So This Happened...Week of Nov. 27 through Dec. 3, 2023

So This Happened…Week of Nov. 27 through Dec. 3, 2023

So This Happened...Week of Nov. 27 through Dec. 3, 2023
Clockwise from left: The new Odyssey Virtual Reality Lounge opened in Clayton this weekend. Automated micro transit vehicles are in the works for East Contra Costa County. Police in Pleasant Hill and Concord used dogs and drones to help catch several car thieves.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Dec. 3, 2023) — In this season of giving, Pioneer columnist Jennifer Stojanovich encourages residents to join her in the Be a Santa to a Senior program.

“Whether it’s fulfilling a request for a cherished item or providing a thoughtful gift, every contribution counts in bringing a smile to the faces of our seniors,” she writes, noting a Dec. 14 deadline for donations.

Community calendar: If you’re looking to make holiday memories with your kids, check out the craft event this Thursday, Dec. 7, in downtown Pleasant Hill. Over in Clayton, the new Odyssey VR Lounge is celebrating the grand opening of its virtual reality experience through Friday, Dec. 8. For more entertainment ideas, including holiday-themed local theater productions, see the Pioneer’s online calendar.

Update from Concord PD: A 19-year-old Concord resident has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter in the Thanksgiving evening crash that killed an 86-year-old passenger in another vehicle. Damian Lopez-Avelino also faces charges for DUI causing serious bodily injury, hit and run with injury, and driving while unlicensed.

Meanwhile, police in Pleasant Hill and Concord arrested three suspects after a stolen vehicle pursuit. Officers utilized K9 Hancock as well as a drone to aid in the chase; however, two other suspects managed to get away on foot. For more local crime news, read the latest Concord police report.

More stories

Here are some other stories the Pioneer covered recently:

Clayton unveils “Ask the City” video Q&A.

Tamori family helped bring Japanese culture to Concord.

Hard to see where “Napoleon” is heading.

Apply by Dec. 15 for new, below-market rate home in Concord.

New outdoor fitness area, crosswalk unveiled in Willow Pass park.

Autonomous micro transit vehicles in development for East County.

Read past installments of “So This Happened…”: Click here.

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Bev Britton
Bev Britton
Copy Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer |

Bev Britton graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota and moved to the Bay Area with her soon-to-be husband Jim in 1986. She was features editor at the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek before becoming managing editor of the Contra Costa Sun in Lafayette in 1995. She retired from newsrooms in 2001, but an ad for the Clayton Pioneer drew her back in. The family moved to Lake Wildwood in the Gold Country a few years ago - but working at the Pioneer keeps her in touch with her old neighborhoods in Concord and Clayton.