Watsonville Community Hospital
(Via Dori Rose Inda)
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Morning Lookout: Watsonville hospital eyes breaking even, cockfighting charges & weekend ahoy

Well hello, friends and neighbors. It’s Friday, March 3, and it’ll be a mix of clouds and sun for Santa Cruz County, with highs in the upper 50s, before an unsettled weather pattern brings us chances of rain right through the weekend.

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First up on this Friday is an update from Hillary Ojeda on Watsonville Community Hospital, which after transitioning from for-profit ownership that operated in the red for years could be at the break-even point by year’s end, officials say. After community contributions played a huge role in bringing the hospital under public ownership, the Pajaro Valley Health Care District is hoping that support continues.

Max Chun, meanwhile, checks in from Santa Cruz Superior Court, where a cockfighting bust is just the latest entry on the rap sheet of a Watsonville man whose run-ins with the law date back to the 1970s.

And this being Friday, you’ll want to check out the latest Weekender, wherein Wallace Baine not only delivers a healthy serving of recommendations for things to do all over the county but also checks in on what Harbor High grad-turned-Hollywood A-lister Adam Scott is up to.

The day’s headlines also include an extended deadline for filing taxes and a report on how the recents storms have affected drought conditions around the state, so onward!

Watsonville Community Hospital on track to break even as early as end of 2023, leaders say

Watsonville Community Hospital.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

After millions in annual losses under for-profit management, Watsonville Community Hospital recorded its first month of positive cash flow in years in October as it transitions to public ownership. Next moves include establishing a charitable foundation to help continue the community fundraising that was crucial in making that transition happen. Hillary Ojeda has the update.

BACKGROUND: Watsonville Community Hospital now publicly owned; Pajaro Valley Health Care District set to take over from bankrupt private owners

Cockfighting bust just the latest in Watsonville man’s long criminal history

The Santa Cruz County courthouse.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Brett Kenneth Miller, accused of operating a cockfighting ring in Watsonville, has a long criminal record that spans much of California. He is due back in court the week of March 13. Read more from Max Chun.

UCSC Grad Slam tickets


Santa Cruz County Job Board

A good mix for a Friday morning. As is usually the case, there’s more on the way from Lookout, including this week’s local news quiz (here’s last week’s if you want to get those juices flowing) — be the first to know by following Lookout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Another excellent way to stay on top of everything going on around Santa Cruz County is via our breaking news alerts and all of our other newsletters, which you can sign up for here. That includes weekends, when our offerings include the specially curated Sunday Reads.

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Have a super Friday and a safe, relaxing weekend!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz