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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating and identifying a suspect wanted for burglary.

    According to police, on May 4, around 8:10 a.m. and again at 8:51 a.m. the suspect the suspect entered the FoodMaxx, locate at 6300 White Ln. and used a stolen credit card to purchase items.

    The suspect is described as a male between 30 - 40 years old.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Chance Koerner at 661-326-3861 or BPD at 661-327-7111. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Three volunteers with the American Red Cross of Kern County are headed out to Texas to assist with tornado and flood relief efforts. 

    AmeriCorps member Daniel Avina and volunteer Julie Womack are deploying to assist with client casework. Volunteer Melinda Mitchell will be assisting with health services. All three will report to the Dallas Fort Worth area.

    Avina and Womack are will work with families to determine their needs and what recovery resources they can receive.

    Mitchell will help with the medical needs of residents, such as first aid needs and prescription refills.

    Three additional volunteers from Tulare and Fresno counties will also be deploying to Texas for disaster relief.

    The local Red Cross said they are always looking for new disaster volunteers. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can visit redcross.org/kernchapter to sign up. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield Police Department is asking for the community's help in locating and identifying two suspects wanted for Theft.

    According to BPD, on April 22, at 2:15 a.m., the suspects allegedly removed surveillance cameras from a building located at 312 Kentucky St.

    The first suspect is described as a male in his mid 20's to early 30's and clean shaven.

    The second suspect is described as a male in his mid 20's to early 30's with a mustache.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Ryan Vaughan at 661-326-3810 or the Bakersfield Police Department at 661-327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A third day of testimony continued Friday in the trial of Joseph Maine, the Bakersfield man accused of killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child in a DUI crash in January of last year.

    News cameras aren't allowed in this trial, but 17's Aric Richards has been following the trial from inside the courtroom.

    Much of Friday's proceedings focused on the intersection where the deadly crash happened and if both drivers may have seen each other before the time of impact.

    Again, for the third day, Vanessa Carrillo's family sat in the courtroom listening to arguments.

    The prosecution called up five witnesses, individually.

    Four of them were Bakersfield police officers. The other was a forensic alcohol analyst from the Kern County Crime Lab who analyzed Maine's blood which was .16 at the time of the crash.

    Jared Diedrich was the first to testify.

    He's the lead crash investigator with the Bakersfield Police Department.

    Diedrich described the crash site at Fairview Road and Monitor Street the morning of January 17, 2014 and how the investigation was conducted.

    Prosecutors say Vanessa Carrillo was killed when Maine ran a red light while under the influence of alcohol.

    The defense argues Maine had a green light.

    Diedrich also told the jury Maine admitted he had consumed two glasses of wine and six 12 ounce beers prior to driving.

    The defense later noted that officers took Maine's cell phone for evidence to see if he was using it before the crash, but never took Pamela Coleman's phone, the driver of Carrillo's car.

    Other witnesses talked about the reconstruction of the crash and the traffic signals at the intersection, as well as who was breathalyzed at the scene and at the hospital.

    Maine is charged with five felony counts including second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

    He's pleaded not guilty to all charges.

    Public Defender Kevin Moran says the trial is expected to conclude next Friday.

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    WASCO, CA - Prom season is in full gear. It's a right of passage in high school. Friday, for the first time, Wasco High School special needs students got to experience the special dance, just like any other student, thanks to a community coming together.

    Wasco Women's Club member, Judi McAnally, says the club has worked since January to create the event.

    "We asked the teachers what can we do, what would you like and they said we would really like a dance because the kids never had had one before," said McAnally.

    "They called me the next month and said,hey, let's do it this year," explained Wasco High School Principal, Gaylene Roberts.

    Thirty students got to experience prom at Grace Community Church in Wasco. There was music, dancing, party favors and pictures. The magical moments were captured and proud parents filled their phones memory with even more photos and videos. The mother of a 15-year-old student, Leisabeth Soto, said she's never seen her son so happy.

    "You can just see him smile and smile and smile and smile. It's like completing my life that I can see that now that they are going to have these things and he can be happy just like any other high schooler," said Soto.

    "I like it. I'm having fun. Yah, best day at school," said Wasco High Student Navjot Sandhe.

    "I mean, I feel like my heart is going to explode, you know. It's so overjoyed with the whole experience. You know, it feels like I have a permanent smile on my face, you know. It's just the dancing with them and the music and playing, I can't believe how into it they are," said Roberts.

    These students danced to their own beat thanks to a community moved to make it happen. The D.J. donated his time and so did the photographer. The pizza lunch was paid for and the church donated the space. And, what it all created, smiles all around, was priceless.

    "You got a tear in your eye! You can't tell me you didn't because it makes your heart feel good on the inside because to see somebody have an experience they have never had before and to look at it through their eyes," said McAnally.

    The Wasco Women's Club is already working with the school to plan another prom next year.

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  • 05/22/15--18:47: Kern River sign updated
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA - As the weather heats up, a sign at the mouth of the canyon is a reminder of how dangerous the Kern River can be.

    The Kern County Sheriff's Department changed this number to 271 Friday morning, reflecting the two local teens who died last summer.

    Experts say, lower water levels doesn't mean the river isn't dangerous.

    Kern County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Damon McMinn said, "All the hazards on up on the surface."

    Rocks and boulders stand out down the Kern River.

    McMinn said, "That pressure would be the same as you trying to lean underneath a VW bus and try to do a pushup."

    A rate sergeant Damon McMinn says makes the river more than capable of living up to its nickname the Killer Kern.

    "Any appendage will get caught rocks and it just pins you down and you're going to stay there until we get there," said McMinn.

    Fire crews saved a woman who fell out of a kayak Thursday.

    Kern County Fire Captain Mike Lencioni said, "We had a rescue swimmer swim out to her, captured her and then we threw some ropes and were able to pull her to a calm area of the river and were able to successfully rescue her."

    Kayaks and other alternatives to rafting have become more popular as companies change their business models to adapt to lower water levels. Mountain and River Adventures owner John Stallone says low water levels change safety focus for guided tours as well.

    Stallone said, "When the water's higher we give more detail on trees and strainers. Since we're not even near the trees or strainers we're giving a little more details on rafts and rocks and how to get through and be safe going down the river."

    But both men who died in the Kern River last year were swimming, in separate incidents.

    McMinn said, "The Kern County Sheriff's Office does not advocate anybody swimming in the Kern River. Please stay out of the canyon the canyon is no place to swim."

    Sheriff's officials recommend using approved safety equipment anytime you are near the water.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Kern County Animal Services has partnered with Animals for Armed Forces Foundation to offer FREE pet adoptions to Veterans and their families Saturday, May 23rd and Sunday, May 24th.

    The Bakersfield Shelter location (3951 Fruitvale Avenue) will be open Saturday, May 23rd from 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday, May 24th from 12 pm to 2 pm to help Veterans and their families find a new forever friend.  The Mojave Shelter location (923 Poole St.) and the Lake Isabella Shelter location (14891 Hwy 178) will be open ONLY on Saturday, May 23rd from 10 am to 4 pm for the event.

    The adoption discount applies to Active Duty, Reserve and Veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines Coast Guard and National Guard and/or their immediate family members.  Military members, veterans and/or their immediate family members are asked to bring one of the following forms of ID to receive the adoption discount:

    · A Military ID
    · Dependent ID
    · DD-214 or 
    · NGB Form 22

    For more information on adopting a pet from Kern County Animal Services, please call 661-868-7100.

    "Kern County Animal Services is proud to partner with Animals for Armed Forces to bring Veterans and pets together and, to honor and thank our dedicated service men and women for their service to our country," stated Nick Cullen, Interim Director of Kern County Animal Services.


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    The Outlets at Tejon will offer military discounts on Memorial Day Weekend, starting May 23, for all veterans with appropriate identification.  

    Discounts of 10 - 15 percent at individual stores will be available.  

    A list of participating stores can be found at their website.

    "We want to honor the service of our veterans and show our appreciation," said Jenifer Natto, general manager of Outlets at Tejon.  "Veterans will simply need identification that demonstrates their service."

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - If you're looking for something to do on Memorial Weekend, you can take the whole family out to enjoy a day at the McMurtrey Aquatic Center.

    The Operation Splash event is happening Saturday, May 23, from 1 - 4:30 p.m.

    Cost is $4 per person or $13 for groups of 4. There will be swimming, water slides, diving boards, games, prizes and booths on water safety information and health beverages. 

    Operation Splash is co-sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. 

    Operation Splash Event 
    Saturday, May 23, 2015 
    1pm-4:30pm
    $4 per person/$13 for groups of 4
    McMurtrey Aquatic center, 1325 Q St. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Some members of our armed forces are observing Memorial Day with a new member of the family.

    Kern County Animal Services partnered with Animals for Armed Forces Foundation to offer free pet adoptions to veterans and their families during Memorial Day Weekend.
         
    Organizers said it's their way of honoring our local heroes.

    "It'sverysupportiveandit'sagoodthing. Itshowsusthattheycare, thatthecommunitycares -- doescare, thatbusinessesdocareabouttheirveterans," said veteran Frank Alejandro.

    In 2014, 40 animals found forever homes during this event. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - With recent water conservation efforts restricting residential water use, many are looking for alternatives to keeping up their curb appeal.

    Experts encourage those new to landscaping that there are a lot of drought tolerant options, with many plants native to California and the Kern County region.
        
    And while many may think of water-retaining plants like cactus or succulents as their only option for drought tolerant plants, there are more options you can plant to give your landscaping project color and variety, experts say.

    Another tip is to add mulch to your garden. Mulch will help protect your plants from drying out in the sun and help retain water, saving about 30 percent of watering needs for your garden.

    To learn more, contact local nurseries to find out how you can get started.


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  • 05/25/15--06:02: Memorial Day Celebrations
  • Kern County remembered and honored military members this weekend who lost their lives serving our country with local celebrations.

    The Thousand Flags event at Riverwalk drew large crowds with each flag representing a hero. It went throughout the weekend and continues today will all day patriotic festivities.

    On Saturday Bakersfield National Cemetery had a solemn ceremony making sure those buried there are never forgotten. Bakersfield's Wall of Valor also had a remembrance ceremony with photos of local fallen heroes.

    All of the ceremonies acted as a reminder to take a moment to thank all those who gave their lives and continue to protect all the freedoms we enjoy.

    If you would like to sponsor a flag in honor of a loved one it's 50 dollars just go to thousandflags.org or attend the celebration all day today.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA.-From Bakersfield to Central American, six South high students are preparing to travel to Nicaragua for a humanitarian project in just three weeks to help build a school. 

    Thousands of chocolate bars and pancakes later, this group of students and their advisor have raised more than $17,000 entirely on their own. 

    It's part of the build on after-school program, helping young kids like them get the education they deserve. 

    Teacher Aaron Rothkopf started the local chapter of the build-on after-school program at South high. It's part of an international non-profit aimed at creating a heart of services in high schoolers while promoting literacy abroad. 

    The students raised more than $17,000, enough to build an elementary school. 

    After it is finished, this school will be dedicated to Kern County. If you would like to donate to their efforts or find out more information on the build on organization, visit our website, KernGoldenEmpire.com and just click on the hotlink icon. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Two people were sent to the hospital after a crash at a major intersection in southwest Bakersfield.

    It happened just before midnight Sunday night at the intersection of Stockdale Highway and Coffee Road.

    Two females were taken away by ambulance.

    One was pinned in the vehicle and had to be extricated.

    The man who was driving this blue hatchback was detained at the scene.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA-
    UPDATE 12:36 p.m.

    The CHP now says the man killed in an overnight crash was driving drunk.

    Investigators say the driver was speeding on the winding road and tried to take a curve too fast. They say his SUV rolled multiple times. Officers say he was not wearing a seatbelt.

    The driver is only identified as a 42 year old male from Bakersfield until the coroner releases his name.

    ____________________________________________________________

    The CHP is looking into a fatal crash at Round Mountain Road and Eastmont Road around 2:40 Monday morning.

    This is a remote location on an oil lease north of the California Living Museum.

    When CHP officers arrived they discovered that an SUV went off the side of the road, and fell 40 feet down an embankment.

    "We discovered there was one vehicle involved, it went off the side of the road upside down and landed on some infrastructure dealing with the oil industry," said Sgt. Don Petersen of the CHP.

    Firefighters on scene reported they were treating 3 patients.

    One person was initially reported trapped in the wreckage and the driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A man is arrested after pointing a loaded gun at a dog, according to Bakersfield Police.

    It happened about 9:40 Monday morning at Wayside Park near Ming and South Chester Avenues.

    According to police a woamn saw a man take a black handgun from a backpack, load it and then point the gun at a dog that was following him. The man did not shoot at the dog.

    Police say they caught up with the man at the park, found the gun and arrested the man on possession of a concealed weapon and posession of a loaded firearm.

    Police identify the suspect as Jeremiah Hendrix, 23, of Bakersfield.

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    A tornado raged through the northern Mexico border city of Ciudad Acuna Monday, killing at least ten people and causing massive destruction.

    Photos from the scene show cars with their hoods ripped off, resting up-ended against the facades of houses.

    One car's frame was literally bent around the gate of a house.

    A bus was seen flipped and crumpled on a roadway.

    Officials said that ten people are confirmed dead so far in the twister, which struck around 6:40 a.m. local time.

    Ciudad Acuna is a city of about 100,000 across the border from Del Rio, Texas.

    Top state officials have set out to review the damage and coordinate a response to the disaster.

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  • 05/25/15--18:24: T-shirt sparks controversy
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA - American flags are a reminder of our service members who've lost their lives defending our country. A flag displayed at several Pacific Sunwear retail stores across the country is causing controversy. The California-based retailer is getting negative feedback for selling a shirt with an upside-down American flag.

    Local shopper Janice Smith said, "To have a shirt like that represented on a day like today is really rude and disrespectful."

    On this Memorial Day, mall goers we spoke with say this Pacific Sunwear shirt is inappropriate.

    Tiffany Singleton said, "My husband served in the Marine Corps. It's not right at all."

    County veterans service department director Dick Taylor agrees.

    Kern County Veterans Service Department Director Dick Taylor said, "On a day like today, this particular weekend, when we're honoring those that have been killed in battle, it's absolutely distasteful, disrespectful and insensitive to those that have fought those battles."

    The flag code states it should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

    Mitchell Hovis said, "Anything disrespectful for the flag, to me is uncalled for."

    The shirt is sold in Pacsun stores and online, in conjunction with rapper A$AP Rocky. It's listed on the store's website under "Americana."

    Some stores placed it on the front tables with other red, white and blue gear. But that is not the case at the Bakersfield PacSun.

    The store manager wouldn't go on camera, but said the shirt was placed with other t-shirts away from the front entrance of the store.

    Some shoppers say that's not enough.

    Hovis said, "I'll never buy anything from there. Never. Ever. Ever again."

    "I don't know if it's wrong to shop at the store or not. Just to have a shirt like that displayed on a day like today is kind of disrespectful," said Smith.

    The store manager said since the backlash, corporate managers sent a memo for stores not to use the shirt in the display.

    Some stores across the country have removed the shirts. So far, PacSun's corporate office has not responded to our questions we left with the local store manager.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA.-This is the second week of wildfire season and the Bakersfield Fire Department is on high alert and preparing to battle blazes. One way they're getting ready is by recruiting the new generation of firefighters.

    The BFD hosts recruitment training each week for people who are interested in becoming a firefighter. The classes are every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning and each class begins at 5:15 a.m. 

    The training runs through June 5, 2015. 


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    SHAFTER, CA- Two people were burned during an early morning house fire in Shafter.

    It happened around 1:30 Tuesday morning at Rodriguez Avenue and South Shafter Avenue.

    Around 40 firefighters responded to the blaze.

    County fire firefighters says two burn victims, a man and a woman, escaped the flames on their own before their arrival and were treated at the scene and taken to the hospital.

    No word yet on the extent of their injuries.

    A dog also was rescued from the home and taken by animal control.

    Fire officials say the house was a total loss.

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