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May 17, 2021

Local author releases debut mystery novel

WATSONVILLE—Author Tony Di Leonardo was visiting the Watsonville Square shopping center when he first noticed Kelly’s Books. Walking into the small independent bookstore, he started chatting with owner Kelly Pleskunas about his debut novel, “Death by Drive-By,” which had just been released in December...

Watsonville City Council sets study session for food trucks

watsonville food trucks
WATSONVILLE—The Watsonville City Council will hold a study session on food trucks near the end of its Tuesday evening virtual meeting. The item was included in the meeting’s agenda released Thursday evening, but there was no staff report attached to it, causing confusion and worry...

Rountree escapee captured 8 hours later

WATSONVILLE—An inmate at the Rountree Medium Facility on the outskirts of Watsonville escaped Friday afternoon, leading to an intensive search that ended with his capture later the same day. Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Ashley Keehn said Christopher Dicochea escaped around 3:45pm from the correctional center on...

Photo: Arco and mini mart opens on Lee Road

The new Arco gas station and adjoining am-pm mini-market opened Monday on Lee Road. Situated in the Pajaro Dunes Center between Riverside Drive and Beach Road the Arco, with nine pumps and 18 filling stations, shares the same lot with the new (but not...

RedBall Project Santa Cruz County locations announced

In celebration of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History’s (MAH) 25th anniversary, the RedBall Project, a global art installation that has been to over 30 cities since 2001, is coming to Santa Cruz County. And now, after a countywide search by MAH staff...

RTC hopes ‘timeout’ from rail will ease deep tensions

rail-trail Santa Cruz county
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—Hearing calls from fellow commissioners to take a “timeout” so that deep divisions between Santa Cruz County residents about the proposed 32-mile coastal rail trail can subside, a push during Thursday’s five-hour meeting to reconsider the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission’s...

County fire officials gear up for potentially ‘active’ season

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—If Sunday’s Basin Fire is any indication of what 2021’s fire season will bring, San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit Chief Ian Larkin and the mountains surrounding Santa Cruz County are in for a bumpy ride this fire season. The roughly 7-acre blaze among the...

City sets schedule for redistricting outreach

Watsonville city council government
WATSONVILLE—The city of Watsonville over the next eight months will undergo its decennial citywide effort to redraw the lines of its elected districts. Every decade following the release of census data, cities and counties must adjust their district lines to account for possible shifts in...

Survey predicts Santa Cruz County tourism will return

santa cruz county tourism covid-19
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—The county’s tourist hotspots—along with its restaurants and hotels—can expect a slight uptick in business this summer from Californians seeking to hit the road for short road trips, according to a survey released Wednesday by Visit Santa Cruz County (VSCC). This prediction is...

Birchbark Foundation aims to support human-animal bond

Founded in 2013, the Birchbark Foundation grew out of what local veterinarian Dr. Merrianne Burtch saw as an unmet need in the community.  Burtch noticed that pet owners were facing fixable yet unaffordable crises with their animals, which often resulted in the only option being...
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Santa cruz county fireball

Heard a loud boom Thursday? Here’s what experts say was responsible

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—The loud boom that echoed over much of Santa Cruz County late Thursday evening—and the fireball streaking across the sky that accompanied...