SLO County

Dr. Emily Fairfax and SLO Beaver Brigade

April 7 is International Beaver Day and the San Luis Obispo Beaver Brigade is celebrating this year by participating in the first free, virtual California Beaver Summit.

Courtesy of County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries

In November, the County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries began offering a library-by-mail service for homebound seniors. Now, they’re trying to spread the word.

Randi Hair

Mercy Air's primary mission is to support U.S. Army Reserve operations at Fort Hunter Liggett but they also respond to civilian casualties in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties. Mercy Air maintains a 24-hour presence for medevac service at Fort Hunter Liggett, with four crews and two helicopters.

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. 

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. 

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. 

The Mask Map is a website where people can post their opinions and experiences on whether a store or other business is following pandemic-related mask mandates. But some business owners caution the website may not accurately reflect a businesses' position or enforcement of social distancing rules and mask wearing. 

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.

Angel Russell

While many are waiting to see when they'll get the new stimulus check, an estimated 9,000 undocumented residents of SLO County may be excluded. That's where SLO County UndocuSupport is helping out.

Luna Red

SLO County has released updated guidelines for restaurants, once again allowing outdoor dining—but there’s a catch.

County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries

As SLO County COVID-19 cases rise and the demand for testing is increasing, three more county libraries are closing because librarians and other staff are answering the call to help the county in its COVID19 response.

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. 

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

Angel Russell

Local restaurant owners have been under pressure since the start of the coronavirus pandemic; now the colder temperatures and rain will bring new challenges as outdoor dining continues.

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.

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.

Melissa Hill

Stores like Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions—including ten locations throughout the Central Coast—are now selling at-home COVID-19 tests. 

SLOCOSO

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office alleges the man killed Thursday by deputies in a shootout in Templeton was a member of a “white supremacist gang.”

Angel Russell

Despite an ongoing pandemic and wildfires causing smoky skies, people are still visiting the Central Coast—but overall tourism is sharply down compared to years' past.

San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorders Office

The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way millions of Americans can vote this fall. States are expanding access to mail-in voting as a safer alternative to in-person voting, and some counties are making even further provisions to ensure voters can get their ballots in on time. San Luis Obispo County is no exception.

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