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Top news stories of 2018 

–The Paso Robles Daily News had over 2 million page views last year. Here are the top news stories for 2018 as ranked by page views from readers.

The most viewed stories are listed first. Click on the title to read the complete article.

1) Disappearance of Nancy Woodrum

The top story for 2018 involved the disappearance of 62-year-old Paso Robles woman Nancy Woodrum. Woodrum was reported missing from the 5800 block of El Pharo Drive in Paso Robles on May 5th, 2018. In December, Woodrum’s remains were found a suspect was arrested in connection with her murder.

Officer Christopher McGuire

Officer Christopher McGuire

2) Paso Robles police officer accused of on-duty sexual assault

Paso Robles Police Officer Sgt. Christopher McGuire was accused of allegedly assaulting several women while on the job. Paso Robles hired McGuire in late 2012. McGuire left the department in June. In November, the District Attorney determined that that his office did not have enough evidence to prosecute McGuire. “No reasonable and objective jury could find Mr. McGuire guilty of the alleged crimes,” Dow said.

3) Multi-million dollar narcotics distribution network shut down 

After an investigation that began in November 2016, members of the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit shut down a major methamphetamine and heroin distribution network that was operating in San Luis Obispo County in March of 2018. Almost a million dollars in narcotics was seized including 63 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $850,000 and three pounds of heroin with an estimated street value of $136,000.

4) Obituary for Stephen Napoli, age 47 

Stephen J. Napoli 47, of Paso Robles CA, passed away March 14, 2018. His obituary was one of the most viewed posts of the year. Stephen was born August 18, 1970 in Tarzana, CA. He was married on March 12, 1994 to Mariza Scoglio.

5) Best wineries for free wine tasting in Paso Robles 

The “best of series” from Paso Robles Daily News, features some of the top favorite people, places, things and events in the North County. This time we are covering the best of free wine tasting in Paso Robles. Wine is important to Paso Robles’s economy, and has become a pretty serious business in this part of the world. With so much of our local culture focused on grapes, we wondered, is there a few places to taste wine for free? Free wine tasting is a fun experience where tasters can look forward to sipping a wide array of varietals and blends, from wineries who are doing well, and want to share what makes them proud.

pedestrian struck and killed paso robles6) Pedestrian struck and killed while attempting to cross Spring Street 

On Friday at approximately 12:40 p.m., the Paso Robles Police Department received a report of a traffic collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian at the intersection of 21st and Spring Streets. Officers from the Paso Robles Police Department, along with personnel from the Paso Robles Department of Emergency Services and San Luis Ambulance responded to the scene. Upon arrival, they located an injured adult male victim in the roadway. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the vehicle that struck the victim remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation. He was identified as 75-year-old Templeton resident Federico Vargas.

7) Man dies after trying to stop intoxicated friend from driving 

On Friday, Dec. 28 at about 10:39 p.m., Paso Robles Police officers were dispatched to Santa Maria Brewing Co, located at 14th and Park in Paso Robles, regarding a fatal collision involving a pedestrian. Officers learned upon arrival that several friends of the suspect, 21-year-old Sarah Hale of Paso Robles, attempted to stop her from driving. The victim, who sources say attempted to stop Hale from driving under the influence by climbing onto the hood of her car, was thrown from the vehicle and struck the pavement. He sustained major injuries and was transported to Sierra Vista Hospital. Hale fled the scene and was located at her residence a short time later. She was arrested for felony driving under the influence and felony hit and run.

Hansjorg Wyss

Hansjorg Wyss

8) Halter Ranch owner pledges $1 billion for conservation efforts 

Hansjörg Wyss, the billionaire owner of Halter Ranch Vineyard in Paso Robles, announced in the New York Times, that he is donating $1 billion to help accelerate land and ocean conservation around the world. Wyss was born in Switzerland. He made his fortune founding the medical device company Synthes. He now lives in Wyoming and is an active philanthropist.

9) Chase Bank robbed at gunpoint, employee injured

In November, the Chase Bank in Paso Robles was robbed at gunpoint. During the robbery, a bank employee sustained a moderate eye injury after one of the robbers struck him with a rifle. Bank employees said at least five men entered the bank armed with handguns and a rifle. The suspects were dressed in black clothing and wore masks to conceal their faces. The suspects demanded money from bank employees and struck one employee on the eye with a rifle before fleeing the bank. The Paso Robles Police Department arrested Edward Ivan Ochoa (30), Jose Christian Ramirez (29) and Luis Rios Rico (21) in connection with the Chase Bank takeover robbery, however two out of three suspects from the Paso Robles Chase Bank robbery have been released from custody. Reports say that the District Attorney’s office did not believe there was sufficient evidence to file charges.

William Gamba

William Gamba

10) Hospital chief nursing officer accused of drowning wife 

Twin Cities Community Hospital Chief Nursing Officer William Gamba is being accused of drowning his wife and framing it as an accident, according to a recent lawsuit reported in the Tampa Bay Times. The lawsuit comes almost two years after his wife, 37-year-old Blaise Gamba, died after a Florida boating tripwith him. In the suit, Blaise Gamba’s mother, Nancy Huhta, accuses William Gamba, 39, of concocting an elaborate coverup to make money off his wife’s $1 million life insurance policies and their joint assets, including a waterfront home in Madeira Beach he sold last year for $1.5 million, the report says. He is no longer employed at the hospital, according to a spokeswoman.


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