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February 4, 2014 | By Chris Lee
SANTA BARBARA - Hollywood's unique awards calculus wouldn't seem to take a film festival at this posh coastal enclave into account. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, after all, is not a prestige movie launching pad such as the Toronto International Film Festival or an indie acquisitions bazaar like Utah's Sundance. But over the last decade, the Central Coast festival has carved an important niche in the movie ecosystem. Arriving exactly two weeks after Academy Awards nominations were announced, the Santa Barbara festival is distinguished as a tactical pit stop on the way to the Oscars.
January 31, 2014 | By Carla Rivera
Health authorities are recommending that UC Santa Barbara students be inoculated against a strain of meningitis that infected several young adults at the seaside campus and caused an outbreak at Princeton University. University officials said Friday that the federal Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, which is licensed for use in Europe, Canada and Australia but not in the U.S. Four Santa Barbara undergraduate students became infected with meningitis in November.
January 30, 2014 | By Chris Lee
Come late January, drive up the Pacific Coast Highway about 90 miles north of Hollywood and there it is: the last stop on the awards season trail before the Oscars. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival , which kicks off Thursday night wi th the premiere of director Fisher Stevens' deep-sea documentary “ Mission Blue ,” provides a showcase for nearly 200 movies (including 24 world premieres) and star-studded tributes expected to draw about 70,000 attendees over the festival's 11-day run. On Friday, “American Hustle” director David O. Russell is to receive the festival's outstanding director award, his latest accolade after collecting a Golden Globe for best motion picture musical or comedy and receiving an Oscar nod for best director.
January 18, 2014 | By Susan Reiter
NEW YORK - Between them, Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg have performed in dozens of "Giselle" productions over the years. Kobborg alone estimates he's danced in 25 versions of the beloved Romantic classic, created in 1841. So when these stellar danseurs and longtime friends joined forces to create a new "Giselle" production in late 2012, the three dozen dancers of the Royal New Zealand Ballet were benefiting from considerable combined experience and insight. FOR THE RECORD: A previous version of this article said that the Royal New Zealand Ballet was performing "Giselle" only in Los Angeles.
January 10, 2014 | By Ruben Vives
The driver convicted in a 2012 “car surfing” incident that left one young woman dead and another seriously injured has been sentenced to 14 years in prison. Lanie Tyrone Richardson, 29, was sentenced Thursday, according to the Santa Barbara County district attorney's office. The fatal accident occurred June 6, 2012, when Richardson and three others decided to go “car surfing,” an activity in which a person rides on top of a moving vehicle.  Richardson, who prosecutors say was intoxicated at the time, drove his SUV over a speed bump at 70 mph and lost control, the Santa Barbara Independenr reported . Allison Meadows, 26, and her friend, Lindsay Keebler, 25, were riding on the hood of the vehicle when they were ejected.
January 9, 2014 | By Lisa Girion and Scott Glover
A Santa Barbara doctor some patients called "the candy man" because he so freely prescribed painkillers and other commonly abused narcotics pleaded guilty Thursday to federal drug charges. Julio Diaz, 65, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of drug dealing, stemming from prescriptions written from his storefront office on Milpas Street. As part of the plea, the doctor acknowledged prescribing drugs to patients who had no legitimate medical need. Diaz was taken into custody after the hearing in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, said Assistant U.S. Atty.
January 7, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies seized 19 roosters and detained four people, including an 85-year-old man, over the weekend after discovering an alleged cockfighting ring, authorities said Tuesday. About 11 a.m. Sunday, deputies responded to complaints about a group of cars parked on private land near the Santa Maria Airport, said Santa Barbara County sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover. When the deputies arrived at the wooded area, Hoover said, they found about 20 cars parked in a field and could hear roosters.
January 7, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
Blue Shield of California said it has agreed to acquire GemCare Health Plan, expanding its presence in Kern County and the Central Coast area. Blue Shield, one of the state's largest health insurers, said Tuesday that GemCare customers should see minimal changes at first. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. GemCare, based in Bakersfield, is owned by hospital chain Dignity Health and the physicians of GemCare IPA. Blue Shield said the deal would enable it to grow its overall membership and provider networks as well as add Medicare patients in Kern, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties for the first time.
January 2, 2014 | By Susan King
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio with the Cinema Vanguard Award at the 29th edition of the festival, which runs from Jan. 30 through Feb. 9. The award presentation and tribute will take place Feb. 6 at the Arlington Theatre. The Oscar-winning director and the Oscar-nominated actor have collaborated on five films - "Gangs of New York," "The Aviator," "The Departed," "Shutter Island" and "The Wolf of Wall Street," which opened Christmas Day. On the set: movies and TV "Scorsese and DiCaprio's partnership has become a legendary cinematic pas de deux recalling other great collaborations like John Ford and John Wayne, Fellini and Mastroianni, John Huston and Bogart - and even Scorsese and De Niro," festival executive director Roger Durling said in a statement Thursday.
December 31, 2013 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Tyler Cartaino scored 28 points to help Newbury Park (11-3) win the Santa Barbara tournament with a 65-56 victory over Santa Barbara. Cartaino was named tournament MVP.  
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