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Arts a boon for local economy

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 16th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- The arts in Santa Cruz County are a big business, and a recent study shed light on just how much it contributes to the local economy.
According to the Arts & Economic Prosperity Economic Impact Study IV, nonprofit arts and culture generated $38.38 million in economic activity in 2012. It also supports 877 full-time equivalent jobs,
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A local effort for a national issue

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 16th, 2014
SANTA CRUZ -- If the Santa Cruz County Elections Department validates more than 10,000 signatures turned in Tuesday by a group of Santa Cruz activists, county residents could soon vote to change the U.S. Constitution.
The non-binding efforts locally to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United Ruling -- which held that corporations have the same rights as people -- would
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Supervisors consider changes to syringe program

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 16th, 2014
SANTA CRUZ -- During a 10-month period from April 2013 until February 2014, the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency's Syringe Services Exchange program collected 170,373 used syringes and dispensed more than 165,000.
Moreover, nearly 500 pounds of sharps waste were collected from two kiosks located at county clinics.
During that period the so-called Syringe Services Program served
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More volunteers needed to make senior wishes come true

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 16th, 2014
The 19th annual Senior Wish Day, a grassroots event that repairs and replaces hazardous electrical work and plumbing in low-income senior homes, is looking to expand its volunteer base.
"200 volunteers would be fantastic," said founder of the one-day volunteer event Jeff Thranow. "Last year, we helped repair items in over 147 homes with a volunteer force of 48.
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Fox: Work hard, play hard

Posted: Monday, Apr 14th, 2014
Nearly four decades ago, Bob Fox had a vision that has since made traveling the road -- and nearly everywhere else on earth -- a much smoother experience.
It was 1974, and Fox, an off-road motorcycle enthusiast, realized that outmoded shocks were hindering racers as they pounded over rough terrain.
And so, working in a friend's garage, he started designing
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Police note decrease in overall crime rate

Posted: Monday, Apr 14th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- The overall crime rate in Watsonville decreased by 16 percent in 2013, reflecting 295 fewer crimes than the previous year, according to statistics provided Monday by the Watsonville Police Department.
The crime statistics report shows a similar trend when focusing specifically on violent crime such as forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, which showed a 7 percent
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Watsonville police investigating drive-by shooting

Posted: Monday, Apr 14th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- A man was seriously injured Saturday night when he was shot several times in a drive-by shooting.
Watsonville police were dispatched approximately 7:15 p.m. for a report of a shooting at 15 Roosevelt St. Arriving officers located a victim with multiple gunshot wounds to his upper torso.
The victim was conscious but did not cooperate with
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Business Expo returns with '80s vibe

Posted: Monday, Apr 14th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- Bring out the parachute pants, VHS tapes and teased hair: The Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce is going back to the '80s with its annual Business Expo on April 24.
The 1980s theme for the expo was chosen because the chamber is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, said Renee Mello, who is co-chairing the event
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Teens take on social entrepreneurship

Modified: Friday, Apr 11th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- Members of the Junior Achievement program joined forces Friday with Pacific Gas and Electric Company in a challenge to local teens to apply entrepreneurial thinking to make a positive impact on their community.
Held at the Solari Green Technology Center on Cabrillo's Watsonville Campus, participating students were grouped into teams to develop their own product, service,
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Medina wants to foster cooperation

Posted: Friday, Apr 11th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- Retired Watsonville Police Chief Terry Medina put off launching his campaign for Santa Cruz County Supervisor to fill in for Chief Manny Solano, who was fighting cancer.
He said his brief return foiled his plans to be the first candidate to announce his intentions to run against incumbent Greg Caput.
Still, he has since become the top
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Water experts discuss conservation

Modified: Friday, Apr 11th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- Even before the drought, the agricultural community was dealing with dwindling water supplies and saltwater intrusion.
Now, as water officials look to enact mandatory rationing and other drastic measures, residents, businesses and farmers are looking for ways to cut back.
In response, a collection of agriculture and water officials from across the county gathered Thursday in the
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Potential moratorium delays projects

Posted: Friday, Apr 11th, 2014
APTOS -- Twin Lakes Church is planning to break ground on a new building for its 200 students in the summer.
But that plan is in limbo after the Soquel Creek Water District Board on April 1 voted to delay granting the church with a conditional will-serve letter for the project. The letter, while it doesn't guarantee water
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Recognizing the importance of volunteers

Modified: Wednesday, Apr 9th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- Volunteers from around the county in a wealth of services were brought forth and honored Tuesday at the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.
The Outstanding County Volunteer Awards Ceremony was held in honor of Celebrate Service National Volunteer Week.
Award recipients were from Animal Services Agency, the District Attorney's Office, the Friday Night Live program,
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Mother describes losing her son to distracted driving

Modified: Wednesday, Apr 9th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- Donovan Tessmer was 17 on July 8, 2007, when he climbed into a vehicle with two friends, his girlfriend Danica Lacy at the wheel.
All of the young people who were in the car admit to goofing around a bit, and to teasing Lacy about her slow driving.
They also made fun of her when the car
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Online tool shows city's budget

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 9th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- The City of Watsonville is promoting a new online tool that allows the public to view the city's revenues and expenses.
Called OpenGov, the website shows the city's budget year-by-year in a graphical format and can be narrowed down to a specific department.
Administrative Services Director Ezequiel Vega demonstrated the tool during the City Council
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DA: Beware of tax phone scam

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 9th, 2014
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY -- The Santa Cruz County District Attorney Consumer Affairs office warned Tuesday that telephone scammers posing as Internal Revenue Service agents are calling county residents asking for tax payments.
According to the IRS, agents never call or email taxpayers to collect tax payments.
In many cases, victims are told they must pay promptly via a pre-loaded
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Citizen rescues heat-exhausted dog

Posted: Monday, Apr 7th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- Milo is lucky to be alive thanks to an observant citizen who spotted the small dog on Monday trapped in a hot car with the windows up.
Jose DaRosa said he first saw Milo in a parked blue VW Jetta as he parked his car in the Target parking lot on Main Street at noon. As unseasonably
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Peaceful protestors raise awareness of child sexual abuse

Modified: Monday, Apr 7th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- Music and whoops of joyous laughter graced a glowing Main Street Saturday morning when Stop the Silence marched.
The eighth annual Walk to Stop the Silence event to protest child sexual abuse hit the streets starting at the Watsonville Plaza, Aztec dancers White Hawk Danza Azteca leading the way.
Before the
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Narrowing down the best at MESA Day Regionals

Posted: Monday, Apr 7th, 2014
SANTA CRUZ --. The regionals competition of MESA Day unfolded Saturday at the UC Santa Cruz campus. The event included the top performers of the preliminary competition of Math Science Engineering Achievement held at the same spot last month.
About 700 students from around Fresno, Santa Barbara and the Central Coast took par in a variety of events, including
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Operation Surf boosts injured veterans

Posted: Friday, Apr 4th, 2014
SANTA CRUZ -- Injured veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars that are dealing with challenges from amputations and brain trauma to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are being treated to a royal week on the town thanks to the Operation Surf program.
On Wednesday 16 veterans arrived at the beachfront Dream Inn, some on prosthetic legs, others with prosthetic
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Jury: Veva Virgil not guilty by reason of insanity

Posted: Friday, Apr 4th, 2014
SANTA CRUZ -- Nearly six years after Veva Virgil smothered her young daughter in a Watsonville motel room, and five years after she pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, a jury on Friday decided she was legally insane when she committed the crime.
Prosecutors said she will now be committed to a state psychiatric hospital until doctors decide she
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Getting a hand from their four-legged companions

Posted: Friday, Apr 4th, 2014
WATSONVILLE -- Mar Vista sixth-grader Aiden Tapiz is, for the most part, a normal kid.
But because he is autistic, he sometimes suffers anxiety being around crowds. Enter Lego, a small black dog trained to provide comfort and to place himself between Aiden and other people, a behavior known as "blocking."
Aiden got onstage Thursday in front of more
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Register-Pajaronian welcomes new publisher

Posted: Friday, Apr 4th, 2014
  WATSONVILLE -- When new Register-Pajaronian publisher John Bartlett started Friday, he was returning to where he started his newspaper career 16 years ago.
  "I look forward to reconnecting with many of my community partners from then," he said. "It is very exciting to be a part of this community paper that I began my newspaper career in and I feel
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