Two El Cerrito High students detained

Two El Cerrito High students were detained after marijuana was found in their backpacks while attending classes last week, and one of them also had a BB pistol gun, police said.

Both students were detained by police after the incidents, which happened about 31/2 hours apart on Friday, police said. They were released to their parents.

A member of the school's staff reported the odor of marijuana coming from a backpack at 10:25 a.m., police said. A school security officer searched the backpack and also found a black semi-automatic BB pistol, police said.

The second student left his backpack in a classroom at lunch at 1:50 p.m. and didn't return to get it, police said. When a third student tried to pick up the backpack, a teacher confronted him and the backpack was searched, police said. A small amount of marijuana was found inside, police said.

School administration did not immediately comment on what disciplinary measures were given to the students involved.

-- Rick Hurd, Staff

Oscar viewing gala at Rialto Cinemas Cerrito

If it's more fun to watch the 85th annual Academy Awards on a big screen with fellow movie lovers, then that's what the Rialto Cinemas Cerrito, 10070 San Pablo Ave., is offering at its viewing party Sunday.


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Doors open at 4:30 p.m., enough time to settle in and order some food before the show starts at 5 p.m. The theater is offering prizes for the best-costumed attendees and those most adept at movie trivia. There will also be "a grand prize for the audience member who predicts all the winners."

General admission tickets to the gala are $25, available online at the box office or at www.rialtocinemas.com/cerrito.

Preview day available for new kindergartners

St. Jerome School, 320 San Carlos Ave. in El Cerrito, will hold its final Taste of Kindergarten of the school year for parents of eligible children from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 22. Parents and children who will be entering kindergarten next fall are welcome to attend and see what the school has to offer. For details and to RSVP, call 510-525-9484 or visit www.stjeromecatholicschool.org. Families interested in enrolling children in higher grades can contact the school for a personal tour and testing date.

Coffee with the Cops meeting in Albany

The next Coffee with the Cops gathering with members of the Albany Police Department will be 9 to 10 a.m. March 5 at Royal Ground Coffee, 1127 Solano Ave. The informal session is a chance to discuss local issues with Albany officers and learn more about what they do. The gathering is open to all.

Trail restoration work party in El Cerrito

Work parties to do restoration work on the trail in the northern Hillside Natural Area once popular as Motorcycle Hill will be held by the El Cerrito Trail Trekkers group at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Work to improve footing and remove invasive plants will be on a long-obscured trail in the area that was used in the 1920s by motorcycle racers and later became overgrown. Tools will be provided to volunteers, who should meet at the trailhead between 7701 and 7705 Potrero Ave. To RSVP, contact Jenny Hammer at 510-524-1590 or jhammer13@earthlink.net. For more details visit www.ectrailtrekkers.org.

Introductory session for entrepreneurs

El Cerrito is preparing for its fourth annual Entrepreneur Training Program series this spring and is holding informational sessions from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 27 in the Hillside Room at City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave., for those who might be interested in enrolling.

The training classes, which will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays from April 1 to June 22, is for people with a serious interest in starting a new business and current small business owners seeking to improve their operation.

To sign up for one of the introductory sessions or apply for the class call 510-215-4362. Learn more about the classes online at discoverelcerrito.com/news.php?op=view&;id=35.

St. Mary's High School to host winter concert

A final winter concert will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at Saint Mary's College High School, 1294 Albina Ave.

The program, in the school auditorium, will feature Saint Mary's orchestra, intermediate band, and advanced symphonic band.

-- Chris Treadway