Archive for March, 2019

Black & Gold Bash fundraiser for Antioch High April 13

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

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Man dies in solo crash on Deer Valley Road Wednesday afternoon

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Ejected from vehicle

By CHP Contra Costa

On Wednesday, March 27, at about 3:15 pm, Contra Costa CHP was advised by Antioch Police Department of an overturned solo vehicle collision on northbound Deer Valley Road, north of Empire Mine Road, with the driver ejected from the vehicle. Upon emergency personnel and CHP arrival, and with the help of an independent witness, it was determined that a silver Ford Expedition had overturned and the solo male driver (62-year-old man from Antioch) had been ejected. The male driver was transported by Ambulance to a local hospital but unfortunately pronounced deceased upon arrival. The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office will be handling the release of his identity.

In the initial investigation, it appears that the solo male driver of the Ford was at an undetermined speed and unable to stay on the roadway through a curve and veered off the roadway, which subsequently overturned and fully ejected the male driver (who was not wearing a seatbelt). Upon emergency personnel arrival, the driver was transported by ambulance but ultimately pronounced deceased upon arrival to the hospital.

It is unknown at this time if alcohol and/or drugs are a factor in this collision but is still under investigation. If anyone else witnessed this collision or the events leading up to it, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez, (925) 646-4980.

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Writer remembers Pittsburg principal who died Sunday

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Dear Editor:

It isn’t supposed to work this way.  I am decades his senior and never imagined that I would be joining scores of colleagues earlier today as we held a prayer session for Paul Shatswell, Principal of Pittsburg Adult Education. Paul fought for over a week on life support after his shooting in a domestic altercation but yesterday his time came to cross the threshold.

The Pittsburg school community is still dazed because it all makes no sense. Too young, too vibrant, too passionate; too engaged it seemed o say goodbye. Newly appointed Principal, the world seemed his oyster.

Paul did nothing half-heartedly. The man epitomized gusto. His last comment to me was vintage Paul and came on his last day in school.  I had avoided dropping by his office all week because I knew that he was consumed by finalizing the 2019-2020 school budget.

I dropped by to congratulate him on the completed budget project. After graciously thanking me he ended our chat by saying that we had our work cut out for us in making the school all that it could be.

Ten minutes later I saw Paul in the parking lot. He gave me an exuberant thumbs up as he drove away.

Little did any of us imagine.

There is much we don’t understand. Life and death can seem inexplicable to our frail human perception.  Paul was a man of faith and would want us accepting, though.   He was not one to wail and gnash teeth but rather to affirm and celebrate.

We need now to focus on our blessings. After all, we were gifted as we worked. lived, played, laughed and cried with a good man on this journey called life.

May the Perpetual Light shine upon you, Paul.

Walter Ruehlig

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Following police chase from Pittsburg to Richmond, man arrested for attempted murder after shooting at driver in Antioch and Pittsburg

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

By Corporal Steve McElroy #2500, Antioch Police Field Services Burea

On Wednesday, March 27 at approximately 3:45 p.m., Antioch Police officers responded to the 4500 block of Delta Fair Blvd. regarding a 35-year-old male who had reportedly been shot or shot at. The victim then reported the incident himself to the police and indicated that he was following the responsible party in his vehicle into the City of Pittsburg.

While the victim was still on the phone with Antioch Police Dispatch, he reported the responsible party was shooting at him again in the City of Pittsburg. Pittsburg police officers arrived in the area and were flagged down by the victim, who pointed out the responsible vehicle to them. While trying to stop this subject, the driver fled and ultimately led Pittsburg police on a vehicle pursuit into the City of Richmond, where he eventually pulled over and was arrested without incident.

The victim was found to be suffering from non-life-threatening injuries and was treated and released from an area hospital. Evidence of a shooting and a firearm were discovered at the Pittsburg shooting scene. The responsible party, a 39-year-old male, was transported back to the City of Pittsburg where Antioch police officers took custody of him. He was later booked into the county jail in Martinez on multiple felony charges.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441 or text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Soroptimist to hold Annual Awards Dinner April 12

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

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School Board Trustee Householder writes about use of Measure W funds for youth services

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

Ellie Householder by AUSD.

An open letter to the Antioch City Council,

“Opportunity lives here” is a fitting slogan for Antioch. While our city has gone through major growing pains, our future together has rarely looked brighter. Yet the hard truth is that opportunity doesn’t exist equally for everyone, especially our largest and most vulnerable population, our young people.

Earlier this month, Kamani Stelly was convicted of four counts of attempted murder involving a 2016 shooting of an occupied vehicle at the corner of 18th and Cavallo. Thanks to the hard work of APD and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, he is now facing 160 years in prison. While justice may have been served, however, the damage and trauma this tragedy caused its victims and the entire community could well have been avoided.

At the time of the shooting, Kamani was 18 years old and a former student of the Antioch Unified School District. More likely than not, Kamani exhibited throughout his educational journey some sign of troubling behavior. The same might be said for Jordan Martin, who was murdered at the age of 18 last year in the Applebee’s parking lot, or the Deer Valley High School students who were loitering and disrupting businesses at Deer Valley Plaza in 2014. Whether anyone saw any red flags or bothered to intervene in the lives of these young people, we may never know.

What we do know is that these young people did not have the same access to youth programs, services, and resources that other cities Antioch’s size have. And this fact is preventing all of us from living and experiencing a safe and secure Antioch.

No one individual, no one single institution is solely responsible for how a 17-year-old enters the world of adulthood. It may sound cliche, but it truly does take a village to raise a child. As a current school board member and former AUSD employee, I understand that children are going to push the envelope. But as a community, it’s the responsibility of all of us–parents, educators, neighbors, police, and civic and business leaders–to teach them where the line should stop.

As the former chair of the City’s Sales Tax Oversight Committee, I was often concerned about how the city seemed to only understand public safety from an enforcement standpoint. Antioch is a city where a third of its population is school-aged, the vast majority of working parents commute an average of two to three hours each day, and latch-key kids are growing in numbers. Yet historically, any discussion about public

safety has focused almost entirely on adding more police, and nothing else. What truly keeps a community safe is its ability to address “safety” by balancing enforcement and interventions. Enforcement is important. Yet just as important, if not more so, is crime prevention. Essentially, youth services and programs represent this kind of preventative work. Study after study has proven that youth programs are highly effective at reducing crime in a community. And yet this crucial element of public safety is sorely lacking in our city.

I frequently hear about the pressing need for youth programs. The school district has done it’s best to provide these services, but our primary goal is academic. We need a partner in this process. That’s why I applaud the city for establishing the Antioch Youth Services Task Force consisting of Council Member Lamar Thorpe and Mayor Sean Wright. I’ve learned a lot from our community by participating in and observing the task force panels and workshops, including the fact that youth services are something our community desperately wants and needs.

By passing Measure W, Antioch citizens overwhelmingly voted in favor of adding before and after-school programs and other youth services and quality of life measures. Now it’s time to hold the city accountable and make sure our leaders deliver on that promise.

On April 9th, the City Council will begin the process of allocating a projected $14 million in annual Measure W funds to increase safety in our city. I encourage all members of our community to show up and participate in this process, so we can all work together to create a bright, safe, and beautiful city.

While y outh programming is an essential element to public safety, in Antioch, it is a glaringly empty piece of the puzzle. Filling it will ultimately reveal a bright and vibrant community that is safe, welcoming, and thriving. If we want the words “opportunity lives here” to have truth to them, opportunity must also exist for our young people. Now is our chance to make it happen.

Sincerely yours,

Ellie Householder

Antioch Unified School District Trustee

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Antioch man arrested Thursday for armed robberies in Rio Vista, El Cerrito

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

By Rio Vista Police Department

At around 1:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon RVPD officers responded to a report of an armed robbery that occurred in the parking lot of the Family Dollar store on Highway 12.  The victims had agreed to meet the suspect to sell him a cellular phone. The suspect used a handgun to rob the victims of an Apple iPhone.

Earlier in the morning the suspect, Vandrick Jones, age 22, from Antioch, a parolee with a lengthy history of robbery and gun charges forced a female he met online to drive him around the Bay Area at gunpoint where we know he committed at least one other armed robbery in El Cerrito.

As the suspect and his victim attempted to flee Rio Vista, they were spotted on Highway 12 by Chief Dailey.  A pursuit ensued through downtown with Jones forcing the female to keep driving until they hit a dead end in the school bus corporation yard.  The female was rescued unharmed and evaluated by Rio Vista Fire and Medic Ambulance.  Jones jumped fences and hid in a back yard on Tahoe Drive.  RVPD worked with the Rio Vista High School and a lockdown was implemented to insure the safety of the students due to the proximity to the school.  The Alert system work very well.

Solano County Sheriff’s K9 and patrol deputies showed up in force along with a CHP helicopter to assist RVPD and a perimeter was secured, keeping the suspect confined until the Sheriff’s K9 team found him hiding under a children’s swimming pool.  Jones was taken into custody and booked for kidnapping, armed robbery, felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition and a parole hold.  The FBI Violent Crimes Task Force in Solano County will be joining our investigation.

RVPD wishes to give our thanks to Solano County for their assistance today!  The teamwork between both agencies was outstanding.

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More than 350 Rocketship parents and supporters filled Antioch School Board meeting

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Rocketship supporters attend the Antioch School Board meeting, Friday, March 20, 2019.

Rocketship Delta Prep supporters ask District to work with them and open a dialogue to serve Antioch’s kids

Friday night, more than 350 Rocketship Delta Prep parents, teachers and community supporters packed Lone Tree Elementary to capacity at the Antioch Unified School Board’s meeting. Rocketship Delta Prep was not on the agenda, but parents engaged the board in a constructive dialogue about their experience at Delta Prep during public comment.

“I have been a member of this Antioch community since 2005, and I want to emphasize that Antioch is my home,” said Cynthia Cathey, parent of a student at Rocketship Delta Prep. “At Rocketship Delta Prep, my daughter is receiving a high quality education, she has academically reached the 90th percentile amongst other Kindergarteners nationwide. If I had not I won a spot in the Delta Prep lottery, I would have moved to Oakland. I am glad that my tax dollars can continue to contribute to my community.”

Friday’s board meeting was a continuation of the scheduled Wednesday, March 20th meeting, which was moved to a larger venue when more than 250 Rocketship supporters showed up for public comment on Wednesday night.

“Thank you board for moving this meeting to a larger venue. Our parents wanted to engage the Board directly and demonstrate their support for their school and commitment to work with AUSD in collaborative manner,” said Rocketship Bay Area Regional Director Marie Issa Gil. “We are here tonight because we simply want to participate in the public process at tonight’s hearing. We appreciate the opportunity to engage in a positive and constructive dialogue about how to best serve all students and families in Antioch.”

“My daughter has grown tremendously in such a short amount of time at Rocketship Delta Prep, and I can see this through the ownership she takes over her own learning,” said Rocketship Delta Prep parent Sandra Torres. “They are constantly holding me accountable as a parent by providing me with resources to ensure her learning continues beyond the school walls. Rocketship pushes my daughter towards the greatest extent of her potential, and I am exceedingly grateful to have them as part of my Antioch community.”

About Rocketship Public Schools

Rocketship Public Schools is a nonprofit public charter network of 19 elementary schools serving low-income communities with limited access to excellent schools. Founded in 2007 in San Jose, California, Rocketship has since expanded to Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Nashville, Tennessee; and Washington, D.C. By building a scalable and sustainable school model that propels student achievement in underserved communities, Rocketship is working to eliminate the achievement gap in our lifetime. Visit http://www.rocketshipschools.org/ to learn more.

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