SLO County Roundup

SLO County

A 19-year-old Lompoc man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter, and to one misdemeanor count of reckless driving with bodily injury.

Masson Blow is accused of causing a head-on collision in April that killed driver Ashleigh Vermillion, 21, of Visalia, and passenger David Treen Jr., 30. The two were in a Honda Civic. The CHP reports the 7-month-old daughter of the victims, Jenna Vermillion, survived but suffered major injuries.

Blow allegedly was driving too fast in a Volkswagen Passat on Highway 41 East two miles south of the San Luis Obispo-Kern county line when he lost control of his car and crossed into the oncoming lane, according to the CHP.

Blow is a Cal Poly student on the wrestling team, and his mother, Cozetta, is a victim’s advocate with the Lompoc Police Department.

— Nick Wilson Atascadero The Atascadero School District will transfer special education classes to its control by July 1.

The school board voted unanimously Tuesday to transfer nine special education programs to district control from the county Office of Education. A certified letter was mailed this morning notifying the Special Education Local Plan Area and the county Office of Education of the decision, according to district staff.

The transfer will move eight classes of severely handicapped students, two classes of preschool students, two classes of emotionally disturbed students and one autism program. The district is proposing to leave students categorized as medically fragile and those in work transition programs who are older than 18 under control of the county office.

Superintendent John Rogers said the change was prompted by the desire to include all youth in the school district and to reduce the fiscal impact of the program on the school district’s general fund.

— AnnMarie Cornejo SLO County A parade of fire equipment and local firefighters from San Luis Obispo County will visit 16 elementary and middle schools Thursday to support the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Relay.

Founded in 1971, the California-based foundation works with firefighters, educators and burn care professionals to develop programs and services. The Burn Relay is one of the biggest fundraising events for the foundation and helps to defray the costs of programs such as: Champ Camp; Stop, Drop and Roll; Baby Blues (an anti-scald program aimed at new families); and the Young Adult Summit.

For more details, visit www.aarbf.org.

— AnnMarie Cornejo

San Luis Obispo

The San Luis Obispo Downtown Association is seeking the oldest veteran living in the county so that person can be honored at the organization’s Veterans’ Celebration at Farmers Market on Nov. 12.

Those who know candidates for the oldest veteran honor can contact Diana Cotta at 541-0286 with information.

The honoree must be physically able to be present at the celebration to be honored.

The evening will be dedicated to activities, music, exhibits, booths and information related to all branches of the military. Planned activities include a color guard procession and posting of colors, proclamations and pronouncements by local dignitaries, in addition to honoring the county’s oldest veteran.

The organization is still looking for volunteers and participants for the event. More information is available at www.downtownslo.com.

— Sally Connell