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.

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

An estimated 30,000 people in Santa Barbara County are currently impacted by evacuation orders of some type related to this week's big storm.

Some 7,000 residents are in a mandatory evacuation area still, and some 23,000 are in the voluntary evacuation zone.

Even for people outside of the direct disaster zone, there are a number of issues related to basic utilities.

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

Thirteen people are dead, more than two dozen are hurt, and an unknown number are still missing after a waist-high wall of water and mud rolled through some homes in Montecito early Tuesday morning.

A number of houses were gutted, with rescuers pulling out people trapped under mountains of debris. Helicopters rescued some people who climbed onto the roofs of their homes to escape the torrent of water, and mud.

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

Five deaths have been confirmed as a result of flash floods, debris flows and mudslides in the Montecito area early Tuesday morning.

A number of homes were destroyed, or damaged as a result of the storm.

Firefighters, and other public safety workers also rescued a number of people, including a 14 year old girl who was trapped in the debris of a damaged home.  Helicopters were used as part of the rescue effort.

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

Highway 101 has been completely closed by flooding in the Montecito area Tuesday morning by the big storm hitting the Central and South Coasts, with authorities having to rescue some people trapped in their vehicles.

The flooding happened during the 5 a.m. hour.  The southbound 101 is closed at Milpas Street in Santa Barbara, and northbound the closure starts at Highway 126 in Ventura.  Thousands of vehicles on the 101 were diverted, and turned around in  the Rincon area.

The first major storm of the season for the Central and South Coasts is still on track to hit the region, but the arrival of the potentially heavy rainfall is now projected to be later than originally expected.

National Weather Service meteorologists now say the brunt of the storm should hit Southern Santa Barbara County between two and five a.m. Tuesday, and the heaviest rainfall in Ventura County is expected between four and seven a.m.

10 deaths have now been linked to the flu in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties this season.

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department officials say we are having an unprecedented spike in the number of flu cases in the county this year.

Officials confirmed that six people all over the age of 65 have died in the last two weeks in the county as a result of the outbreak of influenza. They say by comparison, last year three people of all ages died from the flu last season in the county.   Four deaths have been confirmed in Ventura County.

Santa Barbara County officials made a local emergency proclamation as a result of the storm.

Monday’s declaration sets the stage for possible state, and federal assistance for flooding. The proclamation says more than 25,000 people are currently affected by mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders in the county.

County Supervisors are expected to formally ratify the declaration when they meet Tuesday.

(United Launch Alliance photo)

A rocket carrying a secret military payload is set to lift off from Santa Barbara County this week.

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket is scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force base Wednesday afternoon. The launch window begins at 1 p.m.

All officials will say about the payload is that it is cargo for the National Reconnaissance office.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department

The first significant storm of the year to hit the Central and South Coast has prompted massive evacuation orders for parts of the region.

Forecasters say the storm could bring two to four inches of rain to coastal and inland areas, and four to seven inches in foothills and mountains between now, and Tuesday morning.

The biggest concern is the potential for locally heavy rainfall, with rainfall rates of a half inch to inch an hour hitting mountain slopes and foothills stripped bare by recent brush fires.

(Image courtesy NASA/JPL)

What's expecting to be the first significant storm of the year to hit the Central and South Coast has prompted massive evacuation orders for parts of Santa Barbara County.

Forecasters say the storm could bring two to four inches of rain to coastal and inland areas, and four to six inches in foothills and mountains between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

An earthquake rattled parts of the South Coast Saturday night, but no injuries or damage was reported.

The magnitude 3.8 quake happened at 5:31 p.m.  it was centered in the ocean about nine miles west of Isla Vista. 

There have been a series of small quakes centered in that area over the last few years.

A former bartender at a Ventura County restaurant has been sentenced to seven months in jail, and ordered to pay more than $75,000 in restitution for embezzlement.

Prosecutors say Omar Landaverde of Van Nuys figured out how to use gift cards to pocket money belonging to Larsen’s Grill, in Simi Valley. They say he showed another bartender, Kimberly Sue Harrison, how to do it.

They both pled guilty to embezzlement charges. Last fall, Harrison received a similar seven month sentence, and was ordered to pay $54,000 in restitution.

Even as firefighters continue efforts to get full containment of the massive Thomas brush fire, public safety officials are gearing up for possible flooding, and debris flows from the first big storm of the season.

Intense rainfall could be on the way for the Central and South Coasts early next week, not good news in the wake of fire stripping many mountain slopes near homes.

(Logo courtesy Sears Holdings)

A financially troubled department store chain has announced it will close more than 100 stores, including one on the Central Coast.

Sears Holdings says it will close 64 K Mart stores, and 39 Sears stores. The list includes the K Mart on the 1000 block of Branch Street in Arroyo Grande. That shutdown is expected to happen in April.

Sears has been struggling for years, and has closed about half of its brick and mortar locations. As of last fall, the company had about 1100 stores around the country.

The environmental community is outraged over the Trump Administration’s proposal to open wide swaths of federal waters off the nation’s coastline to new oil and gas development, a plan which includes the Central and South Coasts.

Two men have been convicted of second degree murder charges in what Ventura County prosecutors call a gang related slaying.

Franky Magana and Omar Ruiz could each get life sentences for the May, 2013 killing of Ulises Virto in Santa Paula . Detectives say Magana, Ruiz, and a third still unidentified gunman drove up to a street corner where the victim was standing. The trio opened fire, hitting Virto with seven bullets. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The two Santa Paula men will be sentenced for the killing in March.

Ventura County’s Sheriff has announced he plans to retire.

Sheriff Geoff Dean told Sheriff’s Office employees that he won’t see re-election this year. His term ends next January, but in an e-mail to Sheriff’s Office employees, Dean says he’s planning to step down in November.

A month to the day after it started, firefighters are continuing efforts to contain the huge Thomas brush fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

The fire’s statistics haven’t changed much in the last few days, with nearly 282,000 acres burned, and 92% containment.

The focus remains on the northeaster corner of the blaze, in the Los Padres National Forest, where helicopter water drops are being used to control hot spots in some inaccessible mountain areas.

Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives say they’ve arrested some teenage boys for a string of home burglaries in the eastern part of the county.

Deputies were called to an Oak Park home early Tuesday morning by reports of an attempted break-in. They found and arrested a teenage suspect nearby, and recovered a number of stolen items. The investigation led to the arrest of a second teenage boy, and the discovery of yet more stolen items.

Detectives believe the 16 and 15 year old boys were responsible for a half dozen burglaries in the Oak Park area.

(Image courtesy Raw Science Film Festival)

It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie.

UC Santa Barbara researchers are talking about using laser propelled microchips as tiny spacecraft, to explore the closest stars. The research is one of the projects being highlighted at a unique South Coast film festival this weekend.

Two community meetings are set for this week on a state sponsored program to fast track debris removal from buildings destroyed, or damaged by the Thomas Fire.

(Ojai Music Festival photo)

A world famous music festival based on the South Coast has announced the Music Director for its 2020 event.

Matthias Pintscher will serve as the Ojai Music Festival’s Music Director in two years.

A storm system which has created widespread cloud cover and some showers for parts of the Central and South Coasts isn’t expected to pose a risk for recent brush fire burn areas. But, there could be a bigger system which could create problems in the Thomas, and Whittier Fire burn zones next week.

The crackle of the Thomas Fire is gone from Ventura and Montecito.

But, besides the destruction it’s left behind, the largest brush fire in modern day history in the state created a new threat: Flash flooding, debris flows, and mudslides.

President Trump approved a federal natural disaster declaration for California to help with the Thomas Fire, a move which opens the door for federal assistance in recovery efforts.

The declaration clears the way for federal funds to go to state and local government agencies in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Non-profits involved in relief efforts will also potentially be eligible for federal funding.

The estimated cost of fighting the fire has crossed the $200 million dollar mark. More than a thousand structures have been destroyed.

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

A major brush fire on the Central and South Coasts is finally out, but it’s not the huge fire that’s been in the news for the past month.

It’s the Whittier Fire, which started July 8th near Lake Cachuma, in Santa Barbara County. The blaze destroyed 16 homes, and 30 other buildings as it burned south over the Santa Ynez Mountains to threaten homes on the coast.

Investigators are trying to figure out why a woman led law enforcement officers on a wild, more than 60 miles chase in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties.

The pursuit started at about four a.m. Tuesday on Highway 126 near Newhall.

Cooler weather is supporting efforts by firefighters to get full containment of the massive Thomas brush fire.

The nearly 282,000 acre brush fire is 92% contained.

One person is dead, and a second wounded following a shooting on the South Coast.

It happened at about 3:30 a.m. New Year's Day, near De La Vina and Victoria Streets in downtown Santa Barbara.  Detectives are still trying to unravel what happened, but officers were called to the scene by reports of multiple shots being fired.  The names of the victims haven't been released.

(Photo courtesy Tom Zasadzinski, Cal Poly Pomona)

A Central Coast university continued its tradition of winning big honors at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, with its 70th anniversary float in the New Year’s Day tradition.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students once again teamed up with Cal Poly Pomona students to build a parade float.

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