Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Cashier shot, killed during “botched robbery” of Antioch gas station early Saturday morning

Saturday, November 26th, 2022

Police seek suspect(s)

By Lieutenant John Fortner, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at approximately 02:05 AM, the Antioch Police Department Dispatch Center received an emergency call from 2701 Contra Loma Boulevard. The call was from an employee at the Extra Mile convenience store in the Chevron gas station reporting a person had been shot.

Several Antioch police officers responded to the scene and found a male down on the floor, just inside the convenience store, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Officers began to administer first-aid and called for Fire Department and AMR paramedics to respond.

Despite the live-saving efforts of first responders, the victim, a 36-year-old cashier, succumbed to his injuries at the scene. Officers at the scene were able to determine that the victim was an employee-clerk at the service station and was held-up at gunpoint during what appears to be a “botched robbery.” The suspect(s) fled on-foot from the scene and have not been located.

Antioch Police Department’s Investigations Bureau, consisting of Crime Scene Investigators and detectives with the Violent Crimes and Special Operations Units, responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.

Currently, detectives are interviewing witnesses in the area and are working to identify all the parties involved to include suspects or persons-of-interest. The investigation is still active, and evidence is being collected.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441, or Detective Duffy at (925) 779-6890 / aduffy@antiochca.gov. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Antioch police arrest three, seize illegal guns, weed, cash at Brentwood home

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

Photo: APD

Including ghost gun during warrant search in violence reduction investigation

By Antioch Police Department

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, APD officers and Special Operations Unit detectives executed a search warrant at a residence in Brentwood related to an ongoing drug trafficking and illegal firearm possession investigation. During the search, detectives located four semi-auto pistols (one of which was a P80 ghost gun), one rifle, numerous 30 round magazines, a THC lab, several pounds of marijuana, Xanax and numerous other prescription pills, and over $10,000 (which was asset seized).

Three individuals were arrested in connection with this incident and the case will be presented to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office for charges.

Do you have information on drug trafficking or other crimes occurring in our city? You can text an anonymous tip to 274637 (CRIMES) with the keyword ANTIOCH. Thanks for helping us keep OUR community safe!

Would you like to join a team of dedicated officers who strategically work to identify sources of crime and take action? We are hiring entry-level, academy graduate, and lateral police officers, with a salary ranging from from $107,928 to $131,196 and a $30,000 signing bonus. We offer comprehensive benefit packages, a CalPERS pension, enhanced 12-hour work schedule which includes an on-duty fitness program, shift and education pay incentives, tuition reimbursement, and numerous exciting assignment opportunities. Visit www.JoinAntiochPD.com for more information.

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Motts catches Torres-Walker in tied-up Antioch City Council District 1 race

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

Joy Motts and Tamisha Torres-Walker are tied in the Antioch City Council District 1 race as of Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

19 challenged ballots remain to be counted; if remains a tie the candidates would decide the tie breaker

By Allen D. Payton

As of Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, at 3:12:59 PM, the Contra Costa Elections Division website shows incumbent Antioch District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker and challenger Joy Motts are tied with 1,462 votes each. While the website shows there are still 1,900 ballots remaining to be counted in the county, according to Assistant Registrar of Voters Helen Nolan, “now, there are 19 challenged votes in the Antioch City Council District 1 race.”

“They’re either unsigned or the signatures don’t match,” she explained. “Every single person who has a challenged ballot has received a letter in order to cure that signature, either to provide a signature or provide their signature that matches what we have on file.”

“The important thing to remember is what we have on file is most likely what is on their driver’s license,” Nolan added.

“What the campaigns can do, and I believe are doing, are get copies of the challenged voters list and contact those voters,” she stated. The list is available but “it either has to be for education purposes or for elections purposes.”

Of the 1,900 ballots remaining in the county, 217 are listed as Provisional, which are described as “CVR (Conditional Voter Registration) Ballots In Review” and 1,683 listed as Other, meaning “Challenged VBM (Vote By Mail) Ballots” in which there was “No Signature” or the “Signature Does Not Match” what the Elections Division has on file. The challenged ballots in the Antioch race are among both types of remaining ballots.

According to the California Secretary of State’s website, “A ‘CVR voter’ is a person who, on Election Day or the fourteen (14) days immediately preceding Election Day, does both of the following:

  1. Delivers an executed affidavit of registration to the county elections official in order to register to vote in California for the first time, or re-register to vote in the same or a different county in California. The executed affidavit of registration can be submitted either in person at any permanent office of the county elections official, at any vote center or polling place, or at any satellite office designated by the county elections official or online through the Internet Web site of the Secretary of State.
  2. Requests a CVR ballot at any permanent office of the county elections official, at any vote center or polling place, or at any satellite office designated by the county elections official.”

Voters with challenged ballots have until Wednesday, Nov. 30 to cure their ballot with the county Elections Division office.

Tie-Breaker Decided by Candidates

Asked what happens if there’s a tie vote Nolan said the election would be decided by “whatever tie breaker the candidates agree to. It could be a flip of a coin, roll of the dice or rock, paper, scissors.”

 

 

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Contra Costa County Elections Division named Center for Elections Excellence

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

Nonpartisan program supports and celebrates excellence in U.S. election administration

By Dawn Kruger, Civic Outreach/Engagement Specialist, Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder-Elections Department

The Contra Costa County Elections Division has been selected by the nonpartisan U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence as a Center for Election Excellence.  This is recognition that Contra Costa County Elections is committed to leadership in election administration and focused on developing even more resilient, trustworthy, and voter-centric election administration practices.

As a Center for Election Excellence, the Contra Costa County Elections Division will have an opportunity to work together with a bipartisan group of election officials to support each other and improve their skills. The diverse inaugural 2023 cohort of Centers for Election Excellence include:

  • Contra Costa County, CA
  • Shasta County, CA
  • Greenwich, CT
  • Kane County, IL
  • Macoupin County, IL
  • Ottawa County, MI
  • Clark County, NV
  • Brunswick County, NC
  • Forsyth County, NC
  • Madison, WI

According to a recent study from MIT, public spending on election services ranks near the bottom, about the same as what local governments spend on parking facilities. This means professional development opportunities for election department staff can be extremely limited. The Alliance will provide Contra Costa Elections staff opportunities to collaborate with and share best practices with their colleagues from around the country, creating a national community of learning and support.

“I am thrilled we have chosen the Contra Costa County Elections Division as a Center for Election Excellence,” said Tiana Epps-Johnson, executive director of the Center for Tech and Civic Life. “Contra Costa Elections is a leader in safe, secure, and inclusive elections that put voters first. This program will take their election administration work to the next level.”

“While I have always known that staff at the Contra Costa County Elections Division are expert at what they do, incredibly innovative, and provide an exceptionally high level of service to the Contra Costa Community, I am excited and proud that this department and our staff are being recognized nationally for the hard work we do.” said Debi Cooper, Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Contra Costa County.

The U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence launched in 2022 and is a five-year, $80 million nonpartisan program that brings together election officials, designers, technologists, and other experts to envision, support, and celebrate excellence in U.S. election administration. Launch partners include:

  • Center for Tech and Civic Life:  connects Americans with the information to become and remain civically engaged and ensure that elections are inclusive and secure.
  • Center for Civic Design: works with elections offices and advocates across the country, using research, design, accessibility, and plain language to remove barriers and invite participation in democracy.
  • The Elections Group: partners with state and local election officials to implement new programs or improve processes for voters and stakeholders by providing guidance, resources, and management support.
  • U.S. Digital Response: is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization provides election officials with simple, effective digital tools and rapid response.
  • Institute for Responsive Government & Center for Secure and Modern Elections: aligns bipartisan, pro-voter campaigns, making elections more efficient and secure.
  • Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the d.school) at Stanford University: referred to as the d.school, the institute brings students and faculty from radically different backgrounds together to develop innovative, human-centered solutions to real world challenges.
  • Prototyping Systems Lab: utilizes elements of design thinking, participatory design, and critical making to create change within complex systems.
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Antioch High Cross Country Boys are league champs for first time in 34 years

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

The Antioch High Boys Cross Country team recently won the BVAL title. They are (from left to right) Juan Castro, Braulio Perez, Luis Vazquez, Jose Jimenez, Albert Wong, George Villalobos and Caleb Headley-Pouard. Photo by Trine Gallegos

By Trine Gallegos, Communications/Community Outreach, Antioch High School

AHS Boys Cross Country team members celebrate their championship.  Photo: AUSD

The Antioch High Boys Cross Country team is still happily reeling from its victory at the Nov. 9 BVAL meet. Held at Contra Loma Reservoir, the seven-member group went into the race as the only undefeated team and ran away with its first championship in 34 years for a boys’ team.

Coach Willie Berger was nervous as he waited for the announcement. The news of the win bought out an array of cheers and tears from the entire team, family and assistant coach Brenda Gutierrez.

“They’ve worked so hard and are so deserving,” Berger said.

The boys beat out the favored Heritage High by just one point.

A Nov. 9 post on the Antioch Unified School District Facebook page congratulated the team.

“It’s been 34 years in the making. Hearing the news over the mic was followed by joyful cheers, spirited yelling and happy tears by many.  The boys went to the big meet as the only undefeated team.

Berger knows the feeling of being a student athlete. A Class of 2004 grad, he was a cross country team member.

Congrats to these mighty Panthers and the entire team for a great season.”

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

AHS Boys Cross Country team members celebrate and get hugs from Coach Willie Berger on Nov. 9, 2022. Photos: AUSD

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Antioch Council to finalize $3.6M contract for mental health response program, discuss Sycamore traffic calming

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

Will review city manager’s, attorney’s job performance; consider rescinding city’s COVID-19 testing, vax policy but continue COVID-19 related remote meeting participation of council, board, commission, committee members; approving $180K in funding and contract for Mayor’s Apprenticeship Program; giving Chamber of Commerce $125K

By Allen D. Payton

During their regular meeting tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, the Antioch City Council will consider approving hiring and paying a contractor $3.6 million for the mental health response team two-year pilot program, traffic calming measures for Sycamore Drive, and consider rescinding the policy mandating COVID-19 testing and vaccination for city staff. Plus, the council will discuss giving $125,000 to the Antioch Chamber of Commerce. During a closed session meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. the council will review the performance of both City Manager Con Johnson and City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith. (See complete meeting agenda)

Consent Calendar

During the consent calendar the council will also consider under Item 5.J. rescinding the city’s COVID-19 mandatory testing and vaccination policy. But they will also consider under the next Item 5.K. continuing to “authorize remote teleconference/virtual meetings of the legislative bodies of the City of Antioch, which includes the City Council, boards, commissions, and committees.” The city staff report reads, the COVID-19 “State of Emergency is still in effect and state officials are still recommending measures to promote social distancing, especially for immunocompromised and sensitive groups.”

However, a required condition of the law, AB 361 is, “state or local officials have recommended or imposed measures to promote social distancing, or the legislative body determines by majority vote that meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health and safety of attendees.”

The following questions were sent early Tuesday afternoon to City Attorney Smith and copied to all five council members and Johnson: “Has the council continued to impose or recommend measures to promote social distancing? Has the council determined that meeting in person presents imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees? If not, how can the council continue to “authorize remote teleconference/virtual meetings of the legislative bodies of the City of Antioch” as is on the agenda, again under Item 5.K. for tonight’s meeting? Isn’t the continued practice by the council a misuse of the provisions of AB361 for the sake of convenience of the five members?”

Under Item 5.J. the council will consider hiring Rubicon Programs to provide professional services to the Mayor’s Apprenticeship Program from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2023, for an amount not to exceed $180,000, using federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

$3.6 Million Two-Year Mental Health Response Team Pilot Program Contract

Under Item 5.R. the council will consider authorizing the city manager to enter into a Professional Services Agreement with Felton Institute for a minimum two-year pilot program for Non-Police Community Crisis Intervention Response Provider for Low Level 911 Calls at a total cost not to exceed $3.6 million in ARPA allocated funds.

The program was originally projected to cost between $1.8 to $2.2 million per year when first discussed by the council last year. (See related article)

According to the city staff report, the desired impact of the program is to: reduce non-warrant arrests that result during 911 police calls for service; reduce the number of individuals transported to the emergency department for non-life-threatening issues; and reduce the number of behavioral health and lower acuity calls traditionally responded to by public safety personnel. Additionally, the purpose of the program is to provide community-focused, trauma-informed, and healing-centered call responses by well-trained non-police personnel who can increase impacted individuals’ access and connection to timely, appropriate, and safe community-based services and resources.

It is anticipated that the response team personnel will be under the managerial auspices of the City of Antioch’s newly formed Public Safety and Community Resources Department. Felton Institute and response team personnel will also work closely with the Antioch Police Department, Contra Costa County, Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel.

The overarching goal of the Felton Institute and pilot program is to provide residents with greater, safer non-police response and allow law enforcement resources to be focused on addressing major crimes, emergency response and criminal investigations.

The council voted 5-0 at their last meeting to name the program the Angelo Quinto Crisis Response Team. (See related article)

Regular Agenda

During the regular agenda under Item 8. the council will discuss supporting the Antioch Chamber of Commerce in the amount of $125,000.

Finally, under agenda Item 12. the city council will discuss and direct staff regarding Sycamore Drive traffic calming needs.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

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CHP boosts patrol for Thanksgiving holiday travel

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

A CHP Golden Gate Division officer conducts a traffic stop for a suspected seat belt violation. Photo courtesy of CHP

Maximum Enforcement Period runs Wednesday through Sunday

By California Highway Patrol

As millions of people venture out for the Thanksgiving holiday, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is preparing for one of the busiest travel weekends in the nation.

To help motorists arrive at their destinations safely, the CHP will implement a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) and deploy all available officers through the holiday weekend. The MEP begins at 6:01 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 27.

“As with every holiday, the CHP will work to keep motorists safe as they travel to gatherings with friends and family,” said Commissioner Amanda Ray. “Our officers will be on patrol to take enforcement action as necessary and to provide assistance to motorists who are stranded or in need of help on the side of the road.”

During the MEP, CHP officers will be working to assist and educate motorists and enforce traffic safety laws throughout the state, actively looking for unsafe driving behaviors, including impaired or distracted driving, unsafe speed, and people not wearing seat belts.

According to the CHP’s MEP data, 42 people, including 16 pedestrians and one bicyclist, were killed in crashes in CHP’s jurisdiction during the 2021 Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  CHP officers issued more than 5,600 citations for speed and seat belt violations.  Additionally, CHP officers made 1,033 arrests for driving under the influence during the four-day period. 

“Enjoy your Thanksgiving festivities, but please celebrate responsibly, wear your seat belt, and always designate a sober, nondrinking driver,” said Commissioner Ray.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

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Antioch woman dies in solo vehicle crash in Bethel Island Sunday morning

Monday, November 21st, 2022

By CHP – Contra Costa

Sunday morning Nov. 20, 2022, at about 2:10 AM, CHP Contra Costa was advised of a single vehicle crash on Sugar Barge Road in Bethel Island. Our preliminary investigation indicates a Toyota truck left the roadway and collided with a tree.

CHP and emergency personnel arrived on scene and the driver was pronounced deceased. According to the Contra Costa Coroner’s office the driver was Lilith Guentert, age 47 of Antioch.

This crash is still under investigation, if anyone witnessed it or the events leading up to it, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez, (925) 646-4980.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

 

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