SLO County Roundup

Santa Margarita

The Santa Margarita woman found dead in her shower earlier this summer died of natural causes, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday.

After a nearly three-month investigation, authorities and the coroner determined that Janet Lucille McCarthy, 44, died of a heart condition on the morning of June 12.

Authorities previously said that McCarthy had medical problems but declined to further elaborate.

At the time, investigators decided to run a toxicology report “in an abundance of caution,” they said.

Extensive toxicology, tissue and medical tests revealed she died of a heart condition, Sheriff’s Department officials said. Authorities did not disclose whether McCarthy knew she had a heart problem.

McCarthy was preparing for a trip, investigators said, when a friend who was taking her to the airport that morning found her body in the home in the 22000 block of K Street.

McCarthy’s husband and the friend found her unresponsive in the shower about 5:15 a.m.

The District Attorney’s office reviewed the medical findings with the detectives’ case, according to authorities, and also determined that there was no foul play in her death.

— Tonya Strickland

SLO County

The county’s planners have won two statewide awards for their efforts — one for housing, the other for the county’s approach to strategic growth.

The awards came from the California chapter of the national American Planning Association, and went to the county Department of Planning and Building.

The “Housing Element Update 2009-2014” took one award. The “Strategic Growth Principles, Policies and Implementing Strategies” earned the other.

The strategic growth principles help guide critical decisions about how the county will grow, prosper and sustain water and other essential resources.

Judges who granted the award called the county’s work “a great example of an innovative project that is highly transferrable to other communities, especially those that are grappling with issues on how to strategically accommodate growth in a sustainable manner.”

As to the housing award, one of the judges called it “the best housing element I have ever seen. It is a model for other communities to use.”

The housing element lays the groundwork for developing and preserving housing that is affordable to seniors, families and middle-class workers.

County Supervisor Bruce Gibson said the county is “extremely proud of these awards and appreciates the participation and thoughtful efforts of our planning staff and others involved with the process.”

— Bob Cuddy

Grover Beach

The 22nd Annual Dune Run-Run will kick off this year’s Stone Soup festival in Grover beach, starting at 9 a.m. on Aug. 28.

The 19th Annual Stone Soup Music Faire and Festival also features a youth expo, a salsa contest and musicians who will perform throughout the weekend of Aug. 28 and 29 at the Ramona Garden Park in Grover Beach.

The headline group, Tempest, will perform, as will Cuesta Ridge, Jill Knight, Mariachi Mexicanisimo, Masanga Marimba, Red Skunk Jipsee Swing Band and Satori Daiko.

A free health fair will be from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 29 in the Ramona Garden Park Pavilion. Named for Isabel Ruiz, a local health advocate, the event will offer screenings for glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol.

The salsa contest will be Aug. 28; interested participants are asked to contact Linda Garcia at the Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce at 489-9091 or atinfo@groverbeachchamber.com.

Preregistration for the Dune Run-Run, a 5K/10K run-walk, can be made by downloading a registration form at www.grover.org and mailing it to 154 S. Eighth St., Grover Beach, CA 93433.

Registration is also available the day of the event at 8 a.m. It will start and end at the Ramona Garden Park Center, located at 993 Ramona Ave. For more information about the run, call 473-4580.

Sponsorships and booth spaces to rent are still available; for more information, contact Garcia. More information about the festival is at www.groverbeachchamber.com.

— Cynthia Lambert