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.

Ways to Connect

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.”

Midterms 2018: San Luis Obispo mayoral race

Oct 29, 2018

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.

CityofSalinas.org/data

This week, the city of Salinas joined other cities across the U.S. that have created open data portals. Such portals are web tools that let anyone have a closer look at data that have been collected by different city agencies. Cities like Salinas provide data in the interest of being more transparent with their residents, but the practice could also help local governments function a little better.

www.flickr.com/photos/fairywren

In mid-July, after several months of Santa Barbara city officials engaging with restaurants and businesses in an effort to reduce waste in the city, the Santa Barbara city council voted to pass local laws banning plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery and polystyrene—also known as Styrofoam—food containers

But at their July 24 meeting, council members voted to dial that back a bit. City of Santa Barbara Environmental Services Outreach Coordinator, Bryan Latchford, worked on both ordinances and spoke with KCBX’s Tyler Pratt to help explain what happened.

Dave Minsky/KCBX News

The United States Armed Forces just created the first Combined Space Operations Center. For short, it’s called CSpOC (think “See Spock”). It’s a partnership to improve coordination with Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Other U.S. allies like Germany are also involved, as are some private entities. CSpOC, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California, is now America's official international militarized space command center. Staff at the facility will keep an eye on about 23,000 objects in the sky.

Wikimedia Commons/Horia Varlan

Santa Barbara officials decided this week to join other cities like San Luis Obispo in banning plastic straws and polystyrene. Most in attendance at Tuesday’s city council meeting were in support of the ban, but questions were raised about enacting one-size-fits-all rules for everyone.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX

UPDATE 07/19/18 9 AM

Calfire has revised the number of acres burned downward to 81 as of Thursday morning, and reports crews are about half-way (47 percent) to containing the blaze. 

UPDATE 07/18/18 5 PM

Calfire reports the forward progression of the fire has been stopped, and the blaze is 20 percent contained. It has burned 120 acres since sparking just before noon. 

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire

Firefighters have gotten a handle on a wildfire that whipped up late Friday night in the hills above Goleta in Santa Barbara County, and CalFire reports crews held the Holiday Fire at 100 acres. As of Monday, the blaze is 90 percent contained.  

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Wildfires continue to burn across California. In the northern part of the state, a fire that’s burned tens of thousands of acres and forced many to evacuate has now jumped into Oregon. Over the weekend a rash of high temperatures and dry winds sparked fires across the Central Coast and in southern California. A fast-moving fire in the city of Goleta tore through 100 acres and destroyed 13 homes in a matter of hours.

Courtesy of the Latino Outreach Council

As part of our coverage of the June 5 primary election, KCBX News invited some local candidates to the studio to learn more about their visions, experience and concerns. In this segment, we separately interviewed San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and his challenger Greg Clayton.

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