(Ventura County Fire Department photo)

Federal investigators say we will never know the precise cause of the September, 2019 dive boat fire in the Channel Islands which killed 34 people.

But, the National Transportation Safety Board says that the lack of a required deck patrol by the crew allowed the fire to spread undetected, and was a factor in the huge loss of life.

The National Transportation Safety Board is meeting Tuesday to discuss its investigation into the Conception Dive Boat fire, which took place on September 2, 2019.

Should 17-year-olds be allowed to vote?  Do we need more rent control regulations?  Those are some of the issues we are facing in the form of statewide ballot propositions.

(Ventura County Sheriff's Office photo)

Two men are facing a variety of charges after Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies say the duo fired some gunshots into the ocean in Isla Vista, and then forced a nearly hour long standoff with officers.

It started at around 2 a.m. Sunday, when deputies responded to a report of someone firing gunshots in Isla Vista’s Del Playa area.

A key section of Highway 101 on the South Coast is open again, after being closed for about two hours by a big rig traffic accident.

A jackknifed semi shut down southbound lanes of the highway at Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria.

The new coronavirus case count on the Central and South Coasts continues to remain on the low side. Just released figures for the three day period from Saturday through today show 276 additional cases in the region.

Ventura County had 131 new cases, Santa Barbara County, and San Luis Obispo County 64 over the three day period.  In fact, San Luis Obispo County only reported five new cases Monday.

A Ventura County woman is facing multiple charges after detectives say she embezzled more than $900,000 from a businessman.

Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives say Neydi Veronica Garcia managed the personal, and businesses finances for the Camarillo businessman.  Investigators say in March of 2017, the Camarillo woman began embezzling money from his business accounts as well as the victim’s personal finances.

A big rig crash has closed a section of Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County.

A jackknifed big rig shut down southbound lanes of the highway at Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria.  The accident happened just after 1:30 Monday afternoon.  Surface streets are also jammed in the area, as people try to avoid the crash scene.

The big focus in the November election is the presidential race. But, we’re also deciding a number of regional and local races, and ballot measures on the Central and South Coasts. And, you’ve been bombarded with ads for the state’s 12 ballot propositions. KCLU’s Lance Orozco gives us an overview of the propositions, which have been overlooked by many of the voters who will decide their fate.

Some Central Coast residents could be seeing unusual sights during the next few weeks, as a utility company works to upgrade the region’s power grid.

PG&E is starting a project Monday to upgrade its transmission lines west of Highway 101.  The majority of the project is in Santa Maria.  Much of it is along Railroad Avenue, near the Santa Maria Levee Trail on the northern end, moving south along Railroad to West Cook Street.

Ventura County is giving some money to non-for-profit hospitals in the county which have stepped up to help deal with the coronavirus crisis.

The County is splitting $10 million dollars in funding among five hospitals in Ventura, Ojai, Oxnard, Camarillo, and Simi Valley.  The money is part of the $147 million dollars the county received in federal CARES act coronavirus relief funding.

The Santa Paula Art Museum is finally open again, after being closed for more than half of the year by the ccoronvirus crisis.  The museum is featuring some exhibitions which were supposed to be on display earlier this year, but which have now been carried through the end of the year.

The employment picture on the Central and South Coasts is continuing to improve after the region was hard hit by the coronavirus crisis.

In Ventura County, unemployment dropped from 8.7% in August to 8.4% in September.  The month to month jobless rate dropped in Santa Barbara County from 7.6% to 7.4%. 

San Luis Obispo County showed the most improvement in the region.  The county’s unemployment rate dipped from 7.6% in August to 7.2% in September.

Two additional coronavirus related deaths have been reported on the Central and South Coasts, pushing the region’s total to 311.

Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties each had one more death.  Ventura County has had a total of 160 deaths, Santa Barbara County 119, and San Luis Obispo County 32.

The news is encouraging when it comes to new COVID-19 cases being reported, with the numbers remaining low.  There were 95 reported in the three counties Friday, with 56 in Ventura County, 23 in Santa Barbara County and 16 new cases in San Luis Obispo County.

Santa Barbara County Elections officials are responding to concerns about unofficial ballot drop boxes showing up in the state by putting out a list of the county's official boxes.

The county has installed 30 secure ballot drop boxes.  Also, each of the 35 official polling place locations opening in Santa Barbara County October 31st will have dropoff boxes.