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.

SLOCalFire

Firefighters across San Luis Obispo County are getting infected with COVID-19, or have been ordered to stay home in quarantine due to possible exposure. Fire officials are urging extra vigilance to ensure departments can respond to emergencies. 

In this episode of Issues & Ideas, we learn about a year-long San Luis Obispo Tribune investigation into substandard housing in San Luis Obispo County. We also hear from Dawn Ortiz-Legg, chosen by California's governor to represent SLO County District 3 after the death of Adam Hill. Julie Rodewald talks about the local chapter of the League of Women Voters and how the recent national election broke all records in SLO County. Finally, we meet the newest lion at the Santa Barbara Zoo—a cub named Pauline—and hear how the zoo is dealing with all the operational changes of 2020. 

Downtown SLO

With new state-mandated economic restrictions in place due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the cities of San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach are pumping more money into helping local businesses stay afloat.

Courtesy of Kaytlyn Leslie/SLO Tribune

Lindsey Holden is a staff reporter at the San Luis Obispo Tribune and recently published a series of stories resulting from a months-long investigation into substandard housing in SLO County. 

Angel Russell/KCBX

A San Luis Obispo County superior court judge ruled Friday the county district attorney’s office is disqualified from prosecuting local Black Lives Matter organizer Tiana Arrata and six others.

Courtesy of Shannon Galvin

As some students struggle with remote learning, Central Coast parents have started a group urging the reopening of schools for all grade levels. 

Courtesy photo

Businesses defying state-mandated COVID-19 closures are speaking out, after SLO County's district attorney issued a statement Tuesday saying he will not press criminal charges against those who choose to keep their doors open.

Wade McKenzie

Monoliths are popping up around the world, and while some are still a mystery, local artists behind one that recently appeared in Atascadero are speaking out.

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Updated May 3, 2021 at 1:44 PM ET

Note: This story will be updated periodically, as new data are released.

A western snowy plover at Oceano Dunes.
BRITTNEY APP FOR CALMATTERS

Despite December's stay-at-home orders in San Luis Obispo County, Oceano Dunes state park hasn't closed to day-use off-roading. That’s as California’s state park agencies face a lawsuit for alleged unlawful killing of threatened wildlife.

In keeping with California’s goal towards carbon neutrality, the state is giving Isla Vista money to pay for new, clean transportation in low-income areas.

On this week's edition of Issues & Ideas: Chris Lambert created the podcast "Your Own Backyard," about Kristin Smart and the nearly quarter-century-long unsolved case of her disappearance from San Luis Obispo's Cal Poly campus.

Jocelyn Brennan, South County Chambers

In response to the state’s stay-at-home order now in effect, local business groups are circulating an online petition, urging Governor Newsom to exclude San Luis Obispo County from the new lockdown.

Updated at 6:20 a.m.

Nearly 85% of California residents are now under sweeping new restrictions as the state's struggles to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. The new restrictions come as coronavirus cases continue to surge and while the state's intensive care capacity has neared dangerously low levels.

Business owners in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are reacting to the possibility of another stay-at-home order. While some are once again adjusting, others are fighting back.

Angel Russell

San Luis Obispo County’s Pismo Preserve drew record crowds over Thanksgiving, leading to concerns that some hikers were not following CDC guidelines for COVID-19 safety.

Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County

There's been a growing surge in people relying on food banks since the start of the pandemic; now with the holidays approaching, food banks say the need is critical.

Angel Russell

The holiday event 'Light Up Downtown' kicked off this weekend in San Luis Obispo, but because of the pandemic, things are a bit different this year.

Mission Plaza lights up at night with decorations of holidays trees and has areas for photo-ops, like a giant picture frame wreath and two tall pink flamingos in front of a surfboard wearing Santa hats.

Nickie Gilman, a San Luis Obispo mother of a three-year old, has taken her son downtown a couple times so far for something to do during pandemic closures. 

The captain of a dive boat that caught fire last year off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., was indicted Tuesday on 34 counts of negligent manslaughter.

Thirty-three passengers and one crew member died during the early morning hours of Sept. 2, 2019, when a fast moving fire broke out on the 75-foot Conception. The boat was docked off Santa Cruz Island for a chartered three-day diving trip.

Courtesy of the SLO Rep

This summer during the Black Lives Matter protests, the city of San Luis Obispo created a diversity task force, with a goal of making the city more inclusive. Now, the city is provided grant funding for local nonprofits and programs.

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.

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