<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Fri, 27 Nov 2015 06:00:03 -0800 Fri, 27 Nov 2015 06:00:03 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Black Friday Shoppers Get Thanksgiving Start]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 19:18:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/best+buy+black+friday+2.JPG Has it officially become Black Thursday? Shoppers packed into San Diego stores that offered doorbuster sales on Thanksgiving.

Photo Credit: Candice Nguyen]]>
<![CDATA[K Sandwiches Owners Survey Rubble, Vow to Rebuild]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 18:59:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tran+family+k+sandwiches.PNG

For the first time in a decade, K Sandwiches -- a staple of the Linda Vista community -- won’t be selling its popular French loaves for Thanksgiving dinner.

The business burned down in August, and the site that once held the Vietnamese sandwich shop is still covered in rubble nearly four months later.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Tran family, who owned the eatery, walked through the ruins and looked back on Aug. 4.

“It’s sad. We put so much hard work,” said Jennifer Tran. “We work every day, sometimes for 10 hours.”

That night, a fire started in the back corner of the shop when an oven malfunctioned. Everyone was able to get out, but the building was a complete loss. The Trans were forced to shut it down.

Just recently, the family received the proper permits to begin cleanup. They plan to rebuild and be open for business sometime next summer or fall.

Still, they couldn’t help looking back on past years and wishing they were in the same situation.

“Last year we would have people lined up from here to the outside of the door just waiting for our bread, and this year after the fire….” Man Tran said, trailing off.

Despite the sad sight before them, the Trans remained positive this Thanksgiving.

“I’m still thankful for my community and all the people around here who supported us,” said Mike Tran.

Jennifer said when they rebuild, they’ll be better than before.

<![CDATA[Great-Grandma, 102, Plays Ball With MLB Family]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 18:53:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/102-year-old-grandma-baseball.gif

“Keep your eye on the ball.”

A San Diego cul-de-sac has been transformed into a concrete baseball diamond, home to the Zimmer family’s annual Thanksgiving game for about 22 years.

The instruction comes from the team’s oldest and feistiest player, 102-year-old Ann Sellaro.

But she’s not satisfied with acting as batting coach. Putting aside her walker, the great-grandmother steps up to the imaginary plate with a blue, plastic bat in hand.

One, two, three swings at bright yellow wiffle balls and Sellaro strikes out. But for her family, the misses don’t detract from her baseball chops and a love of the game that helped inspire two of her great-grandsons to become Major League Baseball players.

"I taught them everything they know," Sellaro says.

Kyle and Bradley Zimmer, La Jolla High School graduates, were both first-round draft picks out of the University of San Francisco. Kyle now pitches for the Kansas City Royals, and Bradley plays center field for the Cleveland Indians.

But long before they were playing in the big leagues, their training began in a quiet La Jolla cul-de-sac. Sellaro was there dealing out advice “since the first time we picked up a bat, I think,” said Bradley.

“I think that was about two days after we started walking,” quipped Kyle. "It’s been a long time."

Back then, the Zimmers and their friends would keep the wiffle balls within easy reach. However, as they grew, the balls soon started flying across streets, over fences and into neighbor’s yards.

“We've had to extend the home run line,” said Eric Zimmer, the players’ dad. “It used to be the curb, and then it was the sidewalk, then it was the neighbor’s roof.”

The annual Thanksgiving game has become less competitive with fewer rules, but their favorite part remains the same.

“Anytime you can say you have a grandma who's 102 years old and showing you how to hit a wiffle ball in the backyard, it's pretty special,” said Bradley. “So having her down here has been awesome. It's something that we really cherish and look forward to every year."

Sellaro used to travel long distances to watch her great-grandsons play, but as traveling becomes harder, she shows her support by watching their games on TV or online.

In person, though, the batting coach instincts kick back in.

“Keep your eye on the ball,” she says, pointing at Kyle. “And that goes for you, too.”

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Suspected Fake Immigration Attorney to Face Judge: Police]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 13:54:12 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Micallela+Aguilera+Coleman.JPG

A woman accused of posing as an attorney so she could take advantage of immigrants was transferred to San Diego jail this week. She is scheduled to begin pre-trial hearings Dec. 3 on suspicion of fraud charges, according to a National City fraud detective.

Police in three counties credit NBC7 Investigates with the suspect’s arrest.

Micallela Aguilera, aka Michelle Christine Morales, was arrested in Huntington Beach in April 2015 following a series of NBC7 stories.

A detective told NBC7 that Morales has now been convicted on similar charges in Tulare County and Orange County. San Diego County’s “Who’s In Jail” website indicates Morales is facing two counts of unauthorized practice of law, two counts of grand theft and one count for allegedly writing a bad check.

South Bay resident A.J. Aguirre, an alleged victim, told NBC 7 her family gave the woman $3,000 because she offered them legal help and immigration services. Some of Aguirre’s family members are not legally allowed to live or work in the U.S.

"It's just horrible,” Aguirre said. “It's a horrible feeling because you lose your money, your savings, your trust. You feel ashamed because you think you did something wrong."

Morales is also wanted in Michigan on state fraud charges, according to Michigan state police.

News reports from WWMT-TV, a local TV station in Grand Rapids, Michigan, highlighted Aguilera's medical telemarketing company in July 2014 after 15 employees told the news station she hadn't paid them, but she had collected a $65 background check fee.

Individuals targeting immigrant families like Aguirre’s are rampant in California, according to state lawmakers and the Attorney General.

“This has been going on for decades,” State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-80th District) Gonzalez said. “We have a bunch of scammers out there who know this is a vulnerable population, who are not likely to report it to the authorities, and the scam artists can simply take their money and run.”

San Diego Deputy District Attorney Gina Darvas said her office has a memorandum of understanding between Homeland Security Investigations and the DA's office, protecting immigrants who report alleged crimes.

"When a victim comes forward to report this crime, if they are undocumented, they will not end up in deportation proceedings as a result," said Darvas.

Despite that understanding, Darvas says her office only prosecutes about four cases of immigration fraud a year because she said victims are reluctant to come forward.

<![CDATA[World War II-Style Bunker Burns to the Ground in Chula Vista]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 15:40:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chula_vista_fire_pic_1200x675_574911555834.jpg

A shed that looked like a World War II-style bunker became engulfed in flames in Chula Vista Thanksgiving Day, according to Chula Vista Fire Battalion Chief Sean Lowery.

Flames were seen shooting from the shed, which sat in front of a three-unit apartment building in the 600 block of G Street. 

Chula Vista, National City and San Diego fire crews quickly responded to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby homes. However, the bunker was burned to the ground.

"This is actually an out-building that kind of resembles an old World War II-style bunker, and it's been here in the city as long as any of us can remember," said Lowery. 

He told NBC 7 the building has had some incidents in the past, but he did not detail what those incidents were.

Witnesses said there was a potential person of interest seen leaving the scene of the fire.

Police helped to block off the area to traffic as fire crews extinguised the flames. 

No further information was immediately available.

<![CDATA[Eater San Diego: New Winery, Top Tequila Bars]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 12:39:58 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Eater-Vinavanti-1126_edited-1.jpg

Amid Thanksgiving week, Eater San Diego shares the most recent stories from San Diego’s food and drink scene, including the debut of Vinavanti Urban Winery in Hillcrest, the local expansion of Ike's Place sandwich shop and the best places to drink agave-based spirits.

Vinavanti Urban Winery Uncorks in Hillcrest
Now pouring on University Avenue, this local winery recently transplanted its wine-making facility into a newly-remodeled space that's serving its natural wines by the flight, glass or bottle along with perfectly paired, wine-friendly bites.

San Francisco's Popular Ike's Place Debuts Sandwich Shop
Slotting into The Hub in Hillcrest is the first local outpost for this Bay Area-based concept that's developed a fervent following for its overstuffed sandwiches; its signature menu now includes sandwiches named for San Diego icons Tony Gwynn and Junior Seau. 

Where to Drink Tequila, Mezcal & More
The ever-expanding spotlight on Mexican cuisine in San Diego also means a growing thirst for tequila and mezcal. This week, Eater rounded up a list of dedicated bars and restaurants with strong drink programs featuring the best collections of agave-based spirits.

Carlsbad's Campfire Scores Former CUCINA enoteca Chef
Coming to North County next spring is this concept based on live-fire cookery and craft cocktails; helming the kitchen will be newly named executive chef Andrew Bachelier, who last worked at Del Mar's CUCINA enoteca.

Old Harbor Distilling Launches Campaign for Expansion
New legislation means that local distilleries will soon be able to serve cocktails, sell spirits on-site and host events; Old Harbor Distilling in downtown San Diego's East Village is currently crowdfunding to construct a cocktail bar and expand the barrel-aging of its small-batch spirits.

Photo Credit: Vinavanti
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<![CDATA[Proposed CA Bill Calls for Double Pay on Thanksgiving]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 11:23:03 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/6PM_PKG_GONZALEZ_HOLIDAY_PAY--RASCON_1200x675_574513731562.jpg

 A proposed California state bill would require big retailers with at least 500 employees to pay their workers double on Thanksgiving.

The bill, by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), was originally introduced a year ago and would have required double time pay for employees working specific “family holidays,” with a few exceptions.

The legislation passed two committees, but failed 34- 29 on the assembly floor in June.

Gonzalez now wants to change the bill to include only Thanksgiving and require paying retail employees double pay if they have to work the holiday. The bill would include large employers like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, Old Navy, Toys R Us, JC Penny, and more.

The idea behind the update is that, if stores want to open up and start their Black Friday sales early on, Gonzalez said those retailers should share their holiday profits with those employees.

“It is clear we are targeting an industry that can choose to do more, that if mandated it will not drive them out of California. It will not drive them into the red,” Gonzalez said.

Opponents argue the bill would increase costs and put brick and mortar stores at a competitive disadvantage to online retailers. They also say this kind of bill forces employers to recognize certain days as a holiday by paying workers double pay.

Mickey Kasparian, with United Dood and Commercial Workers, said union members already get double pay on holidays, but this proposed bill would require double-pay for all big retailer employees on Thanksgiving.

“In California, of course workers don't have the right to not show up to work,” Kasparian said. “They don't have the right to any sort of holiday pay. They can of course lose their job if they refuse to work on a major holiday.”

California law as it is allows employers to mandate scheduled overtime.

<![CDATA[Longtime North Park Little League Coach, 88, Dies]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 11:11:29 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Joe-Schloss-Obit-1.jpg

An 88-year-old man who coached youth baseball in San Diego for the past 60 years passed away Wednesday following a brief illness, North Park Little League confirmed.

The organization announced the passing of Joe Schloss on its Facebook page, posting this heartfelt message:

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing today of Joe Schloss, who managed youth baseball in North Park for 60 years, the last 57 years at North Park Little League. Joe was 88 years old. He died following a brief illness.

A World War II veteran, and the longtime owner of A-B Sporting Goods in North Park, Joe was a loving husband and proud father. He touched the lives of all those he knew. Generations of baseball players played for Joe, and all who knew him appreciated his love for the game, his passion for teaching and his friendly manner. Joe was one of a kind. Our thoughts are with Joe's family at this time. We will update with more news as we receive it.”

Many people took to Facebook to express their condolences. One person wrote: "The legend will live on" while another posted, "RIP. North Park will miss you."

NBC 7 spoke with Schloss this past May. At 88 years young, he was vibrant and happy, and deeply dedicated to his career as a coach with North Park Little League.

On May 16, 2015, leaders from the City and County of San Diego held a special ceremony at Morley Field to declare May 16 “Joe Schloss Day.” The coach was honored for his dedication to the sport and players.

That day, Schloss attended the ceremony alongside his wife, Barbara. Some of his former players – many of them now adults – were there to cheer him on, and even former players from other Little League teams showed up.

Schloss said he was overwhelmed and a little embarrassed by the attention, but thrilled to be there.
“It's a great honor,” he said at the May ceremony, humbled.

Schloss said his longevity as a coach had been a team effort helped along by many co-coaches over the decades.

“Sixty years have just flown by. I feel the same way. Time just flies away and what you've taught these kids, you hope they understand and learn,” he told NBC 7.

Schloss, a Navy veteran who served in the Pacific during World War II, coached his first team in 1956, which made 2015 his 60th season. He said he had no plans of hanging up his clipboard anytime soon.

“I still enjoy it and I still can stand coming to the ballpark, meeting the kids and having some fun with the children and when it ceases to be fun, I’m not coming back,” said Schloss.

In the time since his coaching streak started we’ve seen the invention of the internet, a space shuttle land on the moon and the rise of Martin Luther King Jr.

Some of Schloss’ first players are now in their 70s.

He was a founding member of North Park Little League and has a field named in his honor, but some say another remarkable streak is held by another Schloss – the coach’s wife – who attended every single game, watching intently from the bleachers.

“Most coaches coach when their children are playing and when their children are no longer playing they get out of the program,” Barbara told NBC 7 in May. “He coaches for the love of coaching.”

Photo Credit: North Park Little League/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Clouds, Light Rain Roll in on Thanksgiving]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 19:04:03 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/thanksgiving+rainbow.JPG

Downtown San Diego saw some light rain Thanksgiving morning as thousands of runners took part in 5K and 10K runs during the holiday.

At around 9:30 a.m., participants in the Run for the Hungry at Horton Plaza Mall experienced some wet streets and drizzle, but that didn’t stop them from keeping the pace.

The rain picked up again at about 3:30 p.m. as many San Diegans made their way to Thanksgiving dinners.

NBC 7’s Whitney Southwick said most spots across the county could see a few tenths of an inch of rain, but higher amounts could be seen at local mountains.

“Don’t be surprised if you find yourself under some spotty, wet weather,” said Southwick, adding that light rain may stick around through Friday night.

San Diegans will experience partly cloudy, cool and breezy conditions throughout the holiday weekend, with a bit of a warm up by Sunday that will last through early next week, Southwick said.

Thanksgiving Day will bring temps in the high-60s for the cost, high and low-60s inland and mid-40s with gusts and lingering showers for our mountains.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service (NWS) says a coastal flood advisory remains in effect for San Diego beaches Thanksgiving Day through noon Friday due to the highest tides of the year, the King Tides, and a storm that may cause lower-lying areas to flood. Impressive, large waves are also expected, some measuring 7.5-feet at their highest on Thanksgiving and 7.3-feet on Friday morning. Strong rip currents are also possible.

The NWS says areas especially susceptible to flooding include Imperial Beach, south Mission Beach, La Jolla Shores, Cardiff and Oceanside, particularly during those morning high tides.

Photo Credit: Michael Tillyer]]>
<![CDATA[Photos: Thanksgiving Run for the Hungry]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:03:34 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*170/Run-for-Hungry9.JPG Thousands of San Diegans got movin’ early on Thanksgiving morning for the 2015 Run for the Hungry. The 5K and 10K run through downtown San Diego started at Horton Plaza Mall on Broadway. Families showed up with kids and pups in tow. All profits from this run benefit the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and hunger-relief programs such as the JFS Food Mobile and HandUp Food Pantry managed by Jewish Family Service of San Diego. For each registered runner’s fee, at least 185 meals will be provided to San Diegans in need.

Photo Credit: Marianne Kushi]]>
<![CDATA[Family Seeks Answers in Tree Trimmer’s Death]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 12:13:15 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Luis-Hernandez-1125.jpg

The family of an Escondido tree trimmer struck and killed by a car while pulling branches out of a roadway during a work shift wants answers as they grieve the sudden, tragic death of their loved one.

“We want answers. We want to know what happened,” said Oscar Hernandez, referring to the death of his brother, Luis Hernandez.

“From what I heard on the news, they’re saying the [driver] was going 30 mph. If you look at the truck – just imagine if the truck ended up like that – what would my brother end up like?” Oscar added.

According to California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials, Luis, who worked for Davey’s Tree Service, was trimming trees along the shoulder on Cole Grade Road at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Just as Luis was pulling branches out of the roadway, a 34-year-old man behind the wheel of a 2004 GMC Sierra struck him. The car was traveling between 35 and 40 mph at the time of the collision.

Luis did not survive the impact and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident is under investigation, but CHP officials said alcohol and drugs were not factors in the deadly crash. Investigators said Luis walking into the path of the vehicle in the southbound traffic lane and the driver could not avoid hitting him. The driver remained on scene and cooperated with investigators.

It is unknown, at this point, whether that driver will face charges in the fatal accident.

For Luis’ heartbroken family and friends, the pain of the accident is too much to handle.

In an exclusive interview with NBC 7, Oscar said his brother, who was 26 years old, leaves behind a girlfriend and a 1-year-old daughter, as well as devastated parents and two siblings.

On Wednesday night, in a powerful show of solidarity, the family crowded together at a home to show exactly how many people are impacted by Luis’ tragic death.

The family believes the driver who hit him was traveling at much higher speeds than reported by the CHP. Oscar told NBC 7 he feels there should’ve been more safety measures on the roadway that day to keep his brother and other workers safe.

Luis’ co-worker, Francisco Lopez, spoke with NBC 7 Wednesday and described the horrific accident. Lopez was standing just feet away from Luis when he was hit by the GMC.

“I’m going back and I hear a big noise and I called his name, and [I hear] screaming. And I look, and my friend is over there,” Lopez recalled.

NBC 7 reached out to Davey’s Tree Service Wednesday for a statement but did not hear back. Previously, just after the accident, the company issued this statement:

“At this point, our primary concern is for the family and other employees working in that area. This is a tragedy for the entire Davey family and our thoughts and prayers are with employee’s family, co-workers and loved ones.”

Luis’ family is pleading for more answers as to how, exactly, this accident happened. They said they were told the driver was distracted because he was swatting away a bee at the time of the crash.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Restaurant Hands Out Free Food on Thanksgiving]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 13:49:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/huapangos+hillcrest.PNG

A popular Hillcrest hangout is getting into the giving spirit, offering free food to anyone who wants it on Thanksgiving Day.

Huapangos Mexican Cuisine is handing out meals until 5 p.m., or until supplies last, the owners say.

The restaurant is located at 3693 5th Avenue in San Diego.

The Salvation Army also offered free food to those in need Thursday morning. At Golden Hall downtown, they served about 1,800 San Dieagans.

Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
<![CDATA['Russian Roulette With Loaded Gun': Couple's Spice Warning ]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:45:56 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/210*120/CONNOR+eckhardt+12.jpg

Hawaiian Haze, Scooby Snax -- playfully colored packages with catchy names don’t reflect the danger of the synthetic drug known as Spice.

“Spice and synthetic drugs truly are playing Russian roulette with a loaded gun," Devin Eckhardt told NBC 7 Wednesday.

Eckhardt knows that painful reality all too well. Last July, he and his wife spent the month praying over their 19-year-old son Connor.

But the San Clemente teen never woke from his coma after his parents say he took one hit of Spice while they were away on vacation.

“It’s been 498 days since Connor passed,” remembered his father. “That's 16 and a half months. There’s not a moment of the day that goes by we don't think of him."

San Diego Fire-Rescue officials said crews are seeing a rise in Spice use downtown.

Just this week, 14 people were hospitalized after police say they overdosed on what they're calling a bad batch, packaged in black with a blue dragon.

Spice is often referred to as synthetic marijuana, but experts say the mix of chemicals sprayed on leaves or other substances is anything but natural.

“This is underground chemists that are constantly trying to stay ahead of any legal reform by altering the molecular chain, introducing new chemicals,” said Eckhardt.

2011 was the highest year on record for synthetic cannabinoid calls to American Association of Poison Control Centers: 6,968 nationwide.

This year that record could be broken. Only 19 more calls would break the record, and there’s a month left in the year.

The alarming numbers and death of their son are reasons why the Eckhardts started the Connor Project Foundation.

“If that could impact one young person to change how they think, decisions they make, the friends they hang out with, we thought it would be worth it,” said Echkardt.

It is illegal to sell Spice in California, but it’s still sold in some gas stations and smoke shops as potpourri and incense.

To find out more about the Connor Project foundation click here.

Photo Credit: Eckhardt Family ]]>
<![CDATA[Power Poles Repaired, I-8 Reopens]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 06:48:41 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/I-8+pole+1125.jpg

Both directions of Interstate 8 in San Diego's East County reopened Thursday following a lengthy shutdown after crews had to repair several downed power poles damaged one day prior.

As of 6:40 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, Caltrans officials confirmed all lanes of westbound I-8 at Greenfield Drive and the westbound I-8 on-ramp from Greenfield Drive in El Cajon had reopened to traffic.

At approximately 1:20 a.m. Wednesday, a large cylinder was being towed on eastbound I-8 near 2nd Street and Broadway. Investigators say the cylinder snagged on a power line, causing several power poles to snap in half south of I-8.

The downed power poles led to some outages in the area, including a power outage at a nearby grocery store.

Following the accident, officials temporarily shut down the freeway from 2nd Street to Greenfield Drive, but later reopened the road to let small cars and trucks through.

By 1 p.m. Wednesday, a portion of I-8 had been reopened, officials said. However, the freeway be completely shut down starting at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday as SDG&E crews completed repairs to the lines. El Cajon police asked driver to avoid the area.

As of 3 p.m., there were no restrictions on travel on I-8 when all lanes and on and off-ramps were reopened.

During the midnight closure, CHP officials said eastbound I-8 traffic would be diverted to 2nd Street and Greenfield Drive. To re-enter eastbound I-8 from that detour, turn right on Greenfield Drive.

Meanwhile, those who come up on the closures while traveling on westbound I-8 can exit Lake Jennings Park Road, turn right and take southbound State Route 67 to get themselves to either westbound State Route 52 or westbound I-8. Westbound I-8 drivers could also opt to take the Greenfield Drive exit, turn right to 2nd Street and then left on 2nd Street to re-enter westbound I-8.

<![CDATA[Tiger Matriarch at Alpine Exotic Animal Rescue Dies]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 22:25:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/210*120/natasha+tiger.jpg

Exotic animal rescue Lions, Tigers and Bears announced Wednesday that the matriarch of their clan, a 19-year-old tiger named Natasha, has died.

Natasha and her late mate Raja were the first to be adopted by the Alpine-based shelter more 13 years ago, caretakers wrote in a Facebook post.

"Natasha was the epitome of the old saying 'that's one tough cookie', as she had more than her fair share of struggles over the course of her life, but always came out on top," the leaders said.

In 2002, the two young tigers were rescued from an owner in Texas who was keeping them in a 6-foot by 12-foot, chain link cage with no shade or protection from the elements.

One month after arriving in Alpine, an area in east San Diego County, Natasha gave birth to two cubs, Sitarra and Tabu. Thanks to a grant given to Lions, Tigers and Bears, the rescue’s leaders were able to build the Tiger Trails habitat with grass and a waterfall pool for the big cats.

Because she was declawed by her private owner, Natasha suffered from arthritis for most of her life, and in 2011, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. However, she made a full recovery after surgery.

Age continued to wear on the large cat. Earlier this year, Natasha had surgery to treat her glaucoma, but veterinarians soon realized they had to perform an enucleation, which meant the tiger’s right eye had to be removed, according to the caretakers.

Then two months ago, vets found a lesion in Natasha’s mouth during an oral exam. They discovered the lesion was noncancerous, but blood tests revealed signs of chronic renal disease — a common problem among aging cats.

The matriarch’s health continued to decline until Wednesday when she passed away.

“Natasha’s passing is the end of an era for LTB, but one that will live on in her remaining daughter, Tabu — and forever in our hearts,” caretakers wrote in the Facebook post. “Natasha — you will be missed by so many, our precious girl. Rest easy and run free.”

The rescue is planning a memorial, open to LTB members, family and friends, to honor the tiger.

Photo Credit: Lions, Tigers and Bears Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[SD Explained: Hotel Room Tax Debated]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 20:25:43 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/san+diego+bay+hotel.JPG Once again, the city of San Diego's hotel-room tax is being debated and possibly headed to the ballot. NBC 7's Monica Dean and Voice of San Diego's Scott Lewis have more on why the mayor wants to see it go up and how a lawyer-- who's been a thorn in the city's side for many years-- has put together a ballot measure to also push it higher.]]> <![CDATA[MasterCard Program Uses Selfies for Security Screening]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 20:17:09 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/mastercard+selfie+program.PNG How far are you willing to go to protect your credit card information? Would you be willing to send in a selfie? NBC 7's Consumer Bob has more on the latest step in financial security. ]]> <![CDATA[Police Release Photos of Suspect in Oceanside Car Thefts]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 22:23:08 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/210*120/oceanside+car+theft+suspect.PNG

Oceanside police are searching for the suspects who carried out a number of car break-ins near the city's northern beach.

Investigators released surveillance images of a man who may be involved, and they are asking for the public to help identify him.

The suspects have been targeting vehicles in a parking lot near the 1500 block of North Pacific Street. Most had valuables or personal items sitting in plain sight inside.

"Some people have witnessed their cars being trashed and nothing being taken," said Devan Halford, an owner of a nearby boat slip. "Some people have actually had their windows broken into."

He said visitors and mariners at the marina lots are targets because they leave their cars unattended for days at a time.

And with warm weekends bringing more people to the sea, the thieves have seen an opportunity.

Police have not said how many complaints they are investigating, but Jackie Arding, who works at the Nautical Bean in Oceanside, said she has heard of a dozen in the last month.

"From what I can tell it's been a few tourists that run in and people who have had their car out for a while," she said.

Police recommend that you remove all personal items from your car to prevent becoming a victim of a similar theft.

If you know anything about this series, call the Oceanside Police Department at 760-435-4911.

Photo Credit: Oceanside Police]]>
<![CDATA[CHP Officers Pursue Pickup Truck]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 18:20:19 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chp-generic-night.jpg

California Highway Patrol officers are chasing a suspected DUI driver on Interstate 8 in El Cajon Wednesday evening.

The CHP says an officer tried to pull over the driver of a black Toyota pickup, who they believe is driving under the influence.

However, the suspect refused to stop and continued westbound on I-8. Other CHP units soon joined the chase.

At about 5:40 p.m., the driver was going 50 to 60 miles per hour on the freeway near Fletcher Parkway, the CHP says.

The driver was taken into custody about 15 minutes later at 59th Street and El Cajon Boulevard.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: McCoy Walks Out of News Conference]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:31:30 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-498702480.jpg

NBC 7's Derek Togerson takes a look at Chargers head coach Mike McCoy's dealings with the media in this commentary

Chargers head coach Mike McCoy has never had a deft touch with the media. In fact he's handled most of his news conferences with the delicacy of a bull in a china shop.

McCoy does not like to share information about anything. He has a standard script of answers he goes to when he does not want to touch on certain subjects. One of his absolute favorites is, "We'll do what we think is in the best interest of the football team."

On Wednesday afternoon we reached a new level of absurdity. McCoy was addressing the media with his usual deflections. Eric Williams, a reporter for espn.com, asked about Javontee Herndon and his job as a punt returner. Here's how the exchange went:

Let me tell you that I know Eric and he is one of the most measured, level-headed, kind people I've met on the Chargers beat, so this was not in any way expected. McCoy simply did not want to answer the question and he didn't like being pushed on something. I took to Twitter to share the incident and received an email from Chargers Director of Public Relations Bill Johnston. Here's how that exchange went:

Bill: "Derek, Asking what player may or may not play a specific role or position is a question about strategy.  Mike is not going to divulge strategic information that could be helpful to our opponent."

Me: "Bill, he has told us multiple times that Philip Rivers is the starting quarterback. Wouldn't that be a question about strategy that Mike has no problem answering?"

Bill: "A starter is a starter until he is not.  Mike is not going to say if he is or is not considering a change. Rivers is our starting QB and Herndon is our starting punt returner until there is a change made."

Now, that would be fine if he would have confirmed that Herndon is the starter. Which he didn't. Had he even said what Bill wrote, a starter is the starter until he's not, that would have been an answer since it at least implies Herndon is still their guy. Plus even when Philip was on the injury report last year McCoy was saying he's going to be out there.

If it really was a strategy concern he would have dangled the possibility of Clemens starting out in the open to give teams something else to prepare for. So using it as an excuse now just rings hollow.

A lot of people ask me about McCoy's job security beyond this season. To that I'll just say this: The head coach is the head coach until he's not.

<![CDATA[Expect More King Tides as Oceans Rise: Scientist ]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 18:58:30 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/king-tides-marine-room.gif

As King Tides crash up against San Diego businesses and cause coastal flooding, scientists say these scenes could become much more common in the future.

“There’s no doubt the sea level is rising,” said Dr. Roger Hewitt, a director at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

On Wednesday, King Tides – a term for an especially high tide – lashed against the Marine Room and Children’s Pool in La Jolla. It also pushed water onto Point Loma streets and parking lots.

The extreme tides happen only a few times a year. But Hewitt warns as oceans rise, we’ll see more and more king tides.

The highest of them could cause flooding in places we haven’t seen yet.

“We know the sea level is going to rise. We know the sea level has already risen. So the effect of these extra high tides is going to be more pronounced,” said Hewitt. “So obviously we need to put more time or effort into protecting the portions of the shoreline that are most vulnerable."

Sarah Mattinson, the owner of Olive Café and Bakery, is already bracing for a bad winter. Her restaurant sits on Santa Clara Place in Mission Beach – a street known for flooding as high tides and storms collide.

The pump station near her business kicked on automatically Wednesday to hold the King Tides at bay, but she remembers and dreads repeating the strong El Nino of the late 1990s.

“I did get to see El Nino with people kayaking down Mission Boulevard here,” Mattinson said. “Hopefully that’s not happening this year, but we’ll see.”

The owner told NBC 7 she would like to stay at her current location until she is 80 years old – if the tide allows it.

“If it does flood or the sea level does come up, I lose a couple businesses,” she explained. “So I hope that doesn’t happen.”

A city spokesperson said there was no flooding in Mission Beach or in the Midway area, where another pump station turned on automatically.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Sewage-Contaminated Runoff Spills to IB, Silver Strand]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 16:24:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/water+contact+closure+san+diego+county+news+center.jpg

 Sewage-contaminated runoff spreading into Imperial Beach and Silver Strand State Beach ocean water has prompted officials to issue a water closure for the area. 

The water contact closure was first issued for the Tijuana Estuary after runoff entered the Tijuana River following heavy rainfall. 

On Wednesday, officials noticed signs of the sewage passing into new territory. 

The warning signs indicating the closure will remain in place until field measurements determine the water is safe for recreational use. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of San Diego County News Center]]>
<![CDATA[School Volunteer Pleads Not Guilty to Child Porn Possession]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 16:02:02 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/san+diego+jail+generic.JPG

A volunteer tutor for two San Diego County schools pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a felony possession of child pornography charge, the San Diego District Attorney confirmed to NBC7. 

Spring Valley resident Gary Alan Dallmann, 69, is accused of storing child pornography on electronic devices he kept inside his home which is located in the 300 block of Kempton Street within the retirement community of Mount Miguel Covenant Village. 

The judge allowed Dallmann to remain free on his posted $20,000 bail. 

The sheriff’s department said deputies were first called to Dallmann’s home on Oct. 27 after his caregiver reported finding what appeared to be explicit material involving children on his computer.

On Nov. 4, detectives from the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce served an arrest warrant at his home and found child pornography on his electronic devices, official said.

On Saturday, NBC 7 reached out to Mount Miguel Covenant Village for comment on the case. The retirement community released this statement to NBC 7:

“We are aware of the criminal allegations lodged against a resident of our community. We are cooperating with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department on this matter.”

"However, due to the nature of this case, we are refraining from any comment on this matter, and will have no further comment. The individual involved is no longer residing in our community. To ensure the privacy of our residents, we will not provide news media access to our campus,” the statement continued.

According to the SDSO, Dallmann was a volunteer tutor for the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District and worked at both La Presa Middle School and Kempton Elementary School – a campus located less than a half-mile away from his home.

Officials said Dallmann was dismissed as a volunteer after the school district was alerted of the investigation.

Detectives are trying to determine whether the evidence they found in Dallmann’s possession included children from the schools where the accused volunteered.

Dallmann will next appear in court on Dec. 8 for a readiness conference and Jan. 13 for a preliminary hearing. 

<![CDATA[Operation Aims to Shut Down Smuggling Corridor, Find Suspect]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 15:48:38 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Martel+Valencia-Cortez.jpg

U.S. Border Patrol (BP) agents have launched a targeted enforcement operation aimed at shutting down a smuggling corridor and finding a wanted, known human smuggler, agents announced Wednesday. 

Agents are searching for Mexican national Martel Valencia-Cortez, 39, after he allegedly tried to smuggle 14 people into the U.S. and hit an agent with a rock while running from him, Border Patrol officials say.

"Valencia-Cortez poses a unique threat to public safety due to his propensity for violence and his complete disregard for human life," a statement from the U.S. Border Patrol said.

In an effort to catch Valencia-Cortez, a surge of personnel will shift their focus to East San Diego County, where officials say the known smuggler conducts much of his work. Agents will also target his known associates. Local, state, federal and Mexican law-enforcement partners will assist. 

Authorities say information received from the public shows Valencia-Cortez is associated with a transnational crime organization headed by a person known as “El Tigre.” The suspect is a lieutenant in the Sinaloa Cartel and runs many smuggling routes starting between Tijuana and Mexicali, the Border Patrol says.

“Martel Valencia-Cortez is the top priority target for San Diego Sector," said San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Richard Barlow in a statement. "To the fullest extent that we can, we will devote our agents and resources in focused areas to put pressure on him until he is in custody.”

The incident involving Valencia-Cortez and Border Patrol agents took place Nov. 15 near Jacumba. According to authorities, agents encountered Valencia-Cortez and 14 others in the remote terrain on Carries Mountain.

As Valencia-Cortez fled toward higher ground, he grabbed a rock and hurled it at pursuing agents, striking one in the face, the Border Patrol says.

The agent fired his government-issued handgun at Valencia-Cortez, but officials do not believe the suspect was hit. Valencia-Cortez escaped on foot into Mexico, while the 14 people allegedly being smuggled were arrested.

Imperial County Sheriff’s Department, Customs and Border Protection Office of Internal Affairs, and the U.S. Border Patrol are investigating the incident. 

Officials have issued a federal arrest warrant for Valencia-Cortez, who is described as 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Authorities said he has a tattoo on his right shoulder.

Agents said Valencia-Cortez has been involved in numerous human smuggling incidents dating back to 1997. He was involved in at least one manhunt as a result, NBC7 previously reported. Court records describe Valencia-Cortez as a "known foot guide, load vehicle driver and alien smuggling facilitator." He has more than 35 prior apprehensions by Border Patrol agents and was convicted of human smuggling in Mexico.

Agents said Valencia-Cortez has been known to carry a firearm during smuggling attempts and consider him to be armed and dangerous. In the past, agents said, he has been known to resort to violence and evade arrests. He was released from federal custody in September after serving a three-year sentence for alien smuggling. 

Photo Credit: U.S. Border Patrol ]]>
<![CDATA[2nd Suspect Charged in Doughnut Shop Murder]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:52:50 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Damon+Green.jpg

A man suspected in the killing of an off-duty bus driver at a San Diego doughnut shop eight years ago is now facing charges in the cold case, the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) confirmed Wednesday.

SDPD investigators said Santiago Covarrubias, 40, will face murder charges in the 2007 killing of Damon Green, 38. Covarrubias had already been serving time in state prison for another unrelated homicide when cold case detectives received information linking him to the murder case. The SDPD said Covarrubias is now in custody at San Diego Central Jail and will appear in court on Monday.

Covarrubias is the second suspect to be linked to this case this year – a case that had been cold for more than eight years.

On July 28, San Diego resident Martin Villapando, 36, was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agents at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in south San Diego as he legally entered the U.S., and jailed on first-degree murder in connection with Green’s killing.

At his arraignment, Villapando pleaded not guilty. A judge set his bail at $2 million. He has been in custody at the South Bay Detention Facility for four months and is slated to appear in court on Dec. 17.

According to investigators, Green was found critically injured behind the Donuts Plus shop at 4090 El Cajon Blvd. at around 2:30 a.m. on Mar. 20, 2007. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his torso and was taken to a local hospital where he died about an hour later.

Detectives believe Green and a friend were eating at a taco shop next door to the doughnut shop when Green got into an argument with Villapando and Covarrubias.

Villapando and Covarrubias then left the taco shop. About 10 minutes later, as Green and his friend were leaving, Villapando and Covarrubias returned.

Now armed with a gun, the suspects confronted Green outside the doughnut shop and opened fire. As Green ran into the doughnut shop seeking cover, detectives said shots were fired through a plate glass window, fatally wounding Green.

The suspects fled the scene before officers arrived. The pair was last seen on northbound 41st Street.
After Villapando’s arrest over the summer, Tom Manning, Deputy District Attorney Supervisor of the Cold Case Homicide Unit, said cold case detectives had been actively working on this case for years and had been in contact previously with Villapando regarding Green’s murder.

“The police have had continuous contact with witnesses, including Mr. Villapando over the years. He knew San Diego Police detectives were continuing on the case and were also looking at him over the last few years,” Manning said.

If convicted, Villapando faces 50 years to life in prison.

For Green’s mother, Sybil Green, news of an arrest in her son’s cold case over the summer brought a wave of emotions.

Sybil said the day her son was killed was the day her “heart died” and, despite the years, her family continues to feel the pain of their loss.

“You murder one person, but you slaughter a family because our family has not been the same since,” Sybil said.

Green’s family now lives in Las Vegas. Sybil said she has always refused to believe her son’s killer would get away with murder, and she’s looking forward to getting justice for her son, whom she refers to as her “gentle giant.”

Sybil said Green is survived by two sons and a daughter.

Photo Credit: Green Family
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<![CDATA[New Wi-Fi-Enabled Barbie Can Be Hacked: Researchers]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:28:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Hello-Barbie.jpg

She looks like all the others before her: perfect hair, cute outfit, dynamite body. But she’s nothing like her predecessors. America’s most iconic toy has evolved.

“Hello Barbie” is the world’s first artificial intelligence-enabled Barbie doll. She is connected to Wi-Fi, remembers what a child says and is able to carry on a conversation, making her seem like she is alive.

“She can actually talk to you,” said 9-year-old Zsofia. “And not fake talking.”

“It’s actually funner than other Barbie’s” said 10-year-old Aiyah.

Rhonda Hoff said her daughter Aiyah confides in Barbie like she would in a diary.

“They have something they go talk to everyday when they are upset, then they go express themselves,” said Hoff.

Those expressions are stored in the cloud and accessed from a smart phone.

“We put parents in control of their child's data, beginning with parental consent and by giving them the option to review and delete any or all of their child's interactions with Hello Barbie,” said a spokesperson for Toy Talk, the company that created the technology behind the talking Barbie.

But NBC 5 Investigates in Chicago found parents are not the only ones able to get that information.

“I was able to get some information out of it that I probably shouldn’t have,” said security researcher Matthew Jackubowski. He hacked Barbie’s operating system.

“System information, Wi-Fi network names, its internal mac address, account IDs and MP3 files.”

So what does this mean in terms of a child’s security?

“You can take that information and find out a person’s house or business,” said Jackubowski.

Jackubowski said he has enough information to then access a person’s home Wi-Fi network and everything Barbie records.

“It’s just a matter of time until we are able to replace their servers with ours and have her say anything we want," he said.

Toy Talk acknowledges the internet-connected doll can be hacked. But a Toy Talk spokesperson told NBC 5 News, “In this case, the information that was discovered does not identify a child, nor does it compromise any audio of a child speaking.”

Yet privacy experts are concerned.

“There are all sorts of issues about where that info is going, who’s listening and what it’s being used for and how it might come back to haunt you,” said Lori Andrews, Professor IIT Kent College of Law.

Andrews describes the doll as a miniature surveillance device that can also record whatever else is going on in the room. The lengthy Barbie privacy statement discloses the company will report “a conversation that raises concern about the safety of a child or others”.

“The company has said it’s going to take on the role of alerting the authorities,” said Andrews. “And in their privacy statement they also say they’re going to respond to legal subpoenas.”

Concerns that have some parents worried but mean little to a 10-year-old girl with a new doll.

“I think this one’s better because she can actually talk to you,” said Zsofia.” The other ones are weird because they’re silent.”

It’s not uncommon for the first generation of a new toy to be less secure. And sometimes companies release updates to resolve vulnerabilities.

“We think parents should feel confident about their child’s privacy with Hello Barbie,” said a Toy talk spokesperson.

NBC 5 Investigates has also learned the company will be launching a bug bounty program, offering incentives to security experts who are able to find security flaws in the product.

<![CDATA[60K+ Expected at Lindbergh Field Wednesday]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:41:32 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/airportholidaytravelsecuritylinepic-PIC_0.jpg

 An estimated 60,000 people will travel through San Diego International Airport Wednesday as they start or end their journey to visit family and friends, with many more expected this holiday weekend.

Despite the Worldwide Travel Alert issued by the U.S. State Department this week, travelers will not see too many changes when boarding their flights.

“TSA has not directed us to change any of our security measures. However, due to recent international and national events passengers may see an increase in San Diego Harbor Police simply out of an abundance of caution," said Rebecca Bloomfield, spokeswoman for San Diego International Airport.

Bloomfield said travelers heading to the airport should try to arrive at least an hour and a half before their flight, and two and a half hours before for international flights.

Despite a few longer lines Wednesday, travelers coming and going from the airport said they woke up early to start their journey..

"We woke up super early, 3 in the morning, just to catch a flight to fly here to San Diego," said Patty Maciel, who was arriving in San Diego.

Lines at Lindbergh Field early Wednesday were kept under control, even as thousands of people rushed through to board their planes.

Regardless of the hassle, travelers said the end result of seeing their family made it all worth it.

"We’re going to see our families and that’s what keeps us going; it doesn’t matter if you wake up at three in the morning or you’re, you know, delayed, or standing here in the airport, it doesn’t matter because the outcome is awesome," Maciel said.

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[New Hilton Hotel Planned for Old Town]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:57:59 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Hilton-Old-Town.jpg

Operators before year’s end plan to open the new Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Old Town, billed by the developer as the first completely new hotel to be built in Old Town in more than 12 years.

The 179-room hotel, at 4200 Taylor St., is owned by T2 Development LLC and will be operated by Evolution Hospitality.

Operators said in a statement that the hotel has been designed to reflect architecture found throughout Old Town, with stucco walls, Spanish-style roofing and expansive outdoor living spaces. The property has free Wi-Fi, a fitness center and 24-hour business center, with nearly 6,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space including two poolside venues.

There is also an area called Fountain Courtyard for outdoor receptions, and an on-site restaurant called Verde Kitchen & Bar, with Mexican-inspired cuisine and signature cocktails.

Photo Credit: Rendering courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn
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<![CDATA[8 Haggen Stores in SD County Have New Owners]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 13:10:42 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Haggen1.jpg

Eight of the 25 Haggen Stores closing in San Diego County officially have new owners, the grocery chain announced on Wednesday.

A bankruptcy judge approved the sale of 47 Haggen stores in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and California.

Albertsons is taking over four of the stores in an ironic move, as Haggen initially purchased a number of Albertsons stores in San Diego County.

Stores on Broadway Street in El Cajon, Lake Murray Boulevard in La Mesa, Rancho Bernardo Road in Rancho Bernardo and Highland Village Drive in San Diego will become Albertsons stores.

Smart & Final purchased the store on University Avenue in North Park and Good Food Holdings acquired the store on West Washington Street in Mission Hills.

Additionally, Tawa Inc., which operates the 99 Ranch stores, will take over a store on Balboa Avenue in San Diego and a store on Telegraph Canyon Road in Chula Vista.

No word yet on when these stores will open under their new owners.

The purchases follow news last month that Haggen planned to sell all of its San Diego County and depart from California altogether.

Earlier this year, Haggen bought 146 Albertsons and Safeway stores, expanding from 18 stores in Oregon and Washington into new markets in California, Nevada and Arizona.

This fall, the Pacific Northwest grocery store chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid unsatisfactory sales.

Photo Credit: KSNV]]>
<![CDATA[Man Killed in Crash Day After Good Deed]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 15:15:55 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Matthew-Jackson-1125.jpg

A north San Diego woman is on a mission to honor the legacy of a man she barely knows - all because he did something nice for her.

On Nov. 10, Carlsbad resident Jamie-Lynne Knighten met Matthew Jackson for about five minutes at the Trader Joe's on Vista Way. Her five-month-old son was fussy, and she was trying to shop for food for the week.

With a crying baby in her arms, groceries ready to go and a mounting line behind her, Knighten said her credit card was declined at the cash register due to an anti-fraud block. She had just returned from traveling abroad.

"[My baby] just wasn't having it. By the time we got to the check-out, I was done," she recounted.

Then, in a random act of kindness, Knighten says Jackson offered to pay for her groceries, which came out to more than $200.

Knighten says the 28-year-old man from Oceanside stepped in saying, "'May I? May I take care of your groceries?'"

Jackson wanted one thing in return, according to Knighten.

She said he asked, "As long as you promise to do it for somebody else."

Days passed and Knighten couldn't stop thinking about the young man and his good deed.

He mentioned he worked at the LA Fitness gym on Vista Way, so she called and told manager Angela Lavinder what an amazing person she had on staff.

That's when Knighten learned some heartbreaking news: Jackson had been killed in a car accident less than 24 hours after his good deed towards her at the grocery store.

"That's when [the manager] started crying," Knighten said.

Lavinder, on the other end of that call, was forced to break the tragic news to Knighten.

"She said it was Matt and my heart just dropped because he had just passed away. It broke my heart because - what a beautiful person," Lavinder told NBC 7.

According to a report released by the San Diego County Medical Examiner's (ME) office, Jackson was killed in a crash on Nov. 11.

He was with two others when the vehicle veered off the road in the 2100 block of Vista Way in Oceanside. The car struck a tree, killing Jackson. The two other people in the vehicle survived.

Knighten says she's a person of faith and, therefore, has faith her "pay it forward" angel didn't die in vain. She's still coping with what happened but believes people should hear his story and be encouraged to live life like he did.

Knighten says efforts are underway to further honor the young man's legacy, and they include encouraging others to pay it forward.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[High Winds, Rain Possible on Thanksgiving]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 10:56:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Point+Loma+flooding+1.jpg

Thanksgiving in San Diego will really feel like fall, as lingering showers, high winds and cooler temperatures are all expected.

After early morning rain showers Wednesday, NBC 7 meteorologist Jodi Kodesh said there was still a slight chance for showers to pass through the San Diego region through Friday.

Along with the possible showers, high winds are expected in the mountains. Gusts reaching 45 mph are possible, Kodesh said.

Along the coastline, strong tides known as the King Tides were expected to reach more than 7 feet high and residents were advised to prepare for coastal flooding and dangerous rip currents.

Already Wednesday, residents in Point Loma and Spring Valley were seeing street flooding.

Other areas that could be susceptible to flooding include Imperial Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla Shores, Cardiff and Oceanside, according to the National Weather Service.

Photo Credit: Bonnie Nickel/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[No Leads in Teen's Slaying: PD]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 17:30:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/anna+hernandez.jpg

The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) held a news briefing Wednesday to discuss the killing of a 14-year-old girl whose body was found dumped in a ravine one week ago in a puzzling case with few details.

SDPD Lt. Mike Hastings briefly discussed the investigation concerning the disturbing homicide of Grant Hill resident Anna Hernandez.

On Nov. 18, the teen's lifeless body was found wrapped in a blanket in a canyon at 29th and Market streets – just behind an apartment complex in the Grant Hill area where the girl lived. SDPD investigators said the body was decomposed and homicide detectives launched an investigation, but did not immediately identify the body as the teenage girl.

Seven days later, Lt. Hastings said there are no leads in the case and no arrests in the ongoing investigation.

"The investigation continues, including the processing of many items of evidence," Lt. Hastings explained. "The homicide team has served search warrants, and conducted many interviews in the last seven days. Forensic evidence sometimes takes a significant amount of time to process."

The lieutenant said the work on this case is being "tirelessly" completed by SDPD investigators. He expressed his condolences for the family of the slain teen.

Anna – along with her friend, Nelly Espinoza, 12 – were last seen in Grant Hill on Nov. 13, a community less than three miles northeast of downtown San Diego. Both girls vanished and, while Anna’s body was discovered five days later, Nelly remains missing. It is unknown if the girls were together that day.

A third girl may be tied to this case as well, Janeth Mendoza, 16, who has not been seen by her loved ones since Oct. 28, police said. Janeth is described as 5-foot-5 and 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She has several tattoos, including a Chargers bolt on her neck, the word "Bella" on her right forearm and "Perla" on her left forearm.

Janeth was last seen in the 3000 block of Webster Street, according to police.

At Wednesday's briefing, Lt. Hastings said investigators consider both Nelly and Janeth runaways.

While the girls are believed to be in Mexico, Lt. Hastings said police do not know the exact whereabouts of either girl. He said Nelly did call a family member in San Diego recently to say she was alright.

"She stated she was fine and if anyone tried to look for her, she would flee deeper into Mexico," said Lt. Hastings.

He said police want to speak with both Nelly and Jnneth because the girls may know important information about what may have happened leading up to Anna's killing, perhaps who the teen may have been hanging out with and where she may have been going.

Lt. Hastings said neither girl is considered a person of interest in the homicide at this point.

He said police released bulletins for both Nelly and Janeth on Nov. 19, citing each girl as a "missing juvenile at risk." The SDPD bulletin for Nelly can be seen here, while the bulletin for Janeth can be seen here.

He said San Diego police are in contact with Mexican authorities regarding any potential breaks in this case.

The lieutenant said anyone with information is urged to contact SDPD investigators at (619) 531-2000.

When asked if this case is being handled differently or if details are being kept from the public, Lt. Hastings said police are revealing information as the case unfolds.

“We do the best we can. We have to make sure the integrity of the investigation is held together,” he said, wrapping up the briefing.

Meanwhile, SDPD Lt. Manuel Del Toro answered questions for Spanish media, assuring the community does not have to worry about a dangerous suspect out there searching to harm or kill other young victims.

When asked if the police department is ignoring this case due to the community in which it took place, Lt. del Toro said that is not the case and said the investigation is being handled with every possible resource by the SDPD in the same manner as any other homicide investigation.

He said police will do everything to seek justice for Hernandez.

On Monday, the SDPD issued a press release that confirmed Anna died from a gunshot wound to the torso. Her death was ruled a homicide, but no further details about her manner of death were released at the time.

NBC 7 spoke with Anna’s aunt Monday who said the family knew the teen was lost and had been kidnapped, but one asked for ransom in the kidnapping.

NBC 7 also spoke with Nelly’s family who said they were desperately searching for the girl, praying for her safe return. The family created a missing persons flier for Nelly and gave it to authorities in Tijuana, Mexico, who began distributing it this week.

The girl’s loved ones describe Nelly as weighing 140 to 160 pounds. She was last seen in the 2900 block of Market Street wearing blue jeans, a black sweatshirt and blue tennis shoes. The SDPD bulletin further describes Nelly as 5-foot-5 with brown hair and brown eyes.

Nelly’s mother, Maria Velasco, said Nelly and Anna were friends and lived in the same neighborhood, but Velasco isn’t sure if the girls were together the night they vanished.

Velasco told NBC 7 she believes her daughter is alive. She said Nelly did not have a cell phone or a boyfriend and liked to spend time with her friends at Memorial Park. She said it’s unlike her daughter to disappear without a trace.

Meanwhile, Anna’s heartbroken family and friends will hold a funeral for the slain teen Wednesday at One in Christ Church in National City.

An emotional candlelight vigil was held for the teen Tuesday night as well where mourners called for answers in the mysterious case, including Anna’s former teacher who described the high school freshman as a vibrant girl with a bright future.

Photo Credit: Cindy Ornelas]]>
<![CDATA[Thanksgiving Travel at Lindbergh Field]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 09:07:28 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Thanksgiving-Travel-1125.jpg San Diego's Lindbergh Field was busy the morning before Thanksgiving as traveler departed and arrived ahead of the holiday weekend.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Images: Grant Hill Teen Killed]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:34:26 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Anna-Hernandez-1.jpg San Diego resident Anna Hernandez, 14, was killed, her body wrapped in a blanket and dumped in a ravine in Grant Hill. Her friend, Nelly Espinoza, 12, is now missing. Both girls were last seen on Nov. 13, 2015, in a baffling case.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Hernandez Family]]>
<![CDATA[Power Restored to Thousands in Chula Vista]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 10:06:15 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Generic+Downed+Power+Line+Down+Generic.jpg

Thousands of Chula Vista residents were hit with power outages Wednesday morning, the outages impacting some traffic signals and, in turn, causing some issues on the roadways for commuters.

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) confirmed more than 3,000 customers were without power in parts of west and east Chula Vista, and Bonita, due to an outage that struck around 4:10 a.m. Crews expected to have power restored to those affected by 7 a.m.

Meanwhile, parts of south Chula Vista, Castle Park and Otay were also experiencing outages with nearly another 500 customers without power. Service restoration in those areas was also expected to happen around 7 a.m., SDG&E said.

SDG&E said all three outages were unplanned and crews were trying to determine the cause.

As of 6:05 a.m, SDG&E officials said some unspecified equipment had been damaged at a substation in Chula Vista, but they had not determined what caused that damage. Crews said they hoped to have the power restored within the next hour-and-a-half.

SDG&E crews ultimately determined debris had come down on power lines at the Montgomery substation, leading to the outage. Officials said the cause may have been weather-related as rain and strong winds swept the county Wednesday morning.

The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) said impacted neighborhoods included some east of Broadway, west of Interstate 805 and south of D to L streets.

Police said commuters should brace themselves for delays if driving in the areas, as some traffic signals were not working properly due to the power outages.

Power was fully restored to all customers by 7:30 a.m., officials confirmed.

Meanwhile, residents in a few other parts of San Diego County also experienced unrelated power outages Wednesday morning, including approximately 26 customers in parts of Granite Hills, Bostonia, east El Cajon and Crest. That outage was first reported around 1:20 a.m. and was expected to last through 7 a.m. The cause is under investigation.

In portions of Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs and Point Loma, an outage around 4:35 a.m. left nearly 500 customers without power after a smoldering power pole knocked down several power lines near Guizot and Alhambra streets. San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) Firefighters were called to the area to investigate the incident, while San Diego Police Department (SDPD) helped provide traffic control.

SDG&E said power in that outage was expected to be restored by 7:30 a.m.

Photo Credit: Noel Powell, Schaumburg, Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Slain Girl's Teacher Calls for Answers in Death]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 08:04:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/anna+hernandez.jpg

The shooting death of one girl and the disappearance of another have residents of San Diego’s Grant Hill neighborhood fearful and without answers.

They told NBC 7 Tuesday that it took days before they found out a body discovered in a canyon near their homes was that of 14-year-old Anna Hernandez.

“I’m just really concerned fear has been able to penetrate this neighborhood,” said Cindy Ornelas, who taught Anna at Kipp Adelante Preparatory Academy from ages 10 to 14. “There haven't been a lot of answers given and that if it was somewhere else I feel like it would've been treated different, and I hate to say that."

Ornelas lit a candle at a vigil Tuesday night in honor of Anna, whom the teacher knew as Anna Yocopicio.

On Nov. 18, the teen was found dead from a gunshot wound to the chest, her body decomposed in a canyon near 29th and Market streets, according to the San Diego Police Department (SDPD).

"Why was someone so vicious and mean and brutal to just dump her like she's a trash bag?" one woman at the vigil questioned.

The family of 12-year-old Nelly Tamara Espinoza says the girl disappeared on Nov. 13, around the same time as Anna. A missing persons bulletin distributed by Mexican officials says 16-year-old Janneth Mendoza is also missing. The flier states Nelly and Janneth were last seen in San Diego and are believed to be in Tijuana.

While Anna and Nelly lived in the same neighborhood, Nelly’s mother is not sure if they were together the night they both vanished.

The SDPD is staying tight-lipped about the case, only stating that a 14-year-old was found dead from a gunshot wound in the upper torso and the death is a homicide. Investigators have not confirmed if Nelly or Janneth is considered missing.

The lack of answers has Grant Hill residents nervous, and community members said they do not know if there is a suspect on the loose.

“And the kids are afraid, and they’re coming from this area, and my understanding is that her brother even walked upon her body in the canyon when they were looking for her,” said Ornelas.

The teacher described Anna as a bouncing girl who was not afraid to speak her mind or the truth.

"She sings and she dances and she's just a beautiful human being caught up in something bigger than her," said Ornelas.

She pleaded with officials not to let Anna become another statistic of the area’s crime.

Photo Credit: Cindy Ornelas
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<![CDATA[Arrest Made in North Park Tip Jar Thefts]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:48:24 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tip+jar+theft+suspect.PNG

San Diego police have made one arrest in a series of tip jar thefts at North Park businesses.

Phillip Felipe Sains, 53, was recently taken into custody in connection with the thefts.

However, investigators say he is not responsible for all the incidents, so the investigation continues.

In October, owners of Crazee Burger on 30th Street posted surveillance video to social media, showing a man walk into the restaurant and put a tip jar into a bag on Sept. 14.

A week before, Young Hickory published a video of a man in a Harvard shirt doing the same thing. Underbelly reported a similar incident.

It's unclear which cases are tied to Sain's charges.

<![CDATA[NFL Vetting City Proposal for New Chargers Stadium]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 19:27:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/new+chargers+stadium+rendering+2.PNG

San Diego’s term sheet for a new Chargers stadium recently underwent a threshold review at 345 Park Avenue in New York, headquarters of the National Football League.

NFL executives Jay Bauman and Chris Hardart addressed their impressions of the 24-page “confidential draft” to Chris Melvin, the New York attorney who heads the negotiating team retained by the city and county.

Bauman and Hardart were members of the league’s traveling squad on last month’s listening tour of fans in the “home cities” – San Diego, Oakland and St. Louis – that one day may no longer be home to NFL franchises.

Reading between the lines of their two-page letter to Melvin, it seems the league harbors no shortage of concerns about the Mission Valley project, and how it might be viewed by the league’s 31 owners besides San Diego’s Dean Spanos.

Indeed, before elaborating on four major points, they spelled this out: “Please note that the following is not intended to be a comprehensive list of comments and observations.”

A response on behalf of Mayor Faulconer to the issues they raised is still pending, but early indications are that the process of reaching an eye-to-eye, same-page outcome would take some time to unfold.

Meanwhile, NFL observers say the league soon may be inclined to “punt” L.A. franchise relocations decisions into late next year.

But slowing down the speed of the game figures to prolong the angst that’s rife among fan bases and public officials in the three cities whose teams are itching for greener pastures.

The NFL’s game is hardball, and it’s played for keeps – at whatever cost the losers might bear.

Read the full term sheet and letter below.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[2 Victims Reportedly Grabbed by Teens on Campus: PD]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 07:56:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDSU-Night-generic-1126.jpg

Two victims have reported being blocked on a street near San Diego State University (SDSU) by four suspects, described as teenagers, and sexually battered, according to SDSU Campus Police. 

The first reported incident happened around 4:30 p.m. Monday and the second around 2:55 p.m. Tuesday, campus police said. 

The first victim says the suspects blocked her way on temporary sidewalk on the east side of a construction site, and at least four teens used the chain link walls to pen her in. One of the teens then grabbed her buttocks. The incident happened when she tried to get past them, north of Linda Paseo at 5100 College Avenue.

After she passed them, one of the suspects followed her and grabbed her on the buttocks again.

The second victim reported a similar situation in a similar location, north of Linda Paseo. When the victim turned to confront the suspect, a juvenile began yelling obscenities at her. 

"We're a little scared to be walking out at night by ourselves especially," said SDSU senior Amanda Hitchens. "We are going to try to stay together." 

San Diego police say the incidents are probably related, but police have not been able to prove it. Officers confronted a group of 14- to 16-year-old boys on campus Tuesday, but neither victim were able to identify which one grabbed them. No charges are being pressed, and the boys have been released to their parents.

Anyone with information or questions should contact San Diego Police Department at (858) 495-7900 and reference case number 15-050662.

San Diego Police officers are investigating.

<![CDATA[Muslims Post IDs in Response to Trump Comments]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 18:32:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/6PT_PKG_MUSLIM_ID_PUSHB_KNSD7PWG_1200x675_573789763644.jpg In the days following Donald Trump's controversial comments about a database to track Muslims, people are pushing back on social media by posting their own work IDs. NBC 7's Matt Rascon has more on the online response and how Muslims in San Diego are reacting. ]]> <![CDATA[SDSU Prof Who Harassed Students No Longer Employed]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 15:32:53 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Vincent+Martin.jpg

A San Diego State professor who sexually harassed at least four female students, asking one to dress as a French maid, no longer works at the university.

NBC 7 Investigates learned late Tuesday that Professor Vincent Martin was either fired or resigned last Thursday.

Just months after Martin started work at SDSU in fall 2011, a female student accused Martin of harassment. A document obtained by NBC 7 confirms Martin asked that student to meet him at hotel in Seattle and suggested she wear a "French Maid outfit."

Since then, SDSU investigators have confirmed Martin sexually harassed three other women who took his Spanish literature classes.

Records show Martin received a 30-day suspension in two of those cases. The university has not yet revealed what punishment, if any, Martin received for harassing the third student.

But late Tuesday afternoon, a university spokesperson revealed that Martin has not been employed at SDSU since last week.

That disclosure was made in an email sent to NBC 7 Investigates. It included no details about Martin’s departure and SDSU administrators were not available to answer to questions about why, and under what terms, Martin left the university.

Neither Martin nor his attorney have offered comment for this story.

In a statement, SDSU administrators said, the university "is limited, legally, with the disciplinary actions we can take until the faculty exhausts his or her due process." Read the full statement below.

A decision letter from a previous arbitration hearing revealed Martin resigned from a job at the University of Delaware after he was accused of sexual harassment by a female student.

Just months later, during his first semester at SDSU in fall 2011, he began the same behavior, the documents show.

Martin received an informal warning about his actions, according to the letter, and an SDSU vice president told him his text messages were "inappropriate." Martin admitted he should not have sent the French maid text, the letter says.

However, less than two years later, he was accused of sexually harassing two more students.

SDSU administrators released the following statement about the University’s discipline process:

“Faculty at SDSU are employed under a collectively bargained contract that is negotiated at the system level and grants faculty certain rights, even in cases involving claims of sexual harassment. SDSU is limited, legally, with the disciplinary actions we can take until the faculty exhausts his or her due process. SDSU does not have discretion to simply terminate a faculty member without providing these due process rights, per their contract. Faculty are afforded the right to a hearing on the discipline wherein the third party reviewer determines whether the university's discipline is appropriate. SDSU takes all steps to ensure the discipline is appropriate (and appropriately severe) given the specific facts of the case and can be supported and upheld at hearing.”

<![CDATA[California Conservationists Preparing for El Niño]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:25:42 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/elninocleanuppic-PIC_0.jpg

Over 100 members with California Conservation Corps (CCC) spent Tuesday on Fiesta Island to practice using sandbags for protection against flooding.

The CCC just completed a half a million hours of fire-fighting protection and now they are switching their focus on El Niño.

Beatriz Ruiz, 21, has been a corps member for five months and says,“A lot of people think it's (El Niño) almost a joke.”

The corps members learned the skills of how to properly fill sandbags and build various walls out of them for different weather conditions such as wave erosion and flooding caused by heavy rain.

“Today our Corps members are honing their skills in different stations for different flood fighting techniques,” said conservationist Phil Lembke.

Ruiz says should there be severe flooding, they will be there to help. She adds that residents must do what they can to prevent damage from heavy rain.

“Whether it be small trenches in their homes, try and look at their foundation and see if it needs any work before the rain season but most people should expect the rain," she said. 

Lembke says although the members are based in San Diego, it is a state-wide program and members can be called anywhere their help is needed.

“Usually we are contracted through city, state and county governments as well as federal agencies to provide emergency assistance,” Lembke said.

There is a 95 percent chance the upcoming El Nino will soak San Diego and the rest of Southern California through spring 2016, weather experts have said.

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[How Suja Juice Founder Made a Multi-Million Dollar Company]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:21:16 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Annie+Lawless+2.PNG

It’s morning and Annie Lawless is getting down and dirty in her kitchen.

While experimenting with recipes may seem unremarkable, the first time the 28-year-old did this years ago, it led to her co-founding the Suja Juice Company, now worth $300 million.

Lawless laughs and says, "Yes, it completely blows my mind that we've come this far."

Lawless grew up like a typical kid, eating pizza, burgers and mac and cheese. But she also dealt with years of asthma, allergies and eczema until a doctor diagnosed her with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that makes her highly sensitive to gluten.

“That was a huge light bulb moment for me," says Lawless, "that what I am putting in my body is directly correlated to how I look and feel." 

Eating clean and free of symptoms, Lawless set off on a course to stay healthy: learning and teaching yoga in La Jolla and making organic, cold-pressed juices, which became her passion.

She started selling her juice to folks in the yoga community, and its popularity grew. Then she teamed up with a young chef named Eric Ethan.

They started a home-delivery system, which took off, so they enlisted two additional partners with business backgrounds. Together, the group expanded the line of juices to grocery store chains.

Suja Juice became a national hit. Last year, the company's revenue hit $45 million, and that number is projected to double this year. Forbes ranked Suja Number 2 on the list of America's most promising companies.

If that's not enough exposure, Annie co-penned a book on The New York Times best seller list called "The Suja Juice Solution: 7 Days to Lose Fat, Beat Cravins and Boost your Energy."

It may not hurt that Lawless is smart, has movie-star good looks and personifies a healthy California lifestyle consumers like.

In many ways, she is also her own brand — one reason she is growing a blog called Blawnde, on which she shares good recipes and bad days, fashion and even struggles.

That connection with readers goes two-ways. Lawless says some of her most gratifying interactions come from young women who have been helped by information or feelings Lawless shared.

That is the real payoff for Lawless, she says. While her business success and all the attention have been nice, she considers it an indirect payoff for having followed her passion to share with others.

"I really do believe that if you love something and are passionate about it, and you let yourself do it and go with the flow and go where your interests are taking you, you will be successful," Lawless says.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 ]]>
<![CDATA[Mom of Teen Fighting Flesh-Eating Bacteria Thanks Community]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:44:12 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/giancarlo+gil+flesh+eating+bacteria+recovery+1124+2.jpg

The mother of a San Diego-area teenager fighting for his life against a flesh-eating bacteria thanked the community Tuesday for their support, saying the family was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love. 

"You really don't realize what an impact you have on people's lives until you go through something major like this," mother Silvia Gil said. "And it's just amazing how we were overwhelmed by the outpour of love and support with family and friends."

Giancarlo Gil, 14, a Chula Vista High School freshman has undergone more than 11 surgeries at Rady Children's Hospital after complaining of pain in his calf Saturday, Sept. 26 after playing baseball. His condition quickly changed and Gil was taken to urgent care and then to the emergency room.

Only once he was admitted and authorities treated him for shock and other immediate issues did doctors realize the extent of the swelling and injury to his tissue. 

John Bradley, a Pediatric Infectious Disease doctor, said the teen contracted a strain of Group A Strep that ate through his tissues and destroyed blood vessels and nerves. 

"Unlike regular strep, which just causes local inflammation, the flesh eating strep that was the cause of his infection, just ate through the tissues destroying blood vessels and nerves, allowing the strep to spread very, very quickly," said Bradley.

Surgeons performed a series of surgeries on the young teen, taking out only what they needed to take out, but at one point, two orthopedic surgeons discovered all of the muscle in his lower leg had died. 

Doctors originally amputated the teen's leg to the knee and then days later the leg had to be amputated all the way up to his groin.

Throughout the entire process, Gil said the family has leaned on their faith and the overwhelming support of their family and friends.

"It's been a rough two months, needless to say. That's definite," she said. "But definitely we want to thank God, first and foremost. We are family of faith, and we know that our faith is the one thing that has truly sustained us throughout this whole ordeal."

Though the Giancarlo has been in the hospital for two months, his mother says it's "seemed like we've been here for two years."

She is thankful for everyone that has gone to donate blood for Giancarlo while he was losing a lot of blood, for those that offered prayers and for those that offered their love and support. 

"It's just amazing to look back and to see how quickly my son has truly recovered. It's unbelievable," the mother said. 

"I can never say thank you enough," she said. 

Bradley said the parents did the right thing, bringing him into the ER. 

"I told mom and dad if they had waited even six hours more, he would have died," Bradley said.

Photo Credit: Gil Family]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Tries to Reunite Lost GoPro with Owner]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:56:33 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/go+pro+owner.PNG

A lost GoPro camera, which may have spent months in the sea, could soon be returned to its owner.

San Diego County resident Vickie Jorden spotted the camera during low tide at South Carlsbad State Beach on Monday.

Instead of keeping the GoPro Hero3+, she made it her mission track down the owner.

“Please contact me if you are the owner so you can get it back, I know I would be bummed if I lost this cool toy too,” Jorden wrote on Facebook.

She uploaded one of the camera’s videos to Facebook, showing a young man diving in and out of the water in a wet suit.

Jorden asked her friends to share the video in hopes that someone will recognize the man.

According to Jorden’s post, the last video was taken on Feb. 13, 2015.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Thanksgiving Weekend Boosts San Diego's Economy]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:38:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/aumentan-viajeros-thanksgiving-dia-accion-gracias.jpg

You might not think about it this way, but the Thanksgiving holiday is a boon to San Diego’s economy.

Among the reasons is that it’s a noticeably busy tourism time for America’s Finest City.

SANDAG estimates about 366,000 additional cars come to San Diego, driving an average of 245 miles for the holidays.

Ninety-one percent of our city’s visitors come here by car, so be prepared for extra traffic this holiday weekend.

On the feasting side, there's plent of money spent. On Thanksgiving, San Diegans consume 428,000 turkeys and spend $15 million on the dinner, according to SANDAG.

On Black Friday, it’s more of the same story. San Diego shoppers spend $553,000 on the day after Thanksgiving and the average resident will spend $163.

<![CDATA[King Tides Bring Strong Rip Currents, Potential Flooding]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:42:24 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/WAVES.gif

 King Tides that are expected to reach more than seven feet high will hit the San Diego coast this week, bringing some coastal flooding and dangerous rip currents.

Morning tides will be higher than seven feet until Friday, though the waves are supposed to reach peak height Wednesday morning. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a coastal flood advisory in effect until 12 p.m. Friday, primarily for morning high tides. Low-lying areas like Imperial Beach, La Jolla Shores, South Mission Beach, Cardiff, Oceanside and other parts of the San Diego County coast could be susceptible to flooding.

During Wednesday’s high tide, tides are supposed to reach 7.6 feet at 7:51 a.m., the highest this week. On Thursday, tides are expected to reach 7.5 feet at 8:31 a.m. By Friday, the last day of the coastal flood advisory, tides are expected to reach 7.3 feet by 9:12 a.m.

In San Diego's Midway district, high tides flooded a busy street Tuesday morning due to build-up in some drains. Water was not able to drain properly due to the backed up drains.

For a full forecast, click here. 

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[ MTS Trolley, Bus Schedule for Thanksgiving]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 14:27:22 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trolleygeneric_trolley_generic.jpg

With Thanksgiving weekend upon us, public transit service in San Diego will run on a modified schedule, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) announced Tuesday.

On Thanksgiving Day, MTS says all trolley and bus lines will operate a Sunday schedule, as well as Express Route 20. No service will be provided on Rapid Express Routes 280 and 290, Sorrento Valley COASTER Connection, other Express bus routes or the Vintage Trolley (Silver Line). Rural Route 892 will operate on Wednesday, Nov. 25 instead of on Thanksgiving, MTS says.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Nov. 27, all trolley lines and MTS urban and local bus routes will operate normal weekday schedules. Rapid Express Routes 280 and 290 will operate with decreased frequency for that day.

MTS says its customer services offices – including the call center and Transit Store in downtown San Diego – will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, with normal hours resuming Friday.

MTS operates 95 bus routes and three trolley lines spanning San Diego County. For trolley and bus schedule information, visit the MTS website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sheriff's Deputies Warn of Holiday Car Theft]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 12:49:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/175*120/shopping+bags+generic.jpg

 Shoppers heading out to pick up holiday gifts this season may fall victim to car thieves, and officials are working to help make residents more aware of theft. 

San Diego County Sheriff's deputies with the Rancho San Diego substation handed out fliers Tuesday, making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to holiday shopping this year. 

Deputies recommend always locking car doors, rolling up windows, carrying your purse in front of you and close to your chest, and shopping with a friend. 

Shoppers said they have heard the warning time and time again, but sometimes as they hurry, they forget.

"I've left it in the bag, when I go into another store, I try to put it on the floor, but sometimes I forget and it's on the seat where they can see it easier," said shopper Sue Klassen. "That's not smart." 

Other shoppers said exercising caution is a priority. 

"I try to keep (my car) locked up, I don't leave anything out that someone would want to take," said Ron Bergman. 

Sheriff's deputies were also handing out free steering wheel locks for some of the top vehicles that suffer break-ins: Honda Civics, Honda Accords, a Toyota or Nissan pickup truck and a Jeep Wrangler. 

Store owners also received signs to put in their window to warn thieves officials are keeping their eyes on them. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Scott Olson]]>