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October 19, 2021

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...

Weather gives firefighters a break; CZU Complex fires 5% contained

CZU August Lightning Complex
SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS—Mother Nature is lending a hand in the fight against the CZU August Lightning Complex fires in the Santa Cruz mountains. Cal Fire Operations Section Chief Mark Brunton said a much welcomed marine layer wandered into the Central Coast as the weekend got...

Firefighters get first ‘jump’ on CZU Complex fires

CZU August Lightning Complex Fires
SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS—Seven days into the battle against the CZU August Lightning Complex fires, Cal Fire officials announced Saturday morning that they were able to get their first “jump” on the growing blaze in the Santa Cruz mountains. Although the fire overnight grew to 63,000...

Deputies arrest 5 suspected looters, as CZU Lightning Complex fires grow

CZU August Lightning Complex Fires
SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS—Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies on Friday arrested five people suspected of looting evacuated homes on Fall Creek Drive, a small community in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Felton. Jose Gandarilla, Susana Luna, Crystal Araujo, Sara Loretz and Crystle Parstch-Lucchesi face numerous felony...

Evacuation center at Lakeview Middle School opens

lakeview middle school evacuation center
WATSONVILLE—An additional evacuation center for Santa Cruz County residents fleeing the CZU August Lightning Complex Fires opened Friday night at Lakeview Middle School in Watsonville. The center is a partnership between the County of Santa Cruz, the City of Watsonville and the Pajaro Valley Unified...

County’s budget cuts to Sheriff’s Office eased

County of Santa Cruz budget
SANTA CRUZ— The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an $874 million budget for the coming year that includes cuts and position reductions to every department in the county. According to County Budget Manager Christina Mowrey, the reductions include furloughs of 5-10%,...

Santa Cruz County asks visitors to leave as fires spread down mountains

Santa Cruz County
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—The Santa Cruz County Emergency Operations Center is requesting that all tourists and visitors occupying local overnight accommodations such as hotels, motels and vacation rentals leave immediately to free up shelter capacity. Local shelters are near capacity. The Emergency Operations Center is working...

County Fairgrounds sets up shelter for fire evacuees

CZU August Lightning Complex Fire
WATSONVILLE—Cal Fire on Tuesday night ordered more than 22,000 residents in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties to evacuate as the CZU August Lightning Complex fires began to spread throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains. Temporary shelters have been set up across the region to house...

New housing program helps farmworkers during Covid-19 pandemic

housing for the harvest
WATSONVILLE—Gov. Gavin Newsom on July 24 revealed a new temporary housing program that aims to help agricultural workers across the state better protect themselves and their families during the Covid-19 pandemic. Housing for the Harvest will offer temporary hotel housing to workers who need to...

Local high school sports pushed to December

High school sports
CENTRAL COAST—The Central Coast Section, the local governing body for schools stretching from San Francisco along the coast to King City, this week unveiled its plans for the fall sports season and beyond.  The governing board on Tuesday announced in a press release that mid-December...