<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usThu, 28 Jul 2016 01:34:19 -0700Thu, 28 Jul 2016 01:34:19 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Despite Trades, Padres Home Run Streak Keeps Growing]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 00:23:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DickersonHR.jpg

The Padres avoided a sweep in Toronto with an 8-4 victory in Wednesday’s getaway game.  

Despite the win, San Diego finished its 10-game road trip a disappointing 3-7.

San Diego did receive homers from Adam Rosales, Brett Wallace and Alex Dickerson Wednesday. 

The biggest storyline for this team (other than trade rumors) is that somehow the offense has homered at least once in a franchise-record 25 consecutive games.

The Padres are just two more games away from tying the MLB record, and can break the mark this weekend when the Reds come to town.

Here’s some interesting numbers during the streak:


- The Padres are 11-14 during their last 25 contests.

- The ball club is 6-4 against division rivals.

- San Diego has hit 42 total home runs during this hot streak.

- Second baseman Ryan Schimpf has the most homers (9) over this stretch.

- Schimpf is followed by Matt Kemp (7), Yangervis Solarte (6), former Padre Melvin Upton (5 – including a walk-off vs the Yankees), Alex Dickerson (5 - including 4 in a row!), All-Star Wil Myers (3), Brett Wallace (2), Derek Norris (2), Adam Rosales (2) and catcher Christian Bethancourt with one.

- Schimpf, Upton and Kemp have each homered twice in a game during the streak.


San Diego hosts Cincinnati to kick off a six-game homestand Friday evening at 7:40 p.m.

Edwin Jackson is slated to start against Reds pitcher Brandon Finnegan.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Overnight Construction at Grocery Store Bothers Residents]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 20:51:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/6PR_PKG_RALPHS_CONSTRUCTION_NOISE_1200x675_729983555715.jpg

After a few peaceful nights, Carmel Mountain Ranch residents were awakened by familiar construction noise.

An NBC 7 viewer complained of being woken up to the cacophonous sound of things being thrown into a nearby dumpster at the construction site. The noise continued for roughly half an hour, and no heavy equipment was used, he said.

While last week’s noisy construction turned out to be illegal, this time it appears to be simply annoying. A city spokesman said that although the overnight construction is a nuisance, it’s not necessarily breaking the rules.

In the previous incident last Thursday, the noise went on throughout the night and involved heavy equipment. A city code enforcement officer issued a formal warning to the contractor last week.

The city official said this time the noise was legal because no heavy equipment was used and it stopped within less than an hour. This time around, the NBC 7 viewer did not file a complaint with the city and he did not report it to police.

Construction crews aren’t legally permitted to make noise greater than sixty decibels for more than an hour at a time, said the city official.

However, if the Construction Crews violate the law again they could face fines and possibly be ordered to stop working on this project.

Another city official says it’s important to make a record of the noise, even when the legality is unclear.

If you have a similar story, record video of the noise, call the non-emergency line and notify police, and file a complaint with the city code enforcement.

<![CDATA[9 Arrested in El Cerrito Casino Raid]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 18:27:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Lucky+Lady+raid.JPG

Dozens of FBI agents and San Diego police officers on Wednesday morning raided an El Cerrito casino and arrested nine people on racketeering charges.

Officers swarmed the Lucky Lady Casino at El Cajon Boulevard and 55th early Wednesday morning. The FBI’s organized crime squad served a sealed search warrant at the casino as they investigated a group of defendants on illegal gambling and racketeering allegations.

These defendants were arrested: Sanders Bruce Segal, Stanley Samuel Penn, Petter Magnus Karlsson, David Greg Leppo, Pablo Ballestro Frech, Sydney Bruce, Segal, Joseph Edward Spatafore, Minh Triet Dinh Nguyen, James Hang Tear, Ken Pheng Keo, Jason D. Taylor and Jeffrey Alan Burke.

Two of the defendants were arraigned on Wednesday afternoon and the remaining defendants are expected to appear in court on Thursday.

Prosecutors in a news release said the defendants are accused of using the casino as a front for an illegal sports gambling operation.

Segal, believed to be the ringleader, operated “Segal’s Lucky Lady Sports Book,” which connected bookies, sub-bookies and gamblers with sports websites outside the U.S.

The operation aimed to provide customers a place to illegally place bets on sports gambling websites.

The group of defendants assisted Segal is conducting the operation, federal prosecutors said.

Several Lucky Lady employees were shocked when they showed up to work on Wednesday.

“I haven’t seen anything going on,” said poker dealer David Nguyen. “I work 4 to 5 days a week. Everybody is really good. Friendly casino. Regular customers every day. I don’t hear any illegal activity at all.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what would happen to the casino. It was closed during Wednesday’s investigation.

Photo Credit: Nicole Gomez]]>
<![CDATA[Trial for Man Accused in Campaign Finance Scandal Begins]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 19:28:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Azano-0609_2.jpg

The trial for a Mexican millionaire facing federal charges in a San Diego campaign finance scandal started Wednesday. 

Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, 48, is accused of funneling $600,000 of dollars into San Diego campaigns.

According to unsealed documents, Azano is one of several accused of hiding the source of campaign donations or concealing a donation altogether in records with the San Diego City Clerk, the Federal Election Commission, or the California Secretary of State.

Azano, referred to as "Mr. Lambo" in the indictment, is accused of making more than $600,000 in illegal contributions to former Mayor Bob Filner, failed mayoral candidate Bonnie Dumanis, and other candidates.

As the trial unfolds, 61 witnesses are expected to testify, including several high-profile witnesses like Sheriff Bill Gore and former councilman and current radio host Carl DeMaio. 

Prosecutors list 20 instances in which campaign finance records were falsified to send money from Azano to three candidates in local elections.

It is illegal for a foreign national to donate to a U.S. political campaign.

His motive, according to court documents, was to develop San Diego's waterfront into a Miami-of-the-West, with condos and a high-end hotel.

Azano has also been charged with illegally possessing a firearm, a black Sig Sauer P225 semi-automatic pistol.

Three other defendants, including Azano's son, are on trial. They are accused of getting the money to where it needed to go. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Girl Adopts Kitten After Being Recently Adopted Herself]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 19:51:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/aricelli+meehan+07271.jpg

At NBC’s Clear the Shelters event last Saturday, one kitten found a loving home with a little girl who had herself been recently adopted a few years ago.

Nine-year-old Aricelli Meehan adopted the kitten at an animal shelter in Bonita, where she is attending summer camp nearby.

“I just looked into her eyes and she looked into mine. And then I saw her personality and how good she was, and I knew she was the one,” Aricelli told NBC 7 San Diego while rocking a silver tiara and snowflake face paint. The camp was having a special dress up day on Wednesday, which explains why Aricelli was dressed up as Queen Elsa from Frozen.

Aricelli named her new kitten Emerald, who was only ten weeks old when adopted from NBC's Clear the Shelters event last weekend. When you look into Emerald’s bright green eyes, it’s easy to see why Aricelli picked that name.

“She could have been put to sleep. Makes me sad…Happy that I rescued her,” said Aricelli as she snuggled her fuzzy little friend. “Her personality is sweet, kind, funny, playful and of course, adorable.”

Aricelli knows what it’s like to be looking for a loving family. In her early childhood, she was placed in child protective services. She was ultimately placed into the foster care system at the age of six.

That's where she met her future adoptive mother, Missy Meehan.

“She had a whole list of other children and she chose me…Makes me happy,” said Aricelli.

When Meehan was asked how she picked Aricelli, it was clearly for many of the same reasons that Aricelli chose her kitten Emerald.

“They said I think you just need to meet her which took maybe three minutes, right, for us to fall in love with each other and know that we were best matches,” said Meehan.

The little girl and her kitten have a lot in common, and a lot of hope for the future.

“I love this kitten…She’s my beautiful kitten,” said Aricelli.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Painter Convicted of Attempted Murder of SD Sportscaster]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 19:48:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Mike-Montana-071116.jpg

The man accused of shooting San Diego-area sports anchor Kyle Kraska has been found guilty of attempted murder. 

Kraska was shot four times outside his Scripps Ranch home in February 2015, suffering wounds to his chest, leg, hip and bicep.

A jury found Mike Montana, a painter, guilty of several counts, including attempted murder; a jury said the act was deliberate and premeditated. He is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date. 

Once the verdict had been read, Montana turned around to face someone in the gallery and said, "what can you do?"

As the verdict was read, Kraska sat with his head in his lap, sobbing.The sportscaster for KFMB-TV survived the shooting by crawling on the ground for 50 to 60 feet and asking a neighbor to call for help.

Montana was initially hired to paint Kraska's home.

However, there was a dispute over the quality of the work between Kraska and Montana. Kraska said he fronted Montana $800 for supplies before the painter quit without completing the work. Montana said Kraska failed to pay him $2,200. 

Montana's defense attorney argued his client was prescribed a “barrage” of medications at the time of the shooting. 

Those medications made his client incapable of having criminal intent under the law, he said.

Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Zipp said Montana was "calm, cool and collected" while firing multiple rounds at Kraska's silver Mercedes before hiding the weapon.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Man, 27, Dies While Skinny-Dipping: Lifeguards]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:11:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San-Diego-Lifeguard-Ocean-Beach.jpg

A man died while skinny-dipping in the ocean off the coast of San Diego, lifeguards confirmed Wednesday.

The 27-year-old man was swimming with four friends off Ocean Beach at approximately 4 a.m., north of the pier and Ocean Beach Park.

Friends say the man went farther out from the jetty than the rest of the group, San Diego Fire-Rescue Lt. Andy Lerum said. When they couldn't find him in the dark water, they called 911.

Lifeguards found the man quickly but he was unconscious with no steady heartbeat, Lerum said.

Emergency personnel performed CPR on the man and rushed him to UCSD where he was pronounced dead hours later.

Lerum said the man may have gotten caught in a rip current and couldn't swim back to shore.

Officials have identified the man only as a Mexicali resident.

With water temperatures currently in the mid-70s, it can be tempting to night swim but lifeguards don't advise swimming at night without lifeguards on duty, Lerum said.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Triple Killings Suspect Hospitalized: SDSO]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:06:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Carlo-Mercado-0903.jpg

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) officials confirmed Wednesday that a man suspected in the mysterious, high-profile slayings of three San Diegans has been hospitalized.

SDSO media relations director Jan Caldwell told NBC 7 Investigates that Carlo Mercado, 31, had been transported from San Diego Central Jail in downtown San Diego Tuesday afternoon to UC Medical Center.

Caldwell said Mercado, along with his cellmate, Abel Martinez, 52, were observed by deputies to be in "medical distress" at around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

NBC 7's source close to the investigation believes the inmates overdosed.

Further details on Mercado's transport and current condition were not immediately released. Caldwell said both Mercado and Martinez were undergoing treatment as of Wednesday afternoon.

"An investigation is being conducted by the San Diego Sheriff's Department Homicide Unit and Detentions Investigative Unit into the circumstances surrounding this incident, and no further details are available at this time," Caldwell told NBC 7.

NBC 7 Investigates reached out to Mercado's attorney, Jane Kinsey, but she said she had no comment on this development involving her client.

Mercado is accused of killing brothers Salvatore “Sal” Belvedere, 22, and Gianni Belvedere, 24, and Gianni’s fiancée, Ilona Flint, 22.

The killings began with a shooting on Christmas Eve 2013 in the parking lot of Westfield Mission Valley mall.

Last week, a judge ruled Mercado would stand trial in the triple homicide case, with his trial set to begin on April 3, 2017.

In February 2016, Mercado pleaded not guilty to the slayings.

At that time, San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson said the District Attorney’s office would seek the death penalty if Mercado’s trial moved forward and if he is convicted.

Over the past two-and-a-half years the triple homicide case has seen many twists and turns.

Prosecutors have said it does not appear Mercado was in any way connected to the victims and that the killings are believed to have been random, or perhaps the result of some type of “road rage” incident. The killings do not appear to have been a hit, as has been speculated, prosecutors said in February.

Still, the motive for the slayings remains shrouded in mystery.

Several months ago, Mercado’s defense attorney Gary Gibson said he was disappointed with the DA’s decision to pursue the death penalty in this case given Mercado’s history of mental illness. Gibson said his client is a “deeply damaged individual with significant mental health issues.” However, Erickson argued Mercado’s mental state is directly linked to the case, which includes depression “based on his situation.”

Gibson said the case will be difficult to prove at trial because prosecutors are struggling to pin down a motive.

On Dec. 24, 2013 Flint and Sal were found critically shot inside their car parked outside a Macy’s department store at Westfield Mission Valley mall in San Diego’s Mission Valley area. Flint, who called 911 to report the shooting and their location, died at the scene. Sal was hospitalized and died a few days later.

Flint’s fiancé and Sal’s brother, Gianni, went missing around the same time of the Christmas Eve killings. On Jan. 17, 2014 police found Gianni’s badly decomposed body stuffed into the trunk of his own car parked at a shopping center in Riverside, California, more than 100 miles away from San Diego. He, too, had been shot to death.

For six months, police reported no breaks in the baffling triple homicide case.

On June 20, 2014 the San Diego Police Department confirmed officers had arrested Mercado as the suspect in the three slayings. Mercado pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder.

At a pretrial in early September 2014, DNA evidence emerged linking Mercado to Gianni’s car and the bloody Riverside crime scene, while ballistics evidence linked a gun registered in Mercado’s name to the deadly shootings of Flint, Sal and Gianni. Prosecutors also presented evidence found on Mercado's phone and computers.

Also in early September 2014, search warrants obtained by NBC 7 revealed the exhaustive investigation into the triple homicide case, but no clear motive for the killings.

In December 2014 the families of the three victims filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Westfield, LLC, accusing the Mission Valley mall of negligence in the deaths of Flint and the Belvedere brothers, claiming the mall failed to provide sufficient lighting and monitoring security cameras in the area to keep patrons safe. That lawsuit also listed Mercado as a defendant, accusing him of malice and oppression in the killings.

On Nov. 3, 2014 a San Diego judge ruled Mercado was not competent to stand trial in the triple killings, and ordered he be treated at Patton State Hospital for three years until he was found competent to assist in his own defense.

That ruling came after reports submitted by two psychiatrists and one psychologist diagnosed Mercado as schizophrenic, psychotic and suffering from catatonic depression, Mercado’s attorney said at the time.

In September 2015, Mercado was returned to San Diego Central Jail after evaluators from Patton State Hospital found him competent to stand trial. The defense then requested a competency trial for Mercado.

On Dec. 14, 2015 a judge ruled Mercado was competent to stand trial.

When Mercado’s trial date was set last week, a judge also ordered Mercado to appear in court this October for a status conference.

With his hospitalization, it is unclear if the timeline of his upcoming court proceedings will change.

Meanwhile, Mercado's cellmate, Martinez, is also accused of murder.

Martinez was convicted last month in the shooting his ex-girlfriend, Leila Farmer, and her boyfriend, Eufracio Alberto Enriquez, in March 2014 at a home in Dehesa Valley near Alpine. Enriquez died in the shooting.

Inmate records indicate Martinez was scheduled to appear in court this Friday.

NBC 7 reached out to Martinez's attorney, Thomas Bahr, on Wednesday. Bahr said he had no comment.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Jogger Approached by Man in Kidnapping Attempt: SDPD]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:35:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/UC+Attempted+Kidnapping.JPG

A jogger running through San Diego's University City neighborhood was approached by a man in an attempted kidnapping, San Diego Police (SDPD) said. 

The incident happened shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday near Cargill Avenue and Nobel Drive in University City, just blocks from the Westfield UTC Mall, San Diego Police (SDPD) said. 

Police initially told NBC 7 San Diego the woman was running when a man with a Taser approached her, trying to hold the Taser to her chest. Half an hour later, investigators on scene could not confirm that detail. 

The woman managed to escape and run away. 

"A male sitting in a passenger side of a black sedan assaulted her reached out and grabbed her she was able to fend off her attacker and run off and make it home where she called police," said SDPD Lt. Adam Starki.

The victim told police the man was driving a black four door Sedan with a Lyft sticker. Police could not say whether the suspect was a Lyft driver or not. 

Officers are in the area investigating the attempted kidnapping. 

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Olympic Triathletes Pick Poway As Their 'Hidden Gem']]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:45:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Poway+Olympics+Triatheletes.jpg

The United States will send three Olympians to compete in the Men’s Triathlon in Rio De Janeiro, and two of them live and train in Poway.

Something in the water, you ask?

Perhaps, just don’t drink it, because the two Olympians swim daily in the same pool as hundreds of local kids at the Poway Community Pool.

“It seems like we're a juxtaposition here," said Greg Billington. "We're training for the Olympics, and it's kind of a regular pool."

While some athletes train in secured facilities off-limits to the public, 27-year-old Billington and 30-year-old Joe Maloy quietly go about their business in the middle of suburbia.

They are surrounded by teenagers jumping off the high dive on one end and toddlers learning to swim on the other.

“We found Poway as kind of the perfect little hidden gem," said Maloy. "We've got a great pool here, we’ve got good access to the ocean for open water training, the roads are great, and there are trails everywhere for running."

Both men moved to the small town several years ago to train under coach Paulo Sousa and his “Triathlon Squad”.

Maloy and Billington, who will compete against each other in Rio, train together using the same formula: work your body to the point of exhaustion and then wake up and do it again.

"All those workouts make you really tired and they make your brain work really slow sometimes and they make you really grumpy sometimes," said Maloy.

A typical day includes a three-mile swim, an eight to 10 mile run, and a two hour bike ride, with lots of physical therapy along the way.

“There's like nothing else we do, and I think that's really hard for a lot of people to grasp, we don't have another job, we don't have any real hobbies, all we do is train hard and try to become the best athletes we can be," said Billington.

The Rio 2016 Olympics air on NBC starting August 5, 2016. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Only Dog Left at El Cajon's Animal Shelter Gets Returned]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:14:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/opie+4.jpg

It was, sadly, a false alarm on Wednesday for the lone dog at El Cajon's animal shelter, when a would-be owner returned the pup to the shelter hours later.

The dachshund-chihuahua mix was the only animal left at the shelter after Saturday’s Clear the Shelters event found new homes for hundreds of animals across San Diego County.

Opie, an 8-year-old dog that can’t live with other dogs or children, was left behind. His story captured the hearts of hundreds of NBC 7 viewers on social media.

Shelter staffers said Wednesday that a man from Poway adopted the pup at about 1 p.m.

At 4:30 p.m., shelter staffers told NBC 7 that the prospective owner had brought Opie home and then decided to return him to the shelter later that afternoon.

The man did not give a reason for returning Opie, staffers said.

Since Monday, the shelter fielded dozens of phone calls from people interesting in adopting Opie. But because of the dog’s living limitations, he has yet to find a home.

Photo Credit: El Cajon Animal Shelter]]>
<![CDATA[Chula Vista Fire Department Sells Special 9/11 T-Shirts]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 15:35:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chula+Vista+Fire+Generic+2.jpg

The Chula Vista Fire Department and the Chula Vista Firefighter’s Foundation (CVFF) are selling special “9/11 Never Forget” T-shirts to remember the 15th anniversary of September 11, 2001, said an official.

All of the proceeds from the T-shirts will go to the CVFF and the California Firefighters Memorial, according to the CVFD.

The T-shirt is Navy blue featuring the phrase “We Remember” on the front design, according to the CVFD. They also include the phrases “Chula Vista Fire Department” and the number “343." The skyline of the twin towers is featured in the center, with an American flag in the backdrop. The words, "We Will Never Forget" are printed on the back of the shirts.

The number 343 describes the total number of firefighters and paramedics who were killed on that tragic day, according to the CVFD.

To look at the T-shirt designs, visit this webpage from the CVFD. The T-shirts cost $20 with a slight extra fee for the sizes of 2XL and 3XL.

According to the CVFD, the shirts are only available on the website. Online orders for the T-shirt will close on August 12, 2016 at 5 p.m.

An official said the T-shirts will be delivered between August 29 and September 3.

The California Firefighter’s memorial is under the non-profit California Fire Foundation. It’s a lasting tribute to the people who gave their lives to save their fellow Californians, according to the CVFD.

This includes two bronze casts called “Holding the Line” and “Fallen Brother.”

The wall is inscribed with the names of over 1,100 firefighters who died while helping others, according to the CA Fire Foundation.

Photo Credit: Lori Brown
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Carlsbad Man Wants to 'Veto Gunmaggedon']]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 07:43:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/barrybahramicarlsbad.jpg

A Carlsbad man is leading an effort to roll back new California gun restrictions recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Barry Bahrami said he did not like the way the gun restriction bills were pushed through the California legislature and he wants voters to have their voices heard.

According to the California Secretary of State’s Office, Bahrami needs to gather signatures from 365,880 registered voters for each of the six petitions in order to qualify for the ballot. That number is about five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2014 general election.

Proponets of any petitions have 90 days from the date the bill is chaptered to request and receive a title and summary from the Attorney General and to gather petition signatures for the referendum.

For Bahrami, the deadline is September 29th.

He told NBC 7 that he is confident he has the support to get it done.

“No problem. It's just a matter of the mechanics of getting them signed, filing. We got the numbers," he said.

Bahrami has a Facebook page to get the word out called “Veto Gunmaggedon” and a website to raise support.

He said he will have petitions at gun stores and gun ranges. He added that he has hundreds of volunteers across the state, ready to go.

“They've been waiting for this, I think. This is just a spark in a big powder keg and now it's game on they want to get their rights back,” he said.

The gun control bills include:


  • AB 1135 and SB 880: Bans the sale of semiautomatic guns with “bullet buttons” allowing easy replacement of the ammunition magazine
  • AB 1511: Short-term loans of firearms to people other than immediate family members not allowed
  • AB 1695: Not reporting a stolen gun would be a crime
  • SB 1235: Background checks required when buying ammunition to prevent felons from purchasing
  • SB 1446: Illegal to have possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than ten bullets


But Bahrami needs to gather signatures at a time when support for tighter gun restrictions seems to be growing.

Ron Marcus, with the San Diego Chapter of the Brady Campaign, said this is another attempt to stall or veto well thought-out common sense gun laws.

“We're looking for something that respects everybody but helps keep out society safer,” Marcus said.

But Bahrami calls them feel good laws, saying someone who wants to do harm can find weapons banned in California -- in other nearby states.

"Criminals do not obey the law by definition,” he said.

Marcus argued that with so much gun violence in the U.S., the country has to start moving toward laws that create a safer culture.

“With every right, comes responsibility and because we live in a very large society, with a lot of guns, we need to have some sort of regulations that keep everything in check,” he said.

Bahrami told NBC 7 that he's also interested in safety, especially for his family.

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom also has a measure for gun regulations on the November ballot that proposes do do what Bahrami is calling for.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Airport’s Terminal 2 Parking Lot to Close for Construction]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 15:29:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SD-Airport-Parking-Plaza-Rendering-727.jpg

A large portion of the Terminal 2 parking lot at the San Diego International Airport will soon be closed as construction crews begin work on a new, large-scale project designed to enhance parking around the busy terminal.

According to the San Diego Airport Authority, the current lot at Terminal 2 at Lindbergh Field will be closed beginning Aug. 6. For the time being, travelers who use Terminal 2 can access limited parking near the terminal via McCain Road or use alternate lots.

During this closure, crews will begin construction of the airport’s new $127.8 million “Parking Plaza,” an area that will eventually include 2,901 “close-in” parking spaces – spots that are within walking distance to Terminal 2 when the parking structure opens to the public in summer 2018.

At a news conference Wednesday, Bob Bolton, director of airport design and construction, said the Parking Plaza will span 1 million square feet across three levels. It will increase the net parking in the area by about 1,800 stalls. Of the 3,000 spaces, 1,740 will be covered parking – the first time Lindbergh Field has had covered spaces.

Bolton said the features of the Parking Plaza will be unique – and it’ll be more than just a parking structure. This will include safe pathways for pedestrians, as well as crosswalks that will take travelers directly from the plaza to Terminal 2.

“Light wells” will allow lots of natural light into the structure, too.

“The building is very inviting, very open,” Bolton explained.

The plaza will also include seven glass-back elevators so riders can see out of the cab and people can see in, creating a safer experience for those taking the elevator.

Bolton said public art may also be installed inside the Parking Plaza. A portion of the plaza will boast a view of the harbor and downtown San Diego skyline, creating a fun photo opportunity for travelers looking to take a quick break and snap a selfie.

The Parking Plaza is also expected to have environmental benefits by reducing air emissions caused by cars that are circulating and idling while searching for an available parking space.

Bolton said construction of the Parking Plaza will last approximately 21 months.

During this time, technology experts will also be developing a smartphone app that will eventually help customers who park in the plaza reserve, locate and pay for parking spaces via their mobile devices.

Bolton said that by 2035, the airport will need 7,000 “close-in” spaces within walking distance to the terminals. This Parking Plaza will create at least half of those. He said the new parking area will have minimal impact on traffic around the airport.

For now, while Terminal 2 parking area is shut down, Bolton said travelers should use the Airport’s new website, UpgradeYourParking, to reserve parking spots prior to heading to Lindbergh Field.

He said the Airport Authority plans to keep the public informed on parking during construction via the website, and with plenty of signage around the airport indicating how to get to the temporary parking areas. The website also includes a map of the airport parking lot and renderings of the Parking Plaza.

For now, alternate parking areas at the airport include:

• Terminal 1 and 2 valet service with curbside drop-off ($40 per day)
• Terminal 1 lot ($32 per day)
• Terminal 2 limited parking off McCain Road ($32 per day)
• Long-term Lot at 3015 N. Harbor Dr. ($20 per day)
• Economy Lot at 3302 Pacific Highway and Washington Street ($13 per day)

Photo Credit: San Diego Airport Authority
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Gymnastics Coach Sentenced for Sex With Minor]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 15:46:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Patrick_Wehrung_pic_1200x675_625796163795.jpg

A Santee gymnastics coach convicted of having sex with an underage gymnast has been sentenced. 

Patrick Wehrung, 25, will spend 365 days in jail in jail, 132 of which he has already completed. He will spend three years on probation, will be fined and will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. 

He previously pleaded guilty to statuary rape, oral copulation and digital penetration.

If Wehrung ever contacts the victim again, he will go to prison. In court Wednesday, it was revealed Wehrung continued to contact the victim again after the court ordered him not to contact her. 

For more than four years, Wehrung worked as a boys’ gymnastics coach at Champion Gymnastics and Cheer in Santee, where the victim is a gymnast.

Deputy District Attorney Nicole Roth said Wehrung carried on a sexual relationship with the 15-year-old girl that spanned one month, starting on Dec. 19, 2015. 

On four occasions, Wehrung allegedly picked the girl up and took her to La Jolla Shores to engage in sexual activity, Roth said.

Wehrung was fired from his position on Jan. 22 and arrested on Feb. 9 after the girl’s parents called investigators, San Diego Police say.

<![CDATA[Judge Rules City Must Disclose Police Shooting Records]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 18:38:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DA-Presser-1222-8.jpg

A federal court judge has ruled in favor of the family of Fridoon Nehad, an unarmed man shot to death by a San Diego police officer in the Midway District last year, ordering the city to provide all records on deadly or serious injury officer-involved shootings between 2013 and present.

Nehad's family is suing the City of San Diego over the shooting, claiming the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) has a pattern of poorly investigating cases and covering up officer misconduct. 

The San Diego County District Attorney’s office previously found the shooting was justified and did not to file charges. The Department of Justice cleared the officer of violating any federal criminal civil rights statutes in shooting of Nehad, NBC 7 San Diego learned Wednesday. 

In a letter to SDPD Officer Neal Browder, released exclusively to NBC7, the DOJ says it is closing its investigation after careful consideration of the evidence. 

Federal Judge Nita Stormes ruled earlier this month that the Nehad family will not have to pay the requested $12,000 the City Attorney's office says it would cost to copy all the documents. The requested documents include internal affairs investigations and DVDs containing surveillance video and body camera footage of the shootings.

The city claimed releasing such information would cause an “undue burden,” because the search would “yield dozens of investigations, thousands of pages of documents” and that “to review such investigations would require thousands of man hours to copy, sift through, redact etc.”

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said the discovery dispute is not uncommon in large civil lawsuits. 

"The role of the judge is to decide what is the scope of this case," Goldsmith said. "Is this only about what happened in the alley that night? Or is it broader? Our position was the case is about what happened that evening in the alley where (Nehad) was shot." 

Federal Judge Stormes upheld a prior ruling that the discovery request was not unduly burdensome on the city. Stormes ruled the city provided “no persuasive reason” why they did not previously present specific information on the costs of assembling approximately 15,000 pages of documents, 403 compact discs and about 217 DVDs for the 31 officer-involved-shootings since 2013.

Goldsmith said ultimately the cost of providing the discovery will fall to the taxpayers. He estimated the total cost would be upwards of $40,000.  

"The city is a deep pocket," Goldsmith explained. "When there's a discovery demand on the city and it's broad, we have to put people on overtime and it's huge costs all around." 

The judge’s ruling also denied the city’s request to narrow the scope of the request to shootings between April 2013 and April 2015. Nehad’s family contends that, because the police department has not changed any policies since Nehad’s shooting, the discovery is relevant to their case.

The ruling leaves open the possibility that the city’s discovery will include body camera footage of the shooting of Thongsoune Vilasane, shot 22 times by police in Encanto in May 2016.

Police fired 40 rounds at Vilasane, with some of the officers reloading their weapons during the shooting. The officers said Vilasane tried to ram his car into them.

The civil rights case brought by Nehad's family is sealed, meaning all records released to the plaintiffs are under a protective order. They will not likely be released to the general public, unless the order is lifted or they are obtained by other means. 

After being cleared of wrongdoing for shooting Nehad, SDPD officer Neal Browder, a 27-year veteran of the department, accidentally fired his weapon during a February 2016 foot chase and the stray bullet hit a baby’s crib in Oak Park.

No one was injured in the accidental discharge, which prompted a SDPD administrative investigation. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego May Host Extreme Sailing Series in Mission Bay]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 15:56:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MissionBayBoats.jpg

A worldwide action sports event known as the Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) may be headed to Mission Bay in October 2017.

The Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners met Wednesday afternoon to discuss the event proposal. A final decision was not yet reached, but they plan to reconvene on August 9, to further discuss the Series.

If the event proposal is approved, this could attract the Series event to San Diego for a five-year period beginning in October 12-15, 2017. A local committee, Extreme Sailing San Diego (ESSD), has put together an event plan for the series to be held in San Diego.

According to ESSD, the races would take place in the San Diego Bay by the Harbor Island. ESSD is hoping to secure space on the northern side of Habor Island. They’ll need room for sufficient dock space, a “pit row” consisting of 40 boats, a laydown area for racing vessels and a crane to move boats. They would like to offer free public parking on the south side of Habor Island as well as paid VIP seating.

ESSD is designing the event to appeal to a wider audience apart from diehard sailing enthusiasts. It will offer a close-up view of the boats from a stadium, and the race course will be held in a small area so that it’s easy for viewers to see all of the action.

There will be eight races, each 10-15 minutes long, according to ESSD. The format is meant to be straightforward and easy to understand for wide audience appeal.

The sailing boats will be 32-foot, lightweight catamarans with wing-like foils mounted under the hull, according to ESSD. These wings can elevate the boat up and out of the water as they increase in speed. The boats are capable of moving rapidly, at three times the speed of the wind. The boats also have a relatively small size which allows for high maneuverability.

To fund the Series, ESSD is requesting a yearly amount of $300,000 from the district. In addition to that, they will also ask that various service fees are waived, such as Harbor Police public safety support and parking space fees near the location.

The London Group, a local consultant, has created a report with analysis on the event's economic impact. In exchange for the District’s investment of funding, the event’s profits are expected to offer a financial return.

This financial return is predicted to range between $307,478 and $528,216. According to the report, those profits include revenue from hotel services, jobs, food and beverage sales, parking expenses and promotional value. The event is expected to create 169 temporary jobs.

OC Sport, a global sports marketing and events company, owns the Extreme Sailing Series. It’s based in the UK, Switzerland and France, according to ESSD. In 2016, the Extreme Sailing Series will be held in eight cities spanning three continents. That includes teams from Great Britain, Omar, Austria, Demark and China.

Photo Credit: petercsanadi/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[Genesee Ave. Exit Closing for Overnight Construction]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:50:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/construction_generic.jpg

The Genesee Ave. exit on Interstate 5 (I-5) will be closed overnight starting next month as Caltrans continues to demolish and remove the old freeway overpass. 

The overnight closures will begin on August 6. At 9 p.m., Caltrans will close both northbound and southbound lanes on I-5 until 9 a.m. on Aug. 7. Northbound lanes will be redirected to eastbound Interstate 8 and eastbound State Route 52 freeways. Southbound lanes will be detoured to Interstate 805.

From August 8 through 12, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., there will be different closures on I-5 at Genesee Avenue. At 11:30 p.m., traffic will be rerouted to the Genesee Avenue off-ramp and re-enter I-5 using the on-ramp. There will also be reduced lanes on Genesee Avenue.

Motorists and bicyclists are encouraged to steer clear of this area during the work hours listed. Pedestrian access is closed throughout the construction.

This $105 million project will replace the six-lane Genesee Avenue overpass with a ten-lane structure. This will include vehicle lanes, new bike lanes and sidewalks, and better accommodate current and future traffic demands in the San Diego region.

This project is expected to be completed in 2017, according to Caltrans.

Real-time traffic information can be accessed through resources such as Caltrans QuickMap, WAZE, Google maps or Shift San Diego. Detailed information about the Genesee project can be found by clicking here or calling the Project Hotline at (888) 720-9321.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Timeline: Triple Homicide Mystery]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:51:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Belvedere+Flint+fundraiser.jpg

The mysterious killings of local residents Ilona Flint, Salvatore Belvedere and Gianni Belvedere have rocked and saddened San Diego. Now, six months into this case, many questions remain unanswered as the San Diego Police Department continues to put together pieces of the puzzle.

Here’s a timeline of key events in this triple homicide case, which first began on the early hours of Christmas Eve with a deadly shooting outside Westfield Mission Valley Mall.

Dec. 24, 2013: The Christmas Eve Shooting
At around 1:15 a.m., Ilona Flint and Salvatore Belvedere, both 22 years old, are critically shot in a parking lot outside the Macy’s department store at San Diego’s Mission Valley Mall. Despite being shot in the head, Flint manages to call 911 to report the shooting, telling dispatchers she’s injured near the mall. Minutes later, officers locate the wounded duo inside a vehicle in the 1600-block of Camino Del Rio North. Flint is pronounced dead at the scene. Salvatore, suffering life-threatening gunshot wounds to the head and torso, is transported to a local hospital. SDPD Lt. Mike Hastings holds a briefing on the Christmas Eve shooting and says police are looking for a possible suspect, described as a 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11 man wearing tan pants.

Dec. 26, 2013: Gianni Belvedere is Missing
Two days after the parking lot shooting, the families of both Flint and Salvatore hold a brief news conference announcing that 24-year-old Gianni Belvedere – Sal’s older brother and Flint’s fiancé – has gone missing. Police confirm Gianni was last seen on Dec. 23 around 10 p.m. at his Tierrasanta home. “Gianni, we need you to come home,” pleads one family member, between tears. "Please call us." Investigators confirm the Christmas Eve shooting does not appear to be connected to any sort of robbery. Lt. Hastings says a possible vehicle of interest in the case is a 2008-2011 dark gray Honda sedan.

Dec. 27, 2013: Salvatore Succumbs to Injuries, Search Continues for Gianni
The Belvedere family confirms that Sal has died from injuries sustained in the Christmas Eve shooting. Police say they’re still searching for Gianni, and issue a missing person bulletin describing Gianni as an Italian-American man with brown hair and brown eyes. He’s 6 feet tall, 165 pounds and likely driving a four-door, dark green 2004 Toyota Camry XLE with the Utah license plate B154VZ. The Belvedere family says Gianni may have also been at the mall with Flint and Sal at the time of the shooting.

Dec. 28, 2013: Vigil Held for Flint
Loved ones hold a public candlelight vigil for Flint at La Jolla Shores. Friends describe Flint as a loyal friend and hard worker. Friend Andre Briones tells NBC 7 that Flint and Gianni had been dating for about eight years and were engaged to be married. Both Flint and the Belvedere brothers were originally from Utah. Flint moved to San Diego after Gianni and his family relocated here from Utah. Briones also says the Belvedere brothers would often take turns picking Flint up from work and says the trio were the best of friends.

Jan. 1, 2014: Vigil Held for Sal
Approximately 100 loved ones gather at Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach at sunset on New Year’s Day to pay tribute to Sal in an emotional vigil. The family says Crystal Pier was one of Sal's favorite surfing spots. The Belvederes also say Gianni is still missing and announce that a reward for information leading to his safe return has climbed to $10,000. "If you've seen the car, seen him, think you've seen him, please report it to Crime Stoppers, San Diego PD, to the news media, anybody," Gianni's uncle Paul Donato pleads. "We need any clues we can get our hands on to bring him home to put a little closure to this whole nightmare that we're living right now."

Jan. 7, 2014: No Gianni, No Answers
Two weeks to the date of the shooting outside Mission Valley Mall, investigators say there is still no trace of Gianni. Lt. Hastings tells NBC 7 that this is one of the most unusual cases he’s seen in his 20-year career. Officials also confirm that Gianni’s cell phone and credit cards have not been used since he vanished.

Jan. 17, 2014: Body Found in Trunk of Missing Man’s Car in Riverside, Calif.
The dark green Toyota Camry with the Utah license plate described in the SDPD’s missing person bulletin for Gianni is found in Riverside, Calif., about an hour-and-a-half north of San Diego County. A passerby calls authorities at around 11:45 a.m. and reports that a foul odor is coming from the trunk area of vehicle, which is parked at a shopping center. When officers arrive on scene, they open the trunk and find the decomposed body of a man inside. On Jan. 18, a Belvedere family member confirms the victim in the trunk is Gianni. The SDPD says it’s working with the Riverside Police Department on this development. An autopsy is scheduled for the following week.

Jan. 23, 2014: Confirmed by PD: Victim in Trunk is Gianni
Police officially confirm that the man found dead in the trunk of the car in Riverside is, in fact, missing San Diego resident Gianni Belvedere. The cause of death is not released but detectives clarify that Gianni was a victim of homicide.

Jan. 24, 2014: New Suspect Details Released, Police Determined to Solve Case
At a press conference, SDPD Lt. Mike Hastings releases more details of a possible suspect tied to the triple homicide case. He says the suspect – seen at Westfield Mission Valley on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24, 2013 – is a man wearing a black hoodie with white bands in the biceps area of the sweatshirt, tan pants and white tennis shoes. He is described as standing 5-foot-10 to 6-feet-tall. It's believed the suspect was at the Mission Valley mall at 11:15 p.m. the night before the shooting of Flint and Sal and then returned to the mall at 12:15 a.m. on Dec. 24. Lt. Hastings assures the Belvedere family and the public that the SDPD is working diligently to find answers and says investigators have spent hundreds of hours on the case. “If this case can be solved, this case will be solved,” Lt. Hastings says.

Feb. 7, 2014: SDPD Confirms Gianni Suffered Shot(s) to Head
In the first bit of new information released in two weeks, the SDPD confirms that Gianni died as a result of gunshot wound(s) to the head, according to preliminary findings from an autopsy. The autopsy has not yet been completed by the Riverside Medical Examiner, so police say this is the only insight into Gianni's manner of death at this time.

March 2014: Family Launches New Website in Search for Leads
After three months with no leads, the Belvedere family sets up a new website filled with new information on the case and the victims.

April 2014: Victims' Family Desperate for Answers
Desperate to find answers to the murders, the Belvedere family hosts fundraisers to raise money to add to the reward fund.

June 21, 2014: Police, Family Confirm Arrest in Triple-Homicide Case
Nearly six months to the date of the Mission Valley Christmas Eve murders, the Belvedere family and SDPD confirm that an arrest has been made in the slayings of Ilona, Sal and Gianni. Carlo Gallapo Mercado, 29, was booked on three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the killings.  The SDPD schedules a news briefing for Monday, June 23, to share more information.

June 22, 2014: Homicide Suspect's Attorney Denies Accusations
Mercado's attorney, Michael Berg, says his client "adamantly denies any involvement" in the triple homicide case, and assures that he will prove Mercado's innocence. Berg tells NBC 7 that Mercado was hospitalized for unspecified injuries sustained sometime after he was booked into jail on June 21.

June 23, 2014: SDPD Shares Details of Mercado's Arrest
SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman and homicide Lt. Mike Hastings hold a news briefing to share a few details of the case and the arrest of Mercado. The chief says she hopes this arrest will begin to bring some closure to the Flint and Belvedere families.

June 25, 2014: Mercado Arraigned; Pleads Not Guilty
Mercado is arraigned in court and formally charged with three counts of first-degree murder. A deputy district attorney says that because this is considered a capital case, Mercado could face the death penalty or life in prison for the slayings of Flint and the Belvedere brothers. Mercado is scheduled to appear in court again on July 11.

Sept. 2, 2014: Mercado's Preliminary Hearing
Mercado appears in court for his preliminary hearing, where new details of the triple homicide are released for the first time, including DNA evidence.

Sept. 3, 2014: Mercado is Bound Over for Trial
A judge rules enough evidence has been presented in the pretrial to send Mercado to trial on all three counts of first-degree murder.

Sept. 4, 2014: Search Warrants Reveal Details
Search warrants obtained by NBC 7 reveal the exhaustive investigation into the triple homicide case, but still, no motive.

Sept. 17, 2014: Mental Competency Exam Ordered
During an arraignment, Mercado's attorney raised questions about his client's mental competency to stand trial. The judge ordered Mercado be held without bail until he can be evaluated on Oct. 10. Until then, criminal proceedings would be suspended.

Nov. 3, 2014: Mercado Committed to State Hospital
Judge Joseph P. Brannigan found Mercado not competent to stand trial and ordered he be treated at Patton State Hospital for three years or until he is found competent to assist in his own defense.

Sept. 9, 2015: Mercado Returned to Jail, Mental Competency Questioned
The San Diego County District Attorney’s office confirmed Mercado was returned to San Diego Central Jail after evaluators from Patton State Hospital – a psychiatric facility in Southern California where Mercado had been receiving treatment – found him competent to stand trial. The defense requested a competency hearing for Mercado.

Nov. 3, 2015: Judge Sets Date for Mercado's Competency Hearing
A judge decided Mercado will undergo a mental competency trial on Dec. 14, 2015. At the bench trial, the defense has the burden of proving the suspect is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Dec. 14, 2015: Judge Finds Mercado Competent to Stand Trial
A judge rules Mercado is competent to stand trial and face murder charges in the triple homicide case. Meanwhile, Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson says the killings appear to be random, perhaps stemming from a "road rage incident." The Deputy DA says Mercado did not know his victims.

Feb. 18, 2016: DA to Seek Death Penalty Against Mercado
Deputy DA Brian Erickson says the DA's office will seek the dealth penalty against Mercado when he stands trial. Mercado pleads not guilty to the three murders. Erickson says he hopes to send Mercado to trial within this year. Mercado's attorney, Gary Gibson, says prosecutors will have a lot to prove in this complicated case, including the motive, which remains a mystery.

July 19, 2016: Mercado to Stand Trial
A San Diego judge rules Carlo Mercado will stand trial for the killings of the Belvedere brothers and Flint. At this point, his trial is set for April 3, 2017. If convicted, Mercado could face the death penalty.

July 26, 2016: Mercado Hospitalized After Drug Overdose in Jail
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) tells NBC 7 Investigates that Mercado – along with his cellmate, Abel Martinez, 52, experienced “medical distress” while in their cell at San Diego Central Jail. Both men were transported from jail to UC San Diego for treatment, SDSO’s Jan Caldwell said. As of July 27, no further details on Mercado’s condition were released.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Statewide Flex Alert Extended]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:29:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/dfw-generic-power-lines-01.jpg

A statewide flex alert that was issued Wednesday for California residents has been extended through Thursday.

The California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) issued the extension just after 4 p.m. Wednesday due to continued high temperatures in the state.

The alert is a request for Californians to use less electricity - especially during peak demand time from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The demand for energy across the state is expected to be high until after 9 p.m. Thursday, according to Cal ISO.

It's suggested that consumers set their thermostats to 78 or higher and turn off unnecessary lights and appliances.

For information, go to Cal ISO's website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Drive-Thru Dunkin’ Donuts to Open in National City]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 14:39:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-458335978.jpg

A new Dunkin’ Donuts shop – complete with a full-service drive-thru window – is set to open soon in National City, creating dozens of new jobs for locals.

Part of the popular chain of eateries headquartered in Massachusetts, this new Dunkin’ Donuts store is located at East Plaza Boulevard and Interstate 805, and is highly visible from the freeway.

Boardwalk Development, Inc., signed a lease with Dunkin' Donuts to create the new restaurant. The site is currently under construction.

Ron Bamberger, president of Boardwalk Development, Inc., told NBC 7 on Wednesday that they hope to open the location by mid-September.

He said the store plans to host a grand opening celebration when it officially opens for business this fall.

Bamberger said the shop's proximity to the freeway is a substantial benefit and will be convenient for morning commuters who want to pop in and out of the location quickly as they grab a doughnut on their way to work.

Bamberger said the business is on the morning side of the freeway -- the side of the street where the bulk of morning rush hour traffic occurs.

"The expectations are that it will be a very busy location," said Bamberger.

According to Sonya Modi, public relations specialist from Havas Formula, the company representing the project, this store will be the second Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru in San Diego County.

The first Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru is in Ramona, though that location is a Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins combo store, so this National City shop will be the first freestanding local Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru in San Diego County.

Modi said the National City location is expected to create about 100 new jobs for local residents. Hiring information will be released soon and job-seekers who are interested in working there will be able to find job listings on the website, SnagaJob.

The restaurant plans to host a job fair on Aug. 11. Job seekers interested in more details can call (619) 560-1189 or visit the location that day.

Bamberger said positions will include front and back-of-the-house, as well as management. He said banners with hiring information are currently posted around the development site.

The new restaurant is locally owned and operated by a disabled U.S. veteran who lives in San Diego County, Modi said.

Two years ago, Dunkin Donuts announced it planned to open its first traditional restaurants in California over the coming years. This plan included 14 restaurants San Diego County, with the first opening in 2016.

Modi told NBC 7 that after the National City location opens, there are two other San Diego County Dunkin’ Donuts slated to open this year: one in El Cajon and the other at Naval Air Station North Island.

Currently, San Diego County is home to four Dunkin’ Donuts locations: an outpost at the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown San Diego (601 Pacific Highway); a shop at Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Building 1 (34800 Bob Wilson Dr.); a shop at MCAS Miramar’s Building 5305; and the Ramona Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins location (1410 Main St.)

Dunkin' Donuts was founded in 1950 by Bill Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts. Today, the company has a cult following as the world's leading baked goods and coffee chain, serving more than 3 million customers daily and selling 52 varieties of doughnuts.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Reimbursement for Fire Evacuation Costs?]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 08:37:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/78daf2afff734a49a10fc41ff7d5d8ab.jpg

Twenty thousand people were evacuated over the weekend when fire threatened homes in Los Angeles County.

The so-called Sand Fire in Santa Clarita has scorched nearly 60 square miles since it started on Friday, July 22. Eighteen homes were destroyed and one person was killed.

As of Wednesday, firefighters say they have the fire 40 percent contained.

On Monday, Los Angeles fire officials said residents could return to their homes after spending the weekend elsewhere.

NBCLA reports those evacuated may be eligible to file a claim for financial help if they were forced to stay in a hotel because of a mandatory evacuation.

In fact, according to this report, many people are paying for what’s called additional living expense (ALE) coverage and aren’t aware.

See the NBCLA report here.

For more information on ALE coverage, see the Department of Insurance's earthquake insurance and Residential Property Claims Guide at insurance.ca.gov.

Photo Credit: Mark Vihtelic]]>
<![CDATA[SDUSD Funding Plan for New Charter School Center of Feud]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 21:58:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/innovations+academy+charter+school.JPG

The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) met Tuesday night to vote on a controversial funding plan that has some Scripps Ranch residents riled up.

At the center of feud is the Innovations Academy Charter School in Scripps Ranch.

SDUSD had previously voted to lease the property where the charter school currently sits to a developer. The school will be torn down and replaced by apartment units.

In Tuesday’s meeting, the district will vote on whether to spend $20 million to build a new charter school in Scripps Ranch.

But some residents are calling it "fiscal mismanagement" and say they are upset that the district will be spending bond money to build a new school to replace the one that is already standing.

"I think it's kind of silly to move it--tear it down and then rebuild somewhere else," said resident Guy Henry.

In return for leasing the propery, the district will receive $400,000 a year for the general fund for 66 years. They will also be given a stem lab for student field trips and a community garden.

"This seems like a shell game. The district is taking money from one pot and putting it into another one. And the only one going to win in this game are the developers. Taxpayers are going to lose," parent and community activist Emily Dresslar told NBC 7.

But she said she's upset about more than just an apartment unit going up in place of the school.

"As a San Diego resident and a taxpayer, I'm more upset about the fiscal mismanagement," Emily Dresslar said.

Another parent felt the same way.

“I believe the district has a judiciary responsibility to make financial decisions best for students, not a developer,” parent and community activist Larayne Burley said. “Clearly, most people, when they look at the facts, most people will see this $20 million is not needed and could be spent on other charter schools south of the I-8.”

The district says it followed the recommendation made by the committee that oversees how charter school money should be spent.

The principal of Innovations Academy Charter School told NBC 7 that she believed this was a perfect way to use the bond money set aside for charter schools

SDUSD has plans to build a new charter school in Kearny Mesa.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[ 'I Didn’t Feel Safe': Muslim Students Face Bullying]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 08:50:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDUSD-Islamaphobia-0726.JPG

After hearing emotional stories from Muslim San Diego students who say they’re bullied because of their religion, board leaders voted unanimously to come up with a plan to address Islamophobia in schools.

One by one, young victims of bullying shared their stories in front of the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Board Tuesday evening, asking leaders for resolution to battle the growing problem of bullying of Muslim students at local schools.

As the students spoke, hundreds of members of the Muslim community sat in on the meeting, parents holding up bright signs that read, “Protect Our Kids.”

A 6th grade girl shared her story of how she was bullied and called names by a group of three boys. When she told her teacher, the girl said nothing was done about her concerns.

“I didn’t feel safe. I told my teacher I didn’t feel safe. I told her I want to be safe, but she didn’t react to that,” the girl explained.

Eventually, the bullying turned physical. The girl told the school board the boys began hitting, punching and kicking her. One day, they pushed her, causing her to bleed after suffering an injury to her teeth.

The girl said she and one other student felt they were being targeted and bullied because of their religion.

“We were the only two Muslims and we were the only two to get bullied,” she said. “Several times I felt depressed and thought of leaving everything behind – to a place where no one is there.”

A 5th grade Muslim student told the board about how a classmate would often stare at her and her mother in a “nasty way” and ask her why her mother wore a head scarf.

After months of these types of questions, the girl said her classmate purposely stepped on her hand one day, sending her to the emergency room.

“On my way to the hospital, I was thinking, ‘Why would that happen just because my mom looks different than my classmate’s mom?’ the student told the SDUSD board.

“Please help us stop this kind of bullying so that no one gets hurt," she pleaded to the board.

A 4th grade boy also took the podium.

The boy said that one day in class, he and fellow students were talking about different cultures. He shared that he was Muslim.

“A kid in my class told me that, ‘[Donald] Trump was going to beat Muslims up – including you.’” He also said that Muslims were the worst people,” the boy recalled.

“After hearing his words, I was scared and started crying. I started crying because Muslims are my family and I don’t anyone to hurt my family,” he added.

The boy also said he told his teacher about the bullying, but nothing was done by the teacher.

A 16-year-old senior with many leadership roles at his high school also talked about how his religion has played a role in the way fellow students and teachers look at him.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve felt inferior because I look foreign. [How many times] I’ve had people exclude me, spread rumors about me because of my faith or had my ideas trampled upon,” he said.

The high school student said bullying of Muslim students distracts them from learning and hinders their progress.

“These setbacks limit and oppress Muslim students,” he added.

The meeting was part of a plan spearheaded by the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in San Diego. CAIR executive director Hanif Mohebi said the organization has been working with the school district for the past five years to address the safety concerns of Muslim students.

Mohebi said CAIR wants to work with the school district to provide resources that will help teachers and administrators properly deal with the bullying of Muslim students.

“We need to provide information, development in order to make sure that our teachers and administrations are empowered to take care of this in the right way,” Mohebi told NBC 7.

Mohebi said 55 percent of Muslim students who attend public school face bullying. One in five students who wear head scarves said some of that discrimination comes from teachers and administrators.

Mohebi said he was moved to tears listening to the stories of young Muslim students who feel helpless because they’re being bullied due to their faith.

“I was in tears in the back. When you have students in 4th and 5th grade and they have been called names that I cannot even say – it’s just emotional,” he explained.

“I was moved [by these kids’ stories], in their own words. They’re saying, ‘Well, I’m studying and someone is kicking me from the back. And I asked my teacher, can I change my seat?’ And the teacher says no, consistently,” he added.

Mohebi said that when he was in grade school, he could go to his teachers for help. Now, that’s not always the case for some of these Muslim students.

He said CAIR’s plan is to help those teachers help students.

After the board’s vote, the SDUSD superintendent now plans to partner with the Muslim community and visit with parents and students to help develop a comprehensive strategy to battle bullying. This includes providing data on Muslim student reports of bullying on a monthly basis. Those monthly reports will be posted online.

Much of the bullying, according to the San Diego Muslim community, has increased with recent terror attacks around the world.

Members of the school board said the students who shared their difficult stories Tuesday evening were very brave to speak up.

“Our future generations – our future leaders – are in our classrooms today. If we don’t take care of them, there will not be a better a tomorrow for you and I,” Mohebi told NBC 7.

Photo Credit: Erik Ho/NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[New Grocery Delivery Service Launches in San Diego]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 15:02:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/supermarket+grocery+generic_1200.jpg

San Diego residents will soon have an option have groceries delivered to their home in as quickly as one hour.

It’s part of a newly launched delivery service called Instacart, which has personal shoppers who hand pick and delivery items to clients.

Instacart has already started in 24 U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Starting on Tuesday, it becomes available to nine zip codes in mainly the downtown and uptown areas of San Diego: 92101, 92102, 92103, 92104, 92105, 92108, 92110, 92115 and 92116.

The stores included in the delivery service are Whole Foods Market, Jimbo’s, Costco, Petco, Smart & Final and Ralph’s.

Here’s how it works: You can download the app on your iPhone or Android, select your city and store, add items to a virtual cart and then choose when you want the items delivered (anywhere between one hour and seven days).

Orders must be for $10 or more. The price of delivery depends on the size of the order as well as the demand of the service at the time.

Representatives from Instacart will be at the Padres-Brewers game at Petco Park on Aug. 1 to talk about the delivery service.

<![CDATA[Upton Switches Dugouts; Blue Jays Escape Padres 7-6 In Extra]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 22:49:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/UptonJays.jpg

You know that awkward moment when you see Melvin Upton Junior wearing the other team’s jersey? 

Yeah, that happened Tuesday when the Padres traded the outfielder to the Blue Jays just hours before taking the field in Toronto.

San Diego received 19-year-old pitching prospect Hansel Rodriguez in exchange for Upton. 

The Padres will pay all but $5 million of the 22.5 million remaining on Upton’s contract.

Upton made his debut with his new team as a pinch-hitter in the 7th inning. 

He grounded into a fielder’s choice and briefly represented the go-ahead run with the game tied 4-4.

Alex Dickerson started in left field for the Padres for the third straight game and continued to settle in to the spot Upton used to patrol. 

The Poway native even connected on a towering 3-run homer in the 6th to give the Friars a 4-3 lead. 

Dickerson’s homer traveled 467 feet which is the longest this year by anyone on the team. His blast also extended San Diego’s home run streak to a franchise-record 24 games. The MLB record stands at 27.

Matt Kemp broke the tie in the top of the 12th when he followed Wil Myers’ two-out double with his 23rd jack of the year. 

The 2-run bomb made it 6-4 Padres and set the stage for what appeared to be a Padres victory.

But Carlos Villanueva allowed two hits and walked a batter to load the bases with one out. 

Andy Green called Paul Clemens to take over on the mound but he could not put out the fire and the winning run eventually scored when Devon Travis touched home on a wild pitch. Toronto escaped 7-6.

Andrew Cashner – who is also on the trading block – made the start with scouts across the majors keeping a close eye on his performance. 

There’s a good chance Cashner just made his last appearance as a Padre with the non-waiver trade deadline quickly approaching on Monday. 

He gave up homers to Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak but only allowed three runs over six innings.

The Padres fell to 2-7 on their current 10-game road trip which comes to a close Wednesday with a matinee.  

Luis Perdomo (4-4. 6.94 ERA) opposes R.A. Dickey (7-11, 4.44 ERA) in the getaway game which starts at 9:37 AM on the west coast because of the time difference.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Local WWII Veterans Awarded Highest Honor by France]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 20:54:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WWII+Veterans+France+Honor.JPG

Seven local World War II veterans were among the ten veterans awarded the highest honor by the Government of France on Tuesday.

The National Order of The Legion of Honor in the rank of Chevalier (Knight) is the highest honor given by France to citizens and foreign nationals.

The private ceremony was held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park.

Among the recipients was Private First Class Raymond L. Deming from San Marcos. Deming has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the EAME Campaign Medal with three battle stars, the Army of Occupation Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

“I was a radio operator with the infantry in the battle of Strasburg. I was associated with the French First Army,” Deming told NBC 7.

Deming said he was so honored to be at the ceremony and thanked the young men and women who serve in the armed forces today.

The following is a list of recipients:


  • Colonel Robert W. Smothers (La Jolla)
  • Lieutenant Junior Grade George “Mike” Welch (Coronado)
  • Second Lieutenant Tony Bezer (san Diego)
  • Technical Sergeant Horace W. Seyster (San Marcos)
  • Colonel Louis C. Gerken (Chula Vista)
  • Captain Freelin "Alan" Carlton (Del Mar)
  • Technical Sergeant William E. Stovall (Santa Ysabel)
  • Sergeant James H. Eshelman (Irvine)
  • Technician Fifth Grade Arnold M. Rotsman (Menifee)

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego Water Authority Unveils Live WaterSmart Campaign]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 20:24:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Live+Water+Smart.jpg

The San Diego County Water Authority unveiled the Live WaterSmart campaign on Tuesday, its latest water-efficiency movement in the region.

Live WaterSmart is a campaign aimed at promoting water-efficiency practices in everyday life, while offering some free water-saving services and tips to San Diegans.

Members from the San Diego County Water Authority and its Board of Directors, San Diego Gas & Electric, Water Conservation Garden and water-efficiency professionals came together at a house in the Kensington neighborhood for the campaign launch.

Officials demonstrated a "Water-Use Checkup" inside a Kensington home. It's a free service that takes about an hour, one of many resources offered by the Water Authority.

They also shared some of their top ten ways to live "Water-Smart."

"Simple things like washing laundry with full loads, going to car washes that recycle water, replacing older appliances with more water efficient water-sense modules," said Jim Madaffer, secretary of the San Diego County Water Authority's Board of Directors.

By turning off the water while brushing teeth, you can save two gallons per minute.

Officials discussed the region’s commitment to long-term water efficiency, as well as the latest trends in water conservation.

The Water Authority also released water usage reports for the month of June, the first month following the lift of state-mandated water-use restrictions, which showed water usage down 23 percent compared to June of 2013.

“The San Diego region has always been water challenged,”  San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors Chair Mark Weston said. “Our water leaders have met each new challenge with innovative and creative new solutions for decades.”

According to the Water Authority, San Diego’s water usage is down by 39 percent since 1990 despite a growth in population by more than a third in the same span.

Poster boards were on display around the property with additional WaterSmart tips, while high-efficiency spray nozzles and low-water landscaping reading materials were given out.

<![CDATA[First Local Philz Coffee Headed to Encinitas]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:06:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Philz-Coffee-2-FB.jpg

Encinitas will be home to the first San Diego County location of San Francisco-based Philz Coffee, along with the first local store of the expanding Lazy Acres Market grocery chain, according to brokerage firm Retail Insite.

According to the grocer’s website, a fall 2016 debut is slated for a Lazy Acres at 150 Encinitas Blvd. The retailer also has a previously reported mid-2017 debut planned for a store in San Diego’s Mission Hills neighborhood.

Lazy Acres is a natural and organic food store operated by the parent company of Bristol Farms, Philadelphia-based Good Food Holdings LLC. Retail Insite founding partner Don Moser said the Encinitas store will operate in a space formerly occupied by Smart & Final and Petco, in a retail center currently undergoing a complete renovation near Interstate 5.

The grocer was represented by Don Moser and Cypress Retail Group’s Scott Manclark. The landlord, Mabee Family Trust of Del Mar, was represented by Bryan Cunningham of Flocke & Avoyer Commercial Real Estate.

Retail Insite broker Matt Moser said Philz Coffee is slated to occupy space at 1060 South Coast Highway 101, after signing a 10-year lease for the 2,500-square-foot building. The building is owned by Tom and Karen Henderson of Encinitas and formerly housed the Black Sheep crafts store.

Philz Coffee and the building’s owners were represented by Retail Insite’s Matt Moser and Chris Hodgman.

Brokers said Philz Coffee, founded 25 years ago by Phil Jaber, is currently in the process of expanding into markets including San Diego and Orange counties. The company has current locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit: Philz Coffee/Facebook
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[At-Risk 13-Year-Old Found Safe]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 21:17:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

A 13-year-old girl named Zoey who was reported missing Tuesday evening was found safe, the Carlsbad Police Department confirmed.

Police said she went missing at approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Zoey was considered at-risk because of her age, Carlsbad police said. 

No other information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this news story. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[South Bay Olympian Trains For 7 Events in Rio]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 18:58:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Healther-Miller-Koch-GettyImages-545912854.jpg

While most Track & Field athletes worry about just one event, Chula Vista’s Heather Miller-Koch will compete in seven at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

The Heptathlon is a two-day competition bringing the world’s most versatile athletes together to compete in hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meters, long jump, javelin and the 800 meters.

“The winner of the Decathlon, the men’s event, they're usually named the world’s greatest athlete, so the women, that's the world’s greatest female athlete," Miller-Koch said.

The 29-year old Wisconsin native who played basketball in college before discovering her untapped well-rounded athletic potential on the track, moved to Chula Vista last year to take advantage of the Olympic Training Center.

“The weather is so predictable and so amazing to train in year-round. It doesn't get much better than this," she said.

With so many events to perfect, finding a training partner can be tough on heptathletes, but Miller-Koch lucked out with a devoted and attentive coach.

“We have little competitions where he'll spot me here and there, we'll sprint together around the corner, he'll take two lanes outside of me so it's a little longer but still even," she said.

Coach Ryan, a former college decathlete, also happens to be her husband. The couple shares a guest house close to the training center.

"It’s definitely a balance and it’s definitely a work in progress from when we started this journey together, but I wouldn't want to have it any other way. Just him knowing everything it takes and he is the one writing the plan to get there," she said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LIVE: Blink-182]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:27:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Blink+182+AM+%281+of+41%29.jpg What's our age again? Hometown heroes Blink-182 had us feeling like youngsters again when they hit Viejas Arena on July 21-22 with a huge pop-punk wallop.

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego Pot Tax Proposal Lingers in Council Limbo]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 08:05:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/175*120/marijuana-98529895.jpg

The prospect of a local sales tax on legalized marijuana was left up in the air Tuesday at San Diego's city hall.

Councilmembers were scheduled to vote on sending it to the November ballot -- but put off a decision for further study.

Council sources told NBC 7, there's been no breakdown in lawmaking machinery, it’s just that members just want to put more "eyes" on the measure’s “language”, so nothing's left to chance.

A deadline of August 12 looms for qualifying Council-generated issues for the general election.

The pot-sales tax hinges on California voters approving "adult use" of cannabis, by way of Proposition 64.

Right now 16 of the state's cities impose sales taxes on medicinal marijuana, ranging from six to 15 percent.

In the Bay Area, San Jose is reportedly collecting about $3 million a year from its dispensaries.

Prop. 64 would exempt medically prescribed cannabis sales.

If adult-use, or so-called "recreational" marijuana is legalized, San Diego's proposed tax would start at five percent for two years and float to eight percent thereafter -- with Council leeway to charge up to 15 percent later on.

Four medicinal dispensaries have permits to operate in San Diego and they're pushing for Council action to subject future adult-use sales to outlets facing the same regulatory framework if Prop. 64 passes.

There's still a big concern about "black-marketeers" undercutting the legitimately established businesses.

But for anti-drug activists, the whole idea of legalization and taxation of the proceeds sends the wrong message.

“Prop. 64 needs to go down. We need to send a message that we're done with drug dealers, done with the harms that it's doing in society,” says Pacific Beach resident Scott Chipman, an activist with San Diegans for Safe Neighborhoods.

“We want to protect our kids from these bad messages and keep our roads and streets and communities and our schools safe," Chipman added in an interview Tuesday.

The proposed city pot-tax measure will come back to the Council for ballot consideration on Monday.

If Prop. 64 is approved in November, the state's tax rate on medicinal marijuana would be 15 percent.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['It's About Time': Locals React to Clinton's Historic Feat]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 18:43:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/hillary+clinton+primera+mujer.jpg

San Diegans celebrated history Tuesday as Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination for president of the United States, happy to see a woman run for the office. 

At the Democratic National Convention's roll call, Clinton officially became the party's nominee. California Gov. Jerry Brown announced 221 votes for Sanders and 330 votes for Clinton. 

Clinton is the first woman in history to lead a major party in the race for the White House. 

"I think it's about time a woman's elected for president," said Clinton supporter and San Diego voter Lillian. 

Robin Burns, an undecided voter, said many voters have seen the negative associated with Clinton, from Benghazi to her emails. But, "I would really love to see a woman as president, I really would," Burns said. 

But other San Diegans expressed doubt Hillary was the right person for the job, saying it was a bittersweet moment. 

"I do think it is a great thing that we’ve moved forward enough in the history of our country that a woman is a nominee for president," said Samantha Pennington, a Donald Trump supporter. "Do I think everybody's ready for it? No. But I do believe that it is a good thing that we’ve moved forward to that point."

Pennington said she thought the election was about choosing the lesser of two evils, and that was why she was supporting Trump. 

Milena, a San Diego voter, said she was happy to see a woman running as a major party's nominee.

"I don’t want to vote for someone just because she’s a woman," said Milena. "I wish there was someone that I agreed with more and supported more…I’m still of course glad it’s a woman."

Bernie Sanders supporter Margarita Huddleston, 80, said she was glad to see the country moving forward, even if she was still questioning some of the things Clinton had done in the past. 

"The progress that America has done, it’s just so wonderful and may we continue to encourage our young girls," she said.

<![CDATA[Arrest in 2011 Father, Son Double Homicide]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:26:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Darryl+Hunter+and+Keith+Butler.JPG

The family of a father and son shot and killed in Golden Hill five years ago said they are relieved to hear justice will soon be served for their loved ones. 

Marlon Johnson was arrested for the 2011 deaths of Keith Butler, 30, and Darryl Hunter, 49, San Diego Police Lt. Scott Wahl confirmed to NBC 7 San Diego Tuesday. 

Johnson was taken into custody on July 25 at 2:30 p.m. by members of the Arkansas Fugitive Task force, U.S. Marshals and the San Diego Fugitive Task force after the San Diego District Attorney’s office Cold Case team issued a warrant.

Butler and his father were found by San Diego police on January 9, 2011 near 30th and C Streets. Hunter was found lying in the street across from Millers Market. His son was found in a nearby apartment. Both victims were taken to a hospital where they later died.

Authorities did not provide a motive, something that still makes it difficult for family members to come to terms with their loved ones' deaths. 

"It's been a battle," said Lori Williamson, Hunter's sister. "Just a battle, up and down, not really knowing why this was done."

"Even though they caught the person, I still want to know why," said Patricia Flournoy, Darryl's sister. 

In a way, though, the arrest provides a sense of closure for family members, years after the case went cold. 

"I feel a sense of relief, but I still want to know why, even though we may never get the answer," Flournoy said. 

Michel’le Hunter was a teenager when she found out her father and brother had been shot and killed. 

Police say the men had been visiting Butler's girlfriend at her apartment when the father decided to leave and Butler walked him to a bus stop.

Police say gunshots were heard about 20 minutes later, and the son ran back to the apartment, where he told his girlfriend to call 911 and then collapsed.

Michel'le said she was home when she first found out - and what helped her the most in the days and months after were her family's support. Now, she's happy justice will be served for her father and brother's deaths. 

"I can't wake up to good morning texts from my dad anymore, or having my brother call me at random," she said. "But to know that there is justice being served, I am happy."

For other family members: mixed emotions. 

"I never knew what was going on, why they were shooting at him," said Lamar Hunter, Darryl's brother. "I didn't know nothing." 

Johnson will be extradited to San Diego, where he will be charged with two counts of first degree murder. 

The family members expressed their gratitude to the officers for finding the man accused of killing their loved ones. 

"I thought they would never catch this person, ever," said Flournoy. "I'm thankful that they did not give up, I'm thankful that justice is served, I'm thankful for that."

"This means that there's justice," said Michel'le. "I'm so happy now." 

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Photo Credit: San Diego County Crime Stoppers]]>
<![CDATA[Only 1 Dog Left at El Cajon Animal Shelter]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 13:55:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Opie+0726.JPG

On Saturday, hundreds of dogs in San Diego County found new homes as part of NBC’s Clear the Shelters initiative.

The El Cajon Animal Shelter nearly cleared its shelter, except for one 8-year-old dachshund-chihuahua mix.

Opie, a playful and spry pup, is the only animal left there.

Why? “We had a Clear the Shelters event last Saturday, and for some inexplicable reason, I didn't get adopted,” reads the adorable dog’s online bio. “I'm really a great dog, so please come get to know me at the El Cajon Animal Shelter so we can start our new life together. Love, Opie."

Opie's bio says he's best in a home with no children and no other dogs.

Since Opie is classified as a “super senior,” his adoption fee is only $30.

So what do we say, San Diego? Shall we find Opie a home?

The El Cajon Animal Shelter is at 1275 N. Marshall Ave. Or you can call 619-441-1580.

Photo Credit: El Cajon Animal Shelter
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[3 Boaters Rescued 12 Miles off Point Loma]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 14:36:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/US+Coast+Guard+Generic+Coast+Guard.jpg

Three boaters off the coast of Point Loma were rescued Tuesday when their boat began taking on water, the U.S. Coast Guard said. 

The rescue began at approximately 10:30 a.m. when authorities at Coast Guard Sector San Diego's Joint Harbor Operations Center received reports of a 26-foot pleasure craft taking on water. 

Officials diverted a Sector MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and Coast Guard Cutter Haddock as well as a Station San Diego 45-foot Response Boat with a medium crew to assist. 

The boat, located 12 miles southwest of Point Loma, had three passengers on board. 

A rescue swimmer from the Jayhawk crew helped assess the boater's injuries and severity of incoming water. 

When the Haddock arrived soon after, two crew members were transferred onto the boat. Crews also brought dewatering pumps onto the boat. Officials were able to secure the source of flooding and get water out of the vessel. 

The vessel will be taken to the Shelter Island boat ramp. No word on injuries. 

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Shoppers Dive for Cover in Target Robbery]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 07:01:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chula-Vista-Police-Target-0725.jpg

A man accused of waving a gun at employees and shoppers inside a busy Target store was on the loose early Tuesday, Chula Vista Police (CVPD) said.

An armed robbery happened at 7:33 p.m. at the Target located at the corner of Broadway and Palomar Street, east of Interstate 5.

According to CVPD, a man and a woman were attempting to shoplift but were approached by security. That's when the man pulled out a gun, sending shoppers diving for cover. 

Both suspects ran off on foot.

CVPD officers immediately pursued, telling residents of the nearby Sunset Villa Apartments to shelter in place while they searched house to house.

The woman was taken into custody.

Investigators say they recovered several stolen items but their main concern was public safety.

“Making sure everybody is safe out here. We're currently trying to locate the subject based on the female half we have in custody now,” CVPD Sgt. Jeff Hobson said.

Police say the man was described as in his 20s, about 5 feet 4 inches wearing a white jacket, blue jeans and carrying a black backpack.

The suspect was considered to be armed and dangerous. If seen, police say to not engage and contact them immediately.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Carlsbad Girl Dies in Boating Crash in Upstate NY]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 17:01:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/CarlsbadGirlNY-Wood-Boat.jpg

A nine-year-old Carlsbad girl was killed and her mother injured in a boating accident on a lake in upstate New York.

Charlotte McCue, 9, her mother, and five other family members were boating around 9:30 p.m. Monday when a second boat went right over the top of them, according to Warren County Sheriff Bud York.

Their 28-foot boat was struck in what York described as a hit-and-run crash however as of late Tuesday, it was not clear if charges had been filed against the driver.

"When you have a nine-year-old little girl who comes to Lake George to enjoy the lake and she doesn't make it home. If there's any criminal element in this case, people will be charged," York said.

Sheriff's officials questioned five people who were in the second boat – a 22-foot motorboat that was found abandoned about a mile and a half from the crash site.

McCue's mother was taken to Glen Falls Hospital where she was expected to recover, officials told NBC affiliate WNYT.

The local television station posted images of the damaged boats on Twitter.

Sheriff York identified the driver of the second boat as a local resident.

It’s not clear if either boat had running lights at the time of the collision.

An Albany, New York newspaper reported that McCue and her mother were in the boat with other family members including the girl's father, grandmother and grandfather as well as two additional children. The boat was being driven by the girl's grandfather according to the TimesUnion.

A neighbor to the McCue family said the focus should now be on helping his friends cope with their loss.

"To lose a child is just unthinkable and we love those guys and we feel for them and we'll do everything we can for them," said Gary Clough.

Photo Credit: WNYT
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Couple Says Restaurant Better Pay Them Back]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 17:28:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rhea+Benihana+1.JPG

Gift cards are some of the most popular gifts. 

But, when an Oceanside couple tried to give one as a wedding present, they ran into trouble: the restaurant claimed the card had already been used.
“I bought something, I should have the right to use it,” Liz Rhea told NBC 7 Responds.  Liz said she is frustrated over how Benihana Restaurant staff treated her when she ran into a gift card complication.
Back in 2013, Liz said she found a deal online for Benihana restaurant gift cards.  
“If you buy two $50 gift cards through Benihana’s website, you would get a $10 card for free,” Liz said. “And we like Benihana so we bought two.”
Benihana’s website provided the Rheas three pieces of paper that Liz printed out on her home computer. Liz said the couple spent one of the $50 cards and the $10 card but said the other $50 card stayed in her purse for three years.  
Last month, Liz went to give that last card as a wedding present but she only had the gift card on a piece of paper. She told NBC 7 Responds she wanted it transferred to a gift card.
“Instead of putting it on this piece of paper that looks like nothing good that you want to give as a wedding present,” she said. 
Liz and her husband went to the Benihana restaurant in Oceanside to transfer the amount on the certificate to a gift card but Liz said the clerk came back with bad news: there’s nothing on the card.  
“I said, ‘Hang on there, wait a minute, I know that there’s something on the card because I would not keep this if there wasn’t anything on there,’” Liz said.
The staff at the restaurant told the Rheas the card’s amount had already been used, spent in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida two years prior. 
Liz and her husband said they haven’t been to Florida in 20 years. The Rheas said they called every Benihana corporate number they could, but no one could assist them. So, they turned to NBC 7 Responds. 
After speaking with a spokesperson for the restaurant chain, a Benihana representative called the Rheas and sincerely apologized for the delay and miscommunication.  Benihana offered the Rheas a $75 gift card, $25 more than what the Rheas were looking for.
To see the full story on how NBC 7 Responds was able to help the Rheas, watch the video above.
A major reason gift cards are such a popular gift is it gives the recipient the choice to find what they want the most.
Tips for buying gift cards
When you shop for a gift card, the Federal Trade Commission https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0182-gift-cards recommends:
Buy from sources you know and trust. Avoid buying gift cards from online auction sites, because the cards may be counterfeit or may have been obtained fraudulently.
Read the fine print before you buy. Is there a fee to buy the card? If you buy a card by phone or online, are there shipping and handling fees? If you don't like the terms and conditions, buy elsewhere.
See whether any fees will be deducted from the card after you purchase it.
Inspect the card before you buy it. Verify that none of the protective stickers have been removed. Make sure that the codes on the back of the card haven't been scratched off to reveal a PIN number. Report any damaged cards to the store selling the cards.
Give the recipient your original receipt so they can verify the card's purchase in case it is lost or stolen.
Consider the financial condition of the retailer or restaurant.
If you buy a card from a company that files for bankruptcy or goes out of business, the card may be worth less than you had anticipated.
If the business closes a store near the recipient, it may be hard to find another location where the card can be used.
A company that files for bankruptcy may honor its gift cards, or a competitor may accept the card. Call the company or its competitor to find out. Even if the company is not redeeming gift cards now, check back with them periodically; they may start redeeming cards at a later date
Tips for using gift cards
If you have a gift card, the Federal Trade Commission https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0182-gift-cards recommends:
When you get the card, read the card and any terms and conditions. Check for an expiration date or fees.
If it appears that the value of your card has expired, or that fees have been deducted, contact the company that issued the card. They may still honor the card or reverse the fees.
Ask the person giving you the card for the card's terms and conditions, the original purchase receipt, or the card's ID number; keep this information in a safe place.
Use your card as soon as you can. It's not unusual to misplace gift cards or forget you have them; using them early will help you get the full value.
Treat your card like cash. If your card is lost or stolen, report it to the issuer immediately. You may not recover any of the value that was on the card. Some issuers will not replace cards that are lost or stolen, but other issuers will, for a fee. You may need to show proof of purchase and the ID number on the card. Most issuers have toll-free telephone numbers you can call to report a lost or stolen card.

But, when an Oceanside couple tried to give one as a wedding present, they ran into trouble: the restaurant claimed the card had already been used.

“I bought something, I should have the right to use it,” Liz Rhea told NBC 7 Responds.  Liz said she is frustrated over how Benihana Restaurant staff treated her when she ran into a gift card complication.

Back in 2013, Liz said she found a deal online for Benihana restaurant gift cards.  

“If you buy two $50 gift cards through Benihana’s website, you would get a $10 card for free,” Liz said. “And we like Benihana so we bought two.”

Benihana’s website provided the Rheas three pieces of paper that Liz printed out on her home computer. Liz said the couple spent one of the $50 cards and the $10 card but said the other $50 card stayed in her purse for three years.
Last month, Liz went to give that last card as a wedding present but she only had the gift certificate on a piece of paper. She told NBC 7 Responds she wanted it transferred to a gift card.

“Instead of putting it on this piece of paper that looks like nothing good that you want to give as a wedding present,” she said. 

Liz and her husband went to the Benihana restaurant in Oceanside to transfer the amount on the certificate to a gift card but Liz said the clerk came back with bad news: there’s nothing on the card.  

“I said, ‘Hang on there, wait a minute, I know that there’s something on the card because I would not keep this if there wasn’t anything on there,’” Liz said.
The staff at the restaurant told the Rheas the card’s amount had already been used, spent in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida two years prior. 

Liz and her husband said they haven’t been to Florida in 20 years. The Rheas said they called every Benihana corporate number they could, but no one could assist them. So, they turned to NBC 7 Responds. 

After speaking with a spokesperson for the restaurant chain, a Benihana representative called the Rheas and sincerely apologized for the delay and miscommunication.  Benihana offered the Rheas a $75 gift card, $25 more than what the Rheas were looking for.

To see the full story on how NBC 7 Responds was able to help the Rheas, watch the video above.

A major reason gift cards are such a popular gift is it gives the recipient the choice to find what they want the most.  

Tips for buying gift cards
When you shop for a gift card, the Federal Trade Commission recommends:

  • Buy from sources you know and trust. Avoid buying gift cards from online auction sites, because the cards may be counterfeit or may have been obtained fraudulently.

  • Read the fine print before you buy. Is there a fee to buy the card? If you buy a card by phone or online, are there shipping and handling fees? If you don't like the terms and conditions, buy elsewhere.

  • See whether any fees will be deducted from the card after you purchase it.

  • Inspect the card before you buy it. Verify that none of the protective stickers have been removed. Make sure that the codes on the back of the card haven't been scratched off to reveal a PIN number. Report any damaged cards to the store selling the cards.

  • Give the recipient your original receipt so they can verify the card's purchase in case it is lost or stolen.

  • Consider the financial condition of the retailer or restaurant.

  • If you buy a card from a company that files for bankruptcy or goes out of business, the card may be worth less than you had anticipated.

  • If the business closes a store near the recipient, it may be hard to find another location where the card can be used.

  • A company that files for bankruptcy may honor its gift cards, or a competitor may accept the card. Call the company or its competitor to find out. Even if the company is not redeeming gift cards now, check back with them periodically; they may start redeeming cards at a later date

Tips for using gift cards
If you have a gift card, the Federal Trade Commission recommends:

  • When you get the card, read the card and any terms and conditions. Check for an expiration date or fees.

  • If it appears that the value of your card has expired, or that fees have been deducted, contact the company that issued the card. They may still honor the card or reverse the fees.

  • Ask the person giving you the card for the card's terms and conditions, the original purchase receipt, or the card's ID number; keep this information in a safe place.

  • Use your card as soon as you can. It's not unusual to misplace gift cards or forget you have them; using them early will help you get the full value.

  • Treat your card like cash. If your card is lost or stolen, report it to the issuer immediately. You may not recover any of the value that was on the card. Some issuers will not replace cards that are lost or stolen, but other issuers will, for a fee. You may need to show proof of purchase and the ID number on the card. Most issuers have toll-free telephone numbers you can call to report a lost or stolen card.

<![CDATA[Councilmember Accuses Mayor of Attempt to Trade Votes]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:38:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Marti-Emerald-0726.jpg

A member of San Diego's City Council has accused the mayor's office of offering a "vote swap" in order to approve a resolution to raise money for new fire stations.

The allegations were made July 19 by Councilmember Marti Emerald in an interview with NBC 7.

"Last week the mayor called me into his office and he wanted me to trade some votes," Emerald said."He introduced our public safety bond as a bargaining chip for something he wanted politically and ethically I couldn't do it."

Watch part of Emerald's interview above.

The mayor's office told NBC 7 the councilmember's accusations of turning the bond into a bargaining chip are not true.

NBC 7 obtained a copy of Emerald’s calendar, showing a meeting with the Mayor for a half-hour on July 11, a day before the council vote. The location of the meeting is listed on the calendar as “CAB11,” or County Administration Building, room 11. Click here to see the calendar.

The resolution to raise money to build new fire stations failed to get enough votes Tuesday. 

The bond would have included a $205 million tax increase that supporters say is needed to build new fire stations. The need for fire stations in San Diego has existed for years, but the City Council is at odds on how to fix the problem.

On Thursday, KPBS reported on the vote and the allegations of "vote swapping."

The mayor's office reportedly wanted Emerald to vote against a measure that would allow candidates running for office win outright if they receive more than 50 percent of the vote in a primary election, according to KPBS.

"To make public safety a political football I think is unconscionable," Emerald told NBC 7. "We have an ethical obligation as government, to provide for the safety and well being of the public."

On Tuesday, with five Democratic councilmembers voting yes, the resolution came up one vote short of the needed six votes.

Republican Lorie Zapf voted against the plan, reversing an earlier vote in favor of the resolution.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Junior Seau’s Oceanside Home for Sale for $3.2M]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 11:18:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/junior-seau-home-2.jpeg

The beachfront home of late San Diego Chargers icon Junior Seau is now on the market, listed for $3,199,000.

The 3,028-square-foot property – located at 604 S. The Strand in Oceanside – is where Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on May 2, 2012. 

According to the listing on the website, Realtor, the house – built in 1997 – was reduced in price earlier this month, from $3,295,000 to $3,199,000. When it was originally listed earlier this year, on March 16, the house was priced at $3,495,000, but was reduced in price about two months later.

The listing says the home serves well as a vacation rental, as it boasts a picturesque ocean view. Among its features, the home has three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a three-car garage and a game and media room. The online listing says the home comes fully furnished.

Property records show the home was last sold on Sept. 4, 2015 for $2,256,589. Before that, the home was sold on Aug. 31, 2012 for $1,975,000 and on July 23, 2012 – nearly three months after Seau’s death – for $2,295,000. The earliest records on Realtor indicate the home was also sold on July 13, 2005 for $3.2 million.

The listing on the Realtor, Zillow and Redfin websites don’t mention that the home once belonged to Seau.

Considered to by many to be one of the greatest linebackers of all time, Seau played for the San Diego Chargers from 1990 to 2002. After his lengthy time with the Bolts, Seau played for the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. Over the course of his NFL career, he played 268 games.

Seau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in summer 2015.

His suicide, which came three years after he retired, shocked the football world and San Diego, where he is considered a hometown hero. To fans, Seau was a down-to-earth football legend with a memorable smile.

Coaches praised Seau for his work ethic, and how he’d show up in the weight room to train at 6 a.m. – long before anyone else arrived. Teammates admired his leadership and his constant energy on the gridiron. Crowds roared for his monstrous sacks, fittingly dubbing him “Junior Say-Ow.”

Seau was posthumously diagnosed with Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a form of chronic brain damage.

In January 2013, Seau’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL, claiming Seau’s brain injuries were caused by violent hits he suffered while playing football. The lawsuit accused the NFL of deliberately ignoring of concealing evidence of the risks associated with traumatic brain injuries.

In September 2014, his family opted out of a proposed NFL settlement with former players of concussion-related injuries, instead choosing to continue with their wrongful death lawsuit against the league.

Seau was just 43 years old when he died.

Photo Credit: Redfin]]>
<![CDATA[ Padres Trade Outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr. ]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:35:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-512501990.jpg

The San Diego Padres have traded outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. for Toronto Blue Jays right-handed pitcher Hansel Rodriguez and cash considerations, according to the Padres organization.

The Padres are paying all but $5 million of the $22 million left on Upton's contract, which expires after the 2017 season.

With six days left until the MLB trade deadline, other deals could be made.

Upton did not play in Monday night's game. He was held out for the second straight game despite being healthy.

After the news broke Tuesday morning, Upton commented on his love for San Diego in a Twitter post.

Padres GM A.J. Preller said he's been focused the last few days on finalizing the Upton deal. However, the team will now look at other possible trades including what kind of market (if any) develops for Matt Kemp.

As of now Andrew Cashner will make his start Tuesday night in Toronto.

Padres fans can expect this trade to give Poway native Alex Dickerson, who had six hits (two of them homers) in the last two games, a chance to really play every day and see what he can do at the Big League level.

The Padres said 19-year-old Rodriguez has a 3.06 ERA and 26 strikeouts against 11 walks in six starts, in a release sent early Tuesday.

The team is in Toronto for the franchise's first-ever trip to the city.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego Developer, Philanthropist Conrad Prebys Dies]]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 17:45:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/conrad-prebys-january-2015.jpg

Noted San Diego developer and philanthropist Conrad Prebys passed away on Sunday at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego following a courageous battle with cancer, his family said.

Prebys, a familiar name to the people of San Diego, could be considered one of the most generous people in the world.

The Prebys family announced his passing Monday by issuing a short statement: "Born with a giving spirit, Conrad’s deep generosity has helped strengthen and enrich the community in many important ways, including health care, medical research, music, theater, youth services, and wildlife preservation."

The Indiana native moved to San Diego in the 1960s with $500 to his name and built a career while helping to build a community.

Prebys, the owner of Progress Construction Company, was reportedly the first of five brothers to graduate from college.

At 7, Prebys stepped on a rusty belt buckle and suffered blood poisoning that affected his heart and left him bed-ridden for a year.

He said that experience led him to help Scripps Health establish a cardiovascular center in his name.

“The rewards, once you sample the joy of giving are, like I say, in my case euphoric,” he said in a 2011 interview with Scripps Health.

In 2012 he was named as one of the 25 most generous people in the world. The magazine reported that Prebys donated $63.1 million in 2011 and had a net worth of $125 million.

Most recently, Prebys gifted $20 million to San Diego State University to create endowments that will support at least 150 students annually. The university reported it as the single largest gift ever made to the SDSU.

In recognition of the gift, the university named its newly renovated student union after Prebys.

SDSU President Elliot Hirshman described Prebys as a "treasured friend and supporter" of the University.

"Conrad Prebys was a great man and a great spirit. He touched and ennobled everyone he met," Hirshman said in a written statement. "His contagious optimism and selfless generosity have forever changed our campus and the entire San Diego region."

Hirshman added that the Prebys name is seen on the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, the Conrad Prebys Center for Viromics Research and the Conrad Prebys Chair for Bio-medical Research as well as on thousands of scholarships offered to students.

Among the institutions that have received gifts from Prebys are the San Diego Zoological Society, UC San Diego, Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Salk Institute and San Diego Opera.

Scripps Health said Prebys helped in so many ways, including a $45 million gift that is the largest donation in the health system's history.

"It’s impossible to overstate the important role that he played in supporting our organization and the entire San Diego region," the statement read.

The San Diego Zoo Global said Prebys had a deep impact on many of their employees, who work everyday in the facilities that bear his name.

"Conrad loved coming to the Zoo," said Mark Stuart, president, San Diego Zoo Foundation, in a statement. "In his own words, it was a “home” for him a long time ago, when life wasn’t at its best. Conrad said he would watch the polar bears frolic in their exhibit and laugh, and laugh, and laugh."

In the statement, they said Prebys left the San Diego Zoo a much better place than he found it. 

His donations helped renovate the Polar Bear Plunge, create the world's greatest elephant care center and helped the Zoo build the largest koala exhibit outside of Australia. He was also the first donor to invest in Africa Rocks, the largest exhibit ever at the Zoo. 

At The Old Globe, Prebys made a generous donation to help rebuild the courtyard and one of the theaters.

"He loved sharing good news," said Michael G. Murphy, the managing director of The Old Globe. "He wanted people to better themselves and anything he could do to help that, he was the first in line."

Murphy said he is sad about the news because Prebys is one of San Diego's great treasures.

He loved to create a good foundation and he did that for San Diego and we're very very grateful to him and to Debbie for what they've done for all of us around town," Murphy said.

The Prebys family is asking for privacy at this time, but in a statement they said in part that Prebys was born with a giving spirit.

Prebys often suggested that those who could not afford to give money to community organizations should consider donating their time.

“You’ll feel better,” he said. “I guarantee it.”

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Free or Cheap Things to Do in San Diego]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 11:44:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDCC-2016-Garske+006.JPG You don't need to spend a fortune to have fun in this city.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles Heads to Barrio Logan]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 11:18:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/RoscoesChickenWaffles.jpg

Foodies, today is your day: After months of rumors, Eater San Diego has now confirmed that Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles is, in fact, soon opening a location in San Diego.

In February, speculation circulated that the soul food eatery with a cult following was looking for a space to expand in San Diego – somewhere that was accessible and had plenty of parking.

On Tuesday, Adolfo Moreno of Terra Nova Realty confirmed the scoop to Eater San Diego, announcing that Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles will open in Barrio Logan.

Roscoe’s will be located at 1678 National Ave. According to Eater, the restaurant could open its doors by late this year.

Roscoe’s menu is known for its fried chicken and waffle dishes, including one named after President Obama, which includes one waffle, three pieces of chicken and a side of syrup. The eatery has a fervent fan base, and has been known to attract famous diners, including actors and the POTUS himself. Roscoe's also churns out a variety of homestyle, Southern sides, including cornbread, grits and collard greens.

The restaurant chain was first founded in 1975 in Long Beach, California, by Harlem native Herb Hudson.

Photo Credit: Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Celebs at San Diego 2016 Comic-Con]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:04:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Celebs-at-Comic-Con-blurb-image.jpg Take a look at some of the famous faces who attended Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center from July 21-24, 2016.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighter Battling Wildfire in San Diego Loses Home in Sand Fire]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:32:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/207*120/07-25-2016-sand-fire-5.jpg

Senior firefighter Sergio Toscano with the Little Tujunga Hotshots was on an assignment when he learned his house had been destroyed Saturday by the Sand Fire in the Angeles National Forest.

Toscano was fighting a fire in the Cleveland National Forest near San Diego at the time his home was destroyed.

Toscano's friend and colleague, Brandon Opliger, set up a Go Fund Me page for Toscano and his family. In the one day the site has been up over $16,000 of $30,000 goal has been raised, with over 260 unique donors.

Toscano discovered the Go Fund Me page and wishes to split funds with the family of two other firefighters that lost their homes in the same fire. Toscano has a young son who was with his mother during the fire.

The Sand fire has burned more than 58 square miles and at least 18 homes in the Santa Clarita Valley north of Los Angeles. It was 25 percent contained Monday morning.

Photo Credit: AP]]>