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Week in Review: Man Murdered in Clayton Grew Up in Castro Valley; Children Counseled After Off-Campus Suicide

The top stories in the Castro Valley this past week.

Here’s a brief look at the three most-read stories on Castro Valley Patch this week:

Man Murdered in Clayton Grew Up In Castro Valley

A tragic killing in Contra Costa County has links to Castro Valley. Last Friday, 61-year-old Richard Wester was found unconscious and not breathing in his home in unincorporated Clayton. On Monday an autopsy found blood in Wester's chest from multiple rib fractures and suggested that these chest injuries had caused his death. On Tuesday, Contra Costa County prosecutors filed murder and assault charges against the murdered man's son, Matthew Wester, 22. Readers tell Patch that the elder Wester was born and raised in Castro Valley, and was a 1969 graduate of what was then Canyon High School. It was not immediately known when Richard Wester moved away. Matthew Wester appeared in a Martinez courtroom Tuesday afternoon. A judge scheduled his arraignment for next Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

Hesperian Students Counseled After Passing Off-Campus Suicide Scene

The suicide on Galway Drive that occurred last Thursday was not witnessed by students. But before police could rope off the scene a busload of elementary schoolers did pass the parked car where it happened. Wendy Garner, principal of Hesperian Elementary School, said a bus carrying students from her school drove past the spot where an 87-year-old man took his own life with a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. Garner said the school telephoned parents that night with basic information about what had happened. On Friday counselors dispatched by the San Lorenzo Unified School District were outside the school to speak with students or parents who had questions.

How Much Employees In Castro Valley Sanitary District Earn

The Castro Valley Sanitary District has the 267th highest average employee salary among the 1,508 special districts listed in a new public pay study. The state Controller's Office has put the 2011 salary and benefits information on a website. It details city, county and special district payrolls. The average salary for special districts across California was $54,468 a year. The average salary in Castro Valley Sanitary is below that at $46,588. The district officially has 31 employees, although six of those are unpaid board members and six others are lower paid interns. Without those dozen workers, the district's average salary is slightly more than $70,000 a year.

What was your favorite story this week? Do you have future story ideas? Tell us in the comments.

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