Richmond man sentenced to 42 years for sexual assault

Despite pleas for leniency from defendant's family members, judge imposes maximum sentence for 'an absolutely heinous crime' 
The organization Rebuilding Together East Bay-North (rtebn.org) is issuing a plea for volunteers to help with a project in Albany on National Rebuilding Day on April 26.  
 
Kristopher Skinner
While beset by mounting debt, poor service and low performance grades from federal officials, the Richmond's public housing agency funded a series of trips sending volunteer advisers to conferences to receive training, costs amounting to $79,315 from mid-2008 to 2011.  
 
A business owner who lived in the back of his store shot and killed one of four men trying to burglarize the business early Friday morning and was himself shot and wounded by another one of the burglars, police said.  
 
More than 60 people addressed the city's Planning Commission on Thursday, with most saying the environmental report describing Chevron Corp.'s proposed $1 billion modernization of its local refinery does too little to reduce pollutants and ensure safety.  
 
Melinda Leketia Gaffney
RICHMOND -- A 16-year-old boy allegedly killed by a 30-year-old Richmond woman had fathered a child with her and reportedly had a spat with her about his new girlfriend just moments before he was killed, a prosecutor said Thursday.  
 
He has, by our observation and from accounts of those who depend on him for information, done an excellent job leading the office since he was elected in 2010.  
 
Police on Thursday released surveillance pictures of two males who are considered persons of interest in a shooting outside a Target store earlier this week.  
 
If all else fails, council members can always blame it on Chevron  
 
Melinda Gaffney, 30, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail and is facing murder charges after she allegedly shot and killed a 16-year-old April 8, prosecutors say.  
 
(Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)
Free tours of water-wise California-native gardens

As more Californians than ever explore drought-tolerant landscape alternatives, two upcoming garden tours shine a spotlight on low-water native plants. On April 26 and 27, some 60 gardens on the Peninsula and in the Santa Clara Valley will be open to visitors. And on May 4, some 40 East Bay gardens, from Fremont to Martinez, will be open too. 
(Photo by Dan Hallman/Invision/AP Images)
Ryan Seacrest leaving 'American Idol?'

Report says the “Idol” host stepping down after current season.