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KGET: Local News

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    The Bakersfield Police Department says if you own a truck, beware.

    There's been a boost in the number of thieves ripping off rims and tires.

    The BPD tells us, in the entire year of 2014 there were 44 tire thefts in all.

    But, only three months in 2015 and there have already been nearly 20 thefts.

    Sargent Joe Grubbs says it is happening in northwest and southwest Bakersfield, most commonly to 2014 General Motor trucks with 20" diameter factory wheels, not after market.

    Police say they aren't sure why these types of trucks are being targeted.

    Sargent Joe Grubbs said, "if you have access to a garage, park in your garage. Park in a well lit area, we are finding parking on the street seems to serve a little bit better than the driveway. Most of these seem to be occurring in the driveway. Get a set of wheel locks to install on your vehicle and maybe even an anti-theft device for your vehicle."

    The Bakersfield Police Department also urges people to report tire theft to them at 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA.-A recent study reveals the alarmingly high number of young people who say they have been in abusive romantic relationships. And those relationships are happening right here in Kern County. 

    According to the, violent behavior begins between the ages of 12 and 18. And, 72% of 8th and 9th graders are dating. That means more teens, parents and school staff need to be aware of the signs of teen dating violence. 

    The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released results this month from a survey of nearly 10,000 high school students who date. 1 in 5 girls reported dating-related violence. So did 1 in 10 boys. 

    Often, teens who suffer from abuse don't recognize the signs, says the Alliance. Particularly sexual abuse. 

    State bill 592, introduced late February, would require schools to promote education on healthy relationships and prevent teen relationship abuse by updating safety policies. The bill will be considered a senate policy committee later this month. 

    Meanwhile, parents should consider speaking with their teens. Any young person who may be experiencing abuse can call the Alliance hotline at 327-1091. All of their services are available to anyone 12 years of age or older. 

    Counseling and other services are available. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Kern County Fire fighters fought a fire inside two gas tanks Tuesday morning.

    KCFD says they got the call just after 7a.m.of two tanks on fire at a facility near Mt. Vernon Ave. and Brundage Lane
    They say there were flames coming from the lower valves of each tank and the top of one of the tanks.

    Workers at the facility said the tanks were drained but there was a small amount of leftover gasoline still in them.

    Fire crews applied Alcohol-Resistant Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AR-AFF) to the tanks and utilized a thermal imaging camera (TIC) to monitor heat and fire within the tanks.

    Nearby tanks were threatened but firefighters were able to protect them and no damage was sustained to those tanks.
    The KCFD Haz-Mat Unit and KC Environmental Health crew responded to monitor and investigate.

    Once monitoring with the TIC indicated the fire was out, crews opened the upper hatches of the tanks and applied a dry chemical extinguisher to the inside of the tanks.

    Reports from the facility manager indicate that a forklift driving in close proximity to the tanks may have ignited a gas vapor cloud from the tanks.

    A private environmental company was contacted for clean-up.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The Kern County Farm Bureau issued a letter to Kern County Supervisors expressing concern about what it calls excessive over regulation of the oil industry.

    The Farm Bureau says both agriculture and oil are suffering due to a downturn in prices and the drought.

    The letter says local farmers and oil producers have shared the land for more than 100 years and that new reporting regulations under Senate Bill 4 involve third parties and don't give oil companies enough time to comply with the water monitoring provisions of the law.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Memorial Hospital is expanding its operations Tuesday with the groundbreaking of its new "Hope House" for adults who need to stay nearby the hospital to be with family.

    The house will be next to the hospital on 34th Street just north of the Ronald McDonald House.

    Financed by the Kern County Builders Exchange, the facility will allow family members of patients over 21 years of age in critical care to be close to their loved ones.

    The entire building is being paid for by the Builders Exchange, including furnishings.

    The hope house will be managed and maintained by the hospital.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - From the food we eat to the clothes we wear, this is the time to show our appreciation. The week of February 26 was National Future Farmers of America week.

    Supporters promote the program and its importance.  Members at Highland High School point out, it's a lot more than just getting your hands dirty.
    What starts as a normal class, with raised hands, desks and books, takes a turn.  This is Highland High School's FFA program, where what you talk about in class.  You make it happen, and hold it in your hands.

    Despite recent state funding threats, California is ranked among the top 5 in FFA members, with more than 76,000.  

    While farming is part of the program, so is science, job training, and public speaking.  And there is the business side.
    According to the 2013 crop report, Kern ranked just behind Tulare in state ag commodities at $6.76 billion.
    In FFA, students see how it's done.

    FFA members are starting to carve a career path. And where ever it may lead, they've got the groundwork to grow.

    While not all FFA members will get degrees in ag, interest is growing. Bachelor's degrees in agriculture and natural resources were up 24% between 2006 and 2011 according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

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    UPDATED 2:27 p.m. Bakersfield Fire officials say that people in the area at the time the fire started told them they saw transients cooking their lunch in a fire pit. BFD says that fire caught a tree on fire which then started 2 vacant buildings on fire.

    They say the dog that was injured belonged to one of the transients and was tied up when the fire started.

    The female pit bull was taken to a private vet. That vet tells 17News that the dog suffered 1st and 2nd degree burns to 96% of her body. The vet says most of the dogs skin was already coming off which would have exposed the raw nerves. It was decided by the owner and the vet that the most humane thing to do was to euthanize the dog.

    UPDATED: 1:43 p.m. Witnesses at the scene say the fire was started by transients cooking lunch next to an abandoned building.

    UPDATED: 1:26 p.m.

    17News crews at the say a pit bull was burned at the fire but is still alive. Video from the scene appears to show the dog has lost most of the fur from its back and legs. the dog was walking and was being taken by animal control.

    There are about 30 firefighters at the scene from both Bakersfield Fire Department and the Kern County Fire Department and two structures are burning.

    Arson Investigators have arrived at the scene.


    There is a fire burning at a business north of downtown.

    Fire fighters have called for a reinforced alarm.

    The fire is burning at 30th and Jewett Ave.

    We will bring you more information as we get it.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A defense attorney is calling a high-profile DUI case into question, saying the victim who died in the crash was herself driving under the influence.

    Alex Rubio is charged with second degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Princess Almonidovar.

    Almonidovar died when her car collided with Rubio's car in January 2014 at Ming avenue and New Stine Road.

    In a document filed in connection with a bail hearing, Rubio's attorney says his client's blood alcohol level was .13, above the legal limit.  But, he also says Almonidovar's blood alcohol level was .12.

    The coroner confirmed the finding to 17News Tuesday.

    The attorney says witnesses were split on who may have run the red light suggesting Rubio may not be at fault. The attorney says there is no computer system in place that can state who had the green light and the right-of-way to enter the intersection.

    It's the same claim being made in another high-profile DUI case involving the death of a pregnant woman last year.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The Kern County Coroner has completed the autopsy on a man found dead in Lamont over the weekend.

    But they still have not ruled on the cause or manner of death.

    Alejandro DeJesus, 31, was found dead behind a Lamont apartment complex Saturday.

    Sheriff's officials say firefighters responded to a fire alarm around four Saturday afternoon in the Di Giorgio Road apartments near south Fairfax Road.

    While they were there, deputies say a group of kids told fire crews about the body in a sump behind the apartment complex.

    The Coroner says the cause and manner of death is pending further studies.

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  • 03/10/15--16:19: Parade of heroes
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA - Next month, the Kern chapter of the American Red Cross will honor ten groups or individuals who have distinguished themselves as 'Real Heroes' in our community.

    On Monday night, a media reception was held at the law offices of Young-Wooldridge in central Bakersfield. It was a chance for the honorees to meet one another and share their stories on how they came to be honored.

    One teenager, Madison Ridley, makes blankets for cancer patients. Kern County Fire Captain Glen Maki saved a man from his home moments before it went up in flames. Bakersfield Congressman Kevin McCarthy is honorary chair of the event for the eleventh year now. It's an event, he says, he wouldn't miss. "This really shows the community we live in. These are people that come from all different walks of life that in a time of need save someone from a burning house, somebody that had a heart attack brought them back to life. It's just the quality of life that where we live that you know people here would help you in a time of need."

    Here is a list of this year's recipients. They include: Madison Ridley, Max Coryell, Glen Maki, Gilbert Valdez, Tammy Wallace.

    The Bakersfield Fire Department's reserve firefighters, Tony and Sharon Mejia, Adam Bickford and Armando Lazaro, Angela Stevens and Cindy Huge.

    If you would like to attend the Red Cross Real Heroes dinner, it takes place April 18 at the Paramount Citrus Aviation Hanger in Bakersfield.

    For tickets or more information, call 661-324-6427. 17 news will air profiles of each recipient beginning April 6, on 17 news at five.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA.-The Kern High School District say more students seem to have severe allergies and many allergies can cause dangerous reactions at school. 

    Thanks to a new law, all schools are now required to stock an epipen in case any student experiences Anaphylaxis. 

    Before State Senate Bill 1266 was passed, epipens were only available for specific students with known allergies. But now, allergies are on the rise in recent years, according to the CDC. An epipen is required for all California schools to have ready so a trained staff member can use it on any student. 

    That could be good news for local students, since food allergy research and education says about 20-25% of epipen use in schools are for individuals whose allergy was unknown at the time of the reaction. 

    Allergies most common in the Kern High School District are peanuts, grass and soy products. Now with a click of an epipen, any student can receive an injection of Epinephrine. 

    Greene is the one nurse for all 18 high schools in the district and five continuation schools. Two staff volunteers at each site have been trained to use the pen if needed. 

    Kern High School District has ordered two epipens per school site. Fifty pens should arrive on campuses by the end of the month. 

    A company called Mylan Specialty L.P. provided the epipens free of cost to the district. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A man and woman are dead in what Bakersfield police are calling an apparent murder-suicide in an upscale southwest Bakersfield neighborhood.

    Police were called out to the 7800 block of De Colores court in Stockdale Estates around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, after someone called 911 reporting shots had been fired.

    When officers arrived, they found a man dead in the back yard. Police say a woman had been shot just inside the front door of the residence but was still alive. She was taken to Kern Medical Center where she was later pronounced dead. There were no other people inside the home when officers arrived.

    Neighbors we spoke to said they were in disbelief.

    "Its shocking," said Gail Morris, a neighbor. "I didn't know there were any problems."

    Officers said the 911 call came from inside the house from a man, believed to be the same man found dead in the backyard.

    The names of the man and woman were not released as of Wednesday, but people who live in the area think the victims were husband and wife and said they were well known in the neighborhood.

    "Well, we've known them for a long time," said Morris. "Our daughters went to school together since kindergarten and their two daughters. One's in college and one's out of college now, but they are out of town so, it is just really sad to hear about it."

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    (NBC News) Duke Cancer Institute has announced significant results of a small clinical trial that gives hope to patients battling aggressive brain tumors.

    Doctors gave glioblastoma patients what's called an "immunotherapy vaccine." 

    It primes the body's immune system to attack any cancer cells left over after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

    Some patients first received a tetanus booster shot, the same one you'd get after stepping on a rusty nail. The booster is meant to put the immune system on high alert.

    "The immune system knows to look for the next incoming danger signal and in this scenario it would be our immunotherapy vaccine that's specific for the brain tumors in these patients," explains Duke's Kristen Batich.

    The results were dramatic. Patients who got the booster lived two to five years longer than those who did not.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Governor Jerry Brown has reappointed a Bakersfield woman to the California State Board of Education.

    Aida Molina, 61, has served this position since 2011.

    This position requires Senate confirmation.

    Molina has served as assistant superintendent of Academic Improvement and Accountability for the Bakersfield City School District since 2013,

    Molina is a member of the Association of California School Administrators, California Association for Bilingual Education and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A Shafter woman has hit it big at a casino.

    The woman won more than a million dollars at Eagle Mountain Casino.

    The casino says the woman hit a progressive jackpot worth $1,168,555.17.

    The Eagle Mountain Casino also reports a guest from Bakersfield won a $40,000 jackpot on Saturday March 7th.

    Congratulations to another Eagle Mountain Casino guest from Bakersfield, Ca who won a $40,000 jackpot on Saturday March 7th. The Jackpot hit just 5 days after a previous guest hit $40,125 on March 2nd.

    The latest jackpot was won on the Double Diamond Strike slot machine. In addition to the previously mentioned jackpots, there were over $80,000 in jackpots awarded to Eagle Mountain Casino Guests from Kern and Tulare Counties.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Neighbors say the couple were well known in their neighborhood in the 78-hundred block of De Colores Court in Stockdale Estates.

    Police say that they believe Shawn Carroll shot his wife then turned the gun on himself. When officers arrived to their home Tuesday night, they say they found Shawn Carroll dead in the back yard and Diane Carroll bleeding in the doorway.

    She was later pronounced dead at Kern Medical Center.

    Police say a 9-1-1 call was made by a man from inside the Carroll's home around 5:20 Tuesday night, believed to be Shawn Carroll.  

    "Once officers arrived here they found an adult male who was deceased in the backyard and an adult female who had been shot just inside the front door of the residence," said Sgt. Joe Grubbs, Bakersfield police.  

    According to close friends and neighbors, Shawn is the operations manager of Valley Valve in Bakersfield and Diane is on the board for Friends of Kern County Fair, a non-profit that helps raise funds for the fair.

    Neighbors say the Carroll's were married with two daughters.

    "Well we've known them for a long time. Our daughters went to school together since Kindergarten and their two daughters, one's in college and one's out of college now but they are out of town so, it is just really sad to hear about it, said neighbor Gail Morris.  

    Morris lives near the Carroll's. She says she's in disbelief.  "It's shocking, I didn't know there were any problems."

    Police say the shotgun Shawn Carroll used was recovered at the scene. When asked if police had responded to the Carroll's home in the past, Sgt. Grubbs said he could not discuss that at this time.

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    Buck Owens often sang about that party down at "Sam's place", but Wednesday night the party was at Buck's place for the man who helped the likes of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard create the "Bakersfield Sound."

    Red Simpson's birthday party packed Buck Owens' Crystal Palace.

    Johnny Owens, said "its an honor, he's been around a long time. He was friends with my father, and it's just an honor to be here and to be here on his birthday, and be able to sing 'happy birthday' and sing some of his songs."

    Bakersfield's own Gene Thome also marked the night by releasing his tribute album to Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and Red Simpson.

    The ten song CD, titled "It's a Bakersfield Thing" also features Johnny Owens and Dana Haggard singing their fathers' songs.

    Gene Thome said, "I'm so glad and honored to be able to do this CD. It's a tribute to all three of them but it's special near and dear to my heart because of Red Simpson because it's his 81st birthday."

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Bakersfield Police are investigating a shooting at a townhouse in central Bakersfield that left one man dead and another injured.

    It happened at home near Union Avenue and Highway 58.

    BPD detectives are investigating a party that turned deadly.

    The party was in a townhome on the 300 block of V Street in central Bakersfield.

    BPD responded to a call around 2am Thursday of shots fired.

    Police found one man critically wounded,

    That adult man died shortly after arriving at Kern Medical Center.

    Another adult male was also injured. He is being treated at KMC for non-life threatening injuries.

    A black handgun was recovered at the scene. Detectives are investigating what caused the gunfire and whether alcohol or a dispute was a factor.

    This 300 block of V Street will be closed for several hours between Bill Ave. and 2nd Street as the investigation continues.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The controversial law that allows undocumented immigrants in California to get driver's licenses may be causing an unexpected side-effect.

    There's been a substantial increase in the number of organ and tissue donors.

    The new California Transplant Donor Network tells the Fresno Bee there has been a 30% increase in organ and tissue donor registrations this year.

    The recent surge in immigrant drivers, many from Mexico, may be the cause.

    The network says the increase may benefit Hispanic organ and tissue recipients as the new drivers are more likely to be a match.

    More than 147,000 people have received licenses since AB60 took effect...

    Around 56,000 also have signed up as donors.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield attorney who founded Cooks from the Valley will be the man of the hour during a special event in Burbank, when the Daughters of the American Revolution honor him for his service to local military men and women.

    The event happens on March 12.

    Tom Anton and his cooks have traveled across the globe to serve Harris Ranch steaks and all the fixings to nearly 160,000 servicemen and women, serving on ships and on land.
    Anton and his patriotic volunteers pay all expenses out of pocket and barbecue for our troops as a way of saying thank you for your service.
    Anton will receive the DAR's medal of honor.

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