News

(Photo courtesy PG & E)

A brush fire charred more than 100 acres of land in eastern Santa Barbara County before being stopped Monday night.

The blaze was discovered at around 7 p.m. near the intersection of Highway 166 and Highway 33 east of Cuyama.  No structures were threatened.

Firefighters were able to stop the spread of the fire in about an hour, after it had grown to 130 acres.  They ended up not using all of the air tankers which had been initially ordered for the blaze.  There's no word on its cause.

Some Ventura County residents are among those across the country who’ve received mysterious packets of seeds from China.  County Agricultural officials are asking people not to open the packets, and to turn them in.

The surge in new coronavirus cases continued over the weekend on the Central and South Coasts.

949 new cases were reported in the region from Friday through Monday, with Ventura County recording 533 additional cases, Santa Barbara County 297 and San Luis Obispo County 119.

The deadline is approaching for some small businesses on the South Coast hard hit by coronavirus to seek help though a community relief fund.

The Santa Barbara Better Together Fund is providing grants for struggling businesses in Goleta.

With coronavirus cases still at high levels, deciding when it will be possible to fully reopen is a difficult question.

A team of South Coast scientists working on finding a new option for authorities relying on forecasting models to make sense of all the data.

It was stunning.  An error in transition between data reporting systems led to a massive undercounting of coronavirus related deaths in Santa Barbara County.  Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart says there’s no way to sugar coat the news.

Up until Friday, Santa Barbara County had been reporting 32 coronavirus related deaths in the county since the start of the pandemic.  After the data issue was discovered, 28 additional deaths were disclosed, bringing the county’s total to 60.

A South Coast university has announced its fall semester will begin completely online as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Cal Lutheran had hoped to have some in-person classes.  But, university officials say the state hasn’t even issued health safety guidelines yet for reopening. 

Authorities are trying to figure out what led to a fiery car crash which left two men dead in Ventura County.

It happened at around 1:30 Sunday morning, in Thousand Oaks.  A car was headed south on Westlake Boulevard near Skelton Canyon Circle when it went off the street, and smashed into a tree.

(UC Santa Barbara Climate Hazards Center)

A UC Santa Barbara project is helping to identify potential climate issues around the world which may impact the global food supply.  UC Santa Barbara's Climate Hazards Center has researchers in Santa Barbara County and around the world gathering data which helps the Famine Early Warning Systems Network.  One of the big concerns right now is the impacts of the coronavirus crisis on the food supply. 

A technical glitch led to a major error in the undercounting of coronavirus deaths in Santa Barbara County.  It’s nearly double what had been previously reported.  It happened in the transition from Santa Barbara County’s manual counting of coronavirus data to a state data system.

A former Santa Barbara County deputy probation officer has been accused of misappropriating more than $600,000.

Manuel Torres, now 64 years old, had been in charge of the Santa Barbara County Probation Peace Officers Association for 20 years.

An environmental report has been released on a proposal to use trucks to move oil from some Santa Barbara County oil facilities shut down by a 2015 oil pipeline rupture.

ExxonMobil wants to restart three oil platforms off the county’s coastline, as well as an onshore oil facility.  They were shut down by the May, 2015 Plains All-American pipeline rupture near Refugio State Beach.  The spill dumped more than 140,000 gallons of oil onto the ground and into the ocean.

Officials with a federal agency say the population of a rare type of snail only found on the Central Coast is doing well enough that it can be removed from the federal Endangered Species list.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are proposing reclassifying the Morro shoulderband snail as threatened. 

The coronavirus crisis has been disastrous for the restaurant industry, with many restaurants on the Central and South Coasts closed or floundering financially.

A Southern California based chain with five locations in our region is the latest to seek bankruptcy protection.  California Pizza Kitchen made the filing this week.

A Santa Barbara County relief agency is reporting that since the start of the coronavirus crisis, it’s provided the most support around the world that it has in its more than half century history.

Diect Relief is known for shipping medicine, and medical supplies to areas of the world hit by hurricanes, earthquakes, and famine.

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