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Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday evening reiterated President Donald Trump’s desire to welcome a “new millennium” of space investment and exploration during a speech at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Attended by more than 400 base personnel and invited guests, Pence said Vandenberg plays a key role in the nation’s space operations. He praised the base personnel for their work supporting other government agencies and the commercial space industry.

And, to booming cheers and thundering applause from the entire audience, he reiterated President Donald Trump’s call to establish a “Space Force” as the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

As part of a continuing effort to end the annual closures at Surf Beach, a Lompoc councilman and former mayor delivered a petition to the California Coastal Commission on Wednesday that was signed by more than 2,700 Lompoc community members.

Councilman Jim Mosby and former mayor John Linn traveled to San Luis Obispo to deliver the signed petitions — which argue for the elimination of the restrictions at Lompoc’s nearest beach — to the Coastal Commission during the first day of this month’s meetings. The move came less than two months after Lompoc City Manager Jim Throop drafted — and current Mayor Jenelle Osborne delivered — a letter to the commission asking that it not only consider eliminating the closures, but that it also open the beach up to recreational fishing.

The Coastal Commission had initially been planning to discuss Surf Beach during its July meetings, but it was announced last month that the topic was pushed back until the Dec. 11 through 13 meetings in Oxnard at the soonest.

Fred Hayes, of Lompoc, spent his 49th birthday inside the Santa Maria Fairpark – taking in the sights and enjoying the annual July spectacle of the Santa Barbara County Fair's opening day.

He'd planned to spend his birthday at the fair anyway.

“I’ve got three boys who are showing animals out here,” Hayes said, standing in front of Fields Bradley Pavilion. “It’s the best. I’ve already spent the last 20 years celebrating my birthday here.”

During the second day of the 2019 Santa Barbara County Fair, country singer Clay Walker is set to take to the stage on July 11 and play fan favorites like “What’s It to You,” “Live Until I Die” and “If I Could Make Living.”

The Houston resident, who first topped the Billboard country singles chart in 1993 with “What’s It to You,” will perform older singles and as well as songs from his newest album, “Long Live the Cowboy,” which was released Jan. 21.

Walker will perform at the fair — which runs July 10 to 14 at the Santa Maria Fairpark — as part of the Bud Light Concert Series on the KCOY Main Stage. The concert is free with paid admission.

Jeff McNeil played in the All-Star Game Tuesday night.

Yes. Major League Baseball's All-Star Game. The Midsummer Classic.

He went 0-for-1 in the game, representing the New York Mets for the National League, which lost 4-3.

McNeil got to the ASG by leading the majors in hitting with a .349 average, some 13 points higher than the second-place hitter in baseball.

To say McNeil's rise to stardom in the major leagues was at one point unlikely is one of the greatest understatements in the history of baseball.

For years, Central Coast veterans wishing to be buried in one of the nation’s veterans cemeteries have had to make arrangements at burial grounds that were all over 100 miles away.

There are nine National Veterans Cemeteries in California, five of which are open for new burials. The closest cemetery to Santa Barbara County is in Bakersfield, which makes it difficult for families to pay respects to their loved ones.

That could change if a proposal put forward by a task force of local veterans and community leaders is acted upon.

The Santa Maria Valley Sports History club and the Guadalupe Sports Hall of Fame has put together and all-sports memorabilia display scheduled for Sunday, July 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Santa Maria Elks Lodge, at 1309 North Bradley.

"Come on down, meet some of the athletes and enjoy an array of sports memorabilia featuring some of Santa Maria Valley's great sports figures of the past," Elks member Eddie Navarro said.

There will be pictures and items from football, baseball, basketball, boxing and other sports on display at the event. Those interested in bringing sports items to share and display for the day are welcome.

The Santa Maria Public Library will invite magician Christopher Lopez to perform on July 15 at 4 p.m.

Lopez is an internationally award-winning magician who has been entertaining families with his talent for many years at venues across the nation, including the Magic Castle in Los Angeles.

Santa Maria Police will conduct a DUI and driver’s license checkpoint Friday night in an attempt to catch alcohol- or drug-impaired drivers.

Scheduled to run from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., the checkpoint will be conducted by the Police Department’s Traffic Unit in an undisclosed part of the city. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and drug impairment and checking drivers for proper licensing.

The Police Department supports a new effort from the California Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze,” a department spokesman said.

Last year, the Santa Maria Police Department investigated 191 DUI collisions that claimed four lives and resulted in another 32 injuries, the spokesman said.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time and fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that could exceed $13,500.

Marijuana and prescription pills, particularly in combination with alcohol or other drugs, can impair drivers enough to result in a DUI arrest.

Funding for the checkpoint is provided to the Police Department by a California Office of Traffic Safety grant, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A loss of power late Tuesday afternoon at the Joseph Centeno Administration Building in Santa Maria left the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors in the dark while taking public comment on potential changes to the cannabis permitting and licensing process.

The power outage led the board to agree to a one-week delay in discussing possible amendments to improve the effectiveness of the county’s cannabis regulation system and address unforeseen issues that cropped up after the ordinances were adopted.

Electric service was lost at 6 p.m. when an SUV struck a utility pole at the intersection of West Betteravia Road and South Thornburg Street, leaving about 2,300 customers without power, said Pacific Gas and Electric Co. spokesman Mark Mesesan.

As reporter Mathew Burciaga was waiting for Vice President Mike Pence to make his way to Vandenberg Air Force Base, he was struck with an interesting question. When was the last time a President or Vice President visited the base?

So, we dug into our digital archives at LompocRecord.com/archives to look around, and found a few notable visits to VAFB.

Bushwacker is living the life of a retired sports superstar.

He’s earned it.

Over the course of his professional career, Bushwacker was one of the toughest, meanest and most difficult bulls to ride in the history of Professional Bull Riding (PBR) and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s (PRCA) tours.

Today

Mostly sunny. High near 75F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph.

Tonight

Partly cloudy. Low near 55F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.

Tomorrow

Sunny skies. High 76F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.

 

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