The Small Business Development Center at Cal State Bakersfield has scheduled a free noon webinar Wednesday to share information about the federal government's latest rules for requesting forgiveness of federal stimulus loans.

Unless there’s lightning or hail, when given the option by the host at a restaurant, I almost always choose a table outdoors. Even in the heat of summer, I prefer the outdoor option. I have a favorite patio spot at a few treasured local establishments. And now that we have two sons, the al f…

New data shows Kern's unemployment rate surpassed the Great Recession's peak by a full point in April as bars and restaurants took the brunt of the quarantine, followed in raw numbers by health care, farming, support services and construction.

It may have escaped notice during the quarantine, but gasoline prices are on the upswing again — and as often happens, the increase has come just in time for the holiday weekend.

Local farmers will get a chance starting Tuesday to apply for some of the $16 billion set aside by Congress to help agriculture operations hurt by the COVID-19 crisis. But growers of certain specialty crops produced locally won't qualify unless federal rules change.

In another sign of turbulence atop one of Kern County's most vital health care providers, a former senior official at Clinica Sierra Vista has sent a letter to its board of directors requesting an explanation for events surrounding the abrupt departure of former CEO Brian Harris on April 23.

The Torrance company that recently bought the former Big West refinery on Rosedale Highway said Tuesday it expects to reopen the plant by early 2022 with about 100 employees producing some 10,000 barrels per day of plant-based "renewable diesel," a fuel virtually indistinguishable from petro…

Permission to keep working as an essential activity during California's stay-at-home order has obviously made a big difference for the state's farmers. But that doesn't mean local growers are raking in money during the COVID-19 crisis.

About a month ago, local artist Yvonne Cavanagh foraged a bouquet of pink and yellow roses, Bird of Paradise blooms, lavender stems and clipped succulents, gathered them in a blue striped ceramic vase that she made and delivered the cheerful arrangement to a friend for her birthday.

In a first step aimed at reinstating a local oil-and-gas permitting system effectively struck down earlier this year in appeals court, Kern County this week began soliciting input on how to proceed with a comprehensive environmental review of drilling and other oil field activity around the county.

The Kern Economic Development Foundation is giving local first-responders, businesses and families $100 gasoline cards donated by Chevron Corp.

It wasn't a stretch to assume that local apartment tenants would be late on their April rent — if they were able to pay at all — after California's stay-at-home order hit March 19 and the governor placed a moratorium on evictions.

The unprecedented collapse in the nation's benchmark oil price this week is not expected to hurt Kern petroleum producers, local observers say, though it does reflect difficult market conditions weighing heavily on the county's economy and employment.

A week before California's stay-home order, unemployment in Kern had already jumped to its highest level in almost six years, according to new data pointing to a seasonal drop in farm work and the beginnings of a wave of layoffs at local restaurants.

Local health-care providers are turning away business for safety reasons during the COVID-19 crisis — but not all are ruling out non-emergency procedures as they balance health risks and surge preparations against patients' medical needs and financial considerations.

The temporary closure of the Ross Stores Inc. distribution center in Shafter will cost Kern's economy 1,268 jobs, not including another 323 positions lost at company stores in Bakersfield and Delano, according to a layoffs report filed with county officials Tuesday.