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    Instead of playing under the Thursday night lights, Mira Mesa High School's freshman and junior varsity football teams joined the rest of the school community at a forum meant to highlight an investigation into an alleged hazing incident involving players.

    The San Diego Police Department sex crime unit confirmed to NBC 7 Thursday that it launched an investigation into the alleged incident.

    The school has also launched an investigation into the incident, principal Jeff Sabins told NBC 7 in a statement.

    He also sent two emails to parents Wednesday letting them know about the reported incident. 

    The first outlined the allegations but didn’t provide any details because of laws protecting students' privacy.

    “I have just learned about an alleged incident involving several of our JV football players,” Sabins said. “As a result of this incident, I have canceled the combined freshman and JV game scheduled for tomorrow, October 4th at University City High School.”

    The JV football team’s practice was also canceled, the principal said.

    “I don’t take the decision to cancel a game lightly,” Sabins said. “I need to be confident that we have an understanding that hazing will not be tolerated and develop a plan to ensure that all students are safe at all times.”

    The second email informed parents of Thursday's forum at the campus media center where school community members were allowed to express any concerns regarding the alleged incident to coaches and school administrators.

    Rumors of what actually happened were circulating on campus after students were made aware of the investigation.

    “There were a lot of rumors saying they were touching each other inappropriately," student Enzo Onevathana told NBC 7. “Everybody was disgusted by what happened. Everybody was talking about it. People laughed about it, and others were just kind of weirded out by what happened."

    Media wasn't allowed in the forum, but several parents who attended shared their takeaways with NBC 7.

    "So many rumors, it's easy to get concerned and scared as a parent," Marc Mejia said. His son isn't on the team but is friends with many players. "Just to come out here and hear what the teachers and coaches wanted to convey, it was helpful as a parent."

    Though no additional details of the alleged incident were revealed, parents did say they appreciated the open forum.

    "I talked to my grandson about it, and what information he gave me did concern me," Paulette Towne said. Her grandson is on the football team. "I felt a little more comfortable knowing that there was going to be more supervision, especially in the locker rooms."

    Townes said she's worried about a culture of retaliation impacting students who reveal details to school and police investigators.

    "Retaliation. I really worry about that because, you know, if some kid gets [singled out] for saying anything or volunteering any information, I just really worry about retaliation," she said.

    Students who spoke to NBC 7 after school Thursday shared the same concern. One even said he doesn't want to go to Mira Mesa High School anymore.

    "I don't want to go to this school after this," Xavier Amaro said. "Because I don't know if it could happen to me or anyone else that I know."

    Read Sabins' full statement to NBC 7:

    “The Mira Mesa High School administration learned of alleged hazing occurring among some members of the Junior Varsity football team. In response, the school: launched an investigation into the allegations, which continues; canceled a JV football practice and game scheduled for Thursday; and notified the entire school community of the reports of alleged hazing.

    I have directed football staff to increase off-field supervision of football team members. Tomorrow night, I will meet with football families to review our commitment to keep students safe on and off the field.”


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    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump wasn’t mocking Christine Blasey Ford during a political rally. Trump was instead “stating the facts,” she said. But while Ford has said she couldn’t remember some details, the president mischaracterized her testimony repeatedly.


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    A Rockwall family is upset with American Airlines after they say they were kicked off a flight because of their son with autism. 

    Adam and Heather Halkuff have five boys under the age of 16.

    Preparing for a family vacation can be hectic and because their two youngest sons have autism, they took planning a step further.

    “I first contacted American Airlines and I asked them if there was any programs or anything they can do for us because we’d be traveling with five boys, two that had autism,” Adam Halkuff said.

    On Sept. 24, more than a week before their trip, 5-year-old Milo and 2-year-old Ollie went through a mock scenario at the airport, practicing the process of going through security and boarding a plane.

    The run-through was so the real thing would go off without a hitch. What happened next didn’t go as planned.

    During boarding, the Halkuffs say, Milo had a meltdown right before getting on the plane.

    "All the passengers are walking by. They're very kind, they're like 'You got this mom. Do you need any help?'" Heather Halkuff explained.

    But she said a ticket agent for American Airlines wasn't nearly as understanding.

    “Right away she goes, 'He can't get on the flight...he's going to bother the other passengers and then he'll still be upset during the flight and we'll have to turn around and escort you off the plane,'" Heather recalled.

    The Halkuffs say they offered to split up. Adam would go back home with Milo. Heather would fly to Kansas City with the older kids.

    But that offer was rejected. The entire family was brought back into the terminal, they said.

    "I’m thinking now that my older boys," Heather said tearing up, "I don't want them to resent Milo ever that we can't do stuff."

    Now, instead of a vacation to visit family, the Halkuffs are back home making the best of the situation and wondering what could have happened if Milo had been given a chance.

    “Don’t say ‘Oh, look at that autistic kid crying. He’s going to ruin this whole flight. Let’s not even let him on,’” she said.

    American Airlines contacted the family Thursday and said it is looking into their case.

    In a statement, a spokesperson wrote: 

    “We are concerned to hear about this situation. Our team has reached out to the Halkuff family to gather more information about what transpired at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). The American Airlines team is committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for all of our customers.

    When it comes to autism, American is a strong advocate for children. Our team members work closely with various nonprofit groups to alleviate the stress these children and their families may experience while flying, including offering families the opportunity to take a test fight on the ground. This process — which includes role playing and realistic airport interactions — helps children grow accustomed to the experience of flight.”

    Over the summer, American Airlines received a top score on their disability inclusion programs from the American Association of People with Disabilities.



    Photo Credit: Adam and Heather Halkuff

    Rockwall parents say the were kicked off a flight because of their autistic son, Thursday, October 4, 2018.Rockwall parents say the were kicked off a flight because of their autistic son, Thursday, October 4, 2018.

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    Police are looking for a hit-and-run driver that severely injured a woman in a collision after a short pursuit in Linda Vista on Wednesday night.

    The incident started shortly after 10 p.m. when San Diego police attempted to pull over an Infinity G37a traffic violation, but the car failed to yield and police gave chase, Officer Robert Heims said.

    The Inifity, which was traveling southbound on Ulric Street, then ran a red light at Tait Street and hit an Acura RDX SUV that was turning onto westbound Tait Street from Ulric Street, he said.

    The 73-year-old driver of the Acura suffered several injuries to her legs, arms and head, Heims said. She was transported to an area hospital. Her injuries were not life-threatening, he said.

    The Infinity fled the scene and officers were unable to locate the driver.

    The San Diego Police Traffic Division is investigating, Heims said.


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    A Facebook vice president's public support of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has set off an internal revolt in the company, sources told NBC News.

    Hundreds of employees have complained on message boards and in company emails about Joel Kaplan, vice president for global public policy, making a surprise appearance at Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing. The two are longtime friends since they both served in President George W. Bush's White House.

    Some employees said it gave the impression Facebook backed Kavanaugh, and it prompted a company town hall to be scheduled for Friday.

    It's the latest controversy for the tech giant, which recently revealed the biggest data breach in its history and had the founders of Instagram leave the company amid frustrations with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.



    Photo Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images, File

    This May 23, 2018, file photo, Facebook Vice President of global public policy Joel Kaplan and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leave the French presidential palace in Paris after a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.This May 23, 2018, file photo, Facebook Vice President of global public policy Joel Kaplan and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leave the French presidential palace in Paris after a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.

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    NBC Chicago will offer a live stream with complete coverage beginning right here.

    JUST IN: Jury finds Jason Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder, 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. He was found not guilty of official misconduct.
    ________________________________________________________

    A jury has convicted Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. 

    Van Dyke sat emotionless as the verdict, which was reached nearly 24 hours after jurors began deliberating, was read in court. 

    The Chicago police officer was also found guilty of 16 counts of aggravated battery and not guilty of official misconduct. His bond was revoked and he was taken into custody moments later. 

    Second-degree murder carries a four- to 20-year prison sentence, but can also result in four years of probation instead of prison. Aggravated battery carries a six- to 30-year sentence, 85 percent of which must be served. 

     

     

    The long-awaited verdict comes nearly four years to the date after dashcam video showing the shooting shook the city and the nation, sparking massive protests and calls for justice. 

    Schools and businesses in the area began preparations, with some letting kids out of school and other enforcing security preparedness plans as they braced for the results. 

    September would have marked McDonald's 21st birthday. 

      Van Dyke was charged with six counts of first-degree murder more than a year after he shot the 17-year-old 16 times on the city's Southwest Side on Oct. 20, 2014. He entered a plea of not guilty. 

      Heading into his trial, four of the murder counts were dropped against Van Dyke, leaving him with two first-degree murder charges, 16 aggravated battery counts and one count of official misconduct. 

      In an unexpected announcement, prosecutors revealed in their closing statement to the jury Thursday that a lesser charge of second-degree murder could also be considered. 

        Van Dyke's attorneys maintain the Chicago officer was wrongly charged, saying he was acting within the law when he shot the teen, who at the time was an armed felon fleeing a crime scene. 

        In nearly three weeks of trial, the defense called 20 witnesses, including Van Dyke himself, to make their case that McDonald, a black teenager armed with a knife, posed a threat when Van Dyke, a white officer, opened fire on him.

        Prosecutors tried to highlight inconsistencies in Van Dyke's testimony, particularly in comparison with dashcam video of the shooting released in 2015, which was shown to the jury. 

        During the days-long trial, jurors also saw graphic autopsy images of the more than a dozen gunshot wounds on McDonald's body, video animation of the shooting from Van Dyke's point of view and video showing 16 gunshots in 14 seconds. 

        They heard testimony from several Chicago police officers who responded to the scene that night, witnesses who saw the shooting, experts on use of force and those who knew McDonald in his younger years. 

          Van Dyke has claimed he opened fire that night to protect himself and other officers. 

          The shooting and subsequent release of the video prompted massive protests across the city and catapulted Chicago into the national spotlight. In the aftermath, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired the city's police superintendent and voters ousted the Cook County state's attorney in the following primary election.

          The case also sparked an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice that found the Chicago Police Department engaged in systemic violation of civil rights for years. A new consent decree was put into place in September that promised reforms.

          RECAP OF THE TRIAL



                  Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune

                  Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke takes the stand and testifies during his murder trial at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. (Antonio Perez/pool/Chicago Tribune)Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke takes the stand and testifies during his murder trial at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. (Antonio Perez/pool/Chicago Tribune)

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                  A 3-year-old boy was bitten by a rattlesnake in Allied Gardens on Friday morning, a fire official said.

                  The boy was bitten around 9:45 p.m. at the Canyon Rim Children’s Center, 6800 Easton Court, San Diego Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.

                  The boy was taken to Rady Children's Hospital as a trauma patient, she said. His condition was unknown at this time.

                  Animal services have been notified to try and remove the snake, Munoz said.

                  No other information was available.

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



                  Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

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                  For a toe-tapping good time this weekend, check out the Trolley Dances at various metro stops around San Diego. 

                  The San Diego Dance Theater and Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) will kick off the 20th year Friday of the Trolley Dances. 

                  In honor of two decades of dance, the company let the public decide what performances from the past to reintroduce this year. Voters chose the theme of "homelessness." 

                  "It's a piece about the plight of homelessness," said Beth Calarco, one of the dancers. "And what brought people to that post in life." 

                  Friday, Saturday and Sunday, anyone is welcome to watch six performances from Mission Valley to downtown San Diego. 

                  It will begin at the Hazard Center trolley station and continue along the green and orange lines. Audience members are welcome to partake in a two-hour guided tour. 

                  "It's an unusual format to watch dance," said Calarco. "That's what I like about it. It's unexpected. As a performer, it's fun because we get to interact with a lot of people who don't have any idea a dance show is happening." 

                  Calarco said that means going with the flow when the audience rides the trolley. 

                  "They'll walk through the middle of your show," said Calarco. "You just go with it. That's the part I've always liked about it." 

                  For a full list of the times and locations of the shows, click here. General admission tickets cost $40. 


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                  No matter how you slice it — the toaster is a must-have appliance for most kitchens, which is why Consumer Reports tests dozens of models every year.

                  Testers set each toaster to a medium setting, and they look at how well each toaster makes a single slice and then a full batch.

                  Testers use an industry-standard chart to help categorize how well each toaster performs. The best toasters match the evenly browned toast on the toast color chart.

                  Testers also look for good color range with each toaster so that everyone who uses the toaster will be happy with their toast.

                  Consumer Reports also assesses how long each toaster takes to deliver the goods — the faster, the better!

                  You also want a toaster that’s really easy to use and clean. You don’t want any cracks or crevices, and you want to be able to pull out that crumb tray very easily.

                  Testers even looked at a toaster with a gluten-free bread setting. Gluten-free bread is a bit denser than regular bread, and you might not get the same results on the same setting.

                  The $30 Bella Pro Series Model 90062 toaster delivered. And it performed Excellent on the standard setting with regular bread, too. 

                  Toasting for a crowd? Consider splurging on the top-rated four-slice toaster—the $100 Breville Bit More Model BTA730XL. It has wide slots for bagels, and if your toast turns out too light, press the “bit more” button and it will toast a little longer.

                  Consumer Reports tested all of the toasters with precut, packaged bagels. But ... if you’re a bagel lover and like a fatter, bakery bagel, be sure to look for a toaster with the widest slots you can find. Some toasters have a bagel setting that toasts on one side only, so you can brown the cut side and keep the other side softer.


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                  It’s a curse of modern life: We’re constantly on our phone, which means the battery runs down and sometimes dies, inevitably when we need the phone the most.

                  Consumer Reports tests dozens of smartphones each year. Its experts reveal some simple tricks to keep your battery running as long as possible.

                  Consumer Reports says the bottom line is that phones do so much more than they used to. And while batteries last longer, things like streaming video, games, and apps that frequently refresh can eat up battery life.

                  If you realize that you’re running low on battery power, you can switch to low power mode. And in extreme cases you can turn on airplane mode, but you’ll lose cell service.

                  If your phone doesn’t have a low power mode, try these tips:

                  • Lower the screen brightness or set it to auto so your phone adjusts to lighting conditions
                  • Set the screen to go to sleep after 15 or 30 seconds of inactivity
                  • Reduce how frequently your phone looks for new email

                  But if you’re STILL constantly running for your charger, you may want to consider replacing your battery or getting a new phone. CR says you might be impressed by some of the recent improvements. Some phones have gotten a lot bigger, which gives manufacturers a lot more space to put in bigger batteries. And bigger batteries generally mean better battery life.

                  CR's testing shows that Samsung’s Galaxy phones tend to have some of the longest-running batteries. While iPhones are popular with consumers, they haven’t done as well in battery tests.


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                  An American hero was laid to rest Friday at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

                  Captain Claude Rowe was a pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and might be the only man to fly under two flags.

                  Fort Rosecrans is hallowed ground, fitting for the final resting place of a man of Capt. Rowe’s heroics.

                  “Quite a view, panoramic view you got up here,” fellow Tuskegee Airman Master Sergeant Nelson Robinson said. “So, he’s resting in a wonderful, peaceful place.”

                  Rowe first flew with the Royal Canadian Air Force because his skin color prevented him from being a pilot in the United States military. When the rule changed, he became a pilot with the Unites States Army Air Forces.

                  The Tuskegee Airmen, made up of the 332nd Fighter Group and 477th Bombardment Group of the USAAF, was a largely African-American aviation group based near Tuskegee, Alabama.

                  “I always thought that if I didn’t fight for my country, I wouldn’t earn the right to become a first class citizen,” Rowe told NBC 7 in a 2011 interview.

                  Robinson said that the Tuskegee Airmen, also known as Red Tails, were a fearsome unit.

                  “They’re one hell of a fighting group (chuckles). One hell of a fighting group,” he said.

                  But his friend Rowe was soft-spoken.

                  “He was quiet. A quiet guy. Nice, friendly guy,” Robinson said.

                  Now that nice guy who embodied the spirit of the Red, White and Blue for 97 years will rest for eternity next to service members who fought in different wars, prayed to different Gods, and had skin of every shade.

                  “We appreciate the fact that things have changed,” Robinson said.

                  Rowe’s wife Winnie was at the service and in a touching tribute was given the flag that draped his coffin.

                  There were around 1,000 Tuskegee Airmen and Robinson says there are now less than 300 still alive.


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                  Eater San Diego shares the top stories of the week from San Diego’s food and drink scene, including news about the glitzy cinema complex coming to the Gaslamp and the high-end steakhouse opening on the downtown waterfront.

                  Inside Little Italy's Handsome New Restaurant and Bar 
                  The just-opened Nolita Hall is India Street's newest hangout, with a shuffleboard court, communal tables, and an expansive bar. The stunning spot offers a menu of salads and woodfired pizza as well as 24 beer taps and craft cocktails. 

                  Iconic Hollywood Theater Opening Luxury Cinema and Dining Venue
                  The landmark TCL Chinese Theatre is behind the Theatre Box, arriving in the Gaslamp this fall. The two-story complex spans a city block and will include eight boutique screening rooms and six spots for dining. 

                  $10 Million Texas Steakhouse Arriving on the Embarcadero
                  Texas-based Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse will debut its first West Coast location next month in San Diego. The two-story, 430-seat restaurant will slot into the base of the new InterContinental Hotel with panoramic views of the bay. 

                  Gourmet Ice Cream Shop Opens in Golden Hill 
                  This weekend marks the debut of Mutual Friend, a new artisan ice cream parlor founded by Dark Horse Coffee Roasters that's opening next to the local roaster's Golden Hill location. The rotating menu will include several vegan flavors as well as flavors highlighting local produce, beer, and of course, coffee.

                  The Hottest Restaurants in San Diego Right Now
                  The latest update of the Eater Heatmap includes two buzzy Asian eateries. Freshly-opened at Westfield UTC, Din Tai Fung is drawing crowds for its dumplings while Hidden Fish Sushi is sparking interest for its timed dining concept.

                  Where to Brunch in San Diego
                  From Bloody Marys to bottomless mimosas, Eater has a guide to the latest and greatest brunch destinations around town. Book a weekend date at a North County brewery, Gaslamp steakhouse, or Ocean Beach cafe.


                  This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

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                  The San Diego-based Marine involved in an apparent murder-suicide in Houston earlier this week was identified Friday by the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.

                  Sgt. Massamba Diatta was found dead around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday along with a woman at the Red Roof Inn after the couple’s 4-year-old son was found wandering the hotel lobby, according to the Houston Police Department.

                  The couple had been shot and died at the scene, police said.

                  The woman’s identity has not been released but family members identified her as Brittany Smith, 23.

                  Police are awaiting the autopsy results to determine who the shooter was.

                  "Our deepest condolences and thoughts are with the families of all involved during this difficult time,” MCRD said in a statement to NBC 7. “We are cooperating with civilian and military authorities during the investigation to collect all the details of the incident."

                  Diatta was an infantryman who was assigned to the Recruiter School at MCRD in April. He was recruited from the Bronx in 2013 and promoted to his current rank Monday, according to MCRD.

                  He has earned a Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.



                  Photo Credit: MCRD San Diego

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                  The suspect in 2006 gang killing of an Oceanside police officer pleaded guilty to felony manslaughter Friday, prosecutors said. 

                  Jose Compre, 28, was charged in 2016 for the decade-old killing of Officer Dan Bessant. 

                  On December 20, 2006, 25-year-old Bessant was shot and killed on duty while helping another officer conducting a traffic stop at Arthur Avenue and Gold Drive in Oceanside.

                  New information surfaced in 2016 that led to the arrest of Compre. Over the years, Compre had been one of three suspects tied to Bessant's killing.

                  Following the deadly shooting of the officer, two teenagers with documented gang ties were arrested for the crime, Meki Gaono and Penifoti Teaotui.

                  Investigators determined the killing was done for no other reason other than for the gang members to gain respect, however warped, for shooting at police. Gaono and Teaotui were both sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

                  At the time, Compre was also arrested, but at a preliminary hearing in 2008, charges against him were dropped.

                  In a plea deal, Compre admitted his gang ties and will serve 25 years in state prison.

                  “This plea holds another defendant accountable for his role in the heartless murder of Officer Bessant and brings an additional measure of justice for Officer Bessant’s family and friends, the community and his law enforcement colleagues,” San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said in a statement.

                  Compre will be sentenced on May 31, 2019.



                  Photo Credit: NBC 7

                  A candle was lighted in honor of slain Officer Dan Bessant.A candle was lighted in honor of slain Officer Dan Bessant.

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                  Friends and teammates of a teenage shark attack survivor were so inspired by his strength they played their Friday night flag football games in his honor.

                  Keane Webre-Hayes, 13, was bitten by a shark last Saturday morning at Beacon’s Beach in Encinitas. He told his mom that the first thing he wanted to do when he got out of the hospital was get back to doing the things he loves, like playing sports and being in the water.

                  His friends with the Friday Night Lights Flag Football League know he’s not quite ready to take the field yet, so they dedicated their games at Poinsettia Park in Carlsbad to him and also collected cards and donations to help him during his recovery.

                  As the news of the attack unfolded Saturday and in the following days, the San Diego community found out more and more about Keane and rallied behind him. Photos of the teen released to the media by his family put a face to the fighter everyone was reading and hearing about in the news.

                  One of those photos featured Keane in his Friday Night Lights (FNL) jersey.

                  “When that picture went out of that boy, Keane, wearing his flag football jersey, that humanized it to everyone around here. That could have been anybody,” FNL co-commissioner Paul Publico told NBC 7.

                  As soon as the FNL community knew Keane was one of their own, concerns turned into a desire to help.

                  “I think it is really about the community welling up in support. Everywhere you go, no matter what social media you are on, you see people sharing this story. You see people actively participating to try and help, trying to be a support system for this family,” Publico said.

                  Publico said the fundraiser was organized to help Keane’s family with medical expenses, but it also gave his friends and fellow competitors inspired by his strength a chance to write him a letter to let him know they’re in his corner.

                  A GoFundMe page has been created to help with Keane's medical bills.

                  The shark that bit a 13-year-old boy was most likely a Great White Shark, experts said. Rady Children’s Hospital Chief of Pediatric Surgery, Dr. Tim Fairbanks, said that Keane has a long road to recovery in front of him.

                  He was released from the hospital on Thursday.


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                  Three bluff collapse incidents in Del Mar in the last month and a half, all within three blocks of each other, have people worried about when it will happen next.

                  Friday’s collapse happened just after noon in the area south of 10th Street. The two other recent incidents happened on 9th and 11th Streets.

                  Geologist Dr. Pat Abbot told NBC 7 that collapses like those three can happen at virtually any time, saying all it takes is a little bit of weight.

                  “This one is ready to go,” Abbot said examining a crack along the bluff. “If we got a few dozen people here together and coordinated our jump and jumped up and down on it, we could make this go right now. It's that weak."

                  And as Abbot spoke, dozens of people walked in and out of the flat ground atop the unstable cliff that was marked off to pedestrians.

                  With weight being a factor, people in Del Mar are ultra-concerned about the railroad track that runs along the cliffs. They’re also unsettled by the recent collapses happening just before the rainy season hits. Abbot says weather can be a factor, too.

                  “The sand is so soft, it squeezes and breaks, very, very readily,” Abbot said. “The rain right here weakens the rocks. People water their yards. The train goes by, it vibrates."

                  He says the only way the tracks can stay along the cliff long term is to build a seawall at the base of the cliff, and that’s something that Abbot, and plenty of other San Diegans, think won’t fly in Del Mar.

                  Another factor, according to Abbot, is non-native plants ice plants meant to slow down erosion that are in fact worsening the danger.

                  "What does the weight on all of these plants on this steep cliff do. The more weight you add to the cliff, the more likely it is to fail. Having these things grow here is promoting cliff failure,” he said.

                  Abbot offered a suggestion to beachgoers to stay safe: “Look up before you sit down.”

                  The North County Transit District told NBC 7 after a recent collapse that it was working with SANDAG on a project to move the tracks underground, but that would cost billions of dollars and the project remains unfunded.

                  The NCTD says it also plans to put up fencing to improve safety near the tracks. They say the fencing would lessen foot traffic and help stabilize the bluff.


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                  A South Bay motorcyclist seriously injured after getting hit by a car is searching for answers after the District Attorney’s office declined to bring charges against the driver who hit him.

                  David Franco, 26, was riding his motorcycle to work back in May when he was hit by a car at the intersection of Ash Street and 5th Avenue downtown.

                  Franco said the 82-year-old driver of the car that hit him should be facing serious charges, but the DA’s office told NBC 7 no charges will be brought.

                  Franco is still recovering from injuries he sustained in the crash. His doctors say he has permanent brain damage. His wrist was dislocated and he won't regain full use of his left hand and arm.

                  He just had surgery on his knee -- the fifth operation of his recovery saga.

                  "All the pills they've given me, it's still not enough. I have pain every day,” he said. "My doctor already considers me permanently handicapped so that's one thing. It's hard to take out of my head because I was so active every day."

                  The San Diego Police Department said that on May 13, an 82-year-old man ran a red light and slammed into Franco’s motorcycle. Investigators said Franco flew through the air and landed head first under a car.

                  "When I heard I was in a motorcycle accident, I was like, ‘I've been riding since I was three years old, how did I get hit.’"

                  The driver was facing felony hit-and-run charges for not stopping after the accident. He was pulled over a few blocks away from the crash.

                  The DA’s office told NBC 7 that the case was under review but it ultimately decided against charging the driver, according to an office spokesperson. The spokesperson couldn’t say why they declined, but said “we can only file charges in a case when we believe we can prove them beyond a reasonable doubt.”

                  Franco is having a hard time understanding how they can’t prove anything.

                  Franco says he used to work 3 jobs. Now he's wheelchair-bound and can't work. He says the decision not to charge the man that hit him with a felony is not right.

                  "It wasn't my fault, why am I the one suffering right now?” he asked.

                  A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Franco manage his medical expenses.


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                  The principal of Mira Mesa High School sent a letter to parents Friday confirming that the San Diego Police Department Sex Crimes Unit's investigation into an alleged hazing incident involving football players found that no sex crimes were committed.

                  Principal Jeff Sabins first notified the school community of the alleged incident with two letters sent out Wednesday.

                  The first outlined the allegations but didn’t provide any details because of laws protecting students' privacy.

                  “I have just learned about an alleged incident involving several of our JV football players,” Sabins said. “As a result of this incident, I have canceled the combined freshman and JV game scheduled for tomorrow, October 4th at University City High School.”

                  Rumors of what actually happened were circulating on campus after students were made aware of the investigation.

                  “There were a lot of rumors saying they were touching each other inappropriately," student Enzo Onevathana told NBC 7. “Everybody was disgusted by what happened. Everybody was talking about it. People laughed about it, and others were just kind of weirded out by what happened."

                  Another student told NBC 7 he doesn't want to go to Mira Mesa High School anymore.

                  "I don't want to go to this school after this," Xavier Amaro said. "Because I don't know if it could happen to me or anyone else that I know."

                  The second email informed parents of a forum hosted on campus Thursday evening where school community members expressed concerns regarding the alleged incident to coaches and school administrators.

                  Media wasn't allowed in the forum, but parents who attended told NBC 7 no additional details of the alleged incident were revealed.

                  "I talked to my grandson about it, and what information he gave me did concern me," Paulette Towne said. Her grandson is on the football team. "I felt a little more comfortable knowing that there was going to be more supervision, especially in the locker rooms."

                  Townes said she's worried about a culture of retaliation impacting students who reveal details to school and police investigators.

                  "Retaliation. I really worry about that because, you know, if some kid gets [singled out] for saying anything or volunteering any information, I just really worry about retaliation," she said.

                  Sabins said Friday that the school and police will continue to investigate the incident and said that students involved will be disciplined according to district protocol.


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                  Calif. Governor Jerry Brown called Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court Saturday afternoon “a real tragedy.”

                  Just minutes after Kavanaugh was confirmed, Brown wrote on Twitter, “This controversial and partisan choice further deepens the divisions in America and profoundly undermines democratic governance. A real tragedy.”

                  Kavanaugh was confirmed 50-48 mostly along partisan lines. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia voted in favor of Kavanaugh and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against him.

                  Kavanagh has been accused of sexual harassment or misconduct, a subject which has put a cloud over his nomination for the last two weeks and prompted a last-minute FBI investigation last week.

                  In a Tweet, President Trump wrote in part, “I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court.”

                  Kavanaugh nomination was one of the narrowest ever for a Supreme Court nominee.



                  Photo Credit: Getty
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                  A 76-year-old woman was hit and killed by a car on Balour Drive in Encinitas Friday evening.

                  The woman was crossing the street in front of the Encinitas Fire Station #5 around 7 p.m. when she was struck by a Prius heading northbound. A bystander performed life-saving efforts on her until paramedics arrived.

                  She was taken to the hospital where she died of her injuries.

                  Alcohol and drugs are not a factor in the collision, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) said.

                  SDSO is investigating.


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