<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Sat, 10 Oct 2015 07:23:04 -0700 Sat, 10 Oct 2015 07:23:04 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[The Padres Should Vote No on Nevin]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 22:53:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-50919308.jpg

NBC 7’s Derek Togerson offers some advice to the Padres as they look for a new manager in this commentary

The Padres are piecing together their list of managerial candidates. General Manager A.J. Preller hinted that he was going to look in a lot of different places and not rule anybody out based on background or experience level.

So let me do that for him.

One name that keeps on coming up is Phil Nevin. It has not come up from the Padres front office but it sure as heck has been a popular go-to suggestion for the Friar Faithful.

Nevin was an All-Star for the Padres as a player in 2001 when he hit 41 home runs. He played seven of his 12 MLB seasons in San Diego (Nevin also had stops in Detroit, Texas, Minnesota, Anaheim, Houston and the north side of Chicago) with manager Bruce Bochy so he saw first-hand what a great manager does.

Two years after retiring Nevin started managing in the independent Golden Baseball League with the Orange County Flyers. It only took him one year to join the Tigers organization, managing their Class AA and AAA affiliates. Nevin spent the last two years at the helm of the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Diamondbacks.

Nevin only has one winning record in his seven years as a manager (2014) but he has a pretty good guy in his corner.

“He’s drawing a lot of attention because he’s rock solid,” Hall of Famer manager Tony LaRussa, the Diamondbacks’ Chief Baseball Officer, told the Arizona Republic. “He’s got a great background as a player, manager, infield, hitter and a leader. Triple-A is a tough place to manage. He was understanding and nurturing of the young guys but also had the respect of the veterans. He’s smart and has a good out-going personality that attracts people. And he runs a hell of a game.”

If Tony LaRussa vouches for you, people will listen. Nevin has already interviewed for the Marlins managerial job and he’s on the Nationals wish list. If Phil does get a MLB manager’s spot, more power to him. I’m rooting for him to do it.

I just hope it’s not in San Diego.

Maybe it’s because I saw how irascible he could be as a player and that’s poisoning my opinion. Maybe it’s because of that combined 54 games under .500 as a minor league manager, something that can be more a product of an organization’s lack of depth than a manager’s ability. Maybe it’s because I still don’t trust Tony LaRussa as far as I can spit a sunflower seed.

But the most likely reason is … it just doesn’t feel right.

Nevin could be the next Casey Stengel, I have no idea. I’m sure there are a lot of Padres fans who would love to get a guy in who might serve as a bridge to Bochy and his success. But for an organization that has veteran players entrenched for a few years a rookie MLB manager with a spotty minor league record and a nondescript playing career seems like an awfully big gamble.

Matt Kemp, James Shields, Melvin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, Derek Norris … these are all guys who have established themselves in the game and probably aren’t going to listen to just anybody. If you’re going to go with a first time manager a guy like Jason Varitek makes a whole lot more sense. Varitek was the glue for a pair of World Series champions and one of the most respected players in the game. Just about anybody will bend to his will.

Former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire won six division titles in a nine year span with Minnesota. He would be a guy who commands respect in the clubhouse.

The Padres need somebody with name recognition. Phil Nevin certainly has name recognition … with the fan base. The Friars need someone the guys in the clubhouse will get excited about before they ever even meet him.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pet Predictions: Chargers vs. Steelers]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 21:37:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/165*120/GettyImages-491692238.jpg

We love animals and sports here at NBC 7 SportsWrap so we decided to steal an idea that is in no way new, but always fun and combine the two.

I put the two tortoises I’m watching to work and Derek Togerson put his cat and dog on the case and had them predict who was going to win, the Chargers or the Steelers Monday night?

If you want to get your pets involved it doesn’t take a fancy camera; I used my iPhone to film the tortoises. Just tape your pets predicting next Sunday’s game between the Chargers and the Green Bay Packers. Keep it short so you can send it without a problem and we can feature as many videos as possible.

Email them to me at Becki.Schildhouse@nbcuni.com by the Friday before the game. Include your name, pets name and where you’re from.

*NBC 7 will not use any videos where the animals appear to be forced to do something they don’t want to do.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How SANDAG Plans to Alleviate South Bay Traffic]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 21:28:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/wendy6p1009_1200x675_542105667984.jpg

A 35-year, $204 billion plan lays out how local governments will improve transportation across the county, but some leaders say it does not do enough to alleviate traffic in the often-congested South Bay.

For those traveling south of downtown, the SANDAG program, unanimously approved Friday, aims to install a rapid bus transit system to keep people off clogged freeways during peak hours.

The South Bay Rapid will span a 21-mile route from the Otay Port of Entry, through eastern Chula Vista and into downtown San Diego.

An allocation of the funds will add lanes to Interstate 5 leaving the South Bay, as well as an additional trolley line.

“The plan calls for the creation of a purple line which will take people from the South Bay all the way to Kearny Mesa,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas. “They're anticipating funding for that in this plan.”

But San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez, who represents residents in the city’s southern area, believes the program unfairly prioritizes other neighborhoods.

He said most of the public transportation improvements are pushed decades into the future.

“Well, it's a horrible commute, whether you're in the morning coming up to the places of employment in the center of the city; it's very very bad,” he said. “If you're going home at the end of the work day, it's really bad, and this is a quality of life issue because that means you're away from home, you're away from your kids.”

He also objects that leaders plan to raise taxes with no benefit in the near future.

Salas argued that mass transit works for some, but not all, so freeway fixes are a necessary part of the SANDAG plan.

Construction on the South Bay Rapid transit corridor is scheduled to begin in early 2016. It is expected to be in service by 2018.

As for funding the $204 billion in improvements, half will come from federal and state transportation grants, local property taxes will cover about 35 percent and gas taxes will make up the difference.

<![CDATA[Man Found Lying on El Cerrito Road Dies]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 22:02:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/body+found+el+cerrito.JPG

A man discovered lying in the middle of the road has died in El Cerrito, San Diego Police say.

At 8:20 p.m., someone called 911 to report a body at 54th and Lea streets.

When police arrived, they saw a man in the road. Paramedics tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Shoes and a skateboard were found near his body.

Investigators are now trying to piece together what happened and if it was a hit-and-run.

Police say they do not have anyone who says they witnessed a possible impact.

Photo Credit: Candice Nguyen]]>
<![CDATA[Youth Teams Allowed to Play After Parents Brawl]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 20:28:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/parent+brawl.JPG

After a local league expelled two youth football teams because of a brawl among parents, the national league has decided not to punish the children for the adults’ mistake.

The American Youth Football (AYF) National League will allow the Otay Ranch Broncos’ and Inland Empire Ducks’ 14-and-under teams to play in regional and national games, though they are still banned from local matchups, according to AYF attorney Adam Laufer.

Last month, the San Diego Youth Football and Cheer (SDYFC) league banned the teams when parents in the stands started throwing punches during a game at Otay Ranch High School. The incident was caught on expletive-filled cellphone video.

As SDYFC announced its decision to expel the teams, the AYF National League opened its own investigation into the brawl. 

Officials found that “while many parents, spectators and coaches exhibited abhorrent behavior, the kids on both teams showed maturity beyond their age and refrained from engaging in the altercation,” Laufer wrote in a letter to SDYFC.

AYF decided to ask SDYFC Commissioner Cathy Luna to consider reinstating the Otay Ranch Broncos “in light of the fact that the players on the team did not engage in the altercation,” the letter says.

The national league is not asking that the Inland Empire team be let back in because they have already booked games outside the conference for the rest of the season.

Even if the Broncos are not allowed back in, AYF said it will accept requests by both teams to enter wild card slots — with conditions.

Under those conditions, parents who the league believes were involved in the brawl will not be allowed to attend any regional or national matchups. AYF has asked SDYFC to help compile a list of people who should be banned from the games. Read the complete letter by clicking here.

As of Friday, SDYFC has not reconsidered its decision. 

On Sept. 26, many parents left their child’s game bleeding from various injuries. The large fight began with verbal altercations, which prompted officials to order fans from each team to sit on opposite sides of the field.

However, one man refused to sit on his team’s side. In cellphone video, he is seen yelling at players on the field.

He later directed his shouts at another adult in the stands, the video shows, and their insults became punches. No arrests were made, and no one was taken to the hospital.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[SANDAG Green Lights $204B Transportation Plan]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 20:21:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/rapid+bus+mts.jpg

A big decision on how San Diegans will get around over the next 35 years came down on Friday.
Regional planners with the San Diego Regional Assn. of Governments (SANDAG) unanimously approved a $204 billion strategy to accommodate more freeway travel along with mass transit.
But critics object to the spending formulas and timelines for expanding public transit options.

"A lot of these transit projects come at the end of the plan, and we need to start now if we're going to reduce our carbon emissions,” said Lisa Wellens, policy director of the “San Diego 350" climate-change action movement.

"We should be reducing our carbon emission levels to 80 percent below 1990 levels,” Wellens  told NBC 7 in an interview Friday.  “This plan doesn't address that at all, and will only increase transit ridership by four percent. Our transit times (will still be) double what they'll be in cars,”

The brains behind the so-called San Diego Forward strategy insist it’s the best possible menu of priorities pushed by many competing interests.

"We've built a lot into this plan that gives us flexibility, based on what kinds of technologies come in the future,” said Charles Stoll, transportation planning director of SANDAG.  “Our managed lane system gives us a very good opportunity to test, say, driverless cars."

While new trolley lines will get most of the funding in the first five years of the program, that'll taper off and won't pick back up until 2035 — and that's at the crux of objections by transit activists.
SANDAG officials tout 160 miles of new "managed" freeway lanes — to handle more carpools, van pools and bus rapid-transit shuttles — which they predict will significantly help alleviate congestion for commuters.

But other clean-air activists see that as too little, too late. 

"Usually in a matter of four to five years, when you add lanes to the freeways, those lanes are backed up to the level of congestion that they were before,” said Monique Lopez, policy planner for the Environmental Health Coalition.  “This is unsustainable investment."

This rebuttal from Stoll: "For a region as diverse as ours, there's no one solution.  This plan is very diverse and balanced and provides a system that gives people choices."

Just over half of the money for the plan will come from federal and state transportation grants.
Local property taxes would cover about 35 percent, with gas taxes making up the difference.

<![CDATA[Jeep Pursuit Ends With 4 Flat Tires at Repair Shop]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 21:57:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police+chase+1.jpg

A slow-speed police pursuit ended Friday evening when a driver pulled into an auto repair center and onto a hydraulic lift.

"I was legally parked and playing my guitar, but someone had said that... I guess complained that I was making noise," the suspect said of the chase's start in Pacific Beach. 

When San Diego police arrived at about 6:15 p.m., the suspect rolled up his Jeep window and left. But he ignored officers as they flipped on their emergency sirens to pull him over.

Asked why he did not stop, the driver said "because he put his lights on. He was intimidating."

Officers had another reason for trying to pull him over.

"He was pulling up to houses and looking at the houses to see if there was something he could steal," said SDPD Sgt. Brandon Broaddus.

Police pursued him over surface streets and as he ran a red light on Lamont Street.

Turning onto Soledad Mountain Road, the driver successfully avoided spike strips there. On Garnett Avenue, he was heard yelling at driver to get out of his way, police say.

The pursuit continued onto the freeway and into University City — never going over 50 miles per hour.

Finally, spike strips flattened all four of the Jeep's tires, so the vehicle began swerving across the road. The driver decided to turn into the Sears Auto Center at UTC and expertly pulled his car right onto a hydraulic lift.

"And then he just came running and that was it," said witness Jim Schreck. "I was shocked he could park it so perfectly." 

Officers soon got the driver out of the car and handcuffed him without a fight. The Jeep was packed with clothes, hats, a surfboard and an open bottle of Jack Daniels.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[BP Agent Tried to Protect Child Molestation Suspect: Officials]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:17:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Border-Patrol-Generic.jpg

A veteran Border Patrol agent tried to protect a child molestation suspect, used government computers to sidetrack an investigation and harassed the alleged victim's father, federal prosecutors allege in a complaint released Friday.

Supervising Agent Martin Rene Duran was arrested Thursday at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on suspicion of eight felonies, including using his government position to create false entries in a government database and civil rights violations.

Prosecutors say Duran was trying to protect his brother-in-law, who was suspected of molesting an 11-year-old boy in Tijuana.

Duran allegedly interfered with that sex crimes investigation by harassing the boy’s father and pressuring him to stop cooperating with the investigation.

According to the criminal complaint, the boy’s father is a legal U.S. resident with no criminal background. But on five different occasions in 2013, Duran allegedly caused the man to be sent to secondary inspection and detained for hours.

Prosecutors say Duran also entered false alerts about the man in a database that helps U.S. agents screen border crossers.

Duran’s false alerts indicated that the man was “known to carry firearms” and that he was “associated with recent threats to (Customs and Border Protection) personnel,” according to the complaint.

The man, who is identified only by the initials “R.C.” in the criminal complaint, was a frequent border crosser. Because of the false alerts, he was repeatedly detained by Customs and Border Protection officers, sometimes at gunpoint.

Prosecutors say on one occasion, “R.C.” and his wife were ordered out of their vehicle, handcuffed, separated from their children and put in a holding cell for almost two hours before being released.

“This type of corruption is in a category all by itself,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “When an officer turns on those he is supposed to protect and uses his significant power against law-abiding people who had faith in him, it’s a special kind of betrayal.”

Duran is charged with five counts of unlawfully causing the detentions while acting under color of law, which deprived “R.C.” of his rights to liberty and freedom from unreasonable searches. Duran also faces three counts of falsification of records and obstruction.

The accused child molester, Raymundo Estrada Figueroa, is charged with two counts of traveling from the U. S. to Mexico to engage in illicit sexual conduct. One count is related to the alleged sexual abuse of “R.C.’s” son; the other is connected to the alleged abuse of that boy’s half-brother.

Both defendants are being held without bail in the federal jail in San Diego.

<![CDATA[Whale Entangled Off Orange County Coast]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 23:37:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/10-9-15-Whale.jpg

An attempt to free a whale entangled in fishing net was called off on Friday night and crews hoped to resume efforts on Saturday.

An adult fin whale was spotted about two miles off the coast of Dana Point Friday afternoon, officials with the Pacific Marine Mammal Center said in a news release.

"It's clearly not in very good health status," said Justin Viezbicke, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "It's obviously been entangled for quite some time. The line is starting to cut through into the whale."

Viezbicke and six other rescue workers spent five hours trying to cut the line off the whale.

"We were on top of it," he said. "We were probably 15 or 20 feet away from this whale."

The group used a knife, which has a special safety tip so as not to stab the whale, to hook around the entanglement, but ultimately they were unsuccessful.

"When our rescuer that was operating the knife on a pole touched the whale with the knife blade, the whale spooked quite a bit and he actually flipped his fluke, trying to hit us, so it's very dangerous," said Dana Friedman, a volunteer with the National Marine Fisheries whale rescue team. "It breaks your heart when you can't help an animal."

Captain Dave Anderson, of Capt. Dave's Dana Point Whale Watching, said he's seen this whale up to four times since May, tangled up.

"About a thousand dolphins and whales are dying in nets and fishing gear entanglement every day worldwide," he said. "It's a huge problem. It's very frustrating when we get inches away from helping a whale and we just can't do it."

If you see the whale, call this number: 877-SOS-WHALE.

Photo Credit: CeCe Carson]]>
<![CDATA[Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase Drifts in This Sunday ]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 16:15:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/car88.JPG

The seventh annual Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase will roll into the Gaslamp this Sunday, October 11.

The show, featuring everything from Corvettes and Vipers to a 1930 Model A Ford, is free to the public and features more than 150 cars and motorcycles along six blocks from E to K Street.

“We’ve got …a really diverse selection of cars – 150 high-performance and classic vehicles.” Brandy Shimabukuro of the Gaslamp Quarter Association told NBC7. “The La Jolla Concourse is going to be here, the Mopar Club of San Diego. Car2go’s going to offer the Park2Win challenge where you can park some car2gos for a really fun family-friendly challenge. You can win an iPad mini…lots of cool things to do. And it’s really easy to get down here.”

There will also be a people’s choice ballot and awards ceremony at Henry’s Pub.

The showcase runs from 11 am to 4 pm Sunday and includes high-performance, luxury, contemporary, and classic cars and motorcycles.

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[4 Suspects Arrested in 9 Burglary Series]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 16:01:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/handcuff+generic.JPG

San Diego police arrested four suspects in a series of burglaries that happened as the victims were inside their homes.

The group is responsible for at least nine burglaries, mostly in Scripps Ranch, which started on Sept. 27, investigators say.

With the help of community members, SDPD detectives developed several leads. They led police to recover stolen property and arrest four people: Keith Lashaun Thomas, 19; Antonio Kresic, 21; and two juveniles, whose identities are being withheld.

Police said all the cases have a similar modus operandi, so they were able to tie the suspects to each crime scene.

The men were booked into county jail on multiple counts of residential burglary, and the minors were booked into Juvenile Hall on the same charges.

Police are telling victims of the series to identify their stolen property at the Northeastern Division, 13396 Salmon Road, on Oct. 14 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. They will have to bring a personal ID and any paperwork that could help identify their items.

Photo Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.]]>
<![CDATA[Future Unclear for SeaWorld After Breeding Ban]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:08:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Baby+whale+takes+a+breath.jpg

SeaWorld says denying orcas' their ability to breed is cruel, but it was unclear Friday whether the corporation will fight such a ban at its California park and risk further hurting attendance.

Company officials said they were reviewing their options a day after the California Coastal Commission approved a $100 million expansion of the tanks SeaWorld uses to hold killer whales in San Diego -- but banned breeding of the captive orcas that would live in them. The panel's decision raised an array of questions, including whether the company would proceed with the project or raise a legal challenge, possibly on whether the commission overstepped its authority.

Deciding the next step could be tricky for SeaWorld. The company has been struggling with falling stock prices and park attendance numbers since the release of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," which suggests SeaWorld's treatment of captive orcas provokes violent behavior.

If SeaWorld abandons its expansion for its orca facility to get around having its breeding program banned, then it risks giving the public the perception that it never intended to build bigger tanks to benefit the park's 11 killer whales and would rather simply breed more in captivity, said Jennifer Fearing, a lobbyist for The Humane Society of the United States.

The ban on breeding, including through artificial insemination, would apply only to the California park and not SeaWorld facilities in other states. The commission also prohibited the sale, trade or transfer of captive orcas within the state. The amendment does provide a potential exemption for certain whales caught in the wild.

Suing the state over the ruling could be costly and time-consuming. A ruling in its favor would mean the company must return to the commission again to get another permit for its "Blue World" project, set to open in 2018, which would triple the size of existing killer whale enclosures.

SeaWorld should learn from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, Fearing said. That company announced in March that its three touring circuses would phase out elephant acts by 2018 because of a shift in public attitudes.

If SeaWorld moved forward with its plans under the commission's various conditions, it would win back many of its critics, Fearing said.

"It's clear where public opinion is and the unanimous vote from the California Coastal Commission only added to the barrage over the last couple years," she said. "The writing is on the wall and it's time for them to stop fighting and evolve."

Animal rights activists praised the decision as marking the end of the ocean park's use of orcas.

SeaWorld officials expressed concern: "A ban on breeding would sentence these animals to a slow extinction in our care," said John Reilly, president of SeaWorld San Diego, who rushed out of the building after the vote.

"SeaWorld maintains that's not an issue the coastal commission should be dealing with, they should either say can we approve this or can we not, and to put that condition," San Diego State University marketing professor Miro Copic told NBC 7. "I'm sure they there's going to be an appeal process for SeaWorld for that."

While animal rights groups claim victory, don't expect SeaWorld to abandon the future of it's whale shows without a fight. Ultimately it's a public relations battle.

NBC 7 asked a number of local folks if the negative publicity and recent decision has impacted their view of SeaWorld.

Some said no. One woman visiting from Vermont said her view of SeaWorld has been affected by social media, where the resounding word is to stay away.

The company declined to answer questions Friday on the ruling but sent a statement from Joel Manby, SeaWorld's president and chief executive, saying: "Depriving these social animals of the natural and fundamental right to reproduce is inhumane and we do not support this condition."

During Thursday's heated meeting attended by hundreds, SeaWorld attorney David Watson told the panel "the state of California does not have jurisdiction to regulate the management and care of marine mammal collections."

"We believe that federal law expressly pre-empts all state regulation" of the orcas, he said. "All marine mammal exhibits are regulated exclusively by the federal government."

The condition was among several set by the commission that regulates land and water use along the California coast, including that no new whales from the wild will be kept in the new tanks. SeaWorld says it hasn't captured wild orcas in more than 30 years.

Deborah A. Sivas, director of Stanford University's Environmental Law Clinic, said she believes the ruling has a good chance of withstanding a legal challenge.

SeaWorld draws saltwater from Mission Bay for its killer whale pools. That means the facility would use a marine resource for the tanks and therefore the commission has a say over the animals living in them, she said.

Photo Credit: Photo credit: Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Viejas Casino Adds 1,000 Slots]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:02:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/slot-machine-generic.jpg

A recent expansion at Viejas Casino & Resort has brought 1,000 new slot machines to the East County casino, now open to those who are feeling lucky.

At midnight on Friday, the casino officially opened its newly-expanded section of its gaming floor – a 15,000-square-foot space boasting 1,000 all new slots and a new stage.

“This marks the first step in our most ambitious plan of growth to date,” said Viejas Tribal
Chairman Robert Welch.

The area also boasts a new, modern escalator bank that leads to the resort’s new luxury hotel tower, which opens on Oct. 30. The opening celebration of that feature will include a tightrope performance, ribbon cutting ceremony and guest tours.

Viejas Casino & Resort opened its first luxury hotel tower in 2013, which features 99 rooms and 29 VIP suites, plus a pool and lounge area. The second tower will add 109 deluxe rooms and VIP suites to the site, plus a ballroom equipped to host weddings and large-scale events.

The casino is located off Interstate 8 and Willows Road and includes thousands of slot machines, table games like Blackjack, a Bingo room and many restaurants. Across the street from the casino, the Viejas Outlets house dozens of name-brand stores, plus an outdoor ice skating rink open from late October through early January.

Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Da Vinci Flies into the Air &Space Museum ]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:31:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/TLMD-generica-mona-lisa-la-gioconda-leonardo-da-vinci-shutterstock_167725478.jpg

Lovers of the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper can now get a closer look closer to home.

Reproductions of more than 90 of Leonardo da Vinci’s works are on display for a new exhibition at the Air &Space Museum in Balboa Park.

Da Vinci: The Ultimate Innovator offers a close-up view of reproductions of the artist’s most famous paintings and drawings as well as many of his inventions, machines and robotics.

Designs on display include the bicycle, spring-powered car, hang glider, helicopter and a robotic drummer on view for the first time. Each interactive model is presented with a replica of the drawing used to make the invention.

The exhibit is the result of 50 years of research by a group of Florentine artists pouring over da Vinci’s notes to bring to life his work using materials only available in 15th-century Italy.

The exhibition also includes children’s activities, videos and computer animations. It costs $5 with museum admission and will be on view until January 3, 2016.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Body Found Floating in North County River]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:16:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/oceanside-police-0901.jpg

The Medical Examiner's office is trying to find the identity of a man whose body was found floating in the San Luis Rey River Friday morning.

At about 9 a.m., a person standing on the bike path along the river's south shore spotted the body near State Route 76, east of Interstate 5.

Using a small motorboat, Oceanside police and fire crews pulled the victim from the water. They said the adult man was obviously dead and had been so for a long time.

The victim had no apparent signs of trauma or injury, Oceanside police said. The medical examiner's office took the body and will now try to determine the man's cause of death and identity.

No further information was released.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Last Phase of Veterans Village Opens]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:06:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/hickman+hall.JPG

San Diego's mayor and other officials attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday to officially open the last phase of the Veterans Village Project on Pacific Highway.

“Today is another key chapter in the proud history of Veterans Village,” Bill Kowba, Chair of the VVSD Board of Directors said during the ceremony. “Opening Hickman Hall, today not only completes the last notable construction on the premises, but also fulfills a vision to provide on this spot a most complimentary and viable range of services to men and women veterans – leaving no one behind.”

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins attended the ceremony.

Started 15 years ago, Veterans Village has been completed in a series of phases. It offers housing for homeless veterans and many services, including food, clothing, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, job training, job search assistance and legal services.

"When VVSD first began operating on Pacific Highway in 1990, our dream was to one day create a state-of-the art facility to help veterans recover from alcoholism, drug addiction, and emotional trauma," said Phil Landis, VVSD President and CEO. "Because of the generous financial support from committed partners and the hard work of hundreds of men and women, that goal has become reality. We are grateful to be able to say 'thank you' in a public way to everyone who made this dream come true."

The latest addition, Hickman Hall, will provide housing for female veterans and a dental clinic for low-income families.

"I believe this new facility will provide a space to help woman improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life and strive to reach their full potential,” VRC Program Director Shellie Bowman said.

Veterans Village serves more than 2000 veterans each year.

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Protesters Rally Against Lyme Disease 'Denialism']]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:24:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/lyme1.JPG

Lyme disease patients and advocates demonstrated outside of the Infectious Diseases Society of America's (IDSA) Annual Conference at the Convention Center Friday. The demonstrators protested what they call Lyme disease ‘denialism.’

“Lyme disease is actually a serious disease,” Dorothy Leland of Lymedisease.org explained to NBC7. “Many of the people that we represent have been sick for years and they can’t get insurance coverage for any treatment…because the guidelines say that two to four weeks of antibiotics will cure you.”

The CDC estimates that there are more than 300,000 cases of Lyme disease every year in the United States. However, the disease can be difficult to diagnose since it mimics symptoms of other illnesses, and the protesters say the true number could be well over a million.

On display during the protest, each patch of the Lyme Quilt represents a person who died from the disease. This is the first time the quilt has been displayed on the West Coast. Started in 2014, advocates take the quilt to different events in the US and Canada to raise awareness about the disease.

According to the IDSA’s website “using antibiotics for a very long time (months or years) does not offer superior results and in fact can be dangerous, because it can cause potentially fatal complications.”
The protesters plan to hold a candlelight vigil Friday evening and continue their demonstration Saturday.


Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Car Shooting Investigation Leads to Sorrento Valley Chase]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:08:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Sorrento-Valley-Suspect-Pic.jpg

San Diego Police officers investigating the report of shots fired at a vehicle arrested a suspect near a Sorrento Valley business park.

Someone fired a gun into a Mira Mesa man’s car, shattering the windows around 1:30 a.m., according to police. Officers were called to Camino Ruiz and Reagan Road at 3:50 a.m. and found the vehicle with its windows shattered.

Investigators say police located a suspect vehicle Friday morning and waited for the driver to return to the vehicle.  The man behind the wheel refused to stop for police and began a pursuit.

Near Vista Sorrento Parkway and Via Landline, the suspect jumped from the vehicle and ran into the bushes.

Officers surrounded the intersection at Lusk Blvd and Vista Sorrento Parkway just south of the Interstate 5, Interstate 805 merge.

Police confirmed as of 11:10 a.m. the suspect was in custody.

NBC 7's Rory Devine spoke with the man in custody who identified himself as Brian Berry. He told NBC 7 he messed up trying to get away but was not involved in last night's incident.

The suspect said he believes police were looking for him because he failed to check in with his probation officer.

Officials said Berry, 22, faces two charges of assault with a deadly weapon stemming from the Mira Mesa incident.

No one was injured.

Late Thursday, San Diego Police were investigating the report of a shooting in Lincoln Park.

Shots were fired into at least one parked car along Solola Avenue at 10:30 p.m.

Officers said no one was injured in this shooting.

SDPD officials said they had two other calls of shootings involving vehicles Thursday but have not said the shootings are related.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 Rory Devine
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<![CDATA[San Diegan Hurt in NAU Shooting]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 13:54:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/nick-dimo-prato-NAU-Sweatshirt_scene.jpg

A San Diego man was among the three students injured in Friday's shooting at Northern Arizona University, his mother told NBC 7.

One student was killed and three others were wounded after a freshman opened fire during a confrontation between two separate groups of students in Flagstaff, Arizona, police said.

Among the victims was Nicholas Prato of Rancho Penasquitos. He was being treated at Flagstaff Medical Center along with victims Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring.

The deceased student was identified by NAU officials as Colin Brough.

Prato's mother Kimberly Dimo Prato, spoke with NBC 7 briefly as she prepared to travel to Arizona Friday morning.

A 2 a.m. phone call from Flagstaff officials told her Nicholas had been shot in the neck. The bullet went in and out of the neck and her son was able to hold on, she explained.

He even managed to get a brief description of the suspect and give that to authorities before he was transported, she said.

The alleged gunman, who was identified as eighteen-year-old Steven Jones, was take into custody at the scene “without further trouble," campus police chief Greg Fowler said.

The shooting occurred outside Mountain View Hall dormitory, where most of the school's fraternity members live.

A court document says Jones retrieved a gun from his car following a fistfight.

Jones told NAU police that several people approached him and two of his friends as they were outside a residence early Friday. He said a fight ensued and he was punched in the face.

Jones says he was chased by several people as he ran to his car and then he yelled at them that he had a gun.

As two people approached him, Jones says he shot both of them. Witnesses say the victims were about 10 feet away.

Prato was visiting a friend with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting and did not know the alleged gunman, his mother said. 

The young man identified by NAU officials as the one victim killed in the shooting, Colin Brough, was Nicholas' best friend, his mother said.

On his Facebook page, Nicholas Prato identifies himself as a 2013 graduate of West View High School in the Poway Unified School District.

Delta Chi executive director Justin Sherman said in a letter in the aftermath of the shooting that Brough, Prato, Zientek and Piring are members of the fraternity.

The alleged gunman was not a member of the fraternity.

Classes will go on as scheduled on Friday, but “this is not going to be a normal day at NAU," Rita Cheng, the university's president said. "Our hearts are heavy." 

<![CDATA[Cop Hurt in Escondido Motel Fire]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 09:39:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/escondido-hacienda-fire.jpg

A police officer was injured trying to help people escape the flames of an overnight motel fire in Escondido, officials said Friday.

The Escondido Police Officer suffered minor smoke inhalation while evacuating residents of the Hacienda Motel on North Broadway before fire crews arrived.

A unit on the second floor of the two-story motel was on fire with flames spreading to a nearby unit.

Investigators say the fire that broke out at midnight is suspicious in nature and likely human caused but provided no other details.

Supervisors say the injured officer was treated at the scene and remained on duty. A civilian was also treated for minor smoke inhalation.

One woman was arrested, accused of being under the influence of a controlled substance, Escondido police said.

A second alarm was requested which included units from the San Marcos Fire Department.

Crews had the fire extinguished within 40 minutes.

The San Diego County chapter of the American Red Cross was called in to help approximately 20 occupants that were displaced.

<![CDATA[Strong Rip Currents Expected ]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 09:54:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/4th-Crowds-SD-Beaches-5.jpg

A beach hazard statement has been issued for the holiday weekend along San Diego County's coastline.

As temperatures soar into the 80s and 90s, the National Weather Service has issued the warning for those headed to the beach.

Swells from the south and southwest will combine to bring larger surf and strong rip currents to the beaches, late Friday and all day Saturday.

“The highest surf, and strongest rip currents, will be along Orange County and south to Carlsbad,” said NBC 7’s Meteorologist Jodi Kodesh. “This will create dangerous swimming conditions, especially for inexperienced swimmers.”

Surf is expected to be 3 to 5 feet, with local sets to 6 and 7 feet.

Those visiting the beaches are asked to swim near a lifeguard, as they will know where the strong rip currents are located.

The County operates a Cool Zones program and has designated buildings as cooling centers. Visit the county's website or call 2-1-1 for a complete list of cooling zone locations including hours of operation.

Stay updated on weather conditions by downloading the free NBC 7 mobile apps.

<![CDATA[SD Among Worst Cities in Drone Safety ]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 08:00:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-483891994.jpg

The City of San Diego was among the California cities with the highest number of drone safety incidents in a look at statewide data from the Federal Aviation Administration.

In a report released by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office using FAA data, San Diego had the third most drone safety incidents in the state between April 2014 and August 2015. Los Angeles and San Jose were ranked above San Diego.

The City of San Diego had 14 incidents. The county as a whole, including areas like Carlsbad and Ramona, had 23 incidents. And the frequency of incidents has steadily increased since 2014.

When a sandwich shop caught fire in Kearny Mesa in August, firefighters reported a drone distracting their crews on high ladders. San Diego Fire-Rescue officials warned operators of the dangers via a Tweet.


In San Bernardino, flames jumped onto Interstate 15 destroying dozens of cars and trucks. Drones forced firefighting helicopters to pull back, costing first-responders valuable time.

The idea a little drone can't bring down a large aircraft, is a big misconception, according to San Diego Fire Chief of Air Operations Chris Heiser.

“A drone will bring down one of these helicopters,” Heiser said referring to one of the agency’s fire helicopters.

At the very least, but still very detrimental, a drone could stop firefighting and rescuing efforts.

“If we see a drone or someone reports a drone, all the aircraft pull off the incident until that drone is on the ground,” Heiser said.

Treggon Owens, CEO of AERIAL Mob, a San Diego-based drone company and a leader in the industry, wants to see drone users fined in those incidents.

“I think it’s incredibly irresponsible for people to be going interfering with firefighting just to get a YouTube video up,” Owens said.

His company is built on the idea that drone activity be safe and legal, and when operators fail to abide by the rules, he feels it’s the worst thing about the industry.

Earlier this month, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would criminalize the operation of drones. The bill proposed giving firefighters immunity for disabling hobbyist drones flying over emergency situations.

According to the data, none of the incidents in the city of San Diego interfered with emergency response operations and there were no collisions.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Earthquake Warning System Expands to SoCal]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 07:33:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/richter1.jpg

A business that seeks to provide clients with several seconds of advance notice when an earthquake strikes is expanding in Southern California by buying capacity on a local scientific radio communications network.

Seismic Warning Systems Inc. of Scotts Valley is using the HPWREN network, which is a joint project between the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography — both located at the University of California, San Diego.

Ultimately the business wants to provide earthquake warnings to fire stations, police stations, hospitals and water systems in Imperial County, said Mike Price, chief technology officer at Seismic Warning Systems.

The company is paying $75,000 a year to send priority traffic over the HPWREN network, Price said.
The business is just taking its first steps to deploy about a dozen new sensor stations in the Imperial Valley. “We’re doing site surveys now,” Price said.

HPWREN is one of the best options for carrying the traffic in that isolated part of California, he added.
The San Andreas Fault runs through Imperial and Riverside counties on its way up the state to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Price said his business would like to put sensors in other portions of the state, including possibly San Diego County.

The HPWREN network consists of radio infrastructure backbone connecting isolated mountaintops in Riverside, Imperial and San Diego counties — plus San Clemente Island. Some network traffic originates at the Palomar Observatory; technicians there ship large image files of the night sky to researchers in the flatlands. HPWREN stands for High-Performance Wireless Research and Education Network.

Seismic Warning Systems has a staff of eight people in addition to contractors. The business declined to give its revenue. It has been serving governments in the Coachella Valley since the early 2000s.

During the 2014 Napa earthquake, the system was able to send a few seconds’ advance notice to the Bay Area city of Vallejo.

Earthquake warnings can trigger other mechanical systems that shut off electricity, shut valves and make elevators stop moving and open their doors at the nearest floor — all in the name of safety.
In the Napa incident, the system was able to start motors that open fire station garage doors in Vallejo, even before the shaking started in that town.


Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[El Cajon Man Dies of West Nile Virus ]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 22:05:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/TLMD-06-malaria-puerto-rico.jpg

A 73-year-old El Cajon man died of West Nile Virus on Sunday – the second death in San Diego this year.

Health officials confirmed four other cases, bringing the total in San Diego to 11 this year.

The County Department of Public Health is also waiting to confirm 13 suspected cases and two deaths possibly linked to the disease.

“These unfortunate deaths are a strong reminder that West Nile virus is a potentially deadly disease, and is active in our region,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H, County public health officer. “It’s important that the public continue taking precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, which transmit West Nile virus.”

County officials urge people to prevent mosquito breeding by dumping still water outside the house. Mosquito fish, which are available for free from the Environmental Health Vector Control Program, can be used in backyard water sources to control mosquito breeding.

They also remind people to stay inside when mosquitos are most active – from dusk until dawn – and to wear long sleeves and pants or use repellant. Residents should report dead birds or green swimming pools to the Environmental Health Vector Control Program.

The disease reached its peak in 2008, when 37 cases were reported in the County.

Photo Credit: TELEMUNDO PR]]>
<![CDATA[Beauty Queen Sold Child Porn: Cops]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 06:58:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/230*120/10-8-15_Mrs_OC.JPG

A former Mrs. Orange County was in jail Thursday on suspicion of creating child pornography with a 4-year-old relative and selling it to a Marine stationed in Southern California, authorities said.

Meghan Breanna Alt, 25, of Irvine, is accused of sending sexually explicit images of a 4-year-old girl to the Marine in exchange for cash and gifts, according to Orange County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock.

Alt won the Mrs. Orange County pageant last year and competed in the Mrs. California contest in June of 2014, Hallock said.

She was held in lieu of $100,000 bail. Alt, who was under surveillance, was arrested following a traffic stop in San Diego County on Wednesday, according to Hallock.

Alt is also suspected of advertising unspecified services online that sometimes led to her having sex with clients in exchange for money with her children present, Hallock said.

Alt, along with her husband and children, recently moved to Irvine. Former neighbors in San Clemente said they were surprised to learn about the child porn accusations involving Alt.

Hallock said Alt is involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in San Clemente and Irvine, where investigators believe she worked with young children as a volunteer.

Investigators said they are concerned there may be additional victims and asked the public to contact the Orange County Sheriff's Department if they have any information.

Alt is expected to appear in court Oct. 9. It's not clear if she has an attorney.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Immigration and Customs Enforcement]]>
<![CDATA[Bigoted Graffiti Discovered on SDSU Parking Garage]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 21:41:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDSU++Graffiti.jpg

San Diego State Police officials are taking steps to find the suspect who sprayed racist graffiti on a school parking garage this week.

Wednesday morning, students discovered the bigoted words and symbols scrawled across two walls near Parking Structure 1, which sits by College Avenue and Alvarado Road.

SDSU officials believe the suspect vandalized the structure Tuesday night, and a police report was filed the next day. Staff immediately removed over the spray paint.

Investigators have not identified any suspects at this point.

The SDSU Police Department sent the following statement about the discovery: 

"San Diego State University emphatically condemns and rejects these messages of hate and divisiveness.  Our facilities services staff immediately removed them. SDSU is a diverse community of people from all races, ethnicities, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds.  We affirm and reaffirm our commitment to providing a welcoming and supportive environment of opportunity for all students, faculty, staff and community members.  This event serves to remind our campus community of the importance of continued support for our aspirations of being One SDSU – a community that promotes diversity and inclusiveness through our shared mission of education, research and service." 

<![CDATA[Water Still Off for Residents After Wed. Pipe Break]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 08:16:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/water+main+break+crews1.JPG

More than a day and a half after a pipe ruptured, spewing water high into the air and flooding homes, 52 customers in Rancho San Diego are still without water.

Otay Water District crews hoped to fix the break at Hillsdale Road overnight Wednesday, but officials said a complication kept the repairs from happening. They have not given a new timeline on when repairs will be finished.

They are dealing with a system of small leaks across the broken 12-inch line. Armando Buelna with the water district said crews are installing a patch for the leak, but others are popping up. 

If the patch doesn't work, the workers will install a high line to pump in water temporarily, which would restore service to 38 of the 52 homes.

Meanwhile, Buelna said the district brought in four water tanks to assist the community and workers have been delivering bottles of water to homes.

Officials are in constant contact with residents, according to Buelna.

About 380,000 gallons of water flowed onto Hillsdale Road between Jamacha Road and Chase Avenue Wednesday.

A geyser, caused by the broken line, shot up well above the electrical lines and could be seen from more than a mile away.

The resulting flood rushed into at least two homes and four to five outbuildings. The worst hit home belongs to Donita Blalock, who has been running dehumidifiers and airscrubbers all day. To cut down on the spread of mold, a remediation team is keeping the house at 105 degrees.

"It's difficult," said Blalock. "I hurt my knee. I can't run around like I used to, and so I have my mom and a walker and my little dog. We're puddling right along." 

Blalock said her 15 prize koi fish did not survive the flooding. Repairs to her home will cost thousands of dollars.

On Wednesday, Otay Water crews told NBC 7 they have had problems on this stretch of road before, but nothing like this.

<![CDATA[SD Explained: SANDAG and Its Big Plans for Transit]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 21:56:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Trolley-Generic-Garske-July.jpg

On Friday, the San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG, will vote on final approval of San Diego Forward, its long-term plan for $204 billion worth of mass transit and construction projects.

That's a lot of money and new infrastructure going toward the next 35 years of the region's transportation needs. Transit is something a lot of people care about, so what exactly is SANDAG and who's behind it?

On this week's San Diego Explained, NBC's Monica Dean and Voice of San Diego's Scott Lewis tell us to think of SANDAG, which has representatives from 19 municipal governments on its governing board, as the "United Nations of San Diego governments." SANDAG doesn't just do transportation planning, it's actually a hub of research on everything from crime to demographics, but with the impending vote, it's Dean and Lewis' focus.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[DA Bonnie Dumanis Remembers Bill Kolender]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 21:29:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Kolender-File-Photo-KNSD.jpg

Former Sheriff Bill Kolender, who served 13 years as Chief of the San Diego Police Department and 14 years as Sheriff of San Diego County, died Tuesday morning after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

“He was just such a wonderful human being. He was a giant in law enforcement,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis told NBC7 on Thursday. “One of the things he was known for saying was ‘take your job seriously not yourself.”

Kolender began his career in 1956 as a San Diego Police Officer, and in 1970, he was appointed Chief of the SDPD. Kolender was elected the 28th Sheriff of San Diego County in 1994 and was sworn into office in 1995. He was re-elected as Sheriff three times after that, in 1998, 2002 and 2006 eventually retiring in 2009.

“He was one of my mentors. I learned so much from him…He taught me a lot about leadership and compassion and people. He truly loved people.”

Dumanis said everyone who knew Kolender has a story about him. She said he had a great sense of humor and loved to poke fun at himself.

“He used to carry around those Sheriff’s pins that had the badge on it. He went to visit my dad before he died in the hospital and he took the pin and pinned it on his bathrobe and that made such a difference to my dad and to my mom and to my family,” Dumanis said. “I have nothing but wonderful memories about him…and my heart goes out to…the family.”

Photo Credit: NBC 7 Archives]]>
<![CDATA[Images: San Diego Man Hurt in NAU Shooting]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:33:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/nick-dimo-prato-NAU-Sweatshirt_scene.jpg Images: San Diego Man Hurt in NAU Shooting]]> <![CDATA[$204B in Transportation Funds in Priority Clash]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 20:45:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sd+trolley+generic.JPG

A tug of war is brewing over $204 billion for countywide transportation projects that comes up for a vote Friday by the San Diego Association of Governments.

Public transit activists say not enough of that money is going toward alternatives to freeway travel, especially in communities south of downtown San Diego.

"Unfortunately, our elected officials haven't quite heard that message as loudly as they need to hear it,” said Nicole Capretz, executive director of Climate Action Campaign. “So we'll continue to tell them what we believe is important, and what the public wants."

On Thursday, elected officials representing National City, Lemon Grove and South Bay gathered at MTS Trolley headquarters in East Village to speak out against the $204 billion "San Diego Forward" strategy proposed by regional planners.
They said it won't get around to upgrading trolley travel and bus rapid transit in their communities for nearly two decades.
And they'd like to see the light rail lines in downtown installed underground, to separate the travel from inner-city traffic and intersection delays.
In response, SANDAG board members argue the plan balances the greater needs of the region's residents with the funding as it comes available over the years ahead.

"The first five years of this plan, 75 percent (of the spending) is going to be for transit,” said Santee City Councilman Jack Dale.  “And you need to understand that every new highway lane but one is for transit. For bus, carpool lanes, vanpool lanes, that type of thing."

The money involved -- $204 billion — will be allocated over 35 years to expand transportation for a regional population that's expected to grow 25 percent to four million by 2050.

Dale explained that the allocations are made according to how state and federal agencies earmark their shares of various projects.

"The dollars that we get from the taxpayers,” he said, “we take and leverage with what we get from Sacramento and D.C. and build these projects.  And we realized, when we put our plan together, that there's a timeline when that cash is going to go."

But that timeline tests the patience of transit and climate change activists.

"In order for San Diego to compete in the 21st century, we have to create a world-class transportation system,” Capretz told NBC 7.  “We have to allow people who are moving to San Diego, living in San Diego and visiting San Diego to feel they don't need a car to get around."

<![CDATA[SeaWorld to Expand Orca Tanks]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 04:01:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/179*120/shamu_sea+world.jpg

The California Coastal Commission on Thursday approved a plan by SeaWorld San Diego to expand its killer whale tanks, but banned any future breeding of the whales.

The decision came as hundreds of animal welfare activists packed a meeting in Long Beach where the proposal was being considered.

The Commission decided to expand the theme park's $100 million Blue World Project, which would replace and expand two existing orca facilities with larger tanks, one containing 5.2 million gallons of water and another with 450,000 gallons.

About 420 people — both for and against the project — packed the meeting at the Long Beach Convention Center.

"SeaWorld is pure evil," said actress and project opponent Pamela Anderson outside the meeting. "It is absolutely ridiculous that it still exists and I'm hoping that every aquatic center closes down."

But SeaWorld spokesperson David Koontz said they are "disappointed" by the Coastal Commission's conditions placed on the project. It will cause them to carefully review and consider their options.

"Breeding is a natural, fundamental and important part of an animal’s life and depriving a social animal of the right to reproduce is inhumane,' Koontz said in a statement.

Activists were calling on the commission to vote down the project, saying the expansion of marine-mammal exhibits would only allow for even more breeding of orcas in captivity.

"SeaWorld's tanks, regardless of size, deny these highly intelligent animals the social bonds, open space, freedom, and stimulation that they would have in their natural ocean homes," said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in a news release.

SeaWorld staff said the proposed changes include a new habitat for killer whales with underwater, fast-water currents.

"It's really an exciting thing for the whales and for the people that visit SeaWorld as well," said John Riley, president of SeaWorld San Diego.

According to PETA, thousands of people have written to the California Coastal Commission in opposition to SeaWorld's plan.

The California Coastal Commission issued a report recommending the plan be approved with conditions.

Gordon Tokumatsu and Jason Kandel contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: adonayrealestate.com]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers and Susan G. Komen Give Free Mammograms]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 18:28:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+breast+cancer.JPG

The Chargers and Susan G. Komen provided women in need with free mammograms at Qualcomm Stadium Thursday for breast cancer awareness month.

"We are grateful to the San Diego Chargers for continuing to drive awareness on the importance of getting mammograms," said Laura Farmer Sherman, president and CEO, Susan G. Komen San Diego. "Early detection is the key to saving lives in San Diego County, where six women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one woman dies every day."

The first NFL team in the nation to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 2013, the Chargers have since inspired other teams to follow in their footsteps.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer.” Wendy Shurelds told NBC7. “I got laid off without any insurance so I really turned to Susan G. Komen and they referred me to one of their events. And that’s where I had my screening mammogram and from that I was told I had breast cancer…I’m here today because of that free mammogram.”

According to experts, women without health insurance have a 30% to 50% increased risk of dying from breast cancer.

There is good news though. Experts say if caught early enough the most common type of breast cancer is 99% survivable.

"The Chargers are proud once again to partner with Susan G. Komen San Diego to provide free, life-saving mammograms to women in our community," said Chargers president - business operations, A.G. Spanos. "This event holds a special significance to me as my mother is a breast cancer survivor."

Susan G. Komen is the country's largest provider of free breast health and free cancer services and resources. Their website has other ways to get a free exam.

Susan G. Komen encourages uninsured women to make sure they get a breast exam. Women of average risk should get a mammogram once a year starting at age 40, but it's never too early for an exam.

Photo Credit: NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[SD Short-Term Rentals Rake in Millions: Study]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 21:32:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rental+study+1008-PIC_0.jpg

Under siege by some locals, San Diego’s short-term rental market is raking in millions of dollars for the city and supporting more than 1,800 jobs, a new study contends.

A study by the National University Institute of Policy Research – commissioned by AirBnb -- looked at the economic impact of such rental companies as Airbnb and VRBO.

It found that local short-term rentals, including beachfront condos, downtown condos and neighborhood spots, generate $190 million in revenue, said Erik Bruvold of the National University Institute of Policy Research. Bruvold also said these short-term rentals bring in millions of dollars in taxes for the city.

"We’ve also seen at the same time hotel occupancy rates and revenue per available room also go up dramatically, and so what seems to be happening is there's a big expanding pie going on and there's enough demand to support both kinds of industries," Bruvold said.

This comes as a local coalition is calling on the San Diego City Council to implement stricter restrictions for short-term rental users, saying they are fed up with “noise, traffic and other neighborhood nuisances.”

The group called Preserve Our Communities issued a statement last month that it wants the city of San Diego to adopt these guidelines for rentals: a minimum of 21 days in unoccupied properties and for the city to place a cap on the number of days properties that can be used as short-term rentals.

The group also wants the city to require short-term rental properties to comply with the same health and safety regulations required at hotels and motels.

The coalition also wants the city to dedicate a funding source for code compliance as well as give neighbors the authority to take legal actions against nuisance property owners.

Bruvold said he hopes the results of the study will show the value of the short-term rental market.

"The study just makes it clear, it's here to stay, we just want that common sense regulation applied," Bruvold said.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[1 Charged in 2001 Cold Case Killing]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:50:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Alexander-Ceballos-SDPD-cold-case.jpg

San Diego police announced a huge break in a 14-year-old cold case Thursday: charges filed against a suspect accused of shooting and killing a man in Encanto in 2001.

The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said cold case investigators have identified Enrique Palomino, 37, as one of the suspects who allegedly killed Alexander Ceballos in the 900 block of Merlin Drive on Jan. 28, 2001.

The murder has remained unsolved for nearly 15 years.

The SDPD said cold case detectives recently resumed the investigation and traced Palomino to the murder. Turns out, Palomino was already in custody at the George Bailey Detention Facility on unrelated charges.

Detectives have now added the charge of first-degree murder for Palomino’s alleged involvement in the killing of Ceballos. Palomino is scheduled to be arraigned in court on that first-degree murder charge Tuesday.

According to police, Ceballos was killed in his car while driving with a friend in Encanto. When they pulled over, Ceballos’ friend was confronted by two men – one of whom police believe was Palomino.

One of the men pulled out a gun and fired toward Ceballos’ car. Ceballos tried to drive away, but he was struck by the gunfire, causing him to crash his car into a nearby building.

Ceballos died from his wounds. His friend survived and was able to give police a description of the shooting suspects. They were described as young gang members between 15 and 18 years old, both wearing Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers. According to SDPD cold case records, the suspects allegedly yelled out the name of a gang before firing shots, adding, “This is what’s up!”

The investigation is ongoing and cold case detectives anticipate additional arrests in this murder case. Anyone with information should call the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

<![CDATA[Sweet Spots for Pie in San Diego]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 14:43:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Pie-Generic-1114.jpg

Sure, Thanksgiving may be more than a month away, but the autumn pie cravings have already set in. This week, Yelp has rounded up a list of sweet, local spots that serve scrumptious pies – whether it’s a la mode, by the slice or whole to share with the ones you love.

Edelweiss European Bakery (Rancho Bernardo)
Order tastes of tradition with the extensive offering of tarts and tortes, plus pies available on special order. Here, each creation is made with love…and butter, as the website proudly proclaims. Stop in and see what’s in the daily display case, or call ahead for full sizes some of our favorites like the Strawberry Rhubarb Torte – a treat truly perfected by this bakery over the last three decades.

Little George’s (Chula Vista)
When Georges Wonderful World Of Cakes closed in 2010, the owner, Gene Bartlett, saved us all from pie withdrawals by opening this mini location with limited menu options that include the famous Fresh Strawberry Pie. This is a San Diego must-have, and speaking of musts make sure to call ahead as most pies here are made to order, so pick-up or delivery arrangements must be made. Side note for all you cake fans, the Lemon Snow Cake is sublime!

Naughty Pie (Mira Mesa & Farmer’s Markets)
This tempting business can be found at the local farmers market and sweet-toothed Yelp reviewers are raving. The Key Lime pie has notoriety, and both the apple and berry options get honorable mentions. Chef Sarah puts true love into her baking and you can taste the quality. Bonus: she takes orders.

Thyme In The Ranch (Rancho Santa Fe)
This hidden gem boasts a memorable Banana Cream Pie and also serves pie by the slice. Fair warning, once you see the delicious selections you might have a tough time deciding what to eat. Apple Berry Crumb? Traditional Pecan? These are difficult choices, people. This shop is closed on Sundays and Mondays, so plan your visit accordingly.

Soda and Swine (University Heights)
Some might argue the best dessert after a solid meal is a slice of pie. At Soda and Swine, you can get both. For instance, start with an entrée of meatballs and sides, followed by a slice of Classic Apple Pie (served a la mode, if you wish) or Caramel Pecan Apple Pie. Sometimes, the menu includes a seasonal special created at the chef’s whim, too.

Cane Patch Pies (Vista)
Tony and Jon Smalls bring their Southern style to San Diego, baking Southern Sweet Potato Pie and selling it a local farmers markets. If you don’t catch them at markets, the duo will ship the pie to you. While Sweet Potato Pie is the signature item here, the Barbara’s Apple Pie is certainly noteworthy, as well as the Pecan Pie.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/StockFood
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<![CDATA[County Unveils Newest Fire Helicopter]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 14:33:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Fire-helicopter-100815.jpg

San Diego County has a third helicopter in its firefighting fleet, officials announced Thursday.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Horn showed off the new helicopter at Gillespie Field.

Horn asked for the helicopter after the May 2014 wildfires.

His proposal was later included in a county study initiated by Supervisor Dianne Jacob, recommending more improvements in fire protection.

"Our helicopter can get to wherever the fire may be and put it out before it becomes a large configuration like the Cedar Fire or the Witch Fire," Horn said.

The new helicopter can carry hand crews or up to 375 gallons of water.

It can also carry heavy equipment and up to nine passengers and can fly up to two hours.

ASTREA, the San Diego County Sheriff Department's aviation unit will fly the aircraft.

The Erickson Skycrane "Goliath" is also stationed in the county through November. The helicopter, owned and operated by San Diego Gas and Electric, can carry 2,500 gallons of water.

“Goliath” will stay through September and October and will be restricted to operations within San Diego region, according to Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[New Surgery for Flesh-Eating Bacteria Victim]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 13:54:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/FLESHEATINGBACTERIA-PIC-PIC_0.jpg

A San Diego-area teenager fighting for his life against a flesh-eating bacteria is responding to his parents' voices, hospital officials confirmed Thursday. 

Giancarlo Gil, 14, a Chula Vista High School freshman will undergo his tenth surgery at Rady Children’s Hospital.

The teenager is in critical condition as he recovers from the infection that forced doctors to amputate his leg.

"He continues to make small improvements in his recovery and is starting to respond when his parents speak to him," according to hospital spokesperson Carlos Delgado.

Gil complained of pain in his calf Saturday, Sept. 26 after playing baseball.

His condition quickly changed and Gil was taken to urgent care and then the emergency room.

Doctors said a flesh-eating bacteria was causing him to vomit and his calf area started to swell up and bruise, according to a family friend.

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

On Thursday, the hospital said the teenager is making small improvements. His family also wanted to thank the community for all of prayers, love and support, Delgado said.

Photo Credit: NBC7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Verdict Reached in Fiesta Island DUI Crash]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 17:16:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/THeresa_Owens_pic_09302015_1200x675_535541315978.jpg

A jury reached a guilty verdict Thursday in the trial of a San Diego woman accused of driving under the influence of methamphetamine and crashing into a group of bicyclists on Fiesta Island.

Theresa Owens, 50, faced felony charges of driving under the influence causing injury for the wrong turn she made on a one-way route around Fiesta Island on Aug. 12, 2014.

With Owens nervously staring at the jury, the group declared her guilty of driving under the influence of methamphetamine causing great bodily injury to many victims and of possession of meth.

In the chaotic crash, Owens’ vehicle struck multiple cyclists, paralyzing one and injuring nine others.
Some of those victims took the stand in Owens’ trial, recounting how the crash permanently scarred them – both emotionally and physically.

One of those victims is La Jolla father Juan Carlos Vinolo, who was hit and left paralyzed when Owens ran into his cycling group. Vinolo testified that the crash wrecked his life.

"My life is destroyed, everything is different," said Vinolo.

Prosecutors said lab results showed Owens tested positive for meth at the time of the collision. Prosecutors also said that at the time of Owens’ arrest, police said they found a bag of meth in her vagina.

Over the course of her trial, Owens’ attorney has argued that although Owens had meth in her system, her driving was not impaired by the drug at the time of the crash.

After the verdict was read Thursday, San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Jessica Coto told NBC 7 she felt justice was served.

“The jury worked very hard on this case and they came up with a just verdict,” said Coto.

The prosecutor said the decision is a "step in the right direction" toward helping the victims of the crash begin their long healing process.

Coto said the verdict also send a strong message to drivers on San Diego's roadways.

“The public will not tolerate people getting high on drugs and getting behind the wheel of a car,” said Coto. “She changed lives forever, all because she wanted to get high.”

At her sentencing, Owens faces up to 18 years in prison. She will be sentenced Nov. 19.

The crash prompted the city of San Diego to improve signs and road safety in the area to prevent another incident.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Rattlesnake Bites When Child Picks It Up]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 13:45:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/paxton+rattlesnake+bite+victim.JPG

A baby rattlesnake bit a 4-year-old boy in east San Diego when the child became too curious and picked it up, his mother told NBC 7.

Paxton Clark's encounter with the rattler happened just after 11 a.m. at a home on East Washington Street in Ramona. Cal Fire officials rushed to the scene to find the child suffering from a bite wound to his index finger.

Paxton was airlifted to Rady Children’s Hospital, officials confirmed.

The boy's mother, Robin, told NBC 7 Paxton was playing with his cousin Reece in the backyard near a large tree when he picked up a white and black-colored baby rattlesnake, which bit him on the finger.

"They're boys, they love the snakes and reptiles, and we've had lots of those kinds of conversations about we don't pick up or touch any kind of reptile that we don't know what it is," said Robin.

Minutes later, Paxton's finger started swelling, his family said.

Robin said, as a precaution, her son was being monitored at the ICU Thursday evening. Doctors plan to watch the boy closely for the next two to three days.

On Friday morning, Robin told NBC 7 Paxton was still in the ICU, but was doing well -- eating, talking and playing. She said that although the swelling on his finger has worsened, the boy had not needed more anti-venom.

Paxton's cousin Reece said he learned from Paxton's mistake. "I'm not picking up a snake," he said.

The San Diego heat is notorious for bringing out rattlesnakes. At the time of the bite, the temperature in Ramona was in the upper-80s. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a heat advisory for parts of San Diego in effect from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.

Back in May, officials with the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services told NBC 7 that rattlesnake sightings and calls were on the rise across the county. At that point, Animal Services had received 385 calls reporting rattlesnakes, compared to 356 calls at the same time in 2014.

At that time, Daniel E. DeSousa, deputy director for the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services, said the top ZIP code for rattlesnake calls had been 92124 — the Tierrasanta area near Mission Trails Regional Park.

According to Animal Services, other top ZIP codes for rattlesnake calls in 2015 have included: 92131 (Scripps Ranch); 92127 (4S Ranch); 92129 (Rancho Penasquitos); and 92130 (Carmel Valley).

On Friday, DeSousa told NBC 7 that, so far, for the month of October, Animal Services has received 39 calls reporting rattlesnakes.

"Last year for the same time period, we had only received 25 calls," he added.

According to Animal Services, residents can discourage rattlers from making themselves at home by getting rid of wood piles, fallen fruit, garbage heaps and outdoor dog food bowls around homes and properties.

They attract mice and rats, which in turn attract snakes, the department said.

It’s important to remain alert and aware of your surroundings during rattlesnake season, as the critters tend to hide in tall grass, weeds and brush alongside paths.

Those who encounter a rattler should give the animal space and calmly back away from it.

The Department of Animal Services said the following rattlesnake precautions should be taken:

  • Wear sturdy hiking boots with ankle support so that your feet are protected.
  • Stay on paths and trails. Avoid tall grass, weeds and brush where snakes may hide.
  • Make sure you can see where you are reaching and that you can see ahead of you. Look for concealed snakes before picking up rocks, sticks or wood.
  • Consider bringing a walking stick while hiking. If you encounter a snake it may strike the stick instead of you or your pet.
  • If you live in an area where rattlesnakes have been found, check your yard before letting your pets and children out to play.

There are five varieties of rattlesnakes found in San Diego County. If you’re bit, you should immediately call 911 and remove any constricting clothing or accessories from your body, like rings or watches.

If you spot a rattlesnake on your property and you live in unincorporated areas or Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee or Solana Beach, call County Animal Services at (619) 236-2341. Other residents should contact their local animal control departments for help.

Photo Credit: Robin Clark
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<![CDATA[Target Store to Open in Del Sur]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 11:49:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Del-Sur-Target.jpg

A new Target store will open in Del Sur next week as part of a large retail development within the community.

The 143,000-square-foot location is set to open Oct. 11 at Del Sur Town Center in the Black Mountain Ranch area, Shea Properties confirmed. The store – located at 17170 Camino Del Sur -- will anchor the shopping center and include general merchandise, fresh food, a pharmacy, clinic and optical department and a Starbucks.

California-based real estate company Shea Properties says the new shopping center will also soon house a to-be-announced specialty grocer, plus other retail store, dining spots and services.

The Target store joins two previously announced tenants at the center: Dr. Davey’s Family Dentistry and CurBar, an upscale nail salon. Shea Properties plans to announce additional tenants in the coming months.

By 2016, all stores at the shopping center should be up and running.

Photo Credit: Shea Properties]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Returns to San Diego by Week's End]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 11:38:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Made-in-America-Water-Man-Cool.jpg

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for San Diego County's inland valleys, effective Friday.

High temperatures are expected to reach dangerous levels, from 98-102 degrees in places like Escondido and El Cajon.

“A Heat Advisory is issued when the risk of heat related illnesses become elevated, and when temperatures are abnormally high,” said NBC 7 Meteorologist Jodi Kodesh. “It will be in effect from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.”

People are urged to limit their time outside, and reduce strenuous activities, she added.

Stay hydrated and wear light, loose fitting clothing. Air conditioning is a must, and those without it are urged to seek a cool zone.

Children, elderly and pregnant women are most susceptible to heat related illnesses.

Beach temperatures will be in the mid 80s through the weekend, while inland areas will remain in the mid 90s.

Temperatures will begin a slow decrease on Sunday. There is a possibility of rain in the forecast for the middle part of next week.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Midway District Fight Leaves 1 Dead]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 21:35:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Midway-District-Homicide-1008.JPG

The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) launched a homicide investigation Thursday morning in the Midway District following a deadly fight between two men.

Just before 9:30 a.m., police confirmed an investigation was under way in the 3500 block of Sports Arena Boulevard, behind a Ralph's grocery store and a Target store.

SDPD Lt. Mike Hastings told NBC 7 two men were involved in an altercation in the area behind the businesses. Police officers arrived and broke up the fight, but one of the men then went into "medical distress," Lt. Hastings said.

Officers rendered aid to the man until paramedics arrived, but he died a short time later, the police department said.

The other man involved in this incident was questioned at the scene by investigators. He was not arrested, police confirmed.

Lt. Hastings said he does not believe any weapons were used in the fight.

"I believe it's just a fist fight, if you will. I don't believe there were any weapons involved in this one. Again, that might change, but I'm pretty comfortable it was a physical confrontation," he explained.

The investigation is ongoing. For now, police are interviewing witnesses and trying to figure out what led the men to fight in the first place. Anyone with information on this case should call the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

The SDPD said an autopsy is scheduled in the next few days to determine the man's cause of death. His name has not yet been released by investigators, but police did say he was 47 years old.

The second man involved in the fight is in his 30s, Lt. Hastings said.

Photo Credit: Wendy Fry]]>
<![CDATA[Wife Who Killed Husband Guilty of 2nd-Degree Murder]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 07:14:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/julie+harper+handcuffed.JPG

A jury found a Carlsbad mother guilty of second-degree murder Thursday for shooting her husband three years ago inside their home while their children were in another room watching cartoons.

Julie Harper admitted to fatally shooting her husband, Jason Harper, in their North County home on Aug. 27, 2012, but claims she did it in self-defense, alleging that she feared Jason would kill or rape her.

At her first trial one year ago, Julie was acquitted on first-degree murder charges. Prosecutors sought to retry her on second-degree murder charges and her retrial began Sept. 14.

On Thursday, Julie reached for a tissue and began to cry as the verdict was read and she learned her fate. She now faces 40 years to life in prison at her upcoming sentencing. The jury also found an allegation to be true: personal discharge of a firearm causing death.

San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe said many things were different in this retrial, including jurors who were familiar with marriage and divorce.

"They knew what their defense was and we had the opportunity to specifically disprove it," said Watanabe. "We disproved it by looking through various aspects of her journals and writings. We looked through her day planner and calendar, which disproved a lot of her lies."

But Julie’s defense attorney, Paul Pfingst, maintained that the jury made the wrong decision.

"I think we're still in a place where there are preconceptions about how a battered wife should behave, and if she doesn't behave that way, I think that's something that is difficult to explain to people still," he said.

Closing arguments in the retrial wrapped up Wednesday, and jurors began deliberations that same afternoon.

Watanabe argued the wounds suffered by Jason indicate he was shot from behind — not killed in self-defense.

He also argued there was zero history of documented abuse in the Harpers’ marriage, adding, “Julie says [Jason] was a rapist without anyone knowing.”

Meanwhile, Pfingst said in his closing argument that Julie killed Jason in self-defense and buried the gun she used in the killing out of panic, not guilt.

"Innocent people know that they may not believed and they know that their life is about to take a dramatic turn for the worse," said Pfingst.

He said Julie used bad judgment when making that decision, thinking she would turn the weapon over to police after a few days.

To this day, the gun has never been found.

Julie’s retrial has included dramatic, emotional testimony from many witnesses, including Jason’s family members, neighbors and even the couple’s two young children.

The defendant herself also took the stand for three consecutive days last week, offering graphic details of her troubled marriage and the alleged verbal and physical abuse that she says ultimately drove her to kill her husband.

Under oath, Julie claimed Jason raped her more than 30 times and that she kept a journal of those encounters, allegedly using the word “sex” and a code for “rape” in her writings.

That claim was heavily challenged by Watanabe.

Julie also claimed she never reported the abuse or rape because she was “embarrassed.” She said she feared pressing charges against Jason would lead to him lose his job as a Carlsbad high school teacher and thus impact their family’s finances, which were already in dire straits.

On the stand, Julie also recounted the chilling moment when she shot Jason to death after they got into a heated argument over finances and her filing for divorce.

“I turned around and saw him coming toward me. He said, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ I told him to stop. I heard a loud noise and felt [the gun] jerk. He froze, stopped and fell forward,” she testified.

Julie said she didn’t know how to tell her children, who were in another room, that their dad was dead. She didn’t want them to see his body, so she covered Jason with a blanket and other items.

She testified that after the murder, she dropped the kids off at her sister’s house, went to a local coffee shop and visited her father at his office. She told her father her husband was dead, and he told her they needed to call police and hire a lawyer.

<![CDATA[Coastal Commission Considers SeaWorld Orca Tank Expansion]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 07:36:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/orca-exhibit-changes7.jpg The board will vote on the proposal that's earned a recommendation from several members of the Coastal Commission staff. NBC 7's Elena Gomez reports.

Photo Credit: SeaWorld Entertainment]]>