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.
Kernville Union School District Superintendent Robin Shive breathed a sigh of relief after his school board split 2-2 last month on a vote to allow concealed weapons on district campuses and at school-related events. The tie meant people with Concealed Carry Weapon permits would not be allow…
In a dramatic break from its fellow municipalities in Kern County, California City has embraced the medical marijuana industry in hopes of cashing in on the lucrative market.
Ramona Phillips is a small-business owner who has achieved success the old-fashioned way, not just by working hard and smart but by believing in herself.
Earlier this year I wrote about how difficult if can be for an undocumented immigrant who is the victim of a crime to get help from law enforcement when it comes to filling out a simple government document. It's a form that asks one question: Was this person helpful in cooperating with the i…
The controversy surrounding Jaime Quiñonez's tenure as principal of Mira Monte High is revealing larger problems in the whole Kern High School District, and now it's subject of litigation.
"Public commissions, boards, councils and other legislative bodies of local government agencies exist to and in the conduct of the people's business. The People do not yield their sovereignty to the bodies that serve them. The people insist on remaining informed to retain control over the le…
Remember the TV game "Password"? One contestant would give a one-word hint to a partner. The partner, in turn, had five seconds to ponder the meaning of that hint in the hope of being able to guess what the password might be.
You know that feeling you get when you've been away from home for a while either because you're on vacation, a work-related assignment or something else? You get tired and feel out of sorts sleeping somewhere other than your own bed. And if you have kids or elderly family members with you, t…
One of the disappointing things about the midterm elections held Nov. 4 was the poor voter turnout at all levels. In Kern County, just 39.2 percent of registered voters thought it important enough to vote.
My wife and I recently went on vacation. We chose to go to a place that is often in the news, where reports of wild shootouts between gunmen and law enforcement or even the military take place in broad daylight.
The priest approached the podium as he does every Sunday ready to give a sermon. Except this time he did not. With a somber look and holding a document in his hand, the priest said, "Instead of a homily, I've been asked by the bishop to read this letter." I perked up a little bit, wondering …
Would you expect a 19-year-old to be a) in college; b) working full-time; c) partying at every opportunity; d) a homeowner? Thinking back to what I was doing at 19, answer c would likely be the top answer. But Brenda Ruiz is no ordinary 19-year-old.
Help wanted: Looking for a person to be police chief in a small northern city in Kern County. Pay not all that great, but excellent career opportunity. Serious inquiries only. If interested, contact McFarland City Manager John Wooner.
If there's a positive side to working in the news business, it's that it can bring you to know people who have faced the most tragic losses and yet somehow are able to endure, achieve and rise above adversity. One such person is Nellie Martinez. Let me tell you a little something about her.
One year after schools in Wasco tried to create a new school district by unifying its elementary and high school districts into one, the same effort is brewing in Shafter. But the current process under way there has already dissolved into split camps with accusations of secret meetings by ce…
As my older brother and I approached the entrance to the supermarket that summer day in 1969, there were perhaps 10 or so men and women near the store's entrance with handwritten signs that read, "Boycott Jewel's" and "Justice for farmworkers" in big bold letters.
Kern County Superior Court Executive Officer Terry McNally is eager to dispel rumors that any court personnel is in cahoots with immigration officials by tipping them off about a person's legal status.