ICYMI Saturday

In Case You Missed It: San Diego Weekend News Digest for Saturday, Jan. 18

Five local news stories from the previous week

To help make sure you stay informed on the most shared and talked about stories in San Diego County, each Saturday we'll revisit five stories from the previous week and capsulize them in this digest with the most recent updates.

1. Former Kiss Guitarist in Legal Battle With Ex-Girlfriend

Rockstar Ace Frehley, known for co-founding the band KISS, faced a domestic violence restraining order in San Diego County from his former girlfriend of 11 years, Rachael Gordon.

Gordon said Frehley, his daughter, and two bodyguards rushed into their Rancho Santa Fe home, grabbed guitars, gold records, and other belongs before leaving in July 2019. Gordon said they appeared on drugs.

“When I turned to go out of the room the female bodyguard had her fist in my face already and said, 'Hey if you say one word you’re going down, one word and listen I’m going to lay you out, right now,’” Gordon recalled. “She grit her teeth right up into my face and scared me.”

Gordon later filed a restraining order. On Thursday, a North County judge denied the restraining order against Frehley.

“I never laid a hand on Rachael and she admitted it in her deposition,” Frehley said. “I have no bad feelings about her, we did have some good times, but those have passed.

NBC 7's Melissa Adan has more information on the restraining order filed against former Kiss guitarist

2. San Diegan Hiked Taal Volcano Hours Before It Erupted

A San Diego nurse on vacation with her friends in the Philippines had just finished hiking the Taal Volcano hours before heavy ash came spewing out, causing tens of thousands of people to flee the area.

Katie Rauschl, her friend Nawa Dolker and a larger group of friends were traveling to the volcano. About an hour after they left the mountain and started the drive to Manila, about 60 miles north or so, they knew something had changed.

"We started hearing rumbling, started seeing raindrops and we noticed the raindrops were very, very dirty," Dolker said.

At one point, as recorded on video, the group got out of the car to look back right when the Taal Volcano pumped out plumes of ash into the sky, eventually spewing lava and forcing thousands to evacuate. Despite the traffic, Rauschl and Dolker got to Manila safely.

NBC 7's Jackie Crea spoke to the hiker who left just an hour before it erupted.

3. Poway Cited for ‘Confusing’ Public During Water Quality Emergency

California's Water Board cited the city of Poway Thursday for their handling of a malfunction at its water treatment plant that led to a lengthy boil water advisory, which forced businesses to shutter for nearly a week.

The citation faults the city of Poway for its failure to communicate with citizens on the severity of the water quality emergency and said statements contradicting a boil advisory confused the public.

According to the state, Poway leaders claimed the water was clean and disinfected before the California State Water Resources Control Board confirmed the water was safe to use.

“There has been no contamination in our water, I’m still drinking the water; I’m going to keep drinking the water. There’s no bacteria in the water, but the state still wants some additional steps," Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said.

Poway attributed the debacle to a faulty valve connected to a filtered water reservoir at the Lester J. Berglund Water Treatment Plant near Lake Poway.

Some county water leaders gathered to call out the Poway mayor for his handling of the boil advisory, Vaus was in the studio with a response.

4. Instructor Says College President Had Students Fix His BMW For Free

A faculty member at San Diego Community College District said colleagues are retaliating against him after he objected to the President of the Continuing Education program getting his BMW fixed for free by the college’s auto program.

Auto body and paint instructor John Louie said he began to get negative peer reviews after he complained about president Carlos Turner Cortez’ alleged demand for free auto repairs.

However, a college spokesperson said that administrators and students are encouraged to offer their cars for repairs.

Photo of Carlos Turner Cortez Courtesy of SDCCD
Courtesy of SDCCD

5. County Leaders Ban Vaping, Flavored Smoking Product Sales

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a vaping ban for unincorporated areas of San Diego County with a 3-2 vote on Tuesday.

The ordinance has three parts: to prohibit the sale of flavored smoking products, to establish a one-year moratorium on the sale of electronic smoking devices, and to prohibit smoking in outdoor dining areas. The ban also includes smokeless tobacco products.

The board will adopt the legislation on Jan. 28.

NBC7's Danica McAdam shares the latest information on the County vote to ban vaping by the Board of Supervisors.
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