Friday, June 06, 2003

Cops bust major counterfeiting ring

A one-time top lieutenant in a major drug gang was arrested Thursday by local and federal authorities who said he ran a nationwide counterfeiting and identity theft ring that netted $6 million in losses from thousands of victims in the last two years.

Authorities said Randy Lamont Brown, 45, of Vallejo, former top henchman in the Felix Mitchell drug gang, led a ring specializing in counterfeit travelers and personal checks, U.S. Postal Service money orders, and major store gift certificates.

Tri-Valley Herald

Mother of boy in water changes plea: insanity

A woman accused of intentionally dropping her 3-year-old son into the Mare Island Strait pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday in a Vallejo courtroom.

Cheauvon Brown then became so agitated that three sheriff's deputies had to help take her to a holding cell, said her attorney, William Beeman.

Contra Costa Times

Slain Fairfield women were transients

Two Fairfield women shot and killed early Wednesday morning were local transients who both had a history of contact with police, officials said Thursday.

The women were Ortila Julia Carrington, 48; and Rochella Mae Harrison, 29, Lt. Michael Hill said.
...According to Solano County jail records, Vallejo police arrested Harrison, alias Rickshella, in May for being drunk in public and using offensive words to provoke a violent reaction.
Fairfield Daily Republic

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Deal ends opposition to $140 million Valero upgrade

In a written settlement, a coalition of the Benicia-based Good Neighbor Steering Committee, the Solano County Green Party and Solano's Sierra Club chapter withdrew its appeal of the Planning Commission's decision to issue permits for the Benicia refinery's upgrade. The group dropped its opposition, which could have killed the project, in exchange for Valero's commitment to install anti-pollution equipment sooner than previously planned.

San Antonio Business Journal (Texas)

Synchronized Swim Team Celebrates 2003 Season :: Buckeyes honor four senior members at annual banquet
The Ohio State synchronized swimming team celebrated the 2003 season Wednesday evening with their annual recognition banquet at the University Plaza Hotel. The Buckeyes topped off the season with a victory at the Collegiate National Championships and a third-place finish at the U.S. National Championships.
Ohio State senior team members Victoria Bowen (Plano, Texas), Suzanna Hyatt (Indianapolis, Ind.), Sharon Mejia (Vallejo, Calif.) and Kris Moyer (Bellevue, Ohio) were honored and each gave their own "Words of Wisdom."

Ohio State Buckeyes

Suddenly, tales of cork are afloat everywhere::Vallejoan quoted::

-- Johnnel Panganiban of Vallejo believes Sosa. "The Devil Rays pitch like it's batting practice."

San Francisco Chronicle

Home starts up by 27.2% in state

In the Bay Area, the data were mixed. The total permits issued rose to 1, 095, or 58 percent, in the San Francisco metropolitan area; in San Jose housing starts reached 2,823, an increase of 70 percent. However, permits declined on a year-over-year basis by 7.7 percent in Oakland, 23.5 percent in Santa Rosa and 18.3 percent in the Vallejo-Fairfield-Napa corridor. The Oakland area recorded the biggest drop in single-family home construction in the state in the first four months of 2003 -- from 2,410 to 1,692, or 29.8 percent.

San Francisco Chronicle

Assembly OKs bill allowing 35 cities (including Vallejo) to impose sales taxes

The bill would allow 34 cities to impose sales and use taxes of a quarter percent or a half percent of the purchase price if voters approve.

Those cities are American Canyon, Benicia, Beverly Hills, Calistoga, Capitola, Colton, Culver City, Fairfield, Fontana, King City, Los Angeles, Malibu, Monterey, Napa, Pacific Grove, Rialto, Rio Vista, Rohnert Park, San Bernardino, San Fernando, Sand City, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, St. Helena, Scotts Valley, Soledad, Suisun City, Vacaville, Vallejo, West Hollywood, Watsonville, Winters and Yountville.

San Jose Mercury News

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

What's wrong with Vallejo?
Sex Offender Wants Martinez Release

A judge has cleared a violent sex offender for release this Friday, even though his treatment team insists he is still a danger.

The public defender for Cary Verse, 32, said his client was issued a conditional release. But Friday, a judge will review the circumstances of the case.

Verse has been convicted of raping three young men. He has been under treatment at Atascadero State Hospital for the last several years, and has undergone chemical castration. Now Verse wants his freedom, and he's asked to live in Martinez.


Layoffs loom in Solano County

State budget reductions caused the county's Child Support Services and Health and Social Services departments to exceed their budgets for fiscal year 2002-2003. The county's Human Resources Department recommended cutting 171 positions between the departments to bring them out of the red.

Fairfield Daily Republic

Welfare fraud spike feared

Solano County officials recommended cutting five positions in its welfare fraud investigation office by mid-August as part of a wave of proposed layoffs. The cuts might not happen depending on how the state's budget for fiscal year 2003-2004 affects the county - as well as several other factors - but the Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to start the layoff process just in case.

Fairfield Daily Republic

County commended for efficient energy use ::excerpt::

It's also enough power to attract the attention of Winston Hickox, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

"God knows, we need the energy," Hickox said before a dedication ceremony. "God knows we need efforts to clean the air."

Gov. Gray Davis set the goal of having 20 percent of the state's energy produced by renewable resources by 2017, Hickox said. The county health building project is significant for this area, he said.

Fairfield Daily Republic

Cruise ship awaits major restoration at Mare Island ::excerpt::

The Independence is berthed alongside the USS Tripoli, an aging helicopter carrier docked at the now-defunct Vallejo naval shipyard. Stacks of old gear and supplies are visible through the windows of the once humming dining areas, bars and showrooms. Rust marks and wear are apparent as the twin-turbine craft awaits further evaluation as to just how, when and where a major refurbishing will take place.

Napa Valley Register

Parent helps in starting center to support youth::excerpt::

Fremont Hospital's center will meet with Bay Area schools this summer to start its suicide education programs in the fall, said Byron Bonsall, a hospital spokes-man.

The center's staff will include three suicide-prevention educators and several mental health workers to run the hot line.

"We will serve everyone in the Bay Area from Vallejo to San Jose," Bonsall said.

The goal of the Jason Foundation's offices at Ardent hospitals is to make parents and kids moreaware about suicide, Flatt said.

The Argus

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Promoters face obstacles in East Bay::excerpt::

Spencer was busy paying out cash and cutting deals at a time when the fans should have been watching action. The card eventually started one hour and 15 minutes late.

When it did come off, it was a solid show that included all five bouts that were promised. Spencer managed to hold everything together when a lesser promoter would have thrown his hands up in the air and quit.

Now comes the moment of truth for Spencer and his aspirations to become a successful promoter. He has put together two shows in Vallejo with little success. Does he go ahead?
Contra Costa Times

Vallejo man on trial!
Baseball bat killer Ellis seeks to withdraw plea

Claiming he received bad legal advice, a Butte College student is seeking to withdraw a second-degree murder plea and stand trial in connection with a fatal Chico baseball bat beating.

Sentencing was postponed Monday for Reigh Carl Ellis, 21, to determine whether there are grounds to support the convicted slayer's request. If the plea stands, he would face 15 years to life in prison for the killing.

Chico Enterprise-Record

Teen held in carjack, robbery
Vallejo man also arrested::excerpt::

Police have arrested a Richmond teen-ager suspected of carjacking a 73-year-old El Cerrito woman, then using her car to rob a second woman in Sacramento County.

The 17-year-old and a suspected accomplice, 20-year-old Vallejo resident Joseph Wendell Latour, were arrested on suspicion of robbery about 3:45 a.m. Sunday on Imran Drive in Sacramento, said El Cerrito detective Sgt. Shawn Maples. They were booked into Sacramento County Jail.

Contra Costa Times

Elections Highlight Week for National Women Bowling
Vallejo woman elected as secretary

The National Women Bowling Writers Board of Directors took on a new look following elections as part of the organization’s annual meeting in Reno, Nev.
Elected for three-year terms were second Vice President Helen Lesh, Roseburg, Ore.; Secretary Chris Beard, Vallejo, Calif.; (who defeated long-time Secretary Phyl Knoll, Hawthorn, Calif.), and Syleta Halbert, Bay City, Texas, returned to the office of Director No. 3. Lynn Angle, St. Louis, won the Director No. 5 spot.

Teenage pole vaulter aiming high
Vallejoan quoted on this athletics report:

Seese, a Vallejo, Calif. resident, is a USA Track & Field Developmental coach and masters-level official. He's seen young talents fizzle, like Eric Eshbach. The current national high school record holder at 18-2 1/4, Eshbach improved by only two inches in four years at Nebraska, Seese said.

And, Seese points out, some vaulters are late bloomers, such as U.S. indoor record holder Jeff Hartwig. He never got higher than 14-4 in high school before hitting his best of 19-9 last year at the age of 34.

"He's had a unique situation," Seese said, referring to Shuler's coaching and training facilities. "That doesn't always yield good results forever."

Sebastian Sun, Florida

Monday, June 02, 2003

Threats investigated

Napa police are investigating a man who allegedly threatened the service manager of Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet-Toyota in Napa.

No arrest has been made, Napa Police Sgt. Gil Gallegos said.

On Saturday, a Vallejo man took his car to car to Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet for service.

The service manager told him the repairs would cost more than the car was worth, Gallegos said.

Upset, the man left the dealership with his car, he said.

Napa Valley Register

Terror alerts run risk of crying wolf
Vallejoan quoted on this report:

Some people don't change their lifestyles when the threat level rises. "The whole alert thing is something we Americans tend to get used to," says Kirk Scott, of Vallejo, Calif. "We tend to forget the impetus

Christian Science Monitor

Girl testifies in Nov. 5 shooting::excerpt::

The girl said in court that on Nov. 5, 2002, in Visitacion Valley, she heard Demarlo Braud, 20, ask for a gun so he could "hit a lick," which is street slang for pulling an armed robbery.

..Braud was picked up at a Vallejo fast-food restaurant on Dec. 3, the day after police obtained a $10 million warrant for his capture. Held in lieu of $10 million bail, he is due back in court on June 16 for felony arraignment.

San Francisco Chronicle

Red Cross cuts back in Bay Area

With donations dropping sharply as the economy sags, the American Red Cross is cutting back its operations in the San Francisco Bay area, including closing a center that has long provided community services in this troubled city.

Red Cross officials and volunteer workers said the Richmond office will close, and hours will be restricted at community service centers in Concord, San Rafael and Alameda. Earlier this year the Red Cross closed service centers in Livermore and Vallejo.

Associated Press / Herald Tribune

All America Rugby tournament at Maritime

Super League Championships will take place in San Francisco on June 7, and the Men’s Collegiate All American tournament will take place at California Maritime in Vallejo, Calif., also on June 7.

New director for Fighting Back Partnetship named

Vallejo police Lieutenant Reggie Garcia has been named executive director of Fighting Back Partnership's board of directors. The 29-year veteran was chosen because of his long-time relationship and his knowledge of the organization's programs.

Contra Costa Times

Earnhardt, Gordon keys to next NASCAR rivalry::excerpt::

Earnhardt and Gordon attract the largest fan followings on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. So far, though, they have been unable to ignite an on-track rivalry that could spark the burgeoning sport to even more growth.

Chicago Sun Times