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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- San Joaquin Community Hospital has announced its free immunizations clinics for March.
    They will be offering FREE Childhood Immunizations for children against vaccine preventable diseases at the following sites for the month of March 2015:

    · Walgreens – Monday, March 2nd
    4306 Ming Avenue (parking lot), Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    · The Park at Riverwalk – Tuesday, March 3rd
    11298 Stockdale Hwy. (Area 1 parking lot), Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    · Walgreens – Wednesday, March 4th
    40 Chester Avenue (parking lot), Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    · Walgreens- Thursday, March 5th
    3301 Panama Ln (parking lot), Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    · Benton Park Center/Dollar Tree – Monday, March 9th
    2705 So. H Street (parking Lot), Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    · Walgreens Pharmacy – Tuesday, March 10th
    3815 Niles Street (parking lot), Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    · Kern County Dept. of Human Services – Wednesday, March 11th
    100 E. California Ave (parking lot), Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    East Hills Mall – Thursday, March 12th
    3000 Mall View Road (West - parking lot), Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    · Wal-Mart Supercenter – Monday, March 16th
    5075 Gosford Rd. (parking lot) Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    · Greenfield Family Resource Center – Tuesday, March 17th
    5400 Monitor Street (parking lot), Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    · San Joaquin Community Hospital (across the Human Resources Parking Lot, in
    between 28th St. & 29th St.) – Wednesday, March 18th
    2800 Chester Ave. (parking lot), Bakersfield
    from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm

    · KCSOS Child Development Center – Monday, March 23rd
    1100 Ming Avenue (parking lot), Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    · Save-Mart – Tuesday, March 24th
    2425 California 46, (parking lot), Wasco
    from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm

    · Friendship House – Wednesday, March 25th
    2424 Cottonwood Rd (parking lot), Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    · Fiesta Market – Thursday, March 26th
    9710 Main Street, (parking lot), Lamont
    from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm

    · North of the River Sears Park – Monday, March 30th
    444 Norris Road (parking lot), Bakersfield
    from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

    Please note that according to Vaccine for Children (VFC) guidelines, vaccines are FREE of charge to children under the age of 18 who meet one of the following criteria:
    •No health insurance
    •Eligible for Medi-Cal (must present medi-cal card at each visit)
    •American Indian or Native Alaskan
    The mobile unit continues to take its services right to the families who need them the most. No appointment necessary, but immunization cards are required. We may stop registration 30 minutes before closing time. We also offer the Hemoglobin test FREE of charge to children, expecting and post-partum mothers, but require a WIC, school or doctor referral; regardless of health insurance criteria. Please be aware, children under 5 years of age and their siblings will be given priority due to First 5 Kern funding. Mobile Immunization clinics will close for lunch between 11:30 am – 12:00 pm, except the third Wednesday of the month which will close from 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm. For more information, call (661) 869-6740.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The 4th annual Cheers for Chihuahuas event is underway.

    Organizers hope it will spur adoption rates for the cute critters.

    It's happening Monday through the end of the month at the Bakersfield, Lake Isabella and Mojave shelters.

    Adoption fees will be lowered to $25. Adoption fees are normally $85 for dogs four months and older and $75 under 4 months old.

    For more information, call Animal Services at 868-7100 or show up at one of those three shelters throughout the month.

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    There is a bit of good news for farmers suffering from the drought.

    The State Water Project has announced that they will increase their water allocation from 15 to 20 percent this year.

    The small increase is thanks to recent storms in northern California.

    For Kern County that means an increase from 150,000 acre feet of water to 200,000 acre feet of water.

    "During a fourth year of drought, any increase in water supplies is welcome. We appreciate the efforts of the California Department of Water Resources to act quickly to increase the SWP allocation," said Kern County Water Agency (Agency) Board of Directors President Ted Page.

    The SWP provides water to more than 25 million residents and more than 750,000 acres of agricultural land throughout California.

    While the snow pack measurements indicate the drought has receded a little this year, federal rules intended to protect Delta smelt and salmon continue to limit the capacity for both the SWP and the Central Valley Project. Therefore, water will continue to be pumped out of groundwater banking projects to try to meet local farming needs.

    "Kern County's groundwater reserves have been severely diminished due to dry conditions and regulatory restrictions imposed on water flowing through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to areas throughout California. While not enough for all the needs of Kern County growers, a 20 percent allocation could mean less likelihood of running out of water this year. We are hopeful the allocations will continue to improve during the remainder of this water year," said Page.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- PG&E is relocating gas pipelines along Highway 178 near Comanche Drive.

    The lines are being moved in advance of the widening project on the 178.

    Work will continue until August.

    Most of the work will happen on the shoulder but some lane restrictions will be needed at times as work crosses intersections.

    During construction, the public can expect to see PG&E trucks, and other heavy equipment in the surrounding area.

    Customers in the area are being notified of the ongoing project through letters and automated phone calls.





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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- New documents obtained by 17News reveal new details about what might have led to the death of a Bakersfield man.

    The body of 22-year-old Miguel Aldaco was found in the middle of Buena Vista road south of Stockdale Highway in February.

    Detectives suspect Aldaco and 25-year-old Joselito Meza were fighting shortly after leaving a bar and that both got out of Meza's car.

    At some point during the fight, police believe Meza got back in his car and hit and killed Aldaco.

    Meza called officers, saying he may have been in a fight and was carjacked.

    When officers started talking with Meza, they say they noticed he was missing a shoe.

    In a recently-released search warrant, detectives say a matching shoe and blood were found on Buena Vista Road around 100 yards away from where Aldaco's body was found.

    Detectives suspect that is where the two fought before Meza struck Aldaco with the car and fled.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - An accused molester whose case was dismissed because of prosecutor misconduct now faces a second case based on allegations by another victim.  Efrain Velasco-Palacios, 20, of Oaxaca, Mexico is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old from Taft. 

    In July 2013, Efrain Velasco-Palacios allegedly molested a minor and he faced five felony counts. During the trial prosecutor Robert Murray tampered with a transcript, making it appear Palacios admitted to the crime. After Murray admitted to altering the transcript in December 2013, a judge dismissed charges against Palacios and Murray was placed under investigation.

    In December of 2014, Palacios was arrested on molestation charges with the 14-year-old victim. The victim reported having sex with Palacios on three separate occasions beginning at age 13. Court documents reveal the the victim is approximately 8 months pregnant with Palacios's child.

    Palacios is in jail awaiting trail and because he is undocumented he has an immigration hold. Palacios is scheduled to for a readiness hearing March 27.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The old Three-Way Chevrolet dealership on California will be the site of a new commercial development.


    The new tenants including The Corner Bakery restaurant and The Habit.


    Developers say construction is underway now and the first shops should open by late summer.


    The retail center will on California and Easton just west of Highway 99.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- There are new revelations about security at Taft Union High School in the months before the shooting.

    The information comes from a lawsuit filed by the Bowe Cleveland's family against the school district.

    The attorney for the Cleveland family says the school knew he campus wasn't secure enough after a transient with a knife came on campus a year before the shooting.

    The attorney says even after that incident the campus didn't make enough changes.

    "Less than a year before the shooting, there was knowledge on behalf of the school district, that with the unlocked and and open fence a homeless person with a knife walked onto the campus with a knife. and that's what we are stating; you had prior knowledge and yet you chose to leave the gates open and unlocked," said Cleveland family attorney Chantal Trujillo

    Leonard Herr, the school district's attorney issued the following statement saying: "We appreciate Judge Lampe's thoughtful consideration of the issues presented in these motions. We know that on January 10, 2013, it wasn't the school facility or safety measures that resulted in this shooting-it was the actions of one individual."

    The judge took both sides' arguments under consideration and will make a decision at a later date.

    Trial is scheduled to start August 3, 2015.

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    DELANO, CA- Delano police say a man tried to kill his wife and mother-in-law.

    Cops say it happened about 1 Tuesday morning on Asti Street in Delano.

    Police were called to a domestic disturbance and found Juan Diaz, 63, in the middle of assaulting the two women with a knife.

    Police arrested Diaz and the victims, his 61-year-old wife and his 78-year-old mother-in-law were taken to the hospital and their condition is unknown. Police say both suffered life-threatening injuries.

    Diaz was arrested for attempted murder.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA-

    UPDATED 4:39 p.m.

    The SWAT situation is over. Deputies arrested Ismael Esparza for Assault with a deadly weapon and parole violations.

    _______________________________________________________________

    UPDATED 3:41 p.m.:

    Kern County deputies say the SWAT situation near Mettler started as a disturbance at a bar in Mettler about 10 a.m. Tuesday.

    Deputies say a man and a woman who were fighting left the bar before deputies arrived. 

    They were able to track the couple's car to a home near Valpredo Ave. and Interstate 5.

    Deputies found blood inside the car so they attempted to make contact with the people inside the house.

    There was no response so deputies set up a perimeter and called for the SWAT team.

    The SWAT team for Bakersfield police has also gone to the scene to assist.

    ________________________________________________________________

    Kern County Sheriff's deputies are on scene of a SWAT situation near Mettler.


    Few details are know right now. The call came in about 12:45 Tuesday afternoon.  


    The situation is happening on Valpredo Ave. near Interstate 5.


    Stay with 17News for the latest on the developing story.

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  • 03/03/15--14:23: HSR project starts in Fresno
  • FRESNO, CA- The first stages of construction for California High Speed Rail are underway in Fresno.

    A contractor began work to relocate storm drains in downtown Fresno on Tuesday.

    Streets in the area of Mono and Broadway were shutdown to make way for the work.

    Eventually, High Speed Rail is expected to run from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The section from Bakersfield to Fresno is expected to cost $6 Billion and is scheduled to be done by 2022.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Keep Your Home California wants to help people who have lost their jobs stay in their homes.

    The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (“UMA”) is one of CalHFA MAC’s federally-funded programs developed to provide temporary financial assistance to eligible California homeowners who wish to remain in their homes, but have suffered a loss of income due to unemployment or underemployment. CalHFA MAC is partnering with financial institutions to directly provide program funds to subsidize an eligible homeowner’s mortgage payments.

    UMA provides mortgage payment assistance equal to the lesser of $3,000 per month or 100% of the PITI (principal, interest, tax, insurance, as applicable) and any escrowed homeowner’s association dues or assessments, for up to eighteen (18) months, with the purpose of preventing avoidable foreclosures until such time that the homeowner retains employment sufficient to meet the demands of satisfying their regular mortgage payment.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A Bakersfield charity is hoping your Spring cleaning can help low income people who are looking for work.

    Dress for success gives professional clothes to disadvantaged women who are trying to re-enter the workforce.

    Now they are teaming up with Talbots clothing store to help collect nearly new wear-to-work items to Dress for Success.

    On March 7th people can make their donations of professional attire at the Talbots store at The Marketplace.

    Until March 22nd the Talbots Give Confidence, Hope & Style Initiative will include Spring Style Events at Talbots stores throughout North America. Similar events will be held at Talbots stores in the Fall. Customers will also be given the opportunity to make a charitable monetary donation to Dress for Success at Talbots stores.  In addition, and as part of this year-long partnership with Dress for Success, Talbots will fund the newly created Talbots Red Door Grant Program, the funds of which will directly support the efforts of Dress for Success’ Professional Women’s Group.

    The Talbots Red Door Grant Program will provide women from Professional Women’s Group (PWG) with start-up funds to create a Community Action Project within their local markets. The PWG is an international networking association for Dress for Success clients that provides support, practical information and inspiration to those women that have recently gained employment and are adjusting to their new work environment. To emphasize the importance of helping others just as they have been helped themselves, each year select women from this program from around the world are tasked to identify a need in their community and then create an initiative that strives to address and alleviate this issue.

    “Talbots is really the epitome of professionalism having provided sophisticated and timeless looks to women for almost 70 years, which makes it particularly fitting that our partnership take place during Women’s History Month,” said Joi Gordon, Chief Executive Officer of Dress for Success Worldwide. “With this campaign, we will be able to instill these same characteristics in women throughout the world as they pursue their path to self-sufficiency. We’re not only making history; we’re shaping futures.”

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- State regulators announced Tuesday they will force the shutdown of 12 waste water injection wells operated by oil companies in Kern County.

    Regulators have been under pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to do more to protect California's groundwater.

    All the wells are reportedly within one mile of usable or potable groundwater.

    According to the Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, in ten of the cases, operators have voluntarily relinquished their permits, and five of the injection wells are already idle.

    DOGGR's actions are part of a statewide review of oilfield operations where produced wastewater from oil drilling is re-injected back into the ground, sometimes into aquifers.

    The E.P.A. has ordered the state to make sure protected sources of usable groundwater are not being contaminated.

    Nearly 200 injection wells are being scrutinized, most of them in Kern County.

    Cathy Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association, issued this statement today, saying " our view of this order is that it is preventative in nature, and there continues to be no evidence that drinking water supplies have been impaired due to injection operations."

    DOGGR supervisor Steve Bohlen says his agency intends to keep it that way.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - There is an urgent need for bone marrow donors to help cure multi-racial patients diagnosed with blood cancers. According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, approximately every 10 minutes, someone in the US dies from a form of blood cancer. The National Bone Marrow Registry shows minorities are having a harder time finding a match. In Bakersfield, Dr. Ravi Patel with the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC) said the chances of finding a match in your family is less than 70-percent.

    Kai Anguiano is two years old. He was diagnosed in September 2014 with lymphoblastic leukemia. His father, Carlos Anguiano, said it's hard to believe his son has cancer. "No one seen it coming, he had just gotten back from a birthday party and all of a sudden he was covered in bruises and we were like what's wrong with him?" said Anguiano. Over the last three months Kai has made weekly trips to Children's Hospital, Los Angeles, for intense chemotherapy. His doctor in the hematology/oncology department, Dr. Wei Li Sun said usually Kai's type of lukemia is treatable but, because he has a subtype, his cancer isn't responding to the chemo. Sun said, "Kai will need a bone marrow transplant."

    According to the National Bone Marrow Registry, only 4% of donors are multiple race, like kai who's multiracial background makes it difficult to find a donor. Dr. Ravi Patel of the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center said the National Bone Marrow Registry is in desperate need of multi-racial and minority donors. "The most rapid growing population for us in the United States, is the multi-ethnic groups, so we really need to look for matches for them" said Patel. Enrolling to become a donor is simple, visit the website bethematch.org or call 1(800) marrow-2. "Imagine the price of giving somebody their life, a priceless value, and the discomfort you have to endure for that is minimal, it will be overshadowed by the blessings, and the feeling in your heart from doing such a great deed" said Patel.

    For more information on Kai's journey visit our website and click on the hot link icon.

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    It's important to remember that 30% of the water Californians use every year comes from snow in the mountains that melts during the summertime and fills our rivers and reservoirs.

    So, it's easy to understand the grim faces Tuesday as hydrologists took their latest survey at Echo Summit and elsewhere in the Sierra. They say water content for the Sierra snowpack is just 5% of normal for this time of year.

    Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program said, "we have less than one inch of water content, and as you could expect that is pretty grim. In general it is reflective of the measurements that we've been taking up and down the Sierra. We are kind of nudging up against the lowest snow pack on record."

    Putting all this in perspective, climate scientists say by September, the San Joaquin Valley would need rain amounts 275% of normal (roughly 38 inches of rain) to bring us near average conditions.

    And that's not likely to happen.   



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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Bakersfield police say the evidence they needed to catch a camera thief was captured by the very camera that was stolen.

    They say the suspect took surveillance cameras from the garage of an apartment complex.

    He got away with the cameras but left behind two clear images of his face.

    The suspect is described as a: white or Hispanic male adult.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Lonnie Mills at (661) 326-3561 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The Bakersfield Fire Department is getting ready for their annual fishing derby.

    Its a fundraiser for the Bakersfield Firefighters’ Relief Association (BFRA).

    Tickets are $20 per entry. There will be twenty-five tagged fish worth over $3,000. Proceeds benefit BFRA, a non-profit organization that also provides charitable contributions and voluntary BFD member support throughout the community.

    It happens Saturday March 1st from 6 a.m. to Noon at Riverwalk Park.
    BFD Firefighters will be hosting children from the Jamison Childrens' Center at this event for a well-deserved day of fishing and fresh air. The BFRA derby is a chance for disadvantaged youth from around Kern County to experience one-on-one interaction with BFD Firefighters as well as the joy of fishing.

    The Bakersfield Firefighters’ Relief Association is a non-profit organization that gives yearly support to organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, Make-a-Wish, Mendiburu Magic Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Links-for-Life, and the Bakersfield Firefighters’ Christmas Eve Task Force.




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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Kern County District Attorney's office has something no other DA's office in the state has.
    A dog.  It's a trained therapy dog meant to ease the stress on kids who have to testify.
     
    The dog's name is Legend.  He was supposed to be a seeing-eye dog.  But, he's found his real calling.  This is Legend.
    And it might not look like it, but he's working.  The court canine for the Kern County District Attorney's office. "I mean how cool is it that I get to bring my dog to work I mean that's a great job," said prosecutor Ken Green.   

    Ken Green is a deputy district attorney and dog trainer.  He was teaching legend to be a seeing eye dog, but flunked, too afraid of buses.  "He didn't like the air brake sound we had to sit at the bus station for over a week to get him over that. And I asked Lisa Green for her permission to have him trained, re-purposed if you will to work with kids. Because he took to it so instinctively when we had him as a guide dog and you were interviewing a child when they would start crying because we are talking about horrible things he would just go over and lay at their feet and you could see the difference in the kids." 

    Legend's certified to console kids before they testify. And when they take the stand, he will be there waiting--and on command--offer comfort.  The command comfort or double tap on my thigh and he sits like this.

    And he will stay there until the testimony is over. "And I have interviewed children with him present, interviewed the same children prior to him being present and the difference is astronomical," said Green.   "As a DA, my job is to always search for the truth and I think that you get a better understanding of what happened to the child when they are relaxed.

    Legend! How's it going buddy? How are you doing?

    Legend has become one of the more popular employees at the DA's office over the last year on the job-helping balance the scales of justice with a wag of his tail.  "He's our dog but he does amazing things for all of the people here," added Green. 

    So far, Legend had been part of three trials and many more child witness interviews.  He also works with victim advocates and their clients.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Sharon Waldo is smiling and it's not through pain.  That's something new for her.  Since birth--pain has been part of her life-born with a deformation that impaired her kidney function, not expected to live past the age of 5. "So it went on forever. I don't remember not having the pain. It got to the point where you kind of just lived with it."

    With consistent care, this 69-year-old more than beat the odds. But they again stacked against her almost three years ago. "I came to the point needing dialysis or a transplant. My doctor put me on the transplant list but with my blood type thought it would be 8 years before I could get one." 

    That transplant list is for a perfect match.  But as soon as doctors at Cedars Sinai said any healthy donor could volunteer, Sharon's daughter in law, Lynne Waldo, who lives in Texas, was there.  "And so I thought well Ok then if that is the case let me go and be tested and see what I need to do then for you," said Lynne Waldo. 

    Even though Lynne was not a match for Sharon, doctors at Cedars Sinai prevented rejection with IVIG therapy.  It's a processed form of immuno globulins - made of blood plasma.

    It adds helpful anti-bodies so the bad ones can't attack the new kidney.  And on December 18, 2012, for Sharon it worked.  "I woke up with less pain. I never took a pain pill. Or the little morphine thing. My husband came in to see me after the surgery thinking he would see me all laid out and I was like hi darling. I feel so good. It was instant.

    "You know hey if you are healthy you know God gave us two kidneys I mean you can function quite well with just one," said Waldo.   

    It's been more than two years since the surgery and no signs of rejection.  But every day is filled with gratitude to just live. "I knew that she was wonderful and I knew that she loved us, but I never knew, I mean this is just amazing you know that someone would do that for you." 


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