News

It’s a parent’s nightmare.

A five year old boy is so excited to see his father that he runs into the family’s driveway as the father drives into it, striking the child. That’s what happened to Jacob Suarez of Oxnard on August 20th.  But, a newly available treatment at a revamped Ventura County hospital saved his spleen, and perhaps his life.

Photo by Emammal

The risk of tick-borne disease could increase in the future. South Coast researchers are finding that wildlife loss and climate change can cause the number of ticks to rise dramatically.

UC Santa Barbara biologists conducted a study in Kenya and found that the experiment plot where they excluded the largest animals also experienced the largest increase in the number of ticks. Hillary Young, an associate professor in UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, says that was exacerbated in warmer and drier climates.

A Ventura County man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted of molesting young girls, including some he was trying to keep in his home as foster children.

Prosecutors say Thomas Bork had been molesting children since the 1970’s, and continued it as he moved around the state over the decades.

The Camarillo man was finally arrested in 2010. The 69 year old man was convicted of more than a half dozen molestation counts, and sentenced to 124 years behind bars.

A man convicted of killing a television executive after some key evidence in the case was found in a Ventura County storage locker has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.

John Creech was convicted of the 2012 slaying of Gavin Smith. The 20th Century Fox executive was last seen alive in Agoura Hills. In 2013, Smith’s car was found in a Simi Valley storage locker linked to Creech. But, it wasn’t until 2014 that Smith’s body was discovered by a hiker in the desert near Palmdale.

There may be new hope that a Central Coast national monument may be keeping its protected status.

President Trump ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review that status of more than two dozen national monuments, with an eye towards relaxing some of their protections so they could be open to oil, or other natural resource development.

The review included the more than 240,000 acre Carrizo Plain National Monument, northeast of Santa Maria in San Luis Obispo, and Kern Counties. The reviews created massive opposition.

Fire crews raced to the Santa Barbara Riviera Monday afternoon, when brush caught fire near Cleveland Elementary School on Alameda Padre Serra.

The area burning was small but was close to portable buildings on the campus.

Authorities say a necropsy may explain what led to a black bear wandering down from the mountains to a South Coast beach, and refusing to leave.

The 320 pound bear turned up at Rincon Beach near Carpinteria April 19th, and people noted it was acting strangely like it was confused. California Fish and Wildlife wardens observed the bear, eventually tranquilizing and removing it.

After it was examined by a veterinarian and determined to be in poor health, it was euthanized. The necropsy shows the 15 year old bear was suffering from a massive brain tumor.

A hearing is set for Tuesday over the arrest of a man on immigration charges who was involved in a number of community projects in Ventura County.

Luis Lopez-Diaz is a business owner, and board member for the Oxnard-based Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project. The organization provides community services for thousands of Mixtecs who have moved to Ventura County.

A bill by a legislator from Ventura County intended to help academically struggling community college students is now on the governor’s desk, awaiting his action.

AB 705 would require the colleges to use a broader approach in deciding which incoming students need to take mandatory remedial courses.

A South Coast city may start including social responsibility in its investment decisions.

The City of Santa Barbara is looking at adding a clause to its current policy which would discourage investing in businesses involved in weapons, tobacco products, nuclear power, and fossil fuel. The City’s Finance Committee developed the proposal which goes to the full city council Tuesday.

(Photo from John Palminteri)

An inferno ripped through a laundromat in Santa Barbara, destroying it early Monday morning.

Firefighters were called at 2 a.m. Monday to a blaze on the 1900 block of De La Vina Street.  They discovered there was no one in the building, but flames were shooting from the building.

(U.S. Forest Service photo)

He’s a firefighter, like hundreds of firefighters from the Central and South Coasts.

But Brian Pontes doesn’t use a fire truck to get to blazes. The Santa Barbara County man is part of a rare breed of firefighters who literally drops in on brush, and forest fires in some of the most remote parts of Western America.

Photo by Jennifer Perry

Dozens of archaeological sites have recently been discovered on the Channel Islands by a group of South Coast researchers. 

Santa Barbara Island is only one-square mile. It’s the smallest of the Channel Islands and the most isolated. In the 1960s, 19 archaeological sites were discovered.

Jennifer Perry, a Cal State Channel Islands anthropologist and archaeologist, was part of a team that re-surveyed the island over the last few years to find more than 40 additional archaeological sites, tripling the number of known sites and changing the view of the island’s prehistory.

A longtime community leader on the South Coast has died.

Jeanne Graffy served as a Santa Barbara City Councilwoman, and a Santa Barbara County Supervisor. Graffy was also involved in a number of community groups and projects.

Graffy died of natural causes. She was 91 years old.

(Photo by Santa Maria Valley Humane Society)

More than a hundred homeless dogs and cats who were victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston are now living on the South and Central Coasts.

Unemployment numbers for the South and Central Coast are mixed.

According to the California Employment Development Department, Ventura County’s jobless rate jumped from 5% in July to 5.3% in August. Unemployment also rose in San Luis Obispo County where it increased by 0.1% to 4.3% in August. The percentage of people out of work in Santa Barbara County actually dipped slightly from 4.7% in July to 4.6% last month.

A South Coast community is celebrating the preservation of 20 acres of ocean bluff land which has been zoned for development as a resort for decades.

A whirlwind campaign raised nearly eight million dollars to buy, and preserve a unique chunck of undeveloped land overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  It's a section of the Carpinteria Bluffs which has been zoned for development, and could potential have been the site of a resort.

A bill by a Ventura County legislator intended to continue efforts to promote energy savings is now headed to the Governor’s desk for his consideration.

AB 797 would extend incentives for people to use solar energy instead of natural gas or wood to heat water or air. It calls for the renewal through 2020 of a current program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by offering rebates for those using solar systems.

The legislation passed by the State Assembly and State Senate was authored by Democratic Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin of Thousand Oaks.

An 88 year old woman is dead after a head on wrong way crash on Highway 101 on the South Coast.

CHP investigators are still trying to figure out how a northbound car got onto the southbound lanes of the 101 near Westlake Boulevard in Thousand Oaks yesterday afternoon.

The elderly Westlake Village woman headed the wrong way was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Her name hasn’t been released yet. The driver of the car she hit was taken to the hospital with serious  injuries.  

The accident snarled traffic on the 101 for hours during the afternoon commute.

A lost hiker is safe and sound after she became lost during a hike, and spent a night in the hills of eastern Ventura County.

Martha Moreno was reported missing at around 7:30 Wednesday night, after she failed to return from a hike in the hills north of Highway 118 on Simi Valley. Helicopters and ground crews searched unsuccessfully for the 66 year old woman overnight.

A Santa Barbara congressman is co-author of bipartisan legislation intended to make it easier for veterans to get some benefits they’re supposed to receive.

The Veterans Record Reconstruction Act would streamline the process of rebuilding missing, or damaged service records. The records are key in determining the eligibility of veterans for benefits. A fire decades ago destroyed the records of millions of World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans, making it difficult for some of them to get the benefits they are eligible to receive.

(Caltrans photo)

An environmental report has been released on a cutting edge proposal to build the state’s first wildlife highway crossing on Highway 101.

Caltrans is proposing construction of the crossing west of Liberty Canyon Road, in Agoura Hills.

Detectives say a counterfeiter operating around the country, and in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties was so confident of his abilities he used a bad check to post bail.

Investigators say it was a string of bad checks in Ventura County which led to the arrest of Cedric Frierson.

It’s been a wild week for an NFL team this week, and it has nothing to do with its play on the field.

The Miami Dolphins are practicing in Oxnard, after being displaced by Hurricane Irma.

Detectives say the murderer, and the victim in what they believe was a murder-suicide in Santa Barbara County had known each other for years.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies were called to an apartment on Aldus Drive in Goleta Tuesday  morning by reports of a disturbance.

They found the body of Christina Martin of Tampa Bay, Florida in an apartment. The body of Beth Michelle Curnow of Goleta was found in the building’s garage.

Detectives aren’t talking about what they think led to the deaths, but they say Curnow killed Martin, and then took her own life.

A South Coast airport which has a huge shortage of hangar space has received a federal grant which will help efforts to ease the problem.

Camarillo Airport is getting $3.7 million dollars from the Federal Aviation Administration to build a new aircraft parking area. The 16,000 square foot apron will set the stage for the addition of new hangar space.

There’s currently a five year waiting list for hangar space at the airport.

A Central Coast county has made a big move, hiring its first time ever full-time forensic pathologist.

San Luis Obispo County officials say the hiring is historic in multiple ways, because Dr. Joyce Carter is also the nation’s first African-American Chief Medical Examiner.

A Ventura County man is expected to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to kidnapping one woman, and murdering a second.

Andres Rodriguez had been charged a series of crimes leading to the July, 2013 slaying of Angela Bryant of Santa Paula. The Oxnard man killed Bryant because he believed she had stolen some items from her.

An accomplice in the crimes, Melissa Salazar of Santa Paula, pled guilty to kidnapping and robbery charges, and is expected to get a 20 year prison sentence.

Ventura County has taken a stand calling for protections for undocumented residents brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

(U.S. Forest Service photo)

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An unusual brush fire on the South Coast is being mopped up by an even more unusual team of firefighters.

Smoke jumpers dropped in to battle, and stop a lightning-sparked brush fire burning on Santa Cruz Island.

A boater spotted the fire at about 9 a.m. Monday in the Scorpion Canyon area.

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