Noozhawk is hiring! We have an immediate opening for an online media consultant for sales, marketing and business development.
Ours is an incredible and exciting story to sell, and you'd be hard-pressed to find other circumstances involving such explosive growth in traffic. We also have a terrific group of loyal and long-standing clients, with boundless opportunity to expand our customer base and a host of new and improved products slated for 2014.
Click here for more information, or to apply online.
• • •
What were you reading on Noozhawk this week?
Paul Walker died the way he lived — at least, in his movies: Fast & Furious. The 40-year-old actor and Santa Barbara resident was killed in a fiery car crash Nov. 30 in Santa Clarita, where he had gone for a charity event on behalf of his nonprofit organization, Reach Out Worldwide.
Walker was a passenger in a Porsche Carrera GT driven by a friend when authorities say the speeding car slammed into a light pole and burst into flames. Both men were killed instantly, officials say.
But the daredevil movie franchise that made him famous was just one aspect of Walker's life, and many of the locals who knew him as a low-key Mesa guy say he was more defined by his involvement with charity work.
Homeless activist Ken Williams credited Walker and his business partner, Brandon Birtell, with caring for and assisting those less fortunate. Walker was a featured guest at a 2009 Casa Esperanza benefit for the premier of Birtell's documentary, Shelter.
"My condolences to his friends and family," John Goerke posted on the Facebook page of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, where Walker was an honorary member. "I met him at the SB Marina a couple times. He really was a nice down to Earth guy. He enjoyed just being a good neighbor."
Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.
A San Diego man was shot by law-enforcement officers the night of Dec. 4 after he allegedly tried to ram a California Highway Patrol car on Patterson Avenue a few blocks south of Cathedral Oaks Road, authorities say. The shooting is under investigation.
Santa Barbara County sheriff's Sgt. Mark Williams said a deputy and a CHP officer were trying to stop a pickup truck that reportedly had been driving the wrong way on Patterson near Calle Real. The two officers spotted the truck near Agana Drive around 8 p.m. but the driver apparently failed to pull over.
Goleta Police Chief Butch Arnoldi told Noozhawk that the driver “attempted to flee and to ram a CHP car, and shots were fired” by the officers.
The suspect, identified as Weldon Patterson Fewell, 52, was hit by the gunfire and transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition, Williams said.
He said Fewell has been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon — his vehicle — on a peace officer.
There were no other injuries in the incident, authorities say.
Both the CHP and Sheriff's Department will be conducting investigations.
What started out as cryptic police scanner traffic about a possible dead body along Highway 101 in western Goleta took a wrong turn into Crazy Town on Dec. 2.
Our Tom Bolton had been trying to confirm details of the reported body found along the freeway early that morning, but the odd response raised more questions than answers. After pressing authorities, he soon learned there was a whole lot more to the story.
Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover later revealed that the body was that of Thomas Hutchison Jr., and that the 66-year-old man had leaped to his death from the Cathedral Oaks Road overpass near Winchester Canyon about 4:15 a.m.
That was just the ending, however. About 15 minutes earlier, Hutchison reportedly broke into the house of his business partner and stabbed him while he slept, Hoover said.
She said the victim, Rubel Trevino, 56, told authorities that he was able to wriggle away from Hutchison during the attack, whereupon Hutchison ran to his car and sped from the scene in the 600 block of Mayrum Street near San Marcos High School.
As deputies converged on Hutchison's neighborhood in western Goleta, he was spotted on the overpass.
"When sheriff’s deputies arrived to make contact with the subject, he jumped from the overpass and landed below on the shoulder of the northbound 101 freeway," Hoover said.
Hutchison was pronounced dead at the scene. Trevino was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he underwent surgery and was recovering from his injuries.
The two men — and a third — were partners in a Goleta company called About the Children LLC, which describes itself on its website as a "parental advocate group" that focuses on child support, custody and visitation, and divorce.
In July, Hutchison filed a complaint in Santa Barbara County Superior Court against Trevino and the third partner, Frederick Gallagher, claiming breach of contract and fraud. He asked for damages and dissolution of the company, but the case was dismissed by his attorney after settlement talks last month.
The four cases — all involving undergraduate students — were reported within a three-week period in November, including three in a week. Authorities say the fourth incident involves an 18-year-old male who was not at school when the disease was confirmed.
The UCSB Student Health Clinic has provided preventive antibiotics to more than 500 students who were identified as having close contact with the ill students.
Meanwhile, one of the victims — freshman lacrosse player Aaron Loy of Carlsbad — had to have both of his lower legs amputated to save his life. The teenager is recovering at the UC San Diego Medical Center, and his parents have been keeping family and friends updated on his condition via the CaringBridge website.
"Aaron is improving both physically and mentally," they said in a Dec. 3 post. "With his intubation tube out, his speech, strength and awareness improve incrementally each day. ... He is currently being nourished via hi-protein, vitamin-enriched tube-feeding, while he develops his taste/appetite for UCSD hospital cuisine — far different than his Habit burgers, Freebirds burritos and DG (De la Guerra) dining commons tendencies."
The family is encouraged by his progress.
"Aaron underwent a successful series of surgical procedures to repair his various skin and tissue wounds," his parents wrote. "The healing process is particularly complex ... Infection remains a dangerous foe. Doctors reported very favorable progress in his healing and were optimistic in his overall health and recovery."
Two funds have been established to help. Click here to make a tax-deductible contribution through HelpHopeLive, or mail a non-tax-deductible contribution to the Aaron Loy Recovery Fund, c/o Pacific Premier Bank, 781 Garden View Court, Suite 100, Encinitas 92024.
A fatal fall from the California Street overpass in Ventura forced the closure of northbound Highway 101 for several hours Dec. 3 as authorities investigated the apparent suicide. Thousands of Santa Barbara-bound commuters were ensnared in the resulting traffic jams.
According to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Reid, a 23-year-old Ventura man apparently jumped from the bridge just after 3 a.m., landing in the northbound lanes, where he was struck by several vehicles. The man's identity has not been disclosed.
Click here for free suicide prevention resources that are available 24 hours a day.
• • •
• • •
There were 68,408 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?
» Join our Hawks Club.
Checks can be snail-mailed to Noozhawk, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102.
» Display your Noozhawk pride with a 3-inch-square Noozhawk sticker. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Noozhawk Promotions, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102. The free stickers — as well as full-sized bumper stickers and pens — also are available at Noozhawk World Headquarters, 1327-A State St., by the historic Arlington Theatre.
Please note that personal contributions to Noozhawk are not deductible as charitable donations.
Thank you for your support.
— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.