East County Grand Community Chanukah Festival and Menorah Lighting in Brentwood Dec. 18

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Biggest Menorah in Eastern Contra Costa!

You are invited to join us for a grand Chanukah Celebration

Come celebrate the Festival of Lights with Chabad of the Delta and our surrounding communities as we light the Grand Menorah on Sunday, December 18 at 4:30 pm in Brentwood City Park.

Our local community leaders will participate in kindling the giant “Menorah of Freedom”. There will be fun activities for everyone including:

  • Chanukah crafts, glitter art and a photo op!
  • Delicious traditional latkes and donuts!
  • A Grand Raffle!
  • Fire and LED performer Aaron Zamarron

For many of us, Chanukah prompts warm, loving memories from our childhood. We light the Menorah every night of the 8-night holiday. These lights offer warmth, joy, strength, inspiration and renews our sense of identity.

Rabbi Peretz Goldshmid, director of the Chabad of the Delta Jewish Center, describes Chanukah as “a holiday that enriches our lives with the light of tradition. In ancient times our ancestors rededicated the Temple in Jersusalem with the Menorah. Today, we rededicate ourselves to making this world a better and brighter place.”

As we celebrate in East Contra Costa, we join millions the world over, promoting the universal message that good will prevail over evil, freedom over oppression and light over darkness!

Make sure not to miss this opportunity to celebrate with your family and friends! Outdoor event, please dress accordingly.

This is a FREE event. All donations are appreciated! Register by clicking here.

For more information, contact Chabad of the Delta at (925) 420-4999 or online at JewishDelta.com/Chanukah.

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Publisher @ December 6, 2022

Hayward man arrested for mayhem, aggravated assault in blinding eye of Antioch fast food worker

Posted in: News, Police & Crime | Comments (0)

Isaac White-Carter. Booking photo by APD

U.S. Marshals assist; suspect arrested last year and earlier this year for battery and threats

By Public Information Officer Ashley Crandell, Support Services Division, Antioch Police Department

Isaac White-Carter caught on surveillance camera at Habit Burger Grill on Nov. 12, 2022.

On November 12, 2022, at approximately 5:25 pm, the Antioch Police Department Dispatch Center began receiving calls of an assault that occurred at The Habit Burger Grill located at 2430 Mahogany Way in Antioch. Officers learned an employee was punched in the face multiple times after protecting an individual with an intellectual disability from being bullied. The victim lost her right eye because of the incident.

Our Investigations Bureau worked tirelessly to identify and locate the suspect over the last several weeks. Through that ongoing investigation, Isaac White-Carter, a 20-year-old resident of Hayward, was identified as the assailant. Antioch Police Department Special Operations Unit detectives worked in collaboration with the United States Marshalls Service (USMS) to locate Mr. White-Carter. USMS Agents with the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested White-Carter in Hayward, California, this morning and turned him over to Antioch Police detectives. He has been arrested for the felony charges of mayhem and aggravated assault causing great bodily injury.  Detectives will be presenting their case to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

We want to thank the Contra County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Marshalls Service, and members of the community who came forward to assist with this investigation.

During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Dec. 5, Detective John Cox shared that the victim will be helped by the Victims of Violent Crimes through the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office. He also shared that White-Carter is known to Antioch Police and that he was arrested last year.

According to localcrimenews.com, White-Carter was arrested by Concord Police on August 31, 2021, for 243(A) – battery on a person and 422(A) – threats of violence. He was again arrested on March 14, this year for 243(E)(1) – battery on a spouse, cohabitant or former spouse and
422 – threats of violence.

Surveillance video screenshot of incident at Habit Burger Gril on Nov. 12, 2022.

The members of the Antioch Police Department express their support and gratitude to the victim for helping a community member in need.

If anyone has further information pertaining to the case, please contact Detective John Cox at jcox@antiochca.gov. You can also text an anonymous tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword ANTIOCH.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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Publisher @ December 5, 2022

Mt. Diablo Beacon Lighting Ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 7

Posted in: Community, History, Military & Veterans, Parks | Comments (0)

Mount Diablo Summit Beacon. By Stephen Joseph.

On Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

By Laura Kindsvater, Communications Manager, Save Mount Diablo  

On December 7th, Mount Diablo’s Beacon will be relit by a survivor of Pearl Harbor supported by a Save Mount Diablo team.

The Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, Chapter 5 are pleased to co-sponsor this 59th Annual National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Beacon Lighting Ceremony with Save Mount Diablo, California State Parks, and California State University, East Bay.

We invite you to attend the ceremony to pay tribute to the lives that were lost and honor our surviving veterans of Pearl Harbor. The ceremony will be held at the California State University, East Bay Concord Campus, at 4700 Ygnacio Valley Road in Concord.

Viewing of the new USS Arizona exhibit at the CSUEB Concord Campus will be available from 3:00 PM to 3:45 PM as well as 45 minutes post ceremony. The ceremony will commence at 3:45 PM.

The program begins with the posting of colors, pledge of allegiance, and national anthem.

Ted Clement, Executive Director of Save Mount Diablo; Clint Elsholz, Acting Diablo Range District Superintendent for California State Parks; and Robert Phelps, PhD, Executive Director of California State University, East Bay Concord Campus will then speak.

Pearl Harbor survivors in attendance will be introduced by Wayne Korsinen, honorary member of the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors.

A performance of “God Bless the USA” by Erin Hegerty and guitar solo by Darren Brouestle will follow. Then Catharine Baker, former State Assemblymember, will speak. Afterwards, Frank Dorritie of Bugles Across America will perform “Taps.” At 5 PM, the Beacon will be lit.

“The Beacon lighting is a tribute to those individuals that lost their lives at Pearl Harbor,” remarked Earl “Chuck” Kohler, the last known remaining serviceman survivor in Contra Costa County.

The ceremony is also an opportunity to honor the survivors.

The ceremony will also be broadcast on Contra Costa Television during the following dates and times:

  • Wednesday, December 14 at 7 PM
  • Thursday, December 15 at 2 AM
  • Saturday, December 17 at 5:30 PM
  • Monday, December 19 at 8 PM
  • Tuesday, December 20 at 10 AM
  • Wednesday, December 21 at 5 PM
  • Thursday, December 22 at 6 PM

The Beacon on Mount Diablo was originally installed and illuminated in 1928 to aid in transcontinental aviation. It is one of the four guiding beacons installed along the west coast by Standard Oil of California and is the only one known to still be operational.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Beacon’s light was extinguished during the west coast blackout, for fear it could enable an attack on California. It stayed dark until Pearl Harbor Day in 1964, when Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces during World War II, relit the Beacon in a commemorative ceremony and suggested it be illuminated every December 7th to honor those who served and sacrificed.

Since that day, Pearl Harbor veterans and their families have gathered every December 7th to see the Beacon light shine once again.

The Beacon now shines brighter than ever since it underwent an extensive restoration process in 2013 (thanks to a campaign led by Save Mount Diablo) to ensure it continues to shine for many more years. The Pearl Harbor Survivors now know that the Beacon will shine long after they are gone.

The Beacon is lit at sunset and shines all night on this evening each year. Beginning this year, it was also lit on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. On Sunday, April 11, 2021, Save Mount Diablo concluded a year of lighting the Beacon weekly to bring light and hope to our region during the worst of the pandemic.

About Save Mount Diablo

Save Mount Diablo is a nationally accredited, nonprofit land trust founded in 1971 with a mission to preserve Mount Diablo’s peaks, surrounding foothills, watersheds, and connection to the Diablo Range through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain’s natural beauty, biological diversity, and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area’s quality of life; and provide educational and recreational opportunities consistent with protection of natural resources. To learn more, please visit www.savemountdiablo.org.

What:  Save Mount Diablo; the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Chapter 5; and California State Parks will light the “Eye of Diablo,” the Beacon atop Mount Diablo to memorialize National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. As the number of survivors has decreased over the years, the number of people attending the ceremony in honor of these heroes has increased, including many sons and daughters vital to organizing the service.

When: Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

USS Arizona viewing begins at 3:00 PM, ceremony at 3:45 PM, Beacon lighting at 5:00 PM

Where: The ceremony will be held at the California State University, East Bay Concord Campus, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Road, in Concord.

Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/jXhcW

Access: Parking is available on campus, and parking fees will be waived for this event. See campus map.

For more information on the Beacon visit: https://savemountdiablo.org/experience/events-outings/beacon-lighting/

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Publisher @ December 5, 2022

Fatal traffic collision in Antioch claims life of 41-year-old man Sunday

Posted in: News, Police & Crime | Comments (0)

Photo by Daryl Miller.

By Sergeant Rob Green, Antioch Police Traffic Unit

On Sunday, December 4, 2022, at 10:03 AM, the Antioch Police Department responded to a report of a collision at the eastern intersection of James Donlon Blvd. and Silverado Drive. The collision involved two vehicles and one of the vehicles was overturned. One person, a 41-year-old male, was ejected from the overturned vehicle and was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency medical personnel. The driver and passenger of the other involved vehicle received medical attention at a local hospital for complaints of pain.

The Antioch Traffic Unit is in the preliminary stages of the investigation and have not yet determined the cause of the collision. This is an ongoing and active investigation, and no further information will be released at this time.

Anyone with additional information about this incident is asked to contact the Antioch Police Department Traffic Unit at (925) 779-6864, or email Officer Blumberg at fblumberg@antiochca.gov.

We offer our deepest condolences to the families affected by this tragic event.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Publisher @ December 5, 2022

Antioch celebrates Holiday Delites with parade, Christmas tree lighting in rainy Rivertown

Posted in: Community, Holiday, Rivertown | Comments (0)

Santa and The Grinch make appearances!

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Publisher @ December 5, 2022

Following hand ballot count Torres-Walker beats Motts by 3 votes in Antioch Council race

Posted in: News, Politics & Elections, City Council | Comments (0)

Re-elected Antioch District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker and the final results of the election from the Contra Costa County Elections Division.

8 of the challenged ballots were not cured; results now certified; possible recount could be costly

“I don’t think I can do this without you…I want to partner with you” – Torres-Walker to Motts

Joy Motts and Tamisha Torres-Walker hug and speak following the hand ballot count on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. Photo by Allen D. Payton

By Allen D. Payton

After waiting weeks for the ballot counting to be completed, including a hand count, a change in the lead then a tie as of last Wednesday, Nov. 23, and 19 challenged ballots that required curing, the Antioch City Council race in District 1 has been decided. Incumbent Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker beat challenger and former Councilwoman Jot Motts by just three votes. The final results according to the Contra Costa County Elections Division Torres-Walker ends with 1,467 or 34.36% and Motts has 1,464 votes or 34.29 percent of the vote. Diane Gibson-Gray ended the race with 1,339 votes or 31.26% to round out the close contest.

Following the hand count of the ballots at the county elections office on Thursday, the two candidates who were waiting and watching the hand count at the county elections office, along with one supporter, each, made brief comments, hugged and spoke with each other.

“It’s been a long haul,” Torres-Walker said with a laugh.

Speaking with Motts she said, “I don’t think I can do this without you. You love Antioch and I want to partner with you. I don’t know what people downtown

want. You do. I want you to tell me, advise me and I want to work with you.”

A disappointed Motts agreed to then said about the election results and the hand ballot count, “I really appreciate they did this, that they took the extra time.”

Elections Services Specialist Evan Ayers (right) collects counted ballots from Elections Division staff during a hand count on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. Photo by Allen D. Payton

Possible Recount Could Be Costly, 8 Challenged Ballots Not Cured

Regarding questions and discussions by some Antioch residents and others of a recount with the results so close, Assistant Registrar of Voters Helen Nolan said, “Anyone can ask for a recount, but they have to be willing to front the money to pay for it. The daily cost is anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000. It depends on the method the requester wants.”

“Yesterday, we used printed images of every ballot,” she explained. “A recount would not be dissimilar. We could use the images of the ballots which would take less time and cost less. The most expensive way and would take the longest time is if we have to pull the paper ballots from the stored ballots. That’s because we don’t store them by precinct anymore. They’re stored in batches as they came in. So, among the 1.3 million ballot pages from this election we’d have to find 4,500 ballots with the District 1 election votes on them.”

“If the election is overturned, they receive a refund,” she added.

Asked what difference another hand ballot count would make Nolan responded, “It wouldn’t. We’d be looking at the same ballots as we did, yesterday.”

However, during Thursday’s hand count the elections staff used copies of images of the ballots that had been scanned into the machines not the actual ballots.

Elections Division Voting Systems Manager Travis Ebbert showed those watching yesterday’s count “three ballots that were adjudicated and required a human to make the decision,” Nolan explained. “We separate them by votes and anything you can’t tell they’re adjudicated and the vote determined. The two included votes for both candidates but the person had marked it out. That removed one vote each. The third one was either an overvote or it could have been a vote for either candidate and Tamisha still wins.”

“We went through all the ballots including the 11 out of the 19 challenged ballots were cured since Nov. 23,” she continued. “The other eight ballots remain challenged.”

“We didn’t get a letter back and we weren’t able to cure them,” Nolan stated. “Those were not counted, nor will those ballots be opened during a recount.”

“We’re required to keep everything for this election for 22 months,” she shared.

Asked about the latest vote totals on the Elections Division website Nolan said, “Those are the final numbers. We will be certifying them, today. But those numbers will not change.”

Results Certified

In a press release Friday afternoon, it was announced that Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar Debi Cooper certified the results of the November 8, 2022 General Election today.

“Our elections team has once again administered an accurate, transparent, safe and secure election for Contra Costa County.  This team of expert staff made a very complicated and technical process look easy – it isn’t,” Cooper said. “I am proud of this talented group, who make democracy happen for Contra Costa voters and provide incredible service.  This includes: permanent staff, temporary workers, poll workers, and volunteers. I want to thank each of them for their hard work and civic service.  It is my honor and privilege to certify my last election as the head of this department.”

The Elections Division conducted the canvass to complete the official count of all qualified ballots and to perform audits to verify the tabulation equipment performed as intended.

The purpose of the canvass accomplishes four primary tasks: ensuring that every eligible ballot is counted, that voters only voted once, that proper procedures were followed, and that the vote tabulation system counted ballots properly.

The final turnout for this Primary Election totaled 394,153 ballots cast, representing 56.15% of the 701,969 registered voters of Contra Costa County.

The final official report for this election is now posted on the Contra Costa County Elections website at www.contracostavote.gov.

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Publisher @ December 2, 2022

D.A. Becton explains charging decision of suspect in Antioch robbery homicide of store clerk

Posted in: News, Police & Crime, District Attorney | Comments (0)

Based “on a legal and factual determination — and not an elective, optional, or discretionary one.”

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton issued the following statement on the charging decision of Ronald Benjamin Jackson, III who was arrested for robbing an Antioch gas station convenience store and killing the clerk, James Williams while exchanging gunfire on Sunday morning, Nov. 26. (See related articles here and here)

“The family, friends, and loved ones of James Williams are understandably devastated by the shocking news of his death in a gun battle at the Chevron station in Antioch on November 26th — where he worked as a store clerk. Our sympathies and condolences go out to those closest to him.

The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office declined to file murder charges in this case solely on a legal and factual determination — and not an elective, optional, or discretionary one. It was based upon an established law that clearly states a person cannot pursue another to retrieve stolen property once the threat of bodily injury or harm to the victim has subsided.

The video evidence of the incident clearly shows Ronald Benjamin Jackson, III, and another suspect exiting the Chevron station convenience store after the robbery and running from the scene. Mr. Williams is also seen in the video footage leaving the Chevron station store with a firearm while running after the robbers. Mr. Williams then fired upon Mr. Jackson, hitting him in the leg while he was fleeing and causing him to fall to the ground. Mr. Williams continued to approach Mr. Jackson with his firearm pointing at him when Mr. Jackson fired shots at Williams hitting him twice. Once in the chest and in the leg.

In the eyes of the law, Mr. Williams’ actions ceased to be self-defense when Mr. Williams pursued Mr. Jackson and the other suspect with a firearm — and continued to pursue Mr. Jackson after he shot him.

The legal distinction is clear: when your property and life are being threatened, an individual is legally justified in using deadly force in self-defense. However, once the threat of harm has dissipated, the victim of a property crime cannot then use deadly force to reclaim stolen property.

However, the reality of Mr. Williams’ tragic death will be a substantial factor in the DA’s position in asking for greater penalties in the sentencing of the defendants.

Diana Becton, District Attorney of Contra Costa County”

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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Publisher @ December 2, 2022

Deer Valley, Diablo Vista Elementary locked down Friday due to report of weapon on high school’s campus

Posted in: News, Police & Crime, Education | Comments (0)

By Allen D. Payton

Both Deer Valley High School and nearby Diablo Vista Elementary were placed on lock down due to the report of a weapon on the high school’s campus Friday. But the report turned out to be false and normal schedules at both schools have resumed and police officers remain in the vicinity.

According to Antioch Unified School District Superintendent Stephanie Anello, the following messages were sent to parents and staff:

This is Mr. Lewis, Principal of Deer Valley High School. A short time ago, an individual claiming to be a Deer Valley student called the Antioch Police Department and reported that a non-student was on campus with what appeared to be a weapon. Officers were immediately dispatched, and the school initiated a lockdown. APD and administration conducted a thorough search of the campus using officers and a drone. No individual was located on campus matching the description given by the alleged student. We have also confirmed that there is no student at Deer Valley with the name the alleged student gave to APD. At this time, APD has lifted the lockdown and students are resuming their normal schedules. Out of an abundance of caution, APD will have officers in the vicinity of the school for the remainder of the school day. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions, etc. Thank you for your support.

“Good afternoon,

This is Ms. Bausola, Principal of Diablo Vista. A short time ago, an individual claiming to be a Deer Valley student called the Antioch Police Department and reported that a non-student was on campus with what appeared to be a weapon. Officers were immediately dispatched and the school initiated a lockdown. Out of an abundance of caution, Diablo Vista initiated a lockdown as well. Both APD and administration did a thorough search of the campuses.  No individual was located on either campus matching the description given by the alleged Deer Valley student who called APD. At this time, APD has lifted the lockdown and students are resuming their normal schedules. Out of an abundance of caution, APD will have officers in the vicinity of the school for the remainder of the school day. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions, etc. Thank you for your support.”

 

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Publisher @ December 2, 2022