The barely teenager from Ciudad Acuña in northern Mexico desperately wanted to help his mother, who was the sole support for a family of six children. So in the 1950s at age 13, the boy slipped into the United States — alone — and connected with a Texas rancher who promised to pay him $3 a d…

May 10, 1990. I was in the newsroom when the radio scanner picked up a police dispatcher saying something about a missing child in southwest Bakersfield. The child was taken by someone while she was playing just outside her apartment with other kids. Her mother rushed home from work. A frant…

Robert Tafoya never gave much thought about becoming a judge. In fact, he never considered going to law school at all until a chance encounter with a friend. But first things first. Growing up in Ventura County, the future Kern County Superior Court jurist began working in the fields — at ag…

Kern County Superior Court employees from two separate labor unions continue to be wary of further staff reductions and furloughs come the new fiscal year. And court management should butt out of employees use of social media postings, they say. More on that in a little bit.

A new year begins with a new police chief for the city of McFarland, which has had its woes in finding someone who will last more than a couple of years. City officials hope to name a new chief soon this month. You'll recall the city restarted its police department in 2010 after contracting …

Two history professors at Bakersfield College, Matthew Garrett and Erin Miller, face disciplinary action up to and including being fired for allegedly engaging in unprofessional conduct toward fellow BC colleagues Oliver Rosales and Andrew Bond. That's according to one of several findings ma…

One of the more interesting local races in Kern County is to see who will be the next mayor of Arvin. It may not be a booming metropolis, but this city of around 21,000 has made some big noise and the powerful oil industry has taken notice when the City Council adopted an ordinance restricti…

There's been a major development in the murder case of Bakersfield businessman Jose Arredondo. And I mean major. Defense attorneys for Roberto Gonzalez, the man charged with Arredondo's murder, successfully argued at a recent court hearing that key evidence obtained by police in Cabo San Luc…

"I was a cholo in high school," said Cornelio Rodriguez, better known as simply "Corny" to friends and colleagues. For those of you who are culturally deprived, "cholo" is a slang term, which at one time was used by police and institutions to equate young people of Mexican descent who dresse…

It is refreshing and good to see young people once again getting actively involved in the ongoing struggle for social justice. There was a good turnout at this year's Juneteenth celebration at Yokuts Park marking the end of slavery in the United States.

My friend and co-worker Sammy Montero is 32 years old. He's Hispanic. He also fits the profile of a person most likely to be infected with COVID-19 virus in Kern County and in California in general. In fact, Sammy tested positive for COVID-19 just last month despite feeling fine. "I had no s…

She stands slightly taller than 5 feet, yet this immigrant woman from El Salvador is not afraid to take on the most brutal thugs when it comes to defending her family. Maria del Carmen Carrillo came to the United States in January seeking asylum, fleeing from the violence and direct threats …

Hugo Lucas has been held captive at the Mesa Verde ICE detention facility in Bakersfield since December 2018. The undocumented immigrant from Guatemala continues to be housed there as his case makes its ways through the labyrinth immigration process. Given today's coronavirus pandemic, he is…

The coronavirus pandemic is hitting churches in more ways than one. The way Pastor Luis Mario Bustillo of La Mision de Jesus church in McFarland sees it, people are being scared out of their wits with a daily bombardment of news of infections and the death toll locally, nationally and worldwide.

Sometime around 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 19, 2019, someone arrived at the home of Emiliano Rico on the 13000 block of South Frontage Road in McFarland. He or they kicked in the door and proceeded to shoot the 58-year-old man multiple times. Around 9 a.m., someone spotted his body and called police.

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.

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…

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…

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…

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…