For the first time since 2015, Orcutt American Little League is the King of the Valley.

The Orcutt American Astros eased past the Northside Little League Royals 4-1 in the championship game of the 25th annual Santa Maria Elks Valley Little League Major Division Tournament.

The finale was held at Simas Field, Southside Little League's home site. The game was played in front of a crowd that filled both the home and visitor bleachers as well as most of the foul territory in right and left fields.

The Lompoc Elks are the 2019 Babe Ruth champions.

And they needed two games to seal the city's title.

After falling 5-3 in their Sunday morning contest, The Elks sealed their championship on Sunday afternoon by beating V& J Truckers by a score of 9-4 on Sunday at George Meyer Park to win the city’s double elimination tournament.

A box canyon at the Los Flores Ranch recreational space soon will be home to a shooting range for Santa Maria Police officers, who were left without a range when the department moved into its new headquarters on Betteravia Road four years ago.

The outdoor range, which will have four shooting lanes, will be located on a 5-acre site at Los Flores Ranch, a 1,778-acre space that is also slated to be the location of the new Santa Maria landfill.

The city of Santa Maria will be accepting bids from companies interested in constructing the project until June 18. The bidding process began May 21.

Those of us in the Lee Central Coast News sports department are usually the "good news" guys.

But not today.

Brad Memberto, a well-known local media personality and Lee Central Coast News sports and entertainment reporter from 2006 to 2015, died Sunday at the age of 63 due to complications from diabetes.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to be launched, and then landed, at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Wednesday morning, and base officials are warning that the rocket's return could cause one or more sonic booms that may be audible throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties.

The launch is scheduled for a window beginning at 7:17 a.m. Wednesday, June 12, from VAFB’s Space Launch Complex-4. The Falcon 9 rocket is set to carry the RADARSAT Constellation, which will include three Earth observation satellites, on behalf of the Canadian Space Agency.

The neighbor of a 74-year-old Lompoc woman who was reported missing June 6 has been arrested on suspicion of murder, according to the Lompoc Police Department.

Eldri Jauch


Eldri Jauch was last seen the morning of June 4 and was reported missing by her sister, according to Lompoc Police. 

On Sunday, Lompoc officers located Jauch’s body at the home of her neighbor, 35-year-old Melissa Martin, thanks to a tip.

“Unfortunately, she was found deceased,” read a portion of the Lompoc Police Department’s Sunday statement. “Jauch’s death is now classified as a homicide."

On Monday, Lompoc police officers tracked Martin to a home in the Santa Ynez/Buellton area and arrested her on suspicion of murder. 

Jauch's death marks the fourth homicide investigation this year for the Lompoc Police Department.

Anyone with information about Jauch's death is encouraged by Lompoc Police to contact Sgt. Augustin Arias at 805-736-2341.

An 18-year-old Santa Maria man will face life in state prison after he was convicted Monday for attempted murder and several other charges connected to a trio of gang-related incidents spanning a nine-month period.

A Santa Maria Superior Court found Jonathan Isaiah Limon guilty of attempted first-degree murder, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and assault with a semi-automatic weapon. He will appear July 25 before Judge John McGregor for his sentencing.

Due to his age, charges against Limon — which stem from separate incidents between December 2016 and September 2017 — were originally filed in Santa Maria Juvenile Court. The case was subsequently moved to Santa Maria Superior Court after a judge ordered him to stand trial as an adult.

As temperatures went up on Saturday, so did spirits. The 15th annual Los Olivos Jazz & Olive Festival sponsored by the Los Olivos Rotary Club, went off without a hitch, attracting a sold-out event of 650 festivalgoers to Lavinia Campbell Park in downtown Los Olivos.

The leisurely afternoon event attended by locals and many return visitors from Los Angeles and Orange County, featured dozens of area wineries perched inside of white tents pouring healthy tastings for pairing with a varied selection of gourmet foods, including olive-inspired dishes, prepared by 30 different chefs.

The Santa Ynez Pony Baseball 12U Pirates won the championship of the Extreme Diamond All-Star Classic on Sunday, June 2, in Paso Robles — their second straight tournament title.

While some teams win games with a walk-off base hit, the young Pirates ended the tournament’s championship game with a rare, walk-off double play.

With Santa Ynez clinging to a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth and final inning, the Hanford All-Stars had the potential game-tying runner on third base and potential go-ahead runner on first with just one out.

The cause of a fire that damaged a northeast Santa Maria home on Saturday night is under investigation. 

Around 9 p.m., the Santa Maria Fire Department responded to a home at North College Drive and East Hermosa Street with four engines, one truck company and a battalion chief after receiving multiple reports of a house fire.

When firefighters arrived, flames were progressing through the house, a department spokesman said. An interior attack by firefighters coordinated with crews performing vertical ventilation on the roof brought the fire under control in about 20 minutes.

All occupants exited the home before firefighters arrived, a department spokesman said. Two individuals were transported to the hospital by American Medical Response.

A board-up company secured the building and the property was turned over to the owner.

A Lompoc man was sentenced Friday to a decade in state prison for a fatal September 2018 crash that killed a 73-year-old Oxnard resident.

Bryan Charette, 36, was charged in with five counts (including felony murder and DUI) stemming from the September 21 crash on Highway 1 that killed Alfredo Garcia Martinez. In April, after originally pleading not guilty to all counts, Charette pleaded no contest to two felonies — gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater causing bodily injury — as part of a plea agreement.

A man who fled to Mexico after a fatal gang dispute more than a decade ago has been found guilty of second-degree murder, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office announced Monday.

Santa Maria Superior Court jurors on Friday convicted Leonel Torres, 36, for his role in the fight that led to the stabbing death of James Christie, a rival gang member from Santa Maria, near Roy's Liquor in August 2008. The jury also found a gang enhancement — which alleges Torres participated in the act for the benefit of a criminal street gang — to be true.

A vehicle crashed into a Lompoc medical office late Monday morning and caused significant damage to the building, which was open for business at the time.

A silver Jeep SUV reportedly backed into the Cardiovascular Center, located in the 100 block of North Third Street, just before noon. Although an employee was seated just a few feet away from the collision, no injuries were reported. The crash left a large hole at the building’s entrance, including damaged windows and walls.

The building that houses the Cardiovascular Center is owned by Lompoc Valley Medical Center, but the practice is not part of the Lompoc Healthcare District, according to LVMC spokeswoman Nora Wallace.

It was so hot today ...

Johnny Carson 


A mix of clouds and sun. High 84F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.


Some clouds. Low 57F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.


Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High 76F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.

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