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.

There’s still no decision over a controversial proposal to add rail facilities at a Central Coast oil refinery to handle massive trainloads of crude oil shipments.

The San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission wrapped up its fifth full day of hearings Friday on the Phillips 66 project in Nipomo, with a sixth hearing day now scheduled for May 16th.

The project calls for as many as three mile long trains to arrive at the facility a week with crude oil for processing.

The wind has eased on the South Coast, but it’s made for a rough weekend for some local communities.

Montecito was hit by a major power outage late Friday and early Saturday, with the outage triggering seven structure fires.

None of the fires caused major damage, but the firefighters were busy responding to the fire and power lines down calls.

A legendary pop and jazz musician will be the headliner at a South Coast music festival this summer. Sergio Mendes will perform July 22nd at the Ventura Music Festival.

The concert is called Sergio Mendes; A Celebration of 50 years of Brasil 66, and it will celebrate the group’s amazing legacy of pop/jass/bossa nova music. Mendes has more than 50 albums to his credit, was nominated for an Academy Award for one of his songs, and is in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The 2016 Ventura Music Festival has more than a half dozen events scheduled during its July 15th-24th run.

An environmental group says it’s reached a settlement with a company over pollution concerns for a South Coast river.

The Environmental Defense Center says storm water runoff from an electroplating facility in Ventura has the potential to impact water quality in the Santa Clara River.

The settlement calls for General Magnaplate to implement a number of storm water runoff control measures at its facility, and to contribute $15,000 to efforts to improve water quality in the Santa Clara River watershed.

A just released census of Ventura County’s homeless population shows a significant year to year drop in the number of people without permanent housing. The January survey found just over 1200 men, women, and children homeless in the county, down 10% from 2015. It’s the lowest total number since 2007 in the county. Ventura County officials credit the drop in numbers to efforts to help the homeless, noting they helped 888 people find permanent housing in 2015. They say over the course of the year, there are an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 people who are homeless in the county.

Getting stuck in traffic is a frustrating, often daily problem for tens of thousands of South Coast commuters. Maybe you’re one of them. But would you be willing to pay a little more in taxes to help ease the region’s traffic jams?

Ventura County voters could potentially face that question this November.

A South Coast college has narrowed its search for a new Superintendent/President to five candidates. Santa Barbara City College is looking for a replacement for Dr. Lori Gaskin, who is retiring this August.

A project to realign a potentially dangerous section of Highway 101 on the Central Coast is set to begin.

The project will straighten a curve on northbound 101in the Gaviota area. The work zone extends from Mariposa Reina to the Gaviota rest stop.

The construction will take start Monday, and is expected to take about five months.

There could be delays of up to ten minutes, and concrete barriers being set up to protect construction crews will also mean a narrowing of lanes in the area.

A modern dance company that sells out theaters around the world put on a huge VIP show for an audience in Santa Barbara yesterday.

Thousands of children on the South Coast attended the free private performance by the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Santa Barbara.

The more than half century old company mixes modern dance with African American cultural expression.

A South Coast performing arts group is trying to give people a taste of opera, by stepping out of its traditional theater venue to perform everywhere from schools to retirement homes.

Opera Santa Barbara is in the middle of an ambitious schedule of more than a dozen free community performances in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

The operator of an oil facility off the South Coast has been ordered by a state agency to take action to prevent potential spills, after inspectors say they found a number of violations.

Inspectors with the State Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources say they’ve found numerous violations with wells, pipes, and other equipment at an oil facility off the Ventura County coastline.

(VFD Photo)

Four homes have been evacuated, and residents of several others have been have been ordered to shelter in place because of a gas leak.

A backhoe accidentally cut into a gas line near Inspiration Way and Laurel Street in Ventura just before nine this morning.

No one was hurt, and Ventura firefighters and repair crews are now on scene. It’s expected the line will be repaired by noon.

It’s a dream that’s been more than a quarter of a century in the making.

Construction is expected to wrap up this summer on a 25,000 square foot science museum on the South Coast. MOXI is designed to appeal to kids and adults, and is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors annually.

The founder and owner of the Philadelphia Flyers National Hockey League team has died at his Santa Barbara County home.

Ed Snider had been battling bladder cancer. Snider’s family owned a grocer story chain, and when they sold it, he used some of the money to become  partners with a group which bought the Philadelphia Eagles football team.

The team was sold a few years later, but when he learned the NHL was considering expansion to Philadelphia, he made plans to build an arena, and was awarded the hockey franchise, which began play in 1967.

(SBCSO Photo)

A man who tried to pick wildflowers on a Santa Barbara County mountainside fell down the slope, and had to be rescued after he was injured.

It happened Saturday just north of Summerland, in Romero Canyon.

There’s a flash flood watch in effect for recent brushfire burn areas in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. In Ventura County, officials are keeping a close eye for potential problems in the Camarillo Springs and Solimar brush fire burn areas. National Weather Service forecasters say rainfall amounts could exceed a half inch per hour, with flooding and debris flows possible. The watch is in effect through Sunday night.

One of the South Coast’s most respected newspapers changed hands today, and is now in the same family as USA Today.

Federal regulators approved the Gannett Company’s purchase of the Journal Media Group. The Ventura Star was part of the Journal Group. Gannett paid about $280 million dollars for the Journal newspapers, which included newspapers in 14 markets.

In California, the deal included the Star, as well as the Redding Record Searchlight. Gannett now operates USA today, as well as 107 daily newspapers in 34 states.

An Arizona newspaper reports that Oxnard’s top cop is a semifinalist to become the City of Phoenix’s next police chief.

Jeri Williams is a former Phoenix Assistant Chief who became Oxnard’s Chief in January of 2011. The Arizona Republic reports she’s one of 10 semifinalists for the top post. She’s an Arizona native, and her husband still lives in Phoenix.

Phoenix’s current chief is set to retire this fall, prompting the search for a replacement.

One South Coast city has issued a warning about a rash of auto thefts.

More than 30 vehicles have been reported stolen in the City of Oxnard since April 1st. The thieves have been targeting Hondas, specifically Civics and Accords from the 1990’s. Detectives are warning people to make sure their vehicles are properly locked.

They say if it appears someone has broken into your vehicle, call 911 immediately, and do not enter it so fingerprints can be preserved for investigators.

If you’re wanted by the law, it might not be a smart idea to post information on your activities on Facebook. A woman convicted of financial elder abuse who failed to show up for her sentencing in Santa Barbara has been arrested in Massachusetts with the help of her social media account.

Santa Barbara County prosecutors say Julie Kromer befriended a 77 year old man she met at a dog rescue event. They say she then stole his identity, and got a credit card in his name that she used on a regular basis in other states.

It could be a wet few days for the Central and South Coasts.

Light rainfall is possible through Friday afternoon, with rainfall totals under a tenth of an inch. Then, a low pressure system which is currently about 400 miles southwest of Point Conception will move east. It could bring locally heavy rainfall Friday night into Saturday afternoon, with rainfall totals between a half-inch, and inch.

Because the storm is coming in from the south of Point Conception, the heaviest rainfall is expected on the South Coast, in Southern Santa Barbara County and Ventura County.

A financially troubled theater company in Ventura County which had announced plans to permanently shut down at the end of the current season has gotten a reprieve.

Officials with Cabrillo Music Theater said they were going to go through with the final two show of this season, but cancel the 2016-2017 productions. They told KCLU News that they would need at least $200,000 in donations to save the company, but felt it was such a big reach that they wouldn’t attempt fundraising efforts.

An oil company which has been forced to shut down an oil platform off the Santa Barbara County coastline as a result of last year’s massive oil pipeline break, and spill at Refugio State Beach has now filed suit over it.

Venoco is seeking $12 million dollars in damages from Plains All American Pipeline. The suit says as a result of the pipeline break, and the shutdown of another pipeline the oil company has suffered more than $12 million dollars in damages.

Some Ventura County residents got an early wakeup call this morning.

A magnitude 3.5 quake rattled the county at 4:44 a.m.

The quake was centered about seven miles southwest of Port Hueneme. No injuries, or damage was reported.

Seven people have been displaced by a fire at a Ventura County apartment complex.

The blaze was discovered just after 2 a.m. yesterday on the 500 block of Oak Street in Ojai. Ventura County firefighters arrived to find flames shooting from one of the units. They stopped the fire in about 15 minutes, but the damaged forced all of the residents of the complex out of their homes.

There’s no word on the cause of the fire. One person was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

It was a dangerous afternoon for some swimmers in Ventura County, with seven people injured by rip currents.

Ventura firefighters and the Ventura Harbor Patrol were called to the Marina Park area at about 3 p.m. by reports of multiple people being caught by riptides. They rescued four swimmers. Then, rescuers discovered three kids who were also caught in the riptides had managed to make it to safety on the Greenock Lane jetty.

Crisis counselors spent the day at a Ventura County high school after one student died, and a second was injured in an explosion while they were experimenting with a rocket motor.

Bernard Moon died at a hospital few hours after the Monday night accident on a Thousand Oaks elementary school campus. The 18 year old Thousand Oaks High School student and a 17 year old friend were trying to use the rocket motor to power a skateboard when there was an explosion. The younger student escaped with minor injuries.

It’s a tiny, newborn chick in a remote area of Ventura County, which isn’t even 24 hours old yet. But, it’s become a huge star on the internet, because it was the first California Condor chick to hatch in the wild during a live webcast.

One teen was killed, and a second seriously injured in a model rocket explosion in Ventura County.

It happened at about 7:30 Monday night, at Madrona Elementary School in Thousand Oaks.  Ventura County officials say the teen who died in the accident was 18 year old Bernard Moon, a Thousand Oaks High School student.

Ventura County firefighters say one of the teens may have been holding a rocket when it exploded. A group of Girl Scouts were meeting at the school when the explosion occurred, and some of the parents went to try to help the injured teen.

Detectives say they’ve arrested two people in connection with a string of tech related burglaries from local schools.

Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies were called to Mesa Verde Middle School in Moorpark early last Thursday morning by a burglar alarm. They arrested Karinna Cortez of Oxnard at the scene. Deputies say more than 100 iPads had been staged for removal from the school.

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