After a months-long investigation into a gang in East Contra Costa County that was allegedly transferring firearms illegally, law enforcement officers on Wednesday executed eight search warrants in Pittsburg, Antioch, and Bay Point.
The investigation was led by CASE (Contra Costa County Anti-Violence Support Effort). During the operation, CASE was assisted by Special Agents from the California Department of Justice (Burea…u of Firearms), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshals, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, Pittsburg Police Department, Walnut Creek Police Department, Richmond Police Department and Probation Officers from the Contra Costa County Probation Department.
A total of nine people were arrested and booked into the Martinez Detention Facility. They are being held on numerous charges that include conspiracy, gang and narcotics violations, and weapons’ charges including felon in possession of a firearm, possession of an assault rife, prohibited person in possession of a firearm, and illegal transfer of a firearm.
During searches of the locations, law enforcement officers seized one AK-47 style assault rifle, three handguns, high capacity magazines, cocaine, marijuana, and pills.
The CASE Team is a joint effort by the Office of the Sheriff, California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, Pittsburg Police Department and Walnut Creek Police Department. CASE was created in November 2011 as a collaborative effort to reduce violent crimes in Contra Costa, especially those related to illegal firearms.
By John Crowder
On Friday, October 20, representatives of four cities and the County came together to discuss economic development for the East County region. The annual EC2 (EC Squared, which stands for East County Economic Collaborative) Summit, the brainchild of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, is designed to promote job growth and economic opportunity in the region. The event was held at the Antioch Community Center.
Moderated by Antioch Mayor Sean Wright, attendees heard from representatives from each of four cities; Antioch, Pittsburg, Brentwood, and Oakley, as well as a representative from the Contra Costa County Transportation Agency.
Presenters from each city highlighted resources and programs that are designed to stimulate economic activity. Antioch’s presentation focused on the development of the waterfront, light industrial space, and the upcoming BART extension to the city.
The City of Pittsburg presentation highlighted a desire to move beyond heavy industry by shifting focus to manufacturing and their involvement in the Bay Area Manufacturing Initiative. Also mentioned were marketing initiatives for the City, including the use of social media.
Oakley’s talk discussed how residential development is driving growth. According to their presentation, they have over 5000 entitled residential lots, along with over 300 acres of industrial zoned land. Emphasizing that as a city they are, “development friendly,” they noted a reduction in commercial impact fees of 40% and a streamlined project approval process.
The City of Brentwood touted their Economic Development Action Plan. Some of their “game changers” include a business development center, full scale hospital, a Next Generation Technology Business Park, and a Farm to Fork program.
Contra Costa Transportation Authority Executive Director Randy Iwasaki discussed the East Bay as a “Corridor of Opportunity,” with a broad overview of how voter approved transportation initiative funds are being used. The projects he mentioned included work on Highway 4, BART expansion to Antioch, and the Highway 160/Highway 4 Connector Ramps. He also discussed future projects under consideration.
Antioch Mayor Sean Wright commented on the event, saying, “It was awesome to see all four cities and the County coming together to discuss strategies and work being done to bring jobs to East Contra Costa County. Too many of our residents are spending too much of their lives commuting and we must double our efforts to bring those good paying jobs here to our region.”
His sentiments were echoed by Richard Pagano, CEO of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce. He said the important question is, “How do we work regionally to bring jobs to the entire area? A job in Antioch helps Oakley, and vice-versa. That’s the paradigm shift we’re trying to effect.”
The television broadcast of EC2 can be seen on the following channels in November: CCTV – Wednesday November 15 at 12 pm and Delta TV – Thursday November 16 at 10 am.
By Allen Payton
According to eyewitnesses about 10 or 12 police vehicles had another car stopped on Laurel Road near the Highway 4 offramp at about 8:15 p.m. Sunday night. It turned to be the end of a high-speed police pursuit of a stolen vehicle.
“It was a vehicle that got carjacked last night in Oakley,” said Oakley Police Sgt. Rick Grubaugh,
“Today he was driving through Pittsburg on Highway 4 eastbound,” he continued. “Pittsburg PD began pursuing it. The vehicle took the Laurel Road offramp and that’s where the vehicle pursuit ended, and we took the guy into custody.”
It was a high-speed pursuit on Hwy 4, Grubaugh confirmed.
Oakley PD was there near the Laurel Road offramp waiting for the driver, he explained.
The “30-year-old black male” is “from somewhere on the west end of the county” and “is fine and in custody,” Grubaugh added.
“The need for a healthcare district board of directors has come and gone.” – Supervisor Federal Glover
By Daniel Borsuk
The little heard of governmental entity dubbed the Contra Costa Local Agency Formational Commission (CCLAFCo) will consider either at its February or April 2018 meeting a resolution unanimously passed by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to dissolve the financially troubled Los Medanos Community Healthcare District (LMCHD).
Established in 1963 by the state legislature to sort out local governmental agency boundary issues and other inter-county government problems, every county in the state has a local agency formation commission. The CCLAFCo consists of seven voting members, with two members representing the board of supervisors, two members representing city councils, two representing special district boards and one public member.
In this instance, Board of Supervisors Chair Federal Glover, who represents Pittsburg and Bay Point which are the two communities served by LMCHD, and District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen have already voted to dissolve the LMCHD and both serve on the CCLAFCo board and will have a second opportunity to vote on the issue when it comes before the commission. District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood also serves as an alternate to the CCLAFCo only when either Glover or Andersen cannot attend a meeting.
On its face there seems to be a potential conflict of interest or perhaps not.
CCLAFCo Executive Administrator Lou Anne Texeira told the Herald that when this item comes up, the two supervisors can vote on the issue and will not have to recuse themselves as long as they have no financial stake in their action.
“There is no law or rule that bars them from voting on the matter again,” Texeira said. “They do have the option to recuse themselves when the matter comes up for a vote if they so choose to do so.”
“All of this will be considered before LAFCo,” said Glover before the supervisors’ vote. “The need for a healthcare district board of directors has come and gone. I accept the staff’s recommendation.”
At Tuesday’s supervisors meeting, the decision to approve the County Administrator’s Office recommendation took less than 20 minutes.
LMCHD Executive Director Godfrey L. Wilson admitted he was caught off guard that the board of supervisors were considering dissolving the financially struggling healthcare district in this manner by placing the issue on the board’s agenda.
Recent financial data indicates the healthcare district that serves Pittsburg and Bay Point is not perking along well. The district had healthcare grant programs, which are the district’s core operation of $268,569 or 25 percent of total revenues of $1,060,330. At the same time, district financial records show general administration costs, including board member stipends represented 33 percent of the district’s expenses or $345,383.
When asked what way CCLAFCo may vote when the issues come before that panel next year, LMCHD Executive Director Wilson responded in an unoptimistic manner, “I think some people have already made up their minds on that issue.”
The county health department that has operated the Pittsburg Health Clinic at the 130,000-square foot building at 2311 Loveridge Road since 1998 will continue to operate the health clinic that is the most successful clinic in the county treating more than 100,000 patients a year.
The county has paid $100,000 a year in rent to the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development for use of the Loveridge Road property. In addition, the county has paid the state $24 million for capital improvements to the building on Loveridge Road.
The county-run Pittsburg Health Center accounts for 65 percent of all clinic visits in East Contra Costa County. The clinic provides primary adult care as well as pediatrics care, audiology, orthopedics, podiatry, and dental care services.
By Jonathan Lance, Communications Specialist, Contra Costa County Office of Education
On Thursday, October 26, 459 student athletes hit the football field at Liberty High School for the annual Special Olympics Schools Partnership Program Soccer Events. The student athletes’ ages ranged from kindergarten to transition students (ages 18-22), with 271 males and 188 females.
Throughout the busy morning and early afternoon, the student athletes took part in soccer skills drills or tournament play, or both. The day was filled with plenty of determination, encouragement, and celebration in achievement – plus a lot of smiles.
Sherri Roberti, Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) Special Olympics Schools Partnership Program coordinator and special education teacher, said, “We would like to thank Liberty High School’s teacher, Summer Rodriguez, who always does a fabulous job of helping to organize her Leadership Students, who serve as event volunteers.” Roberti continues, “Summer and her students worked tirelessly throughout the entire day. She and Liberty High School graciously hosts two events per year, [soccer and track] and do a wonderful job with both!”
The event’s East County participating special education classes came from the following schools: Krey, Los Medanos, and Turner elementary schools; Hillview, Martin Luther King, Edna Hill, O’Hara Park, Park, and Rancho Medanos middle schools; Antioch, Deer Valley, Freedom, Heritage, Liberty, and Pittsburg high schools; and Deer Valley, Gateway Program, Heritage, and Liberty transition schools.
The Special Olympics Northern California Schools Partnership Program is a unique education program in K-12 schools. It unifies students with and without disabilities through sports and whole-school involvement activities that provide them with the knowledge, experience, and skills necessary to create and sustain school communities that promote inclusion, acceptance, and respect for all students.
By Jimmy Lee, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Sheriff
On Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017 at about 12:53 PM, Deputy Sheriffs were dispatched to the area of 2600 Dutch Slough Road in Bethel Island for a report of a person who had been shot.
The victim was located and found to have suffered a gunshot wound. The victim was taken to a local hospital by ambulance and is expected to survive.
The suspect fled the scene before Deputies arrived. Despite an extensive search, he could not be located.
Monday evening, the suspect turned himself in to police. The suspect is identified as 27-year-old Nicholas Gursoy of Oakley. After being interviewed by Detectives, Gursoy was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility for attempted murder. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
Turned himself in to Antioch Police
By Jimmy Lee, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
Detectives from the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff have identified 19-year-old Brayan Zavala of Antioch as the suspect in the early Sunday morning homicide of 48-year-old Bradley MacHugh of Discovery Bay. (See related articles here, and here)
An arrest warrant was issued for Zavala, who is described as a Hispanic male, 5’,8”, 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was believed to be driving a 2005 silver C240 Mercedes Benz sedan with California license plate — 7TMJ018.
Detectives say MacHugh was involved in a dispute with occupants in two vehicles over reckless driving early Sunday morning. During the dispute, Detectives believe suspect Zavala produced a gun and shot MacHugh.
Zavala was considered armed and dangerous and the Sheriff warned the public that he should not be approached.
Wednesday afternoon at about 5:00 PM, suspect Brayan Zavala volunteered to turn himself in to police. Deputy Sheriffs, assisted by the Antioch Police Department, arrested Zavala.
Zavala was interviewed by Sheriff’s Detectives and at about 7:30 PM, Zavala was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on a murder charge. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
The investigation into this case is ongoing. Anyone with any information on the case is asked to contact the Investigation Division at (925) 404-4200 or call the anonymous tip lines at (925) 313-1166 or (866) 846-3592. Tips can also be emailed to: email@example.com.
Workers speak out against unsafe working conditions that cause ‘disabling and disfiguring accidents’
BAY POINT, CALIF. – Protesting the heartless cancellation of health insurance for workers on strike, four injured workers of Henkel Aerospace Industrial Bay Point will share their stories of workplace injuries and deliver a letter from Valter Sanches, General President of the IndustriALL Global Union to the company’s 2850 Willow Pass facility on Tuesday.
More than 80 production workers at Henkel Aerospace Industrial Bay Point – a German-owned subsidiary –have been on strike since October 16, 2017. The workers manufacture industrial glue and adhesives for airplanes and other industrial uses, and organized with Machinists Local 1584 in 2013 after numerous safety violations on the job, including a workplace fatality of a temporary worker, a veteran who had recently returned from Iraq to settle in Antioch.
“It is not surprising – and completely in line with Henkel’s callous disregard for worker safety – that they would cancel our health insurance in an attempt to scare us back to into unsafe jobs,” said Will Morris, Henkel production worker and Shop Steward for Machinists Local 1584. “Scarier than us losing health insurance is what’s been happening to workers inside the plant: disabling and disfiguring accidents,”
“Henkel’s continues to refuse to address health and safety problems through better training & advancement and a reasonable grievance procedure at the bargaining table,” said Steve Older, Machinists Area Director. “The company’s ongoing animus toward the union workers – on the factory floor and at the bargaining table – will lead to more workplace injuries. We’ll be on strike until this corporation puts safety and fairness first.”
“As Contra Costa moves toward developing the Northern Waterfront into an advanced manufacturing sector, we need to ensure that the jobs created are quality jobs; safe jobs for workers and the community, with living wages, job security and advancement opportunities, so the region is truly sustainable,” said Margaret Hanlon-Gradie, executive director of the Contra Costa AFL-CIO Labor Council.
WHO: 80 workers on strike protesting unsafe working conditions, community leaders and allies
WHAT: Injured workers on strike will deliver letter to Henkel’s management. Picket line.
WHEN: 12 P.M., TODAY, OCTOBER 31, 2017
WHERE: In front of Henkel Aerospace Bay Point, 2850 Willow Pass Road, Bay Point, CA
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1584 represents more than 5,000 workers in manufacturing, automotive, shipyards, and public transportation, and other industries in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Central Labor Council of Contra Costa County, AFL-CIO represents working people in Contra Costa County.
Multiple attempts to reach someone at Henkel in Bay Point for comment for this article were unsuccessful. The voicemail for their reception desk is full and the message for the Human Resources Department states “your call cannot be completed at this time. Please try again later. Good-bye.”
Detectives from the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff continue to investigate a homicide that occurred in Discovery Bay early Sunday morning.
The victim is identified as 48-year-old Bradley MacHugh of Discovery Bay. The autopsy was completed earlier today. The cause of death is listed as multiple gunshot wounds.
On Sunday morning at about 12:43, Deputy Sheriffs responded to a report of a shooting near Keats Ct. in Discovery Bay. While Deputies were on the way, another caller stated a man was shot and laying on the street on the 1700 block of Wilde Drive. The victim, Bradley MacHugh, was later pronounced deceased.
Detectives say MacHugh was involved in a verbal altercation with occupants in two vehicles over reckless driving. It later became physical. A weapon was produced by an unknown suspect who shot MacHugh.
Two vehicles are believed to be involved in this shooting. One is a Mitsubishi Eclipse, red in color, with a spoiler and loud exhaust. It may also have a sun-roof. The second vehicle is described as a Ford Mustang, matte grey in color, with dark colored rims. The model year of the Mustang is possibly 2008.
Both vehicles were filled with occupants, males and one female, who were described as either Hispanic or Asian. They are wanted for questioning.
Anyone with any information on this case or who may have been in the vehicles is asked to contact the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Investigation Division at (925) 404-4200. For any tips, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.