60 years ago

Police seek knifer after tavern brawl: Melvin Phelps recently returned after being released form San Quentin, was being sought this week by Brentwood police to face charges of assault with a deadly weapon, following an altercation in an Oak Street tavern early Wednesday in which he is accused of knifing Keith Ditmars. Relatives of Phelps have been appealed to persuade him to surrender of his own free will either to Chief of Police James Hanratty or Judge Silva. It was explained that if he is apprehended otherwise, the consequences would be much more serious. Ditmars received a long slash across the abdomen, but was not badly wounded.

25 years ago

Dancing her way through high school: For the past years, Joel Stinnette of Brentwood has been dancing six days a week and learning on her own time -- an impressive fact, considering she is only a junior in high school.

"It builds a lot of discipline," she said of her schedule.

She is enrolled in the Delta Independent Study Program at Liberty High Union High School and is responsible for completing her own classwork. Jim Sanford, coordinator for the DIS program, explained that starting the program is often the most difficult hurdle for students to overcome. "If they get into a routine, the usually do well, but the first few weeks are hardest for the students. For the first time in their life, all responsibility in on them, he said."


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As a participant in the program, Stinnette does not have any formal classroom instruction. Instead, she meets with Sanford for an hour a week, reviews her school work and receives the following week's assignments.

Six days a week she attends dance classes from Zola and Richard Kammich at their studio in Walnut Creek. Although she is currently dancing at the highest rank at the studio, Stinnette feels there is always room for improvement. "There is always something to work on. Everything has a certain kind of challenge," she said.

-- Brentwood News files

Although a lack of self-discipline forces some independent study students to return to the structured class room environment, Sanford feels that overall the program is extremely successful.

-- Brentwood News files