San Luis Obispo County

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.

Courtesy of Cottage Hospital

Intensive care unit bed capacity is reaching a limit in Santa Barbara County, and health officials warn it may get worse.

John Minchillo/Associated Press

In a year when the coronavirus has racked up an immense death toll, health officials say there is an overlap with another staggering figure—Americans dying from overdose in record numbers throughout the country, and that trend is being seen in San Luis Obispo County.

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. 

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.

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.

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced most of the state will come under a stricter set of limitations as intensive care units reach near-capacity levels with the latest surge in coronavirus cases.

Regional stay-at-home orders will likely go into effect "in the next day or two" in places with less than 15% ICU availability, Newsom explained in a daily briefing with reporters.

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.

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.

The mission of ACTION for Healthy Communities is to identify and address community needs to improve health and well-being in San Luis Obispo County. ACTION is a cooperative, collaborative effort of individual agencies and organizations, public and private, that are committed to improving the overall quality of life in SLO County. Join Fred Munroe as he speaks with members of the ACTION for Healthy Communities steering committee—Jason Wells,  associate director of First 5 SLO County and new ACTION chair, and past chair Susan Hughes—as they discuss ACTION’s eighth benchmark study of community issues since 1999. 

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.

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. 

The coronavirus crisis has made both businesses and individuals rethink the way they do things, and also what they do. While many businesses and employees are struggling to survive COVID-19 and may just be looking to adapt, for others the crisis is an opportunity to reinvent themselves. Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with Central Coast organizations that are working to meet these needs. In our first half-hour, Fred speaks with mentors from SCORE of San Luis Obispo—Horace Morana and Carol Kerwin. SCORE of San Luis Obispo has been helping small businesses start and grow for over 30 years and are working to address concerns during this difficult time. In the second half -hour, Fred speaks with SLO Partners' Paula Mathias-Fryer and Luke Wallace. SLO Partners is taking the lead in creating upskilling opportunities for our local workforce by supporting those looking for new career opportunities by training them with skills in demand by local businesses. 

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. 

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

The state off-roading park at Oceano Dunes in San Luis Obispo County will partially reopen next week as part of a three-phase plan. The dunes have been closed to vehicles and camping access since mid-March.

Tonight at midnight is the deadline to be counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. That deadline was moved up two weeks after a U.S. Supreme Court decision this week.

By now, Central Coast voters should have received their November 2020 general election ballots in the mail—and this election is going to be like no other. Between the pandemic, new machinery, possible power shutoffs and operational changes, county election officials face a daunting job this year. KCBX's Greta Mart spoke with San Luis Obispo County's top election official, Tommy Gong, about what voters need to know. Click on the above listen button to hear their conversation.

Angel Russell

Over the past week, voters across the Central Coast started receiving vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots in their mailboxes, and with five weeks left before election day, some are already done voting and getting their ballots in to be counted.

Courtesy of the Sarantos, Velci, Puerta familes.

Two San Luis Obispo County moms lost their sons this year after their teens took counterfeit pills that turned out to be fentanyl. Now, they are warning other families it’s not only people with addiction who fall victim from the dangerous synthetic drug. 

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