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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Bryan Oliver, the alleged shooter in the Taft Union High School shooting, is charged with two counts of attempted murder.
    The first count is for shooting Bowe Cleveland and the other count for shooting at another student Jacob Nichols, who was not injured.
    The prosecution had the burden of proving Bryan Oliver guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and apparently didn't convince all the jurors.

    To convict Bryan Oliver of attempted murder, the prosecution had to prove Oliver took at least one ineffective step toward killing someone and had the intent to kill him.

    The jury also had the option to convict Oliver of a lesser count of attempted voluntary manslaughter of Cleveland. That's because Judge John Lua determined there was substantial evidence the shooting of Cleveland could be considered a crime of passion, because it is possible Cleveland bullied Oliver shortly before the shooting.The difference in this lesser count is the finding that Oliver was provoked and that provocation may have led to a crime of passion. Criminal Defense Attorney Kyle Humphrey said, "It is a passionate, heat of the moment, sudden quarrel type behavior. You intend to kill, but you're enraged or berserk you don't even think about the consequences or weight at all." Humphrey said the maximum sentence for attempted murder is life in prison with the possibility of parole and attempted voluntary manslaughter carries a penalty of 18 months to five-and-a-half years in prison.

    Oliver has been in custody and already served almost 2 years. Judge John Lua ordered he stay in custody at least until the new trial.

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    After four full days of deliberations, jurors told the judge no matter how much information they received, it wouldn't help.

    Judge John Lua declared a mistrial.

    Family members of both Oliver and Bowe Cleveland were in court as they judge declared a mistrial Tuesday afternoon.

    Oliver's mom hugged supporters and cried, while Cleveland's family remained emotionless to the news.

    A gag order is still in place, so we can't speak with family, witnesses, attorneys-- anyone still tied to the case.

    But we could speak to jurors, once they were released. 61-year-old Al Miller said he doesn't believe Oliver is a killer.

    Al Miller said, "you don't take matters into your own hands, but I'll tell you who I think the perpetrator of this is.. the whole ordeal... is the Taft school. They didn't step up and do a lot more. This boy was crying out for help, and I don't think they really gave it to him."

    Juror number two, the foreman, would not tell us his name but he said the jury voted six times. During those votes, jurors said they were no where near a unanimous decision.

    There was no question Oliver shot classmate Bowe Cleveland in the chest with a 12 gauge shotgun. Oliver admitted he pulled the trigger, jurors had to decide why.

    Oliver testified that he was gay and he was relentlessly bullied about his sexual orientation.

    He said he blacked out before and during the shooting on that Thursday, January 10, 2013.

    On that day authorities say, then, 16 year old Bryan Oliver, came to school with a 12 gauge shotgun and a pocket full of more than two dozen shells, and took to the stairs to first period science class.

    Teacher Ryan Heber and campus supervisor Kim Fields talked Oliver into putting the gun down to surrender.

    And almost two years later some residents of Taft say they don't see Oliver as a criminal. Instead, like one of the jurors, they question why he didn't receive help from the school district.

    One resident still uses this case as an example for her own children. Starla Lopez has two sons that attend Taft Union High School.

    She said, "I tell them 'you know, if somebody's picking on you, you're going to have to stand up for yourself now. You can't depend on somebody else, the school district or the teachers. The only way they'll get out of it is if they just confront the person that's harassing them."

    Another trial is scheduled to begin January 26.



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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - A mistrial was declared late yesterday in the Taft Union High School shooting case.
         
    Accused shooter Bryan Oliver is charged with two counts of attempted murder, but the jury could not reach a verdict. 

    The civil case filed by Bowe Cleveland's family against the Taft Union High School District, was also in court yesterday.

    Cleveland's family believes the school district did not do enough to keep cleveland and other students safe.
         
    They're suing the district.
         
    Cleveland's attorney, Daniel Rodriguez, said the distirct failed to keep Cleveland and other students safe, despite several warning signs about Bryan Oliver before the shooting happened.
         
    The hearing was regarding information that Taft High requested regarding Cleveland's social media accounts.
         
    Cleveland's attorneys objected.

    "On behalf of Bowe Cleveland we objected and said we weren't going to produce them because we thought they were overly broad and we thought it was available through less intrusive means," said attorney Chantal Trujillo.

    The judge agreed that Taft High's attorneys needed to be more specific about what information they wanted from Cleveland's social media accounts.
         
    Cleveland's attorney, Daniel Rodriguez, said this past October that Cleveland has had 24 surgeries and has more than $1.5 million worth of medical bills.

    The trial is scheduled to start Aug. 3, 2015.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - Police have released new details about a fatal accident in southwest Bakersifeld last night.

    Bakersfield police officers responded to the scene of a single vehicle accident last night at 10:17 p.m.
         
    A female driver, whose name has not yet been released, was pinned in the vehicle. 
         
    Police said she struck a wall of The Springs apartment complex in the 8200 block of Camino Media.
         
    Police said they do not yet know if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.
         
    Police encourage anyone with information regarding the crash to contact them at 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - The Cal State Bakersfield mens basketball team scored some big points yesterday with some kids at memorial hospital. 
      
    The team visited the Lauren Small Children's Medical Center. 
         
    They got to play Santa, hand delivering toys to the children who are there receiving treatment over the holidays. 
         
    They even got to give newborns their very first teddy bears. 
        
    The players collected the donated toys at three of their basketball games.
       
    This is the second year the team has created this early Christmas surprise for the little patients. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - If you're looking for a new pet this holiday season, come out for the Santa Paws adoption day event on Dec. 20.

    The event happens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Round Up Feed Store on 5805 Rosedale Highway.

    The City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center is joining together with The ROC Animal Care Program Skills USA Team and Round Up Feed Store to sponsor the adoption event.

    In addition to the adoption event, they will be accepting donations of blankets, towels, or money to the ROC Animal Care program.
    Round Up will also have specials for those who adopt that day. 

    Santa will also be on site for photo opportunities.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - A traffic advisory is being released by The Thomas Roads Improvement Program as a result of the State Route 99/ Hosking Avenue Interchange construction project.

    The work will happen on Dec. 19 and Dec. 22, and will require lane closures  between Panama Lane and State Route 119 (Taft Highway). 

    The closures will be in the outside northbound and outside southbound travel lanes in this area from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

    TRIP would like to remind motorists to drive with caution and pay attention to construction signs and personnel while traveling through this area.

    For additional information on the State Route 99/Hosking Avenue Interchange Project, please visit the TRIP website.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - Two juvenile males have been arrested by deputies from the Rosamond Substation for stealing items from unlocked vehicles.

    The juveniles are reportedly tied to approximately 30 thefts throughout the Rosamond area.

    Some items have been returned and are in the process of being returned to the owners, according to the KCSO news release.

    The juveniles were booked into Juvenile Hall for PC182(a)(1) Conspiracy, PC488 Theft from Vehicle, PC496(a) Receiving Stolen Property, and VC 10852 Tampering with a Vehicle. 

    The investigation is ongoing.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Attorney Daniel Rodriguez has released a statement regarding the criminal case against Bryan Oliver. Judge John Lua declared a mistrial in the criminal case on Tuesday.  

    Oliver is accused of shooting Bowe Cleveland at Taft Union High School in January 2013.  Rodriguez represents Bowe Cleveland in a civil case against the Taft Union High School District.  Oliver's criminal trial is set to resume in January 2015.

    Media statement from Attorney Daniel Rodriguez.  

    Trials are hard on everyone.
    They’re hard on the jurors.
    They’re hard on the witnesses.
    But, most of all, they’re hard on the victims.

    And, this trial was especially hard on the victim.
    A victim that needed protection and love.
    But, instead what the victim was given was rejection.
    Instead, he was made out to be a bully.
    And, some people even went so far as to make him the villain in the case.

    And, despite what the criminal defense lawyer may have claimed.
    When we drilled down; when we took a hard look at the evidence, this is what we got:
    Straight from the horse’s mouth, straight from Bryan Oliver’s mouth:
    He said that Bowe Cleveland “annoyed” him.

    So, let me ask this:

    Does that excuse Bryan Oliver from taking a 12 gauge shotgun and blasting Bowe Cleveland in the chest at almost point blank range?

    That’s why the Cleveland family feels so disappointed.
    It’s hard for them to feel that any kind of real justice was done in this case.



     

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - Three local school districts are piloting a free Google application that will change the way students learn.
         
    Panama Buena Vista, Beardsley and Greenfield districts have each started using a Google technology this year that is changing the way teachers interact with their students.
         
    Actis Junior High School is one of the schools in the first phase of implementing Google Apps for Education this year.  Ms. Taylor's seventh grade language arts class is learning to write a five-paragraph essay without pencil or paper.
         
    "I'd have to take a stack of papers home, grade it, correct it, return it to them another day, hopefully the next day, sometimes two days later, and have them then rewrite it for a final draft or publication," said Ms. Taylor, who has been teaching for 16 years.
         
    Now the revision process can take seconds. Using Google Apps For Education she can edit documents as students are writing. Ms. Taylor can also use Gchat to give students immediate and personal feedback for each draft.
        
     "So then we're able to take that process that could have been one or two weeks even three weeks, we've got it down to a five day period," said Ms. Taylor.
        
    The Panama Buena Vista Union School District decided to implement the new application partly to make classroom time more efficient, and collaborative. 
         
    "It's making it so classrooms aren't islands anymore. Classrooms are connected. They can share a document. A 7th grade student can share with an 8th grade student and the 8th grade student can peer edit it, they have an extra year under their belt of writing and everything, and they can get some really great feedback,"said Steve Johnson, Curriculum and Technology Specialist for Panama Buena Vista Union School District.
         
    The best feedback about the app comes from the 7th graders.
         
    "It helps us remember more of what we've learned and then we can go back and see what we've learned because it never shuts you out or anything," said Fayth Garibay.
         
    "When you misspell a word it has a red underlining so you can click on it and it will show how the real word is spelled and you can spell it correctly the next time so you won't have to recorrect it," said Jeremiah Iribarran.
              
    The app helps with better spelling and peer sharing all while keeping students secure.
         
    "The students cannot email outside of the domain of our Panama Buena Vista domain within Google," said Johnson. "And they can't receive emails outside. So the cool thing is its like an internal email for them to collaborate with each other and a teacher and that's it."
         
    Students like that the application is available at anytime, so when they get home they can keep working on a class assignment.

    The Panama Buena Vista Union School District has equipped all fourth grade classrooms with the app, along with seventh and eighth grade math and language arts classes. The district says they are hoping to include all 3rd, 5th and 6th grade classrooms by the end of the school year.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - A man has been released from police custody after a deadly shooting in southwest Bakersfield on Dec. 17, near West High School.

    Bakersfield police officers were called to the 1200 block of McDonald way just after 4 p.m.
         
    According to the news photographer on scene, a man was laying in a driveway as crews from Bakersfield Fire performed CPR on him.
        
    That man, who has yet to be identified, died.
         
    According to police, they believe the shooting started with a fight. 

    "It appears there was some sort of confrontation and we have who we believe to be all the responsible parties present. We do not believe there are any outstanding suspects at this time," said Sgt. Brent Stratton, BPD. 

    BPD said one person believed to be involved was interviewed and released pending further investigation.
         
    Several weapons were also recovered at the scene.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - It was a busy night for city fire crews after two abandoned homes caught fire yesterday. 

    Arson investigators are looking for what caused fires in both south and east Bakersfield.
         
    Bakersfield fire crews were called out at 6:30 p.m. last night to the 1100 block of Gage Street.
         
    They said flames started inside and quickly spread to the attic.

    "Once the fire got into the attic area -- instead of having sheet rock type ceiling it had what we call tongue and grove or ship lap sidding.  So it made it difficult for the firefighter to actually pull the ceiling down and access the main bulk of the fire," said Capt. Mike Lencioni, BFD. 

    According to firefighter officials, no one was hurt in the fire.

    And just before that fire, around 5:30 p.m., another abandoned home caught fire in south Bakersfield.
         
    It happened in the 1700 block of Forrest Street.
         
    When firemen arrived, flames were coming out of the side of the house, threatening the home next door.
         
    Crews were able to get the fire under control within minutes.
         
    No injuries were reported here either.

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    ARVIN, CA. - A 21-year-old man from Arvin died last night as a result of apparent gunshot wounds, according to Arvin police.

    Arvin police arrived to the 300 block of B Street around 5 p.m. on Dec. 17, to find the victim in the front yard of a residence suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

    The victim was identified as Arvin resident Leonel Arreguin Jr., who was transported to Kern Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. 

    The case is still under investigation and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Arvin Police Department, Investigator Ryan Calderon, or Officer William Funderburk at 661-854-5583.  

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - Covered California has extended the deadline by close to a week for people to enroll in health coverage that begins the start of the next year.

    You now have until Dec.21 to sign up for coverage beginning Jan. 1.
         
    The original deadline was Dec. 15.
         
    Officials said more than 144,000 people have enrolled for coverage through the exchange during the first month of sign-ups.
         
    This means the rate of enrollment is going much faster compared to the same time in 2013.
         
    The state's use of storefront locations run by certified insurance agents may have boosted enrollments.

    yolanda richardson/ covered california, spokeswoman
    "It's going great. We are really excited about the progress that California is making with our enrollment efforts. right now, we are looking at combined with Medi-Cal, we have 592,000 people who have been determined eligible for coverage, which is very exciting," said Yolanda Richardson, Covered California spokesperson.

    State officials are trying to hold on to existing policyholders during the renewal process and finish open enrollment by Feb. 15.


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    SACRAMENTO, CA. - The recent storm is bringing some much needed water to the state, but some of that runoff will go to protect the Delta and Longfin Smelt.

    State water officials announced they will reduce pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta by more than a third to protect the endangered fish.
         
    Officials are stating that water being pumped for 25 million Californians and three million acres of irrigated farmland will be curbed because muddy water stirred up by the storms may draw the Smelt closer to water project pumps.
         
    But, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove is speaking out against this move with a statement criticizing the state's actions.

    Grove said: "What's the point of praying for the rain if the state won't give the extrea water to the people who need it?"

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA. - The Kern High School District is updating its local control accountability plan and they want the community's input.

    The plan is part of the local control funding formula, where districts get funds earmarked specifically for programs directed at low-income students, foster youth, and those learning english as a second language.
         
    Trustees say that amounts to more than 60 percent of the district's student population.
         
    The district will receive $17.6 million in supplemental state funds to increase academic performance among those targeted student groups.
         
    However, total funding is expected to take seven years, so board members will revise the allocation as the needs of the district change.

    Parents, educators, business owners, non-profit organizations, and local leaders are encouraged to attend and share their input.
      
    The meeting is tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Foothill High School in the cafeteria.

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    The CHP is investigating a suspicious package outside of the CHP office on Buck Owens Blvd.

    Bakersfield police and the hazardous materials response team have responded.

    Hall ambulance and County Fire are also on scene.

    No injuries have been reported. 

    There is no word yet what the package or device is.


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    TAFT, CA. - The Taft City School board is meeting this afternoon, to discuss the employment of their superintendent Ron Bryant.

    Bryant's future with the district is uncertain, after he was sentneced for two DUIs. 
         
    He pleaded no contest to the DUIs on Aug. 27 and Nov. 15, these were Bryant's second and third DUI offenses within 14 months.
         
    He is currently on unpaid leave from the district.
        
    After removing his pay at the last meeting, the board decided to hear from Bryant, and meet again to determine his future with the district. 
       
    The meeting is happening at 12:30 this today.

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    TAFT, CA - The Taft City School Board has accepted the resignation of their superintendent Ron Bryant effective January 31, 2015.  

    Bryant's future with the district had been uncertain, after he was sentenced for two DUIs.  He pleaded no contest to the DUIs on August 27 and November 15, these were Bryant's second and third DUIs within 14 months.

    He is currently on unpaid leave from the district.

    After removing his pay at the last meeting, the board decided to hear from Bryant, and meet again to determine his future with the district.

    DATE:December 18, 2014
    FROM:Les Clark, President
    Taft City School District Board of Education

    The Board of Trustees took action today to accept the resignation of Superintendent Ron Bryant, effective January 31, 2015. We will continue to move forward to ensure continued educational progress for our students. Julie Graves will continue in the capacity of Acting Superintendent while the District considers next steps.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Police need your help finding a man accused of stealing a bicycle that was secured on a rack of the victim's car.   Police say on Tuesday morning, the suspect, depicted in the attached surveillance photograph, approached the victim's vehicle which was parked in the 900 block of Oak St.

    Police believe the suspect removed a bicycle that was secured to the rear bumper bicycle rack. The victim, who is from out of town and had pulled over to sleep, was inside the vehicle at the time of the theft.

    The victim heard the suspect and ran after him as he rode away on the bicycle. Police describe the man as White, in his early 20’s, 5’8 – 5’10, medium build, black baseball cap, tan hooded sweatshirt with horizontal stripes, dark jeans, and dark shoes.

    If you have information regarding this case, call the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111 or Detective Luera at (661) 326-3947.




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