County supervisors decided against the realignment of John Smith Road in favor of repairing the last half-mile section. Graniterock crews worked on repaving the road July 8. Photos by John Chadwell.


Repaving begins on half-mile section of John Smith Road

Completion expected July 12.

Housing being constructed in Hollister. Photo by John Chadwell.

Housing / Land Use

San Benito County and cities proceed with housing element updates

Jurisdictions take action in response to governor’s call for more home building.

The water tower at McCarthy Park has a 90-gallon bucket inside and is surrounded by synchronized water jets and waterfalls. Photo by John Chadwell.

Housing / Land Use

Revitalized McCarthy Park opens in August

Delay related to new water feature.

After Sang Ji requested a speedy trial, Judge Sanders said he would be happy to do it, and set the trial for July 22.

Police / Fire

Ji, Choi trial date set for July 22

Confirmation hearing set for July 12; Choi’s attorney moves to dismiss case.

Bryan Swanson has been with the city for three years and in that time has not had a raise. A new contract would be for three years; he would receive an automatic raise.

Government / Politics

Council members question department director contracts

Two positions will get more review of compensation and severance packages.

Anthony Mojica, director of services excellence, said attacks on staff are increasing. He said he and his family have been threatened.


Violence on the rise at Hazel Hawkins

Officials expect it to get worse over July 4 weekend.

Parent Susan Villa, education advocate Kim Taylor and parent Virginia Gardner told the San Benito High School Board of Trustees that they filed reports to the police after receiving an anonymous letter alleging inappropriate sexual language and video images in a classroom, as well as bullying and retaliation against an aide. Photo by John Chadwell.

Children and Youth

Anonymous letter claims SBHS special ed students were exposed to inappropriate behavior

Hollister police investigation is underway.

Development Services Director Bryan Swanson described the cell tower deal as exciting, with 50 years of revenue ahead. Photo by John Chadwell.

Housing / Land Use

Hollister signs cell tower lease

Operator pays the city $1.4 million upfront.

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Jose Antonio Barajas enters San Benito County Superior Court for a hearing on June 13 to determine a trial date, which was delayed because his attorney Gregory LaForge was ill. Photo by John Chadwell.

Police / Fire

Barajas to appear in court June 27

Trial could begin in September or October.

Cannabis. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.


Hollister City Council approves recreational cannabis ordinance

Allows sales starting July 3 to individuals over 21, home deliveries and other minor changes within city limits.

Cannabis. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.


Hollister recreational cannabis ordinance gets first reading

Final adoption expected June 17, would go into effect July 3.

Officer Melgoza stands with K-9 Freeze while Police Chief David Westrick speaks. Photos by John Chadwell.

Police / Fire

K-9 Officer Freeze retires

Hollister City Council approves request for replacement, handler training and vehicle conversion.

Photos courtesy of High Speed Rail Administration.


Fate of California high-speed rail uncertain

After nearly $1 billion in federal grant money was rescinded, state administrators look at cutting costs.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Police / Fire

Hollister doctor’s license is suspended, Hazel Hawkins revokes privileges

Anesthesiologist Annamalai Ashokan faces charge of misdemeanor sexual battery in Chico incident.

Superintendent Shawn Tennenbaum said he will move forward with a plan to ask the public for names. Photos by John Chadwell.


SBHS board continues discussion on naming facilities

Trustees will seek community input during selection process.