A multimillion-dollar donation will allow Marian Regional Medication Center to develop a behavioral health unit and establish a crisis stabilization unit to expand mental health care, the hospital announced Wednesday.

The $2.7 million building donation is from The Sierra Land Group, the previous owner of the Marian West campus, which will house the new unit.

Santa Barbara County has a lack of mental health facilities, with the North County area having the fewest resources, meaning patients are often sent from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara for treatment.

Eighteen years after nearly 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Santa Maria firefighters on Wednesday honored the victims with ceremonies at each of the city’s fire stations.

The ceremonies commemorated the anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack against the United States, which altered what had been an iconic part of the New York City skyline, extensively damaged the Pentagon and claimed the lives of 2,977 people. Of those killed, over 400 were first responders.

At 7:20 a.m., fire engines at each of the city’s firehouses were pulled out in front of the stations.

With an ever-growing selection of sports being offered to special needs athletes around the globe, the North County division of the Special Olympics Santa Barbara Region (SOSBR) has raised the bar, adding the game of golf to their athletic program.

"I get really emotional when I talk about it. You just can't imagine the people that have been involved ... it's just unbelievable," said Bob Kotowski, a PGA professional and longtime golf instructor at Zaca Creek Golf Course in Buellton. "They just pick themselves up despite their challenges. It's inspiring."

Heading up the program, free of cost, is Kotowski, a once Bostonian hockey player turned California professional golfer.

Santa Maria Police officers will take to the roofs of Dunkin' Donuts today for the annual Cop on a Rooftop event, which aims to raise money for Special Olympics.

Slated to run from 6 to 10 a.m., the event will see Santa Maria Police officers camping out on the rooftop of Dunkin’ Donuts rallying supporters to donate to Special Olympics Southern California. 

Guests who donate will receive a coupon for a free medium hot or iced coffee on their next visit.

The event is hosted by Law Enforcement Torch Run, a grassroots-run group that raises money to support area Special Olympics athletes. 

More than 300 members of law enforcement will be participating in the Cop on a Rooftop event at 71 Dunkin’ Donuts locations across Southern California.

"We invite people to come out and show their support for Special Olympics Southern California and the athletes," Los Angeles Police Department' Deputy Chief Blake Chow said in a news release. "Officers love working with community members and businesses to support inspiring, life-changing causes like Special Olympics."

Righetti football coach Tony Payne likes to refer to his team's running game as "the three-headed monster."

This year the Warriors have a three-sided passing game as well, and they've been throwing the ball a lot more.

Logan Mortensen, Righetti's left-handed quarterback, has thrown for 632 yards and eight touchdowns, with just one interception, for the 3-0 Warriors. More than 90 percent of the yardage, and three fourths of the touchdown passes, have come from Chase Reynoso or Jake Steels.

Mechanics Bank completes merger with Rabobank

A merger between Mechanics Bank and Rabobank's US operations is now complete, bringing the two lenders together under the Mechanics Bank name.

The merger, which was completed Sept. 1, was first announced by the two companies in March. 

Under the terms of the agreement, the Walnut Creek-based Mechanics Bank paid $2.1 billion to absorb Rabobank’s U.S. retail and business banking, commercial real estate, mortgage and wealth-management businesses.

The deal expanded Mechanics Banks reach across California.

While Mechanics Bank previously had 44 branches throughout the state, mostly in the San Francisco Bay area, Rabobank's scores of branches extended from Sacramento to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mechanics Bank officials said the merger should not affect customers. 

Vehicle rolls, catches fire near La Purisima Mission

One person self-extricated from a vehicle that went off of Purisima Road and caught fire near La Purisima Mission in Lompoc just before 5 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

At 4:59 p.m. the Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded to a report of a car off the roadway, with the occupants possibly trapped inside.

The first emergency crews on the scene reported that the car did go off the roadway and landed in a nearby field, however the driver of the vehicle was able to get out of the vehicle, and refused treatment by paramedics on scene.

Fire crews determined that the fire was not at risk of causing a brush fire.

There is no information on the cause of the crash at this time.

The Pioneer Valley Panthers led 15-5 at one point, saw the St. Joseph Knights score eight unanswered goals then salted away a 19-13 Ocean League boys water polo win at Pioneer Valley Wednesday afternoon against their cross-town rivals.

With the Panthers up 15-5 up early in the third quarter, most of their starters went out. The Knights popped in seven goals to finish the third quarter and, with Pioneer Valley's starters back in, drew within 15-13 on a goal at the 4:06 mark of the fourth quarter.

The Panthers settled in after that and corralled the win. Adrian Eisner finished with eight goals for the Panthers. Larry Daniel scored five times and Angel Aguilar scored two goals.

Stick to a simple but meaningful lifestyle. Too much of anything will become monotonous. Search for balance and equality, and stick close to people who share your sentiments regarding money and morals. Spend time doing what brings you peace and joy. Embrace personal growth and physical fitness.

Go online for a full horoscope broken down by individual signs.


Abundant sunshine. High near 85F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.


Clear skies. Low 57F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.


A mainly sunny sky. High 89F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph.


Some clouds this morning will give way to generally sunny skies for the afternoon. High near 75F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.


Clear skies. Low 52F. WSW winds shifting to SE at 10 to 15 mph.


Sunny skies. High 82F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.


Sunny. High 82F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.


Clear skies. Low 51F. SW winds shifting to ESE at 10 to 15 mph.


Mainly sunny. High 91F. SSE winds shifting to WSW at 10 to 15 mph.


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