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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- GET will hold a public meeting to talk about proposed service changes.

    The Golden Empire Transit District Board of Directors will hold a Public Hearing on April 7 at 5:30 PM in the GET Board Room to hear comments regarding proposed service changes including:

    Routes 21- Route 21 operates from Bakersfield Community College to CSUB on major corridors. The Route 21 is a rapid route operating every 15 minutes on weekdays and 30 minutes on Saturdays, Sundays and evenings. This proposal would adjust the public timetable to improve reliability of the service on weekends. Ridership on this route has increased significantly and an additional bus is needed to provide timely service.

    Route 22 - Route 22 operates from North Chester Avenue to CSUB on major corridors. The Route 22 is a rapid route operating every 15 minutes on weekdays and 30 minutes on Saturdays, Sundays and evenings. This proposal would adjust the public timetable to improve reliability of the service on weekends. Ridership on this route has increased significantly and more buses are needed to provide timely service.

    Route 44 - Route 44 links East Bakersfield with Valley Plaza. It is the principle route for service to Kern Medical Center and serves Bakersfield Community College, Kern County Fairgrounds and the Union Avenue corridor. This is one of GET's most popular routes and adjustments to the public timetable to improve reliability are proposed. An additional bus is needed to keep this route operating on time. Buses would be added seven days a week.

    Route 61 - Route 61 is a circulator route that links Bakersfield Community College to Oildale, the northwest and southwest including the Northwest Promenade and Winco in the southwest. This proposal adds hourly weeknight service until 11 PM. Customers have requested evening service on this route.

    Route 62 - Route 62 is a circulator route that links the Greenfield area with Valley Plaza, Wal-Mart on Panama and Ridgeview High School. It also serves Golden Valley High School and the Greenfield Senior Center. This proposal adds hourly weeknight service until 11 PM. Customers have requested evening service on this route.

    Route 82 - Route 82 is a circulator-express route between downtown, the Northwest Promenade and CSUB. It serves the Fruitvale and Rosedale communities. This proposal would add hourly weeknight service between Downtown & NW Promenade until 10 PM.

    Eliminate Thanksgiving and Christmas Service All Routes - GET started operating service 365 days a year in 2013. Thanksgiving, 2103 there were 3,852 boardings and in 2014, 4,041 boarding. Christmas, 2013 there were 3,271 boardings and in 2014, 3,228 boardings. The cost to operate service on these two days is approximately $50,000 annually.

    The cost increase for all these proposed changes would be approximately $550,000 per year.

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    GET realiza audiencia pública para escuchar comentarios acerca de cambios de servicio propuestos

    La Juanta Directiva del Distrito de Golden Empire Transit llevará a cabo una audiencia pública el 7 de abril a las 5:30PM en la Sala de Juntas GET para escuchar los comentarios sobre los cambios propuestos al servicio, incluyendo:

    Ruta 21- Ruta 21 opera desde Bakersfield Community College hasta CSUB en los principales corredores. Esta propuesta sería ajustar el calendario público para mejorar la fiabilidad del servicio los fines de semana.

    Ruta 22- Ruta 22 opera desde Avenida North Chester hasta CSUB en los principales corredores. Esta propuesta sería ajustar el calendario público para mejorar la fiabilidad del servicio los fines de semana.

    Ruta 44- Ruta 44 enlace Este de Bakersfield con Valley Plaza. Es la vía principal de servicio a Kern Medical Center y sirve Bakersfield Community College, Kern County Fairgrounds y el corridor de la Avenida Union. Esta propuesta sería ajustar el calendario público para mejorar la finabilidad del servicio.

    Ruta 61- Ruta 61 es una vía de circulación que une Bakersfield Community College a Oildale, el noroeste y el suroeste incluyendo el Northwest Promenade y Winco en el suroeste. Este propuesta se suma el servicio entre semana cada hora hasta las 11 pm.

    Ruta 62- Ruta 62 es una vía de circulación que conecta la area de Greenfield con Valley Plaza, Wal-Mart en Panamá y la Escuela Secundaria Ridgeview. Esta propuesta se suma el servicio entre semana cada hora hasta las 11 pm.

    Ruta 82- Ruta 82 es una ruta de circulación expres entre el centro de la ciudad, el Northwest Promenade y CSUB. Esta propuesta se añaden servicio entre semana por hora entre el centro de la ciudad y NW Promenade hasta las 10 pm.

    Eliminar servicio por completo en Día de Acción de Gracias y la Navidad de todas las rutas de servicio - El costo de operar el servicio en estos dos días es de aproximadamente $50,000 anuales.

    El aumento de los costos para todos los cambios propuestos sería de aproximadamente $550,000 por año. Si se aprueba, cambios en el servicio se aplicarían Domingo, 5 de juilo.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Veterans in need of medical care will have more options soon as the Department of Veterans Affairs relaxes its 40-mile rule.

    The VA is expanding the choice program eligibility because it says it's hard for some vets in rural areas to prove they live at least 40-miles from a VA health site.

    To do this it will now measure the 40-mile trip by driving distance rather than the so-called method of "as the crow flies" which currently used.

    The change is expected to double the number of eligible veterans.

    The move is part of a landmark law adopted last year to overhaul the VA and make it easier for veterans to get private care paid for by the government.

    It was passed in response to a scandal over long wait times for veterans seeking health care and falsified records covering up the delays.

    Meantime, House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on the VA's decision.

    "For veterans in our community, Sepulveda is often the closest VA comprehensive health care facility that provides the care they require. But being one to two hours away is a major logistical barrier that hampers the ability for our veterans to receive that care.

    "That is why offering veterans choice to seek private care that is closer to their homes was a big part of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability act.

    "Today's announcement is a small but important step to reforming the VA for a 21st century so that the promises made to our veterans for their selfless service are kept."
     

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A new report indicates California State University Administrators made significant gains in hiring and compensation over the last decade while faculty lost ground or failed to keep pace.

    The report was produced by the California Faculty Association, a union that represents about 25,000 Cal State professors and other staff.

    It looked at payroll and budget data and found that over the last decade, the number of managers and supervisors systemwide grew 19% while the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty fell 3%.

    They say faculty dropped as the student population increased by roughly a quarter during that time.

    The faculty group hopes to reopen negotiations with the University on salary and benefits in May.

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    (NBC) Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who left his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held captive by the Taliban for five years, will be charged with desertion, sources told NBC News.

    Bergdahl was released last year in a controversial prisoner exchange for five Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    The Army also had the option of filing the lesser charge of going absent without leave, or AWOL.

    The military began investigating after Bergdahl was repatriated and returned to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, where he was given a desk job.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Attention animal lovers, there are new specialists in town to care for your pets. Access Specialty Animal Hospitals is opening a satellite location here in town, offering cardiology and internal medicine for your animals.

    They are teaming up with animal emergency and urgent care on Easton Drive, off Truxtun Avenue, and the specialists will visit weekly for appointments. "I am very excited about this opportunity. It is great to bring specialty medicine in the Central Valley and Bakersfield area for the first time," said Dr. Domenico Bianco. 

    The CEO of Access says they will add specialties as the need grows. Access started back in 2005, offering emergency and internal medicine services in Los Angeles.

    Services at the animal hospital are similar to human specialty medicine and typically by referral only.




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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A new study by the state shows water used to marijuana has a devastating effect on fish in California.

    The California Department of Fish and Wildlife study showed that during drought conditions, water demand for marijuana cultivation exceeded stream flow in three of four study watersheds.

    The resulting paper, entitled "Impacts of Surface Water Diversions for Marijuana Cultivation on Aquatic Habitat in Four Northwestern California Watersheds," concludes that diminished stream flow from this water-intensive activity is likely to have lethal to sub-lethal effects on state and federally listed salmon and steelhead trout and will cause further decline of sensitive amphibian species.

    By using online tools to count marijuana plants and measure greenhouses, and conducting inspections of marijuana cultivation sites with state wildlife officers and local law enforcement, CDFW scientists quantified plant numbers and water use. Utilizing stream flow data provided by staff at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), CDFW determined water demand for cultivation could use more than 100 percent of stream flow during the summer dry season in three of four study watersheds. Stream flow monitoring conducted by CDFW in the summer of 2014 appeared to verify these results.

    "All the streams we monitored in watersheds with large scale marijuana cultivation went dry," said CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Scott Bauer, lead author of the research paper. "The only stream we monitored that didn't go dry contained no observed marijuana cultivation."

    CDFW's Law Enforcement Division works closely with dozens of other state and federal agencies to eradicate illegal marijuana grows on public, tribal and private lands as well as protect the state's natural resources.

    "This research paper demonstrates the importance of greater regulatory efforts by state agencies to prevent the extinction of imperiled fisheries resources," said CDFW Assistant Chief Brian Naslund. "CDFW's new Watershed Enforcement Team (WET) was created with just that in mind."

    The WET program works with agency partners to protect public trust resources from the negative effects of marijuana cultivation, which include both excessive water use and pollution.

    CDFW will continue to monitor the effects of water diversion for marijuana cultivation on stream flow through the summer of 2015.

    Marijuana cultivation is legal in California if growers have the proper CDFW lake and streambed alteration permits. Responsible growers help conserve the state's natural resources and are less likely to be subject to enforcement action.

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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- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued the following statement on her decision to file an action for declaratory relief seeking judicial authorization to not issue a title and summary for the so-called Sodomite Suppression Act:

    “As Attorney General of California, it is my sworn duty to uphold the California and United States Constitutions and to protect the rights of all Californians. This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society. Today, I am filing an action for declaratory relief with the Court seeking judicial authorization for relief from the duty to prepare and issue the title and summary for the "Sodomite Suppression Act." If the Court does not grant this relief, my office will be forced to issue a title and summary for a proposal that seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism.”
    __________________________________________________

    Here is the background on the ballot initiative that triggered Wednesday's action:


    (NBC)- A group of California legislators has filed a complaint against a lawyer who is proposing a statewide ballot initiative that would allow gays and lesbians to be "put to death by bullets to the head."

    Matthew Gregory McLaughlin, an Orange County attorney, filed the so-called Sodomite Suppression Act on Feb. 24 with the state's Office of the Attorney General. McLaughlin's proposed law would also ban gays — whom he refers to as "sodomites" — from holding public office.

    Under his proposed law, people found guilty of spreading "sodomite propaganda" would be fined $1 million or see jail time.
    But the state Legislature's LGBT Caucus is asking the State Bar to review McLaughlin, who is listed as active and permitted to practice in California. They believe he's violating the State Bar's requirement that attorneys act in "good moral character."

    "We are shocked and outraged that a member of the State Bar would so callously call for the disenfranchisement, expulsion and murder of members of the LGBT community," the caucus wrote in its complaint dated March 10 and obtained by NBC News.

    "We believe that this measure not only fails constitutional muster, but that such inciting and hateful language has no place in our discourse, let alone state constitution," it said.

    Anyone can file a prospective state ballot measure at a $200 fee, and the public has 30 days to respond before the attorney general publishes a summary of the measure, according to state rules.

    McLaughlin, who could not immediately be reached for comment Friday, faces an uphill task to actually see his proposal on a statewide ballot. The initiative must gather the number of signatures equal to 5 percent of those who voted in the last election for governor — or about 366,000 valid names.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Kern County Supervisors asked Governor Jerry Brown to break the bureaucratic backlog of injection well permits submitted by oil producers to the Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, or "DOGGR."

    Last Friday, eight democratic lawmakers in Sacramento, backed by environmentalists, called for shutting down all oilfield injection wells.

    They claim DOGGR doesn't really know whether those wells, some 2,000 in total, are contaminating groundwater.

    But oil producers in Kern, also use injection wells to pump steam into the ground to bring up heavy crude oil.

    Roughly 80% of California's oil is produced in Kern County, with oil and gas properties contributing about $100 million annually in property tax revenues to the county's general fund.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County will get a big boost from Chevron on Wednesday.

    They will receive a grant award from Chevron in the amount of $35,000 to engage youth at the Stockdale Boys & Girls Club and the Armstrong Youth Center through the STEM Summer Camp and After School Programming.

    STEM Summer Camp will include Science, Technology, Engineering and Math activities utilizing the Discover STEM Lab and related curriculum from Stemfinity as well as Lego Mindstorms EV3 kits and Google Maker Camp.

    The program will incorporate the three C's (Communication, Collaboration and Critical Thinking) - skills needed for 21st Century readiness.

    There will be a check presentation on Wednesday, March 25 at 3:30 at the Stockdale Boys & Girls Club, 5207 Young Street, Ste. 200.

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    TAFT, CA- Kern County Deputies arrest man after a standoff in Taft.

    Deputies say they were called to domestic disturbance and were told the suspect was armed.

    Taft Police assisted in setting up a perimeter around the home.

    Deputies say the suspect, 36-year-old Glenn Reid, argued with a a woman and then choked her and drug her across his yard before forcing her inside the home.

    They say the womans 1-year-old child was also at the home but was uninjured.

    Reid eventually gave up to deputies without struggle or incident. He was booked into the Taft City Jail for kidnapping, spousal abuse, making criminal threats, false imprisonment, and child endangerment.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Kern County Waste Management Department and Kern Refuse Haulers are joining together to help the community by hosting a bulky waste recycling event. 

    Residents can drop off large household items like appliances and furniture at any of three locations around Bakersfield. 

    The event happens Saturday, March 28, from 8 a.m. to noon.

    The three locations are:

    • North High School - 300 Galaxy Ave (bus loading zone at the front of the school)

    • Kern County Fair - 1142 South P Street (East Belle Terrace & South P)

    • Kern Medical Center - 1700 Mount Vernon Ave (corner of Flower & Mt. Vernon - west parking lot)

    According to organizers, one of the goals of this program is to help clean up illegal dump sites. 

    Bulky items, such as appliances, mattresses and furniture make up more than 50 percent of the waste found at illegal dump sites. 

    Organizers say bulky waste collection events are a pro-active method for addressing a major portion of the illegal dumping waste stream.

    The Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries, Inc. have also joined in this effort once again and will be available to accept donations of items that can be reused. 

    Please remember to tarp or secure your load prior to transporting your bulky waste to one of these locations.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A traffic advisory will be in effect on Friday morning for a concert featuring a Grammy nominated duo who will be performing for local children.

    The "Greg and Steve's Children's Concert Event" will take place on 20th Street between H and G Streets from 6 a.m. to noon. 

    During the event the streets will be closed.

    The children's concert series is being held at the Fox Theater.
         
    The grammy-nominated singer-songwriters Greg and Steve perform family-friendly tunes.
         
    This week's concerts are being presented by the Community Connection for Child Care.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Dignity Health educators got out of the hospital setting today, and into the aisles at the grocery store, to share tips for healthy eating.

    Health educators went to the Vallarta Market on Panama Lane to educate shoppers on how to read nutrition labels, to know the differences between different types of fat, and how to make sure they are incorporating all of the important food groups.
         
    Educators said a lot of people often miss out of food groups and don't get enough fruits, veggies or grains.
         
    They also talked about specific challenges when it comes to cooking Latin-style food.

    "As Latina women, we tend to cook with grease, a lot of food involved with lard, fat oils, we talked about healthier recipes and way to incorporate healthier meals. Using a better option, as canola oil instead of margarine, using peanut oil instead of other oils," said Angelica Montano.

    Dignity Health officials said half of what we eat in a meal should be fruits or veggies, but healthy grains are also important.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - KGET is firing up the barbecue next week to help raise funds to support the Kern County Sheriff's Activities League.
         
    The organization provides programs to help local youth develop into responsible, productive citizens -- reducing juvenile crime.

    The barbecue is on Wednesday, April 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
         
    You can help support the program by joining us outside our KGET studios at 22nd and L Streets. 
         
    For $5 you can get a hamburger, chips and a drink.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A community meeting is scheduled to discuss the proposed apartment complex to be constructed in downtown Bakersfield.

    The meeting will be held tonight at Metro Galleries, located at 1604 19th Street from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

    At the meeting, the community will discuss the 28-unit apartment complex planned for 2115-2125 18th Street. 

    The complex is called, The Lofts on 18th Street.

    For more information you can check out the project's Facebook page to learn more.


    *Photos from the project's Facebook page.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - More than 800 students were expected from more than eight local elementary schools from third to sixth graders.
         
    They were there at the museum's Pioneer Village to experience life like it was in California in the late 1800's.
         
    It's called "Frontier Life" and it's designed to support history programs set forth by state and local schools.
         
    The kids got to do things like make adobe bricks, build split rail fences and learn how to build log cabins.     
         
    They also panned for gold and learned how oil.or "black gold" became a major economic force here in Kern County.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Jan Lemucchi with the Independent Living Center of Kern County visited the KGET studios to talk about their new program, known as the OIB Program. 

    The ILCKC has a new program for individuals who are blind/ visually impaired and who are 55 years of age and older needing low vision training, adaptive equipment or assistive technology, communication skills training, independent living skills training, adjustment/peer counseling, or any of the other services ILCKC provides. 

    Lemucchi said the program was designed because elderly people visually impaired have a difficult time finding a job due to their disability.

    ILCKC is providing individuals with the tools needed to become independent now that they may have recently become blind or visually impaired. 

    If you would like more information, visit the Independent Living Center of Kern County's website or call 325.1063.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Three local Albertsons are closing and will reopen as a Haggen Food and Pharmacy.

    The Albertsons at 7900 White Lane, and the The Albertsons at 3500 Panama Lane will close March 29 at 6 p.m. and reopen March 31 as a Haggen food store.
         
    The Albertsons at  8200 East Stockdale Highway will close March 31 at 6 p.m, and reopen April 2.

    A spokesperson said the company wants to partner with local farmers and producers to offer locally sourced products, and retain current employees. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield police are asking for the public's help in finding suspects wanted for forgery and burglary.

    According to BPD, suspects entered the Office Max located at 3761 Ming Av. with a credit card that had been stolen during a residential burglary hours earlier and attempted to use the card.

    One suspect is described as a male in his 20's, medium height and weight, shaved head.

    The second suspect is a female in her 20's.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Alex Menendez at (661) 326-3873 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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