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.

Ava Kershner

The Galaxy Theatres and Colony square have been the heart of the Atascadero downtown area for many years.

California Coastal Commission

 

Plans to create public access to the beaches on privately-owned land at Hollister Ranch in Santa Barbara County is ongoing, but the pandemic has slowed the process.

Photo from UCSB

Experts say efficient testing and tracing are key components to limiting the spread of COVID-19. With this in mind, UC Santa Barbara has opened a certified clinical COVID lab on campus for students, faculty and staff.

Beth Thornton

 

Two congress members from the Central Coast and a senator from Oregon are calling for endangered species protections for the monarch butterfly. Western Monarch butterflies spend their winter months on the coast of California. They cling to eucalyptus trees in bright clusters of orange and black, but today very few can be found.

Angel Russell

Since March of last year, about 19,000 people in San Luis Obispo County have tested positive for the coronavirus and around 200 people locally have died due to the pandemic.

On March 14th, 2020, the county reported its first confirmed case of the coronavirus. The next day, south county resident Oralis Cornelius and her husband became the second and third confirmed cases.

Anne Wernikoff/CalMatters

Californians with high-risk medical conditions will qualify for COVID-19 vaccines starting March 15, the state’s health secretary announced today.

After several months of being under the most restrictive pandemic-related closures, San Luis Obispo County health officials are optimistic that further reopening could be just days away.

“We remain firmly in the purple tier; however, we are making progress,” said Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein, based on the state’s framework and the county's current metrics. 

Shae Hammond for CalMatters

Last fall, St. John’s Well Child and Family Center began purchasing sub-zero freezers to store the COVID-19 vaccine. By Nov. 20, St. John’s had eight freezers, with three more on the way. 

Issues & Ideas: Big Sur landslide, a broken EDD and Central Coast internet connectivity

Feb 9, 2021

On this episode of Issues & Ideas, Central Coast state senator John Laird talks with KCBX’s Greta Mart about the EDD and the effort to fix the dysfunctional agency. New research out of UC San Francisco examines the risk of COVID-19 death among essential workers, and we’ll hear from the UCSF epidemiologist who led the research team. Monterey County's Big Sur community faces more hardship now that a section of Highway 1 is yet again closed after a landslide. Governor Gavin Newsom is facing a recall effort, and we’ll take a look at who’s behind the effort and also fact check claims about Facebook’s role in the situation. You’ll hear a conversation about fiber optics and the future of internet connectivity on the Central Coast. Finally, a discussion about the important role of ‘makers’ to keep shopping interesting in a downtown setting.

SLO City Church

The U.S. Supreme Court is telling California that it can't bar indoor church services because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it can keep—for now—a ban on singing and chanting indoors.

Angel Russell

San Luis Obispo County is facing a shortage of the COVID-19 vaccine, and public health officials said because of that, the Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande vaccination sites will be closed this week. 

Alexa Kushner

The San Luis Obispo community has been asking for more recreational activities in Mitchell Park for the past couple of years, according to city staff, so after receiving a nearly $200,000 grant from California State Parks, city officials have opted to put that money towards new pickleball courts.

Angel Russell

While a litter problem is not new to Pismo Beach, city officials said the pandemic has exacerbated the situation, and now they are seeking new solutions.

Angel Russell

At Port San Luis in Avila Beach, fishermen and women are now able to sell their fresh catch directly off the pier in a new "Fishermen's Market" pilot program.

Cal Poly students weigh fall housing options

Feb 3, 2021
Alexa Kushner

Both incoming and current students at San Luis Obispo’s Cal Poly university are looking at their living situation for next school year, and the promise of fewer virtual classes in the fall.

The California State University system announced classes are likely to be held in-person for the fall of 2021, but hasn’t released official plans.

Caltrans

After a slide took out both lanes on a section of Highway 1 south of Big Sur, Caltrans said it has no timeline yet on when the coastal highway will reopen to traffic.

The Cambria Chamber of Commerce said at least 50 percent of the town's visitors come through using the Big Sur Highway. Now that it’s closed for several miles, north central coast businesses are left wondering what may be in store for them.

Issues & Ideas: Alzheimer's research, farmworker vaccinations and expanding inclusion

Feb 2, 2021

50 agricultural workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine at their workplace in Fresno, which advocates say is the best way to ensure all farmworkers get vaccinated. Governor Gavin Newsom has had mixed success modernizing state bureaucracy in the last two years. You’ll hear from a UCSB neuroscientist about a research project aimed at understanding Alzheimer's. Also, we’ll get an update from Michelle Call of GALA Pride and Diversity Center on the ways the organization has become more inclusive. And finally, you’ll get a closer look at the work being done at SLO’s Transitions Mental Health Association.

Courtesy of the PRUSD

Paso Robles school district officials are hiring new attorneys to respond to a grand jury report that criticizes the previous board for alleged financial mismanagement between 2015 and 2018. 

Caltrans/Heath Johnston

A section of State Route 1 just south of Big Sur was washed away by a debris flow following heavy rains; the roadway remains closed as Caltrans assesses the damage. 

Monterey County's Plan For COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

Jan 29, 2021
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors tried to clear up any misunderstandings about the timing and rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations this week. At its regular meeting, the Board heard from various groups involved in the rollout who said they’re ready, they just need more doses of vaccine. KAZU’S Doug McKnight attended the meeting and spoke with KAZU's Erika Mahoney about the county’s plans.

Angel Russell/KCBX

1/29/21 UPDATE

Just a few dozen Central Coast residents remain without power this morning as PG&E and SoCalEdison continue to clean up damage from this week's storm. Advisories for high surf remain in effect through this evening. Highway 1 remains closed from Ragged Point to Big Sur, and no estimate on when the coastal highway will reopen after a mudslide covered the road near Big Creek Bridge. Storm-related damage and flooding has closed several roads across Monterey County. In the Santa Ynez Valley, Highway 246 is closed due to downed trees in the roadway and Caltrans crews are on the scene. Many roads across the Central Coast are still experiencing flooding, so extreme caution while driving is advised. 

Rachel Showalter/KCBX

The Central Coast section of Highway 1 is one of the most scenic drives in America. A new mural in south San Luis Obispo County is giving people another reason to stop and take a look around.

A wind-driven heavy rainstorm is causing power outages, downed trees and prompting preparations for flooding and debris flows.

Arts Beat: Remembering Lorilee Silvaggio

Jan 26, 2021
Courtesy of Drew Silvaggio

For 26 years, the name Lorilee Silvaggio was known to KCBX listeners through her weekly show “From Ballet to Broadway.” And for decades, she was known to the larger San Luis Obipo community for her world of dance. Lorilee Silvaggio died from ovarian cancer in late 2020 at age 73. KCBX’s Greta Mart spoke to people who knew Silvaggio well in this remembrance of the late San Luis Obispo trailblazer.

Novo San Luis Obispo

A sweeping motion by California’s governor lifting regional stay-home-orders now puts the state back into a four-tier system, with Central Coast counties returning to the most restrictive purple tier. 

Courtesy of the City of Paso Robles

As restrictions continue due to state COVID-19 orders, the city of Paso Robles has started a program to help businesses stay afloat, while giving customers a discount.

County of San Luis Obispo

January is 'Human Trafficking Awareness' month, and the SLO County District Attorney's office this week discussed local cases and what parents should know when it comes to keeping kids safe. 

Angel Russell/KCBX

Appointments are filling up as San Luis Obispo County made the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations available to more of the community.

Angel Russell/KCBX

Strong, damaging winds have prompted Pacific Gas & Electric to shut off electricity for parts of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, and CalFire SLO said extra crews are on standby with an increased risk of wildfires breaking out.

Cal Poly increases COVID-19 testing for all students

Jan 18, 2021
Mustang News

With a new quarter underway at San Luis Obispo’s Cal Poly, the university’s testing program has expanded since the fall, when students living on-campus only had to get tested every other week. Now it applies to students who live in university housing, are enrolled in face-to-face classes, work on campus, use on-campus resources or live with a student who meets any of these requirements.

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