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Fatal Accident 7/4/10 TDH

A 22-year-old man died on Saturday, after crashing his car in Salinas.   Juan Garcia Junior was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred on northbound Constitution Boulevard (north of East Laurel Drive).   At 7:30 p.m., Garcia's car somehow drifted into the center divide, before bouncing off and hitting a tree.   A passenger in the car was flown to a San Jose trauma center for injuries described as moderate-to-major.   Police are investigating the cause of the accident.

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New U.C. Science program 7/4/10 TDH

Starting this fall, UCSC's Oakes College is expected to offer a new residential science program.   Although the college has typically been focused on classes involving social justice and diversity, the college is expanding to host about 75 science and engineering students.   The residential program will also offer tutoring and discussion sessions, field trips, guest speakers, and other learning activities that will take place outside of the classroom.   University officials hope the new program will prepare students for teaching science and laboratory research.

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Election Certification 7/4/10 TDH

Santa Cruz County Elections officials have been granted a 10-day extension to officially certify results from the June 8th primary election.  The results were due this tuesday, and were conditionally certified last Friday, however they lack the final tally of about 47-hundred touch-screen ballots.  The counting of those votes was disrupted for the June 22nd special election.   A summary of the results is expected to be posted on Santa Cruz County's election website on Tuesday, at www.votes count.com.

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New S.V.P.D. website 7/4/10 TDH

The Scotts Valley Police Department has launched an updated version of its website.   The new site features additional content, including a community survey.   The department hopes the new site will present important information in a more accessible way, and keep the community more informed about police activity.  The site is www.scottsvalleypd.com.

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State Employee Wage Uncertainty 7/4/10 TDH

Uncertainty remains about how much most state employees will be paid this month.   Despite an appeals court ruling on Friday that upheld Governor Schwarzenegger's order for state workers to be paid the federal minimum wage, the state Controller's office is saying the change is technically impossible.   The governor made the order after lawmakers failed to pass a state budget on time.  Although employees would receive their full pay after the budget is passed, Controller John Chiang said it could take as long as 6-months to reimburse them, and rejected the order.   That forced the courts to rule on the matter, however the Controller said he still cannot make the change, due the state's outdated computer system.  The state's payroll system was last re-designed in 1970.  An update of the computerized system was authorized in 2004, however it has not been completed.

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