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.

An administrative law judge says the City of San Luis Obispo needs to reverse course and bring back binding arbitration for the city's police and firefighter unions.

Back in 2011, nearly 3-out-of-4 voters approved Measure B, which put an end to the arbitation practice. Voters also created the binding arbitration method back in 2000.

The judge says the city didn't follow proper procedure before putting the issue back on the ballot with Measure B. The City Council will meet in closed session this Monday to discuss options, including an appeal.

Egg-producing states pile on against California law

Mar 6, 2014
Randol White

A growing number of states are joining a recently filed lawsuit aimed at bringing down a California law regulating egg producers.

Representatives from Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Oklahoma signed onto a lawsuit today, that was filed last month in Fresno's Eastern District Court by Missouri's Attorney General, Chris Koster.

The major egg producing states are worried about a law set to take effect next year that would require out-of-state farmers provide enough room for chickens to stand up and spread their wings, if they're to sell their eggs in California.

How tobacco and alcohol are marketed to kids

Mar 5, 2014
Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community

The smoking of electronic cigarettes will soon be banned in many public areas throughout Santa Maria and Los Angeles after city council votes in both cities on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, health leaders in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties are trying to bring attention to the way e-cigarettes, tobacco, and alcohol products are marketed to children.

SLO Film Fest on the rise

Mar 5, 2014
San Luis Obispo International Film Festival

The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is now underway, with opening night ceremonies at the Fremont Theater.

You may spot television's Adam West in town, as he's in San Luis Obispo to talk about the new documentary Starring Adam West, focused on his life and career. West played television's Batman in the 1960s, and is the voice of the Mayor West on the Fox cartoon Family Guy.

Flickr member Dan'o

Central Coast Assemblyman Katcho   Achadjian says he is still working on the language for a bill to create a Paso Robles Water Management District.

Flickr: Lindsay Fox

The Santa Maria City Council voted 5-0 on Wednesday to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in some public places. The ban mirrors restrictions already in place for the use of tobacco products.

The council will conduct a second reading of the ordinance at its meeting on March 18, and it will go into effect 30 days later.

The unanimous vote came after comments from the public, as well as some personal notes from the council members themselves, according to city spokesperson Mark van de Kamp.

YouTube video still. User: Jennifer Weissmuller

More than two dozen dead sheep in northern San Luis Obispo County are at the center of an investigation by the sheriff's office.

The flock was grazing in the Heritage Ranch area near Lake Nacimiento as part of a program to keep grass in check for the summer fire season.

Hikers came upon several of the sick and dying animals and recorded video of the problem, then contacted authorities.

(note: video below may not be suitable for everyone)

SBC Fire Department Facebook

A pair of storm systems brought several inches of much-needed rain to the Central Coast over the past several days. The mid-winter punch provided some measurable relief to the region's exceptional drought status, yet much more is needed.

Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties saw the largest Central Coast rainfall totals, with some mountain areas receiving more than 14 inches of precipitation since Wednesday. Ojai topped the local cities with 6.21 inches recorded.

UCSB Police release sketch of rape suspects

Feb 28, 2014
UCSB Police

Police sketches are being circulated in the Santa Barbara area following the rape and beating of a 19-year-old UCSB student. Campus police connect these two men in their early 20s to last weekend's crime.

In a message sent to the campus community, UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang addressed the sexual assault and vowed to strengthen security.

Yang authorized an increase of five campus officers, as well as the frequency of their patrols. Additionally, there will be increased security measures with installation of new lighting and cameras on campus.

City of King - KingCity.com

Updated: 2/28/2014 at 1:32 p.m.

A former Cuesta College criminal justice instructor has been named as the interim police chief in King City, following the arrests of the police department's acting chief and several officers on bribery and embezzlement charges

Dennis Hegwood was appointed by City Manager Michael Powers to run the police department while a national search is conducted for the department's next police chief.

Visitor numbers on the rise in Santa Barbara

Feb 24, 2014
Flickr member Damian Gadal

The amount of money spent at local lodging facilities in the City of Santa Barbara saw its largest increase in several years last month with a significant 23.8 percent bump. 

This year-over-year increase in visitor spending helped generate $991,834 in revenue for the city through its 12 percent Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), the vast majority of which goes into the general fund. A smaller portion of the TOT is set aside for creek restoration and water quality improvements.

Wikipedia user: Coolcaesar

Updated: Tuesday, 2/25 at 4:59 p.m. PST

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team is now part of the effort to look for evidence related to the rape and beating of a 19-year-old UCSB student.

After being treated Sunday at a Santa Barbara area hospital, the student went to recover with her family.

Significant rainstorm predicted for Central Coast

Feb 21, 2014
KCBX News

Updated Monday, 2/24 at 1:52 p.m. PST:

The month of February could end much the way it started, with some badly-needed rainfall for California and the Central Coast. Unlike the last couple of rain events however, this time around the region could get hit with a major winter storm.

KQED - cropped from original

  A Silicon Valley venture capitalist who believes California has become too large to manage received word Wednesday from Secretary of State Debra Bowen that he may begin circulating his voter petition to split up the state.

The proponent for the measure, Tim Draper, must collect signatures from eight percent of the state's registered voters by mid-July in order for his initiative to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. He launched his measure back in December.

NASA image shows drought's effect on Central Coast

Feb 19, 2014
NASA Image of the Day

A new image from NASA helps put into perspective one component of California's exceptionally dry winter—its effect on the vegetation found in state's grasslands, farms, and forests.

Using a series of images captured through the latter half of January, NASA came up with a composite map highlighting areas of vegetation growth. The image was created by using a specialized sprectroradiometer to compare current plant health to the average for the same period over the past decade.

DataQuick

Central Coast home prices shot up last month according to the latest report released by the number crunchers at San Diego-based DataQuick.

The San Luis Obispo County real estate market saw a strong year-over-year January with an increase in both the number of homes sold and the overall median sales price. A total of 261 properties were sold countywide during the first month of 2014, up 19.7 percent from the previous year. The median price of those homes also rose to $400,000, up 5.5 percent.

'Green Acres' star dies at Santa Barbara hospice

Feb 18, 2014

Actress Mary Grace Canfield, best known for her role as Ralph Monroe on the classic television sitcom Green Acres, died Saturday of lung cancer according to NPR and the Associated Press. Canfield was 89 years old.

Reports quoting her daughter, Montecito-based real estate agent Phoebe Alexiades, say Canfield died at a hospice located in Santa Barbara.

High surf hits Central Coast beaches

Feb 18, 2014
Greg Perry

Waves up to 11 feet are expected along the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County coastlines through Thursday night. The National Weather Service based in Oxnard has issued a high surf advisory for the west and northwest facing beaches along this stretch.

Randol White

February started with welcomed rainfall here on the Central Coast. The short-lived series of storms brought several inches of rain to some areas of California, yet much more is needed to help the state end its drought status.

The City of San Luis Obispo, while certainly feeling the effects of a record dry year, is in a relatively good position to handle the current situation. Water resources and systems put in place over the past decade or so are helping to push off mandatory rationing for the foreseeable future.

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