Two fires happened on the Central Coast yesterday. Firefighters spent the night containing an eight-acre fire at Blue Heron Drive and Ana Bay Road in Avila Beach. People were evacuated. The fire was caused by a tree blown down by high winds into a PG&E power line above the Avila Beach Golf Resort. The second fire was a Santa Maria house fire that killed one of two dogs inside at around 12:45 p.m. at the corner of Alvin and Curryer. The fire was out less than an hour later and contained to the first floor. Crews remained on scene Wednesday afternoon to clean up and investigate. The dogs were the only ones present at the time of the fire. The dog that survived is being cared for by animal control Read More »
Author Archives: gregrusso
A Santa Ynez youth coach is being charged with sex crimes against a child. Forty-two-year-old Jose Diaz was arrested Tuesday in Solvang for having sexual relations with a teenager when she was 14 and 15 years old. Diaz has been coaching with the local American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) girl's league for 18 years, leading detectives to be worried about the possibility of more victims. If you have information which may assist detectives in this case and/or help identify any additional victims, you are encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Tip-Line at 805-681-4171.Read More »
The San Luis Obispo City Council voted 4-1 to reject an ordinance banning outdoor medical marijuana grows. The proposed ordinance also banned mobile medical marijuana operations and allowed for indoor grows that were inside 50 square feet of space. About 50 people spoke in public comment for over three hours, with an overwhelming majority against the ordinance.
The ordinance was brought before the council after neighbors complained of a large outdoor grow operation near Leff and Nipomo Street causing a constant stench of weed, higher traffic, and fear of crime. The neighbors also said that a nearby daycare center was shut down because of the weed smell. The growers eventually removed the pl Read More »
A Santa Barbara City College student was arrested for sexually assaulting two high school students in Isla Vista. Twenty-eight-year-old Isla Vista resident Deon Kitt is being charged with rape by force and/or fear and two counts of rape of an intoxicated or drugged victim. The victims are 17 and 18 years old. Kitt is being held at the Santa Barbara County Jail on $400,000 bail. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is requesting anyone who has information on these sexual assaults or any others involving Kitt, to call 805-683-2724 or to leave an anonymous tip, call 805-681-4171.Read More »
Two fires occurred yesterday around 5:45 p.m. in Avila Beach. The first fire was at Ana Bay Road, and the second was in the area of Avila Beach Drive and Cave Landing Road. The Ana Bay Road fire was contained to 10 acres, while the Cave Landing fire was restricted to a quarter of an acre. Power lines were down, and the cause of the fires is being investigated.Read More »
Central Coast cities are reacting to Monday's Supreme Court ruling that prayer before city council meetings are constitutional. The Court said the prayers don't violate the separation of church and state if they are ceremonial and don't spread a religious faith. The Pismo Beach City Council voted to stop prayer before its meetings a couple of weeks ago after it was sued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Pismo Mayor Shelly Higginbotham says the Supreme Court ruling will not change the council’s decision. Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino applauded the decision, telling KSBY that they’re not trying to convert anyone and it puts everyone in a great state of mind. The Freedom Fro Read More »
This month is National Foster Care Month and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Santa Barbara County is launching a volunteer recruitment campaign called “I am for the child” to support foster children. CASA hopes to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect and to recruit volunteers for CASA. There are over 100 abused and neglected children on CASA's priority wait list. These children anticipate being matched with a community volunteer who will advocate for their rights while pursuing a safe a permanent home. For more information visit www.sbcasa.org or contact Outreach Coordinator Tara Gross at (805) 739-9102 ext. 2595 or email Read More »
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office is investigating the death of a UCSB student whose body was found on Isla Vista beach last Saturday. The victim was identified as 20-year-old Sierra Markee-Winkler from Eureka, California. At approximately 7 a.m., a bicyclist discovered Markee-Winkler on the shore below Del Playa Drive and called 911. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the cause of death, which will not be determined for several weeks. If anyone has information on this case, please contact the Isla Vista Foot Patrol at 805-681-4179.Read More »
Two fires happened in the Central Coast this past weekend. Paso Robles firefighters responded to a vegetation fire near Union Road yesterday at 12:18 p.m. The cause of the fire was a model rocket motor that was fired from Barney Schwartz Park. Firefighters held the fire to less than a quarter acre.
There was no loss of money or structure damage from the fire, and traffic on Highway 46 East was briefly impacted by smoke. Traffic on Highway 101 was impacted by the second fire, a roadside grass fire near San Luis Bay. Cal Fire received multiple calls Saturday afternoon around 2 about the fire, and firefighters found flames spreading toward residences. The fire was held to 7 acres, although it had th Read More »
Governor Jerry Brown came to the San Luis Obispo County Superintendent of Schools office last Thursday to meet with the 10 district superintendents. Brown wanted to know how the county is progressing in developing the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), dealing with the increased authority to make budget decisions under the new funding formula, and the implementation of the Common Core State Standards testing which is being conducted a pilot basis this year. In all three areas, the general response locally was positive and supportive of his efforts to assist in closing the achievement gap.
County Superintendent of Schools Julian Crocker felt that Brown was genuinely interested Read More »