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August 12, 2012 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
A teenage girl who was in a sexual relationship with a Santa Maria police officer has sued the city over alleged negligence in operating a Police Department youth program. The girl — known in the federal lawsuit as Jane Doe — was 17 when she was involved with Albert Covarrubias Jr., an officer who was fatally shot Jan. 29 as other members of the Santa Maria department tried to arrest him on suspicion of sex crimes. The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, accuses the city of failing to properly run the police Explorers program, in which the girl participated.
March 31, 2014 | By Scott Gold
Community activists pledged Monday to continue fighting the construction of an immigrant processing center on the Central Coast, despite a bitterly contested vote in which a local city council advanced the project in the face of fervent public opposition. "The fight is not over," said Hazel Davalos, head of the Santa Maria chapter of Coastal Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, an organization that helps working families in the region. The federal government wants to replace an aging, dilapidated facility in Lompoc - a smattering of trailers that were installed on the grounds of a prison to process immigration cases.
December 4, 2009 | Eric Sondheimer
Averaging 14.4 yards a carry, with 31 touchdowns and 1,827 yards rushing, KJ Cusack from Santa Maria St. Joseph is a running back who deserves respect, if not admiration, for what he can do when the ball is in his hands. He has 4.5 40-yard speed, knows how to follow his blockers, and anyone naive enough to kick the ball toward him on a punt or kickoff is playing with fire. He has touchdown runs of 99, 85, 78 and 71 yards, returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown and has punt returns of 87, 70 and 67 yards.
March 4, 2014 | By Scott Gold
GUADALUPE, Calif. - As a nearby tractor purred to life, Miguel Villagomez picked up his knife and stepped into a furrow of dirt amid thousands of plump heads of cauliflower ready for cutting. "This," the 19-year-old from Michoacán, Mexico, said with a touch of pride, "is my place. " For decades, the lush soil in this corner of California has been tilled largely by immigrants from Latin America, many returning year after year. But that long-standing relationship has encountered unexpected turbulence in recent weeks.
November 10, 1991 | Reuters
Hundreds of Indians are gathering in the Caribbean resort of Cartagena to protest the South American landfall of the Santa Maria, a replica of the ship that Christopher Colombus sailed 500 years ago, Indian leaders said Friday. "This is an offensive act against the people of America," said Francisco Rios of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, one of the protest groups. "We're planning to be there with banners and leaflets."
May 23, 1985 | ROSE DOSTI, Times Staff Writer
Straw hats shade the eyes that peer at a passing Chrysler that is too big and too brassy for Santa Maria--like a harlot stepping off a stagecoach. Then slowly, one by one, the barbecue wagons, stationed at corner lots of this picturesque Central California farming community, appear. Smoke billows from their grids; the smell maddening. At first, the barbecue stations are slow to appear. But once you enter the main artery of the town, the barbecues come at you faster and faster.
January 30, 2012 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
A Santa Maria police officer suspected of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl was shot and killed by a fellow officer as he was about to be arrested, authorities said. The officer, who has not been formally identified, was near the end of his shift at a DUI checkpoint when supervisors arrived after 1 a.m. Saturday to detain him, Police Chief Danny R. Macagni told reporters at a news conference. There was a struggle, the suspected officer fired his gun and a fellow officer then shot him in the chest, Macagni said.
June 3, 1988 | GARY KLEIN
The San Fernando Valley Dodgers will open their third season of National Baseball Congress play Friday with a five-game series against the Santa Maria Indians in Santa Maria. The Dodgers, who finished 11th at the NBC World Series last summer in Wichita, Kan., compiled a 31-9 record and were champions of the Golden State League. The Dodgers are managed by Mark Morton, an assistant at Cal State Northridge who played at Northridge and in the San Francisco Giants organization.
December 6, 2003 | William Overend and Jia-Rui Chong, Times Staff Writers
All future legal proceedings in the Michael Jackson child molestation case, including any trial, will take place in the city of Santa Maria in northern Santa Barbara County, court and law enforcement officials said Friday. Some had speculated that a trial might occur in Santa Barbara to the south, where authorities filed search and arrest warrants under seal.
January 31, 2003 | BOB MIESZERSKI
Carlos Lopez, who recently returned to training after a long absence, will send out two of the six runners in tonight's feature, the $15,000 Santa Maria Handicap at 350 yards. Besides Traffic Reporter, who has won two of seven, including a maiden victory at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico, Lopez will be represented by Coup Of Corona in a race for 3-year-old fillies.
December 31, 2013 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Santa Clara-bound Evan Wardlow was named MVP in helping El Camino Real defeat Prestonwood Christian, 63-58, in the championship game of the National Prep Classic in Santa Maria. He had 18 points. Julian Richardson led the Conquistadores with 21 points.  
December 25, 2013 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Finals are done, school is out and now it's a weekend of nonstop basketball, with tournaments galore set to begin on the day after Christmas. Unbeaten Loyola, ranked No. 3 by The Times, will be in San Diego beginning Thursday in the Under Armour Holiday Classic at Torrey Pines High, and the Cubs will be tested. First up is game against Sheldon, then a likely second-round matchup against unbeaten Sierra Canyon. Also in the tournament is No. 4 Corona Centennial, which opens against Cantwell-Sacred Heart.
November 26, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
Phillips 66, which operates refineries across California, is moving forward with a plan to build a rail terminal in San Luis Obispo County that would send trains with up to 80 tank cars of crude oil through Southern California and the Bay Area. In a draft environmental impact statement filed this week, Phillips said it wants to build five sets of parallel tracks that would accommodate trains as often as 250 times per year at its Santa Maria Refinery. The project is the latest effort by the refinery industry to increase crude imports to California from oil fields in North Dakota, Colorado and Texas.
October 17, 2013 | By Eric Maddy
Thursday, October 17th SOUTHERN SECTION BASELINE LEAGUE Etiwanda 47, Alta Loma 17 CENTURY LEAGUE Villa Park 43, Brea Olinda 7 CITRUS BELT LEAGUE Redlands 45, Miller 0 DESERT SKY LEAGUE Ridgecrest Burroughs 28, Granite Hills 14 EMPIRE LEAGUE Placentia Valencia 40, Garden Grove Pacifica 14 Yorba Linda 28, Cypress 14 GARDEN GROVE LEAGUE Bolsa Grande 27, Garden Grove Santiago 18 GOLDEN WEST LEAGUE...
August 25, 2013 | By Tony Perry
A soldier from Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County has been killed in combat in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced Sunday. Spec. Kenneth Clifford Alvarez was killed Friday in Haft Asiab when his unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 2nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, White Sands Missile Range, N.M. ALSO: Mayor Filner to step down Friday; special election in the works War Dead: California's Military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan   Motorcyclist dies after rear-ending car on Pomona Freeway, CHP says Twitter: @LATsandiego
June 3, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
For 40 years, the killer of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda was not a “who” but a “what.” Prostate cancer was said to have killed the Nobel laureate, at age 69, just weeks after a military coup brought a bloody dictatorship to power in his South American country. But now Neruda's death in 1973 is becoming a true murder mystery, with a tall, blue-eyed American (who is in hiding) named as the chief suspect - although he might have a good alibi. An investigation into Neruda's death was launched earlier this year when Neruda's driver, Manuel Araya, alleged the poet had been poisoned via injection while receiving treatment at Santiago's Santa Maria hospital.
February 21, 1998
Rafael Berumen scored 26 points to lead Simi Valley High to a 74-62 victory over Santa Maria in a Southern Section Division I-AA first-round boys' basketball playoff game Friday night at Simi Valley. The Pioneers (23-5), who are ranked No. 4 in The Times' regional poll, outscored Santa Maria, 23-6, in the second quarter to take a 40-21 halftime lead. Branduinn Fullove had 13 points and seven assists, and Ian Boys scored 11 points for Simi Valley.
June 7, 2005 | Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
On Day Two of deliberations, tensions were high, nerves were frayed, emotions were raw, accusations were ugly. And that was just the scene outside the courthouse. Inside, jurors on Monday spent their first full day considering the child-molestation charges against singer Michael Jackson. Not far from their deliberation room, a Muslim activist hurled allegations of racial profiling at local traffic officers, the Rev.
April 4, 2013 | By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times
Former lieutenant governor and state lawmaker Abel Maldonado filed papers Thursday to explore a run for governor. The move allows Maldonado, a Santa Maria Republican, to begin raising money as he decides whether to challenge Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who is up for reelection in 2014. "It's time for a new direction. We need a new way," said Maldonado, 45. "Some will resist the change, and to those, I say you will like irrelevance even less. I think it's time that we move forward with some bold ideas, bold solutions and I believe we can do better as Californians.
March 29, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
A week and a half before the movie "Lincoln" opened last November, Cindy Ransick had an amazing Lincoln moment of her own. The executive director of the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum opened three scrapbooks stored in the museum's archives and, among hundreds of items of correspondence, found a letter from Abraham Lincoln to his friend and Republican Party activist Leonard Swett, a calling card from Mary Todd Lincoln and...
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