SLO County Roundup

San Luis Obispo

The City Council has narrowed its search for the next city manager to a final candidate.

Council members are expected to discuss the details of employment in closed session tonight.

City officials did not disclose the finalist’s identity Monday but confirmed that the city is conducting the necessary background checks.

City Manager Ken Hampian announced in July that he is leaving the job Jan. 1 after 20 years at City Hall.

More than 100 people applied for the job. Of those, the council interviewed seven.

Mayor Dave Romero said that the city is now negotiating with the finalist and hopes to make an announcement in the coming weeks.

“I am very happy with the number of candidates,” Councilman Andrew Carter said. “It says two things — San Luis Obispo is a fabulous place to live and work, and it really speaks to the team that Hampian has built over the years.”

— AnnMarie Cornejo

North County

Family members have identified the 21-year-old man who died at a North County home on Thursday night as Justin Spisak of Arroyo Grande.

Authorities on Monday had not confirmed his name.

Spisak reportedly declined medical aid after a truck he was driving rolled into a ditch off El Camino Real in Atascadero earlier Thursday, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

He lost control of the Chevy Blazer after the trailer it was towing started whipping back and forth, CHP Officer Bill Irons said.

He apparently refused medical treatment, went to bed and didn’t wake up Friday morning, Sheriff’s Sgt. Dale Strobridge previously said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

“Justin was very well known and well-liked in the area,” said Spisak’s aunt, Sheri Spisak Hogue of Reno, Nev. “He was very much loved.”

— Tonya Strickland

Arroyo Grande

World AIDS Day will be celebrated today from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Community Action Partnership’s Arroyo Grande Health Services clinic, 1152 E. Grand Ave.

Events will include a chalk art contest in the clinic parking lot, music, free food, and tours of the clinic.

In an effort to spread awareness, the CAP Health Services’ Division LGBTQIA — Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning Intersex Ally — and local organizations serving youth from San Luis Obispo County will be hosting the event. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is “Universal Access and Human Rights.”

The CAP Health Services Division works to unite the community in preventing HIV/AIDS while bringing awareness to the human rights issues that accompany the disease.

Started on Dec. 1, 1988, World AIDS Day is held to increase awareness, fight prejudice, improve education and raise money.

E-mail James Statler at jstatler@capslo.org for more information about World AIDS Day at the clinic.

— Nick Wilson

Cal Poly

This year’s poinsettia sale, featuring more than 2,500 plants of 30 varieties and many colors, begins today and continues through mid-December at the Poly Plant Shop.

The holiday flowering plants are grown by students in the university’s Poinsettia Agriculture Enterprise Project.

This year’s poinsettia project offers traditional reds and whites as well as pinks, oranges, marbles and maroons.

Prices range from $6 to $60. Custom-painted and glittered orders are available and can be placed anytime.

The Poly Plant Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; open house days are Dec. 4, 5 and 12.

To get to the shop, take the Highland Drive entrance to Cal Poly and veer left onto Via Carta. The shop is at the top of the hill on the right. Metered parking is available.

For more details, call 756-1106 or visit www.polyplantshop.com.

— Nick Wilson