KCBX News

Monday through Friday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

KCBX News began reporting local 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.

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Jordan Bell

Saturday marks one year since a man with a knife and gun took the lives of six students in Isla Vista.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled at The People's Park starting at 8 p.m. Parents of those who died will be in attendance,  including Kelly Wang, the mother of George Chen, one of the men stabbed to death that night in the killer's apartment.

Flickr member Image Editor

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, located beneath the border of France and Switzerland, was restarted this spring with a goal of making scientific history—once again.

The facility achieved that goal a few years ago when researchers found evidence that the Higgs boson, or “god particle", exists.

City of San Luis Obispo

The City of San Luis Obispo and former Police Chief Steve Gesell reached an agreement Thursday regarding his exit earlier this month from the department, according to an official city press release. 

"The agreement ensures that no legal action will result from the separation, and is compliant with the severance clause in his offer of employment," its states. 

Jordan Bell

Governor Brown declared a state of emergency for Santa Barbara County Wednesday to aid in cleaning efforts after an oil pipeline rupture at Refugio State Beach.

The ruptured pipeline could have released 105,000 gallons of crude oil into the water off the Santa Barbara County coastline. Crews are working, on and off the shores, to ensure safety and rehabilitate marine life. 

San Luis Obispo County

There will soon be a new source of water to fight wildfires on the Central Coast. The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Tuesday a contract with PG&E to purchase desalinated water produced out at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

Supervisor Adam Hill says the plant only uses about 40 percent of its production capacity, so some of that excess water can now be used in CAL FIRE tanker trucks.

Map: Santa Barbara County Energy Division

Federal, state and local emergency crews were on the scene of a large oil spill along Santa Barbara County's South Coast Tuesday evening.

The US Coast Guard said Tuesday afternoon that the spill stretched roughly four miles in the area of Refugio State Beach.

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services said Tuesday night that both the campground and beach areas were closed at Refugio. There was also a warning at El Capitan State Beach.

Nipomo Community Services District

Residents of the Nipomo Community Services District (NCSD) will soon experience some changes to their local water supply. The chemical used to treat the water will switch from chlorine to chloramine to match what's already used in neighboring Santa Maria.

The reason: starting in July, Nipomo is expected to throw the switch on its new water project bringing in water from Santa Maria.

NCSD Manager Michael LeBrun said there will be a noticeable, positive change in odor and taste.

Another candidate is adding her name to the 2016 race for San Luis Obispo County's District 3 Supervisor Seat, which includes portions of San Luis Obispo, Edna Valley, Avila Beach and the Five Cities.

Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham, who just won re-election back in November by a very close margin, announced Monday her decision to run. She now joins San Luis Obispo City Council Member Dan Carpenter and former Grover Beach Mayor Debbie Peterson in their efforts to unseat Adam Hill.

Hill has served the district since 2009.

United Launch Alliance video still

Lompoc City Council members are expected to vote Tuesday, May 19, on a proposed multi-million dollar space center near Vandenberg Air Force Base. Vandenberg sits adjacent to the City of Lompoc. If approved and completed, the facility could dramatically alter Lompoc's future.

The city council is set to vote on whether to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with the California Space Consortium. The consortium hopes to build a space center there that would include a museum, hotel, restaurant and a viewing area for rocket launches.

Central Coast residents concerned with protecting the area's coastal live oak trees are joining forces in the coming days to stop the spread of a serious disease. Sudden Oak Death (SOD) has been a problem in California for years, but now scientists have tools to track—and possibly slow—its spread.

Volunteers play a crucial role in this process, according to Lauren Brown, a trainer with the 2015 Spring SOD Blitz, a campaign aimed at mapping the location and status of trees throughout the state.

University of California

Efforts to control the spread of the Asian Citrus Psyllid in Santa Barbara County are ramping up with the use of micro-organisms.

Keeping the pest in check is key to protecting the state's $2 billion citrus industry from a disease known as Huanglongbing, or Citrus Greening.

Dr. David Morgan with the California Department of Food and Agriculture said scientists are using a small parasitic wasp that feeds on the psyllids, ultimately killing the pest.

Brittany Graham

Several Cal Poly faculty members and students picketed on campus in front of the President's Administration building Thursday morning. 

They voiced concerns over the number of administrators hired in recent years at the rally. Dr. Belinda Morril is a temporary lecturer and serves as the Academic Senate Representative for part-time faculty. She said that something needs to change.

"We had people there who have been here for 30 years. They're ready to retire. They're not going to get anything out of this, other than to say...this is not the 'Mustang Way,' " said Morril.

Flickr member Thor Liland Larsen

The former conductor of the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Michael Nowak, said on Friday that he did "not step down" as was indicated in a press release by the organization on Thursday.

Nowak spent the past 31 years with the symphony as its Music Director.  He told KCBX that his time with the symphony has been a privilege for him.

Carol Kersten is the Youth Symphony Conductor and has worked closely with Nowak for years. She said he has elevated the quality of the program.

Greg Perry, KCBX Net

The Amgen Tour of California riders began Stage 4 at the Pismo Pier Wednesday morning, rode south along Highway 1 into Santa Barbara County and looped back north through Arroyo Grande, the Edna Valley and San Luis Obispo before finishing in Avila Beach.

Stage 5 starts in Santa Barbara on Thursday morning and could very well be a wet ride for the participants with a front scheduled to push through right around race time.

Courtney Winters, City of Pismo Beach

What a difference a year makes.

In 2014, record-breaking heat hit the Amgen Tour of California participants during their stops in San Luis Obispo County.

The mercury soared above 100 degrees in many locations during Stage 4. Records show there were 90s along the coast as the riders sailed into Cambria.

The next morning, as they left the Pismo Beach Pier, temperatures were back up to the 90 degree mark again.

This year, riders are in for a much different scene, as the forecast calls for rain and well-below normal temperatures.

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