Author Archives: gregrusso

Driver Suspected of DUI Arrested

image-11620.jpg

Santa Maria police arrested a suspected DUI driver yesterday after a two-vehicle collision occurred at around 8:20 p.m. Police reports say that Carmelo Vasquez was driving on Main Street in a green 1996 Honda Accord, ran a red light, and turned onto Pine Street in the path of a gold 2007 Chevy pickup. The Chevy crashed into the Honda. A 22-year-old Oxnard woman, a passenger in the Honda, was airlifted to a hospital with moderate to severe injuries. A three-month-old baby was taken to a hospital for evaluation and released to Child Welfare Services. No one in the Chevy was injured. Vasquez was arrested for felony DUI and child endangerment and is currently in Santa Barbara County Jail.

Read More »

Two New Tour Options at Hearst Castle

image-11617.jpg

Two new tour options are opening tomorrow at Hearst Castle. The tours are a guided tour of the garden and a focus tour entitled "Hearst and Hollywood". The Garden Tour shows the challenges in transforming the rocky hillside of "The Enchanted Hill" into a lush garden. You'll spend an hour exploring the gardens of Hearst Castle while your tour guide tells the history, challenges, and changes faced by the groundskeepers of the Castle.

The tour starts at the Hidden Terrace, an early set of stairs and terraces, to the 17 changing rooms, the tour winds around the gardens and guest houses following the Esplanade, and then you walk along the Esplanade to the Main House and past Read More »

Woman Sentenced to 6 Years For DUI

image-11614.jpg

A woman who killed a tow truck driver while driving under the influence in 2001 was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison for DUI. This is the second time 55-year-old Denise Gafner Mendoza from Paso Robles has been convicted of driving under the influence since she hit 20-year-old Tanner Rothfleisch as he tried to hitch a stalled car on the Cuesta Grade.

After she was sentenced to seven years in prison for killing Rothfleisch, she was sentenced to a year in jail in 2008 for DUI. She already had a DUI conviction two years before the accident. Each conviction involved driving while under the influence of prescription drugs. Last September, Mendoza was driving on Highway 101 in Atascadero wh Read More »

Water Rate Increases May Be Coming to Morro Bay

image-11611.jpg

Water rate increases could be coming to Morro Bay residents to cover water costs. The Central Coast Water Authority, which handles the infrastructure and bond issuance related to the city’s state water supply, sent the city a warning letter on April 8, saying the current rates don’t cover all of water costs and funding for an emergency reserve. The city hasn’t defaulted on state water payments because it has used money from its reserve water fund.

Water authority Executive Director Ray Stokes warned that the shortfall is affecting the water authority’s credit rating outlook, as Moody’s gives the city a negative outlook, and the city is failing to provide enough Read More »

Paso Robles Man Pleads Guilty to Three Felonies

image-11608.jpg

A Paso Robles man charged with three felonies related to child pornography and molestation pled guilty to all three counts yesterday. Leonard Franklin pled guilty to two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a minor who was less than 14-years old for over four years, as well and one count of lewd acts towards a child younger than 14-years old. Franklin will be sentenced on July 8, with a maximum sentence of 22 years.

Read More »

Police Search for Vandal

image-11605.jpg

Police are searching for a person who vandalized numerous Santa Barbara businesses early on April 11. Many businesses on Milpas Street were sprayed with graffiti, causing around $7,000 in damage. If you know anything, call the Santa Barbara Police Department at (805) 897-2348. Anonymous tips can be made to (805) 897-2386.

Read More »

Man Under the Influence Overturns Car

image-11602.jpg

A 65-year-old Ventura man was arrested Monday for driving under the influence and overturning his car near Highway 101. The incident began around 3:25 p.m. yesterday when a California Highway Patrol officer saw Gary Ulam weaving through traffic and almost causing an accident on Highway 101 north of the Clark Avenue exit. CHP officers caught up with Ulam near the Main Street exit. Ulam went to the right and hit a guardrail, causing his car to fall down an embankment and flip onto the driver's side. Ulam suffered moderate injuries and was sent to Marian Region Medical Center. Ulam was arrested after an investigation showed that he was intoxicated.

Read More »

FPPC Fines Developer For Not Disclosing Himself as Donor

image-11599.jpg

A San Luis Obispo County developer was fined by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for not disclosing himself as a major donor to County Supervisor Caren Ray’s campaign. The FPPC voted last week to fine Gary Grossman $400 for failing to properly disclose over $10,000 political contributions last year. Grossman was required by California law to report his donations to Ray and County Supervisor Adam Hill by Jan. 31, but Grossman didn’t disclose them until March 21.
 

Read More »

Shooting Early This Morning

image-11596.jpg

Santa Maria police are investigating a shooting that happened at 12:15 this morning. The shooting occurred at Donovan and East Avenue, where the victim, an unidentified man, was driving and was shot by someone in a vehicle that was next to his.

The victim drove himself to the hospital, where it was determined that his injuries were not life threatening.  The suspect vehicle is described as a newer four-door gray or white colored Ford Focus or Nissan with two men inside. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Santa Maria Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-800-9100.

Read More »

Woman in Jail for Embezzling Money

image-11593.jpg

A Santa Barbara County woman is in jail for embezzling large sums of money from a local property management company. Santa Maria police arrested 43-year-old Melissa Reynosa, a former office manager who allegedly embezzled money during her employment at the company. Reynosa is facing charges of embezzlement, preparing false documents as evidence, and aggravated white collar crime enhancement.
 

Read More »

Scroll To Top