Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Community college district reopens Los Medanos, other campuses in Contra Costa County

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College-Pleasant Hill Campus, Diablo Valley College-San Ramon Campus, Los Medanos College-Pittsburg Campus, Los Medanos College-Brentwood Center, will resume a regular class schedule and student services beginning today, Friday, October 13.  Outdoor sport activities will continue to be limited until further notice, but indoor activities including theater performances will still be held as scheduled.

The weather forecast for this weekend calls for increasing winds that may hamper firefighting efforts and contribute to poor air quality.  We encourage students and staff to continue monitoring email, website and social media over the weekend for any updates.

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County college district closes schools due to poor air quality

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College, Los Medanos College, and centers at Brentwood and San Ramon, will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, October 12, due to poor air quality as a result of the fires in Solano and Sonoma counties.

The District will evaluate the situation and provide an update as new information becomes available.  We encourage students and staff to continue monitoring email, website and social media.

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Woman struck by SUV in Antioch, Wednesday evening

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

By Corporal Ted Chang #4362, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 5:40 pm, Antioch Police officers and medical personnel were dispatched to a reported vehicle versus pedestrian collision on Fairview Drive near Hudson Court. Officers arrived on scene and located a female pedestrian that had been struck by an SUV in the roadway.

Medical personnel arrived shortly after and began treating the female victim. She was immediately transported to an area hospital with major injuries. Her condition is not known at this time. The driver of the SUV stayed on scene and is cooperating with the investigation. Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in this collision.

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision is encouraged to contact the Antioch Police Department at (925)778-2441.

This preliminary information is made available by the Field Services Bureau. Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925)778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Antioch schools closed on Thursday due to poor air quality

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

According to a message on the Antioch Unified School District’s Facebook page about 6:00 p.m., Wednesday night, “The following autodialer is going out to all parents. It was sent out just a few moments ago so you may not get it immediately.”

“This is Stephanie Anello, Superintendent, with an important safety announcement from the Antioch Unified School District. Given the extreme poor air quality due to the recent, ongoing wildfires, schools will be closed tomorrow. Please know that your child’s safety was the primary factor leading to this decision. Many of our students walk or ride the…ir bike to and from school and will be exposed to the poor air quality even if we were to remain open and shelter in place as we did today. Currently, it is being reported that only three percent of the fires have been contained. Thus, we expect that the air quality will be even more dangerous tomorrow. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you but, again, your child’s safety is our number one concern. At this point school is only closed Thursday, but pending the containment of the fires, we ask that you make a short-term plan for your children should we need to close schools on Friday. We will be in contact with you as soon as possible should that be necessary.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support of our schools and our District as we work to ensure your child’s health is not compromised in any way.”

In addition, the following message was received by Herald Sports Reporter Jesus Cano from an Antioch High School football coach:

 

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Bridge toll increase bill includes Inspector General for BART as proposed by Sen. Glazer

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a measure that will give Bay Area voters a chance to create an independent inspector general for BART to hold the sprawling transit district accountable for its spending, service to riders, and timely delivery of capital projects.

The inspector general was proposed by state Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, as part of a bill, SB 595, by Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) that will ask voters to raise bridge tolls to fund transportation projects designed to relieve traffic congestion in the bridge corridors.

Glazer wanted voters to be given the option of creating the accountability czar as a condition of his support for placing the measure on the ballot. Other major transit agencies, including those in Washington D.C., New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, have long had inspector generals to serve as an independent check on the bureaucracy.

“If an independent check is good enough for transit systems in most of our major metropolitan areas, it should be good enough for BART,” Glazer said. “BART will get about one billion dollars from toll revenues generated by this measure, so it’s vital that riders and residents have someone who be the public’s eyes and ears and will hold BART’s administration accountable.”

If approved by voters, the inspector general would be appointed by the governor from a list of three finalists nominated by the BART board. The person could be fired only with a two-thirds vote of the board and the governor’s agreement.

The BART inspector general would be tasked with investigating fraud, waste and inefficiencies, conducting audits and recommending changes in the agency’s practices that will improve services to riders.

Glazer, who has been critical of management-union relations that resulted in eight days of strikes in 2013, required in the inspector general’s job description that they assess whether  management was using best practices to promote “positive and productive” relations with employees and their representatives.

“BART employees have as much to gain as the riding public by having an inspector general ensure that trains run on time, stations are safe and clean, and escalators and elevators work,” Glazer said. “They are hard-working, dedicated public servants who deserve an effective ally.”

Glazer also pushed for amendments to the bill that ensured Contra Costa and Alameda county commuters would see a fair share of congestion relief projects if the toll increases become a reality.

Projects to improve traffic flow on Interstate 680 and rebuild interchanges where 680 connects to state routes 4 and 84 were included in the final version of the proposed spending plan.

Glazer said he was proud of the collaborative process led by Sen. Beall, and Assemblymen David Chiu and Phil Ting of San Francisco and other members of the Bay Area legislative delegation. Members from throughout the region were able to provide input into the final proposal that included the crucial provision to oversee BART’s administration and spending.

“I look forward to voters determining whether to fund projects designed to relieve congestion throughout the entire region and providing independent oversight of BART,” Glazer said.

Glazer represents the 7th State Senate District in the California legislature which includes Antioch.

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Gov. gives Bay Area voters chance to increase bridge tolls by $3 to fund transportation on next year’s ballot

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

The setting sun reflects off of the Carquinez Bridge’s towers. This bridge project was funded through Regional Measure 1. Photo courtesy of MTC.

Some of the $4.5 billion in projects would benefit Antioch, East County

By Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Governor Brown’s action today to sign into law Senate Bill 595 clears the way for Bay Area voters to decide – potentially as early as next June – on Regional Measure 3 (RM 3), which would raise tolls by up to $3 on the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges to finance the sweeping $4.5 billion package of congestion relief and mobility improvement projects identified in the bill. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), in its role as the Bay Area Toll Authority, is expected to decide by early 2018 when the RM 3 question will appear on ballots in the nine Bay Area counties. The Commission also will decide the amount of the proposed toll increase and whether the proposed increase would be instituted all at once or phased in over several years.

The RM 3 expenditure plan provides mobility improvements in each of the region’s seven state- owned bridge corridors, helping to speed up commutes and provide better travel options, particularly for those traveling to major job hubs, such as San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The plan includes numerous congestion relief projects in the bridge corridors, including new express lanes, a direct freeway connector from northbound U.S. 101 to eastbound Interstate 580 in Marin County to improve access to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge as well as improvements to the westbound approach in Contra Costa County; constructing a direct connector between Interstates 680 and 880 in Fremont and improvements to the I-680/State Route 84 interchange in Alameda County serving the Dumbarton Bridge; upgrading the I-680/State Route 4 interchange in Contra Costa County serving the Benicia Bridge corridor and the U.S. 101/State Route 92 interchange in San Mateo serving the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge; various improvements to relieve congestion in the Dumbarton Bridge corridor and improve State Route 37 in Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties; completing the widening of U.S. 101 to three lanes in each direction through the Marin-Sonoma Narrows. Major public transit improvements that would be funded by the measure include 306 new BART cars that will expand the fleet to accommodate record ridership; new ferries and expanded service and terminals across San Francisco Bay; further extension of BART’s Silicon Valley service to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara; extending Caltrain to downtown San Francisco; expanding transbay bus service and AC Transit’s bus rapid transit lines serving the transbay corridor; extending the new SMART rail system to Windsor; and expanding San Francisco’s fleet of Muni Metro rail cars to improve transit access not just to San Francisco, but within it as well. RM 3 also would fund a $150 million grant program to improve bicycle and pedestrian access to regional transit hubs and to close gaps in the San Francisco Bay Trail.

Proposed projects that would benefit Contra Costa County, Antioch and East County.

“Nobody likes higher tolls,” commented MTC Chair and Rohnert Park Mayor Jake Mackenzie. “But nobody likes traffic jams or crush-loaded train cars either. The Bay Area has been blessed by seven straight years of strong economic growth. But the price we’ve paid is the growing congestion on our freeways, railways and ferries. If our region is going to maintain its economic leadership, we have to invest in projects that will keep businesses and their workers moving. Gov. Brown and the state Legislature deserve a lot of credit for shaping RM 3 into a comprehensive and integrated strategy that will modernize both our highways and our transit networks.”

For details on the complete range of investments that would be funded if a majority of voters in the nine Bay Area counties approve RM 3, go to the MTC website or see the complete list, here.

MTC is the transportation planning, financing, and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

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UPDATE 10/13/17: Jury in County Coroner’s inquest finds officer involved shooting death of Antioch man was an accident

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Nathan Banks. Photo courtesy higginsmortuary.com

Finding of “accident” defined

Sheriff-Coroner David O. Livingston announces that a coroner’s jury has reached a finding in the June 16, 2017 death of Nathan Gregory Banks. The finding of the jury is that the death is an accident.

Antioch police contacted a man and woman inside a car on the 2300 block of Manzanita Way. The man was later identified as Banks. The police officer noticed that Banks was in possession of a handgun. The officer ordered Banks to stay in the car, however, he fled holding the weapon in his hand. During a confrontation, the officer fired his duty weapon at Banks. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The coroner’s jury reached a verdict after hearing the testimony of witnesses called by the hearing officer, Matthew Guichard.

A coroner’s inquest, which Sheriff-Coroner Livingston convenes in fatal incidents involving police officers, is a public hearing, during which a jury rules on the manner of a person’s death. Jury members can choose from the following four options when making their finding: Accident, Suicide, Natural Causes, or At the hands of another person, other than by accident.

According to the obituary on Higgins Mortuary website, “Nathan Gregory Banks (37)” was a “lifelong resident of Antioch born June 11, 1980…a graduate of Antioch High School” and was “an apprentice in the Carpenters Union. He was fiercely loyal, loving, and protective of his family and friends” and “the beloved son of Dawn Marie & John Delucchi of Pittsburg and Greg & Theresa Banks of Antioch.”

He “is survived by his parents, grandparent Nana Peggy Banks, along with aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews and cousins who will dearly miss his sense of humor, smile, and warm heart. Nathan was preceded by his sister Tarah Lynna Banks (2017), and Papa Byron Banks (2013).”

A memorial service was held for him on July 21 at Calvary Temple Church in Concord.

10/13/17 UPDATE: When asked why it was ruled an accident instead of “at the hands of another person, other than by accident” the Sheriff’s Public Information Officer, Jimmy Lee responded, “the inquest, although it is a hearing, is not like a traditional court case. There are no attorneys involved. Individuals directly involved in the case testify. The jury hears the testimony and selects from one of four options.”

“Also a finding of accident does not necessarily mean he (the officer) accidentally fired his service weapon,” he added.

Lee then provided the instructions to the jury which included definitions for each possible finding. The finding of “accident” included the following definition:

ACCIDENT: DEATH BY ACCIDENT CAN REFER TO A VARIETY OF UNFORSEEN OR UNINTENTIONAL EVENTS. SOME OF THOSE INVOLVE NATURAL PHENOMENA, SUCH AS DEATH BY FIRE, FLOOD, OR EARTHQUAKE, IN WHICH NO HUMAN AGENCY IS INVOLVED. ANOTHER SPECIES OF ACCIDENT IS THE KIND WHICH RESULTS FROM HUMAN ACTS OR CONDUCT. DEATH BY ACCIDENT WHERE A HUMAN AGENCY IS INVOLVED IS THUS BEST DEFINED AS THE UNINTENDED OR UNEXPECTED RESULTS OF HUMAN CONDUCT. THE TERM “ACCIDENT” AS IT APPLIES TO THESE PROCEEDINGS IS AN UNFORSEEN EVENT, MISFORTUNE, LOSS, ACT OR OMISSION.

Following are the complete jury instructions and definitions for each possible finding:

OFFICE OF THE CORONER – CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

CORONER’S JURY INSTRUCTIONS

MATTHEW P. GUICHARD, HEARING OFFICER

GUICHARD, TENG & PORTELLO, ATTORNEYS AT LAW

101 YGNACIO VALLEY ROAD, SUITE 112

WALNUT CREEK, CA 94596

TEL: (925) 459-8440 FAX: (925) 459-8445

DATE: October 10, 2017

CORONER’S NUMBER: 2017-2941

INQUEST INTO THE DEATH OF: NATHAN GREGORY BANKS

BORN: June 11, 1980

DIED: June 17, 2017

 

MEMBERS OF THE JURY: HAVING NOW HEARD THE EVIDENCE, IT BECOMES YOUR DUTY TO RENDER YOUR VERDICT.

YOU ARE THE SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE JUDGES OF THE EVIDENCE GIVEN TO YOU FROM THE WITNESS STAND, AND FROM THAT EVIDENCE YOU SHOULD STATE IN YOUR VERDICT WHO THE DECEASED WAS, HOW, WHEN AND WHERE HE CAME TO HIS DEATH.

THE LAW PROVIDES THAT YOU SHALL FIND, IN ADDITION TO THE MEDICAL CAUSE OF DEATH, WHAT WAS THE MODE OR MANNER OF THE DECEDENT’S DEATH. TO THAT END, THE LAW PROVIDES THAT YOU MUST FIND WHETHER THE DECEDENT’S DEATH WAS BY:

1. NATURAL CAUSES, or

2. SUICIDE, or

3. ACCIDENT, or

4. AT THE HANDS OF ANOTHER PERSON, OTHER THAN BY ACCIDENT.

EACH MODE OF DEATH IS ALTERNATIVE AND INDEPENDENT OF THE OTHERS, SO THAT YOU CANNOT COMBINE VERDICTS. YOU CANNOT ADD TO ANY OF THE DEFINITIONS. YOU MAY MAKE A SEPARATE COMMENT IF YOU WISH, BUT NOT ON THE VERDICT FORM.

THE FOUR MODES OF DEATH ARE DEFINED AS FOLLOWS:

1. NATURAL CAUSES: DEATH BY NATURAL CAUSES IS SO WELL KNOWN TO ALL OF YOU AS GENERALLY TO REQUIRE NO EXPLANATION. HOWEVER, FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROCEEDING, IT MAY BEST BE DEFINED AS A DEATH ARISING FROM AN ACT OF NATURE AS OPPOSED TO ONE BEING ARTIFICIALLY INDUCED.

2. SUICIDE: SUICIDE IS DEFINED AS AN INTENTIONAL ACT OF SELF-DESTRUCTION BY ONE WITH SUFFICIENT TOUCH WITH REALITY TO UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF HIS ACT. THE FACT ANOTHER PERSON, INCLUDING A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, ACTED AS THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF THE DECEASED SUBJECT’S DEATH, DOES NOT PRECLUDE A FINDING OF SUICIDE, WHEN THE SUBJECT INTENDED TO PRECIPITATE THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE AGAINST HIMSELF.

3. ACCIDENT: DEATH BY ACCIDENT CAN REFER TO A VARIETY OF UNFORSEEN OR UNINTENTIONAL EVENTS. SOME OF THOSE INVOLVE NATURAL PHENOMENA, SUCH AS DEATH BY FIRE, FLOOD, OR EARTHQUAKE, IN WHICH NO HUMAN AGENCY IS INVOLVED. ANOTHER SPECIES OF ACCIDENT IS THE KIND WHICH RESULTS FROM HUMAN ACTS OR CONDUCT. DEATH BY ACCIDENT WHERE A HUMAN AGENCY IS INVOLVED IS THUS BEST DEFINED AS THE UNINTENDED OR UNEXPECTED RESULTS OF HUMAN CONDUCT. THE TERM “ACCIDENT” AS IT APPLIES TO THESE PROCEEDINGS IS AN UNFORSEEN EVENT, MISFORTUNE, LOSS, ACT OR OMISSION.

4. AT THE HANDS OF ANOTHER PERSON, OTHER THAN BY ACCIDENT: THAT PHRASE IS ESSENTIALLY SELF-EXPLANATORY. IT IS EITHER AN INTENTIONAL ACT WHICH DIRECTLY CAUSES THE DEATH OF ANOTHER PERSON OR AN INTENTIONAL OMISSION TO ACT WHICH DIRECTLY CAUSES THE DEATH OF ANOTHER PERSON.

YOU SHOULD DETERMINE THE MODE OR MANNER OF DEATH HEREIN BY A MORE LIKELY TRUE THAN NOT TRUE STANDARD. THAT MEANS IN EXAMINING ALL THE EVIDENCE YOU SHOULD DECIDE WHICH MODE OR MANNER OF DEATH OF THE FOUR LISTED MODES IS THE MOST LIKELY TO BE TRUE. THEREFORE, IF YOU SHOULD DETERMINE THAT THE EVIDENCE HEREIN IS MORE CONVINCING, AND CREATES A GREATER PROBABILITY OF TRUTH IN FAVOR OF ONE MODE, THAT MODE SHOULD BE YOUR VERDICT.

IN DETERMINING WHETHER A MODE HAS BEEN PROVEN TO BE TRUE, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER ALL THE EVIDENCE BEARING UPON THAT ISSUE. YOU SHOULD ALSO BEAR IN MIND THAT IT IS THE LAW OF CALIFORNIA THAT ALL DEATHS MAY BE DESCRIBED BY ONE OF THE FOUR STATED MODES.

YOUR FINDINGS SHALL NOT INCLUDE NOR MAKE ANY REFERENCE TO CIVIL OR CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY ON THE PART OF THE DECEASED OR ANY OTHER PERSON.

UNDER THE LAW THAT GOVERNS INQUESTS, THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT YOUR VERDICT BE UNANIMOUS. A SIMPLE MAJORITY IS SUFFICIENT.

I HAVE NOT INTENDED BY ANYTHING I HAVE SAID OR DONE, OR BY THE QUESTIONS THAT I HAVE ASKED, TO INTIMATE OR SUGGEST HOW YOU SHOULD DECIDE ANY QUESTIONS OF FACT SUBMITTED TO YOU. IF ANYTHING I HAVE DONE OR SAID HAS SEEMED TO SO INDICATE, YOU WILL DISREGARD IT AND FORM YOUR OWN OPINION.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Deer Valley High Special Ed teacher Robert Hubbard receives national honor

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Robert Hubbard

Robert Hubbard, one of Deer Valley High School’s Special Education teachers who also coaches the football team, has been nominated for the 2017-2018 National Life Changer of the Year award.

Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, Life Changer of the Year recognizes and rewards the very best K-12 educators and school district employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. Hubbard was nominated by his principal, Kenneth Gardner.

Ever since Hubbard joined Deer Valley High School, he has made it his mission to empower students and help them grow and learn. He has worked to create a safe and fun environment for children with disabilities to learn. Hubbard was selected to be the Head Varsity Football Coach in his second year on campus, turning the program around and helping his team reach a 3.0 GPA by the end of his first year. His love of sports and his passion for working with people with disabilities are demonstrative of the active role he plays in his community.

Hubbard also serves as the faculty advisor for the Black Student Union, and produces the BSU Awards night, recognizing the accomplishments of young African American students on campus.

“Ever since Mr. Hubbard was hired three years ago as a Special Education teacher for severely handicapped students, it was immediately clear that he was special,” Gardner said. “He is a dynamic personality and force on campus who remains humble, loving and compassionate, regardless of the situation.”

Each school year, Life Changer of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Seventeen individual Life Changer of the Year awards will be given during the 2017-2018 school year.

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