Antioch Police to hold toy drive at Disney House Saturday, Dec. 9

Posted in: Children & Families, Community, Holiday, Police & Crime | Comments (0)

Photos by APD

Also accepting blankets, gloves, socks, hats and scarves and cash or Venmo donations.

By Antioch Police Department

This Saturday, December 9th, from 5:30- 10:00 pm, take a drive by the “Disney House” at 3732 Colonial Court in Antioch. This spectacular house has over 35,000 lights. The Vistalli Family and friends will be on-hand collecting new unwrapped toys as well as new blankets, gloves, socks, hats and scarves and cash or Venmo donations, that will be donated to our Help for the Holidays Event which will provide extra help for those struggling this holiday season.

Thank you to the Vistalli Family for their continued help to bring some joy to the families in our community. We couldn’t do it without you.

Publisher @ December 7, 2023

East County: From prisoner to pastor Discovery Bay resident brings hope to inmates

Posted in: East County, Faith, Police & Crime | Comments (0)

Pastor Chris Mullen

By Neil Sterud, Herald Intern

Reaching across 22 prisons in four states, Pastor Chris Mullen, a Discovery Bay resident, has touched the lives of tens of thousands of prisoners. The unique journey that led him to this position is nothing less than remarkable.

Pastor Chris has walked a tumultuous path with a familiarity that extends to the prison gates. His journey into the dark realms of drugs and dealing began at the age of twelve, escalating to his first incarceration at fifteen when he set fire to a teacher’s classroom, fueled by a sense of perceived injustice. As the years unfolded, he found himself in a relentless cycle of criminality, convinced that his mission was merely to excel as a drug dealer, viewing the revolving prison doors as an unfortunate norm. Serving a total of six years behind bars, Chris’s redemption journey began with a spiritual awakening—a “tug on his heart” echoing through the confines of his San Quentin cell as volunteers sang Christmas carols, sparking the rekindling of his faith.

Amidst a history marked by recurring encounters with the legal system, one of Chris’ parole violations unfolded in a harrowing incident—a collision with a police car during a traffic stop while under the influence.

Years later, he was arrested again. Faced with the consequences of his actions, he recognized the urgent need for a transformative change. Upon his release, Chris sought assistance for his struggles with substance abuse and, in a pivotal moment, rededicated his life to a path guided by faith in God.

In 1999, facing denial to serve in San Quentin State Prison, Pastor Chris secured access to the California Division of Juvenile Justice. For years, he dedicated one day a month to this mission without financial compensation until he felt a compelling calling to take a leap of faith. After fervent prayer, he courageously resigned from his high-paying job, navigating the challenges of the Great Recession in 2009 with no backup plan, solely driven by his commitment to serving the inmate community. Throughout this transformative period, he relied on donations of free food from food banks and churches to make ends meet.

Inspired by his pastor’s definition of mercy as ‘not getting what we deserve’ and grace as ‘getting what we don’t deserve,’ Chris named his prison ministry “Mercy and Grace”. Based in Livermore, the ministry is a beacon of hope within correctional facilities, offering inmates the transformative power of compassion and unmerited favor. It is a 501c3 non-profit corporation registered in the State of California.

Mercy and Grace Ministries has since expanded its reach to outside California, to Utah, Idaho and Florida, with preparations underway to launch their Idaho Region. Amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pastor Chris’ sermons found a unique platform on the Division of Rehabilitative Programs Television, broadcast on Inmate TV across every state prison in California. Additionally, the ministry actively engages with inmates through a robust letter-writing program, connecting with men and women in California and Idaho, as well as women in Utah. The organization thrives with 60 passionate volunteers, fueling impactful change behind bars.

To extend his service to a broader audience, Pastor Chris enlisted the help of a translator to connect with Spanish-speaking prisoners. Leveraging available resources, he had his sermons translated and shared in Spanish over 100 times. In the past six months, the Spanish arm of Mercy and Grace Ministries was launched, with dedicated individuals now delivering the Good News in a second language.

In a society that often turns its back on the demographic of prisoners, Pastor Chris stands as a beacon of unwavering commitment to the overlooked. In a candid conversation, when remarking on the gravity of crimes committed by some in his congregation, he responded with a touch of humor, saying, “All of the guys I work with are in there for jaywalking.”

His experiences are far from lighthearted, though, as he has braved the chaos of violent gang clashes, enduring the ominous rain of powder rounds from guard turrets, and even donned the weight of body armor. Despite these challenges, Pastor Chris remains undeterred in his mission, extending a compassionate hand to those that society often chooses to forget.

To learn more about his ministry and how to volunteer, visit

Publisher @ December 7, 2023

Food distribution at Golden Hills Community Church Saturday, Dec. 9

Posted in: Community, Faith, Food | Comments (0)

Publisher @ December 6, 2023

Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center ranked among nation’s best by Leapfrog Group

Posted in: Health, News | Comments (0)

For providing safe, high-quality patient care 

By Antonia Ehlers, PR and Media Relations, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

Six Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals are ranked among the nation’s best for providing safe, high-quality patient care, according to the Leapfrog Group’s 2023 Top Hospital award.

The highest-performing hospitals on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey are recognized annually with the prestigious Leapfrog Top Hospital award, considered one of the most elite and competitive honors a hospital can receive. Only 132 hospitals nationwide, or just 6% of the 2,100 eligible hospitals, were recognized this year.

The six Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals to receive the award include: Antioch, Richmond, San Leandro, San Rafael, Santa Clara and South San Francisco.

Source: Kaiser Permanente

“Our hospitals exemplify the high-quality, extraordinary care Kaiser Permanente provides to its members and patients every day throughout Northern California,” said Carrie Owen Plietz, FACHE, president of Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California region. “This honor speaks to the commitment of our physicians, nurses, and staff who give patient-centered care in a safe, nurturing environment.”

The Leapfrog Top Hospital award is based on excellence in upholding quality standards across several areas of patient care including staffing, hand hygiene, infection rates, practices for safer surgery, maternity care, and error prevention. Hospitals must have also received an “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade in the most recent round of scoring to be eligible for the Top Hospital award. 

“This recognition is a tribute to our physicians, clinicians and staff, who are dedicated to delivering exceptional care and service to our patients every day,” said Maria Ansari, MD, FACC, chief executive officer and executive director of The Permanente Medical Group. “As a result, our hospitals are consistently ranked among the best in the nation for providing high-quality care, and we continue to have a positive and often life-changing impact on the health and well-being of our Kaiser Permanente members and patients.”

The annual Top Hospital award is given to both teaching and general medical centers. Kaiser Permanente San Leandro and San Rafael are named top general hospitals and Kaiser Permanente Antioch, Richmond, Santa Clara, and South San Francisco are named top teaching hospitals.

The Leapfrog Group is an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health care benefits. It is an independent advocacy group working with a broad range of partners, including hospitals and insurers.

Publisher @ December 6, 2023

Stop by Rivertown Treasure Chest during the Antioch Woman’s Club Tour Sunday, Dec. 10

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Publisher @ December 5, 2023

Antioch enjoys annual Holiday Delites Celebration

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See videos of the Celebration here and here.

All photos and videos by Allen D. Payton

Publisher @ December 4, 2023

Monica’s Riverview offers new hours, will focus on being the Best Brunch in the Bay

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Publisher @ December 2, 2023

Contra Costa Probation Department awarded grant for high-risk DUI offenders

Posted in: Contra Costa County, News, Police & Crime, State of California | Comments (0)

From state Office of Traffic Safety

A $412,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for Intensive Supervision Program for High-Risk DUI Offenders will go toward check-ins with probationers to make sure they are following court-ordered terms of their probation and prevent probationers from re-offending.

“This grant will allow us to tackle the complex issues surrounding repeat DUI offenders, providing vital resources and guidance to break the cycle of alcohol-related offenses,” said Chief Probation Officer Esa Ehmen-Krause. “With this funding, we can create safer roads and a healthier community by reducing the incidence of DUI offenses.”

“The intensive supervision programs are critical to reducing the devastating consequences of DUI offenses,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “Prevention is an effective, proactive tool to address the often tragic consequences of impaired driving.”

The grant will fund Probation Department personnel to monitor drivers on Probation for felony DUI or multiple misdemeanor DUI convictions, including conducting unannounced Fourth Amendment waiver home searches, field visits, random alcohol and drug testing and ensuring those on probation are attending court-ordered DUI education and treatment programs. The probation grant will also pay for warrant operations targeting probation violations and/or DUI suspects who do not appear in court, officer training in Standard Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), distribution of DUI “Be On the Lookout” (BOLO) alerts, collaborating with courts and prosecutors to establish probation orders and participation with local law enforcement on anti-DUI efforts. While alcohol remains the worst offender for DUI crashes, Contra Costa County Probation supports OTS in its statement, “DUI just doesn’t mean booze.”

Prescription medications and marijuana can be impairing by themselves, but also in combination with alcohol, and can result in a DUI arrest.

The grant program runs through September 2024. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Publisher @ December 2, 2023