Firefighters in the Big Sur area battled a blaze on Saturday that took roughly 8 hours to extinguish. Fire officials say the blaze, which occurred on Plasket Ridge, began around 1:30 p.m. above the Plaskett Creek Campground approximately 30-miles south of Big Sur on Highway-1. The fire burned about 12 acres and was contained by 9:30 p.m. Firefighters, meanwhile, continued to work throughout the night to improve the fire-line and mop up the blaze. The cause is yet to be determined and is still under investigation.
Police in Salinas are investigating a fatal shooting that killed a 15-year old last night marking the city’s 3rd homicide of the year. Police say Jorge Alberto Mendez Barrera, who suffered multiple gunshot wound around 7 p.m. while walking back to his vehicle in a parking lot at Fairway Market on the 3-hundred block of Williams Road, was approached by a gunman who shot him several times. The gunman is described as a Hispanic man in his late teens to early 20s, with a medium build. Officers say the gun man fled the scene heading West on Grandhaven Avenue towards Towt Street in a full-sized pickup truck, dark in color. No arrests have been made, anyone with information is asked to call the Salinas Police Department.
Watsonville Police are investigating a shooting that occurred on Saturday night that injured a 20-year-old man. The shots were fired at 10:45 p.m., on the 100-block of Blackburn Street. The victim was shot once in the abdomen, and was taken to a local hospital to be treated for wounds described as non-life-threatening. Witnesses were reportedly unable to provide much information. Police don't have any suspects, however they do believe the incident was gang-related.
State lawmakers are currently considering a bill, that could make California the first state to experiment with digital license plates. The bill passed the State Senate unanimously last month. It would authorize the state to begin researching devices that would display regular license plates when a car is moving, but would begin displaying digital messages or advertisements when the vehicle is idle for more than 4-seconds. Supporters of Senate Bill 14-53 say the move could generate ad-revenue for the cash-strapped state, and that the digital plates could be used to broadcast Amber Alerts and traffic information. If the Assembly approves the bill, the research costs are expected to be borne by a private company that the state would partner with, and D.M.V. officials would report their findings by 2013.
The Santa Cruz County Chapter of the American Red Cross is scheduled to hold its annual meeting this week. Wednesday's meeting will review the chapter's disaster support and preparedness classes over the past year. Officials are also set to discuss the organization's goals for the next year. The meeting is open to the public, and is scheduled to be held at 2960 Soquel Avenue, in Santa Cruz, at noon.
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