After proudly parading down Broadway on Friday night, more than 150 classic cars needed a place to park.

They found it at the Santa Maria Fairpark, where the 16th annual Cruzin’ for Life Car Show took center stage Saturday.

“We started this in 2004 and thought it would be a one-off, but here we are,” said Cruzin’ co-founder Clifford Labastida. “We set it up as a car show first, and then the cruise down Broadway came later.”

In 1968, Roger Welt was an Army combat correspondent during what would be the height of the U.S. military’s involvement in the Vietnam War with more than half a million troops in the country.

Welt’s job was to document warfare under the auspices of the U.S. Army. It sounds an awful lot like Matthew Modine’s character in the movie Full Metal Jacket, but Welt said he always felt like the disillusioned college dropout that was Charlie Sheen’s character in Platoon.

At the age of 73 and living the life of a retired community college administrator in Orcutt, Welt reflects on his purpose in an unpopular war that sparked a period of significant social change in America.

Welt was in college studying for what he called medical school “fantasy,” but received horrible grades and was also deficient in credits. So Welt joined the Army out of Modesto. It wasn’t really a choice. Welt was drafted.

Firefighters from three agencies attacked a fire that broke out Saturday afternoon in the Santa Maria Riverbed and held it to just over 13 acres, according to emergency radio transmissions.

The fire broke out about 4:15 p.m. on the San Luis Obispo County side of the river west of the Highway 101 bridge, and when the first crew arrived it had burned about 3 acres of grass and was spreading eastward at a moderate rate.

Engines responded from Santa Maria Fire Department as well as Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Cal Fire/San Luis Obispo County Fire Department.

At first, the fire was not affecting the freeway, but as it moved eastward, the onramps at Broadway and Highway 166 as well as the bridge were closed to traffic around 4:45 p.m.

The freeway was reopened about 5:50 p.m., and at 6:30 p.m. the fire was reported contained at 13.09 acres.

The cause is under investigation.

The arrival of the autumnal equinox — the beginning of fall — will occur Monday at 1:50 a.m. local time when the sun will be directly over the equator.

We will lose the greatest amount of daylight of the year Monday, about three minutes at our latitude.

As we head toward winter, the Earth will move closer to the sun, because our orbit is not perfectly round, but slightly oval-shaped. Earth will reach perihelion, when the whole planet comes closest to the sun, on Jan. 4, 2020, around midnight local time.

Nipomo’s new-look stadium finally made its debut Friday night.

After construction delays forced Nipomo to move its first two home games to other San Luis Obispo County locations, the Titans played Arroyo Grande on their new grass field.

The Eagles won 21-6.

A new stadium scoreboard is in place on the north end of the field. Wording on the right side of the scoreboard reads, “Jeff McNeil, Nipomo High School graduating class of 2010.”

A wildfire that broke out at 2:25 p.m. on the southeast side of Lopez Lake forced the evacuation of residents and hikers in Lopez Canyon as it quickly grew in the dense grass and brush in the steep, rugged terrain.

Dubbed the Lopez fire, the blaze was reported at 120 acres just after 4 p.m., but a spokesman for Cal Fire/San Luis Obispo County Fire Department said the fire had grown to 225 acres by about 5:45 p.m.

The fire started after campers left hot coals in large group campsite Apache at Camp French and afternoon winds whipped up flames, according to Park Ranger II Coby Whitaker.

The All-Star Monster Truck Tour wrapped up its weekend on the Central Coast on Saturday night at the Santa Maria Raceway in Nipomo.

Six Monster Trucks hit the dirt Friday night, but only five made it to Saturday night’s finale.

“We lost Dragon Slayer on a back flip Friday,” said Raceway general manager David Castaneda. “He did a perfect flip but came down on his rear axle, bounced and when he came back down, the axle snapped.”

Hancock College student and runner Rachel Mallory,who is also a mother of two, bluntly described the nightmare she lived.

"For four years I struggled with drug and alcohol abuse," Mallory, 32, who also said she is a former smoker, said during a break in a recent Hancock practice. "I was in the darkest of dark places.

"When I was 23, I was going through a divorce and I didn't get the help I needed, I thought I could (get through) it alone."

SBA plans free seminar for small businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Los Angeles District Office will hold a free seminar in Santa Maria for those who want to start a new business or grow, expand or recover an existing business on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

Titled “Empowering Santa Maria Valley Small Businesses, the seminar is set for 3 to 4:30 p.m. in America’s Job Center of California at 1410 S. Broadway, Suite H, the Sutter Room.

SBA provides counseling, capital, contracting and disaster recovery expertise and assistants for the nation’s more than 30 million small businesses.

The seminar will not only include representatives of SBA but also the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board.

Although the seminar is free, those planning to attend are asked to reserve a space by visiting www.bit.ly/sbasmwb.

Making a change for the right reason will expand your life and push you in an exhilarating direction. Take a good look at your life and consider what makes you happy. You are responsible for the choices you make. Do what's best for you.

Go online to see a horoscope breakdown for each astrological sign.


Mostly clear. Low around 55F. NNW winds shifting to ESE at 10 to 20 mph.


Mostly clear. Low around 55F. NNW winds shifting to ESE at 10 to 20 mph.


Mainly sunny. High 84F. SSW winds shifting to NW at 10 to 20 mph.


Some clouds this morning will give way to generally sunny skies for the afternoon. High around 80F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.


Clear to partly cloudy. Low 52F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.


A mainly sunny sky. High 73F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.


Partly cloudy. High near 90F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.


Clear skies. Low 52F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.


A mainly sunny sky. High 83F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph.

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