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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- If you're looking for employment, you might find it at a free job fair Tuesday.

    It takes place at the Kern County Day Reporting Center from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m..

    There are jobs in construction, general labor, clerical and retail positions, and they range from entry level to advanced.

    The Kern County DRC is located at 500 Baker Street.

    Remember to dress for success and bring several copies of your resume.

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    (WLWT)- A Cincinnati mother is undergoing psychiatric evaluation after police say she killed her 3-month-old baby, severing the child's head.

    Deasia Watkins, 20, is charged with aggravated murder.

    The coroner said the baby suffered multiple traumas but would not give specific details about how she died.

    "There were a few tears in our office for this baby," said Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco. "Is there more about his particular crime than other children dying? There may be. And that's part of what we're going to be looking at. We truly have to be a village that raises all the children."

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A Bakersfield man who pleaded no contest to hitting and killing a pedestrian in east Bakersfield while drunk was sentenced to 7 years in prison Tuesday.

    The crash happened in October 2013 on Oswell Street and killed Angel Gomez.

    Last month, Israel Hernandez Nunez pleaded no contest to DUI vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

    Four other felony charges were dismissed as part of the plea.

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    DELANO, CA- The superintendent of the Delano Union School District has asked to be reassigned.

    At Monday night's school board Dr. Anthony Monreal gave a letter to the board requesting that he perform other duties for the district so that he can "attend to areas of personal necessity" for his family.

    The new duties are to be determined by the board and Monreal asked that they begin immediately. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The State Water Board expanded water restrictions across California on Tuesday.

    They continued all of the restrictions they passed last summer and added several new ones.

    The biggest change is to outdoor watering. The new rules say water suppliers must now limit the number of days per week that customers can irrigate outdoors. But its not clear how tight that limit will be for each water supplier.

    The board says t
    he limit must either be specified in the water suppliers' drought contingency plans; or if their plan contains no specific limit, irrigation is limited to no more than two days per week. 

    Most of Bakersfield is covered by two water suppliers, the City of Bakersfield and CalWater. 

    CalWater says their experts will have to take a look at their water storage and contingency plans to determine what water restrictions will look like for their customers.

    As of this posting, 17News is still waiting to hear back from the City of Bakersfield.

    Other new restrictions state that there can be no outdoor watering during or in the 48 hours after rainfall and hotels must offer guests the option of not having their towels and and sheets washed daily. Also, restaurants can only give water to customers if they ask for it.

    The new rules are expected to go into effect sometime in the next ten days.

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    ARVIN, CA- Tuesday marks one year since eight families in Arvin were forced out of their homes after a leaking gas pipeline.

    In March 2014, eight homes were evacuated because of the leaking gas pipeline.

    County officials told residents back then that high levels of dangerous chemicals were detected.

    Petro Capital Resources, the company that owns the gas pipeline, relocated most of the families to apartments in south Bakersfield paying for the expenses.

    In October, the county fire department lifted the evacuation order; citing explosive gas was no longer detected.

    Residents asked for and got a second opinion.

    The test results indicated it was safe.

    The families finally returned in December.

    Two families told us off-camera that they have been sick ever since they moved back into their home.

    Global Community Monitor says it plans on going back to the homes to test for any gases from the leak.

    Some 200 claims have been filed on behalf of 100 people who live in or near the Arvin neighborhood where an underground field gas pipeline ruptured last March.

    The claims are the first step in seeking financial compensation.

    If rejected, a lawsuit could follow.

    Los Angeles Attorney Steve Archer tells 17News half of the claims are against the county, the other half against the city of Arvin and allege the county and city failed to properly and safely regulate the owner of the pipeline, Petro Capital Resources.

    They allege property damage, emotional distress and even physical injury.

    The baseline limit of damages being sought is $25,000 per claim.

    Larry picket, a spokesman for Petro Capital Resources, declined to comment on this story.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Goodwill Industries will host 2 workshops to help people looking for jobs.

    The first workshop is Wednesday and will cover how to prepare for an interview.

    The second is next week March 25th and will cover how to create a resume and fill out online applications.

    The workshops provide skills training, job readiness, and they are free to the public.

    March 18th, 2015 @ 9am - 11am, Interview Preparedness
    March 25th, 2015 @ 9am - 11am, Resumes/Online Applications

    The seminars will be held at 4901 Stine Rd., Bakersfield, CA 93313

    The mission of Goodwill Industries of South Central California is to provide work opportunities and skills development to people with barriers to employment.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Bakersfield Police are inviting the public to a safety day in the park.

    The event will include public safety demonstrations from first responders, public safety information, community-wide vendors, games and food.

    This event will provide you and your family with an educational and entertaining look at the public safety services in Kern County.

    The event will be on Saturday March 21 at Beach Park at 21st and Oak from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A man is dead after an officer-involved shooting Tuesday night in a downtown Bakersfield hotel.

    It happened just before 7 p.m. at 19th and M Streets.

    Police say they got a 911 call about a man screaming and yelling inside the Hart Hotel.

    While en route, police got another call the man had a knife and was threatening people.

    When officers arrived, they found the suspect on the third floor

    Witnesses told investigators they heard an officer yell at the man to drop a knife numerous times before they heard gunshots.

    Police say the 47-year-old white man died at the scene.

    They say it appears he had been living at the Hart Hotel.

    The name of the man has not been released.

    More information is expected to be released Wednesday.

    Police say the officer who shot the man will be placed on routine, paid administrative leave during the investigation.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA.-A parent in the Panama Buena Vista Union school district says her son was given homework inappropriate for the second grade.

    It wasn't out of a glossy textbook.Turns out, many teachers are creating homework assignments on their own to meet common core standards, because state materials aren't yet available.

    The offensive word problem centers on a robbery. The story details a man's plan to steal money from a store, and students were asked questions to assess their reading and cognitive skills.

    The mom emailed the teacher at Wayne Van Horn Elementary School and said she would not allow her son to complete the homework.

    The teacher responded in part with, "I took a look at it and completely agreed with you...I apologize to you for sending this assignment home.  I had a sub yesterday and gave them the assignments to send home and did not look through it carefully myself beforehand."

    Principal James Lopez said a team of teachers recycled that question from an assignment written 10 to 15 years ago and at the time considered it appropriate for the grade level. He said he felt some parts were violent and the assignment is "something i don't see using again."

    The Panama Buena Vista Union School District says teachers often use old material or create new assignments to comply with common core standards, because there is no common core English language arts textbook available. Dr. Pamela Bianchi from the district said the textbooks aren't expected to be available for another year.

    That means teachers at Panama Buena Vista, around the county, and across the state don't have language arts materials to implement common core, a state standard set five years ago. 

    So in some cases they create materials that aren't approved by the state.

    "Those don't have to be approved by the state, said Kathy Hill, Director of Curriculum at Kern County Superintendent of Schools. "Districts are allowed to use those and are training teachers to be able to create quality products."

    Hill says some assignments like the robbery homework may fall through the cracks, and when they do, a principal or site administrator should check the work. But trust in teachers' abilities to create good assignments in the face of new standards shouldn't be lost.

    "I think Kern county teachers are working very every hard to do the best job they can to teach common core and get materials from sources that are appropriate," said Hill.

    Hill says English language arts textbooks and materials should be ready to purchase from the state by November. Kern county schools will probably buy them in spring of 2016 and begin using them in the fall of that school year.

    In the meantime, teachers can also find materials from other states which also have common core standards. Currently, 43 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the common core state standards. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- His voice has been described as "the soundtrack to summer," and last night people turned out to hear the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers iconic play-by-play man Vin Scully talk baseball in Bakersfield.

    Now entering his 66th year with the Dodgers, Scully was keynote speaker for this year's voices of inspiration dinner and auction in support of Hoffmann Hospice.

    Money raised from this event will help Hoffmann finish its new hospice home set to open this summer.

    More than a thousand people listened to Scully talk about his broadcasting career.

    The "Voices of Inspiration" dinner and auction raised a record $358,000 to help furnish the new Hoffmann Hospice home in Bakersfield.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The Epilepsy Society of Kern County has announced the registration dates for this year's Mud Volleyball Tournament.

    This will be the 23rd year for the fundraiser. This year it will be on June 20th at Stramler Park.

    It is the largest fundraising event for the agency during the year.

    Approximately 130 teams of ten (1,300 participants) play in 16 mud pit courts

    This event is fun for the entire family to watch – however, only adults can play. There will also be refreshments and MVP T-shirts. The team cost to play starts at $275.00. Sponsorships are available as well, and in-kind contributions are accepted as well as cash.

    Team cost start at $275.00 for maximum of 10 and minimum of 6 individuals for Mud Volleyball. Don’t wait to enter, the longer you wait the higher the price to enter. Sponsorships are still available. Call Doug Valdez at 634-9810.

    Registration Fee:

    $275.00 per team if you sign up before April 1st

    $300.00 per team if you sign up between April 1st and April 30th

    $350.00 if you sign up between May 1st and May 31st

    $375.00 per team between June 1st and June 10th

    $400 between June 11th and June 20th

    Campsites are $65 pop-up 12 foot spot. Only 1 car allowed per site.

    RV spots are $80 for a 40 foot spot.

    If you don’t want to play, but want to help in some way – volunteers are needed the week of the event. You could work at the concession stand, help with clean-up, sell T-shirts, fold T-shirts, help serve meals at the Captain’s meeting, etc. Please call Doug Valdez at 634-9810.

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    UPDATED: 12:42 p.m. 

    The lockdown of two schools in the northwest is over.

    Both Frontier HS and Veterans Elementary had their lockdowns lifted about 12:30 Wednesday afternoon.

    Police say the suspect has not been located and is still on the loose.


    Bakersfield Police are searching for a man with a knife near Frontier High School.

    Frontier and nearby Veteran's Elementary are on lockdown as of 12:10 p.m. Wednesday.

    Police say the man with a knife jumped a fence onto the Frontier campus. They say he later jumped a fence off campus. 

    Police are now searching the neighborhood east of Frontier.

    The suspect is described as a white male in a red sweatshirt.

    We will update this story as more information becomes available.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The greater Bakersfield chamber of commerce appointed a new leader.

    On Wednesday, the board of directors appointed Nick Ortiz as the new president and CEO.
    Ortiz was a former chamber employee who went on to work for PG&E and then Western States Petroleum Association.
    There he was the local oil industry representative and worked closely with Kern County Oil Producers.
    Ortiz will start his new job on April 13.
    He will be replacing Cindy Pollard who led the 1300 member organization for two years before accepting a job with Aera Energy.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The owners of a proposed power plant near Tupman have responded to calls from a coalition of critics to shut the project down.

    In a document filed with the California Energy Commission on March 18, SCS Energy said it is working diligently to get the project done.
    The HECA project has stalled after spending about $153 million of taxpayer money from federal grants.
    The plant would produce carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, as a byproduct of burning coal to create energy.
    The plant needs to find a buyer for the CO2 to qualify as a green energy project, and thought it had a potential buyer in Occidental Petroleum.
    But that deal never materialized.
    Now, HECA is trying to find somewhere else to put the gas, possibly trapping it permanently by pumping it underground.

    Click HERE to read the company's response to critics.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Sprint Cup Champion and hometown hero Kevin Harvick was honored by Mayor Harvey Hall for his achievements in racing.

    Harvick, coming off his first Sprint Cup Series championship will look for his third straight win of this season in Fontana on Sunday.

    Harvick used the event to announce the Kevin Harvick Foundation is partnering with the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation to remodel the gym and the playground adjacent to the Boys and Girls Club in Bakersfield.

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    SACRAMENTO, CA - Governor Jerry Brown unveiled the state's new billion dollar drought relief plan today.

    The governor and state legislators from both sides of the aisle announced legislation to help local communities cope with the ongoing, devastating drought.
    According to the governor's office, the legislation includes more than $1 billion for local drought relief and infrastructure projects to make the state's water infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather events.  
    The package accelerates $128 million in expenditures to provide direct assistance to workers and communities impacted by drought and to implement the water action plan. 
    It also includes $272 million in funding by proposition 1 water bond funding for safe drinking water and water recycling.

    "This is a struggle. Something we have to live with. We are going to have to find recycling, storage, efficiencies. The water board issued orders yesterday ... there will be more orders to come. So it's not a partisan problem, the drought is a real problem, a hydrological problem, we are going to meet it the best that we can," said Gov. Brown.

    This year marks the second year in a row that the state has issued emergency drought relief.
    Last year, more than $680 million was distributed by the state to communities facing water shortages and to provide food and housing to those affected by the drought.
    Today's announcement comes in the wake of new watering restrictions issued by the state water board on Tuesday limiting the days residents can water their yards to only two times a week.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A Los Angeles-based company is touting test results from a pilot project here in Kern County demonstrating a process for recycling waste water from oil fracking.

    Origin Oil has partnered with Vaquero Energy to test their "clean-frac prime" water treatment process.
    The company claims their system will remove virtually all contaminants from fluids produced by hydraulic fracturing.
    Origin Oil announced independent lab tests show its "clean-frac" process removed 97 percent of hydrocarbon and other contaminants from the water.
    Origin Oil said their technology could save producers up to a million dollars in operating costs on a single fracked well.
    The oil industry has come under increasing fire recently for injecting produced waste water into groundwater aquifers.
    Origin Oil said ultimately its system could be used to clean up oil production waste water for use in agriculture.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - City officials are cracking down on a homeless encampment in south Bakersfield.
    The enclave of tents just off South Union poses a health and sanitation risk, according to officials, and, that they can't legally be there.

    "We look at ourself as a small community trying to get by, to help one another, do what they need to do to make it," said O'Keith -- lives in tent city. 

    City officials look at the situation differently, responding that the homeless encampment is unsanitary and camping is forbidden in a commercial zone.
    There are no rest rooms, no running water, and no electricity.
    Officials have been aware of the encampment since December following several complaints, but they can't find the land owner, whose responsible for cleaning it up.
    The nearly 30 people who live in the tent city say they have an informal government and system of rules everyone abides by.
    City officials say an abatement hearing will be held later this month, and if the property owner doesn't show, the city will take steps to clear the lot.
    Meantime, members of the Kern Homeless Collaborative have reached out to the people on the property in an attempt to get them help.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A 17-year-old girl who pleaded no contest to the murder of her ex-girlfriend's one-year-old son had her sentencing postponed today.

    Asiah Hines pleaded no contest to one count of second degree murder last month for the death of Kai'dan Timothy Webb.
    Deputies say Webb wasnt breathing when they found him last December in an east Bakersfield apartment. 
    Initially, Hines told detectives she found the boy unconscious -- but the coroner determined the child was beaten.

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