Archive for July, 2018

Concord police arrest third suspect Friday in May 1st Antioch attempted murder

Monday, July 16th, 2018

Ismael Viveros, age 22

By Lieutenant D. Bittner #3252, Antioch Police Investigations Division

On the morning of May 1, 2018 Antioch Police Department detectives learned of a violent assault which occurred earlier that same morning, at approximately 3:30 AM, at a gas station located in the 4100 block of Lone Tree Way. The victim of the assault had serious facial injuries.

Detectives learned that the victim was attacked by five gang members as he sat in his car. The gang members displayed gang related hand signs, punched and kicked the victim and ultimately shot at the victim with a firearm as the victim drove away.

Marcos Torres and Adrian Nevarez, both age 21, were identified as suspects in the case and are suspected as being local gang members. Charges of attempted murder, assault likely to produce great bodily injury, dissuading a witness, mayhem and firearm/gang enhancements were filed on both subjects. Both were taken into custody through the use of the Antioch Police Department SWAT team and the assistance of the Pittsburg Police Department. An illegal assault rifle and several handguns were located at the home of Marcos Torres.

During the investigation officers located graffiti in the Lone Tree Way corridor symbolizing their gang. The graffiti has been removed and the Antioch Police Department is confident that the apprehension of Torres and Nevarez will stop any further crime involving the gang.

One suspect in this case was still outstanding. He had been identified as Ismael Viveros (22-years-old).

UPDATE: On Friday, July 13, Ismael Viveros was located by the Concord Police Department walking on Earl Lane in the City of Concord. Viveros was ultimately arrested by Concord Police Department officers and transported to the Martinez Detention Facility to be held on his listed charges.

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Vinson, Ruehlig to take on Belle for County School Board, three run for their seats on Antioch School Board

Saturday, July 14th, 2018

Antioch School Board Trustees Debra Vinson and Walter Ruehlig will challenge incumbent Jeff Belle for County School Board. Photos from AUSD and CCCBOE.

By Allen Payton

Long-serving Antioch School Board Trustee Walter Ruehlig let it be known on Saturday, July 14 that he will not run for reelection and instead join fellow Trustee Debra Vinson and take on County School Board Vice President Jeff Belle in November’s election.

While Vinson, finishing her first and rather contentious term on the Antioch School Board, didn’t officially announce her campaign, she did ride in a car in the Antioch July 4th Parade with a sign indicating her decision to run for the county board. In 2017 Vinson was censured by her fellow board members for her interactions with district employees. (See related article). She was also passed over for the board presidency, following her year as Vice President. (See related article).

On one issue all three will most likely agree, which is approving private charter schools. Both Vinson and Ruehlig were two of the three board members who, earlier this year, voted in favor of the East Bay Tech Academy middle and high charter school petitions, and Ruehlig was one of the three who voted for the Rocketship elementary charter school petition in 2016. Belle has voted against one and approved five other charter schools while on the county board.

“I have decided definitely to run for Area 5 County Board of Education,” Ruehlig stated, following rumors of the possibility.

In his official announcement, he wrote:

I will be submitting my candidacy papers on Monday, July 16th to run for Area 5 of the County Board of Education, which covers Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Clyde, Knightsen, Oakley, and Pittsburg.
In June of 1968, I dedicated myself to public service and youth education when I taught English for the Peace Corps in Sultandag, a rural village in Turkey that had no electricity.  Fifty years later, the idealism continues.

I believe that that my twelve-year service, with three years as President, on the Antioch School Board, and my experience with the Pittsburg Unified School District as a California Department of Rehabilitation Workability Program Director for adults with disabilities and as a career counselor, have given me useful insight into County Trustee duties.  I am excited by the challenge of overseeing career training programs, special education, community day schools, and facilities for incarcerated juveniles.

I was a late-bloomer myself but, fortunately, had teachers who didn’t give up on me. I eventually caught fire and worked my way through college.  My passion for sharing opportunity and persisting with high-risk, disadvantaged or under motivated students is my way of returning thanks.

Aside from counseling, teaching and administrative background, I feel I have the proven temperament and intangible skill sets requisite for good governance.

I enjoy communication and transparency. I am open, creative and innovative but believe in sober budgeting, no-nonsense classroom behavior standards and back to the basics core curriculum.  I am pragmatic and put my ego at the door to focus on getting the task at hand done one building block at a time.  In this age of divisiveness, I am proud to say that I can get along without always going along. I am a consensus-builder but no pushover. I cannot be bullied or bought.

I look forward to meeting the voters of Area 5, hearing their concerns, and presenting my vision. I welcome their scrutiny and would be honored by their support. I pledge not to let them, or their kids, down.

Walter Ruehlig

Candidate, Area 5

Contra Costa County Board of Education

Incumbent Jeff Belle

Elected in 2014, Belle has faced a variety of controversies before and during his term on the County School Board. In January 2016, Belle admitted to claiming he was a respiratory care practitioner even though he didn’t have a license and was fined $8,200 by the state. (See related article).

He and his wife had to move from their home in Antioch in spring of 2015 for failure to pay rent, due to a loss of his wife’s job and Belle not earning enough through his consulting business. They separated and Mrs. Belle moved to the Sacramento area. As a result, questions have arisen about Belle’s residency. He rented rooms in other people’s homes in the district. The two have since reconciled and Belle now splits his time between his wife’s place in the Sacramento area and a home in the district.

In December 2016, facing prosecution by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office for lying on his ballot statement, Belle admitted in court that he didn’t have a college degree which he claimed. He agreed to community service to avoid a trial and possible fine of up to $1,000. (See related article)

In 2017 Belle suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. Recently, he posted a fundraising effort on his Facebook page to help him pay off $8,000 in medical bills. The total raised was $50 from former County School Board Trustee and Clayton Valley Charter High School Trustee Richard Asadoorian.

Until recently, Belle served as a producer for a TV show entitled Modern Ageless Beauty for women over 40.

Three Candidates, Two Open Seats on Antioch School Board

Ellie Householder and Shagoofa Kahn in a photo from Facebook on July 6, 2018.

Mary Rocha from her Facebook page.

As a result of Vinson’s and Ruehlig’s decisions there will be no incumbents running in the November elections. Three candidates have announced, so far, including former Antioch School Board Trustee and Mayor of Antioch Mary Rocha, Shagoofa Kahn, a 2018 Antioch Youth of the Year award winner, 2018 graduate of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School in Antioch, and currently a School Site Council Member for the district, and Elizabeth “Ellie” Householder, who is currently a Research Analyst for the district and beginning a Master’s Degree program in Public Policy, this fall. She has also served as a member and Vice Chair of Antioch’s Measure C Sales Tax Citizens’ Oversight Committee.

The two are backed by Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe and have been campaigning together, including during the Antioch July 4th parade and on Facebook. In a post on July 5, Householder wrote, “Filing out our campaign finance forms. I couldn’t of [sic] asked for a more passionate and dedicated running mate.” Then in a post on July 6 she wrote, “Officially mailed in our finance papers to the Secretary of State! August 4th is our official campaign kickoff. Fundraising season starts soon – stay tuned for more details! #EllieandShagoofaforAUSD

Filing opens on July 16th and closes August 10th if the incumbent seeks reelection. If not, the filing period will be extended to August 15th. The election will be held on Tuesday, November 6th.

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Antioch City Clerk announces council elections schedule

Friday, July 13th, 2018

By Arne Simonsen, Antioch City Clerk

Notice is hereby that a General Municipal Election will be held in the City of Antioch on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, for the following officers:

Two (2) Councilmembers – Term of two (2) years for each office (Ordinance 2141-C-S).

A nominee must be a registered voter residing within the City. Nomination petitions may be obtained from the City Clerk, located at 200 H Street, Antioch, CA, commencing on July 16, 2018, the 113th day before the election and shall be filed with the City Clerk in person no later than 5:00 P.M., August 10, 2018, the 88th day before the election.

Candidates may submit a candidate statement 250 words in length. Statements must be submitted in block form; standard upper and lower-case words.

Candidates are encouraged to call the City Clerk (779-7008) to make an appointment as the process to take out nomination papers takes about 30 minutes.

So far, the only announced candidate is former Antioch School Board Trustee Joy Motts. (See related article). Neither incumbent up for election, Council Members Tony Tiscareno nor Lori Ogorchock have announced they are running for reelection, although both participated in the July 4th parade.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch driver strikes, kills Concord bicyclist in Concord early Wednesday morning

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

By Sergeant Adam Hart, Concord Police Traffic Bureau

On Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 12:05 AM the Concord Police Department received a call regarding an auto vs. bicyclist collision on San Miguel Rd. near Systron Dr. Officers arrived on-scene along with medical personnel from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

The bicyclist was pronounced deceased at the scene. The bicyclist was identified as a 60-year-old male from Concord. The identity of the deceased bicyclist is not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin by the Contra Costa County Office of the Coroner.

The driver of the vehicle is a 57-year-old male from Antioch. He remained at the scene and was the caller who called in the collision. He is cooperating with the investigation. He was not injured during the collision.

Alcohol/drugs are not believed to be a factor in this collision at this time.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation. Preliminary investigation has revealed that both the vehicle and the bicyclist were travelling south on San Miguel Rd. at the time of the collision.

San Miguel Rd. between Systron Dr. and the entrance to 1080 San Miguel Rd. was closed for approximately 3.5 hours to perform roadway measurements, collect evidence, and conduct the investigation.

Additional details are not being released at this time.

Anyone with information or who may have witnessed this collision is encouraged to contact Officer Lawrence at (925) 671-5097.

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Director says XO Music Festival lost $500,000 due to cancellation

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

The planned headliners for the now cancelled festival.

By Luke Johnson

The XO Music Festival wasted an estimated $500,000, according to Director Sami “Styles” Habib.

The three-day event was canceled because World Class Entertainment did not provide proper insurance by this morning’s deadline, according to Joe Brengle, CEO of Contra Costa Event Park.

“We are the ones who are victimized here,” Habib said.

He added that his party supplied multiple sources for insurance, but they were rejected by Contra Costa Event Park. However, Brengle said those insurance agreements did not fulfill the park’s requirements.

The XO Music Festival faced several allegations online of being a scam over the past few weeks.

However, Brengle disagrees with those accusations and said the event’s management team was guilty of being too ambitious.

“I believe it wasn’t a scam,” he said. “I think they bit off more than they could chew.”

Brengle added that the negative media attention toward the event had nothing to do with its discontinuation.

The event organizers billed 100-plus artists — with marquee names such as T.I., Ludacris, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and the Bay Area’s own Mistah F.A.B. — to perform on seven different stages throughout the park. It also advertised stand-up comedy, carnival rides, roller skating and a foam pit, among other activities.

Habib said ticket sales were much lower than expected, but buyers were instantly refunded through the ticket agency, GrowTix.

Initially, Habib said the music festival lost approximately $750,000, but later said $500,000 was a more accurate number. He then said the financial loss was “definitely” in the six figures. He declined to comment when asked who provided those funds.

Brengle confirmed that Contra Costa Event Park kept $27,500 from the full rental agreement. He explained that money was already spent in preparation for this festival and it was too late to book another event for this weekend.

Habib is facing real estate fraud charges under the name Habidulla Qidar, according to CBS. He and his brother were identified by Fremont Police for being arrested in February involving a fraudulent home rental scheme.

Regarding the event’s authenticity, many people expressed concerns online about some artists’ performing schedules. Both Ludacris and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony are promoted for the Chalice Festival in Southern California this weekend. However, Habib said musicians often book two shows in one day and it was requested by their agencies.

Habib said he plans to eventually produce the XO Music Festival, but at a new location.

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Contra Costa Event Park cancels XO Music Festival planned for this weekend in Antioch

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

 

A promotion for the now cancelled XO Music Festival planned for this weekend in Antioch.

In a press release from Joe Brengle, CEO of the Contra Costa Event Park (fairgrounds) today, he stated, “Due to the promoters’ lack of fulfilling contractual obligations between the Contra Costa Event Park and World Class Entertainment, Event Park Management in the best interest and safety of our facility, event attendees and the City of Antioch we have no choice but to cancel the XO Music Festival scheduled to take place at the Event Park July 12 – 15, 2018.”

According to event organizer Sam Styles, a nickname for Sami Habib, the fairgrounds informed him at 8:00 a.m. today that their insurance was denied and that it was done “by another office.” He also said the Event Park will not refund their deposit.

All refund inquiries should be directed to the event promoter: World Class Entertainment, Inc. 39962 Cedar Blvd. #279, Newark, CA 94560, Attn: Sami Habib, sams@xoxomusicfestival.com or info@xoxomusicfestival.com.

Please check back later for  updates.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch Police arrest suspect in last week’s double murder, DA files charges

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

By Lieutenant D. Bittner #3252, Antioch Police Investigations Division

In the early morning hours of July 5th, Milan Rose Ardoin and her mother Valinda Rose Scott were shot by an unknown suspect. Ardoin, age 28, succumbed to her injuries at the scene and Scott, age 55, was transported to a local area hospital. While undergoing life-saving measures, Scott also succumbed to her injuries.

During the investigation Dontay Williams (35-years-old) was identified as a suspect in this case. Antioch Police Department investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Williams on Friday, July 6. Several days later Williams was located by the Oakland Police Department in the City of Oakland and was placed under arrest for the warrant. On Tuesday, July 10, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office filed two counts of murder against Williams.

Anyone with information is asked to call the lead investigator, Detective Bledsoe, at (925) 779-6884, or the Antioch Police Department at (925)778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Shooting on July 5th in Antioch now double homicide, victims identified

Friday, July 6th, 2018

Police search for unknown suspect

By Acting Lieutenant John Fortner #3264, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau – Violent Crimes Unit

In the early morning hours of Thursday, July 5, 28-year-old Milan Ardoin and 55-year-old Valinda Scott were shot by an unknown suspect. Ardoin succumbed to her injuries at the scene and Scott was transported to a local area hospital. While undergoing life-saving measures, Scott also succumbed to her injuries.

The delay in the release of some of this information was due to the nature and circumstances surrounding the crime, and the integrity of the investigation.

The case is currently being investigated by the Antioch Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit. Anyone with information is asked to call the lead investigator, Detective Bledsoe, at (925) 779-6884, or the Antioch Police Department at (925) 778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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