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Santa Maria

Trial postponed again for businessman accused of child molestation

The trial of a Santa Maria businessman accused of molesting young children was postponed Monday to Jan. 18 at the Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Hans Jorgen Kardel, 84, had his trial delayed a second time, as the case waits for another trial to conclude in the same courtroom, according to the county District Attorney's Office. 

Kardel faces a slew of felony child sex charges, including oral copulation, sexual penetration with a child under the ages of 10 and 14, aggravated sexual assault of a minor, lewd/lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14 and attempting to dissuade a witness. 

He also faces a special enhancement of allegedly committing the offenses with more than one child, according to the felony complaint. Records indicate that both children were family relatives, and were under the age of 14 at the time of the alleged events, which reportedly began in 2005. 

Incidents were also reported in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015. A criminal protective order was issued for Kardel by the victim's family, according to court records. 

Kardel pleaded not guilty in February 2016.

Jury selection was underway last November, but postponed due to the unavailability of a defense witness. 

Kardel served as president of the Hejls Minde branch of the Dania Lodge of Solvang in the past, but no longer owns the Santa Maria company he founded, Kardel Insurance Services Inc., which is currently under new management.

Central Coast

Grants available for water management projects

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The State Water Resources Control Board Nonpoint Source Grant Program is requesting proposals for implementation projects, and those who want to seek funding for their project have until 5 p.m. Feb. 8 to apply.

Grant program administrators are looking for projects to implement management measures that will reduce nutrient or pesticide runoff or improve aquatic habitat protection to support fish that migrate to spawn.

Projects that control or minimize nonpoint source pollution in watersheds impacted by recent wildfires are also eligible.

Applications can be filed online at, where links to guidelines for eligible project types and priority areas in the Central Coast region and other information are also available.

For more information, contact Katie McNeil, grants program manager for the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Board, at 549-3336 or