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.

Three storm systems are headed toward the Central and South Coasts, but Santa Barbara county officials say at this point none of the storms are strong enough to trigger evacuations in brush fire burn zones.

The first system is expected to move into the region overnight Thursday, bringing mostly light showers. The second, and perhaps biggest of the storms is expected Saturday night and will bring rain into Sunday.

Authorities say a South Coast high school will be the scene of stepped up patrols by sheriff’s deputies after some threatening graffiti was discovered in a campus bathroom.

The graffiti in a girls bathroom at Goleta’s San Marcos High School claimed there would be a shooting on campus Friday.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies have interviewed a number of students, and are still investigating the situation. Sheriff’s Office officials say they will have extra patrols on and around campus Thursday and Friday.

Some residents of a Santa Barbara County community stepped up to help catch someone suspected of a string of mail thefts.

Since November, there’s been a rash of thefts from mailboxes in the Painted Cave area. Some residents installed a surveillance system. On Saturday, someone saw an unfamiliar woman removing mail from a mailbox.

This month marks the 90th anniversary of one of the biggest, yet almost forgotten disasters in California history.  The 1928 St. Francis Dam collapse killed more than 430 people in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. 

A number of events are taking place during the next week in Ventura County to commemorate the anniversary.

KCLU's Lance Orozco has a look back at the disaster through his 2003 interview with one of the last known living survivors of the dam collapse.

A teenage boy on the Central Coast is facing hate crime and other charges after detectives say for months he bullied, and threatened a teen with autism.

San Luis Obispo Police say the teen sent threatening and derogatory text messages to the victim, and also physically threatened the 15 year old victim.

A Ventura County couple is headed to jail after admitting turning tens of thousands of dollars of government food assistance benefits into cash.

Ventura County prosecutors say Gerardo and Martha Navarro of Oxnard fraudulently transferred more than $50,000 worth of Cal Fresh and SNAP program benefits. The programs are intended to help feed struggling low income people.

The Navarros pled guilty to fraud and grand theft charges, and were sentenced to 14 months in jail each. They have to pay more than $100,000 in restitution.

A police officer in Ventura County is accused of padding his timecard, and taking more than $100,000 he didn’t earn.

Ventura County prosecutors say Simi Valley Police Officer Robert Longdon committed time card fraud during a more than three year long period.

A Grammy Awarded nominated singer/songwriter who’s had a number of solo hits, but also performed with Beyonce and Prince is going to be a headliner at a Central Coast fair.

Sheila E.was a vocalist, and percussionist with Prince in the 1980’s before launching her own solo career.

(Photo courtesy Monterey Bay Aquarium)

A program to protect the breeding area for a threatened species of bird has led to the partial closure of some Central Coast beaches.

Vandenberg Air Force Base has shut down sections of Surf, Wall and Minuteman beaches. The closures are to keep people, dogs, and horses from venturing into breeding grounds for Western Snowy Plovers.

Hundreds of people marched at UC Santa Barbara Monday in support of immigration reform.

Some of the more than 750 marchers took part over the principles involved. But others are fighting for the right to stay in the U-S.

It’s not a concert, and it’s not a class. It’s a one of a kind musical experience for thousands of kids in Ventura County.

At a time when many school districts in Ventura County don’t have money or staff for music programs, a Conejo Valley based orchestra is trying to help fill the gap.

The New West Symphony has teamed up with Carnegie Hall for a program called “Symphonic Adventures 2018-The Orchestra Sings.”

A South Coast military base and a community college district are collaborating on a new project intended to help students get into fields related to science, technology, engineering, and math.

Naval Base Ventura County and the Ventura County Community College District are going to establish mentoring and internship opportunities for students at the base. The program will be available to students enrolled at all three district campuses. More than 1100 engineers and scientists work at the base.

A Ventura County community has a new Police Chief, and it’s someone who was already a familiar face in the county’s law enforcement community.

Eric Tennessen is the new Fillmore Police Chief. Tennessen has been with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office for nearly two decades. The Sheriff’s Office Captain has worked in different parts of the agency, including the Gang Unit, the Special Crimes Unit, and the Major Crimes Bureau.

It created a lot of concern, and prompted tens of thousands of evacuations, but the winter storm which hit the Central and South Coast fortunately didn’t cause major damage.

The storm totals ranged from about a half inch, in some coastal areas like Santa Barbara, to more than three inches in some local mountains.

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. 

(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.

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.

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 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.