San Luis Obispo County

Central Coast
4:26 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

$1.3 million trail at Montaña de Oro State Park opens ahead of schedule

Montaña de Oro State Park's Bluff Trail during the ADA improvements work.
Credit California State Parks

A $1.3 million trail improvement project at Montaña de Oro in San Luis Obispo County is now complete.

California State Parks says work on the Bluff Trail was completed ahead of schedule and will be open for the Thanksgiving weekend. Work began in early January and was scheduled to continue through December.

Ranger Rob Colligan says he believes with the predicted warm weather there will likely be a lot of activity on the trail tomorrow.

The project was designed to improve access under Americans with Disabilities (ADA) guidelines.

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Central Coast Business Wrap-up
11:39 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Report: Cal Poly is major economic engine for San Luis Obispo County

Cal Poly students between classes on the first day of the fall quarter, 2014.
Credit Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

The Colleges and Universities that dot the Central Coast do far more than create an educated populace, they also account for a major portion of the area’s economy.

A recent study took a look at one university in particular—Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo—and found when you tabulate all of the various economic interactions that institution, its students, faculty and staff have with the surrounding area, the sum of those accounts for 12 percent of the entire county’s economic output.

Guests:

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Pets & Animals
5:58 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Local dog owners are urged to pick up after pets for environmental reasons

Credit Flickr member Justin Henry

A campaign targeted at dog owners kicked off Monday in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties. The goal is to encourage people to pick up after their pets every time they relieve themselves on a trail, sidewalk or within a park.

David LaCaro is leading the effort for the City of Paso Robles where they marked abandoned dog waste with checkered flags Monday. He says part of this effort is to study the actions of pet owners.

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Politics
3:03 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Recount requested in race for Mayor of Pismo Beach

The two vote victory for Mayor of Pismo Beach will face a manual recount starting on Monday morning, November 24, 2014.

Incumbent Mayor Shelly Higginbotham edged out challenger Kevin Kreowski by just two votes back on November 4. Those vote totals were certified on Wednesday, giving the candidates five days to request a recount.

Kreowski was able to raise the roughly $3000 needed to pay for the request with a portion of that money donated by Mayor Higginbotham.

County Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald estimates the manual tally will take two days.

Agriculture
5:10 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Growers expecting another down year for Central Coast olive oil harvest

Credit Flickr member Stew Dean

Reports out of Europe say this year's olive oil harvest is falling short, which will likely lead to higher prices at the grocery store.

According to a report by the Associated Press, Spain—the world's largest olive oil producer—is expecting output this year to drop by more than 50 percent.  The low yield is the result of several factors, including weather, tree stress, and insects the report states.

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San Luis Obispo County
6:21 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

SLO County gets $192,000 to help reduce traffic-related deaths

A top target for reducing traffic-related fatalities is bicycle safety.
Credit Flickr User: dkastner01 - bicyclists on a back road in Arroyo Grande

The State of California is giving San Luis Obispo County a $192,000 grant to reduce the number of traffic-related fatalities on local roads.

The money will target pedestrian and bike safety, as well as child passengers, and alcohol and drug outreach.

Kathleen Karlee is with SLO County Public Health and says her team is already meeting to work on the top target areas.

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Environment
6:36 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Air pollution control measures don't appear to be working at Oceano Dunes

The Oceano Dunes, Calif.
Credit Randol White - KCBX News

Projects to reduce the amount of air pollution caused by particulates coming from the Oceano Dunes don't appear to be working. Testing shows the number of days with poor air quality on the Nipomo Mesa held steady, despite the addition of sand fencing and hay bales.

California State Parks spent more than a million dollars on the projects this past spring.

Larry Allen is the Air Pollution Control officer for San Luis Obispo County. He believes the problem can be fixed without putting an end to vehicle access on the dunes, but says some action needs to be taken.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

With close races in SLO Co., some ballots still need to be counted

Credit Flickr member Vox Efx

Ballot counters are taking a break Tuesday to observe Veteran's Day according to Julie Rodewald, the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder.

  Although, midterm elections ended a week ago, determining new measures and elected officials, some races are still unsettled in San Luis Obispo County. 

Rodewald said provisional and mail-in ballots will determine tight races in Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach Pismo Beach and Paso Robles.

The county will have reportable numbers Wednesday at 5 p.m.

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Water Issues and Drought
5:52 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Warm weather and lack of rain mean fire danger still high on Central Coast

Dry hillsides near San Luis Obispo are still vulnerable to wildfires despite recent rainfall.
Credit Randol White - KCBX News

There is no sign of rain in the forecast for the Central Coast, according to the National Weather Service out of Oxnard. Temperatures are expected to be above normal through the weekend.

Local emergency officials say conditions are ripe for wildfire despite the rain received over Halloween weekend.

Average fuel moisture levels in Santa Barbara County are at 56 percent—drier than what is considered critical according to County Fire.

The threat of large wildfires will remain high until the Central Coast gets several inches of widespread rainfall.

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Water Issues and Drought
6:32 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

'Data entry issue' behind SLO's reported water usage spike this summer

Credit Flickr member HereStanding

The City of San Luis Obispo is out with updated water usage numbers for the month of August.

Last week, inaccurate totals sent to the state showed a surprising spike of 26 percent. Ron Munds, the city's Utilities Services Manager, says it was a simple data entry issue that threw off the calculations. The source of the problem was found Monday, and the new numbers now show San Luis Obispo saw a cut in water usage of 9 percent.

Munds says he's happy the August numbers now reflect conservation and wants to send the message for people to continue using the resource wisely.

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Central Coast
8:21 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Ontario Ridge Trail set to be reopened by next weekend

View from the Ontario Ridge Trail
Credit Save Ontario Ridge Facebook Page

 A popular hiking trail on the San Luis Obispo County Coast is set to be reopened to the public by next weekend.

The California Coastal Commission announced today that the Ontario Ridge Trail connecting Pismo Beach with Pirates Cove will have public access restored by the 17th. Land owners Robert and Judith McCarthy of Bakersfield have agreed to remove fencing and signs they had installed several months ago at the trail entrance.

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Education
5:46 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Cuesta Promise scholarship extended to full year for local high school grads

Credit Cuesta College

San Luis Obispo County's Cuesta College says its able to expand its successful Promise Program for new high school graduates from within the county.

Originally, the scholarship program was set up to pay for 100 percent of a student's tuition and fees for the first semester of classes.

Wednesday afternoon, the college announced a major expansion to the program that will start next year.

Current and future Promise Scholarship students will have all tuition and fee costs covered for an entire school year under the new rules.

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Weather
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.

Health
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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Politics
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.

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