Year in Review: Kelsey Brugger’s Favorite Stories of 2017

News Reporter Kelsey Brugger Picks a Few of Her Favorite Articles from the Past Year

Kelsey Brugger
Paul Wellman

As part of our year in review, we’ve asked a few of our writers and editors to suggest a few of the stories they were particularly proud of this year. Here’s what News Reporter Kelsey Brugger told us.

1. ‘Women Roar Back’

Creative poster-making flourished at the Women's March on Washington. Katilyn Thomas, 20, marched to have her voice be heard. She called it powerful and beautiful to have all types of people there, and it "really exceeded" her expectations.
Kelsey Brugger

I like this piece because I felt as if I were experiencing a defining moment in American history — the Women’s March on Washington the day after President Trump’s Inauguration on January 20.

2. ‘Among the Detainees at Adelanto’

Adelanto Detention Center in San Bernardino County is one possible destination for Santa Barbara’s undocumented immigrants who find themselves in law enforcement’s crosshairs.
Paul Wellman

For this story, I went to Adelanto Detention Center in San Bernardino County to see firsthand how the United States government locks up immigrants who have not necessarily been convicted of a crime.

3. ‘The Artistic Life of a Con’

Paul Wellman

For the better part of a year, I talked to Fulton Leroy Washington about his experience in prison, where he was serving a life sentence. One day he picked up a paintbrush and quickly became a renowned artist. This is the story after President Obama commuted his sentence.

4. ‘Labor Shortage Leaves $13 Million in Crops to Rot in Fields’

Here, celery is harvested and made ready for market. But last year, farm labor shortages forced growers to let $13 million worth of their crops go unpicked, left to rot in the fields.
Paul Wellman

You never know which stories are going to get picked up by national news outlets. This story was about Santa Barbara County farmers having to let roughly $13 million of crops rot in the fields largely because of a farmworker shortage.

5. ‘Lompoc — Toke of the Town’ and ‘Pot Fears Grow in Carpinteria’

The city of Lompoc is known for its murals, and the one pictured recalls its past as a temperance colony. Now, Lompoc is lifting its prohibition on pot.

I spent several months in 2017 talking to everyone involved in the cannabis industry—from farmers to bankers to lawyers to politicians. I filed more than 30 stories about all things cannabis. These are two of my favorites.

The amount of marijuana grown in Carpinteria greenhouses remains amorphous; grower estimates range from 20 to 30 acres out of roughly 280 acres total.
Paul Wellman (file)


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