<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego News]]>Copyright 2017https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego https://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usTue, 12 Dec 2017 08:40:24 -0800Tue, 12 Dec 2017 08:40:24 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Teenager Killed in Alpine Crash]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 08:21:58 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/alpineteenkilled.jpg

A 17-year-old passenger died when the Jeep he was riding in crashed into a car in Alpine late Monday. 

According to the California Highway Patrol, an 18-year-old man from Crest was driving a Jeep on South Grade Road when he drifted off the road, overcorrected, and crashed into a Lexus going the opposite direction. 

It happened about 8:30 p.m. Monday east of Via Vejas Oeste. 

The driver of the Jeep had two passengers with him: a 17-year-old from Alpine in the front passenger seat who was wearing a seatbelt, and another 17-year-old from Alpine who was riding in the back of the Jeep.

CHP officers said the back of the Jeep had no seats or seatbelts, and the teenager was thrown from the Jeep and died. 

The Jeep's driver and front passenger were taken to the hospital with minor to moderate injuries.

A 51-year-old man from Alpine was driving the Lexus with a 13-year-old girl inside. They suffered minor injuries and did not go to the hospital for treatment. 

CHP officers said they do not suspect alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash at this time. 

<![CDATA[American Eagle Statue Survives Lilac Fire]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 07:50:32 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bald-Eagle-Statue-Survives-Fire.jpg

A statue of an American bald eagle survived the intense heat of the Lilac Fire when 70 homes burned to the ground around it.

Now, the Bonsall couple who own the statue and the home destroyed nearby are looking for answers to questions they never dreamed they’d have to ask.

Pat and Dan Damon lived at the Rancho Monserate Mobile Home Park, near where the Lilac Fire broke out Thursday, Dec. 7.

As Dan noted, fire consumed their home on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The eagle statue, a gift from the American Legion, was one of the few things from their home to survive the flames.

“It still survived and I thought that was pretty moving to me and so it, just represents America,” Damon said.

The couple lost everything, except the clothes they were wearing. They even lost the keyboards Dan used to work as a musician.

“My heart breaks for him,” Pat Damon said of her husband. “Because entertainers are all emotion.”

Now they're faced with trying to rebuild not only those homes, but their lives.

But they are determined to rebuild.

“Our past was our past, and that was our first chapter in life, now I'm trying to get my head around this, this is our second chapter of our life, so we get two chances now,” Pat Damon said.

The fire destroyed 104 homes, San Diego County damage assessors reported Monday. 

As of Tuesday morning, the fire was 92 percent surrounded. 

The cause is under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Owner of Home Destroyed by Plane Missed Death by 10 Minutes]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 08:39:04 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Clairemont-Plane-Crash_2.jpg

A San Diego man believes the fact that he was not in the backyard of his home when a small plane crashed is a miracle.

Max Sansa left his Clairemont home for work at 4:13 p.m. Saturday.

At 4:25 p.m., a plane fell from the sky shortly after takeoff from Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport.

The plane exploded into flames, killing two people and destroying the home.

The pilots were trying to land in a nearby schoolyard, however, the plane crashed through a fence and skidded into Sansa's yard on Chandler Drive. 

Sansa’s wife and 2-year-old daughter had left that morning to visit family in New York.

“If they weren't in New York, they would be here," Sansa said pointing to the living room. "It's gone. It's all burned."

His friend, Daniel, was staying with him. The two of them had done yard work in the backyard before the crash.

They had finished lunch and were deciding what to do next when Daniel's girlfriend came by.

“They were going to have a nap and Daniel lives in the room where the plane hit,” Sansa said. “But they decided to go to Point Loma for a walk. So that saved their lives.”

The brush with death still weighs on Sansa.

All that’s left of his backyard is an orange tree and part of a hammock.

“We have nothing left,” he said.

When asked what he’s going to do, Sansa suggests waiting a couple of years for the answer.

“I don't know. But I know I have to keep going,” he said.

The generosity of others is part of what keeps him going.

A neighbor stopped by to drop off clothes even during our interview.

“It just gives me hope,” he said.

Sansa says his wife and daughter get back this weekend. Until then he is staying with friends.

The plane, a 1995 Beechcraft Bonanza, was a six-seat single-engine airplane. It was registered to Altitude Aviation Inc., out of Hermosa Beach, California.

On Monday, one of the people killed in the crash was identified as Robert Stelling, 50, of South Hampton, New York. Stelling and his wife were visiting San Diego for a veterinary medicine conference.

Two other occupants of the plane — a man and a woman — walked away from the crash.

An online fundraising page has been set up in the name of Max Sansa. You can find it here. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7/Savonia Guy]]>
<![CDATA[Man Identified in Clairemont Plane Crash, Wife Survives]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:48:26 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/One_Couple_Identified_in_Clairemont_Plane_Crash.jpg

A married couple, Dawn and Robert Stelling were passengers on the plane that crashed in a Clairemont school park and burst into flames in the backyard of a nearby home on Saturday.

Dawn survived, Robert did not.

The couple lives in Southhampton, New York with their three children.

Gil Flanagan, an acquaintance of Robert Stelling for over 20 years, discussed the loss of his friend with NBC 7.

"Robert was one of the nicest people I’ve ever known," Flanagan said. "It's a terrible loss. This whole community will miss him and we stand behind him and his family."

Flanagan said Robert Stelling, 50, was the owner of a beach and tennis club.

He said Dawn Stelling owns an animal hospital. She and her husband were in San Diego attending an annual veterinary medicine conference before the crash.

They were also visiting a friend, the other victim killed in the crash. NBC 7 has not been able to confirm that person's identity.

Dawn Stelling is on her way home to Southampton to be with her family.

Flanagan said the couple was on the plane because Dawn "wanted to see San Diego from the sky."

The plane, a 1995 Beechcraft Bonanza, was a six-seat single-engine airplane. It was registered to Altitude Aviation Inc., out of Hermosa Beach, California.

Calls to the owners of Altitude Aviation have yet to be returned.

<![CDATA[‘Bless You’: Last Words Said to Man Killed by Tree Branch]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:59:13 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*213/IMG_135097869765.JPG

A family is grieving after a man was hit by a tree branch that blew down during strong winds through San Diego County. 

Frank Vawter, 74, was getting out of his car at Holiday Park in Carlsbad Thursday when it happened. 

"[Frank] sneezed and a very kind gentleman said 'God bless you,' and a tree branch fell and hit him on the head," said Sally Vawter, Frank's wife. 

City officials said Frank was struck by a branch that was eight inches in diameter. Firefighters arrived and attempted life saving measures, but he was pronounced dead. 

Sally said she is now trying to find the gentleman because he helped her husband as first responders came to the scene. 

Sally said Frank was a veteran: a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps and father of five children. 

"Frank was the best person I've ever met in my life," said Vawter. "He was a good man, very kind-hearted. He loved his children and was a great father." 

She added Frank was honored as the citizen of the year for acts of bravery in Mesa, Arizona. 

Just two weeks before his death, Sally said Frank had helped the family cut down a problematic tree in the backyard. 

"He had never cut a tree in his life before and two weeks later he was killed by a tree, so it seems quite ironic," said Sally. 

Sally added the family will always consider Frank to be their hero. They plan to hold a celebration of life ceremony for him. 

"We want to celebrate the good times," said Sally. "Not the terrible tragedy that's happened." 

<![CDATA[Local Man Sentenced in Bizarre Baja Killing of Wealthy Texan]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:43:40 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Jake-Merendino_blurb_Meza.jpg

A San Diego man convicted in the brutal killing of his wealthy Texas boyfriend in Mexico as part of an intricate scheme to inherit his estate, was sentenced Monday.

Federal prosecutors confirmed that David Enrique Meza, 27, of Imperial Beach, was sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing his 52-year-old Texas retiree boyfriend, Jake Clyde Merendino, 24 times.

Prosecutors also said Meza slashed Merendino's throat, and then afterward dumped his body in a ravine near a highway near Rosarito Beach, Mexico.

In federal court, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller called the homicide an “inhumane, depraved act.” He chose a harsh sentence due to Meza’s "heinous" actions.

Meza's then-girlfriend, Taylor Marie Langston, was also indicted for Merendino's death back in May 2015.

While describing the reasoning behind Meza's sentence, Judge Miller said, “One can’t even imagine the torture and torment Mr. Merendino experienced.”

Since Merendino was killed in Baja, California, the trial was held in federal court. Meza was convicted of one count of Interstate or Foreign Domestic Violence Resulting in Murder and one count of Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice by a federal jury.

On May 2, 2017, the second anniversary of Merendino's death, the federal jury returned a guilty verdict. Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson said the victim cared for Meza, lavishing him with expensive gifts and trying to create a life together.

Meza and Merendino met online in June 2013, according to evidence presented at trial. They soon became involved in a romantic relationship. But while dating Merendino, Meza continued pursuing a long-term romantic relationship with Langston who was pregnant with his child.

Prosecutors described Meza as living a double life. Days before the fatal attack, he produced a handwritten will that made him the sole heir to Merendino’s estate, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Meza and Langston planned to exploit Merendino and for Meza to eventually kill Merendino.

Merendino was last seen in the early morning hours of May 2, 2015, when he drove to the hotel he and Meza were staying at in Baja California, called Bobby's By the Sea, to report help for a stranded friend on the road.

His body was discovered by Mexican officials around 3 a.m., in a ravine near the highway that connected to Rosarito and Ensenada, according to the FBI. Federal prosecutors said the area is known as Los Arenales.

Meza was seen crossing the U.S. border by motorcycle at 3:57 a.m., according to investigators.

Evidence presented at trial showed Meza and Langston returned to the Bobby's By the Sea hotel at approximately 7 p.m. the same day as the slaying, in order for Meza to collect items from the room he had shared with the victim. 

Mexican officials later reported to the FBI that Merendino’s $15,000, diamond-stuffed Rolex watch, iPhone, iPad and laptop were all missing.

When questioned by investigators, Meza and Langston claimed they had been visiting a friend named “Joe” in Tijuana at the time of Merendino’s murder.

But phone records and Facebook posts contradicted that alibi, and “Joe,” later identified as Jose Aguilera, told investigators he had not seen the couple for a year and a half and they have never visited his home.

According to investigation documents, Aguilera told agents that Meza called him a week after the killing and asked him to lie to police if they called, telling them that the couple came to his house.

The prosecution’s evidence included text messages sent by Meza to Merendino professing his love for him. Messages were also shared in which Meza expressed his disdain for Merendino to his then-pregnant fiancée, Langston.

Documentation was also shown to the jury suggesting Meza was the sole beneficiary of Merendino’s Baja condo, worth nearly $300,000.

<![CDATA[Serial Arsonist Search Puts Ocean Beach on Alert ]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:35:42 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2017-12-11-06h08m33s021.png

San Diego Police are connecting five arson fires in as many days to one suspect or group.

Neighbors living near the corner of Muir Avenue and Guizot Street woke to the sound of blaring sirens and the sight of flashing lights Monday.

"I just don't understand it, I don't know why someone would do that,” neighbor Hunter Thompson said.

A shed, motorhome, and fence burned in the alley behind Thompson’s home.

Were it not for the fast action of firefighters, Thompson’s house and others could have been next.

"It’s one thing to say well, I'll make sure the grill is off or make sure there are no candles burning, but when someone just decides they are going to set something on fire there isn't much you can do to prepare for that," Thompson said. "That's pretty scary."

This is the latest of five fires investigators say were started by the same person or group. Each of those occurred within walking distance of the others.

The first was Thursday, Dec. 7, after 7 p.m., off Orchard Avenue. Later that night and into the next day, more fires were found near Newport Avenue and Santa Barbara Street.

On Monday, a fire was set on Santa Cruz Avenue and then another fire was set less than a mile away on Muir Avenue.

"I heard a bang really loudly," neighbor Marna Cahn said.

Cahn said the arsonist used a propane tank and loose debris to ignite that fire. 

"The lights were on in the apartment, they had to know there were people up there," Cahn said.

No one has seen the arsonist or caught the individual(s) on a security camera. Investigators said based on the evidence it is someone who lives in the neighborhood.

They are either on foot or on a bike. Whatever debris is available is used as a fire accelerant. 

Cahn fears these are not random crimes. She said this is someone with a plan, and possibly inspired by the wildfires up north.

"They are walking around checking out the neighborhood and seeing where they can curate the most damage," Cahn said.

Fire investigators urge residents to report suspicious activity and persons in their area.

They also encourage residents to clear the back areas of properties as best they can so as not to present an opportunity.

<![CDATA[Neighbors Work Together, Save Dozens of Homes from Fire]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:41:28 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*152/three+muskateers.jpg

Three people are being credited with saving an entire neighborhood in the devastating Lilac Fire that destroyed more than 100 homes when it sparked Thursday.

Don Philippbar, his stepson Todd Smith and his neighbor Cathy Orchard will not be forgetting the Lilac Fire anytime soon. 

"It was pretty crazy, my heart’s beating right now just thinking about it," said Smith.

Instead of evacuating, the three saved their neighborhood.

"I was talking to Don and I said, 'God, I feel like the Three Musketeers out here,'" Orchard said with a laugh.

Together they ran from house to house putting out hot spots after a home nearby caught fire and sent embers flying into the sky.

One ember landed on their 80-year-old neighbor's back door.

"That was lit on fire so I took the garden hose, just hosing that thing down, and just kept hosing it down," said Philippbar. "And then I'm running down getting other spot fires on the next couple of houses."

They used garden hoses along with old hoses from when Orchard was a fire chief in Monterey Park.

Philippbar was also at one time a firefighter.

"I remember a friend of mine who's an attorney, he said, 'Why do you stay?'"  recalled Orchard. "And I said, 'Because I know what I'm doing.' I wouldn't go into court and pretend I'm a lawyer. So people shouldn't pretend they’re firefighters if they don't know what they're doing."

Even the ground next to the fire hydrant was burned to a crisp.

The three demonstrated the saying, "All for one, and one for all," and in the process, became heroes for their hometown. 

"I have no doubt that my house would've burned down if we weren't out here," Orchard said.

The three combined have dozens of years of both firefighting and military experience.  

<![CDATA[Sailor Arrives for Holidays in Surprise Homecoming]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:46:14 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Sailor_Surprises_Daughters_With_Unexpected_Homecoming.jpg

A special surprise came for two sisters, just in time for the holidays at Dewey Elementary School in Point Loma.

Monday afternoon kicked-off with an ice cream social, then a raffle for a new bike.

Jordyn Hall heard her named called and was stunned, but the third-grader received an even bigger surprise when she turned around.

“I was shocked to see the bike, then I turned around I got even more shocked,” the third-grader said.

Jordyn and her six-year-old sister, Taylor, suddenly saw their mom pop out of the crowd.

Melissa Hall, an active-duty Navy sailor, had been deployed on the destroyer USS Pinckney for six months.

The two screamed with delight at the sight of their mother.

“I thought I was dreaming,” Jordyn told NBC 7. The group hug was very emotional for Melissa and her oldest daughter.

“Yeah I think Jordyn was crying,” Melissa said.

Melissa Hall has been in the Navy for 14 years and told NBC 7 that deployments are part of the job, but they never get any easier.

“I wish that deployments went between all the important things in life, but they don’t always go that way, so it’s hard," she said.

The family was able to FaceTime for Taylor’s birthday while their mom was away. Other than that Hall watched her daughters grow through pictures.

At Dewey Elementary the principal told us that 80 percent of the students have a parent in the military.

On Monday, dozens of students got new bikes presented by members of the San Diego City School’s Police Department, through the “Blue Buddies Program”--with a little help from Santa, who flew in on a police helicopter thanks to some winter magic.

But the biggest arrival by far was one Navy mom.

“I’m really happy … because my mom is finally home,” said Jordyn.

And for Hall, “It was incredible, it was priceless.”

<![CDATA[City Council Approves Controversial Housing Project]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:23:44 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SD_City_Council_Approves_Transitional_Housing_Facility.jpg

NBC 7's Mari Payton reports the latest on a controversial plan to turn a motel in the Nestor neighborhood into a halfway house for low level criminals.

<![CDATA[Business Owners, Landlords Say Airbnb Improves Neighborhoods]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:31:12 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Short_Term_Rental_Debate_Heats_Up.jpg

Supporters of short-term vacation rentals said Monday the industry will bring tourists and more spending to areas outside San Diego's beaches, Gaslamp and Mission Valley.

One day before a scheduled city council vote, supporters urged relaxed rules to encourage more Airbnb-type rentals.

Barrio Logan business owners and landlords are pushing for a new city policy on short-term vacation rentals that will encourage the controversial use of homes, apartments and condos, and would minimize restrictions on landlords.

With the city council set to vote on new short-term rental rules Tuesday, Martin Favela, whose family owns the Border X Brewery on Logan Avenue, urged council members to approve a less restrictive set of regulations.

“Even though we have downtown really close to us, it takes the efforts of everyone who hosts people to recommend small businesses, and help us thrive,” said Favela.

Landlord John Anderson, who lives in North Park, agreed that fewer restrictions on short-term vacation rentals would help lesser-known neighborhoods win a share of the tourism dollars that traditionally flow to the beach areas, Gaslamp and Mission Valley.

“Many tourists want to come to San Diego for an authentic experience, for that vibe, for that sense of community,” Anderson said. “And I think that is a really powerful, long-term trend.”

A news conference held Monday was organized by Airbnb and its local consultant. The company, and many local landlords support a proposal endorsed by four city council members that would allow individual property owners to rent out up to three properties on a short-term basis, with no limit on the number of days rented per year.

Critics claim that policy would encourage outside investors to purchase homes in residential neighborhoods, and essentially convert those properties into hotels.

The critics also said the practice would inflate home prices, making it even tougher for local families and singles to buy homes and condos.

“We must stop the growth of vacation rentals in some areas, so that families can sustain those communities as viable neighborhoods,” said Tom Coat, a Pacific Beach resident who favors more restrictions on Airbnb type-rentals.

Coat says schools are closing in Pacific Beach because families cannot afford to buy in that neighborhood, in part because of property speculation related to short-term rentals.

Coat supports a proposal from Councilwoman Barbara Bry, which would restrict homeowners to renting out their entire residence for a maximum of 90 days per calendar year.

Bry says her proposal is the only one that “prohibits investors from converting homes in our residential neighborhoods into permanent mini-hotels.”

But Jonah Mechanic, of Share San Diego, opposes any plan that “dictates what neighbors can and cannot do."

"It’s quite honestly an issue of property rights that need to be protected,” Mechanic said.

Mechanic said the most important issue for short-term rentals is the enforcement of existing rules on noise and nuisances. He argued that a proposed, tentative fee of about $900 per unit would help pay for code enforcement officers to police the industry.

"That will help make sure that the bad actors, those who are taking advantage of the sharing economy, are eliminated from the sharing economy, but at the same time protect those who are doing it right," Mechanic said.

<![CDATA['Grinch Bandits' Hit 7 Stores, Possibly More: SDPD]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:55:13 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Police+Lights+Generic+NBC4_2.jpg

Two suspects, known as the "Grinch Bandits," are believed to be responsible for at least seven armed robberies throughout San Diego County, according to the San Diego Police Department.

Lt. Eric Hays, who oversees the robbery unit at SDPD, told NBC 7 the store that has been hit the worst is Godfather's Pizza in Spring Valley.

"It has been targeted three times," Hays said.

SDPD believes the Grinch Bandits are also responsible for other robberies that occurred at KT Donuts in Spring Valley, a 7-Eleven in Sabre Springs, B Beauty Supply & Wig in Spring Valley, and a Valero gas station in Serra Mesa.

National City Police also brought forward a case from Dec. 3, where suspects with similar descriptions targeted Oriental Cafe on E 7th Street.

Detectives are looking at the descriptions and matching evidence to each case, according to Lt. Hays.

Investigating officer Lt. Graham Young, with National City police, said there has only been one armed robbery in National City, and it was the Oriental Cafe incident.

"To our knowledge, this has been the only recent armed robbery in the area," Young said.

The suspects are described as traveling in a pair and wearing dark clothing when they target stores.

Anyone with information can call SDPD's Crime Stoppers' anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477.

You can see a full map of the crime spree here.

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<![CDATA[Woman Hopes to Find Firefighters Who Saved Home, Left Note]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:44:10 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Lindsey+Jarrous+Bonsall+SDFD+Note+-+WEB.jpg

A Bonsall couple is hoping to find the firefighters who left her a kind note, apologizing for breaking down her doors to save her home from the destructive Lilac Fire. 


The note is signed by San Diego Fire and includes a small "Good luck" written at the bottom. 

Lindsey, a Bonsall resident, said she and her husband Michael she spent nearly three days wondering what happened to her home after the 4,100-acre ripped through North San Diego County. 

When they finally got back, they were surprised to find their home intact - for the most part. 

"Given the fact that the outside looked intact as we drove up, we weren't expecting to see our front and back doors kicked in and we definitely didn't anticipate what we saw upstairs," Lindsey wrote on Instagram.

But, she added, they were so grateful to the firefighters for saving their home.

"Although we have damage (like water damage and our bedroom ceiling being on the floor), we have our home!" she wrote.

The couple now hopes to find the firefighters who left them the note and saved their home from the flames. 

If you know the firefighters, call NBC 7 at (619) 578-0201 or message us on Facebook

Photo Credit: Lindsey Jarrous/Instagram
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Brush Fire Slows Traffic on Interstate 805]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:33:23 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/Fire-Generic7.jpg

A fire is burning on Interstate 805 near  Mesa College. 

The fire was reported at 2:07 p.m. near the Mesa College Drive/Kearny Villa Road exit.

The two right lanes of northbound I-805, south of Mesa College are blocked.

San Diego Fire-Rescue crews estimated the fire at half an acre. Officials said the forward rate of spread had been stopped. 

No other information was available.

Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

<![CDATA[Restaurants Scored on Antibiotic Levels Found In Served Meat]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:28:41 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Generic+Hamburger.jpg

Consumer Reports reveals which restaurants have taken steps to protect public health, and those that haven't, after restaurants have pledged to limit or eliminate antibiotics in the production of the meat and poultry they serve. 

More than half of the largest 25 restaurant chains now have antibiotics policies in place. That’s nearly triple what it was 3 years ago. Why is that important? Although antibiotics can be helpful for treating sick animals used for food - they are often overused to prevent disease and to help animals grow faster. Overuse is a really big threat to public health. It can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and that can make infections in humans really difficult to treat. 

All of the progress at chain restaurants is due to changes in chicken policies. “No-antibiotic” beef and pork is still very limited. So who passed with flying colors?  Panera Bread and Chipotle - came out ahead because nearly ALL of their meat and poultry are raised without antibiotics. Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, Subway and Wendy’s earned B’s and C’s.  KFC improved with a B-minus and McDonald’s pulled in a C-plus. 

While KFC says it is committed to serving chicken raised without antibiotics those changes won’t be implemented for a while. All of the chicken served at McDonald’s has been raised without medically important antibiotics, but the company has made no progress on its beef and pork. Some big restaurants slower to make the shift - Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, and Starbucks among others - pulled in D’s. And a full eleven including Applebee’s, Chili’s, Dairy Queen and Olive Garden failed completely for having no policies at all. It’s also worth noting that numerous smaller chains are making progress:  For example, all of the chicken served at Dickey’s BBQ is no-antibiotic, as is all of the beef, pork, and poultry served at Cheesecake Factory. 

NBC 7 Responds reached out to all of the restaurants featured on Consumer Reports’ scorecard. To see what restaurants had to say, click here. 

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright © 2017_ Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

<![CDATA[New York Man Dies When Plane Crashes into San Diego Home]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:57:29 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Plane_Crashes_into_Backyard_in_Clairemont_Mesa.jpg
View Full Story]]>
<![CDATA[State Calls Out Auto Insurers for Denying Policy Changes]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 23:57:34 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Fire+Damage3.JPG

When a wildfire is approaching, can you make changes to your current auto insurance policy? 

The answer is yes but on Monday, the California’s State Insurance Commissioner said some insurers are illegally imposing a ban on writing or adjusting existing policies for consumers in areas where fires are burning across California. 

According to industry experts, comprehensive auto insurance is what covers your vehicle in the case of a fire, not your homeowner’s insurance. This could lead to consumers upgrading their auto insurance policies when fires are threatening their homes. 

On Monday, the California Department of Insurance said their office has received reports from consumers and insurers that several insurance companies have imposed or are imposing a moratorium on writing or adjusting existing policies in areas of California where fires are burning.  

According to California’s Insurance Code, this practice is illegal as insurers must offer policies and coverage options to all drivers who qualify with good driving records. 

The Department of Insurance said any insurance restrictions in place must be stopped by insurers, otherwise, companies will face fines and penalties for violating state law. 

If you experienced an insurer denying changes or adjustments to your policy in light of a fire burning or threatening your area, the State Insurance Commissioner’s office wants to hear from you. 

To file a complaint, click here

<![CDATA[Connecticut Man Killed in Confrontation With SDPD]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:22:06 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sunset+cliffs+officer+involved.JPG

Officers shot and killed a 24-year-old Connecticut man Sunday after the man broke into a Sunset Cliffs home and armed himself with a knife. 

Residents on Trieste Drive called San Diego Police Department officers at about 6:07 a.m. to report a man banging on their doors and windows in the Point Loma neighborhood, "demanding a knife so he could kill himself," said Lt. Mike Holden, of the San Diego Police Department. 

When SDPD officers arrived they found the suspect, Kyle Zahacefski of Colchester, Connecticut, in the front yard of an elevated home in the 1200 block of the street. POlice said Zahacefski picked up bricks and threw them towards officers from above.

Zahacefski then ran towards the home. Police officers heard the sound of glass breaking and discovered that Zahacefski had broken a door to the house.

There were two residents who were upstairs sleeping at the time. Officers followed the Zahacefski, who did not live there, into the home. 

That is when they saw the suspect in the kitchen with a fixed-blade knife pointed at his throat, Holden said. Zahacefski refused several orders to drop the knife and instead, turned it towards officers. 

"The suspect pointed the knife at officers and quickly walked toward them," Holden said. 

At that moment, two officers — one armed with a less-lethal bean bag shotgun and the other armed with an AR-15 rifle — fired their weapons at Zahacefski, SDPD said. 

Zahacefski was struck by at least one bullet. Despite efforts to resuscitate him, he died at the scene, police said.

Police said Zahacefski arrived in San Diego by bus on December 9, but  investigators have not determined why he traveled to California.

The two residents and the two officers were not injured. 

The officer who fired his weapon is a 15-year-veteran of the San Diego Police Department, Holden said. 

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

A previous version of this story erroneously reported the incident occurred in the 1600 block of Trieste Drive. 

<![CDATA[Aztecs' Penny Stacking Up Honors]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:11:18 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/Rashaad+Penny+Cutback.JPG

Over the weekend Aztecs running back Rashaad Penny learned he finished 5th in the Heisman Trophy balloting, which is a tremendous feat for a non-power conference player that most of the country never even saw play because the majority of his games started at 10:30 p.m. on the East Coast.

While the Heisman voters and Doak Walker Award (best running back) voters didn’t get it there seem to be enough educated college football people in America to restore hope.

On Monday, Penny was named to two more All-America teams. The San Diego State superstar was honored as a first-team All-American by both the Associated Press and the Football Writers Association of America.

Entering bowl season Penny leads the nation with 2.027 rushing yards and 2,698 all-purpose yards. If Penny can gain 302 all-purpose yards (on rushing, receiving and kick/punt returns) in the Aztecs bowl game against Army he’ll become just the 4th player in FBS history to top 3,000 in a single season. The others are also running backs: Western Kentucky’s Antonio Andrews, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, and Oklahoma State’s Barry Sanders (who only needed 11 games to do it).

Here's a list of the All-American and All-Conference teams Penny has been named to so far:

Associated Press First-Team All-American
FWAA First-Team All-American
Sports Illustrated First-Team All-American
All-American First-Team All-American
Bleacher Report First-Team All-American
Walter Camp Second-Team All-American
SB Nation Second-Team All-American
Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year
Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year
All-Mountain West First Team (running back)
All-Mountain West First Team (returner)
Pro Football Focus All-Mountain West First Team (running back)

<![CDATA[Man Accused of Knocking Out Police Officer Found Competent]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:51:49 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/El-Cajon-Police-Officer-Assaulted-071717.jpg

A man who underwent a psychiatric evaluation after he allegedly knocked out an El Cajon police officer with his fists was found competent to stand trial Monday.

Prosecutors confirmed the results of a mental competency hearing for 42-year-old Daniel Cook. He allegedly attacked the police officer after he was confronted for a suspected robbery.

Cook faces five felony counts of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest with force causing great bodily injury, robbery, possession of methamphetamine and being under the influence of that drug.

Previously, Cook pleaded not guilty in court.

The officer--a 28-year veteran of the department--was responding to a petty theft call when he was punched multiple times and knocked to the ground. 

The incident took place around 10 a.m. on Monday, July 17. Witnesses reported a petty theft at the Dollar Tree on Fletcher Parkway, near Johnson Avenue. Police spotted Cook and followed him into a nearby KFC restaurant.

When police confronted him about the theft, a scuffle ensued. That's when Cook punched the officer repeatedly in the face until he fell unconscious.

Even after the officer was knocked out, Cook continued to attack him, witnesses said. He then fled the scene.

Cook was originally arrested and charged with attempted murder. After reviewing the case, the District Attorney formally charged him with assault on a police officer instead.

His bail was set at $500,000. Prosecutor Jeff Lazar said the bail was higher than the scheduled amount for these crimes.

Officers later apprehended Cook and he was booked into San Diego County Jail. The involved officer suffered serious head trauma and has been hospitalized. There was no update available on his current condition.

Cook will next appear in court on Dec. 20, and his preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 26. If convicted, Cook faces 62 years to life in prison.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[2 Fires Deliberately Set in Ocean Beach]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 07:46:52 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2017-12-11-06h08m33s021.png

Firefighters knocked down a fence on fire along Santa Cruz Avenue in Ocean Beach Monday when they got the call to rush to a second fire less than a mile away. 

The second fire started just before 2:30 a.m. in an alley just off Muir Avenue and Guizot Street. A shed and a tree burned in the fire. 

Embers flew across the alley and melted the door frame of a nearby home.

Firefighters used a chainsaw to cut through the side of the shed and get to the fire to extinguish it. 

Neighbor Ed Bebrin said seeing a fire so close to his home was pretty scary.

Investigators believe the two fires were connected. 

No other information was available.

Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

<![CDATA[Santee Man Shoots, Kills Wife in Relative's Home]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:49:03 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2017-12-11-07h12m28s155.png

A woman staying with family members in a Grantville home was shot and killed by her husband before the man then took his own life, San Diego police homicide investigators said. 

San Diego police reported Marguerite Elliot, 36, and her 39-year-old husband, James Elliot, were found inside a home on Elsa Road at approximately 10 p.m. Sunday. Each had suffered a single gunshot wound to the head. 

The couple had just celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary on Saturday, Elliot's mother told NBC 7. They left behind two sons, a 10-year-old and 5-year-old, who now live with their grandmother. 

Homicide investigators determined the couple was experiencing marital problems.

One neighbor, Victor Bermudes, described the husband to NBC 7 as a high-strung and temperamental person who made snap decisions but said he was a conscientious electrician.

"That came as a total surprise," said Bermudes.

On the night of their deaths, Marguerite went to stay at her sister's home for the evening. While she was in a bedroom, her husband entered the house unannounced and shot her, according to investigators.

The body of James Elliot was found by police on the living room floor of the home, according to a police report.

Marguerite's sister and her family, including two children, were home at the time of the shooting but were not hurt. 

Lt. Mike Holden said the Elliots were residents of Santee.  

Holden said Marguerite had called the police to her workplace earlier in the day to request police protection when she returned to her home.

There was no information on what prompted the shooting or the victim's request for police protection. 

The husband's black truck was parked outside the home on Elsa Road and, according to Holden, the shooting took place very quickly once he entered the house. 

"This is a devastating event for the entire family," Holden added. 

Investigators are treating the deaths as a murder-suicide.

“What on earth caused them to go off the deep end this way. My gosh, they had their whole life ahead of them and they were really happy with the two boys. It’s very, very depressing,” Bermudes said.

The paternal grandmother on Sunday night her son was crying and said his heart was pounding. She thought he had calmed down after she had reassured him that no matter what happened in the marriage, she would be there to help him with the children. She told him everything was going to be ok.

They fed the children, gave them baths and everyone went to bed.

Then, he left suddenly.

What happened next, she said, was “totally stupid.” 

<![CDATA[Oceanside Man Heads to Prison for Jogger's Death]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 08:30:55 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/vista-jogger-death.jpg

An Oceanside man was sentenced to prison Friday for driving an SUV that struck and killed a jogger on a Vista street in June. 

Abraham Juarez Perea will spend 7 years, 8 months in prison for the June 2 collision that killed Nanglee Vang.

Perea pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter and other charges in connection Vang's death. 

Perea, 24, lost control of his SUV near South Melrose and Shadowridge drives.

The SUV hopped a curb, plowing into a couple out for a jog.

Nanglee, 40, a beloved stay-at-home father of five, was killed one day shy of his birthday.

According to the victim's family, in those terrifying moments when Perea's SUV was heading for the couple, Nanglee pushed his wife out of the way, taking the deadly brunt of the impact.

His wife was seriously hurt in the crash, suffering a broken collarbone, broken ribs, wound to her head and a punctured lung. 

The couple has five children, ages 2 to 16.

Perea was driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding at the time of the collision. 

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<![CDATA[In a Brush Fire, What Does 'Containment' Actually Mean?]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 08:01:44 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Dangerous_Winds_Could_Hinder_Battle_Against_Lilac_Fire.jpg

If a fire is 75 percent contained, what does that actually mean?

When the Lilac Fire exploded across San Diego's inland North County Thursday images of uncontrollable flames matched a description of zero containment.

But one day later, as the flames and thick, black smoke had nearly disappeared, the fire was still at zero percent containment.

People wondered how the fire could still be zero percent contained. It turns out that the containment measure alone does not give a wholly accurate picture of firefighters’ progress.

Cal Fire Captain Jon Heggie says airdrops alone can't contain a fire. That requires bulldozers and hand crews, often made up of inmates, to get in along the outer edges of a fire in what's often described as the grunt work.

"If there's hot material, there's the opportunity for fire growth. So until we get all that hot material extinguished, that's when we feel comfortable calling it contained," he explained. “So we're going in there with hose lines and squirting water to ensure all those hotspots, 100 to 300 feet, are completely extinguished. Not only that — we've removed all the vegetation from the fire's edge all the way down to bare minimum soil, all the way down to four to five feet.”

Only when hot spots near the fire's perimeter are out and fire lines are dug all the way around it, can a fire be 100 percent contained.

Cal Fire often uses lakes, rivers, and roads as part of their containment lines. In the case of the Lilac Fire Interstate 15 became one of their first containment lines.

<![CDATA[Evacuation Orders Lifted, Crews Get Upper-Hand on Lilac Fire]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:50:39 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Dangerous_Winds_Could_Hinder_Battle_Against_Lilac_Fire.jpg

Firefighters gained an upper-hand on a wildfire in San Diego's North County that forced thousands out of their homes, allowing Cal Fire to lift evacuation orders to all residents Sunday evening.

The Lilac Fire in Bonsall was 90 percent contained as of Monday evening, and holding at 4,100 acres, according to Cal Fire.

Cal Fire reported 157 structures were destroyed and 64 structures were damaged in the blaze.

Cal Fire announced that all evacuation orders and road closures were lifted at about 4 p.m. Sunday. 

San Diego residents with homes between 5200 and 5800 Olive Hill Road and properties at the Rancho Monserate Country Club will need to show photo identification to access residences.

The retirement community of Rancho Monserate Mobile Home Park at the center of where the fire first began was hard hit, with dozens of units destroyed. NBC 7’s news chopper captured haunting images of those mobile homes being scorched beyond recognition.

The wildfire sparked at 11:15 a.m. Thursday along the State Route 76 and Interstate 15 interchange in Bonsall. Aided by gusty Santa Ana winds and low humidity, the blaze of no more than 10 acres quickly grew to 500 acres in 20 minutes, and finally 4,100 acres by Thursday evening. 

Cal Fire officials were cautious that an increase in gusty winds Sunday could hinder their progress by reigniting any hot spots that remain. Firefighters that were already working tireless 24-hour shifts braced themselves for dangerous weather conditions. 

A high wind warning was set to be in effect until 4 p.m. Sunday, with gusts of 60 miles per hour expected, but Cal Fire reported favorable weather conditions on Sunday morning. 

"While forecast Santa Ana winds came to fruition in the vicinity of the fire, the strongest winds did not surface near the fire," Cal Fire said. 

A Red Flag Warning will remain in effect until Sunday at 8 p.m. Cal Fire said. Firefighters will continue to patrol the area for hot spots throughout the evening and work to increase the containment lines.

By Monday, winds will be much weaker and the fire weather threat will decrease to a "minor" level, Steven Harris, a forecaster with NWS San Diego, explained in a video on Twitter.

Cal Fire reported over 92,000 pounds of retardant and 230,000 gallons of water have been used in fighting the fire, along with 140 engines, 29 water tenders, 11 helicopters, 17 dozers and 33 hand crews.

On Sunday Cal Fire reported a total of 1,659 firefighters responded to the fire. That number is down to 1399 as of Monday evening.

Dozens of homes have burned to the ground in the quiet, rural communities known for their farms and ranches. Numerous animals have died due to the fire.

So far, three civilians have suffered burn injuries, while another was hospitalized due to smoke inhalation. Two of those victims suffered burns while trying to save elite training horses stabled at San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall.

One was placed in a medically induced coma but had awakened Saturday morning, according to the Thoroughbred Daily News

Three firefighters have suffered injuries. One of those firefighters dislocated his shoulder, put it back in place and went back to work. Another firefighter was hurt Friday when a tree fell on him as he battled the blaze.

Some school districts in the fire zone were closed through Monday.  

More than 20,000 SDG&E customers across the county lost power Thursday. Approximately 9,200 remained in the dark Sunday, 1,700 of which were in the "Lilac Fire zone," SDG&E said. Outages could last several more days.

An evacuation center remained open at Palomar College in San Marcos for those displaced by the fire in need of meals and a place to rest. About 110 evacuees were reported to be utilizing the shelter. 

The Del Mar Fairgrounds were still serving as a shelter for large animals, including several horses displaced when the Lilac Fire encroached on the San Luis Rey Downs training facility. At least 46 horses were killed and several more were missing. 

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore estimated at least 10,000 people had evacuated their homes due to the Lilac Fire. 

California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for San Diego County, freeing up federal resources as crews battle the blaze. The county has also declared a state of emergency.

Cal Fire and San Diego County fire damage assessment teams are investigating the cause of the fire. 

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[More Than 104 Homes Destroyed in Lilac Fire]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:19:16 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/lilacroadfirevictim_2.jpg

San Diego County will waive permit fees for the rebuilding of more than 200 structures that have been destroyed or damaged in the Lilac Fire.

The County Board of Supervisors approved the waiver Monday after hearing the damage done by the 4,100-acre Lilac Fire. The supervisors also extended an emergency declaration. Get the latest updated information on the fire here.

San Diego County Disaster Recovery manager Amy Harbert reported that 104 residential and two commercial structures were destroyed along with 78 accessory structures such as barns, sheds and outbuildings.

An additional 13 homes and five commercial buildings were damaged.

The permit waiver will apply to structures within the fire's perimeter in unincorporated areas and any other areas in which county approval is needed. 

County public works employees were removing debris from county maintained roads and replacing damaged street signs. In the near future, they will be repairing guardrails and establishing erosion control in the burn areas.

Also, an estimated 200 acres of park land burned in the fire. No park structures have been affected, according to Harbert. 

A center has been set up to assist residents with questions and resources. The center is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Vista branch of the county library at 700 Eucalyptus Ave. Residents can call (858) 495-5200 for more information.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Questions Still Linger About San Onofre Shutdown Costs]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 08:31:45 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San+onofre+nuclear+0622.jpg

A legal challenge involving the costs of shutting down the San Onofre nuclear power plant has us been dealt a setback.

Ratepayers in San Diego and Los Angeles could wind up stuck with the lion's share.

A statement released by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) says it has prevailed on motions in key lawsuits.

The energy regulators, who have been accused of improper wheeling and dealing, say only 1 percent of millions of documents processed in response to search warrant have been withheld on privileged grounds.

"The attorney general did not object to any of the privileged documents withheld," said CPUC communications director Terrie Prosper in the agency’s statement.

The plant was taken out of service six years ago because of flawed steam generators and worn tubes.

Shutdown expenses are pegged at about $10 billion.

For ratepayers, that works out to about $1,600 per meter.

Watchdog attorneys cite private meetings in Poland between the CPUC's president and an executive for Southern California Edison, the operator of the plant.

The shutdown deal, which customers argue unfairly favors utility shareholders, reportedly was jotted down on a cocktail napkin.

It saddles customers with most of the decommissioning, cleanup and replacement-energy costs.

"Their internal records show 'Let's put them as 'deal points'. So it was more than just conceptual," said Maria Severson, an attorney who’s active in the post-shutdown legal action.

"It was line-item -- one, two, three, four -- how the ratepayers were going to pay for the failed San Onofre plant -- and not the shareholders."

Severson said a state appeals court in San Francisco is now reviewing more than 130 documents that ratepayers believe will help shift more of the shutdown costs to utility shareholders.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Monday 5 a.m. Update Lilac Fire]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 05:47:36 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Monday_5_a.m._Update_Lilac_Fire.jpg

NBC 7's Gaby Rodriguez reports from the Rancho Monserate Mobile Home Park on the progress in the Lilac Fire.

<![CDATA[2 Women Taken to Hospital After Clairemont Apartment Fire ]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:32 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/clairemont+apt+fire.PNG

Two women were taken to the hospital in critical and serious condition after a fire broke out in their Clairemont apartment.

The fire started just before 4 a.m. Sunday morning in the 7700 block of Belden St.

Firefighters had to rescue a woman trapped inside her apartment. Another woman was able to get herself out of the building.

The flames were so intense that the fire reached the unit above them.

The fire was put out quickly, and investigators are trying to assess the cause.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[FINALLY ... Alan Trammell is Going to Cooperstown]]> Sun, 10 Dec 2017 20:25:02 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Alan+Trammell+in+Dugout.JPG

Really the only thing that Alan Trammell had going against him when being considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame is he was not Ozzie Smith. For some reason that Most people will never understand, that alone was enough to keep him from the traditional means of taking a spot in Cooperstown.

Trammell, a Kearny High School alum, was not voted in by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America during his years of eligibility.

It took the Modern Era Committee one shot to right that wrong.

On Sunday, Trammell and former starting pitcher Jack Morris got their calls to Cooperstown. The Modern Baseball Era Committee, which is made up of 16 Hall of Famers, current executives and baseball historians, did the right thing and put Trammel in with 81.3 percent of the vote (only 75 percent was needed).

Trammell is a six-time All-Star shortstop who spent his entire 20-year career with the Detroit Tigers. He was a key member of Detroit’s 1984 World Series championship (beating his hometown Padres). Trammell won the World Series MVP that year, hitting .450 against the Padres.

He won four Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers and finished with 2,365 hits, 412 doubles and a .285 career batting average. He was, for years, the American League’s version of the Wizard of Oz(zie). But without the flash of Smith’s defense, or a landmark stat like 3,000 hits, he was constantly overlooked.

Morris is a 254-game winner whose signature moment came in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series when he threw a 10-inning shutout for the Twins to beat the Braves.

Trammell and Morris will join the rest of the Hall of Fame class of 2018 ... that will hopefully include Padres closer Trevor Hoffman ... in Cooperstown during induction weekend from July 27-30.

<![CDATA[County Opens Local Assistance Center in Vista for Lilac Fire ]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:48:19 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/County-Center-Lilac-Fire.jpg

On Monday, the County of San Diego will open a Local Assistance Center in Vista to help survivors of the Lilac Fire start the rebuilding and recovery process.

Services at the center will include case management, crisis counseling and referral services, tax relief information and records replacement, short-term housing referrals, CalFresh/SNAP resources and information, information on residential rebuilding and permitting and consumer fraud and a mobile medical clinic.

Service providers available are 211 San Diego, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, San Diego Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters and various insurance providers.

The county will have several departments present, including agriculture, weights and measures, Air Pollution Control District, Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk, Animal Services, Child Support Services, Environmental Health, the District Attorney, Public Health, Behavioral Health Services, Aging and Independence Services, Housing and Community Development, Planning and Development Services and Public Works.

The center is located in the Vista branch library at 700 Eucalyptus Ave. and will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Residents who live in the unincorporated part of San Diego County may call the Recovery Assistance Hotline at (858) 495-5200 or email CountyFireRecovery@sdcounty.ca.gov. Both will be staffed by County employees from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Residents in incorporated cities looking for recovery assistance are encouraged to contact their city. 

The Red Cross announced Sunday the Bostonia Park and Recreation Center will close after 5 p.m. Monday, but the shelter at Palomar College will remain open.

<![CDATA[Woman Arrested for Looting Bonsall House During Lilac Fire]]> Sun, 10 Dec 2017 16:32:10 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/POLICE+LIGHTS+Connecticut.jpg

Sheriff’s deputies patrolling through Bonsall for looters taking advantage of the Lilac Fire arrested a woman for burglary in the 29000 block of Disney Lane Saturday afternoon.

A real estate agent called the deputies to report a suspicious person inside a house for sale around 12:45 p.m. 

After determining the suspect didn’t live there she was arrested for burglary (looting) during a state of emergency. She had entered the property, taken various household items and put them in her car.

The resident arrived at the home and confirmed the suspect did not belong there.

The suspect was later identified as Sacheen Silvercloud. Silvercloud was booked into the Vista Detention Facility.

Vista Station Detectives will be handling the follow-up investigation.

<![CDATA[Chargers Blow Out Redskins]]> Sun, 10 Dec 2017 16:03:57 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/175*120/Rivers+Chargers+Redskins.JPG

On Friday Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers celebrated his 36th birthday. That is a little bit old to playing arguably some of the best football of his career.

Rivers passed another Hall of Famer QB in leading the Chargers to a 30-13 win over the Redskins on Sunday afternoon in Carson. Rivers topped 300 yards passing for the third straight game and hit several big plays in doing it.

The Chargers got a field goal on their first possession, the first time they earned points on their opening drive in the 2017 season. On their next possession Rivers found tight end Hunter Henry for an 8-yard touchdown to cap a 10-play, 90-yard drive.

The Bolts got the ball back one play later. Redskins QB Kirk Cousins made a terrible throw that should have been intercepted by defensive back Trevor Williams but he bobbled it and linebacker Kyle Emanuel, who was hustling over on the play, grabbed it for a pick. That led to another field goal and a 13-0 lead.

Washington kept it interesting for a bit. Cousins found tight end Vernon Davis for a 23-yard touchdown but the extra point was no good so the lead was cut to 13-7.

This time it was the Chargers’ turn for a one-play possession but it ended a lot better than Washington’s. Rivers saw wideout Tyrell Williams running alone down the middle of the field and hit him for a 75-yard touchdown to pump the lead up to 20-6.

When Rivers hit Keenan Allen for an acrobatic 16-yard catch along the sideline in the 2nd quarter he moved past Hall of Famer Warren Moon into 9th place on the NFL’s all-time passing yards list.

In the 3rd quarter the Chargers put it away with a fleaflicker (I honestly have no idea if that’s supposed to be one word or two). Rivers handed off the Melvin Gordon who tossed it back to Rivers who found Keenan Allen for a 51-yard gain down the 1-yard-line. Allen went over 100 yards receiving for the 4th straight game.

Gordon scored on the next play to make it 30-6 and then the Chargers defense made it stand up. Rookie defensive back Desmond King helps stop one drive with his 4th sack of the season and Corey Liuget and Melvin Ingram shared a sack to short-circuit another drive. Washington’s best player might have been Tress Way, who was forced to punt eight times.

Rivers was pulled and replaced by backup Kellen Clemens with 11 minutes left in the game. Philip finished with 319 yards and two touchdowns with, for the 4th straight game, no turnovers. Philip also became just the third QB in NFL history to pass for at least 3,500 yards in at least 10 straight seasons. The others are named Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

The Chargers move to 7-6 and since the Chiefs beat the Raiders are now in a two-way tie for first place in the AFC West with Kansas City heading into their meeting next Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium.

<![CDATA[SDFD Strike Teams Save More Than Homes in Lilac Fire]]> Sun, 10 Dec 2017 20:03:23 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/SDFD_Strike_Teams_Save_More_Than_Homes_in_Lilac_Fire.jpg

A San Diego Fire-Rescue strike team joined the battle against the “treacherous” Lilac Fire, and helped save homes and even a tortoise. They share their experience with NBC 7’s Liberty Zabala.

<![CDATA[Family of Eight Sees Nursery Destroyed by Lilac Fire]]> Sun, 10 Dec 2017 15:29:45 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Family_of_Eight_Sees_Nursery_Destroyed_By_Lilac_Fire.jpg

A family of eight lost more than just their home in the Lilac Fire, they lost their livelihood. Their business in Bonsall shared the name of the fire that destroyed it, and now they must focus on rebuilding. NBC 7’s Ramon Galindo reports. 

<![CDATA[Redskins at Chargers: Keys to the Game]]> Sun, 10 Dec 2017 12:37:10 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Chargers+King+and+Phillips.JPG

The Chargers have not beaten a team with a winning record and they’re tied for 1st place in the AFC West. The Redskins have beaten the Rams and the Seahawks ON THE ROAD and are sitting in 11th place in the NFC playoff picture.

The NFL is extremely hard to figure out these days.

These teams meet in Carson on Sunday in a game with all kinds of post-season implications. Fernando Ramirez looks at what the Chargers have to do to win while Derek Togerson examines the Redskins keys to victory:

Chargers Key #1: Score TD not FG

Last week against the Cleveland Browns the Chargers settled for five fields goals, one was missed, and only scored one touchdown. That can’t happen on Sunday versus the Washington Redskins. The Chargers need to use both their aerial and run game attack frequently, but also mixing up the way they have during their three-game win streak. The Bolts have plenty of weapons for quarterback Philip Rivers to spread the ball around to when they reach the end zone. Chargers offensive coordinator, Ken Wisenhunt, said this week that the team focused on red zone offense because of the points they left on the field last week, but if they have any chance to win they will need their offense to get back to their scoring ways.

Redskins Key #1: Give Cousins Time

We all know how good the Chargers pass rush is. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram have been killing QBs and now that defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has faith in rookie defensive back Desmond King on a blitz he’s bringing pressure from all kinds of places. Cousins has been tremendous when given a chance to get the ball off, which is amazing because he doesn’t have a great stable of receivers to work with. Just give Kirk a chance to find something to keep moving the ball downfield and extend drives and he’ll give you a chance to win.

Chargers Key #2: Protect Philip Rivers and the Ball

The Chargers offensive line has been the factor that has not been really mentioned during the season. They have only allowed a league low 13 sacks on their quarterback. The O-line is still improving when it comes to running the ball, but when it comes to pass protection they are the best in the league, on paper. The Redskins have an absolute monster on their defense named Ryan Kerrigan and he will cause havoc all game long. This season Kerrigan has sacked the opposing quarterback nine times and has forced two fumbles. The Chargers line has to make sure they are paying attention to him and not letting him go crazy. The Chargers have also been very good at taking care of the football since the bye week and Rivers has only thrown one interception since then. The Bolts need to keep taking care of the football and of their quarterback if they hope to continue the winning streak.

Redskins Key #2: Don’t Be Idiots

During their recent winning stretch the Chargers remarkably have not been penalized very often but when they have the flags have come at very bad times (Bosa seems to have a particular penchant for ill-timed infractions). That will likely continue against Washington so the Redskins need to not only take advantage when they’re handed another chance, they need to make sure they make fewer mistakes the Bolts do. Too many bad penalties or, even worse, turnovers will make it very difficult to win.

Chargers Key #3: Keep Getting After it on Defense

The Chargers defense has been on a tear all year whether it is by rushing the passer or defending against the pass. The pass-rushing duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram has been working well and because of how fast they are in the backfield quarterbacks have to get rid of the ball quicker than they would like and that is causing turnovers. Speaking of turnovers cornerback Casey Hayward and safety Tre Boston have a combined eight interceptions (four each) this season. The defense does have an Achilles heel and that has been stopping the run.  The team has actually been stopping the run better as of late and that is because of the return of their signal caller Denzel Perryman. The Redskins have a good rookie running back in Samaje Perine and unless the Chargers can stop up early he will run wild on them. The defense can’t allow Kirk Cousins and the running game to take off because once it gets going it won’t be easy to stop.

Redskins Key #3: Take Some Chances

One more loss very likely knocks Washington out of playoff contention. This is the time where you need to throw caution to the wind. Head coach Jay Gruden might want to open up the playbook to pages that have not been cracked in a while on both offense and defense to try and make something good happen. Blitz everybody. Double reverse flee-flickers. Whatever it takes, Washington needs to take control of the game and keep the Chargers on their heels and a few surprises that work should be able to do that.

Fernando’s Prediction: Chargers 31 Redskins 20. Philip Rivers will terminate the Redskins and move closer to the AFC West showdown with the Chiefs next Saturday.

Derek’s Prediction: Redskins 22, Chargers 20. In addition to Rams and Seahawks wins, Washington nearly beat the Saints in New Orleans. Last week’s stinker in Dallas is an aberration for this team that is very good away from Landover.

<![CDATA[Lilac Fire Evacuation and School Closure Info]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:54:00 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Lilac-Fire-19.jpg


All roadways that were previously closed are now open.


As of Sunday, all evacuation orders have been lifted with exceptions to the following areas:

  • Rancho Monserate Country Club (4650 Dulin Road, Fallbrook)
  • Area between 5200 Olive Hill Road and 5800 Olive Hill Road (Fallbrook)
The two areas listed are remain closed to the public, except residents. Residents must show identification to enter those areas.

SDG&E reminds residents to drive slowly, yield to emergency and utility vehicles, watch out for electrical hazards, and to report and steer clear of electrical wires on the ground.

Other hazards to be aware of are trees and poles that are deeply charred or still smoking, as well as asbestos, heavy metals and chemicals on property.

Utility damages should be reported to SDG&E.


  • EL CAJON: Bostonia Park & Recreation Center (1049 Bostonia Street)*
  • SAN MARCOS: Palomar College (1140 West Mission Road)*

*Small pet-friendly

    As of Saturday, the only shelters being used were the two listed above, according to the county. The East Valley Community Center in Escondido was closed Saturday afternoon and all others were closed in previous days. 


    The Del Mar Fairgrounds and the San Diego Polo Fields in Del Mar are open for large animal evacuations. After dark, all evacuations will be sent to the fairgrounds.

    People bringing animals are asked to bring hay, halters and buckets if possible.

    People who need assistance evacuating large animals should call the county's Department of Animal Service's 24-hour emergency dispatch at (619) 236-2341 or the San Diego Humane Society at (619) 243-3466.

    For tips on evacuating animals during a disaster, visit here

    The Del Mar Fairgrounds Animal Evacuation Center is currently fully staffed with volunteers but a spokeswoman for the center said people who wish to volunteer on Friday can show up beginning at 6 a.m.

    In addition, they are asking for donations of feed and bedding (shavings, etc) for the animals that are being sheltered from the fire (more than 100 have been brought in on Thursday).

    People making donations or seeking to house their livestock at the center are asked to enter the East Stable Gate, which is the first gate off of Jimmy Durante Boulevard. For more information on how to volunteer visit here.


    The following school districts confirmed closures for Monday, in light of the Lilac Fire:

    • Bonsall Unified School District
    • Fallbrook Union Elementary School District
    • Fallbrook Union High School District

    These school districts have confirmed school will be in session Monday: 

    • Bella Mente Montessori Academy (charter school)
    • Classical Academy and Classical Academy High School (charter schools)
    • Coastal Academy (charter school)
    • Epiphany Prep: Escondido campus (charter school)
    • Julian Union Elementary School District
    • Oceanside Unified School District
    • San Marcos Unified School District
    • Scholarship Prep (charter school)
    • Vista Unified School District
    • Warner Unified School District

    Most districts had not confirmed if they would be holding classes or not by Sunday afternoon. The county says updates will be made here throughout the day once the following districts confirm: 

    • Carlsbad Unified School District
    • Escondido Charter High School (charter school)
    • Guajome Park Academy (charter school)
    • Heritage K-8 (charter school)
    • Julian Union High School District
    • Momentum Learning juvenile court and community schools (operated by SDCOE: Youth Day Center, Breaking Cycles North County, Innovations Academy of Empowerment, North County Technology Academy
    • Mountain Empire Unified School District
    • North County Academy (SDCOE-operated school)
    • North County Trade Tech High School (charter school)
    • Spencer Valley School District


    • Cal State San Marcos will resume normal operations Monday
    • Palomar College reopen for classes on Monday
    • Mira Costa College has not confirmed whether classes will be held Monday. 


    Legoland California will be closed Friday out of consideration for employees affected by the recent fires. The aquarium and hotel will remain open.

    The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is closing the following Oceanside and Fallbrook facilities on Friday, Dec. 8 due to the Lilac Fire:

    • North Coastal Family Resource Center, Aging and Independence Services, and Child Welfare Services located at Union Plaza Court in Oceanside
    • North Coastal Public Health Center located at 3609 Ocean Ranch Boulevard in Oceanside
    • Fallbrook Community Resource Center at 202 West College Street

    The VA Oceanside Clinic is closed and all appointments are canceled for Friday, Dec. 8.

    Day Programs at the Arc of San Diego in nonprofit will be halted until further notice. 


    The Bonsall Post Office, 5521 Mission Road, Bonsall 92003 has reopened for business. The post office was temporarily closed due to evacuations caused by the Lilac wildfire. Letter carriers will be delivering all mail and parcels that could not be delivered on Friday and Saturday due to the fire, along with Monday’s mail. 

    The YMCA of San Diego County branches were open and free to the public all weekend. To find a location, visit here

    San Diego Gas & Electric has charging stations set up for people without power due to gusty winds. Stations are set up at: 

    • Caltrans Park and Ride, Lot 29, 7838 Japutal Valley Road, Descanso CA (North of the intersection of Highway 79 and Interstate 8)
    • Lake Morena Community Park, 2550 Lake Morena Drive, Campo CA 91906

    Due to the fire, several North County Transit District (NCTD) routes were halted. A full list of routes affected can be found in the Breeze section.

    The county was reminding people seeking information about the fire to call 211 and that 911 should only be used for emergency situations. In addition, officials are stressing that the 211 line is only for people directly impacted by the fire and that residents of other areas should not be calling that number.


    San Diego County was looking for volunteers for their 211 call center. For more information on how to help them and other organizations across the county, visit here.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[5 Things The Padres Should Do at the MLB Winter Meetings]]> Sun, 10 Dec 2017 20:04:06 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/184*120/Preller+Padres+Scouts.JPG

    Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings get underway on Sunday in Orlando, FL. Now that Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton have found their landing spots this week might actually see some real action.

    In 2014 Padres General Manager A.J. Preller was a very busy man during the Winter Meetings. That was where he laid the foundation for the great roster shakeup (Kemp, Upton, Myers, etc.). In 2015 and 2016 he was more focused on adding younger talent via the Rule 5 Draft (Perdomo, Blash, Cordoba, Torrens, Diaz).

    This go-around will likely be a combination of addressing the big league roster and continuing to add talent to the farm. Here are five things I’d like to see A.J. accomplish.

    1)    Sign Eric Hosmer

    Padres fans seem split on this one. Hosmer is not going to be cheap … but winning never is. From a pure numbers standpoint Hosmer is very good but not a monster. But this one goes beyond the stats to something that sabermetrics cannot measure: Leadership. Hosmer is the guy who can take a very young, very talented clubhouse and turn it into a World Series champion. The fact he is a capable Spanish speaker makes him even more alluring to a Padres roster that is heavily Latin-American. Coming home with this corner infield cornerstone should be priority #1.

    2)    Find A Shortstop

    Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias are close but not close enough. Yangervis Solarte can handle short in a pinch but you don’t want to rely on him for a full season there. Allen Cordoba opened a few eyes as a Rule 5 kid a year ago and should earn a chance to win the job in Spring Training. But the Friars are still going to be in the market for a veteran SS on a short contract. I honestly don’t care which one it is, just find a guy who can last 162 games as a place-holder for the kids.

    3)    Add A Starting Pitcher

    Clayton Richard, Dinelson Lamet, and Luis Perdomo would seem to be the only three guys who you can pencil in to the 2018 rotation. After that there are a ton of guys that will be in the mix. Robbie Erlin and Colin Rea return from Tommy John surgery, Travis Wood and Walker Lockett will get a look, and even some of the studs that spent last year in the minors like Cal Quantrill, Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer, and Enyel De Los Santos could force the Friars to keep them with a strong Spring. But one more veteran would not be a bad idea. While I would love to see Jhoulys Chacin come back his 2017 at Petco Park likely earned him a longer, more lucrative contract than the Padres are going to be willing to pay (kind of like Ian Kennedy a few years ago). If he wants to stick around to work with pitching coach Darren Balsley and take a little less to do it, fantastic. If not, and this is where my love of San Diego comes in, how about taking another run at Trevor Cahill? He was striking out hitters at a career-high rate (as a starter) before being traded to the Royals mid-season. Cahill fell apart in Kansas City and was demoted to the bullpen. Obviously the Vista High School alum is comfortable in his home town and might be worth another one year, $2 million or so deal as a 5th starter.

    4)    Listen To Offers For Hand

    Brad Hand is going to get a whole lot of interest. He’s an All-Star-caliber lefty who’s young with a controllable contract, which is nice because it means the Padres are in no hurry to move him. They can ask for the moon and if they don’t get it go into 2018 with one of the game’s top-3 lefty relievers still in the bullpen. If another team thinks it HAS to have that kind of weapon at the back end and is willing to part with a prospect package that meets Preller’s asking price then make the deal.

    5)    Grab More Power Arms

    While Hand is a slider specialist the Padres could benefit from a few more high-octane guys on the staff. One of the big reasons for the Yankees success is their insane bullpen that seems to have a string of guys throwing 99 … and then Aroldis Chapman. Preller is always on the lookout for relief options and he loves guys that throw hard. Even if Hand is still around he’s not your traditional closing option. Phil Maton, Jose Torres and Kirby Yates were all, for the most part, pretty good and Miguel Diaz showed ridiculous stuff. Craig Stammen might return again but if there’s a way to find a guy that brings serious petrol that would be nice.

    Of course if he wants to swing a deal for Mike Trout that would be OK, too.

    <![CDATA[Driver Killed in Crash on SR-94 at SR-125 Going More Than 100 MPH]]> Sun, 10 Dec 2017 18:01:56 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/web_vo_caltrans_sandag_chp_1200x675_1010460739789.jpg

    A driver was killed in a car crash on State Route 94 in La Mesa Sunday. 

    A car going more than 100 mph hit the wall and bridge pillar under the SR-125 overpass at about 9:10 a.m. while traveling in westbound lanes of SR-94, according to California Highway Patrol (CHP). 

    The car was launched airborne and landed back on the road, ejecting the driver.

    Witnesses pulled over and initiated CPR. When CHP and San Miguel Fire arrived they continued CPR. 

    The victim, identified as Charles Benjamin Dillaha III, 33, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

    Witnesses reported seeing a car flipped on its head, blocking three lanes of traffic.

    Caltrans issued a Sig Alert at about 9:20 a.m. About two hours later, the Sig Alert was cleared and lanes were reopened. 

    <![CDATA[Police Seek Suspect in Egger Highlands Stabbing]]> Sun, 10 Dec 2017 00:27:00 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDPD-Generic-Garske-1115.jpg

    Police seek a male suspect who stabbed a 52-year-old man Saturday.

    At approximately 8:40 p.m., police responded to a stabbing in the Egger Highlands neighborhood, off Palm Avenue. San Diego Police said the suspect stabbed the victim in the back one time after a verbal altercation.

    The victim was transported to a hospital with non-lifethreatening injuries, according to SDPD.

    The suspect was last seen fleeing southbound on foot across the street. He is described as a muscular male in his mid-20's, wearing a dark shirt, dark pants, white shoes and a black beanie. 

    SDPD detectives in the southern division are investigating. 

    Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

    No further information is available.

    Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
    <![CDATA[Weekly San Diego Sports Preview]]> Sat, 09 Dec 2017 21:00:12 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Leland+Irving+Goalie+Gulls.jpg

    Here is a look at what is going on in San Diego sports for the week of December 11th-17th.

    GULLS: After weeks on the road the Gulls finally return to the nest. Wednesday and Saturday they host the Stockton Heat 7 p.m. both nights. Saturday is Teddy Bear Toss night so bring a new stuffed bear to throw on the ice after the Gulls first goal. The bears will go to the San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Teddy Bear Drive benefitting Rady Children’s Hospital.


    -WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Thursday vs. Santa Clara 6:30 p.m. at Viejas Arena.


    -MEN’S BASKETBALL: Tuesday at Colorado 5 p.m. and Saturday vs. North Texas 7:30 p.m.

    -WOMENS SWIMMING: Saturday vs. Cal State East Bay/NAU 10 a.m. in San Diego.

    -WOMENS BASKETBALL: Saturday vs. University of Texas at San Antonio 5 p.m. at Jenny Craig Pavilion.


    -WOMENS BASKETBALL: Sunday at Cal State L.A. 5:30 p.m.

    -MEN’S BASKETBALL: Sunday at Cal State L.A. 7:30 p.m.

    <![CDATA[Aztecs Suffer Last-Second Loss]]> Sat, 09 Dec 2017 20:41:10 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/186*120/Cal+at+Aztecs+Hoops.JPG

    It’s never too early to start thinking about the NCAA Tournament. On the surface San Diego State’s 7-3 start to the basketball season looks pretty good. But when March rolls around those three losses will likely loom a lot larger than the seven wins.

    The Aztecs lost a 63-62 decision to Cal on Saturday afternoon at Viejas Arena. It was their third game and third loss to a team from the Pac-12. SDSU is 7-0 against teams from the “non-power” conferences and if for some reason they don’t win the Mountain West Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament that might come back to haunt them.

    Forward Malik Pope had a game-high 20 points to go with eight rebounds for the Aztecs. Freshman Matt Mitchell followed with 13 points and six assists. Pope and Mitchell hit 12 of their 19 shots from the field but the rest of the roster was stone cold. Everyone not named Pope or Mitchell shot a combined 26% for the night.

    Cal was trailing by one with less than a minute to play when Mitchell tried to drive to the middle but lost his footing and the ball. Golden Bears guard Juhwan Harris-Dyson picked it up and drove the length of the floor, drawing a foul on his way to the basket. Harris-Dyson made both free throws with 7.8 seconds left and Aztecs guard Jeremy Hemsley’s desperation 3-point attempt at the buzzer was no good.

    The Aztecs have one more shot at a signature win before MWC play begins. They host 12th-ranked Gonzaga on Thursday night with tipoff set for 7:00 p.m. A win in that game against the team that went to the National Championship game a year ago might make enough of a resume on its own.

    <![CDATA[Plane Plows Into Clairemont Home, 2 Killed]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:10:36 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/Planecrashdenisescantena.jpg

    Two people were killed after a small plane crashed into the backyard of a Clairemont Mesa home Saturday. 

    A single-engine Beech BE36 Bonanza aircraft went into the backyard of a home on Chandler Drive, near Interstate-805 and Balboa Avenue, four minutes after takeoff, according to FAA spokesperson Allen Kenitzer.

    The aircraft with four people on board reported engine failure shortly after departing Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport in San Diego at approximately 4:30 p.m., San Diego Fire Department said.

    William Bussey was driving when he spotted the plane.

    “It sounded like it was sputtering a little. It just kind of made a little drop and dogleg left,” he told NBC 7. “I was pretty familiar with flight paths around here and knew that wasn't normal.”

    The pilots were attempting to land in an open area of a nearby schoolyard, however, the plane tore through the school's fence and skidded into the yard of a nearby home.

    The home and the plane quickly became engulfed in flames.

    Two of the plane's occupants were found dead at the scene, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Brian Fennessy said.

    NBC 7 has confirmed one of the people killed in the crash was Robert Stelling, 50, of South Hampton, New York. 

    The two other occupants — a man and a woman — were found walking away from the aircraft.

    Neighbor Marc Bejjana said he was speechless when he saw one of the survivors standing on the other side of the flames.

    “To be able to walk off after something like that is pretty incredible,” he said.

    Bejjana Heard her yelling "he's in there, he's in there!"

    "It ended up being one of the survivors in the plane, referring to her husband in the plane so that was really scary," he said. 

    They were taken to University of California San Diego to be treated for burn injuries sustained in the crash. 

    Kenitzer said local authorities reported no bystanders were injured.

    No one was in the home at the time of the crash but the homeowner's dog. When the plane crashed, the dog ran out of the home and was hit by an oncoming vehicle. 

    The dog did not survive. 

    San Diego Gas & Electric reported that a foreign object came into contact with a power line at about the same time as the crash. The utility warned some areas of Clairemont and Kearny Mesa may experience power outages.

    The plane crash occurred less than a mile from Montgomery-Gibbs Field.

    The National Transportation Safety Board is responding to investigate the crash.

    No other information was available.

    Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

    Photo Credit: Denise Scantena
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[Small Brush Fire Sparks in Otay Mesa Canyon]]> Sat, 09 Dec 2017 14:59:25 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDFD-Generic-Garske-2.jpg

    A brush fire erupted Saturday in an Otay Mesa canyon, but firefighters quickly got a handle on it.

    The fire broke out for unknown reasons in an encampment near the Otay Valley Regional Park at about 2:15 p.m., according to San Diego Fire-Rescue officials.

    Several fire crews were called assist, but most units were released when it was determined that the first firefighters on scene would be able to handle the blaze. 

    No other information was available.

    Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

    Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
    <![CDATA[Chopper Pulls Injured Biker Out of Sorrento Valley Canyon]]> Sun, 10 Dec 2017 09:51:33 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San+Diego+Fire+Rescue+Helicopter.JPG

    A mountain biker was pulled out of a Sorrento Valley canyon by a helicopter after becoming injured Saturday afternoon.

    The mountain biker sustained a head injury in a Canyon near the Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail at about 12:45 p.m. Saturday, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

    SDFD crews requested a medical helicopter to help pull the biker out of the canyon. The biker was then transferred to Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego.

    The extent of the biker’s injuries was not made available.

    The Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail separates Sorrento Valley and Carmel Valley.

    The area where the biker was injured was near the 4100 block of Sorrento Valley Boulevard.

    No other information was available.

    A previous version of this story showed an image of a Los Angeles rescue helicopter instead of a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department chopper. 

    Photo Credit: San Diego Fire-Rescue]]>
    <![CDATA[Shoplifting Suspect Stabs Vons Security Guards]]> Sat, 09 Dec 2017 12:01:37 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Vons-Stabbing.jpg

    A man attempting to shoplift from a Vons grocery store in San Diego’s Midway District Friday night pulled out a knife and stabbed two security guards as they tried to stop the crime in progress.

    Just before 10:30 p.m., the suspect, now identified as Matthew Hoag, 22, tried to leave a Vons store located at 3651 Midway Dr. with stolen items. As Hoag exited, a security guard confronted him and a fight ensued, the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said. A second security guard joined the struggle.

    Hoag pulled out a knife and cut one security guard’s finger and stabbed the other in the leg.

    Police said citizens in the store then detained the suspect until officers could arrive. One of those citizens was Mark Vargas, a retired corrections officer who used to work for the sheriff's department.

    Vargas told NBC 7 he was walking into the grocery store when he saw and heard the commotion. He saw the security guards wrestling with Hoag and could see that one of the victims had been stabbed.

    "I could see be a big old wound on his leg," he recalled. "It was pretty wild; people trying to stop the bleeding on the security guard. And the guy was over here fighting, trying to get away."

    Vargas, along with other passersby, helped hold down Hoag. He said that in his former line of work, he was faced with those types of encounters.

    "(I thought), 'Well, gonna have to get in there and get dirty like I used to," he added. 

    The SDPD said the stabbing victims were treated for their wounds and will be okay. No other injuries were reported.

    Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
    <![CDATA[With Power Out, Couple Couldn't Evacuate in Lilac Fire]]> Sat, 09 Dec 2017 12:47:36 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Couple_Couldn_t_Evacuate_During_Lilac_Fire.jpg

    A couple whose home was in the path of the Lilac Fire when it erupted near Bonsall Thursday morning said they couldn’t evacuate when the fire approached because the power was out.

    It was Thursday morning and the Millers had been watching the news from their home on West Lilac Road, where images on the screen showed acres of land being engulfed by a wildfire that ignited near Interstate 15 and State Route 76.

    That afternoon the power went out, but the Millers didn’t know it.

    The Lilac Fire began to spread west and that’s when flames began to creep over the mountainside near the Millers' property.

    “My wife noticed some flames on the lot directly behind us,” Ed Miller said.

    San Diego Gas & Electric had shut off the power to the area around noon Thursday, which is customary during weather emergency situations like the Lilac Fire.

    But without phone service, the Millers were not able to receive the Reverse 9-1-1 call ordering them to evacuate.

    Flames rushed through their neighbor’s yard towards the perimeter of their home. Miller went on offense — he grabbed a garden hose and ran towards the fire.

    “I was climbing the hill to get up to the fence, our fence, and that fire that [my wife] had noticed in the lot had moved all the way to that fence,” Miller said.

    The Millers were one of about 17,000 customers across the county left in the dark Thursday afternoon, as SDG&E turned off power amid dangerous gusty winds that could knock over power lines sparking additional fires. 

    About 9,400 SDG&E customers remained without power Friday evening, according to San Diego County officials. SDG&E said it would continue to restore power to homes, but some homes, especially in the area of the Lilac Fire, could be without electricity for several more days as dangerous weather conditions persisted.

    County Supervisor Dianne Jacob criticized SDG&E’s decision to cut power from homes in the path of the wildfire, preventing residents from accessing well water and firefighters from accessing water sources.

    “You can't get the well water without electricity, so that could pose an additional danger,” Jacob said at a press conference Friday. “I hope SDG&E knows what they’re doing. I don’t have a lot of confidence in that, but let’s hope.”

    The utility company called Jacob’s comments “insulting.”

    “We’re deeply disappointed by Supervisor Jacob’s comments. (They are) insulting to our hard-working men and women, who are dedicated to delivering safe and reliable energy,” a company spokesperson told NBC 7.

    The Millers’ home was luckily spared, scorching the side of his gate but never crossing onto their property.

    But the remnants of an uncontrollable blaze can be seen less than a block away, where a neighbor’s home was scorched to the ground. About five or six homes in their neighborhood were destroyed, according to NBC 7 news crews.

    The Millers decided not to go to an evacuation center amid the power outage. They wanted to stay near their property just in case another evacuation order is issued and they were not allowed to return to gather belongings.

    In the meantime, the couple is trying to make the most of it, setting a few candles around their house and using the BBQ to cook food. 

    They hope they will have power within the next few days.

    <![CDATA[Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 7-10]]> Sat, 09 Dec 2017 09:30:39 -0800 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/paradoflights.jpg

    TGI Weekend! With festive events aplenty, you'll be feeling the holiday spirit in San Diego on this second weekend of December. Visit an ice skating rink, join a holiday crafting class or take in the beauty of the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Get up. Get out. Play!

    Thursday, Dec. 7

    Rady Children’s Ice Rink
    10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Liberty Station
    'Tis the season to ice skate – even if we are in sunny San Diego. The Rady Children’s Ice Rink, located at 2875 Dewey Rd. at Liberty Station, is open now through Jan. 7, 2018. Skating costs $12 for kids age 12 and younger, $14 for adults and $10 for military each day, which includes skate rentals.

    23rd Annual Victorian Christmas Teas
    11:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 3 p.m., Julian Tea & Cottage Arts
    For the 23rd year, Julian Tea & Cottage (2124 3rd St., in Julian) will host a series of traditional Victorian Christmas tea sessions starting this Thursday through Dec. 23. The special menu includes finger sandwiches, savories, tea breads, scones with curd, jam and whipped cream, and a selection of seasonal desserts. There’s also a special menu available for children under the age of 12 and, with advance notice, a vegetarian or gluten-free menu. Tea time is at 11:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 3 p.m.; it costs $26.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids. Reservations are required; call (866) 765-0832. 

    Beauty or Torture: Society’s Demand of Perfection Examined
    12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Women’s Museum of California
    This exhibition at the Women’s Museum of California at Liberty Station explores the timeless quest for beauty and the lengths women have gone to over the centuries to alter their looks to conform to society’s beauty standards of the time. The exhibition takes a look at weird beauty trends and how routines weren’t always pretty. Admission is $5. “Beauty or Torture: Society’s Demand of Perfection Examined,” is on display at the museum through Jan. 28, 2018.

    Holiday Tree Lighting & Holiday Sunset Market
    5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Regal Plaza in Oceanside
    Oceanside celebrates the season with its annual tree lighting event at the Regal Plaza (401 Mission Ave.) Thursday, plus the Holiday Sunset Market, featuring live music, holiday decorations, family-friendly games, rides, zip lines and more. Kids can enjoy free cookies and milk and arts and crafts project and, of course, a visit from jolly old St. Nick, who will arrive in a vintage Oceanside fire truck. Both the event and parking (in the Civic Center parking structure and Oceanside Transit Center) are free. Bring your camera to snap photos of the kids with Santa Claus.

    Global Winter Wonderland: ‘Circus of Light’
    5 p.m. to 11 p.m., SDCCU Stadium
    This 17-acre holiday festival is in San Diego for the first time ever this season, setting up at SDCCU Stadium through Jan. 7, 2018. The family-friendly international celebration features the largest display of traditional Chinese lanterns outside of China, plus acrobatics performances, carnival rides, holiday-themed activities, games, food and shopping. The little ones can even write letters to Santa Claus and visit sections like Toyland, Candyland and the North Pole. Global Winter Wonderland opens daily at either 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. but is closed on some dates. Check this calendar for exact dates and times to plan your visit. Tickets cost $22 for adults and $19 for kids ages 4 to 12 or senior citizens age 62 and older. Kids 3 and under get in free.

    Zumba Fitness Fun
    6:30 p.m., Harrah’s Resort Southern California
    This energizing Zumba class goes down each Thursday on the second-floor South Tower at Harrah’s Resort SoCal. The movin’ and groovin’ starts at 6:30 p.m.

    Tommy Davidson
    8 p.m., The American Comedy Co.
    “In Living Color” actor and funnyman Tommy Davidson headlines The American Comedy Co. in downtown San Diego this weekend, bringing his stand-up act to the stage. Davidson takes the mike at 8 p.m. Thursday and again Friday and Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. both nights. Tickets to the 21+ comedy show cost $20.

    Friday, Dec. 8

    Skating by the Sea
    11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Hotel Del Coronado
    Now in its 13th year, The Del’s seaside ice skating rink on Windsor Lawn is open through New Year’s Day. The ice rink adds to the spirit of the season at the landmark, where visitors will also find thousands of white lights decking out the hotel’s iconic Victorian buildings, holiday music and hot cocoa. Check The Del’s website for exact times and dates. Skating costs $30 per person and includes ice skate rentals.

    Holiday by the Bay
    4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Hilton San Diego Bayfront
    With an ice skating rink overlooking the bay and a mini golf course inspired by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hosts its “Holiday by the Bay” celebration this season. The Skate by the Bay rink is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends, through Dec. 17. Hours will change after that, but it’ll remain open through New Year’s Day. Skating costs $20 for adults and $15 for children. Rudolph’s “Tees the Season” mini golf course features nine holes adorned with holiday themes. One round costs $10. There’s an additional fee to park at the hotel.

    Ornament-Making With Chuao
    3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Chuao Chocolatier
    Chuao Chocolatier in Carlsbad (2350 Camino Vida Roble, Suite 101) will host this sweet crafting session that invites visitors to make their own “hot chocolate” ornament filled with the chocolatier’s drinking chocolate, mini marshmallows and crushed peppermint. Holiday chocolate samples will be served during the event, too. This costs $15 per person; attendees are encouraged to bring a toy donation for the Toys for Tots Foundation.

    Holiday Marketplace
    4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Luce Court and Legacy Plaza at Liberty Station
    Liberty Station tenants and local vendors showcase their handmade goods and gifts at this Holiday Marketplace every weekend through Dec. 24 at Luce Court and Legacy Plaza (2641 Truxtun Rd.). As you shop, enjoy live music performances in the Central Promenade or, afterwards, head over to the Rady Children’s Ice Rink for some skating. The Holiday Marketplace is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays this season.

    Thorn St. December Beer Dinner
    5:30 p.m., Encontro North Park
    Foodies and craft beer aficionados, this one’s for you. Thorn Street Brewery pairs up with the Encontro restaurant (3001 University Ave.) in North Park for this December Beer Dinner featuring four Thorn brews paired with delicious dishes. The menu includes Thorn’s Barrio Lager, 007 on Nitro, Relay IPA and Santos Coffee Stout matched with dishes like Shrimp and Duroc Sausage and Smoked Crème Brulee. Tickets cost $45.

    Chocolate-Making Class: Santa’s Workshop
    6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sweet Petite Confections Shop
    Create tasty little gifts for the holidays at this chocolate-making workshop at Sweet Petite Confections (3582A Mount Acadia Blvd.). The experts will help you make two chocolate barks and dipped goodies that you can package for family and friends. The two-hour class costs $40.

    ‘A Christmas Carol’ Presented by the Julian Theater Company
    7 p.m., Julian Town Hall
    The Julian Theater Company presents its production of the classic Charles Dickens Scrooge and Bob Cratchit tale, “A Christmas Carol.” Performances begin Thursday night at Julian Town Hall, with several shows running through Dec. 16. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $8 for children age 12 and under, and can be purchased in advance by calling (800) 838-3006 or (760) 765-1688.

    Stars at Mission Trails
    7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Mission Trails Regional Park
    Weather permitting, the San Diego Astronomy Association leads another stargazing session at Mission Trails Friday night, this time at the east end of the Kumeyaay Lake Campground’s day use parking lot. The three-hour event is free; the Astronomy Association will provide telescopes for those in attendance to use during the event.

    Carols by Candlelight
    8 p.m. (Friday and Saturday), California Center for the Arts Escondido
    The 28th annual Carols by Candlelight concert will feature country music stars Lonestar, Brandy Clark, Charlie Worsham and others singing their hits and Christmas favorites at Concert Hall at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. The concert takes place Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $19 to $68, with sales benefitting Rady Children’s Hospital.

    Music at The Merrow
    8 p.m., The Merrow
    Enjoy live music from several bands at The Merrow, a cool little venue at 1271 University Ave. On Friday night the 21+ show includes these talents: Plane Without a Pilot, Mosaics, Little Empire and The Rough. Tickets are only $5; the doors open at 8 p.m.

    Bob Saget
    9 p.m., Harrah’s Resort Southern California
    Sure, you mostly know him as Danny Tanner, the squeaky clean dad on “Full House,” but actor Bob Saget also has a wild side. Saget has been doing stand-up comedy for decades and, on Friday, he brings his adult humor to Harrah’s Resort SoCal. His stand-up show is at 9 p.m.; tickets start at $29.

    Saturday, Dec. 9

    Boardwalk Craft Market
    8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Old Poway Park
    The Boardwalk Craft Market – a juried show with crafts created and by San Diego County artists – is held every Saturday morning (through Christmas) at Old Poway Park. Artists are on-hand to answer questions about their work. Admission is free. After the holidays, this market returns in February.

    Sweat for Service on the USS Midway Museum
    8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m., 910 North Harbor Drive, San Diego
    What’s better than a giant dance party workout on the deck of a ship? How about one that also raises funds for San Diego military families. Join the Sweat for Service dance workout paced to upbeat music from a live DJ. Proceeds will benefit the Travis Manion Foundation, an organization that supports the families of fallen veterans within the San Diego community. Tickets cost $18. 

    San Diego Santa Run
    10:00 a.m., 875 Garnet Avenue, San Diego
    Ho, Ho, Ho! It is a sight to behold as thousands of runners dressed in their best (or ugliest) holiday gear hit the streets of Pacific Beach for the 5th Annual Santa Run. You are sure to spot a Santa (or a thousand) running the one-mile or 3.1-mile course. Participants of any age, and even dogs, are welcome to take part in this one-of-a-kind event. The annual Pacific Beach Holiday Parade will follow the run at 1 p.m.

    The Nutcracker
    Times Vary (through Dec. 23), San Diego Civic Theatre
    The classic wintertime ballet returns to the San Diego Civic Theatre Dec. 9 for a two-week run. More than 150 performers with the California Ballet present the story of a toy nutcracker brought to life through a child’s dream, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s thunderous score. Three performances will run on opening night: a shortened, toddler-friendly performance at 10 a.m., and full performances at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. 

    Poway Christmas in the Park
    3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Old Poway Park
    Go back in time with this old-time Christmas celebration in Poway. Carolers and horse-drawn hay rides will make you feel like you are celebrating the holidays in a small town of years past. The event will feature a craft boutique for some holiday shopping, tasty treats and visits with Santa. Poway’s community Christmas tree will be lit up at 5:15 p.m. Park at Poway City Hall or the Poway Adult School and a free shuttle will transport you to the event.

    91X Wrex the Halls
    5 p.m., Valley View Casino Center
    It’s that time of year, again. The popular all-ages concert Wrex the Halls returns to San Diego with a full alt-rock lineup. Topping the list is folk group The Lumineers. Solo artist Vance Joy, mashup group Dreamcar, Canadian rock group Arkells and more will hit the stage for a winter night full of melodic sounds. Ticket prices range from $45 to $70 and can be purchased here. 

    Winter Wonderland at Chula Vista RV Resort
    Sundown, 460 Sandpiper Way, Chula Vista
    This bayside RV campground becomes a true Winter Wonderland once a year. Campers from all over bring their RVs to the Chula Vista Resort, where they deck them out with their best decorations for a friendly competition. The campground encourages spectators to check out the transformed RV park for themselves. They say it really is a sight that everyone must see at least once because “There are lights everywhere and I mean everywhere!”

    Ray at Night
    6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Ray Street in North Park
    Visit North Park’s cool, quirky arts and culture neighborhood on Ray Street during this art walk held on the second Saturday of every month. Local artists will display their work among 15 galleries and business venues and, as visitors browse, live street performers and food vendors will line the street. The monthly gathering is free.

    Sunday, Dec. 10

    Santa at the Lakes
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Santee Lakes
    Santee Lakes transforms into a winter wonderland Sunday for its annual Santa at the Lakes event featuring crafts, pony rides, character meet and greets, train rides and photos with jolly old St. Nick. The highlight is the “Snow Hill,” a zone with manmade snow where the little ones can play – about as much snow as sunny Santee will see this season. The community event is free; tickets for activities are $1 each, with rides and activities ranging from one to seven to tickets. Parking is $10.

    Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
    11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m., The Old Globe
    One of San Diego's favorite holiday traditions, now in its 20th year at The Old Globe, runs through Christmas Eve, with several performances on the weekends. The whimsical characters and stories from the classic Dr. Seuss book jump off the page and onto the stage in “Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” featuring songs like “This Time of Year” and “Fah Who Doraze.” Tickets start at $37 for adults and $24 for children.

    Live Music Sundays: Manny Cepeda Orchestra
    12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Liberty Public Market
    The Manny Cepeda Orchestra Duo performs this free show at Liberty Public Market Sunday. After you shop, head over to the marketplace’s patio to take in the Latin tunes. 

    SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical
    2 p.m. and 7 p.m., La Jolla Playhouse
    The world-premiere production of “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical” continues its run at the La Jolla Playhouse this weekend. The musical put together in part by the director (Des McAnnuff) and choreographer (Sergio Trujillo) that worked on “Jersey Boys,” follows the life of the singer from her modest Boston childhood to her rise as the Queen of Disco. The show is led by a Tony Award-winning actress, a former “Hamilton” star and a local San Diego favorite. Tickets start at $80, and if you’re considering attending, you may want to act fast: tickets have been selling out quickly for all performances of this musical. The musical runs until Dec. 17.

    Free Concert at Mission Trails Regional Park
    3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Mission Trails Visitor Center
    Musicians Chris and Jamie Burns, of Many-Strings, will perform a free, one-hour concert Sunday at the Visitor Center at Mission Trails Regional Park. The show will highlight the guitar and hammered dulcimer, and will take place at the 93-seat Visitor Center Theater. Since seating is limited, arrive a little early to snag your spot.

    Maritime Museum Winter Wonderland
    4 p.m. to 8 pm. (Dec. 10 & Dec. 17), 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego
    This is a great one for the kids. The Maritime Museum will transform into a winter wonderland complete with holiday-themed activities for everyone. Skate around a rink made of synthetic ice ($10-$12); board a pirate ship bounce house for 15 minutes of fun ($3); or take photos with Santa ($12). Guests can even learn about San Diego’s history of the seas at the museum itself. Activities vary in price.

    San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
    5 p.m. (Dec. 10 & Dec. 17), San Diego Bay
    Lighting up the San Diego Bay for the 46th year is the tried and true holiday tradition, the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. This year's theme is "A Pirate's Christmas," so expect some swashbuckling displays on the water. This San Diego tradition dazzles crowds with a parade of about 80 boats decked out in lights and festive decorations. The procession starts at 5 p.m. from Shelter Island and makes its way past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero and Seaport Village before turning at the Pier at Cesar Chavez Park. The route gives spectators plenty of options for viewing. A second round of this parade will be held on Dec. 17. 

    Free or Cheap Things to Do in San Diego
    Times and locations vary

    Looking to save some cash, but still enjoy the city? In San Diego, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy for free or on the cheap. Go for a hike at Torrey Pines State Park or Cowles Mountain, stroll Balboa Park, try a new craft brewery, admire the murals of Chicano Park or read a book at a downtown park. Get out there and explore America’s Finest City.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>