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KCBX News Update: Kristin Smart trial moving out of SLO County and water use experts share conservation tips

Courtesy of Denise Smart

Kristin Smart trial moving out of SLO County

The Kristin Smart murder trial will officially not take place in San Luis Obispo County after Superior Court Judge Craig Van Rooyen made the decision Wednesday.

The judge ruled that Paul and Ruben Flores would not receive a fair trial locally. He said the Kristin Smart case has been overwhelmingly publicized in SLO County so a change of venue is necessary.

Paul Flores is accused of killing Smart after an off-campus Cal Poly party in 1996. Ruben Flores, Paul Flores’ father, is accused of helping Paul Flores hide Smart's body, which has never been found.

A new venue is not yet determined but this decision will likely postpone the trial, which was scheduled to begin April 25.

Water Rationing Tips

Governor Gavin Newsom is leaving it up to local water agencies to decide whether mandatory rationing is necessary at this point in the state’s drought.

Californians actually increased water use this January compared to the previous year, leaving experts who track water conservation concerned.

Doctor Sonali Abraham studies urban water systems at the non-profit Pacific Institute that focuses on water conservation. She said the exceptionally dry start to the year should be a wake-up call and she has a tip.

“Easiest thing – change out your lawns. It is the number one thing that I would suggest people do," Abraham said. "We know from vast amounts of research both at Pacific Institute and just generally across the state, that that’s where most of the water use is happening.”

The San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department encourages landscape water conservation by selecting climate-tolerant plants and improving irrigation and drainage systems.

To find out more about local conservation programs and available rebates, visit the county Public Works website.

This story was based on reporting from CapRadio News as part of the CapRadio Network for public radio stations.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.