AN INVESTIGATION OF AN ATTEMPTED MURDER AND CARJACKING LANDED A FATHER AND SON IN THE SANTA CRUZ COUNTY JAIL. AT ABOUT 6:50 P-M ON WEDNESDAY, SANTA CRUZ POLICE RESPONDED TO REPORTS OF A BOTCHED CARJACKING ON THE 1-HUNDRED BLOCK OF BIXBY STREET. UPON INTERVIEWING THE VICTIMS THEY LEARNED THAT THE SUSPECT HAD PULLED THE TRIGGER OF A REVOLVER WHILE POINTED AT THE CHEST OF THE HUSBAND OF A 4 MEMBER FAMILY. THE SUSPECT FLED WHEN THE GUN DIDN’T FIRE, 39 YEAR OLD JOHN THOMAS JR. WAS ARRESTED ON OCEAN STREET A SHORT TIME LATER, AND A REVOLVER LOADED WITH THE WRONG AMMO WAS RECOVERED. THE NEXT DAY WHILE DETECTIVES WERE SEARCHING THE SUSPECTS HOUSE HIS SON 21 YEAR OLD BRANDON THOMAS, A KNOWN GANG MEMBER SHOWED UP AND WAS ARRESTED WITH GANG ENHANCEMENTS FOR BEING ARMED WITH A LOADED PISTOL.
Santa Cruz City leaders were among those yesterday who celebrated the official return of a solid beam of light coming from the West Cliff Drive lighthouse. The flashing light atop the Mark Abbott Memorial lighthouse has been replaced with a single incandescent bulb that projects a beam of light at five second intervals 16-miles across the Monterey Bay. The lighthouse is owned by the city of Santa Cruz, but the light was owned and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard, who replaced the solid beam with a flickering light 2 years ago. Congressman Sam Farr, who was also at the celebration, was able to relinquish ownership of the light from the U.S. Coast Guard and return it to the city. Farr told community members yesterday, “the light is a symbol of safety, and also symbolizes bringing the community together”.
Progress made over the past two days has Firefighters in the Big Sur area working towards containing the Pfeiffer Fire, which is now 93% contained as of this morning. Fire officials say crews are down to the final wire wrapping a containment line around the blaze, which has charred 917 acres, destroyed 22 structures and caused hundreds of residents to evacuate the area. Officials say they have already been able to start mopping up, and plan to scale back on the number of crews keeping about 100 firefighters on through Christmas Day to monitor any hot spots. Sycamore, River Inn and Pfeiffer Roads remain closed and evacuations of residences in the Pfeiffer Ridge community are still in effect. The fire has been burning since Sunday night.
A Salinas Wine Distributor faces up to five years in prison after she admitted this week to defrauding the federal government over $800,000. 43-year old Brenda Jo Kibbee was indicted in September of 2012 on 11 counts of failing to pay an excise tax on wine. She entered a guilty plea Tuesday. The crime reportedly took place between August and December of 2008 while Kibbee owned and operated Monterey Wine Services, a bonded wine cellar on Schilling Place in Salinas. The taxes were supposed to be paid to the government’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Kibbee is set to be sentenced in April.
Monterey County has announced that it’s Free Libraries will be closed for winter break. All branches and programs of the libraries will close beginning December 24th through January 1st, with services resuming on January 2nd. Due dates will be extended to cover the recess period as all book-drops will be closed. Monterey County Free Libraries branches are located in Aromas, Big Sur, Bradley, Las Palmas/Buena Vista, Carmel Valley, Castroville, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Pajaro, Prunedale, San Ardo, Seaside, and Soledad. More information can be found at: MontereyCountyFreeLibraries.org.