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Your Need to Know News This Week

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Photo by Davide Ragusa

Below are some highlights, lowlights and oddities from this week in local news.

A recipe for destruction

What do you get when you mix a bottle of Hennessy, meth and loaded guns? Nothing good, ever. But two people found out Sunday that such a cocktail can definitely get you arrested. Mamoun Saeidah and Corina Tito-Lopez were spotted sleeping in a running silver sedan at a Berkeley Marina parking lot in the wee hours of the morning, as reported by the East Bay Times. Officers claimed an open container of cognac and glass meth pipe were visible when they approached the vehicle. They noticed a pistol on the floorboard when the pair exited the car and later found another gun in a locked box in the backseat. Both guns were allegedly loaded.

They also found a leaded cane. Cause, what’s a party without a leaded cane?

Both were taken to Santa Rita Jail and Saeidah is scheduled for arraignment on Jan. 17. What the duo had planned with their treasure chest of destruction is still a mystery.

Pedestrians and trains don’t mix

Amtrak certainly left its mark on the East Bay Wednesday. In two separate incidents, trains struck two pedestrians within hours of each other, leaving one man dead and another injured.

An unidentified man was hit by an Oakland-bound train as he walked along a strip of track within a mile of Richmond. East Bay Times reports that the incident, which occurred just before 4 a.m. and resulted in the man’s death, was not at a railroad crossing. The conductor and engineer were unharmed and no other passengers were aboard the train at the time.

Less than three hours later, a Sacramento-bound train struck a 33-year-old man who was walking alongside the tracks in Emeryville. The man was lucky to survive and was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Although passengers were aboard, no one else was injured.

Moral of the story? Pedestrians should stay away from the tracks and Amtrak should probably figure out how to stop hitting people so damn frequently.

Photo by Dan Paul

BART officer-involved fatal shooting…again

Joseph Mateu was identified Wednesday as the BART officer involved in the fatal shooting of 28-year-old Shaleem Tindle near West Oakland BART station on Jan. 3. Mateu alleges that Tindle was shot after he refused to drop his gun. A photo of a gun, reportedly Tindle’s, was also released Wednesday, according to an East Bay Times report.

Details of the story are murky. Mateu stated that he originally responded to a struggle and gunshots between Tindle and another man, who was also injured. Authorities are still trying to determine if Tindle or Mateu shot the second man. The Alameda County Coroner’s Office has yet to identify which of Tindle’s wounds are entry and exit points, delaying the determination of Tindle’s exact cause of death. His family has retained an attorney who is examining whether or not Tindle’s civil rights were violated during the incident. Mateu remains on paid leave as the matter is investigated by Oakland police.

Doesn’t pay to push people around

The city of Oakland and Councilwoman Delsey Brooks got smacked with a collective $4.3 million bill, payable to former Black Panther leader Elaine Brown. The awards are the result of a 2015 incident where Brooks shoved Brown over a stack of chairs during a heated debate inside Everett & Jones near Jack London Square.  Then 72-year-old Brown tore her rotator cuff and sustained a hit to the back of her head during the assault. SF Gate reports that the argument itself stemmed from an initiative “to build affordable housing for formerly incarcerated people in West Oakland,” which Brooks strongly opposed.

It was determined that Brooks was acting in her official capacity at the time and the shove is considered to have been a form of elder abuse. Over half a million of the total is awarded for punitive damages and falls on Brooks herself to pay – Oakland is on the hook for the remainder.

To Gruden or not to Gruden

The Raiders are in some hot shit over whether or not the Gruden hire violated what the NFL calls the Rooney Rule. ESPN explains that the rule is intended to ensure greater league diversity by requiring that, at least, one minority candidate is interviewed in the process. The Raiders claim to have fulfilled that requirement, but an NFL investigation carries on.

Photo from Tampa Bay Times

R.I.P. Priscilla (Richmond “Rosie”) Elder

Elder was a tough broad to the end. She wasn’t supposed to live so long, but she did. She wasn’t supposed to do a man’s job in her day, but she did.

The 97-year-old died Sunday in Tara Hills, but her life as World War II electrician earned her a place in proud local history, according to the East Bay Times. When her husband was drafted and sent off to fight in the Battle of the Bulge, Elder, a 22-year-old wife and mother at the time, answered the call for wartime workers and became one of the iconic Richmond “Rosies” who worked at the Kaiser shipyard. The family initially went back to Iowa after the war, but Priscilla had fallen in love with California and eventually convinced her husband to make the Golden State their permanent home. 

She earned her GED and became a self-employed, licensed beautician at the age of 40. In later years, she painted and hand stitched Rosie bandannas that she gave away. When the Richmond Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historic Park opened in 2000, she shared her stories that will live on to inspire future generations of determined, young women. Her memory will be preserved and deservedly celebrated there…because yes, she did. 

Until next week…

“Good night, and good luck.” Edward R. Murrow

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.