Graig Mantle

Here are the top local stories from this summer:

Fire burns hill that displays Cal Poly P

A brush fire that started the morning of June 30 on the hill that holds the “P” at Cal Poly consumed 50 acres, a Cal Fire spokesman said.

Investigators have determined that the six illegal bottle rockets found at the scene were the cause of the fire. No arrests have been made as investigators are still gathering information.

The fire, which was fully contained by Sunday, July 1, started burning vegetation at 6:08 a.m. Saturday when officials warned nearby neighborhoods of a possible structure threat. After a wind direction change, relative humidity increases and suppression efforts by Cal Fire, the threat was called off.

Unrelated car crashes claim lives of two Poly students

Cal Poly journalism junior Anna Rose Luskin died June 22 after suffering major injuries when her car collided with a tree in Paso Robles the night of June 20, the California Highway Patrol said.

Her car reportedly struck a large oak tree near Paso Robles Street with its left side, causing major injuries for her and minor injuries for her brother, Daniel, 15.

Cal Poly student Erik Satterstrom, 19, was behind the wheel of his Nissan 350Z on July 23 when he lost control of his car and killed a pedestrian couple in San Jose before hitting a tree. Neither Satterstrom nor his passenger survived the accident.

California Highway Patrol officials said Satterstrom was driving with his friend Max Harding around 8:20 p.m. when he lost control of the car and hit physicist Paul Batra, 65, and his wife, Uma Batra, 57, as they were walking on the side of the road not far from their home.

Day finished second at U.S. outdoor national meet

For Sharon Day, there is no break.

The star Cal Poly high jumper took second place last weekend at the USA Track and Field Championships in Indianapolis with a jump of 6 feet, 2¬ inches.

“She did fantastic,” said Cal Poly head coach Terry Crawford in a phone interview. “She competed ferociously.”

Crawford and assistant coach Jack Hoyt both traveled to Indianapolis with Day for the competition that featured world-class athletes and former Olympians.

“It’s a pretty cool atmosphere,” Day said of the event in a phone interview. “It’s kind of inspiring to see people running so fast and jumping so far.”

Day cleared the same height as the winner of the event, Amy Acuff, but she had more missed attempts. Day did manage, however, to edge out the 2007 NCAA high jump champion, Destinee Hooker, by a full inch.

Men’s soccer team beats Cal

David Zamora is the real deal.

The Cal Poly forward and freshman transplant from San Jose, Costa Rica scored all three of the Mustangs’ goals in Cal Poly’s 3-1 exhibition win over No. 11 California on Tuesday.

“He’s a goal-scorer,” head coach Paul Holocher said. “He’s one of those guys that just lives to score goals and he’s not happy when he’s not scoring goals.”

The exhibition was the first men’s soccer game in the recently renovated Spanos Stadium and yielded an attendance of 2,821.

Bromley and Stevenson’s contracts extended through the decade

When Cal Poly volleyball head coach Jon Stevenson and men’s basketball head coach Kevin Bromley head out on recruiting trips later in the year, they will be able to answer the potential recruits’ question with a simple ‘yes.’

Cal Poly Director of Athletics Alison Cone met with Bromley on June 21 and agreed to a contract that would extend through the 2010 season.

Then, on Tuesday, Cone announced that Stevenson had extended his contract through the 2011 season.

“I think, No. 1, it shows stability,” Cone said of the Cal Poly athletic program.

Ditty Bops perform

Abby DeWald (on guitar) and Amanda Barrett (on mandolin), who are currently on a summer farm tour from Los Angeles to New York City, are very environmentally conscious. They’ve started a nonprofit organization called “You and I Save the World” and are currently trying to encourage using reusable bags at grocery stores.

There was never a dull moment during the show. The Ditty Bops brought out a puppet made of cups to dance amongst the audience during “Your Head’s Too Big” and pulled audience members up to participate in songs. Barrett, however, kept introducing new instruments, including a washboard and several toy noisemakers.

Seventh and last Harry Potter book released

J.K. Rowling does something refreshingly unexpected in the much anticipated seventh and final book of the Harry Potter series: She offers closure.

Ten years after book one was released, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is as riveting as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was. To successfully build and maintain anticipation in her readers over Harry’s fate for more than a decade is a gift that requires skill and craftsmanship rarely seen in other authors.

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