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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - If you have a child with special needs, you may consider attending a local workshop that looks to provide valuable tips on improving your child's quality of life.

    Hearts Connection is hosting its special needs trust workshop on March 12, at 6:30 p.m. on Sillect Avenue.
    According to Hearts Connection, parents and caretakers of special needs children will receive tips on long-term planning and quality of life issues for kids with autism, cerebral palsy, downs' syndrome, mental illness, and developmental disabilities.
    The new Able Act will also be discussed.
    For more information, call 327-3733.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A meeting is being held to help arm local growers with information to fight back against the increasing threat on Kern County crops by the Asian Citrus Psyllid.

    It's happening from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on March 12 at the Kern County UC Cooperative Extension Auditorium.
    Growers, farm managers, and pest control advisers are requested to attend.

    Attendees will learn where their crops fall in known Psyllid management areas, and how to coordinate treatments with neighbors.
    Organizers said coordinated treatments are the best way to protect local citrus from an incurable citrus tree-killing disease, which the psyllids are known to carry.
     The Asian Citrus Psyllid showed up Bakersfield in the Rexland Acres area last October. 
    In Florida, the Psyillid has caused more than $1 billion in damage.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Bakersfield Police bust a burglary crew thanks to a watchful neighbor.

    Police say at 9:47 a.m. Thursday morning a neighbor called to report he had seen four people run into a residence near Old River and Stockdale with bags and when they came out the bags were full.

    Detectives in the area spotted the suspect vehicle with four people inside and tried to stop it.

    Police say 3 of the 4 suspects fled on foot. The driver led a detective on a low speed chase and eventually stopped near Old River and Campus Park Drive. The driver, Carolina Flores, 18, was arrested.

    The detective in the passenger seat chased the other 3 suspects on foot and caught a 17 year old suspect and arrested him.

    A third suspect, Miseal Flores, 19, was arrested by a retired probation officer in the area. The fourth suspect is still on the loose.

    Police found guns, jewelry, electronics, and booze that had been taken in the burglary.

    Warren Junior High School, Old River Elementary and Sing Lum Elementary were all put on lockdown during the search.

    The outstanding suspect is described as an Hispanic male in his 20s wearing a turquoise shirt.

    Police are looking into whether the crew could be responsible for other local burglaries.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Bakersfield Police are hoping the public can help them find an at-risk runaway.

    Angela Reyes, 14, was last seen at home March 11, She has not been to school for two days.

    Reyes is considered at-risk due to her age and first time runaway status. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The Bakersfield City School District is opening 10 new "Parent Resource Centers" across the District.

    Thursday was the Grand Opening of all 10 and open houses were held at each location from 8am-10am Thursday morning and from 5:30-7:30 Thursday evening.

    After these Open Houses, the Parent Resource Centers will be open for 6 hours every day to help parents access resources they need to better serve the needs of their children. This means educational assistance as well as facilitating access to community resources.

    Here is a list of all the centers:


    Evergreen Elementary        2600 Rose Marie Dr.

    Franklin Elementary           2400 Truxtun Ave.

    Emerson Middle School      801 Fourth St.

    Owens Primary                  815 Potomac Ave. 

    Longfellow Elementary       1900 Stockton St.

    Horace Mann Elementary   2710 Niles St.

    Nichols Elementary           3401 Renegade Ave. 

    Chipman Jr. High              2905 Eissler St. 

    Stiern Middle School         2551 Morning Dr.  

    Cato Middle School           4115 Vineland Rd.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Court documents obtained by 17 News, give some insight into the lives of two people who died Tuesday in a murder-suicide in southwest Bakersfield.

    Documents show the couple got married in 1987 and separated on Valentine's Day of this year.

    Diane Carroll filed for divorce Monday from her husband, Shawn Carroll, listing irreconcilable differences. The next day, police say Shawn Carroll shot his wife in their Stockdale Estates home on De Colores Court, then shot himself.

    Bakersfield Police Sergeant Joe Grubbs said, "At this point in the investigation police believe this is a murder-suicide."

    Diane Carroll signed divorce papers February 5. She listed February 14 as the date of separation, but didn't file the paperwork until March 9.

    In the documents, Diane Carroll requested her husband pay spousal support and her attorney's fees. She also stated she was unaware of the full extent of their financial situation.

    Diane Carroll was on the Friends of the Kern County Fair board and Shawn Carroll was the operations manager of Valley Valve in Bakersfield.

    Police wouldn't say if they'd been called to the Carroll's home in the past.

    "There's a lot of questions that still need to be answered. We don't know all the answers. Investigators are still working on this incident and we'll provide more information as it's available and we're sure about the information that we're releasing," said Grubbs.

    The coroner's office says Shawn Carroll died of self-inflicted shotgun wound. Diane Carroll was taken to Kern Medical Center, where she died.

    Anthony Azemika is listed on court documents as Diane Carroll's attorney. His office says he won't comment.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA.-Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia is a rare condition that affects approximately one in 2500 pregnancies, according to Cherubs, a CDH organization. Two local moms whose children suffered from the condition are working to make sure more parents are aware of CDH and can find support.

    Amber Bullard only held her baby Addison once in her 33 days of life, and Ali Sanford cherished the 11 days she spent with her son Easton, who doctors told her probably wouldn't survive the birth.

    Both first-time mothers watched their children fight. Now, they are fighting to make more people aware of the condition that took their children away much too soon.

        "She was beautiful. She had a head full of hair," remembers Amber Bullard. "The prettiest blue eyes."

    Ali Sanford remembers her son's mouth and toes.

        "He blew bubbles a lot," said Sanford. "I know it was from the machine but we thought it was funny, and his little toes always curled and stuff. He was perfect."

    CDH is a hole in the diaphram which separates the chest and abdomen.  The hole allows the intestines and other abdominal organs to go into the baby's chest, and occupy the space lungs need to grow. Surgeons work to place a patch or stitches over the hole.     

        "In a developing fetus, if the lungs get squeezed they don't grow as well,"said Dr. Hanmin Lee, Surgeon & Director of the Fetal Treatment Center at the University of California San Francisco. "So the main problem is the babies are born and the lungs are small. So they can't do the fundamental functions of the lungs as well."

    Dr. Lee says about one-third of babies don't survive the condition.

        "I had planned for her to come home," said Bullard. "I had her nursery done, I had diapers, I had wipes, I had clothes, I had toys, you know I had everything you want to have for a baby and I came home with nothing."

    Yet the loss of their children has birthed a sisterhood. Bullard and Sanford have created a Facebook page for local parents grieving from CDH. So far they've identified eight kern county families.     

        "It's been so helpful to talk to other moms because they know exactly what I'm going through, said Sanford. "There are things that I talk to them about that I don't talk to my husband about."

    They convinced Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall to proclaim April 19, 2015 as the first Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia action and awareness day.

        "Doing this stuff, if it can help other families, it's gonna in turn help us because we feel like our kids didn't die for nothing," said Bullard. "You know we were able to take that situation and make it beautiful."

    Both moms are working with state Senator Fuller's office and other assembly members to declare a CDH awareness month here in California. Plus they are starting foundations to provide gas cards, care packages and other support to families dealing with CDH.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Sheriff's investigators are still looking for the gunman behind a shooting in southeast Bakersfield.
    The victim was gunned down as he sat in his car in the middle of a residential street the evening of March 12. He suffered mulitple gunshot wounds.

    The shooting happened in the 100 block of Bryant Street in Rexland Acres, just off of South Union Avenue and Rexland Drive.
    Onlookers gathered as deputies started processing the scene. Several of them were visibly upset over what happened.
    Investigators have no suspects in custody or a motive in the shooting, and the victim's identity has not been released.

    The sheriff's office is also seeking the public's help in this investigation.
    Anyone with information about what happened is encouraged to call 861-3110, or the secret witness hotline at 322-4040.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - New technology is helping two local dairies turn cow manure into energy, courtesy of an $8 million grant from the state.

    The state energy commission voted Wednesday to award two grants of $4 million each to Lakeview Farms Dairy in Bakersfield and west Star North Dairy in Buttonwillow.
    The money is intended to be used to install manure digesters, which can convert methane biogas into electricity.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Community Action Partnership of Kern County is receiving $60,000 for its water utility assistance program to low-income and drought impacted households.
    CAPK is one of 10 agencies receiving a grant from the California Department of Community Services and Development.
    The money will provide residential water financial assistance benefits and water conservation education.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A Wasco city councilman has been fined by the Fair Political Practices Commission for a vote he took linked to the controversial HECA power project.

    The FPPC in late February hit councilman John Martin with a $4,000 fine.
    The commission disciplined Martin for his vote last March to allow Savage Coal Company to expand operations in order to fuel a hydrogen energy California power plant targeted for Tupman.
    The FPPC said that because Martin owns property adjacent to Savage Coal, he had a financial interest in the decision, and should have abstained from the vote.
    Martin did not contest the fine.
    The HECA project has received more than $153 million in federal taxpayer money in the form of grants and has yet to break ground.
    Regulators say the clean coal plant needs to find a buyer for the carbon dioxide it would produce.
    Critics of the project released a statement on March 12 stating they are pleased that the commission recognized the unethical vote of Martin, who should have recused himself.  

    The statement adds that Martin's vote allowed the coal facility to double it's operations without doing a new enviornmental impact report and without consideration of the impact to the community, traffic, and air quality.  

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - An oil company has agreed to a $67,000 fine for likely spilling fracking fluid into unlined sumps in the south Belridge oil field in 2013.

    A copy of the proposed settlement agreement is posted to the Central Valley Regional Water quality control board website.
    Breitburn Operating Lp reported it may have accidentally discharged between 10 and 20 barrels of fracking fluid into a series unlined sumps between May and July of 2013.
    Fracking fluid sometimes contains toxic chemicals.

    Company spokesman Gregory Brown told The Californian the company is not contesting the allegations, even though it is unsure whether the spill actually took place because no one was there to witness it.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - PG&E held a demonstration of its Solar Suitcase technology at its offices today as they teamed up with international charity Free the Children to highlight their new educational program.
    The group is also offering a few local high school students a chance to visit Kenya to share the solar technology.

    PG&E bought the suitcases at a $1,000 each.

    According to PG&E, the portable, renewable energy units use a photovoltaic lighting system powerful enough to illuminate a small room.

    The event happens at 11 a.m. at PG&E's customer service office.
    The program will sponsor 100 suitcases will be distributed to schools and come with a curriculum so students learn how much sunlight it takes to power certain items.

    The students chosen for the Kenya project will be based on video submissions of their own local sustainability project success stories.

    A total of four students will win a chance to participate on the solar suitcase delivery mission to orphanages, schools, and medical clinics in Kenya.
    "Unfortunately in may parts of Kenya when the sun goes down their studies stop completely," said Katie Allen, PG&E spokesperson. "So access to these solar suitcases will allow them to continue their studies in the evening and early morning hours."

    For more information, you can visit

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    TAFT, CA - A fugitive from the Huntington Beach area was arrested in Taft after the Taft Police Department was informed a suspect may be hiding out in the area.

    Huntington Beach Police advised there was probable cause for the arrest of 43-year-old James Arlin Lucas, after he allegedly threatened to kill a person and leading Huntington Beach police on a high-speed chase in a silver 2014 Camaro on March 12.

    On March 13, around 8 a.m., Taft police spotted the silver Camaro at a residence in the 300 block of E. San Emidio Street. 

    Kern County Sheriff’s Deputies were also called to assist in setting up a perimeter. 

    A female exited the residence and drove away in the suspect vehicle. She was detained shortly after and identified as Cindy Lucas, the suspect's ex-wife.

    She reportedly told Taft police the suspect dropped the car off and left to an unknown location. 
    She gave permission to search her residence and the suspect was located hiding in a closet. 

    James Lucas was taken into custody without incident.

    Cindy Lucas was arrested for obstruction under and being an accessory and harboring her ex-husband from authorities. 

    No bail has been set for either individual.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Distinguished Young Women of Bakersfield competition tonight will see 22 high school junior girls competing for more than $6,000 in college scholarship money.

    The DYW of America program, formerly known as Junior Miss, is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls.
    Tonight, teens from local high schools will compete on stage and be judged in different areas like scholastics, interview, and talent.

    The program starts at 7 p.m. and is being held at the Bakersfield City School District auditorium on Baker Street.
    Tickets are $15.

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  • 03/13/15--11:22: Free job fair this Tuesday
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Kern County Day Reporting Center is hosting a free job fair on March 17 for job seekers looking to find employment in construction, general labor, clerical and retail positions.

    Positions available will range from entry level to advanced 

    The job fair is scheduled to take place at the Kern Country DRC, located at 500 Baker St. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Organizers are reminding job seekers to dress professionally and bring several copies of their resume.

    In addition, free health care screenings will be available as well as a Dress for Success fashion show.

    Some of the employer types on site will include retail, restaurant industry, temp agencies, general labor employers, and more.

    For more information about the free job fair, contact program manager Elaine Estrada at 661-326-8172.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering up to a half million dollars in farm loans due to the drought.

    The secretary of agriculture handed down a disaster designation for a host of California counties, including Kern.
    Ranchers who conduct family-sized farming operations are eligible.
    The applications are due by October 26.

    For more information, farmers are being directed to the local farm service agency located on California Avenue.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The coroner has identified the man killed at a late-night party that ended in bloodshed in central Bakersfield.early yesterday morning.

    According to witnesses, an armed masked man entered an apartment near 4th and V Street around 2 a.m. on March 12 and demanded money.
    As two men struggled to take the gun away from the suspect, it went off and party guest 22-year-old Evan Jesus Picazo was fatally wounded.
    The gunman was also was shot and is still being treated at a hospital. 
    His identity has not been released.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The March of Dimes is raising funds today to help ensure moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

    KGET's Maddie Janssen emceed the kickoff breakfast for the 2015 March for Babies.
    Team captains set fundraising goals and heard from one local family on why the work of March of Dimes is so important.

    The walk for babies is coming up April 18 at the Park at Riverwalk.
    For more information, click on the March of Dimes website.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A local girl scout is in the spotlight, earning the highest award a girl scout can receive, the Gold Award, for her work in raising geriatric sensitivity awareness.

    Ireland Eckard was inspired to do more to help people after hearing her father, a physical therapy doctor, speak about geriatric sensitivity.

    “My idea for my Gold Award came to me after I invited my dad, who is a doctor of physical therapy, to present a version of this geriatric lecture and lab to my girl scout troop ... I heard him say something that caught my attention, ‘10,000 people will turn 65 in the United States every day until around 2025’. This statement helped me to realize that we all know someone who is 65 or older,” said Eckard.

    As a result, Eckard plans to educate her fellow East Bakersfield High School students on the issue. On March 19 and 20, Eckard will be teaching juniors and sophomores her lab. 

    The interactive lab gives students the opportunity to participate in activities demonstrating what it's like for the elderly, such as wearing gloves to mimic loss of sensation and wearing glasses to mimic various eyesight ailments like glaucoma and macular degeneration.

    They'll also learn how the lifestyle choices they make now will affect them in the future.

    "Being able to touch, hold and experience the different components of this lab helped me to realize what the elderly may have to go through,” Eckard said.

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