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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA – A forum to help small business owners get government contracts and comply with regulations is set for Friday morning at Hodel's Restaurant in Bakersfield.  

    Organizers say the speaker panels will include Assembly woman Shannon Grove, the Department of Industrial Relations Director Christine Baker, CAL/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum, and labor and employment expert Sean McNally. They'll talk about complying with current and new labor laws.

    Representatives from the Department of General Services, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, NASA/Armstrong Flight Research Center, Caltrans, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, the County of Kern, and the City of Bakersfield will discuss contracting opportunities offered by their corresponding organizations.

    Here is a breakdown of events:  

    Time: 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast/Exhibitor booths with government and business

    8:15 a.m. – Panels of government contracting agencies

    10:30 a.m. – State accreditation workshop for those interested

    For more information, and RSVP, call 661-395-2995.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The American Hockey League is expected to make a major announcement Thursday in San Jose, that will likely impact the Bakersfield Condors.

    Officials say the Condors will likely change affiliation from the East Coast Hockey League to the American Hockey league.  

    It would make a league out of all California minor league hockey teams including the Condors. The Condors are owned by the Edmonton Oilers and their Vice Chair Kevin Lowe is expected at the Thursday news conference.  

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Chairman of the Kern County Board of Supervisors David Couch delivered the annual state of the county address Wednesday night in Bakersfield.  

    If you would like to see a copy of the address click on the attachment for this story.  

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    LAMONT, CA - Representatives from community organizations will gather in Lamont this morning to celebrate the installation of new water fountains.

    Five water stations, also known as taps, have already been installed at parks in Lamont.
    A total of 60 will be placed at parks, senior centers, and schools in Lamont and Arvin by September.
    Each costs $1000, thanks to a grant from the California Endowment.
    The stations are only being installed in two pilot locations. That's south Kern and the eastern Coachella Valley.
    The goal of the Agua for All Campaign project is to increase access to to safe drinking water and encourage kids to fill up empty bottles with water instead of more soda.

    bob lerude - director, kc parks and recreation dept.

    "It allows the children or the adults to come in and fill up their water bottles, which is pretty difficult to do with a normal water fountain. These also have a filter that filters out a lot of the impurities in the water," said Bob Lerude, Director of Kern County Parks and Recreation Departmnet.

    The installation celebration will be held at Lamont Park at 10 a.m. on Jan. 29.
    Kern County supervisor Leticia Perez and Arvin City Council member Jose Gurrola, Jr. are expected to speak during the event.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - An ambitious commercial development project at California State University, Bakersfield has been given the greenlight.

    CSUB trustees voted on Jan. 28 to start construction on the first phase of "University Office Park" a $10 million, 60,000 square foot office facility with two additional office buildings coming with phase two.
    The businesses that move in will have to have some relations and activity with the univeristy, perhaps through internships.
    The project will be financed entirely by the developer, Greg Bynum and Associates,  which will also manage and lease the property. 
    No state or trustee funding will be used.

    According to CSUB officials, revenue from leasing the property will eventually bring some $300,000 in revenue annually to the school to help fund student scholarships and create new educational programs focusing on agriculture and industry.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Families whose financial situations have been affected by the drought, causing underemployment or unemployment, can take advantage of a food assistance event hosted by Kern County Department of Human Services.

    Individuals that qualify can receive pre-packaged food boxes distributed by CAPK. 

    The event will take place on Thursday, Jan. 29, from 5 - 7 p.m. in the front parking area of the Department of Human Services Building, located at 100 E. California Ave.

    Organizers said there will be 1,200 boxes available for distribution.

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    DELANO, CA - Kern County Public Health officials have confirmed that a person diagnosed with measles visited a McDonald's in Delano and that persons who visited the restaurant then may have been exposed.

    The traveler visited the McDonald's, located at 618 Woollomes Ave, on Sunday, Jan. 25, at approximately 11 a.m. Health officials are advising anyone who visited between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. could be exposed.

    Health officials say measles is highly contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

    Symptoms can take up to 21 days to manifest, so officials are advising patrons who visited the McDonald's should watch for syptoms until Feb. 15.

    Health officials also advise that all persons who have not have the measles disease get vaccinated to prevent the spread of disease.

    If you do suspect you have been infected with measles, do not enter a medical care facility without first notifying the facility.

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     BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield Safe Streets Partnership program will be hosting a Peace Walk on Jan. 29, in the neighborhoods east of Chester Avenue and south of California Avenue.

    The walk will begin at 4 p.m. and go until 6 p.m., starting at the corner 8th and L Street.

    According to event organizers, this are experiences one of the highest rates of gun violence in Bakersfield.

    Their goal is to encourage residents and businesses to work together with law enforcement to help prevent violence in the community.

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  • 01/29/15--14:56: Super Bowl preps continue
  • (NBC News) The party has started in Arizona, but there is still a lot of work left to be done before Super Bowl Sunday.

    The grass field is ready to go and the work is speeding up now, with an army of men and women working around the clock to make sure things are ready for game day.

    "Right now on site we're probably looking at over 5,000 between the parking lots and everything that we've got going on. Police, security, TVv. I mean, TVv has got its own compound up there, which is great, they have their own little city," says University of Phoenix Stadium marketing director Scott Norton. 

    A city of wires, buttons, monitors and more than 40 cameras that will be used to broadcast the game to more than 100 million people.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - County supervisors are re-lighting the issue of cracking down on illegal fireworks.

    Last November, supervisors heard recommendations from County Fire Chief Brian Marshall and the city/county fireworks task force calling for tougher penaltys for illegal fireworks.
    The county has proposed revisions and additions including establishing penalties for multiple time offenders, and re-establish a penalty for juveniles.
    A "social host" ordinance, which would make a homeowner responsible for the use of illegal fireworks on their property, regardless of who's lighting the fuse.
    Also, the county wants to follow the city's ordinance by banning Piccolo Pete and ground flower type fireworks.
    At the Feb. 2 hearing, supervisors will discuss the revisions and a public hearing on the issue set for next month.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - If you're in the market for a new job, applications are being accepted for the new Johnny Garlic's restaurant in the Marketplace. 

    Applications are being accepted and prospective employees are being interviewed between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. through at least Feb. 6.  

    The only day they are not accepting applications is Super Bowl Sunday.  

    You can apply in person at their Marketplace location on Ming Avenue next to Jos. A. Bank

    The restaurant expected to open at the end of February.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - There is now new information regarding a local pot shop that was suing the county and the sheriff's department for raiding the business six years ago.

    Court documents reveal the owner of California Compassionate Cooperative has reached an out-of-court settlement of $82,000 with Kern and the Kern County Sheriff's Office.
    Deborah Dahl sued them after the June 2009 raid.
    Dahl's attorney called the law enforcement operation an attack on civil liberties.
    In 2011, a judge dismissed a criminal case against Dahl after ruling detectives were not truthful in their investigation.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The 28-year-old man deputies say took off with a 13-year-old girl last week is telling his side of the story from behind bars. Aaron Weirich spoke with 17 News about the statewide manhunt and the long list of sex offenses he is accused of committing.

    Weirich is booked on more than two dozen felony rape and molestation charges.

    He says the whole thing was never planned, it just happened. Weirich says he was bringing the teen back to her house when she got the idea to run away.

    He said, "When we were coming back her mom was waiting for us and smashed the windows out of the van and chased us she told she said let's just go."

    Weirich says he helped raise the 13 year old he is now accused of sexually assaulting.

    Weirich says he recently argued with the teen's mom and claims she was keeping him from the girl as revenge.

    After leaving Bakersfield, the pair was spotted in San Bernardino County before traveling to Northern California as police statewide looked for them.

    Weirich said, "If she ever wanted to come back I would have brought her back right away it wasn't a situation where she was forced to go anywhere."

    He says he didn't know there was a manhunt until they stopped at a store in Monterey.

    Weirich said, "I went to use the restroom and I was in the stall and I could hear people talking about it and she was out waiting for me outside she was waiting for me outside and then when we came out one guy actually pointed at me and said I think that's the guy and girl."

    Weirich says they were finally caught when they stopped for gas just outside Monterey.

    He said, "I had to get money out of my bank account and I knew as soon as I run my card they are going to know where we are at."

    Weirich says he loves the girl, but wouldn't discuss the accusations of sexual abuse.

    "Until I go to court and all that stuff I am not even gonna talk about that but I am going to tell you no," said Weirich.

    "I care about her more than any person in the world and I would go into a situation like this knowing the consequences just to keep a promise to her," he said.

    Weirich says he acted without thinking when they left and wishes he would have done it differently.

    "I think my biggest regret from all this is I am one of the most important people in her life to her and I am cut out of her life forever," he said.

    Weirich is scheduled to appear in court Friday for his arraignment. He is being held on $1.5 million bail.

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    DELANO, CA - There's a local connection to the measles outbreak sweeping across California.

    County health officials say a person infected with the highly contagious disease traveled through Kern County last Sunday and stopped at the McDonald's on Woollomes Avenue in Delano.

    Health officials say if you were at the restaurant between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Sunday, you may have been exposed to measles.

    At the McDonald's on Woollomes Avenue, many customers Thursday afternoon weren't too concerned about a traveler infected with measles visiting the restaurant.

    But Deon Martin, a frequent customer, says it's troublesome.

    "We're kind of at the center hub of Fresno, Tulare, Wasco and the coast at the same time. So again, it's kind of scary if they haven't wrapped it all up," said Martin.

    The manager at McDonald's, who would not go on camera nor give 17 News his name, said the restaurant is safe and has been thoroughly sanitized following the infected person's visit.

    But Martin says a notice to customers would have been nice.

    "In fact, this is the first I've heard of it, the employees haven't mentioned anything to either alert me or any of my family members that stop here."

    Measles is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

    Health officials are recommending Kern County residents who have never contracted measles, to get two doses of a vaccine such as MMR, or MMRV.

    The health department says 61% of cases in this California outbreak linked to Disneyland are 20-years of age or older, who may have received only one dose of vaccine while school aged -- and are encouraged to check their vaccination status and consider getting a second vaccination.

    "Unfortunately, throughout California, there are potentially persons who have infectious measles that can pass it on to others that don't have immunity to it," said Claudia Jonah, Kern County Public Health Department.

    Health officials say measles can take up to 21 days to show symptoms.

    Residents who may have been exposed at the Delano McDonald's, should watch for symptoms until February 15, which include a rash, fever, runny nose and red eyes.

    "One of the reasons there was such a push to develop a vaccine against measles is because the severity of illness, there were deaths as a result of it, some people even have permanent disability such as blindness, deafness following measles, so it's something you don't want to have," continued Jonah.

    Meanwhile, the measles outbreak has grown to eight states and Mexico.

    Health officials say 84 people were diagnosed between January 1 and January 28.

    The manager at McDonald's says every employee has had their measles vaccine.

    Health officials say if you start to get symptoms, call your doctor first before going to their office.

    The health department says there aren't any measles cases in Kern County.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A child is recovering after being struck by a GET bus in east Bakersfield on Jan. 29.
    The accident happened just before 9 a.m. on Virginia and Mclean Avenues.
    According to the California Highway Patrol, the 10-year-old was walking along the street but started running and cut in front of the bus.
    Investigators said the boy was crossing at the intersection and his unexpected move caught he driver off guard who couldn't stop in time.
    The child was taken to the hospital with a leg injury.
    Officers say the bus driver will likely not be charged.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield native and NFL quarterback Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders will be in town on Super Bowl Sunday and stopping by a local church for a special speaking event.
    Carr is scheduled to be the guest speaker at Liberty Christian Center in south Bakersfield.
    The local athlete will be sharing his testimony during both the 9 a.m. and 10:45 services.
    Organizers say he will be available for a meet-and-greet in between those times.
    For more information, call the church at 397-4111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - There's still a chance to get your tickets to go see the new "McFarland, USA" movie.

    You can buy your tickets at McFarland High School for $15 each.

    The film will premiere at Maya Cinemas in downtown Bakersfield on Feb. 20. 

    A question-and-answer forum will follow the film, which includes some of the actors and individuals that inspired the film.

    KGET night is set for Feb. 24.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Reports of a man with a handgun Friday morning in the northeast area of Bakersfield College turned out to be unfounded.  Officials say just before 8:00 a.m. Friday, Bakersfield Police received a report of a man with a gun in the northeast areas of Bakersfield College's Panorama Campus.

    Police dispatched units and worked with the Bakersfield College Department of Public Safety to search the areas of campus in the vicinity of the FACE, ART and SS buildings. Because of the nature of the report, the Bakersfield Police Department advised the school to not take action until the interview with the caller was completed.

    BPD interviewed the witness, who couldn't verify the presence of a handgun, and Bakersfield Police Department called off the search. BPD determined the situation was a domestic dispute and there was no credibility to the report.

    At no point was Bakersfield College locked down during the search. School officials say students and staff should continue their normal campus activity.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Chick-fil-A restaurants are offering customers free coffee during the entire month of February.

    The nationwide promotion is offering customers a free hot or iced coffee at any Chick-fil-A location, all day, every day.

    The offer includes a 12 ounce hot or 16 ounce iced size coffee and is available while supplies last during regular business hours.

    The offer is limited to one cup of coffee per customer, per visit.

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    LOST HILLS, CA - Interstate 5 through Lost Hills is back open now, following a after a SWAT standoff ended just before 5 a.m.

    Deputies say the driver, 36-year-old Frank Reynoso of Lemoore, fled after firing shots at a good samaritan who stopped to to help after he crashed his vehicle on I-5 near HWY 46.
    The Interstate was closed for several hours as authorities searched for the gunman.

    Deputies say Reynoso took his own life while holed up in a ditch in a field.
    According to KCSO, Reynoso had fired upon officers at one point as well.
    The ordeal started just before midnight when an assistant deputy fire chief from Shasta County noticed the man driving erratically on southbound I-5. 

    Authorities now say he was driving a stolen vehicle out of Lemoore.
    He then fled into the field where he apparently shot and killed himself after a several-hours long standoff with SWAT.

    The situation is under investigation.

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