Congressman Mark DeSaulnier today announced the second annual Congressional App Challenge (CAC), an app competition for U.S. high school students.

High school students who live or attend school in California’s 11th Congressional District are invited to create and submit their own software application (“app”) for mobile, tablet, or other computing devices on a platform of their choice.

“I am excited to announce the kickoff of our 2016 Congressional App Challenge. This competition provides a unique opportunity for high school students to demonstrate their STEM skills. I invite students from across California’s 11th Congressional District to join their peers throughout the nation in showcasing the creativity of our young programmers,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.

The Challenge submission period will run from August 25, 2016 through November 2, 2016. Congressman DeSaulnier will recognize the submissions at a special ceremony in his District Office and the winner will be selected by a panel of local judges who work within the academic, software, and entrepreneurial fields. The winning app from California’s 11th Congressional District will be featured on the House of Representatives website with the winning apps from other Congressional districts.

Established by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, this competition is a nationwide event intended to engage students’ creativity and encourage their participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. By encouraging and recognizing our nation’s young programming talent, Congress hopes to shine a light on the growing importance of these skills.

The Internet Education Foundation will be serving as the operational “sponsor” of the CAC. For further information about the Congressional App Challenge, please visit desaulnier.house.gov/congressional-app-challenge.

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The Concord Police Department conducted a pedestrian safety enforcement operation on Aug.23 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., as part of the department’s ongoing efforts to increase public awareness of pedestrian and bicycle safety.

This operation utilized an officer operating as a “decoy” while walking in well-marked crosswalks with uniformed officers nearby observing. Uniformed officers concentrated on vehicles not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, pedestrian violations, bicycle violations and other vehicle code violations.

The locations of these operations were Willow Pass Rd. at San Vicente Dr. and Clayton Rd. at Ashbury Dr.

The results of the enforcement are as follows:

  • 51 Vehicles stopped
  • 32 Drivers cited for a variety of vehicle code violations
  • 13 Pedestrians cited for vehicle code violations

These enforcement efforts were funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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A woman had her laptop computer stolen while waiting for the BART train on Wednesday evening, according to BART Police.

The victim reported the theft to police at the Walnut Creek station at 6:30 p.m.

She says the theft occurred while she was sitting on platform number one.

The victim set the laptop next to her and noticed it was gone about 10 minutes later.

No suspect information is currently available.

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The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

If you had to go out to eat dinner at any restaurant in Claycord, where would you go?

Talk about it….

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Bradburn Dentistry is hosting a FREE Health & Wellness Fair on Saturday morning from 10-1 in Downtown Clayton.

They’ll be giving FREE Oral Cancer Screenings, Fluoride Treatments, Oral Hygiene Demonstrations and Blood Pressure Checks.

Participants include the Oral Cancer Foundation, Diabetes Association, Momentum Fitness, Coflin Chiropractor, Empower Nutrition, and the American Red Cross, who will be hosting a Blood Drive (go to redcross.org with sponsor code: “Clayton” to make your appointment).

Also, you and your family can take part in the FREE 5K Fun Run. The Run starts at 9am (before the fair). Please pre-register because space is limited. Send an email to info@bradburndentistry.com to register.

They’ll have Refreshments, Raffles and Prizes including a Sonic Care System and teeth whitening.

The fair is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 6123 Main St. in Clayton (5K Fun Run starts at 9 a.m.)

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The Contra Costa County coroner’s office identified an Antioch woman who died after a collision on state Highway 24 Wednesday morning as 24-year-old Trista Allen.

Allen worked at Diablo Ink Tattoo in Pleasant Hill, according to an employee at the shop.

According to her Facebook profile, Allen had also worked at St. Dorothy’s Episcopal Camp and Retreat in Sonoma County. She graduated from Antioch High School in 2010 and studied at Los Medanos College.

The coroner’s office said that she died of natural causes related to a medical event that precipitated the crash.

California Highway Patrol officials said Allen was traveling west on Highway 24 just west of Acalanes Road in a Nissan Altima at about 8:45 a.m. when she apparently suffered the medical event and veered to the right and hit the left side of a Nissan truck.

The Altima drifted back to the left and came to rest in the center median. Allen died after being transported to John Muir Medical Center.

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Money will be available starting Friday morning for roughly 1,500 Bay Area homeowners and landlords to help them upgrade their wood-burning heating devices with cleaner ones to reduce winter air pollution, officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said today.

The program will open at 10 a.m. at www.baaqmd.gov/woodsmokegrant and (415) 749-5195.

Homeowners and landlords can apply online or call the phone number to give information to someone who will fill out the online application for the person, spokesman Tom Flannigan said.

The money is available on a first-come, first-served basis, air district officials said.

Landlords and homeowners can install an electric heat pump or natural gas or propane stove or insert, which looks like a gas stove but is installed inside a fireplace.

“This program is really about removing wood burning devices from our region,” Flannigan said.

The cleaner devices are designed to be the home’s chief heating source.

The air district’s board approved $3 million for the program. Funding for a project can range from $750 to $12,000 depending on the type of device, air district officials said.

Groups that are considered heavily impacted such as low-income households and people living in rural areas where natural gas is not available are eligible for additional money.

Some rural areas that may qualify are rural Marin County, western San Mateo County and parts of Sonoma County, Flannigan said.

Households whose sole source of heat is a wood-burning device are also eligible for the program.

That’s important because starting Nov. 1, those households must use an Environmental Protection Agency-approved device, a pellet-burning device or install a gas or propane device, Flannigan said.

The households also must register with the air district, he said.

In the past, homes with a wood-burning device as the sole source of heat were exempt from a ban on wood burning during a winter Spare the Air Alert.

Households can also get money to make a fireplace inoperable, or in other words make it decorative. Homeowners do not have to tear the chimney down or remove the fireplace.

Fireplaces tend to be the dirtiest and least efficient sources of heat. Fireplaces don’t have any filters and heat radiates only a short distance from the hearth, Flannigan said.

Homeowners and landlords must own a residential property in the air district’s jurisdiction to be eligible. Applicants must also apply and get approval to proceed.

Projects completed before the air district approves the project are not eligible, air district officials said.

Residents and landlords are encouraged to apply as soon as possible because the money is expected to go quickly.

Starting in 2008, air district officials offered money for new gas, pellet or EPA-certified fireplaces or wood stoves. This latest program offers money for only non-wood burning devices.

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Three more Bay Area counties are facing class action lawsuits for the cost of phone calls to and from jails, an expensive process that critics argue unfairly burdens inmates’ families by making them pay excessive fees to keep in touch with loved ones.

A group of attorneys who have already filed several lawsuits on the matter in Southern California filed their fourth lawsuit in the Bay Area this week. The attorneys first sued San Mateo County on Aug. 8, then filed suits in federal court against Santa Clara County on Thursday, Contra Costa County on Friday and Alameda County on Monday.

The counties contract private companies to operate the phone systems in jails. All inmates making calls from jail must use it. Because of the closed system, the companies can charge whatever they want and pay the county thousands of dollars for the contract, the suits argue.

Under California law, revenue gathered from the phone systems must be deposited into an inmate welfare fund for education and rehabilitation programs. If not needed for that purpose the funds can go to jail maintenance.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs argue that much, and possibly most, of that fund goes to jail maintenance and not rehabilitation programs.

[CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY....]

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Golden Gate National Recreation Area officials are offering suggestions to celebrate Founder’s Day on Thursday, the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

All park fees will be waived from Thursday through Sunday in honor of the anniversary, although user fees still apply for the Alcatraz Island ferry and the Muir Woods shuttle.

At www.findyourpark.com, Bay Area residents and visitors can find a park that fits their interests, park officials said.

There are more than 10 national park sites throughout the Bay Area such as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in Marin, the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park in Richmond and the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site in Danville.

Other popular national park sites in the region include Muir Woods National Monument and Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, according to park officials.

A Golden Gate National Recreation Area iPhone app allows visitors to explore lesser-known parts of the recreation area such as the hiking trails of Rancho Corral de Tierra in San Mateo County and the historic WWII fortifications in the Marin Headlands.

Park officials suggest taking public transit to visit park sites.

Visitors to Muir Woods should plan ahead for crowds. The Muir Woods shuttle operates weekends and holidays through Oct. 30.

A program for fourth-graders allows them and their families to visit national parks for free for a year through the Every Kid in a Park program.

The program provides a pass to all federal lands and waters.

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Detectives from the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff have recovered most of the items that were stolen during two burglaries that occurred at a home on Alhambra Valley Rd. in unincorporated Martinez last month.

After the burglaries, the Investigation Division received several anonymous email tips and voice messages on the tip line indicating the location of the stolen property. Detectives went to the location and found numerous bronze statues, whiskey decanters, and other items that were stolen from the residence, according to the Office of the Sheriff.

Detectives subsequently executed three search warrants at locations in the El Sobrante area and found more stolen property.

Detectives arrested 49-year-old Charles Somers of San Pablo for possession of stolen property in connection with the burglaries, according to the Office of the Sheriff. In addition, Somers, a parolee, is being held on a parole violation. Somers is currently in custody at the county jail without bail.

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Watch this video, it’s a 1966 Trains & Railroads Documentary that talks about the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

“The smoothest, quickest, quietest, safest ride you ever took to work, or anywhere else”

Classic.

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: news@claycord.com. It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items.

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An attempted murder suspect was taken into custody on Tuesday in Walnut Creek, according to police.

At about 6:00 pm, the Walnut Creek Police Department received an anonymous report that a subject wanted by the Antioch Police Department was at Jack-in-the-Box, located at 2295 North Main Street, police said.

Officers arrived at the location and found 20-year-old Jack-in-the-Box employee and Antioch resident Ronvell Scheneck inside. Scheneck was arrested on three warrants for charges including attempted murder and carrying a concealed firearm, according to Walnut Creek Police Captain Steve Gorski.

Scheneck was booked into the county jail on $1,015,000.00 bail for the warrants and a charge of violation of his probation, according to Captain Gorski.

Unfortunately, Captain Gorski said officers did not receive cooperation from the management at Jack-in-the-Box who refused to allow officers into a rear area of the restaurant where Scheneck had been.

Another employee in the restaurant was recently contacted after yelling obscenities at officers from the drive-thru window as they were outside dealing with an unrelated disturbance, according to Captain Gorski.

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The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

Do you feel like crime in your neighborhood is on the rise, or do you think it’s decreasing?

Talk about it….

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cpd

A suspect stole a basket full of cell phones from the Walgreens, located at 1900 Monument Blvd. in Concord on Wednesday morning, according to police.

As the man was running out just before 11:30 this morning, he told employees he had a gun, police said.

The suspect is described as a 25-year-old black male carrying a basket. He was last seen walking into an apartment complex near Oak Grove Rd. and Sierra Rd.

Anyone who witnessed the crime or has further information should call the Concord Police Department.

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Utility workers  and contractors working for PG&E will perform routine gas meter inspections in parts of central Contra Costa County beginning this week, according to PG&E.

The inspections are planned for Alamo, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Moraga, Martinez, Orinda, Pacheco, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek over the next two months.

PG&E employees and contractors with Underground Construction conducting inspections will be on foot with a mobile tablet to conduct these inspections, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. They will be wearing a hard hat, safety vest and carry photo identification, which they will present upon a customer’s request.

If a person claiming to be a PG&E employee or contractor shows you his or her identification and you still feel uncomfortable, call PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-743-5000 to verify an appointment and/or PG&E’s presence in the community. PG&E employees and contractors will not enter homes during these inspections.

During inspections, customers may see a PG&E employee or contractor on or near their properties as they access the gas meter. This work will not affect gas service. In the event a meter cannot be accessed, PG&E will schedule a visit and inspect the meter on a future date.

Customers who have provided a current phone number to PG&E will receive a call prior to inspections. These inspections will conclude in late October, barring unforeseen delays like inclement weather.

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This Labor Day weekend, families and friends will be celebrating the end of the summer. Sadly, this festive time has also become a dangerous time for America’s roads, as many drunk drivers get behind the wheel after celebrating.

For this reason, the Concord Police Department is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to stop drunk drivers and help save lives.

The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs now until September 5, 2016.

During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased national messaging about the dangers of driving drunk, coupled with sobriety checkpoints and increased officers working DUI Saturation Patrols on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roads.

The Concord Police Department will deploy a DUI checkpoint to stop and arrest alcohol and drug impaired drivers during the end of summer 18 day DUI campaign.  The DUI Checkpoint will be held Saturday September 3, 2016. Police, Sheriff and the California Highway Patrol will be out looking for the tale-tell signs of drunk driving in order to stop and arrest impaired drivers throughout the region.

According to NHSTA, on average, over 10,000 people died each year (2010 to 2014) in drunk-driving crashes nationwide while California recorded 882 deaths. During the 2014 Labor Day holiday weekend (6 p.m. August 29 – 5:59 a.m. September 2), 40 percent of the fatalities in traffic crashes involved drunk drivers, which was the highest percentage over the five years 2010 to 2014. And nighttime proves to be the most dangerous time to be out on the roads: During the 2014 Labor Day holiday period, 83 percent of drunk-driving crash fatalities occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. – as compared to half of all drunk-driving crash fatalities throughout the rest of that year.

Additionally, 40 percent of crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend in 2014 involved drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 or higher), amounting to 162 lives lost nationwide and 20 in California. And we’re not just talking about a little bit of alcohol, either. More than a quarter (28%) of the crash fatalities that occurred on Labor Day weekend involved drivers with BACs of .15 or higher—almost twice the illegal limit.

“People need to understand that drunk driving is not only deadly, but it is illegal,” said Sergeant James Nakayama. “Drunk driving is a massive problem in the United States, with more than 10,000 people dying annually. Drivers need to pay attention to their own driving, but also to others on the road who could be driving drunk,” he added. “It is your business. If you think you see a drunk driver, report them – call 911.”

The reality is that people aren’t invincible. Of the 9,967 people who were killed in impaired-driving crashes in 2014, 64 percent were the drunk drivers themselves. Those 6,391 drunk drivers thought they would make it to their destinations, but they didn’t.

“This is important to remember: do not trust yourself when you drink,” said Sgt Nakayama. “You may think you aren’t drunk, but law enforcement will know you are. Law enforcement officers’ skills in detecting and identifying drunk drivers have never been better. They will spot you and arrest you.”

Concord PD reminds everyone:

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
  • Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone.  The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more.  The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.
  • DRUGS, MEDICATION & ALCOHOL = CRASHES:  Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).  Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take your friend’s keys and help your friend make other arrangements to get to where he or she is going safely

As the summer winds to an end, remember that there’s no excuse for drunk or impaired driving.  Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Funding for the extra DUI enforcement operations is a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Two baseball players from Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord beat Jose Canseco in a home run derby over the weekend.

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The Pittsburg Diamonds professional baseball team held a home run derby for local high school kids on Sunday, and the winners got a chance to face former Oakland A’s slugger Jose Canseco, who currently plays for the Diamonds.

Clayton Valley Charter players James Biles and Bill Ralston easily won the high school elimination round as each hit four home runs in two minutes for a total of eight home runs.

The duo of Biles and Ralston then went on to beat Canseco and team owner Shah, 4-3. Canseco was belting them long and often during warm up, but failed to repeat the feat during the final round against Clayton Valley.

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Other high schools that participated were Freedom, Heritage, Antioch, Pittsburg, Castro Valley, Granada, and Liberty. Each school was represented by two hitters.

After the derby and game, Canseco posed for photos and signed autographs for a long line of fans.

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VIEW MORE PHOTOS >>>> photos & information credit: David King – Diablo Gazette Newspaper

To learn more about the Pittsburg Diamonds, please click HERE.

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[CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS OF THE DAMAGE....]

BART trains were briefly delayed this afternoon after a person swung a golf club at a train and at windows at the transit agency’s West Oakland station, BART officials said.

The incident was initially reported at about 1:30 p.m. at the station’s Platform 2. The train at the station had to be held, backing up service for all lines going into and out of San Francisco, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said.

[CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS OF THE DAMAGE....]

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cpd

The 7-Eleven at Oak Grove and Monument in Concord was robbed early this morning.

At 1:56 a.m., a male suspect walked into the store with a knife and demanded money. The clerk complied and the suspect got away with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to Concord Police Cpl. Christopher Blakely.

The suspect, according to Cpl. Blakely, is a Hispanic male adult, about 5’5″ tall with a medium build, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and black baggy pants. The suspect concealed his face with a yellow cloth and was armed with a fixed blade knife.

No injuries were reported.

Anyone with information can contact the Concord Police Dept. at 925-671-3333.

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