<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - National & International News]]> Copyright 2014 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, 01 Aug 2014 21:34:48 -0700 Fri, 01 Aug 2014 21:34:48 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Roller Coaster Gets Stuck in NJ]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 19:42:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/nj+nitro+gets+stuck.jpg

A roller coaster billed as a "maximum thrill-level," "gut-munching" ride at a Six Flags amusement park in New Jersey got stuck on its way up to the 230-feet-high peak, forcing passengers to exit the ride and walk down alongside the tracks. 

Officials at the Great Adventure park in Jackson said the Nitro roller coaster experienced a power failure as it was approaching the incline Friday afternoon. 

Park personnel climbed the access stairs to remove the passengers on the stuck coaster and walked them safely down to ground level, officials said. 

No one was hurt.

The ride was shut down for the remainder of Friday night. It's not clear when it will reopen. 

According to the amusement park's website, the first hill on the Nitro is 233 feet high. The coaster reaches 80 miles per hour as it zooms into the second hill, about 180 feet high. 

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<![CDATA[6 Tons of Marijuana Seized From 2 Panga Boats]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 18:02:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/140729-G-ZZ999-003.jpg

The U.S. Coast Guard discovered six tons of marijuana and four suspected smugglers floating in two panga boats off San Diego this week.

A crew on a C-130 Hercules aircraft spotted the boats about 180 miles southwest of the San Diego coast Tuesday night.

Three Coast Guard cutters were sent out to intercept the suspected smuggling operation.

As they approached the pangas, four suspects hopped into one boat and sped away, abandoning the second one.

However, the chase did not last long, and Coast Guard crews soon arrested the suspects.

On the abandoned panga, law enforcement found 491 bales of marijuana, weighing about 12,000 pounds.

The four suspects were taken to San Diego for prosecution, and the weed was handed over to the Marine Task Force Friday morning.



Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard]]>
<![CDATA[Dramatic Photos: The Conflict in Gaza]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 08:56:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GazaLightFire.jpg The violence in Gaza between Israel and Hamas continues to escalate despite international calls for a cease-fire.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 19:35:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GazaWreck2.jpg View weekly updates on the very best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[20 Abused Pit Bulls Saved: NYPD]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:56:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DSC_6282.JPG

Twenty allegedly abused pit bulls were taken from a Queens home Thursday as the NYPD's newly formed Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad helped bust an alleged dog-fighting ring. 

Members of the squad, along with officers from NYPD's 113th Precinct and the ASPCA's Forensic Investigative Team, executed a search warrant inside a St. Albans home Thursday afternoon as part of a dog-fighting investigation, police said. 

Investigators found 20 starved and scarred pit bulls inside the home. The dogs were all taken to the ASPCA's main office for medical care. 

Two suspects living in the home, Addison Holder, 44, and Keisha Hall, 33, were each charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty and animal fighting, as well as criminal possession of a controlled substance for methamphetamine found in the house, police said.

It wasn't immediately clear if Holder and Hall had attorneys. 



Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[What to Know About the Immigration Crisis]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:35:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/450883216.jpg

The news that thousands of unaccompanied children are crossing the U.S. border is just making headlines, but the surge has been happening for months, even years. President Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion to tackle the issue, which has become a flashpoint in the debate over immigration.

The number of children has overwhelmed the U.S. immigration system, which faces a backlog of hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants, according to The Associated Press.

President Barack Obama says that violent crime is driving migrants north, while Republicans blame Obama’s policies, saying they have given migrants an incentive to come.

Here’s what you should know about the crisis.

How Many Kids Are Trying to Cross the Border Alone

Since October, more than 57,000 children have been caught traversing the U.S.-Mexico border without an adult. That’s more than double the number in 2012 and triple the number in 2011, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The U.S. Border Patrol was already noticing an increase in children coming up from Central America in the fall of 2011. Most of the apprehended children are between 14 and 18-years-old, according to the Women's Refugee Commission.

Three-fourths of the kids caught since October have traveled over 1,000 miles — by car, train, raft and foot — from the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The rest are from neighboring Mexico, according to Border Patrol data.

Making the trek is uncertain and dangerous. Smugglers, or coyotes, charge up to $10,000 for each child, according to The Associated Press. These smugglers may take the children’s money and run, or worse, assault or traffic them. The journey is also physically challenging, with dense forests, dry deserts and rugged mountains along the way. One stretch of land in Texas is referred to as the "killing fields."

Migrant children aren't just traveling to the U.S. All of Central America is seeing an increase. Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Belize jointly documented a 712 percent increase in the number of people seeking asylum from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, according to the Washington Office on Latin America.

Why They Left Central America

The mass migration is chiefly caused by three things: gang-related violence, poverty and rumors that migrant children will be welcomed to the U.S. if they make it to the border.

Violence. A good portion of the drug trade is now in Central America and plenty of gangs capitalize on this. Incompetent police forces do little to stop them. Children are actively recruited as "foot soldiers" for cartels. These gangs give children an ultimatum: work in the drug trade or face death. Honduras’ homicide rate was 90 killed per 100,000 people in 2012. That’s the worst in the world and six times the global average. Guatemala and El Salvador aren't far behind.

Gangs run rampant in these countries, and many children find themselves in the crossfire. It is not uncommon for children to arrive at hospitals riddled with bullets. Fifty-eight percent of children migrating north are motivated by violent conditions in their home country, according to a report by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Trust in the police is low in the children's countries of origin. In many places, gangs and police are intertwined. "You never know who is who," several migrant children told the Immigration Policy Center.

Poverty. Nearly two-thirds of the Honduran population lives below the poverty line, according to UNICEF. One in three infants is malnourished, and most kids in rural areas will only get four years of schooling on average. Guatemala's poverty rate is 26 percent. In El Salvador 17 percent of the population is living on less than $2 a day, according to the World Bank.

Rumors. The recent surge may have its roots in rumors that a change in U.S. immigration policy means any child who crosses the border can stay. This is a false belief, according to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Children who arrived after 2007 are not eligible for deferred deportations or a path to citizenship. A Border Patrol report that was leaked in June says families' misconception that they will obtain "permisos" when they arrive in the U.S. is driving most migration, according to Vox.com. They believe "permisos" means work permit, but it's actually a notice to appear in immigration court.

• Family. Over a third of Central American children who traveled to the U.S. alone were looking to reunite with one or both parents. It is common for relatives to send children north to reunite with family members, who also have questionable legal status, according to a report by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

What Caused the Crisis

In addition to the violence and poverty in Central America, some have said the U.S. government is at the root of the influx, particularly policies put forth by the last two presidents.

Obama's order. Republicans have blamed the Obama administration for the rumors, saying that poor policy and communication has led migrants to believe they can stay, according to the Los Angeles Times. They say the president has been weak at enforcing border policy and that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was authored by the Obama administration in 2012 and gives some undocumented migrants temporary legal status, has given Central American families a false hope.

Bush's law. A bipartisan law that President George W. Bush signed in 2008, known as the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, seeks to combat sex trafficking by granting protections to children traveling alone from countries that are not Mexico or Canada. Under the law, unaccompanied children can’t be hastily sent back and are instead allowed an immigration hearing and must be handed over to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Obama administration said the law is partly to blame for the crisis, according to The New York Times. The White House and Republicans are both looking for ways to adjust the law's requirements to make it easier for children to be returned to their home countries.

Where the Migrants Arrive and What Happens When They Get Here

The crisis is happening all along the United States’ Southwest border. The greatest number of migrants are entering through southern Texas, where there has been a 178 percent change in the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border from 2013 to 2014, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Border patrol agents in Texas are overwhelmed and facilities are brimming with migrant children.

The city of Murrieta, California, made national headlines after protesters blocked buses carrying undocumented children and families to immigration processing facilities in Southern California. Overcrowded facilities in Texas looked to ease the burden by sending some migrants there. About 140 migrants ended up in San Diego.

More recently demonstrators on both sides were out in Oracle, Arizona, waiting for unaccompanied children they thought were about to be transferred to a camp there. The children never arrived though anti-immigration protestors briefly halted a bus carrying other children from a YMCA, according to The Associated Press. The Sycamore Canyon Academy in Oracle told NBC News that it had been asked by the federal government to provide shelter temporarily for a small number of children.

When migrant children are apprehended by Customs and Border Protection they are held in a detention center — usually a sterile place that resembles a warehouse. They will remain there until they are transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement's Division of Children Services (ORR/DCS). These facilities range from group homes to juvenile detention centers that are locked and surrounded by barbed wire.

Children stay at ORR/DCS facilities for an average of 55 days while authorities attempt to locate a parent or guardian. If none can be found, the child remains in DCS custody for the entirety of her immigration case. Ultimately, she will either end up with her parents or foster parents in the U.S. or be sent back to the country she came from.

What's Being Done About the Influx of People

More cash. The White House is asking Congress for more than $3.7 billion to address the wave of migration. Most of that cash would go to the Department of Health and Human Services, while Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection would also get a share. Almost $300 million would go towards efforts to “repatriate and reintegrate migrants to Central America.” The request must pass both houses of Congress, though, and it's not clear how, or whether, the GOP-led House will vote.

More shelters. Immigration officials are scrambling to find more shelter space for new arrivals. Dallas County in Texas agreed to shelter 2,000 children if the federal government foots the bill. Hospitals and schools no longer in use are among the buildings that could possibly house the children.

Foster care. Organizations and families in parts of Texas and the Southwest are taking up kids, particularly those who have no family in the U.S. or no safe places to return to in their home countries.

Programs in Central America. The Obama administration has earmarked $300 million for programs in Central America to boost the quality of life of people and address the underlying root causes that are driving migration. It hopes to do this by improving economic and security conditions and helping migrants reintegrate into their communities instead of returning north.

Ad campaigns. U.S. officials are trying to counter the flow of migrants with a Spanish-language ad campaign that looks to frighten them from coming in the first place. The ads warn that smugglers are criminals who could subject migrants to violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking or forced labor.

Border security. Some in Congress, especially Republicans, have said the focus should be on strengthening border security. Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a congressional committee that unaccompanied kids should be deported immediately to show the U.S. is serious about enforcement. Advocates for migrants have criticized the Obama administration, saying that future funding should go to ensuring migrant children with legitimate claims of asylum see their day in court, not border security.

What's Next

As protests continue and politicians try to figure out the best way to tackle the crisis, migrant children keep pouring in. The Obama administration expects the number of migrant children arriving in the U.S. to rise to 90,000 by September 2014. While visiting Texas, President Obama urged Congress to approve the $3.7 billion he asked for to help deal with the surge.

A first group of about 40 undocumented immigrants, including children, were returned to Honduras from New Mexico, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The group had been staying at a temporary detention center. Homeland Security officials told NBC News that the flight was just the start of deportations. "We expect additional migrants will be returned to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in the coming days and weeks," one official said.

Meanwhile Las Vegas became the latest city to announce that its police department would no longer honor requests from federal officials to detain undocumented immigrants without a court order or arrest warrant. It joins Philadelphia, Chicago, Newark, N.J., and nearly all major urban centers in California.

Officials at the United Nations want many of the people fleeing Central America to be treated as refugees displaced by armed conflict. This designation would increase pressure on the U.S. and Mexico to accept tens of thousands of people currently ineligible for asylum, according to The Associated Press.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bill Wants Changing Tables For Dads]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:54:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/baby21.jpg

Parents' groups and a California lawmaker are pushing for a statewide proposed legislation to ensure baby changing stations are available to both men and women in public facilities, in what they say is an effort to promote gender equality.

Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Huntington Park/Long Beach, is backing SB 1350, also known as the Potty Parity for Parents Act, the first proposition of its kind in the country.

If passed, it would require baby changing stations to be installed in men’s restrooms if one is installed in an adjacent women’s restroom, according to a statement released Wednesday.

Also backing the bill are several moms, dads and equal rights groups.

“Anything that talks about fatherhood in a good way is something that I want to get behind,” said Doyin Richards, founder of daddydoinwork.com.

Richards, a father of two young girls, said installing baby changing stations in men’s restrooms should be common sense.

He splits parenting responsibilities with his partner and has resorted to changing his 1-year-old in the trunk of his car. A few times, a good Samaritan has held open the women’s restroom for him, allowing him to change his daughters on the changing table, he said.

"The drama we have to go through just to change a diaper is just ludicrous in this day and age,” he said. “When a kid has a blowout, there is no bigger deal to a dad.”

Currently, a broad regulation stands where restrooms are only required in public facilities "to meet the needs of the public at peak hours."

SB1350 would also require family restrooms with changing stations to be accessible to both men and women.

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<![CDATA[Cops' Chokehold Killed NYC Man: ME]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 15:48:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/eric+garner+death+inset+new.jpg

The city medical examiner has ruled the death of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old father whose death in police custody sparked national outrage, a homicide, saying a chokehold killed him.

The medical examiner said compression of the neck and chest, along with Garner's positioning on the ground while being restrained by police during the July 17 stop on Staten Island, caused his death.

Garner's acute and chronic bronchial asthma, obesity and hypertensive cardiovascular disease were contributing factors, the medical examiner determined.

A spokesman for Richmond County District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan, who's leading the investigation in the case, said his office had been contacted with the cause and manner of Garner's death but was waiting for the official death certificate and the autopsy report to be issued.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton also said he received the medical examiner's report and that the department will continue to cooperate with district attorney's office. He has previously said he ordered a top-to-bottom redesigning of use-of-force training in the NYPD.  

An amateur video taken during Garner's arrest shows a plainclothes police officer placing him in what appears be a chokehold, which is banned under NYPD policy. In the video, Garner can be heard multiple times gasping, "I can't breathe!"

After receiving the medical examiner's findings, Mayor de Blasio released a statement expressing his sympathies to Garner's family and said his administration will continue to work with the Staten Island district attorney and other authorities "to ensure a fair and justified outcome." 

“We all have a responsibility to work together to heal the wounds from decades of mistrust and create a culture where the police department and the communities they protect respect each other -- and that’s a responsibility that Commissioner Bratton and I take very seriously," he said.

De Blasio said he remained "absolutely committed to ensuring that the proper reforms are enacted to ensure that this won’t happen again."

A day before the autopsy results were released, the mayor hosted a reform talk at City Hall in an attempt to ease tensions with communities of color in the wake of Garner's death. The discussion got heated as the Rev. Al Sharpton criticized Bratton and told the mayor that his son, Dante de Blasio, who is black, would be "a candidate for a chokehold" if he weren't the mayor's son. 

Sharpton said Friday that he and Garner's family would make a statement on the autopsy results Saturday at the headquarters of the National Action Network.

Garner's family members and Sharpton met with federal prosecutors last month to press for an investigation into his death. Sharpton said police violated Garner's civil rights while arresting him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes, and that led to his death.

The U.S. attorney hasn't commented on the meeting with the Garners. Previously, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department is "closely monitoring" the investigation into Garner's death. 

Shortly after Garner died, one officer was stripped of his gun and badge pending an internal NYPD investigation and another was placed on desk duty. Two paramedics and two EMTs were suspended without pay after allegedly failing to provide CPR in a timely manner.

The president of the police officers' union expressed sympathy to Garner's family and friends and said that "police officers don't start their days expecting or wanting something like this to occur in the performance of their duties."

Pat Lynch of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association went on to say, "We believe, however, that if he had not resisted the lawful order of the police officers placing him under arrest, this tragedy would not have occurred."

The case has incited calls for sweeping police department reform. New alleged chokehold videos have emerged in its wake, including one involving an alleged fare beater and another involving a pregnant Brooklyn woman who claims she was put in a chokehold when she questioned officers' requests to move the site of a barbecue.

In addition to running the National Action Network, Al Sharpton is a talk show host on MSNBC, which is owned by WNBC's parent company, NBCUniversal.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Late SoCal Firefighter Took Ecstasy]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:47:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/firefighter-mike-herdman-arcadia.jpg

The Southern California firefighter who went missing during a mountain camping trip and was later found dead had Ecstasy and alcohol in his system when he died, according to a toxicology report obtained by NBC4 Friday.

Arcadia firefighter Mike Herdman, 36, disappeared June 13 in the Los Padres National Forest near Fillmore with a friend and fellow firefighter. His body was found June 27 on a cliff above the Sespe River in rugged terrain less than a mile from where he was last seen.

Herdman's blood tested positive for amphetamine, ethanol (drinking alcohol), caffeine, MDA and MDMA (Ecstasy), the report stated.

Herdman's death was ruled accidental and caused by "blunt force injuries," the Ventura County medical examiner said last month.

Officials found evidence at the campsite that alcohol and ADHD pharmaceutical drug Adderall were consumed, Ventura County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Buschow told NBC4 Friday.

A small bag with a residue consistent with an illicit drug was also found, but deputies did not know the drug was Ecstasy until the toxicology report was completed, Buschow said.

It was not clear what the findings suggest about how Herdman died. Calls to the medical examiner regarding the toxicology report were not immediately returned.
 

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<![CDATA[Facebook Goes Down for Many Users]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:09:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/edt-facebook-480461043.jpg

Facebook was down on Friday for many users, who received an error message instead of access to the social networking service.

“Sorry, something went wrong,” the message on Facebook said. “We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can."

The hashtag FacebookDown was trending on Twitter.

Facebook now says service is back.

"Earlier this morning, some people had trouble accessing Facebook for a short time," the company said in a statement. "We quickly investigated and have fully restored service for everyone. We're sorry for the inconvenience."A 

Sgt. Burton Brink from the LA County Sheriff's Department amused Twitter users with a tweet that appeared to indicate that people were reporting the outage to authorities. "#Facebook is not a Law Enforment issue, please don't call us about it being down, we don't know when FB will be back up!" he said in the Twitter rant.

Capt. Britta Steinbrenner later disputed the claim and said her office was not aware of any 911 calls about Facebook.

It was the second recent outage. Facebook went down in June in a disruption that appeared to stretch across the world as users from the United Kingdom to India reported no service. In that instance, service came back for some in less than an hour.

Facebook said it had 1.32 billion users worldwide as of the end of June.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Dies After Wasp Attack]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 06:15:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/0731-harkins-sarah.jpg

The life of a pregnant Virginia mother of four young children was cut short this week when she was stung by wasps and suddenly died.

Sarah Harkins was in her Spotsylvania County backyard Sunday afternoon when she was stung by wasps, her family said. The 32-year-old mother had an allergic reaction to the bites.

"She fell unconscious and went to the hospital, and it was discovered there was a brain aneurysm, and during the trauma of it all, it burst and caused her death," Sarah's brother Tom Schulzetenberg said.

Schulzentenberg said his sister had always wanted a big family. She had four young children, and another girl on the way. 

"It's something that you never really prepare for. We're doing our best to hold each other up," Schulzentenberg said.

He told News4 his sister was beloved by all. She made rosary beads and home-schooled her children. 

"With Sarah gone, [her husband] Eric is not equipped to do this by himself," Schulzetenberg said. 

Her family -- as well as her husband's co-workers -- have set up online donation sites to help with expenses related to her passing and the care of her four children.

As of Friday morning, donations on the two sites had exceeded a total of $158,000.

"We've received donations from France, Germany, Japan." Schulzetenberg said. "Pray for the children. Pray for Eric. Pray for peace and strength for them."

Sarah would have celebrated her 33rd birthday on Saturday.

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<![CDATA[Del Mar Suspends Turf Racing After Horse Injury]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 08:14:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/edt71485493.jpg

Del Mar racetrack officials have suspended turf races after another horse was seriously injured Thursday, bringing the total of race-related, equine injuries to eight since the season's start.

During the seventh race of the day, a filly named "Serious" was badly hurt while sprinting on the turf.

It's unclear what kind of injuries the horse sustained, but the animal will be taken from Del Mar to Los Alamitos, the home base of its trainer and owner. 

In response to the incident, Del Mar officials have canceled turf racing for the next three days as crews perform more maintenance on the track. 

They hope to return to regular racing on Wednesday.

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club began making changes to its new turf Sunday after seven horses were euthanized due to race-related injuries in just the first ten days of the season. 

Four of those deaths have been after falls on the new turf.

Another horse died after a morning workout on Opening Day, July 17. 

Officials say a number of elements factor into a race horse's injury -- not just the type of track -- but adjustments like extra watering and aerating the grass are being made. 

Officials also moved the inner rail 18 feet so horses wouldn't be running on as many divots and holes in the turf.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cop Blames Sex Cream ]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 09:25:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/miami+beach+police.jpg

A Miami Beach homicide detective will get his job back and back pay after he successfully argued that he tested positive for cocaine last year because he had used a sexual aid cream a few days before the drug test.

Detective Reinaldo Casas won his case in front of an arbitrator this week, after filing a grievance over his firing by the Miami Beach Police Department following his positive drug test in January 2013.

Casas said in the case that he had never knowingly used cocaine. He said he was able to pinpoint the possible cause to a “sexual aid cream” a friend gave him. “My girlfriend had applied the substance to enhance our sexual intercourse in the days prior to my drug screening," he explained.

Casas testified at a hearing that he got the cream from Idilio Godinez, a close friend of his. Godinez testified that he got the Vaseline-like substance from an “old Cuban guy.” Casas said the cream would help with his erectile dysfunction.

Arbitration documents said the cream was tested and found to contain cocaine. The city argued that it still had just cause to fire Casas because his story was “unbelievable.”

“As a police officer, Casas should have been aware of what he was putting into his body," the city said.

The arbitrator called the story “highly suspect” but ultimately found that “there is no evidence in the record to show that the grievant was aware the cream contained a controlled substance” when Casas used it.

The arbitrator’s ruling said Casas could return to duty and receive back pay as well.



Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[Arrested Spider-Man Speaks]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 04:58:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/costumed+characters+times+square.jpg

A costumed Spider-Man accused of slugging a police officer in Times Square says superhero and comic characters are key ingredients of the flavor of the Crossroads of the World.

Junior Bishop spoke after a brief, procedural court appearance Thursday. He said Times Square's costumed characters, ticket agents and others who interact with passersby "make it what it is."

He says children enjoy seeing him and other costumed figures, and "it's all positive."

Bishop was arrested Saturday on assault and other charges.

Police said the 25-year-old punched an officer in the face after being told to stop hassling tourists to give him more money than they offered for photos with him. He denies demanding more money.

Recent reports of costumed characters behaving boorishly have spurred calls for regulation.
 

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<![CDATA[Comic-Con Cosplayer Not Assaulted: Police]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 14:41:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDCC-Preview-18.jpg

A teen Comic-Con cosplayer initially thought to have been brutally assaulted is now believed to have suffered her head injuries in a fall, police said Thursday.

Harbor police said in a news release issued Thursday afternoon that the 17-year-old Riverside County girl in town for Comic-Con was not the victim of a sexual assault or beating, as earlier thought, but rather suffered head injuries after falling six feet.

Police said the girl was climbing a gate at the Marriott Hotel after an altercation with an older man. That’s when she fell and was found at 1 a.m. Sunday near the pool at the hotel on Harbor Drive, near the San Diego Convention Center.

Since the incident, police have had difficulty piecing together the circumstances because the girl did not remember what happened.

The case attracted widespread online attention – first by bloggers questioning whether an assault of the girl was a hoax – and then by mainstream media, including national news outlets. Photos of her dressed as a Roger Rabbit cosplayer, or dressed in character, were widely circulated online.

Harbor police said because of this widespread attention they investigated the case extensively, including reviewing footage from multiple surveillance cameras and by questioning Comic-Con attendees

“Her injuries and physical evidence at the scene were consistent with a fall,” the news release said.

The girl suffered several brain bleeds and is still recovering, her family has said

A 29-year-old man, Justin Kalior, whom the girl got into a fight with before her fall, was arrested on unrelated allegations of having sexual contact with a minor and providing her alcohol. He will not face any other charges, police said.

Ed. Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly attributed information on the victim's condition to Harbor police. We have removed the incorrect information and regret the error.



Photo Credit: Garrett Ng]]>
<![CDATA[Workers Balk at Market Basket Hires]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:32:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP418236453329.jpg

Whether it's for real or just a psychological warfare stunt by the new Market Basket leadership is far from clear, but full-page newspaper ads by the supermarket chain's co-CEOs promoting a three-day job fair for replacement workers provoked a range of reactions Thursday from protesting workers.

"Good luck trying to fill all our jobs! They don't know what we do in there," said Linda Kulis, who works in accounts receivable in the Tewksbury, Massachusetts, headquarters.

"I just started laughing and said, 'This is a joke,'" said Mike Feather, an 18-year company veteran who works in its New Bedford store.

"They've fired people, they've tried to scare people, and I think that's more of what this is: Scare tactics," said Chris Dick, director of the Salem, New Hampshire, Market Basket.

They're among thousands of Market Basket employees who have been protesting for two weeks and urging customers to boycott the 71 stores until Arthur T. Demoulas, fired June 23, is reinstated as CEO.

In the ad, new co-CEOs Jim Gooch and Felicia Thornton said the first two days of the job fair, to be held in Andover, will be for current employees looking to apply for higher-up positions.

"I don't think there will be any Market Basket associates that are going to be willing to step up and work for this regime," Dick said.

Thornton and Gooch released a statement defending the job fair In a statement shortly before 5 p.m.

"We have said several times that we hope sincerely that we do not discharge any employees. We want our associates back," they said. "We are focused solely on getting Market Basket stores back up and running for our customers and, importantly, for the many local vendors that rely on Market Basket to make their own businesses successful for the sake of their employees."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bertha Disorganized in Caribbean]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 20:16:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tsbertha11pm8114.jpg

Tropical Storm Bertha was disorganized as it moved toward the west-northwest through the northeastern Caribbean Sea.

At 11 p.m., Bertha was about 275 miles southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico as it moved west-northwest at 22 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Ahead of the storm, tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued for multiple islands. The warnings and watches are as follows:

  • Tropical Storm Warning – Martinique, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands
  • Tropical Storm Watch - The Eastern Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Isla Saona, the Southeastern Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands

A Hurricane Hunter aircraft checked out Bertha Friday morning and found it had gained a little strength but remained disorganized.

Bertha became the second tropical storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane season Thursday.

Bertha is expected to move away from Martinique into the northeast Caribbean Sea ove rthe next several hours. It will then pass near Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and approach the Southeastern Bahamas by Sunday. The storm is not expecting to strengthen in the next 48 hours, according to the NHC.



Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: The Market Basket Saga]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:30:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ATDRally2.jpg Market Basket employees and customers are protesting the ousting of former C.E.O. Arthur T. Demoulas, demanding his return as president of the company.

Photo Credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CT Mom of Hot Car Boy Urges Caution]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 07:20:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ben+seitz+ridgefield.jpg

The mother of a Ridgefield boy who died after being left in a hot car has started a blog to raise awareness of heatstroke in children and help others avoid the tragedy she suffered.

Lindsay Rogers-Seitz told the Associated Press that she forgives her husband for leaving 15-month-old Benjamin in the car while he went to work at Owl Technologies on July 7, resulting in the child’s death.

The boy’s father, Kyle Seitz, was supposed to bring Ben to daycare before going to work, but that didn't happen. According to Lindsay, at the end of the day, Kyle went to the daycare to pick up Ben, but when he learned Ben wasn't there, he asked the staff at the daycare if his wife had picked him up earlier in the day.  He was told she had not, and so he went back to his car, found Ben and then rushed him to the hospital, Rogers-Seitz said.

“The profound grief and trauma that we were going through was something we could never verbalize,” Rogers-Seitz explained. “How do I live the rest of my life? Do I just break down right now in hysterics, and just not live?”

She decided to channel her grief into activism, and now the couple is spreading the word about hyperthermia in children.

“One night we were sitting together and [Kyle Seitz] said, ‘You know, Lindsay, I just can’t let another family feel this pain,’” Rogers-Seitz recalled.

Rogers-Seitz sprang into action, creating a Web site, titled “The Gift of Ben,” to share her son’s story and help educate other parents.

“A week after the tragic death of my 15-month-old son on July 7, 2014, I began researching – everything and anything – and thinking,” Rogers- Seitz writes.

It was a timely decision – today is National Heatstroke Prevention Day.

“The Gift of Ben” presents facts and figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, including frightening statistics about the prevalence of heat stroke in children.

According to the NHTSA, hyperthermia is the leading cause of non-crash-related death in children under the age of 15. Rogers-Seitz says 111 children have died in hot cars over the past three years.

“This isn’t an anomaly,” Rogers-Seitz said. “It’s something that has been happening.”

She proposed roundtable talks to generate conversation and explore “ideas of how we can potentially move forward and work together and find solutions,” including conversations with car seat companies, child safety advocates, academics, health and medical professionals and other families who have been affected.

Rogers-Seitz said one of the biggest mistakes parents can make is to believe it will never happen to them. She admitted she doesn’t know yet how to find a solution, but the first step is to talk about it.

“I challenge manufacturers, agencies and politicians to get together with other interested parties, including victims and psychologists, and let's figure this out,” she wrote.

In the meantime, she said, make a habit of double checking your car before you walk away, and place valuable items in the back seat with your child. Teach kids that cars are not for playing and store keys out of their reach. Ask your child’s school or daycare to call right away if he or she doesn’t show up on time.

Rogers-Seitz also launched a blog Wednesday – a more delicate and personal forum.

“Lying in bed last night, I began realizing what an integral role the press has in deciding what ‘the story’ will be. The truth is that there is a bigger picture out there – an ongoing political and intellectual debate about the history of these effort to elicit change and how to go about it in the future,” she wrote in her first post.

“I ask that we move beyond the sensationalization of the events of July 7th to deal with the real issues at hand – that will continue to affect hundreds of more children in the future if nothing is done," she added.

Rogers-Seitz is standing by her husband of 12 years and said the two are taking comfort in each other’s support.

“We can deal with it together, and we’re finding peace in that,” Rogers-Seitz said.



Photo Credit: Lindsay Rogers-Seitz ]]>
<![CDATA[5 Things to Know About New House GOP Leader McCarthy]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:14:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/450883992.jpg

House Republicans are getting a new second-in-command this week, as Rep. Kevin McCarthy takes over for outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

The California native was selected for the position in June, after Cantor was handed a surprising defeat by a little-known GOP challenger in Virgnia's primary election.

The promotion puts the 49-year-old McCarthy, who has quickly risen through the leadership ranks during his four terms in Congress, next in line to potentially succeed House Speaker John Boehner.

Here are five things you may not know about the new majority leader:

He got his (lucky) start in sandwiches.

A young McCarthy used a $5,000 lottery prize to start his own business, opening a sandwich shop called Kevin O's Deli at age 19. The shop he has descibed as "Subway before there was Subway," offered "fresh Dutch Krunch white rolls every day," and sandwiches "hot upon request," according to The Orange County Register. McCarthy says he used the profits from later selling that deli to finance his college education. The experience of building a business before hitting 21, he says, helped shape his views on limited government regulations and taxes.

He sees (some of) himself in “House of Cards.”

When Netflix’s popular political drama debuted in 2013, a few things felt a little too familiar to McCarthy, who, like the show’s fictional lead, Rep. Francis Underwood, served as majority whip. That framed whip hanging in Underwood’s office? A spitting image of the one McCarthy received as a gift from Cantor. The scene where Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, tells members “Vote your district, vote your conscience, don't surprise me"? Sounds strikingly like what McCarthy says he tells his own conference. The real-life whip believes those nods came out of a meet-and-greet he had with Spacey before the show started filming. He says the similarities between him and Underwood, a Democrat known for his duplicitous and Machiavellian ways, stop at those superficial references, though. "This one is made professionally about Washington, but it's not Washington," he said of the show during an appearance in Sacramento. "Don't believe what you see in there, but it's intriguing."

He co-starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In the California state Capitol, that is. McCarthy, first elected to represent his home district in Kern County in the state Legislature in 2002, rose to leader of the Assembly’s Republican caucus during his first term. That put him at the bargaining table with then-Gov. Schwarzenegger, who entered office via a 2003 recall election, on state budget negotiations and other major issues facing the Golden State. McCarthy left California's Capitol for the halls of Congress after the 2006 election, when he won the House seat vacated by his own political mentor and former boss, former Republican Rep. Bill Thomas.

He’s an all-star Instagrammer.

McCarthy’s filter-laden Instagram account has attracted more than 12,000 followers to date. While cameos from the likes of Beyonce, Ringo Star and cute dogs don’t hurt, the GOP congressman also uses the social platform to post behind-the-scenes photos from his political and personal life (including frequent “Throwback Thursday” pictures). His social media savvy led BuzzFeed to name him the “best Republican congressman on Instagram” in 2013.

 


He splits with some GOP conservatives on immigration.

McCarthy hails from one of the nation's bluest states. But the California native hasn’t strayed much from the GOP line in his own time in office, voting with his party 96 percent of the time, according to one Washington Post analysis.  Still, he's split with the more conservative factions of his caucus on at least one key issue seen as a potential factor in Cantor’s primary defeat: immigration reform. Unlike his tea party-aligned colleagues, McCarthy has expressed support for creating a path to legal status for the country’s undocumented immigrants. His campaign for majority leader drew criticism from some conservative commentators, who blasted his backing of immigration reform, Sandy relief funding and a budget compromise. Despite some differences in ideology and style, McCarthy, a skilled networker and social butterfly, has made many friends in Washington, thanks in part to his success in raising cash and building a program to train and support up-and-coming candidates.
 

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Disgruntled Exec Shoots CEO: Cops]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:52:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Lavoie-p1.jpg

The CEO of a Chicago-based company was critically injured in a shooting Thursday morning at his high-rise office in the city's Financial District downtown, police confirmed. Police said the gunman, a recently demoted executive at the company, took his own life.

Police responded to shots fired at 9:50 a.m. at 231 S. LaSalle on the 17th floor, listed as the old Bank of America Trade Operations Building. They found a 54-year-old victim, identified as ArrowStream CEO Steven LaVoie, injured with gunshot wounds to his stomach and his head and the 60-year-old gunman deceased with a gunshot wound to the head.

The shooter was identified by the medical examiner as Anthony DeFrances of Barrington.

"We are deeply saddened and shocked by the events that have occurred today," ArrowStream said in a statement. "Our focus during this tragedy is to ensure the well-being of our ArrowStream family."

"We want to assure our customers that our business continuity plan is in place, and our operations will continue to function normally."

According to a profile on arrowstream.com, LaVoie founded the company, which provides supply chain management solutions for the food service industry, in 2000.

DeFrances is listed on the company's website as ArrowStream's chief technology officer, with the company "virtually since its inception."

LaVoie and DeFrances were lying unresponsive on the floor of an office when police arrived. Supt. Garry McCarthy said the victim is in "grave condition."

Police said the gunman's wounds were self-inflicted. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition.

"What we have here is a workplace violence issue," McCarthy told reporters. "Apparently there's a technological company on the 17th floor. They've been undergoing a downsizing. They've demoted a number of people."

An employee who had been demoted last week arrived Thursday morning for a one-on-one meeting with the CEO, McCarthy said.

"During the one-on-one, he produced a firearm," McCarthy said. "There apparently was a struggle over the firearm, the CEO was struck twice -- he is in grave condition -- and then the man took his own life."

The incident is being investigated as a possible murder-suicide incident, according to police.

Fire crews arriving to the scene initially were warned that a suspect was still on the floor and still armed, according to radio reports.

Police said the scene was contained at about 10:40 a.m. There was only one gunman involved.

Nearby Ann Taylor and Jos. A. Bank stores locked their doors after reports of the shooting.

Jessica Cazares, who works at nearby Caffe Baci, said she witnessed a chaotic scene outside the building.

"There were people running, afraid," she said, "but we thought it was a movie filming. This time it was a real situation."

Tiffany Baggett, a woman who works in the building, said an alarm went off in the building and everyone was told to stay on their floor of the building. Employees moved to a safer area, she said, away from the glass doors.

"I was just informed as an employee there was a shooting, so we just evacuated our reception area as quickly as possible," Baggett said.

Pedestrians were being held across the street as detectives and police entered the building.

]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Rescue Dog From Ledge]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 04:15:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jersey+city+dog+rescue.jpg

Jersey City firefighters rescued a frightened dog from a second-story ledge on Martin Luther King Drive Thursday afternoon.

Neighbors noticed the dog on the ledge after it climbed out of a window of a second-story apartment, according to animal control officials. The owner wasn't home at the time. 

Video captured by resident Raul Mercado shows one firefighter climbing a ladder and trying to coax the scared dog into his arms. When the animal wouldn't budge, a second firefighter climbed up to help bring it down.

The dog got down safely and wagged its tail as its paws hit the ground. The crowd on the sidewalk clapped and cheered. 

The dog was taken into the care of Jersey City's animal control department. It's not clear whether the owner will face charges.

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<![CDATA[Pit Bull Survives Fall From Highway]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 18:14:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/dog+mookie.JPG

The owner of a pit bull who survived a 25-foot plunge from a New York City highway has stepped forward, according to a veterinary office caring for the injured pooch.

The concerned bystanders who found the dog called him Meeker because he was found, crying and struggling to stand, on Meeker Avenue under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Greenpoint.

But veterinary staff at Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group in Cobble Hill say the dog is actually named Wookie and that his owner reported the dog missing this week to the city's lost and found pet program, which contacted the animal hospital.

The man identifying himself as the dog's owner, Oliver Rivera, told the animal hospital the dog somehow slipped his collar and ran away earlier this week. It's unclear how he wound up on the expressway, or how he happened to fall. 

A woman who was riding in a taxi on the BQE the day the dog fell told NBC 4 New York she saw the animal running very quickly, and that it appeared to leap over the partition. She said the animal appeared agitated and nervous. 

"He just took a running leap and flew right over the edge of the highway, and he was gone," said Sarah Hart, who first spoke to the Gothamist about what she saw. 

Hart said she wanted people to know that no one threw the dog off the expressway.

"While I'm sure there's much animal abuse and that's very sad, that's not what happened here," she said. 

Veterinarian Dr. Brett Levitzke said the dog was probably physically capable of jumping on his own, especially if he was agitated by all the cars on the BQE.

"They're very athletic dogs," he said. 

The dog suffered no broken bones but was treated for a collapsed lung. Doctors said Friday he won't need surgery after all, and is fit enough to go home as soon as this weekend. 



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Inside LA's Vast Water Supply]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:52:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sunset+ucla+sinkhole+repair+water+main+20140731_074101_resized+%288%29.jpg

There are many ways to conceal the signs of age in Los Angeles. But when it comes to the city's water line system, the effects of aging are more difficult to hide.

The massive Sunset Boulevard water main break Tuesday in Westwood illustrated in spectacular style -- geysers of water, a sinkhole, flooding on the UCLA campus -- the risks that come with expansive water line systems installed decades ago.

The failure also led to a familiar "Band-Aid approach" that experts say is common when pipes in an aging system fail.

"In the United States the basic approach to infrastructure is what many people call the Band-Aid approach," said Harvey Gobas, a civil engineer who worked on a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers on California's drinking water systems. "You fix, and it lasts a few more years. Maybe in some cases it will last 10 or 20 more years, but you still don't have a new pipe."

Tuesday afternoon's break occurred at the meeting point under Sunset Boulevard of a 30-inch pipe installed in 1921 and a 36-inch pipe installed in 1956. Pipes typically last 50 to 75 years, and in a city like Los Angeles many -- like the main line trunk that broke near the UCLA campus -- are actually older, said Gobas.

A 2012 report on LA County's water system, also by the American Society of Civil Engineers, rated it as a C overall and a C- for condition. According to the study, the grade was primarily based on the age of the systems and their need for replacement.

Both city officials and infrastructure experts agree that improvements to the city's water pipeline system need to be made, but the improvements cost billions which officials say the city doesn't have.

"A lot of the agencies that really need to be spending money to upgrade their infrastructure just don't have the money," Gobas said.

L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz said if the city was working at 100-year replacement rate fixing the pipe system would cost about $4 billion, a huge increase that would be passed on to ratepayers.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was scheduled to replace 130,000 feet of main line and five large valves in the city's 7,200 mile pipe system, but it said the project has fallen behind schedule. The department said the delay was due in part to budget constraints that caused a $380 million reduction in the previous annual plan.

In response to budget shortfalls, water agencies have implemented piecemeal solutions to patch up, instead of replace, the miles and miles of pipe that run water underground

By Thursday, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews had stopped the flow of water to the Westwood site and started the repair process. The break, which sent about 20 million gallons of water onto the UCLA campus and surround area, flooding buildings and parking structures, involved two trunk lines.

"We have two trunk lines involved and where they connected required special fittings," said Jeff Bray, LADWP general superintendent for water distribution. "It isn't where we can just cut out a straight piece of pipe and put in a straight piece, which is a pretty simple repair. This a very complex repair. We're basically having to realign or reroute some of the pipes -- the direction on how they came together before they're going to come together in a different way now."

Los Angeles typically experiences an increase in pipe breaks during winter months, when colder water enters the system. Authorities have not determined what caused Tuesday's rupture.

The flooding created a spectacular mess, but no utility customers were without water. No injuries were reported. The rupture occurred about five years after a 62-inch pipe burst in the San Fernando Valley, sending water into a Studio City neighborhood.

To prioritize what repairs need to be made, the LADWP has an asset management system that includes strategies like periodically examining the water network and sometimes waiting for problems, or leaks, to spring up before fixing them.

Last year, however, the department took the first steps in a proactive approach toward its water infrastructure system. It began a pilot program to replace old pipes with earthquake resistant ones. The pipes, which are developed and used in Japan have no recorded leaks in 40 years of use.

Ellen Hanak, an economist who leads water research at the Public Policy Institute of California, said that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was making investments in its infrastructure both for maintenance and upgrades, as well as in new storage, recycling waste water and capturing storm water.

"So they're doing all of that as well as managing the existing assets that they have, some of which are old," she said. "My understanding is that they have a pretty modern and sophisticated asset management program to try to basically make strategic decisions on what you replace when."

Researchers documented the urban water supply situation around the state in a March report titled, "Paying for Water in California."

"We found in general that the state's urban water suppliers and water agencies were doing a pretty good job in terms of planning for their capital needs and investing in it, if you compare estimates of needs with what their spending," Hanak said. "That doesn't mean that everything is perfect but it does mean we're not seriously off track."

NBC4's Lolita Lopez and Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV, Toni Guinyard]]>
<![CDATA[Zoo Gets Fruit From Flipped Truck]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 02:16:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/elephant8.jpg

Talk about not letting roadkill go to waste.

The elephants, giraffes and bears at the Oakland Zoo got to nosh on African jackfruit and bananas Wednesday thanks to a overturned big rig that dumped 60,000 pounds of fruit in Livermore near the Altamont Pass earlier in the week.



"The elephants loved it," Brian Deering, president of the nonprofit F.A.I.R. Foundation, told NBC Bay Area. He masterminded the transfer – taking the lightly squished fruit from the side of Interstate Highway 580 and getting about 15,000 pounds of it to the animals at the zoo.



About 35,000 pounds fed humans at the Alameda County Food Bank, and the rest was too badly bruised to be eaten.



The truck is owned by All Seasons Produce in Oakland, which grows fruit in Mexico. Deering knows the owners, who contacted him after the truck tipped early Monday morning to say they didn't want the food to go to waste. He also knows the owners of Save Tow, who schlepped the tropical fruit to the zoo.

Deering's agency, which has roots in Sunnyvale but now is headquarted in Elk Grove, is a nonprofit that connects families in custody battles with material goods, such as cars, dishwashers, computers and food.



Zoo spokeswoman Nicky Mora said there is enough donated fruit for the elephants and bears to dine on all week.



Photo Credit: Erin Harrison/Oakland Zoo]]>
<![CDATA[Drought Spreads in Parched Calif. ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:47:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/216*120/DROUGHT+MONITOR+JULY29+CA.jpg

Exceptional drought conditions expanded this week to include more than half of California, marking a significant increase over just one week for a state in the middle of a third-consecutive dry year.

The most severe drought rating expanded to more than 58 percent of California, a 22 percent increase over last week's U.S. Drought Monitor report. At the start of the year, no part of the state was under the "exceptional" category. But that figure increased steadily after the state completed its warmest and third-driest winter on record.

The dire appraisal of current conditions comes as new, tougher restrictions on water use take effect across the parched state. Wasting water by overwatering laws, for example, could result in fines of up to $500 a day under the new rules.

"We are in a drought of historic proportions," State Water Resources Control Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus told The Associated Press earlier this month. "Many urban water users don't realize how bad this drought is. They're not seeing the communities that are actually running out of water. ... They don't see the streams and creeks running dry."

Exceptional drought spread significantly in the northern part of the state over the past week. Previously, the most severe conditions were confined to the a large swath of the Central Coast and Central Valley. The weekly report categorizes drought severity into abnormally Dry (D0), Moderate (D1), Severe (D2), Extreme (D3) and Exceptional (D4).

"Drought indicators point to the fact that conditions are not appreciably better in northern California than in central and southern sections of the state," according to the U.S. Drought Monitor report. "In addition, mounting evidence from reservoir levels, river gauges, ground water observations, and socio-economic impacts warrant a further expansion of exceptional drought (D4) into northern California."

Storage in California's 154 intrastate reservoirs -- those that are entirely within the state -- was at 60 percent of the historical average at the end of June. The record low is 41 percent of average, which occurred in June 1977.

The new statewide regulations approved earlier this month by the state water resources board include a $500-per-day fine for residents who waste water. The rules make it illegal for people to hose down driveways and sidewalks, waste water on their lawns or wash vehicles using a hose without a shut-off nozzle.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who declared a statewide drought emergency earlier this year, has asked Californians to reduce water use by 20 percent.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated that the new water use rules would go into effect Aug. 1. The regulations took effect July 29.



Photo Credit: US Drought Monitor]]>
<![CDATA[Yee Pleads Not Guilty to RICO Count]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:43:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/07-31-2014-leland-yee.jpg

Suspended state Sen. Leland Yee pleaded not guilty on Thursday – as he did before to previous charges – to the latest racketeering charge, which alone carries a maximum 20-year sentence.

The senator, who is out on $500,000 bond, appeared to be in a good mood in the hallway of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

"I'll talk to my attorney and see where we go from there," Yee told reporters while leaving the courthouse in a charcoal gray suit.

His next court date is scheduled for Aug. 7.

Yee and more than two dozen others were swept up in a wide-reaching federal investigation in late March, first reported by NBC Bay Area, during an FBI raid on Yee’s office.

The San Francisco Democrat is accused of a string of illegal actions in exchange for campaign contributions, including conspiring to mastermind an international arms deal involving machine guns to an undercover FBI agent posing as a mob figure and, as alleged in the most recent indictment, offering his support on legislation for the NFL.

In April, Yee pleaded not guilty to the first set of charges. He is being represented by Curtis Briggs, who said in a previous interview that the government's case is very "weak" against Yee, who is still being paid his annual salary of $90,000.

But on Friday, federal prosecutors added the racketeering count, under the statute known as RICO, to a superseding grand jury indictment. A racketeering conviction carries a possible prison sentence of 20 years or more and huge fines.



That means Yee now faces three additional charges: one count of "conspiracy to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity" and two counts of conspiracy "to obtain property under the color of official right."

The revised indictment alleges that Yee tried to extort "individuals and professional sports teams related to the passage of legislation governing the ability of professional athletes to collect workers compensation for injuries in California."

In 2013, investigators allege that Yee told an undercover FBI agent posing as an Arizona businessman that he should contact an NFL team owner the agent claimed to know and the owner "should contact Yee with an offer to help Yee," because he would be a key vote on the workers compensation bill, according to the indictment.

The undercover agent allegedly asked Yee how much his vote would cost. "Oh no," Yee is accused of having replied. "We gotta drag it out, man. We gotta juice this thing."



The undercover agent offered Yee $60,000 for his vote, the indictment reports, but Yee, after voting for the bill in committee, did not receive a campaign contribution. Yee abstained when the full Senate approved the bill.

The documents do not implicate the NFL.

If convicted on all counts, Yee faces a maximum of 165 years in prison and $2.25 million in penalties.



The revised grand jury indictment now includes 228 charges against 29 defendants.

Two of those high profile defendants have already entered not guilty pleas. They include: Keith Jackson, a former Yee consultant and San Francisco school board president and Chinatown gang leader,  Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow.

Chow's attorney, Tony Serra, said outside U.S. District Court on Wednesday that the government's case is weak, and that the grand jury would indict a "ham sandwich."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[10 Incredible Images of the UCLA Flood]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:40:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/edt-AP731937757829_2.jpg

UCLA's campus became a swimming pool Tuesday after a water main break spilled up to 10 million gallons of water into roads, buildings and parking garages in the area.

Students posted photos and video to social media sites showing chest-high water, flooded cars and water cascading down stairs.

"I was knee-deep in water, I had to take my shoes off even though they still got soaked," student Aaliyah Ricks told NBCLA. "I almost slipped a couple of times."

Check out the most incredible photos of the gyser that punched a 15-foot hole into a street and caused subsequent flooding.

 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Plows Into CA Sidewalk Cafe]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:31:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/07-31-2014-palo-alto-crash-2.jpg

Six people were injured, two seriously, when a car driven by a 90-year-old man slammed into the outside street seating at the University Cafe in Palo Alto during lunchtime Thursday, police said.

The crash was reported about 12:30 p.m. at 271 University Ave., outside the University Cafe, not far from the Stanford University campus.

Officers responded to the scene after receiving several 911 calls about a car that had driven into a building, injuring several people. Four people sustained minor injuries, including the driver. Two people were hospitalized in serious condition and would require surgery, police said, who added that one of those victims was a pedestrian, the other had been sitting at the cafe.

The elderly driver accidentally drove up onto the curb and struck five people, Palo Alto police officials told reporters. Officers on the scene confirmed the driver's age.

Metal sidewalk cafe tables were seen askew on the sidewalk, but the crumpled 2010 Nissan four-door sedan hadn't actually plowed into the restaurant. Police said the driver was apparently trying to parallel park when he accidentally hit the gas, striking another vehicle before he drove onto the sidewalk, stopping short of the building.

Police said the driver and two other patients with minor injuries were expected to be released from Stanford Hospital sometime Thursday night.

"It was crazy," Elizabeth Johnson, 19, a journalism student at Northwestern University who is interning at a start-up.

She had been in a nearby Apple store when she heard of the crash. When she exited, the area was "full of ambulances and police cars." She said the entire windshield of a four-door silver car had been smashed.

At this point, police said, the driver isn't facing any charges or citations.

The cause of the collision is under investigation. Police said there is no indication that drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.

 

Bay City News and NBC Bay Area's Mark Matthews and Gonzalo Rojas contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Eight Years After Injury, Technology Gives New Voice to Paralyzed Firefighter]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:07:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/FirefighterLockedIn_1200x675_313634883531.jpg

Former Fargo firefighter Rory Eidsness never expected to lose his ability to communicate with his friends and family. But eight years ago, he had a rare brainstem stroke that left him as a quadriplegic.

Today, the 19-year veteran firefighter uses eye-detecting technology to cope with "locked-in syndrome,” which leaves Eidsness trapped in his own mind; he's able to absorb the world around him, but unable to speak or move.

The new technology, NBC's Fargo/Grand Forks affiliate KVLY reports, scans Eidness eyes as he looks at certain letters to spell out his thoughts and then reads his sentences out loud. While Rory is grateful to have this computer, which didn't exist when he first became a quadriplegic, he said it is still too slow.

"I'm not a very good speller and I have to try to spell my thoughts if I want to share them," Eidness told KVLY.

His wife, Kari Eidness, is happy to see her husband being able to express his thoughts again. She told KVLY that before the newest computer, her husband could only blink for yes or no, forcing family and friends to rely on his facial expressions.

"The technology has been a godsend," she said. "He watched his world a lot. He went into his head because it was so hard to communicate."

Doctors attribute this rare type of stroke to heavy ladder training that may have damaged arteries in his neck. Current Fargo Fire Chief Steve Dirksen, who was not chief during the accident, told KVLY on behalf of the department, "Our hearts go out to Rory."

Dirksen said firefighters follow national training guidelines for safety, noting that he had never heard of Eidness' rare incident being an occupational hazard. While, the department's training techniques have not changed, Dirksen told reporters their outlook on the job has, "The reality is there for all of us that one snap of a finger and your life can change."

While Eidness also did not know of the risks when becoming a firefighter, KVLY reported, but he doesn't regret his time with the department: "What happened to me was a freak thing," he said.

Thinking of his colleagues keeps him motivated during physical therapy, which he does five days a week and water therapy three days a week, KVLY reported. 

"All things considered," he said. "I'm doing pretty good."

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<![CDATA[Toddler Falls During Circus]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:28:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AAC+2.jpg

A toddler is in the hospital after tumbling over a railing at the American Airlines Center in Dallas Wednesday night during a performance by the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Officials at the arena said the 2-year-old girl fell from the 200 level as the family got up from their seats during intermission.

Paramedics with Dallas Fire-Rescue were at the arena and were able to provide immediate emergency treatment to the child before she was transported to Children's Medical Center. Her injuries have not been released to the public, but she remains in critical condition.

The child's family released a statement Thursday afternoon through Children's Medical Center:

"We want everyone to know our child is doing well and on the mend, although still being cared for in the ICU. We appreciate the actions of the first responders, both good Samaritans and professionals, who came to our family's aide. We also thank all those who are concerned and have reached out by thought and prayer. We request that everyone please have respect for our privacy at this time."

Officials have provided no further additional information on how or how far the child fell.

David Brown, general manager of the American Airlines Center, released the following statement after the fall:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with a two year old child who was injured in a fall during a performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at American Airlines Center Wednesday evening.  The child's family was leaving their seats on the front row of the 200 level just before intermission when the child fell to the Plaza Level below. Dallas Fire Rescue officers who work at the facility rushed to the child and provided immediate emergency care.  She was transported by ambulance to nearby Children's Medical Center."

Officials with American Airlines Center told NBC 5 Thursday morning that something like this has never happened in the arena and that they do not plan to make any safety changes in response to the accident.

Thursday afternoon, they released a revised statement to include the following few sentences:

"Right now our focus is on the injured child and her family.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and we are doing what we can to help to the family.  We are also reviewing the circumstances of the accident to determine what additional measures may be necessary to insure the safety of our guests."

The circus resumed their performance after intermission Wednesday night.  Other performances scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday will go on as planned.

Falls from stands have resulted in serious injuries and even deaths in recent years.  In 2010, firefighter Tyler Morris was hospitalized after falling 30 feet while trying to catch a foul ball during a Texas Rangers game.  Morris suffered a head injury and a sprained ankle in the fall, but luckily no internal injuries.

In 2011, Brownwood firefighter Lt. Shannon Stone died after a 20-foot fall while reaching for a ball tossed into the stands by Josh Hamilton.

NBC 5's Johnny Archer contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Falling Glass Hurts 3: FDNY]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:08:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/falling+glass+midtown+inset.jpg

Four people were injured when a piece of equipment hit and broke a window of a midtown high-rise where workers were doing renovations Thursday, sending shards of glass plummeting 18 stories to the street below, law enforcement officials say.

The glass fell from a building on West 57th Street near Sixth Avenue shortly before 9 a.m., officials say. A worker on a rolling scaffold lost balance and pushed the scaffold into the plate-glass window, about 5 feet by 7 feet, shattering the window, according to a Department of Buildings spokesman. 

Two women and a man on the street were injured, as was one of the workers, fire officials said.

Broken glass was spotted on the sidewalk as emergency crews tended to the victims. One woman was hit in the head and was taken to the hospital. The other woman and the man refused medical treatment, and the construction worker was treated at the hospital and released.

All of the victims are expected to be OK, officials said.

FDNY Battalion 9 Chief Tom Mara said about a quarter of the several hundred pound window pane fell to the street, likely in pieces. He said crews spent nearly an hour removing loose shards of glass from the window after the accident, and it was fortunate no one on the ground was seriously hurt.

Mara said the window panes on the building are pretty thick and substantial, but "if you hit it just right, this is what happens."

The DOB has issued a violation to the construction company, The Martin Group, for failure to safeguard the site. 

The immediate area was closed to traffic while authorities investigated.  



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Choked With Rope: Police]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:18:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Woman-Choked.jpg

A man is facing attempted murder charges after he allegedly attacked a woman in broad daylight and tried to strangle her with a rope. 

Corrine McDonald, 29, who lived in Philadelphia for four years but recently moved back to upstate New York, was visiting friends Wednesday afternoon in University City. She was walking along 45th and Larchwood Streets around 1 p.m. to grab a cup of coffee.

As she was walking, police say a man, identified as 33-year-old Andre Taylor, approached her from behind, put a rope around her neck and started to choke her.

"I felt something come around my neck and constrict it," McDonald said. "He had put a rope around my neck and was pulling it with both hands."

Taylor allegedly dragged McDonald into an alleyway. That's when McDonald says she fought back as her adrenaline kicked in.

"I had this moment of fear but there is no option but to fight," McDonald said. "I yelled and he tried to stop me from yelling. He reached out and grabbed me by the throat with his hand because he must have dropped the rope." 

As she struggled with the suspect, two undercover police officers who happened to be on patrol at the time spotted McDonald, ran to her rescue and apprehended Taylor, according to investigators.

Police say that Taylor, who was recently released from prison and was wanted for violating his parole for robbery, is also responsible for another attack earlier this week.

"We do have another job similar to this on Sunday around the same time," said Philadelphia Police Lieutenant John Walker. "We think he may have been in that area just looking for victims."

During the Sunday incident, Taylor allegedly attacked another woman from behind and used her headphones to choke her before fleeing the scene with seven dollars.

McDonald says she's still shaken by the terrifying ordeal but happy that it ended with Taylor's arrest.

"It was a traumatic event," McDonald said. "I'm glad that it happened in a way which means that he was apprehended. Now this man is not on the streets." 

Taylor was taken into custody and charged with attempted murder, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault and other related offenses. Sources close to the investigation tell NBC10 that he confessed to his crimes.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Daughter Charged With Murder]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:09:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Alyssa+Barrett+mug.jpg

The pregnant teen daughter of a United Airlines flight attendant found dead in the trunk of a car in Gary, Indiana, earlier this month has been implicated in her slaying.

Alyssa Barrett, 17, faces charges of murder and robbery resulting in bodily injury in connection with the death of her mother, 54-year-old DeCarol Deloney-Cain.

Barrett's boyfriend, 18-year-old Damarius Wren, was charged with first-degree murder in the case earlier this month.

According to court documents, the killing took place at the victim's Crown Point home on July 3 with Barrett present in the home when Wren attacked her mother.

Wren is accused of placing a pillow case over Deloney-Cain's head and repeatedly smashing her head against a staircase in the basement before stabbing her to death.

According to the Post-Tribune, the mother and daughter had a "fragile" relationship which got worse after Barrett became pregnant earlier this summer.

Both suspects are being held without bail.



Photo Credit: Lake County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Transgender Girl Stabbed on Train]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 02:25:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/0730-klaiber.jpg

A transgender 15-year-old girl was stabbed in the back aboard a Metro train Wednesday afternoon, D.C. police say.

The attack at the Fort Totten station on the green line going toward Branch Avenue was reported just after 4:30 p.m.

The girl's friends told News4 the suspect, identified as 24-year-old Reginald Anthony Klaiber, came up to the group inside the train and insulted the victim's appearance, asking why she was wearing a wig and commenting on what she was wearing.

According to documents, the victim repeatedly told Klaiber to leave her alone, but he was persistent and asked her, "Are you a boy? Are you a boy? ... Why you be looking like a girl?"

Document say that when the train stopped at Fort Totten station, both the victim and Klaiber got up. That's when documents say Klaiber grabbed her from behind in a bear hug and stabbed her in the back. Documents say one of the victim's friends then sprayed Klaiber with pepper spray. 

The victim and her two friends then ran off the train with Klaiber giving chase, documents say, shouting, "I'm going to [stab you] again!"

Klaiber was apprehended shortly after and charged with assault with deadly weapon. 

Metro Police say the charges include the possibility of enhanced penalties for hate or bias motivation. If convicted, Klaiber could be subject to a 1.5-time enhancement under D.C. law.

According to court records uncovered by News4, Klaiber has a lengthy criminal history that includes previous charges of assault and resisting arrest.

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<![CDATA[Gay Church Employee Fired]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 05:53:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Colin-Collette.jpg

The music director of a Illinois church lost his job after getting engaged to be married.

Colin Collette got engaged to his longtime partner in Rome last week. But after announcing his big news, he was fired Monday from the Holy Family Church in the suburb of Inverness.

"He's a little more angry right now at this moment, and understandably so, because I think he's concerned for me. He knows the church is my life," Collette said of his partner, William.

"It's not even as much that this is happening to me, but that Holy Family will never be the same. Holy Family was this Catholic community that was said to be different," he said.

The Archdiocese of Chicago issued a statement saying it was aware of the situation at Holy Family and would not comment on an individual's personnel issues.

"Pastors hire and dismiss all parish personnel and govern according to the teachings of the Church and Archdiocesan policies. This is a matter of personal integrity on their part," the Archdiocese of Chicago said in a statement. "Those that serve as Ministers of the Church, including worship ministers, are expected to conform their lives publicly with the teachings of the Church." 

Collette finds the Archdiocese response troubling because he says his relationship was far from private. He says his partner -- also a Catholic -- has even read scripture at the church.

"Everybody was welcome. That was our hallmark. All are welcome. Well, that's all changed now. That's become a lie," Collette said.

Collette said he wouldn't hesitate to take his job back, but doesn't expect an invitation to return. He says he will return to the church to worship.

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<![CDATA["Tip Bombers" Surprise Subway Artists With Cash, Cheers]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 03:57:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Tip-Bombing-NYC.jpg

A group of do-gooders has started surprising city subway performers with big tips and cheers, swarming their underground performance spots and filling their instrument cases with cash in a practice called “tip bombing.”

Twice this month, groups of people have come out to listen to artists and drop them extra tips in a Facebook-organized act of kindness. Organizers pick a busker to “bomb” and send out a message saying where and when they'll circle the artist and leave the tips.

The practice is similar to a nationwide trend, also called "tip bombing," where diners leave large tips for waitresses at inexpensive restaurants.

Robert Leslie was the first subway artist to get tip bombed. The group surprised him in a lower Manhattan subway station last week. He was tipped $319 in just a few minutes.

“Midway through, I was thinking ‘this is going really well,’” Leslie said in a YouTube video. “But then more and more people kept coming and I was like, ‘Wow, I should play here every day.’ I felt like Jay Z or something.”

On Wednesday, a group surprised an artist known as “Guitaro 5,000” in a subway station in Times Square.

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<![CDATA[1 Killed in Parking Lot Plane Crash]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:01:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Plane-Crash-0731_3.jpg

A small plane crashed in the parking lot of a busy San Diego shopping center Wednesday evening, killing one of the two women aboard and wounding the other.

“Problem now. I’m not getting any altitude here,” the pilot was heard on a distress call to Montgomery Field.

The fixed wing single-engine Mooney M20L crashed in a parking lot between Target and the Costco Business Center off Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa, about a mile from the airport, around 5:30 p.m. It landed near parked cars but away from main store entrances.

The 52-year-old pilot and her 78-year-old passenger were taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital with major injuries, according to fire officials. The 78-year-old woman suffered serious burns and died at the hospital. The condition of the pilot has not been released.

Family members told NBC 7 that one of the registered owners of the plane - Devon Logan of Point Loma - was aboard the plane.

Two witnesses who may have been trying to rescue the victims were treated for minor burns, fire officials said. One was taken to the hospital, and the other was treated at the scene. The plane did not hit any people in the parking lot when it crashed.

The Montgomery Field radio tower received a distress call from the aircraft right before the crash. The transciption of the call indicates the pilot knew she was in trouble.

“Problem now. I’m not getting any altitude here,” the pilot says.

“27 mike-pappa, full throttle,” the tower answers.

“I’m full throttle,” the pilot replies.

“27 mike-pappa, turn back to the field if you’re able,” the tower says.

“I’m going down,” responds the pilot.

Witness Gregg Smith was leaving work across the street and was only one block away when he saw and heard the aircraft crash.

“I heard the plane coming – it was a different sound – and I knew they didn’t have enough power to make the lift they needed to do,” Smith told NBC 7.

At that point, Smith said he looked up and saw the plane making a turn. “It missed my building probably by about 10 or 15 feet,” he added.

“I heard the distinctive thud of it hitting one of the light poles in the parking lot, and I heard it crash. The next thing I saw was a bunch of flames and black smoke,” Smith continued.

Helicopter pilot Vince Carter was taking off from Montgomery Field at the time of the crash. Carter told NBC 7 he heard the pilot’s distress call and heard her say her power was going out seconds before the crash.

“This is a miracle and testament to her skill as a pilot. I really hope she comes through everything okay. This could have very easily killed a lot of people,” he said. “You could imagine, just shopping at Target, and a plane comes through the roof full of fuel.”

Carter said the area where the aircraft landed is really the only place where the pilot could have gone without causing a lot of damage.

“When we’re flying, we need air going over the wings at a specific speed to generate lift. Once you lose enough air speed, there’s not enough wind going over the wings to generate lift and you don’t fly any more. As you can see, the plane is in a relatively flat position. It didn’t travel extremely far when it hit the ground, so you can assume that it didn’t have a lot of forward momentum going into this,” he said.

“So what probably happened is that in a loss of power and finding a place to put it down, she stalled it out pretty much perfectly in the only spot she possibly could have,” he continued.

"I don’t know what kind of control they had, but they obviously had enough control to bring it down into an area where they were not going to crash into vehicles or buildings,” San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesperson Lee Swanson said.

A small fire sparked upon impact, but firefighters extinguished it quickly, Swanson said.

Witnesses said several heroic bystanders rushed to the aid of the pilot and her passenger right after the crash, pulling the women from the wreckage.

A Costco employee who witnessed the crash told NBC 7 that the person taken to the hospital with minor burns to his hand is another Costco employee.

The Target store was not evacuated and remained open Wednesday evening. A Target employee said fire crews were assessing the building for damage.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is on scene investigating the cause of the crash. The FAA said the aircraft bounced while attempting to land at nearby Montgomery Field but continued westbound and crashed in the Costco parking lot.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will lead the investigation and likely post a preliminary report of the accident within the next week or two. Still, officials said it typically takes the NTSB months to come up with a probable cause for accidents.

Per protocol, neither agency will release the identities of those involved in the aircraft accident.

San Diego Police Department Sgt. Steve Behrendt said the airplane struck a portion of the Target building before landing.

“It did hit the top of the Target building. There is some debris on the roof of the Target and some in the garden area. Then one of the light poles was taken out by the plane,” Behrendt explains.

NBC 7 spoke with a family member of the pilot at UCSD Medical Center Wednesday night who said the survivor of the crash was in stable condition.

According to FAA records, the aircraft is co-owned but registered to San Diego resident William Logan. The family member confirmed William Logan was not aboard the aircraft.

Check back for updates on this developing story.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>