<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - National & International News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:03:59 -0800 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:03:59 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Wesleyan Student Will Survive OD "Against All Odds": Family]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:17:29 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WESLEYAN02232015.jpg

A Wesleyan University student who remains hospitalized nearly a week after overdosing on MDMA, or "Molly," is slowly recovering, according to a statement from family members.

"It is difficult to put into words how deeply grateful we are for the generous outpouring of love and support that we have received over the last few days," the student's family said in a statement Friday. "We are profoundly grateful to the teams at Hartford Hospital that went above and beyond to save our child's life. Thankfully, against all odds, our child will survive this terrible ordeal."

The student, who has not been publicly identified, was critically injured after overdosing last weekend and remains at Hartford Hospital.

"We would also like to express our deepest gratitude to the Wesleyan community — the administrators, faculty, and students — for their concern and support. And we are thankful as well for the expert work of the Middletown Police Department," the family added.

Ten of the student's peers also received medical treatment. After being rushed to Middlesex Hospital on Sunday, two were airlifted to Hartford Hospital and two more were transferred by ambulance, officials said.

Only one student is still in the hospital.

Four of their peers were arrested on drug charges earlier this week, accused of selling the MDMA that sickened them.

Eric Lonergan, 21; Andrew Olson, 20; Zachary Kramer, 21; and Rama Agha Al Nakib, 20, were immediately suspended from the school.

Olson is the founder and co-president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Wesleyan. According to the warrants for their arrest, Kramer, Lonergan and Nabik are known as drug dealers among their peers.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Police Chief Booked on Solicitation]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:52:38 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/022715+stephen+johnson+mug.jpg

Miami Gardens Police Chief Stephen Johnson was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in Dania Beach Friday, officials said.

Mayor Oliver Gilbert confirmed the arrest and said Johnson was fired immediately.

Jail records showed Johnson, 53, was being held on $300 bond. It was unknown if he has an attorney.

According to a Broward Sheriff's Office arrest report, deputies were conducting an undercover operation targeting solicitation of prostitution at a Dania Beach hotel when Johnson was arrested.

Authorities had placed an escort ad on backpage.com and two detectives were posing as prostitutes at the hotel, the affidavit said.

Johnson had called the number on the ad and arranged to pay $100 for 30 minutes with two prostitutes, the report said.

When Johnson arrived at the hotel room, he was let in and handed over the $100, the report said. He had two condoms in his pocket when he was arrested, the report said.

A news release from the department said Assistant Chief Antonio Brooklen will serve as interim chief.

"We remain committed to excellence and integrity on every level," the department said in the release. "We will not allow Mr. Johnson's bad judgment to reflect negatively on the hardworking officers of the City of Miami Gardens and the residents they serve on a daily basis."

The department came under fire earlier this month following the officer-involved shooting of 25-year-old Lavall Hall.

Johnson said Hall attacked two officers with a broom handle and was shot twice with a Taser before he was fatally shot by an officer.

Hall's family has been critical of police in the wake of the shooting, holding a vigil and protest and demanding more answers in the shooting.

Johnson was named Miami Gardens' Police chief in May 2014 after a long career with the North Miami Police Department. He also served as North Miami's city manager from 2011 to 2014.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Detective's Crash, Wife in Traffic]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:27:37 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/nypd+detective+killed+wrong+way+crash.jpg

An NYPD detective on his way to work in Queens, New York, was killed in a wrong-way crash on a Westchester highway early Friday that backed up traffic for hours, and the 46-year-old officer's wife was tragically stuck in the jam as she tried to take the couple's teenage daughter to school, officials and relatives say.

The officer, Paul Duncan, was headed south on the Sprain Brook Parkway near Greenburgh in a Honda Pilot at about 4 a.m. when a 2013 Honda Civic headed the wrong way crashed into the detective's SUV head-on. Duncan was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Civic, 20-year-old Efren Moreano of Yonkers, was taken to Westchester Medical Center and is in a coma, police say. It's not clear why Moreano was driving the wrong way.

Aerial footage from Chopper 4, which was first on the scene, showed one mangled vehicle on the highway and another stopped off the roadway.

Duncan's wife, Rechelle, said her husband normally leaves for work at the department's Internal Affairs Bureau in Queens around 8 a.m., but got an unusually early start Friday.

When she went to drive her daughter to school in the city shortly before 7 a.m., she encountered a police car blocking access to the Sprain Brook Parkway by her home. It took her two hours to get to the city, and she had no idea the traffic was related to a response to an accident that had claimed her husband's life.

"I don't even know how that's possible," a composed yet stunned Rechelle Duncan told NBC 4 New York.

She and her husband were high school sweethearts who had been married for more than 20 years. Rechelle Duncan said her husband was planning to retire from the NYPD this year.

"He was thoughtful, he was disciplined. He made really good dinners," Rechelle Duncan said of her husband. "He thought he was funny, a sharp dresser, a really good dad."

Now, she says, shes plans to focus on staying strong for her 13-year-old daughter.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor said after the crash that the state police and Department of Transportation should both look into ways to improve infrastructure on the highway. 

-Jonathan Dienst contributed to this report

<![CDATA[Uber Breach May Affect 50K Drivers]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:54:43 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP943907754143.jpg

Uber says a database containing the names and drivers' license numbers of 50,000 of its drivers was breached in May.

The ride-sharing service says it has notified the drivers and hasn't received any reports of the information being misused. Uber says it will offer a one-year membership in Experian's ProtectMyID Alert identity theft protection service to the drivers involved.

The company said Friday the breach affects drivers in multiple states, but involves only a "small percentage" of its current and former drivers.

Uber says it discovered a potential breach in September. It announced the events in a statement posted on its blog and described them as a one-time occurrence. The San Francisco company says it has changed the access protocols for its database to prevent similar breaches.

Uber is the latest company to report a data breach in recent months. Others include retailer Home Depot, health insurer Anthem and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The problems can be costly as well as damaging to consumers' perception of a company.

Uber is privately-held and valued at $40 billion. It lets passengers summon cars through an app in more than 250 cities worldwide, but faces multiples legal and regulatory challenges as it expands in the United States and abroad. The company has been criticized over the thoroughness of the background checks it does on drivers and other safety issues as well as its method of raising prices when demand goes up.

Earlier this month Uber introduced new safety features for riders in India, include a "panic button" on its app that would let riders notify police in an emergency and a "safety net" that would let riders share trip details with others. The features were rolled out after a highly-publicized case where a passenger said she was raped by an Uber driver.

<![CDATA[Identity Thief Filled Out Tax Return Before Me, Victim Says]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:58:14 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/484588011.jpg

Virginia mom of three Brooke Taheri opted to spend her Valentine’s Day working on her taxes and didn't expect the holiday to get any less romantic.

Then she discovered her identity had been stolen.

“You get that sinking feeling in your stomach,” said Taheri, 37, of Fairfax County, describing the moment she realized something was wrong.

Tax-related identity theft is a growing concern, according to the Internal Revenue Service, which named it as one of its “dirty dozen” tax scams of 2015.

“Preventing and detecting identity theft and refund fraud remains a top priority for the IRS," the government agency said in a statement. "We have added and strengthened protections in our systems, and we continue to make important progress in stoping identity theft and other fradulent refunds."

Last year, the IRS initiated 1,063 identity theft-related investigations and the Federal Trade Commission reported receiving 109,063 complaints about tax-related identity theft, according to the IRS website.

Taheri found out she was a victim when she tried to e-file her taxes and got a notice saying the IRS already received her forms.

“I was livid and completely frustrated,” Taheri said.

Yet submitting your tax return is the only way to uncover the distressing news before the tax season's deadline hits.

Credit card companies continually monitor customers’ behavior, making it easier for them to pick up on any unusual activity. The IRS, however, only connects with taxpayers once a year. Fraudsters typically file early, beating taxpayers to the punch and making it difficult for the IRS to detect discrepancies against employers’ information, which the government agency receives in late spring.

Since many Americans have yet to file their returns this tax season, it is too early to tell how many others are victims of tax-related identity theft although the majority should not be affected.

About 1.5 million taxpayers received Identity Protection PINs, a six-digit unique number, by the IRS last year as part of a pilot program. The agency provided them with the extra security measure to all identity theft victims, including those whose data was compromised in schemes unrelated to their taxes.

The IRS also offered the PINs to another 1.7 million taxpayers whose accounts signaled they could be victims.

Filing early is one recommendation, but that didn’t prevent Taheri from experiencing a “very labor intensive” aftermath.

“Thus far I’ve spent over four hours on music hold with different federal and local government agencies and then once I talk to people it’s been another hour and a half,” she said.

Taheri filed a police report, contacted the IRS and the FTC, and checked with the Social Security Administration and other agencies to determine if her information had been used illegally, she said. And she still had to file her taxes, but now she must submit a paper copy along with an identity theft affidavit so the IRS can conduct its investigation, she said.

Updating your passwords and usernames regularly, and monitoring your credit report are a few other steps taxpayers should take to avoid identity theft, according to resources available on the FTC and IRS websites. Another suggestion: Don’t give your personal information when it is not required of you or through unsecure channels.

Taheri, who works in finance, admonished herself for failing to set up identity theft protection earlier.  She said she has now signed up for it. Taheri is also keeping a close eye on her credit reports and planning how she’ll avoid this in the future.

“As soon as I get my W-2s and tax information, I will be filing as early as I physically can,” she said. “I will be the first to file.”

And after a headache-filled Valentine's day, Taheri — who wasn't expecting a big hoopla — was finally able to celebrate with her family.

"By the time I got off all the phone calls, I think we got carry-out."

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Slushy Waves Hit Nantucket Shore]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:07:57 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Jonathan_Nimerfroh+%28104+of+6%29.jpg

It’s been so cold in New England that even the ocean waves are freezing.

A Nantucket-based photographer and surfer captured images of waves with the consistency of a 7-Eleven Slurpee hitting the coast of Nantucket, in Massachusetts, on Friday, Feb. 20.

“The wind was howling from the southwest which would typically make rough or choppy conditions not so good for surfing, but since the surface of the sea was frozen slush the wind did not change the shape,” Jonathan Nimerfroh said in an email to New England Cable News. “What resulted was perfect, dreamy, slush waves.”

The temperature was a high of 19 degrees that day, according to Nimerfroh, and the waves were around 2 feet high.

When Nimerfroh went back the beach on Saturday to take more photos of slurpee waves, it was even colder. The water had a thin sheet of ice over it and there were no waves at all.

Normally, water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s not unusual for the harbor to freeze.

New England has experienced outsized snowfall and cold this winter. Boston has received 102 inches of snow, just 5.6 inches shy of the snowiest winter on record, according to the National Weather Service.

Another storm is expected to hit this weekend, dumping 6 inches in some areas. It won't take much to shatter the record.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Nimerfroh, www.jdnphotography.com]]>
<![CDATA[Polar Bear Cubs Go Outside For First Time]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:33:23 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/PolarBearBabies.jpg Two polar bear cubs venture outside for the first time since they were born in November 2014. One of the triplets died shortly after birth.]]> <![CDATA[Wooden Passenger Fools Carpool Lane]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:34:15 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Fake+passenger.JPG

A Long Island man allegedly used a wooden figure in a hooded sweatshirt to drive solo in the Long Island Expressway's HOV lane because, he told officers, he was late to his new job, police said.

A Suffolk County Highway Patrol officer noticed the fake passenger when he pulled the man over for speeding at 77 mph at 6:30 a.m. on Friday in Dix Hills.

A photo of the crudely made dummy shows a wooden board with a block-shaped, wooden head wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

"I was trying not to laugh at the guy because I thought it was quite silly," said officer Jonathan Abrams. 

Abrams said for a moment, he actually thought it was a real person.

"The silhouette was realistic enough," he said. "You see people with hoods up, sleeping in the front seat all the time." 

The driver, James Campbell, told NBC 4 New York the officer seemed to have a sense of humor about it.

"He said, 'Passenger, can I see some ID?' And I said, 'Officer, I don't think so,'" said Campbell, chuckling. 

Campbell told the officer that he was driving to a new job and didn't want to be late.

"He said he started a new job and he couldn't afford to be late to his new job, so traveling through the HOV lane allowed him to get there a little bit faster," said Abrams. 

He was issued summonses for speeding and occupancy violation.

Campbell didn't seem deterred. He pulled up to his home Friday evening after work with the dummy still in the front seat, saying he'd been using it for months. 

He said, "He's got a sister down in the basement and on special occasions, I bring her out and she wears a tutu." 

Photo Credit: Suffolk County Police Dept. ]]>
<![CDATA[Soup to Ices: Stores Switch With the Season]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:01:29 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Vendome.jpg

You know that spring is on the way in Brooklyn when The Soup Bowl becomes Uncle Louie G's Italian ices.

In mid-March, the sign comes down for the hole-in-a-wall take-out place with a devoted following and a daily selection of some 18 soups, and Uncle Louie G takes its place. The seasonal switch on Seventh Avenue keeps the storefront in the black throughout the year.

A similar change takes place at the Brooklyn Porridge Co. and the Vendome macaron bar, two other Brooklyn spots that turn into Uncle Louie G's Italian ice shops when a frozen treat no longer feels like a cruel joke.

"Today, the way the economy is, it’s a great concept," Uncle Louie G’s Dino Russo said. “This way you earn 12 months out of year."

Richard Gussoff approached Russo five years ago with his plan to offer soup in the Seventh Avenue shop, which until then had closed in November for the winter. Gussoff had sold three restaurants in Manhattan’s theater district not long before — a decision prompted by proposed monthly rent increases of up to $5,000 — and had noticed the shuttered space.

“Soup was always my forte in my restaurants,” he said.

J.P. Eggers, an associate professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, compared the phenomenon to pop-up stores, increasingly popular in high-traffic areas where rents are high. A seasonal shop in a vacation location has little value once visitors go home, but real estate costs remain high for a store in a place like Brooklyn, he noted.

“The idea of leaving it with either no business because it’s closed or with a business that is just not going to make any money at that time of day or in that season just doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “It’s far too valuable a property to do that.”

Uncle Louie G, which also sells ice cream, was started about 20 years by Russo’s brother and sister-in-law. Russo and three friends took it over in 2009 and expanded the company so that today there are nearly 60 outlets throughout the metropolitan New York area and as far as Florida, Oklahoma, California and even Malaysia. The individual stores are owned by license-holders who pay $15,000 and agree to buy ices and ice cream from Uncle Louie G.

Russo was skeptical when Gussoff first came to him, doubtful that he would be able to sell enough soup to afford the space. Each man jotted down a number for the monthly rent on a napkin, and each wrote the same -- $2,000. The Soup Bowl opened.

“I’m not a spiritual person, but if something was meant to be, that was a good sign,” Gussoff said. “They’re happy because I’m paying the rent. It works because in the winter, you don’t really want ice cream except for a few kids, and in the summer you don’t want soup.”

The owners of the Brooklyn Porridge Co., Emily Hannon and Karyn Seltzer, similarly approached Uncle Louie G after spotting an empty store on Union Street. The two had worked together at a corporate restaurant, were fast friends and wanted to offer something to customers with dietary restrictions.

“We started researching porridge, and the whole idea of porridge and discovered it exists in every culture,” Hannon said. “It’s an ancient comfort food.”

Their porridge, gluten- and dairy-free, is made from steel cut oats, grits, amaranth millet or brown rice and is served with savory or sweet toppings, everything from braised red cabbage to wildflower honey.

Hannon and Seltzer hope to keep their restaurant open year-round by finding another location and adding summer items to the menu. They are looking for other ways to expand: making the restaurant replicable and franchising and selling their sauces, compotes and sweet and savory granolas online.

The seasonal store has allowed them to test their ideas without making a large investment, they said.

“It’s been a warm, friendly way to start something, to start a business,” Hannon said.

Vendome on Smith Street is the brainchild of Taryn Garcia, who had studied film and landed at the Food Network after moving from Colorado to New York.

“I wasn’t totally in love working in production, and I just thought, “God, they’re having so much more fun in the kitchen,” she said.

She ended up in Paris studying pastry art and while there noticed the long lines at some of the shops selling macarons, the meringue-based French confections. She knew then she would make them when she returned to the United States.

She and her partner, Adriana Troli, sell their macarons at Saks Fifth Avenue and later this year will open a permanent shop at 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park, the former Jehovah’s Witnesses’ printing plant that has been turned into condominiums.

In the meantime, Garcia found the Uncle Louie G space advertised on Craigslist as a pop-up store for just over $3,000 a month.

“We looked at the cost to see: How are we going to make money? Will we break even? Is this going to be a loss?” Garcia said. “We decided to go for it.”

In the new store, they will offer not only macarons, but also coffee, some breakfast and lunch foods and maybe even wine and Champagne.

Gussoff said he was not sure what he would do once Uncle Louie G returns next month. His soups are widely popular — his lobster bisque sold out the first day, thanks to the staff of nearby New York Methodist Hospital — but he said he knew business would drop off by 90 percent once the temperatures rise.

Still, his customers return each year, he said.

“There are people that come to us, and they say we're the only thing they like about winter,” he said.

Photo Credit: Noreen O'Donnell
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<![CDATA[Teen Charged in Friend's Suicide]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:53:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Conrad+Roy+Michelle+Carter.jpg

A young woman who says she tried to help a Massachusetts teen before his 2014 suicide now faces manslaughter charges after text messages allegedly revealed that she encouraged him to take his own life.

Court documents from New Bedford court outline a deeper look into the death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy, a student from Fairhaven and Mattapoisett.

In July of 2014, Fairhaven Police found Roy's body in his car parked behind a store. They believe he committed suicide by means of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Now, 18-year-old Michelle Carter of Plainville is facing involuntary manslaughter charges, having been indicted as a youthful offender.

After Roy's body was found, according to documents, police accessed his cell phone. There, they found thousands of text messages between Roy and Carter.

"Michelle not only encouraged Conrad to take his own life, she questioned him repeatedly as to when and why he hadn't done it yet, right up to the point of when his final text was sent to her on Saturday evening, July 12, 2014," police wrote after reviewing the messages.

The new charges have reopened old wounds for the Roy family.

"All I can think of is his smiling face," said Conrad's grandmother, Janice Roy. "He used to come play with his cousins on the beach."

Police also allege Carter misled friends and Roy's family members when he was missing.

The documents say that in other texts following his death, she told friends she heard him killing himself over the phone.

Police say Roy had told Carter he was scared to leave his family, but that Carter encouraged him to commit suicide.

"When he actually started to carry out the act, he got scared again and exited his truck," read the court documents. "But instead of telling him to stay out of the truck and turn off the generator Carter told him to 'get back in.'"

The court documents also show that Roy confided in Carter, saying, "I feel like I'm only staying alive for other people, not myself." He also reportedly said, "There's nothing anyone can do for me that's gonna make me wanna live."

Carter's attorney says his client is not a killer.

Roy's Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Anthony's Church, Mattapoisett. Visiting hours will be held on Friday from 4-8 PM at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Captain Conrad H. Roy III Scholarship Fund, c/o Northeast Maritime Institute, 32 Washington St., Fairhaven, MA 02719. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.

Photo Credit: Northeast Maritime Institute/Facebook.com]]>
<![CDATA[The Handball-Playing Grandmas of Bolivia]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:19:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP14805720858.jpg Indigenous Aymara grandmothers play handball in El Alto, Bolivia. These women stay healthy by remaining active. In this case, playing a group sport that is nontraditional in Bolivia.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Juan Karita ]]>
<![CDATA[ Woman, 91, Lands Her Dream Job in Silicon Valley]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:38:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2015-02-27+at+12.50.11+PM.jpg

Some land their dream job just weeks after graduation, but for Barbara Beskind, 91, it took several decades.

Beskind finally fulfilled her longtime dream of becoming a tech designer when she was hired at a top design firm in Silicon Valley two years ago.

"As a 10-year-old I wanted to be an inventor,'' Beskind told NBC's "Today show. "I've arrived. But it took me about 80 years."

She had a knack for design at an early age, making a hobby horse out of old tires during the Great Depression when she was just ten years old.

But she was discouraged to pursue a career in design by her high school guidance counselor who told her engineering schools don't accept females. So she decided to join the U.S. Army, where she served as an occupational therapist, while also writing books and learning to paint," she told "Today."

Two years ago she read about IDEO, known for designing the first mouse for Apple and other devices, and decided to apply for a vacant position. 

"Our culture is telling us, aging equals decline,'' IDEO associate partner Gretchen Addi told "Today". "And Barbara is very solidly standing there and saying, you know, 'I'm gonna call you on that.'''

Beskind focuses on projects related to aging. She has designed what she has dubbed a "trekker,'' a modified version of a walker, which is being developed into a prototype by IDEO.

She said coming to work every Thursday makes her "feel 30 years younger."

"Age is not a barrier to performance," she told "Today."  "Live life as an adventure, and expect change and endorse it, embrace it."

<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 08:47:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/topNews-cuba-GettyImages_464571734.jpg View weekly updates on the very best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Google Expansion Worries Hometown]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:58:37 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/google22.jpg

New expansion plans for Google headquarters, known as the Googleplex, has the city of Mountain View in a tough position as city leaders try to accommodate their biggest corporate taxpayer as well as non-Google residents who feel the tech giant is swallowing their town.

“I think most of us in Mountain View are concerned about where are we going to house the employees that work there, the new employees. How will they get to work given the traffic bottlenecks that already exist?” asked Mountain View councilman Lenny Siegel.

Reportedly, the new plans highlight a campus focused on walking or biking to work, which means one thing to Siegel: Mountain View must build new housing.

“We’re expecting as we put housing in north Bayshore and near north Bayshore that we’ll reduce the amount of miles traveled by commuters,” he said.

A mobile home park in the shadow of Google headquarters is also in the cross hairs.

“There is a mobile home park in north Bayshore, about 360 units and a growing number of Google employees are moving in there,” he said. “Now it’s unfortunately displacing some of the residents, they’ve been bought out basically.”

Gregory Legg, who lives in Mountain View said many of his neighbors are Google employees and they’re doing wonders for property values

“It’s actually bringing it up, the property values, which is good. It’s real good,” Legg said. “I mean, before, it was pretty low. And now it’s brought it up quite a bit.”

But with the higher prices, Rosemary Dozie Antoine said she will probably have to move.

“We would like to get out of here because everything’s too expensive for what I do,” she said. “And for what my husband does. So we need to kinda’ need to get out of here.”

The higher real estate is benefiting some, but pushing out others.

“It’s the housing and transportation issues that make me question the value of all this high-tech growth,” she said.

Siegel said opening up Moffett Field for a type of park-and-ride plan that would help alleviate street congestion could be in the works. But his main focus is discussing new housing developments around Google, something the council said no to last year.

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<![CDATA[Testimony: Hernandez Texts Missing]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:55:35 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/Hernandez+0218.jpg

Aaron Hernandez watched in court Friday as his phone records were shown for all to see.

Ricardo Leal, an official with Sprint, hashed through the complicated details for hours.

At the end of the day, even Hernandez was laughing, as things got tense between Leal and his attorney.

Also Friday, jurors caught an inside look at text messages Hernandez sent to his alleged "right hand man," Ernest "Bo" Wallace of Bristol, Connecticut.

Just hours before Odin Lloyd was killed, Hernandez frantically texted Wallace, "Get ur [expletive] up here," and "Hurry ur [expletive] up [expletive]."

Earlier in the day, before Hernandez allegedly drank and smoked pot at a Providence, Rhode Island, bar, he sent a message to Wallace, presumably about his fiancee Shayanna Jenkins.

"All yall trying to step tonight my girl getting on my nerves," read the text. "Waddup Hey jus don't be too late my [expletive] please cuz with trying to b stuck wit her all day an nite."

A mystery also unveiled Friday, as Hernandez, according to phone records, appeared to have deleted two texts he sent to Wallace on June 15, one day after Hernandez went clubbing with Lloyd and one day before Lloyd was killed.

Just days before Lloyd was killed, Hernandez allegedly made a reference to gun clips, texting Wallace, "U grab everything out of the car...clips and cds and everything?"

Wallace replied, "Yes, sir."

In another text days before Lloyd was killed, Hernandez seemed to apologize to Wallace, texting him, "Love u [expletive] I wanted to kill u but u know I love u hit me tomorrow get some rest and tell the rest I love them."

Wallace wrote, " K. One love. My bad today."

Later in the day, Hernandez's defense team filed a motion to stop prosecutors from showing a gun to jurors. While the prosecution alleges the defendant was seen in surveillance footage holding a Glock .45, which they say was the murder weapon, the gun itself was never found.

Hernandez's attorneys argue that an upcoming witness may infer to jurors that the suspect was holding the murder weapon in the video.

Judge Susan Garsh has not yet made a decision on the matter.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Trucker Used Hydraulic Bumper to Avoid GWB Toll: Police]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 05:41:01 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GWB+bumper+device.jpg

Police arrested a 45-year-old man for allegedly using a mechanical bumper on the front of his truck to lift and conceal his license plate so that E-ZPass cameras couldn't identify him after he blew through a toll gate on the George Washington Bridge.

The man drove the truck through the toll lane around 8:35 a.m. Wednesday.

Police say that he used a black toggle switch on the truck's dashboard to activate a hydraulic bumper, which lifted the license plate, making it impossible for E-ZPass cameras to see the truck's license plate number.

Photo Credit: PAPD
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<![CDATA[Earl Lloyd, First Black NBA Player, Dies at 86]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 06:14:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP861620179640.jpg

Earl Lloyd, the first black player in NBA history, died Thursday. He was 86.

Lloyd's alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death. It did not provide details.

Lloyd made his NBA debut in 1950 for the Washington Capitals, just before fellow black players Sweetwater Clifton and Chuck Cooper played their first games.

"The State family mourns the loss of a fellow Yellow Jacket and trailblazer who was a true champion both on and off of the basketball court," West Virginia State President Brian Hemphill said in a statement. "When Earl stepped out on the court on that fateful date in 1950, this remarkable man rightfully earned his place in the historic civil rights movement and, more important, he opened the door to equality in America."

Lloyd helped the Syracuse Nationals win the 1955 NBA title, joining teammate Jim Tucker as the first black players to play on a championship team.

The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 560 regular-season games in nine seasons with Washington, Syracuse and Detroit. He missed the 1951-52 season while serving in the U.S. Army.

Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 as a contributor, Lloyd was 22-55 as Detroit's coach in 1971-72 and the first nine games in the 1972-73 season.

Lloyd, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, lived in Crossville, Tennessee. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Congressman Seeks Medal of Honor for "American Sniper" Chris Kyle]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 10:23:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/kyle-memorial.jpg

A Texas congressman is pushing to grant the highest military honor to "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle.

Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican, introduced on Thursday the "Chris Kyle Medal of Honor Act," which would authorize and request President Barack Obama to posthumously award the Medal of Honor to Kyle for acts of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Chris gave the ultimate sacrifice and served his nation with distinction and bravery while saving countless American lives,” Williams said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “There is no doubt that this true American hero is worthy of our nation’s highest military honor."

Williams' office staff has been in contact with Kyle's family, who is aware of the plan.

"While the Medal of Honor will not bring back a husband, father, son and a model Texan, we owe Chris Kyle and his family a great deal of gratitude for his relentless devotion to his country," Williams said.

Kyle, a Navy SEAL, served four tours in Iraq and is credited with the most confirmed kills in U.S. military history. A film based on his book, which is in theaters now, was nominated for an Academy Award. 

Kyle and friend Chad Littlefield were shot and killed by Marine Eddie Ray Routh at a Texas shooting range in February 2013. Routh was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the killings earlier this week. 

The Medal of Honor has been awarded 3,507 times since its first presentation in 1863.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[New Details About Who Put Boy's Body in Freezer ]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:28:55 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/barona+swat.jpg

A newly obtained court document may shed light on why a woman has not been charged after her son was found dead in a freezer and her boyfriend shot to death.

The awful event unfolded on Jan. 16 when security was called out to a home on the Barona Indian Reservation.

According to a Jan.21 search warrant affidavit obtained by NBC 7 Thursday, the first Barona security officer to arrive saw a man — 32-year-old Julio Ricardo Moggiotti — outside with “an ax in his hand and was using it on the ground.” The officer asked if the woman inside the house was OK, and Moggiotti said yes.

Moggiotti went back inside, and a few seconds later, the officer heard one gunshot. Moggiotti appeared for a moment, holding his stomach and saying he had been shot. He then turned back inside, and his girlfriend, 32-year-old Elaina Welch, emerged from the home with a shotgun, the affidavit says.

Welch told the security officer, “He’s in the house. I shot him. I’m so scared,” according to the document. She asked to be taken somewhere else and believed she shot Moggiotti in the hand.

Saying she was 3-months pregnant with Moggiotti’s baby, Welch told the officer “she had recently been beaten by Julio and he had been forcing her to stay against her will.” However, Moggiotti’s mother told investigators Welch had used a bat to hit her boyfriend.

According to the document, Welch told investigators Moggiotti had been acting weird lately and was taking medicine for psychological issues, saying things that did not make sense.

“Elaina said Julio made her beat her own child,” the affidavit says. She said Moggiotti killed her 3-year-old son Roland, taped him up, put him in the freezer and zip-tied the freezer.

On Jan. 16, Welch claimed she unplugged the house phone so Moggiotti could not hear 911 dispatchers try to call her back after she reported Roland’s death. 

After Moggiotti was found dead in the house, Welch was taken into custody. When deputies obtained a search warrant for the property, they found Roland's body buried under frozen food in the freezer. 

However, Welch was released from jail days later with no explanation from the district attorney’s office. A spokesperson just said the case is still under investigation. There is no word on if Welch is cleared or if she will face charges in the future.

Another search warrant obtained by NBC 7 details items found in the house during a search by deputies shortly after the alleged crime was reported. Among the 54 pieces of potential evidence seized by investigators were a Mossberg shotgun and shells, a .22 caliber rifle, a  box of ammuniton, a knife, marijuana, prescription medicines, $600 cash, pepper spray, a knife and an ax.

<![CDATA[AA Named in Lawsuit After Passenger Dies]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:38:24 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/aa+suit.jpg

A passenger on an American Airlines flight died after she had trouble breathing and was forced to give up her oxygen, according to a lawsuit.

The suit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Dallas, by the woman’s husband, Joost Tallieu of British Columbia, Canada.

The airline declined comment.

Sharon Tallieu was on a flight from DFW International Airport to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in March 2013, when she experienced respiratory distress, according to the lawsuit.

She was given oxygen, which helped, but her husband told flight attendants she had a pre-existing lung condition and needed immediate medical care, the suit said.

He asked for an ambulance to be waiting when they landed, but instead she was greeted by workers with a wheelchair, the lawsuit claims.

“While disembarking the aircraft and over Joost Tallieu’s objection, a member of the flight crew demanded that (she) give up the oxygen supplied earlier by the flight crew that had been keeping her alive,” the lawsuit said.

She died about 30 minutes later, according to the suit.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Man Wins Suit After DUI Arrest]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:29:41 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/203*120/02-26-15_Santa-Monica-Lawsuit-Recording.JPG

Sennett Devermont said the moment he saw flashing lights behind him after making an illegal right-on-red turn in Santa Monica, he started recording audio on his cellphone.

"In court, it’s my word against the officer’s and I believe I would lose every time," he said. "So with that audio, I was able to say to the court this is really what I sounded like, this is what I said, this is what he said."

Devermont, the mastermind behind a popular mobile app that lists local DUI checkpoints called "Mr. Checkpoint," posted the confrontation on YouTube and it received more than a million views.

That video also helped him secure a $70,000 judgment with the City of Santa Monica.

In the recording, Devermont is heard telling the officer that he has a right to refuse a field sobriety test.

"Do I have to do this?" he asked the officer.

"Yes, you do," the officer responded.

"By law?" Devermont continued.

"Yes you do," the officer repeated.

"I don’t think I do," Devermont replied.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California says Devermont had a First Amendment right to refuse the field sobriety test, but adds that an officer can still make an arrest if there’s reasonable suspicion of drunken driving.

In this case, though, a judge did not believe the officer had that.

In court documents, U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson said it is his belief that the officer was "antagonistic" and that Devermont had "simply and calmly" asserted his right not to perform any field sobriety test.

"Where the hell did you learn that from?" the officer is heard saying in the recording.

Devermont responded "That’s the law, officer."

Devermont said he had studied much about DUI law in the state of California ever since he started his Mr. Checkpoint app nearly five years ago.

"I imagine this is something that happens quite a few times but it’s not actually captured on a recording," said ACLU Staff Attorney Jessica Price.

Upon reading up on the case, Price applauded Devermont for having the foresight to start recording with his phone.

"Here, the officer said the speech was slurred and that the plaintiff was being antagonistic," she said. "But by reviewing the recording, the judge was able to make his own assessment that the plaintiff’s speech was in fact not slurred, and that if anyone was being antagonistic in this encounter, it was the officer."

Devermont spent a night in the Santa Monica jail and a blood test confirmed he had not been drinking. He filed a lawsuit against the city and it took three years before it was settled.

The ACLU said a phone can be a powerful tool. In Devermont’s case, even the judge believed the officer did not have the reasonable suspicion to arrest him and that it was “merely for retaliation” against him.

"Certainly this night the footage was worth $70,000," Devermont said, adding that he believes everyone should take the moment to record their interaction with police for any reason.

Neither the Santa Monica Police Department or anyone from the City of Santa Monica returned NBC4’s request for comment.

<![CDATA[Maid Burned, Beaten in Home: NYPD]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 07:06:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/maid+beaten+bayside+queens.jpg

A New York City couple allegedly kidnapped and tortured their housekeeper inside their home when they thought she was stealing from them, then drove to her home and ransacked the place while holding her at knifepoint, police sources say.

Devanand Lachman, 32, and Ambar Lachman, 31, have been arrested on felony assault, felony kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment charges, police said.

Sources said the couple, who live in Bayside, Queens, believed their maid, 54-year-old Daisy Machuea, stole money and jewelry from them. When she went to clean their home the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 13, Devanand Lachman and another man allegedly burned her with a plumber's torch and repeatedly hit her on the body with an object, according to police and the victim. 

Machuea told NBC 4 New York through her friend and housemate, Oscar Ramirez, who translated from Spanish for her, "They kept punching, one guy this side, the other guy the other side." 

Ambar Lachman then came into the house, and the three suspects put Machuea into a car and drove to Machuea's home on Long Island, Machuea said.

Ramirez said he was watching TV when the suspects knocked on the door. He opened it to find the couple and their accomplice holding a knife to Machuea's throat and demanding their valuables, he told NBC 4 New York. 

"The guy told me, 'If you move, the other guy will kill her," said Ramirez. 

Ramirez said they stole their cellphones and ransacked the home. 

The suspects eventually left and that's when the victims called police. Both went to the hospital, and Machuea was treated at a local hospital for burns to her face and legs, in addition to bruising to her body, according to police. 

Attorney information for the Lachmans wasn't immediately available. Devanand Lachman remains behind bars while his pregnant wife has posted bail. 

Police are searching for the accomplice in the kidnapping and assault, described as about 30 to 35 years old, and about six feet tall with a medium build.

Anyone who recognizes the man depicted in the police sketch is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

<![CDATA[LA Train Crash Trucker Not Charged]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 20:00:27 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/knbc-jose-alejandro-sanchez-ramirez.jpg

The driver whose truck was struck by a commuter train after he left it at a Southern California rail crossing, resulting in a crash that injured nearly 30 people, will not face charges at this time, according to the Ventura County District Attorney's office.

The announcement came Thursday when Jose Alejandro Sanchez Ramirez, 54, of Yuma, Arizona, was scheduled to be arraigned. He was taken into custody after the crash, which critically injured four people, Tuesday before dawn on the Ventura County Line tracks between Camarillo and Oxnard, about 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Prosecutors released a statement indicating that they are waiting for results of the crash investigation before making a decision.

"The ongoing investigation of this matter is complex and involves numerous local and federal agencies including the District Attorney’s Office, Oxnard Police Department, and the National Traffic Safety Board," the DA's office said in a statement. "The District Attorney must await the completion of this investigation before making a formal filing decision.  While charges will not be filed at this time, the arrest of Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez by the Oxnard Police Department was clearly appropriate and lawful."

Sanchez Ramirez was released from custody Thursday, according to his attorney. He had been in custody since his arrest Tuesday about 45 minutes after the crash on suspicion of hit-and-run after he was found about a mile away from the derailment that left his burned truck mangled and three train cars on their sides.

His attorney said Wednesday that Sanchez Ramirez accidentally drove onto the tracks and made the situation worse by continuing forward in an attempt to gathered enough momentum to get the wide pickup over the rails. He also used his high-beam headlights in an effort to warn the oncoming Metrolink commuter train, which was bound for Los Angeles.

The heavy duty Ford F-450 truck, towing a trailer, straddled the tracks and Sanchez Ramirez could not back up because he was towing a trailer, attorney Ron Bamieh said. When his efforts to move the truck failed, he ran for help, Bamieh said.

But federal investigators who arrived in Oxnard Wednesday said the truck was not stuck on the tracks in the sense that it had bottomed out at the crossing. Investigators have not ruled out that the truck was somehow stranded and will attempt to determine why it traveled 80 feet down the tracks and remained there with its parking brake engaged.

"I don't think anybody would put a car or truck on... railroad tracks and not try to get it off if there's an approaching train," Sumwalt said.

Police claim Sanchez Ramirez did not call 911 and made no immediate effort to call for assistance. Authorities would not discuss drug and alcohol test results, but Bamieh said he was told there was no sign Ramirez was impaired.

"When someone goes through a huge trauma like that and not only thinking they almost died, but they think other people are dead and you don't know what to do and you're confused... what is a normal reaction to such an event?" Bamieh said.

Ramirez had a drunken driving conviction in Arizona in 1998 and a pair of traffic citations. Bamieh said the citations were minor and the DUI was too old to be relevant to the current circumstances.

A commuter train's on-board camera captured the fiery crash and might help investigators with effort to piece together the events that led to the derailment. The video, taken from the outward-facing camera on the front car of the Metrolink train, was sent back to the Washington home of the National Transportation Safety Board for analysis, board member Robert Sumwalt said.

Photo Credit: Oxnard Police Department]]>
<![CDATA["Spring Forward": Apple Watch Expected at March Event]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:52:31 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/APPLE10.jpg

Could it be time for the Apple Watch's big debut?

In its typical mysterious style, Apple announced on Thursday it will hold a “special event” on March 9, in San Francisco. While the Cupertino company didn't mention the watch - it never publicly identifies the subjects of its much-ballyhooed unveilings - it did use a time pun in its sparsely written invitation, colored in pastels.

"Spring Forward," reads the text for the invitation-only event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco, which kicks off at 10 a.m.

Bolstering the watch theory, the company bought 12 pages of ads in Vogue magazine to tout its new Apple Watch, which is set to be released in April. The ad features three versions of the new smartwatch: the leather standard model, the rubber Sport , and the high-end Edition, all in glossy print ads.

And keen industry observers, including TechRadar, MacRumors and the Wall Street Journal predict that soon most everyone who wants one will be walking around with a new Apple wearable on their wrist.

Photo Credit: Apple invitation]]>
<![CDATA[Dogs Poisoned by Purina: Lawsuit]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:38:55 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/EllaRemo.JPG

It started with a phone call from his wife: We’re out of dog food.

So Frank Lucido of Discovery Bay went to the store and bought a bag of Purina’s Beneful kibble style dog foods around Christmas. His dogs loved it.

But three weeks after eating it, his eight-year-old English bulldog Dozer is dead. And his 11-year-old Labrador named Remo and 4-year-old German Shepherd named Nella are still recovering from kidney failure, lethargy and diarrhea.

“I feel very strongly there’s a definite situation with this dog food,” Lucido said Thursday in an interview. “The doctor said the dog had been poisoned. The dogs are part of the family. It’s been real rough.”

Lucido sued Nestle Purina PetCare Company Feb. 5 in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California alleging the dog food contains propylene glycol, which it says is an animal toxin used in automobile antifreeze, and mycotoxins, a group of toxins produced by fungus that occurs in grains. The suit asks for unspecified damages and to make sure Purina's products are "safe for dogs."

Lucido alleges that in the past four years there have been more than 3,000 complaints online about dogs becoming ill or dying after eating Beneful, having shown “consistent symptoms,” including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures and kidney failure. The complaints about Beneful report symptoms that are consistent with mycotoxin poisoning, according to the suit.

Since he filed the suit, which has gotten national media coverage, one of Lucido’s attorneys, Michael Ram of San Francisco, said at least 1,000 have come forward complaining about similar situations. The suit is seeking class-action status.

"I have never had a flood of calls and emails who said, 'The same thing happened to me.' The phone is literally ringing off the hook," Ram said.

Purina said in a statement regarding Lucido’s suit that “there are no quality issues with Beneful,” and said dog owners could continue feeding it to their dogs without any concern.

“Like other pet foods, Beneful is occasionally the subject of social media-driven misinformation,” the company said in its statement. “On-line postings often contain false, unsupported and misleading allegations that cause undue concern and confusion for our Beneful customers.”

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of propylene glycol as an additive in human food and animal feed, and Purina screens its grain to prevent mycotoxins from getting into its products, spokesman Keith Schopp said.

The FDA has not issued any warnings about Beneful kibble-style dog food. In a statement, the FDA said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Jennifer Dooren, a spokeswoman, declined to comment to the Associated Press on whether the FDA were investigating the food.

The results of toxicology testing on Lucido’s English Bulldog, Dozer, who died, are pending, according to the lawsuit.

The suit asks the court to expand the case to include other dog owners whose dogs were sickened or died. It asks for unspecified damages and restitution, although it says the claims exceed $5 million.

In recent years, Beneful has faced two lawsuits that were dismissed by the courts, according to Purina’s statement.

However, in a lawsuit settled in May, Purina and Waggin’ Train LLC agreed to create a $6.5 million fund to compensate pet owners who claimed their pets were sickened after eating China-made jerky treats.

At the time, FDA officials said the pet treats were linked to more than 1,000 deaths in dogs and more than 4,800 complaints of animal illness. Three humans were sickened after eating the treats.

For now, Lucido just wants to stop this from happening to anyone else.

“I’ve been trusting Purina for a long time,” he said. “ Purina Puppy Chow is what you fed your dog. But this is a situation people should not have to go through.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Frank Lucido
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<![CDATA[Man's Vid of "Road Rage" Helps Convict Him]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:17:00 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Road-Rage-conviction-3.jpg

A San Diego man was convicted Wednesday of a violent road rage attack in part because of video he recorded on his own cell phone.

Jurors convicted Thomas Sikes, 56, of assault causing great bodily injury and elder abuse for an April 30 fight in an El Cajon parking lot.

Prosecutors characterized Sikes as a “violent bully who can’t control his anger” and presented the recording Sikes took of his confrontation with 76-year-old Ron Tornocello in a CVS Pharmacy parking lot.

“This is the a—hole that is driving here, came in here and ran through this parking lot,” Sikes says on the video as he's sitting behind the wheel of his own car in the parking lot.

Sikes continues recording as he walks up to Tornocello's car and asks him, "Do you have anything to say about your driving habit?”

A short surveillance clip released by officials shows Sikes walking across the parking lot, approaching the victim’s parked car and opening the driver's side door.

Tornocello was sitting behind the wheel of his car just outside the pharmacy's doors. He can be heard explaining to Sikes how his wife was being moved from a rehab center.

“You're going to be in a rehabilitation center in a minute,” Sikes warned.

That's when things got heated.

On the video shown to jurors in Sikes' trial Wednesday, Tornocello flipped off Sikes.

Then, as a CVS employee providing play-by-play to a 911 dispatcher described, Sikes threw a punch.

Tornocello, an Army veteran, was hospitalized for several days and required two facial reconstructive surgeries including one to repair his left eye.

A defense attorney argued his client had acted in self-defense and that it was Tornocello who first kicked Sikes in the groin.

Jurors rejected that argument and convicted Sikes on all counts. He'll face nine years in prison when he's sentenced. 

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<![CDATA[Slushy Seas, Snowy Aerials and More Spectacular Winter Sights]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:15:42 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/nyFrozenAerials-AP_926042771706.jpg

The winter just keeps on coming as storms continue to blast the eastern United States with snow and frigid temperatures that have turned New York's Hudson River into ice and Massachusetts' Nantucket tides into slushy waves.

Here are dramatic visuals and even some odd stories like the "Loo-cy" toilet plow that we've come across amid the extreme cold.

Surf's up in Nantucket, where low temperatures gave the water the consistency of a 7-11 Slurpee.

NBC 4 New York shot this chopper video of ice floating on the Hudson River in New York City.

A drone over Niagara Falls captured this stunning view of the iced over landmark.

One Massachusetts town, Somerville, hired a company to shoot video from drones high above the city. The footage will be used to help clear snow from roofs that could be in danger of collapsing. 

In Rockville, Maryland, a man attached a plow to a motorized toilet to help clear snow.

One of the most dramatic visuals from the storm has been a geyser at Letchworth State Park in upstate New York that froze over. It became a five-story tall "ice volcano."

How long would you guess it took to freeze a T-shirt in freezing temperatures?

In Frederick, Maryland, Bradley Stelzer made a time-lapse video of a 12-inch-tall wine bottle getting covered by snow. He shot the video with his iPad Air between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Feb. 21.

If you don't have a sled, sometimes, a bucket will do in Texas.

Here's a look at other dramatic images of extreme weather since the year began.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[What Color Is This Dress? No One Can Agree]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:44:08 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/the-dress-B-1l26HXAAEJ48-.jpg

Is this dress blue and black… or gold and white? The debate is raging, and no one seems to agree.

BuzzFeed posted the controversial photo Tuesday evening, and already it's gone viral.

The image was originally uploaded by Tumblr user "swiked," who wrote:

"I see it as white and gold. My friend right here sees it as blue and black. I CANT HANDLE THIS"

Another user fired back:

"if that’s not gold my entire life has been a lie"

Others chimed in, all with different perceptions. Admittedly, no one in the newsroom could agree either.

So what color is it really?

The mystery may never be solved.

Photo Credit: Romanoriginals.com
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<![CDATA[Dog Chewed Off Paw to Free Self: DA]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:07:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/177*120/11-14-14_Rocky-Amputation.JPG

A flea-ridden, year-old dog was allegedly so neglected in an Orange County backyard that he had to chew off part of one leg to free himself from being entangled, said prosecutors who are accusing the dog's owner of animal abuse.

Samer Samir Ibrahim, 23, was scheduled to appear in court Thursday, accused of ignoring his dog, Rocky, in his Westminster backyard for six days in November, while Rocky's back right foot became entangled, prosecutors said Wednesday.

With blood flow cut off to the dog's leg, the 11-month-old German Shepherd chewed off about five inches of the entangled leg to free himself, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.

Animal shelter staff reported Ibrahim to police when he brought the dog in for treatment — Ibrahim allegedly first tried to clean Rocky's leg with antiseptic wipes and covered the wound with a sock, prosecutors said.

"We removed the bandage and it was definitely a hard thing to see — he had essentially just chewed off most of his foot," said Dr. Maria Bromme, of Alicia Pet Care Center in Mission Viejo, where Rocky eventually underwent surgery.

The leg wound isn't the only complaint prosecutors had over how Ibrahim cared for Rocky. They allege that Rocky was kept in the backyard, where he caught fleas and weighed significantly less than other German shepherds.

Ibrahim faces a maximum charge of one year in jail if he's convicted of the misdemeanor counts he's facing of animal abuse and keeping an animal without proper care, according to the DA's office. He is in court Thursday to enter his plea in the case.

Rocky had the rest of his right leg amputated and has been adopted by a new family.

Photo Credit: Sean Browning]]>