Debra Greene

Weekend On-Air Host / Reporter

Debra Greene is an award-winning broadcast journalist. She is a native Southern Californian, Phi Beta Kappa graduate from UCLA with an M.A. in broadcast journalism from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication. She started her career as a weekend news writer for a station in Los Angeles and then moved to Northern California to become a news reporter for a top Sacramento radio station. She returned to Los Angeles to report for radio, with a stint at KCET’s newsmagazine show, SoCal Connected. Before joining KCLU, Debra anchored at an Inland Empire-based radio station and worked as a radio news correspondent for 24/7 News Source, where her reports were aired on stations across the country.
 
Debra has earned numerous journalism awards including the Simon T. Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism from USC, two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, an APTRA Mark Twain Award, a NorCal RTNDA Award and four Golden Mikes.
 
You can hear Debra anchoring on weekend mornings and her reports during the week, and you can reach Debra here.

Ways to Connect

Photo by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

A body has been found in Santa Barbara County that authorities say is that of a five-year-old boy who’s been missing since April and whose father is charged with his murder.

The search for Aramazd Andressian Jr. continued on Friday.

“Based on additional leads developed in the Andressian case, Homicide detectives returned to the Lake Cachuma area of Santa Barbara County in an effort to locate additional evidence,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy Guillermina Saldana.

A tremendous amount of food goes to waste. So, a university on the South Coast is leading the way in diverting food waste from landfills. Students are composting on campus.

I step into an electric car here at UC Santa Barbara.

"This is our composting mobile. We use all electric vehicles here because our goal is zero waste," said Kaitlyn Haberlin, an environmental studies and archeology double major.

Photo by Fit Moms

A Central Coast professor helped create an online weight loss program that has led to significant weight loss for low-income mothers following their pregnancies.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Kinesiology professor Suzanne Phelan says it’s especially important to help low-income women lose weight postpartum.

“They lack access to effective empirical-based weight loss programs and low-income women are at high risk for long-term weight gain and associated comorbidities,” she said.

There are ways to make your home more energy efficient. You can learn all about it at a workshop this week on the Central Coast. 

Santa Barbara County has a program called emPower that focuses on helping single-family homeowners achieve energy efficiency. Ashley Watkins with emPower says there are a lot of things you can do.

(Ventura County Sheriff's Office Photo)

Authorities raid a large drug lab on the South Coast and make several arrests.

Ventura County Sheriff’s officials say on Friday they went to a home on the 5500 block of Heatherton Drive in Somis to serve a felony arrest warrant for Kooshawn Shokrai who was living there. When detectives entered the home, they discovered it was converted into an elaborate butane honey oil lab.

Scientists at biotech companies conduct genetic engineering in their labs to create medicines and other life-saving products to treat patients. And, some high school students on the South Coast are getting hands-on experience in biotechnology.

Students at Newbury Park High School are running their own biotech experiments in the process of producing a protein from genetically modified bacteria.

Photo by Ventura County Sheriff's Department

A body found near a hiking trail may be that of a South Coast man who has been missing for a week.

Ventura County Sheriff’s officials say 65-year-old Clyde Miller hasn’t been seen since June 17th, and his disappearance was reported to the department on Thursday.

Photo by Peter Allen/Brian Long

UC Santa Barbara scientists have corrected a flaw in antibiotic testing that could now help patients recover from infections.

The standard antibiotic test has been used worldwide since 1961. But UC Santa Barbara biologist Michael Mahan says it may not be working as well as it should be.

“People are not petri plates. And because the test is on a petri plate, it does not accurately reflect what may happen in the body,” he said.

Some changes are being made at a college on the South Coast in an effort to reach more people in the community.

Santa Barbara City College is undergoing a reorganization and expansion of some of its noncredit and fee-based programs. These courses will now fall under a new umbrella called School of Extended Learning.

A South Coast woman has been killed after authorities say her sister accidentally struck her with a car.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says 55-year-old Dora Perez was standing in her driveway on the 1300 block of Vallecito Place in Carpinteria around 7:15 Saturday morning when her 70-year-old sister was moving a nearby vehicle. Officials say the car suddenly sped out of control, hitting Perez and pinning her against the wall of the house.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

A law enforcement agency on the South Coast is mourning one of their own. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve lost a member their family.

Forty-one-year-old Custody Deputy Trevor Carpenter died on Wednesday after a fight with Leukemia. He had been with the Sheriff’s office since 2003. He was an avid photographer, supporter of the Boy Scouts and a huge Dodgers fan. He was also a family man. Carpenter leaves behind his wife of 19 years and four children.

Photo by Andrew Hill

There’s an effort to get Santa Barbara County residents to go solar.

The Community Environmental Council has launched Solarize Santa Barbara County, which is its first countywide group purchasing program.

April Price, a renewable energy specialist with CEC, says it provides residents with discounted solar electric systems while helping the environment.

Low-income families on the South Coast now have a place to call home.  

“There’s no words to express how happy we are,” said Evangelina Medina.

She, along with her husband and three children, moved into their new house in Santa Paula last week. After moving out of a home that was falling apart, she says she’s relieved that her children now have a safe place to live.

Photo by VCAAA

Free screenings are now being offered on the South Coast to people who may be having memory issues.

The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging is providing 15-minute memory screenings as part of an initiative by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Monica Neece, who conducts memory screenings for the County, says residents who are at least 18-years-old may get tested.

A shooting on the South Coast has left three people injured.

Santa Paula Police say officers responded just before 3 a.m. Saturday to a trailer park in the 200 block of South Beckwith Road. An investigation determined that three people were confronted by two suspects before the shooting occurred.

Health officials are warning the public not to come into contact with water in part of a South Coast city due to a sewage spill.

Ventura County’s Environmental Health Division says around 7 a.m. Friday, about 500 gallons of raw sewage was discharged in Simi Valley in the 1100 block of Waltham Circle. It was the result of a blockage in the city’s main line, which was later cleared and the discharge stopped.

The fields of science and engineering are dominated by men. So, there’s an effort across the nation to encourage young women to become scientists and engineers. Some girls on the South Coast are learning about those fields in an unusual way. 

A South Coast man has a special connection to the International Space Station.

In 2013, Anacapa School students from Santa Barbara spoke to Astronaut Chris Cassidy who was aboard the International Space Station via a program called Amateur Radio on the International Space Station or ARISS.

The teacher of that class, Levi Maaia – who’s on the Board of the Santa Barbara Radio Club and is now earning his PhD in education at UC Santa Barbara – has been named to the ARRIS U.S Education Committee, which provides guidance on educational aspects of the program.

Photo by FEMA

Some South Coast homeowners may soon be forced to purchase flood insurance as federal officials create new coastal flood maps.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA has used new technology and data to create revised draft flood maps for the Ventura County coast.

Sergio Vargas with the County Watershed Protection District says some properties have been removed from the floodplain while other properties have been included for the first time.

A body has been discovered on the South Coast.

Ventura County Sheriff’s officials say the remains of a man were found in a wash near State Route 23 and Whitecliff Road in Thousand Oaks around 6 pm Saturday.

There’s no word on the cause of death. The case is under investigation.

Arrests have been made in connection to a series of vehicle burglaries and thefts on the South Coast.

Thousand Oaks Police say in early April, there was a number of car break-ins in the city of Thousand Oaks and in the unincorporated area of Oak Park. Detectives say the suspects took numerous items of property including cash and credit cards. They're accused of using the stolen credit cards to make several hundred dollars’ worth of fraudulent purchases.

Hundreds of children spent a day learning about the inner workings of a government agency on the South Coast as part of an effort to raise their enthusiasm about the fields of science and technology.

A robotic tractor with arms called a skidsteer - operated via remote control - used to pick up debris to clear channels was part of the demonstration to the more than 700 children from preschool to high school taking part in Public Works Day in Ventura.

Photo by Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

A South Coast professor is playing an important role in analyzing opinions about climate change across the nation.

Researchers say about 70% of Americans think global warming is happening. While that’s encouraging to scientists, it doesn’t paint the full picture. That’s why Matto Mildenberger, an assistant professor of political science at UC Santa Barbara, became one of the lead researchers in creating a map that details climate beliefs at every level – including the hyper-local.

Photo by Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara

A scholarship fund in Santa Barbara County that’s been helping teens go to college for more than a half century will reach a big milestone this week.

The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara will surpass the $100 million mark in scholarships awarded to more than 47,000 students during its 55-year history.

A group of kids played basketball this weekend on the South Coast, but there was no running across the court.  That's because they were all in wheelchairs.

About a dozen six-  to 19-year-olds who must use a wheelchair to do physical activities participated in this Junior Wheelchair Mini-Sports Camp on Saturday at Camino Real Park in Ventura.

Fire investigators are looking into the cause of a small brush fire that crews knocked down on the South Coast. 

Santa Barbara City Fire officials say it started around noon on Saturday in the foothills above Santa Barbara to the north of Parma Park.  The fire grew to between a quarter and a half acre.  City fire crews -- along with firefighters from Santa Barbara County, Montecito and Los Padres Fire Protection -- extinguished the fire in 45 minutes.  

No homes were damaged, and no injuries were reported.  

We’re experiencing a heat wave this weekend across the South and Central Coasts.

National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto said you can expect above normal temperatures on Saturday and Sunday with highs from around 70 at the beaches to the 80s to lower 90s inland and in the valleys.

"The heat wave is being generated by a good offshore flow that's from the mountains towards the ocean. As the air sinks, it kind of compresses and warms things up," he said.

Eating healthy foods can do more than improve your health.  Researchers say it can also benefit the health care system and even the planet. A new study by scientists on the South Coast finds that healthy eating will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Taking a bite out of an apple or chomping on some carrots can actually make inroads in addressing climate change, according to a study led by UC Santa Barbara researchers.

Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

A NASA scientist, who will be visiting the South Coast, runs a mission that studies asteroids and comets approaching Earth.

Amy Mainzer is a senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. She’s the principal investigator of NEOWISE, which is an orbiting space telescope that surveys for asteroids and comets that get close to Earth.

A man on the South Coast is in critical condition after someone beat him, lit him on fire and then fled the scene.

Santa Paula Police say they responded to the incident just before 7 pm Saturday on the 100 block of South 10th Street. They arrived to find the victim with burns to over 50% of his body.

Police say someone approached the victim who was lying down on a bench, beat him and then poured a flammable substance on him.  He then lit him on fire.

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