Jessica Paterson

California counties aren't spending available mental health funds, says state auditor

The Mental Health Services Act has long supplied the bulk of funding for California counties to prevent and treat mental illness among Medi-Cal patients. But some counties aren’t using the money. San Luis Obispo County had a $14.7 million fund balance at the end of the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

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NPR

New Studies Confirm A Surge In Coal Miners' Disease

More coal miners in central Appalachia have suffered the advanced stages of the deadly disease black lung than previous government research has found, and more miners working in the region today have earlier stages of the disease. Those are two of the findings in a bundle of studies released Tuesday and expected to be released soon, which focus on the epidemic of black lung disease first reported by NPR in 2016. "It does really underscore that this is a real phenomenon," says Kirsten Almberg,...

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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. 

SLO Film Fest on the rise

Mar 5, 2014
San Luis Obispo International Film Festival

The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is now underway, with opening night ceremonies at the Fremont Theater.

You may spot television's Adam West in town, as he's in San Luis Obispo to talk about the new documentary Starring Adam West, focused on his life and career. West played television's Batman in the 1960s, and is the voice of the Mayor West on the Fox cartoon Family Guy.

UCSB to get massive new research facility

Mar 4, 2014
UCSB

Plans to build a massive new $74 million research center on the UCSB campus just got the final funding it needs to become a reality. The plan is to break ground in late spring or early summer. Professor Frank Doyle says the facility will usher in the next generation of research at UCSB. "Despite the absence of a medical school on campus, we are now making ground-breaking accomplishments in the research domain in the medical field," said Doyle.  "This building gives us a home to put the scientists together shoulder-to-shoulder to accomplish those interdisciplinary projects." Plans had been i

Flickr member Dan'o

Central Coast Assemblyman Katcho   Achadjian says he is still working on the language for a bill to create a Paso Robles Water Management District.

Flickr: Lindsay Fox

The Santa Maria City Council voted 5-0 on Wednesday to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in some public places. The ban mirrors restrictions already in place for the use of tobacco products.

The council will conduct a second reading of the ordinance at its meeting on March 18, and it will go into effect 30 days later.

The unanimous vote came after comments from the public, as well as some personal notes from the council members themselves, according to city spokesperson Mark van de Kamp.

Assessing local vineyards after our recent rains

Mar 3, 2014

Wednesday evening on KCBX News, we spoke with Jason Hass of Tablas Creek about his "after the rain" blog post.

YouTube video still. User: Jennifer Weissmuller

More than two dozen dead sheep in northern San Luis Obispo County are at the center of an investigation by the sheriff's office.

The flock was grazing in the Heritage Ranch area near Lake Nacimiento as part of a program to keep grass in check for the summer fire season.

Hikers came upon several of the sick and dying animals and recorded video of the problem, then contacted authorities.

(note: video below may not be suitable for everyone)

SBC Fire Department Facebook

A pair of storm systems brought several inches of much-needed rain to the Central Coast over the past several days. The mid-winter punch provided some measurable relief to the region's exceptional drought status, yet much more is needed.

Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties saw the largest Central Coast rainfall totals, with some mountain areas receiving more than 14 inches of precipitation since Wednesday. Ojai topped the local cities with 6.21 inches recorded.

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