Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:
KERN OILMEN UNFAZED BY REASSESSMENT OF MONTEREY SHALE: It won't cause an exodus from Kern County oil fields, but a lowering of federal expectations for petroleum production along California's vaunted Monterey Shale may change the state's fracking debate, which could add to its local repercussions. The report Wednesday said that the U.S. Energy Information Administration believes the Monterey contains 96 percent less recoverable oil than it previously estimated. Several people in the local oil industry said reservoir estimates are inherently tricky, and that either way, there's still a considerable amount of oil in the Monterey. Read the full story here.
Turbulence and outright violence plagued the relationship of Marco Gutierrez and his pregnant ex-girlfriend, whom he's accused of trying to firebomb with Molotov cocktails. Tires were slashed. Naked pictures were posted online. A restraining order was obtained. It all culminated with 24-year-old Gutierrez being charged with six counts of attempted murder in connection with alleged attacks April 15 and 16. The newly released reports say Gutierrez attempted on April 15 to throw the incendiary devices at a residence in the 6200 block of Landfair Drive in southwest Bakersfield where his ex-girlfriend's family was. .
CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO SUE HIGH-SPEED RAIL AGENCY TO STOP TRAIN CONSTRUCTION: Nineteen months after authorizing a lawsuit against the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the Bakersfield City Council reaffirmed that plan late Wednesday, authorizing the City Attorney to sue to stop the multibillion-dollar bullet train. At issue are the Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the project. The board also approved a resolution saying bullet train construction will stop at 7th Standard Road for now due to lack of funding, and guaranteeing Bakersfield 60 days' notice before it approves construction south. 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.
ALLEGED TEXT DRIVING CASE CONTINUES: In a telephone conversation played for the jury in a Kern County Superior Court courtroom Wednesday, Anna Marie Reynosa cried and repeatedly told an investigator she was telling the truth: She wasn't on her cellphone when she crashed her pickup into a motorcycle two years ago, killing its rider. It's clear from the tape recording that Bakersfield police detectives didn't believe Reynosa, partly because she'd previously given various conflicting stories as to what she'd been doing when the crash occurred on April 14, 2012. She gave five different versions, among them: she was merely looking down at the phone; she was checking a text message; and she was writing a text message. The trial resumes today. Reynosa faces up to six years in prison if convicted. Read the full story here.
MOTHER LASHES OUT AT 'MONSTER' WHO FATALLY STABBER HER SON: More than two years have passed since Darell Battee was fatally stabbed after confronting a man he believed posed a danger to his daughter, but the pain his family feels lingers on. Battee's mother, Mischelle Roberson, asked her son's killer Wednesday why he killer her son, especially in front of her 13-year-old granddaughter. Roberson repeatedly called Kephart a "monster" in court. Kephart received seven years for pleading to voluntary manslaughter. She said Kephart got a "slap on the wrist" and deserved a life sentence for taking her son from her. Read the full story here.
STOCKDALE FALLS IN SOFTBALL SEMIFINALS: The bases were loaded, the ball was bound for the left-field grass and the scoreboard was poised to light up on Stockdale's side. Then -- from out of left field and into left field -- Buchanan shortstop Sienna Swain came into the picture, extending her body to all 66 of its inches to dive and rob Stockdale's Aryka Chavez of a hit. Buchanan won 7-3 on Wednesday in a Central Section Division I softball playoff semifinal. Read the full story here.
THE TECH REPORT
CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD: eBay is telling its users to change their passwords following an attack on company databases. Encrypted passwords, email and building addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth were in the databases that were attacked. eBay said there's no evidence that credit card or financial information was stolen. The investigation is continuing.
THE HEALTH REPORT
KILL YOUR ENGINES FOR HEALTH: Local schools have partnered with Kern Green for the Just Say No to Idling campaign. Parents often sit in cars with the engine running while waiting to pick up students from school or after-school activities. That contributes pollution to Kern's already smoggy air, so educators are trying to discourage the practice. As part of the campaign, campuses will be establishing no-idling zones to improve air quality and create a healthier environment for students. Children breathe 50 percent more air per pound than adults, and asthma is the most common illness causing local students to miss school. Kern Green is a local nonprofit dedicated to environmental education and awareness.
THE SPORTS REPORT
MCFARLAND WINS DIV. VI SOFTBALL TITLE: Trailing by a run, Patricia Hernandez came up to the plate with two outs and runners on the corners for the Orange Cove. Hernandez tried to squeeze a bunt, but McFarland pitcher Felipe fielded the bunt and threw to catcher Jenae Ortega, who made the tag to secure the Cougars' second section title in four years with a 3-2 victory. Read the full story here.
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