Monday through Friday during All Things Considered

We are very excited for the launch of KCBX News this March. Listen for our local updates during NPR's All Things Considered each weekday. Later this summer, our local coverage expands to Morning Edition as well.

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5:30 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

No new oil and gas leases for sale along California coast under new federal proposal

Platform Gail in the Santa Barbara Channel
Credit Flickr member Ken Lund

There will be no new oil or gas leases offered along the Central Coast in the immediate future according to a draft proposal by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Central Coast Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) said she applauds the decision to protect the area from new drilling.

Capps led a California Congressional Delegation last summer urging the department to exclude in it's proposal any offshore oil and gas lease sales off the West Coast.

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10:41 am
Tue January 27, 2015

GoDaddy CEO tweets Super Bowl puppy ad will be pulled from Sunday's broadcast

Buster the puppy featured in the Super Bowl ad pulled by GoDaddy.com
Credit GoDaddy 2015 Super Bowl ad still from "Journey Home"

Internet website giant GoDaddy.com is pulling the puppy ad it released Tuesday on YouTube, after a strong backlash of comments from people who support pet adoption and rescue.

"Thank you @animalrescuers for the candid feedback," tweeted company CEO and San Luis Obispo resident Blake Irving early Tuesday afternoon. "What should have been a fun and funny ad clearly missed the mark and we will not air it."

The YouTube posting of the clip was shifted to "private" Tuesday afternoon as well.

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5:40 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Teachers upset over stalled salary talks with Lucia Mar School District

Students run toward the classrooms at Oceano Elementary School, one of the campuses within the Lucia Mar School District
Credit LMUSD Facebook Page

Teachers in San Luis Obispo County's Lucia Mar School District are preparing to show their frustration Tuesday night over a contract salary issue.

Their union, the California Teachers Association, is hoping to get roughly half of the district's 500 instructors to show up at the scheduled district board meeting in Arroyo Grande.

While the salary issue could boil over into a teachers' strike, Donna Kandel, President of the Lucia Mar Unified Teachers Association says she's hoping it doesn't come to that.

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5:19 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Troubled King City Police Department gets new interim chief

Credit City of King - KingCity.com

The beleaguered King City Police Department is hoping for some brighter days ahead with the addition Monday of a new interim police chief.

Retired Seaside Police Chief Tony Sollecito takes over for former Interim Police Chief Dennis Hegwood, who left in December.

The department was hit hard last winter when several officers and the then police chief Bruce Miller were arrested as part of a corruption investigation.

Sollecito says he decided to come out of retirement because he loves law enforcement and sees the King City situation as a worthy challenge.

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Water Issues and Drought
5:48 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Lake Cachuma emergency water system gets state funding

A boat ramp at Lake Cachuma sits well above the current water line. Nov. 2014.
Credit Randol White - KCBX News

An emergency addition to the water uptake system at Lake Cachuma will allow the Santa Barbara area to continue pumping, even as the lake level continues to drop.

Cachuma's gravity-fed system was near bottoming out due to the historic drought.

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson along with Assembly member Das Williams announced Friday that $3 million dollars in state funding was being provided to help pay for the upgrade, with a million of that coming from Prop. 84 grant.

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5:26 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Man suspected of making anonymous threats against UCSB community could see charges by next week

Anonymous violent threats against the UCSB community last weekend instigated a beefing up of staffing by university police.
Credit Wikipedia user: Coolcaesar

Charges could be filed as early as next week against the man accused of making violent threats last weekend toward the Isla Vista community.  

The suspect is a Cal Poly student who made the threats were made on a social media app called Yik Yak. It allows users to post anonymously with messages showing up for other users within a ten mile radius.

San Luis Obispo Police Lieutenant John Bledsoe says they were able to track down 22-year-old Stefan Hall by tracing his computer's IP address.

Bledsoe says Hall identified himself as UCSB Psycho.

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4:02 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Santa Maria High School teacher and coach arrested on child pornography charges in SLO County

A teacher and coach at Santa Maria High School is facing child pornography charges and has been placed on leave by the school district.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office says 53-year-old Michael David Smith was arrested Thursday after deputies served a search warrant at his Santa Margarita home.

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6:28 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Montecito's Miramar Hotel project passes Planning Commission vote

Developer Rick Caruso wants to build an updated resort where the abandoned blue-roofed Miramar Hotel once stood.
Credit Flickr member Damian Gadal

Plans to re-establish Montecito's Miramar Hotel now have a green light from the local planning commission.

The approved project is smaller than what was originally proposed, and as of Thursday, there was no word on whether developer Rick Caruso plans to move forward with the modified design.

If Caruso Affiliated does continue with the project, it would still needs to go through an appeals period and will also need approval from the Board of Architectural Review. There is no requirement for a Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors vote, unless it's appealed to that body.

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6:15 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Paso Robles man facing felony charges for production and possession of child pornography

51-year-old Paso Robles resident Steven Michael Lindhorst is facing multiple felony counts related to child pornography.
Credit PRPD

A Paso Robles man is in San Luis Obispo County jail facing multiple felony charges surrounding the production and possession of child pornography.

Police say 51-year-old Steven Martin Lindhorst was arrested Wednesday at his Paso Robles home. 

Investigators with the Paso Robles Police Department (PRPD) say at least 14 victims have been identified and there could possibly be more.

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12:30 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Nipomo residents asked to look for missing fire hydrant caps

Example of a missing brass fire hydrant cap in the Nipomo area.
Credit NCSD

The community of Nipomo is seeing a rash of thefts involving the brass caps on fire hydrants.

The Nipomo Community Services District (NCSD) says at least ten have been taken out of the 650 throughout the area.

"Tampering with fire hydrants is considered a serious offense that threatens public safety," the district says.

A single brass cap may bring $10 in scrap value, and they're relatively easy to remove in order to give quick access to the firefighters who need to use the hydrants.

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5:44 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Local state senator proposes 'End of Life Option Act'

Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) is introducing SB 128, the "End of Life Option Act."
Credit Senator Bill Monning

A Central Coast lawmaker wants Californians to legally have an option to end their lives when diagnosed with a terminal condition.

Senator Bill Monning (D- Carmel) co-authored the proposed legislation with Lois Wolk (D- Davis) which would give someone with less than six months to live the ability to procure an 'end of life' prescription. Two independent physicians must first determine the terminal nature of the illness and the patient must be mentally competent to be eligible for the self-administered, lethal prescription.

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5:26 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Several Central Coast cities receive 'F' grades from American Lung Association

Credit Flickr member: Fried Dough

The latest annual report from the American Lung Association shows smoking on the Central Coast is still a problem in many communities.

The report gives mixed grades for Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. Not a single city got an "A" grade, but Carpinteria and San Luis Obispo got B grades, as did unincorporated Santa Barbara County.

Vanessa Marvin is a senior director with the Lung Association and says there's still a lot of work to be done by many of the other the area's other communities.

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4:40 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Pilot bachelor's degree program at California community colleges limited in options

The Cuesta College campus in San Luis Obispo will not be among those taking part in a pilot program to offer bachelor's degrees.
Credit Cuesta College

Several community colleges throughout California are now set to become the first in the state to offer bachelor's degrees, however schools on the Central Coast are not currently among them.

A list of 15 pilot program schools was introduced Tuesday at the California Community Colleges Board of Governors meeting in Sacramento. 

Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo County chose not to formally apply, based on the program's restrictions.

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4:39 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Widespread reports of shaking following light Central Coast earthquake

Credit USGS 'Did You Feel It?' Map

A light-to-moderate earthquake hit the Central Coast this morning with people throughout Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties reporting to have felt it. 

The 4.4 temblor struck along the San Andreas Fault east of Greenfield and Soledad.

The quake was also felt in the Central Valley areas of Fresno, Madera and Visalia.

No damage has been reported.

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Pets & Animals
2:45 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Cal Fire rescues horse from hole in the ground near Arroyo Grande

Cal Fire crews help rescue a horse from a hole, east of Arroyo Grande.
Credit Cal Fire SLO Twitter feed

A horse that got trapped in a hole Tuesday morning east of Arroyo Grande was eventually freed with the help of Cal Fire crews, a veterinarian and a neighbor.

Cal Fire San Luis Obispo says the distress call came in around 10:30 a.m. While the hole was initially described as a sink hole, Battalion Chief  Paul Lee says he believes it was manmade. 

"In and around that hole was a lot of lumber," said Lee, adding that the horse was entangled in the two-by-fours and plywood. The animal was upset and was calmed down with the help of a veterinarian.

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