Day Two

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The Santa Maria Elks Rodeo, set to launch its 64th edition today, promises a lot for greenhorns not familiar with the sport or its local tradition of fundraising.

Have you noticed, when you’re within a dozen or so feet of a smoker outdoors, the smoke seems to fly into your face — no matter which way the wind is blowing. It’s a complete violation of the laws of physics, but it happens.

Let’s face it, most Americans simply are not ready to accept marijuana as a bona fide medical treatment — at least not with regard to allowing pot dispensaries in their communities.

With the number of deaths attributed to the H1N1 virus in Santa Barbara County climbing to six this week, the Public Health Department has scheduled two vaccination clinics open to all residents.

The gray rain clouds mirrored the somber emotions Thursday as the final alarm was rung for Dean Moore, a heavy-equipment operator with Santa Barbara County Fire Department, who died Nov. 29 after a two-year battle with lung cancer.

Demi Urias speaks softly, but carries a big message to her peers when it comes to the dangers of drinking and driving.

Two men whose brush-clearing efforts along a local trail allegedly sparked the devastating Jesusita Fire in May have been charged with misdemeanor violations of county codes, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

They’re not jingle bells or silver bells, but the ding-a-ling chime from Salvation Army bell ringers heralds the coming of Christmas just as effectively.

Arroyo Grande High School point guard Michael Escobedo, right, crosses over against Santa Maria during Thursday night’s Optimist Tournament at Dr. Arthur James Gym in Arroyo Grande. Arroyo Grande went on to an 85-48 victory.

Arroyo Grande boys basketball players Derick Beasley and Michael Escobedo couldn’t help but get a little flashy Thursday night.

Hancock College’s Brittany Garcia goes up for a shot against Las Positas’ Crystal Florida during Thursday night’s Bulldog Classic at Hancock’s Joe White Gymnasium in Santa Maria. Garcia nailed two key free throws to seal the Bulldogs’ 66-61 victory.

Brittany Garcia came through down the stretch Thursday night, so Hancock College’s women’s basketball team won its first game in its own tournament.

Righetti High School’s Kaylie Monte (3) shoots over Lompoc High’s Kelly Fletcher (17) during Thursday afternoon’s non-league girls water polo match at Righetti. Monte scored three goals in Righetti’s 13-2 victory.

With two new head coaches, the Lompoc and Righetti girls water polo teams are still trying to get accustomed to changes in the learning curve.

Nipomo High School’s Missi Ramsey brings the ball upcourt against Cabrillo High during the Moriarty Enterprises Holiday Classic at San Luis Obispo High School on Thursday. Nipomo won the game 51-35.

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