<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:13:40 -0700 Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:13:40 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Ken Cinema Gets New Life with New Lease]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:04:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Ken-Cinema-Kensington.jpg

 The projector will not go dim after all in an iconic corner of San Diego's Kensington neighborhood. 

Ken Cinema on Adams Avenue will stay open after its community fought for the city's only single-screen theater, according to a Facebook post from the Ken. 

Its owner, Landmark Theaters, announced last week that it was not able to negotiate an "acceptable new lease" with the property's landlord. The Ken's final showing was slated for Sunday.  

However, pushback grew as word spread, and residents began standing up for the little theater. The Ken credits the community for saving it.

Now, the cinema's seven employees can rest easy, and film buffs can find foreign and independent movies there  "for many years to come." 

A weekend of classics -- scheduled as a farewell to the Ken -- will screen as planned. The "Weekend to Remember" starts Friday with "Seven Samurai" and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and continues through Sunday with "Lawrence of Arabia," "The Big Lebowski" and "Singin' in the Rain."

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<![CDATA[New Signs Offer More Safety for Bikes, Pedestrians]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:29:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/traffic+signal+rancho+penasquitos.JPG

 Bicyclists and pedestrians in Rancho Penasquitos are using a new and unique traffic signal at the busy intersection at Black Mountain Road and the State Route 56 bike path.

It’s formally called a “Blankout-No Turn on Red Sign."

Pedestrians push the crosswalk button, and a large sign illuminates, making a right turn temporarily illegal.

“I think they’re a great idea, and I think we need more of them especially along dedicated bike routes," said cyclist Linda Holland of Carmel Valley.

There are two of the signs at the intersection, part of a joint project between Caltrans and the City of San Diego.

The total cost of the signs is $61,000 dollars, according to a city spokesperson.

Caltrans says the signs are the first of their kind to be used at a freeway intersection in the San Diego region. They were installed after many residents and cyclists voiced concerns about the dangerous intersection.

The signals are a welcome addition to improve safety, though some still have concerns about the dangerous intersection.

“It’s probably a good start, but I just don’t think people can see it or they’re not looking for it,” said cyclist Scott Stamp of Rancho Penasquitos.

“The people making the right turn, they see the sign, but then they watch me go across and they go ahead and make a right turn anyway,” said Patricial Locati of Scripps Ranch.

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<![CDATA[Convention Center Expansion Costs Escalating]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:32:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/convention_mtg_pkg_dave_4pm_101013_722x406_53531203913.jpg

 The City of San Diego's financial experts are sounding alarms about the $520 million Convention Center expansion project.

Its original budget is being swamped by anticipated cost overruns as legal challenges drag on.

Just over a year ago, the city got a Superior Court judge's okay for the controversial funding scheme behind the expansion project, approved by the City Council in 2012.

Now that's on appeal, with no date set for oral arguments.

The opposition says the city knew a final decision – perhaps from the California Supreme Court -- would take some time, but rolled the financial dice anyway on cost projections that now seem to have been unrealistic.

"They forged ahead,” says Cory Briggs, who represents San Diegans for Open Government in the court action. "Here we are a couple years later. There's no end in sight. The only thing we do know is that now the financial people at the city are acknowledging, 'Yeah, we're way over budget.’

"Where's that money going to come from? This is basically a blank check that the city, the politicians, have written for themselves," Briggs added.

In a hand-delivered letter to the 4th District State Court of Appeal late last month, Mayor Kevin Faulconer made an urgent plea for a speedy decision on the appellate cases.

He said the expansion project's cost calculations are going up by more than a million dollars a month -- with a potential, regional economic impact of $58 million a month.

The mayor's chief financial officer and deputy Public Works CEO are proposing stepped-up issuance of long-term bonds to "lock in" interest rates that are rising.

The financing rests largely on 1 to 3 percent room-surtaxes approved by the city's hotel owners in a disputed "weighted"- ballot election, with lesser contributions from the city and Port District.

Critics say the project instead should have been put to the voters, and they predict its total construction and bond interest costs will go as high as $1 billion.

"This thing is now five years away from breaking ground at the earliest,” Briggs said in an interview Thursday, “because the city has botched the financial projections."

Says attorney Craig Sherman, who represents longtime civic activist Mel Shapiro in the litigation: "And they actually enacted in the provisions that no money would be issued on any bonds until it passed muster through all levels of the courts. So that's the holdup."

City attorney Jan Goldsmith tells NBC 7 that he doesn't fault the Council's decision to test a novel application of law that's being watched by other cities nationwide.

In an interview Thursday, he said postponing long-term bond measures was meant to protect the city and investors.

"They need to be sure, certain, that what they have is a real 'security'. The city would be in a mess if we had issued these bonds, and they maybe became illegal down the road," said Goldsmith.

But Goldsmith remains optimistic that the city will prevail at whatever judicial level the appeals finally reach: "We won at the trial level. So we're gladiators, and we're going to fight it. But it's still the same untested law."

He also said he’s been told that the appellate cases somehow dropped off the 4th District Court’s "priority" calendar “by mistake."

According Court Clerk Kevin Lane, the appellate justices are expected to hear oral arguments "sometime this summer."

Meanwhile, Attorney Briggs is promoting a ballot measure to cap costs on the project -- unless voters ratify overrun spending decisions within 90 days.

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<![CDATA[Suspect Tried to Assault Woman in Clairemont Park: PD]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:12:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-light-SDPD-generic.jpg

 San Diego Police detectives are searching for man who tried to sexually assault a woman while she was exercising at a Clairemont park. 

A woman told police she was walking through Marian Bear Park near the intersection of Genesee Ave. around 9:30 a.m. Thursday. 

As she worked out, a stranger appeared in front of her, grabbed her and pushed her to the ground. 

The victim said she was able to kick the man and run away. 

The suspect was last seen at the intersection of Genesee Ave. and Lehrer Dr. He's described as a man in his late 30s to early 40s. He's about  5-foot-9-inches tall with a thin build and short, sandy blonde hair and "very blue eyes."

At the time of the attack, the man was wearing an orange and blue plaid flannel jacket and dark appearance. 

If you know anything about this incident, you're asked to call the SDPD sex crimes unit at 619-531-2289 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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<![CDATA[CA Attorney Gen. to Investigate Balboa Park Centennial Planners]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:32:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/6PR_VO_AG_BALBOA_PARK_I_KNSD3UEC_1200x675_236365379671.jpg

 The California Attorney General has opened up a formal investigation into the now-disbanded group in charge of planning Balboa Park’s centennial celebration in 2015.

An official complaint was filed with the AG’s office in March against nonprofit organization Balboa Park Celebration, Inc.

The investigation will look into possible waste, misapplication and misappropriation of funds by BPCI; excessive or inappropriate compensation to executives; and excessive payments to third parties like media, marketing, fundraising and event consultants.

The AG will also check to see if BPCI complied with both the California Public Records and Public Meetings Acts, and the salaries of executives like CEO Julie Dubick, spokesman Gerry Braun and former CEO Mike McDowell will be scrutinized.

To plan the ambitious event, BPCI was given $3,069,461 from the City of San Diego’s major events fund, the Arts and Culture Commission, the San Diego Tourism Marketing District, the County of San Diego and nine private donors.

By the end of Jan. 2014, the group had spent $2,608,351 of the total, according to BPCI’s financial disclosures.

In March, the centennial group disbanded and handed the planning back to the City of San Diego.

The 2015 celebration is supposed to honor the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, during which Balboa Park was developed.

The group's former spokesman has not yet returned calls for comment from NBC 7. 

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<![CDATA[Operation "Cut Off Arm of West Coast Crips" Gang: DA]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:02:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/murder+selfie+west+coast+crips+gang.JPG

A massive law enforcement crackdown Thursday led to the arrest of 50 alleged members and associates of the West Coast Crips street gang, accused of crimes ranging from execution-style murders to enlisting high school students as drug traffickers, according to U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy.

Operation True Blue involved more than 500 federal and local law enforcement officers as they hit dozens of locations across San Diego County, looking for suspects, guns and drugs.

Thirty-one federal suspects and 19 state suspects were arrested, and officers seized more than 16 guns, many rounds of ammunition, 4.5 pounds of methamphetamine, 4,400 pounds of marijuana and $300,000 in counterfeit bills.

“Today, we cut off the arm of the West Coast Crips,” said San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

In all, 55 people – five of whom are still considered armed and dangerous fugitives – have been charged in federal and state court for their part in drug and gun trafficking conspiracies. Defendants range in age from 18 to 51 years old and live in San Diego, Spring Valley, El Cajon, National City, Lemon Grove and Long Beach.

A suspected leader of the Crips, Randy Alton Graves, was arrested Thursday around 6 p.m., the FBI said. According to a racketeering complaint, court-authorized wiretaps caught Graves making grave threats over a female gang associate that he feared was going to report a murder to police.

The complaint alleged that Graves told another member “You run your mouth, you die, period. You run and hide; we get the next closest thing to you, period; no ifs ands or buts.”

He was also overheard bragging about his own past killings, the complaint said. Graves is believed to be driving a baby blue Mercedes with paper license plates, and the FBI said if anyone knows of his whereabouts, call 858-320-1800.

Three federal complaints unsealed Thursday outline three separate and increasingly sophisticated conspiracies carried out by suspected Crips members and associates.

The first charges 17 people involved in an enterprise responsible for five murders, multiple attempted murders, high-speed chases, armed robberies, prostitution, money laundering and the importation and distribution of meth, cocaine and marijuana.

Duffy said they are responsible for one-third of 2013’s gang-related murders and 13 percent of the city’s overall murder tally.

A second complaint claims that last fall, a meth source was using El Cajon Valley High School students to smuggle meth from Mexico into the U.S. Twelve people are charged in that conspiracy.

In the final federal complaint, six alleged members of both the Crips and 5/9 Brim gangs are accused of working together in their meth and firearm trafficking endeavors.

Another 22 defendants face charges of robbery, drug sales and illegal firearm possession and sales through the San Diego County District Attorney’s office.

According to Duffy, the more than 30-year-old West Coast Crips gang claims to have several hundred members. In San Diego, the gang’s claimed territory is bordered by Interstate 94 to the north, National Avenue to the south, Interstate 5 to the west and Interstate 15 to the east.

“The West Coast Crips are particularly volatile and violent, so we anticipate seeing a huge impact when these individuals are removed from the communities throughout San Diego,” said Duffy.

She continued by saying that the most impacted areas should be Logan Heights, El Cajon Spring Valley, eastern San Diego and other neighborhoods dominated by gang activity, said Duffy.

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<![CDATA[School Aid Found Dead after Not Showing for Work]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:24:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/lori+hughes+teachers+aid.JPG

Homicide investigators are looking into a suspicious death at a Carmel Mountain Ranch apartment complex, according to San Diego police.

Officers responded to an apartment in the 11700 block of Stoney Peak Drive around 9:15 a.m. Thursday after the 51-year-old woman who lived there had not shown up to work.

According to a coworker, the victim is Lori Hughes, an instructional aid for special education classes at Mount Carmel High School. 

They discovered Hughes unconscious. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.

Officials said her body showed no obvious signs of trauma. An autopsy will reveal the cause of death.

"We are extremely saddened by the news of her passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends," said a statement from the Poway Unified School District, where Hughes had worked for four years.

According to her coworker, Hughes was a soft-spoken, artistic person who liked to paint family portraits. She has three children -- an 18-year-old daughter and two 20-year-old sons -- and was going through a divorce.

Check back for updates on this developing story.
 



Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Hiker Dies at Start of Pacific Crest Trail ]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:58:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/553f2f5127384c4880348e07cc92940a.jpg

A teenager died while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail through San Diego County, officials said Thursday.

The 19-year-old hiker was near Lake Morena near Campo when he started feeling sick and called his father for help, CalFire offiicals told NBC 7.

The teenager’s father called 911.

When firefighters got to the camping area around 1:30 p.m., they were talking with the teenager and going over his symptoms.

The hiker said he wasn’t feeling good and then suddenly went into arrest, officials said.

CalFire officials said the teen was pronounced dead at 2:23 p.m.

San Diego County sheriff’s deputies and medical examiner were also called to the scene.

The Pacific Crest Trail begins in Campo and travels more than 2,600 miles along the West Coast from border to border.

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<![CDATA[San Diego Homeowners Drown in Flood Insurance]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:55:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/123168564.jpg

Some San Diego homeowners who have never had to buy flood insurance in the past are now being forced by the government to pay up.

Even the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) admits mistakes were made when updating the flood insurance rate maps. However, it’s the homeowners’ responsibility to fix the feds’ inaccuracies.

For example: Nine of 64 homeowners along Avenida Playa Veracruz were informed they are now required to buy flood insurance.

They are situated on a mesa, over 400 feet above sea level.

Torrential rains, hurricanes and melting snow flood thousands of homes around the country each year. Just as catastrophic are the repair costs.

For that reason, many private companies got out of the flood insurance business.

In 1968, the federal government got involved.

Thomas Ryan lives in a condo in Mission Valley. After 14 years without it, he now has to pay $129 a month for flood insurance.

“I never had an escrow account. They opened it and charged my escrow, and it raised my monthly mortgage payment by about 15 percent,” Ryan said.

He lives on the fourth floor of his building.

“They've got to be kidding. The whole city of San Diego would be underwater if I flooded,” Ryan said.

Ryan pays because despite attempts by his insurance agent, he says he can't get the right information to satisfy the feds.

Last year, the feds required Tierrasanta homeowner Laura Clemmons to get flood insurance.

“It's a joke,” Clemmons said.

It would cost $2,000 a year then up to $5,000 annually after the first two years.

“I would pay off my house, my mortgage before I would give them one penny,” Clemmons said.

She lives over 400 feet above sea level, overlooking a canyon that she says has collected no more than a trickle of water along the bottom in 20 years.

“Seriously. C'mon. How could they not see that?” Clemmons questioned.

FEMA, the same organization highly criticized for its response to Hurricane Katrina, was responsible for updating the flood insurance rate maps in 2012.

The new maps draw homeowners like Clemmons into the federally-mandated flood insurance program.

They are required to carry the extra coverage if their property stands a one-percent chance of flooding annually and their mortgage is federally insured.

“It's my opinion that they're using these premiums to subsidize for the losses in New Orleans because of the ineptness down there,” forensic surveyor Mike Pallamary said.

Pallamary has fought FEMA's new mapping and won. He convinced the feds that eight clients he represented in such cases are actually not in high-risk flood zones. Clemmons is one of them.

The new maps may appear more accurate than previous maps, but even FEMA will say, in some cases, they aren’t.

“The boundaries to the flood plains did not always align exactly with topographic features on the ground,” FEMA Region 9 Engineer Ed Curtis said.

San Diego is situated in FEMA's Region 9. Its representatives spoke with NBC 7 over the phone from Oakland.

They say community officials and individuals had an opportunity to review preliminary versions of the maps, though even FEMA says the map data was incomplete.

“Some of those corrections are just, how can I say it, too small to be seen until the error is found,” Flood Plain Management Branch Chief Gregor Blackburn said.

“Our mapping is just not detailed enough to catch every area of high and low topography when we get down to individual lots,” Curtis said.

“We wait until it is brought to our attention, or we rely on local officials to provide information about the “LOMA’ process to the individuals,” Curtis said.

LOMA stands for Letter of Map Amendment. It is an individual homeowner’s way of proving FEMA made a mistake.

Region 9 says the form is straightforward if you have the right information. However, it requires scientific data that often isn't readily available.

“That information is going to be either better ground elevation, better topography that shows where the highs and the low points are or better hydrology the study of water,” Blackburn said.

Pallamary says such studies could cost a homeowner more than the house is worth.

In some cases, Pallamary advised clients to pay the insurance premium because it may be cheaper than proving they shouldn't have to pay.

“You go fight city hall. You go fight the federal government. If you've got time and money to do that, good luck,” he said.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Search Locks Down 2 El Cajon Schools]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:24:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-lights-day-shutterstock_143047033.jpg

Two schools in El Cajon were placed on lockdown Thursday as police searched the area for a burglary suspect, according to El Cajon police.

Police ordered Cajon Valley Middle School and Johnson Elementary School to go on lockdown just after 12 p.m.

School officials told NBC 7 they didn’t know why they were on lockdown and were just following police instructions.

The lockdown was lifted at 12:42 p.m. All students are safe.
 

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<![CDATA[Man Found Guilty of Architect's Murder]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 18:30:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/salgado_pic_1200x675_226709059723.jpg

 A man on trial for killing his boss has been found guilty of second-degree murder.

The jury determined Thursday that Higinio Salgado, 32, intended to kill well-known architect Graham Downes when Salgado drunkenly beat him in April 2013.

However, Salgado was found not guilty of first degree murder, which means the killing was not premeditated.

Salgado's and Downes' family packed into the courtroom as the verdicts was read, each side crying tears of different emotions.

"I think it was tough for everybody involved.  You saw both families in court every day, so I think it had a big impact on everybody," said defense attorney Jose Badillo.

Downes was killed after hosting a happy hour party at his architecture office that turned into a night of drinking.

Both Salgado and Downes were intoxicated when they got into an argument over a former employee around 1 a.m. on April 19, 2013, according to the defense.

That argument escalated into a physical fight. Salgado got the upper-hand and beat Downes’ head into the pavement over and over, the prosecutor said.

Salgado’s attorney argued with an estimated blood alcohol level of 0.22 to 0.24, Salgado was “blackout drunk” and should not be held fully responsible for his actions because, in that state, he was essentially unconscious.

The prosecution disagreed, saying that Salgado’s dislike of the former employee and fear for his job festered into a murderous rage as the night went on.

"And the issues in this case where the defendant proposed a defense where if you drink enough alcohol, you can get away with murder, and the jury didn't buy it," said Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund.

One member of the jury told NBC 7 that it was a "grueling process" trying to apply the law to this case.

Salgado faces 15 years to life in prison at his June 6 sentencing.

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<![CDATA[Sailor Playing with Airsoft Pistol Prompts Naval Base Alert]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 18:05:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/naval+base+point+loma.jpeg

A sailor playing with an airsoft gun inside a Navy barracks prompted a security response and shelter-in-place order on Naval Base Point Loma, Navy officials confirmed to NBC 7 Thursday.

Base Commanding Officer Scott Adams described the suspect as "a young, enlisted sailor" who lives on base.

"He was actually firing shots of the airsoft pistol out of the window toward a mirror in the parking lot," Adams said. Airsoft guns are designed to shoot soft plastic pellets.

A tenant of the base called security personnel and reported an armed person around 10 a.m. 

In response, a portion of the base was ordered to “shelter in place” as naval security forces and NCIS set up a perimeter around the barracks.

The suspect and a friend inside the barracks called their commanding officer once they realized NCIS had been called.

The two were taken into custody without incident.

"We are dealing with young sailors, and we inform them what is and is not appropriate but at some times, these things happen," Adams said.

Weapons are not permitted in the barracks, Adams said. However, it's unclear if an airsoft pistol is considered a weapon under that policy.

Read: Porn Posted in Blue Angels Workplace: Navy

San Diego police said their Emergency Negotiations Team, consisting of police, FBI agents and NCIS officials, was requested to assist base officials. 

There are dozens of commands located at the facility tucked away on the penninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay.

Among them are Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and seven submarines.

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<![CDATA[FDA to Propose Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Children]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:42:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/0930-vape2.jpg FDA will propose a ban on sales of e-cigarettes to your children and will push to regulate them across the board. NBC 7's Sherene Tagharobi reports.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Chuang]]>
<![CDATA[Hit and Run Victim Found in San Carlos Driveway Dies]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:01:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jack+jackson+san+carlos.jpg

The family of a San Carlos man who died Thursday morning fears he may have tried to crawl home on his hands and knees after being hit by a car.

Jack Jackson, 52, was found seriously injured and unconscious in the driveway of his home in the 8000 block of Beaver Lake Drive.

Around 5:15 a.m., a man who was driving by spotted Jackson and called for help.

“I really want to thank the neighbor, whoever you were sir, for stopping and coming to the house and getting our attention,” said Celeste Montalvo-Jackson, the victim’s wife. “He was the one who called the paramedics and the police.”

Jackson later died at Sharp Memorial Hospital from brain trauma, according to the family.

At this point, investigators aren’t sure of the location where Jackson was hit. He suffered a broken pelvis and had scraped elbows and knees, which indicates he could have tried to crawl home after being hit.

Neighbors said they did not hear a crash or squealing breaks.

“If it’s a hit and run, how did he wind up in the driveway?” neighbor Steve Anderson said. “If you’re in a hit and run, you’re not going to back up, haul the guy into his driveway and then take off. You just take off. It makes no sense to me.”

The victim’s family said he took regular early morning walks through his San Carlos neighborhood.

“He had a heart of gold. He was a sweetheart,” said Rosalina Jackson, the victim’s mother.

Officials were initially tight-lipped about what had happened. They later revealed they were investigating a felony hit and run.

Police shut down a portion of Beaver Lake Drive during their investigation.

Investigators are asking anyone who heard the collision or who saw blood that may have been overlooked to call authorities.

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<![CDATA[Poway Superintendent's Contract Approved]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:31:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/PUSD1.jpg

Poway Unified School District trustees approved a contract extension for Superintendent John Collins Wednesday.

Collins, one of the highest-paid superintendents in the county, will likely receive an increase to his base pay to $297,735 from $235,000, according to contract documents being discussed by the school board.

The vote was 4-1 with Kimberley Beatty voting against the extension.

One of the largest districts in the county, the Poway school district has a $250 million annual budget and more than 35,000 students.
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<![CDATA[Series Preview: Padres vs. Nationals]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:43:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chris+denorfia.jpg

The Padres offense continues to be as dry as the state’s well reserves after the Friars dropped two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers while scoring a paltry seven runs in the series.

Now it’s off to the nation’s capital for a weekend set with the Washington Nationals, who have been equally challenged on the offensive side.

Before Wednesday’s 5-4 win over the Angels, the Nats had gone a week without scoring more than three runs. Of course, the Padres can top that. They have scored three runs or less in all but one of their 12 losses this season.

Fortunately, the Friars have one of the best pitching staffs in the league so far, boasting the fourth best ERA in baseball (2.82) and the fifth best batting average allowed (.221).

When they play: The four-game set starts today with a  4:05 p.m. game. Same for Friday night, then the teams play a pair of afternoon (morning) games over the weekend – Saturday at 10:05, Sunday at 10:35.

What’s at stake: Both teams are hovering around the .500 mark (Nats 12-10, Pads 10-12) and staying close – but not too close – in the division races. The Padres hope to tread water on this road trip as the return of big hitters Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin draw nearer.

Who is pitching: The Padres go with Eric Stults (1-2, 4.35 ERA) in the opener, followed by Robbie Erlin (1-2, 4.15) Then it’s the big guns over the weekend, as Andrew Cashner (2-2, 2.10) looks to bounce back on Saturday from his worst start of the season. Ian Kennedy (1-3, 3.60) goes on Sunday, looking to continue a quietly good season in which he’s given up more than three runs just once all year.

The Nationals’ big names go early in the series with Jordan Zimmermann (1-1, 3.92) and Steven Strasburg (1-2, 5.33) on Thursday and Friday. They are followed by surprising youngster Tanner Roark (1-0, 3.80) on Saturday. Taylor Jordan (0-3, 6.23) goes on Sunday, having gotten through the sixth inning only once in his four starts.

Who to watch: Chris Denorfia takes over from Everth Cabrera as hot Padres hitter of the week. He had five hits against Milwaukee, including a homer in the opener, and is hitting .400 over his last 10 games.

Seth Smith cooled off after his eye-opening homers in his first two at bats with the team, but is back in the zone with a five-game hitting streak that brought his average up 35 points to .274.

And at some point we’ll have to start talking about Nick Hundley, who has done himself well in the Padres’ three-headed catcher platoon. He has eight hits in 24 at bats and always seems to be doing something clutch when called upon.

Bryce Harper is the name you’re going to know in the Nationals lineup. But he’s been struggling lately, with just three hits in the last week. He has a lone long ball and just five RBIs on the season.

Shortstop Ian Desmond is leading the team with four homers but is hitting just .212 on the season.  First baseman Adam LaRoche carries a seven-game hitting streak into the series. Slugging third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is on the disabled list and won’t see any action this weekend.

What’s next: One more series on the road after this one, as the Padres head to NorCal for three games with the San Francisco Giants before coming home next Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Matthew Wood covers the Padres for #OnFriar. Reach him at matthew.wood@nbcuni.com and follow him on Twitter @mcarloswood.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Notebook Replaces Bubble Sheets in Common Core ]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:37:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Common-Core-testing-Califor.jpg

There have been a few technical glitches in the new computerized Common Core testing but school officials believe practice testing happening now will pave the way for a smoother roll-out when the testing matters next year.

Elementary school students in Chula Vista, Calif. have been practicing with the Common Core standardized tests for three weeks.

The company, Smarter Balance, has designed a computer program for Math and English standards that also gives teachers the ability to walk students through test questions.

No longer filling bubbles with a No. 2 pencil, students are dragging answers from one side of a computer screen to another.

Enrique Camarena Elementary fifth graders were quietly taking the test Wednesday, clicking and dragging correct answers on the Asus Transformer Book, a device that is part touchscreen tablet, part laptop with a keyboard.

Answers will not count in the exercise that’s designed to give students the opportunity to try the new format of standardized testing and gives the test provider the opportunity to work out technical glitches for the real deal to be given next year.

Robert Cochran, the Chula Vista Elementary School District’s test coordinator, said there have been some technical glitches but for only a handful of students.

“There are things here and there, glitches here and there,” Cochran said. “But we were aware of them prior to the beginning of testing.”

“We’ve been dealing with them through testing,” he said. “Typically, they only affect maybe a student or two students in class.”

As for bringing the technology into the testing process, Cochran said students who use smartphones are having no issues working with the program.

“It’s inherent. Our students have phones, they are touch phones. Our students have computers,” he said. “It’s so ingrained now in our students.”

Student Jacob Mazeau said filling in the bubbles may be easier but, “this way, I’m getting a better knowledge of it so I can use it easier in life.”

His classmate, Patrick Clavillas, said, “I like life as a challenge, because there is no easy button in life. That’s what my teacher says.”

A portion of the test could be adaptive, Cochran said. That is, if a student keeps getting problems wrong, he or she will be given less difficult questions. If a student keeps getting problems correct, the student will be given more challenging questions.

This will help teachers better understand not only what each student knows but what he or she doesn’t know, Cochran said.

Teacher Robyn Elsmore said the logging in process was the most difficult but many students were able to troubleshoot the problems in the beginning.

“A few technical tings to work out but I think overall with more work, more professional development, more exposure to Common Core, I feel the students will be ready,” Elsmore said.

The tests will be given next year for the purposes of accountability just as the STAR test was used.

School officials say they have had approximately 30 students of the district’s 22,000 students opt out of the practice testing. Officials in Chula Vista Elementary School District say the number of students who have opted out is less than those under the STAR test.
 

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<![CDATA[San Diego Now Accepting Pot Shop Permits]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:27:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Pot-Permit-Line-0424.jpg

The City of San Diego is now accepting applications for medical marijuana dispensary permits.

Dozens of people waited in line for hours, sometimes days, at the Development Services Department to turn in an application Thursday.

UC Riverside student Michael Banki skipped one of his midterms to be the first in line, camping out on Sunday in an effort to get his family one of the dispensary permits.

Banki told NBC 7 his family was inspired to provide access to medical marijuana after watching his grandmother's struggle with multiple sclerosis.

“She was up to 100 milligrams of oxycodone before she died of complications,” Banki said.

At 25, Banki has taken on a lot of responsibility

He's confident his family's application will go through and doesn't mind making up a midterm exam or two.

“This is a priority to me because this is what I believe in,” he said.

Dozens of others waited in line alongside Banki. Some held spots for others. Those who successfully complete the process will be the first in the city to legally operate a dispensary.

In February, San Diego City Councilmembers approved a new ordinance allowing a maximum of four pot shops in each of the nine council districts.

They will be limited to industrial and commercial areas, at least 1,000 feet from places like schools, parks, churches, nursing homes and other marijuana dispensaries.

Applicant David Speckman said he’s interested in the science and benefits of medicinal marijuana.

Another applicant Brandy Siebuhr said she is excited the city is making steps to legalize the industry.

“My passion is for people growing medicine and San Diego is finally allowing for us to be able to provide medicine to the people who need it in a legal fashion,” Siebuhr said.

The new rules strike a balance between providing access to medical marijuana and protecting neighborhoods, newly elected Mayor Kevin Faulconer has said.

The permit process takes months. All applications submitted Thursday will be available online for public review. The initial deposit for applicants is $8,785.

Edith Gutierrez city project manager for the application process denied the process could cost up to $100,000 as reported in other media outlets.

For step one, applicants had to provide 12 things including a grant deed showing that they have permission from the landlord or owner of the property where the pot shop is proposed.

Anyone missing one or more of the 12 requirements was turned away.

City officials will contact applicants within 30 days to verify all the documentation submitted is accurate.

Gutierrez said the city will post addresses for all proposed sites on its website within 30 days.

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<![CDATA[Lacrosse Club Coach Built HS Drug Ring: DA]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:35:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Neil-Scott-drug-ring-lacros.jpg

A former San Diego-area club lacrosse coach used his connections to monopolize drug sales inside prestigious high schools in another state, officials claim.

Neil Scott, who lived and coached lacrosse in San Diego from 2010 to 2013, was arrested in Pennsylvania this week in connection with a illegal drug operation.

Prosecutors claim Scott teamed up with an 18-year-old to import large amounts of marijuana from California and sell the drugs inside high schools, prep schools and local colleges in Montgomery County, near Philadelphia.

Scott allegedly recruited nine other dealers that included two juveniles.

The handcuffed man in a red jail jumpsuit seen hiding his face and cursing at news photographers outside a Philadelphia courthouse Monday is not the Neil Scott his San Diego lacrosse family says they once knew.

"He went out of his way to have personal relationships with them,” said John Tauss of Scott’s relationship with his players.

Tauss used to coach a club team with Scott.

“He’d direct them just about life in general. You know, good paths to be on, so I’m very surprised," he said.

Scott veered onto the wrong path late last year according to prosecutors.

That's when they say he returned to the Philadelphia area, teaming up with 18-year-old Timothy Brooks to corner the suburban drug market.

Prosecutors say the two dubbed their operation "Main Line Take Over Project."

Officials say they seized marijuana, hash oil, cocaine, ecstasy, $11,000 and an assault rifle.

“I’m really surprised about it,” said lacrosse player Josh Tauss. “ It’s a bummer.”

The 14-year-old said it's tough to believe his 25-year-old former coach is being held on $1 million bail

“It’s a disappointment because I looked up to him,” said Josh Tauss. Now I think of people differently.“

Investigators said they learned of the operation through confidential informants and conducted a one-day round-up in February.

“The high school sub-dealers were encouraged to develop their business so that they could sell at least one pound of marijuana each week,” Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said Monday.

Ferman alleged that both men, who are graduates of a prestigious all-boys preparatory school, worked together to "create a [drug] monopoly to high school students in the area."

Text messages allegedly show Scott joking about the money being made by saying "Once you go tax free it’s hard to go back."

Scott’s attorney declined comment on the charges saying he had just gotten the case.

San Diego officials told NBC 7 they were not involved in the investigation.

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<![CDATA[Porn Posted in Blue Angels Workplace: Navy]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:14:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/blue-angels-formation-722.jpg

A former commander of the popular Navy flying team the Blue Angels allowed and sometimes encouraged the sharing of porn and sexually explicit humor in the workplace, Navy officials alleged Thursday.

Court documents reveal new details about the allegations that caused a top U.S. Navy officer from Coronado Naval Base to be relieved of duty Friday.

Capt. Gregory McWherter was removed from his post as executive officer of Naval Base Coronado because of alleged misconduct while he was commanding officer of the Blue Angels precision flying team.

McWherter is accused of allowing and in some cases encouraging "lewd speech, inappropriate comments, and sexually explicit humor" in the workplace, according to a Navy statement released Thursday.

While McWherter was commanding officer of the precision flying team sometimes called the "Blues," officials claim "pornographic images were displayed in the workplace and shared in electronic communications" according to the statement.

The allegations refer specifically to the period when McWherter served as Blue Angels commanding officer, from November 2008 to November 2010 and again from May 2011 to November 2012.

The probe, led by an admiral who the Navy declined to identify, began in March and results from a complaint filed by one person, officials said Friday.

McWherter has been temporarily reassigned to Naval Air Forces in San Diego

An after-hours call from the Associated Press to the media office to leave a message seeking comment from McWherter was not immediately returned.

"All Navy leaders, whether assigned to a highly visible unit like the `Blues,' or to our installations, squadrons, ships and submarines, are held to the highest standards," Vice Admiral David Buss, commander of the Naval Air Forces, said in the statement.

"The Navy expects everyone, from those officers in command positions to sailors on the waterfront, to provide principled and highly ethical leadership, stressing discipline, accountability, and the importance of treating shipmates with dignity and respect."

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<![CDATA[New Homes Planned for Jamul Land]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:00:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/201*120/sunrisejamul.JPG

Moller Otay Lakes Investment LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, has purchased 867 acres of residential land near Jamul for approximately $21 million, according to real estate services provider Land Advisors Organization, which represented the seller.

The unincorporated South County site off Otay Lakes Road, known as Otay Ranch Village 13, Area A, consists of approximately 1,000 single-family lots split between multiple tract maps.

The seller was Otay Village (San Diego) ASLI V, LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership, represented by David Landes and Greg Vogel of Land Advisors Organization.

The buying entity represented itself. The acquired land is being planned for single-family detached lots, expected to complement higher-density product being planned in other competing villages in the vicinity, Landes said.
 



Photo Credit: Lily Pigg ]]>
<![CDATA[Police: Girl’s Sexual Assault Claim “Unfounded” ]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 03:56:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-lights-shutterstock_131812412.jpg

Allegations that a 12-year-old girl was sexually assaulted at gunpoint in Chollas View have been “unfounded,” according to San Diego police.

“Earlier today, the victim altered her version of the event. The investigation confirms that the case is not a stranger case nor does it involve any adults,” police said in a statement Wednesday.

The girl originally told police that a masked man pulled her into his car and sexually assaulted her in a ditch on Monday.

This put schools in the area of 47th and Market on high alert. Police also launched a search for the alleged attacker.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[USO Marks 37 Years in San Diego]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 03:56:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/uso+guys+hanging+out.jpg

The San Diego USO is getting ready to mark its 73rd year of serving members of the military and their families.

The USO is often the first stop for many new recruits to San Diego where they can rest, relax and have something to eat. The USO also provides food for families and other programs.

This year, they are celebrating their 73rd year with a Stars and Stripes Ball called "A Night of Military Heroes."

For USO Board Member Kathryn Vaughn, this mission to help the USO is personal. Vaughn had family members who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country.

"They are on watch for us. They are the protectors of our freedom for all of us every single day," Vaughn said. "Lives are given, and some are wounded and their lives are changed forever so that we can all have our lives here in San Diego."

As part of the event on May 3, the MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band will be play. The band formed while in recovery at Walter Reed Hospital. This is the first time they will be playing on the West Coast.

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<![CDATA[San Diego Mulls $13 Minimum Wage]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:18:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/minimum+wage+worker+ace.jpg

San Diego's lowest paid workers could get a 60 percent pay raise in just four years, to more than $13 an hour, if a new proposed ballot measure comes to pass.

Most workers who currently have no benefits would also qualify for five days of paid sick leave a year under the measure, introduced Wednesday by two San Diego City Councilmembers.

Supporters say thousands of San Diego families can't make a decent living at the current minimum wage of $8 an hour. They want it increased by a dollar per year to $13.09 by July 2017.

San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria, who introduced the measure along with Sherri Lightner, hopes to put the issue before city voters this November but says he’s open to compromise on his proposal.

“We'll amend as necessary and ultimately put forward something I think the vast majority of San Diegans will not only support but embrace, and be glad we did it," Gloria told reporters at a City Hall news conference.

Workers, business owners and customers will help shape the measure at a city council hearing on the proposed ballot measure next Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

The Center for Policy Initiatives and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development say wage increases will put more than $500 million into the pockets of San Diego’s lowest income working families, who will spend most of that money at local stores and businesses.

But some local small business owners say such a big jump in salary and benefits could put them out of business.

Ann Kinner, who owns Seabreeze Books and Charts on Scott Street in Point Loma, says raising the minimum wage and adding sick days for workers will be a job killer at her store.

Kinner says she can’t increase her revenue by raising prices on items like books and nautical maps, which already have a set, pre-printed price from the publisher.

"You increase my costs by a dollar, two dollars, four dollars an hour, for whomever it is that I have to hire, I can't increase that price (on my inventory),” Kinner told NBC 7. “I can reduce it, but I can't increase it.”

She says any pay hike will also increase her taxes and workers’ compensation insurance costs, and adding sick leave will increase paperwork for some businesses.

"My payroll processing company's going to have to do more work,” says Kinner. ”They're going to charge me more money to do my payroll for me. Where's it all going to end?"

But Harry Schwartz, who owns downtown's ACE Hardware, has a different perspective and hopes for a compromise. That could mean smaller pay hikes spread over more time.

"Small businesses aren't opposed to minimum wage increases,” Schwartz told NBC 7. “We just need to make sure it can work for the small business, as well as the hourly employee."

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<![CDATA[Report: Student Interest in STEM Down]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:39:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/stem+students.jpg As the need for skills in subjects like science and math grows, student interest and ability in these areas is at a low. That's according to a new study from U.S. News and World Report. NBC 7's Matt Rascon explains what this could mean for San Diego.]]> <![CDATA[Students Put Common Core to the Test]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:40:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Common-Core-Example.jpg Over the past few weeks, California students have been taking a practice test that uses the Common Core curriculum. The new test will replace the STAR test next year. NBC 7 education reporter Rory Devine has reaction from students and teachers.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dozens Pack Courtroom in Fatal DUI Case]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:13:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/dui+victim+family.jpg Families and friends of the victims killed in a crash in El Cajon over the Easter weekend faced the suspected DUI driver for the first time. Monica Lupercio and CJ Vargas were riding in a car with suspect Mario Carranza when they crashed off the Interstate 8. Only the suspect survived. NBC 7’s Liberty Zabala reports. ]]> <![CDATA[More SD Parents Opting Not to Vaccinate Kids]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 03:56:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/little+girl+vaccine.jpg

More San Diego parents are making the choice not to vaccinate their children, according to the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA.)

According to HHSA, 4.5 percent of kindergarteners are missing one or more of the recommended vaccines. That’s up from 3 percent in 2010.

Parents signed “personal belief waivers” to exempt their kids from the immunizations.

There are more than 43,000 kindergarteners in the county, meaning about 1,900 aren’t fully vaccinated, according to HHSA.

"A higher number of unvaccinated infants means more children are susceptible to disease," said Wilma Wooten, County Public Health Officer. "Vaccines are safe and effective and the best way parents can protect their children against disease."

However, many parents are still suspicious of vaccines and worried about the side effects.

So far this year, four people in San Diego County have contracted measles, a disease once thought to be eradicated in the U.S.

Last year, there were 175 measles cases in the U.S. Some blame the growing number of unvaccinated children.

April 26 through May 3 is National Infant Immunization Week.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Sexually Assaulted While Pushing Baby Stroller ]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 18:41:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/170863749.jpg

Hours after a woman reported being attacked on a Fallbrook jogging path, San Diego County sheriff’s deputies were working on a suspect sketch.

According to sheriff’s officials, the victim was jogging while pushing a 2-year-old in a stroller near Lake Shore Park around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

That’s when officials say a man jumped out of the brushes and sexually assaulted her at knifepoint.

“He fled the area on foot a few moments later. She was thankfully able to give us a good description,” said Jan Caldwell with the sheriff’s department.

The suspect was described as over 6 feet tall with a beer belly. He has neatly trimmed dark hair and a full mustache and beard cut high on the neck, police said. He was wearing a black T-shirt with holes and black work pants.

Deputies have added extra patrols in the area.

They say there have been no similar incidents reported in the area.

Anyone with information is asked to call the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Driver to Stand Trial for Killing Man on Walk Home from Church]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:50:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Fatal-pedestrian-natl-city3.jpg

A San Diego man will stand trial on charges he was high the day Tomas Modares was struck and killed while walking in National City.

Relatives of Tomas Mondares say the 89-year-old was likely walking home from service at St. Mary's Church when he was struck and killed during his daily walk.

The National City man would spend his morning exercising and praying. Every day he walked by the mortuary where his wife's funeral was held two years ago.

In January, Mondares was struck and killed by an oncoming car after it veered onto the sidewalk along E. 8th Street near E Avenue.

The man behind the wheel, Kevin Moore, stopped the vehicle and waited for police.

Moore, 57, was on parole at the time of the accident. Prosecutors say he was under the influence of cocaine at the time of the incident.

On Wednesday, Judge Stephanie Sontag ruled Moore would stand trial on a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter and a charge of driving under the influence of drugs causing injury.

Moore will be back to court for arraignment on May 7.

 



Photo Credit: NBC 7 News]]>
<![CDATA[Researchers Hope New, Tiny Pacemaker Makes Big Difference]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:01:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Nanostim-Quarter+Comparison+copy.jpg

A new medical advancement in wireless pacemakers was installed for the first time in Southern California into an 83-year-old patient at San Diego's Scripps Memorial Hospital.

The wireless device, called Nanostim, is one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker.

Nanostim, which is currently being researched, is the world’s first pacemaker that is completely implanted into a patient’s heart, according to Scripps Memorial Hospital officials.

Nina Korabelnikov, of Encinitas, was the trailblazing patient who was first to receive the implant to help steady her heart during a procedure on April 22.

Comparing herself to Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to venture into space,  Korabelnikov underwent the procedure at the hand of electrophysiologist Steven Higgins during a 45 minute procedure at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.

“About every 20 years or so we have a major advance like this in medicine,” said Higgins.

Higgins guided the pacemaker through a vein in Korabelnikov's groin all the way up to the right ventricle of her heart wher,e like a space station, it un-docked to live for the next nine to 18 years.

"The Achilles's heel for pacemakers forever has been this long lead that goes under the collar bone that gets injured, goes into the blood vessel, into the heart, moves with each heartbeat, gets stressed and wears out long before the battery is due," said Higgins.

However, just like cell phones and computers, which only got better as they reduced in size, this new pacemaker comes with a lot of medical upside.

Higgins said by using the new device, Korabelnikov gets to avoid a two-inch incision and scar above her collarbone. It means her recovery time will be quicker.

“The hope is that this new procedure will allow patients to regulate their heart rates without dealing with the chest pocket and other complications that may arise from having a traditional pacemaker," said  Scripps Clinic cardiologist John Rogers, M.D in a media release.

The benefits of the new technology are making the decision much easier for patients, which Higgins said isn’t always the case when dealing with advancements in medical technology.

"Many medical advances are hard to understand,” said Higgins, “but you show them this little one versus the big one … People figure that out pretty quickly.”

Due to the fact that the pacemaker is still being researched, patients are being selected very carefully.

Researchers said they expected about 600 more procedures to be performed in San Diego before the FDA will make an approval decision.

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<![CDATA[Ex-Cop's Wife Curses After Hubby Held Over for Trial ]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 08:30:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chris-Hays-3.jpg

A San Diego woman screamed and cursed moments after a judge ruled her husband, a former San Diego police officer, would stand trial on charges of sexual misconduct.

Former San Diego police officer Christopher Hays, 30, will stand trial on criminal charges following the allegations from several women that he conducted improper "pat downs" for his own sexual gratification while in uniform and on the job.

Following two days of testimony from the alleged victims and investigators, Judge Charles Rogers ruled Hays will be held over for trial on all five counts.

Moments later as court was dismissed, Hays' wife walked into the courtroom hallway crying. She threw her handbag onto a bench and screamed "f-----ing a--hole!"

She and other family members listened as women testified against Hays, describing the incidents listed in a formal complaint.

On Wednesday, the wife's 30th birthday, the judge ruled that her husband would be bound over for trial.

An investigative officer testified Monday that when Hays was initially confronted with the allegations, Hays cried and asked if his resignation would make it all go away. But, the defense pointed out Wednesday that Hays, in that conversation, did not admit to the sexual misconduct.

Defense attorney Kerry Armstrong asked the judge to dismiss all charges because the accusers were not credible and each had compelling reasons to lie. He also requested the felony counts be reduced to misdemeanors, if not dismissed.

However, Judge Rogers said legal standards had been met in this stage of the trial.

On Oct. 30, a woman identified in the complaint as "Jane Doe 1" said Officer Hays directed her to the back of a smoke shop near University and College.

She testified he drove behind her as she walked and then parked the patrol car so the open driver's side door blocked the view of potential witnesses.

The woman testified the pat down lasted 20 minutes and that during that time, Hays allegedly commented that her privates were "fat" and that she had "beautiful breasts.”

For this incident, Hays is accused of false imprisonment and sexual battery for touching.

The defense argued that "Jane Doe 1" has a motive to lie in this case in that she has had numerous prior convictions of burglary, prostitution, theft and doesn't want to go back to jail..

A woman identified in court documents as "Jane Doe 2" said Hays picked her up while on El Cajon Boulevard Nov. 10 and patted her down while rubbing her breasts and private areas repeatedly.

Defense attorneys argued the woman’s claim was not credible because she had smoked meth for a year and a month prior to the incident.

Hays faces a second sexual battery charge for the Nov. 10 incident.

A former Navy sailor testified she was assaulted by Hays after being given a ride home while under the influence of alcohol on Dec. 23.

Defense attorneys claim the woman made up the claim to make a boyfriend jealous.

A police investigator testified that the department’s vehicle locator put Hays’ patrol car at the former sailor’s apartment for 21 minutes.

Under cross-examination, the detective admitted there can be problems with the system and that there were problems with AVL on at least one car Hays drove.

For the incident involving the former sailor, Hays faces a charge of sexual battery.

Hays is accused of false imprisonment by a woman identified as "Jane Doe 4" on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

"Jane Doe 4" did not appear for the preliminary hearing because she has an active warrant out for her arrest.

Hays was saddened by the outcome of the preliminary hearing, attorney Kerry Armstrong said. However, the former officer is ready to go to trial if it's necessary.

He'll be back in court on May 7 for rearraignment.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[SDPD Officer Arrested in La Mesa]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:19:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/gilbertlorenzosdpd.jpg

San Diego police officials have taken swift action against one of its officers who was arrested and booked into county jail Tuesday evening for a domestic violence, marking another in a long list of troubles currently plaguing the police department.

“I was very disappointed to hear this news, and I can tell you that our officers were very disappointed to learn this news,” said SDPD Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman at a press conference about the arrest on Wednesday.

According to SDPD officials, La Mesa police contacted their communications center at about 1:45 p.m. Tuesday and reported that an SDPD officer who lived in La Mesa may have been involved in a domestic violence incident.

SDPD said they quickly began investigating the incident alongside LMPD officials.

Both investigations later determined that 31-year-old SDPD officer Gilbert A. Lorenzo was in fact a suspect in a domestic violence incident, according to police.

SDPD said the incident involved domestic battery against the suspect’s wife. They said they were in contact with the woman and were working with her after the incident occurred. According to police, she did not require medical treatment.

Once police determined Lorenzo was the suspect, he was arrested and booked into county jail on $50,000 bail Tuesday evening, SDPD officials said. He later posted bail.

Lorenzo was working SDPD’s Northern Division and worked in the Mid-City Division in the past, according to police. He’s said to be a seven year veteran of the department.

Although Lorenzo has not yet been charged, due to his arrest, SDPD officials said his police powers were revoked and he was suspended without pay as the investigation continued.

At Wednesday's press conference, Zimmerman highlighted the swift action SDPD took against Lorenzo after investigating the incident.

“We are not going to tolerate misbehavior on the part of our officers," Zimmerman said.

Lorenzo’s arrest is yet another setback for SDPD which has dealt with a string of troubles in recent months, including allegations of misconduct against its officers.

On the same day as Lorenzo’s arrest, a now former SDPD officer Christopher Hays was held over for trial on sexual misconduct charges.

Zimmerman made clear her determination to combat officer misconduct.

“Our officers, civilians and volunteers serve everyday with honor, distinction, professionalism and to the… very few again, this incident right here and those others that have acted as individuals and made the terrible decision to discredit our badge and to dishonor our noble profession, we are not going to tolerate it, and as you can see this happened very quickly,” Zimmerman said referring to the officer's suspension.

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<![CDATA[Santee Man Held in Nurse Stabbing]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:59:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/thomas-robert-fredette-nurse-stabbing.jpg

A Santee man faces charges of stabbing a nurse in a Los Angeles-area hospital.

Thomas Robert Fredette, 38, was arrested after Sunday's stabbing attack at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

Officials said the suspect walked into the facility, grabbed a nurse  from behind and stabbed her in the ear with a sharp object, sheriff’s officials said.

Fredette entered the hospital about 9:20 a.m. after passing through a weapons screening area, sheriff’s officials said. Once inside, he allegedly went up to a group of nurses, grabbed one of them and stabbed her.

The nurse was able to run away and direct County Services Bureau deputies to Fredette. He was taken into custody and a pencil was recovered as evidence, sheriff’s officials said.

The nurse received medical treatment for non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.

A motive for the stabbing was unclear.

Fredette faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon, sheriff’s officials said. He was being held on $130,000 bail.



Photo Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Marine's Everest Summit on Hold]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:34:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/pendleton+marine+mount+everest.jpg

A San Diego-based wounded warrior’s attempt to scale Mount Everest is in jeopardy after the mountain’s deadliest disaster threatens to end to this year’s climbing season.

The San Diego-based Marine hopes to summit the world’s highest peak despite losing a leg in Afghanistan three years ago.

SSgt Charles Linnville was at the base camp on Everest Wednesday in preparation for a summit.

At the same time, there has been an unofficial walkout of Sherpas, the mountain guides who are necessary for a summit attempt.

On April 18, an avalanche killed 13 people. Three Sherpas were still missing in the ice and snow, and are presumed dead.

The disaster has brought issues over pay, treatment and benefits for the mountain guides to the surface and has spawned a work stoppage.

On Thursday, Nepal’s top tourism officials were expected to fly to base camp to negotiate with the Sherpas and encourage them to return to work.

It was unclear how many of the 400 or so Sherpas on the mountain had joined the walkout.

The uncertainty of the climbing season has put plans on hold for Linville's hiking group “Heroes Project.”

A spokesperson for the project says the recovery efforts are the first priority before completing the hike.

Whether the group will have to turn back is not clear at this point.

A retired staff sergeant who has hiked with the organization said the deadly avalanche is a reminder of the uncertainties.

"It was a horrible loss that just occured with the families that were killed in that avalanche and that's a very sombering reminder,” Mark Zambon told NBC 7 Tuesday.

Those planning to climb Mount Everest this year may have to delay the climb for at least another year.

Most attempts to reach Everest's summit are made in mid-May, when a brief window normally offers better weather.

Without the help of the Sherpas, it would be nearly impossible for climbers to scale the mountain.

Many climbers will have to forfeit most or all of the money they have spent to go up the mountain -- $75,000 or more.

Zambon said that would be another year of training and preparation under Linville's belt.
 

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<![CDATA[Lab Finds "Game Changer" in Autism: UCSD]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:33:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Autism-Breakthrough-UCSD.jpg

Autistic stem cells are starting respond to experimental drugs in what San Diego researchers are calling a breakthrough in the disorder affecting one in 68 children.

UC San Diego scientists took stem cells from children with autism and reprogrammed them into brain cells.

“It was very surprising. For a long time we're thinking that those conditions such as autism that happens throughout development would be permanent but the fact that one can revert that or rescue that indicates that those conditions are potentially treatable," said Assistant Professor Alysson Muotri with the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program.

Muotri’s own son, Ivan, has autism and inspires him to keep searching for a cure.

"When I see my kid with autism I definitely want to wake up early in the morning and come to the lab to see if I can speed up the whole process," he said.

The lead researcher in this project, Muotri describes the discovery as a game changer.

Using blinking lights, researchers found non-autistic brain cells made lots of connections as if the cells were talking to each other. When examining brain cells from people living with autism, they found the cells showed much less activity.

"Because they're not blinking. It's like look silent," Muotri said.

But once researchers added experimental drugs to the autistic cells, the lights came on.

Researchers say stem cells could lead them to the right drug to treat the disorder.

Right now, the experimental drugs used in the research aren't safe for the human body. Muotri and his team are testing for the right candidate drug so they can one day find a cure.

"It gives me hope to the fact that perhaps one day we will be able to translate what happens inside the lab to the human brain the goal is to make him behave like someone that does not have autism become more independent and have like a normal life," he said.

Muotri recently received a $1.8 million grant for his research and hopes to have identified a drug to start clinical trials within next three years.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Little Italy Top City for Millennials: Forbes]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:42:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/cms11.jpg

Little Italy was just named one of the top neighborhoods to live as a Millennial.

Forbes magazine ranked the San Diego neighborhood as the tenth city for young professionals out of a list of 25 cities nationwide.

The reasons:

  • About 15-percent of the population is 25 to 34 years old.
  • Median rent is about $1200.
  • Median income is about $30,000.
  • The area has a low crime rate.

The top three neighborhoods for Millennials are Greenpoint, Brooklyn, South River City, in Austin, Texas
and Arlington, in Washington, D.C. according to the ranking.

The lsit was determined through data from the U.S. Census. See the entire list here.



Photo Credit: NBCSanDiego]]>
<![CDATA[City Approves $2M PLHS Ballfield Upgrade]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:34:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Point-Loma-Ball-Field-San-D.jpg

An agreement to pave the way for $2 million renovation of a baseball field in Point Loma got unanimous approval from the San Diego City Council Tuesday.

The Council voted to turn the field at Dana Middle School over to the San Diego Unified School District, from the city's Park and Recreation Department.

The city of San Diego has a joint-use agreement with San Diego Unified for 7.3 acres on the Dana campus, encompassing two baseball fields and paved playground areas.

The San Diego Unified School District owns the land and will bankroll the project.

The district will underwrite the make-over, with the assistance of retired major league pitching star David Wells, a graduate of Point Loma High School, whose baseball team plays its home games there.

PLHS baseball coach Joe Radovich lobbied for the decision, saying that Wells Field is long overdue for a major makeover, starting with artificial turf and state of the art-irrigation.

Residents were assured that night lights will not be installed.

The Park & Recreation and Development Services initially advised against the arrangement, arguing that losing 3.5 acres of joint-use park space would be tough to make up in the community.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 ]]>
<![CDATA[Child Captures Hot Air Balloon Landing in Street]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 05:50:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Balloon-Mishap-0423-Rancho2.jpg

A hot air balloon making an unscheduled landing in the middle of the street Tuesday was caught on video by a giggling little boy in the back of his mom's car.

NBC 7 obtained the video shot by a 6-year-old Dylan, who repeatedly said "Oh my gosh" while recording the landing in the Rancho Bernardo area of San Diego.

Nine people were on board the balloon when it landed in front of cars at Bernardo Center Drive at West Bernardo Drive just after 7 p.m.

Firefighters helped to move the balloon off the road.

The pilot says they were blown off course.

No one was injured.

A photographer in the area also provided images of the unscheduled landing.

It was the second unscheduled landing in the North County in two weeks. On April 10, a hot air balloon landed near a firehouse in the Rancho Penasquitos area. No one was injured in that landing.

 



Photo Credit: Ellrod Images]]>
<![CDATA[2 Former Southwestern College Trustees Sentenced ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:56:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/yolanda+salcido.jpg

Two former Southwestern College trustees were sentenced Tuesday to probation, fines and community service after a harsh scolding from a prosecutor in response to a letter by one of the defendants.

Former Southwestern College trustee Yolanda Salcido, 55, submitted a nine-page letter to the court, describing what she said was a "harrowing experience" and seven-year political persecution by the District Attorney's office.

"I hope to soon put all of this behind me, and begin rebuilding my life, but never forgetting the very painful lesson this experience has taught me," Salcido stated in her letter.

The former Southwestern College Board president originally faced about a dozen felony and misdemeanor charges related to allegedly accepting gifts and expensive meals in exchange for her vote on multi-million dollar construction contracts and bond deals.

In her letter submitted to the court, Salcido said she never attended many of the meals listed on one of the contractor's expense reports-- a key piece of evidence in the prosecution.

"What has not been argued, and if so, it has not been heard, is the fact on how co-defendant and informant Henry Amigable, and other contractors, dishonestly and pervasively manipulated expense reports citing 'clients,' like myself, as having attended numerous dinners that we were never at, in order for him to be reimbursed from his respective companies, for his own extravagant expenditures," Salcido wrote in her letter.

In response to her statement, Prosecutor Tiffany Scott told the court that if Salcido has been investigated for seven years, it's because that's how long "they've been doing things wrong down there." 

"The mere fact that Ms Salcido felt comfortable asking Mr. Henry Amigable to provide a suite for her -- for Miss Salcido's boyfriend -- shows that there was an inappropriate relationship between Ms Salcido, an elected board member, and Mr. Amigable, a contractor, who stood to benefit,"  

The prosecutor added: 

"Again, any allegation that this case is being pursued against her was politically charged is untrue," she told Judge Ana Espana in the South Bay division of San Diego Superior Court. "Again, this court is aware that this case wasn't brought by the DA's office. There were whistleblowers Southwestern Community College, that brought this to our attention, that filed complaints. There were people that reached out to the media. The media was covering this case. And, finally, in late 2012, the DA's office engaged in a criminal Grand Jury proceeding." 

Espana indicated she wasn't pleased with the letter Salcido filed, calling her actions among the more "egregious" of the defendants who received misdemeanors.

Espana sentenced both Salcido and former trustee Jorge Dominguez with three-years probation, nearly $5,000 in fines each and community service. The felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor for Dominguez.

Both originally faced charges including conspiracy to commit a crime, wrongful influence, filng a false report and perjury.

Former San Ysidro Superintendent Manuel Paul was also set to be sentenced Tuesday, but his hearing was rescheduled for June 24.

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<![CDATA[Casino Denies Digging Up Burial Grounds to Build]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:18:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jamul+casino+crosses.jpg

The latest skirmish in a long-running legal feud over an East County tribal casino project ended Tuesday in favor of tribal leaders.

But the hostilities don't figure to subside any time soon.

Before Superior Court Judge Ronald Prager was a lawsuit filed against CalTrans, which controls the encroachment permit under which the tribe’s contractors are working, by two relatives of several deceased Jamul tribal members.

The litigation claims desecration of Native American burial grounds now under excavation for the parking structure that would serve Hollywood Casino Jamul, a $360 million undertaking between the Jamul tribe and Penn National -- its financial partner which is active in the casino gaming industry.

"These most recent lies and accusations are nothing more than a desperate attempt to stop us from moving forward with our project,” tribal chairman Raymond Hunter told journalists invited to tour the reservation Tuesday morning. “Those tactics have not been successful in the past, and they will not succeed now."

Added tribal councilmember Richard Tellow: "All burials have been performed in the cemetery, which remains wholly intact and undisturbed."

That cemetery is at the opposite end of the reservation from the casino site, where five relatives of Karen Toggery – Hunter’s sister – and Walter Rosales once lived.

On that property, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of the two, funeral artifacts were left many years ago – only to be dug up in February and hauled with tons of dirt for use in a CalTrans freeway project interchange among State Routes 11, 125 and 905 near the border

Toggery and Rosales went to court seeking an order that would allow the Native American Foundation Commission to sift the dirt and recover artifacts, and set up a mediation process to properly relocate them.

Their attorney, Patrick Webb, offered this argument to Judge Prager about the tribe’s legal position: "They all want to talk about what's the cemetery and what's not the cemetery. That's really irrelevant. The only evidence you have in front of you is eyewitness testimony from the people who put their families there. And where they are now? No one is contesting it."

But the judge declined the request, saying that the issues could be revisited at an unspecified future date.

"It hurts -- how would you like it if something like this happened to your family? It's not very nice,” Toggery said following the court hearing.

She added this about the tribal leadership led by her brother: “They're not thinking about what's going on with the traditions that we hold high and esteemed to our families, and our memories and our ancestral ties … their motto is, 'Well, they're gone, so that's it’.”

Casino-related lawsuits involving tribal factions, Jamul community activists and the county of San Diego have been ongoing since 1995.

Twenty have been dismissed.

Three others besides the case heard Tuesday are still pending in state and federal court.
 

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<![CDATA[High School Student Causes 7-Hour Standoff ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:47:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SWAT-Mira-Mesa-0423.jpg

A family fight between a San Diego couple and their 18-year-old daughter turned into a seven-hour SWAT standoff affecting an entire neighborhood.

The high school student, who had been kicked out of her Mira Mesa home, broke into the home around 3:30 p.m. according to officials.

“The daughter at one point pulled a knife. The parents ran out of the house,” San Diego Police Lt. Mark Bennett said.

Dozens of SWAT and police officers stormed the neighborhood near the home on Clover Circle. The first officers on scene reported hearing the racking of a shotgun owned by the father.

“We went very slowly on this. We didn’t want to force any kind of confrontation,” Bennett said.

Several hours into the standoff, the SWAT team fired pepper balls into the house. All utilities were shut off, including water, gas and electric.

Hours of negotiations through a phone they sent in and from a bullhorn outside finally yielded the result police wanted. Crisis negotiators were able to coax the suspect out around 10:30 p.m.

The area was closed to traffic, and dozens of residents had to be evacuated. The ordeal rattled the nerves of neighbors.

“The ones closer seemed a little bit scared,” Nicolei Ramos said. “They either went straight in the house when police told them to evacuate, or some went away from the general area.”

The young woman’s name has not been released.

A classmate described her demeanor in math class, although he said she wasn't at school on the day of the standoff.

"She doesn't really go to math class a lot of times, like she shows up rarely doing anything in class, she doesn't pay attention or anything," said Willy Hua, a sophomore at Scripps Ranch High School.

Police said there was a shotgun, a handgun and a rifle inside the house, but the teenager was never armed during the standoff.

No one was injured during the standoff.

The teen may face criminal charges and will likely receive psychological treatment.

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<![CDATA[Woman Killed, Burned Over Custody Fight: Cops]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:34:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Kimberly-Hayes-Alpine.jpg

A woman whose burning body was discovered last month in Alpine may have been killed over custody of a baby, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Kimberly Hayes, 35, was found dead March 9 on a dirt road off Sequan Truck Trail. The Lakeside woman had been set on fire, and her body was still smoldering when it was discovered by a water district employee.

More than a month later, four arrests have been made in the case.

On Friday, members of the sheriff’s department’s homicide unit and Fugitive Task Force arrested Jessi Mendoza, 29, at an El Cajon hotel. Mendoza has been charged with murder and arson.

Matthew Williams, 30; Lauren Huett, 33; and Jennifer Stein, 31, were arrested on conspiracy and accessory charges.

“They were aware of the plan to kill her beforehand, and then the three of them did attempt to conceal the murder crime afterward,” said Lt. Glenn Giannantonio with the sheriff’s department.

The victim and the four suspects “informally” lived together in the same El Cajon apartment, according to sheriff’s officials. Mendoza and Stein have a newborn baby.

Officials say Hayes was shot to death inside the apartment March 8. The next morning, her body was dumped in the remote location and set on fire.

Investigators believe Hayes may have been killed over the baby.

“I can’t go into any details about that except to say Ms. Hayes was attempting to gain custody of Stein and Mendoza’s child,” Giannantonio said. “From what I know, it was by legal means.”

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<![CDATA[Uncertainty Looms at Lincoln HS Amid Principal Controversy]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:56:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/lincoln+high+school.jpg

The future of Lincoln High School remained up in the air Tuesday as students, parents and community members were unsure if the school's principal would keep her position.

NBC San Diego reported Friday that Lincoln's principal Esther Omogbehin was asked to leave her position by a member of the school board amid growing disharmony between Omogbehin and some faculty, as well as the school's poor performance.
 
NBC San Diego was told that there would be at 1:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday at the school to discuss next steps. During that meeting, students were to be told Omogbehin, a.k.a. Dr. O, is leaving the school to work in the district offices.
 
On Friday, community members claimed Dr. O was told she had to leave the school by school board member Marne Foster. Dr. O was said to have one option: Pick a new job within the district of her choice and leave her position as principal at Lincoln.
 
The meeting that was supposed to happen Tuesday before students was later canceled by the school district officials who said that it was "inappropriate."
 
Later, at 2:30 p.m., another meeting was set for Lincoln staff where the area superintendent told them what was going on with Dr. O and the current situation at the school. At the meeting, it was announced that Dr. O would leave and go work in the district office.
 
It was also announced that John Ross, who is an administrator at Mira Mesa High School, will be the interim principal. Ross was formerly a vice principal at Lincoln.
 
However, an education source has told NBC San Diego that Dr. O has been told by the area superintendent that the superintendent has lost confidence in her ability to lead and the job at the district office is no longer on the table.
 
Sources said that Dr. O's keys have been taken away and she is currently on administrative leave.
 
The situation at the school has continued to be unclear as some faculty and parents have accused Dr. O of bullying teachers and mismanaging the school. Those questioning Dr. O have protested at school board meetings in the past.
 
Despite Dr. O’s efforts to turn Lincoln around after a costly remodeling, test scores remain low, as does student enrollment. Moreover, some claim that Dr. O is making changes at the school without seeking input from others.
 
Dr. O’s supporters say they see it differently.
 
Supporters tell NBC San Diego that what Dr. O is doing is in the best interest of the students and the school's future.
 
“Dr. O has a plan for the children in this community. She’s brought over $5 million in scholarships to this community for our children and she’s had push back from day one when she was handed the keys,” Francine Maxwell said in an interview with NBC San Diego last week.
 
Check back for updates on this developing story.
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<![CDATA[San Diego River Trail Bike Path Opens]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:48:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San-Diego-Bike-Path-Trail.jpg

A $2 million bike path along the San Diego River is now open.

After 12 years of planning, San Diego city leaders and dozens of outdoors activists celebrated the quarter-mile-long bike path's debut Monday.

The path takes cyclists and pedestrians safely under State Route 163 southeast of the Fashion Valley mall.

It also includes special lighting, signs, A-D-A accessibility, and an information kiosk for community postings.

Rob Hutsel with the San Diego River Coalition said this section of the path is just the beginning.

"This is a gorgeous bike path and the San Diego River Trial is a multi-purpose trail and path that will traverse 17 and a half miles of the San Diego River,” Hutsel said.

“This is a big part of it. There are more sections going along. We need your support."

Find a map of San Diego River Trail here.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 ]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego Quality of Life Is on Rise: Survey]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:46:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/san+diego+skyline+664.jpg

San Diego's quality of life is on the rise, according to a new survey.

The report by Equinox Center examined 13 economic and environmental indicators in San Diego, including air quality, economic prosperity and water consumption.

For the first time, the study also tracked electric vehicle ownership.

In most categories, San Diego has shown positive trends in economic and environmental health.

However, Lani Lutar, Executive Director of Equinox Center, said there is one area, we need to improve on.

"Unfortunately in the region what we're seeing is an increased use of water and this is not good news especially when we're in a time of drought," Lutar said.

Some 32 local, state and national agencies were consulted to collect and analyze the data.

Read the complete report here.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man's Body Found in East Village]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:45:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/Generic+Police+Tape+Generic.JPG

An investigation has been launched after the discovery of a man’s body in San Diego’s East Village.

Homicide investigators are looking into the death of a 51-year-old homeless man who was found unconscious.

Emergency crews were called to the area of 17th Street and Imperial Avenue around 9 p.m. Monday.

They transported the man to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

According to police, the victim suffered some physical trauma. They did not go into details about the cause of death.

The man’s identity was not released pending notification of family.
 

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<![CDATA[AT&T Considers Super-Fast Internet in San Diego]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:35:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/laptop-telecommute-internet.jpg

San Diego residents may soon have the ability to pay for super-fast Internet services under a new expansion plan announced by AT&T.

The company reported plans to cover as many as 100 municipalities in 25 metropolitan areas with its service, called GigaPower.

The new Internet service has a 1 gigabit per second speed that is about 100 times what U.S. consumers typically get with broadband.

That means faster video downloads and the ability for more devices to connect to the network without congestion.

AT&T currently has such speeds in Austin, Texas, and has committed to offer the service in Dallas.

The company is also in advanced talks to bring GigaPower to two additional markets, Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem, N.C.

The new metropolitan areas targeted by AT&T are: Atlanta, Augusta, Ga., Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Fort Worth, Texas, Greensboro, N.C., Jacksonville, Fla., Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Tenn., Oakland, Calif., Orlando, Fla., St. Louis, San Antonio, Texas, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.

AT&T Inc. said Monday that the specific number of markets beyond its initial four will depend on discussions with local officials and assessments of potential demand. The company said it may start building some of the new networks by the end of the year.

In many of these markets, only certain cities and towns will get the service. All told, AT&T is targeting about 100 municipalities.

AT&T didn't announce prices. In Austin, the service costs $70, or $120 when bundled with television service.

A rival offering from Google Inc., known as Google Fiber, is available in Kansas City and is coming soon to Austin and Provo, Utah.

Smaller companies and public utilities offer or plan such speeds in a handful of other markets throughout the U.S.

Verizon said that although it hasn't seen widespread demand for a 1 gigabit service yet, the rival offerings are indicative of growing demand for super-fast Internet.

Cable Internet services typically cost less, but deliver slower speeds. And with most cable services, sending data is typically slower than receiving content, making online backups and video sharing impractical or painfully slow. AT&T's service is symmetrical, so uploads and downloads are comparable.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Accuser: Ex-Cop "Had All the Power" During Alleged Assault]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:21:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chris-Hays-Officer-SDPD2.jpg

A former San Diego police officer, accused of sexual misconduct by several women, faced three of his accusers in court Tuesday.

At about 9 a.m., a preliminary hearing began for ex-cop Christopher Hays  in San Diego Superior Court.
 
Hays was charged in February with two counts of felony false imprisonment and three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery after allegations were made by four women.
 
Since being charged, three others have also accused Hays of inappropriate behavior on the job, but those claims have not resulted in charges.
 
In court, prosecutors argued that the former officer inappropriately patted down women for his own sexual gratification.
 
As Hays listened on, his accusers testified about what they say he did to them.
 
"He had all the control and all the power," said one of Hays' accusers about an alleged assault in which she said Hays followed her into her home after driving her there.
 
The woman said that the ordeal began as she and her boyfriend were walking along El Cajon Boulevard on Dec. 23. She said she was drunk at the time and was arguing with her boyfriend when Hays appeared.
 
Hays allegedly handcuffed the woman's boyfriend before releasing him and telling him to go home, leaving the woman alone with him.
 
The alleged victim said that Hays then asked her to pull her bra away from her body and shake herself, apparently to see if she was hiding anything.
 
The woman said Hays then drove her home, claiming that she was too intoxicated to get home alone.
 
She said that once they arrived at her residence, Hays followed her to the front door and inside. She claimed he asked her where the bedroom was and told her to put on pajamas.
 
She told the court she was scared and nervous as Hays asked her to do yet another "bra shake," this time with her nipples exposed.
 
As part of her testimony about the alleged assault, the woman detailed how Hays wore black plastic gloves once inside her apartment. She claimed he kept popping them in an odd and scary manner.
 
According to the woman, while standing between her and a door, Hays moved his hips forward and asked that she "just touch it." The woman claimed Hays was aroused.
 
She said that Hays left the apartment after she made enough noise to wake up a friend who was sleeping on a couch.
 
Another of Hays' accusers testified that he assaulted her while maintaining that he was showing her the difference between how male and female officers were allowed to pat down women.
 
According to the woman, the assault took place last October after Hays offered her a ride home from a bus stop three to four times, and she finally accepted. She says that she did not want to get in, but did what she was told because of an “extended criminal history."
 
She said she recognized Hays as the same officer who had arrested her and taken her to jail just three weeks earlier.
 
The woman said that after picking her up, Hays drove her to an intersection and dropped her off.
She said she entered a store, waiting for him to leave, but when she came out Hays was still there.
 
It was then, she claims, Hays said he "forgot to pat her down" and directed her to another area, behind nearby businesses. The woman said no other people were around in the dark, secluded area and she didn't feel safe.
 
She went on to testify that Hays then demonstrated a male and female officer pat down. She said that when he did the female pat down he used "a sexual touch" while groping and holding her breasts and private areas.
 
According to the woman, the pat down lasted for 20 minutes, during which Hayes commented on her vagina and breasts.
 
A third Hays’ accuser detailed how he allegedly picked her up on El Cajon Boulevard. She said that she was lost at the time and was trying to recycle bags of recyclables, without her eyeglasses and with a broken flashlight.
 
The woman claimed Hays drove her to a friend’s house. Once there, she said he patted her down, rubbing her breasts and private area repeatedly.
 
According to the woman, she and Hays then sat outside in the driveway of the home where he talked about inappropriate topics, such as the color of her underwear. She said he also stated that if he were in bed with her, he'd bite her neck and pull her hair.
 
The woman was said to have smoked methamphetamine on the day of the alleged assault and has done so for a little over a year.
 
Hays' attorney pointed out that the woman had poor eyesight and that using meth can cause memory problems.
 
A fourth accuser set to testify Tuesday did not show up because she has an outstanding arrest warrantt. Hays' attorney said he was going to ask to have her arrested if she showed up.
 
Hays’ attorney said he was once recognized for rescuing people from a burning home and that the allegations made against Hays were in stark contrast with his client's character.
 
At his arraignment Hays pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.


Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>