What were you reading on Noozhawk this week?
A Santa Barbara man was killed and his companion injured when he crashed his motorcycle on Miramonte Drive west of Carrillo Street the night of Aug. 17.
Authorities say Khalid Hurst, 36, wiped out for unknown reasons about 9:30 p.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene from major head trauma.
Santa Barbara police Sgt. Mike McGrew told Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton that Hurst had given his helmet to his female passenger, which may have saved her life. The woman, whose identity was not released, was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with minor injuries.
Witnesses told investigators that Hurst had been drinking earlier in the day, but McGrew said the Santa Barbara County coroner will determine whether he was under the influence at the time of the crash. Speed did not appear to be a factor, he said.
Hurst was a 1995 graduate of Santa Barbara High School, where he was a standout football player.
Authorities have identified a lone suspect in an Aug. 21 double stabbing on Highway 154. The dude shouldn't be too hard to find as he apparently wears an eye patch to cover up a badly damaged left eye.
Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, said the incident was reported about 3:40 p.m. in the 1500 block of Highway 154, near San Antonio Creek Road.
She said the suspect — identified as Gabriel Nicholas Rivera, 47, of Santa Barbara — stabbed two acquaintances after an argument among the three amigos.
Rivera fled the scene and was last seen wearing brown or yellow shorts, hiking boots, no shirt and the eye patch. Hoover described him as Hispanic, 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Well, one eye anyway.
It may surprise you to learn that Rivera is no stranger to law enforcement. Hoover said his most recent visit was a January stint in County Jail on a probation violation.
No other details were available about the stabbings. The two victims were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment.
Anyone with information about Rivera is urged to call the sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at 805.681.4150. If you see him, call 9-1-1.
As one of the Central Coast's largest employers, it's not surprising that UC Santa Barbara would have a disgruntled ex-employee or two. And then there's Neil Baker.
The 54-year-old former UCSB engineer has compiled a litany of complaints against a sinister cabal of UC henchmen whom he accuses of making his life a living hell. For years, he ranted and raged on Craigslist and any other forum he could find, railing against the aforementioned UCSB, the student-run Daily Nexus newspaper, Jews, Zionists and the alleged government cover-up of 9/11.
Somewhere along the way, he added Noozhawk and yours truly to his hit list. Lucky us.
It's not a crime to be a few fuses short of a full circuit, but Baker has a reputation for making threats with a little too much specificity to merely laugh off for their lunacy. In 2010, he was arrested in Washington for allegedly making a bomb threat against UCSB, although charges were later dropped.
In 2007, UCSB officials locked down the Engineering and Sciences Building for about a week after threats were posted on Craigslist around the anniversary of the deadly Goleta postal service facility shooting a year earlier. The Daily Nexus reported that Baker had talked about how he was thinking about killing his former bosses and co-workers at the time time of the USPS massacre.
When last we heard — or cared —Baker was living in Kennewick, Wash. Like a moth drawn to flame, however, he was back on the UCSB campus the evening of Aug. 19, allegedly vandalizing a window at the ... wait for it ... Engineering and Sciences Building.
UCSB police arrested him without incident on suspicion of felony vandalism and trespassing. As a precaution, the building was searched and declared safe.
Baker pleaded not guilty to the charges on Aug. 23 and is due back in court Sept. 9 for a preliminary hearing.
Copper heiress Huguette Clark died in 2011 at age 104, leaving behind a $100 million Santa Barbara mansion she rarely visited and an estate estimated to be north of $300 million.
She also left behind two wills — signed six weeks apart —that have drawn the billable attention of 60, that's right, 60 attorneys. What could possibly go wrong?
According to NBC News reporter Bill Dedman, who has closely followed the Clark saga for years, the case is scheduled for a Sept. 17 court hearing but settlement talks are under way. Dedman says the negotiations have been contentious. It's just a guess but that may have something to do with the reclusive Clark's distant relatives and her former caregivers squabbling over $300 million while 60 sharks circle, smelling blood in the water.
Clark's 23-acre “Bellosguardo” estate overlooks the Santa Barbara Channel west of the Santa Barbara Cemetery. It's not open to the public but local nonprofit representatives believe Clark's last wish was that her assets would be used to support the arts. They want to see a local arts foundation established on the grounds of the estate.
Two alleged Santa Barbara gang members have been arrested in a June 22 hammer attack that left a man hospitalized with major head injuries. Authorities are calling the attack a hate crime.
Sgt. Riley Harwood, an SBPD spokesman, said David Roberto Ybarra, 19, and Jose Antonio Castro, 17, are facing charges of attempted murder, attempted robbery, participation in a criminal street gang, and commission of a hate crime in connection with the attack.
Although a juvenile, Castro's name was released Aug. 16 after prosecutors elected to charge him as an adult, Deputy District Attorney Von Nguyen said.
Harwood said the pair attacked the victim — a 40-year-old man whose identity has been withheld — as he played cards in Ortega Park on Santa Barbara's Eastside the night of June 22.
"Ybarra produced a hammer from his clothing and struck the victim on his head in the area of his left temple," Harwood said.
He said the victim, who had no gang affiliation, was hospitalized for about a week.
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It's a bittersweet day for me as we say goodbye to Chris Donahue, our advertising manager and, other than me, the last original Noozhawk. While I'm sorry to see him leave, I'm also excited for him as he changes careers to a newly created position with Terminix.
To say Chris and I have been through a lot is an understatement. In the early years of Noozhawk, he and I scratched and clawed and schemed for every dollar we could get, usually making up a plan as we went. Nearly six years later, it's truly amazing how far we've come — and Chris has carried a lion's share of that load. He's hustled all the way, always willing "to hit it hard" and continually looking out for his clients.
Good times, Chris. Thank you.
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Just because I can ...
My niece, Lindsay, is a cheerleader with the New York Jets Flight Crew. I don't see a lot of Jets games so I'm grateful to the dad who was videotaping his daughter, a member of the Junior Flight Crew, for providing glimpses of Lindsay at halftime of the Aug. 17 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. She's in the lower left corner and starts to get more screen time halfway through.
(Robert Glasthal video)
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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.