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UPDATE: Watsonville Man Arrested for Arson- 12/10/14 7:30 S.G.

Santa Cruz County deputies have released additional information on the Watsonville man accused of starting a fire in the county building Saturday. Officials say 44-year-old Michael Michel was arrested earlier that day on suspicion of driving under the influence, hit-and-run, and obstructing an officer. After being released from custody, Michel was found barricaded in an office in the county building after he called 911 on himself. Crews extinguished a fire that had been lit inside the office. Michel remains in jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.


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UPDATE:Storm to Hit Central Coast- 12/09/14 23:30 S.S.

High wind and flash flood warnings have been issued because of a storm that is headed south toward the Monterey Bay area. Forecasters now say the storm is expected to hit Santa Cruz Thursday morning, and continue through Thursday night. The winds are now expected to consistently be between 20-40 mph with gusts of up to 50 mph along the coast. A west ocean swell has been forecasted to create waves of 8-12 feet at Pleasure Point from tomorrow and Saturday. This storm is expected to rival some that occurred back in October of 2009 and January of 2008, when thousands of power poles throughout the state were broken or uprooted, causing hundreds of thousands of PG&E customers to be without power for several days. People are encouraged to keep bottles of clean water, flashlights, batteries, and medicines on-hand. Sand and sandbags are available in a number of locations around the Monterey Bay area, including Valley Churches United Missions in Ben Lomond, and Capitola Beach Village Lot #1.

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Illegal Indoor Grow Bust in Greenfield- 12/09/14 23:30 S.S.

Thirty pounds of marijuana was confiscated from a Greenfield home today. The home was on the 200 block of Tuscany Way, and law enforcement officers said the grower had a pretty sophisticated set-up, that bypassed the PG&E Smart Meter. The grow was only found because a fire broke out in the home this morning. This is the fourth major grow in the same upscale neighborhood.

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Bill to Move More Water to San Joaquin Valley- 12/09/14 21:15 S.S.

A bill has been approved that could help some farmers in California. The house voted 230 to 182 in favor of a bill that is designed to give state and federal agencies authority to move more water to California’s drought stricken farm belt in the San Joaquin Valley. Although senators are scheduled to look at it next, they are not even expected to review the bill before they adjourn for the year. Despite the recent and expected storms, more than 99 percent of California remains in a drought.

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Ferrini Ranch Development Approved- 12/09/14 21:30 S.S.

Monterey County supervisors have made a motion tonight to approve the development of the Ferrini ranch. Although the motion to approve the construction of 185 homes on the 870-acre ranch passed 3-2, it’s unclear what the official vote will be next week. Critics of the development near Toro Park say they are concerned about three specific issues: the increase in traffic it would cause on Highway 68, whether the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin can provide enough water, and the potential destruction of wildlife habitats, lupine fields, and oak trees in that area.

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