Pleasant Hill

Crash sends car into crowded candy store

A packed See's Candies store was evacuated Friday afternoon after a car slammed through the front door, police said.

About 3:15 p.m., police responding to a collision at Contra Costa Boulevard and Alan Drive found one of the cars had jumped the curb, careened up the pedestrian walkway and crashed through the front doors of the business at 1005 Contra Costa Blvd.

Based on witness accounts, one vehicle failed to yield to the other while turning, police said. The drivers of the cars, a 2004 silver Toyota Avalon and a 2002 blue Toyota Corolla, were transported to the hospital with minor injuries. An employee and a customer also suffered minor injuries, police said.

The business, packed with shoppers just before the Easter holiday, was heavily damaged and may not be ready to open by Sunday. Alcohol, drugs and speed were not believed to be factors in the crash, police said.

-- Katie Nelson, Staff

Concord

Antioch man shot to death near downtown

An Antioch man became the first homicide victim in Concord in more than a year when he was shot to death near the downtown area Thursday night, authorities said.

Police said they found 18-year-old Victor Gutierrez lying in the road in the 1600 block of Adelaide Street about 8:55 p.m. after callers alerted them to gunfire near Laguna Street, Concord police Lt. David Hughes said. Gutierrez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have not said whether they have suspects in the shooting or whether they believe Gutierrez was targeted.

The homicide was the first in Concord since April 6, 2013.

-- Rick Hurd, Staff

Brentwood

Five people held up during robbery spree

A group of suspects used a gun and pepper spray to pull off five robberies in a little more than an hour Thursday night, police said.

The robberies, involving cellphones and other personal belongings, happened between 8:18 p.m. and 9:35 p.m., police Sgt. Walter O'Grodnick said. None of the victims were seriously injured.

The first robbery happened in the north parking lot of the Streets of Brentwood in the 2500 block of Sand Creek Road. That robbery involved two suspects, O'Grodnick said.

From there, four more robberies involving at least four or five suspects took place, starting at the corner of Presidio and Roundhill drives at 9:15 p.m. The next robberies occurred at the corner of Balfour Road and West Country Club Drive at 9:20 p.m.; in the 300 block of Essex Drive at 9:25 p.m.; and in the 800 block of Minnesota Avenue about 9:30 p.m.

O'Grodnick said the robbers used a black handgun in all of the incidents and that in two of the robberies, they also sprayed victims with pepper spray.

The suspects were either teens or males in their 20s. Witnesses saw a black, two- or four-door sedan, after two of the robberies.

-- Rick Hurd, Staff

MARTINEZ

Sanitary district OKs sustainable farm

The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District Board voted 4-1 Thursday to move forward with a planned sustainable farm on district land, subject to additional conditions.

The board declared a 14.8-acre portion of district property unneeded for up to 10 years and agreed that leasing it to AgLantis for the proposed CoCo Sustainable Farm project is in the district's best interests, is compatible with surrounding land uses and would provide a public benefit. Trustees authorized the general manager to execute a lease for $1 a year subject to committee approval of requirements, including the donation or sale of a specific amount of produce to schools and the local food bank.

The board must approve a business plan, which it required to be submitted within 60 days.

-- Theresa Harrington, Staff

ALBANY

Group seeks volunteers for repair project

The organization Rebuilding Together East Bay-North is seeking volunteers to help with a project in Albany on National Rebuilding Day, April 26.

The organization, which provides free critical home repairs to low-income seniors and people with disabilities in Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville and Richmond, will be working on 12 homes in Berkeley and one in Albany that day.

Outreach coordinator Marie Hubbard said volunteer tasks will include interior painting, yard work, hammer tasks and general cleaning.

Anyone interested in helping should contact Hubbard at 510-644-8979, ext. 103, or marie@rtebn.org.

-- Chris Treadway, Staff

OAKLEY

Public documents available online

Anyone with an Internet connection now can obtain public documents from City Hall with a few key strokes.

The city has responded to the growing number of records requests by buying software that allows the public to view information already stored on city computers.

The goal is to minimize the amount of staff time involved in processing these requests as well as the cost of printing the documents.

Online as of April 7, the documents include City Council resolutions, recorded documents and agreements.

The information is available at www.oakleyinfo.com. Users should click on the heading "Departments" and then on "City Clerk."

-- Rowena Coetsee, Staff

livermore

Learn to cut energy use at free workshop

Livermore residents can learn how to effectively reduce energy use and their consumption of resources at a free workshop at the Civic Center branch of the Livermore Library on Saturday.

The "Zero Waste and Be a Sustainable Citizen" workshop, hosted by the city, will focus on 10 no-cost actions to save money on energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Instructor Todd Sutton, an expert on sustainability, has appeared on the Discovery and History channels and has educated thousands of people on waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and composting.

The event is from 10 a.m. to noon.

-- Jeremy Thomas, Staff

Marin County

No charges in job applicant rape case

A Sausalito restaurant manager arrested on allegations of raping a job seeker will not be charged in the case, the District Attorney's Office said Thursday.

Diego Chan Rodriguez, 51, was arrested by Sausalito police on April 12. The accuser, an Oakland woman, told police she met him Friday night to discuss a possible job opportunity. She said he bought her several drinks and then asked her to go on a walk in nearby Gabrielson Park.

The woman told police the sexual assault happened in the park. Afterward, they walked to Poggio Trattoria restaurant, where Rodriguez was a manager, and she fled into a bathroom to call police.

Police booked Rodriguez on suspicion of rape and other sex crimes. His bail was set at $100,000. The case was sent to the District Attorney's Office for review.

Prosecutors declined to file charges because of insufficient evidence to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, chief deputy district attorney Barry Borden said.

-- Marin Independent Journal