<![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 Mon, 30 Mar 2015 09:32:31 -0700 Mon, 30 Mar 2015 09:32:31 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Manchester Sells Majority Stake in Grand Del Mar Resort]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 08:59:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/222*120/grand+del+mar+san+diego+generic.jpg

Private equity firm Blum Capital and the parent of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts are acquiring a majority stake in Carmel Valley’s Grand Del Mar resort for a reported $230 million.

The property’s current owner, local developer and U-T San Diego owner and publisher Douglas Manchester, will retain a minority stake. Fairmont officials said the 249-room resort, which also has eight two-story villas, will be renamed Fairmont Grand Del Mar and will be managed by Fairmont.

U-T San Diego reported that under a deal expected to close April 1, Blum Capital of San Francisco and Toronto-based Fairmont’s parent company, FRHI Hotels & Resorts, will acquire an 88 percent share of the resort, valued at $230 million. Manchester, who opened the resort in 2007 at 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct. near state Route 56, will retain a 12 percent interest.

Manchester’s San Diego-based company, Manchester Financial Group, was founded in 1970 and has developed several hotel and other commercial projects in the local region.

Blum Capital is led by financier Richard Blum, husband of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. The company partnered last year with Fairmont to acquire Claremont Hotel & Spa in Berkeley.

Blum recently retired after 12 years as chairman of the commercial real estate services company CBRE. Blum Capital’s other major investments have included Northwest Airlines and URS Corp.

In a statement issued by Fairmont, which did not disclose financial terms, Blum said the acquisition of the Grand Del Mar “aligns with our investment strategy” and complements Fairmont’s existing global portfolio of more than 65 luxury hotels.

The Grand Del Mar has received designations including AAA Five Diamond ratings and a Five Star rating from Forbes Travel Guide. The resort also has an 18-hole golf course, a spa and six food and beverage venues including the Addison restaurant, along with 27,000 square feet of meeting space.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Local Biz Welcomes Spring Break Crowds]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 08:48:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/san-diego-lifeguard-beach-2.jpg NBC 7's Matt Rascon reports on how Spring Break is a great time of the year for people with businesses just feet away from the sand.]]> <![CDATA[Pedestrian Dies in Collision with Truck]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 07:31:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/escondido-pedestrian-0330.jpg

A man was struck and killed Sunday by an oncoming truck on an Escondido road, officers said.

Witnesses said the man was walking in the crosswalk against the light at Broadway and Lincoln where traffic exits from State Route 78.

When a white Chevy pickup drove into the intersection just after 11 p.m., the driver struck the man who was in the eastbound lanes of Lincoln Avenue.

Escondido Police arrived and found the truck stopped in the roadway with the victim lying nearby. Escondido Fire medics transported the pedestrian to Palomar Hospital where he later died.

They say the truck driver did not see the victim in time to avoid the crash.

The victim has not been identified.

Officers said the driver of the pickup truck would not be charged or cited.

<![CDATA[Man Shot on Grant Hill Porch]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 07:04:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/grant--hill-shooting-0330.jpg A 23-year-old man was shot in the face at 300 27th Street in Grant Hill early Monday. NBC 7's Matt Rascon reports. ]]> <![CDATA[Robbery Victims Outsmart Gunman]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 06:47:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/TGI-Friday-robbery-0330.jpg

A husband and wife team outsmarted a robber at a La Jolla restaurant overnight according to San Diego Police.

The couple was cleaning the TGI Friday’s on Villa La Jolla just after 3 a.m. when they were held at gunpoint.

When the husband walked outside to grab a mop, a man held a gun to the worker’s head and followed him into the restaurant.

There, the would-be robber held three people at gunpoint.

The husband suddenly announced he wasn’t feeling well and needed to get his medication from the car.

So the suspect allowed the man’s wife to get the medicine from the truck in the parking lot outside the restaurant.

That’s when the woman drove the car to a nearby pharmacy to call for help.

“It was pretty smart of him to do that just to get somebody to get outside and call for help,” said SDPD Lt. Steve Hutchinson.

San Diego Police arrived and set up a perimeter around the store. Officers searched but did not find the gunman.

He stole one cell phone and other tools from the cleaning crew.

The restaurant was closed at the time of the robbery.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Body Found Inside National City Van After Car Fire]]> Sun, 29 Mar 2015 23:18:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Police+Tape+Police+Generic+Trenton.jpg

A body has been found inside a van in National City after a car fire, police confirmed to NBC 7. 

The body was found after a car fire at the 2200 block of Tidelands Avenue at a truck stop, National City Police said. 

Police said they did not know whether the body was a man or female and they did not know how long it took firefighters to put out the fire. 

Watch NBC 7 News at 11 for updates or livestream the newscast by clicking here

Check back for updates on this developing story. 

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Body Found at Scene of Chula Vista Brush Fire]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 07:16:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chula-vista-brush-fire-0330.jpg

Police have found a body while responding to a brush fire in Chula Vista. 

Chula Vista Police and Fire officials responded to a fire at C Street and Broadway Sunday evening at approximately 9:03 p.m. 

Officials said they found a body in the fire at a river bottom. 

The fire spread to half an acre before crews got it under control, they said. Officers at the scene said when they arrived, transients were in the area.

Police say the scene is an active crime scene investigation. 

Police did not know whether the body was a male or female.

<![CDATA[Coachella Bans Selfie Sticks on Festival Grounds]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 05:03:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/Coachella2014-Sunday-Scenery.jpg

Festival goers can leave behind their selfie sticks when packing for their trips this year.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California is the latest in a string of festivals and venues to ban ticket holders from carrying in the popular selfie stick. 

"NO Selfie Sticks / Narsisstics [sic]," the website reads. Festival organizers did not immediately reply to a request for comment. 

Selfie sticks help large groups take selfies easier, but organizers of several large music festivals around the nation are banning the stick on their grounds. 

Earlier in the week, Lollapalooza, a summer music festival in Chicago, also had a noticable addition to its FAQ section on the website for 2015 festival goers, NBC Chicago reported: no selfie sticks.

"GoPro attachments like sticks, selfie sticks & monopods," the website clarified. Professional recording equipment, such as detachable zoom lenses and tripods, will also not be allowed into festival grounds. 

It was immediately unclear whether other large music festivals in California would institute a similar ban. HARD Fest, a popular music festival in Los Angeles, did not specifically mention selfie sticks on their prohibited items list, though they do not allow professional recording equipment such as cameras with detachable lenses, or videos cameras or GoPros. 

Other popular California music festivals, such as Outside Lands in August or County Summer in June, do not specifically mention selfie sticks. The highly anticipated San Diego festival, Kaaboo, will not allow audio or video recording equipment on festival grounds. 

ULTRA, a large music event in Miami, specified on their website that they would not allow festivals goers in Miami to bring in "professional cameras, flash cameras or video and audio recording equipment, or camera poles." Summerfest, a Milwaulkee, WI festival, did not specify whether they would allow the sticks. 

Music festivals are not the first to institute a selfie stick ban. The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museumbanned the popular sticks in February

Photo Credit: Ryan Cowen]]>
<![CDATA[Police Looking for Four Stabbing Suspects]]> Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:59:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_generic_police_tape_police_lights_fishtown11.jpg

Police are looking for four suspects that stabbed a man rushing to help his friend.

The incident happened at approximately 12:30 a.m. Sunday when a 23-year-old man saw his friend being chased by a group of men.

He got out of his car, police said, and went to help his friend when he was stabbed in the left side of his abdomen at the intersection of Polk Avenue and 49th Street in Mid City.

He was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The first suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches with long hair to his neck. He was wearing a white shirt and black jeans at the time.

The second suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 20s, about 5 feet 11 inches, with short hair. He was wearing black clothing.

The third suspect is described is described as a Hispanic male in his 20s, 4 feet 9 inches, wearing a polo shirt and jeans.

The fourth suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 20s wearing black clothing and shorts.

The suspects fled southbound on Winona Avenue in a blue van.

Mid City Police Detectives are investigating.

<![CDATA[Family Mourns Son Who Died at Festival]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 05:37:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/John+Vo+Wonderland+Music+Festival+Death.jpg

A Poway family is mourning after their son passed away at a music festival.

22-year-old John Vo died at the "Beyond Wonderland" rave on March 20 in San Bernadino. His family spoke to NBC 7 about their late son and brother.

John’s brother, Brian, said his brother was always smiling and always having fun.

“He had a huge personality,” Brian told NBC 7.

His family and loved ones miss that big personality.

“I miss him so much,” said John’s father. “My baby.”

John’s father, a doctor, said he is waiting for the medical examiner’s report to figure out how his youngest child died. To his knowledge, his son did not have any pre-existing medical conditions. 

The toxicology report is pending, but authorities say the Poway native went into cardiac arrest after suffering a possible seizure.

John was the youngest of four siblings, all of them doctors. John would have soon followed in their footsteps. After he graduated from Rancho Bernardo High, he went on to UC Irvine and was majoring in biology.

Family members said since John was so close to graduating, the school will give him his degree posthumously.

His other passion was music. Family members told NBC 7 he disk jockeyed under the name “The Doc.”

John used to come home and blast music in the house, his sister Diana said.

Now, she misses the sound of that loud music, she said, and wishes she could turn back the hands of time to hear it again.

“The nights he came home from school, he would play his loud music all
night long, it was so annoying,” said Diana. “And I'd yell at him to turn it down and he was like, okay sorry, Oops, sorry. Now I miss it. I wish he was home.”

<![CDATA[Baby Jaguar Cub at the San Diego Zoo]]> Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:33:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/JaguarCubWeigh3-27-15_LG.jpg A new cub made its grand debut at the Zoo Saturday.

Photo Credit: Ken Bohn]]>
<![CDATA[Newborn Jaguar Cub Debuts at San Diego Zoo]]> Sun, 29 Mar 2015 11:27:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/JagBaby3-27-15_Med.jpg

A young jaguar cub will be the newest addition to the family at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, zoo officials said.

Mother Nindiri welcomed the cub on March 12 at 8:30 p.m. inside the jaguar den at the Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey exhibit.

Visitors looking to spot the wobbly-legged newborn can see it in the cave viewing area during Play Days, a zoo event that started Saturday.

The 18-day-old cub is the third for seven-year-old Nindiri. The sex of the cub is not yet known.

Photo Credit: Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo]]>
<![CDATA[K9 Bites Officer During Pursuit]]> Sun, 29 Mar 2015 09:58:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/k9+bites+officer+crash+329.jpg

A police dog bit an officer during a pursuit early Sunday morning.

Shortly after 2:30 a.m., a police officer tried to pull over a driver for a traffic violation, San Diego Police said.

The driver took off and lead officers on a short chase before jumping out of the car and running off near the intersection of Fairmont Avenue at Camino Del Rio North in Kensington.

When the officer ran after him, he was bitten on the hand by his own K9 dog, police said.

The officer was treated and will be okay.

The suspect in the pursuit was arrested.

<![CDATA[Two Teens Shot in Grant Hill]]> Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:10:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sdpd-badge_1200x675_402098243860.jpg

Two teens were shot while standing on the corner of a street in Grant Hill, police said. 

Police said an 18-year-old teen and a 14-year-old teen were standing on the corner of the 100 block of 29th Street when they heard gunshots and felt pain. 

The two of them ran away, police said, and police found them in an alley. 

The 18-year-old was shot four times and the 14-year-old shot once. 

Both were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

Police have no suspect descriptions. San Diego Police Gang Detectives are investigating. 

<![CDATA[$1,000 Reward Offered for Information on Shooting]]> Sun, 29 Mar 2015 18:06:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDPDPic0709_1200x675_300606531741.jpg

Police are offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of a man that allegedly shot a man in San Diego's East Village. 

The victim is in critical condition after he was shot in the head in East Village and is not expected to survive, police said.

The incident happened at approximately 4:40 p.m. Saturday when San Diego Police officers were flagged down by two residents at the 1500 block of J Street.

Officers found a 47-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, police said. 

The victim was taken to UC San Diego hospital. He is in critical condition and is not expected to survive.

Police are investigating the incident and looking for the public's help in solving the attempted homicide. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the San Diego Police Department's Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. They are offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the suspect's arrest. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Shields Gets Opening Day Nod]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 22:41:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/171*120/464965054.jpg

I remember the day the Padres officially introduced James Shields at a press conference at Petco Park. I asked manager Bud Black if it's too early to say Shields, who was fresh off helping the Royals to Game 7 of the World Series, was going to be his Opening Day starter.

Buddy said it's not too early, but other guys would be in consideration. On Friday, the skipper made it official.

You could do a lot worse than this guy. It will be the 7th time Shields will get the ball to start the season (he did it four times in Tampa and twice in Kansas City). The only active pitchers with more Opening Day starts are C.C. Sabathia with 11, Mark Buehrle with nine and Felix Hernandez, who will make his eighth this season.

Shields will be the 28th different pitcher to make an Opening Day start for the Padres, who get the season started on Monday, April 6 on the road against the Dodgers and reigning Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw.

Shields grew up in the Los Angeles area and has attended games at Chavez Ravine, but this will be the first time in his life he gets to play in Dodger Stadium.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Spring Training: Get To Know Tyson Ross]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 20:54:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/176*120/465613864.jpg

I’m going to show you the statistics of two starting pitchers from the 2014 MLB season, but not their names.

Pitcher 1:

31 starts, 2.81 ERA, 13 HR allowed, 195 K, 1.21 WHIP

Pitcher 2:

33 starts, 2.98 ERA, 21 HR allowed, 219 K, 1.09 WHIP

Pretty similar numbers, both suggesting a bunch of success. However, Pitcher 1 finished with a 13-14 record while Pitcher 2 was 18-10. If that is not a case study in how the WINS stat has become useless in evaluating the importance of a starting pitcher, I don’t know what is.

By the way, Pitcher 1 is Tyson Ross. Pitcher 2 is Madison Bumgarner. Yes, a pitcher does need to have other factors in place to have success. An offense would be nice.

So, that’s why Ross is a dark horse 20-game winner in 2015 (OK, the WINS stat is useless but that’s always going to be a cool thing to say). The Padres will score a lot more runs in 2015 than they did a year ago, so Ross might not just be in consideration for another All-Star game. He could be in the Cy Young conversation.

NBC 7’s Derek Togerson talked with Ross about how he approached this year’s Spring Training, and his dedication to a routine that would put most normal people in the chiropractor’s office.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Planners Seek Community Input for Planning East Village Park]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 19:44:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Artie6P0328-2_1200x675_419642435585.jpg

Developers are looking for the public’s help in planning a new park in the East Village.

A four acre slot of land is slated to be developed into a new park between 13th and 15th avenues from F to G streets that will be called East Village Green.

The planners held the first workshop for the park on Saturday, asking the public to pitch in their ideas.

"We really want to hear from the people who are going to spend every day of their lives, you know walking past the park, spending their Sundays or weekends taking their kids to the park or whatever those pieces of the puzzle end up being,” said Nathan Elliott, a landscape architect for the project. “I think we'd be remiss if we didn't listen to the people who have so much invested in this community."

Civic San Diego is the group coming up with the plan for the area.

During the meeting Saturday, planners showed images of fountains, cafes, and open plazas.

The architects say construction probably would not start until after 2016, and may take roughly a year and half to build.

<![CDATA[Police Demonstrate Use of Force Scenarios ]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:52:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rascon6P0328_1200x675_419641923649.jpg Just this month in San Diego County, there have been three officer-involved shootings, and in one case an officer shot a dog. So how do officers make those split-second decisions? NBC 7's Matt Rascon reports. ]]> <![CDATA[Springtime Activities in Sunny San Diego]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 17:14:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Carlsbad-Flower-Fields.jpg

Fields of flowers, the San Diego Padres and pretty much perfect weather could only mean one thing: it’s springtime in San Diego. Here are some ways to celebrate the season and frolic in America’s Finest City.

Carlsbad Flower Fields
Nothing says spring quite like a visit to the Carlsbad Flower Fields on Paseo Del Norte in San Diego’s North County. Open now through May 10, guests can enjoy the blooms daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors and $6 for kids three to 10 years old. Children under 2 get in free. Besides a walk along the fields and endless photo opportunities, visitors can enjoy snacks from vendors and shopping at the on-site store and nursery. The Flower Fields also hosts a bunch of events each spring, including a special kid’s day, live music and a Mother’s Day celebration.

Balboa Park Botanical Building
Sure, it’s open year-round, but Balboa Park’s Botanical Building in the spring is truly a spectacular sight. The 100-year-old historic building is one of the largest lath structures in the world, not to mention one of the most photographed spots in Balboa Park. There are more than 2,100 plants inside including cynads, ferns, orchids, palms and other tropical plants. The iconic Lily Pond is also right in front of the Botanical Building, which makes this the perfect springtime stop. It’s free to enter and open Friday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

San Diego Padres at Petco Park
Spring means baseball season! Head over to Petco Park in downtown San Diego and catch a Padres game. The Padres Home Opener lands on April 9 this year. Check out the team’s full schedule here. Most single-day tickets start at $15.50 per person.

Mission Beach Boardwalk
Take advantage of our gorgeous weather and visit the iconic boardwalk at Mission Beach. On any given day – especially when the temps are practically perfect – dozens of people can be seen walking, jogging and bicycling along the boardwalk. The exercise is great, but the clear view of the ocean is even better.

Picnic at a Local Lake
Get in touch with nature by having yourself a good old-fashioned picnic at one of our many local lakes. East County spots include Santee Lakes, Lake Murray and Lake Jennings. There’s also Dixon Lake in Escondido, Lake Miramar, Lake Morena and Chollas Lake, to name a few more.

Whale Watching (Yes, even in the spring)
Traditionally a winter activity, whale watching in San Diego has now become a year-round activity. Joe Terzi, president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority, recently said San Diego should be considered the world's No. 1 destination for whale watching. Earlier this week, Flagship Cruises said gray whale sightings are on the rise in San Diego, with more than 200 spotted off our shores over the past three months.


What kind of springtime activities do you enjoy as a San Diego resident? Share in the comments section below.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[New "Save Our Bolts" Music Video Released]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 17:20:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Save_Our_Bolts_Music_Video_1200x675_419473475540.jpg

The "Save Our Bolts" movement is growing in size, with more and more people every day joining their quest to keep the Chargers in San Diego.

Now, they've gone from being vocal to singing vocals.

Local recording artist C-SICCNESS has a new track and video urging our town to Save Our Bolts (you can get more information about them here). Thanks to C-SICCNESS allowing us to post the video for you to see.

<![CDATA[The IRONMAN Triathlon Comes Home]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:37:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Frodeno1-Nilsen.jpg

The triathlon was born in the Mission Bay area in the early 1970's, so it just makes sense that every year IRONMAN, the most well-known name in the sport, holds a marquee event along the San Diego County coast.

Accenture IRONMAN 70.3 California was held again between Oceanside and San Clemente on Saturday morning. It’s a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56 mile bike ride, finishing up with a half-marathon.

Germany’s Jan Frodeno repeated his title in the men’s race while 2013 champion Heather  Jackson won the women’s event.

As he usually does, five-time IRONMAN 70.3 California champion Andy Potts (USA) led the men out of the water. Frodeno made up a little time on the bike, then blew the field away on the run, finishing the 13.1 miles in a race-best 1:10:48.

Top 10 professional men’s results:
                                                   SWIM              BIKE                  RUN                 FINISH
1.    Jan Frodeno      GER          00:22:48          02:09:10            01:10:48         03:47:08
2.    Andy Potts           USA          00:22:44          02:09:20            01:12:25         03:48:43
3.    Lionel Sanders  CAN          00:26:59          02:04:46            01:13:12         03:49:19
4.    Brent McMahon  CAN          00:23:18          02:08:47            01:14:51         03:51:07
5.    Jesse Thomas   USA          00:26:04          02:06:06            01:16:19         03:52:52

The women’s race also featured a comeback. Jen Spieldenner (USA) was first out of the water. Jackson was actually more than two minutes off the pace. She also made up ground on the bike, then used the fastest run of the day (1:22:22) to take her second IRONMAN California title.

Top 10 professional women’s results:
                                                    SWIM              BIKE                  RUN                 FINISH
1.    Heather Jackson  USA          00:27:07          02:20:51            01:22:22         04:14:47
2.    Heather Wurtele   CAN          00:26:40          02:21:14            01:23:12         04:16:07
3.    Holly Lawrence     GBR          00:24:52          02:19:58            01:27:30         04:16:59
4.    Alicia Kaye             USA          00:24:54          02:24:28            01:25:14         04:20:01
5.    Angela Naeth         CAN          00:27:11          02:20:41            01:23:24         04:21:33

<![CDATA[Two New Trails Open at Black Mountain ]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 15:43:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trails_2_1200x675_419590211830.jpg Hikers visiting the Black Mountain Ranch Open Space Park will have two new trails to pick starting Saturday.]]> <![CDATA[New Trails Open at Black Mountain Ranch]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 15:45:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trails_6_1200x675_419591747692.jpg

Hikers visiting the Black Mountain Ranch Open Space Park will have two new trails to pick starting Saturday.

City officials cut the red ribbon near the paths for the Lilac and Ahwee trails in Rancho Penasquitos.

“Oh it's exciting,” said resident Bob Willcox. “Opens up opportunity to go on both sides of the road without going on the road. Just another trail that's fun in itself.”

The two trails connect both sides of Black Mountain Open Space Park and Carmel Valley Road. That will make the trails safer, officials said.

More than 100 community members volunteered more than 1,200 hours to build the new trails.

<![CDATA[Hiker Injured in Cowles Mountain Fall]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 15:11:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDFR-Cowles.jpg

A hiker was injured on Cowles Mountain Saturday morning after falling 30 to 45 feet down an embankment, officials said.

The fall happened just after 9 a.m. as the hiker was going down the Climber’s Loop trail on the mountain off Navajo Road.

A San Diego Fire-Rescue dispatcher said the man sustained serious injuries -- including wounds to his arm -- and was taken by helicopter to a local hospital. His current condition is unknown.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego's Easter Dining Guide]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:16:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/bloody+mary+0505.jpg

Grab the family, the pastel attire and maybe even the Easter Bunny: fabulous feasts for the holiday are just around the corner and we have your guide to the best bites in town. Spring into these San Diego dining selections from our friends at Yelp and make your reservations ASAP because spots are limited. Happy eating!

Waypoint Public (North Park)

Here comes Peter Cottontail! This family-friendly neighborhood bistro is hosting an Easter brunch on April 5 that’s just as suitable for beer lovers as it is for the egg-hunting tykes. Guests can indulge in chef favorites including Waypoint’s signature Pulled Pork Benny or Breakfast Pot Pie, all while enjoying a selection sips like Waypoint’s LemonAle Shandy or house sangria. The special event kicks off at 10 a.m. with an egg hunt for the kiddos, but the real kicker is that kids eat free during this Easter brunch.

Perfect Pairings (Carlsbad)
Not a morning person? This new(ish) dining experience in Carlsbad Village is offering a special Easter celebration with a 4-course prix-fixe dinner at $49 per person. Chef Aaron Gentry is guaranteed to wow your palate with his farm-to-table focus and proprietor Alex Morrison knows his wine pairings. The treats you’ll find at this unique location will surpass any Easter basket goody. Hop to it: the menu here changes every two weeks.

Kitchen 4140 (Clairemont)
Kitchen 4140 will offer guests a special Easter version of its popular Sunday brunch. Featured dishes will include Smoked Leg of Lamb and a Dry-Aged Prime Rib, amongst other holiday dishes, accompanied by fresh spring produce such as turnips, Swiss chard and heirloom vegetables (many from the restaurant’s newly enhanced garden, which makes up one half of this eatery’s 1,200 square foot garden-patio). Regular brunch items, like the Red Velvet Waffles, will also be offered on the menu.

Pacific Coast Grill (Cardiff-by-the-Sea)
We bet that even the Easter Bunny can’t stay away from North San Diego beach spots like this one, where patrons can hop on over for Sunday brunch by the sea. The favorites from the menu will be served, plus specialty items have been added like the Puerto Buevo Style Lobster. Elevate your Easter dining with the Filet Mignon Breakfast Burrito or Chile-Braised Short Rib Tostada with cabbage slaw, pickled red onions & avocado salsa. The view from this practically-on-the-beach option can’t be beat.

The Torreyana Grille (La Jolla/Golden Triangle)
The kiddies will be delighted with the three Easter egg hunts offered in the gardens, complete with an appearance by the Easter Bunny himself. The Champagne Brunch for the holiday will feature live music, carving stations and more. Located inside The Hilton La Jolla, this dining option includes traditional buffet items abound with dishes like Eggs Benedict, Bourbon Glazed Ham and the famous bread pudding. If your morning isn’t complete without your vegetables, drink up: there’s also a Tito’s Handmade Vodka Bottomless Bloody Mary Bar for an additional $15.95 per person.

Solterra Winery & Kitchen (Leucadia)
The holiday goes from lunch into late night at this urban winery from noon to 10 p.m. on Easter Sunday. The menu will feature specialty items from the chef. Also, forget the Easter egg hunting and track down the wine pairing to compliment your celebration meal. Cold and hot tapas (small plates) are the focus here, like the Patatas Bravas with Spanish crema and the Steamed Clams in a sauce of tomato, chorizo, garlic and white wine. Solterra is committed to Southern California farms only, and also features local beers on tap.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Celebration of Life for Late Hodad's Owner]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:12:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/hodad_9_1200x675_419590211713.jpg Hundreds came out to honor the owner of the iconic Ocean Beach burger joint. ]]> <![CDATA[Hundreds Come Out to Honor Late Owner of Hodad's ]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 19:46:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Mike+Hardin+of+Hodads.jpg

Hundreds gathered at Petco Park Saturday to honor San Diego businessman Mike “Bossman” Hardin, owner of the iconic Ocean Beach burger joint, Hodad’s.

A “Celebration of Life” event was held at Petco Park’s Park in the Park in downtown San Diego from 11:11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Hardin – also known as the “unofficial mayor of Ocean Beach” – died of natural causes last month at a Holiday Inn in Chowchilla, California. Officials later confirmed a heart attack led to his passing.

Many that attended the memorial said they had been profoundly moved by Hardin’s generosity. 

Attendee Todd Byrd said he first met Mike when he was a kid.

“I used to sweep the patio for fries when I was a kid and then fast forward twenty years later and he hired me when no one else would give me a job and I worked for him for years,” said Byrd.

Hardin's kindness was what those attending the memorial and those speaking at the memorial recalled most. 

“There are a lot of us here in the crowd that have the same story,” said Byrd. “He gave jobs to people that no one else was really hiring. He was a good guy and he gave back to the community. He’ll be missed.”

San Diegans mourned Hardin’s death, leaving flowers at a makeshift memorial in front of Hodad’s in Ocean Beach last month and posting hundreds of messages online and on NBC 7’s Facebook page.

Others, such as Nick Gray, first met Hardin when they sat down to eat one of his burgers at the iconic Ocean Beach location.

Gray first started eating there 20 years ago and kept coming back, becoming a regular. During that time, he said, got to know Hardin.

“I’ve watched him help guys through college, and give them a steady job, give them a second chances a couple of times and he’s just always just been a steady, dependable guy,” said Gray. 

John Owen, a Navy Chaplain and speaker at the memorial, said Hardin gave back to his community and to the armed forces plenty during his time.

“I consider it one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life to be able to consider Mike a friend,” said Owen.

The crowds gathered on the grass, some sitting cross-legged and others sitting on chairs set out, to listen to the speakers and watch a slideshow of photos from Hardin’s past. The memorial included a special video tribute, musical performances and presentations from Hardin’s loved ones.

Gray said that if Hardin were here today, he would have wanted the people attending to enjoy themselves.

“Look around, at all the different people you can see here today,” Gray said. “That’s what Mike was all about.”

Hardin, who lived in San Diego from 1960 until his passing, took over Hodad’s in the 1980s from his parents. He later expanded the OB burger joint to a second location in downtown San Diego and a third in Petco Park.

Both Hardin and Hodad’s were featured on the popular TV show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” hosted by Guy Fieri.

<![CDATA[2 Border Busts Yield $1.4M in Heroin, Meth]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 13:43:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/BB-I5-4.jpg Images of smuggling attempts at their finest. ]]> <![CDATA[Concealed Weapons Permits Hotly Debated]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 11:55:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GUNLAWPKG11P0327_1200x675_419459139886.jpg

Gun enthusiast Jon Bautista showed up at The Gun Range San Diego in Kearny Mesa Friday night dealing with the latest blow to his hopes of carrying a concealed weapon.

Bautista, along with many others, is on a license to carry waiting list at the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

The department currently grants permits under the “good cause” standard according to California law, which means gun owners wanting a permit for personal protection are on the outside looking in.

“Either you have to be a business owner that carries a lot of cash on-hand late at night, or have extraordinary circumstances such as domestic excuse or a person stalking you, those types of cases,” said Bautista.

In 2014, a three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a more generalized issuance of criteria for concealed weapons permits, giving gun owners like Bautista hope.

“I want to protect myself, my family and my friends” said Bautista.

On Thursday, a judge decided the case will be reheard by the entire panel, giving a momentary small victory to gun control activists.

“Their eight hours of training wont teach them someone might be threatening, but not life threatening, so people might have an itchy trigger finger or they just might be very scared and if they have a gun, there is a high likelihood they may use that gun and people will be dying unnecessarily,” argued Shawn VanDiver, a Navy veteran and firearms instructor now advocating for certain gun control measures.

Many people think this case could rise to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept. released this statement on its website in response to the latest court decision.

<![CDATA[Tsunami Warning System Improvements]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 13:18:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SD-Tsunami-Warning.jpg

It’s hard to forget the dramatic video out of Japan showing a massive tsunami engulfing its coastline. In 2011, after that tsunami, San Diego experienced tsunami warnings. Today, that system has improved.

A new Tsunami playbook helps officials know exactly which 33,000 homes and businesses in San Diego tsunami zones would be the hardest hit. It also tells them exactly who to evacuate.

"We don't have to over-evacuate anymore,” said Holly Crawford, Director of Emergency Services at County of San Diego.

She said the Office of Emergency Services is more prepared these days.

“We have the ability based on a number of factors to more accurately target an evacuation zone based on how high the wave is, what the tidal conditions are at the time, and the topography of the area that will be impacted,” Crawford explained.

At the beach Friday the threat of a Tsunami wasn't on anyone's mind. Even business owners in Mission Beach, who would likely be affected, admitted they've never thought twice about it.

"I've been here seven years and I've never seen this kind of thing like tsunamis, so there is no reason to be scared being here,” said Rode Chalbi, manager at Harry’s Market in Mission Beach.

While, the Office of Emergency Services acknowledges that San Diego doesn’t face the same type of risk as Japan, officials feel good knowing there's a plan in place to keep everyone safe.

"People get injured in large-scale evacuations and we don't want to over-evacuate, so this is a great advancement in terms of public safety for our community,” Crawford added.

For more details on our local tsunami warning system, click here and here.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Motorcyclist Killed in Crash With Big Rig]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 10:50:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Fatal-Motorcycle-Fallbrook.jpg

A motorcyclist was killed in a crash with a big rig in Fallbrook Friday night, officials said.

The fatal accident happened around 10 p.m. on northbound Interstate 15 at the State Route 76 interchange.

California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Holt said the motorcyclist, who has yet to be identified, was riding on the SR-76 transition ramp when he somehow lost control of his bike and drifted off the ramp.

He rode onto a grassy divide before winding up on the I-15 where the slammed into the side of a big rig traveling northbound on the freeway.

Holt said first responders attempted to revive the motorcyclist at the scene, but he succumbed to his injuries. Holt said the driver of the big rig was shaken up but not injured in the crash.

The accident remains under investigation. Holt said it’s too early to determine whether the motorcyclist was speeding at the time of the crash.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Brady Aiken Has Tommy John Surgery]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 10:54:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/aiken+2.jpg

Cathedral Catholic High School star Brady Aiken was the number one overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. But, the left-handed pitcher never signed with the Astros.

Houston tried to pull back a large chunk of their proposed signing bonus due to what they say was a problem with Aiken's left (pitching) elbow.

Aiken ended up at Florida's IMG Academy and was working out, throwing well, expecting to be a top-10 pick again in 2015.

Now, he doesn't know where, or even when, he'll be pitching.

This week Aiken had Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left elbow. He says it happened during a game and is not the result of whatever problem the Astros claimed they saw (read Aiken's full explanation here).

With Tommy John procedures being as common and effective as they are these days, Aiken should make a full recovery in 12 to 18 months. It might not even impact his Draft status by much.

Aiken's body of work and substantial upside could still be enough to persuade a team to take him with a first round pick. The Diamondbacks have the first overall selection. The Astros pick 5th and can not take Aiken again without his consent.

<![CDATA[Multi-Car Crash Injures 7 on I-15]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 12:53:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/i-15+multi+car+crash.JPG

Seven people, including three children, were injured in a multi-car crash on northbound Interstate 15 in Rancho Peñasquitos Friday night.

The collision started at 9:45 p.m. near State Route 56. Seven people were hurt in the crash, and one suffered major trauma, according to San Diego Fire officials. It's unclear how badly the three children involved were injured.

The California Highway Patrol said one lane was blocked, and the I-15 connector from SR-56 was closed down for a time.

<![CDATA[City Doesn't Have to Clean Odorous Rocks: Judge]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 22:05:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/la+jolla+cove+bird+poop+rocks.JPG

A judge will not force the city of San Diego to clean up sea lion and bird excrement that has fouled the rocks and caused a caustic smell at the La Jolla Cove.

A coalition of business owners and residents around the cove, who call themselves Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement (CONA), filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging that former interim Mayor Todd Gloria allowed the sea lion and bird poop to build up on the rocky shoreline and cliffs and thus has a responsibility to clean the area.

But Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor dismissed that lawsuit, finding that the city “does not have a duty to control the alleged nuisance caused by wild animals” and can’t be held responsible for any harm they do.

Norm Blumenthal, attorney for the cove business owners, strongly disagreed with Taylor’s decision and said his clients will appeal the ruling.

However, Blumenthal told NBC 7 his clients are also open to a compromise that will avoid more litigation.

“The compromise is scoop the poop,” Blumenthal said. “That’s what we told [the city]. Get a guy out with a shovel and scoop the poop. End the smell.”

At least one visitor at the cove agreed with that suggestion. Mission Hills resident Jackie McCannon said she doesn’t want the sea lions or birds forced from the area, but thinks a low-impact cleanup is a good idea.

“I have very little control in where my tax money goes,” McCannon said, “But if it was designated that some of my tax money went to clean up, and the seals were allowed to stay there, I’d be for it.”

The City Attorney’s office said the sea lion and bird odors are “part of the risk-benefit of being situated near a marine environment and the City could not be held liable for the actions of wild animals. Sea lions are proliferating throughout California, and that is neither the fault nor the responsibility of San Diego. The City can address the pooping habits of wild animals as a policy matter, but it cannot be compelled to do so by the courts.”

<![CDATA[San Diego Man Dies at Electronic Music Festival]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 21:48:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/beyond+wonderland+electronic+music+festival.JPG

A San Diego man died at an electronic music festival northwest of San Bernardino.

John Hoang Dinh Vo, 22, attended the "Beyond Wonderland" festival at the Glen Helen Amphitheater in Devore on March 20. 

At about 10:15 p.m., he suffered what appeared to be a seizure and went into cardiac arrest, according the San Bernardino County coroner's office.

Emergency crews took him to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead about an hour later.

Vo's autopsy has been performed, but the cause of death is still listed as pending.

Photo Credit: Insomniac]]>
<![CDATA[School Assistant Had "Mental Meltdown": Sister]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 20:57:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Linda+Lira+1.jpg

The woman suspected of barricading 14 students into a classroom and fighting staff was experiencing a mental breakdown, her sister told NBC 7 Friday.

Linda Lira, 31, was taken to the hospital Wednesday evening after some strange behavior at Lemon Grove Academy. The after-care assistant locked herself in a room with the students, ranging in age from nine to 11 years old.

When staff intervened, Lira fought them, undressed and dressed again, upended desks and threw things around the room, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

The suspect’s sister, Cathy Lira, said she had never seen that kind of behavior from Lira before, though she had been making some strange comments recently.

"She did start talking about like Lucifer. She had like three days like that, just mentioning that and some warriors were protecting her,” said Cathy, “but we were like, maybe she's just changing religion, that they're just putting this in her head?”

Deputies who responded to the school thought Lira was on drugs, so they told Cathy and her family to pick the woman up at the hospital and get her some help. They gave her a citation for being under the influence.

But the sister said doctors discovered Lira had no drugs in her system. “She was clean. She was just having a mental meltdown,” said Cathy.

Officials allowed the suspect to go home with her family to rest for the night. According to Cathy, Lira did not remember the incident the next morning.

She planned to return to the school to pick up her purse, which was left behind in the scuffle. But when Lira arrived on campus, deputies were waiting to take her into custody Thursday. The arrest came as a complete surprise to her family.

“They didn’t tell us nothing. They just told us to get help for her. That’s all they did,” said Cathy.

Lira is being held at Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility for 28 counts of felony child endangerment and false imprisonment. Her bail is $2.1 million.

Her sister is still trying to understand what happened and what caused her to break down. She fears Lira will not get the help she needs behind bars.

"I can say from everything, she's the best aunt to my daughter,” said Cathy through tears. “That was her baby too. That's why I know she would not have done that to those kids."

Lira has declined an interview request from NBC 7. She is scheduled to be arraigned on March 30.

At Lemon Grove Academy, administrators gathered parents of all the victims and told them what happened Wednesday. They also brought counselors to campus in case students needed to talk about the incident.

“Even as a parent, you’re still scared. You’re still concerned because they have these episodes and sometimes it could hurt children or staff or other people,” said Veronica Valle, whose child goes to the school.

Photo Credit: Family]]>
<![CDATA[200 People Involved in Navy Bribery Scandal: Feds]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 21:00:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP536829132571.jpg

The international bribery scandal that reached the upper echelons of the U.S. Navy now encompasses some 200 subjects, federal prosecutors said Friday.

The detail came out during a federal court hearing for Navy Cmdr. Michael Misiewicz. He is one of many military officials accused of taking bribes from the Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. and its CEO, Leonard Francis, also known as “Fat Leonard.” In exchange, prosecutors allege Misiewicz diverted U.S. Navy ships to profitable ports for GDMA.

On Friday, Misiewicz's defense attorney requested nearly every record and communication in relation to the Navy’s 7th Fleet over the last decade. Former federal prosecutor Laura Marran said the defense has a right to information from other cases that could be valuable.

“That information could exculpate his client, so what it sounds like to me is that case is going to take a very long to come to its conclusion,” she said.

However, the federal judge asked Misiewicz’s attorney to narrow the scope of his research because of the sheer number of documents involved.

Marran told NBC 7 the more information requested, the more expensive it becomes to hand over.

“Clearly, the government has to think twice if they’re going to have to turn over lots of confidential documents, and it’s going to cost a great deal of money for them to do so, to go through all the documents,” said Marran.

Prosecutors told the defense they would share more than 2,000 pages from the investigation — including hundreds of emails. They explained the far-reaching scandal involves about 200 people, some of whom are accused and others who are witnesses. 

The man at the center of the scandal, Francis, is one of seven who have pleaded guilty to their part in the bribery scheme, defrauding the U.S. of more than $20 million.

Misiewicz has pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery.

The time period in question started in 2011, when Misiewicz became the deputy operations officer of USS Blue Ridge. In that position, he had influence over operations for the 7th Fleet’s ships.

According to federal documents, Misiewicz used his influence to send Navy vessels to ports in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. There, the military would pay GDMA for services such as security, provisions, refueling and tugboats.

In early 2012, Misiewicz is accused of sending Francis a confidential list of ship schedules from a private Gmail account on three separate occasions. In exchange, Francis gave the military official prostitutes and luxury travel to places like Cambodia.

Misiewicz has denied his involvement in the widespread corruption.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rabid Bat Found at San Diego Zoo Safari Park]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:13:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/bat0327.jpg

A rabid bat was discovered at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and county health officials are looking for anyone who may have had contact with it.

The bat was first spotted at 11:20 a.m. Wednesday near a walkway across from the Red River Hogs in Nairobi Village at the park.

It was found dead five hours later on a public walkway outside the Hidden Jungle, between the Gorilla Forest and African Woods.

Staffers collected the bat, which was not a park animal, and gave it over to county health officials. A testing confirmed the animal had rabies.

Health officials have no information on anyone having contact with the bat, but want to ensure the animal didn’t expose anyone to rabies.

While rabies in humans is potentially fatal, anyone who did not have direct contact with the bat is not at risk for rabies, officials said.

Anyone at the park on Wednesday and directly handled the bat is asked to call San Diego Health and Human Services at 619-692-8499.

Photo Credit: San Diego Health and Human Services]]>
<![CDATA[Body of Missing Student Found at Lake Murray]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 21:03:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Lake+Murray+sonar+pic-PIC_0.jpg

The body of a San Diego State student was found Friday afternoon in Lake Murray, a day after the student disappeared there.

The body was found in 60-foot deep water with one-foot visibility, officials said.

For the first time, search teams were using unmanned controlled sonar devices as they looked for the student who disappeared at Lake Murray in La Mesa on Thursday morning.

The search began after park rangers found a backpack and a cellphone next to the lake shore, officials said.

Search-and-rescue teams used underwater high-tech devices, called Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, owned by local company Orca Maritime. They sent back sonar images of what is under the water.

One of those vehicles found the student's body, so crews sent in a bomb squad's robotic device to attach a line to it. That line guided divers to the student.

The sonar units send back images of unusual shadows that could detect evidence of the missing student.

Rescue teams from at least six different county agencies helped with the search since Thursday morning.

Police told NBC 7 the body does not appear to be a part of a crime scene.

<![CDATA[Students Suffer Minor Injuries in Fireworks Explosion]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 21:20:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Ethan+Chase+Middle+School.jpeg

Five people were hospitalized after a student lit fireworks in a trash can Friday at a Riverside County middle school.

Thirteen other people suffered minor injuries in the explosion at Ethan Chase Middle School in Menifee, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

"There was just such a huge explosion and everyone was, like, freaking out," said student Victoria Morales.

Morales said the blast happened while students were eating lunch in the quad area.

"It was, like, green," she said. "Like, there was smoke."

Startled by the loud boom, some students started running to try and get to safety.

"The first thing we thought it was a gunshot and we were very scared so we ran to the blacktop and just standing there waiting for teachers," said student Joshua Zabala.

Students who were close to the explosion complained about their hearing.

"They were complaining about ringing in their ears, some of them had severe headaches," said student David Gonzalez.

Within seconds of the blast, teachers got all students to safe locations and went into lockdown mood. The sheriff's hazardous device team arrived and made sure there was no other danger, since it wasn't immediately known that it was a firework.

"We have one student identified as detonating the firework," said Trevor Painton, assistant superintendent for the school district.

School administrators say the boy also had other fireworks that had not been detonated. They were confiscated and now that student is in serious trouble.

Photo Credit: marshmallow54_ on Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[DUI Suspect Passes Out at Wheel on Freeway]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:56:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DUI-CHP-Window-Smash.jpg

A suspected drunk driver passed out behind the wheel of her car in the middle of a San Diego freeway Friday morning prompting an officer to smash in her window to stop the car from moving into traffic.

The incident happened around 1 a.m. on northbound Interstate 805 at Clairemont Mesa Boulevard.

California Highway Patrol officials said the driver, identified as Amber McKinney Morgan, 25, had stopped her black Chrysler Sebring in the middle of one of the freeway lanes and left the engine running.

When CHP officers arrived on scene, McKinney Morgan was unresponsive.

CHP Officer Albert Udan said he and his partner approached McKinney Morgan, but didn’t have much luck communicating with her. The doors were locked and her windows were rolled up, officials said.
“The driver appeared unconscious,” Udan explained.

After several attempts to wake her up, Udan said the suspect’s car began rolling forward.
In an effort to stop the vehicle from rolling into traffic, Udan’s partner smashed the passenger’s side window.

“As a last resort, the officer had to break the glass in order to open the car and eventually gain control of the vehicle to get it to stop,” Udan explained, adding that, at that point, the car was an “extreme danger” to traffic.

McKinney Morgan eventually came to and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, Udan said.

Footage of the incident showed a large bottle of liquor and a soda bottle on the floor of the passenger’s side of the suspect’s car.

McKinney Morgan was booked into Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility on a DUI charge.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Interlock Device for First-Time DUI Offenders?]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:07:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DUI-Interlock-Device-KNSD.jpg

Those arrested for driving under the influence in California, even as a first-time offender, could be forced to install an “ignition interlock device” in their car under a new bill.

The devices, installed on vehicle dashboards, act like breathalyzers, allowing the car to start only after the mechanism receives a clean test. Senate Bill 61, approved by the Senate's public safety committee this week, now heads to the appropriations committee.

Proponents say the bill needs to become law because repeat DUI offenders account for one out of every three convictions.

“Families are devastated by this, and still we allow it. I don’t want to say we condone it, but the penalty is just not severe enough” said Jerry Hill, a state senator representing Calfornia’s 13th District who introduced the bill.

Roughly 15,000 people are arrested for DUI in San Diego County every year, but opponents don’t believe the bill will make a difference.

“SB 61 is a horrible idea that clearly is only designed to benefit the manufacturers and installers of ignition interlock devices, not traffic safety,” said DUI attorney Philip Gagnon.

Gagnon points to a DMV study this year analyzing the data from four counties, including Los Angeles, where pilot programs are underway as opponents say are proof SB 61 won’t work.

The study showed no evidence of general deterrence. Proponents say other studies have shown more positive effects, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control finding that the locks cut drunk driving recidivism offenses by 67 percent.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Deputy Involved in Shooting in Encinitas]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 11:38:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Encinitas-OIS-2.JPG A deputy was involved in a shooting in an Encinitas neighborhood on March 27, 2014. These are photos from the scene.

Photo Credit: Megan Tevrizian]]>
<![CDATA[Autistic Boy Forced to Remove His Letter Jacket]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:40:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/LetterJacket.jpg A mother is outraged after her son's school forces him to remove a varsity letter jacket because special-needs athletes aren't allowed to wear the letters.]]> <![CDATA[Deputy Shoots Man With Shotgun in Encinitas]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 21:16:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Encinitas-OIS-2.JPG

A deputy was involved in a shooting in an Encinitas neighborhood Friday morning, San Diego County Sheriff's officials confirmed.

Just after 9:45 a.m., someone made an incomplete call to 911 from a home in the 2000 block of Shady Tree Lane. As deputies drove to the scene, dispatchers told them the person living there had a history of weapons, and another incident was reported there earlier this week.

A witness told officials his neighbor, a 56-year-old man, was in a small grassy area nearby, armed with a shotgun.

When they found him, the man was sitting in the grass with the gun pointed at himself. He told deputies to shoot him and began to turn the weapon in their direction.

Officials say a deputy, fearing for his safety, shot several round from his department-issued AR-15 rifle. The man was hit, though it's unclear how many times.

Falling to the ground, the man started to point his shotgun at them again, so the deputy fired more rounds.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. No law enforcement were injured, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Caldwell. The deputy involved has been with the sheriff's department for less than five years.

Officials shut down two streets near the scene, plus the parking lot of a nearby park. There were at least 10 deputies at the scene by 10:45 a.m. The area is residential with many homes lining the streets.

Aerial footage showed the shotgun, lying in a grassy area near homes.

A neighbor told NBC 7 the suspect had been experiencing marital troubles and deputies had been called out his house before this incident, including a time when the man was throwing things out of the window.

The neighbor said the suspect's wife ran out of their home this morning saying her husband had a shotgun and was going to harm himself.

Photo Credit: Megan Tevrizian]]>
<![CDATA[Barbie Costume-Clad Bathroom Assailant Sentenced]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:43:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Gregory-Phillip-Schwartz-Sentencing.jpg

A San Diego man accused of attacking a woman in the bathroom of a Big Lots store while wearing a pink Barbie tutu costume was sentenced for the crime Friday.

Gregory Phillip Schwartz, 41, was found guilty in January of felony false imprisonment, misdemeanor assault and shoplifting in connection with the February 2014 assault in the women’s restroom of a Big Lots at Clairemont Town Square.

He was sentenced to two years behind bars, plus one year of post-release supervision.

The victim said Schwartz peeped over the stall divider in the bathroom before climbing underneath, grabbing her and attempting to sexually assault her. He was wearing the pink Barbie dress during the attack, which police said he had shoplifted.

The victim fought back and escaped from the bathroom. Schwartz ran out of the store but surveillance footage helped police identify him as the suspect. He was arrested two days later near Clairemont Mesa Blvd. where he was living out of his car, investigators said.

Both investigators and Schwartz’s defense team said he was high on methamphetamine and drunk at the time of the bizarre assault. During his trial, Schwartz’s lawyers argued that he becomes more sexual and is aroused by cross-dressing while under the influence of drugs.

Schwartz has admitted to being high on meth and drunk during the bathroom incident, but claims he remembers very little from that day and he did not assault the victim.

A jury found him not guilty on rape and felony assault charges but guilty on the counts of false imprisonment, shoplifting and misdemeanor assault, for which he was sentenced Friday.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Donut-Ice Cream Hybrid Eatery Opening in Ramona]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 08:14:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Dunkin-Donuts-Baskin-Robbins-Hybrid.jpg

Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. has an April 7 opening planned for its new restaurant in Ramona, which officials said will be California’s first drive-through location selling Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins ice cream.

The combination restaurant at 1410 Main St. will be operated by regional franchisee SAWS LLC, led by Mike Stout. The franchisee plans to develop several additional stand-alone Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in San Diego County.

The Ramona restaurant will sell coffee and other baked goods, in addition to donuts and ice cream.

Dunkin’ Donuts was started in 1950 and currently has more than 11,300 restaurants in 36 countries, including locations in downtown San Diego and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton near Oceanside.
Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins are both owned by Dunkin’ Brands Group (Nasdaq: DNKN), headquartered in Canton, Mass.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Driver, 33, Killed in Rollover Crash]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 07:10:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Esco-Fatal-Crash-0327.jpg

A 33-year-old man died Thursday night from critical injuries suffered in a rollover crash in Escondido, police confirmed.

The deadly accident happened around 10:10 p.m. at Via Rancho Parkway and Camino Del Postigo. The driver – identified by the Escondido Police Department as Eric Robert Anderson – lost control of his Nissan 350Z and plowed into a retaining wall, causing his car to skid sideways and then flip onto its roof. In the process, the car also took out a small traffic light.

Investigators said speeding likely contributed to the crash.

Anderson sustained serious head injuries and was taken to Palomar Hospital. He died shortly thereafter.

There were no passengers in Anderson’s car and no additional vehicles were involved in the crash. Investigators do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor.

The crash remains under investigation. Any witnesses should contact police at (760) 743-TIPS.


Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Man Crashes Into Woman After Grocery Store Confrontation]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 09:10:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic1.jpg

A grocery store confrontation Thursday evening ended when a man hit a woman with his car in the parking lot and took off, San Diego Police said.

The victim was at a store near College and University avenues at about 4 p.m. Thursday.

She told NBC 7 she and a friend were shopping and accidentally left a cell phone behind inside a grocery store hand-basket. A man picked up the basket and allegedly tried to keep the cell phone, she said.

The victim and her friend confronted the man in the store, got the phone back and left.

As the women got into their car, they noticed the man in the parking lot. He happened to be parked right next to the women and they got into a verbal confrontation once again.

The victim said that's when the man started hitting her with his fists. In an effort to flee the parking lot, he then got into his car and struck her.

Police said the woman was forced up onto the hood of the car upon impact. The suspect drove away and has not yet been arrested.

Police are investigating the incident as a hit-and-run.

The victim told NBC 7 she suffered contusions to her head as well as leg injuries, but will recover. She said the suspect was driving a green car and had tattoos on his chest.

The San Diego Police Department has not yet released a full description of the suspect or his vehicle.