San Luis Obispo County

Wikimedia Commons/Piotr Flatau

State routes 41 and 46 in San Luis Obispo County are notorious for their high number of traffic crashes and fatalities. Earlier this year, according to Central Coast state lawmaker Jordan Cunningham’s office, in the span of two months, six people were killed in crashes where the two highways meet. 

1,125. That’s how many people were homeless in San Luis Obispo County on January 30 of this year, when the county conducted a biannual point-in-time homeless census. 

Courtesy of CA Dept. of Parks and Recreation

A proposed new California State Parks cabin and campground project on the Central Coast is in the works. The site is located seven miles north of San Simeon, on an oceanside bluff west of Highway 1. State Parks wants to develop the project to provide more low-cost options for visitors, but the plan isn’t unanimously embraced by locals.

San Luis Obispo County’s current public works director, Wade Horton, has been named as head administrator of the county, with the title County Administrative Officer, or CAO.

Local government roundup: 10/30/17

Oct 30, 2017

This week in local government around the Central Coast: Camp 4; a new SLO county administrator; and a months-old agreement among San Luis Obispo County’s seven cities to join forces in building a new animal shelter has apparently disintegrated. 

Rachel Showalter

Meals That Connect is San Luis Obispo County's senior nutrition program, and serves free lunches to over 500 county residents every day. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

This week, the California Department of Education released truancy rates for the state’s public schools, organized by county. Truancy is defined as three or more days out of school without a valid excuse. The numbers show Santa Barbara County’s rate was nearly 10 percent lower than the state average, for the fourth year in a row.

Greta Mart/KCBX

After a three-and-a-half hour hearing Tuesday on cannabis regulations, San Luis Obispo county officials voted to continue the conversation to Oct. 17. Dozens of county residents attended the meeting to provide input on the regulations now before the board of supervisors. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

San Luis Obispo County’s 911 emergency system is getting tech upgrade--you can now text 911 for emergencies.

James Gathany, CDC

San Luis Obispo County has confirmed one case of West Nile virus, detected in the body of a dead bird in Atascadero.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New data released Tuesday from the California Department of Public Health reveals cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and infections are on the rise on the Central Coast. The number of gonorrhea cases have doubled and syphilis cases quadrupled in Santa Barbara County since 2011. 

Google Earth

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) said one inmate died and nine others wounded in what's being described as a 'large-scale' riot at the California Men's Colony (CMC) in San Luis Obispo County.

Steep terrain hindering Huasna fire fight

Sep 21, 2017
Courtesy of CalFire SLO.

UPDATE 09/21/17: As of 6 p.m., CalFire reports the fire has grown to 244 acres and is 75 percent contained. 

Firefighters continue to battle what is currently a 70-acre vegetation fire northeast of Nipomo, in San Luis Obispo County.

Cal Fire says the Huasna Fire started at about 1:45 on Wednesday afternoon. It’s burning near Huasna Townsite Road and Huasna Road. As of 5 p.m. one cabin was threatened and crews were working to save it.

PG&E video still

This week there is a key event related to the proposed closure of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County. The state agency with jurisdiction over utility power plants is the California Public Utilities Commission. On Thursday, the CPUC is holding two hearings in at the Luckwick Community Center in San Luis Obispo - one in the early afternoon and another in the evening - to hear public comment on the proposed closure. 

Local government roundup: 09/11/17

Sep 11, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

This week in local government in San Luis Obispo County, the board of supervisors has a full agenda of grant and funding allocation items, such as $755,000 for marketing and advertising for the San Luis Obispo County Tourism Business Improvement District for the next fiscal year. The board will also hold a hearing on issuing bonds to help pay for upgrades to facilities for developmentally disabled people in the county, and review the county’s year-end budget report. 

Tess Whittlesey

KCBX News welcomed Central Coast congressman Rep. Salud Carbajal to the studio this week to talk about a variety of issues: the proposal to decommission the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, what's happening in Washington DC, and the most pressing concerns he hears from his constituents. Here's KCBX News Director Greta Mart in conversation with Rep. Carbajal.

County government contracting bill reduces local control, say opponents

Aug 29, 2017
Ttoolan/Wikimedia Commons

Opposition is growing against a bill in the California Legislature that would add strict new requirements before any counties can contract out for government services.

San Luis Obispo County

This week Central Coast congressman Rep. Salud Carbajal is hosting a town hall meeting specifically about the announced closure of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. The state’s last nuclear power plant - owned by Pacific Gas and Electric - is expected to close in 2025, if the California Public Utilities Commission approves PG&E's request to do so.

Krista Almanzan

The landslide at Mud Creek – about 25 miles north of Hearst Castle – is the largest ever on the Central Coast. It buried and broke apart a section of California's famed State Route One. To fix it, CalTrans has decided to build a road over the massive slide.

Bree Zender/KCBX News

After multiple public records requests from local news agencies, San Luis Obispo County refused to provide any of the 100 hours of video footage related to the death of county jail inmate Andrew Holland, according to County Council Rita Neal

Megan Schellong/KCBX

If you hike up San Luis Obispo’s Islay Hill, at the top you’ll find a standing cow sculpture with binoculars pointing east. This fiberglass cow is called 'Moo With a View,' and it’s one of 101 similar artworks that appeared all over San Luis Obispo, as part of CodwParade SLO.

That was the local version of a worldwide art display founded in Chicago in 1999. Since then, CowParade has expanded to about 80 international cities. Here in San Luis Obispo County, the cows were on display from September 2016 through May 2017.

Greta Mart

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has initiated a civil rights inquiry at the San Luis Obispo County Jail.

Alert at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant

Jul 28, 2017
Flickr member Tracey Adams

FINAL UPDATE: PG&E ended the alert at 6:45 p.m. on Friday night, saying air quality in the affected reactor was restored.

UPDATE 7/28/17 3:20 p.m.: The county's emergency operation center says "the plant is in a safe condition and remains at full power. There is no radiological release at this time." 

Greta Mart/KCBX


Following the death of four inmates in ten months, a San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury said further review is needed of the quote “adequacy and appropriateness of the management structure at the County Jail.”

Algae bloom suspected of sickening sea lions

Jul 21, 2017
Jon Sullivan/Wikimedia Commons

A Central Coast marine mammal center is currently treating over 20 ailing sea lions that have washed up on San Luis Obispo County beaches this week.

Update: Alamo Fire 100% contained

Jul 20, 2017
Courtesy of CalFire

The Alamo Fire burned for two weeks near the Twitchell Dam east of Santa Maria. On Thursday, CalFire reported firefighters have totally contained the blaze and will spend the next few weeks mopping up. The fire destroyed 45 square miles of oak woodland and one home.

Green light for San Luis Ranch housing development

Jul 18, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

On Tuesday evening, city officials in San Luis Obispo approved the proposed San Luis Ranch housing development.

Sophia Mathews/@MsPhias

On the same afternoon the Whittier Fire ignited near a summer camp in Santa Barbara County, another fire broke out east of San Miguel, on the border of rural eastern Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Three San Luis Obispo County libraries are serving up free lunches and snacks for kids over the next month. Children up to age 18 are welcome to the meals - with no ID, income verification or payment required. 

Residents fleeing Hill Fire find refuge at Red Cross evacuation center

Jun 27, 2017
Megan Schelllong/KCBX

As of Tuesday evening, the Hill Fire burning east of Santa Margarita, in San Luis Obispo County, is 60 percent contained. Since the fire started Monday afternoon around 3:30 p.m., it has burned approximately 1600 acres and at least one home in a rural area of the county. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued Monday evening - that order is lifted as of 7 p.m. June 27. KCBX News visited the evacuation center set up by the American Red Cross and there we met resident Marie Burd, who was forced to flee the home she shares with her husband, a Cal Poly professor, on Monday night.

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