Best of 2010

Dec 31, 2010 12:53 AM by John Reger

The Most Important Stories of 2010

Here's look back at the important stories of 2010. We especially want to remember some of the people who passed away in the last 12 months.

Early in 2010, the Central Coast lost a couple of icons: In March, fire destroyed the Cabo San Luis restaurant in San Luis Obispo. Investigators later called it arson. Two weeks later, America's hero in a coonskin cap died. Fess Parker's roles included Davey Crockett and winery owner in Santa Barbara County.

In April, retired Santa Barbara County District Attorney Christie Stanley died at 61 after a long battle with lung cancer. Two days later, Santa Maria's Abel Maldonado took the oath as California's Lieutenant Governor becoming the first Hispanic to hold a statewide office in 130 years.

June brought the first ever "alert" at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. Too much carbon dioxide was released during a test, but PG&E said there was never any danger to the public.

The month ended with a memorial in Paso Robles for CHP Officer Brett Oswald. Governor Schwarzenegger joined in honoring the death of the 20-year vet who was hit by a speeding car while waiting for a tow truck on the side of a road. Six months later, the car's driver, Kaylee Weisenberg was ordered to stand trial for second degree murder.

It was a train accident in July that took the life of a teenager in San Luis Obispo. Oscar Gonzalez was wearing headphones while he crossed some tracks and didn't hear an engine coming.

San Luis Obispo Fire Chief John Callahan died suddenly in August after a massive heart attack while playing softball.

In Santa Barbara, a big rig lost it's brakes and crashed into a home off Highway 154, killing eight-year old Jaciel Tellez and his parents, Leonel and Lorena.

A shock came in September when the burned body of 15-year old Dystiny Myers was discovered in Santa Margarita. Five people are charged with her murder.

In October, Dan Johnson became the first airman from Vandenberg Air Force Base to die in Afghanistan when he was killed by an improvised bomb. Seven months earlier he told KSBY he knew the dangers his job detonating explosives to protect other troops.

Four local medical volunteers on a mission in Mexico perished when their plane crashed. The Flying Samaritans were Graciela Sarmiento, Roger Lyon, Andrew Thiel, and James Thornton.

Tourists Bruce and Marjorie Mallin were out for a walk in Pismo Beach when they were hit and killed by a car driven by Jerardo Iriarte. Prosecutors say the Oceano teen was trying to hurt himself and purposely veered off of Highway 101.

A few days later, 19-year old UCSB student Lucas Ransom was killed in a shark attack while he was boogie-boarding off Surf Beach near Vandenberg.

Ian Parkinson beat Joe Cortez in the November election for San Luis Obispo County Sheriff. Abel Maldonado lost his bid for a full term as Lieutenant Governor.

The following week, a home caught fire in Santa Maria. One child was rescued, but a four year old boy didn't make it out alive.

San Luis Obispo said a heartfelt farewell to Mayor Dave Romero. He cleared out his desk and retired after 52 years of public service, most as public works director.

But it was "hello" in December to Dr. Jeffrey Armstrong who was chosen as Cal Poly's new president.

December ended with torrents of rain that caused flooding and evacuations. Then on Christmas Day, Beverly Reilly and Kathy Yeager were killed. 20-year old Andrew Downs was charged with their murders.


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