Livermore

Drought may hamper Del Valle operations

Operators of Del Valle Regional Park have stopped accepting camping, picnicking and other recreation reservations beyond June 8 because of possible drought-related water shortages there.

Water levels at the state-operated Lake Del Valle may be too low to operate boat ramps, drinking water systems and restrooms, the East Bay Regional Park District said Tuesday.

Lake Del Valle, a popular swimming and boating reservoir, is expected to fill by mid-April, but water levels are likely to be low by early summer.

"Our goal ... is to try and keep the park operating through Labor Day, Sept. 1, but we may not know if this is possible until May," said Anne Scheer, the park district operations chief.

Swimming and boating at Shadow Cliffs Park in Pleasanton and Quarry Lakes in Fremont also may be affected this year, park officials said.

-- Denis Cuff, Staff

Richmond

High-speed I-80 chase ends in crash, arrest

A Sacramento man suspected of drunken driving led the California Highway Patrol on a high-speed chase along Interstate 80 early Tuesday before crashing on a Richmond off-ramp.

Police arrested 27-year-old Kyle Buege on suspicion of DUI, hit-and-run, resisting arrest and evading police following the wreck, which happened about 1:15 a.m. at the Carlson Boulevard exit off westbound Interstate 80, CHP Officer Daniel Hill said.

Buege is accused of taking off in a black Crown Victoria after CHP officers assigned to protect the area near the state Capitol saw him speed through a red light, Hill said.

Buege led police on I-80 from Sacramento just after midnight at speeds over 100 mph, Hill said.

Buege rolled over spike strips laid down in Vallejo and continued on flattened tires. By the time he neared Richmond, the car was traveling on its tire rims.

Hill said Buege tried to escape by running away, but officers caught him within seconds.

Buege was taken to the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center for a medical evaluation after the crash, then taken to the County Jail in Martinez.

-- Rick Hurd, Staff

San Leandro

Richmond men busted for $2.1M pot grow

Two Richmond men were arrested last week for growing hundreds of marijuana plants worth more than $2.1 million, police said.

Police arrested Ken Dao, 51, and Thiet Nong, 49, both of Richmond, on March 5 after serving search warrants in Richmond and San Leandro and finding 1,800 pot plants in a building in the 400 block of McCormick Street. Police said the plants are valued at roughly $2.1 million. Investigators also found $50,884 in cash, said San Leandro police Lt. Randall Brandt.

Brandt said the power source to the business had been illegally altered, creating a fire hazard. No one was injured.

-- Kristin J. Bender, Staff

Dublin

Santa Rita Jail to take transfer prisoners

Burdened by too many inmates for his deputies to handle, Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas has signed a deal to jail as many as to 100 men in Alameda County's sprawling, undercapacity Santa Rita Jail.

The first 50 minimum-security inmates could arrive from the wine country as early as this week after they are bused 87 miles south from Santa Rosa to the Dublin jail. Monterey County's sheriff forged a similar deal last year.

Propelling the contracts -- a cash generator for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office -- is the 2011 state prison realignment that shifted to counties the responsibility of handling many lower-level convicts.

The new state policy increased the inmate population in Sonoma County's two jails by more than 13 percent, and followed years of staffing cuts, said Assistant Sheriff Randall Walker.

Each inmate sent to Dublin will cost Sonoma County about $80 a day paid to Alameda County.

The Santa Rita Jail houses between 3,200 to 3,500 inmates daily.

-- Matt O'Brien, Staff

Richmond

School board to OK labor union contract

The West Contra Costa school board on Wednesday expects to approve a 2014-15 contract with the Local One union, along with several policies intended to prevent bullying and sexual harassment.

Trustees also expect to approve nearly $626,000 in change orders for additional work on seven projects without open bidding by allowing current contractors to take the work on.

The board also expects to hear a report on a middle school scholar-in-residence program and to consider a request to help fund a half-time police officer at the Kensington Hilltop School.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. at Lovonya DeJean Middle School, 3400 Macdonald Ave. More information is available by calling 510-231-1101 or by visiting www.wccusd.net. Click on March 12 Board of Education agenda.

-- Theresa Harrington, Staff

Antioch

Meeting seeks ways to prevent homelessness

The public is invited to a community meeting Thursday morning to discuss ways to reduce this city's growing homeless population.

The meeting, held by Antioch's recently formed Suburban Poverty Task Force, starts at 9 a.m. at Antioch's City Council chamber, 200 H St. It will include a presentation by Pamela Singh, project coordinator for the Local Integrated Networks of Care.

For details, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 925-757-1800.

-- Paul Burgarino, Staff

El Cerrito

Man beaten, robbed near BART tracks

A man was beaten and robbed at gunpoint on a path along the BART tracks last week, police said.

The man was walking on the path near Eureka Avenue at around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday when he was struck on the back of the head with an unknown object, El Cerrito police said.

Two suspects dug through his pockets while a third suspect held him at gunpoint, police said. The man then walked home and called police. He was later taken to a hospital.

The suspects are described as black men in their mid-20s to early 30s, and between 6-feet and 6-foot-2. Two suspects wore dark-colored jackets with hoods while the other wore a white jacket.

-- David DeBolt, Staff

Concord

Driver hits utility pole, 4,000 lose power

PG&E crews restored power to more than 4,000 customers after a suspected drunken driver crashed into a power pole Monday night.

Two people were in the car when it wrecked around 11:30 p.m. on Franquette Avenue off Willow Pass Road, police said.

The two tried to flee after the crash but were both found a short time later, Concord police Sgt. Jeff Crump said.

Police arrested the driver on suspicion of driving under the influence but did not release his name.

The crash left wires on the roadway in the 1400 block of Franquette Avenue, PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris said.

-- Rick Hurd, Staff