Archive for the ‘People’ Category

The holiday spirit of giving showcased at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

CLAYTON, Calif., November 19, 2015 – For the 24th straight year, a number of representatives from Contra Costa County non-profit agencies were on hand Thursday at the annual Marsh Creek Detention Facility’s Toy Show to fulfill their kids’ Christmas wish lists. The representatives were able to choose from numerous newly handcrafted toys and bicycles refurbished by the facility’s inmates. These gifts are given to the children who are being served by these agencies during the upcoming holidays.

Along with the many displayed toys and bikes, the inmates decorated the Marsh Creek Detention Facility’s workshop to look like Santa’s own. Joining the non-profit-agency representatives were Contra Costa County’s Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata and Sheriff David Livingston, as well as numerous representatives from both agencies to celebrate this longtime agency partnership that benefits the community.

Both Superintendent Sakata and Sheriff Livingston gave their thoughts to the many attendees about the extremely successful partnership of the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) accredited shop classes being taught in a Contra Costa County Jail. “We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful agency collaboration that brings such value to our county,” said Superintendent Sakata. “With this project, these adult students will certainly bring a brighter Holiday Season to many children throughout our community.”

A small group of Marsh Creek Detention Facility inmates have been working on this project since the workshop re-opened in early October. They have been extremely busy fixing up used bikes to look and ride like brand new, and crafting colorful and beautiful wooden toys, such as, ball and cup games, spinning carousels, cars, doll houses, baby cradles, toy tractors, train sets, and more. All of the toy makers and/or bike mechanics are students in the Contra Costa Adult School, an accredited school directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), located within the detention facility.
CCCOE’s woodshop teacher Paul Turner hit the ground running, directing this project, soon after being hired on September 28. “On October 7, we opened the doors to the woodshop and bike shop,” said Turner, “It was like going into someone’s garage,” he laughed. “We had a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, but luckily my small group of students had plenty of skills to produce more than 400 toys and refurbish 170 bikes by the time this event rolled around. I’m very proud of how hard they worked on this project.”

Non-profit organizations participating in this special event included: Bay Area Rescue Mission, Brighter Beginnings, Contra Costa County Independent Living Skills Program, El Cerrito Fire Department, Shelter Inc., The Salvation Army-Antioch Corps, Ujima Family Recovery Services/La Casa, and VESTIA.


During the 2014-15 school year, approximately 2,343 adult inmates (throughout the three Contra Costa detention facilities) were enrolled in classes ranging from academic programs, including basic literacy and GED preparation, to vocational programs, including woodshop, construction, and state-of-the-art computer training. By the end of the school year, 17 student-inmates received their GED and 23 received a high school diploma, and 34 students passed the California High School Exit Exam. In addition, there were 207 students who demonstrated learning gains in reading or math, and 122 students earned a certificate of completion in computer applications. Another course directed by the CCCOE is the DEUCE Program (Deciding, Educating, Understanding, Counseling, and Evaluation).

These three-part classes (90 days) focus on substance abuse prevention. Last year, 708 students completed at least one of the three phases, and 146 students graduated from DEUCE. The Parenting Inside/Out class teaches vital parenting skills to women and men, with 57 certificates issued last school year. Last year, the CCCOE opened a new re-entry class at the West County Detention Facility. The re-entry class offers workforce readiness, career exploration, soft skills workshops, and a nine-week cognitive-behavior-change program called Transitions. Currently, 46 inmates are enrolled in the re-entry course.

These classes help to provide education and skills needed for successful transition back into the community.

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Son joins father at Antioch’s Hobin law firm

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
Richard and Taylor Hobin in front of the law offices on A Street in Antioch.

Richard and Taylor Hobin in front of the law offices on A Street in Antioch.

By Connie Woods

Long time Antioch attorney, Richard Hobin was joined in his practic by his son, Taylor, last year.

Now known as Hobin & Hobin LLP, Attorneys at Law, the family owned business, is celebrating being in Antioch and serving Bay Area residents for over 38 years.

The father and son team are passionate about what they do, and have expertise in Real Estate Law, Business Law, Personal Injury Law, Wills, Trusts & Probate, Estate Planning, Trust Litigation, and Civil Litigation. As trial attorneys they have been a vital part of the Antioch community, helping local residents in their legal matters.

The Hobins perform a wide range of legal services in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, civil litigation, criminal, family, real estate, business, wills and probate, and corporate matters. These services have ranged from a felony vehicular manslaughter trial; wrongful death and personal injury settlements and verdicts; multi-million dollar business transactions; real estate and construction defect litigation; lease termination and equipment auction of a computer cyber- space station; etc.

The patriarch of the law firm and family, Richard, began his law career after, first attending Oregon State University, being a Naval officer and fighting in the Vietnam War, and traveling through Europe. He then attended the University of California, Hastings School of Law, and after graduating and becoming licensed, opened a law office in Antioch. Over the years, he initially worked solo, then partnered with 23 other lawyers and staff, and in 2007 returned to solo practice, with paralegals and a great staff, in which his son later joined.

Taylor, passed the bar and joined the firm, last year, resulting in the name change from Richard Hobin Law to Hobin & Hobin.

Taylor also attended the University of California’s Hastings School of Law. He grew up in Antioch, attending Holy Rosary Elementary School, De La Salle High School, and then the University of San Francisco on a golf scholarship. At Hastings, Taylor worked as an editor, on the Constitutional Law Quarterly and won awards in legal writing as well as in moot court. Some of his published articles include “Wireless Internet Searches: How the Fourth Amendment Applies to Police Searches of Information Accessed Over a Wireless Internet Connection,” and an article entitled “Criminal.” Taylor handles a wide range of legal services and is also getting a Master’s Degree in Taxation. He is married and they have a baby boy, as of earlier this year. In his spare time Taylor plays and competes in golf.

Richard has been married for 32 years to his wife Debbie, who founded the high achieving Antioch Charter Academy. Richard is very active in the community, and has served as president of both the Delta Kiwanis and Delta-Antioch Rotary Clubs. He has also coached youth baseball, basket and golf teams and was District Chairperson for the Boy Scouts. Richard has also served as president of the Holy Rosary School Board, Delta Memorial Hospital Foundation, Annual De La Salle Golf Committee, and president of United Lutheran Ministries and St. Andrews Lutheran Church.

Richard is member of the American Trial Lawyers Association, Consumer Attorneys of California, Alameda/Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association, and the Contra Costa Bar Association and feels privileged to help people in crisis.

Both attorneys are great role models in our community.

If you are interested in their services, contact the Law Office of Hobin & Hobin at (925) 757-7585, or by email to or They are located at 1011 A Street in Antioch. For more information visit their website at

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Antioch’s Travis “TJ” Carrie is a “New and Improved Raider”

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
TJ Carrie takes the time to take a selfie with a Raiders fan after a pre-season home game.

TJ Carrie takes the time to take a selfie with a Raiders fan after a pre-season home game. photo by F.D. Purcell

F.D. Purcell, Bay Area Sports Reporter

Antioch Herald

That is the quote on the Oakland Raiders’ second year player, Travis “TJ” Carrie’s Twitter page. Not many get the opportunity to play for their home team – selected in the 7th round, 219th overall in the 2014 draft – but this Antioch native is and he’s taking it all in stride. Carrie is accustomed to playing for a team that’s under the microscope having played at football powerhouse De La Salle. Carrie fell in love with the game watching his three older brothers and one younger brother.

It didn’t matter where the former ball boy played football: in the mud, concrete or street, as long as he played. That passion shows when he’s on the field breaking up plays on receivers or gunning for balls on special teams. It was that very foundation of family and passion that helped cultivate him to the solid young man he is on and off the field. And it shows on his social media pages which are flanked by motivating quotes, family, football and the love o his life fiance and college sweetheart Tyisha, who he’s set to marry next June.

Antioch Herald: What’s it like playing for the hometown team?

TJ Carrie: A tremendous blessing, tremendous opportunity that I was given and I’m having fun out there. I think that’s the biggest most exciting thing is being able to play in front of players you’ve watched and grown up with and there’s nothing better than having this opportunity.

AH: When you go into the season are there any goals you get for yourself?

TJ: Definitely. I always set goals and standards for myself. The #1 thing is to be a different player than I was last year. Growing and understanding that last year was a rookie season and coaches allow you to make a little more mistakes when you’re a rookie. Being able to come into a second season and take advantage of the opportunity and know that I have a tremendous amount of growth that I can excel to. That’s one of the biggest goals that I’ve had coming into this year.

AH: Since you’re from the area how do you deal with the ticket requests from family and friends? That comes out of your pocket.

TJ: I have a great family support system. That has definitely been something we had to talk about as a family. They are understanding and they understand the situation that I’m going to try to get everyone and we make the best of that opportunity but I break it up on a good system. I’m glad we’ve been able to get on the same page.

AH: What’s been that largest ticket request?

TJ: When I traveled to Cleveland last season it was about 35 with coaches and players I grew up with, aunts and uncles. It was probably one of the biggest ones I’ve had. It’s great to have them there at the game supporting me. It’s HUGE!

AH: Your family support is tremendous, talk about that.

TJ: My parents moved to Cleveland so they could be near me when I was in college and now I’m back out here (laugh). I have other family members here, but it’s a big homecoming when we play there, because my fiance is from there also.

AH: It’s crazy they’re gone but you have your fiance here, right?

TJ: Yes, and it’s crazy because before I was drafted were here visiting and she said, “Wouldn’t it be great to live here?” Now we’re here and planning to get married next June in Cleveland.

AH: I saw she did something great for your birthday?

TJ: (smiles) Yes we had a helicopter ride and we went to Napa. (You can view the photos on his Instagram page leon18_tj)

AH: Having attended De La Salle you know a thing or two about winning cultures. How do you apply that mindset on a professional level and do you set goals going into each season?

TJ: The biggest things those schools have given me are the traits I have today: dedication, working hard and discipline. All those things are lifestyle changes in itself and bringing them here is something that transforms you more into an athlete because this game is more mental than physical. High school and college experiences have shaped and carried me into this season.

AH: What would you be doing if you weren’t playing football?

TJ: I have my masters in coaching and education so coaching is definitely something I like to do. Something with kids, younger or high school and training them so they can be powerful, successful and helping them pave their future.

AH: What is your greatest Raiders memory thus far?

TJ: The moment it happened (getting drafted) and getting a call from then head coach Dennis Allen on draft day and thinking in my mind, “Wow, I’m going back home.” I’ve been away for so long but having this opportunity is a tremendous blessing to go back home and play the sport I love is really what’s the biggest memory for me and it still is today.

AH: Any final words to the Raider Nation?

TJ: Yes, I’m looking here to stay for the long-haul. You can depend on me and look for me to make some big things happen this year Raider Nation.

You can follow him on Twitter @tj_carrie and Instagram leon18_tj. Read more about him on his Wikipedia page here.

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Antioch’s Rodney Smith to be inducted into Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Saturday

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
Rodney Smith racing in the Suzuki RMX250 Trophy Team USA, ISDE 1997, from his Facebook page.

Rodney Smith racing in the 1997 International Six Days Enduro as part of the Suzuki RMX250 Trophy Team USA.  from his Facebook page.


By Allen Payton

World champion motorcycle racer Rodney Smith, of Antioch, will be inducted into the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2015, during a ceremony, this Saturday in Orlando, Florida.

Rodney Smith was one of the most versatile motorcycle racers of the 1990s, excelling in both motocross and off-road at the highest levels,” said Ken Ford, a member of the AMA and American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation boards of directors. “{His) contributions to the world of motorcycling are enduring and substantial.”

According to the AMA website, “Each year, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame welcomes new members.” Smith will be one of six inductees who “will join the ranks of motorcycling’s greatest advocates and champions…during the American International Motorcycle Expo.”

Rodney Smith

Rodney Smith

Born in 1964 and a 1982 graduate of Antioch High School, Rodney Smith started riding motorcycles in the hills of Northern California with his family in the 1960s and ’70s, and his first race was at age 13 at Sand Hill in Brentwood. From there, he blossomed into a local motocross standout and then an international contender. Smith accepted an offer to race in Brazil in 1985 and won five Brazilian national championships. He then moved to the world level and finished third in the 1988 Fédération Internationale de Moocyclisme 250cc World Motocross Championships before returning to America in 1990.

Back in the United States, Smith turned his focus to off-road racing, where he became one of the most dominant riders of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Smith won 13 AMA-sanctioned national championship series, including five Grand National Cross Country titles, three AMA National Hare Scrambles titles and five AMA National Reliability Enduro Championships. He also excelled in the International Six Days Enduro, winning multiple gold medals, competing on the premier U.S. Trophy Team and twice earning top-American honors. He mainly raced wearing number 31 on his jersey.

His major accomplishments include: 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 & 2004 Grand National Cross Country Champion; 2001 Parts Unlimited World Off-Road Series – 2nd place; 1996 & 1997 AMA Hare Scramble Series Champion; 1994 & 1995 International Six Days Enduro Gold Medalist; 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 & 1998: AMA National Reliability Enduro Champion; 1988 World Grand Prix Motocross 250cc – 3rd place; and five-time Brazilian Motocross Champion.

Rodney Smith's trophy case in his home in Antioch - from his Facebook page.

Rodney Smith’s trophy case in his home in Antioch – from his Facebook page.

A true champion can ride in all different conditions, and just when you think you’re done, push harder,” Smith states. His advice to younger riders is “to always remember why you started riding a motorcyle. Because it is fun.”

Since his racing days, according to his website, Smith “has scaled his racing plans back a bit, and after injuries and some frustration, decided to transition into a full-time coach/advisor…to students of all ages and skill levels.”

His RSMX & Offroad Acadmey offers a motorcross riding school, private and group lessons, fitness and dietary training and weekend camps.

According to his father, his parents and brother will be joining Smith in Florida for the ceremony.

For more information on Smith, visit his website at For more information about the 2015 Hall of Fame, click here.

Congratulations, Rodney!

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Deer Valley High grad De’Ondre Wesley from Antioch signs with Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, September 13th, 2015
De'Ondre Wesley, courtesy of BYU Athletics.

De’Ondre Wesley, courtesy of BYU Athletics.

By Luke Johnson

Offensive tackle De’Ondre Wesley, who graduated from Deer Valley High School in 2010, was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent on May 7.

Wesley was part of the 2009 undefeated team that saw Deer Valley capture its second league title. From there he played at Diablo Valley College in Concord for two years, where he was selected All-Conference, before accepting a scholarship to Brigham Young University. He was also recruited by Arizona State University, Utah, University of Texas San Antonio, Oregon State, Purdue and Louisiana Tech. Wesley had originally committed to ASU, a school he dreamed of playing for while growing up, but after he learned they had withdrawn their offer he reevaluated his situation before committing to BYU, where he was a broadcast journalism major with an English minor.

Wesley was the anchor of the offensive line at BYU that passed for 278 yards per game and rushed for 181 yards per game in 2014. The team also put up 37 points per game, the most a BYU offense has averaged since 2001. He earned letterman honors in both his junior and senior years and was named to the College Sports Madness All-Independent First Team in his final season.

Wesley is listed at 6-foot-7 and 331 pounds on, but he has his work cut out for him signing as an undrafted free agent. Currently in the middle of preseason, he has made it through the first stages of cuts. His status with the team is to be determined as the season progresses.

I’m not surprised he’s in the NFL. He was always the tallest, and had a height and reach advantage over everybody,” former teammate Eddie Contreras said, who played on the offensive line with Wesley at Deer Valley and DVC. “It’s great for Deer Valley. He’s putting us on the map.”

Following are Wesley’s Pro Day stats, according to

40-yard dash – 5.25 seconds
225 lb bench – 18 reps
Vertical jump – 31 inches
Broad jump – 115 inches
20-yard shuttle – 4.65 seconds
3-cone drill – 7.73 seconds

Now wearing Baltimore Ravens’ jersey #77, De’Ondre’s profile can be seen on the team’s website by clicking here.

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Antioch’s Most Holy Rosary celebrates Father Vicente’s 60 years of priesthood

Monday, August 31st, 2015
A procession of children brought flowers to Father Vicente, center left, at the beginning of the multi-cultural mass in his honor, at Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Antioch, on Saturday, August 29, 2015.

A procession of children brought flowers to Father Vicente, (center left), at the beginning of the multi-cultural mass in his honor, at Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Antioch, on Saturday, August 29, 2015.

Bea Neal greets Fr. Vicente in the receiving line, as Fr. Roberto looks on

Bea Neal greets Fr. Vicente in the receiving line, as Fr. Roberto looks on

By Allen Payton

Parishioners and guests filled the Most Holy Rosary Catholic church sanctuary on Saturday, August 29 to celebrate the Father Francisco Vicente’s 60 years of priesthood with a multi-cultural mass. A reception followed, allowing all who wanted to personally greet, kiss and congratulate the beloved priest, who has served the Antioch church and Oakland Diocese for 40 of those 60 years.

Father Vicente is a member of the Dominicans order of Catholic priests, founded by the St. Dominic, known as the Order of Preachers, with the designation O.P. after their names.

According to the church’s website -

“Father Francisco Vicente, O.P., came as pastor in 1975, and began the residency program at Holy Rosary for Dominican Brothers studying for the priesthood. Holy Rosary has been home to approximately 20 Brothers over the years. In March of 1979, also under the pastorate of Father Vicente, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, or RCIA, was developed.

Father Vicente celebrates 60 years in the priesthood.

Father Vicente celebrates 60 years in the priesthood.

In January, 1993, after serving nine years as Assistant to the Master of the Dominican Order at its headquarters in Rome, and Judicial Vicar for the Oakland Diocese, Father Francisco Vicente returned to Holy Rosary as pastor. Training began the following June for Life Teen, a program to bring teens into a relationship with Christ through the Eucharist, teachings, and examples of the Core Group.

On Jan.3, 2002 Father Jordan Bradshaw took over as pastor and Father Vicente went on a well deserved sabbatical.

Father Jordan left in July 2009 and Father Roberto Corral, O.P. once again returned to Holy Rosary Parish and currently is the pastor. Holy Rosary is a parish of over 3,000 families and is continuing to grow and develop under Father Roberto Corral, O.P., Father Francisco Vicente, O.P. and Father David Bello, O.P.”

Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church is located at 1313 A Street in Antioch. For more information call (925) 757-4020 or visit their website at

Parishioners in the receiving line to greet and congratulate Father Vicente, center.

Parishioners in the receiving line to greet and congratulate Father Vicente (top right center).

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Antioch, Pittsburg residents earn degree from Western Governors University

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (Grassroots Newswire) August 26, 2015 – The following local students have earned degrees from Western Governors University (WGU). The university held its 29th semi-annual commencement ceremony in Salt Lake City on August 15 and celebrated the graduation of more than 8,500 graduates. In addition to recognizing students who graduated in the past six months, the nation’s first competency-based university marked another major milestone— 50,000 graduates in just 15 years.

*Carla Boyer-Satterfield of Antioch has received her Master of Science in Nursing – Leadership and Management

*Yiffta Pahoma Elsea of Antioch has received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing

*Michael Fronda of Pittsburg has received his Master of Science in Nursing – Leadership and Management

WGU was founded in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality higher education, and in 2000, the university awarded its first degree. The nonprofit university focuses on providing flexible, affordable degree programs that meet the needs of busy working adults, particularly those who have started, but not completed, a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Of WGU’s 50,000 graduates, nearly 20,000 are first-generation college students.

At its August 15 commencement, the university awarded 5,292 undergraduate and 3,220 graduate degrees in business, information technology, K-12 teacher education, and healthcare professions, including nursing.

Graduates reside in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, as well as Armed Forces personnel stationed overseas. President and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, Dr. Charles W. Sorenson, delivered the commencement address. Students who were not able to attend the ceremony in person were able to watch the event via live video stream on the WGU website.

About WGU

Established in 1997 by a bipartisan group of U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, WGU is the pioneer and leader in competency-based education.

The nonprofit, online university has been recognized by the White House as what works in post-secondary education, was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times.

WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. In 2014, the National Council on Teacher Quality ranked WGU’s secondary teacher education program as number one among a nationwide list of 2,400 programs. WGU has earned the support of a number of leading corporations and foundations, including AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lilly Endowment, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank.

More information is available at or by calling 866.225.5948.

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Antioch’s Derek Tha Barber wins TV show competition

Friday, August 21st, 2015
A screen shot of Derek's winning design on the Barber Battle TV show.

A screen shot of Derek’s winning design on the Barber Battle TV show.

By Allen Payton

Derek “Tha Barber” Hernandez is not just another barber who enjoys cutting hair. He’s an artist and his talent won his fame and money, earlier this year on Cedric The Entertainers’ “Cedric’s Barber Battle” TV show.

Plying his trade at Ajja’s Barber Shop in Antioch’s historic downtown Rivertown, Hernandez is known for his portraits and design work.

I’m only 22 but I’ve been cutting hair since I was 12,” he said.

He flew to Los Angeles where the competition occurred inside an actual barber shop.

Derek competed against a barber from Long Island, New York and another from El Paso, Texas. They were judged by three barbers to the stars.

The three contestants had to use soccer balls as the inspiration for the “buzzcut challenge” and had one hour to create their designs.

They had fun joking around and talking smack to each other as they cut their way through the show.

Derek, in Ajja's, with his belt and a new design on a client's head.

Derek, in Ajja’s, with his championship belt and a new design on a client’s head.

While Derek’s competitors buzzed the hexagonal shapes into the head of the men in their chairs, he went a different direction, buzzing in the design of a soccer player kicking a ball into pieces, instead.

He survived the first round, as one of his competitors got cut.

The second round was literally a head-to-head battle.This time they had to incorporate super heroes into their design. Derek was given Batman, while his opponent was given The Flash. More smack talk ensued, but it was Derek who came out on top.

Cedric referred to Derek as “DTB” and said “Your color work brought the Caped Crusader to life.”

The show aired on May 1st, and Hernandez won a championship belt, a package of hair supplies, a feature editorial on and $15,000. The editorial appeared on the website June 29th and can be viewed here.

Derek is married and lives in Antioch.

The show aired on May 1, 2015 and can be viewed on The CW website ( by clicking here.

Ajja’s is located at 508 W. Second Street in Antioch. To make an appointment to get a haircut that’s a work of art call Derek Tha Barber Hernandez at (925) 550-5602.

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