• BAKERSFIELD, CA - AUGUST 09, 2011 - Farm workers bringing in buckets full of red bell peppers to a packing tent at a farms in the Bakersfield area, August 09, 2011. In 2005, after several farmworkers died of heat exhaustion, California enacted landmark regulations requiring employers to provide what might seem like the most basic things: water, restrooms and shade for workers. Six years later, records show, employers commonly flout the requirements without real consequences. (Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)

    Kern's unemployment rate increases to 8.9%

    Kern County’s jobless rate rose more than half a point in October to a seasonally unadjusted 8.9 percent as a drop in farm employment outweighed gains in education, hospitality, services, construction and health care. California’s Employment Development Department reported a loss of 2,300 farm

  • Google's overnight service is the company's latest offering to reach the San Joaquin Valley.  REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Files

    Google delivers overnight service to Bakersfield

    Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Google is bringing to the Bakersfield area a service that will deliver goods from a variety of popular retailers to doorsteps overnight. It’s available starting today. Not only will locals get fast delivery but access to merchants that are not in town,

  • Holly Culhane

    HOLLY CULHANE: Independent contractors say they aren't 'independent'

    Drivers filed a lawsuit against online superstore Amazon. At the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, truck drivers went on strike. These were two headline grabbing events that occurred in a single recent week. Both involved disputes over classifying drivers as “independent” contractors. According to

  • Justin Leland is a financial advisor at Moneywise Wealth Management.

    JUSTIN LELAND: When paying down debt, don't forget to keep investing

    When I was a child, my parents ingrained in me the idea that owing money to someone is always bad, and I should avoid it at all costs — literally. What they failed to mention, though, is that this is not always the case. As I grew older my student loans, car loans, home loans, and yes, some credit

  • The Haggen market at Coffee Road and Stockade Highway.

    Albertsons may be moving back into former Bakersfield stores

    Haggen, the supermarket chain that attempted an expansion this year that proved catastrophic, plans to sell two Bakersfield stores back to Albertsons. Haggen announced Friday that it has accepted bids worth $47 miliion from a variety of other grocers for 55 stores — including two of the three

  • John Nilon, county administrative officer.

    Year's lackluster economics may linger, top officials say

    The lackluster economy that put a damper on 2015 is likely to continue, two of Kern County's top hired officials agreed at a Great Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce breakfast Monday. Kern County has been buffeted by falling oil prices that have dropped from nearly $100 a barrel two years ago to

  • Memorabilia allegedly linked to the rock band The Moody Blues, among others, is part of a long-running lawsuit associated with a Bakersfield man

    Local man's websites could set freedom of speech precedent

    A Bakersfield man’s campaign to get his money back after buying allegedly bogus rock ’n’ roll memorabilia online has sparked an East Coast legal battle observers say could pit Internet freedom of speech against businesses’ federal protection from “cyber-squatters.” The court case revolves

  • Anticipation builds for latest expansion of Seven Oaks

    Southwest Bakersfield’s upscale community of Seven Oaks is expanding again, this time with a 443-acre gated community set to begin construction next week west of Allen Road along Ming Avenue. If that sounds like not much to go on, well, it’s not. And that’s no accident. Developer Castle

  • A view of the site of Tejon Mountain Village nestled in the hillsides and canyons of the Tehachapi Mountains.

    Tejon Ranch advancing plans for massive mountain village

    A long-planned resort community in the Lebec area took a significant step forward with an announcement Monday that the board of directors of developer Tejon Ranch Co. has approved a detailed plan for developing and marketing 3,450-home Tejon Mountain Village. The company said it

  • Business roundup: Home prices down — again

    Bakersfield’s home market continues to soften, according to the latest monthly sales summary by local appraiser Gary Crabtree. The median closing price for an existing home in the city was $208,500 in October, down 3 percent from both a month and a year before. That helped bring the annual price-

  • Crews lower a section of pipe into the ground with cradles along the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline near Winona, Texas, in this 2012 file photo.

    Local oil industry laments rejection of key pipeline project

    Kern County oil and gas companies, cut off by geography from any direct benefits of the Keystone Pipeline proposal, nevertheless joined the national petroleum industry Friday in expressing disappointment with President Barack Obama’s rejection of the politically fraught infrastructure project.

  • Energy executives praise local permitting environment at industry summit

    Near the end of Wednesday’s Kern County Energy Summit, keynote speaker Peter Zeihan said something he later admitted he did not expect to elicit applause. In fact, his words likely would have landed with a thud anywhere else in California. Zeihan told the audience of more than 300 local energy

  • How to give back this holiday season

    Five locations throughout Bakersfield will be drop-off sites for a global Christmas project in which residents, families, churches and other groups fill shoeboxes with holiday gifts for poor children overseas. Operation Christmas Child is run by Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational

  • Kern Citizens for Energy passed out buttons and stickers to those attending a Kern County Planning Commission meeting, in this file photo.

    The anti-oil activists are coming!

    With a rallying cry of “Stand with Kern County — Stand up to Big Oil,” environmental activists from outside the area are planning a trip to Bakersfield early next month to support local opponents of a plan to streamline petroleum permitting in California’s busiest oil-producing region.