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CHASE - update - 08/26/14 10:29 S.S.

THE MAN WHO LED MONTEREY COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ON A CHASE FROM SALINAS TO THE CHUALAR EARLIER THIS MONTH HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED. 29 YEAR-OLD ADALI MENDOZA IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN THE DRIVER WHO LED A CHASE INTO THE CHUALAR HILLS EARLIER THIS MONTH. MENDOZA IS DESCRIBED AS BEING 5 FEET 8 INCHES TALL, AND WEIGHING 200 POUNDS. HE IS BALD AND HAS BROWN EYES….AND SEVERAL TATTOOS ON HIS FACE, INCLUDING “C”, “Jules”, and “NSK”. MENDOZA FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES INCLUDING EVADING ARREST. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ON HIS WHEREABOUTS IS ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT THE SALINAS POLICE DEPARTMENT OR THE MONTEREY COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE.

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NAVIGATOR CHARTER SCHOOLS - 08/26/14 10:50 S.S.

A GILROY-BASED CHARTER SCHOOL OPERATOR WANTS TO OPEN 2 SCHOOLS IN SALINAS. THE OWNER OF NAVIGATOR SCHOOLS HOPES TO PLACE ONE SCHOOL EACH IN BOTH THE ALISAL UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT AND THE SALINAS CITY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT. THEY HOPE TO START WITH K-3RD GRADE SCHOOLS, AND EXPAND FROM THERE. CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE PUBLIC SCHOOLS THAT OPERATE OUTSIDE OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS, BUT ARE PUBLICLY FUNDED. ALL OF THE CHARTER SCHOOLS IN MONTEREY COUNTY ARE CURRENTLY INDEPENDENTLY RUN, SO THE NAVIGATOR SCHOOLS WOULD BE THE FIRST IN THE COUNTY THAT WOULD BE RUN BY A “CHARTER OPERATOR”. CHARTER SCHOOLS CAN BE CONTROVERSIAL BECAUSE THE TEACHERS AT CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE NOT UNIONIZED, AND BECAUSE WHEN STUDENTS MOVE FROM A DISTRICT SCHOOL TO A CHARTER SCHOOL, THE MONEY THAT PAYS FOR THEM MOVES TOO.

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SOLAR FARM PROPOSED - 08/26/14 08:56 S.S.

A PROPOSAL TO BUILD ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST SOLAR FARMS IN THE PANOCHE VALLEY (SOUTH OF HOLLISTER) ONLY NEEDS ITS FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITS, AND SOME NEW INVESTORS TO BANKROLL IT. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON HAS ALREADY AGREED TO A 20-YEAR CONTRACT TO PURCHASE ELECTRICITY CREATED THERE. THE STATE’S UTILITY COMPANIES NEED TO FIND NEW SOURCES OF ELECTRICITY BECAUSE A 3 YEAR-OLD LAW REQUIRES THEM TO PROVIDE 33 PERCENT OF THEIR ELECTRICITY FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES (SUCH AS SOLAR AND WIND POWER) BY THE YEAR 2020. THE STATE’S 3 LARGEST UTILITIES ARE CURRENTLY AT ABOUT 21 PERCENT. SEVERAL ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS SAY THEY WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT THIS PROJECT, BECAUSE THEY SAY IT THREATENS THE RURAL CHARACTER OF THE AREA, AND WOULD HARM SEVERAL ENDANGERED SPECIES (INCLUDING THE SAN JOAQUIN KIT FOX, AND THE BLUNT-NOSED LEOPARD LIZARD).

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CHILD MOLESTER IN COURT - 08/26/14 08:42 S.S.

THE TRIAL HAS BEGUN FOR A LA SELVA BEACH MAN, ACCUSED OF MOLESTING SEVERAL YOUNG GIRLS OVER THE SPAN OF 14 YEARS. 59 YEAR-OLD RANDY JAY SMITH IS ACCUSED OF MOLESTING 5 GIRLS BETWEEN 1993 AND 2007 (WHEN THE GIRLS WERE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 4 AND 9 YEARS-OLD). SMITH FACES 14 SEPARATE SEXUAL MOLESTATION-RELATED-CHARGES. IF CONVICTED ON ALL OF THE COUNTS AGAINST HIM, HE COULD FACE A SENTENCE OF UP TO LIFE IN PRISON.

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WITNESSES SOUGHT RE HIT-AND-RUN - 08/26/14 06:51 S.S.

A 70 YEAR-OLD LAS LOMAS MAN, WHO WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED IN A HIT-AND-RUN IN SANTA CRUZ SUNDAY, WAS STILL IN CRITICAL CONDITION YESTERDAY. THE MAN SUFFERED INJURIES TO HIS LUNGS, ABDOMEN, INTESTINES AND KIDNEYS IN THE 4:30 P-M INCIDENT ON THE 700 BLOCK OF PACIFIC AVENUE. THE 29 YEAR-OLD DRIVER, WHO IS THOUGHT TO HAVE BEEN INTOXICATED AT THE TIME, WAS ARRESTED ABOUT AN HOUR-AND-A-HALF LATER AND BOOKED INTO SANTA CRUZ COUNTY JAIL. AT THIS TIME SHE FACES A POSSIBLE CHARGE OF FELONY HIT-AND-RUN. ANYONE WHO MAY HAVE WITNESSED THE SUNDAY AFTERNOON ACCIDENT ON PACIFIC AVENUE IS ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT THE SANTA CRUZ POLICE DEPARTMENT.

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LOCAL GRAPE GROWERS RELIEVED - 08/26/14 06:26 S.S.

SOME LOCAL GRAPE GROWERS ARE RELIEVED THAT THEY’LL STILL BE ABLE TO DELIVER THEIR GRAPES TO NAPA AREA WINERIES IN THE COMING WEEKS. ALTHOUGH THE WINERIES SUFFERED DAMAGE (AS A RESULT OF SUNDAY’S EARTHQUAKE NEAR NAPA), AT LEAST SOME WILL BE ABLE TO PROCESS THOSE GRAPES INTO WINE. ONE OF THE VINTNERS SAID "Part of the good news is this started before harvest started,” and “very little harvest had been completed, so very few of the tanks and barrels have 2014 wine in them”. MANY CENTRAL COAST VINEYARDS DO BUSINESS WITH NAPA WINERIES.

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