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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11:32 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Critical fire weather expected this weekend

Portions of the Central Coast are looking at the possibility of critical fire weather later this week.

The National Weather Service says an offshore flow is expected Thursday through the weekend ushering in hot dry air for much of Southern California up into the Central Coast.

The strongest winds are expected late Wednesday into Thursday with temperatures peaking on Saturday.

Strong winds are also expected Monday evening along Santa Barbara County's Gaviota Coast.

11:30 am
Tue September 30, 2014

San Luis Obispo County offering free flu vaccinations on Sunday

Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

San Luis Obispo County is offering free flu vaccinations this coming Sunday at a couple of locations.

The Public Health Department expects it to be one of the largest single-day clinics in county history with up to 2000 people receiving a shot. Michelle Shoresman is helping to organize the event and says if you didn't think you're in the group of those who should get the shot you might think again:

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7:05 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

New state law addresses violence at Atascadero State Hospital

Governor Brown signed two bills into law Monday that were introduced by local Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian. They're designed to help reduce violence in state hospitals and to tackle their rising costs of running those hospitals.

Both bills have been a long time in the making, with many negotiations according to Achadjian.

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7:04 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

#CAGROWN campaign aimed at helping local food banks

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross (right center) tours a food bank facility in Paso Robles on Firday
Credit California Grown Facebook Page

California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross is on the Central Coast this weekend. She spent Friday afternoon at the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County's facilities in Paso Robles.

The Secretary was there to make a donation of 6500 pounds of food on behalf of a social media campaign aimed at helping feed the food insecure.

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5:57 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Governor signs bill aimed at protecting honey bees

Credit Randol White

Governor Brown signed a bill today by local assemblymember Das Williams aimed at controlling a class of pesticides that many believe is responsible for honey bee colony collapse. 

The State of California has already evaluated the pesticide class known as neonicotonoids, or neonics, and a reevaluation is underway. Under this new law, the Department of Pesticide Regulations sets a timeline for studies to be completed and reviewed. 

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Central Coast
5:41 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Los Padres National Forest goes fee free this Saturday

A portion of the Los Padres National Forest during a period with more rainfall.
Credit Flickr member Damian Gadal, Winter 2005

The Los Padres National Forest is waiving its visitor fees on Saturday, September 27.

The deal applies to all Adventure Pass areas except the Lower Santa Ynez Recreation Area, where the fee will remain in effect.

While forest personnel says fall is a great time to get out and enjoy our local public lands, spokesperson Andrew Madsen wants to remind visitors that we're in peak fire season. He also wants to reiterate that campfires are banned anywhere within the forest and have been since the end of August.

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Santa Barbara County
6:13 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Charges filed in crash that killed UCSB student, cyclist

Charges were filed this week against the 16-year-old driver of a truck involved in an accident that killed cyclist Matthew O'Neill last month near Santa Maria.

It happened on Foxen Canyon Road on August 9th.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney's office says the boy is facing misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges. He is also charged with two infractions; driving a commercial vehicle without a license; and non-compliance with driving terms and restrictions.

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Central Coast Business Wrap-up
4:44 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Regional airports struggle to maintain direct service to major hubs

Santa Barbara Airport (SBA)
Credit Flickr member gt albert

Some business experts see troubling time ahead for the nation's smaller regional airports, including those along the Central Coast.

A number of local airports are struggling to keep direct service to major hubs in California and beyond, including Santa Barbara (SBA), Bakersfield (BFL) and Monterey Regional (MRY).

In the midst of this, the San Luis Obispo (SBP) Airport is working against the trend, trying to add direct service to both Denver (DEN) and Seattle (SEA).

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11:56 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Listen: Cal Poly President Armstrong and the state of the university

First day of the fall quarter saw a record-breaking number of enrolled students for the Cal Poly campus.
Credit Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

A record-breaking number of registered students were enrolled as Cal Poly's fall quarter got underway this September. For the first time in history, more than 20,000 students are enrolled at the university.

The previous peak enrollment at Cal Poly was prior to the recession at 19,777. It dropped as low as 18,360 in 2010 and completely rebounded this fall with 20,102, a 2.4 percent increase of 2013's 19,623.

Cal Poly President Jeffery Armstrong says the school is currently experiencing an upward trend with an improved state economy.

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5:55 am
Thu September 25, 2014

San Luis Obispo County's DA decides to move up retirement date

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Gerald Shea announced Wednesday that he's moving up the date of his retirement.

He's asked the Board of Supervisors to appoint District Attorney-Elect Dan Dow to the position on November 7.  The move would cut short Shea's date of departure by two months.

Dow won a contentious election this past June against former San Luis Obispo County Assistant District Attorney Tim Covello.

5:30 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Lompoc public schools to get new $1.2 million central kitchen

Public schools in Lompoc are getting a $1.2 million grant to remodel the district's central kitchen in an effort to bring more healthful food options to students.

The Central Coast-based Orfalea Foundation announced the plans Wednesday afternoon.

In a media release, the organization says nearly 10,000 students at 14 Lompoc Unified School District locations will have access to scratch-cooked entrees and freshly prepared salad bar choices via the new kitchen.

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6:27 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Chumash Resort ready to start construction on 12 story hotel, casino expansion

Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians

Construction on a new 12 story hotel and casino expansion at the Chumash Resort in the Santa Ynez Valley is set to begin next month.

The tribe announced their plans this week for the project, following a period of conversations with county leaders. There has been local concern over the building's height, as well as potential strain on county resources like fire and law enforcement.

Tribal leaders say the project is expected to be complete sometime in 2016.

Science & Technology
5:28 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Successful solar spacecraft test at Cal Poly moves project to next phase

The LightSail fully unfurled during testing Tuesday on the Cal Poly campus.
Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

Last month a group of Cal Poly students worked to test elements of a high-tech spacecraft they're working on with Stanford University. But, a communications glitch forced a trip back to the drawing board.

On Tuesday night however, the students enjoyed the thrill of success.

Doug Stetson, the LightSail program manager for the Planetary Society, said the test involved, "simulating all of the activities that the spacecraft will conduct when it's on orbit after launch."

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Water Issues and Drought
7:23 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Cambria's emergency water project gets $13,000 in county fees waived

The San Luis Obispo County village of Cambria along Highway 1
Credit Randol White

The ongoing project to bring an emergency water supply to the Cambria area got unanimous support from the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Fees totaling $13,293 were waived for a Coastal Development Permit, needed by the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) to move forward with their plans for a permanent solution to the area's ongoing water woes.

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6:55 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Unanimous vote by county board on fracking issue maintains status quo

An oil field over the San Luis Obispo County line in Kern County where the oil and gas extraction method known as fracking has been used.
Credit Flickr member ben klocek

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday night on the issue of hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking' as it's more commonly known.

The vote was in line with what members of the local petroleum industry were requesting during the board's public comment period, in which more than 50 people were signed up to speak.

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