What were you reading on Noozhawk this past week?
Tyrone Richardson, a 28-year-old Santa Barbara man, was arrested a week ago as the suspected driver in the mysterious death of Allison Meadows, 26, of Santa Barbara, who was fatally injured June 6 while apparently “car surfing” along a darkened roadway in Montecito. Meadows’ friend, Lindsay Keebler, 25, of Santa Barbara, was seriously injured in the incident.
Prosecutors on June 12 filed a flurry of felony charges against Richardson, including second-degree murder; manslaughter while intoxicated with gross negligence, causing great bodily injury to another person, and with prior DUI convictions; DUI causing serious bodily injury with prior DUI convictions; and driving with a license that has been suspended or revoked due to DUI. Court records reveal that Richardson has three previous DUI convictions as well as a prison record.
The tragic twist in the case is that Richardson and an as-yet-unidentified companion were initially described by the California Highway Patrol as “good Samaritans” for finding the badly injured women on East Valley Road east of Sheffield Drive around 5 a.m. on June 6. Rather than calling 9-1-1, the two men loaded the victims in their vehicle and drove them to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where Meadows died. Keebler was released from the hospital several days later and is recovering from her injuries at home.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Richardson is due to be arraigned June 20. On the afternoon of June 15, authorities closed East Valley Road near Stonehouse Lane for several hours so investigators could run an incident reconstruction.
The body of Iraq War veteran and Santa Barbara native Jeff Nancarrow was found near Gaviota State Beach on June 9. A Sheriff’s Department spokesman said foul play was not suspected in the 29-year-old’s death but an autopsy has been ordered.
Late last month, Nancarrow had been the subject of a missing-person search by Santa Barbara police after family members reported that he might be planning to harm himself.
The Fourth Supervisorial District is the county’s most conservative of the five, but the outcome of the November runoff election between longtime incumbent Joni Gray and challenger Peter Adam may come out of left field.
In June 5 balloting, Gray received 39.8 percent of the vote, compared to 37.7 percent for Adam and 22.5 percent for former Lompoc Mayor Joyce Howerton, the third candidate in the race and the only liberal.
Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton conducted a precinct-by-precinct analysis of the vote and found that no candidate dominated in any part of the newly redrawn district, which now includes the city of Lompoc, Orcutt and the southern part of Santa Maria. (Supervisorial districts were redrawn last year following the 2010 census.)
About two-thirds of the district’s voters are in the Santa Maria Valley, with a third in the Lompoc Valley, where Howerton was strongest and only narrowly trailed Gray. Howerton says she’s not likely to endorse one of her opponents but her supporters may prove to be the decisive vote for one of them.
Bread and cheese are usually a complementary pairing but that doesn’t mean they can always co-exist — at least on one block of Santa Barbara Street.
After more than 30 years at 831 Santa Barbara St., Our Daily Bread is being forced to relocate so the landlord can accommodate the expansion of another tenant, C’est Cheese, at 825 Santa Barbara St. Thrasher Books has also lost its lease but the used bookstore has opted to close its doors for good rather than move.
According to some Noozhawk commenters, the developments have a rancid smell. But Michael Graham — who owns C’est Cheese, with his wife, Katherine — is excited to have the opportunity to grow their breakfast, lunch and retail business at a key spot for local foodies.
“It’s a great locals’ corridor,” Graham said. “Especially with State Street kind of being the tourist area, we see this being the locals’ downtown. Also, it’s becoming more of a food destination with Handlebar (Café) moving in, Julienne, Sojourner and a Farmers Market down the street. People can do all of their shopping on this one corner.”
5. Crime Stories ... Really Revolting Crime Stories
Many readers will deny it but traffic numbers tell a different story: Crime pays. More to the point, it delivers readership. Noozhawk’s news team tries to put such stories into context and perspective because the headlines can skew a community’s perception if not handled responsibly. But the incidents themselves are news, and we have an obligation to report as thoroughly as we can on our community — warts and all.
This past week has seen a particularly disgusting strain of warts in a series of unrelated heinous crimes against children. I see no reason to pull you back into that sewer but I do want to commend the Santa Barbara Police Department for what appears to be its quick intervention and action. SBPD officers were busy last week, and the incidents they were handling were well-represented on our top 20 list. Let’s all hope we have more positive stories to tell next week.
• • •
For entrepreneurs and Santa Barbara’s flourishing high-tech community, there is no more important meeting of the minds than the South Coast Business & Technology Awards. The annual event benefits the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara and always packs the biggest ballroom at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort.
Noozhawk was again proud to sponsor the awards reception and dinner, and we are thrilled that one of our partners, the Central Coast MIT Enterprise Forum, was honored with the Excellence in Service Award.
It was also exciting to see AppFolio co-founder Klaus Schauser receive his due as Entrepreneur of the Year. Schauser is one of the coolest and smartest startup people around, and his personal story and success are inspiring to scores of us.
To the folks at Central Coast MIT Enterprise Forum, to Schauser and to fellow honorees Mission Linen, Ron Werft of Cottage Health System and Fred Gluck, congratulations for these richly deserved awards, and thank you for all you do to make our community a hub of opportunity.
• • •
There were 46,991 people who read Noozhawk this past week. If you value our unmatched breaking news and in-depth reporting on the issues that you care about, please support our experienced staff of professional journalists and help us continue to provide a vital forum for the community.
How can you help?
» Click here to advertise or market your business, organization, service or event.
Please note that personal contributions to Noozhawk are not deductible as charitable donations.
Thank you for your support.