Charter Communications announced it has laid off 75 people at its Bakersfield facility at 4450 California Ave.

The telecommunications company said the layoffs will not result in the facility's closure. It said the cuts were carried out Sept. 15, two months after affected employees were first notified of the action.

Most of the workers let go worked in customer service billing, according to a letter sent Oct. 28 to Kern County officials by Charter's executive vice president of human resources, Paul Marchand.

Bakersfield apartment vacancies edged up to 2.53 percent during the third quarter of this year, led by surging demand for three-bedroom rental units, according to ASU Commercial broker Marc A. Thurston.

He reported the city's overall vacancy rate was up from 2 percent in the second quarter and 2.12 in the first quarter. Year over year, third-quarter vacancies were up half a point, suggesting the local rental market has softened but remains very strong.

Leading local rent growth were three-bedroom units, which ASU said rose to $1,200 per month from about $1,100 in the second quarter and less than $1,000 per month at the start of the year.

A Los Angeles investment group has sold the 49-unit Dana Apartments complex to another L.A.-based buyer for $5.25 million, according to Bakersfield's The Mogharebi Group.

The Dana Street property had recently undergone a complete renovation and was fully occupied, Mogharebi Executive Vice President Otto Ozen said in a news release. He added multiple offers came in and the sale closed at 97 percent of the list price.

The 51-year-old property covers 2.34 acres and has a swimming pool and units average 1,121 square feet.

The American Pistachio Growers trade group is hosting a free informational meeting Tuesday focused on challenges and opportunities created by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the state legislation aimed at reining in groundwater pumping in the Central Valley.

Scheduled to run from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame at 2230 Q St., the event is planned to include three panels and at least 10 speakers addressing various issues related to SGMA, from water banking and well monitoring to desalination and well remediation.

Two raffles are planned and the first 200 people who register will receive free BBQ sandwiches.

As a local kickoff to National Apprenticeship Week, six local union apprenticeship programs are joining with Bakersfield College and the Kern Community College District to host the fourth annual Women in Trades Workshop Wednesday in Bakersfield.

A news release said the event will feature hands-on workshops and demonstrations by electricians, plumbers, sheet-metal workers, carpenters, operating engineers and cement masons.

Between 160 and 200 students are expected to attend the event, which begins at 9:30 a.m. with speeches at the NECA/IBEW Electrical Training Center, 3921 N. Sillect Ave. 

Walmart has installed a 16-foot-tall vending machine that allows online shoppers to pick up their purchases in person at the chain's Delano Supercenter, 530 Woollomes Ave.

The machine, one of 27 new "Pickup Towers" in California, lets Walmart.com shoppers use their smartphones to retrieve items ordered online.

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