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Casey Christie / The Californian

This kitten like many others are always available for adoption. This file photos was taken at the animal shelter on South Mt. Vernon Avenue.

Kern County's three animal shelters -- in Bakersfield, Mojave and Lake Isabella -- will offer animal adoptions at discounted rates in celebration of Valentine's Day.

The Valentine's Day Adoption Event will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Dog adoption fees that are normally $75 and $85 will be $20. Cat adoption fees, normally $40 and $50, will be just $10.

All fees include spay/neuter surgery, a first set of vaccinations, microchipping, rabies vaccination, dog licensing for qualifying dogs and a one-year dog license for residents living in unincorporated areas of Kern County.

For information on adopting a pet, email or call 321-3000 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Five Cal State Bakersfield students have been awarded scholarships funded by the Bakersfield Californian Foundation.

Communications majors Margie Kunkel, Casey Webb, Joshua Bennett, Michael Wafford and Robin Gracia each received scholarships to help with university expenses.

The students were selected based on their high grade point averages and intent to pursue communications careers. The selection committee was made up of Californian digital content editor Christine Peterson, CSUB communications Professor Jennifer Burger and CSUB Communications Department Chair and Professor, Judith Pratt.

"These students represent the best of the Communications Department, and are worthy of being recognized as scholarship winners," said Pratt.

Over the last 26 years, The Californian and its affiliated foundation have awarded more than $45,000 to CSUB communications students, the university said. For more information, contact Pratt at

North High School student Elizabeth Pelzer and Bakersfield High School assistant football coach Lance McCullah have been chosen to receive the Wendy Wayne Awards for Exemplary Ethical Behavior, selected by the Kegley Institute of Ethics at Cal State Bakersfield.

The institute chose Pelzer for her "genuine desire to help others and her persistence to see them through difficult times," according to a CSUB news release. Her nomination letter by a school instructor told the story of how Pelzer helped a fellow student "struggling with her peer's negativity toward her sexual orientation."

The university said McCullah was selected for his "selfless role in bettering the lives of others while overcoming his own personal struggles." Despite struggling with drug abuse and being diagnosed with ALS, it said, McCullah has helped coach both the football and girls basketball teams for Bakersfield High School and mentored many of the players.

"Wendy was instrumental in helping to develop these awards," said Christopher Meyers, director of the Kegley Institute, in the news release. "I'm confident that if she were here, she would be the first in line to recognize Elizabeth and Lance -- their character and their actions exactly exemplify the awards' standards."

The Wendy Wayne Awards for Exemplary Ethical Behavior include a $5,000 donation on behalf of the adult recipient and a $5,000 college scholarship for the youth. The Kegley Institute of Ethics receives support from Kern Schools Federal Credit Union and San Joaquin Community Hospital. Special support for the Wendy Wayne Awards is provided by Kaiser Permanente.