to remember the words that form the foundation of the nation we live in today.” 

    Free pocket constitutions are always available at McCarthy's office though they are urging residents to pick one up in honor of Constitution Day. 

    McCarthy's office is located at:

    4100 Empire Drive, Suite 150 

    Bakersfield, CA 93309 

    9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m

    *Supplies are limited, two Constitution limit per family and twenty Constitutions per non-profit organization/school. 
    Pocket Constitutions Available to Public in Recognition of Constitution Day

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Golden Empire Transit District was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA), according to GET spokesperson Gina Hayden.

    According to Hayden's release, there are eight criteria an organization needs to meet when being consideredfor the award. These criteria include: local significance and value, technical significance, transferability, documentation, the cost/benefit analysis, efficiency, originality, and durability. 

    "GET was awarded this prestigious certificate for its 2013 comprehensive annual financial report which met or exceeded these criteria. The Certificate is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government agency and its management staff," according to the relase.

    “The GET financial team worked very diligently to earn this award,” said Steven Woods, Deputy CEO at GET. “The GFOA's Awards for Excellence in Government Finance recognize innovative programs – contributions to the practice of government finance that exemplify outstanding financial management. The awards stress practical, documented work that offers leadership to the profession and promotes improved public finance.”

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Bakersfield College announced today they will receive a $500,000 donation from Aera to establish the Aera STEM Success Center on campus.

    The investment by the Aera Energy Fund of the Kern Community Foundation is an effort to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs at BC. 

    According to a release from BC's Amber Chiang, the college's STEM programs have been housed in facilities constructed in 1955 but that the new center will be completely modern. The updated facility will provide students with new computers, printing and plotting services, and group study rooms. 

    "Fundamentally, Bakersfield College is focused on STEM as a pathway to success for our community," said Dr. Sonya Christian, BC president. "It is our firm belief the development of a STEM Success Center will promote STEM careers among all students, serve as a gathering point for students pursuing STEM education, and provide educated and trained employees  -- a valuable resource -- to all employers."

    "We are pleased to partner with Bakersfield College to create the Aera STEM Success Center," said Guardie E. Banister, President and CEO of Aera Energy. "Aera and BC share common goals of increasing access to higher education for local students and preparing a future technical workforce. The Aera STEM Success Center will be a vital resource both for the oil industry and the broader Kern Community."

    Construction for the new facility is expected to begin summer 2015.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Police are asking for assistance identifying and finding two suspects wanted for burglary of Bakersfield Californian offices.

    The Bakersfield Police Department says the newspaper's Eye Street offices were broken into on Sept. 13 between 2 and 6:55 a.m.

    The first suspect is described as a white or Hispanic male, between the ages of 16 and 25, of medium heigh and weight, who was wearing a white baseball cap, dark T-shirt, and dark backpack. Police say he was also carrying a skateboard.
    The second suspect is described as a white or Hispanic female of medium height and weight, who was wearing a dark short dress and carrying a light colored purse.

    BPD asks anyone with information regarding this case to call Detective Glenn Anderson at 661-326-3868 or the police department at 661-327-7111.

    Anonymous text tips can be sent to 274637 by sending BPDCRIMES along with a message.

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    SALINAS, Calif. - Dogged by the worst attendance in the league and frustrated by Kern County’s failure to replace the oldest stadium in the league, the owners of the Bakersfield Blaze are exploring plans to move the Class A team to Salinas.

    The Blaze have committed to play in the aging Sam Lynn Ball Park in 2015 – the season starts in April – but are drawing up plans to play in Salinas in 2016. On Tuesday, the Cincinnati Reds severed ties with the team, leaving it unaffiliated with any major league organization.

    Primary Blaze owner D.G. Elmore said Wednesday night he is studying plans to construct a stadium in Salinas for the team with private funds. He said the new stadium would be ready by the 2016 season.

    A measure on November’s ballot asks Salinas voters to approve a bond that could possibly be used to promote baseball in the community.

    Salinas, the seat of Monterey County, is on Highway 101 about an hour south of San Francisco.

    An architect and construction management firm have already been contracted for stadium designs and cost estimates, according to a statement by Doug Yount with the City of Salinas.

    "We are excited by the potential of this opportunity, but there are still numerous hurdles that need to be overcome," Elmore said. "We are hopeful we'll see a groundswell of support within the community of Salinas and the entire Monterey Bay region in the coming weeks."

    Despite the Bakersfield Blaze's positive performance on the field last season, game attendance ranks the lowest in the league, with 827 fans per game on average.

    In comparison, the Inland Empire 66ers, another team in the California League owned by Elmore, averages 2,838 fans per game.

    KGET Sports Director Lina Washington will have a complete report on the story on Thursday.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - David Waybright, 14, bowls every Saturday because it's the only sport he's allowed to play. Five years ago he was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation which means his cerebellum has left his skull and moved to his spinal cord.

    About 300,000 people in the U.S. suffer from the rare brain disorder which causes severe pressure to the brain and the spine.

    David suffers from chronic headaches and low fine motor skills and can easily lose his balance. So he's no longer able to play any contact sports.

    "Well I can't play football anymore which it used to be one of my favorite sports to play," said David.

    Adam's mom could tell something was wrong before doctors.

    "We had noticed symptoms as young as about four years old when one morning he got up and he couldn't walk," said Amber. "His legs wouldn't work is what he said. And we took him to the nearest children's hospital in San Diego where we were visiting and they thought it was overuse of his legs."

    David's correct diagnosis came in third grade after his teacher kept reporting that he wasn't paying attention in class. So a neurologist did a cat scan of his brain.

    "Come to find out he was putting himself into trances to help control the headaches in school. So that's why it appeared that he wasn't paying attention," said Amber.

    Adam had surgery four years ago to relieve pressure on his brain and spine, which keeps him on the bowling lane. He won a state bowling tournament here in Bakersfield this July, and has won $500 in college scholarships.

    His restriction to bowling hasn't held him back at all.

    "I can still do the thing that I love to do which is the greatest feeling in the world," said David.

    David and his family want more people to know about Chiari and be able to recognize possible symptoms of the condition. They will be at the 3rd annual Conquer Chiari Walk Saturday, September20 at 10 A.M. at Franklin Elementary on Truxtun Ave.

    To register go online at http://www.conquerchiari.org.

    Day off registration will be available as well and a minimum donation of $25 is suggested.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A SWAT standoff in south Bakersfield ended with no arrest.  Sheriff's deptuies are still looking for a man wanted in connection to a shooting at a trailer park.

    The shooting happened Wednesday night around 10 p.m. at the Alamo Trailer Park in the 10000 block of South Union Avenue. When deputies arrived they said they found a victim suffering from a minor gun shot wound.

    Deputies identified the gunman as Jeffrey Helms.

    Deputies called out the SWAT team to his home in the 9700 block of McCormac Avenue, that is just off Taft Highway.

    After several hours, the SWAT team entered the home but Helms was not inside.

    Neighbors were evacuated as a precaution, but have since been allowed to return home.

    If you have any information call the sheriff's department at 861-3110.

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