Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
CITIZENS GROUP SUES CITY OVER 24TH STREET WIDENING: A citywide association of residents opposed to expanding the county's busiest street has sued the city of Bakersfield and Caltrans alleging they violated the state's environmental quality act in approving widening 24th Street. In its petition for writ of mandate, Citizens Against the 24th Street Widening Project accuses the agencies of violating the California Environmental Quality Act by approving an Environmental Impact Report on the project. It alleges they relied on outdated traffic counts for 24th Street -- parts of which city officials have said carry nearly 60,000 vehicles per day -- to justify widening it. Read the full story here.
Tejon Ranch Co. finished 2013 on a low note as improved hunting and power plant lease revenues failed to offset declines in farm revenues and oil royalties. The company reported earning $4.165 million in 2013 -- a 6.2 percent decline from the year before -- but lost $826,000 in the three months ended Dec. 31. In a reassuring note to investors, the company said it has plenty of water to take care of its real estate and farming needs. .
COUNTY, CITY SETTLE NASTY TAX FIGHT: Kern County and the city of Bakersfield have agreed to settle a long, contentious legal battle over how they divide property taxes after annexations, the two agencies announced Wednesday evening. But a second battle -- over property taxes dedicated to fire protection -- remains unresolved. The deal announced Wednesday would transfer about $715,837 in property tax revenue -- money the city claimed but the county has been withholding -- to the city. In return, the city has promised to drop a lawsuit against the county and open negotiations with county officials about how the city's share of the disputed tax money will be calculated in the future. Read the full story here.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
In case you missed it, here are the stories that are trending across bakersfield.com.
SINGLE-CAR ACCIDENT ON WESTSIDE PARKWAY INJURES WOMAN: A single-car accident Wednesday on the Westside Parkway sent a Bakersfield woman to the hospital. Bakersfield police said 24-year-old Ashley Burrow was driving westbound in the 8000 block of the parkway about 6:20 p.m. when her Toyota Corolla swerved to the right, struck the dirt embankment and rolled over. She suffered moderate injuries and was taken to a local hospital. Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor. Read the full story here.
CSUB TO CELEBRATE LARGEST CORPORATE DONATION: Cal State Bakersfield revealed Wednesday that the more than $2 million it received from Chevron Corp. energy donations last year comprised the largest yearly contribution from a corporate donor in the university's history. Irma Cervantes, a CSUB spokeswoman, said the school received the funding in three allotments last year. She said the largest portion of the money -- $1 million -- will fund equipment purchases for the engineering department and create the region's first bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering. Another $150,000 will pay for tutoring and advising at the Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering Student Center. Read the full story here.
VICTIM OF SOUTH UNION AVENUE STABBING IDENTIFIED: Bakersfield police Wednesday identified the victim of a Tuesday afternoon stabbing on South Union Avenue as Ivan Garcia. Garcia, 31, was killed about 4 p.m. outside the Star Liter Motor Motel at 900 South Union Ave. following an altercation with another man. Anyone with information on the stabbing is asked to call the Kern County Sheriff's Office at 861-3110. Read the full story here.
THE HEALTH REPORT
WOMEN AT HIGHER RISK OF ALZHEIMER'S: A new report from the Alzheimer's Association found women age 60 and older have a 1 in 6 chance of getting Alzheimer's disease in their lifetime, and are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's compared with breast cancer. The report said the disease affects more than 5 million Americans, two-thirds of them women. Men, by comparison, have a 1 in 11 chances of getting Alzheimer's, according to the 2014 Facts and Figures report.
THE SPORTS REPORT
CONDORS LOSE GOALIE BROSSOIT, FORWARD MILLER TO OKC BARONS: The Bakersfield Condors will be without their top goaltender and leading scorer as they head into a set of three games in three days this weekend. Bakersfield's American Hockey League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons, have recalled goaltender Laurent Brossoit and forward Greg Miller. Brossoit, 21-9-2, is second in the league in goals against average at 2.06 and third in save percentage at .924. The Barons are reassigning goaltender Tyler Bunz, who started the season with the Condors, to Bakersfield. Read the full story here.
CHECK OUT OUR SCOTT IN 60 FEATURE: