SLO County Roundup

SLO County

A Los Osos man has received one of the state’s highest honors for his heroic efforts to help a woman and her husband.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger presented the Governor’s Gold Medal of Valor to Caltrans District 5 Surveyor Robert “Bob” MacKenzie at a ceremony Tuesday in Sacramento.

According to a Caltrans news release, MacKenzie and his wife came upon a traffic collision on Nov. 30, 2009, on Highway 88 near Kirkwood.

MacKenzie climbed 75 to 100 feet down a rocky, snow-covered mountainside to discover an elderly man standing next to an overturned station wagon. The man’s wife was trapped in the car, with one of her arms pinned under the right front windshield.

MacKenzie found a rubber mat for the man, clad in shorts and tennis shoes, to stand on, before covering the woman with his own jacket. He then waited 20 minutes in freezing temperatures for rescuers to arrive, remaining on the scene during the approximately three hours it took to free the woman.

When the woman was airlifted to a Reno, Nev., hospital, MacKenzie drove her husband two hours to join her, Caltrans said.

Caltrans District 5 Director Rich Krumholz praised MacKenzie for “his extraordinary act of service above and beyond the normal call of duty.”

— Sarah Linn

Paso Robles

A Paso Robles artist is seeking help from the public in locating a 13-foot-tall steel sculpture valued at $15,000 that was stolen sometime over Thanksgiving weekend.

The piece, titled “East Wind,” was created by artist Steven Addi in 2007. Addi kept it in his outdoor art sculpture garden by his design studio on Limestone Way. It featured a central pillar with curving lines near the top.Addi said he discovered that the sculpture was missing on Nov. 27. He suspects it was taken on Nov. 25 or Nov. 26 while he was out of town.

Among the unknowns was how the sculpture, which weighs 500 pounds, was moved.

“There is no trace of any heavy equipment being close to the sculpture site,” Addi said. “It is a mystery right now.”

Sheriff’s detectives have opened a grand-theft investigation to locate the artwork.

Anyone who has seen the missing sculpture or has information on its whereabouts is encouraged to call the county Sheriff’s Department at 781-4550.

— Tonya Strickland

San Luis Obispo

The bike lane and temporary sidewalk on the east side of Los Osos Valley Road will be closed through December.

The bike lane and sidewalk, which stretch from Auto Park Way to Froom Ranch Way, are scheduled to reopen during the first week of January. Closures are due to installations of new driveways and a permanent sidewalk for the Target store site at Prefumo Creek Commons.

For more information, call Andrea Montes at 781-7014.

— AnnMarie Cornejo

Avila Valley

County/Cal Fire Avila Valley Fire Station will hold an open house Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.

A free barbecue lunch will be provided by the firefighters. Smokey Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog will be handing out stickers and teaching about fire safety.

Attendees are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped gifts for the county Firefighters Benevolent Association’s annual toy drive, which gives toys to children under the care of county Child Protective Services.

The fire station is located at 1551 Sparrow St. in Avila Valley.

— AnnMarie Cornejo