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The Board of Supervisors declined to allocate any of Santa Barbara County’s more than $1 million in unanticipated cannabis tax revenue Tuesday, deciding instead to wait until the budget preparation process in April to decide how it should be spent.

Supervisors voted 1-4, with only 1st District Supervisor Das Williams voting in favor of his own amended motion, to approve allocating about half of the $1.066 million more than the estimated cannabis tax revenues that were incorporated into the current budget.

After the failure of the motion — which would have required a four-fifths vote for approval — the board directed the staff to return in April with a comprehensive list of potential projects and programs for a one-time use of the funds.

Some supervisors were concerned the categories of projects listed in the staff report were only the ones a few departments had submitted before the report was prepared.

“I have a lot of things I would like that aren’t on this list,” 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann said.

The Santa Maria City Council narrowly voted Tuesday to voice its support for a 2020 ballot measure that would partially roll back two criminal justice reform measures approved by state voters in recent years.

The symbolic resolution affirmed the city’s support for the “Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2020.”

If passed by voters in 2020, the measure would reverse some of the reforms implemented through Proposition 47 in 2014 and Proposition 57 in 2016.

Prop. 47 reclassified some nonviolent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, while Prop. 57 allowed nonviolent inmates to petition for early release and participate in rehabilitation programs.

Doc's Chocolates

Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab will premiere its new line of Doc's Fine Chocolates in limited quantities Saturday, Nov. 16, at its three Central Coast parlors.

Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab will premiere its latest experiment — Doc’s Fine Chocolates — on Saturday, Nov. 16, at all three Central Coast parlors, where a limited stock will be available, a company spokeswoman said.

The gourmet chocolates are currently available in half-pound and one-pound variety boxes and create-your-own boxes while supplies last.

The original recipes arrived in 1915 from Great Britain, and Doc Burnstein’s partnered with seasoned candy maker Gerald Reed, former owner of Olde Tyme Chocolates in Arroyo Grande, who has 50-plus years of artisanal confectionary experience.

Handcrafted locally in small batches at Doc Burnstein’s own facility, the confections are poured and hand-dipped in milk chocolate, dark chocolate or a combination of the two by head chocolatier Cale Munro, the spokeswoman said.

People Helping People (PHP) is inviting the public to attend its 12th annual benefit wine release celebration, Vino de Sueños (Wine of Dreams), which raises funds to support services provided to farm, ranch, and vineyard workers and their families in the Santa Ynez and Los Alamos valleys.

The event will be held on Nov. 9, from 3-6 p.m. at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton.

Vino de Sueños first debuted in November of 2008 and was founded by a small group of local premium winemakers – Alma Rosa, Buttonwood, Clos Pepé, Feliz Noché, Foxen, Longoria, and Presidio – to specifically help farm and vineyard workers in the local area.

PHP was selected as the beneficiary due to the large number of farm and vineyard workers they assist.

 Denise Mullenary said one of her favorite activities as a child was going with her mother to the Lompoc Public Library.

 “We’d get books and I just loved all the colors and how pretty it was,” she said of those early trips, which sparked a lifelong love of reading and writing.

 Now, as a mother of four, Mullenary is looking to spread that passion for literacy to not only her own children but to kids around the world.

Mullenary recently released her first children’s book, “The Adventures of Minky and Bee,” an imaginative rhyming tale with close connections to Mullenary’s own family. The book, which is available for purchase from most online retailers, was illustrated by fellow Lompoc native Thomas Morales, and both Mullenary and Morales are scheduled to be on hand for a meet-and-greet and signing event from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at South Side Coffee Co., 105 South H St.

The same courtroom that was used for the 2005 Michael Jackson trial will house the Operation Matador trial, but even the massive crowds that followed the King of Pop didn't warrant the physical alterations to the space that will take place between now and the trial's start date in February.

Last month, Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge John McGregor chose the Department 8 courtroom at the Santa Maria Courthouse to hold the trial for 10 alleged MS-13 gang members, which is expected to last at least one year.

The group of 10 are among 17 arrested during Operation Matador in March 2016. Each of the 10 is facing a multitude of gang-related charges, including murder. Others who were arrested by the Santa Maria Police have either pleaded out or are charged with lesser crimes and will be tried separately.

At the same hearing on Oct. 18 that McGregor chose the trial's courtroom, he denied requests for some defendants to be tried separately, meaning the group of 10 will be tried together in the same courtroom.

Thanks to a skilled final shot by Chumash Charity Golf Classic participant Maxine Littlejohn, she and three of her teammates each became proud owners of a new Chevy vehicle.

The annual two-day event which took place in August, proved to be one for the books as the hole-in-one hit by Littlejohn was aced on a 165-yard shot from the Alisal River Course’s par-3 ninth hole, according to an event spokeswoman.

Littlejohn, who serves as secretary/treasurer for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Business Committee, and her team members Sandy Beguhl, Robert Corbi and A.J. DeDios, picked up their new cars on Friday from Rio Vista Chevrolet Buellton, which sponsors more than 20 charity golf tournaments each year, and has given away 15 vehicles to lucky winners since 1991.

“Now we can say that number has risen to 19 with Maxine’s hole-in-one – it is definitely the most exciting hole-in-one yet,” said Sam Sell, dealer principal for Rio Vista Chevrolet. “A select group of people get to brag about getting a hole-in-one, even fewer get to say they won a vehicle because of it. It really is extraordinary.”

A man suspected of shooting himself after shooting a juvenile family member Monday night has died, the Santa Maria Police Department said.

Ronald Enos, 56, of Santa Maria died Tuesday of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

The youth, who is not being identified because of his age, is still in critical condition from the shooting that followed a domestic dispute Monday night in the 900 block of West Williams Street in Santa Maria.

Following the shooting, fog shrouded the small portion of West Williams Street that was closed off for several hours past midnight, with at least four police cruisers on scene.

Two Santa Maria men wanted in connection to separate armed robberies at a liquor store, a motel and on a street corner in the southwest portion of the city were arrested Monday night after witnesses identified the suspects. 

Santa Maria Police Department officers responded about 7:45 p.m. to a report of an armed robbery at a liquor store in the 1500 block of South Broadway.

Officers were told a male suspect, later identified as 28-year-old Santa Maria resident Anthony Prado, walked into the store and allegedly took an alcoholic beverage from the cooler, according to Lt. Terry Flaa.

Prado refused to pay for the item and displayed what appeared to be a handgun as he walked out of the store, Flaa said. 

Prado later walked back to the store as officers were investigating the crime scene and was arrested after witnesses identified Prado as the suspect, according to Flaa. 

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Around the same time officers were arresting Prado, a second robbery victim contacted the Police Department and said Prado allegedly stole property from her motel room before brandishing a firearm when she tried to retrieve the item. 

Officers searched the area around the store for a firearm and discovered a pellet gun that was allegedly discarded by Prado a block away, according to Flaa. 

Prado was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of two counts of robbery, each with a bail amount of $100,000. 

About 10 minutes after the first robbery, and a little more than a mile away, Santa Maria police officers responded to another alleged armed robbery in the area of West Betteravia Road and South Thornburg Street.

When police responded to the scene just before 8 p.m., officers were told by the victim that he was approached by a male suspect who threatened him with a gun while demanding money. 

The victim gave money to the suspect, who was reported fleeing northbound on Thornburg Street, Flaa said.

Officers searched the area and saw a person matching the description of the suspect, 19-year-old Santa Maria resident Martin Montez de Oca, who was allegedly identified by the witness. 

Officers determined that de Oca did not actually possess a handgun during the alleged crime, according to Flaa, but instead led the victim to believe he had one and was willing to use it. 

De Oca was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of one count of felony robbery, with bail set at $100,000. 

Righetti made it look easy against a talented St. Joseph team Tuesday night.

The Warriors, hosting the rival Knights in the quarterfinals of the CIF Central Section Division 3 playoffs, cruised to a 25-16, 25-18, 25-17 win at their home gym.

Righetti will host Reedley Immanuel Thursday night in the semifinals. Warrior coach Charlie Koertge said the match should start at 6 p.m., though the time had yet to be confirmed at press time. Immanuel defeated Ocean League champion Morro Bay 3-0 Tuesday night.

McKenzie Kestler powered the Warriors from all over the court. Kestler and Kyra Allen each had a team-high 14 kills. Kestler, a senior left-handed hitter, also made plays in the back row and at the service line as she propelled Righetti into the CIF semifinals for the first time in decades.

Short-handed and playing its first match in awhile Tuesday, the St. Joseph girls tennis team scored a convincing win and moved into the CIF Central Section Division 2 semifinals.

The second-seeded Knights (15-2) defeated a solid No. 10 Visalia El Diamante squad (17-8) 6-3 at the Santa Maria Country Club. The Knights received a first-round bye. The last time before Tuesday that they played a match was Oct. 21.

El Diamante beat No. 7 Morro Bay 7-2 in the first round.

The Knights won five of the six singles matches Tuesday. The Miners took two of the three eight-game pro set doubles matches. 

A fire in an east Lompoc home Tuesday afternoon left five people displaced.

The Lompoc Fire Department responded to the blaze in the 1100 block of Bell Avenue just after 2 p.m. Crews were able to knock down the fire and had entered the salvage and overhaul phase by 3:30 p.m., according to Lompoc Fire.

Red Cross representatives were reportedly en route to assist the displaced occupants, Lompoc Fire reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Your Central Coast Weather Forecast 


Foggy early, becoming sunny this afternoon. High 68F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.


Partly cloudy skies. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.


Sunny. High 73F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.


Foggy early, becoming sunny this afternoon. High 68F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.


Partly cloudy skies. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.


Sunny. High 73F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.


Partly cloudy skies. High 77F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.


Clear early then increasing cloudiness after midnight. Low 44F. Winds light and variable.


Sunny. High 77F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.



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