San Luis Obispo County

Flickr/Omar Bárcena

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles announced this week new efforts to reduce wait times, such as a new text notification program, self-service kiosks and extended hours. On the Central Coast, part of that reprieve is new Saturday hours at the Salinas and San Luis Obispo offices. San Luis Obispo County specifically has seen a huge jump in wait times over the past year, almost doubling. They’re not the longest wait times in the state, but long enough to have customers lining up outside every morning.

Anita Ritenour/Flickr

With a heat wave on the horizon, public safety officials along the Central Coast are reminding residents and visitors celebrating Independence Day that all fireworks are completely illegal to use or even possess. Except where they are legal.

Flickr/Watchcaddy

San Luis Obispo County recently initiated its cannabis abatement hearing process. That means if you are growing cannabis without a permit and county officials find out, you’ll have to go through what the county calls its new "streamlined civil hearing process," and your cannabis might be destroyed.

mikecross/flickr

A $26 million dollar convention center might come to Paso Robles. Members of the Paso Robles Event Center, Travel Paso and the City of Paso Robles met this week to explore the possibility of building a large-scale conference center at the Paso Robles Event Center on Spring and Riverside Streets. KCBX reporter Tyler Pratt spoke with the CEO of the Paso Robles Events Center to learn more about the proposed conference center, why the county might need  one, and why Paso Robles was chosen as the site.

There remains 818 ballots to be processed in the recent election for the San Luis Obispo County District 4 supervisor seat. As of the June 11 counting session, incumbent Lynn Compton was ahead of challenger Jimmy Paulding by 81 votes. The next counting session is scheduled for Friday, June 15.

2018 PRIMARY UNOFFICIAL RESULTS

Jun 11, 2018
Randol White

California's June 5, 2018 Consolidated Primary Election is behind us, and the Secretary of State has published semi-official elections results; click here to see statewide race results.

On the Central Coast, the San Luis ObispoSanta Barbara and Monterey County county elections offices continue to update results as ballot counting continues. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

With less than a week until the June 5 primary election, candidates for local races are busy making their final pitches to voters. In San Luis Obispo County, two of the county board of supervisors are up for reelection and being challenged for their jobs. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Recently you’ve been hearing about a new initiative we’ve launched called Central Coast Curious. It’s a way KCBX listeners can pose questions and vote on the ones they are most curious about. The KCBX Newsroom will then investigate and produce a story; the winning question from our first voting round focuses on recycling. 

Jessica Paterson

The Mental Health Services Act has long supplied the bulk of funding for California counties to prevent and treat mental illness among Medi-Cal patients. But some counties aren’t using the money. San Luis Obispo County had a $14.7 million fund balance at the end of the 2015-2016 fiscal year. 

Courtesy of the Latino Outreach Council

Leading up to the June 5 primary election, KCBX News is presenting interviews with local candidates running for San Luis Obispo County offices. 

SLO-Span

Starting May 7, San Luis Obispo County voters will begin receiving vote-by-mail ballots in their mailbox for the June 5 primary election. According to the county’s elections office, about seventy percent of all eligible voters don’t wait to go to the polls on June 5 - they vote via a mailed-in ballot. 

A California native himself, San Luis Obispo resident Dr. Matt Ritter is passionate about the state's native plants. Ritter teaches in the biological sciences department at Cal Poly and just came out with a new book titled California Plants: A Guide to Our Iconic Flora.

KCBX's Greta Mart invited the professor to the KCBX studio this week to talk about his recent work, the county's flowers and why it's important to keep a check on invasive plants.

Greta Mart/KCBX

San Luis Obispo County’s Carrizo Plain National Monument survived last year’s effort by the Trump Administration to shrink or revoke national monuments across the country. But recently, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved construction of a new oil well and a pipeline in the Carrizo Plain National Monument. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

It was standing room only at Wednesday night’s candidate forum for the public office of San Luis Obispo County Sheriff. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Sudden oak death is a forest disease that’s killed millions of trees across California and Oregon over the past couple of decades. It’s been progressively colonizing new areas, but an annual citizen scientist effort works to stop it. 

Tyler Pratt/KCBX

Controversy surrounding the 2017 death of county jail inmate Andrew Holland dogged San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson at another of his town hall meetings Wednesday. 

County of San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo County’s public works department is looking at changing the boundary of the Los Osos Valley Groundwater Basin, considered by the state to be in critical overdraft. That means the state’s recent groundwater management law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), requires the 11-square-mile underground water source to be stringently managed and conserved, and curtails unregulated pumping. 

Matt Klepfer

Demonstrators temporarily shut down a San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, calling for the resignation of the county sheriff and reform of county jail operations and policies.

San Luis Obispo County

California officials are always on the lookout to enhance water sources. In San Luis Obispo County, rainfall has been about 21 to 30 percent of normal this season. For the first time, county officials are considering a cloud seeding program to increase the local water supply. 

John Wallace, the former head of two San Luis Obispo County special districts, pleaded no contest Tuesday to charges of conflict of interest. Wallace, 74, agreed to pay just under $60,000 in restitution to the districts, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office. 

Courtesy of San Luis Obispo County

San Luis Obispo County may not be a great place to be a deadbeat parent. For the fifth year in a row, it’s the best county in the state at collecting child support. 

Revisiting the life and death of Andrew Holland

Feb 22, 2018
Bree Zender/KCBX

There are nearly ten times as many mentally ill persons in jails and prisons as there are in mental hospitals presently in the U.S., according to a recent Marin County Civil Grand Jury report. And California's county jails have a "particularly severe burden" due to the closing of most of the state's mental hospitals. 

We are reexamining the 2017 death of Andrew Holland at the San Luis Obispo County Jail, with a special segment produced by former KCBX News reporter Bree Zender. 

Flickr/Kelley Minars

New voter registration figures show the number of Californians identifying as “no party preference” has nearly caught up with registered Republicans. GOP registration as of last month stood at 25.4 percent – just four-tenths of a point higher than “no party preference.”

Military activity at Camp Roberts ramps up

Jan 25, 2018
Greta Mart

Military officials say Central Coast residents can expect to see increased activity around the California National Guard post that straddles the border of Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties, adjacent to Highway 101. Camp Roberts officials said over the next few months, there will be more soldiers on the base and more military vehicles on the roads. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

An estimated 4,000 people gathered in downtown San Luis Obispo Saturday for the 2018 Women’s March event. Organized by the group Women’s March SLO, a rally replaced the march of 2017, which motivated an estimated 10,000 to walk around downtown in the pouring rain.

PG&E video still

State regulators have approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s plan to close the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, California's last nuclear power generating facility. 

Flickr member Mike Baird

The Trump Administration has announced a plan to open up California waters to offshore oil exploration and drilling. Intending to replace a current plan in place through 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior said it will release a new draft proposal for offshore lease sales starting in 2019. 

Influenza cases spiking on Central Coast

Jan 4, 2018
Greta Mart

Hospitals around the Central Coast are seeing a huge influx of patients suffering from flu symptoms

Courtesy of MCSC

Mission Community Services Corporation - or Mission Community - is a San Luis Obispo non-profit that helps people of walks of life start small businesses. 

Greta Mart

On Thursday evening, San Luis Obispo County is hosting an open house on cannabis taxation. County officials are looking for public input on what type and amount of tax the county will charge, on top of the statewide tax.

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