Byron Wilkes

Contra Costa County realignment inmate numbers higher than predicted

One month into the state’s implementation of a major prison realignment, Contra Costa County’s parolee and inmate numbers are much higher than projected. Although the numbers themselves aren’t large, the percentages are. Parole violators in custody are almost double what was expected and so-called AB 109 commitments are 200 percent of what was estimated. “For parolees per month, the state said it was going to be 56,” Casten said. “We’re at 115. (For) AB 109 commitments, they said it was…

Sunday crash leaves one driver dead, another arrested

An apparent street race in Richmond early Sunday morning left a teenaged driver dead and another man in handcuffs. At 1:15 a.m. Sunday, police officers responded to a call at Richmond Parkway near Goodrick Avenue, said Capt. Mark Gagan of the Richmond Police Department.

Fire Department investigating home explosion

The Richmond Fire Department is working to determine the cause of an in-home explosion that happened early Tuesday morning. Chief Michael Banks said that firefighters received a call about an explosion at 2:22 a.m. Tuesday on the 3000 block of Ohio Street. By the time they arrived the fire was small, he said, but damage done by the initial detonation was significant. The west-facing wall of the house was blown off, so that it now leans against the neighboring house….

Richmond-based artist shows work at SOMArts Gallery

Artist cj grossman, a new resident of Richmond, works mostly in storybook illustration and small altars. For the SOMArts Gallery’s “Day of the Dead: Illuminations” exhibit, which runs from Oct. 8 to Nov. 5, grossman created a much larger installation dedicated to her sister, the late Dorene Rae Grossman Weil (1946-2001). In her piece, grossman incorporates elements of Dore’s life with symbols from the Day of the Dead. The resulting installation is a powerful celebration of the artist’s sister.

Saint Mary’s pulls through, defeats Kennedy

The Kennedy High Eagles played hard Saturday, but couldn’t put up the defense needed to keep the Saint Mary’s College High School Panthers down. The Eagles stayed ahead of the Panthers for all but the last two minutes of the game, when a turnover led to the Panthers’ game-winning touchdown. “We didn’t have the defense, and we didn’t execute,” said Eagles head coach Mack Carminer. Further complicating the 35-31 game was the ejection of  Carminer for improper equipment. Several Eagles…

Changing California’s prison population

Continued overcrowding in California’s state prisons brought about a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that the state’s efforts to cram in more prisoners constituted cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the Eighth Amendment. The state responded with legislation that shifts responsibility for state parolees to counties and redefines what constitutes a prison-worthy offense. That realignment started Saturday. It continues for the next two years as the state tries to reduce its prison population by about 110,000 prisoners to 137.5 percent…

Surrender ROW comes to Richmond

In life, people makes choices, both good and bad, but what is often ignored is how these choices affect family, friends and others in the long run.

The notion of how decisions impact others is explored in-depth through the eyes of an African-American woman…

Police still seeking suspect in hit-and-run

Nearly a week after a car fatally struck a wheelchair user in the North and East neighborhood, police are still pursuing leads.

David Cox, 52, was struck Sept. 23 around 6 p.m., Richmond Police Capt. Mark Gagan said.

Woman found dead in Richmond restaurant

A 30-year-old woman was found dead in a local restaurant Tuesday night in what police are investigating as a homicide. Officers responding to a 7:30 p.m. call found Jensy Romero dead inside Angie’s Restaurant and Bakery in the 12000 block of San Pablo Avenue, police said. An employee discovered the body and placed the emergency call, according to Richmond Police Lt. Bisa French. “She was pronounced dead on the scene,” French said, adding that police believe Romero’s death was “likely…

Ceasefire/Lifelines seeks volunteers

Richmond residents began stepping forward Thursday night at the Nevin Community Center as part of a new initiative to prevent gun violence. One of them was the Rev. Eugene Jackson of Grace Bible Fellowship of Antioch, who said in his more than 15 years as a pastor, he has conducted funeral services for 15-20 young men killed by gunfire. During these services, he said, the most striking part is “the segment of the meeting … that allows people to say…