Sinkhole repair slows traffic
SUMMERLAND — Caltrans performed emergency sinkhole repair work Thursday on the northbound Highway 101 onramp at Sheffield Drive, causing major traffic backup in the area.
Caltrans Public Information Officer Jim Shivers told the News-Press after being alerted by the California Highway Patrol to look into the area, Caltrans crews responded immediately due to the pavement’s condition.
“We had to perform emergency repairs because of the condition of the pavement, and more importantly, the safety of the traveling public,” Mr. Shivers said. “Those conditions required us to respond to this section immediately.”
Mr. Shivers said they ordinarily would not shut down any portion of the 101 during the day unless it is a matter of public safety. Repairs were completed by 1:30 p.m.
— Brain Mackley
Lompoc police investigating explosion
LOMPOC — The Lompoc Police Department is investigating an explosion that occurred Thursday morning which damaged several mailboxes in the 1600 block of West Central Avenue.
Police were dispatched to the area at 10:11 a.m. and located a small debris field in the driveway in the area. The Lompoc City Fire Department responded as a precaution after a gas odor was detected, though no gas leaks were located at the scene, according to authorities.
The initial investigation revealed that unknown suspects set an unknown type of explosive device near a bank of mailboxes. The device exploded, damaged the mailboxes and caused minor property damage to several of the surrounding commercial structures, police said.
No injuries were reported and the investigation is ongoing. A member of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department’s Bomb Squad assisted with the investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Lompoc police or use the department’s mobile app.
— Mitchell White
Parking restrictions in Montecito
MONTECITO — Temporary parking restrictions will go into effect today in the area of Miramar Avenue and Humphrey Road in Montecito, authorities said.
Areas near Montecito beaches have experienced increased vehicle traffic in recent weeks, which has impaired the Montecito Fire Protection District from accessing the area and community members leaving the area. Due to the community risk involved with the delay in emergency response, the fire department requested and received approval from the county roads commissioner to limit parking to one side of the street in the area, according to a news release.
No parking signs will be placed on the north side of the 100 block of both Humphrey Road and Miramar Avenue, restricting parking on Fridays through Sundays. The parking restrictions will be enforced by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, which will issue parking citations to violators, authorities said.
“We sincerely appreciate the community’s assistance on this matter as your Fire Department strives to ensure reasonable access so that we can provide efficient and effective emergency response to all community members in their time of need,” the fire department stated in a news release.
— Mitchell White
Reports of shooting unfounded
SANTA BARBARA — A woman was arrested Thursday on suspicion of public intoxication from drug use after making a false report of a shooting, police said.
Around 11:26 a.m. Thursday, the Santa Barbara Police Department responded to a report from Santa Barbara City College employees who were with a transient woman who said she had just seen a man shot in the head at a nearby house on Weldon Road, said Anthony Wagner, police spokesman.
The woman, later identified as Sheena Blair, 35, told dispatch that the shooter may still be in the house. Officers blocked traffic and attempted to determine which address was involved. Detectives interviewed Ms. Blair and a thorough check of the neighborhood was conducted, Mr. Wagner said.
Ms. Blair became uncooperative and was arrested. A resident also signed for her arrest for trespassing, as she’d been at another neighboring property with no lawful purpose, Mr. Wagner said.
Ms. Blair gave the name of the supposed shooting victim. Detectives were able to contact him and determined he was not harmed.
— Mitchell White
Highway 101 repairs planned next week
MONTECITO — Caltrans will perform repairs to the concrete pavement beginning Sunday on northbound Highway 101 between Olive Mill and San Ysidro roads in Montecito.
Motorists will encounter alternating lane closures during overnight hours starting at 8 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Thursday. The two-week project is expected to be completed by Sept. 3.
Delays are not expected to exceed 10 minutes. Motorists are reminded to move over and slow down when driving through construction zones.
— Brian Mackley