Four new coronavirus related deaths have been reported on the Central and South Coasts Wednesday, bringing the region’s total to 288.  Santa Barbara County has had two additional deaths, and San Luis Obispo County two more as well. 

There have been 146 coronavirus related deaths in Ventura County, 113 in Santa Barbara County and 29 in San Luis Obispo County.  Most of the deaths were older adults with pre-existing health conditions. 

(City of Santa Barbara photo)

People visiting a South Coast park are encountering a strange site, with Santa Barbara's Skofield Park looking like it's been invaded by a flock of runaway sheep.  But, it's actually part of a planned effort to use nature to help remove potentially dangerous brush from the park which could contribute to wildfires.

Some federal legislation authored by a Ventura County congresswoman intended to help veterans have been passed by the House of Representatives.

The House passed HR 95, which reimburses local housing agencies which provide services to homeless veterans with children.  HR 3798 would eliminate co-pays for female veterans accessing contraception. 

It was a good day Tuesday on the Central and South Coasts in the battle against coronavirus, with less than 100 new cases reported in the region, and San Luis Obispo County dropping from the most restrictive closure tier.

Ventura County had 42 additional cases, Santa Barbara County 25 and San Luis Obispo County just 15.  More than 24,600 cases have been reported in the region since the start of the pandemic, with most of those diagnosed with the disease already recovered.

A South Coast community college district will be sticking with mostly remote classes for its Spring, 2021 semester.

Ventura County Community College District officials say they are making the announcement now so its more than 30,000 students, and 1700 staff members will know what to expect in January.

Moorpark, Oxnard, and Ventura Colleges are currently offering mostly remote classes.  There are strict safety protocols in place for the few classes which can’t be properly offered remotely.

A 2018 missing persons case has led to a grim discovery on the Central Coast, and the arrest of two people on murder related charges.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s detectives say evidence led to a search by divers of a lake at a San Luis Obispo County golf course.  Human remains were recovered from the Blacklake Golf Course in Nipomo.

Ventura County has tweaked one of its coronavirus related health orders to try to help bars, breweries, and other places which serve alcohol on-site.

They had to close at 10 p.m., even on Friday and Saturday nights.  Now, they can stay open until 11.  But, other restrictions still apply. 

John Palminteri

At a time when students are mostly doing their studies remotely, the Physical Education Department at Santa Barbara City College is looking to hold classes outdoors in their stadium.

Researchers say efforts to track the status of coronavirus in a South Coast college community also shows a COVID-19 test they’ve developed may be an important new tool in the battle against the virus.

UC Santa Barbara biologist Carolina Arias and a team of colleagues targeted young adults at UCSB, Isla Vista, and Goleta.  More than 1800 volunteers were tested in two batches from May to June, and June to July.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases on the Central and South Coasts continued to grow over the weekend.  427 additional cases were reported for the Saturday through Monday period.

Ventura County added 265 cases, Santa Barbara County 84, and San Luis Obispo County 78.  More than 24,600 cases have been reported since the start of the pandemic, with most of those diagnosed already recovered.

The U.S. Forest Service has extended its closures of nine national forests in California because of ongoing fire and weather concerns, a shutdown which includes the Los Padres National Forest.

The closure went into effect two weeks ago.  It means that campgrounds, trails, and all other facilities are temporarily closed. 

The shutdown was originally supposed to end last weekend, but it has been extended until this coming Thursday.

Santa Barbara County wineries have produced some of the most acclaimed wines in their history during the last decade.  But, many in the industry say that sales, and visitation aren’t what they could or should be.  Some wine industry officials want to change that, through a marketing project called the Santa Barbara Wine Preserve.

Santa Barbara County Supervisors are considering a strong response to a County Grand Jury report which is highly critical of the way the county has handled the regulation of the cannabis industry.

The Grand Jury asserted that the county didn’t adequately assess the impacts of cannabis production on the health and welfare of county residents.  It claims the amount of production being allowed is excessive for the size of the county.   And, it says the county was less than transparent in its actions.

A South Coast library system may be the latest in the national to eliminate late return fees.  The Ventura County Library System is proposing to move to a fine free system.

Library officials say removing the fines will bring back people who may not be using the system due to past fines.   They say with money tight for many families due to the coronavirus crisis, the need to wave overdue fees has grown.

Like many arts groups on the Central and South Coasts, the Santa Barbara Sympnony has found its planned events disrupted by the coronavirus crisis.

Now, it's annnounced plans for some virtual concerts this fall, with the hopes it will be able to have audiences when it performs in 2021.