A woman died in an early morning fire 2/16 at her 3918 Foothill Rd. home. Fire crews were able to extract the woman from the smoky building, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. Her dog was successfully rescued, however. County Fire spokesperson Captain Eli Iskow did not speculate what specifically caused the woman’s death nor did he release her name. He noted that her smoke detector had no batteries in it, however. (/fire219)


Santa Barbara resident Aline Martins, 19, died on 2/16 while snowboarding at the Dodge Ridge resort in Tuolumne County. Martins, a Danville native, appears to have suffocated after falling in powder. She had not strayed beyond the boundaries of the resort’s trails, however. The Tuolumne County Sheriff will determine her cause of death following an autopsy later this week.


The trial of Louis Sosa for the September 2006 murder of Frank Tacadena continued with testimony from John Lopez, Sosa’s friend and an accused accomplice in the killing. Lopez admitted to being present during the murder but claimed Sosa pulled the trigger. Prosecutor Hillary Dozer underscored Lopez’s innocence, while defense attorney Doug Hayes attempted to discredit Lopez’s testimony by highlighting his lack of sobriety and past gang-related violent activity. (/tacadena219)


Pop star Michael Jackson-who called Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos home until he left it in 2005-announced this week that he is auctioning off the contents of his much-fabled former home this April at Los Angeles’s Beverly Hilton Hotel. Among the items that the public can bid on are a portrait of Jackson dressed as a king (valued at $4,000-$6,000), a go-cart emblazoned with an image of Jackson as Peter Pan ($4,000-$6000), and Johnny Depp’s “scissorhands” from the movie Edward Scissorhands.


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