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.

For many years, the Christmas Parade of Lights was organized and run by the Lions Club of Santa Maria. During the first years, the parade ran south on Broadway, from Fesler to Boone streets. Surprisingly, traffic was allowed to continue on Broadway, using the western lane, and the parade ran…

In celebration of the cooperation, camaraderie and BService Above SelfC objectives, the Rotary Clubs of Santa Maria and Nipomo held a Group 12 joint meeting in November.

The petite president of Santa Maria Rotary South, Billie Jo Cravello, is much like the club she leads: smaller than some but possessing a mighty spirit.

The lights of Broadway dazzled and awed Saturday night as the 2007 Santa Maria Christmas Parade of Lights gave the holiday season a grand introduction

Dolores A. Doran, founder/director of Coastal Voices has announced openings for sopranos, altos, tenors and basses for the 2006-2007 season. Rehearsals are on Monday nights from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. at Saint Andrew United Methodist Church, 3945 South Bradley Road in Orcutt.

It might be one of the smaller churches in town, but First Church of God in Santa Maria has the heart of a congregation twice its size.

The tides of change continued in Guadalupe Wednesday when Herb Sanchez announced he was stepping down from his City Council seat for health reasons.

In this film publicity image released by Lionsgate, Tobey Maguire, left, and Jake Gyllenhaal are shown in a scene from, "Brothers." (AP Photo/Lionsgate, Lorey Sebastian)

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.

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.

Santa Maria Mexico boys U10 wins Orcutt Soccer Classic

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.

In the closing minutes of the Cabrillo/Nipomo girls basketball game, Cabrillo head coach Mark Tasch was yelling, “Anybody but her! Anybody but her!” from his side of the gymnasium.

The annual Nativity Pageant scheduled for tonight at Solvang's outdoor Festival Theater has been canceled because of rain, and this evening's Santa Ynez Valley Jazz Band concert has been moved from tonight to 4 p.m. Wednesday in Solvang Park.

If you have an item to list in this calendar, fax to Linda Olvera, 928-5657; e-mail lolvera@santa mariatimes.com or mail to Linda Olvera, PO Box 400, Santa Maria, CA 93456. Include time, date, address of event and contact phone number. Items must be received at least two weeks in advance of …

Another national wine magazine has announced its top wines of the year, and Cambria Winery was given top honors for its 2006 Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Ian Gonzaga/Staff Maurita Jaurequi, 62, of Salvation Army asks for donations outside of Spencers Market on Saturday in Santa Maria. 11/28/09

Bryan Walton/Staff Pioneer Valley student Demi Urias is one of a few local kids honored as awesome kids for making a difference. 12/8/09

Ian Gonzaga/Staff The ashes of Santa Barbara County Fire Heavy Equipment Operator, Dean Moore, are brought down from a tractor during the procession at his funeral on Thursday in Solvang. 12/10/09

Amy and Ali are two Dachshund mix females about 5 months old who weigh about 10 lbs each. They are adorable and very affectionate pups who are asking Santa for a new loving home for the holidays. How could you not love these two little girls? Amy and Ali are both spayed and fully vaccinat…

Amy and Ali are two Dachshund mix females about 5 months old who weigh about 10 lbs. each. They are adorable and very affectionate pups who are asking Santa for a new loving home for the holidays. Amy and Ali are both spayed and fully vaccinated.  All of the animals available for adoption at…