We could see new COVID-19 stay-at-home orders which would once again shut down things like in-person restaurant dining on the Central and South Coasts.   The state is responding to the surge in coronavirus cases with a plan triggered if a region’s hospital intensive care unit capacity drops below 15%.

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More than 900 new COVID-19 cases were reported on the Central and South Coasts Wednesday, the highest total since the start of the pandemic.

Ventura County was hardest hit, with 794 additional cases.

(SPARC photo)

An injured owl is getting some help thanks to police and an animal rescue group in Ventura County.

Santa Paula Police responded to a call of an "owl down."  An injured Great Horned owl was found in a Santa Paula neighborhood.  The injured bird was taken to the Raptor Center in Ojai, which helps injured birds.  

A popular Central Coast Park is reopening after getting a more than $850,000 makeover.

Russell Park in Santa Maria opens on Saturday with new and improved amenities, after investment from federal and state grants. 

Two service dogs have been recruited to the newly created Ventura County District Attorney’s Courthouse Facility Dog program.

The two black Labrador retrievers, ‘Star’ and ‘Trakr’ are trained to provide physical and emotional support to assist victims of crime – including during giving evidence in Court.

A new wave of Santa Ana wind conditions for Ventura and Los Angeles Counties means we will see elevated brush fire danger for the next few days, as well as some possible public safety power shutoffs.

A dry offshore could set the stage for wind in the 35-50 mile an hour range on the coast and inland, with gusts topping 60 miles an hour possible in the mountains.

It was a very rough day in the battle against COVID-19 on the Central and South Coasts, with more than 900 new cases reported Wednesday.

Most of the additional cases came from Ventura County, which had nearly 800 cases.

Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin says it’s unclear as to whether the big number is a fluke, or the result of a post-Thanksgiving surge.

It’s a parent’s nightmare.  You send your son off to college, and he has a mental health crisis:

That’s the situation Tom and Leslie Franklin of Solvang faced.  But, to make matters worse, Santa Barbara County didn’t have a mental health inpatient rehabilitation facility.  Their son ended up in Los Angeles County.  That type of situation has finally changed in the county.

Elks Recreation

It’s being billed as a COVID-safe Christmas spectacular on the Central Coast. 

Elks Rodeo in Santa Maria– which has been closed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic – has teamed up with City of Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department to create a drive-through ‘Christmas in The Country’, featuring real-life camels. 

(Ventura County Fire Department photo)

A federal grand jury indicted the captain of a dive boat which caught fire in the Channel Islands with 34 counts of manslaughter, with one count for each person who died in the inferno.  The grand jury says that as the master of the vessel, the captain of the "Conception" was responsible for the safety and security of those on board.

The COVID-19 surge is continuing in our region, with nearly 200 new coronavirus cases reported on the Central and South Coasts. 

Ventura County added 127 cases Tuesday, Santa Barbara County 29, and San Luis Obispo County 38.  Public health officials say the numbers may be on the low side because of the testing shutdown over the holiday weekend.

What’s predicted to be a moderate Santa Ana wind event could create high wildfire danger for parts of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties for the next few days.

Meteorologists say a dry offshore flow will mean wind in the 40 miles an hour range for much of Ventura County.  There’s Red Flag Warnings beginning at 6 Wednesday night for Ventura and Los Angeles County mountains, valleys, and coastal areas.  They’re expected to remain in place until this weekend.

All three counties on the Central and South Coasts have now certified the results of the Presidential General Election, with record turnout reported.

Ventura County had an 86% voter turnout, Santa Barbara County 87%, and San Luis Obispo County 88%.

(Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office photo)

The search is continuing for a diver who disappeared in the Channel Islands.

Ryder Stuart of Port Hueneme was lobster diving off of Santa Cruz Island Sunday when he failed to surface.  His dive partner called authorities. 

Around 30 health and wellness businesses on the Central Coast have banded together – hoping to change statewide COVID-19 restrictions that prevent fitness centers from operating indoors.

The newly formed Wellness Coalition argues that fitness centers should be considered essential businesses due to the health benefits of working out.