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California’s wealthiest farming family threatens to reshape small town with new mega-warehouse for big-box retailers that will transform area into an international trading hub

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California’s wealthiest farming family threatens to reshape small town with new mega-warehouse for big-box retailers that will transform area into an international trading hub


The wealthiest farming family in California is planning to expand an industrial warehouse complex to transform a small town into an international trading hub. 

Stewart and Lynda Resnick, the billionaires behind The Wonderful Company, already own a sprawling distribution center in Shafter, northwest of Bakersfield. 

Now they are eager to expand the center to create an international hub to position the county at the forefront of the global shift to online shopping, according to a report in The LA Times. 

The move would convert 1,800 acres of the company’s Kern County almond groves into additional warehousing space.

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The proposal has come under fire over environmental concerns with critics saying it will increase truck traffic and worsen air quality. 

Billionaire owners of the Wonderful Company, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, own a distribution center in Shafter, northwest of Bakersfield

The development would transform Shafter from a small town, with a population of just 20,162, into a booming trade hub.  

As part of the redevelopment, the company is proposing building a new highway that would divert trucks from the center of Shafter. 

They also want to build an inland rail terminal – at a cost of at least $120 million – to funnel products from port by rail, reducing the reliance on State Route 99. 

Wonderful already build and lease warehouses to huge online shopping companies for the storage of goods and processing of orders. 

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They say that the expansion project and the accompanying infrastructure plans are different to a flock of giant distribution centers that have proliferated in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. 

While many residents welcome the plans and the new jobs but others are concerned about the environmental impacts. 

Gustavo Aguirre, assistant director of the Delano-based Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment told the LA Times: ‘I understand that company says it will bring jobs; this is true to some extent.

‘But it is also true that it’s going to bring health and environmental impacts that are going to impact the neighbors who live near the industrial park.’

They want to expand the center to create a international hub to position the county at the forefront of the global shift to online shopping

They want to expand the center to create a international hub to position the county at the forefront of the global shift to online shopping

The move would convert 1,800 acres of the company's almond groves into additional warehousing space

The move would convert 1,800 acres of the company’s almond groves into additional warehousing space

The industrial park has generated about 10,000 jobs, including warehouse employees, truck drivers and services handling shipping logistics, according to Wonderful Co. 

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They say that with the planned expansion the complex eventually could support 50,000 jobs.

But some are concerned that increased automation means the expansion won’t generate as many jobs as promised. 

As technology develops and more companies use robotics to manufacture, process and deliver goods, some industrial jobs have been made redundant.  

UC Riverside’s Ellen Reese told the LA Times: ‘Warehouses are both job creators and job destroyers.’

Wonderful build and lease warehouses to huge online shopping companies for the storage of goods and processing of orders

Wonderful build and lease warehouses to huge online shopping companies for the storage of goods and processing of orders

They want to build an inland rail terminal - at a cost of at least $120 million - to funnel products from port by rail, reducing the reliance on State Route 99

They want to build an inland rail terminal – at a cost of at least $120 million – to funnel products from port by rail, reducing the reliance on State Route 99

She added: ‘A lot of the research actually suggests that more automated warehouses have higher injury rates than less automated warehouses.’

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The Resnicks are known for their philanthropy, donating to climate research, scholarships and wellness centers in the area. 

Through The Wonderful Company they own POM Wonderful, Fiji Water, Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds, Wonderful Halos, Wonderful Seedless Lemons, JUSTIN Wines, Landmark Wines, JNSQ Wines and the Teleflora floral wire service company.

Aguirre is helping negotiate with the company for a broader community benefits agreement to ensure the people who live near Shafter get more than jobs out of the expansion.

He said: ‘The residents recognize that [this project] could bring jobs, but they come with a price.   

‘Because of this, they say, “What are you going to do for our community?”‘

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DailyMail.com contacted The Wonderful Co. for comment.  



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California

Roof penetrating thieves clean out vacationing California family's jewelry store: 'It's a nightmare'

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Roof penetrating thieves clean out vacationing California family's jewelry store: 'It's a nightmare'


Police in a California community are investigating a jewelry heist at a local business where thieves got away with nearly $1 million in jewelry, diamonds, gold and cash. 

The owner of jewelry store Desiré Jewelry, in Glendora, shared surveillance video of the May 15 robbery, showing four to five thieves entering the store through the roof and drilling through two steel safes for approximately six hours before finally leaving with $800,000 in goods. 

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Monir Kassis, the owner of Desiré, told Fox News Digital he did not even discover the burglary until he returned home from an anniversary trip with his wife, Jennifer, on May 18.  

“It’s a nightmare what we are going through right now,” Kassis said. 

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK IN UTAH SEARCHING FOR 2 VISITORS SUSPECTED OF ‘ARCHEOLOGICAL THEFT’

Monir and Jenny Kassis had their family business broken into with nearly $1 million worth of jewelry and other goods stolen. (GoFundMe/Jennifer Kassis / Fox News)

Kassis said that the store’s surveillance cameras captured the whole heist, which took over six hours, and showed the thieves enter the store through the roof and using power tools, believed to be drills and torches, to break into two of the three steel safes.

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 “They got my personal jewelry, my wife’s personal jewelry, our customers’ jewelry. It’s devastating, you know, customers have been coming in this week to pick up, and I’ve had to tell them what’s going on and say “sorry, we’ll make it up to you.” So we are trying to get back to business and see how we can pay and make it up to our customers, that’s the most important thing,” Kassis explained.

Among the items stolen from the store, Kassis said he had several family heirlooms that are irreplaceable.

REVENGE-SEEKING COLORADO TRIO KILLS 5 IN ‘COORDINATED’ ARSON ATTACK – ON THE WRONG HOME 

Desire Jewelry store break in

Police are investigating the theft of more than $800,000 in jewelry, cash and guns from a Glendora, California, jewelry store. (GoFundMe/Jennifer Kassis / Fox News)

“I just want my wife’s personal jewelry that I have been gifting her for the last 23, 24 years we’ve been married, and it’s very sentimental items for her and our children. Like one of the rings that she was keeping for my daughter when she gets married. And she wanted to give another ring one day for my son’s future wife. You know, it’s all gone, those sentimental items I cannot replace,” Kassis said. 

Kassis said he also hired a private investigator in conjunction with the local police investigation, who believes that this was not a random theft and that he believes someone was watching his store. 

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NEBRASKA AIR FORCE VETERAN PULLS GUN TO STOP JEWELRY HEIST, SUSPECT FLEES WITH HANDS UP

Steel safe broken into at Desire Jewelry

Thieves were able to break into two out of three steel safes inside Desiré Jewelry on May 15. (GoFundMe/Jennifer Kassis / Fox News)

“The private investigator thinks he may have a lead already, which matches what the police have been telling us. They say this is bigger than what we think. It almost feels like something out of a movie script,” Kassis said.

Police told Kassis that they are also continuing to review evidence from the scene, including what they believe is blood left on one of the safes and hope that DNA can help lead them to a suspect. 

Kassis, a man of faith, said despite this horrible experience his family has endured, his life could be much worse, and he’s grateful for many other things he has.

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Photo of Monir Kassis in his store

A California family’s business was robbed of nearly $1 million in jewelry and other goods last week. (GoFundMe/Jennifer Kassis / Fox News)

“It’s a nightmare, but we are going to get through it. I can tell you that in the Bible, Job, he went through a lot more than what we did. He lost his family, he lost his mind, money, he lost his wife, children, and health, but God blessed him more because he was faithful, and we are faithful and no matter what, we still have our family and health and, hopefully, our jewelry is returned to our customers and my wife and children,” Kassis said. 

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Police are urging anyone with information about the incident to contact the Glendora Police Department at 626-914-8250.  

Fox News Digital reached out to the Glendora Police Department for comment. 



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Rapper Sean Kingston Arrested in California for Fraud After SWAT Raids His Florida Home

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Rapper Sean Kingston Arrested in California for Fraud After SWAT Raids His Florida Home


Rapper Sean Kingston was arrested in California on Thursday on fraud charges, several hours after a SWAT team raided his rented South Florida home.

The Associated Press reported that Kingston, whose real name is Kisean Anderson, was taken into custody on a Florida warrant near Fort Irwin, California, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

Earlier on Thursday, authorities said they arrested the rapper’s 61-year-old mother, Janice Turner, following a raid on his mansion in Southwest Ranches, Florida. The AP reported that the sheriff’s office hasn’t released details about specific charges, citing an ongoing investigation.

Reporters outside his home said they could see authorities putting items in a van, according to the AP. The mansion was also surrounded by expensive-looking sports cars.

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Kingston wrote on his Instagram Story earlier in the day, “People love negative energy! I am good, and so is my mother! … My lawyers are handling everything as we speak.”

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the rapper’s representatives for comment.

Robert Rosenblatt, an attorney representing Kingston and his mother, told the AP, “We are aware of some of the allegations” being made against both of them.

“We look forward to addressing these in court and are confident of a successful resolution for Shawn and his mother,” Rosenblatt wrote in an email.

The AP reported that an attorney who witnessed Turner’s arrest said it was partly related to a lawsuit he filed against Kingston in February accusing him of defrauding a Florida company that installed a 232-inch television in his home.

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Kingston is most known for his 2007 single “Beautiful Girls,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks. He also scored two other Top 10 hits with “Take You There” and “Fire Burning,” as well as collaborated with Justin Bieber on 2011’s “Eenie Meenie.” The rapper hasn’t had a major label release in more than a decade.



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Newsom signs law allowing Arizona doctors to come to California to perform abortions

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Newsom signs law allowing Arizona doctors to come to California to perform abortions


Arizona doctors can temporarily come to California to perform abortions for their patients under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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California’s law is meant to circumvent an Arizona law — first passed in 1864 — that bans nearly all abortions in that state. The Arizona Supreme Court had ruled that law can take effect next month.

The Arizona Legislature responded by repealing that law earlier this month. But the repeal won’t take effect until 90 days after the end of Arizona’s legislative session, which usually happens in June or July.

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The Newsom administration said California’s law is “a critical stopgap for Arizona patients and providers.”

“I’m grateful for the California Legislative Women’s Caucus and all our partners for moving quickly to provide this backstop,” Newsom said. “California stands ready to protect reproductive freedom.”

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Since the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022, more than 20 states began enforcing abortion bans of varying degrees.

California has done the opposite, with Newsom vowing to make the state a “sanctuary” for people in other states seeking abortions. California has passed dozens of laws to protect abortion access, including setting aside $20 million in taxpayer money to help pay for patients in other states to travel to California to get an abortion.

Newsom and his Democratic allies in the state Legislature worked quickly to get this law passed. But some Republicans questioned the need for it. Last year, Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs signed an executive order barring local prosecutors from bringing abortion-related charges.

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Still, Democrats in the California Legislature felt the law was necessary. State Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Berkeley and the bill’s author, said a law was stronger than an executive order from a governor.

“Once again California has made it crystal clear for all who need or deliver essential reproductive care: We’ve got your back,” Skinner said.

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California’s law says Arizona doctors who are licensed in that state can come to California to perform abortions through Nov. 30.

Licensed Arizona doctors would have to apply to the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California. The law requires California regulators to approve those requests within five days.

The law says Arizona doctors would have to tell California regulators where they planned to perform abortions in the state. But the law bars California regulators from publishing any information on their website about Arizona doctors aside from the doctor’s name, status and license number.

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