<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego News]]> Copyright 2014 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 Sat, 25 Oct 2014 05:40:41 -0700 Sat, 25 Oct 2014 05:40:41 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Prop. 46 Would Require Drug, Alcohol Testing for Docs]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:58:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/481663349.jpg California Prop. 46 would subject doctors to drug and alcohol testing and would require them to consult a state drug database before writing a prescription for new patients. NBC 7's Gene Cubbison has a look at both sides of the issue.

Photo Credit: UIG via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Caressed, Licked Women's Feet on Campuses: PD]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:25:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Emeka+Charles+Ofoedu.JPG

Cal State San Marcos is warning its students to be on the lookout for a man accused of making sexual advances to female students, including caressing their feet or putting their toes in his mouth, a school crime alert says.

CSUSM police say Emeka Charles Ofoedu has been inappropriately touching students on their campus and at Palomar Community College, although he is not a student at either school.

Victims tell investigators his focus is to caress, massage or place a victim’s foot or toes in his mouth without the women’s permission.

NBC 7 contacted the suspect at his home Friday, and he flatly denies the allegations.

“It didn’t happen,” Ofoedu said. “I personally don’t remember being on campus at Cal State San Marcos because I don’t actually go there.”

He said if he had been to the campus, it’s not to do what they are claiming.

Ofoedu was arrested on suspicion of battery, but according to the crime alert, he has indicated that he will return to the CSUSM campus.

For that reason, police released a picture and description of Ofoedu: a 19-year-old man, 5-feet-10-inches and 180 pounds, who wears glasses.

But Ofoedu told NBC 7 he is not coming back to campus because “if they don’t want me there, I’m not going to be there.”

CSUSM sent the following statement to NBC 7 about the issue: 

"We learned that there had been a number of incident reports that had been filed at Palomar. Those reports combined with the incidents at our campus were packaged together to share with the DA. We believe, based on the information and history that we have, that there is an ongoing threat to our campus community, which is why we issued the timely warning. Since issuing the warning there have been additional victims that have come forward."

It is unclear how many incidents Ofoedu has been tied to.

Police say if you see him on campus or have been a victim yourself, call university police at 760-750-4567 or the campus’ SAFE hotline at 760-750-SAFE.

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<![CDATA[Man Defrauded Celebrities: Prosecutors]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:27:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Keith+Middlebrook+1.jpg

A Murrieta man has been charged with defrauding clients, including celebrities and athletes, of more than $1 million.

Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, 46, made his first appearance in U.S. District Court in San Diego on Thursday on 15 counts of aggravated identity theft, bankruptcy fraud, 15 counts of mail fraud and four counts of using fraudulent government seals.

Prosecutors said Middlebrook sought out clients, including professional athletes and celebrities, with promises of improving their credit scores by working with credit reporting agencies.

While the names of the celebrities victimized weren't released, Middlebrook's Facebook page shows him with myriad well-known stars, such as Kim Kardashian, Snooki, Chris Rock, Seal and Magic Johnson, to name a few.

Middlebrook's IMDB page says he's a single father who lives in Murrieta and has had a number of uncredited roles in TV shows and films. He was apparently a studio executive for "Entourage," according to the IMDB page.

His page also claims he's worked in the past with Lindsay Lohan.

Prosecutors said that while knowing he couldn’t improve their credit scores, Middlebrook still charged his clients thousands, and in some cases tens of thousands of dollars, before completing any work.

He submitted fraudulent documents from agencies, such as U.S. Bankruptcy Court, to support challenges to his clients’ debts, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

As part of the scheme, Middlebrook created and directed others to create documents claiming to be from businesses, financial institutions, government agencies and creditors, according to the indictment.

The documents included letterhead, government seals and signatures of officials which were not authorized by creditors.

Middlebrook was ordered to be held in custody on $175,000 bail.

His next court hearing is Oct. 29.

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<![CDATA[Police Need Help Identifying Dead Man]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:11:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/john+doe+102414.JPG

An identity mystery surrounds a man found dead in Pacific Beach, and now San Diego Police are reaching out for the public's help identifying this John Doe.

On July 31, an unknown man was found lying face down in the sand at 4800 Ocean Boulevard at 4:45 a.m.

Officers found the man dead, but he did not have any identification on him.

Police released a composite sketch of the man in hopes that someone will recognize him. They included drawings of his tattoos, which you can see above.

If you know who this man is, call the SDPD missing persons unit at 619-531-2277 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.



Photo Credit: SDPD]]>
<![CDATA[Skydiver Seriously Injured in Oceanside Crash]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:23:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/oceanside+fire+department+generic.JPG

A skydiver was seriously injured when he crash landed near the Oceanside Airport Friday afternoon.

Several people called 911 at noon to report the skydiver's hard fall while landing in a field by the airport. It's unclear at this point what caused the man to crash.

Workers with the company Tsunami Skydivers rushed over and called in a medical helicopter to help, according to Battalion Chief Pete Lawrence with the Oceanside Fire Department.

Emergency crews stabilized the man in his 30s before flying him to a nearby hospital for serious injuries.



Photo Credit: Oceanside Fire Dept. ]]>
<![CDATA[La Mesa Man Dies From West Nile Virus]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:02:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/shore-mosquito-062013.jpg

A 78-year-old La Mesa man has died from West Nile virus, the first death from the illness San Diego County has seen since 2007.

On Oct.6, the man checked into the hospital for symptoms of encephalitis, a brain inflammation that can be cause by a viral or bacterial infection, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).

The man died four days later, and a California Department of Public Health (CDPH) confirmed Friday he had West Nile virus.

The victim is counted as the seventh confirmed case in the county this year, while three more patients with suspected West Nile infections are being investigation.

Of those three, one was a recent blood donor who showed no symptoms, and the other two have recovered from mild sicknesses.

Mosquitoes are the little culprits that carry the potentially deadly virus, so the county’s Department of Environmental Health Vector Control inspected the areas were the most recent human cases were reported to check for potential mosquito breeding. County workers have also set up traps around their homes and notified neighbors.

This year has seen an uptick in West Nile cases, for only two human instances were reported in San Diego from 2009 to 2013. However, 2014 has not reached the levels of 2008, when 36 cases were reported.

The HHSA says 80 percent of people who become infected will show no symptoms, but the risk of complications rises for those over 50 years old and people with weakened immune systems.

Those who do have symptoms have headaches, fevers, nausea, fatigue, skin rashes and swollen glands.

California has seen its highest numbers of West Nile in a decade. According to the CDPH, the state has had 608 human cases this year and 20 deaths – the highest number since 2005’s 880 cases.

For more on how to prevent mosquitoes from congregating in your neighborhood, visit the county’s website.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wife in Child Porn Case Pleads Not Guilty]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:47:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Jennifer+Gastelum+1024-PIC_0.jpg

One of two defendants in a child pornography case made her first appearance in court on Friday on a number of felony charges.

Jennifer Gastelum pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony child abuse, possession of child pornography and a charge of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. Bail was set at $500,000.

The charges relate to a child pornography case against Gastelum and her estranged husband, Jonathan Gastelum.

Jonathan Gastelum is accused of sharing child porn images with two different law enforcement officers during online chat room visits.

The images allegedly depicted two girls, ages 4 and 6, FBI agents said.

The Gastelums were arrested on Tuesday after agents executed a search warrant at a granny flat behind Jonathan Gastelum’s home on Skyline Drive.

Prosecutors said the victims are family members of the Gastelums.

A full protective order was imposed barring Jennifer Gastelum from any contact with the girls.

Jonathan Gastelum, who is currently in federal custody, is expected to appear in state court next week.

If convicted on all charges, Jennifer Gastelum could face more than 11 years in prison.

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<![CDATA[Tweets Cause Spirit Color Controversy at Scripps Ranch HS Game]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:45:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/scripps+ranch+hs+neon+cage.JPG How much trouble can 140 characters cause? A lot, one local high school is learning. NBC 7's Rory Devine reports on the controversy on Oct. 24, 2014. ]]> <![CDATA[Inside Look at Military's Humanitarian Aid Exercises]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:35:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bridget6p1024_1200x675_347642947868.jpg The Navy and Marine Corps tested a sea base to be used when a country is rocked by a natural disaster and need supplies. NBC 7's Military Reporter Bridget Naso reports on Oct. 24, 2014. ]]> <![CDATA[Lt. Governor Rejects Challenger's Debate Offers]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:29:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/newsom+vs+nehring.jpg San Diegan Ron Nehring, the Republican candidate for the state's lieutenant governor, is hoping to bridge the voter gap between him and incumbent Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom by challenging him to a debate. But as NBC 7's Gene Cubbison reports on Oct. 24, 2014, Newsom has rejected all challenges, even though the incumbent he beat in 2010 agreed to three debates. ]]> <![CDATA[Halloween Haunts for Fearless, Family and Fun]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:05:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SOUNDDIEGO+LIVE.jpg

The haunts are coming to San Diego in no time. Are you ready?

Well, we’re here to help you bust those ghosts, or just join them for a frighteningly good time.

FOR THE LITTLE MONSTERS

The Boulevard BOO! Parade:

Zombies, witches, goblins and werewolves will be on parade in the College Area for this free, family event – the only Halloween parade in San Diego. Starting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 25, the spooky floats will travel along El Cajon Boulevard from 59th Street east to Aragon Drive. Organizers encourage you to stick around for the AfterBoo awards ceremony from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the College Avenue Baptist Church, featuring live music, carnival rides, games, drinks and food trucks.

Boomont Park Fall Festival and Haunt:

Why have only one day of Halloween when you can have an entire month! That’s the idea behind Belmont Park’s Fall Festival and Haunt. Each weekend in October (ending Nov. 1) is filled with creepy delights at the Mission Beach park, including zombie laser tag, a super zip line and rock wall, pumpkin patch and painting and the Boomont Manor Haunted House. Kiddos can bring out their jack-o-lantern buckets for free trick-or-treating Fridays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sunday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dress up in your finest costumes for contests every Saturday at 5 p.m. Entry to the festival is $6.

Balboa Park Halloween Family Day

See the spine-tingling side of Balboa Park on Oct. 26 for its Halloween Family Day. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., parents and kids can craft creepy projects, walk through scary gallery tours and hear some spooky stories at over two dozen museums and attractions. Some highlights: the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s rooftop pumpkin drop, a doggie costume contest at the Spanish Villages and mini-carnival games. Kids ages 12 and under get in free with a paid adult.


 

NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART

The Haunted Hotel:

For those with a stronger stomach, San Diego has a terrifying array of haunted houses, starting with its longest running: the Haunted Hotel. The scariest hotel takes a page out of the Hollywood horror playbook as visitors trek through rooms inspired by Freddy Krueger, “Shutter Island” and “Legion.” Admission is $17 to $28, and terrified patrons will run through the house from 7 to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The poltergeists leave the hotel, located at 424 Market Street, on Nov. 1. It is not recommended for kids 10 and under.

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park:

A mile of twisted, scary sights welcomes visitors at the not-so-family-friendly Haunted Trail. Starting at 6th Ave. and Juniper St., the long road ahead is filled with outdoor, anxiety-inducing terrors, and an additional maze, dubbed “the eXperiment,” has lost souls that stalk you as you try to escape. Admission is $19 to $35, and the freak-fest is open Sundays through Thursdays 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Again, maybe not the best option for kids under 10. Balboa Park returns to its normal self on Nov. 1.

Scream Zone at Del Mar Fairgrounds:

Boasting the largest haunted attraction in the county, the Scream Zone will live up to its name. The Del Mar Fairgrounds’ normally beatific beach views turn nightmarish with a dreaded House of Horror, The Chamber, the Haunted Hayride and Zombie Paintball. Keep an eye out for Pennywise the clown and the Exorcist, avoid getting locked up in the Walking Dead Prison and stop for a drink at the Dusk Till Dawn Bar. Until Nov. 2, the frights terrify from 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and run from 7 to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays. Prices for each attraction range from $18 to $32.

Monster Manor:

In the middle of Mira Mesa lurks the Ghastley Manor, patrolled by an Undead army that waits for the souls who dare to enter. It may not seem very sinister, but these volunteer ghouls scare up funds for a good cause. The $13 admission ticket benefits nonprofits throughout the county. The Monster Manor runs through Oct. on Fridays and Saturdays from 7:30 to 11 p.m.

 

LESS SCREAMING, MORE DRINKING

SoundDiego Live Halloween Bash:

For more fun and less fear, turn to a number of Halloween parties throughout the county. First up, NBC 7’s music blog SoundDiego has a frightening amount of good music on All Hallow’s Eve at the Office in North Park. Taking the stage are Halloween-ish bands Death Feather Moon, Ed Ghost Tucker and Zombie Surf Camp. The free monsters’ ball will include a free VIP happy hour from 8 to 9 p.m. for those who get on the guest list (Sign up here).

San Diego Monster Bash:

The adult goblins, fairies, vampires and everything in between shut down streets along the Gaslamp Quarter and East Village on Oct. 31. The huge block party of depravity lures guests in with siren’s songs on five stages and keeps them there with booze, dancing and the Dos Equis Masquerade. And you better dress to your wickedest nines because the Monster Bash’s costume contest winner gets a $5,000 prize. The event stretches across eight blocks downtown and runs from 6 to 11:30 p.m. Admission ranges from $35 to $75, depending if you book your ticket in advance or go VIP.

San Diego Zombie Crawl:

The Undead come alive for one night and 20 epic parties downtown on Halloween night. With a $75 ticket, the ghostly good time will prowl through clubs and bars like Werewolf, Vin de Syrah, Side Bar, Coyote Ugly Saloon and many more, including an opening party at the new A.D. Nightclub. The crawl includes 13 welcome shots, so plan a ride from a taxi, rideshare or designated driver. The haunts rise at 6 p.m. and go back to the grave at 11:45 p.m.

Nightmare on Normal Street:

Things get freaky in Hillcrest on Oct. 25 when all the ghouls and goblins come out to dance! From 6 to 11 p.m., DJs add the beat to fright zones, costume competitions ($1,000 for first place), food trucks and a Thriller flash mob at 8 p.m. Lurking on Normal Street at University Avenue, the dance party features an over 21 area and an all ages section with a soda bar. General admission is $10, and a VIP ticket will run you $50. Proceeds go to the San Diego LGBT Center and Hillcrest Business Association.

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<![CDATA[Motorcyclists Taunt CHP Officer in Viral Video]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:43:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/4PF_PKG_CHP_MOTOR_OFFIC_KNSD52X7_1200x675_347571779543.jpg A group of motorcyclists are seen in a viral YouTube video taunting a CHP officer by doing tricks. NBC 7's Lauren Lee reports on Oct. 24, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Another Man Accused in Imperial Beach Shooting Death]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:19:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/san+diego+county+Sheriff+generic+logo.jpg

San Diego County Sheriff’s detectives have implicated another suspect in the death of a man shot several times in Imperial Beach.

Salvador Cuellar, 27, faces one count of murder in the case of Hector Arce, whose body was discovered lying in an alley off Imperial Beach Boulevard on Jan. 28, 2012.

A two-year investigation led detectives to arrest three people – Shelly Villalobos, Reyes Cruz and Adrian Lopez – in early September.

More than a month later, they had enough evidence to file charges against Cuellar with the District Attorney’s office.

Cuellar was already in custody at the George Bailey Detention Facility on an unrelated case.



Photo Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.]]>
<![CDATA[Car Lands on Rooftop in San Clemente Chase]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:16:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/10-24-14-Carjacker-Runs-I-5.jpg

A car involved in a pursuit near a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint ended up on top of a house, agents said Friday.

The chase began near the San Clemente checkpoint around 1 p.m. Wednesday when a man driving a Lexus was referred to the secondary inspection area.

Instead, the driver accelerated and headed north on Interstate 5, agents said.

At one point, the driver left the highway and drove into a San Clemente neighborhood. When he ended up in a cul-de-sac, the driver jumped out of the car and took off on foot, agents said.

At the same time, the Lexus rolled 50 yards down a hill and landed on the roof of a home.

The driver, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested and turned over to the San Diego Police Department to face charges of carjacking and evading a police officer, agents said.
 



Photo Credit: U.S. Border Patrol]]>
<![CDATA[2 Arrested in El Cajon Fatal Shooting]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:54:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ElCajonhomicide.JPG

Two suspects have been arrested in connection to the robbery and killing of a 38-year-old El Cajon man last month.

John Francis was found dead from a gunshot wound Sept. 18 in an apartment complex at 1499 Broadway in El Cajon.

Police believe he was a victim of a robbery and targeted for his marijuana supply, according to a news release from the El Cajon Police Department.

Investigators served a search warrant on Thursday, one in Chula Vista and the other in San Diego. The search warrants led to the arrest of 24-year-old Paul Julian Sosa III of San Diego and 24-year-old Homero Viscarroa Palomino of Chula Vista.

The suspects were booked in San Diego County Jail on suspicion of murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and anyone who may have information should call the El Cajon Police Department at 619-579-3311 or you can leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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<![CDATA[SDPD: Chase Suspect Gets Hit, Keeps Running]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:58:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Pursuit-163-1024.jpg

The suspect leading San Diego police crashed his vehicle into several cars and was even struck by a car himself at one point Friday morning.

The man was taken into custody at approximately 11 a.m. near State Route 163 at 6th Avenue and Washington.

The driver was believed to be a parolee at large, officials said.

Pedestrians in the area where the pursuit ended helped San Diego Police get the suspect on the ground so they could make the arrest.

Officers say several cars were involved in run-ins with the suspect vehicle during the pursuit. At one point a vehicle uninvolved in the chase struck the suspect. The man got back up on his feet and continued to run from officers, officials said.

Officials have not identified the suspect.

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<![CDATA[New Meningococcal Patient Has Same Strain as SDSU Student]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:33:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/palomar-college-1023.jpg

A second college student in two weeks has been infected by the rare Type B meningococcal bacteria, San Diego County health officials confirmed Friday.

The Palomar College student was hospitalized and undergoing treatment for the same serotype that led to the death of SDSU freshman Sara Stelzer last week.

The school says the unnamed student has not been to class for the past several weeks, and even though they feel confident their students and staff are safe, they sent out precautionary emails to notify everyone.

County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials say they cannot establish a connection between the current patient and Stelzer or the SDSU campus.

Because no link between the two cases has been established, health officials say they are unable to request a special Type B vaccine not currently licensed in the U.S.

The vaccine has been used in previous outbreaks at Princeton and UC Santa Barbara. Those cases met the criteria for special FDA guidelines that allow the use unapproved treatments in life-threatening situations.

Meningococcal disease is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children two through 18 years old in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It's easily transmitted by people living in close quarters. Common ways of spreading include coughing, sneezing, sharing utensils, water bottles or drinks. It can also be spread by sharing cigarettes or pipes and through intimate contact like kissing.

Read what you need to know about meningococcal disease from the CDC here.

It's a serious disease that can be fatal. If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of meningococcal bacteria infection, it's important to see a physician.

The most common symptoms are a stiff neck, high fever, sensitivity to light, confusion, headaches and vomiting, according to the World Health Organization.



Photo Credit: Artie Ojeda NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Victim's Dad: "A Trial Would've Been More Difficult"]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:50:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/claire-hough-murder-1984_5.jpg

The man whose teenaged daughter was found dead on a La Jolla beach 30 years ago said he’s not angry that her accused killers were never arrested.

San Diego Police have identified Ronald Clyde Tatro and Kevin Charles Brown as the suspects in the murder of 14-year-old Claire Hough in August 1984.

Neither man was charged with the crime. Tatro died in a boating accident in 2011 and Brown died of an apparent suicide earlier this week.

“In some ways a trial would have been more difficult than they’re just being gone,” Samuel Hough said.

Hough, who lives in Rhode Island, said his daughter, Claire, was visiting her grandmother who lived near Torrey Pines State Beach where she was found.

On Thursday, Hough received a call from San Diego Police investigators with the news that DNA evidence from the scene had linked Tatro and Brown to the crime.

"I'm glad it's been settled,” he said. “The thing I was concerned about was whether someone was loose and would strike again.”

Hough told NBC 7 that for various reasons the family suspected the man who found Claire's body on the beach. So the names Tatro and Brown surprised him.

He also doubts that Claire knew the two men.

He believes Ronald Tatro certainly sounds like he was capable of the crime but he questioned whether Brown was involved. A feeling Brown’s widow also shares and told NBC 7 on Thursday.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter who committed the crime, Hough said. What matters is Claire and who she was as a person.

“While it’s in a sense a closure, in a sense it doesn’t make that much difference,” he added. “She’s dead. What she represented is still alive and that’s what’s important for us.”

He’s gotten emails and calls from people who knew Claire before her death, something he said proves the spirit and loving that she had didn’t die with her.

After Claire’s death, he said they found her diary with a will written inside.

“In some ways it’s very much a 14-year-old and in some ways, it’s someone who is very emotionally and spiritually advanced,” he said.

He said the teenager wished her brother and her close friends well.

Tatro died in a boating accident in 2011. Brown died of an apparent suicide on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at Cuyamaca State Park.

The retired SDPD criminalist had been under investigation for more than a year according to his widow.

Investigators say they were preparing to make an arrest in the case when they learned of Brown’s death.
 

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<![CDATA[6 Rescued from Imperial Beach House Fire]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:57:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/IB-Fire-1024.jpg A house fire in Imperial Beach sent one person to the hospital, and left 5 others without a home. San Diego Fire-Rescue crews were called to the house on Elm Avenue just before midnight Thursday. Five adults and one baby were inside. One person was treated for smoke inhalation. This is video shot of the scene that aired on NBC 7 News Today on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Jahleel Addae Hit Concerns Fans]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:40:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Addae-stinger-chargers.jpg

The health of Chargers safety Jahleel Addae was a concern after Thursday night’s game against the Denver Broncos.

On the first play of the game, Addae made a hit on Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and fell to the turf. It looked serious.

Addae was checked out on the sideline and diagnosed with a stinger, Chargers officials said.

The team did not pull Addae so he kept playing.

In the third quarter, another hit really got a lot of fans concerned.

Addae jumped in to a pile and when he surfaces, he clearly appears to stagger and shake.

Again, Addae says it was a stinger. Hopefully it was.

Once again, he was allowed back in the game.

Chargers fans still have Kris Dielman fresh in the memory, so seeing something like this is scary.

A nine-year NFL veteran, Dielman suffered a concussion in a loss to the New York Jets in 2011, returned to the game, then had a seizure on the flight back to San Diego.

A stinger is described by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons as "an injury to the nerve supply of the upper arm, either at the neck or shoulder."

The temporary sensation can feel like an electric shock but usually disappears quickly, according to the website.


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Update on Chula Vista Bayfront Hotel Project]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:20:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chula+vista+bayfront.JPG

The board of Port Commissioners announced the selection of RIDA Development Corp. to enter negotiations to develop a destination resort and convention center on the Chula Vista Bayfront.

RIDA, with U.S. headquarters in Houston, was the successful respondent to the San Diego Unified Port District’s request for qualifications issued in June 2014 to build a planned hotel and convention center.

Port staff and RIDA will put together an exclusive negotiating agreement and return to the board for approval in 60 to 90 days, the Port said.

The resort hotel is expected to feature 1,400 to 1,600 hotel rooms and approximately 400,000 square feet of convention space. The world-class convention-oriented resort hotel fronting San Diego Bay will be the centerpiece of the Chula Vista development, according to the Port.

“With the recent board action, the Chula Vista Bayfront is one step closer to reality,” said Port Commissioner Ann Moore. “With the company’s strong reputation and proven experience, we are delighted to begin negotiations with RIDA Development Corp.”

According to the Port, the Chula Vista Bayfront is one of the last great waterfront development opportunities in the state. It will transform 535 acres on San Diego Bay into a world-class destination. When built out, it is expected to have more than 200 acres of parks and other public space along with the hotel.

City and port officials have projected that at full build-out, private developers will have invested $1.5 billion to $2 billion in waterfront projects. Developments are expected to generate about 7,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs, and generate $1.3 billion in new tax revenue over 20 years.

Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment walked away in 2008 from plans to build a $1 billion hotel and convention center on the Chula Vista waterfront.

At the time it dropped the project, Gaylord cited issues including prolonged planning and approval processes, legal and regulatory complications, infrastructure costs and the general state of the national economy.

Local officials said hurdles have since been cleared, including the crucial 2012 approval of long-term waterfront plans by the California Coastal Commission.

The Business Journal is the premier business publication in San Diego. Every day online and each Monday in print, the Business Journal reports on how local business operate and why businesses leaders make the decisions they do. Every story is a dose of insight into how to run a better, more efficient, more profitable business.

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<![CDATA[Scenes from Chargers Loss to Broncos on Thursday]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:00:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/457744516.jpg The Chargers lost to the Denver Broncos on Thursday night, 35-21. Here are pictures from the game

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Victim in Taco Shop Shooting Fights for His Life:PD]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:35:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Taco-shop-shooting-national.jpg

A man shot multiple times in a National City taco shop parking lot was fighting for his life Friday, officials said.

Several people called National City Police Officers around 11:30 p.m. Thursday reporting gunshots at Tacos El Gordo on Highland Avenue near E. 18th Street.

Arriving officers found a man lying on the ground in an adjacent parking lot with a gunshot to his neck and abdomen.

The unidentified victim was taken to UCSD Medical Center where he was in critical condition Friday morning.

Investigators are looking for a suspect in the shooting. One car that was left in the parking lot was towed as evidence.
 

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<![CDATA[Suspect's Widow: SDPD "Pushed Him Over the Edge"]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:25:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/rebecca-brown-1023.jpg

The widow of a suspect in a decades-old homicide defended her husband saying the man she knew did not commit the crime.

Rebecca Brown’s husband, Kevin Charles Brown, was identified Thursday as one of two men involved in the brutal killing of a San Diego teenager.

The body of Claire Hough, 14, was found on the sand of Torrey Pines Beach in the summer of 1984. She had been beaten, strangled and stabbed. One of her breasts had been severed.

San Diego Police say DNA from the scene matched that of Brown and Ronald Clyde Tatro, who died in a boating accident in 2011.

Brown, a former employee of the San Diego Police Department was not arrested and charged with the crime.

They say as they were preparing an arrest warrant, Brown was found dead from an apparent suicide. His body was found Tuesday, Oct. 21 in Cuyamaca State Park on Highway 79.

“They just pushed him because he was a quiet gentle nervous person. They just pushed him over the edge,” Rebecca Brown said.

In an interview with NBC 7, Rebecca defended her husband, the man she has known for decades.


“I'm sorry that crime happened 30 years ago. That poor girl . It was horrible. But it had nothing to do with my husband,” Rebecca said grasping my hand firmly as we discussed her husband and Hough's murder. 

A year ago police removed many things from their home as evidence, she said.

“They took whatever they wanted, van loads of stuff a year ago and never returned anything,“ she said.

At the time of Hough's murder Brown was a criminalist working in the San Diego Police Crime lab. He retired in April of 2002.

While he worked many cases over the span of his career investigators say Brown did not process evidence from the Hough murder.

Six years earlier, Within a couple hundred yards of where Hough was found , police discovered the body of 15 year old Barbara Nantais, She was naked, had been beaten and strangled. Like Hough, her breast had also been disfigured.

Her 17-year-old boyfriend James Alt was beaten unconscious by the attacker but survived. NBC7 spoke to Alt over the phone Thursday.

“Those names don't ring a bell if you would ask me. No, I haven't heard them before this,” Alt said.

Alt says he is convinced the two deaths were done by the same attacker.

“Someone had to know something when they killed Claire Hough. They had to know how Barbara was murdered as well. There are just too many similarities there,” Alt said.

Even though San Diego Police have told Alt and the media a number of times over the years that the two crimes are connected, Thursday’s announcement did not mention the Nantais case.

After some prying the lead investigator on the Hough case tells NBC7 they have no evidence connecting these murders but would not elaborate.
 



Photo Credit: NBC 7
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<![CDATA[Orange Crushed]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:28:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/457744516.jpg

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is not shy. So, his explanation of the Bolts' 35-21 loss in Denver on Thursday night sums everything up perfectly.

"They outplayed us," said Rivers, adding, "I just think they're better than us right now."

With all the injuries the Chargers are dealing with, the Broncos are certainly better than they are. Rivers and his counterpart, Peyton Manning, both threw three touchdown passes. All three of Manning's scores went to Emmanuel Sanders.

The difference is, Rivers also threw two interceptions. One of those came when Keenan Allen slipped on a route. The other came when Malcom Floyd wasn't quite able to outjump a pair of Denver defenders on a late, semi-desperation heave to try and make the game close.

Manning did throw one pick to Eric Weddle, but it was called off because of a penalty. The Chargers also recovered a fumble when Denver kick returner Andre Caldwell coughed it up, but that was overturned by a replay. Both calls were ... let's say suspect, at best.

One of the lone bright spots for the Bolts was tight end Antonio Gates. In the second quarter, he hauled in a 31-yard reception to pass Lance Alworth and become the franchise's all-time leader in receiving yards. That catch set up a touchdown pass to Keenan Allen, his first scoring catch of the season.

But, the Broncos were just too much for a depleted Chargers secondary. Cornerback Jason Verrett tried to play with his injured left shoulder but was ineffective and joined fellow injured defensive backs Brandon Flowers and Steve Williams on the sidelines for the second half. Without him, Richard Marshall was forced to play corner and was repeatedly beaten like a drum.

For a stretch in the second half, undrafted rookie Chris Davis took over defensive back duties while Marshall was on the sidelines.

The Bolts now have 10 days to get ready for their next game, on November 2 in Miami. With a 5-3 record, the pressure is on to win in South Florida, something they have not done since the 1983 playoffs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Is Photo Math App Bad News for Teachers? ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:57:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/photo+math+app.JPG

An app called Photo Math boasts the ability to solve math problems with the click of a smartphone camera, prompting a new round of an old debate: how much should students use technology in the classroom?

With the app, users can simply hold their phone over a question and wait a few seconds as it makes the calculations. It then produces the answer and shows the steps to get there.

Photo Math offers help for those stuck on a particularly hard question, but it also presents an easy way to cheat.

One educator likened it to the issue of whether to let students use a calculator solve problems.

“When I first heard about (the app), I thought, ‘Oh my goodness.’ And then I thought, it’s always kind of been there, it’s just quicker and easier because of the speed of the internet,” said Dr. Jeffrey Theil, who works with staff and parents on Common Core standards for the Chula Vista Elementary School District.

He told NBC 7 with Common Core, students are asked to show their answers in multiple ways, so one would have to know how to ask the question to get an answer on the internet.

Siri, the virtual voice-controlled assistant on Apple products, can also be used at a math tool but was better with the simple questions, while Photo Math listed all the steps.

However, on Thursday, students in class were asked to do the problems in their heads by rearranging fractions.

While the app could crunch the numbers, it could not understand the intent of the questions, and the intent is what matters.

If students use it as a tool to help them with homework and not a short cut to get the answer, more access and quicker access can be a good thing.

“That number sense and fluency is really important,” said Theil, “and I don’t think you can get that through an app or googling that or whatever because we’re challenging your mind and what your mind can do mathematically.”

If the technology isn’t there yet to interpret the intent and multiple demands of the Common Core math curriculum, it will be.

And just like in the old days when we could look at the back of the textbook for answers, students need to be taught if they only use the internet as a short cut, they’re only cheating themselves.

Student Alexa Zumstein appreciates that concept, telling NBC 7 she likes doing equations mentally.

“Not only does it help me practice doing it in my head, it just feels a sense of accomplishment, like I just did 237 times 26 on my own and I got it right and I feel good,” she said.

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<![CDATA[Driver Hits Woman, Child in Wheelchair]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:56:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDPD-generic-cars-0226.jpg

A driver running a red light hit a wheelchair carrying a woman and a girl, sending the child to the hospital Thursday evening, San Diego Police say.

The woman in wheelchair was holding an 8-year-old girl in her lap as she crossed 5400 Imperial Avenue at 54th Street in Valencia Park.

Police say the woman had a green light, but an 82-year-old female driver ran her red light and struck the wheelchair.

Falling to the ground, the girl hit her head and fractured her skull. She was taken to the hospital. The woman in the wheelchair complained of minor knee pain.

The SDPD traffic division is investigating this crash.

Check back here for details on this developing story.

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<![CDATA[Locally Grown Foods Come to SD School Cafeterias]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:56:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/california+thursdays+fresh+food+school+cafeteria.JPG A experimental food approach kicked off on Oct. 23, 2014, as 27 schools in the San Diego Unified School District as students are served fresh, local food once a week. NBC 7's Bridget Naso has more on "California Thursdays." ]]> <![CDATA[Motorcycle Lane Splitting Is Relatively Safe: Study ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:23:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/motorcycle_generic.jpg

The controversial act of lane splitting – when a motorcycle rides between cars in freeway traffic – is safer than many think, a new study finds.

The seemingly risky move of weaving between lanes is against the law in every single state except California, to the ire of some drivers and the delight of motorcyclists.

"Those guys out there and girls out there occasionally splitting lanes are just looking for a disaster as far as I'm concerned,” one driver frankly said.

A state-commissioned UC Berkeley study looked at thousands of accident reports and found lane splitting is no more dangerous than riding a motorcycle in a marked lane.

But if a rider is traveling 10 miles per hour faster than traffic, the risk of a crash goes up.

New York Myke, owner of San Diego Harley-Davidson, hopes the study will ease public frustration over lane splitters.

He told NBC 7 he doesn’t like to see people rushing between cars going 60 or 70 mph because that gives all motorcyclists a bad name.

"We don't like to do it, but I’d rather do that than sit in traffic and take the chance some car five cars back hits the car in front of him or her and we eventually get tagged and knocked off or hurt,” said Myke.

The UC Berkeley study actually found lane splitters are less likely rear-ended but are more likely to rear-end others. The data also showed early morning and late afternoon rush hours are the times when lane splitters have a higher chance of getting into an accident.

Still, some think the maneuver is a bad idea because other drivers cannot be trusted.

“People are distracted, people are doing ten things when in the cars aside from focusing on the traffic around them,” said one woman who spoke with NBC 7.

Myke agreed, arguing UC Berkeley should do a study on texting and driving because “that’s the real killer.”

The study’s data will be shared with the California Highway Patrol, which this year began working on guidelines for lane-splitting. A more in-depth study of the practice is also in the works.



Photo Credit: clipart.com]]>
<![CDATA[Rally Against Domestic Violence Honors Slain Cop, Victims]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:58:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/domestic+violence+rally+1023.JPG

Dozens of people called for an end to domestic violence in Escondido Thursday, even as the city's police department heals after the loss of one of their own due to a suspected domestic incident.

Rookie Escondido Police Officer Laura Perez was on the mind of many who marched along the two-mile route, with her 4-year-old daughter at the head of the pack.

Perez was found shot to death in a Moreno Valley storage locker in July, her husband Freddy Perez-Rodas arrested as the lead suspect. He has since been charged with murder.

The death of the 25-year-old cop hit the department hard, and on Thursday, her brothers in blue told NBC 7 they think of her often.

“We are not used to being the ones that are a part of being the victims, and it hit us hard in several different ways,” said EPD Cpt. Mike Loarie. “I mean, we count the days — 91 days, 22 1/2 hours ago — (since) this nightmare started for us.”

Perez’s death is a testament to the unfortunate fact domestic violence can happen to anyone, police say.

According to the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, 17,000 domestic violence incidents were reported in San Diego County in 2013. Nine of them were fatal.

In Escondido alone, reported incidents rose 4 percent between 2012 and 2013.

“It’s the trauma that’s something like a ghost that follows them until one day, it’s hard to function,” said domestic violence survivor Christine.

She told NBC 7 her seven children were seven reasons why she suffered through 21 years of abuse. Though it may be hard, she and others say it is vital to speak up and get help because domestic violence doesn’t just impact the victim.

“This affected Laura’s family and police family,” Loarie said.

Officers unveiled a memorial stone in front of the Escondido Police Department to remember Perez and other victims of domestic violence. A tree was also planted in the slain officer's honor.

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<![CDATA[Chargers at Broncos: Who To Watch For]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:44:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/173*120/457519442.jpg

We waited on this to see whether or not Jason Verrett was going to be able to play for the Chargers in their Thursday Night Football duel with the Broncos.

He is, which is a bit a surprise and a testament to just how tough this rookie out of TCU really is. Verrett has not played since making his first NFL interception at the end of San Diego's win in Oakland two weeks ago.

He's been limited in practice for two weeks, missing last week's game against the Chiefs. But since fellow CB Brandon Flowers can't play with a concussion, Verrett is going to give it a go, even though he's nowhere near 100-percent. healthy. That's not really the way you want to go in to your first career game against Peyton Manning.

You can bet the house that Manning is going to test Verrett early in the game. If he holds up to the challenge, it'll be up to another defensive back to play a whole lot better than he did a week ago, and that brings us to our three players to watch:

Richard Marshall, CB

There's no way to sugar coat this. Marshall was awful after he came in for the injured Flowers against Kansas City. Dwayne Bowe was open multiple times against Marshall, who had trouble with the more physical wide receiver. Fellow starter Shareece Wright will likely see a lot of Demaryius Thomas, so Marshall should be matched up on Emmanuel Sanders quite a bit. Sanders is only 5'11", not the kind of monster that Bowe or Thomas are, so Marshall will likely not have to be playing 10 yards off the line of scrimmage like he did against Bowe. Marshall also had a brain cramp with a holding penalty on 3rd down that extended a Chiefs scoring drive. If Marshall is not dramatically better in coverage, especially early in the game, Manning will exploit him and the Chargers might be forced to give undrafted rookie Chris Davis more snaps. Again, not the way you want to see Manning for the first time.

Corey Liuget, DE

Now, the best way to help out a struggling corner is to not let the quarterback have enough time to throw at him. Last year's 27-20 Chargers win in Denver was sealed when Liuget hit Manning, forcing a bad throw that was intercepted by Thomas Keiser. If the Chargers want to have any chance at all of keeping this game close, they'll have to force turnovers. Since Manning typically is not going to make bad reads, and the running game with Ronnie Hillman is used mostly as a change of pace to keep defenses honest, the best way to get the ball from the Broncos is to force Peyton in to bad throws by knocking him around. Liuget has been, by far, San Diego's most disruptive lineman this season, and he'll have to keep it up in Denver.

Ronnie Brown, RB

Branden Oliver will be the feature back again, and he could have a big game. But he can't carry it 30 times. I have a feeling Brown has a chip on his shoulder right now. The veteran played a majority of the playoff game in Denver last year with Ryan Mathews out with an injury, and was not terribly effective. But, he's still dangerous going bewteen the tackles (witness last year's monster TD burst in Cincinnati) when he has a bit of a hole. Plus, he's earned the trust of Philip Rivers in the passing game. Last week the Bolts were 3-for-10 on 3rd downs, well below their season average. They repeat that this week and they'll get boat-raced. If Rivers needs to find someone on 3rd down he'll be looking for Antonio Gates. But, so will the Broncos. So, Brown will be an important option to keep the chains moving, and keep Manning off the field.

Derek's Prediction

Realistically, given the injuries the Chargers are dealing with in the secondary and at linebacker (Melvin Ingram will be especially missed Thursday night), it's crazy to think the Broncos are not going to score a bunch of points. So, the only way for the Bolts to win is to outgun them.

Philip Rivers absolutely has the ability to do that. He has the weapons in the passing game. He has a brand new toy in Branden Oliver (by the way, all the folks saying Oliver had an off game against the Chiefs are just wrong. He only got 15 carries because the Chargers had to throw so often, but averaged just shy of five yards a rush, which I'll take any day). He has complete command of the offense and what to do when.

I know it's a completely different situation, but last year's Thursday night win in Colorado keeps popping up in my head. All logic says the Broncos win this game. All numbers and statistical analysis say the Broncos win this game.

However, football is a game of emotion. So forgive me if I let my heart get the better of me here. The Chargers keep it close enough to have a shot, and Nick Novak nails a 58-yard field goal late in the 4th quarter to win it.

Final Score: Chargers 41, Broncos 40



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Broncos Trample Chargers in Denver]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:38:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/457744034.jpg

The Denver Broncos out gained, out scored and out played the Chargers in a 35-21 win on Thursday Night Football.

It spoiled the celebration for Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, who set the franchise record for receiving yards on a 31-yard catch in the second quarter.

Gates finished with 54 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He passes Lance Alworth's record of 9,584 yards.

Denver topped the Chargers by more than 100 yards, rushing for 139 yards in the win.

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns, all to receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who nearly gave up a fumble midway through the fourth quarter to let the Bolts back in the game. But Wes Welker fell on the ball and kept their drive alive.

Juwan Thompson added a pair of rushing scores for the Broncos, who improve their division-best record to 6-1. The Chargers drop to 5-3.

They could never get their running game going, gaining just 15 yards on 11 carries before a 17-yard Philip Rivers scramble in the fourth quarter.

The Bolts travel to Miami to play the Dolphins next Sunday at 10 a.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Suspects ID'd in Teen's Brutal Murder 30 Years Ago]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:03:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/claire-hough-murder-1984_5.jpg

Thirty years after a teenager’s body was found on the sand at Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego homicide investigators say they have identified two suspects in her killing, one of whom was a San Diego Police criminalist.

Claire Hough, 14, was the victim of a brutal murder on Friday, Aug. 24, 1984.

The teenager had been staying with her grandparents who lived near the beach.

When she was found by police officers, she had been beaten, strangled and stabbed, and one of her breasts had been severed.

Using DNA evidence collected at the scene, homicide investigators were able to identity two potential suspects in her murder in November 2012.

Detectives say they spent the following two years putting together a case for prosecution. They were preparing to make an arrest when on Tuesday, Oct. 21, Kevin Charles Brown was found dead at Cuyamaca State Park on Highway 79.

Brown, 62, worked as a criminalist for the San Diego Police Laboratory from 1982 to April 2002.

Homicide investigators say they do not believe Brown had any association with the murder investigation or the process of evidence.

His death has initially been ruled a suicide.

The second suspect, Ronald Clyde Tatro, died in a boating accident in 2011. Tatro was 40 years old at the time of the killing.

According to homicide investigators the two men were identified as suspects in the case through DNA analysis.

Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to call the San Diego Police Department’s Homicide Unit or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

 


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[New Outlet Stores Open at San Ysidro Border]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:34:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San-ysidro-Outlets-Border.jpg

Lines of customers wrapped outside new stores like H&M and Armani as part of the grand opening of a new outlets center along the U.S.- Mexico border south of San Diego.

The Outlets at the Border faces a new pedestrian bridge under construction at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, what is considered the busiest border crossing in the world.

Once the pedestrian bridge opens in 2016, Rachel Castro, General Manager of Agaci hopes it will help the store triple its projected sales and gain more exposure for its brand.

"We're hoping to see the most foot traffic we've ever seen in our company," she said.

Mike Binkle, owner of The Shamrock Group Real Estate Development Firm, said designers used some of the land for a new transportation hub.

"We'll be having buses and taxis and private vehicles here coming to pick folks up here and drop off," Binkle said.

A new H&M location is among the stores opening this weekend. Other stores include AX (Armani Exchange), Rack Room Shoes,O'Neill, Nixon and Justice, among others.

Shoppers can enjoy samples, sales, music and other entertainment Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Rare Trees Killed by Drought to Be Reused]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:27:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/rare-trees-drought-botanic.jpg

Rare trees, that have fallen victim to the California drought, were cut down in Campo to be reused in an artistic way at the San Diego Botanic Garden.

Workers used a crane to remove seven rare Catalpa trees along Dehesa Road Thursday. The largest was 40-feet tall.

Catalpa trees, especially those as tall as the ones that have grown along Dehesa Road, are very uncommon in San Diego County. Unfortunately, the lack of rain took its toll.

But instead of putting the diseased trees into the wood chipper, the San Diego Botanic Garden plan to use them for planter chandeliers.

The large trees, pruned to just trunk and large limbs, were shipped via flatbed truck to the garden's location in Encinitas where they will be placed in storage.

The crew of eight people worked for a day and a half on the project, according to Julian Duval, CEO of the San Diego Botanic Garden.

"It will not be cheap," Duval said of the cost. The SDBG was going to import trees from Indiana which would have been far more expensive.

"It was truly amazing that we found these trees locally," he said. "We get to give them new life."

The trees were planted back in the 1950s and the owner had planned on turning them into fire wood.

"We are just so thankful that we got to them before he did," Duval said.

The plan is to use the trees as a base for living chandeliers featuring epiphytic plants like orchids, bromeliads or philodendrons.

The chandeliers would be raised and lowered depending on the event at the proposed Dickinson Family Education Pavilion.

The garden is currently raising funds to build the 9,300 sq. ft. facility that will include a main hall to accommodate up to 400 guests as well as an outdoor amphitheater with stage and lighting.

Learn more about the project here.



Photo Credit: San Diego Botanic Garden]]>
<![CDATA[Coast Guard Rescues Man Off Point Loma]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:05:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/coast+guard+logo+pl.jpg

A man experiencing symptoms of a possible heart attack was medically evacuated by a Coast Guard Sector San Diego air crew off the coast of Point Loma early this morning.

The 63-year-old was aboard the San Diego-based sport fishing vessel Royal Polaris about 170 miles of Point Loma when the master of the 103-foot boat called for help around 1:30 a.m.

The crew took him in an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, landing in San Diego just after 6:30 a.m., where emergency personnel was waiting. There is no word as to the current condition of the man.

"These are the kinds of missions our crews really enjoy," said Lt. Cmdr. Jon Bartel. "We love helping people, and that's exactly what we got to do this morning."
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Student Hospitalized With Meningococcal Bacteria]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:02:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/palomar-college-1023.jpg

A new case of a college student hospitalized with meningococcal bacteria was reported Thursday in San Diego County.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) reports the patient is a student at Palomar College.

The county did not disclose which hospital was treating the individual, but they say the student is improving.

The unidentified student was diagnosed on October 19. Test results expected back in several days should identify the strain of meningitis.

The student has attended only one class in the past three weeks so there are no close contacts at the college, county officials said.

“The risk to individuals who have not had close contact with the infected individual is very low,” Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., said in a county news report.

HHSA has already notified those people who they believe should take antibiotics to prevent any possible infection.

This case is not believed to be connected to the recent meningococcal case that led to the death of San Diego State University freshman Sara Stelzer.

Stelzer was removed from life support over the weekend after contracting the rare Type B meningococcal meningitis.

Nearly 1,000 SDSU students were evaluated for risk of exposure. Some were given preventive antibiotics according to health officials.

However, officials are trying to determine if the Palomar student has the same strain of meningococcal bacterium as Stelzer's.

"Because if we identify two meningococcal Type B in a small community, we can consider asking for experimental use of the meningococcal Type B disease that’s not available in the United States," said Sidelinger.

To get the experimental vaccine MenB, used in Europe and Canada, there must be two or more cases identified to one organizational unit, like a college campus, and the cases must be within the last six months.

The vaccine has not been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did allow it to be used in meningitis outbreaks at Princeton and UC Santa Barbara.

There have been seven cases of meningococcal disease in San Diego County this year. Last year, there were 16 cases reported.

Symptoms of infection by meningococcal bacteria may include fever, intense headache, lethargy, stiff neck, and a rash that does not blanch under pressure, officials said.

If not treated, the bacteria can lead to meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes around the spinal cord and brain.

The germs are easily spread by those in close contact through sharing drinks or water bottles, cigarettes or through more intimate activity like kissing.

Parents should consult their primary care physician for information on a vaccine that is available to prevent certain strains of meningococcal disease. It's routinely recommended for children and adolescents 11 to 18 years of age.

Click here to find out more information about vaccine-preventable diseases.

Check back for updates on this developing story.
 



Photo Credit: Artie Ojeda NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Surfer Remembered as Kind, Generous Role Model ]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:27:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/la+jolla+surf+stephen+fujii.JPG

The surfing community is mourning the loss of a local father and husband described as a generous role model to many.

A relative of Stephen Fujii, 67, say he spent his last moments on earth doing one of the things he loved most: surfing.

He was found unresponsive Wednesday morning, lying by his surfboard stuck in the sand of La Jolla.

Lifeguards tried to perform CPR but could not revive him. An autopsy, scheduled for Thursday, should give insight as to his cause of death.

Fujii’s relative Kevin Nakada told NBC 7 the Clairemont man was a true waterman, participating in everything from surfing to fishing.

A familiar sight at local beaches, he garnered the nickname “Seal Bite” because he was nipped by a seal a few years back.

“He was a great person, and he was much more than what an uncle or cousin would be,” Nakada said. “He taught me a lot of things. He was a great family man.”

Fujii leaves behind a wife, son and daughter.

Nakada decided to talk with NBC 7 because he and his family wanted to remember Fujii, a retired Navy employee, in the best way and to never forget the great person he was — the kind who leaves an impression on you very quickly.

Echoing that sentiment, young surfer Ethan Schauer said he has looked up to Fujii as a mentor for about four years now.

"He was very generous. He showed me how to be like, a good man. Never got super angry at anyone. He had good style,” said Schauer.

Friend Bruce Herridge told NBC 7 a Torrey Pine planted by Fujii 15 years ago stands as a living memorial to him in La Jolla. He hopes to install a plaque in front of it in his friend’s honor.

"He was a role model for many people,” said Herridge. “Just a really nice guy, always had a smile on his face and a gleam in his eye, always positive. He was a good surfer, and he's going to be missed by all of us."

The family said they are planning a paddle-out to memorialize Fujii, but the date has not been determined.

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<![CDATA[Rare Trees Killed in Drought to Be Reused]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:04:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DSC00635_tree.jpg Employees of San Diego Botanic Garden worked with Bishop's Tree Service to remove the rare trees and prepare them for transport.]]> <![CDATA[Motorcyclist Strikes Car, Dies in Vista]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:57:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/fatal+motorcycle+crash+in+vista.JPG

A motorcyclist has died after colliding with a vehicle in Vista Monday evening, according to the California Highway Patrol.

CHP officer Jim Bettencourt said the accident started at 6:15 p.m. when a 34-year-old man in a 2003 Ford Taurus pulled up to a stop sign at Huchinson Street, waiting to make a left turn onto E. Vista Way.

As he pulled out, he did not see a motorcyclist heading south and drove into his path, Bettencourt said. The motorcycle struck the driver's side of his car and threw the rider to the street.

The 49-year-old male motorcyclist from Vista died at the scene.

The Taurus driver had to be cut out of the car by firefighters, and he was taken to Palomar Hospital for major injuries to his legs.

"This is just a reminder that when you're out here on the road and you're at an intersection or you're pulling out of somewhere into traffic, to make sure that you look twice, look more than once," said Bettencourt.

The cause of the crash has not been determined, but Bettencourt says he believes the driver just did not see the motorcyclist as he pulled out.

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<![CDATA[City Heights Residents Protest SDPD After Deadly Shooting]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:25:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Victor-Ortega-protest.jpg

A group of protesters in City Heights joined people in cities all across the country Wednesday as they marched against police brutality.

More than 100 people chanted 'Justice for Victor Ortega' along with 'Hands up. Don’t shoot', a reference to the call for action after the death of Michael Brown.

The Ferguson, Missouri teen was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.

In City Heights, protesters marched for Victor Ortega, a 31-year-old father and husband who was shot and killed by a San Diego Police Officer in June 2012.

“It’s been hard,” said Ortega's widow Shakina. “I can't see my best friend , my husband anymore.
My kids don’t have a father anymore.”

Shakina was among the group of people rallying through the streets of City Heights calling for an end to what she calls police injustice that she says her husband and others have suffered

“You can't trust police," exclaimed Cathy Mendonça of United Against Police Terror. As the rally’s organizer, she urged residents to keep watch over their own communities and hold police accountable.

“ Film them at all times. Encourage everyone it is your right if you're out in public it is your right to film police," Mendonça said.

Ortega was shot during a struggle with an officer who was responding to a domestic violence call at the couple's Mira Mesa home.

Officer Jonathan McCarthy, was attempting to arrest Ortega when a fight began. One of the officer’s guns dropped to the ground according to police spokesperson Lt. Kevin Rooney.

The officer then shot Ortega with a second gun, killing him.

The San Diego County District Attorney's Office reviewed the shooting and found the officer's actions were justified. No charges were filed.

“Why is he still working and my husband is not here with his kids? “ questioned Ortega’s widow. “For what? That I can’t get over that and that’s why I’m going to be fighting.”

An SDPD spokesperson released a statement saying the department stands behind the people’s right to rally peacefully.

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<![CDATA[Pricey Gold Coin Donated to Kids' NewsDay]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:50:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NewsDayCoin.jpg

Each year, an anonymous San Diego man with a heart of gold makes a unique donation to Kids' NewsDay.

This year was no exception.

On Tuesday, the generous donor appeared and handed NBC 7’s Whitney Southwick a 2009 Eagle $50 gold coin.

San Diego Coin and Bullion owner Chad Martin examined the 1 ounce gold coin and appraised it at $1,265. Martin then gave a donation for the same amount.

For the past 25 years on Kids' NewsDay, thousands of volunteers have sold special edition UT newspapers to raise money for Rady Children’s Hospital.

As of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, the hospital had collected more than $107,000 and was still counting donations. The team at NBC 7, which is a partner of the event, raised $2,985 alone.

In 2013, the anonymous coin collector donated a rare 1925 Saint-Gaudens gold coin valued at $1,700.
 



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[New Trail Will Link Santee to Lakeside]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:04:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/walker+trail+copy.jpg

East County officials broke ground today on a new trail at the Walker Preserve that will link from Santee to Lakeside.

The $2 million project will create a 1.3-mile addition to the 52-mile San Diego River Trail that runs along the San Diego River. It should be done in the next several months.

“There are still some gaps in the trail along the way, but little by little we’re closing those gaps and today is a critical piece where we’re closing a big gap,” County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said.

Jacobs said it will be accessible for walkers, hikers, bikers and horseback riders.

“It not only adds to our quality of life in East County, but it’s critical for our recreation opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy,” Jacob said.

The Walker Preserve is 107 acres of open space with migratory birds, bobcats and coyotes.

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<![CDATA[Man, Estranged Wife Arrested in Child Porn Probe]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:42:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Jonathan-Gastelum-Jennifer-.jpg

A Skyline man is facing child pornography charges and his estranged wife is accused of child endangerment after an FBI investigation led them to find disturbing images of two young female victims.

Jonathan Gastelum is accused of sharing child porn images with two different law enforcement officers during online chat room visits.

The images allegedly depicted a female toddler and a prepubescent female, FBI agents said.

Gastelum was arrested Tuesday after federal officials executed a search warrant at a granny flat behind the home on Skyline Drive. He faces distribution of child pornography charges.

In one of the sessions on Sept. 16, a user identified as "4yodau" shared a Kik user account with the investigators in order to share four images, according to court documents. 

The Kik user asked the investigators, "Do u have children or toddlers in pain? Movies."

Officials allege the IP address connected to the chat room user was tied to Gastelum. In court documents, investigators claim Gastelum admitted to sharing the images through a Kik account.

Jennifer Gastelum, Jonathan's estranged wife, was also arrested Tuesday. San Diego Police took her into custody and transferred her to the Las Colinas Detention Facility. She’s accused of child endangerment and assault charges, officials said.

A neighbor who identified herself as Kim told NBC 7 the couple had two young daughters under the age of seven.

“I’m mad, I’m disgusted, I’m angry,” the neighbor said.

She claims Jennifer Gastelum moved out of the home three months ago and started the divorce process.

The neighbor also told NBC 7 that Jennifer Gastelum would babysit her two sons from time to time.

Jennifer Gastelum is scheduled for arraignment on state charges Friday.

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<![CDATA[Alaska to Launch Non-Stop Flights to Kona]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:45:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/Alaska+Airlines+sm.jpg

If you're looking for a getaway, Alaska Airlines will soon offer new non-stop flights from San Diego to Kona, Hawaii.

Starting in March 2015, San Diegans can fly to the Big Island on Alaska Airlines in one of three flights leaving Lindbergh Field each week.

The airline has an introductory fare rate of $219 one way for tickets on some flights if purchased by Oct. 28 and used between March 5 and June 6, 2015.

"We're delighted to see Alaska Airlines grow its presence here in San Diego with this new nonstop service to Kona, Hawaii," Thella F. Bowens, President/CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority said in an Alaska Airlines release.

Alaska already flies nonstop from San Diego to Honolulu, Kahului, Maui and Lihue.

For reservations, visit the airline's website.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[City Orders Closure of Four Marijuana Dispensaries]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:47:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/marijuana15.jpg

The City Attorney’s office obtained court orders to shut down four marijuana dispensaries it says are illegally in business this week. They are located in the Mission Valley, Mount Hope and Pacific Beach neighborhoods.

The actions are part of a concentrated effort to shut down more than 200 shops operating without permits since 2010.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said the illegal dispensaries are a threat to neighborhood safety.

"Marijuana dispensaries, like any other business, must obtain proper permits and conform to zoning regulations,” he said. “There is now a process for legally zoned dispensaries and that process should be followed."

The four dispensaries closed this week:

Planet Greens, 936 Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach

Dank on Turquoise, 841 Turquoise Street in Pacific Beach

Market Greens, 4255 Market Street in Mount Hope

Kindest Meds, 3455 Camino del Rio South in Mission Valley

The process of closing a dispensary begins with the city obtaining temporary a restraining order against the dispensary, which then has 24 hours to close.

"We've had success at shutting down illegal dispensaries using the swiftest and most effective due process available through the courts," Goldsmith said. "Our lawyers have achieved a nearly 100 percent success rate in cases referred to us for prosecution."



Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Patent for Smartphone Infrared Thermometer]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:14:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sick-flu-BC9098-002.jpg

Just in time to meet the Ebola outbreak demand for detecting fever, San Diego-based Fraden Corp. announced that it received a second U.S. patent to augment any smartphone with an instant, non-contact infrared thermometer.

The company’s new invention is a sub-miniature infrared camera incorporated into a smartphone or its protective case. The device will work together with the phone’s digital camera, which acts as its viewfinder.

“This results in unprecedented convenience of taking temperature by a smartphone (by) just aiming the phone at the person’s head,” said CEO and Co-founder James Fraden in a press release.

The company developed an app that automatically detects the forehead surface, reads the infrared camera output signal, and calculates the internal body temperature with clinical accuracy, Fraden said. Within one second, the result is displayed on the screen of the smartphone.

Read more about Fraden Corp. in the Nov. 3 edition of the San Diego Business Journal.

The Business Journal is the premier business publication in San Diego. Every day online and each Monday in print, the Business Journal reports on how local business operate and why businesses leaders make the decisions they do. Every story is a dose of insight into how to run a better, more efficient, more profitable business.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>