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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Come out and grab some barbecue and support the Bakersfield College Alumni Association tonight at the 60th Annual BC Alumni BBQ.

    The barbecue will be held at Stramler Park this year and features food by student chefs from the culinary arts program who will be grilling up steaks and barbecued chicken.

    Tickests are $27 for adults and $17 for students with ID. The event starts at 5:30 p.m.
    The annual cook-off is one of the largest fundraising events held by the association and supports the student athletic programs.

    For more information call 322-5200 or go to

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    MCFARLAND, Calif. - The McFarland Police Department is asking for the communitiy's help in identifying a man who sexually exposed himself to a juvenile on Monday, Sept. 15, near McFarland Middle School.

    The victim is a 16-year-old female who was walking to school in the area of Frontage Road and Taylor Avenue when she noticed a black, four-door GMC pick-up truck had been folllowing her.

    The suspect, who is described by the juvenile as a Hispanic male in his 50s, caught her attention and when she looked at him the suspect reportedly had his pants down to his knees, exposing his genitals to her.

    The suspect is described as: 
    a Hispanic male 50-53 years old
    About 5'-9" and weighing 190 pounds
    light or dark colored mustache
    wearing a blue-checkered shirt , jeans, and black hat

    The suspects's vehicle is described as: 
    Newer model GMC pickup, black in color, four doors

    Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Jerrod Place at 661-792-2121 ext. 3207.

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    SHAFTER, Calif. - Residents in Shafter now have access to expanded medical care after a new center was unveiled on Wednesday.

    City and hospital officials were on hand to cut the red ribbon and mark the opening of the new San Joaquin Community Hospital and Quest Imaging center.

    The facility offers X-Ray, Ultrasound, and lab services, which providers said are desperately needed in Shafter.

    "It's certainly about convenience. But certainly we know that early access to screening, creates more treatment options if there is a need for further treatment," said SJCH CEO Doug Duffield. "And so it's really important that residents of shafter have quick and easy access to this type of diagnostic testing."

    The new Quest Imaging Center is located on Lerdo Highway and is the third location in Kern County.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Unleash Your Love event was a success, according to SPCA organizers.

    There were 17 pet adoptions made and $13,500 raised at the day-long fundaising event. 

    The money will go to help the No-Kill shelter care for and house homeless animals until they can be adopted.

    If you were unable to make it out to the drive, you can still donate by calling the SPCA at 323-8353 or visit their location on Gibson Street.

    There are still plenty of pets that need a home.

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    SHAFTER, Calif. - Shafter high students learned that they will be saying goodbye to their principal as the Kern High School District announced today that Connie Sack will be leaving following the 2014-2015 school year.

    Sack's next move will be to serve in the newly-formed Educational Services Division, assisting with instruction in Technology and Career Technical Education.

    You can read more from the announcement by the Kern High School District below.

    After nearly three decades of dedicated service to the students of Kern County, the principal of Shafter High School, Connie Sack, has announced her retirement, effective at the end of the 2014 - 2015 school year.  Mrs. Sack has had an accomplished and distinguished career in education.   She joined the Kern High School District in 1990 as a science teacher at East Bakersfield High School and since then has held various classroom and administrative positions within the District, most recently serving as the principal at Shafter High School for the past five years. 

    For the remainder of this school year, Mrs. Sack will lend her expertise and knowledge to the District by assisting the newly-formed Educational Services Division at the District Office, under the leadership of Assistant Superintendent Dr. Dean McGee.  Mrs. Sack will focus on assisting the Division with its projects in Instruction Technology and Career Technical Education.  Mrs. Sack will begin her new assignment on October 6, 2014.

    Superintendent Dr. Bryon Schaefer said, “The students and the District will greatly benefit from Connie’s commitment to assisting the Educational Services Division in its technology and career-based programs. We are excited about the contributions she will provide to the new division and how those efforts will enhance the educational experience of our students for years to come.  Mrs. Sack is a valued and respected administrator, and her service to the students of the Kern High School District has been commendable. ”  

    The recommendation for naming a new principal at Shafter High School will be presented to the Board of Trustees on October 6th during the regularly scheduled Kern High School District Board meeting.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - This weekend, 39 WWII and Korean War veterans will head to Washington, D.C.. to see the memorials built for them as part of the 12th Honor Flight Kern County. Of those veterans, four women will be on the trip.

    WWII Veteran Madonna Marek is one of them.

    "My friends used to call me the ripple because I'm so short, but we were officially NAVY WAVES," said Marek.

    She was just 17 years old when she joined the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service.

    Marek said, "We had to go to bootcamp and then we had to go to training school and then we had our jobs."

    They took on a variety of duties during WWII. Marek worked in accounting in Cleveland, Ohio.

    "My job there was to make sure the wives of the servicemen go their allotments on time. Because the women had to live on that. If they didn't get, they would write their husbands. Here they're over fighting a war and then they have to worry about their wives too. So it was very important," she said.

    About 280,000 women served in the armed forces during WWII -- 86,000 of them were waves.

    Marek said, "I loved it. I felt very important. I felt like I was a part of our country. Whenever there's a flag, I salute it. I'm part of this country. I'm not over there fighting, but I'm doing my part for it."

    Marek says being in the Navy changed her life for the better.

    "Because I was in service, I was able to go to school on the GI bill. Because I was able to go to school on the GI bill, I became a teacher and I was a teacher for 48 years and I loved that part of it," she said.

    Marek says she's had a fulfilling life, but there's one part of her service she'll never forget.

    "I met this Merchant Marine and he taught me to dance. We became inseparable. We danced so well that they used to make circles and watch us around," she said.

    They were engaged to be married, but the thing they enjoyed so much also kept them apart.

    Marek said, "He had his leg cut off and he wouldn't contact me anymore because he knew I loved to dance and didn't want to hurt me. I never heard from him after that."

    Getting ready to relive some of WWII, during honor flight, brought up some of those memories.

    "It's going to sound crazy, but maybe there's a possibility my friend might be on the flight from out of New York or something. I just might meet him, I don't know. I can always hope."

    The twelfth Honor Flight Kern County will take off from Meadows Field, Saturday at 6:30 a.m.. You're encouraged to see them off. If you plan to do that, organizers say you should get there around 5 a.m.

    They'll return home Monday night. 17's Kristin Price will be in D.C. with them. We'll have more from the trip this weekend.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The deaths of two women in Rosedale make 14 DUI fatalities in Kern County this year. There were 15 in all of last year.

    The problem of drinking and driving doesn't seem to be getting better. That's why Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Kern County is holding its first ever Walk or Run Like MADD 5K September 20th to raise awareness and give families and friends of victims a chance to remember like Carla Pearson.

    June 2, 2002, Pearson's son was killed. Adam Pierce, was a 23-year-old motocross superstar. As his life was soaring, he got into a car with a repeat drunk driver behind the wheel.

    "I told a good friend of mine the other day that I sat on my couch and 2 days ago and I just cried. We couldn't fix him. We couldn't fix what had happened. And I think that's what I struggle with the most, and I try to make something good come out of something so horrific in our life," said Pearson.

    As a member of MADD, Pearson continues to make good. The non-profit helps victim's through the legal process, holds classes for offenders, and offers overall support and prevention.

    Now, Pearson is helping bring a DUI awareness event, Run or Walk Like MADD to Bakersfield. A community can see real victims and their families facing pain that could have been prevented.

    "I mean the numbers they don't seem to be going down which is why a walk like this and a run like this is needed to raise awareness," said George Barrientos, who is helping market the event.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports a driver will be under the influence 87 times before they are caught. And, someone is killed in a DUI crash every 51 minutes.

    "People for for what ever reason don't seem to be getting it. There's no reason you should be drinking and driving in this age," said Barrientos.

    "We live this every day and and it just goes over and over and over in your mind. And you seem to not be able to clear it," said Pearson.

    But she can spread it, the message, drinking and driving destroys and it needs to stop. And, it can with a community coming together for this event, taking the steps toward a solution and reassuring the pain is not in vain.

    "You know, I think the biggest thing for people that when their loved one was lost that people will forget them. And this is a chance to say you're not going to forget them," said Pearson.

    The Walk or Run Like MADD 5K is this Saturday, September 20, at the Park at River Walk. Registration begins at 5:30 in the morning. The program starts at 7:00. Victims, friends and family members will be there as well as County District Attorney, Lisa Green to address the crowd.

    The money raised goes toward the local MADD chapter.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A teacher can win a free Lasik procedure thanks to a local eye care provider.  

    According to a news release, Empire Eye and Laser Center is teaming up with Advanced Center for Eyecare, ACE, and Center for the Blind and Visually
    Impaired, CBVI, to host a contest where one deserving, local teacher will win a free Lasik procedure.

    Bakersfield area principals have received a letter regarding the giveaway, each
    school has the opportunity to submit the name and story of one deserving teacher of their choice via the Empire Eye and Laser Center website, to be selected to win a free LASIK/laser eye surgery procedure.

    Submission deadline is Friday, October 17, 2014. A committee will review all entries and 3 finalists will be selected. The three finalists will be invited to Empire Eye and Laser Center for a free consultation and screening to make sure they are candidates for Lasik. The three finalists will also receive an invitation to ACE’s Annual Appetite for Sight Dinner Event, Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 6:00pm where they will be recognized for their hard work and the final winner will be announced. The winner receives their LASIK procedure at no charge, performed by Daniel H. Chang, M.D. at Empire Eye and Laser Center, 4101 Empire Dr. Ste 120, Bakersfield, CA.

    The remaining finalists will also receive a discount on a Lasik procedure at Empire Eye and Laser Center. Typically valued at $2595 per eye, Cornea Specialist, Daniel H. Chang, M.D. with Empire Eye and Laser Center says the Lasik giveaway provides a unique opportunity to recognize and reward local teachers who have made a difference educating our local youth. As one of the few practices that offers Intralase (blade-less laser vision correction), Dr. Chang says Empire Eye and Laser Center’s advanced technology offers all patients highly precise and effective treatment for restoring vision and reducing dependency on glasses.

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  • 09/19/14--07:24: Woman's body found in Lamont
  • LAMONT, CA- Sheriff's deputies are investigating a suspicious death in Lamont.

    Deputies were called out just before 9 p.m. Thursday to the 12000 block of Adobe Road.

    Deputies said when they arrived they found a woman in the backyard of a home with trauma to her body.

    Officials said county firefighters attempted life-saving efforts, but she died at the scene.

    The investigation is ongoing.

    An autopsy is scheduled to determine how the woman died.

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

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were released today to throngs of dedicated fans across the country. In Bakersfield, Valley Plaza was ground zero for the Apple-loyal.

    Pre-orders for the devices began Monday, and set a company record with four million copies sold, twice the number of iPhone 5 pre-orders.

    Fans who spent their night waiting on the sidewalk for doors to open were also prepared to open their wallets, with the two phones costing between $200 and $650, depending on which carrier contract, if any, they chose.

    In addition to the standard upgrades expected of any new iPhone iteration, the iPhone 6 Plus marks Apple's first entry into the phone-tablet hybrid market, or "phablet," as they've been called. The 5.5-inch screen comes with some pros and cons.

    "Let's say you're used to something like this, which is the iphone 5S, which is usually my day to day phone. This might feel a little bit big," said Re/code columnist Lauren Goode. "It didn't fit well in some of my pockets, I couldn't carry it with me when I was working out. So as with most large screen phones, there are positives and there are some downsides to having such a big screen."

    Besides the larger screen, the camera has seen improvements, able to capture high-definition footage with a sharper focus.

    The phones also boast the new Apple Pay system, turning customers' handsets into wallets by allowing them to purchase items by swiping their phones over credit card readers.

    The new iOS 8 software was released Wednesday, allowing iPhone 4S, 5, and 5S users to upgrade.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - World War II and Korean War veterans will be heading to the nation's capital Saturday for the 12th Honor Flight Kern County.

    The flight, carrying 39 veterans, leave Meadows Field at 6:30 a.m. Saturday to take them to see the memorials built for them.

    Organizers recommend that anyone wishing to see the veterans off arrive at the airport at 5 a.m.

    They will return on two flights Monday night at 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Kern County and several specific cities within were awarded approximately $3.6 million more for pedestrian, bicycle, and public transportation projects Thursday.

    Eight biking and walking projects were adopted by the Kern Council of Governments through the 2014 Active Transportation Program.

    These funds come in addition to the previous $4.3 million awarded in August from the California Transportation Commission.

    A full list of the approved projects is available below:

    Kern COG-awarded

    Agency                Project                                                                                                        Cost

    Wasco                Clemens and Jefferson School Bike and Ped Improvements                                $305,827 

    Kern County       Walter Stiern Middle School Pedestrian Improvements                                       $125,000 

    Arvin                  Sidewalk Improvements at Various Locations                                                    $680,000 

    Wasco                Highway 43 Pedestrian Lighting                                                                       $593,565 

    Wasco                Prueitt Elementary School Bike and Pedestrian Improvements                            $473,136 

    Bakersfield         Bike Lane and Route Projects Group B (West)                                                    $270,000 

    Bakersfield         Safe Routes to School Improvements-Frank West School                                    $311,850 

    Tehachapi          Safe Routes to School Gap Closure Project                                                         $884,622 

    Total                                                                                                                                                   $3,643,000


    Agency                Project                                                                                                        Cost

    Delano                Safety and Education for an Active Delano School Community                           $392,463 

    Wasco                 Palm Avenue Elementary School Ped Infrastructure Improvements                    $458,181 

    Wasco                 Burke Elementary School Bike and Ped Infrastructure Improvements                $1,794,594 

    Kern County        Horace Mann Pedestrian Improvements                                                           $310,000 

    Kern County        Highland Elementary Pedestrian Improvements                                                $275,000 

    Tehachapi           Valley Boulevard Bikeways Facilities Project Phase II                                        $1,292,000 

    Total                                                                                                                                                   $4,522,238

    Grand total                                                                                                                                       $8,165,238

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Pioneer Drive Elementary School received a delivery of 750 books from Centennial High School students.

    The Centennial students brought the books as part of the One Book at a Time club. The club is designed to combat illiteracy in the Bakersfield area.

    School officials said the library is underfunded and the books will help foster a love of reading among children.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Julie Johnson from the SPCA stopped into the KGET studios Friday to share the pet of the week with us.

    Meet Moonie, a five month old chiweenie who needs a home and is waiting for adoption at the SPCA.

    If you're interested in adopting our pet of the week, you can call the SPCA at 323-8353, or go down and visit the many animals they have up for adoption... the Bakersfield SPCA is located at 3000 Gibson Street in northwest Bakersfield.

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    MCFARLAND, CA - Kern County homicide detectives are investigating a shooting death in McFarland.  Sheriff's officials say a man's body was found Friday afternoon on a dirt road close to an orchard near the intersection of Phillips Road and Zachary Avenue, southeast of McFarland.   

    Witnesses say the victim had been working in the area prior to being shot.  There is no information on a suspect and no arrests have been made.  17 News has a reporter and photographer on scene and will bring you more information as it becomes available.  

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield Blaze has announced their new affiliation is the Seattle Mariners.  The news comes from their Twitter account posted Friday afternoon.  

    The team had been previously affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds.  According to published reports, The Mariners have been affiliated with the High Desert Mavericks of Adelanto since 2007, but Seattle didn't renew that agreement.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Police said a man, possibly traveling at a high rate of speed, crashed into a van pulling out onto Niles Street near Mt. Vernon Avenue.
    The accident happened just after 3:30 p.m.
    The condition of the motorcycle rider has not been released yet.
    However, the California Highway Patrol has classified the crash as possibly involving major injuries.
    Niles and Mt. Vernon were closed for about an hour while officials investigated the incident.

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    DELANO, Calif. - Two people were arrested in Delano following a major marijuana bust.
    Sheriffs seized nearly 3,800 marijuana plants and 140 pounds of pot in the bust.
    The two suspects have been identified as Ignacio Valencia,27, and Juan Carlos Palacios Gomes, 39. They were arrested after a five-month-long investigation by the sheriff's department. 
    Deputies said the two men from Delano were operating a marijuana garden in the Delonegha Creek drainage on Highway 178.
    They believe the men were storing the processed drugs in an apartment in Delano.
    Deputies said the processed marijuana and plants have a potential value of approximately $15,000.

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Mothers against drunk driving held their 5-k run and walk this morning at The Park at Riverwalk.

    The event honors the lives of those lost in DUI-related accidents, highlighting the need for sober driving.

    Supporters held signs with pictures of loved ones who have died in what organizers say could have been prevented.

    Event organizers said many of the 700 participants have been affected by an impaired driver's decision.

    Organizers say many of the seven-hundred participants have been affected by an impaired driver's decision.

    The "Walk/Run Like MADD" event is a national fundraiser but it is the first time the outing has taken place in Bakersfield. 

    "Well right now as we all know, there's been a lot of things happening in the news lately about drunk drivers, so it think it's important that everyone come together in this community to support abstinence from alcohol," said supporter Sheila Fryer.

    "Drunk driving affects everybody, whether you're driving or not.i mean ... it could affect my son on the way home today. so it's just very important that everybody knows about it," said Adam Monsibais, run participant.

    "This has been a very emotional morning for me to see all the faces and the family that i know. i've been doing this for twelve years and it just warms my heart," said MADD organizer Carla Pearson

    Organizers said their goal was to raise at least $25,000.

    However, they shattered that goal...raising more than $45,000. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Enterovirus D-68 is such a mysterious respiratory illness that it often appears to be asthma. In both cases, kids wheeze and have shortness of breath.

    State health officials last week confirmed four children from San Diego and Ventura counties have tested positive for Enterovirus D-68. No cases in Kern have been reported so far.

    But in Kern County, where asthma rates are high, there is growing concern among parents about how to tell the difference between D-68 and asthma. Any child can catch the virus as it is spread by a simple cough, but those children with asthma suffer more from the illness.

    "In most of the cases that have happened across the United States, most of the children who have had to be hospitalized are those who already have a past history of asthma," said Dr. Kimberlee Fong, infectious disease physician at kaiser permanente. "So they already have respiratory problems to begin with because of the asthma and then they get hit with this enterovirus d-68 and it just exacerbates their breathing symptoms."

    When the inhaler isn't working and symptoms aren't getting better, there's only one sure way to tell if a child has contracted D-68, according to Fong.

    "If you suspect that your child is having respiratory difficulty, definitely bring them to the hospital or to your physician's office. The only way to tell the difference is if you actually have specific testing for Enterovirus D-68," said Fong.

    There is no vaccine for the virus, but parents can do a couple things to reduce risk.

    "With all respiratory viruses we always talk about good hand that talks about washing your hands, staying away from people you know who are sick because you don't want to catch the disease, and also just kind of wiping down the surfaces with those bleach wipes if you have been around someone sick," said Fong. 

    Fong said there are two main reasons why children are most at risk for the virus. First, the disease has been around since the 1960s and was actually first discovered in California. Therefore kids may not have developed immunity to the virus like adults.

    Also, kids put so many things in their mouth and are around so many other children at school that it makes it easier for them to acquire the virus. 

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