News

The public is getting another chance Wednesday  to weigh in on controversial plans for a new power plant on the South Coast.

NRG Energy is trying to build a new power plant at Oxnard’s Mandalay Beach, to replace an existing facility.

The plans have created a firestorm of controversy. Oxnard residents and community leaders say the need for the plant is questionable, and that it’s unfair that a new facility is being proposed for a city which already has more than its fair share.

A financially troubled museum in Ventura County is getting a reprieve, in the form of a cash infusion from some local government agencies.

The Museum of Ventura County has been losing between $400,000 and $600,000 annually for the last few years, and has exhausted almost all of its reserves. The museum is developing a new management plan to try to get back on track, but its leaders say they need financial support to make it work.

Photo by Nick Schooler

Scientists on the South Coast who study the biodiversity of California beaches are finding that it’s the management of those beaches – and not necessarily climate change – that’s causing major impacts.

UC Santa Barbara researchers evaluated the biodiversity of 13 beaches across the state and compared their results to those of the 1970s. They found that on some beaches, the biggest decline was in intertidal animals like crustaceans and insects that live in the sand near the high tide line.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department needs more K-9 units and an effort is underway to add two new dog deputies to the team.

The name "Project Deputy Dog" has been given to the effort by the non-profit public Sheriff's Benevolent Posse.

This public benefit corporation, made up of non-law enforcement volunteers, buys gear and offers support that is not normally in the annual budget.

For more than a century, a South Coast museum has been the centerpiece of Ventura County's historic and cultural heritage.

The Museum of Ventura County has more than 180,000 items ranging from pieces from the county’s history, to works by artists.

However, the museum is facing a major financial crisis. It’s seeking government and community help to survive.

Santa Barbara County is looking at ways it might handle some major issues with its emergency dispatch system.

The current facility which handles the Sheriff’s Office, County Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services doesn’t have a backup system, and isn’t interconnected with other 911 dispatch systems in the county.

One alternative calls for the agencies to continue to use the existing facility with some management and technological improvements. It would cost about $140,000 for the technological improvements, and $1.1 million dollars more in recurring costs.

One person is dead after a passenger train hit a car on the Central Coast.

The accident happened at a crossing near Highway 1, and Highway 166 in Guadalupe at around three p.m. Monday. The name of the victim hasn’t been released.

The governor has signed into a law authored by a state senator representing the Conejo Valley which is intended to provide additional support for child abuse victims.

SB 756 closes a loophole in state law which allowed some convicted child molesters to escape paying restitution for mental health services to their victims.

The legislation was authored by Democratic State Senator Henry Stern, who represents parts of eastern Ventura County, and sections of western Los Angeles County.

(Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office photo)

Law enforcement agencies on the Central and South Coast could be again be eligible for millions of dollars in funding to help cover the costs of dealing with drug smuggling boats.

(Photo by Zoe Wood)

Some Central Coast college students had the experience of a lifetime, taking part in an expedition which led to the discovery of a rare World War II era plane in the Mediterranean Ocean.

Sam Freed is a computer engineering student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo who was part of Cal Poly’s International Computer Engineering Experience Program. It’s an effort to give students some real life experiences to use what they’re learning in class. He calls it was an incredible experience.

It may be July, but pro football is in the spotlight on the South Coast Monday, with the Dallas Cowboys set to open their 2017 training camp in Oxnard.

Dallas Cowboys fans from around the country will be flocking to Oxnard, as the city hosts the team’s training camp July 24th through August 17th.

Photo by Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition

Bicycle advocates are hoping to bring a bike share network to the Santa Barbara area.

The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition envisions a fleet of self-service bikes available 24 hours a day in locations all around the Santa Barbara area. While this is only an idea, it’s a concept advocates are hoping to implement.

Eve Sanford with the Coalition says a bike share feasibility study was conducted and found that such a system could thrive in the region.

Containment Up To 87% On Whittier Brush Fire

Jul 23, 2017
(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters are continuing mopup operations on the 18,000 acre Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County, with no major new problems reported.

Containment is up to 87%, and there has been no significant growth in the fire for the last few days. The firefighting effort continues to be downsized, with nighttime firefighting operation ending over the weekend, and the number of personnel involved down to around 800.

Firefighters are hoping to get full containment of the fire in the next week.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, told lawmakers in a statement on Monday that he "did not collude... with any foreign government."

Kushner is meeting behind closed doors with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday and the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

Both panels are investigating Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and whether any members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

Police say they’ve made an arrest in connection with a murder in Ventura County this week.

Jonathan Zambrano was arrested this weekend for Wednesday night’s fatal shooting of Albert Salazar in Oxnard. The 24 year old man was shot on the 1300 block of West Guava Streeet, but was driven to the Oxnard Police station in downtown Oxnard. The Oxnard man died at a hospital a short time later.

Detectives aren’t talking about the motive for the slaying.

Photo by UCSB College of Engineering

Robots have been around for a long time. But, now, scientists are finding some amazing ways that they can help us. Imagine a robot that can do things humans can’t. South Coast researchers are developing robots with x-ray vision.

A robot that’s only about two feet tall can do some big things.

The labor market on the South and Central Coasts is experiencing a slump with unemployment rising.

The California Employment Development Department says the jobless rate in Ventura County increased to 4.5% in June from 3.8% in May. In Santa Barbara County, 4.3% of people were unemployed in June, which is up 0.8% from a month earlier. The unemployment rate in San Luis Obispo County jumped to 3.8% in June from 3% in May.

California's jobless rate remained the same at 4.7%, which matched the record low that occurred in 2000.

A bicyclist who was wearing headphones when he was struck and killed by a passenger train on the South Coast is now being identified.

Edmund Backus died when he hit by an Amtrak train yesterday afternoon near the Goleta Amtrak station.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office investigators sat the 51 year old Goleta man had his back to the train, and was wearing headphones so he couldn’t hear the train’s warning horn and whistle.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters are continuing to close in on containment on the 18,000 plus acre Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County.

The blaze in the Santa Ynez mountains south of Lake Cachuma is now 83% contained, with crews still optimistic about full containment by the end of the month. The fire, which began July 8th, destroyed 16 homes, and 30 other structures. It closed most of Highway 154 for more than a week.

A South Coast city which has closed some popular trails because of the danger posed by dead, and dying trees has announced it will hold a community meeting to discuss the problem.

The City of Goleta closed a number of the trails in the Ellwood Mesa area. The drought and then insects taking advantage of weakened trees have severely impacted the Mesa’s eucalyptus tree population. City officials say several hundred dead, or dying trees will need to be removed to protect the public’s safety, as well as help the healthy trees.

Los Angeles may now be home to two pro football teams, but for the next month, Oxnard can claim the franchise simply known as “America’s Team.”

Dallas Cowboys fans from around the country will be flocking to Oxnard, as the city hosts the team’s training camp from July 24th to August 17th.

(Mesa Architects)

It’s a piece of ocean bluff with a multi-million dollar view of the Santa Barbara Channel in Santa Barbara. It’s also a weed-strewn chunk of land off of Santa Barbara’s Shoreline Drive that’s hemmed in by a chain link fence.

Dennis Thompson is a Santa Barbara Mesa resident, who’s an architect. He’s part of a non-profit group called Mesa Architects, which is made up of people who work in the field and want to improve the Mesa area.

Thompson says the group’s latest project is try to turn the scraggly fenced-in field next to La Mesa Park into a scenic ocean overlook.

A bicyclist is dead after he was hit by the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train in Goleta on Thursday.

The train conductor said he honked his horn several times prior to the afternoon collision.

Detectives in Ventura County say they’ve broken up a rooftop burglary ring which has stolen at least a million dollars worth of merchandise from Southern California pawn shops and jewelry stores.

Simi Valley Police detectives say the burglars cut holes in the roofs and walls of businesses, and then breached steel and cement safes.

(USFS Photo)

Firefighters have 50% containment on a cluster of brush fires in the Los Padres National Forest between Santa Paula and Ojai.

Seven blazes were discovered in the Santa Paula Canyon area Wednesday night. Most of the blazes were quickly extinguished, but two combined make up about 30 of the 35 acres burned. The acreage figure is double what it was last night, but it isn’t due to growth of the fire. Firefighters say they were able to do a better job of mapping it.

No structures are threatened. The cause of the fires is under investigation.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Firefighters are continuing to make big progress in efforts to stop the Whittier brush fire, which has been burning since July 8th in Santa Barbara County.

Containment is up to 78% on the 18,000 acre blaze, which has shown very little growth since last weekend.

More than 1200 firefighters are still involved in working on the fire, but that’s down from around 2,000 at the fire’s peak. Some have been shifted to other fires in the state, while others have returned home.

Firefighters have said they hope to have total containment by the end of the month.

The former executive director of a foundation in Ventura County has been sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to grand theft and forgery.

Joanne Abruzzese worked at the Simi Valley Community Foundation for four years, including two as Executive Director. Ventura County prosecutors say the Simi Valley woman wrote foundation checks to a business she owned, and forged the second signature necessary to cash them. They say she stole more than $40,000 dollars.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

A brush fire which burned nearly 29,000 acres of land in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties has been fully contained.

The Alamo Fire started July 6th northeast of Santa Maria, near Twitchell Reservoir. The fire closed Highway 166 between Santa Maria, and New Cuyama for days, destroying a home, and damaging a building in the process.

While the fire has been contained, some firefighters will remain in the area for the next few weeks patrolling for potential hot spots. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Photo by California Lutheran University

The latest research by a scientist on the South Coast who studies DNA from shark teeth left behind after attacks will again be featured as a part of the Discovery Channel "Shark Week" TV specials.

Bryan Swig, a marine biologist and professor at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, has developed a process to extract DNA from the enamel of tooth fragments of great white sharks. Since sharks leave behind bits of tooth after taking a bite, he says his technique could eventually help identify the shark’s family group.

Firefighters are trying to get a handle on a series of brush fires near a popular trail in the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County.

The fires were reported at around seven Wednesday night between Santa Paula and Ojai, in the Santa Paula Canyon Trail area. There were seven fires, totaling about 20 acres.

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