News

Home at last: Emotional Haggard accompanies boxcar to museum

Merle Haggard and his sister Lillian Haggard Rea hold an angel that will lie on the foundation underneath the boxcar home they both grew up in once it is in place at the Kern County Museum. "I wanted an angel to watch over the home," said Dianne Sharman, who helped organize the effort to preserve the Haggards' home.

With their childhood home sitting on a flatbed nearby, Merle Haggard and his sister carefully climbed up on the raised foundation near the train tracks at the Kern County Museum and searched for a private moment together as dozens of observers, fanning themselves in the brutal heat, kept a respectful distance.

“This is a blessing to our parents because they’re not here to do it,” Lillian Haggard Rea, 94, told her brother.

“I never saw that window before,” Haggard remarked, pointing to the front of the boxcar his mother and father converted into

Dean Gardner

Dean Gardner, businessman and two-time Assembly candidate, dies at 72

Dean Gardner, a Bakersfield businessman known for his two bruising battles against Nicole Parra for a Kern County Assembly seat, has died. He was 72. Gardner died Monday of prostate cancer, which he’d fought since 2005, according to his wife, Ruth. Gardner tussled with Parra for what was then the

Ally Bryant, right, with friends at the Bakersfield Music Theater during an audition in a local production of "Les Miserables." Bryant recently was named Distinguished Young Women of California for 2016.

Local teen going to 'Distinguished' nationals

The first Bakersfield teen in a decade to compete in the national finals of Distinguished Young Women, the scholarship program formerly known as the Junior Miss pageant, will be a senior at Liberty High this fall. Ally Bryant, 17, placed first in Distinguished Young Women

Video

    more

    More News

    • 10 Things You Need to Know

      1. The day many Naugles fans have been waiting for has arrived – and gone, the Orange County Register reports. The long defunct fast-food brand opened last Saturday in a former deli in Fountain Valley, marking the comeback of a beloved Mexican eatery that disappeared in the 1990s after a

    • Man pleads no contest to sex crimes involving Wofford Heights teen

      A 47-year-old charged with numerous sex crimes after running off with a teenage girl in June has pleaded no contest to two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse. Maciej Ignaciuk, who had gone by the name Max Kozak, entered the plea Thursday morning. Eleven other felonies were dismissed. He is

    • Scott Thackrey

      Arrested radio reporter 'sad that I let down my boys'

      Longtime local journalist Scott Thackrey’s arrest Wednesday night on suspicion of arranging to meet with a minor for a lewd purpose and attempting to contact a minor with intent to commit a lewd act was the result of a sting, according to Bakersfield police. After getting a complaint from the

    • Manuel Gonzales (on the left) presented Cornelio Rodriguez an award at Bakersfield College during the 1999-2000 year.

      Former BC counselor was champion of the underdog

      Manuel Gonzales, a longtime Bakersfield College counselor and, as friends described him, a champion of the underdog, died Monday night in a nursing home in Culver City, just days before his 70th birthday. The father of school board trustee Andrae Gonzales suffered from an autoimmune

    • Misdemeanor charge filed against deputy in fatal crash

      A misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter has been filed against a Kern County sheriff’s deputy in connection with a September crash and his first hearing is scheduled for Aug. 12. Prosecutors had announced earlier this week that Deputy Nicholas Clerico would be charged with the misdemeanor

    • Sarah Madison (L) and her son Beckett, 3, are surrounded by media as they look at stuffed animals placed at the doorway of the River Bluff Dental clinic in protest against the killing of a famous lion in Zimbabwe, in Bloomington, Minnesota July 29, 2015. Wildlife officials on Tuesday accused American hunter Walter Palmer of killing Cecil, one of the oldest and most famous lions in Zimbabwe, without a permit after paying $50,000 to two people who lured the beast to its death. As of Tuesday, Palmer had temporarily closed his office, River Bluff Dental, in Bloomington, Minnesota, amid wishes for his death and widespread criticism of his hunting on social media and under business reviews on Google and Yelp.  REUTERS/Eric Miller

      Locals talk poaching, trophy hunting in wake of African lion's killing

      As global outcry over the killing of a favorite lion outside an African wildlife sanctuary continued to build Wednesday, local hunters and animal rights activists stood together against poaching — but differed on the topic of trophy hunting. The issue has flared up on the Internet in recent weeks

    • The comedy duo Key & Peele has a new sketch, “TeachersCenter," that parodies SportsCenter’s hyperbole-laden sports coverage, reimagining athletes as the educators we entrust our children to every day.

      10 Things You Need to Know

      1. Twitter has started taking down jokes for copyright infringement, NPR reports. The removals were first spotted by@PlagiarismBad, which traced the takedown notices to Olga Lexell, a freelance writer in Los Angeles. Lexell, whose bio describes her as a freelance writer, confirmed that she

    • Felix Adamo / The CalifornianRichard Beene

      BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

      ENERGY It looks like the long slump in the energy sector is not about to end anytime soon. The big oil service companies like Halliburton and Baker Hughes (they plan to merge) are signaling yet more layoffs as the price slump continues. Energy prices are down 20 percent over the past six weeks,

    • Renovation on Bakersfield's downtown parking structure at 18th and Eye Streets has begun which has caused some concerns with downtown businesses. Darryl Bradley of Sentry Controls Systems walks past the 18th Street entrance/exit.

      Merchants debate changes to downtown parking structure

      The old parking gates have come tumbling down at Bakersfield’s downtown parking structure as part of a renovation opening all 509 spaces to public parking — but not everyone is happy about fee hikes beginning next month. Built in 1987, the city-owned garage hasn’t been renovated for at