Martinez

Meeting set on county fire services study

A draft study of future service options for the Contra Costa County Fire District will be presented at a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Board of Supervisors chamber, 651 Pine St.

The session will seek feedback on the study by Fitch and Associates on service option recommendations for the district. Budget cuts and the failure of a 2012 parcel tax measure have resulted in decreased services and the closure of some stations.

The recommendations in the study were compiled by consultants from meetings with officials and the public and three town hall meetings in August.

The study, which can be reviewed online at www.cccounty.us/ConFireStudy, is scheduled for presentation to the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 25.

-- Chris Treadway, Staff

Bay Area

Spare the Air burning ban extended to Sunday

Poor air quality has prompted another Spare the Air alert for Sunday, when a ban on wood fires will again be in place, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced.

The alert, which follows one issued for Saturday, is the 29th of the season, which began Nov. 1. It is meant to minimize poor air quality resulting from a dry, stagnant weather system.


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During alerts, wood and other solid-fuel fires are banned in fireplaces, bonfires, wood-burning stoves and other wood-burning sources. Violators are subject to fines unless wood burning is a home's sole heat source.

The current burn status is at www.baaqmd.gov or www.sparetheair.org.

-- Chris Treadway, Staff

Antioch

Man barricaded in apartment surrenders

A man barricaded himself inside an apartment before surrendering to police Saturday morning, according to authorities.

Police responded to an apartment in the 2100 block of Peppertree Way at 10:17 a.m., after a resident called from work asking officers to check an apartment after an alarm notified the caller of an open front door.

When officers arrived, a man inside the apartment abruptly shut and locked the door.

The homeowner told police no one should have been in the apartment, so officers surrounded the building.

Police were able to speak with the man, who had barricaded himself inside and told officers he lived there. A short time later, the man walked out of the apartment and surrendered to police.

The man's name and possible charges are not being released by police pending further investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Antioch Police Department nonemergency line at 925-778-2441. Anonymous tips can be texted to 274637 (CRIMES), using key word ANTIOCH in the body of the text.

-- Katie Nelson, Staff

El Cerrito

Parade and program to honor MLK

The longest ongoing East Bay celebration in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. returns Monday, and organizers say it will be the largest observance yet.

The 25th annual parade starts with a 9 a.m. assembly in the parking lot of the DMV office, 6400 Manila Ave., and sets out at 9:30 a.m. for El Cerrito High School, where a rally, singers and speakers will make up the program in the Performing Arts Center, 540 Ashbury Ave., from 10:30 to noon.

The keynote speaker will be Richmond native Michael Parker, CEO and founder of Value-Centered Solutions Inc.

-- Chris Treadway, Staff

San Leandro

Crews extinguish fire at paper company

Rolls of paper, each weighing thousands of pounds, caught fire at a paper company's warehouse late Friday afternoon. No one was injured.

Shortly before 6 p.m., Alameda County Fire Department crews responded to a Georgia-Pacific Corp. corrugated packaging facility at 2823 Alvarado St., said department spokeswoman Aisha Knowles.

When firefighters arrived, smoke was coming from a warehouse, and employees had evacuated the building.

Crews quickly extinguished rolls of paper, each weighing 5,200 pounds, and Georgia-Pacific told firefighters they would be reviewing security footage to try to determine the cause of the small blaze, Knowles said.

-- Katie Nelson, Staff

SAN LEANDRO

Customer robbed of cash at Wells Fargo ATM

Police are investigating an armed robbery at an outdoor ATM Friday.

At 5 a.m., a customer was using the ATM at the Wells Fargo Bank at 1899 Marina Blvd. when he was approached by a man armed with a gun and wearing a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt pulled over his face. The victim was robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash, police said. He was not injured.

Police Lt. Robert McManus said detectives are working with Wells Fargo security agents and nearby merchants to locate video surveillance that could help identify the suspect.

"We want to remind everyone to always be aware of their surroundings, especially while using ATM machines. We recommend the use of outdoor ATM machines during daylight hours if possible, or when the area has others around, as this generally deters crimes like this," McManus said.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call 510-577-3230 or contact the anonymous tip line at 510-577-3278.

-- Kristin J. Bender, Staff