I like McFarland. I really do. This working-class northern Kern County city of slightly more than 15,000 souls has had a colorful history and has come back from adversity a number of times in several ways. Disney even made a movie about it aptly titled "McFarland, USA." But the city today is…
For the past five months, Sergio Arredondo has been carrying a huge weight, troubled by the murder of his brother, well-known Bakersfield businessman and car dealer Jose Arredondo.
Kidnappings. Torture. Allegations of trumped-up criminal charges against innocent people at the hands of law enforcement.
Arvin police chief Scot Kimble appears to have had his share of controversy during his career. Kimble became Arvin's top cop in April and before that he was police chief in McFarland. Prior to being hired in McFarland, Kimble worked for the city of Banning Police Department.
Driving toward the east side of town, the Telemundo news photographer wasn't quite sure what to expect. Esteban Flores had been sent to this particular street to shoot video of a neighborhood where a fugitive from justice was thought to be living. The Kern County Sheriff's Office had sent ou…
The Kern County Fair was placed on a state financial watch list in 2013 by the Fairs and Expositions branch of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. And yet somehow the Bakersfield-based fair operated for six more years without CDFA oversight or audit.
The first time the four Hernandez brothers and their cousin from a northern Mexican ranching family crossed the U.S. border into California was in 1968.
My 7- and 5-year-old grandsons went back to school last week, enthusiastic about making new friends at a new school. Landon, the 7-year-old, was sporting a new, dark green backpack with some sort of design on it. His brother preferred one with "Pawcast" characters. Their backpacks were fille…
A couple of hard hitting issues directly impacting millions of people in the country, state and in Kern County came to light recently both involving bad and good news.
After completing Bakersfield High School in 2011, Daniela Miramontes was anxious to go to college. She earned grades good enough to get into Cal State Bakersfield, but there was a major hurdle. She had no money, and as an undocumented student her chances of obtaining financial aid from publi…
Had the ancestors of Sandra Hernandez not participated in the U.S. Census more than 100 years ago, things may have turned out very differently for this proud Native American Bakersfield woman.
Maricza Hiannah was three years old when her 17-year-old aunt was brutally beaten, shot dead and her body hidden in an isolated area near Lost Hills. The date was Aug. 2, 1991. The victim was Maria Rodriguez, of Shafter.
A Catholic monk is no longer keeping silent about what he claims were sexual improprieties with minors by Monsignor Craig Harrison of St. Francis of Assisi Church.
While separate criminal investigations are carried out by police in Firebaugh and Merced into allegations that Monsignor Craig Harrison sexually molested minors, there's another internal investigation being done by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno. This one is based on a set of rules ado…
In June 2007, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in San Jose and suggested that if Latino immigrants were to learn English, they should just say no to novelas. It appears immigrants may have taken his suggestion too seriously. There's sort o…
When he went back to work on Jan. 2 after the holidays, Bakersfield deputy city attorney Richard Iger had a message in his email dated Jan. 1, 2019 at 12:05 a.m. It was a Public Records Act request from a media organization asking for copies of police misconduct records.
When given a class assignment to write about a family member, the 13-year-old eighth-grader didn't hesitate a bit. He titled his essay, "The Story of My Great-Grandfather," by Eddie A. Hernandez.
The Diocese of Fresno failed to do its due diligence investigating a case of alleged sexual abuse of a minor by Father Miguel Flores in 2002, said Bishop Armando Ochoa in an interview with Norma Gaspar of Telemundo Bakersfield earlier this week. Flores was put on paid leave from his pastoral…
Last Dec. 20, the Bakersfield City School District sent a letter to its teachers letting them know that summer school for the 2019 school year was being canceled.
"He would take me in the back and do all sorts of things. I was really confused. I didn't know what I should do," George Santillan told me in 2013.
For the first time, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno will publicly name the names of San Joaquin Valley priests accused of sexual misconduct.
For an 18-year-old, Tony Garcia has a lot on his plate. Last year, when he was a student at Arvin High School, one of the football coaches noticed he could kick a soccer ball with distance and accuracy. As a defender for the school's soccer team, he could clear the ball and kick it further d…
David Couch is hoping voters in the newly formed 4th district Kern County Board of Supervisors will look kindly toward his record in public office.
By his own admission Robert Nevarez concedes he was not the best of students while in college. Unsure of what he wanted to do with his life, he dabbled in different majors but only succeeded in landing on academic probation. It wasn't until his Uncle Ray invited him to visit the San Jose Pol…
I don't know about you, but I sometimes tire of hearing about so much bad stuff going on in Bakersfield, Kern County, the nation and the rest of the world. It can be downright depressing. That's why when a story comes along about something good, it's something you want to share.
World Cup soccer action is back. It started last week and ends July 15 and before it's over, some 3.4 billion people - roughly half the world's 7.6 billion population - are expected to tune in watch all 32 matches according to research company GlobalWebIndex.
Public safety and staying financially solvent appear to be two of the biggest challenges facing the good people of Arvin, as elected representatives on the city council and the police department struggle to come up with a solution. Let's start with public safety.
There are a couple of local highly respected individuals I want to tell you about who have much in common during this month. Both have passed on, but made this world a better place.
November is one of my favorite months of the year. Maybe it's because of Thanksgiving, a time to enjoy with the family while feasting and catching up on things. Or maybe because it's my birthdays. Yes, I said "birthdays."
I went back out to California City recently to catch up on what it is doing that no other city in Kern County dares to do. Chiefly, legalize the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and testing of medical marijuana for commercial purposes through a permitting process.
Rosa Jimenez was proud of her son. Martin Jimenez had just completed boot camp at Naval Station Great Lakes in Chicago and was about to graduate. The 54-year-old mom made arrangements to take a few days off from her job at Grimmway Farms so she and two other family members could be there for…
There are historical living figures in Kern County that sadly, many don't know about or have forgotten. Ray Gonzales is one of them.
For a whole year, Nellie Martinez wore nothing but black, whether it was to work, church or anywhere else.
A lawsuit being settled alleges McFarland Police Department officials quashed a search warrant at the request of city leaders to protect the son of a city councilman suspected of being in possession of a stolen firearm.
Parents can shield their children from only so much before they catch on that something is amiss. Sooner or later parents must have a talk with their children about an issue that is usually kept quiet.
The other day I caught up with Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin and we had an interesting talk as we walked around Jefferson Park. He's been on the talk circuit lately focusing on speaking to Latino students at various high schools around Bakersfield. Addressing a group of Latino student…
Just days into his presidency, Donald Trump wasted no time in signing two executive orders to reshape immigration policies. Combined with other actions, it was akin to taking a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty.