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Vacaville reports decrease in burglary, car theft crime

VACAVILLE - The Vacaville Police Department reported a 9.9 percent drop overall in Part 1 Crimes in 2010, according to recently released statistics.

Police spokesman Mark Mazzaferro said Part 1 Crimes include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, car theft and arson. The largest decreases were in robberies, burglaries and larcenies, according to the report, while increases were reported homicides, aggravated assaults, vehicle thefts, arson and rape.

"Overall the numbers are very good," said Vacaville Police Chief Rich Word. "Vacaville has historically been one of the safer communities in California, and these numbers bear that out."

Mayor Steve Hardy was pleased with the report and said "I'm proud of our public safety employees and how they handle crime on the streets." Hardy said he felt one of the reasons for the drop in crime were due to ongoing parole and probation sweeps by officers.

Jess Jones Vineyard Chardonnay: Crisp, light and fruity

Jess Jones Vineyard Chardonnay: Crisp, light and fruity

If you haven’t heard of Jess Jones Vineyard in Dixon, California, that’s alright. It’s only been producing wines since 2000. Only recently has it been getting publicity and appearing in area stores. The wines are featured at the Dixon Art and Wine Stroll each year. Unless you're a local you might not know what good wines Jess Jones is producing.

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Vacaville PAL to hold judo tournament; Community support needed

Vacaville PAL to hold judo tournament; Community support needed
VACAVILLE - The Vacaville Police Activities League will hold a "Battle for the Star" Judo Tournament on Feb. 27 starting at 10 a.m. at Vacaville High School on Monte Vista Avenue. The tournament is a primary fundraiser for the non-profit's Makimoto Judo Club.

Due to recent budget cuts and increased costs to host the tournament, organizers are in urgent need of community and business donations to pull off the event. In addition to the local tournament, the group needs enough funds to fly their 11-member team plus 3-4 chaperones to a national judo tournament in Ohio in July.

All proceeds from the tournament in February will go to the team's expenses. Donations are tax deductible. For more information about the Police Activities League, Makimoto Judo Club or how you can help the team reach their financial goals, call Jocelyne at (707) 332-0388.

Newsom launches California discussion on state's higher education system

Newsom launches California discussion on state's higher education system

California's Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday the launch of a statewide higher education listening tour and an online campaign that will engage Californian's in a public dialogue, seeking their feedback and suggestions on issues relating to the state's higher education system.

In the coming months, Newsom is expected to travel to the University of California (UC), Califoria State University (CSU) and community college campuses, to meet with a broad range of stakeholders, including students, administration officials and community and business leaders.

"I look forward to having an honest conversation and hearing directly from students, educators and administration officials on everyday issues and challenges within our higher education system," said Newsom.

North America's oldest Asian elephant dies

North America's oldest Asian elephant dies

VALLEJO - Six Flags Discovery Kingdom announced Tuesday the passing of its beloved female Asian elephant Taj. At 71 years old, she was the oldest elephant in a North American facility. Over the past several weeks, Taj's quality of life had declined significantly and she died on Jan. 17.

"Taj was a remarkable elephant that touched millions of people over the course of her long life," said Dale Kaetzel, the park's president. "We are truly in mourning for this loss. Words cannot describe how our entire staff is feeling, in particular the elephant trainers who worked with her every day for years.

Fairfield police arrest shooting suspect

FAIRFIELD - Fairfield police arrested a suspect after a 50 year old man was shot in the face and hand Sunday morning.

Officer Cleo Mayoral said police responded to a call for a shooting at an apartment complex in the 1100 block of Alaska Ave. at 11 Sunday morning.  When they arrived they found a 50 year old man from Berkeley with gun shot wounds to his face and hand.

Within a few minutes, Mayoral said another officer noticed the suspected shooter, Gary Wayne Cotton, 55, sitting in a car at the corner of Tabor Ave. and Bristol Ln. Cotton was arrested and a loaded semi-automatic handgun that was recovered in the car.

Cotton was booked into the Solano County Jail for Attempted Homicide, Convicted Felon in Possession of a Loaded Firearm, and several Alameda County Arrest Warrants.

One person killed in Vacaville house fire

VACAVILLE, CA - One person died in a house fire in Vacaville Friday morning.

According to Vacaville Fire Battalion Chief Brian Moore, the fire was reported at about 1:30 a.m. in the 200 block of Clayton Circle.   

Moore said the first firefighters on the scene reported light smoke coming from the house when they arrived.  Once inside, he said, they found a fire burning in the back part of the home, and requested a second alarm.   

While firefighters were putting out the fire, Moore said they found the body of a man inside the house.   The man has not been identified, but it is believed to be the homeowner.

Moore said investigators are on the scene trying to find out where the fire started, and how.  No other injuries were reported.

Vacaville police: Man, 75, arrested for sexual assault of teenage girl

VACAVILLE, CA - A 75-year-old Vacaville man is behind bars for the alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl.

Vacaville police arrested Gregorio Gonzales Rubio,75, at a home on the 6000 block of Browns Valley Road on Saturday.

Investigators say Rubio is suspected of sexually assaulting the 14-year-old numerous times starting in 2008, said Officer Bryan Larsen. 


The teen was found in the home when the suspect was arrested. She was placed in protective custody with Solano County Child Protective Services. The relationship between the victim and suspect remains unclear.

Rubio was booked into the Solano County Jail on charges of rape, lewd acts with a child, false imprisonment and sexual assault.