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State controller confirms sloppy fiscal management at Lamont PUD

The Lamont Public Utility District has lost more than $224,000 in cash and check deposits, the California State Controller's office has found.

Being accused of incompetence, corruption, cronyism, and playing fast and loose with the public’s money is not a new experience for the Lamont Public Utility District.

The agency that provides water and sewer service to some 18,000 customers in the tiny farm town of Lamont has been the target of such accusations, on and off, for at least a decade.

But 2016 may be the agency’s year of reckoning.

A state review of the troubled utility district found inadequate cash handling and poor accounting practices allowed $224,000 to go missing, the office of California

This Reuters photo of Bill Clinton at the podium dominated our July 17 front page, with the headline "Hillary gets nomination."

SOUND OFF: History is achieved, but no photo to document it?

This feedback forum is designed to give readers a way to voice criticisms and compliments or ask questions about The Californian’s news coverage. Your questions may be edited for space and clarity. Reader: I am not one to write whenever I don't like what I read, but I couldn't resist this

Smokey skies are seen over the oilfields in Oildale from Panorama Drive near Bakersfield College Friday afternoon.

Officials warn of excessive heat, poor air quality

The National Weather Service extended its warning through Saturday of high temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley and Kern County desert that put people at risk for heat-related illnesses. Temperatures will range from 103 to 110 in the valley and 108 to 115 in the desert, seven to 12 degrees above

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    Three former U.S. Marines take plea deal in beating case

    Three former U.S. Marines who were charged with felonies including torture in beating a man over an alleged affair with one of their wives each pleaded no contest to a robbery charge Friday. Seven other felonies were dismissed under the plea agreement accepted by Sergio Medina, 22, Rodrigo Sanchez,

  • Funeral services for July 30, 2016

    Services pending Manuel Christopher Acosta, 35, Bakersfield, July 22. Mission Family Mortuary.  Steven Sage Audap, 59, Bakersfield. July 27. Mission Family Mortuary. Kenneth E. Correa, 70, Bakersfield, July 26. Bakersfield Funeral Home. Arthur Leo Helms, 77, Bakersfield, July 27 in Fresno.

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    About 1,000 gallons of oil and water spilled in northwest Bakersfield

    About 1,000 gallons spilled from an oil injection well that was broken by a piece of farm equipment in northwest Bakersfield Friday morning. Firefighters responded to Zerker and Seventh Standard roads to a report of an hazardous material spill, a Kern County Fire Department news release said.

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    Lamont resident indicted on possessing meth with the intent to distribute

    A federal grand jury indicted a 35-year-old Lamont man on a charge of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. Jose Soto was arrested at his home following Thursday’s indictment, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California. Soto faces a maximum

  • Theft suspects.

    Three wanted in connection with breaking into parking garage kiosk

    Police on Friday released surveillance images of three suspects who forced their way into a downtown parking garage kiosk to steal items. The incident occurred at 4:56 a.m. on July 24, police said. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Detective John Jamison at 326-

  • Luke Aikins posted this photo on his Instagram account with a caption saying, "@stridegum #lukesbigproject."

    Daredevil will skydive without a parachute in Simi Valley

    Luke Aikins is a skydiving daredevil, and he is planning to prove it again Saturday when he jumps out of a plane at 25,000 feet over Simi Valley — without a parachute or a wingsuit or anything that would help him land safely, reports Fox News. Aikins is attempting to become the first person

  • With her hair flying in every direction, South's Destiny Duran still manages to keep her eye on the ball in the game against Foothill.

    Parent says school hair policy ‘stinks of institutional racism’

    School dress codes are normal, but hair policies are a different story. And Attica Scott is saying Butler Traditional High’s hair policy “stinks of institutional racism.” According to the Sacramento Bee, the Kentucky school’s policy forbids dreadlocks, cornrows (though the school wrote cornrolls),

  • Marijuana grower Basil McMahon with his crop in Grass Valley, Calif., on November 12, 2015. A sweeping new package of laws will reverse years of state silence by regulating and licensing every stage of the medical marijuana industry. "It means I’ll be able to do what I'm doing without fear of persecution for the first time in my life, for the first time in generations," McMahon said. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TNS)

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    To the list of breakthroughs in an ever-changing world where cars drive themselves, faces are surgically transplanted and Russian hackers are accused of manipulating the U.S. presidential campaign, the Los Angeles Times reports, add this development: marijuana growers can now compete for blue

  • Theft suspect.

    Suspect stole jeans from Tejon outlets, officials say

    A suspect stole several pairs of jeans from the Levi’s store at the Outlets at Tejon, authorities said. The theft occurred at 12:55 p.m. July 21. The suspect is described as black, female, in her late teens, with black, braided hair, wearing a red “Levi’s” T-shirt and black shorts, according