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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A Bakersfield man suspected of bringing a knife on to the campus of Frontier High School has been arrested.

    According to the Bakersfield Police Department, 23-year-old Joshua Andrews entered the campus on Wednesday morning armed with a knife, but ran away minutes later after being spotted by security officials.
        
    Police caught him a short time later and said Andrews had a pair of bolt cutters in his possession.
         
    High school officials said there's been a rash of bike thefts at the school, but can't yet say whether the man arrested is the culprit.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Starting today, two back-to-back ceremonies will be held by the Thomas Road Improvements Program.

    A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the San Joaquin facilities management incorporated office on the corner of Rosedale Highway and Mohawk Street at 1:30 p.m.

    Construction on the project begins as TRIP completes work on the Highway 58 gap closure project.
      
    At 1:30 p.m on Friday at Saint John Missionary Baptist Church on Brundage Lane.
         
    A ribbon cutting will be held to celebrate that completion, as well as another groundbreaking ceremony to usher in the beginning of the beltway operational improvements project.

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    NBC News - New research reveals a link between depression and unemployment among young adults.

    The study from Emory University found nearly 12 percent of 18 to 25 year olds were depressed and 23-percent were unemployed.
         
    The unemployed young adults were three times more likely to be classified with depression than those who had jobs.
         
    This may be due to the stress of delaying the transition to adulthood, the stigma of being unemployed and financial struggles.
         
    Experts recommend unemployed young adults be screened and treated for symptoms of depression.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA.-The Bakersfield Music Theater is bringing Dancing with the Stars to Bakersfield. In just one week, local community members will dance with professional choreographers in an effort to raise $50,000 for the theater. 

    Ryann and her partner have been practicing over the last few weeks, trying to get each step just right, as this will be no easy competition. Not with competitors like county supervisor Leticia Perez and attorney David Torres. 

    Which couple will step their way to the top? We'll just have to wait and see. 

    Tickets to the event next Saturday night, March 28 have already been sold out. But, you can vote online. Your vote will help determine the winning couple. Just visit BMTStars.com. Each vote is $1.00. Vote for your favorite performer. Whomever that may be. 


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Golden State Mall is under new ownership.

    According to the assessor's office, a deed was filed to transfer ownership to the Canyon Hills Assembly of God, and Southern California District Council of the Assemblies of God.
         
    In a statement released on March 19, Canyon Hills representatives said it is stll in the planning stages on what the building will be used for, but are looking to revitalize and restore the historic property.
         
    The mall closed last June when the previous owner filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, forcing store owners and vendors to move out.
         
    The mall went into foreclosure.

    The previous owner had plans to remodel the building into medical offices.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Walmart is currently looking o hire employees for two new stores opening in Bakersfield this summer.

    Walmart will hire up to 190 associates for two new Neighborhood Markets.

    If you are interested in applying, there is a temporary hiring center opened at 4616 California Ave. 

    Applications will be accepted Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Interested applicants may also apply online at http://careers.walmart.com

    Additionally, Walmart officials say they will offer a job to any qualified veteran who has been honorably discharged within the past 12 months, as part of their  Veterans Welcome Home Commitment.

    If you feel you may qualify for the veterans program, apply online http://walmartcareerswithamission.com.

    Veterans must be within 12 months of active duty and meet Walmart’s standard hiring criteria.

    According to store managers Charles Allen and Marcos Cruz, the store will be hiring both full- and part-time associates.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Young chefs are looking to add their own recipes to school lunch menus, following a district-wide cook-off.

    The Bakersfield City School District held a cook-off competition on Thursday, called "The Golden Spork Awards."
         
    Students and adults from the district's 43 school cafeterias made their favorite dishes over at Thorner Elementary School.
         
    They will be taste-tested by more than 400 students in the after school magnet programs.
      
    The winning recipes will be added to next year's menu.

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    TAFT, CA - A Bakersfield woman accused of stealing from a 93-year-old man in Taft has been arrested.

    According to deputies, 50-year-old Olga Davidson of Bakersfield was found sitting on the front porch of the residence of the victim. 

    During an investigation, deputies learned that Davidson was found by a neighbor inside of the 93-year-old's residence and that a specific amount of cash was missing from the victim's bedroom.

    The victim was not aware of her presence inside the home.

    According to deputies, Davidson stole the cash and concealed it inside the crotch area of her pants. 

    Davidson was then arrested for felony first degree burglary and booked into the Central Receiving Facility Jail. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - New unemployment numbers are out for February in Kern County, and they show unemployment remains mostly stagnant.

    The rate went down just slightly from 11.1 percent in January, to 11 percent in February.
         
    Numbers show that layoffs in the oil industry continue, though the pace has slowed significantly from the beginning of the year.

    The jobs lost in Kern County oil fields for the month of February total about 1,200.
         
    Unemployment year to year is down significantly for the county, from 11 percent last month compared to 12.3 percent in February of last year.
         
    Across the state, the unadjusted rate is 6.8 percent. Nationally, the rate is 5.8 percent.

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    DELANO, CA - The Delano Union School District has named a new interim superintendent while the search continues for a permanent replacement.

    At a meeting on Thursday, board members appointed Gary Rice as the interim superintendent.

    Rice was the Greenfield School District's superintendent before retiring in 2009.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Local students witnessed first-hand how our justice system works while attending the Careers in Court event on Friday.

    Around 140 students from Project Best Black Excellence in Schoalrship and Teaching, and black student unions gathered in court learning more about the justice system.
          
    They are spending the day downtown with local law enforcement and legal community partners, learning about the fields of criminal law, corrections, law enforcement, probation, parole, and paralegal. 

    "It's really cool to be able to see. Before this I never thought I would want to go into this field, but after hearing the people talk and seeing it first-hand, it makes me rethink what I want to do," said Jasmine Dixon.

    Students sat in on a mock trial and listen to several panel discussions.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The man accused of molesting a 14-year-old Taft girl took a plea deal earlier this week.

    Efrain Velasco-Palacios pleaded no contest Tuesday to two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and one count of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14.
         
    He is expected to be sentenced April 15 to four years and four months in prison. 
         
    Five felony counts in another molestation case against Velasco-Palacios were dismissed in July 2013, which involved another underage Taft girl.
         
    That's because deputy district attorney Robert Murray admitted to altering the transcript.
         
    Murray has since been reassigned in the district attorney's office.

    Earlier this month, it was revealed Velasco-Palacios was deported four times in the last four years.
         
    Murray is still being investigated by the state bar association for prosecutorial misconduct.

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    Norman is our KGET Pet of the Week. This young pup is eight weeks old and is just like all puppies -- he loves to chew and needs lots of play toys.

    Norman was abandoned at the shelter by his owner.  

    Norman still needs to be neutered, but will be available for adoption on Saturday.

    If you're interested in adopting our pet of the week, you can call the SPCA at 323-8353, or go down and visit the many animals they have up for adoption at the Bakersfield SPCA located at 3000 Gibson St. in northwest Bakersfield.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Kern County Sheriff’s Office would like to provide some crime prevention safety tips to help citizens prevent vehicle theft. 

    According to KCSO, the following tips will help reduce crime and increase quality of life.

    1.      Install an alarm and/or vehicle tracking system. 

    2.      Install an ignition kill switch. If stolen, you can disable your car and render it inoperable, making it useless to a thief.

    3.      Never leave your car running or leave the keys in your car, even if it’s just to “run in and run out”.  Always lock and secure your vehicle after unloading groceries, running in the house, loading up gifts for the holidays, etc.  Never “warm up” your vehicle and leave it unattended as you prepare to leave your house.

    4.      Park in well-lit, well-traveled areas.

    5.      Never leave valuables in plain sight. Items such as iPads, watches, purses, cell phones, gym bags, wallets, and children’s gaming systems are items commonly left in vehicles that can create a reason for someone to want to break into your car.

    6.      If you have a garage, always park your car in the garage. 

    7.      Get in the habit of locking your vehicle even if it is safely parked in your garage at night.  Side entry doors to the garage are sometimes excluded from alarm sensors and can be an easier access point for criminals to get into your garage and inside of your vehicle.

    8.      When using your automatic key remote to lock the doors, make sure the alarm sounds and the doors actually lock. Criminal know how to use devices to disrupt the locking process and when you have left believing your car is locked, they can open the doors and either steal your car or your possessions. 

    If you would like further information on this subject or if you are interested in other crime prevention topics, please contact the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit at (661) 391-7559 or by email at crimeprevention@kernsheriff.com.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield Police Department is making changes to its zoning areas.

    Last year, BPD broke up zoning into six parts.
         
    This year, the department added a lieutenant and a community relations specialist to each beat.

    Both positions were filled after a 2014 study from the International Association of Chiefs of Police found areas of inefficiency.
         
    However, changes began back in 2013 when police service beats were downsized.

    The department will be hosting community meetings in the coming days to inform the public about the revisions.
         
    The next one will be on Tuesday at Riverlakes Community Church in the northwest side of town from 6 to 8 p.m.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA  - A local educator was selected as one of the recipients for the California Teachers Association's Human Rights Awards.

    Union leader Michelle S. Johnson, president of the Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association, won the Lois Tinson Human Rights Award, named after the first African-American president of CTA. 

    Johnson is the second African-American president of her union, and its youngest. She is actively involved in engaging the Bakersfield community in annual activities that promote literacy, such as Read Across America and community picnics. 

    According to representatives, Johnson knows the power of building partnerships in the community for all students and educators.

    The CTA is a community of more than 325,000 members and is affiliated with the three-million member National Education Association.

    The award is given to educators across the state who are committed to transforming communities and changing the lives of students.

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    (NBC News) Fracking has dramatically increased oil and gas production in the U.S. by driving down prices and helping the economy.

    But according to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, new rules are needed.

    Pumping high pressure water and chemicals deep into solid rock until the rock fractures and frees the oil and gas can pollute ground water and, some charge, even cause earthquakes.

    The first-ever federal fracking rules would apply only on federal and Indian lands.

    They would require reinforced boreholes, better leak prevention, and disclosure of the chemicals pumped underground.

    However, many environmentalists are slamming the regulations, saying that they wanted a complete ban.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - City officials will be looking to alternatives to watering only twice a week during what appears to be a long hot summer in Bakersfield.  

    According to the city manager's memo Friday, a preliminary review of the newly adopted state drought regulations indicates
    two primary impacts to the city of Bakersfield.   It appears the very popular spray parks may have to stay closed as they were for the latter part of the season last year.

    And, unless the local jurisdiction has a contrary rule, watering only twice a week will be all that is allowed. Staff will be suggesting consideration of an emergency ordinance establishing our own restrictions be put first before the Water Board and then the City Council. Twice a week is not designed for mid-summer in our climate. The water staff will be doing surveys and coming up with a reasonable alternate to propose.





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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A local man was arrested for murder in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred on Friday in southwest Bakersfield.

    According to Bakersfield police, 28-year-old Travell Clark was arrested as a suspect for the shooting death of an adult male in the 6700 block of Orleans Lane.
         
    The shooting happened on Friday around 10:30 p.m.
         
    The coroner identified the victim as 25-year-old Michael Lashawn Whatly Jr.
         
    According to police, they arrived to find Whatly Jr. suffering from gunshot wounds.
         
    Whatly was eventually pronounced dead at the scene.
         
    Police arrested Clark for murder, being an ex-felon in posession of a firearm, and participation in a criminal street gang.
       
    Police say there are no other suspects in the case.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Families and members of the community got to know their local law enforcement officials a little better today as they gathered to learn more about local public safety services.

    Public Safety Day took place at Beach Park and featured law enforcement, firefighters, and other health and safety officials.
         
    Event organizers said it's also a great time for children to get acquainted with law enforcement and erase any negative stigmas that may exist.

    "it's good especially for the children when they do the stranger danger thing to come out and meet us so if they do get lost, we're not the bad people, we're looking for them for a reason.they're lost and parents want them back -- things like that," said Aaron Lynam, Cpt. with Bakersfield Search and Rescue.

    The event also included demonstrations from local public safety agencies and first responders giving residents a look into the processes involved with emergency rescues.  

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