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Blind student a music prodigy, teacher says

Posted: Friday, May 29th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- During a music lesson at Lakeview Middle School on Friday, sixth-grader Juan Ledesma placed his hands over music teacher Stephanie Gelman's as she played the C scale. Then he copied to near perfection on his own.
On the same day, he learned a standard chord progression in just 10 minutes.
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Put down the tablet; pick up a fishing pole

Posted: Friday, May 29th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The fifth annual Monterey Bay Youth Outdoor Day, a free family-oriented outdoor activity day, will take place Saturday at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.
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Adult school wraps up another year

Posted: Friday, May 29th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- One hundred and eleven graduates of Watsonville/Aptos Adult Education crossed the Mello Center stage Thursday evening to receive diplomas. The mood was upbeat with bundles of balloons and armloads of flowers sprinkled about the auditorium for the event, dubbed a Celebration of Achievement.
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Community celebrates Soquel park opening

Posted: Friday, May 29th, 2015
SOQUEL -- In the center of Soquel, a crowd gathered Friday to celebrate the opening of a park that has been more than 25 years in the making.
Called the Heart of Soquel Park, it was developed on land that used to house a trailer park. After the project stalled, County Supervisor John Leopold, Capitola Mayor Dennis Norton and
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Report: Agricultural chemicals around schools low

Modified: Friday, May 29th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- For the fourth time in as many years, levels of hazardous agricultural chemicals released into the air near Ohlone Elementary School were well below regulatory targets, according to a report released Tuesday by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
According to the report, levels of 1,3-dichloropropene, methyl bromide and chloropicrin were less than the DPR's regulatory targets
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Marine researchers study Monterey Bay seamount

Posted: Thursday, May 28th, 2015
MONTEREY BAY -- Some 80 miles off the Monterey Bay coast is a world so teeming with life that it surprised the scientists tasked with studying it.
The Davidson Seamount is a massive underwater mountain, 26 miles long and eight miles wide. Measuring 7,480 feet from base to top, it still lies more than 4,000 feet below the water's
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Taco Bell proposed for downtown

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- As one drive-thru restaurant is under construction on Main Street, another may soon follow it -- about 500 feet away.
Developers are proposing to construct a Taco Bell restaurant on 222 Main St., between Old City Hall and the police department, on a dirt lot that once housed a gas station.
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Council approves water restrictions

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Watsonville City Council approved mandatory water restrictions Tuesday on the heels of a state order.
The Council voted 6-1 to declare a water supply emergency and mandate a 20 percent reduction in water usage for residents and businesses, with Mayor Nancy Bilicich dissenting.
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Nursing homes to pay $3.8 million to settle lawsuits

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- A little more than eight months after federal prosecutors sued two Watsonville nursing homes for providing "grossly inadequate" care to its patients, and for filing fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medi-Cal for those services, the homes have agreed to pay $3.8 million, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced May 21.
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Blaze displaces Prunedale family of 7

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
PRUNEDALE -- A family of seven was chased from their home early Tuesday by a fierce fire that ate away more than half of their home and all of their garage.
North Monterey County Fire Chief Chris Orman said the blaze erupted just after 5:30 a.m.
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Long-time judge dies

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
Former Judge John A. Marlo, who worked for years in Watsonville and retired from the bench in 1993, died Tuesday following a lengthy illness that was cancer-based.
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Sharing memories

Posted: Monday, May 25th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- The group of veterans who came Monday morning to Evergreen Cemetery were a mismatched lot indeed, some in street clothes and others in their military finery. Still others wore hats and jackets festooned with medals and patches denoting the branches, places and dates they served.
But although some were stooped and walked with the aid of canes,
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PVWMA raising water rates

Posted: Monday, May 25th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency Board of Directors adopted new water rates at its May 20 meeting, and rural residents and many farmers can expect to see their water rates increase annually over the next four years.
The increases came after a majority protest hearing failed to garner enough support to block them.
Starting July 1,
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Salsa by the Sea a popular gathering

Posted: Monday, May 25th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- For the past 13 years a free, outdoor salsa dance gathering has been offered to the public at the base of the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf.
Salsa by the Sea, held on a wide deck beside the Ideal Bar & Grill restaurant, a stone's throw from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, offers Latin American music and a
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Family raising awareness of rare disease

Posted: Monday, May 25th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Her soft brown eyes fill with tears and her voice trembles as she talks about her daughter. Her husband silently fetches a tissue and presses it tenderly into her hand. She is only 27, but she knows what it feels like to lose a child.
Lladira Reyna, a Watsonville resident, was at the hospital with her then two-year-old
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Cabrillo launches graduation season

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2015
APTOS -- Gray, blistery weather did not dampen the festive spirit at Cabrillo College's Carl Connelly Stadium Friday, as 1,168 people received degrees and certificates at the annual commencement ceremony.
The graduates ranged in age from 17 to 74, with an average of 29. Some 62 percent were female.
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Council may declare water emergency

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- After Gov. Jerry Brown announced mandatory water reductions on April 1, the Watsonville City Council will consider declaring a water supply emergency Tuesday.
According to a report by Steve Palmisano, director of Public Works and Utilities, and Nancy Lockwood, environmental projects manager, Watsonville received a water conservation target of 20 percent from the State Water Resources Control
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A way to remember

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2015
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY -- The somber words "In loving memory Christopher Ryan Helmer 1992-2008" are read while children run and play only feet away, screaming in youthful delight. Here couples steal hidden kisses while music is playing from the many businesses that line the walkway in the Esplanade, the faint sounds of waves rolling in on Capitola Beach accentuating the
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PV Health Trust announces Phil Rather Award winners

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Board of Directors of the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust honored two winners of the 2015 Phil Rather Award for Leadership in Healthcare during a reception on Wednesday.
The honorees were Dr. Stan Hajduk, Emergency Medicine Physician at Watsonville Community Hospital (retired) and a founding and current member of the Health Trust Board of Directors.
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A summer of activities

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- As summer approaches and young people gird themselves for days of nothing to do, Santa Cruz County's Regional Occupational Program organizers are hoping that they will come back to school.
The classes on tap, however, are far from the rigorous academic bonds from which the students will soon be released.
Instead, the free, weeklong construction technology and
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Watsonville could lose $4.4 million repayment

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- If a budget proposal released Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown is approved by the state legislature and signed by the Governor when it returns to his desk in June, it would mean Watsonville is once again on the hook for a $4.4 million loan.
That would be another chapter in a story that began in 2006 when the
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Jail to Jobs fair first of its kind

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- When inmates are released from custody, they often find themselves at odds with a society that is wary of their past.
Consequently, finding employment and housing become becomes a difficult proposition, and as a result many find life after their release difficult.
Enter the Santa Cruz County Jail to Jobs program, which brings employers to
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An army of volunteers honored

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- Every day, beginning long before the sun comes up, a legion of volunteers arrives at the Grey Bears' Santa Cruz location prepared to work.
And that is just what they do.
Every year, 500 volunteers donate approximately 80,000 hours, which includes preparing meals, working in the recycling center, the electronics store and sorting and bagging
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Suspect in Google exec’s death pleads guilty

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- Alix Tichelman, the alleged prostitute who was facing seven charges, including involuntary manslaughter, for the death of Google Glass executive Forrest Hayes, surprised the court Tuesday by pleading guilty to all seven charges.
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Watsonville hosts first-ever Open Streets event

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Sporadic canopies and broken laughter filled the streets of Watsonville Sunday as people came together for the city's first Open Streets event. Focusing on physical activity and alternative modes of transportation, Open Streets put on several activities and there was steady pedestrian traffic as a reward for their efforts.
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Addressing the issue of homelessness

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- City and county leaders teamed up with law officials, the District Attorney's Office, health services, and the courts Monday to review a year's worth of the Downtown Accountability Program that deals with homelessness and its tax on the system.
Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell also announced that DAP will be renamed the Bob Lee
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American Hat Makers to hold open house at new location

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- More than four decades after Gary Watrous began selling handmade leather goods out of his Chevrolet station wagon, his business has evolved into a hat company of international renown.
Head'n Home Hats, now known as American Hat Makers, operated for years from Watrous' seven-acre property on Buena Vista Drive, where workers created six brands and hundreds of
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Celebrating the roots of Oaxaca, Mexico

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- The people and culture of Oaxaca, Mexico, took the center stage Sunday at the tenth annual Guelaguetza Festival on the athletic field of Harbor High School. More than 5,000 people poured onto the field for the daylong celebration that included authentic music and garb, Oaxacan food and colorful lineup of traditional dance.
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