Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Author Archives: gregrusso

Farm Equipment Vandalized

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On Tuesday, December 02, 2014, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Rural Crimes unit investigated a reported vandalism to farm equipment in the 1800 block of West Main Street, Santa Maria, Ca.  The equipment belongs to OSR Enterprises out of Santa Maria. The investigation revealed numerous pieces of farm equipment were targeted for vandalism.  The equipment consisted of three celery harvesting machines and two tractors.  The damage to the harvesting machines consisted of flattened tires, cut conveyor belts, cut electrical wires, cut water hoses, and broken off hydraulic levers.  This damage rendered these machines inoperable. The damage to the tractors resulted in flattened tires, cut electrical lines, and a damaged hitch.  One of the tractors was set in motion, where it drove over se Read More »

Convicted Murderer Released Through Conditional Release Program

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Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that 24-year old Nicholas Bendle will be released from Patton State Hospital to a California Department of Mental Health (“DMH”) residential treatment program known as the Conditional Release Program (“CONREP”). On August 1, 2009, 19-year old Nicholas Bendle randomly murdered a pedestrian with a hatchet.  This murder was adjudicated to have been the result of a psychotic break due to the rapid onset of previously undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia.  On December 15, 2011, he was admitted to Patton State Hospital for treatment.  In the months following the murder he was extremely delusional, suffering from hallucinations due to his mental illness.  He was then being treated with psychiatric medications. Read More »

DUI Taskforce is Ready for Holiday Party Goers

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This time of year, with all the holiday parties and festive occasions, many partygoers will be drinking. If you’re celebrating with alcohol this holiday season, the SLO County AVOID coalition has a message for you: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Due to the increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, law enforcement agencies across the country will be out in force December 12-January 1, 2015 actively searching for drunk drivers.

The Avoid the 14 DUI Task Force will be aggressively looking for drunk drivers this holiday season with plans in place for 3 DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoints, 7 local roving DUI Saturation Patrols.

The facts are grim: on average, a third (31%) of all crash fatalities in America involves drunk driving. In Decem Read More »

Mail Theft Ring in Santa Barbara

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The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a mail theft ring and is asking for public assistance to help locate the two female suspects believed responsible.  The Sheriff’s Office also wants to notify residents and hotel owners about these suspects in an attempt to notify potential victims and to prevent others from being victimized as well. On November 25, Sheriff’s deputies responded to a hotel in the 500 block of McMurray Road in the City of Buellton to investigate a theft of televisions and other items from two hotel suites.  The investigation revealed that 25-year-old Sireena Dominguez, in the company of 25-year-old Ashley Barnett of Santa Maria, rented two hotel suites and used stolen credit card information to pay for the rooms.  When the women left t Read More »

Two Attempted Robberies Last Night in SLO

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On December 3, at 5:40 PM, SLOPD Officers were dispatched to the report of a robbery which had just occurred in the 900 block of Chorro Street. The lone female victim called 911 to report she was walking on Chorro when an unknown Hispanic male, approximately 18 years old, ran past her and grabbed her purse. As the suspect fled towards the Mission Plaza he dropped the victim’s purse. The suspect continued running through the Mission Plaza, leaving the dropped purse behind. The victim in this case recovered her own purse.

As officers were searching the area for the suspect in the first robbery, a second robbery was reported. This robbery occurred in the 900 block of Nipomo near the entrance to the Creamery. The second victim was also a lone female walking with a hand bag cont Read More »

SLO City Council Decided to Postpone Action Regarding Vote to Overrule ALUC’s Findings

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At the most recent SLO City Council meeting, it was decided to postpone any action regarding a vote to overrule of the Airport Land Use Commission’s (ALUC) findings to a special Council meeting on December 9. Newly elected council member Dan Rivoire cited his desire to hear from more community members before making a decision. An overrule of the ALUC findings is needed to adopt the draft Land Use and Circulation Element. The remainder of the council stood firm to their previous positions – John Ashbaugh,

Carlyn Christianson, Jan Marx all for an overrule and Dan Carpenter against. Public comment spoke overwhelmingly in favor of moving forward and respecting the multi-year process. Those who voiced their opinions included affordable housing advocates from the Read More »

Landslide at Nojoqui Falls County Park

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At 11:41am yesterday, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department (SBC FD) responded to a land slide at Nojoqui Falls County Park, located at 2356 Alisal Road. SBCFD responded three engines, an Urban Search and Rescue Team, Air Support Unit helicopter, two crews and a battalion chief to the scene.  SBCFD was assisted by American Medical Response, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and the Santa Barbara County Parks.  Initially, four to five people were reported trapped behind a land slide that occurred at the top of the trail, approximately one quarter of a mile from the Nojoqui Falls trailhead.  Firefighters hiked up the trail and found two groups of people:  one group with two adults and two children and another group of three women.  None of the people were trapped beh Read More »

Paso Robles Police Starts “Police and Community Together” Program

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The Paso Robles Police Department rolled out a new community based program yesterday, announced by Chief Robert Burton. The new program, titled ‘Police and Community Together’ (PACT), was created to promote community, government and police partnerships, implement proactive problem solving, and enhance the Department’s engagement with our community. According to Chief Burton, “The goal for PACT is to maximize the Police Department’s working relationship with the community that will, in turn, result in improved police service delivery and a safer community.”

As part of the PACT Program, the Police Department has divided the City into four areas. A patrol sergeant has been assigned to each of these four areas. These sergeants will be the initial point of contact and Read More »

Police Conclude 5-Year Murder Investigation

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Shortly after 3pm on December 2nd, Investigators with the Morro Bay Police Department concluded a 5-year long investigation with the arrest of 64 year old James Victor Lypps, a resident of Nipomo, CA, for the murder of his wife, Sherre Ann Neal-Lypps. Sherre Lypps, who was 62 at the time of her death in June of 2009, died under suspicious circumstances at the couple’s residence in the 2400 block of Greenwood Ave. in Morro Bay.

Investigators pieced together physical evidence collected at the residence with statements and witness testimony in order to identify James Lypps as the primary suspect. The Morro Bay Police Department worked collaboratively with Investigators from the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Coroners, th Read More »

Federal Regulators Must Reassess Earthquake Risks at Nuclear Power Plant

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Federal regulators need to reassess earthquake risks at California’s last operating nuclear power plant and hold hearings to determine if it’s properly accounting for potential threats. That’s according to testimony to be submitted Wednesday in Washington, where a Senate committee has scheduled a hearing on nuclear safety after Japan’s Fukushima disaster. California’s Diablo Canyon plant is located near several earthquake faults. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and owner Pacific Gas and Electric Co. defend its safety. According to a copy of his remarks, former Republican California Sen. Sam Blakeslee will tell the panel PG&E has downplayed risks.

The Associated Press disclosed in August that a federal expert wanted the NRC to shut down Diab Read More »

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