May 23, 2013 4:23 PM by Olivia DeGennaro and Katherine Worsham, KSBY News

Counting down 60 top stories of 60 years: #55-51

As we celebrate our 60th anniversary here at KSBY, we're continuing our countdown of the top 60 local stories of the past 60 years.

Number 55 is the ongoing Los Osos sewer project.

Construction began in 2005, but was cancelled when the Los Osos Community Services District went bankrupt.

New plans for a sewer started in 2007 and gained approval from the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors in March of 2011.

Construction is currently underway, with a price tag of nearly $190 million dollars, making it the most expensive sewer in the nation.

At 54, we covered the murder of 15-year old Nicholas Markowitz.

He was kidnapped on August 6th, 2000, then murdered three days later in Goleta.

While most of his killers were shortly sent to prison, the mind behind the murder, Jesse James Hollywood, fled and was not found until 2005.

KSBY followed his 2009 trial in Santa Barbara, and on February 5th, 2010, Hollywood was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Markowitz murder inspired the movie "Alpha Dog", starring Justin Timberlake.

Seismic testing around Diablo Canyon was a hot-button issue in the last few years.

That's number 53 on our list.

In May of 2010, PG&E said before it's license was renewed, the nuclear power plant needed a full 3D seismic study to map off-shore fault lines that could pose a risk in the event of an earthquake.

That concern was heightened in March 2011 when a tsunami hit Japan, causing a nuclear meltdown.

PG&E planned to start its $64 million seismic testing in mid-2012 and that price tag would be tacked onto customers' bills.

In early 2012 however, local fishermen, environmentalists, and community members voiced their opposition to the testing, worried it may harm marine life.

This eventually led the California Coastal Commision to deny PG&E a permit and call off seismic testing in November 2012.

At number 52, a shooting rampage at a Pismo Beach Denny's on March 15th, 2006 is now remembered as one of the bloodiest public shooting sprees in SLO County history.

A homeless man named Lawrence Edward Woods walked into the restaurant around noon that day.

He shot and killed two Grover Beach men, then turned the gun on himself.

Two others were injured in that shooting.

At number 51, whale sightings at Avila Beach.

In January of 2012, some bird watchers had a rare encounter with an orca whale, making it the third recorded sighting of killer whales off of San Luis Obispo County.

And in August of last year, a group of humpback whales had a week-long stay in Avila.

They had both locals and visitors racing to take their pictures.

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