SLO County Roundup

Paso Robles

The 21-year-old Paso Robles man who was struck by a train early Saturday in Paso Robles died of blunt force trauma, authorities said Thursday.

The autopsy of Bryan Brady was conducted Wednesday, according to the Sheriff’s Department. His preliminary blood alcohol content has not been released. Toxicology results are expected to take up to four weeks.

His family said he was celebrating his 21st birthday Friday night.

Investigators Thursday were still trying to determine why Brady was lying on the tracks about 150 feet north of 13th Street where a northbound freight train hit him about 6:30 a.m., a Union Pacific spokesman said.

Paso Robles police have said the engineer saw Brady but was unable to stop the 78-car train in time. There were no other witnesses to the crash. The investigation is still open.

A memorial is planned from 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 17 at Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles, where he worked.

— Tonya Strickland

Cal Poly

Journalism department Chair Bill Loving has been asked to resign, he said Thursday.

Loving said that he declined the “kind offer” by Linda Halisky, Cal Poly’s dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Loving said that he expects to receive a letter from Halisky firing him as chair.

If he’s let go as department head, Loving said he’ll retain his tenured professor position with the department.

Halisky confirmed that she asked Loving to step down from the chair position.

Since Loving refused, she said she’s drafting a letter notifying him he’ll be replaced as chair Aug. 20 and a national search for a new chair will begin.

Halisky declined to comment specifically about the matter, saying that Loving was starting his final year of a three-year term as chair and that he receives a stipend but the bulk of his salary comes from his professor position. Halisky said Loving will retain his chair pay during his third year even though he’ll only retain his professor position.

Graphic communication department Chair Harvey Levenson will serve as the journalism department chair during the transition, Halisky said.

Loving was hired as the head of Cal Poly’s journalism department about two years ago after a yearlong, nationwide recruitment. He replaced George Ramos, who remains a professor in the department.

Loving’s academic background includes positions at the University of Oklahoma and Idaho State University, where he served as chair of the department of mass communication.

— Nick Wilson

Morro Bay

The city is on the verge of finalizing a deal to lease its library at 625 Harbor St. to the county for $1 a year for the next 25 years.

The deal will allow the library to be expanded to meet the needs of Morro Bay residents and library users. County supervisors approved the deal Tuesday and the Morro Bay City Council is expected to do the same Monday.

Under the deal, the 1,500-square-foot Program or Community Room, which is rented out for meetings and other uses, will be converted to public library space. The transition will be completed March 1.

The Morro Bay Friends of the Library has donated $15,000 to the city that will help offset the loss of revenue from renting the room.

The group built the library in 1985, and the building was leased to the county for 25 years. That lease expired July 8.

— David Sneed