<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Weird News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usSat, 19 Aug 2017 19:29:12 -0700Sat, 19 Aug 2017 19:29:12 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Local Woman Shocked to Find Puppy with Chemical Burns from Backyard Plant]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:31:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/164*120/remi.PNG

Amy Kat of Paradise Hills was stunned when she came home to find her one-year-old great Dane-mix, Remi, injured and her maltipoo, Koopa, sick.

"I noticed Remi had sap on his fur, when I wiped it off his skin rolled off with it," Kat recalled. "My little one, Koopa, was laying on the ground with four piles of vomit around him. He was unresponsive."

Terrified, Kat said she drove both her dogs to an emergency pet service in Chula Vista. The vet told her the dogs were sick from one of her backyard succulents, known as a pencil cactus.

The pencil cactus, or Euphorbia tirucalli, is toxic to humans, dogs, and cats worldwide and can cause serious intestinal and skin injury, according to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Some people refer to the plants as "sticks of fire." They can be small enough to fit in a container or tree-sized.

“This plant's white milky sap is toxic to pets and humans. If sap makes contact with the skin, a painful rash develops at the point of contact. If the sap gets in the eyes, it can cause temporary blindness,” stated Laura Eubanks, a succulent expert in San Diego.

Remi was chemically burned on 30 percent of his body by the pencil cactus, according to Kat. Her other dog, Koopa, ingested part of the plant, which is why he was vomiting.

Kat said both of her dogs are now doing better two weeks later and seem to be in good health. Remi is still on medication.

"They have such an unbreakable spirit," said Kat.

Kat is urging others to check for the plant in their backyards. She said she recently moved into her home, and the plants were put there by the previous homeowner.

"I checked for typical pointy plants and things that might hurt them, but I had no idea that pencil cactus could make them sick," said Kat. "I almost lost both my boys in one night."

If the plant is ingested, some signs to look out for are stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

Kat created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to pay for her dogs’ veterinary bills and medicine.

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<![CDATA[Man Accused of Spraying Manure on Border Patrol Car]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:30:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/VT+border+patrol+manure-1502830697.jpg

A Vermont man who contracts with farmers to provide agricultural services firmly maintains he is innocent of assaulting a federal law enforcement officer with cow manure. 

On Thursday, the defense attorney for Mark Johnson, 53, of Alburgh, entered not guilty pleas on two misdemeanor counts: one of simple assault on a law enforcement officer with bodily fluids and one of disorderly conduct. 

The Grand Isle County State’s Attorney says Johnson, who provides various services to area farmers, including manure spreading, directed liquid cow manure from his spreader toward a cruiser with a U.S. Border Patrol agent inside. 

“He was definitely targeting that vehicle,” State’s Attorney Doug DiSabito said at Johnson’s arraignment in North Hero Thursday. 

In court paperwork, Sheriff Ray Allen of Grand Isle County said Johnson has long been frustrated with federal authorities, and that was a reason for the alleged manure assault. 

Johnson has often complained, Allen noted, that border patrol and immigration officers aren’t doing enough, in his eyes, about undocumented laborers on Vermont dairy farms. 

Those migrant workers, often from Mexico, are generally considered critical to the state's agriculture sector and to getting food on the tables of people across the Northeast and beyond. 

However, in Johnson’s view, he and his family have lost work and jobs to the migrants, court records show. 

“I'm not guilty,” Johnson told necn shortly after the court hearing, describing the accusation that he targeted the cruiser with liquid manure. “What was said in court today was not the truth. People need to know the truth.” 

Johnson insisted that dirtying the car was unintentional; that some of his load merely sloshed out as he drove past the cruiser. 

The Border Patrol agent acknowledged in a report filed with the court that his parked cruiser had been at least partially blocking an access road to a field where Johnson was working to spread manure. 

Johnson’s rig can hold 5,250 gallons of liquid manure, according to markings on the side of it. 

Because of that capacity, Johnson told necn that if he had truly planned a crime, the cruiser would've been basically black.

Photographs obtained by the Islander newspaper showed that one could still clearly see the markings on the cruiser, despite the splotches of manure. 

In another photo included in paperwork from the sheriff’s department, the front of the Border Patrol vehicle appeared mostly clean. 

In his report filed with the court, Border Patrol Agent Robert Rocheleau described Johnson using swear words while accusing him of not doing enough to address violations of immigration policy. 

Rocheleau said Johnson told the agent that he was being “squeezed” due to work lost to migrants. 

The agent noted in his report that he told Johnson if he is unhappy with the authorities’ handling of immigration issues, he should “write to his congressman.” 

Rocheleau said in the report he filed with the court that he heard Johnson revving the tractor’s engine aggressively and described Johnson operating the tractor “violently” to get a wave of manure to slosh out in his direction. 

Johnson suggested in brief remarks to necn following his arraignment that the agent’s version of events was exaggerated. He firmly maintained he is innocent. 

As the court case proceeds, Judge Michael Harris ordered Johnson to stay away from the Border Patrol agent. 

Stephanie Malin, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the northeast, told the Associated Press that prosecutors are handling the case. 

If found guilty of both of the charges, Johnson could face a maximum punishment of six months and 60 days in prison, and a $1,000 fine. 



Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Olympians Share Their Most Embarrassing School Memories]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:23:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+EMBARRASSING+SCHOOL+THUMB2.jpg

From bad school pictures to awkward first day wardrobes, Team USA members can now look back on some of their most embarrassing school moments and laugh.

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<![CDATA[7 Total Eclipse Driving Tips]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:08:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/218*120/Screen+Shot+2017-08-16+at+9.31.34+AM.png

Driving while the total solar eclipse is happening on August 21? Here are seven tips that will ensure your safety while driving.

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<![CDATA[Mysterious 'Spaceship' Parked on NYC Street Turns Heads]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:47:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/brooklynspaceship.jpg

Charles Walters' car is out of this world. 

The Brooklyn dad's "spaceship" has been turning heads and filling Brooklynites' Instagram feeds since he parked it on his leafy Prospect Heights block a few days ago. 

On a recent afternoon, a steady stream of pedestrians and drivers stopped when they spotted the futuristic vehicle on the brownstone block. They snapped selfies and photos of the car, a Chevrolet Blazer encased in steel, to give it its extraterrestrial appearance. 

"Is that a spaceship?" one driver yelled before belting out a laugh. 

Walters, a father of two and entrepreneur interested in drones and space travel, revels in the head scratching. 

"People they stop, and they look, and then they think, 'What is this'?" Walters told NBC 4 New York during a short spin around the neighborhood Tuesday. "The number one question we get is, 'What is this?'"

Walters said he and a team of employees constructed the spaceship in Bushwick more than a year ago. It usually stays parked in a garage in the neighborhood, Walters said. But he took it to Prospect Heights over the weekend so he could play with his kids and pique Brooklynites' interest. 

"What's life about if you can't have fun and freak people out?" Walters said.

Passersby are most definitely intrigued.

"What kind of car is that?" a driver who pulled over next to the vehicle asked Walters as he was climbing out of the driver's seat Tuesday. 

"It's a spaceship," he joked. "Want to go to space?"



Photo Credit: Ben Feuerherd
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<![CDATA[New UCSD Research Suggests Life on Other Planets ]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 21:18:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-488635525heat.jpg

In the Milky Way Galaxy, about 40 light years away, is a system of seven Earth-sized planets called Trappist-1.

The far away worlds orbit a star similar to our sun but smaller and colder. However, the planets orbit closer to the sun than our planets and some might even have water.

Astrophysicists said it suggests there could be life on these planets.

"We really had no handle on the age of Trappist-1," said  Adam Burgasser, an astrophysicist with the University of California, San Diego. "So our study went and looked at all the evidence on the star and got an age for it."

Burgasser said the star is a lot older than initially thought, meaning life has had more time to develop in the system.

"We think it’s about 7 and a half to 9 billion years old," said Burgasser. "Which is about twice as old as the sun in our solar system."

Burgasser said his team was able to find the age of Trappist-1 by measuring the changes and movement of the stars in the system.

"There’s many earth size planets orbiting, probably most of the stars in the galaxy," said Burgasser. "The chance that there’s no life is probably very small at this point.”




Photo Credit: Getty Images/Science Photo Libra]]>
<![CDATA[Seriously, These Horizontal Lines Are Perfectly Straight]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:33:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_ILLUSION_MURAL_1-150239277226800001.jpg

A mind-bending mural in Georgia will have you distrusting your eyes. Are the horizontal lines in this piece of art straight? Join the debate!

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<![CDATA[Back From Trip, Va. Man Finds Apartment Suspiciously Clean]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:31:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/Generic+Arlington+County+Police+Generic.jpg

An Arlington, Virginia, man returned from a trip this week surprised to find his apartment had been cleaned.

Police received a report of suspicious circumstances at 12:03 a.m. Monday.

In addition to having been cleaned, some items in the apartment were moved, but nothing appears to be missing, police said.

The man told police he does not employ a maid.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington, File]]>
<![CDATA['Hammered' Driver Pulls Into Police Station, Seeking Safety: PD]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:25:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Sean+McCullough+DUI+Upper+Darby+police+composite.jpg

A drunk driver pulled into a Delaware County, Pennsylvania police station early Wednesday morning and told officers he wanted to be in a "safe" place, according to police.

Around 4 a.m., Upper Darby police officers watched on security video as an SUV veered into an exit lane, hopped a curb and clip a security gate while driving into the police station's private parking lot, police superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

The SUV then motored along a sidewalk before parking in a spot around back designated for squad cars, he told NBC10.

Chitwood said an officer ran out of the station and found 44-year-old Sean McCullough, of Havertown, "totally ossified."

McCullough admitted to being "hammered" having consumed 12 to 14 beers in Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey, police said.

Officers tried to perform a field sobriety test on McCullough but he told them "I'm too drunk for that," police said.

He came to the station because "it was the safest place," police said.

Officers took McCullough to the hospital to be checked out.

A district court judge arraigned McCullough on careless driving and driving under the influence charges and set bail at $10,000.

McCullough told NBC10's Steven Fisher Thursday that he is embarrassed and has a problem to address.



Photo Credit: Upper Darby Police Department/NBC10
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<![CDATA[NYC-Scented Luxury Candle Sparks Speculation Online]]> Wed, 09 Aug 2017 07:30:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-55921972.jpg

How do you capture the aroma of a city that produces 12,000 tons of trash every day?

Luxury fragrance company Diptyque said on Twitter it is creating an exclusive New York City candle, and that has elicited strong mixed reactions on social media. The 6.5 oz candle is already listed on the company's website for $70.

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The Paris-based company, which also produces perfumes, cosmetics and skin care products, retails its candles from $34 to $295.

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Though Diptyque didn't say exactly what the candle will smell like, users on social media weighed in on the possibilities.

Some customers expressed their enthusiasm over the new candle, hoping it has the essence of iconic New York foods like pizza, bagels, Halal meat or roasted nuts.

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However, the majority of people seemed unimpressed or skeptical about the aroma of New York.

Common guesses about the scent included rats, urine, smoke, sweat, hot garbage and subways in the heat.

Other tweets referred to the quirky sights and smells of the city — the only-in-New-York incidents like the pizza rat or a stray shoe on the street.

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Others had more abstract ideas about the scent, like despair and gentrification.

Diptyque also recently announced a London candle which they specified will smell like flowers.

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“To celebrate Westbourne Grove boutique reopening, diptyque proposes a London exclusive candle; a flower market encapsulated,” the company tweeted.

The company hasn’t confirmed if the London and New York candles are part of a city-themed series in the making, but some people are hoping not.

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Photo Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[NYC Bakery Sends Internet Trolls’ Hate Back on Cakes]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:36:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_BAKERY_FOR_TROLLS_080817_1-150221118860100001.jpg

A New York bakery is trying a sweet new way to combat internet trolls. Troll Cakes is baking cakes that have the same message trolls use online on their victims. The bakery posts photos of the cakes to its Instagram page.

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<![CDATA[Swanky San Francisco Street Sells for $90K, Spurring Suit]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 07:13:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sf+street+sale-0807.jpg

One of the swankiest streets in San Francisco has been sold to a private real estate agent. That's right: An entire street in the City by the Bay was purchased.

And now residents of Presidio Terrace are being told they may have to pay rent to park in front of their mansions.

The private street is one of 181 in San Francisco, but Presidio Terrace is among the fanciest. Sen. Dianne Feinstein lived in one of the multimillion-dollar homes on the street when she was running for governor.

The land in front of those 35 mega-mansions sold for a paltry $90,000 to Michael Cheng and his partner.

Cheng, speaking via Facetime from Florida on Monday, said he and his partner are thinking about either renting parking spots or possibly putting up meters.

"Our initial goal was just to buy it and hang onto it for a while," Cheng said.

Somehow payment of the $14-a-year property tax on the street was overlooked for decades, and that led the city to sell the street for taxes and a little bit more.

The last time a house went up for sale on Presidio Terrace, the asking price was $16 million.

Most of the homeowners only found out about the sale of their street in the newspaper Monday morning. The city had been sending tax bills to an accounting office at 47 Kearny St., which is now a Pilates studio. An attorney for the homeowners said no one working for the homeowners has been at the address for 30 years.

Peter Michael is a tech mogul turned winemaker who lives on Presidio Terrrace.

"It’s negligence on the city’s part not to post it," he said.

The homeowners have filed a lawsuit against the city Office of Treasurer and Tax Collector for failing to notify the property owners. But a spokeswoman for the office said everything was done according to the law.

"It’s uniform in every county in California, how this happens, and it’s really the property owners' responsibility to be up to date on their taxes," spokeswoman Amanda Kahn Fried said.

The homeowners are appealing to the Board of Supervisors, and a hearing is set for Oct. 31.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Mystery Solved: Why a Va. Driver Dressed as a Car Seat]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 08:38:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/080717+car+with+hidden+driver.jpg

A van that appeared to have no driver made headlines when it was spotted in Arlington, Virginia, last week. But when News4's Adam Tuss saw the van on Monday and looked inside, he saw that it did have a driver: a man dressed in a costume made to look like just a car seat.

From the road, the unmarked gray van eerily looks like it's moving without a driver. The entire front seat looks empty. But when Tuss looked inside, he saw a man wearing a beige and black costume that covered his entire torso.

His arms poked out of the bottom of the costume to steer. His face was completely covered, like that of a sports mascot who can see out, but no one can see in.

"I looked out and I said, 'Oh my God, there's a guy in a seat costume," Tuss said. "How's that possible? Your brain can't get around it for a second."

Tuss went to the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington on Monday to talk with ARLnow.com founder Scott Brodbeck about the vehicle he saw in Clarendon and Courthouse on Thursday night

As Tuss left the ARLnow.com offices, he saw the 2017 Ford Transit Connect himself. He and a News4 photographer followed the vehicle in Clarendon and Ballston for about 20 minutes. 

Tuss went to knock on the window. At first, he thought he saw an empty seat. Then, when he looked below the wheel, he saw a man's hands and legs.

"Brother, who are you? What are you doing? I'm with the news, dude," Tuss said. "Dude, can you pull over and we can talk for a second?"  

But the driver didn't say a word.

After multiple inquiries by News4, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute said Monday afternoon that the van and van driver are part of a study they are conducting on driverless cars. The worker was wearing the uniform he was supposed to wear. 

"The driver's seating area is configured to make the driver less visible within the vehicle, while still allowing him or her the ability to safely monitor and respond to surroundings," a statement from the institute says. 

Virginia Tech declined to make the half car seat, half man -- as Tuss put it -- available for an interview. 

Arlington County officials were involved in the planning for the study, a Virginia Tech spokeswoman said. Arlington was selected because "it is representative of the urban areas for which automated vehicles are currently being considered," she said. 

Go here to learn more about the study

The Virginia Department of Transportation was not aware of the vehicle, a representative said. The Arlington Police Department was "shocked" by news of the van, one representative said.

Several "invisible driver" prank videos can be found on YouTube. The drivers are entirely hidden by costumes that look just like car seats.

CORRECTION (Aug. 8, 2017, 9:30 a.m.): An earlier version of this story said the driver ran a red light, in apparent attempt to evade News4. But a spokeswoman for the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute says a thorough review of the in-vehicle camera showed the driver passed through a yellow light. 



Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Takes Unique Flight Path]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 14:52:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/flightpath2.jpg

A Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner took a unique path as part of an endurance test flight Wednesday. The airline says its passenger jet flew for more than 18 hours and crossed 22 states to form a flight path in the shape of an airplane.

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<![CDATA[Scientists Discover Funniest Word in English Language]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 07:17:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/Funniest+Word+Thumbnail.png

There are some words that you can’t hear without cracking up. Researchers from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom conducted a study to find the funniest word in the English language. Do you agree with their conclusion? 

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<![CDATA[5 Things You Need to Know About the Total Solar Eclipse]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:33:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Eclipse.jpg

A total solar eclipse is going to be visible across parts of the U.S. this August. But what is a total solar eclipse, exactly? When was the last time one happened? What should you look for? Find out all that and more.

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<![CDATA[Man Takes Off Clothes, Does Dishes in Bizarre Home Invasion]]> Fri, 04 Aug 2017 06:18:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/home+invasino+hackensack.JPG

A man allegedly sneaked into a New Jersey home Wednesday, took off his clothes and tried to get into the shower with a woman, then went to the kitchen and started doing dishes, according to the terrified family and police. 

A woman who lives in the home on First Street in Hackensack tells News 4 she was in a bedroom babysitting her baby nephew when her sister burst into the room, wearing only a towel, shortly before 8:30 a.m. The sister fell to the ground, panicking, and said a stranger pulled back the shower curtain as she was inside and started taking off his clothes, according to the woman. 

According to police, the man, identified as James King, of Queens, left the bathroom when the sister threatened to call police. 

But he didn't leave the home. When police arrived, they found King in the kitchen washing dishes. The sisters say King told police he was the family's caretaker, but they say they've never seen him before. 

Neighbors said they had never seen King before either. He was led from the home in handcuffs and charged with burglary and lewdness. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations. 

No injuries were reported. The women say they locked all the doors and think the stranger got in through an open window.



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Power Tool Needed to Remove Spinner Stuck On Finger]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 13:21:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NA31W_1200x675_1015363651831.jpg

When an Arizona boy went to the emergency room with a fidget spinner stuck on his finger, E-R doctors needed a little help... from a maintenance man.

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<![CDATA[DA Will Not Prosecute Chloe Goins on Drug Charges ]]> Tue, 01 Aug 2017 20:31:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/01-14-2015-chloe-goins-cosby-accuser-2.JPG

Chloe Goins, a former model who accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion and was arrested on drug charges in San Diego in July, will not face prosecution, the District Attorney's Office said Tuesday.

Goins was scheduled to be arraigned in the Chula Vista Superior Court Tuesday but the hearing was removed from the court calendar.

According to Tanya Sierra, a spokesperson with the District Attorney's Office, they did not issue charges in the case. Sierra said the office does not discuss its charging decisions, "Except to say we can only file charges when we believe we can prove them beyond a reasonable doubt."

Goins was arrested July 23 and booked into the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO), Goins was arrested in the parking lot of the George F. Bailey Detention Center in Otay Mesa on suspicion of bringing heroin into the jail.

The charges against her included having a possible controlled substance and bringing alcohol and drugs into prison.

Goins is one of 10 women who have accused Cosby of sexually abusing them.

Cosby is being sued by Goins for battery, gender violence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

She claims the comedian spiked her drink during a party at the Playboy Mansion in 2008 and then abused her in a bedroom.




Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Artist Hoists 'They Live' Trump Billboard in Mexico]]> Fri, 28 Jul 2017 20:24:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trump+billboard+4.jpg

A billboard depicting President Donald Trump as an otherworldly invader, with teeth exposed and eyes bulging through blue and red muscle and tendon, has been hoisted above the streets of Mexico City by a Chicago artist.

The ‘80s cult classic film “They Live,” in which skull-faced aliens are only visible to the protagonist when he wears special sunglasses, is the inspiration behind Mitch O’Connell’s project. In a phone interview, he called it "an appropriate commentary on Trump."

The billboard appeared above a road known as the Periferico sometime last week.

O’Connell started a GoFundMe page in April to raise cash for the display.

“With a Trump presidency, things just keep getting stranger (and the bar was set pretty high for strange to begin with), and the world of ’They Live’ becomes even more prophetic,” the page reads. “Of course, this isn’t all Trumps fault. No matter what your point of view, most folks feel Washington is a big mess of nonfunctioning nonsense, but since Trump has the best hair, he also wins getting the caricature on the billboard.”

After consulting with advertising companies, O’Connell set a goal of $1,930 for a two-month rental to begin with. As of July 28, the GoFundMe had raised $3,260.

On his website, he explains courting multiple advertisers to host the sign, but says all of them backed out or “got cold feet” when they saw the artwork.

“I contacted over 30 billboard companies,” O'Connell tells NBC 5. “Most of them wouldn’t get back to me and the ones that did just said ‘no.’”

After taking his search for a host international, he said "it was a beautiful ending" that Mexico was where the billboard was raised because of Trump's contentious history with the country.

On the campaign trail, Trump characterized Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “criminals” and said Mexico sends its undesirable citizens or “bad hombres” across the border.

“They are not our friend, believe me,” Trump said of Mexico in his announcement speech.

He also said that Mexico would pay for the building of a border wall.

“I am not going to pay for that f---ing wall,” former Mexican President Vicente Fox said in February.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

O’Connell said the “They Live” Trump design originally started as a poster for a 24-hour horror movie marathon in Chicago called “The Massacre” in 2015. He’s also done versions of the poster depicting Hillary Clinton.

Asked what the president might think about the billboard, O'Connell jokes his taxes might be audited for the next 50 years.

“His plate is so crazy full I might not even make an impression on him," he said. "But ... I would probably have whatever he tweets about me on my tombstone.”



Photo Credit: Mitch O'Connell
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<![CDATA[Pregnant Doctor Helps Deliver Baby Minutes Before Her Labor]]> Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:18:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NC_pregnantdoc0728_1500x845.jpg

Dr. Amanda Hess knew she would be working until the last moments of her pregnancy, but she didn't think she would help deliver a patient's baby just minutes before her own contractions started at Frankfort Regional Medical Center.



Photo Credit: WLEX]]>
<![CDATA[Your Roomba May Be Mapping Your Home and Collecting Data It Could Sell]]> Fri, 28 Jul 2017 09:42:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Roomba.jpg

Roombas and iRobots are modern gadgets to help clean your house, but are they collecting data that could be sold to major companies?

Many iRobots collect data about your house as they work, like where furniture and walls are located in the building. This is to help the Roomba learn the best ways to clean your house without bumping into the couch, for example. 

"Over time the robot becomes smarter and knows which places it needs to clean up more around your home," said Henrik Christensen, director of the Contextual Robotics Institute and a professor of computer science at University of California, San Diego.

Newer Roombas, like 960 and 980 models, which have iRobot’s latest mapping technology have the ability to collect this data and map your house.

(If you do have a model with built-in Wi-Fi, such as the 690 or 890, it doesn’t have the ability to create a floor plan of your home like the 900 series.)

However, for the models that do have the ability to map, some robotics experts are concerned this can then be sold it to companies like Amazon, Apple or Google to use for advertising.

The company’s CEO, Colin Angle, said in an interview with Reuter’s that he is considering selling the data in the next couple years.

The implications of this are endless, according to Christensen.

For example, if the Roomba detects you don't have a chair in your living room, you could soon see one advertised in your newsfeed.

"We've already allowed Amazon into our homes with Alexa, and that has eight microphones in it," added Christensen.

Christensen said that whether the Roomba actually needs your permission to sell your data is still a gray area in the field of robotics.

"You haven't signed an agreement that lets them sell your data in the case of the Roomba," said Christensen. "On the other hand, they can say, 'well we never asked for it.'"



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Accused of Smuggling King Cobras in Potato Chip Cans]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 06:47:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/209*120/cobra-side-by-side.jpg

A Monterey Park man was arrested on federal smuggling charges Tuesday stemming from the seizure of a package that contained three king cobras hidden in potato chip canisters.

Rodrigo Franco, 34, was taken into custody without incident by special agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after he was named in a federal criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles last week, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Franco is charged with one felony count of illegally importing merchandise into the United States, which carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison.

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, U.S. Customs and Border Protection on March 2 inspected a package sent from Hong Kong and discovered three live king cobra snakes -- a protected and highly venomous reptile -- each of which was nearly 2 feet long.

In addition to the three snakes, the parcel being sent through the mail contained three albino Chinese soft-shelled turtles, prosecutors said.

On the same date, Franco also allegedly mailed six protected turtles -- desert box turtles, three-toed box turtles and ornate box turtles -- from the United States to Hong Kong, but that shipment also was intercepted by the USFWS.

Because of the danger associated with the cobras, the snakes were seized from the package that had come from Hong Kong. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service made a controlled delivery of the soft-shelled turtles to Franco's home. Immediately after the package was delivered, federal agents executed a search warrant at the residence.

While searching the home, agents found the package that originated in Hong Kong in a children's bedroom, in which they also discovered a tank containing a live baby crocodile and tanks containing alligator snapping turtles, a common snapping turtle, and five diamond back terrapins -- all of which are protected species, according to the affidavit.

During a subsequent interview with authorities, Franco allegedly admitted that he had previously received 20 king cobras in two prior shipments -- but he said all of those snakes had died in transit, prosecutors said.

During the ensuing investigation, authorities obtained evidence from Franco's phone, which contained messages in which he and someone in Asia allegedly discussed shipping turtles and snakes between the United States and Asia. According to the complaint, the messages indicate that Franco had previously received live cobras from his contact in Asia and was going to give five of the snakes to a relative of his contact.



Photo Credit: Uniter States Fish and Wildlife Service]]>
<![CDATA[Twins Born Conjoined at the Heart]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 07:55:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Joined_at_the_heart-150093339088500001.jpg

Twin baby girls Paisleigh and Paislyn Martinez were born conjoined at the chest, with their hearts fused together. Doctors from University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital used groundbreaking technology to separate them.

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<![CDATA[The 2017 Must-Have Comic-Con Collector's Items]]> Sat, 22 Jul 2017 10:42:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/219*120/ComicCon_2174854.jpg

Comic-Con is giving out free collector's items this year to all guests in the convention center.

For the first time, every guest receives a badge box on the 2nd floor of the convention center. Inside the box is a Comic-Con 2017 collector pin.

Every fan also gets a bag that can double as a backpack. Each of the bags have different television and movie themes such as The Flash, The Big Bang Theory and Supergirl.

On the outside corner of the bag is another souvenir pin of Batman, Superman, and other superheroes.

Fans were already trying to trade pins and bags Friday.

"I would love to trade with someone," said Emily McFarland, 15. "That would be so cool."  

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<![CDATA[The Costumes of Comic-Con]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:15:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+COMIC+CON+Costumes+THUMB.jpg

One of the key attractions at any Comic-Con is the fan-made costumes. NBC talked to a few attendees about what inspired their look and how much it cost to put it all together.

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<![CDATA[Comic-Con: The Hall H Line Survival Guide]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 15:38:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+COMIC+CON+HALL+H+THUMB.jpg

The famed Hall H at Comic-Con is where all the biggest and most exciting panels happen, and fans line up overnight just to get a chance to get a glimpse of some of their favorite stars or creators. Here is everything you need to know to survive the wait.

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<![CDATA[The 5 Weirdest Panels Listed in the Comic-Con Guidebook]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 06:37:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+COMIC+CON+5+WEIRDEST+PANELS+THUMB.jpg

Comic-Con is full of panels that feature beloved actors and exclusive sneak peaks at footage of upcoming movies and shows, but there are also quite a few Klingon-eyebrow-raising ones in the mix. Here are five of the weirdest panels at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend.

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<![CDATA[Weapons Check at Comic-Con]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:28:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+COMIC+CON+WEAPONS+CHECK+THUMB.jpg

Many Comic-Con costumes wouldn’t be complete without the right swords, crossbows or blasters — but there are some strict rules for what you can and cannot bring onto the convention floor. Here’s what you need to know.

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<![CDATA[No Ticket To Comic-Con? No Problem! ]]> Sat, 22 Jul 2017 20:27:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*160/9268831581122125462389587698918n.jpg

If you didn't get a ticket to the convention center at Comic-Con 2017, don't worry. There are plenty of things to do in the Gaslamp District outside.

NBC has a special automation booth based on a new show premiering Monday called Midnight Texas.

The booth is free to enter and is located next to the Tin Fish restaurant on Sixth Avenue.

Inside the exhibit, witches, werewolves and other supernatural beings come to life as holograms, thanks to augmented reality. The spooky feature might have a long line, but it's worth the wait.

There is also a pinball lounge in the Marriott Hotel, where anyone can come and play Star Wars themed pinball games for free.

At the Omni Hotel, virtual reality has taken over. There are plenty of booths on the second floor of the hotel featuring virtual reality headsets, virtual driving courses, and a green screen with a trampoline, where programmers can turn you into a video game character.   

And then of course, there is people watching. Wonder Woman is a popular costume this year after the popular movie recently released.



Photo Credit: sticknbc7/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[Feet Jabbed Into Empty Row Make for In-Flight 'Nightmare']]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:04:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/feet3.jpg

A California woman thought she had hit the jackpot when she boarded a JetBlue plane for a short flight this week: she had an entire row to herself. 

"I left the armrests up so I could bask in the comfort of my private airplane bench," Jessie Char, who was flying from Long Beach, California, home to San Francisco, told NBC 4 New York. "It was a short flight, but I wasn't about to let this go to waste." 

Char says she heard a small thud a few minutes after takeoff and noticed one of the armrests had fallen. Then the unthinkable happened. 

"At first I assumed it was just a loose hinge, but as I stared at the armrest I noticed a set of toes creeping outwards," Char said. "By the time I pulled out my phone, a second foot had appeared." 

Char says the toes started wiggling and then the situation deteriorated even further. 

"I watched as one of the feet slowly lifted the window shade up and down again," she says. 

The now highly disturbed traveler made eye contact with a flight attendant, but the feet retracted — Wicked Witch of the West-style — as the crew member approached, Char says. 

Char says she caught a glimpse of the feet's owners after the flight; the woman was about 5 feet 3 inches tall — or shorter — and was seated in a row with extra leg room, she says. 

Char's tweet, captioned, "Today, I flew on the set of a nightmare," has gotten more than 4,100 retweets and 20,800 likes since she posted it early Wednesday. And as one might imagine, the memes are extra special.



Photo Credit: @jessiechar/Twitter
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<![CDATA[What’s Happening At Comic-Con This Year? ]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 11:52:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NC_comiccon_1920x1080.jpg

Comic-Con 2017 is in full swing in San Diego.

Comic-con Spokesperson, David Glanzer said there are some new and exciting features at the popular event.

“We have exhibitors from international places as far away as Chile and New Zealand,” said Glanzer. “We have a pinball lounge at the Marriott, a virtual reality lounge at the Omni Hotel.”

Glanzer added the event has run out of space at the San Diego Convention Center lately because of its popularity.

Comic-Con recently teamed up with local hotels and the city to sign a three year extension to its agreement.

“Now the challenge is if that will carry us beyond 2021,” said Glanzer. 



Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Gator Crosses Busy Florida Street]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:45:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_GATOR_ON_STREET_IN_FLA_071917-150048393084600001.jpg

A large alligator was captured on camera crossing a busy street in Lakeland, Florida.

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<![CDATA[Goat Rams Through Glass Door of Colo. Business]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:33:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_GOAT_OFFICE_0711819_1-150048201809600001.jpg

An aggressive goat was caught on camera repeatedly ramming and eventually breaking the front door glass door of a polyurethane manufacturer in Colorado.

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<![CDATA[Do Fidget Spinners Really Reduce Anxiety? ]]> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 18:03:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/UTD_Fidget_Spinner.jpg

As students start to go back-to-school shopping, many will have fidget spinners on their lists.

Fidget spinners are a popular hand-held gadget that continuously spin using magnets as you hold them.

The item gained popularity on the basis that it could reduce anxiety and hyperactivity by making the person focus on the spinning rather than nervous energy.

"If you think the fidget spinner will help you, then it will help you," said Dr. Michael Mantell, Ph.D. a transformational behavior coach in San Diego. "There is not one shred of data that says the 40 million people with anxiety or the 6 million kids with A.D.H.D. will necessarily do better with the fidget spinner unless they tell themselves this helps.”

Dr. Mantell added the fidget spinner can help people to focus on the present instead of the future, which can reduce anxiety in itself.

“When we make the prediction something bad is going to happen, we make ourselves anxious," said Dr. Mantell. "What we ought to do is be more mindful and present."

Some teachers have banned fidget spinners from their classrooms, saying they are a distraction.

WATCH, a consumer advocacy group, warns that small pieces can fall off fidget spinners, which can become lodged in a child's throat.

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