Smoke bomb touches off 170-acre grass fire
A smoke grenade used in a military training exercise sparked a 170-acre brush fire that could be seen for miles around Camp Parks on Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
The fire burned in the southeastern area of the U.S. Army Reserve Parks Reserve Forces Training Area, said U.S. Army spokeswoman Susan Clizbe.
No one was injured and no structures were damaged in the fire that started about 1:40 p.m. and was contained around 4:30 p.m.
The Camp Parks Fire Department was assisted by the Alameda County Fire Department and CalFire. A helicopter and aerial water tanker dropped fire retardant and water on the Dublin fire as crews in fire engines and a bulldozer worked the fire from the ground.
The fire burned as a red-flag warning was in place for parts of the Bay Area, hours after thousands of dry lightning strikes were reported over the ocean and portions of the South Bay on Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
-- Kristin J. Bender, Staff
Mother beaten during home invasion robbery
A woman was beaten but her two children were unharmed after two men entered and robbed their home Monday night, police said.
Officers responded to the 1100 block of Bending Willow Way at 10 p.m. after the woman called 911, but the robbers had fled, Pittsburg police Lt. Ron Raman said.
The men forced open a second-story window, entered the home and demanded money from the woman, Raman said. She complied, but not before trying to press a panic button on her residential alarm, Raman said.
Seeing the woman trying to press the alarm, the men hit the woman several times in the upper body and face, Raman said. She was treated at a hospital for bruises and released, Raman said.
Her children, ages 6 and 3, were asleep in their room at the time, Raman said.
Police did not have a description of the robbers, who were wearing hooded sweatshirts that concealed their faces, Raman said. The woman did not know the men, and they were not seen with a gun or any other weapon, Raman said.
A silver SUV similar to a Chevrolet was seen leaving the area after the men fled through the front door, Raman said.
-- Rick Hurd, Staff
Woman struck by suspected DUI driver
A 53-year-old woman walking on one of Danville's busiest roads was critically injured when she was struck by a car Monday night, and police arrested the vehicle's driver on suspicion of driving under the influence.
The woman, identified as a Danville resident, was injured when she was struck around 8:45 p.m. by a vehicle going east on Camino Tassajara, Danville Police Chief Steve Simpkins said. She was taken by ambulance to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek where she remained in critical condition Tuesday night, Simpkins said.
Police arrested Danville resident Samuel Herrick, 50, on suspicion of driving under the influence and causing injury, Simpkins said. He was taken to County Jail in Martinez, where he was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
The wreck shut down the two eastbound lanes of Camino Tassajara until 2 a.m., Simpkins said.
-- Rick Hurd and Kristin J. Bender, Staff
Ceremony breaks ground on underpass
City officials and contractors will hold an official groundbreaking ceremony Friday for a $30 million underpass project named after a local police officer who died in an on-duty car wreck near the site.
The Officer Bradley A. Moody Memorial Underpass project is a roadway undercrossing beneath railroad tracks that cross Marina Bay Parkway between Regatta Boulevard and Meeker Avenue in Richmond.
Work began on the project last month. The official groundbreaking is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at the southeast corner of Marina Bay Parkway and Pierson Avenue. The road, a key artery linking the city to the Marina Bay community, including the police headquarters, will be closed in early September and could remain so for two years, according to city officials.
The underpass is seen as a crucial infrastructure upgrade in one of the city's newer communities because the two main roads accessing the area, Marina Bay Parkway and Marina Way South, are crossed by railroad tracks often ridden by long, slow-moving cargo trains.
The project is named for Richmond patrol officer Bradley Moody, who died on a rainy day in 2008 when he lost control of his police cruiser.
-- Robert Rogers, Staff
Documentary probes anti-violence effort
Two UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism filmmakers on Thursday will debut their short documentary chronicling Richmond's multifaceted approach to quelling local violence. The free screening will be at 7 p.m. at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th St.
Titled "A Confused War," the 26-minute film probes generational neighborhood strife and the city's relatively successful efforts toward reducing violent crime in recent years.
The camera follows police officers, anti-violence activists, social workers and young men struggling to leave behind lives of gunplay and senseless rivalries.
The screening will be followed by question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers Mariel Waloff and Rachel Waldholz and several of the people featured in the film.
-- Robert Rogers, Staff
Rep. Swalwell to hold town hall meeting
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, will host a town hall meeting in Livermore tonight to talk with constituents about issues impacting the East Bay, from the economy to protecting Social Security and Medicare.
The town hall will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mertes Center for the Arts at Las Positas College, 3000 Campus Hill Road. During the event, Swalwell will also answer questions solicited from Facebook and Twitter.
-- Jeremy Thomas, Staff