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KGET: Local News

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    TAFT, CA - A family of five in Taft was displaced after their home caught fire, according to the Kern County Fire Department. They said the likely cause is a barbecue the family was using earlier that night.

    The fire happened in the 200 block of Buena Vista Avenue just after midnight on Thursday. 

    KCFD crews arrived to find the single-story home with a fire in the rear of the structure. The family of five, two adults and three children, were waiting safely outside the home, fire officials said.

    KCFD said a neighbor called to report the fire. The family also stated their smoke alarm did not work.

    KCFD is also reminding the community to use caution when grilling and to always have working smoke alarms.

    Be sure to use BBQ and cooking equipment in a safe area away from your house or any combustibles. Also, always have a working smoke alarm in your home. Smoke alarms are now sold with a 10 year service life. The batteries are sealed in the alarm, therefore the alarm is to be replaced every 10 years. Smoke alarms are required in each sleeping area as well as the main living space. - KCFD

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield police are investigating what they're calling "suspicious circumstances" after a baby tumbled down the bluffs Wednesday night.

    It happened around 10 p.m. on the bluffs along Panorama, northeast of Manor Street.
         
    When officers arrived, fire and medical crews were already there treating the 8 month-old boy.

    The infant's stroller had been left unattended by a sibling and rolled down the hill, plummeting 300 feet to the bottom, police said.

    Fortunately, the infant was somehow uninjured from the ordeal.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Thousands of local teens took their final steps on their high school journey Wednesday night.
         
    Students form West, South, Stockdale, and Ridgeview High Schools walked the stage to receive their diplomas .

    Many more Kern High School District students will take the next steps on their journeys Friday night.
         
    BHS, Centennial, Foothill, Frontier, Golden Valley, Highland, Independence, Kern Valley, Liberty, and North High Schools will all hold their graduation ceremonies Friday night.

    Congratulations to all the grads!

    Click for the full graduation schedule



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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Bakersfield Police say a seven year old boy who never came home from school on Thursday was located safely Thursday night.

    Police say the boy is a student at Fremont Elementary School near Union Avenue and Brundage Lane.

    The boy, Victor Castro, left school after school was out but didn’t arrive home.

    Castro is described as a Hispanic male 3’6”, 50 lbs., wearing orange sleeveless shirt with unknown print on front, faded blue denim shorts with a grey belt.

    Castro was last seen at 12:50 pm, near the front of Fremont Elementary School possibly entering a: dark colored unknown make and model SUV.

    Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A Bakersfield couple's big anniversary is getting some big attention. Mary and Richard Arambula will be celebrating 70 years of marriage this year.

    To mark the milestone, celebrities, dignitaries, and even presidents are sending them congratulations.

    "We're going to hang onto all of this," said Richard.

    Pictures, autographs, handwritten notes are anniversary well-wishes which cover their coffee table.

    The Arambulas tied the knot when they were just 16 and 17 years old. This year, they will mark 70 years together.

    "It wasn't always sweet, rolling smooth," said Richard. "There was times that I wanted to get the gun, get out of my house," joked Mary.

    Theirs is a special bond their granddaughter, Belinda Bannister, felt deserved special attention. Last March, she started asking for pictures from people congratulating her grandparents on 70 years on Facebook and in letters.

    "So then we wrote the Vatican and we got an Apostolic blessing and then we just went crazy I think. We just wrote everybody," said Bannister.

    Letters kept coming from the President and First Lady, a hand-written note from George Clooney, a broach and scarf from the late Joan Rivers, and swarms more stacked up from more than 150 celebrities, politicians, and a who's who of Bakersfield, all celebrating 70.

    "I said I can't believe this. I just can't believe this. Just a tremendous amount of what happened was a surprise and the scope of it. We didn't figure it would be that big. But there it was the way it manifested itself. I couldn't believe it." said Richard.

    All of the photos and fan fare were photocopied and made into a book. There are volumes of praise bound together in 70 years of wedded matrimony.

    "At times it doesn't seem like it's that long until you dwell on it. And then sure enough I remember when and I remember when," said Richard.

    "These people are amazing. They are just fabulous and I love them and I want everyone to know about it so they can know how amazing they are," said Bannister.

    The Arambulas' official 70th anniversary is December 31. They have 4 children, 13 grand kids, 18 great grandchildren, and 8 great-great-grandchildren.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The family of a Wasco man shot and killed by law enforcement earlier this year, has filed a claim against Kern County.

    David Garcia died in January after a bullet fired by Kern County sheriff's senior deputy Robert Reed, struck him.
         
    Garcia's wife, Denise Bonilla is seeking damages from the county and 10 deputies or other employees of the department not named in the claim.
         
    The filing cites excessive force used by deputies, wrongful death, negligence, and infliction of emotional distress among other things.
         
    Bonilla is asking for funeral, burial, and trial expenses to be paid by the county.
         
    The incident started as a domestic violence call but ended in the shooting death of Garcia.
         
    His wife has insisted Garcia was did not have a knife when he was shot, as the sheriff's office has stated.
         
    There are also conflicting reports of how many times Garcia was shot and why 32-caliber casings were found at the scene.
         
    Sheriff Donny Youngblood has said Garcia was only shot twice with a 40-caliber handgun.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The biggest game in the history of CSUB baseball is taking place Friday night.

    The fourth-seeded Runners take on UCLA, the top ranked team in the country, in the NCAA tournament regionals.
          
    Ole Miss and Maryland are the second and third seeds in the UCLA regional. They'll play in Saturday's early game.
         
    This is the first NCAA tournament appearance for CSUB baseball.
         
    It's just the third time a Bakersfield team has made an NCAA tournament
         
    If you want to see the game, you can see it on ESPN-U Friday at 8 p.m..
         

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - City fire officials released overnight the cause of a warehouse fire that lead to the discovery of a marijuana grow in east Bakersfield.

    Just before noon Thursday, both city and county fire responded to the 1200 block of Dolores Street, just north of California Avenue.
         
    When firefighters arrived, they found smoke coming from an electrical transformer. The fire was knocked down quickly, fire crews said.
         
    But when firefighters entered the warehouse, they say they found a large marijuana grow and several empty boxes of light bulbs.
         
    City arson investigators say the owners of the grow illegally tapped into the PG&E electrical service.
         
    The large draw of electricity caused a short that started the fire, officials said.
         
    Bakersfield police are investigating the grow.
         
    No word on the amount of marijuana seized, or if any arrests were made.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A 21-year-old woman survived being trapped beneath a semi during a crash Friday morning.

    Bakersfield police say it happened after 4:30 a.m. on Panama Lane, west of Gosford Road.
         
    The semi pulled out onto Panama Lane and the driver of the car went under the trailer filled with hot asphalt, police said.
         
    The woman survived with just minor injuries and was able to call 911 from help while trapped beneath the semi.
         
    First responders were able to pull her to safety with the jaws of life and take her to Kern Medical Center.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A total of 110 Vietnam veterans made their way to Los Angeles International Airport Friday morning, for the 17th Honor Flight Kern County.

    The vets filled three charter buses and were personally escorted by police down to LAX.

    About 150 community members sent the vets off in an honorable style.
         
    Honor Flight Kern County raised $180,000 in community donations to send these Vietnam veterans to Washington D.C.
         
    This trip is exclusively for Vietnam veterans in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the end of the war.

    The group will return to the Icardo Center at CSUB at 10 p.m. Sunday.
            
    Honor Flight representatives are asking as many community members as possible to come out and welcome them home.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - State regulators are expected to vote Friday on limits for new lawns.

    The rules would apply to landscaping for new and renovated homes, offices and schools.
         
    The rules will describe how much water should be used depending on the size of the lawn.
         
    But it doesn't describe when the lawn can be watered or what types of trees or shrubs can be planted.
         
    The governor has ordered residents to cut water an average 25 percent.
         
    Outdoor watering accounts for about half of residential use.

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    MCFARLAND, CA - The McFarland Police Department seized nearly half a pound of tar heroin on a traffic stop.
    It happened Wednesday just before 7 p.m. when a McFarland police officer was conducting a traffic stop for vehicle code violations.
    That's when the police officer said the front passenger dropped a bag outside the door.
    The bag contained nearly one half pound of suspected Black Tar Heroin with an estimated street value of $18,000, police said.
    Police said they then discovered other items consistent with narcotic sales and seized more than $1,600 in cash. 
    Officers arrested Patsy Perkins, white female, 55 years old, and Brenda Mayall, white female, 54 years old, both of Bakersfield.

    Both were charged with possession of a controlled substance for sales, transportation of a controlled substance for sales, and other drug related charges. 

    They were booked into the Kern County Sheriff's Department Central Receiving Facility without incident. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Kern County District Attorney's Office issued a restraining order today against two local businesses, claiming the businesses are targeting senior military veterans and their spouses using deceptive business practices.

    The DA's office has appointed attorney Ken Byrum as a receiver to oversee the operation of Mike McWilliams and the two companies he owns: Ally Senior Care, and Senior Veterans Benefit Advocates.

    The case was filed by deputy DA John Mitchell on April 22 on behalf of the DA's office.

    The lawsuit alleges McWilliams and his two companies filed false documents with the United States Department of Veterans, fraudulently and deceptively misrepresenting their services to senior military veterans and their spouses to obtain aid and attendance benefits.

    The lawsuit further alleges McWilliams frauded both the United States Department of Veterans and the individuals they interacted with.

    McWilliams is said to have operations in Kern, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Madera counties.

    The Kern County DA's office is encouraging anyone that feels they have been victimized by McWilliams or his companies to come forward.

    You can contact the Kern County Veterans Service Department, The Kern County Department of Aging and Adult Services, or the DA's office.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A Kern County judge has issued a restraining order against two local businesses, claiming the businesses are targeting senior military veterans and their spouses using deceptive business practices.

    The DA's office in a news release says it has sought a temporary restraining order and appointed attorney Ken Byrum as a receiver to oversee the operation of Mike McWilliams and two companies he owns, Ally Senior Care, and Senior Veterans Benefit Advocates.

    The case was filed by Deputy District Attorney John Mitchell on April 22 on behalf of the DA's office.

    The lawsuit alleges McWilliams and his two companies filed false documents with the United States Department of Veterans, fraudulently and deceptively misrepresenting their services to senior military veterans and their spouses to obtain aid and attendance benefits.

    The lawsuit further alleges McWilliams committed fraud against the United States Department of Veterans and senior military veterans.

    McWilliams is said to have operations in Kern, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Madera counties.

    The Kern County DA's office is encouraging anyone that feels they have been victimized by McWilliams or his companies to come forward.

    If you think you may have been victimized, contact the Kern County Veterans Service Department at 661-868-7300, The Kern County Department of Aging and Adult Services, 661-868-1000 or the DA's office at 661-868-2340.  

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The California Department of Conservation  has sent out public notice in regards to the regulations for the Aquifer Exemption Compliance Schedule.

    The compliance schedule is related to the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program managed by the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources.

    The public notice launches the rule-making process and provides for a 45-day comment period.

    According to the DOC: "The proposed regulations are necessary to ensure that the state's federally-approved UIC program for Class II injection wells meets the requirements of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, and protects public health, safety, and the environment in an efficient manner."

    The DOC said the regulations were adopted on a temporary basis by emergency rule-making on April 20. 

    Comments regarding the regulation process are being accepted until 5 p.m. on July 13. 

    Submit comments via email to UIC.Regulations@conservation.ca.gov or by fax to 916-324-0948. 

    You can mail your comments to the Department of Conservation  at 801 K Street, 24-02, Sacramento, CA, 95814, ATTN: Aquifer Exemption Compliance Schedule Regulations.

    A public meeting is also scheduled to take place in Bakersfield on July 15, from 4 - 7 p.m. at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center, located at 801 Truxtun Ave.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Just one day after getting the case, a Kern County jury found repeat DUI offender Joseph Maine guilty Friday of second-degree murder for killing a pregnant Bakersfield woman and her unborn child in a January 2014 crash.

    The jury found Maine guilty on counts 1, 2, 3 and 6, counts 4 and 5 had previously been dismissed.

    Maine was found guilty of driving drunk when he ran a red light and crashed into Vanessa Carrillo's car.

    The District Attorney's Office refiled second-degree murder and DUI charges against Maine earlier this year after those previous charges were dropped in December.

    The main issue in this trial was which vehicle had the green light at the intersection of Fairview Road and Monitor Street in south Bakersfield as both Deputy District Attorney Courtney Lewis and Deputy Public Defender Kevin Moran argued in court.

    Prosecutors said Maine's blood alcohol level was .16, two times the legal limit, and that he was speeding, ran a red light and collided into Carrillo's car, driven by her best friend.

    Carrillo's mother was in the backseat. Both suffered non-life threatening injuries.

    Vanessa Carrillo died at the scene.

    Prosecutors say Carrillo had the green light, but the defense disagreed.

    Witnesses who testified in this trial include Carrillo's mother, her best friend, three Bakersfield police officers and a Kern Medical Center doctor.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A Bakersfield man has dedicated decades to building teams for kids. The Park Stockdale T-ball league has been around for 34 years. And, the man who started it, is still running the program today.

    At the park, Thursday night, the tee is crossed and the crowds cheer. This has been the norm at Park Stockdale since 1981 when sports-loving Tom Bell and family moved here from Houston.

    "When we came here, I said what's going on. There wasn't anything. The Southwest Little League hadn't started then," said Tom Bell.

    "It's just been his passion. He's always just wanted a place for kids to come out and play," said Meredith Bell, Tom's daughter.

    The league started small, a free field and a few kids. Today, there are more kids, but 78-year-old Bell has made sure little has changed. The league still plays in the park, and a small fee, $27, covers all the bases, a hat, jersey, trophy, and season ending barbecue.

    "I mean we spent so many years driving to Barstow to the outlets to pick up the balls and the bats, bags and everything just so it made it affordable for the kids," said Meredith Bell.

    "And, it's always very gratifying to watch during the course of the year to watch how much they progress," said Tom Bell.

    The teams teach lessons, like the highs and the lows of the game. And, the pint-sized players learning now, are the kids of former T-ball leaguers who played for Coach Bell, like Beth Thum.

    "And the first thing I noticed was that it was the same elderly man that ran it when I was little. You would think that it was AYSO or YMCA, but it's just a little personal park with this man who loves to do this every year. And, he's taking his own time to do this," said Thum.

    A barbecue marks the close of season 34. But, but next year's games are on deck thanks to dedication and knocking it out of the park for generations.

    "It's amazing that he obviously has the heart and the love for the children and the game," said Thum.

    "So, that makes me feel good. When you volunteer for things you get enjoyment out of it. It kind of keeps you going far," said Tom Bell.

    The T-ball league plays for two months and is open to kids ages 4 to 7. Bell says he will gladly let someone take over if they want, but he'll keep being the league organizer for as long as needed.

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    BAKERSFIELD,CA - A man accused of driving drunk and killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child was convicted of second degree murder Friday afternoon.

    Joseph Maine was found guilty on all four counts he was facing, including two counts of second degree murder, one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and another count of driving without a license.

    Maine sat quietly next to his attorney with his head down and rubbing his eyes as the verdict was read.

    Following the verdict, the mother of Vanessa Carrillo held on tight to Deputy District Attorney Courtney Lewis, an emotional trial Martha Carrillo attended every day with her family.

    "We're very, very happy with the outcome. It's something that we have been hoping and praying for," said Christina Valadez, Carrillo's cousin.

    The family of Carrillo says they now have closure knowing justice was served.

    In 2007, records show Maine got a Wet Reckless, which is another name for the charge of reckless driving involving alcohol.

    "Our office will prosecute you for murder if you have prior DUI's. It is so simple, it's just a matter of thinking before you get in the car after you've had a drink," said Deputy District Attorney Courtney Lewis.

    Lewis says Maine was speeding and drunk when he ran a red light at the intersection of Fairview Road and Monitor Street in south Bakersfield in 2014, colliding into Carrillo's car.

    She says he was on his way to get a 20 pack of beer for a party at his house.

    Deputy Public Defender Kevin Moran says the evidence proved Maine had the green light.

    "It was a tough case, it's an emotional case. It's a tragic situation any way you look at it -- but we really disagree with the verdict based upon what the evidence did show," said Moran.

    Lewis says that evidence was several observation videos of how the traffic signals at the intersection were working months after the collision.

    She says the night of the crash, Pamela Coleman was driving Carrillo's car and going ten miles under the speed limit.

    Lewis says Maine was traveling 64 miles per hour, 2.5 seconds before the fatal crash.

    "If you are going to take the risk of running a red light, you're going to put your foot on the gas and you're going to push it so you can make it through that light," said Lewis.

    "You are certainly not going to be traveling 10 miles under the speed limit which is what we had here with Mrs. Coleman."

    Lewis says Maine's blood alcohol level was .16, two times over the legal limit.

    He's expected to be sentenced June 26.

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    (NBC News) For the first time in nearly 14 years the National Security Agency is not keeping a log of telephone call data.

    A controversial surveillance program put in place shortly after the 9/11 attacks was suspended at midnight when the Senate failed to pass an extension of two provisions of the Patriot Act that allowed the data collection.

    "The Senate's failure to act introduces unnecessary risk," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had pushed for an extension, but could not secure enough support due in part to fellow Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, who has made his opposition to the surveillance programs a key part of his presidential campaign.

    "They want you to fear and give up your liberty," Paul said during debate on surveillance programs.


    Read more: http://nbcnews.to/1AJuk7F

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A defendant punched his public defender in the jaw during a hearing in Kern Superior Court Monday, according a court officials.

    Kern County Chief Public Defender Konrad Moore confirms one of his deputy public defenders was punched by the defendant he was representing as the defendant's guilty verdict was being read.

    According to Moore, Alberto Lizarraga, 30, was on trial for assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer.

    Lizarraga was subdued by deputies in the courtroom after punching public defender Mark Aguilar in the jaw. Court Executive Officer Terry McNally said a deputy in the courtroom described it as a glancing blow.

    Lizarraga's ankles were shackled but his hands were not according to Moore.

    Lizarraga is being held in the county jail on a combined $1 million bond in four different cases and a number of charges including escape.

    No word Monday night on additional charges for Lizarraga for the courtroom incident.

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