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Thanksgiving & C-H-P 11/21/10 9:30pm TDH

The Thanksgiving Holiday has the California Highway Patrol on full alert this week.  The C-H-P is partnering with local police departments to target drivers talking on their cell-phones, as part of the “No Tolerance Campaign.”  In addition to that effort, every available C-H-P Officer will be on duty from Wednesday night at 6 p.m., through Sunday at 11:59 p.m.   The full deployment is part of a “Maximum Enforcement effort,” which targets unsafe drivers, particularly those who are impaired, or are not wearing seatbelts.

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Salinas Church Robbed 11/21/10 9:30pm TDH

Salinas police are investigating the robbery of a church over the weekend.   The First Presbyterian Church, on the 8-hundred block of Padre Drive, was broken into sometime on Friday night or early Saturday morning.   The burglars stole video and lighting equipment, as well as laptop computers.   The damage and lost items are estimated to cost about 50-thousand dollars, including a broken stained-glass window valued at about 6-thousand dollars.   Insurance is expected to cover the losses, and Church officials plan to install additional security features.

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Hotel Fire, S.C. 11/21/10 9:30pm TDH

A Santa Cruz hotel had to be evacuated on Saturday morning, after a fire broke out.   Fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of the blaze, which was contained to a bed on the second story of The Hotel Pure Beach Inn on Riverside Avenue.   The hotel’s sprinkler-system helped control the flames.   The occupants of the room suffered 2nd-degree burns, however they declined medical treatment.   The incident is estimated to have cost 30-thousand dollars in damage.

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Smoking Fee Proposal/Study 11/21/10 9:30pm TDH

On Tuesday, the Santa Cruz City Council is set to explore the idea of implementing a fee on businesses that sell tobacco in the City.   The council is expected to authorize a study of the proposal to charge an annual fee, similar to one passed recently in Watsonville.   That 2-hundred-55-dollar fee is expected to raise about 15-thousand dollars for the city each year.  Santa Cruz leaders are unsure how high the fee would be in Santa Cruz, and are studying whether the fee would need to be approved by 2-thirds of voters.   The revenue generated by the fee would be used to fund programs to stop children from smoking.

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W.V. Parks & Rec. Post Filled 11/21/10 9:30PM TDH

The Watsonville City Council has approved the appointment of a new Parks and Recreation Commissioner.  David Perez, a Watsonville resident of 23 years, will take the position.   Perez holds a masters degree in counseling from the University of Santa Clara, and was nominated to the Parks and Rec Commission by Councilman Emilio Martinez.

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