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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A man suspected of driving drunk and killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child in January 2014 is back in jail.

    The district attorney's office refiled second degree murder and DUI charges against Joseph Maine.

    In December, the charges were dropped after evidence showed he had a green light at the time of the crash. At that time, Deputy District Attorney Courtney Lewis said they planned to re examining the case. Since it was filed originally as a felony, it can be re-filed once.

    Maine was arrested Friday. His bail is $2.1 million dollars.

    He is expected in court Wednesday.

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    With just a few days left until McFarland U.S.A. opens in theaters, a new park is coming to life in the heart of the movie's namesake. Two-hundred and fifty people gathered in McFarland today to put together an entire playground in just six-hours. The City of McFarland, Disney and KaBoom! got together to build a state of the art facility for this small community.

    Alec Stackhouse works for KaBoom which is a non-profit that ensures kids get the active "play" they need to thrive. Stackhouse was the project manager for this site. "Today we are building that dream playground, that one of a kind playground, no where else in the world, for these amazing children" said Stackhouse. The playground layout is based off of drawings local kids in McFarland drew just last month. "They are working together for a common cause of bringing play to their community, they feel the needed to do that and they did" said Stackhouse.

    The Mayor of McFarland Manuel Cantu said it was thanks to those three organizations and the local businesses that this park is a reality. "This is phenomenal to see the collaboration of all these people in a small town like McFarland, its incredible and we are grateful to god for everyone here" said Cantu. Many locals were suprised that this many people came on a weekend to help out. Kathleen Rodriguez came with her entire family. "It's pretty amazing to have all these people out here because most of these people are mostly out working or going places on sunday especially" said Kathleen Rodriguez. Her father Isaias is very involved in the community and he said he is happy to spend time with his family and make this facility. "Its like a memory for your kids, I play here, I make this, and you play right now" said Isaias Rodriguez.

    Some of the Diaz family who the movie is based off of also volunteered today. David Diaz is one of the brothers and former McFarland High School Cross-Country runner he has a passion for exercise and promoting health in the community. "Were just here volunteering our time giving back to the place we love, McFarland" said Diaz.

    Fifty of todays volunteers were kids. Davianna Diaz is in elementary school and she said she can't wait to come out and play. "It will give a chance for all the kids to come together and make more friends and play" said Davianna.

    The park has three exercise stations, 23 playground features, 8-picnic tables, and 4 benches. The city said they plan to add a community garden and walking paths also.
    Rudy Salas is the Assemblyman for the 32nd District also came to help out and build. "You don't need a gym membership this is going to be a free community playground where you can exercise be healthy, were hoping parents bring their kids out and teach them that lifestyle" said Salas.

    Although the work will be finished today, Kaboom! coordinators said the park will not be play ready for about three more days as concrete hardens.

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    It's not too late to get involved in helping children with mental and physical special needs.

    Young athletes showed off their skills Sunday at the League of Dreams tryout day at Fruitvale-Norris park.

    League of Dreams is an adaptive sports league for special needs children.

    You can still register your child online or register yourself as a volunteer until February 27th.

    The season starts March 15.

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  • 02/16/15--11:45: Bicyclist hit Sunday night
  • Police are investigating a vehicle versus bicycle accident that occurred Sunday night in east Bakersfield.

    It happened around 8 p.m. near Monterey Street and Beale Avenue.

    The Bakersfield police department says they responded to calls of a bicyclist struck by a vehicle and found a man laying in the roadway suffering from minor injuries.

    The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

    Police say and the accident is currently under investigation.

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    The Bakersfield Police Department is seeking the community's assistance in locating possible witnesses who may have information regarding a Suspicious Death.

    On Wednesday, February 11, 2015, at 11:15 am, Bakersfield police officers responded to the Villa Inn Motel located at 80 Union Av. regarding an unconscious female in one of the rooms at the motel.

    Once officers arrived they found an adult female, later identified as 40-year-old Bakersfield resident Angela Ruth McCall deceased.

    The circumstances surrounding McCall's death are under investigation and detectives are seeking any information regarding McCall's activities leading up to her death.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Kenneth Sporer at (661) 326-3535 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The death of two babies over the weekend, an eight-month-old in Taft and a two-month-old in Shafter, once again brings to light the all too common issue of infant death in Kern County.

    Sudden Unexplained Infant Death accounts for the majority of deaths of local children under one year old.

    The coroner's office reported at least nine babies died last year of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death, or SUID. There are ten other baby death investigations where the cause of death is still unknown.

    We're ramping up our effort to help reduce the number of infant deaths.

    County Public Health Perinatal Investigator Rose Cochran said, "We're doing what we can but we need to do more."

    Cochran deals with child deaths in Kern County.

    She says increasing local awareness of safe sleeping will reduce the number of babies who die each year.

    "Help me, help you keep your baby safe. It's a simple gesture to do. It doesn't hurt anybody. It doesn't cost anything. I just want them to be able to see their children live to be a year old," said Cochran.

    SUID caused of 48% of infant deaths in Kern County in 2013, according to the Child Death Review Team.

    Cochran said, "The SUIDs, those are really kind of accidental deaths and preventable deaths. Those are things that we are looking at predominantly here in Kern County."

    Cochran says these deaths involve outside factors that can be eliminated.

    "We're asking them to put them in a crib, a pack and play, a cradle a bassinet and to keep the blankets out. Bumper pads, they're pretty, but they're not needed. No pillows. Nothing that can wrap around the baby's neck or cover their face because they're nose breather so you want to keep that clear for the baby and you want them face up," said Cochran.

    One coroner report from a 2014 SUID, shows a mother found her one month old baby face down in her bed, not breathing, after she fell asleep with him the night before. In another case of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death, the mother and grandmother gave a four-month-old baby boy cold medicine, not recommended for children under the age of six.

    The most recently released cause of infant death from the coroner's office came out Sunday -- a five-month-old baby boy from Lamont, ruled Sudden Unexplained Infant Death, the manner undetermined.

    The cause of both deaths over the weekend are under investigation.

    If you'd like to help make sure local babies have a safe sleeping environment, here's a list of items experts say are safe for babies and can help prevent more deaths. You can bring items to the Kern County Network for Children 1212 18th St., Bakersfield, CA 93301.

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    A freight train carrying crude oil derailed Monday in southern West Virginia, causing an explosion that set at least one house on fire, according to authorities.

    Several of the train cars spilled into the Kanawha River, east of Montgomery, and caught fire, prompting an evacuation order for a mile-and-a-half around the area where the train skipped the tracks at about 1:30 p.m. ET, according to NBC affiliate WSAZ. Only one train car, of 109, actually fell into the river.

    No injuries have been reported, according to the Fayette County Sheriff's Department. The Fayette County Fire Department responded to the scene, the sheriff's department said.

    West Virginia American Water, the company that maintains the local water supply said their Montgomery plant, closest to the accident, was shut down at about 2:30 p.m. Some 2000 customers are affected and are being asked to conserve water.

    West Virginia American Water "is working with emergency responders and the Bureau for Public Health on continued response efforts," the company said in a statement.

    The accident is a reminder of the potential dangers in Kern County.

    Mile-long crude oil trains now rumble through the heart of Bakersfield, clacking their way to an oil processing facility south of town.

    The State Office of Emergency Services, the state agency that prepares for disasters, says the danger by rail in Kern is real; crude oil explosions and derailments, like the one today in West Virgina, have happened before.

    Union Pacific says it runs two unit trains -- carrying nothing but crude oil --through Kern County every week. They pass neighborhoods of homes, cross busy streets, travel beneath heavily-trafficked freeways, and through downtown Bakersfield. They run past landmarks, restaurants, Rabobank Arena and the County Administrative Building, often throughout the night, and sometimes right alongside Amtrak passenger trains.

    Union Pacific Spokesman Aaron Hunt told 17 News in January it is testing a new app for firefighters. Hunt says the app will allow emergency services personnel to type in the number of the tank car they are seeing during an incident, and the app will immediately give them information on what it contains.

    A desktop program for emergency planners is scheduled to go live in a few months, providing a snapshot of the hazardous materials moving on Union Pacific track throughout California, Hunt said.

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    Bakersfield Police are asking for help in identifying and finding a man they say committed identity theft.

    On December 28, 2014, the suspect made purchases at the Kohls’ store located at 5385 Gosford Rd. using the victim’s identity.

    The suspect is described as a: white or hispanic male in his 20’s with black hair.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Patrick
    Hayes at (661) 326-3537 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A month after "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" wrapped up filming in Bakersfield, an episode featuring a local restaurant will air next month.

    Crews from the popular Food Network show filmed at several eateries including Moo Creamery and Salty's last month.

    A representative from the show says an episode featuring at least one Bakersfield restaurant will air March 6.

    The owners of Mama Roomba confirm their restaurant will be in that episode titled "From Atlantic to Pacific."

    It's unknown if any other local restaurants will be featured.

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    Police are hoping someone will recognize a man they say walked out of a local store with an expensive guitar.

    On January 20, 2015, at 6:48 pm, the suspect entered the Guitar Center located at 3428 Ming Av. and removed a gold Collings Soco Deluxe electric guitar from behind the counter.

    A quick online search shows the guitar sells for between $4,000 and $6,000. 

    The suspect fled the business and possibly entered a white Lexus SUV.

    The suspect is described as a: hispanic male, 20-30, 5’10”, thin build, short black goatee,
    wearing a black hooded sweater, blue jeans and tan shoes.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Nicole
    Shihrer at (661) 326-3871 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Chevron says it wants to use drones in Kern County.

    NBC News reports 200 companies are asking the FAA for exemptions to begin flying their drones now, without waiting more than a year for the new proposed drones rules to be finalized.

    Chevron says it has filed an application with the FAA to request authority to conduct commercial flight activities over their field assets in the San Joaquin Valley in California.

    Chevron representatives believe the use of unmanned aircraft systems will extend their capabilities to further reduce risk while increasing operational safety and efficiency along with lowering production costs.

    Among other benefits Chevron says aerial mapping of private field road infrastructure would be geo-referenced and used to provide more accurate information for journey planning as part of field operations.

    They also cite the ability to conduct aerial inspections of pipelines, storage tanks and other facilities more frequently and with less risk – reducing the need to have a person conduct visual inspection in confined spaces or high places.

    The proposed FAA rules allow flight:

    -only during daylight
    -under 500 feet ... and five miles away from airports
    -operators can only fly within their line of sight
    - and they have to be certified by the FAA.

    But hundreds of companies are asking for permission to get up and running now.

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    TOKYO (AP) -- Japan has issued a tsunami advisory after a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck off its northeastern coast.

    The quake struck shortly after 8 a.m. Japan time Tuesday at a depth of about 10 kilometers (6 miles).

    The Japan Meteorological Agency issued an advisory for a possible 1-meter (3-foot) tsunami. Japanese broadcaster NHK warned people to stay away from the shore.

    The earthquake struck in the same region hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A Bakersfield man is in custody after a short chase in east Bakersfield Tuesday morning.

    The California Highway Patrol says an officer tried to pull the man over for expired tags.

    They say initially he pulled over before taking off.

    A short chase on surface streets followed but the man lost control and hit a wall before spinning out at Dorothy and Pioneer.

    The suspect attempted to run from the car but was caught in the backyard of a nearby home.

    CHP says there were no injuries.

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    People who live in the county can now get their pet spayed or neutered for just $20.

    Kern County Animal Services will issue vouchers to lower-income unincorporated Kern County residents at the following shelter locations during regular business hours:

    Bakersfield - 3951 Fruitvale Ave
    Lake Isabella - 14891 Hwy 178
    Mojave - 923 Poole Street (Mojave Airport)

    Residents must complete an application and submit it to the Department for review; upon review, the qualifying applicant will be asked to submit a $20 co-payment for the voucher.

    The voucher covers the remaining cost of the spay or neuter surgery for their dog or cat. Pet owners will receive a list of participating veterinarians for the program. There is a maximum of 4 vouchers for the life of the program.

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    A man was killed on south bound Interstate 5 near Old River Road.

    CHP officials say the driver of a minivan drifted into the center divider and over corrected causing the van to roll.

    The man was ejected and died at the scene.

    The Sergeant on scene says it does not appear the man was wearing a seatbelt.

    The victim is believed to be from the Los Angeles area.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- CSUB has received a grant from the Federal Department of Education that will help attract and train new STEM teachers.

    STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) are considered to be the job fields of the future.

    CSUB got one of just 24 grants handed out across the country.

    The $7.3 million grant will be used to develop a program that will place STEM teachers in rural schools.

    The program is called Growing Rural Opportunities (GRO STEM) and will aim to close the achievement gap of students in high-need rural schools.

    CSU Bakersfield will be working with three Central Valley California school districts: Buttonwillow Union School District, Lamont Elementary School District and Semitropic Elementary School District. The plan includes establishing a 15-month credential/masterís residency program and specialized professional development tailored toward the needs of rural teachers.

    Over the five-year grant period, 120 elementary teachers will complete their teaching credentials and masterís degrees. Funding from the grant will provide scholarships and a living stipend. Residents will be trained on site at the rural districts.
    The first group of residents started earlier this month at the Lamont Elementary School District. To celebrate this grant award a kick-off event is scheduled for February 18, 2015.

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    The Kern County Farm Bureau has joined the chorus of voices asking the state to increase pumping from the Delta to the San Joaquin Valley.

    The Farm Bureau represents 1,400 farmers who rely on water to make their living on Central Valley farms.

    KCFB says it is supporting the original petition filed by U.S. Bureau Reclamation which is supported by fish and wildlife experts.

    They say Kern County has quickly become dependent on ground water pumping because of the lack of surface water being delivered.

    They say the extra water that would be supplied by the pumping is vital to Kern County's economy.

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    Two people are dead after a crash Tuesday morning in Buttonwillow.

    The California Highway Patrol says a pickup was going north on Palomas in Buttonwillow when it ran the stop sign at highway 58.

    A large freight truck with a crane on top hit the pickup broadside.

    Two people in the pickup were ejected and landed in the front yard of a home and were pronounced dead at the scene.

    The victims are a 24 year old woman and a man whose age is not yet known.

    CHP says both victims are from Buttonwillow.

    The driver of the freight tuck is 19 years old.

    There was a car seat in the back seat of the pickup but it is not known if anyone was in it.

    The CHP says they aren't sure if drugs or alcohol are involved.

    Investigators say the crane truck was going 55 mph and the pickup was going about 50 mph.

    Highway 58 will be closed until about 11 a.m. Tuesday as CHP investigates.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA-  All month-long 17News is dedicated to highlighting women's heart health.

    This week we focus on the important role a heart healthy diet can play in preventing disease.

    Below you'll find a list of recipes for meals you and your family can enjoy from sunrise to sundown.

    To maintain a healthy heart, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests avoiding these limiting these foods in order to have a healthier diet:

    When grocery shopping, the American Heart Association says you should have these items on your list:

    If you have trouble finding heart healthy options when eating food on the go, this website has a list of healthy menu options at local restaurants:

    More diet and lifestyle tips are available here from the American Heart Association:

    1. Spinach & Mushroom Omelette
    Baby spinach
    Egg whites (2 eggs)

    Preheat grill to 325 degrees F
    Coat skillet with vegetable oil spray
    Brown mushrooms in skillet
    Place spinach in skillet and cook for a minute or until wilted
    In separate skillet, coat with vegetable oil and pour egg whites
    Once eggs are cooked, place spinach and mushrooms inside the eggs and fold

    2. Roast Beef Sandwich on Multigrain Bun
    Multigrain bun
    Beef top round, split
    Lettuce-leaf green

    Layer roast beef on bottom piece of bun
    Place tomato and lettuce on top of roast beef
    Close with top piece of bun

    3. Chicken Caesar Salad
    Chicken breast (baked with garlic and olive oil)
    Mixed greens
    Lite caesar salad dressing

    Place mixed greens in bowl
    Slice chicken breast and place on top of greens
    Drizzle dressing on top of greens and chicken breast

    4. Citrus Salmon, Couscous & Green Beans
    Salmon fillet
    1 3/4 teaspoon of Orange Juice
    7/8 teaspoon of Lemon Juice
    1/8 ounce of garlic
    Ground black pepper

    Combine orange juice, lemon juice and garlic for marinade
    Add salmon to marinade and let sit for 15 to 30 min
    Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper
    Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes


    Canola oil
    Fresh garlic
    Black Pepper
    Red pepper
    Lemon zest

    Clip beans and blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then shock in ice water
    Heat sauce pan and add garlic and oil
    Add beans, salt and black and red pepper
    Saute for 3-5 minutes
    Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest

    Couscous prepackaged box
    Green onions
    Red & green peppers
    Lemon juice
    Vegetable stock

    Prepare couscous according to box instructions
    Combine vegetables with couscous
    Pour 2 1/2 cups hot stock over mixture. Stir to combine
    Add oil, lemon juice, oregano, basil and parsley

    5. Angel Food Cake with Strawberries
    Angel food cake
    0 trans fat whipped cream

    Cut slice of preprepared angel food cake
    Slice strawberries & place on side of cake
    Add dollop of whipped cream

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    BAKERSFILED, CA- All of the free tickets for next week's KGET premiere of the McFarland USA movie have been given out.

    McFarland, USA tells the story of a cross country team that beat the odds, including working in the fields every day, to become the first CIF state cross country champions.

    KGET is teaming up with Maya Cinemas for the premiere on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.

    Tickets were given out the law office of William Todd Berry or at Fallgatter Rhodes Insurance Services.

    At that premiere on Feb. 24, KGET will donate a $1,000 scholarship to the McFarland High School Athletic Department.

    Maya Cinemas is also donating 25 percent of concessions that night to the school as well.

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