Santa Barbara

Photo by Melody Rose Hitt

There’s an event taking place on the South Coast this weekend that features art created from the ocean, and it benefits a wildlife nonprofit.

The Santa Barbara Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival features 46 artists from around the country.

It’s been a tough few months for Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties in the wake of the Thomas Fire, the Montecito debris flow, and most recently the Holiday brush fire north of Goleta. But, people in the region are getting a welcome distraction from the difficult times this week. The Ventura County Fair and Santa Barbara Barbara’s Old Spanish Days both kicked off Wednesday.  

A new survey by a national magazine lists Santa Barbara as the best place in the U.S. to live for good weather. U.S. News and World Report just issued the new rankings.

It cites Santa Barbara as having as few as 79 cloudy days a year, making it an ideal place to live weather-wise.

Millions of dollars will be going towards the construction of a much needed bike path on the South Coast.

The California Transportation Commission has granted $15 million to the city of Santa Barbara to build the Las Positas/Modoc Off-Street Bike Path. It has been in the city’s plans for decades.

Photo by I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival

One of the most celebrated street painting events is happening this holiday weekend on the South Coast.

It’s the annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival at the Santa Barbara Mission that runs Saturday through Monday. It features 140 street paintings drawn with chalk pastels on the pavement in front of the mission.

Ann Hefferman of Santa Barbara is one of 200 local artists who is transforming the pavement into artwork.

Millions of dollars could coming back to Santa Barbara for costs related to the recent mudflow disaster that mainly hit Montecito County, but also impacted Coast Village Road. The city utilized fire and police services following the mudslide. 

A vigil will be held Sunday evening in Santa Barbara County to remember those who were killed and others who have been impacted by the devastating flooding.

A group of leaders that represent Montecito organized this event. It will take place at 5 pm on Sunday at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens in Santa Barbara.

One person is dead, and a second wounded following a shooting on the South Coast.

It happened at about 3:30 a.m. New Year's Day, near De La Vina and Victoria Streets in downtown Santa Barbara.  Detectives are still trying to unravel what happened, but officers were called to the scene by reports of multiple shots being fired.  The names of the victims haven't been released.

It was Election Day in a South Coast city Tuesday, and a Santa Barbara City Councilwoman is the leader in the race to become the city’s next mayor.

Cathy Murillo has 27% of the vote in the field of five candidates for the post, while fellow council member Frank Hotchkiss is in second with 24% of the vote.

A city on the South Coast has become smoke-free.

The city of Santa Barbara adopted a new law prohibiting smoking in outdoor public areas including beaches, parks, sidewalks, outdoor recreational areas and sports facilities, Stearns Wharf and outdoor restaurant patios before 10 pm.

Photo by Santa Barbara City Fire Department

Multiple people are being treated for their injuries after a truck plowed into a restaurant patio on the South Coast. 

Santa Barbara City Fire officials say around 12:30 Saturday afternoon, a man was driving a Toyota truck northbound on the 1300 block of State Street when he left the roadway, knocked over a street sign, drove onto the sidewalk and collided with the patio wall at Carlitos Café.

A couple from Los Angeles County has been arrested for a string of armed robberies in Santa Barbara County.

Santa Barbara Police say Carlos Sosa Junior, and Ana Maria Espinosa of Lancaster were responsible for four armed robberies in the city since January. Sosa is facing more than two dozen charges, and Espinosa a half dozen counts stemming from the crimes.

Photo by Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition

Bicycle advocates are hoping to bring a bike share network to the Santa Barbara area.

The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition envisions a fleet of self-service bikes available 24 hours a day in locations all around the Santa Barbara area. While this is only an idea, it’s a concept advocates are hoping to implement.

Eve Sanford with the Coalition says a bike share feasibility study was conducted and found that such a system could thrive in the region.

A South Coast man has a special connection to the International Space Station.

In 2013, Anacapa School students from Santa Barbara spoke to Astronaut Chris Cassidy who was aboard the International Space Station via a program called Amateur Radio on the International Space Station or ARISS.

The teacher of that class, Levi Maaia – who’s on the Board of the Santa Barbara Radio Club and is now earning his PhD in education at UC Santa Barbara – has been named to the ARRIS U.S Education Committee, which provides guidance on educational aspects of the program.

Fire investigators are looking into the cause of a small brush fire that crews knocked down on the South Coast. 

Santa Barbara City Fire officials say it started around noon on Saturday in the foothills above Santa Barbara to the north of Parma Park.  The fire grew to between a quarter and a half acre.  City fire crews -- along with firefighters from Santa Barbara County, Montecito and Los Padres Fire Protection -- extinguished the fire in 45 minutes.  

No homes were damaged, and no injuries were reported.