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Driver kidnapped during carjacking

Modified: Saturday, Aug 29th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Two suspects carjacked a vehicle and forced its driver into the trunk for several hours Friday night.
According to Watsonville Police, around 6 a.m. Saturday, officers were dispatched to a report of a carjacking. The victim reported that he was seated in his car on Union Street between East Front Street and Riverside Drive around 9:30 p.m. on

Putting technology in students’ laps

Posted: Friday, Aug 28th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Standing in front of a table full of gleaming new MacBook Pro computers Friday, Digital NEST founder Jacob Martinez talked about a not-too-distant past in which local young people faced a dearth of access to technology, and subsequently to a future when careers requiring technological skills are a near certainty.
That was Martinez's impetus for creating the

Restaurants, gas station proposed

Posted: Friday, Aug 28th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- If a proposal is approved by the Watsonville Planning Commission Tuesday night, the former Indalux plant site on West Beach Street will see the development of a gas station and four restaurants, including a drive-through.
According to a report by Acting Community Development Director Keith Boyle, Elite Developments is proposing to build a 6,326 square foot

Police donate funds to Kidpower

Posted: Friday, Aug 28th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Watsonville Police Assistance Fund donated $2,000 to Kidpower Thursday to continue holding a series of child safety workshops.
Sgt. Henry Robles, who is also chairman of the WPAF, said the first series of workshops held earlier in August at the Watsonville Family YMCA received a positive response from the public.
"Because of the positive response,

Restoring Watsonville’s wetlands

Posted: Thursday, Aug 27th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- A stretch of Struve Slough along Main Street is getting a makeover, part of a two-year restoration plan by Watsonville Wetlands Watch and the City of Watsonville.
The multi-phase project will include removal of pesky invasive plants, and replanting native ones. Organizers say the work, which is funded by a grant from two state organizations, will help

McDonald's opens third location

Posted: Thursday, Aug 27th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Three months ago, 190 Main St. was home to an abandoned row of buildings that once housed Oda's barbershop, Caesar's Card Room and TV Repair Shop.
Now, the spot near the corner of Riverside Drive and Main Street is home to Watsonville's third McDonald's restaurant, and on Thursday, the business held a grand opening ceremony that

Park earns national, state awards

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 26th, 2015
PAJARO -- Monterey County's Pajaro Neighborhood Park has been named American Public Works Association's 2015 Public Works Project of the Year.
The team of winners behind the project includes the former Monterey County Redevelopment Agency as the managing agency; Graniterock, as the primary contractor; and SSA Landscape Architects, Inc. of Santa Cruz as the primary consultant; who will

Council shows support for climate bill

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 26th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Watsonville City Council declared its support Tuesday of Senate Bill 350, a piece of legislation that would require the state to cut its petroleum use in half by 2030.
The bill, which passed the Senate in June, would establish the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, requiring not only a 50 percent reduction in

County health, Dientes open Watsonville clinic

Modified: Wednesday, Aug 26th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Since its inception more than two decades ago, Dientes Community Dental Care has provided low-cost services to scores of Santa Cruz County residents.
The county's Health Services Agency, meanwhile, offers a wide range of medical and counseling services.
But until recently, those services were largely centered in Santa Cruz, a long trek for the low-income South County

From the artist’s perspective

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 26th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- How Latino artists perceive themselves and their history is the subject of the Pajaro Valley Arts Council's new exhibit, "En Nuestra Imagen/In Our Image."
Curator Juan R. Fuentes said he gathered a collection of works by artists from the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas, showcasing perspectives through a range of techniques, mediums and styles.

FBI offering $20,000 reward for two additional Valley Inn murder suspects

Modified: Tuesday, Aug 25th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Watsonville Police Department is teaming up with the FBI in the search for two additional suspects believed to be involved in the Oct. 10, 2014 shooting that killed a 4-year-old girl and a 33-year-old man.
The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for both Marcos Daniel Robles, 23, and Brandon Martinez, 21.
Robles played

Watsonville shows its Pride

Modified: Monday, Aug 24th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Amidst hundreds of people who came to the Watsonville Pride celebration Sunday, and surrounded by a deluge of rainbow flags, clothes and banners, was 15-year-old Vincent Oxenhandler, who was attending his first gay pride event.
He said he came primarily to have a good time. But he also had a more important reason to be there.

Long lines, large turnout for tequila festival

Posted: Monday, Aug 24th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- Attendance was booming and drinks were short lived at the Tequila and Taco Music Festival in Santa Cruz Saturday.
The second annual tequila festival, put on by California Beer Festival, hosted an estimated 3,500 people who mingled and waited in long lines for both food and drink. Tickets to the Tequila Experience were sold out

Food truck party doubles in size, attendance

Posted: Monday, Aug 24th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- If there is one way to bring people together, it's to entice them with food.
And that is exactly what the Watsonville Food Truck Block Party did on Saturday. The event, held in United Presbyterian Church's parking lot, had drawn more than 1,000 RSVPs on its Facebook page, and lines had quickly formed at the 10 food

Nordic Naturals celebrates 20 years

Posted: Monday, Aug 24th, 2015
SEASCAPE -- Nordic Naturals, an omega oils business and one of Watsonville's booming success stories, celebrated 20 years Friday at the Seascape Resort.
About 100 people enjoyed a Hawaiian food buffet, hula dancing, drinks and a sunset to mark the two-decade point of a business that began in a small bedroom.
Sandra Rechenmacher, research coordinator at Nordic Naturals,

Chili for charity

Posted: Monday, Aug 24th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Aldina Real Estate Business Expo on Saturday was a chance for local businesses to connect with each other while promoting their services to the public.
But it also served as a way to raise money for charity through chili. Each of the 11 participating businesses hoped to impress a panel of judges in a blind taste

Saying farewell to little Maddy

Posted: Monday, Aug 24th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- Music, performance, art, flowers and words came together under one roof Sunday in an emotional memorial for 8-year-old Maddy Middleton who died last month after being attacked.
About 1,000 people filled one half of the Kaiser Permanente Arena for the hour-long ceremony. Following a tune plucked out on a harp by Jesse Autumn, bagpiper Jay Salter

Breaking barriers in biking

Posted: Friday, Aug 21st, 2015
APTOS -- In Santa Cruz County, one woman is working on making the area a local hub for female mountain bikers.
Jessica Klodnicki, executive vice president and general manager for Bell, started the group Girls Rock a few years ago in an effort to make mountain biking less intimidating and create a safe place for women to meet and

City looks to streamline solar panel process

Posted: Friday, Aug 21st, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- To be in compliance with a new state policy, the Watsonville City Council will look to streamline the process for residents to install rooftop solar panel systems.
Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown approved Assembly Bill 2188, which required every city and county in the state to adopt an ordinance that creates an expedited, streamlined permitting process for

Family gravesites damaged

Posted: Friday, Aug 21st, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Years ago, Watsonville resident Sandra Casares' great-great-grandfather bought a plot in Valley Catholic Cemetery, so that generations of family members could be buried there.
"That's where our elders are," she said.
Uncles and aunts, sisters and brothers, matriarchs and patriarchs lie there under graves marked with simple rock circles symbolizing family and the continuation of

CHP: Man lends car to friend, reports it stolen

Posted: Friday, Aug 21st, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- A man was arrested Thursday after allegedly loaning his car to an associate, and then falsely reporting it as stolen.
Ronald Kay, 27, of San Juan Bautista, was charged with public intoxication, and California Highway Patrol officers on Friday were considering charging him with filing a false report.
The case began Thursday morning, when Kay reported

Two arrested for Chase Bank robbery

Posted: Friday, Aug 21st, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- After allegedly robbing a Watsonville bank Thursday morning, the two suspects drove to San Jose, where they purchased several high-priced items at two shopping centers, Watsonville Police Lt. Saul Gonzalez said Friday.
"They essentially went on a shopping spree," he said.
Michael Manning, 22, and Jose Daniel Delgadillo, 20, were charged with first-degree robbery

Chase Bank in Watsonville robbed

Posted: Thursday, Aug 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Watsonville police are looking for a man who allegedly robbed Chase Bank in Watsonville Thursday morning.
According to Watsonville Police Sgt. Donny Thul, the suspect entered the bank at 630 Main Street approximately 10:50 a.m., approached a teller and demanded money.
The suspect, who did not appear to be armed, then placed an undisclosed amount of

Preparing for life out of custody

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 19th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Jorge Sanchez stood in front of a group of 40 inmates at Rountree Detention Center Wednesday, telling them about his journey from heroin addict to college graduate and a career in health and human services.
Now program manager for Encompass Community Services, Sanchez has been sober for 29 years.
He told the men a similar story could

School crossing upgrades under way

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 19th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The City of Watsonville is currently upgrading 31 intersection locations adjacent to 13 middle and elementary schools throughout the city.
The project will include the installation of curb ramps to ensure Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, accessible pedestrian crossings, traffic striping and markings, and the replacement of signs. Updating city intersections near schools aims to increase

Prelim continues in double homicide

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 19th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- The preliminary hearing for the six Watsonville men accused in the Oct. 10 gang-related shooting that killed a 4-year-old girl and a 33-year-old man continued in court Tuesday.
The hearing, expected to wrap up in early September, will determine whether the men will eventually go to trial for the shooting.
In the Superior courtroom of Judge

Report: Santa Cruz Biotechnology worst in nation for USDA citations

Modified: Wednesday, Aug 19th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- A federal complaint filed for animal cruelty, including a citation for killing a goat with a bolt gun, is the latest in a string of violations brought against Santa Cruz Biotechnology.
With repeated violations for failure to provide adequate veterinary care to its animals, as well as causing animals trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm and/or unnecessary discomfort,

Watsonville Police solve 7-year-old cold-case murder

Modified: Tuesday, Aug 18th, 2015
PELICAN BAY -- A Watsonville man already serving a six-year prison sentence in Pelican Bay State Prison was arrested there on Aug. 12 in connection with a 2008 murder, Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell announced Tuesday.
Joshua Anthony Zepeda, 26, has been in prison in northern California since 2013 for a separate stabbing case in Watsonville.

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