News

The coronavirus crisis has disrupted a number of popular summertime community events on the Central and South Coasts.  One of them is a free outdoor summer movie series at the Santa Barbara County courthouse.

But, the people who host it have come up with a creative alternative.  UC Santa Barbara’s Arts and Lectures is holding its free summer filmfest in a safe, socially distanced way, at a Santa Barbara drive-in.

A nearly decade old event on the Central Coast which helps homeless veterans is one of the latest victims of the coronavirus crisis.  The 2020 Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down event has been cancelled. 

The event brings together non-profit groups, government agencies and volunteers to help homeless veterans with everything from new clothes and haircuts to social services.

Low underwater visibility, and debris are hampering efforts to find the body of an actress who apparently drowned in a Ventura County lake.

Naya Rivera rented a boat at Lake Piru Wednesday.  She took her four year old son Josey swimming.  But, a few hours later the boy was found asleep and alone in the boat.  He was wearing a life preserver.  An adult life preserver was also found in the boat.

The number of diagnosed coronavirus cases on the Central and South Coasts now tops the 9000 mark.  The regional total currently stands at 9094, with 256 new cases reported Friday.

Ventura County has 153 new cases, pushing its total to 4246. Santa Barbara County reported 75 new cases, hitting 3943.  And, San Luis Obispo County's latest total is 905 cases.  Most of those infected have already recovered.

San Luis Obispo County is reporting its first positive coronavirus case at its jail.  A San Luis Obispo County jail employee who had just returned from vacation began developing symptoms at work earlier this week.  The employee was sent home.

A former school employee in Ventura County received a year long jail sentence after entering guilty pleas to charges she stole thousands of dollars from a school lunch program.

Ventura County prosecutors say Retha May Drummond worked in the child nutrition department for the Moorpark Unified School District for 15 years.  They say over a four year period, she siphoned off thousands in cash collected from students for their lunches.

A convenience store is being robbed at gunpoint.  It’s the type of dangerous situation that a law enforcement officer on the Central or South Coast could face without warning on any given day.  How do you respond to it?

The Ventura County Sheriff Office’s Training Facility in Camarillo helps officers throughout the region mentally prepare how they will deal with that type of issue. A virtual simulator gives new officers a chance to learn about the appropriate use of force, and current officers can brush up on it.

Three additional coronavirus related deaths have been reported on the Central and South Coasts, bringing the region’s total to 86.  Ventura County had two new deaths, for a total of 53.  San Luis Obispo County had its fourth death. And, Santa Barbara County has had 29 deaths.

(Ventura County Sheriff's Office photo)

Authorities now think an actress who starred in the T-V series “Glee” drowned while swimming in a Ventura County lake.  A search and rescue mission started for the missing woman Wednesday turned into a recovery effort to find her body Thursday.  Investigators still don’t know exactly what happened to Naya Rivera. 

A South Coast port is getting a big federal grant to beef up its security.

The Port of Hueneme is receiving $1.68 million dollars from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  The money is intended to help improve the facility's security.

Key parts of a project to eventually widen a section of Highway 101 and the South Coast have just been completed.

The highway is being widened from two to three lanes between Carpinteria and Montecito.  To help set the stage for the project, some bridges had to be replaced in Carpinteria.

One of the South Coast’s oldest and longest running community celebrations is underway, but it’s taking on a very different look this year because of the coronavirus crisis.

The traditional parades, and shows which attract hundreds of thousands of spectators have been cancelled, but Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days is still taking place. It’s gone virtual, with a series of live webcasts.

The spike in confirmed coronavirus cases on the Central and South Coasts continues, with 283 new cases reported Wednesday.  The growing numbers have health officials worried.  8636 cases have now been documented on the Central and South Coasts.

Ventura County had 125 new confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday, bringing its total to 3983. Santa Barbara County increased by 121, to 3808.  And, San Luis Obispo County had a daily hike of 37, to 845 cases.

He was a dog with a unique nose for trouble, one who helped put a number of criminals behind bars on the Central and South Coasts.  The Santa Barbara County Fire Department’s arson detection dog Riley has died as the result of a brain tumor.

Riley spent seven years with the Fire Department, teamed with handler Captain Howard Orr.  He was given to the agency by State Farm Insurance, which funded four arson detection dogs around the state.

A Ventura County gang member is expected to get a 16-years-to-life prison sentence for the 2009 murder of a man at a child’s birthday party.

Alexis Ramirez pled guilty to a second-degree murder charge. 

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