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Think twice before you buy a bunny for someone for Easter

News release provided by the Monterey County Health Department.

Baby chicks, bunnies and ducks may seem like the perfect Easter basket addition, but think twice! These cute babies grow up into large, adult animals requiring full-time care.

Rabbits make wonderful pets, but they aren't care-free pets. They have to be taken care of just like you would a dog or a cat. Rabbits commonly live for 8-10 years, and can live as long as 15, depending upon the breed, so it is a long-term commitment. Other factors to consider include the fact that not as many vets are experienced with rabbits, so your veterinary costs could be higher than you might expect to pay for a dog.

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FBI arrest one in early-morning raid at Pleasure Point home

Residents of the Pleasure Point area were awakened Wednesday morning by the sound of FBI agents deploying "flash bang" grenades.

FBI spokesman Peter Lee said FBI agents executed a search warrant around 6 a.m. at a residence on 37th Avenue in unincorporated Santa Cruz County.

Geraldo Angelo Sultana was arrested and taken into custody. He's expected to be arraigned in federal court in San Jose.

Law enforcement officers said Sultana was arrested on a gun-related charge, but further details weren't immediately available.

Flash bang grenades, also known as stun grenades, are non-lethal explosive devices used to temporarily disorient someone. They produce a blinding flash of light and loud noise without causing permanent injury.

Members of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office assisted with traffic control during the arrest but weren't directly involved, Sgt. Patrick Dimick said.

Report: Violent crime in Watsonville reaches lowest rate in 10 years

The rate of violent crimes in the city of Watsonville reached its lowest rate in a decade last year, according to the Watsonville Police Department.

The rate was 4.6 violent crimes per 1,000, according to the department's 2013 annual crime statistics report, which was released Monday.

The report is compiled using the FBI crime index statistics. The FBI crime index includes the violent crimes of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. It also includes the property crimes of larceny-theft, burglary, vehicle theft and arson.

Unlicensed contractor who bilked Santa Cruz, San Diego residents arrested in San Diego

Unlicensed contractor who bilked Santa Cruz, San Diego residents arrested in San Diego

A man convicted in Santa Cruz County for scamming residents and being an unlicensed contractor is now being held in San Diego County on similar charges.

Alex Pike Mitchell of Perris previously pleaded no contest in Santa Cruz County to five felony counts of obtaining money, labor or property by false pretenses; four misdemeanor counts of contracting without a license with a prior conviction and one count of failing to secure worker's compensation insurance. The convictions carry a maximum potential sentence of 8.8 years in state prison, according to state officials.

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Grieving families, community members march for violent crime victims

Story by Jake Reiner

Gathering at the only place in Santa Cruz County where justice can officially be served and closure realized, a crowd of friends and families joined together, still feeling the pain of violent crimes.

It's national victims' rights week and for the third straight year Santa Cruz hosted a victims' rights march.

On they marched to City Hall.

Seafood warning expanded to include anchovies, sardines from Santa Cruz, Monterey counties

The California Department of Public Health is advising consumers not to eat commercially or recreationally-caught anchovy or sardines, or the internal organs of commercially or recreationally-caught crab from Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

State health officials say dangerous levels of domoic acid were detected in some of these species and could be present in others. Anchovy and sardines are of concern because the toxin resides in their digestive tracks, and these fish aren't usually gutted before they are eaten.

Watsonville man sentenced to 86 years in prison for child molestation

A 34-year-old Watsonville man was sentenced Wednesday to 86 years in prison for child molestation.

A Santa Cruz County jury in January convicted Vicente Ruiz Garcia of 16 felony counts of child molestation.

Prosecutors said the incidents occurred over a period of years, when the child was aged 5 to 11.

Garcia will be eligible for parole in 72 years.