Two charged in mortgage scam
A Brentwood woman and a Las Vegas man face charges for their alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar mortgage scam that bilked more than a thousand homeowners.
Federal prosecutors say Tamara Tikal continued the scam after her husband was arrested on charges of running a sham mortgage rescue company.
Alan Tikal is awaiting trial on allegations that he ran KATN Trust, which offered homeowners cheaper mortgages and promised to cover their existing, more expensive home loans.
Prosecutors said he collected more than $3 million from victims, most of whom lived in California.
The homeowners were allegedly instructed not to pay their original mortgages and ignore correspondence from the lender.
The new charges against Tamara Tikal and Jan Kornfeld stem from evidence seized from the company's Las Vegas office.
-- Associated Press
Blood drive collects 74 pints for 2-year-old
More than 200 people attended Thursday evening's welcome home blood drive and celebration for Matthew Ouimet at the Prewett Water Park, with 70 attendees donating 74 pints of blood.
Matthew, 2-year-old son of Antioch's Kelly and Kristi Ouimet, received a kidney and liver transplant at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital on June 4-5. He was discharged Aug. 14.
The 74 pints are roughly double what the typical blood drive nets, according to American Red Cross spokesman Jared Schultzman. A drive in Matthew's honor in July netted 122 pints.
Matthew almost missed his own party. He was readmitted to UCSF on Wednesday because of dehydration and worrisome lab results. He was discharged Thursday morning.
-- Gary Peterson, Staff
College district seeks applicants for seat
The Contra Costa Community College District plans to appoint a successor to fill the Ward 3 seat of longtime Trustee Sheila Grilli, who died Aug. 31.
Applicants must reside within the area represented by Ward 3, which includes Pleasant Hill, Concord, Pacheco and most of Martinez. They must also have knowledge of the college district's communities and be committed to community colleges and their missions, among other requirements.
The district board Friday voted to fill Grilli's spot by appointment instead of the more costly option of holding a special election. A special board meeting will be held Oct. 2 to review all applications and determine which applicants to interview; another special meeting is planned for Oct. 8 for interviews and selection of the new trustee.
The application deadline is 4:30 p.m. Sept. 23. For more information and for the application form, go to www.4cd.edu.
-- Sam Richards, Staff
Masked suspect robs convenience store
Police are searching for a man they say robbed a Pleasanton convenience store off Santa Rita Road early Friday, authorities said.
About 1:45 a.m., a masked man leapt over the counter at the 7-11 store at 4307 Valley Ave. and tried to lock a store employee in a back room before forcing open the cash register and making off with an undisclosed amount of cash, Sgt. Ted Young said. No one was hurt in the incident, and no weapon was seen.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing about 220 pounds. He was wearing a white T-shirt, tan shorts and white shoes.
-- Erin Ivie, Staff
Coffee shop near I-680 damaged in blaze
Crews knocked down a one-alarm fire that broke out Friday morning at a Starbucks near Interstate 680.
Starbucks employees reporting to work at 3110 Crow Canyon Place reported the blaze at 4:07 a.m., and firefighters arrived to find the blaze burning throughout the coffee shop, said Kim French, spokeswoman for the San Ramon Valley Fire District. Crews quickly knocked down the flames, and the blaze was fully contained by 5:14 a.m.
No injuries were reported.
According to French, the fire started on the outside walls of the building, located in a strip mall. Shops on either side, Comerica Bank and The Cheese Steak Shop, were damaged by smoke. Crews cleaned up those stores so they could open for business Friday.
The Starbucks remained closed Friday, French said. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.
-- Erin Ivie, Staff
Fundraiser planned for slain worker's mother
Friends and co-workers of a local hardware store employee stabbed to death last month will hold a fundraiser today for the man's mother.
Daniel Joseph Stone, 51, was killed Aug. 4 when a 34-year-old Sacramento man allegedly walked into Oliver's Hardware, where Stone worked, used spray paint from the store to color his face in Oakland Raiders' silver and black and attacked Stone, stabbing him 17 times.
Prosecutors say Daymond Agnew explained later that he was on a "mission from Allah to help people."
Stone left a mother and a 30-year-old daughter, according to the hardware store's owner, Richard Oliver. Stone's mother lost her job, and Stone was supporting her, Oliver said.
The fundraiser will be held at Rancho Sports Bar, 3912 San Pablo Dam Road, from noon to 4 p.m. The event will include food, music, raffle prizes and a silent auction.
-- Robert Rogers, Staff
Free yoga festival today at fairgrounds
A free daylong yoga festival featuring exercise sessions, musical performances and other entertainment is scheduled Saturday at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
The Dharma and Yoga Fest will run from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., event organizers said.
The festival is being presented by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, a national social organization that promotes the Hindu faith and culture. The organization's East Bay chapter is based in San Ramon.
Bollywood singers and dancers will perform throughout the day. Speakers are expected to deliver lectures about Hinduism and yoga philosophies.
There will be free admission, parking and food. For details, go to www.dharmaandyogafest.org/eastbay.
-- Chris De Benedetti, Staff
Man fatally shot last weekend is identified
A 22-year-old man shot and killed Sunday has been identified by the Alameda County coroner's office.
Berkeley resident Anthony Medearis III was pronounced dead at a hospital after he was found in the 1400 block of Eighth Street with multiple gunshot wounds.
Police have not released any information on suspects or motive.
The homicide was the city's fourth of 2013.
-- Katie Nelson, Staff
Shoreline cleanup seeks volunteers
The office of county Supervisor John Gioia is inviting volunteers to its annual event as part of California Coastal Cleanup Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 21 at Shimada Friendship Park at the foot of Marina Bay Parkway.
Volunteers should bring gloves, a refillable water bottle and a debris bucket if possible. Kayakers are welcome to help remove trash farther from the shore.
Volunteers will be treated to lunch at noon.
For details, contact Gioia's office at 510-231-8686 or the Watershed Project at 510-224-4085.
-- Chris Treadway, Staff