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KGET: Local News

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A Bakersfield man accused in the crash-related death of a BPD officer is now facing second-degree murder charges after a court hearing Friday morning.

    Prosecutors have also charged 32-year-old Julian Hernandez with vehicular manslaughter as well as a charge of evading an officer causing death.  He is being held on $2,000,000 bail.  His preliminary hearing is set for July 15.  

    A newly-released investigative report indicates Bakersfield Police Officer David Nelson wasn't wearing a seat belt when his car hit a wall during a high-speed chase in northeast Bakersfield.

    The medical examiner says the 26-year-old died of a torn aorta and massive injury to his internal organs.

    Nelson struck a power pole and wall June 26 at Mt. Vernon Avenue and Panorama Drive while investigators say Nelson was chasing Hernandez.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Dozens of families were ordered to evacuate a south Bakersfield park after someone noticed a suspicious device.

    Bakersfield police officers and the SWAT team responded to East Belle Terrace Park around 5:15 Thursday night. The device was shaped like a cylinder and placed near the women's restroom.

    The bomb squad eventually rendered the object safe. At the time the device was discovered, up to 75 people were at the park.

    No word on what was inside the object or who put it there.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA -  Police are investigating a shooting that left a man dead in south Bakersfield.  Investigators say officers responded just before 9 Thursday night to the 4400 block of Palmacia Drive for a report of a shooting.

    When they arrived, officers found a man, who was suffering from several gunshot wounds. The victim was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    The victim’s name will be released by the Kern County Coroner’s Office. Anyone with information regarding this case is
    encouraged to call Bakersfield police at (661) 327-7111 or Detective Cegielski at (661) 326-3552.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Deputies in Taft have arrested a man suspected of using forged money to buy a car in the south Taft area.  

    Deputies say the car's owner was approached by 28-year old Kenneth Dodds of Taft.   Invesgators say Dodds had agreed to purchase the vehicle for $2,000. Dodds returned at a later time with four MoneyGram money orders of $500 each to purchase of the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle delivered the car to Dodds' residence in the Taft Heights area.

    The owner of the vehicle attempted to cash the money orders and was told they were fraudulent. The owner of the vehicle called Dodds and advised him that the money orders were fraudulent and to return the vehicle. Dodds refused, hung up on the victim, and refused to respond to further attempts at contact.

    On Tuesday deputies received information the vehicle was parked in the alley in the 200-block of B Street in Taft Heights. Deputies located Dodds at his residence and arrested him without incident.

    Deputies were able to return the vehicle to the victim. Dodds was booked into the Central Receiving Facility Jail for vehicle theft and for four counts of forgery.

    The Kern County Sheriff’s Office would like to advise the public to be very cautious when accepting money orders or certified checks for purchases. There are always several security features on these documents to prevent them from being forged.

    If you have any question about the item’s authenticity, you should meet the person wanting to purchase your item at a bank, so the money orders or certified checks can be verified as authentic.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - You might encounter some delays if you're traveling on Rosedale Highway the weekend of July 24.  Thomas Roads Improvement officials say there will be a full round-the-clock weekend closure for Rosedale Highway, between Mohawk Street and Landco Drive, from 8 p.m. on Friday, July 24 through 6 a.m. on Monday, July 27, 2015.

    The closure TRIP officials say is needed to allow the San Joaquin Valley Railroad to replace panels across the roadway and for road construction work along this section of Rosedale Highway. This work is being performed in conjunction with the Rosedale Highway Widening Project.

    During the closure, motorists will need to use Mohawk Street, Truxtun Avenue and Oak Street to detour around this construction work. Detour signs will be posted along the detour route. Access to businesses in this area will be available, but there will be no access across the railroad right-of-way on Rosedale Highway.

    Motorists are advised to stay alert and obey construction signage, and to watch for construction personnel and equipment while driving through this area.

    The Thomas Roads Improvement Program apologizes for any inconvenience this work may cause the traveling public. For additional information on the Rosedale Highway Widening Project, please visit

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield police need your help finding a man suspected of fraud and burglary. Police say on the morning of May 31, 2015, the suspect entered the Von's store on Stockdale Highway and bought merchandise with the victim’s credit/debit card information.

    Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic man, late 20’s to early 30’s, black or brown short faded hair, goatee, wearing a blue long sleeved button shirt with lanyard around neck, and blue or dark colored jean pants.

    If you have information regarding this case call Detective Timothy Diaz at (661) 326-3541 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - A 15-year-old boy was jumping off rocks with three of his friends Friday morning into the Kern River when his friends say he never resurfaced, the Kern County Sheriff's Office said.

    Around 10:45 Friday morning, the sheriff's department was called about two miles into the Kern River Canyon for a report of a possible drowning.

    The boy's friends told deputies they were jumping off rocks into a pond, when their friend never came back up.

    Search and Rescue crews were called to the scene. A diver was sent into the pond but was pulled out because the current was too strong, officials said. The boy has not been located as of Friday afternoon.

    Deputies and Search and Rescue members will continue to attempt to locate the boy who is presumed drowned.  Sheriff's officials say the search for the boy will resume Saturday morning.  

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield police need your help finding a man suspected in a residential robbery.   Police say in the early morning of June 15, the suspect forced entry into the victim’s residence which in the 1100 block of Fairview Rd.

    Police say the suspect encountered the victim and began throwing items at the victim causing minor injuries. The suspect fled from the residence. He is described as Hispanic, 28-30, 5’4”, thin build, black hair in a “bowl cut”, thin mustache, wearing a white t-shirt and grey cargo shorts.

    The suspect is reported to have large hands with a deformed right index finger. If you have information regarding this case call Detective Ryan Vaughan at (661) 326-3868 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Bakersfield police need your help finding a man accused of robbing a Dollar General store in Bakersfield and brandishing a knife at a store employee.   

    Police say on June 16, the suspect entered the store at 3101 Wilson Rd. in the company of a juvenile. He then selected items and left the store without paying for the merchandise. When confronted by a store employee the suspect brandished a knife at the employee allowing his escape in a grey/blue GMC Yukon with paper plates.

    The suspect is described as white, in his mid-30’s, 5’7”, 160 lbs., brown hair and blue eyes, wearing black t-shirt, blue jeans and black shoes.

    If you have information regarding this case, call Detective Ryan Vaughan (661) 326-3868 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

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    Bakersfield, Ca. - Kern County Sheriff's Search and Rescue crews are still searching for a 15-year-old boy who went missing Friday afternoon in the Kern River. Officials say the boy skipped the last day of summer school to go swimming with some friends.

    Sergeant Avery Simpson says the boy was jumping off of rocks in an area called Three Falls into a pond and never surfaced.

    Although he is presumed drowned his friends and family are hoping for a miracle. "We have a location where he went missing and that's where we are focusing our search at this point," said Simpson.

    Family and friends were praying at the site as helicopters circled above them. "This kids comes from a great family they have a great support system there's a lot of people out here if not to help just to help the family get through this," said Simpson.

    273 people have died in the Kern River since 1968, several of them drowned at Three Falls. "As time goes by it doesn't look good and as far as we are concerned it's a recovery mission for us," said Simpson.

    The missing boy's father asked that we do not use the sons name or his name until the Sheriff's Department release it. His father did say he believes in miracles and is hoping for his son to be alive, he is thankful for all the prayers and asks for them to continue.

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  • 07/11/15--23:21: Apartment complex fire
  • BAKERSFIELD, CA - A city firefighter is injured and 20 people are without a home after apartments in south Bakersfield caught fire.

    The fire broke out at a two-story complex on Planz Road near South High School just after 1 p.m. Saturday.

    City fire officials say when they arrived, four upstairs units were engulfed. Officials say the flames spread quickly due to the wood shake roof.

    The injured firefighter was taken to the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin with first and second degree burns on both of his hands.

    Two cats died in the fire. 

    Damage is pegged at $750,000. The cause is under investigation.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA - Many community members are mourning the death of 15-year-old, Nnanedu Odeluga. His body was recovered Sunday morning in the Kern River, after two days of searching.

    Odeluga's father, Ndukwe Odeluga, hopes people can learn from his loss. "People need to know the rocks are dangerous the water is dangerous and this is not a place to come and play," said Odeluga.

    His son took his last breath in the Kern River, jumping off of rocks in the Three Falls area.

    Sergeant Avery Simpson says the pond where Odeluga's body was found had an underwater current. "Partial waterfall inlet that comes in and there is water that comes in from another direction creating a washing machine effect,through that deep water things get pushed down," said Simpson.

    Odeluga's family friend Schola Kabeya said the family has peace that the teen is in a better place. "God has taken his home we don't want any family to go through what we are going through," said Kabeya.

    There are two signs warning of the dangers of swimming in the river one at the top of the canyon and one at the bottom. "The sign is way out we need to do more, the sign is way out, we cant just look at these people that die as numbers, they are brothers, they are fathers, they are our children how many more," said Kabeya.

    Since the search began teachers, friends and family have sent messages and photos on social media showing love and support. If you would like to join in on social media friends have set up the #celebratenedu.

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  • 07/13/15--09:21: 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. 

    The class is on Tuesday, July 14 at 6:00 p.m. The class is being held at the CHP 420 Club, located at 3910 Alfred Harrell Hwy. CHP officers and individuals affected by poor choices will speak. 

    Please call the Bakersfield CHP office at 864-4444 to sign up. 

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The Kern District Attorney's office will begin reviewing all officer and deputy-involved shooting resulting in injury or death, officials announced Monday morning.

    The review process was set to begin immediately, according to a news release from District Attorney Lisa Green.

    Green's office has traditionally reviewed shootings involving 12 local police agencies. Monday's policy change will now include the Kern Sheriff's Office and the Bakersfield Police Department.

    "The District Attorney's office will work with all affected agencies to ensure these reviews are conducted in a fair and professional manner that will serve the interests of justice, the community, the involved officers, those persons injured and the families of those affected," Green said in the release.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A man is dead after being shot Sunday morning in southeast Bakersfield.

    Authorities still looking for the shooter or shooters.

    I happened around 8:45 a.m. near Niles and Barlow streets.

    Near Horace Mann Elementary School.

    The Kern County Sheriff's Office says they found a man who had been shot.

    The man, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to KMC, where he died.

    Investigators don't have any suspects...

    Call KCSO at 861-3110 or the Secret Witness line at 322-4040 if you have any information.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A man is out on bail after police found a hand grenade at his house.

    Police arrested Robert Thomas on charges of possessing a destructive device and obstructing and resisting.

    The bomb squad came out to a home near Fairview Road and South H Street.

    Police say they found a live grenade and other military projectiles.

    Officers seized the explosives.

    The suspect's wife, Deborah Thomas, says a neighbor gave them the grenade.

    "We had shells that we found in the desert and we took them out on the patio for them to get. My husband would not tell the policemen who gave us the grenade, out of friendship and out of confidentiality. Since he would not tell them who gave it to us, and he was in, my husband was in possession of it, they arrested him."

    Robert Thomas bailed out of jail at 4:00 Monday morning.

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  • 07/13/15--12:21: Prisoner found sawed in half
  • (KCRA) California prison officials are investigating the murder of an inmate found nearly cut in half and stuffed into a trash can after a May prison riot.

    Guards found the body of missing inmate Nicholas Rodriguez nearly cut in two and with many of his organs removed.

    The riot happened the morning of May 4th at the California State Prison Solana at Vacaville.

    Several inmates and a guard were taken to the hospital after a fight between two inmates escalated in a brawl involving dozens of prisoners and guards.

    Guards discovered Rodriguez was missing later that afternoon.

    Read more:

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A high profile attorney from Los Angeles is responding to Monday's news that the Kern County District Attorney will review all future officer involved shootings.

    The DA already looks at the shootings of 12 Kern County agencies but now they will look at Bakersfield Police and The Kern County Sheriff's Office.

    Attorney Mark Geragos rejects the plan saying the DA has little credibility in the community or in the Appellate Courts.

    Geragos represents the families of three men who died in officer involved shootings involving the Kern County Sheriff's Office and the Bakersfield Police Department.

    Jorge Ramirez, James Villegas DeLarosa and Ronnie Ledesma Jr.all died in officer involved shootings.

    Geragos and the families say the demand a independent, credible, outside investigation.

    The families will be holding an “Independence Rally” at Heritage Park, located on the corner of Mount Vernon Avenue and Bernard Street in East Bakersfield, California. The rally is set to begin at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2015 where the families will be demanding independent police investigations and other mechanisms to provide checks and balances against police cover-ups following officer involved shootings

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- The value of property is down 9 percent according to the Kern County Assessor. For the fiscal year beginning July 1, Assessor Jon Lifquist the taxable value for property in Kern County is 89.2 billion.

    The decline in overall assessed values was anticipated due to the recent plunge in oil and gas prices and underscores the role of oil and gas as an economic asset in Kern County. The mineral roll represented approximately one third of assessed values for the 2014-2015 tax year but is down to less than one quarter of the county’s total assessment for the new fiscal year, 2015-2016

    The decline of petroleum’s valuation to Kern County’s assessment roll was somewhat mitigated by the continued growth and improvement in the real property sector – commercial, residential and agricultural real estate. Highlights in commercial real estate include the Outlets at Tejon, completed in December 2014, and the Sun Select growing and packing facility in Tehachapi’s Cummings Valley. The nearly 1.5 million square foot Sun Select complex, completed in late 2014, is just the first phase of a four phase building project.

    In most of the county, residential sale prices were up yet again in 2014, continuing the recovery which began in 2011. The approximately 60,000 properties valued under Proposition 8 – the majority of which are single family residences – represent a fraction of the properties with reduced assessments in recent years.

    Despite the ongoing drought, agricultural land sales are at a historical high and continue to climb. Recent plantings of trees and vines have also contributed to a year-to-year increase in agricultural assessments over 2014-2015.

    The Rising Tree Wind Facility, a major Tehachapi area wind energy project completed during the assessment year, contributed to an increase in the unsecured property roll.

    The Assessor renders opinions of value, either for the base value, or the market value of a property. The office is proactive in lowering values when warranted. Mr. Lifquist urges property owners to call if they believe the assessed value of their property exceeds market value as of January 1, 2015. The Assessor is committed to ensuring that property owners pay no more in property taxes than what is prescribed by law. Homeowners should be informed that it is not necessary to contract with or pay outside companies for a review of their assessed values. The Assessor’s Office staff will conduct a review free of charge upon request by the taxpayer. Requests for review do need to be submitted before November 1, 2015.

    To inquire whether your property is in a decline in value status or the current market value is less than your Proposition 13, factored base year value, please access the Assessor's website at < >The 2015 taxable value will be displayed along with your Proposition 13 base value difference, if any. This will indicate if your property is benefiting from a decline in value. Street address or Assessor Parcel Number is required to access your information.

    Property owners without access to the County website can obtain a printed value notice by calling the Kern County Assessor's Office at 661-868-3485, or by writing or coming into the Assessor's office located at 1115 Truxtun Avenue, 2nd floor, Bakersfield, CA 93301.

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    BAKERSFIELD, CA- A Bakersfield firefighter is recovering tonight from injuries suffered during an apartment fire in south Bakersfield.

    It happened Saturday afternoon at a complex on Planz Road near South High School

    City fire says when firefighters arrived, the attics of four upstairs units were burning.

    The flames spread quickly due to the wood shake roof, catching a nearby roof on fire.

    The injured firefighter was released from the hospital after being treated for first and second-degree burns on both of his hands.

    Battalion Chief Danny Brown says the firefighter is expected to fully recover.

    Brown didn't give us his name, but says the firefighter recently went through the academy and has been with the department a few months.

    The fire left 20 people without a place to stay.

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