The Academy Awards are this weekend, and for a woman who went to high school in Santa Barbara County, it’s going to be a weekend she’ll never forget.

Her animated short film is up for an Oscar. 

Nine people reportedly suffered from a drug overdose in Isla Vista Thursday night around 10:30.

Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies, fire personnel, and paramedics were called to the scene.

A multiple casualty incident was declared, requiring more emergency workers.

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

The Central and South Coasts escaped another major disaster in the form of a winter storm passing through the region.

There was locally heavy rainfall at times, but no major problems were reported in the region’s burn zones, especially in the hard hit Montecito area.  Mandatory evacuation orders for Santa Barbara County's Thomas, Whittier, and Sherpa burn areas were liefted at nine Friday morning.  Voluntary  evacuation orders for some Thomas Fire burn areas in Ventura County were canceled at 7 a.m. Friday.

The storm moving through the Central and South Coasts hasn’t caused any major problems, but we’re not done yet.

National Weather Service meteorologists say we’re still on track to get two to three inches of rain in our mountains. Rainfall on the coast could turn out to be a little less than expected, in the half inch to inch range.

The storm system has moved through the region slower than expected.

Ventura County public safety officials have issued voluntary evacuation orders for some parts of the county impacted by the Thomas brush fire.

The voluntary orders include Matilija Canyon, Highway 33's North Fork Area, the Vista Fire Burn Area, and Nye Road in the Casitas Springs area.

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

Tens of thousands of people left their homes in Santa Barbara County Thursday as a result of mandatory evacuations prompted by the winter storm moving into the region.

The storm is expected to peak in Santa Barbara County early Friday morning, and in Ventura County closer to daybreak. An inch of rain is possible along the coast, with up to three inches in the mountains.

A unique program to improve the safety of whales, and at the same time reduce air pollution along the California coast by getting ships to slow down is reporting new success.

The Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies program compensates shipping companies for voluntarily slowing the speed of their vessels to 12 knots or less in key coastal waters. The slower speeds reduce the chance of accidental whale strikes, and cut air pollution at the same time.

A veteran agricultural leader on the South Coast is being called out of retirement to serve as Ventura County’s Acting County Agricultural Commissioner.

Susan Johnson will temporarily fill the vacancy created by the departure of Henry Gonzales, who is leaving Ventura County to take a similar post in Monterey County.


Santa Barbara County public safety officials issued a mandatory evacuation order Thursday morning for the Thomas, Whitter, and Sherpa brush fire burn areas due to the approaching winter storm.

People need to be out of the evacuation zones by 6 Thursday night.

Thursday is going to be a long day for many people on the Central and South Coasts, as we wait for the arrival of the second big winter storm of the season. Concern remains high about the potential for flooding, and debris flows in and around brush fire burn areas, especially in Santa Barbara County.

A Recommended Evacuation Warning is in effect in the county, but so far authorities have held off on a mandatory evacuation order. Some people have already evacuated as a precaution.

(Santa Barbara County Map)

Public safety officials say they are keeping a close eye on a storm approaching the Central and South Coasts, but at this point are holding off on any mandatory evacuation orders in brush fire burn areas.

The Red Cross has opened an evacuation center on the South Coast for people who’ve decided they want to evacuate in advance of Thursday's impending storm, even before mandatory evacuation orders have been issued.

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

Public safety officials in Santa Barbara County are beefing up staffing in the county in anticipation of what's expected to be a significant storm Thursday and Friday.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department officials say they will have extra resources on hand, as will all of the fire agencies in the county.

The Thomas Fire put a huge dent in Santa Barbara’s hotel tax revenue in December, but just released January figures show a major spike in revenues related to the disaster.

Santa Barbara’s Transient Occupancy Taxes for January were up 22% over January of 2017.

The front-end costs for Santa Barbara County continue to carry a heavy price tag in the wake of two natural disasters.

The county has just issued a report that says it spent about $46 million in emergency response costs.

This is linked to the Thomas Fire in December and the Montecito Mudflow which began on January 9th.

Concern about an incoming storm causing flooding, and debris flows in brush fire burn areas in Santa Barbara County prompted the county the county to issue a recommended evacuation warning, effective at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The order applies to the Thomas, Whittier, and Sherpa brush fire burn areas.

Some arrests have been made in connection with a pair of murders in Ventura County.

Aaron Austin and Eduardo Leon were both shot to death in separate attacks last May in Oxnard.

A well capping project is underway on the Summerland coastline, where what's knoen as the Becker oil well has been leaking for years.

It dates back to the early 1900s when offshore and onshore oil drilling first began in Summerland.

A South Coast base chamber music group has announced its schedule for its next two seasons, with a 20 performance lineup which will explore the works of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Camerata Pacifica will collaborate with the acclaimed Calder Quartet.

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

The storm which had initially triggered concerns about the potential for flooding, and debris flows in brush fire burn areas in Santa Barbara County turned out to be little more than light rain for the region. 

Rainfall amounts were less than a quarter of an inch throughout the region, with most areas getting less under a tenth of an inch.  No evacuations were ordered.

A popular gun range in Santa Barbara County is closed temporarily as the result of an accident which took the life of a teenager.

Los Padres National Forest officials say they will keep the Arroyo Burro Shooting Area near East Camino Cielo closed for at least 30 days.

Santa Barbara County public safety officials say no heavy rainfall is anticipated in burn areas from a storm which will move through the region Monday night into Tuesday, so they aren’t ordering evacuations.

(NASA Photo)

He's piloted one of the space shuttles.  He's commanded the International Space station.

Astronaut Terry Virts is visiting the South Coast and will show some of his incredible photographs he took from space.

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

A sold out event in Carpinteria hosted by comedian Dennis Miller, and featuring Katy Perry and Kenny Loggins raised nearly $2 million dollars for Thomas Fire and flood relief efforts.

The "One 805 Kick Ash Bash" at the Santa Barbara Polo Grounds was held Sunday to benefit law enforcement and firefighters groups, as well as Direct Relief International, which is involved in relief efforts.

The latest forecast models show the chance of heavy rain in brush fire burn zones on the Central and South Coasts from an approaching storm has dropped dramatically.

The storm moving through the region is expected to drop about a quarter to a third of an inch of rain Monday night into Tuesday. But, the bigger concern was about instability creating thunderstorms which could drop more than a half inch of rain in burn zones during a short period of time.

There’s something new that promotes literacy at parks in Ventura County.

Some people come to Camino Real Park in Ventura to play basketball. Others come for baseball. And now there’s another reason to stop by the park.

“It’s a little library. It’s a little free place for people to drop things off and pick up some cool treasures,” says Julie Morris of Ventura.

A storm system moving onto the Central and South Coasts Monday afternoon is expected to bring about a third of an inch of rain to the region, but it’s also prompting a pre-evacuation advisory for some burn areas.

The advisory is over concern that we could see some locally heavy thunderstorms which impact brush fire burn areas, like the Thomas, Whittier, Sherpa, and Alamo burn zones.

There was a rash of threats reported at schools around the country on Friday in the wake of the Florida shooting, but one led to an arrest on the South Coast.

Deputies responded to a threat of violence involving a firearm that they say was made by a Carpinteria Middle School student. School staff reported that the threat came from a 13-year-old boy on-campus and was overheard by his fellow students.

A Ventura County supervisor wants the county to support federal gun control efforts.

County Supervisor Steve Bennett is asking fellow supervisors to endorse efforts for stronger federal laws.

Poisons had long been used to protect levees and dams from rodents. But, now, Ventura County has turned to a more environmentally friendly approach. A South Coast Boy Scout troop is helping the county attract birds of prey to do the work that poisons once did.