Community

What started as a wrong number to a Santa Barbara Visitor's Information line lead to a holiday tradition, but it's coming to an end.

Nine years ago, John Dixon of Goleta found that his 1-800 Santa Barbara line was one digit off from another line: 1-800 Santa Claus.

Ventura County Fire Unit

Update: 4:00 p.m.

Firefighters are getting the upper hand on the fire, which has burned 50 acres.

Update: 3:00 p.m.

Ventura County firefighters are on the scene of what's being called a ten to fifteen acre brush fire in the eastern part of the county.

The holiday nativity scene on the front lawn of the old mission in Santa Barbara will be missing live animals this year.

Pastor Father Adrian said the staff had difficulty planning for volunteers to be on the site around the clock.

While investigating a stolen vehicle call in the Santa Barbara foothills Tuesday night, police came upon a suspect trying to hotwire a scooter near Parma Park.

During the arrest, though, the suspect got away.

The escape took place while the suspect reportedly had handcuffs on either one or both wrists.

Warnings have gone out for hikers to keep any valuables in their cars out of view, or better yet, don't leave anything valuable in their vehicles at all.

Three vehicles in the Santa Barbara area were burglarized on the Jesusita trail above San Roque Road, and also at the bird refuge at Andree Clark Bird Refuge.

Even once it rains, drought-related issues will not be going away any time soon.

That was the conclusion that state water resources officials and emergency leaders came to in Santa Barbara on Monday.

The search is on for two prisoners missing from a minimum security prison facility in northern Santa Barbara County.

The head count on Saturday night of 465 inmates showed two inmates missing.

It took extra police officers and a canine unit to convince a man to surrender in a Santa Barbara home Thursday morning.

Police say the incident occurred in the 300 block of La Cumbra road near State street

Santa Barbara Police say they have a suspect in custody, in connection with a hit-and-run collision that left a 23 year old in the hospital with major head injuries.

Chris Daly was found at about 4:15 a.m. Friday morning and was believed to have been hit within a two hour period prior to his discovery in a gutter at the intersection of Cabrillo and Castillo streets.

Life was good for Colleen Abbinanti of Simi Valley. The single mom had a good job, a nice place to live, and was involved with her son’s school. Then, suddenly, it all fell apart.

In 2007, as the recession hit, she lost her job with a construction company, and couldn’t find a new one. She was afraid to ask her family for help, even though she knew she was going to lose her home. Before she knew it, she was homeless. Abbinanti says it’s a position no one thinks will happen to them.

Two people were taken to a hospital from treatment of injuries they suffered from a chemical leak at a South Coast hotel.

Montecito firefighters were called to the Four Seasons Biltmore at around 11:30 Tuesday morning by reports of a container leaking a hazardous material.

For most of us, December 7th, 1941 is a day we all know from history books, the day the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor plunged the United States into World War II.

For Les Lindow, it’s much more than history. The now 95-year-old man was at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day. Lindow was 19 and on board the USS Maryland, one of the battleships moored at Pearl Harbor on December 7th.

Santa Barbara Police say in November 37 vehicles were stolen, and 24 of them were motorcycles or scooters.

This spike has lead to a call to action for motorcycle and scooter owners to keep their vehicles more secure.

The Santa Barbara Navy League has complimentary events for all branches of the military, and this
weekend, that branch is the Marine Corps.

70 Marines will be hosted this weekend in Santa Barbara.

It’s the largest city population-wise on the South Coast, and has been incorporated for more than a century. But ask most Oxnard residents how their city got its name, and you’ll probably get a blank stare. Do you know the answer?

Oxnard’s name is actually a clue into a forgotten part of its history. If you think of agriculture and Oxnard, strawberries are probably the first thing which come to mind. However, the area was once known for sugar beets and was home to the world’s largest sugar processing plant.

Students at University of California campuses rallied Monday against possible tuition increases next year.

UC Santa Barbara students also took part, where students say currently their in state tuition is $12,240 a year.

Residents of an Isla Vista apartment had a scare when a walkway roof came down on the third floor Sunday night.

With fears rising over immigration issues including arrests and deportations after the election, Santa Barbara Police Chief Lori Luhnow has made her department's policy clear.

A state agency is holding a public hearing on the South Coast tonight on a proposal to require growers to notify K-12 schools, day care facilities and county agricultural commissioners about pesticide use near school sites.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation is proposing new rules which would require farmers to share their planned spraying dates for each upcoming year, and re-notify those on the list a few days before the actual application. The use of some specific pesticides would also be limited.

Residents of a South Coast city voted to repeal a wastewater treatment rate hike in last week’s election. Now, city officials have to decide how to pay for the cost of upgrading this aged facility.

Oxnard residents passed Measure M, which will overturn the utility fee increase.

However, Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn said ultimately residents will have to pay for revamping the failing infrastructure.

Veterans Day is an opportunity for us to thank those who served their country in uniform, and to reflect on what it’s like to be an American.

Being an American citizen is something it’s easy to take for granted, but it’s a special feeling for two dozen children on the South Coast, who have just become citizens.

CalTrans and a subcontracting crew were on the side of a rocky mountain this week on the Gaviota curve.

Workers were repairing rock nets there that prevent large boulders from coming down onto the 101 highway.

A South Coast college is making a major commitment to its cosmetology program.

The Santa Barbara City College Foundation paid $5.3 million dollars to buy a downtown Santa Barbara building which housed the Paul Mitchell cosmetology academy. The academy closed in September.

The unincorporated area of Isla Vista located near UC Santa Barbara will now have a new community service district.

It's a way to decide on key community needs that are normally handled by the third district supervisor's office and the parks and recreation staff.

With the end of Daylight Savings last weekend, darkness will be setting in earlier.

That will be especially troublesome for bicycle commuters, many of whom lack proper lights on their bikes, which could result in tickets.

As police in Santa Barbara were checking a man for warrants, the situation took an unusual turn.

The suspect ran into the ocean and dove in.

The Harbor Patrol was immediately called in as the man began to swim away.

Two prominent Central Coast cities have once again made the cut as key stops on the Amgen tour of California next May.

In the week-long event, the world's top bicyclists will have race through Pismo Beach and Santa Barbara.

One of the Channel Islands closed to the public because of safety concerns about smugglers has received an all clear from law enforcement agencies, and is now open again to the public.

The discovery of a boatload of marijuana on Santa Rosa Island prompted the island’s closure to the public, and a massive ground and air search. On October 25th, three thousand pounds of marijuana, some 44 bundles in all, was found on the island. An abandoned boat believed to have been linked to the smuggling effort was found on a beach on the Gaviota coastline.

The Santa Barbara Unified School District has put two bond measures on the November ballot this year, measures I and J.

Supporters say the measures are needed to pay for improvements to schools in the form of new buildings and prefab structures.

A scaled-back enforcement plan in Isla Vista this year was apparently the right call, with Halloween weekend crowds way down.

Saturday night was the biggest concern.

In response, UC Santa Barbara held a concert aimed at students, with a $5 entrance price point.

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