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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A homicide investigation is underway in Delano -- where police Saturday night found three people who were shot, in a car that crashed into a fence.

    Police responded to a report of an injury traffic collision just before 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Delano police say the occupants were found inside the car, with gunshot wounds and pronounced dead at the scene.

    The victims have not been identified.

    Police say witnesses are assisting officers with the investigation. Delano police encourage anyone with information regarding this case to call them at 721-3377.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Two fugitives captured by the FBI are back in Kern County -- facing murder and cruelty charges related to the 2010 death of Serenity Gandara.

    31-year-old Alberto Garcia and 30-year-old Carla Garcia fled to Mexico after an of an arrest warrant was issued for their alleged involvement in the death of a three-year-old foster child in July 2010. The Garcias were arrested in Mexico more than two years ago, but have been awaiting extradition.

    We spoke with the toddler's grandmother in 2012 about their arrest. At that time, Renee Maese said, "There's hope to stay with it. Because there's justice at the end. I get to get answers and bring them to justice to find out what happened to Serenity. We can be at peace, you know what I mean, once this is all over."

    An autopsy shows the child died from blunt force trauma. Alberto and Carla Garcia are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on charges of murder and willful cruelty to a child.

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  • 10/26/14--23:54: Bakersfield Comic-Con
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA - Imagination's ran wild Sunday at the 7th annual Bakersfield Comic-Con. More than 2,000 gamers, comic-book collectors, and Sci-Fi lovers gathered at the Marriot Hotel in Bakersfield. People came from all over the state to enjoy the festivities and meet people they admire.

    Jimmy Hunt was one of the celebrities at the event. Hunt is best known for his role in the 1956 "Invaders From Mars". He lives in Bakersfield now and enjoyed his first Bakersfield Comic-Con experience.

    "I have no idea who half of these people are but they are all dressed in these great outfits and this is a happening place. Most the people know more about the movies that I was in then I know and I was there," said Hunt.

    Local cartoonist Erwin Ledford is another comic-con favorite. His popular cartoon "Little Erwin" is centered around growing up in Bakersfield. Ledford says he's thankful for the community support.

    Ledford said,"It's just something about the small environment I think people stop and take in what I'm doing, and appreciate what I do."

    He says he enjoys being able to mentor kids at Comic-Con.

    "I feel like I can impart something really valuable to them. I love encouraging kids to focus on drawing and really work hard at what they do." said Ledford.

    Steve Wyatt started the event seven years ago and says he is pleased with the turn out.

    "We had 400 people at our first one and 2,500 at our last one. So we're hoping to break that, matter of fact it's grown so big we're moving it to the fair grounds next year because we need to grow," said Ledford.

    Although the venue will be changing locations, coordinators say they will keep the $5 entrance fee.


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    DELANO, CA. -  Homicide investigators in Delano are still looking into what they initially thought was a car crash..but turned out to be a triple shooting.

    Police responded to a report of an injury traffic collision just before 7:30 p.m. on Saturday where a car had crashed into a fence at Fremont and 7th Avenue.

    Delano police said the three people inside the car had been shot and were pronounced dead at the scene.

    The victims have not been identified.   
         
    Police said witnesses are assisting officers with the investigation.

    Delano police encourage anyone with information regarding this case to call them at 721-3377.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - In the tradition of promoting a fun, trick-or-treat alternative, the Kern County Museum will once again host Safe Halloween on Oct. 30 and 31.

    This year there will be more than 50 trick-or-treat stations and a carnival area with bounce houses, inflatable slides, a mechanical bull, and carnival games.

    There will also be a kid-friendly haunted house (recommended for children 8 and older).

    In addition to the games, there will also be costumed entertainers -- including some friendly clowns -- and a scavenger hunt as well as costume contests throughout the night.

    The event lasts from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

    Tickets are $8 for museum members and $10 for non-members. You can purchase tickets at the museum located at 3801 Chester Ave.

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    A Federal investigation into the in-custody death of David Silva on May 7, 2013 has been closed, according to the United States Attorney's Office. 

    An examination the evidence by both the Civil Rights Division and the United States Attorney’s Office determined there was not sufficient evidence to sustain a federal criminal prosecution, which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. 

    The incident was referred to the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, and to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California after concerns were voiced that Kern County Sheriff's Deputies may have used unreasonable force when subduing Silva.

    “To maintain the public’s trust and fulfill the high obligations undertaken by all law enforcement, it is critical that we diligently evaluate such allegations,” said U.S. Attorney Wagner. “We undertook a careful evaluation of the evidence in this case, and we appreciate the assistance we received, particularly from our partners in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I extend my condolences to the entire Silva family for the loss they suffered with the tragic passing of Mr. Silva.”


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    Bakersfield, CA - Jury selection for the Taft High School Shooting case began with high drama Monday afternoon after an outburst from the very first interviewee.

    A potential juror stood in the courtroom shouting profanities at Bryan Oliver, the teenager accused of shooting a Taft Union High School student in January 2013. The woman said her son was in the classroom when the shooting took place. "You stupid …. S-O-B," she shouted. Only she used the full expletive while she was screaming. She continued with saying, "You made my life a living hell! You don't know what you did to my son!."

    She was immediately escorted from the courtroom and excused from the jury. She was the first of many prospective jurors to be questioned for the expected six-week trial.

    Oliver is accused of two counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault with a firearm. However, in pretrial proceedings his attorney said evidence will prove Oliver is a victim himself, of long-term bullying.

    Monday's jury selection came after Taft Union High School released a document last week claiming Oliver had been "tea-bagged" by bullies during his freshman year. Tea-bagging was described as a hazing ritual in which bullies drag their genitals across the face of their victims.

    Judge John Lua issued a strict gag order Monday morning, restricting the media from speaking to anyone involved in the trial. This gag order also forbids any cameras or recording devices in the courtroom. Judge Lua ordered the prospective jurors to be questioned in private with lengthy questionnaires, but the outburst came before that could begin.

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    Gas prices around the nation are at their lowest mark since December of 2010.

    Here in California, that will change with assembly bill 32 going into effect on January 1.

    AB 32 requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to the 1990 level by the year 2020.

    Governor Brown says a high speed rail will take a lot of cars off the road... thus reducing emissions.

    Michael Turnipseed of the Kern Taxpayers Association says the tax that will be placed on gas here in California will go to finance that high speed rail

    He says the reason why gas is so cheap right now is because the price oil has dropped by about 25%, which drive the price we pay at the pump

    Unfortunately prices will be going up due to a California state tax in Assembly Bill 32.  This bill authorizes the collection of a fee from anything that emits greenhouse gases, and that includes your car's exhaust.

    Michael Turnipseed said, "we are really only two months away, but nobody can tell us what the tax is.  Some people are saying it is only going to 18 or 20 cents, other people are saying it might be 70 cents.  But, its going to affect everybody."

    The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.03 according to GasBuddy.com, and the average price here in California is $3.38



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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Midterm elections are just one week away, yet 28 Kern County schools are joining 510,000 students across California who are casting their ballots Tuesday during the My Vote California Student Mock Election.Schools are using the election to expose students to the democratic process.

    U.S. history teacher Brooke Ault has been getting students at Chipman Junior High School prepared for Tuesday's mock election.

    "We like to get them in the habit of voting at an early age because if they don't develop that habit right away then they're likely not to become involved in politics or any sort of real political participation later on in life," said Ault.

    The student council at Chipman helped set up voting booths in the cafeteria. All 900 students at Chipman are invited to cast a ballot during lunch, but not required. All month they've discussed with their teachers what will be on the ballot and pros and cons of each selection.

    The ballot mimics next Tuesday's ballot. Students will vote for Governor and on all six propositions, including hot topic issues like water use.

    Chipman student council president John Pulskamp said he and his classmates should have more say in community decisions.

    "The younger generation in our community needs to be heard more because really it's them who you know is going to prolong this country and prolong what's going to happen in the future," said Pulskamp. "So I definitely feel they need to be heard a little more."

    Participating schools will tally the results and send them to the capitol.

    California Secretary of State Debra Bowen will announce those results by the end of the week.

    As a reminder to adult voters, vote by mail ballot requests must arrive by today. To find out your polling place or any additional information, contact the Kern County Elections Office online at http://elections.co.kern.ca.us/elections or call 661-868-3590. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - What may seem like a Hallowen prank has some trying to understand the mystery of a grave marker found on the side of a road, engraved with a woman's name who is still alive.

    The grave marker was found recently buried along Center Street, below the Mount Vernon overpass.

    The name engraved on the lonely tombstone is that of Maria Elena Rhoades, with a birthdate of April 7, 1944. 

    An inquiry to Greenlawn Cemetery revealed  there is a grave marker with the same name and birthdate at the cemetery for a different woman, whose last name "Rhoads" is spelled differently.

    Greenlawn's CEO Jim Lamar speculates that the misspelled marker came from a monument company near Center Street that closed.

    "At that time when that marker was made there may have been a typo and they remade the marker to be placed in our cemetery, and this marker was left in that monument company's yard, which was shut down and people were vandalizing, and probably they might have picked up that marker as a prank and someone took it out here.. all we can assume," said Lamar.

    Lamar said that normally if a mistake is made the granite is pulvarized and recycled.

    But, for some reason that didn't happen to this marker.
         
    We tracked down Maria Rhoads, who is very much alive, and she told us she had no idea there was a grave marker alongside a busy road with her name on it.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - A felony probation sex offender is at large and the Kern County Probation Department is asking for help in locating him.

    Alejandro Delgado, 19, is on felony probation for burglary and failed to register as a sex offender, which he is required to do pursuant to Penal Code Section 290. 

    Delgado was arrested on Sept. 7, for being under the influence of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.

    A felony warrant was issued for Delgado after he failed to report to his probation officer.

    Delgado is known to frequent the 5700 block of Leo Street and the 600 block of 6th Street in Bakersfield. 

    Anyone with information should contact Probation Officer Anthony Mord at 661-336-6693  or immediately notify local law enforcement.

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    WELDON, CA. - A community advisory meeting is scheduled to take place to discuss the Kelso Creek Communities Flood and Warning Notification Plan and the impact on the community should a flood happen.

    The meeting will take place Nov. 5, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at South Fork Elementary School, 6401 Fay Ranch Road in Weldon.

    The National Weather Service will be on-hand to present their Weather Ready Program.  The system helps communities get real-time weather information and safety precautions.

    Residents requiring assistance at the meeting such as Spanish interpreters or ASL interpretation can call Emergency Services Manager, Georgianna Armstrong at 661-873-2604 or garmstrong@co.kern.ca.us by Oct. 31st.

    The meeting will be held in conjunction with multiple agencies, including: The District One Kern County Board of Supervisor Mick Gleason, National Weather Service, Kern County Water Agency, Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Kern County Department of Engineering, Surveying and Permit Services, the Kern County Fire Chief and the Kern County Office of Emergency Services Director Brian Marshall.

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    SACRAMENTO, CA. - The Department of Justice have arrested five people they believe are illegaly claiming refunds on recyclables that have already been claimed.  

    The five people arrested are from the Modesto-Turlok area believed to be at the center of a beverage container scam.

    Those arrested were Hughson residents Michael Marchant and Leila Arretche, Jonathan Andrino of Turlock, and recycling center owners Robert Nicastro and James Reese of Turlock.  

    All five were booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on charges of conspiracy, grand theft, and recycling fraud.

    Bail set at $250,000 each.

    Officials are also searching for another individual suspected of fraud who is identified as Joshua Gray.

    If convicted, each individual faces the maximum sentence of six years and four months with a fine of $25,000 and restitution costs.

    Authorities have discovered  nearly 250,000 pounds of beverage containers after a two-day investigation. 

    The containers filled 22 trucks and were removed from the ranch and warehouse they were found at and sent to a processing facility.

    Investigators also found $125,000 in cash after serving search warrants to 12 locations. 

    Six recycling centers are now placed on “prepayment controls” by CalRecycle, so they are not reimbursed for CRV claims until the items can be reviewed as legitimate claims.

    “There’s a right way and a wrong way to make money in beverage container recycling, and when people do it the wrong way, they can end up in jail,” CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen said. “Along with our partners in law enforcement, we take fraud very seriously and will aggressively pursue individuals who steal from the state’s recycling fund.”

    Per the release:

    California’s bottle bill provides an incentive for beverage container recycling by establishing a CRV of 5 cents for containers less than 24 ounces and 10 cents for containers 24 ounces or larger. CalRecycle is undertaking a major and multipronged effort to protect the recycling fund, including new approaches to curb fraud. Much of the emphasis is on preventing fraud before it occurs, such as enhanced training of recycling center owners and increased scrutiny of payment claims.

    CalRecycle is the state's leading authority on recycling, waste reduction, and product reuse.  CalRecycle plays an important role in the stewardship of California's vast resources and promotes innovation in technology to encourage economic and environmental sustainability.  For more information, visit www.calrecycle.ca.gov.


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    BAKERSFIELD,CA- OB/GYNs in Kern County have more patients to see and less time to see them. As a result, patients are on long waiting lists to see a doctor.

    Katie Yam called doctors around town as soon as she found out she was pregnant, but the few she called were booked.

    "It was over a month. One of them over a month and one of them was about a month's time. So I was like no this cannot be. I need to get in right away," said Yam.

    Such a long delay increased the new mom's worry about her and her baby's health.

    "It's very frustrating not getting in to a doctor with the stress of being pregnant as well," said Yam. "It's not healthy for a pregnant mom to have to go through." She eventually was referred to Dr. Tony Hoang who says there just aren't enough OBGYNs in town.

    "We are seeing a huge influx of OB/GYN patients primarily because we're seeing that a number of physicians are starting to retire here in Bakersfield," said Dr. Hoang. "Over the past 3 to 5 years several OB/GYNs have already retired."

    Dr. Hoang estimates there are 50 OB/GYNs in Kern County. About 20 are above age 55 and close to retirement he says. So he believes there will be a huge shortage in Kern county in the next five years.

    "A lot of new OB patients or pregnant patients come in and they are not seen until at least twelve weeks pregnant because they couldn't get in soon enough. And I think that's the most important part of a lady's pregnancy is the first trimester...we need to see those patients early on."

    Many OB/GYNs come to Bakersfield through the only OB/GYN residency program in town at Kern Medical Center.

    The Program Director Dr. Antonio Garcia agrees there could be a major shortage in the future if more doctors don't stay in the area. His program graduates three doctors a year and on average only one stays in Kern County.

    Garcia says there are two reasons doctors don't stay: first, some want to return home; second, new doctors typically want to join a group practice like San Dimas Medical Group or Kaiser Permanente and open positions aren't always available each year.

    If you are in need of an OB/GYN, Dr. Hoang suggests calling or emailing a doctor directly and explaining your situation. You can also ask a physician you trust to refer you to an OB.

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    Halloween is an exciting time for families but it's also a time to exercise caution and good judgment. This year the Kern County Sheriff's Office is offering safety tips for families to make sure you get the most out of your Halloween season. 

    The following tips are provided directly from the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

    Parents:

    Know the route your children will be taking if you aren’t going with them.

    Make sure you set a time for them to be home.

    Have your children eat a good dinner before going out.

    Make sure your children are properly supervised while out.

    Make sure they trick or treat in a group if you are not with them.

    Children 12 years and younger should be accompanied by an adult.

    Tell your children to never go into a stranger's house.

    Tell your children to stay out of the street while walking.

    Choose a costume that is brightly colored and easy to see in the dark. 

    Carefully inspect all food and candy before letting your child eat it (when in doubt, throw it out).

    Trick or Treater's:

    Carry a flashlight.

    Stay on sidewalks.

    Cross the street at intersections, never run out from behind a parked car.

    Stay in familiar neighborhoods.

    Make sure your costume fits you well.

    Only approach houses that are well lit.

    Walk from house to house, don't run.

    Never take shortcuts, such as alleyways or empty fields.

    Don't eat anything until your parents have had a chance to inspect it.

    Be Prepared

    Children should also know the basics, such as their phone number and address in case of an emergency, and how to react if a stranger tries to approach them. If your child is late returning home or you cannot locate your child, immediately call 9-1-1 and report it to local law enforcement.

    If you are planning on attending a Halloween party, consider the following:

    In 2012, 23% of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involved a drunk driver.

    In 2012, 48% of all traffic fatalities on Halloween resulted from a drunk driving related accident.

    Children are 2 times as likely to be hit and killed by a vehicle while walking on Halloween.

    Drinking violations for criminal offenders increase by about 25% when Halloween is on a Friday.

    If you would like further information about Halloween safety or other crime prevention topics, please contact the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit at 661-391-7559 or by email at crimeprevention@kernsheriff.com


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - Gov. Jerry Brown will be in Arvin this afternoon to talk about Props 1 and 2 with the public in an open forum event.

    The "Get Out the Vote" rally will take place at the Arvin Veterans Memorial Building in the courtyard area. The building is located at 414 4th Ave.in Arvin, 93203.

    The rally begins at noon.

    Proposition 1 would authorize $7.1 billion in state borrowing to build new water projects as well as expand and maintain existing dams and reservoirs. 

    Proposition 2 looks to create a rainy day fund to smooth out the budget roller coasters.

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  • 10/29/14--11:43: Click for more on H.I.R.E.
  • If you missed today's job fair, you can still check them out online to get all the information and resources provided by the organization.

    Click HERE to go the their site

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - If you have an engraved brick at Centennial Plaza that was removed and needs to be replaced you can now request that service be done, for free.

    A recent release by the city managers office is informing the public on the City Council's decision to finance the restoration project and that they are taking requests to replace bricks that have been removed.

    "
    Members of the public who believe their brick or tile has been previously removed are 
    asked to contact Caleb Blaschke in the City Manager’s Office at (661) 326-3751 or 
    email him at cblaschke@bakersfieldcity.us for more information on the replacement 
    process," according to the release.




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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - The Bakersfield Museum of Art will celebrate Dia de Los Muertos again this year with the 6th Annual Altares de Familia.

    The event is a traditional Mexican tribute to remembering and honoring loved ones that have died.

    "This is a family centered, cultural festival enjoyed and celebratd by people of all backgrounds," said Vicki Cruz with the BMOA. "Its vibrant color, celebratory ambiance and its strong ties to traditional folk art make it an artistic and meaningful experience."

    The event is cosponsored by the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce this year, too.

    Cruz said the traditional event is a great way for families to be creative by creating altars and cooking special foods to share with others.

    The event will take place in the garden area at the museum and feature pices by students and community members.

    Cruz said the event will also spill over to Mill Creek Park where there will be even more festivities and entertainment.

    "You can enjoy traditional Aztec dancers, youth mariachi, Mexican folk dancing, Mexican cuisine, children's crafts area, cultural craft vendors, traditional calavera face painting and a music by Mento Buru to close the event," said Cruz.

    The event is on Sunday at the Bakersfield Museum of Art and Mill Creek Park. Tickets are $3 per person, free children 6 & under.

    The event will go from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - The Kern County Elections Office will open their doors on Saturday, Nov. 1 for early voting and return of vote by mail ballots. 

    You can also utilize the curbside dropoff on Saturday for vote by mail ballots as well.

    The office will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 1.

    Election Day is Nov. 4 and the elections office will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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