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Generations of Gaviota families attended Vista del Mar school. Financial issues may force the district to dissolve.

For decades, parents were drawn to Vista del Mar's unique educational opportunities and small class sizes. A financial downturn spurred by the 2015 Refugio oil spill and a change to state funding may force it to merge with the Buellton Union School District.

New shooting range for Santa Maria Police in development at Los Flores Ranch

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

Santa Maria City Council adopts permanent H-2A farmworker housing ordinance

After more than an hour of discussion, the Santa Maria City Council voted Tuesday to adopt a permanent ordinance governing the housing of H-2A farmworkers in the city’s residential zones. The ordinance requires discretionary permits for housing more than six H-2A workers in a single-family home but allows the housing of employees in medium- and high-density housing zones without the need for local permits.


Compelling insights from the heart of our community.

On the road with Santa Barbara County Animal Services: Officer deals with strays, reflects on changes over years

The Santa Maria area keeps Santa Barbara County Animal Services officers busy.

Nonprofit opens home for homeless women veterans in Orcutt

An Orcutt home will house homeless women veterans thanks to the work of nonprofit Operation WEBS, which was founded one year ago to help women transition to civilian life after leaving the military.

Law enforcement officers carry Special Olympics Flame of Hope through Santa Maria

To raise awareness and money for Special Olympics, a group of 40 local law enforcement officers carried the Flame of Hope through northern Santa Barbara County on Tuesday for the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. With an escort of police cars with flashing lights, the officers made their way down Broadway before stopping for a brief ceremony at Santa Maria City Hall.

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