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Cal-Fire Seasonal Reductions 10/10/10 TDH

Monday, Cal-Fire’s San Benito-Monterey Unit will begin its transition to winter staffing levels.   12-fire engines will now be operated, down from 17 during the summer months.  That will reduce the fire unit’s staff by 36 firefighters.  The unit will continue to operate its range of fire-fighting equipment during the winter, including bulldozers, air-tankers, and helicopters.

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Federal Health Grants 10/10/10 TDH

A couple of federal grants have been awarded to 2-central coast health-care operations.     The Watsonville-based non-profit Salud Para La Gente is set to receive 1.2-million dollars, and Santa Cruz County has been awarded more than 6-hundred-85-thousand dollars.   The money is part of a nation-wide federal package to help local health clinics address construction and renovation needs.

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Diesel Regulations delayed 10/08/10 6:30PM TDH

California officials have extended a deadline for off-highway diesel vehicles to comply with tougher emission-standards.   The California Air Resources Board approved the draft proposal yesterday, which gives construction and other businesses until 2014 to comply with the emission regulations.  The move is in response to the slow economy, and due to an error by the Board’s staff, which overestimated the number of such vehicles in California by about 200-thousand.   A final vote on the change is expected in December.

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Rail Line Uncertain 10/08/10 6:30pm TDH

Plans to build a passenger rail-line between Watsonville and davenport are up in the air, after a Friday deadline passed without any action.   Today marked the deadline for the county to contract with a company to run the passenger service.    That company, sierra northern railway, failed to sign the contract, after officials said they had discovered inaccuracies in the documents.   The agreement is necessary before santa cruz county can receive 10-million dollars of state funds, to help build the rail line.

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W.V. robbery, arrest 10/08/10 TDH

Watsonville police arrested a man yesterday(Thurs), who they say robbed someone on Wednesday.    Police responded to a call at 6:40 p.m., from a person who reported that he had been robbed of an Ipod, and that he had spotted the suspect.   24-year-old Albert Rodriguez de la Paz was taken into custody, after gang-unit officers found the ipod in his possession (while conducting a probation search).   Police say De la paz is a known Norteno gnag member.   He faces gang-enhancements on his charges of robbery, making terrorist threats, and probation violation.

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