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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- FRESNO, Calif. — A third man has pleaed guilty in a drug smuggling ring from Mexico to Bakersfield.

    The man also agreed to forfiet $3 million in cash siezed by the feds.

    Jose Luis Montoya-Salazar, aka Rafael Salazar-Sanchez (Montoya), 42, of Mexico City, pleaded guilty today to conspiring with Jimmy Gil, 35, of Shafter, and Luis Ricardo Eslava-Corral (Eslava) 42, of Sinaloa, Mexico, to import, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute 38 kilograms, or about 84 pounds, of cocaine, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Montoya also agreed to the forfeiture of over $3.1 million in cash that drug agents seized during the investigation of the case.

    In pleading guilty, Montoya admitted that he had conspired with Eslava and Gil to smuggle the cocaine into the United States from Mexico at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. The cocaine was off-loaded in Bakersfield, where Gil and Montoya took possession of the drug. Follow-up investigation resulted in the seizure of $3,104,661 in cash, representing drug proceeds, hidden in an asphalt roller at another location in Bakersfield. The seized cocaine has a street value of over $3 million.

    Montoya is scheduled to appear for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill in Fresno on September 21, 2015. He faces a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. Eslava and Gil previously pleaded guilty and are scheduled for sentencing on July 20 and July 27, respectively. Eslava and Montoya are subject to removal to Mexico after serving any prison sentence imposed.

    This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Southern Tri-County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A brush fire slowed traffic on westbound highway 58 overnight and caused a power outage in the area.

    The fire broke out on terry street, near the juncture of highway 58 and the 99.

    The fire moved quickly to the east, threatening homes and buildings.

    City fire called in for extra help.

    The brush quickly burned, igniting some nearby trees and and a utility pole, downing a high-voltage power line.

    Electricity was knocked out to dozens of PG&E customers.

    "The neighbors helped us out with some water hoses. we were all putting it out as best as we could with the water hoses until the firefighters came," said nearby resident Jose Flores.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A controversial bill that would make vaccinations mandatory for California public school children is now in the hands of Governor Brown. The senate approved the legislation Monday in the state capitol.

    The law would require all children to be vaccinated before they can enter the public school system.

    Exemptions will only be offered to children with a compromised immune system.

    Instead of vaccinating their children, parents can choose to home school.

    Supporters of the bill say it is crucial to protecting public health, and allows children to attend school with a lower risk of contracting diseases.

    Critics say the bill is an example of the government overstepping its bounds, and tries to fix a system that isn't broken.

    Now, the bill arrives at Governor Brown's desk to be signed into law, or vetoed.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The crew at the Kern County Fire Department's Keene Helibase is already putting a new piece of equipment to good use.

    The crew at Keene received a brand new "Helitender" Monday morning.

    The Helitender is a support vehicle that transports additional crew members and gear. It responds to assignments with the helicopter.

    Helitender 408 is a companion to Helicopter 407.

    Monday afternoon the helicopter and the helitender left for the Mesa Fire near Lompoc.

    As of Monday evening the Mesa Fire had burned 200 acres and forced about 1,400 people to evacuate.


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  • 06/29/15--18:48: A. Skate is coming to town
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA - Parents with children who have Autism get ready, A. Skate is coming to town. A.Skate Foundation gives people with Autism the chance to learn to skateboard in a judgment free zone.

    Six and half year old, Bakersfield native, McClane Fieldgrove, has Autism. Fieldgrove isn't verbal and can't play group sports but, after attending an A. Skate clinic in Southern California he fell in love with skateboarding. His father Grant saw the impact A.Skate made on his son and now he wants to bring it to Kern County. "He gets to interact with other kids, other kids that are like him and we can hangout with other parents that know what we are dealing with," said Fieldgrove.

    The A.Skate Foundation puts on free skateboarding clinics across the U.S, teaching people with Autism ages 3 to adults to skateboard. A.Skate Founder, Crys Worley, says the clinic is all free of charge and provides the equipment. "We use skateboarding as an occupational therapy to work with motor skills, proprioceptive vestibular skills and also in general as a social event," said Worley.

    Monday is the last day to buy an A.Skate t-shirt to help raise money for the Bakersfield clinic. Fieldgrove said they have 40 more shirts to sell to meet their goal, then they can set a date for the clinic. "It brings happiness to children who deserve happiness and may not always get it," said Fieldgrove.

    For more information visit our hotlink icon section.

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  • 06/30/15--10:38: Missing Teen found in Texas
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA- A teen girl missing since June 11 has been found in Texas, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

    Amber Woolwine, 16, was reported missing be her family, Deputies said Woolwine was with Max Kozak, 47, when she was found near Amarillo Texas.

    A deputy with the Potter County Sheriff's Office pulled a vehicle over Tuesday morning and identified the occupants as Woolwine and Kozak.

    Deputies say Kozak is being detained and Woolwine has been turned over to Child Protective services.

    KCSO says detectives are in route to Amarillo to interview both people.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A man is dead after a fight in east Bakersfield, according to the Bakersfield Police Department.

    Police got the call just before 10 Monday night to respond to the 600 block of Sumner Street near the Pyrenees Cafe.

    When officers arrived they found a man outside on the ground with major injuries to his face, according to BPD.

    The man was taken to a hospital where he later died.

    His identity has not been released.

    What led up to the fight is still under investigation..

    "All we have at this point is that there was some type of fight between the victim and the only description we have of the possible suspect is a black male adult. We don't have anything more at this point. We are in the early stages of the investigation," said BPD Sgt. Martin Heredia.

    No arrests have been made.

    If you have any information on this case, call BPD at 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Law enforcement seize hundreds of pounds of meth and heroin and hundred's of thousands of dollars in cash after the bust a drug ring, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

    Deputies say the worked with the DEA as they investigated the ring they say had bases in Mexico, Phoenix, Sacramento and Delano.

    Two Delano men were arrested as part of the bust.

    On June 25th, officers served search warrants in three places.

    Investigators suspect Jose Manuel Valdez Torres, 39, had homes in each of the cities and was moving large amounts of drugs and money through them.

    In Delano alone, forty pounds of methamphetamine, one half pound of heroin, and $50,000 were seized.

    Nearly 20 pounds of other drugs, $160,000, and weapons were taken at the other locations.

    Two men from Delano were arrested for various drug related charges.

    They are Leobaldo Matinez Carranza, 22, and Leonel Valdez Castro, 26.

    Torres was not located and is believed to have fled to Mexico with his wife.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- As we get set to celebrate Independence Day the Bakersfield Fire Department is hosting a voluntary, no-questions-asked drop-off for illegal fireworks.

    The department is hosting the drop off at its headquarters at 21st and H Streets in downtown Bakersfield Wednesday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    A drive-up will be available on the north side of the street near 22nd and G Streets to drop off any illegal fireworks.

    Legal fireworks can be dropped too, if you would like to get rid of any.

    The department reminds anyone caught with illegal fireworks could be fined $15,000.

    The department says no questions will be asked, no paperwork required and no documentation made of anyone dropping off fireworks.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the charges against Julian Hernandez.

    Hernandez is charged with Vehicular Manslaughter in the death of Bakersfield Police Officer David Nelson.

    Nelson chased Hernandez after Hernandez allegedly took off from a traffic stop. During the chase, Nelson crashed his patrol car and died from his injuries.

    A shotgun was recovered at the crash scene. Green says the gun was loaded but hadn't been fired. Green says she cannot definitively connect the gun to Hernandez yet.

    If convicted, green says Hernandez faces 12 years, 8 months in prison, according to Green.

    Hernandez is set to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - The California Independent System Operation (CAISO) has declared a system-wide Flex Alert, calling for energy conservation from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday (June 30 and July 1) due to high demand for electricity as a result of exceptionally hot weather.

    PG&E is joining the ISO in urging its customers throughout Northern and Central California to reduce their energy use during these time periods, which is when air conditioners drive high energy use. Below are some helpful tips:

    Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher or turn it off if you will be away from home. Use a fan instead of air conditioning when possible.

    Draw drapes and turn off unnecessary lighting.

    Keep your refrigerator full (with bottles of water if nothing else) and unplug the second refrigerator.

    Avoid using electrical appliances and devices. Put off tasks like vacuuming, laundry, dish washing and computer time until after 9 p.m. when possible.

    Set your pool pump to run overnight instead of during the day.

    In addition to these energy conservation measures, PG&E offers customers a variety of energy efficiency programs to save money and energy as we all work together to support California’s energy future. Customers saved $160 million on their energy bills through energy efficiency programs in 2014.

    Residential customers can save on their own terms through no- to low-cost ways ranging from different options for managing their bills to saving more by making energy efficient changes in their home. For more tips on what you can do in your home this summer, visit http://www.pge.com/summer

    PG&E thanks its customers for their conservation efforts which will help the CAISO maintain grid reliability.

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    The funeral of Officer David Nelson will be streamed online live Wednesday.

    Nelson's brother Erik wrote on Facebook: " For those of you who can't be at my brother's Funeral Services tomorrow (Wednesday July 1st), there will be a live webcast. Services begin at 1:30 p.m. PDT."

    A memorial will be held in Bakersfield on Tuesday July 7 at 3 p.m. at the Rabobank Theater.

    That memorial is open to the public.

    To link to the video feed click here.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- An email address has been set up for people to give their condolences to the family of fallen officer David Nelson.

    Those emails will be be combined with phone messages to the department's condolence line and comments on the department's Facebook page and made into a book of condolences and remembrance for the Nelson Family.

    The department is encouraging anyone with a memory, story or message of condolence to share with the family to send it to condolences@bakersfieldpd.us

    Please send your message, with your name (and badge/ID number if applicable) at the bottom, no later than Friday, July 10th.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Julian Carlos Hernandez, 32, the man accused of causing the death of Officer David Nelson pleaded not guilty to the five felony charges against him.

    Before the arraignment District Attorney Lisa Green held a press conference explaining the charges, enhancements and priors. "The charges that we filed we believe are supported by the evidence and the charges we believe we can convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Hernandez is guilty," said Green.

    Those felony charges are evading an officer causing death, vehicular manslaughter, carrying a loaded firearm with prior conviction, possession of a firearm by a felon and possessing ammunition when prohibited to posses a firearm.

    Green says the maximum sentence Hernandez faces is 12 years 8 months. "Every life matters but when a peace officer loses his life in the line of duty that's a situation that has a powerful impact on our entire community," said Green.

    Hernandez is represented by Deputy Public Defender, Ernie Hinman and his bail is set at $600,000.

    We tried to speak to the family of Hernandez but they declined an interview.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The Bakersfield Fire Department and Bakersfield Police will team up to crack down on illegal fireworks this July Fourth.

    They have set up a temporary hotline for the public to report the use of illegal fireworks. The number is 868-6070. The line will be manned July 3 and 4 from 7 p.m. to Midnight.

    It will be staffed during these hours so residents may report their concerns over illegal fireworks activities that may require a Fireworks Task Force response. People should still call 911 for fire department related emergencies.

    Remember: to be legal in California, all fireworks must have the State of California Fire Marshal's seal and the slogan, "Safe and Sane." All others, including "Safe and Sane” that have been modified in any manner, are illegal and will be confiscated with citations issued.

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    UPDATE: 7/1/15 The funeral service will no longer be fed LIVE. The Nelson Family was afraid the video feed would crash so they put a password on the link.

    For the general public, the link will not go active until one hour after the service is over. At that time, go to the link and the password will be to leave it blank.

    The link will remain active for 90 days so people can view it.

    __________________________________________________


    The funeral of Officer David Nelson will be streamed online Wednesday.

    Nelson's brother Erik wrote on Facebook: " For those of you who can't be at my brother's Funeral Services tomorrow (Wednesday July 1st), there will be a webcast. Services begin at 1:30 p.m. PDT."

    A memorial will be held in Bakersfield on Tuesday July 7 at 3 p.m. at the Rabobank Theater.

    That memorial is open to the public.

    To link to the video feed click here.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The funeral for Bakersfield Police Officer David Nelson began at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

    Cameras are not allowed inside the chapel where the ceremony is being held, but cameras will be allowed for the graveside service. 

    We will be updating this page with new video from the services as it comes in from our crews in Los Angeles.

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    A man charged in the high-speed chase that killed a Bakersfield Police Department officer admitted his involvement in a written note and during an interview, court documents indicate.

    A memorial service for Officer David Nelson was being held Wednesday in Los Angeles. Nelson died when his patrol car struck a brick wall and power pole at Mt. Vernon Avenue and Panorama Drive early Friday. A loaded shotgun was discovered near the crash scene and detectives said it appeared the weapon had been thrown from the vehicle Nelson was chasing.

    An anonymous tip led officers to the home Julian Carlos Hernandez, just north of the Columbus Avenue Lowe’s store.

    When approached by detectives, Hernandez offered them a handwritten note stating that he was the driver in the pursuit, according to a document filed in Kern County Superior Court.

    "Julian Hernandez was transported to the Bakersfield Police Department where he was interviewed by detectives," BPD Det. Don Cegielski writes in the report. "Hernandez provided detectives with information that only the suspect would know."

    Hernandez told detectives he fled when officer Nelson approached his car and that he drove at high speeds, pushing the accelerator all the way to the floorboard during the chase.

    "He said that he had a loaded shotgun in the vehicle behind the driver's seat and was going to do whatever it took to avoid capture by the police," Cegielski writes. "Hernandez said he placed the loaded shotgun into the vehicle after loading it and was going to drop it off to an unknown subject."

    Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to five felony counts, including evading an officer causing death, being a felon carrying a loaded firearm and vehicular manslaughter.


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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Kern Health Systems has appointed Raji K. Brar as a new member
    of their board of directors.

    KHS officials say Brar brings to the Board a diverse background in business, government and health care. She is director for the Kern County Fair Board, a Director and Co-Founder for the Bakersfield Sikh Women’s Association, and a member of the City of Arvin Economic Development Committee.

    She holds a Master of Science Degree in Health Care Administration and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, both obtained at Cal State University Bakersfield.

    Doug Hayward, CEO of Kern Health Systems, in a news release said “Raji will be an asset to the Kern Health Systems Board of Directors. Her knowledge of health care and experience as a Board member with other nonprofit organizations will contribute greatly to our governing process."

    The Board of Directors are appointed by the Kern County Board of Supervisors and includes members who represent physicians, FQHCs, hospitals, pharmacies and the five districts of Kern County. Raji Brar was appointed to the Governing Board by 5th District Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez.

    Kern Health Systems, through its health plan, Kern Family Health Care provides health care coverage to over 210,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries in Kern County.



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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- It was an emotional and long day in Glendale as Bakersfield Police Officer David Nelson was laid to rest.

    Officials expected over 1,000 people to attend the funeral.

    The chapel at Forest Lawn Los Angeles, where the service was held, was packed as friends and family, Police Chief Williamson and other dignitaries paid their respects to Officer Nelson.

    Marked police units from at least 30 different law enforcement agencies, from as far north as Porterville to as far south as Santa Ana, attended the service.


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