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Local News

Bill Macfadyen: Middle-of-the-Night Missile Launch Hits Sky-High Traffic Target

NoozWeek's Top 5 also writes up a bathhouse haircut shower scene, a couple of car wrecks, and the saga of Huguette Clark

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What were you reading on Noozhawk this week?

1. Minuteman III Missile Launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base

Two unarmed intercontinental ballistic missiles were launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base this past week as part of ongoing tests of the missile's unarmed re-entry system.

The first Minuteman III launch was at 3:01 a.m. Sept. 22, the second was at 3:33 a.m. Sept. 26.

Both ICBMs were destined to travel 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

2. Haircut Ends in Hospitalization After Bathhouse Brawl

A haircut in a bathhouse, plus intoxication ... What could possibly go wrong?

As our Lara Cooper reported Sept. 24, two men got into a fight in the shower at the Cabrillo Bath House, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd. The altercation ended with one of them stabbing the other.

Santa Barbara police Sgt. Riley Harwood said an intoxicated man was getting his hair cut when an argument broke out and he apparently fell and hit his head. Harwood said it wasn't clear whether the man was injured by the scissors or as a result of his inebriation.

Both men were arrested, with the freshly shorn victim transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment.

The driver of this Ford Focus might have been better off concentrating on the stop sign. (Urban Hikers photo)
The driver of this Ford Focus might have been better off concentrating on the stop sign. (Urban Hikers photo)

3. Woman Injured in Downtown Santa Barbara Crash

A Santa Barbara woman was injured Sept. 23 when she allegedly drove through a stop sign and hit a pickup truck on the Upper Eastside.

Police Sgt. Riley Harwood said Laura Rueda-Diaz, 50, was driving her Ford Focus south on Garden Street just before 7 a.m., failed to stop at the four-way intersection at Micheltorena Street and struck a Dodge Dakota pickup truck crossing Garden.

The pickup driver — Philip Gregory Blake, 64, of Santa Barbara — was not hurt, but Rueda-Diaz was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment.

Rueda-Diaz was cited for driving without a license, Harwood said.

4. Two Hurt, Traffic Tied Up in Highway 101 Wreck in Santa Barbara

The evening commute slowed to a crawl through downtown Santa Barbara on Sept. 25 after a multivehicle accident on southbound Highway 101 south of Milpas Street.

Two people were hurt — one with moderate injuries and the other with minor ones — and were taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment.

5. Proposed Settlement of Huguette Clark Estate Would Fund Arts Foundation

A proposed settlement in the legal wrangling over reclusive heiress Huguette Clark’s $300 million oceanfront estate could preserve the Santa Barbara mansion and create an arts foundation — but the property may need to be sold just to cover the costs of the resolution.

Clark, the childless and never-married daughter of mining tycoon William Clark, died in 2011 at age 104. Her death ignited a fiercely contested battle of wills — specifically two contradictory wills she apparently signed two weeks apart in 2005. The parties in the first document — distant relatives — contested the second, which they say reflected the improper influence of her advisers.

According to NBC News investigative reporter Bill Dedman, the proposed settlement would create a New York nonprofit arts foundation that would be given Bellosguardo, Clark's Santa Barbara estate, along with her $1.7 million doll collection and $4.5 million in cash.

But, since Clark owed $82 million in gift taxes and penalties at the time of her death, Dedman added that the estate may need to be sold to pay out the settlement unless the Internal Revenue Service forgives the tax penalties.

                                                                          •        •

Want to see absolute joy? Welcome to fall.

(Kent Petersen video)

                                                                  •        •        •

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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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