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Local News

s.c. education board president 12/16/11 0700 E.A.

the santa cruz county board of education elected a new president at their meeting on thursday.  arnie levine was elected to the position.  levine has been in public service for nearly 60 years.  he served as a teacher and assistant principal for santa cruz city schools, before becoming a member of the city council and county board of education.  levine plans to retire at the end of his term as president in 2012.  

S.C. County railway in jeopardy 12/15/11 7:30p.m. TDH

Despite the long-awaited federal approval this week for the acquisition of a central coast rail line, the entire deal could be in jeopardy.    Santa cruz county has been trying for more than a decade to take ownership of the historic, 32-mile “branch rail line.”    consent was given this week from federal transportation officials.  However, sierra northern railway, which had agreed to continue operating the rail as a freight line, is now considering an abrupt withdrawal.  That’s because the company is in a dispute with union pacific, to take control of a rail line west of sacramento.   sierra northern officials say that if union pacific backs out of that deal, then the santa cruz deal would not be economically feasible.  The company has until the end of the year to make a decision.  The operation of the freight service was a key part of the plan to run a passenger train along the line, from Watsonville to davenport.

Weapons arrest, W.V. 12/15/11 7:30p.m. TDH

A 31-year-old Watsonville man was arrested on weapons charges on Wednesday.  Hugo Adrian ruiz is also facing a charge of possession of illegal ammunition, after a search of his hill street residence turned up a sawed-off shotgun and live ammunition.  Ruiz is prohibited from owning firearms because of previous convictions.  He is also facing  gang enhancements.


MCO development plan advances 12/15/11 6:45p.m. TDH

The monterey county planning commission has approved a list of amendments that would advance a local development project.  the pebble beach company is seeking to expand capacity at the Spanish bay inn, as well as build a new, 100-room hotel, a spa, and 2-parking lots.  The 200-million-dollar project in del monte forest also includes plans for 90 single-family housing units.   The amendments to the plan were approved by a vote of 9 to 1, and are now set to be considered by the monterey county board of supervisors on January 24th.  The proposal no longer includes a plan for a new golf course.

trial witness sentenced, released (fraud) 12/15/11 6p.m. TDH

A 21-year-old woman who was called as a key witness in a santa cruz murder trial, was sentenced to 2-years in custody for using the victim’s credit cards.  Kristin Roberts had testified for the prosecution in 2 separate murder trials, against the suspects accused of killing los angeles resident elias Sorokin in 2009.   she was convicted of stealing sorokin’s credit cards, and using them after the murder.  the sentence comes after Roberts had already served an adequate time in custody, so she was released.   However, Roberts is currently serving a sentence for in monterey county for d-u-i.