Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Antioch towing company owner to be inducted into International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Perry Shusta. Photo from his Facebook page.

The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee announced that it has selected seven recognized towing industry professionals for induction into the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame, Class of 2019.

The 2019 induction ceremony, which celebrates its 33rd year, will honor:

  • Perry Shusta, owner of Arrowhead Towing & Recovery, Antioch, California, previously president of the California Tow Truck Association, who is a heavy-duty recovery instructor.
  • Quinn Piening, head of Central Tow & Transport in Fremont, California, president of the California Tow Truck Association.
  • John Coupland of Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom, who has spent a lifetime in the towing and recovery field, earning a Britannia Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
  • Michael Cherry, Land O’ Lakes, Florida, a towing and recovery equipment expert formerly associated with Jerr-Dan Corp.
  • Jamie Davis, Hope, British Columbia, Canada, the face of the Discovery Channel TV show Highway Thru Hell, about heavy-duty rescue along the Coquihalla Highway.
  • George Kuntz of Bismarck, North Dakota, owner of Ace 24 Hour Towing and Berg’s Towing and Crane Service, who has nearly 60 years of industry service.
  • Glenn Landau of Fryer’s Towing Service in Daytona Beach, Florida, president of the Professional Wrecker Operators of Florida.

Each inductee was nominated by members of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum for their many contributions to the towing and recovery industry, as well as service to their communities. Criteria for selection include towing equipment product innovation, exemplary dedication, industry leadership and professional achievement.

“Our Hall of Fame is not about single events but about celebrating those who have worked hard to support and grow our industry’s professionalism,” says Bill Gratzianna, president of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum. “This year’s group of inductees is no exception, as they are known for their work on behalf of the industry and their leadership inside and outside of towing and recovery.”

The Class of 2019 will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held on October 12, 2019, at the Chattanoogan Hotel in Chattanooga. A full weekend of activities is planned to celebrate the Class of 2019. For more information on the induction ceremony visit towingmuseum.com.

About ITRHFM

The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, houses an array of exhibits showcasing the history of the towing and recovery industry. The rotating collection includes early equipment by Manley, Holmes, Vulcan and Weaver. The Museum includes a theater, a library and a gift shop. The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have significantly advanced the industry. The Wall of the Fallen Memorial, located on the grounds of the Museum, is dedicated to towing operators who have died in the line of service. The ITRHFM Survivor Fund assists the families of the men and women who have died in the line of service by providing a uniform financial gift at the time of their loss. ITRHFM is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and accepts donations for its programs and operations from individuals, corporations and groups.

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Former Dozier-Libbey principal, Scott Bergerhouse moves to new role at Antioch School District offices

Friday, August 16th, 2019

New AUSD Director of Student Support Services, Scott Bergerhouse in his new office. Photo courtesy of AUSD.

Settles in as Director of Student Support Services.

By Charleen Earley

Scott Bergerhouse grew up attending Antioch schools before taking a teaching position at Park Middle School following college. After 35 years serving thousands of AUSD students as a teacher, vice principal and principal, – most recently for Dozier-Libbey Medical High School – it is rare for Bergerhouse to go anywhere in the community without running into a former student, parent, or colleague.

Bergerhouse’s work has also impacted current teachers and principals in the District including John Jimno, Principal of Park Middle School. “Mr. Bergerhouse was my sixth grade teacher at Park and later my Vice Principal at Antioch High School.” Although Mr. Jimno has many fond memories of Scott, he recalls one incident in particular that impacted him. “I only got in trouble one time in school and I had to go see Mr. Bergerhouse who was then my Vice Principal. I remembered being scared about what my consequence would be. But rather than suspend me or assign me to Saturday School, Scott talked me into becoming a camp counselor for fifth grade students that summer.”

“He taught me something that day that I will never forget and that helped shape the administrator I am today,” says Jimno. “You have people learn more when they do something that makes them grow, that shows that you believe in them. That day Scott showed that he saw something different in me and I try to do the same when students are sent to my office.”

Bergerhouse says he is excited about his new position as Director of Student Support Services.

“I was fortunate enough to work in this position for two months this past year,” he saidd. “I loved it because I love finding solutions that work for students and families.”

“I also love working with health and wellness and mental health supports, because that’s what some kids certainly need,” Bergerhouse added. “The tiered interventions are what truly support students and their variety of needs.”

Born in Arkansas City, Kansas, Bergerhouse moved to California in 1965. He’s the father of Nicholas, age 34, and Carly, age 23, and the proud grandfather of Kailiana Joy, age 6.

“My parents still live in the same house in Antioch that I was raised in,” said Bergerhouse, who currently lives in Discovery Bay with his Chihuahua named Cody. “I am a product of the Antioch Unified School District.”

Education, he says, is all about supporting students.

“It’s about playing an integral role in students’ lives to help them build the confidence and commitment to survive in a challenging society,” said Bergerhouse. “Not a day goes by that I have not been rewarded in some way from a student’s story, a student’s compliment to a teacher, a handshake, etc. I would never want anything more than that.”

“Education has been the best career that I could ever have imagined,” he added. “The lasting friendships, positive relationships and the unwavering commitment to students are things that are so important to me.”

His educational career includes attending Los Medanos College for one year, followed by a baseball scholarship to the University of Nevada, Reno, then onto Southern Utah State University, graduating with a BS in education.

“I taught school for one year in Utah before returning to California,” he said. “I received my administrative degree at California State University, Hayward.”

Growing up, however, Bergerhouse had a more glamorous plan for his life.

“When I was younger, I wanted to be a professional baseball player until my father influenced me that a ‘Plan B’ was imperative,” he said. “The best thing I ever did was following that advice.”
In his new role as Director of Student Support Services, Bergerhouse said some of his duties will include responding to school emergency calls, working with administrators to help provide support for students, keeping lines of communication open with all school leaders, and visiting schools to provide support.”

“Other duties will include overseeing Strategic Threat Management’s two officers; providing support for schools; producing monthly suspension and attendance data for all schools; overseeing the District nurse and counselors, as well as working with various support programs,” he said.
When he’s not working, Bergerhouse spends his time outdoors.

“I love to play golf, even though I’m not very good! I enjoy spending time with my parents and siblings, and I love the ocean and being around water,” he said.

He also spends his time volunteering.

“I have been the President of Delta Advocacy Foundation for approximately 15 years, helping individuals and families through short-term financial difficulties throughout East Contra Costa County,” he said. “This would also include situationally impoverished situations. This has been very rewarding, and I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a wonderful board of community leaders working toward truly helping to support individuals and families.”

With 35 years working in education, Bergerhouse is no stranger to an eclectic array of jobs along the way.

“I was a custodian during the summer during my first year teaching. I was a lunchroom monitor during college. I also worked on a factory assembly line producing onion and tomato fiber drums,” he said. “I mopped floors at a sausage shop and laundry mat. I worked for $2 an hour in a print shop. I also worked on a loading dock for Sears, the tomato fields picking tomatoes, I worked at SkyWest Airlines directing planes as they were taxiing down the runway. I even worked for AVIS car rental!”

He said health, happiness and enjoying what life brings, are the top three, most important things in his life.

Confidence in oneself, he feels, is also essential.

“My mantra aligns with a quote from Henry Ford,” he said. “‘If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right.’”

There are two words, he says, that he uses to describe himself.

“Personable and approachable,” said Bergerhouse. “People and positive relationships are important to me.”

Republished with permission of AUSD. Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Double lung transplant recipient from Antioch featured in Giving Me Life art exhibit at Highland Hospital

Friday, April 5th, 2019

Liver recipient, Debra Harkness (left) and double lung recipient, Damita Barbee (center) of Antioch at the opening of the exhibit on Friday, April 4, 2019. Photo by Donor Network West.

April is Donate Life Month

The “Giving Me Life: A Visual Journey of African-American Organ and Tissue Transplant Recipients” art exhibit has officially opened at the Alameda Health System (AHS)-Highland Care Pavilion Lobby. AHS has partnered with Donor Network West, the organ and tissue recovery organization for Northern California and Nevada, to bring “Giving Me Life” to AHS. The exhibit underscores the need for more registered donors within the African-American community through social documentary. April is Donate Life Month and the exhibit will be on display at Highland until April 30.

Antwone Johnson, the brother of organ donor Anthony Johnson, gave a very emotional testimony at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 4.

“I lost my brother about a year ago at Highland Hospital. He died unexpectedly after experiencing seizures that sent him into cardiac arrest. When I was first approached about donating his organs I was not interested, but as I sat in the hospital, I reflected on the fact that he was the kindest person I ever met. He would give you his last dollar without knowing where his next one was coming from. I joke that I hope the cruelest, corrupt person received my brother’s heart because there is no way they can continue to be unkind with a piece of Tony in their body.”

In addition, Johnson shared that he is humbled to be able to save someone else’s life through his decision to donate his brother’s organs.

Currently, African-Americans make up 5% of the 13 million people in Donor Network West’s donation service area, however, they represent 10% of those waiting for organ transplants in the region. The exhibit is a visual testimonial of nine local African-American transplant recipients who have overcome incredible obstacles in their respective journeys toward health and wellness thanks to organ and tissue donation.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Alameda Health System to bring the Giving Me Life exhibit to Highland Hospital in Oakland, which boasts a proud legacy of African-American culture, art and social justice. We deeply respect Alameda Health System’s commitment to promoting healthy equity and access for all patients, 30% of whom are African-American. Our hope is to spark new conversations, and inspire more African-Americans to register as organ donors,” said Janice F. Whaley, Chief Executive Officer of Donor Network West.

Damita Barbee, a double-lung transplant recipient from Antioch, and one of the people featured in the Giving Me Life exhibit will be traveling to Italy this year, something she was not able to do five years ago. She was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, but is now thriving. In her spare time she shares her story with others, hoping to encourage as many people as possible to become registered donors.

“I am very passionate about finding solutions that will help our patients live healthy lives. There are many people on the transplant waiting list and this exhibit is a great way to raise awareness about the need,” said Luis Fonseca, AHS Chief Operating Officer and Donor Network West board member.

About 50 people attended the event. Participants included Donor Network West Ambassadors, transplant recipients, donor families, AHS staff, community members, and representatives from Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Assembly Member Rob Bonta’s office.

Nearly 1,400 people are waiting for an organ transplant in Alameda County. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and a tissue donor can heal 75 others. Anyone can register as a donor at DonorNetworkWest.org or at the DMV.

About Donor Network West

Donor Network West is the federally designated nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) organ and tissue recovery organization that serves 13 hospitals and more than 500,000 people in Northern Nevada. Established in 1987, the organization saves and heals lives by facilitating organ and tissue recovery for transplantation and research. Donor Network West is accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) and partners with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state-authorized donor registry. For information, visit DonorNetworkWest.org and follow us on social media: @mydnwest

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Antioch Senior at UC Davis interning for California State Senator Glazer

Friday, February 8th, 2019

His only intern from Contra Costa County

Sasha Jordan. Photo courtesy of Mark Jordan.

University of California Davis senior, Sasha Jordan is interning for State Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) this spring.  Glazer, who represents the 7th Senate District including most of Contra Costa County and portions of Alameda County in the East Bay, currently has three interns but Jordan is the only intern from Contra Costa County.

Jordan is an Antioch resident and graduated from Deer Valley High School in 2015.  She began attending UC Davis that same fall.  While at Deer Valley she was active in the Performing Arts Academy. Jordan will graduate in June this year with a degree in Political Science and minor in Communications.

She had worked as a teen and young adult for the real estate company owned by her parents Mark and Cynthia Jordan, a local Certified Public Accountant and a local Attorney.  She also had worked for the University as a resident advisor during her sophomore year at the Tecero Dorms on campus.

Jordan is currently applying for fellowships at the State Capital in Sacramento and is looking forward to a career in government.

“I think it is a good thing to help other people and government is just one way to make a difference” she said.

Asked about what she’s doing for the Senator, currently, Jordan said, “Right now, I’m working at the front desk greeting visitors. I’ve done some research projects.”

Her internship will last until March 15, which is the end of the Winter Quarter.

After Jordan graduates, her “plan is to work at the Capitol.”

As for her long-term plans, she said, “If you ask my dad, it’s to be governor of California.”

On a more serious note, Jordan stated, “My hope is to make as much change and improvement in the lives of individuals in California.”

Asked about her Communications minor, she said, “Right now, I’m learning about media messages. I’ve taken some classes on political communication, which I think is important. Because if you want to make change, you need the public to know about the issues that are going on.”

Jordan will graduate at the end of the Spring Quarter in June.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch resident Samantha Olive Barnhouse named Carnegie Hero for saving man from burning house

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Samantha Olive Barnhouse (with glasses). Photo courtesy of City of Antioch.

By City of Antioch

We’re honored to share that Antioch resident Samantha Olive Barnhouse has recently been awarded the Carnegie Medal for an extraordinary act of heroism.

Thirty-year-old Samantha Olive Barnhouse saved Lobis Burton, 78, from a burning house on Feb. 17, 2018, in Antioch. Alerted to the fire, Barnhouse, who lived across the street from Burton’s apartment building, entered Burton’s apartment. She moved past the burning kitchen to reach Burton, who was sitting in a wheeled desk chair in a bedroom, unable to move due to an injured hip.

Barnhouse pulled the desk chair through the bedroom and into the hall, and as flames and smoke intensified, she moved the chair past the kitchen and to the front door. The chair became stuck, and Barnhouse pulled on it, freeing it and causing her and Burton to fall outside beneath flames issuing overhead through the doorway.

Within a minute, the apartment’s windows shattered due to the heat. Burton was hospitalized for smoke inhalation and a broken hip, but he was no burned. Barnhouse was treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation; she recovered

About Carnegie Hero

The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. With this final announcement of 2018 recipients, a total of 10,062 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission Chair Mark Laskow said each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant. Throughout the more than 114 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $40.5 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.

To get more information about Carnegie Hero, visit their website: https://www.carnegiehero.org/

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Antioch Chamber of Commerce announces annual award winners

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Antioch Citizens of the Year – Most Impact Trine Gallegos and Lifetime Achievement Gordon Gravelle with his wife Molly and their grandkids. Photos from Facebook.

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2018 Award winners:

Citizens of the Year

·         Most Impact 2018 – Trine Gallegos

·         Lifetime Achievement – Gordon Gravelle

Veteran of the Year

·         Ernie Rodriguez – US Marine, Vietnam Veteran, Past VFW Post 6435 Quartermaster and current VFW club manager, and lifetime member of Antioch American Legion Post 161

Youth of the Year:

·         Jewelina Culcasi of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School

·         Claryssa Wilson of Antioch High School

·         Runner-up: Sage Bennett of Antioch High School

Business for the Year

·         Small Business – County Market

·         Large Business – Kaiser Permanente

Non-Profit of the Year

·         Meals on Wheels Diablo Region

Ambassadors of the Year:

·         Michael Pohl, Mike and Mike Media

·         Cyndee Paulson-Heer, Heer’s Music and Sound

·         Justin Heer, Heer’s Music and Sound

Each award winner will be honored at the annual Chamber Gala, which will be held on Friday March 8, 2019 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person, or $700 for a reserved table of eight which includes a full-page advertisement. Purchase of gala tickets can be made online at https://antiochchamber.com/2019-inaugural-gala-and-awards-ceremony/, by calling (925) 757-1800, or emailing frontdeskadmin@antiochchamber.com. Ticket sales will end March 1, 2019 at 5 p.m.

We look forward to celebrating with you and each of our award recipients.

 

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Antioch City Clerk Simonsen reappointed to League of Cities’ Governance, Transparency & Labor Relations, and Housing, Community & Economic Development Policy Committees

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

Arne Simonsen at a League of California Cities event.

Antioch City Clerk Arne Simonsen has been reappointed to the League’s Governance, Transparency and Labor Relations (GTLR) Policy Committee. This committee has the lead responsibility for recommending to the League board of directors’ policy positions on state issues involving transparency, technology (open data), healthcare, elections and political reform, pension and workers compensation reform as well as other labor related issues. The reappointments were announced by League President Jan Arbuckle, council member, Grass Valley.

He was also reappointed to the League’s Housing, Community and Economic Development (HCED Policy Committee. This committee has the lead responsibility for recommending to the League board of directors policy positions on state issues involving general plans and zoning, housing, rent control, Subdivision Map Act, residential care facilities, other land use regulation, development fees including school fee adequacy, annexation and incorporation policy, development agreements, building standards including seismic safety standards, economic development policy including redevelopment and enterprise zones, military base closure and reuse, mobile home regulation and sign regulation.

As a committee member, Simonsen will play a key role in shaping the League’s policy positions on issues facing California cities and advocating for cities at the State Capitol.

This is Simonsen’s 11th year serving on the HCED Policy Committee and third year serving on the GTLR Policy Committee. He previously served eight years on the Revenue & Taxation Policy Committee, chairing it in 2006; four years on the Administrative Services Policy Committee; and four years on the Employee Relations Policy Committee.

“I am proud to have Arne Simonsen join the League’s Governance, Transparency and Labor Relations Policy Committee and, Housing, Community and Economic Development Policy Committee on behalf of his residents,” said League President Jan Arbuckle, council member, Grass Valley. “We will work together as a team, comprised of local frontline leaders from across the state, to ensure that the local perspective guides the outcome of state policy decisions.”

The leadership of the 2019 GTLR committee consists of Chair Richard Constantine, Mayor Pro Tem, Morgan Hill, and Vice Chair Jess Talamantes, Council Member, Burbank; and the leadership of the 2019 HCED committee consists of Chair Stacey Mattina, Council Member, Lakeport, and Vice Chair Blanca Pacheco, Council Member, Downey.

For more information on the League’s policy committees, visit: www.cacities.org/polcomm.

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Police Sergeant Will Dee retires after 23 years on the Antioch force

Monday, December 31st, 2018

Photos by Antioch Police Department.

From the APD Facebook Page

Today, (Wed., Dec 26, 2018) is a bittersweet day for us as we congratulate Sergeant Will Dee on his well-earned retirement, but we also have to say good bye to him as well.

Will was born and raised in Florida, and ultimately found his way to California after enlisting in the United States Coast Guard In 1987. During this time, he was stationed in Alameda, but also did law enforcement patrols up and down the west coast of California and as far north as Alaska. After serving for five years, Will then attended the Napa Valley Police Academy.

Upon his graduation from the academy, he was hired with the Moffett Field Police Department in 1993, where he stayed until he joined us in 1995.

During his time with Antioch, Will has held multiple assignments including patrol, community policing, fraud investigator, homicide investigator, SWAT, Field Training Officer, and firearms instructor. Will was promoted to the rank of Police Corporal in 2002, and later again to Police Sergeant in 2008 where he has remained since.

After he signs off for his final graveyard shift, he can know he’s touched many of us, made lifelong friends, and most definitely left this place better than he found it 25 years ago. We wish Sergeant Dee, the happiest of retirements and hope he enjoys it with his wife, children and new grandchild!

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