San Luis Obispo
An Illinois man has been extradited to San Luis Obispo as part of an alleged sexual molestation case.
Lionel Meza, 43, pleaded not guilty to 23 charges in court Tuesday.
He was arrested March 15 on suspicion of engaging in sexual activity with a 16-year-old Arroyo Grande girl he met on the blogging site LiveJournal.
Meza’s charges include alleged sexual penetration with a foreign object, oral copulation with a person under 18, distributing telephone messages to a minor with the intent to arouse sexual desires and communicating with a minor with the intent to commit crimes.
Arroyo Grande Police officials said that Meza met with the girl in Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo and came to the county at least three times.
His pre-preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 15, and a preliminary hearing is set for April 20.
— Nick Wilson
Members of the county Public Health Department will be at San Luis Obispo Farmers Market tonight as part of the nationwide This is Public Health campaign.
The Board of Supervisors recently named this week Public Health Week in San Luis Obispo County. Tonight’s booth, which will feature quizzes on public health-related issues, is part of an outreach program to educate citizens on the services available through the department.
As part of the campaign, public health staff and volunteers from Cal Poly will place up to 2,700 stickers throughout the county on automatic external defibrillators, beach warning signs, dog waste bag dispensers and other examples of public health programs.
Other outreach efforts include advertising and a new Facebook page.
“We want people to know we do more than flu shots and restaurant inspections,” county Health Officer Penny Borenstein said.
— Stephen Curran
As an alternative to burning green waste, residents can take part in the free wood-chipping program that starts Monday.
Nipomo is divided into three zones, and residents from each zone can have their green waste chipped in front of their home in three two-week periods. Only clean green-waste can be chipped, no metal, nails, garbage or rocks.
Anyone interested can fill out a free registration form online, or get one at the station.
The San Luis Obispo County Community FireSafe Council, Cal Fire, the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District and the California Conservation Corps chipping is sponsoring the event.
— Amy Dempsey
Candidates for county sheriff will debate at several upcoming forums that are open to the public.
• Today, 6 to 9 p.m. at the South County Regional Center, 800 W. Branch St. in Arroyo Grande. Hosted by the Lincoln Club of SLO County.
• Saturday, 9 to 11 a.m. in the Black Lake Golf Resort Banquet Room, 1490 Golf Course Lane, Nipomo. Sponsored by the Nipomo Incorporation Committee for Education. A meet-and-greet with the candidates will start at 8:30 a.m.
• April 28, 6 to 8 p.m., at Embassy Suites at 333 Madonna Road in San Luis Obispo. Co-hosted by the Sheriff’s Advisory Council and the League of Women Voters.
• April 29, noon to 1:30 p.m., in the San Luis Obispo Library at 995 Palm St. in San Luis Obispo. Hosted by the San Luis Obispo Chamber Commerce. The cost for members is $20, which includes lunch; the cost is higher for non-members. The deadline to register at www.slochamber.org is April 26.
Six candidates are running for Sheriff:
Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Adams; Joe Cortez, former chief of the Pismo Beach Police Department; sheriff’s Cmdr. Ben Hall; Jerry Lenthall, a former county supervisor and former San Luis Obispo police sergeant; San Luis Obispo police Capt. Ian Parkinson; and retired CHP Sgt. Michael Teixeira.
— Cynthia Lambert