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PG&E: Widespread power outage affects thousands in NC

ATASCADERO — Power went out to many homes and businesses between Templeton and Atascadero on Wednesday, April 14. The power outage began at 3:53 p.m. and affected approximately 2,990 customers, according to Pacific Gas and Electric’s online power outage map. According to PG&E, power will be restored by 7:15 p.m. The reason for the outage is under investigation.

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Atascadero mother is given a safe vehicle by local businesses

ATASCADERO — Lilliana Anderson, a mother of four was given a set of keys to a 2014 Toyota Sienna at Caliber Collision's grand opening of their second location in Atascadero on 7755 San Luis Ave. with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 7. Anderson is a single mother of four children all of who have medical needs. Her oldest is autistic, and her twin daughters need to go to UCLA Stanford University Medical Center and Valley Children’s in Madera and the youngest also has medical needs and they all need transportation to and from their appointments.

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10th annual Burgers and Brews competition, festival set for Sept. 1

SANTA MARGARITA — California Women for Agriculture SLO County chapter will be hosting their 10th annual Burgers and Brews competition and festival. This event involves a night at the Santa Margarita Ranch enjoying locally grown meat and Central Coast brews. Music and entertainment will be provided by Monte Mills and the Lucky Horseshoe Band to encourage people to dance the night away. “We hope guests enjoy the family, ranch-style atmosphere as they cruise through the barn tasting locally raised beef, chicken, lamb and veggie sliders and locally brewed beers and ciders,” organizers stated. All burgers and brews are from farmers, chefs, caterers and breweries from the Central Coast.

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Fall semester at Cuesta College begins August 12

SAN LUIS OBISPO — There is still time to register for Fall 2019 classes at Cuesta College – the semester begins Aug. 12 and runs through Dec. 13. Courses are offered on the San Luis Obispo (SLO) Campus, the North County Campus in Paso Robles, the South County Center in Arroyo Grande, and online. Students can enroll in courses in the areas of agriculture, architecture, biology, business, computer information systems, engineering, English, film television and electronic media, geographic information systems, graphic design, mathematics, music, welding, and more.

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County to disburse millions to ease local impacts of Diablo Canyon Plant closure

COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo received $28.35 million over the past week as the 2019 allotment of state-mandated funds that will help ease the local public health, safety and economic impacts of the closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Diablo Canyon Power Plant is scheduled to stop operations no later than 2025. About $9.6 million of the funds received are to be used by the County and incorporated cities for economic development purposes. The remaining $18.75 million will be passed on to over 70 local public agencies, including the San Luis Coastal Unified School District and all incorporated cities, to support essential services that risk losing funding as Diablo Canyon nears closure.

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North County’s Most Wanted : Johnstone

Josiah James Johnstone, 34, is wanted for failing to appear for stalking and threatening to commit a crime of violence which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person. Johnstone is Hispanic, 6' 1" tall, 170 pounds and his last known residence is in Atascadero.

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Sell-outs and carnival increase highlight the Fair

PASO ROBLES — Two sold-out concerts featuring Cardi B and Blake Shelton, and an increase in Carnival revenue highlighted a super-fun 2019 California Mid-State Fair. “Let’s Have S’More Fun!” was in full effect with multiple new activities, demonstrations and special events at the 2019 California Mid-State Fair.

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County: No reported illness at the Fair

COUNTY — There have been concerns about illnesses at the California Mid-State Fair this past week. Perhaps stemming from the death of a 2-year-old boy, that contracted Escherichia Coli also known as E.Coli from a San Diego fair this July. The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department was not aware of illness such as E. Coli or foodborne illness linked with the fair.

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California Mid-State Fair free shuttle service added to the City of Atascadero

ATASCADERO — As part of the California Mid-State Fair sponsorship program, the City of Atascadero and the Atascadero Tourism Business Improvement District are introducing new, complimentary Fair Shuttle locations to the City. This free shuttle service to the California Mid-State Fair includes Sunken Gardens at 6505 El Camino Real and Smart & Final at the current bus pick up location at the 8200 block of El Camino Real. In addition to these two new locations, there is a third location at Springhill Suites by Marriott at the 900 block of El Camino Real. CA Mid-State Fair event-goers are to look for the American Star Trailways buses operating each day of the Fair.

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Free carnival rides on Opening Day!

PASO ROBLES — For the first time in the history of the California Mid-State Fair, all carnival rides on Opening Day of the 2019 Fair will be FREE! The California Mid-State Fair is teaming up with Helm & Sons Amusements to offer FREE carnival rides to all patrons on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Just pay normal Fair admission and that’s it: no need for wristbands, coupons or tickets on Opening Day. The gates and carnival open at Noon on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, and don’t close until Midnight. Of course, normal height and size restrictions still apply, but everyone rides for free in the Main Carnival and Cub Country! And yes, this does include the Big Splash water ride.

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APD: Burglary arrest made with the use of modern security system and K-9 team

ATASCADERO — Atascadero police officers responded on Saturday, June 29, to a call of a burglary in progress at approximately 11:50 p.m. at Felix’s Barbershop, 8420 El Camino Real, Atascadero. According to the Atascadero Police Department just prior to the officer’s arrival, the individual ran from the scene and eluded officers for a short period of time.

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Fires continue to burn within the communities of the North County

NORTH COUNTY — Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County responded to a garage and outbuilding that were fully engulfed in fire along with two acres of nearby vegetation in Paso Robles on June 23. Cal Fire San Luis Obispo arrived at about 4:51 p.m. and was able to clear the area in about an hour. They were assisted by Paso Robles Fire Department, Camp Roberts Fire Department, and San Miguel Fire Department. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Master Gardeners now taking applications

COUNTY — Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming 2020 UC Master Gardener training class. The training class teaches research-based sustainable landscape practices. Certified Master Gardeners then extend that knowledge to residents of the county through workshops, newspaper articles, garden helplines, social media and other outreach efforts. Topics included during the training are botany, soils, entomology, irrigation, propagation, and more. Classes are taught by experts from the University of California and Cal Poly.

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Fireworks and Fourth of July events ready to go

NORTH COUNTY — For many celebrating the Fourth of July involves barbecues, going to the beach or park and setting off fireworks. However, due to the risk of fires in our area, many cities, and the county have banned all fireworks to limit the risk of fires. Throughout the County of San Luis Obispo, all fireworks are banned by ordinance and are illegal to use, sell, or possess in the county unless otherwise permitted. Only two communities allow the use of safe and sane fireworks: Templeton and San Miguel.

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Twin Cities Community Hospital takes part in cereal drive

Twin Cities Community Hospital and Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, which houses the only dedicated pediatric unit in San Luis Obispo County, led a community effort to provide area children struggling with hunger with a healthy breakfast during the summer through its Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive benefiting The Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County. The drive kicked off Friday, June 7, and ran through Friday, June 14.

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Former Atascadero teacher releases first book

ATASCADERO — Alan Pietsch’s first novel, published by 30 Hilltop Publishers, was released Thursday, June 6. “Ophelia’s Uncommonly Odd Odyssey” is the story of a young girl who is addicted to books. Ophelia is miserable always being chided by people for her constant reading and having her books taken from her by her teacher, until one day while reading at lunch, she unexpectedly falls into her story. What ensues is a rollercoaster ride of encounters with some of her favorite characters from literature. Ophelia thoroughly enjoys her adventure until she realizes in order to get back to school she has to learn some valuable lessons.

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Pre-Atascadero Wine Fest ‘WINE’d UP ‘Pop-Up’ Classes in Sunken Gardens set for June 22

ATASCADERO — Kennedy Club Fitness-Atascadero is partnering with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce and City of Atascadero to offer a lifestyle element to this year’s Central Coast Reserve — formerly known as the Atascadero Wine Festival. Kennedy is offering two Pop-Up classes, free and open to the public the morning of the wine festival, Saturday, June 22 in Sunken Gardens. All fitness abilities are welcome. Kickoff is at 9 a.m. with Party Prep ‘Wine’d’ Up’, 30 minutes of cardio blast to get the heart pumping and calories burning. Yoga ‘Wine’d Down’, follows at 9:45 a.m. with 45 minutes of Yoga strength, stretch and relaxation movements.

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Heritage Ranch house and nearby vegetation catches on fire

HERITAGE RANCH — A house caught on fire on the 2700 Block of Saddleback Lane in Heritage Ranch on June 17 —igniting vegetation nearby. At approximately 3:40 p.m. Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County reported that they were on the scene working on a residential structure fire. Minutes later they reported that approximately one acre of nearby vegetation was burning. Within minutes it doubled in size to two acres at moderate speed. Additional equipment was dispatched as it had the potential to spread to 20 acres.

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Templeton building caught on fire

TEMPLETON — An approximate 2,000 sq ft. structure was fully engulfed on 2500 block of Vineyard Drive on June 13. Firefighters from Cal Fire San Luis Obispo, Atascadero Fire, Templeton Fire, Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services and Atascadero State Hospital responded. According to scanner traffic there was an explosion right before the building caught on fire.

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State VFW Auxiliary announces Patriotic Art Scholarship Winner

ATASCADERO — Ashley Sutherland, a sophomore at Atascadero High School, was named the VFW Auxiliary Department of California's first-place winner of the 2018-2019 Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest. VFW Auxiliary 2814 in Atascadero sponsored Sutherland.

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Major roofing project at the Atascadero Health Clinic

ATASCADERO — The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works will begin construction on a major roofing project at the Atascadero Health Clinic, 5575 Hospital Dr., Atascadero. Work will begin on June 17 and will continue through the first week of August.

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Suspects arrested in connection to three crimes, including attempted theft of ATM

ATASCADERO — Two men, including one from Atascadero, were arrested in connection to the attempted theft of an ATM and for two other related crimes, the Atascadero Police Department reported. At the end of May, APD investigated several significant crimes from Friday, May 24 to Monday, May 27. During the investigation of the crimes, detectives connected all of them to the same suspects. Working with law enforcement agencies, Atascadero police detectives tracked the two suspects to Monterey County and made arrests in connection to the crimes.

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ECHO receives $5,000 donation from must! charities Youth Board

ATASCADERO — The El Camino Homeless Organization received a gift of $5,000 from the must! charities Youth Board. must! charities invest strategically with existing non-profits, funding organizations who are the most effective at dealing with our greatest community needs. must! charities' Youth Board is a group of students from Templeton, Atascadero and Paso Robles high schools who are making a difference through collaboration and dedication to make changes to benefit the community as a whole. Students involved have volunteered to serve a minimum of a year term (September through May) and are locally known leaders on their campus.

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Twin Cities Community Hospital and Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center hosting cereal drive to help feed local kids during summer months

Templeton and San Luis Obispo — Twin Cities Community Hospital and Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, which houses the only dedicated pediatric unit in San Luis Obispo County, are leading a community effort to provide area children struggling with hunger with a healthy breakfast during the summer through its Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive benefiting The Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County. The drive kicked off Friday, June 7, and runs through Friday, June 14.

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McMillan Fire in Shandon grows to 2,000 acres

SHANDON — Highway 46 East outside of Shandon is open and the McMillan Fire was at 50 percent containment, according to Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County.

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North County heats up, rate of fires increase in region

NORTH COUNTY — Firefighters responded to multiple fires throughout San Luis Obispo County over the last few days. Many of these seemed to have been attributed to mowing or using equipment that could cause fires. Cal Fire San Luis Obispo recommended on their twitter page on June 8 that everyone use “caution” when mowing and to complete mowing by 10 a.m. or sooner to avoid accidental ignition. Various fire departments and partners such as Cal Fire SLO, BLM, USFS, local fire departments and other agencies responded throughout the North County, including to the Lake Nacimiento area, Santa Margarita Area and the areas around Paso Robles.

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At-risk missing woman reported

ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Police Department is asking for the public’s help locating an at-risk missing woman. On June 10, at 9:43 a.m., the Atascadero Police Department responded to the 5400 block of Regio Place regarding Sherry Kohler, who reportedly left the residence in a vehicle. Kohler is described as suffering from dementia. She is 73 years old, 5-feet 5-inches tall, weighs 130 pounds, with grey hair and was last seen wearing pink and white pajamas. Kohler was reportedly driving a 2011 Mercedes Benz with California license plate 6SJX802.

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Roadwork started on June 5 for Viejo Camino

ATASCADERO — The City of Atascadero held the official groundbreaking ceremony on June 4 to announce roadwork scheduled to begin on Wednesday, June 5, to repave Viejo Camino between El Camino Real and Paloma Court. Paving work is expected to take approximately two weeks, with final striping to be completed by the beginning of July. The contractor will be closing Viejo Camino to through traffic between El Camino Real and the Paloma Park northern driveway during construction.

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Food Bank receives $33,162 Hunger Is grant from Albertsons/Vons Foundation for its Summer Breakfast Bag Program

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County is excited to receive a $33,162 grant from the Albertsons/Vons Foundation from their Hunger Is initiative to eradicate childhood hunger during the summer of 2019. The funds will be used to purchase nutritious, kid-friendly breakfast foods for the SLO Food Bank Coalition’s Summer Breakfast Bag program which provides multiple weeks’ worth of healthy breakfast items, nutrition information, and fun recipes in a reusable backpack for each participating child. The bags are delivered to high need locations serving families with children.

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How to avoid heat-related illnesses as temperatures soar

COUNTY — As a heat wave approaches some areas of San Luis Obispo County, the Public Health Department encourages residents to protect themselves from heat-related illness and check on those who may be especially at risk. You can reduce the risk of heat-related illness by staying cool, staying hydrated, and staying connected during extreme heat.

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County Clerk of Board function moved departments on June 3

SAN LUIS OBISPO — On May 21, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing and amended the County Code to designate the County Administrative Officer as the official Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, which officially transferred the Clerk of the Board function from the Clerk-Recorder’s Office to the County Administrative Office.

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Injury traffic collision closes State Route 41

ATASCADERO — Head-on collision sent people to an area hospital and closed State Route 41 for three hours Friday night, May 24, the Atascadero Police Department reported. At approximately 10:21 p.m. on May 24, the Atascadero police and fire departments were dispatched to an injury traffic collision in the area of 13550 State Route 41. The first units that arrived on scene found both vehicles had collided head-on and all occupants sustained injuries.

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The Community Foundation SLO County awards $230,000 in Scholarships

SAN LUIS OBISPO ― The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County has awarded $230,000 in scholarships to 60 graduating students. These scholarships are awarded to high school seniors across San Luis Obispo County to support them as they seek higher education. Scholarships are awarded to students for academic rigor, financial need, extracurricular achievements or commitment to their community. Many of the scholarships offered through The Community Foundation are multi-year scholarships and offer financial support to students through their academic careers. The multi-year scholarships are instrumental in providing students with the resources to succeed not only in their first year but in receiving their degree and finishing their pursuit. Areas of college study for our recipients include engineering, mathematics, automotive studies, nursing, and the sciences.

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‘Girl Scouts Love State Parks’ aims to get every girl outside July 13 and 14

VENTURA — Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced June 4 their first-ever Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend July 13 and 14 for girls to experience the outdoors, an integral part of the organization’s all-girl leadership program. Join Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast and thousands of girls in hundreds of state parks across the United States to find adventure, explore nature, and learn what Girl Scouts is all about.

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Routine traffic stop leads to arrest of 2 on drug charges

PASO ROBLES — A routine traffic stop led to a Paso Robles Police Department arresting two people on drug charges in Paso Robles on Monday, June 3. The driver, Henry Theodore Lee Long, 37, of Atascadero, had a suspended license. Long’s passenger, Amanda Jolene Valencia, 42, also of Atascadero, had a warrant out for her arrest. A search of the vehicle yielded 60 grams of meth, 24 grams of heroin, numerous pills, scales, and other drug paraphernalia. Both were arrested.

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Unconsciousness Creston man drives into Santa Margarita Lake

SANTA MARGARITA LAKE — A Creston man lost consciousness while driving his car and went into Santa Margarita Lake, according to the California Highway Patrol. He was fortunate a bystander was there ready to launch his boat and help pull him out of the water when he surfaced. Todd R. Moore, 54, was driving his 2004 Toyota in the Santa Margarita Lake Recreation and Natural Area campgrounds when he experienced a medical episode and momentarily lost consciousness.

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Fire threatens several homes on San Marcos Road

ATASCADERO — Open fields and backyards of several homes on the 10000 block of San Marcos Road were threatened by a rapidly moving grass fire on Saturday, June 1, according to the Atascadero Fire Department. At approximately 2 p.m. on June 1, several units were dispatched including 28 firefighters, four engines and two command vehicles from Atascadero fire, an air attack, four engines, a water tender, dozer and a command vehicle from Cal Fire, one engine from Templeton, an engine and two command vehicles from Paso Robles, one engine from Atascadero State Hospital and two Atascadero Police Department units.

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Inviting all adults with disabilities to “Blame It On The Boogie!”

ATASCADERO — On June 8, the Colony Park Community Center will be filled with retro-themed decorations, a DJ playing the golden oldies and a building full of adults with intellectual and developmental delays for an all-inclusive 70’s themed prom. The idea for this all-inclusive event comes from a life-long dream of Elizabeth Denny, founder of The Positive Change Movement.

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Atascadero man allegedly broke into Paso Robles home

PASO ROBLES — On May 29 at 10:23 a.m., the Paso Robles Police Department received a call from a resident in the 2800 block of Park Street, stating someone had entered her house while she was upstairs. The resident heard the noise and confronted the suspect inside her home. The suspect was surprised and took off running out the door. The suspect ran through a wood fence and the resident contacted the police.

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Stolen vehicle pursuit leads to foot chase in Downtown Atascadero

ATASCADERO — Nearby schools were sheltered in place Tuesday, May 14, while officers chased a man on foot in Downtown Atascadero, the Atascadero Police Department reported. According to officials at approximately 1:19 p.m. Tuesday, afternoon, Atascadero patrol officers were dispatched to the area of Chalk Mountain Liquor regarding a suspicious person.

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Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival gives back to the Zoo

ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival Committee gave the Charles Paddock Zoo $10,000 from the 2018 Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival. Every year the committee donates to the Charles Paddock Zoo and other community organizations using proceeds from the Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival, now known as The Central Coast RESERVE Experience. “The 2018 Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival Committee is pleased to donate $10,000 to the Atascadero Charles Paddock Zoo to continue their great work on the animal habitats according to the zoo master plan. It is important to the committee to give back not only to the zoo but to other great community projects that benefit the residents of Atascadero,” said Barbie Butz, chairwoman of the Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival Committee.

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Local nonprofit Seneca tackling SLO County’s foster care crisis

ATASCADERO — With Foster Care Awareness Month coming up in May, Atascadero-based adoption and foster care nonprofit Seneca Family of Agencies is ramping up awareness efforts in a push to find more foster families to accommodate the approximately 400 foster children in San Luis Obispo County. The Continuum of Care Reform Act (AB 403), which began implementation in 2016 and will last through 2021, has increased pressure for organizations like Seneca to recruit more foster families. California Department of Social Services states that, under AB 403, group-home foster care “will be primarily utilized only for Short-term Residential Therapeutic Centers … and will be designed to quickly transition children back to their own or another permanent family.”

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New deputy for Shandon

SHANDON — Earlier this month, a new San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office deputy was assigned to patrol the community of Shandon in northern San Luis Obispo County. This is the first time a deputy has been dedicated to serve that community. This position was created after Supervisor John Peschong made the request and the Board of Supervisors later approved funding for the new deputy. This addition should significantly improve response times to Shandon, which is a rural community east of Paso Robles of approximately 1,200 people, the Sheriff’s Office stated.

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Woman extricated from a tree on HWY 41

The Atascadero Fire Department responded to a vehicle into a tree on Highway 41 near Los Altos on Sunday, April 29. Fire personnel utilized hydraulic cutters to remove the roof in order to extricate the occupant. The patient, an unidentified woman, was transported to Sierra Vista Hospital with major injuries.

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Learn how to prepare for wildfires

An Wildfire Preparedness Day will be held for residents at the Atascadero City Hall Council Chambers on Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. providing information on how to prepare and plan for a wildfire. Sessions will be held in hour groups with questions and information presentations available from the Atascadero Fire Department.

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County of SLO Public Libraries announces 2019 Book to Action selection

COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries is excited to announce their pick for their 2019 community reads program, Book to Action. They invite the community to read, discuss, and take action with this year’s title, “Hey, Kiddo,” by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. “Hey, Kiddo” is Krosoczka’s profound illustrated memoir about growing up in a family grappling with his mother’s heroin addiction. A 2019 National Book Award finalist, Krosoczka’s graphic memoir recounts how an art class and a sketchbook saved his life. The community is invited to an evening tonight, April 10 with the author at the San Luis Obispo Library at 6:30 p.m., where Krosoczka will discuss his memoir and sign books.

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Tent City Marathon, Road Races and Fun Run ready for April 7

Six race distances - Full and Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and the 0.0 NONE run and a new feature this year - a FUN RUN for all ages and abilities. Pick your favorite distance and join the Fun! All for a good cause, to Benefit the Historic Printery, rehabilitating it into a much-needed arts and event center with 240 seat community theater.

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APACC presents ‘Afternoon Tea with Phoebe Hearst,’ April 13

ATASCADERO — Hearst Castle is a state monument dedicated to the memory of two people; “to William Randolph Hearst, who built it, and Phoebe Apperson Hearst, who inspired it.” Everyone has heard of William but who was his mother, Phoebe? Phoebe Apperson Hearst was one of the most influential philanthropists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She founded organizations and sponsored innovations that affect Americans every day. The University of California at Berkeley, the PTA, Mount Vernon, and the National Cathedral School are just a few of the institutions that, if not for the “little lady from California,” might not exist for the 21st century public.

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ECHO receives $3,000 grant from Central Coast Funds for Children

ATASCADERO — The El Camino Homeless Organization has received a grant of $3,000 from Central Coast Funds for Children. Central Coast Funds for Children provides grants to children’s service organizations to help the children of San Luis Obispo County. On any one day, 15 children between the ages of 0 and 18 live at the shelter. Children’s services at ECHO include homework assistance; nutrition education; gardening; read-aloud sessions and family literacy; and art and music enrichment. “Children facing homelessness throughout the county live at ECHO where families can stay for up to three months in private rooms that keep children with their parents,” says Wendy Lewis, President/CEO, “our goal in 2019 is to increase the amount of family room space we offer, in addition to increasing our children’s services. We are grateful for this grant to help us succeed in our mission to do that.”

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Assistance League of SLO County receives grant from the California Dental Association

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Assistance League Of San Luis Obispo County has received a $5,184 grant award from the California Dental Association (CDA) Foundation Dental Materials and Supplies Grant program which supports nonprofit organizations with dental supplies and materials necessary for dental operations and oral health services. The Henry Schein Cares Foundation supplied the requested dental products — toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash. Assistance League applied for these products which will supply its Dental Hygiene Kits sub-program of Operation School Bell for the next two school years (2019-20 and 2020-21) to 4,600 underserved students. In addition, Rodney S. Hiltbrand, D.D.S., of San Luis Obispo, wrote the required letter from a Health Professional to support Assistance League’s grant application.

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Caltrans seeking applicants for scholarship program

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Caltrans District 5 and the California Transportation Foundation (CTF) are offering two $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors within the five-county district (Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties). Employees of Caltrans District 5 initiated this scholarship program 19 years ago which is entirely employee funded through the proceeds of coffee and baked good sales in the district cafeteria. The scholarship program is designed for college-bound senior high school students who are planning to pursue a career in transportation and live within the five counties of the district.

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Elizabeth Folk art exhibit at Cuesta College now until April 5

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery at Cuesta College starting on March 7 will be home to an art exhibit entitled “We are Younger Now” by Cal Poly faculty member Elizabeth Folk. “We are Younger Now” investigates themes of privilege and power by attempting to defamiliarize modern design and visual images. The exhibition features sculpture, video, a performative marine vessel, home décor, and landscape design.

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Sheriff’s Office seeks state OHV grant application, public input

COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office is currently in the preliminary stages of applying for a California Department of Parks Off-Highway Grant. The grant title is “The San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office Off-Highway Team.” The grant will be utilized to add critical equipment to better serve the off-highway community in San Luis Obispo County. The equipment will allow team members the ability to perform off-highway enforcement and education of the OHV Laws throughout the county of San Luis Obispo, in addition to being able to help with search and rescue missions should the need arise.

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Fundraiser for Col. Bill Hatch set for March 29

ATASCADERO — A barbecue in a bag fundraiser has been set for Friday, March 29, to honor Atascadero Kiwanis Club member Col. Bill Hatch. The purpose of the fundraiser is to defray the costs of extraordinary medical expenses incurred by the Hatches. Hatch is a past Kiwanis Club director, president and even the club’s candidate in a Dancing With Our Stars fundraiser. He has chaired the club’s nominating committee for a number of years.

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Statement from Atascadero United Methodist Church about the greater denomination’s ruling at the General Conference

ST. LOUIS — Emotions are high around the country for those in the United Methodist Church in the wake of the greater denomination’s passing of a plan that excludes those who are part of the LGBTQIA community on Feb. 26 at its General Conference in St. Louis. “My heart breaks over the recent decision of the United Methodist General Conference to affirm a plan that does not at all reflect the UMC motto of ‘Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors,” said the Rev. Diane Rehfield, pastor at Atascadero United Methodist Church. “Instead it paints the denomination as one with closed hearts, closed minds, and closed doors to some.” United Methodist delegates from churches around the world passed the Traditional Plan by a narrow margin: 438 to 384. The plan reaffirms the church’s bans on ordaining LGBTQ clergy and officiating or hosting same-sex marriages. The plan also increases the penalties and accountability for those that violate the bans. “My family has been a part of the UMC for several generations, and this is not the way I have ever experienced the church,” Rehfield said. “I want the community to know that at the Atascadero United Methodist Church, nothing has changed. All are welcome here, as equal partners in a congregation that seeks to do good work in this community, and throughout the world, following the example of Christ.”

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PHOTO: Dancing with Our Stars Sneak Preview

Sneak Preview of one of the 2019 Dancing with Our Stars entertaining vignettes choreographed by Frank Sanchez and starring Mia Sudmeier (center back) and dancers– Micah Steffenauer, Michelle Harms, Brenda May, Angela Cisneros and Susan Poteet. Atascadero’s Dancing with Our Stars is scheduled March 21, 22, 23 at the Pavilion on the Lake. This year’s exciting theme is Atascadero Time Machine: Back to the 80’s! Directed by Molly Comin. The evening kicks off with a social hour featuring Opolo wine, appetizers and silent auction, followed by Pacific Harvest catered dinner and the stellar show of the year! Purchase your tickets soon before they sell out. Tickets available online only at Eventbrite.com and ticket sales close March 13.

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Twin Cities Community Hospital seeking community members to serve on Patient and Family Advisory Council

TEMPLETON — Twin Cities Community Hospital is seeking community members to serve on its Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). The council is instrumental in sharing perspectives, feedback and solutions in an effort to improve the overall patient experience. “The Patient and Family Advisory Council is a vital component to Twin Cities Community Hospital. We believe partnering with patients and families directly improves the planning, delivery and evaluation of healthcare, which is the key to excellent patient care,” said Carrie Vucasovich, RN, Director of Patient Experience at Twin Cities. “Input and involvement from the communities we serve provides important feedback to our programs and services.”

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Chipping program returns to Atascadero

ATASCADERO — The San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council has awarded Atascadero Fire and Emergency Services grant funds for hazardous fuel reduction “chipping” for 2019. The Chipping program will be offered to those properties in the High and Very High Fire Severity zones within city limits. Registration deadline is March 8, and the chipping will begin on March 18. For more information email the Program Coordinator at [email protected] Register online at www.atascadero.org/chipping or complete the registration form and mail to Atascadero Fire and Emergency Services, 6005 Lewis Ave., Atascadero, CA, 93422. All material must be piled near road or driveway and be easily accessible

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Alleged sightings of missing Scot in North County

NORTH COUNTY — According to multiple social media posts and talk from North County residents, a presumed missing Scottish man may be in the area. He reportedly made his rounds in the communities of San Miguel, Paso Robles, and Atascadero trying to sell leftover asphalt to residents. Kim Gordon, 54, allegedly went missing on Monday, Feb. 25, after swimming on Monastery beach in Carmel in Monterey County. According to officials his 17-year-old son, made a 911 call and said that his father went swimming in the dark but never came back. After an extensive search by the Monterey County dive team, they found no evidence of Gordon.

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Burglary halted in Cambria, suspect is on the run

CAMBRIA — San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department deputies are looking for a suspect involved in a burglary and car pursuit that occurred on Sunday, March 3. The suspect is described as an adult male, in his 30s, thin build, 6 feet tall last seen driving a stolen 2015 silver Hyundai Veloster. Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched at approximately 6:05 p.m. to the 2900 block of Burton Drive after receiving a report of a burglary in progress. The reporting party had arrived at his residence to discover his home being burglarized.

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Five people rescued from Salinas River island

ATASCADERO — Five people were rescued Wednesday afternoon from an island in the Salinas River south of the Highway 41 bridge in Atascadero, the Atascadero Fire and Emergency Services reported. At approximately 4:31 p.m on Wednesday, March 6, the first arriving Atascadero fire engine found five people trapped on an island in the middle of the Salinas River adjacent to 6900 Sycamore Road.

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Girl loses life while walking on Highway 101

TEMPLETON — A 17-year-old Paso Robles girl walking northbound along Highway 101 on Tuesday, March 5, was hit and killed by a car, the California Highway Patrol reported. It had been a rainy and windy night when the driver, Bruce Wayne Eddy, 60, from Atascadero was driving his 2010 Chevrolet Impala northbound on Highway 101. Eddy was reportedly going approximately 60 mph when the teenager, who was walking on the right-hand shoulder, for reasons unknown suddenly stepped into the path of his vehicle. The collision occurred just north of Las Tablas Road at approximately 10:50 p.m.

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Carbajal announces 2019 Congressional art competition

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) announced Monday the start of this year’s Congressional Art Competition. High School students from across California’s 24th Congressional District are encouraged to participate in the annual competition by April 25. The Congressional Art Competition was established in 1982 as a way to encourage the creative talents of high school students across the nation. Since the beginning of the competition, over 650,000 students have participated. Carbajal is a strong supporter of a well-rounded curriculum and encourages young artists to pursue their unique passions and abilities that reflect our vibrant and diverse Central Coast.

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PHOTO: Rescuers train together in working with helicopters

The North County Technical Rescue Team received annual training on Feb. 27 from California Highway Patrol at their Paso Robles airport hangar. Difficult access or terrain during rescue may call for hoisting operations, so team members need to know how to effectively work with and around helicopters.

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Woods Humane Society expands spay and neuter capacity

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Woods Humane Society has increased spay and neuter capacity at the shelter’s San Luis Obispo clinic to provide additional surgery appointments for central coast dogs and cats. Woods took in more than 900 kittens last year and is strongly urging area residents to help ensure that all cats are spayed or neutered as soon as possible. Breeding season has already begun. To help curb this serious problem, Woods has dramatically increased the number of cat spay/neuter appointments available to the public.

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SpringHill Suites faced fire scare

ATASCADERO — On Wednesday, Feb. 27, the Atascadero Fire Department was dispatch to a report of smoke from the top floor of the four-story, SpringHill Suites, owned by Daon Properties and located at 900 El Camino Real in Atascadero. According to dispatch traffic, at approximately 8:45 p.m. Atascadero FD responded along with Paso Robles Fire Department, Cal Fire, Atascadero Police Department and San Luis Ambulance. A total of five engines and one ladder truck was sent to the site. An Incident command post was established at the corner of El Camino Real and the Home Depot entrance.

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Juveniles involved in alleged criminal activity apprehended

SHANDON — After a string of break-ins, vandalism, and burglaries, two juvenile males from Colorado were apprehended on Feb. 28 in Salinas, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office reported. The pair of young men reportedly stole $500 and caused approximately $1,200 in damages to local businesses. San Luis Obispo Sheriff's deputies were first dispatched on Feb. 20 to a vandalism report in the 19000 block of Highway 46 East in Shandon. When deputies arrived at the Mission Trail Cider House they discovered several windows had been shattered with what appeared to be pellets from a BB gun. At that time, the owner of the business revealed to deputies that approximately $400 had been stolen from the cash register. Damage to the windows was estimated at approximately $1,200.

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SLO County Supervisors receive update on next year’s budget

COUNTY — Based on budget requests from departments, the County needs to close a $2.5 million to $4 million gap to balance the budget for the coming fiscal year. County Budget Director Emily Jackson presented to the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 26 an update on the current outlook for next year’s budget. Based on status-quo budget requests submitted to the County Administrative Office by departments in January, County expenses are still expected to outpace incoming revenue by a range of about $2.5 million to $4 million, Jackson said. While this is less than what was projected in October during the financial forecast presentation to the Board of a gap of $5 million to $10 million, it still presents a challenge.

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Busy Karen McNamara is not too busy to dance

ATASCADERO — Karen McNamara’s remarkable history is an awe-inspiring one and she shares her story with a modesty that belies her achievements. Karen, who is the Atascadero Printery Foundation’s Community Star dancer, for Dancing with Our Stars (DWOS) 2019, suffered life-threatening injuries in an automobile accident and later, was left almost homeless, after the death of her husband, Mike. She has worked her way back to health and productivity, making significant contributions to the community, and perhaps her philosophy is best summed up by a saying from Shakespeare which hangs in her office: “And though she be but little, She is fierce.” Karen owns the Hope Chest Emporium in downtown Atascadero. She tells us, “We have been branded an eclectic store with a unique blend of items for home and garden.”

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Karen J. Reed first recipient of the Quiet Strength Award

ATASCADERO — Karen J. Reed, of Atascadero, was the first recipient of the Quiet Strength Award presented by the Department of Women Church Of God In Christ Southern California First Jurisdiction on Jan. 10 in Los Angeles for outstanding service. The Quiet Strength Award was created to honor those individuals who are the engine of the Vision and Mission, and move the Women’s Department forward. In the Department, Reed has served as the Coordinator Bible Bold which emphasizes scripture memorization, and the Assistant Regional Missionary in the Santa Barbara Region. The mission of the department is to develop Women of Excellence who will affect Better Homes, Better Schools, Better Communities and A Better World.

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Share the Love Fashion Show set for March 1-2

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Tickets are on sale for the 32nd Annual Share the Love Fashion Show, to be held at the Alex Madonna Expo Center on March 1-2. Join them for a night of entertainment, delicious cuisine and fashion as locals band together to support San Luis Obispo County non-profit organizations Stand Strong, Woods Humane Society and Jack’s Helping Hand.

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Meet Cali | February Animal Service Pet of the Month

Meet Cali! This bright, playful 6-year-old American Bulldog and a favorite of many at the shelter. Cali walks well on leash, and she pays attention to and engages with her handler. She is smart, too! Cali already knows “sit,” “shake,” and “down” and enjoys her puzzle and enrichment toys. She is not a fan of smaller dogs but is a happy, outgoing people girl. She enjoys time in the yard playing fetch and loves to have fun.

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County wants public input on ag worker housing

COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo County Department of Planning and Building is asking for the public’s input as the department works on updates to the Agricultural Worker Housing Ordinance, formerly known as the Farm Support Quarters. Under the direction of the Board of Supervisors, Planning and Building staff are working on an ordinance to encourage the development of agricultural worker housing by removing barriers that are no longer necessary. As part of this effort, the County has reviewed existing restrictions and limitations on housing throughout the unincorporated areas of the County and has released the Agricultural Worker Housing Ordinance Public Review Draft available on www.slocounty.ca.gov.

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CHP: Two from Atascadero injured in Cuesta Grade collision

CUESTA GRADE — Two people from Atascadero headed southbound in an SUV on Highway 101 collided with a tractor-trailer on Wednesday, Feb. 20, according to the California Highway Patrol. The driver of SUV suffered major injuries and two of the three lanes were closed for two hours. The collision occurred at approximately 3:02 p.m., when Shannon Schmidt, 44, of Atascadero, was driving a 2005 GMC Yukon southbound on Highway 101 just south of TV Tower Road in the number two lane at an unknown speed, CHP reported.

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Jury convicts Travis Dawson of drug and gun charges

SAN LUIS OBISPO — A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court jury Feb. 8 found Travis Ray Dawson of San Miguel guilty of transportation of methamphetamine and heroin for the purpose of sale, possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person, possession of methamphetamine, driving on a suspended license and providing false information to a peace officer, according to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office.

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RVs for Veterans program now operated by local Common Ground Worldwide

COUNTY — The program RVs for Veterans, originally created in 2013 by Hope’s Village of SLO, is now being run by local nonprofit Common Ground Worldwide. This program helps to connect unhoused veterans and their families with local individuals who have an unwanted motorhome, trailer, or fifth wheel they’d like to pass along to someone in need. It’s a simple gift from one person to another — no money is exchanged, and no liability is incurred. The nonprofit organization functions as a “matchmaker,” facilitating a connection between unhoused veterans and locals with RVs to pass along to them. Once the connection has been made, both parties go to the DMV together to transfer title, the new owner obtains insurance, and he or she drives off with a new home on wheels. To date, 85 people have been housed through this program.

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PHOTO: St. William’s Hobby Fellowship raised $4K and donated it to ECHO and Loaves and Fishes

St. William’s Catholic Church Hobby Fellowship group donated over $4,000 that was equally divided between ECHO Homeless Shelter and Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. This creative craft group meets monthly to produce items that are sold at their annual boutique sale. From left to right is Wendy Lewis, ECHO CEO, receiving a check from Larry Stallings, St. William’s Catholic Church Hobby Fellowship Chair. Monica Innes, a member of the Hobby Fellowship Group is presenting a check to Loaves and Fishes President Tim Eckles. Back row, Father Edwin and ECHO Board President Eric Gobler.

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Public Health Department investigating bacterial meningitis case following Cuesta College student death

SAN LUIS OBISPO — A student living in San Luis Obispo and attending Cuesta College has died from presumed bacterial meningitis, according to the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department. Laboratory testing to confirm this diagnosis is underway. Due to the serious nature of the illness, the Public Health Department is working with local hospitals, Cuesta College and people close to the student to identify any individuals who may have a potential risk of infection. Those individuals are receiving preventive antibiotics. “This loss is devastating for everyone involved,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, Health Officer of the County of San Luis Obispo. “Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and everyone who cared about this young person.”

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Survey finds 18 million trees died in California in 2018

VALLEJO — The USDA Forest Service announced Monday, Feb. 11, that an additional 18 million trees, mostly conifers, died in California since fall 2017. Over 147 million trees have died across 9.7 million acres of federal, state, local and private lands in California since the drought began in 2010. Since 2016, federal, state, and local partners have felled 1.5 million dead trees, primarily those posing the highest hazards to life and property.

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Home Winemaking Competition registration now open for the fair

PASO ROBLES — The California Mid-State Fair Home Winemaking Competition is now accepting entries. The competition will take place in May and feature wines made from both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. The wines are separated into six categories: white, rose/blanc, red, dessert, wines made with fruit other than grapes and sparkling. The categories are then separated into classes by varietal.

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Sheriffs have a new Jail Health Care Service Provider

COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office welcomed Wellpath as the new contracted provider for Jail Health Care Services, officially starting Feb. 1. Wellpath has been preparing to transition health care services over the past few months after finalizing a contract on Dec. 11, 2018. The services outlined in the contract include: medical, behavioral health, and dental care, and are consistent with the national standard of Jail Health Care as defined by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). The decision to contract out Jail Health Care Services was made by the Board of Supervisors in September of 2018 after a process of research and deliberation about the best way to deliver high-quality inmate care.

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2019 Central Coast Olive Oil Competition new Early Bird registration available now until Friday, March 22

PASO ROBLES —The Central Coast Olive Oil Competition, hosted annually by the California Mid-State Fair and in partnership with the Lodi Grape Festival, is now accepting entries. The 11th annual competition will take place in April 2019 and will be featuring olive oil from across the state of California.

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County wildfire reduction planning continues for 2019

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Fire San Luis Obispo Unit has identified goals for wildfire prevention in San Luis Obispo County for 2019. With an ever-present need for wildfire readiness in our county, Fire Chief Scotty Jalbert has prioritized a few proactive measures to reduce the threat of wildfire this year. This year’s plan includes:

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Tree falls into Atascadero apartments

ATASCADERO — A tree fell into an apartment complex on Amapoa Road Wednesday, Feb. 13, morning and eight people were displaced, the City of Atascadero reported. The apartments were in the 8000 block of Amapoa Avenue. A nearby resident reported the downed tree early that morning around 7:15 a.m.

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PG&E to customers: Stay safe on Valentine’s Day, keep metallic balloons secure

SAN FRANCISCO — Valentine's Day is fast approaching and many customers will celebrate with festive bundles of metallic balloons. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) urges customers to securely tie a weight to all metallic balloons containing helium to prevent them from floating away. Metallic balloons that contact overhead power lines can disrupt electric service to an entire neighborhood, cause significant property damage and potentially result in serious injuries.

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TFD raising funds with Valentine’s Day flower sale to help find a cure for leukemia and lymphoma

UPDATE: Due to high winds and rain the booth location for the Templeton Firefighters with Flowers for a Cure event has been changed. Flowers will be sold today, Wednesday, Feb. 13 at the Templeton Fire Station located at 206 5th Street from noon to 6 p.m. On Valentine’s Day, the flower booth will still be located at two locations. The Templeton Fire Station at 206 5th Street from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and BarrelHouse Brewing Company from noon to 6 p.m. TEMPLETON — Templeton Fire Department firefighters will sell flowers for Valentine’s Day to raise money to find a cure for leukemia and lymphoma. They started on Saturday, Feb. 9 and will continue through 6 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, Thursday, Feb. 14. Firefighters with Flowers for a Cure will have a booth in downtown Templeton selling a variety of flowers, including roses.

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Susan Funk dances her way from City Hall to the Pavilion

ATASCADERO — The last time Susan Funk “performed” as a dancer it was a wedding waltz with her new husband, Gordon, 24 years ago. And sharp eyes have spotted her as an enthusiastic participant in group dancing during free concerts this summer at Atascadero Lake Park. But now Susan is entering the ranks of those brave women and men who have no “real” dance performance experience but are willing to go public as a Community Star, participating in Dancing With Our Stars (DWOS) to support a worthy, local non-profit. The funds that Susan secures will help underwrite AAUW’s scholarship program. Susan shares: “I love the work AAUW is doing to empower girls and women in their education. I have been blessed with wonderful educational opportunities myself and I know how powerful it can be to get a little extra encouragement or support at the right time.”

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Fairytale, superhero meet and greet to be held in Templeton

TEMPLETON — Come meet your favorite fairytale friends and superheroes in Templeton Park on Sunday, Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a fun filled event. The first hour will be princess stories, sing alongs and dancing. The second hour will be superhero movement demonstrations, pledge and dance battle. The final hour all princesses and superheroes will be available for photos and meet and greet. All this for only $20! Bring your little princesses and heroes in their favorite costumes. This is a fundraiser event for North County Theatre Works and the Templeton Performing Arts Center Foundation.

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Paso Police Chief receives black belt

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Paragon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu San Luis Obispo celebrated its 10-year anniversary on Saturday, Feb. 2, with the promotion of three new black belt recipients. Paso Robles Police Department Chief Ty Lewis, business owner Larry Nash, and Paragon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Arroyo Grande co-owner John Marine, all received their black belts. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is the most prestigious and challenging belt awarded in martial arts — requiring the average student a minimum of 10 years of training to achieve.

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Neuro Fitness Program coming to Kennedy Club Fitness

NORTH COUNTY — Kennedy Club Fitness Paso Robles and Atascadero will soon be offering a new program designed to help those who are living with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular and autoimmune conditions. Neuro Fitness participants will receive individualized exercise guidance and weekly group fitness classes that incorporate strength, endurance, balance and flexibility. Personal Trainer, Natalie Cooks, has a master’s in Kinesiology and Exercise Science and 10 years of experience in health and fitness including cardiac rehab, physical therapy, medically-based exercise programming and health coaching.

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Tickets for 2019 Book of the Year event now available

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cuesta College’s 2019 Book of the Year program will bring renowned Mexican-American Chicana scholar, novelist, and poet Ana Castillo to San Luis Obispo on March 5 to discuss her memoir “Black Dove: Mama, Mi’jo and Me.” Castillo will appear for a presentation and book-signing event at the Cuesta College Harold J. Miossi Cultural and Performing Arts Center (CPAC). General admission tickets for the public ($15) are now on sale at tickets.cuesta.edu. Tickets for Cuesta students are free; RSVP at [email protected] Castillo will also lead a classroom discussion with Cuesta College’s North County Campus students in Paso Robles.

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Meet Apollo | February Animal Service Pet of the Month

Apollo is currently staying with a foster who is experienced with German Shepherds and has great things to say about this boy. He is very well-mannered and rides happily in the car. He is also crate trained. Apollo walks well on leash and does great on his walks, but he is strong. Apollo loves to play and has great energy. He prefers the company of female dogs.

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Farm Bureau announces new executive director

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Brent Burchett, Division Director of Plant Marketing, in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, has been selected by the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau as its new executive director. He succeeds Lynn Diehl, who became executive director in 2014, and is retiring, in February, after a four-decade career, which includes media, government communications, and as a strong advocate for local agriculture through Farm Bureau.

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PHOTOS: Firefighters take swift action on chimney fire

On Monday, Jan. 28, the Atascadero Fire Department with the assistance from Atascadero State Hospital Fire Department, Cal Fire San Luis Obispo and Templeton Fire Department responded to a chimney fire in the 8000 block of San Rafael Road. The fire was quickly contained to the area surrounding the chimney.

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Chico man collides with center divider on US 101

ATASCADERO — A man collided with the center divider going southbound on Highway 101, on Thursday, Jan. 24 in Atascadero and was injured, according to California Highway Patrol. John Mark Fuller, 67, of Chico, was driving his 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser when he drifted into the center divider approximately two miles from Santa Barbara Road.

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Creston Elementary Science Camp Jan. fundraiser was a big success

ATASCADERO — On Jan. 18, the Creston Elementary School’s fourth- and fifth-grade class had a blast hosting a Science Camp fundraiser at the Atascadero Agricultural Hall. The party started with a Spaghetti Dinner donated by the Ag Hall, and prepared by Jodi Tellier, as the students did their part by serving food and drinks to all of the attendees. Over 100 people turned out for dinner and took part in the silent auction that was made possible through the generous donations of local wineries, businesses and area residents. Not only was there dinner and a silent auction, but there was also a raffle with door prizes, dance lessons by Cammie Velci and Brian Reeves of A-Town Ballroom, plus dancing and music by deejay and emcee, Joy Bonner.

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Libraries offer new ebook and eaudiobook service

COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries are offering a new eBook and eAudiobook service called cloudLibrary. cloudLibrary provides access to electronic materials from libraries across California. Beginning Feb. 1, County of San Luis Obispo Public Library cardholders will have access to a free new eBook/eAudiobook service called cloudLibrary.

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After 16 years RISE retires Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event

COUNTY — For sixteen years RISE has hosted Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an event aimed at raising awareness about sexual violence and empowering SLO County to take action. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a national franchise, is notable for encouraging community members, male and female alike, to don high heeled shoes and walk a mile throughout town - an act of solidarity with survivors of sexual assault and a conversation starter about the difficult topic. After extensive discussion, market research, and feedback from RISE staff, board members, and community supporters alike, RISE has decided to retire the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. This decision was made in an effort to address some of the problematic messaging of Walk a Mile as well as a pattern of declining revenue and attendance.

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Executive Director Tucker resigns from Woods Humane Society

COUNTY — Woods Humane Society Executive Director Jill Tucker is resigning to become the CEO for the California Animal Welfare Association (Cal Animals). In a statement the Woods Humane Society said that under Tucker’s leadership, they have broadened its impact for animals through a facility expansion, a merger with the North County Humane Society in Atascadero, and the opening of SLO County’s first public spay and neuter clinic. During this time, the organization has also more than tripled its lifesaving capacity by dramatically increasing animal intakes and adoptions.

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Suspect flees in high pursuit chase

NORTH COUNTY — A woman was arrested after a high-speed chase Monday, Jan. 21, afternoon in the North County, the California Highway Patrol reported. On Monday, Jan. 21 at approximately 2:30 p.m., a Templeton California Highway Patrol officer responded to the area of southbound US 101 at Del Rio Road in Atascadero for a report of a reckless vehicle driving in and out of lanes and speeding.

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Murder Mystery Dinner to benefit the Atascadero Printery Foundation

ATASCADERO — Chef Antonio Varia, of Buona Tavola, and the Atascadero Printery Foundation are coming together on Feb. 9 to create a night that involves murder and mystery plus wine and food by Chef Varia. The volunteers of the Atascadero Printery Foundation will be putting on “Til Death Do We Part- a Murder Mystery Dinner” along with Varia who is preparing a five-course dinner to benefit the Atascadero Printery Foundation. The Foundation recently purchased the historic Printery — the first civic building completed in Atascadero, and are working to raise funds to bring the old building back to life.

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Winter storm produces wind, rain, hail and snow for the North County

NORTH COUNTY — During the past week, the North County experienced icy winter storm conditions. Starting on Feb. 1 and 2 rain and winds up to 40 to 60 mph with gusts as high as 80 mph pummeled homes and businesses. Temperatures dipped into the teens and 20s. Trees fell over and power was cut in many areas on Saturday in Atascadero and Templeton. Halcon Road in Atascadero washed out once again late on Saturday, according to local residents and officials. The winter storms over the past week produced a total of 5.76 inches of rain for Atascadero and 3.54 inches for Paso Robles bringing the season totals for Atascadero to 16.56 inches and for Paso Robles to 13.47 inches.

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UPDATE: Atascadero man arrested; boy is safe

ATASCADERO An Atascadero man was arrested and his 4-year-old son was found safe Thursday afternoon, the Atascadero Police Department reported. On Thursday, Jan. 31, APD responded to a missing person’s report involving suspicious circumstances involving the pair. During the investigation, Atascadero police learned that the resident, Cody Parrott, had been acting irrationally. Parrott reportedly left the residence sometime during the night and took his 4-year-old son, Noah Parrot, with him and police believe he may be at risk.

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Home2Suites reaches skyward

The Hilton location, which will be run by a management company rather than by the Madonna family directly as is the famous San Luis Obispo attraction, is almost as tall as it’s going to get. Work started on the fourth story of the structure last week and commuters between Atascadero and Paso Robles will have noticed the edifice springing up from the vacant lot quite rapidly since work started in September 2018.

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Sungrown Wellness hopes for mid-2019 reopening

In October 2018 the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission approved a Conditional Use Permit for a cannabis distribution facility and mobile delivery dispensary on El Camino Real in Santa Margarita near Highway 58. At the time, said Sommer Shahan, co-owner of Sungrown Wellness Inc., the main block to reopening what had been a functioning non-profit delivering medicinal cannabis to local clients was the application process for a California State license under a newly approved business model. In January 2019 they now have that license, and a location in unincorporated San Luis Obispo County, but they’re prevented from opening just yet as County Planning and Building approval processes are now taking the lion’s share of their efforts and funding.

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Congregation Ohr Tzafon to host MLK Jr. celebration Jan. 20

ATASCADERO — Congregation Ohr Tzafon will be hosting a special celebration on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the lessons he still teaches today about being courageous in continuing the fight for equality and civil rights for all in America. The presentation will also highlight the remarkable friendship between Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The celebration will take place on Sunday, Jan. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Congregation Ohr Tzafon, 2605 Traffic Way, Atascadero.

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PHOTO: ARWFC swear in officers

Left to right: District 5 Supervisor Debbie Arnold swearing in 2019 Officers for Atascadero Republican Women Federated Club were President: Amanda Stallman, Recording Secretary: Carol Brazil, Treasurer: Sue Walters, 3rd Vice President: Tammy Scully, 2nd Vice President: Mary Lea Harris and 1st Vice President: Kathleen Goble.

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SLO Regional CERT annual meeting set for Jan. 22

COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo Regional CERT will hold their annual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the SLO Veterans Memorial Building, 801 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo. This event is open to the public. The San Luis Obispo Regional CERT will share informaton related to disaster preparedness throughout SLO County. They will report on last year’s accomplishments, (formation of a South County CERT program and training individuals to administer CERT courses); and there will be a discussion of 2019 goals (creating a new North County CERT program and implementing Disaster Service Worker coverage for all CERT volunteers).

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Airport announces new Deputy Director

COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport is proud to announce that Courtney Johnson will be joining the staff as Deputy Director, Finance and Administration. She will start the new position Jan. 22, 2019. Johnson comes to the airport from the Minter Field Airport District, where she served as Manager of Finance and Administration for six years. At Minter, she directed all accounting, personnel and administrative operations; leasing and property administration and oversaw the fiscal management of federal and state grant programs.

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Lawsuit claims negligence against doctor and pharmacy

ATASCADERO — An Atascadero women, Lorena Anderson filed a lawsuit on Jan. 7 against Dignity Health, Dr. Maria Rasul, and Rite Aid Pharmacy. The lawsuit is for damages and a jury trial for negligence, medical negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress as the result of taking a medication that she was unaware would cause her to lose her unborn fetus. In the lawsuit filed with the San Luis Obispo Superior Court, Anderson’s lawyers from The May Firm in San Luis Obispo stated that Anderson alleges that on March 20, 2018, she went to see Dr. Rasul at the Bishop’s Peak Women’s Health Center, located at 1941 Johnson Ave., Suite 301 in San Luis Obispo. The center is owned, maintained and operated by Dignity Health.

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Celebrity Johnny Galecki put his Santa Margarita Ranch up for sale

SANTA MARGARITA — “Big Bang Theory” star, Johnny Galecki has decided to put his Santa Margarita Ranch on the market for $825,000 according to the Central Coast Realty Group listing. Galecki, who recently was on the “Roseanne” reboot and now on “The Conners,” is expected to take a loss on this property since he originally purchased it for $1.2 million in 2017 according to records.

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Exploring new ideas, like tiny homes to help with housing in SLO County

COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo is working to develop policies that would allow movable tiny houses in the unincorporated areas of the County. With direction from the County Board of Supervisors, Planning and Building staff have been working on the County Housing Initiative Package, which is a set of policy solutions aiming to address housing affordability in the unincorporated areas of the County. One of the options that is being explored is policy for movable tiny houses.

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Government shutdown and how it impacts programs locally

COUNTY — As the government shutdown looms into its fourth week many aspects of the local and state government are starting to feel its effect. Here is the current breakdown of the programs that may have been impacted and their effect on our communities and residents.

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PD and SWAT bust meth operation in Atascadero

ATASCADERO — Nine people were arrested Wednesday after a search warrant was served at a reported methamphetamine operation on Carrizo Road, the Atascadero Police Department. On Jan. 16, the Atascadero Police Department, in partnership with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, served a narcotics and stolen property related search warrant at two adjoining properties in the 4900 block of Carrizo Road.

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Superintendent accepts a new assignment

ATASCADERO — Tom Butler is representing the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation/Lighthouse as their Community Star for the 2019 Dancing with Our Stars (DWOS). Tom comments, “I am so impressed by the commitment and service to the community by the Greyhound Foundation. I greatly appreciate the fact that the Greyhound Foundation realizes that the youth of today face true challenges and is willing to step up and provide real support that allows our youth to be successful.” The mission of the Greyhound Foundation is particularly important to Tom, who has the weighty responsibility of being the superintendent of the Atascadero Unified School District, a position he has held since 2015.

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ECHO receives $6,900 from St. James Episcopal Church fundraiser

ATASCADERO — El Camino Homeless Organization Homeless Shelter announced it has received a donation of $6,900 from the St. James Episcopal Church in Paso Robles. The donation was the result of a fundraiser held in November, the 10th annual Music for the Soul. “We are very grateful to receive this donation,” said Wendy Lewis, president and CEO of ECHO. “This will help us maximize our living space inside the shelter and provide even more resources to the people we serve.”

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Cal Poly float wins Extraordinaire Award at 2019 Rose Parade

PASADENA — Cal Poly universities’ “Far Out Frequencies,” featuring a pair of astronauts and a handful of animated extraterrestrials on an alien planet communicating through music, received the Extraordinaire Award for the most extraordinary float at the 130th Rose Parade held New Year’s Day. The float, designed and built by teams of students from Cal Poly and California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, celebrates this year’s parade theme, “The Melody of Life,” by paying homage to music as a language for all. It is the fourth time in 71 appearances that the Cal Poly float has featured a space-related design.

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Twin Cities Community Hospital names new CNO

Twin Cities Community Hospital has appointed Robert Cook as its new Chief Nursing Officer (CNO). Effective immediately, Cook assumes responsibility for all nursing and designated patient care functions within Twin Cities Community Hospital. He also oversees and coordinates the nursing units and their daily operations. Cook most recently served as Interim CNO at Twin Cities, and previously held the titles of Chief Quality Officer, Director of Clinical Quality and Risk Management and Director of Medical Surgical Services.

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Caltrans completes improvements on HWY 41 in SLO County due to SB 1 funds

COUNTY — Caltrans has completed the resurfacing of nearly nine lane miles of Highway 41 due to the funds from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. “Highway 41 is heavily used as a major east-west route for commuters and tourists in northern San Luis Obispo County who frequent the beaches, campgrounds and tourist attractions along the Central Coast. This resurfacing project will ensure a smooth ride and safe commute for everyone,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman.

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CHP notes new roadway safety laws

SACRAMENTO – New laws approved by the California Legislature in 2018 will affect roadway safety in several ways, including helmet use on bicycles and motorized scooters, hit-and-run on bicycle paths, modified exhaust systems, and enhanced safety for refuse collection vehicles. To support its mission of providing the highest levels of Safety, Service, and Security, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is highlighting several of these new laws.

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These women love to dance

ATASCADERO — Nancy Beckett was born to dance and she has danced all her life. Her dance lessons began at an early age and she has progressed from a student to a performer, then a teacher and a patron of the arts, especially the art of dance. Nancy is on the board of the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation (PRYAF) and she is representing PRYAF as a Community Star in Dancing With Our Stars (DWOS), 2019. She tells us “PRYAF is dear to my heart. All classes are free! Dance, Art, Filming, Set Making, Music, Singing. PRYAF is a very special place.”

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PHOTOS: Christmas Bike Program Giveaway

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office had a great time at the Christmas Bike Program Giveaway on Dec. 20. They would like to thank everyone who gave their time, finances, and talents to put bikes in the hands of local children. They are proud to have a program that recycles unwanted bikes, teaches a useful trade to inmates, and returns refurbished and donated bikes to members of the community.

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Roadway slope embankment repair underway at Alamo Creek Road

ATASCADERO — The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works will be performing roadway slope repair at Alamo Creek Road off State Highway 166. Work began Wednesday, Dec. 26, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Work will continue into mid-January, dependent upon the weather. The work will remove a failed slope embankment and reconstruct the slope with a repaved roadway.

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PHOTO: Templeton Community keeps giving to Fire Dept.

Templeton Fire and Emergency Services continue to be excited about the results of #Giving Tuesday. To date, the Department has received $7,100. The most recent donation was presented by the Templeton Rabobank Branch for $1,000.

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Coalition is addressing housing needs in County

COUNTY — San Luis Obispo County is working with community partners to provide some much-needed relief to the community’s housing problems. Under the direction of the Board of Supervisors, the County Department of Planning and Building has partnered with the Coalition of Housing Partners to develop solutions that would provide some relief from the current housing needs in San Luis Obispo County. Through research including a nexus study, the Coalition of Housing Partners found a $2-4 million gap in funding needed to provide the resources necessary to increase not only low-income housing, but workforce housing and middle-income housing as well.

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Atascadero Deputy City Manager reaches out in a new direction

ATASCADERO — Terrie Banish is usually found backstage, creating and managing the production side of marketing and ad events as the Deputy City Manager — Outreach, Promotions and Events for the City of Atascadero. This year, Terrie steps front and center as a Community Star dancer for Friends of the Atascadero Library (FOAL). As a youngster, Terrie had ballet and tap lessons but dance has not been part of her adult life. She shares that she feels “very honored” to be chosen as a Community Star, a role that she has thought about for several years. Terrie says, “I have always enjoyed the library and the resources available that have personally helped me growing up from my childhood, through my college years and now through my adult years as I raise a family of my own. The library is a major educational resource that everyone in the community can grow and benefit from.”

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Suspect in attempted Templeton robbery arrested by Sheriffs

TEMPLETON — The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office caught the suspect Anthony Pamfilo Espinoza, who was wanted in connection to an armed robbery of a gas station in Templeton. On the evening of Friday, Dec. 14, Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a burglary in progress at the Chevron gas station in the 700 block of Las Tablas Road in Templeton. It was reported a suspect tried to steal some alcohol from that location. The owner confronted the suspect. At that time, the suspect pulled on a black mask and then threatened the owner by indicating he had a weapon, although no weapon was seen. The owner was able to take a photo of the suspect as he fled the scene. The loss from the store is unknown.

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E.coli linked to Santa Maria company recalling additional produce

SANTA MARIA — Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. is recalling red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce and cauliflower harvested Nov. 27 through 30, out of an abundance of caution, because it may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria (E. coli O157:H7) a genetically related strain that was also isolated in ill people and caused the multistate outbreak in October and November. The FDA urges the public from eating romaine lettuce from Monterey, San Benito and Santa Barbara counties. Originally any romaine lettuce harvested before Nov. 23 from San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Ventura counties was also on the “do not eat list.” Since time has passed the fresh stock available to the public is now cleared to eat romaine from San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Ventura counties. As well as hydroponic or greenhouse-grown romaine lettuce, which has not been linked to the outbreak whatsoever.

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Sherriff’s Office asks for public’s help to find armed robbery suspect

TEMPLETON — The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating Anthony Pamfilo Espinoza, who is wanted in connection to an armed robbery of a gas station in Templeton. On Friday, Dec. 14, Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a burglary in progress at the Chevron gas station in the 700 block of Las Tablas Road in Templeton.

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Temporary closure of HWY 101 on-ramp and off-ramp at Main Street, Templeton

TEMPLETON — The Highway 101 on-ramp and off-ramp at Main Street in Templeton will be closed Monday, Dec. 17 through Friday, Dec. 21 from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. Time of actual work is dependent on weather conditions. The work will include removing and replacing existing pavement, laying a new paved surface, and reconstructing various roadside facilities. For the safety of the public and workers, traffic on Main Street will be subject to detours or one-way controls with flaggers as required for each phase of work. Delays are expected to be up to 10 minutes during major operations. Motorists are advised to adjust their travel plans due to delays and or closures and consider alternative routes.

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Holiday Magic is back at Charles Paddock Zoo

ATASCADERO — The holiday season is upon us and the zookeepers have stepped in as Santa’s Elves to prepare gifts for the animals for the Central Coast’s only Zoo. Santa will be at the Zoo on Saturday, Dec. 15, to help welcome visitors and deliver gifts to the animals. Come join Santa and the staff for some Holiday Magic at the Charles Paddock Zoo to enjoy the festivities. Holiday Magic is a time to visit the Zoo and the events of the day are included with regular admission. Over 200 animals call the Charles Paddock Zoo home, including red pandas, monkeys, meerkats, parrots, a Malayan Tiger, a variety of reptiles and more.

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El Camino Real/San Anselmo road striping started, Dec. 11

ATASCADERO — The City of Atascadero is anticipating completion of the El Camino Real and San Anselmo road work for the 2018 F-14 Roadway Rehabilitation Projects this month. There are miscellaneous items remaining, but the majority of the roadway reconstruction work has been completed.

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Unit 2 at PG&E’S Diablo Canyon Power Plant operating at full power

AVILA BEACH — Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Diablo Canyon Power Plant Unit 2 returned to service and is now operating at 100 percent power. The unit had been shut down since Dec. 1, when a grid monitoring protective feature detected a lower than normal current on the transmission lines. Upon sensing the operation of the grid protective feature on Dec. 1, Unit 2 performed as designed and automatically went offline to protect equipment and plant operators responded and conducted an investigation and testing.

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Tips for foiling ‘porch pirates’ this season

NORTH COUNTY — It’s the season of giving, and in some cases taking. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, people took to online shopping this year especially with free shipping to complete their purchases. Porches and stoops are filling with boxes from major retailers, like Amazon, Target or Walmart, are becoming easy targets for thieves also known as “porch pirates,” who are following your carriers every move and picking up packages along the way. According to a study done by InsuranceQuotes in 2017, 8 percent of Americans or about 25.9 million people have had a holiday package delivery stolen from a front porch or doorstep. This is up from 23.5 million uncovered in their 2015 survey. Well, how do you stop them? Here are some tips on how to deter these opportunistic thieves: “Being diligent with knowing what your shipping times are, typically UPS delivers about the same time every day to certain residences. Check your packages delivery date make sure they are not sitting out there for an extended period of time, would be good starters,” said Commander Caleb Davis with the Paso Robles Police Department.

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Cuesta College paramedic program introduces state-of-the-art ambulance simulator

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cuesta College Paramedic Program hosted an open house to introduce its upcoming class of paramedic students and unveil its brand new, state-of-the-art ambulance simulator. The mobile simulator is one of the first of its kind to be used in California and was funded through a grant by the Strong Workforce Program as a component of the state’s “Doing What Matters (for Jobs and the Economy)” initiative. “With the national evolution of Emergency Medical Services education to a high-fidelity scenario-based model, Cuesta College is setting the pace in California with the first mobile ambulance simulator training module,” said Michael McDonough, Paramedic Program Director. “Performing patient assessments and skill delivery while in a safe, but moving, simulator will enhance our students’ experience in critical decision situations.”

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City Mayor braves heat with fire captain

ATASCADERO — Heather Moreno’s first connection with Dancing With Our Stars (DWOS) was as a Community Star in 2014 and she has been part of the program every year since then. Heather is an accomplished dancer and actress and her appearances in the vignettes between Community Star dances have included a wide range of roles and dance styles. She has a childhood background in jazz and tap lessons and dance continues to be an important part of her life as an adult. After her gratifying dance experience in 2014, she convinced Mike, her husband, to take dance lessons with her and she is pleased to say that they are now a dancing couple. She is excited to be returning as a Community Star this year, to raise money for the Friends of the Atascadero Library.

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Twin Cities, Sierra Vista providing new service for mental health patients

TEMPLETON — Twin Cities Community Hospital and Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center have partnered with the County of San Luis Obispo and the Sierra Mental Wellness Group to place employees, who are specially-trained on mental health, in emergency departments at both hospitals. These employees provide an invaluable service by screening patients and providing support for those dealing with mental health issues. “This partnership is providing an excellent service to our community,” said Anne Robin, Behavioral Health Director for the County of San Luis Obispo. “We are able to provide better care for patients by having these employees focus on the direct needs of mental health patients.”

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Libraries expand access to new technology with Mobile MakerKits

COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries, in partnership with SLO MakerSpace, are now offering Mobile MakerKits. This is a program for adults made possible by an Innovation Station grant funded by California State Library and Southern California Library Cooperative. “Patrons might be interested in virtual reality, embroidery, or robotics, but who’s going to run out and spend hundreds of dollars to test out the latest model? With a library card, emerging technology is free,” said Library Adult Services Coordinator Sharon Coronado. “We believe our communities are capable of amazing things, and the maker movement is the perfect conduit to make amazing things happen.”

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2018 marks the 34th annual Hospice SLO County’s Light Up A Life

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Hospice of San Luis Obispo County (Hospice SLO County) invites the public to honor the memories of loved ones during the 34th annual Light Up A Life remembrance ceremonies. The community is invited to help shine a light at any one of eight Hospice SLO County remembrance ceremonies throughout the county. The holidays symbolize a time when friends and family gather in celebration. It can also be a difficult and emotional time for those grieving a loss. Light Up A Life is an annual event that offers the community an opportunity to come together to honor and remember loved ones who may no longer be here but will never be forgotten.

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PHOTO: Atascadero Community Band helps the community through music

The Atascadero Community Band (ACB) recently donated the proceeds from their Fall Concert, a total of $677, to the Atascadero High School Jazz Program. The non-profit ACB makes several donations a year to support local non-profit organizations, especially those that develop music opportunities for young folks. The ACB holiday concert will be held on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. at the Pavilion on the Lake in Atascadero. The proceeds from this concert will benefit The Wellness Kitchen. Admission, parking and refreshments are free, and donations are gratefully accepted and are tax deductible as permitted by the law.

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Kiwanis holds Breakfast with Santa, Dec. 15

ATASCADERO — Atascadero Kiwanis Club is inviting youngsters of all ages to have breakfast with Santa in December. The club’s third annual Breakfast with Santa will be held on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 8 to 11 a.m. Kiwanians will be cooking pancakes and sausages while the children get the opportunity to visit with Santa. Money earned goes to the non-profit Kiwanis Foundation. The local club is celebrating its 50th year of community service to Atascadero.

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New City Council starts Dec. 11

Residents of the City of Atascadero will have a new mayor and two new members of the City Council representing them after 6 p.m. on Dec. 11.

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Templeton Fire #GivingTuesday a success

TEMPLETON — The community of Templeton came out in support of Templeton Fire and Emergency Services during #GivingTuesday, a global giving movement on Tuesday, Nov. 27. Local business Weyrick Lumber Company said they would provide a dollar-for-dollar match up to $1,500 for the Templeton Fire’s #GivingTuesday campaign. Templeton Fire and Emergency Services is in need of money to help offset the costs associated with providing emergency services which cannot be captured by the general fund. Which is why they reached out to the public to help donate funds.

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Coming storm threatens HWY 1 in Big Sur

UPDATE — 11:50 p.m., Nov. 28 — MONTEREY COUNTY — Due to the storm, Caltrans will close Highway 1 at Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide today, Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 12 p.m. until further notice. Storm activity is forecast through Thursday, Nov. 29. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (PM 18.9) is the alternate route to reach Highway 1 between Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide. However, there is a 12-foot height restriction at one of the bridges along this route. Check with Fort Hunter-Liggett for more updated information on their road at www.facebook.com/FortHunterLiggett.

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Templeton Fire seeks #GivingTuesday donations

TEMPLETON — #GivingTuesday is a global giving movement built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses, and communities in countries around the world. Millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live.

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SLO County sets next year’s budget priorities

COUNTY — On Tuesday, Nov. 6, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors established next year’s fiscal budget priorities, with a focus on meeting legal obligations, as well as short-term and long-term priorities. The Board approved budget goals and policies, as well as budget balancing strategies and approaches.

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Meet Tammy | November Animal Service Pet of the Month

Meet Tammy! Tammy is a beautiful Florida White mix rabbit. She is easy to handle and was well socialized during Woods Humane Society’s Critter Camp. Now Tammy is ready for a home of her own. Rabbits make great pets — though they are delicate animals and may not be appropriate for families with young children. In fact, rabbits can be trained to use a litter box and will come when called. When their people care for their special needs, rabbits can live up to 10 happy, healthy years.

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Twin Cities Community Hospital surgeon set to appear in The Great American Baking Show

TEMPLETON —Local surgeon Dr. John Blaney from Twin Cities Community Hospital will be appearing on the holiday edition of “The Great American Baking Show!” “He really has a knack for baking. Follow him on Instagram — docsconfections — that’s how the show found him! We can’t really say much — neither can Dr. Blaney — about how he did on the show, but we hope you will tune in to find out,” shared Krista Deans of Tenet Healthcare.

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PHD receives grant to support traffic safety

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department has been awarded two grants for a total of $205,000 from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to continue programs aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on roadways. The grants will aid in the County’s ongoing effort to improve safety and quality of life. “These funds will support our work to ensure that children, pedestrians, and cyclists are as safe as possible on our roads,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, San Luis Obispo County Health Officer. “The Office of Traffic Safety grants will provide coordination, collaboration, and education on the importance of child safety seats, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and the dangers of driving under the influence. The efforts will help achieve the County’s vision of a healthy and safe community.”

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PHOTO: Atascadero welcomes new staff and promotes many

On Nov. 14 the City of Atascadero held oaths of office for recently hired Atascadero Police Department employees. Welcome to dispatcher Adam Medina, officer Marc Nobriga and dispatcher Ashley Donovan to the APD team. The Department also had several recent promotions. Please join them in congratulating Cpl. Sam Rodriguez, Cpl.l Andrew Lucas, Sgt. Kellye Netz, Sgt. John Taylor, Lt. Jason Carr and Lt. Robert Mollé. (Contributed photos)

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PHOTO: Janice Pluma to exhibit at Atascadero Library

A solo exhibit, Artistic Journeys with Janice Pluma is a collection of acrylic and collage paintings at the Atascadero Regional Library, located at 6555 Capistrano. Join the artist for an opening reception on Thursday, Dec. 6 from 5-6 p.m. Exhibition continues through February 2019 during normal library hours. (Contributed photo)

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Atascadero’s Light Up the Downtown Holiday Celebration set for Nov. 30

ATASCADERO — The City of Atascadero will present its annual Light Up the Downtown Holiday Celebration on Friday, Nov. 30, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Sunken Gardens, in Downtown Atascadero. The Atascadero Chamber of Commerce’s Art and Wine Tour begins at 5:30 p.m. The “Fairweather Four” Barbershop Quartet will be strolling through the downtown and serenading shoppers and families to get everyone in the holiday spirit. At 6 p.m., gather in the Sunken Gardens area in front of Historic City Hall as City officials and the community counts down to the lighting, community children are invited to help flip the giant PG&E switch which turns on the lights to showcase the beautiful Rotunda Building.

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Health care navigators take on tough questions

COUNTY — When health care access team members answer the phone, they’re ready for questions that cover the range of human experience with health care, from the logistics to the potentially life-altering: Now that I have insurance, where can I find a doctor? Why is this medical bill so high? I’m worried about this lump — but what if treatment is too expensive? “No matter what the question or issue is, I want people to know: you’re not alone,” said Laura, a nurse navigator who joined the team this year.

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PHOTO: Atascadero Horseman’s Club held Toys for Tots Ride

The Atascadero Horseman’s Club held their annual" Toy's for Tot's Ride " on Sunday Nov. 18. The club has sponsored this event for 45 years. They shared that the event would not be possible without the participation of club members and riders from the local equine community.

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Printery Foundation holds annual meeting

ATASCADERO — The Printery Foundation had its annual meeting on Nov. 18 at the Community Church in Atascadero. At the Fellowship Hall, there was a great turnout, including newly elected council member Susan Funk who kept her campaign promise of working on the Printery project. Phil Dunsmore with the City was present and had a lot of positive input for the Printery. New designs by Ravatt, Albrecht & Associates, Inc. were shown.

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APD seizes drugs and weapon during a traffic stop

ATASCADERO — Routine traffic stop on Nov. 16 leads to seizure of drugs, cash, and a weapon, the Atascadero Police Department reported. At approximately 5:05 p.m. on Nov. 16, an Atascadero police officer stopped a vehicle in the 3200 block of El Camino Real for a mechanical violation. After the driver provided false information about his name, a search of the vehicle yielded over one ounce of methamphetamine, a loaded firearm that was determined to have been stolen, a stolen laptop and over $8,000 in cash.

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Locals help NorCal fire victims

CHICO — Locals Ken Tucker and Steve Claassen arrived in Chico at 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 20, Tuesday morning with a trailer full of supplies and $2,000 in gift cards ready to hand out to survivors of what’s become the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history. While air quality on the Central Coast was affected and attention given more to the closer blaze impacting Malibu over the last week, national focus has shifted to the north as reports came in of the near total destruction of the small town of Paradise in Butte County.

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Jury finds man guilty of attempted murder with firearm

SAN LUIS OBISPO — A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court jury Friday, Nov. 16, found Jim Pinedo guilty of seven felony counts, including violations of attempted murder, assault with a firearm, inflicting corporal injury to an intimate partner, threatening and dissuading a witness, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office reported. The jury also found true allegations that Pinedo, 38, personally used and discharged a firearm, and personally inflicted great bodily injury during the commission of the offenses.

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County of San Luis Obispo prepares for employee strike

COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo is preparing for some employees to strike as early as December, but officials say that essential public safety and health services will continue. The County’s largest employee union, San Luis Obispo County Employees’ Association (SLOCEA), notified the County on Nov. 16 that it plans to strike unless the County meets its demands.

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Atascadero’s K9 ‘Pit’ awarded ‘Healthcare for K9 Heroes’ grant

ATASCADERO — Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. a nationwide charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. In 2016, the program awarded “Pit,” an active duty K9 from the Atascadero Police Department, a lifesaving protective vest. The Department is pleased to announce that “Pit” also been selected as one of the recipients of the 2018 “Healthcare for K9 Heroes” medical insurance program, which will provide health insurance coverage in the amount of $10,000 annually from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

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Two suspects go on shopping spree after stealing credit card

COUNTY — Two people reportedly took a credit card from a mailbox and then went on a shopping spree, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office reported. The Sheriff’s Office received a report on Oct. 16 of a stolen credit card from a mailbox at a residence in Arroyo Grande which had been used at businesses in the County at multiple locations including Atascadero, San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach.

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Thanksgiving fire safety

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to bring family and friends together. Unfortunately, it is also the leading day of the year for home fires. Please help to reduce home fires and injuries by sharing and following these safety tips.

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Chase Bank robbed in Paso Robles

PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Police Department is currently investigating an armed bank robbery at Chase Bank, 194 Niblick Road in Paso Robles. The robbery occurred as the bank was closing at approximately 6:01 p.m. on Nov. 20. During the robbery, a bank employee sustained a moderate eye injury after one of the robbers struck him with a rifle. As of this time, it is unknown how much money was taken during the robbery per police officials.

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Better Breathers alert issued for Atascadero and Paso

NORTH COUNTY— Smoke from wildfires across the state continues to impact San Luis Obispo County air quality. Better Breathers Alert for Atascadero and Paso Robles were issued by the county Air Pollution Control District (APCD) for Saturday, Nov. 17 and Sunday, Nov. 18. Air quality is forecasted to be in the moderate range which is harmful to sensitive persons due to an increase in Particulate Matter (PM10) concentrations.

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PHOTO: Atascadero Quota donates to Seasons of Hope

On Oct. 25, Quota sisters had an opportunity to show their Quota “giving hearts” by bringing non-perishable food items or an unwrapped gift item to the Seasons of Hope donation center at the Paso Robles Kia dealership on Theater Drive. Left to right are Kathy Hendrix, Sheila Klaesius, Brenda May, Deena Pangborn, Kathy Johnson, and Linda Roof. (Contributed photo

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Most Wanted arrest updates

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Pamela Sue Langley, the recent most wanted, was arrested this past week in San Luis Obispo by Sheriff’s deputies as a result of someone phoning in a tip to Crimestoppers. Langley was wanted for violation of probation for stalking with a temporary restraining order, stalking to follow and harass with intent to place fear, vandalism with damage of more than $400, and vandalism with damage of less than $400.

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Sportsmen’s host annual Turkey Shoot, set for Nov. 18

ATASCADERO — The Santa Lucia Sportsmen’s Association (SLSA) will host its annual Turkey Shoot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18. Competitors will have the chance at winning a turkey, ham, bacon or cash. Admission is free to the event which features competitive matches in trap, rifle, pistol and air gun. The targets are either sporting clays or metal silhouettes and no turkeys are harmed during the event. The matches allow one to test their skills against other competitors to win a prize. The winner can choose a prize of a turkey, a ham, bacon (as available) or cash. The entry fee for a match is $7. If you want to participate, but do not own a firearm, loaners will be available.

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Sheriff unveils new RAVE safety app for schools

TEMPLETON — San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson held a press conference on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at Templeton High School, one of the beta sites, to showcase the new RAVE Panic Button Smartphone App available to most schools in SLO County. This is the final piece of a three-prong plan. Five minutes is the average length of time that an active shooter incident takes place, said Parkinson at the conference. This RAVE app is designed to immediately alert law enforcement of an active shooter incident on a school campus and shorten the response window. The SLO County Sheriff’s Office is the first agency in the state to offer this app countywide.

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SLO Wine Country seeks new leader, Heather Muran to depart after six years at helm

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association Tuesday announced its search for a new executive director heading into 2019. The new executive director will provide high-profile leadership, vision, and hands-on implementation for the marketing, brand building, public profile, programs and events for SLO Wine. The overarching mission is to increase local, regional and global awareness of the San Luis Obispo Coast wine region, which is increasingly renowned for its impeccable cool-climate wines, welcoming hospitality, and coastal lifestyle.

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SLO joins hundreds of local communities to hold day for suicide loss survivors

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Hospice of San Luis Obispo County will join The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) on Saturday, Nov. 17, to offer special programs for those who have lost someone to suicide. Every year over 44,000 Americans die by suicide, leaving family members and friends to deal with the loss and learn how to move forward. San Luis Obispo is one of the hundreds of locations worldwide in which survivors of suicide loss will gather on this day to connect with and find support from one another. Events will be offered in both English and Spanish at two locations.

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Wildfires impacted SLO air quality

COUNTY — Smoke impacted San Luis Obispo County air quality earlier this week due to the wildfires burning across the state. Better Breathers Alert for Atascadero and Paso Robles were issued by the county Air Pollution Control District (APCD) for Nov. 9 and 10. Air quality was forecasted to be in the moderate range which is harmful to sensitive persons due to an increase in Particulate Matter (PM10) concentrations. Very sensitive individuals such as infants, children, and adults with existing respiratory or heart conditions may experience adverse health effects. If you are experiencing health problems APCD advises the public to consult your doctor.

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Local fire and law assist neighbors to the south and the north

NORTH COUNTY — Since the Woolsey Fire, Hill Fire and Camp Fire broke out on Nov. 8, North County fire and law enforcement personnel deployed to assist in various fire operations throughout the state. Two fires in Ventura County — the Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire — have been growing. As of Nov. 13, the Woolsey Fire is 96,314 acres with 35 percent containment and 435 structures destroyed. Two deaths and three firefighters injured. Evacuations and road closures remain in effect. The cause of the Woolsey fire is still under investigation.

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U.S. DOJ to review SLO County Jail services

COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo announced on Nov. 11 that the U.S. Department of Justice will be conducting an independent investigation to review the medical and mental health care of inmates in the jail. County officials say that the investigation is a civil review that does not focus on any single event, but rather on the delivery of medical and mental health services.

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County seeks public input to help local homeless

COUNTY —The County of San Luis Obispo expects to receive over $5.5 million of grant funding under two new state programs that aim to assist persons who are at risk of or are currently experiencing homelessness: the California Emergency Solutions and Housing (CESH) program and the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP). Between the two programs, funding can be used to support a variety of activities that will benefit homeless services and housing projects, with $727,000 allocated from the CESH program and $4.8 million allocated under HEAP. To help identify the best uses for the one-time-only funds, the County is launching a public participation process this month that will inform planning efforts for the implementation of CESH and HEAP, as well as updates to several planning documents in the coming year.

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Local Church to host Alt Christmas Market, Nov. 11

ATASCADERO — Once again Atascadero United Methodist Church will host its annual Alternative Christmas Market on Sunday, Nov. 11 in Dexter Hall at 11 a.m. This Alternative Christmas Market is designed to purchase items for a friend or a relative that may have everything they ever wanted but you would still like to get them a gift during the holiday season. At the Alternative Christmas Market you may purchase an animal or a share of an animal with the Heifer Project— for vegetarians, you have the opportunity to purchase tree seedlings and honey bees. There is also gift cards which you may give to the person you wish to honor saying that an animal has been purchased in their name.

190     0

DA charges Lyft driver Fenwick with sexual assault

SAN LUIS OBISPO — A Lyft driver was charged with the sexual assault of a passenger on Nov. 13, the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office reported. On Nov. 13, the DA’s Office announced it had filed felony charges against Jason Lamont Fenwick, 51, for the sexual assault of a passenger that is alleged to have occurred shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 4 in Nipomo. Fenwick was charged with four felonies and one misdemeanor. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 21 in Department 8 of the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.

201     0

Sheriff seeks donations for Christmas bicycle program

SAN LUIS OBISPO — It's the season of caring and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Christmas Bike Program is currently seeking donations for the Christmas Bike Giveaway which will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at the Sheriff’s Honor Farm. This program was set up 29 years ago to promote the holiday spirit by giving away refurbished bicycles and new helmets to children in need in San Luis Obispo County. Due to the generosity of the people of this County, the program has continued to be a big success.

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SLO County Board of Supervisors declared a homeless shelter crisis on Nov. 6

COUNTY — Local governments may soon receive one-time funding from the state to provide direct assistance to homeless individuals and those at risk of becoming homeless. The County of San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors declared a homeless shelter crisis on Tuesday, Nov. 6, and authorized the County’s participation in the state’s Homeless Shelter Emergency Aid Program (HEAP), which could result in $4.8 million of one-time state grant funding to combat homelessness at the local level.

156     0

Former Twin Cities CNO accused of killing wife in a civil lawsuit

TEMPLETON — William Gamba was recently appointed as new Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for Twin Cities Community Hospital on Aug. 6 and was recently accused in the death of his wife, Blaise Gamba in a lawsuit filed on Oct. 30 by Nancy Huhta, the mother of Blaise Gamba. Huhta is suing William Gamba in the wrongful death of Blaise Gamba. Blaise Gamba drowned off the coast of Florida in November of 2016.

168     0

Vehicle pursuit ends at Atascadero High School

NORTH COUNTY — A vehicle pursuit ended at Atascadero High School with the arrest of a woman Friday morning, Nov. 2. San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Deputies responded at approximately 8:15 a.m. to a report of a woman sleeping in her vehicle that was parked off the side of O'Donovan Road in Creston. When deputies tried to contact the woman, she refused to acknowledge them. The deputies checked the license and registration of the vehicle and discovered the woman, Nancy Lynn Clayburg, 43, had a suspended license plus a number of other equipment violations. When deputies attempted to contact Clayburg again, she drove off which initiated a low-speed pursuit with an average speed of approximately 40 mph, according to officials.

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Moreno preps to be mayor

Currently, on the City Council, she’s not planning on holding a party of her own on election night, rather, she said, family will come in for a visit from Southern California and she’ll see what parties she gets invited to. In the meantime, she’s been meeting with City Manager Rachel Rickard about the City’s strategic planning process, conducted at the start of a new Council, and feels confident in the group’s ability to move forward no matter what combination of candidates the voters pick to fill two vacancies.

203     0

High-speed pursuit ends at Atascadero High School

NORTH COUNTY — A high-speed chase ended at Atascadero High School with the arrest of a woman Friday morning, Nov. 2. Law enforcement was in pursuit of a vehicle when they notified Creston Elementary around 9 a.m. that they would be passing by the school and asked to have the school shelter in place until they had passed per school officials. The pursuit continued into Atascadero where the suspect drove onto the campus of Atascadero High School and the pursuit was terminated and the suspect, a woman was placed into custody.

198     0

Wellness Kitchen faces temporary setback

On Sunday, Oct. 21, an electrical fire started on the second floor of 1255 Las Tablas Road in Templeton; below which, the nonprofit organization — The Wellness Kitchen and Resource Center — is located. The Wellness Kitchen officials are thankful for the team of local firefighters, who fought the fire and the building remains. However, The Wellness Kitchen experienced significant smoke and water damage and needs the help of the community.

199     0

Santa Margarita Lake area prescribed burn scheduled

SANTA MARGARITA LAKE — The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) in cooperation with the Range Improvement Association and local landowners will be conducting a 138-acre prescribed burn on Wednesday, Oct. 31. This burn is located along West Pozo Road approximately one mile southwest of Santa Margarita Lake. Four fire engines, one fire crew, and one bulldozer will be utilized to conduct the burn. The burn is being conducted as part of the Cal Fire’s Vegetation Management Program and is intended to reduce highly flammable vegetation and other wildland fuels in an area prone to wildfires. This burn is also intended to demonstrate the effectiveness of prescribed burning as a management tool for the control of yellow starthistle, an invasive weed harmful to cattle and horses. The project is in cooperation with the San Luis Obispo County Range Improvement Association and should improve forage conditions for livestock and wildlife.

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County of SLO earns gold award for reducing electricity use by 15%

COUNTY — On Oct. 2, the Institute for Local Governments presented the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors with a Gold Level Beacon Spotlight Award for Energy Savings for reducing its electricity use at public facilities by 15 percent since 2010. SLO County was one of just three California counties to earn the award this year for voluntarily taking steps to conserve natural resources, promote energy innovation, and create healthier communities.

201     0

Crimes in Atascadero for Oct. 15- 21 include DUI, public nuisance and resisting arrest

Atascadero police department arrest logs published Oct. 26.

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County offers support to residents with Covered California Enrollment

COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department and Department of Social Services remind residents that specialists are available to provide free, unbiased help finding health insurance and signing up through Covered California. This year’s open enrollment period for Covered California started on Oct. 15 and continues through Jan. 15, 2019. Covered California is the state health care marketplace for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Through Covered California, residents can enroll in health care coverage and may qualify for free or low-cost insurance based on their income. People who qualify for free or reduced-price coverage can only get this benefit during the open enrollment period (through Jan. 15), with very few exceptions. For this reason, officials recommend applying for full health care coverage during the open enrollment period—to obtain the peace of mind and improved health that can come as a result of having health coverage.

185     0

Sheriff Parkinson, Ret. Lt. Proll selected to carry Flame of Hope for 2019 Special Olympics

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Special Olympics International recently announced that San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and retired San Luis Obispo Police Lt. Bill Proll were selected to serve as part of the Final Leg team, serving as Guardians of the Flame as they run the “Flame of Hope” throughout the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March, leading up to the start of the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Final Leg runners from around the world were selected to represent their local Torch Run and Special Olympics Programs.

187     0

Elks and local dignitaries recognize Scouts for achieving highest honors

NORTH COUNTY — On Thursday evening, Oct. 18, over 100 Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, their families, friends, Scouting Leaders, and local dignitaries gathered at Atascadero Elks Lodge No. 2733 for the Elks’ Scouting Recognition Dinner. The Elks’ annual event honors Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts from the North County who have achieved their programs’ highest honors — Eagle Scout for the Boy Scouts, and the Gold Award and the Silver Award for Girl Scouts. The dinner and program are co-hosted by Atascadero Elks Lodge No. 2733 and Paso Robles Elks Lodge No. 2364 and alternate between each lodge each year.

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HWY 101 San Miguel project continues with construction near south Mission Street on-ramp

SAN MIGUEL — A project to improve six miles of US Highway 101 from San Miguel to Camp Roberts will continue with a closure of the southbound US Highway 101 on-ramp at South Mission Street beginning at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24 for the next six weeks, according to Caltrans. Motorists will be able to detour to the southbound US Highway 101 on-ramp at the South Camp Roberts Undercrossing. In addition, the southbound US Highway 101 on-ramp at Cemetery Road will re-open at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Motorists will detour via 10th Street to reach this on-ramp.

159     0

Free Halloween carnival at Atascadero UMC

Atascadero United Methodist Church will host its annual community Halloween carnival on Halloween, Wednesday, Oct 31 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the church, 11605 El Camino Real. This is a safe place for trick or treating. There will be trunk or treating, snacks, food, games, music, arts and crafts, puppet show and costume contest. This is free and open to the public. It is particularly geared toward families with children in the fifth grade and younger. For more information, go to AtascaderoUMC.org or call 805-466-2566.

192     0

San Luis Obispo Masons donate $1K to Atascadero Fine Arts Academy

ATASCADERO — The Masons of King David’s Masonic Lodge No. 209 in San Luis Obispo recently donated $1,000 to the Atascadero Fine Arts Academy. The presentation was part of the fall 2018 philanthropy program of the lodge, which totaled $15,000. Located in Atascadero, AFAA is the only public school in the county that delivers arts-based curriculum to fourth through eighth grade students. The funds will be used to support AFAA students as they wrap up their annual Art-A-Thon fundraiser. The donation was presented by Christian Marano, a Past Master of the lodge. The Masons of King David’s Lodge also donated $1,000 to AFAA during the spring philanthropy program earlier this year to support sixth grade students attending outdoor science camp.

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Community can donate to provide winter clothing for Christmas

SAN LUIS OBISPO — This December will mark the 21st consecutive year that the San Luis Obispo community will generously provide homeless with a decadent home-cooked Christmas Day dinner along with live entertainment. More importantly, for the past two decades, this occasion has been used as a means of providing much-needed winter clothing care packages to the homeless community. Help us to continue this tradition by donating to the winter clothing care package fund. All donations will be used for the purchase of care package items so that we can provide each homeless guest with a brand new: sleeping bag, hooded sweatshirt, winter jacket, socks, underwear and toiletries. These items make a tremendous difference in helping local homeless survive our cold, wet winters.

183     0

Kathy Johnson receives Quota’s “Volunteer of The Year”

Kathy Johnson, “Volunteer of The Year” long-time Quota International of Atascadero member, recently received this prestigious award from Quota International at the Quota Convention held in Washington D.C. Her fellow Quota members would like to give ‘a big congratulations to our wonderful Kathy Johnson.’ The Atascadero Quota Club is celebrating its 44th year in Atascadero.

175     0

Charles Paddock Zoo Boo on Oct. 27

ATASCADERO — There is going to be Halloween fun for all ages at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero. The Zoo is preparing for another spooktackular evening on Saturday, Oct. 27. The gates will open at 5 p.m. and the festivities will continue until 8:30 p.m. Be sure to get your best kid-friendly Halloween costume ready and then bring the entire family out to a not-too-scary evening at Zoo Boo. You can expect to find spooky decorations throughout the Zoo, along with carnival games, Halloween activities, a Haunted House, plus tricks and treats to enjoy.

192     0

Adams achieves Gold Award

NORTH COUNTY — Kaitlin Adams, an active member of Ambassador Troop 40146, completed her Gold Award project. Adams, who lives in Atascadero and attended Mission Prep in San Luis Obispo, partnered with Twin Cities Community Hospital to transform an underutilized patio into an Asian inspired outdoor retreat. The patio is located adjacent to the Birth and Baby Center and will be enjoyed by laboring mothers and their families. There is also a place for the hospital staff to use while on break. The Tranquility Garden was unveiled on Saturday, Oct. 6, in conjunction with the Birth and Family Fair event at the hospital.

187     0

Drug Take Back Day to be held at Twin Cities

TEMPLETON — Twin Cities Community Hospital is having a Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. This is a free way to safely dispose of unused and unwanted medications and prescriptions. Twin Cities Community Hospital is located at 1100 Las Tablas Rd. in Templeton. Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center will also have a take back day on the same day and time. Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center is located on 1010 Murray Ave. in San Luis Obispo and South County SAFE, 1086 Grande Ave. in Arroyo Grande is also a drop-off location if people are unable to attend the Drug Take Back Day.

176     0

Two trucks stolen off an Atascadero used car lot

ATASCADERO — Two trucks were stolen from a used car lot in Atascadero on Saturday, Oct. 20, the Atascadero Police Department reported. Three men and a woman walked into the used car lot of Guarantee Auto Group in Atascadero on Saturday, Oct. 20. According to the reporting party, he believed the woman entered the sales office after asking to use the bathroom and was able to acquire unsecured keys for vehicles on the lot. All of the suspects left the lot in a silver late-model Honda Civic Coupe, with an unknown plate. When the business closed at 5 p.m., two of the men returned to the lot and drove away with two pickup trucks.

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SLO County Airport named Best Airport/Transit Project

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport terminal project was named the Best Airport/Transit Project in Southern California and Hawaii by Engineering News-Record. The County’s airport was recognized on Oct. 11 in Los Angeles. Three panels of judges took weeks to determine the list of winners, reviewing more than 100 projects throughout California and Hawaii and ranking them on their contribution to the industry and community, safety and construction and design quality, and the ability of the project team to overcome challenges.

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Get a free flu shot on Oct. 21

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department, City of Atascadero and Five Cities Fire Authority are partnering to present a free flu shot event on Sunday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon at Colony Park Community Center, 5599 Traffic Way in Atascadero. Everyone age 3 years old and older is welcome to come get a free flu shot. No appointment is needed, and there are no requirements based on income or residency.

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New program allows taxpayers to pay annual property taxes in monthly installments

COUNTY — County Taxpayers can use Easy Smart Pay to make monthly payments for annual property taxes. Jim Erb, County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector, announced on Tuesday, Oct. 16 the availability of Easy Smart Pay for county taxpayers who wish to make monthly payments toward their annual property tax bill, instead of paying in one or two installments per year. This program is designed for those who are not already paying through their lender or mortgage company. “California law doesn’t allow the County to accept monthly payments directly. That’s why we were happy to see Easy Smart Pay create a program that accepts monthly payments from taxpayers and then pays the County when the biannual payments are due,” said Erb.

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Disney Culture expert joins speaker lineup for Central Coast Economic Forecast

SAN LUIS OBISPO ─ Doug Lipp, retired head of training for Disney University, will join Beacon Economics analysts Chris Thornberg and Robert Kleinhenz on the speaker dais at the 2018 Central Coast Economic Forecast. The annual event will be held Friday, Nov. 2 at the Alex Madonna Expo Center, from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Lipp is a distinguished international consultant, eight-time author, and former head of training at the legendary Disney University. Drawing on his 30 plus years of combined experience at Disney and in private practice, Lipp inspires and challenges hundreds of organizations worldwide. At the Forecast, he will discuss company culture, teamwork and inspiring creative thinking.

237     0

CHP releases description of vehicle in fatal hit-and-run

TEMPLETON — The Templeton CHP Office is asking for the public’s help in investigating the felony hit-and-run traffic collision that took the life of Nathaniel Weatherly last week. At approximately 5 a.m. on Oct. 11, Weatherly, 22, was attempting to walk or run across the Highway 101 when he was struck by an unknown vehicle that was driving southbound on the freeway. Weatherly’s last known residence was San Miguel, but he was believed to be homeless. CHP has released a vehicle description. They are looking for a gold-colored Toyota Sienna minivan, with collision damage to the front of it. The year model is possibly between 2004 and 2007.

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Great California ShakeOut set for Oct. 18

STATE — The Great California ShakeOut is an annual opportunity to prepare and practice for an earthquake: "Drop, Cover and Hold On." California is at higher risk of earthquakes compared to the rest of the country. The Great California ShakeOut has been organized to encourage everyone to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure space in order to prevent damage and injuries. ShakeOut is also a reminder for Californians to be prepared financially, such as by exploring earthquake insurance. The not-for-profit California Earthquake Authority offers earthquake insurance throughout California for homeowners, renters, mobile home owners and condo-unit owners. Register to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, access resources, receive email updates, and more at www.shakeout.org/california/. On Oct. 18 at 10:18 a.m. Drop, Cover, and Hold On: Drop to the ground, take Cover under a table or desk, and Hold On to it as if a major earthquake were happening (stay down for at least 60 seconds).

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Upcoming Paso Basin Cooperative Committee meeting to be held on Oct. 17

PASO ROBLES — The Paso Basin Cooperative Committee invites groundwater users and interested community members to attend their upcoming meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at the City of Paso Robles Council Chambers, 1000 Spring St., Paso Robles. The Cooperative Committee is comprised of representatives from the Groundwater Sustainability Agencies formed over the Paso Basin within San Luis Obispo County and is charged with developing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan in accordance with the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The upcoming meeting will focus on drafts of Chapter 4 “Hydrogeologic Conceptual Model” and Chapter 5 “Groundwater Conditions”, as well as initial discussion of potential projects and actions related to achieving groundwater sustainability.

175     0

Agricultural worker housing ordinance workshop to be held Oct. 16

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The County will hold an Agricultural Worker Housing Workshop for the public to discuss agricultural worker housing regulations and possible upcoming changes with the ordinance from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at the San Luis Obispo Library at 995 Palm St. in San Luis Obispo.

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North County participates in Fire Prevention Week

ATASCADERO — Atascadero and Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services took part in Fire Prevention Week — Oct. 7-13. The Atascadero and Paso Robles fire departments works in coordination with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of the Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to reinforce these potentially life-saving messages. This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be Aware. Fire can happen anywhere!” A theme that will better educate the public about the three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire and how to escape safely in the event that one happens.

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PHOTOS: Atascadero PD Explorers win at competition

The Atascadero Explorer Post won third overall and a first in five events at the Central Coast Law Enforcement Explorer Competition held on Oct. 7. Alex Newsom came in first place for a scholarship award and won a Mac Book laptop at the event. (Contributed photos)

189     0

Creston Cowboy Christmas on tap

CRESTON — The 9th-Ever Creston Cowboy Christmas Dinner Party, complete with dinner, wine and music a dessert auction and raffles, will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 15 at Creston Community Center, 5110 Swayze Road in Creston. The annual event is a fundraiser for the Creston Area Town Center Helping-hands (CATCH) Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transitioning the old Creston Firehouse into Creston’s first community center. The nonprofit fund has worked with a variety of local community organizations, including the Creston Women’s Club, Creston Men’s Club, and Creston Garden Club to raise money for the project while providing community events and service.

206     0

Road rehabilitation project to affect local traffic in Atascadero

ATASCADERO — The City of Atascadero began a major portion of the pavement rehabilitation project for El Camino Real and San Anselmo Road on Tuesday, Oct. 9. It is expected to last through Oct. 16 On Tuesday, Oct. 9, the contractor for the City began Cold In Place Recycling (CIPR) operations on El Camino Real and San Anselmo Road. CIPR work was anticipated to begin on El Camino Real between San Anselmo Road (East) and San Benito Road and go through Thursday, Oct. 11. During this time, two lanes of traffic will remain open, although there may be times when traffic is restricted to single lane with flagging control.

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Man arrested for human trafficking in SLO

SAN LUIS OBISPO — A Sacramento man was arrested for human trafficking Friday, Oct. 5, in San Luis Obipso, the San Luis Obispo Police Department reported. At approximately 1:40 a.m. on Oct. 5, a San Luis Obispo police officer conducted a traffic stop for vehicle code violations in the 3000 block of Broad. The vehicle was being driven by 35-year-old Lucion Banks out of Sacramento. Also in the vehicle was a 14-year old female passenger out of Oakland. During the car stop the officer discovered Banks had a suspended California driver’s license as well as a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest. Both Banks and his passenger denied being related and had no clear story of why they were in San Luis Obispo. Banks was subsequently arrested for the warrant and driving on a suspended license.

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CHP: Man victim of fatal hit-and-run Thursday

PASO ROBLES — A man was hit Thursday morning by a vehicle as he tried to cross Highway 101 near the 13th Street bridge in Paso Robles, the California Highway Patrol reported. The vehicle did not stop and has not notified law enforcement. The man later identified as Nathaniel J. Weatherly, 22, died at the scene. Weatherly’s last known residence was San Miguel, but was believed to be homeless.

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Former San Miguel CSD bookkeeper charged with embezzlement of public funds

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The District Attorney’s Office filed felony charges against the former San Miguel Community Services District bookkeeper Kallie Leighanne Johnson, 29, for embezzling $38,000 in public funds belonging to the District in 2015. On Friday, Oct. 5, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Unit filed felony embezzlement charges against Johnson. Johnson was working as the bookkeeper for the San Miguel Community Services District during the period she is charged with embezzlement. The Community Services District provides services for residents of San Miguel including fire protection, water, wastewater, lighting, and solid waste collection.

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Falcon 9 creates light display in night sky

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE — Team Vandenberg had a successful launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4E on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 7:21 p.m. and the first land landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The launch was postponed on Saturday to Sunday to provide the ideal launch conditions as well as the atmospheric one’s for the public to view it clearly.

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Chamber Looking for New CEO

The Templeton Chamber of Commerce has been looking for a new CEO since Aug. 16, following the departure of Sarah Maggelet.

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Chevron robber caught in Santa Barbara

ATASCADERO — A man suspected of having robbed a Chevron gas station was arrested Tuesday, Sept. 25, the Atascadero Police Department reported. During the investigation of the reported armed robbery of the gas station in the 8900 block of Montecito Avenue in Atascadero on Sept. 20, officers learned more about their suspect by collaborating with other law enforcement agencies.

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Parolee Harvey arrested Friday night

SHANDON — The San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office arrested a wanted parolee Friday evening, Sept. 21 in Shandon. The search for parolee Larry Charles Harvey, 20, from Shandon, began Friday morning and concluded later in the day after deputies received a report at approximately 5:15 p.m. that he was spotted outside a residence in the 100 block of South 7th Street in Shandon. When deputies arrived on the scene, Harvey ran away. He led deputies on a foot chase through the nearby riverbed, into backyards, and through a home before being caught near the intersection of Calle Carmelita and E. Centre Street in Shandon. Harvey was arrested without incident.

258     0

Chevron robbery in Atascadero

ATASCADERO — Police were dispatched Thursday evening, Sept. 20, to a reported robbery at a Chevron gas station in the 8900 block of Montecito Avenue, the Atascadero Police Department reported. When officers arrived after 8:25 p.m. at the gas station they learned the suspect had entered the business, brandished a butcher knife, demanded cash, which he claimed he needed to buy fuel for his vehicle. The suspect also took a three-pack of Budweiser beer and fled in a vehicle. Officers established a perimeter at the scene. Officers brought in Atascadero Police Department canine, units from the San Luis Office Sheriff’s Office and San Luis Obispo Probation Department to conduct a search for the suspect.

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Deputies searching for wanted parolee in Shandon area

SHANDON — Deputies are searching the Shandon area Friday morning, Sept. 21, for a parolee believed to be armed and dangerous, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office reported. Shandon Elementary and Shandon High School were both sheltering in place while deputies continued to search for parolee Larry Harvey, 27, of Shandon. Friday morning deputies were dispatched to a disturbance in the north end of Shandon at approximately 8:04 a.m.

288     0

Sheriff: Wave of car thefts in Shandon

SHANDON — San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Deputies responded Thursday, Sept. 20, to a series of crimes in the Shandon area, which included the theft of three vehicles and burglary of a residence, the Sheriff’s Office reported. The first incident occurred at approximately 2:20 p.m. on the 100 block of South 7th Street in Shandon and involved a report of a stolen truck — which later crashed in the 2500 block of San Juan Road. The suspect or suspects then stole a nearby ranch utility vehicle and drove it to the 300 block of Truesdale Road in Shandon. At that time, the home was burglarized.

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Atascadero native returning to brew downtown

Ryan Fields is starting the transition out of his head role at Beachwood Blendery, although he intends to keep ties to the Southern California brand as he prepares to open Wild Fields Brewhouse at 6907 El Camino Real in Atascadero. That’s the same building which the Chamber of Commerce recently moved into, sharing a parking lot with the Galaxy Theatre and pedestrian access from the footbridge across the creek.

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Officer tattoo ban lifted momentarily

Several of the sworn police officers employed by the City of Atascadero have tattoos, but the public has no idea which, unless one knows them personally and off duty. That’s due to a department policy in place for nearly 15 years which mandated a more conservative appearance for personnel on duty, a policy which Atascadero Police Department Chief Jarel Haley is loosening in the name of openness and keeping pace with modern culture. The temporary modification to their uniform code was implemented on a trial basis, Sept. 1 and continues through Nov. 1, in order, the Chief said in an announcement, to judge public reaction and solicit feedback.

307     0

Jury finds Lopez guilty

COUNTY — After being unable to reach a verdict on a charge of murder on Sept. 5, a jury convicted Gino Lopez, 23, of felony gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for the 2016 traffic collision that killed 16-year-old Grizzly Academy graduate Emily Monique Reyes on the Cuesta grade. A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Jury found Lopez, guilty of the following felonies on the fourth day of deliberations: gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with an enhancement for fleeing the scene of the crime; driving under the influence of alcohol with an enhancement for causing great bodily injury to more than one victim; and leaving the scene of an accident. Lopez was the intoxicated driver of a vehicle carrying passenger Reyes, who died of her injuries sustained in a collision on the Cuesta grade on April 15, 2016.

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Construction on the outskirts

In the planning for over 20 years and using drafts last approved in 2014, work began last year on connecting roads for the Oak Ridge Estates, a development of expensive — what else — estates, on modified lots first laid out at the City’s founding but undeveloped until infrastructure is complete.

276     0

Waste Management reminds customers of Labor Day holiday schedule

ATASCADERO — Waste Management’s curbside residential trash and recycling and commercial pick-up schedule in the City of Atascadero will be delayed by one day throughout the week of Sept. 3, due to the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 3. In addition, all Waste Management operations will be closed on Monday, Sept. 3, with normal operations resuming on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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Asphalt overlay on Main Street in Templeton begins in Sept.

The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works will begin construction to rehabilitate the pavement on Main Street in Templeton starting in September. The work will include removing and replacing failed pavement, placing a new paved surface, and reconstructing various roadside facilities including; curb ramps, traffic bulb-outs, and drainage facilities.

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Woman jumps off overpass bridge, taken to hospital

ATASCADERO — A woman was taken to an area hospital Wednesday, Aug. 29, after jumping from an overpass on Curbaril Avenue onto the Highway 101 freeway in Atascadero, according to City officials. The woman reportedly stopped her vehicle in the middle of the road at approximately 10:30 a.m. and jumped off the overpass onto the highway. According to the Atascadero Police Department, the woman did survive the fall and was transported to the hospital.

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Pair steals vehicle

ATASCADERO — Atascadero police officers arrested two people involved in a car theft on Sunday evening and found stolen property and narcotics when they searched the vehicle. Police surrounded the white sedan in the 2100 block of El Camino Real in Atascadero. They arrested Ryan Joseph Stewart, 41, on suspicion of felony auto theft, possession of a narcotic substance and for possession of paraphernalia. As well as on suspicion of receiving known stolen property and for violating parole. His accomplice, Marina Jean Lindemans, 24 was arrested on suspicion of felony auto theft, possession of a narcotic substance and for possession of paraphernalia.

320     0

CalFresh Market Match expands

COUNTY — If you receive CalFresh Benefits you can use your EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmer’s markets, the Market Match Program will give you $ 1 for each EBT $1 that you spend up to $10. The Market Match Program is expanding to Arroyo Grande Wednesday and San Luis Obispo’s Thursday night Farmers’ Markets.

230     0

State Legislature passes bill to ease impact of Diablo Canyon closure

COUNTY — The California Legislature passed a bill on Monday, Aug. 20 that will ease the impacts from the pending closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant, the last functioning nuclear power plant in California. The bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1090, is now on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for approval. The bipartisan legislation was introduced in March by Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) to mitigate the impacts of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant closure.

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Sirens will wail on Aug. 25

COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo County Early Warning System (EWS) sirens will sound on Saturday, Aug. 25 for their annual full-scale test. The Early Warning System sirens extend throughout the Emergency Planning Zone that extends in a circular area from Diablo Canyon. Originally the siren system was installed for an emergency at Diablo Canyon Power Plant, but they can be utilized for any disaster where actions, such as evacuations are needed to be taken by the public due to a tsunami or dam failure.

249     0

Person of interest named in cold case homicide

COUNTY — San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office detectives found new information leading to the naming of a person of interest in a North County cold case from 2009. Jerry Greer, 71, was found dead in March 28, 2009 in his home on the 2000 block of Santa Rita Road in Templeton, the Sheriff’s Office reported. Greer’s body was discovered inside the home by family members. His death was deemed a homicide.

291     0

Discover a new passion with classical music

ATASCADERO — Ron Tarica’s series of music appreciation classes continue with a 12-week course covering Romantic Period composers dating from 1825 to 1900. It will be on Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. from Aug. 22 to Nov. 14, with no class on Oct. 3, at the Colony Park Community Center, 5599 Traffic Way. Composers presented include Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and other favorites. This period covers some of the most beautiful music ever written, according to Tarica. In each session, usually covering only one composer, Tarica will introduce background about the composers, sometimes with humorous anecdotes, and play excerpts of their music.

259     0

Local clinic donates backpacks, school supplies to ECHO

ATASCADERO — Local medical clinic All For Health donated 19 new backpacks, filled by patients and staff with over $300 of school supplies. All For Health took the backpacks and supplies to ECHO on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at noon to be distributed to the school-age children currently living at the shelter. School began at the Atascadero Unified School District on Wednesday, Aug. 15. Hopefully, these backpacks will help ECHO’s young clients achieve academic success.

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Three Atascadero women receive scholarships from local chamber

ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Committee had their Annual Scholarship Luncheon/Meeting at the Portola Inn, catered by Chef Charlie on Friday, Aug. 10. The Atascadero Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Committee presented scholarships to three deserving women: Julia Clickard is studying Ecology, Behavioral Ecology and Planetary Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz Christina Rogers is studying Musical Theatre, Shakespeare, Theatre History, Ballet, Sing Tech, Acting and Movement at PCPA, Allan Hancock Community College

283     0

Police to step up enforcement for distracted drivers

COUNTY — In an effort to make roads safer, the San Luis Obispo Police Department is deploying extra traffic enforcement officers on Aug. 17 and Aug. 24 to stop distracted driving. San Luis Obispo Police Department is spreading the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves but everyone else on the road. Using an electronic device while driving is a serious safety problem, SLOPD reported. Most drivers know that texting while driving is a dangerous behavior, but many still use their cell phones and other mobile devices when they are behind the wheel, putting themselves and others at risk. Many drivers see distracted driving as risky when other drivers do it but do not recognize how their own driving deteriorates. In 2013, there were 3,154 people killed and an estimated 424,000 injured nationwide in crashes involving a distracted driver. That same year, 10 percent of fatal crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes.

258     0

Two men resist arrest and are booked back into jail

ATASCADERO — Two separate incidents occurred this week with two suspects who were taken into custody early this week by Atascadero police after resisting arrest. The first incident occurred with Kejuan Guy Bynum, 25, was contacted early in the afternoon on Aug. 13 by Atascadero police. Bynum then fled on foot from the officers. “A perimeter was established and he was taken into custody for an outstanding felony warrant.” Sgt. Jason Carr with the Atascadero Police Department said.

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Spot fires break out in North County

NORTH COUNTY — Several small vegetation fires erupted in the North County this week. Thanks to the quick response by firefighters and volunteers the fires were put out quickly and structures were saved. Ysabel Fire The Ysabel fire started on Aug. 9 at the 1000 block of Santa Ysabel Avenue, and South River Road in Paso Robles. Around 3:50 p.m. Cal Fire San Luis Obispo and the Paso Robles Department of Emergency Services responded to the vegetation fire. Winds drove the fire and structures nearby were threatened. An air attack and an engine fought the two-acre grass fire that was wind driven and surrounded by roads threatening nearby structures. By 4:04 p.m.fire personnel made good progress and additional resources were canceled. Structure threat was mitigated and shortly after aircraft was released. The fire was fully contained by 4:35 p.m.

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Car pursuit in Atascadero, four men eventually yield to deputies

ATASCADERO — A slow-moving car chase early Monday morning, Aug. 13, ended with four arrests, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office reported. SLO sheriff’s deputies were in pursuit of a vehicle going 45 mph northbound on Highway 101 when they called California Highway Patrol at 12:39 a.m. to assist. The CHP unit was coming over from Camp Roberts when the vehicle yielded and went on the off-ramp at San Ramon Drive near Home Depot in Atascadero. CHP was called off at 1:07 a.m. and the deputies found four men in the vehicle.

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Make back to school season the greenest ever

ATASCADERO — As millions prepare to head back to school, Waste Management of Southern California is offering parents, students and educators practical tips to make this school year more sustainable by reducing, reusing and recycling right, in and out of the classroom. “Back to school season is the perfect time to incorporate eco-friendly practices into our daily routine that can have a lasting positive impact on the environment,” said Eloisa Orozco, spokesperson for Waste Management of Southern California. “By committing to reduce, reuse and recycle right, we can all do our part to make this school year the greenest ever.”

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Cuesta receives $225K grant to fund new GIS Tech courses and program

COUNTY — Cuesta College is meeting the high-demand needs of the local Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology industry with the launch of new GIS courses and certification. GIS is a computer system for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface. By relating seemingly unrelated data, GIS can help individuals and organizations better understand spatial patterns and relationships. Beginning in the Fall of 2018, Cuesta College students will have the opportunity to learn the skills necessary for jobs in the GIS industry and fulfill degree requirements for various majors like engineering, architecture, health, agriculture, and computer information systems. GIS technology can be used for scientific investigations, resource management, and development planning, and in various career fields, including emergency response, marketing, engineering, biology, science, and more.

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Stuff the Bus school supply drive set for Aug. 9-12

NORTH COUNTY — The San Luis Obipso Sheriff’s Office along with United Way of San Luis Obipso County is once again hosting Stuff the Bus from Aug. 9 to 12. There will be three locations for the North County. One in Atascadero at Kmart, 3980 El Camino Real, one in Templeton at the Sheriff’s North Substation, 356 North Main Street and in Paso Robles at Walmart, 180 Niblick Drive.

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Fire at Lake Nacimiento started by a vehicle

LAKE NACIMIENTO — Firefighters responded to a report of a vehicle fire near Nacimiento Dam on Friday afternoon, Aug. 3. The vehicle fire threatened nearby vegetation on Nacimiento Lake Drive near Interlake Road per Cal Fire officials. When Cal Fire firefighters arrived on scene at approximately 1:50 p.m. they found 3 acres of vegetation burning at a slow rate of speed. An air attack was called in to help fight the fire. Within moments ground crews and aircraft made good progress with fire holding at approximately 2-3 acres.

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Police offering gun injury prevention program for kids

ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Police Department is offering a gun injury prevention program for children 3 to 6 years of age and their parents. The course will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Atascadero Police Department, 5505 El Camino Real. The course will cover four easy-to-learn steps in gun injury prevention using the National Rifle Association’s “Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program.” This program is a gun accident prevention program that assists parents, law enforcement, community groups and educators. The four main steps to be reviewed will be to “Stop, Don’t Touch, Run Away, and Tell a Grown-up.” More information on the program, can be found online at eddieeagle.nra.org/.

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North County’s Most Wanted : Hendricks

Chad Eric Hendricks, 62, is wanted for violation of probation for unlawful possession of ammunition. Hendricks is White, 6-foot-0-inches tall, 195 pounds and his last known residence is in Santa Margarita. If you have information on his whereabouts contact the Sheriff’s Office at 805-781-4550. Anonymous tips can be provided by calling CrimeStoppers at 805-549-STOP.

238     0

News Media Corp. names new president, financial officer

ILLINOIS — News Media Corporation has hired Nickolas Monico to serve as its new company president, and promoted Trena Thompson as chief financial officer. Monico, who has a long history of multimedia leadership experience, began in his new position on Monday, Aug. 6 at NMC’s headquarters in Rochelle, Ill. “I’ve known Nick for many years and I am very pleased to have him join NMC,” said John Tompkins, founder and chairman of News Media Corporation.

238     0

DMV announces efforts to reduce wait times

SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is taking a number of additional actions to combat rising wait times at field offices. Customers have experienced longer-than-expected service times because of increased demand in the federal compliant REAL ID driver license or identification card. “The DMV is bringing employees from various state agencies and departments to strengthen our hiring surge and help triage the longer lines at our offices,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said. “This year we have already hired 500 new employees, added Saturday service at 60 offices and opened offices an hour earlier in the most impacted areas. We expect the additional surge of employees will help further combat these wait times.”

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Sheriff’s release new app

COUNTY — The Sheriff’s Office announce the release of their new mobile phone app. This free app is available to the public to download to their smart phones. It contains many of the features you can find on the Sheriff’s website like inmate information, press releases, and all the different programs and how to get involved. It has new features like the Most Wanted Wednesday where every Wednesday a person who is wanted by the Sheriff’s Office is featured with a list of their crimes. The app also features push notifications and alerts. You will be able to receive updates on breaking news notifications like wildland fire evacuations or severe weather alerts directly to your phone.

203     0

Open House for Downtown traffic calming study and corridor plan, set for Aug. 14

ATASCADERO — The City of Atascadero will be conducting an informal Open House for the El Camino Real Downtown Traffic Calming Study and Corridor Plan, from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at Atascadero City Hall, located at 6500 Palma Avenue. The public is welcome to attend in order to view draft conceptual plans and exhibits of the alternatives being considered for El Camino Real, from Highway 41 to Rosario Avenue. Members of the public who plan to attend the Open House should enter City Hall from the Lewis Avenue entrance.

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Sheriff investigating thefts in Templeton and Paso Robles

NORTH COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office is looking for two men who are suspected of breaking into vending machines at two different locations in Northern San Luis Obispo County. On July, 27, at approximately 4:45 a.m., the two men drilled out the locking mechanism on a water vending machine at the Chevron gas station located at 701 Las Tablas Road in Templeton and stole the cash inside. On the same date at approximately 6 a.m., the same suspects drilled out the locking mechanism of the Coca-Cola vending machine located at the Los Robles Mobile Home Park, at 3165 Theatre Drive in Paso Robles and stole the cash from that vending machine as well.

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Supervisors name Keith new Planning and Building Director

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Trevor Keith, a longtime senior manager for the County of San Luis Obispo, earned the confidence of all five board members to lead the Planning and Building Department. On Tuesday, Aug. 7, the SLO Board of Supervisors approved the employment agreement with Keith as the Director of the Planning and Building Department. Keith began the job on Wednesday, Aug. 8. After a nationwide search and an extensive selection process, the County of San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors unanimously, 5-0, selected Keith.

233     0

Shandon to get a new storm drain

SHANDON — The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works will begin construction of drainage improvements to the southwest corner of First Street and East Centre Street at Shandon High School. Work started Monday, Aug. 6 and expected to continue through Aug. 17. The work includes installing a concrete drainage box, excavating, backfilling, new asphalt concrete paving, and walkway improvements to the high school. The limits of work will be confined to the southwest corner of the intersection. There will be traffic control at the site resulting in slight delays. Work is anticipated to be complete before the start of school.

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Police checkpoint planned for Friday

ATASCADERO – The Atascadero Police Department will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on Aug. 10, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Atascadero Police Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

256     0

Wildfire smoke impacting San Luis Obispo County

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo (SLO) County Air Pollution Control District and County Health Department said that air quality in San Luis Obispo County is being impacted by smoke from wildfires. As of 2 p.m. Monday, July 30, smoke impacts were the greatest in Eastern and Central San Luis Obispo County (including Paso Robles and Atascadero) and air quality is mostly good along the coast (including San Luis Obispo), but coastal air quality could deteriorate as the smoke plume spreads. Expect skies to be hazy and fine particulate (PM2.5) and ozone concentrations to be higher than normal. Changing winds make it difficult to predict which areas of the county may be most affected as the week progresses. However, until the fires are put out, smoke will likely be intermittently present in the region.

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PG&E to offer tours and public workshops

AVILA BEACH — During the months of August and September, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will offer Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) lands tours to increase public knowledge of the 12,000 acres that surround DCPP. The Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel will also offer four public workshops to gather public input on the potential future uses of Diablo Canyon lands and facilities.

234     0

Seven tips for a healthy, safe visit to fair

PASO ROBLES — As residents prepare for a visit to the fair, the County Public Health Department reminds everyone to take common-sense precautions to stay healthy and safe. Health officials say the most important advice is also the most simple: wash your hands. For handwashing, soap and water is best. If soap and water aren’t available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good option. Handwashing stations are available throughout the fair.

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Mussel dogs sniffing out aquatic hitchhikers

LAKE NACIMIENTO — For one more weekend, mussel sniffing canines are helping public officials at Lake Nacimiento inspect vessels for invasive aquatic species — otherwise known as quagga and zebra mussels. “Mussel dogs,” as they are called, sniff around boats, alerting handlers of the presence of mussels and dramatically decreasing the time it takes to inspect boats.

231     0

Paso Robles multi casualty vehicle accident involves six people

PASO ROBLES — Paso Robles Police Department officials reported a multi-casualty vehicle accident on Thursday, July 19 in Paso Robles. Paso Robles Department of Emergency Services responded to the report of the traffic collision that needed extrication at approximately 12:17 p.m. Arriving firefighters found a single vehicle off the road and up an embankment of a home in a residential neighborhood. Dispatch was upgraded due to the number of patients found in the vehicle. A total of six people were found injured, which lead to the declaration of a Multi-Casualty Incident (MCI). Additional ambulances were called to transport patients. A total of three were transported to local hospitals.

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Partial closure at Jack Creek Road Bridge in Templeton

TEMPLETON — The bridge on Jack Creek Road is routinely inspected by Caltrans to look at the major structural elements as well as other bridge features. The County is working with Caltrans to make recommended repairs. Traffic will be restricted to one lane until repairs have been completed. The bridge is located on Jack Creek Road, approximately 0.1 miles north of the intersection with Highway 46, northwest of the community of Templeton.

211     0

Fatal accident involves military vehicle, sedan

COUNTY — On State Route 46 at David Road before the Cholame Y, a fatal accident occurred Wednesday, July 25, morning involving a military tactical vehicle and a car, as reported by California Highway Patrol. The driver, Cecil Gabriel Johnson, a 49 year-old Army Reserve sergeant from San Bernardino was driving a large 2007 M1078 Tactical Vehicle in a military convoy eastbound on State Route 46 at Davis Road, going approximately 50 mph when the driver, of a 2000 Acura 3.2TL, Chan Kee Chung, a 58-year-old male from Rowland Heights, was driving westbound at 55 mph when the tactical vehicle’s left front tire went flat and suddenly failed, sending the vehicle across the double yellow center lines into the westbound lane of traffic.

217     0

World-first 1,500 mile USA expedition, stops in San Miguel

SAN MIGUEL — UK based couple, Bex Band and Gil Drori, will be bravely attempting a 1,500- plus mile journey travelling the full length of the USA using kick scooters — stand up non-motorised scooters that are powered by leg muscles alone. The expedition, named ‘Kicking the States’ began on May 17 in Vancouver, Canada and will end three months later in Tijuana, Mexico. This route has never been attempted on kick scooters before so it will be a world first! The couple was in San Miguel on Wednesday, July 18 and planned to scoot past Paso Robles, Templeton and Atascadero on July 19 with their local destination to stop in Los Osos. The couple are completely self-contained, carrying all their own gear in modified panniers that they adapted especially for the kick-scooters.

271     0

Atascadero trash and recycling services delayed one day in observance of Independence Day

Waste Management’s curbside residential trash and recycling and commercial pick-up schedule in the City of Atascadero will be delayed by one day beginning on Wednesday, July 4, and throughout the week in observance of Independence Day.

338     0

St. Luke’s Father Matthew Conrad retires June 30

ATASCADERO — Fr. Matthew Conrad of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atascadero is trading in his clerical collar and sandals for an Aloha shirt and flip-flops on June 30, 2018 after faithfully serving the community of Atascadero and the surrounding areas for more than 34 years.

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Tuesdays in the Park start June 19

ATASCADERO — This summer join in the fun at the Tuesdays-in-the Park weekly community barbecue, every Tuesday evening from 5-7 p.m., at the Atascadero Lakeside Park, 9305 Pismo Avenue, from June 19 – Aug. 21. The barbecue dinner prepared and served by the Atascadero Elks Lodge. The Atascadero Community Band will play each week from 7 - 8 p.m., rounding out an evening of family fun.

298     0

Kennedy members raise 1K for Hunger Awareness Day

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Kennedy Club Fitness held a spotlight class in each of their four locations during the month of May to raise awareness – and funds—for SLO County Food Bank’s Hunger Awareness Day. Kennedy members danced, stretched, powered and more to raise $1,000.

302     0

Caltrans accelerates repairs on Hwy 101

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Caltrans will repave more than 16 lane miles of U.S. Highway 101 from Vineyard Drive overcrossing in Templeton to North Paso Robles overhead near the city, due to funding by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

219     0

Cyclists injured during event

PASO ROBLES — AIDS/LifeCycle® riders left their camp at the Mid-State Fairgrounds on June 6 and headed to their destination for the day in Santa Maria. More than 2,300 cyclists and almost 650 volunteers ‘roadies’ hit the road, but two of the riders would not make it to Santa Maria as they intended.

213     0

Fence Factory Lot in Flames

ATASCADERO — On June 5 at 4:14 p.m. Atascadero Fire and Police responded to a 20x10-foot vegetation fire at El Camino Real and Del Rio Road. The fire was next to the Fence Factory business and threatened one of their structures. Atascadero Fire Department personnel were able to fully contain the fire by 4:20 p.m.

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Standout students honored at award and scholarship ceremonies

TEMPLETON — Sofia Talarico took home a few awards and scholarships this May. The graduating Templeton Highschool (THS) senior received the prestigious “Eagle of the Year” award, as well as the Top Scholar Cumulative Award, STEM Award, Spanish Award, SAT Award, Life Science Award, CSF Award and the ACT Award. She also received three scholarships presented on scholarship night: The Monday Club Conservancy Fine Arts Award Scholarship, Vocal Arts SLO Scholarship and THS Drama Boosters Scholarship. Talarico will be attending UC Irvine, majoring in Musical Theater and Biology.

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Local hospitals hosting Cereal Drive to help feed local kids during Summer months

TEMPLETON — Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, which houses the only dedicated pediatric unit in San Luis Obispo County, and Twin Cities Community Hospital are leading a community effort to provide area children struggling with hunger with a healthy breakfast during the summer through its Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive benefiting The Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County. The drive kicks off Friday, June 1, and runs through Friday, June 8.

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Additional Articles

  • Six-month women’s leadership program begins this Fall

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — A six-month women’s leadership program, focused on inspiring, equipping and empowering women to reach their full potential begins this fall. The program is designed for emerging leaders, managers and entrepreneurs looking to develop essential skills to maximize their impact and build strong professional connections. Through monthly half-day sessions, each of the 16-person cohorts will gain essential skills to transform their leadership and grow their influence.

  • Highway 58 resurfacing project East of Santa Margarita continues with traffic control for barrier work

    COUNTY — A project to resurface 24 miles of Highway 58 from six miles east of Santa Margarita near State Route 229 to the Navajo Creek Bridge continued Saturday, July 20 through Saturday, July 27.

  • Striping project resumes this week on Highway 46 East

    COUNTY — A project to replace the roadway striping and pavement markers will resume on Highway 46 East beginning Tuesday, July 9 in the following locations: Motorists will encounter lane closures in both directions on Hwy. 46 East from the US 101 Interchange to East of Airport on Tuesday, July 9 during the overnight hours from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

  • Dominguez Fire damages one home in its path

    CALIFORNIA VALLEY — A vegetation fire in California Valley damaged a home on June 14, Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County reported. At 12:13 p.m., Cal Fire San Luis Obispo units responded to the fire that was held to 15 acres and 80% contained. Firefighters were able to stop the spread, while also battling the structure fire.

  • Highway 1 paving between Harmony and Cambria begins next week

    COUNTY — A project to resurface the pavement on Highway 1 from just north of Harmony Valley Road to Cambria Pines Road will begin on Monday, June 10. Motorists will encounter alternating lane closures with flaggers Sunday night through Friday morning from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Construction will also take place Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Fridays from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

  • Highway 46 East striping improvement project begins next week

    COUNTY — A project to replace the roadway striping and pavement markers began on Highway 46 East on Sunday, June 2. Motorists will encounter lane closures in each direction of Highway 46 East from west of Lucy Brown Road to the Kern County Line Sunday night through Friday morning during the overnight hours between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Motorists can expect minimal delays during this roadwork.

  • HWY 58 resurfacing project East of Santa Margarita resumes

    COUNTY — A project to resurface 24 miles of Highway 58 from six miles east of Santa Margarita near State Route 229 to the Navajo Creek Bridge resumed on Wednesday, May 1. Motorists will encounter one-way reversing traffic control from near the Junction with State Route 229 to east of Shooting Star Road Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. and on Friday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Delays should not exceed 15 minutes. Motorists will also encounter a striping operation next week during the daytime hours within the project limits.

  • Pothole repairs on SR 41 north of HWY 46E begin next week

    COUNTY —A project to repair potholes on Highway 41 from north of the Highway 46 East Interchange to the San Luis Obispo/Kern County line will begin on Monday, May 6, and continue through Thursday, May 9. Motorists will encounter one-way reversing traffic control with a pilot car on State Route 41 from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. This highway maintenance project will resume on State Route 41 beginning Monday, May 13 through Wednesday, May 15. Motorists will encounter traffic control from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.

  • Smaller York project is greenlit

    Months of debate and neighborly recrimination over a project designed to grow food-grade medical cannabis on a ranch seven miles west of “Downtown Templeton,” on Highway 46, came to a close March 26 as lawyers, consultants and San Luis Obispo County Supervisors worked out a deal. Representatives and consultants for the project applicant, Laura Gardner, and of property owners Frank Ricigliano and Sue Sullivan, repeatedly emphasized the scaled-down nature of the project as being one-seventh of the original size. What’s more, they said, the project — once approved in September 2018 before appeal by resident Ian McPhee — had already been proven to meet every aspect of the County’s land use ordinance.

  • Carbajal announces 2019 Congressional Women of the Year Award

    SANTA BARBARA — In honor of Women’s History Month, Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24) announced his Congressional Women of the Year honorees and opened nominations for the next year. This award was created as an opportunity to celebrate the inspiring women throughout the 24th District who, through work or volunteerism, have gone above and beyond to positively impact our community.

  • HWY 1 paving project near Cuesta College began March 25

    COUNTY — A project to grind and resurface northbound Highway 1 from North Education Drive to the San Luis Creek Bridge began on Monday, March 25, weather permitting. Motorists will encounter alternating lane closures on Highway 1 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and during the overnight hours from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. Delays are expected to be minimal. Electronic message boards will be activated to inform the public about this roadwork. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will be present to ensure a safe environment for everyone.

  • Enter the Fair in 2019: Still Exhibit registration is open, handbooks available

    PASO ROBLES — The Still Exhibit Competition Handbooks are now available online. Still Exhibits include departments like Fine Arts, Flowers, Farm Art, Home Arts, Photography and Produce. New this year will be the separation of Adult and Youth handbooks and registration. Registration is open for all departments and entering online is quick, fast and easy when you go to www.midstatefair.com/fair/. Don’t be late as the deadline to enter is Tuesday, June 11, for all departments except for Ag Horticulture and Floriculture which is Tuesday, July 9.

  • 2019 Women of Distinction Award recipients announced

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cuesta College and The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County’s Women’s Legacy Fund announce the recipients of the 2019 Women of Distinction awards. Five outstanding Central Coast women are recognized for their professional and civic contributions. Honorees are nominated by their peers and chosen by a selection committee.

  • Bank of the Sierra awards $25K in grants to non-profits in coastal markets during fourth quarter

    PORTERVILLE — Bank of the Sierra announced Monday that $25,000 was given to seven nonprofits in the bank’s coastal markets during the fourth quarter. The bank awards $1,000-$5,000 grants to 15-20 non-profit organizations each quarter as part of its Sierra Grant program. Overall in the fourth quarter, Bank of the Sierra awarded a total of $59,000 to non-profits in eight counties it serves. RISE San Luis Obispo County will use a Sierra Grant to support participation in Camp HOPE America. This camping and mentoring program offers healing to children and adults who have been impacted by family violence. Grant funds will pay for accommodations, meals, and programs for several campers, counselors, site coordinators, and more.

  • Charges filed against CMC escapee David Grayhall

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — David Gregory Grayhall, 26, who escaped from the California Men’s Colony (CMC) on Oct. 30, 2018, was charged with escaping custody, vehicle theft, and having a prior violent under the three-strikes law, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office. Grayhall was serving a five-year sentence at CMC after a conviction in Los Angeles County. Grayhall fled the prison while on work duty and stole one of the facility’s vehicles for his escape. The stolen van was located in Los Angeles, where several family members of Grayhall reside. After further investigation by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and CMC staff, Grayhall was peacefully apprehended in Los Angeles on Nov. 16, 2018.

  • Dedication ceremony for Dr. Gilbert H. Stork Gym

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — A special dedication ceremony for the Dr. Gilbert H. Stork Gymnasium was held on Saturday, Feb. 2, at Cuesta College’s San Luis Obispo Campus. In July of 2018, the Cuesta College Board of Trustees approved the naming of the Gymnasium (Building 1400) as the Dr. Gilbert H. Stork Gymnasium to honor the 50-plus year legacy of Gilbert H. Stork, upon his retirement as Superintendent/President of Cuesta College. The naming recognizes the depth and breadth of Stork’s work and his unique contributions to support student success, which began in the athletic department. “Dr. Stork is the longest-serving employee in Cuesta College’s history and is commended for his untiring and selfless commitment to higher education, to Cuesta College, and to the San Luis Obispo County community,” said Board of Trustees Vice President Dr. Barbara George.

  • County public libraries celebrating 100 years

    COUNTY — County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. To celebrate, County Library branches have a full calendar of centennial programs and events. Here are some highlights: A special edition Centennial Library Card was released in January and will be available through the end of the year or while supplies last. Patrons can pick up one of these commemorative cards and open a new account or link the card to their current account. The Library has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to purchase a grave marker for San Luis Obispo’s first librarian, Margaret Milne. Milne currently lies in an unmarked grave in the San Luis Cemetery. The link to the GoFundMe page is: https://www.gofundme.com/slo039s-first-librarian-lies-in-an-unmarked-grave

  • SB 1: Caltrans allocates $54.8 million to transportation improvements

    SACRAMENTO — Caltrans announced Friday, Feb. 8, the California Transportation Commission allocated $54.8 million for 46 projects throughout California including $31.1 million for fix-it-first projects funded by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. This funding will allow Caltrans to repair or replace 16 bridges, 168 lane miles and 150 drainage systems statewide. In addition, 248 congestion reducing elements will be installed, including highway message signs, cameras and loop detectors to improve traffic flow. “As a new year begins, we continue our commitment to improve California’s highways, providing drivers with a smoother ride,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “SB 1 is not only allowing us to fix our highways and local roads, but it is also reducing congestion, which allows residents and visitors to get where they need to go more safely and reliably.”

  • Local programs and area agencies are looking for volunteers

    COUNTY — Put your life experience to work with Senior Volunteer Services and Central Coast Community Volunteers. Join many seniors, age 50 and over, who are taking the time to help improve the lives of others. SVS and CCCV can match your talents and interests with community needs. Call SVS at 805-544-8740 for information on any of the following opportunities. RSVP — Retired and Senior Volunteer Program 55-and-older Estrella Warbirds Museum & Woodland Auto Display — looking for volunteers that love aircraft (old & new) and old cars. You might enjoy joining our family of volunteers as a docent. Little training is necessary and lots of knowledge is available in Paso Robles. Senior Peer Counseling — The Senior Peer Counseling program at Wilshire Community Services trains volunteers age 55+ to provide free in-home supportive counseling to seniors. Peer Counselors offer skilled listening and guidance to help older adults navigate the ups and downs of aging.

  • SLO County Regional Airport sets new passenger record

    COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP) saw 485,911 passengers come through its doors in 2018. The amount is 19.2 percent higher than 2017’s 407,696 passengers, and sets the record for the most annual passengers in the airport’s history. United Airlines enforced its position as the airport’s largest carrier, adding a second daily flight to Denver and bringing in larger planes on existing routes in 2018. With a total of ten daily flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver, the airline flew 279,326 passengers last year. American Airlines, which flies four flights a day to Phoenix, carried 158,780 passengers; Alaska Airline’s daily flight to Seattle carried 47,805. October was the airport’s best month of the year, as 46,514 total travelers passed through the terminal.

  • County studies fire protection services in special districts

    COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo presented a study to the Board of Supervisors on Jan. 15 that evaluated the fire protection services of certain special districts in SLO County. The report described the challenges to sustainability, and impact to the County and County Fire Department if one, or more, special district elects to discontinue providing fire protection services. At the Board’s direction, District 1 Supervisor John Peschong and District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson will work together in an ad-hoc capacity to evaluate steps moving forward and report back to the Board at a future date.

  • Atascadero Warming Center needs you

    ATASCADERO — Homeless in North County need your help. We are looking for volunteers who can chaperone at our Warming Center to help provide people who are suffering from homelessness a warm, safe place to sleep. The Warming Center is located at Dove Creek Church of the Nazarene and is typically open nights when the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or when it’s raining. We need two chaperones per shift—There are two shifts per night—7 p.m. to 1 a.m. and 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. The Center provides a warm, safe place from the elements during the winter months with a nice dinner meal, breakfast, and a bag lunch for the next day. There are typically 24 -28 people at any given night.

  • 2019 Burn season opens for fire hazard reduction

    ATASCADERO — Atascadero Fire & Emergency Services has officially opened the Fire Hazard Reduction Burn Season. A reminder that the burn day status, whether it is a permissive burn day or not, changes daily and is determined by the California Air Resources Board and north county weather conditions. Residents must obtain the daily burn day status by calling 805-461-5070, Option 8. Atascadero Fire and Emergency Services strongly encourages residents to utilize alternative forms of disposal, such as the Waste Alternatives’ Green Waste recycling container or the Chicago Grade Landfill. Burning should be used as a last resort.

  • It’s not too late to save on property taxes

    COUNTY — San Luis Obispo County Assessor Tom Bordonaro Jr. would like to remind all homeowners, disabled veterans and eligible non-profit organizations that they may file claims for property tax exemptions. The Homeowner’s Exemption exempts up to $7,000 in taxable value of a property if the claim is timely filed (or postmarked by Feb. 15,) and up to $5,600 if filed late (postmarked by Dec.10, 2019). If you received your Homeowner’s Exemption last year, and you still own and occupy the same property this year, you do not need to file again. Your exemption automatically remains in place.

  • Flu activity is increasing in SLO County

    COUNTY — As influenza activity increases nationwide and in San Luis Obispo County, the County Public Health Department reminds residents to take common-sense precautions to protect themselves and the community from the flu. This reminder follows a recent increase in local laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza and the death of one San Luis Obispo County resident from complications of the flu. The resident was over age 60 and had several underlying conditions that make people more vulnerable to severe complications of influenza.

  • A vehicle crashed into a power pole, closes SR41 for most of the day

    ATASCADERO — A vehicle collision at Old Morro Road on Jan. 24 caused State Route 41 to be closed for most of the day, according to Caltrans. At about 3:21 a.m. a solo driver in a 2015 Mazda 3, collided with a power pole on Highway 41. The driver of the vehicle sustained minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital. Where he was treated and released.

  • Templeton School District looks at $300K in cuts

    Some $300,000 in budget cuts expected to be enacted in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 budget years have been a long time coming, said Templeton Unified School District Superintendent Joe Koski. That doesn’t mean they’re happy about having to make the reductions, he added, but it does eliminate the appearance of a crisis, which other nearby districts have recently experienced. Sheldon Smith, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for San Luis Obispo County’s Department of Education concurred noting his department was, “Confident that Templeton will be able to make required cuts and meet their obligations,” as they’ve been checking in with the TUSD’s budget progress five times a year.

  • County begins preparations for 2020 Census

    COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo will receive funding to support outreach efforts for the 2020 U.S. Census and help ensure a complete, fair and accurate count locally. On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the County Board of Supervisors supported the County’s participation in the Census and accepted $100,000 in funding for the County’s participation. County staff will convene a Complete Count Committee of representatives from cities, schools and local community organizations to develop a strategic plan for regional activities to increase the census response rate and assist in implementing that plan.

  • Smart911 now available in San Luis Obispo County

    COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office announced on Wednesday, Jan. 9 that Smart911 is now available in San Luis Obispo County. Smart911 is a free service that allows individuals and families to sign up online to provide key information to 9-1-1 dispatchers during an emergency. Smart911 allows the public to create a Safety Profile at www.smart911.com for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and response teams to have in the event of an emergency. When a citizen makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 dispatcher, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information.

  • Critical hospice volunteers needed for local patients

    COUNTY — Community volunteers are needed to provide in-home companionship and respite care to hospice patients in San Luis Obispo County and the Santa Maria Valley, according to Central Coast Hospice. Central Coast Hospice has been providing medical and social services to those with a terminal diagnosis in all of San Luis Obispo County for over seven years. Volunteers are an important part of the program. They provide supervision to patients while their family caregivers take a break or run errands, assist with light household tasks, provide emotional support and socialization, and help with miscellaneous, yet important tasks — like organizing family photos or helping the patient write letters to their loved ones.

  • Spring classes begin Jan. 22 at Cuesta College

    COUNTY — Cuesta College’s spring semester begins Jan. 22 and students can continue signing up for classes through Feb. 3. Classes are still available in many areas including art, English, foreign languages, music, and more. Also offered are free Emeritus College non-credit courses for lifelong learners. Open classes may be viewed by clicking here. New this spring are several student services initiatives. This January, Cuesta College is opening two new Dreamer Centers at the San Luis Obispo and North County campuses to support undocumented students and their families. The centers are made possible through a grant awarded to Cuesta College by the California Catalyst Fund — a private funding source focused on creating equitable opportunities for student learning at institutions of higher education. The college is one of 32 campuses throughout California that received support from the grant.

  • Work on southbound US HWY 101 on Cuesta Grade begins this week

    COUNTY — The No. 2 (middle) and No. 3 (right) lane of southbound US 101 will be closed from the top of Cuesta Grade to south of Old Stagecoach Road beginning Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 9 a.m. until Thursday, Jan. 24 at 5 a.m., weather permitting, according to Caltrans. These lane closures will allow Caltrans to repair the roadway where a sinkhole is developing. This roadwork will also include the removal and replacement of a failed drainage culvert beneath those lanes. Motorists should expect to slow in this construction zone and anticipate delays not to exceed 15 minutes.

  • Public input is needed to move forward on county housing ordinance

    COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo County Department of Planning and Building is asking for the public’s input as the department works on updates or amendments to the Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance (Public Review Draft), formerly known as the Secondary Dwelling Ordinance. Under direction of the Board of Supervisors, Planning and Building staff are working on Phase II of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance to encourage development by removing unnecessary barriers. As part of this effort, the County has reviewed existing restrictions and limitations on secondary dwellings throughout the unincorporated areas of the County and has released the Accessory Unit Ordinance Public Review Draft.

  • Libraries offer fine amnesty in January

    COUNTY — It’s time to pull out that long overdue library book because January is Fine Amnesty Month for County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries. Regardless of how overdue an item is, all County Library branches will waive all overdue fees, clearing the account for checkout of new materials. Fine forgiveness does not apply to fees charged for lost materials, however.

  • County seeks public comment on inclusionary housing fees

    COUNTY — San Luis Obispo County Department of Planning and Building is seeking public comment on amendments to the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance and Affordable Housing Fund. Under direction from the SLO County Board of Supervisors, the Department of Planning and Building has been working on a 3-year pilot program that would raise between $2 to $4 million per year in local funding for affordable housing. These funds will be awarded to non-profit developers to build affordable housing in the County. As part of the pilot program, the Board authorized the Department of Planning and Building to modify the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance and Affordable Housing Fund. The Inclusionary Housing Ordinance requires new housing developments to either include a percentage of affordable units or pay “in-lieu” fees into the County’s Affordable Housing Fund.

  • City of Atascadero’s Planning Commission and Citizens’ Sales Tax Oversight Committee application deadline extended

    ATASCADERO — The City of Atascadero is currently seeking to fill two positions on the Planning Commission and two positions on the Citizen’s Sales Tax Oversight Committee. All applicants must be residents of the City of Atascadero. Completed applications will be accepted in the City Clerk’s office until Friday, Jan. 11, at 5 p.m. Those interested in applying for either the Planning Commissions or the Citizens’ Sales Tax Oversight Committee (CSTOC) may obtain applications on the City’s website homepage at www.atascadero.org under the “Latest News” section; in person at City Hall located at 6500 Palma Avenue, Atascadero; or by calling the City Clerk’s Office at 805-470-3400.

  • Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust invests in Big Brothers Big Sisters of SLO County

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust awarded a grant of $20,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters in support of the agency’s school-based youth mentoring programs. With this $20,000 gift, their total contributions in support of the agency’s school-based mentoring programs amount to $140,000 since 2012. The school-based program pairs high school and college students with elementary students for weekly supervised group and individual activities taking place at elementary school sites. The program creates an exceptional bond between at-risk children and older students who have volunteered to support them. A group of carefully selected high school and college student mentors travel to their partner elementary school once each week for the entire school year.

  • Local 4-H Youth Program seeks volunteer camp director for Camp Wahoo!

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — 4-H in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties is still looking for a volunteer camp director to coordinate the 2019 4-H summer camp, Camp Wahoo! Camp Wahoo! is expected to take place at Camp Yeager in Cambria from July 28 to 31. Camp Wahoo! 4-H summer camp is an experience that is fun for both youth and adults. Generally, a weeklong residential camp experience for Camp Wahoo! campers ages 9-13. The 4-H camp director would work closely with the 4-H Office to coordinate and put on the camp for both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. It is scheduled to take place, but if a camp director position is not filled by Jan. 15, the camp will, unfortunately, need to be canceled for 2019.

  • YPNG rolls the dice for Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Young Professionals Networking Group (YPNG) presented Big Brothers Big Sisters with a $5,200 check from the proceeds of its annual Monte Carlo night. The Casino Royale themed event was held in the Venetian Room at the Madonna Inn. Tatiana Mendoza, former Big Brothers Big Sisters program director and YPNG treasurer says, “Big Brothers Big Sisters is one of our community partners, who we fundraise for through several events each year. This year Big Brothers Big Sisters was the beneficiary of our Monte Carlo event because we wanted to help the agency serve more children. We were able to fundraise enough to serve four match relationships for one year.”

  • More than $600M in funding approved for transportation infrastructure, rail and projects

    STATE — Caltrans announced Monday that the California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated more than $600 million in funding for hundreds of transportation projects, which includes $80 million from SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. “Caltrans will focus on repairing and rehabilitating the state highway system by improving pavement, bridges, culverts, and intelligent transportation systems, which are included in the performance requirements of SB 1, to improve transportation for all of our residents and visitors, no matter their mode of transportation,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman.

  • General Assistance program updated to reflect community needs

    COUNTY — Each year, the program helps an average of 650 community members meet basic needs while they pursue employment or long-term disability benefits. This is the first major update in 25 years. On Nov. 6, the Department of Social Services took a resolution to the Board of Supervisors to update guidelines for the County’s General Assistance program. The General Assistance program is a last resort to support indigent County residents who have no other available means of support. This program was established in San Luis Obispo County in February of 1993 and has not had any major program updates in the 25 years since it was established.

  • Bomb threat hoax throughout SLO County and nationwide

    COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, along with a number of law enforcement agencies nationwide, received reports on Thursday, Dec. 13, of a bomb threat being emailed to various entities, primarily businesses. Usually included in that threat was an extortion demand for money in the form of bitcoin to avoid the detonation of the bomb. As of this time, all of these threats have proven to be unfounded, according to officials.

  • Atascadero hosts Mental Health Services Act town hall meeting

    ATASCADERO — The County’s Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) programs and plans will be the focus of a town hall presentation and meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Atascadero’s Community Library, Polin Community Room, 655 Capistrano Ave. The event is open to the public and will provide an overview of the MHSA, including programs operating in the South County. The meeting will be facilitated by Behavioral Health’s Prevention and Outreach Division Manager, and MHSA Coordinator, Frank Warren, and will include presentations on a variety of community-based programs. The meeting will also provide information on current planning and funding, as well as invite community members to identify issues which may need to be addressed in the future.

  • Waste Management offers Christmas tree recycling after holidays

    ATASCADERO — After the holiday festivities are over and residents start to look forward to the coming year, Waste Management encourages customers in the City of Atascadero to recycle their tree through its curbside collection program. Waste Management will collect trees for residents in the City of Atascadero from Dec. 26 through Jan. 12 on customers’ scheduled collection day. When placing trees on the curb for collection, customers should follow these guidelines: Remove all decorations including tinsel, lights, ornaments, tree stands; flocked trees cannot be recycled please do not place in green waste cart Cut trees into 3-foot pieces and place inside the green waste cart

  • Atascadero’s Downtown Parking and Business Improvement Area returns

    ATASCADERO — The new Atascadero Business Improvement District (ABID) Committee and the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce announced the return of funding in the Downtown Parking and Business Improvement District, which will be utilized for new and improved parking areas, downtown wayfinding and streetscape improvements, beautification projects, events and promotions. The Downtown Business District will be funded by a special annual assessment collected with business license applications and renewal fees from businesses located within the improvement area.

  • Residential and Agricultural Burn permitting resumes

    COUNTY — The burn permit suspension in San Luis Obispo County was lifted on Saturday, Dec. 1. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) San Luis Obispo Unit Chief Scott Jalbert formally canceled the burn permit suspension and advised that those possessing current and valid agriculture and residential burn permits can now resume burning on permissible burn days only. Agriculture burns must be inspected by Cal Fire prior to burning until the end of the peak fire season. A valid permit from the Air Pollution Control District is also required for all burning, allowed only on permissive burn days. Inspections may be required for burns other than agriculture burns. This can be verified by contacting the Air Pollution Control District.

  • Holiday business mixer at Pacific Premier Bank

    ATASCADERO — The holiday Business Mixer at Pacific Premier Bank is a festive event for business leaders to connect and build relationships. The Business Mixer will take place Dec. 20, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Pacific Premier Bank in Atascadero. Holiday decorations will adorn the inside of the bank for the attendees. While chamber members connect, they can enjoy appetizers and refreshments. La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant and John Hernandez-Borjan will be serving treats. Vintage Cowboy Winery and Bristols Cider House will be pouring drinks. Lights and music will be taken care of by Medina Light Design.

  • Deadline approaching for Cal Fire grants to reduce fire threat and improve forest health

    SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced the availability of up to $ 155 million for Fire Prevention and Forest Health projects. Cal Fire is soliciting applications for projects that will help prevent catastrophic wildfires and restore forest health while also sequestering carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Cal Fire’s Fire Prevention Grants Program will provide funding for local projects that address the risk of wildfire and reduce wildfire potential to communities in, and adjacent to, forested areas. Qualified activities include hazardous fuel reduction, fire planning, and fire prevention education with an emphasis on improving public health and safety.

  • Learning through Lynda.com offered at local county libraries

    COUNTY —All County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries are now offering cardholders free access to online educational courses from Lynda.com. Now owned by LinkedIn, Lynda.com has been the leading provider of online learning content for 20 years. The service has more than 12,000 courses, ranging from computer programming to project management including instruction on various computer software, programming languages, and business topics. The video courses are taught by industry experts and are designed for any skill level. Lynda.com also offers more than 50 different learning paths to help users stay ahead in their current job or change careers.

  • Wilshire Community Services is looking for RSVP volunteers

    COUNTY —Wilshire Community Services trains volunteers to assist isolated older adults all over San Luis Obispo County, but they are currently experiencing a shortage of volunteers in North County areas. Would you be willing to provide some simple daily activities such as friendly visits, transportation help, groceries, and errands, or pet walking?

  • Fire breaks out in Atascadero residence

    ATASCADERO — A fire Wednesday, Nov. 14, evening displaced people from a Sycamore Road residence, the Atascadero Fire Department reported. At 4:45 p.m. on Nov. 14, the call came in that there was a structure on fire on Sycamore Road. At approximately 4:51 p.m. units arrived on scene and found a single story, metal structure, converted into a residential unit, ablaze. The metal structure, wood fence, an automobile, and vegetation caught on fire too per officials.

  • Templeton students are invited to compete in a T-shirt design contest

    TEMPLETON — Templeton Recreation is inviting local students to compete in a T-shirt design contest. The winning drawing will become the 2018 logo for this year’s Jingle All the Way 5K Fun Run and Walk on Saturday, Dec. 8. All designs must be completed by a resident of Templeton or student of Templeton schools who are under the age of 18. Submissions will be accepted through Tuesday, Nov. 20, with the winner being announced Tuesday, Nov. 27.

  • RTA awarded $6.2M DOT grant for new facility

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — The San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority (RTA) received a $6.285 million grant on Sept. 25 to help fund the construction of a new administration and bus maintenance facility. “I am very appreciative of the partnerships that it took to procure the land for the new administration and maintenance facility, and this project would never have happened without the support of SLOCOG, CAPSLO and the City and County of San Luis Obispo,” said Geoff Straw, Executive Director of RTA. “This grant is a significant step forward in developing a long term solution for the RTA’s needs.” The grant comes as a result of the Federal Transit Administration Buses & Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program, which makes federal resources available to states and direct recipients to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities. The FTA received 255 applications for this grant and SLORTA received the largest amount in the State of California.

  • Weed abatement funds examined

    The weed abatement actions typically cost $37,000 in staff time, not counting the $24,000 spent on noticing and inspection before crews are needed, Rickard said. The report prepared by the City’s Fire and Emergency Services staff notes that the Fire Marshal conducts an initial weed inspection during the month of April of the approximately 11,188 parcels within the City, with notices then mailed to those deemed a potential threat.

  • Fire threatens homes on Creston Road Sunday

    CRESTON — Several small fires broke out in the afternoon along Creston Road on Sunday, Sept. 2, according to Cal Fire San Luis Obispo. One of the fires at Creston and Neal Springs Road threatened houses and homes had to be evacuated. One vacant and abandoned home was fully involved in the blaze and destroyed, according to Chris Elms with Cal Fire SLO. “Engine companies were very quick to mitigate the threat to the houses,” Elms said. The fire was contained later in the evening before 8 p.m. and evacuated residents from the area were let allowed back into the home.

  • Recovery program seeking home in North County

    A home for victims of human trafficking is looking for a permanent location in North County.

  • Atascadero name spikes after wedding

    Atascadero’s best and worst kept secret saw the town’s name popping up in international tabloids and spiking in Google search alerts Wednesday, Aug. 29 as news broke that singer-songwriter Neil Young and actress Daryl Hannah held a “secret wedding” involving a reception in the City the weekend before.

  • SB 10: Reaction to bail reform

    California Gov. Jerry Brown signed on Tuesday, Aug. 28, sweeping legislation, in the works for several years, to eliminate cash bail in the state. Set to take effect in a little over a year, October 2019, Senate Bill 10, which passed with a California Senate vote of 26-12 on Aug. 21 bred unusual bedfellows in opposition.

  • Templeton Library Association hosting book giveaway Sept. 1, 2 and 8

    The public is invited to attend a book giveaway on Saturday, Sept. 1, Sunday, Sept. 2 and Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Book Room Annex located at 65 S. Main St., Ste. 102 (kitty-corner from Templeton Donuts).

  • CalVet Tuition Fee waived for eligible veteran dependents

    SACRAMENTO — California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) offers a College Fee Waiver Program for eligible veteran dependents. The CalVet College Tuition Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents benefit waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus.

  • Local programs and agencies are looking for help

    COUNTY — Put your life experience to work with Senior Volunteer Services and Central Coast Community Volunteers. Join many seniors, age 50 and over, who are taking the time to help improve the lives of others. SVS and CCCV can match your talents and interests with community needs. Call SVS at 805-544-8740 for information on any of the following opportunities.

  • FDA issues voluntary recalls of Ritz, Goldfish and other products

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working with Mondelēz International, Inc., Pepperidge Farm Inc. and Flowers Foods, Inc. and have initiated voluntarily recalls of certain products due to a potential risk that one of the ingredients may have been contaminated with Salmonella. Recalled foods include a variety of Mondelēz’s Ritz cheese sandwiches and Ritz Bits cheese products, certain Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish, and Flowers Foods’ Swiss Rolls sold under various brand names. Additional information about each specific recall is available on the FDA website at fda.gov/safety/recalls/. The FDA recommends people discard or return any recalled product to the store where it was purchased.