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Home Depot Cashier Arrested on Suspicion Of Embezzlement

Sheriff deputies arrested a Home Depot employee on suspicion of embezzling goods worth a total of about $2,600.

Home Depot Cashier Arrested On Suspcion Of Embezzlement

Goleta – Sheriff deputies arrested a Home Depot employee over the holidays on suspicion of embezzling goods worth a total of about $2,600, authorities said Thursday.


On Dec. 26, deputies – responding to a complaint from the Camino Real Marketplace store’s security officers – arrested a 20-year-old cashier named Aarone Perez of Isla Vista, said Sgt. Alex Tipolt, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Perez was suspected of carrying out a scheme in which his friends posed as store customers, Tipolt said in a press release.

On two occasions during the week before Christmas, friends of Perez allegedly went into the store, collected various items and took them to his register.

“At the register, Perez would scan each item and then delete all but one or two of the items,” Tipolt said. “The friend would then pay for the one or two items which were not deleted and then leave the store with all of the property, as if they had paid for them in full.”

Deputies said Perez confessed to the crime. They arrested Perez and booked him into the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of embezzlement, burglary and conspiracy.

Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to contact detectives at the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Headquarters, 805-681-4150.


Rite Aid in Goleta Closing

Goleta – The Rite Aid drugstore at 7127 Hollister on the west end of Goleta is shutting down.

Employees were tight-lipped about the details, only stopping to confirm that the store was indeed closing, and that items would no longer be restocked. Speculation points to the store reaching the end of its lease. An unofficial timeline has the storeís pharmacy closing within the next couple of weeks.

After that, the store will continue to liquidate its remaining stock and then close its doors permanently at the end of April. Store management could not be reached for comment.

Former Solvang Mayor To Announce Candidacy For Board Of Supes

Solvang – Former Solvang Mayor Dave Smyser is expected to announce his candidacy for the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Friday.

Appointed by outgoing Supervisor Brooks Firestone, Smyser runs a law and mediation practice in Solvang, according to a press release from his campaign organization.

On Friday he is scheduled to hold two news conferences to announce his candidacy – one at noon at the Veterans’ Memorial Building in Solvang, and the other at 3 p.m. at Girsh Park in Goleta.

In addition to being the former mayor and city council member of Solvang, Smyser is a former Third District Planning Commissioner. He also has served on the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, Santa Barbara County Local Agency Formation Commission and the Solvang Planning Commission.

In Solvang, Smyser is a volunteer for numerous professional, charitable and civic organizations. He and his wife, Sandra, have three grown children.

For more information, visit his campaign Web site or contact Judy Franzen at 805-693-9373.


Cleanup Ongoing at the Greka Davis Tank Battery

Santa Barbara County – Cleanup is ongoing at the Greka Davis Tank Battery. Mitigation activities are being overseen by California Fish and Game and Federal EPA. The contract cleanup agency, Advanced Cleanup Technologies Inc., ACTI, is currently performing a confined-space entry with self-contained breathing apparatus through the floor of the County Road Yard at that location to make safe access for removal of the pooled oil beneath the structure of the building. There is no estimate yet of when the building will be habitable. A large portion of the creek has been cleaned up.


The Santa Barbara County Fire Department, in conjunction with other county, state and federal agencies, has been compiling a staff report for the County Board of Supervisors to address issues relating to Greka Energy oil facilities. Deputy County CEO Ron Cortez will deliver this report to the Board at their regular meeting in Santa Maria on Tuesday morning. Items detailed in the report include background, history, responses and updates, safety, environmental and fiscal impacts, plus a statement of challenges and recommendations.


Capps Touts Federal Dollars For Fixing Flood-Prone Lower Mission Creek

Santa Barbara – Nearly 13 years after record-setting floods from Mission Creek caused millions of dollars in damage, the federal dollars necessary to begin fixing the problem have finally started to trickle in.

U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, and other public officials held a news conference Thursday celebrating the federal money recently earmarked for the Lower Mission Creek flood control and rehabilitation project.

At the request of Capps and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the recently enacted Fiscal Year 2008 omnibus spending bill includes $215,000 for the design work.

Ultimately, the plan is to widen the creek and replace invasive plants with vegetation that is native to the area, such as willow trees and sycamores. The portion of the creek in question is the 1.2-mile stretch starting from its mouth in Stearns Wharf.

But the recently earmarked dollars make up just a fraction of the estimated $30 million to $60 million needed to actually finish the project, said Tom Fayram, deputy public works director for Santa Barbara County. Construction probably won’t begin in a substantial way for at least two years, he said. 

Heavy rains led to record flooding from the creek in 1995, and lesser flooding in 1998 and 2005.


Heart Health Fair at Cottage Hospital

Santa Barbara – Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in this country, for women as well as men. But it can be prevented through early detection, according to the American Heart Association.

On Saturday, Jan. 26. Cottage Health System is hosting its annual “Heart Health Fair” to educate the public about heart disease – which can affect anyone at any age.  This event, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., is designed primarily for those who do not otherwise have access to medical services. The event will take place at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, on the first floor of the Castillo Street entrance.

Low-cost cholesterol screening and other cardiac health services will be provided. For only $15, participants can have their blood tested and receive information regarding kidney disease, diabetes, bone function, liver function, blood fats, and cholesterol. Screenings are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Those who wish to participate in cholesterol testing must not eat for 12 hours before having blood drawn, in order get accurate results. It is strongly recommended to continue drinking water and taking prescribed medications during that time.

The event will also feature free height and weight evaluations, delicious and nutritious recipes, and healthy snacks.

Please join Cottage Health System for a morning filled with information on preventing and fighting heart disease. For more information, contact Dana Goba, Community Health Coordinator at 805-879-8992.


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