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SLO County Roundup

SLO County

The preliminary hearing for John A. Norris, a 24-year-old San Miguel man accused of involuntary manslaughter in the killing of his wife, was delayed Thursday.

Norris told authorities that he accidentally shot his 24-year-old wife, Tasha Dawn Norris, in July.

Norris’ attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, said that his client was ill and advised him not to attend the hearing, which led to the postponement.

The pre-preliminary hearing in the case has been set for Nov. 10 and the preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 17.

Deputy District Attorney Matt Kerrigan said that he has filed an amended complaint that adds the charge of possession of an assault weapon to Norris’ involuntary manslaughter allegation.

Judge Michael Duffy is expected to consider allowing the new charge in November.

Norris also faces a driving under the influence charge; the next hearing for that allegation is Nov. 10, attorneys said Thursday.

Norris was arrested on suspicion of a DUI on Highway 101 near San Miguel a couple of weeks after the alleged shooting of his wife, according to prosecutors.

— Nick Wilson

San Luis Obispo

The city may get a new fire station alert system. The City Council decided to seek proposals for an upgrade, which is expected to improve response times.

The council Tuesday gave permission to the city manager to award the contract to the bid that comes in under $292,600.

The system is expected to be the final piece of the city’s emergency communication puzzle as the city is finishing a new dispatch center behind Fire Station 1 at Santa Barbara Avenue and Broad Street.

The city also is making extensive radio system improvements at the center. The system will be able to broadcast alerts to the city’s four fire stations and transform text to voice messages.

The dispatch center is now located in the basement of the San Luis Obispo Police Department headquarters on Walnut Street, but will move when the new center is completed. It dispatches for both fire and police employees.

— Sally Connell

Morro Bay

A competition between the Morro Bay Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard is set for 10 a.m. Saturday on Coleman Beach.

Rescue Challenge 2009 is a fundraiser to help raise money for the Morro Bay Community Foundation, which provides recreation activity scholarships for children residing in Morro Bay, Cayucos and Los Osos.

The event will feature relay races and staged special ocean rescues.

Attendance is free, but raffle tickets will be available for $5 and T-shirts for $15.

— Julia Hickey

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