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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A wildfire fire threatened as many as 25 homes in the mountain community of Lebec Friday night. It's located near Interstate 5 on the grapevine about 40 miles south of downtown Bakersfield.

    Emergency crews from Kern and Los Angeles counties were fighting the fire from the ground and in the air.

    The fire started just after 4 p.m. along Lebec drive.

    Fire officials said 300 to 400 homes could be in danger downrange. Sheriff's deputies were helping evacuate houses on Circle Drive, near the post office in the center of the village. Residents were being evacuated to Frazier Mountain High School.

    No injuries were reported and no structures were lost as of 6:30 p.m.

    There is no estimate on when the fire will be contained and no report yet on what started it.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Just one day after being named in a racketeering lawsuit filed by a group of Kern County farmers, a top California regulator has resigned his post.

    The Los Angeles Times reporting that Mark Nechodom, director of the California Department of Conservation resigned Thursday.

    Nechodom oversees the Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, or DOGGR. Nechodom, Governor Jerry Brown and several major oil companies are named as defendants in a RICO complaint filed Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court by a Kern County farming group, alleging they conspired to allow illegal injections of oilfield waste water into protected groundwater.

    The lawsuit claims the conspiracy resulted in the loss of millions of dollars worth of almond and cherry orchards in and around the Bakersfield and Shafter areas. Nechodom gave no reason for his departure in a brief letter to the Brown Administration, and regulators aren't commenting.

    Bakersfield attorney George Martin, one of the plaintiff's attorneys in the RICO suit, said it's about time Nechodom stepped down and he expects more resignations to follow.


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  • 06/05/15--19:19: History in print
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA - The National History Day competition is over a week away in Washington D.C. But, a Bakersfield student's project is already getting national attention. Jessica Stump, 14, was asked to write an article for the Washington Times about her studies. It hit stands Thursday. 

    "Wilberforce, he changed the entire course of his life," said Stump.

    Stump, a history buff, made headlines last year, winning national history day with her research on Henrietta Lacks. This year, she chose William Wilberforce, the man who abolished Britain's transatlantic slave trade, as her subject.

    "I have always been really interested in vulnerable populations, people that don't have a voice to speak out for themselves, people who need a champion and need a leader," said Stump.

    Stump studied reference books, marking every detail for her project. But, she needed more. The eighth grader talked her way into the Oxford Library in London to explore, where no one under 18 is allowed. Her family traveled to Wiblerforce's hometown and interviewed his direct descendants for her research.

    "Jessica is always looking for those types of stories," said Jillian Fritch-Stump, Jessica's mother. "And when people say to her, well you're amazing or you did this, she says, you know I really didn't. This is something God's been doing and I'm just here to tell his story."

    And people get to hear his story before National History Day. She was asked to write an article on Wilberforce for The Washington Times. Thursday, there it was along with a picture of Jessica and her brother, Charlie, at Wilberforce's memorial.

    "I totally freaked out and I was like, oh my gosh! That's me, that's my little brother, that's my writing," said Jessica.

    "It's like a dream come true to be able to do something like that with your daughter," said Jillian.

    "Change can happen in one lifetime. It doesn't take six generations for change to happen. William WIlberforce is proof of that, that one person can change the world," said Stump.

    Jessica was also invited to speak at the William Wilburforce Awards dinner. That's happening just before National History Day in the nation's capital, June 14-19.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Kern County Library is kicking off their Summer Reading Challenge for local kids. 

    Organizers said the program is a way to encourage kids to read and stay mentally active during the summer break.
         
    Adding that studies show kids who don't read on a regular basis during the summer are likely to fall behind when school begins in the fall.
         
    If you would like to get your little one involved, just stop by any local library branch and sign up.

    You can also register online at kclsummerchallenge.org.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - This month at Beale Memorial Library, kids age 2 through 18 are invited to come out and enjoy a free lunch.

    The Lunch at the Library event is happening Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. all the way through July 24th at the Beale Memorial Library Auditorium.
         
    The lunches are provided through a collaboration between the California Library Association, The California Meal Coalition, and The Kern County Superintendent of Schools.

    The event coincides with the Summer Reading Challenge. If you would like to get your children involved, you can sign them up at kclsummerreadingchallenge.org, or stop by your local library branch.
         
    Parents and caregivers can get some lunch too, but it'll cost them $3.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A man walked away from a crash Saturday morning after he drove his car into the side of a house in downtown Bakersfield.
         
    Bakersfield fire officials on the scene said the crash happened around 9 a.m. on 24th Street and Spruce.
         
    The driver of the truck crashed through the side of this house and into the garage, fire officials said.
         
    The driver was out of the vehicle when fire crews arrived and was not injured.
         
    According to fire officials, the house is condemned and there was no one inside.
          
    No arrest was made and alcohol does not appear to be involved, according to Bakersfield police. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - It was all smiles on Saturday as children staying at Memorial Hospital got a visit from some rodeo royalty.

    Contestants in the Miss Rodeo Glennville Competition stopped by the Lauren Small Children's Center to visit with the kids and join them in games and activities.
         
    The cowgirl group said having the opportunity to put smiles on the kids' faces is a meaningful experience all on its own.

    "They're so used to nurses and doctors and you kind of bring in something a little different and they have this grin that just lights up the world," said Calli Grant, Miss Rodeo Glennville 2014.

    The event kicks off Sunday at 11 a.m. with the rodeo starting at 1 p.m.
         
    Organizers said the rodeo is the biggest one-day PRCA Rodeo in the nation, with more than 200 contestants.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield police are investigating a deadly shooting that happened early Saturday in southwest Bakersfield.

    It happened around 3 a.m. on California Avenue, Mohawk street.     
         
    Police said they found 24-year-old Larry Eugene Brooks lying in the roadway.
         
    Officers haven't said what led up to the shooting. 
         
    Police are asking anyone with information to call them at 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The public is invited to attend a community meeting with the Bakersfield Police Department.

    In attendance will be Bakersfield police chief Greg Williamson. He is expected to share his responses on recommendations regarding trust and legitimacy.
         
    He's also expected to discuss new technologies used to increase communication with residents.
         
    The event is hosted by Faith in Action Kern County.
         
    It takes place Monday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Compassion Christian Center, located at 1030 4th St.

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    DELANO, CA - A family in Delano is displaced after their home caught fire Saturday night. 
         
    The fire happened just before 9 p.m. Saturday in the 1400 block of 9th Avenue. 
         
    County fire officials said the fire started in the breezeway between a detached garage and the home. 
       
    An elderly couple and their son were home when the fire started, said fire officials. 
        
    The family was able to get out uninjured after a neighbor alerted them of the fire. 
         
    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield police are investigating what they're calling a suspicious death in south Bakersfield early Sunday morning.

    According to BPD, they found a man dead inside a home just after midnight in the 5500 block of Dustin Street, near Fairview Road .
         
    The man's friends were worried about him after they did not hear from him for a while and asked police to check on him, according to BPD.
         
    No word on the cause of death and his identity has not been released.
         
    You are encouraged to call BPD at 327-7111 if you have information on the case.

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    Bakersfield, CA 
    Two-year-old, Kai Anguiano, has leukemia and is in desperate need of a bone marrow donor. Local Raider fans heard Anguiano needed a match and stepped in to help.


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    Kern County Fire Department's Explorer Program gives young adults the opportunity to learn what it's like to be a firefighter.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA.-The name has been released of the man who is dead following a shooting in east Bakersfield near east Truxtun Ave. and 21st St. 30 year-old Sergio Reyes of Bakersfield was shot and transported to Kern Medical Center where he later died from his injuries.

    The shooting left another man wounded. It happened in the parking lot of the La Mariscos Bar and Grill. A security guard said the two victims were inside a gold GMC SUV.

    The security guard says the band was just about to finish playing around 1:40 a.m. this morning when patrons heard shots fired. 

    The security guard says the victims appeared to be heading east on east 21st St. when confronted by the suspect. He did not see the suspect or another car. 

    Anyone with information is urged to call the Bakersfield Police Department at 327-7111. 


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  • 06/08/15--10:05: Cooling center locations
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA.-Cooling Centers open in the San Joaquin and Kern River Valleys when the temperatures are forecast to be 105 degrees or higher, in the desert areas when temperatures are forecast to be 108 degrees or higher, and in Frazier Park when temperatures are forecast to be 95 degrees or higher. The centers are open from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

    The status of the Cooling Centers for Monday June 8, 2015 is:

    SAN JOAQUIN AND KERN RIVER VALLEY CENTERS
    Arvin Senior Center, 800 Walnut Drive, Arvin, Open today 

    Buttonwillow Recreation and Park District, 556 Milo, Buttonwillow, Closed today

    East Bakersfield Veterans Building, 2101 Ridge Road, Bakersfield, Open today

    East Niles Senior Center, 6601 East Niles Street, Bakersfield, Open today

    Kern River Valley Senior Center/Veterans Building, 6405 Lake Isabella Blvd., Lake Isabella, Closed today

    Gusher Hall, 271 California Street, Maricopa, Open today

    Taft Veterans Building, 213 Taylor Street, Taft, Open today

    Walker Senior Center, 505 Sunset Avenue, Shafter, Closed today

    Wasco Veterans Hall, 1202 Poplar Avenue, Wasco, Open today

    MOUNTAIN CENTER(S)
    Frazier Park Recreation Building, 3801 Park Drive, Frazier Park, Closed today

    DESERT CENTERS
    California City Police Department, 21130 Hacienda Blvd., California City, Closed today

    Hummel Community Building, 2500 20th Street, Rosamond, Closed today

    Inyokern Senior Center, 1247 Broadway, Inyokern, Closed today

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  • 06/08/15--11:44: CHP "Start Smart" program
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA.-Start Smart is a free class offered to current and prospective teenage drivers, and their parents or guardians. The two-hour, no-cost class discusses important issues such as: Safe driving habits, consequences of a poor choice behind the wheel, and tips on how to avoid a collision. Parents and teens will be more aware, more educated, and better prepared to handle the stress of a new driver. Call today to register.  


    WHAT:  START SMART CLASS

    WHEN:  Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 6 p.m. 

    WHERE:  CHP 420 CLUB, 3910 Alfred Harrell Hwy 

    WHO:  CHP Officers and individuals affected by poor choices will speak

    NOTE:  This is a free class; at least one parent must attend with his or her child.  Please call the Bakersfield CHP Office at (661)864-4444 to sign up. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The investigation into former Mira Monte principal, Jaime Quiñónez has been made public. The 10-page document surfaced on social media Friday, showing the details of the investigation. His attorney, Gabriel Godinez, says this is a personnel matter and legal action will be taken. "The issue now is this is an ongoing personnel matter, this particular document should not have been revealed," said Godinez.

    Allegations against Quiñónez brought to the board in March prompted the investigation. The allegations in the report included: bullying behavior, gender discrimination, retaliation from participating in a sexual harassment investigation, hostile working environment, changing grades, targeting of employees and interference with concerted activity. According to the document all except gender discrimination was sustained. "This information being let out early we believe is a violation of his privacy rights and we believe there may have been some time of Brown act violation," said Godinez.

    This is the written response from the Kern High School District Information and Communication Manager, Lisa Krch, "The Kern High School District's Board of Trustees reassigned the principal of Mira Monte High School. The reassignment has yet to be determined. The district cannot comment further on this personnel matter."

    Quiñónez's salary as Mira Monte principal was $121,439 last year. He will be relocated to another certificated position in the district. Godinez says he and his client are waiting to see what steps the district takes before making a move. However Godinez says he will address the issue of the document being released prematurely. "Essentially this will force us to possibly take additional steps, possibly an additional claim, possibly a lawsuit against some individuals, once we get to the bottom of how and why this was disclosed," said Godinez.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA.-The Bakersfield Police Department is considering ways to improve department policies this morning following a community meeting Monday night. 

    Last night's meeting, put together by Faith in Action Kern County, gathered together law enforcement and dozens of community members to help build a more trusting relationship with the public. 

    Several people gave their testimonials and expressed their concerns to the BPD while standing at the pulpit of Compassion Christian Center in central Bakersfield. 

    Residents also listened to the BPD's ongoing strategies to bridge the communication gap with residents. 

    Assistant Chief Lyle Martin stepped in for Chief Williamson due to a family emergency. He encouraged the community to keep the discussion going by contacting the department with any concerns. 

    The BPD says they will be holding six more meetings come Fall. 


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- 
    UPDATED 11:50 a.m.

    According to Arvin Police there was an argument inside the El Potrero Bar in Arvin involving 3 people and the suspect.

    Police say the suspect shot all three victims. Two died at the hospital and a third, Manuel Morales was taken to surgery. His condition is unknown. 

    Police say they think all three victims knew each other but that is still part of the investigation.

    One woman has been arrested in connection to the shooting but police say she is not the shooter. Police are still looking for the person they believe fired the fatal shots.


    __________________________________________________________


    Two men are dead after a double shooting in Arvin late Monday.

    Arvin police said it happened just before midnight in the 100 block of Bear Mountain Blvd.

    Arvin Police have not released any information so far, but the coroner says two men were shot and later died in the hospital.

    The victims are 34-year-old Jorge Zavala, and 37-year-old Federico Zuniga Moreno.

    Both were Arvin residents.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- There will be auditions for a summer camp this evening. That's right summer camp.

    American Idol's Amy Adams and Garden Pathways are combining forces for the Garden Pathways Performing Arts Camp 2015.

    The camp will offer week long camps in singing, dance, and theater all taught by professionals.

    Kids 12 to 18 are welcome to audition for the camp Tuesday evening.

    Auditions will be held on June 9-dance at 5:30 p.m., singing at 6:30 p.m., and theater at 7:30 p.m. at Garden Pathways Downtown Education Center 1130 17th Street Bakersfield.

    Youth should wear appropriate dance attire, be prepared to sing two songs a cappella, and/or be prepared with a monologue of their choice.

    To reserve a spot for the audition, call Garden Pathways Downtown Education Center at (661) 633-2302.

    Tuition is $175 for the singing and dance camps; and $325 for the two-week theater camp. Some scholarships are available with verification of need. Youth selected for the singing and dance camps will be assigned to a session.

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