Santa Maria

Pioneer Valley High School

Increased security and grief counseling are being offered to students at a Santa Maria high school after a 15 year old student was killed Monday.

Police said this and two other killings later that day are all gang-related.

PR Newswire

A controversial piece of art at a county building in Santa Maria will remain on public display, but will no longer be in its original location.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department is asking for help in the investigation of a Santa Maria man facing an attempted kidnapping charge. 

The No Kid Hungry campaign is raising awareness for its free summer food program.

Today nearly 300 children attended a concert at Grogan park in Santa Maria and got a free lunch of a peach, taco and milk.

Organizers want to get the word out to kids and their parents about the 39 locations around the county where children 18 and younger can get free meals during the summer.

Santa Maria Expands Recycling Program in Parks

Jun 24, 2015

The City of Santa Maria is raising awareness about a new recycling program in its parks. A pilot program has been a success and the city plans to expand. 

So far, Santa Maria has placed 35 blue recycling containers at four of the most used parks including Priesker Park, the location of the Get Recycling Program awareness day on June 24.

The recycling program started in March. Mark van de Kamp with the Santa Maria City Manager's Office says that at first they noticed a sizeable amount of trash mixed in with recyclables.

The city then partnered with the community organization CAUSE to create educational videos about recycling in both Spanish and English. These videos can be seen on the city's website.

UPDATE - 5:53 p.m. on 06/19/2016:

Santa Barbara Fire Captain Dave Zaniboni said Friday evening that fire crews had gained 90 percent containment.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Fire crews in Santa Barbara County were working to contain a brush fire burning in the hills just south of Santa Maria, Friday afternoon.

Santa Barbara County Fire said investigators believe a bird flying into power lines could be the cause.

Crews were attacking the fire from the ground and air.

Google Maps - Street View

A new Santa Maria DMV office aimed at relieving the pressures of a growing population will likely be built in the coming years.

Nipomo Community Services District

Residents of the Nipomo Community Services District (NCSD) will soon experience some changes to their local water supply. The chemical used to treat the water will switch from chlorine to chloramine to match what's already used in neighboring Santa Maria.

The reason: starting in July, Nipomo is expected to throw the switch on its new water project bringing in water from Santa Maria.

NCSD Manager Michael LeBrun said there will be a noticeable, positive change in odor and taste.

Nipomo Community Services District

Customers of the Nipomo Community Services District (NCSD) will be paying more for water in the coming months as the District hooks up to an additional water source.

Michael LeBrun is the District's General Manager and says rates will jump by about 30 percent in July when the water starts flowing.

The new pipeline will bring water in from Santa Maria to help diversify Nipomo's options. Currently, the area's sole source is groundwater.

LeBrun says the project has been in the works for decades and is gaining in local support amidst the current drought.

Righetti High School

EVENT DETAILS:

  • Friday and Saturday, March 27, 28, 2015
  • 7:30 p.m.
  • Ethel Pope Auditorium, 901 S. Broadway, Santa Maria, Calif.
  • Ticket information - (805) 937-2051, ext 2716 or 2502

A Righetti High School student has been diagnosed with Whooping Cough, according to the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District (SMJUHSD).

"SMJUHSD officials are urging anyone experiencing Whooping Cough symptoms to immediately seek medical care from their physician," said district spokesperson Kenny Klein.

The student is not attending school currently, according ot Klein.

California is in the midst of a Whooping Cough—or pertussis—epidemic, which peaks every three to five years.

Tom Wilmer

Award winning educator and author, Laurie Woodward speaks with Tom Wilmer about her anti-bullying peace program and books. 

As a peace consultant, she helps educators and parents teach children how to stop bullying, avoid arguments, and maintain healthy friendships.

Google Maps - Street View

Santa Maria may see a new DMV field office in the coming years, if one Central Coast lawmaker has her way.

Animal Rescue Team

The abused baby coyote rescued last summer in Santa Maria is now living back in the wild. It was released Sunday after months of recuperation.

The pup was found by a plumber in an alleyway back in late July according the Animal Rescue Team in Solvang. Electrical cord was wrapped tightly around the animal's neck and arms and it's believed the coyote was tortured with an electrical shock.

It underwent surgery in August to fix a fractured and infected jaw.

Flickr member Rennett Stowe

A new survey by the State Water Board shows the Santa Maria River is highly toxic—and has been for years with some of the highest readings in the state for certain chemicals.

Bryn Phillips is an environmental toxicology specialist with UC Davis who has been working on this ongoing project. He says an increase in pyrethroid pesticide levels is cause for concern.

Recently the river was designated with a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) restriction.

Culminating a week of violence and arrests, Righetti High School students were released from classes early on Friday as Santa Maria Joint Union High School District officials felt rumors—the subject of which have not been disclosed—were causing too much of a distraction.

Santa Maria Police Department

Santa Maria Police are looking for a man they believe kidnapped and molested a girl this past Sunday night.

Investigators say the man took the girl from a common area at the apartment complex where she lived and escorted her to nearby Sanchez Elementary School where the lewd acts then took place. School was not in session at the time.

Sergeant Daniel Rios says the department has released the route, day and time that this crime occurred with hopes of generating more leads.

ASPCA

A virus that is deadly for dogs is becoming a growing problem in the Santa Maria area this October.

Stacy Silva with Santa Barbara County Animal Services says the parvovirus often peaks in the fall, but this year's outbreak seems to be larger and more widespread. Dogs infected with the virus are showing up throughout the Santa Maria valley from the far north end at Priesker Park to the southern reaches in Orcutt.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

The United States Secret Service is investigating a sophisticated counterfeit money operation in Santa Barbara County that was busted up this week by the sheriff's department.

Six businesses in Santa Maria and Solvang were victimized earlier this week by what sheriff's deputies describe as a counterfeiting crew.

Four people were arrested and are under investigation for passing counterfeit $100 bills as well as drug possession and felony conspiracy.

Flickr member Chris Potter

Several Costco stores along the Central Coast will soon need to update their refrigerator systems under a company settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Costco will pay $335 million in penalties for federal Clean Air Act violations and will fix refrigerant leaks, among other improvements, the agency said in a media release.

Flickr member anneheathen

Santa Barbara County's Animal Services is rewriting its ordinance on dogs and owners rights and responsibilities.

The Public Health Department has already drafted the proposed changes to the existing ordinance and is holding two meetings this week to hear public feedback.

Back on Saturday, August 9, a cyclist was killed on Foxen Canyon Road in the Santa Maria Valley after he was hit by a truck driven by a 16-year-old.

Matthew O'Neill was a PhD student at UC Santa Barbara and avid cyclist. He was 33 years old at the time of the crash.

National Night Out - Evansville

Neighborhoods and police departments throughout the Central Coast are getting ready for Tuesday's National Night Out. 

The annual event is designed for people to get to know there neighbors and local law enforcement in an effort to reduce crime.

Aside from the numerous local get-togethers, Sergeant Chuck Strange with the Lompoc Police Department says a block party will be held in the parking lot of Lompoc High School with free food and activities from 5 to 8 p.m.

In Santa Maria, a similar event takes place at Veterans Memorial Community Park and runs from 4 to 8p.

Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students in Santa Maria will head back to school on August 12 facing overcrowded classrooms and campuses.

The Santa Maria-Bonita School District is working to address the problem by building 12 new classrooms at its Tommie Kunst Junior High.

A Santa Maria construction company was awarded the bid at a special session of the board of education Thursday. Its bid was the lowest.

A new yet-to-be-named elementary school campus is also under construction. Both projects are being self-financed through loans.

Google Maps Street View

Investigators in Santa Maria are looking into a major gas leak early Tuesday morning that forced the evacuation of approximately 150 people.

Residents of a large senior housing complex called Rancho Garden were removed from the area while utility crews worked to shut off the gas.

Fire Chief Dan Orr says it appears damage to the main gas line was the result of thieves looking for scrap medal to sell.

He says investigators have a possible lead based on a nearby burglary that happened around the same time.

Santa Maria Town Center Farmers Market Facebook page

The Saturday morning farmers market held at Santa Maria's Town Center Mall has struggled to find its vendors and customers, but is "still hanging in" there according to organizer Christy Laschiver.

The outdoor market features all organic fruits and vegetables with a variety of cottage food vendors offering fare, like baked goods and candies.

Details:

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors is holding a special session Friday in Santa Maria to consider options for a ban on certain forms of oil drilling.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m.

The Santa Barbara County Water Guardians gathered enough signatures to get an initiative on the ballot which, if passed, would ban land uses related to fracking, acidizing, and other high-intensity gas and oil operations within the county's unincorporated areas.

New analysis of last month's record-breaking heat waves along the Central Coast shows the overall average temperature for the month of May was among the hottest in the books for several locations, according to the National Weather Service.

The average of all the temperatures recorded at the Santa Barbara airport last month set a new record of 64.1 degrees. The San Luis Obispo airport tied 2009 as the warmest with an average reading of 64.6.

Google Maps

A special session of the Santa Maria City Council drew an estimated 1200 people to the Fairpark on Thursday, ending with a 3-2 vote in favor of moving forward with the planning department's recommendation for the development of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility.

The session ran roughly from 3 - 11:00 p.m. with a strong protest presence against relocating the ICE office within Santa Maria.

A series of job fairs are coming to Santa Barbara County as local leaders work to improve the county's unemployment numbers.

The Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board and the California Employment Development Department will launch the effort this Thursday at Santa Barbara's Westside Community Center from 11a-3p.

A Lompoc job fair will be held on May 1 at the Veterans' Memorial Hall from 1-4p. The Santa Maria version is scheduled for June 12 at the Veterans' Memorial hall from 1-4p.

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