Police investigating early morning carjacking

Santa Maria Police officials are investigating a carjacking that occurred in the northeast part of the city early Saturday morning. 

Around 1:30 a.m., officers responded to the 700 block of East Bunny Avenue regarding a reported carjacking, a police spokesman said.  

The investigation revealed the victim was approached by a group of men while seated in his vehicle, the spokesman said. The suspects demanded his property, and one man brandished a handgun and pointed it at the victim.

The men took the victim's property and vehicle prior to fleeing, with some suspects fleeing on foot while another left in the victim's vehicle. The victim was not injured. 

Santa Maria Police officials are requesting anyone with information on this crime call 805-928-3781, ext. 2277.


Five people, including 4 children, injured in Goleta crash

Five people were injured, including four children, in a single-vehicle crash Monday afternoon off Highway 101 in Goleta.

A total of seven people — three adults and four children — were traveling in an SUV that, for some reason, left the northbound lanes of the highway around 2:30 p.m. Monday near Los Carneros Road and careened through a pocket of trees before coming to a rest along a fence bordering Calle Real. The car was bound for Santa Maria, according to Santa Barbara County Fire spokesman Mike Eliason.

The female driver suffered moderate injuries and was transported to Cottage Hospital. Of the children, a young boy was taken to Cottage Hospital with major injuries; another boy was taken with moderate injuries; a girl was taken to the medical facility with minor injuries; and the youngest passenger, a 2-month-old girl, was taken to the hospital as a precaution, according to Eliason. 

Two other adults in the vehicle were not injured, according to County Fire.

The crash is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol and county agencies.


Vegetation fire stopped at Point Sal Road near Casmalia

Santa Barbara County fire crews stopped the forward progress of a vegetation fire in the area of Point Sal Road near Casmalia just before 1 p.m. Monday.

Crews from Santa Barbara County Fire, Santa Maria and Vandenberg Air Force Base fire departments all responded, reporting the fire had scorched 1 to 2 acres of land near the Casmalia landfill and was burning at a slow rate of speed.

The fire's spread was held by the road, and crews were able to quickly stop the forward progress of the blaze at 3 acres, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Daniel Bertucelli. 

There were no reports of injuries or structures threatened as a result of the fire. 

An initial request was made for fire tankers and additional trucks, but that request was canceled after crews assessed the fire. 

The cause of the fire remains unknown at this point. 


Hancock College to be topic of next 'Heart of the Valley' presentation

Hancock College President Kevin Walthers will speak about the college's role in the community during the next Heart of the Valley presentation at 10:15 a.m. Saturday

The free series, which is held in Shepard Hall at the Santa Maria Public Library each month, features different expert speakers talking about various aspects of local history.

The series is designed to educate and delight the public with interesting facts from the past that have shaped Santa Maria and the region.

The program is the result of a partnership with local historian Shirley Contreras and the library.

Suggestions for possible speakers are welcomed and encouraged.

Seating, which is limited, will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

The library, located at 421 S. McClelland St., is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and closed Sunday.

For more information, call 805-925-0994, ext. 8562.


Library holding adult coloring event Wednesday

The Santa Maria Public Library will offer its adult coloring program from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the learning center. 

The coloring activities are designed to relieve stress and provide a creative and artistic outlet for adults of all ages. Participants are offered a broad selection of pictures and postcards to color.

The library will provide all materials, including colored pencils, markers and an assortment of gel pens.

Signups are not required, but seating is limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

The library, located at 421 S. McClelland St., is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and closed Sunday.

Those looking for more information are asked to call 805-925-0994, ext. 8562.

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