Lance Orozco

News Director

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, developing the station's local news coverage as it transitioned to a news/talk format. He has provided award-winning local coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, from brush fires and mudslides to Ronald Reagan's funeral. 

Lance has won more than 200 journalism awards for KCLU, including more than 90 Golden Mikes, 20-plus regional Edward R. Murrow awards, a national Edward R. Murrow Award (an honor which came to David Letterman’s attention on “The Late Show.”), and a national Society Of Professional Journalists Award  He has been AP's small market reporter of the year in the western U.S. nine times. 

Lance is a familiar face in the region, having worked nearly two decades as a television reporter and weathercaster in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. His adventures included an unexpected guest appearance on "Late Night With David Letterman."

You can reach Lance here.

Efforts to establish commuter rail service between Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties have taken a big step forward.

The agency which oversees rail service on the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo corridor approved new peak rail service. It’s considered a key approval for the plan.

(SpaceX Photo)

Efforts to launch a rocket carrying some satellites from the Central Coast are now zero for three, but the launch team is hoping a fourth planned effort will be successful.

Wednesday morning’s effort was postponed due to strong upper level winds.

The South Coast was the scene of an unusual car chase which ended when the man apparently poisoned himself.

The LAPD notified the CHP at around 7:30 Wednesday morning that a wanted rape suspect might be driving in Ventura County.   Moments later, an officer spotted the suspect’s SUV headed northbound on Highway 101 in Oxnard.

Fires, and floods have forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes on the Central and South Coasts during the last year. In the wake of the Thomas Fire, and Southern Santa Barbara County flooding, public safety officials have been working hard to improve people’s preparedness. And, because we live in earthquake country, it’s an issue we all need to consider. But, what about the four legged members of our families?

A Ventura County woman has pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter for the stabbing death of her aunt.

It’s expected Gina Drake will get an 11 year prison sentence for the June, 2009 murder of Wendy DeRodio. The 61 year old victim was an author, and therapist.

A physical therapist in Santa Barbara County has been sentenced to jail after prosecutors say she took advantage of an elderly couple, charging them $200,000 for three years worth of private Pilates classes.

Investigators say at the peak of the theft, Yvonne Alish Castillo of Santa Barbara was charging the couple $7500 a month for the classes.

It’s going to be another extremely cold night overnight Tuesday into Wednesday for the Central and South Coasts, with temperatures again dropping below freezing in spots.

National Weather Service meteorologists say we could see lows in the upper 20’s even in places like Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Thousand Oaks. Some inland areas could drop to the mid 20’s.

Authorities aren’t releasing details about a confrontation between security staff members and a man at a Central Coast casino which left the man dead.

It happened just after two a.m. Tuesday, near the Chumash Casino in the Santa Ynez Valley.

It’s a term you’ve heard a lot recently in the news on the Central and South Coasts. People have been fighting for “Environmental Justice.”

The label has been used extensively in the battle in Oxnard as many members of the community have rallied to fight a proposal to build a fourth power plant in the city. A U-C Santa Barbara sociologist who's written a new book on the subject says while the issue isn’t a new one, the label for it is relatively recent.

A Santa Barbara County based relief agency that’s been heavily involved in Thomas Fire, and flood relief efforts is getting some relief itself from winemakers.

Santa Barbara County vintners raised more than a million dollars for Direct Relief International.

The latest in a string of community meetings to share the latest information on storm preparedness is set to take place Tuesday in Carpinteria.

Public safety officials in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties have been holding a series of meetings to share new maps on potential flood and debris flow zones.

A storm system passing through the Central and South Coasts won’t drop much rain, but it will bring the region some of the coldest temperatures so far this winter.

The rain is expected to be in the form of scattered showers. There’s no concern about significant rainfall which could impact brush fire burn areas. But, temperatures could drop down to around freezing Monday and Tuesday nights, even in many coastal areas on the South Coast.

A State Senator from Ventura and Los Angeles Counties is sponsoring a proposed new law to try to close a loophole in gun ownership laws.

Under current law, people convicted of violent offenses are prohibited from owning firearms. But, if a convicted juvenile offender has their records sealed due to good behavior, it closes the documents which could be used to ban weapons ownership.

(Photo courtesy Airbus)

After two delays, plans now call for a Wednesday launch from the Central Coast of a rocket carrying a payload of satellites.

SpaceX is hoping to launch the Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base during a launch window which begins at 6:17 a.m. Wednesday.

(Photo courtesy Airbus)

A planned rocket launch from the Central Coast has been postponed for a day.

SpaceX had been planning to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying one large, and some smaller satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base at around 6 a.m. Saturday.

The company pushed the launch back to Sunday morning. Officials say there wasn’t a problem, but they wanted to do some additional pre-launch system checks.

He’s a legendary ruler who once controlled one of the largest empires of the world. Most people think of Genghis Khan as a brutal barbarian. But, he was also an innovator, introducing things like paper money, skis and the pony express, and creating a Mongolian form of democracy. A huge new exhibition looking at Kahn’s little known legacy is opening in Ventura County.

(Cold Spring School photo)

A South Coast elementary school which lost two of its students in the deadly Southern Santa Barbara County flooding January 9th is now facing a new crisis.

Santa Barbara’s Cold Spring School survived the January disaster, but many of the homes in the one school-school district didn’t. It’s estimated the 170 student school could lose close to 10% of its budget because of decreased property tax revenue as a result of the destructive debris flows.

A federal disaster relief center set up to help Thomas Fire victims in Ventura County is going to close at the end of the month.

FEMA officials say the center in Ventura has served more than a thousand people since opening nearly a month ago in Ventura. But, they say there’s been a sharp drop in the number of people coming into the Ventura County Credit Union building for aid.

The center will continue to be open weekdays, as well as from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays through February 28th.  After that, people can still sign up for federal aid online, or via phone.

A Ventura County based university is creating a new program to offer degrees in hospitality management and tourism.

California Lutheran University’s School of Management developed the program.

He’s a popular radio announcer on the South Coast.

But, for two decades he’s moonlighted as an X-Games and Olympics announcer, and Brad Jay is currently in South Korea working the 2018 Winter Olympics.

An agricultural leader on the South Coast is leaving his post to take a similar job in Northern California.

Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales is stepping down so he can become Monterey County’s Ag Commissioner. He is originally from Monterey County.

He and his office have had to deal with everything from insect infestations to environmental concerns about pesticide use.

County officials say they will launch a recruit effort to fill the vacancy. Gonzales is one year into his third term in office.

Ventura County officials say they are in the process of sending out reduced property tax bills, or refunds to Thomas Fire victims this week.

Assessors representing the County Assessor’s Office, the Auditor-Controller’s Office, and the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office have so far inspected more than 3,000 properties. The reduced bills, or refunds are going to people who submitted claims for property tax relief due to fire damage.

Officials say refunds will be made to those who made the original payment.

The parents of a missing three year old Ventura County girl are now accused of murdering her.

Mayra Chavez and Omar Lopez of Oxnard have been charged with second degree murder for the death of Kimberly Chavez Lopez. Detectives think the little girl died in the summer of 2015.

The Thomas Fire, and flood have caused tragedy, and heartache. We’ve also seen some of the best in people, as communities have rallied to help victims. Events from concerts, to art shows have been planned to raise money. And, a number of relief funds have been created. If you want to help, it can almost be a confusing about figuring out the best way to give.

An effort is underway to help small businesses impacted by the Thomas fire, and debris flows. Some local and federal agencies have teamed up to host a series of events to let people know about available resources.

More than a thousand people packed a Ventura County church Tuesday to remember a 14 year old girl who died from complications of the flu.

Gabriella Chabot died suddenly last week.

Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a mother-daughter duo they’ve dubbed the “panty bandits.”

Investigators say the duo from LA was shoplifting panties, bras, and other items from Victoria’s Secret stores in Oxnard and Thousand Oaks.

"The Monster Inferno"

Feb 14, 2018

The Thomas Fire was the largest brush fire in California history, burning 282,000 acres of land and destroying more than a thousand homes.

KCLU provided the most extensive coverage of the fire of any radio station in the region, with 18 days of live on scene coverage of the inferno as it grew, and threatened various communities.

A musician who toured the world with musicians like Mel Torme, but settled in Ventura County where he taught music for generations has died.

Elmer Ramsey was a music professor at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks for three decades.

A storm system off the West Coast continues to drift away from the coast, and emergency services officials say as expected it didn’t create any new flash flood, or debris flow concerns for the Central and South Coasts.

Rainfall ranged from a few sprinkles to about a tenth of an inch in some mountain areas. It was never even close to thresholds which would trigger evacuations in brush fire burn zones.

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