Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Cornerstone Christian High School celebrates Class of 2019 full of champions

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Cornerstone Christian School’s Class of 2019 graduates celebrate on Thurs., June 6, 2019. Photos by Denise Baquing.

Valedictorian Nia Russell speaks during the ceremony.

By Denise Baquing

Antioch’s Cornerstone Christian High School celebrated the graduation of their 10-member Class of 2019 at the Cornerstone Christian Center on Thursday evening, June 6, 2019. This was a special class, making history with an undefeated varsity football team, two-time Small School Bridge League champions in consecutive years for both boys and girls varsity basketball teams, and the boys varsity basketball team winning the North Coast Section State Division 6 championship. All in just the school’s 19th year.

Student speakers included Valedictorian Nia Russell and Salutatorian James Ebert. She plans to attend Grand Canyon University and major in communications, then join the Army Reserve, and he plans to attend Los Medanos College then transfer to a four-year university.

In a unique aspect of the commencement ceremony, each graduate offered a tribute to their parents.

Cornerstone’s Senior Pastor and School Superintendent Larry Navilhon then shared an acronym with the graduates.

Principal Logan Heyer offered his thoughts with the graduates.

“CHARGE: Calling – pursue God’s calling; Hope – receive the hope of God and give it away; Authentic – be real with yourself and God; Rejoice – a lot of negativity in the world. But, rejoice in the Lord, be grateful, be thankful; Giver – be a giver; and Eternal – let everything you do, decisions, goals, etc. have an eternal view.”

Principal Logan Heyer, and the church and school staff offered their encouragement to the graduates, in a message on the ceremony program.

“We are so proud of you. It has been a pleasure to teach you, to interact with you, and to watch you grow in God’s grace and wisdom. Each of you has big dreams for your future, and we know that you all have the ability and the skills to achieve those dreams. We also pray that you will be open to the working of the Holy Spirit in your lives. He will take some of you on much different courses than what you initially planned, but this will only serve to strengthen you and mature your faith. Throughout your journey, hold tight to Jesus’ hand and never let go.

You are an incredible group of young men and women. While we will greatly miss you, we also rejoice with you in the completion of one phase of your lives and start of new beginnings.”

With Christ’s abundant blessings, Cornerstone Christian Center and School Staff.

Salutatorian James Ebert speaks to his classmates.

Teachers and family members offered their reactions, following the ceremony.

“Our graduates got to be celebrated and were given a chance to express their appreciation for parents, staff and whole person education they received,” one person in attendance said. “My favorite part was when each student called up their parents and got to say what they meant to them.”

“The senior video was so emotional,” said one teacher. “It makes you realize what an impact we actually have on our students’ lives.”

“It was a wonderful celebration filled with laughter, tears and a lot of hugs,” another parent shared. “This made all the sacrifice worth it.”

“It’s the most intimate and unique graduation service I’ve ever been too,” shared another.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Wreckage of downed plane found in river near Antioch and Pittsburg

Monday, June 10th, 2019

Deputies from the Contra Costa County Sheriff Marine Services Unit search for the downed plane on Mon., June 10, 2019. Photos by CCCSheriff.

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Office of the Contra Costa County Sheriff

Monday morning, June 10, 2019, the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Marine Services Unit went to Broad Slough in the Del-ta where a plane was reported to have gone down yesterday. Marine Patrol Deputies, assisted by the U.S. Coast Guard, used a side scan sonar and remotely operated vehicle to find the exact location of the plane. The plane wreckage was located at about 10:30 AM. A Sheriff’s Office Dive Team was later deployed.

On Sunday, June 9, 2019, at about 5:32 PM, a boater notified Sheriff’s Office Dispatch of a small plane crashing into the Delta at the north end of Broad Slough, north of Antioch.

Several agencies that included the Office of the Sheriff Marine Services Unit, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, Pittsburg PD, Solano County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard, and the California Highway Patrol responded. Debris and a backpack were found at the location.

The plane took off from Buchanan Field Airport in Concord at about 5 PM. The pilot is believed to be the only occupant in the plane. The name of the pilot is not being released at this time as his identity has not been confirmed.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the cause of the crash. Any witnesses to this incident are asked to contact the NTSB by email at: witness@NTSB.GOV.

The Marine Services Unit is continuing with recovery operations. A salvage company is expected to remove the plane wreckage within the next few days.

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Antioch High celebrates large graduating class Friday night

Monday, June 10th, 2019

The Antioch High Class of 2019 graduates celebrate at Eells Stadium, Friday night, June 7, 2019. Photos by Jesus Cano.

By Jesus Cano

The Antioch High School Class of 2019 saw a strength in numbers at its commencement ceremony inside Eells Stadium. On Friday night, June 7, 400 students received diplomas recognizing the completion of their high school education. It is a huge increase from last year, with 100 more than the class of 2018 according to principal Louie Rocha. It is also the largest graduating class since 2008.

Student Body President Clarissa Wilson speaks to her fellow classmates.

From the beginning, this class had the feeling of something special Rocha shared. It began an era in which Antioch would see a vast growth in student enrollment.

“We’re seeing a spike in numbers enrolled and we’re going to see a spike in students graduating,” said Rocha. “This particular class has been highly academic and motivated. I’m very proud of them. They’re overachievers.”

While the class size is impressive, Rocha admires the way these students performed academically. With 33 percent of the Class of 2019 ending its tenure at Antioch with a 3.5 grade point average.

The event kicked off with associated student body president Clarissa Christian Wilson offering her welcome, recounting memories with her class.

Andrew Daniel Roldán was the valedictorian while Michael David Lewis was the salutatorian. In Lewis’ speech, he captivated the audience with his words of praise for everyone who overcame obstacles, especially those who dealt with them silently.

After the Class of 2019 received their diplomas, class president Andreyne Godinez gave her farewell to the class. During it, she displayed her bilingual skills by speaking in Spanish about all the children of undocumented immigrants, and giving her parents a huge shout-out.

“Many of these kids are the first ones to not only graduate from high school but to go on to college,” said Rocha. “It’s a testament to their dedication.”

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Small plane crashes in river north of Pittsburg, pilot missing Sunday evening

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

By Contra Costa County Sheriff

Sunday at about 5:32 PM, a boater notified Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Dispatch of a small plane crashing into the California Delta at the north end of Broad Slough, west of Kimball Island, north of Pittsburg.

According to a KPIX5 CBS SF Bay Area news report, “A piece of what is believed to be a Piper Cherokee single-engine airplane was located about 6:45 p.m. Sunday in Broad Slough north of Antioch, about an hour after a witness told authorities a small plane went down in the San Joaquin River, a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District spokesman said.

The piece of the airplane tail is thought to be from an aircraft that departed Buchanan Field in Concord, with one person aboard, a short time before the crash, said fire district spokesman Steve Hill. The plane, Hill said, had been rented from Sterling Aviation, based at the Concord airport. Calls to Sterling Aviation early Sunday night went unanswered.”

Several agencies that included the Office of the Sheriff Marine Patrol Unit, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, Pittsburg PD, Solano County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard, and the California Highway Patrol responded. Debris and a backpack were found at the location. The plane is believed to have taken off from Buchanan Field Airport in Concord at about 5 PM. The pilot was the only occupant in the plane. The name of the pilot is not being released at this time as his identity has not been confirmed.

A search was conducted by the responding agencies with negative results. The FAA and NTSB have been contacted. Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Units have been conducting sonar searches for evidence of the plane wreckage.

Any witnesses to this incident are asked to contact the NTSB by email at witness@NTSB.GOV.

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Two Antioch female teens arrested for fight at Concord restaurant Thursday

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

Screenshot from KRON4 News report of fight at Concord restaurant Thurs., June 6, 2019.

18-year-old Pittsburg male also arrested for unrelated incident

By Lieutenant Sam Staten, Concord Police Department

On Thursday, June 06, 2019, at approximately 8:31 PM, Concord Police Officers responded to the 2000 block of Diamond Blvd regarding a fight at a restaurant involving several patrons. Officers arrived and encountered a large crowd outside of the restaurant. The preliminary investigation revealed that two females, who were known to each other, got into a physical fight inside of the restaurant. The fight ended prior to police arrival. Officers questioned several people including the involved parties. They determined that the fight was due to conflict that had occurred in the past between the two involved females.

As a result, a 19-year-old black female adult and a 16-year-old female juvenile (both Antioch residents) were arrested for battery. An 18-year-old male from Pittsburg was also arrested for an unrelated incident. The victim sustained a minor injury as a result of the fight. Video surveillance from the restaurant was not available at the time the police were on scene. But, video of the incident was posted on NBC Bay Area and can be viewed, here. (WARNING: Video contains graphic language; viewer discretion advised)

Anyone with additional information in regard to this incident is asked to call Concord Police Department Detective Sergeant Mark Robison at (925)-671-5074.

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Antioch Homeless Encampment Task Force to hold second of four hearings Monday

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

Wants to hear from local, community-based organizations, residents, volunteers, non-profits and faith ministries about alleviating homeless encampments.

WHAT : As part of a four-part series of public testimony gatherings, the Antioch Homeless Encampment Task Force will meet for a second time to gather public testimony specifically from community-based organizations, residents, volunteers, nonprofits and faith ministries who are currently assisting individuals experiencing homelessness.

This is a follow up to the May 30, 2019, public testimony hearing where the Task Force received testimony about the impacts of the growing homeless crisis including homeless encampments on city departments, county and regional agencies, and community-based organizations.

Part 2 of the series will be a roundtable discussion to elicit testimony about how to better align city services to alleviate homeless encampments on public and private properties including the consequences associated with encampments like the accumulation of rubbish, needles and human feces.

WHEN: June 10th, 2019, 6:00 pm

WHERE : Antioch Community Center, 4703 Lone Tree Way, Antioch

LIMITED SEATING : RSVP here.

WHY : In March of 2019, Mayor Pro-Tem Joy Motts and Council Member Lamar Thorpe requested the establishment of a Homeless Encampment Task Force, which was unanimously approved by the Antioch City Council. The purpose of the Task Force is to study the growing homeless crisis in Antioch, the effects of homelessness including encampments on the community and temporary measures to alleviate homeless encampments until the completion of the Contra Costa County Care Center.

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Deer Valley High Class of 2019 grads, families celebrate Friday morning

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

The Deer Valley High School Class of 2019 during the graduation ceremonies, Friday morning, June 6, 2019. Photos by Allen Payton

ASB President Natasha Cao speaks to her classmates.

By Allen Payton

The Class of 2019 graduates of Deer Valley High School, and their family and friends filled the school’s Wolverine Stadium on Friday morning, June 6 to celebrate the accomplishment of completing 13 years of their education. Teacher and cross country and track coach Mike Green served as Master of Ceremonies.

The Deer Valley High band, under the direction of Conductor Larry Widener, played Pomp and Circumstance, as the graduates, many arm-in-arm, filed into the stadium. Salutatorian Mayra Arellano led the Pledge of Allegiance and the seating of her fellow classmates.

Antioch School Board President Gary Hack was first to speak.

“You’ve made it this far. The key words are ‘this far’. Your journey is not done. It’s not finished,” he said. “Cherish your accomplishments. Enjoy this day.”

Student speakers included student body president Natasha Cao and Valedictorian Edwin Reyes-Barreras.

Valedictorian Edwin Reyes-Barreras offers his thoughts.

“Everyone said the next four years will fly by. I can say I didn’t believe them,” Cao said. “Yet we find ourselves here today and I’m proud of every single person who made it in spite of their setbacks.”

For the happiness and hardships we will face, I encourage you to embrace the change,” Whether good or bad we have been touched by Deer Valley one way or another. Be proud of your background and the person you will fight to become.”

“To love is to give. We are the only ones able to define success,” she concluded. “Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.”

Reyes-Barrares spoke next, saying, “My goal since I was in kindergarten was to be here on this stage as valedictorian. In my junior year I felt like giving up. But I’m glad I did not give up.”

“Keep going for it…and never give up,” he implored his classmates. “I want to congratulate the Class of 2019 for their hard work. Never lose sight of your goals.”

The Divine Voices, who sang the National Anthem, sang “A Blessing” and “For Good” from the musical Wicked under the direction of Choral Director Michelle Stark

The Divine Voices perform for the graduates.

Deer Valley principal, Dr. Bukky Oyebade speaks to her students for the final time.

Dr. Bukky Oyebade, principal of Deer Valley, proudly stated the school had made the 2018-19 California Honor Roll School. She then shared some encouraging thoughts with the graduates.

“Today is only one step toward a brighter future. Today we celebrate your hard work and tenacity,” Dr. Bukky said. “Think about why you were born. Who else can I bless? Don’t be afraid. Be somebody. Don’t waste your time. Be about your business. “

“Congratulations Class of 2019. You rock,” she concluded.

Antioch Superintendent Stephanie Anello accepted the school’s Class of 2019, having met all the requirements to graduate. Board President Hack, and Trustees Diane Gibson-Gray, Crystal Sawyer-White, Mary Rocha and Ellie Householder handed the graduates their diplomas.

The tassel ceremony was led by ASB President Cao, and the graduates cheered, with some throwing their caps into the air to end the morning’s ceremonies.

Students from the school’s DVTV livestreamed the ceremony on YouTube, including aerial footage using a drone flying overhead. It can be viewed, here beginning at about the 29-minute mark.

The Deer Valley High Class of 2019 graduates turn their tassels and celebrate.

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Dozier-Libbey Medical High graduates 135 Thursday night

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

The Dozier-Libbey Medical High School Class of 2019 turn their tassels to conclude the graduation ceremonies on Thurs., June 6, 2019. Photos by Allen Payton.

Valedictorian Seenam Shah speaks to her fellow classmates.

By Allen Payton

The Dozier-Libbey Medical High School Class of 2019, made up of 135 members, graduated during ceremonies Thursday night, June 6. The event was held in the outdoor amphitheater of Deer Valley High School and was presided over by Kasey Graham, Leadership Advisor & Activities Director who served as Master of Ceremonies.

Student body president Jenna Walker sang the National Anthem and salutatorian Aliha Mughal led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Antioch School Board President Gary Hack encouraged the graduates in his speech.

“Wherever you go, whatever you do, go and do it with all your heart,” he said.

Student speakers included the two valedictorians, Seenam Shah and Jewelina Culcasi, as well as Stephen Caufield, who won a writing competition to be a graduation speaker.

“Dozier-Libbey is literally a barn surrounded by cows,” Shah said to begin. “Every graduate here played a part in the story of the Dozier-Libbey Class of 2019. Everyone had a niche and filled it well.”

She then read a rhyming poem about their shared experience, mentioning various teachers and activities.

Dozier Libbey 2019 graduate Stephen Caufield speaks during the ceremonies.

“You were an amazing class to learn with,” Shah concluded.

“Graduates, we did it,” Caufield said. “Four years ago, we started with a team of 200 students and here we are with a class of 135.”

He mentioned “wearing scrubs every day and being asked what hospital we worked at when we were not at school.”

“Never forget yesterday but, live for today because you never know what tomorrow will bring,” Caufield encouraged his fellow graduates.

Principal Scott Bergerhouse, ending his final year at the school, as he’ll be working in the district office, proudly shared some statistics of the graduating class.

“Seventy students of these 135 have a GPA of 3.0 and above,” he said. “Forty carry a 3.5 and above and 21 carry a 3.8 and above.”

“You have worked so hard…you have toed the line every step of the way. You will be leaders of our future,” Bergerhouse told the graduates. “All of you have touched the lives of our teachers and myself.”

Principal Scott Bergerhouse addresses the graduates.

“You must always stay focused on your good character,” he continued. “Don’t lose touch with these memories. Remember the past but focus on your future. The faculty and staff are proud of you.”

“Pinpoint your passion and remember, no job is beneath you,” concluded Bergerhouse.

Antioch Superintendent Stephanie Anello accepted the school’s Class of 2019, having met all the requirements to graduate. Board President Hack, and Trustees Diane Gibson Gray and Mary Rocha handed the graduates their diplomas. Trustees Crystal Sawyer-White and Ellie Householder were not in attendance.

Following that, valedictorian Culcasi shared her thoughts with her classmates.

Valedictorian Jewelina Culcasi was the final speaker of the evening’s ceremonies.

“We have had a great ride together. We are done. We are so done. We survived and worked hard to get here,” she stated. “We can go out into the world prepared.”

“If you don’t strive for excellence you will never achieve it,” Culcasi said. “Work hard. You will find more satisfaction if you work for your accomplishments than if they are handed to you.

“Moving forwarded our mission should be serving others with the talents God has given you,” she shared.

“The greatest among you will be servants,” Culcasi said quoting Matthew 23:11 from the Bible. “We all have our place in our society.”

She then thanked her teachers and “our families for putting up with us, not just the last four years, but all of our lives.”

“I hope all ya’ll enjoy your summer,” Culcasi concluded. “I wish you well…And God bless the Class of 2019”

Mughal and Marty Jerin Guzman, Co-Class Presidents then led the Tassel Ceremony to end the evening’s events.

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