Tyler Pratt

Reporter/Host/Producer

Tyler Pratt is a reporter, host and producer at KCBX. You can hear him on weekdays filing news reports and hosting afternoon programming. Tyler hails from the deserts of West Texas but likes to call the the swamps of Louisiana home. He fell in love with public radio over a decade ago while studying improv comedy at the Second City in Los Angeles. He spent so much time in his car listening to KCRW while driving between auditions and various jobs that he eventually became inspired to switch careers from acting to radio journalism.

Since then he’s worked as a reporter, host and producer at Austin public radio stations, KUT and KUTX, and New York Public radio station, WNYC. He has also worked with a variety of news organizations and media outlets like NPR, the CBC, WBUR, Mother Jones, the Southern Foodways Alliance. In 2016, Tyler earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York.

When he’s not out reporting, working on long-form radio projects or listening to podcasts, you will probably find Tyler outdoors exploring the gorgeous Central Coast of California. If it’s football season, he’ll definitely be in front of a TV somewhere cheering for the New Orleans Saints. He’s also a not-so-secret Bravo TV fan. And if anyone has suggestions on new wines to try, he’ll take your recommendations.

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Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Wednesday marks the second day of the San Luis Obispo County employee strike. Members of SLOCEA, the county’s largest union, didn’t go to their jobs Tuesday—affecting social services, clerical positions and prompting library branch closures. Instead, many showed up to protest at the county board of supervisors meeting.

County of San Luis Obispo/SLOCEA

San Luis Obispo County is preparing for an employee strike. For the first time in its history, SLOCEA—the county’s largest employee union—plans to strike Tuesday, December 11 through Friday, December 14. The county and union have not been able to come to an agreement over current and future wages and benefits. KCBX News recently sat down with San Luis Obispo County’s manager and met with a SLOCEA member to learn more.

Greta Mart/KCBX

San Luis Obispo County is preparing for an imminent employee strike. Members of the SLOCEA union plan to strike Tuesday, and potentially continue through Friday. The county and union have not been able to come to an agreement over current and future wages and benefits, and while the strike is expected to happen, what’s not certain is who will strike and what all will be affected.

Courtesy of Dennis Eamon Young Photo

The county board of supervisors have agreed on a plan to help build affordable homes for the county’s workforce. But while the move is being heralded for bipartisan—and multilateral—agreement, some say the real work is still to come.

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San Luis Obispo County officials held a public hearing this week about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to people arrested and held at the county jail. The California TRUTH Act, aimed at bringing transparency to local law enforcement participation with ICE, requires a community forum be held once a year.

awareawakealive.org

On December 2, 2008, 18-year-old Carson Starkey was involved in a fraternity ritual at San Luis Obispo's California Polytechnic State University. As part of an iniation hazing, he was compelled to drink large quantities of alcohol. After becoming unresponsive, instead of taking Starkey to the hospital, Sigma Alpha Epsilon members left him to sleep it off on a mattress, out of fear of getting themselves in trouble. Starkey never woke up.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

When NASA’s InSight mission to Mars took off from the Central Coast’s Vandenberg Air Force Base six months ago, two little satellites piggybacked along for the ride. They’re called CubeSats, and they’re about the size of briefcases. Cal Poly students in San Luis Obispo had a hand in their departure from earth and the data they are sending back from Mars.

Greta Mart/KCBX

For the first time in county government history, San Luis Obispo County officials are gearing up for a potential employee strike. The county’s largest employee union, the San Luis Obispo County Employees' Association (SLOCEA), wants a higher wage increase than the administration has offered. But that’s not the only issue on the table.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Two weeks after the general election, San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong says his office is still counting vote-by-mail ballots. He expects to release more numbers later this week, and next. But one thing has halted: those election mailers stuffing mailboxes since summer. How much do campaigns spend on mailers? How many mailers were there? And where do they end up when the election is over?

Courtesy of the City of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara may be adding some tiny homes to the city's housing stock. In hopes of securing more than $6 million in funding, the Santa Barbara City Council approved a grant application Tuesday that would provide money for 40 tiny houses for the city’s homeless population.

Flickr member davidsonscott15

The Paso Robles Police Department notified the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning of a threatening social media post made to a Santa Maria school. A 22-year-old Orcutt resident wrote on Facebook that he wanted to “shoot up a school" in the area, although he did not specify which one.

Carol Tangeman/KCBX News

There were hundreds of protests across the nation Thursday in response to President Trump’s recent firing of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Here on the Central Coast, there were rallies in Santa Barbara, Ojai, Paso Robles, and Cambria. In San Luis Obispo, hundreds gathered on the steps of the courthouse to express their concern for Trump’s placement of former Attorney General's chief of staff, Matt Whitaker, as head of the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Greta Mart/KCBX News

San Luis Obispo County’s legal counsel announced this week the U.S. Department of Justice will conduct an independent investigation into the medical and mental health care of inmates at the county jail. The county says the investigation isn’t focused on a single event, but the news comes less than two days after the wife of a former inmate in the jail filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county.

Greta Mart/KCBX

As of Wednesday afternoon, it appears unlikely Measure G, aiming to curb future oil extraction and fracking in San Luis Obispo County, will pass.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Depending on where voters are registered, there are a lot of candidates in one category on the November 2018 ballot: judicial. But unlike other offices, measures and propositions in this election, there are no judicial campaigns vying for votes. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

A handful of protesters gathered outside the California Men’s Colony prison in San Luis Obispo Thursday. The wives and loved ones of inmates say they are worried about a new policy change coming to the facility, and prisons statewide. It’s a program that merges two different populations of inmates; effectively ending the country's largest protective custody program.

Among the scores of campaign mailers appearing in San Luis Obispo County voters’ mailboxes during this election season, one claims to be a “progressive voter guide.”

In the city of San Luis Obispo, three candidates appear on the ballot for mayor: Heidi Harmon, Keith Gurnee, and Donald Hedrick.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX

An overturned tanker truck is blocking both lanes of southbound Highway 101 between Los Osos Valley Road and Higuera Street, and the highway is closed. Traffic is at a standstill and backed up to the Madonna Road exit.  Drivers can expect major delays and Caltrans recommends taking other routes. Northbound lanes of Highway 101 through the southern San Luis Obispo area remain open. 

Oak House/City of San Luis Obispo

The City of San Luis Obispo recently acquired more than 250 acres of open space. The added property is located in the northern portion of the city’s greenbelt, within the Cuesta Canyon area. The open space property has been part of a deal about five years in the making.

SBCOE

An analysis of how Santa Barbara County responded to the December 2017 Thomas Fire and January 9, 2018 Debris Flow was delivered to the Board of Supervisors this week. It’s called the "After Action Report and Improvement Plan." The supervisors heard from a third party about what the county did well in the midst and wake of the disasters, and how it can do better in the future.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Cambria’s Coast Unified School District’s superintendent has resigned. After four years on the job, Victoria Schumacher will leave her post at the beginning of 2019. The move comes after almost all of the district’s teachers voted no-confidence in Schumacher earlier in the year, and follows a recent school board evaluation of her performance.

aetv.com/shows/live-pd

A Central Coast police department is making its debut as the star of an upcoming reality television show. Cable channel A&E’s documentary series “Live PD” will air its season three premiere from Salinas this weekend. Unlike other police reality television shows, “Live PD” offers a real-time view of a night of police operations. The Salinas Police Department is the first California agency to appear on the show.

Greta Mart/KCBX

The San Luis Obispo County jail has been under scrutiny for several years over inmate deaths inside the facility. The issue came to a head in 2017 after the death of Andrew Holland, a mentally ill inmate who had been tied to a restraint chair for almost two days. About 10 days ago another inmate inside the jail committed suicide.

Flickr/Nathan Rupert

Electric scooter rentals may be coming to San Luis Obispo, but not Thursday, as scooter company Bird had planned. City officials said they’ve been in contact with Bird, which deploys e-scooters and runs an app that allows electric vehicle sharing. It appears the company had planned a “rogue launch” of its e-scooters without city approval.

Cuesta College

The new school year is already underway at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo County. The community college went through a leadership change this summer when the school's former president, Dr. Gil Stork, retired after half a century with the school. After a nationwide search, Dr. Jill Stearns became Cuesta College’s seventh superintendent and president in July. Dr. Stearns recently sat down with KCBX's Greta Mart and Tyler Pratt to discuss her background and her vision for the school's future.

Southern Poverty Law Center

The KCBX Central Coast Curious project provides you the opportunity to ask the KCBX News team questions about the Central Coast. We posted a Central Coast Curious voting round this summer that included some listener questions related to nationwide issues. The winning question from the voting round was: “Are there any active, known and 'out' members of white nationalist or violent racist organizations in 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.

Vagabond Ink

A Saturday night music event for your radar- if you're in San Luis Obispo Saturday on August 11th, there will be an installment in the For The Folks benefit concert series at Bang the Drum Brewery. The showcase works to present emerging bands in new ways for audiences. Each show is crafted to the style of music in order to create the best experience possible for performers and an audience. For example, Saturday's show has been billed as having an 'everybody dance' atmosphere. KCBX's Tyler Pratt sat down with For the Folk's organizer Ben Bellizzi to talk about what the music scene is like on the Central Coast and why it's well situated for someone to discover a wide variety of music.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Cascarones — or confetti eggs — are a long-standing Mexican tradition. Chicken eggs are hollowed out, cleaned and decorated, then filled with toys or confetti. And often, the resulting party favor is then cracked over people's heads as a gag. The colorful creations are frequently seen around Easter, as well as other holidays and festivals, like Santa Barbara’s Fiesta, a celebration of the city’s culture and heritage. But this year, state officials descended on the event, threatening to issue citations to cascarones vendors, unless they started paying state taxes on their sales.

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