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Library digitizes historical newspapers

Modified: Wednesday, Aug 31st, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- In the past, the Watsonville Public Library converted historical newspapers onto microfilm in order to preserve them for future generations.
Now, that microfilm has been digitized, allowing the public to freely browse more than 100 years of local newspapers over the Internet.
The Pajaronian, Evening Pajaronian, Watsonville Morning Sun and Watsonville Register-Pajaronian from 1868-2012
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Large mushroom growing building flattened by fire

Modified: Wednesday, Aug 31st, 2016
PRUNEDALE -- A large mushroom growing building at Monterey Mushrooms burned flat to the ground Tuesday. Reno Ditullio Jr., battalion chief for Cal Fire and Aromas Tri-County Fire Protection District, said firefighters got a call at 7:50 a.m. about a building on fire at 777 Maher Court.
The first firefighters to arrive found a 300-by-50-foot
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Boardwalk unveils new entrance design

Modified: Wednesday, Aug 31st, 2016
SANTA CRUZ -- Unlike most amusement parks, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk doesn't exactly have a grand entrance welcoming visitors to the park.
That is set to change in 2017, as the park announced Tuesday that construction will begin next week on a $12 million project that will include an expansive entrance plaza, ticketing windows, attractions and more.
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Pajaro Valley farmer ordered to pay $2.4M in back wages

Modified: Wednesday, Aug 31st, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Watsonville-based strawberry grower Fernandez Farms, Inc. and president Gonzalo Fernandez have been ordered to pay more than $1.1 million in back wages to immigrant and domestic farm workers for wage theft and disregard of the H-2A visa program.
  Fernandez Farms and its president were also ordered to pay nearly $1.3 million in penalties for the violations.
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Getting ready to bloom

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 31st, 2016

Capitola ramping up for Begonia Festival


CAPITOLA -- As the summer draws to a close, and revelers ferret out the last bits of amusement before autumn begins, Capitola is preparing for its annual Begonia Festival.
The event draws locals and tourists alike, who flock to the tiny seaside village to watch a fleet of flower-covered floats ply
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Thousands flock to Aromas Day

Posted: Monday, Aug 29th, 2016
AROMAS -- Under sunny conditions, the annual Aromas Day celebration drew thousands Sunday for a day of food, fun and connecting with friends. With several streets shut down to motor traffic, Aromas blossomed with activity, from a petting zoo and carnival rides, to arts and crafts, dozens of yard sales, live music and a parade.
Sponsored by the
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College students go back to school

Posted: Monday, Aug 29th, 2016
APTOS -- Thousands of students returned to Cabrillo College's Aptos and Watsonville campuses Monday, as classes resumed for the fall semester.
Jessica Metcalf, 19, said she is planning to attend the community college for two years to complete her general education requirements, and then transfer to a four-year university to major in biology.
She said she welcomed the opportunity
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Three sea otters found shot

Posted: Monday, Aug 29th, 2016
SANTA CRUZ -- Over the past three weeks, state and federal authorities have found three southern sea otters that were shot to death, and a fourth they believe was shot.
Now, the authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who shot them.
Forensic investigators from the California
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Man shot in downtown Watsonville

Posted: Monday, Aug 29th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- A Moss Landing man was shot in the head Monday as he drove on West Front Street with his 6-year-old daughter.
Watsonville Police Lt. Mike McKinley said the suspect, who is still outstanding, pulled alongside the victim's car near the corner of Main and West Front streets around 11 a.m. and fired at least one round
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The circus comes to town

Posted: Friday, Aug 26th, 2016
Caballero Brothers makes a stop in Watsonville
WATSONVILLE -- Ruben Caballero, Jr. is owner, ringmaster and patriarch of Circo Hermanos Caballero, a circus that has traveled the world, performed for royalty and U.S. presidents and boasts a longevity that stretches back a century.
"It's 100 years of tradition," Caballero said Friday as he sat under the empty big-top tent
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For pet's sake

Posted: Friday, Aug 26th, 2016

Fair receives first art exhibit created by dog


WATSONVILLE -- In a frenzy of passion that lasted hours, a new up-and-coming artist has finally been given a voice and a chance for recognition at the fair -- a first for Santa Cruz County since the artist is also a dog.
When Royal Oaks resident Sharon Jurach first
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For the love of metal

Posted: Friday, Aug 26th, 2016
Monterey Bay Metal Art Guild holds first exhibit
WATSONVILLE -- Thirty-eight metal workers and craftspeople from the Monterey Bay Metal Art Guild have come together to display their work at Pajaro Valley Arts.
The guild members hail from all over Santa Cruz County with a few from Monterey. This is their first exhibit.
With a theme of "Surf/Sand/Silversmiths," the
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Man arrested after chase in stolen vehicle

Posted: Friday, Aug 26th, 2016
RIO DEL MAR -- California Highway Patrol officers on Friday arrested a man who led them on a brief chase in a stolen vehicle after possibly burglarizing a Rio Del Mar residence.
According to CHP officer Craig Geddes, a Rio Del Mar resident reported a suspicious vehicle occupied by a male and a female in the area of Ewell
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Wage hike, other laws outlined at luncheon

Posted: Friday, Aug 26th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- As workers are celebrating California's minimum wage hike, which will rise yearly until it hits $15 an hour in 2022, employers are scrambling for ways to meet this new requirement.
To further complicate matters, salaried employees in California must make twice the minimum wage to be exempt from overtime pay, a threshold that will continue to
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Local nonprofit holding fundraiser to aid local women and girls

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 24th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Soroptimist International of Watsonville, a women's club that helps raise money to aid other women and girls in the community, is preparing to hold its annual fundraiser.
The club is an all-volunteer service organization made up of business and professional women. Originally chartered in 1928, the Watsonville club is one of the oldest in the area.
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Scores improving, achievement gap remains

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 24th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Pajaro Valley Unified School District students made modest gains in test scores from 2014 to 2015, improving their scores in mathematics and English language arts in the second year of a new statewide assessment.
The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, also known as CAASPP, is California's way of measuring student progress since the state shifted
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Family finds success through PV Shelter

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 24th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- After staying with Pajaro Valley Shelter for nearly two years, a once-homeless Watsonville family has now put a down payment on a home and is getting their life back on track.
Shelter officials are also celebrating the fact that the family saved $40,000, by far the most any family ever saved through the Transitional Housing Program.
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Three medical marijuana facilities approved

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 24th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- The Watsonville City Council returned from summer break by approving three medical cannabis facilities Tuesday.
The council voted 4-3 for a facility on 1000 West Beach St., with Councilmembers Nancy Bilicich, Trina Coffman-Gomez and Jimmy Dutra dissenting.
A facility proposed on 9 Hangar Way #2 passed 6-1, with Bilicich voting no.
Lastly, a
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Levee shooting leaves man dead in SC

Modified: Wednesday, Aug 24th, 2016
SANTA CRUZ -- A man was shot and killed in Santa Cruz early Tuesday on the San Lorenzo River levee. A short while later and just five blocks away, Santa Cruz Police arrested Nino Ruiz, 27, as the suspected shooter and Jenessa Kic, 31, for conspiracy to commit murder.
Joyce Blaschke of SCPD said detectives spotted Ruiz walking
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The Testicle Festival returns

Posted: Monday, Aug 22nd, 2016


WATSONVILLE -- Nine years ago, young farmers looking to raise money for the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau approached the Estrada family with a controversial idea: They wanted to hold a testicle festival.
Today, the tradition continues with Loretta Estrada at the helm, cooking and preparing more than 100 pounds of "Rocky
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Riding for a cause

Modified: Monday, Aug 22nd, 2016

Cancer awareness trip stops in Watsonville


WATSONVILLE -- The 540-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles is not an easy feat, with steep climbs, hot sun and stretches ranging from 50 to 120 miles.
But for many of the 27 riders participating in the annual Firefighter Cancer Awareness Bicycle Ride, it pales in
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Japanese students arriving in September

Posted: Monday, Aug 22nd, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- In May, a group of Pajaro Valley Unified School District middle school students traveled to Japan, where they delved into a new culture, spoke a new language and sampled a new cuisine.
Now, with their host students on their way in early September, they are ready to return the favor.
The Kawakami-Watsonville Sister City exchange program
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Strawberries hold top spot, apples fall

Posted: Monday, Aug 22nd, 2016

Agricultural Commissioner releases crop report


WATSONVILLE -- Strawberries held onto their top spot in the Pajaro Valley in the 2015 crop report, with 103,217 tons. That was a 3 percent increase from the year before.
The number comes from the Santa Cruz County 2015 Crop Report, which was released Monday by the Santa Cruz County Agricultural Commissioner.
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Pajaro Valley Pride hits the street

Modified: Monday, Aug 22nd, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- The first Pajaro Valley Pride, which is slated to become an annual event, unfolded in downtown Watsonville Sunday. The day started with an upbeat parade with about 100 people chanting, toting banners from various organizations, and wavering colorful flags in joint celebration of the LGBT community.
After the parade, which began on Maple Avenue
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Giving a ‘hand up:’ Aromas couple runs nonprofit that feeds, clothes their neighbors

Posted: Friday, Aug 19th, 2016
AROMAS -- Twice a month, hungry Aromas residents come to that town's grange hall, and come away with a box of fruits, vegetables and other pantry essentials that help to ease their monthly food bill.
The distribution comes thanks to Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a nonprofit organization founded nearly two years ago after Aromas residents AR and Fred Pointer saw
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New beginning for alternative school

Posted: Friday, Aug 19th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- One decade after identifying a vacant lot on Green Valley Road as a possible location for a new school, and 20 months after construction began, a group of education officials on Friday formally opened Sequoia Schools, which will house alternative education programs from throughout the county.
Classes begin Wednesday at the new building, which sits on a 1.5-acre
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New orientation for WHS freshmen

Posted: Friday, Aug 19th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Decades ago, when Watsonville High School was in its infancy, a group of students took a pile of textbooks and planted them under a sapling redwood tree.
The idea was that the literature, mathematics, history and other subjects would become part of the soil and eventually be incorporated into the tree.
Thus, the "Knowledge Tree" was born.
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Christmas train moves to Santa Cruz

Posted: Friday, Aug 19th, 2016
SANTA CRUZ -- After three years embarking from Watsonville, the Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay Railway is shifting its annual Christmas-themed train excursion to Santa Cruz.
"Train to Christmas Town" will cease operations this year, and instead be rebranded as "Polar Express," taking off from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and traveling to Capitola.
The Santa Cruz County
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Local teacher enters national food competition

Posted: Friday, Aug 19th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Ceiba College Preparatory Academy teacher Jennifer Portalanza is hoping to take her culinary skills to the reality television stage and has entered the Sargento food competition for a chance to be on the Food Network show "Chopped."
A lifelong vegetarian, Portalanza was stymied briefly when she saw pork as one of the required ingredients. The list
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