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The Contractors State License Board and local law enforcement are warning of unlicensed contractor scams in Napa County as repairs begin following the 6.0 magnitude earthquake Sunday.
Napa County released the following information:
Napa County residents and businesses that experienced damage are encouraged to only hire California-licensed contractors.
Contractor License Checks
Residents can check for licensure by contacting the Contractors State License Board at www.cslb.ca.gov or www.checkthelicensefirst.com, or by calling 1-800-321-CSLB (2752). Property owners can find the licensing background of their contractor and have access to publications and videos that explain consumer rights and best practices when hiring a contractor.
Reporting an unlicensed contractor
Sweep and undercover enforcement operations are being planned in the earthquake-affected areas in Napa County. Unlicensed contractors can be reported by calling (916) 255-2924 or visiting http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumers/ReportUnlicensedActivity/.
Tips on hiring a contractor
The Contractors State License Board recommends the following guidelines before hiring a contractor:
For more information
A Modesto man was sentenced Friday to 15 years to life in state prison for the strangulation and drowning death of a 24-year-old woman in Livermore 12 years ago.
Bryan Vulgamore, 38, was convicted of second-degree murder on June 5 for the Jan. 8, 2002, death of 24-year-old Cecilia Garcia, a family friend who was found drowned in a running shower at her home in the 600 block of Mayten Drive with her nose smashed and what appeared to be strangulation marks on her neck.
Prosecutor Mark Melton said he believes Vulgamore was on a methamphetamine bender and first strangled Garcia and then pushed her face down into a shower in an attempted to remove DNA evidence.
Melton said it's unclear if Garcia died from being strangled or from drowning in the shower.
He said if she was still alive after she was strangled, she must have been unconscious because she drowned in only four inches of water, which indicates that she was incapacitated and wasn't able to get out of the shower.
Vulgamore's lawyer, Brian Hong, told jurors during the trial that there's there wasn't any physical evidence connecting Vulgamore to Garcia's death because he doesn't think there's any proof that Vulgamore strangled her.
Vulgamore wasn't arrested in connection with Garcia's death until January 2010, when Livermore police said cellphone records, witness statements and admissions by Vulgamore to police and other witnesses tied him to Garcia's death.
Garcia's sister, Monica Leonis, told Vulgamore today that he caused "misery" for Garcia's many family members and friends by killing her.
Leonis said she hopes Vulgamore "will rot in hell" and she's happy that he will be serving a long prison sentence.
Garcia's daughter, Alicia Garcia Cortez, who was 8 years old when Garcia was killed and is now 20, said, "As the years go by I will always cry for my mom. My mom was a beautiful and loving person."
Melton said, "It's hard to imagine a more callous killing" but he hopes "some healing can be made because justice has been done in this case."
Vulgamore didn't speak at his hearing Friday and also refused to talk to a probation officer who prepared a sentencing report in the case.
A key witness in the case was Vulgamore's former friend Tony Gregorio, who Melton said initially gave Vulgamore an alibi but later retracted it and told police that Vulgamore admitted to him that he killed her.
However, Hong said Gregorio doesn't remember most of what he told police in 2002 since his memory is unreliable because in 2002 he had been taking large quantities of methamphetamine daily for seven years and also used other drugs.
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:44:24 -0700
A Walnut Creek police officer was arrested after allegedly donning a mask and beating a woman with a bat in Richmond earlier this month, a police captain said Friday.
Gregory Thompson, 53, of Martinez, was arrested in the early morning hours of Aug. 16 in Richmond, where he allegedly used a baseball bat to attack a woman walking in a residential neighborhood, according to Richmond police Capt. Bisa French.
He was not wearing a police uniform or in a police patrol car at the time of the alleged assault, she said.
Neither prosecutors nor Walnut Creek police Chief Thomas Chaplin were immediately available for comment on the case Friday morning.
The arrest happened after police received multiple calls around 2 a.m. on Aug. 16 about a woman screaming and a man with a bat, according to French.
She said when officers arrived on the scene, a witness pointed out Thompson, who was sitting inside his parked car.
While talking with Thompson officers noticed a mask on the vehicle's floorboard. A search of the car also turned up a bat, two guns and zip ties, French said.
Thompson, who identified himself as a police officer, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats and felony vandalism, police said.
He was taken to county jail in Richmond and released the following day on bail.
The victim was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries suffered in the attack and was expected to recover, French said.
She said police were unable to locate a second woman who was also reportedly struck by Thompson when she intervened to try to stop the attack.Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:31:20 -0700 News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories