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KCBX News Update: Change of venue requested in Flores trial, and Colorado Fire now fully contained

A polling location in San Luis Obispo prepares for election day.
Gabriela Fernandez
A polling location in San Luis Obispo prepares for election day.

Defense requests change of venue for trial of Paul and Ruben Flores 

The defense for Paul and Ruben Flores has requested a change of venue for the upcoming trial in the Kristin Smart case.

Paul Flores is charged with murdering Cal Poly student Kristin Smart in 1996, and his father Ruben is charged with accessory after the fact.

In today’s pre-trial hearing in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, all parties agreed to discuss a potential venue change on March 30.

Right now, the trial is scheduled to begin on April 25, but a potential venue change could change that date.

The two men were arrested last April. Smart’s body was never found, but she was declared legally dead in 2002.

Colorado Fire in Big Sur reaches full containment

The Colorado Fire that started a week and a half ago in Big Sur is now fully contained, according to fire officials.

The fire started on January 21 when an ember from a nearby burn pile blew into nearby vegetation. It eventually grew to 687 acres and destroyed one building.

The fire prompted evacuations for 500 people and closed parts of Highway 1 in Big Sur. Evacuation orders have now been lifted and Highway 1 is fully open.

Benjamin Purper was News Director of KCBX from May of 2021 to September of 2023. He came from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.
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