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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The monthly job report for March is out and the numbers are lower than expected.

    According to the report, 126,000 jobs were added to the economy, however, analysts expected 245,000 jobs.
         
    Unemployment stayed the same at 5.5 percent .
         
    Analysts were expecting job growth to slow this month.
         
    Despite publicized promises of increased pay from major employers, like Walmart and McDonalds, experts said wage gains were likely flat.
         
    The stock market is closed for Good Friday and a long weekend.
         
    Only the jobs and futures markets will be open.


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  • 04/03/15--11:24: Condors unveil new logo
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA - In the last two years, the Bakersfield Condors have been through a whirlwind of change. 
         
    The team hired two head coaches, announced its NHL affiliation with the Edmonton Oilers, made their deepest run in the Kelly Cup playoffs, and most recently announced the move up to the American Hockey league next season.
         
    Now they're sporting a new logo for that AHL team.

    Representatives with the Oilers said they didn't want to mess with a good thing
         
    The biggest change is the incorporation of Oilers Royal Blue and Orange.
         
    The condor in the logo is also updated.
         
    A secondary logo will be revealed along with home and road jerseys later this summer.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield police officials are asking for the public's assistance in identifying a vehicle connected to a burglary in southwest Bakersfield.

    The incident happened on March 19, in the 2600 block of Oak Grove Street.

    According to police, the victim reported a burglary to his residence.
         
    Surveillance video was obtained and the vehicle depicted in the photograph was observed circulating the neighborhood prior to the offense, and fleeing the area after the burglary was reported.

    The vehicle is described as a newer model SUV, possibly a 2015 Kia Sorento, brown in color, according to BPD.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the Detective Nicole
    Shihrer at 661-326-3871.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield Police Department is seeking the community’s assistance in locating a suspect wanted for assault.

    According to BPD, Bryson Dean was involved in an argument with a victim and assaulted her. Dean also has active warrants for domestic violence offenses related to other victims. 

    Dean is 23 years old, 5 foot 11 inches and 140 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Galland at 326-3557 or the Bakersfield Police Department at 661-327-7111.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - There is a traffic advisory for northwest Bakersfield on Friday as crews from the Bakersfield Fire Department conduct training exercises.

    Part of the training includes a controlled residential burn, which will take place from  from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the 7900 block of Downing Avenue.
         
    According to the Bakerfield Police Department, Downing between Coffee Road and Bowman Court will be closed to traffic.

    A police service technician will assist with traffic control.

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    (WMBF) The anonymous man hanging from a cross in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has a message, and many who've seen him have mixed emotions. 

    "At first I thought it was weird, but it's ok," Jelecia Farber said. 

    'How do I feel about it?" Dan Torre asked, "Um, I think it's kind of creepy, actually."

    Others were moved to tears.

    "Just to see this, I think it's very moving," Farrah Dickerson said as her eyes filled with tears. 

    The man portraying Jesus on the cross isn't alone.



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    BAKERSFIELD< CA - Testimony continued on Friday in the trial of accused masked rapist Billy Ray Johnson, who took the stand in his own defense.

    Johnson is accused in a series of sexual assaults that terrorized east Bakersfield in the summer of 2013.
         
    Johnson testified that he committed about 1,000 burglaries, but not any of the sexual assaults he's accused of.
         
    Prosecutors asked about a picture from Facebook, showing him holding a gun.
         
    Johnson replied that he likes crime shows and posted the pictures because he like guns.
         
    Prosecutors say DNA evidence connects Johnson to the crimes.
         
    But defense attorney Paul Cadman said he'll prove that Johnson is wrongly accused, and his arrest was one of convenience, due to police trying to calm the hysteria surrounding the sexual assaults.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A man who took a plea deal in a deadly drunken driving crash case was sentenced to three years in prison on Friday.

    The crash happened Dec. 29 on Old River Road near Taft Highway, in southwest Bakersfield.
         
    According to investigators, 20-year-old Junner Mayorga-Espinal was drunk when he hit a big rig head-on.
         
    The crash killed Mayorga-Espinal's 21-year-old passenger, Samuel Alarcon.
         
    Mayorga-Espinal pleaded no contest one count of DUI vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence and one count of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol causing bodily injury.
         
    Another DUI with bodily injury charge was dismissed.
         
    According to prosecutor Garret Rice, Mayora-Espinal was facing four years in prison but because this was his first DUI offense, Mayora-Espinal was sentenced to three years
         
    Mayorga-Espinal must serve 85 percent of his sentence.
         
    If he violates his probation, he will serve another three years.

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    SACRAMENTO, CA - According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, nearly 500,000 Californians have applied for a driver's license under AB60 since went into effect on Jan. 2.

    According to the DMV, that's double the number of applications they expected to get at this point.

    “The interest in this program is far greater than anyone anticipated,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. “We projected receiving 500,000 applications by July 2015, but have already reached that level and are on track to continue at double the anticipated number of applications. I appreciate every applicant who has been working with us in commitment to helping make California a safer place for all motorists.” 

    DMV officials projected approximately 1.4 million applications would be received in the three years following AB60's implementation. 

    To meet the increased demands, the DMV hired 900 new employees and added Saturday hours, as well as extending normal office hours. 

    Here is a breakdown of the status of the various license applications as of March 27, 2015:
     
    • 493,998                           Total number of applications for a driver license.
     
    • 448,693 (90.8%)               Applicants with the necessary documents to obtain a license without further review. To date, approximately 203,000 have obtained a license through this process.
     
    • 28,163 (5.7%)                   Applications potentially requiring additional review such as clearing up duplicate records or other administrative process before license application may proceed.
     
    • 17,142 (3.5%)                    Applicants without the necessary documents who then have the option to schedule a  Secondary Review Referral to obtain a license. To date, approximately 4,000 applicants have contacted DMV to make such an appointment and 416 applicants have completed the review and been referred to a field office to take exams. 


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A classified ad in the Los Angeles Times posted Wednesday, has some people wondering what local family-run business could be changing ownership.

    The post is looking for a buyer for a french brick oven bakery in the southern San Joaquin Valley, offering wholesale and retail products. It says a distinctive French bakery for sale -- specializing in sourdough and sweetdough bread and rolls. The business is described as a landmark, serving Kern County more more than 70 years.

    Pyrenees French Bakery in old town Kern seems to fit the description. According to its website -- the bakery has been owned and operated by the Laxague family in Kern County since 1944, and still uses an old fashioned brick oven.

    We went to the bakery Friday, but employees say the owner is not in the market to sell. Although the owner would not speak with us directly.

    The county assessor's office says there are separate owners listed for the land and building. Pyrenees French Bakery owns the building and the family owns the land. The assessor's office says there isn't currently a transfer pending on either and there hasn't been any recent activity.

    Local attorney Kevin Findley is listed as a contact in the LA Times ad. We called multiple times Friday -- but he has not returned our messages, as of newstime.

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    Bakersfield, CA - With the last day to file just 11 days away, local volunteers are helping taxpayers file on time. If you make $55,000 a year or less, there is a program offering free tax assistance. The program is called VITA or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.

    Saturday afternoon Assemblymen Rudy Salas hosted a VITA workshop in Delano, with IRS certified volunteers.

    Airica Belis works as a field representative for Salas she says this workshop is open to everyone with translators available. "We are really just out here to educate and inform everybody to make sure everybody files on time to get the appropriate refunds they deserve," says Belis.


    Andrew Eckroth works in IT full time and volunteers for VITA to give back to the Kern County community. "We help prepare their tax returns, make sure they are getting the things they are looking for like deductions and benefits," says Eckroth.

    VITA offers free basic tax preparation and filing to people with low to moderate income, disabilities, the elderly and people who have limited English skills.

    Organizers say people often don't realize they qualify for tax credits, like earned income."If you make under a certain amount and your working, your getting money from something like work or similar to that, your actually able to get money back from the us government,"says Eckroth. It's an economic incentive for hard working low-to-moderate income tax payers "they need that money that could really help out in their day to day life, I think we need to get as many people as we can in here."

    There will be another VITA workshop next Saturday at East High School in Bakersfield from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. For more information or to RSVP call 335-0302. The last day to file is Wednesday, April 15.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield Police Department is investigating a bomb threat after a man notified police he had explosive devices and was demanding money.

    It happened around 9:30 p.m. on Friday at the Double Tree Hotel off Rosedale Highway.
         
    That's where BPD said a man claimed to have explosive devices inside the building.
        
    The man said he had access to weapons and was demanding money before a deadline he gave them.
         
    They say he also told them there was another device near the 24-Hour Fitness on Rosedale Highway.
         
    According to BPD, they did not find any suspicious devices and determined the threat was most likely a hoax.
         
    However, the investigation is ongoing.

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    BAKERSFIELD -CA - Children staying in the hospital through the holiday weekend got a visit from some good neighbors with an Easter surprise.

    The Dewar family stopped by the Lauren Small Children's Medical Center today to share a little holiday cheer.
         
    Kids received gift baskets with a chocolate bunny, chews, and other fun easter goodies.
         
    One organizer said she experienced a traumatic time when both of her children were in the hospital and saw how generous the community was to her family.
         
    She said today is an opportunity to pay that kindness forward.

    "it warmed our hearts, and so we tried to figure out what is something we could do to put a smile on a child's face, who, like i say, is unfortunately in the hospital during a holiday time," said Heather Dewar Cook.

    Cook said it's already a difficult time for families and every little gesture of goodwill can have an impact on families.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A man is in custody after leading California Highway Patrol officers on a chase through Oildale.
         
    It happened around 10:30 p.m. Friday night on Oildale Drive.
         
    That's when CHP officials said 41-year-old Danny Olivo entered the intersection on Norris Road against a red light and collided with two vehicles.
        
    Olivo then continued on before crashing into a wall and stopping after his vehicle became disabled.
         
    Olivo was arrested and booked for multiple felony charges.
         
    Eight people were involved in the collision. Their injuries varied from minor to moderate.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Residents stepped out for a fun-filled day with the family at Martin Luther King Jr. Park for an Easter celebration, hosted by Stay Focused Ministries.

    Organizers said the event is a great way to bring unity, hope, joy and fun to the neighborhood. 
         
    The organization partnered with the Bakersfield Parks and Recreation Department for the 22nd annual Easter Blast.
         
    Organizers added that maintaining a presence and building trust in the communty is one way they're working to be proactive in preventing local gang violence.

    "T0hat's only god's grace. To pull me out of the lifestyle of the gang violence and as one that was really reaching out and making havoc in the neighborhoods -- god turned my life around to reach the gang members to encourage them and let them know, if I can change -- as one of the worst ones at that time -- then there's hope for anybody," said former gang member and event organizer Manuel Carrizalez.

    The parks department donated more than 10,000 plastic eggs for the easter hunt.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield police officials are investigating reports of a shooting on Saturday afternoon in southeast Bakersfield.

    The shooting happened around 1:30 P.M. on Saturday in the 700 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. 
         
    Bullets appeared to have hit a building. 
         
    Police didn't find anyone injured initially, but are still investigating.

    If you have any information on the incident, call BPD at 327-7111. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A spring dog parade and costume contest brought out all sorts of characters Saturday afternoon in northwest Bakersfield.

    Kiku and Kizzy Bear were the top dogs, taking first place in the contest.

    The event at Brimhall Square raised money for Maryley's Mutts.

    Marley's Mutts is offering low cost spay and neuter vouchers every Saturday this month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Walmart Neighborhood Market on Chester Avenue. Vouchers are $30 and also include a microchip, medicine and rabies vaccine.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Volunteers spread the Easter spirit on Sunday at the Mission at Kern County. 
         
    Hundreds of people who are homeless or in need of a good meal came out for a time of homegrown fellowship. 
         
    Organizers said it's an important time for people at the mission to feel support of family.  

    "It's an opportunity for us to extend open arms to our residents and our homeless population. We want them to feel a sense of home. A lot of folks don't have a place where they call home and we are their home," said Carlos Baldovinos, executive director of the Mission at Kern County.

    The Mission also feeds the less fortunate, not just on Easter and major h but breakfast, lunch, and dinner.. every day of the year.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Arson investigators are looking into a suspicious fire that completely engulfed a new home under construction in Rosedale.

    According to Bakersfield fire officials, it happened in a neighborhood off the Westside Parkway and Jewetta Avenue.
         
    The two-story home was in the framing stage and completely in flames when firefighters arrived. 
         
    A home nearby was also damaged from the flames. 

    *Photos courtesy of Donna Bond via Facebook

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Kern High School District is looking to incorporate new math books and they're taking input from the public at the upcoming meeting on Monday.
         
    School officials have reviewed several text books and narrowed it down to three choices, which will be adopted next school year.
         
    The district will keep the review period open until May before making a decision.
         
    The board will also hear a report on enrollment projections and boundaries for the district.

    If you would like to attend the meeting, it takes place in the board room at the Kern High School Distict's Administrative and Support Services Office.
         
    It starts at 7 p.m. and is located at 5801 Sundale Ave.

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