Santa Barbara County

The teen birth rate is dropping nationwid, especially among Hispanic and black girls, and those same statistics are mirrored here on the Central Coast. 

San Ysidro Ranch

Voters in Santa Barbara County will likely have a say this November on whether to raise a tax aimed at tourists to the area. 

Lisa Stratton, CCBER

UCSB is embarking on a major project to turn 63 acres of a former golf course back into publicly-accessible wetlands. 

ExxonMobile/SEC

Oil giant ExxonMobil was given temporary approval Monday to truck nearly 18-million gallons of crude oil north along Highway 101 through Santa Barbara County.

Freedom Warming Centers of Santa Barbara CA Facebook Page

Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties are preparing to help the homeless stay dry ahead of more El Niño storms. 

Randol White, KCBX News

Another candidate is joining the race to represent the Central Coast in Congress. 

Flickr member: Patrick Berry

The Red Cross is looking for seasonal volunteers on the Central Coast to train for El Niño storm response.

Jessica Piffero is the Regional Director of Communications for the Red Cross and said they need to prepare people with basic shelter skills, like feeding and fetching supplies. 

Santa Barbara County is in the process of contacting a 260 Central Coast residents after a data breach exposed their medical records. 

Flickr member: Andy Blackledge

Construction on an emergency project begins this week along the Santa Barbara coast to prevent potential damage to Goleta Beach Park from the forecasted El Niño storms this winter. 

National Weather Service

Large stretches of the Central Coast could see flooding this week because of a combination of unusually high tides and a strong Pacific storm in the Gulf of Alaska. 

Santa Barbara County is implementing e-cigarette and smoking rules that are tougher than laws on the books in most of the cities in the area. 

Santa Barbara County

UPDATE: Aug. 24, 2015 at 5:28 p.m.

The beach at Lookout Park in Summerland was reopened to the public Monday after being closed on Friday because of oil washing ashore.

John Chestnut/CNPS San Luis Obispo Chapter

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating 5,755 acres in Santa Barbara County as critical habitat for the Vandenberg monkeyflower. It's doing so under the Endangered Species Act.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

UPDATE: Monday, August 10, 2015 at 10:21 p.m.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Unit has positively identified the two victims who were killed in a plane crash Thursday night. The wreckage wasn't located until Friday morning.

Randol White, KCBX News

Home prices are on the rise along the Central Coast according to the latest numbers reflecting the local real estate market. 

US Coast Guard

UPDATE - Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 3:06 p.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) said Thursday that "a slew of" oil samples were sent to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut Thursday morning to determine the cause of a three-mile-long sheen discovered Wednesday.

Jordan Bell

After nearly two months of clean up, Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County is re-opening up Friday.  A pipeline leak in May released some 21-thousand-gallons of crude oil into the Santa Barbara Channel.

Flickr member: KOMUnews

Our intense drought has Central Coast fire protection agencies boosting their efforts to crack down on the use of illegal fireworks.

@SBFireInfo Twitter

UPDATE: July 1, 2015 at 5:10 p.m.

Full containment of the Mesa Fire that started Monday near La Purisima Mission in Lompoc is expected early this evening.  Santa Barbara County Fire said earlier today that the 320 acre fire was at 95 percent.

 A cause has yet to be announced, but the department is looking for a couple of kids who may have been hiking in the area at the time.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department

A federal report released Wednesday shows differing accounts of the thickness of the Plains All-American oil pipeline that ruptured in Santa Barbra County back on May 19.

Third party metallurgists in the field following the oil spill reported the pipeline walls were down to an estimated 1/16th of an inch in some places, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) Amended Corrective Action Order (CAO).

Flickr member Damian Gadal

New wineries in Santa Barbara County could face new rules if local leaders approve a list of proposed changes to the county's Winery Ordinance. 

U.S. Coast Guard District 11

Samples are being taken from tar balls showing up on beaches in Southern California to see if the oil could be coming from the pipeline spill in Santa Barbara County.

The LA County Public Health Department closed beaches Wednesday in the South Bay, including Hermosa and Manhattan Beaches, because of the oil. The beaches could open as soon as Friday.

NOAA says its working to track the Refugio spill's movement with help from scientists at UC Santa Barbara. David Valentine is a Professor of Earth Science at UCSB and says tracking this oil presents a unique challenge.

Jordan Bell

Governor Brown declared a state of emergency for Santa Barbara County Wednesday to aid in cleaning efforts after an oil pipeline rupture at Refugio State Beach.

The ruptured pipeline could have released 105,000 gallons of crude oil into the water off the Santa Barbara County coastline. Crews are working, on and off the shores, to ensure safety and rehabilitate marine life. 

Map: Santa Barbara County Energy Division

Federal, state and local emergency crews were on the scene of a large oil spill along Santa Barbara County's South Coast Tuesday evening.

The US Coast Guard said Tuesday afternoon that the spill stretched roughly four miles in the area of Refugio State Beach.

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services said Tuesday night that both the campground and beach areas were closed at Refugio. There was also a warning at El Capitan State Beach.

University of California

Efforts to control the spread of the Asian Citrus Psyllid in Santa Barbara County are ramping up with the use of micro-organisms.

Keeping the pest in check is key to protecting the state's $2 billion citrus industry from a disease known as Huanglongbing, or Citrus Greening.

Dr. David Morgan with the California Department of Food and Agriculture said scientists are using a small parasitic wasp that feeds on the psyllids, ultimately killing the pest.

Surendra Dara - University of California

The ongoing drought is causing headaches for local farmers, but according to numbers released Thursday by Santa Barbara County, it hasn't yet hurt the local agriculture industry enough to reverse overall production values.

2014 was another record year for the county's growers, who grossed nearly $1.49 billion. This number is the total of all ag sales in the county and should not be confused with profits.

Strawberries remain the county's top crop, with wine grapes coming in second. Broccoli placed third.

Flickr member Doc Searls

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) is scheduled to hold a special meeting Thursday to update guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions within the County. Specifically, the District is looking at pollution generated by business and industry.

The APCD's Molly Pearson said Wednesday that members will vote on one of two options for updated guidelines. The public will get a chance to speak prior to that vote.

Flickr member Sean MacEntee

Business leaders in Santa Barbara County are coming together Friday in an effort to ensure high speed internet access is available county-wide.

The Santa Barbara Broadband Task Force will meet in Buellton with a goal of expanding the service, says Ken Oplinger with regional Chamber of Commerce.

Assemblymember Das Williams

State Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria) announced Monday that he's running for Santa Barbara County's First District Supervisor seat, come 2016.

Salud Carbajal currently holds the First District seat, but Carbajal is one of several candidates now running for Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) congressional office.

Term limits will keep Williams from running for a fourth Assembly term. He easily won re-election back in November with more than 58 percent of the vote.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

    

Santa Barbara County law enforcement is saying a big thank you to the Isla Vista community for its cooperation during Deltopia this weekend.

The sheriff's department estimates the Deltopia crowd at roughly 10,000 people, a major decrease from last year's nearly 25,000 party-goers.

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