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No plea for Adrian Gonzalez’s first court appearance

Posted: Thursday, Jul 30th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- The teen accused in the sexual assault and murder of 8-year-old Madyson Middleton appeared briefly in court Thursday morning for his arraignment, but did not enter a plea.
Adrian Jerry Gonzalez, 15, will return to court Sept. 21 for further arraignment.
Adrian, wearing the green and tan colors of the inmates in juvenile hall, was

Scruffy for a cause

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 29th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Although the Watsonville Police Department has a facial hair policy, officers haven't touched their shavers for the past few months.
In fact, it was encouraged.
In early May, Police Chief Manny Solano temporarily suspended the policy until Aug. 31, and in exchange for growing a maintained beard, officers were asked to donate $100 to Jacob's Heart

Teen to be charged as adult

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 29th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell announced Wednesday that the 15-year-old accused of murdering 8-year-old Madyson Middleton will be charged as an adult.
Adrian Jerry Gonzalez, 15, faces murder, kidnapping and several sexual assault charges, with special circumstances of lying in wait.
He also faces allegations of causing great bodily injury, and sexual

Strawberry Festival celebrates workers

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 29th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Watsonville Strawberry Festival is almost here and event planners are trying to make sure the event is more family friendly and multicultural than ever before.
"What is new this year is that we are including a mix of entertainers and demographics," said Victor Garcia, an event director for the festival.
"We are very fortunate to be able

Group focuses on drought solutions

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 29th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Five years ago, a group of Pajaro Valley landowners took it upon themselves to find ways to tackle aquifer overdraft.
They formed the Community Water Dialogue, and on Tuesday, the group updated an audience of about 40 on their recent accomplishments during a dinner and presentation at Pajaro Dunes.
Tuesday's event also marked the launch of

DA: Madyson's alleged killer to be charged as adult

Modified: Wednesday, Jul 29th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell announced Wednesday that the 15-year-old suspected of killing Madyson Middleton will be charged as an adult.
Adrian Jerry Gonzalez will be charged with murder, kidnapping and sexual assault, Rosell said.
This story will be updated.

Police: Madyson was killed before reported missing

Modified: Tuesday, Jul 28th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the death of 8-year-old Madyson Middleton, whose body was discovered Monday night in a recycling bin after an extensive search by hundreds of people, Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel announced Tuesday.
Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell said he is reviewing the case, and

Missing girl found dead

Modified: Tuesday, Jul 28th, 2015
UPDATE: Around 8 p.m. Monday, detectives discovered a body in a dumpster at the Tannery Arts Center, which appeared to be that of Madyson Middleton, according to police.
The investigation led to a 15-year-old male suspect who was arrested at the Tannery.
Police will be holding a press conference today at 11 a.m.

LGBT celebration returning to Watsonville

Posted: Monday, Jul 27th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Watsonville is getting its Pride back.
Seven years ago, a group of LGBT activists launched Watsonville's first-ever gay pride celebration, created as a way to foster awareness and acceptance of that community.
A modest success, the celebration continued for three more years as Watsonville's answer to a similar longstanding event in Santa Cruz.
But the success

New Dr. Seuss book sells out before release

Posted: Monday, Jul 27th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Theodor Seuss Geisel has a new book published with a release date set for today -- and it is completely sold out.
With the warehouse emptied, "What Pet Should I Get" by Dr. Seuss is already in reprint, according to Kelly Pleskunas. Her bookshop, Crossroads Books, received about seven copies and with one remaining on Monday, Pleskunas said

Pet cemetery provides full range of services

Posted: Monday, Jul 27th, 2015
PRUNEDALE -- In a small plot in a cemetery in Watsonville's hinterlands lies "Kleif," formerly of the Salinas Police Department.
Klief, who served for two years as a K9 officer, was killed in the line of duty on March 14, 2004 when he was stabbed by a fleeing burglary suspect. His funeral drew dozens of uniformed police officers, who

Man stabbed multiple times

Posted: Saturday, Jul 25th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- A man was stabbed multiple times Friday night after the suspect attempted to rob him.
According to Watsonville Police, around 11:10 p.m., officers were flagged down on Union Street next to the police department by a man. Officers soon discovered he was a victim of a stabbing that had occurred within the last few minutes.
The victim

Highway portion dedicated to late senator

Posted: Friday, Jul 24th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The late Senator Henry J. Mello has a theater named after him on the Watsonville High School campus. Now, a portion of Highway 1 bears the Watsonville native's name.
Assemblyman Luis Alejo dedicated a four-mile stretch of Highway 1, from the Pajaro River to Struve Road, to Mello during a ceremony unveiling the signs for the "Henry

Garlic Festival turns on the heat in Gilroy

Posted: Friday, Jul 24th, 2015
GILROY -- Flames shot out into the air to the cheers and anticipation of the bystanders as the volunteer pyro chefs from the Gilroy Garlic Festival displayed skill and finesse as they cooked the shrimp.
An iconic tradition for the Festival, people crowded around the barrier, packed in like sardines, to get a closer view. This weekend thousands of

Microorganisms changing sea’s color

Posted: Friday, Jul 24th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- If you've been by the sea lately you may have noticed a drastic change: The water is a different color -- a light turquoise that you commonly seen in the Caribbean.
The cause is the abundant accumulation of harmless microorganisms, which are common out at deep sea. The single-celled phyto-plankton, coccolithophores, has lime scales that can

Community Foundation awards grants

Posted: Friday, Jul 24th, 2015
APTOS -- Thirty-six grants were recently approved by the Community Foundation's board of directors and awarded to local nonprofits working in the fields of Community Development, Education, Health and Human Services.
In addition to the Foundation's own grant pool, local donors stepped up and contributed $334,000 of the total. Additional support came to the Foundation from the

Taylor’s Hot Dog Stand passes 60th anniversary

Posted: Thursday, Jul 23rd, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- A little more than six decades ago, a pair of brothers opened a hot dog stand in the heart of Watsonville, its simple, unpretentious menu a reflection of what was then a small-town farming community.
There, customers could walk up and buy a 20-cent hot dog and a soda at the original Maple Avenue location.

Drought forces prisons to restrict showers, toilets

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 22nd, 2015
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY -- Water conservation due to the drought shows a new face in California with correctional facilities being required to reduce usage by 25 percent -- the most recent changes including restrictions on showers and toilet flushes.
"All state agencies were required to reduce water usage by 20 percent almost five years ago," said Bill Sessa, a spokesman

Double homicide suspects back in court

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 22nd, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- The six men accused in the Oct. 10 shooting that killed a 4-year-old girl and a 33-year-old man appeared in court Tuesday for the first day of their preliminary hearing.
The hearing, expected to take approximately a week, will determine whether the men will eventually go to trial for the shooting.
In court Monday and Tuesday

Railroad crossing repairs expected soon

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 22nd, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- West Riverside Drive is a major thoroughfare in Watsonville, a road chosen by thousands of drivers daily who are entering or leaving the city.
But for drivers heading toward Highway 1, they have had to contend with a rough railroad crossing at the intersection of West Riverside Drive and Walker Street. Mindful drivers slow down to

Three injured in head-on crash

Modified: Wednesday, Jul 22nd, 2015
ZAYANTE -- Three people suffered major injuries in a two-vehicle crash Wednesday morning on East Zayante Road.
Californian Highway Patrol officer Bryce Danehauer said a male driver of a Chevy pickup, with a male passenger, was traveling south on East Zayante Road just after 8 a.m. Witnesses said the Chevy driver was driving at a high speed and recklessly.

Man arrested after robbing jewelry store

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 22nd, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- A Watsonville man was arrested Tuesday after robbing a jewelry store.
According to Watsonville Police, around 4:29 p.m., officers were dispatched to Don Roberto's Jewelers at 319 Main St. for a report of a silent robbery alarm. According to a neighboring business, there was a sound of glass breaking coming from the jewelry store. Officers responded and set

Main Street project poll results

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 22nd, 2015
On July 9, the Register-Pajaronian posted a poll on Facebook asking readers if they were in favor of the three month trial period of the downtown Watsonville plan, where crews will place temporary barriers between Riverside Drive and Beach Street. At the time of publication, a total of 69 people had responded to the poll.
With 36 percent opposed,

Family donates antique apple wagon to Ag History Project

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 21st, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- In the early 20th century, two Croatian immigrants found their way to Watsonville to join the booming apple industry.
James and Anton Scampavia eventually formed Scampavia Brothers, and became fully involved in the Pajaro Valley industry that was shipping 2.5 million boxes by 1909, according to historical documents.
But to get the apples out of

Keeping it local, organic

Modified: Monday, Jul 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Several small toads were hopping amid the deep verdant rows in a Watsonville farm Monday, joined by snakes and lizards in a hunt for the bugs that would eat the crops.
That is the sole job of the creatures, whose habitat at Whiskey Hill Farms on Calabasas Road was created specifically as a natural pest deterrent.

Relay For Life draws hundreds

Posted: Monday, Jul 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- A veil of gray clouds had just lifted Saturday morning when Itzel Bastida took a walk around the track at Watsonville High School.
She joined about 80 other cancer survivors for the first lap of the annual Relay For Life.
Itzel, 11, was three when she was diagnosed with cancer. Now free from the disease, she

Community remembers loved ones at Obon Festival

Posted: Monday, Jul 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Children frolicked in the lot of the Watsonville Buddhist Temple dressed in full kimonos mimicking the dancing adults as the community came out Sunday to celebrate Obon.
Obon is a Japanese festival celebrating the life of those who have died.
Yukiko Tokutomi-Northon of Watsonville went with her daughter and friends in continuation of the life-long tradition.

Special day for special needs

Posted: Monday, Jul 20th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- The 23rd annual Day on the Beach unfolded Saturday at Cowell Beach. Thanks to an enormous outpouring of volunteers, about 300 people with varying disabilities were treated to a load of fun, including surfing, kayaking, scuba and plunging into the Pacific in king-size outriggers.
"For me, this is almost breathtaking," said Foster Andersen, founder of Shared

Toddler who drowned at campgrounds ID’d

Posted: Friday, Jul 17th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The toddler that died in a hot tub Monday at the Santa Cruz/Monterey KOA campgrounds has been identified as Wyatt Alexander Hutchings of Scotts Valley. His correct age was also announced in a published obituary as 23 months and four days.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Lt. Kelly Kent said emergency crews were dispatched just before 4

Silent auction will benefit shelter

Posted: Friday, Jul 17th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Every year, Pajaro Valley Shelter Services assists dozens of homeless families with temporary housing,
All told, the organization assists more than 250 individuals per year, and an estimated 5,000 since its opening 32 years ago.
As a nonprofit, that comes largely thanks to donations from community members and organizations, which takes no small amount of fundraising

Aromas interchange project celebrated

Posted: Friday, Jul 17th, 2015
AROMAS -- More than two years after construction began, and nearly 20 years after initial studies, officials celebrated the completion of the San Juan Road Interchange Project Friday.
The $91 million project removed three at-grade intersections on San Juan, Dunbarton and Cole roads with a single interchange at San Juan Road and Highway 101.

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