(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Central And South Coast Mountain Slopes Stripped By Brush Fires Pose Flash Flood, Mudslide Risk

It seems like it was just yesterday, but it’s been months since the flames of the 18,000 acre Whittier brush fire roared through the Santa Ynez Mountain range in Santa Barbara County. While cooler, moister weather and even the chance of some rain later this week is easing the brush fire threat, it’s opening the door to a new danger: Flash floods and debris flows.

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California Coast News

Five people have been arrested in what prosecutors say was a fraudulent debt collection ring based in Ventura County.

Investigators say the ring ran businesses with multiple names, including Nationwide Debt Busters and Financial Services Bureau. Victims would pay upfront fees, and in some cases no collection services were provided, and in others members of the operation pocketed what they collected.

(NASA Photo)

The planned launch of a satellite from Santa Barbara County has been scrubbed for the third time in less than a week.

A Delta II rocket was just minutes from launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base early Wednesday morning when the liftoff was cancelled. The release of some pre-launch weather balloons detected strong upper level winds which made liftoff unsafe. Early Tuesday morning, a technical issue cancelled the launch.  The first launch attempt also was cancelled due to a technical problem last week.

Plans now call for a 1:47 a.m. Thursday launch, if the winds are reduced.

It’s the time of year when there are a lot of Christmas tree lighting events on the Central and South Coasts, but one happening this week is going to feature some extra star power.

Pop music star Rachel Platten will be the headliner of a tree lighting event Friday night at the Promenade At Westlake shopping and dining center in Westlake Village.

Platten’s song called “Fight Song” made the Billboard Top 10 in the U.S., and hit number one in Great Britain. She won an Emmy for her performance of it on “Good Morning America.”

Ventura County is getting a new head of its library system, but it’s someone who is already a familiar face in the county.

The county is promoting Deputy Library Director Nancy Schram to the Director’s post. She’s been Deputy Director since 2016. Before that, she had nearly two decades of experience at libraries in Thousand Oaks and Los Angeles.

Schram was selected after a nationwide search, with more than 80 applicants.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department

It seems like it was just yesterday, but it’s been months since the flames of the 18,000 acre Whittier brush fire roared through the Santa Ynez Mountain range in Santa Barbara County.

While cooler, moister weather and even the chance of some rain later this week is easing the brush fire threat, it’s opening the door to a new danger: Flash floods and debris flows.

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In Case You Missed It...

(Lisa Russell Films)

Award Winning Filmmaker Focused On Global Healthcare Returns Home To Ventura County For Screening

It’s a long way from the streets of Ventura to places like Kenya, and Indonesia where Lisa Russell produces films about global healthcare efforts. The Emmy Award winning health advocate admits it was a very long, and unplanned path to her very unusual job, which combines her interests in healthcare and storytelling. Russell grew up in Ventura, and this week is returning to Ventura County for the screening of her latest film.

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Plenty Of Shadows Loom In 'Gathering'

Feb 25, 2016

The title of this followup to V.E. Schwab's 2015 fantasy novel A Darker Shade Of Magic might be considered a warning for impatient readers: In A Gathering Of Shadows, plenty of shadows gather. Portents simmer. Tension mounts. Disaster looms. Evil threatens. But nothing much comes of any of it until the final pages, which dash to an intense cliffhanger ending.

When Taevin Lewis first arrived at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis — a long plane ride from her native Tennessee — she was a little lost.

"I didn't know where to go," remembers the sophomore biology major. "I didn't know where a lot of the offices were."

And it wasn't just the campus map. She didn't know some of the basics of college life: How to sign up for classes, how to sign up for a campus job, how to maintain a checkbook.

While Apple and the FBI fight in court over the government's demand that the tech company to help it break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, Congress is trying to find its own solution to the digital security/national security debate.

Iranians vote on Friday for Parliament. The results could signal whether they are ready to engage more robustly with the West, following a deal with world powers aimed at preventing the country from developing nuclear weapons.

Hardliners have effectively controlled the country's political system since Iran's revolution. But Hassan Rouhani, the current president, is considered a moderate and has worked to improve relations with the West. The election will be a crucial test of his agenda.

What if you had to go to the hospital, and when it came time to return home, your landlord said you couldn't move back in? Across the country, thousands of nursing home residents face that situation every year. In most cases, it's a violation of federal regulations. But those rules are rarely enforced by the states. So, in California, some nursing home residents are suing the state, hoping to force it to take action.

It's increasingly likely that the next time you have an encounter with a police officer, he or she will be wearing a body camera. And depending on how things go, you may be left wondering: "Can I get a copy of that video?"

There's no single answer to that, or other pressing questions, such as whether you can tell an officer you don't want to be recorded. In the year and a half since the Ferguson, Mo., protests, police departments have been rushing to adopt the cameras.

But when it comes to body camera policies, departments are all over the map.

Last year, Ford asked people if they could imagine themselves buying or riding in a self-driving vehicle.

Out of the eight countries surveyed, India and China had the highest positive answers at 84 percent and 78 percent, respectively, compared to the U.S. and U.K. at 40 percent and 30 percent, respectively, the study found.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It’s a tiny, and poor South Coast community so small it doesn’t have restaurants or gas stations. Unfortunately, for the hundreds of kids who live there, it also doesn’t even have a park.

But, thanks to a campaign involving everyone from community residents, to government leaders it’s soon going to have its own community center, and park.

KCLU's Lance Orozco has the story.

 

You might think of Barcelona as an enchanted, historic European city. This week, it's home to a massive tech gathering: the Mobile World Congress. Tens of thousands of people from every corner of the earth are there — many showcasing the novel ways they're connecting citizen-consumers to the Internet. I took a tour of Innovation City and here are a few of my most memorable stops.

A Well-Connected Bike

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