Amalia Ellis (right) and her mother Kerry. Photo courtesy of Amalia Ellis.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: The heartbreaking complexities of in-home caregiving

Caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s is an act of love and patience. One local woman shares her story.

Photo by Noe Magaña.

Agriculture

BL Special Report: What is prime agricultural land, and who keeps track of it?

The precise definition depends on the regulatory agency, and the context in which it’s used.

Marguerite Maze Middle School. Photo by Noe Magaña.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: HSD struggles with high suspension rates

Students with behavioral issues are being pushed into the special education department, which is already overwhelmed.

San Juan Bautista Waste Treatment Plant. Image from Draft Report.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: Solving San Juan Bautista’s water problems

City consultant comes up with solutions to address hard water, aging wastewater treatment plant and other problems.

San Juan Wastewater Treatment Plant Pond 1. Photo by Robert Eliason.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: San Juan’s wastewater treatment plant adds to city’s water woes

2019 EPA inspection identified 11 areas of concern and described the facility as ‘aging’ and in ‘significant noncompliance.’

The pellet plant. Photo by Robert Eliason.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: Why San Juan Bautista’s ‘million-dollar’ water fix was never implemented

The ill-fated ‘pellet plant’ was supposed to provide the city with abundant soft water.

City Well #1. Photo by Robert Eliason.

Environment / Nature

BL Special Report: San Juan Bautista’s water problems reaching critical mass

City facing substantial fine for its continued inability to process large amounts of pollutants discharged into the Pajaro River, which then enter waterways that empty into Monterey Bay.

BL Special Report

BL SPECIAL REPORT: CSAs win war of words as county capitulates and repairs roads

With over $600,000 in selective reserve accounts and after years of heated debate, county service areas get long-awaited maintenance work.

Collage of Quien Sabe Road holes in Tres Pinos area. Photos by Robert Eliason

Transportation

BL Special Report: Roads were main focus for Civil Grand Jury

San Benito County Civil Grand Jury submits its report on how funding for roads in the county has been spent. Supervisors have 90 days to respond.

Highway 156 and 25 intersection. Photo by Leslie David.

Transportation

BL Special Report: The Ins and Outs of Roundabouts

This BL Special Report shares recent research on roundabouts and why they are being used more throughout California. One is planned for the intersection of Highways 25 and 156.

Diego Ochoa speaks to the public during a 2019 board meeting at which he was introduced as the new superintendent. Photo by John Chadwell.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: Ochoa makes progress on special ed program

Superintendent speaks on recent reorganization efforts.

Shari Stevenson comes from a family of veterans. She is dedicated to serving all vets in San Benito County. Photo by John Chadwell.

BL Special Report

Shari Stevenson fights for vets

She first became aware of PTSD and Agent Orange as a teen. When her two sons joined the military, she learned what benefits would be available after their service. Now she serves all vets in San Benito County for the Veterans Administration.

Consultant Marilyn Shepherd interviewed teachers, staff and parents to determine what was wrong with HSD's special education program. Photo by John Chadwell.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: Hollister School District noncompliant with state and federal special ed law

Consultant cites leadership problems and offers solutions.

In a little over a year of reconciling accounts, Gabriel Moulaison found 175 accounting errors. Photo by John Chadwell.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: The errors of their ways

After years of ignoring discrepancies and using unprofessional accounting practices when dealing with school districts, the county auditor’s office and county office of education are spending about $100,000 to get help with reconciling their books.

Weeks after her husband died, rather than grant his last wish for his body to be used for cancer research, his remains arrived at their home via Federal Express. Photos by John Chadwell.

BL Special Report

Vietnam vet’s final fight

After being diagnosed with brain cancer linked to his being exposed to Agent Orange, Raymond Soileau fought to his final breath, but the dioxin finally won, 50 years after he was exposed to it in Thailand.