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Patient transport: An ‘in-between job’

Posted: Monday, Jul 25th, 2016

SANTA CRUZ -- In a state of transition, Jesse Sabala found a new career path through patient transport for Dignity Health.
"I had seen within the facility, job openings for transport and I have a background in home health," he said. "I am familiar with moving people, there weren't as many tools back

Big Sur fire nears 15,000 acres

Posted: Monday, Jul 25th, 2016
MONTEREY COUNTY -- The Soberanes Fire, north of Big Sur, has now blackened 14,897 acres and burned 20 homes and two outbuildings.
The blaze, in rugged and hard to access terrain, is only five percent contained, Cal Fire officials said. An additional 1,650 more homes and outbuildings are threatened. Currently there are 1,400 firefighters on scene.
By Monday,

Realtors accept $20,000 challenge to battle hunger

Posted: Monday, Jul 25th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Baths and half baths, APR and MLS -- this is the world of house hunters and the realtors who help them find a home. But right now, instead of rallying interest for the big event known as the open house, local realtors are challenging each other to raise donations for a cause, and the big event at the

Peace Award recipients announced

Posted: Monday, Jul 25th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Assemblyman Luis A. Alejo (D-Salinas) on Monday announced recipients of the 2016 California Peace Awards for the 30th Assembly District.
This is the sixth year Alejo has honored peacemakers in the district he represents with these annual awards. For 2016, his final year in the Assembly, he is honoring a record nine recipients, including three

Hernandez seeks reelection

Modified: Friday, Jul 22nd, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- With a group of supporters behind him, Watsonville Mayor Felipe Hernandez pulled papers Friday to seek reelection to the city council in November.
Hernandez, who has served on the council since 2012, will face off against Marty Corley for the District 1 seat in the Nov. 8 election. Filing for the election ends on Aug. 12.

The drought and lawn alternatives

Posted: Friday, Jul 22nd, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- With the four-year drought still dragging on, the alternative of ripping up the lawn and replacing it with drought resistant landscaping is catching on. From neighborhoods to businesses and city properties, many are tapping into a wealth of drought-friendly plants that can survive on a fraction of the water used to keep lawns thriving.
Jeff Rosendale,

A call for blood

Posted: Friday, Jul 22nd, 2016

Red Cross faced with low supply

WATSONVILLE -- An emergency call for blood and platelets has been issued by the American Red Cross following an extremely low summer blood supply.
"Over past few months we have had 39,000 fewer donations nationwide than what is needed," spokesperson Natividad Lewis said. "Blood products are being delivered to hospitals faster than

Music courses on the rebound

Posted: Friday, Jul 22nd, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Area students are being treated to a refreshing introduction to playing music, thanks to the determination of the Watsonville Community Band.
The results of a six-week summer music program, headed up by members of WCB, culminated Friday at a live concert by the Summer Youth Band on the steps of the Cabrillo College Watsonville Center.

'Pokemon Go' becomes latest phenomenon

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 20th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Following a whirlwind of downloads, players of "Pokemon Go," a virtual reality game, have filled parks and streets chasing creatures of all shapes and sizes with no signs of respite.
Since its release, the game has exceeded 10 million downloads. But with its sudden popularity, the game has brought with it not only praise and excitement but cautionary

Two file for city council race

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 20th, 2016

Coffman-Gomez, Corley first to pull papers

WATSONVILLE -- Two days after candidates could begin filing for the November election, two Watsonville residents submitted paperwork to run for city council Wednesday.
Incumbent Trina Coffman-Gomez will seek reelection, while longtime Planning Commissioner Marty Corley is running for the District 1 seat, which is currently held by Mayor Felipe

Making a connection

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 20th, 2016

Campfire talk to illustrate Castro Adobe, beach connection

WATSONVILLE -- Nearly 170 years ago, the Castro family owned a quarter-million acres of land, an area so vast that it stretched from what is now rural Watsonville some four miles to the ocean.
They grazed large herds of cattle in the coastal hills and shipped hides from a

A show of support

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 20th, 2016

In the wake of violence, local police thanked

WATSONVILLE -- Three days after three police officers were gunned down in Baton Rouge, La., and nearly two weeks after five were killed by gunfire in Dallas, Texas, a group of Watsonville community organizers thanked local officers for their service to the community.
The shootings were thought to be

Neighbors battling to keep beach gated

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 20th, 2016

Coastal Commission: Fence, fees not permitted

OPAL CLIFFS -- Residents of a Pleasure Point neighborhood are still fighting to keep a fence that restricts public access to a small park and a small stretch of beach, even as the California Coastal Commission demands they remove it.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for the Opal Cliffs Recreation District says the

Short, sharp earthquake jolts central California

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 19th, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO -- A short earthquake rattled central California, but there are no reports of injuries.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-4.2 quake struck Monday afternoon and was centered 9 miles southeast of Ridgemark, California. It was felt in Salinas and Watsonville and other nearby towns. The quake struck on the San Andreas Fault at a depth of about

Two suspects arrested; 12 stolen cars recovered

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 19th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Two Watsonville men have been arrested on suspicion of auto theft after the California Highway Patrol and members of the Santa Cruz Auto-Theft Reduction Enforcement recovered 11 stolen vehicles during the past 10 days.
CHP officers and task force members increased enforcement and patrol in the area of Buena Vista Drive near Tierra Alta

A troubled life, remembered

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 19th, 2016

Jennie Roberts plagued by drug addiction, mental illness

Author's note: Last year, 38 homeless people died in Santa Cruz County, nearly half of them either outside or in a vehicle.
That number came Dec. 24 during the annual Homeless Persons' Memorial Day ceremony in Santa Cruz, an event that often serves as the only funeral

The pick of the crop

Posted: Friday, Jul 15th, 2016

Self-serve farms in full bloom

WATSONVILLE -- As a gentle breeze wafted across a small strawberry patch on Peckham Road Friday, several families crouched among the rows, looking for ripe fruit
The families were at Gizdich Farm's Pik Yor Self lot, where customers currently can pick their own strawberries and blackberries.
Gizdich Farm is one of several

WPD flown to Dallas to pay respects

Posted: Friday, Jul 15th, 2016
Encounter Watsonville native in Dallas PD
WATSONVILLE -- In a display of solidarity, six Watsonville Police Officers flew to Dallas, Texas to attend the funerals of five law enforcement personnel killed in the July 7 sniper attack in that city.
The opportunity to attend was provided to all WPD officers, however there were only six spots with officers chosen

A lifetime volunteer ends his tenure

Posted: Friday, Jul 15th, 2016

Bill Neighbors announces ‘retirement'

WATSONVILLE -- Bill Neighbors was 17 when he joined the U.S. Army, and upon his release four years later he married his wife Virgie and settled in Watsonville.
He has called the city home since that date nearly five decades ago.
A decade after retiring from a 25-year career with the Coca-Cola

A play of light and color

Modified: Wednesday, Jul 13th, 2016

SC County Bank introduces new exhibit

WATSONVILLE -- The "aha" moment is something that keeps printmaker Stacy Frank coming back to the monoprint process.
As the print goes through the developer, Frank never knows what the final result will be.
"It's really exciting to see how the image comes out," she said.
Frank is one

Three facilities recommended by commission

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 13th, 2016
Now head to city council
WATSONVILLE -- The Watsonville Planning Commission gave its recommendation for three medical marijuana facilities Tuesday.
The trio of facilities will now head to the City Council for its approval at a future meeting.
DD&D Leasing is seeking to convert a warehouse and neighboring residential building on 347 Locust St. into a cultivation

Sacramento rally targets pesticide use near schools

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 13th, 2016
SACRAMENTO -- Farming community residents from around the state rallied Tuesday in Sacramento to demand protection from agricultural pesticides for California school kids.
People from California's most extensively farmed regions converged outside the headquarters of CalEPA and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to deliver more than 27,000 petition signatures and a letter representing hundreds of

Kaiser construction moves forward

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 13th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Work is underway on a new facility for health care provider Kaiser Permanente in the Crossroads Center at Main Street and South Green Valley Road. The project also includes two other such facilities for Kaiser, one in Santa Cruz and the other in Scotts Valley. All are scheduled to open in January 2017.
The clinics

Putting down roots

Modified: Tuesday, Jul 12th, 2016

Watsonville dentist serves same community for decades

WATSONVILLE -- For almost all his life, Robin Albright DDS said he was fascinated with the medical field. Now with an expansive career behind him, he has weathered changes in his field of dentistry by finding his niche in the community of Watsonville.

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