Ten cargo ship companies are taking part in a program to get cargo ships passing through the Santa Barbara Channel to slow down, with the dual incentives of reducing the chances of the ships striking whales and cutting air pollution.

The effort is building on a 2014 pilot program involving government agencies and foundations. The cargo ship companies receive financial compensation of $1500 to $2500 to slow their transits to 12 knots or less, with additional payments if they slow to 10 knots or less, and provide evidence they didn’t speed up elsewhere on their route.

The governor signed into law legislation authored by a state senator from Santa Barbara to help disabled veterans who get jobs in California’s public schools.

SB 1180 gives disabled veterans who are new school employees extra sick days during their first year on the job so they don’t lose their positions because they are getting needed medical care. Democratic State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara says her bill is a way of repaying those who served their country, and are now serving our students.

Authorities are looking for a federal prison inmate who apparently walked away from a minimum security facility in Santa Barbara County.

Vincente Ramirez Junior was discovered missing from the U.S. Penitentiary Lompoc’s Satellite Prison Camp at around four p.m. Monday.

The 27 year old Central California man was serving a 15 year sentence for drugs and weapons convictions. Federal, state, and local officials are looking for the man.

A Ventura County woman has been sentenced to more than seven years in state prison for stealing money from people who thought they were investing in real estate projects.

Ventura County prosecutors say Gregoria Mendoza of Oak View operated at least six separate schemes in Ventura, Los Angeles, and Tulare Counties, and stole close to a half million dollars.

Fire crews responded quickly to a call at Westmont College in Montecito yesterday, where they extinguished flames in a closet at the Page residence hall.

The fire took place around 6 pm, and forced 200 students from their rooms for the night.

Would you like to get more of your electricity from solar power, or other renewable sources? A study is underway to see if Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties, as well as the cities in the region might want to pursue a program which might make it possible.

An 88 year old bicyclist struck by a pickup truck which apparently drifted onto the shoulder of a Goleta street has died as the result of his injuries.

Roman Parades was driving a three wheel bicycle on Calle Real towards Glenn Anne Road around 6:30 Friday morning when he was hit. The pickup truck driver remained at the scene, and was not arrested because it was determined alcohol, drugs and cell phone use weren’t factors in the accident.

The Goleta bicyclist was taken off of life support Saturday.

The Governor has signed a pair of bills from a state senator from Santa Barbara intended to improve the environment for children in schools.

Democratic State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara authored SB 1375, which requires schools to be aware of their responsibilities to prevent gender discrimination as required by federal law. It also requires schools to insure that students, parents, and staff are aware of their rights under the Title IX legislation passed by Congress in 1972.

The Governor has signed into law a bill co-authored by a South Coast legislator intended to help protect children from identity theft.

AB 1580 allows a parent, guardian, or conservator to freeze the credit of a child under 16 years old. Democratic Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin of Thousand Oaks says she felt the law was needed because child identity theft often goes unnoticed for years, until the child is old enough to apply for a job or student loan.

There’s been yet another brush fire on Vandenberg Air Force Base, the fourth in less than two weeks.

The latest blaze broke out just before noon today, near Firefighter and Corral Roads. Firefighters aided by helicopters, and air tankers were able to stop the spread of the four acre blaze in a little over an hour. No structures were reported threatened. There’s no word yet on the cause of the fire.