(05:40) Santa Cruz - Authorities reported that 12 adult males were arrested yesterday (Monday) morning in the city and county of Santa Cruz (and in Santa Clara county). The criminal street gang arrests were in connection with cases of murder, extortion, and narcotics trafficking. The arrests were the culmination of a 5-year investigation.
Officials are releasing water as fast as they can from the Anderson Reservoir near Morgan Hill. About 3,000 gallons per second is being released into Coyote Creek because the reservoir is not supposed to be more than 68 percent full. When it’s more full than that, a nearby dam could fail under the pressure of too much water if there’s an earthquake of 7.2 or stronger.
Along with all kinds of road repairs and road improvement projects that are on the list of the state’s key infrastructure projects released this week is a local plan to widen a roadway. It is now hoped that the plan to expand Highway 156 (to 4 express lanes from San Juan Bautista to just-shy-of-Hollister) will begin by the summer of 2019. The highway widening project has been approved since 2008, but the money hasn’t been available.
The Walnut Avenue Family And Women’s Center in Santa Cruz now has the funds to make some long-deferred improvements to the center. That’s thanks to the money generated from Bay Federal Credit Union’s annual silent auction. 60 businesses donated goods and services to this year’s silent auction, that raised about $8,500. The money raised by the silent auction in years past has gone to support a variety of local programs, including the Teen Kitchen Project, the Aztecas Soccer Program, and Camp Opportunity.
Geo-specialists inspected the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge just south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and found visible cracks in one of its 2 support columns. They also saw that the hillside underneath the bridge appears to be starting to wash away. Its unclear right now what Cal-Trans will have to do to fix the column, but it is clear that the work can’t be done until after the hillside underneath quits sliding. Although people are allowed to park on either side of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, and walk across it, the bridge is closed to vehicle traffic until further notice. The parking lot at the Pine Ridge Trailhead has also been opened for local residents.
Along with that closure on Highway 1, there is a hard closure of the coastal highway from just south of Nepenthe…down to Ragged Point (in northern San Luis Obispo county).
Businesses in Big Sur are still open.
A shooting suspect is still At-Large, and anyone with any information on his whereabouts is encouraged to contact their local authorities. Jose Barajas is believed to have been the one who shot and killed 19 year-old Ariana Zendejas in Hollister back in August of 2014. At that time, Barajas was described as a 5’ 9” tall, 160 pound, 20 year-old Hispanic man…with black hair and brown eyes. He was said to have a tattoo of a “b” and a skull on his left forearm; and multiple skulls on his right forearm. There is a felony warrant out for his arrest.
Effective immediately, due to unsafe conditions, the department of public works for the county of santa cruz has closed Soquel-San Jose Road (South Of Amaya Ridge Road And North Of Olson Road). County geologists have recommended closure of the road due to an unstable road bed at mile-marker 5.9. The county will conduct additional analysis before designing a repair plan. There is currently no plan to immediately reopen Soquel-San Jose Road. There are no available detours around the impacted area. Highland Way also remains closed between pm 3.06 and Spanish Ranch Road due to an earlier mudslide.
2 kayakers were rescued off the coast of Santa Cruz today. Members of the Santa Cruz Harbor Patrol, rescued the people in the harbor mouth after their kayak overturned.
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