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Law and Disorder 8-20

Two plastic bags of what appeared to be cocaine as well as a five-inch straw were found in the purse of a 50-year-old woman during a routine bag check by Mission Security at the 8/16 Jackson Browne concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl. At approximately 7:20 p.m., police arrested the woman on charges of possession of a controlled substance. She was then released, pending the results of Department of Justice testing of the bags’ contents.

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The trial pitting the Santa Barbara News-Press against the National Labor Relations Board came to a close on 8/11 after a final day of testimony and document submission-“little more than housekeeping,” explained Ira Gottlieb, attorney for the Teamsters Union, which represents the paper’s newsroom employees. News-Press director of news operations Don Katich and Teamster representative Nicholas Caruso took the stand. Briefs will be submitted during the coming months before a decision is prepared.

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Jury selection has begun for the trial of Ashley Johnigan, the 23-year-old woman accused of killing Laura Cleaves, an investigator for the District Attorney’s office, while driving drunk on Highway 154 in May 2008. Johnigan faces four charges, including murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Authorities allege Johnigan had higher than a 0.15 blood-alcohol level at the time her car struck Cleaves’s. The case is being prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s office because of the conflict with the DA.

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An 8/18 crosswalk enforcement operation conducted by Santa Barbara police resulted in 24 citations for motorists who failed to stop for pedestrians. A team of plainclothes and motorcycle officers conducted the exercise at the intersections of Calle Palo Colorado and State Street as well Milpas and Ortega streets. Police warn all drivers to watch for pedestrians, especially in coming weeks as school goes back into session.

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