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Politics
4:35 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Register to vote: Deadline is today in California

Credit Flickr member Vox Efx

Monday, October 20, 2014 is the final day to register to vote in the November 4 Midterm Elections.

In California, you can register online through the Secretary of State's website.

State law also stipulates that your voter registration application must be filled out completely and be postmarked or hand-delivered to your county elections office at least 15 days prior to Election Day.

MONTEREY COUNTY (MAIL or IN PERSON)

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Science & Technology
1:29 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

WATCH: Reusable 'space plane' successfully lands at Vandenberg Air Force Base

The X-37B following a successful landing on the runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday, October 17, 2014.
Credit 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

UPDATE: Friday, October 17, 2014:

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 3 (OTV-3), the Air Force's unmanned, reusable space plane, landed Friday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The military said it touched own at 9:24 a.m.

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Energy
6:28 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Expensive fight over anti-fracking Measure P in Santa Barbara County

Oil wells in nearby Kern County, where the fracking process is currently used.
Credit Flickr member ben klocek

The latest campaign finance figures from the California Secretary of State's office and the Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder show the battle over fracking is a costly one on the Central Coast. And, the contributors footing most of the bill are big oil companies.

This November's Measure P is designed to ban the use of high-intensity oil extraction methods—including fracking, acidizing, and steam injection—by future oil and gas projects on unincorporated Santa Barbara County land.

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Pets & Animals
2:39 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Deadly dog virus surging in Santa Barbara County

Credit ASPCA

A virus that is deadly for dogs is becoming a growing problem in the Santa Maria area this October.

Stacy Silva with Santa Barbara County Animal Services says the parvovirus often peaks in the fall, but this year's outbreak seems to be larger and more widespread. Dogs infected with the virus are showing up throughout the Santa Maria valley from the far north end at Priesker Park to the southern reaches in Orcutt.

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Education
6:17 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Thousands on Central Coast taking part in ShakeOut earthquake simulation drill

More than 200,000 people in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey Counties are expected to take part in Thursday's Great California ShakeOut. The vast majority of those are students.

The annual event is a way for families, schools, businesses, and government organizations to plan for the next "big one." This year, the earthquake simulation is set to take place at 10:16 a.m. PDT. Despite its name, people  participate worldwide.

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Santa Barbara County
5:56 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Visiting UCSB Scholar killed while taking pictures on coastal train trestle

An Amtrak Surfliner passes over a railroad trestle along the Gaviota Coast. Saturday's incident involved the Amtrak Coast Starlight on it's way from Seattle to San Diego.
Credit Flickr member Glenn Beltz

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office identified the victim Wednesday morning who was fatally injured by an Amtrak train this past Saturday while taking pictures on the Gaviota Coast.

The victim is 26-year-old Mingyue Yuan, a Chinese visiting scholar at UC Santa Barbara. The Chinese Consulate and the University helped to notify next of kin in China.

In addition to Yuan, two others were also injured in the incident. The group had walked onto a railroad trestle near Refugio Beach to take pictures of the sunset.

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Water Issues and Drought
4:02 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Local group files lawsuit against Cambria's emergency water project

The San Luis Obispo County Village of Cambria relies solely on local wells for the district's water supply.
Credit Flickr member Damian Gadal

A group hoping to change the course of a water project in the Cambria area is taking their argument to court. LandWatch of San Luis Obispo filed a lawsuit this week against the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) in the county's Superior Court.

Deborah Sivas is with the Stanford Environmental Law Clinic, a pro-bono student law group that is representing LandWatch. She says the group wants the district to follow the proper environmental review for a project of this scope, and to consider financial aspects as well.

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Arts
2:25 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Technologies old and new combine for Cal Poly photography exhibit

Part of the Photography Now exhibit at Cal Poly's University Art Gallery
Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

Cal Poly University is hosting its first Art Galley of the new school year, "Photography now" , which exhibits modern photography with a vintage twist and highlights the work of nine San Jose State photographers, most of whom attended galleries opening.

The artwork is a mix of old photography that dates back to the infancy days of before the civil war to more modern images that we're used to today.

Jeff van Kleek, the gallery coordinator for the University Art Gallery describes the show:

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Energy
6:37 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Diablo Safety Committee considers plant's cooling system, water concerns

PG&E's Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant on the San Luis Obispo County coast.
Credit Flickr member Tracey Adams

The Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee is scheduled to conclude its two days of public meetings in Avila Beach on Wednesday, starting with a tour of the power plant itself.

A big topic on the agenda for this round of public comment was the committee's position on the nuclear power plant's cooling methods. Members heard hours of public comment Tuesday afternoon, including a presentation by Bill Powers, an engineering consultant with Friends of the Earth. 

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Community
5:47 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

New bikes on the way for 200 Central Coast foster care kids

Employees of CoastHills Credit Union working on a bike destined for a local foster kid.
Credit Scott Coe, Coast Hills Credit Union

Two hundred foster kids living on the Central Coast will soon have new bicycles, thanks to a project connected to the upcoming Make a Difference Day.

Teams of CoastHills Credit Union employees assembled the new bikes inside the historic Edwards Barn in Nipomo on Columbus Day. The workers came from throughout the Central Coast, from Santa Cruz to Ventura Counties. The company used the holiday as a day to organize its Bikes for Kids effort.

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Santa Barbara County
10:40 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Student skydiver experiences parachute malfunction in Santa Barbara

A student skydiver is being treated for injuries Monday evening at the Cottage Hospital Trauma Center in Santa Barbara. The Lompoc Fire Department says the man experienced a "hard landing."

Rescuers had to hike this morning to reach the injured man near the Lompoc Penitentiary Prison Farm.

The Lompoc Fire Department said the skydiver experienced a malfunction during the dive and had to use the reserve shoot to complete his landing. Sky Dive Santa Barbara says the student jumped with an experienced instructor and they were both equipped with their own parachutes.

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Water Issues and Drought
6:32 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

'Data entry issue' behind SLO's reported water usage spike this summer

Credit Flickr member HereStanding

The City of San Luis Obispo is out with updated water usage numbers for the month of August.

Last week, inaccurate totals sent to the state showed a surprising spike of 26 percent. Ron Munds, the city's Utilities Services Manager, says it was a simple data entry issue that threw off the calculations. The source of the problem was found Monday, and the new numbers now show San Luis Obispo saw a cut in water usage of 9 percent.

Munds says he's happy the August numbers now reflect conservation and wants to send the message for people to continue using the resource wisely.

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Wine Country
6:15 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Paso Robles wine-growing region has new recognition for its diversity

Map of the 11 new AVAs in the Paso Robles wine growing region
Credit Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance

Vintners in the Paso Robles Wine Growing Region will now get the chance to be far more specific on their labels as to where their grapes were grown. The Federal Government announced Thursday the creation of several new American Viticultural Areas (AVA).

The greater Paso Robles AVA will still be the headline regional signifier, but if at least 85-percent of the grapes come from within one of the eleven smaller zones, then that specific area can be signified on the label as well.

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Business
5:45 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

San Luis Obispo's airport pushing for $20 million expansion grant

San Luis Obispo Regional Airport

The San Luis Obispo Regional Airport is looking to quadruple its current terminal space with the help of $20 million in federal grant money.

Airport General Manager Kevin Bumen says he'll request permission from the county Board of Supervisors later this month to move forward with the grant proposal.

Should the FAA approve the request for money, the project could start moving forward as early as next spring.

Bumen says now is a good time to focus on airport expansion for the county.

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San Luis Obispo County
8:30 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Highway 101 closure causes traffic mess for San Luis Obispo commuters

Crews work to clear NB 101 early Thursday morning following a big rig crash and fire.
Credit Cal Fire SLO

An overnight big rig crash and fire forced the closure of northbound 101 just south of San Luis Obispo early Thursday morning.

No injuries were reported.

"For unknown reasons the driver allowed the vehicle to travel into the center median and collide with the guardrail," the CHP said in an update via social media. "The vehicle then struck the concrete bridge overcrossing causing major damage."

The vehicle came to rest hanging from the over-crossing over Higuera Street.

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