60 years ago

Arson discovered in Sunday night fire in home: The sheriff's office and Constables Joe Wightman and Charles Barkley were joined this week by insurance investigators in an attempt to learn who was responsible for the fire which caused $1,000 in damage Sunday evening to the home of John B. Sims on Sims Road.

All signs pointed to arson with several mysterious angles to be explained. The firemen arrived in time to hold the damage to the contents of the house, but Chief Gauger said that in another five minutes enough gas would have generated from the kerosene to have caused an explosion. The fact that all the doors and windows were closed held the fire down through lack of a draft.

Sims, a carpenter, told officers that he had no known enemies who might have been responsible.

25 years ago

SPCA volunteer is surrounded by her work: A litter of seven roly-poly puppies joined the menagerie at Sheila Cohen's home Sunday.

As dogs barked through the windows in the house, Cohen, an investigator with the Contra Costa County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, sat outside and checked the woolly pups for fleas and mites. Declared healthy, they were soon on their way to the Well Pet Center in Concord, were they will be put up for adoption.


Advertisement

"These guys will be easy to place," said Cohen, clutching two whimpering pups. Homes for many animals left with Cohen are not so easily found. The back of her Antioch home is full of cats -- 20 right now, at others times as many as 30. Another is living in the laundry room.

In the back yard are a bouncy cocker spaniel mix that will soon go to another home, and a pit bull that Cohen is observing for aggression.

Among the dogs she calls her own is an arthritic Brittany spaniel, nine-years-old, who no one wants. There is no end to the hungry mouths to feed. "I wish more people would spay and neuter their animals," she said. "More and more cats and dogs are put to sleep every day."

Cohen's resolve is to save as many animals as she can from euthanasia.

-- Brentwood News and Daily Ledger news files