CalCoastNews Contributor

Karen Velie

Karen Velie lives in San Luis Obispo County.

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Emails expose alleged misconduct by Arroyo Grande officials
 


Editor’s note: A video of Arroyo Grande Council Member Kristen Barneich noting her reasons for voting against an independent investigation into the July 3 incident is at the bottom of this story. By DANIEL BLACKBURN and KAREN VELIE Several public officials in Arroyo Grande unsuccessfully instructed members of the city’s police force to take official […]... (Continue Reading)

Taxpayers to fund $2.4 million giveaway to county employees

By KAREN VELIE San Luis Obispo County Supervisors are slated to vote Tuesday on a $2.4 million payment to employees described as an offset to rising health care costs. The proposal comes a week after the board voted to raise a variety of public fees. In the consent agenda item (items to be passed without […]... (Continue Reading)

Mayor Tony Ferrara resigns before term ends

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN In an unusual move, Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara announced at Tuesday’s council meeting he intends to resign Friday at 5 p.m., three days before his term ends. The early resignation means that Mayor Pro Tem Jim Guthrie will serve through the weekend and pass the gavel to mayor-elect […]... (Continue Reading)

Wallace Group no-bid contract on lame duck agenda

By KAREN VELIE Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara is slated to give a no-bid contract to two engineering firms for consulting services before he gives up power over the city’s agenda and council. Tuesday’s Arroyo Grande City Council meeting marks the final council schedule and meeting Ferrara will control. The 10th item on a packed […]... (Continue Reading)

Kelly Gearhart gets another reprieve

By KAREN VELIE The sentencing hearing for former Atascadero developer Kelly Gearhart has been extended from Dec. 29 to Feb. 23. Gearhart faces a statutory maximum of 50 years in federal prison for defrauding investors out of more than $100 million. In May, Gearhart pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count […]... (Continue Reading)

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Cal Poly agrees to disclose records following lawsuit

By KAREN VELIE Amid a lawsuit against the campus, officials at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo agreed Thursday to release records about the university’s preparation in the event of an outbreak of an infectious disease on campus. Apologizing for a failure to follow the California Public Records Act, Director of Administrative Compliance […]... (Continue Reading)

Arroyo Grande’s mayor elect wants lawsuit abandoned

By KAREN VELIE Amid mounting legal costs, incoming Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill asked the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District Board to immediately cease and desist legal action against the state. Two weeks ago, the sanitation district board voted unanimously to file a lawsuit against the state over a $1.1 million fine in […]... (Continue Reading)

Write-in Jim Hill wins Arroyo Grande mayor’s seat

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN Amid allegations of poor leadership and abuse of power, write-in candidate Jim Hill has scored a stunning victory in the Arroyo Grande mayor’s seat, trumping incumbent Tony Ferrara by 95 votes, according to unofficial results released by the San Luis Obispo Clerk Recorder’s Office on Monday. Ferrara is newly […]... (Continue Reading)

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Professor sues Cal Poly over flu preparedness secrecy

By KAREN VELIE A California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo journalism professor has filed an open records suit against the university. Bill Loving, professor and editor of CalCoastNews, is suing to get records about the university’s preparation in the event of an outbreak of an infectious disease on campus. Loving named Cal Poly President […]... (Continue Reading)

Officer accused of lying to a judge

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN A member of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force is under investigation for allegedly lying in a search warrant affidavit in order to gain access to a San Miguel man’s home and vehicle. The raid resulted in the reported discovery of about a fourth of an […]... (Continue Reading)

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