<![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 Sun, 02 Aug 2015 23:38:41 -0700 Sun, 02 Aug 2015 23:38:41 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man Reportedly Shot in Southeast San Diego: PD]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 21:48:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San-Diego-police-generic-05.jpg

San Diego Police are responding to a man reportedly down in Woodman Park in southeast San Diego. 

The incident happened at approximately 8:14 p.m. Sunday on the 6700 block of Imperial Street near Encanto. 

The victim was reported to be down by a bridge, police said, and appeared to be shot. 

As of 8:40 p.m., officials said they were performing CPR. 

No further information was immediately available. 

Check back for updates on this breaking news story. 

<![CDATA[Sinkhole Closes El Cajon Road Indefinitely ]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 21:13:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/san-jose-police-sirens-generic.jpg

A sinkhole caused by a water main break shut down a road in El Cajon Sunday afternoon.

A 16 inch pipe broke on Ridge Hill Road and Gaucho in the Blossom Valley Neighborhood around 2 pm.

Repair crews have not determined whether the sinkhole will be fixed by Monday morning.

No homes were affected.

No further information was immediately available. 

<![CDATA[More Injuries At Chargers Training Camp]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 22:19:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Melvin+Gordon+Visor+Sidelines.jpg

In 2014 the three biggest issues for the San Diego Chargers were (in no particular order) the offensive line, pass rush and running game.

Injuries and a lack of depth added to the problems so in the off-season they signed guard Orlando Franklin to bolster the o-line, nabbed defensive tackle Mitch Unrein and made four of their five draft picks on the defensive side of the ball to help with the pass rush, and traded up in the first round to grab Heisman Trophy runner-up Melvin Gordon to fix the running game.

Just four days in to Training Camp 2015 guess which areas are already being hit by injuries?

On Saturday defensive tackle Tenny Palepoi suffered a broken foot. On Sunday it got worse. Franklin was on the ground for several minutes before leaving the field with the trainers to attend to what looked like a leg injury; defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews also hobbled off with a leg injury; and Gordon did not even practice, instead watching from the sidelines in a visor.

After practice head coach Mike McCoy was not in an information-sharing mood, especially about ... well anybody but let's start with why Gordon was held out.

"it's a physical camp and there's going to be bumps and bruises," said McCoy. "It's all part of training camp. All those guys get dinged. We'll get them in to rehab and as soon as they're ready to go they'll get back out there. And, we're going to rest guys just to rest guys as we go, too."

Well "rehab" sounds like something is actually wrong. When asked for clarification on whether or not Gordon's was a scheduled day off (which would be odd for a rookie who needs to get as many reps as possible), we got this.

"Throughout training camp there's going to be bumps and bruises," said McCoy. "We're going to rest guys. Guys are going to be out because of bumps and bruises. When they're ready and they're healthy and we think they should practice they'll be back on the practice field."

OK how about Franklin? What happened to take him off the practice field and why could he not continue?

"I was there for part of it. They were trying to stretch him and get him loose and this and that. When they're that big someone takes a little longer to loosen up so I just told them to bring him inside. He'll be ready to roll soon."

It's nice to see coach is already in mid-season form. The first couple of days of camp teams across the league will see injuries. It's been a while since the players have really hit something, or truly been hit. So you just have to expect guys are going to go down and hope it's not severe.

"You've got to get in football shape and there's only one way to get in football shape," said McCoy. "It's been a physical camp the first couple of days."

Now Chargers fans are left hoping the guys who had to leave are not out for an extended period of time. It looks like the only way to find that out is wait and see who takes the field each day.

<![CDATA[Police Host Night Out Against Crime ]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 18:27:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDPDPic0709_1200x675_300606531741.jpg

San Diego Police are having a summer block party.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is hosting Night Out Against Crime at several locations across the county Tuesday, August 4.

The block parties will include free food and drinks, giveaways, and activities for kids.

Night Out Against Crime is a free community event designed to help people meet the deputies who patrol their neighborhood.

Sheriff’s Crime Prevention Specialists will be at each party giving safety tips. Each party starts between 2 and 5 pm and goes until around 7 pm.

More information and locations of block parties are on the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department website.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego-Area Man Arrested for Stabbing, Terrorist Threats: PD]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 17:57:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/shutterstock_226992205.jpg

Police arrested a man in Bonsall for assault with a deadly weapon and making terrorist threats after he tried to stab his roommate Sunday morning.

Joseph Russell Colihan, 55, attacked his roommate with a knife at 10:18 am on the 29000 block of Margale Lane, north of San Diego.

Colihan briefly fled after his roommate disarmed him, only to return minutes later, breaking a window to try to get back inside.

Sheriff’s Deputies from the Bonsall Substation arrested Colihan on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of terrorist threats.

Colihan’s roommate suffered a shallow cut on his neck and refused medical treatment.

After being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, deputies booked him into the Vista Detention facility.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Sheriff's Department non-emergency line at (858) 565-5200. 



Photo Credit: SHUTTER STOCK]]>
<![CDATA[Double Amputee Goes Cross-Country]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 19:39:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Toran_Gaal.png

A United States Marine—who lost both legs in combat—completed a journey across the country while hand-cycling to raise money to help injured Marines.

Toran Gaal , and his support van driver, Brian Riley, another injured Marine, traveled more than 3,000 miles. The Semper Fi Fund provides financial assistance to wounded Marines and their families while they recover.

The San Diego-area veteran lost both of his legs while fighting in Afghanistan. The Semper Fi Fund assisted his own family in the years following his injury during his third deployment in 2011. Gaal stepped on a 12-pound pressure IED blew up causing him to not only lose his legs but also, 30 percent of his brain.

"If someone can be at end’s wit and sees someone that has had adversity, and seen them thrive, hopefully it will touch their hearts," Gaal said before he started his journey.

The two Marines started their quest on June 1 in California with a specialized bicycle to raise awareness for the Semper Fi Fund. His journey finished at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, greeted by nearly 100 friends and supporters.

<![CDATA[Woman Rescued from Cruise Ship Off Point Loma Coast]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 17:28:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/coast+guard5.jpg

The Coast Guard medically evacuated a woman from a cruise ship off the coast of Point Loma to a hospital in Hillcrest Friday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector San Diego received a call for assistance from the cruise ship Carnival Mircale, located 300 miles south of Point Loma, around 2 p.m. on July 31.

The woman, 35, said she was experiencing severe abdominal pain.

After the Coast Guard surgeon recommended the woman be taken to a hospital, rescue crews safely hoisted her onto a Jayhawk helicopter and delivered her to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest.

There is no word on the woman's condition.

Photo Credit: US Coast Guard]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Comeback Falls Short]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 15:43:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-482783714.jpg

The Padres have made a habit of winning games with late-inning magic lately. Sunday afternoon in Miami they pulled another rabbit out of their hat, then watched as the Marlins used that strategy against them.

The Marlins got a 3-run, walkoff homer from shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to win 5-2 and avoid getting swept out of their own building. The big blast came off Padres reliever Brandon Maurer, who walked two batters to set the table for Hechavarria.

Had it not been for another unlikely comeback, that situation would have never developed. Miami had a 2-0 lead in the 9th inning when catcher Derek Norris, who seems to be in the middle of every big rally lately, rapped a leadoff single. Two batters later shortstop Alexi Amarista, the most unlikely non-pitcher on the field to go deep, went deep to tie the game 2-2.

Amarista was oh-for-25 entering the game and only had five hits in the entire month of July. On Sunday he had a triple and a home run and get starter James Shields a no-decision.

Shields gave up two runs in the first inning but only allowed two baserunners over the next five innings. He was bested by Miami ace Jose Fernandez, who struck out 10 in 6.0 innings and has never lost at Marlins Park.

The Padres head to Milwaukee to start a 4-game set on Monday. The Brewers are 20-33 at Miller Park, giving them the worst home record in the Major Leagues. Tyson Ross gets the start against Wily Peralta.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fish Market to Reopen After Fire]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:22:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/fire+fish+market.JPG

A popular downtown restaurant will reopen Monday after a May fire forced the establishment to close its doors for more than two months. 

Hundreds poured out of the Fish Market's downtown location on May 27 and crowded around the perimeter after a grease fire sent columns of heavy black smoke above downtown San Diego. 

The restaurant, located on North Harbor Drive just south of the USS Midway, suffered heavy fire and water damage following the blaze. No one was injured. 

The Fisk Market, its sushi, oyster and cocktail bars, as well as the restaurant’s retail seafood market, will reopen at 11 a.m. on Monday. The Top of the Market experienced the most damage from the fire and will remain closed for another six to eight weeks.

While it was closed, the waterfront icon retained nearly all of their 300 employees due to the owner’s personal generosity, a statement from the restaurant said.

As the owners worked to fix the restaurant, they took the opportunity to update the interior by adding a new color palette, ceiling treatments, fabrics and wall coverings.

Photo Credit: Ralph Emerson
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<![CDATA[Farm to Bay Event Supports Local Wildlife]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 15:07:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Guest7A0802_1200x675_496920643627.jpg Try out local food and drinks while helping support the environment at the Living Coast Discovery Center's "Farm to Bay" event. Jessica LaFave, development manager at Living Coast Discovery Center, and Nicolas Bour, executive chef at Loews Coronado Bay Resort, stop by NBC7 to talk about the event. ]]> <![CDATA[4 Seriously Injured in Off-Roading Crash, Driver Arrested]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 20:58:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/rollover+pic+2-PIC_0.jpg

A driver has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after he drove a car off a steep embankment in a restricted area Sunday night in Santee Lakes, leaving other three passengers with serious injuries, San Diego police and sheriff's officials said. 

The crash happened at approximately 7:30 p.m. at Summit Avenue near Summit Crest Drive, northeast of Santee Lakes.

Four men driving in a Ford Explorer somehow went off a steep embankment, causing the SUV to roll over multiple times. The men may be cited for driving in the restricted area, officials said. 

San Diego Sheriff’s Department officials identified the man driving the SUV as Nathan Smoltz.

After the crash, one of the victims used a cell phone to call for help, officials said. 

Following the call, a helicopter made three separate trips to airlift victims of the crash to Woodglen Vista Park. From there, an ambulance took three victims to nearby hospitals.

The fourth victim was flown directly to Sharp Memorial Hospital with critical injuries.

No further information was immediately available. 

<![CDATA[61-Year-Old Man Struck, Killed by Car ]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 09:20:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_185887181_police_lights_generic.jpg

A 61-year-old man walking across the street was struck by a sedan and later died in La Mesa Saturday night, police said. 

The incident happened at approximately 8:42 p.m. when the La Mesa Police Department received a report of a pedestrian struck on the 7500 block of El Cajon Boulevard. 

The man was walking westbound when he was hit by the two-door sedan. The driver of the car stayed on scene and cooperated with police officials. Alcohol was not a factor in the collision, police said. 

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. His identity will not be released until family members are notified. 

There has been 35 percent jump in the number of pedestrian deaths in San Diego over the past year, according to an annual report released Thursday by the San Diego County Medical Examiner.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the La Mesa Police Department at (619) 667-1400 or remain anonymous by calling the San Diego Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-TIPS. 

<![CDATA[Chargers Suffer First Loss of 2015 Training Camp]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 21:58:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Tenny+Palepoi+Chargers.jpg

When the Chargers started training camp in 2014 they had plenty of questions about their defensive line. At the start of this year's camp, that same unit had plenty of answers.

The additions of Mitch Unrein (free agent from Denver) the drafting of Darius Philon (6th round out of Arkansas) and the return of Ryan Carrethers (rookie who earned a starting spot before an elbow injury ended his season early) gave hope that the unit would have enough depth to make in impact in 2015.

That depth took a blow on Saturday. On the first full-pads practice of the year defensive tackle Tenny Palepoi suffered a broken foot. He's expected to miss at least a couple of months. However, he may also be a candidate for season-ending Injured-Reserve.

Palepoi made the team last year as an undrafted free agent from Utah and turned himself in to a valuable rotational player. He was active for all 16 games and finished the season with 16 tackles. He was expected to be back in the mix for playing time in the middle of the Chargers line.

<![CDATA[Kit Carson Park Fire Sends Smoke Above I-15]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 21:15:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SD-Fire-Truck-Generic.jpg

Firefighters quickly put out an Escondido brush fire at Kit Carson Park early Sunday evening, officials said. 

Smoke from the fire could be seen from Interstate 15.

The fire burned half an acre before it was put out. 

No structures were threatened. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Dogs Ride Through San Diego Waves on Surfboards ]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 08:55:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/petco+surfing+dog+13.jpg Dogs rode on surfboards Saturday morning, coasting through the Imperial Beach waves to reach the San Diego shore. The event was hosted by Unleashed by Petco and professional surfer Taylor Knox was one of the judges.

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[GI Film Festival Visits San Diego for First Time]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 10:28:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/320*120/KAJAKI+The+True+Story+-+Film+Still+3.jpg

“Sundance for the Troops” is on its way to San Diego.

The GI Film Festival, which starts October 13, will make its first trip to San Diego this year.

The festival, hosted annually in Washington, DC, is now in its tenth year. It will feature movies about and by servicemen and women, and finish with a film showcase highlighting San Diego filmmakers, actors, and locations. Local filmmakers interested in submitting for the showcase can read the requirements here.

“We are excited to partner with the GI Film Group and the Film Consortium San Diego on this project,” said KPBS General Manager Tom Karlo in a release. “We are all organizations that value great storytelling. KPBS looks forward to showcasing some amazing films. I am confident filmgoers will come away having learned something new and with a deeper appreciation for our service members and the sacrifices they make.”

The six-day festival, hosted by KPBS in collaboration with the GI Film Group and the Film Consortium San Diego, will exhibit a wide variety of cinema including, dramas, documentaries, shorts, and personal narratives.

”We are so grateful to KPBS and Film Consortium San Diego for bringing the GI Film Festival to a city with such a rich military tradition,” said GIFF Co-founder Laura Law-Millett in a release. “As a US Army Veteran and West Point graduate, I especially appreciate the unique power that film lends to the all-important mission of connecting service-members to society at large. In support of this vision, the GI Film Festival San Diego will feature films which lend insight into the singular experience of military life by exploring universal topics of loss, healing, courage, and transformation.”

Most of the festival events will be open to the public with a discount for military personnel. More information can be found on KPBS’ GI Film Festival page.

Photo Credit: GI Film Group]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Win Again, Inch Towards Playoff Picture]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 20:19:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-482697374.jpg

The Padres beat the Marlins 5-3 on Saturday night in Miami. They followed a tried and true baseball formula: get a good start, have a big inning on offense, let the bullpen lock it up.

Odrisamer Despaigne had another solid outing, going 6.0 innings and allowing three runs to get the win. Shawn Kelley, Marc Rzepczynski, Joaquin Benoit and Craig Kimbrel made it stick, not allowing a baserunner in their combined three innings of work. Kimbrel earned his 31st save and still has yet to blow back-to-back saves in his Major League career.

On offense, the Padres big damage came in the third inning. Will Venable scored on a triple by Yangervis Solarte, who scored on a Matt Kemp sacrifice fly (Kemp also had two hits). Derek Norris capped the 4-run inning with a double just inside the 3rd base bag that brought home Justin Upton and Yonder Alonso, who took the extra base when Miami left fielder Derek Dietrich misplayed the ball along the left field wall.

The Padres have won three straight series on the road. That’s not bad for a team who only won three of its first 15 road series this season.

San Diego has won 12 of 16 games, running its record to 51-53. Conventional wisdom would suggest if they can get back to the .500 mark they can start to legitimately think about making a playoff run. That might happen by Monday, and if they make it happen, there’s no reason to think they can’t get in to the post-season because, finally, the schedule is being kind to the Friars.

San Diego’s next 17 games are against teams with losing records. Now, if they do get back in to against a bunch of teams that are not very good, there will be detractors out there who say they proved nothing by busting up the bottom-feeders. However, here’s a dirty little secret: every winning team does that. It’s how they become winning teams.

Submitted for your approval; the following schedule analysis. Let’s start with the Cubs. Chicago is 55-47, currently a game out of the final NL Wild Card spot. The Cubbies are 9-4 against the Reds (46-55) but 4-9 against the Cardinals (66-37). How about the Pirates (60-42), owners of the first NL Wild Card? Pittsburgh is 5-2 against the Phillies (40-64) but 4-6 against the Cubs.

The 56-46 Giants, owners of the final NL Wild Card spot, are the outlier. They’re 2-5 against the Marlins (42-61), and for some reason 9-3 against the first place Dodgers (59-45).

Speaking of L.A., they’re the poster kids for feasting on the weak. The Dodgers are 9-4 against the Rockies (43-58) and 9-3 against the Diamondbacks (50-51 after a 6-game winning streak). The only teams with winning records the Dodgers have a winning record against are the Angels (55-48), who they’ve beaten both times they’ve played so far, and the Nationals (54-47), who they took two of three games from.

Things are about to get very difficult for the NL West leaders. In August they still have series against the Pirates (60-42), Nationals, Astros (58-46), Cubs and Giants, with Pittsburgh and Houston coming on the road.

So if the Padres can do what all the other “winning” teams do over the next three weeks, they’ll be right in the thick of the post-season picture, and yes, they will have earned their spot in the hunt.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CA Nat'l Parks Have Worst Air Quality of Nation's Parks]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 08:52:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/179*120/yosemite-old-040915.jpg

Four California National Parks rank among some of the worst for air quality in the nation, according to a new report card released by a conservation group Tuesday.

Despite overall progress in the quality of air across the nation’s national parks, places where millions of families travel to escape the city air, hazy and polluted air continued to plague the skies, especially during the summer season, according to the report by the National Parks Conservation Assn.

Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Joshua Tree National Park and Yosemite National Park all received ‘F’ grades for their ozone levels and low scores for air visibility.

The California parks were among some of the most harmed by air pollution, according to the report’s list of top 12 parks affected by pollution.

All 12 parks on the list earned a ‘D’ in either the ‘healthy air’, ‘seeing clearly’, or ‘changing climates’ categories. Because of the hazy air, visitors often miss out on up to 50 miles of scenery.

For at least one month a year, visitors to the four California parks breathe air that is unhealthy for most visitors and rangers, the report found. The California parks were the only ones in the top 12 to receive ‘F’ grades for air quality.

“The overwhelming evidence reveals air that is cleaner but not yet clean,” according to the report.

But cleaning up the air pollution could take hundreds of years at the current pace of change, researchers said, citing loopholes in current legislation and climate change.

Nearly all parks are undergoing some degree of warming, researchers found in their report.

More than 80 percent of the temperatures in those parks are considered “extremely hot” compared to the last 112 years. Thirty percent of those parks have reached the highest temperatures they have seen on record, researchers found, and if those temperatures continue to rise, they will be climbing into uncharted territory.

To ameliorate the problem, researchers suggested allowing parks to set their own air quality targets, closing loopholes in current regulations, strengthening accountability and allowing park managers to play a greater role in creating and advancing plans.

Nine California national parks were named in the full list of 48 parks affected by air pollution.

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<![CDATA[San Diegans Protest Fracking in California ]]> Sun, 02 Aug 2015 12:37:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/fracking+pic.jpg

Protesters gathered at the Ocean Beach Boardwalk Saturday to protest Jerry Brown’s support for hydraulic fracturing and other unconventional oil and gas extraction methods.

The protest was led by the California based Courage Campaign, Californians Against Fracking and Rootskeeper.

San Diego joined 15 other cities in California rallying on Saturday, urging the government to focus more on renewable energy.

“We believe the risks of fracking to Californians far exceed the benefits. The oil and gas companies reap all of the royalties and revenue from oil, whereas the residents are exposed to potential earthquakes…air contamination, water contamination,” said Nicole Piell-Moelter, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability at Akamai Technologies. The group was involved with the rally. “We want to educate [people] about the solutions, the alternatives to oil in California, which is electric vehicles, energy efficiency, fuel efficiency and bio fuel.”

The rally comes amid concerns whether fracking really is damaging groundwater and local resources. Ralliers pointed to recent findings of the California Council on Science and Technology and Berkeley Lab Release Scientific Assessment of Hydraulic Fracturing in California.

The study says there is a possibility for contamination of groundwater due to the use of hazardous chemicals in fracking. It also cites the potential for health problems, habitat disruption, and oil spills, and air pollution.

The study found that state regulatory officials lack proper data to adequately investigate potential problems, and more research and monitoring is needed.

"If this doesn’t stop there could be the potential for…contamination of our aquifers, which is not a great thing in this drought,” Peill-Moelter said. “We really want to make this an uplifting experience. We really want to make sure Californians are educated and making informed decisions, and also understanding what the alternatives are.”

More than 150,000 people in California have signed a petition urging Governor Brown to stop fracking and oil extraction, according to those at the rally. 

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Seau's Family To Speak At Hall Of Fame After All]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 20:47:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Junior+Seau+Foundation+family.jpg

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has had a change of heart. Sydney Seau, the daughter of late San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau, will in fact be allowed to speak on behalf of her father at the 2015 induction on August 8.

The Hall of Fame was not going to let Junior's family talk at the ceremony, citing a policy it put in place in 2011 that individuals elected to the HOF posthumously would have a longer video presentation but no live speakers. They say it was designed to shorten an already long event.

However, they never anticipated an icon who passed away in the prime of his life would be in this situation. So, instead of allowing Sydney to give a formal speech, she will be interviewed on stage after all the Seau children unveil Junior's bronze bust. The six and a half minute video presentation about Junior's life and career will still be seen in its entirety.

In an interview with Fox Sports, Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker explained why they made the decision.

"Our goal was to try and keep our policy but also show some compassion and understanding," Baker said. "(Sydney) will have the opportunity to say whatever she wants to say but we will still maintain our policy."

The NFL and the HOF feared Sydney would use her platform as an arena to discuss traumatic brain injury, something the Seau family (which is involved in a lawsuit against the National Football League) has been outspoken about. Sydney has said multiple times she has no plans to politicize this event. She plans to simply honor her father.

Thankfully she will have the opportunity to do just that.

Photo Credit: Junior Seau Foundation Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Images: Eric Weddle's Jewelry Line]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 16:20:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/2015-Weddle-Jewelry-2.jpg San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle has once again teamed up with a local jewelry company to design a Bolts-themed line of women's jewelry. Proceeds from the collection will support victims of domestic violence.

Photo Credit: Evolution Lighthouse]]>
<![CDATA[Weddle’s Jewelry Line Helps Domestic Violence Victims]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 15:55:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/2015-Weddle-Jewelry-9.jpg

The San Diego Chargers’ bearded safety Eric Weddle is once again trying his hand at jewelry design with a Bolts-themed line in support of victims of domestic violence.

Last fall, Weddle launched a “Game Day” jewelry collection for women, with a portion of proceeds from sales benefitting battered women charities.

Now, after a successful first year with the project, Weddle will launch new jewelry designs for his 2015 line, which will benefit Alliance for HOPE, an organization that provides vital resources to survivors of domestic violence and their children.

Weddle created the jewelry line in collaboration with Evolution Lighthouse, a San Diego-based jewelry and accessories company that works with partner charities to raise awareness and funds for causes in the community.

Evolution Lighthouse founder Patrick Pickford said Weddle worked closely with lead designer and
company co-founder Gerly Noland to create his newest designs.

“Our lead designer runs all ideas by myself and Eric. We pick our favorites. Who knew men could pick out stylish jewelry?” Pickford said.

For Weddle, the project carries a lot of weight.

“It is important for people like myself to use their voice constructively and stand up for what is right. It is vital to ensure that victims of domestic violence and their children can escape a vicious cycle. I am happy to help in any way possible,” Weddle told NBC 7.

Weddle says his favorite part of the jewelry line process is seeing the fans wearing the final product.

“This is a representation of their support for victims of domestic violence and their support for their favorite team,” said Weddle. “[It’s] the best kind of win/win.”

The line – which boasts more than 20 items – includes sterling silver and gold-filled necklaces, earrings and bracelets ranging in price from $20 to $80.

Some pieces feature lightning bolt charms, as well as charms that say “Weddle” and “San Diego.”
There is also a pair of tassel earrings in Chargers colors -- one blue, one gold.

Pickford said their team is working on incorporating Weddle’s famous beard into a jewelry design in the future.

“It will be interesting to see what we come up with,” he told NBC 7. “Currently, we personalize most of the pieces so you can make it your own. You can put ‘San Diego,’ ‘Weddle,’ or pretty much anything else you like.”

Weddle’s public support for battered victims via this jewelry line first began last year amid the NFL’s high-profile domestic violence scandal involving several players in the league, including Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson.

“Eric has been my friend for a number of years and when domestic violence took over the NFL headlines last year, we immediately started talking about what should be done and what could be done,” Pickford explained. “It was a great opportunity for us to team together on something meaningful.”

Though Pickford said Weddle and women’s jewelry line may seem like an unlikely match, it’s a perfect match in the end.

“Every single item will go to benefit victims of domestic violence. Eric is donating every cent right to
the cause," Pickford told NBC 7. “And he wants every fan to know, ‘Hey let's support this cause and let's do it right.’

To browse the full "Game Day" jewelry collection, click here.

Photo Credit: Evolution Lighthouse]]>
<![CDATA[Violent 1978 Cold Case Haunts Survivor]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 18:08:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/James-Alt-0731.jpg

A man who survived a brutal attack on a San Diego beach in 1978 as his girlfriend was murdered and mutilated says the cold case continues to haunt him, and he wants answers.

“Survivor’s guilt is something I struggle with every day,” James Alt told NBC 7.

On Aug. 13, 1978, Alt – 17 years old at the time – and his girlfriend, Barbara Nantais, 15, were sleeping on the sand at Torrey Pines State Beach when they were attacked by an unknown suspect or suspects.

Alt suffered a severe head wound that left him semi-conscious with no recollection of the assault. Nantais was beaten and strangled to death, raped and one of her breasts was severed.

The teenager’s killer was never found and, to this day, the murder remains unsolved.

Nearly 37 years later, Alt lives with depression and post-traumatic stress caused by the incident. He said the pain of not knowing who killed Nantais or why weighs heavily on him.

Alt carries a titanium plate in his forehead. His skull was crushed with a rock and fire log during the 1978 attack.

“That same person tried to kill me,” he said. “They did a really good job of trying, but guess what, I am living, breathing and right here.”

After all these years with no arrests in the cold case, Alt says he wants the San Diego Police Department’s (SDPD) Cold Case Unit to hand over the investigation to another law enforcement agency.

Alt and members of the Nantais family are scheduled to meet with cold case detectives later this month.

He said he doesn't expect to hear much new information about the case, but has plenty to say about the investigation of his case and recent developments in the 1984 murder of another San Diego teen, Claire Hough.

Hough, 14, was beaten and murdered on the very same stretch of beach as Nantais’ slaying. Similarities in both cases have suggested the killings could’ve been committed by the same perpetrator.

Last fall, San Diego police said they found DNA from Hough's body matching that of police lab technician Kevin Brown.

“I was excited, scared obviously, and just optimistically hopeful,” Alt said, referring to the break in Hough’s cold case.

Police said they were preparing a warrant for Brown’s arrest in connection with Hough’s murder before Brown hung himself Oct. 21, 2014.

Alt said the developments in Hough’s case only wound up adding to his frustration.

“I want proof. I want evidence. I'm not going to take your word for it. Show me what the District Attorney was going to hold this person for,” Alt said.

Alt fears whatever evidence police have against Brown will be buried with him.

Investigators told NBC 7 Brown could not be connected to the Nantais murder. Brown's widow has filed complaints against the SDPD and the City of San Diego to clear Brown's name.

Meanwhile, Alt insists he wants his case in other hands.

“I want them to let go of my case. They haven’t done anything in 37 years. What, are we going to hold them another 37? No sir,” Alt told NBC 7.

In 2013, SDPD Lt. Ernie Herbert told NBC 7 Nantais’ case was being reviewed once more, as there had been huge advances in DNA technology. Detectives planned to re-interview witnesses and use new, high-tech science in hopes of generating new leads on the case that still remains cold.

On Thursday, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis spoke with NBC 7 about the relentless work of the SDPD's Cold Case Unit. Since its formation in 2003, Dumanis said the unit has solved and prosecuted 35 cold cases.
This includes a recent arrest in the murder of Damon Green, a San Diego man gunned down at a doughnut shop in 2007.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego
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<![CDATA[Chula Vista PD Confirmed Wounds Self-Inflicted]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 14:53:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

Chula Vista Police were investigating a dead body on the 200 block of Bay Boulevard. 

The call came in at 1:25 p.m. on Saturday, police said. When medics arrived on scene, they were asked to stand back.

As of 2:50 p.m., police confirmed the wounds were self-inflicted. 

No further information was immediately available. 

<![CDATA[Meth Pills Were in In-n-Out Drink, Man Claims in Lawsuit]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 13:27:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/168*120/innoutmeth.jpg

In-n-Out Burger has been sued by a man who alleges he found meth in the bottom of his drink, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles. 

The incident allegedly occurred on the night of March 9, 2014, when Fred Maldonado, of Carlsbad, ordered a burger and drink from a Southern California In-n-Out. An executive for the restaurant chain has called the claim "baseless."

Maldonado then returned to his nearby motel, where he drank half the beverage and went to sleep. When he awoke the next morning, he emptied the rest of the drink and allegedly found two pills and a napkin at the bottom of the cup, according to the lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

When Maldonado returned the cup and its contents to the In-n-Out location, located at 8767 Firestone Blvd. in Downey, the manager apologized and offered him a gift certificate for a free burger, according to the lawsuit.

Though Maldonado was unaware of what the blue gelatin capsules were at the time, later testing found that they contained methamphetamine, according to toxicology findings from last August submitted by Maldonado's lawyer, G. Patrick Connors III. The napkin and the cup both tested negative for methamphetamine in a test conducted by Utica Toxicology Service.

"The beverage served by defendants to plaintiff was not clean, wholesome, and free from harmful or injurious foreign substances but instead, unknown to plaintiff, contained hazardous and unhealthful foreign substances, namely two capsules of methampetamine and a napkin that was unfit for human consumption," the lawsuit stated.

A picture of the capsules and napkin allegedly found in the drink were provided by Connors.

Maldonado did not ingest the pills, but did suffer nausea and serious injuries to his health, as well as mental distress, as a result of consuming the drink, according to his lawyer.

In-n-Out has denied the allegations.

“At In-N-Out Burger, we have always served the freshest, highest quality burgers, fries, and drinks and customer safety is one of our highest priorities. We will vigorously defend these baseless claims. Due to the fact that this matter involves ongoing litigation, we will unfortunately not be able to comment any further,” In-n-Out Executive Vice-President Arnie Wensinger said.

Maldonado has sued for unspecified damages.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of G. Patrick Connors III]]>
<![CDATA[1 Killed in Encinitas Crash]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 12:58:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Encinitas-Fatal-Ax-0801.jpg

One person was killed in a crash on Interstate 5 in Encinitas early Saturday, prompting officials to temporarily shut down traffic on the freeway.

The deadly collision happened just after 3 a.m. near Encinitas Boulevard. California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials said two cars collided, with one vehicle rear-ended at highway speeds, leaving the car totaled.

Both cars came to rest in the middle of the lanes, debris from the crash strewn all over the freeway.

The CHP shut down all lanes for about 30 minutes following the accident.

The driver of the car that was rear-ended was killed in the collision. The condition of the driver in the second vehicle is unknown.

The crash is under investigation. Officials have not determined whether alcohol was involved.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Blue Moon Lights Up San Diego Sky]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 12:55:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Annie+Durkin+Rancho+Penasquitos+2.jpg Across California, people looked up and spotted a "once in a blue moon."

Photo Credit: Annie Durkin]]>
<![CDATA[Motorcyclist Hit, Killed by Swerving Driver]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 11:52:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bonsall-MC-Fatal.jpg

A motorcyclist was struck and killed by a swerving driver in the North County overnight, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials said.

The deadly crash happened just after midnight on West Lilac Road and Via Giannelli.

For unknown reasons, the driver of a white car swerved off the road, plowed into a tree and hit a motorcyclist.

The motorcyclist died at the scene, CHP officials said. The driver of the car was taken to Palomar Hospital with unspecified injuries.

The crash is under investigation. Officials have not yet determined whether alcohol contributed to the collision.

The name of the motorcyclist was not immediately released.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Small Brush Fire Burns on Palomar Mountain]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 18:04:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/fire_truck_generic_wavy.jpg

A small brush fire sparked on Palomar Mountain Saturday morning, sending smoke into the air visible from State Route 79.

Fire crews arrived to attack the vegetation fire just before 10:50 a.m. The site is not easily accessible by foot, so officials have requested assistance from air tankers.

NBC 7 viewers reported seeing smoke near State Park Road.

No evacuations have been ordered and no structures are threatened at this time.

As of 6 p.m., the fire was 80 percent surrounded.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman, 77, Hit by Fleeing DUI Suspect]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 10:58:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/LJ-Hit-Run-0731.jpg

A 77-year-old woman walking in a La Jolla neighborhood was injured Friday night when a suspected drunk driver hit her in a crosswalk and then fled the scene, police confirmed.

The San Diego Police Department said the woman was walking in a crosswalk in the 6400 block of La Jolla Boulevard around 11:45 p.m. when a 60-year-old man in a Ford Expedition struck her.

At first, he pulled over.

However, a short time later, the man – suspected of driving under the influence – fled the scene, leaving the injured woman lying in the street.

The victim suffered a broken pelvis and other non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital.

The police department said officers were able to find the hit-and-run suspect after the crash and he was positively identified as the man behind the wheel.

He was arrested for felony DUI and felony hit-and-run, police said. His name was not released. No one else was harmed.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Rips Through City Heights Apartment]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 10:14:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/City-Heights-Fire-0801.jpg

Five residents were displaced Saturday morning after a fire broke out at a building in City Heights that houses several businesses and an apartment, fire officials said.

The blaze sparked around 5:50 a.m. at an L-shaped building in the 4200 block of El Cajon Boulevard near Copeland Avenue. The building contains several businesses and the rear unit on the Copeland Avenue side has been converted into an apartment, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) said.

When firefighters arrived, they could see flames shooting from the windows and roof of the apartment. With an aggressive attack, 30 fire personnel were able to knock out the fire within 20 minutes, officials said.

Lee Swanson of the SDFD said firefighters were able to confine the blaze to the apartment, which sustained heavy damage. Officials said the Red Cross is helping the five adults who live there find temporary housing.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Swanson said surrounding businesses suffered some smoke damage. For now, damage is estimated at $500,000 to the building and $100,000 to the contents.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and the incident is under investigation.

Photo Credit: Diana Guevara]]>
<![CDATA[Drug Tunnel Unearthed in Tijuana Near Border]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:15:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tijuana+border+tunnel+0731.JPG

Mexican authorities unearthed an unfinished drug tunnel about two blocks from the U.S.-Mexico border – the third such tunnel discovered in the area this year.

Officials say they received an anonymous tip that someone had started a tunnel inside an import-export business in Tijuana's Colonia Nueva neighborhood. The area is just across the border from Otay Mesa, to the east of the Tijuana airport.

The Mexican Army was seen standing outside the building Thursday night, and they continued to guard it Friday, waiting to obtain a search warrant so they could enter.

No arrests have been made at this point.

Officials would not say how long the tunnel was, but they did confirm it had not crossed into the U.S.

When asked if he feels nervous about the drug activity going on across the border, U.S. resident Adrian Garcia said, "The only thing they are trying to do is bring their stuff inside the United States, and that's it, but I don't think they are like killers or whatever, so I don't feel insecure.”

Authorities won’t let anyone into the tunnel until Monday at the earliest.

In April, two smuggling tunnels were busted in Tijuana.

Nine people were arrested when the first was found on April 7 near the Tijuana airport.

A more sophisticated system that crossed the border was discovered on April 28.

<![CDATA[Padres Walk Away Winners]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:05:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/166*120/GettyImages-482585386.jpg

The Padres did not blow up their roster at the trade deadline. In fact, instead of a fire sale they added a player, getting left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski (pronounced zep-chin-ski) from the Indians for reserve outfielder Abraham Almonte. What would possess General Manager A.J. Preller to keep his club in one piece?

“We have a lot of players who are attractive to other clubs,” Preller told a group of media members in the dugout of Marlins Park in Miami on Friday night. “Ultimately we didn’t get the value we wanted to get to. We like our team.”

Yeah, but that team has a losing record and is a long way out of the playoff hunt.  Assuming they can even get to .500, they still have a lot of ground to make up. Preller says it’s not out of the question.

“We’ve got a big challenge in front of us. I feel like we have the pitching and players here to start making up some ground.”

With the way the Padres have been playing lately, Preller might be on to something. The Friars won again in a unique way, this time beating the Marlins 8-3 in 11 innings. San Diego has now won 11 of their last 15 games.

It could have been a lot easier than it was. Closer Craig Kimbrel, the subject of intense trade speculation, blew his second save of the season when he left a fastball up and Miami infielder Derek Dietrich ripped it in to the upper deck to tie the game 3-3. Interesting stat on Dietrich: he has six home runs but only eight runs batted in this year. All but one of those RBI has come via the home run.

It also gave starting pitcher Ian Kennedy a no-decision. Kennedy was the subject of trade rumors but was not going to be on the mound for a different reason. He wife went in to labor with the couple's fourth child so Ian booked a flight back to San Diego to be there for it. Bad weather delayed the flight and when it was clear Kennedy would not make it home in time he called pitching coach Darren Balsley to see if he could come back to the ballpark and pitch.

Ian watched the birth using FaceTime (Evelyn Nicole Kennedy was born at 2:03 p.m. San Diego time) then took the mound two hours later and made one of his best starts of the season, throwing 7.0 innings and giving up just two runs. Kennedy will try to fly home again Saturday morning and re-join the team next week in Milwaukee.

But, he stuck around to see one heck of a finish. In the 11th inning, the Padres came up with a way to win a game. It was not as dramatic as Thursday’s rain-delayed comeback over the Mets, but it was just as unique. After a Will Venable single Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos, who had only walked 14 hitters in 46 innings this season, walked Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Yonder Alonso one after another to force home the game-winning run.

After a pitching change Derek Norris drew another walk to inflate the Padres lead to 5-3. Then Jedd Gyorko looped a 2-run single to left and Venable singled to score another run and erase any thoughts of a Marlins comeback.

Since the San Francisco Giants also lost on Friday the Padres, at 50-53, are a mere 6.5 games out of the second NL Wild Card spot. Their next 18 games are against teams that have records worse than they do. Maybe Preller was right in holding his ground. This thing just might work out after all.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[6 Local Water Districts Fall Short on Conservation]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 20:56:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/drought+water+sprinkler.JPG

Six San Diego County water districts fell short of the water conservation goals for June -- some by a wide margin -- while 14 others met or exceeded their objectives.

The State Water Resources Control Board released data Thursday to show how each district across California measured up to mandatory conservation targets that took effect in June. Together, the state’s water use dropped 27 percent that month, compared to June 2013. The result exceeded Gov. Jerry Brown’s statewide goal of 25 percent conservation.

However, some local districts have much more conserving to do. The Fallbrook Public Utility District, which had a conservation goal of 36 percent, only dropped its water use by 8.6 percent, compared to 2013 numbers.

The Rainbow Municipal Water District reduced its use by 20.7 percent, though its target was 36 percent, and the San Dieguito Water District fell short of its goal of 28 percent, instead conserving 18.1 percent of its water.

Other misses were smaller. The Carlsbad Municipal Water District was short by 3 percent, the Rincon Del Diablo Municipal Water District by 2 percent, and the Valley Center Municipal Water District by 2 percent.

Click here to see how your district did.

Local districts not listed by the water control board include Del Mar, South Bay Irrigation, National City and Yuima Municipal Water District.

Across the state, cities and communities must cut their water use by 8 to 36 percent, depending on their water use before Brown declared a drought emergency in 2014.

Seventeen districts in the state fell short of their targets the first month.

The city of San Diego more than exceeded its 16 percent goal, reaching 24.3 percent savings.

<![CDATA[San Ysidro Wants to Use Bond Funds to Settle Lawsuit]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:45:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_school_bus_generic1.jpg

The San Ysidro School District plans to repurpose bond money budgeted for the reconstruction of Beyer Elementary to settle a $12 million lawsuit against the district – a maneuver that may run afoul of the state constitution.

The $250 million in bond money was approved by voters in 1997 to build new schools and modernize outdated ones.

The San Ysidro School District says bond money budgeted for school construction can be used to settle a lawsuit because it will eventually lead to facility upgrades in the form of new solar panels.

“As long as it’s used for structural material and as long as its purposes are facility purposes, it fits within the bond,” said consultant and former interim Superintendent Ed Velasquez.

Parents and homeowners who live next to the empty lot where Beyer Elementary was slated for reconstruction weren’t sold on the idea.

“That’s just ridiculous,” said Lorena Dambois. “You just can’t use money that’s supposed to be used for the children to pay for a lawsuit. That’s not right.”

In 1997, San Ysidro voters passed Prop C, a $250 million school bond, with what proponents touted as an 86 percent voter-approval rating.

At the time, it was the largest bond measure ever passed in California history. It was approved by less than 900 voters after a low-key campaign to the community’s 7,180 registered voters.

The bond language promised San Ysidro residents the money would be used to upgrade existing schools and build new ones, like the $23.9 million Vista Del Mar School opened in 2012.

Velasquez said he’s not sure the small San Ysidro community needs another elementary school in the area.

“We already have two elementary schools that are just within about a block of each other,” he said Thursday.

The district now wants to use the remaining Prop C funds to re-open a contract with Eco-Business Alliance, a solar energy company that won a $12 million judgment against San Ysidro last year.

A spokeswoman for the district said that settlement agreement includes some direct payment for the cost of the solar panels, but said she did not know the exact amount of that payment.

Beyer Elementary was torn down in the 2012-2013 school year to make way for a new school slated for construction with those bond funds. The site remains an empty lot.

“I’ve been waiting for them to rebuild the school,” said parent Dambois. “It said 'Beyer Elementary' you know, 'Coming Soon.' I saw that that sign isn’t there anymore but I had no idea they weren’t planning on building it anymore.”

Velasquez said the district is still in discussions about what to do with the site, but at the same time admits definitive plans to build it went away with the recent agreement with the solar panel company.

“That’s gone,” he said of the “Coming Soon” sign. “Because of the lawsuit and the judgment and the lien and the contract and that issue, yeah.”

The state says bond monies must be used for the purposes set forth in a ballot measure that granted the sale and “not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses.”

In February, the district approved issuing new Prop C bonds saying it would use the money to pay off some of its outstanding bond debt at a lower interest rate.

Velasquez said settling the lawsuit falls within the parameters of Prop C, and it helped the district get that lower interest rate on the bond loan.

“I think that the school district should form an independent oversight committee with members of their community,” said Theresa Andrews, the interim President and CEO of the San Diego County Taxpayer’s Association, an organization that acts as a watchdog on school bond use.

She told NBC 7 she’s not surprised that parents are upset.

“I think because parents are seeing things that are supposed to be done and they’re not being done. So what’s happening with the money?” she said.

The small school district nestled on the U.S. Mexico border has been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy since the 2012-2013 school year. Earlier this year, the state lifted the district’s negative financial rating and assigned it a qualified certification.

<![CDATA[Driver Hits Pedestrian, Returns and Takes Off: PD ]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:33:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_185887181_police_lights_generic.jpg

A hit-and-run driver who for a moment seemed to have second thoughts left a pedestrian injured in a Grant Hill intersection Friday evening, according to San Diego police.

A white van or minivan hit the pedestrian at Market Street and 30th Avenue as the person walked in the crosswalk at about 6:55 p.m.

Police say the driver pulled a U-turn, went back to the pedestrian, took another U-turn and drove off.

The victim suffered non-life threatening injuries in the crash.

About two hours later, police announced they had taken a suspect into custody.

<![CDATA[Zoo Hopes to Breed Rhinos Through Frozen Zoo]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 20:08:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/nola-rhino-san-diego.jpg

Following the death of an elderly white rhino at the Dvůr Králové zoo in the Czech Republic, Nola, a northern white rhinoceros being treated at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, is now one fourth of the world’s northern white rhino population. It is now unsurprisingly the most endangered species in the world.

The Safari Park is using science to fight the rhino’s extinction. The Frozen Zoo, in collaboration with the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, is a genetic project to help save endangered species. The zoo has viable stem cells taken from twelve white rhinos to restore genetic variation. The rhino stem cells, first saved in 1979, can be used to reproduce any tissue in the rhino’s body, the zoo says. 

Through advancements in genetic research, the Safari Park hopes to use whole genome sequencing to learn about genetic diversity in the white rhino and hopefully one day repopulate the species.

“Multiple steps must be accomplished to reach the goal of establishing a viable population that can be reintroduced into the species range in Africa, where it is now extinct,” said Oliver Ryder Ph.D., Director of Genetics for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research in a release. “A first step involves sequencing the genomes of northern white rhinos to clarify the extent of genetic divergence from their closest relative, the southern white rhino.”

Poaching has brought the rhino to this desperate place. In Asia it has been widely hunted for its horns, which are believed to cure certain illnesses.

The zoo began collecting skin samples from endangered animals in 1972. When the Frozen Zoo started, genetic science was not advanced enough to make use of the genetic samples, but with the developments in today’s genomic research, scientists are much closer to breeding rhinos artificially.

The Frozen Zoo has samples from 8400 animals, representing over 800 species. The animals include Gobi bears, pandas, mountain gorillas, condors and the California gray whale.

“The reproductive system of rhinos is very complex and there is still so much we do not know,” said Barbara Durrant Ph.D, reproductive physiologist at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research in a release. “We will meet the challenge to save this beautiful animal by combining recent advances in genetic and reproductive technology with our expertise in animal care and welfare.”

Sudan, a 42-year-old rhino, is the only living male known in the world. Sudan lives in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, under 24-hour armed guard. In an effort of discourage poachers, the conservancy has cut off Sudan’s horn.

Those who want to help can click here to donate to help build a Rhino Care Center at the Safari Park.

Photo Credit: San Diego Safari Park ]]>
<![CDATA[Gov. Declares State of Emergency in California Due to Wildfires]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 17:22:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/N5P-STATE-OF-EMERGENCY-VO---00004214.jpg

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Friday in response to severe wildfires burning across the state, exacerbated by severe drought conditions and extreme weather.

According to a statement released by Brown's press office late Friday afternoon, Brown made the declaration to help mobilize additional firefighters and disaster response resources.

"California’s severe drought and extreme weather have turned much of the state into a tinderbox,” said Brown. “Our courageous firefighters are on the front lines and we’ll do everything we can to help them.”

A series of wildfires that started in June in Butte, El Dorado, Humboldt, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Solano and Yolo counties, among others, burning thousands of acres of land. The fires have destroyed homes, closed major highways and local roads, prompted evacuations and continue to threaten hundreds of structures.

Brown declared a state of emergency in January based on California's historic drought, which has been going on for four years now. Drought conditions have caused millions of trees to die, increasing the spread of fire throughout the state, Brown said.

Brown's proclamation also says that both the fire and the drought has caused California's air quality to deteriorate, impacting public heath.

Federal grants have been requested and approved for the Wragg fire currently burning in Napa, Solano and Yolo counties and for the North Fire burning in San Bernardino County.

<![CDATA[Suspect Surrenders to SWAT Team in Chula Vista]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 10:24:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chula+vista+shooting+0731.jpg

A SWAT team arrested a suspected shooter who refused to come out of his Chula Vista condo after witnesses say he shot at a building, police say.

The incident started at 4:02 p.m., when officers got a report that a man was shooting into a home in the 1500 block of Oleander Avenue. Witnesses told officials that the shooter had an AR-15 type of weapon.

"I was sitting in the front yard, and a bunch of gunshots went off. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, really loud," said Suzi Schutzman, who lives about five doors down. No one inside the home was injured, according to Chula Vista Police Capt. Vern Sallee.

The suspect then returned to his condo in the 1500 block of Brandywine Avenue, which sits near Olympic Parkway.

Officers shut down eastbound Olympic Parkway at I-805 as they called in a SWAT team and crisis negotiators. 

Family members were in the condo with the suspect, but they left before police arrived. They later told officers the man was suicidal, alone in the home with a rifle and pistol, Sallee said.

A negotiator was able to get the man on the phone, and after a half an hour, the negotiator talked the suspect into surrendering.

At 6:20 p.m., he was taken into custody.

Schutzman told NBC 7 she rushed over to the damaged house to see if anyone was injured. She saw a woman badly shaken up.

"The windows were shot, the upstairs of the house was shot. Big holes, big holes, and then bullet casings all over their driveway," said Schutzman.

She was relieved to find no one hurt.

Another neighbor who spoke to those inside the home said the victim knows the alleged shooter and considers him a friend.

A motive for the shooting has not been released.

Photo Credit: Tam Ngo]]>
<![CDATA[Doctor Admits to Sexually Assaulting Patients ]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:09:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Doctor-Jeffrey-Abrams-11102.jpg

A San Diego-area doctor has admitted he sexually assaulted female patients and took photos of their naked bodies while they were treated at the only free health care clinic in the East County.

Jeffrey Joel Abrams, 68, pleaded guilty Thursday to eight counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person, three counts of sexual battery and one count of possession of child pornography, involving pictures of an 8-year-old girl, according to Deputy District Attorney Kerry Conway.

At his September sentencing, Abrams could face probation to more than 25 years in prison.

Eight victims were seen by Abrams at the Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) free clinic in El Cajon between June 1, 2010, and June 2014.

When Abrams was arrested in November, investigators claimed to have found more than a thousand photos of women’s vaginas, breasts and buttocks on his work phone.

There was also a video of a patient touching herself in the exam room with Abrams, a search warrant alleged.

Attorney Jessica Pride, who represents victims in the case, sent NBC 7 this statement: 

"My clients are happy that their voices were heard and that they were able to make a difference. They are thankful that justice was served."

Abrams’ medical license has been temporarily suspended by the State Medical Board, and he has been ordered to surrender his passport.

A lawsuit was filed by five women who were patients to the clinic VIM in El Cajon.

One of the plaintiffs in the case said that she initially went to the clinic to get a referral to a psychologist and a therapy group. Another woman requested a fertility specialist to help her conceive. A third woman said she went to VIM for a rash on her hand.

All say they were instructed by Abrams to remove their clothes so they could receive a vaginal exam. In some cases, the women were given rectal exams.

<![CDATA[Dog Hit by Car in Tijuana Receives Care in SD]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:14:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Kiwi+dog+0731-PIC_0.jpg

A dog that witnesses said was run over by a police vehicle in Tijuana was rescued and taken to San Diego on Friday for treatment.

The 2-year-old Bichon pup named Kiwi is undergoing medical treatment and should make a full recovery, thanks to the local rescue group Bichon Furkids.

Witnesses said Kiwi was left to die on the side of a road in Tijuana for three days. A woman who works as an independent dog rescuer stopped to tend to Kiwi and rushed him to a veterinarian in Mexico.

But since Kiwi needs ongoing treatment, therapy and blood transfusions because he’s anemic, Bichon Furkids intervened.

Headed by San Diego resident Marti Colwell, the group crossed the border to bring Kiwi to San Diego.

“We worked together – rescue groups do this all the time – but we crossed the border in order to provide the kind of love and care and medical care that he needs so that he can make a full recovery,” she said.

Colwell expects Kiwi to be good as new in three to four months.

“He’s about 2 years old, so he has a long life ahead of him,” she said.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Hot Cars Pose Deadly Risk to Children Across U.S.]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:22:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/babybackseat.jpg

National Heatstroke Prevention Day, Friday, reminds parents what a danger hot weather can be for kids.

Eleven children across the county have already died this year after being left in hot cars. Over 600 children have died since 1998, according to the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose University.

On a hot day, a car acts like a greenhouse, rising 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. The temperature can rise 10 degrees each 10 minutes after that . Children are much more susceptible and less tolerant of heat than adults. A child’s body temperature rises five times faster than an adult, and can prove fatal at a 107-degree body temperature.

“Heat stroke deaths have been recorded in 11 months of the year. We have to remain vigilant about this every single month,” Kate Carr President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide told NBC at a Baltimore event to raise awareness about hot car deaths.

Southern California has had its share of hot car related deaths.

A Pomona girl died after being left in the family van over Father’s day weekend last June. The family had returned to the house after running errands, and went to take a nap; each thinking another had brought the girl inside.

The family eventually found the girl unconscious in the car, and attempted unsuccessfully to resuscitate her before police arrive. Kiara Li never regained consciousness and later died at the hospital. The case was ruled a tragic accident.

A couple in El Cajon was arrested in August 2013 after leaving their 4-month-old baby in their car overnight. The mother was convicted of child endangerment last month.

The NHTSA also unveiled a new technical report Friday to help manufacturers innovate technology that would help prevent more deaths.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Shots Fly Between Cars in Mid-City]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:04:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Policelightsgeneric.jpg

San Diego police were called to the Mid-City region Friday after receiving reports of shots fired in the area.

The investigation began around 1:30 p.m. at a shopping center in the 5900 block of University Avenue near University Square, the San Diego Police Department said.

Police say three men were in a black Lexus heading east on University Avenue. Just then, two men in a sedan pulled up and started firing a gun at the Lexus.

The vehicle was hit at least five times by the gunfire, police said. A passenger in the back seat suffered a graze wound to the shoulder.

An employee at one of the shops in the area told NBC 7 he saw three police cars in the parking lot, as well as police questioning shoppers, asking them if they has seen or heard anything.

The SDPD's gang unit is investigating the incident.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[GM A.J. Preller Keeps Padres Together]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:30:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/preller+1.jpg

There are MLB expert analysts who thought this week would turn the Padres into ancient Rome: All trade roads would lead to San Diego. Given the off-season spree that General Manager A.J. Preller went on, that thinking was certainly not unfounded.

But all the speculation fizzled in to a giant "meh." The Major League Baseball trade deadline passes at 1 p.m. Pacific time on Friday and, despite having multiple pieces to deal, the only move Preller pulled the trigger on was sending reserve outfielder Abraham Almonte to the Indians for left-handed relief pitcher Marc Rzepczynski, who has a lot of strikeouts in a small sample size this season.

At times over the last seven days, the Friars were rumored to be in talks to trade OF Justin Upton, RHP Craig Kimbrel, RHP Tyson Ross, RHP James Shields, RHP Andrew Cashner, RHP Joaquin Benoit, RHP Ian Kennedy, 2B Jedd Gyorko and OF Will Venable. The only guy on that list to leave the team is Kennedy, but that's so he can be with his wife as she delivers their fourth child. On a related note, Odrisamer Despaigne will make Kennedy's scheduled start on Friday night in Miami.

Of course, the lack of a blockbuster deal does not mean the Padres will not make a deal. They have the month of August to swing a waiver-wire deal, which is more complicated but not at all uncommon.

So, for the time-being at least, the Padres are who the Padres are. Perhaps Preller has seen enough during their recent hot streak (10 wins in 14 games) to think the season is not lost and they can make up the 7.5 games between themselves and a Wild Card spot. Or maybe he just did not think any of the offers made would get enough of a return on his investments.

Whatever the reasoning, the rookie GM is once again the talk of baseball. This time, though, it's for what he did NOT do instead of what he did.

Photo Credit: Matthew Wood/NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Police Activity Temporarily Shuts Down Coronado Bridge]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:31:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Coronado-Bridge-0318.jpg

Police activity has shut down both sides of the Coronado Bridge Friday afternoon, California Highway Patrol officials confirmed.

The closure started just before 2 p.m., west of the bridge's center.

The activity was cleared about 30 minutes later, and CHP is working on reopening traffic. 

<![CDATA[Man Arrested After Waving Fake Gun in Gaslamp: PD ]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 17:54:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DOWNTOWN-MAN-GUN-073115.jpg

A man waving a gun in the middle of the Gaslamp Quarter prompted police to shut down several city blocks during the lunch hour Friday, before they realized the gun was a fake.

The man was spotted near 5th Avenue and F Street in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter just before 1 p.m.

The man walking down 5th Avenue pointed a gun at witness John Carmichael. A U.S. Navy employee, Carmichael told NBC 7 he could tell immediately that it was fake.

"To me, he was kind of joking so it didn't bother me too much," said Carmichael. "He pointed it at me, I put my hands up and he just walked away. It was pretty odd." 

The man with the gun then walked into the Tipsy Crow bar, giving everyone inside a scare.

Kitchen worker David Nelson was told by his boss to take cover.

"I took a knife and went into the office and locked it because he already said there was a cop situation," said Nelson. "So I had no idea what was going on. I was freaked out for sure."

Several patrol cars blocked foot and vehicle traffic in about a one-block radius.

Approximately 30 minutes later, the man was in custody. Officers confirmed the man was carrying a replica gun that had been spray painted to look real.

The bar was searched and nothing was found, police said.

No one was injured.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Off the Eaten Path: Tacos]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:35:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Candice-Tacos-6.JPG.jpeg NBC 7's Candice Nguyen explores unique spots in San Diego that serve unforgettable tacos.

Photo Credit: Candice Nguyen]]>
<![CDATA[Construction Crew Hits Water Main, Businesses Lose Service]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 12:11:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/water-main-construction-073115_2.jpg

A block of downtown businesses were without water after a private contractor struck a water service line Friday morning.

The incident happened along 6th Avenue and J Street where a new hotel is under construction.

San Diego City Public Utilities crews responded and shut down water main so the two-inch pipe could be repaired.

It may take about 4 hours to repair.