During last Sunday’s 45th Wharf To Wharf race, Teshome Mekonen of Ethiopia won the race by finishing in 27 minutes, 33 seconds. Mekonen will receive $4,000 dollars for his victory. The 3 runner ups from Kenya, Simion Chirchir, Silas Kipruto, and Isaac Mukundi, will receive $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 respectively. Diego Estrada was the top American winner, finishing in sixth place in 27 minutes and 48 seconds, and is a local community member from Salinas.
John Heard, who played the father in the Home Alone series, was found dead in a Palo Alto hotel room after receiving back surgery at the Stanford Medical foundation. A spokesperson with Palo Alto police department stated that the death was not considered suspicious. The cause of death has not been determined, and the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner Coroner’s office will not release further information. They are investigating the cause of death but they will not know for about 3 to 4 weeks.
Three times a week, Rachel dean walks three quarters of a mile across sea bright state beach looking for needles. She has collected many since she started in January, and believes they wash up on the shore from people who discard the needles in the San Lorenzo River. Take back Santa Cruz has collected around 14,620 needles in the past 4 and 1/2 years from public spaces. Rachel dean plans to keep cleaning up the needles and when her own sharps container is full; she takes it to the hospital for disposal.
The Salinas ‘hydrant hugger’ received victory after he protested a fire hydrant that was being built in the front of his home. Sierra drive resident peter sheets opposed the hydrant because it would have taken away his parking space. It is not legal to park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, and now that the hydrant has been removed by cal water, sheets and his neighbor can park in front of their homes legally.
(08:20) Castroville - Police are searching for a person of interest in a murder case that took place last week in Castroville. 28 year-old Melissa Paniagua allegedly shot and killed 37 year-old Cynthia Medina last Thursday on Merritt Street. Paniagua and her 35 year-old sister Sylvia Navarro, went into hiding after the shooting. Paniagua was taken into custody yesterday on the 3000 block of Owen Avenue in Marina. Police are still searching for Navarro, who may have information about this case. Anyone with information on Navarro’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact authorities.
(09:00) A man pleaded “no contest” to charges related to a 2016 Soledad kidnapping that triggered an amber alert. On April 14, 2016 28 year-old Carmen Maldonado stole a vehicle from a Soledad home around 6:45 a.m. with 2 year-old boy, Jacob Vargas, in the back seat. Maldonado parked the vehicle in a shed off River Road, locked the child in the car and fled on foot. The child was found safe at 1:30 p.m. on the same day. Maldonado was arrested after a 5 day manhunt. Maldonado is charged with kidnapping a child, child abuse, and auto theft. He will be sentenced to 8 years in prison on September 1.
(10:15) Prosecutors have filed a murder charge against a man suspected of fatally shooting a resident of Monterey County, in San Jose earlier this month. 19 year-old Daniel Gebrehiwet Zeratsion, of San José, allegedly shot and killed 20-year-old Myla Thi Dang, of Marina, on the afternoon of July 3rd , at a home on South 10th Street. Zeratsion, who was extradited from San Diego County to the Bay Area over the weekend, was arraigned yesterday on one count of murder with a firearm enhancement. Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact authorities.
(10:00) New information has been disclosed in the case involving 57-year-old Dr. James Kohut and nurses Emily Stephens, 30, of Tucson, Arizona, and Rashel Brandon, 42, of Watsonville, who are accused of raping children in Santa Cruz County and documenting some of the acts on camera. According to Pima County Sheriff’s Department Stephens, who is pregnant, met Kohut on an online dating site and began a relationship that lasted for eight years. During a search of Stephens home, officers acquired five DVDs, handwritten letters from Kohut to Stephens and handwritten receipts by Kohut. Stephens is currently in an Arizona jail awaiting transfer to Santa Cruz. Kohut faces 11 felonies, Brandon faces eight felonies and Stephens faces seven felonies linked to raping children. All of the accused remain in jail. Kohut and Brandon’s next hearing is set for 8:15 a-m Thursday, July 27 in Santa Cruz County Superior Court.
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