Rebecca and Jose Salinas. Photo by Robert Eliason.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: Loneliness among seniors during COVID

Isolating to stay safe makes a difficult problem worse.

Emergency drills involving multiple city and county agencies are held at least once a year. Photo by John Chadwell.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: County prepares for disasters, from earthquakes to power grid failure

The San Benito County’s Office of Emergency Services has plans for most emergencies, but says residents also need to have plans to survive the initial days or weeks following a disaster.

Nash Road bisecting the San Benito County Campus. Photo by Jake Medina.

News

BL Special Report: Permanent closure of Nash Road stalls

City of Hollister, San Benito County and SBHS at odds over plan.

Several teachers and their union president claimed the high school district would not allow two-way conversations to take a place about their concerns. Photo by John Chadwell.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: SBHS teachers claim district is refusing teacher input

Despite claims, district states there have been several meetings and that all changes were approved by the teacher union.

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. Two were awarded large settlements and the third is still in court.*

Bill Lee. Photo by Noe Magaña.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: Business owner spends years recovering from embezzlement

After a slow, limited response from San Benito County, Bill Lee received $200,000 in restitution from a former employee. Now he’s suing a past customer to recoup another $743,000.

Fabiola Ramirez with her four children. Photo courtesy of Fabiola Ramirez.

BL Special Report

BL Special Report: Families on the edge

Lower income families can’t juggle COVID-19 state demands with day to day needs.

Tiffany Wyrick in the hospital. Photo courtesy of Tiffany Wyrick.

Health

BL Longform: COVID-19 recovery from a personal point of view

Tiffany Wyrick and son Colton share their story of becoming infected and the lingering effects months later.

Fields near San Juan Bautista. Photo by Robert Eliason.

Agriculture

BL Special Report: What are agricultural easements, and do they preserve San Benito County’s rural character?

Mitigation measures ensure certain lands are cultivated in perpetuity.

The view from the podium at the 2019 San Benito High School graduation. Photo by Becky Bonner.

Education / Schools

BL Special Report: Students falling through the cracks

Over a three-year period, disabled students in San Benito County dropped out at more than twice the rate of the general student population.

Students walking to school. File photo.

Education / Schools

BL Special Report: Hollister School District mirrors method to provide social-emotional support to students

Multi-tier support helping to lower suspension numbers, but Hispanics still disproportionately represented in suspensions and dropout rates.

Fields near San Juan Bautista. Photo by Robert Eliason.

Agriculture

BL Special Report: Why is prime agricultural land important, and what measures are in place to keep it?

Tax incentives and environmental reviews slow the pace of development.

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.