Bree Zender

News Reporter, Mid-day Host, Producer

Bree Zender is a reporter, midday host and producer at KCBX.

Bree is originally from Northwest Washington. The fantastic hiking is what drew her to Missoula, Montana, where she attended the University of Montana. She studied journalism and theater, graduating in 2016.

She got her start in radio as an intern at Montana Public Radio, where she hosted Morning Edition and reported the news.

Bree started working at KCBX in July of 2016. She runs the operating board weekdays from noon to 4:00 PM, and reports the news. She's also the creator and producer of the KCBX podcast The Strangers Mixtape.

You may have also heard Bree on NPR News, The California Report, National Native News, and her two podcasts, Rest Stop Radio and Storytalk: The Conversation You've Never Heard. When she's not at KCBX, she's exploring the Central Coast and its many wonders.

You can reach her at her email, bzender@kcbx.org.

Ways to Connect

Bree Zender/KCBX News

When Christie Macias' child came out as transgender at age 11, the first visit with their Santa Barbara pediatrician was not as supportive as she would have liked.

Google Maps

Tuesday the California Coastal Commission issued an order turning private coastline into a mile-long public beach near Santa Barbara. The Commission sent an environmental cease, desist and restore order to the owners of the Cojo Jalama Ranches near Point Conception.

San Luis Obispo County

A judge’s decision issued Wednesday paves the way for the Diablo Canyon Power Plant to close in 2025, if that decision is ratified by the full California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Seven months after hearings started in the proceeding, a CPUC administrative law judge issued a draft approval of Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) request to close the plant. 

Bree Zender

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday in favor of an agreement regarding the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians’ Camp 4 reservation land. 

Wikimedia Commons/Horia Varlan

Elected officials in San Luis Obispo voted unanimously this week to curb the use plastic disposable straws, water bottles, and cups throughout the city. 

Bree Zender

A newly-released UC Berkeley study followed cases of sudden oak death (SOD) in California and found levels of the pathogen that cause the disease in oak trees has tripled in the last year.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services


Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are asking the public for any information related to the death and illegal skinning of a southern sea otter found on a beach in San Simeon.

Greta Mart/KCBX

This week, the California Department of Education released truancy rates for the state’s public schools, organized by county. Truancy is defined as three or more days out of school without a valid excuse. The numbers show Santa Barbara County’s rate was nearly 10 percent lower than the state average, for the fourth year in a row.

Anjalie Tandon/KCBX

The final extension deadline for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program passed on October 5. Approximately 2,000 recipients of this program in San Luis Obispo County stand to lose their legal residency status and work permit received through DACA. 

Timothy Tsui/Flikr

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Friday 20 people have contacted her office for help after being affected by the mass shooting October 1 in Las Vegas.

Greta Mart/KCBX

San Luis Obispo County’s 911 emergency system is getting tech upgrade--you can now text 911 for emergencies.

KCBX's Bree Zender speaks with Linda Wilson and Mara Purl about their involvement in the production of the play 'Becoming Julia Morgan.'

James Gathany, CDC

San Luis Obispo County has confirmed one case of West Nile virus, detected in the body of a dead bird in Atascadero.

wikimedia commons

As the hours pass since the shooting Sunday night in Las Vegas, we're focusing on stories of Central Coast residents who were there at the scene. One of these stories comes from California's 35th District Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New data released Tuesday from the California Department of Public Health reveals cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and infections are on the rise on the Central Coast. The number of gonorrhea cases have doubled and syphilis cases quadrupled in Santa Barbara County since 2011. 

Bree Zender


KPRL is a small AM radio station in Paso Robles. They pride themselves in broadcasting news, talk and sports across the northern part of San Luis Obispo County. And for about 50 years, KPRL broadcast football games for the Paso Robles High School Bearcats.

Google Earth

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) said one inmate died and nine others wounded in what's being described as a 'large-scale' riot at the California Men's Colony (CMC) in San Luis Obispo County.

Greta Mart/KCBX

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution Tuesday to support California’s “Dreamers” and recipients of the federal Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA). 

Courtesy of SLO County Sheriff's Office

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office has hired its first full-time forensic pathologist. Dr. Joye M. Carter will relocate from the Houston, Texas area to San Luis Obispo to perform autopsies, medical inspections and medical record reviews mandated by the Sheriff-Coroner's Office.

After Santa Maria's Foster Road Jail closed last year, people arrested in northern Santa Barbara County are now taken to the Santa Barbara County Jail - 60 miles away.  The county did have a contract with a cab company to transport those people back to Santa Maria upon release, but the company went out of business. Most detainees simply don't have a way to get to back to North County, especially late at night when the buses aren't running. 

Bob Wick, BLM California

Later this week the U.S. Department of the Interior is expected to announce a recommendation for the status of the Carrizo Plain National Monument

Bree Zender


Ivy Bottini is a feminist, actor, artist and activist. She’s probably best known for designing the logo for the National Organization for Women, or NOW. And now, she’s the subject of a new original play called InclusIVitY: The Ivy Bottini Story.

City of Arroyo Grande

A months-long investigation into Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill found misconduct. The inquiry was paid for by the city of Arroyo Grande and the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District. Besides serving as mayor, Hill is the city's representative on the sanitation district's board of directors. 

Bree Zender/KCBX News

After multiple public records requests from local news agencies, San Luis Obispo County refused to provide any of the 100 hours of video footage related to the death of county jail inmate Andrew Holland, according to County Council Rita Neal

Bree Zender

Local activists took to the front lawn of the San Luis Obispo Veteran’s Hall Monday afternoon to protest President Trump’s tweet suggesting a ban on transgender people serving in the military. 

Bree Zender

San Luis Obispo County announced this week it will pay $5 million dollars to the parents of a 36-year-old man who died while in the custody at the county jail.

Greta Mart/KCBX


Following the death of four inmates in ten months, a San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury said further review is needed of the quote “adequacy and appropriateness of the management structure at the County Jail.”

Cal Fire SLO

A wildfire ignited Monday afternoon near Cholame, east of Paso Robles, burning on both sides of Highway 41, according to CalFire. The blaze, known as the Olive Fire, has burned 150 acres as of Monday evening.

Bree Zender

Firefighters have stopped the Stone Fire that erupted in a rural area east of Santa Margarita. As of Tuesday evening, they had 100 containment and kept the area burned to 340 acres.

Bree Zender

Congressman Salud Carbajal and former Congresswoman Lois Capps attended a rally in San Luis Obispo on Saturday to protect the status of the Carrizo Plain National Monument. Carrizo is one of 27 national monuments that may be restricted in size or eliminated entirely after President Trump issued an Executive Order in late April for a review of the monuments. 

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