LeAnn Rimes and 'Headliners' series
Popular country artist LeAnn Rimes is set to take the stage at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek, as part of a tour marking her 25th year in the music industry and the launch of her latest album, "God's Work".
Rimes has been performing to widespread acclaim since 1996, when she was 13-years-old, with her first album "Blue," which became a number one hit and went on to make her the youngest Grammy winner at the time, with two awards the following year.
Since then, Rimes has sold more than 44 million recordings throughout the world, and appeared on the small screen in Hallmark's "It's Christmas, Eve," in which she also served as an executive producer, as well as Fox's "The Masked Singer" last year.
The event will also mark the kick-off of the Lesher Center for the Arts new "Headliners" series. Following Rimes in the series' lineup are singer Brian Stokes Williams in February; Dance Theater of Harlem in April; jazz group the Joey Alexander Trio in May; and Tony Award winning singer and actress Laura Benanti in June. The series is set to close out with comedian Ryan Hamilton early in July.
Rimes is set to kick off the "Headliners" series on Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lesher Center for the Arts' Hoffman Theater at 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek. Tickets range from $54 to $94, and are available both online and the theater's box office, open Wednesday through Sunday from
Two new court commissioners
The Contra Costa County Superior Court recently announced the appointment of two new commissioners, both of whom had served as temporary judges with the county ahead of their appointments.
Ayana K. Young has been assigned to preside over Department 54 at the Walnut Creek and Richmond courthouses, taking over from Jennifer Lee, who was assigned to Department 25.
Young's jurisdiction includes matters related to traffic, unlawful detainers, small claims, restraining orders, and misdemeanor arraignments.
Palvir Shoker has been assigned to preside over the court's newly established Department 50 at the Pittsburg Courthouse, also focusing on traffic, unlawful detainers, small claims, restraining orders, and misdemeanor arraignments.
State funding for DUI drug testing
The Contra Costa County Sheriff's office recently received a state grant aimed at funding increased drug testing capacity in suspected driving under the influence of drugs cases.
"This grant will ultimately improve testing capabilities and analysis that will benefit law enforcement agencies and improve public safety throughout the county," Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston said.
The $80,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety is set to go towards the sheriff's office's testing program for DUI drug cases through the purchase of additional drug testing equipment.
Grant for DUI probation monitoring
The Contra Costa County Probation Department recently received a grant aimed at increasing the department's capacity to monitor probation clients convicted in DUI cases.
"Grant funding will be used to make sure DUI probation clients are following the court ordered terms of their probation, including home, work and office visits, alcohol testing and warrant service operations," said a statement from the county probation department on Nov. 17.
The department also plans to use funds to develop a habitual offender tally to share information about repeat DUI clients with local law enforcement agencies.
"The support and assistance provided by OTS, coupled with strong working relationships with state and local law enforcement agencies, have allowed the Probation Department to closely monitor and rehabilitate our clients," Chief Probation Officer Esa Ehmen-Krause said.
The $387,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety is set to go towards the personnel necessary to increase supervision efforts, as well as additional training for current personnel.
Community college Virtual Campus program
The campuses of the Contra Costa Community College District recently became some of the first community colleges in the state to participate in a new program aimed at facilitating cross-enrollment in virtual classes across the state's community college system.
"This expanded access to online classes will ultimately help our students complete their educational goals and advance more quickly toward their careers or 4-year colleges," said Joanna Miller, the district's dean of distance education, in a statement.
Students in the district and several other community colleges across the state can now cross-enroll in virtual classes at numerous campuses without an additional application process, and with transcript and financial aid services aimed at streamlining the process.
The effort is part of the California Virtual Campus -- Online Education initiative (CVC-OEI), with the district's colleges and satellite campuses services as some of the first 15 teaching programs in the statewide program.
"If students can't find the class they need that suits their schedule at their own campus, the CVC-OEI Exchange provides an easy and seamless way for them to take a course online at other community colleges in the system," Miller said.
More information on the online education initiative and participating campuses is available here.