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September 18, 2021

Watsonville will allow eviction moratorium to expire at month’s end

Watsonville city council
WATSONVILLE—The Watsonville City Council on Tuesday voted to allow the city’s moratorium on evictions to expire at the end of the month, and instead defer to tenant protections put in place by California’s Judicial Council. The local moratorium was approved by the council on March...

County’s places of worship, retail stores allowed to open at reduced capacity

covid-19 watsonville
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—Santa Cruz County Health Officer Gail Newel on Tuesday revised her shelter-in-place order to align most of the county’s restrictions with that of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order. The new county order will open places of worship, in-store retail, outdoor museums and limited...

City asking Council to dump local eviction moratorium, defer to state leaders

Watsonville city council
WATSONVILLE—The City of Watsonville on Tuesday will ask the City Council to allow its moratorium on evictions to expire at the end of the month, and instead defer to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide executive order and protections put in place by California’s Judicial Council. The...

Four Covid-19 ‘clusters’ found in Watsonville

Watsonville coronavirus
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated from a previous version first published on May 22. WATSONVILLE—Four ‘clusters’ of Covid-19 cases have been identified in the Watsonville area, all of them associated with large family gatherings, according to Santa Cruz County officials. There have been at least...

Pier 1 to close all stores

pier 1 imports
CAPITOLA—Pier 1 Imports announced Tuesday that it will close all 540 of its stores nationwide, sell its inventory and liquidate its assets. The sales will begin at the Capitola store as soon as the Santa Cruz County Health Department allows it to open. The company’s website...

School districts brace for looming budget cuts

Watsonville school Covid-19 closures
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—Gov. Gavin Newsom on May 14 released an updated state budget that calls for a 10 percent cut to school districts across the state. Pajaro Valley Unified School District Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez said that the district is looking at a $19.18 million slash. Watsonville/Aptos/Santa...

Watsonville faces grueling economic recovery from Covid-19 shutdown

Watsonville lawsuit
WATSONVILLE—It took roughly a decade for Watsonville to fully recover from the Great Recession, and officials fear the Covid-19 pandemic’s mass closures could send the city into a similar financial quagmire. As restaurants and shops have closed, and auto sales—Watsonville’s top sales tax generator—have slumped,...

Sheriff Hart: ‘We have the right people’ in Tushar Atre Murder case

tushar atre murder arrest
SANTA CRUZ—Dozens of law enforcement officials in two states arrested four men on Tuesday in connection with the Oct. 1 kidnapping and murder of tech executive and Pleasure Point resident Tushar Atre. Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart said during a Thursday press conference that...

Saturday car cruise down Main Street to raise money for farmworkers

farmworker relief cruise
WATSONVILLE—Members of a local car club hope their passion projects will help the community’s farmworkers weather the unknown during the coronavirus pandemic. Watsonville Riders on Saturday will host the Farmworker Relief Cruise in downtown Watsonville from 5-7pm. The automobile showcase will serve as a fundraiser...

State parks slowly reopening

State parks covid-19
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—The California Department of Parks and Recreation on May 15 began to loosen up restrictions at 27 state parks. The agency previously closed parking lots at most of its locations, allowing visitors to walk in but encouraging them to stay close to their...

Cowboys sink Mariners with second-half barrage | HS football

SALINAS—The Aptos High football team came into Friday night’s game against Salinas High with plenty of momentum and confidence after last week’s thrilling victory...