Archive for April, 2021

Suspect in shooting of Antioch family’s dog while fleeing police arrested by U.S. Marshals

Saturday, April 24th, 2021

By Sergeant James Stenger #3604, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

Jesus Mejia-Izoteco. Photo: APD

On Saturday, March 27, 2021, at about 6:30 pm, Contra Costa County Dispatch notified Antioch Dispatch that the Oakley Police Department was pursuing a stolen vehicle into the downtown district of Antioch. The driver of the stolen vehicle lost control and crashed near W 2nd and J Streets. The driver was captured after a short foot pursuit. The passenger, 29-year-old Jesus Mejia-Izoteco, also fled on foot and started jumping fences. Jesus made his way to the backyard of a residence in the 900 block of W 3rd Street and shot an 8-year-old German Shepherd (Oso). (See related article)

Jesus then shot into the residence, nearly striking a 45-year-old male and his 14-year-old son. Jesus then shot through the back sliding door of the residence shattering the window. Jesus entered the residence and went to an upstairs bedroom where he changed into some of the homeowner’s clothes. Jesus fled the residence on foot and managed to leave the area without being identified or captured.

At about the same time this shooting happened, a 56-year-old female entered the front lobby of the Antioch Police Department and reported the stolen vehicle passed her during the pursuit. She reported that someone from the stolen car fired one round into her vehicle. This shooting happened near the intersection of W 2nd and E Streets. Oso was rushed to the Emergency Veterinary Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. Oso was initially stabilized, but unfortunately the gunshot wound was too devastating and Oso had to be euthanized.

The wonderful citizens of Antioch and others donated $1,500 to cover the cost of Oso’s medical treatment. Another $5,000 was raised through donations by Antioch Friends of Animal Services. These funds covered Oso’s cremation and will be used to honor Oso by assisting in the medical treatment of animals hurt during a horrible incident such as this one. This investigation was taken over by the APD Investigations Bureau. Detectives developed information identifying Jesus as a suspect in these shootings.

Source: APD

On April 5, 2021, the US Marshal Service Fugitive Apprehension Team located and arrested Jesus in the City of Pittsburg. Jesus is currently in custody at the Contra Costa County Jail and this case is being reviewed by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office for charging consideration.

Additional inquiries or information can be directed to Antioch Police Detective Bledsoe at (925) 779- 6884 or by emailing Anonymous tips or information about this – or any other incident – can be sent via text to 274637 (CRIMES) with the keyword ANTIOCH.

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Get away to Skylark Shores Resort at Clear Lake

Friday, April 23rd, 2021

“I invite all my friends and everyone in Antioch to visit us at Skylark Shores Resort, this year. We are committed to providing a clean, safe and fun resort where our guests create happy memories that will last a lifetime.”- Jeff Warrenburg, General Manager

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Antioch Police: National Prescription Drug TAKE BACK Saturday, April 24

Friday, April 23rd, 2021

With opioid overdose deaths increasing during the pandemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration & the Antioch Police Department announce its 20th Take Back Day is scheduled for April 24th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 300 L Street in Antioch.

At its last Take Back Day in October, DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.

The public can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at collection sites which will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.

DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed.

Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths.

Learn more about the event at, or by calling 800-882-9539.


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3rd Annual Craft Fair at Antioch Covenant Church Saturday

Friday, April 23rd, 2021

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Contra Costa Supervisors presented $4.06 billion 2021-2022 budget

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

Source: CCC Administrator

Speakers want Sheriff’s requested $7.5 million for inmate mental health services to go to Walnut Creek’s Miles Hall Foundation

By Daniel Borsuk

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will probably act on a proposed $4.06 billion 2021-2022 budget at a May 4 meeting and will listen to another barrage of critics of Sheriff-Coroner David O. Livingston’s proposal that a portion of $54 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) funds be diverted to an outside nonprofit mental health organization.

Contra Costa County’s proposed 2021-2022 budget surpasses the current fiscal year budget of $3.98 billion and includes $7.5 million designated for the staffing of additional sheriff deputies assigned to protect inmates requiring mental health services.

A contingent of speakers opposing Sheriff-Coroner Livingston’s request for the additional funds for inmate mental health services, argued instead for all or a portion of the $7.5 million be awarded to the Walnut Creek-based Miles Hall Foundation.  The newly established Miles Hall Foundation is named after the Las Lomas High School graduate who was slain by a Walnut Creek police officer in June 2019 while Hall was undergoing a mental health episode.

Lois Thomas of Lafayette was one of the speakers supporting the detouring some or all the $54.2 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding designated to the Sheriff-Coroner to the non-profit Miles Hall Foundation. “Keep deputies out of mental health, “Thomas demanded.

Sheriff Livingston said the additional funding to hire 10 new deputy sheriffs arises at a time the county has a new contract with the Prison Law Office to provide improved acute mental health care while behind bars.

Even though the jails have an average daily population of 785 inmates, Sheriff Livingston said, “We have had a 43 percent decrease of inmates in our jail (about 14,000 inmates) due to COVID-19.”

County Administrator Nino prepared a chart that showed the Coroner-Sheriff’s Office, and the Contra Costa County Health Services are in line to receive over half of the county-produced general-purpose funds with health services picking up 30.5 percent of the general-purpose revenue at $162.5 million while the Coroner-Sheriff collects 19.8 percent, or $104.7 million.

Source: CCC Administrator

Supervisors were told funds from the November voter approved Measure X sales tax increase will not begin to arrive until next fall. The county has yet to hire tax auditors.  “Measure X funding is not anticipated to be received until October 2021 for the first quarter of collections starting April 2021,” Nino wrote in her budget statement.  “The amount of Measure X included in the recommended budget totals $600,000 for the new Department of Racial Equity and Social Justice and $65,000 for the sales tax auditors.”

Expenses the county will need to round up funding for the upcoming 2021-2022 fiscal year is $600,000 for the operation of the Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice, $300,000 for redistricting and $15.3 million for a new finance computer system.

With ongoing efforts to vaccinate every age-eligible county resident with the COVID-19 vaccine, Contra Costa County Health Department Director Anna Roth said one of the biggest hurdles next fiscal year will be the county’s negotiations with the California Nurses Association.  The CNA represents 812 county nurses, and the contract is set to expire on Sept. 30.

The health services are the county’s most expensive department to operate with general purpose funds at $162.5 million or 30.5 percent of overall general fund disbursements.

As for the five elected board of supervisors, the proposed budget designates $7.7 million or 1.4 percent of overall general-purpose funds to cover the salaries and expenses of themselves and support staff.

Board vice chair Federal Glover of Pittsburg said during the budget presentations one item that was missing was further analysis on the potential reuse of the Marsh Creek Detention Facility and “more discussion on the future of the Orin Allen Rehabilitation Center near Discovery Bay and juvenile hall in Martinez.”

Glover’s supervisorial colleagues and County Administrator Nino acknowledged the supervisor’s request that there will be discussion about the fate of the detention facility and juvenile hall.


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Mission Elementary’s Crystal Van Dyke is Antioch Teacher of the Year

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

Source: AUSD

Runner up is Nicole Matsutani of John Muir Elementary

Crystal Van Dyke 2021 AUSD Teacher of the Year. Photo: AUSD


The Antioch Unified School District 2021 Teacher of the Year is Crystal Van Dyke.  Mrs. Van Dyke was nominated by a fellow Mission colleague who opened his recommendation with, “Crystal is the straw that stirs the drink, the glue that holds everything together for us.  She has been a godsend for us during this distance learning, not only keeping us together and focused with our teaching but also troubleshooting all of the technical issues that we and our students have.”

As amazing as Mrs. Van Dyke has been in supporting the Mission staff, she goes above and beyond her own classroom and school walls to support the district at large.  Mrs. Van Dyke actively serves as a mentor in our pre-induction programs, and she is an outstanding professional developer who always steps up to the plate and provides engaging and relevant workshops and support sessions for all AUSD teachers.  She leads our elementary SETLs with grace and confidence, has been the key person for Seesaw support for the entire district, and will undoubtedly be the go-to for state testing this spring for all elementary teachers and administrators.

Beyond her incredible support skills, Mrs. Van Dyke is an incredible classroom teacher.  She makes lifelong connections with her students, with many coming back to visit her years after leaving her classroom and Mission.  Crystal never gives up on students and is a shining example of an educator who truly believes “all students can learn.” She is rigorous, caring, engaging, and most importantly she’s the role model so many of our students need in their lives.

Nicole Matsatani 2021 AUSD Teacher of the Year Runner Up. Photo: AUSD

This year’s runner-up for Teacher of the Year is Nicole Matsutani.  Ms. Matsutani is a K-2 Special Day Class Teacher at John Muir Elementary.  Nicole Matsutani began at Muir as a Resource Teacher.  During the 2019-20 school year, Nicole moved over to become Muir’s K-2 SDC teacher.  Nicole grew as a teacher during this time, adjusting to working with students across the spectrum, including mild/moderate students to students with extreme learning difficulties.  With the arrival of COVID-19, Nicole continued to engage deeply with her students and families.  Nicole goes above and beyond what is required of her.  With empathy and love, she makes sure her student have the supplies, work, and other necessities designed to meet the students’ IEP goals.  Nicole is caring, hardworking, and extremely dedicated to her craft.  Each student’s success is her number one priority, so much so that Nicole spends long hours lesson planning, developing IEPs , and reaching out to families daily.  Nicole’s sweet and outgoing demeanor brings warmth to all who encounter her.  She is always optimistic and seeks positive outcomes in any situation.  Nicole’s knowledge and passion for the classroom and students with disabilities truly make her a valued member of Muir’s staff and a proud AUSD employee.

There were so many wonderful nominees, it was extremely difficult to narrow down the list of finalists and even more difficult to select the Teacher of the Year and Runner-Up.  Please join AUSD in congratulating these exemplary educators!


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Paradise Skate Roller Rink in Antioch reopens Wednesday night

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

WOW, it has been 400 days since we had to close Paradise Skate Roller Rink in Antioch. We get to open TONIGHT. Catch is you have to make a reservation, sign a release. Bring that release, your energy, your mask and most important your smiles. We start at 7:30 pm.

Click here to make that reservation. Paradise Skate Antioch – A PartyWirks Partner

We’re located at 1201 W. 10th Street in Antioch.

Follow us and Like our Facebook page.

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Students return to Antioch elementary schools in Learning Centers

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

Students do their school work as a teacher and aid assist, in the 3rd-5th Grade Learning Center at Lone Tree Elementary on the first day open, April 20, 2021.

42 opened Tuesday; more will open at the middle and high schools next week

“It’s so good to have the kids back” – Lone Tree Elementary Principal Crystal Berry

Kindergarten-2nd Grade Learning Center at Lone Tree Elementary.

By Allen Payton

As part of the Antioch Unified School District’s new model for schools during the remainder of the school year, Learning Centers opened in all elementary schools on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. It has allowed some students to return to school for the first time in a year. Reopening the schools in this manner qualifies district to receive state funds for school reopening of over $4.5 million. (See related article)

“We opened 42 learning centers and 31 SDC classes for special education students at elementary schools,” Superintendent Stephanie Anello said. “Middle and high schools start next week.”

One of the schools is Lone Tree Elementary where 77 students attended on Tuesday. This reporter toured the school and Learning Center with Board Vice President Dr. Clyde Lewis

The Wellness Center on the stage of the multipurpose room at Lone Tree Elementary.

School Vice Principal Gretchen Gaudy greeted us and explained the process for students to enter the campus, each day.

“There is both an AM and PM group. The AM group checks in at 7:45 a.m.,” she shared. “Each one comes for three hours. They check in with a QR code to complete a health screener, if their patents haven’t already taken the survey at home.”

“The students enter the multipurpose room and are screened by a thermal scanner,” Gaudy explained. “If their temperature is over 100.4 then they’re taken to the wellness area and their parents are called, if they’ve already left, to have them picked up and taken home.”

The scanners cost $8,000 each.

A thermal scanner checks the temperature of each student as they enter Lone Tree Elementary School. Board VP Dr. Clyde Lewis demonstrates use of the machine. The 100.4 degree temperature shown is the maximum allowed. This reporter was shown to be kind of cool at 98.3 (bottom left). Lewis was found to be just right but a bit hotter at 98.6.

Meals Provided for All Students

“The AM kids get lunch, dinner, snack and breakfast for the next day,” Gaudy continued. “The PM group eats a hot lunch on campus before the session begins at 11:45. Then when they leave, they’re also given dinner, snack and breakfast. That’s for all districts, right now through the pandemic.”

Principal Crystal Berry served as the guide into the classrooms and for the remainder of the tour.

“Right now, we have 33 students during the PM session and a total of 77 kids who showed up,” she shared. “We have a K-2 class and a 3-5 class.”

“They’re on virtually with their teacher or working on their Seesaw learning and activities platform (used by K-3rd),” Berry explained. “The classroom is supported by a certificated teacher, instructional aids and monitors. They assist students with accessing their live online meetings and completing their assignments. Fourth and fifth grade students use the Microsoft Teams platform.”

“Right now we have 80 spots with 40 in the morning and 40 in the afternoon,” she continued. “We can only have 20 students in the classroom with four-feet social distancing.”

Principal Berry in the PE room at Lone Tree Elementary.

“More than the three-foot minimum,” Lewis pointed out.

“The kids do virtual PE and music. They follow a teacher on screen and run in place, do calisthenics, and he talks to them about health habits,” Berry shared. “Then at recess each classroom has a bin of different equipment. The students can go out and play one-person tether ball and wall ball, chalk drawing in the four-square courts, hoola hoops and jump rope.”

“It’s so good to have the kids back,” she stated. “It’s such a great feeling to have them in school and socialize with their peers which is something that’s been missing. They need that social and emotional interaction. I was very pleased to see how well our kindergartners transitioned in. None of them were crying.”

Dr. Lewis, Principal Berry and Vice Principal Gaudy at the entrance of Lone Tree Elementary where students and parents are greeted, each day before entering.

“Our students said they’re happy to be back in person learning and the opportunity to see their peers,” Berry added.

“Our learning center provides opportunities for students that have difficulty with virtual learning to have support with their studies,” she continued. “That’s especially important for our ESL students and those with special needs. Our students are attending four days a week. But that’s a decision per school. Others are attending only two days a week.”

“We got a lot of calls from other parents who drove by and saw students on campus. So, I’m sure we’ll be expanding the learning center capacity,” said Berry. “Parents aren’t allowed on campus according to CDC guidelines. So, I held a virtual orientation on Friday so parents could learn about the process and schedule, and safety protocols.”

For more information about the Antioch Unified School District Learning Centers and 4th Quarter Learning click here.

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