Bay Point

Liquor license on hold after meth pipe sale

La Aurora Liquors has been slapped with a 20-day suspension after a 13-year-old store clerk sold undercover agents methamphetamine pipes, according to a spokesman with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

John Carr said Thursday that the department posted the notice at the business, 3305 Willow Pass Road.

The teenage clerk was under supervision by the store owner at the time of the sale.

Because the clerk was a juvenile, the case was forwarded to the Contra Costa County Probation Department, Carr said, and several other items suspected to be drug-related were taken from the store. Carr did not elaborate on what those items were.

-- Katie Nelson, Staff


Little League series to return this summer

The boys are coming back to town in 2014.

The city of Livermore and the California District 57 Little League on Friday announced the second annual Intermediate Little League World Series will return to Livermore this summer.

The series -- which last year drew 10 youth baseball teams from around the world and more than 36,000 fans to a remodeled Max Baer Park -- will be held from July 29 to Aug. 4, league officials said.

In the inaugural event, four international teams and six American teams, including one from Pleasanton, competed in a total of 19 games. The series concluded with the team from Japan winning the title, defeating the team from Collier Township, Pa., in front of nearly 7,000 fans.

Officially added to the Little League in 2012, the Intermediate Division was created for players ages 11-13 to prepare them for the high school and college level. It features a 50-foot pitching distance and 70-foot bases and is also known as "50/70".

-- Jeremy Thomas, Staff


Hotel demolition work will begin next week

Demolition of portions of the Danville Hotel will begin next week, the start of an 18-month construction project that will bring new commercial development downtown.

The sidewalk along the south side of Prospect Avenue will be closed to pedestrians during the project's duration. Minor traffic delays also are expected due to construction vehicles entering and exiting the Hartz Avenue site.

The historic Danville Hotel at 411 Hartz Ave. and the adjacent McCauley House will be preserved and renovated. But the hotel's attached structures, built in the 1950s and 1960s, will be torn down to make way for a new $25 million, 35,000 square-foot commercial, retail and residential development.

For more information on Danville Hotel site construction activities, contact Lou Baldacci cq at Castle Companies at 925-328-1000 or at

-- Joyce Tsai, Staff


Fire damages barber shop, displaces tenants

A two-alarm fire in downtown Berkeley on Friday afternoon damaged a barber shop and left at least eight residents of apartments above the shop looking for temporary shelter.

The fire broke out about 2:25 p.m. at the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Blake Street, a Berkeley Fire Department official said. About three dozen firefighters helped control the blaze within 30 minutes.

A damage estimate was not immediately known, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fire Department spokesman Avery Webb said the fire is believed to have started between two buildings.

At least eight people displaced from their homes are being assisted by the American Red Cross, Webb said.

-- Kristin J. Bender and Doug Oakley, Staff


Council to discuss housing project

City Council members will discuss Monday whether to approve a large-scale subdivision of houses, townhomes, and apartments planned for just north of Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

SummerHill Homes seeks to develop 465 residential units, two neighborhood parks, open space, and pedestrian paths and trails for 35 acres of vacant land on the east side of Brisa Street at South Vasco Road. The proposal includes construction of single-family detached homes, three-story townhomes and apartments in a 253-lot subdivision.

The five-phase project, according to the city, was originally discussed in 2007 as part of the Brisa Neighborhood Plan approval process, but was shelved during the economic downturn.

The Livermore Planning Commission unanimously approved the project Dec. 3.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. in the City Council chamber, 3575 Pacific Ave.

-- Jeremy Thomas, Staff


Bay Area man named to state Arts Council

Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Donn Harris, of San Francisco, who is executive and artistic director at the Oakland School for the Arts, to the California Arts Council.

Harris has served in his position at the public charter since 2007. Before that, he was principal of the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in San Francisco.

"I am very excited to join the council in these dynamic times," Harris said in a news release. "The arts are rightfully receiving new attention as it is becoming increasingly apparent that creativity is the currency of the millennium."

Harris earned a master's in theater arts from Cal State Los Angeles and received his teaching, special education and administrative services credentials from San Francisco State. He helped create The Academy of Arts and Sciences in the San Francisco school district in 2005 to serve underrepresented students with unique arts programs.

-- Theresa Harrington, Staff


Historic school bell dedication set Jan. 25

A bell that summoned generations of students from Pinole and Hercules to school has been restored and will be dedicated at a ceremony at 10 a.m. Jan. 25 adjacent to the multipurpose room at Collins Elementary School, 1224 Pinole Valley Road.

The bell, more than a century old, was a fixture at Pinole-Hercules School No. 1 from 1906 to 1966, when the school was replaced by newer facilities for the growing area.

The original school was demolished in 1968, according to the Pinole Historical Society, but the bell was saved, and the West Contra Costa Unified School District recently restored it.

The bell was installed at Collins Elementary last year. The historical society ceremony will dedicate the bell and a commemorative plaque. Refreshments will be served.

For details contact the society at 510-724-9507 or

-- Chris Treadway, Staff

Redwood City

Police: Man killed dog after month of abuse

A 31-year-old man suspected of abusing and later killing a dog in front of his 4-year-old daughter was arrested Thursday morning by police.

Alan Velete, of Redwood City, was booked into San Mateo County Jail on felony charges of animal cruelty and child endangerment after he reportedly abused and then killed a 4-month-old terrier mix belonging to his girlfriend's family, Officer Sean Hart said. Much of the abuse, which began in early December, was allegedly witnessed by the man's young daughter.

Investigators discovered that the dog had succumbed to Velete's repeated abuse, and had died Jan. 6, said Hart, who added that Velete threw the dog's body in a Dumpster. He was found and arrested about 6:30 p.m. in the 2200 block of Middlefield Road.

-- Erin Ivie, Staff

Union City

Man gets into fight with BART conductor

A man who police say got into a fight with a BART conductor and tried to take over the train was arrested in connection with the late-night melee.

No one was injured in the Jan. 4 incident that authorities reported this week.

BART and Union City police officers responded at 10:04 p.m. to the Union City BART station after passengers on a four-car Richmond-bound train dialed 911 to report a man fighting with a train operator, police said.

Witnesses told officers that a male suspect was attempting to take over the train and get into the train operator's compartment.

Police arrived and arrested the man, who they say told them that he had just smoked "angel dust" -- a psychotropic drug designed to be used as a large animal tranquilizer and most commonly referred to as PCP. Police did not release his identity.

-- Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff