KCBX News

Monday through Friday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

The award-winning KCBX Newsroom works to bring you local stories that represent our Central Coast listeners and supporters.

KCBX News began covering stories in February, 2014. The first on-air newscast happened during All Things Considered on March 3, 2014. KCBX added local news content to Morning Edition in September, 2014.

In the years since, KCBX News has had local stories featured on NPR and The California Report.

Bree Zender

Have you ever thought about a sticker being a piece of art? Most people don’t until they experience them on a deeper level, according to Maureen Vazquez, owner of Pipsticks, a sticker store she opened up earlier this year in San Luis Obispo.

Are animal sounds speech or music? Researchers trying to find out

Nov 20, 2017
Courtesy of UC Merced

Ever hear birds chirp and wonder if they’re talking to each other? Cognitive scientists at University of California at Merced can now answer that question, using a new method for sound analysis. And when they listened closely, they found that some animal speech patterns were a lot like our own.

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.

Valley Fever cases spike in Central Coast counties

Nov 16, 2017
USDA/Lance Cheung

The number of new Valley Fever cases in California is on path to make 2017 a record-breaking year. 

Rachel Showalter

Over the past two years, Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo has been working to develop a comprehensive Zero Waste program. Cal Poly has been acting under state mandates and California State University system policy to improve the consumer waste diversion rate - or the amount of consumer trash that goes to the local landfill.  

California's pioneering plastic bag ban delivering results, say environmental groups

Nov 14, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

A year after California enacted a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, environmental groups say early data shows a significant dip in plastic trash. 

Measure Z fracking ban trial underway in Monterey County

Nov 13, 2017
Krista Almanzan/KAZU

After Monterey County voters approved Measure Z, a fracking ban and limit on other oil extraction processes, in November 2016, oil companies and royalty owners quickly filed six lawsuits against the county. Those have all been consolidated into one trial. Phase one began Monday. 

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.

Wikimedia Commons/Piotr Flatau

State routes 41 and 46 in San Luis Obispo County are notorious for their high number of traffic crashes and fatalities. Earlier this year, according to Central Coast state lawmaker Jordan Cunningham’s office, in the span of two months, six people were killed in crashes where the two highways meet. 

1,125. That’s how many people were homeless in San Luis Obispo County on January 30 of this year, when the county conducted a biannual point-in-time homeless census. 

Courtesy of CA Dept. of Parks and Recreation

A proposed new California State Parks cabin and campground project on the Central Coast is in the works. The site is located seven miles north of San Simeon, on an oceanside bluff west of Highway 1. State Parks wants to develop the project to provide more low-cost options for visitors, but the plan isn’t unanimously embraced by locals.

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. 

Murillo leads for Santa Barbara mayor

Nov 7, 2017
Courtesy of cathymurillo.com

Santa Barbara voters have chosen Cathy Murillo as the city’s next mayor, according to the semi-official results published by the county's election office on election night. 

Jenni Jones/Wikimedia Commons

California announced new rules Tuesday for agricultural pesticide use near schools. The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) said the rules take effect on January 1, 2018. After that date, growers won’t be able to apply certain drift-prone pesticides to fields within a quarter mile of schools and day care centers during school hours. 

San Luis Obispo County’s current public works director, Wade Horton, has been named as head administrator of the county, with the title County Administrative Officer, or CAO.

Local government roundup: 11/06/17

Nov 6, 2017

It's a busy week in Central Coast local government, with Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara county supervisors meeting Tuesday with full agendas. It's also election day for Santa Barbara voters, who are deciding the city’s next mayor and city council members in Districts 4, 5, and 6. 

Wikimedia Commons

According to the FBI, dozens of Central Coast residents were at the country music concert in Las Vegas targeted by a gunman on October 1, 2017. 58 people died and over 500 were injured. Since then, California counties have sought to locate victims to help them pay for psychological and medical therapy, and other costs. 

KCBX Two-Way: Santa Barbara's mayoral election

Nov 2, 2017
Courtesy of KEYT/http://bit.ly/2zgqYN9

In Santa Barbara, the city manager is tasked with overseeing the budget and running the day-to-day operations. But the mayor is the face of the city, and responsible for building coalitions that lead to effective city council votes and action. Santa Barbara voters are currently deciding who will be the city's next mayor.

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. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Progress has stalled on a planned new San Luis Obispo County animal shelter, as two cities voted this week to opt out of an agreement to share the cost of a new facility. 

Local government roundup: 10/30/17

Oct 30, 2017

This week in local government around the Central Coast: Camp 4; a new SLO county administrator; and a months-old agreement among San Luis Obispo County’s seven cities to join forces in building a new animal shelter has apparently disintegrated. 

Rachel Showalter

Meals That Connect is San Luis Obispo County's senior nutrition program, and serves free lunches to over 500 county residents every day. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Customers of the water corporations California Water Services, Golden State Water Company and California-American Water may soon be seeing rate increases on their monthly bills. The three companies provide water to areas of Salinas, Monterey County, Los Osos and Santa Maria on the Central Coast, and all have asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve rate hikes. 

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.

Insurance claims from NorCal fires top $1 billion

Oct 20, 2017
Lesley McClurg/KQED

Total damage estimates for the most destructive week of fires in California history are now topping a billion dollars. The state released preliminary numbers Thursday based on insurance claims. 

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.

Women in California politics describe culture of harassment

Oct 17, 2017
Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio

From Capital Public Radio: An outcry against pervasive sexual harassment and assault that has gone viral on social media under the hashtag #metoo has also reached the California state Capitol. 

Local government roundup: 10/16/17

Oct 16, 2017

This week in Central Coast county government: the Santa Barbara County board of supervisors is expected to vote on medical cannabis regulations.

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.

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