San Luis Obispo vigil planned for Charlottesville solidarity

In response to the August 12 events in Charlottesville, Virginia, San Luis Obispo locals are planning a vigil on Wednesday evening. Called Outshine the Darkness, the gathering is intended to express solidarity with those protesting hate groups and white supremacists.

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NPR News

Mourners Honor Charlottesville Victim; States Debate Confederate Statues

The aftermath of the violent protest and counterprotests in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend continue to reverberate across the country — sparking discussions about race and the country's Civil War past. Mourners gathered in Charlottesville on Wednesday to remember Heather Heyer, who was killed on Saturday when a car rammed into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally. Attendees were asked to wear purple, Heyer's favorite color, in her memory. On Tuesday, two sisters...

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Arroyo Grande Fire

Arroyo Grande Police are investigating whether texting is to blame for a roll-over accident Wednesday afternoon that injured a local teenager.

A witness says the car flipped several times after leaving the roadway near Arroyo Grande High School where the 17-year-old boy is a student.

Five Cities Fire Battalion Chief Riki Heath was driving on Fair Oaks Avenue when he came upon the scene, just moments after the crash happened.

Near-riot conditions this weekend in Isla Vista

Mar 10, 2014
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

  The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department says deputies were facing a near-riot situation in Isla Vista this weekend. More than 1000 people were in the street at one point on Saturday night, according to the department.

Deputies say the crowd began to grow around a crime scene where a visitor to Isla Vista was stabbed. That victim, a 20-year-old from Rhode Island, was last listed in critical but stable condition at a nearby hospital. A Lompoc resident, 18-year-old Kuriyan Summers-Dickinson, is charged with attempted murder.

Paso Robles turn 125 on Tuesday

Mar 10, 2014
Travel Paso Facebook page

A big Happy Birthday to Paso Robles which officially celebrates 125 years of being a city on Tuesday afternoon.

The anniversary festivities run from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the downtown City Park, but road closures begin at 2:00. Tuesday's activities are part of a year-long celebration for the city.

Flickr member mjambon

People as far south as the Salinas Valley say they felt Sunday night's 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit just after 10:00 p.m. off the coast of Eureka in Humboldt County.

Despite widespread shaking and strong epicenter, there have been no reports of injuries or major damage.

The quake hit in a highly-active area where the San Andreas Fault merges with other fault systems.

Drought affects Cambria's approach to Amgen Tour

Mar 7, 2014
Randol White

The drought is playing a big role in how the village of Cambria will host the Amgen Tour of California stage 4 finish in May. 

At the start of this month, leaders in Cambria put into effect mandatory water restrictions to deal with a declared water shortage emergency. At a town informational meeting Thursday night with Amgen organizers, city officials, local business owners and citizens, local concerns—including the water issue—were addressed. 

An administrative law judge says the City of San Luis Obispo needs to reverse course and bring back binding arbitration for the city's police and firefighter unions.

Back in 2011, nearly 3-out-of-4 voters approved Measure B, which put an end to the arbitation practice. Voters also created the binding arbitration method back in 2000.

The judge says the city didn't follow proper procedure before putting the issue back on the ballot with Measure B. The City Council will meet in closed session this Monday to discuss options, including an appeal.

Egg-producing states pile on against California law

Mar 6, 2014
Randol White

A growing number of states are joining a recently filed lawsuit aimed at bringing down a California law regulating egg producers.

Representatives from Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Oklahoma signed onto a lawsuit today, that was filed last month in Fresno's Eastern District Court by Missouri's Attorney General, Chris Koster.

The major egg producing states are worried about a law set to take effect next year that would require out-of-state farmers provide enough room for chickens to stand up and spread their wings, if they're to sell their eggs in California.

New analysis: little relief, more dry weather ahead

Mar 6, 2014
National Drought Mitigation Center

The storms that soaked parts of the Central Coast last week, may be the last we'll see of that size for the remainder of the rainy season.

The National Drought Mitigation Center has released its predictions for the coming months, and as far as the Central Coast and most of California are concerned, we can expect more dry days ahead.

How tobacco and alcohol are marketed to kids

Mar 5, 2014
Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community

The smoking of electronic cigarettes will soon be banned in many public areas throughout Santa Maria and Los Angeles after city council votes in both cities on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, health leaders in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties are trying to bring attention to the way e-cigarettes, tobacco, and alcohol products are marketed to children.

Tom Wilmer

Last week's wet weather on the Central Coast was welcome relief for local farmers and ranchers dealing with a string of the driest months on record here in California.

However, as we heard prior to, during, and after the storm systems,  we still have a long way to go before there is any chance of dropping the term "drought." 

Santa Maria Sun reporter Camillia Lanham has been following the extended dry spell with a two part series on how the local ag community is dealing with it. 

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