Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

DA’s office expands education outreach on cyber-bullying, campus and online safety for kids

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Starting on September 14, 2017, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office Sexual Assault Unit, in conjunction with the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, expanded an outreach program directed at parents, teachers and students on the topics of cyber-bullying, campus sexual assault awareness and online safety for kids.  The presentations are aimed at educating parents and teachers on new trends involving social media, as well as providing students with information and tools to improve campus safety and prevent online exploitation.

“The effort was started last year, first at DVC,” according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves. “The first presentation in a high school was at Campolindo in Moraga.”

“Since then we’ve been working with police officers and those in our office on the task force,” he continued. “Campus sexual assault awareness is geared toward high school seniors and community colleges, due to the content. The cyberbullying and online safety for kids is for everyone, but mainly targeted to middle school students and parents, with presentations for both,”

“We’ve been working to have somewhere for schools to call to have presentations made for students and parents,” Graves added.

Schools, community organizations and parent/teacher groups who are interested in learning more can call Deputy District Attorney Lauren Whalen at 925-957-8603. 

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Antioch police seek teen girl who pepper sprayed male student at Deer Valley High Monday morning

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

By Sergeant Rick Smith, Antioch Police Community Policing Bureau

On Monday, September 11, 2017 at 10:48 AM, Antioch Officers responded with ConFire for the report of students and staff exposed to Pepper Spray while in class. It was learned that a female juvenile got into an argument with a male juvenile. During the argument, the female sprayed the male with pepper spray.

Two students and three school staff members were exposed through contact when they tried to intervene. All were later treated by medical staff on scene and then cleared through area hospitals. The responsible is known and is currently being sought.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Antioch Police at (925) 778-2441. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Rep. DeSaulnier invites high school students to attend “Service Academy Nights” in Richmond, Pleasant Hill in Sept.

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) announced he will host two upcoming “Service Academy Nights” in Pleasant Hill and Richmond. All students living in the Eleventh Congressional District of California who would like to apply to one of the nation’s premier service academies are invited to attend.

At each of the events, service academy representatives will be on hand to speak with interested students, including members from the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Military Academy (aka West Point). Service academy representatives will give presentations, and Congressman DeSaulnier’s staff will provide a briefing on the nomination process.

Students who wish apply to a service academy must ensure a completed application is received by Congressman DeSaulnier’s office no later than October 31, 2017.

Richmond Service Academy Night Thursday, September 14, 2017 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Richmond City Council Chambers 440 Civic Center Plaza First Floor Richmond, CA 94804

Pleasant Hill Service Academy Night Thursday, September 28, 2017 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Diablo Valley College The Diablo Room, 3rd Floor HFS Building 321 Golf Club Road Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 Details: A map of DVC’s campus can be found here.

For more information on applying to any of the service academies or to RSVP, please contact Congressman DeSaulnier’s office at or (925) 933-2660.

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Antioch and Deer Valley High football season preview

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

By Jesus Cano

The high school football season kicks off on Friday, August 25. Deer Valley has the tough task of hosting the returning NCS Division 1 champion Monte Vista, while Antioch travels to Stockton to face Lincoln High. Following are previews of the teams:


A 30-year hiatus from playoff football turned into three consecutive postseason appearances for the Panthers. Last year they went 8-5 and headlined the North Coast Section Division one final but unfortunately lost to Monte Vista 42-18.

Najee Harris was the poster boy not only for Panther football, but the entire NCS. With the absence of the current University of Alabama running back, many people believe that Antioch football will vanish into the shadows. However, this team carries a lot more players in their arsenal to win back the Bay Valley Athletic League championship.

Seniors Dalaan Green and Omari Harris are set to fill the running back position. Green is described to have incredible speed by his coaches, he recorded a 10.94 in the 100 mm NCS Meet of Champions finals. Harris has offer has multiple division one offers, but is currently committed to Cal.

Dudley says his offensive and defensive line are going to excel in strength. His two returning tackles Alberto Sandoval and Garrett Robinson. Defensively, Timmy Dorsey has had a good showing on the line. Jake Hope and Josiah Simmons will play along on the line with him

Junior Vinny Ballardo is praised by Dudley, stating that he is a key engine on offense. He will be playing tight end along with starting at linebacker with Green and Harris.

Antioch graduated four senior wide receivers, but have junior Gaudie Campbell and senior Isaiah Avery are the weapons Junior quarterback Willem Karnthong will have at his disposal. Campbell has offers from BYU and Eastern Washington. Both of these players will also be playing defensive back. Dudley also says that Dejuan Butler is going to be make a huge impact at safety due to his size and skill.

Deer Valley

The Wolverines have not won a single BVAL game since the arrival of head coach Robert Hubbard. If there were to better time to have a breakout season, it would this year.

A challenge that Hubbard notes is that all of the rosters in the Deer Valley football program reaches the low 30s. With that being said, he expects many of his players to be able to play both ways.

“It is a work in progress right now,” Hubbard said.

Senior quarterback Dior Walker is described to be a dual threat quarterback. He passed for 1,205 yards but only threw for six touchdowns. However, he did lead his team in rushing with 749 yards. He has two returning senior wide receivers in Evan Bittle and Gianni Parnell, they will also be playing both ways.

Patrick Robinson will be playing running back for Deer Valley, Hubbard says he was a talented athlete that was able to help the Wolverines offense.

Hubbard highlights that he returns a strong offensive and defensive line that feature the cousins Albert and King Matu.

Deer Valley will have entire new set of linebackers, where Hubbard highlights that the battle for these positions will be intense, but some top contenders for the position will be senior Evan Bittle and Jordan Pringle

Senior Josh Scott is coming off a solid season where he was able to claim a 2nd team All-BVAL slot at defensive back.

Senior kicker Ryan Redman is another key player for Deer Valley according to Hubbard. Redman was ranked as the nation’s 17th best kicker via Chris Sailer Kicking Camps. Redman was successful with 11/14 PATs along with ⅔ field goal attempts.

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Antioch Council approves additional smoke shop regulations

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Prevents new ones from opening in the city, with exceptions

By Allen Payton

With only three of the five members in attendance, the Antioch City Council during their July 25 meeting, voted to approve new regulations for smoke shops that sell cigarettes and drug paraphernalia, and voted to apply for a $10 million grant for a desalination plant. Both Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe and Council Member Monica Wilson were absent.

Due to the need for a 4/5’s vote to adopt, the council had to postpone the decision on an urgency item for a moratorium on the conversion of seniors-only mobile home parks to all-ages housing until the Aug. 8 meeting.

Smoke Shop Regulations

The council approved a new definition of tobacco product and what a tobacco and drug paraphernalia retailer is, amending the existing city ordinance. (Read the complete staff report and ordinance, here: Antioch Smoke Shop Ordinance new regs 07-25-17)

According to the city staff report by Community Development Director Forrest Ebbs, the action prohibits, “with a couple of exceptions, a general medical exception…there’s also an exception on convenient stores which are ancillary to gas stations, as long as less than 20% of their sales area is devoted to tobacco.”

“The current owner can operate it, but it would not be allowed to be sold and continue,” he explained. “Five years is the mark, giving someone ample time to recoup their investment.”

No members of the public spoke during the public hearing. However, letters were submitted by organizations representing the tobacco retailers.

“I’m glad we’re finally at this point on this ordinance,” said Council Member Lori Ogorchock. “Only a few people have reached out to me.”

“This ordinance is coming to fruition, I hope tonight because of the smoke shops and our children,” she explained. “I don’t believe these smoke shops should be allowed in our city. So, I’m happy to see this on the agenda.”

She then chided the tobacco retail business owners for not attending the meeting and speaking about the issue.

“I feel it’s every business owner’s responsibility to know what’s going on in this city,” Ogorchock stated. “I would hope and pray you would read the agenda packets. There’s five members on the council you can reach out to. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Please know what’s going on in the city if you own a business in this city.”

“I appreciate the comments from my colleague, Councilwoman Ogorchock,” he said. “The only question is existing businesses. Are they grandfathered? How will this affect them?”

“This ordinance seems like it will give them more direction and understanding,” Tiscareno continued. He asked about “family member transferrable businesses. Those are things that kind of concern me. I agree we shouldn’t have any newer ones. It doesn’t deny those stores of selling their products. It’s just more keeping that corner neighborhood and our kids safe.”

“They’re given a certain amount of time if they decide to get out of it to have potential new owners…up to 2023 for an established business to get established with the new criteria,” he stated.

“It’s unfortunate that these store owners weren’t here to express their concerns. Shame on them, really for not being here,” Tiscareno said reiterating Ogorchock’s concern. “I think there was enough ample time for those folks to be here. I actually received calls an hour before city council for us to postpone this. I’m not going to delay this because of folks not looking at an agenda.”

He asked for clarification about the new regulations on existing businesses and potential family owners.

Ebbs responded with explanation of the aspects of the ordinance.

“I’ll speak to the two kinds of tobacco retailers that are probably important to you. The first is called the smoke shop which is a place that has more than 20% dedicated to the sale of tobacco. Those businesses, we counted 11…in the city. They may continue to operate. They don’t have to make any changes in their operation. They may sell their business to a new operator. But as of Jan. 1, 2023 they may no longer sell their business. So, that’s the restriction on those types of businesses.”

“Other tobacco retailers in the city, it’s a very similar case except for there’s no restrictions on them selling it,” Ebbs continued. “So, if you’re a corner market you sell groceries and all sorts of things, and you happens to sell cigarettes also, and you’re less than 5,000 square feet, you may continue to operate without restrictions. Five years come and go then you can sell it.”

“New operators coming in have, very restrictive,” he stated. “You have to be over 5,000 square feet or tied to a gas station. Other than that the city will not be entertaining new tobacco retailers of any sorts. Even a small mom and pop corner market types. That is what is written before you.”

Tiscareno asked about transfers of businesses to “inherited family members.”

“Interfamilial transfers would be protected,” said Interim City Attorney Derek Cole.

“The 20%, where did that number come from?” asked Mayor Sean Wright.

“It’s observed in other ordinances that we looked at,” Ebbs responded. “You’d be hard pressed to find a store with 20%. Those stores that have vertical storage of cigarettes, at least…the actual floor area is pretty small.”

“I should point out too that drug paraphernalia sales are not permitted at tobacco retailers going forward, on new operators,” he added.

“The amendments we made tonight answer the questions in those letters we received,” Ogorchock stated. “This is a safety issue for our children and a quality of life issue for the City of Antioch.”

Tiscareno asked about hookah lounges and potential cigar bars, brought up by Thorpe at the previous council meeting, and if they would be permitted.

“If a business did come up in the future that we felt was legitimate, council could hear that and amend the ordinance or is this it?” he asked.

“You could absolutely amend it,” Ebbs stated.

“We’re going to be pursuing a separate effort that relates to smoking…in parks, and certain types of flavored tobacco,” he added. There’s a lot of momentum and a lot of that happening in the county.”

The council adopted the ordinance on a 3-0 vote, but it must come back for a second reading at the next council meeting on Aug. 8, for a final vote.

Grant Application for Desalination Plant

The council voted to direct City Manager Ron Bernal “to submit a grant application, execute a funding agreement and certify funding disbursement to the California Department of Water Resources for grant funding up to $10,000,000 from the Proposition 1 Water Desalination Grant Program for the Brackish Water Desalination Project.”

Chichibu Sister City 50thAnniversary

The council also recognized the 50th anniversary of the Antioch-Chichibu, Japan Sister City relationship. Mayor Sean Wright recently returned from a trip to Japan, along with his family members and other members of the Sister City Committee.

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Antioch teen qualifies for state track and field meet in high jump, ties for fifth

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Antioch resident Dylan Hicks competes and ties for fifth in the men’s high jump with a jump of 6’5″ at the 2017 CIF state championship meet on Saturday, June 3, at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium on the Buchanan High School campus, in Clovis, CA. Photo by Debbie Hicks

By Allen Payton

Antioch teen, Daylon Hicks, who at the time was a sophomore at Clayton Valley Charter School in Concord, qualified for the 2017 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) state championship track and field meet in men’s high jump.  The meet was held on Saturday, June 3, at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium on the Buchanan High School campus, in Clovis, CA.

Hicks was the only sophomore among the top five jumpers who placed. He tied for 5th place with a jump of 6’5”.

Hicks reached his personal best of 6’6” at Stanford University’s Invitational Track Meet for high school and college students on April 1, 2017.  He accomplished that after coming off a severe laceration to his right foot and big toe area, three weeks earlier.

Hicks is a scholar athlete who does will in both academics and sports. In addition to competing in the high jump, he also plays football and basketball at Clayton Valley Charter.

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Speak Rivers Youth Outreach Project Back to School Celebration in Antioch, Sat., Aug. 5

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Founded by award winning principal, motivational speaker and activist, Theresa Everett the Speak Rivers Youth Outreach Project is meant to give to our community, our kids, and our families by sending messages of positivity.

The free event will be held this Saturday, August 5 from 12:00 Noon to 4:00 p.m. at Williamson Ranch Park, corner of Lone Tree Way and Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch.

There will be a backpack giveaway, jumper, food, music featuring the premiere of Come & Spy, and fun activities for the kids.

Theresa Everett

Everett, principal of Skyview Elementary School in Riverside County, CA, was honored in 2016 as Elementary Principal of the Year by the Western Riverside County Association of School Managers. 

Her school was awarded a California Gold Ribbon in 2016 by State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Antioch’s own Tom Torlakson.

The Gold Ribbon Awards recognize California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. These include the California Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, California English Language Development Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.

“These schools shine as bright beacons for others, putting forth an exemplary effort to ensure that every student is ready for 21st century college and careers…California teachers are developing an education model for the nation, training the students of today to be the problem-solvers, inventors, and pioneers of tomorrow,” said Torlakson.

Learn more about Everett, here

Connect with Speak Rivers online at:, Facebook: or Instagram: speakrivers.

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Antioch students honored by Fleet Reserve Association for patriotic essays

Friday, July 7th, 2017

Gary Blackburn, past National President of the Fleet Reserve Association, with Paideia Academy essay award winners Hugo Cortes, Khaaliq Parker-Thomas, and Eddy Crowder.  Also pictured is Eddy’s sister Heidi Crowder. Photo by Sheri Crowder.

On Wednesday, May 24, the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) honored three Antioch students for winning first place at their respective grade levels in the annual FRA Americanism Essay Competition.  The theme for this year’s competition was, “What Memorial Day Means to Me.”

The three students, all of whom attend Paideia Academy, are: 7th grader Khaaliq Parker-Thomas, 8th grader Eddy Crowder, and 10th grader Hugo Cortes.  Each of the students was presented with a cash prize and an American flag that had been flown over the United States Capitol.  They were hosted at a dinner held at the Veterans Memorial Building in Vallejo.

Gary Blackburn, past National President of FRA, expressed his appreciation for the students, and for Paideia Academy, which has seen students entering the competition for over a decade.

“We are very pleased to receive the essays from the Paideia students every year,” he said.  “Patriotism is something we, as veterans, value very highly, and working with a school that emphasizes this important character trait gives us great satisfaction.”

Sheri Crowder, Administrator for the school shared her thoughts.

“We consider it a great privilege to be able to enter the patriotic writing and speaking competitions,” she said. “It gives the students an opportunity to develop their research and writing skills.  It helps to teach the students how to focus their thoughts, and express them in a clear, logical way.”

“It also gives students the opportunity to think of something and someone bigger than themselves,” Crowder continued. “Most importantly, it gives all of us the opportunity to meet veterans and hear their stories.  It never fails to amaze me that in our attempt to honor veterans, we come away blessed and honored by them. Thank you to all the veterans.”

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