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MCO POSTPONES CITY PAY RAISES 06-16-10 08:00 a.v.

In an effort to avoid paying cost-of-living wage increases, Monterey city council members voted yesterday to cut 7 positions and approve pay amendments.  Council members decided to lay off 5-full-time and 2-part-time city workers, while also reducing 2 other full-time positions to part-time positions.  The council also voted to approve amendments with all other employee groups that would postpone their pay raises, a move that would reportedly save the city $670,000 during the coming fiscal year.  209 city employees are expected to be affected by the pay raise postponement.  The 4% cost-of-living raise was due July 1st and is now being deferred to June 16th of 2012.

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GONZALES MAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY 06-16-10 07:30 a.v.

A Gonzales man pleaded not guilty yesterday to felony charges of sexually assaulting an 11-year old girl.   Authorities say Juan Heredia Medina was arrested at his home over the weekend, and faces 3 counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14.   Medina is accused of sexually assaulting the girl from August 1st up to the day of his arrest.  He is slated to return to court on June 22nd.   

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VIRGIL COURT APPEARANCE 06-16-10 07:20 a.v.

An Aptos woman, accused of murdering her young daughter a year and a half ago, is slated to appear in court today.  A court appointed doctor is expected to present his medical findings after Veva Virgil pleaded not guilty to one count of murder by reason of insanity after suffocating her 3-year old daughter Isabella Grace Martinez at a Watsonville Motel 6 in November of 2008.

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S.C. COUNTY COURTS CLOSED 06-16-10 a.v.

As part of a statewide work furlough, Santa Cruz County Courts will be closed today.   Both court houses in Santa Cruz and Watsonville will be closed all day today, no court services, including windows where people can pay fines, will be open.   Courthouses will reopen tomorrow (thurs) as business as usual.   The once-a-month closure started last summer in a statewide cost-saving effort.   Today is the final closure.

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MCO BEACH HIGH BACTERIA LEVELS 06-15-10 22:00 a.v.

A warning has been posted at a Monterey County beach after tests found higher than normal bacteria levels  this week.   County health officials warn visitors to Lovers Point Beach to avoid going into the water until the advisory is lifted, and water sampling indicates acceptable bacteria levels for safe body contact standards.  Health officials say humans and animals including seals, otters and birds, can contribute to higher bacteria levels in addition to rainfall runoff and storm drains.

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