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.

MBARI 2012

Far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean is a lab run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, MBARI. From here, scientists have been studying deep-sea communities, and they’ve been at it now for over 30 years. 

Christie OHara

Over the span of less than a month, the city of San Luis Obispo spent over a quarter million dollars to police recent demonstrations in response to the death of George Floyd and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

A fire in Paso Robles on June 22 destroyed two homes, damaged nine others and forced a third of the city to evacuate. The nonfatal wildfire started in a small stretch of the Salinas River, in an area where city officials consider dry grasses and brush an ongoing fire danger.

Since mid-June, Santa Barbara’s tourism marketing branch has been advertising the city as “Open for Travel,” an action which has brought some criticism.

Courtesy of Facebook

Grover Beach police are searching for the vandal or vandals who spray-painted racist graffiti along the outside walls of a local elementary school.

Angel Russell/KCBX

Choosing not to–or forgetting to–wear a mask in parts of California could cost you. The city of Monterey is now citing people not wearing masks, and the city of Arroyo Grande is eyeing a similar ordinance.

SMPD

As thundering fireworks shows have been canceled throughout the Central Coast due to the pandemic, police are warning people not to get tempted into lighting their own shows using illegal fireworks.

Angel Russell/KCBX News

Bars, breweries and wine tasting venues are closing their doors Thursday night in San Luis Obispo after the city issued temporary restrictions for the 4th of July holiday.

Marco Bruschi

Younger adults are contributing to the rise in COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, and a spike in confirmed cases statewide has led California's governor to reinstate shut-down orders for all bars, pubs and brewpubs. And while not ordered to do so, San Luis Obispo city officials announced Wednesday that the city's bars must too close as of July 2. 

Wikimedia Commons

In late June, a mountaintop cross in Riverside that bears the name of Franciscan friar Junipero Serra became the most recent target of those who call for removal of all Serra statues and namesakes, part of a renewed focus across the country to remove monuments associated with racism, colonialism or slavery.

A statue of Serra at Mission San Luis Obispo De Tolosa is now in storage, after being removed by church administrators around June 23.

Courtesy Viridian

Located at the southern end of the Salinas Valley, King City in Monterey County is the first California city to outfit all of its police officers with cameras—on their guns. That's despite the city of just over 14,000 residents having no officer-involved shootings in recent memory.

Chris Read

San Luis Obispo is releasing a plan to make the city a lot more environmentally friendly.

By 2035, San Luis Obispo has a goal of reaching a net zero carbon footprint—meaning by then the city as a whole is removing or eliminating as much carbon dioxide as it emits into the atmosphere. 

Expansion plans for oil drilling in Cat Canyon shrink

Jun 25, 2020
Katie Davis

Three projects aimed at expanding oil drilling in Santa Barbara County's Cat Canyon Oil Field were under consideration just three months ago. Today, only one remains.

Wikimedia Commons

Come November, Pismo Beach residents will weigh in on a proposed visitor tax hike aimed at funding improvements for the city’s fire and police departments, as well as tourism-related services.

Courtesy of the 5 Cities Fire Authority

A few hundred residents evacuated from a destructive brush fire in Paso Robles are now free to return home.

Greta Mart/KCBX

An estuary is any body of water where freshwater streams and rivers meet ocean saltwater. Together, the estuary’s calm waters and abundant vegetation make the perfect haven for thousands of species—like the endangered southern sea otter.

Courtesy of the SB Zoo

Zoos in California are welcoming the public back after being closed since mid-March. The gates of Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero reopened Wednesday, and director Alan Baker said it’s great seeing visitors again, since it was a bit eerie being at the zoo without visitors for so long.

Courtesy of OpenSLO.org

June 18 marks the start of a new San Luis Obispo project aimed at providing more space for downtown restaurants and shops, doing so by closing down streets to car traffic.

Michael Barros/KCBX

While the Trump Administration has worked to dismantle protections for transgender people, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the Civil Rights Act of 1964—which bans discrimination in employment on the basis of characteristics like race, religion and national origin—extends to sexual orientation and gender identity.

What will student learning look like when the new school year starts? The San Luis Coastal Unified School District this week laid out different pandemic-prompted scenarios for how the district’s 7,500 students will attend classes in the fall.

CalFire SLO

Update 6/16/20 10 a.m. All lanes of US Highway 101 are now reopened, although the northbound Avila Beach and Spyglass offramps remain closed. All evacuation orders have been lifted. Firefighters worked through the night trying to contain the fire. The strong winds of Monday evening have died down and homes in the area are no longer under threat. CalFire San Luis Obispo says 300 firefighters and multiple aircraft from across the Central Coast are on the scene this morning, and the fire's cause is under investigation. It has burned about 400 acres with 20 percent containment.

Beth Thornton

Movie theaters and cineplexes across the Central Coast now have clearance to start reopening. But for the past several weeks, there’s been another way to go out for an evening to see a film. A staple of life in the 1950s and ‘60s, drive-in theaters fell out of popularity for the past few decades—but may be making a comeback. Drive-ins offer a safe option for people of all ages and social distancing is easily managed.

Courtesy Ryan Joiner

California is giving the green light for movie theaters and gyms to reopen as of June 12, but not all businesses will be ready. KCBX News spoke to local gym and movie theater owners to find out what the hold up is and what it’ll be like for customers once doors reopen.

The use of face coverings or masks has become one of the biggest debates nationwide during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Santa Barbara and Monterey counties have adopted a mandatory mask ordinance. But in San Luis Obispo County, it’s up to individual towns to decide.

Tom Hilton/Flickr

The owners of San Luis Obispo County nail salons and tattoo parlors should start getting ready to reopen on or after June 19. That's the latest message from county health officials about the personal services sector.

San Luis Obispo County homelessness prevention advocates say they’re seeing an increase in elderly people seeking their services.

Rent costs in San Luis Obispo County have increased over 50% on average since 2013, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the elderly—the majority on Social Security—to keep up with the rise in costs.

Greta Mart/KCBX

BREAKING NEWS 5:30 PM: In Paso Robles, the suspect is dead and three police officers injured in a shoot out that took place in the 4 p.m. hour in a vineyard. The shot police officers were taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

E Walden Bohnet

High school graduation ceremonies continue around the Central Coast this week, although in a very different manner than in years past. 

Marco Bruschi

Thousands on the Central Coast have been protesting police killings of black people this week, with over five days of demonstrations in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. A rally calling for action on racial justice attracted thousands more Thursday evening. 

Wikimedia commons

While stay-at-home orders remain in place statewide, people experiencing homelessness have been particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. To try to help that population, in early April, California’s governor announced Project Roomkey, saying a federal agency would pay 75% of the cost to house homeless individuals in hotels and motels across the state.

But how many hotel and motel rooms are actually currently housing homeless people on the Central Coast?

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