They include a longtime local political aide who decided to step out from behind the scenes. A new city school district superintendent who has begun to make his mark — and make some waves. And a young runner who may be the next big standout at storied McFarland High School.
Before Tara Crews could even open her eyes, she became a bit of a local celebrity — gracing the pages of The Californian Jan. 2, 1972, under the headline: “Year’s First Tot Arrives at Memorial.”
The most notable breaking news stories of the year are often a variation on a regular, almost expected theme.
I don't get to as many concerts as I'd like, but I go to the ones that count. This year, the one that counted most was Chris Stapleton at Rabobank Theater, just weeks after the death of Merle Haggard in April.
If the scenario sounds like a country song, maybe it's because it actually became one: Singer returns to the hometown he loved/loathed/ultimately escaped to make peace, relive his earliest memories of home and family, and say goodbye.
The election of Donald Trump as president was of course the biggest political story of the year. But our annual list is decidedly local, so he appears only tangentially here.
The Californian remembers the people we lost this year who helped shape the city’s identity and inspire us. Reflections on country music great Merle Haggard and activist Helen Chavez begin our special commemoration
Robert Price, Senior Editor for The Bakersfield Californian and author of "The Bakersfield Sound: How a Generation of Displaced Okies Revolutionized American Music," sits down alongside Eye Street Editor Jennifer Self to remember the great musician Merle Haggard after his death in 2016.