The 2019 California State Fair & Food Festival officially opened its gates Friday morning, July 12 with big crowds, eagerly awaiting to get into Cal Expo in Sacramento.
“We’re so thrilled Opening Day was such a great success; it’s fun seeing so many people and families out having a good time, and of course, eating at our 100 food booths.” said Rick Pickering, Cal Expo General Manager and CEO. “We’ve worked hard to make this year’s State Fair the best yet – a fair for all Californians up and down the state. The food festival is just part of what we have in store for the next two and a half weeks.”
The California State Fair & Food Festival runs through July 28th.
For the schedule of daily events and concerts, as well as the list of food vendors, fairgoers are encouraged to visit the website at CaStateFair.org or download the Ca State Fair app where they can map out all of their adventures.
About the California State Fair
The California State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs world-wide. The California State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology and the diversity of its people, traditions and trends that shape the Golden State’s future. We invite you to join us for the 166th California State Fair, July 12-28, 2019.Read More
By Hercules Police Department
On July 10, 2019, at 5:12 A.M., the Hercules Police Traffic Officer was conducting traffic enforcement in the area of John Muir Parkway. He noticed a Honda Civic that was described as a felony vehicle and trailed it to westbound I-80 at the Appian Way off ramp. Dispatch confirmed the felony vehicle and he initiated a felony stop. The Honda was used as a getaway vehicle in an armed robbery that occurred in Antioch on July 9, 2019. The driver, 26-year-old Shaneta Brown, of Pittsburg was detained.
She had an unrelated warrant for theft out of Antioch. Antioch P.D. arrived to take custody of the Honda and Brown was transported to Martinez Detention Facility.
During the felony stop, a traffic break was initiated and lasted approximately five minutes.Read More
By Hercules Police Department
On July 10, 2019 at 10:09 a.m. An Officer did a traffic enforcement stop on a Silver ’97 Honda Civic on Sycamore Ave. at Taco Bell for a traffic violation. The driver was contacted and gave the Officer a California Driver’s License (CDL) falsely identifying herself as another person. The Officer looked at the photo on the CDL and saw the photo did not match the drivers characteristics. The driver insisted she was the person photographed but, was detained. The driver then falsely identified herself as another female. The driver eventually admitted her true identity and was identified as (A) Lynette Williams (DOB 07/24/67) of Vallejo.
Williams was found to have a total of 7 outstanding Misdemeanor Warrants for theft related crimes out of both Solano and Napa Counties. Williams was arrested and during a search of the vehicle, several credit cards, California driver’s licenses and social security cards were located, none of which belonged to Williams.
Several victims got their property back thanks to you.Read More
By Concord Police Department
Investigators are searching for the suspect who shot a man in the parking lot of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Saturday evening. Just before 5:00 P.M., officers responded to the parking lot of Six Flags where they found a man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. At this time, the shooting appears to be an isolated incident that stemmed from an argument between the suspect and the victim. There is no threat to the public. The victim was taken to an area hospital and is expected to survive.
The search continues for the suspect. He is described as a black man, approximately 220 pounds with tattoos all over his back. The suspect vehicle is an older model, silver Honda four-door sedan with front bumper damage. We ask that anyone with information that can help us make an arrest to call our confidential tip line: (925) 603-5836.
See the KPIX5 CBS report of this incident, here.Read More
By Concord Police Department
On Saturday, July 13, Concord Police investigators are searching for a suspect in a deadly shooting. Friday night around 11:15, officers were called to the Motel 6 on Clayton Road for reports of shots fired. When they arrived, they found one man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek where he died. Our investigators were looking into all leads.
Adam Renfroe, a 32-year-old Brentwood resident and Robert Brown, a 40-year-old Bay Point resident have been identified as suspects in this case. Both have arrest warrants for murder. Brown was tracked to a home in Bay Point and Concord SWAT members served a search warrant at the home this afternoon. Neither suspect was located.
Both Renfroe and Brown are considered armed and dangerous. If you see these suspects or know of their location, please do not approach them and immediately contact your local police department or call 911. This case is still in the preliminary stages and no additional information will be released at this time. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Kevin Giacoletto at (925) 671-3040 or the Tip-line at (925) 603-5836.
We’ll continue to post updates.Read More
Just before 11:00 A.M. Friday morning, July 12, Pittsburg officers were called to a residence in the 600 block of School Street in regards to a man armed with a gun. Prior to officers arriving on scene, dispatch advised that the man had two handguns and had fired several rounds.
When they arrived, they contacted family members who said there was an argument and when they approached the man’s home, he came out armed with two handguns. There was a brief struggle for the handguns before he fired several rounds towards a victim. Fortunately, no was one was shot. Everyone involved left the area of the home. The victim called 911. The suspect was seen driving away in his car.
Within minutes, officers located the man’s car parked back in front of his residence on School Street. Officers learned of his identity and called his cell phone. He refused to exit the home and denied being involved in the incident. For the next several hours, officers continued to attempt to speak with the man and have him come out peacefully. Detectives with the Investigations Division authored a Search and Arrest Warrant for the man and the residence. Shortly after 4:00 P.M., the Pittsburg Police Department Tactical Team responded to the scene to serve the warrant. But, within moments of the tactical team’s arrival, the man exited the home and was taken into custody without further incident.Read More
By Captain Denton Carlson, San Ramon Police Department
During the morning of Sunday, July 7, 2019, members of the San Ramon Police Department responded to several reports of racially insensitive graffiti in the area surrounding Camino Ramon and Crow Canyon Road. The graffiti was spray-painted on several exterior walls of commercial buildings, as well as on an ATM in the area. Members of our agency and employees from local businesses took immediate steps to remove the graffiti in an attempt to limit the public’s exposure. Based on the initial investigation by our officers, it was apparent the graffiti was spray-painted during the early morning hours on Sunday, July 7, 2019.
On Monday, July 8, 2019, members of the San Ramon Police Department received several high-quality images of the involved suspect, which were taken by the video surveillance camera inside the vandalized ATM located at 2190 Camino Ramon. These images were immediately distributed to local law enforcement agencies in an attempt to identify the suspect. After a few days without any successful identification, we posted the photographs on our social media platforms to try and determine who was responsible for these crimes.
The response from the San Ramon Community was overwhelming. After receiving numerous investigative tips, San Ramon Police Detectives positively identified the suspect as Jacob Leigh, an 18-year-old from San Ramon. Detectives served a search warrant at Leigh’s home during the morning of Thursday, July 11, 2019. Numerous items of evidentiary value associated with the crimes committed were recovered during the search, but Leigh was not at the residence.
During the early afternoon on Thursday, July 11, 2019, Jacob Leigh arranged to turn himself in at the San Ramon Police Department. Detectives placed him under arrest, and he was booked at the Martinez Detention Facility for violations of Penal Code 422.6(b) (Hate crime) and multiple violations of Penal Code 594 (Vandalism). His bail was set at $40,000.
The members of the San Ramon Police Department would like to thank the San Ramon Community for their assistance in identifying this suspect. Their commitment to justice, inclusion, and equality shined through based on their obvious displeasure associated with crimes of this nature.
For media-related inquires, please contact Captain Denton Carlson via email at email@example.com, or via direct message on Twitter (@srpdcarlson).Read More
OAKLAND – Raj Kumar Ditta pleaded guilty today in federal court to misappropriating and embezzling funds he held as a fiduciary for incompetent and disabled veterans, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, Special Agent in Charge James Wahleithner. The plea was accepted by the Hon. Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, U.S. District Judge.
In pleading guilty, Ditta, 51, of San Ramon, the owner of Ditta Fiduciary Services, admitted that from 2010 through 2012, he entered into fiduciary agreements with the VA. Under the agreements, he agreed to act as a fiduciary for eight different veterans or beneficiaries that the VA had determined were not competent to handle their own financial affairs. As a fiduciary, Ditta was required to establish bank accounts to receive each beneficiary’s VA income and to ensure the beneficiary’s debts were paid. Ditta admitted that in each case, he set up a separate bank account for the beneficiary and, within months, began syphoning funds from the beneficiary’s account. Ditta moved thousands of dollars to his own personal account and used those funds for his own benefit. In sum, Ditta misappropriated and embezzled no less than $39,500 from the veterans and beneficiaries.
Ditta was charged by Information on May 24, 2019, with one count of misappropriation of funds held by a fiduciary, in violation of 38 U.S.C. § 6101(a), and 15 counts of theft of government money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641. Under the plea agreement, Ditta pleaded guilty to the misappropriation of funds count and, if he complies with the plea agreement, the remaining counts will be dismissed at sentencing.
Judge Gonzalez Rogers scheduled Ditta’s sentencing hearing for November 14, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. Ditta faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for the 38 U.S.C. § 6101(a) violation. In addition, as part of sentencing the court may order an additional period of supervised release and restitution, if appropriate. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Apolinar Olivera is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jessica Rodriguez Gonzalez. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the VA Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
SSI applications overwhelm county’s Employment & Human Services Department, hires 24 more employees
A 29-unit affordable residential development planned for a Bay Point site donated to the Habitat for Humanity of the East Bay Silicon Valley got the green light from the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to proceed with construction.
On a 4-0 vote supervisors approved Habitat for Humanity’s Pacifica Landing Project on a 2.42-acre site that was willed to the nonprofit organization with the intent to build affordable housing on the vacant Pacifica Avenue property next to the Rio Vista Elementary School. Board Chair John Gioia of Richmond was absent.
There was no public opposition aired at the Supervisors meeting, but at the County Planning Commission meeting there were concerns about the lack of off-street parking and the loss of 13 trees that the developer, Habitat for Humanity, has since addressed and mitigated.
The Bay Point affordable housing project will be the second Habitat for Humanity of the East Bay/Silicon Valley development in Contra Costa County. The nonprofit organization spearheaded the construction of a 45-unit affordable townhouse development at the Contra Costa Centre/Pleasant Hill BART Station.
Mike Keller of Habitat for Humanity of the East Bay/Silicon Valley expects construction of the Pacifica Avenue project to get underway by October or November.
“This is a good project,” said District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, whose district includes the development site. “Habitat for Humanity does good work. I’m in favor of it.”
The project will include a mix of two-bedroom, three-bedroom, and four-bedroom residences ranging in living area from 992 to 1,442 square feet. The townhomes will be two-story, single family residential units and will be developed in tri-plex and five-plex clusters throughout the property.
The proposed subdivision will provide 51 uncovered surface parking spaces for the residences and seven additional guest parking spaces.
Board Issues Bonds for Other Housing In Bay Point, Pittsburg
In related affordable housing board action, supervisors voted to approve as consent agenda items two resolutions authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds – one of not more than $19.2 million to finance the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of an 88-unit, multi-family housing rental development called Hidden Cove Apartments located at 2921-2931 Mary Ann Lane, also in Bay Point. A second bond issuance of $42.4 million will be for offering mortgage loans or otherwise providing funds to finance the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of multifamily rental housing, including units for lower income households and very low income households for a borrower of 200 units of multifamily rental housing units known as Marina Heights Apartments located at 2 Marina Blvd. in Pittsburg.
In the event the two bonds are issued, the county will be reimbursed for costs incurred in the issuance process. No county funds are pledged to secure the bonds. The Contra Costa County Conservation and Development Department oversees the program.
SSI Applications Overwhelms County Department
Supervisors learned expansion of the CalFresh program on June 1, has squeezed the county Employment & Human Services Department to hire 24 additional staff since July 7 because the department has received 3,562 Food Stamp applications, Kathy Gallagher, Employment and Human Services Director, reported.
Effective June 1, persons receiving Supplemental Security Income/Supplementary Payments through the Social Security Administration are eligible for CalFresh or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This development has triggered a surge of CalFresh applications that has partially hobbled the Employment and Human Services Department’s ability to promptly process applications.
Initially, the county department expected to receive 2,512 applications for CalFresh, but the rising number of submissions is forcing department officials to reconfigure personnel needs. “We can handle this,” Gallagher assured supervisors.
“I’m glad that the SSI Cal Fresh benefit for each recipient to live on is now $900 a month,” remarked Larry Sly of the Contra Costa Food Bank.
Environmental Health Chief Underwood Leaving
The Contra Costa Herald has learned that Contra Costa County Environmental Health Department Director Dr. Marilyn Underwood will be leaving her post. It was announced during the Board of Supervisors meeting, but supervisors were unavailable to comment about Dr. Underwood’s announcement.
Dr. Underwood has led the county environmental health department since March 2011.
The Herald has learned from one source that the environmental health chief, who has overseen or been involved in the Keller Canyon Landfill/Hunters Point Naval Shipyard radiation case, the countywide anti-litter program along with other environmental health duties, has decided to retire.
Neither Dr. Underwood nor her press contact were available for comment at Contra Costa Herald deadline.
Supervisors Approve New Ammunition Distributor for Sheriff
Supervisors approved Sheriff David O. Livingston’s request to change its new Winchester Ammunition Distributor from Adamson Police Products to Dooley Enterprises. Winchester has informed the Sheriff’s Office that they had to change distributors in Northern California from Adamson to Dooley. The supervisors’ consent action will permit a new purchase order with Dooley Enterprises as the new Winchester Ammunition Distributor for the Office of the Sheriff. The new purchase order with Dooley Enterprises, Inc. is in the amount of $450,000 for the purchase of ammunition for the period of July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2021.Read More
By Allen Payton
The 2019 National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) High School All-America lists have been released and a long list of swimmers from Contra Costa County have made the top 100 in various events. Zoie Hartman, a senior this past year at Danville’s Monte Vista High School, was the nation’s top swimmer in the 200 Yard Individual Medley. She and many other swimmers made the list in more than one event.
In the Boys 100 Yard Butterfly, Flanders, a senior this past year, ranked sixth with a time of 47.49 and Iannaccone, also a senior, ranked 94th with a time of 49.55. The top swimmer in the nation in the event was from Southern California and had a time of 46.63. The national record is 45.52 which was achieved by a swimmer in Florida in 2013.
In the 100 Yard Freestyle, senior Niklas Weigelt of Clayton Valley Charter High in Concord ranked 23rd with a time of 44.36. Junior Gavin Wright of San Ramon Valley High ranked 33rd with a time of 44.62. The top swimmer was from Ohio with a time of 43.27 and the record was set in 2011 in Pennsylvania with a time of 42.34.
In the 100 Yard Backstroke, junior Allen Dempster of San Ramon Valley High ranked 20th with a time of 48.44. Senior Andrew Rodriguez of Northgate High in Walnut Creek ranked 54th with a time of 49.16. Senior Mattias Blanco of Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon ranked 81st with a time of 49.66. The top swimmer in the event was from Ohio with a time of 46.28 and the national record of 45.34 was set in 2012 in Florida.
In the 100 Yard Breaststroke, sophomore Jacob Soderlund of Monte Vista High in Danville in Danville ranked 11th with a time of 54.24. Senior Mason Loyet of Campolindo High in Morage ranked 96th with a time of 56.51. The top swimmer in the nation was from Pennsylvania and had a time of 52.52, and the national record in the event of 51.16 was set also in Pennsylvania in 2018.
In the 200 Yard Freestyle, senior Sean Percin of Campolindo High in Moraga ranked 67th with a time of 1:38.80. The top swimmer in the event was from Ohio with a time of 1:32.99 and the nation record was set in 2018 with a time of 1:33.06.
In the 200 Yard Individual Medley, Flanders ranked 30th with a time of 1:48.61. Andrew Rodriguez a senior at Northgate High ranked 64th with a time of 1:49.89. The top swimmer had a time of 1:43.99 and the record was set by a team in Pennsylvania in 2011 with a time of 1:41.39.
In the 50 Yard Freestyle, junior Matthew Muaddi of San Ramon Valley High ranked 37th with a time of 20:37. His teammate, junior Gavin Wright ranked 98th with a time of 20.75. The top time in that event of 19.55 was by a swimmer in Pennsylvania and the national record of 19.29 was set in Florida in 2013.
Five teams in the county made the top 100 list in the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. The San Ramon Valley High team of Flanders, Muadi, Wright, and senior Jack Wilkerson ranked 2nd with a time of 1:22.13. Walnut Creek’s Northgate High team of Rodriguez, fellow senior Ledesma, and juniors Adrian Dulay and Kai Welsh ranked 30th with a time of 1:23.92. Close behind was Moraga’s Campolindo High all-senior team of Percin, Richard Zhang, Alec Baker and Jack Larsen ranked 33rd with a time of 1:23.95. De La Salle’s team of Dicks, Iannaoccone, fellow seniors Sean Iritani, and Joseph Grywczynski ranked 47th with a time of 1:24.54. Less than a second behind was the Clayton Valley Charter High team of seniors Cal Brown, Anthony Vizental and Niklas Weigelt, and junior John Parker, which ranked 50th with a time of 1:24.57. The top ranked team in the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay from Kentucky had a time of 1:21.96 and the national record was set in 2012 in Florida with a time of 1:19.27.
Four of the five teams from the same schools also made the top 100 list in the 200 Yard Medley Relay. Flanders and his teammates, Muaddi and fellow junior Allen Dempster, and sophomore Grant Watson from San Ramon Valley High ranked 25th in the event, with a time of 1:31.69. The Northgate High team of Rodriguez, Ledesma, Dulay and Welsh ranked 51st in the same event, with a time of 1:33.16. San Ramon’s Dougherty Valley High School team of Blanco and fellow senior Chaitha Dasari, junior Clifford Yao and sophomore Bryson Huey ranked 82nd in the event, with a close time of 1:33.76. Close behind them was Moraga’s Campolindo High team of Loyet and fellow seniors Matteo Lanzara and Richard Zhang, and sophomore Zach Le-Nguyen with ranking of 87th and a time of 1:33.83. Just a fraction of a second behind was the De La Salle High team of Iannaccone, Iritani, Grywczynski, and Dicks which ranked 98th with a time of 1:34.04. The nation’s top team in the event was from Ohio, with a time of 1:28.48. The national record of 1:27.74 was set in 2014.
In the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay, the San Ramon Valley High team of Wright, Dempster, senior Jack Wilkerson and sophomore Grant Watson ranked 11th with a time of 3:01.87. The Campolindo High team of seniors Baker, Zhang, Larsen and Percin placed 15th with a time of 3:03.18. The top team was from Indiana with a time of 2:58.75 and the national record of 2:53.81 was set in 2018 by a team in Pennsylvania.
In the Girls 100 Yard Freestyle, senior Sophia Kosturos of Miramonte High in Orinda ranked 4th with a time of 49.03. Senior Zoie Hartman of Danville’s Monte Vista High School ranked 15th with a time of 49.62. The top swimmer in the event was from Southern California with a time of 48.63 and the national record of 47.09 was set in 2015, also in Southern California.
In the 100 Yard Butterfly, Kosturos ranked 20th with a time of 53.56. Sophomore Alexis DePaco of San Ramon Valley High ranked 53rd with a time of 54.51. Junior Maddie Smith of Campolindo High ranked 91st with a time of 55.15. Senior Ashleen O’Brien, also of Campolindo, ranked 99th with a time of 55.22. The top swimmer in the event was from Virginia with a time of 51.29 and now holds the national record previously set at 51.53 in Southern California in 2015.
In the 100 Yard Backstroke, Kosturos ranked 9th with a time of 52.92. Sophomore Jessica Davis of Carondolet High School in Concord ranked 41st with a time of 54.53. Close behind with a time of 54.78 was Junior Margaux McDonald of Miramonte High, who ranked 50th. Sophomore Maile Andresen of Northgate High ranked 71st with a time of 55.11. The top swimmer in the event was from Tennessee with a time of 51.57 and the record of 51.43 was set in 2012 in Illinois.
In the 100 Yard Breaststroke, Hartman ranked 5th with a time of 59.92. Sophomore Shelby Suppiger, of Acalanes High in Lafayette, ranked 53rd with a time of 1:02.72. Sophomore Ana Jih Schiff of San Ramon Valley High ranked 63rd with a time of 1:02.87. Just 1/100th of a second behind was sophomore Channing Hanley of Campolindo who ranked 65th with a time of 1:02.88. The best swimmer in the event was from Indiana with a time of 58.91 who also holds the national record of 58.40 was set in 2018.
In the 200 Yard Individual Medley, Hartman ranked 1st with a time of 1:55.29. Smith ranked 49th with a time of 2:01.50 and Schiff was close behind ranked 50th with a time of 2:01.55. Suppiger ranked 66th with a time of 2:02.15, followed by McDonald who ranked 67th with a time of 2:02.20. The national record of 1:53.82 was set in North Dakota in 2009.
Hartman and Kosturos tied for 39th with the same time of 23:08 in the 50 Yard Freestyle. The top swimmer with a time of 21.95 was from Virginia and the record of 21.64 was set in Southern California in 2015.
Five teams from the county made the list in the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. Those include the Acalanes team of Suppiger, seniors Emily Gebhardt and Nicole Edwards, and junior Jewel Roemer ranked 43rd with a time of 1:35.13. The Northgate team of Andresen, seniors Caraline Levy and Toria Stahl, and freshman Alyssa Lund ranked 58th with a time of 1:35.48. Close behind was the San Ramon Valley High team of Schiff, DePaco, fellow sophomore Kailen O’Rell and freshman Caroline Wight ranked 63rd with a time of 1:35.57. They were followed by the Campolindo team of O’Brien, junior Lola Ciruli, and freshmen Amber Van Meines and Lexi Fok ranked 67th with a time of 1:35.63. Then came the Monte Vista team of Hartman, fellow senior Gillian Flath, junior Jenna Seaman and freshman Madeleine Kan who ranked 71st with a time of 1:35.70. The top team in the nation from Tennessee had a time of 1:31.29 and the record of 1:30.72 was set in 2015 in Indiana.
Four teams from three of those same schools made the list in the 200 Yard Medley Relay. The Monte Vista team of Hartman, Flath, sophomore Kendall Johansson and freshman Anna Ryan ranked 8th with a time of 1:41.90. The Campolindo team of Van Meines, O’Brien, Hanley, and fellow senior Elizabeth Follmer ranked 40th with a time of 1:43.74. They were followed by the Miramonte team of Kosturos, McDonald and seniors Katie Lyons and Eloise Engs which ranked 49th with a time of 1:44.03. The San Ramon Valley High team of Wight, Schiff, DePaco, and fellow sophomore Abby Muaddi ranked 83rd with a time of 1:45.24. The fastest time of 1:39.91 was by a team in Tennessee and the national record of 1:38.13 was set in Colorado in 2018.
Three teams made the list in the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay. The Miramonte team of Kosturos, Engs, Lyons and McDonald ranked 17th with a time of 3:25.21. Close behind with a time of 3:25.54 and ranked 18th was the Monte Vista team of Hartman, junior Jenna Seaman, and freshmen Kyla Kelly and Taylor Christian. The Campolindo team of O’Brien, Smith, Van Meines and freshman Lexi Fok ranked 53rd with a time of 3:27.65. The top team with a time of 3:20.32 was from Southern California and the national record of 3:15.38 was set in 2015 by an Indiana team.
Many of the swimmers who graduated this year, will be attending Division I colleges as a member of the swim team. Hartman will be attending the University of Georgia on a full-ride scholarship.Read More