State fire officials are investigating the possibility that utilities equipment failure may have started the northern California wildfires. Investigators have found downed power lines in areas where the fires could have started. It is unclear at this point in the investigation whether the downed lines started the blaze or were caused by the fires.
(12:35) Salinas - A restaurant in Salinas caught on fire this morning. The fire started around 6 a.m. in a garbage can next to the Golden China restaurant. The fire quickly spread to the restaurant causing an estimated $25,000 to $50,000 worth in damage. Officials are investigating what was placed in the garbage can to cause the fire.
(12:20) Monterey - The Monterey Bay Aquarium is offering free admission to residents in communities under a state of emergency due to the wildfires. Free admission will be offered from now until October 22. Guests are being asked to bring a drivers license and proof of residence. Up to four people are allowed per visiting family.
(12:00) Salinas - A driver of a pickup truck lost control on Highway 101 in Salinas and crashed down an embankment. CHP reported the accident took place this morning just before 6:30 a.m. on Highway 101 near Kern Street on ramp. There have been no reports on any injuries. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
(09:00) A project to construct median barrier and install inside rumble strips along Highway 101 from the Walnut Avenue Overcrossing to north of Hudson Road in the Greenfield area has began. Motorists will encounter lane closures northbound Sunday evenings from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. and Monday through Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Daytime roadwork will occur Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Motorists can expect delays not to exceed 10 minutes. The project is expected to be complete by next spring. For more information on this project visit: dot.ca.gov.
(08:15) Carmel - The Holman Highway 68 Roundabout Project has been completed and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled to take place this morning. The $10 million project was executed in an effort to help relieve congestion near the Highway 68/Highway 1 intersection. The ribbon-cutting ceremony starts at 10:00 a.m. today. Parking is available at, 490 Aguajito Road, in Carmel. Shuttle service to and from the ceremony will be provided between 9:30 - 9:50 a.m. and immediately following the ribbon-cutting celebration.
(07:45) Salinas - A Soledad man has been found guilty of first degree murder. 30-year-old Ernesto Hernandez reportedly shot 19-year-old Abigail Gasca-Chavez 7 times to her head and face on March 29, 2016 in Salinas. Hernandez faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
(06:45) Salinas - Authorities reported that 2 teens were arrested yesterday in Salinas, after they were caught carrying a loaded gun and drugs. An officer patrolling the area in the 900 block of Acosta Plaza spotted 2 suspicious teens sitting in a vehicle, 19-year-old Alexis Martinez and a 14-year-old boy. During a search of the vehicle, a loaded gun and drugs were recovered. Martinez was booked into the Monterey County Jail for firearm charges and gang enhancements.