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January 24, 2020
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First Friday returns to Santa Cruz | About Town

Tarmo Hannula: This evening marks the first First Friday Art Tour of Santa Cruz of the New Year. The free, informal event is an arena for the public to visit area artists and take in the bounty of their work at various venues, including cafes, galleries and restaurants. It runs between 5-11:30 p.m.

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The worst wildfire season on record is charring a huge swath of southeast Australia. More than 3,000 firefighters, including Americans, are fighting the fires. Mass evacuations are under way. 

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Cable car tickets in San Francisco just went up to $8 a ride, the first hike in the legendary city transportation since 2015. BART prices also took a step up in the New Year an average of 5.4 percent.

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Snowpack is now 90 percent of the seasonal average in the Sierra. January is off to a good start but officials are monitoring the snowpack closely because it makes up about a third of the state’s water supply.

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VW announced this week that the iconic VW Beetle has reached an end of production following a 70-year run. Invented in Germany during World War II, the People’s Wagon started as a very basic household car with an air-cooled engine, specifically designed to side-step water-cooled engines. Though it went through a number of modifications and modernizations, the overall Beetle shape has endured, making it the longest run of any vehicle model.

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The U.S. killed a major Iranian general Thursday. Qasem Soleimani is being described as Iran’s most powerful general. The Pentagon has linked the deaths of hundreds of American service members to him and his actions. They are now bracing for “harsh retaliation.” All Americans are being advised to leave Iran. Critics of the attack called it a reckless act. Soleimani was in a vehicle just outside Bagdad when the convoy he was riding in was hit with a U.S. drone strike, CNN reported. Soleimani ran Iran’s military operations across the Middle East and Iraqi state TV reported Thursday that Soleimani was the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Quds Force. Tensions are very high and some are warning of an all out war. Officials are now warning of, among other things, a cyber attack because Iran is labeled as one of the world’s top five cyber experts and capable of disrupting large-scale cyber activity.

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Quote of the day: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ― Theodore Roosevelt 

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