Santa Barbara County’s $1.5 billion agricultural industry will take center stage later this month as part of a special daylong event designed to link farmers and ranchers with the general public.

Scheduled for Sept. 28, the inaugural Santa Barbara County Farm Day offers community members a chance to tour 13 agricultural operations -- from farms and ranches to wineries and testing labs -- that dot the Santa Maria Valley.

Mary Maranville, founder and CEO of Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG), the Ventura County nonprofit organizing Farm Day, hopes it will “bridge the gap” between the general public and the region’s robust agricultural heritage.

A shortage of funds is driving program and staffing cuts at the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society as the shelter continues exploring a merger with its counterpart in Santa Barbara that would strengthen both nonprofits.

Over the last 15 months, the Santa Maria Valley and Santa Barbara humane societies have been negotiating the merger that would unite the two largest independent nonprofit shelters in the county.

While the terms have not been finalized, the end product would create one organization with two shelters, expanding the fundraising footprint and service area of both humane societies.

A Lompoc restaurant that has been in operation for 50 years — and is also the last survivor from a once-popular national chain — is set to move to a new location that has its owners excited for what they will hope will also be a lengthy future.

Alfie's Fish & Chips, located in the Northside Shopping Center at 1036 North H St., is slated to relocate to the building at 610 North H St. that formerly housed Scratch Kitchen up until that eatery’s closure on Aug. 18. Mike and Nellie Sewall, who have owned the Lompoc Alfie’s restaurant since 2001, said Friday they were thrilled for the upcoming move, which they hope to complete by Nov. 1.

“It’s a whole new world for us,” Nellie Sewall said.

A head-on collision near the entrance to Cachuma Lake Recreational Area resulted in one driver being airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and the closure of Highway 154 for more than an hour Friday morning. 

Hwy. 154 Head-on collision

A white pickup truck was involved in a head-on collision with a minivan near Cachuma Lake that resulted in the van driver being airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and the closure of Highway 154 for more than an hour Friday morning. 

When emergency crews from Santa Barbara County Fire and the California Highway Patrol responded to the call just after 8:30 a.m., they found a pickup truck on its side and a passenger van with two occupants blocking the roadway a quarter-mile east of the entrance to Cachuma Lake.

The female driver of the van was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated by emergency crews.

She was transported by ambulance to a field near the recreation area, then transferred to a CalSTAR helicopter for transport to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara for treatment of moderate injuries, according to a County Fire spokesman. 

A girl, who was riding in the van, was able to exit the vehicle on her own and was transported by ambulance to Cottage Hospital with minor injuries. 

The man driving the pickup also exited his vehicle on his own and was treated at the scene for what were described as minor injuries, the spokesman said.

The highway was reopened at 10:10 a.m. after the vehicles were cleared and an initial investigation was completed. CHP officials have yet to determine the cause of the collision.

Santa Maria Valley Historical Society curator Cindy Ransick will speak about the organization's role in the community during the next Heart of the Valley presentation at 10:15 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21.

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, an event spokesman said.

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

Suggestions for possible speakers are welcomed and encouraged, the spokesman said.

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.

Week Three was another great week of football, and we had a classic rivalry matchup to start it off. Lompoc headed to Arroyo Grande to take on the Eagles, plus Righetti and St. Joseph both took on a BCHS (St. Joe's in a tough game against Bakersfield Christian and the Warriors getting past Bakersfield Centennial) in Orcutt. Scores, videos, and photo galleries from the games are right here, along with our full game stories recapping all of the action from Friday night.

Mark Rush saved the night.

With the game on the line, the Arroyo Grande High School linebacker intercepted a Cavin Ross pass at the Arroyo Grande goal line, brought the ball upfield to the A.G. 27 and sealed the Eagles’ 30-24 victory over the Lompoc Braves Friday night at Pioneer Valley High School.

The non-league matchup was scheduled to be one of the Eagles’ home games, but since their football field remains under reconstruction, the game was played in Santa Maria.

Bakersfield Christian has grown into the small-school powerhouse of the CIF Central Section.

The Eagles proved that again Friday night.

A year after beating St. Joseph, the proud Central Coast program that transitioned to the Central Section in 2018, in Bakersfield, the Eagles got the best of the Knights again.

OK, it probably sounds trite to say Righetti made it look pretty easy against a pretty good football team Friday night.

However, the Warriors really did make it look pretty easy against a pretty good Bakersfield Centennial football team at Righetti Friday night.

With the sizable Righetti student cheering section, with the aid of an enthusiastic band, happily belting out hit songs from various eras — ABBA's "Dancing Queen," was one, Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight," was another - the CIF Central Section Division 2 Warriors (4-0) drubbed the Division 1 Golden Hawks (2-2), 66-6 in a non-league game.

The Saints are back to .500.

Santa Maria's football team rolled past Bakersfield Golden Valley at home Friday night to move to 2-2 on the season.

The Saints scored a touchdown in each of the first three quarters and eased to a non-league win at Santa Maria's Ralph Baldiviez Stadium over the Bulldogs (1-3).

The Valley Reads book club will discuss Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen's "The Wife Between Us" at its next meeting from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, in Shepard Hall at the Santa Maria Public Library.

The novel follows what appears to be a jealous ex-wife trying to meddle in the relationship of her ex-husband. However, appearances can be deceiving.

The club meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month, and complimentary coffee is served.

To join Valley Reads, sign up with the staff at the second-floor information desk at the library, located at 421 S. McClelland St.

Hours are 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.

Cracker Barrel has contributed $10,000 to create a new endowment for students pursuing a degree in culinary arts, the Allan Hancock College Foundation announced Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Tennessee-based restaurant chain and Hancock College celebrated the donation with a check presentation ceremony at Cracker Barrel’s new Santa Maria location on Betteravia Road, which opened in February.

Dan Schneider, general manager of the Santa Maria Cracker Barrel, said the company is honored to support Hancock College through its culinary arts program.

Chuck Madson knows a thing or two about drug and alcohol abuse, kids and gang violence. He’s been in the midst of that triad for more than a decade as a substance-abuse counselor.

Madson has teamed with fellow Lompoc resident Tim Harrington on a crusade to create a Lompoc youth center, something the community desperately needs in the wake of youth violence and the city’s sixth homicide this year.

The pair has held a couple of focus groups, getting ideas from fellow Lompoc residents about making a sound investment in Lompoc’s future, which is exactly what a fully-functioning youth center could provide.

Address emotional and partnership issues. Once you free yourself of matters that have been holding you back, you will feel energized and prepared to move forward with your long-term plans. A positive attitude will help you gain support and respect. Cut ties with people who bring you down.

Go online to see a full horoscope with a breakout for each astrological sign.


Mainly sunny. High 89F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.


Partly cloudy skies. Low around 55F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.


Partly to mostly cloudy. High around 75F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.


Plenty of sunshine. High 81F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.


Some clouds. Low 54F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.


Cloudy early with partial sunshine expected late. High 72F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.


Abundant sunshine. High 97F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph.


Some clouds. Low 54F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.


Mostly cloudy skies early will become partly cloudy later in the day. High 87F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph.




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