The Oceano Community Services District board on Wednesday unanimously approved the merger of its fire department with Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach to form the Five Cities Fire Authority.
The Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach city councils approved the agreements earlier this week, which allows the authority to become effective July 9.
A board with representatives from the three communities will meet that day to consider approval of the agreement, a budget and a two-year deal with the firefighters’ union.
Fire Chief Mike Hubert plans to order new badges, patches and other items to identify the Five Cities Fire Authority.
“We’re hitting the ground running today; putting things in motion to prepare for July 9,” he said Thursday.
The new agency includes 15 full-time fire engineers and captains and about 25 reserve firefighters.
The annual cost of more than $3.2 million will be split among the three communities. Arroyo Grande’s share is about $1.4 million, Grover Beach’s is $1.1 million and Oceano’s is $657,000.
— Cynthia Lambert
A Salinas man pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder Thursday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court for allegedly hitting a sheriff’s deputy with a pickup truck at Nacimiento Lake in May, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Michael Garrett Youngblood, 26, is accused of hitting Deputy Nate Paul on May 28 as Paul and other deputies were responding to a reported altercation.
Paul fired a shot at Youngblood during the incident, but nobody was hit. The deputy suffered a compound leg fracture that required surgery.
Youngblood is due back in court for a pre-preliminary hearing July 1.
— Nick Wilson
San Luis Obispo
Michael Codron, the city’s housing programs manager, has been appointed as San Luis Obispo’s acting assistant city manager.
The move is one of several management changes made in recent months. Codron takes the seat of Shelly Stanwyck, who was appointed acting director of the Parks and Recreation Department to replace retiring Betsy Kiser.
City Manager Katie Lichtig made the appointments from within, saying the city is recruiting internally to promote its goal of career development for its employees, not solely to save money by not hiring from outside sources.
Codron will begin his new role July 1. Codron and Stanwyck’s positions will both be re-evaluated in six months, Lichtig said.
Codron has worked in the Community Development Department for 14 years, beginning as a student intern and then as the city’s first planning technician. He was promoted to the position of associate planner in 2000 and worked in that role with both the development review and long-range planning divisions before becoming the city’s housing programs manager in 2008.
— AnnMarie Cornejo
In a local case at the heart of a state Supreme Court appeal, a jury found Timothy Ferrari not guilty Wednesday of misdemeanor assault and battery charges against Kenneth Walkup.
The May 2009 incident in Nipomo lead to an issue over a restraining order in the case that had been appealed to the California Supreme Court.
A panel of three local judges — Dodie A. Harman, Ginger Garrett and Martin J. Tangeman — ruled to withdraw a restraining order against Ferrari issued by trial Judge John A. Trice after an appeal by Ferrari’s lawyer, Jeff Stein.
The law requires prosecutors to show that a defendant has threatened or otherwise discouraged a witness from participating in criminal proceedings, or is likely to do so, before a restraining order can be granted.
A ruling favorable to Ferrari in the appeals process could set a precedent making it more difficult for prosecutors to obtain restraining orders and provide defense lawyers more power to fight rulings they say commonly are handed down against their clients.
— Nick Wilson