News

Unemployment is ticking up across the South and Central Coasts.

The California Employment Development Department is reporting that the jobless rate in Ventura County was 5% in July, up a half-percent from June. In Santa Barbara County, unemployment increased by 0.4% to 4.7% last month. And, in San Luis Obispo County, jobless numbers also rose. The unemployment rate was 4.2% in July compared to 3.7% a month earlier.

A nearly 200 acre piece of scenic land will remain as undeveloped open space forever, thanks to the landowner and a land trust.

A beautiful piece of land near the Taft Botanic Gardens, in Ojai is going to be preserved.

The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust put together the preservation deal for landowners John and Melody Taft, and their Taft Family Fund.   They will keep owners, but by placing it in a conservation easement, it will insure that it can never be developed even if it changes hands.

A man who’s spent more than a half century working for a Central Coast college, eventually becoming its Superintendent/President, has announced his retirement.

Dr. Gil Stork will step down as head of Cuesta College in June of 2018.

Stork has served at Cuesta’s Superintendent/President for the last seven years, a period which included the passage of a $275 million dollar bond measure. He also helped launch a scholarship program which gives local students who meet academic standards a free first year at the campus.

A new project intended to deal with what’s been a decades old problem at a Highway 101 underpass on the South Coast is complete.

The Highway 101 undercrossing at Castillo Street has had issues for years, because of underground water which would continually damage the roadway. Water in the undercrossing due to the seepage would also create safety concerns.

Tobias is on the job on Santa Cruz Island.

He was once a shelter dog in Montana. But, he’s now an environmental superstar. Tobias is a one of a kind “ant-dog”. He’s the only dog in the world trained to track down a specific invasive species of ant in the wild.

Diversity is going to be celebrated in a big way on the South Coast this weekend, with Ventura County’s 18th annual Pride Festival.

Thousands are expected for Beachside Pride 2017, in Promenade Park in Ventura.

A new survey of the top regions in America for sustainable growth efforts includes part of the South Coast.

The Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura area ranked 8th on the national list.

The list weighs a series of 17 sustainability goals, with the final ranking based on how communities deal with issues like hunger and pollution. It’s compiled by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which is a United Nations global initiative. It's part of an effort to develop, and promote standards for sustainable development.

A State Senator representing parts of the Central and South Coasts has announced legislation intended to help prevent sexual harassment in parts of the business world.

Democratic State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara says SB224 will address harassment in the venture capital industry. Jackson says the legislation was inspired by reports she’s heard about women entrepreneurs facing improper behavior while trying to get funding from tech investors.

t was one of the worst environmental accidents on the Central and South Coasts in decades.  The May, 2015 rupture of an oil pipeline on Santa Barbara County’s Gaviota coastline caused a more than 140,000 gallon oil spill.

As a result of the accident, the continuing shutdown of two pipelines has blocked the shipment of oil from the Central and South Coasts to refineries in Kern County.

Now, Texas-based Plains All-American Pipeline announced rather than repair damaged and worn section of Pipelines 901 and 903, it’s developed a plan to completely replace them.

A South Coast supermarket aisle was the unlikely scene of a standoff between a teenage shoplifting suspect armed with a knife, and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies.

Officers were called to the 100 block of Turnpike Road in Santa Barbara just after 7 Wednesday night by reports of several teen shoplifters. Some of the teens fled outside when deputies arrived, but a 15 year old boy who was contained in an aisle repeatedly challenged the officers.

Thursday is going to be an emotional day for a Santa Barbara County family, with a post office being renamed after a Navy SEAL officer who died in the line of duty in Afghanistan.

Santa Barbara’s Victoria Court Post office is being renamed the “Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer Lou Langlais Post Office Building.”

The Santa Barbara native was one of 17 SEALS who died on August 6th, 2011 when their helicopter was shot down.

Photo by Athena Maguire

A Central Coast scientist has found that algae are resilient despite the effect of climate change on the ocean, which is good news for large sea snails known as abalone.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo biologist Dr. Jennifer O’Leary took a closer look at ocean acidification, which is caused by climate change. This happens when carbon dioxide is absorbed by seawater and chemical reactions increase the acidity of the water. She says previous studies have shown that coralline algae – which are critical to abalone’s ability to reproduce -- are sensitive to ocean acidification.

It’s an event more than seven decades in coming for a soldier from the Central Coast, whose remains are coming home more than seven decades after he died during World War II.

A community leader on the Central Coast for more than two decades has announced he will retire.

Rick Haydon will step down as Santa Maria’s City Manager in December. Haydon has worked in government for three decades.

In 1996, he joined the City of Santa Maria as Assistant City Manager. In 2011, he became City Manager. Haydon dealt with a number of issues while managing the city ranging from the impacts of the recession and employee layoffs to the controversy surrounding some officer-involved shootings.

Plans to find a successor haven’t been announced yet.

After more than three weeks on the South Coast, the Dallas Cowboys are set to wrap up their training camp in Oxnard, and return to Texas.

The Cowboys have held 15 practices at their fields next to the Marriott Residence Inn, on West Vineyard Avenue on Oxnard. There’s still one more practice, and chance to see the players in action on the schedule.

They are set to work out at 10:45 Thursday morning.

Carpinteria city leaders have decided to avoid legal action and change the city's election process.

Currently, councilmembers are chosen by an at-large citywide process.

The threatened legal action says the current system violates the voting rights act, and is an abridgement of Latino voting rights.

A Central Coast fire department is getting a new ladder truck, largely due to a million dollar federal grant.

Santa Maria firefighters say their current ladder truck is 18 years old, and has had increasing maintenance problems. The new truck will have a 102 foot ling ladder, which will allow it to better reach some of the newer, larger buildings in the city.

It’s expected to cost Santa Maria between $1.2 and $1.5 million dollars, with the city making up the difference between the million dollar grant and the final price tag.

It’s an iconic part of California’s history which has been commemorated in many ways, on the state’s flag, and through mascots for major universities like UCLA and UC Berkeley. 

Now, a project led by a UC Santa Barbara researcher is underway to help us learn more about the extinct California Grizzly bear.

Eight men were arrested during a prostitution sting operation in Santa Barbara County.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s detectives placed an online ad inferring that a woman was offering sexual services at a Santa Maria motel. Investigators say the men offered payment, so when they showed up at the motel they were arrested.

Five men were arrested on solicitation of prostitution charges. Three others face additional charges as well.

After the Secretary of the Interior ended the review of the status of five national monuments, a Santa Barbara congressman asked that one in our region be added to the exemption list.

Democratic Congressman Salud Carbajal sent a letter to Secretary Ryan Zinke asking him to end the review of the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

One of the newest plays headed to Broadway is putting a Ventura County community in the spotlight.

The Ojai Chamber of Commerce is going to want to send some big gift baskets to a Broadway theater. Comedy legend Steve Martin’s latest play is set in Ojai.

Firefighters are investigating what they say appear to be arson fires on the Central Coast, which destroyed some cars and briefly forced some residents of a nearby apartment complex out of their homes.

The fires were discovered at around three a.m. Monday between N and O streets in Lompoc. Three vehicles were gutted.

Firefighters stopped the flames as they started to move into the laundry room of an apartment complex adjacent to some of the burning vehicles. No one was hurt.

A hastily put together rally brought over 100 people together in Santa Barbara, to show solidarity with the people of Charlottesville, VA.

A violent, deadly conflict took place there over the weekend that police say was linked to a racial divide and white supremacy issues.

It was the early days of World War II, and it wasn’t going well for America.

The U.S. Navy was hard hit by the attack on Pearl Harbor, and it only had a handful of aircraft carrier compared to the Japanese Navy. The Navy could ill afford to use the few carriers it had to train the aviators it would need to fight back in the Pacific.

John Davies is Executive Producer of “Heroes On Deck: World War II On Lake Michigan,” a documentary being shown in Santa Barbara on Thursday which chronicles the unique, but almost forgotten way the Navy solved its carrier pilot training problem.

The CHP has put a new call for help in finding a man wanted for a hit and run collision in Ventura County which killed a popular local theater director.

John Slade was driving on the northbound 101 near Victoria Road in Ventura July 6th when his car hit by another northbound vehicle. He lost control and crashed. The Ojai man died at a hospital a few hours later.

A group of young people is doing a cleanup as part of a large environmental restoration project on the South Coast.

About two dozen teenagers at the Santa Clara River in Santa Paula picked up trash -- paper, plastic bags, cans, cigarette butts…even a shopping cart.

Authorities have arrested a man for a crime that caused a scare for residents of a South Coast community.

Simi Valley Police say on Friday they arrested 23-year-old Darnell McDuffie, a transient from Oxnard, on burglary and assault charges. It stems from an incident that happened on July 22nd. Police say around 5:30 that morning, they received a call from a resident who interrupted a burglary in her condo on the 1700 block of Sinaloa Road. Detectives say the suspect battered the woman and tried to restrain her using duct tape.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reserve deputy from Thousand Oaks died after suffering a medical emergency during a mountain bike competition among law enforcement officers.

Jacob Castroll was taking part in the World Police and Fire Games. The 67 year old man was riding on a bike course near Castaic when he collapsed yesterday morning. He was taken to a Valencia hospital, where he later died.  The exact cause of death hasn't been determined.

A man who murdered his wife and wounded three others at a Ventura County dentist’s office will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Jamie Paredes was sentenced to 71 years to life in prison for the July, 2009 attack in Simi Valley. The now 38 year old man shot to death Mariela Paredes, and wounded three of her co-workers.

Paredes had entered guilty pleas to one murder, and three attempted murder counts.

(Santa Barbara County Animal Services photo)

Authorities are investigating a shocking animal abuse case in Santa Barbara County.

Some 20 plus rabbits were abandoned near a dumpsite north of Los Olivos, in the Santa Ynez Valley.

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