Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Author Archives: gregrusso

SB Man Arrested for 26 Cases of Vandalism

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Santa Barbara police arrested a Santa Barbara man for 26 cases of graffiti vandalism in Santa Barbara. Nineteen-year-old Eduardo Robert Aguilar was arrested yesterday after serving a search warrant at his home on West Alamar Avenue. Detectives were able to link Aguilar to the graffiti due to police finding sketches in a notebook discovered when police searched his car in December.

The police searched his car because someone reported his vehicle as suspicious, and police found him to be in possession of marijuana. The sketches in the notebook resembled some of the graffiti crimes committed. After searching his home, police arrested Aguilar, who they say admitted to committing the acts of vandalism. Read More »

Hospital Patients Arrested for Attacking Staff

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Three Atascadero State Hospital patients were arrested Wednesday for attacking staff. At about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, two patients tried to provoke other patients by shoving furniture. The pair was then joined by a third patient when they charged at hospital employees who tried to intervene. Hospital police officers had to end the incident by pepper spraying the patients. Four employees and the three patients were injured. Two hospital police officers reported suffered serious injuries, including two broken ribs and a possible torn muscle. The three patients, identified as 34-year-old Justin Gause, 23-year-old Jacob Sloan, and 35-year-old Harley Fisher were arrested for conspiracy, assault, battery Read More »

Possible Bike Trail Between SLO and Morro Bay

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The San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce is looking into creating a bike trail between SLO and Morro Bay. The trail is proposed to start near Cal Poly, go through Cuesta and finish in Morro Bay. The proposal is supported by the SLO County Bicycle Coalition, Cuesta, and Cal Poly. The feasibility of making the trail is being studied through a grant by the Federal Scenic Byway Grant, and the study will be presented to the SLOCOG board in September. The trail is estimated to cost around $11 million.

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Driver Suspected of DUI Arrested

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Santa Maria police arrested a suspected DUI driver yesterday after a two-vehicle collision occurred at around 8:20 p.m. Police reports say that Carmelo Vasquez was driving on Main Street in a green 1996 Honda Accord, ran a red light, and turned onto Pine Street in the path of a gold 2007 Chevy pickup. The Chevy crashed into the Honda. A 22-year-old Oxnard woman, a passenger in the Honda, was airlifted to a hospital with moderate to severe injuries. A three-month-old baby was taken to a hospital for evaluation and released to Child Welfare Services. No one in the Chevy was injured. Vasquez was arrested for felony DUI and child endangerment and is currently in Santa Barbara County Jail.

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Two New Tour Options at Hearst Castle

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Two new tour options are opening tomorrow at Hearst Castle. The tours are a guided tour of the garden and a focus tour entitled "Hearst and Hollywood". The Garden Tour shows the challenges in transforming the rocky hillside of "The Enchanted Hill" into a lush garden. You'll spend an hour exploring the gardens of Hearst Castle while your tour guide tells the history, challenges, and changes faced by the groundskeepers of the Castle.

The tour starts at the Hidden Terrace, an early set of stairs and terraces, to the 17 changing rooms, the tour winds around the gardens and guest houses following the Esplanade, and then you walk along the Esplanade to the Main House and past Read More »

Woman Sentenced to 6 Years For DUI

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A woman who killed a tow truck driver while driving under the influence in 2001 was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison for DUI. This is the second time 55-year-old Denise Gafner Mendoza from Paso Robles has been convicted of driving under the influence since she hit 20-year-old Tanner Rothfleisch as he tried to hitch a stalled car on the Cuesta Grade.

After she was sentenced to seven years in prison for killing Rothfleisch, she was sentenced to a year in jail in 2008 for DUI. She already had a DUI conviction two years before the accident. Each conviction involved driving while under the influence of prescription drugs. Last September, Mendoza was driving on Highway 101 in Atascadero wh Read More »

Water Rate Increases May Be Coming to Morro Bay

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Water rate increases could be coming to Morro Bay residents to cover water costs. The Central Coast Water Authority, which handles the infrastructure and bond issuance related to the city’s state water supply, sent the city a warning letter on April 8, saying the current rates don’t cover all of water costs and funding for an emergency reserve. The city hasn’t defaulted on state water payments because it has used money from its reserve water fund.

Water authority Executive Director Ray Stokes warned that the shortfall is affecting the water authority’s credit rating outlook, as Moody’s gives the city a negative outlook, and the city is failing to provide enough Read More »

Paso Robles Man Pleads Guilty to Three Felonies

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A Paso Robles man charged with three felonies related to child pornography and molestation pled guilty to all three counts yesterday. Leonard Franklin pled guilty to two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a minor who was less than 14-years old for over four years, as well and one count of lewd acts towards a child younger than 14-years old. Franklin will be sentenced on July 8, with a maximum sentence of 22 years.

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Police Search for Vandal

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Police are searching for a person who vandalized numerous Santa Barbara businesses early on April 11. Many businesses on Milpas Street were sprayed with graffiti, causing around $7,000 in damage. If you know anything, call the Santa Barbara Police Department at (805) 897-2348. Anonymous tips can be made to (805) 897-2386.

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Man Under the Influence Overturns Car

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A 65-year-old Ventura man was arrested Monday for driving under the influence and overturning his car near Highway 101. The incident began around 3:25 p.m. yesterday when a California Highway Patrol officer saw Gary Ulam weaving through traffic and almost causing an accident on Highway 101 north of the Clark Avenue exit. CHP officers caught up with Ulam near the Main Street exit. Ulam went to the right and hit a guardrail, causing his car to fall down an embankment and flip onto the driver's side. Ulam suffered moderate injuries and was sent to Marian Region Medical Center. Ulam was arrested after an investigation showed that he was intoxicated.

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