Mercy and Memorial Hospitals are providing $339,541 in funding to local nonprofits on Thursday.

Dignity Health said eight Kern County organizations will be presented with checks by the Community Grants Program review committee ranging from $25,000 to $70,000 to help support their programs and projects relating to health care.

The recipients are Alpha House, Hoffmann Hospice, ARC, St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities, the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center, New Advances for People with Disabilities and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Organizations must apply for funding consideration, according to Dignity Health.

To learn more about the program or to apply, visit

High school students will put their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution to the test on Saturday as part of the annual We the People congressional hearings competition.

The competition will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Golden Valley High School, 801 Hosking Ave. Students will be giving oral presentations on six government-related topics that will be judged by government teachers and other experts.

The school that gets the most team points will win and will represent the region in the state championships to be held Feb. 2-3 in Sacramento.

For more information, call the Kern County Superintendent of Schools at 636-4000.

The westbound Highway 58 connector ramp to northbound Highway 99 will be closed on Saturday, according to the California Department of Transportation.

The department said the closure will take place from 5a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for maintenance operations. Motorists should use alternate routes if possible.

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