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KGET: Local News

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    (NBC News) A Boston jury has found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all counts for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

    It took the jury just over 11 hours of deliberation to reach their verdict.

    Tsarnaev faced 30 counts, 17 of which carry the possibility of the death penalty. 

    His defense team admitted Tsarnaev took part in crime, but argued that it was under the influence of his older brother, Tamerlan. 

    The bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 killed three people and injured more than 260.

    The same jury that convicted Tsarnaev will now decide if he will be executed or spend the rest of his life in prison.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Bakersfield Police hope someone will recognize a man they say snatched a bag full of cash and took off.

    The suspect took a nylon ball with currency inside from the hood of the victim's vehicle at the Holiday Inn and Suites located at 3927 Marriott Drive, according to police.

    The suspect ran to a waiting car and fled police said.

    The getaway car is described as a silver 2012-2015 Ford Mustang.

    The suspect is described as a: white or Hispanic male, 20’s, 6’0”, 190 lbs., brown hair, wearing a black ball cap worn backwards, blue sweater with white writing on front, grey shorts, white shoes, tattoos on both arms and under his right eye.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Joel Luera at (661) 326-3947 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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    (WPTV) Real or photoshopped?

    That might be your reaction when you see a photo of a bobcat dragging a 4-foot-shark from the water.

    John Bailey says he took the picture at Florida's Sebastian Inlet State Park.

    He claims the cat leaped into the water, caught the shark, and dragged it to shore. 

    The photographer thinks he ended up getting too close and may have caused the cat to drop the shark and run off into the forest.

    Wildlife experts say it's not uncommon for bobcats to be wandering Florida beaches.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The Kern County Coroner has identified the woman killed in a crash on Weedpatch Highway Tuesday as Rosalba Augilera, 35, of Arvin.

    Investigators say Aquilera's small 4 door car was going east on Sunset Blvd. when she pulled out in front of a small minivan going south on Weedpatch.

    The car was broadsided on the drivers side door and Augilera died at the scene.

    The two people in the minivan were taken to KMC with minor to moderate injuries.

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    RIDGECREST, CA- The Kern County Coroner's Office has released the names of the three females killed in an overnight crash near Ridgecrest.

    They are Taylor Kay Marie Warren, 19, of Ridgecrest, Erica Leigh Greif, 23, of Reno, NV, and Myranda Danea Kiaha, 18, of Ridgecrest.

    All three died at the scene after a head-on crash on Highway 395 near Ridgecrest early Wednesday, according to the CHP.

    Two others went to the hospital with major injuries.

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    SACRAMENTO - Due to the severity of California's drought, the state's experts have been managing water resources to deal with the effects of the drought and prepare for the next one. As part of the solution, the California Energy Commission approved standards for water appliances which will save more than 10 billion gallons of water in the first year. Over time, the water savings is estimated to reach 105 billion gallons per year - a savings of more than three times the annual amount of water used by the City of San Francisco.

    "California is serious about water conservation and is committed to consistent and clear water efficiency policies," said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the Energy Commission's lead on energy efficiency. "In the face of California's current drought, we must use water as efficiently as possible and updating minimum standards for toilets, urinals and faucets is a step in that direction."

    The energy efficiency and water standards approved today require water appliances to consume less water thereby using less energy while performing the same function. The details for each appliance are as follows:

    Toilets and urinals, except those designed for prisons or mental health facilities. Toilets shall not consume more than 1.28 gallons per flush and shall have a waste extraction score of no fewer than 350 grams. Urinals shall not consume more than 0.125 gallons per flush. (These facilities have specially-designed toilets and urinals to address   security and health issues.)

    Residential lavatory faucets shall not exceed 1.2 gallons per minute flow rate.

    Kitchen faucets shall not exceed 1.8 gallons per minute flow rate and may have capability to increase to 2.2 gallons per minute momentarily for filling pots and pans.

    Public lavatory faucets shall not exceed 0.5 gallon per minute flow rate.

    As of January 2014, in California there were more than 45 million faucets, 30 million toilets, and 1 million urinals. California consumes about 443 billion gallons of water a year for flushing toilets and urinals and running faucets. Reducing water consumption by establishing minimum efficiency standards for these appliances is a key component of California's overall water and energy use reduction strategies.

    Last week, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. directed the first ever statewide mandatory water reduction in Executive Order B-29-15. One of the four California Energy Commission responsibilities in the executive order is establishing standards that improve the efficiency of water appliances, including toilets, urinals and faucets available for sale and installation in new and existing buildings.

    The executive order also gave the California Energy Commission the authority to adopt the standards today, rather than wait another month. In addition, the emergency situation allowed the commission to prohibit the sale and installation of certain toilets, urinals and faucets that do not meet minimum water efficiency requirements as of Jan. 1, 2016, regardless of the manufactured date.

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    LAKE ISABELLA, CA-
    UPDATED 4:47 p.m.

    The Kern County Coroner has identified the man who died in-custody as Michael Earl Lemon, 58, of Lake Isabella.
            
    _____________________________________________
    Kern County Sheriff's Office is investigating an in-custody death that happened near Lake Isabella.

    Deputies say a man in his mid-50' died. His name has not been released.

    According to deputies, they responded to a disturbance about 6:30 Wednesday morning at the Lake Isabella Mobile Home and RV Resort on Highway 178.

    Two deputies approached the man and attempted to arrest him.

    They say the man fought with the deputies , but they were able to subdue him with less-than-lethal force and place him in handcuffs.

    Deputies say an ambulance at the scene treated the man who began complaining of trouble breathing. 

    The ambulance took the man to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    The investigation into the death is continuing.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - While many teenagers are playing the X-box or hanging out with friends, 16-year-old Madison Ridley is at home, making blankets.

    The Bakersfield High junior is on a mission to bring comfort to cancer patients, young and old. "The previous year my grandmother had battled breast cancer, and she received a blanket during her one of her many chemo treatments."

    "I remember thinking back to how my grandma felt when she got the blanket and how it brightened her day a lot, and I remember her being really cold in the house whenever it was hot outside," added Ridley.  

    Ridley started buying fleece, and last June with her grandmother's help, started making blankets. "I have made close to 100. I think we just hit the 100 mark."

    Along with each blanket she donates to the AIS Cancer Center or other treatment facility, Ridley includes handwritten notes she calls "Maddie's messages."  "I hope that they will enjoy these blankets and it will keep them warm and comfortable during treatment, and they can get through this, through their fight."

    "Our patients love them. It is really sweet to see them bring them to their visits. We've had some that bring them to every single visit and it's actually a special reminder of their treatment and knowing that someone cares for them in this really sweet way," says Amanda Frank, san joaquin community hospital. 

    Ridley recently made a very special blanket for 13-year-old Ben Martinez whose undergoing treatment for a second time.
    "It has some of my favorite heroes from Marvel, and it feels so comfortable," said Martinez 

    "I thought it was so sweet of her to ask what Benjamin liked, and when they showed up at our door with this amazing blanket I thought that was just precious, precious act of kindness," said Diane Martinez.

    An act of kindness from a teen with a big heart. "It makes me have a sense of accomplishment. Like that I actually achieved what the main goal of this charity was, to make the patients feel like they have a chance and make them feel comfortable through the hard times," said Ridley.  

    If you would like to honor Madison Ridley and the other real heroes, there is a dinner April 18 at the Paramount Citrus Aviation Hangar. For tickets, call 661-324-6427.

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    Captain Luis Montalvan served 17 years in the U.S. Army.

    He received two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, and the Combat Action Badge.

    But, he says what he values most in life is his golden retriever service dog named "Tuesday."

    Captain Luis Montalvan credits his service dog with saving his life after he served 17 years in the army.

    Montalvan says post traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries led him to drink.

    Captain Montalvan said, "service dogs like "Tuesday" brighten my days and they calm my nights, and he has been just amazing at helping to mitigate the affects of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and a spinal cord injury."

    A decorated veteran and now critically acclaimed author, Montalvan is an advocate for service members, veterans and their families, and for anyone living with physical and mental disabilities.

    He earned a Master of Science Degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, and has appeared on many shows advocating for veteran's assistance.

    Officials at BC hope Montalvan's story will inspire the more than 400 students, who are also veterans, to get help if they need it.

    Montalvan's two books, "Until Tuesday" and "Tuesday Tucks Me In" are available at the Bakersfield College bookstore, and all major book retailers.

    Captain Montalvan says a movie about him and "Tuesday" is also in the works and will be out in a couple of years.



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  • 04/09/15--12:16: GET rallies for more funding
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Golden Empire Transit District are rallying with other communities across the nation to encourage long-term investment in transportation infrastructure.

    "GET carries over six million people a year on our transit system, and in order to do that we have to have adequate infrastructure," said Karen King, Golden Empire Transit CEO.

    According to GET officials, they face funding uncertainty if the current federal transportation funding bill fades away.
          
    The bill is set to expire on May 31.
           
    According to GET, a long-term transportation bill is needed for better and expanded transportation options.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Westside Parkway's final phase is set to open in less than a week.

    Officials are planning a ribbon-cutting for next Wednesday, April 15.
         
    The Westside Parkway allows drivers to hop on at Truxtun Extension and travel out to Allen Road.
         
    This new phase set to open includes two miles of freeway lanes from Allen Road to Stockdale Highway and Heath Road. 
         
    The project also includes a new bridge at Renfro Road and soundwalls along the corridor.
         
    Officials said the Westside Parkway is the first freeway to be built in Bakersfield in nearly 40 years.

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    ROSAMOND, CA - The former owner of an animal shelter in Rosamond has pleaded no contest to a felony count of animal cruelty.

    In exchange, eight other counts against Duain Preitz were dropped.
         
    Preitz ran Best of Buddies, Inc and was evicted from the home he was renting, back in January.
          
    County code enforcement officers reported he didn't have a permit to house some 200 rescued dogs on the premises.
         
    Most of the animals have since been transferred to other rescue facilities in the state. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield City School District will hold a community forum to discuss the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).

    The event will take place on Thursday to receive the community’s input on the District’s LCAP and its efforts to improve student learning.

    The forums will be held at 6 p.m. at the Education Center Auditorium, 1300 Baker Street, Bakersfield.

    Parents, staff and community members are invited to hear and discuss important information about the District’s LCAP during this meeting with BCSD’s Board of Trustees.  

    Interpretation will be available, according to BCSD.
     
    WHAT:    Community Forum
    WHEN:    6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2015
    WHERE: Education Center Auditorium
                  1300 Baker Street, Bakersfield

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield Police Department is holding a community meeting Thursday night in downtown Bakersfield.
         
    They'll be letting people know about changes in how they patrol.

    The department has been hosting a series of meetings since last month.
         
    According to BPD, it has geographically redrawn patrol areas into six zones instead of the 25-beats it had before.
         
    The meeting is part of an on-going effort to make the department more efficient and to reduce response times to calls for police assistance.

    Thursday's meeting for the "metro zone" is at 6 p.m. at  Larry E. Reider building on K Street.

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    WASHINGTON - The House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers announced on Thursday that Congressman David G. Valadao will serve as Vice Chair of the Agriculture Subcommittee.

     Vice Chairs of the 12 Appropriations Subcommittees will serve as Chair of the subcommittee in the absence of the Chairperson, and assist them in official Committee duties. 

     "Congressman Valadao has distinguished himself as knowledgeable on the appropriations process and agricultural issues.” House Appropriations Committee Chairman, Hal Rogers said. “In only his second term, he has already demonstrated his leadership and I know he will live up to the demands of the job over what I expect will be a tough but successful appropriations year.”

    Congressman Valadao stated, "Agriculture is a huge part of my own life and is critically important to California's San Joaquin Valley. I am honored to further serve my constituents in this important role." 

    Congressman David G. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District, which includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties.

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    FRESNO, CA - A former Fresno police department deputy chief and six others have been indicted for drug trafficking.

    According to US attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, a federal grand jury indicted former Fresno deputy police chief Keith Foster and six others, charging them with a variety of drug trafficking offenses.

    In addition to Keith Foster, 51, the indictment includes charges against Randy Flowers, 48; Iran Dennis “Denny” Foster, 44; Rafael Guzman, 41; Jennifer Donabedian, 35; and Sarah Ybarra, 37, all of Fresno; and Ricky Reynolds, 30, of Shasta Lake. All defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2015.

    Foster is charged with participating in three separate conspiracies to distribute different controlled substances throughout the past year.

    Both Foster and Flowers are charged with conspiring to distribute oxycodone.

    Flowers is also charged with being a felon in possession of three firearms.

    Both Foster and Guzman are charged with conspiring to distribute heroin.

    Foster is also charged with conspiring with Reynolds, Donabedian, Ybarra and Denny Foster to distribute marijuana.

     Denny Foster is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Each defendant is charged in at least one count with using a cellphone in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. 

    Denny Foster and Guzman are charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.

    If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the counts charging controlled substances other than or in addition to marijuana, a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the marijuana-only trafficking offenses, four years in prison and a $250,000 fine for using a cellphone to facilitate the commission of a felony, and a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

    The case was investigated by the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


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    LAKE ISABELLA, CA-
    UPDATED 4/9/15 3:38 p.m.

    There is new information about what led up to the in-custody death of Michael Lemon, 57 on Wednesday.

    The Kern County Sheriff's Office says they used less than lethal force on Lemon while trying to get him in hand cuffs.

    They now say the two deputies used batons, tasers and pepper spray to control Lemon though its not clear which deputy used what.

    KCSO says the death is still under investigation.

    _____________________________________________

    UPDATED 4:47 p.m.

    The Kern County Coroner has identified the man who died in-custody as Michael Earl Lemon, 57, of Lake Isabella.
            
    _____________________________________________
    Kern County Sheriff's Office is investigating an in-custody death that happened near Lake Isabella.

    Deputies say a man in his mid-50' died. His name has not been released.

    According to deputies, they responded to a disturbance about 6:30 Wednesday morning at the Lake Isabella Mobile Home and RV Resort on Highway 178.

    Two deputies approached the man and attempted to arrest him.

    They say the man fought with the deputies , but they were able to subdue him with less-than-lethal force and place him in handcuffs.

    Deputies say an ambulance at the scene treated the man who began complaining of trouble breathing. 

    The ambulance took the man to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    The investigation into the death is continuing.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Kern County Fire officials want to caution the public of a potential scam.  Officials say a company calling itself RMZ Fire and Safety in Claremont, California, is sending invoices to businesses for annually state required fire safety
    equipment inspection test and certification. That company is requiring payment of $413.11.

    Fire officials say the company has been using deceptive methods to convince businesses to pay for a service that was not performed.  Officials hope you watch out for letters in the mail from this company and if you have received any invoices to do the following:

    · Contact your local Fire Department
    · Do not pay any portion of the bill
    · Contact your local US Postal Service

    The Kern County Fire Department says they do not endorse these methods of inspections.  They want your business, your employees and your clients safely protected from fire.

    Kern County Fire Department will perform an annual fire inspection which includes looking at your business and fire suppression systems and portable extinguishers.

    If you receive any invoices or you have any questions, please contact Kern County Fire Department Fire Prevention unit at 661-391-7080.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield Police Department says its investigation into a BPD vehicle parked in a handicap spot is complete.

    The department launched its investigation after someone sent in a photo of the officer's patrol car parked in a handicap spot outside of Boss Pizza on 18th Street. The social media buzz started after the department then posted the photo on its Facebook page. Initially Bakersfield Police Sergeant Joe Grubbs said the officer was not on an emergency call and was having lunch.

    But, Sergeant Grubbs says after a thorough investigation he was incorrect. "What that investigation revealed was the officer responded to a business that was next store to Boss Pizza for a report of suspicious circumstances. The caller stated that there was an alarm sounding at the business and an open door to the front of the business and didn't appear anyone was there," says Grubbs.

    Sergeant Grubbs says the officer parked in the handicap spot to hide his vehicle in case there was a burglary. He also says employees from Boss Pizza confirmed no uniformed officers were in the restaurant at the time the photo was taken. However BPD never requested surveillance video from that day.

    While the department does not find the officer at fault, Sergeant Grubbs says it's thankful to the community member who took the photo. "We want to hear from the public and part of that conversation is a conversation about trust, and I think for us to have good trust in the community we need to be responsive to issues like this to make sure our officers are always doing a good job," says Grubbs.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield Police Department held the latest in its series of community meetings to let people know about changes in how they patrol.

    It happened last night in downtown Bakersfield at the Larry E Reider building on K Street, an which BPD refers to as the "metro zone."
         
    According to BPD, it has geographically redrawn patrol areas into six zones instead of the 25 beats it had before.
         
    This is part of an on-going effort to make the department more efficient and to reduce response times to calls for police assistance.

    The next meeting will be for the "central zone" next Thursday, April 16, at West High School.

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