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Life in the 'hood: Can lasting change come?

Touré Tyler, pastor of Cross Christian Church, is shown here at Lowell Park in central Bakersfield. Tyler is one of several leaders who have agreed to work with the Bakersfield Police Department in a two-year effort to reduce gang violence and repair the relationship between police and Bakersfield's black community.

Ruby Thomas is 63, too damn old to be dropping to the ground like a soldier in a firefight, too old to crawl in a blind panic across the ground, trying to stay lower than the bullets punching holes in metal and plaster — and, yes, people.

But Thomas had no choice the night of Aug. 16 when three men in a pickup rolled up in front of her daughter’s house on Donna Street and started shooting.

“We were sitting out in the front yard talking, getting ready to go home,” she said.

One man got out of the cab. Two more jumped from the bed of the pickup.

Blaze baseball will cease at the end of the season at Sam Lynn Ballpark in Bakersfield.

What's next for Sam Lynn?

When the Bakersfield Blaze leave town for the Carolina League at the end of this baseball season, the team will leave 75-year-old Sam Lynn Ballpark empty. The County of Kern — which owns the park — will need to figure out what to do with it. Sam Lynn is part of the county’s Metropolitan Park

A drone spotted over the Havilah fire temporarily grounded air attack efforts this weekend, fire officials said Sunday. But air operations were OK'd to continue once the airspace was cleared.

Firefighters battle wildfires on three fronts in Kern

Sometimes it seems as if all of Kern County is on fire. That sense of foreboding jumped to a sense of urgency early Sunday afternoon for residents along Caliente-Bodfish Road between School Road and Piute Meadows Road, who were informed they were subject to recommended evacuations for the Havilah

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    Two arrested at DUI checkpoint

    Two motorists were arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and 28 drivers were cited for having no driver’s license or driving on a suspended license at a DUI/driver’s license checkpoint operated late Saturday night and early Sunday by the Bakersfield Police Department. Five

  • Funeral services for August 29, 2016

    Services pending Mabel Tacket, 93, Bakersfield, Aug. 28. Peters Funeral Home, Wasco. TO OUR READERS: The Californian provides free listings of pending services using information supplied by local mortuaries. Services scheduled and the in-depth notices that follow are paid obituaries and

  • Californian community columnist Steve Flores

    STEVE FLORES: Catching summer's last wave

    I am not sure what to make of it. It happened this year on our annual camping trip to the beach with the Wavehogs. In case you missed it in my previous columns, our “Wavehogs” celebrated 31 years of camping together this year. The Wavehogs started 31 years ago when my brother “Big Foot” Ralph and

  • A Cal Fire strike team drives through Lake Isabella Saturday morning while working on the Cedar Fire, which is almost two weeks old.

    New fast-moving fire in Havilah as work continues on two other Kern fires

    A new fire erupted in the Kern River Valley area Saturday, this time near the old gold mining town of Havilah. Heavy brush and high winds blew the fire up to 130-plus acres in just a few hours and evacuations were quickly underway. An all-out air assault was launched early on with every available

  • The southbound Highway 99 on-ramp from eastbound Ming Avenue is closed for renovations, which have been slowed due to kit fox dens discovered in the construction zone.

    Endangered kit foxes dig in, delaying road project

    In this round, it’s Vulpes macrotis mutica over homo sapiens by technical decision. Multiple dens of protected San Joaquin kit foxes along a former Ming Avenue on-ramp to southbound Highway 99 have caused a delay of several weeks for Bakersfield’s Beltway Operational Improvements Project. Storm

  • Funeral services for Aug. 28, 2016

    Services pending Elva Esquivel, 82, Bakersfield, Aug. 27. Greenlawn Funeral Home. Evelyn “Kay” Madson, 87, Bakersfield, Aug. 26. Greenlawn Funeral Home. Kathryn Shelton, 69, Bakersfield, Aug. 26. Doughty-Calhoun-O’Meara Funeral Directors. TO OUR READERS: The Californian provides free listings

  • Stanford law professor Michele Dauber speaks at a rally before activists delivered over one million signatures to the California Commission on Judicial Performance calling for the removal of Judge Aaron Persky from the bench Friday, June 10, 2016, in San Francisco. A group of California lawmakers joined women's rights advocates Friday in urging a California agency to take action against the judge who sentenced a former Stanford University swimmer to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.  Dauber is leading the effort to recall Judge Persky. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

    Judging judges: Recalls may become easier, but is that better?

    The reaction has been swift, viral and unrelenting. Shortly after Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky sentenced an ex-Stanford University swimmer to only six months in jail for sexually assaulting an uncon2scious woman, the victim’s emotional 12-page court statement drew 13 million readers

  • Overflowing schools leaves parents frustrated, kids 'heartbroken'

    Less than a week after his first day at Ronald Reagan Elementary School, 8-year-old Christian Millsap had been booted. “Two days ago he comes home in tears and hands me a note saying, ‘I got kicked out of school,’” Christian’s father, Robby, said. But it wasn’t because Christian had acted out,

  • Prop. 61 is the wrong way to fight Big Pharma; vote no

    The reason for skyrocketing drug costs and price gouging is simple. It’s greed. But figuring out what to do about it is tougher. Consider these examples: More Americans die of hepatitis C than from all other infectious diseases. The good news: there’s a cure. The bad news: a drug company charges

  • ROBERT PRICE: KHSD has been trying to buy that corner lot for 30 years

    It turns out reader Patrick Steele and I aren’t the only guys who think that automotive repair shop located right in front of Bakersfield High School must go. The Kern High School District agrees that the commercial parcel at the northwest corner of California Avenue and H Street ought to be part