Daily Archives: February 6, 2013

House fire in Berkeley hills caused by portable heater

Fire now
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The fire today that saw two stories of a Berkeley hills home extensively damaged, and a huge plume of black smoke visible for miles, was caused by a portable heater setting alight a bed mattress, according to the Berkeley Fire Department.

Interim Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb said a mattress caught fire in a dormer room at the top of the house and the blaze spread to the second story below.

Webb estimated the damage to the home was valued at $800,000. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 02.06.13

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Police name Zontee Jones as year’s first homicide

A small memorial was set up in West Berkeley near the site of Zontee Jones' death early last year. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Police have released the name of Berkeley’s first homicide victim of 2013, identifying him late Wednesday afternoon as Zontee Jones, 34, of Berkeley.

Jones was killed shortly after 11 a.m. Monday on Delaware Street just west of San Pablo Avenue in west Berkeley. Witnesses said he was shot while walking down the street, and that a gold-colored car that may have been connected to the crime sped off afterward.

Capt. Andrew Greenwood of the Berkeley Police Department said investigators have been working on this case “virtually non-stop since Monday morning when it occurred.” … Continue reading »

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Nosh Talk: Suzanne Drexhage, Bartavelle

Suzanne Drexhage
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Nosh Talk is a regular Q&A with an East Bay chef, restaurateur or food artisan, published on Berkeleyside Nosh, in which we snoop for inside intelligence…

What is always in your refrigerator?
Preserved lemons, butter, and for some reason, Prosecco. And chicken stock and last summer’s slow roasted tomatoes in the freezer. Just in case.

What do you cook up for a late night snack?
I don’t usually snack late, but we occasionally eat a pretty late dinner after Stan gets home from work, maybe cooked greens with pasta or eggs, or leftover soft tofu soup. [Stan is Stanislaw Sobolewski, cookbook manager at Moe’s Books.]

Where/what do you eat on your day off? 
So many good places to check out lately, it’s hard to decide, but I love Fusebox in West Oakland, the new Ramen Shop on College Ave., Ippuku in Berkeley, and Duende in downtown Oakland.

Do you have a secret ‘junk food’ vice?
I don’t eat junk food. Street food, sure. Taco trucks, yes! … Continue reading »

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Man arrested in Jan. 16 armed robbery of Berkeley bank

Mechanics Solano
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The Berkeley Police have arrested a man in connection with an armed robbery at Mechanics Bank on Solano Avenue on the morning of Wednesday Jan. 16.

James Craig Davis, 33, of San Pablo was arrested during a traffic stop in Platte County, Missouri. The deputy determined Davis was wanted for the Berkeley robbery, placed him in custody without incident, and notified Berkeley Police detectives.

The detectives had obtained bank security photos of the robber and distributed them to law enforcement agencies nationally, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Berkeley Police Department. … Continue reading »

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Update: Berkeley hills fire ‘under control’ as of 2 p.m.

fire 055
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Update, 9:09 p.m. Firefighters say a portable heater caused the residential fire on Keith Avenue. Read about it on Berkeleyside.

Update, 2:10 p.m. According to emergency scanner traffic, the incident was determined to be under control as of just after 2 p.m. Berkeleyside will update this post as more information becomes available.

Original post, 12:42 p.m. Berkeley Fire crews are working to put out a fire in a north Berkeley home in the hills that began just before noon, authorities said.

Firefighters responded to the 1100 block of Keith Avenue at 11:47 a.m. for a report of a structure fire, said Interim Fire Chief Gil Dong. … Continue reading »

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Psych review delayed for man charged in murder

The crime scene at Sacramento and Oregon where a shooting occurred at around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night. Photo: A citizen reporter
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A man charged with the murder of Devin Lee Whitmire last year, and the attempted murder of Berkeley officers after a shootout with police, is set to appear before a judge later this month for a mental competency hearing.

Calvester Stewart, 20, of Berkeley was scheduled for the hearing Wednesday morning, Feb. 6, at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in downtown Oakland. But Judge Carrie McIntyre Panetta told the court that one of two doctors set to review Stewart’s state of mind had asked for more time to turn in the report. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley crime up 11% in 2012, but longer trend is down

Violent crime 2012

By Lance Knobel and Emilie Raguso

Berkeley’s annual crime report shows a one-year increase of 11% in violent and property crimes in 2012. The uptick comes after four consecutive years of lowered crime, as measured by the Uniform Crime Reports’ so-called Part I crimes.

But Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan told the City Council, during a work session on the crime report Tuesday night, that it’s important to keep these numbers in perspective. [See the PDF presentation from the work session here.]

“The numbers are down quite a bit in the longer term,” he said, adding later that the city’s crime rate is “about as low as it’s been since the early 1960s.” Following increases in the ’80s and ’90s, crime rates have been on the decline overall.  … Continue reading »

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Contest: Name that nosh [02.06.13]

Poulet, Name that nosh. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Think you know food in the East Bay? Prove it by naming the restaurant and dish in the comments section. Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?


Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments.

Update, 11:33 a.m.: Jason got it right. This is down at the Berkeley Marina, on a bench at Berkeley Pier. Congratulations, Jason, on being this week’s winner!

Photo: Mark Humbert.

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