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January 19, 1985 | MILES CORWIN, Times Staff Writer
A college student posing in a crowded elevator for a yearbook photograph with about 20 other students at the University of California, Santa Barbara, died when he "panicked" and tried to escape, Santa Barbara County authorities said Friday. James Michael Howard, 19, of Walnut Creek died Thursday night when his body became wedged in the elevator shaft, said C. D. Smith, an investigator for the Santa Barbara County coroner's office.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2014 | By Kate Mather and Joseph Serna
Santa Barbara County officials said the melee that broke out during a spring break party near UC Santa Barbara is unacceptable and the culture of partying in the Isla Vista area must change. Santa Barbara County Supervisor Doreen Farr said that officials have already toughened laws after other parties that got out of control but that the university community also needs to do more. “It's clear that unsponsored events just have to end,” she said. "When you have thousands of people congregate, up to 15,000, it's just inviting chaos.” More than 100 people were arrested Saturday night and dozens were hurt when police and party participants clashed.
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NEWS
May 27, 2013 | By Jean Merl
A fast-moving wildfire in Santa Barbara County forced more than 1,000 campers to cut their holiday revelry short and evacuate Los Padres National Forest, officials said. About 125 residents were also asked to flee the White fire, which flared up in the mountains about 12 miles north of Santa Barbara on Monday afternoon. By early evening, the fire had grown to about 700 acres. No one was injured in the evacuation, and U.S. Forest Service spokesman Andrew Madsen said no houses burned and residents were expected to be able to return home late Monday after the fire burned through.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2014 | By Scott Gold
A tribe is preparing to invest more than $100 million in an expansion and upgrade of its Vegas-style casino in the Santa Ynez Valley, tripling the size of its hotel and opening the door to negotiations that could lead to a greater footprint in California's $7-billion Indian gambling industry. But word of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians' expansion plan has ratcheted up tension and distrust between the Native Americans and some of their neighbors in Santa Barbara County. "It's huge - a huge expansion," said Robert F. Field, a local resident.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2013 | By Kate Mather
Crews battling an 1,800-acre fire in Santa Barbara County capitalized on Mother Nature's goodwill Tuesday by attacking it from the air and building a fire line before winds were expected to pick up. "The winds are almost nonexistent, so we're taking advantage of the weather right now," said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Andrew Madsen, the noise of a helicopter in the background. Hundreds of firefighters were in Los Padres National Forest battling the White fire, which was about 10% contained Tuesday morning.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
Firefighters were responding Tuesday afternoon to a wind-driven brush fire that broke out in the Santa Ynez area of Santa Barbara County and had scorched about 170 acres. Multiple aircraft and fire engines were being diverted from the 1,800-acre White fire to the new blaze, dubbed the Olive fire, officials said. The fire was burning close to about 50 homes near California  246 and Meadowdale Road, Santa Barbara County officials said. The blaze had jumped Route 246 and was burning south of the highway Tuesday afternoon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2013 | By Kurt Streeter
Firefighters battling a 2,025-acre wildfire in Santa Barbara County will have to endure climbing temperatures and high winds Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. A high-wind advisory is in effect for much of Southern California's mountains, including the Los Padres National Forest, where the White fire has been burning since Monday afternoon. Temperatures are forecast to climb into the low 80s with wind gusts up to 50 mph. The blaze was 65% contained but remained unhindered on its eastern and northern faces, authorities said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2013 | By Joseph Serna and Kurt Streeter
A wildfire in Santa Barbara County is now 80% contained, the U.S. Forest Service said Wednesday. The White fire has been burning in the Los Padres National Forest since Monday afternoon and has burned more than 1,800 acres. Forest Service officials on Wednesday revised downward the total acreage burned. With firefighters gaining the upper hand, residents in the area have been allowed to return to their homes, though many campground and road closures are in effect. Crews are focusing their efforts on extinguishing small hot spots and keeping the blaze's northeastern face from advancing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 31, 2013 | By Samantha Schaefer
The White fire that burned nearly 2,000 acres in Santa Barbara County this week was started accidentally, officials said Friday. The blaze was sparked by embers that escaped from an approved fire-use site at the White Rock Day Use Area in the Santa Barbara Ranger District's Lower Santa Ynez Recreation Area, a joint investigation by Los Padres National Forest officials and the district attorney's Arson Task Force found. Preliminary estimates put the cost of the fire at $3 million.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2013 | By Joseph Serna and Jean Merl
More than 100 buildings are threatened and more than 1,200 acres have burned in a Santa Barbara County wildfire that could be pushed deeper into the brush Tuesday by dangerously strong winds. The so-called White fire appears to have started near a campsite in the Los Padres National Forest at about 2:30 p.m. Monday. The blaze was only 10% contained Tuesday morning and the U.S. Forest Service predicted firefighters wouldn't gain full control over it until next week. About 1,000 campers and 4,000 mountain residents were evacuated Monday.
TRAVEL
April 4, 2014 | By Marc Stirdivant
Buellton, 25 miles north of Santa Barbara, has been known for just one thing: split pea soup. For years, Buellton was that midday rest stop on the way to points north where you lunched at Pea Soup Andersen's. No longer in the shadow of trendier neighbors Solvang and Los Olivos, Buellton has taken on a life of its own. It's a fun place to stay, explore, eat and drink - and I'm not just referring to wine. The bed Buellton has at least one remarkable place to spend the night, the Flying Flags RV park (180 Avenue of Flags; [805]
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By a Los Angeles Times staff writer
A Santa Maria pastor whose assistant remained missing Monday after being swept out to sea during a baptism ceremony at a coastal park in northern Santa Barbara County described trying to save the 43-year-old man as two large waves overtook them. Pastor Maurigro Cervantes of the Jesus Christ Light of the Sky church, told KEYT-TV that he was in the water with two others on Sunday baptizing a man his mid 20s, while his cousin, Benito Flores, was assisting. "A big wave came and took Benito," Cervantes said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2014 | By Gale Holland
A 43-year-old man was swept out to sea Sunday during a baptism ceremony at a coastal park in northern Santa Barbara County. Two other people were also dragged into the ocean but returned to shore during the early morning service at Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve. But an extensive search by emergency teams failed to find the missing man by nightfall, the Santa Maria Times reported . Jesus Christ Light of the Sky, the Santa Maria church that put on the ceremony, performs similar baptisms two or three times a year, Pastor Mauro Cervantes told the paper.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
Officials are saying that a 19-year-old UC Santa Barbara water polo player who was found unresponsive at the bottom of a pool during practice died of an accidental drowning. Nick Johnson, a sophomore at UCSB, was swimming laps at the Santa Barbara High School pool Monday morning when he lost consciousness during the workout, multiple media outlets reported. The Santa Barbara County coroner's office told the Santa Barbara Independent the preliminary cause of death was accidental drowning.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
The parents of a 4-year-old girl were arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment earlier this week after allegedly leaving the child alone in a car while they gambled at the Chumash Casino. Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies were called to the casino in Santa Ynez about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday after the child was found by herself, walking around the parking structure at the casino. "The passerby, who found the child, took her to the security desk and the Santa Barbara County sheriff's office was notified," according to a news release from the agency.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2014 | By Lee Romney
SANTA ROSA, Calif. - As a cold rain pelted the parking lot, the gates opened and the cars began to roll through. In an aging Nissan was a 74-year-old longtime farmworker whose landlady had booted him to raise the rent. A 65-year-old disabled woman pulled her Ford Fusion up to the small trailer, where she could at last plug in her sleep apnea machine. Then there was Patsy Perez, 55, who had learned about the fledgling "Safe Parking" program at the county fairgrounds lot after pleading to spend the night in her Volvo outside a downtown shelter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2012 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
Santa Barbara County supervisors Tuesday handed the Chumash tribe a land-use victory that, according to some neighbors, may set a precedent for much larger fights to come. At issue was a 6.9-acre parcel owned by the tribe across Highway 246 from its busy Santa Ynez casino. Rejecting a request from anti-casino community groups, the supervisors chose not to appeal a federal ruling allowing annexation of the land to the Chumash reservation. Opponents feared a tribal win on 6.9 acres would pave the way for the reservation's proposed annexation of the 1,400-acre property known as Camp Four.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2014 | By Gale Holland
A 43-year-old man was swept out to sea Sunday during a baptism ceremony at a coastal park in northern Santa Barbara County. Two other people were also dragged into the ocean but returned to shore during the early morning service at Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve. But an extensive search by emergency teams failed to find the missing man by nightfall, the Santa Maria Times reported . Jesus Christ Light of the Sky, the Santa Maria church that put on the ceremony, performs similar baptisms two or three times a year, Pastor Mauro Cervantes told the paper.
FOOD
February 28, 2014 | By S. Irene Virbila
For the last few years, Stolpman Vineyards in the new Ballard Canyon American Viticultural Area in Santa Barbara County has produced a wine called La Cuadrilla for "the crew. " Its crew works full time under the direction of winemaker Sashi Moorman and vineyard manager Ruben Solorzano. Each year, the crew works an experimental cuadra or block, which rotates throughout the ranch. The grapes from that cuadra are used to make La Cuadrilla, so the blend is slightly different each year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
Winds gusts of up to 60 mph are expected to hit Southern California throughout Wednesday, potentially knocking down power lines or creating other dangerous conditions, forecaster warned. The National Weather Service issued a high-wind warning for Santa Barbara County's south coast and for the Santa Barbara Mountains. A wind advisory has also been issued for the Santa Clarita Valley, several parts of Ventura County, and mountains in Los Angeles County. Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist with the weather serivce, said a high-pressure system from the north was pushing wind south from Santa Barbara down into Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
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