Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
TARA THE CAT USES CHARMS OFFENSIVE ON BLAZE: She's known for delivering body-blocks and roundhouse kicks, but Tara, the hero- ninja-wonder-cat, turned on her charm offensive to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Bakersfield Blaze Tuesday against the Lancaster JetHawks. Tara -- who one week ago saved her family's eldest boy, 4-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo, from being further bitten and dragged away by a neighbor's dog -- delivered the evening's second ceremonial first pitch. Jeremy threw out the game's actual ceremonial first pitch, from a kid-friendly plate distance of just a few feet. Read the full story here.
An ambulance ride in nearly all of Kern County will cost substantially more after Tuesday. County supervisors on Tuesday approved substantial rate increases for Hall Ambulance and Liberty Ambulance -- the two companies that have exclusive rights to serve most of the county. Hall Ambulance basic life support and advanced life support rates will increase by $311 to $1,420 a trip. Its advanced life support base rate -- the one paid by people whose lives are in danger -- will go up $345 to $1,660. .
MORE POLICE, NEW FIRE ENGINES UP FOR COUNCIL TALK: Plans to hire five more police officers, replace two fire engines and spend up to $1 million implementing results of a study of the Bakersfield Police Department will be among items the Bakersfield City Council will consider at its meeting Wednesday night. It's all part of Bakersfield's proposed 2014-2015 fiscal year budget, which the council discusses during workshops in May and June. It must approve the budget by July 1, the start of the fiscal year. The new proposed budget is more than $621.6 million -- technically 12 percent smaller than last year's budget of more than $707 million. 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.
WHOOPING COUGH IS ON THE RISE: The state is warning parents and health care providers that whooping cough is on the rise. There were 1,711 cases of the highly contagious bacterial disease reported to the state from January through April of this year, more than triple the number of cases in the same period last year. Kern County's 33 cases earned it the 19th highest rate of infection of the state's 58 counties. That translates to an incidence rate of 3.81 cases for every 100,000 residents. Whooping cough symptoms include runny nose, low-grade fever, and in infants, persistent coughing often punctuated by loud gasps. Read the full story here.
STOCKDALE SOPHOMORE WINS SECTION INDIVIDUAL TITLE: Stockdale sophomore Blake Bourelle, playing in one of the final groups of the day, shot an even-par 72 and then won the Central Section boys golf individual championship in a playoff Tuesday at Riverbend Golf Course in Madera. Bourelle's 72 tied Kevin Lauterbach of Oakhurst-Yosemite, and when Lauterbach missed a six-foot par putt on the first-hole playoff, Bourelle sank his putt for par and a victory. Read the full story here.
TWO SOUGHT FOR STORE THEFTS, ASSAULT WITH CAR: Two suspects who allegedly took items from a store and then struck an employee with their car who tried to stop them, are being sought by Bakersfield police. The May 9 incident occurred at 2 p.m. Their car is described as an older model four-door, possibly a white or gray Hyundai, with "Las Vegas" paper plates. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call BPD at 327-7111. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
MICROSOFT TABLET: Microsoft on Tuesday introduced the Surface Pro 3, the company's latest attempt to get consumers to buy into its PC-tablet hybrid concept, according to a CNN report. The company says it has designed the one device consumers need to be productive and consume media. The Surface Pro 3 is a full-powered PC that has tablet-like weight and size. The Surface Pro 3 comes with a 12-inch screen -- about an inch and a half bigger than its Surface Pro 2 predecessor -- and it weighs less than the smallest Apple MacBook Air, the report said. That tablet price will start at $799.
THE HEALTH REPORT
IGNORE PROSTRATE CANCER?: A new study from UCLA says treating older men with early-stage prostate cancer may be a waste of time if there are other serious health problems. Aggressive intervention such as surgery or radiation does not help such patients live longer and in some cases makes things worse, according to researchers. The retrospective study, which followed more than 140,500 men aged 66 and older for 15 years, found that men with serious underlying medical conditions did not have a reduction in risk of death from cancer because they were more likely to die from something else. Researchers urge prostate cancer patients who have other potentially lethal conditions to consider the findings as they weigh whether or not to treat their disease. The UCLA study was published Tuesday May 14 in the journal Cancer. Read the full story here.
THE SPORTS REPORT
TEHACHAPI GETS BOOST FROM INJURED COACH: TEHACHAPI -- As the sun set on a chilly afternoon at Tehachapi High's baseball field Tuesday, a downtrodden Warriors team got just what it needed. That would be their coach, Chris Olofson, walking onto the field with a cane to greet them, one week after he was hit in the head with a line-drive foul ball and a few minutes after Tehachapi's emotional postseason run ended with a 13-7 loss to Visalia-Golden West in the Central Section Division III semifinals. Read the full story here.
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