Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Census 2020 Caravan to make stop at Antioch Water Park Sunday, August 9

Friday, August 7th, 2020

Will offer music, videos and giveaways

The Census 2020 Caravan will make stops in Antioch and Pittsburg this Sunday to help residents complete the census questionnaire to be counted and will offer music, videos and giveaways.

The decennial census determines how many Members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives each state is allocated, which will occur during reapportionment next year, and determines the redrawing of all other elected office district lines, as well. In addition, the population figures from the Census determines the allocation of government funds for various programs. All of them are affected for the following 10 years.

If you’re unable to attend one of the events you can complete the survey online at U.S. Census Bureau.

Date: Sunday, August 9th, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Meet at: 11 a.m. at Antioch Water Park, 4701 Lone Tree Way, Antioch

12 p.m. at Pittsburg Century Plaza Shopping Center, 4405 Somersville Road & Highway 4, Pittsburg

Officials available on site: Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, Contra Costa County Supervisors Diane Burgis and Federal D. Glover, Pittsburg Mayor Jelani Killings, Pittsburg City Council Members Holland Barrett White and Shanelle Scales-Preston, Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts, Antioch City Council Member Lori Ogorchock, Antioch School Board Trustee Mary Rocha

Activities: Festively decorated cars, driving through hard-to-count communities to promote a complete count. The CA Census 2020 mobile truck will be on hand with music, videos and giveaways.

More information: Matthew Lardner,   Mona Zarrinkelk, Velma Wilson

Sponsors and partners: Contra Costa County Complete Count Committee, City of Pittsburg, City of Antioch, Kaanur Mehr, EAH Housing


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Oakland man arrested for killing girlfriend, shooting man at Antioch 7-11 Monday morning

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

Ramello Darryl Randle and the guns recovered. Photos by APD.

U.S. Marshal Service, Oakland Police assist; bail set at $6 million; baby with family members; over 20 firearms recovered including several assault rifles

By Sergeant James Stenger, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

Through this investigation it was determined that 25-year-old Ramello Darryl Randle and 24-year-old Jonaye Bridges were in a dating relationship and have one infant child together. The couple have recently become estranged and have been going through child custody issues. On July 27, 2020 at approximately 12:36 AM, Bridges and an intentionally unnamed 27-year-old male were in a vehicle together in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven, located at 2301 Buchanan Road in Antioch. Randle saw the two victims together in the vehicle. Randle approached the vehicle on foot and fired multiple rounds into the vehicle with a semi-automatic pistol. Bridges suffered several gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. The unnamed male suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds and was transported to a local hospital, where he was treated and has since been released. (See related article)

On July 28, 2020 about 3:00 PM, Antioch Police Detectives and the Oakland Police Department located Randle in the City of Oakland and he was taken into custody without incident. The Antioch Police Department Investigations Bureau executed a search warrant in the 4500 block of Bond Street in Oakland related to this murder. Over 20 firearms were recovered during the search, including several assault rifles.

On July 29, 2020, this case was presented to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. Randle was charged with murder, attempted murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and firearm enhancements. Randle is currently being held at the County Jail in Martinez with bail set at $6 million dollars.

Randle and Bridges’ infant child is safely in the custody of family members.

Original APD Press Release

On July 27, 2020 at approximately 12:36 AM, Antioch police officers were called to a 7-Eleven convenience store, located at 2301 Buchanan Road, on the report of a victim suffering from gunshot wounds.

Numerous officers responded to the scene and located one male victim down in the store, and a female victim seated in a parked vehicle. Both victims were found to be suffering from several gunshot wounds.

The female victim was suffering from at least one serious gunshot wound, and the male victim sustained at least two gunshot wounds. Officers immediately began providing first-aid and CPR to the victims until emergency paramedics arrived at the scene. The female victim succumbed to her injuries and passed at the scene. The male victim was transported by paramedics to a local area hospital, where he was admitted and listed in stable condition.

While at the scene, officers learned that there were several subjects present in the parking lot when gunshots were fired by one male suspect. The suspect fired several gunshots into a parked vehicle and then fled the lot on-foot.

Antioch Police Department’s Crime Scene Investigators and Detectives with the Violent Crimes and Special Operations Units responded to the scene and took over the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441, or Detective Brogdon at (925) 779-6895. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Donations requested for annual Stuff the Bus school supply giveaway on August 15th in Antioch

Monday, July 27th, 2020

By Velma Wilson

We may not be headed back to the classroom yet, but students still need school supplies for the school year. Let’s prepare students for success by ensuring they have the necessary school supplies while they are distance learning.

On August 15th from 11am- 2 pm, in the parking lot of Somersville Towne Center, Claryssa will host her Annual Stuff the Bus School Supply Giveaway. She will also be accepting school supplies, donated computers, and Ipads to have refurbished and then distributed to students and families in need. Social Distancing will be adhered to and mask/face covering is mandatory.

Requested donations:

Wide & College Ruled Notebooks

Wide & College Ruled Filler Paper

Colored Pencils

Colored Markers



#2 Pencils

Mechanical Pencils

Ink Pens (blue, black, red)


Glue Sticks


Pencil Sharpeners


1″ Binders

2″ Binders

Dry Erase Boards & Markers

Staplers and staples

Backpacks for Laptops

Monetary donations can also be made to Claryssa for Stuff the Bus via Venmo @CWILSON1216

For questions please contact Claryssa at 925-250-0692 or Velma at 925-250-3051.

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See video and photos of drive-by caravan to honor Antioch Citizen of the Year Ralph Garrow

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

At the special drive-by caravan to honor Anrioch Citizen of the Year for Lifetime Achievement Ralph Garrow, today. He watched via FaceTime from inside his home. See related article, here –

Posted by Antioch Herald on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Ralph Garrow. From Facebook 11/5/18.

By Allen Payton

7/23/20 UPDATE: As of Thursday night at about 8:35 p.m., a post on his son Alex’s Facebook page announced Ralph’s passing: “I regret to inform you all my dad has passed away. We appreciate all the overwhelming love and support. Please give my family time to grieve and we will inform you of the funeral arrangements at a later time.

A drive-by caravan was held on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 to honor 2019 Antioch Citizen of the Year for Lifetime Achievement, as he is battling stage-four cancer. Participants included his wife Laurie, family, friends, business associates from his real estate career, Antioch Police, who provided an escort to the caravan from the Lucky’s shopping center on Contra Loma Blvd., fellow Rotarians, Antioch Chamber of Commerce representatives who presented him with his Citizen of the Year plaque, and ConFire personnel, as Ralph watched from his bed via FaceTime on an iPhone.

Please see related article for more details.

Antioch Police and ConFire personnel gather at the Lucky’s shopping center before the caravan began. Photo by Jody Drewry from her Facebook page.

Photo by Doreen Monroe from her Facebook page.

Screenshot of video by Loretta Espinoza from her Facebook page.


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Drive-by caravan to honor Antioch Citizen of the Year Ralph Garrow Wednesday morning

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Ralph Garrow

A special event to honor 2019 Antioch Citizen of the Year for Lifetime Achievement, Ralph Garrow is planned for Wednesday, Morning.

In a post on Facebook Tuesday night, former Antioch Councilman Tony Tiscareno, a Realtor who works with Garrow in his real estate brokerage, “As you are probably aware, our friend and fellow Realtor Ralph Garrow has been battling cancer for several months. Ralph is now home spending his time with his family. Fellow Realtor Tangie Leverett has arranged for a Caravan of Ralph’s friends and well-wishers to drive by his house to let him know that we love and support him and his family during this very difficult time in his life. Ralph is expected to be out on his porch as the caravan passes by.”

In addition, Garrow will also be presented with a plaque which recognizes his honor as an Antioch Citizen of the Year by representatives of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce.

When: Wednesday,  July 22, 2020

Time: 10:30 AM

Where: Lucky’s Parking lot (Putnam end of the Parking lot) 3190 Contra Loma Blvd., Antioch

We are planning to leave from the parking lot at 11:00 AM to caravan to Ralph’s house.  No one will be leaving their cars, but if anyone desires to bring card, flowers etc.  someone will be available to take them as you drive by.

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Rep. DeSaulnier to host telephone town hall on coronavirus, the classroom, and our community Thursday

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier.

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) will host a telephone town hall to discuss coronavirus, the classroom, our community, and what comes next when school resumes in Contra Costa on Thursday, July 23rd at noon.

Congressman DeSaulnier will be joined on the call by Dr. Bill Walker, former Director of Health Services and current Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs for Contra Costa Health Services, as well as Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey. During the event, Contra Costa residents will have an opportunity to ask questions about the upcoming school year and local districts’ plans for instruction.

Coronavirus, the Classroom, and our Community Telephone Town Hall
Thursday, July 23, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. PT

This event is open to the public.

To RSVP and submit a question, click here:

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Councilmembers propose leasing Antioch motel for homeless, possible FEMA trailer site

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

The Executive Inn on E. 18th Street. Photos by Allen Payton

Up to $1 million annual price tag

By Allen Payton

An idea first proposed seven years ago, by a then-homeless Antioch man, Rafael Scott and the late Mike Pollard, of the Golden Hills Community Church’s Community Outreach Center (COC) to use the unrented motel rooms at the Executive Inn, located next door at 515 E. 18th Street, received a breath of new life, Tuesday. Antioch Councilman Lamar Thorpe and Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts, joined by advocates and representatives of ministries and other non-profit organizations serving the homeless in Antioch, announced on Tuesday a proposal to have the city lease the entire 32-room motel to serve as transitional housing.

Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts speaks during the press conference.

Thorpe said he was making the proposal “as a member of the transitional housing task force (the new name for the Antioch City Council’s Homeless Encampment Task Force), with Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts” and “working with our business community.”

“It was her vision, her idea,” he said. “So, she’s the reason we are here, today.”

“We started this journey almost two years ago. We really didn’t have any idea what we were getting into,” Motts said. “Homelessness is a very complex issues affecting many, many people. We did much, much research.”

“We were spending millions and millions of dollars moving people from one place to the next,” Motts stated. “It’s affecting our commercial businesses and our quality of life. We received trailers from the state we’re still trying to find a location for. I’m so thankful to the owners of the Executive Inn…to provide transitional housing…to get people off the streets. 97% who get into housing stay there.”

We are very fortunate to have a local hotel willing to work with the city to house people on a transitional basis,” Thorpe said.

Owner Summer Desai interviewed by a KPFA radio reporter in one of the rooms with a single king-size bed.

Summer and Jyoti Desai have owned the motel since 2004.

“The county voucher program lasts 16 days at a discounted rate year-round,” Summer shared. “The voucher is good for 16 days once a year. It’s mainly for jobless and homeless. It’s only temporary.”

They Desais work with the county’s action team for mental health services, with Red Cross and the Contra Costa Crisis Center, for people in crisis due to a fire or flooding of their home. They also work with Shelter, Inc.

“A lot of churches place their people, here,” he said. They work with the Golden Hills’ COC, next door to temporarily place people in the motel rooms, and allow them use the lot for parking.

A few years ago, Golden Hills Community Church expressed an interest in buying the motel, but the asking price of $3 million was too much. When asked if he knew about the councilmembers’ proposal, Scott said, “No. I just wish Mike were here to know about it.” Pollard passed away on Monday, July 6th. But, his and Scott’s idea may just soon be more than realized depending upon the vote of the city council. Their three-page plan proposed using the unrented rooms, which at that time were running about 40% of the motel’s occupancy, at a discounted rate for homeless individuals, as long as they were in a program at the COC to help them with such things as substance abuse problems.

The plan now is for the city to rent all the rooms at a discount, and connect those staying there with programs and services to help get them into permanent housing and mainstreamed back into society. Those staying at the motel could be there for as long as six months, Thorpe stated.

“I don’t have any problem people, here,” Summer shared. They pay a daily rate. We provide them service every day cleaning the rooms and beds. We are the only hotel that is pet friendly.”

Thorpe introduced others in attendance at the press conference. Including “our friends from Shelter, Inc. We have Love Never Fails. We have Michael Gabriel representing the downtown businesses that have been affected; Nichole Gardner, a leading advocate for homelessness in Antioch, Extended Hands Ministry, Patrice Guillory from Health Right 360 for people who have been previously incarcerated.

“This is a call to action to all East County cities. We can’t rely on the county to do all of this work,” Thorpe stated.

Nichole Gardner of Facing Homelessness in Antioch said, “I’m excited to see the city trying to do something for our homeless out on the streets. We need to get people off the streets and be productive members of society. She thanked the council members and motel owners. Mariah Williams was also in attendance representing Facing Homelessness in Antioch.

Vanessa Russell, the founder and executive director of Love Never Fails which focuses on human trafficking in Northern California, spoke next.

“Human trafficking is coming to Antioch,” she stated. “To get people housing is the right thing. Many men and women are sold online. We came into contact with two people who were being sold right here, in this area out of their hotel room.”

Russell spoke of the effort, “to come to these specific areas where people are being exploited…to provide them food, stabilization, counseling, services. IT training to give them sustainable jobs. Not giving them fish but teaching them to fish on a daily basis.”

“She has made a commitment that she will provide some sort of wrap around services,” Thorpe shared.

Patrice Guillory of HealthRIGHT360 which focuses on health, housing and services for homeless and those who are formerly incarcerated, spoke next, saying “Our mission is to give hope and change lives.”

They’ve helped 120 people this year struggling with homelessness and other challenges.

One of the rooms with two queen size beds.

“There’s no greater time than now to tackle the problem of homelessness in Antioch,” she said. “Individuals with a history of incarceration are 10 times more likely to be homeless. Our over reliance on law enforcement is not only ineffective but wholly inefficient.”

Long time resident of Antioch and downtown business owner, Michael Gabrielson said, “We’ve been there for almost five years…we’ve seen the despair of homelessness in Antioch. This will be an improvement not only in their lives but in the community’s lives.”

“This type of transitional housing will give them support, reestablish themselves and get into permanent housing,” he continued. “If each city would take an initiative like this it would have a huge impact on our community.”

“We’re taking this to the city council, to give direction to our city manager for the potential long term lease of the entire building, all 32 rooms, plus the suites…so the homeless providers can work,” Thorpe explained. “Summer is also offering to allow the five FEMA trailers to be located on the property.”

“The initial costs are a little north of $1 million,” he shared. “But that is nothing compared to what we spend chasing people from corner to corner. It’s not working. So, we’re proposing this.”

Asked about the 16-day limit for vouchers from the county Thorpe responded, “Our goal, in generalities and principles…everyone is on a different path. Some people may be here for only a week before they find housing with relatives. What we don’t want to do is have a set policy of 16 days and tell them to get their life together overnight.”

Asked how many homeless we have in Antioch Motts said, “the last count we had 300 but with all the students and families we probably have 600.”

The Golden Hills COC, located next door, has been working with homeless and those in need in Antioch for the past 20 years. Asked why no one from the COC was included in the press conference, Motts said, “We’re going to be working with them, the pastor here already serves meals in the community for the unhoused. We’re also speaking with Loaves and Fishes. Sutter Delta is fully committed to helping.”

“This is like the governor’s turnkey program,” she explained. “We’re hoping the state will support it.”

Asked about a budget that could be approved on July 28 so the program can immediately move forward, Thorpe responded, “we can set a cap of how much.”

The next council meeting will be held online on Tuesday, July 28 beginning at 7:00 p.m. Watch it via livestream on the city’s website or on Comcast cable Channel 24 or AT&T U-verse channel 99.

If you wish to make a public comment, you may do so any of the following ways: (1) by filling out an online speaker card, located at, (2) by emailing the City Clerk prior to or during the meeting at, or (3) by dialing (925) 776-3057 during the meeting.

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Shopping, food & fun at Rivertown Small Business Grand Re-Opening Saturday

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

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