An argument went terribly wrong in this toy store parking lot. (Keith Carls / KCOY News photo)


Every Friday, my column recaps Noozhawk’s top five stories of the last seven days, as determined by our Google Analytics.

Before I take badass American hero Harriet Tubman for twenty dollars, Alex, this is my take on what 100,870 of you have been reading this past week:

1. Woman Struck, Killed in Toys‘R’Us Parking Lot in Santa Maria

A mother-daughter argument ended in tragedy April 15 with a bizarre collision in a Santa Maria parking lot.

According to Santa Maria police, Kimberly Wilson, the 55-year-old driver of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, was arguing with her 34-year-old daughter, Brandy, just after noon in the parking lot of Toys“R”Us at 1411 S. Bradley Road.

Investigators determined that Kimberly Wilson accelerated quickly in reverse, propelling Brandy Wilson from the passenger side door, Sgt. Mark Streker said.

“The vehicle drove over the daughter and she died on scene from her injuries,” police said in a statement. “There was evidence of drug use on scene and an investigation is underway to determine if drugs or alcohol were a factor.”

Brandy Wilson was unresponsive on the ground when emergency crews arrived.

Kimberly Wilson was questioned but not arrested, and then taken to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.

“She was also evaluated for drug and alcohol use,” the SMPD statement said.

No one else was injured in the incident, which remains under investigation.

Kimberly Wilson reportedly lived in the Jeep. It wasn’​t immediately clear where her daughter resided.

Fight Night cuts both ways. (Diego Topete / Noozhawk photo)

Fight Night cuts both ways. (Diego Topete / Noozhawk photo)

2. Fight Escalates Into Stabbing on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside

Two men arguing on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside ended up in a full-fledged fight the evening of April 15, and one guy allegedly pulled a knife on the other.

According to Santa Barbara police Sgt. Mike Lazarus, the knife-wielding assailant slashed his opponent but somehow ended up doing more damage to himself. He was transported by American Medical Response ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Details on his condition were not available.

The man’​s victim declined treatment for minor wounds.

Police at the scene of the altercation in the 1200 block of Punta Gorda Street did not identify either man. No immediate arrests were made.

Cajun Kitchen Café aims to spice up a restaurant wasteland in the 6000 block of Calle Real in Goleta. (Cajun Kitchen Café rendering)

Cajun Kitchen Café aims to spice up a restaurant wasteland in the 6000 block of Calle Real in Goleta. (Cajun Kitchen Café rendering)

3. BizHawk: Cajun Kitchen to Open in Former Goleta Rusty’s Pizza on Calle Real

Cajun Kitchen Café plans to move in to the old Rusty’s Pizza location at 6025 Calle Real in Goleta, across from Fairview Shopping Center. Rusty’s vacated the space last year, having built a brand-new store and headquarters a few blocks away.

Juan Jimenez, son of Cajun Kitchen owner Richard Jimenez, told our Gina Potthoff that the Santa Barbara-based restaurant chain hopes to open in September after extensive renovations, including the addition of patio seating.

The store will be Cajun Kitchen’s fifth, joining another in Goleta, at 6831 Hollister Ave. in the Kmart Shopping Center, two in Santa Barbara and one in Ventura. The family closed a Carpinteria location last year.

Historically, Jimenez said, Goleta has been the most popular location for Cajun Kitchen and its Cajun and Mexican-infused breakfast and lunch menus.

“Goleta has always treated us well,” he said.

As Gina first reported, the Calle Real site may include a mural on the building’s backside, possibly resurrecting the popular “Gatorboy” mural the City of Santa Barbara forced Cajun Kitchen to paint over at its 901 Chapala St. location in 2014.​

4. Arraignment in Paula Lopez DUI Case Delayed Again

The seemingly interminable criminal DUI case against Paula Lopez Ochoa was put off yet again April 15 as the former TV news anchorwoman’s defense lawyer and the prosecutor continued negotiating over a possible plea deal.

The Paula Lopez season finale is still a cliff-hanger. (Noozhawk file photo)

The Paula Lopez season finale is still a cliff-hanger. (Noozhawk file photo)

According to Santa Barbara County Chief Deputy District Attorney John Savrnoch, a trial date will be ordered on April 22 if there’s no deal by then.

I know what you’re thinking: “Yeah, right.”

And to answer your question, yes, Noozhawk will be reporting the decision, whichever way it goes. (Hours after this was posted, our Giana Magnoli was the first to report on the outcome.)

As pretty much everyone knows, ​on Sept. 6 the California Highway Patrol received multiple reports of a silver Toyota Prius driving the wrong way on northbound Highway 101 near El Capitán State Beach west of Goleta. Officers later found the alleged car in the parking lot of Sandpiper Golf Club, at 7925 Hollister Ave. in Goleta.

Lopez also was present, and the former KEYT and KCOY television news anchor was evaluated at the scene and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Along with the DUI, she was charged with several other misdemeanors, including driving with a blood-alcohol content over .15; resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer; and two counts of battery on a peace officer.

5. Record High Temperature Set at Santa Barbara Airport

It was hot on April 17. How hot was it? Record hot.

The Santa Barbara Airport logged a high temperature of 85 degrees, eclipsing the previous record of 81 set in 1999.

I know it isn’t good for my yard or my Alaskan malamute, but I’ve gotta admit: I love the heat.

                                                                 •        •        •

Last Year on Noozhawk

What was our most-read story this time last year? Aggressive Dog Shot and Killed by Sheriff’s Deputy During Arrest in Montecito.

                                                                 •        •        •

Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week

I knew this was just a matter of time: Students Late for Class Forced to Write 1,000 Emojis As Punishment.

                                                                 •        •        •

Watch It

Regardless of how you feel about who can use what restroom, just think through the new, fact-free moral code these young adults are presenting. The ramifications are astounding, and they won’t stop with the culture and society.

Would you want a surgeon, or a pilot, or an engineer, or a CPA who was assured “So be it. Yeah, good for you!” at crucial moments in his or her training, so as not to bruise anyone’​s self-esteem?

Our future is in the crapper in more ways than one.

(Family Policy Institute of Washington video)

                                                                  •        •        •

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

A dark-haired man in glasses with a beard and a mustache smiles at the camera

William M. Macfadyen, Noozhawk Publisher

Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at, and follow him on Instagram: @bill.macfadyen. The opinions expressed are his own.