SLO County Roundup

North County

A former Cal Poly wrestler pleaded no contest this week to charges of vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving causing bodily injury in a crash in April on Highway 41 that killed two people.

Masson Blow, 19, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 19 by San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Dodie Harman.

He faces up to seven years and four months in prison. Blow’s attorney, Matt Guerrero, said Thursday that he’ll request probation and no jail time for his client, citing a lack of malfeasance.

A no-contest plea results in a conviction without an admission of guilt.

According to the CHP, Blow 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.

His car collided head-on with a Honda Civic driven by Ashleigh Vermillion, 21, of Visalia. She and passenger David Treen Jr., 30, were killed.

The victims’ infant daughter, Jenna Vermillion, survived but suffered major injuries, according to the CHP.

Blow was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to tests conducted after the wreck. Guerrero said Blow is now attending a community college and is no longer on the wrestling team at Cal Poly.

— Nick Wilson

Paso Robles

‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ star Luke Perry will make an appearance at the Paso Robles Digital Film Festival this weekend, festival founder Benford Stanley announced.

Perry will be on hand tonight to promote the documentary “The Challenge of Champions: The Story of Lane Frost and Red Rock,” about the famed PRCA World Champion bullrider. He portrayed Frost in the 1994 movie “8 Seconds.”

“If all the girls here hear Luke Perry’s coming, we could have a riot,” Stanley joked. “He’s a great guy. He really is.”

Perry joins a celebrity lineup that includes actors Gary Busey, Kathleen Quinlan and Ken Kragen, executive producer of TV’s “We Are the World.”

Now in its second year, the Paso Robles Digital Film Festival features a weekend of film screenings, concerts, receptions and panel discussions, with a special emphasis on music, digital filmmaking and children’s rights issues.

The festival runs today through Tuesday at various locations throughout Paso Robles. For more information, call 323-850-8919 or visit www.prdff.com.

— Sarah Linn


A building inspection led to the closure of the Gallery at the Old Schoolhouse in Cambria Tuesday, the building’s owner has announced.

The inspection was prompted after its roof leaked during a heavy October storm. The inspector found that the walls are insufficiently braced, and the roof needs to be replaced.

Originally built in 1881 on Santa Rosa Creek, the schoolhouse was moved to its current site at 880 Main St. in 1965 and has been leased by Allied Arts Association of Cambria from the Lions Club since 1978.

The gallery, mostly featuring works by association members, had been open five days a week. In addition, special events, English-as-a-second-language classes and a weekly church meeting were held in the building.

During the summer, the association had announced it was considering moving its gallery to the Theatre at the Old Grammar School at 1350 Main St. The association leases the performance space from Coast Unified School District.

— Tribune staff report