KVEC Morning News Internship Portfolio

In Spring Quarter, I interned for King Harris at KVEC Morning News. Below is a portfolio of my work during my internship.

News Roundup

Everyday I would write up some local news stories, then copy and paste some state and national stories from Metro News, and then send them to Greg Russo for the KVEC Daily Newsletter. Below are each of the news roundups I wrote up for KVEC, starting at most recent and then in descending order to my first day.

6/6/2014

LOCAL

KVEC Morning News has an update on the homicide investigation in Templeton that we reported on yesterday. The victim, who was stabbed and died in the hospital, has been identified as Tina Beddow. The suspect has been identified as Phillip Haines. Investigators believe that this was an isolated case of domestic violence. Beddow and Haines and a five-year-old child who is related to the suspect were inside the home at the time of the murder. The child has been placed in Child Welfare Services. The investigation is still ongoing.

The electricity went out at Cal Poly for about a half-hour yesterday afternoon. The power went out at 2:45 p.m. and came back on at 3:20 p.m., according to Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier. With the exception of the housing facilities, every campus building lost power. The university is investigating the cause of the power outage, thinking that it was probably a power surge.

A Paso Robles city employee has been sentenced to 20 days in jail. Charles Lorenzen, the former building, parks and streets supervisor of Paso Robles, was arrested on May 27 on charges of embezzling thousands of dollars from the city. Lorenzen faced three felony charges of grand theft and a misdemeanor charge of petty theft. In the plea agreement, Lorenzen plead guilty to the petty theft charge and the three felony charges were dropped. Lorenzen had been investigated for using his city credit card for personal purchases. He is currently out of jail on a $20,000 bond.

Santa Maria will be going to court against an advocacy group. The group, named CAUSE, is trying to get Santa Maria to change its election rules so city council members are elected by district rather than by the city at-large. CAUSE’s proposal needed more than 2700 signatures to be on the November ballot. The proposal ended up getting more than 5000 signatures in a two-month time span. But the city rejected the proposal on the grounds that it didn’t conform to the state election code. CAUSE believes that their errors are minor, and hence they are taking  the matter into court. A hearing is set for June 17.

One of two people arrested for robbing a Chase Bank in Atascadero entered a no-contest plea on Wednesday. According to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office, Tonya Young will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery. The second person, George Gonzales, will be back in court later this month to be arraigned in Superior Court. He is charged with three counts each of robbery and burglary.

A memorial service for SLO High graduate Christopher Michaels-Martinez, who was shot and killed in Elliot Rodger’s shooting spree in Isla Vista on May 23, will be held on Saturday at 1 p.m. The memorial will be at Mountainbrook Community Church, 1775 Calle Joaquin, in San Luis Obispo. Community members are welcome to attend.

 

STATE

A man who stood outside of his disabled vehicle on a freeway in Lynwood is dead after being struck by a car early this morning.  The California Highway Patrol says the collision took place on the northbound 710 Freeway at Imperial Highway around 3:20 a.m.  All northbound lanes were initially shut down during the death investigation.  CHP reopened a couple lanes an hour later.

The former Los Angeles County undersheriff is set to testify today as a defense witness in the trial of six deputies.  Paul Tanaka is expected to help defense attorneys argue that the defendants were following orders from their superiors.  The deputies are accused of conspiracy and obstruction of justice for their alleged roles in hiding a jail inmate informant from federal authorities.

A school district in the Inland Empire that caused an uproar over a Holocaust assignment is getting some literature on the subject. The widow of Holocaust survivor Leon Leyson is donating over two-thousand copies of her husband’s book about his experiences to the Rialto School District. Rialto officials came under fire in May after it was learned that eighth graders in the district were given an assignment to argue whether or not the Holocaust really happened. Leyson’s widow hopes her husband’s book, “The Boy on the Wooden Box,” gives students and district officials some perspective on the topic.

The Kings and Rangers are back on the ice tomorrow for Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final. The Kings are up 1-0 in the best-of-seven series after winning Game One 3-2 in overtime from the STAPLES Center. Justin Williams capped a comeback with the game-winner 4:36 into the extra period. The series shifts to New York on Monday for Game Three. Game Four is also at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

Sunnyvale police say the man shot dead by officers was wanted in connection with the homicide of a woman who disappeared a year ago.  A police spokesman says officers had gone to the North Fair Oaks Avenue residence of 53-year-old Glen Griggs with search and arrest warrants Thursday morning.  When they received no response, officers swarmed inside, only to be confronted by Griggs, who had barricaded himself with a gun.  After he ignored orders to drop the weapon, one or more of the officers opened fire on Griggs, who was later pronounced dead at a hospital.  The investigation into the officer-involved shooting and the suspected homicide of the woman will be lengthy because the same officers investigating the homicide, took part in shooting Griggs.

The famous sounds of San Francisco’s cable cars are back and Muni service returned to near normal.  That comes after fewer operators called in sick yesterday.  Muni operators had staged a three-day sick out earlier in the week to protest what they consider unfair contract negotiations and an unreasonable tentative contract.  A Muni Transit Agency spokesman said they’re not at full strength and wonders if the wave of sick calls will return today.  Arbitration is scheduled for Saturday over a rejected contract, but city officials say the union has threatened not to attend.

School officials and school police are investigating another case of an Oakland High employee allegedly abusing a student.  A mother tells KTVU that her 15-year-old daughter Jasmeen Flores, who has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, was at school Tuesday when her teacher yanked her arm three times and swore at the girl.  In a meeting with school officials yesterday, the mother claims the teacher says Jasmeen was lying.  Last week, an Oakland High security guard was fired after he kicked and hit another student with cerebral palsy, before throwing him out of his wheelchair.

After a years-long investigation by Pittsburg police and the FBI, three Pittsburg men are charged with running what one prosecutor calls one of the worst sex trafficking rings in Contra Costa County history.  Roy Gordon, Derrick Harper and Eric Beman were charged with conspiracy to commit human trafficking and other charges in a court appearance yesterday.  The “Contra Costa Times” says between 2006 and 2013, the men are accused of beating and raping their victims as well as branding one with a clothes iron as a part of their prostitution enterprise.  A prosecutor said more victims may come forward now, because up until the men were jailed, the victims were afraid they’d be killed if they talked.

NATION

Police are investigating a fatal shootout between a suspect and a sheriff’s deputy outside the Forsyth County courthouse north of Atlanta, Georgia.  The suspect is dead, while the deputy has a minor gunshot wound to his leg.  The deputy is said to be a 25-year veteran of the force.  Police have closed off streets around the courthouse while they conduct their investigation.

President Obama is taking part in additional ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  The President received a warm welcome as he arrived at Sword Beach, one of the main landing areas for allied forces who stormed Normandy.  D-Day marked the beginning of the end of World War Two.  In earlier remarks, the President said the heroes who stormed the French beaches helped bring down Adolf Hitler’s brutal regime and changed the course of history.

A naval hospital in Virginia is on lockdown this morning due to reports of a stabbing.  Authorities are looking for a suspect.  So far, there are reports that one service member was stabbed, but no word yet on that person’s condition.  Patients and staff are ordered to shelter in place as the search for the stabber continues.

A new report shows Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl may have tried to escape his Taliban captors several times.  The “Daily Beast” reports Bergdahl survived on his own for three days during one attempt and was found hiding in a trench dug with his bare hands.  He was recently freed when the Obama administration struck a deal in a controversial prisoner swap.  Bergdahl was serving in Afghanistan when he was taken hostage by Taliban fighters in 2009.

6/5/2014

LOCAL

Three fires occurred in the Central Coast yesterday. A fire in a Salinas riverbed broke out just before 9:00 p.m. yesterday on North River Road. The Paso Robles Fire Department and CAL FIRE responded to the fire, said that no structures were threatened and no one was hurt. The fire could have spread quickly, but it was easier to tame due to the cool temperatures and humidity at the time. Two people have been arrested in connection to the fire, alleging that they were building a warming fire. The two people are transients and have not been identified. A small fire also occurred in Arroyo Grande Village yesterday at 4 p.m. after a construction crew accidentally ignited a bush behind a business. The crew was operating a construction saw when sparks from the saw landed on a bush. The cool temperatures and humidity also helped contain the fire and the fact that it was near Arroyo Grande Creek allowed firefighters to use water and ecologically friendly foam. Damage to the business was minor and no one was injured. The third fire happened last night at 8:30 in Santa Maria. The fire was a structure fire that caused $30,000 worth of damage on South Oakley. Firefighters went inside the building and found oak wine barrel material and a large pile of rags on fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A public forum to discuss the proposed tax increase in Atascadero is tonight at 6:30 in Atascadero City Hall. The Director of Public Works and city manager will talk about the current state of the city’s roads and the cost of maintaining them. The conditions of the city’s general fund will also be discussed and how it compares to other cities’ general funds. The forum will last for an hour and there will be time for people to ask questions.

Precinct data obtained by the SLO Tribune indicates that Dan Dow’s decisive victory on Election Day was due to his broad support in North and South County. Dow won 72% of all precincts, including most of the precincts in Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Templeton, Atascadero, Nipomo, Oceano and Pismo Beach. Covello, on the other hand, only won most of the precincts in San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay and Avila Beach. Covello may have had the city’s support, but Dow’s support was countywide. The data also suggests that the conservative-leaning districts voted for Dow, who once ran for Assembly as a Republican, while the liberal-leaning districts voted for Covello, a former Democrat but is now registered as an independent.

The final seat for Morro Bay’s city council could be determined today. Candidate John Headding is short 426 votes in order to avoid a runoff with incumbent Nancy Johnson. Current county-clerk recorder Julie Rodewald, who will be on the program in the third hour, will count mail-in ballots that haven’t been tallied yet at 1 p.m. today, and 731 of those will be from Morro Bay. Headding is cautiously optimistic that he will get the votes needed to avoid a runoff.

A homicide investigation is taking place in Templeton. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at 10:20 p.m. yesterday from Eric Lane. When police arrived to the scene, they found a female who had been stabbed. She was hospitalized, and died in the hospital. A man was arrested at the scene. Neither the man nor the deceased victim have been identified. The investigation is ongoing.

STATE

The Los Angeles Kings are just three wins away from winning the Stanley Cup.  Justin Williams scored the game winning goal in overtime to beat the New York Rangers 3-2 Wednesday night at Staples Center.  Jonathan Quick made 25 saves for the Kings, who moved one victory closer to their second Stanley Cup title in three years.  Game Two in the series will be played Saturday in Los Angeles.

Five members of a Long Beach street gang are behind bars for allegedly targeting Indian families for gold.  Law enforcement officials announced yesterday that the ring had been burglarizing Indian families, often nabbing gold, cash and other valuables over the past year.  Authorities believe the robbers used the Internet to identify people of Indian descent, and prey on them because their culture is known for passing down jewelry and gold through generations.  The thieves stole from families in Ventura County to Las Vegas hitting at least two homes per week, and netted approximately two-million dollars.

Two teens are recovering and one remains in critical condition after being hit by a car in North Hollywood.  Authorities say the impact was so intense that it caused the students to actually be launched into the intersection yesterday.  The teens are described as 14-year-old girls walking back from a park where they had P.E. class, and had been returning to nearby Oakwood School.  The driver says he had brake problems, and police are still investigating.

A teenager faces charges after a fight caught on video goes viral.  Eighteen-year-old Robert Ayala has been charged for his alleged involvement in a fight that took place on a playground at Chaparral Elementary School in Ladera Ranch between two Tesoro High School students.  While the victim had been attempting to defend himself on the ground, Ayala allegedly ran up and kicked him in the head, apparently knocking him out.  Ayala has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and is being held on 50-thousand-dollars bail.  The incident was posted on Facebook.

In a lawsuit against the Oakland Raiders and the NFL, two Raiderettes are complaining not only about minimum wage, but also about the way cheerleaders are treated and protected on the job.  They say when they go out on required charity events, they would often be inappropriately groped by inebriated attendees, and there would be no security guards around.  The two women also said they were often chastised or insulted about weight fluctuations or their appearance.  They’re hoping to become part of a class-action suit against the Raiders franchise and the NFL.

Police have arrested a man they believe is responsible for a string of auto burglaries throughout the city of Pacifica.   Thirty-one-year-old Jose Herrera of Antioch is also suspected of auto theft and drug possession.  Early Wednesday morning, police spotted Herrera allegedly taking possessions from a vehicle, and putting them in another vehicle that turned up stolen out of San Francisco.  Herrera ran when he saw police, but they caught him a short time later, and booked him into San Mateo County Jail.

Police are asking for the public’s help as they look for the man who exposed himself and sexually battered a young girl in Vacaville.  The 13-year-old girl was walking home from Vaca Pena Middle School yesterday morning when the man made physical contact with her while he was exposing himself.  The girl got away and ran home, and the suspect was last seen walking towards Elmira Road.  He is described as white, in his mid-20s, five-feet-six to five-feet-eight inches tall with a slender build, a light brown clean-cut beard and short messy hair.

A mental health evaluation is being scheduled for the San Francisco man who faces federal charges of possession of explosives.  A “San Francisco Chronicle” report says Ryan Chamberlain made an appearance in court yesterday after his arrest on Monday evening.  Authorities say the evaluation needs to be done before a decision is made on whether he should be eligible for release on bail.  He’s due back in court on Friday.

NATION

President Obama is making “no apologies” for the deal that led to the release of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.  Speaking this morning in Brussels after a global economic summit, Obama said prisoner exchanges with enemies are not unique to his administration.  He said getting Bergdahl out of Taliban custody was consistent with a longstanding U.S. policy of never leaving someone behind in wartime.  Bergdahl was released last weekend in exchange for five Guantanamo Bay detainees.

GM’s chief executive is apologizing for problems related to a recall of millions of small cars linked to more than a dozen deaths.  Mary Barra [[ BAR-uh ]] insisted this morning that GM’s goal is to build high-quality, safe vehicles, and in this case the automaker didn’t live up to that goal.  Barra said some individuals hid information about faulty ignition switches and acknowledged the company’s “incompetence” after GM dragged its feet in recalling more than two-and-a-half million dangerous cars.  Barra admitted GM let their customers down and said 15 individuals have been fired.

Several people are left homeless after a Harrier jet crashes into a Southern California neighborhood.  The jet crashed in Imperial Valley, about two hours east of San Diego, yesterday destroying three homes.  Authorities say no one has been injured because of the crash, but five families will need to find somewhere else to stay as the investigation continues.

It was one year ago today that Americans first learned the National Security Agency was spying on their electronic communications.  Britain’s “Guardian” newspaper began a series of reports on the NSA’s domestic surveillance program on June 5th, 2013.  Four days later, the world learned that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had given hundreds of thousands of classified documents to reporters for the “Guardian” and the “Washington Post.”  The reporting won Pulitzer Prizes.  Snowden was in Hong Kong when he revealed that he leaked the information.  He currently resides under temporary asylum in Russia.

6/4/2014

LOCAL

The results from the election last night are in, and KVEC Morning News has obtained the results. Deputy District Attorney Dan Dow won the SLO County District Attorney, beating Assistant District Attorney Tim Covello 53% to 44%. Incumbent 2nd District County Supervisor Bruce Gibson cruised to reelection over Muril Clift, 67% to 33% and Morro Bay Mayor Jamie Irons kept his seat with 57% to 43% victory over Carla Wixom. Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian crushed his opponent Heidi Harmon 64% to 36%. The new County Superintendent of Schools will be James Brescia, the only candidate running for the seat. Runoffs to November include the 4th District County Supervisor seat, which is between Lynn Compton and incumbent Caren Ray. Congresswoman Lois Capps will face Chris Mitchum in November, and a tight SLO County Clerk-Recorder race will feature Tommy Gong and Amanda King. In the governor race, Governor Jerry Brown will face Neel Kashkari in November. Overall voter turnout in SLO County was low at around 31%.

The San Luis Obispo Superior Court is warning residents of an e-mail scam. The e-mail claims to be from the clerk of the court and says it’s a “Notice to Appear in Court”. Officials say that the court doesn’t e-mail residents to appear in court, and if you get an e-mail like that, delete it immediately. The e-mail likely contains a virus or malware to install onto your computer.

A Paso Robles High School teacher was arrested for allegedly having sex with a student. Police say their investigation started on Sunday, when a 16-year old female student disclosed that she had been having a sexual relationship with her teacher. The teacher, Jeremy Monn, was arrested for sexual intercourse with a minor. Monn was an agricultural teacher.

Child molestation charges have been filed against a Santa Ynez youth soccer coach. Jose Diaz, who was arrested last month for having sex with a girl when she was 14 and 15-year olds, and it is believed that there are more victims. Diaz has been charged with lewd act on a child and three violations of unlawful oral copulation with a minor. He was a coach in the girls’ soccer league for 10 years and will be arraigned today.

A fire occurred in Santa Maria at around 12:31 this morning. Firefighters arrived at North Blosser and found a seatrain against the back of Rick’s Cabinets store engulfed in flames. The fire caused about $100,000 worth of damage and everything inside was deemed as a loss. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

STATE

A Republican and a Democrat will face off in the congressional race to replace retiring Representative Henry Waxman.  Elan Carr, a gang prosecutor and a Republican, took the top spot in yesterday’s primary.  State Senator and Democrat Ted Lieu finished second.  They will run against each other in the November election in the race to represent the 33rd Congressional District, which includes Santa Monica, Malibu, Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Palos Verdes.  Former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, who lost the mayoral race to Eric Garcetti, took the third spot in yesterday’s election.

Former U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is now Los Angeles County’s newest Supervisor, while a second spot on the Board of Supervisors will be decided in a runoff.  Solis won yesterday’s election to replace Gloria Molina in the First District.  Meanwhile, former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver will face former state Senator Sheila Kuehl in the race to succeed Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky who represents the Third District.  Kuehl finished in first place, but she fell short of the 50-percent needed to avoid a runoff.

The race for Los Angeles County Assessor will be decided in a runoff in November.  West Hollywood Councilman Jeffrey Prang won about 18-percent of the vote in yesterday’s election.  He will face Prosecutor John Morris, who earned nearly 16-and-a-half-percent.  The last elected assessor, John Noguez, is awaiting trial on corruption charges.

An arrest has been made in the attack on the woman at the center of the Donald Sterling phone scandal.  Dominic Diorio is accused of punching V. Stiviano several times outside of Manhattan’s Gansevoort Hotel earlier this week.  Diorio is being charged with third-degree assault with hate crime and harassment listed among the charges.  Stiviano’s attorney Mac Nehoray said the Sunday incident involved two men.  Stiviano was roughed up but is okay.

San Franciscans love their waterfront.  A proposition to put future San Francisco waterfront development decisions to a vote, and a measure for a 400-million-dollar earthquake safety bond both passed in Tuesday’s election.  Measure B requires a vote before any height limit increases on development projects on Port of San Francisco property can be approved.  Measure A passed with about 80-percent support, meaning that 400-million-dollars in bonds will go towards public safety and emergency response purposes.

California’s public access laws will be changing with voter approval of Proposition 42.  The measure will give greater protections to the state’s open meeting and public record laws by making them part of the state Constitution.  It also means the state will no longer have to reimburse local governments for the costs of complying with the records and meeting laws.  Proposition 42 passed in Tuesday’s primary with 62-percent of the vote.

New information released yesterday says that all the items necessary to make a remote-controlled bomb were found in Ryan Chamberlain’s apartment.  Court documents revealed that FBI officials actually talked with the San Francisco media consultant inside a coffee shop near his Nob Hill apartment, then allowed him to leave.  After finding the bomb-making items in the apartment that were “designed to maim or kill,” authorities put out a nationwide warrant for Chamberlain.  He was taken into custody Monday evening at Crissy Field.

Riders are hoping that Muni operators end their sickout soon after enduring more delays for a second day yesterday.  Muni officials say less people are calling in sick for today’s schedules, but they won’t know how many operators they’ll have until the day gets underway.  In the meantime, Muni union leaders claim they don’t support the sickout and if anyone called in sick, they must bring in a doctor’s note.  San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee chimed in by saying this disruption has cost the city a lot of money, and that with no note, there will be no pay.  Muni operators overwhelmingly rejected SFMTA’s latest contract proposal, leading to an arbitration hearing later this week.

NATION

The Defense Department is reviewing a new video that shows Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl being handed over to American forces this past weekend.  The video was released by a known Taliban spokesperson.  It shows a clean shaven Bergdahl, dressed in white and sitting in a pickup truck prior to his release.  He’s then frisked before being loaded into a waiting helicopter in a transfer that took just over a minute to complete.

Midwest residents are bracing for another round of severe storms today.  Baseball-sized hail pounded parts of Nebraska on Tuesday.  Iowa, Wyoming and Kansas are now dealing with the aftermath of possible tornadoes.  The severe weather threat isn’t over yet.  Powerful storms are predicted today for the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, with southern Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia now on storm watch.

More undocumented migrants have been dropped off at a Phoenix bus station, just one day after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer wrote to the White House blasting the practice.  KSAZ TV reports a busload of migrants were dropped off yesterday morning.  Scores of migrants have reportedly been released in Arizona over the past couple of weeks because the federal government does not have enough manpower in south Texas to handle a surge in illegal migrants.

The ADP jobs report for May is coming in way below expectations.  Private U.S. companies added less than two hundred thousand jobs last month, falling about fifteen percent under projections.  Payroll numbers for April are also being revised downward.  Experts say the slowdown in job growth was concentrated in companies with less than a thousand employees.

6/3/2014

LOCAL

Today is Election Day, and KVEC Morning News has a summary of the seats up for grabs in today’s primary. Locally, there are two contested county supervisor seats on the ballot, a heated race for District Attorney, open seats for County Clerk-Recorder and Superintendent of Schools, and a Morro Bay mayoral and city councilmember race. Congresswoman Lois Capps’s opponent in November will be decided today as well. Statewide, the most notable races include a primary for incumbent Governor Jerry Brown’s opponent in November and open seats for Secretary of State, controller, and treasurer. Polls open at 7 a.m. KVEC Morning News also has some voting tips from current County Clerk Recorder Julie Rodewald. Check your polling place location on the back of your yellow notification card, as many polling locations have changed. Do not assume you will be voting in the same place as the last election. Avoid voting at the busiest times- before work, lunch hour and after work. Mail ballots have to be in by eight tonight and any campaign paraphernalia need be left at home to help keep polling places nonpartisan. Campaign slogans are banned within a hundred feet of polling places.

The four Sheriff’s deputies involved in two gun fights with Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger on May 23 have all returned to full-time duty. These officers had been placed on administrative leave, which is routine after any officer is involved in a shooting. It is believed that the officers shot Rodger in the hip, distracting him from his murderous rampage and causing him to flee and ultimately commit suicide. Sheriff Bill Brown thinks that it not been for these officers, Rodger would have killed more people that night.

Richard Martinez, the father of deceased UCSB student Chris Martinez in the Isla Vista shooting, met with Peter Rodger, the father of shooter Elliot Rodger. Martinez discussed the details of his private meeting with Rodger on Ronan Farrow Daily on MSNBC, in which he said that he and Rodger agreed to work together to lobby politicians for tighter gun regulation. Martinez said in the interview that his almost 30 years of experience as an attorney helps him understand how the Rodgers are feeling, as he has worked in cases with good parents who have mentally ill children.

Two earthquakes occurred near San Simeon this morning. A 3.7 and 3.8 magnitude earthquake occurred at 1:53 a.m., both of which had epicenters northeast of San Simeon. There have not been any reports of injuries or damage.

Police have arrested a suspect in a Paso Robles animal cruelty case after several months of investigation. On Friday, Garrett Kaplan was arrested for allegedly burning a five-month-old steer. The steer survived the burning but suffered serious burn wounds. Kaplan is currently in SLO County Jail.

Former Santa Maria Police Lieutenant Dan Ast wants his job back. Ast’s arbitration hearing began yesterday, in which Ast was accused of negligence that resulted in the death of Officer Albert Covarrubias. Covarrubias allegedly had an affair with a police explorer in 2012, and two officers, one of whom was Ast, attempted to arrest Covarrubias at a DUI checkpoint. Covarrubias fired a weapon, and was killed by another officer. The new police chief at the time, Ralph Martin, fired Ast, saying that Ast’s poor decision-making resulted in Covarrubias’s death. Ast’s attorney argues that Ast has a solid record, calling him a whistleblower who is facing retaliation. When the hearing ends, the arbitrator will make a recommendation and the city manager will decide on the case. The case resumes today with Chief Martin on the stand.

Four bicyclists participating in the AIDS/Life Cycle Bicycle Ride that continues today towards San Luis Obispo County are recovering from injuries they received after being hit by a pickup truck.  Police say an unlicensed driver was pulling out of a gas station on Highway 1 north of Moss Landing yesterday morning when he hit the riders.  The injured bicyclists were taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor and moderate injuries.  More than 23-hundred cyclists are participating in the event that continues today, along Highway 101 toward the Paso Robles Fairgrounds.

STATE

A special education teacher’s aide is in jail after allegedly assaulting students and staff at Van Nuys Elementary School.  Apparently the employee told other staff members that she had not taken her medication as she kicked them and threw chairs yesterday.  An adult and two students were hit by some of the flying furniture, and treated for minor injuries.  Police say the woman has a mental illness and had a psychiatric episode, and school officials say she will not be returning.

Things continue to get worse for Donald Sterling as a woman claiming to be a former employee and girlfriend files a lawsuit against him.  A woman claiming to have been romantically involved with Sterling between 2005 and 2011 is now suing him.  The woman claims her resistance to the embattled Clippers owner’s steady stream of racist and sexist taunts caused him to retaliate against her, by firing her.  The complaint filed yesterday also alleges that throughout their relationship the two argued about Sterling’s racist views, not unlike the conversation heard on the audio tapes, recorded by a different girlfriend, which led to the banishment of Sterling from the NBA.

A woman is recovering after being shot in the leg in Hollywood.  Police say they responded to a 911 caller who said they heard gun shots, and then a woman screaming Monday night, at an apartment complex on North Curson Avenue.  Authorities believe the shooter stole the woman’s purse and laptop after the shooting, and then took off on a bike down a nearby alley.  The woman is in the hospital and is listed in stable condition.

Not a lot of people will head to the polls today and vote in California’s primary.  The Los Angeles County Registrar is urging people to hit the polls amid concerns a mere 20 percent of eligible voters will show up to cast their ballots.  Even with 230-thousand of the vote-by-mail ballots returned, that’s only a fraction of the one-and-a-half-million requested.  All candidates names appear on the ballot for today’s open primary and the two with the most votes will face each other in November, regardless of party affiliation.  The polls open at 7 a.m.

A three-day nationwide manhunt for a San Francisco man wanted on possession of explosives is over.  Political and media consultant Ryan Chamberlain was spotted near Crissy Field last night and taken into custody where he is being held on federal charges of possessing explosives.  A police bomb squad used a robot to search Chamberlain’s car for explosives, but found none.  FBI Agents had been searching for the 42-year-old Chamberlain after agents allegedly found explosives in his San Francisco apartment this weekend.

The Muni sickout that caused delays and left riders scrambling yesterday, looks like it will continue today.  A Muni spokesman said last night that once again, more than the normal amount of drivers have already called in sick.  The Muni transit operators are protesting unfair working conditions and lack of a pay raise.  Their labor dispute will head to arbitration later this week.

The Coast Guard is continuing their search for a person whose boat sank Monday morning off the Marin County coast.  Crews began their search yesterday morning near the Kirby Cove area near the Golden Gate Bridge, after receiving a distress signal from a 30-foot sailboat called “Alma.”  The boat was found partially submerged on the rocks in the Yellow Bluff area, then later sank.  The Coast Guard believes just one person was on the boat that was in route to Hawaii from Alameda when it ran into trouble.

There are no reports of any damage after a small earthquake rattled the Alameda County community of Ashland last night.  The temblor with a preliminary magnitude of 2-point-7 struck a few minutes past 11 p.m. about two miles east of San Leandro.  The U.S. Geological Survey said it had a depth of roughly three miles.

NATION

President Obama says the Taliban militants who were swapped for a captured soldier will be closely monitored, but could still go back to terrorism.  The five prisoners were handed over to the government of Qatar in exchange for the release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.  He spent five years as a captive of Taliban warlords before the Obama administration cut a deal to set him free over the weekend.  The President said Bergdahl is recovering and hasn’t even seen his family yet, so it’s too soon to interrogate him about the circumstances of his capture.  Some of Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers claim he is a deserter.

Primary voters in eight states are going to the polls today.  In one of the most closely-watched contests, six-term Mississippi Republican Senator Thad Cochran faces a challenge from State Senator and tea party favorite Chris McDaniel.  New Jersey Republican Congressman Leonard Lance hopes to hold off a challenge from businessman David Larsen.  In California, three Republicans are competing for the chance to knock first-term Democrat Ami Bera out of Congress.  Analysts don’t expect much drama from primaries in Iowa, Montana, Alabama, New Mexico, and South Dakota.

Violent thunderstorms and tornadoes could slam Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, and northern Illinois this afternoon.  Heavy downpours could cause flooding, and large hail could pelt the region through Wednesday morning.  Wind gusts of more than 70 miles an hour could lead to power outages.  The thunderstorms are likely to snarl the morning commute in the Chicago area on Wednesday.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is demanding to see all site specific audits of Veterans Administration health centers.  Blumenthal says the report delivered to the President on Friday details widespread falsification of records and treatment delays at VA facilities.  The senator says nondisclosure of the audits does a disservice to all veterans, and full transparency is the best way to begin the new era of leadership at the VA.

6/2/2014

LOCAL

The Isla Vista community marched against gun violence on Saturday. The protesters met outside of the IV Deli, one of the ten locations that Elliot Rodger was at during his shooting spree on May 23. Many signs had the names of the victims, even though many of the protesters hadn’t met them. The protesters’ goal was to pressure politicians to curb gun violence, an action of the “Not One More” movement.

The season is officially over for the Cal Poly baseball team, after Pepperdine rallied in the ninth to win 10-6. The Mustangs overcame a 5-0 deficit by scoring six runs in the eighth inning to tie the game. Left-hander Chris Taylor received the loss. The Mustangs ended their season with a record of 47-12 and Pepperdine will move on to the Super Regionals.

A fire occurred yesterday in a structure on Nipomo Avenue in Los Osos. The fire was reported on at 1:00 am and was under control by 4:30 a.m. There was approximately $30,000 in residential damage and one person was rescued. No one was injured in the fire.

An Oceano woman was arrested for mailing withdrawal drugs to an inmate in San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department County Jail Honor Farm. The woman, identified as Linda Johns, sent Thomas Rodriguez pieces of mail containing Suboxone, a drug used to treat opiate addiction. Johns and Rodriguez were both arrested for sending a controlled substance to a jail and criminal conspiracy.

SLO County Jail was in partial lockdown on Friday after an inmate was found dead. Timothy Janowicz, 29, was found unresponsive at 5:40 a.m. by his cell mates and medical staff declared him dead. Janowicz, a transient, was arrested by Atascadero police on Nov. 20 for possession of a controlled substance for sale, carrying a concealed weapon and violating probation. The cause of death is still under investigation and an autopsy will be performed in the near future.

Unit 1 in the Diablo Canyon Power Plant was shut down temporarily on Saturday to perform repairs that were only safe when electricity wasn’t being generated. Unit 2 was working at full capacity. Unit 1 is currently at full power and Unit 2 this month will be shut down temporarily to perform similar repairs.

STATE

The Los Angeles Kings will play Game One of the Stanley Cup Final in their hometown.  Alec Martinez scored in overtime, and the Kings beat the Blackhawks five-to-four in Game Seven of the Western Conference Final Sunday night, in Chicago.  The Kings are now the only team in NHL history to win three deciding games, on the road, and make it to the Stanley Cup Final.  The Kings will face off against the New York Rangers, for the first time in the post-season since 1981, Wednesday night at Staples Center.

Things are getting back to normal after an earthquake rattles Westwood.  Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey say a magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit three-miles west of the city yesterday.  A second temblor with a preliminary magnitude of one-point-eight happened about six miles north of Santa Monica about 20-minutes later.  Authorities say the shaker caused no damage, and there were no reports of anyone getting hurt.

Donald Sterling may be calling on a higher power in his attempt to keep the Clippers.  The embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner visited a predominately black church in South Los Angeles yesterday.  Sterling attended services at Praises of Zion Missionary Baptist Church, and allegedly received a round of applause from some churchgoers, after being introduced to the congregation.  The 80-year-old is banned by the NBA for life, after a recording of him making racist remarks to a girlfriend was released, and has since filed a one-billion-dollar lawsuit against the league on the heels of news the team has been sold for two-billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

A mother is dead, and her son is behind bars.  Authorities say a 34-year-old man is behind bars for allegedly murdering his 57-year-old mother insider her Hawthorne home.  Nicolas Lopez is being held on one-million-dollars bail after family members discovered the body of his mother at her home on Inglewood Avenue over the weekend.  Investigators say the mother was pronounced dead on the scene, but remain tight-lipped about how she died.

The FBI is asking the public’s help in their search for a San Francisco man suspected of possessing explosive materials at his home.  Agency investigators raided a Russian Hill apartment on Jackson Street Saturday, and after finding explosives, a nationwide manhunt is now on for the resident, 42-year-old Ryan Chamberlain.  He is six-foot-three, weighs 223 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing a dark blue hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.  He was driving a 2008 white Nissan Altima with either California or Texas license plates, and agents don’t know if Chamberlain is carrying explosives, but he should be considered armed and dangerous.

It could be a tough time for commuters this morning, if Muni workers stage a sick-out.  Muni operators are unhappy over a new contract offer by the city’s Municipal Transit Agency. The new contract calls for Muni workers to get an eleven-point-25 percent raise over two years, but, they would have to pay a seven-point-five percent pension payment, which is now paid by the MTA.  Members with Transport Workers Union Local 250-A voted on the contract Friday, but the results aren’t known yet.  A Muni spokesman confirmed last night that more sick calls than normal have come in for today, and riders should check Muni apps for updates.

A Stanford professor is out on bail after he was arrested last week at Los Angeles International Airport for allegedly having a grenade in his luggage. Gary Walter Cox says after the recent deaths of his parents, he was cleaning out his childhood home in Southern California, and had forgotten some items he packed in his carry-on luggage included the World-War-Two era souvenir. He was arrested after screeners found the grenade when he was trying to board a flight home to San Jose.  The political science professor said police told him the charge will be dropped

An Oakland police officer will be at the Oakland elementary school this morning, where a woman is accused of attacking a nine-year-old girl with a hammer Friday.  Officials say Haseemah Diame, who is a parent volunteer at the Lafayette Elementary School, lured the third-grade girl into a bathroom and then allegedly assaulted her. The girl was taken to Children’s Hospital in Oakland where her condition is unknown. School district officials say it appears Diame had a connection with the girl’s family, but she is now facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon, and more charges could be added.

NATION

A solider who served with Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl says the newly-released prisoner of war is a deserter.  Former Sergeant Matt Vierkant tells CNN Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and that other Americans died searching for him.  Bergdahl was held by Taliban forces for nearly five years before he was handed over to American troops as part of a prisoner exchange over the weekend.  Bergdahl’s parents are excited to know they’ll see their son soon.  Bob Bergdahl compared his son’s experience to a deep sea diver who needs to be slowly acclimated.

Presidential spokesman Jay Carney says he’s stepping down from best job he’s ever had.  Carney spoke about his resignation on NBC’s “Today” show.  Carney is a former correspondent and bureau chief for “Time” magazine.  He has been the President’s spokesman for more than three years.  Carney will stay in his post for at least a few more weeks as Josh Earnest transitions to become the new White House press secretary.

Detectives in New York are hunting for the killer who stabbed two young children inside an elevator.  Police say the six-year-old and seven-year-old were stabbed last night.  The six-year-old died and the seven-year-old is in critical condition.  Detectives believe the killer is the same man who fatally stabbed a Long Island University student.  Police are looking for a heavyset black man in his 20s.

Two children are recovering after a bounce house blew away over the weekend in a Denver suburb.  Fire crews say it happened Saturday afternoon in Littleton.  The bounce house blew hundreds of feet.  No serious injuries were reported.  A similar incident happened in New York state last month.

5/30/2014

LOCAL

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has released an update as to what happened on April 30, when police checking the welfare of Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger. The Santa Barbara County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Toll Free Access Line had received a call from a friend of Rodger’s, and based on the information from the friend and Rodger’s mother the Mental Health Hot Line request that police check up on Rodger. The police confronted Rodger and found him to be timid, shy and polite. The police questioned Rodger on his reportedly disturbing online videos, and Rodger he was just having a hard time socially fitting into Isla Vista and the videos were a way for him to express himself. The deputies determined that Rodger was not a threat to himself or anyone else, and hence there was no cause to put him into involuntary mental health hold or search his residence. Rodger’s manifesto and retribution video were not seen by the police until about an hour after the shooting. The Sheriff’s Office has concluded that the deputies involved that night handled the situation in a manner consistent with state law and department policy. The office has also called the investigation one of the most complex investigations they have ever had.

A possible suspect has emerged from the Atascadero State Hospital homicide that took place Wednesday afternoon. Sources tell KSBY that Adam Cary is a suspect in the homicide and was arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently in San Luis Obispo County Jail. ASH would not confirm that Cary was a patient at the hospital or that he is a suspect due to privacy laws. It is not known if the people involved in the homicide were sharing a dorm room.

The San Luis Obispo City Council voted 3-2 in the meeting on May 20 to increase its own salary by 20 percent, the first council pay increase since 2007. Starting in January 2015, council members will be paid $1,200 rather than the $1,000 monthly salary they currently earn. The mayor will make $1,500 a month, 25 percent more than the $1,200 currently earned. Council members will also be entitled to an additional $200 monthly stipend if they opt out of medical, dental and vision insurance. The council also can enroll in CalPERS, the city’s retirement plan. Council members Kathy Smith and Dan Carpenter were the two dissenting votes, with Carpenter saying that he viewed the city council as a volunteer position.

Police believe that nine sexual assaults since 2012 near Cal Poly may be linked. In each case, the victim is grabbed from behind by someone described as a white or Hispanic male in his 20s who tries to remove her clothing and then runs away when she screams or fights back. The most recent assaults were in April, in the Morro building in Cerro Vista Apartments and near Mustang Village. University Police Department and the San Luis Obispo Police Department are working together and have several leads, although they have declined to comment on the specifics.

It was reported on Wednesday by Cal Coast News that two DJs at KCPR, Cal Poly’s radio station, offered to sell pics of their genitals for $20 for a fundraiser for the station. KVEC Morning News reached out to Cal Poly Journalism Department Chair Mary Glick, who declined to comment on the matter. According to Cal Coast News, Journalism Department Coordinator Tess Serna had told College of Liberal Arts Dean Doug Epperson in January that KCPR was not being supervised and that something bad could happen, and requested that her name be taken off the FCC license.

STATE

The Los Angeles Clippers are a vote away from changing hands. Shelly Sterling released a statement saying The Sterling Family Trust has signed a deal to sell the team for two-billion-dollars to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. She sold the team as the sole trustee. Ballmer says he is honored to be considered the next owner of the Clippers. He is also committed to keep the team in Los Angeles. The sale of the team needs approval from the league’s other 29 teams. The NBA’s Board of Governors is scheduled to meet Tuesday.

A man is dead after being shot outside a hotel in Hollywood early this morning.  Police say shots were fired around two this morning outside the Las Palmas Hotel.  Officers found the man, believed to be in his 20s, unconscious on a sidewalk.  Paramedics say the victim has been shot once in the chest.

A Los Angeles area mother accused of stabbing her three young daughters to death remains behind bars.  Carol Coronado pled not guilty Thursday to three counts of murder and remains jailed without bail.  The woman is accused of murdering her three young daughters, all younger than two, last week inside the family home near Torrance.  Authorities say the children’s grandmother found their bodies inside the home and found her daughter covered in blood.

A suspect is hospitalized after being wounded in an officer-involved shooting in Newport Beach.  Police say officers responded to a call of a disturbance at a 7-Eleven on Superior Avenue last night.  They tried to break up a fight between a store employee and a man.  Investigators say at one point the man turned on the officers, which led to police shooting him.

In a six-to-one ruling yesterday, the California Supreme Court says that police departments must reveal the names of officers involved in on-duty shootings.  Exceptions could be made to keep the names of undercover officers private, and in cases where credible threats exist.  The one dissenting judge said, because home addresses and other personal information can be easily obtained online, that law enforcement agencies should be able to protect the very officers who protect the public. It is unknown how many police departments in the state have bans on releasing officers’ names.

Nine people are now in jail accused of conspiring to make and sell massive quantities of Xanax pills and other drugs.  The alleged ringleader, Jeremy Donagal, and five other accomplices were rounded up in various areas of Contra Costa County on Wednesday.  Donagal is accused of stamping trademarks on the pills to make them look like they were made by the drug company Pfizer Incorporated.  If convicted of all the charges, including international money laundering, Donagal and the other defendants could land in federal prison for up to 50 years.

Shocking video shows a Bay Area student with cerebral palsy being attacked by a school security guard, who threw him from his wheelchair. The incident happened May 19th at Oakland High School as two security guards were urging late students to get to class. The student in the wheelchair and 23-year-old security guard Marchell Mitchell got into a confrontation, and when the student spit in his face, Mitchell snapped and started punching him.  KGO-TV says Mitchell was charged with felony child abuse and was released from jail four days later.

A 23-year-old man is in stable condition this morning after a shooting last night in Antioch.  The man was found with gunshot wounds in the area of West Second Street and “G” Street.  A silver or gray car, similar to a Honda or Nissan, was seen leaving the area, with several men inside.  This incident is the latest in a series of shootings that have occurred in Antioch over the past ten days.

NATION

President Obama is meeting this morning with embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki amid growing calls for the retired general to step down.  In the closed meeting, Shinseki will update the President on the growing crisis at the VA.  In a speech earlier today, Shinseki apologized and again vowed to fix problems over scheduling and mismanagement at VA health clinics.  He also said he takes full responsibility for the problems and called such breaches of integrity “unacceptable.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is firing back at critics who’ve taken her to task over the Benghazi attacks.  In her forthcoming book “Hard Choices,” Clinton questions the motives of Republicans’ continued investigations into the deadly 2012 attack on an American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  In a chapter obtained by POLITICO Clinton writes that she will not be part of a “political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans.”  The chapter offers Clinton’s most detailed account yet of the attack that left four Americans dead.

We’re now getting a chance to hear the 911 call made from the North Carolina home where Maya Angelou died.  A caretaker called emergency dispatchers early Wednesday morning when she discovered the famed poet and activist wasn’t breathing.  Dispatcher Shannon Brooks calmly proceeded to give the caretaker instructions on resuscitation.

Federal prosecutors are filing a new charge in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.  The Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested a man this morning and charged him with obstructing the investigation.  The man is described as an associate of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev is accused of making and setting homemade bombs that killed three people and injured more than 250 near the finish line of last year’s race.

5/29/2014

LOCAL

“Not one more”- the rallying cry by Richard Martinez after his son Chris Martinez was murdered in the Isla Vista shooting spree last Friday- has become big on social media. Martinez repeated the three words at the UCSB memorial on Wednesday, resulting in the audience chanting it and stomping their feet. The Twitter site predicts that over 28 million people have seen the #NotOneMore mantra. In response, California State Assembly Members Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) and Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) have proposed legislation allowing for a restraining order on individuals deemed too dangerous to own a gun.

An Isla Vista resident was arrested for negligent discharge of a firearm at 2:15 yesterday afternoon. The bullet went through the wall of a connecting apartment, hit a TV stand and narrowly missed the resident inside. The resident who fired the gun was identified as UCSB student Kevin Tym who admitted to playing with a legally owned firearm and accidentally fired a Glock. Police searched his home and found him to be in possession of seven legally purchased firearms, all of which were seized. Tym was arrested and is in jail with bail set at $2500.

A homicide occurred at the Atascadero State Hospital yesterday at 2:15 p.m. The murder took place when one patient attacked another, and after being rushed to the hospital the patient was pronounced dead at 3:00 p.m. An Atascadero State Hospital employee was also injured and was hospitalized. There are two suspects that are being held in the hospital under surveillance by the police.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorny’s office is warning residents of a phone scam. People are receiving calls from someone claiming to be a PG&E employee saying that they have missed a payment and they need to pay it with a Green Dot pre-paid money card. The DA’s office says that if you receive a call like this, do not give your payment information.

A single vehicle rollover occurred yesterday morning at 10:05 at the Spring Street exit from Highway 101 North in Paso Robles. The car had two people inside who were involved in a domestic dispute. The male passenger grabbed the steering wheel and activated the emergency brake, which is what caused the rollover. He fled on foot while the female driver was trapped inside. The suspect, identified as Atascadero resident Jeffrey Barnes, was found at the Albertson’s on Niblick Road and arrested for domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon. The unidentified driver was hospitalized for moderate injuries that are not considered to be life-threatening. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with any information is encouraged to call the Paso Robles Police Department.

A Santa Maria woman will face probation after pleading guilty to stabbing and killing a cat last January. The woman, identified as Nellie Palacios, told police at the time that she killed the cat out of self-defense at her ex-boyfriend’s house. Palacios will face five years of felony probation.

In environmental news in SLO County, the SLO County Air Pollution Control District and County Public Health Department are warning the public of poor air quality in the Oceano Dunes/Nipomo Mesa area from blowing dust and sand from yesterday to June 1. They recommend the public stay indoors. Also, the nonprofit Heal the Bay has given mostly “A” grades to beaches in SLO County. The beaches included are San Simeon, Cayucos State Beach, Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay State Beach, Montana de Oro State Park, Olde Port Beach and Morro Strand State Beach. The only beaches to make the “beach bummer” list were Olde Port Beach and 50 feet south of the pier at Pismo Beach. The rest of the beaches received A and B grades, with the one “C” grade going to a year round projection of the Pismo Beach Pier.

Cal Poly radio station KCPR is facing a scandal. Student hosts Logan Cooper and Sean Martinez on their Saturday night sex talk show “Getting It In” offered to send pictures of their genitals for a radio station fundraiser. The offer on the show’s Facebook page was “For only $20 dollars, you can have a week of sexy snapchats featuring the hosts of Getting It In!” The Facebook post has been taken down. Journalism Department Chair Mary Glick told Mustang News that she is starting an investigation into the hosts’ actions and the long-term structure of KCPR. The story first broke at Cal Coast News, a website run by Cal Poly journalism professor Bill Loving.

STATE

A daughter of a woman who was found dead inside her Lakewood apartment is now facing murder charges.  Thirty-two-year-old Angie Diamond was arrested yesterday afternoon in connection with the death of her mother, Margaret Rion.  Sheriff’s officials say the daughter told detectives she killed her mom after an argument.  The murder weapons, a hammer and a knife, were recovered inside the home on Maybank Avenue.  A relative found Rion’s body on Tuesday evening.

Opening statements in Bryan Stow’s trial against former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt will take place today.  Jury selection wrapped up Wednesday in Los Angeles.  Stow has claimed the Dodgers were negligent with security around Dodger Stadium when he was attacked in the parking lot on Opening Day of 2011.  The San Francisco Giants fan nearly died in the assault and was left with permanent brain damage.

A lawsuit against Wells Fargo for discriminatory lending is moving forward.  The lawsuit was filed by the city of Los Angeles.  It alleges Wells Fargo issued loans to minority borrowers that they could not afford.  The lawsuit also claims the predatory loans triggered a sharp rise in foreclosures and a loss of property tax revenue.  A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the city’s claims were adequate enough for the case to proceed.

Los Angeles officials are concerned about the damage a powerful earthquake could do to the City of Angels. The City Council has authorized the Department of Building and Safety to put together a list of pre-1978 wood-framed apartment buildings that could collapse in the event of a major earthquake.  Roughly 200 such buildings were either damaged or destroyed in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.  Over eleven-thousand buildings will now be inspected to see if they need to be earthquake-proofed.

A suspected violent rapist is now in jail after police tracked him down when he used his victim’s credit cards.  Police say Miguel Torres, a convicted felon, followed a 19-year-old college student as she drove home shortly after midnight Saturday, then attacked and raped her at her apartment complex in unincorporated Hayward.  Torres later used her credit card at a car wash and at a convenience store.  Detectives arrested Torres last night at his home in Hayward.

The Bay Area is mourning the death of author and poet Maya Angelou, who died yesterday at the age of 86 in North Carolina.  As a teenager, she studied dance and drama in San Francisco, and at age 16, she became the city’s first African American street car conductor.  She later began her career as a nightclub singer in North Beach.  She changed her birth name of Marguerite Johnson to the professional name of Maya Angelou and built her fame to the point where she began touring with national productions.

A former San Francisco firefighter is pleading not guilty to DUI charges in connection with a 2013 crash between a motorcycle and his fire truck.  Michael Quinn is alleged to have been driving drunk last June the night he hit a motorcyclist with his fire truck as they were on their way to a call.  The motorcyclist suffered serious injuries in the crash and is still recovering.   Quinn appeared in court yesterday and remains out of jail on 100-thousand-dollars bail.

UC Berkeley students are honoring those killed in the Isla Vista rampage.  In a vigil held on the Berkeley campus last night, hundreds of students held up candles along with UC Santa Barbara students and alumni.  The Cal-Berkeley student who organized the vigil told KTVU it was a way for the university community to heal and move forward.  Many at the vigil wrote messages on a banner to be sent to students at UC Santa Barbara.

NATION

The Justice Department can begin investigating claims of mismanagement at Veterans Affairs medical centers, after a late night House vote.  The House voted near midnight Wednesday to fund the investigation.  The vote came after the VA inspector general reported Wednesday that veterans waited an average of 115 days for an appointment at the VA medical center in Phoenix.  VA guidelines call for appointments within 14 days of requests for treatment.

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden says he has no ties to Russia’s government.  In an interview broadcast on NBC Wednesday, Snowden said he is not under the government’s control and hasn’t given any classified documents to Russia during the year he’s been there under asylum.  Snowden leaked information about NSA electronic and phone surveillance of Americans when he gave documents to reporters for the “Washington Post” and Britain’s “Guardian” last year.  Snowden said he destroyed classified documents before he landed at a Moscow airport.  The Russian government granted him temporary asylum nearly a year ago.  Snowden says he would like to return to the U.S., where he’s wanted on espionage charges.

At least 14 people are reported dead after a Ukrainian military helicopter was shot down today near the eastern city of Slovyansk.  MIlitants in the rebel stronghold are claiming responsibility for downing the helicopter.  One of those killed was reportedly a general.  The self-declared mayor of Slovyansk also tells CNN that pro-Russian separatists are holding four European observers who’ve been missing since Monday.  He would not elaborate on their exact whereabouts.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel continues his 12-day overseas trip today.  Hagel will leave Alaska’s Elmendorf Air Force Base this morning to travel to Singapore for a conference on security in the Asia-Pacific region.  After that he’ll attend a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, followed by stops in Romania and France.

5/28/2014

LOCAL

Twenty-thousand people gathered at Harder Stadium in UCSB for the memorial service to honor the six students that were murdered in Friday night’s shooting spree in Isla Vista. Religious leaders, Chancellor Henry Yang and UC President Janet Napolitano spoke at the memorial and said that instead of asking why, the focus should be on honoring the six that died. Napolitano provided glimpses into the lives of some of the victims, saying that George Chen was an engineering student who loved playing basketball with his dad and was a volunteer YMCA counselor; Katie Cooper was captain of her high school water polo team, and James Hong volunteered at a nearby Chinese language school. Richard Martinez, the father of Chris Martinez, received a standing ovation for his speech, in which he blamed the shooting spree on politicians in Washington, D.C. for not reforming gun laws and started a pep rally chant of “Not one more!” The Isla Vista community will continue to honor the six that died in the shooting by creating a 10,000 ribbon memorial and a memorial wall at Pardall Center.

KVEC Morning News has learned from PG&E that there are currently 760 San Luis Obispo customers without power. The outage began at 1:38 this morning. The cause is still under investigation.

A truck hauling a double trailer knocked down a utility pole at 8:47 yesterday morning in Arroyo Grande, closing both lanes of Los Berros Road until 10 last night and be closed again this morning at 9 in order for the scene to be cleared. The driver of the tractor-trailer was hospitalized with minor injuries. The truck was traveling at an unsafe speed and the driver misjudged a curve, causing the truck to overturn on the roadway, strike a pole and a tree and travel down an embankment. The collision with the utility pole caused the cable and phone lines to hit a second vehicle, but the driver was unhurt. The CHP is requesting motorists use an alternate route.

A commercial burglary took place in Morro Bay on Monday at around 3:30 a.m. An unknown subject forced his way into a closed business and stole a safe. The suspect is believed to be an adult male wearing a dark blue hoodie, dark pants and black shoes. The business is reporting a $7000 loss from the robbery. Contact the Morro Bay Police Department if you have any information on the incident.

STATE

Orange police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident that killed a male driver and injured his female passenger.  Authorities say it happened around 9:40 last night on Tustin Avenue.  The California Highway Patrol says the hit-and-run driver was behind the wheel of a dark Ford pickup truck that collided with the victim’s SUV.  The Ford Explorer overturned while the suspect is accused of driving form the scene.

Class will be in session today at the University of California Santa Barbara for the first time since last Friday’s violent rampage that left six students dead.  During a memorial service yesterday, speakers remembered those who were killed, and praised the community for coming together following the tragedy.  The event came just days after Elliot Rodger stabbed three people to death in his apartment.  He then took to the streets near the UCSB campus last Friday, fatally shooting three students.  UCSB officials cancelled classes yesterday and declared a “Day of Mourning and Reflection.”

Authorities are investigating a weekend murder-suicide in La Habra, which apparently took place two days before a triple murder-suicide in another part of Orange County.  Sheriff’s officials say the bodies of 31-year-old Alaina A’Lurede and her 35-year-old husband, Kevin, were found in their duplex on Greenwood Avenue in La Habra Saturday afternoon.  Deputies made the gruesome discovery after family members raised concerns.  Four bodies were found in a Mission Viejo home yesterday in another apparent murder-suicide.

Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling is reportedly mounting a rushed sale of the team and could be naming a potential new owner this week.  The “Los Angeles Times” reports Sterling is trying to sell the Clippers before a Tuesday deadline, when a vote will decide whether to strip control of the team from the Sterlings.  One likely bidder says the team could go for more than a billion dollars, which would be the highest sale price in NBA history.

Two high ranking San Francisco fire officials are facing suspensions for their actions after an incident where a firefighter, who’s suspected of driving drunk, hit a motorcyclist while driving a fire truck.  Last summer, surveillance video shows a fire rig slamming into a motorcyclist at the intersection of 5th and Howard, and the motorcyclist suffered serious injuries after skidding across the road and hitting a fire hydrant.  Forty-three-year-old Michael Quinn was driving that rig, and hours later his blood alcohol registered point-one-three, well above the legal limit.  Assistant Chiefs Art Kenney and Dave Franklin weren’t on the rig at the time of the crash, but responded to the scene afterward, and are accused of not following proper department policy.

A man is dead after he was shot by his brother following an argument last night in Oakland.  The shooting happened around 7 p.m. on Aileen Street in north Oakland. Police say after the two brothers argued, one of them left but came back with a shotgun, and during a struggle, one of them was shot.  This is Oakland’s 35th homicide this year.

Almost seven-hundred firefighters continue to battle the Hunters Fire in Mariposa County.  The blaze has now grown to more than thirteen-hundred acres and is only about twenty percent contained. Two homes and another structure have been destroyed and about one-hundred other homes are threatened, forcing evacuations. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries and an inmate firefighter sustained a moderate injury while using a chain saw. Officials say the fire started Monday as a structure fire.

Napa County agriculture officials says they found glassy-winged sharpshooter eggs last week, during an inspection of plants sent to a local plant retailer.  The sharpshooter can be devastating to wine grapes in Napa County, but while it has infested Southern California counties for years, it has yet to take root in Napa.  Apparently the egg masses were on two crape myrtle trees that had been shipped to Napa County from a San Diego County nursery.  The “Napa Valley Register” says after testing, the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture determined the eggs had the potential to hatch.  All of the crape myrtle trees and other plants shipped by the San Diego County nursery were returned Friday.

NATION

President Obama steps up the defense of his foreign policy.  Giving the commencement address this morning at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the President said the landscape is changing.  Graduating cadets cheered when Obama told them that they are the first class since 9-11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.  He argued that the U.S. must devote more attention to domestic priorities after more than a decade of war.  He called America the world’s most indispensable nation, the place most other nations turn to in times of crisis.  He also stressed that the U.S. must always lead on the world stage.

Americans are paying tribute to the late Maya Angelou.  The renowned author and poet passed away today at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the age of 86.  Dr. Angelou’s family released a statement noting that “she lived life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being.”  Others are tweeting their respects.  Russell Simmons called Angelou “one of the greatest women this world has ever known.”  New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio tweeted “Rest in peace Dr. Maya Angelou. The world is a better place because of your voice.”

Class will be in session today at the University of California Santa Barbara for the first time since last Friday’s violent rampage that left six students dead.  During a memorial service yesterday, speakers remembered those who were killed, and praised the community for coming together following the tragedy.  The event came just days after Elliot Rodger stabbed three people to death in his apartment.  He then took to the streets near the UCSB campus last Friday, fatally shooting three students.  UCSB officials cancelled classes yesterday and declared a “Day of Mourning and Reflection.”

A showdown is looming between Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Three top VA officials have been asked to appear before a House Committee in a rare evening hearing set for tonight.  However, the VA has yet to confirm its officials will attend.  Tonight’s hearing is an attempt to learn more about a secret waiting list at the VA facility in Phoenix that may have led to dozens of veteran deaths.

5/27/2014

LOCAL

UCSB has called today a “Day of Mourning and Reflection” and classes have been cancelled to give students time to grieve from the shooting in Isla Vista on Friday. A memorial will be held for the victims at 4 p.m. at Harder Stadium. UC president Janet Napolitano has reassured students that on-campus resources will be increased for those affected by the shooting. The shooting spree occurred at 9:30 Friday evening when a Santa Barbara City College student allegedly murdered six people and injured 13 others. The shooter, identified as Elliot Rodger, stabbed and killed three people in his apartment complex, who have been identified as Rodger’s roommate Cheng Hong, George Chen and Weihan Wong. All three of them were UCSB students and from the Bay Area. Rodger went to the Alpha Phi sorority house and aggressively knocked on the door. Nobody answered, so Rodger began shooting at people across the street. The three victims who were shot and killed have been identified as UCSB students Katherine Cooper, Veronika Weiss, and Chris Michaels-Martinez. Martinez grew up in Los Osos and graduated from San Luis Obispo High School in 2012. His basketball and baseball coaches described him as a coach’s dream, a hardworking team player who was always smiling. People who knew him described him as well-known and well-loved. Martinez planned to follow his mother’s footsteps, San Luis Obispo Deputy District Attorney Caryn Michaels, and go to law school.  Rodger also killed himself. Police have discovered a 140-page manifesto written by the alleged shooter, as well as YouTube videos in which Rodger lamented that girls were not attracted to him and wanted revenge to prove that he was the superior Alpha male. Questions have been raised as to how Rodger was able to legally obtain three guns even though he had a history of depression and seeing therapy.

A Canoga Park man was arrested yesterday morning in Santa Maria for burglary and arson. Local business security personnel called 911 and reported a man had shattered a window and opened a door into one of the building’s offices. Police surrounded the place and ordered anyone inside to come out, and shortly after Isael Vasquez surrendered without incident. Vasquez attempted to light a fire inside the building. He is currently in Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $50,000.

Cal Poly will be hosting an NCAA Regional for the first time in NCAA I history. The Big West champion Mustangs, which set a school record for posting a 45-10 record in the regular season, will be hosting four games Friday-Monday at Baggette Stadium. Cal Poly will be hosting Sacramento State, Arizona State and Pepperdine.  Cal Poly will face-off against Sacramento State, and the winner will go on to play against the winner of the Arizona State/Pepperdine matchup. The winner of the SLO Regionals will face the winner of the Fort Worth Regionals.

SLO City Council candidate Eric Meyer has announced that he is dropping out of the race. Meyer, an entrepreneur and former city planning commissioner, said in a letter to supporters that friendship means more to him that political aspirations. Three council seats are up for election in November. Mayor Jan Marx and Councilwoman Carlyn Christiansen will seek re-election, while Councilwoman Kathy Smith will not seek re-election. Two other candidates have declared their candidacy for city council, Gordon Muller a financial planner with Zuk Financial Group and Daniel Gano, executive director of UK nonprofit LINK.

STATE

The deadly stabbing and shooting rampage in Isla Vista reignites gun control debates in Southern California.  Hours after the deadly massacre Tony Strickland, a Republican running for Congress in California, sent out automated campaign phone calls with a pro-gun rights message to thousands of area voters.  Meanwhile, California Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat, says this tragedy needs to be a starting point for politicians to push for stricter gun laws.  The National Rifle Association has remained tight-lipped about the shooting in which 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people and hurt 13 others in a murderous rampage before shooting himself Friday night.

A childhood friend of the Isla Vista killer is speaking out.  Lucky Radley says he’s shocked to find his name in a 137-page manifesto Elliot Rodger wrote about his tortured life.  Rodger wrote about Radley’s arrival at his middle school saying he hated him, and was extremely jealous that Radley had been popular with the girls at his Westlake Village school.  Radley says the Rodger he knew had been a smart loner who never looked him in the eye and had very little to say.  Radley also says he can’t believe what Rodger said in his YouTube videos, where he described his plans for bloodshed.

An investigation is underway after a man is found shot to death inside a plumbing store in Highland Park.  Police responded to a shots fired call yesterday, and a man identified by family members as Irving Serrano had been pronounced dead at the scene.  Police say Serrano had been shot in the doorway of the business.  Detectives are not releasing any information about possible suspects, and it’s unclear if the shooting is gang-related.

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy is in stable condition after being shot in the stomach.  Authorities say the deputy got shot during a struggle with a suspect in North Long Beach yesterday.  During the struggle the armed suspect tried to remove a deputies’ handgun, and both deputies on scene pulled their weapons and fired, killing the suspect.  The injured deputy underwent surgery at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood for the gunshot wound.

University of California President Janet Napolitano is reassuring UC Santa Barbara students in the wake of last Friday’s mass murder near campus.  Napolitano says they’re taking steps to increase on-campus resources for those affected by the tragedy.  UCSB officials are also teaming up with the local county sheriff’s office and have opened an Emergency Operations Center.  UCSB officials are calling today a “Day of Mourning and Reflection” in light of the violent rampage that killed six students.  A memorial service will be held at Harder Stadium at 4 p.m. Pacific time.

In the wake of Friday night’s bloody rampage near UC Santa Barbara, more information released says there are now five victims from the Bay Area.  Three of the victims of Elliot Rodger found stabbed to death in his apartment were UC Santa Barbara students, two of them from San Jose and one from Fremont.  One of the survivors is Nick Pasichuke of Alamo, whose legs were both broken when Rodger hit him with his car.  His friend, Patrick Eggert of San Rafael, was on his bicycle when he too was struck, but he was able to get up and walk, after suffering a leg injury.

Morning commuters should find southbound Interstate 280 open when they travel into the city this morning. The construction project that closed down a portion of southbound Interstate 280 over the Memorial Day weekend, was finished ahead of schedule and should be reopened no later than 5 a.m. this morning.  The closure allowed work to be done on bridge hinges, which allow the bridge to accommodate expansion and contraction, especially during an earthquake.

One man is dead and two more are wounded in an apparent drive-by shooting in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood late yesterday afternoon.  Police were alerted to the intersection of Keith Street and Palou by their ShotSpotter system, and when they arrived, they found two gunshot victims.  The victims were taken to a local hospital where a third victim had been brought in by a witness.  One of the victims died at the hospital, and police say no arrests have been made.

NATION

Today is a “Day of Mourning and Reflection” for the University of California-Santa Barbara community.  UC Santa Barbara officials are encouraging students, faculty and staff to use the day to help come to terms with the violence that took the lives of six students.  A memorial service is scheduled for 4 p.m. Pacific time.  Faculty and counselors will be available on campus.  Sheriff’s officials say Elliot Rodger stabbed three people to death in his apartment Friday night, then killed three students and wounded 13 others during a shooting spree in the college town of Isla Vista before killing himself.

An oil patch camp in North Dakota is in pieces after a tornado touched down near Watford City.  Authorities say at least nine people were injured last night, but eight were treated and released.  The ninth victim was taken to a hospital for treatment.  Two other tornadoes were reported, but no other damage has been confirmed.

More than a thousand families in Alaska are back home this morning, three days after a huge wildfire forced them to evacuate.  The Funny River fire is burning on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.  Six-hundred firefighters have the 240 square mile fire about 30 percent contained.  Light rain today may give fire crews a boost.  Evacuation orders are now lifted for two communities that were threatened by the Slide Fire in northern Arizona.  The fire that’s burned more than 18-thousand acres near Sedona is now 35 percent contained.

First Lady Michelle Obama is going fork-to-fork with House Republicans and food industry leaders who want to cut back on school lunch standards.  She’s expected to testify against a bill that would allow school districts to opt out of federal rules limiting sodium and requiring more fresh fruits and vegetables in lunches.  The food industry is pushing the measure that has the backing of House Republicans.  Today’s speech will be a rare move for the First Lady, who typically steers clear of legislative battles.

5/23/2014

LOCAL

San Luis Obispo Police Officers say they arrested Morro Bay resident Eric Abril, who was charged for robbing The Sub. At 8:30 last night, police received a report that one of the employees was assaulted. The unidentified victim was found with significant facial injuries from being kicked in the head. The employee was hospitalized. Police found a man who matched the suspect description hiding in the bushes on Higuera and Marsh Street, tried to talk to him but he ran away. SLOPD told KVEC Morning News that the man was running through the creek. SLOPD, Sheriff’s K-9 Investigation and Cal Poly University Police chased him for 20 minutes before they caught him at the U.S. Post Office on Dalidio Road. Abril is being charged with robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury, resisting arrest, possession of a switchblade, and an outstanding felony warrant from Santa Clara County. He is currently held in SLO County Jail without bail.

The 13-year-old Atascadero boy missing since Monday morning was found yesterday afternoon and is reunited with his grandparents. Jeremiah Austin Valdez was found at a local junior high school after making Facebook posts and contacting someone at the school, who contacted the police. It was not immediately clear where the juvenile had been since Monday.

List of events throughout SLO County on Memorial Day Weekend:

Illuminate: Spring Dance Concert in SLO

Great Western Bike Rally in Paso Robles

28th Annual Festival of Beers in SLO

Cal Poly Early Music Ensemble

Memorial Day Celebration on Pismo Beach Pier

Lost at Sea Memorial Day Service in Cayucos

Avila Beach Blues Festival

The 31st annual Arroyo Grande Strawberry Festival starts Saturday and runs through Sunday. Guests can enjoy live entertainment, carnival games, and plenty of strawberries. Arroyo Grande police say the event attracts crowds of up to 100,000 people, so police are closing streets, creating detours and designated parking areas, and providing transportation to visitors. Free bus transportation to the festival picks up at the Saint Patrick’s Catholic School on Rodeo Drive at West Branch Street, as well as the Arroyo Grande High School parking lot on Fair Oaks Avenue and Valley Road.

It’s graduation day at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria and Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. The 93rd graduating class will celebrate commencement at Allan Hancock’s Santa Maria campus Friday at 1:00 p.m. on the commons. The school says 858 students are graduating. At Cuesta College, the nursing pinning ceremony is happening at 11:00 a.m. Friday, followed by the General Commencement Ceremony at 3:00 p.m. in the gymnasium. This is the 49th annual Commencement Ceremony at the school and 724 students will be graduating.

Austin Ross, the man who barricaded himself in his girlfriend’s apartment in a 90-minute standoff with the police yesterday, was arrested for the fourth time this year. On May 13, Ross was arrested for allegedly taking a vehicle without consent and reckless driving. Ross was also arrested back in March for possessing marijuana and in April for possessing a controlled substance. A date for his arraignment has not been determined.

DUI checkpoints will be set up throughout the Central Coast this weekend. One checkpoint will be in Oceano on Saturday. Extra officers will be on duty in San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach, and Atascadero. The California Highway Patrol will start its maximum enforcement period at 6:00 p.m. Friday through midnight Monday.

 

STATE

Los Angeles commuters now have more room on the 405.  Commuters who have suffered through the 405 Freeway construction along the Sepulveda Pass will be thrilled to know the carpool lane is finally opening this morning.  The ten-mile stretch from the 10 Freeway to the 101 closes the gap in the 405 carpool network.  Drivers will now be able to stay in the carpool lane from Orange County through the Sepulveda Pass.

We now know three victims of a deadly bus crash in Blythe are from Los Angeles County.  Authorities said yesterday that 44-year-old Luz Rivera of Compton, 49-year-old Angel Hernandez of Hacienda Heights, and 67-year-old Pablo Ramirez of Pico Rivera had been passengers on the bus.  Police say the bus hit a load of metal pipes strewn across the freeway from a jackknifed big rig, slid down an embankment and overturned earlier this week.  Nearly three-dozen people were hurt in the crash, with injuries ranging from minor to critical.

A construction worker is behind bars after allegedly using a hammer to attack a co-worker.  A heated argument between two construction workers turned physical when one of the men allegedly began beating the other in the head with a hammer yesterday.  Authorities say the argument happened during a renovation project at an apartment building in Hollywood, and the injured man died after being taken to the hospital.  Witnesses say the attacker seemed dazed as he walked away from the scene, but cops caught up with him soon after.

An investigation is underway after possible human remains are found in an upscale neighborhood.  Caltrans workers discovered bones that were possibly human in the exclusive Linda Vista area of Pasadena yesterday.  Police say Caltrans workers had been clearing brush near the 210 Freeway at San Rafael Avenue.  The county coroner’s office showed up and will determine if the bones are human.

A 22-year-old man is dead and a 48-year-old man injured in a shooting and crash in Hayward.  Officers arriving at the intersection of West Winton and Saklan Roads last night found a traffic accident and the younger man suffering from a deadly gunshot wound.  The older victim was taken to a local hospital where he is in stable condition.  No motive for the shooting or suspect information have been released.

Vice President Joe Biden will be in San Francisco next week to attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.  He’ll be in town Wednesday for an afternoon fundraising reception at a private home.  The last time Biden was here was last June when he attended a Democratic fundraiser in San Francisco’s Seacliff neighborhood.

Marine experts are still trying to examine the body of a young humpback whale that washed up on shore north of Half Moon Bay.  It washed up Wednesday and the tide took the whale’s carcass about a mile offshore yesterday afternoon.  Scientists are following its progress and say they expect it to end up at Surfer’s Beach.  They hope to do a necropsy on the whale today to find out why the whale died.

It appears that no one is hurt after gunshots were fired in front of San Francisco City Hall.  Around 3 p.m. yesterday shots were fired at the corner of McAllister Street and Van Ness Avenue.  Police are investigating whether a group of people standing at the street corner were the intended targets.  One person has been detained for questioning.

NATION

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki promises to end the delays in treatment for veterans.  On Thursday, the VA chief made that promise in a message to veterans.  The VA inspector general is investigating more than two dozen hospitals where there are claims of care delays and allegations that employees falsified records or kept secret scheduling files to cover up the time it took for vets to get treatment.  The most glaring charge is that as many as 40 veterans died while waiting for care at the VA medical center in Phoenix, Arizona.

The electric chair could make a comeback in Tennessee.  Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill Thursday allowing use of the electric chair as an option for executions if lethal injection drugs are unavailable.  The law was introduced as some states are having difficulty obtaining drugs for lethal injections.

The Obama administration is breaking its silence about a U.S. Marine who’s been jailed for weeks on gun charges in Mexico.  A State Department spokeswoman confirmed that Secretary of State John Kerry raised the issue of Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi in meetings this week in Mexico City.  Tahmooressi was arrested near Tijuana, Mexico on April 1st after allegedly making a wrong turn near a border crossing with legally purchased guns in his truck.

Today’s weather forecast carries a promise and a threat for firefighters battling a wildfire in Arizona.  The forecast calls for stormy conditions that could bring rain, which will dampen the flames.  However, strong wind could drive the 75-hundred acre fire even farther into scenic, wooded canyons. More than 800 firefighters, including 15 elite hotshot crews and three air tankers have the fire about five-percent contained.

5/22/2014

LOCAL

A man barricaded himself in a San Luis Obispo apartment yesterday after the San Luis Obispo Gang Task Force tried to arrest him. The man, identified as Grover Beach resident Austin Ross, was wanted for possessing a firearm and a stolen vehicle. The standoff began at around 2 p.m., when Ross came outside briefly and then went back inside his girlfriend’s apartment on Stenner Street and refused to come out. Ross has a criminal history and record of carrying a firearm, so a lockdown was ordered around the area and the SWAT team was brought in. Cal Poly students received a PolyAlert e-mail to avoid Stenner Street since it was close to campus. After an hour and a half, the standoff ended with Ross coming out of the apartment wearing a Halloween-styled mask with his hands in the air and surrendered to the authorities. He is currently in SLO County Jail facing charges of possession of a firearm, stolen vehicle and evading arrest.

Atascadero police are searching for a missing juvenile. Thirteen-year old Jeremiah Valdez left his home without permission and his whereabouts are unknown. Valdez is considered to be at-risk because of his age and the fact that he is on depression medication. He is not considered suicidal and is believed to be going towards his mother in Hanford, California. Valdez is described as a 5 foot 5 Hispanic male who was last seen wearing a shirt with racing numbers on it, blue jeans and black shoes. If you have any information on Valdez, contact the Atascadero Police Department at (805) 461-5051.

Paso Robles police are looking for two men who a robbed a woman’s home Tuesday night a little after nine. The woman heard someone knocking at her door and answered it to find two young Hispanic males wearing all black and holding a knife. The men demanded cash and jewelry and the victim complied. Both men fled the scene.

The San Luis Obispo City Council awarded itself and its top attorney a pay raise Tuesday evening. The council twice voted 3-2, with council members Dan Carpenter and Kathy Smith voting against the raises. Council members’ base salaries will increase by $12,000 and the mayor’s base salary will increase by $14,400. City Attorney Christine Dietrick will get a base salary raise from $168,000 to $175,006, her third in three years. Smith said council members deserve more pay but voted against the increase, saying people should not choose to serve on council for the money. Carpenter and Smith argued that if Dietrick got a raise, then other city employees would demand more pay in upcoming negotiations. Councilman John Ashbaugh, Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson and Mayor Jan Marx supported the raise for Dietrick, arguing that Dietrick makes less than other California city attorneys and if they didn’t pay her, she would likely leave for another city.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is holding a public meeting in San Luis Obispo today to talk about its assessment for the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. The meeting will be at the Embassy Suites off Madonna Road from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. NRC staff will talk about the details of the assessment and answer questions. The NRC has rated Diablo Canyon as Column One, meeting it will get a normal level of oversight this year.

STATE

The California man accused of holding a woman captive for ten years is headed to court this morning.  Forty-one-year old Isidro Garcia is accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old girl in August 2004, holding her captive for ten years and repeatedly sexually assaulting her.  Garcia reportedly got falsified identity documents for the girl to keep her hidden, and beat the girl after she tried to escape.  The woman who is now 25 walked into a police station on Monday and told police that she feared her daughter, who Garcia fathered, may become the next in line to be abused.  Garcia will face a judge for his alleged crimes later today.

Neighbors say a Torrance mother who allegedly stabbed her three children to death had been trying to kill herself.  Carol Coronado is accused of stabbing her three young daughters to death, and is currently in the hospital.  Neighbors say the grandmother of the kids just happened to stop by Coronado’s home Tuesday, when she found Coronado naked, covered in blood, trying to stab herself.  The godparents of the three girls say plans for the girls to be baptized had been underway.  Once released from the hospital Coronado will be booked on three counts of murder for the deaths of her daughters.

A series of fundraisers are being planned to help the family grieving the loss of three murdered children.  Torrance police say 30-year-old Carol Coronado stabbed her three daughters to death on Tuesday.  Neighbors say the children’s father had been working on a friend’s car across the street, when the grandmother stopped by their home to stumble upon the gruesome scene.  A Facebook page entitled “Angels Coronado” says a car wash in Carson has been planned in honor of the three girls, and the money will be given to the family to help pay for funeral expenses.

Police are searching for a man who tried to rob a woman in Los Feliz. Authorities say a man approached the woman early yesterday morning near the one of the entrances to Griffith Park.  Apparently the man tried to rob the woman, and she fought back before the guy took off on a bicycle.  Officials at the scene say the woman is recovering from the violent attack, and are looking into the possibility that the attack may be linked to a sexual assault in the same area that happened last week.

A man is fighting for his life after suffering head injuries when he was hit by a Muni light-rail vehicle in San Francisco yesterday.  It happened around 2:15 p.m. as a westbound N-Judah train was crossing 15th Street.  Police say the 29-year-old man apparently stepped out into the street where he struck the rear of the second car, and fell to the ground.  The man underwent surgery last night and is expected to be in intensive care through the night.

The elderly man who faces attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting at his former doctor last month, is back in jail after a judge increased his bail to two-million-dollars.  Eighty-four-year-old Raymond Iwase allegedly was angry with his doctor for pain treatment he received years ago that he said wasn’t effective.  Iwase went to the medical office in Daly City last month, found the doctor and started shooting at him.  The elderly man was originally released after posting a 500-thousand dollar bond, but the judge increased it after the doctor said he was afraid of Iwase being out of custody, and the fact that the gun used in the shooting is still missing.

Scientists will try to figure out what led to the death of a baby humpback whale that beached along the San Mateo Coast.  Several beach combers tell ABC7 they spotted the dead whale floating in Half Moon Bay Wednesday afternoon, before it eventually drifted toward the Pillar Point RV Park, where it washed up.  The California Academy of Sciences says it will examine the whale today and eventually do a necropsy to see how it died.  The Pillar Point Harbor master says it’s their responsibility to dispose of the carcass, so that means they’ll likely tow it out to sea.

For the second time in as many days, a Bay Area construction worker has perished on the job.  Authorities say the man was unloading sheetrock at a site on Sierra Road in San Jose yesterday when he fell some three stories to his death just after noon.  Cal/OSHA is among the agencies investigating the accident.  Tuesday, a 54-year-old Fairfield man died after falling from the top of a wall at a townhouse construction site at the former Bay Meadows race track in San Mateo.

NATION

Americans are spreading the blame for the Veterans Affairs crisis.  A new poll by CBS News has VA secretary Eric Shinseki getting a third of the blame.  About one fourth of those surveyed blame the alleged patient delays on local VA hospitals.  Only 17 percent blame President Obama.  The President’s designated troubleshooter for the Veterans Affairs crisis is in Arizona today.  Several employees at the Phoenix VA facility say as many as 40 veterans may have died after being placed on secret waiting lists.

Claims for first time unemployment benefits are up.  The Labor Department says initial jobless claims jumped by 28-thousand last week to arrive at a total of 326-thousand.  That’s far more than 310-thousand or so economists had been expecting.

The Southern California man accused of holding a young woman captive for ten years is headed to court this morning.  Forty-one-year old Isidro Garcia is accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old girl in 2004, holding her captive for ten years and repeatedly sexually assaulting her.  The woman, now 25, walked into a police station Monday and told police that she feared her daughter, whom Garcia fathered, might be the next in line to be abused.

Nevada casinos could start taking bets on Presidential elections.  A state legislative committee will decide next week whether to recommend betting on federal election outcomes.  Supporters say it would give Nevada sports books a new proposition bet, while opponents fear wagering will influence an election’s outcome or hurt voter turnout.  The issue could be decided in next year’s Legislature, in time for the 2016 elections.

5/21/2014

LOCAL

The proposed dorms at the Grand Avenue entrance at Cal Poly were voted on by the California State University Board of Trustees Committee on Capital Planning, Building and Grounds to move the project forward. The vote was unanimous. The full CSU Board of Trustees is expected to vote later today on the full environmental certification and an amendment to Cal Poly’s master plan today in Long Beach. The university views the dorms as necessary to meet the demand for more than 3000 beds on campus, while nearby residents are concerned that the dorms will make the area noisier, and increase traffic and late-night partying.

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors decided to let the people vote on if they should ban fracking and cyclic steaming. The Santa Barbara County Water Guardians gathered about 16,000 signatures to ban fracking. It was the last item on the county supervisor’s meeting agenda yesterday in which more than 300 people attended. Fracking involves putting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into rock to make small fractures to extract shale gas and oil. Santa Maria Energy’s representatives at the meeting say their method of cyclic steaming is not fracking because they use hot water to steam the well to make oil flow out easily. Environmentalist groups want both drilling methods banned, claiming they both result in contaminated water, a waste of water given the drought and both cause earthquakes. Representatives with the petroleum industry say their methods are safe and bring in money and jobs for the county. The proposed ban will be on the ballot in November.

Four Cuesta students were arrested yesterday for stealing sheep from the Cal Poly campus. Cal Poly police received a report around 10:30 a.m. that the sheep were missing and found them in a San Luis Obispo apartment complex. The four students, George Pappas, Paul Italiano, Torin Miller and Matt Pappaleo were arrested at around 4:30 p.m. and could be charged with felony grand theft of livestock.

The City of San Luis Obispo is scheduled to break ground on the SLO Skate Park at Santa Rosa Park today at 3:30 p.m. The project includes an outdoor amphitheater, a fitness path, a public art area, and streetscape plaza. The project is funded by Measure Y, the city’s sales tax, as well as other grants. The city hopes to complete the skate park by next year.

Paso Robles residents reported seeing a male breaking into a vehicle on Wade Dr. The subject fled the scene in his car when the police arrived. The police were able to stop him and identified him as Robert Cordoza. Cordoza was found in possession of tools and other items from the victim’s car, and arrested for theft. He is currently in San Luis Obispo County Jail.

Four minors were arrested in Paso Robles on Monday for possession of stolen property. Officers were dispatched to look into the four minors, as they looked suspicious since they were dressed in black, carrying bags and looking into vehicles. Some of the items the four juveniles had stolen included iPods, cameras, MP3 players and other electronics. Since they’re minors, their identities will not be released.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office is reminding people to lock their car doors and hide any valuables after more than a dozen thefts from vehicles have been reported in the past month in San Luis Obispo and Avila beach. In each case, doors were left unlocked and items were in clear sight. The Sheriff’s office says to report any suspicious activity to local police.

The Pismo Beach City Council voted 4-1 last night to develop an ordinance to allow a resident to keep a trio of surfing goats at his home. Dana McGregor regularly takes his goats, named Pismo, Grover and Goatee out surfing. The goats live in McGregor’s backyard. Pismo Beach allows goats to be on the beach, but does not permit them to be in city parks or be kept or raised within city limits. The proposed ordinance would allow McGregor’s surfing goats to live at his home and he could take them anywhere in the city as long they are leashed and he cleans up after the animals. No more than four goats would be allowed on private property a permit would be needed to keep or raise goats in Pismo. The proposal would also allow the animals to be in city parks. If approved, the new ordinance would be in effect for a one-year trial period. The surfing goats can be seen on YouTube or at surfinggoats.com.

An emergency training drill will happen near Port San Luis today. There will be simulated emergency communications broadcasted over radios. The communications will include the statement, “This is a drill,” but the San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Management wants everyone to know it is just training in case that part isn’t heard. The drill is part of regular emergency planning and readiness efforts at Diablo Canyon.

Last Saturday, Paso Robles police responded to a report of a single-vehicle rollover that resulted in a fatal collision. The investigation is ongoing, but the victim has been identified as Jenna Clarice Burgener. Toxicology reports are being conducted to determine if alcohol played a role in the incident. If you have any information, call the Paso Robles Police Department at (805) 237-6464 or if you want to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at 549-STOP.

STATE

Four people are reported dead following a deadly bus crash in Riverside County.  According to the California Highway Patrol, a semi-truck jack-knifed and spilled a load of pipes onto Interstate 10 near a border inspection station near Blythe, California around 2 a.m. local time this morning.  The pipes spilled into the westbound lanes, causing the tour bus to overturn. In addition to the dead, several other people are reported in serious or critical condition following the accident.  The freeway is shut down in both directions as the emergency response continues.

A pedestrian is dead after being struck by a car on a freeway offramp in South El Monte early this morning.  The California Highway Patrol says a vehicle exiting the westbound 60 Freeway hit the victim near North Rosemead Boulevard.  The driver reported the accident to authorities around 4:20 a.m.

A 21-year-old woman accused of driving drunk and causing a deadly wrong-way crash is heading to court today in Diamond Bar.  Olivia Culbreath of Fontana will be arraigned on six counts of murder.  In February, she allegedly was behind the wheel of a car that drove the wrong way on the 60 Freeway at a high rate of speed before crashing head-on into another vehicle.  Six people were killed in the crash including Culbreath’s sister.

The public will get to weigh in today on whether a serial rapist should be released to a Los Angeles-area home. A Santa Clara County judge in San Jose will hear public comment this morning on the case of Christopher Hubbart, who has been dubbed the “Pillowcase Rapist.”  He admitted to raping 40 women between 1971 and 1982.  He’s scheduled to be released to a home in Palmdale, but L.A. County officials and residents believe Hubbart should be released in Santa Clara County by law because that’s where he lived prior to his time behind bars.

Facing an accreditation crisis, more support keeps pouring in to keep California’s largest community college alive.  U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi released a letter yesterday from the U.S. Department of Education that says the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has the authority to give City College of San Francisco more time to comply with commission standards.  The commission claims that it has no authority to do so.  City College is preparing for a record-high number of graduates at its commencement this Friday.

A man is dead after he was shot at a public housing project in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood last night.  The shooting happened shortly after 9 p.m. in the first block of Turner Terrace.  An officer found the man with a gunshot wound to his head.  So far, no arrests have been made.

A group of former NFL players is suing the league, claiming team doctors illegally drugged injured players with pain meds to keep them on the field.  Former 49ers All-Pro center Jeremy Newberry says he’s paying the price for what he calls the league’s win at all costs mentality.  The 38-year-old says he has only 35-percent kidney function and is one step away from needing dialysis or a kidney transplant.  The class action suit lists eight former players as defendants along with more than 500 other “retained” plaintiffs who played in the NFL between 1969 and 2008.  The league has yet to comment on the suit.

Cal/OSHA is investigating the death of a worker who fell from a residential construction site in San Mateo yesterday afternoon.  San Mateo Police say the worker fell about 15 feet from the top of a wall he was helping to build at a townhouse building on McCown Avenue, the site of the former Bay Meadows race track.  Attempts were made to revive the man, but he died at the scene.

NATION

President Obama and some of his top aides meet this morning to discuss problems at the Veterans Affairs Department.  Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Ron Nabors are scheduled to meet with the President.  Nabors is assigned to look into claims that delays at VA hospitals have contributed to the deaths of patients.  He’ll visit the VA facility in Phoenix on Thursday.

Four people are reported dead following a bus crash in Riverside County, California.  The California Highway Patrol says a semi-truck jack-knifed and spilled a load of pipes onto Interstate 10 early today near a border inspection station outside Blythe, California.  The pipes spilled into the westbound lanes, causing the tour bus to overturn.  A number of people are reported in serious or critical condition.  The freeway is shut down in both directions.

Tea party-backed candidates struck out in Tuesday’s Republican primaries.  Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell easily dismissed tea party challenger Matt Bevin in Kentucky.  And Idaho GOP Congressman Mike Simpson ran up more than 60-percent of the vote in turning back a challenger who drew support from anti-tax groups.  In Georgia’s five-candidate Senate primary, tea party candidates ran far behind businessman David Perdue and Congressman Jack Kingston.  Perdue and Kingston will meet in a July runoff.  And a Democrat with a familiar name is now challenging Republican Governor Nathan Deal in Georgia.  Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, won Georgia’s Democratic primary.

New York’s National 9-11 Museum at Ground Zero opens to the public today.  The museum is filled with artifacts, photos, video, and audio from the 9-11 terrorist attacks.  There will be a morning ceremony dedicating a National 9-11 American flag to the museum.  The flag flew at Ground Zero for months while workers cleaned up debris.

5/20/2014

LOCAL

San Luis Obispo County’s 5.2 percent jobless rate in April is the lowest unemployment rate for the county since May 2008. This puts San Luis Obispo County as sixth best among California’s 58 counties, with Marin County as the lowest at 3.9 percent and Imperial County as the highest with 21.6 percent. San Luis Obispo County’s rate was also below the unadjusted April unemployment rates of 7.3 percent for California and 5.9 percent for the nation. Last month, 133,400 people were counted as employed in San Luis Obispo County out of a total civilian labor force of 140,700. Most of the job growth in the county was due to an increase in government jobs, with 900 government jobs added in April.

Fire officials are calling this one of the worst fire seasons on record in California. The Lompoc Fire Department described the recent San Miguelito fire as “fair”, saying that residents need to be prepared to evacuate at any time. Otherwise, they could be trapped. Officials say residents should have a “go-bag” filled with important documents, medication, identification and other important items ready just in case. To help residents be prepared, the Lompoc Fire Department is hosting a “Read, Set, Go” fire preparedness event on June 7 at the local Home Depot.

The Board of Trustees of the California State University will hold a public hearing today in Long Beach about the proposed dorms on the Cal Poly campus. The dorms would be at the Grand Avenue entrance to campus and would house about 1500 freshmen. Cal Poly hopes to have the dorms completed by 2018. Neighbors are concerned that there will be more noise, late night partying, vandalism, and traffic.

A three-vehicle accident occurred traffic collision occurred on Broad Street yesterday. SLO resident Derek Johnson hit the car in front of him, and the car propelled forward and hit another car stopped at a red light. The driver of the stopped vehicle was injured, although his injuries are not life-threatening. Johnson was arrested for a felony DUI causing a collision with injuries.

A large fight occurred at a wedding reception at Moose Lodge last Saturday. The fight broke out in the parking lot, requiring officers from other police departments to break up the fight. The suspect, Oceano transient Daniel Berumen, was a guest at the reception and assaulted two people during the fight. Both victims had severe injuries to the head and hand likely caused by a knife. The victims were hospitalized, but their injuries were not life-threatening. Berumen is currently in SLO County Jail and is being charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and battery.

5/19/2014

LOCAL

A suspected DUI driver was hospitalized with major injuries at 9 Sunday night after a traffic collision on State Route 41. A 71-year-old from Cayucos was driving on State Route 41, south of Bear Ridge around 9:00 p.m. Sunday. Police say Atascadero resident Roberta Silva was driving north on Highway 41 and Silva over the double yellow lines right into the path of the other car. Silva was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, and authorities say she will face DUI charges. The driver of the other car and his passenger both suffered minor injuries. Two other accidents happened as a result of the first accident, including one car diving off the roadway, and a four-car rear-ending accident.

A Santa Maria man was stabbed early Saturday morning. Police officers responded to a report of a disturbance on W. Lee Drive in Santa Maria and detained several people who were driving away from the area. The unidentified victim was taken to a local hospital in a private vehicle, and his injuries were not life threatening. The stabbing is still under investigation.

A Paso Robles woman was killed in a single car accident Friday. Investigators say the driver was driving on Spring Street a little after 1 a.m. when she hit a parked vehicle and then hit a curb, causing the car rolled onto the driver’s side. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene and will not be identified until next-of-kin have been notified. It is unclear if alcohol or drugs were involved.

Cal Poly students have given a family in need the house of their dreams. Through a program called Polyhouse, 26 Project Management graduate students give an extreme home makeover. They remodeled a family’s home in Grover Beach and unveiled it on Sunday. The resident has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, so the home was remodeled to fit his needs. The remodeled home features a handicap accessible bathroom, a new kitchen, and a lift to help the man living there get out of bed and into his wheelchair. The students held fundraisers to pay for the remodeling and received donations from local businesses. The family would have had to pay $100,000 to renovate the house had it not been for the Polyhouse program.

A car crashed through a Presto Pasta restaurant window on De La Vina Street in Santa Barbara Friday night. Firefighters said the accident occurred when a driver in her 80s accidentally hit the accelerator and drove into the restaurant. The restaurant closed and will be boarded up. There were no reported injuries.

STATE

The happiest place on earth just got more expensive.  Days ahead of Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer, Disneyland on Sunday quietly raised its ticket prices and suspended new sales of one of its popular annual passes.  A single day ticket to either Disneyland park or Disney California Adventure has gone up from 92-dollars to 96 for guests ten and up.  Disneyland also boosted the cost of its annual passes while suspending sales of its popular Southern California annual pass, which allowed pass holders into both parks on Sundays.  Disney didn’t say a word to the public before pulling the trigger on the price hike.

Some Marina Del Rey residents have a stinky situation on their hands.  Thousands of dead fish washed up along the shore over the weekend, and experts say it’s due to a lack of oxygen in the water.  The fish, consisting mostly of anchovies, floated to the surface of the water near Ballona Creek on the coast, and people who live in the area say the smell is atrocious.  Harbor seals, pelicans, and seagulls, on the other hand, are attracted to the harbor to feast on the fish.  Crews hope to have the remainder of the fish cleaned up later today.

A man is being evaluated after being found naked inside an apartment crawl space.  Witnesses say the naked man had been running around the complex yesterday, acting weird and appeared to be incoherent.  Authorities say he broke off the cover to the crawl space of the building and went about 30 feet underneath the structure.  Rescue crews pulled him out shortly after, quickly covered him with a sheet, and restrained him heavily before taking him to the hospital to be evaluated.

A man is dead after being shot by police in North Hollywood.  Authorities say the man had been throwing rocks at parked cars on Stagg Street, and started throwing rocks at them when they arrived.  Officers tried to subdue the man with bean bags, but police say he whipped out a knife and started charging after them.  Cops opened fire, and the man was pronounced dead at the scene yesterday morning.

Out of over 40-thousand runners yesterday, only three people were injured during the Bay to Breakers race, and so far, no one has been reported seriously hurt during the partying after the race.  Police say there were four arrests made, two for public intoxication.  In all, a total of 35 people were arrested or cited yesterday, including a rather bizarre incident where a naked man was arrested for harassing a bison at the paddock at Golden Gate Park.  Of the elite runners, Geoffrey Kenisi was the first male, and Diane Johnson was the first woman to cross the finish line.

A young man is dead after it appears he fell off a rock near Grizzly Peak Road above the U-C Berkeley campus Sunday.  Campus police says it looks like the victim, described as a Latino man in his early 20’s, parked his car at an overlook, and hiked down alone to the 100-foot rock, where he slipped.  A hiker found his body at the bottom of the rock and tried to give him CPR, until she realized he was deceased.  Investigators have not released the man’s name, or whether he is a student at Cal.

Eight boaters are safe this morning after they were rescued from their sinking outrigger canoe yesterday afternoon from the chilly waters of the Bay.  San Mateo County Sheriff’s rescue boats were directed to the waters about a mile from shore, north of Coyote Point.  They found eight people hanging on to their canoe, whose stabilizing pontoon had broken off.  All of the boaters were safely brought back to shore, where paramedics treated them for minor injuries.

When their four-year contract with the Oakland A’s is up at the end of this season, the Sacramento River Cats are reportedly interested in changing their Triple-A affiliation to the San Francisco Giants.  The “San Francisco Chronicle” is citing anonymous sources with the A’s and the River Cats.  The paper says A’s officials have approached the River Cats about extending their affiliation, but that the River Cats said they wanted to wait and see how the season played out.  A River Cats spokesman said he didn’t know if the teams have discussed extending their agreement.

NATION

Same-sex marriages could begin today in Oregon.  A judge is expect to issue a decision following a challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex unions.  Gay and lesbian couples sued over the voter-approved ban and the state Democratic attorney general refused to defend the constitutionality of the measure.  The decision is expected at noon local time and several county recorders say they are ready to issue same-sex marriage licenses if the ban is overturned.

Two more telecommunications giants are looking to merge.  AT&T and DirecTV yesterday announced a nearly 50-billion dollar merger that will create a powerhouse to rival the largest cable companies.  Under the deal AT&T will gain DirecTV’s 20 million subscribers.  The combined company will be able to offer phone service, high-speed internet and paid television subscriptions.  The massive merger is sure to create new concerns over competition and number of options available to consumers.

Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce cyber-crime charges against several Chinese nationals today, including some that work directly for the Chinese government.  An unnamed U.S. official with knowledge about the announcement says the suspects used government facilities to do their spying on American companies.  It will be the first time the U.S. has brought cyber-crime charges against a foreign government official.

People are heading back home in San Marcos, California after a wildfire destroyed thousands of acres.  Authorities say all the evacuation orders in the area have been lifted, and all roads are being reopened.  The blaze consumed more than three dozen structures in its path, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes and possessions behind.  Fire officials said Sunday that the San Diego area’s Cocos Fire is nearly 90-percet contained, and police have arrested a man for allegedly trying to loot the empty homes.

5/16/2014

LOCAL

The California Highway Patrol chased after a stolen vehicle yesterday. Police followed the car on Highway 47 it until they were able to stop it on Paseo Ladera Lane in San Luis Obispo County. The driver was identified as 41-year-old Angel Herrera III, who was a wanted parolee with a handgun and body armor.

A motorcyclist is in the Intensive Care Unit after being hit by an SUV yesterday morning at 9:45. A 26-year-old female rider was riding her motorcycle at the intersection of Sacramento and Capitolio when the 47-year-old Arroyo Grande driver of an SUV didn’t yield the right of way to her and resulted in an accident. The motorcycle rider was transported to Sierra Vista hospital and is in stable condition but the extent of her injuries is unknown at this time. The driver of the SUV did not show any signs of impairment and was released at the scene.

An attempt to trap the bear spotted in Nipomo on Wednesday was unsuccessful. The bear was first seen on Tejas Place at around 7:00 a.m. and then it was seen again a little after 5:00 p.m. by the little league fields at Nipomo Regional Park. An off-duty wildlife official followed it into a wooded area, but lost track of the animal when it was spooked by a couple of hikers talking loudly. California Fish and Wildlife officials set up a trap for the bear overnight, but were unable to catch it. They estimate the black bear is about 200 pounds and that it’s probably looking for food because of the drought.

A car crashed into Nucci’s Pizza Restaurant in San Luis Obispo yesterday at 3:45 p.m. in the parking lot in front of the restaurant. The driver was trying to park when her foot got caught between the pedals, causing her to press on the gas. Her car jumped the cement parking barrier, and crashed into the front window of the restaurant. An unidentified Los Osos woman inside the restaurant was knocked to the ground and suffered minor injuries from the window’s shattered glass. The driver was not injured, and police do not believe drugs or alcohol were involved.

 

A Santa Maria woman was arrested for threatening to kill another person. Last night at 7:06, 53-year-old Charlyne Walker had two knives and was threatening to kill someone. She barricaded herself in a room, causing police to enter the room and arrest after a brief struggle. Walker is currently in Santa Barbara County Jail and could be facing charges for terrorist threats and brandishing weapons in a threatening manner. Her bail is posted at $100,000.

 

The cause of the San Miguelito fire in Lompoc has been determined. Santa Barbara County Fire Department investigators concluded that the Miguelito Fire on May 13th started from a 12,000 volt power line contacted an untrimmed tree, causing embers to drop down and ignite the dry brush along the hillside. The fire is currently 95% contained and is expected to be 100% contained by 6 this evening.

 

A Goleta woman faces a possible child endangerment charge after leaving her nine-month-old son unattended in a hot car.  A passerby at Magnolia Shopping Center saw the baby alone in the car buckled in its car seat and called 911.  Even though the back windows were slightly rolled down, the temperature was about 95 degrees. The baby was taken out of the car safely and in good condition.  The baby was released back to the mother with a referral to Child Welfare Services. The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind residents to never leave a child in the car unattended on a hot day, as it causes the child to rapidly overheat and can have deadly results.

 

STATE

 

Two firefighters are in the hospital after being injured fighting a large commercial fire in the Los Angeles area.  The three-alarm fire started in a building that featured a cellphone store in San Gabriel and quickly spread to two neighboring businesses Thursday night.  Firefighters from South Pasadena and Monterey Park were called in to assist with the fire.  The two firefighters suffered minor injuries.  The cause of the fire is unknown.

 

Police are warning female joggers in Griffith Park to be aware after a recent sexual assault incident in the park.  LAPD officials say a woman was jogging near Mount Hollywood Drive Wednesday morning when a man grabbed her, punched her and tried to sexually assault her.  The woman was eventually able to run to safety.  Police released a sketch of the suspect yesterday, saying he’s a Hispanic male in his early to mid-30s, five-foot-seven with a light complexion, short brown hair and a mustache.

 

Former NFL Pro Bowler Darren Sharper heads back to court today in regards to the rape charges he faces.  Sharper’s attorneys have filed a motion demanding L.A. County prosecutors turn over more details of their investigation.  Sharper learned this week he will not face assault charges in Florida after prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence.  The former NFL safety is being held without bail after being charged with raping two women after allegedly drugging them in West Hollywood.  In total, he’s accused of raping eight women in four cities, including West Hollywood, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Tempe, Arizona.

 

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck wants to stay on the job.  Beck formally notified the Police Commission yesterday he plans to seek another five-year term as the head of the LAPD.  He’s required by the city charter to formally put such a request in writing.  The decision was widely expected.  The Police Commission will spend the coming months holding public forums and meeting with the chief before deciding in August whether or not to grant his request.

 

There’s word of additional engineering problems with the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge.  According to a report in the “San Francisco Chronicle,” Caltrans officials say they know about the shifting of several hundred steel rods that could be a threat to the stability of the bridge.  The report says the rods are now closer to some sharp-edged plates and that could mean damage to the bridge’s main cable in the event of a major earthquake.  The report says the fix could add up to millions more dollars for a bridge that already has a six-point-four-billion-dollar price tag.

One man is arrested and large amounts of drugs, rifles and ammunition are now the possession of police after a raid on a ranch in rural American Canyon Thursday morning.  After a two-month long investigation, Fairfield police along with help from Sonoma and Napa County sheriff’s offices, raided the property located on Canyon Road.  Forty-four-year-old Graciano Colin was arrested, and methamphetamine, marijuana, and weapons were confiscated.  Yesterday’s raid is connected to two other raids in the last two months in Cordelia and Fairfield in which five people have been arrested on drug and weapons charges.

That frightened little Chihuahua rescued from the center-divide of Interstate 680 in Walnut Creek last week by a CHP officer, is back home with her family.  Apparently the dog, who was nicknamed “Freeway,” was not intentionally left there as had been previously suggested. Her family, two young girls and their father, had been desperately searching for nearly a week for their furry friend after she somehow escaped from their backyard.  Thanks to the power of social media, the family was reunited with their dog, whose real name is Charm, yesterday at the Contra Costa Animal Services facility in Martinez.

A suicidal woman is dead after she was shot by a Concord police officer when she pointed a gun towards officers.  Police responded to a home on Pacheco Street around 5:30 yesterday afternoon after receiving a call from a woman who said someone was trying to kill her.  The caller then told police she was suicidal, and when officers arrived, they found a woman with a gun.  When she pointed the gun toward them, the woman was shot by one of the officers.  She was pronounced dead at the scene.

NATION

Fire crews in San Diego County, California are battling record heat and more than a half-dozen fast-moving wildfires.  Flames have already destroyed dozens of homes in San Diego’s North County region and more are in jeopardy.  Nine wildfires have scorched at least ten-thousand acres.  Police arrested two teenagers yesterday after a witness told officers he saw the two spotted the pair allegedly setting a fire in a city park in Escondido.  Police have not said if they think the two are responsible for any of the other devastating wildfires in the North County.

President Obama is honoring the 60th anniversary of a history-making Supreme Court ruling.  Obama has issued a presidential resolution stating “Brown v. Board of Education shifted the legal and moral compass of our nation.”  The 1954 ruling outlawed racial segregation in public schools.  Obama noted that ten and eleven years after the high court ruled in Brown, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.  Saturday is the 60th anniversary of the Brown ruling.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling doesn’t plan to pay the two-point-five-million dollar fine handed down by the NBA.  A number of news organizations report that Sterling’s lawyer told the league that his client will not pay the fine and that he should not have been punished at all for racist comments that were recorded and made public by a female friend.  NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined Sterling and banned him for life from any activities involving the team or the league.  Silver is urging other owners to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.

The Arizona woman convicted of shooting and stabbing her ex-boyfriend to death is headed back to court today.  Jodi Arias was found guilty last year of murdering Travis Alexander at his suburban Phoenix home in 2008.  Jurors could not agree on whether she should be sentenced to life or death, so her sentencing retrial is scheduled for September.  Lawyers will be arguing today over whether video cameras should be allowed in the retrial and whether a Sheriff’s investigation can be entered into evidence.

5/15/2014

LOCAL

The San Miguelito vegetation fire has burned about 832 acres and caused $862,000 in damage since it started at 1:30 Tuesday afternoon on San Miguelito Canyon Road in Lompoc. The fire is about 90% contained. More than 500 firefighters spent the night containing the fire. Santa Barbara County Fire hopes to have the fire completely contained by this morning. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Atascadero Citizen of the Year and former real estate developer Kelly Gearhart pleaded guilty yesterday in the federal court in Los Angeles to fraud and money laundering charges after scamming investors of up to $20 million. Gearhart, currently living in Wadsworth, Ohio, accepted a plea agreement in which he plead guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. Prosecutors are going to seek a federal prison sentence of more than 11 years and restitution be paid to his victims.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for a bear last seen near Nipomo Regional Park. The bear, which according to KSBY is described as a large, chocolate-covered black bear, was first seen Wednesday morning near Tejas Place. Deputies went to a school near the bear sighting to protect elementary school kids.  The Fish and Game warden recommends bringing garbage cans inside overnight and not to leave pet food outside in order to keep bears away.

The Amgen Tour of California has arrived in the Central Coast. The race finished in Cambria last night, and begins at the Pismo Beach Pier this morning at 11:45 to Santa Barbara. There will be road closures in Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande for the race.

Camera equipment was stolen from a KSBY news vehicle on Monday at the Pismo Beach Pier. A KSBY employee confronted the man who stole it, causing the man to drop the equipment and drive away from the parking lot.  Police arrived to stop the man, identified as 44-year-old Vinil Patel from Monterey, and took him into custody for grand theft. Patel is currently in SLO County Jail.

The 32nd annual Paso Robles Wine Festival begins today, and runs through Sunday. The festival celebrates everything the Paso Robles wine region offers, featuring special tastings, seminars, and more than 130 winery events. Saturday is the grand tasting. Paso Robles Downtown City Park will have wines from more than 60 wineries for tasting. Tickets are available at pasowine.com.

Downtown SLO bars have decided to remain open at 6 a.m. on June 14 and 15 for graduating Cal Poly students to drink alcohol before the graduation ceremony. Last month, Cal Poly Vice President of Student Affairs Keith Humphrey and SLO Mayor Jan Marx sent a letter to the bars and asked them to delay serving alcohol on the morning of graduation to prevent drunk students from disrupting the ceremony. After a meeting Tuesday morning, the bars decided to remain open so students could continue the “pub crawl” tradition of drinking at 6 in the morning with friends and family. ASI student leaders requested the bars to continue the tradition to allow students and parents to take responsibility for their behavior. Cal Poly hopes to roll out a “responsible celebrations at graduation” educational campaign in the upcoming weeks.

STATE

Fire danger will be top of mind once again around the Los Angeles region today.  A red flag warning remains in effect for Los Angeles and Ventura counties, though its been allowed to expire for Orange County.  Winds will be a little weaker than in previous days, but officials say they remain concerned about the potential for wildfires to break out during abnormally hot temperatures.  The concerns come as a state of emergency has been declared down south in San Diego County as several wildfires continue to wreak havoc in that region.

An oil spill is gumming up the morning commute for one Los Angeles-area community.  Los Angeles Fire officials say a 20-inch pipe carrying oil ruptured this morning in Atwater Village, sending 50-thousand gallons of crude oil into the streets.  Fire officials say a handful of businesses are impacted by the accident and that the oil is “knee-high” in some areas.  The rupture turned into a geyser at one point, sending oil flying some 30 feet in the air.  The break happened near a strip club, which was evacuated as a precaution.

Three people are wanted by police in connection with a crash that killed a grandmother in Covina.  Police say three young men were in a car that crashed into a vehicle late Wednesday.  A passenger in the other vehicle, 88-year-old Livia Jansen, died in the accident.  The three men in the other car fled the scene following the crash.

Posters warning travelers about the MERS virus are going up at Los Angeles International Airport.  Signs about the potentially deadly virus are being put up at LAX to remind passengers that it can spread at places such as airports.  The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has killed roughly one in three people who contract it in the Middle East and recently made its way to the U.S. in the form of two confirmed cases.  Both patients were healthcare workers who live in Saudi Arabia and had flown in to the U.S.

Oakland’s interim Police Chief Sean Whent is now the city’s new permanent chief after his appointment yesterday by Mayor Jean Quan.  The 39-year-old Whent took over the department a year ago after the departure of then-chief Howard Jordan.  In making the move, Mayor Quan praised Whent’s efforts at making Oakland a safer city and in implementing reforms which were required in the wake of “The “Riders” police misconduct case.

Steve Kerr is surprising the basketball world after choosing to become the next head coach of the Warriors instead of the Knicks.  It was widely believed Kerr would join his mentor Phil Jackson in New York, as the two spent five years together while Jackson was the head coach with the Bulls.  Golden State gave him five years and 25-million dollars fully guaranteed.  Earlier Wednesday, reports said that New York added a fourth-year to their offer.  Kerr has no head coaching experience, but was the Suns president and general manager from 2007 through 2010.

Richmond police say they have a lead but have not made an arrest in the shooting of a 14-year-old boy that prompted a school lockdown yesterday.  A fight broke out in a park across the street from John F. Kennedy High School around 8:30 in the morning.  The boy was shot in the leg and ran to the school to get help.  Kennedy High School was briefly locked down, with students arriving and those already there, not allowed to leave.  Police say the shooting was likely caused by a dispute between several people and was not gang-related.

Two people are hospitalized this morning, after a semi-truck hit a building near the Castro District, triggering a two-alarm fire.  Fire officials say the truck hit a business on Market Street between Sanchez and Noe Streets around 12:30 a.m.   Crews battled the fire until the wee hours of the morning.  It is not known if the people who were rushed to the hospital were inside the truck or the business that was hit, but their conditions are unknown.

NATION

Thousands of San Diego area students will stay home today due to several wildfires that are burning around the region.  Over two dozen school districts, including San Diego Unified, are closed today as the fires continue to rage.  California Governor Jerry Brown is declaring a state of emergency for San Diego County as multiple fires burn in the area.  A red flag warning is in effect with more than nine-thousand acres already blackened.  The biggest concern is now the fire burning in San Marcos.  It has caused the evacuation of Cal State University San Marcos and surrounding homes.

A long-awaited national 9-11 museum is being dedicated today in New York City.  The President and First Lady Michelle Obama will headline the ceremonies at the new National September 11 Memorial and Museum today.  The memorial features artifacts from that fateful day in 2001.  The museum has been eight years in the making and took about 700-million dollars to build.  Most of the funding came from private donations.

Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki will face tough questions from senators during a hearing today on Capitol Hill.  Shinseki is under fire over problems at VA health clinics.  He has ordered a comprehensive review of all VA health clinics, including scheduling problems that may have led to the deaths of at least 40 veterans at the VA’s facility in Phoenix.  Shinseki, a retired Army general, has rejected calls to resign.

General Motors is recalling more than 140-thousand Chevy Malibu sedans over a possible brake problem.  The automaker says 2014 model year cars equipped with 2.5 liter gas engines featuring the automatic stop/start option could become disabled.  Dealers will fix the electronic brake control module software.  GM has already issued a massive two-and-a-half-million car recall to fix defective ignition switches that are linked to more than a dozen deaths.

5/14/2014

LOCAL

A vegetation fire broke out in Lompoc yesterday around 1:30 p.m. on San Miguelito Canyon Road. About 700 acres have been burned. Reverse 911 calls had gone out to 1200 homes and businesses as well as numerous evacuation orders. Some evacuated residents can return to their homes, but there is still a mandatory evacuation order for people south of Willow Road. The fire is about 50% contained, with no property damage or injuries so far.A shift in the wind caused the fire to move towards Highway 1, causing Highway 1 to be closed for the day.

An Arroyo Grande drug raid led to the arrests of eight people last Thursday at around 7 a.m. on Sunset Drive. Police found heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and cash at the Arroyo Grande home. The home was deemed uninhabitable due to electrical issues and other hazards. Thirty-nine-year-old David Blashaw was arrested for possessing heroin for sales and methamphetamine, 20-year-old Haley Dockstader was arrested for possessing heroin for sales and bringing a controlled substance into jail, 39-year-old Dani Niemas was arrested for possessing heroin for sales, 30-year-old Kara Jeffords was arrested for possessing heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, 33-year-old Matt Jeffers was arrested for possessing heroin, 29-year-old Dustin Palmer was arrested for a probation violation, 32-year-old Reynaldo Herrer was arrested for possession of paraphernalia and 28-year-old Kaney Hughes was arrested for two misdemeanor warrants.

A Cambria antique store and gas station reported a group of individuals using counterfeit $100 bills in their stores. A man and two women entered the antique store within minutes of each other, separately purchased a small item, and each paid for that item with a counterfeit $100 bill for a total of $300. Shortly afterward, the three suspects and an additional female entered the gas station and used another $100 counterfeit bill. The suspects are described as being in their early to mid-twenties, with the male wearing a black baseball hat, two of the females have blonde hair and one of the females having brown hair. The serial numbers on the counterfeit bills were all the same. The Sheriff’s Office is warning local businesses to be aware that this type of activity is taking place in the county. For more information on how to spot counterfeit bills, log on to www.secretservice.gov.

A woman is being questioned for possibly being connected to a Santa Maria apartment fire Tuesday morning. Crews arrived to North Broadway around 6:15 a.m. and found one apartment unit on fire and smoke coming from nearby units and the attic. The unit where the fire started is completely wiped out. Two people were believed to be inside when the fire started and one of them has been detained. No one was injured in the fire.

A Cal Poly student tested positive for norovirus and 27 other students have similar symptoms. The virus, which has symptoms that include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, is the primary cause for the stomach flu and lasts one to three days. It is believed that the virus spread from the Stagecoach music festival in Indio, which was held April 25-27. Treatment includes adequate hydration and medicine for nausea. Campus physician Dr. Greg Thomas says that the number of cases of norovirus on campus is dwindling and that they hope they’ve seen the worst of it.

STATE

Gusty Santa Ana winds, dry conditions and soaring temperatures are fueling another day of “extreme” wildfire danger.  The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning that will last until eight tonight in Ventura, Orange and Los Angeles counties.  Powerful winds are expected to blow at speeds of about 25 miles an hour in mountain, forest and valley areas, with gusts of up to 45 miles an hour.  Temperatures are forecasted to reach triple digits, breaking records or at least getting close to breaking records.  A cooling trend could begin on Friday.

A novice motorcyclist who was allegedly riding without a helmet or headlights is dead in a wrong-way crash in Brea.  A witness says around 11:30 last night he saw a motorcycle traveling the wrong way on Imperial Highway and crashing head-on with an SUV.  Police say the motorcycle had drifted into the westbound lanes.  The victim’s friend says the man had borrowed the motorcycle from him but had no experience riding one.

Three people are in the hospital after a shooting at a Los Angeles County shopping mall.  Sheriff’s officials say gunfire erupted at the Lakewood Center Mall Tuesday evening.  Two female victims were apparent bystanders to the action, while the third male victim was one of the gunman’s targets.  All suffered non-life-threatening wounds.  The gunman in question remains at large.  A motive for the shooting is unknown.

Los Angeles officials want to legalize street vendors.  A City Council committee has agreed to form a group that will work on a proposal that would allow such vendors to apply for permits.  Street vendors selling all different kinds of food are fairly common in Los Angeles, but most vendors of that sort are selling their wares illegally.  The Council committee wants vendors to be able to show they are following city regulations and health laws before being able to secure a permit to legally sell food on the streets.

It’s a third “Spare the Air” day as Bay Area residents are doing what they can to “beat the heat” with weatherwatchers expecting record or near record temperatures again today.  The National Weather Service has issued heat advisories for the Bay Area and Monterey Bay region.  Forecasters say coastal cooling is expected to develop by Thursday while hot weather will persist inland.  All locations should see further cooling by Friday.

Rohan Dennis is the winner of Stage Three of the Amgen Tour of California, after surviving the scorching heat over 108 miles yesterday.  Riders left San Jose and had to endure temperatures in the 90’s as they made their way over Mount Hamilton, through the Livermore Valley, and up to the top of Mount Diablo.  Bradley Wiggins maintains his overall lead, and his yellow jersey, despite falling behind the leaders near the end of the race.  While Bay Area temperatures are expected to be even hotter today, Stage Four of the Amgen tour will be cooler as they take scenic Highway 1 down the coast from Monterey and Cambria.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is upset that no charges will be filed against a truck driver who struck and killed a bicyclist last August.  Twenty-four-year-old Amelie Le Moullac was killed during her morning commute when a truck made a right turn and struck her at Sixth and Folsom Streets in the city’s South of Market neighborhood.  Even though surveillance video of the crash revealed that the truck driver was at fault, the D.A.’s office told Le Moullac’s family that they were unable to charge the driver.  In a statement released yesterday the Coalition said the lack of charges in this case is “par for the course.”   They called on city leaders to fund the District Attorney’s proposed Vehicular Manslaughter Unit as well as commit 15-million dollars to street improvements on high-injury streets.

A third-grade Hirsch Elementary boy accused of groping an eight-year-old classmate twice, is no longer at the school.  School Superintendent James Morris made the decision Tuesday morning, about an hour after the girl’s mother started handing out fliers in front of the school calling for the boy’s removal.  She says her daughter was sexually harassed twice in the last six weeks, the most recent being last Thursday.  The girl’s mother has taken her daughter out of Hirsch, and will home-school the third grader for the remainder of the school year because she doesn’t feel it’s safe at any of the schools in the district.

NATION

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are going on the road to campaign for more money to repair highways and bridges.  Obama will make his pitch in New York City today while Biden does the same in Cleveland.  The White House warned this week that the federal highway trust fund will start drying up this summer.  The President and First Lady Michelle Obama will stay in New York for a special and somber event tomorrow.  The National September Eleventh Memorial Museum opens privately Thursday for families of those lost at Ground Zero.

Thousands of people forced out by a wildfire in San Diego are headed back home.  Some five thousand households were evacuated at the peak of the fire Tuesday.  The fire has burned roughly 800 acres of land between Rancho Santa Fe and Rancho Penasquitos and is roughly five percent contained.  The fire has not caused any injuries or structure damage so far.

News anchors from Baltimore’s WMAR-TV are broadcasting from the lobby of their building that was damaged when a man rammed a truck into the facility yesterday.  The barricade drama played out for most of the afternoon before a suspect was arrested.  The suspect apparently tried to enter the building on foot but was turned away by security, then plowed a stolen truck through the glass doors.  The building was evacuated and no one was injured.

Hundreds of miners are trapped more than a mile underground after an explosion and fire at a coal mine in western Turkey.  More than 230 miners are confirmed dead.  Turkey’s energy minister says most of them died from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Rescue teams are working to pump oxygen into the mine.

5/13/2014

LOCAL

The Amgen Tour will arrive in the Central Coast by the end of tomorrow. Some of the best bicycle riders in the world are heading into a difficult Stage Three of the Amgen Tour of California today.  Unusually hot weather with temperatures in the 90s will challenge riders as they tackle the 108-mile ride from east San Jose to Mount Diablo State Park.  The route will feature a ten-thousand-900-foot elevation change, crossing over the summit of both Mount Hamilton and Mount Diablo. Stage Four tomorrow will start in Monterey and end in Cambria, and Stage Five will start on Thursday on the Pismo Beach Pier. Former Olympic champion and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins captured Monday’s Stage Two time trial in Folsom.

Firefighters are cleaning up from a small grass fire that occurred on Cal Poly’s campus yesterday at 3:30 in the afternoon.  A Cal Poly spokesperson says the fire was contained.

A driver was arrested for a DUI after crashing his car into a power pole at 9 Sunday evening in San Miguel. The crash caused numerous homes to lose power for a few hours. Twenty-four-year-old Juan Manuel Murillo Florez from Bradley, was driving north on Mission Street when he veered left and hit the pole. No other vehicles were involved and he was not injured in the crash.

A skydiver was injured yesterday morning at 11:15 from crashing into the North H Street bridge in Lompoc. The man was critically injured in the crash. He is expected to be in Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara.

The California State Parks Department buried a gray whale calf yesterday morning in Morro Strand State Beach after killer whales killed it. The juvenile female gray whale was discovered last Saturday. Last week, Harbor Patrol saw more than a dozen orcas separate a gray whale from its calf. The calf’s carcass indicated that the orcas had eaten its face. Crews buried the whale carcass in the sand at Morro Strand State Beach. Typically, a dead animal wouldn’t be touched in order to preserve the ecosystem, but the dead whale presented a health hazard on a public beach. The State Department asks people to stay away from the burial site.

Today is the last day to buy plastic bags at large grocery stores in Santa Barbara. Beginning Wednesday, a plastic bag ordinance goes into effect at 18 larger Santa Barbara stores and pharmacies. Single-use plastic bags will be banned, and customers will have the option to either bring reusable bags or buy paper bags at 10 cents each. Many Central Coast cities already have bag ordinances.

STATE

It is another “Spare the Air” day in the Bay Area, and there could more coming as another potentially record-breaking heat wave is coming to the region.  The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for most of the area for today and Wednesday.  During the stretch of hot weather, forecasters say temperatures may reach the mid 80s to 90s near the coast and the mid 90s to over 100 degrees inland.  Some relief is expected beginning on Thursday and continuing through Friday.

Oakland police need the public’s help in finding a seven-year-old girl missing since last night.  Kyianna Orear was last seen at her home on 73rd Avenue near International Boulevard around 6 p.m.  The young girl is described as black, standing about four-feet tall, around 50 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair.  She was last seen wearing a black shirt, blue jeans and black tennis shoes.  Kyianna is considered at-risk because of her age.

Three people are hospitalized after a car hit a Muni bus in San Francisco’s Theater District.   The accident happened around 9:00 last night at the intersection of Geary Boulevard and Jones Street.   Witnesses say the driver of a black car making a pizza delivery was driving too fast when he slammed into the middle of the bus.  The driver of the car was taken to the hospital, but it is not clear if the other two victims were on the bus or in the car.  Their conditions are unknown.

The Department of Homeland Security is investigating the discovery of a large amount of pot found inside an abandoned boat.  San Mateo County sheriff’s investigators say the boat and a Chevy Suburban were found on Pescadero State Beach around 8:00 Monday morning.  Authorities believe the boat was used to transport the estimated 12-hundred pounds of marijuana worth one-million dollars, from Mexico, or from a larger boat just off the coast.  Officials think the weight of the pot was too much for the SUV and it became stuck in the sand, at which point, the suspects abandoned the operation.

Donald Sterling’s mouth continues to get him into trouble.  In an interview that aired yesterday, embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling said NBA legend Magic Johnson isn’t a good role model for kids because he’s HIV positive.  Sterling continued to say that Johnson hasn’t done anything for black people in LA, and should be ashamed of himself for his promiscuity.  Johnson took to twitter to voice his frustration over the Clippers controversy saying after this week, no more talk about Sterling, just playoff basketball.  Johnson will reportedly be a guest on CNN tonight to voice more of his side of the story.

Several employees with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department will stand trial for allegedly beating inmates.  The three employees stood in front of a judge yesterday, and were ordered to stand trial for allegedly beating the inmates at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility.  All three pleaded not guilty to the charges, which came after an internal investigation by the Sheriff’s Department, and are due back in court next month for arraignment.  At least 20 other deputies or former deputies have been indicted in federal court on civil rights or corruption offenses.

A Texas lawmaker is trying to woo a hot sauce maker out of California.  Texas state Representative Jason Villalba toured the Sriracha hot sauce plant in Irwindale yesterday, hoping to convince the company’s owner to move his operations to the Lone Star State.  Huy Fong Foods owner David Tran led the tour, showing the politician how the plant works, and says for now he will keep the plant right where it is, but may consider expanding to Texas.  The Irwindale City Council still has not voted on the resolution to declare the plant a public nuisance, but is scheduled to hold a meeting and discuss it again tomorrow.

We now know the ID of the man shot and killed by police.  James White Jr. is dead following a night club brawl inside Infusion Lounge at Universal CityWalk yesterday morning.  Apparently White pulled out a gun and started shooting during the fight, and when officers arrived they saw White with a gun.  Officers shot and killed White, and four other people suffered minor injuries while trying to escape the mobs of running people and were transported to a local hospital.

NATION

The FBI is joining the investigation into the violent death of a New Hampshire police officer.  Officials say Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell was shot and killed just before a house exploded into a ball of flames on Monday.  He was responding to a domestic disturbance at the time.  It’s believed Arkell was shot by a man named Michael Nolan, who died inside the home.  A second officer tried to enter but was driven out by gunfire.

American military personnel are now flying manned surveillance missions over Nigeria in hopes of finding more than 200 missing schoolgirls.  The girls were kidnapped almost a month ago by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.  A new video released on Monday shows about 130 girls, and the group’s leader saying they would only be freed in exchange for the release of jailed militant fighters.

President Obama honors a U.S. Army veteran for heroism in Afghanistan today.  In a White House ceremony, former Sergeant Kyle J. White will be awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor, for conspicuous gallantry during a 2007 firefight in Afghanistan’s Nuristan Province.  He repeatedly put himself in danger while helping others during a fierce battle against Taliban forces.

The suspected collapse of a coal mine has killed at least one miner in Wharton, West Virginia.  WBOY-TV reports the miners’ families confirmed the death.  It’s believed at least two miners were trapped following word of a possible collapse late last night.  The company that owns the mine was cited for more than 250 “significant and substandard” violations last year.

5/12/2014

LOCAL

San Miguel residents finally have power restored. The outage started when a vehicle hit a power pole on Mission Street around 9:10 last night. One person was sent to jail and there were no reported injuries.  The power was restored at 5:43 this morning.

A stabbing domestic incident in Santa Maria police occurred last night a little after five. Thirty-year-old Oscar Nicasio stabbed a woman then stabbed himself on W Taft. Both were sent to a local hospital. The woman was released, as she only had minor injuries. Nicasio will be sent to county jail as soon as he is released from the hospital.

The 32nd annual Paso Robles Wine Festival starts Thursday and goes through Sunday to celebrate the Paso Robles wine region. The festival will feature special tastings, seminars and events. Tickets are available but going fast. For more information, go to pasowine.com.

An unidentified white male adult smashed a window and stole a purse and black Gucci briefcase in a parked car in the Grover Beach 7 Eleven parking lot on Grand Avenue. The female victim was inside the store when the incident occurred. The suspect vehicle is a four door silver sedan with an unknown plate.  There was a similar incident in the Pismo Beach pier parking lot. The suspect had fresh bloody knuckles, which police suspect may be from the Pismo Beach robbery. If you have any information, call Grover Beach Police at 805-473-4511.

A Cuyama transient is in custody after allegedly starting a fire in the backyard of a residence and assaulting one of the homeowners.  Sixty-two-year-old Stephen Howland was arrested last Tuesday and charged with numerous felonies, including arson and assault with deadly weapon. Howland was permitted by a homeowner on Morales Street to stay in the backyard shop.  At approximately 11:20 p.m., one of the homeowners found Howland breaking off wood from a fence to fuel a fire he had started in the backyard.  The flames were four feet high and dangerously close to the house.  The homeowner attempted to douse the fire with a garden hose, but Howland allegedly hit her in the head with either a wooden board or a pellet gun.  When she called out to her family to call 911, Howland ran off into a nearby field. Police found Howland in the field carrying a crowbar in one hand and a knife in the other.  Howland refused to drop the weapons after numerous requests by the police and instead threw a knife in the direction of one the policemen. Police eventually took Howland into custody by using a bean bag round. The police also discovered that Howland was in possession of two additional knives and wire cutters.  Howland is currently in the Santa Barbara County Jail.

The results from an investigation involving a possible animal neglect incident were released last Friday.  Last February, police began investigating the deaths of 25 sheep at Heritage Ranch. The investigation concluded that there is no evidence that negligence occurred. They came to this conclusion based on the fact that the sheep owner had a good reputation and there was no evidence of any mistreatment towards the sheep. Independent experts determined that the sheep likely died from excessive rain and high winds. The results from the investigation were reviewed by the District Attorney’s office, which came to the same conclusion.

STATE

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is apologizing for making racist remarks.  In his first interview since the Clippers controversy began, Sterling sat down at his Beverly Hills home with Anderson Cooper over the weekend.  During the interview Sterling says he’s not a racist, he loves the league, his partners and believes he’s entitled to one mistake after more than three decades as an owner.  The interview, which is set to run tonight on CNN, came nearly two weeks after Sterling was banned from the NBA for his comments, fined two-and-a-half-million dollars.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for Los Angeles County.  High temperatures, gusty Santa Ana winds and low humidity can be a bad combo for LA County, and fire crews are on high alert.  With the drought, fire officials say the brush is dry and brittle, and if a fire were to ignite under the expected conditions, things could get out of hand quickly.  Fire departments in Ventura and Los Angeles counties are beefing up their staff and bringing on more engines in preparation for the worst case scenario.

A murder suspect is behind bars after surrendering to police.  Augustin Garcia of Whittier is accused of shooting and killing a man Saturday in front of the home he shared with his family.  Garcia walked into the Whittier police headquarters yesterday and was quickly arrested.  Friends who gathered at a makeshift memorial at the shooting scene say the victim didn’t know the shooter, but police believe the opposite.

An investigation is underway after a man is found shot to death in Huntington Beach.  Police say a man in his 40s has been found dead after being shot multiple times on Memphis Avenue yesterday.  Officers shortly learned the Huntington Beach Police Department received a call the night before regarding firecrackers in the area and someone yelling, but responding officers didn’t find anything unusual.  The time of death appears to be consistent with the time of the call of firecrackers.

A one-year-old boy remains in critical condition after he fell into a swimming pool in Concord last night.  When firefighters pulled the little boy out of the pool at a home on Ducker Court, he was non-responsive.  Paramedics worked to save the child, and he was eventually taken to Children’s Hospital Oakland.  How the boy fell into the pool is unknown.

A small private plane is parked in a field at Sandia California National Laboratories in Livermore after making an emergency landing.  The single-engine plane experienced electrical issues, and the pilot landed the plane about five miles east of the Livermore Municipal Airport.  The pilot was not hurt in the landing, and the plane was not damaged.  The FAA is investigating the cause of the engine problem.

Mark Cavendish is the leader after the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California that went through Sacramento yesterday.  Stage Two is set to get underway in Folsom today.  It’s the Folsom Time Trial portion of the event and is a 12-and-a-half mile race that begins on Sutter Street and will finish back in Folsom’s historic downtown district.  Tomorrow’s Stage Three starts in San Jose and finishes at Mount Diablo State Park.

Parishioners are in shock after a Davis priest is charged with statutory rape.  Forty-five-year-old Father Hector Coria of Saint Jame Catholic Church was arrested Friday by Davis police.  Officials say Coria allegedly befriended the 17-year-old victim in late 2013, and began a sexual relationship with her a short time later.  Coria was booked into jail on Friday, but was no longer in custody as of Saturday night.  The church said Coria would not return to the parish, even if cleared of all charges, and a new priest will likely be appointed within the month.

NATION

States where tornadoes ripped through yesterday could see a replay today.  Tornadoes tore through Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska on Sunday.  The National Weather Service forecasts severe weather and the possibility of flooding from the Central Plains to the Great Lakes today.  Twisters on the Plains Sunday missed cities, but cut a wide swath of damage in rural areas.  However, no deaths or serious injuries are reported.

There are reports this morning that hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls could be released.  The terror group Boko Haram has released a video purportedly showing some of the 276 girls who’ve been missing since mid-April.  In the video, the group’s leader says the teens have converted to Islam and will be held hostage until a deal is struck with the Nigerian government to release imprisoned militants.  Word of the video comes just one day after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said he thinks “success will soon be achieved” in locating the girls.

Virginia State Police confirm they’ve found the body of the third victim from a deadly hot air balloon crash.  The balloon with three people on board drifted into a power line and burst into flames north of Richmond on Friday.  Family members and the University of Richmond confirm that two staffers from the women’s basketball program, Ginny Doyle and Natalie Lewis, were on board.  The father of Daniel Kirk confirms his son was piloting the balloon.

Apple is slashing the time it takes to get a refund for online purchases.  People who buy from Apple’s online store can now get refunds in less than a week, instead of the ten days it used to take.  Apple is making the change in an effort to get more people to buy iPhones and other devices directly from the firm’s website, instead of from retailers including Amazon and Best Buy.

5/9/2014

LOCAL

Yesterday, Los Angeles resident Miles Hill sued San Luis Obispo-based charter bus company Silverado Stages and FedEx for negligence after surviving a deadly bus crash last month. KVEC Morning News reached out to Silverado Stages for comment. Silverado directed us to regional claims manager Jim Saunders at Lancer Insurance.

“Silverado continues to cooperate with the agencies involved in investigating this tragic accident. Their hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones and to those who were injured. We are unable to make any comment with regard to pending litigation,” Saunders said.

The bus crash, which involved a FedEx truck running into a bus filled with students, resulted in ten dead, including five students.

A memorial service for former San Luis Obispo County Judge Christopher Money will be held today at noon in San Luis Obispo. The service starts at the mortuary in Nipomo Street, followed by a short military graveside service at Los Osos Cemetary, and a reception at Elks Lodge. Judge Money died at 79 years of age after a yearlong battle with cancer. A well-known prosecutor and judge who headed the county’s first drug court, Money worked closely with the women’s shelter and the sexual assault response team. The former judge is survived by his wife, Judy, three sons, and two grandchildren.

Two Pismo Beach stores sold tobacco to a teenager during a sting operation on Tuesday. Police recruited a local teenager to try to purchase tobacco at 17 Pismo Beach stores. The teen bought tobacco at De Palo and Sons on Shell Beach Road and Pismo Food Store on Price Street. The police conducted the sting operation as part of an effort to reduce the number of tobacco sales to minors, saying that most smokers started smoking under the age of 18. For more information on the sale of tobacco products to minors, you can call the Tobacco Control Program at (805) 781-5564.

Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County announced yesterday it has agreed with Condor Enterprises LLC. to buy 9.7 acres of land on Prado Road to build a Homeless Services Center. The deal is part of a joint agreement between CAPSLO and the Regional Transit Authority to use 6.5 acres of the land for a transit maintenance facility. The new homeless center will replace the Prado Day Center and the Maxine Lewis Memorial Night Shelter, and will start being built in late 2015.

STATE

Los Angeles is in for another warm-up.  Temperatures in the 80s and 90s, along with gusty Santa Ana winds, are expected to hit the region Sunday, and stay through most of next week.  The windy, warm weather and dry air that will settle over the area is expected to increase fire danger in the county, and temps could hover around 100.  Forecasters say humidity levels could drop to single digits, and the winds will remain at moderate to strong levels causing fire officials to be on high alert.

A woman is behind bars after allegedly throwing a rock through a Pasadena Police Department window.  Authorities say the 45-year-old woman walked up to police headquarters on North Garfield Avenue Thursday night, and flung a rock that shattered a window.  A sergeant near the window suffered a cut to his face from the broken glass, but was still able to run outside and arrest the woman.  Detectives are still trying to figure out why the woman would want to throw a rock at the police station.

A man is in jail and another in critical condition over a cell phone.  Authorities say two men caught each other’s eye in a parking lot on Hawthorne Boulevard near the South Bay Galleria yesterday, and police say they knew each other.  One of the men confronted the other over a stolen cell phone, and a fight broke out that spilled over into the busy street in broad daylight.  Authorities say one of the men pulled out a knife and began stabbing the other on the median of Hawthorne Boulevard, while dozens of witnesses sat in their cars and called 911.  Good Samaritans held the alleged knife wielding attacker until cops could arrive, and the other man is in critical condition having suffered multiple stab wounds.

An elderly man is recovering after being beaten for accidentally bumping into a car.  Alfred Mcosker had been unloading his groceries into his car when his leg touched a newer Hyundai parked next to him in a grocery store parking lot in Apple Valley.  The car’s owner accused Mcosker of scratching his vehicle and started punching him in the face causing him to fall and hit his head.  Mcosker ended up with two black eyes and a missing tooth, and the suspect is still on the run.

Before leaving the Bay Area, President Obama will be giving a speech on energy efficiency at a local Walmart in Mountain View this morning.  That particular Walmart was chosen because it had completed an energy retrofit.  Obama may be faced with employees of that store who are protesting for better wages and more respect from Walmart.  The President spent the day yesterday rushing between fundraisers in Silicon Valley that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Democratic National Committee.  He is scheduled to leave from Moffett Field around 11 a.m., so drivers should expect delays in the area.

A bipartisan plan that replaces the rainy day fund measure on the November ballot, would set aside revenue equal to ten-percent of California’s general fund.  The proposal  would increase the size of the state’s reserve, part of which would be used to pay down state debts, estimated at 340-billion-dollars. The Governor’s office announced the deal yesterday, and it included statements of support from all four Democratic and Republican legislative leaders.  The Legislature is expected to vote on the replacement measure next week, and would supercede the rainy-day fund already scheduled to go before the voters in the general election.

A statewide manhunt continues for the Sacramento Cal Fire battalion chief wanted for allegedly killing his girlfriend, and authorities say he has ties to the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Sierras.  Cal Fire officials say 55-year-old Orville “Moe” Fleming was fired from his job Thursday, not because of the murder allegations, but because he hadn’t shown up for work for five days in a row.  He’s been missing since May 1st, and is charged with murder after his girlfriend was found stabbed to death inside her home with a bed sheet tied around her neck.  What is making the search more difficult is that he has keys to over 400 Cal Fire facilities throughout the state, and could be hiding out in any one of them.

Known as the oldest independent black bookstore in the country, Marcus Books is now closed.  The store was evicted from its location in San Francisco’s Fillmore District this week after falling behind in rent on the building, which had been foreclosed on before it was sold at auction to new owners.  The owners of Marcus Books had tried to buy the building but were out-bid by the current building owners.  San Francisco Supervisor London Breed, whose district included the Fillmore District, is trying to find another space for the bookstore in the area.

NATION

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is likely waking up on top of the world after being the top pick in this year’s NFL draft.  As expected, the Houston Texans selected Clowney first overall as the draft got underway Thursday night in New York City.  The St. Louis Rams took Auburn offensive lineman Greg Robinson with the second pick.  University of Central Florida’s Blake Bortles was the first quarterback off the board at number three to the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Rounds Two and Three are tonight.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is ordering a review of every VA health clinic in the country.  Shinseki is under fire because of patient care scandals at clinics in Arizona and Colorado.  Dozens of veterans may have died while waiting to get appointments at the VA clinic in Phoenix.  Meantime, a VA scheduling clerk in San Antonio, Texas claims his boss told him and others not to document weeks-long wait times for veterans trying to get appointments.  Shinseki is expected to testify next week in a Senate hearing.

House Democrats are meeting this morning to discuss how their party will approach a special investigation by Republicans into the deadly 2012 attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya.  Some Democrats worry that putting members on the panel only legitimizes an investigation they consider a witch hunt.  The biggest sticking point so far centers on a Republican plan to staff the 12 member panel with seven GOP members, leaving only five spots for Democrats.

Miserably wet and blustery weather is predicted today for a large portion of the country.  Powerful storms are likely from Arkansas to Indiana.  Parts of the Midwest, South and Northeast can also expect lots of rain.  Flash flood watches are posted for Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida.  On Thursday, tornadoes touched down in Colorado and Minnesota.  Winds up to 70 miles an hour caused serious damage in Dallas, Texas.

5/8/2014

LOCAL

Silverado Stages, a San Luis Obispo-based charter bus company, and FedEx are being sued by Miles Hill, a survivor of the crash caused by a FedEx truck hitting a tour bus full of students last month. Hill is suing for negligence, claiming that the bus didn’t have a proper escape method and the FedEx driver negligently crossed the middle of the road. Hill is requesting compensation for medical treatment and damages. The crash killed ten people, as the bus was filled with students ready to visit Humboldt State University.

A third candidate has entered the SLO County District Attorney race as a write-in. Defense attorney Paul Phillips entered the race because he feels that both candidates are just business-as-usual and that being the one candidate outside the DA’s office gives him a fresh perspective. Phillips believes that both candidates would have difficulty in running the office because Covello lacks the endorsements of those underneath him at the DA’s office, while Dan Dow doesn’t have the experience needed. Phillips also views both candidates’ hard line stance on crime to be creating a bigger need for plea bargains and alternate sentences, which increases prison populations. He plans on campaigning for positive change. Cal Poly political science professor Michael Latner says that Phillips will likely play the role of spoiler, taking away votes that could prevent either candidate from reaching the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff in November. Phillips won’t be an official candidate until he submits 20 signatures supporting him by May 20.

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.

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.

An 85-year-old Arroyo Grande driver crashed her car into shopping carts at a Grover Beach grocery store yesterday afternoon. The woman tried to park in a spot facing the Vons store on Grand Avenue when she hit the gas pedal, causing her 2002 PT Cruiser to go over the curb and sidewalk, knock down a railing and hit the carts. No one was hurt. The driver was not cited, but the DMV will ask for a reexamination.

A Santa Maria Eagle Scout is helping babies who are recovering in the neonatal intensive care unit. Troop 86 member Ethan John, through his Eagle Project, spent the past two months collecting 116 shoes boxes filled with a new blanket, a cap, and an outfit for the Dignity Health Group. All the boxes went to Central Coast families who have a baby in the NICU.

STATE

Donald Sterling’s wife says she’s entitled to own the Clippers.  Shelly Sterling is claiming that she is legally entitled to maintain ownership of the NBA team, even as the NBA pushes to remove her husband from the team he has owned for 33 years.  A representative for Shelly told the “L.A. Times” yesterday that she’s hired a lawyer to help guide her through the process of possibly battling for the team.  Meanwhile, her husband Donald has reportedly said he will also fight to maintain ownership of the Clippers.

Rialto School District officials are apologizing for what was supposed to be a thought-provoking assignment.  At an emergency school board meeting Wednesday night officials called an assignment asking students to consider whether the Holocaust was created for political gain or didn’t happen at all, misguided.  The district says the assignment was meant to satisfy Common Core standards for critical thinking, but quickly pulled it and promised revisions.  There was a heavy police presence at the meeting because board members and school staff reported receiving death threats.

Carson is making a stand against bullying.  A proposed ordinance protecting anyone from kindergarten through age 25 from bullying and cyber-bullying passed its first round of voting Wednesday night.  Bullies would face a misdemeanor charge and they would be required to pay a fine and seek counseling.  If the proposal is approved at the second reading later this month, the ordinance would take effect in mid-June.

Sheriff’s deputies are asking for the public’s help in locating a young girl who walked away from a children’s shelter in Orange.  -Brittany Mitchell was last seen at the Outlets of Orange yesterday.  The 11-year-old and a couple friends left the Orangewood Children’s Home to walk to the store, and Mitchell never returned with the other two girls.  Anyone with any information is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

An investigation is underway in downtown Oakland where endangered birds may have been killed while a contractor was trimming trees.  State Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan said five black-crowned night herons were injured in the incident on Saturday.  Authorities are also looking into whether the birds were fed through a wood-chipper.  The contractor was hired by the U.S. Postal Service because herons who nest near the 13th Street post office, between Jackson and Alice streets, were defecating on the mail trucks.

A Pacifica man accused of bludgeoning his friend to death with a knife and a hammer has been found competent to stand trial.  Twenty-five-year-old Marc Anthony Furlan was arrested in October 2012 after police were called to a home on Dell Road that he shared with his father and two tenants.  Police say 24-year-old Kevin Coffey was found dead with more than 50 visible wounds.  Furlan’s case was reinstated yesterday, and he’s due back in court on June 5th.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is signing off on a plan to take care of graffiti in the city.  A proposal by Supervisor London Breed targets repeat offenders who tag buildings, buses, parks and other city spaces.  It calls for pursuing civil lawsuits instead of criminal charges.  The ordinance was unanimously passed Tuesday afternoon after some minor adjustments.

A loud noise is being blamed for reports of shots fired at San Francisco General Hospital.  A hospital spokeswoman says there was a loud noise yesterday afternoon outside the hospital and rumors started to spread over the Internet of shots being fired.  The reports were investigated and the all clear has been given at the hospital.

NATION

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits for the first time is down.  The Labor Department says it received a total of 319-thousand initial requests last week.  That’s 26-thousand fewer than it received a week earlier.

A huge weather system stretching from Texas to the Upper Midwest will threaten up to 40-million Americans today.  Forecasters say storms could unleash hail, frequent lightning strikes, heavy rains and flooding, and damaging winds, including tornadoes.  People in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are directly in the storm’s path.  Winds of up to 90 miles an hour knocked over a train in Kansas yesterday.

President Obama believes evil can be eliminated from the world.  Speaking last night at the Shoah Foundation’s 20th anniversary event, the President said evil could be eroded “drop by drop by drop.”  The Shoah Foundation was founded by Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg to document the horrors of the Holocaust.  The President continues his three-day California trip today with stops in Beverly Hills, San Diego and San Jose.

The woman nominated to head the Department of Health and Human Services will be on the hot seat on Capitol Hill today.  Sylvia Mathews Burwell reportedly is likely to get support from all Democrats and some Republicans, but she’s certain to get serious grilling from GOP Senators about Obamacare.  She’ll testify today before the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, then face the Senate Finance Committee next week.

5/7/2014

LOCAL

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 plants. The city council said the ordinance went too far in penalizing medical marijuana growers who are not a problem for neighbors, and that a better ordinance would be to deal with problem growers on a nuisance level. City Council Member Dan Carpenter supported the ordinance. He said it is illegal on the federal level and therefore the council cannot legislate against the federal government.

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.

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.

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 From Religion Foundation plans to file more anti-prayer lawsuits against California cities, which they haven’t identified yet.

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 http://www.sbcasa.org or contact Outreach Coordinator Tara Gross at (805) 739-9102 ext. 2595 or email volunteer@sbcasa.org.

STATE

Drivers along Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass are getting some relief now that all lanes have been reopened after a bridge fire created a traffic mess.  The San Bernardino Associated Governments tweeted around midnight that all southbound lanes near Ranchero Road have reopened.  Northbound lanes opened to traffic at 5:20 p.m yesterday.  A worker cutting rebar with a blow torch is being blamed for igniting the fire at the overpass Monday afternoon, leading to a miles-long backup on both sides of the interstate. The roadway is a major artery between Southern California and Las Vegas.

Los Angeles Dodgers legendary manager Tommy Lasorda is speaking out about disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling.  Lasorda tells ABC affiliate WPBF that he’s been a friend to Sterling for 30 years and is not surprised by the racially charged remarks that got him in trouble with the NBA.  The 86-year-old Lasorda added that he hopes Sterling’s companion V. Stiviano, gets hit by a car.  Lasorda also says Sterling shouldn’t have said the things he said and hurt himself by doing things he shouldn’t be doing.

It remains unclear if the Southern California teachers who were behind a controversial assignment regarding the Holocaust will face discipline over the incident.  A group of teachers within the Rialto Unified School District came up with the assignment to have eighth graders write an argumentative essay on whether the Holocaust actually occurred or if it was a “political scheme to influence public emotion.”  The ADL was among a host of groups who spoke out against the assignment once it made headlines, and district officials even received threats over it.  Rialto officials will not discuss whether the teachers will be disciplined.

A female driver is facing DUI charges after a rollover crash on a freeway in Santa Monica that left her passenger with major injuries.  The California Highway Patrol says 26-year-old Joseph Suarez of Mission Hills was ejected from the car as it ran up an embankment and overturned on the westbound 10 Freeway near Lincoln Boulevard last night.  Twenty-two-year-old Stacey Diaz was arrested for DUI.  Authorities say she was speeding and driving erratically before losing control of her vehicle.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has cleared three Sunnyvale police officers of wrongdoing in the killing of a knife-wielding man last summer.   Michael Nehez was shot to death during a SWAT standoff at his San Pedro Avenue home after admitting to 9-1-1 dispatchers that he had killed his wife and was suicidal.   Deputy District Attorney Matthew Braker says Nehez was holding a nine-inch kitchen knife when he refused officers’ orders to stop and drop to his knees.  He says the officers’ conduct was justifiable because their use of force was “in response to an immediate threat of great bodily injury.”

A man suspected of shooting and killing another man in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood over the weekend is free.  The District Attorney’s Office failed to file charges against 68-year-old Amisi Sudi Kachepha by the deadline.  Kachepha was arrested at his Mission Street apartment early Saturday morning where he allegedly shot and killed 26-year-old Stephen Guillermo.  The victim’s family urged prosecutors yesterday to file charges against Kachepha, saying Guillermo accidentally entered the man’s unit instead of his own.

The University of California will be reminding everyone how it plays a critical role in the state’s economic growth.  UC will showcase innovative research which has led to groundbreaking inventions and start-up companies over the past year at today’s Technology Commercialization Forum.  UC President Janet Napolitano says the university is committed to supporting its faculty and students with a strong infrastructure that will help them pursue patents and develop start-up companies.  UC researchers reported more than 17-hundred new inventions and launched 71 new start-up companies based on UC inventions last year alone.

San Jose police are looking for a Volkswagen Jetta which may be being driven by two suspects in shooting yesterday.  A police spokesman says the victim was shot by a passenger in the vehicle during an altercation along southbound Senter Road, south of Tully Road.  The victim was taken to a hospital where he later died.  The suspects drove off in the car and are still at large.

NATION

President Obama will meet with victims of last week’s deadly tornadoes when he heads to central Arkansas today.  More than a dozen people were killed in Arkansas and another 150 were injured.  The storms destroyed more than 250 homes.  The President will later head to Los Angeles to speak at the Shoah Foundation’s 20th anniversary event at the University of Southern California.  The speech kicks off three days of speeches and fundraising in California.

The U.S. is sending experts to help Nigeria deal with the growing crisis involving militants and kidnapped girls.  White House spokesman Jay Carney called the abductions horrific and said time is of the essence.  Carney called the experts an advisory team and said a more active military role is not being considered at this time.  An Islamist militant group is claiming responsibility for abducting more than 200 schoolgirls and vows to sell them as slaves.

Establishment Republicans are cheering a primary win in North Carolina.  State house speaker Thom Tillis is the winner of North Carolina’s Republican U.S. Senate primary, winning more than 45 percent of the vote in his race with Tea Party favorite Greg Bannon and six other candidates.  Meanwhile, former “American Idol” contestant Clay Aiken is poised to win Tuesday’s close Democratic primary battle in a North Carolina congressional district.  With 99 percent of the vote counted, Aiken was leading opponent Keith Crisco by 369 votes in the Second District primary race.

A Texas inmate doesn’t want to die like a prisoner in Oklahoma did last month.  Attorneys for Robert Campbell say their client’s execution shouldn’t take place because the state won’t reveal where the lethal drugs come from.  They say Clayton Lockett’s execution highlights the potential for an inmate to suffer a prolonged, tortuous death.  Lockett appeared to be in agony for most of the 40 minutes or so it took for him to eventually die of a massive heart attack.

5/6/2014

LOCAL

Pismo Beach’s recent decision to end prayer at public meetings at Pismo Beach will not change after yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that it was constitutional for a New York town to begin its public meetings with prayer. That’s because it was a condition to settle a lawsuit brought filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Atheists United San Luis Obispo last November. Pismo Beach City Attorney David Fleishman told KVEC Morning News that the lawsuit, which claimed that Pismo Beach’s chaplain illegally promoted Christianity, was brought against Pismo Beach under the California Constitution, so the U.S. Supreme Court decision does not affect the city’s decision. The local lawsuit invoked the state Constitution’s No Preference and Establishment Clauses. However, if another city took a case to the California Supreme Court, and the court makes a ruling similar to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, then Pismo Beach might reconsider its stance on prayers. Fleishman declined to comment on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.

A Santa Barbara man was arrested and charged with felony possession of bringing an airsoft gun and knives to a court building.  Twenty-six-year-old Brian Charles Ruiz, who was at the Santa Barbara Courthouse to attend a gang injunction hearing and was wearing a t-shirt opposing the gang injunction, left a backpack at a bench containing an airsoft gun, two knives, rifle ammunition, a loaded rifle magazine, and Ruiz’s identification. Ruiz was arrested when he came back to get his backpack. Local law enforcement knows that Ruiz is affiliated with a gang, and he’s currently held in Santa Barbara County Jail.

A Santa Cruz County resident was stabbed in the face with a fork in a fight at the Paso Robles Amtrak station last Saturday. The victim, a 57-year-old who has not been identified, was able subdue and detain the suspect, 47-year-old Newberry Springs resident Michael Leon Tapp, until the police arrived. Tapp was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. It is unknown what the motive for the attack was, but police think it’s an isolated incident. Anyone with information about this or any other crimes is encouraged to call the Paso Robles Police Department at 805-237-6464. People who want to remain anonymous are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers’ 24-hour hotline at 549-STOP or by texting “SLOTIPS” plus your message” to CRIMES (274637).

Pismo Beach will host the Stage 5 Start to the Amgen Tour of California at the top of the Pismo Beach Pier on Thursday, May 15, 2014. Also known as America’s Greatest Race, the Amgen Tour of California is considered to be America’s largest and most prestigious cycling event, attracting more than two million spectators every year. The event will start with the “Party on Pomeroy,” a free block party celebration the day before at 5:00 pm on Pomeroy in downtown Pismo Beach. The party will have live music from Moonshiner Collective, a downtown Wine Walk, kid’s activities, dance performances, and a number of “Tacos, Tapas & Treats” from participating restaurants. The race will begin the next day at 11:45 am, although those attending are encouraged to come early to meet the riders and find good seats.

STATE

People trying to get out of town may have a hard time after a bridge fire forces a freeway to be closed for the next couple of days.  The Ranchero Road Bridge overpass caught fire in Hesperia yesterday afternoon, forcing the closure of the I-15 in the area.  At least one worker cutting rebar with a cutting torch ignited a wooden section of the bridge.  Crews are working right now to get all the debris off the roadway to make sure it’s safe to drive on.  More than 60 firefighters were assigned to the fire, and one contractor had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The Etiwanda fire is now 96-percent contained after burning over two-thousand acres.  Flames broke out in Day Canyon last week, engulfing the surrounding dry vegetation and forcing the evacuation of 16-hundred homes.  Investigators hiked into a remote upper portion of the canyon when conditions were deemed safe, and located evidence of an illegal campfire.  Forest and fire officials are now seeking the public’s help finding the person or persons responsible for starting the campfire.

The warm weather in the Southland is making snakes slither out into the open.  Animal control officials say they received more than 25-snake related calls over the past few days, mainly in the Conejo Valley and Oak Park area.  Experts say the snakes like to hang out on the ground, especially around the base of trees or shrubs.  The hotter it is, the more active the snakes become, until it gets too hot and then they go search for shade.

A man charged with a hate crime is due in court later today.  Amos Hason is accused of painting swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti on the rear fence and dumpster of a Jewish-owned plumbing business in Van Nuys.  Hason has been in trouble with the law before, including being in possession of a zip gun with the intent to hurt someone.  If convicted, he faces about 15-thousand dollars in fine, and three years in jail.

The pilot who died in a crash while performing a stunt during an air show at Travis Air Force Base is being called a “leader” in the industry.  Seventy-seven-year-old Eddie Andreini had been flying for 61 years and had executed his daredevil acrobatics in nearly one-thousand airshows across the western United States and Canada.  The “Sacramento Bee” says that just a few weeks ago, he had passed an aerobatic competency evaluation, that confirmed he was mentally and physically fit to perform his stunts.  Meanwhile, as the investigation gets underway into the cause of the crash, response time by emergency personnel is coming into question as many witnesses reported it took as long as five minutes for crews to get on scene.

It is happening again as more meatballs left out to poison dogs were found in San Francisco’s Sunset District.  A woman walking her dog Monday morning found the meatballs stuffed with pills on a plate near the corner of 24th Avenue and Ortega Street.  This is not far from where poisoned meatballs were found in the Twin Peaks neighborhood and the Outer Richmond District a few months ago.  Despite a five-thousand dollar reward, San Francisco police say no arrests have been made.

Dublin Police say the domestic violence suspect who was killed by an officer Sunday night had threatened to eat his friend in an incident the night before.  Eighteen-year-old Oscar Herrera had an extensive criminal history that included possession of drugs and weapons.  Authorities say Herrera had been going through a detoxification treatment, but had allegedly used methamphetamine Saturday night when he attacked a friend in Livermore.  In the Dublin incident, feeling his life was in danger, the officer shot Herrera after the teen tried to hit him over the head with a metal baseball bat.

The father of an Oakland toddler who went missing from his car last summer is dead, after committing suicide.  Family members say 50-year-old John Webb was found by an adult daughter in his home on Greenridge Drive Friday night.  Last July, Webb told police his 21-month-old daughter had gone missing after he left the little girl in the car with his mother, who has dementia, while he made a quick stop in a convenience store.  One day later, Webb was arrested on felony child endangerment, but prosecutors dropped the charges.  The little girl has never been found.

NATION

A new White House report out this morning says climate change is already having a significant impact on the U.S. environment.  The National Climate Assessment also warns of more global warming to come, raising new concerns about its potential impact on public health and the environment.  Some experts believe the new report will prompt the Obama administration to take a more aggressive approach to the issue.

The Republican establishment’s strength against rival Tea Party candidates gets a big test today.  House Speaker John Boehner faces a tea party challenger in Ohio’s Republican primary today.  Another big test for the GOP establishment is the Senate primary in North Carolina.  State House Speaker Thom Tillis seems to have an edge over Tea Party favorite Greg Brannon and evangelical minister Mark Harris.  Tillis will need to get 40 percent of today’s vote today to avoid a July runoff.

A diver who searched for victims in the South Korean ferry disaster is dead.  Government emergency officials say the man lost radio contact five minutes after diving into the water to fix some guideline ropes on the sunken ferry on Tuesday.  The ferry sank April 16th off the southwest coast of South Korea with over 470 people on board.  More than 260 people are confirmed dead in the accident.  Most of the victims were high school students.

New York City is transferring the unidentified remains of 9-11 victims to a specially-built repository at the World Trade Center on Saturday.  That word went out in an email to victims’ families yesterday and some of them are upset about the short notice and the timing.  The move to Ground Zero comes the day before Mother’s Day.  Of the more than 27-hundred people reported missing in the terror attack, 40-percent still have not been identified.

5/5/2014

LOCAL

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.

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 the potential to burn up to 70 acres.

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 in how the substantial changes are being implemented and how the state could help.  Crocker also noted that Brown has a strong belief that most decisions in education should be made at the local level.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the suspicious death of a Solvang woman. The woman, Heidi Good, died in her home in March 2013. Information about her death has not been released due to the nature of the situation and ongoing investigation. Detectives are asking for help. If you have any information that may help, contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Tip-Line at (805) 681-4171.

Efrem Zimbalist Jr., the son of famous musicians who became famous in the TV series “77 Sunset Strip” “The FBI,” has died at the age 95 in his Solvang ranch on Friday. Zimbalist’s cool, deductive manner made him the ideal star as the private detective ferreting out Hollywood bad guys in “77 Sunset Strip” and as the government investigator in “The FBI.” He was the son of violin virtuoso Efrem Zimbalist and opera singer Alma Gluck. Zimbalist Jr. studied the violin at first before becoming interested in acting. His daughter, Stephanie, also took up acting, known for her role in the 1980s TV series “Remington Steele.”

STATE

The NTSB and FAA are beginning their investigation into the cause of a crash of a vintage airplane that killed its pilot during an airshow at Travis Air Force Base yesterday afternoon. Officials say 77-year-old Eddie Andreini of Half Moon Bay, a well-known and veteran stunt pilot, died when his 1944 restored Stearman biplane crashed during an acrobatic aerial maneuver over the tarmac.  Witnesses say that the plane was upside down and close to the ground when it crashed and was immediately engulfed in flames.  Air Force base officials immediately canceled the rest of the “Thunder Over Solano” air show, and the 100-thousand spectators were asked to leave.

Police are bracing for a protest, and a counter-protest at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill this morning.  A group of Tea Party activists plan to protest the school’s 2010 decision to send students home for wearing the American flag on Cinco De Mayo.  At the time, that led to a court case, but a recent federal appeals court ruled for the school, saying campus safety outweighed the students’ First Amendment claims.  The Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots plan to hold a U.S. Flag rally outside the school this morning, where a fence has been put up to keep them away from students.  Latino students are planning a counter-demonstration, while a group called “We the People Morgan Hill,” who supports the court decision, are planning to gather Monday evening at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center.

An investigation is underway into a fatal officer-involved shooting in Dublin last night.  Dublin police responding to a domestic violence call at an apartment off Amador Valley Boulevard, were met at the door by a man with a baseball bat.  One of the deputies shot the man, after he was immediately attacked by the suspect.  Paramedics tried to revive the man, but he died at the scene.

Two suspects face charges of attempted murder on a police officer after they allegedly beat-up two Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies.  The two deputies had arrived at a Castro Valley apartment complex late Saturday night to break up a fight, but when they got there, the two suspects turned on them.  One deputy was punched in the face, becoming semi-conscious, while the second deputy was put in a chokehold, and knocked unconscious.  One of the officers is in serious but stable condition at an area hospital and will need facial reconstructive surgery.  The second deputy’s injuries were less severe and he was not hospitalized.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti believes Clippers owner Donald Sterling won’t give up his team without a fight.  Appearing on CBS’ “Face The Nation” yesterday, Garcetti said he had personally spoken to Sterling and urged him to apologize for his racist remarks that were recently made public.  The mayor says he believes Sterling doesn’t think the NBA will go through with the lifetime ban or force Sterling to sell the team, like NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has promised.  Garcetti says he thinks Sterling will put up a major fight, likely in court, to remain owner of the Clippers.

Funeral arrangements are pending for the LAPD officer killed in a traffic accident.  LAPD officials say Officer Roberto Sanchez and another officer were making a U-turn to follow a car at high speed Saturday morning in Harbor City when they were broadsided by an SUV.  Sanchez was killed, while the other officer remains in critical but stable condition and is expected to survive.  Sanchez was a six-year veteran of the force.  He’s the third LAPD officer to die this year.

UCLA officials are trying once again to require undergraduates at the school to have to take a class on diversity.  UCLA Chancellor Gene Block says he owes it to the student body to push through a proposal to require undergrads take a class in racial, cultural, gender or religious diversity.  Most U.C. schools and other universities have such a requirement, but the UCLA faculty has blocked such a move on three separate occasions.  The school’s biggest faculty group has control over such a curriculum change.

Unseasonably hot weather is keeping lifeguards around the Los Angeles region busy.  The L.A. County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Division said it had to conduct over 50 ocean rescues yesterday alone, due to thousands of people flocking to area beaches in an effort to beat the heat.  Officials say rip currents in the ocean increased over the weekend, making some waters very dangerous for swimmers.  Temperatures are expected to cool down considerably in the coming days.

NATION

Federal investigators are working to learn what caused a horrifying circus accident.  Sunday’s accident happened when eight aerial performers who were hanging by their hair fell 30 feet when their rigging suddenly collapsed in Providence, Rhode Island.  A performer standing below was also seriously hurt.  Workers for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus are declining to speak about the accident.

First it was the scandal involving a VA hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, now clerks at a Colorado Veterans Affairs clinic are accused of falsifying appointment records to make it appear doctors were seeing patients promptly.  “USA Today” reports the VA’s Office of Medical Inspector found that clerks at the VA clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado were ordered to change appointment records to show that patients were being seen within the agency goal of 14 days.  Actually, many veterans treated at the outpatient clinic waited months for appointments.  The report says staff members were punished when they didn’t manipulate records to hide delays.

More than 20 people are recovering from injuries after they were trampled following the weekend’s Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana fight at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.  People panicked and tried to rush out of the Grand Garden Arena after a temporary wall fell and sounded like a gunshot.  Most of the injuries were minor.  MGM issued a statement saying it’s investigating.

A man who wouldn’t leave his home is dead in an Oklahoma wildfire.  Fire officials say the blaze that erupted Sunday has destroyed at least 20 homes in the area north of Oklahoma City.  It’s one of several fires in the state that have been fueled by hot weather and high winds.

5/2/2014

LOCAL

A driver suspected of DUI collided into a house at the intersection of Bougainvillea and Hollyhock. San Luis Obispo police say that the driver, Branden Paulson was driving on Hollyhock when he didn’t turn left at Bougainvillea, where Hollyhock came to a dead-end. He then crashed into a garage on Bougainvillea. Paulson fled the scene on-foot, but police found him and arrested him for DUI and hit-and-run. He is now in San Luis Obispo County Jail. The residents of the home were not present at the time of the incident.

Avila Beach made Yahoo! Travel’s list of Four Beach Towns that are California’s Best Kept Secrets. Yahoo! says that Avila Beach is the most kid-friendly beach in San Luis Obispo because of the aquarium and boardwalk. Yahoo! also says that everyone should visit the Port San Luis Lighthouse.

Downtown San Luis Obispo bars are being asked to end a longtime Cal Poly graduation tradition. Cal Poly Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey and San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx wrote a letter to the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association to request that all downtown bars wait until after 9:00 a.m. to serve alcohol on graduation weekend. The bar crawl tradition for Cal Poly graduates is where students and their family members to go to the bars at 6:00 a.m. before the graduation ceremony. Humphrey and Marx say in the letter that Cal Poly has seen an increase in the number of students that are “intoxicated, disruptive, and disrespectful during commencement ceremonies, Cal Poly’s most honored academic tradition.” The letter is only a request, and Marx and Humphrey want to discuss the issue more with the downtown association.

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. The graffiti caused around $21,500 in damage. Aguilar is in Santa Barbara County Jail facing charges of felony vandalism and misdemeanor possession of vandalism tools.

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, and resisting an officer, all of which are felonies. The hospital’s investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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.

STATE

Rumor has it that banned owner of the Clippers Donald Sterling is suffering from cancer.  There are now several news sources reporting that the 80-year-old Sterling has been battling prostate cancer for an extended period of time.  Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA and fined over two million dollars by Commissioner Adam Silver, after racist remarks he made were published.  The league’s advisory/finance committee held its first meeting about Sterling on Thursday, and voted unanimously to work as quick as possible to force Sterling to put a for-sale sign on the Clippers.

The Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP is looking for a new president.  Leon Jenkins called it quits Thursday amid the scandal surrounding racist comments made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling.  The local chapter had been under fire for planning to present Sterling with a lifetime achievement award later this month, and it would have been the second award given to Sterling by the organization.  Jenkins says he’s stepping down in  order to separate the organization from the negative exposure.  Jenkins was elected president of the LA chapter in 2008.

A missing Los Angeles entertainment industry executive is officially declared dead.  Gavin Smith had been last seen leaving a friend’s home in Ventura County in 2012, and the search began when he didn’t pick his son up from school.  Sheriff’s deputies recovered Smith’s Mercedes-Benz in February 2013 in a Simi Valley storage facility rented by a man in jail on a different investigation.  Authorities have exhausted all leads, and officially declared Smith dead on Thursday.

A young girl is lucky to be alive thanks to the quick action of one police officer.  The four-year-old girl had fallen into her grandfather’s pool after taking off her floaties, and found floating face down in Costa Mesa Thursday.  Officer Matt Olin came busting through the door shortly after the mother called 9-1-1, finding the girl with no pulse, and not breathing.  Olin quickly put the girl on her side and started thumping her back to try and get some of the water out of her lungs.  The mother says Olin saved her daughter’s life.

Two loose dogs are now quarantined after they attacked two separate people in Brentwood Thursday morning.  KTVU says a man was attacked on Hudson Drive, while a woman was bitten on Nunn Street a few minutes later and remains in the hospital.  Brentwood police managed to grab the Labrador, but had to use a taser to capture the sharpei.  Investigators are trying to determine if the dogs should be designated “dangerous animals” and if so, the owners could face fines.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District says the start of the summer “Spare The Air” program is underway.  The District encourages residents to reduce air pollution every day by carpooling, taking transit, driving less, and either walking or biking.  For more information, visit “spare-the-air-dot org.”

The death of a Daly City woman Wednesday morning is now being investigated as a homicide.  Sixty-five-year-old Ruby Gim, who worked at the Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center in San Francisco, was found unresponsive on the floor of her home on Florence Street just before 8 a.m.  Her estranged husband, 65-year-old Daniel Thomas was arrested for a couple of domestic violence charges and for a probation violation, but not for her death.  No other details are being released.

A nationwide sweep of gang members by the Department of Homeland Security last month, included the arrested of nearly 40 members from the Bay Area and Northern California.  Over 600 suspects with ties to the notorious Sureno criminal gang were arrested across the U.S. in April.  Those arrested in the Bay Area were from Hayward, Concord, Fremont, San Mateo, Daly City and San Francisco.  The agency says two of the suspects were a mother and her 21-year-old son, both accused of supplying large quantities of high-quality marijuana to the Surenos and Latin Kings. All of the suspects have been charged with federal racketeering, armed robbery, murder, and weapons and drug violations.

NATION

The government’s highly-anticipated April jobs report is out and it’s better than expected.  Just-released numbers from the Labor Department show 288,000 jobs added last month.  The nation’s unemployment rate fell to six-point-three percent.  Most economists had predicted the report would show employers added about 210-thousand jobs as the weather warmed up after the harsh winter.

A Minnesota teenager is charged with plotting a massacre at his school.  Police say John LaDue planned the attack in just a few weeks.  LaDue was charged Thursday, and police say he had bomb-making material, ammunition and guns.  According to the criminal complaint, LaDue told police he wanted to kill his family and then move on to the school.  Police say he idolized the teenage gunmen who carried out the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado 15 years ago.

The crisis in Ukraine will dominate talks between President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House today.  Presidential spokesman Jay Carney said the two leaders will discuss additional sanctions on Russia.  Pro-Russian rebels are tightening their grip on the Ukrainian city of Slavyansk.  Today rebels shot down a pair of Ukrainian helicopters, killing two crew members.  A third helicopter carrying medics was also hit and one serviceman was wounded.

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy says he’s filing a criminal complaint against the Bureau of Land Management over the federal agency’s short-lived roundup of his cattle.  The 68-year-old rancher plans to file the paperwork in Las Vegas this morning.  The federal agency ended the week-long roundup April 12th, fearing violence in a standoff with armed militia members supporting Bundy.

5/1/2014

LOCAL

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.

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 the Tennis Courts and where you can see some of the best views of the surrounding ranch land. The tour ends at the Neptune Pool. Only 14 people at a time are allowed on the tour. It will be offered twice a day at 10:00 a.m. and 2:40 p.m. Tickets are $25 per adult and $12 per child ages 5-12 years. The Hearst and Hollywood tour focuses on the Castle’s allure to Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, Cary Grant and Greta Garbo. The tour includes areas from all five regular tours, and visitors are able to stroll at their own leisure and enjoy the views. This tour is limited to only 8 people at a time and will be offered once daily at noon. Tickets are $100 per person. Both tours run through June 30. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-444-4445.

A citation was issued to a driver who police say ran a red light in Grover Beach causing a three-vehicle accident around 7:10 yesterday morning at the intersection of West Grand Avenue and 4th Street. The driver of a Ford Explorer ran a red light, hit a motorcycle and then hit a Honda Accord. The motorcycle driver was taken to the hospital for a concussion and minor scrapes, and a driver and passenger in the Accord were taken to the hospital for what police say for minor injuries. The Explorer’s driver was arrested and issued a citation for driving with a suspended license and not stopping at a red light. The driver was released from custody is facing a future court date.

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 when a CHP officer pulled her over for swerving. The officer said her speech was slow and slurred and had droopy eyelids. Every incident has been the result of Mendoza being under the influence of prescription drugs, which she says she has been taking since she was 13 for a kidney stone disease. In addition to heading back to prison, Mendoza also had license revoked for 10 years.

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 money for potential emergency needs. There is not a specific deadline for Morro Bay to meet its obligation, but an arbitration ruling could occur after the city meets with the county to discuss the water rates. If water rates are raised, it would be the first time they have been raised since the mid-1990’s.

STATE

The head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers is calling it quits.  Mike D’Antoni had one year left on his contract, but apparently the Lakers organization refused to extend that contract, leading to D’Antoni’s resignation.  The injury-plagued Lakers were 27-and-55 this season, their worst campaign in more than 50 years, and the team missed the playoffs for only the third time in 38 years.  Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak made the announcement yesterday on the team’s website, and the search for a new team leader will begin immediately.

The “Etiwanda Fire” near Rancho Cucamonga continues to grow.  Flames erupted north of the 210 Freeway yesterday morning, and quickly grew to over one-thousand acres by the end of the day.  Ground crews are battling flames, but water-dropping aircraft are unable to help due to wind gusts of around 70 miles per hour.  The mandatory evacuations issued to nearly two-thousand homes has been lifted, but many schools in the area are cancelling classes today to keep streets clear in case the flames get out of hand.  Nearly 600 firefighters are battling the blaze, and the cause is under investigation.

The Los Angeles Kings are celebrating an historic win.  The Kings beat the San Jose Sharks 5-1 in San Jose Wednesday night, advancing to the next round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.  The Kings are only the fourth team in NHL history to come back from a three-games-to-none deficit to advance to the second round, winning four games in a row.  The Kings will now face off with their cross town rival, the Anaheim Ducks, in a best-of-seven series starting Saturday.

Police are on the hunt for man they say is trying to kidnap young girls.  Culver City police say they’re looking for a man who pulls alongside teen girls walking on the street, and then asks them to get in the car.  In one of the attempted abductions, the man asked the girl her name, then opened the passenger door and told her to get in the car before she ran away.  The suspect is described as a white or Hispanic man possibly in his 30s, with a goatee.

The small plane that crashed in the San Pablo Bay Sunday afternoon has been lifted from water about a mile north of the Brother Islands.  The single-engine Cessna 210 went down after a mid-air collision with another plane carrying two people, who were uninjured.  A marine salvage company yesterday removed the Cessna’s fuselage with the pilot’s remains still inside.  The U.S. Coast Guard is not releasing the pilot’s name until his family has been notified.

State health officials are issuing the first heat advisory of the year.  Highs across the state today will be 15-to-25 degrees above normal.  The National Weather Service says record-setting heat is expected over the next several days in the Bay Area, with today being the hottest.  The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is reminding outdoor workers to drink plenty of water and take breaks in shaded areas.

Demonstrations around the San Francisco Bay Area will fill May Day.  The first day of May evolved in the 20th century from a celebration of spring into the celebration of the worldwide labor movement.  Today, it will be a day of human rights protests around the world.  Local activists are calling for immigrant rights, living wages, and an end to evictions, foreclosures, police brutality, and war.

The Oakland A’s say pitcher A.J. Griffin has successfully undergone Tommy John surgery.  The 26-year-old right-hander did not pitch at all this season, experiencing elbow tendinitis late last season.  The pain continued into Spring Training before this week’s decision to opt for surgery.  A 14-game winner in 2013, Griffin will miss the entire 2014 season and likely the beginning of next season.

NATION

At least two inmates are dead after an overnight explosion and partial collapse at a Florida jail.  The suspected gas explosion ripped through the Escambia County Jail’s central booking area, bringing part of it down.  Another 150 or so inmates and corrections officers are injured.  The injured inmates were taken to area hospitals under guard.  Those who weren’t hurt have been moved to other detention centers

First-time claims for unemployment benefits are up again.  Figures from the Department of Labor this morning show 344-thousand Americans applied for jobless benefits last week.  That’s 14-thousand more than the week before.

The Malaysian government’s initial report on the disappearance of Flight 370 is now being closely scrutinized.  The document shows a puzzling four-hour gap from the time the plane left the radar screen to when an official rescue operation was launched.  The report gives no explanation for the lengthy gap.  Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished on March 8th after taking off from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board.

NBA owners could take the first step today in forcing Donald Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.  The owners’ advisory and finance committee meets in a conference call later today.  A league source says the committee hopes to provide “clarity” on how to proceed toward a vote to force Sterling to sell.  Meanwhile, Hollywood producer David Geffen has told ESPN he wants to partner with Oprah Winfrey and fellow mogul Larry Ellison and buy the Clippers.  Oprah denied having any interest in owning the Clippers to TMZ on Tuesday.

4/30/2014

LOCAL

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.

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.

Part of South Broadway in Santa Maria was blocked off yesterday after a woman was hit by an SUV around 9:43 a.m. The incident occurred near Stowell and South Broadway. The victim suffered major injuries and was hospitalized. There are no updates on her current condition or if any arrests have been made.

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.

A San Luis Obispo County developer was fined by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for not disclosing himself as a major donor to County Supervisor Caren Ray’s campaign. The FPPC voted last week to fine Gary Grossman $400 for failing to properly disclose over $10,000 political contributions last year. Grossman was required by California law to report his donations to Ray and County Supervisor Adam Hill by Jan. 31, but Grossman didn’t disclose them until March 21.

STATE

Three people are injured after an explosion at a homeless encampment in San Leandro.  The incident happened around 10:00 last night in the area of Hesperian Boulevard and Springlake Drive, near Union Pacific railroad tracks.  Fire officials say at least two of the victims were hospitalized with critical burns.  An investigation is ongoing.

A Sikh family from Alameda and a Muslim family from Sunnyvale are accusing a local amusement park of discrimination.  The Council on American-Islamic Relations says Boomers in Livermore did not allow the families to ride the go-carts last summer because of their religious head attire.  The Muslim family filed a discrimination complaint yesterday and the Sikh family says it plans to do the same thing sometime this week.  A spokesman for Palace Entertainment, which owns Boomers, said the company’s headgear ban is a matter of safety, “not racial or religious discrimination.”

A Bay Area legislator is leading the push for a measure aimed at reducing impediments to renewable energy generation on California military bases.  Assemblyman Kevin Mullin of San Mateo says the military has set aggressive renewable energy goals.  The Army, Navy and Air Force have a collective goal to adopt three-thousand megawatts of clean energy by 2025.  That includes the Navy secretary’s goal of generating at least 50 percent of shore-based energy requirements from alternative sources by 2020.

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener wants to look into equipping the city with smaller fire trucks.  The proposal stems from a request by the San Francisco Fire Department to widen roads in the city’s Hunter’s Point development.  However, Wiener says wider streets mean faster traffic, and potentially, more pedestrian deaths.

 

On a night much bigger than basketball, the Clippers pull together and earn a victory.  The Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors 113-103 on Tuesday night at an energized Staples Center to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.  Fans packed the Downtown LA venue to support the players in their quest to become NBA champions, on the same day the team’s owner was banned for life from the NBA.  In the middle of the racist audio recording scandal surrounding the team’s owner, the Clippers are on the brink of just their third playoff series victory since Donald Sterling bought the team in 1981.  Game Six is tomorrow night in Oakland.

Clippers owner Donald Sterling may be banned for life from the NBA, but he has options.  The Clippers are valued at around 575-million dollars, and if Sterling is forced to sell the team, he may hold on to the Clips for a while and create a bidding frenzy driving the price up to around one-billion dollars.  Even if the NBA board of governors gets its three-quarters vote needed to force the sale, Sterling may not go quietly and drag the league into the courtroom.  Sterling has gone to court against a former mistress and two former coaches in the past, and legal experts would not be surprised if he takes on the NBA.  Sterling’s actual plans are not known.

An elderly man is sitting in jail after a fire engulfs the San Pedro Elks Lodge.  Nick Pecarich is accused of torching the lodge earlier this month, and fire officials say the blaze destroyed the historic building.  The 78-year-old reportedly went to a local gas station about two-miles away from the Elks Lodge and filled gas cans the night of the fire.  He had been admitted to a hospital for an unrelated incident and under an involuntary psychiatric hold a couple of weeks ago.  He was taken into custody when he was released yesterday.

A man is behind bars after an hours-long standoff in Winnetka.  Police say 52-year-old Jacob Zimmerman got upset after being denied membership at the Disabled Americans Veterans Lodge and assaulted the lodge’s commander-in-chief with a shotgun.  He then allegedly barricaded himself inside the building, prompting a seven-hour standoff with SWAT officers.  Zimmerman stood before a judge yesterday while he was being officially charged with one felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

NATION

Tornadoes could rip into the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states today.  Forecasters say the risk of severe weather extends as far south as the Florida Panhandle and as far north as Virginia and West Virginia.  Torrential rains and flooding are soaking the Florida Panhandle this morning.  One death is blamed on the flooding in Escambia County.  More than 36-million people could be in harm’s way today.

Oklahoma’s governor is ordering an investigation into the botched execution of a death-row inmate.  Governor Mary Fallin’s order came yesterday after a new three-drug cocktail caused Clayton Lockett to shake and writhe uncontrollably on the gurney for several minutes after it was administered.  Doctors pronounced Lockett dead of a heart attack 45 minutes later.  Fallin stayed the execution of a second inmate for 14 days.

A New Jersey teenager charged with sneaking into One World Trade Center will be back in a Manhattan courtroom today.  Justin Casquejo [[ cass-KAY-oh ]] faces possible jail time after reportedly admitting he went to the rooftop and all the way up the antenna of the Freedom Tower in March.  The 16-year-old faces trespassing and base jumping charges.  Prosecutors say he got through a hole in a construction fence and then passed a sleeping security guard at four in the morning.

Mortgage applications keep falling.  The Mortgage Bankers Association says its index of applications for both new home financing and refinancing of existing mortgages fell nearly six percent last week.  That’s the lowest level for mortgages in the weekly survey since December of 2000.  A spokesman for the association blames the steep decline on higher interest rates, new regulations and a smaller supply of available homes.

4/29/2014

LOCAL

A garage fire occurred at a Paso Robles home on Rose Lane yesterday morning at 11:40. The fire was extinguished before it reached into the house. Everyone in the building was evacuated and there were no reported injuries. The cause and amount of damage is under investigation.

Santa Maria police are investigating a shooting that happened at 12:15 this morning. The shooting occurred at Donovan and East Avenue, where the victim, an unidentified man, was driving and was shot by someone in a vehicle that was next to his. The victim drove himself to the hospital, where it was determined that his injuries were not life threatening.  The suspect vehicle is described as a newer four-door gray or white colored Ford Focus or Nissan with two men inside. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Santa Maria Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-800-9100.

A Santa Barbara County woman is in jail for embezzling large sums of money from a local property management company. Santa Maria police arrested 43-year-old Melissa Reynosa, a former office manager who allegedly embezzled money during her employment at the company. Reynosa is facing charges of embezzlement, preparing false documents as evidence, and aggravated white collar crime enhancement.

The Chumash Casino Resort and Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians pulled its sponsorship from the Los Angeles Clippers after owner Donald Sterling allegedly made racist comments. Sterling is not denying he warned his then-girlfriend to stop posting photos of herself with African-Americans. Vincent Armenta, the Tribal Chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, released an official statement saying, “We’ve always been proud supporters of the Los Angeles Clippers, however, the recent statements attributed to the Clippers’ owner have forced us to reconsider our relationship. We remain supportive of the members of the team and we wish them the very best going forward. As a group that has long been marginalized itself, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and the Chumash Casino Resort are especially sensitive to maintaining the dignity of all people. We cannot ignore any statement that causes harm or hurts any group. As a result, we’re withdrawing our sponsorship of the Clippers organization.” CarMax, Virgin America, and State Farm have also pulled sponsorships from the Clippers and the NAACP canceled plans to give a lifetime achievement award to Sterling. The NBA could take action as soon as today.

An illegal marijuana lab caused a fire Sunday afternoon at 2:15 in San Luis Obispo. After San Luis Obispo police and fire personnel put out the fire on Stoneridge Drive, they found evidence suggesting an illegal drug lab in the house. Detectives obtained a search warrant and found “highly flammable” butane gas to convert low-concentrated marijuana into “honey oil,” also known as “hash oil,” which they believe caused the fire. Twenty-six-year-old Arroyo Grande resident Camden Knoll was arrested on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance, and charges are pending against 31-year-old San Luis Obispo resident Aaron McBurney, who was injured in the fire and taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center for treatment.

STATE

An early-season heat wave could bring record-breaking temperatures to the Los Angeles area this week.  Forecasters say the sweltering heat is expected to arrive later today, with highs climbing to 100 degrees in a few spots.  New record highs could be set across some valley and coastal locations as temperatures remain about 20-degrees warmer than normal through the rest of the week.  Gusty Santa Ana winds are also expected to join the unseasonably hot weather.

An investigation is underway after a possible murder suicide in the Valley Village area of North Hollywood.  Authorities say a 65-year-old man apparently killed his wife and shot a female neighbor before killing himself yesterday.  Neighbors say the couple was always fighting, and they heard screaming coming from the apartment on Weddington Street before the gunshots.  Investigators say the man shot his wife to death and then wounded a woman who ran to his wife’s aid before turning the gun on himself.  The woman remains in critical condition.

Police are searching for someone who they say fired a shot at them.  Authorities say San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies had been serving a search warrant at a residence in Walnut Park Monday night when one shot was fired.  Officers quickly set up a huge perimeter in the area with help from the LA County Sheriff’s Department.  Officials on scene say they’re not sure where the shot came from, and the suspected gunman is still on the loose.

A young boy is being called a hero after his mother blacked out on medication during a ride home in Riverside.  Five-year-old Caden Drake used his mom’s cell phone to call his grandma after his mother pulled over the car and began sweating profusely before blacking out. Drake’s grandma told him to hit the OnStar button, and through a sophisticated tracking system, Riverside police officers were able to quickly find the SUV on the side of the road.  Officers say the boy stayed totally calm while trying to keep his younger brother in the car waiting for them to arrive.  Drake’s mom is doing fine.

Authorities have located the wreckage of a small plane that crashed in the San Pablo Bay following a suspected mid-air collision with another aircraft.  That word from Contra Costa sheriff’s officials about the Cessna that went down about a mile north of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Sunday afternoon.  Investigators still say there’s no sign of the plane’s lone pilot.  The other plane landed safely at an airport in Amador County.

Vallejo police are identifying the roommates killed in a murder-suicide.  Sixty-two-year-old Rupert Ignacio allegedly shot and killed 52-year-old Crystal Boggs outside their home on Thelma Avenue last Thursday.  Witnesses say Ignacio approached Boggs as she sat in a chair on the front porch and then shot her at point-blank range before pulling the trigger on himself.  Police have not disclosed a possible motive for the shooting.

It could be an emotionally-charged atmosphere as the Clippers and Warriors get set to play Game Five of their first-round playoff series tonight in Los Angeles.  Protests are expected outside the stadium after alleged racist comments by Clippers owner Donald Sterling were leaked over the weekend.  The NBA is set to address the matter at a press conference today.  LA and Golden State are tied at two games apiece in the best-of-seven series.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Malia Cohen are expected to announce plans today for a new affordable housing complex in the Visitacion Valley.  A new agreement with Universal Paragon Corporation promises to transform the vacant 20-acre site of the former Schlage Lock factory into a mixed-use community.  The development project will include affordable housing units, parks and grocery stores.  Cohen is calling it a “monumental milestone not only for the Visitacion Valley community, but the entire city of San Francisco.”

NATION

The man who shot at least six people at a Fed Ex facility north of Atlanta this morning is dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  At least one victim is in critical condition.  Cobb County Police say officers are still “sweeping” the area to confirm that there are no additional threats to anybody or officers.  The suspect’s body was reportedly found inside the Fed Ex building.

Severe weather threatens 75 million Americans today, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.  One-third of U.S. residents are being warned to watch the sky and listen to the radio to protect themselves against tornadoes.  The most serious threat is in the Deep South.  So far this week, a powerful spring storm system has spawned tornadoes that killed at least 29 people in a half-dozen states.  Severe weather on Monday is blamed for more than a dozen deaths in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.  Forecasters say the storm system will continue spreading misery into Wednesday.

The NBA is set to announce what it will do about the Donald Sterling controversy.  The league will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Eastern on its investigation into racist remarks attributed to the Los Angeles Clippers owner.  Sterling has been under fire since an audio recording was released over the weekend of him allegedly telling his girlfriend not to associate with African-Americans or bring them to his games.  Meantime, fallout continues over the recording.  Several high-profile sponsors, including State Farm, CarMax and Mercedes Benz, have announced their plans to either end or suspend their sponsorship agreements with the team.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz wants Secretary of State John Kerry to resign for saying Israel could become an “apartheid state.”  Kerry apologized Monday night and said that if he could “rewind the tape,” he wouldn’t have used the word “apartheid.”  Kerry said in a private meeting of the Trilateral Commission late last week that Israel risks becoming an apartheid state if it doesn’t work out a two-state solution with the Palestinians.  The online news outlet Daily Beast reported the comment Sunday night.

4/28/14

LOCAL

A couple from Walnut Creek, California won the San Luis Obispo County Marathon yesterday. Twenty-five-year-old Ryan Neely and 24-year-old Kimberly O’Donnell were the overall male and female winners, respectively. Neely and O’Donnell broke course records with times of 2:34:46 and 3:04:33.

A Holocaust survivor and the grandchild of Holocaust survivors will headline the Holocaust Remembrance Day memorial program tonight at Congregation Beth David at 7:00. Today is Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day that commemorates the six million Jews and five million other people that died in the Holocaust. The program will feature Ruth Cairns Baker, who will tell her story of how she escaped Vienna andDaniel Deitch, a Cal Poly student, will talk about being the grandchild of two Holocaust survivors and the importance of carrying on their stories. There will also be teachings from local rabbis, music performed by local musicians and a candle-lighting ceremony led by local teens. The Holocaust Remembrance Day Program is jointly organized and supported by area Jewish institutions, including Congregation Beth David, Congregation Ohr Tzafon, the JCC-Federation of San Luis Obispo, and Temple Ner Shalom.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says a man is recovering from being stabbed multiple times in the Tanglewood area near Santa Maria Saturday night. A 41-year-old man was found lying in the street of Ironwood Drive just after 11:00 p.m. with numerous stab wounds. His injuries are not considered to be life-threatening. The sheriff’s office says the stabbing is still under investigation and they ask anyone with information about the incident to call 911 or their anonymous tip line at (805)681-4171.

A convicted felon from the Cuyama area is in Santa Barbara County Jail after he was found to be in possession of several firearms. A woman called 9-1-1 from a home in the Ventucopa area last Tuesday at 4 a.m. to say she was being threatened by a man with a shotgun. The police did not find the woman, but did find the homeowner, 62-year-old Marc Steele.  Steele, a convicted felon, told police he had gotten into a disagreement with a female escort and her male chaperone over payment.  He denied threatening the escort but admitted to having a shotgun.  Police confiscated the shotgun and arrested Steele for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Later that day, police searched Steele’s home and found another shotgun, three rifles, approximately 500 rounds of ammunition and a small amount of suspected methamphetamine.  Police are trying to find the female escort and her male chaperone that are reportedly from the Bakersfield area.  If you have any information, call the Cuyama sub-station at 661-766-2310.

Two fires occurred in the Central Coast this past weekend. The first fire happened at a home on Hemlock Avenue in Morro Bay at 1:39 A.M. The Morro Bay Fire and Police Department found flames present at the main electrical panel on the exterior of the building. The fire was extinguished within minutes and contained to the outside of the building. The residence was occupied and evacuated with no reported injuries. There was approximately $2,000 in damage. The second fire occurred at the Flying Flags RV Park in Santa Barbara County, where a neighbor got three people out of a cabin on fire late Saturday night. The fire started at around 11:10 in a 1,000 square foot cabin with a family sleeping inside. A neighbor discovered the fire and woke up the family to get them out of the building. Firefighters say the family could have been seriously injured or killed if their neighbor hadn’t warned them about the fire. About half of the cabin was damaged, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Three people were hospitalized Sunday morning at 11:45 after the vehicle they were in rolled over on Highway 1 near Lompoc. One person was air lifted to a nearby hospital in critical condition, while the other two had moderate injuries and taken to the hospital by ambulance. The cause of the rollover is unknown.

A California group is pressing for a ban on off-shore fracking.  Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high level of pressure to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas.  Hillary Aidun with the Center for Biological Diversity says this is a dangerous practice, claiming that fracking causes earthquakes. Her group has held rallies in Santa Barbara and plans more events along the California Coast to voice the group’s worries over fracking. Fracking proponents argue the process has been going on for decades and will help the U.S. eventually become energy independent.

STATE

A new report says at least five judges on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco have taken part in cases in which they held stock or other financial interests in one of the opposing sides.  If the report by the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity is true, that would constitute a violation of federal conflict of interest law.  Sfgate.com reports the Ninth Circuit and the judges appear to have been surprised by the report.  They apparently say they were unaware of their financial holdings or the legal ramifications of those holdings when they took part in the cases.

Rescue teams will keep searching this morning for the pilot of a small plane that crashed into San Pablo Bay in northern California yesterday.  The pilot’s Cessna 210 collided late Sunday afternoon with another small plane it was reportedly flying along with.  A Coast Guard official said boats, helicopters and divers searched the choppy water until well after dark Sunday but only found debris.  The other plane managed to land safely at an airport southeast of Sacramento.  The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the collision.

The Bay Area is tops when it comes to voter turnout.  L.A. County may be home to more than a quarter of all state residents, but research shows people in nine Bay Area counties are more likely to actually show up on election day to cast their ballots.  A recent Field Poll indicates that statewide, nearly a quarter of the June primary voters will be from the Bay Area.  Only one in five of the ballots will be cast in Los Angeles County.

It appears Visitacion Valley locals are finally going to see the old Schlage Lock factory become the high-profile community they’ve always wanted.  Later today, Mayor Ed Lee is expected to announce an agreement calling for the construction of a neighborhood of nearly 17-hundred low and middle-income apartments.  It will also feature condos, a couple of parks, a restored and repurposed community building and a highly desired grocery store.

Clippers players are making their thoughts known on team owner Donald Sterling’s alleged comments urging a woman to not bring black people to his team’s games.  The Clippers ran out of the tunnel for Game 4 of their first-round playoff series at Golden State yesterday wearing their warm-up uniforms, and soon after waged a silent protest.  The players huddled together at center court and tossed their warm-ups to the ground and went through their pregame routine with their red Clippers’ shirts on inside-out to hide the team’s logo.  The team also wore black wristbands or armbands, and they all wore black socks with their normal jerseys.  The NBA is said to be investigating, and hope to have things wrapped up in the next few days.

A Los Angeles city councilman wants the city to take an official position on the Clippers scandal.  City Councilmember Bernard Parks is asking his staff to draft a resolution to have the City of Los Angeles take an official position on the racial comments allegedly made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling.  Parks’ office say they have five points, including demanding Sterling make a personal apology to the entire Los Angeles community, and request the “Los Angeles Times” and other local newspapers to stop running Sterling’s weekly publicity ads that display his commercial real estate empire.  The issue is expected to be brought up at tomorrow’s meeting.

Things continue to get worse for Clippers owner Donald Sterling.  More audio from a racially-charged conversation between a couple that’s allegedly Sterling and his girlfriend was released to deadspin.com yesterday.  The new audio is said to be about a 15-minute portion of an hour-long conversation between the couple, and an attorney for the girlfriend says she didn’t release the tapes.  The NBA is investigating the tapes and hopes to have things wrapped up in the next few days.

Toyota may be moving out of California.  An announcement is expected from Toyota today following multiple unconfirmed reports that suggest the company may be moving the division in Torrance to Texas.  Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto says city leaders contacted Toyota immediately after hearing the rumors last week, but have not been able to confirm the reports.  Scotto says Torrance has repeatedly tried to keep Toyota, but says they have now run out of tools at the city level.

NATION

At least 18 deaths are blamed on a deadly tornado outbreak that slammed several states in the Plains and the South on Sunday.  Hardest hit was Arkansas, where the death toll stands at 16 this morning.  Another death has been confirmed in Oklahoma and one in Iowa.  While folks will be busy today searching for more victims and beginning to pick up the pieces of their shattered communities, they’ll also be bracing for more severe weather today.

President Obama says the U.S. and European Union will hit Russia with more sanctions today.  Obama told reporters the new sanctions build on those already imposed because of Russian interference in Ukraine.  The latest sanctions will target more than a dozen Russian officials western diplomats believe are creating chaos and undermining democracy in Ukraine.  The sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes.

Donald Sterling’s ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers could have an unexpected and unique ending.  Sources tell Yahoo! Sports that NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson is very interested in buying the franchise from Sterling.  Sterling has come under fire after TMZ acquired an alleged recording of him making racially-charged remarks to his girlfriend.  The NBA will likely hand down sanctions to Sterling in the coming days.

Comcast will lose nearly four-million subscribers when it merges with Time Warner Cable.  Comcast says it will lose the subscribers when it sells some of its businesses as part of the 45-billion dollar deal, which still has to be approved by federal regulators.  Charter Communications will pick up close to one and a half million Time Warner Cable subscribers.  That will make Charter the nation’s second biggest cable company.  The new Comcast-Time Warner Cable company will be the biggest.

4/25/14

LOCAL

 A Grover Beach driver was arrested Wednesday morning at 11 for possession of meth. The driver, Austin Ross, was stopped on Highway 1 by a police officer who arrested Ross after discovering he was driving on a suspended license and possession of hashish. The officer subsequently searched Ross’s car to find 83.8 grams of packaged methamphetamine and other paraphernalia used to sell narcotics. Ross is currently in San Luis Obispo County jail charged with transportation and possession of narcotics, hashish and drug paraphernalia, as well as for driving while suspended.

Parcel delivery packages were stolen from a Grover Beach home on 3 p.m. Monday on Rockaway Ave. The home’s video surveillance camera shows two males in a dark, early 2000’s Honda Civic. The passenger walked to the front porch, stole two boxes, got back in the car and left. The Grover Beach Police Department is asking for the public’s help in solving the robbery and has posted a video of the crime on its Facebook page.

Santa Barbara police are searching for a man who allegedly used a stolen credit card at a liquor store. Police say the man went to a store on Santa Barbara’s Westside around 10:30 p.m. on April 13. in a white pickup truck. Earlier in the evening, a woman had her purse stolen at Santa Barbara Harbor, and she says the man in the white pickup truck used her credit card. If you recognize the person or truck, contact Santa Barbara Police Department Detective John Ingram at (805) 897-2331, or leave an anonymous tip at (805) 897-2386.

The third annual San Luis Obispo Marathon is this weekend. Roads throughout the city will be closed from 4:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Sunday for the full and half marathon. Race organizers and the city encourage drivers to use Highway 101 to travel between the north and south parts of the city. There are over 4,000 runners signed up for the race. The 5K and fun run will be at the Madonna Meadows on Saturday.

The city of San Luis Obispo on Thursday unveiled seven new downtown meters as part of a pilot program to donate to the homeless. The money raised from the new meters will be donated to the Prado Day Center to help those who ask for money to support addictive or negative habits. People can use the new meters by either swiping a credit card or depositing coins.

STATE

Parents in the Pleasanton school district are being warned that someone solicited pornographic pictures from students on Instagram.  A about a week ago, some teenagers at an unidentified campus told an administrator they’d been asked to share explicit pictures of themselves.  The district sent out a letter reassuring families that police are investigating in order to track down the account and the individual.  They believe the person behind the solicitation is from outside the community.

Vallejo police are trying to figure out why a man shot a woman before turning the gun on himself.  The incident happened just after 4:30 yesterday afternoon, at a home on Thelma Avenue, near Springs Road.  Witnesses told police the man was yelling at the woman, then apparently approached her as she sat in a chair on the front porch, shot her at point blank range, then shot himself.  The identities of the suspect and the victim have not been released until their families are notified.

New information says the elderly man arrested in connection with a shooting at a medical center in Daly City on Wednesday is a former patient who allegedly fired at one of the doctors working there.  Witnesses at the scene identified 84-year-old Raymond Iwase as the alleged shooter, and he was arrested late Wednesday night at his home and charged with attempted murder.  A gun was found at his home, but it is not known if it is connected.  Police still have no motive for the shooting.

A group of people are being hailed for preventing a potential suicide along a freeway in Oakland.  Police say they were called to the scene along Interstate 580 yesterday afternoon where a man had been threatening to jump from an overpass.  Investigators say the group of people were able to reach through the bars of the overpass and grab ahold of the man until police and fire crews could safely remove him.  There were delays for drivers on the freeway during the incident.

Commuters hope to have an easier ride on the 210 Freeway today after Thursday’s big rig crash in Pasadena caused major headaches.  The big rigs collided before 1 p.m. near Allen Avenue in Pasadena.  One rig overturned on nearby railroad tracks, leaving Metro Gold Line service suspended into this morning’s commute.  The eastbound side of the freeway was shutdown after the crash, causing a miles long backup.  CHP officials opened three lanes back up to traffic late Thursday night, but it was unclear when the rest of the roadway would reopen.

CHP officials are trying to figure out what caused a school bus driver to crash his bus into a group of trees in Anaheim Hills.  Authorities say the driver appeared to not hit the brakes when the bus went skidding down a road, up over a curb, and into a group of trees Thursday afternoon near the Anaheim Hills Golf Course.  The driver had to be cut from the wreckage and was taken to a hospital in critical condition.  Two of the eleven kids on board also suffered critical wounds, while three others suffered minor injuries.  A full investigation is ongoing.

The family of the TSA officer murdered at Los Angeles International Airport last year is seeking millions from the city over the incident.  The wife and children of Officer Gerardo Hernandez have filed a claim seeking 25 million dollars.  They claim LAX police and the city in general is responsible for Hernandez’s death due to a lack of proper security.  Hernandez was killed when alleged gunman Paul Ciancia opened fire inside Terminal Three last November.

The LAPD will take time Friday to honor a fallen colleague.  A memorial star will be unveiled outside the department’s Hollywood Station to honor Officer Nicholas Lee.  Lee was killed last month when his patrol car was struck by a dump truck.  The 16-year veteran of the force had received more than 70 commendations.  Lee’s family, friends and police colleagues will be on hand for Friday’s ceremony.

NATION

President Obama is extending condolences for last week’s ferry tragedy as he visits South Korea.  Heading into talks today with the country’s president, Obama called the disaster an “incredible loss” as the two leaders observed a moment of silence.  President Park Geun-Hye pledged the South Korean people will pull through the tragedy.  The confirmed death toll from the ferry sinking is now more than 180 with nearly 120 people still unaccounted for.

A Nevada rancher locked in a battle with the federal government over cattle grazing fees is not backing down on his controversial views about race and abortion.  At a news conference near his ranch yesterday, Cliven Bundy elaborated on his recent interview with the “New York Times.”  He wondered whether African-American people were, quote, “happy with their government-subsidized homes.  They sort of looked to me like they were slaves.” Bundy claimed African-Americans, quote, “abort their young children,” and “put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton.”

The Defense Department says suicide rates in the military are actually higher than previously reported.  New calculations show from 2006 until now the military’s suicide rate was at least one-percent higher than what had been reported.  The new figures show the suicide rate peaked among full-time soldiers in 2012 when a record 164 soldiers committed suicide

New York University officials are investigating after as many as two-thousand students got fake eviction notices.  The notices slipped under doors in two dormitories Thursday came from pro-Palestinian NYU students.  The messages said the rooms were scheduled for demolition and that students had until today to clear out or all their personal property could be destroyed.  A line at the bottom of the flyers says they are meant to “draw attention to the reality that Palestinians confront on a regular basis.”

4/24/2014

LOCAL

The San Luis Obispo County Coroner released new information yesterday on a deadly crash on Highway 46 East back in February. It was determined that the driver, 26-year-old Jeremy Nathanial Martin had THC, Codeine, and Ibuprofen in his system when he drove his car into an on-coming pickup truck. The passenger, Christopher Micheal Medina, died of blunt force trauma. The driver of the pickup truck was not injured.

A North County contractor was arrested over the weekend for burglary and eavesdropping. The San Luis Obsipo County Sheriff’s Office is accusing 34-year-old Eutimio Anguiano of San Miguel of placing cameras behind vents in the master bedroom of three different homes. The Sheriff’s Office wants you to call them if you find any similar tampering your home.

Fitch Ratings has upgraded San Luis Obispo County’s bond rating to AAA, the highest rating possible. The county got the rating from having consistently strong financial performances, as the county’s 2013 to 2014 budget is expected to break even or possibly show a small surplus. The only other counties with a AAA rating are San Diego and Marin.

Cities Journal lists Grover Beach as one of the top 15 small cities in California. The magazine listed Grover Beach because the city “offers a convenient middle ground if you love the beach lifestyle, but also want to be close to mountains and colder weather.” Grover Beach was ranked 13th, while Healdsburg was ranked number one.

Sparks flew in the SLO County District Attorney debate last night. The debate, sponsored by The Tribune and the League of Women Voters at the San Luis Obispo Library, focused on each candidate’s background in leadership and experience. Deputy District Attorney Dan Dow argued that most of the office’s attorneys support him, so he’s better suited to lead them. But Assistant District Attorney Tim Covello said Dow he does not have enough experience as a prosecutor and has no management experience in the District Attorney’s Office to be an effective leader, while many prominent judges have donated to Covello’s campaign. Dow said he has handled thousands of cases, including difficult sex crimes often involving children, and that his experience in the military and in business makes him a more well-rounded, approachable candidate. Covello argued that in the military, you work your way up the ranks regardless of what fellow military members think of you, so naturally he believes he’s next in line.

STATE

The notorious Sriracha plant will remain in Irwindale, for now.  City officials had been set to formally call the hot sauce plant a public nuisance Wednesday night, but in a move that shocked a packed City Hall, they tabled it until May.  Dozens of employees, supporters, and fans of the spicy sauce held signs and protested the possible shut down of the plant before the meeting, and during the meeting the Mayor of Irwindale said he wants to give plant officials time to make necessary changes.  Council members say they’re acting in the interest of neighbors who have complained for years about a noxious smell coming from the facility.

Two former L.A. County sheriff’s deputies head to court later this year on charges they planted guns to justify making arrests.  Julio Cesar Martinez and Anthony Manuel Perez will be arraigned in June on conspiracy and other charges.  Prosecutors claim the pair planted guns inside a medical marijuana dispensary in the Los Angeles-area in 2011 to justify making arrests in what they said was a drug transaction.  Video surveillance from inside the store contradicted the deputies’ story.

A convicted sexual offender from Redondo Beach is in jail for allegedly committing the same crime.  Hugo Gonzalez spent a year in prison in 2010 after being convicted of giving alcohol to a minor he met online, then having sex with her.  Authorities took Gonzalez into custody earlier this month after he reportedly met two 15-year-old girls online, and committed the same crime.  He is currently being held in Los Angeles County Jail on 245-thousand-dollars bail and awaiting his preliminary hearing.

Police need the public’s help tracking down a man who tried to kidnap a 13-year-old girl in Culver City.  Investigators say a man in his 30’s pulled up to the teen as she had been walking home from Culver City Middle School Tuesday.  Authorities say the man asked the girl for her name through the passenger window of his light green compact car, trying to lure her in.  The girl turned around and ran to the Culver City Teen Center, and an employee there then called police.

An 84-year-old man is under arrest in connection with a shooting at a medical office building in Daly City.  Police were called to 15-hundred Southgate Avenue around 1:30 p.m. yesterday after a doctor reported seeing an armed man and hearing a gunshot.  Raymond Iwase was arrested without incident at his Daly City home late last night on suspicion of murder.  Police also recovered a firearm and ammunition from the suspect’s home.

Federal scientists are announcing the re-discovery of a steamship that sank off the San Francisco Bay 126 years ago.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also released yesterday never-before-seen sonar photos of the ship named City of Chester.  In August 1888, the steamship was headed out from the Bay when it collided with another ship over twice its size.  Sixteen people were killed, including three children, in what became the second-worst maritime disaster in the Bay’s history.  The NOAA says scientists were charting shipping channels near the Golden Gate Bridge when they rediscovered the wreckage in 217 feet of water.

A man claiming to be Audrie Pott’s biological father wants to be included in a wrongful death lawsuit as a legal heir.  Forty-six-year-old Michael Lazarin filed a lawsuit in Santa Clara County Superior Court yesterday claiming that the teen girl’s legal parents falsely claimed to be her sole heirs.  Audrie committed suicide in September 2012 when photos of a sexual assault by three male classmates were shown to others.  Sheila and Lawrence Pott filed a suit last April against the boys’ parents for monetary damages.

San Francisco police are looking for the belligerent customer who attacked a fast-food drive-through worker.  The incident happened early Saturday morning at a restaurant in the 300 block of Bayshore Boulevard, but the victim did not immediately report it.  Police say the customer started shouting profanities at the employee, jumped through the window and kicked him repeatedly before running off.  Police are currently reviewing video surveillance footage from the restaurant.

NATION

The number of Americans seeking first-time unemployment benefits is up. The Labor Department says it received 329-thousand requests last week, up 24-thousand from the week prior. The biggest jumps for claims were in California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Indiana.

New rules set to be proposed by the FDA would make e-cigarettes off-limits to anyone younger than 18.  E-cigarette sales have spiked over the past few years.  Last year, they hit two-billion dollars.  Health experts say e-cigarette companies are marketing to kids.  Supporters of e-cigarettes say they’re safer than tobacco cigarettes and can be used to help people quit smoking.

The FBI is accused of retaliating against Muslims who refused to sign up as federal informants.  A lawsuit filed this week accuses the bureau of placing or keeping at least four Muslim men on a no-fly list because they wouldn’t “spy” on their Muslim communities.  All four men are U.S. residents.

Marijuana may be bad for your heart.  A new study shows that people who use marijuana may be raising their risk of serious cardiovascular problems like heart attacks.  Researchers haven’t identified exactly how marijuana use is linked to heart problems.

4/23/2014

LOCAL

A motorhome fire occurred at Sage Avenue in Los Osos at 1:52 in the yesterday afternoon. The fire spread to out buildings, vehicles and vegetation.  Ten people were evacuated.  The cause of the fire was determined to be a mechanical failure in the motorhome with a loss of $100,000.

The criminal case against two former Cabrillo High School assistant wrestling coaches charged with battery on a minor was delayed for a second time yesterday. Judge James Iwasko granted a continuance for further investigation to May 13. The two coaches- 45-year-old Chad Johnson and 22-year-old Matthew Giles- also face charges of contributing to the delinquency of minors for allegedly sanctioning an attack on a Cabrillo High School wrestling student on December 9. The alleged victim, 16-year-old Fabian Realpe, filed a civil suit seeking more than $10,000 in damages against the Lompoc Unified School District and named Johnson, Giles and Chewy Medrano, a third former assistant wrestling coach.

A candidate forum for San Luis Obispo County District Attorney is being held today from 7 to 9 p.m. at the San Luis Obispo County Library on Palm Street. The League of Women Voters and the SLO Tribune are hosting the forum, and you can come and ask questions to the candidates, Tim Covello and Dan Dow.

The Atascadero City Council voted unanimously yesterday to prepare a proposal for June 24 for the council to put a half percent sales tax increase on the Nov. 4 ballot. The sales tax would be increased from 7.5 percent to 8 percent for 10 years and is expected to generate 1.7 million to 2 million dollars annually, which the council said will go towards fixing the city’s roads. Atascadero residents who spoke at the meeting generally favored the tax hike as long as the money specifically went to fixing the roads. The city council also proposed creating a citizens advisory committee to oversee how the revenue generated from the tax increase is used if the measure passes. The total cost of placing the measures on the ballot is estimated to be about $10,000 and would be paid out of the general fund.

The two people arrested for robbing three local banks are scheduled to appear in court this morning. Police arrested 55-year-old George Gonzales of Santa Maria and 33-year-old Tonya Young of Paso Robles after a Chase Bank robbery on El Camino Real. Investigators believe that the two are connected to the robbery of two branches of Bank of America in Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande. Police say Gonzales used the same vehicle in both the Arroyo Grande and Atascadero robberies. Gonzales is accused of bank robbery, and Young is facing multiple charges.

STATE

An investigation is underway after a man has been shot and killed next to a major L.A. freeway.  Authorities say a 52-year-old man has been found shot to death near the northbound 110 Freeway at Avenue 60 in Highland Park.  Witnesses say they heard around five gunshots in the area Tuesday, and the body of the victim was found in the dirt next to the freeway.  Detectives on the scene are not saying much about their investigation, and will not release information on a possible suspect.

Detectives are trying to figure out what killed a man found outside a Westminster home.  Fumigators say they found the body of the man on the home’s back porch Tuesday night when they showed up to remove the fumigation tent.  The identity of the victim is not known, and the residents of the home say they don’t know who he is.  Investigators say that the condition of the body suggests that he died recently, and that the chemical levels inside the home might not have been intense enough to kill the man.

A man is sitting in jail after he allegedly set fire to a puppy.  Twenty-one-year old Bernardo Vasquez is accused of lighting a five-month old puppy on fire, then letting the pup run for its life in Ontario earlier this month.  Witnesses say they heard the pup crying, and when they looked out their back window, they saw a flaming ball of fur running down the neighborhood wash.  Animal control officials say the dog suffered burns to over 75-percent of its body, and didn’t survive.  Vasquez was formally charged Tuesday, and faces nearly four years in prison if convicted.

A piece of Los Angeles history will be put on display.  Construction workers near downtown L.A. uncovered a part of the so-called “Mother Ditch,” the city’s original water system that was shut down in 1877.  The workers had been digging in Chinatown for a plaza project and came across about 73 feet of the brick pipe on Monday.  City officials say a 40-foot section of the historic pipe will be removed later this week to be preserved for future display.

LinkedIn is increasing its presence in San Francisco.  The professional networking company, based in Mountain View, has reportedly signed a lease for a 26-story building still under construction at 222 Second Street.  The 450-thousand-square-foot space will accommodate as many as 25-hundred workers by 2016.  LinkedIn already has two existing sites in the city at One Montgomery Tower and another not-yet-occupied space at 505 Howard Street.

Contra Costa County is not ready to let PG&E cut down hundreds of trees so it can gain better access to its gas pipeline network.  The Board of Supervisors said yesterday it’ll need more details about the utility company’s controversial Pipeline Pathway Project.  Some East Bay residents and city leaders upset about the proposal say PG&E cannot unilaterally cut down trees.  Utility officials have agreed not to remove any trees until they can reach an agreement with cities and counties.

The National Park Service is rolling out a new pilot program in an effort to keep Ocean Beach clean and safe.  The new fire-building rules include limiting fires to before 9 p.m. and replacing the five existing pits with ten larger ones.  The pilot program is in response to ongoing problems at the beach, including burning toxic materials such as furniture and trash.  It takes effect Memorial Day weekend and lasts through Labor Day weekend.

A firefighter is recovering from burns suffered while battling a three-alarm blaze in the city’s Duboce Triangle neighborhood.  The fire broke out just after 1:30 yesterday afternoon at a home on Walter Street near 14th Street and Duboce Avenue.  Windy conditions fueled the flames, and they spread to the two neighboring buildings before firefighters could gain the upper hand around 2:50 p.m.  Deputy Fire Chief Mark Gonzales says one firefighter was injured when melting tar fell through the roof and burned him.

NATION

President Obama is in Japan for the start of a nearly week-long visit to four U.S. allies.  Obama landed in Tokyo early this morning and was greeted by Caroline Kennedy, America’s ambassador to Japan.  The President began his visit with a dinner at a sushi restaurant with Japan’s prime minister.  The two will hold a summit meeting on Thursday.

Australian experts are analyzing what might be an “object of interest” in the search for a missing Malaysian jetliner.  Police in Western Australian say a piece of metal found on the coast was turned into them and now is in the hands of the agency leading the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  The object is described as a piece of sheet metal with rivets.  The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared March 8th with nearly 240 people on board.

Mortgage applications are down across the U.S, while the average rate for a 30-year mortgage is up slightly.  The weekly Mortgage Bankers Association report shows new applications for both mortgages and refinancing dropped three-point-three percent last week.  Meanwhile, the average interest rate for 30-year fixed mortgages edged up to four-point-four-nine percent, slightly higher than the week before.

More information is coming out about the teenager who hid inside a wheel well on a flight from San Jose, California to Hawaii on Easter.   A homeland security official said that an airport security camera captured the boy jumping a perimeter fence at the airport just after 1 a.m., more than six hours before the plane took off.  The boy is not facing any criminal charges.

4/22/2014

LOCAL

The parents of a Santa Barbara woman who died from being hit by a congresswoman’s aide’s car filed a wrongful death suit against Raymond Morua, U.S. Rep. Lois Capps and the U.S. government. Matt and Raeona Dies’ attorney Robert Stoll claims that the Democratic congresswoman hired the aide, who drove the vehicle that killed 27-year-old Mallory Dies, despite being aware of his two DUI convictions and failed to monitor him. The suit said that Morua was required to drive as part of his job. Court records show he has two prior DUI arrests, a hit-and-run and an embezzlement conviction. Morua pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and fleeing the scene of the crime after hitting Dies in downtown Santa Barbara on Dec. 6. The lawsuit also claims that Morua was working for Capps that night. Capps, who represents San Luis Obispo County, said that the woman’s death was a tragedy but insisted that Morua was not working for her the night of the crash. Stoll says Dies’s parents dealt with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and they want to get some of their expenses paid. Morua faces up to 20 years in prison.

San Luis Obispo police believe that Friday night’s sexual assault near Cal Poly may be connected to another incident on campus earlier this month. The incident on Friday near Mustang Village on Foothill involved a man pulling a woman’s skirt and underwear down to her knees and running away when she screamed. On April 8, a man grabbed a woman in the Morro building in Cerro Vista apartments from behind and put his hand up her skirt. He also ran away when the woman screamed, police say. Two other similar incidents occurred on campus earlier this year. There haven’t been any arrests yet.

You can grab coffee with a cop today in Montecito. Just stop by the Starbucks at Coast Village Road anytime between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. to talk with a Santa Barbara police officer or Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputy about whatever concerns you.

The names of the people involved in a Santa Barbara crash on Highway 101 South, north of Castillo Street, at 12:45 yesterday morning that left three people dead, one injured, and one under arrest Monday have been released. California Highway Patrol reports that 17-year olds Danielle Nicole Murillo and Jessica Lee Leffew, both from Torrance, and 20-year-old Brian Adonay Lopez from Los Angeles were passengers in a 2005 Mazda driven by 20-year-old Erick Hoel August, from Los Angeles when it flipped and landed on its roof after hitting the guardrail. Murillo, Leffew, and Lopez were killed and August was in critical condition at a hospital. Shortly after the crash, 52-year old Kimberly Ann Kreis from Santa Barbara was arrested on suspicion of DUI after she crashed her 2013 Ford Mustang into the Mazda. She sustained minor injuries. Ventura County records show that Kreis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.CHP investigators are still trying to determine why the Mazda veered right into the guardrail.

Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles is adding Kenny Loggins and Ted Nugent to its concert lineup. Loggins is coming on July 12 perform with singer-songwriters Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman as part of Blue Sky Rider. Loggins became famous from being part of the pop-rock duo Loggins and Messina, best known for such songs like “Danny’s Song” and “House at Pooh Corner.” The Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist dominated movie soundtracks like “Caddyshack” and “Top Gun.” Nugent, who performs July 13, was the lead guitarist of The Amboy Dukes before launching a solo career in the 1970s. His hard-rocking hits include “Cat Scratch Fever,” “Stranglehold” and “Motor City Madhouse.” Tickets for Loggins’ concert range from $32 to $65, while tickets for Nugent’s tickets will be around $30 to $65. Tickets for both concerts go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Authorities say they have tied the Santa Maria man arrested in connection with an Atascadero bank robbery to two previous bank robberies in Arroyo Grande and Pismo Beach. On Friday, the Atascadero Police Department arrested George Jessie Gonzales, 55, and Tonya Michelle Young, 33, of Paso Robles on suspicion of robbing the Atascadero Chase Bank on El Camino Real on Thursday. Yesterday, the Arroyo Grande Police Department announced it will recommend to the county District Attorney’s Office to file felony charges against Gonzales for robbing the Bank of America on West Branch Street on April 3. The police say video surveillance shows that Gonzales used the same vehicle in the Atascadero and Arroyo Grande robberies. In the April 3 robbery, Arroyo Grande police said that Gonzales allegedly entered the bank and ordered a teller to give him cash while indicating he had a gun and then fled toward Wesley Street. Yesterday, Pismo Beach police recommended robbery charges against Gonzales for the March 21 robbery of the Bank of America on Dolliver Street. Currently, Gonzales and Young are in County Jail in lieu of $60,000 bail each.

STATE

There will be no federal or local criminal charges filed against the 15-year-old Santa Clara boy who snuck into the wheel well of a Hawaii-bound Boeing 767 at San Jose International Airport Sunday morning, and survived the 23-hundred mile flight over the ocean.  The FBI says the boy wasn’t even trying to go to Hawaii, he just wanted to get away after an argument at home.  Aviation experts are marveling that the boy somehow survived five-and-a-half hours in sub-freezing temperatures at 38-thousand feet.  After a medical check-up revealed no injuries, he was released to the Department of Health Services in Honolulu.  It is unclear when the boy will return to the Bay Area.

The Golden State Warriors are saying “no-go” to building an 18-thousand seat arena at Piers 30 and 32 and instead, have purchased land in Mission Bay. The new 12-acre site was sold by Salesforce.com, and sits next to the U-C San Francisco Mission Bay campus.  The “Examiner” says access to the proposed arena appears to have increased, as public transportation already runs directly from downtown BART stations to the area, and, when the Central Subway opens, it will run directly from the Powell BART station to the arena’s front door.  The Warriors hope to have the proposed arena open in time for the 2018-19 season.

PG&E is pleading not guilty to a dozen felony charges  stemming from the deadly 2010 San Bruno explosion and fire.  The utility company entered the plea yesterday in federal court in San Francisco.  Prosecutors claim that PG&E knowingly kept outdated and incomplete records on the pipeline that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in the Crestmoor neighborhood.  PG&E faces at least six-million-dollars in fines, and could pay more if the court decides the company somehow benefited financially as a result of criminal misconduct.

Investigators are trying to piece together what caused a three-car crash Monday afternoon in Cupertino, that left a little girl dead, and three others injured.  The CHP says a minivan that was on the shoulder of Highway 85 near South De Anza Boulevard was smashed into by a Jeep Wrangler, sending the minivan across all lanes of the road into the median where it was hit by another car.  The girl was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the crash, while a young boy suffered major injuries and a 41-year-old Cupertino woman believed to be the children’s mother had injuries that were considered minor.  The 56-year-old San Jose man driving the Wrangler suffered major injuries, and officials say, depending on what investigators find, he could face charges related to the girl’s death.

Funeral services will be held today for an LAPD motorcycle officer who was killed while on duty earlier this month.  Chris Cortijo, a 26-year veteran of the department, will be remembered at a funeral Mass at 9 this morning at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.  A funeral procession and graveside burial will follow.  Cortijo died on April 9th, just days after he was struck by an SUV driven by an allegedly drug-impaired driver in Sun Valley.  During his career, Cortijo had arrested more than three-thousand DUI suspects and had been named officer of the year twice.

A man is hospitalized in critical but stable condition after being shot by police in downtown Los Angeles.  LAPD says officers responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon around 4:30 yesterday afternoon at the One Wilshire building.  A preliminary investigation reveals that the problem began with a dispute between the suspect and a parking lot attendant.  Police say the suspect failed to obey an officer’s commands, which resulted in the officer opening fire.

Four out of five lanes on the westbound 134 Freeway are blocked following a multi-vehicle collision in Eagle Rock.  A delivery van reportedly overturned in the middle lanes of the freeway. The California Highway Patrol says the collisions took place just east of the northbound 2 Freeway around 5:20 this morning.  No injuries reported.

A citizens group says it is fed up with Los Angeles’ system of doling out parking citations.  The Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative also says its upset with Mayor Garcetti’s recent budget proposal because they say it relies too much on parking fines to generate additional revenue for the city.  The group says parking fines that currently start at 58 dollars should be capped around 25 dollars since so many residents are already hurting economically.  They call the city’s parking citation practices unnecessarily aggressive and punitive.  A mayoral spokesperson defends the move, saying such officers do more than just handing out parking tickets.

NATION

A teen’s safe arrival in Hawaii after hiding in the wheel well of a passenger jet is raising questions about security at a California airport. The 16-year-old reportedly hopped a fence at the San Jose International Airport and made his way to the Hawaiian Airlines jet on Easter Sunday. Investigators would like to know how he avoided detection by security in San Jose. No charges are expected to be filed against the young stowaway.

The chief bomb maker for al-Qaeda may be dead.  A weekend attack by special forces in Yemen is alleged to have killed Ibrahim al-Asiri and several other militants.  If al-Asiri’s death is confirmed, he would be the highest ranking member of al-Qaeda killed since Osama bin Laden in 2011.

President Obama will be meeting the families of those killed in last month’s deadly Washington state mudslide later on today.  The slide buried about three dozen homes near the small town of Oso. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office says 41 victims have been recovered.

An environmental group is blasting the EPA for a five-city tour that supposedly supports climate change awareness.  The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility says greenhouse gases from EPA administrator Gina McCarthy’s trip by jet will just create more pollution.

4/21/2014

LOCAL

Paso Robles firefighters responded to a shed fire on Pine Street last Saturday evening at 8:59. The firefighters were able to limit the smoke and fire damage. There were no reported injuries or deaths. The American Red Cross and Paso Robles Housing Authority provided emergency housing to the three families displaced by the fire.

A sexual assault near Cal Poly’s campus was reported at 10:17 last Friday evening. The victim was walking nearby Mustang Village on Foothill when the suspect approached her from behind and pulled her skirt and underwear to her knees and she fell to the ground. The suspect fled toward Foothill when the victim screamed. The suspect is described as a white or Hispanic male in his 20’s. Anyone who witnessed the assault is encouraged to call the police department.

Two suspects were arrested for robbing a Chase Bank in Atascadero last Thursday. The two suspects were 55-year-old George Jesie Gonzales of Santa Maria and 33-year-old Tonya Michelle Young of Paso Robles. Gonzales was arrested after a short standoff with the police, and Young was seen driving the vehicle used in the robbery. Both subjects were booked at SLO County Jail for robbery.

Santa Maria Police arrested two men Thursday night for attempted murder for a shooting that occurred on March 11 on North Mary Street. The two men arrested were Randy Ramirez and David Martinez Jr., both from Santa Maria. Both men were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail. Police are still investigating the incident.

Atascadero leaders are considering placing a measure on the November ballot to increase the sales tax from 7.5 percent to 8 percent. On Tuesday, the City Council is also expected determine if the revenue generated from the tax increase will primarily be used for fixing roads or improving parks, police and fire stations, the Charles Paddock Zoo, or other city resources. The city estimates that the tax increase would raise 1.7 million dollars to 2 million dollars annually. Currently, Atascadero is the only city in San Luis Obispo County that has kept the state’s 7.5 percent base tax, as the other six cities have 8% sales tax rates. A research group found that 61 percent of the 402 people interviewed in Atascadero support the tax increase.

Traffic is being diverted in Santa Barbara after a deadly car accident occurred at 12:45 this morning. The accident occurred on Highway 101 south at Castillo. Drivers are being diverted at the Castillo off-ramp and drivers can get back on the freeway at the Castillo on-ramp.

STATE

A teen is lucky to be alive after stowing away in the wheel well of a flight from San Jose to Maui. The FBI says the 16-year-old boy from Santa Clara was unharmed despite enduring frigid temperatures at 38-thousand feet and a lack of oxygen on the Hawaiian Airlines flight.  The boy told authorities he had run away from home when they found him on the tarmac at the Maui airport Sunday morning.  He was taken to a nearby hospital but was found to be uninjured.

Roughly ten people are facing felony charges in connection with an unofficial marijuana event at Golden Gate Park.  San Francisco police also issued hundreds of advisements for infractions during four-20 celebrations yesterday, such as carrying open booze containers.  Field sobriety tests were conducted throughout the night for drivers suspected of being under the influence.  Roughly 15-thousand people attended last year’s smoke-out and left behind a mess that cost more than ten-thousand dollars to clean up.

The California Highway Patrol is calling it an Easter miracle.  A trucker suffered only moderate injuries when his big-rig careened out of control on northbound U.S. Highway 101 in Santa Rosa, rolled over and burst into flames.  The accident happened just after 8:00 yesterday morning near the Todd Road exit and blocked two lanes of the freeway for several hours.  The cause of the accident is under investigation.

One person is dead and another is injured after a shooting in Fairfield.  Both victims showed up at North Bay Medical Center late Saturday night where a 27-year-old Fairfield man died.  A 15-year-old boy was treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder and released, according to police.  They’re continuing their investigating at an undisclosed location in the city where the shooting is believed to have occurred.

Police have a 38-year-old man behind bars who they say stabbed a nurse in Torrance.  Thomas Fredette is accused of stabbing a nurse in the ear with a pencil at Harbor UCLA Medical Center on Sunday.  After freeing herself from Fredette’s grasp deputies were able to arrest him on assault with a deadly weapon charges.  Authorities say a pencil believed to be the weapon has been recovered from the scene, and Fredette is expected in court on Tuesday.

A police officer and a six-year-old girl are recovering after a four car crash in Northridge.  Officials at the scene say the injured officer had been driving with her lights and siren on when she collided with the driver of a black Audi on Sunday.  The Audi then reportedly spun out and hit two more vehicles, and a total of six people got hurt.  The officer and the girl were the only two taken to the hospital, and police will not say if the officer ran a red light before the crash.

A young girl is dead after a car plows into an apartment complex.  Police say a 20-year-old lost control of his car when he turned the corner on Avenue R in Palmdale early Sunday.  Authorities believe the driver had been either drunk or high at the time of the crash, and the victim was sleeping when the SUV barreled through her wall.  Family members identified the girl as Giselle Mendoza, and the driver is free on bail after being booked on vehicular manslaughter charges.

A woman is dead after trying to push her car off the freeway.  A 21-year-old woman died early Sunday morning after being hit by a car on the northbound 405 Freeway in Gardena.  Officials at the scene say the woman ran out of gas and was hit by a car going about 60 miles per hour.  The collision sent her body across a few lanes of traffic where she was then run over by another car.  Authorities say she died at the scene, and no one else was injured, nor were any arrests made after the horrific crash.

NATION

Thousands of runners from around the world will soon hit the streets of Boston for the 118th Boston Marathon. It’s the first marathon since the bombings that killed three people and injured hundreds more. Many of those who were injured will run today in a triumphant show of grit, courage, and defiance.  The race is the oldest annual marathon.  Racers with physical disabilities will go off shortly before 9 a.m. Eastern.  A few dozen elite female runners will start near 9:30.  Elite male athletes will mix it up with thousands of other runners at 10 a.m.  An estimated 35-hundred uniformed police officers and 600 members of the National Guard will be securing the race.

Vice President Joe Biden is preparing to travel to Kiev for a Tuesday meeting with Ukraine’s acting president.  The White House says Biden will also meet with the nation’s prime minister.  He’ll also talk with members of Ukraine’s parliament as well as representatives from non-governmental organizations during his two-day visit.

More than 20 people are recovering after a car slammed into a Florida church during an Easter service last night.  Lee County EMS says 21 people at the Second Haitian Baptist Church in Fort Myers were injured when the car careened through a brick wall.  Firefighters say all of the injured should survive.  The woman at the wheel apparently crashed while trying to park.

Supporters of a Nevada rancher who’s run afoul of the federal government for not paying his grazing fees aren’t backing down.  They held an Easter rally in support of Cliven Bundy in Senator Harry Reid’s hometown.  Over two-dozen demonstrators lined the main road of Searchlight, Nevada yesterday, protesting against the Bureau of Land Management’s efforts to remove Bundy’s cattle from federal land northeast of Las Vegas.  Reid has called militia members supporting the rancher “domestic terrorists.”

4/18/2014

LOCAL

Atascadero Police say two people are in custody for robbing the Chase bank on El Camino Real yesterday. Police arrested a man at around 6:00 Thursday evening near Walgreens on El Camino Real. Police describe the man as Hispanic with white makeup on his face. An anonymous witness called the police because he was suspicious that the man was wearing makeup. Police were also given the description of a vehicle seen leaving the scene of the bank robbery. An officer patrolling nearby spotted a car matching the suspect vehicle description, and stopped the car. Witnesses say police then surrounded the car with guns drawn for about 45 minutes before the suspect climbed out of the trunk and surrendered. Officers say the robber told tellers he had a gun, and took off with money. Police say a woman was also taken into custody. This is the third bank robbery in San Luis Obispo County in the past month. Atascadero Police are working with the FBI to determine if Thursday’s bank robbery is related to the previous two.

Ernest Righetti High School students recently organized a fundraiser for a special-needs student with cancer to help pay for his ongoing brain surgeries. The students and staff held a tri-tip barbecue and placed collection cans in each classroom to help 19-year-old Joshua Amador. A total of $3,652.80 was raised, far exceeding the goal of $500. Joshua has battled brain cancer for several years and will graduate in June.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the circumstances around a military ordnance found in a Solvang alleyway on Wednesday. The Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team determined the military ordnance was a 105 millimeter ammunition shell that seemed to be old and had been fired at some point. However, the ordnance was considered hazardous since the fusing system was still intact. After police evacuated 500 to 700 people, the police destroyed the ordnance in a remote location. It is unknown as to where the ordnance came from. Military ordnances can be bought online even though they aren’t intended for public use.

Three fires occurred in the Central Coast yesterday. A fire consumed an empty two-story Lompoc home at around 9 a.m. Firefighters had it under control less than an hour later. One firefighter suffered minor injuries, but is back on duty. The home has been deemed unlivable. Another fire caused around $100,000 in damage at a Pismo Beach business yesterday morning. The fire started at approximately 9:19 at Sam’s Giant Manhattan Pizza on North Oak Park Boulevard. The fire was under control a little over an hour later. There were no reported injuries, and the cause of the fire is being investigated. The third fire occurred in a Nipomo home on Easy Lane. The fire was contained to the garage but caused $250,000 in damage. The cause is under investigation.

Three allegedly violent teenage carjacking suspects were arrested on northbound Highway 101 in Santa Margarita. The teens allegedly stole a silver Nissan sedan from a woman in Visalia.

Officers stopped several other vehicles fitting the description of the stolen car before finding the teenagers. The suspects are not being identified because they are minors, but they are reportedly from Fresno County.

STATE

A second woman has been found dead on Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County.  Sheriff’s officials discovered the body yesterday afternoon while they were searching for a missing person.  The victim was discovered at the bottom of a drainage — in the same area where a Menlo Park woman was found on Saturday.  Sheriff’s officials say there does not appear to be a connection between the two cases.

President Obama is announcing plans to return to the Bay Area next month.  The White House says the president will be raising more cash for the Democratic National Committee, featuring a high-priced round table at a private home in Los Altos on May 8th.  This will be followed by a DNC reception before a couple of hundred more deep-pocketed supporters.  The president last visited the Bay Area in November, while Mrs. Obama made a swing through San Francisco back in January.

The man killed in a boating accident near Redwood City Wednesday evening was part of the crew.  Thirty-nine-year-old Yong Sun of Burlingame belonged to a four-man sailing crew participating in a race staged by the Sequoia Yacht Club.  The Coast Guard says the boat came too close to a buoy and became entangled, snapping its mast above the cabin base.  A second man suffered head, back and neck injuries.

An Oakland man could be sentenced to death in the gang-fueled killing of an eight-year-old girl.   Darnell Williams is accused of firing multiple shots into an East Oakland home last July, striking and killing Alaysha Carradine and injuring two other children.  Prosecutors believe the shooting was in retaliation for the death of another man about four hours earlier.  The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office announced yesterday it’s seeking the capital punishment against Williams, who’s due back in court on June 11th.

Looks like the embattled Sriracha hot sauce factory is being courted by a politician from Texas.  A Texas state representative sent out a tweet Thursday about his lunch, which included a giant bottle of Sriracha.  Next the Senator tweeted that Huy Fong Foods would like him to fly out here to California, tour the facility, and pitch his proposal and that the meeting had been confirmed.  The plant produces around 200-thousand bottles of Sriracha a day, and has recently been deemed a public nuisance after neighbors complained the smell caused irritation of the throat and eyes.

A Los Angeles landlord is shelling out big bucks after inspectors found people living in unsafe conditions.  City inspectors say the owner violated housing codes by renting out examination rooms in an old medical building in South Los Angeles that were never approved for people to live in.  City officials say violators must provide tenants funds to relocate and find legal housing.  Each tenant will receive a check for around ten-thousand-dollars.

A Griffith Park mountain lion known by people who frequent the area is fighting for his life.  The cat is tracked by the National Park Service, and tested positive last week for exposure to rat poison and scientists believe the animal developed deadly mange as a result.  The mountain lion, known as P-22 had been famously captured in December in an amazing photograph from National Geographic in front of the Hollywood sign.  Experts say P-22 attacked coyotes who apparently had eaten rats who ingested the poison.

A couple is behind bars for allegedly using a young illegal immigrant as a slave.  A Sylmar couple has been charged with human trafficking and slavery involving a nine-year-old girl who had been smuggled into the U.S. from El Salvador.  Authorities say the couple made the little girl work in a Pacoima restaurant named Costa Del Sol by day, and clean their apartment by night.  The couple pleaded not guilty Thursday, and are due back before a judge late this month.

NATION

South Korean authorities are pursuing an arrest warrant for the captain of a ferry that sank. The country’s Yonhap News reported today that authorities are also seeking warrants for two crew members. An official investigating the accident says the captain may have been off the bridge when the ship started sinking off the country’s southwest coast. More than two dozen people were killed when the ferry capsized and sank. Two-hundred-seventy passengers are missing.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is embarrassed after accidentally sending out a false tweet about a local ferry sinking.  On Thursday a tweet went out saying quote “Rocky Hill Ferry sank to the bottom of the river after being struck by the Chester Ferry.”  A DOT spokesman says the ferries are not even running right now because of high water levels in the Connecticut River, and the boats are just fine.

Arts and crafts retailer Michaels is reporting a security breach involving two and a half million credit and debit cards.  The chain also said Thursday about 400-thousand payment cards for its subsidiary Aaron Brothers may have been breached as well.  Michaels says the hacked systems contained only card numbers and expiration dates.

At least a dozen Sherpa guides are dead after an avalanche swept down a slope on Mount Everest.  A Tourism Ministry official says three mountaineering guides were also hurt today and up to five people are missing.  It’s the first major avalanche of the climbing season and the deadliest in eight years.

4/17/2014

LOCAL

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team investigated a potentially explosive military ordnance reported at around 3:30 p.m. yesterday on Copenhagen Drive in Solvang.  About 500 to 700 homes and businesses were evacuated.  Shortly after midnight, the Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and Vandenberg’s EOD team removed the military ordnance and said it was safe, allowing residents to return home. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

The League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County, in partnership with the San Luis Obispo County Housing Trust Fund, United Way of San Luis Obispo County, and the Community Foundation San Luis Obispo’s Action for Healthy Communities, is sponsoringafree public forum on Friday at the SLO County Library. Laurel Weir, Homeless Services Coordinator with SLO County Social Services, Grace McIntosh, Deputy Director of CAPSLO, John Spatafore, Chairman of the Homeless Foundation Board, and business leader Bill Thoma will present the latest plans for the Homeless Service Center and answer questions from the audience. For more information on this public forum contact the League at (805) 782-4040 or go to the League website www.lwvslo.org.

Santa Maria Police are investigating reports of a shooting. The report came in at around 5 in the afternoon yesterday and said a shooting occurred near North Broadway and Williams. There were no victims found at scene, and witnesses say the suspected shooter running away from the scene.

The City of Pismo Beach voted last night to stop prayers at city council meetings and eliminate the chaplain position as part of a settlement agreement reached with the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The Freedom From Religion Foundation and Dr. Sari Dworkin, a local member of the Atheists United San Luis Obispo, sued the city last November on the grounds that the prayers violated the California Constitution. The city argued that the invocations were non-sectarian. But, City Manager James Lewis said it wasn’t worth spending tax dollars to go to court. The council voted 3-0 on the agreement.

A disease is killing off sea stars, commonly known as starfish, West Coast beaches. Local marine science researchers warn that the effects of this could be harm, as sea stars eat organic material that decays on the ocean floor. The sea stars appear to be dying from a disease that causes their limbs to fall off, but researchers have been unable to determine a specific type of bacteria causing the disease. Cal Poly marine science officials say we can all help by not touching sea stars and sending in pictures of injured ones to the website seastarwasting.org.

STATE

One person is dead and another is injured after a boating accident near Redwood City.  The Coast Guard says a sailboat taking part in a yacht race yesterday evening collided with a buoy and became entangled.  Three other people onboard were uninjured and were able to free the boat from the buoy.  The victims’ identities have not been released.

San Francisco fire officials are investigating the cause of a deadly one-alarm fire at a Sunnydale housing project.  Thirty-two-year-old Eseta Ioane and her son, Santana, died in the blaze at the Brookdale Avenue residence yesterday morning.  The fire broke out on the ground floor of the two-story multi-unit building and burned too fast for the victims to escape.  It took crews about a half-hour to put out the flames.

Backyard marijuana growing operations are no longer legal in Martinez.  The City Council voted in favor yesterday of banning outdoor marijuana grows, citing odor and potential thieves.  The ban will take effect after a second vote in May.

A San Francisco supervisor wants to regulate short-term rentals through online services such as Airbnb Supervisor David Chiu’s proposal would make listings on Airbnb legal, as long as people wanting to rent out their space join a registry.  They would also have to prove they live in the particular housing for at least three-quarters of the year, get insurance and pay the city’s hotel taxes.  Chiu says the move is to prevent these living spaces from essentially becoming year-round underground hotels.

A major investigation is underway after two fire trucks collide and one crashes into a restaurant full of people.  Authorities are now saying at least 15 people, including six firefighters, were injured Wednesday when the two engines collided in Monterey Park.  Officials on the scene say the injuries range from minor to at least one critical, but no fatalities.  The engines are from two different companies and had been on their way to a house fire when the accident happened.

Police are asking for the public’s help finding a possible fifth victim of two suspects in custody for the rape and murder of four other women.  Two known transient convicted sex offenders are accused of raping and killing four women in Orange County, and investigators suspect there is at least one other victim.  The missing person is described as a black woman in her 20s, petite stature, with black hair and numerous tattoos on her body. Police say she may have ties to the city of Compton.

After being in a spicy situation for months, a hot sauce company is considering moving.  David Tran, the creator of Sriracha hot sauce said Wednesday that he is fielding dozens of calls from politicians, business leaders from ten states, and multiple cities in California who have offered to host the Sriracha factory.  He’s invited them to tour the facility in Irwindale and decide if their communities would complain about the odors that arise during production.  The Irwindale City Council voted unanimously to designate the factory a public nuisance, after people who live nearby complained the smell from the factory caused nose bleeds and irritation to the eyes and throat.  Trans says he’s only thinking about a possible move.

A local teacher is thrilled after molestation charges against him are dropped.  Carl Astrera held back tears shortly before his scheduled arraignment Wednesday, after the deputy district attorney said her office would no longer be pursuing the case.  Astrera had been a teacher for 14 years at Legacy Christian Academy in Valencia before an eleven-year old boy claimed he touched him inappropriately.  Astrera says he’d like to return to teaching, but may pursue legal action.

NATION

The U.S. Navy is helping in the search for people from a South Korean ferry that sank.  However, hopes for finding more survivors are fading.  At least nine people are confirmed dead, but the growing concern is that nearly 300 people still missing may all be lost.  The waters off the country’s southwest coast where the ferry went down on Wednesday are near freezing and debris in the area isn’t helping.  The ferry was carrying about 475 people when it started taking on water.  Most of the passengers were students and teachers on a field trip.

Former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden is making headlines again after he questioned Russian President Vladimir Putin during a TV question and answer session today.  In a video question submitted to the televised Q and A, Snowden asked whether Russia intercepts and stores electronic communications.  Putin said Russia is not conducting mass collection of citizens’ data.  Putin granted Snowden asylum last year after the one-time contract employee leaked classified information about the NSA’s surveillance of Americans’ telephone and electronic data.  Snowden is wanted on U.S. espionage charges.

People on the Central California coast are returning to their homes and businesses after they were evacuated because of a bomb scare last night.  Santa Barbara County officials say more than a thousand people received reverse-911 calls Wednesday evening after a potentially explosive device was found in downtown Solvang, about two hours northwest of Los Angeles.  The county bomb squad and Vandenberg Air Force Base teams are investigating.

President Obama wants businesses to use more solar power.  The Obama administration will issue the challenge today when the White House hosts a Solar Summit.  The administration is rolling out a series of initiatives aimed at making expansion of solar power more affordable for businesses, as well as local, state, and tribal governments.

4/16/2014

LOCAL

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Coroner’s Office identified the man found dead inside a tent on March 13 in San Simeon. The man was identified as 58-year-old Brian Joseph Edward Boyer. Evidence suggests that Boyer was a transient and dead for four to five weeks before he was found and he died of natural causes. Boyer’s next of kin have been notified.

Today, Rep. Lois Capps will be on Cal Poly’s campus at 3:15 in the afternoon to discuss issues facing college students with Associated Students Incorporated, the university’s student body government. Capps will hold a discussion with students about college affordability, as well as her work in Congress on behalf of students.

A former aide to U. S. Representative Lois Capps has pleaded guilty to a hit-and-run death of a Santa Barbara woman last December, according to a Santa Barbara county prosecutor. Mallory Dies, 27, was crossing a street in downtown Santa Barbara whet she was hit by Raymond Morua. Morua will be sentenced to twenty years in prison as part of a plea agreement. Morua pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a DUI gross vehicular manslaughter with two prior DUI’s and to leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death. The agreement forces the prosecution to drop a murder charge against Morua. Morua will be sentenced on May 28th when Dies’s family will have a chance to speak at the hearing.

The San Luis Obispo community is invited to a forum involving the candidates for District Four Supervisor today. The Latino Outreach Council is hosting the forum in the Forum Room at Nipomo High School at 5:00 p.m. All three candidates will participate in the forum. Michael Byrd is a business owner, Lynn Compton is a rancher and small business owner, and Caren Ray is the appointed supervisor and educator. To submit questions for the candidates ahead of time, email LatinoOutreachSLO@gmail.com.

Foreclosure activity in San Luis Obispo County continues to fall, down 38 percent from the same quarter a year ago, according to RealtyTrac. The county’s level of foreclosure activity has declined due in part to a recent resurgence in the housing market, which has pushed up home prices 22% from a year ago, according to DataQuick, which monitors real estate activity nationwide. San Luis Obispo appears to be the exception, not the rule, in California, as foreclosures have increased in the first quarter of this year.

San Luis Obispo County and related agencies will participate in a training event today near Port San Luis involving emergency training and preparedness with the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and held in collaboration with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).  Since various jurisdictions will be participating, there will be simulated emergency communications over radios and telephones.

STATE

An investigation is underway after a badly burned man had been found on the freeway.  Authorities say reports of a man lying on the 605 Freeway connector to the 60 flooded their phone lines Tuesday.  Detectives say the man’s hands and feet had been partially tied up, and he suffered severe burns over his entire body, including his face and head.  The man is currently at a hospital in Baldwin Park, and listed in extremely critical condition.

An investigation is underway after a fire nearly destroys an iconic building in San Pedro.  Fire officials say the fire ignited early Tuesday morning at the San Pedro Elks Lodge, and firefighters were able save most of the auditorium and some valuable artifacts, including a bible, antlers and jewels.  Witnesses say the flames were shooting 100-feet into the air, and smoke could be seen for miles.  The fire is the second blaze to hit the building in less than a week, and authorities say the fire seems suspicious and are working to find the exact cause within the next day or two.

The Centinela Valley Union High School District has a new leader.  The district’s superintendant is currently being investigated after collecting a salary of nearly 700-thousand dollars last year.  Officials said Tuesday that Bob Cox, a veteran administrator and serving as the assistant superintendent for human resources will take over during the investigation.  While teachers say Cox is a bad choice because he’s chummy with the current administration, board members say he will only serve only until a longer-term interim leader can be selected.

We now know the identity of the woman who was shot in Hyde Park over ten-dollars.  Authorities say 42-year old Terri Smith died after being shot by a roommate in a fight over a bill at a transitional home in South Los Angeles.  A 55-year old man has been taken into custody after being treated for stab wounds which may have been self-inflicted.  Officials said Tuesday that Smith leaves behind an eleven-year-old daughter and 20-month-old son.

A key defendant in the scandal surrounding state Senator Leland Yee is fighting the case against him.  Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges including money laundering and conspiracy to transport stolen property.  Chow was one of more than two dozen defendants who were recently indicted following a multi-year FBI investigation of alleged corruption.  His attorneys argue that their client is innocent of all the charges and is a victim of racism and government entrapment.

The FBI wants to meet with members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as part of its investigation into alleged corruption charges against former state Senator Leland Yee.  The embattled senator, who was suspended last month, served on the city’s Board of Supervisors from 1997 to 2002.  The FBI last week requested “voluntary informal” meetings with each supervisor.  Board president David Chiu plans on setting aside time this week to discuss background information that may help investigators in their case.

An autopsy conducted on the Menlo Park woman found on Mt. Tamalpais over the weekend shows no obvious signs of trauma.  Thirty-three-year-old Magdalena Glinkowski was last seen before she went for a solo hike on March 30th.  The Marin County Sheriff’s office says her body was found last Saturday down a steep embankment near the Bootjack parking lot.  The cause of death may be determined through toxicology tests which are still pending.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is agreeing to scrap Sunday parking meter enforcement.  The SFMTA board voted yesterday to get rid of Sunday enforcement when it signed off on a two-year operation budget.  The policy had only been in place a year before Mayor Ed Lee announced plans to eliminate it.  He said the program was activated as a way to bring in money for the under-funded Muni system, but it’s time to “stop nickel-and-diming people.”

NATION/WORLD

Nearly 300 are missing after a ferry sank off the coast of South Korea.  More than 160 people have been rescued from the waters off the country’s southwest coast, but several deaths are being reported and it’s feared the toll will keep rising.  Many of the nearly 460 passengers were high school students on a field trip.

Boston police say a man faces charges after he left a backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line last night.  Witnesses say the man was barefoot, wore a long black veil, and yelled “Boston Strong” when he dropped the bag.  The area was evacuated, and two backpacks were detonated by the bomb squad as a precaution.  Authorities say the backpack left by the man contained a rice cooker and was likely a hoax.  It’s been reported that the other bag was left behind by a news team covering the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Attorneys for the Boston Marathon bombings suspect are going after law enforcement records.  Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will ask a judge today to order prosecutors to turn over more information on the defendant’s family.  Defense attorneys want federal officials to produce any records they have on Tsarnaev’s older brother.  They argue that prosecutors’ records on Tamerlan Tsarnaev will show that the defendant was under his older brother’s “domination and control.”  The elder Tsarnaev died in a shootout with police a few days after the bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260 near the finish line of the race last April.

President Obama will unveil a 600-million dollar job-training initiative when he visits Pennsylvania later on today.  The President will announce a 500-million dollar competition to spur cooperation between businesses and colleges to fill existing jobs.  Another 100-million dollars will help apprenticeship programs in fields such as information technology and healthcare.

4/15/2014

LOCAL

On April 12 at approximately 7:00 a.m., the Paso Robles Special Enforcement Team served a narcotics related search warrant on Serra Way in Paso Robles. The team discovered about .5 grams heroin, numerous hypodermic needles, and evidence of heroin use, prescription pills, and other drug paraphernalia.  The investigation revealed that the residence was being used by numerous people to consume illegal narcotics. The home owner, a 73-year-old female, had been taken advantage of by her drug addicted son who allowed his drug addicted friend’s uncontrolled access to the residence.    Christopher Cortelyou of Paso Robles was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia; Caleb Reberry of Paso Robles was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance possession of drug paraphernalia.

A 17-year-old was arrested in Pismo Beach Sunday for vandalizing cars, a bus, and a school in Arroyo Grande. The suspect was pulled over in a stolen car. Evidence found in the car linked the teen to the vandalism. Vandalism included 42 tires slashed, a bus window broken, and a display case at Arroyo Grande High School shattered. The 17-year-old was charged with stealing a car, possession of stolen property, and vandalism.

The FBI believes two recent bank robberies in Pismo and Arroyo Grande are likely connected. Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande police are working with the agency to track a suspect down. Based on surveillance photos, they are looking for the same person involved in both Bank of America robberies March 21 and April 3. Despite somewhat different descriptions, the FBI believes the same man is responsible for both robberies. If you know anything about the robberies,  contact Crime Stoppers which is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

STATE

San Francisco’s Montgomery BART station is open again, after a woman was extracted from underneath a train.  Emergency crews uncoupled the trains and removed the woman from the tracks at about 5 o’clock last evening.  She was alive and was taken to the hospital.  The investigation is ongoing.

A pedestrian in the city’s Cathedral Hill neighborhood is getting a ticket for jaywalking after being hit by a car.  Police said the incident occurred Sunday afternoon near Geary Boulevard and Gough [[ goff ]] Street.  The pedestrian was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Authorities say a Super Shuttle bus on its way to San Francisco airport was hijacked by a passenger.  The man boarded the shuttle at a downtown San Francisco hotel and drove off when the driver got out to help a passenger at the next stop.  The suspect reportedly let the other passengers off a few blocks later, and abandoned the van later in Alameda County.  Investigators are still looking for clues.

An air traveler at Oakland Airport is facing a possible ten-thousand-dollar fine, after a knife was found inside an enchilada in her carry-on bag.  The unidentified woman told TSA agents yesterday morning that she had made the enchilada over the weekend, but didn’t know how the knife got into it.  The woman was cleared for travel, and local authorities will decide whether to charge her.

A couple of transients who allegedly killed four Orange County women are due in court today.  Authorities say the two men murdered one woman whose body was found at a trash recycling center in Anaheim, and the other three bodies have yet to be recovered.  Santa Ana Police say three of the victims disappeared along a half-mile stretch of First Street between Grand Avenue and the 55 Freeway, known for prostitution and drugs.  If convicted, the two men could face a minimum sentence of life without parole, or the death penalty.  They’re expected to be arraigned this morning.

An investigation is underway after a mother is murdered.  Detectives say a dispute started over a bill between roommates, and one of the roommates shot and killed 40-year-old Terry Smith and wounded her boyfriend who suffered stab wounds.  A witness inside the transitional home in Hyde Park when yesterday’s shooting happened says the bill that sparked the fight was for about ten dollars.  A friend of the victim says Smith is a mother of two children, and police say the roommate has been booked on murder charges.

A victim of last week’s deadly bus crash is being called a hero.  Ismael Jimenez had been a student at Animo Inglewood Charter High School and is said to have smashed out a window on the bus and began lifting other students to safety.  The school revealed yesterday to the Jimenez family that Ismael’s final moments were spent helping save the lives of others.  The Jimenez family says their son had set a goal of going to college so he would be able to financially support his family.

Police are searching for victims in an alleged child annoyance case.  Alexis Garcia is behind bars after he was allegedly seen stalking young girls outside schools and other places for children.  Detectives say the 31-year-old drove up to girls between the ages of 11 and 17 and struck up a conversation which centered around the victims’ socks.  Investigators believe Garcia has a sexual fixation with socks worn by young girls, and brought him into custody last week after watching him for two-months in Murrieta.  Police are asking parents to talk to their kids about Garcia’s actions to determine if they were victims.

NATION

Today marks one year since the deadly Boston Marathon bombings. On the afternoon of April 15th, 2013, two homemade pressure cooker bombs went off just 12 seconds apart near the marathon finish line. The bombings killed three people and injured more than 260. President Obama will honor the victims and survivors of the bombings this afternoon at the White House.

A former leader of the Ku Klux Klan is being charged with a hate crime in the shooting deaths of three people at two Kansas Jewish facilities.  Prosecutors plan to bring charges against Frazier Cross Junior today.  He’s accused of killing a grandfather and his 14-year-old grandson at a community center and a woman visiting her mom at a retirement home, both in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park.

The deep orange moon is faded back to gray.  A “blood moon” was visible in North and South America during the early morning hours as the earth’s shadow passed over it.  Crowds gathered across the country last night to witness the first in what should be a stunning series of lunar eclipses.

Two people are injured and about two dozen mobile homes heavily damaged after a powerful storm tore through a southern Mississippi mobile home park.  Jackson County officials say high winds whipped through the trailer park in Gautier Monday night after hours of heavy rain left area streets flooded.

4/11/2014

LOCAL

Ten people, including two drivers, were killed and 35 others were hospitalized after a tour bus owned by a San Luis Obispo-based company crashed on Interstate 5 in Orland just after 5:40 on Thursday evening. Investigators say a FedEx truck driver might have been trying to avoid a passenger car that was also involved in the crash. The tour bus is owned by Silverado Stages Inc., which runs buses to Hearst Castle and for Amtrak. The CHP says the FedEx truck was traveling south and drifted into I-5’s northbound lanes and hit the bus head on. The charter bus was carrying high school students from the Los Angeles area for a campus tour of Humboldt State University near Eureka.

Silverado Stages Inc.  released a statement regarding the accident. The company told KSBY, “We take the most extensive actions possible to ensure the safety of our passengers, and all of our drivers, and this is never a call that you want to get. It’s a rough night for everybody in the Silverado family. Silverado Stages is helping the authorities in gathering information regarding the tragic accident that occurred Thursday evening. Our top priority is making sure that the injured are being cared for. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured, their families, and everyone affected by this accident.” Several phone lines have been set up for people looking for more information.

Attorneys sparred in a pretrial hearing in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Thursday over a former pop-punk band guitarist accused of sexual misconduct with underage girls. Atascadero resident Steve Lee Klein, 34, formerly of the band New Found Glory, is charged with five counts of lewd acts on a child, as well as one count of contact with intent to commit a sex offense and possession of child pornography, after his now-ex-wife discovered sexual two-way chat room videos on an external hard drive. Klein’s attorney claimed that Klein’s ex-wife was in violation of the Fourth Amendment for turning in the hard drive to the police, however the judge ruled against him, saying that she had a right as a private citizen to turn in the hard drive. The trial will continue on May 22.

A project to perform maintenance on a retaining wall on U.S. Highway 101 from south of the Nojoqui Summit to north of the Gaviota Tunnel will begin on Monday, April 14.

The No. 3 lane of northbound U.S. Highway 101 will be closed for one-half mile, about one mile north of the Junction with Hwy. 1. This highway improvement project is necessary following the recent storms in the area.  Traffic delays are expected to be minimal and the project is expected to finish in June.

A Paso Robles man is in jail after a narcotics investigation. The Paso Robles Special Enforcement Team served a narcotics-related search warrant at a home in the Oak Street in Paso Robles on Wednesda Officers say they found 8.2 grams of methamphetamine, 235 grams of marijuana, scales, packaging for narcotics, two rifles, and $1,700. Jose Luis Echevarria, 36, was arrested and could be charged with possession of marijuana for sale, possession of a controlled substance for sale, and child endangerment.

STATE

Attorneys for one of the key figures in the Leland Yee scandal are bolstering support for their client’s case.  Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow has been indicted on federal charges including conspiracy to transport stolen property and money laundering.  Chow’s attorneys said yesterday he’s innocent of all the charges and is a victim of government entrapment and racism.  One supporter at the afternoon news conference wore a t-shirt which read “Free Shrimp Boy” in both English and Chinese.

Wells Fargo and Bank of America both see promise in the Bitcoin cybercurrency, but they’re wary about adopting it.  In a panel discussion yesterday at the Electronic Transactions Association’s annual conference in Las Vegas, representatives of the two San Francisco-based banks said they’re watching Bitcoin closely.  However, both banks are concerned about possible risks, and say it could be awhile before they embrace the virtual currency.

A San Francisco bar is being shut down for 45-days, after allegedly jacking up drink prices in return for female company.  The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control closed Dimples Cocktail Lounge on Post Street yesterday.  The action was taken after a three-month investigation by undercover agents.

Google is planning to sell their “Glass” face-mounted computers to anyone in the U.S. for one day only.  The 15-hundred-dollar devices will go on sale at 9 a.m. Tuesday and the supply is limited, but Google is throwing in free frames or sunglasses for first-time customers.  Due to privacy concerns, people wearing the devices are being banned from some bars and restaurants, and have been called “Glassholes.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is promising big changes for the city.  In his first State of the City address yesterday Garcetti said his plan is pretty simple.  He laid out plans for transportation, education, creating jobs, and keeping the city safe.  Garcetti also announced there will be not be any more rate hikes this year for DWP customers, and promises to have the new lane on the 405 open next month.  Garcetti also pledged to have a more teamwork approach in City Hall, eliminating city council rivalries.

 

LA County Sheriff’s officials say deputies have made a deadly mistake.  John Winkler is dead after trying to escape from a hostage situation earlier this week in West Hollywood.  Authorities say Winkler and another man ran out of an apartment after being held by a man with a butcher knife.  Deputies thought Winkler might be the bad guy, and shot him four times.

A man who allegedly shot an officer several times inside an LAPD police station is waiting to be arraigned.  Daniel Yealu has been charged with two counts of attempted murder after police say he opened fire inside an LAPD division lobby earlier this week.  The Palms-area man remains hospitalized after being shot by officers, and apparently left an unidentified desk officer with multiple gunshot wounds.  Prosecutors plan to request that bail for Yealu be set at over three-million dollars, and his arraignment date has not been set.

A woman is lucky to be alive after being pulled from a burning home by her neighbor.  Authorities say the fire ignited a one-story, single-family home on Vanowen Street in Reseda yesterday.  Edwin Hernandez says he heard screaming and saw flames, broke a window with his bare hands and dragged his neighbor to safety.  About 75 firefighters extinguished the blaze in more than an hour, and one of the firefighters suffered minor burns.

NATION

President Obama is set to nominate Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell for the Health and Human Services Secretary post today.  This comes after yesterday’s report that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is stepping down.

The murder trial of South African track star Oscar Pistorius is in recess for the weekend.  The Olympic and Paralympic sprinter faced prosecutors for a third day as they try to prove he intentionally killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.  Pistorius insists he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder hiding in the bathroom when he shot her to death early on Valentine’s Day last year.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is glad a woman who threw a shoe at her Thursday doesn’t have very good aim.  Clinton was giving a speech in Las Vegas when a woman in the audience tossed a shoe at her.  Clinton sidestepped the shoe and joked that she was glad the woman didn’t play softball like she did.

Authorities in Australia are dialing back some confidence that searchers are getting close to finding that missing Malaysian jetliner.  The official overseeing the multi-nation search said earlier today that the latest acoustic signal picked up in the southern Indian Ocean is not likely to be from the plane’s flight recorders.

4/10/2014

LOCAL

Threats over social media prompted a lockdown at Pioneer Valley High School at 11:30 yesterday morning, according to the Santa Maria Police Department. The student — a 17-year-old whose name was not released — was arrested. Pioneer Valley students defended of the student suspected of making the threat. By noon, a hashtag calling for the release of the student was trending on Twitter.

The Coroner’s Unit of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office has officially identified the passenger on board a plane that crashed on January 14 off the coast of Oceano. According to DNA testing, the passenger was 52-year-old Alan George Gaynor from Los Angeles. The Sheriff’s Office previously released the identity of the pilot of the plane as David Brian Casey, 63, of Friday Harbor, Washington. The Sheriff’s Office, The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the FBI have tentatively set next week to try to recover the plane from the ocean floor.

Cal Poly’s Annual Open House begins Thursday night. Thursday is Club Preview Night at Farmers’ Market in San Luis Obispo. Friday is the Admitted Students’ Preview Day. Cal Poly officials are expecting over 7,000 guests for the Preview Day. They’re asking that people help reduce traffic by avoiding driving on campus and in nearby areas as much as possible. Saturday is the Campus Showcase and Poly Royal Parade. It is open to the public. Go to calpoly.edu for a full schedule of events.

The first “Just Walk” Walk With a Doc walking program is in Santa Barbara today. You can walk at Shoreline Park at 5:45 p.m. Thursday with doctors and other health care professionals, who will provide support and answer questions during the walk. The event is free.

Arroyo Grande police and the FBI have released additional photos of the suspect in Thursday’s robbery of the Bank Of America on West Branch Street. One picture shows a close-up of the suspect’s face. Two surveillance photos show the suspect leaving in a car that was described by a witness as a dark green sedan, and from the photos the car seems to be a four-door model. Crime Stoppers has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 781-4502 or the Arroyo Grande Police Department at 473-5100.

A state Assembly panel will be conducting an informal hearing concerning offshore oil and gas fracking along the California coast.  The hearing will take place tomorrow in Santa Barbara involving the Assembly Select Committee on Coastal Protection.  Assemblyman Das Williams says offshore oil fracking has been taking place without the public knowing about it. Fracking is formally known as hydraulic fracturing and it is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. The event will include a discussion of current oversight and regulations in California and federal waters.

STATE

The LAPD is mourning the loss of one of their own.  Los Angeles Police Officer Chris Cortijo died four days after an alleged drunk driver slammed into the back of his motorcycle.  Authorities say the 26-year LAPD veteran who worked at the department’s Valley Traffic Division ended up pinned between the two vehicles.  The police chief said Wednesday that Cortijo had been named officer of the year twice as a motorcycle officer.

The production of a widely popular hot sauce has been declared a public nuisance.  The Irwindale City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to declare the spicy smell of Sriracha hot sauce production a public nuisance.  People who live in the area say the odor from the plant burns their eyes, noses, and throats during certain times of the day, and some say they even suffered nose bleeds.  The council is expected to adopt the official resolution at their next meeting, giving the hot sauce maker about 90 days to make changes approved by the city.  If the company doesn’t, the city can step in, and make the changes itself.

An investigation is underway after a dead baby is found in a dumpster.  Corona police say they responded to a call of an injured woman who may have had a baby, but didn’t have the baby with her Wednesday.  The woman told officers she had given birth earlier in the morning at home, but thought the baby was stillborn and left it in a dumpster on Treemont Place.  Any criminal charges against the mother will depend on the results of an autopsy.

Los Angeles is seeing more and more illegal “honey oil” shops pop up.  “Honey oil” is the street name for the oil that is extracted from marijuana, and city officials say more of these illegal labs are catching fire or simply exploding in the LA area.  Authorities said Wednesday the growing demand is because people smoke the highly potent oil in electronic cigarettes.  Officials in Glendale found a couple of labs in about two weeks, a lab exploded in Malibu earlier this week, and a special task force found three labs in Huntington Park in a matter of 12 hours.

The search for a 14-year-old boy lost in the water at Ocean Beach is expected to resume today.  Marco Cornejo was reportedly swimming with an adult and another juvenile who were rescued by 17-year-old surfer Tony Barbero yesterday afternoon.  A Coast Guard chopper and two rescue boats are on the scene to help.

Federal officials are starting to worry, after an al Qaeda magazine featured a photo of an SFO tram.  The spring edition of the “Inspire” publication contains the photo of a people-mover train at San Francisco’s airport, along with a caption that says, quote, “assemble your bomb.”  Representative Eric Swalwell of Dublin, California told a homeland security hearing yesterday that the magazine “disturbed” him.

A woman riding BART with her two young kids is being accused of child endangerment, after a fellow passenger reported her to police.  Officers intercepted a Pittsburg-bound train Tuesday night at the Concord station, responding to a report that the unidentified woman was drunk and causing a disturbance.  The woman was jailed in Martinez, while her two-and three-year-old children were turned over to a relative.

All lanes on the Bay Bridge are expected to be open again, after overnight lane closures.  Workers started repairing a number of deep potholes at about 7:00 last night.  The lanes were scheduled for reopening around midnight.

NATION

The teenager accused in a terrifying mass stabbing at a Pittsburgh-area high school is being charged as an adult with four counts of attempted murder and more than 20 counts of aggravated assault.  Authorities say 16-year-old Alex Hribal stabbed at least 20 fellow students and a security guard in yesterday’s bloody attack.  The rampage at Franklin Regional Senior High School ended when the school’s assistant principal tackled the teen and held him until a school resource officer could handcuff him.  Classes are canceled for the next few days as the investigation unfolds and students and staff try to come to grips with the shocking violence many witnessed firsthand.

Searchers say they may have picked up signals from locator beacons on the missing Malaysian jet’s black boxes.  The possible signal from sonar buoys was detected today near an Australian ship.  Crews have been scouring a narrow stretch of the Indian Ocean for the doomed Boeing 777.  Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared from radar more than a month ago after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing with nearly 240 people on board.

Investigators are working to determine the chain of events that ended in yesterday’s deadly crash at a Florida daycare.  A four-year-old girl was killed and 14 people were injured when a car was run off the road and drove into a KinderCare in Orlando.  Investigators think they’ve found the SUV that started the wreck and it’s been impounded.  Officers spent the night looking for the suspected driver, Robert Corchado, a 28-year-old man who has a criminal record and was free on bail after a drug arrest last December.  A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Police in Kansas City are investigating nearly 20 shootings that could be connected to a series of highway shootings that have wounded three people.  The “Kansas City Star” reports that some of the incidents took place before March 8th, when the first of more than a dozen highway shootings occurred.  Kansas City police and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating.

4/9/2014

Cal Poly University Police say a man attempted assault against a woman on campus at around 10 last night. The victim was walking in the Morro building in the Cerro Vista Apartment complex when a man attacked her from behind and reached under her skirt. She started to scream, and the man ran away. Police say she wasn’t injured. The man is described as a Hispanic male in his twenties. He was wearing a dark gray hoodie with a thin blue stripe and blue jeans at the time. Police are searching the area. If you have any information, contact the University Police Department.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is releasing preliminary numbers associated with the massive party called Deltopia on April 5. The crowd at Deltopia in 2013 was estimated between 15,000 and 18,000. According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office there were between 20,000 and 25,000 in attendance this year, 10,000 more than originally estimated. In 2013, there were 22 arrests but this year there were 130 arrests. There were 116 citations in 2013 which increased to 190 this year. Arrests and citations resulted from being drunk in public, minor in possession, and open container. According to the sheriff’s office, of the 62 people either arrested or cited who claimed a school affiliation this year, 16 people said they were students at UCSB, 10 were from Santa Barbara City College, and 36 said they were from out of town. Desmond Louis Edwards, a 17 year-old from the Los Angeles area, was arrested for hitting a UCSB Police officer in the head with a backpack containing glass liquor bottles causing the officer a head injury. The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office is trying Edwards as an adult on charges of assaulting and resisting a police officer in addition to other charges. A total of 50 people were transported to area hospitals, including four law enforcement personnel. The Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation to identify individuals who were actively involved. The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who has video of the incident to email it to video@sbsheriff.org or call Sheriff’s Special Investigations Division at 805-681-4175.

A man who was convicted as a teen of a beating an elderly man to death with a skateboard will not be released from custody. Robert Holguin was 13 when he killed 87-year old Gerald O’Malley in San Luis Obispo. Holguin is now 22, and the California Juvenile Parole Review Board recently found him suitable for release. The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office asked Governor Jerry Brown to reverse that decision. Brown reversed the decision, partly because Brown says Holguin threatened to shoot him in an e-mail.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will issue a resolution to designate April 13 through April 19 as “San Luis Obispo County National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.” This resolution recognizes the important and vital work performed by public safety dispatchers in the Sheriff’s Office and County Fire. On average, Sheriff’s Dispatchers answer 3,268 9-1-1 calls a month. County Fire Dispatchers field an average of 257 calls a month.

Despite a large contingent of outspoken Los Osos residents who voiced their opposition to a proposed drive-through McDonald’s restaurant, the county Board of Supervisors approved the project Tuesday. The board voted 4-1, with Supervisor Bruce Gibson dissenting to give the go-ahead to the restaurant at the old Bank of America building at 1076 Los Osos Valley Road in the Vons Shopping Center. The vote overturned a county Planning Commission vote, also 4-1, that approved the restaurant but denied the drive-through. As a condition of approval, the restaurant won’t operate round-the-clock. Instead it will be open from 5 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday through Sunday. The restaurant will seat 50 customers. Also, McDonald’s will be required to retrofit plumbing in existing homes and businesses totaling 698 gallons per day. The business will use less water than it saves through its retrofits.

Today, Rep. Lois Capps released the following statement after President Obama’s signing of two Executive Orders at the White House. In January, Capps, along with several of her colleagues, sent a letter to the president urging him to sign these Executive Orders.

“These executive orders signed by the President today, on Equal Pay Day, are yet another step toward protecting American working women and ensuring equity and fairness in the workplace.

“The first executive order, which would ban federal contractors from retaliating against employees who talk about their pay, will give women the power to find out whether they are being treated equally in the workplace.

“The second executive order, which would require federal contractors to submit data on pay by race and gender, would ensure the Department of Labor can property enforce federal law on compensation discrimination.

“These two executive orders will bring not only the promise of economic security to women, but also to their families and our local economies. And that is why I wrote to the President urging him to take this important action. But while these orders are a step forward, there is more that we must do—and it will take Congressional action to do it. Nationally, women earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. And on the Central Coast, women are doing only slightly better, earning 80 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. This is unacceptable. Congress needs to take up the Women’s Economic Agenda and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that will create stronger incentives for employers to pay workers fairly, empower women to negotiate for equal pay, and prohibit retaliation against employees who share salary information.

“It’s time to put an end to this wage gap so that America works for everybody.”
STATE

A 21-year-old robbery victim says he noticed a gunshot wound the day after the incident.  The unidentified man told police he hit the gun in the suspect’s hand Sunday night near Market and Seventh, and the weapon discharged.  When the victim woke up Monday, he reportedly noticed he had been shot in the thigh.  He was treated at San Francisco General Hospital for a non-life-threatening injury.

Officials say that dozens of passengers are sick on a cruise ship sailing between Los Angeles and San Francisco.  A spokesperson for Princess Cruises announced yesterday that 37 passengers on the Crown Princess have come down with a stomach virus.  The ship carries more than three-thousand passengers and over one-thousand crewmembers.  Ship officials are disinfecting surfaces on the vessel.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is honoring a 911 dispatcher for his work during the Asiana plane crash.  Matthew Roybal was named “911 Dispatcher of the Year” at yesterday’s Board meeting in City Hall.  He received the award for his work on July 6th, 2013 when Asiana Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco International Airport.

April 8th is “Equal Pay Day,” and a women’s organization is calling on the Board of Supervisors to support equal compensation for everyone.  At yesterday’s board meeting, the American Association of University Women called attention to the wage gap.  American women earn an average of 77-cents for every dollar a man earns.

We are learning more about the man who opened fire inside a police station, hitting an officer several times.  The alleged shooter has been identified as 29-year-old Daniel Yealu and officials say they found a small arsenal at his home including assault semi-automatic weapons, a shotgun, three rifles and two handguns.  Authorities say Yealu’s application to the LAPD academy had been turned down, and at one point he worked as an armed security guard.  Yealu allegedly walked into the LAPD Wilshire Division Monday night, and shot the officer at the front desk seven times.  Yealu remains in critical condition after being shot four times by officers, and police are still trying to figure what triggered the shooting.

A female teacher who allegedly sexually assaulted three students is due in court today.  Twenty-eight-year-old Melissa Lindgren is accused of sending sexual texts and phone messages to the alleged victims, and inappropriately touching two boys in a classroom and one in a car.  The Fullerton junior high teacher has been formally charged and is facing a mountain of charges including two counts of lewd acts on a child younger than 14.  Lindgren faces around 16-years in prison if convicted.

Corona police are searching for a violent sexual predator.  Authorities say a knife-wielding suspect who kidnapped and sexually assaulted a woman he approached at a Walmart parking lot last week is still on the loose.  The suspect walked up to the woman and asked for change, and then forced his way into the car.  Officials say he pulled out a knife and ordered the victim to drive to a secluded area in Riverside County, where the assault happened.

Police are on the hunt for a hit-and-run driver.  Authorities say 20-year-old Ian Imes had been riding his skateboard in Santa Monica over the weekend, when he was hit by a car leaving him in critical condition.  The driver stopped momentarily, but quickly took off.  Imes suffered a broken vertebra, a lung injury, multiple scrapes, cuts and bruises, and doctors don’t think he will ever walk again.

NATIONAL

It’s a terrifying start to the school day with word of an incident involving “multiple stabbings” at a Pennsylvania high school.  Authorities say half a dozen or possibly more people may have been injured at Franklin Regional Senior High School in Murrysville.  That’s just outside of Pittsburgh.  One person is under arrest.  WTAE-TV reports at least one person has been taken to a hospital by helicopter.

Searchers have picked up two more electronic signals that could be from black boxes on a missing Malaysian jetliner.  Search coordinator Angus Houston says the latest pings are in the same area where signals were detected up a few days ago.  The retired Australia Air Chief Marshal says he hopes it will only be a matter of days before something can be recovered from the Indian Ocean floor.

Toyota is recalling nearly six-and-a-half-million vehicles worldwide.  The company announced today that it had found problems with the steering and seats of certain models.  The recall includes RAV4 SUVs, Yaris subcompact cars, Urban Cruiser SUVs and Hilux pickups.

President Obama will speak at a memorial service today at Fort Hood, Texas.  Army Specialist Ivan Lopez opened fire at the military base last week, killing three and wounding 16 others before he killed himself.  White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama’s remarks will focus on the victims and their families.  Carney said the President is not expected to make a renewed call for new gun controls.

4/8/2014

LOCAL

The Associated Students at the University of California, Santa Barbara say they believe UCSB and its students need to take responsibility and are in part to blame for things getting out of hand at Deltopia on Saturday night. The Associated Students released this statement which says: “We will be requesting a civil grand jury investigation into the events of April 5th… We simply think that the more information we have on this event, the better equipped we will be to prevent it from ever happening again.” Community leaders will convene to determine where to go from here as Deltopia grows every year.  The Santa Barbara Public Health Department reports 45 people were transported to local hospitals due to injuries or incidents at Deltopia. Half of those transported were unconscious from alcohol poisoning. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reports they had 87 medical calls in a 6 block area in a 12 hour period during the party. and that there was  a stabbing. There is already a Facebook page set up for Deltopia 2015.

McDonalds’s proposal for a 50-seat eatery at the Vons shopping center on Los Osos Valley Road has received complaints from many Los Osos residents that the fast food chain restaurant does not fit the Los Osos lifestyle. They claim that adding the McDonalds would encourage an unhealthy lifestyle, increase pollution, negatively affect traffic and parking, and hurt local restaurants. The Los Osos residents who support the McDonald’s proposal said it has the potential to create 35 jobs, revitalize a vacant Bank of America building and bring in more tax revenue. The proposal will be in front of the board of supervisors today.

Construction plans are moving forward to widen the overpass on Los Osos Valley Road from three lanes to four to solve congestion problems, as the three lane road often backs up on both sides of the highway. The $33 million project also adds sidewalks and bike lanes. Last Tuesday, the city council said the Public Work’s Department can start accepting proposals from construction management firms. The contract for the construction management company is a $2.4 million deal. The project is expected to break ground in the fall. Construction is expected to begin this fall and could last 19 months.

It’s National Public Health Week. This year’s focus is “Start Here. Every day will highlight a different aspect of public health. Monday is “Be Healthy from the Start.” It’s for everything ranging from maternal health and school nutrition to emergency. Tuesday’s theme is “Don’t Panic” focusing on disaster preparedness starts with community-wide commitment and action. Wednesday is “Get Out Ahead” focusing on how prevention is now a nationwide priority. Thursday is “Eat Well,” and Friday is “Be the Healthiest Nation in One Generation.”

California’s last operating nuclear power plant is under attack from opponents armed with a new study contending radiation from the Diablo Canyon facility poses a health risk to the residents of San Luis Obispo County. State and local health officials — as well as PG&E, the plant’s owner — said the study and its findings are flawed. The study, commissioned by the World Business Academy of Santa Barbara and authored by New Jersey epidemiologist Joseph Mangano, makes several health-related assertions, the most striking of which is “(s)ince the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant opened in the mid-1980s, San Luis Obispo County has changed from a relatively low-cancer to a high-cancer county.” State and county epidemiologists said the study’s author “cherry-picked” statistics and ignored standard scientific procedure to get desired result. Mangano defended his work and suggested public health officials should have done their own research.

STATE

State Senator Leland Yee, Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow and two dozen other defendants in a political corruption case are scheduled to be arraigned today. Yee remains free on a half-million-dollar bond and has not yet entered a plea.  Chow remains jailed because a judge considered him a flight risk.  Yesterday, a judge rejected a federal prosecutor’s demand to revoke Yee’s political aide, Keith Jackson’s 250-thousand-dollar bail.  Prosecutors argued that the property Jackson is offering as collateral isn’t worth as much as Jackson claims.

The arrest of a Concord police officer for stealing drugs from seniors could put other cases he was involved in under scrutiny.  Matthew Switzer was a K-9 officer for Concord police, but he resigned from the department yesterday.  The Contra Costa County Public Defenders office told KTVU that his arrest casts doubts on his credibility as a witness in criminal cases, and they have to review all of their cases to see if Switzer had any role.  He is expected to appear in court today to face charges of burglary and elder abuse.

San Francisco’s minimum wage could go up to 15-dollars an hour.  Labor groups, led by SEIU Local 1021, filed the paperwork yesterday to put the wage increase in front of the voters in November.  Officials at the Chamber of Commerce oppose the move, saying the figure of 15-dollars is “not based on real-world economics.”  Right now, San Francisco has one of the highest minimum wages in the country at ten-dollars 73-cents an hour.

The Napa County Sheriff’s office says a Vallejo man who reportedly couldn’t swim likely drowned at Lake Hennessey.  The man was fishing with two friends near Sage Canyon Road Sunday.  Around 5 a.m., two of the men woke to hear their friend thrashing around in the water, but when they ran to the lake, they couldn’t see him above water.  Authorities recovered the man’s body later Sunday morning and spent yesterday trying to reach his family, before releasing his identity.

A 24-year-old man is dead after allegedly being shot by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies following a knife fight in West Hollywood.  Sheriff’s officials say deputies were responding to a call about a knife assault around 9:30 last night on Palm Avenue.  The deputies were allegedly confronted by two men as they approached the apartment, and that’s when the deadly deputy-involved shooting took place.  Three other men were hospitalized with stab wounds.

Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire in Downey that destroyed at least five vehicles.  Fire officials say the flames started in the carport of an apartment complex on Pico Vista Road early this morning.  It took 30 firefighters about 15 minutes to put out.  The two-alarm fire left the building with minor damage while it demolished cars that were parked there.

Two Santa Monica High School students are facing charges for their roles in a classroom brawl with a teacher. Both students have been charged with threatening a school official and possession of marijuana. The two were said to have a box cutter when they got into a fight with Santa Monica High teacher Mark Black. Cellphone video caught the scuffle after Black allegedly caught one of the students with marijuana in the classroom.

The Los Angeles City Council is expected today to give final approval to a new system for trash pickup.  This exclusive franchise system would divide the city into eleven zones and would reduce the number of waste-hauling companies that operate in the city.  It allows just one hauler to serve businesses, apartments and condominiums in each of the zones.  Supporters say it will increase recycling and help divert trash away from landfills.  If approved, it would begin in 2017.

NATIONAL

President Obama is promoting equal pay for equal work today.  White House spokesman Jay Carney says the President wants to ensure that women are not paid less than men for the same work.  In January’s State of the Union address, Obama noted that women earn an average of 77-cents to every dollar that men earn.  He called it an embarrassment.

The University of Connecticut is the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball champion.  The Huskies defeated Kentucky, 60-54 in last night’s title game.  The victory spurred a wild celebration on the UConn campus where damage was reported.  Dozens of students were arrested.  The UConn women’s basketball team goes for the national championship tonight, hoping to repeat 2004 when both the men’s and women’s teams won titles.

South African track star Oscar Pistorius described the moments before he fatally shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp during his second day of testimony in a Pretoria courtroom.  The double-amputee testified that he grabbed his gun to protect Steenkamp and that he shouted at her to call the police as he approached his bathroom door on his stumps.  Pistorius says he thought a burglar was breaking in when he heard a window slide open.  The sprinter is on trial for murder after admitting shooting Steenkamp in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day last year.

Officials coordinating the Indian Ocean search for the missing Malaysian airliner say towed pinger locators continue listening for any pulses that could come from the jet’s black boxes.  No transmissions have been detected since the weekend.  The search for a missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 airliner is the biggest in aviation history and it’s on track to be the most expensive.  Some estimates put the cost of the search around 44-million dollars one month after the jetliner with nearly 240 people on board disappeared.

4/7/2014

LOCAL

 Local law enforcement agencies tried to control unruly crowds at a spring break party in Isla Vista known as Deltopia, which consisted of about fifteen thousand people.  On Saturday night at Del Playa, a University of California Santa Barbara Police officer was hit in the head with a backpack that contained large bottles of alcohol.  During the arrest, a large crowd threw rocks, bricks and bottles at the UCSB officer.  The situation escalated into an emergency situation.  Law enforcement personnel from Santa Barbara and Ventura County had to help the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office in gain control of the situation, resulting in the use of chemical agents and less lethal foam projectiles to disperse the crowds. At least five more Sheriff’s deputies were injured.  One was hit in the face with a brick, and two others were hit in the hand with bottles.  About 26 people were transported to area hospitals.  Stop signs were ripped up, several small fires were lit and property was damaged, including several law enforcement vehicles. It took several hours for law enforcement to disperse the crowd and restore order. About 18 people were arrested during the disturbance.  Overall, over 100 people were arrested and at least 44 people were transported to the hospital.

 Ikenna Mmeje has been named Chief Operating Officer at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.  He succeeds Joe DeSchryver, who was promoted to Chief Executive Officer. Mmeje will assume his duties April 7. Mmeje will conduct oversight of the hospital’s daily operations and ancillary departments such as pathology, radiology, pharmacy and plant operations. He will play an integral role as well in the hospital’s clinical outcomes, patient, physician and employee satisfaction, and financial success. Mmeje worked the past seven years at Sutter Health – Alta Bates Medical Center in Oakland, the past two years as Administrative Director – Clinical and Research Services. Before that, he spent four years as Director of Operations at REDI, the East Bay AIDS Center, and also completed a one-year Administrative Fellowship with Sutter Health.

McDonalds’s proposal for a 50-seat eatery at the Vons shopping center on Los Osos Valley Road has received complaints from many Los Osos residents that the fast food chain restaurant does not fit the Los Osos lifestyle. They claim that adding the McDonalds would encourage an unhealthy lifestyle, increase pollution, negatively affect traffic and parking, and hurt local restaurants. The Los Osos residents who support the McDonald’s proposal said it has the potential to create 35 jobs, revitalize a vacant Bank of America building and bring in more tax revenue. The Planning Commission approved the project on Feb. 6 with a 4-1 vote but denied McDonald’s request for a drive-through window, which the restaurant is appealing. The board is expected to address the issue after it convenes its afternoon session at 1:30 p.m.

STATE

A 98-year-old man in Berkeley is dead after being hit by a car.  Authorities said Joseph Luft was struck near Sacramento Street and Bancroft Way just after noon on Friday.  He died later in the day.  The driver is cooperating with investigators.

State highways 121 and 12 in Napa County are open again, after a deadly crash near numerous wineries.  At least one victim was pronounced dead at Queen of the Valley Medical Center.  The investigation is ongoing.

A Bay Area-based Air National Guard team is being credited with helping rescue a San Diego family stranded on a sailboat off the coast of Mexico.  Four pararescuemen parachuted Thursday into the open ocean about 900 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas and provided medical aid to one-year-old Lyra Kauffman.  The Kauffman family and the four Guardsmen were rescued yesterday morning from the family’s disabled sailboat and brought aboard a Navy vessel.  The sick baby is being medically evaluated, while the Navy boat heads for San Diego.The toll for crossing the Golden Gate Bridge increased by a dollar today.  Those who pay with FasTrak will now pay six-dollars, instead of five.  And those who pay by license plate will see their toll jump from six-dollars to seven.  The toll hike was approved in February, to help decrease a 142-million-dollar deficit.

Hollywood is mourning the death of a legendary actor.  Mickey Rooney started his career in his parents’ vaudeville act while still a toddler, and broke into movies before age ten.  Los Angeles police say officers responded to Rooney’s North Hollywood home yesterday and attempted to perform CPR to no avail.  Authorities say Rooney died of natural causes.  He was 93.

Support is growing for a teacher put on leave after cell phone video surfaced of him fighting with a student.  A Santa Monica High School teacher who had been placed on leave after using physical force to subdue a student who was allegedly selling marijuana in his classroom has received surprising support on Facebook.  Student witnesses say Mark Black tried to confiscate a bag of pot and after the student allegedly stabbed him with a pencil, the video shows Black locking the student’s legs and pinning the student to the ground.  The teacher and wrestling coach is getting growing support on social media from students and parents.  The Facebook page “Coach Black” has nearly five-thousand likes.

A man is dead after reportedly shooting himself inside a gun range.  The incident happened yesterday on Cohasset Street, in Van Nuys.  Police have not identified the location but a business called The Target Range is located on that street.  Police say the man was in his 50s, and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

A woman is recovering after being stabbed.  Authorities say the woman was stabbed in the leg early yesterday morning.  The fight broke out in a parking lot on Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa.  A man was also attacked.  Officers say he had been hit over the head, but both are expected to recover.

 

NATIONAL

Collectors are over the Moon about an auction of NASA space gear.  The lineup includes spacesuits, a lunar checklist covered in Buzz Aldrin’s notes and American flags taken on various Apollo missions.  Many of the pieces for sale are even covered in Moon dust, which gives buyers their first chance at owning lunar specimens.  Bidding starts next week in New York City.

It’s a disappointing day for many WWE fans.  They’re expressing shock and anger over veteran wrestler The Undertaker losing to Brock Lesnar last night at WrestleMania 30.  The defeat means The Undertaker’s winning streak which lasted for two decades is over.  The result of their match at the New Orleans Superdome overshadowed Daniel Bryan becoming the new WWE world heavyweight wrestling champion at WrestleMania.  The hashtag #ThankYouTaker is already trending on Twitter.

International teams searching for that missing Malaysian jetliner are hopeful following what’s been called the most promising lead so far.  A ship has detected more signals that could be from the plane’s black boxes.  The Australian aviation expert overseeing the search describes them as “very encouraging information which has unfolded over the past 24 hours.”  The two separate signals picked up in the southern Indian Ocean are both consistent with transmissions from a plane’s flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.  Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished almost a month ago on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.  There were nearly 240 people on board.

The Senate is expected today to pass an extension of longterm unemployment benefits.  The Senate bill extends longterm jobless aid for more than two-million Americans for several months.  Longterm benefits expired in late December.  However, the bipartisan measure faces a rocky road in the House.  Republican House Speaker John Boehner has said he will oppose any extension of longterm jobless aid unless it includes incentives for more job creation.

4/4/2014

LOCAL

Local law enforcement agencies tried to control unruly crowds at a spring break party in Isla Vista known as Deltopia, which consisted of about fifteen thousand people.  On Saturday night at Del Playa, a University of California Santa Barbara Police officer was hit in the head with a backpack that contained large bottles of alcohol.  During the arrest, a large crowd threw rocks, bricks and bottles at the UCSB officer.  The situation escalated into an emergency situation.  Law enforcement personnel from Santa Barbara and Ventura County had to help the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office in gain control of the situation, resulting in the use of chemical agents and less lethal foam projectiles to disperse the crowds. At least five more Sheriff’s deputies were injured.  One was hit in the face with a brick, and two others were hit in the hand with bottles.  About 26 people were transported to area hospitals.  Stop signs were ripped up, several small fires were lit and property was damaged, including several law enforcement vehicles. It took several hours for law enforcement to disperse the crowd and restore order. About 18 people were arrested during the disturbance.  Overall, over 100 people were arrested and at least 44 people were transported to the hospital.

 Ikenna Mmeje has been named Chief Operating Officer at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.  He succeeds Joe DeSchryver, who was promoted to Chief Executive Officer. Mmeje will assume his duties April 7. Mmeje will conduct oversight of the hospital’s daily operations and ancillary departments such as pathology, radiology, pharmacy and plant operations. He will play an integral role as well in the hospital’s clinical outcomes, patient, physician and employee satisfaction, and financial success. Mmeje worked the past seven years at Sutter Health – Alta Bates Medical Center in Oakland, the past two years as Administrative Director – Clinical and Research Services. Before that, he spent four years as Director of Operations at REDI, the East Bay AIDS Center, and also completed a one-year Administrative Fellowship with Sutter Health.

McDonalds’s proposal for a 50-seat eatery at the Vons shopping center on Los Osos Valley Road has received complaints from many Los Osos residents that the fast food chain restaurant does not fit the Los Osos lifestyle. They claim that adding the McDonalds would encourage an unhealthy lifestyle, increase pollution, negatively affect traffic and parking, and hurt local restaurants. The Los Osos residents who support the McDonald’s proposal said it has the potential to create 35 jobs, revitalize a vacant Bank of America building and bring in more tax revenue. The Planning Commission approved the project on Feb. 6 with a 4-1 vote but denied McDonald’s request for a drive-through window, which the restaurant is appealing. The board is expected to address the issue after it convenes its afternoon session at 1:30 p.m.

STATE

A 98-year-old man in Berkeley is dead after being hit by a car.  Authorities said Joseph Luft was struck near Sacramento Street and Bancroft Way just after noon on Friday.  He died later in the day.  The driver is cooperating with investigators.

State highways 121 and 12 in Napa County are open again, after a deadly crash near numerous wineries.  At least one victim was pronounced dead at Queen of the Valley Medical Center.  The investigation is ongoing.

 

A Bay Area-based Air National Guard team is being credited with helping rescue a San Diego family stranded on a sailboat off the coast of Mexico.  Four pararescuemen parachuted Thursday into the open ocean about 900 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas and provided medical aid to one-year-old Lyra Kauffman.  The Kauffman family and the four Guardsmen were rescued yesterday morning from the family’s disabled sailboat and brought aboard a Navy vessel.  The sick baby is being medically evaluated, while the Navy boat heads for San Diego.
The toll for crossing the Golden Gate Bridge increased by a dollar today.  Those who pay with FasTrak will now pay six-dollars, instead of five.  And those who pay by license plate will see their toll jump from six-dollars to seven.  The toll hike was approved in February, to help decrease a 142-million-dollar deficit.

 

Hollywood is mourning the death of a legendary actor.  Mickey Rooney started his career in his parents’ vaudeville act while still a toddler, and broke into movies before age ten.  Los Angeles police say officers responded to Rooney’s North Hollywood home yesterday and attempted to perform CPR to no avail.  Authorities say Rooney died of natural causes.  He was 93.

 

Support is growing for a teacher put on leave after cell phone video surfaced of him fighting with a student.  A Santa Monica High School teacher who had been placed on leave after using physical force to subdue a student who was allegedly selling marijuana in his classroom has received surprising support on Facebook.  Student witnesses say Mark Black tried to confiscate a bag of pot and after the student allegedly stabbed him with a pencil, the video shows Black locking the student’s legs and pinning the student to the ground.  The teacher and wrestling coach is getting growing support on social media from students and parents.  The Facebook page “Coach Black” has nearly five-thousand likes.

 

A man is dead after reportedly shooting himself inside a gun range.  The incident happened yesterday on Cohasset Street, in Van Nuys.  Police have not identified the location but a business called The Target Range is located on that street.  Police say the man was in his 50s, and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

 

A woman is recovering after being stabbed.  Authorities say the woman was stabbed in the leg early yesterday morning.  The fight broke out in a parking lot on Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa.  A man was also attacked.  Officers say he had been hit over the head, but both are expected to recover.

 

NATIONAL

 

Collectors are over the Moon about an auction of NASA space gear.  The lineup includes spacesuits, a lunar checklist covered in Buzz Aldrin’s notes and American flags taken on various Apollo missions.  Many of the pieces for sale are even covered in Moon dust, which gives buyers their first chance at owning lunar specimens.  Bidding starts next week in New York City.

 

It’s a disappointing day for many WWE fans.  They’re expressing shock and anger over veteran wrestler The Undertaker losing to Brock Lesnar last night at WrestleMania 30.  The defeat means The Undertaker’s winning streak which lasted for two decades is over.  The result of their match at the New Orleans Superdome overshadowed Daniel Bryan becoming the new WWE world heavyweight wrestling champion at WrestleMania.  The hashtag #ThankYouTaker is already trending on Twitter.

 

International teams searching for that missing Malaysian jetliner are hopeful following what’s been called the most promising lead so far.  A ship has detected more signals that could be from the plane’s black boxes.  The Australian aviation expert overseeing the search describes them as “very encouraging information which has unfolded over the past 24 hours.”  The two separate signals picked up in the southern Indian Ocean are both consistent with transmissions from a plane’s flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.  Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished almost a month ago on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.  There were nearly 240 people on board.

 

The Senate is expected today to pass an extension of longterm unemployment benefits.  The Senate bill extends longterm jobless aid for more than two-million Americans for several months.  Longterm benefits expired in late December.  However, the bipartisan measure faces a rocky road in the House.  Republican House Speaker John Boehner has said he will oppose any extension of longterm jobless aid unless it includes i

4/3/2014

LOCAL

An Atlas V rocket was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base this morning at 7:46 am. The rocket carried a weather satellite into orbit. The rocket could be seen cities as far away as San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno and San Diego.

Police are still cleaning up from a strong wind event at Camp San Luis Obispo on the evening of April 1. The wind event damaged wooden stairs, bleachers, fencing, a communications pole and a cell tower. No one was hurt. It is speculated that the wind event was caused by a downburst. For more information, contact Major Mark Johnson at Camp San Luis Obispo’s Public Affairs.

Four Central Coast high school students, nominated by Congresswoman Lois Capps, were offered appointments at the nation’s top military academies. Vittoria Comin was offered an appointment at the U.S. Naval Academy. Vittoria ranks 6th out of her class of 323 students at Atascadero High School. She plays both softball and water polo and has participated in regional and national speech and debate contests. She is also a student body leader for the 2013-2014 school year. She attended the Summer Seminar at West Point Military Academy in 2013 and is a member of the U.S. Army Reserves as a combat medic. Nathaniel Jostes has accepted an appointment at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Nathaniel ranks 17th out of his class of 342 at Cabrillo High School in Lompoc, with a 4.24 weighted grade point average. He participates in student government – this year he is the vice president for the class of 2014 Associated Student Body Class—and during his time at Cabrillo High has played football, soccer, baseball, and run track and field.  Jack Empey was offered an appointment at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Jack has a 4.1 grade point average at Arroyo Grande High School. He plays varsity volleyball as well as varsity water polo, where he was chosen for the All-CIF team. He also works on the school yearbook and is a member of the Key Club. John Miles accepted an appointment at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. John has a 4.2 weighted grade point average at Arroyo Grande High School, where he also runs track and field and has served as the captain of the cross country team. He has also held various jobs throughout high school and volunteered for numerous groups.

The search for a missing man has been called off. The man, 42-year old Benito Flores was helping his cousin Pastor Maurigro Cervantes with a baptism near Guadalupe Dunes Park when a large wave hit them. Pastor Cervantes and another person made it back to shore, but Flores was missing. Local law enforcement agencies were told of reports that a body was found on the surf line, but called off the search when it was clear fishing buoys were mistaken for a body. The U.S. Coast Guard has called off their search for Flores as well. However, the search will continue if any new leads are found.

Wine grapes were the number one San Luis Obispo County agricultural commodity in 2013, according to San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures 2013 annual production statistics report. Despite the drought, wine grape production increased 10 percent. Total crop values were $960,710,000, an 11 percent increase from 2012. Strawberries were a close second. Mild weather and low rainfall helped berry production increase by 13 percent.

STATE

City officials want you to pay more for things you already buy.  Lawmakers are backing a proposed ballot measure that would generate billions of dollars for street repair by raising the sales tax.  The council members behind the “Save Our Streets” movement say they don’t usually support raising taxes but think this is the best way to pay for badly needed repairs to our streets.  The proposed ballot measure would increase the sales tax by a half-cent for 15 years to nine-point-five percent in the city.

Key players in a murder-for-hire plot are due in court later today.  Businessman Dino Guglielmelli is accused of trying to hire someone to kill his former model and very successful businesswoman wife back in October.  Guglielmelli reportedly tried to hire a friend and business associate to carry out the killing, but the guy taped the conversations.  A judge will set a trial date today.  Guglielmelli founded the nutrition supplements company, Creations Garden, in Valencia back in 1992, and after his arrest last October, his business went into bankruptcy.  He’s currently being held on ten-million dollars bond.

A student at UCLA is due in court later this week on charges of sexual battery.  Omar Arce, the Undergraduate Students Association Council Community service commissioner, has been arrested on campus accused of a series of sexual batteries.  University police received a report about Arce by another student and after an investigation, took him into custody Wednesday.  Arce is due to appear at the Airport Courthouse on Friday at 4 p.m.

Police are searching for man missing for ten days.  The Los Angeles Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit is asking for the public’s help to find 33-year-old Kyle Stern.  Stern had been last seen on East Avenue in the City of Los Angeles.  His family is very concerned for his safety.  Stern has blond hair and blue eyes, stands five-feet nine-inches tall and weighs 135 pounds.  Anyone with any information is urged to call the LAPD.

A 26-year-old man is dead, after walking away from a crash on I-880.  A Fisherman’s Wharf shopkeeper faces the possibility of life in prison without parole after he was convicted of shooting two neighboring merchants to death.  The Powell-Mason cable car line is expected to be back up and running this morning.  San Francisco is ranked Number Two on a list of the most-dense cities in America.

A 26-year-old man is dead, after walking away from a crash on I-880.  Authorities said Joshua Tessman of Fremont was in a pickup truck that spun out early yesterday and was blocking the middle lanes near High Street.  When he got out of the truck, he was hit by a Dodge Charger traveling about 55-miles-per-hour.  The driver of the Dodge remained on scene.

A Fisherman’s Wharf shopkeeper faces the possibility of life in prison without parole after he was convicted of shooting two neighboring merchants to death.  The verdict on 59-year-old Hong Ri Wu was handed down yesterday, after a two-week trial.  Prosecutors said Wu killed Qiong Han Chu and Feng Ping Ou in 2011 because the two 30-year-olds refused to stop selling the same type of knockoff purses that he had on sale.

The medical examiner is identifying the 85-year-old woman killed in a fire near the Cow Palace.  Jane Thompson was one of seven people caught in the Tuesday-afternoon fire on Castillo Street near Geneva Avenue.  The blaze reportedly caused nearly 200-thousand dollars in damage to three buildings.

NATION/WORLD

The Fort Hood community is mourning another deadly shooting rampage on the sprawling Texas military base. An Iraq veteran suffering from mental health issues opened fire yesterday, killing three fellow military members before taking his own life. Another 16 people were injured. The incident is bringing back painful memories of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting that left over a dozen people dead.

Senator Carl Levin says lawmakers are meeting with “heavy hearts” after the mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas.  The Michigan Democrat chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.  In a oversight hearing, Army Secretary John McHugh expressed condolences to victims and their families.  He said all available medical and investigative resources are being committed to the aftermath.

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits is up.  The Department of Labor reported today that the number of first-time jobless claims rose by about 16-thousand to 326-thousand in the last week of March.  Economists predicted initial claims would rise to about 319-thousand for the week that ended March 29th.

There are no new leads on the location of a missing Malaysian jetliner after another day of searching the Indian Ocean.  Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott calls the hunt for the missing plane “the most difficult search ever undertaken.”  Nearly 20 aircraft and ships were involved in today’s search effort.

America’s trade deficit is widening to its highest level in five months.  February’s gap was up seven-point-seven percent to 43.2 billion dollars.  The Commerce Department says that’s the biggest deficit since September.  A drop in exports of fuels and capital equipment is getting most of the blame.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is hosting a new television series.  “Amazing America with Sarah Palin.” could be seen as a wider focus version of Palin’s TLC series “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”  The show premieres tonight on the Sportsman Channel.

4/2/2014

LOCAL

During the month of April, law enforcement agencies hereabouta are educating the public about the dangers of distracted driving.  The campaign is in response to the 3,328 people killed nationwide in 2012, and 421,000 people that were injured in crashes involving distracted driving.Distracted driving is defined as any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety, but the most notable distractions include cell phones, texting, eating or drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, using a navigation system, watching a video, or adjusting a radio.

The San Luis Obispo County Agriculture Department confirmed they found an Asian Citrus Psyllid on March 26 in Arroyo Grande. This is not good news for San Luis Obsipo growers, as the insect is capable of killing citrus trees. The Department of Agriculture has quarantined areas including Pismo Beach to Nipomo that forces growers to exterminate the insects before moving their fruit or trees. The Agriculture Commissioner believes the quarantine will be in place for two years.

President Obama has signed into law a bill that included a provision long championed by Rep. Lois Capps to adjust Medicare reimbursement rates so that they more accurately reflect the actual cost of practicing medicine on the Central Coast. The fix, which Capps had supported and pushed for more than a decade, will solve a long standing problem in which counties – including Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo – are mislabeled as rural, resulting in health care providers being reimbursed at a lower rate for the care they provide in the Medicare program.

The GPCI problem dates back to 1966 when counties were either designated as “rural” or “urban.” Those designations were never changed, so doctors practicing in counties that have grown since then are being compensated at significantly lower levels than they should. There are 14 California counties – including Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County – whose Medicare providers are being underpaid by as much as 10 percent a year, according to the California Medical Association.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation and CAL FIRE are conducting a brush pile burn of pine and eucalyptus forests this month in Hearst San Simeon State Park and Morro Bay State Park. The piles are being burned to lower the fuel loads in the forests. Contact the San Luis Obispo Coast District for more information.

STATE

The cold storm out of the Gulf of Alaska has now prompted a winter weather advisory.  The National Weather Service says the advisory denotes perilous driving conditions in the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.  Up to six inches of snow could accumulate above 45-hundred-feet.  Forecasters also expect heavy winds to blow through the coastal regions from this afternoon through Thursday.  They’ve issued a wind advisory.  Winds could reach up to 25 miles an hour, with gusts of up to 35 miles an hour.

A pedestrian is dead after being struck by a vehicle in Lake Forest.  The Orange County Sheriff’s Department say the fatal collision took place at Bake Parkway and Dimension Drive at 5:20 this morning.  The driver remained at the scene.  Deputies have closed off Bake Parkway during their investigation.

Residents in the San Gabriel Mountains are lucky to have escaped mudslides during the storm that’s slamming the region.  Both Glendora and Azusa were at risk for mud and debris flows after the area had be scorched by the Colby Fire in January.  But authorities say the burn areas were hit with little rain overnight with no impact on potential debris fields.

California’s drought is not expected to impact the state’s economic growth.  UCLA’s Anderson School of Management released its quarterly forecast that shows employment in the Golden State will grow over the next three years.  However, the growth may be less than anticipated.  Employment is forecasted to grow one-point-eight percent this year and more than two-percent in 2016.  California’s jobless rate is expected to be seven-point-eight percent this year and to drop to six percent in two years.

Longtime Sacramento City Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell says she’s stepping down.  Pannell says she suffers from a rare neurological disorder that can affect speech and communication skills.  Pannell has served on the Council for 16 years, and her resignation will be effective June 23rd.  Her seat will remain vacant until her successor is sworn in following a special election this fall.

Engulfed by legal troubles involving three state Senate Democrats, the legislative body is canceling an annual golf event fundraiser slated for this Friday.  The Pro Tem Cup is a major event in which lobbyists and legislators get together.  The decision follows last week’s suspensions of senators Leland Yee, Ron Calderon and Roderick Wright.  Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg said the Legislature will do its job while making sure everyone is operating by the rules.

Rescue crews in the Sierra are reporting that a snowboarder missing since Monday has been found alive. KCRA says that 26-year-old Abraham Finkelstein managed to make it to a cabin for shelter. At one point, four search teams using skis and snowshoes were combing the area near Boreal looking for Finkelstein.  It’s thought that he became disoriented in the snow storm and was unable to find his way back.

Despite being boosted by late-season storms, the Sierra snowpack is still far below normal as the spring melt approaches.  Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin says this promises a gloomy summer for California farms and many communities.  Cowin adds that we are already seeing farmland being ruined and cities scrambling for water supplies.  Electronic readings show the state’s northern mountains with 23 percent of normal water content and the central and southern Sierra at 38 and 31 percent of normal, respectively.

A Northern California man is 242-million dollars richer after claiming the Powerball jackpot he won in mid-February.  Ray Buxton says he couldn’t sleep for days after discovering that he’d won the 425-million-dollar grand prize.  Buxton chose the lump-sum option and claimed his prize at the California Lottery office in Sacramento yesterday.  The retiree says he plans on doing some traveling and starting an organization to help people in need.

One person is dead and five others are hurt following a fire at two residential buildings near the Cow Palace.  The two-alarm blaze broke out yesterday afternoon on Castillo Street near Geneva Avenue.  Firefighters got control of the flames about an hour later, and arson investigators were on the scene.

PG&E is facing 12 criminal charges, including counts directly related to a deadly San Bruno explosion in 2010.  The indictment was handed down yesterday by a federal grand jury in San Francisco.  The utility company is being accused of “knowingly and willfully” violating requirements of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968.  The 2010 explosion of a natural gas pipeline in San Bruno killed eight people and hurt 58 others.

Asiana Airlines acknowledges its pilots were flying too slowly in last summer’s crash, but says some of the blame lies with the aircraft’s navigation equipment.  The South Korean airline claimed Monday the causes of the July 6th crash at San Francisco International Airport were “complex and interrelated.”  Airline officials said the navigation instruments on the Boeing 777 had “led the crew to believe” the jet was flying fast enough to land safely.  The crash left three dead.

NATION

The Supreme Court is striking down more limits on campaign donations. Today’s ruling means a single donor can now give the maximum amount allowed by law to as many federal candidates, parties and committees as he or she wishes during a two-year election cycle. The 5-4 vote split along party lines, with the five justices appointed by Republican presidents making up the majority and the four appointed by Democratic presidents dissenting.

A former deputy director of the CIA insists there was “no political influence” behind the agency’s analysis of what happened in Benghazi, Libya.  In a House hearing, Michael Morrell [[ more-ELL ]] said no one at the CIA deliberately misled anyone about what happened.  The initial word from the White House suggested an impromptu attack that was fueled by an anti-Muslim video.  Four Americans died in a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the fate of a missing Malaysian jetliner will be part of the focus of this week’s Southwest Asian summit in Hawaii.  Hagel said the inability to find the missing jet shows the need for the U.S. to expand its presence in the region.

Officials in Washington state now say 29 people are dead in that massive mudslide northeast of Seattle.  The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s office raised the death toll by one today.  Search teams are now focused on finding the 20 people still listed as missing.  The March 22nd mudslide in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains buried the tiny town of Oso.

President Obama is taking his campaign to increase the national minimum wage to ten-dollars-ten-cents an hour to Michigan today.  The President will speak this afternoon on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  The federal minimum wage was last increased in 2007.

Microsoft is set to preview new Windows updates.  The company kicks off its annual Build Developer Conference today in San Francisco where it will unveil new features on the Windows Phone.  Some upcoming changes may include a central hub for email and text message notifications.

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Transcribe Interviews

King conducts interviews for SLO County Today, which are lengthy interviews that need to be transcribed. My job was to transcribe them for him. Below are all of the transcriptions I did for King this past quarter.

Richard Martinez: (King only wanted Martinez’s answers, not his questions)

RM: Thank you King, although he’s actually 20, he would be 21 on December 23rd… if you ask anybody people know him as an exceptional kid.

RM: What made him exceptional was that he was an unusual combination of gentle, kind… people interview his cousin Jamie, who is 30 or 40, I can’t remember right now but he’s significantly older than Chris. Chris was an only child, Jamie and Chris were like brothers, even though there was that age difference. Jamie said that Chris was kind, gentle and a sweet soul until he got on the basketball court. He and Jamie used to play basketball every time they got together. Chris played sports in San Luis Obispo ever since he was five years old. Many people know him from those activities and anybody who saw him would tell you there may been kids on the field who were better athletes, but nobody worked harder than Chris. I remember one time when he was playing soccer, he was seven years old and he was playing goalie. Immediately after they scored on him, the coach took him out of the goal and he felt that it was an insult. The next play he took the ball from the center line and scored without passing. He drove it straight ahead, didn’t pass it, took it through the whole team and scored. And then he did it again the next play. The referee turns to me and says, can you believe that kid? And I said, yes. Go ahead, I’m sorry King.

RM: Yeah he did. I didn’t want him to be a lawyer, but I knew better than to tell him I didn’t because you know his mother is an attorney as well, you probably know she’s the Deputy DA and a criminal defense attorney. He learned at an early age that we’re older, but if that he wanted something he had to make his case, choose what he thought was the more vulnerable parent and try and convince them, and then go to the other one and say Mom agreed to this and then you’re in a weaker position, but he was very good. He was very competitive, very kind and gentle but very competitive, academically and at sports. Growing up I always told him, he had decided to play football, I didn’t play football in high school and we weren’t interested in our eight-year-old playing football, but one day the Cal Poly football team had an after-school program and they had their football helmets and so forth, he came home and said I want to play football. He played, but I only cared about two things, that you’re sweaty and dirty at the end of the game. I don’t care if you win or you lose, all that I expect is you put in maximum effort and I have a photo of him that people will see of him in his football uniform and what you will notice is that his hair is all sweaty, his uniform was always dirty. There was one time where he was playing football, the referees pulled him out of the game and dragged him to the sideline. He had a four-inch cut on the side of his hand and the refs wouldn’t let him play like that. I said son it looks like it hurts and he said no and they taped him up. He was playing linebacker, he didn’t play linebacker very often, but he wasn’t going to miss the opportunity so he went back in the game, played the entire game with his hand wrapped up. I told him he didn’t have to go back in there and he said no I’m going back in there. After the game he never complained about the hand either, he was so caught up in the competitive spirit. One of his good friends Chandler, who was in preschool with him, before kindergarten and played football together in high school, these kids know him, he was an extraordinary kid, just remarkable.

R: I was at home.

R: Yeah. What happened was that one of Chris’s roommates was in the area where he had been shot and knew he had been injured, didn’t know if he had been hit by a car or whether he had been… he tried to call me but I didn’t pick up because I didn’t recognize the number and then he called Chris’s mom and she didn’t pick up. She heard leave a voice message and he relayed the message he had been hurt but at that time we didn’t know that he had been killed and it was several hours before we heard that he had.

R: We jumped in the car immediately and we headed down there and we got there- it takes about an hour and a half to get down there- and we were probably down there for another half hour before we were informed that he had not left the scene and he had not been transferred because he had died. People think about how somebody would feel… people who have had been through this would tell you that we would rather be dead. You don’t expect to go before your kid, who does? He just had so much potential, such a nice kid. People loved him.

R: Well I’m not sure if the statistic earlier is correct, I think you said 28 million is that correct? Yeah I had heard conflicting numbers from 17 million to 28 million so I’m not sure about that. I’m not even sure what a hashtag is. In writing the speech for that day, I wanted to leave people with something they could do. My original idea was to have people send postcards to their legislators, and on the way I was giving my speech to the person who was driving me and she pointed out that the kids I was talking to would not know what a postcard was, so they suggested that a hashtag would work. I asked, what is a hashtag? She said I’m not sure but what you really want is a hashtag. They went and got an usher, who explained to me what a hashtag was because he was young. I sort of understood some of it. I’m getting quite a bit of attention, this is my first day home. I don’t know what it’s going to be like here, but down there I couldn’t walk… it’s very strange, it was really odd to have so many people recognize you and want to talk to you, but the reason I think people are talking to me right now is because of the speech I gave initially. I think people who watch that video there recognize that I was speaking from genuine emotion, honestly and clearly, and that’s not something that we see all the time. You listen to politicians talk, they talk in a different language. They lack conviction, they use words that hide things. I began my speech with the kids at the memorial- I’m very tired by the way, I couldn’t sleep the night prior, the viewing was… I couldn’t sleep wondering what it was going to be like. So I’m just right now. I forgot, where was I King?

R: Here’s the thing, I’m pretty sure I understand what the problem is. What I did after this occurred is I reached out. My brother was aware of this guy named Dave Cohen, who had researched and written a book about Columbine and so we contacted him before I had starting talking to the media. We made contact with him and discussed with him through e-mails the nature of the problem, and some of the solutions. So we asked him what message we should get out there. I think I saw him on Anderson Cooper last night or the night before. He’s like a national expert on this subject. So we got his input before I made my next speech. What Cohen had told us and the first one I did I think I was on either Good Morning America or The Today Show, and I attributed this to Dave Cohen. Cohen has said that following these tragedies that when the media puts these shooters’ names out on the air and the media puts the shooter’s picture, his video, and that’s what he wanted. These perpetrators, these shooters know they’re going to die. They want to die, they want to die in a spectacular way. They feel they’ve been injured, that people didn’t give them the respect they’re entitled to and that other people should suffer for it, and that want other people to know it was them that caused their suffering. And so when you attribute these terrible things to the person and it’s aired throughout the world and the country, you give the shooter what they want. And this is not my opinion, this is the opinion of the guy that’s probably the leading expert of the country. And it’s worse than that, that’s bad enough but it’s worse than that. And one of the things I was seeing was that Cohen was telling me that this was a problem and I turn on the TV on Sunday. On Saturday I had done an interview with… I don’t want to say the wrong network… either Good Morning America or The Today Show, one was one day and one the other, I told them during that interview that Cohen had said this, that you shouldn’t show the image of the shooter, you should focus on the victims, so people know that people died here, not just another number. I turn on the television Sunday to see what they put on and I see myself for like two minutes or something, that’s fine, next thing I know I’m looking at a picture of the shooter with his name on it and a video of him in his car! I turned it off at that point because I had told him and I called them back told them that I’m upset and disturbed! And they go, why? Because I told you people, this is the very thing that I didn’t want to happen and they go, well we don’t think you said that. And then that went back and looked at it and found out that I had! Now they’re getting it. I just got off the phone with whatever one it was and he said what you told us has gone all the way up from corporate ownership, it’s Disney, and they’re concerned and sending someone from LA to talk to me today. They want to get it right too, people in the media have kids. People in media who have been to these types of events know the problem better than anybody else. I talked to these reporters afterward and they tell me you’re during the right thing and that this is a terrible situation and I know firsthand, I’ve seen the victims and you listen to my speech, I’m telling it like it is, and people respond to that and they recognize that I’m telling the truth. We all know what the problem is, somebody says it and clearly states it… I think some people are waiting for some sort of genuineness in politics. I think that what’s I accomplished in the first day, and I’ve gotten traction and I’ve been trying to do that ever since. I did an interview yesterday with The New York Times and the guy asked me some policy question and I started to come up with some bull- answer. I’m giving an answer and I realize I don’t really know what I’m talking about, and I told him that and he said it sounded pretty good for someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about but the reality is I was starting to sound like a politician in concrete terms on something I don’t know anything about but I don’t want to do that. I think people aren’t just used to people saying it like it is, people just aren’t used to that in politics these days. People are starved for genuineness and that’s what I think people saw in the first show, that I was speaking strongly from the heart and I was!

R: There’s just no possible thing I could ever do that would make up for his loss but I gotta do something. You wouldn’t want to be where I’m at. I’m never going to have another kid! He was such a great kid. It’s awful.

R: People say you were a good dad, well it was easy because he was a really good kid. If he’s gone I want it to mean something. I want people to know who he was, what a good kid he was. And I don’t want it to happen on other people because it’s just gone on far too long. I refuse to believe that we have to live like this, that we can’t come up with a way to solve this, I can’t accept it. I’m determined that it just can’t go on. If I had done something myself, if I had listened to what happened at Sandy Hook, my son might still be alive! But like everybody else, until it happens to you it doesn’t seem real, to just accept the situation as something that normally occurs in our society and we think we have to accept it but there’s no way to avoid it, it’s just wrong. And you know I was down there in UCSB, and they’re scared! Those kids are scared! They just powdered the keg for another one by rewarding this guy into a celebrity, and that’s what it is. This kid was willing to die and become a celebrity, to show everybody that they had underestimated him, that he was powerful, that he could get into the national press so everybody would know his name. When we get that into the press, we give them exactly what they want! These shooters feel like society didn’t recognize how really exceptional they were and they want the recognition and they want society to know that really they were powerful and that women should have been attracted to them and that the world should suffer as he did. It’s a complicated issue but cut me off King when you’re ready because I’ve been talking about this for a few days we could probably talk for a long time. I appreciate you having me on.

R: People should use the hashtag NotOneMore or send a postcard. People come up and express their sympathy to me, and I appreciate that but what I really want them to do is let Congress know we can’t keep living like this. Next time it could be your kids. We don’t want that. It’s just not right. Thanks very much King.

Chal Fanning:

K: How did you get a name like Chal?

C: There’s no origin to it, there’s no story behind it. There’s a family name Chalmers, they shortened it to Chal and that’s about it.

K: You’ve been coaching the Blues for 12 years, but not continuously. You left after three or four years and then came back?

C: The first one was 1994, 95, 96 that really launched my coaching career, helped get my feet wet. To be head coach right away when you’re young, you learn a lot on the job, make a lot of mistakes. To look at the team now, back in 1994 when we first resurrected it with Tim Golden, it’s really grown up a lot and Adam Stowe, general manager and part owner along with Jim Belusha, it really gave it a foothold.

K: It really melded with the community.

C: Yes, very much so. Adam Stowe, it’s been a vision of his and he accomplished it. That’s where baseball programs, like summer college baseball programs, that’s the difference because they’re able to survive, they’re able to turn it into a year-round business, a year-round involvement, always in people’s minds. It’s amazing that Cal Poly has had such success this year, but there’s a certain segment of excitement people get about Blues baseball. It’s starting to ramp up. Cal Poly may be getting all the headlines, but the Blues are getting into people’s hearts.

K: Is it true that the San Luis Blues started back when I was born, which is like 1946?

C: That’s the official start date. There’s a picture- a panoramic picture- where people guess the date, circa 1905, 1910, two teams playing and the umpire in the middle has two six shooters at his side. Everyone’s in suits, women are in dresses… I’ve tried to do some research but some say that was the first San Luis Blues, which would be amazing if it really did go back that far.

K: It wasn’t called the Blues back then, was it?

C: It was called the Merchants, it just all morphed into the Blues. There was no baseball out here back then, it was all east of the Mississippi.

K: Certainly no professional baseball.

C: No, no, so semi-pro was how everything got established out here.

K: It would be like the San Francisco Seals.

C: Yes and DiMaggio played in it… there’s some history there if you really go back, military people, local people, some people were paid, some people weren’t. This is the origin of baseball in California. The San Francisco Seals made money, other organizations made money and that’s what brought baseball out here. And then you had these local teams, some players finished up in the careers in the Blues or launched their careers. It’s just interesting, some immediate history up and down the coast here.

K: The Blues is strictly collegiate?

C: We participate in the California Collegiate League, which has been around since 1993 or 4, and the league is really holding its own nationwide. It’s strictly collegiate, for kids going into college or in college, it’s amateur. It has to be that way, based on NCAA rules having amateur players associated with someone getting paid. That’s why we’ve shifted to being strictly a collegiate team.

K: You’re also a wooden bat team?

C: Yes.

K: So you don’t play with aluminum bats then. I can’t stand them, it just doesn’t sound real.

C: No, they’ve tried to go more wooden in the college ranks. They break, it’s expensive, coaches get nice bat contracts from aluminum bats, and also it’s a little bit of a separator between college baseball and professional baseball, the aluminum bat, whether you like it or not. You see more people being drafted out of our league and going to the major leagues, in fact we just had a Blues alum from 2009 named C.J. Chron who was just called up by the Angels and I have to look this up, but he get three hits last Friday night for the Angels. So you see that having a wood bat, facing good pitching, it really helps in your development and I hope there are more players behind him that become major league alumni.

K: It seems like a long road to get into the majors.

C: You know, it’s changed quite a bit, and nowadays I’m sad to see that most of it is money-driven. It’s like a business, if you have an investment in something you’re going to be very focused in it. So if you’re a high draft pick and they have a lot of money invested in you, they’re going to give more opportunities than someone that’s more deserving. If you go back a couple of decades before the bonus structure took off, more people had chances. They really look at a baseball player for who is. Now it’s more computer-driven, radar gun, high money investment that’s what it’s morphed into. Players are still players, but that’s what it’s morphed into and it’s kind of sad.

K: But the positive side is that you get to coach potential major league players, it’s not a big stadium and it’s more personal.

C: When I first started the Blues back, it was like a start-up business so it had its growing pains. I left California and coached and worked at the University of Missouri. Travelling through the Midwest, learned a whole new side of what summer college baseball is, especially going through the history. For instance, when I was at Clarenda in Iowa, I remember looking through long list of major league players that came from Clarenda. What was particularly remarkable was the families that kept in touch and there was one family in particular that really bonded with Kirby Puckett with the Twins and it went beyond baseball, it became family and it really stuck in my mind. When I had the opportunity to go coach the Blues again, I really wanted to make sure that was the emphasis. Our host families… it’s like a lottery you don’t know what you’re gonna get… but there was one family- the Heinz family down in Arroyo Grande- their son Jonathan, 11 or 12, when C.J. was here, but he’s going to remember being a major leaguer before he was a major leaguer. You have direct access to these guys, talking to them, have autographs with them, pictures, have conversations and all you gotta do is file it away and then a few years lateer C.J. Chron is a major leaguer.

K: How do you recruit players?

C: All over the country. It’s relationships I’ve built since I’ve been coaching and it’s continued… the Blues is a first-class organization, and the players that have come and gone have had nothing but good things to say. Everyone wants to come here, and that’s a tribute to San Luis Obispo- the area, the fans… if you take a look at our roster, talk to a scout about our roster, they will say that our roster is nearing a rivalry with the East Coast Cape Cod League. We’re not there yet from a consistency standpoint, but talent-wise from what we’ve rostered we rival Cape Cod. You research Cape Cod, you will hear people say they saw future major leaguers, we’re nearing that here.

K: You have the same team twice in a row?

C: No, no we don’t get a lot of returners back for various reasons, it’s not like Cuesta or Cal Poly where you know you’re gonna have a guy for two or four years. There’s a lot of reasons for getting returners, number one it starts with the player wanting to return. Even though they had a good experience, they get recruited by Cape Cod or I’ve told players in college to explore the world through baseball on their dime and that’s what they do. What it really boils down to is how much do you love baseball. This year we have two returners, I think we’ve had as many as four or five in one year and some years we don’t get any returners.

K: Is this format difficult for you as a coach, teaching different people and having to start all over again?

C: The current system is the system I know, it’s the cards you’re dealt so I don’t really know another way. From a logical standpoint, it would be nice to have the same roster but at the same time this what I love to do, you get a new group of kids, the team is different. I’ve had teams that were great to be around on a daily basis and we didn’t win a championship, I’ve had teams where we’ve won a championship that wasn’t as fun to be around on a daily basis and you don’t know what you get until they come to town and there are some challenges in that. I think that’s what keeps you on your toes.

K: How much mental stuff is going on as a coach?

C: The biggest challenge as a coach is that it’s not like Cal Poly’s program where they get years with those guys and the message wears thin, we have two months and I try to invoke a team and manage 30 individuals. You may have a coaching style, but you don’t recruit the guys that fit that style, you have to adapt and coach individuals in a way that matches their skill set. The number one thing is to get players to understand showing up to play baseball on a daily basis. You don’t get that at Cal Poly. You have mandatory days off or time in between games, so that’s the number one thing coaches ask for. It’s all based on maturity, and that’s the number one thing for the players too, on the mental side.

K: Your baseball season goes from May to August?

C: Memorial weekend we start, and I think our season goes to August 3rd, and then the Blues will be hosting the first ever CCL playoffs. It used to be that you’d go to the NBC World Series in Wichita and play for a national title, but leagues are moving away from that and going towards their own self-based playoff system, which we’re doing here for the first time and will be hosted in San Luis Obispo.

K: So you’re working year-round.

C: I just have my small part on the baseball piece, so I start early in the fall to get all my recruiting done and then start my preparation for the season. But with Adam Stowe, he’s really turned this into a year-round thing, with community involvement and community exposure with the Blues and things like that. Outside of the Blues, I’m help out at Cuesta as an assistant coach to Bob Miller, so that’s the year-round piece for me

K: And you played baseball?

C: Paso High graduate, Cuesta, then Cal Poly and then I went straight into coaching.

K: It’s in your blood. You’ve done a great job with it.

C: Thank you, thank you. I’ve been blessed. You don’t see a lot of coaches have longevity, so entering my 12th season I’m feeling pretty special. What I hope to accomplish on a personal note is 400 victories with the Blues.

K: What’s your website?

C: www.bluesbaseball.com

K: Thanks so much for stopping by. We will have you in again during the season.

C: Perfect. I appreciate the opportunity, thank you very much.

Crime Stoppers:

K: We have two distinguished guests in the studio today, Ron Hastie of the SLO Sheriff’s Department and insurance man Frank Sheahan. We are going to talk about the unique program Crime Stoppers. Ron, tell me what exactly Crime Stoppers is.

R: Basically, Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization that provides an outlet for the community to provide information to help resolve and solve crimes that occur out in the community. We like to think of it as a three-legged stool. It’s a partnership between the community, local media, and law enforcement. We offer rewards on information that leads to arrests and convictions of publicized crimes and crimes people may witness that aren’t necessarily publicized so we can make the community safer.

K: Frank Sheahan, how did this all start?

F: I believe it was 1981, might have been ’82  King, and some members of the community were a little concerned about crimes against agriculture, crimes against the community, and an organization in Albuquerque, New Mexico known as Crime Stoppers began, and we got some information about that and a group us got together and we decided to form a local chapter of Crime Stoppers. So for the past 32 years, we’ve been existing.

K: Where do you get the money to solve/help solve crimes?

F: Well initially we received some money from the Insurance Organization Association and the Sheriff’s Office. We received money from the Cattle Man’s Association. So, we had a beginning war chest to use to provide anonymous rewards for information that led to the solving of crimes. Since that time, we’ve had donations from many entities, including the public at large.

K: So this one way to solve crimes and be anonymous about it?

F: Well it gives the public an opportunity to get involved. It can be anonymous. We provide ways of rewarding them for information, and ultimately it helps lead to San Luis Obispo being a safer place, a happier place, one that we all love.

K: You and Ron get a lot of calls on Crime Stoppers?

R: Yeah, a little history on the Crime Stoppers program. Like Frank was saying, it started off in ’82 I believe here locally, and for the majority of that time, the primary way to get a hold of Crime Stoppers to provide tip information was through a hotline. A hotline still exists, the number is 549-STOP or 549-7867, which is 549-STOP. That’s a method that’s frequently used, people will call that unrecorded line anonymously and they’re given a code number so they can check back and see if the information they have provided led to an arrest so they’re eligible for an award. A lot of people don’t accept the rewards, they just share the information. In 2009,  we went with a new computerized system to collect our tips. So the phone line is still there- 549-STOP- but we also have a website now, so you can access it at slotips.org, and you can submit tip information via the website online, and then we also have texting, you can now text in tips. A lot of people enjoy texting information back-and-forth nowadays. So that’s a method also, and that would just be by texting SLO tips plus your message to crimes or 274-637.

K: Is the anonymous part really helpful?

R: There are people who don’t have a problem releasing their personal information to us, which is helpful if we need to follow-up on their information. The basis for Crime Stoppers, however, is absolute anonymity it is critical to have information out there that Crime Stoppers is anonymous. The phone calls are not recorded, the web site that we utilize, we don’t have access to any of the IP addresses. The company that hosts the website is based in Texas and the program across the country, in fact it’s even International, is absolutely anonymous. It’s critical to provide information without any retaliation.

K: Do you remember a big case that’s been solved with this? How many cases have been solved with Crime Stoppers?

R: We maintain statistics since 2009 that are very accurate with the use of the system that we utilize. I’ve got some of those numbers here, the total number of tips we’ve received since inception… we get around 15-20 tips a month. Prior to getting the new system where we get text-in tips, we were getting around five per month, so we recognize an increase in the number of tips. We’ve had since inception 992 tips received and we also, with the website and texting it opens up a dialogue so we can text or e-mail the person that’s providing the information. To get involved with an investigation and receive tip, contact Investigating Agency they will provide some questions that their investigator may have so it opens a two-way dialogue. So with that we’ve received 1379 actual communications with tipsters, some of those being follow-up questions.

F: King I’d like to interject. Those statistics are since 2009… when you go back to the origin we have had many, many, many more than that. There were at least five murders that took place in this county that we were responsible for solving and we were very proud of that. Not that we were proud of the murders taking place, but we were able to conclusively put the conviction as a result of a lead through Crime Stoppers.

K: Well that must make you feel more than satisfied.

F: Well it makes us feel like what the program is is worthwhile. And it gives the opportunity to the community to provide information without any fear or anything they can do it anonymously, although we have paid rewards. In addition to the murders, we’ve had bank robberies that we’ve solved, we have had a lot of crimes of theft, and certainly a lot of drugs.

K: How did you get personally involved in this, Frank?

F: It’s been very rewarding. As I mentioned, I’ve been on the board for 32 years. Back in the 19 early ‘80s I was back in the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and the originators of Crime Stoppers, particularly Betty Fiscalini from Cambria, wanted someone from San Luis, and I was that person to represent San Luis Obispo. We have had many others… Jim Brabeck is still involved with the board, and L.B. Blakeslee from the Tribune was involved initially, and we  have some others I can name them if you choose.

K: Who makes up the board? How many make up the board, how often do you meet and what do you talk about at the meetings?

F: We meet every other month, typically at noon time, and we discuss old business which is ongoing information that we have to make justifications on if they’re eligible for a reward. We talk about new business which we receive through Ron and the sheriff on leads we received and do we want to pursue them and then there’s administrative activities. But we meet every other month throughout the year and we have for many years.

K: So the board meets to decide what to pursue? Do you ever decide to close something down?

F: Actually not that I’m aware of. We have a lot of things that are open-ended, as a result we’ve given open-ended leads, in some cases bank robberies, where we offer $1000. Sometimes it takes years before there’s any end to that lead, but it’s still an open-ended situation.

K: So you keep it open

F: Yes

K: And it adjusts in pay?

F: Yeah if someone gives us information and it takes a while, we’re not gonna cut them off, we will be happy to provide rewards for something that’s substantial.

R: As an example King we have some missing persons in the county that have been outstandsing for quite some time, Kristin Smart being one of them. Rewards are offered in those cases as well, if information is brought forward to help solve those cases.

K: Doesn’t an attorney/lawyer have a $75,000 reward for information to her discovery or her perpetrator?

R: I believe that’s correct.

K: This doesn’t just involve the Sheriff’s Department in the county.

R: No, this all law enforcement, all media and in fact since it’s a national organization as well as international organization we’ve actually received tips from other states. One would look for information and an outlet to provide it, and they would provide it to us.

K: Does this take up a lot of time? Is there a unit at the Sheriff’s office set up?

R: It’s totally run by volunteers, with the exception being my position with the sheriff’s office, everyone else volunteers on their own time.

K: So it keeps you busy?

R: Oh it keeps us busy, yeah. It’s a good thing

K: If you had information on the Kristin Smart case, what would you do?

R: If we were to receive a tip on the Kristin Smart case, as we do occasionally, or any other missing person case, and any case we receive a tip on is forward to the Investigating Agency and they disseminate it to their lead investigator and they vet it out.

K: That can be expensive though.

R: Law enforcement provides a service in investigating these things, especially in cases that are unsolved any information that comes in is helpful.

K: How often do you get calls? Do you get calls daily?

F: Pretty much. For example, this month- today is the 22nd I believe?- we have had 20 tips through the website, texting and phones this month.

K: How many of these have led to a resolution.

F: I believe three or four of those possibly this month that were vetted out and did not lead to information or did not lead to solving a case or would have led to somebody like a fugitive being appreheneded.

K: What would happen, Frank, if there wasn’t a Crime Stoppers?

F: I think Crime Stoppers makes San Luis Obispo County a safer place to live, and I think that without Crime Stoppers I think we would see people witnessing a crime but not having an outlet to share that information without getting involved. Sometimes people are frightened about the consequences of giving information. We’re really grateful to, particularly the Sheriff’s Office, to provide the resources like Ron, the phone, the dispatch officers they can take calls and that type of thing where if we didn’t have that and that type of support it would make it more difficult and I think something may involve other organizations throughout the country but we decided back in the 1980’s that Crime Stoppers was the most professional, most organized and we aligned ourselves with the Crime Stoppers.

K: Do you ever get any pranks?

R: I don’t know if we’d call them pranks. We get some tips at times that are individuals that are online that ramble on about stuff and you wonder how accurate that might be. We accept all tips and forward them to the appropriate jurisdiction and to determine whether or not they need to be followed up on. I think well over a majority of them are addressed at specific incidents.

K: How has technology helped this program?

F: Immensely, immensely. Statistically speaking and through websites and what have you, it has really enhanced our ability to share information with other law enforcement agencies and to disseminate information, not just throughout the county but to other areas that may be affected. Not only do we receive information from other counties and other states, but we disseminate information to other cities and other states.

K: Does this involve mostly crime, or can it involve DUI accidents?

R: Typically anything that’s in progress, we like someone to use 911, particularly if it’s an emergency. Occasionally we’ll get someone with a tip saying there’s a big party with juveniles consuming alcohol in a specific city and what not. What we ask that person to do is call their local law enforcement agency and back up that tip with a phone while that crime is in progress. Crime Stoppers isn’t necessarily designed for in-progress emergencies or crimes. It’s more for providing information after something has occurred or someone has information or knowledge about something that’s about to occur that’s of criminal nature or finding a missing person or something. But we certainly don’t discourage someone from using it, we will follow-up with more information once we get there.

K: Do you get people sending you videos?

R: I don’t believe we’ve received any videos as of yet, we do receive sometimes photographs, digital images of individuals that may be wanted or information on a drug dealer or something of that nature they’ll take a photograph sometimes and submit it through the website.

K: Do you have, Frank, all programs in mind when you put the program together?

F: Originally the intent was to help agriculture, there were a lot of crimes against agriculture in the county. Cattle rustling, even the stealing of hay and things like that. It took a better part of a year of meeting with the board from different sects of the county and we realized that for any crime that took place we could be a catalyst to provide to assist law enforcement we certainly are not trying to replace them but working with the media, the community and law enforcement, the three elements of the nucleus of Crime Stoppers right now.

K: How important is the media?

F: It has been tremendously important over a series of time. We have had a lot of changes that take place in the media, at one time our board consisted of members of media. For examples, Long Allen from Atascadero, Jeanette Trumpeter, she was on our board and we have had really good support from the media and KVEC has been wonderful through some of my involvement, but the media has been important it gets the word out and keeps people mindful that if they see something there is an avenue that they can use to disseminate information and come to results.

K: I have always felt it was important to get common-sense ideas out to the public to protect them.

R: I think that’s a great idea. In fact, you mentioned that case, we have received a tip on that case  as well and it’s been forwarded to that jurisdiction, but I agree it’s important to get the message out and anytime you can provide a security tip can to help someone or help prevent a crime as well as through Crime Stoppers help resolve them. You asked earlier King about some of the cases that we have been involved in, a couple that come to mind are the arsons a couple of years ago in Arroyo Grande. I believe it involved an older building where a group of Boy Scouts were meeting at, that case was resolved through information that was provided through Crime Stoppers as was a cross-burning incident in Arroyo Grande as well. Last year, I believe we had a series of bank robberies by a female that was labeled Central Coast Bandit. That case actually broke on a tip from an individual who we paid a reward for that case as well. One of the homicides I recall in the last ten years, the Bar Top homicide up in North County. Crime Stoppers paid out for information on that case as well and was resolved through the information.

K: How do you decide how much money? Does it depend on the case?

R: It does. Typically, we offer up to $1000 for information that leads to an arrest or conviction. There have been incidents… one of the arson cases we mentioned earlier, the city actually put together a fund as well, so it was a donation from the city as well as a Crime Stoppers reward combined paid out on one of those cases. Years ago, there was a crime where a couple of Arabian horses were shot in Arroyo Grande. I believe one of them died. That’s one that’s still posted on our website and an Arabian foundation came together and we pitched as well. That case hasn’t been resolved but it’s still out there. Another example of something that may come forward years down the road that could solve the case.

K: Is there a website that tells people about these open cases?

R: Yeah, we have our website can be found at- it’s actually San Luis Obispo County Crime Stoppers- but it can be found at slotips.org. It has numerous tabs at the side, you can submit a tape- a tip rather- it tells you about our organization, some of the history, and we typically post a crime of the week, not every week, but unsolved crimes, bank crimes, as well as missing persons are all listed on the website. There’s a series of tabs on the sides of the website that can lead you to different areas.

K: People with Alzheimer’s, there’s braces for them.

R: There’s a program out there called Operation Life Savers, see they have that service marked.

K: Are you surprised that this is still working and that there are more people coming in?

F: We have recognized an increase in the number of tips we’ve received. If you were to look around, as population base grows, everything grows, traffic grows, crime grows, just got to get the word out there to keep calling in and help keep the community as safe as we can.

K: Frank, are you pretty proud of what you helped start?

F: Well personally yeah. I think that the community is better because of the existence of Crime Stoppers and I’ve been on the board for a long time. But it’s interesting to be able to give back to the community a little bit, but just the information and the history of Crime Stoppers continues to grow. Crime Stoppers is growing throughout the country as well, so when people move here from other areas, they can bring in information and typically they see what Crime Stoppers is and they can relate to what’s taking place.

K: Well congratulations, keep up the good work! Final website word?

F: You can go to our website and see the phone numbers and how to submit tips as well as texting tips and a donate button through PayPal for federal tax ID can all be seen through slotips.org.

K: Ron Hastie and Frank Sheahan, thanks for coming by.

F: Thank you King.

K: This is SLO County today!

Cummings and Rigsby:

K: Tell me what the Vet Services organization does for local vets.

D: So the County Services office, our task is to make sure our vets have access to benefits for their military service at the federal level, state level or their local level, so it could be filing a claim with the VA for a military pension or it could be for kids of veterans, or it could to be plug into a local agency or an organization such as surfing.

K: What does stand down involve?

B: We are going to bring in homeless vets Friday afternoon, sit them down for dinner and have them stay overnight. The following morning, the 17th, is Provider’s Day, anything from haircuts to dental cleaning we are trying to help them get back on their feet.

K: Are there a lot of vets out there?

B: The projected number for the county is 267?

D: Yeah, we have about 237,000 homeless vets and out of those there are a thousand or more who are on unemployment, live in subsidized housing, they are struggling through school and trying to support a family and at any point they could be on the street. We have about a thousand to 1100 who are at risk of being put on the street.

K: Do a lot of these vets support families?

D: We estimate that there are about 80-100 vets on the streets that have families. You want to work with agencies like CAPSLO to apply for grants or apply for programs, do wrap-around programs for them that stuff is coming down the road. In the meantime we try to get them plugged in as best we can.

K: Are these vets surprised that all of this is available to them?

D: Yes, unfortunately there are some vets out there who don’t realize they’re veterans. They served during peacetime, or served in a branch in the military like the Coast Guard or something, for some reason they don’t realize they’re a veteran. They seem to think that to be a veteran they had to serve in combat, and that’s not true. There are a lot of benefits available to all veterans, but they’re not all able to get benefits because of the eligibility criteria.

K: So they don’t have to had served in a war to get benefits?

D: No, in fact there are thousands of training accidents every year, and they are eligible for benefits. There’s education benefits, there’s housing benefits, there’s all sorts of services available to all these veterans. We have a lot of veterans who don’t use their services because they want to save them for the other guy who really needs them, and that unfortunately is such a misconception. If anything, we need more vets to take advantage of benefits and services. If services aren’t being used, it’s more likely to be cut. All veterans, please find out what’s available to you, even if you don’t need it today, you might need it for tomorrow. Otherwise, it’s gone.

K: So it’s a trust thing?

B: Yeah, we go down to where live, work and play. There’s a lot of stories they’re holding onto, like post-traumatic stress disorder, that they’re uncomfortable talking about and we want to build a rapport with them so they feel comfortable coming into Veteran’s Services so they can file a claim and get the mental health services or medical services they need and earn some compensation for what they’ve been through. If anybody’s earned them, it’s these veterans, some of them have suffered for decades from the agony of war, from Vietnam or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they feel like they’re in the war zone everyday.

K: And it takes its toll, doesn’t it?

D: Oh yeah and you can see it. There are a lot of vets who are dealing with physical conditions related to the stress they’re dealing with and how they’re dealing with mental stresses on their own, like self-medication or whatever, and so if we can get a vet off that, we can help them with the pain and stress they’ve been feeling all those years and go to services like the Vet Services to get the help they need so they’re not carrying such a heavy burden.

K: What’s the difference between the Vet Center and County Health and Services?

B: County Veteran Services, our main goal is to plug veterans into services. If a military vet is experiencing head trauma or lost a loved one, they go to County Veteran Services for counseling. That’s our main goal. Then there’s the VA clinic, we have one in San Luis Obispo off of Morro Street, there’s a clinic in Santa Maria off of Main Street. Their main focus is medical or mental health services. In an LA, there’s a major hospital to get a major service, like if you need an MRI, and the VA is trying to expand service here. They realize we have a lot of veterans in our community so they do what they can.

K: So if I wanted to buy a house, I could get a loan to do so?

D: Yeah, we would make sure you go through loan verification or get you plugged into the GI Bill for education or make sure children of veterans are eligible for their fee waiver. At the end of the day, we’re advocates.

K: That’s terrific.

D: Yeah it’s a great job, vets and their families make up 26,000 residents, or 1/3 of the county that need that advocacy.

K: It’s encouraging that recent news says that military suicides are down, but it’s tough to be in two wars that are so distant- I remember Vietnam being the news every single night.

B: Yes the suicide rates are down, but they’re not down that much, down from 25 a day to 22, that’s 22 young men and women that have not been able to adjust back from war, and sadly they figured that it was their only way out, which is very unfortunate because if we could have caught those young men and women early, we could have plugged them into the services they need and their lives could have been saved. One is one too many, and we have to do what we can to prevent that from happening. We need more funding from the federal level down to the local level to help these veterans, because they laid their lives on the line to serve this country. If we can help one vet who is on the edge with by doing an event like this, it’s worth its wait.

K: What are the details of this event?

D: The event starts May 16, we are going to open the gates on Vet’s Hall on Grand Avenue, we are going to start with check-ins, we’ve been compiling all the forms for volunteers and veterans and assign them a cot and a sleeping area, have a dinner, movie night, games that goes on till about 11:00. The next day, we will have a breakfast round and a few ceremonies going on. After the ceremonies and breakfast, we will have providers check off information throughout the day, we will have lunch of course from about 12 to 1, and then we will have the game room back open, our office will be open for them to plugged in to services. And then the next morning we will get them up at around 7, have closing ceremonies and send them on their way.

D: It’s been great to see so much community support. You can go to slovets.org to help out. These are people who raised their hand to serve this country, less than one percent of the country serves, and we have to take good care of them.

K: It’s from May 16, 17, 18 at the Vet’s Hall on Grand Avenue. Brian, Dana thanks for putting this together to help out the veterans of San Luis Obispo County.

Dave Congalton:

 

 

 

King: Hello this is King Harris and this is SLO County today and in-studio and colleague of mine, who works in the afternoon here at KVEC. His name is Dave Congalton of the Dave Congalton show. Dave is also the author of several books, as you probably know by now. And lately he’s elevated himself into a whole other area, an adventure in his life that I’d like him to talk about, and his screenplay for a movie that’s coming out very shortly, if isn’t out already. It’s called Author’s Anonymous. How you doing?

Dave: I’m great King! It’s good to see you sir!

King: Now the last time you were here, I think we talked about Author’s as it was being named.

Dave: And back in those days it was called script. That was back in August of 2012.

King: So this project of yours, where did it germinate from?

Dave: (laughs) I’m sorry, I just came from the dentist. It germinated from nine years ago. Here it is March of 2014, I wrote the first draft in 2005. So it’s been one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine years in the making. Now where did it germinate from? Well, it’s about unpublished writers so I suspect that I was influenced by running the College Writer’s Conference for twelve years and being around people who were chasing dreams. I’ll use that as my answer.

King: You were chasing a dream?

Dave: No, no the writers- I was around writers who were chasing the dream, and that inspired me to write this story because it’s about a group of unpublished novelists who get together once a week. There’s six of them, and this is very common for writers to get together and read each other’s stuff and say “Yeah this is great, you’re gonna make it” dudda dudda duh, and the premise is, what happens if one of them does make it? How do the other five react? Well of course, they get jealous and envious and petty and the whole group implodes. It’s a comedy.

King: Oh it sounds like a fun one.

Dave: (laughs)

King: Now this is really terrific because writing a script is quite a bit different than just regular writing. I mean you have to have directions and you have to have tone, mood….

Dave: (laughs) Do you edit this?

King: I can.

Dave: Well you may have to. Yes and no. You don’t give out too much direction, that’s up to the director. A screenwriter tells the story and then it’s up to the director to decide camera movement, camera angle, and close-up or whatever. You don’t get involved in that. Tone, yes. Characters, yes.  I tried to write a novel, it was terrible. Writing a screenplay is second-nature to me. I’m a very visual person, so I see stuff in my mind.

King: So where do you get the characters for this? Are they ones that you know, or that you’ve worked with or seen?

Dave: Actually, Dennis Fareena plays a character he and I both know. (laughs) But hopefully he isn’t listening to this show.

King: Uh-huh.

Dave: (laughs) Yes, there are four male characters in the group, three of them are different degrees of me. This is the most autobiographical thing I’ve ever written. I wrote the first draft in two weeks because it literally came pouring out. Henry, who is played by Chris Klein, is the young writer who comes from the Midwest to stake out his fame and fortune as a writer in Los Angeles and he worships F. Scott Fitzgerald and he thinks The Great Gatsby is the greatest novel ever written. Well, that was me. That is me.  And he falls for Hannah, who is played by Kaley Cuoco, and the problem is he so fixated on Hannah he can’t write his own novel because he just wants to be with her. He loves her, he just worships her, whereas Hannah never went to college and really doesn’t know Hemingway or Fitzgerald or any of these guys. She just writes, she just tells her story and she’s this woman that gets an incredible run of luck because in a short amount of time she gets an agent, a book deal, a movie deal, and meets a very famous author. Everything that can happen good to an author happens to Hannah Renaldo and how do the other five handle it? And I drew it from, and she knows the story so I’m not in trouble here, Katherine Hyde, our friend up in Cambria, Pay It Forward, similar thing happened to her around 2000. She got an agent, she got a book deal. Pay It Forward was made into a movie starring Kevin Spacey, she’s invited to the White House and greeted by President Clinton, so out of all that you look at Katherine and you think to yourself, how much success is one writer allowed to have? And that’s what Author’s Anonymous is all about. How much success is one person allowed to have? And what happens when everyone gets envious and jealous?

King: You’re having fun with this.

Dave: You’re going to have to edit this you know. (laughs)

King: Well tell me about what it’s like to have written something. Obviously, you have been overseen before by other people who read your stuff and make suggestions and all that. So you go down Hollywood, and you have a script in mind and all of a sudden there are changes made, it could be directors, could be producers, could be a lot of hands in the pie here.

Dave: All of the above. The thing I’ve learned, King, in doing a screenplay and getting it produced, you have to learn the two C’s: collaboration and compromise. And the more people that get involved in the process, the further away you get from the original script. I have a perfect example in the title, I wrote a script called Scribble. It was scribble for eight years, now it’s Author’s Anonymous. Ask me why we changed the title.

King: Why did you change it?

Dave: Because Author’s Anonymous starts with an “A”, and research shows that videos that start with A,B, C or D will do well on On-Demand, and frankly even though we have a theatrical run, most of the money for Author’s Anonymous will be made on Video On-Demand. S, Scribble, that’s all the way on the bottom. A, Author’s Anonymous, is all the way on-top. What does the title Author’s Anonymous mean? I have no idea. But all that matters is that it starts with an A.

King: So you’re at the top.

Dave: Yeah, pure market.

King: Oh really.

Dave: Yeah, you have collaboration and you have compromise. You have got to compromise repeatedly with the director, with the producer, five days- we shot this in August of 2012- five days before I’m supposed to go down to Los Angeles to shoot this, I get a call from the director, “We don’t have enough money, you’ve gotta delete five pages.” The shooting draft was supposed to 107 pages, one page per-minute of screen time. We cut fourteen pages. It could be lack of money, we ran out of time, we just had to have it cut. And there’s a certain point as the writer where eight, nine years into this you just want the darn thing made and so battles that I was willing to make back in 2007, just can we make the thing? Can we get it made? Can I have my life back?

King: Now how did they stray from your original script?

Dave: Actually about 85% of the movie I wrote. But you make a movie three ways. You make it when you write, you make it when you direct it, you make it when you edit it. Obviously, the writer is there for the first part and the writer is fortunate to be there when it’s being shot. But the writer is never, ever involved in the editing, and it’s quite the experience the first time you sit down for a screening and you see a rough draft for a film and you go Oh! They changed that! So what I’m referring to is that there may be a three minute scene that you wrote and maybe fifteen seconds of that scene makes it into the final cut or they change things around or they delete something altogether. In the opening of my script, Henry has come to Los Osos- or excuse me, Los Osos hello- he comes to Los Angeles because he worships F. Scott Fitzgerald. And of course Fitzgerald died at 1441 North Haywerth on December 21, 1940, right across the street from where the Director’s Guild of America is now. And we shot the scene, he’s got a copy of The Great Gatsby and says to the camera “This guy means so much to me, I’m not going to make his mistakes” and of course he ends up making all those mistakes. Anyway, that’s all gone from the movie.

King: So all that effort and everything else…

Dave: We shot it. That was our most expensive day of shooting, it was Hollywood. We put it all on camera, and for some reason the producer or director decided to…so now halfway through the movie Henry takes Hannah to his house to show it to her and you have no idea why they’re doing it, but that’s ok.

King: That path, it doesn’t…..

Dave: Well some people are going to be wondering why Fitzgerald means so much to Henry. Since we deleted that first scene, we don’t explain that anymore. It’s just implied. It’s fine. It’s 93 minutes long and they like comedies short now. The ideal comedy is like 93, 95 minutes long.

King: So do you expect a lot of laughs?

Dave: Yeah. Look, I’ve seen the movie about eight or nine times, and I still laugh out loud. I laugh out loud when Dennis Firena, playing John Kay Budson, published author, is on the screen. And it’s a little bittersweet because it’s his last role. No matter what the show does King, I have the honor of writing the last role for Dennis Firena. He is the world’s nicest guy, this was a role tailor-made for him, he nails it. He just nails it.

King: But how do you nail something like this? Just because of your acting ability?

Dave: My acting ability? Are you talking about me or Firena?

King: Well both.

Dave: I mean, I don’t know. He was just a natural for the guy. He knew the character. Tre Polod was also good. I mean, I’m biased but there’s not a bad performance in the movie.

King: Speaking of the actors, how difficult was it to get- and I think you had some other people involved initially- to get all these actors together at the same time?

Dave: Well that’s an interesting question. Yes, we had been in production twice before, once in 2007 and once in 2009. We were about two weeks out from shooting in Iowa in 2009 and it fell through because the guy who claimed he had the money didn’t have any money. Rule number one in Hollywood: if somebody comes to you and says we’ve got money, chances are they don’t have any money. But Dennis Firena loved the role and he told the director that when you get the money call me because I really want to do this. I’ll come back to your original question, but just a sidenote, Dennis Firena didn’t make any money off of this, he may have gotten a few bucks. Nobody really made a lot of money off of this but he loved the role. So what he did is that he came to Los Angeles, we put him up for a couple weeks at this nice hotel and then he went and made these commercials for Comcast as their spokesperson, so he made his money doing that and he stuck around and did our movie because he happened to be in town. He was in Scottsdale, Chicago at the time. A lot of people rejected the parts for could have been for any number of reasons, likely because there wasn’t any money involved, it’s a low budget film and a lot of the stars involved, they wanted money and we didn’t have any money. I can tell you for a fact that Terry Polo and Dillon Walsh and Jonathan Banks were all cast a week before we went into production. But it all came together. Kaley Cuoco, once we had her on board we were able to secure financing because she’s a big enough name that money people- well you have her, so we’ll give you money. Chris Klein, who’s doing a TV show, Wilford, for the husband of our director, so we were able to get to him. And back on Terry Polo for a second. She was easy to get because it turns out she was frustrated from all her work she turned out on the Focker movies, and if you’ve seen all those movies King, she’s the straight woman, she has no comedy and she’s actually a really funny woman. She got the part because she was able to showcase her comedic talents, and she’s a hoot! There you could still use such a word. She’s a hoot!

King: I get it.

Dave: Did I mention that Author’s Anonymous opens Friday night April 18th at the Fremont Theater? I don’t know the times yet, but there’s a special premiere Friday April 18th at 7:00 pm, and after that screening we are going to be leading an audience Q & A. Anybody wants to ask any questions, I’d be glad to do that and then starting Saturday April 19, it’s going to run at least a week at the downtown central, hopefully it will stay longer if people go see it.

King: Now can you see at this point On-Demand?

Dave:  Yes sir! You can go Video On-Demand. The easiest way to do it is to go onto Amazon.com and type in Authors Anonymous, it comes right up. You can rent it, or you can buy it, you can get it on iTunes, Charter has it, on Video On-Demand and we are getting a very nice response so far from Video On-Demand.

King: And that’s how it’s done these days.

Weather

Every day I prepared the weather forecast for King. Below is the most recent weather forecast I wrote up.

WEATHER              

FRIDAY   JUNE 6   2014             

Friday

Abundant sunshine. High 76F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.

Friday Night

Clear skies. Low 52F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.

Saturday

A mainly sunny sky. High 74F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.

Saturday Night

Clear skies. Low 54F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

Sunday

Sunny skies. High 79F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.

 

SLO    55                    MORRO BAY           54        PISMO   54

GROVER      54   LOS OSOS  54    NIPOMO       55

PASO  55       ATASCADERO  58  SANTA  MARGARITA 58  SM 54

 

SUNRISE      5:49     AM

SUNSET        8:15     PM

 

LOW TIDE   11:10   AM

HIGH TIDE  6:12     PM

 

Sponsor Reads

Towards the tail end of my internship, after practicing my radio voice King allowed me to do sponsor reads on-air live. Here are some audio samples of those reads.

Updated Phone List

KVEC’s phone list needed to be updated for numbers to call at 5 a.m., so I updated them.

KVEC PHONE LIST 2014

 

Cal Fire- 543-9642

San Luis Obispo Police- 781-7312

San Luis Obispo Sheriff- 781-4553

San Luis Obispo CHP- 593-3333

King City CHP- (831) 796-2160

Arroyo Grande Fire- 473-5490 (starts at 8- no other number)

Arroyo Grande Police- 473-5100

Atascadero Fire- 461-5070 (starts at 8- no other number)

Atascadero Police- 461-5051

Cal Poly Police- 756-2281

CalTrans District 5 SLO Area- 549-3111 (business hours) or call Jones cell phone (440-7098) or Schiver (748-1170) in special cases

FBI – Los Angeles- (310) 477-6565

FBI – Santa Maria- (310) 477-6565

Grover Beach Fire- 473-4590 (business hours)

Grover Beach Police- 473-4511

Los Padres National Forest- 895-0841

Oceano Dunes Rangers- 773-7178

Oceano Fire- 481-6730

Paso Robles Police-  237-6464

Pismo Fire- 543-9642

Pismo Police- 773-2208

Port San Luis Harbor District- 595-5400 (business hours- no number at 5)

Santa Barbara Fire- 681-5546

Santa Barbara Police- 897-2300

Santa Barbara Sheriff- 681-4192

 

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