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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A new pizza place is set to open today -- and they're changing things up a bit.

    Pizza-Rev opened today in southwest Bakersfield.
         
    The restaurant allows customers to custom-design their pizzas -- from crust to toppings.
         
    They then pop the perosnal-sized pizza in the oven and it's ready in less than three minutes.
         
    For the grand-opening, Pizza-Rev invites customers to "pay-what-they-want" with proceeds going to the Bakersfield SPCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County.
         
    The suggested donation for a pizza is $8.
         
    Pizza-Rev is located at 5419 Gosford Rd. near Harris.

    Another location is set to open near Chiptole at the Park at Riverwalk later this year.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Ground has broken on a new residential care facility set to open next year in northeast Bakersfield.  

    Officials say The Pointe at Summit Hills will be a two story, spacious 85-unit community which will specialize in meeting the unique needs of the elderly population. The management team overseeing the facility has a combined 100+ years of experience in the senior care business.

    Residents will be encouraged to enjoy an independent lifestyle with optional services available to ensure their individual needs are met. They will enjoy a vast array of recreational, educational and therapeutic activities as well as regularly scheduled excursions.

    The Pointe will install the newest technology offering leading edge equipment to monitor and safeguard all residents
    within the community. A full service fine dining program, housekeeping, transportation shuttle, professionally trained staff, clinical and assistive services, along with a fitness room and on-site theater will round out the all-inclusive lifestyle packages that will be offered.

    Douglas Pancake Architects, specialists in senior housing and healthcare industries, will work with General Contractor Wallace and Smith to complete the project, scheduled for first quarter 2016 occupancy.

    Locally owned and managed by Bakersfield Care/The Vasinda Companies, the investor group includes local physicians and other prominent business professionals. Financing for the project is provided by Mission Bank.




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    HOUSTON, TX - The world's largest oilfield services company, Schlumberger, has just confirmed its laying off 9,000 employees due to tumbling oil prices, but the company will not say yet where those layoffs will happen.

    Schlumberger's headquarters is in Houston, but the company has three offices in Bakersfield. Also, the company says the layoffs are already underway, starting in the last quarter of last year.

    The company's stock price has fallen from 117 dollars in July of last year to 76 dollars and 63 cents at the close of trading Thursday.

    We received this company statement "reducing staff numbers and reviewing future staffing requirements has become necessary in today's lower commodity pricing environment and anticipated lower exploration and production spending in 2015. As a result, Schlumberger decided to reduce its overall headcount to better align with anticipated activity levels for 2015."

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The board of Directors of Golden Empire Transit is looking for an at-large director.  GET officials say applications can be obtained on the GET website at www.getbus.org or at the GET Administrative offices at 1830 Golden State Avenue.

    Deadline for submission of applications is Monday, January 19 by 5:00 p.m. The GET Board will review applications and interview applicants on Tuesday, January 27 at 2:00 p.m. in the GET Board Room at 1830 Golden State Avenue.

    GET board meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the GET administrative offices.

    For more information, call Sharon Pierce, clerk of the board at (661) 324-9874 or at spierce@getbus.org.



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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield police are looking to the public to help them locate a suspect wanted for robbery.

    The incident took place on Nov. around 11:45 a.m. at the K-Mart located at 3600 Wilson Rd.

    The suspect is accused of leaving the store without paying for merchandise.

    Police report that when a store employee confronted the suspect, he pushed the employee to the ground and fled.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Rick Dossey at 661-326-3504 or BPD at 661-327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Breaking news in the Taft Union High School shooting case.

    Two years after the shooting, Bryan Oliver pleaded no contest today to two counts of felony attempted murder without premeditation and could be sentenced to 27 years in prison. 

    Oliver pleaded no contest to two charges of attempted murder. He pleaded as an adult.
         
    In exchange, he is set to receive 27 years and 4 months behind bars. He was due back in court today for a readiness hearing. His re-trial was set to begin in less than two weeks on Jan 26.
         
    Oliver was tried last month, and the trial ended in a hung jury.
         
    Testimony during the trial revealed that Oliver was bullied repeatedly at school by Bowe Cleveland, and other students.
         
    Oliver said he felt hopeless after years of relentless name calling, including a derogatory word used to describe homosexuals.  The bullying extended to his red hair. And during a fight his freshman year, Oliver said another student placed a portion of his testicles on Oliver's face. Oliver said he told school administrators and teachers, but the bullying continued. 
         
    The gag order for the case remains in effect until the sentencing, set for Feb 26.

    Oliver will be eligible for parole after 13 years.

    There never was any doubt Oliver fired the shots that seriously wounded Cleveland and missed a second student. Oliver, now 18, but 16 at the time of the shootings, took the witness stand and admitted he was the shooter. 

    Prosecutor Mark Pafford argued the shootings were a premeditated attack in which Oliver planned to exact revenge for perceived campus mistreatment. 

    Trying to kill someone for that motive would be attempted murder, he told the jury.

    Defense attorney Paul Cadman told jurors that witnesses proved Oliver was a closeted and confused gay adolescent who was relentlessly bullied by classmates, including Cleveland. 

    That bullying, which included sexual battery, caused Oliver to snap the day of the shooting, Cadman told jurors. He said Oliver was bipolar and a victim of post-traumatic stress disorder.

    A shooting that resulted from that set of circumstances would be attempted voluntary manslaughter, he told the jury. 

    A conviction of attempted murder could lead to a life prison sentence. A sentence for attempted voluntary manslaughter could be as little as five years.

    And those are adult sentences. If Oliver were to be sentenced as a juvenile, the sentences could be much less severe. 
     
    Cleveland was not Oliver's only intended target that day, prosecution witnesses said.

    After he shot Cleveland, Oliver called for student Jacob Nichols, another 11th grader, who slid out of his chair and cowered behind a lab bench in the classroom.  

    Oliver fired at Nichols, but missed.

    Witnesses said tears streamed down Nichols’ face as he begged Oliver for his life. 

    Before he fired again, Campus supervisor Kim Fields and teacher Ryan Herber convinced Oliver to put the shotgun down. Fields grasped Oliver in a bear hug until police arrived. Officers found the shotgun held six shells, and Oliver had 29 others in his pockets.

    Nichols testified he had "messed with" Oliver for the first few years of high school because Oliver was a newcomer to Taft.  At one point, Nichols momentarily choked up on the witnesses stand, telling jurors he, too, was bullied growing up in foster care and picked on Oliver just to fit in with other students.  

    Oliver testified he remembered little of the shooting. He recalled waking up that rainy Thursday morning and getting ready to go to school. He said blacked out before the shooting and the next thing he remembered was the sound of the gunshot. 

    Cadman, the defense attorney, brought in local psychologist Dr. Thomas Middleton, who said Oliver’s description of events is typical in some cases of PTSD. 

    Middleton told jurors it was possible Oliver was in a disassociative state when the shooting happened, and possible Oliver did not realize where he was or what he was doing.

    Pafford, the prosecutor, brought in nationally-known psychologist Dr. Kris Mohandie who contradicted Middleton's assessment of Oliver's condition.

    Mohandie testified Oliver's response to detectives -- that he knew how many shells were placed in the shotgun -- suggests Oliver was fully aware of what he did. Mohandie also testified Oliver did not suffer from bipolar or post-traumatic stress disorders.

    Instead he said Oliver displayed characteristics of a conduct disorder with anti-social tendencies and narcissistic behavior.  Oliver is semi-paranoid, Mohandie suggested.

    Pafford painted Oliver as fixated on gore and violence.  The prosecutors showed jurors a cartoon video Oliver reportedly watched within a day of the shooting that shows a My Little Pony character dismembering another cartoon horse. 


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    (KSEE) Three California brothers have figured out an innovative way to protect young citrus trees from cold weather. 

    They invented "Tree-Gloves," protective bags capable of creating micro climates.

    The Cox brothers came up with the idea after a freeze back in December of 2013 that destroyed much of their family's citrus crop.

    "They use a million different, tiny, little holes inside the bag that slows the release of heat but also allows the transmission of gas between the fabric," Ryan Cox explains.

    Cox and his brothers just started selling tree gloves in September and they've already sold out for the year.


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    SACRAMENTO, CA - There are strict new rules taking effect for California farmers who use a pesticide that helps crops grow.

    Chloropicrin is a fumigant injected into the ground before crops are planted.
         
    It's most widely used on strawberries, peppers, tomatoes and almond orchards.  
         
    The pesticide kills ingredients in the soil that can destroy a crop.  
         
    It's been used for 40 years in California, and heavily here in the San Joaquin Valley.
         
    But these new restrictions will limit its use dramatically and farmers will only be able to use the pesticide in up to 40 acres in one day.
         
    That's a reduction of nearly 75 percent. Also, it must be used away from people.   

    "It's been used for years like when you do a house, when you're getting rid of the termites in your house, it's really reactive to your eyes.  so it's a warming agent, so its used in odd places, so it will give you eye irritation very quickly," said Bill Leahy, California Dept. of Pesticide Regulation.

    Chloropicrin not only causes eye irritation but also coughing and headaches. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA.-If you're planning a wedding, then this is the event for you! "A Formal Affair Bridal Event" is happening this weekend at the Rabobank Convention Center. 

    This exclusive bridal event showcases the leading local wedding industry experts and suppliers. Central California's largest selection of wedding vendors will be gathered to help turn your wedding day visions into a reality. The first 200 VIP brides will receive a complimentary sway bag that includes a special gift just for attending, glass of champagne, appetizers and dessert bar, exclusive wedding magazines and planning guides, and an extra entry into a grand prize drawing. 

    With fashion shows every hour starting at 12:30 p.m., you will get a chance to get an up-close look at the latest fashion trends. VIP entrance is at noon and the general admission is at 1:00 p.m. 

    For more information, you can call 399-3405 or visit www.formalaffairbridalevent.com


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield police is asking the community for assistance in locating three suspects and the suspect vehicle wanted for shoplifting.

    The incident occurred on Dec. 15, around 5:15 p.m. at the Pepboys automotive store on Planz Road.

    The suspects are accused of taking several items without paying for them.

    According to BPD, the suspects fled in  a grey primer and white, older flatbed dually Ford pickup.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Rick Dossey at 661-326-3504 the Bakersfield Police Department at 661-327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A big top-style carnival kick-off will be held this Saturday to get ready for the next Relay For Life event.

    There will be free games and snacks as well as food for sale from Smokey Lane BBQ. 

    Everyone is invited, and there is even a chance to win some prizes.

    The Carnival will be held at the Bright House Amphitheatre, located at 11200 Stockdale Highway.

    You can also RSVP by email at bakersfieldrelay@gmail.com, or at 661-327-7827.

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    DELANO, CA - An environmental group plans to hold a hearing tonight, centered on the negative effects of the oil extraction process, or hydraulic fracturing.

    Fracking is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release the oil and natural gas inside
         
    Organizers with the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment say Kern County carries the brunt of oil industry development.
         
    They say that includes risks to our drinking water as the fracking wasterwater is injected back into the ground.

    The event is set for tonight at 7 p.m. at the offices of the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, in Delano.

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    From NBC News

    The Supreme Court agreed Friday to definitively answer whether the Constitution allows states to ban same-sex marriage, plunging the court directly into one of the nation's biggest legal and cultural issues.

    By agreeing now to take up the question, the court allowed time for the case to be decided by the end of the current term in late June. The case will be argued in late April.

    "It's impossible to overstate the historic significance of a decision on such a fundamental piece of our social fabric," said Tom Goldstein, a Washington lawyer who argues frequently before the Supreme Court.

    The court granted cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. It said it would decide whether states can refuse to issue same sex-marriage licenses and whether they can refuse to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed elsewhere.

    The issue comes to the justices after a tidal wave of lower court rulings struck down marriage bans in one state after another — nearly 60 separate decisions in more than half the states over the past 18 months.

    Thirty-six states now permit gay people to get married, covering roughly 70 percent of the U.S. population. Court decisions on hold have struck down bans in five other states.

    The surge of lower court rulings quickly followed the Supreme Court's 2013 decision that struck down a law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in states where they're legal.

    But courts have upheld bans on marriage for gay couples in four other states — Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee — a split the Supreme Court will now resolve.

    Public opinion has shifted in recent years. The first Gallup poll on the subject showed only 27 percent approval for same-sex marriage in 1996. Gallup's most recent poll, taken last year, showed 55 percent approval.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Police need your help finding some high value tools they say were stolen from a PG&E utility truck and possible suspects.   

    Police say between noon on New Year's Eve and the morning of January 4, unknown suspect or suspects made entry into the PG&E parking lot at 1918 H St., forced entry into a PG&E utility truck and stole the following high value tools.

    If you have information regarding this case, call Detective James Jones at (661) 326-3567 or Bakersfield police at (661) 327-7111.




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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Some Cal State Bakersfield students are a little more comfortable tonight after receiving care packages, welcoming them to life in student housing.

    One hundred students involved with the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and the Guardian Scholars Program at CSUB received "comfort kits" from Ikea to dress up their dorm rooms.
         
    Ikea volunteers passed out $28,000 worth of comforters, pillows, lamps and other household essentials.
         
    Students chosen are first generation college students, former foster youth, and those with financial need.

    "I think it's awesome because like some people they come in and -- you know -- it's sometimes hard leaving your family and you need stuff and you need help. And so it's cool that EOP is looking out for us," said Damion Hall, a freshman student living in the dorms.

    An Ikea representative said volunteers do four community projects a year and that the "comfort kits" project was the first event of the year.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bryan Oliver's plea bargain for shooting classmate Bowe Cleveland could mean Oliver is released from prison in as little as 13 years. That is the earliest parole possible under the 27-year term Oliver tentatively agreed to. It is possible he could serve the entire sentence.

    Oliver, now 18, pleaded no contest to two charges of attempted murder without premeditation and admitted to an enhancement.

    There is a gag order --- so we couldn't ask attorneys why the deal was offered or what rationale caused both sides to accept it.

    Judge John Lua did not allow news cameras to record Friday's proceedings.

    Oliver's family members showed little emotion as they came out of the courtroom.

    Although oliver was 16 at the time of the shooting, the court decided to try him as an adult.

    Investigators said Oliver came to school January 10, 2013 with a 12 gauge shotgun, a pocket full of shells, and shot Cleveland in the chest.

    Last month, Judge Lua declared a mistrial after a jury couldn't reach a verdict after four days of deliberation.

    During the trial, Oliver testified he is gay and he was relentlessly bullied about his sexual orientation.

    Dr. Corey Gonzales said, "This has been a very polarizing case. When people generally go into prison and spend that much time in prison, when they get out they have to be prepared to deal with the stigmas that are involved with imprisonment and they have to really deal with their own feelings of anger about how the system's treated them."

    According to state law, the enhancement Oliver admitted to, personally discharging a firearm, carries a punishment of 20 years in state prison.

    As part of the plea deal, Oliver agreed to a 27 year 4 month prison sentence.

    Attorney Daniel Rodriguez said, "Bryan Oliver's already done two years and he's going to be eligible for parole in 13 years. When you add it up, 15 years. Fifteen years for shooting someone with a 12 gauge shotgun almost point blank doesn't seem to be justice."

    Rodriguez is representing Cleveland's family in a civil lawsuit against the high school district. He says the plea deal doesn't come as a surprise.

    Rodriguez said, "We had an inkling that was going to happen. why? because the way that the first criminal trial was conducted and the outcome."

    Oliver's sentencing is scheduled for February 26.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Police are looking for the driver in a deadly hit-and-run accident involving a pedestrian.

    It happened Saturday just after 5 p.m. on Union Avenue near the Truxtun overpass, an area where Bakersfield police say they are increasing pedestrian safety enforcement.

    Police say they found a 58-year-old man face down on the ground suffering from major trauma to his body.

    Union Avenue was partially closed as police investigated.

    Bakersfield Police Sergeant Bill Ware says this area has a high volume of pedestrian accidents.

    Ware said, "The police department did conduct bicycle and pedestrian traffic enforcement today, we did conduct the enforcement within this general area, because we have had concerns with the bicyclists and pedestrians in the roadway, outside of crosswalks, being a hazard, and this is obviously evident of why we were out here conducting that."

    Officers say the man was walking across the street and was not in a crosswalk when he was hit.

    Police say if you are ever involved in a pedestrian accident do not flee the scene.

    Police are still looking for the vehicle. If you information call BPD 327-7111

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Brides-to-be were out today looking to make their perfect wedding a reality.

    More than 90 vendors filled the Rabobank Convention Center this afternoon
    for "A Formal Affair Bridal Event."

    The show helps couples find wedding planners, photographers, d-js, and more.

    Organizers say the one-stop-shop is a great way to make contacts and see what options are out there.

    The event included fashion shows featuring the latest trends from designers ... as well as live music, food, and giveaways.

    Organizers said they will be back at the Rabobank for another show on Aug. 23.
         

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The coroner's office has identified the pedestrian who was killed in a hit-and-run accident on Union Avenue Jan. 17.

    The victim has been identified as 58-year-old Kenneth Ray Foster. 
         
    The crash happened just after five last night on Union Avenue near the Truxtun Overpass, an area where Bakersfield Police said they are increasing pedestrian safety enforcement. 
        
    BPD officials said they found Foster face down on the ground suffering from major trauma to his body. 
         
    He was taken to Kern Medical Center where he later died.
         
    Foster was walking across the street and was not in a crosswalk when he was hit. 
         
    Union Avenue was partially closed as police investigated. 
         
    A BPD official said the area has a high volume of pedestrian accidents. 

    "The police department did conduct bicycle and pedestrian traffic enforcement today. We did conduct the enforcement within this general area, because we have had concerns with the bicyclists and pedestrians in the roadway, outside of crosswalks, being a hazard, and this [hit-and-run] is obviously evident of why we were out here conducting that," said BPD Sgt. Bill Ware.

    By our count, this is the second pedestrian death so far this year. 
         
    In 2014 25 pedestrians were killed on Kern County roadways. 

    BPD is still looking for the driver who hit Foster. 
        
    If you information call BPD at 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The California Highway Patrol is investigating a single vehicle crash into a utility pole that blocked traffic on Stockdale Highway and left hundreds of homes without power.
         
    CHP officials said the driver -- 24-year-old Frank Rosas of King City -- struck a utility pole around 10 p.m. Jan. 17.

    Stockdale Highway was closed at Nord Road due to downed powerlines blocking the roadway.
         
    A PG&E spokesperson said 488 homes were without power as a result.
         
    CHP officials said alcohol is suspected in the collision.
      
    Rosas was taken into custody; there is no word on his condition.

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