• Casey Christie / The Californian MESH Cowork, a Bakersfield technology development space in downtown Bakersfield, will be the site of a wildfire assistance-themed "hackathon" competition in August.

    Tech group plans 'hackathon' to develop wildfire assistance software

    If the wildfires that recently devastated parts of Kern County had a positive side, it was that they brought together local communities for good, often through the use of mobile technology. That may have been just the beginning. Kern Innovation & Technology Community, an organization formed

  • Aera Energy headquarters

    Aera, long a holdout, considering layoffs

    Even with oil prices up more than 50 percent since January, the pain continues in Kern County’s petroleum industry. The biggest local holdout — Bakersfield-based oil producer Aera Energy LLC, which says it hasn’t had to resort to layoffs since the slump began two years ago — said this week it is

  • In this file photo, PG&E linemen are on a training exercise getting ready for a large upcoming project. They were being hoisted to the top of this tower and back down.

    Bakersfield hearings set for PG&E's proposed rate increases

    Two public hearings Monday in Bakersfield will gather public comment on Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s proposal to raise its core revenues almost 17 percent during the next three years, bringing them to nearly double what they were 10 years ago. The hearings at 1501 Truxtun Ave., one starting

  • Emily Pacheco is tax manager at Daniells Phillips Vaughan & Bock.

    People in Business for the week of July 11

    The Bakersfield accounting firm Daniells Phillips Vaughan & Bock announced the promotions of four employees, certified public accountants BILL FLYNN, EMILY PACHECO, STEPHANIE PETERS and SALVADOR SAAVEDRA. Flynn, who joined the firm in 2014, was promoted to the position of senior in the

  • Local tech entrepreneurs Kevin Mershon, left, and Austin Llach.

    Local entrepreneurs nurture tech scene

    Tech entrepreneur Austin Llach didn't want to leave Bakersfield for Silicon Valley again, but he felt like he had to if he was going to find an "angel investor" for the fitness smartphone app he was developing. To his surprise, the 25-year-old Stockdale High grad found an investor in

  • One of the dining areas at RJ's Bar and Grill.

    Popular northwest Bakersfield restaurant closes

    RJ’s Bar & Grill, a northwest Bakersfield restaurant, has closed due to “creative differences” between the partners, owner Russell Carter announced Friday. It could reopen under a new name in the near future. Originally known as RJ’s at Riverlakes, the eatery first opened in

  • Felix Adamo / The Californian This file photo shows a pumping unit and oil rigs south of Kimberlina Road and west of Shafter Avenue.

    Pipeline closure pressures local oil producers

    Pipeline problems are again crimping local oil producers’ efforts to get their product to market and fetch a good price for it. Shell’s San Pablo pipeline, which normally carries 140,000 barrels per day from Kern County to refineries in the Bay Area, remains closed for repairs after spilling

  • Future Grapevine Community.

    Tejon Ranch to host dinner for supporters of its Grapevine project

    Tejon Ranch Co. plans to host a dinner Tuesday for a small group of people it hopes will show their support for one of the company’s development projects at a public workshop later in the evening. The meal from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. at Bakersfield’s El Sombrero restaurant is a private gathering closed

  • Marcy and Joel Brust invite the public to come meet "the world's most famous ostrich, Ralph."

    For sale: Ostriches and all at the farm

    Some may say that Joel and Marcy Brust live exotic lives as owners of Indian Point Ostrich Ranch. Exciting as it may be, however, the Brusts are looking to retire after 26 years operating their working farm, which is tucked against a mountainside above Cummings Valley in Tehachapi. The Brusts are

  • Applus RTD has taken possession of its new 25,000-square-foot building at North Meadows Business Park. Applus tests, inspects and certifies energy and power industry facilities.

    Business roundup: Applus RTD joins North Meadows Business Park

    Global energy services provider Applus RTD has become the latest company to set up shop at North Meadows Business Park. The Dutch-based company, known for testing, inspecting and certifying petroleum pipelines, recently took possession of a 25,000-square-foot, build-to-suit facility at the

  • Rob McCarthy, founder of Lightspeed Systems, at the company's downtown Bakersfield building.

    Lightspeed prepares to leave Bakersfield

    Two years after moving its headquarters to Texas, Bakersfield’s biggest home-grown tech company is pulling out of California as part of a consolidation it hopes will make the company more nimble and surround it with like-minded firms. Lightspeed Systems announced it will close its 19th Street

  • The former site of the Bakersfield Investment Club at 8800 Stockdale Hwy Suite 100.

    Court appointee sifts through Bakersfield Investment Club's wreckage

    What a mess the Bakersfield Investment Club left behind. After the club’s assets were frozen in March amid a federal lawsuit accusing its leader of fraud, the man appointed to unravel the BIC’s finances has reported widespread problems with the way the organization’s assets were managed. Rents

  • In this file photo, Angel Garcia Martinez works under a canopy of grape branches near Lamont as a crew of agriculture workers clear leaves on the vines to allow the grapes to grow and ripen.

    Unemployment slides to 9.7% in Kern

    State figures released Friday show Kern County’s unemployment rate slid to a seasonally unadjusted 9.7 percent in May, down from April’s 10.6 percent and March’s 11.6 percent, as local farmers continued to add jobs and oil companies went on slashing them. According to data from the Employment

  • Thousands of people walk through the job fair held at the Rabobank Convention Center in Bakersfield on March 13, 2014 hoping to land one of about 3,000 jobs available from 150 employers at the job fair.

    Business roundup: Employers line up for Delano job fair

    More than 70 employers in Kern and Tulare counties are expected to attend a job fair from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday at Delano’s Cesar E. Chavez High School, 800 Browning Road. The event, part of Kern County’s JobFest 2016 series, is free and open to the public. Various industries will be represented.

  • This is a rendering of the entertainment district within Bakersfield Commons, proposed to be built in three phases by 2035 by Trammell Crow Co.

    Revised plans unveiled for Bakersfield Commons development

    Developers of a long-delayed real estate project generally northwest of Coffee and Brimhall roads have proposed substantial changes including a new hospital, a boutique hotel and senior housing, as well as many more apartments and far less retail space than envisioned just a few years ago. Still

  • This oil rig stands next to a wheat field near Merced and Shafter avenues north of Bakersfield and west of Highway 99 in this file photo.

    Labor agreement divides Kern oil fields

    A senior executive with one of Kern County’s largest oil producers sat on stage in front of hundreds of his peers, chatting with a prominent congressman, when someone from the audience put him on the spot. Why, he was asked at last fall’s West Kern Petroleum Summit, did his employer,