Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Nominations now open for annual community awards at Antioch Chamber of Commerce Inaugural Gala March 9

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce annually celebrates the best of Antioch for their contributions in developing the social and economic well-being of our community.

Friday, March 9, 2018

6:00 PM Hors d’Oeurvres

Silent Auction

7:00 PM Dinner

7:45 Program Begins

Lone Tree Golf Course & Event Center

4800 Golf Course Road, Antioch CA 94531

Cost Per Person: $75 per Person or

Cost Per Table: $700 for a table of eight.

Dress: Cocktail Attire

The Chamber is pleased to open nominations for 2017 in the following categories:

Youth of the Year Download Youth of the Year Nomination Form

Non-profit of the Year Download Non-profit of the Year Nomination Form

Citizen of the Year – Most Impact Download Citizen of the Year – Most Impact – Nomination Form

Citizen of the Year – Lifetime Achievement Download Citizen of the Year – Lifetime Achievement – Nomination Form

Small Business of the Year Download Small Business of the Year Nomination Form

Large Business of the Year Download Large Business of the Year Nomination Form

Green Business of the Year – this will be the first year for this award, and the winner will be selected and presented by Delta Diablo Sanitation District Download Green Business of the Year Nomination Form Nomination forms must be completed and received by the Antioch Chamber of Commerce no later than Friday, January 26, 2018. Please complete these forms and fax to 925.757.5286.  You can also send by email to

Or mail it to:

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce, 101 H Street, Unit 4, Antioch CA 94509


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Antioch’s Najee Harris to play for national college football championship tonight

Monday, January 8th, 2018

Alabama running back Najee Harris hurdles a Vanderbilt player in the Crimson Tide’s 59-0 victory over the Commodores on Sept. 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of

By Luke Johnson

Najee Harris will become the first Antioch High School alum to play in a national championship game in college football.

Najee Harris. By

The true freshman running back and No. 4 Alabama upset No. 1 Clemson in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day, 24-6. The Crimson Tide now faces No. 3 Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship in Atlanta tonight at 5:17 p.m. (Pacific)

“If [Alabama] wins, it will be big, but I also think it will push him even more to get it again next year,” Harris’ personal trainer and close friend Marcus Malu said. “I think Antioch, as a city and a school, that we need to build on that, [and] make sure that we don’t have a one-hit wonder, and turnout some more kids.”

Harris has rushed for 306 yards, 5.6 yards per carry and three touchdowns this season, on top of six receptions for 45 yards. His longest reception came last week for 22 yards — a game in which he had no carries.

Alabama’s ground game has been led by juniors Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough — who are potential prospects for this year’s NFL Draft. Damien Harris is projected to be picked in the second or third round while Scarbrough is expected to be selected between the third and fifth rounds, according to Senior Draft Analyst Charlie Campbell of Walter Football.

Najee Harris has been Alabama’s third option at running back with only 55 carries this season. However, Malu feels his limited action may be a good thing. Harris holds every rushing record at Antioch High School — including carries with 838. He played the majority of his senior year (291 carries) with a knee injury that he hid from the public, for which he underwent surgery last January.

Malu believes this was a productive year for Harris to allow his banged-up body to recover while getting acclimated to the highest level of competition in college football. Although Malu still hopes Harris is utilized and has an excellent performance during tonight’s contest.

“He understands that it’s a process,” Malu said. “If he gets in I’m sure they’ll give him a few touches. If he doesn’t, he understands that this is the business.”

With a lot of local anticipation for this upcoming game between two teams in the Southeastern Conference, Malu said that people come up to him at least three to four times per day to ask about Harris.

“They say, ‘Hey, is the kid gon’ play? Is the kid gon’ get some touches?’ And I’m like, ‘Man, you know, you should be emailing [coach] Nick Saban,’” Malu said while chuckling.

The game will air on ESPN. For more information about the NCAA National Championship football game click here.

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Olympic Gold Medalist Eddie Hart to sign his book about tragedy and triumph at the ’72 games in Antioch, Dec. 18

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Eddie Hart with his new book entitled “Disqualified”.

Meet the two-time World Record-holder at Barnes & Noble

By Allen Payton

Having previously equaled the World Record, Martinez-born and Pittsburg-raised Eddie Hart was a strong favorite to win the 100-Meter Dash at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. The inexplicable happened, he was disqualified for arriving seconds after his quarterfinal heat. Ten years of training to become the “World’s Fastest Human.” The title attached to the Olympic 100-meter champion was lost in a heartbeat. How could this have possibly happened on athletics’ biggest stage, the Olympic Games?

Hart provides his story in a new book he’s written with the help of friend and former Oakland Tribune sports reporter, Dave Newhouse, entitled “Disqualified – Eddie Hart, Munich 1972, and the Voices of The Most Tragic Olympics.”

A Champion Since High School

Hart moved to Pittsburg when he was eight years old, and attended Village Elementary and Central Junior High. He graduated from Pittsburg High in 1967 where he lettered every year as a member of the track team, in the 100, 200 and long jump. He won “the conference in four events, including the 4×100 relay in 1966, then he repeated in the 100 and 200 in 1967,” Hart shared.

He then went on to attend Contra Costa College in San Pablo.

“That’s where I really blossomed,” Hart said.

It’s where he won the 100 and 200 at the junior college state meet in 1969.

Hart then transferred to U.C. Berkeley where he majored in Physical Education, because he wanted to be a track coach. In his first year, he won the 100-meter race at the PAC-8 championships and placed second in the 200.

Then at the NCAA national championships that year, Hart won the 100 and running anchor, helped his team win the 4×100 relay, as well.

One of his teammates, Isaac Curtis, who went on to play wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, came in second in that same 100-meter race, making it the only time in NCAA history that teammates from the same school placed first and second in the championship race.

“At the end of that year I made the U.S. national team and toured Europe for six weeks competing in various meets,” Hart shared. “We competed in France, in Russia and Oslo, and Sweden, also.”

Champion in the 5,000-meter Steve Prefontaine was on that same team.

“I knew Pre, well,” Hart said.

First Major Challenge

Then in 1971 he placed second in the 100 and third in the 200 at the NCAA Championships due to an injury earlier in the year, having missed half the season and not even competing in the conference championships.

First Comeback

Hart withdrew from school to train for the Olympics and became an assistant to the head track coach in 1972, at the same time. He entered open competition that year and during the meets Hart made the qualifying times in the 100. In fact, he missed the World Record by just 1/10th of a second running 10 flat at the West Coast Relays in Fresno.

Second Major Challenge

Three weeks before the Olympic trials Hart injured his right hamstring while running in the 200 at the U.S. Championships in Seattle. He couldn’t do any starts between that injury and his first race at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.

“It was terrifying,” he said. “It was tough.”

Then at the trials, “It was a nightmare,” Hart said. “Each race, everyone was ahead of me.  I just kept pulling up.”

Asked if he was hesitant, he replied, “Oh, very much so. I was afraid I was going to reinjure myself.”

“You have to run four races,” Hart explained.  “A heat, a quarterfinal, a semi-final and then the final.”

Second Comeback

In the semifinal I was fourth and they only took four to the final. “I barely made it,” he stated.

“It was a wind-aided race and the first five guys ran a 9.9 in the 100 meters and the fifth-place guy didn’t even qualify,” Hart continued. “I was the fourth guy and I was scared to death, because from the finals they only took the top three.”

In the blocks at the starting line, he was still thinking about his leg, which was bothering him.

“This was all the marbles right here, there was nothing to save,” he shared.

“The gun went off and I was in a dream,” Hart explained. “I ran the best race of my life.”

Before or after, “Ever,” he said. “That was it.”

“I was an Olympian, an Olympic trials champion and the World Record holder at 9.9,” Hart stated proudly.

“It was legal, not wind-aided,” he added.

Hart had equaled the World Record in the 100-meter dash, which had been achieved by only two others before. It wasn’t broken until 1991 when Carl Lewis ran it in 9.86.

He also qualified for the Olympics as the anchor for the U.S. Men’s 4×100 relay team, which was made up of the four finalists in the 100-meter race.

From Triumph to Tragedy

About a month later he was with the U.S. Olympic Team in Boden, Maine for a few weeks to train in similar weather as Munich, Germany. They then competed in Oslo, Norway, France and Italy before arriving in the Olympic Village just a few days before the Opening Ceremony.

A few days later he ran and won his heat.

“It was easier to make it to the finals at the Olympic games than it was to make the finals at the Olympic trials,” Hart shared. “Of the top 10 to 15 sprinters in the world, the top 10 were in the  U.S. at that time.”

After all three U.S. sprinters had won their heats, the coach said “let’s go back to the Olympic Village and rest” Hart explained, “because there was so much time between races. But, that was his schedule.”

The Village was only about a mile or less away from the Olympic Stadium. But, the coach had the incorrect time for the start of the quarterfinals.

They rushed back to the stadium, but it was too late for Hart.  He had missed his race and was disqualified. Thus, the title of his book.

Tragedy Ends in Triumph

Hart’s Olympic story didn’t end there. The following week after the tragic murder of the 11 Israeli team members had halted the games for a day for the memorial, Hart once again ran anchor for the U.S. 4×100 relay team. They won that race in World Record time and he became an Olympic Gold Medalist and a World Record holder, once again. See video of Hart’s leg of the race here.

Returning to Pittsburg he was met with celebrations by the Mayor of Pittsburg and the city.

Hart returned to college to complete his degree, and became a paid assistant track coach at Cal Berkeley. He has since started his philanthropic efforts through his Eddie Hart All In One Foundation which holds an Olympian Track Education Clinic at Pittsburg High, each year.

Faith has been a big part of his life, all of his life. Hart has been a member of Stewart Memorial Methodist Church in Pittsburg since elementary school. He’s taught Sunday School for 35 years and for the past 20 years he’s taught the men’s class.

Asked if faith played a part in his Olympic journey, Hart responded, “In every aspect. I grew up in the church, it couldn’t have been any other way.”

“I never prayed to God for success in track,” he shared. “I asked God to give me strength in life to face the challenges as they come.”

“My prayer is that His will be done. God is interested in spiritual things, in our soul not our flesh,” Hart continued. “Ultimately at the end of the day whatever physical things we’ve accomplished here will be left here. It’s about our souls which are eternal. Our flesh is going to burn up. The Bible is clear.”

Asked if his story will become a movie, Hart said, “We’re working on it.”

But, he has to think about who will play the part of him, he shared with a laugh.

His book includes a foreword by Harvard professor Dr. Cornel West who has been a friend since high school, and whose brother Cliff was Hart’s roommate at Cal.

See Eddie Hart and get your copy of his book signed on Monday, Dec. 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Barnes & Noble book store in Antioch at 5709 Lone Tree Way.

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Antioch’s World Champion Cowboy Jack Roddy to be inducted into San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Jack Roddy sings The Last Cowboy Song with friend Jeff Severson (left) and the California Cowboys at Delta Advocacy Foundation’s 2012 Roddy Ranch Roundup on Saturday, September 29. Photo by Allen Payton

Jack Roddy. Courtesy of Wrangler Network

Joins Dwight Clark, Ken Caminiti, Mark Marquess, and Danielle Slaton

The cowboy, Hollywood stuntman, pilot and philanthropist to be honored at induction ceremony in November

By Allen Payton

The San Jose Sports Hall of Fame will mark its 23rd year of honoring South Bay sports legends when it inducts five new members on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the SAP Center at San Jose.  The inductees hail from the upper echelon of collegiate, professional and/or Olympic competition. Although from different sports in different eras, they have made a lasting impact both on and off the field of play.

The San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Inductees are:

  • Jack Roddy:  Rodeo Hall of Famer, Collegiate and Professional Steer Wrestling Champion
  • Ken Caminiti: Baseball All-Star, Gold Glove Winner and 1996 National League MVP
  • Dwight Clark: San Francisco 49er Wide Receiver, Super Bowl Winner and Humanitarian
  • Mark Marquess: All American Player/Gold Medal and NCAA Championship Coach
  • Danielle Slaton: National Champion Soccer Player, Olympic medalist

Roddy is a five-time champion steer wrestler, once in each decade of his life from his 20’s through his 60’s, and a six-time World Champion. He was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1979. Born Oct. 3, 1937, in San Francisco, Roddy competed in his first Rodeo Cowboy Association (RCA) rodeo at the age of 14 and won $90 in the wild horse race.

Jack Roddy at Salinas in 1978. by Brenda Allen

Early participation in rodeo was not unusual for the youngster who grew up on the family ranch in San Jose where he attended elementary and high school, and spent time on his father’s rodeo grounds near Colma, Calif., riding and roping with his father’s friends in the rodeo business. In 1956, he joined the RCA and competed around the country, entering all the events.

His lanky, 6-foot, 5-inch frame didn’t fit the usual cowboy mold, but it didn’t keep him from becoming college rodeo’s all-around Intercollegiate World Champion Cowboy in 1959 representing Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where Roddy has been instrumental in the survival of the Cal Poly Rodeo Team. That same year he was the World Champion Steer Wrestler, as well. Adding weight to his height, Roddy became a powerful force in steer wrestling in the early 1960s.

He went to the National Finals Rodeo for the first time in 1962. In 1966 and 1968, he won the professional world championship in steer wrestling, in 1966 set a record for total earnings in the event.

In 1991 and 1992 Roddy was the Seniors Steer Wrestling World Champion.

He went on to serve on the RCA as Steer Wrestling Director for over 16 years and in 1997 Roddy was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.

He also won the Steer Wrestling title at the California Rodeo in Salinas in 1962, 1964 and 1966 and was inducted into the California Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2010, as well as the California State Fair Hall of Fame. Today, he mentors future rodeo champions and carries on the traditions of the West.

Roddy and his wife Donna are the owners of the Roddy Ranch just outside the Antioch City limits, where he continues to run cattle on the property he sold to the East Bay Regional Parks District a few years ago. He is the former owner of the Golf Club at Roddy Ranch where he could be seen golfing in his special pair of spiked cowboy golf boots. He has been very involved in the Antioch community through Rotary and the Delta Advocacy Foundation, among others. Roddy has been a singer, a pilot and as a Hollywood stuntman, he worked in four movies, two of which won Academy Awards.

Jack Roddy walking from his plane in younger years. Courtesy

He did the stunts and bronc riding in the movie, “The Horse With The Flying Tale” by Disney which won an Oscar in 1962. Another movie, part of which was filmed in Martinez, “The Great American Cowboy” was an Academy-award winning documentary about one of his bulls named Oscar which lived on his ranch in the Antioch and Brentwood area.

Roddy also had parts in the film, “J. W. Coop” in which, he did the “bull dogging” and then “Twister The Bull From the Sky” another Disney movie, in which he also had a small acting part. Finally, another documentary, “Cowboys in Ireland” about Roddy’s life was shown on TV three years ago. Roddy’s father was born in Ireland and it tells why a lot of Irish have been cowboys.

“It’s a great honor to be in the Hall of Fame with Ken Caminiti and Dwight Clark,” Roddy said when reached for comment at his ranch. “I think it’s the first time rodeo is being included in the hall of fame. I’m from San Jose so I’m very proud to be in there.”

In addition to the documentary, a woman is now working on a book about his life, he shared. Photos of Roddy’s rodeo career can be seen inside the bar at Vic Stewart’s restaurant in Brentwood and on a website someone else created about him,

Jeff Severson, a cowboy friend of Roddy’s and former NFL football player in Super Bowls 7 and 14, will be introducing the champion steer wrestler at the installation dinner.

Each inductee will be recognized with a bronze plaque permanently installed on the concourse at the SAP Center at San Jose. Including the 2017 inductees, there will be 106 South Bay sports icons enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The annual induction is an event of the San Jose Sports Authority, San Jose Arena Authority, SAP Center Management/San Jose Sharks, and the City of San José. The event benefits Special Olympics Northern California and high school sports programs.

“San Jose’s incredibly rich and diverse sports history makes the Hall of Fame selection process very difficult each year,” said Charlie Faas, Chairman of the San Jose Sports Authority Board of Directors.  “The Class of 2017 is a wonderful representation of the deep and meaningful impact athletes and coaches with South Bay connections have made in their respective sports, locally, nationally and internationally. We are excited to welcome these five remarkable individuals into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.”

The November ceremony kicks off with a reception followed by dinner and induction ceremony. Individual tickets begin at $300 each; sponsorship and table packages are available starting at $3,000. For information and to purchase event tickets call (408) 288-2936.

About the San Jose Sports Authority

The San Jose Sports Authority is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the City of San Jose’s economic development, visibility, and civic pride through sports. Serving as the City’s sports commission since its inception in 1991, the Sports Authority has provided leadership and support to attract and host hundreds of sporting events in San Jose and the South Bay.  The Sports Authority also supports and operates community, youth and amateur sports programs, including the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame and the REACH Youth Scholarship Program. To learn more, visit

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Antioch natives and Texas residents need help following Hurricane Harvey

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Jesika Anderson’s home in Dickinson, Texas during flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

By Angelia Tant

Jesika Anderson was born in Antioch in 1991 and was raised by her mother Kelly Anderson in a little three-bedroom home on Parker Lane located off of Cavallo.  Her mother Kelly owned the home for over thirty-five years and sold it in 2016 to move to Arnold California.  Jesika grew up in this home with her mother and two sisters Jennifer Riley and Karissa Anderson.  Jesika loved their home and their small local town.  Jesika went to elementary, middle school and high school in Antioch.  As a child, Jesika loved to visit the Antioch skating rink.  She loved Antioch and always imagined she would raise her children here just as her mother did.  Jesika has two small children, a daughter named Adelynn age six and a son named Jaxon age nine months whom she raises with her significant other, Kevin Kennedy.

They experienced several strands of bad luck and moved from place to place including Arnold, California where her mother and sister resided.  Finding that stable work was scarce in such a small secluded town, Jesika moved back to Antioch where she secured a job at the Antioch Post Office.  They found a small home to rent but had to move due to the owners wanting to sell the house. They could not find affordable housing in Antioch, be able to pay for daycare for two small children and other living expenses.

This last stroke of bad luck forced them to move from Antioch to Dickinson, Texas where they moved in with Kevin’s brother. Jesika secured a job with the U.S. Postal Service and Kevin was working part-time and caring for the children.

They purchased a car and their luck seemed to be changing when Jesika received the heart-wrenching notice that Hurricane Harvey was on its way.  Eager to evacuate, Jesika was notified by the Post Office that they needed her to stay and work. She was asked to do a 13-mile route of deliveries the day prior to the hurricane hitting. Jesika was notified by her employer that it would only be a hard rain and not a hurricane.  Desperate to retain her employment, she stayed.

The very next day, Jessika and Kevin began seeing the floor in their home slowly fill with water which eventually rose past Kevin’s knees and he’s over six-feet tall.  As they looked outside, the car they had purchased was under water.  Scared with their two small children and other family members in the home they became desperate reaching out for help.  When the emergency crews came to rescue them, they went to the wrong house.  Still seeking help, they reached out to all their family members including the ones located throughout California and used social media to reach out for a rescue.  Frightened, they tried every resource.  Finally, Kevin decided to go and see if his brother’s car would start and it did. The water rose another three feet right after they left.

They fled to Webster, Texas and found a hotel room.  They had found shelter but they weren’t out of deep water yet.  They learned that the hotel was renting rooms out from under people to book other people who were willing to pay higher rates.

Jesika reached out to FEMA.  They stepped in and spoke with the hotel guest services and ensured a secure room for them until the September 26.  Jesika, Kevin, Kevin’s father, brother, sister-in-law and the two small children all shared a room up until FEMA stepped in.  They left with literally the clothes on their back and have only been able to purchase the smallest of life’s necessities, such as warm clothes and items for the children with small gifts of love from their friends and family.  Although every little bit of help is greatly appreciated, it isn’t enough to get them back on their feet.  They have a long road ahead of them.

For those who would like to help Jesika, Kevin and their family financially, a PayPal account has been set up in her name at

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Antioch singer, songwriter heads to Nashville for career in country music

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Allie Sealey performs the National Anthem at the KAT Country Listener Appreciation Concert in June, 2017.

By Allen Payton

This week, Antioch resident Allie Sealey is leaving for Nashville, to perform and record her own songs, and pursue a career in country music. The 2008 Deer Valley High graduate plays guitar and sings, and her following has been growing on social media over the past few years, as people enjoy her songs. Now she’s ready for the big time.

“Just a solo, one-man band going to Nashville, taking it on the road,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve been singing my whole life, and writing songs. But I started pursuing it professionally three years ago.”

“I was sent by Tiki Tom’s in Walnut Creek to an audition for American Idol,” Allie shared.

She also won some contests like the West Coast songwriting show.

Allie has also been mentioned in an article on the Country Rebel music website.

“It’s been one heck of a journey and I’ve really tried to go anywhere the music would take me,” she stated.

That journey has included playing in L.A. a few times this year, at the Santa Monica Pier, and causing her to sleep in her car at times, which she also mentioned with a laugh.

Allie Sealey sings, plays guitar and writes her own music.

As for what inspired her, Allie said it was her grandfather, for whom she was a primary caregiver for several years up until his last moments when “he passed peacefully in my arms, at our home,” she shared. “After my grandpa passed away it kind of catapulted me into this place where I saw how short life was, and I just wanted to do what I like.”

“I’ve written a lot of songs about him, since then,” she added.

Allie successfully used crowdfunding to pay her way to Nashville and record her first album, “in loving memory of my grandfather,” she said.

As for the most recent growth in Allie’s career, it’s thanks to social media.

“I got on Periscope recently, which is an online livestreaming application,” she explained. “I’ve been Instagramming (another online app) all I could. But someone suggested Periscope. I started out with no viewers, then I had 100 viewers, then 500 viewers. It was just growing.”

“I would play for 12 hours. My fingers would bleed and scab over,” said Allie. “My longest session was eight hours. People would give me requests and I would play them, plus some of my original songs.”

Twitter then featured her as an artist who was trending.

“It was my grandpa’s birthday. I had 70,000 people watch my broadcast live,” she exclaimed. “My following started to increase. Now, I have something like 13,900 followers on Periscope.”

Allie shared a story of an interesting coincidence.

“It was weird that my grandfather shared the same birthday as Ronnie Van Zant, the lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd,” she said. “Because they shared their song that I covered, Write It In A Song, on their Facebook page.”

At the time she chose that particular song to sing, Allie wasn’t aware of the connection between the two birthdays.

She’s 27 and has probably written hundreds of songs during her budding career.

“I’m finally doing what I’ve really dreamed of doing which is going to Nashville,” Allie stated. “This has been dedication and really persevering.”

“Anything is possible,” she added.

Allie will be driving to Nashville, performing along the way, sending postcards to her fans as she goes. She will be taking some tambourines and a harmonica with her on the trip.

But the most important instrument she’ll have is a Gibson guitar given to Allie by local rancher and rodeo star John Holman, the best friend of country singer Chris Ledoux – who Garth Brooks mentions in one of his songs. Gibson is a top of the line brand of guitars.

Holman told her, “When I’m in a rodeo I take my best horse. If you’re going to Nashville I think you should take that guitar.” And she is.

Allie has had other help along the way. Her mother, Tina Cianfichi has “been a big support,” Allie shared. Cousins Dominic Cianfichi and Gianna Cianfichi have also helped.

“It’s been a family affair,” she said.

Allie mentioned having “a couple connections out there, thanks to KAT Country radio.” They had her sing at their listener appreciation concert in June.

There’s also a studio lined up that Allie will be using, where she will be performing a song she wrote featuring the guitar, John and his ranch.

“It’s about perseverance,” Allie explained. “John told me three things in life necessary for success are ‘try, heart and guts.’”

So that’s the name of her song, Try, Heart and Guts, one of six to be included on an EP she will be recording.

Her goal once she arrives is to get management and possibly a record label, and of course reach more people with her music.

“More importantly, some of my short-term goals are to record, but also to play some iconic venues – the Bluebird Cafe, the Listening Room,” Allie shared. “To play at and meet with people who are doing the same.”

She’ll be living nearby the Bluebird.

“Like one minute away. I’m super excited,” she offered.

As for her future plans Allie said, “I don’t know if I’ll be coming back to California any time soon.”

“Mom thinks I’ll be back in two months,” she added with a laugh.

She’s a local girl, having grown up in Antioch and attended local schools including Jack London Elementary, Black Diamond Middle, as well as Deer Valley High

“I’m always going to remember where I graduated from,” Allie said.

To listen to her music, enjoy her videos and follow her journey, watch Allie on her website at or on social media by visiting, Periscope, or



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This year’s Relay for Life means something different for one Antioch woman

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Members of the Cruising for a Cure Team at this year’s Relay for Life: Melissa’s daughter Malea, mother Brenda, Aunt Vicky, Melissa and her friend Crystal at this year’s event on Sat., June 24, 2017.

By Allen Payton

The annual Relay for Life fundraiser in Antioch for the American Cancer Society was dedicated to a six-year-old boy, whose nickname is Squishy and was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer when he was just three. During the Opening Ceremonies on Saturday morning it was announced that the Antioch effort had already raised $30,000.

This is Melissa Warren’s third time at the annual 24-hour event. But this year is different, because one year ago today she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, which has spread to her bones. So she’s designated as a fighter, as well as a survivor.

Melissa’s husband Dave, Melissa and daughter Malea “cruising” around the Deer Valley High School track on Saturday, June 24th.

Her aunt Vicky Galloway has been participating in the Relay for years and started the Cruise for a Cure team. Not only do the “cruise” around the track, the effort raises money for her team by organizing an actual sea cruise every year and a half on Carnival Cruise Lines, with the help of Tammy Larsen of Almost There Travel.

Carnival pays a per cabin donation to the Antioch Relay for Life. The last cruise was a Halloween themed cruise on Oct. 30, 2016 and raised $2,430 for Vicky’s team, for this year’s relay.

“The money that’s raised here goes toward helping people in Antioch,” Vicky explained.

Her team’s effort isn’t benefiting Melissa’s battle, directly. But Melissa said “when I first found out I have breast cancer I received a check to help with rent from the American Cancer Society. So, it’s all connected.”

Melissa’s treatment for her cancer has included targeted radiation to her right femur, and just last month a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, at the same time. Melissa said she spent a week in the hospital and is still recovering. She is to have bimonthly scans to check and see if the cancer appears in any other area.

Joining Vicky and Melissa on Saturday were Melissa’s mom, Brenda Adams, and her daughter Malea and friend Crystal and other friends and family. They along with the other teams will be walking on the track until 10 am Sunday morning at the Deer Valley High School football stadium.

If you would like to attend Vicky and Melissa’s cruise to benefit next year’s Relay for Life, the next one is planned for May, 2018. The cruise will be in the Mexican Riviera for seven nights for as little as $677.25 per person. Call Almost There Travel at 925-238-0001 or stop by their office at 506 W. 2nd Street in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown.

Let’s pray for the complete healing for Melissa and other cancer fighters in Antioch.

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Antioch fitness trainer competes on American Ninja Warrior “by accident”

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Anthony Trucks competes on American Ninja Warrior on Sunday, June 12, 2017. Photo from Christina Trucks’ Facebook page.

Anthony Trucks. Photo from his Facebook page.

Qualifies for next round to air July 24

By Luke Johnson

If you aren’t into basketball and were watching TV on Monday night, June 12, you might have seen a familiar face. Without telling him, Anthony Trucks’ wife signed him up for NBC’s hit competition show American Ninja Warrior.

“This was accidental,” Trucks said. “My wife started filling out the application without me knowing.”

Trucks finished in 10th place out of 135 competitors in the regional qualifier that aired the same night the Golden State Warriors clinched the NBA Championship, but still reached over five million viewers. Trucks was one of 30 to move onto the next round which will broadcast July 24.

“My wife pushes me into doing a bunch of things because she knows I’m capable of doing them,” Trucks said. “Not that I don’t think I’m capable, but she always has the desire to see me do well – which is awesome.”

Trucks is a locally renowned owner of Trucks Training gym, as well as an author, speaker and former football player.

He recorded 99 tackles and 11 sacks his senior year at the University of Oregon. His 15 sacks in a single season at Antioch High School (Class of 2002) is the third most in school history despite missing three games. He then played on the practice squads in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

To prepare for the show, Trucks trained at APEX NorCal in Concord – which is self-labeled the “Parkour and Ninja Warrior Gym.” It is owned by Alan Connealy who has appeared on American Ninja Warrior several times.

“I went there because it’s not your typical kind of training,” Trucks said. “Overall, I worked on grip strength stuff, and hanging from obstacles and tried to cut some weight.”

Trucks was the heaviest contestant to advance in the regional qualifier at 225 pounds. “This truck has no breaks,” he said during his preview on the show.

To watch his performance on the June 12th episode, click here. To watch the complete episode of the Los Angeles regional final, click  here. Then be sure to watch and see how he does and cheer for him on Moday, July 24.

To learn more about Trucks and his compelling life story visit

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