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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - A recent initiative conducted by the Kern Food Policy Council (KFPC) and the Kern Chapter of the League of Women Voters (LWV) asked candidates about their intentions to influence policy concerning our local food system in Kern County.

    A questionnaire looked to address growing food insecurity issues in  a region where we are recognized as a leader in agriculture production.

    About one in four people are considered "food insecure," according to the United Way of Kern County.

    Questions also posed discuss resource management in regards to the drought as well as addressing labor issues in food-system related industries.

    The questions were asked by the Kern Food Policy Council (KFPC) and the Kern Chapter of the League of Women Voters (LWV)
    The groups define a food system as the processing, production, distribution and consumption of food, as well as the management of food waste.
    Group leaders urge candidates to consider our region's food system when considering issues that will affect the valley like job creation, water and air quality, diet-related diseases, and land use and worker well-being.

    "We know this is an extremely busy season for all candidates, and we are very appreciative of the ones who were able to carve out the time to reply so thoughtfully," said Jill Egland, VP Community Impact, United Way of Kern County, and a member of the KFPC. 

    England states the questions are not meant to be used to endorse any particular candidate but rather to be taken as an "educational opportunity."

    "We're at a critical junction," remarked Egland. "Our economic vitality as a region is going to depend on all of us clearly understanding the systemic issues that hold us back. And we need to know how much our candidates know."  

    There were initially 20 questions generated by the California Food Policy Council (CAFPC), though the  KFPC and LWV synthesized those questions down to four.

    Invitations were sent to 16 candidates in the following races: 
    US House of Representatives-21st and 23rd districts; 
    State Senate-16th District
    State Assembly-26th, 32nd, 34th and 36th districts. 

    Responses were received from:
    US House of Representatives 21st District: Amanda Renteria
    CA State Senate 16th District: Jean Fuller, Ruth Musser-Lopez
    CA State Assembly 26th District: Devan Mathis
    CA State Assembly 34th District: Shannon Grove 
    CA State Assembly 36th District: Tom Lackey

    The following are the four questions asked:

    1. Nearly a quarter of Kern's population (24.4%) is at or below the federal poverty level, according to the California Poverty Measure, but ranks 23 in the state in terms of eligible residents' utilization of CalFresh-an estimated loss of $73.6 Million in federal nutrition benefits. What policies would you support to boost participation among the currently eligible population for a program that has a $1.79 economic multiplier for every $1 spent? 

    2. California's current three-year drought is the worst in at least 100 years. Consequently 428,000 acres have been fallowed, and over 17,000 jobs lost. What policies would you propose to build on-farm resilience in the face of climate change and a more sustainable use of Kern's water?  

    3. We estimate that 17.2% of the California's workforce is in the food system, including production, processing, distribution, retail, and service industries. According to the KEDC, nearly a quarter (24%) of Kern's private sector jobs are food system-related, yet many of the workers are undervalued and are more likely to experience substandard working conditions. What labor issues in the food chain are you most concerned with, and how would you address them? 

    4. The Kern Food Policy Council is pursuing the creation of a comprehensive, county-wide food system assessment that will help us create new relationships between policy and action, as well as explore the potential for community-based pilot projects directly addressing the physical and economic health and well-being of Kern County residents. In what ways, if any, would you support this effort?

    Click HERE for responses by Amanda Renteria 
    Click HERE for responses by Devan Mathis 
    Click HERE for responses by Tom Lackey
    Click HERE for responses by Shannon Grove 
    Click HERE for responses by Ruth Musser-Lopez 
    Click HERE for responses by Jean Fuller

    All responses can also be found at and at

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Deputies need your help identifying a man they say forced open community mailboxes and stole an ATM card in Lamont.  

    Sheriff's officials say during the weekend of October 4 through 5, 2014, a man forced open the mailboxes in the 7600 block of Segrue Rd. in Lamont. During the theft the man stole an ATM card which had recently been mailed to the victim.

    The person pictured in the attached wanted notice and image used the stolen ATM card to make two withdrawals at the Kern Central Credit Union in Lamont on the morning of October 5.

    If anyone has information on this persons identity, or information on this case, call the Sheriff’s Office at 661-861-3110 or Secret Witness at 661-322-4040.

    Anonymous text tips can be sent to TIP411 (847411). Just type the keyword “KCSO” prior to the message.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A prostitution sting Friday brought in a dozen suspected sex workers. The operation brings attention to not only the issue of buying and selling sex, but also human trafficking.

    While twelve women face solicitation charges, there are hundreds more still on the streets. The founder of Magdalene Hope, an organization helping sex workers get out of the industry, says many prostitutes are not criminals, but victims.

    Magdalene Hope founder Doug Bennett said, "They're being forced. Usually through threats, family members being injured or harmed. Some girls are tased. Some girls are beaten on their head, to where the bruises don't show up."

    Bennett says the majority of prostitutes in Bakersfield aren't choosing to sell their bodies, but are forced, through sex trafficking.

    Bennett said, "We would see a quarter of them as criminals or breaking the law, by choice. The other three quarters, or 75%, would be forced to be there. We would look at them as victims."

    Bakersfield Police Sergeant Joe Grubbs says it's not known how many prostitutes are in Bakersfield and under what circumstance.

    "We've had prostitutes who will come, literally on buses from Fresno, a group of them, and they will conduct their business here in Bakersfield," Grubbs said,

    Bennett said, "The I-5 corridor is from Canada to Mexico. The women are moved and trafficked and Bakersfield is one of the stops, being off the 99."

    California is ranked as one of the worst states for human trafficking. Last October, a man convicted in Kern County's first human trafficking case was sentenced to 32 years, 8 months in prison. In June, two women were arrested in Oregon for allegedly sex trafficking a 17-year-old Bakersfield girl.

    Grubbs said, "Our experience has been, with the sex trafficking, it's usually girls that get involved in it. At some point, that becomes their way of life, their business. I mean, that's what they're doing and it becomes very difficult to get out of."

    Bennett said, "We have a victim centered approach. That's really what we're trying to push with law enforcement and just letting the public know we have victims out here who are being, most of them are forced to be out there."

    Sergeant Grubbs says sex trafficking isn't suspected in any of these recent arrests. Soliciting prostitution is a misdemeanor charge.

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    If you missed the Special Report by Kristin Price, you can click HERE to view that report.

    Allergist Dr. Eric Boren joined us in the studio today to talk about allergies and to answer your questions directly on Facebook. 

    As he answered your questions on our Facebook page, he also defined what an allergy is and how it differs from a food intolerance.

    "Allergy means the immune system has made an antibody (IgE) specifically against the food. This immune system involvement is what can lead to severe life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions. With food INTOLERANCE, no immune system involvement is seen and thus reactions are self-limited (such as lactose intolerance)," said Dr. Eric Boren.

    The following are questions asked to Dr. Boren during our live session on Facebook.

    Q: Do children out grow food allergies? - Kathy Ann Morrow

    A: Yes, children can outgrow food allergies. Many foods (such as egg, milk, soy, wheat) are often outgrown during elementary school. Others, such as nuts and seafood are much less likely to be outgrown.-Dr. Boren

    Q: Can the way you birth your baby, whether it is vaginal or by cesarean section, give your child an increased risk for food allergies? - Brittnee Wilson

    A: There is no evidence that the way a child is born has any role in the development of food allergies. However, genetics do play a strong role.-Dr. Boren

    Q: How is a child diagnosed with food allergies? Are there treatments that help, or do you just avoid the foods? - Martha Benavides

    A: Food allergy is diagnosed by testing for the presence of food-specific IgE antibodies. This can be accomplish with allergy skin tests or allergy blood testing. A history of reaction after food exposure typically is what leads to the evaluation. If positive, only STRICT avoidance can ensure safety and may lead to the food being"outgrown" over time. Everyone with true food allergy should have an epinephrine device for emergency use.-Dr. Boren

    Q: Is it common for women to be left with an extremely heightened intolerance after pregnancy? - Jenn Hemingway

    A: As pregnancy is considered an immune-suppressed state, some women do find that allergy and intolerances can change (for better or worse) when the immune system "wakes up". Dr. Boren

    Q: My daughter is 10 and shes had to be injected with an epi-pen once when she was 1 and then 2 for anaphylactic shock. We only had to use one epi-pen. Have you encountered any cases where a second epi-pen is ever needed? - Karen Arias-Luque 

    A: A 2-pack is given at the pharmacy for both available devices (EpiPen and Auvi-Q) because there definitely are cases where a second dose may be necessary while 911 has been activated. Also, there can be a delayed or biphasic response where a second wave of an allergic reaction can occur hours later.-Dr. Boren

    Q: Can the foods you eat during pregnancy give your child an increased risk to food allergies? - Brittnee Wilson

    A: It is unknown if the foods a woman eats during pregnancy may promote food allergy in their child. In general, we recommend if food allergy runs in the family, for women to avoid highly allergenic foods such as nuts but the evidence is unclear.-Dr. Boren

    Q: My son has a severe peanut & pumpkin allergy (anaphylaxis). His allergist has left and they had a temp allergist during his my sons last visit. She wanted him to do a food tolerance test. Why would you give the food to someone who's clearly allergic just to confirm again. I refused the test and told them I'll get a second opinion when they get a permanent allergist. - Michelle Jones

    A:  If there is a clear history of severe reaction, I would NOT reintroduce the food. If BOTH allergy skin and blood tests are negative, over 99% of kids would tolerate a challenge. I would avoid unless testing strongly indicates otherwise. -Dr. Boren

    Q: My son has severe food and environmental allergies along with EOSINOPHILIC ESOPHAGITIS. Is there a way to train Drs here in Kern County to bring awareness and treatment options to Kern County instead of traveling to San Diego, UCLA, and Madeira? And once they are in remission, how long does it last? A lot of Drs are not aware of this allergic autoimmue disease and are afraid to treat my son. - Kelly Lutz Lank

    A:  I can only speak for my practice. I do indeed see both children and adults with eosinophilic esophagitis(EE). The challenge becomes trying to figure out the offending food or foods that is triggering the allergic inflammation in the esophagus.If the trigger can be identified, avoidance will make the condition resolve. If foods triggers are elusive, steroid inhalers are swallowed to control the symptoms. EE is an active area of research.And yes, it may resolve on its own.-Dr. Boren

    If you would like to get in contact with Dr. Eric Boren, you can reach him at his clinic, Kern Allergy Medical Clinic, Inc, located on 17th Street. You can also find them on Facebook and at

    Dr. Boren also recommends checking out, and said it is a trusted resource for information on allergies.

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    MCFARLAND, CA. - The McFarland Police Department will host a trick-or-treating event at their station on Oct. 30.

    The "Cops and Candy" event at the station will feature games and candy for kids. There will also be emergency vehicles on display for kids to get a closer look at.

    All kids are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.

    The fun starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m.

    The McFarland Police Station is located at 401 West Kern Ave., 93250.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - Stay-at-home mom Cherie Willis loves Halloween and creating scary decorations from recycled goods. But what scares her most is families in town going hungry. So for the second year she's created a haunted maze on her lawn and is inviting the community to come inside as long as they bring a canned good to donate.

    "I just thought what if i just do both, what if I just made some outrageous halloween stuff and instead of charging admission just do it like a can food drive? And so then I did," said Willis. 

    The decorations in the maze were made by Cherie from mostly recycled goods. Since May she has been gathering supplies such as wood and cardboard from alleys, old mini blinds she found in the lowe's parking lot, and an old mattress spring.

    Family members and neighbors have also donated items and their time.

    "I'm happy to help, I'm definitely happy to help and it's definitely a passion of hers but then at the same time she's trying to do some kind of good," said neighbor Steven Sedeno.

    Some kind of good that a stranger showed to Cherie's family many years ago.

    "We hit some hard times and at that time my dad was working a lot and my mom was trying to raise four children and one day I remember it was near Christmas and we had this door bell and it was seven in the morning and we opened the door and there was this food basket there," remembers Willis. "My mom was sitting there crying probably because she was humbled but you know it really it made a difference."

    Now she wants to make a difference for someone else.

    "It doesn't really matter to me how much food I bring in or how many people come to see my show or whatever this is. What matters to me is if we can get as much food out there to those people who are hungry as possible."

    All cans will be donated to the Bakersfield Homeless Center on Truxtun. The haunted maze will be open today and tomorrow starting at 8PM. The address is 6009 webb way. Cherie says all are welcome to come and bring as many cans as possible.   

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - The Kern County Fire Department has provided some safety tips to keep in mind this Halloween season. 

    KCFD reports that around 900 fires are started every year from decorations catching fire, and add that two of every five fires are started by candles.

    • Children should always go trick-or-treating with a responsible adult
    • Provide children with flashlights or glow sticks to carry for lighting and visibility
    • Review how to cross a street with your child. Look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are approaching before crossing the street
    • If driving, be sure to watch for trick-or-treaters who are too busy to watch for you
    • Remind children to stay together as a group when walking from house to house 

    • Purchase costumes made of flame resistant or flame retardant material. Fire resistant does not mean fireproof!
    • Apply reflective tape to Halloween costumes
    • Masks can obstruct vision - consider using make-up instead
    • Avoid loose, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts
    • Keep hemlines short enough to prevent tripping

    • Keep decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters
    • Light jack-'o-lanterns with battery powered light - never use candles!
    • Keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes
    • Remove objects from the yard that could present a tripping hazard (garden tools, hoses, etc.)
    Remember to closely inspect all candy before allowing children to eat it, discarding any unwrapped treats from a stranger. If in doubt, throw it out!

    Have a safe Halloween from the Kern County Fire Department and KGET.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Officials with Pacific Gas and Electric say every year, a variety of 'budget-suckers' account for about 10 percent of an average household's energy bill, according to the Association of Energy Services Professionals, and idle gadgets waste more than 100 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, reports the Environmental Protection Agency - costing consumers a terrifying $10 billion each year.

    To help raise awareness of the threat posed by Vampire Appliances, PG&E is announcing its list of Top Ten Vampire Appliances for 2014, in order of their energy-sucking appetite:

    1.Flat Screen TVs
    2.Home Computers (Laptops and Desktops)
    3.Video Game Consoles
    4.Digital Video Recorders
    5.Cable Boxes
    6.Cable Modems
    7.Laser Printers
    8.DVD Players
    9.Cell Phone/Tablet Chargers
    10.Small Appliances - Microwave/Toaster Oven/Coffee Maker

    Among the top five tips PG&E is recommending that every household adopt are:
    1.Unplug: Unplug appliances, electronics and chargers that aren’t in use or turn them off using an inexpensive power strip.
    2.Buy Smart: By spending as little as $20 for advanced power strips households can achieve energy savings of nearly 50 percent.
    3.Go Green: The more energy efficient appliances aren’t simply good for the environment, they will help save you money.
    4.Home Energy Check-Up: Consider taking a home energy check-up. It will help you learn more about your energy usage so you can become an even smarter energy consumer.
    5.Auto-Power Down: Turn on an automatic power-down feature on your TV or Game Consoles and set the right predetermined inactivity level for your household.

    For more budgeting tips, and other ways to save and conserve energy please visit 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - If you're looking for a new forever friend, the city's animal shelter and the Bakersfield SPCA are getting into the football spirit for the month of November.  

    Families looking to adopt a new 'furrever' pet will push a button on our special footballs at the adoption counter. Once opened, the family will retrieve a ticket with a 7, 14 or 21 which will be their total adoption price.

    “We love this promotion and are thrilled to see it grow each year! Anything we can do to get more adoptable pets into loving homes and out of the shelter is a win for our community.” stated Julie Johnson, Executive Director of the Bakersfield SPCA and City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center.

    All pets will be spayed or neutered, micro-chipped, fully vaccinated, flea treated and dewormed.

    The special adoption fee covers all animals at The City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center, at 661-832-PETS. The special adoption fee covers animals at the Bakersfield SPCA that are 6 months of age or older and have been there 3 months or longer at 661-323-8353. To view adoptable pets, just go to or

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield Police Department is looking to hire lateral police officers.  The job bulletin from the city of Bakersfield and a recruitment poster are attached to this story.  The filing deadline is November 13.  

    Police say the position requires one year employment as a full-time paid Peace Officer with a P.O.S.T. approved California Law Enforcement agency and possess a valid California P.O.S.T. Basic Certificate by the filing deadline.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - Gluten-free diets are all the rage these days. But while some people cut certain foods because of an intolerance, others avoid it because it could kill them.

    While an estimated 15-million Americans have food allergies, a closer look at some local families reveals the struggles they go through being allergic to some foods as opposed to being intolerant.

    For those living with a food allergy there is a big difference in treatment and diagnosis versus the way one would treat a food intolerance, according to experts.

    Both the Ramirez and Wilson families struggle daily to make sure their young children are not exposed to foods that can trigger a severe reaction. Each of the families has even changed their eating habits to accommodate the needs of their children.

    Diana Ramirez said her 4-year-old son Isaiah is severely allergic to dairy and wheat, so they have to keep him on a gluten-free diet.

    "We avoid any of those foods that he's allergic to, which is kind of hard because a lot of our foods consist of wheat," said Ramirez.

    Brittnee Wilson said that her 2-year-old daughter Olive Wilson suffers from both allergies and intolerance to some foods, adding that allergic reactions can be very painful for Olive.

    "She breaks out in eczema on her face," said Wilson, as she describes some of different reactions Olive goes through. "She has really bad diarrhea, stomach aches, with dairy, she gets really congested where it sounds like she's not breathing well."

    While both allergies and intolerance to foods are not pleasant, Dr. Eric Boren of Kern Allergy said there is a distinct difference.

    "[The] IgE antibody means you're allergic and you can die. The food intolerances are ones that if someone says they eat a food and it bothers them and it's fairly mild symptoms -- not anaphylaxis where they're calling 911. If the tests are negative, it says you're intolerant," said Boren.

    "You don't need an EpiPen, but don't eat it because it doesn't agree with you," he added.

    Celiac Disease is one form of intolerance where the body creates an immune system response to gluten and attacks the small intestine.

    According to the national foundation for Celiac awareness, there aren't any recommended methods to test for non-celiac gluten sensitivity. However, there are tests to determine an allergy.

    Boren said both are real conditions, but are not diagnosed in many cases. He adds that the term allergy is often misused by people when they are referring to irritants and intolerances.

    Boren also points out that wheat and milk are the two most common intolerances for the human system and that many choose not to eat those foods.

    "So many people, whether it be easier to lose weight, if they're having a low carb diet, or just the way they feel with either feeling bloated, many people will find if they eliminate dairy and reduce wheat or grain products, they're going to feel better," Boren said.

    Eliminating foods with common ingredients like wheat and dairy can be more difficult than it sounds as both the Wilson and Ramirez family can attest.

    "We just stick to eat vegan, stay home, cook constantly," said Wilson.

    Wilson said changing up their lifestyle is not easy but adds that both she and her fiance are benefiting from the change and have even lost 20 pounds each as a result of the healthier choices.

    "We were completely overwhelmed," said Wilson. "I was to the point where I was almost crying in the store because I didn't know what to do, but it gets easy. It gets easier."

    Boren said that when he tells patients about the types of foods they will need to check for that it's common for people to spend hours in the grocery store reading labels and trying to find what will work for them.

    "It's shocking how much foods you may not realize are in something you're eating," said Boren.

    Ramirez had a similar experience, saying that finding the right products can be frustrating.

    "At first, reading the food label I was like 'ugh...' every time. Now I know. When I go to the store I'm like 'OK, I know exactly what he can have,'" said Ramirez.


    What is Gluten?

    Gluten, as defined by Gluten Free Society, "is a protein formed when wheat flour and water mix ... the stringy, elastic texture you see is gluten. The protein has an important function in food, giving structure to many grain-based products such as pasta, waffles, pastries and most bread."

    We have put together several resources to assist you with allergy concerns, as well as more information on Gluten, Celiac Disease, products to avoid, and Facebook groups with recipes and local people to connect with.

    Here is a Facebook page called Gluten Free Recipes dedicated to posting gluten-free recipes. There are currently more than 350,000 followers on this page.

    Search for apps in your preferred app store.

            Is That Gluten Free? - Cost: $7.99 (#1 gluten-free app )

            Find Me Gluten Free - Cost: Free

            Gluten Free - Cost: Free

            Gluten Free Restaurant Items - Cost: $2.99

            Grain or No Grain - Cost: Free (allows user to add lists of favorites and information about gluten free products)

            Dine Gluten Free - Cost: Free - (database of gluten free restaurants)

    Here are some lists from Gluten Free Society of gluten-based foods to avoid.


            Barley (malt)








            Durum (semolina)




            Rice (does not include wild rice varieties but does include brown rice)*






    *These foods are considered gluten-free, however, to maintain a true gluten-free diet, recommends avoiding these foods.

    *** These items have a high risk of cross contamination with gluten products and recommends verifying they are gluten-free before including them in your diet.

    "These pseudo cereals are also very high in glutamic acid and should be discouraged as substitutes for patients with neurological symptoms," according to

    Other items can also contain gluten.


            Modified food starch

            Textured vegetable protein

            Hydrolyzed plant protein

            Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

            Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate

            Hydroxypropylated Starch

            Pregelatinized starch

            Vegetable gum

            Vegetable protein

            Extenders and binders

            Maltodextrin (wheat or corn based)



            Non-Dairy Creamer

            Seasonings (check labels)

            Natural Flavors

            Smoke flavors

            Artificial Flavors

            Natural Colors

            Artificial Colors

            Caramel color and flavoring

            Soy Sauce


            Bouillon cubes or stock cubes

            Candy may be dusted with wheat flour; ask.

            Canned soups – Most are not acceptable.

            Cheese spreads & other processed cheese foods.

            Chocolate – may contain malt flavoring.

            Cold cuts, Wieners, Sausages – may have gluten due to cereal fillers.

            Dip mixes

            Dry sauce mixes

            Honey Hams – can be based with wheat starch in coating.

            Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt – check all dairy. Cows are fed grains and many react to dairy for this reason. Grass-fed dairy recommended 

            Instant Teas & Coffees – cereal products may be included in the formulation.

            Mayonnaise – check thickener and grain based vinegar ingredients

            Mustard – Mustard powder may contain gluten

            Oil, frying – Check for cross contamination or corn based oils.

            Poultry and meats – Check out the flavorings and basting and inquire about meat glue

            Sour cream – May contain modified food starch of indeterminate source.

            Dry roasted nuts & honey roasted nuts

            French fries in restaurants – Same oil may be used for wheat-containing items.

            Gravies – check out thickening agent and liquid base.

            Vitamin supplements (different brands contain grain based ingredients – check the labels carefully)

            Baking powder (commonly contains grain – wheat or corn)


            Malted beverages

            Grain based spirits (many claim that distillation removes gluten…Gluten Free Society recommends avoidance regardless) 

    There are also many non-edible items that are in every household containing gluten that you may not have considered.

            Stamps & envelopes



            Hairspray & Shampoo


            Pet Food

            Medications & Vitamins




    What is celiac disease?

    Celiac disease, as defined by Mayo Clinicis an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It triggers a response in your small intestine that produces inflammation, preventing you from absorbing some nutrients.

    The malabsorption can affect children more severely, causing irritation and stomach pains.

    "The intestinal damage can cause weight loss, bloating and sometimes diarrhea. Eventually, your brain, nervous system, bones, liver and other organs can be deprived of vital nourishment," according to the Mayo Clinic website.

    The Mayo Clinic states that there is no cure for celiac disease and that the best treatment is to avoid gluten-based foods and products.

    The following is information directly from the Mayo Clinic website.

    The signs and symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly.

    Although the classic signs are diarrhea and weight loss, most people with celiac disease experience few or no digestive signs or symptoms. Only about one-third of people diagnosed with celiac disease experience diarrhea, and about half have weight loss.

            Twenty percent of people with celiac disease have constipation, and 10 percent are obese.

            In addition to digestive problems, other signs and symptoms of celiac disease include:


    As many as 75 percent of children with celiac disease are overweight or obese. Digestive signs and symptoms are experienced by 20 to 30 percent of children with the condition although the precise signs and symptoms differ by age.

            In infants, typical signs and symptoms of celiac disease include:

    Chronic diarrhea

    Swollen belly


    Failure to thrive or weight loss

    Older children may experience:



    Short stature

    Delayed puberty

    Neurologic symptoms, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disability, headaches and lack of muscle coordination

    When to see a Doctor

    Consult your doctor if you have diarrhea or digestive discomfort that lasts for more than two weeks.Consult your child's doctor if he or she is pale, irritable or failing to grow or has a potbelly and foul-smelling, bulky stools.

    Be sure to consult your doctor before trying a gluten-free diet. If you stop eating gluten before you're tested for celiac disease, you may change the test results.

    Celiac disease tends to run in families. If someone in your family has the condition, ask your doctor if you should be tested. Also ask your doctor about testing if you or someone in your family has a risk factor for celiac disease, such as type 1 diabetes.


    The precise cause of celiac disease isn't known.

    When the body's immune system overreacts to gluten in food, the immune reaction damages the tiny, hair-like projections (villi) that line the small intestine. Villi absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the food you eat. Normally, villi resemble the deep pile of a plush carpet, on a microscopic scale. The damage resulting from celiac disease makes the inner surface of the small intestine appear more like a tile floor. As a result your body is unable to absorb nutrients necessary for health and growth.

    A study done by Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health estimates that about 1 in 141 people in the U.S. have celiac disease, although the disease often goes undiagnosed. Celiac disease is most common in Caucasians.

    Some gene changes (mutations) appear to increase the risk of developing the disease. But having those gene mutations doesn't mean you'll get celiac disease — meaning other factors must be involved.

    Sometimes celiac disease is triggered — or becomes active for the first time — after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection or severe emotional stress.

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    ARVIN, CA - The mandatory evacuation for Arvin residents affected by a gas leak earlier this year will be lifted Friday afternoon.  17 News obtained a letter Thursday afternoon addressed to affected Arvin residents from Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall, stating that the evacuation order will be rescinded effective noon Friday, and residents will be allowed to return to their homes.  

    The lifted order will also restore power and gas service to the homes.  

    On March 18, the Kern County Fire Department issued an evacuation order to homes located on Nelson Court in Arvin.  Kern County Fire department said the evacuation order was necessary due to the presence of explosive gas inside the homes. At that time, the power and gas service was shut off in order to prevent an explosion.

    The letter sent to residents says, as a result of mitigation efforts by Petro Capital Resources and testing by Kern County Public Health, it has been determined the explosive gas is no longer present, and residents can return home.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A correctional officer accused of sexually assaulting a teenager at juvenile hall is under arrest. Bakersfield police say 35-year-old Cesar Navejar is accused of touching a 17-year-old girl inappropriately with his hands when she was inside her cell.

    She also told detectives he knocked on her cell window and began making a "petting" motion. Documents say investigators found a shoe print in the flower bed just outside the girl's window.

    Navejar was arrested Thursday just after three in the 2000 block of Ridge Road.

    He's been booked into Kern County Jail in connection with this incident.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA -  A judge sentenced a Bakersfield gang member Thursday to life in prison without parole for two separate shooting incidents in February 2013.  

    Dvontae Pink, 22, had been found guilty of 11 felonies in August.  Prosecutors say he was a member of Country Boy Crips street gang when the shootings took place.  

    Pink and Jimmy Baker shot Floyd Bean Jr. several times inside Roy's Market on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on February 10, 2013.  Several days earlier prosecutors say Pink and two others fired shots and injured two people inside Roy's Market.  

    Baker had already been sentenced to life in prison without parole.  


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The SWAT team was dispatched Saturday, arresting a man accused of attempted murder in east Bakersfield.

    The Bakersfield Police Department says Charleston Weaver, 23, had been involved in a physical altercation and fired multiple shots at another person at a residence in the 3400 block of Horne Street, Oct. 18. Police responded to a shooting call at the residence, and say Weaver had fled the scene before they arrived.

    Saturday, officers saw Weaver at an apartment complex in the 1400 block of Flower Street, and called in the SWAT team due to the seriousness of the crime, police say. Weaver was arrested and booked into jail for attempted murder and other weapon related charges.

    BPD encourages anyone with information regarding this case to call the department at 661-327-7111. Anonymous text tips can be sent to 274637 by sending BPDCRIMES along with a message.

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    MOJAVE, CA - SpaceShipTwo, the Virgin Galactic space plane, has crashed east of Mojave, according to the director of the Mojave Air and Space Port Stuart Witt. The California Highway Patrol has confirmed the death of one test pilot. A medical helicopter carried one patient with major injuries to Antelope Valley hospital for treatment.

    At 10:13 a.m. Friday, Virgin Galactic announced that the rocket plane had "experienced an in-flight anomaly" on its Twitter page. The first reports of a downed aircraft came in at 10:51 a.m.  Officials refused to release the names of the victims, but said their families had been notified.  When asked about the pilot in the hospital's condition, aerospace company Scaled Composites President Kevin Mickey said that the pilot was "doing as well as can be expected."

    The Kern County Sheriff's Department is currently leading the investigation.

    "Space is hard, and today was a tough day," said Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides.  "We are going to be supporting the investigation as we figure out what happened today, and we're going to get through it.  The future rests... on hard days like this, but we believe we owe it to the folks who were flying these vehicles, as well as the folks who were working so hard on them, to understand this and to move forward."

    Officials at Virgin Galactic and Kern County-based Scaled Composites said the rocket took off from Mojave Spaceport around 9:20 a.m., nestled underneath the White Knight Two glider that carried SpaceShipTwo to altitude.

    About 50 minutes later SpaceShipTwo separated from the mothership, and the pilots were set to fire the rockets into space when something went wrong.

    "I detected nothing that appeared abnormal," Witt said.  "I know I was briefed the plume would look different this time, and it did, but I couldn't detect anything."

    Witt specified that there was no explosion.

    Virgin Galactic worked with Scaled Composites on the space craft, and in a Friday press conference hours after the crash, Whitesides confirmed that the pilots involved were from Scaled Composites.

    This was the first powered flight of SpaceShipTwo since a May change in fuel was announced. Previously, the hybrid rocket, which combines both a solid and liquid ignition source, was powered by a rubber-based solid fuel. However in May, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whiteside announced that SS2's rocket, RM2, would now be powered by polyamide, a thermoplastic that was developed at Scaled Composites, the designer of SS2.

    Virgin Galactic released a statement to NBC News about the crash:

    "Virgin Galactic's partner Scaled Composites conducted a powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo earlier today. During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle. The WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft landed safely. Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time. We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident and provide updates as soon as we are able to do so."

    Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, said on Twitter Friday "thoughts with all @virgingalactic & Scaled, thanks for all your messages of support. I'm flying to Mojave immediately to be with the team."  He is expected to arrive Saturday morning, and another press conference is planned.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A father and mother have been arrested for charges related to the death of their 3-month-old child, after an autopsy revealed the child was malnourished, dehydrated, and possibly physically abused, police say.

    The Bakersfield Police Department arrested 25-year-old Eddie Leyva for murder, felony child endangerment and misdemeanour child endangerment Friday. Police also detained the infant's mother, 30-year-old Vanessa Wolfe.
    After interviewing Leyva and Wolfe and conducting an investigation of the scene, they arrested Leyva on murder and child endangerment charges. Wolfe was arrested for felony child endangerment and misdemeanor child endangerment.

    Thursday, officers responded to a call of a deceased infant, finding a 3-month-old dead at a residence in the 1000 block of L Street. Police say Leyva, the father, fled the residence with his 1 and 3-year-old children. Leyva was found by police and arrested for two outstanding warrants: resisting arrest and providing false information to a peace officer. 

    The final findings of the autopsy have not yet been released by the coroner's office, and police say additional charges may be pending for Leyva and Wolfe.

    BPD encourages anyone with information regarding this case to call the department at 661-327-7111. Anonymous text tips can be sent to 274637 by sending BPDCRIMES along with a message.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A local gang member convicted of murder was sentenced to death today for the 2010 murder of Ruben Tafoya.

    Francisco Beltran, Junior, 26, was found guilty of first-degree murder in October for the murder of Tafoya, 30, who was shot inside his home on Columbus Street in east Bakersfield.

    The conviction comes after numerous delays. A Mexican national, Beltran received a new lawyer paid for by the Mexican government. The lawyer had pushed for more time at the beginning of this year, saying she needed more time to review the case.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - An inmate that walked away from Wasco State Prison on Oct. 31, has been apprehended and returned to the prison reception center.

    Daniel Joseph Valdivieso, 22, was arrested by by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's Special Services Unit on Nov. 2, around 8 p.m.

    Valdivieso was apprehended without incident.

    The Wasco State Prison Reception Center is a minimum support facility that provides short term housing necessary to process, classify and evaluate new inmates physically and mentally, and determine their security level, program requirements and appropriate institutional placement. 

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  • 11/03/14--12:22: Operation Boo results are in
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA. - The results are in for the 'Operation Boo' checks for registered sex offenders that took place on Halloween night.

    The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said out of 79 compliance checks, five registered sex offenders were arrested for parole violations.

    Those violations did not involve weapons, narcotics, or pornography.

    The CDCR said the violations are often specific materials like toys or cell phones, that those being monitored are not allowed to have.

    Throughout the state, a total of 62 individuals were arrested with nearly 1,300 compliance checks conducted.

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