<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Sun, 26 Apr 2015 17:18:40 -0700 Sun, 26 Apr 2015 17:18:40 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Several Semi Trucks On Fire in Otay Mesa]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 16:30:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDFD-Engine-1.JPG

Several semi trucks are on fire in Otay Mesa, officials said. 

The incident happened around 3:45 p.m. at the 9000 block of Paseo de la Fuente. 

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and MAST are responding. 

It is unclear what the cause of the fire was. No further details were available. 

NBC7 has a crew heading to the scene, we will update the story with information as it comes in. Refresh this page for updates. 



Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Get Big Win, Avoid Sweep]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 15:41:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*121/471265748.jpg

When he was drafted 6th overall by the Mariners in the 2006 MLB Draft, Brandon Morrow was supposed to be an ace. He has the stuff for it. But, while he’s been effective, injuries and bouts of wildness have kept him from truly becoming that front-of-the-rotation starter.

He came to the Padres from Toronto on a one-year deal, hoping to win the 5th starter job in Spring Training. He did that, narrowly beating out Odrsiamer Despaigne, and looked pretty good in his first two starts. But on Saturday at Petco Park, Morrow looked like the man he always knew he could be.

Morrow threw a gem against the Dodgers, helping the Padres avoid a sweep with a 3-1 win. Brandon tossed 7.0 innings, allowing just one run (a solo home run to Alex Guerrero) on five hits, striking out four and only walking one. Joaquin Benoit and Craig Kimbrel threw a scoreless inning each to secure Morrow’s first win in a Padres uniform.

Speaking of firsts, the Padres added a few more to a season already flush with them. Shortstop Alexi Amarista hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot off Dodgers starter Scott Baker in the 3rd inning. Catcher Derek Norris provided the rest of the offense. In the fourth he doubled home Matt Kemp to put the Padres up 2-0. Norris has nine doubles this season, tied for second-most in Major League Baseball. No other catcher has more than four doubles.

In the 7th inning, Norris smashed a solo home run down the left field line for his first dinger as a Padre. San Diego avoided being swept by Los Angeles but did suffer its first series loss at home since July of 2014. The Friars had gone 11-0-1 in their last 12 series played at Petco Park.

San Diego falls one game behind the Dodgers in the National League West. The Padres open a 3-game series against the surprisingly good Houston Astros, who are in first place in the American League West, on Monday in the East Village.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Third Arrest in Fatal Egger Highlands Shooting]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 14:51:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Egger-Highlands-Shooting.jpg

A third person has been arrested in connection with an Egger Highlands shooting that left one man dead and three others injured.

Police previously arrested a man and a woman in September of last year in connection with the shooting.

On Saturday, 19-year-old Jesse Lopez surrendered to homicide detectives at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. Lopez previously fled to Mexico after a murder warrant had been issued for his arrest. He is charged with murder and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon. He has been booked into County Jail and will be arraigned Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. 

Witnesses reported hearing nine shots ring out on June 27, 2014 near 600 Thermal Avenue – just east of Imperial Beach. When San Diego Police arrived in the area, they found four men suffering from gunshot wounds.

Ismael Moreno, 31, died from injuries to his upper torso and at least one shot to the head before medics could help. The three other victims in their 20s were taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

One of the men was found about two blocks away. Police believe he was shot at the same site as the others and stumbled to where he was eventually found.

Last September, homicide investigators zeroed in on their suspects in the Otay Mesa West area. With the help of U.S. Marshals, they served a search warrant and arrested Cesar Lopez, 23, and Karla Olmos, 22, in the shooting.

Investigators say witnesses heard several people arguing before the gunshots sounded. However, police have not released a motive in the homicide.



Photo Credit: Diana Guevara]]>
<![CDATA[9-Year-Old Does 42 Aerials in World Record Attempt]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 12:54:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/042615+Guinness+Aerials+Record.JPG

A 9-year-old girl from Orange County was head over heels Saturday as she attempted to break a world record for most consecutive aerials.

Ollivia Nguyen completed 42 of the handless cartwheels on a mat in an Anaheim gym in front of a cheering crowd and a Guinness World Record camera, according to her mother.

"In the beginning it feels easy because I have a lot of oxygen but at the end my breathing kind of gets heavy," Nguyen said in a practice before the record attempt.

Nguyen practiced for over six months to accomplish the feat, said her current coach, Sarah Eshom.

"We've worked on different techniques," Eshom said, "and once we found the technique that best fit her we started building up the numbers. We went from 10 to 20 to 30 and then now she's doing 40 consecutive with no problem."

The current record for “Most Consecutive Aerials-Breakdance,” is six, Anthony Yodice, a spokesman for Guinness World Records North America Inc., told the OC Register.

The idea of Nguyen breaking the record came from a conversation her mother, Nicholle Aguilar, had with another of Nguyen's coaches.

"(He) said, 'You know I think that she can really do this,'" Aguilar said. "He kind of put this in her heart or the inspiration in her heart."

The attempt was recorded and sent to Guinness World Record officials to verify the two-and-a-half minute video, according to the OC Register. Two certified gymnast instructors and a notary were present at the event.

"I believe in her and I knew she could do it, so we pursued it," Aguilar said at the pre-record attempt practice.



Photo Credit: Kevin Dahlgren]]>
<![CDATA[Homes for Our Troops Donates Free Fallbrook Home]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 12:05:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rascon11p0425_1200x675_434694211948.jpg It was a good day for one of our severely wounded military veterans. The non-profit, Homes for Our Troops, gave him a free home in Fallbrook. NBC 7's Matt Rascon has more from the marine and his new specially designed home.]]> <![CDATA[Victim of Deadly Nepal Quake Has Local Connections]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 11:59:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Omari11p0425_1200x675_434693699782.jpg Among the people killed in the deadly Mt. Everest Avalanche: a Google employee with family in the North County. NBC 7's Omari Fleming has the story. ]]> <![CDATA[One Dead, Another Seriously Injured After I-5 Crash]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 10:58:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/CHP-Generic-0115.jpg

One person has died following a crash on Interstate 5 just south of the Aliso Creek rest area. 

The California Highway Patrol said two people were inside the car when it rolled over and crashed at approximately 4:30 a.m. Sunday. 

The second person had to be airlifted. That person has life-threatening injuries. 

All lanes are open on the freeway after the crash.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Save Elderly Couple Hanging from Seatbelts]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 14:29:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/elderly+couple+crash+web.jpg

Firefighters cut the roof off of an elderly couple's car to get them out of their minivan after a hit-and-run near the Midway district in San Diego, officials said. 

A car hit the couple's vehicle near the intersection of Chatsworth Boulevard and Elliot Street Saturday night, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said.

The minivan crashed on its side, though the driver took off, leaving the elderly couple hanging from their seatbelts, police said.

Firefighters said they were able to extract them by cutting the roof of the car and removing them. 

The driver had been recovering from a recent surgery and was in a lot of pain, police said. 

Both the man and woman are expected to be okay, according to police.



Photo Credit: Nida Wongsri]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Light Up Padres Pitching Staff]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 21:17:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/184*120/471157220.jpg

The Padres bats came alive again at Petco Park, proving they have the ability to overcome a big deficit. The problem is they keep having big deficits to overcome.

The Dodgers blitzed San Diego starter Ian Kennedy on Saturday night, jumping out to leads of 3-0, 6-3, 8-3 and 10-3 en route to an 11-8 win. Kennedy was basically making his first start of the season. He left the Padres home opener on Opening Week with a hamstring injury in the 3rd inning.

Kennedy gave up three runs in the first, a pair coming on an Andre Ethier home run. Ethier was in the starting lineup because Yasiel Puig is nursing a hamstring injury.

San Diego’s offense got Kennedy off the hook once with a 3-run first inning of their own. Facing Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy, Wil Myers hit his first career leadoff home run and Justin Upton smacked a 2-run, opposite field shot to score Matt Kemp and hit the reset button.

But in the 2nd inning, Kennedy missed with a pitch to the wrong guy. Adrian Gonzalez hit a towering 3-run home run to right field, putting L.A. up 6-3. It was the 6th home run Gonzalez has hit in five games against the Padres this year.

Kennedy stayed in the game and made it to the 5th inning, where Howie Kendrick drove a 2-run shot over the wall in straightaway center to put the Dodgers up 8-3. That’s when Padres manager Bud Black went and got Ian, who allowed eight runs on eight hits on the night.

Lefty Chris Rearick relieved Kennedy, and didn’t fare much better. Rearick served up a 2-run shot to Juan Uribe that put the Dodgers up 10-3 in the 5th inning. However, the Padres made it interesting.

They scored four runs in the 6th inning, three of them coming on Upton’s second homer of the game. Justin ripped a 420-foot shot to the beach over the right-center field wall. It’s the 8th multi-homer game of his career and first in a Padres uniform.

In the 7th inning the Padres lost one of their biggest offensive threats when Kemp was ejected by home plate umpire Marty Foster for questioning a strike zone that was fairly inconsistent the majority of the game.

Overall the Padres and Dodgers combined for 13 extra-base hits (7 HR, 5 doubles, 1 triple). On Sunday Los Angeles can finish the 3-game sweep when they send former Padre Joe Wieland to the mound against Brandon Morrow.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Suffer A Big Loss]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 14:52:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/yoder+2.jpg

The San Diego Padres have the best playing surface in Major League Baseball. That's not just me saying that.

Big leaguers from other clubs who sign with the Padres have mentioned how superior the infield at Petco Park is to other ballparks. The hops are more true, the speed is more consistent.

The man responsible for that is head groundskeeper Luke Yoder. Or at least, it was until now.

In a statement to released to NBC 7 Sportswrap on Saturday, the Padres announced Yoder has left the organization:

"Luke resigned from the Padres to pursue other business ventures. We wish him the best and are thankful for his years of services to the Padres organization."

Yoder has not publicly revealed a reason for the move, but the website www.yoderballfields.com is currently under construction so he may be establishing his own construction or consulting company. His leaving is a huge loss for the Padres, as it would be for any team hoping to enjoy a home field advantage by having playing conditions be as close to perfect as possible.

Luke joined the Padres staff in 2003 and has overseen field preparation every single season at Petco Park. Before coming to San Diego he was working for the Pirates at PNC Park, another of baseball's surfaces.

He also helped the San Diego community in general. Luke helped the University Of San Diego with their infield and mound at the newly designed stadium and has had a hand in upgrading several high schools and little league facilities around the county.

Yoder has even traveled abroad to fix ball fields, recently assisting Korean baseball leagues.

The Padres have not announced who will take Luke's place but whoever it is has some awfully big gardening boots to fill.



Photo Credit: Scott Wachter/The San Diego Padres]]>
<![CDATA[Violent Crime Leaves One Dead, Another in Custody]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 12:22:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/escondido+police.jpg

Police are investigating what appears to be a domestic dispute between two partners that resulted in one death and another hospitalization. 

The crime occurred on the 2000 block of Lee Avenue in Escondido near Paula Street after a call came in from a relative in Portland telling police there may have been a crime of violence at the home, Escondido Police Lt. Neal Griffin said. 

When police arrived, they found a male suspect they idenitied as Ehren Lee Dragt, 35, of Escondido, on the steps.

When police swept the home, they found a man, dead, inside one of the bedrooms.

The cause of death is unknown as of last check, though police said they believed it was an act of violence based on the scene and the statements they received. Griffin said the incident appears to be a domestic dispute.

The suspect has been taken to the hospital after he had difficulty breathing and police have detained him. Police said they would not elaborate on what they saw at the scene, though they said it was suspicious, Griffin said. 

Griffin said they believed the ultimate cause of death would be homicide. 

Police said they will be at the scene of the crime collecting evidence and processing the scene. 



Photo Credit: Escondido Police Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Otay Ranch Man Deals With Dog Barking Problem]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:34:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/dog_owner_generic.jpg

Mike Landie says he doesn’t know what else to do.

He reached out to NBC 7 after, he says, he’s had to live with constant dog barking coming from his neighbor’s home for years now. He says he’s reached out to police, animal services and his homeowner’s association but the problem is still ongoing.

“At night, I’ve had the dogs wake me up at 11, 12, 3 and 5 a.m.,” said Landie, who lives in Otay Ranch.

His neighbor lives up a grassy hill from his home and when our NBC 7 camera was there, two or three dogs could be heard barking.

“We’ve gone through the routine of doing what you have to do to fix the problem. Nothing’s been fixed,” said Landie.

Landie says he reached out to the Chula Vista Police Department who referred him to the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility. He filed a complaint with the facility and ultimately received a letter from the city stating, “unless and until a second person who lives at a separate address within 100 feet of [neighbor’s address] submits a completed and signed Barking Dog Complaint Form, the City may not issue a barking dog citation to the dog owner.”

In the City of Chula Vista, dog owners may be issued citations if he or she violates municipal code section 6.24.040, Barking Dogs, Enforcement Procedure & Nuisance. It requires that two people who are disturbed by the barking dog and who resides in Chula Vista at separate addresses submit completed and signed complaint forms.

“Yes, [my neighbors] did from both sides of me. Both neighbors, signed complaints as well,” said Landie. NBC 7 spoke to one of Landie’s next door neighbors and he said he did submit a signed complaint.

City officials maintain they have one complaint. The letter goes on to state Chula Vista staff members have met with the dogs’ owner several times.

After our e-mails, Landie’s homeowner association said it will contact the dogs’ owner. NBC 7 reached out to the owner, but has not received a response.

Most areas of the county have laws to stop and prevent frequent or long continued noise, including from animals. Each jurisdiction has its own way of dealing with the issue. In San Diego, residents must contact the city’s Noise Abatement Office. Code enforcement officers respond to complaints, although there must be more than one formal complaint from different households before action by the City is taken.

If you are dealing with a dog barking problem, click here to see how your city handles complaints.



Photo Credit: clipart.com]]>
<![CDATA[Simple Surgery Leads to Amputation for San Diego Man]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 11:45:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/doctor-health-generic-1200-021.jpg

One Southern California man is suing a San Diego doctor's office after his simple orthopaedic surgery went wrong and resulted in an amputation. 

San Diego resident Mike Szabo said it all started with a throbbing pain he felt in his pinky finger after playing a game of hurling. 

Szabo said he initially ignored the pain, and by the time he went to see Dr. Drew Peterson at California Orthopaedic Institute, the doctor told him he would require a simple surgery.

"He said that it was dislocated and I small fracture in the joint and because it had been dislocated and because it had been dislocated for 8 weeks it would require a simple surgery,” Szabo said. 

Szabo had the surgery, but he said that soon after he got the feeling something wasn't right.

"I started having this throbbing, burning pain,” said Szabo. 

He called the doctor's office to complain, but said he didn't speak to the doctor but someone else who told him not to worry.

"I asked her should I remove the bandage because I feel like it's too tight and she said no don't remove the bandage because it could risk infection,” Szabo said. 

He said the pain persisted and even got worse. He called the office again and was told the same thing. It wasn't until nearly two weeks later at his post-operation appointment that he knew the pain was serious.

"They removed the bandage and my finger was just jet black, like a lump of charcoal,” Szabo said. "He didn't give me much advice or explanation of what was going on. He just said we'll monitor it.”

Szabo said he decided to get a second opinion and found his black finger was an infection.

"They said it was dry gangrene, so it basically had died from lack of blood supply,” said Szabo. He said he had to have his pinky finger amputated from the joint up.

Szabo has now filed suit against the Doctor's office and the doctor claiming negligence.

NBC 7 reached out to the doctor's office. The office's attorney, Kyle Cruse, said in a statement, “This case is a prime example of a frivolous lawsuit. All the medical professionals complied with the standard of care and treated the patient appropriately."

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<![CDATA[Pursuit Begins After Man Drives Wrong Way Toward Officer]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 11:06:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/CHP-Generic-0115.jpg

A suspect involved in a minor hit-and-run that became a police pursuit died after he was taken to the hospital, police said.

The 26-year-old male was involved in a minor hit-and-run at approximately 10:30 p.m. Friday.

The suspect fled the scene and was driving the wrong way on Cedar Street when a California Highway Patrol officer spotted the suspect driving straight toward him.

The man made a U-turn in front of the cop and the officer pursued him until he ultimately made a left turn on Juniper Street and ran into a retaining wall near the 2300 block of 1st Avenue in Banker’s Hill. 

The suspect was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The San Diego Police Traffic Division is investigating.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Mattel Dumps "SeaWorld Trainer Barbie"]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 10:47:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Mattell-Barbie.jpg

“SeaWorld Trainer Barbie” is going to need to freshen up her resume.

A Mattel spokesperson has confirmed that the company has ceased production of the doll and the rest of its SeaWorld-related merchandise.

"We're not making the doll anymore," Alex Clark told NBC News. "Consumers may find it on retail shelves but we are not shipping and not producing the doll."

Clark didn’t name a specific motivation behind the move.

"A number of factors go into a decision like that," he said. "Their licensing deal expired and we've elected not to renew it."

However, Mattel’s decision follows a growing backlash against the aquatic theme park over its treatment of orcas and the safety of its trainers.

In 2010, park guests witnessed a SeaWorld trainer get drowned by an orca. In 2013, a documentary called “Blackfish” also sparked public outcry over allegations that the captive whales were being mistreated.

Animal activist groups praised the move by Mattel.

"It is very fitting that Mattel would dump Sea World Trainer Barbie," PETA spokeswoman Stephanie Shaw said to NBC News. "She's now able to maintain her animal-friendly image."

Back in November, the company announced that attendance and revenue continued to decline in the fourth quarter of 2014.

“Clearly, 2014 has been a challenging year, but I am confident we are taking the necessary steps to address our near term challenges and position the company to deliver value over the long term,” SeaWorld CEO Jim Atchison said at the time in a statement on the park’s website.



Photo Credit: MATTEL]]>
<![CDATA[Oceanside Man Stabbed to Death Found by Babysitter]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 14:12:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Oside+stabbing+pic-PIC_0.jpg

An Oceanside man stabbed to death was found by his two and four year old children's babysitter, police said. 

The incident happened at approximately 9:30 p.m. Friday near the 1400 block of Santa Rosa Street in Oceanside, when police said suspect David Strouth, in his 40s, stabbed a man identified by police as 55 year-old Dennis Alan Bertram of San Diego.

Police said a babysitter was watching the Bertram’s two children when the incident happened at a residence on the 2800 block of 46th Street. The woman found the father of two covered in blood and the suspect as well.

She rushed across the street for help and neighbors came over, police said. They tried to give the victim CPR but it was too late.

The victim died after suffering several stab wounds, police said. Investigators say the suspect also had several stab wounds, though officials believe they were self-inflicted.

Strouth was airlifted to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Once he recovers, officers plan to arrest him on murder chargers.

The investigation is ongoing. 

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<![CDATA[Standoff Ends With Man Believed to Have Pipe Bombs]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 08:52:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-lights-shutterstock_222952348.jpg

A suspect was taken into custody and the scene cleared after an hours-long standoff with officers in Chula Vista that prompted nearby evacuations. 

The suspect, who police believed was armed with pipe bombs, was taken into custody without incident  at approximately 12:30 a.m. Saturday. 

At about 4:15 p.m., Chula Vista police were called to the home in the 300 block of Anita Street.

More than three hours later, they responded again and talked with a man locked in a room, saying he will not come out.

They said the suspect was known to have several pipe bombs. Police did not find any pipe bombs in his home. 

Police are asking people to avoid the area, though there is no word on if they are asking for evacuations.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Dealing With Dog Barking Problem? What You Can Do]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:56:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Dog+Bite.jpg

If you're baffled on how to deal with a persistently barking dog, here's information on how cities in San Diego County deal with complaints.

San Diego

San Diego Municipal Code states long continued noise (including from animals) causing annoyance is unlawful. Cases that have the necessary support may be referred to mediation or the City may issue administrative fines. Code Enforcement can only take action when the city receives signed statements from two or more residents living in difference households. Other enforcement remedies are also available for severe cases. For more, click here.

Carlsbad

The City of Carlsbad contracts for animal control services through the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services. For a dog that is barking because it is suffering or is in distress, call the Department of Animal Services North County emergency number at 760-438-1460. Complaints about noise associated with barking dogs can be reported to the non-emergency number at 760-438-2312. For more, click here.

Chula Vista

Chula Vista Municipal Code 6.24.040 addresses barking dogs, enforcement procedure and nuisance. If you deal with this problem, click on “Barking Dog Complaints,” fill out and submit the form. The City of Chula Vista must receive complaint forms from two or more separate households within 100 feet of the property boundary line where the barking dog is located. Call 619-691-5123 with any additional questions. For more, click here.

Oceanside

You can call Oceanside Police Department dispatch at 760-435-4900. The city’s website indicates, “Due to constrained resources barking dog complaints are not considered a priority and will be addressed as resources permit. Individuals may consult an attorney to evaluate possible civil remedies.” For more, click here.

Escondido

Depending on the circumstances, the Escondido Humane Society or the Escondido Police Department may address the public disturbance. Code Enforcement can only regulate the number of dogs on the property. Contact Escondido Humane Society at 760-888-BARK or call the Escondido Police Non-Emergency Line at 760-839-4722. For more, click here.

Encinitas

Barking dog complaints can be submitted to the Code Enforcement office. Staff will send the property owner and/or tenant a notification of the complaint, requesting that they control the dog(s) within one week. Should the violation continue, the complainant is required to confer with another neighbor and each keep a noise log for at least three days. The City then works with the Sheriff’s department in order to gain compliance. For more, click here.

El Cajon

The El Cajon Police Department’s website states, “Animal Control recommends talking with the owner of the barking dog to make them aware of the problem. Many times, owners don’t realize their pet is creating a disturbance in their absence.” If that doesn’t work, there is a three-step process to get law enforcement involved. 1) Send a the El Cajon Animal Shelter a letter or visit the shelter to make a complaint. They send a letter to the owner stating a complaint was made. 2) If Step 1 doesn’t solve the problem, fill out a questionnaire. That becomes the second complaint. You’ll need to log the barking and submit your log. 3) Log is the third complaint. Your complaint is no longer confidential at this point and you must be willing to sign a complaint and appear in court if needed. An Animal Control Officer (ACO) will be assigned to your case and will contact you, the owner, and neighbors in the area. Prosecution is an option. For more, click here.

Del Mar

Information not found

San Marcos

The City of San Marcos contracts animal control services with the Escondido Humane Society. For questions, please call (760) 888-BARK between 10 am and 6 pm, seven days a week or visit www.escondidohumanesociety.org. In San Marcos, noise at any time of the day is illegal if it is considered a nuisance by your neighbors and could result in fines. San Marcos quiet hours are between 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekday and 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekends. For more, click here.

Coronado

Coronado Animal Services responds to barking dog complaints in Coronado. For more, click here.

Vista

Barking dog complaints are handled by Animal Control Officers with the San Diego Humane Society within the city limits of Vista. Many times after an Animal Control Officer has contacted the dog owner the problem is solved. However, if the problem continues, residents have other options including: mediation, calling the Sheriff’s Office, notifying the Home Owners Association or contacting a civil attorney. The organization, North County Lifeline provides free mediation/ counseling service to the public. To arrange a mediation session between yourself and the dog owner, call 760-726-4900. For more, click here.

La Mesa

If talking with your neighbor does not solve the problem, the City of La Mesa suggests you turn in a Barking Dog Questionnaire. You can also pick it up at City Hall or their police department. The form helps Animal Control pinpoint barking problems when talking to the owner. For more, click here.

Poway

The City of Poway has a noise ordinance that governs this issue. You can report barking dog complaints by submitting a service request to the Humane Society or by calling (760) 888-2236 to leave a message. The Humane Society will respond within 48 hours. For more, click here.

Solana Beach

Information not found

Santee

On the City of Santee’s website, it indicates its residents should contact the Sheriff’s Department at 858-565-5200 with dog barking complaints. For more, click here.

National City

National City’s Field Services investigates complaints of animal neglect or nuisance. For more, click here.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Shut Out By Dodgers]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:28:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/167*120/471020572.jpg

This time, there would be no comeback.

The Padres ran in to Dodgers’ ace 1-A Zack Greinke and although San Diego starter Andrew Cashner threw pretty well, the highest-scoring offense in the National League suffered its second shutout of the season in a 3-0 loss to Los Angeles.

Greinke threw 7.0 innings, striking out seven Padres hitters. The only real threat the Friars mounted offensively was in the second inning when the first three batters reached base. But, with the bases loaded and nobody out, Alexi Amarista and Cashner struck out then Wil Myers lined out to second base.

On the mound Cashner was much better than he was in his last start against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. He went 7.0 innings with six punchouts, allowing just two runs. San Diego’s offense couldn’t back him up, finishing with six hits, five of them singles (Matt Kemp’s 8th inning, 2-out double was the only extra-base hit).

The Dodgers take a 1-game lead over the Padres in the National League West. On Saturday the Padres get Ian Kennedy back off the disabled list to make the start against Brandon McCarthy. Kennedy left his first game of the season after three innings with a hamstring injury.

Speaking of hamstring injuries, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig left Friday night’s game after re-injuring his left hamstring running out a ground ball. The ailment caused Puig to miss four games earlier this season.

The Padres fall to 1-3 against the Dodgers this season and have suffered their first 3-game losing streak on 2015.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[USS Midway Marks Vietnam War Anniversary ]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:22:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/FzPQyUqlPYiuPMECmVwW-2-1249569946000.jpg

Vietnam veterans from around the country are in San Diego to mark the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam War on April 30.

On Friday,  many took private tours of USS Midway and were able to see locations that are off limits to the general public.

Veteran Pete Dunn, who is making his first return to the ship since the war, said the experience took them back to 1975.

“It just brought back so many memories of being in that hot fire room," he said. The minimum temperature was like 120.”

On Sunday, a commemorative event will be held to mark 40 years since Operation Frequent Wind: the evacuation of Saigon.

About 125,000 Vietnamese were transported by helicopter to several Navy ships off the countries coast — USS Midway among them.

“It was chaotic; helicopters flying everywhere. Everybody wanted to just get out of there," said Jim Perttula, who is in San Diego from Cincinnati.

The flight deck has ribbons tied to it in remembrance of those lost in the war.

The Wall that Heals will be on display 24 hours a day and open to the public for free beginning Saturday, with a ceremony at 11 a.m. that day.

The ship also has displays about Vietnam in addition to regular museum exhibits.

Tickets for events and tours are available through USS Midway Museum website.



Photo Credit: Patrick Shipley]]>
<![CDATA[Carson NFL Stadium Looks Shiny, But Nothing Is New]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:42:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/04-24-2015-carson-nfl-stadium-2.jpg

In this commentary, NBC 7's Derek Togerson offers reasons what to make of the recently released pictures of the proposed Carson Stadium.

Those new renderings of the proposed Carson Stadium that would be built to house the Chargers and Raiders look REALLY cool. I mean, the place has a modern design, spacious open air walkways to enjoy games, even Porsche in the parking lot (for reasons unknown) and a cauldron that spews lightning bolts!!!

Those pictures show a ton of really cool things we’ve never seen before in a stadium. However, the problem is those pictures don’t show many of the really cool things we’ve seen lots of times before in a stadium. You know, the things that actually matter in a stadium because they generate revenue.

Things like luxury boxes. Has anybody seen a list of how many luxury boxes will be included in that beast? Because a lack of luxury boxes is one of the main reasons NFL teams like the Chargers and Raiders want new stadiums. Those things bring in a whole lot of cash.

I can see one big video board above one end zone, but is there one on the other end? Because fans really like to see replays inside the stadiums these days and those fancy high definition screens can really enhance the game-day experience so only having one of them won’t work. Most of the newer stadiums, and even some of the older ones in Buffalo and Kansas City, feature at least one massive screen, but offer other screens as well so people sitting underneath the mammoth can actually see what’s going on.

Also, there’s one sign for a “Bar & Grill” but how are all those people (that’s another thing, what’s the seating capacity?) going to eat? How many restaurants will it have? How many hot dog stands? How many breweries? How many wine bars? And since the Raiders are supposed to be a tenant, where is the working jail and court room going to go? (Don’t laugh at that one; the good folks of Philadelphia really did have a judge every home Sunday for a few years at old Veterans Stadium. They arrested and tried unruly fans right there on the spot. Lincoln Financial Field is able to offer better security so the jail is no longer needed).

These are all questions that will have to be answered before anything else can go down. Heck, these are all things the Chargers and Raiders will be extremely interested in and if those designs don’t live up to their expectations the whole thing will have to be re-done.

When the artistic renderings of Levi’s Stadium came out, they had all that information included. That’s because they KNEW they were going to actually be building a stadium. Ditto the new Minnesota Vikings build. They had all those pesky details like capacity and number of bathrooms worked out.

MANICA Architecture, the firm that’s designing the Carson facility, is conceiving the actual guts of the project, namely all the things just listed, next. That process is expected to take four to six months. Now, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say they didn’t do the whole thing at once because they don’t actually know whether or not the thing is ever actually going to be built.

So Chargers fans, don’t be too worried because of what you see right now. Like a lot of things in Los Angeles, that stadium looks great on the outside, but there’s not much substance inside.



Photo Credit: Manica Architecture
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<![CDATA[CHP Chases Semi From Temecula to San Diego]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 15:18:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/semi+truck+driver+pursuit.JPG

A semi-truck driver trying to escape California Highway Patrol officers sped from Temecula to San Diego County Friday night, with law enforcement trailing close behind.

The chase started just after 8 p.m. on Interstate 15 when another traveler reported a drunk driver behind the wheel of a southbound semi-truck.

CHP officers tried to pull the male driver over, but he refused, hitting speeds of at least 84 mph as he crossed into San Diego County. Officials identified the man only as a man in his 40s. 

Officers deployed spike strips near Gopher Canyon Road, which blew out the truck's left, front tire and slowed the chase to 40 mph. Another spike strip brought it to a halt at Pomerado Road in Rancho Bernardo.

The chase ended with bean bag shots fired at the semi's cab to draw the suspect out.

"We are going to perform a sobriety test. He was just taken into custody based upon the fact he was evading us, and as we took him into custody, he was resisting, so we put the cuffs on and put him in the back," said CHP Sgt. Brad Denham.

The suspect, a 42-year-old from Chicago, was bleeding from his left arm. Denham said he cut it on broken glass — not on the bean bags.

As he was loaded into the patrol car, the driver told NBC 7 he was sorry for the pursuit. When asked if he had been drinking, he nodded yes.

He was booked into the Vista Jail on charges of reckless driving, evading police and driving under the influence of alcohol.

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<![CDATA[Navy Offers Jet Crash Victims Fraction of Lost Items' Worth]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:34:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/imperial+jet+crash.JPG

An Army veteran whose home was destroyed by a fiery Navy jet crash said he was shocked to learn the U.S. government planned to pay him under $5,000 -- even though officials told him they'd cover "whatever it costs" to replace his family's lost possessions.

Jesus and Shady Valenzuela lost everything on June 4, 2014, when an AV-8B Harrier jet from the Third Marine Aircraft Wing malfunctioned and crashed into the Imperial, California, house they were renting.

In an interview Thursday, Jesus told NBC 7 military personnel were extremely helpful after the incident, telling the family to go shopping for necessities like pajamas and toothbrushes. A military official from Washington D.C. even flew to Imperial to meet with them about the recovery process and how to get everything replaced.

"’Just write it down and we'll take care of it. We're going to pay you whatever it costs to pay you to buy it now to replace it,’” Jesus said, quoting the official.

The couple wrote a three-page inventory, cataloging everything they could think of, and submitted the claim to the military. In all, their lost possessions totaled $115,000, they estimated.

Jesus told NBC 7 he trusted the military would help them get their lives back to normal because he is an Army veteran and served for his country.

“I was loyal to my country. I'm loyal to my community. I'm a law enforcement officer,” said Jesus, who is now a sergeant at a state prison. “I've served my community for 22 years, so I believed him."

While waiting for the claim, the Valenzuelas were able to borrow money from their local church and community members. The couple thought they were on the right track to rebuilding their home -- until they got an initial settlement offer from the U.S. government.

The amount offered was $4,460.

"We opened the letter and I was like, I, I was just -- I wasn't mad. I was disappointed," Jesus said.

Jesus called the attorney representing the military for an explanation. When asked how they came up with that figure, the lawyer said, “It’s depreciation.”

The Valenzuelas plan to refuse the offer since they say it will only make a small dent in what it has cost them to start rebuilding.

"It's really put us in a stressful situation because now we're seeing that they're not going to want to pay us,” said Jesus. “And we owe money to people that they're depending on the government as well so we can pay them back."

The Valenzuelas told NBC 7 they are also in the process of helping Shady’s mother and father, who lived with them in their Imperial home. The parents were inside at the time of the crash, but they were not physically hurt.

Their car, which was in the driveway at the time of the crash, was destroyed along with a motorized scooter, their bedroom furniture and clothes. They too have received an initial settlement offer in the amount of $1,330.

The owner of the home also reached out to NBC 7 because his settlement offer from the military was less than half of the value of the home, which is surrounded by a chain link fence until it can be demolished and rebuilt again.

In a statement emailed to NBC 7 Friday, Navy Public Affairs Officer Jennifer Zeldis said the Navy is committed to resolve claims related to the plane crash in a “fair and timely matter.”

“While we cannot discuss the status of individual claims for privacy reasons, those claims not resolved are in various stages of the process. The Department of the Navy takes this matter seriously and will continue to monitor the progress of these claims,” her statement said.

Zeldis explained once a claim is received, the Federal Tort Claims Act allows the Navy six months to make a decision on it. If no decision is made after that time, the victims can file a lawsuit or wait for a final decision.

If a claim is denied, the victims have the right to file a suit within the next six months.



Photo Credit: Nadia Arredondo/Facebook ]]>
<![CDATA[Prescription Database Law Could Cut Painkiller Deaths]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 19:05:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/kristin_greene_pic_1200x675_403858499890.jpg

A proposed law could reduce accidental deaths and suicides from prescription painkillers.

Supporters of the controversial measure include two San Diegans who were featured in an NBC 7 Investigates story about prescription drug overdoses. Those residents are flying to the state Capitol to testify Monday on behalf of the legislation.

More than 1,000 Californians die every year from accidental or purposeful abuse of controlled substances. Those victims include Kristin Greene, a Lakeside resident who killed herself in November, 2013, with a toxic cocktail of painkillers and sedatives.

Documents obtained by NBC 7 Investigates reveal that Kristin had obtained more than 60 prescriptions from nine medical professionals and several pharmacies in the five years before her death.

Her story — and her family’s effort to prevent more prescription drug deaths — was the focus of an NBC 7 Investigates report in February.

Kristin’s sister, Lisa Bond, said Kristin might still be alive if doctors were required to check the state's narcotics database, called CURES (the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System), before they prescribe controlled substances for new patients.

Senate Bill 482, authored by State Senator Ricardo Lara, of Bell Gardens, would require doctors to use the CURES database or be subject to discipline.

Bond and her husband are flying to Sacramento Sunday to prepare for Monday’s Senate committee hearing on the proposed law. They’ll be joined at the Capitol hearing by Clark Smith, M.D., a San Diego psychiatrist and addiction expert who also supports the mandatory use of the CURES database.

“I think if CURES were used on a regular basis, we would see tremendous progress in cutting back prescription drug dependence,” Smith told NBC 7 Investigates.

Supporters say it will prevent “doctor shopping” by drug addicted patients, like Kristin.

Her sister said if one of Kristin’s doctors had refused to write her a prescription, Kristin might have sought help for her addiction.

"Maybe at that point she would have said, 'Hey, listen, I have a problem. I need to get in rehab again,'” said Bond. “Because she can't get the drug. What's she going to do? She needs to take care of that situation. Maybe then she would reach out and say, 'I need to get rehab’, or anything. But she wouldn't be able to get all those drugs.”

The California Narcotics Officers’ Association, the California College and University Police Chiefs Association and several consumer groups, including Consumer Watchdog, also support SB 482.

Opponents include CVS Health and Rite Aid stores and the California Medical Association (CMA).

The CMA says “the premature and overly-broad mandatory check” required by the proposed law would “negatively impact patient care” and “will discourage even appropriate prescribing of controlled substances.”

The CMA advocates a more “balanced” approach to the problem of prescription drug abuse: “This bill doesn’t achieve that balance and patients with legitimate medical (needs) will be the ones who are disproportionately impacted.”

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<![CDATA[Padres Make Roster Moves For Dodgers Series]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:44:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/456395710.jpg

It's about as big as a 3-game series in April can be.

Petco Park. Padres vs. Dodgers. San Diego and Los Angeles tied for first place in the National League West.

If the Padres win the series, it will be HUGE for setting up the rest of the year. But if they lose another set to the prohibitive division favorites ... well, that would be bad. The Padres have heard one of baseball's old sayings far too often.

"You can't win a division in April, but you can lose it," said 3rd baseman Will Middlebrooks.

"You can't win a pennant in April, but you can lose a pennant in April," said catcher Derek Norris, in a completely different conversation.

For the last four years the Padres have, indeed, lost the division in April, so this is a welcome change.

The Padres made a roster move getting ready for the series against the Dodgers. Relief pitcher Shawn Kelley, who has taken two of the team's seven losses, went on the 15-day disabled list with a left calf strain. In his place, the Friars recalled Kevin Quackenbush from Triple-A El Paso.

Quack has actually trimmed his signature beard, cutting it nearly in half. So was it a superstition or team-building kind of thing that led to the change?

"Nah, it was just a fresh start," said Quackenbush. "Starting new."

Another something new will be the crowd. The Padres expect a majority of Padres fans to show up on all three days, something that has not happened very often in recent years as Dodgers fans have made Petco Park a version of Chavez Ravine South.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Geyser Erupts From Damaged Hydrant]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:30:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/hydrant+geyser+0424.jpg

A  huge fountain of water exploded from a damaged hydrant in Carlsbad Friday afternoon.

Officials say vehicles crashed at Calle Barcelona and Rancho Santa Fe Road at 4:20 p.m.

The collision sent one vehicle off the road, clipping a fire hydrant.

Gushing water was sent flying into the air.

No one was injured in the crash.

The Carlsbad Fire and Water departments were called in to stop the water flow and the flooding.

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<![CDATA[Bolts' Counsel Gives Realities Of Stadium Gamesmanship]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:35:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/new+carson+stadium+renderings+0423+%284%29.jpg

NBC 7's Gene Cubbison offers this analysis on the latest developments behind the Chargers stadium scramble.

For civic leaders focused on keeping the Chargers in San Diego, there’s a big disconnect with the team's point man in its quest for a new stadium.

Since February, when news broke about the Bolts’ plans in the city of Carson, Mark Fabiani has offered increasingly blunt perspective on where the franchise is coming from, and why it might wind up elsewhere.

Forget about football being a "contact sport".

As a virtual monopoly business enterprise, the NFL plays a collision sport – and the notion of collaboration between the Chargers and city has been sitting on the bench lately.

But Fabiani, special counsel to team president Dean Spanos since 2003, says Spanos isn't looking for mere riches in the Los Angeles market.

It's about the economic survival of the franchise.

"We were approached by the people who sold their land to (St. Louis Rams owner) Stan Kroenke in Inglewood,” Fabiani noted in a Friday recording session for this weekend’s edition of NBC 7’s “Politically Speaking” program.

“We've had multiple opportunities to move the team; Dean hasn't wanted to do it,” Fabiani continued. “But at some point, after 14 years, with other teams threatening to take away the LA, Orange County markets -- if this were your business, you wouldn't sit by and let that happen."

The latest development in the long-running melodrama is new renderings of the Chargers/Raiders joint-use stadium project in the city of Carson.

Fabiani said the teams are now closing escrow on an outright purchase of the 168-acre former dumpsite, since the proposal was approved by Carson’s city council on Tuesday.

He emphasized that all financial risks are being assumed by the team, with guidance from investment bankers at Goldman Sachs.

In the eyes of his many detractors, Fabiani has been playing both ends against the middle between here and the L.A. market -- sacrificing good will, if not dealing in bad faith, and ignoring polls that suggest the Bolts will flop if they leave for a fan base seemingly more partial to the Rams and Raiders.

"(The polls) do not match the scientific research we've done,” he countered. “And again, we're taking the risk here. If we're wrong about this, it's the team that will be hurt financially. So we have to be one thousand percent confident, and we are."

Fabiani shrugged off suspicions that the Chargers' game plan in Carson is a decoy -- that a second berth in an Inglewood stadium complex is the way out of San Diego, if need be.

"People are free to think what they want; we're not in a position to talk them out of what they think,” he said. “ There's only one group of people that really matters here."

Reality check for Bolts-backers fanatic about their blue and gold-clad heroes of the gridiron?

"The team has more than satisfied the (NFL’s) relocation guidelines,” Fabiani pointed out. “And that's the only thing we care about in the end -- what do they owners think of what you've done?"

Fabiani wouldn't pre-judge whether the Mission Valley financing plan being developed by the mayor's stadium advisers would work.

The group is due to release its report on May 20th.

He hedged, however, with this cautionary note: "We've hired the best experts in the world; we couldn't figure it out in Mission Valley. Now that doesn't mean that a brand-new set of eyes can't come into this and figure it out in a different way. If they do, we'll be the happiest people in the world."

As for how much money the Chargers have invested in Carson, Fabiani wouldn’t say -- calling the numbers “propriety” information that the team would rather not be known to Kroenke.

He was asked if Spanos is ready to risk the bitter legacy that other NFL owners have reaped in cities they moved their teams out of.

"Nobody wants that,” Fabiani replied, quickly adding that he and Spanos – and their families -- “love it here".

The clear upshot?

It’s about business, plain and simple.

This isn’t the National Friendship League.
 



Photo Credit: MANICA Architecture ]]>
<![CDATA[One Paseo Heading Back to City Council ]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:27:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/11PM_VO_ONE_PASEO_MAP_KNSD5W1V_1200x675_403342915819.jpg

Petitioners learned Friday they gathered enough signatures to send the One Paseo Project proposal back to the San Diego City Council.

The County Registrar of Voters told the city clerk that opponents of the development turned in the 34,000 signatures required.

The city council, which approved One Paseo 7-2 in late February, must now decide whether to overturn their initial decision or take the issue to the voters as a ballot item.

"Our hope is the city council members will change their vote and deny the project if they rescind their vote," said Jeff Powers with Protect San Diego's Neighborhoods, a group against the project. "If they decide to keep their vote the way it is and send it back to the ballot, we're confident we will win that as well."

The next city council hearing on One Paseo is set for May 18.

The $750 million, 1.4 million square-foot One Paseo Project includes the construction of stores and eateries, the expansion of a movie theater and the addition of more than 600 family apartments and a parking structure in Carmel Valley. Sixty of those apartment units will be affordable housing, the city council mandated.

According to opponents, the council disregarded the voice of community planning groups and thousands of locals who don't want the project to move forward.

They believe it is too big for the Carmel Valley area and will create a traffic nightmare.

But supporters, including the developer Kilroy Realty, say it will bring 1,600 new jobs, 600 new homes and $630 million to the local economy.

Kilroy released the following statement about Friday's developments: 

"Kilroy worked constructively with Carmel Valley community members for nearly seven years to refine One Paseo, ultimately earning the support of a bipartisan supermajority of the City Council. We're disappointed the project now faces further delay resulting from a campaign of misinformation paid for by an Orange County-based corporation bent on smothering competition. We'll work hard over the next year to educate voters on the merits of what will be San Diego's most environmentally sustainable project and the many economic and community benefits One Paseo offers."

Multiple groups banded together to file two separate lawsuits against the project, hoping to block its development in the courts. 

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<![CDATA[Driver in Cycling Crash Competent for Trial]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:06:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Theresa_owens_pic_0423_1200x675_433423427911.jpg

A woman accused of slamming into a group of cyclists on Fiesta Island last summer was ruled mentally competent to stand trial, a judge decided on Friday.

Theresa Owens, 49, was undergoing a trial this week to determine if she understands the charges against her and can assist in her defense. She faces charges of felony DUI and possession of a controlled substance.

A judge ruled on Friday afternoon, after hearing testimony from psychiatrists, that Owens was fit to stand trial.

Police say she was under the influence of methamphetamine on Aug. 12 when she drove the wrong way on the Mission Bay island and hit about 10 cyclists. During her arrest, a bag of meth was found in her vagina, prosecutors allege.

The psychiatrist who evaluated Owens had earlier said she had bipolar disorder marked by persistent delusions about her mother and boyfriend.

He said she was having a hallucination that her boyfriend “appeared and disappeared” during the crash.

However, a psychiatrist for the prosecution testified Owens met the legal standard for mental competency.

Ten people were injured in the Fiesta Island crash in August, including La Jolla father Juan Carlos Vinolo, who is now paralyzed.

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

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<![CDATA[$250K Payout Recommended for Alleged Victim of Ex-SDPD Cop]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:01:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/donald+moncrief.PNG

A woman who says a former San Diego police officer groped her in a patrol car while he took her to Las Colinas Detention Facility will be paid a quarter of a million dollars, if the San Diego City Council approves the City Attorney's recommendation Tuesday.

The City Attorney's office has recommended the settlement payment to an alleged victim of former Officer Donald V. Moncrief.

Moncrief, a 6-year veteran of the police department, was never arrested or charged with the February 2013 incident. The victim was a suspect arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border in a gang-related auto theft.

In a federal lawsuit filed against the city, the woman alleges Moncrief touched her inappropriately while she was handcuffed in the back of his patrol car.

The woman's attorney, Dan Gilleon, said this case was difficult because unlike other SDPD misconduct cases, his client was the only alleged victim of Moncrief. Similar to the other cases, though, she does have a criminal background.

"She grew up in a very gang-infested area, and there are certainly some issues with prior drug abuse, and the people she would hang out with were very questionable characters," Gilleon said.

Gilleon claims Moncrief chose his victim because he didn't think anyone would believe her because of her extensive criminal history and drug problems.

"It's difficult sometimes when these officers are savvy and they are selective in who they hurt," Gilleon said. "I think Moncrief knew he could get away with it because if she ever says 'Hey, you won't believe what this guy did to me.' He's going to say, 'Who are you going to believe? Me or her?'"

The District Attorney's office declined to file charges against Moncrief because investigators had insufficient evidence.

"As with any case, whether it is a police officer or not, we can only file charges when we believe we can prove them beyond a reasonable doubt," said DA Public Affairs Officer Tanya Sierra.

In late April 2014, Moncrief filed a claim against the city seeking damages for defamation, among other things. That claim has not yet been settled.

Gilleon said his client passed a lie detector test, while Moncrief did not take one.

Moncrief could not be reached for comment. Messages left with his attorney were not returned. The City Attorney and the San Diego Police Officer's Association declined to comment.

A SDPD spokesman did not return a request for comment.

Two victims of another ex-SDPD officer convicted of misconduct on the job – including assault, battery and illegally detaining several women – will be paid more than $1.3 million.

That officer, Christopher Hays, pleaded guilty to felony false imprisonment as well as misdemeanor counts of assault and battery under the color of authority by a peace officer on Aug. 22, 2014.

Hays’ case put the SDPD under fire, further marring the department’s image, which has faced a wave of public scrutiny for quite some time.

When news broke of the alleged sexual misconduct crimes, then-Chief William Lansdowne ordered an outside audit of the police department from the U.S. Department of Justice. Lansdowne’s successor, Chief Shelley Zimmerman, supported the audit.

“We are not going to tolerate this misconduct and betrayal of our badge and our profession,” Zimmerman said in March 2014.

Former San Diego police officer Anthony Arevalos is currently serving prison time for multiple felony counts of sexual battery, assault and asking for bribes while in uniform as a police officer patrolling the Gaslamp from 2009 to 2011.

On Sept. 25, 2014 attorneys and city officials announced that a San Diego woman who was victimized by Arevalos will receive $5.9 million in a legal settlement negotiated between the victim and the City of San Diego.

The woman, known only as “Jane Doe,” filed a claim of police misconduct after an interaction with then-officer Arevalos inside a 7-Eleven store bathroom on March 8, 2011.

According to prosecutors, the corrupt cop conducted a routine traffic stop on Jane Doe and then suggested the two of them go into the nearby convenience store. The two entered the restroom with the agreement that she would give him her panties, and in exchange he would not charge her for a DUI.

Jane Doe's lawsuit was one of 13 filed by victims of Arevalos, who was convicted in November 2011.

The payments to Hays’ victims were approved in closed session meetings last month.

The City Council is set to consider the payment to Moncrief's alleged victim on Tuesday.
 

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<![CDATA[Man Arrested in 2 Road Rage Crashes]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:07:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/road+rage+suspect+vehicle.JPG

A San Diego driver intentionally rammed his truck into cars in at least two road rage incidents, California Highway Patrol investigators say, and there may be more victims.

CHP officers arrested John Albert Young, 42, on Thursday on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. 

Investigators say it's lucky no one was hurt when Young drove his full-sized Ford F-350 truck into two cars. He is accused of hitting the cars Thursday on northbound Interstate 805 just north of Governor Drive and on southbound State Route 163 just north of Friars Road.

Officers have not released details about what led to the suspected road rage, but they say Young created a dangerous sitaution.

"I don't know what was going through this individual's mind," said CHP Officer Jake Sanchez. "All we know is that he used his vehicle as a weapon to hit other vehicles and we're talking at freeway speeds, striking other vehicles on the highway." 

They suspect Young has done this to others in the last two to three months. 

The CHP released pictures of Young's truck Friday, hoping more victims may come forward. It had raised and oversided tires.

If a truck like this has hit your car on county highways, CHP asks that you call Investigator B. Clinkscales at 858-637-3800.

Sanchez said these types of aggressive incidents are happening more often, and the CHP wants to halt them.

"What we're seeing is more people getting more upset and going to more extreme measures in these incidents and what we're trying to do is get the message out: calm down, relax, get to your destination safely, get home safely," said Sanchez.
 



Photo Credit: CHP]]>
<![CDATA[Good Deed Turns Tragic in Panhandler Crash]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:47:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Escondido-police-generic-11.jpg

A driver who had stopped to offer money to a panhandler accidentally ran her over on Friday morning in Escondido.

The woman later died in the hospital, officials said.

The woman was seeking money from passing drivers while standing at a raised center media in the area of Mission Avenue and Quince Street. As traffic was stopped at a red light, the woman left the median to accept money from a driver.

As the light turned green, the driver of the same pickup started to move – but the woman tripped and fell between the rear of his pickup truck and the trailer in a tragic accident, according to a news release from the Escondido Police Department.

That’s when she was run over by both rear tires on the left side of the trailer.

The woman, who has not been identified, suffered serious injuries and was taken to a local hospital, where she died.

The driver of the pickup truck was not injured and stayed at the scene. Investigators say he was not cited, as neither alcohol nor distracted driving were factors in the collision.

Anyone with information on this crash should call Officer Scott Christensen at 760-839-4962.

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<![CDATA[Deputies Search for Robbers, 1 Armed, in Vista]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:28:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Policelightsgeneric.jpg

Sheriff's deputies are searching for two robbers, one of them armed, in Vista on Friday afternoon.

The robbery happened at 12:40 p.m. at Melrose Optical, 1688 South Melrose Drive. Two suspects, one armed with a handgun, stole a cash bag and Rayban sunglasses.

No one was injured. The suspect, described as men in their 20s, were last seen running away in an unknown direction.

Rancho Buena High School, across the street from Melrose Optical, was placed in lockdown as a precaution. the lockdown was lifted a short time later.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Vietnam Memorial to Temporarily Open at USS Midway]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:52:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Wall+that+heals+0424.jpg

Local Vietnam veterans will get a special opportunity in the next several days to view a temporary memorial at the U.S.S. Midway Museum.

The memorial, called “The Wall that Heals,” is a half-sized replica of the original Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. It stands 125 feet tall and bears 58,300 names.

It will open at 10 a.m. Saturday and be open until 5 p.m. Thursday. Standing at the top of the U.S. Midway Museum deck, it will also have a mobile education center a deck below showing more historical information on the Vietnam War.

The “Wall that Heals” has been traveling 30 to 40 cities a year through the nation for more than a decade. On Friday, veterans on motorcycles rode alongside the memorial as it arrived at the U.S.S. Midway.

Some Vietnam veterans told NBC 7 that they never had the chance to see the memorial in D.C. and believe this memorial will be just as emotional to see.

“It’s going to close some chapters for me,” said veteran Tom Reddecliff. “It’s going to close some chapters for me. I got some friends on the wall and it’s going to be the first time I look at it.”

Fellow veteran Charles Dudley also said the memorial could help bring closure.

“My wife keeps telling me I need to bring closure to this,” he said.

The memorial’s next stop is Omaha, Nebraska.

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<![CDATA[Victims of Ex-Cop To Be Paid $1.3M]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:44:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Hays-Surrenders-1003.jpg

Two victims of an ex-San Diego Police Department officer convicted of misconduct on the job – including assault, battery and illegally detaining several women – will be paid more than $1.3 million dollars.

NBC 7 has learned the City of San Diego will issue the payout to the victims of ex-cop Christopher Hays after the San Diego City Council approved the City Attorney’s recommendations on the matter.

Hays pleaded guilty to felony false imprisonment as well as misdemeanor counts of assault and battery under the color of authority by a peace officer on Aug. 22, 2014.

He was sentenced on Sept. 26 and began serving his time on Oct. 3. He was released in early March 2015.

In 2014, at least four women came forward accusing Hays of allegedly inappropriately touching and groping them during pat-downs while he was on duty. At his preliminary hearing last April, three alleged victims identified only as Jane Doe One, Two and Three described their interactions with the officer in uniform.

Jane Doe Two said Hays allegedly gave her a pat down that included lingering over every part of her body. Jane Doe Three accused Hays of dropping his hand towards his groin and asking her to touch his body.

Hays, a four-year veteran of the SDPD, was charged with the misconduct crimes in February. Hours after his arraignment, he resigned from the SDPD, saying he was not guilty. He said he felt betrayed by the department.

Hays denied the groping charges, later pleading guilty to the other counts of misconduct on the job, including battery and assault. Because he did not plead guilty to the sexual allegations, he did not have to register as a sex offender.

At his September sentencing, Hays cried as he spoke before the court and his family, apologizing for his actions.

“I would like to say that I am sorry for anything I have done that has caused anyone pain,” he said, tearing up. “I have always tried to help people and do good, so now that I have hurt someone, it’s not something that I am very proud of.”

Hays’ case put the SDPD under fire, further marring the department’s image, which has faced a wave of public scrutiny for quite some time.

When news broke of the alleged sexual misconduct crimes, then-Chief William Lansdowne ordered an outside audit of the police department from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Lansdowne’s successor, Chief Shelley Zimmerman, supported the audit.

“We are not going to tolerate this misconduct and betrayal of our badge and our profession,” Zimmerman said in March 2014.

In addition to Hays, SDPD Officer Donald Moncrief was accused in 2014 of touching a woman inappropriately during an arrest in the South Bay and allegedly exposing himself to the woman.

Moncrief was never formally charged and left his job with the SDPD. In late April, he filed a claim against the city and the SDPD seeking damages for defamation, among other things.

Former San Diego police officer Anthony Arevalos is currently serving prison time for multiple felony counts of sexual battery, assault and asking for bribes while in uniform as a police officer patrolling the Gaslamp from 2009 to 2011.

On Sept. 25, 2014 attorneys and city officials announced that a San Diego woman who was victimized by Arevalos will receive $5.9 million in a legal settlement negotiated between the victim and the City of San Diego.

The woman, known only as “Jane Doe,” filed a claim of police misconduct after an interaction with then-officer Arevalos inside a 7-Eleven store bathroom on March 8, 2011.

According to prosecutors, the corrupt cop conducted a routine traffic stop on Jane Doe and then suggested the two of them go into the nearby convenience store. The two entered the restroom with the agreement that she would give him her panties, and in exchange he would not charge her for a DUI.

Jane Doe's lawsuit was one of 13 filed by victims of Arevalos, who was convicted in November 2011.

The payments to Hays’ victims were approved in closed session meetings last month.

In addition, $250,000 is being paid to another victim in a civil lawsuit involving a different San Diego police officer, NBC 7 has learned.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Life Sentence for Men in Thrill Killing]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:34:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Galvez-Gomez-0424.jpg

Two men found guilty in the random 2011 thrill killing of a developmentally disabled man were sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday in a San Diego courtroom.

Humberto Galvez, 22, and Juan Ignacio Gomez, 24, were each convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of Jordan Hickey, 21.

At their sentencing, one defense attorney asked the judge for a new trial and to consider second-degree murder convictions for the defendants instead of first-degree. The judge denied both requests.

With Galvez and Gomez both in shackles facing toward the judge, Hickey’s family members spoke in court asking that the men be put behind bars forever.

A video was played in court before family members spoke. It was a photo montage of Hickey’s life set to the song “I’ll Be Missing You.”

The video included quotes of what Hickey may have been thinking in the moments leading up to his fatal shooting.

Those quotes read, in part: “Why me? I just want to go home! What do you want? Take my bike. Take my backpack. Take my necklace. Please don’t shoot!”

Hickey's cousin, Taylor, spoke first. At one point, she held an urn containing Hickey's ashes.

"This is what my cousin is. He is not a body. He is in an urn, burnt," said Taylor, overwhelmed with emotion.

Another cousin, Stephanie, then stepped forward, saying the decision Galvez and Gomez made was senseless.

“Both Gomez and Galvez went hunting for the thrill almost four years ago to the date – wanting to know how it felt to kill someone, to watch someone die. Jordan’s last moment on Earth was lying on cold concrete, in his blood, trying to stay alive until help could arrive,” she said.

She too held Hickey's ashes as she spoke.

"Did you get the thrill?" Stephanie asked, looking straight at Galvez and Gomez.

On April 29, 2011, the men fatally shot Hickey as he rode his bike home along Grove Street in the Lincoln Acres area near National City. Prosecutors argued the pair were driving around looking for someone to shoot and called the murder a thrill killing.

For nearly a year, no suspects were arrested in the murder as Hickey’s family members and detectives asked for the public’s help in solving the cold case. In March 2012, both Gomez and Galvez were arrested in Chula Vista in connection with the deadly shooting.

Galvez changed his plea to guilty on April 2. Gomez was found guilty of the murder on March 25. Their fates were decided almost exactly four years after the murder.

Hickey’s mother, Jeannine Hickey, spoke with NBC 7 after Gomez was convicted in March.

"They knew what the consequences were when they went out hunting, and that's what they did," said Jeannine. "They hunted and massacred my son for nothing. So yes, they deserve to stay where they are for the rest of their lives."

Jeannine said though he was 21 years old, Hickey – who was diagnosed with a developmental disability – could not handle the 4th of July because of the loud noises.

The mother said it pains her to think of how scared her son must have been during the shooting.

"He would scream if a balloon popped, so I can't even imagine the screams that came from my son when the gun was going off," she said.

Hickey's uncle, James, also made a statement in court Friday saying his family is constantly in pain knowing Hickey will never get to live out his life or his dreams.

“Jordan’s life was prematurely robbed from him. At the hands of two complete strangers for a reason I cannot and will never comprehend,” he said.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Light Rain Sweeps San Diego]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 08:23:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Umbrella-rain-generic-cold-.jpg Light rain swept through San Diego County on April 24, 2015. NBC 7's Chris Chan reports.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Extension Cord Leads Deputy to 100 Pounds of Pot]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 07:39:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/732453081.jpg

An extension cord led a deputy straight to a greenhouse allegedly used to grow marijuana and to a suspected honey oil lab on a property in east San Diego this week, officials said.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, a deputy was on patrol Tuesday afternoon in the 1200 block of Harbison Canyon Road in unincorporated El Cajon when he noticed a single extension cord leading to a large property.

When he followed the cord, he discovered portable drying rooms and greenhouses used to cultivate marijuana. The deputy also saw a large greenhouse with pot growing inside and several other plants next to an RV in the area.

Officials said there were no houses on the property, just the RV and the greenhouses.

The deputy spoke with the property owner, identified as William Leck, 29, who allegedly admitted to having a large marijuana harvest. Leck also said he had the material to produce butane honey oil, according to the sheriff’s department.

Officials searched Leck’s property and found 60 marijuana plants, nearly 100 pounds of processed pot and a complete butane honey oil lab, including six cases of unused butane.

Leck was arrested by the Narcotics Task Force on suspicion of manufacturing butane honey oil, cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. He was booked into San Diego Central Jail.
 



Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[History Center to Recognize 160 Centurions]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:56:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Tivoli-Bar-Grill.jpg

The San Diego History Center on Saturday will recognize 160 San Diego businesses, organizations and institutions that have been in the city for 100 years or more.

The 2015 Makers of San Diego Tribute Dinner will be held from 6-10 p.m. at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center.

Those being recognized as Centurions of San Diego include Wells Fargo and Co. (1852), Tivoli Bar & Grill (1865), Scripps Mercy Hospital (1890) and San Diego Hardware (1892). Visit the History Center’s website for the complete list.
 

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Photo Credit: Tivoli Bar & Grill/Facebook
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<![CDATA[50-Foot Tree Falls, Blocks Roadway]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:38:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Tree-Down-0424-1.jpg

A 50-foot tree fell Friday morning in a La Jolla neighborhood, blocking the roadway.

Police were called to the 300 block of Via Del Norte around 5:30 a.m. to assist with traffic control. The large, fallen tree is on private property but impacted the road used by residents in the area.

No injuries were reported.

City crews were called to help assist in clearing the tree.
 



Photo Credit: Chris Chan]]>
<![CDATA[CHP Dashcam Video Shows State Senator's DUI Tests]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 07:51:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ben+hueso+dui+arrest+video.png

Newly released California Highway Patrol dashcam video shows an impaired California State Senator Ben Hueso undergoing sobriety tests and answering questions before his August arrest.

In the footage, the San Diego senator is seen driving the wrong way onto a one-way street in Sacramento on Aug. 22. He quickly U-turns, but a CHP officer is quickly on his tail, pulling him over at a nearby gas station.

Hueso gets out of his car and is asked to do field sobriety tests. At the officer’s request, he walks back and forth in a straight line.

He is then asked to do a voluntary breathalyzer test.

“But I’m also a politician,” said Hueso, “and I work with politicians that have been through this process, that have not been given a fair process.”

The CHP officer argues that he has been very honest. He explains Hueso will have to submit to either a blood test or breathalyzer at the station if he is arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Hueso tells the officer that he has to be careful what he does from a legal perspective.

“Whether you decide tonight, you know what, I’m under the influence or not, I have seen some of my colleagues be dragged out to a really horrible legal process,” he is heard saying.

While he says the officer has behaved professionally, Hueso admits he’s worried about his ulterior motives.

When asked if he knows what the legal limit is in California, the senator says it’s not about his blood alcohol content – it’s about whether the officer finds him impaired to drive.

“I admit that I made a wrong turn because there wasn’t – I’m not that familiar with this town. And I was trying to find a way to get back on the freeway,” said Hueso.

When he again refuses the extra test, the CHP officer informs Hueso he is being arrested for DUI. CHP officials later said he had a BAC of 0.08.

However, months later, Hueso pleaded guilty to a lesser “wet reckless” charge because prosecutors have a hard time proving DUI when a defendant only registers a 0.08.

The day after he was released on bond, Hueso released a statement that said, in part, “I am truly and profoundly sorry for the unacceptably poor personal judgment which I demonstrated last night.”

In December, he was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to undergo a six-week alcohol program.

Hueso currently represents California's 40th District, which covers southern San Diego County, as well as parts of Riverside and Imperial counties.

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<![CDATA[Architect Shows New Mock-ups of Carson Stadium]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:52:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/new+carson+stadium+renderings+0423+%281%29.jpg In a bold new play, Carson officials released new renderings for what a stadium would look like if the Chargers and Raiders migrated to the LA area. NBC 7's Gene Cubbison reports.

Photo Credit: MANICA Architecture ]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego Dubbed "World’s Smart City”]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:56:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/world+smart+cities+promo+san+diego.png

San Diegans who tout their city as "America's Finest" have been known to get called out on that claim.

But when National Geographic ranks the region among the world's “smart cities," it's hard to argue the point.

If a book really can be judged by its cover, San Diego's scenic beauty is a great start to the story.

All well and good.

Truth be told, however, it’s what’s springing from the minds of geniuses -- and the power of business and industry – that’s now putting this city on the world's 21st-century map in a substantial context.

"Where desert meets ocean lies one of American's fastest-growing cities,” begins the narration for a 30-second video trailer promoting the documentary “World’s Smart Cities: San Diego” produced by the National Geographic Channel. “A place where talent, innovation and technology thrive in a relaxed way of life."

It’s priceless exposure, for a longstanding tourism town with deep and ever-stronger intellectual and economic underpinnings.

Local high society swells and civic leaders turned out in grand fashion for a Tuesday evening reception and local premiere of the production, showcasing San Diego among just a handful of anointed cities-- and the only such city in North America.

"We know what a great place it is; we know there's amazing things that happen here,” Jim Zortman, Northrup Grumman’s executive vice president told NBC 7. “I think now the rest of the world is going to find out -- and in a lot of cases, they're going to be surprised."

Says Kerri Kapich, marketing vice president of the San Diego Tourism Authority: "San Diego is really changing how people live, work and play. And we're doing that on a global basis, if you look at the type of products and services that we're creating and taking to the marketplace …higher education, this innovative economy that's been built -- all of these things are creating a very enviable destination, if you will."

Hometown pride, validated on an international scale potentially reaching 300 million households in 61 countries, is hard to hide under a rock for city boosters.

"Around the world, when people think of the great cities doing great things, San Diego's got to be part of the equation and part of the discussion," says Mark Cafferty executive director of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. "What (National Geographic) saw, as an outsider looking in, is a region that's trying to address challenges, is thinking about those challenges -- and has a history and a culture in its business community that has been solving big, significant challenges for a long time."

The documentary airs here at 8 a.m. Saturday on the National Geographic Channel.

Local business executives will soon screen it in London, Tokyo and Washington D.C. during high-level private meetings to further promote San Diego's global impact.

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<![CDATA[County Supervisor Leaks Details About Confidential Meeting]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:31:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/supervisor+dave+roberts.JPG

San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts disclosed details about a confidential discussion of sensitive personnel matter, according to emails obtained by NBC 7 Investigates. One legal expert said Roberts’ disclosure violates the spirit, if not the letter, of a state government code.

The supervisors met in a confidential, closed session on April 14 to discuss what public documents describe as a “conference with legal counsel” regarding “anticipated litigation.”

Multiple county sources told NBC 7 Investigates the purpose was a candid discussion of a proposed $75,000 pay-out to Roberts' former Chief of Staff Glyniss Vaughan.

The Board of Supervisors did not approve the pay-out or any separation agreement at that April 14 closed session and did not make any public report on its discussion.

But emails obtained by NBC 7 Investigates reveal that four days after that closed door meeting, Roberts sent an email to former County Supervisor Pam Slater.

Roberts told Slater the board rejected the payment. “Yes, unanimous! 5-0,” Roberts emailed Slater.

Tony Solare, a local attorney with expertise in government law, says details like that must remain confidential until the matter is settled.

Solare, who formerly worked in the San Diego City Attorney’s office, said the confidential nature of closed session meetings is important because it allows elected officials, their attorneys and administrators to talk frankly about sensitive and important issues.

“They can feel comfortable that it’s going to remain confidential so that they can air different ideas and talk about things that if discussed in a public setting, would be unpopular,” Solare explained.

A county spokesman confirmed someone sent a copy of Roberts’ email to county attorneys, who are reviewing those messages.

Roberts has not responded to our request for comment on his email.

In the last four months, Roberts' office has experienced a high level of turnover, with at least seven of his 11 staffers quitting.

In her resignation letter, a copy of which was obtained by NBC 7 Investigates, Vaughn complained of a "hostile, politicized work environment" in Roberts' office.

She said she should not “be required to endure the retaliation that took place before I went on leave and while I was on leave," according to the letter, which was sent to the county’s personnel director. 

Roberts' current Chief of Staff Mel Millstein defended his boss, saying "he is a fair and thoughtful leader who provides strong support." 

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<![CDATA[Driver in Cycling Crash Blames Boyfriend Delusions: Psychiatrist ]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 19:12:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Theresa_owens_pic_0423_1200x675_433423427911.jpg

The woman accused of slamming into a group of cyclists on Fiesta Island said her boyfriend “appeared and then disappeared,” somehow causing the crash, a psychiatrist testified Thursday.

Theresa Owens, 49, is undergoing a mental competency trial to determine if she is fit to face charges of felony DUI causing injury and possession of a controlled substance.

Police say she was under the influence of methamphetamine on Aug. 12 when she drove the wrong way on the Mission Bay island and hit about 10 cyclists. During her arrest, a bag of meth was found in her vagina, prosecutors allege.

At Owens’ mental competency trial, Dr. Clark Smith, a psychiatrist for the defense, discussed his Feb. 3 evaluation of Owens.

When he asked about the incident, Owens blamed everything on her boyfriend, he said.

"Her belief was that he had appeared and then disappeared,” Smith testified, “moved to different part of Fiesta Island in an effort to make her try to follow him and that somehow — and it doesn't make logical sense — but somehow this caused her to have this accident."

Getting information from Owens was a frustrating process, Smith said. He had to repeat questions five or six times, and she would talk nonstop about psychotic delusions about her mother and boyfriend, according to the psychiatrist.

"My diagnosis of Ms. Owens is that she has bipolar disorder with chronic or long-standing mania and psychotic features, but also depressive features,” said Smith.

But as Deputy District Attorney Jessica Coto pointed out in her opening statements, it is the defense’s burden to prove Owens is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

To face charges, Owens must understand the court proceedings and help her lawyer in her own defense, Coto told the jury.

A psychiatrist for the prosecution, who evaluated Owens two weeks ago, said she met those qualifications, according to Coto.

"She fully understood what she was being charged with, what the system was all about and how this process was going to occur,” she said.

The prosecution’s psychiatrist is expected to testify at a later point. In the meantime, all criminal proceedings against Owens remain on hold.

Ten people were injured in the Fiesta Island crash in August, including La Jolla father Juan Carlos Vinolo, who is now paralyzed.

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

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<![CDATA[Carson Stadium Mock-Ups]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:47:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/new+carson+stadium+renderings+0423+%281%29.jpg The plan for a $1.7 billion joint stadium in Carson got a overhaul this week as MANICA Architecture released their latest renderings on April 23, 2015.

Photo Credit: MANICA Architecture ]]>
<![CDATA[Missing Therapy Dog Reunited with Marine Vet Owner]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 09:54:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Nahla+found+0423.JPG

A local Marine veteran’s therapy dog that disappeared for four months has been found safe and reunited with her owner.

Animal Services' officials received a call on Thursday morning that Nahla had been found in the San Ysidro area; the residents there said they found the dog as a stray in the area.

Nahla was rescued safe, save for some serious skin issues, fleas and a bit emaciated, but should fully recover.

Fernando Quandt and his wife, Vivian, said they had lost hope they'd ever see their missing dog again.

Even when the got the call from the San Diego County Animal Shelter in Bonita, they were skeptical.

"I don't even think we believe," said Vivian before the reunion. "Since we got the call we feel like we actually need to see her." 

But when Nahla walked up to her human parents Thursday afternoon, she sweetly gave everyone the confirmation they needed.

Nahla appeared overjoyed to be reunited with her owners, covering them in kisses with her tail wagging.

"I almost feel like we're not going to work tomorrow," said Vivian. "We have to stay home and make sure she's still home."

Nahla ran away from the couple’s Chula Vista neighborhood on Christmas Eve while the couple was out of town visiting a sick relative.

The dog helps Fernando Quandt cope with his post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the Marine Corps and without her he’s lost.

The couple hired a well-known pet detective, launched a Facebook page and started tacking up giant posters in town.

They also regularly checked in with animal shelters and last Saturday, held a vigil in Chula Vista to raise awareness of Nahla’s disappearance as well as that of other missing animals.

"I"m just really happy to have her back," said Fernando.

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<![CDATA[Rebates for Drought-Friendly Lawns Dry Up]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:39:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/drought-generic-brown-grass.jpg

Lawn rebates from the city of San Diego, designed to encourage homeowners to replace their grass with drought-friendly landscaping, dried up faster than the state’s water.

On April 15, the city launched its grass rebate program, paying $1.50 for every square foot of lawn replaced. The funds were expected to last through July.

But on Wednesday, city officials announced they were not accepting any more applications; San Diego’s well of $750,000 had gone dry.

Donna Rowley was in the process of meeting the requirements when she heard the bad news.

“They got the allotment and now they're out of money? It's not even the end of April yet,” she said Thursday. “How are we supposed to act so quickly when there's a lot of paperwork involved, taking pictures, etc., and submitting it?"

The city admits it was inundated beyond expectations. More than 350 residents and businesses will get the rebates, so more than 500,000 square feet grass will be torn up.

But some wonder how much of the money was sucked up by businesses, since the city did not create separate funding pools for companies and homeowners.

Homeowner Frank Whitton missed the rebates as well, but he’s moving forward with his xeriscaping plan. His grass, which is headed to the dump, has been replaced by rocks.

"With saving a gardener and water, it’s going to pay for itself in 12 months,” said Whitton. “It's that quick.”

The money for another rebate offered by the county Water Authority evaporated in January, but they say there is still a $2 per square foot rebate available through the SoCal Water$mart Turf Replacement program, which is not in danger of going away anytime soon.

Unlike other programs, there is also no cap for residential customers, so those with large yards can benefit greatly.

The city of San Diego expects to have additional funds for their rebate program at the start of their next fiscal year in July.

If you want to put in turf, the county water authority has worked out a 10 percent discount with certain companies, but you have to mention the discount to get it.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Sexual Assault Awareness Posters Removed by Navy: Vet]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:03:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/navy+assault+posters.jpg

A Navy veteran hoped banners hung along the pedestrian bridge near Naval Base San Diego would shed light on military sexual assaults.

But, Brittany Fintel said, the banners that share stories of sexual assault survivors were removed by the Navy less than 24 hours after being hung last weekend.

Fintel and other survivors hung the posts to recognize that April is sexual assault awareness month.

Fintel said she wasn’t surprised they were removed by the Navy, but she was angry they were taken down so quickly.

“As a victim, I was infuriated,” she said. “They removed them after two days of being hung last year, so we knew that they were going to be taken down. However, we didn’t know less than 24 – less than 12 hours – that they were going to be hanging up.”

A Navy Public Affairs released a statement on Thursday, saying the Navy feared the banners would be a “trigger.”

“The Navy in San Diego continues to vigorously pursue the elimination of sexual assault,” the statement read. “The signs/banners that were hung without previous discussion on the pedestrian bridge at Naval Base San Diego could have served as a trigger for sexual assault victims or survivors, or their family members, and were removed and returned.”

Fintel, who says she was raped by her leading petty officer during a 2012 deployment to Bahrain, didn’t see the banners as negative.

“We didn’t want this to come across as a protest or military bashing,” she said. “We just wanted to strictly empower the victims as well as create awareness for military sexual assault.”
Fintel plans to apply for a city permit to have the right to hang the banners next April.



Photo Credit: Brittany Fintel]]>