Matthew Gastello said being an Eagle Scout and playing three sports in high school helped him be selected for West Point. Photo courtesy of Matthew Gastello.

San Benito Lifestyle

Matthew Gastello makes journey from Eagle Scout to Army Ranger

West Point graduate talks about military academies.

Firefighters worked all day to put out a fire at DMC Recycling facility on Jan. 19. Photo courtesy of Hollister Fire Department.

Police / Fire

Third fire in two months sparks at Shore Road recycling plant

Over 100,000 tons of landscaping wood chips are stored at that location.

San Benito High School. Photo courtesy of SBHS.

Education / Schools

Sports set to return to San Benito High School

Fall season could start as soon as Jan. 16.

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital has tents set up outside to service a higher amount of patients. Photo by Noe Magaña.

Health

General public unlikely to receive COVID-19 vaccinations before spring

Though San Benito County is preparing to move to the next vaccination phase, limited supply could make mass inoculation difficult to accomplish.

Sylvia DeLuna and Melanie Burns have become friends since sharing their experiences working as bus drivers for San Benito High School. Photo courtesy of Melanie Burns.

Education / Schools

BL Special Report: Former SBHS employees allege abuse, wrongful terminations

Three bus drivers have sued the San Benito High School District because of one supervisor and were awarded large settlements.

Members of Preserve Our Rural Communities and Protect San Benito held a mock funeral procession from San Benito County Superior Court to the county administration building on Jan. 5. Photo by John Chadwell.

Housing / Land Use

Environmentalists protest development moves

Land use group says supervisors and developers have eroded their success with the No on Measure K initiative from the March primary election.

Retiring Superior Court Judge Steven Sanders swore in Bob Tiffany, Bea Gonzales, Kollin Kosmicki and Mark Medina on Jan. 4. Photo by John Chadwell.

Government / Politics

Three new San Benito County supervisors sworn in

Kollin Kosmicki, Bob Tiffany and Beatrice Gonzales take the dias; incumbent Mark Medina also sworn in for second term.

Larry Avira has been homeless for seven years and lives on beyond the wall of a subdivision of new homes. Photo by John Chadwell.

Housing / Land Use

The wall between home ownership and homelessness

Homeowners claim DeNova Homes misled them about the homeless situation near new homes and they fear those who live by railroad tracks.

VFW Honor Guard member lays wreath during the 2020 Wreaths Across America ceremony. Photo by John Chadwell.

San Benito Lifestyle

Wreaths Across America honors veterans

Limited ceremony takes place at Hollister cemeteries.

Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez on Zoom and Councilman Tim Burns in the meeting chambers on Dec. 17. Photo by John Chadwell.

Government / Politics

Hollister Council votes against citing for noncompliance with COVID-19 restrictions

Majority of members unsupportive of urgency ordinance put forth by Mayor Velazquez.

Outgoing Hollister Councilwoman Carol Lenoir said she is done with politics. Photo by John Chadwell.

Government / Politics

Hollister Councilwoman Carol Lenoir bids farewell at final meeting

Rick Perez and Tim Burns sworn into office, with Mayor Ignacio Velazquez also sworn in for fifth term.

Vivian Stubblefield said, "I'm for the Constitution and against the lockdown." Photos by John Chadwell.

Government / Politics

Group protests stay-at-home order

Around 30 people gather in support of reopening businesses under current COVID-19 guidelines.

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital has tents set up outside to service a higher amount of patients. Photo by Noe Magaña.

Health

230 COVID-19 vaccine doses allocated to San Benito County

Additional doses are expected in the weeks ahead, but it’s unknown when they’ll be available to the public.

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital has tents set up outside to service a higher amount of patients. Photo by Noe Magaña.

Health

Hazel Hawkins Hospital CEO gives COVID-19 update

ICU is at capacity, but the working environment is stable, Steven Hannah says.

Matthew Sanchez said he hopes to begin rebuilding by next summer. He enlisted local architect and Hollister Planning Commissioner David Huboi to draw up the design. Design courtesy of David Huboi.

Housing / Land Use

Owner of 435 San Benito St. to rebuild after July 12 fire

Matthew Sanchez is a third-generation Hollister resident who enlisted a local architect and planning commissioner to design a new building.