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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.

Local government roundup: 03/27/2017

6 hours ago
Greta Mart

In local government this week, Monterey County officials are slated to make decisions related to the new county jail expansion project. The $89 million dollar project is almost ready to go out to bid, but first the board of supervisors has to sign off on a staffing and operations plan for the facility for next 30 years. 

Human "helping" a danger for beached marine mammals

Mar 24, 2017
Greta Mart

 

It’s pupping season on the Central Coast for animals like seals and sea lions, but some marine mammal mothers are abandoning their pups because of human interaction. 

Five percent tuition hike coming for Cal Poly, CSU schools

Mar 22, 2017
courtesy of Cal Poly/http://bit.ly/2g2HhVe

The trustees of the California State University system--comprised of 23 universities including Cal Poly and CSU Channel Islands--voted Wednesday to raise tuition five percent despite strong opposition from students. 

Los Osos Groundwater Basin 2015 Annual Report

San Luis Obispo county officials will hold a public hearing on the topic of groundwater basin management after a recent vote provoked allegations of Brown Act violations.

Matt Toevs

The San Luis Obispo County Coroner confirmed the victim of a fatal car crash Tuesday morning as 30-year-old Matthew Frank, widely known as the SLO Stringer. Many didn’t know his personal identity but his breaking news coverage was followed by tens of thousands of San Luis Obispo County residents. 

Hefty jackhammer takes down Big Sur bridge

Mar 20, 2017
Courtesy of CalTrans

Work continues this week on the demolition of Monterey County’s Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1. On Saturday, a CalTrans crew succeeded at bringing down the whole middle section of the bridge in one spectacular crash.

Local government roundup: 03/20/2017

Mar 20, 2017

In Central Coast local government this week, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors is slated to approve a $22.7 million dollar contract with Avila Construction for renovation to the county’s government center. The board will also look at creating a community choice power program - called the Monterey Bay Community Power Authority - within unincorporated areas of Monterey County. On the agenda is a public hearing on traffic in Carmel Valley and a resolution to change election dates for school and community colleges to the same as statewide general elections. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

On Thursday, a San Luis Obispo County Superior Court jury found two writers from CalCoastNews guilty of defaming a Central Coast hazardous waste contractor in a 2012 article published on the site.

Theft is San Luis Obispo's number one crime

Mar 17, 2017

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell released Friday crime statistics for 2016.

There was a seven percent reduction in violent crime in San Luis Obispo last year. But property crimes have spiked. A whopping 673 police reports were about thefts. And the percentage of thefts from cars increased by 52 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Paso Robles Groundwater Management Plan

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) - passed into law in 2014 - for the first time requires organized management of the state's underground reservoirs of fresh water. It provides a framework for creating new governing agencies to do so,  and requires those agencies to create, maintain and enforce sustainable management plans.

Proposed rules for pesticide use near schools diluted

Mar 16, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

This week the state released revisions to its rules for pesticide use near schools, and the revisions are not what many residents in the Salinas Valley were hoping for. In December, hundreds of Salinas parents, health workers and educators attended a four-hour hearing to urge the state’s pesticide regulator to change the rules. 

At its March 21 meeting, the San Luis Obispo City Council will look at options regarding the Rental Housing Inspection Program. Last week, the council voted to repeal the mandatory program. On Monday the city manager’s office announced a petition to repeal and replace it has qualified for an upcoming election. 

CalTrans

CalTrans sent engineers out Wednesday to evaluate how to completely demolish the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, after a wrecking ball failed to break through the bridge Monday. 

Phillips 66 oil-by-rail plan rejected once again

Mar 14, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

Opponents of the Phillips 66 oil-by-rail project celebrated Tuesday after the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted three to one to deny the company’s appeal. 

Local government roundup: 03/13/2017

Mar 13, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

On local government agendas this week, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will continue the hearing that began Monday morning on the Phillips 66 oil-by-rail project appeal. A handful of supporters spoke in favor of the oil company’s plan to build a rail spur to its Nipomo Mesa refinery; dozens of speakers stated their opposition to the project. The Board will resume hearing public comment on Tuesday morning.

Courtesy of CSWSLOCO

180 people gathered Saturday to honor three inductees into San Luis Obispo County’s Women’s Wall of Fame, local women celebrated as impressive and effective county leaders. The annual awards are sponsored by the County Commission on the Status of Women and the South Bay Women's Network.

Greta Mart

 

If a Central Coast lawmaker prevails, students in California public schools may soon be taught how decipher fact-based news from “fake news.” State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson from Santa Barbara has introduced a bill to create a statewide advisory committee to come up with the best way to educate students on responsible media consumption. 

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office recently retrieved skimmer devices from bank ATMs in Santa Maria and Orcutt. Officers say they discovered the devices before whomever installed them was able to return.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Recently, 11 families got the keys to their brand new homes in Atascadero. A ceremony featuring local politicians and plenty of picture-taking marked the end of a year and a half long building process. The new homeowners had built their own and each other’s homes, creating close neighbor to neighbor relations along the way. 

Jennifer Moonjian

An estimated 100 women - and a few dozen men - walked from San Luis Obispo’s Meadow Park to downtown Wednesday morning, participating in the Day Without a Woman event. Many dressed in red, as requested by the national organizing group called the Women’s March, the same group that launched the January 21 Women’s March on Washington and sister marches around the globe. 

rachelflowersmusic.com

Hearing is Believing is a documentary about Rachel Flowers--a rising musician who has been called a 'piano prodigy'. Flowers lost her eyesight shortly after she was born due to retinopathy of prematurity. She stated playing piano at the age of 2-and-a-half, and at age 4 was accepted to the Southern California Conservatory of Music. Hearing is Believing will be featured at the San Luis Obispo Film Festival on March 19th at 2:30 at the Historic Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo. A concert from Flowers will follow.

City of Salinas to sue President Trump

Mar 7, 2017

On Wednesday, city officials in Salinas voted to sue the Trump administration in federal court over the president's executive order against sanctuary cities. 

Bree Zender/KCBX

In the months since the 2016 election, progressive organizations around the country, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have been holding seminars to provide information about becoming an activist. Many are modeling their efforts on the grassroots Tea Party playbook that made that movement so effective in 2009.

Local government roundup: 03/06/2017

Mar 6, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

On Central Coast county government agendas this week, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on the Phillips 66 Rail Spur project set to go before the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on March 13, next Monday. Santa Barbara officials are urging their San Luis Obispo counterparts to reject a Phillips 66 appeal of the 2016 San Luis Obispo Planning Commission decision to deny the project. 

Cafe vibe, teen space at renovated SLO county library

Mar 6, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

The main branch of the San Luis Obispo County library system reopened this weekend, after being closed since October for an $843,000 renovation.

Library Director Chris Barnickel says patrons can expect to see a third floor and an extra 1800 square feet added to the library. And, the updated first floor resembles a coffee shop, but without the coffee.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Activist women and supporters on the Central Coast are planning a general strike and march on Wednesday, part of a greater ‘Day Without a Woman'. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, March 8, the planned one-day action is happening across the country. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

As of this week, PG&E customers on the Central Coast will be paying more for their electricity. Rates went up on March 1, and the estimated increase for PG&E customers is 2.1 percent a month. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

A ceremony Wednesday morning marked the opening of the Central Coast Cyber Forensics Lab, a group project of Cal Poly and the California State University system, along with the county DA’s office and the California Military Department. The lab will serve both as a classroom for future cybersecurity experts and a high-tech evidence collection facility. 

PG&E video still

Templeton resident Jordan Cunningham was elected to the California State Assembly in November. The Republican lawmaker represents the 35th District, which encompasses all of San Luis Obispo County and a portion of Santa Barbara County. The second bill he introduced since being elected, AB 457, calls for feasibility study on repurposing the existing desalination plant at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant as a public water supply. KCBX spoke with Cunningham in a recent phone interview about his ideas for the PG&E-owned nuclear power facility scheduled to be decommissioned starting in 2025. 

Local government roundup: 02/27/2017

Feb 27, 2017

On Central Coast local government agendas this week, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will consider issuing construction bids for repairs of county roads, and revisit cannabis regulation in the county and tweaks to a draft ordinance.

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