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Kern River body count at 307 as Memorial Day weekend kicks off

 •  by Lois Henry
Kern County Sheriff's Sgt. Zack Bittle changes the death toll Friday to 307, up by nine, on signs warning people to stay out of the river. Members of the Sheriff's Search and Rescue teams stand by in orange shirts. Credit: Lois Henry

Traffic was steady and growing, heading up to the Kern River Valley on Highway 178 by 9 a.m. Friday as a small group gathered for a grim kick off to Memorial Day weekend.

The river’s body count, announced on signs at the mouth of the Kern River Canyon, was increased by nine.

That brings the total to 307 people killed in the river since 1968.

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