El Cerrito resident Steve Crawford took these photos of the police search perimeter following an afternoon shooting near the campus of El Cerrito High School on March 20.
Firefighters from the Rodeo-Hercules Fire District handled an unusual early evening call June 11 when a resident reported discovering a rattlesnake in a yard on Dorada Court, in easternmost Hercules.
The 3-foot poisonous snake was rounded up and safely removed by a district crew.
From our files:
HOW TO AVOID A RATTLESNAKE BITE
There are several ways people can avoid or reduce the likelihood of startling and being bitten by a rattlesnake.
Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through wild areas. Wear hiking boots.
When hiking, stick to well-used trails and wear over-the-ankle boots and loose-fitting long pants. Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day.
Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see, and avoid wandering around in the dark. Step ON logs and rocks, never over them, and be especially careful when climbing rocks or gathering firewood. Check out stumps or logs before sitting down, and shake out sleeping bags before use.
Never grab “sticks” or “branches” while swimming in lakes and rivers. Rattlesnakes can swim.
Be careful when stepping over the doorstep as well. Snakes like to crawl along the edge of buildings where they are protected on one side.
Never hike alone. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency.
Do not handle a freshly killed snake, it can still inject venom.
Teach children early to respect snakes and to leave them alone. Children are naturally curious and will pick up snakes.
Source: Belmont Police Department
The Rodeo Hercules Fire Protection District issued the following news release about the accident tonight on Pinole Valley Road at Interstate 80:
DATE: May 26, 2014
TIME OF ALARM: 19:58
TYPE OF INCIDENT: Vehicle Accident
LOCATION: Pinole Valley Road and I80
RESPONSE: 2 Engines, 1 Rescue, 1 Battalion Chiefs
ASSISTING AGENCIES: Pinole Fire Department, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, Rodeo-Hercules Fire District, Pinole Police Department, American Medical Response West, California Highway Patrol.
TOTAL FIRE PERSONNEL AT SCENE: 8
Control Time: 21:39
GENERAL STORY: All Concerned-
At 19:58, Pinole Fire Department and the Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District, responded to the report of a vehicle that had left the roadway at I-80 and Pinole Valley Road. The vehicle had left the freeway approximately 300 feet from where it landed, turning over several times, before coming to rest in the center divider of the intersection of I-80 and Pinole Valley Road. When crews arrived on scene they found the vehicle on its roof with two occupants inside the vehicle. Two Medical Helicopters were dispatched to Doctors Hospital in Pinole. After the occupants were extricated from the vehicle they were found to have moderate injuries and were transported to the Hospital by AMRW units. Two Engine Companies, One Rescue Company, and One Command Vehicle responded staffed by 7 Firefighters and 1 Battalion Chiefs.
El Cerrito issued the following news release about firefighters sent to help battle the wildfires in San Diego:
El Cerrito Firefighters Deployed to Assist with Southern California Wildfires
El Cerrito, CA: Two units from El Cerrito have been deployed to assist with wildfires in Southern California.
At 10:30 PM on Thursday night, El Cerrito Fire Engine 372, along with units from Crockett, San Ramon, Moraga, and Alameda County were dispatched to the Las Pulgas Fire located at Camp Pendleton CA. This is near the City of San Diego. The Las Pulgas fire first reported at 3:15 p.m. Thursday and at 5:00 a.m. Friday morning was reported to have grown to 8,000 acres burned and 5% contained.
Additionally, at 1:00 a.m. Friday, May 16, OES 300 out of El Cerrito was called to the San Diego Complex involving nine major wildfires burning in that area. OES 300 is part of Strike Team 2802A and is made up of units from San Francisco, Marin County (3 units) and El Cerrito.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) provides updated information on the size and containment of these and other major fire incidents online at http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_current
Already this year, CAL FIRE has already responded to nearly 1,300 wildfires, more than twice as many fires as average. All homeowners in California are encouraged to be prepared for wildfires. For more information on preparing for wildfires and creating a 100’ Defensible Space around your home are online at www.ReadyForWldfire.org.
CAL FIRE is an emergency response and resource protection department of the State of California.
Berkeley police have issued the following advisory this week in the wake of ongoing street robberies of smartphones:
Berkeley Police Reminder: Avoid Distracted Walking
If you’re reading this message on your smartphone while walking alone, put your phone away and look around.
Smartphone robberies from lone pedestrians at night account for the largest number of robberies in Berkeley. Some simple steps can reduce your chances of being a victim.
Don’t use your smartphone while outside. Walk with others when possible. Be aware of your surroundings.
Of the 309 pedestrian robberies last year, 63 percent occurred with people who were walking alone and 58 percent had their smartphone in their hand.
Some victims had phones forcibly taken from them. Others were convinced by seemingly friendly strangers to take their phone out of their pockets or let a stranger borrow it.
Be aware of locations and situations that could make you more vulnerable to crime – such as alleys, doorways, parking lots and stairwells.
Berkeley is not unique. Smartphone robberies have become a problem throughout the country due to their high value and easy sale on black markets. They are sold for hundreds of dollars and often shipped abroad.
Using your phone’s security features can also be a deterrent. For example, people using Apple products with the latest operating system, iOS7, can permanently disable a stolen phone using the Activation Lock feature.
Please report suspicious activities by calling the Berkeley Police Department at 510-981-5900. If it is a life threatening emergency or a crime in progress dial 911.
The Little Free Library that was stolen from in front of The Glenn Custom Framing shop on Stockton Avenue on Monday night or Tuesday morning has been recovered.
Shop owner Kathleen Glenn, who received the take-a-book, leave-a-book library last year as a birthday gift from her daughter, plans to have it back on the sidewalk as soon as weather permits and possibly with some modifications to make it harder to take.
The library had been secured to its post with long screws, but the perpetrator was able to pry it off.
Police are circulating this flier explaining “skimming” and how to avoid falling victim to a thief when using a debit card at an ATM or a store checkout counter.
An incident involving a “shoulder surfer” was reported in Hercules last week.
El Cerrito police today issued an advisory and photos of the suspected perpetrator of a robbery on Kearney Street on Dec. 20:
Advisory: Robbery Suspect
On Friday, December 20th, at approximately 1330 hours, the pictured suspect followed a woman into the 400 block of Kearney Street. He then yanked her purse off her shoulder and fled on foot. The victim had just purchased a pot and began to strike the suspect numerous times in the upper body region. The suspect was able to wrench the victim’s purse free and flee on foot. The suspect may now have a contusion on his face. The El Cerrito Police Department is asking the public’s assistance in this case. If you can identify this suspect, please contact the ECPD (510) 215-4414 ext 40, reference case number 13-24069. You can always be an anonymous. Let’s solve this one together.
RICHMOND MAYOR TO HONOR THE MEMORY OF 2013 HOMICIDE VICTIMS
PRESS RELEASE: Mayor Gayle McLaughlin invites everyone to share this Friday in a moment of reflection to honor the memory of those whose lives were lost to homicide in Richmond in 2013.
To date there have been 16 homicides in Richmond this year, and the Mayor grieves the untimely loss of each of these lives. Last year, there were 18 homicides. The year before, there were 26 homicides and the year before that over twice as many homicides.
The Mayor is grateful for the increasingly downward trend, which she attributes to the collaborative work of the City with numerous community organizations and neighborhood groups, along with a growing number of positive activities and opportunities for our residents.
She also applauds the collaborations underway to provide comprehensive reentry programs for formerly incarcerated individuals as a way to further address the roots of the violence.
Police Chief Magnus has noted additional factors affecting this downward trend of violent crime in Richmond such as: More effective crime reduction strategies, including focusing on hotspots and well as key individuals involved in criminal activity; Community and neighborhood-based policing. We have more active neighborhood and community groups than ever before, all who work closely with the PD; Data-driven policing, including our COMPSTAT program, that involves the ongoing analysis of crime data and crime trends.
This program also involves assuring this information is shared by the cops working in the neighborhoods and commercial areas of the City. Increased focus on gun crimes, including more prosecution of gun crimes of any type and severity—as a way of getting guns and gun criminals off the streets.
What: Meet-with-the-Mayor session to honor the memory of 2013 homicide victims When: Friday, December 20, 2013, 5:30 – 6:30 pm Where: Whittlesey Room, Richmond Public Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza ###
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 6, 2013
Contact: Michelle Milam (510) 837-9257
Richmond-El Cerrito Fire/Police Toy Program Needs Santa’s Helpers
Description: Richmond-El Cerrito Fire/Police Toy Program seeks help for needy families
Richmond, CA — December 4, 2013 – First responders from Richmond and El Cerrito are asking the public for help to provide Food and Toy baskets to over 1700 families this coming holiday season. The Richmond-El Cerrito Toy program is seeking to help needy families who have a hard time making ends meet. Each year the program gets applications from the two cities from needy families hoping to receive a food basket and toys for their children under 12. This year 1700 families signed up for the program. Others were turned away because of the great need.
“I think even the most jaded person will believe in miracles when they see these kids faces,” said Richmond firefighter Rod Woods, the brainchild of the 20 year old program, “We believe there are still good people in this world who will help us make this miracle happen.” “This is not an easy season for many families, which is why we should all help one another when we can,” said Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus, “There are people who gave to this program in the past who will be in line this year due to a job lay off or illness. You always hope help will be there for you if you need it. Sometimes kids give to the program, which is really heartwarming. What better way for parents to show their kids the spirit of the season than to give as a family.”
The public can help donate to the program by visitingwww.toyprogram.org. The public can also help by getting their school, place of employment, or religious organization to make a donation. Sharing the information with friends online via social media also helps. This year every dollar donated up to $10,000 will be matched by Chevron Corporation, so the money goes even further.
The toy program was started 20 years ago when Richmond Firefighter Rod Woods parked his vehicle in a low income neighborhood and distributed toys to the local children during the holidays. A police officer saw that he needed help and assisted him in the distribution. Since then it has grown to serve thousands of needy people each year.
Richmond-El Cerrito Food and Toy Program
Contact: Michelle Milam (510) 837-9257
Who: Richmond, El Cerrito Firefighters and Police
What: Toy and Food Program
When: Need online donations
The Richmond/El Cerrito Fire & Police Holiday Toy Program exists to collect and distribute new, unwrapped toys to economically disadvantaged children in the western Contra Costa County area during the holiday season.
As professional firefighters, we see the ravages brought on by the loss of both homes and property. Our non-profit organization strives to brighten the lives of needy children in Richmond, San Pablo and the surrounding communities, particularly during the holidays. Both monetary donations and donations of new, unwrapped toys are accepted throughout the calendar year. With generous donations from both local corporations and individuals, the Richmond/El Cerrito Fire & Police Holiday Toy Program distributes toys to children ages 12 and under residing in western Contra Costa County. Also, in conjunction with staff from the Richmond Police Department, the Richmond/El Cerrito Fire & Police Holiday Toy Program distributes food baskets so that families can enjoy a holiday dinner.
The primary objective of the Richmond/El Cerrito Fire & Police Holiday Toy Program is to assist underprivileged children and their families in western Contra Costa County during the holidays.