San Luis Obispo County

Health
5:26 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Several Central Coast cities receive 'F' grades from American Lung Association

Credit Flickr member: Fried Dough

The latest annual report from the American Lung Association shows smoking on the Central Coast is still a problem in many communities.

The report gives mixed grades for Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. Not a single city got an "A" grade, but Carpinteria and San Luis Obispo got B grades, as did unincorporated Santa Barbara County.

Vanessa Marvin is a senior director with the Lung Association and says there's still a lot of work to be done by many of the other the area's other communities.

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San Luis Obispo County
12:23 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Fighting human trafficking on the Central Coast

San Luis Obispo County is the halfway point between Los Angeles and San Francisco making it a primary spot for human trafficking within the state. The FBI recently named California a primary destination for human trafficking. Reporter Jordan Bell speaks with Assistant District Attorney, Lee Cunningham, Director of the Victim/Witness Unit, Debbie Vallely and Rebecca Turner with Mountainbrook Community Church about their organizations' efforts to combat human trafficking in the county.

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Environment
4:39 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Widespread reports of shaking following light Central Coast earthquake

Credit USGS 'Did You Feel It?' Map

A light-to-moderate earthquake hit the Central Coast this morning with people throughout Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties reporting to have felt it. 

The 4.4 temblor struck along the San Andreas Fault east of Greenfield and Soledad.

The quake was also felt in the Central Valley areas of Fresno, Madera and Visalia.

No damage has been reported.

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Environment
3:45 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Volunteers asked to take photos of upcoming King Tides event in California

King Tide on December 12, 2012 at Port San Luis in San Luis Obispo County.
Credit Gordon Hensley - San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper

Volunteers are set to record thousands of images of the California Coast next week as the highest tides of the year are expected to hit the area on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The volunteers are part of an effort to help people visualize how sea level rise will impact the lives of coastal Californians. It's called the California King Tides Project, and Central Coast representatives are on board to help document the event.

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Central Coast
12:06 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Plane with engine trouble makes emergency landing in riverbed near Hwy 166

Nobody was injured in Friday morning's aircraft incident near Highway 166 in southern San Luis Obispo County.
Credit Twitter: CALFIRE_SLO

Central Coast Investigators are working with federal agencies to follow up on an emergency plane landing Friday morning in southern San Luis Obispo County, near Highway 166.

"A portion of that highway was closed to allow the plane to land," said sheriff's spokesperson Tony Cipolla in an email to KCBX.  "The aircraft landed in a riverbed adjacent to highway 166 and flipped upside down."

There were two occupants on board the plane at the time of the landing, a male and female. Neither needed any medical attention, according to Cipolla.

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Politics
6:32 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

San Jose City Council unanimous in concern over planned Phillips 66 oil-by-rail expansion

The potential for increased oil shipments along the Southern Pacific rail line through San Jose is cause for concern among council members.
Credit Flickr member Drew Jacksich

The City of San Jose is the latest California municipality to express concern over an increase in crude oil shipments by rail.

The San Jose City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to instruct the city manager to send a letter to the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission, asking members to take into consideration their concerns as part of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Phillips 66 refinery rail spur.

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San Luis Obispo County
4:18 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Land Conservancy to protect more SLO County land this year

Pismo Preserve
Credit Kaila Dettman

Last year the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo took ownership of the 900-acre parcel of land now known as the Pismo Preserve and this year they hope to open it to the public. 

The organization raised more than $12 million last year to buy the land and make improvements, plus it finalized all the paperwork to switch it over to public use. Executive Director, Kaila Dettman says the Pismo Preserve is the beginning of a larger, county-wide effort, the Heart and Soil campaign.

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Central Coast
2:26 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Safeway Inc. to pay nearly $10 million for environmental violations

Credit Flickr member Your Pal Dave

Safeway Inc. is paying nearly $10 million as the result of an investigation that found more than 500 stores, including some Central Coast stores, were violating environmental regulations. 

District attorneys in Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, along with 39 other California district attorneys and two city attorneys announced the settlement Monday.

The settlement resolved allegations that Safeway, Vons, Pavilions and Pak 'n Save stores and distribution centers were improperly handling and disposing of hazardous and pharmaceutical waste.

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Health
11:29 am
Wed December 24, 2014

'Valley Fever' is growing concern for Central Coast health experts

Where Valley Fever is most commonly found in the United States and Mexico.
Credit Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Central Coast health experts say there is growing local concern over the disease known as 'Valley Fever'. The number of cases statewide is rising, with more than 4,000 reported in 2012—likely just a fraction of those who actually came down with it.

San Luis Obispo County Epidemiologist Ann McDowell says it's important that local health care professionals understand the disease, so they can diagnose it properly.

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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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