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Defense attorneys will ask a judge to move the trial for the father and son defendants accused in the death and disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart to a venue outside of San Luis O…

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The father and son defendants charged with the death and disappearance of Kristin Smart appeared Monday during a pretrial conference in San Luis Obispo to confirm their trial start date for April and work out details regarding discovery.

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A forensic specialist and two K-9 handlers testified in court Thursday on details of their searches that occurred earlier this year under the deck of an Arroyo Grande home, where San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office investigators dug for evidence of missing 19-year-old Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

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A 2020 search of a trailer seized as part of the Kristin Smart investigation revealed a stain “similar” to a human body after the inside was sprayed with a chemical used to detect bodily fluids, according to testimony Wednesday from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s detective who is leading the case.

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A judge on Wednesday rejected a motion to recuse an entire district attorney’s office over accusations of bias from alleged statements and purple clothing worn in court during the preliminary hearing for Paul Flores, who is charged in the death and disappearance of 19-year-old Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

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Attorneys for the father and son charged in the death of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart have asked to quash evidence from what they believe has been the product of a botched investigation.

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The parents of Kristin Smart visited close friends and supporters in San Luis Obispo County recently to mark a quarter century since their daughter disappeared from Cal Poly after returning fr…

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Attorneys in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court on Monday confirmed the July preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores, the father and son defendants who are charged in the death of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

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Ruben Flores, 80, of Arroyo Grande left jail after Judge Craig Van Rooyen lowered his bail from $250,000 to $50,000 on Wednesday. Terms of release require Ruben Flores to wear an electronic ankle monitor, give up his passport and stay within San Luis Obispo County.

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For over twenty-four years, we have waited for this bittersweet day. It is impossible to put into words what this day means for our family; we pray it is the first step to bringing our daughter home. While Kristin’s loving spirit will always live in our hearts, our life without her hugs, laughs and smiles is a heartache that never abates.

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A search warrant related to the Kristin Smart investigation ended Tuesday with no further information released by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, whose personnel worked for nearly two days searching the Arroyo Grande home of Ruben Flores, the father of Paul Flores, who was considered the main person of interest the 1996 disappearance of the Cal Poly student.

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Investigators worked behind yellow crime scene tape and utilized ground-penetrating radar Monday after a search warrant was served at the Arroyo Grande home of Ruben Flores, the father of the prime suspect in the disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

Wildfire County - Planning for the next big blaze

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OPINION Today’s editorial is all about sharing the stories of your friends and neighbors, and their thoughts and fears about wildfires, all of which collectively paint a crucially important picture.

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Los Padres ForestWatch says conducting prescribed burns and carving fuel breaks are a waste of time and money that would be better spent on fire-hardening homes and communities. The nonprofit advocates simple, but not necessarily inexpensive, steps homeowners can take to make their houses more resistant to wildfires.

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Two methods of preventing and controlling wildfires are so mired in controversy that getting their use approved is difficult and if approved, opposition sometimes brings them to a halt.  Ironically, both sides cite the Thomas fire as evidence to bolster their positions.

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Although “fire season” is now considered year-round in Santa Barbara County and throughout most of California, the danger level increases when a mild spring warms into a hot summer and then bakes into a blazing fall. 

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