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SLO County Roundup

Cayucos

Three North County men were arrested Thursday in connection with a rash of thefts from unlocked vehicles along Studio Drive and Ocean Boulevard.

Sheriff’s deputies and Morro Bay police said they want to hear from people in Cayucos who may be missing items stolen recently from their vehicles.

Morro Bay police arrested Kevin Porter, 20, of Creston, who was charged with theft with prior conviction, possession of stolen property and receiving stolen property; and Katrina Neil and Cayetano Contreras, both 21, of Paso Robles, who were each charged with receiving stolen property, according to sheriff’s Cmdr. Ben Hall.

Hall said Morro Bay police did the investigation and now want to return stolen items to their owners.

Residents of Morro Bay should call the police at 772-6225; others should call the Sheriff’s Department at 781-4550.

— Kathe Tanner

Atascadero

Saturday’s fundraiser inspired by the TV show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ raised nearly $30,000 for the Atascadero-Martin Polin Regional Library expansion.

Local community leaders, many of whom claimed they weren’t dancers before, performed in the sold-out event.

The performers began collecting votes before the event, which turned into donations for the library’s effort to raise its $3 million share for a long-desired expansion.

Organizers said the $30,000 came from ticket sales, pre-event and event night “votes,” and proceeds from a silent auction at the event.

Everyone received an award, organizers said, but those who got the most votes were: Atascadero Assistant City Manager Jim Lewis, in first place with 730 votes; County Supervisor Jim Patterson, in second place with 654 votes; and chief executive officer of the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce Joanne Main, in third place with 402 votes.

The Friends of the Atascadero Library’s $6 million expansion project would double the library’s size, boost space for public meetings, youth programs and a computer lab, and add several parking spaces.

The Friends group needs to raise half that while the county supervisors have committed an additional $3 million in matching funds. The supervisors plan to evaluate the Friends’ fundraising progress in summer 2011.

— Tonya Strickland

South County

Longtime Lucia Mar board member Georgie O’Connor received a surprise honor at this week’s school board meeting: a Book of Golden Deeds award from the Exchange Club of the Central Coast, presented by 4th District County Supervisor Katcho Achadjian.

“She probably wrote the book on community service,” he said of O’Connor, who has served nearly five decades on the board.

O’Connor was first elected to the Arroyo Grande Elementary School Board in 1961, and then to the Lucia Mar board when South County schools unified in 1965.

O’Connor’s family, including her husband of 66 years, attended Tuesday night. School board trustees each praised her dedication to children.

“This is flabbergasting,” O’Connor said. “In all these years, I’ve received accolades but never anything this nice.”

The award is the third such honor to be given in the past 30 years.

It goes to volunteers “who give endless hours of their time and talents toward making their communities better places to live.”

“I got on the board because I felt that every child in our district had a right to be taught,” she said Thursday. “… And that’s what I’ve always strived for.”

— Cynthia Lambert

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