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Luz Cecelia Velasquez


Santa Maria

Police seek public’s help to locate missing girl

Santa Maria Police are asking for the public’s help to locate a 12-year-old girl who’s been missing since Tuesday.

Luz Cecelia Velasquez left her family’s home in Santa Maria and hasn’t been seen since, although investigators say there is no information indicating foul play was involved.

She is described as Hispanic with black hair and brown eyes, standing 5 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing 130 pounds.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about her whereabouts to contact the Santa Maria Police Department at 928-3781 or the Tip Line at 928-3781, ext. 2677.

Santa Barbara County

Free dirt, rocks offered to those with dump truck

Rocks of various sizes up to 4 feet in diameter and clean fill dirt retrieved from the 1/9 Debris Flow areas are available from the county free of charge from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.

Contractors, county residents and business owners who have dump trucks with 5 yards or larger capacity may pick up rocks and dirt for landscaping or other purposes across the street from the South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station at 4430 Cathedral Oaks in Santa Barbara.

“Our county staff will be available to assist with … loading rocks and dirt into dump trucks,” said Tom Fayram, county deputy public works director.

“This is one more way the county is working actively to partner with the community in response to the 1/9 Debris Flow,” he added.

Santa Maria

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Hancock College symposium to focus on 'placemaking,' creative entrepreneurship

A daylong symposium at Hancock College will focus on connecting notable arts consultants with art educators, students and community members for a conversation on "placemaking" and best practices in the emerging creative economy.

"Made in Santa Maria" will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20 in Building M, Room 310, at Hancock's Santa Maria campus. The event will explore the idea of "placemaking," or how art can help a community tell its story and define what makes a place a place. Guest speakers will discuss community identity, inclusiveness, equity and economic vitality.

The symposium was conceived by Amiko Matsuo, a 3-D art and ceramics professor at Hancock, after she received a "Doing What Matters: Faculty Entrepreneurship Champion" mini-grant from the California Community College’s Economic and Workforce Development program. Matsuo's background as a ceramic artist and translator for an art festival that focused on rural revitalization spurred her interest in how art and artists define the identity of places.

Artist Sarah Filley, who serves as the CEO and co-founder of Popuphood, an Oakland-based business incubator that consults with cities to revitalize neighborhoods by connecting artists and entrepreneurs with vacant retail spaces, will deliver the symposium's keynote address.

The public is invited to engage in discussions with the local makers community, art teachers from the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, Hancock faculty and students and other local artists, arts leaders and arts instructors during the symposium. 

A free art exhibition and reception will be held that from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Santa Maria Business Development Center, 731 S. Lincoln St., in Santa Maria.

-- Staff Reports