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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - The Bakersfield Fire Department is releasing a few tips for those looking to deep fry a turkey fortheir holiday dinner this year.

    According to the BFD hazards of turkey frying are multi-dimensional, with combustible liquid fires, propane fires, severe contact-burns, and other fire-related injuries possible.

    BFD Turkey Fryer Safety Tips
    • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors at a safe distance from structures. 
    • Never use fryers under patio covers, on wooden decks or in garages. 
    • Use fryers on flat surfaces to reduce the possibility of accidental tipping. 
    • Never leave the fryer unattended. 
    • Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times. 
    • Do not overfill the fryer. This may result in a "spill-over" of hot oil.
    • Safety goggles and potholders or oven mitts should be used when utilizing the fryer. 
    • Turkey must be completely thawed to avoid oil splattering and "boil-over."
    • Turkey should be free of loose ice and water to avoid oil splattering and "boil-over."
    • Choose a smaller (10-12 lbs) turkey to fry to reduce the potential for accidents.
    • Never use water to extinguish a grease fire - use an all-purpose fire extinguisher.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A man charged with driving drunk and causing the crash that killed a 6-month-old Bakersfield girl has been found guilty by a Kern County jury.  

    Alfredo Moreno was found guilty of second degree murder among other charges on Thursday.  The crash that took place on January 19 on South Union Avenue, severely injured Layjah Heath.  She died three days later at a hospital in Madera.    

    Moreno is facing a minimum sentence of 15 years to life in prison when he's formally sentenced in January.  

     

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - The District Attorney's Office has chosen not to pursue charges against the wife of murdered BNSF railway worker Robert Limon.

    Sabrina Limon was not in court because charges against her were rejected, citing  not enough evidence, according to the DA's office.

    Jonathan Hearn, 24, was charged with first degree murder with special circumstances and could face the death penalty if convicted, according to Deputy DA Esther Schlaerth.

    Schlaerth said it is unclear whether the DA's Office will seek the death penalty.

    The special circumstances are lying in wait and a gun enhancement, according to Schlaerth.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bike Bakersfield will have its first night of the year giving out taillights and headlights around Bakersfield Thursday to improve the safety of bicycle riders in the community.  They'll be handing out lights at three locations in Bakersfield to riders who stop by with their bikes and do not have lights.

    - Bike Bakersfield Bicycle Kitchen: 1708 Chester Avenue
    - East Bakersfield
    - Oildale

    Participants will be meeting at the Bike Bakersfield Bike Kitchen at 4pm. Staff members at the Bike Bakersfield Kitchen will be handing out lights from 4pm - 6pm while other participants will head out to their locations in the community to be setup around 4:30 p.m. to distribute lights from 4:30pm - 6:30pm or until supplies last.


    WHERE: Participants will be handing out lights at the following locations:
    - Bike Bakersfield Bicycle Kitchen: 1708 Chester Avenue starting at 4pm
    - East Bakersfield starting at 4:30pm, Niles and Mt. Vernon
    - Oildale starting at 4:30pm, Oildale Drive and Roberts Lane 

    Participants must have their bikes with them in order to get lights. Bike lights will not be given to individuals who do not have their bike with them. Staff and volunteers will manually put the light sets on the bikes that are brought to them.



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    President Obama speaks to the nation from the White House about immigration reform.

    Click here to watch live coverage from NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/1uEHoEQ

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Shelters and rescues see owners surrender their animals daily. They say many owners see their animals as "disposable pets."

    Many of those surrendered are older cats and dogs, and sadly they are harder to adopt out.
    But there are some who make it.

    "I just couldn't leave her in there. You know I came home and I was like I just couldn't let her die in there," said Dina Goforth, describing the day she adopted her small dog, Noni.

    Noni was among the masses at Kern County Animal Services. She had been over looked for a month. At 13-years old, she was passed on for puppies, when Goforth spotted her.

    "She just looked so sad. And, she was just laying there and she looked like she was just trying to hide with all of the barking going on around her. And, she was just lying on this little bed looking like I just don't want to be here. I've always talked about getting an older dog so she just happened to be in the right place at the right time," said Goforth.

    That was over four months ago. Noni is now a permanent member of the Goforth family.
    Her years are showing in a thin haze over her eyes and slightly worn teeth. But other than that, she's perfectly healthy.

    "I just thought she would lay down and do a whole lot of nothing, but she loves to go for walks," said Goforth.

    And they do, daily, walking through the neighborhood. Noni's steady stride hides her age, but her 13-years of doggie discipline is noticable.

    "Senior pets have lived in a home most of the time. Most of the time they are house trained. They are good with other animals because they've been living in a home so long. They are good with other people most of the time," said Nick Cullen with Kern County Animal Services.

    Cullen says despite years of loyalty, many owners turn their pets in rather than pay for medicines or care that comes with age. Or, if they are moving, many owners don't want to deal with the hassle of taking the animal with them.

    Cullen and the staff share with anyone looking to adopt, the benefits of senior pets. They try to get those animals adopted out first, like Molly, a 7-year old tabby cat.

    "She belonged to a lady who had several cats and she just couldn't afford to care for them anymore," said Cullen.

    Molly was born with a deformed left paw, but that didn't make her unadoptable.

    "We had someone who came in and was looking for an older cat that was sort of low maintanece, and Molly fit that description," said Cullen.

    17 News just happened to be there when Molly's new owner, Pat Hamann, came to pick her up.

    "I don't think people should give up older cats. A lot of times they appreciate more. They are affectionate. She's extremely affectionate and I like that," said Hamann.

    "Those are stories that from our staff perspective, and my perspective, that make you realize you are doing the best that you can and you are making a difference in some of those animals lives," said Cullen.

    But there are many more animals like Molly and Noni still waiting to trade a life in a cage for one in a home full of love.

    Once a puppy or kitten, they grew up, gave years of love, and yet, still ended up in a shelter. It's no fault of their own and they have many more good, golden years to give if someone would adopt them and give them a second chance.

    "I'm sure it's a hard decision for a lot of them but they are part of the family. You can't get rid of them," said Goforth.

    For information to adopt a pet of any age, please visit the links below.

    http://www.alphacanines.org/
    Http://psbweb.co.kern.ca.us/AC_Internet/
    http://www.bakersfieldcity.us/acc/animal_control.html
    http://www.shafter.com/44/Animal-Control
    http://www.cityofdelano.org/index.aspx?NID=232
    https://www.facebook.com/WascoAnimalShelter
    Https://www.facebook.com/ALPHACanineSanctuary
    http://marleysmutts.org/
    http://www.haltrescue.org/

    Other Services:
    http://www.critterswithoutlitters.org/
    http://bakersfieldpetfoodpantry.org/

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. -  The holiday season is supposed to be joyous, but with the stress of parties, cooking and shopping, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget the happiness.

    For this special report I set out to find the key to happiness, even amid a busy schedule.
         
    I asked our viewers to nominate people who always seem to have a smile on their face and a kind word to say, then picked a few (and picked their brains) about why they're so happy.

    Whether you are searching the internet, or perusing the book store, you'll find hundreds of researchers and writers have taken on the task of determining the key,.or rather, the steps to happiness.
    "I think I'm my happiest when i'm doing things for other people," said Tony Moreno.

    "When you want to just... ahhhhh! smile instead," said Sheryl Graab.

    "Happiness is something you have to work at," said Amanda Klawitter.

    According to some of the 605 million links you'll find if you Google "how to be happy",  there are 12 steps, seven steps, make that, "10 scientifically proven ways to be incredibly happy."

    According to Market Data Enterprises, the self-imporvement market is a $10 billion industry.     

    But can you really find the secret to happiness in these pages?

    Well, according to experts, and regular happy people, yes.

    Tony Moreno is a photography enthusiast, Valley Clean Air Now project consultant and notably happy guy.

    "It's a matter of choice, of how you're going to face each day," said Moreno. "it's kind of like you get up, you put your pants on, your shoes on, and then you put your vest of kindness or happiness out there."

    "There are days that you don't wake up feeling as chipper, that's why we pray, give me strength when times are tough," he said.

    Moreno finds happiness spending time just doing what he loves.

    "I could sit for hours out here, on a bank, and just wait for wildlife," Moreno said.

     Your leisure time might be better spent on a bank too. Investing your time in meaningful activities is one of the oft-listed "steps" to happiness.

    "Iwas thinking about it, 'why am i happy?'" "I don't even know," said Graab. "I just like to do, I like to help people, and I like to volunteer all the time."

    Volunteering is another step, and one that Graab has down pat.She is a long-time volunteer and troup leader with the local girl scouts.

    But even happy people face setbacks. A few months ago, Graab was diagnosed with Acute Myloid Leukemia. Bbut she doesn't dwell on the negative,  another common trait of happy people.

    "So I'm going to have this for awhile, and it's horrible and awful, but i have to focus my attention elsewhere, to something I have control over and some way i can give back."

    Just down the street from the girl scouts office, you're sure to recognize the guy in the black cowboy hat. You can always find him dancing on the street corner, attracting plenty of approving honks from drivers.

    But what keeps him dancing all day long?

    Priest Morrison said the secret is "no drinking, no smoking, no drugs, lots of Jesus."

    To Morrison, happiness is "other people's smiles, that's the best way i can define it."

    For Katie Romley, you might say happiness is her profession.

    "It might be you want to reorganize your schedule because you are being pulled in so many different directions," she said. "And before you realize it, weeks have gone by and you are not doing the things that make you feel whole, you are just doing the things you have to do."

    She helps people simplify their lives, focus on what's important and find more happiness.

    "I think we can't trick ourselves into being happier, but we can connect the life that we want with what we have now and actually tangibly look at the changes we have to make to get there," Romley said.

    That's a step that Klawitter took a few years ago when she and her mom went into business, opening House of Flowers.

    "I think my happiness just comes from a series of small things just simply noticing, what a blessing life in general is." 

    And being surrounded by beauty certainly doesn't hurt Klawitter's mood.

    "Being a small part of people's lives, sending out flowers, being a small part of their big days, it's very rewarding," Klawitter said.

    And in case you're wondering, no, you cannot buy happiness.

    Studies say that once you surpass the poverty level, extra money does not do much to raise your happiness level. 


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - The Barrons are one of 30 families who will officially welcome children into their home today on National Adoption Day. While the adoption of their two boys will happen in the courtroom, the love they have for their two new boys happened in their hearts years ago. 

    "Our intent was never to adopt. Our intent we thought our ministry was just foster children because there is such a need," Rosita Barron. "But once they're in your home and once there's a connection you just, it flows."

    Five-year-old Samuel and eight-year-old Anthony have been in foster care for four years with the Barrons, who are also their distant relatives.

    They developed a love connection with the boys just like they did with their nine-year-old daughter Emilia, who they adopted on her first birthday.

    "When I was little I kept on asking for brothers or sisters to play with and stuff and now I got them," said Emilia.

    Rosita and her husband Zef already have two grown biological children and now with three kids under nine, their nest won't be empty anytime soon. But a house full of kids is just fine with them, especially since they can keep two brothers together when many siblings are separated in foster care.

    "Any child that's placed that's taken away from no matter what kind of home they're in, they're broken. And its they're broken children that need to be put back together," said Rosita. "Siblings support that putting back that piece that you're going to give them.

    The two boys are the final piece of their family.
         
    "We just grew on them they just grew on us and we just knew we were a family."
         
    More than thirty kids will be adopted this afternoon at 12:30PM at the Juvenile Justice Center in east Bakersfield.
         
    Anyone interested in being a foster parent or adopting a child can call the Department of Human Services at 631-6600. Orientations are the second and fourth thursday of the month. The next one is December 11 at their offices located at 100 East California. The start time is 5:30PM.
         
    Kern County has an average of 226 adoptions per year, but there are over 2,000 children in some kind of foster care placement and a portion of them are waiting to be adopted. The need for foster parents and forever families like the Barrons is high.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. -  Dozens of people gathered in central Bakersfield to hear the president's announcement on immigration reform last night as he outlined executive action to offer temporary relief to millions of undocumented immigrants.

    The United Farm Workers of America and the UFW Foundation organized a watch party at their office on 18th Street.

    People waited anxiously for the president to lay out his plan on immigration and were pleased with the executive action he is taking.

    "I think it's a very bittersweet moment," said Paola Fernandez, Kern Coalition for Citizenship. 

    "Very sweet in the sense that there's going to be about five million families that are going to get some relief from living in the shadows. The bitter part is that not all the families are going to be able to qualify and so in that sense there is still a lot of work to be done. but overall I'm happy that he's finally decided to take the step," Fernandez said.

    President Obama said he waited for the house of representatives to pass a reform bill already passed by the senate in 2013.
    Since they did not act, the president said he will do it alone.
         
    Many lawmakers are criticizing the president for acting without congressional approval.

    According to Obama's plan, undocumented immigrants in the US for more than five years would be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation under certain circumstances.

    "We are going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security: felons not families, criminals not children, gang members not a mom who's working hard to provide for her kids," Obama said.

    Today the president will be in Las Vegas at Del Sol High School to talk about the changes and discuss his actions.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - Newly-filed reports suggest it was a love triangle that led to the murder of a man in Tehachapi at the BNSF railyard.

    The documents suggest 35-year-old Sabrina Limon exchanged thousands of text messages with a man with whom she was having an affair.

    Detectives say those text messages led to the conspiracy and murder of her husband and railroad worker Robert Limon

    The District Attorney's Office hasn't filed any charges against Sabrina Limon, instead sending the case back to sheriff's detectives for further investigation.

    District Attorney Lisa Green again declined to comment on the case.

    But newly-released documents suggest she was having an affair with 24-year-old Jonathon Hearn, a firefighter paramedic with the Redlands Fire Department.
         
    Hearn is charged with first-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty yesterday.
         
    Detectitves say Hearn murdered Robert Limon, shooting him twice in the head here at the BNSF railyard up in Tehachapi.

    Detectives suspect Hearn is in the surveillance video, running from the scene.

    They say Hearn and Limon exchanged thousands of text messages, wherein Limon told Hearn where her husband would be working and his hours the day of the murder.
         
    In some of the text messages, they say Hearn tells Limon if her husband were out of the picture, they could live their lives together.
         
    Detectives said Hearn disposed of evidence to conceal the murder. That evidence, they said, has now been recovered.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA, - The Taft City School Board discussed the employment of superintendent Ron Bryant at this morning's meeting.

    Bryant was arrested last weekend for the third time this year on DUI related charges. The school district issued a statement, saying in part ...

    "We are saddened by this chain of events. The school board takes these allegations seiously. However, the law requires that Mr. Bryant be provided due process and at this point the most recent DUI charges are only charges, not convictions."

    Bryant is on paid administrative leave. The school board also addressed concerns from the public as to why Bryant is still being paid. They responded saying the law only allows districts to put employees on unpaid leave under very specific circumstances.

    Earlier this week, Bryant resigned from the Westside Recreation and Park District Board, saying he "needed to address some personal and family issues and will not be able to make the time commitment necessary to sit on the board."

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - Today goes down in history as a step toward preserving an important part of our history.
    Kern County Museum and community officials were on hand to break ground and celebrate the beginning of construction on the Bakersfield Californian Foundation Research Center and historic archive.
        
    The center will allow the museum to open its doors to the community and academia for historic research. 
         
    It will also help preserve the rich history of Kern County by providing much needed archive space for artifacts currently stored in poor conditions at the Kern County Museum. 

    "Right now we have a photo collection that is second to none in California," said Roger Perez, 
    executive director of the Kern County Museum. "It's one of the largest in California." 

    "We have more than 50,000 photos from the Californian collection, and 400,000 plus from other influential photographers throughout history. We have a really good documentation of history throughout Kern County. "The problem is a lot of these photos are on acetate paper and literally shrink out of existence."

    The Research and Archive Center is being built on the grounds of the Kern County Museum.  
        
    It is expected to be up and running by this summer.
         
    A contribution from the Bakersfield Californian Foundation is making the center possible.

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    The Kern High School District is confirming  that South High School teacher Darrrell Miller is on paid administrative leave for undisclosed reasons.

    "We are currently involved in an investigation to determine if Mr. Miller was involved in any type of misconduct. No additional information can be provided, because this is a personnel matter,” according to Lisa Krch, Public Information and Communications Manager.

    According to the South High School website, Miller is a social studies teacher and football coach. We'll have more as new information is available.

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    The Kern County Department of Human Services on E. California and Union Avenues has received a bomb threat. People have been evacuated and officials are on scene. 

    The incident started just before 2 p.m. Roads in the area are being closed off as a result.

    More as new information becomes available.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Buttonwillow office of the Highway Patrol is looking for some Senior Volunteers.  CHP officials say the volunteers are CHP employees who assist in administrative and field capacities. The objectives of the CHP Senior Volunteer Program is to assist the CHP in providing enhanced public service to the community and to provide an opportunity for senior citizens to make a definitive contribution toward improving public safety.

    Participating volunteers, according to the CHP will also gain an appreciation of the justice system, human relations, and ethical values in the field of law enforcement.  The duties would include; report filing, data entry, photocopying, answering telephones, and assisting the front desk officer with general public service.

    Field duties would include; working at community events, directing traffic, surveys in high-traffic locations and school zones, deploy radar trailers, and assist in transportation of vehicles and equipment.

    Senior Volunteers drive marked CHP cars in a designated uniform while performing field duties. Volunteers attend shift briefings and occasionally ride-a-long with officers.

    The Senior Volunteers must be 55 years and older, work a minimum of 4 hours per week, pass a background check, has a good driving record, and complete a CHP Senior Volunteer training program.

    Citizens interested in the program can contact the Buttonwillow CHP Area at 764-5580. Deadline for applications is December 15.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Officials at Garces High School say Tim Antongiovanni will not be returning as Head Varsity Football Coach for the 2015 season.

    In a news release, Antongiovanni said, “At this time, the best decision for my family is to step down as Head Football Coach at Garces. I would like to thank the school administration for their unwavering support for me and the football program, especially Athletic Director Joan Finch, who has mastered her responsibilities in a very short time. Thank you to the parents and boosters who have sacrificed and dedicated themselves to the school. Thank you to the assistant coaches for spending endless hours preparing and working with the student-athletes. Finally, thank you to the players for their hard work and perseverance, my prayers are always for you. I believe that the football program is headed in the right direction and will be competitive in the very near future. I am and always will be Loyal to the Brave and Mighty Rams!”

    During his short one-year tenure as the head football coach, Tim and his staff directed the program through what school officials say was a challenging transition to the Southwest Yosemite League. “As a school and as a community, we are very thankful to Coach Antongiovanni for his dedication and tireless commitment to the football program, his players and their families, and to the entire Garces Memorial High School ‘family.’

    "We will forever be indebted to him for his professionalism, for his leadership, and for his commitment to the total development of his student-athletes, spiritually, academically, and athletically. We wish him and his family the very best now and in the future,” President John Fanucchi said.

    Principal Dr. Richard Tucker added, “As for the future of football at Garces Memorial, we will initiate a search for a coach, starting immediately. The school is firm in its belief that a new leader of the program should come on board as soon as possible, and preparations for the search are already underway. Our intention is to find a person with a good background in coaching, who continues to embrace the Catholic nature of Garces Memorial, and who continues to promote the full development of our students spiritually, academically, socially, and athletically. We are looking for an individual who will be a full-time member of the staff. With God’s help, we will find the ideal candidate and have a contract signed by the end of this year – it would be a beautiful Christmas present for Garces Memorial High School.”

    Interested parties should contact Joan Finch, Athletic Director, at (661) 327-2578, ext. 141.




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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - As part of the Chips for Kids program, the CHP will be at the Walgreens on Buena Vista Road in southwest Bakersfield Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

    Officers will be on scene to collect enough toys to fill up a patrol car or two.  

    All toys collected with benefit the Chips for Kids toy drive.  

    You are asked to bring a new unwrapped toy and help a child in need.  








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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Five people were arrested Thursday night after police received multiple calls from people reporting they were assaulted with a BB gun in southwest Bakersfield overnight.

    Eighteen-year-old Deshawn Conley, 24-year-old Denzel Washington, 18-year-old Bruno Molina, 23-year-old Donisha Rodriguez, and 26-year-old Deaguanita Chavette were arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy, and other related charges.

    Police located the suspects in a vehicle similar to descriptions provided by callers and arrested them early Friday morning.
    The BB gun was seized by police.

    Police encourage anyone with information regarding this case to contact them at 661-327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Fans can now vote for the Boron Bobcats to go on a free VIP trip to Super Bowl XLIX.

    The team's head coach, and team captains Keith Core and Cody Parker appeared on the Today Show Friday morning to tell their story.

    While Boron may only be known for the largest borax mine in the world, head coach Timothy Seaman says their football team is the smallest in the state of California, but it still wins league titles on a regular basis.

    California has the largest population of any state in the U.S.

    So, if everyone votes for this small desert football team, the Bobcats could be headed to the Super Bowl.

    You can go to http://www.togetherwemakefootball.com if you would like to vote for the Boron Bobcats. Voting closes sometime in January.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Some Oildale residents are on the look out for a bobcat spotted around the area.

    The bobcat jumped up on a roof in a neighborhood near Merle Haggard Dr. and McCray St.

    One family noticed the bobcat while their kids were playing in the yard.

    The family says they aren't concerned about the cat. Although one homeowner in the area later said they found the remains of a house cat while trying get the bobcat out of the neighborhood.

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