KCBX News

Monday through Friday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

The award-winning KCBX Newsroom works to bring you local stories that represent our Central Coast listeners and supporters.

KCBX News began covering stories in February, 2014. The first on-air newscast happened during All Things Considered on March 3, 2014. KCBX added local news content to Morning Edition in September, 2014.

In the years since, KCBX News has had local stories featured on NPR and The California Report.

David Middlecamp, San Luis Obispo Tribune

Tucked into an otherwise quiet bend south of Pismo Beach, Oceano Dunes may be California’s most dangerous state park. Towns near the park, which draws more than a million trucks and dirt bikes a year, are besieged with air pollution, crime and accidents — even a mass shooting last year.

Angel Russell

Locally-based stores and companies are hoping for big crowds this weekend on Small Business Saturday, with many of them looking to recoup for losses due to the pandemic.

Rick Stollmeyer co-founded the San Luis Obispo-based company Mindbody. Earlier this year, Stollmeyer stepped away from his role as CEO of the tech company and transitioned to board chair. He's written a book on entrepreneurship, with business advice based on his experience over the years with Mindbody. Garrett Olsen of the San Luis Obispo County Food Bank gives us an update and shares the challenges of providing food for community members in need during a pandemic. Finally, Father Ian Delinger takes us to Loo Loo Farms in Paso Robles to explore their edible flowers on "Playing With Food."

Joe Johnston/San Luis Obispo Tribune

Enjoying nature while preserving it is an age-old conflict in California, but nowhere is it more fraught than at Oceano Dunes. Can off-roading and endangered species coexist?

Angel Russell

With California's purple tier COVID-19 restrictions, gyms can only be open for outdoor workouts. But a coalition of more than 25 fitness centers throughout San Luis Obispo County are vowing to keep their indoor operations going, despite any fines that may come their way.

SpaceX

In a blow to the future of a post-Diablo Canyon Central Coast economy, Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) appears to have lost a bid to become the new headquarters for American military growth into space. But regional economic planners aren’t giving up on making the case for Vandenberg just yet.

Smart Share Housing Solutions

Renting in San Luis Obispo County is not cheap, and for many, the pandemic is adding more financial strain. To help, a SLO County housing program is offering low rent prices in exchange for work.

CHHS

The Central Coast is headed for a statewide curfew, due to increasing COVID-19 cases. The state health department issued a stay-at-home order Thursday that applies to nightime nonessential activities, as of November 21.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended lives and, for some, harmed their mental well-being. In response, Transitions Mental Health is adding new features to help people throughout the Central Coast get through these difficult times. 

SLO County Office of Education

With San Luis Obispo County moving into California's most restrictive COVID-19 tier, the SLO County Office of Education hosted a “returning to school safely” webinar to explain to parents what that now means for them.

Businesses across San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are being asked to close once again after California’s governor "pulled the emergency brake" on COVID-19 reopening plans.

CA King Tides Project

King tides are the year’s highest and lowest tides, occurring when there is alignment of the gravitational pull between the sun, moon and Earth. California’s coast is seeing king tides this week—with more on the way in December and January—and with them a chance to participate in a statewide science project.

Courtest of SLO Co

Many in San Luis Obispo County are more than ready to forget about elections for now and focus on other matters. But there is sizable public opposition to an election-related matter now before the county board of supervisors. District 1 supervisor John Peschong is spearheading a move to allow people to donate up to $25,000 to candidates for county offices like sheriff, district attorney and the five supervisorial seats.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in SLO County, the city of San Luis Obispo says it’ll be stepping up enforcement to ensure people are complying with public health bans on gatherings and other pandemic-related restrictions.

Angel Russell/KCBX

The outlook for San Luis Obispo County in terms of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a turn for the worse. SLO County is currently in the red tier, but health officials warn the current case count indicates a purple tier is looming. 

MARELBU/wikimedia commons

With tens of thousands of people living on the streets of California, the homelessness crisis is not slowing down, but a San Luis Obispo city grant aims to help alleviate the problem in the downtown area.

DOD

As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the U.S. and the Central Coast, officials at Vandenberg Air Force Base say it will be one of the first places to receive a new COVID-19 vaccine in the next few weeks.

Flickr/Tracey Adams

In San Luis Obispo County, Pacific Gas & Electric says it still can’t say when Diablo Canyon will restart sending electricity to California’s grid. The nuclear power plant has been completely offline since mid-October, generating no electricity while workers do maintenance and do repairs.

San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Works

After several years of planning and overcoming financial hurdles, construction is set to start this month on San Luis Obispo County’s new regional, public animal services facility.

Templeton Recreation department

Youth sports competitions are still prohibited in California due to COVID-19 restrictions. But recreation departments throughout SLO County say they have been getting creative in finding ways for children to get athletic.

Angel Russell

The first winter rains are expected this weekend along the Central Coast, posing a potential concern for homes along a hillside in Pismo Beach, scorched from the Avila Fire in mid-June. 

The Avila Fire burned through more than 400 acres of vegetation. Cal Fire SLO investigators determined it was human-caused and intentionally set, but no arrests have been made.

Ever since, the city of Pismo Beach has been working with homeowners and other agencies to reduce the risk of potential mudslides for the upcoming rainy season. 

KCBX

San Luis Obispo County this week renewed participation in the Stepping Up Initiative, a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing the prevalence of inmates who suffer from mental illness from cycling through the criminal justice system. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

As many schools throughout the state remain shuttered due to COVID-19, San Luis Obispo County public schools are allowing more students for in-person instruction this week. 

Ralphs Pharmacy

Pharmacies at a few local grocery stores are now offering antibody testing, but the efficacy of the tests is still in question. 

Courtesy of the candidates

As of Sunday night, 63 percent of SLO County voters have already cast their votes in the current election. 

But of those still filling out their ballot—or planning to head to the polls Tuesday—some will be weighing in on who will fill two open seats on the San Luis Obispo city council. Just under 31,000 people in San Luis Obispo are voting on that race. 

Courtesy of the Waage/Shadwell campaigns

Like in several Central Coast cities this election, Pismo Beach residents are deciding on the next mayor, two or more city council seats and a tax measure.

Courtesy of Dan Wells

A new study released by UC Davis says 110,000 Californians purchased a firearm due to the pandemic, and about 43% of those purchases were made by first-time gun owners. 

Continuing KCBX's election coverage, we hear from challenger Dawn Addis and incumbent Jordan Cunningham, the two candidates vying to represent the Central Coast in the California state Assembly. 

Courtesy of the SLO County Clerk-Recorders Office

With less than a week left until Election Day, an unprecedented number of ballots have already been cast in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, and all polling centers are set to open on Halloween.

Angel Russell

San Luis Obispo County has issued a permit to the county parks and recreation department to clean up and restore Pirate’s Cove, a popular beach and hiking area on county-owned land in Avila Beach.

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