<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usSat, 21 Jan 2017 19:49:28 -0800Sat, 21 Jan 2017 19:49:28 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Search Continues for 1 After 2 Swept Off Rocks in Ocean Beach]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 18:57:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ocean+beach+rescue.PNG

Two people were swept off the rocks in Ocean Beach Saturday evening, according to San Diego lifeguards.

One person was found on the shore and rescue crews and a helicopter continue to search for the other person.

The incident happened around 5:35 p.m. in the 5300 block of Santa Cruz Avenue.

No other information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this breaking news story. 



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[SR-76 Closed at Foussat After Car Hits Pedestrian in Oceanside]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 18:31:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

Eastbound State Route 76 is closed from Foussat to Douglas after a pedestrian was hit by a car, according to Caltrans San Diego.

The crash happened around 5 p.m. Saturday on N. Foussat Road.

The pedestrian’s injuries are unclear, and it is unclear how the crash happened. 

The road will be closed for at least two hours.

No other information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this breaking news story. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Docs Detail Evidence in Mission Valley Xmas Eve Killings]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 17:16:00 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Carlo-Mercado-0112.jpg

One week after a San Diego Man pleaded guilty to murdering three young San Diego residents by shooting them to death in the parking lot of Mission Valley mall on Christmas Eve 2013, NBC 7 has obtained records detailing, for the first time, the evidence prosecutors planned to present to a jury, had the case gone to trial.

On Jan. 12, Carlo Mercado, 31, pleaded guilty to three counts of murder for the December 2013 killings of  brothers Gianni and Salvatore Belvedere and Gianni's fiancee, Ilona Flint.

Originally, Mercado pleaded not-guilty and was scheduled to face trial in June. At one point, Mercado’s attorneys told the court Mercado was incompetent to stand trial, a claim later determined to be inaccurate and the decision overruled by the judge in the case.

The mysterious murders shook San Diego to its core and left most residents, including family members of the victims and suspect, asking one question: why? To read a timeline of the events behind the triple homicide, click here.

On Friday, NBC 7 obtained the Statement of Facts Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson submitted to the court on the day of the plea change.

While the documents do not provide major updates to information previously released, the documents did detail a clear timeline of what investigators believed led up to and followed the triple homicide along with new information about Mercado’s history leading up to the crimes. 

To read the records in full, click here.

In the documents, Erickson said investigators confirmed through cell phone tower records neither Mercado, nor all three victims’ phones were ever in the same place at the same time in the year prior to the murders taking place.

“There was absolutely no connection found between the victim’s alleged drug use and their deaths,” Erickson said, adding that investigators found no evidence anyone had any reason to want to kill the victims or their families.

In the Statement of Facts, Erickson also details evidence, found by investigators, that suggests Mercado had a history of motorcycle accidents and attempting to “fleece” money from other drivers involved.

One incident was in August 2012. According to court records, Mercado crashed his motorcycle into the back of a man’s truck and later that day sent the driver “an aggressive email” where a list of motorcycle parts were listed with prices for each repair. 

In that situation, according to the court records, Mercado told the driver the total cost for repairs came out to over $2,000 but Mercado said he would be willing to settle for half of the amount.

The records state a San Diego District Attorney Investigator contacted the driver of that vehicle who explained Mercado had crashed his motorcycle into the back of the driver’s truck while at a stop light and the driver assisted Mercado with his bike and called police.

When the driver received the “aggressive email” from Mercado, the records show the driver verified with his father and insurance company he would not be responsible for the costs Mercado was asking for and ignored Mercado’s email and text messages.

The Statement of Facts presented evidence Mercado filed a false insurance claim on his motorcycle days after the triple-homicide took place.

Mercado’s motorcycle played a role in the investigation as according to prosecutors, Mercado, after killing Gianni and fleeing the scene in Gianni’s car, returned to the parking lot of Westfield Mission Valley mall to remove his motorcycle he had left behind.

It was then, according to prosecutors, Mercado came into contact with Flint and Salvatore, murdering them both, fearing they would report seeing Mercado driving Gianni’s car.

According to the records, Mercado fled the scene that night, leaving his motorcycle behind, and returned the next day with a rented U-Haul truck and trailer to remove the motorcycle from the crime scene after San Diego Police Department investigators were no longer at the scene.

Two days later, prosecutors said Mercado, fearing his motorcycle could tie him to the crime scene, staged a fake motorcycle accident and filed a claim with his insurance provider.

The Geico Insurance Adjuster that handled Mercado’s claim told investigators that he doubted the story Mercado told about the fake accident, but processed the claim anyway for a total of $2,539.

At the change of plea hearing for Mercado, Erickson credited Border Patrol officers who pulled over and inspected Mercado’s vehicle less than a month after the homicides as providing the critical evidence that led to Mercado’s arrest. 

On Jan. 18, 2014, a day after Gianni’s car and body were discovered in the city of Riverside, which prosecutors believe Mercado planted, agents at the Border Patrol Checkpoint on the I-5 near San Clemente pulled Mercado over for a routine stop.

While searching Mercado’s vehicle at that checkpoint stop, Border Patrol agents found an AR-15 assault rifle, a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun and a .22 caliber handgun with a modified silencer.

Agents eventually released Mercado from that stop, unaware of his connection to the murders, but held Mercado’s weapons for further investigation.

It was that move by Border Patrol Agents that Erickson credits as a major turning point in the investigation, as the DNA on those firearms was uploaded to California’s DNA database system CODIS and was linked to DNA that was discovered at the Mission Valley and Riverside crime scenes.

Three days after the DNA match was determined, Mercado was arrested on June 21, 2014 for the murders of Gianni and Salvatore Belvedere and Ilona Flint.

In the court records, Erickson said investigators found gun manuals and instructions for making a homemade silencer for the .22 handgun on Mercado’s computer.

The court records also detail new information about Mercado’s mental health and suicide attempt following his arrest. 



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Eater SD: Philz Coffee Opening Soon in Encinitas]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 16:33:48 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Philz_Barista_Drink.jpg

When one door closes, another one opens. This week, in news from our local food and drink scene, Eater San Diego shares details of a popular Bay Area coffee company’s debut in San Diego, and the impending shuttering of an Ocean Beach restaurant.

Philz Coffee Set to Open in Encinitas Next Month
Philz Coffee, a popular Bay Area company, will launch the first of at least two planned locations in San Diego on Feb. 4, when its debut outpost in Encinitas opens to the public. Philz, which specializes in pour overs of signature coffee blends, is also headed to La Jolla Village. 

Breakfast Republic & Coin Haus Replacing OB Warehouse
After two years, the Cohn Restaurant Group will shutter OB Warehouse on Valentine's Day. It will be replaced by the hospitality group's arcade bar, Coin Haus, on the bottom level and another location of daytime eatery Breakfast Republic on the upper level. 

New Mexican Restaurant Headed for Liberty Station
Rise and Shine Restaurant Group (Breakfast Republic, Fig Tree Café) announced that it will be opening El Jardin in Liberty Station next year. The Mexican concept's kitchen will be run by the former chef de cuisine of Little Italy's Bracero.

Late Night Ramen Shop Planned for North County
A pop-up is graduating to a brick-and-mortar location later this year, when Rooster Ramen moves into a space in the Encinitas/Leucadia area. The Japanese-inspired menu with include traditional and chef-driven ramen plus yakitori, small plates and sake. 

Chinese Hot Pot Spots Coming to Mira Mesa & Kearny Mesa
Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot is soon opening a second location in the Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa area while Taiwanese hot pot chain Tasty Pot debuts in San Diego with an upcoming eatery on Convoy Street. 



Photo Credit: Philz Coffee
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<![CDATA[Aftermath of Storms: Damage, Flooding, Road Closures]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 15:37:32 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/South-Bay-Storm-Damage-0121.jpg

As the rain let up a little bit on Saturday, San Diego residents rolled up their sleeves and got to work cleaning up the damage of the storms that have pummeled the county over the past few days.

Friday’s powerful rain – the second in a series of three winter storms – caused power poles and trees to topple, some crushing cars, and caused flooding in parts of the county, plus road closures. Emergency crews were called to several water rescues in different parts of the county as motorists became trapped in the flood waters.

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In San Diego’s South Bay, the severe weather knocked down trees and knocked out power to some homes. At a shopping center on Bonita Road, a eucalyptus tree came crashing down amid the storm Friday, crushing several cars. Luckily, no one was hurt.

"It sounded like thunder. A big cracking," explained Ryan Kessler.

Kessler's car was one of the vehicles damaged. You could barely see it hidden beneath the branches. His friend's Scion was crushed like an accordion by the weight of the tree's trunk.

Blanca Salas, who owns Very Best Travel, is one of multiple tenants at the strip mall who says they've warned the owner about the danger posed by the eucalyptus trees.

“We were expecting this,” said Salas. “That’s why I park far away from the trees. We told him about the trees a long time ago and he said there's nothing he can do.”

On Saturday morning, crews and locals there worked to clear the tree, debris and shattered glass from the South Bay parking lot. 

Bonita resident Ron Cooling was also dealing with a mess in his neighborhood, where two large trees fell over in the street, blocking residents into the cul-de-sac.

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“It’s kind of scary,” he told NBC 7, referring to the fact that residents couldn’t get in or out of the area. “No emergency vehicles, nobody can get down to our street right now. It’s completely blocked.”

“I just worry because it’s an older neighborhood,” Cooling explained. “We have older people and I know one gentleman this morning was concerned that they don’t have a lot of food. They’re diabetic.”

Longtime Bonita resident James Dentice was one of the people stuck in his home Saturday morning. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he surveyed the damage on his street.

“I’ve lived here since ‘85 and I’ve never seen anything close to this,” he told NBC 7.

Up and down the street, power lines were also down Saturday morning in the aftermath of the storm. Outages caused concern among residents, including Marlene Hill.

“The street is dark as it is, when we do have power, so without it we were scared that people were going to go into all these big power lines,” Hill said.

She told NBC 7 she had an emergency kit handy, including flashlights, batteries and candles should another power outage occur.

Meanwhile, locals and officials were also dealing with flooding across the county.

The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said there were a few road closures in place Saturday, as of 12 p.m., due to flooding. Those closures included:

• La Media at Airway in San Diego
• Avenida Del Rio at Riverwalk in the Mission Valley area
• 26th Street at Pershing
• 10818 San Diego Mission Rd.
• 500 Camino De La Reina in Mission Valley
• 5800 Ward Rd.
• 1565 India St. in Little Italy

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The final storm in this three-part series is expected to arrive Sunday and Monday. Get weather updates here.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego
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<![CDATA[Local Politicians Pray for US as Trump Administration Begins]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 13:07:38 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Vargas-Prayer-Service-0121.jpg

One day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, two San Diego politicians held a service at Chicano Park to pray for the country in light of the new leadership in the White House.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher and Congressman Juan Vargas joined hands with San Diegans in prayer. The Democratic leaders read passages from the Bible and shared their concerns for how Trump’s presidency might affect their communities.

“We’re going to continue to pray to make this country a better country that includes everybody,” Gonzalez Fletcher said. “When we talk about our community and our country, it’s inclusive – it’s everybody – and that’s what it’s been about, hoping we can change the hearts of elected leaders who don’t feel that way and bring them around too.”

Vargas stayed in San Diego instead of going to Trump’s inauguration Friday in Washington, D.C.

“Today was a prayer service for our country, especially all those people that feel, unfortunately, are targeted and have been targeted by the new administration and we can to pray for the new president and change his heart,” he told NBC 7 on Saturday. “What we’ve heard and what we’ve seen from him is anything but love and compassion – it’s the opposite. So, we came to pray for him.”

After the service, Gonzalez Fletcher joined Senator Toni Atkins to take part in the San Diego Women’s March in downtown San Diego.



Photo Credit: Steven Luke/NBC 7
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<![CDATA[Despite Rain, Monster Jam Rolls On]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:53:46 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Petco-Park-Monster-Jam-1.jpg

Despite Friday’s powerful storm, the show will go on at Petco Park’s Monster Jam event Saturday, even if it gets a little dirty.

Twenty-six million pounds of dirt has been packed into Petco Park in downtown San Diego for Monster Jam, the live motorsport event. That dirt has been sitting in the ballpark since Jan. 10, when Monster Energy’s Supercross came into town.

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Now, almost two weeks later, 14 monster-sized trucks will compete on the course.

Rain leading up to the event forced crews to use tarps to protect the track. Saturday morning crews cleaned up small pockets of water and brought in new dirt, according to Monster Jam Event Manager Scott Olinski. Olinksi confirmed to NBC 7 that the 7 p.m. event will go on – rain or shine.

There is a “Pit Party” scheduled for 2:30 p.m. prior to the competition. There, attendees will get to meet some of their favorite drivers up-close.

Tickets are still available. This is the third year Monster Jam has visited Petco Park.

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Photo Credit: Petco Park/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Locals Unite for San Diego Women's March]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 15:37:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SD-Womens-March-0121-2.jpg Crowds united in San Diego Saturday for two peaceful demonstrations: the San Diego Women's March in downtown San Diego and the Sister March in the North County. Here, snapshots of both events.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 19-22]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 09:43:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Coffee+Generic.PNG

Despite the rainy weather this weekend, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy America's Finest City. From the big top of the circus and exciting local sporting events, to dining at new restaurants, it’s time for another fun weekend. Make the most of it.

Thursday, Jan. 19

BarkHappy Winter Trivia and Tacos Pawty
6 p.m., Mission Brewery
It’s a night filled with tacos, trivia and pups! What more could you ask for? Don’t miss out on this adorable and fun fundraiser to benefit The Barking Lot. The organization will bring adoptable and foster dogs to the event for those looking for their best friend. Come test your knowledge at trivia, munch on tacos and spend time with man’s best friend. Plus, enter to win in a raffle with prizes like a $100 gift certificate to Paws 4 Shots. The trivia winner will receive a tour and tasting for 10 people to Mission Brewery. Tickets are $15 and include free doggy treats.

Free or Cheap Things to Do in San Diego
Times and locations vary
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Is your wallet hurting from the holidays? In San Diego, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy for free or on the cheap. Go for a hike at Torrey Pines State Park or Cowles Mountain, stroll Balboa Park, try a new craft brewery, admire the murals of Chicano Park or read a book at a downtown park. Get out there and explore America’s Finest City.

Circus Vargas
7:30 p.m., Del Mar Fairgrounds
The big top will go up Thursday at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for the run of Circus Vargas’ newest show, “Steam Cirque,” inspired by the worlds of steampunk and science-fiction. Circus Vargas organizers say the rain won't damper the debut -- the show will go on. Tickets to opening night range from $22 to $72; parking at the venue is $13. Arrive 45 minutes before show time and the kids can partake in an interactive pre-show where they can practice hands-on circus skills like juggling and balancing alongside the pros. This show continues in Del Mar through Jan. 30; after that, Circus Vargas will make its way to Mission Bay Park and Westfield Plaza Bonita in National City in February.

San Diego Restaurant Week 2017
Through Jan. 22, Locations Vary
San Diego Restaurant Week continues, running through Sunday (Jan. 22), so don’t miss your chance to try a bite at a new, local eatery. The semi-annual event features prix-fixe menus at more than 180 restaurants spanning various communities across San Diego County. Some eateries offer lunch and dinner options, so price points vary. This is a great way to try a new restaurant without breaking the bank, and start crossing some places off your local dining bucket list.

Counterpoint Art Show: Closing Party
6 p.m. to 9 p.m., The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
The Lafayette Hotel will host this closing party Friday night in honor of “Counterpoint,” a joint exhibition by artists Christina Ilene Thomas and Chris Smith. The bash includes live music, food, drinks and a raffle. Admission is free; a portion of proceeds from sales of goodies at the party will benefit the Veterans Village of San Diego.

Friday, Jan. 20

Caffeine Crawl 2017
1 p.m., InterAmerican Coffee in Downtown San Diego
Caffeine addicts, this one is for you! Don’t miss the 4th annual Caffeine Crawl, where participants will get the chance to take a guided tour (and taste some samples!) from coffee spots across San Diego. Over 25 local roasteries and cafes will participate. Tickets start at $28 and a the crawl offers a variety of tours from Friday to Sunday across the County.

Hops on the Harbor
7 p.m., Flagship Cruises and Events
Set sail with one of San Diego’s local breweries as you enjoy sweeping views of the San Diego bay. The dinner cruise features brews from Finest Made Ales with a gourmet menu during a two-and-a-half hour cruise. In addition, there will also be music and dancing. Tickets start at $40.70.

San Diego Gulls Vs. San Jose Barracudas
7 p.m., Valley View Casino Center
The San Diego Gulls take on the San Jose Barracudas at the Valley View Casino Center this week. Tickets start at $19 per person.

San Diego Opera’s Taste of the Opera
6:30 p.m., The Curious Fork
If you love the beautiful and enticing stories told at the San Diego Opera as much as you love tasty meals, this event is for you. Join the San Diego Opera’s Director of Education and Community Engagement, Nicolas Reveles, as he shares his music and knowledge of the opera “Falstaff.” The Curious Fork Chef Katherine Afendoules-Emmenegger will help prepare dishes themed based on the opera. This is not a cooking class, according to the San Diego Opera. Tickets start at $49.

Cards Against Humanity Tournament
6:45 p.m. Duck Foot Brewing Company
It’s the perfect game night for people with a bit of a twisted sense of humor. Play a party favorite – Cards Against Humanity – as you sip on some tasty brews (including the small batch release of Coffee IPA). Each team can consist of two to eight players, and ten teams will play in total starting with a check-in at 6:45 p.m. To sign up, email lexxi@duckfootbeer.com in advance. And good news for the winner: whoever wins will take home a $100 Duck Foot Brewing gift cards. Attending is free.

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Salsa Under the Stars
6 p.m. to 9 p.m., The Headquarters at Seaport
Put on your dancing shoes and head over to the courtyard at The Headquarters at Seaport for another fun, free installment of Salsa Under the Stars. Manny Cepeda and his orchestra will provide the tunes while you boogie – no partner or experience necessary.

A Jim Morrison Celebration ft. Wild Child
8 p.m., House of Blues
This 21+ concert at the House of Blues in downtown San Diego will feature Wild Child, an Italian tribute band of four musicians dedicated to recreating the psychedelic sounds of Jim Morrison and The Doors. The show includes theatrics, scenic effects, lights and costumes. Tickets start at $22.50.

Saturday, Jan. 21

San Diego Sockers vs. Soles de Sonora
7:05 p.m., Valley View Casino Center
Come out and support San Diego’s 14-time indoor soccer champions at their game against Soles de Sonora. General admission tickets start at $11.

Carlsbad Cinema Series: Trumbo
1:30 p.m., Carlsbad City Library
Come enjoy this 2015 release which tells the story of the Hollywood 10, writers who were blacklisted during the communist watch hunts in the mid 1900s. The film will include an introduction and post-show discussion by Brandom Cesmat, who teaches humanities at California State University San Marcos. Seating is limited and first-come, first-serve. The event is free.

San Diego Women’s March
10 a.m., Civic Center Plaza
San Diegans will march this Saturday in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. Women, men and children of all backgrounds and political affiliations will come together for the peaceful march in response to the negative climate around women in the recent election. The march will start at the Civic Center Plaza Downtown.

Hike Daley Ranch
7 a.m., Daley Ranch in Escondido
Weather permitting, get up early this Saturday morning and take in some beautiful nature in Escondido. Naturalist William Sherrard will take participants on a peaceful walk through trails near the ranch. The walk is five to seven miles round trip and is estimated to take two and a half to three hours. The guided hike is free.

Sunday, Jan. 22

Salk Institute’s Salk Science and Music Series
4 p.m., Conrad Prebys Auditorium
Science and music may not be a natural combination, but the Salk Institute brings together a beautiful blend of the two for their annual Science and Music Series. Renowned musician Amit Peled and Noreen Polera join Kenta Asahina, assistant professor of molecular neurobiology. Admission costs $55 for individual tickets, or $250 for the full series.

Battle of the Breweries
4 p.m., Tin Roof in Downtown San Diego
Come support your favorite local brewery at this fun event in Downtown San Diego. This week, Guest Breweries Latitude 33, Benchmark, Acoustic Ales and Iron Fist will face off. Sample four of their local brews and vote on your vote in the Battle of the Brews. The winner will then be featured at Tin Roof as the next rotating handle.

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<![CDATA[San Diego Storms: Break From Rain, Strong Winds Persist]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 14:04:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Generic+Rain+Generic+Umbrella+Generic+Rainy.jpg

Although gloomy skies and chilly temperatures pressed on, San Diegans got a little bit of a break from the rain Saturday after two days of powerful storms swept the county, toppling trees and flooding some streets.

NBC 7’s Kimi Evans said locals will see a little bit of a break in the rain Saturday – but keep those umbrellas handy, because this is calm before that third storm. Strong winds will persist throughout the day.

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“We’re still talking about some very intense conditions with the wind however, the rain, we do get a little bit of a break from,” said Evans.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), some weather warnings are still in effect for San Diego County, including a high wind warning active through 10 p.m. Saturday. Areas like Julian and Pine Valley could see west winds between 25 and 35 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph. The winds will gradually decrease by Saturday evening.

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The NWS says a winter storm warning will be in effect in San Diego County mountains from 4 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday. Snow is expected in the mountains, becoming heavy at times, with evening snow showers Sunday evening through Monday. Visibility in the mountains will be tough; motorists should take precaution.

At San Diego’s beaches, a high surf warning remains in effect until 10 p.m. Tuesday. Surf between 8 and 12 feet is expected Saturday, with sets up to 16 feet through the afternoon. The NWS says surf is expected to subside Sunday through Tuesday – 6 to 9 feet – with sets to 12 feet. High tide, at 4.8 feet, will be on Sunday at 5:20 a.m.; 5.1 feet at 5:59 a.m. Monday; 5.4 feet at 6:34 a.m. Tuesday.

The NWS says the high surf could lead to coastal flooding and beach erosion, as well as strong rip currents and dangerous swimming conditions.

Just after 1:30 p.m. Saturday, San Diego Lifeguards said the Mission Bay Jetty was difficult to navigate due to the high surf, but would remain open unless conditions worsened.

On Sunday and into Monday, the rain will roll in once again as the third in this series of winter storms hits San Diego County. NBC 7 meteorlogist Jodi Kodesh said Monday's storm should be the wettest of all, given how saturated the ground will be from the two prior storms. Check NBC 7’s forecast here.

Evans said conditions are expected to be much drier by Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Friday, the second storm in this series pummeled the county, bringing heavy rainfall, wild wind and thunderstorm and flash flood warnings.

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Around San Diego, the storm caused trees to fall and block roadways and made for a challenging commute. Emergency crews were also called to several water rescues involving motorists and people caught in flood waters, including a rescue on University Avenue and Alamo Drive where several people became trapped in their cars amid flooding. The storm also caused dozens of power outages across the county.

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On Saturday, many locals worked to clean up the damage from Friday's storm as they braced for more rain on the horizon, including residents in hard-hit South Bay.

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The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) sent a crew to help rescue a person clinging to a tree amid flooding on Avenida Del Rio and Camino De La Reina in Mission Valley:

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The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said there were a few road closures in place Saturday, as of 12 p.m., due to flooding. Those closures included:

• La Media at Airway in San Diego
• Avenida Del Rio at Riverwalk in the Mission Valley area
• 26th Street at Pershing
• 10818 San Diego Mission Rd.
• 500 Camino De La Reina in Mission Valley
• 5800 Ward Rd.
• 1565 India St. in Little Italy 

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Make sure to download NBC 7’s free news app. Weather alerts, like flood advisories warnings are issued through the app. There is also a local, interactive radar.



Photo Credit: NBC10
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<![CDATA[Crowds Unite in San Diego for Women's Marches]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 17:54:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SD-Womens-March-0121-2.jpg

Women, men and children united in San Diego Saturday for two marches for the protection of women's rights in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington and similar demonstrations spanning the globe.

Signs in hand, a large crowd marched through downtown San Diego Saturday morning, including local leaders and politicians like Toni Atkins, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher and Todd Gloria.

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"Peace and love! Peace and love!" demonstrators chanted, as they made their way through downtown in the San Diego Women's March.

"We are all equal and we should be treated that way," the crowd continued.

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"Women's rights are human rights, and human rights for all," others chanted.

As demonstrators marched, spectators lined the streets of downtown, cheering them on. Kids held on to their mothers' hands, some clapping for the cause.

Danielle Stewart marched alongside others and told NBC 7 she was participating in the event for many reasons.

"I’m marching because I have three boys and they need to be shown that women are equal. I’m marching because I’m a sexual assault survivor and it’s important that we not normalize the rhetoric that we’ve heard in the past," she said. "This is why I’m marching, for everybody here."

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The chants continued, some in Spanish.

"Aqui estamos!" demonstrators said, which means, "We are here."

Marcher Megan Flaherty told NBC 7 she was taking part in the event because she disagrees with the direction of President Donald Trump's administration, including his stance on climate change.

“Climate change is real; you can’t delete the website and make it unreal,” she said. “It’s very real, it’s happening, we know that – we need to do something. I’m fighting for the rights of all future generations to live on a healthy planet."

The San Diego Women's March began in front of Civic Center Plaza on Third Avenue in downtown San Diego and then made its way down Broadway to Harbor Drive, ending in front of the County Administration Building.

It was one of two peaceful demonstrations in San Diego Saturday aimed to show unity with the Women’s March on Washington.

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“We stand firm in agreement that women's rights are human rights,” organizers of the San Diego Women's March said. “Make your voice heard.”

In San Diego’s North County, a group gathered for the “Sister March” at the San Marcos Civic Center. At noon, marchers planned to make their way to Palomar Community College. A rally will follow with speakers, music, art and food trucks.

“We stand together in solidarity with our family, friends, and community for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are what makes our democracy great,” organizers of the Sister March said in a press release. “We march here in North County to show solidarity with the March on Washington and our sister marches happening all over the country.”

Earlier this week, NBC 7 spoke with locals planning to participate in the marches.

"People who are privileged need to speak up for those who aren't," said volunteer Wendy Wheatcroft, as she made signs ahead of the local marches planned for Saturday.

Wheatcroft and dozens others spent Thursday afternoon making signs at the Planned Parenthood in Mission Valley.

“We're part of a huge group of people marching for the protection of women's rights," said march organizer, Sarah Shaftel. “It's a beautiful thing."

The timing is purposeful too. This march is the day after inauguration of President Donald Trump.

"We're all kind of burned out on politics. but the reality is the reality. And we have a new administration," said Peter Bolland.

Bolland’s day job is college professor and this will be his first time participating in a march of any kind.

"We feel like the real America isn't being represented right now," he said, sharing the reason for his participation.

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Shaftel said she hopes Saturday's action sparks something bigger.

"What I hope comes of this is that people get ignited and start taking action. It is not time to sit back and watch and see. We have done that for too long and I think it was a mistake," she said.

The organizers had been working closely with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) and both sides expected a peaceful day Saturday.

SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman posted a message on Twitter saying police estimated that about 40,000 people had attended the San Diego Women's March in downtown San Diego.

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To add yourself to the march count go to this website



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[2nd Storm: A Look at Impacted Areas of San Diego]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 23:09:43 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/01-20-17+Rolando+Flooding+on+University+Avenue.jpg

Friday's storm caused flooding across the San Diego County. Here's a look at the impacted areas, as reported by authorities as of 11 p.m. Friday:

 

  • In Oceanside, California Highway Patrol (CHP) issued an advisory to motorists to avoid the area after flooding in two lanes along Gopher Canyon and Little Canyon 
  • Several people were trapped inside their vehicles on University Avenue and Alamo Drive
  • Two people and a dog were pulled to safety after a swift water rescue in Rolando, where cars were stalled in floodwaters on University Avenue and Aragon Drive
  • In Sorrento Valley, three people were rescued from their vehicles after their vehicles were tapped in water
  • An NBC 7 viewer sent us a video of her driving through floodwaters on the Interstate 8 at Fletcher Parkway
  • 1st Street and A Avenue in Coronado was also flooded during the rains
  • San Diego Fire closed off all street crossings in Mission Valley, east of Mission Gorge Road due to flooding as of 7 p.m. Friday
Heavy rain and gusty winds also knocked out power across the county, downing trees and power poles. 
To stay up to date on the latest weather alerts, including flood advisories and warnings, make sure to download NBC 7’s free news app. There is also a local, interactive radar.



Photo Credit: Gene Bobby Thao]]>
<![CDATA[Tutu Marathon Runner Has Died After Battle With Brain Cancer]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 21:46:48 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Monika+Allen+Tutu+Runner.JPG

A San Diego woman who ran more than 20 marathons and was known for running in a tutu has died.

Monika Allen, 38, a Golden Hills resident, died Friday after a battle with brain cancer. She leaves behind a baby girl and a husband.

NBC 7 first spoke with Allen in 2014 after she was featured in SELF magazine.

At the time, Allen told us, the magazine had published a photo of her dressed as Wonder Woman and wearing a tutu while running the LA marathon. It was featured in the section called "The BS Meter" which snubbed outfit choices of women in races.

But the magazine has not been aware that Allen was running her first marathon after chemotherapy.

She had told NBC 7 she had made the tutu herself and it gave her motivation to run the marathon.

Allen sold tutus through her company Glam Runners to help young girls and individuals battling cancer.

Following the incident, Allen received dozens of messages of support.

The magazine apologized to Allen for the photo.


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[American Red Cross Closes Evacuation Shelter in Chula Vista]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 22:43:31 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/02-20-17+Chula+Vista+Tree+on+Home.jpg

Heavy rainfall and powerful winds toppled trees and caused flooding across San Diego County Friday.

At least 10 homes in Chula Vista were damaged due to fallen trees, according to the San Diego American Red Cross. 

An evacuation shelter was opened in Chula Vista for anyone who in need of assistance. 

Just after 10 p.m., Friday, the shelter, located at the Parkway Community Center on 373 Park Way was closed down.

Anyone dealing with damage to homes or busineses due to the storm is asked to contact the County Office of Emergency Services online

To stay up to date on the latest weather alerts, including flood advisories and warnings, make sure to download NBC 7’s free news app. There is also a local, interactive radar.



Photo Credit: Gina Barrett]]>
<![CDATA[Students, Supporters Share Experience from Inauguration Day]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 23:05:39 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-632207622.jpg

During his inaugural address on Friday, President Trump made a call for the country to come together.

“I'm ready to unite behind him and get ready to see where he's going to take us,” said 27-year-old Clare Michal.

She was one of dozens of San Diegans celebrating at an inauguration watch party. Hers was a sentiment echoed amongst many of Mr. Trump’s supporters.

Still, some San Diegans that actually made the trip out East saw something different.

Students from La Jolla Country Day told me they heard boos by Trump supporters during speeches by Democrats.

“I think with unity, people just perceive it differently and it doesn't actually mean a coming together,” said senior Remy Reya. “It means a kind of faction, right? And these factions go against each other. So in a way, the word unity almost divides us.”

The students told NBC 7, they realized things could be different. That was a lesson they learned after meeting with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. They say she got emotional when reflecting on the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a man often on the opposite end of her decisions.

“We have one of the most intelligent women in the world telling us it doesn't have to be that way. You can be colleagues and friends,” said senior Landon Nutt. “That's ultimately the most effective way to run a democracy.”



Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: NFL Owners Really Mad at Dean Spanos]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 08:11:32 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Roger-Goodell-Chargers-Rally2.jpg

NBC 7’s Derek Togerson looks at the latest turn in the Chargers move to L.A. saga in this commentary

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave … when first we practice to deceive.”

-    Walter Scott, Marmion

Oh, Dean.

Dean, Dean, Dean.

You really did it this time.

On Friday something we’ve all suspected here in San Diego was let loose in the national media and it is not reflecting well on the embattled owner of the Bolts. You see, we have long believed that the NFL owners wanted Dean Spanos to work to keep the Chargers in San Diego.

The prevailing wisdom was after voting 30-2 to give Stan Kroenke the keys to Los Angeles the rest of the league believed San Diego had a stadium situation that was at least possible. So they gave Spanos an option to move to L.A. in a year if a new facility could not be agreed upon here.

However, most of the owners very likely thought that would just be motivation for Spanos and the San Diego political structure to get together, put on a united front, and get something done. Remember San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer had spoken to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and shown him a willingness to try and put up a new facility here.

The league was betting that would be the way things went down and everyone would end up happy with a new stadium in America’s Finest City. They were probably not expecting Spanos to use that option as a parachute at the first sign of trouble.

The Chargers hastily threw together their own stadium initiative without help from the political structure, lost miserably in a vote that was doomed from the start, claimed it was a sign that San Diego did not want the team there, and pulled the trigger on a move to L.A.

On Friday NFL reporter Adam Schefter revealed he had talked to multiple NFL owners who are not terribly thrilled with the move:

Since the move was announced, the NFL has been "besides itself," in the words of one league source. "There are a ton of owners very upset that [the Chargers] moved," one source said. The source added that the NFL wants the Chargers to move back, though nobody believes that possibility is realistic.

But some NFL owners and some league officials are still hoping that, now that the move has been made official, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos will wake up one morning soon, recognize this situation has been "bungled so bad" and take his team back to San Diego, where it spent the past 56 years.

Basically, yes.

Now, Schefter is right when he says it’s probably not realistic for the team to move back. However it is not impossible. The physical move has not happened yet. City Hall has said they were willing to work with the Bolts on a plan to get another stadium vote on the ballot in November of 2018 so technically a change of heart and a stay in San Diego could happen.

But the emotional toll another two years would take on the football fans of San Diego cannot be overstated. Chargers supporters have already been through two years of uncertainty and an actual move announcement. Asking them to do that again with another stadium vote that would likely be dicey at best is simply unfair.

There is another way, however, to make things work again for the Chargers in San Diego, and what I am about to lay out is radical but hang with me for a bit: the NFL needs to force Dean Spanos to sell the team. Right now. No waiting. Just put it on the market and get out. Say they won’t charge him the relocation fee or hit him with a fine for selling too soon after a move.

Here is where Goodell needs to be the powerful commissioner people seem to believe him to be. He needs to get out to San Diego and not leave until he and Mayor Faulconer have a stadium deal in place. Where does the money for that stadium come from?

The NFL, stadium naming rights, and the new ownership group. Why would a new owner want to pay for a team AND a new stadium? Because the money to build the stadium will be included in the price of the team.

A new stadium in Mission Valley can be built for, according to most estimates, around $1.2 billion (give or take $200 million). Assuming the NFL will still provide the $300 million it pledged and a new company ponies up at least $150 million for naming rights, you have a $750 million gap in the funding.

When Steve Ballmer bought the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion the starting price for an NFL franchise jumped to $2.5 billion. There is your sale price.

The NFL should mandate that whatever is left of the $2.5 billion after the stadium cost is covered (that $750 million) is what the Spanos family gets. Actually, let’s subtract another $300 million for operating costs and maintenance ($10 million per year over 30 years but the $300 million is placed in to an account where it earns interest and actually makes money for the City). What is left is $1.45 billion and that is what the Spanos family gets, which is more than fair.

This assures the new facility is 100% privately financed, the football fans of San Diego get a new ownership group that actually cares about the community of San Diego, and the new owners get to ride in to our town on a white horse as the heroes who saved the San Diego Chargers, re-igniting the fan base.

Speaking of … while there are multiple Chargers fans who would welcome the team back there are even more who won’t buy another ticket as long as the current ownership group is around. Local politicians said Spanos was never really willing to work with them. San Diego State offered to upgrade the video boards at Qualcomm Stadium and was rebuffed.

There are too many ways to count how Spanos had bungled this entire situation. If the NFL owners are truly upset about what has gone down they have a chance right now to prove it. Plus the second the Chargers sell for that price the value of every single one of their franchises skyrockets.

I know this sounds out there, but if the league can get rid of the thorn in their side (Dean) and San Diego can get its team back (sans Dean) … isn’t that the definition of Win-Win?



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Comfort Food for Rainy Days]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 17:28:23 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/generic+hot+soup.jpg

The rain clouds above Saffron Thai Restaurant have a direct impact on the menu.

The Mission Hills restaurant has been making a Rainy Day Chicken Soup for more than 30 years but they only serve it during weather like Friday's.

"If it doesn't rain in San Diego we don't have the soup," said restaurant manager Marynnes Contreras.

The restaurant chefs decide first thing in the morning if the $3 cup of soup will be on the menu.  They will go months without making it but lately it's been a popular choice.  Eva Lu had never tried the soup until Friday.

"I looked at the menu, at the very bottom and thought, why not get it?" said Lu.

The soup starts with a homemade chicken broth and includes pieces of chicken, ginger, star anise, carrots and greens.  They try to make enough for everyone to order but sometimes they run out.

The restaurant's Thai founder Su Mei Yu got the recipe handed down from her Chinese mother. She has added her own touches since opening the restaurant in 1985.

Su Mei believes soups like this are good for your health. But remember, this soup is only on the menu when the clouds agree.

"So we make it every day when it rains," said Marynnes Contreras, "only when it rains."

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<![CDATA[Padres Add Another San Diego Native]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 16:50:48 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/185*120/Trevor+Cahill+Cubs.JPG

In their quest for starting pitching the Padres have dipped in to the bullpen of the World Series champions.

Vista native Trevor Cahill agreed to a one year, $1.75 million deal with his hometown team. On Friday he passed his physical to make the deal official. Cahill appeared in 50 games for the Cubs, all but one as a reliever, in 2016.

Cahill was selected in the 2nd round of the MLB Draft by the A’s out of Vista High School in 2006. He was going to head to Dartmouth before pro ball got in the way so he is a smart guy. Cahill reached the big leagues at the age of 21 and was an All-Star a year later, going 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA and a 4.0 WAR.

He has not enjoyed that level of success since. Cahill was traded to the Diamondbacks and lost his role in the starting rotation. Arizona traded him to Atlanta, who then flipped him to Chicago. It was on the North Side that Cahill reinvented himself as a full-time reliever.

But, much like Drew Pomeranz last year, Cahill has longed to return to the starting rotation. He will get that chance in Spring Training and is a good candidate to re-claim his past success working with Padres Pitching Coach Darren Balsley, a man who has resuscitated the careers of several pitchers including former San Diego State star Aaron Harang and Jon Garland.

The Padres now have at least the following pitchers vying for the five spots in the rotation:

Trevor Cahill, RHP
Luis Perdomo, RHP
Clayton Richard, LHP
Christian Friedrich, LHP
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP
Paul Clemens, RHP
Jarred Cosart, RHP
Tyrell Jenkins, RHP
Robbie Erlin, LHP
Cesar Vargas, RHP
Dinelson Lamet, RHP (not on 40-man roster)

If he does not win a rotation spot Cahill has proven to be an effective reliever so the Padres will get some use out of him.

]]>
<![CDATA[Tree Falls on 4 Students in Chula Vista]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:03:14 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chula+vista+middle+school+tree+fall+0120.jpg

Several students were taken to the hospital Friday after a tree fell on them at Chula Vista Middle School, police confirmed.

The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) said the tree toppled at 415 5th Ave. at around 1:30 p.m. Four students suffered minor injuries but are expected to be alright, police said.

The tree was on school grounds; no further details about the incident were immediately released. Firefighters were wrapping up and clearing the scene by 2:15 p.m.

This incident is the latest in a string of fallen trees and other damage caused by Friday's powerful storm -- the second in a series of three winter storms pummeling San Diego County this weekend.

Get weather updates here.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Emergency Crews Search for Man in Buena Vista Creek]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 17:08:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Buena-Vista-Creek-Rescue-1.jpg

Amid strong winds and downpour, firefighters, lifeguards and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) officials launched a search Friday at Buena Vista Creek in Carlsbad for a man that a witness reported seeing in the water.

Crews from several North County agencies – including the Oceanside, Vista and Carlsbad fire departments and Oceanside Lifeguards – rushed to Buena Vista Creek around 12:15 p.m. for the search and possible swift water rescue.

The U.S. Coast Guard launched a helicopter around 2 p.m to the scene to assist ground crews in the search.

Witnesses told officials that they saw a man in the creek and then, suddenly, he was gone. Witnesses believed the man was still in the water, so they called authorities for help.

Crews began scouring the water in search of the possible victim but were unable to locate him, even with the help of infra-red cameras. 

The USCG helicopter planned to conduct an aerial search during a half-hour window when the weather was expected to let up a little bit. But due to inclement weather, the chopper was unable to locate anyone.

The operation came in the middle of Friday's powerful winter storm -- the second in a series of three storms pummeling San Diego County this weekend.

A battalion chief with the Oceanside Fire Department said crews were doing everything they could to find the man reportedly seen in the water including walking up and down creek and creating a perimeter around the water.

As of 2:20 p.m., there was still no sign of the man. USCG officials were unable to find him in their aerial search, so the operation was called off. 

With the heavy, cold rain and wind, the battalion chief said the search conditions were miserable – the worst crews could endure during a rescue effort. The creek was also littered with debris from the storm.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego
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<![CDATA[San Diegans Gather to Protest Trump's Inauguration]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:34:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Trump+SD+protest.jpg

About 100 people gathered in the rain at San Diego City College to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Friday.

They joined protests nationwide, including demonstrations in Washington D.C. that turned violent, surrounding Trump taking office.

From City College, protesters planned to then march to the Federal Building in downtown San Diego. Later, they planned to head to Chicano Park in Barrio Logan for more protests.

Another demonstration was slated for the afternoon at Balboa Park.

Protesters carried signs that read “Worst president ever” among other anti-Trump sentiments. One woman carried a Trump piñata.

Here’s a look at the scene from NBC 7 reporter Steve Luke:

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Photo Credit: Steven Luke
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Life Sentence for Man in 2008 Lakeside Killing]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:24:14 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jail_generic_bars.jpg

A man convicted of murder in the 2008 shooting death of a man outside a tavern in Lakeside will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Destin Lee Withers, 40, was sentenced to life in prison Friday for the Feb. 11, 2008, murder of Mark "Randy" Vogler.

On that day nearly nine years ago, Vogler was shot to death as he walked near a tavern on Woodside Avenue. For many years, his murder case remained unsolved.

On Aug. 28, 2014, officials reported a major break in the local cold case: Withers and another man, Brian Baldino, now 32 years old, had each been charged with one count of first-degree murder in the killing of Vogler.

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Officials with the Sheriff’s Cold Case Homicide Team and other agencies said both men were already in custody on unrelated cases when they were charged with first-degree murder in this case.

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NBC 7 spoke with Withers' attorney, Barton Sheela, Friday who said Withers had no statement at this time.

Baldino is set to appear in court on Feb. 3. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-BP Agent Gets 2 Years in Prison for Sex Acts With Teen]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:02:35 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Daniel-Spear-Border-Patrol-Agent.jpg

A former U.S. Border Patrol agent convicted of giving his daughter’s teenage friend cocaine and committing sex acts on the minor in a San Diego hotel will spend the next two years behind bars.

Daniel Alfredo Spear was sentenced Friday to 24 months in prison. He may be eligible for parole after he serves his time, a court clerk confirmed.

Spear was found guilty last September on three counts in his sex acts case: digital penetration of a minor; oral copulation of a minor; employment of a minor to perform prohibited acts.

He committed the acts in October 2015 on a 17-year-old girl in a hotel room in Mission Bay. The victim was one of his daughter's friends. 

At Spear's pretrial hearing in March 2016, the teenager took the stand as the prosecution’s key witness.

She testified that Spear brought cocaine, money, lingerie and a camera to the Dana Inn hotel on Mission Bay. After giving the teen the drugs, Spear allegedly took photos of the minor while performing sex acts on her. The teen also said Spear touched her inappropriately when she spent the night at his house during the Fourth of July in 2015.

San Diego Police Department (SDPD) detectives found more than 10 photos of the victim on Spear’s phone. Several of those pictures showed the teen posing in lingerie.

In the March 2016 pretrial, Spear’s attorney said Spear and his wife had given money to the teenager to pay for food and rent, as the teen was allegedly having problems with her mother. The attorney also questioned the minor about her medical condition, fibromyalgia, which she acknowledged affects her memory.

Ultimately, a judge ruled there was enough evidence for Spear to stand trial. During the course of the investigation, the U.S. Border Patrol placed Spear on paid administrative leave, and also launched an internal investigation.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Lakeside Residents Brace for Possible Flooding]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:50:50 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rain-San-Diego-0120-2.jpg

Friday’s powerful winter storm – a series of three striking San Diego over several days – caused flooding in one neighborhood in Lakeside and major stress for its residents.

Homeowners in the area of Lemon Crest Drive and Winter Gardens Boulevard surrounded their properties with sandbags. On Friday morning, county crews set up hoses to pump the water away from the homes and divert it elsewhere in case the street started to flood.

The neighborhood lacks proper drainage and this is a frustrating, scary issue for homeowners, including Ken Hughes.

“I feel helpless, and here’s why: the county’s known about this for 50+ years,” Hughes told NBC 7. “Water was coming into my yard and made it into my garage.”

Hughes moved into his home on Lemon Crest Drive last month. During a December storm, he experienced the flooding in his new neighborhood firsthand.

The county said there’s an $8 million flood control project in the works for that neighborhood, but residents said they need help now, not later, as major flooding happens in the area whenever it rains. The county said the project is currently in the design and environmental phase.

NBC 7 is tracking this series of storms. To get the latest weather updates from NBC 7, click here.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Winter Storms Bring Heavy Rain to San Diego]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 15:49:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/02-20-17+Chula+Vista+Tree+on+Home.jpg A series of three strong winter storms are sweeping San Diego County. Here's a look at the wet weather.

Photo Credit: Gina Barrett]]>
<![CDATA[2nd Storm: Powerful Rain, Wild Winds]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 23:09:06 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rain-San-Diego-0120-2.jpg

Heavy rain pummeled San Diego County Friday as the second storm in a series hit hard, bringing with it thunderstorm and flash flood warnings.

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NBC 7 meteorologist Jodi Kodesh said San Diegans would continue to give those umbrellas a workout Friday with that second storm system sweeping the county. Heavy rain first hit in the early hours -- and was expected to last all day, intensifying as the day unfolds. This rainfall comes on the heels of Thursday's storm, the first in the series expected to last through Monday and perhaps linger into Tuesday.

Kodesh said Friday's showers would move quickly.

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“It’s a very powerful storm. We are going to see wild wind blow into our county today,” she explained. “Even our beaches are under a high wind warning. We could see wind gusts up to 60 mph at the coast; that is definitely enough to topple a tree.”

Temperatures will be cold, for San Diego, with a high of 59 degrees. Kodesh said the most intense rainfall will come down between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday. Scattered showers will linger through Friday evening.

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The weekend will be wet as well, with a chance of showers Saturday morning and again after 10 p.m. On Sunday and into Monday, the third storm system in this series will arrive. The storm on Monday should be the wettest of all, Kodesh said. Check NBC 7’s forecast here.

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Meanwhile, the National Weather Service (NWS) said the storms have activated multiple weather warnings around San Diego County including a high surf warning in effect through 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The NWS expects high surf to increase Friday to 10 to 16-foot surf. By Sunday, the high surf should subside to 4 to 8 feet. Monday, surf will be between 9 and 12 feet at local beaches, slowly lowering into Tuesday. The highest tide – 4.6 feet – will be Saturday at 4:35 a.m. in La Jolla, according to the NWS.

The high surf will bring with it potential for strong rip currents, coastal erosion and coastal flooding. Piers may also be flooded by the high surf. Often times, in storms and winter weather events, the Ocean Beach Pier is closed to the public as a precaution. Officials discourage people from swimming in our oceans during high surf warnings.

The NWS said a high wind warning is in effect through 10 p.m. Saturday. The strongest winds are expected Friday and Friday night. The winds will gradually decrease Saturday but strong gusts are expected to strike again Sunday.

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The NWS has also issued a winter storm warning for Julian and Pine Valley, effective until 6 a.m. Saturday. Above 6,000 feet, those areas should see between 12 and 18 inches of snow; at 5,000 to 5,500 feet, 3 to 7 inches of snow are expected.

Mount Laguna saw snow Friday and looked like a winter wonderland:

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A flash flood warning was also in effect for San Diego County’s coastal areas, valleys, mountains and inland areas through at least 9 p.m. This includes the following communities: Oceanside; Vista; Carlsbad; Encinitas; Chula Vista; National City; San Diego; Escondido; El Cajon; San Marcos; La Mesa; Santee; Poway.

Residents in one Lakeside neighborhood, which lacks proper drainage, experienced flooding Thursday night and Friday morning:

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Due to the strong winds, the NWS also issued an aviation weather warning for the San Diego International Airport. Gusts of 40 knots or greater are expected from noon to 4 p.m. There’s also a slight risk of thunderstorms during the same time frame, with risk of large hail and lightning.

In light of possible flooding, several locations across San Diego County's districts are offering free sandbags to residents.

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Also, the San Diego Housing Commission, in partnership with the City of San Diego, has activated its Inclement Weather Shelter Program for downtown San Diego’s homeless at Father Joe’s Villages and Connections Housing Downtown. The program provides shelter to the homeless during severe weather conditions.

To that end, Father Joe’s Villages Shelter on Imperial Avenue, which can house up to 250 people, will be open to the homeless starting at 4 p.m. Friday. The homeless can also check into PATH San Diego/Connections Housing Downtown, which can house 30 people, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Impact of Friday's Storm

Due to Friday's severe weather, SeaWorld San Diego said the amusement park will be closed. The park plans to reopen Saturday.

Legoland California Resort in Carlsbad announced it would close early Friday, at 12:30 p.m., due to the weather.

There were also reports of fallen trees, including a large tree that toppled on at the UC San Diego campus, damaging some cars, and a tree that fell and blocked roadways in Scripps Ranch, at Canyon Lake and Aviary drives.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) confirmed a tree had fallen in the 2000 block of Riviera Drive in Vista and it was blocking some lanes. Some wires were down as well, officials said.

A tree also fell on 5th Avenue in Chula Vista on at least four Chula Vista Middle School students. Some of those students were taken to a local hospital.

In Poway, a tree fell and blocked Valle Verde northbound at Starmount (Vineland Hill/Lomas Verdes Estates). Another tree toppled on Twin Peaks eastbound, between Midland and Budwin Lane. Public Works crews were clearing those scenes, but City of Poway officials advised motorists to use caution in these areas and expect traffic delays.

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At 2:30 p.m., a tree fell in the 700 block of Broadway in Chula Vista, hitting a car. There was one person inside the car at the time; that person was able to get out. The downed tree was blocking lanes, police said.

Over on Plaza Boulevard in National City, crews spent hours fixing a power pole that fell after the anchors gave out during the storm. Officials said residents in the area, along with some businesses, were left without power while crews repaired the downed pole. Some businesses shut their doors for the day.

In Encinitas -- at Encinitas Boulevard and Willowspring -- a power pole toppled and on the 1800 block of Tennis Place, a downed Eucalyptus tree nearly sliced a home in half.

In Oceanside, CHP officials said there was flooding in two lanes along Gopher Canyon and Little Canyon at around 12:30 p.m. Officials said there was lots of water in the roadway; motorists were advised to avoid the area.

In Carlsbad, firefighters, lifeguards rushed to Buena Vista Creek for a search and rescue mission after witnesses reported a man in the water. The U.S. Coast Guard sent a helicopter to aid in the search. After a few hours, officials said they couldn't find anyone in the creek and the search was called off.

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At approximately 3:20 p.m., the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) was attempting a water rescue on University Avenue and Alamo Drive where several people were trapped inside multiple vehicles.

In Coronado, a tree was uprooted near several homes on the 1400 block of Leyte Road. A Eucalyptus tree at Pioneer Park in Mission Hills was also uprooted from the heavy winds. In the same area, on Hickory and Trias streets, a Palm tree landed on a Toyota Carolla parked across the street.

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In Rolando, a few cars were caught in the floodwaters on University Avenue and Aragon Drive. The Swift Water Rescue Teams pulled two people and a dog to safety from the water.

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In Sorrento Valley, three people were rescued from their vehicles after the engines stalled in the water rushing down the street.

NBC 7 viewer Grace Yayco sent us a video of flooding on the Interstate 8 at Fletcher Parkway.

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Parkway Plaza in El Cajon closed down Friday evening due to a power outtage.

San Diego Fire advised that after 7 p.m., all street crossings across Mission Valley, east of Mission Gorge Road would be closed due to flooding.

Dozens of power outages were reported across the county on San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) website. One of the larger outages was reported around 11 a.m. and impacted about 3,000 customers in parts of the following communities: Sorrento; Mira Mesa; Scripps Ranch; MCAS-Miramar; Scripps Ranch; Lake Murray; Mission Gorge; Sycamore Canyon.

According to an SDG&E spokesperson, at the height of the storm, an estimated 35,000 customers were out of power across the county. As of 10:30 p.m., 18,000 people still did not have power.

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Make sure to download NBC 7’s free news app. Weather alerts, like flood advisories warnings are issued through the app. There is also a local, interactive radar.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Water Contact Closure Issued for IB, Silver Strand, Coronado]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 18:38:37 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/WCAU_Raw_Video_Beach_Closed_082808_52_mezzn_448x336.jpg

A water contact closure issued Thursday for the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Imperial Beach now includes the Silver Strand and Coronado shorelines.

The County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health extended the existing closure Friday after observing northward currents moving sewage-contaminated runoff entering the Tijuana Estuary up the coast.

The sewage-contaminated runoff is originating in the Tijuana River, according to the department.

Posted signs warning of sewage contamination will remain until water is tested and deemed safe for recreational use.

For more information, call the U.S. international Boundary & Water Commission at (619) 662-7600.

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<![CDATA[Man and Woman Arrested After Short Pursuit in Santee: SDSO]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 23:20:01 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/01-19-17+santee+pursuit+end.JPG

Two people were arrested in Santee after a short pursuit Thursday night, the San Diego Sheriff's Department (SDSO) confirmed.

The pursuit began around 8:57 p.m. in the area of El Nopal and Los Ranchitos Road in Lakeside.

According to SDSO, the driver failed to yeild for an unspecified vehicle code infraction, leading to a pursuit.

The more than 10-minute pursuit ended at Woodglen Vista Drive and Woodrose Avenue in Santee.

A man and a woman were taken into custody, SDSO officials said.

No other information was available.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Brother Wants Justice for Paradise Hills Hit-and-Run Victim]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 08:28:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/CLIP-PARADISE_HILLS_HIT_AND_RUN_video_1200x675_858677315523.jpg

A Paradise Hills man is asking for the public's help to find the person suspected of hitting and killing his brother Thursday morning.

The suspect vehicle involved in the deadly crash was recovered but police are still looking for the person behind the wheel at the time.

San Diego Police (SDPD) said the collision happened around 7 a.m. in the 5900 block of Albemarle Street.

Jose Padron, 49, was getting am umbrella out of his car when a hit-and-run suspect traveling eastbound on Albemarle Street lost control and crossed over a center median. The driver sideswiped a parked car, then struck the victim's parked car and the victim.

Police said Padron was carried 30 to 40 feet down the road on top of the suspect's vehicle before rolling off of the hood.

Thursday night, NBC 7 spoke to the victim's brother, Oscar Padron who said the father of a young son and husband was a kind soul, deeply devoted to family.

Oscar Padron told NBC 7, Padron had been retrieving the umbrella so that his wife wouldn't have to walk to her car in the rain.

"It's still shocking, like a dream. It happened, we have to cope with it right now,” Padron said.

He said he owned an auto shop with his brother and also lived with him, adding that he was there when his brother was killed.

"When he was hit, I ran out there. I said my last good-byes to him. I hugged him. I kissed him,” he said.

The driver stopped for only a few seconds after the class and then fled. 

Neighbors told NBC 7, the incident has them outraged.

"It's like so surreal, like something you would see in a movie. Like who doesn't stop after they hit someone,” family friend Lauren Marcial said.

Neighter question how distracted the driver was that he crossed the center line and hit Padron.

“What was he doing on the other side of the road? Drunk? Drugs? Texting?, family friend Carol Feinberg said.

The video of the suspect car was captured on a neighbor's security camera a couple hundred yards from the collision occurred.

“Right now the best thing to do is turn yourself in," said Oscar Padron. "And the main question is, why? And why was he on the other side of the road."

The Padron family said they want answers, and the person responsible to be brought to justice.

Neighbors could not identify the driver, but said they believe the suspect lives somewhere in the Paradise Hills Neighborhood.

An online fundraiser was started to help Padron's family.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

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<![CDATA[1 Dead After Single Car Rollover in Ramona: Cal Fire]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:34:29 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic23.jpg

One person has died following a single car rollover in Ramona, Cal Fire officials said. 

The crash happened shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Highland Valle Road and Voorhes Lane, Cal Fire Public Information Officer Isaac Sanchez said. 

There was only one person inside the car, Sanchez said. Officials do not have additional information on the victim. 

No other cars were involved. 

No further information was available. 

Check back for updates on this breaking news story. 

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<![CDATA[Fmr. Marine Secretly Recorded Women at MCAS Miramar: Atty.]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:34:53 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/gavel-generic-stock.jpg

A former Marine has been sentenced to two years probation after he pleaded guilty to secretly recording women in a MCAS Miramar restroom, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Former Marine Kory Nathan Brower previously pleaded guilty to two federal counts of video voyeurism. 

On Thursday, he was sentenced to one year probation for each count, to be served consecutively, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. 

In his guilty plea, Brower admitted to intentionally taking photos of women's unclothed private areas. He used a video recording device in the women's restroom on the base, according to his plea. 

He admitted he recorded the women in a place they should expect privacy. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Griffith told the court during the sentencing that no sentence would give the victims what they lost. 

In issuing his sentence, Magistrate Judge William V. Gallo said the former Marine had stolen each victim's "sanctity". 

He said he hoped the women would be able to recover and move forward. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Small Fire at UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:04:22 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDFD-Generic-Garske.JPG

Fire crews are responding to a small, reported fire at UC San Diego's Scripps Institute of Oceanography, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) CaptainJoe Amador said. 

The fire was reported between the first and second floors of the building at 8861 Shellback Way at approximately 6:59 p.m., Amador said. 

When crews arrived on scene, they could smell smoke, but could not see flames. 

Fire crews remain on scene. 

No other information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this breaking news story. 



Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[SDUSD Spent More Than $37K Into Foster's Investigation]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 21:20:29 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/marne+foster1.JPG

An investigation into a former San Diego Unified School (SDUSD) board member cost more than $37,000, according to documents obtained by NBC 7 Investigates.

Foster resigned from the SDUSD last year after information surfaced she had held a benefit to raise money for her son's college tuition.

The allegations led to a series of other incidents including criminal charges. In the end, Foster plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of accepting illegal gifts as a public official.

The SDUSD's investigation was headed by investigators hired from the firm DLA Piper.

previously, The school board had voted to cap the costs of the investigation at $40,000.

NBC 7 Investigates has been asking for the investigation documents since last year when the investigation began.

You can view the documents here.

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<![CDATA[Journalists Come Together to Address Press Freedom Issues]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:58:54 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-632121018.jpg

More than 60 journalism organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists, have sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, asking for a meeting to discuss press freedoms and the importance of First Amendment rights remaining to be protected. 

In the letter, mailed Wednesday, the coalition of journalists explain concerns that were shared with President Obama’s Press Secretary John Earnest back in 2015 and how little was done to address those concerns. 

Those concerns include federal officials blocking reporter requests to talk to specific people within federal agencies and officials conveying information “on background” as opposed to releasing information on-the-record or in a more transparent manner, the coalition writes in the letter. 

The letter quotes Thomas Jefferson, stating “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” 

“Primarily what we are concerned about is the public’s access to information that is guaranteed to them and that they’re allowed to have, but also access to the President himself once he is sworn in and government employees,” said Lynn Walsh, the National President for the Society of Professional Journalists. 

Walsh is also the Executive Producer for NBC 7 Investigates here in San Diego. 

The letter urges President-elect Trump to affirm a commitment to transparency with a more free flow of information from the White House and federal government to the American public. 

To read the letter, click here



Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bidding is Open on Special Tony Gwynn Memorabilia]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:58:12 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tony+gwynn+auction+memorabilia+0119.jpg

Your chance to bid on some of the most exclusive Mr. Padre memorabilia available will end soon.

Game-worn jerseys, Hall of Fame and All-Star Game rings, and award trophies given to Tony Gwynn during and after his playing days are all up for auction until 5 p.m. Saturday, January 21 at SCP.auctions.com.

The memorabilia items were donated by Gwynn’s wife, Alicia Gwynn, and the Gwynn family. Portions of proceeds from the auction go toward the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation.

Here are some of the items featured in the Tony Gwynn Collection:

• A game used Louisville Slugger bat Gwynn used from during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. Pine tar, cleat, bat rack and ball marks let you know that this bat spent little time in storage.

• The 1999 Roberto Clemente Award trophy, an award given annually to the MLB player “who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.”

• Two MLB All-Star Game rings: One from Gwynn’s first-career appearance, the 1984 All-Star Game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, and the other from his second appearance, the 1985 All-Star Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis.

• Gwynn’s 3,000th hit ball- a single up the middle into right-center field in the 1st inning of a game against the Montreal Expos on August 6, 1999.

• The MLB Players Association Lifetime Achievement Award trophy given to Tony Gwynn on January 19, 2008.

• The 1989 National League Batting Championship trophy awarded to Gwynn after he finished the season with batting .336. If you’d like to celebrate his career-best .394 clip from the 1994 season, there’s a beer for that.

• Gwynn’s first-career home run- a solo shot off of Chicago Cubs reliever Bill Campbell in the 6th inning of a game at Wrigley Field on August 22, 1982, Gwynn’s rookie season.

• Two signed, game-worn San Diego Padres home jerseys: A white jersey with blue lettering from the 2000 season, and a white pinstriped jersey from the 2001 season, both with staining and obvious signs of wear.

“It shows a lot of wear, some staining,” said Terry Melia of SCP Auctions. “So you know that Tony was sweating in this, wearing it during the game, and, obviously, transferring some DNA onto this jersey.”

• Gwynn’s 10 karat gold Hall of Fame induction ring. If for some wild reason you wanted to flaunt this piece of jewelry on a digit, it’s a size 10.

• The 1995 National League Silver Slugger Award trophy, one of the seven Gwynn won in his career.

You can register to bid on any of these items online at SCPauctions.com or by calling (949) 831-3700.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[SDSO Release Images of Vista Coffee Shop Robbery Suspect]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:45:16 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/01-19-17+Vista+Coffee+Shop+robbery.JPG

Authorities are searching for a suspect wanted in connection to a coffee shop robbery in Vista over the weekend.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO), the robbery occurred on Jan. 14 around 6:30 p.m. at the Skybound Coffee Dessert Lounge on Melrose Drive.

SDSO said the suspect approached the barista and asked for a cup of water. When she gave him the water, he threatened her with a 10-inch kitchen knife and demanded money from the cash register.

The suspect then fled from the scene, heading northbound in the parking lot.

On Thursday, SDSO released images of the suspect caught on surveillance video.

He is described to be between 25 to 30 years old, around 5-feet, 9-inches tall, and weighing approximately 130 pounds. He was last seen wearing a tan hoodie, gray scarf, a brown shirt and black jacket with brown pants. He had a brown goatee and mustache.

Anyone with information is asked to call SDSO or Crime Stoppers at (888)580-8477.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

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<![CDATA[Local Teachers, Students Bundle Up Without Heated Classrooms]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:47:46 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rancho+Bernardo+High+School1.JPG

Students and teachers are now in their third straight week without heat in classrooms at Rancho Bernardo High School (RBHS), causing some students to bring blankets to class.

"It was colder in the classroom than it was outside. Everyone wore their jackets it was freezing" said RBHS senior Trevor Ford.

A district spokeswoman said upon return from winter break, faculty noticed hot water leaking up from the ground in front of the main office and classrooms wouldn't heat up.

Both issues stem from a busted pipe which carries the hot water throughout the building used to heat classrooms.

The issue dragged on much longer than many of the teachers had hoped because the replacement part wasn’t easy to find.

Temperatures in some the classrooms dipped into the 50’s this week.

"I think it's just tough especially first thing in the morning, you come into school and it's a little cold, so getting things moving. I think as the day goes on students move around and teachers and classrooms heat up a little bit, it gets better. But I think first thing in the morning, it's a little chilly," said RBHS Principal David Lemaster.

Parents and students had mixed reaction to the heating problem.

"It doesn't raise any alarms as a parent. I talked to my daughter about it, she says she is aware some of the heaters aren't working,” said parent Paula Waters.

Another parent waiting for her student blew off the complaints.

“We live in San Diego, not the northeast, deal with it," she said.

But some of the school’s teachers are some of the most vocal critics.

Many are fed up with the string of ongoing infrastructure problems which they believe circles back to cheap construction when the school was built in 1991.

Some of the classrooms have leaks during heavy rain because they were constructed with dirt mounds up the side of the buildings and moisture in walls have led to cases of mold.

The district said in one situation, a teacher found moldy books in a cabinet.

"As of right now, I don't know of any issues, so as it rains we'll continue to monitor the situation,” Lemaster said.

As for the heating issue, Lemaster added that the replacement part has been ordered and they hope to have heated classrooms by the end of next week.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Tony Gwynn Memorabilia Up for Auction]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:52:42 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tony+gwynn+auction+memorabilia+0119.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[61-Year Old Man Not Expected to Survive After Assault in PB]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:10:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police+tape.PNG

A 61-year old man was taken to the hospital after a fight between him and another family member Thursday morning in Pacific Beach.

The incident occurred around 2 a.m. in the 800 block of Sapphire Street, according to the San Diego Police Department (SDPD).

Officers responded to report of a violent disturbance and found the victim in the backyard of the residence.

He was taken to a local hospital and is not expected to survive, police said.

The 43-year old man involved in the fight was taken into custody and later released pending further investigation.

Police said both men have been identified but they will not be releasing that information at this time.

SDPD Homicide Detectives are investigation the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (888)580-8477.

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<![CDATA[Aztecs Head Football Coach Rocky In It For The Long Run]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:04:58 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-598994912.jpg

Aztecs head football coach Rocky Long is in it for the “long” run.

On Thursday, the San Diego State University (SDSU) Aztecs Head Coach agreed to a five year contract extension that will keep him as the head coach through the 2021 season.

Long will be entering his seventh season as head coach, and his ninth year overall at San Diego State.

Numbers show that he has had quite an impact on the team’s performance over his time on The Mesa. Long has helped to take the team to a Bowl game each season since he was assigned the position of Head Coach back in 2011.

Of the team's six appearances in Bowl Games, SDSU was victorious three times. That includes this season, where they surpassed Houston with a 34-10 victory, and finished first in the Mountain West Conference with an 11-3 overall record and 6-2 league.

In addition to the successful track record of Bowl Game appearances, Long has helped the Aztecs finish first in the Mountain West two out of his six seasons. They also tied for first in 2012 and 2014.

Under Long's guidance, SDSU now has three Mountain West Football titles. That is the most in the league over a six season span.

In addition, the Aztecs are one of six programs in the country to win at least three conference titles in the last five seasons.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Missing Southwest Airlines Gift Card Money]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:43:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Costco+Amex.JPG

A San Carlos mother said she spent over $300 on a gift card for airfare but when her daughter tried to use the card, the money was missing. 

In 2015, Bernadine said she decided to give her daughter, Sue, and son-in-law a Southwest gift card as a Christmas present. The gift card was worth $300. 

“My son-in-law travels to St. Louis, Missouri often and Sue comes down here,” Bernadine Ernster said. “I thought everything was fine until Sue tried to redeem the points.” 

Six months after Bernadine had purchased the card, she said her daughter tried to use the gift card but the transaction wouldn’t go through. 

Bernadine said Southwest Airlines told her that the card and points had been cancelled and the money refunded back to her American Express credit card. 

Bernadine said there was a problem with that. 

“It was no longer any good, it was defunct, I couldn't use it anywhere because it had changed over to Citibank Visa,” Bernadine said. 

The card was linked to Costco and Costco had switched card companies from American Express to Citibank Visa. According to Bernadine, the companies told her the money should have transferred automatically to her new card. 

“When I contacted Citibank Visa, they said too much time had lapsed, they couldn't do anything about it and they didn't know anything about it,” she said. 

Bernadine also said she checks her bank statements regularly and the refund never arrived. 

“I couldn’t believe why nobody could find this money and my children told me Mom don’t give up,” Bernadine said. “I saw Consumer Bob on TV and I was impressed with how he handles things.” 

That’s when she contacted NBC 7 Responds. We contacted all of the companies involved: Southwest, American Express and Citibank. Southwest confirmed they refunded the money. American Express told us the money should have automatically transferred. Citibank got to work and in a few days, a spokesperson told us they had good news. 

“I would like to give them that Christmas gift,” Bernadine said. 

Citibank told Bernadine they did not know what happened to the money but because they value her as a customer, they would credit her account for the full amount that was missing.

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<![CDATA[Man Accused of Killing Mother on Indian Reservation in Court]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:42:55 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Pala+Investigation.JPG

A man accused of shooting and killing a mother on the Pala Indian Reservation pleaded not guilty to the crime in court. 

Milton Trujillo was charged with murder in the death of Carolyn Cagey, 43. He pleaded not guilty to the crime in court. One of Trujillo's defense attorneys, Peter Liss, told NBC 7 it was too early to give his client's side of the story. 

Cagey was found dead on the 2900 block of W. Pala Mission Road on the reservation early Monday, San Diego County Sheriff's deputies said. 

The Native American woman suffered signs of trauma to her upper body; deputies later said she had been shot multiple times, deputies said. Her dead was ruled a homicide by Sheriff's officials. 

The victim had another son who died four years ago, and the family had also buried a relative recently.

If convicted, Trujillo faces 25 years to life in prison. 

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321 or after hours at (858) 565-5200. You can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

No other information was immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Horse Ranch Owner Facing Child Porn Charges Enters Plea]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:45:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Clews-Ranch-blurb-image.jpg

The owner of a popular North County horse ranch facing federal child pornography charges appeared in federal court Thursday for his arraignment. 

Christian Clews, 51, was formally charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, according to a U.S. Attorney's office spokeswoman. He pleaded not guilty. 

In addition to his plea, Judge Schopler ordered Clews to stay at his home at the ranch between 2 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following morning every day of the week. 

He will be allowed outside his house from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. to take care of his work, so long as no minors are nearby. All independent contractors that train and work at the property are required to be notified that they may not train minors - and minors may not be on the property - before 2 p.m. any day of the week. 

Clews appeared in court following a two-year-long Homeland Security investigation that began with images investigators say were found on the ranch owner's mobile phone.

According to the complaint, investigators found numerous child pornography images and video files on multiple electronic devices.

The images showed "sexually explicit conduct" with children under 12 years old, according to the complaint. Some allegedly involved the use of animals.

The complaint indicates Clews admitted to investigators he possessed and distributed child porn after they read him his rights.

Clews Horse Ranch is an established Carmel Valley horse boarding and training facility.

By most accounts, the ranch is often swarming with kids.

The complaint does not indicate whether children who visited the ranch could be seen in any of the confiscated images, but those close to the case tell NBC7 San Diego Police are trying to determine the answer to that very question.

Clews was also an investor representative on the Carmel Valley community planning board. According to the website, his term ended in 2016.

Clews will next appear in federal court on Feb. 24. 



Photo Credit: NBC 7 Archives
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<![CDATA[6 More Flu Deaths Reported in San Diego]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 13:56:04 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/flu+shot+generic1.JPG

Six more flu-related deaths were reported in San Diego last week, health officials confirmed Thursday, saying influenza activity is widespread across the county.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) said this brings the season’s total flu-related deaths to 14 in San Diego County this season. Those who died ranged in age from 45 to 96. The HHSA said each person – except for a 45-year-old woman – had underlying medical conditions.

By this same time last year, there were a total of three influenza-related deaths reported in San Diego.

Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer, said for those with underlying health conditions, influenza can be deadly. This is why health officials recommend getting a flu vaccine, as it is considered the best protection against the illness.

Health officials recommend an annual flu shot; after the vaccination, it takes two weeks for immunity to develop, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The vaccination is especially recommended for those at high-risk of experiencing complications with the flu, including people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and people age 65 and older.

The HHSA’s latest “Influenza Watch” report, from the week ending on Jan. 14, says 5 percent of all emergency department visits in San Diego were patients experiencing flu-like symptoms.

There were 442 lab-confirmed cases of influenza for the week, down from 474 the week prior.

To date, there have been 1,788 lab-confirmed cases of the flu in San Diego. Last year at this time, there were 603.

Flu season in the U.S. occurs between December and May.

For a list of county public health centers where you can get a flu shot, click here or call 211.



Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Shareholder Law Firms Add to Tech Giant’s Woes]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:31:54 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/246*120/qualcomm_sign.jpg

There seems to be no rest for Qualcomm Inc. After being sued by the federal government, law firms piled on to give it more headaches.

At least two securities law firms announced Jan. 17 that they planned to investigate shareholder claims against Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM). This came after Qualcomm’s share price fell on news of a federal antitrust suit.

Shares of Qualcomm closed down 4 percent Jan. 17 on news that the Federal Trade Commission was poised to sue the company. After the market closed, the FTC filed its suit. Qualcomm published a statement saying it would fight the FTC in court.

Qualcomm shares closed at $66.88 on Jan. 13. After the three-day weekend they fell to close at $64.19 on Jan. 17. They picked up some lost ground on Jan. 18, when they closed at $65.13.

New York-based Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman LLC and New York-based Pomerantz LLP issued press releases saying they planned to investigate potential claims on behalf of Qualcomm investors and asked investors to come forward.

If the pattern holds up, more law firms will pile on to file class action lawsuits if shares go lower.



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
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<![CDATA[F-35s Have More Than 200 Problems in Combat: Report]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:37:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/F-35-fighter.jpg

The military's newest and most sophisticated jet - the F-35 Strike Fighter - is under fire once again. 

The Fort Worth, Texas-built Lockheed Martin jets have more than 200 problems with combat performance, a new Defense Department report found.

Some of those combat performance problems include the escape system, a danger for lighter weight pilots during ejection, and cyber security risks, including worries the highly sophisticated system could be hacked. 

In recent months, the jets have faced a series of issues: delays, cost over-runs, a temporary grounding, and more. 

Steve Diamond, a former F-14 Mission Commander, says engineering issues are nothing new.

"That always happens with the new weapon system," said Diamond. "That's not a showstopper, it should never be a showstopper when you have a platform that is this good."

While there have been complaints about issues with the aircraft during carrier landings, NBC 7 was on USS George Washington when the F-35 C made its first tail hook landing.

The experienced pilot described his experience.

"It was the smoothest carrier landing I've had to date," the pilot said.

Diamond says despite delays and engineering issues the F-35 is superior at performing it's job: airstrikes.

"It's primary function is ground attack and in that capacity in today's modern battlefield it does it superbly well, far better than any other aircraft," he said.

Some critics say the planes are too expensive. They cost more than $100 million per plane.

President-Elect Donald Trump agrees; he tweeted that the planes were costly.

While Diamond likes the F-35's technology, he thinks Trump has every right to question the cost.

"It's an out-of-the-box approach, but why not," Diamond said.

Diamond added that despite costs, scrapping the fighter would be a huge mistake.

"You fall behind in technology you will be at a tremendous disadvantage in warfare is no question about it," Diamond said.

There is no squadron of F-35s in San Diego. 

Earlier this month, the Marine Corps deployed its first operational squadron of F-35's from Yuma to Japan to be forward deployed.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Pulling Umbrella Out of Car Killed in Hit-And-Run]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 21:39:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/240*120/1-19-17-Paradise+Hills+Hit+and+Run+Suspect+Car.JPG

A man getting out of his car in his Paradise Hills neighborhood was killed Thursday when a driver hit him, carrying the victim about 40 feet before fleeing the scene.

The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said the deadly crash happened just after 7 a.m. in the 5900 block of Albemarle Street.

The victim, identified by the family as 49-year-old Jose Padron, was getting am umbrella out of his car when a hit-and-run suspect traveling eastbound on Albemarle Street lost control and crossed over a center median. The driver sideswiped a parked car, then struck the victim's parked car and the victim, who was standing next to the vehicle. 

According to police, the victim was carried 30 to 40 feet down the road on the suspect’s car before rolling off the hood.

Home surveillance cameras owned by neighbors showed police that the hit-and-run suspect stopped down the road for five to 10 seconds after the crash, but then continued on his way, leaving Padron hurt in the street.

Neighbors who heard the collision rushed to help the injured man, calling 911 and performing CPR until authorities arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. 

Police said the suspect’s car was recovered Thursday evening but there was no one taken into custody.

No one else was hurt in the incident. As of 4:50 p.m., no arrests had been made in the hit-and-run. 



Photo Credit: San Diego Police Department
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<![CDATA[Anaheim Police Shoot Murder, Kidnapping Suspect in San Diego]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:28:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Old-Town-SD-Lampers-OIS-Crop-0119.jpg

A Southern California man suspected of kidnapping and murder was shot and wounded by police officers from Anaheim Thursday in Old Town San Diego.

Officials with the Anaheim Police Department (APD) shot suspect Luke Lampers, 35, just after midnight at a California Department of Transportation parking lot in the 4000 block of Taylor Street. After a short foot chase, officials said a detective fired two shots at Lampers, striking him once.

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Lampers was arrested and taken to a San Diego-area hospital with non-life threatening injuries, APD Sgt. Daron Wyatt said. He is expected to survive. 

Because the officer-involved shooting happened in San Diego, that part of the incident is being investigated by the San Diego Police Department (SDPD).

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Lampers is the suspect in a Jan. 11 murder at the Crystal Inn Motel on West Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim, California. That day, investigators said Lampers got into an altercation at the motel with his ex-girlfriend, Brianne Deese, 23.

Douglas Navarro, 49, an employee at the Crystal Inn Motel stepped in to help Deese and Lampers pulled a gun on Navarro, shooting and killing him, according to police.

Lampers is accused of then kidnapping Deese at gunpoint and fleeing to an Easy 8 Motel in San Diego.

Since then, APD Sgt. Daron Wyatt said homicide detectives have been "engaged in an exhaustive effort" to find Deese and bring her home safe.

SDPD Capt. Brian Ahearn told NBC 7 police in San Diego were informed by APD detectives Wednesday that Lampers was possibly in the San Diego area – likely near the Midway District. Ahearn said SDPD detectives were able to confirm Wednesday that someone resembling Lampers entered a business in the Midway District.

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On Wednesday evening, APD investigators received information from the kidnapping victim’s family that she was in San Diego, asking for help. Deese managed to escape from Lampers to call her father to report her whereabouts, saying she was somewhere near Interstate 5 and Clairemont Drive. Her father passed along that information to police.

Anaheim police and SDPD officers conducted surveillance on an Easy 8 Motel in Old Town where Lampers was suspected to be staying. Police believed he was armed with a gun.

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Just after midnight Thursday, APD officers spotted Lampers driving a stolen car at that location. SDPD investigators said Lampers realized police were on his tail and he pulled into the parking lot in Old Town, got out of the car and began to run.

A short foot pursuit ensued. As Lampers rounded a corner, another APD detective fired two rounds at the suspect, hitting him.

Wyatt said a firearm was found near the location where Lampers was shot and taken into custody.

Ahearn said detectives from multiple agencies would remain at the scene of the shooting in Old Town throughout Thursday, as the investigation is complex. He said there are several witnesses that need to be interviewed at the scene.

No other officers were involved in the shooting. No one else was wounded. Ahearn said APD officers were wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting. Homicide detectives with the SDPD will investigate the shooting.

Deese is safe, police said. She is currently at APD headquarters being interviewed by detectives, Wyatt said. After the interviews, she's expected go home with her father.

Wyatt said that once Lampers is released from the hospital, he will be booked into jail in Orange County on several counts, including kidnapping and murder.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego/Anaheim Police Department
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<![CDATA[Tracking the Storms: NBC 7's Rain Radar]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:21:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rain-Radar-KNSD-0120.jpg
View Full Story

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Wet Weather Begins: Storms, High Surf, Winds]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:34:30 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/191*120/rain-generic-umbrella-raindrops.jpg

It’s going to be a very wet few days in usually sunny San Diego. On Thursday, locals woke up to a series of winter storms, the second of which will roll in late this evening. 

NBC 7 meteorologist Jodi Kodesh said the first storm in a series of three hit San Diego’s North County at around 4 a.m. Thursday. 

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The early-morning system moved quickly, soaking San Diego with heavy rain throghout the morning. That rainfall tapered after 10 a.m., with scattered, spotty showers in the afternoon and evening.

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"We're only going to see a high of about 60, 61 [degrees] this morning," Kodesh added.

She expects the rain to kick back up at night.

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"We're going to be giving that umbrella a workout," she said.

On Friday morning, a bigger storm will arrive, which will bring with it potential for thunderstorms in parts of the county, Kodesh said, and the possibility of flooding.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Friday. The warning says heavy showers and thunderstorms Friday increases the threat of flash flooding. 

Areas that may be impacted are San Diego County coastal, valley and mountain regions. That includes areas like Oceanside, Vista, Chula Vista, National City, San Diego, Julian, Pine Valley, and Santee. 

The watch is in effect from Friday morning to evening. 

The weekend will likely be wet as well, with a chance of showers Saturday morning and again after 10 p.m. On Sunday, the chance of showers lingers, Kodesh said.

The final storm in the series is expected Monday, and that storm should be the biggest one of all, Kodesh said. Check NBC 7’s forecast here.

The NWS said the series of storms will also activate some weather warnings around San Diego including a high surf warning in effect from 4 p.m. Thursday through 10 p.m. Tuesday.

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The NWS expects high surf around 7 feet to develop late Thursday afternoon, increasing on Friday to 10 to 16-foot surf. By Sunday, the NWS expects the high surf to subside to 4 to 8 feet. Monday, surf will be between 9 and 12 feet at local beaches, slowly lowering into Tuesday.

The highest tide – 4.6 feet – will be Saturday at 4:35 a.m. in La Jolla, according to the NWS.

The high surf will bring with it potential for strong rip currents, coastal erosion and coastal flooding; on Wednesday, beachside businesses braced for this, surrounding their locations with sand bags, buckets and other tools to prepare for the storms.

The NWS said piers may also be flooded by the high surf. Often times, in storms and winter weather events, the Ocean Beach Pier is closed to the public as a precaution. Officials discourage people from swimming in our oceans during high surf warnings.

The NWS said a high wind advisory will also be in effect in San Diego’s mountains and deserts during part of the series of storms, through 4 a.m. Friday. As with all weather warnings, that one may be extended as the storm systems develop.

The NWS said the strongest winds are expected Friday and Friday night. The winds will gradually decrease Saturday but could kick back up again late Sunday and Monday.

Kodesh said preliminary rainfall totals following this wet weekend are estimated to be 2 to 4 inches along the coast with 3 to 5 inches in the valleys. San Diego County Mountains could receive 5 to 10 inches of rainfall, with snow predicted above 5,000 feet. Snowfall could measure between an inch and five inches in some areas with the higher peaks receiving 7 inches to a foot of new snow.

Farther east, residents in the upper desert areas could see an inch to 3 inches of rain with slightly less (1 to 2 inches) in the lower deserts, Kodesh said.

“My concern is, after the first and second storms move through, our ground will be saturated,” Kodesh said. “That means, when the final storm rolls in, the ground won’t be able to absorb much, and we run a really high risk of run-off and flash flooding.”

In light of possible flooding, several locations across San Diego County's districts are offering free sandbags to residents.

Also, the San Diego Housing Commission, in partnership with the City of San Diego, has activated its Inclement Weather Shelter Program for downtown San Diego’s homeless at Father Joe’s Villages and Connections Housing Downtown. The program provides shelter to the homeless during severe weather conditions.

To that end, Father Joe’s Villages Shelter on Imperial Avenue, which can house up to 250 people, will be open to the homeless starting at 4 p.m. The homeless can also check into PATH San Diego/Connections Housing Downtown, which can house 30 people, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.

Make sure to download NBC 7’s free news app. Weather alerts, like flood advisories warnings are issued through the app. There is also a local, interactive radar.

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Photo Credit: The Associated Press
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