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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Some anime enthusiasts are dressing up today as their favorite characters as they make their way out to central California's biggest anime convention.

    The 5th Annual Bak-Anime is back in town this weekend -- bringing the world of anime and all things science fiction and fantasy to Bakersfield.
         
    Organizers said one of the biggest draws is the cosplay contest, adding that more than half of attendees dress up to compete.
         
    And ... you can still make it out -- the convention continues tonight, Jan. 24, at the Mariott on Truxtun Avenue until midnight and will resume again tomorrow.

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    Local students partake in kindness movement. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The cause of death has just been released for an elderly woman who died in an apartment fire on Christmas Day.

    The coroner's office determined 81-year-old Mary Lorraine Barker deid of inhalation of products of combustion with a contributing factor of heart disease. 
         
    The report concludes her death was accidental. 
         
    The fire happened just after 9 p.m. Christmas night on Durham court ... near Stockdale Highway and California Avenue.
         
    According to fire officials, a candle started the fire and the smoke alarm inside the apartment had been disabled.

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    DELANO, CA - Five people are displaced after their home caught fire in Delano. 
         
    It happened on the 900 block of Kensington street on Jan. 25.
         
    County fire officials say no one was inside when they arrived.
         
    It took crews several hours to completly extinguish the fire.
         
    The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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  • 01/25/15--18:50: DUI checkpoint results
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA - Police arrested four people for allegedly driving under the influence -- during a DUI and driver's license checkpoint in southwest Bakersfield on Sunday night.

    The checkpoint was part of the Kern Avoid DUI Task Force, conducted in an effort to reduce the number of people injured or killed in DUI crashes.
         
    The checkpoint was held on Old River Road, near Stockdale Highway.
         
    According to police, they screened more than 1300 vehicles.

    Nine drivers were found to have a suspended license.
      
    A total of 13 vehicles were also impounded.
      

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Residents are back in their homes after a report of a suspicious object Sunday brought out the bomb squad and prompted evacuations.

    Police responded to the call just after 4 p.m. Sunday on O Street near Columbus Street -- that's a few blocks from Stella Hills Elementary School.

    The bomb squad was called out and they used a robot to further investigate.

    Police say the device -- located inside a bag in a dumpster -- isn't dangerous.

    Bakersfield Police Sergeant Gary Carruesco said, "Officers arrived on scene and determined they did not want to approach the object because they didn't know what it was. Bomb squad personnel were called out. They subsequently located the object and determined that it was not a hazardous device or an explosive."

    Police didn't release details of what the device was. They say the bomb squad will examine the device in a controlled environment.

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    By Maddie Janssen

    Preparing your kids and pets:

    Life is hectic enough, but when you add a baby to the mix, there's a lot to think about. Dr. Corey Gonzales, a local clinical psychologist, says you have to have realistic expectations. "With young couples often I will talk about a mantra that they have to gravitate toward, and that is that we both are making a lot of sacrifices, we both are going to feel like we are getting the short end of the stick. And let's just start there. It's really important if you can get connected with other parents who have toddlers, so you can know what normal is."

    Your life will change, and if you have older kids, their's will too. Dr. Gonzales says, "It's very important that you consider the oldest child's feelings and mental health as you go into your pregnancy. Conceptually you have to consider that your oldest child at some level is losing a role, and that is as the baby. Implement them in the process... help decorating, maybe even their name." Dr. Gonzales says you should encourage your kids to share their feelings, even if they're not always positive. And share the news in a way they can understand. "If mommy can take that oldest child and bring them to her tummy and have a bond, a connection, an attachment, it can make it a lot easier," says Dr. Gonzales.

    If your first kids happen to have fur, you need to prepare them too. Lisa Porter, the head dog trainer for Marley's Mutts, says it's important to work with your dog before the new baby arrives. "sometimes that adrenaline that they feel when they see the baby, that excitement, can escalate and cause problems with maybe insecurity, maybe they're not understanding why the structure and routine is changing. Anytime you change a dog's structure or routine or environment, it's going to set them off a little bit so you have to counteract that with those rules and boundaries," says Porter.

    We have posted a full training session with Porter, on our website under special reports.

    Preparing your finances:

    Raising a baby from birth to age 18 will cost you an average of $245,000, according to Katy Hudson, president of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service for Kern and Tulare Counties. "If you know you're going to have a baby, it's a great time to reexamine your budget. Track what you spend. Everytime you make a purchase, write it down, you'll be stunned at the end of the week at how much you spend on coffee shops, eating out," says Hudson.

    You'll want a safe vehicle to transport your tiny bundle home, but perhaps take a second look at how much it's costing you. "Add up your payment, insurance, fuel, cost of maintenance. I know we did that in my family one time, and suddenly we are looking at spending a thousand dollars a month on one car, and we just said, we're not doing this," says Hudson. And when it comes to saving for college, Hudson says that shouldn't be at the top of your list. "If you have no debt as a parent, no credit card debt, maybe your mortgage is paid off, your cars are paid off, go ahead and start saving for you child's college education. Otherwise don't feel obligated to pay for their education. They have a lot more time to make up for that debt than you do," says Hudson.

    But don't let the little sacrifices scare you, we spoke with local parents who tell us, it's all worth it. "It's fun watching them, grow and learn and teaching them,' said Angela Buss, a mom of 3. "These are the best part of being a parent, having the grand babies," said Alana Martinez, as she wrangled her young grandson outside the Rosedale Costco.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Comedian Bill Cosby has postponed his live appearance set for February 12 at the Fox Theater in Bakersfield.  

    Officials with the Fox say a new date has not been set.  Tickets will be refunded at the place of purchase, or if a credit card was used, it will be automatically refunded.  

    For more shows at the Fox, you can log on to www.foxtheateronline.com.  


    The Fox Theater released the following statement regarding the postponement of the Bill Cosby appearance.  

    "Dear Fans: I was looking forward to hearing your wonderful applause and seeing all those smiling faces. Due to scheduling conflicts my performance had to be postponed. No need to worry, I will be back soon to raise the roof with laughter. I thank you, the theatre staff (Majestic Fox Theater), the event organizers and the Bakersfield Community for your love and support. Don't forget I said, Postponed. Hey, Hey, Hey -- I'm Far From Finished." states Bill Cosby.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Major developments in the legal battles triggered by the infamous implosion of the PG&E power plant in Bakersfield.

    17 news has learned Jerry Wood, the man critically injured in the August 3, 2013 demolition of the Kern River power plant, has settled his lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Word of the settlement is contained in a cross complaint filed by the utility against its sub-contractor, URS Corporation and Cleveland Wrecking Company.

    There is no specific mention of the settlement amount in the lawsuit, and wood's attorney, Dennis Thelen could not disclose the dollar figure because the settlement is confidential.

    But a source close to the case says it is in excess of $10 million. Thelen did tell us the case was settled to the "complete satisfaction of Mr. and Mrs. Wood." Thelen says Wood's medical bills, linked to more than 30 surgeries to repair his leg injuries, have eclipsed $1 million.

    Thelen says it's nothing short of a miracle that Wood, who had faced the possibility of a double amputation, has function in his lower extremities and is continuing with physical therapy.

    Pacific Gas and Electric issued a statement Monday saying, in part: "Mr. Wood's claim was resolved in a timely manner.
    PG&E moved quickly to settle with Mr. Wood and his family late last year because it was the right thing to do, covering 90% of the settlement.  Since resolution of the claims, we believe it is now the right time for PG&E to ensure the contractor take responsibility for the accident and fulfill the expectations of the contract."

    17 news has contacted Cleveland Wrecking Monday afternoon for comment on this story, but our calls have not yet been returned.   



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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Jerry Wood of Bakersfield came very close to losing both of his legs August 3, 2013.  He has endured months of reconstructive surgery at Stanford Medical Center and is still on the mend.  At the very least, this settlement means he won't have to worry about paying his medical bills anymore.

    Word of the settlement between Jerry Wood and PG&E is contained in a cross complaint filed by the utility against its sub-contractors, URS Corporation and Cleveland Wrecking Company.

    There is no specific mention of the settlement amount in the lawsuit, and Wood's attorney, Dennis Thelen could not disclose the dollar figure because the settlement is confidential.  But, a source close to the case says it is in excess of $10 million.

    Thelen did tell us the case was settled to the "complete satisfaction of Mr. and Mrs. Wood."

    Thelen said Wood's medical bills, linked to more than 30 surgeries to repair his leg injuries, have eclipsed $1 million.

    Thelen says it's nothing short of a miracle that Wood, who had faced the possibility of a double amputation, has function in his lower extremities and is continuing with physical therapy.

    In a statement released Monday, Pacific Gas and Electric said Mr. Wood's claim was resolved in a timely manner....and now is the right time for the contractor to take responsibility for the accident.

    And to that end, the utility company last Thursday filed suit against its sub-contractors, claiming breach of contract and blaming them for the mishap.

    Among the allegations contained in that complaint, PG&E claims its sub-contractors failed to maintain an adequate safety perimeter around the implosion site.

    Our calls to Cleveland Wrecking Company have not yet been returned.



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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The food bank operated by the Community Action Partnership of Kern will continue to distribute pre-packaged food boxes to families directly affected by the drought.  

    The CAPK says those who are eligible to receive a food box(es) will be asked to self-certify that they live in a household where drought conditions have caused their underemployment or unemployment. They can dial 2-1-1 for assistance on finding the nearest food assistance location.

    You can call 2-1-1 for assistance with the Drought Emergency Food Distribution.

    Monday February 2, 2015
    WASCO Parks & Rec….5pm-7pm
    1280 POPLAR AVE
    WASCO, CA. 93280

    Thursday February 5, 2015
    MCFARLAND … LA MISSION DE JESUS … 5pm-7pm
    188 SAN JUAN ST
    MCFARLAND, CA. 93250

    Friday February 6, 2015
    Isaiah’s Sober Living I & II…. 5pm-7pm
    1904 Clarendon St
    Bakersfield, CA 93307

    Monday February 9, 2015
    OILDALE …Under Grace Fellowship.….. 5pm-7pm
    1705 N. CHESTER AVE
    BAKERSFIELD, CA. 93308

    Tuesday February 10, 2015
    Valley Faith Fellowship… 5pm-7pm
    15570 County Line Rd
    Delano, Ca 93215

    Thursday February 12, 2015
    ARVIN VFW ….4pm-6pm
    1025 S. DERBY ST
    ARVIN, CA. 93203

    Friday February 13, 2015
    SHAFTER YOUTH CENTER … 5pm-7pm
    455 E. EUCLID AVE
    SHAFTER, CA. 93263

    Tuesday February 17, 2015
    World of Pentecost … 5pm-7pm
    3025 Fairfax Rd
    Bakersfield, Ca 93306

    Wednesday February 18, 2015
    WASCO Parks & Rec….5pm-7pm
    1280 POPLAR AVE
    WASCO, CA. 93280

    Thursday February 19, 2015
    New Life Center ….5pm-7pm
    Old Sears Warehouse -4313 Shepard St
    Bakersfield, CA 93313



    Tuesday February 24, 2015
    Mojave Veterans Hall….5pm-7pm
    15580 O Street
    Mojave, CA 93501

    Wednesday February 25, 2015
    BUTTONWILLOW ….. 5pm-7pm
    BUTTONWILLOW RECREATION PARK
    BUTTONWILLOW, CA. 93206

    Thursday February 26, 2015
    ARVIN VFW ….4pm-6pm
    1025 S. DERBY ST
    ARVIN, CA. 93203

    Saturday February 28, 2015
    LAMONT PENTACOSTAL CHURCH of God ….. 9AM-11AM
    9901 VELMA AVE.
    LAMONT, CA. 93241




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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Deputies need your help to identify three people they say are wanted for felony shoplifting. Sheriff's officials say in December, three suspects entered a clothing outlet at the Tejon Outlet Mall on two separate occasions.

    The three are accused of stealing numerous clothing items during each incident. The three appeared to be acting together as they placed clothing items into empty store bags and then exited without paying for the merchandise. The total loss is valued in excess of $2000.

    Deputies describe the suspects as: Heavyset black man wearing a dark jacket and red/black knit cap. A heavyset black woman wearing a thick pink jacket, black pants, pink boots, with black long straight hair. And a Black woman wearing a dark grey jacket, light colored pants, black boots, and a pink and blue knit cap.

    If you have information on this case, call the Sheriff’s Office at 661-861-3110, the Lamont Substation at 661-868-5751, or Secret Witness at 661-322-4040.

    For further information see attached video surveillance photos.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Police need your help to identify and locate a man wanted for a sexual battery incident in southwest Bakersfield.  Police say on the night of January 18, a 19-year-old woman was walking in Seasons Park at 5425 Harris Rd.

    Police say the victim was confronted by the suspect who brandished a knife at her, made a sexual comment, threw her to the ground and got on top of her.

    During the struggle, police say the victim struck her head causing her to lose consciousness. When the victim awoke, the suspect was gone. The victim was not sexually assaulted while she was unconscious. Police describe the suspect a Hispanic man, 20’s, 5’7”, heavy build, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, black work boots, a black ski mask with a ring on his right hand.

    If you have information regarding this case, call Detective Francisco Esguerra at (661) 326-3870 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Ensuring pesticide spraying safety.  That's the focus of the ninth annual spray safe event taking place Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Kern County Fairgrounds.  

    Organizers say the program was born in Kern County and created by a group of Kern County farmers to
    reduce spray drift, enhance worker safety and protect public health through more effective communications.

    All members of Kern County agriculture are encouraged to attend this year’s event to hear presentations from representatives of the Kern County Ag Commissioner, Farm Bureau President., Deputy Director California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Assembly Woman Shannon Grove and more about the importance of SpraySafe and its objective to protect farm workers and the public from pesticide exposure.

    The meeting will also include circuit presentations on a number of safety issues and is available in Spanish as well as English. It was initiated in Kern County and because of its success, has been implemented in other counties throughout the state.

    The Kern Drift Prevention Coalition, which was formed in 2005, is a cooperative of local farmers, spray applicators and elected officials, who work together to promote spraying safety and education. SpraySafe is a program that encourages farmers to communicate with each other and to be vigilant to help reduce incidents of spray drift; SpraySafe event is an additional measure to provide continuing education on new and improved practices, technologies and precautions
    to improve farm safety.

    SpraySafe has most definitely been a factor in the improved record of Kern County agriculture. Since this program was implemented there has been more focus on safety and the result is a marked reduction in drift incidents,” said Kern County Ag Commissioner Ruben Arroyo who noted that since 2006, when SpraySafe was first launched in Kern County resulting in a dramatic reduction spray drift events.

    “Kern County has shown that through an industry initiative like SpraySafe improvements can occur voluntarily, therefore reducing the need for formal regulatory actions by DPR,” said Mary-Ann Warmerdam, former Director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, which awarded a $50,000 grant to assist other counties in adopting SpraySafe.

    This year’s SpraySafe event in Kern County is once again being sponsored by members of the local farming community, local farm associations and local enforcement agencies which currently includes; Kern County Farm Bureau, California Safety Training Corporation, Sunrise Sprayers, Grapevine Vineyards, Wegis & Young, State Compensation Insurance Fund, Crop Production Services Inc., Grimmway Enterprises Inc., DM Camp & Son, and many others giving their support for this event.

    The event is free of charge to attend and includes lunch. For more information on SpraySafe, or to register to attend the event, please send an email to kcspraysafe@gmail.com or fax to (661) 397-3403. Contact Jeff Rasmussen at (661) 858-2278 with any questions.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Those interested in the 24th Street improvement project can learn more at a community meeting next week.  The meeting takes place February 4, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Rabobank Convention Center. Organizers say this meeting will be held in an open house format and the public is encouraged to attend and provide their input at any time during the three-hour period.

    The open house is intended to provide the community with an update on the project’s design and aesthetic concept plans. Exhibits will be set up in the Convention Center Lobby. These exhibits will illustrate streetscape concepts and options for hardscape and plant materials that are appropriate to the region’s climate and neighborhood character. City staff will be available to answer questions, and receive input from the public.

    Roland Genick, chief architect for Parsons Transportation Group, will provide a presentation in the Convention Center’s Potato Room at 5:00 p.m. The presentation will focus on initial design concepts and will be repeated at 6:00 p.m.

    Free parking will be available in the lot south of (behind) the Convention Center.

    For additional information regarding this meeting, contact Janet Wheeler at the TRIP office, (661) 326-3491 or jwheeler@bakersfieldfreeways.us.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A Bakersfield veteran is able to burn rubber again. Thanks to a local non-profit, Dallas Christison received a car to replace the one that was recently stolen.

    Dallas Christison spent nearly five years in the Army and a year in Iraq, before he came home on medical leave. After his car was stolen, he was in desperate need of a way to get to work so he can provide for his family.

    "On behalf of our grateful nation and American Warrior Customs we want to thank you for your service and we want to present you with your new car."

    It looks nice now, but when this Dodge Durango was donated to American Warrior Customs, it was in need of some TLC. "On the outside, the body work, it needed a lot of body work. It had a tree fall on it before it was donated to us so the windshield was busted out the hood had basically caved in," says Tracy Harrelson, president American Warrior Customs.
     
    But for Tracy Harrelson and his all volunteer crew, it was a job they embraced, with the goal of giving back. "These men and women are being asked to sacrifice their lives a lot of times, their service for their country, their families to provide our freedom and they return to this country and a lot of times there seems to be a lack of appreciation."

    And it was that lack of appreciation, Christison says he felt while he was serving, but not anymore. "We kind of accepted when we were there that all of the work and service over there is just going unnoticed, it's just kind of one of the things, selfless service. You accept it. But when you see people like these guys who do care and do give back it's heart warming, very amazing I guess.

    Because of these people who care, Christison has regained his independence.

    If you would like to help American Warrior Customs continue their good work, you can go to their website www.americanwarriorcustoms.com 

    All of the proceeds fund future projects.  

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A tragic death of a eighth grader in Delano leaves Cecil Avenue Math and Science Academy in mourning. Fourteen-year-old Jose Beltran died Monday after collapsing in his second period P.E. class.

    It happened around 9:30 a.m. during a routine run in the gym when witnesses said Beltran became unresponsive and collapsed. School officials said he was given CPR immediately and when the ambulance arrived he was taken to Delano Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 11:00 a.m.

    Delano Union School District Superintendent Anthony Monreal said Tuesday students were provided services to mourn and talk about how they feel and what they saw. "This morning we were prepared with psychologists on the campus for kids that need any kind of assistance and also for staff as this affects everyone in the community," said Monreal.

    Beltran was an honor student and his friend, Anthony Ruiz, said he was a respectful kid. "It makes me sad that my friends gone but he's in a better place now for sure," said Ruiz. Beltran's family said they do not want to talk because an investigation is underway.

    It has not been confirmed if had previous health conditions and Delano police say they're waiting on the coroner's report.

    The Delano Union School District has asked the community to pray for the Beltran family during this tough time.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The public was generally for the expansion of the Mesa Marin Sport Complex, but what they really want, is more commercial development in their budding community.

    The biggest complaint being, the lack of a supermarket.

    The plan is to eventually double the size of Mesa Marin Sports Complex.

    Phase two is set for construction this coming fall. A $2.5 million project, for two more lighted softball fields, a children's playground, a dog park, and more parking.

    Future plans call for a water spray park, a skate park, and soccer fields.

    Attendees at this meeting voted on their priorities, but some senior citizens who live out there have their own priorities, namely, more commercial businesses in the far northeast.

    Keith Clark, a resident of Four Seasons said, "the question is, how many rooftops does it take to get the business out here, and one of the realtors mentioned, it's kind of a catch 22."

    Realtors say some prospective home-buyers want to move out there, while others who already live there want the city to move to them.

    Ken Weir, Ward 3 Council Member said, "we are building out what you want to see out here, but can we make them come? No. We can make it ready for them when they come, and we can do everything that we can to try and draw them out here."

    Councilman Weir said they plan on making the area so attractive that businesses like Target or Vons can't refuse to build in the far northeast.



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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Laura Mitts grew up in a military family. "My father had his leg blown off in the Korean War, lived with it, he was only 19. He never let it stop him from doing anything."

    Seeing "American Sniper" hit close to home.  "I stood up to move over to let other people out and I had to sit back down I was that moved and really kind of moved as I walked out of the theater and it hit me, I just have to do something."

    Mitts shared her feelings on Facebook. "Wrote a post and next thing I knew people were responding." Hundreds of people pledging to donate their time, giving back to veterans.  "Any way we could help out, obviously we would," said Gordon Galindo. 

    Gordon and Suzanne Galindo responded to the post saying, "count us in!" "We all live the way we do because of our military and we should be thankful and honor them for that daily," added Suzanne Galindo.  

    Bakersfield National Cemetery Support Committee President Tom Pasek says the need for volunteers is seemingly endless.
    "There are veterans that need everything from companionship to just somebody to talk to. Them simply knowing that the community is behind them is extremely important, particularly for those with PTSD."

    Mitts says commitments of all sizes are welcome. "It's just in your heart decide, I'm going to do something, take a vet to lunch, just anything that makes them smile and gives back."

    As Mitts says right there, this campaign doesn't have any specific guidelines, just take it upon yourself to help local veterans.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A Bakersfield father charged with conspiring in the murder for hire of his son will not face the death penalty.

    George Dean faces first degree murder and child molestation in the August death of his son Jonathan Dean.  Jonathan Dean was shot and killed inside his car in the 7700 block of Silver Dollar Way near the family home.

    Police believe George Dean hired teenage hit men to gun down his adopted son because his son was having a sexual relationship with an underage handicapped girl.

    Authorities suspect George Dean molested one of the teenage hit men.




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