(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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(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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Author Isaac Asimov once wrote, "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but, 'That's funny ... ' "

Good scientists search for the significance of surprises, coincidences and mistakes. With a little curiosity and perseverance, they can turn unexpected incidents into new insights.

A lot of visitors to Colorado figure they might give the state's good ganja a try, but they might not be prepared for the effects. When it comes to bad weed trips, out-of-staters have been doing much worse than Colorado residents and are going to the ER more often since recreational sales of marijuana began in 2014.

Several leaders and members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.

President Obama has nominated Carla D. Hayden as the next librarian of Congress. If confirmed, she would be the first woman and first African-American ever to lead the world's largest library.

Hayden is currently CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.

In a White House statement, Obama says he and the first lady have known Hayden since she was at the Chicago Public Library, where she was deputy commissioner and chief librarian from 1991-1993.

Death Valley, Calif., one of the hottest places in the world, is in bloom with more than 20 species of colorful desert wildflowers.

The New York State Supreme Court has ruled that chain restaurants in New York City can be fined after Mar. 1 for failing to post sodium warnings on certain items on their menus.

The ruling is a win for the city's Board of Health, which unanimously passed a rule last September that requires chains with 15 or more locations nationwide to print a salt-shaker warning icon next to menu items containing 2,300 or more milligrams of sodium.

Keila Atuesta Jaimes, a petite 25-year-old, is lying on an exam table next to an ultrasound machine. The doctor moves the wand across her belly. It's pretty flat. She's only about three months pregnant. Then suddenly, there's the heartbeat!

Atuesta smiles. Nervously. About three weeks ago she came down with the kind of rash and fever she figured could mean only one thing: Zika.

Across the U.S., more than 20 million people abuse drugs or alcohol or both. Only about 1 in 10 is getting treatment.

People seeking treatment often have to wait weeks or months for help. The delays can jeopardize the chances they'll be able to recover from their addiction.

When you edit a blog called "Goats and Soda," and you read a story about a goat locked in a car in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Oxford, Mass., and you learn that the goat turned on the hazard lights and wipers, pooped on the driver's seat and ... drank an old cup of soda, you have no choice.

You have to cover the story.

One of the most puzzling astronomical discoveries of the past decade has just gotten a little bit clearer. Astronomers still don't know what's producing the brief, powerful bursts of radio waves they've been detecting, but for the first time, they've been able to see where one of them is coming from.

Astronomers first detected these so-called fast radio bursts in 2007. Until now, all 16 FRBs that have been reported have been found by combing through archival data.

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