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August 11, 2020

Hotel construction continues

Tarmo Hannula: Major progress is visible at the giant construction project of the new Hampton Inn & Suites on Lee Road. A new Starbucks Coffee drive-in and service station, among other shops, are in the works.

The winter solstice was Saturday, marking the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest day of the year. That means the days will start getting longer through the third week of June.

Temperatures dropped over the last few days. The high today will be around 55 degrees and tonight’s low will drop to around 39. While the National Weather Service said there is a slight chance of rain on Tuesday, by nightfall the chance of precipitation ramps up to 80 percent. On Christmas Day there will be rain before 10 a.m., then showers, mainly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The high will be near 52. 

On Friday night a Carmel teen male was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI after he allegedly slammed into a car and killed the female driver in Salinas. The CHP said Jacques Clarke, 18, was driving a 2015 Mazda 6 at a high speed around 11:30 p.m. north on Davis Road when he struck the rear-end of a 2012 Toyota Camry driven by Rosie Figueroa, 38, of Salinas who had a female passenger, Salinas Police said. The collision shoved the Toyota into a tree, causing it to overturn, killing Figueroa. The female passenger suffered major injuries. Clarke was booked at Monterey County Jail for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing great bodily injury. His bail is $200,000. Meanwhile, at the crash scene, another uninvolved driver crashed into an unoccupied Salinas police car. That driver was arrested for DUI.

A man died Saturday evening in a dramatic crash where a Jaguar car collided with a van and a big-rig on Highway 152 five miles east of Gilroy, said CHP Sgt. Mark McNabb. The wreck occurred at 5:11 p.m. at Lovers Lane. The Jaguar, with a male driver, was headed west at a high speed when it veered into the eastbound lane and smashed head-on into a GMC van. The Jaguar then careened into a big rig and blew into flames, McNabb said. The Jaguar driver was pronounced dead at the scene, the CHP said. Good Samaritans managed to pull the driver out of his burning van. He suffered major injuries. The big-rig driver was not hurt.

My wife Sarah and I drove over Hwy. 17 just past the summit to Redwood Estates Sunday afternoon to a Christmas Party. Our friends Andrew and Cynthia, who were back at their mountain home from Australia for a few weeks, hosted the event. The roadway was wet going over there and coming back from recent rains. And, of course, that meant there was a crash in each direction. Much of “the hill,” that curvy section of highway between Scotts Valley and Los Gatos, is post at 55 mph. Few even bother to notice; they think it’s a freeway and that means 65-70 mph, even in the rain, day or night. When it rains, crashes are frequent on that section of highway.

A new strain of E. coli outbreak has left 138 people sick in 25 states and 72 hospitalized. Thirteen people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. No deaths have been reported. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and trace evidence collected indicate that Romaine lettuce from Salinas may be contaminated with E. coli. CDC advises consumers not eat and retailers not sell any Romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas. This includes all use-by dates and brands of Romaine lettuce from that region.

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