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.

Greta Mart/KCBX

54 people were arrested last week in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operation targeting areas in Central California. ICE officials said over a third of the arrests took place in Monterey County, specifically in communities in the Salinas Valley.

Greta Mart/KCBX

This week in San Luis Obispo, the city’s planning commission voted in favor of the San Luis Ranch development, recommending the project to the city council for approval. Over the past two decades, various project iterations has been proposed for the piece of property bordered by Highway 101, Madonna Road, Dalido Drive and Oceanaire Drive. 

Bree Zender

Discussions this week on the proposed 2025 closure of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant took a look at the safety of having a years-long transition from full operation to shuttering of California's last nuclear power plant. The facility's Independent Safety Committee met this week in Avila Beach for a two-day session. 

SBP to DEN nonstop flights begin

Jun 7, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

This week marks the beginning of nonstop flights between San Luis Obispo and Denver, Colorado. The inaugural United Airlines flight from Denver arrives the evening of June 7.

Greta Mart/KCBX

In late May the California Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved an “area code overlay,” meaning phone companies will start issuing numbers with a new area code on the Central Coast - and beyond - starting in the summer of 2018. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Jails across California are struggling to keep up with inmates who are deemed incompetent to stand trial. Oftentimes, there's not enough space for these inmates in mental health facilities. They're sent to jail instead, because it's the only place left for them.

He shot Monterey Pop

Jun 2, 2017
Doug McKnight

The 50th anniversary of the Monterey International Pop Festival will be marked with a return of the event later this month. The original Monterey Pop not only became the model for later festivals like Woodstock and Coachella, it also launched the careers of rock legends like Jimi Hendrix and the photographers who were there to capture the moment. 

Ticket to Tech aims to open doors on IT careers

Jun 1, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

There’s a new opportunity in San Luis Obispo County, one that could be transformative for those with the potential and motivation to forge themselves a new career in the world of technology. 

Jennifer Zacharias

The organization that operates Santa Barbara County’s food bank and network of food pantries has started a new program in Lompoc known as a Community Food Access Center. 

70-year-old SLO theater company takes a new name

May 31, 2017
SLO Rep

In May, one of region’s premier theater companies announced a major rebranding. It’s no longer the San Luis Obispo Little Theatre - the company’s new name is the San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre, and unlike many performing arts groups these days, the SLO Rep is thriving and expanding.

Courtesy of the City of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara residents are now drinking treated seawater when they turn on their taps. City officials announced Tuesday the Santa Barbara water distribution system now includes water from the city’s long-shuttered - but recently reactivated - desalination plant. 

Krista Almanzan/KAZU

Californians are used to the idea of recycling cans, bottles and paper. But the idea of recycling water is a little hard for some to swallow. In fact, the process is sometimes dubbed “toilet to tap.” That’s a phrase the people at Pure Water Monterey quickly dismiss when talking about the new advanced water purification facility being built in Marina. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

The Mud Creek Slide is being called the biggest landslide to hit the Central Coast, at least in recent memory. On May 20, millions of tons of rocks and dirt collapsed over Route 1 when four separate, adjacent slides triggered at the same time, combining into one massive terrain avalanche.

Greta Mart/KCBX

The Big Sur area has been losing tourism business over the past year due to a series of natural disasters. It started with last summer’s Sobranes Fire, which set records as the the costliest American wildfire in terms of the resources it took to put out. Then heavy winter rains caused road closures due to mudslides and the condemnation of the Pfieffer Canyon Bridge. Then came the massive landslide that wreaked havoc on the area last Saturday. 

Courtesy of John Madonna Construction

Four different landslides rolled into one buried California's famous coastal highway under millions of tons of earth and rocks last Saturday night at Mud Creek. Located eight miles north of Ragged Point - where Hwy. 1 has been closed to Big Sur-bound traffic for months - the slide brought down enough dirt to extend the current shoreline by 250 feet. State Route 1 now lies under about 35 feet of dirt for a quarter mile. 

Willis Jacobson

The Lompoc Valley Medical Center is at risk of losing its Medicare, Medicaid, and Medi-Cal certifications after a routine review from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found several violations at the facility.

Courtesy of Ashley Spratt/USFWS

Friday marked the anniversary of the Refugio Oil Spill. On May 19, 2015, a two-foot-diameter underground pipeline named Line 901 ruptured near Santa Barbara County’s Refugio State Beach. By the time the line was shut off, over 100,000 gallons of crude oil spilled over coastal bluffs and into the ocean. It took hundreds of workers more than two months to clean up - at a cost of over $100 million dollars. 

KCBX Two-Way: Monterey County's Cemex sand mine

May 19, 2017
Gary Griggs

In March of 2016, the California Coastal Commission sent a cease and desist warning to the Cemex company over its sand mine on the Monterey County coast. Cemex, a multinational company headquartered in Mexico, operates the Cemex Lapis Sand plant on a beach about eight miles north of Monterey. The company’s customers use the mined sand in products ranging from water filtration systems to golf courses to concrete. But the facility has long been controversial in the area, and this week there was a new development. 

Morro Bay's city manager resigns

May 18, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

The city of Morro Bay is looking for a new city manager. David Buckingham, who’s been the city's top administrator for the past three years, announced his last day will be June 26. 

Marisa Waddell/KCBX

Professional cyclists racing in the Amgen Tour of California wrapped up Stage 3 of the race in Morro Bay late Tuesday afternoon. Slovakian racer Peter Sagan was the winner of the stage, a 120-mile course that started in Pismo Beach and wound through the streets of San Luis Obispo. 

Bree Zender/KCBX

A San Luis Obispo High School special education teacher has resigned after controversy erupted about an anti-LGBT letter he wrote to the school's newspaper editor. Former teacher Michael Stack's letter was in response to the May issue of the high school’s newspaper, SLO Expressions, which contained three articles focusing on LGBT issues. KCBX News spoke with San Luis Obispo Tribune reporter Nick Wilson, who has been covering this story. 

SLO County's chief administrative officer resigns

May 12, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

The top administrator of San Luis Obispo County announced his resignation Friday. Dan Buckshi accepted a new job as the next city manager of Walnut Creek in the Bay Area.

Bree Zender

In late April, the Trump administration announced a new executive order that directs the Interior Department to review the designations of certain national monuments, like the Carrizo Plain National Monument in southeastern San Luis Obispo County. 

NOAA

Two Central Coast environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the Santa Maria Valley Water Conservation District in an effort to improve habitat for local endangered fish.

Isla Vista voters approve parcel tax for parks

May 10, 2017
Courtesy of the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.

In Santa Barbara County, of the 11,000 registered voters in Isla Vista, just 550 ballots were cast in this week’s special election there. That’s a five percent voter turnout, according to the semi-official results. Of those 550 voters, 80 percent were in favor of Measure O, a new parcel tax that will raise money for the Isla Vista Park and Recreation District (IVRPD). 

SLO County 2016 crops valued at $915 million

May 10, 2017
Sharon Mollerus/Creative Commons

San Luis Obispo County’s agricultural crops were worth $915 million dollars last year. The county’s agricultural commissioner, Martin Settevendemie, released crop statistics for 2016 this week, and he said one surprising finding was that strawberry crops were almost as valuable as wine grapes on the market.

Bill aims to allow local governments to investigate discrimination complaints

May 9, 2017
Courtesy of the DFEH

California workers with discrimination complaints against employers could soon turn to their local governments for relief. A new bill that would allow counties and cities - like San Luis Obispo or Monterey County - to investigate such claims passed the state Senate Judiciary Committee this week.  

Lola Smallwood-Cuevas is director of the Black Worker Center in Los Angeles. She says state and federal employment departments are taking an average of one to two years to process discrimination claims against private companies or governments.

Greta Mart/KCBX

UPDATE: On Tuesday, county supervisors voted unanimously to approve reallocating $318,000 towards building the next installment of the popular walking and biking Bob Jones Trail pathway. 

Courtesy of the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.

The deadline for Isla Vista voters to cast their ballot in that district’s May 9 special election is Tuesday at 8 p.m. The all-mail ballot election is for the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.

Courtesy of Seth Richardson

On Saturday, May 6, a new one-day music festival makes its debut at the Red Barn in Los Osos, the home of the Red Barn Community Music Series created by Jonas Richardson. The first Central Coast Folk Festival will feature ten bands and seven straight hours of music. 

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