IN A PRESS CONFERENCE HELD YESTERDAY (MONDAY), SANTA CRUZ COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY BOB LEE ANNOUNCED A NEW APPROACH TO REPEAT OFFENDERS. IN THIS NEW SPECIALIZED COURT PROCESS, LEE REPORTEDLY SEEKS TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM WITH WHAT HE CALLS “VERTICAL PROSECUTION”, WHERE PEOPLE WHO REPEATEDLY COMMIT MISDEMEANOR CRIMES WILL GET HELP FROM SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES IN THE COUNTY FOR ISSUES SUCH AS HOMELESSNESS, DRUG ADDICTION, AND MENTAL HEALTH. THE 8 MONTH PILOT PROGRAM RECEIVED ONE DEDICATED STAFF PERSON FROM EACH AGENCY INVOLVED AND ALL THE CASES WILL BE HANDLED BY JUDGE DENINE GUY. THE FIRST 5 ARRESTEES WHO MAY QUALIFY FOR THE PROGRAM WILL BE ARRAIGNED IN COURT TODAY (TUESDAY).

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POLICE IN SALINAS ARRESTED 35-YEAR OLD CANDIDO ARROYO-GONZALEZ WHEN THEY RAIDED HIS HOUSE ON CIRCLE DRIVE FRIDAY. AUTHORITIES FOUND MORE THAN 500 MARIJUANA PLANTS, ROOMS SET UP WITH HIGH-POWERED GROW LIGHTS, AS WELL AS, A .45 CALIBER PISTOL AND SKS ASSAULT RIFLE. ACCORDING TO WITNESSES, AT LEAST TWO CHILDREN WERE ALSO LIVING AT THE HOUSE. ARROYO-GONZALEZ WAS BOOKED INTO MONTEREY COUNTY JAIL ON DRUG, WEAPONS, AND CHILD ENDANGERMENT CHARGES.

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RIP CURRENTS AND STRONG 3 TO 5 FOOT WAVES OVER THE WEEKEND AT MANRESA AND RIO DEL MAR BEACHES IN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY KEPT STATE PARK LIFEGUARDS BUSY.  THEY RESCUED FOUR SWIMMERS AND A SURFER AT MANRESA AND TWO MORE SURFERS AND A SWIMMER AT RIO DEL MAR.   IN ADDITION TO THE RESCUES, LIFEGUARDS WARNED HUNDREDS OF OTHER PEOPLE IN THE WATER THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND.   STATE PARK PERSONNEL ADVISE ALL SWIMMERS TO CHECK CONDITIONS WITH A LIFEGUARD BEFORE ENTERING THE WATER.

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