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Welcome to Brentwood, CA

Brentwood, California

About Brentwood:

Brentwood is a city located in Contra Costa County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 23,302.

Brentwood Cornfest is a food festival that features the white sweet corn grown in the area. (More Info and Source) Brentwood Real Estate

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Brentwood Area News

Giants outfielder Pagan to have season-ending back surgery

San Francisco Giants outfielder Angel Pagan will have season-ending surgery to repair a bulging disk in his back.

Manager Bruce Bochy said the operation will be Thursday in Los Angeles. Recovery is expected to take about three months, so Pagan would not be available to the Giants in the postseason.

San Francisco entered Tuesday night with a magic number of two to clinch a playoff spot.

Pagan missed his fourth straight game when the Giants played the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. He sat out six of the team's previous seven games on the current trip, and missed 44 games earlier in the season because of his back.

Bochy said Gregor Blanco will likely fill Pagan's leadoff spot. Pagan declined to talk to reporters.

"It's just time to get something done," Bochy said. "This thing's been nagging him for three or four months. It's just not getting any better. We want to get it done now so he'll be a full go in spring training."

Tue, 23 Sep 2014 19:07:53 -0700

School districts taking unconventional steps to ensure special needs kids get to school

When one thinks of school transportation, a yellow school bus is what usually comes to mind.  But for many Bay Area kids with special needs, getting to school can be much more complicated.

School districts are required by law to provide transportation, if needed, to fulfill students’ special needs and they use a variety of methods to do that.  Sometimes that means transporting students miles away from home by car service, taxi and even employee’s personal vehicles to get them to a specialized school.  

It usually takes 9-year-old Joseph Ferguson about an hour to make the 26 mile trip from Oakland to San Francisco to get to school. Specialists at the Edgewood Center in San Francisco help him with his learning, emotional and developmental disabilities.  Normally, a school van drives him, but on Friday his ride was more unconventional when a woman his family had never seen before showed up at his door.

"A lady yelled out, ‘hey, I'm here for Joseph’ and I said, ‘who are you?’” Cleo Sims, Joseph’s grand-aunt explained.

A woman who identified herself as an assistant teacher at the school said she was going to give Joseph a ride in her personal vehicle.

Sims said the woman explained: "I live around the corner, I'm going to be picking Joseph up from now on.” Sims did not think the vehicle she was driving was appropriate.  “In a mustang?! I kept saying."

Edgewood's CEO Matt Madaus told KTVU the staff member who drove Joseph was licensed and insured like all of their employees. He said the van that regularly picked Joseph up was not available that day, and that having employees' transport students in their private vehicles is not uncommon. He said the school is looking into Sims concerns, and admitted the schools have notified her about the change in his transportation the day before the staff member showed up at the door.

Joseph is one of dozens of Bay Area special needs students who take alternate transportation to get to class.

“When students have specialized needs that can't be met by the school district, sometimes you have to use a taxi or a van to get them to a specialized school,” Steve Collins, Special Education Director for the West Contra Costa Unified School District, said.

The West Contra Costa School District uses taxis to transport 14 special needs students to schools outside the district. Some of the campuses those students go to are as far away as Fremont and San Anselmo.

In Oakland, the district also uses taxis to get 12 special needs students to class.  Fremont unified school district uses a taxi service for two students. Mt. Diablo Unified School District contracts with a private car and van company to transport 89 students to other schools outside its district.

For all of the districts, the individual rides can get expensive.

 “It can run anywhere from 50 to 200 dollars a day,” Collins said of the taxi service for each student.

But he said it is still cheaper than transporting individual students by bus, which he estimated costs $300 to $500 a day.

The West Contra Costa School District has tried to cut down on those transportation expenses by providing more special needs services on their school campuses. Board president, Charles Ramsey said in the past 15 years, the district had successfully raised $1.8 billion through six bond measures to improve and reconstruct at least 30 aging schools with new features and facilities for special needs students.

Ten years ago the district had 240 special needs students who needed to go outside the district to attend specialized schools, this year they have 79. Most of those students are able to take buses, except for the 14 who are regularly transported by taxi.

Joseph Ferguson is a student in the Oakland Unified School District. According to his individual education plan, Edgewood center, a private institution, is the only place his special needs can be met. Getting him there can be a source of stress for his grand aunt.

“There are no words to describe how you feel when you let a child go 50, 60 miles without you,” Sims said.

Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:41:28 -0700

Walnut Creek woman kidnapped, robbed in broad daylight

Walnut Creek police are looking for a man who kidnapped and robbed a female resident Tuesday.

Just before noon Tuesday, the woman was approached in her front yard on the 400 block of Muller Road by a man with a gun. Police say he kidnapped her in her own car and made her drive to the Bank of America on Main Street in downtown. There, he demanded she withdraw money.

She got back in the car with him, and headed back to her neighborhood where he simply got out of the car and ran off on foot.

Investigators say the robber was wearing a straw hat, sunglasses and something else covering part of his face, so they don't have a good description.

Police add the victim was very shaken up, but otherwise unharmed.

"We're asking residents that live in that area, the area of Muller Road, if anybody has any video that points to the street, that may have seen this subject or anybody that was potentially one of his accomplices coming or going either on foot or in a vehicle," said Walnut Creek Police Lieutenant Steve Gorski.

When the victim was at the bank, she did enter and talk with a teller, not mentioning she was being victimized at that time.

Police would not say specifically why she didn't ask for help, but it's likely the robber made some kind of threat against her life if she spoke up.

They add while he was outside waiting for her, several people called police to report a suspicious man standing near the bank who fit the description of the robber.


Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:17:56 -0700

News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories

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