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January 24, 2022

CZU Complex fires have destroyed more than 300 structures; now 17% contained

czu august lightning complex fire
SCOTTS VALLEY—The level of containment in the CZU August Lightning Complex fires continues to increase, but so does the number of confirmed destroyed and damaged structures. Cal Fire officials at a Tuesday morning press conference said the blaze in the Santa Cruz Mountains is now...

State prioritizes farmworkers for Covid-19 vaccinations

CALIFORNIA—As California deals with a surge of Covid-19 cases, hope is in sight as the vaccine begins to be administered to healthcare workers and long-term care residents. And on Jan. 13, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared that farmworkers would be included in the next tier. The announcement...

Santa Cruz County health officer says mask order won’t change behavior

mask order
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—Saying that she has not yet seen reliable data that a countywide masking mandate would alter personal behavior or lower Covid-19 cases, Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel said she does not plan to issue a new order any time...

Cabrillo plans return to in-person classes

cabrillo college
APTOS—Cabrillo College students will return to in-person instruction when classes resume in the fall, spokeswoman Kristin Fabos announced Tuesday. According to Fabos, more than 50% of course offerings feature face-to-face or hybrid instruction during the fall term, which begins Aug. 16. The college will continue...

Most Santa Cruz County schools close for the week

Cabrillo College name change
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—Cabrillo College on Monday joined most school districts across Santa Cruz County when officials announced that classes will be canceled through Aug. 28. The move came after the CZU August Lightning Complex fires forced the evacuation of teachers and staff. In making the...

Covid-19, fires taxing service providers

Second Harvest Food Bank food distribution
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—The CZU August Lightning Complex fires have so far destroyed more than 500 homes and forced 77,000 people to evacuate from their community. Those people have flooded evacuation centers throughout the county. That, coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic that has upended the economy...

County moves to oppose all sexual predator placements

Santa Cruz County predator
After a significant portion of the Bonny Doon community mobilized to try to keep a man who raped a 21-year-old woman in the 1980s from moving to town, Santa Cruz County is now seeking changes to California law, so it can have additional tools...

Sheriff’s detectives arrest wallet thief

SCOTTS VALLEY—Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s detectives on Wednesday arrested a Live Oak man suspected of using credit and bank cards stolen from a firefighter’s truck to make thousands of dollars in purchases. Brian Lee Johnson, 34, has been charged with using stolen credit cards, receiving...

New eateries settle into Aptos Village

APTOS—A group of business owners from the new Aptos Village complex gathered for a meeting in early March to discuss possible events and projects they wanted to do together. Their aim was to bring the community into the blooming hub.  But days later those plans...

CZU Complex now state’s 9th-most destructive fire ever recorded

CZU August Lightning Complex Fires
SCOTTS VALLEY—The CZU August Lightning Complex has destroyed 1,483 structures as of Tuesday morning, making it the ninth-most destructive fire ever recorded in the state. The majority of those structures are single-family homes in the Santa Cruz mountain towns of Boulder Creek and Bonny Doon,...