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    The city of San Diego is ramping up its battle against the flu virus this season after hundreds of residents died in what was considered the most severe flu seasons in recent memory. 

    The city’s efforts will be announced Wednesday as officials prepare for the 2018-2019 flu season.

    Last fall and winter, the U.S. went through one of the most severe flu seasons in recent memory, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

    The U.S. government estimates that 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter — the disease's highest death toll in at least four decades.

    In San Diego County, the 342 residents who died of flu-related causes during the 2017 to 2018 flu season represent a nearly 300 percent increase over the city's 87 deaths during the 2016 to 2017 flu season.

    Along with promoting vaccination against the flu virus, the city of San Diego will work with Waxie Sanitary Supply and hygiene product manufacturer Gojo Industries to install hand sanitizer stations at all San Diego libraries and recreation centers.

    County health officials advise that getting a flu vaccine is the best prevention. They said in September that this season’s flu vaccine offers protection against several strains of the flu, including influenza A H3N2, pandemic H1N1-like and influenza B strains.

    People with pre-existing medical conditions are more likely to experience serious complications from influenza, but healthy persons could unexpectedly have severe illness that leads to disability and death, according to Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer.

    The vaccine is especially recommended for people with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and lung disease, pregnant women, those 65 years and older and those who live with or care for others who are at higher risk.

    There are a number of clinic locations throughout San Diego County offering the influenza vaccine. Click here for the most updated list from the county. For more information, call (866) 358-2966.

    The length of the upcoming flu season could depend on where you live.

    Scientists from Oregon State University tracked flu cases in more than 600 areas around the U.S. and found that in larger, crowded cities, flu season lasted longer, regardless of climate.

    Smaller cities tend to have a shorter, but more intense, flu season. 

    CDC officials do not have exact counts of how many people die from flu each year. Flu is so common that not all flu cases are reported, and flu is not always listed on death certificates. So the CDC uses statistical models, which are periodically revised, to make estimates. 

    Last winter was not the worst flu season on record, however. The 1918 flu pandemic, which lasted nearly two years, killed more than 500,000 Americans, historians estimate. 

    Photo Credit: CDC

    Health officials released a report saying there have been 17 flu-related deaths.Health officials released a report saying there have been 17 flu-related deaths.

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    Encinitas officials have confirmed the 11-foot-long shark that bit a teenage boy diving for lobster at Beacon's Beach last month was a great white shark.

    San Diego researchers said they believed the shark that bit 13-year-old Keane Webre-Hayes on the arm ear, shoulder and back on September 29 was a great white but the wetsuit the boy was wearing was being genetically tested for confirmation.

    Doctor Chris Lowe with the Shark Lab of California State University, Long Beach said on Wednesday DNA found on Webre-Hayes' wetsuit concluded the predator species was involved in the attack. 

    He said while shark attacks are extremely rare, locals should be aware that fall is a time where more sharks may be along the Southern California coastline. 

    The method used to collect DNA from Hayes wetsuit is similar to a method in development that can help lifeguards collect DNA from ocean water samples in order to detect sharks.

    Lowe is working with lifeguards to develop the procedure.

    "A species-specific test would enable lifeguards to detect which sharks have been near the coastline by testing samples of ocean water collected near the shoreline," the city of Encinitas said. 

    Webre-Hayes was air-flighted to Rady Children's Hospital in Linda Vista in critical condition after being bitten by the shark while swimming in shallow waters near Beacon's Beach around 6:55 a.m. 

    His mother Ellie Hayes was watching her son from a parking lot on the bluffs above the beach and could hear her son's screams.

    Witnesses described hearing his calls for help before seeing a pool of blood in the water.

    He was in serious condition for several days before being released from the hospital last Thursday. Doctors and his family said that he had a long road to recovery in front of him.

    "[The bite was] very deep, down to the chest wall through the muscles. It was a very large injury. He was lucky in that no vascular structures were injured in the initial attack," surgeon Dr. Tim Fairbanks said.

    Fairbanks said the men in the kayak and other Good Samaritans who helped apply pressure to Keane's wounds on the beach before paramedics arrived deserve partial credit for saving the boy's life.

    University of San Diego researchers said while shark sightings are becoming more frequent off the California coast, it is extremely rare for anyone in the world to be bitten. 

    "Great white populations are increasing in Southern California and that's because they've been legally protected for the last couple of decades," said USD marine biologist Andrew Nosal. "That's a good thing for our local ecosystem. At the same time, the human population has also grown here. That means more sharks at the beach but also more people at the beach."

    The water from Ponto Beach in Carlsbad to Swamis in Encinitas was closed and was reopened when lifeguards were certain the shark had not been sighted again for at least 48 hours. 

    "At this time there have been no reports from the public or any public safety officers of any shark activity in this area, so we want to make this loud and clear to everybody. And this is very, very unfortunate and very infrequent, this is a significant event for us but at the same time, it's very rare," Encinitas Marine Safety Captain Larry Giles said.

    In April 2017, a woman was attacked by a shark in the waters off San Onofre State Beach near Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The last time a shark attack has been deadly in San Diego County was in Solana Beach in 2008. 

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


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    USA Today is being criticized for publishing an op-ed Wednesday from President Donald Trump with factual inaccuracies that go unchallenged.

    The opinion piece claims that a push by some Democrats for "Medicare for All" would hurt seniors and effectively eliminate the Medicare program, which provides healthcare to Americans older than 65 and those with disabilities.

    "How can @usatoday allow Trump tp [sic] publish an article with documented falsehoods?" tweeted Glenn Kessler, who writes the "Fact Checker" blog for The Washington Post.

    Others pointed out that the op-ed contains links that include information directly refuting the op-ed's claims, NBC News reported.

    Journalism professor Dan Gillmor called the decision to publish the op-ed "journalistic malpractice."

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted out a version of the op-ed with "false and misleading" parts marked up with red ink.

    USA Today's standards editor did not respond to requests for comment by NBC News.

    Photo Credit: AP
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    President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018.President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018.

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    California recently added $770 million to the billions of dollars being held as unclaimed property, the state's chief fiscal officer announced Tuesday.

    Link: California Unclaimed Property Search

    The cash transferred to the state for safekeeping includes bank accounts that might have been forgotten, uncashed checks, insurance policy money, stocks, safe deposit boxes and other unclaimed cash. The $770 million is just part of the $9 billion in unclaimed property being held by the state.

    So, how do Californians find out whether they have unclaimed property? Click here to visit the state controller's unclaimed property search. Users also can download unclaimed property records, check on the status of a claim and download claim instructions and forms.

    "A search of the unclaimed property database only takes a couple minutes and this is a great time to do it because more properties transfer from banks, businesses, employers, and life insurance companies each summer," Controller Betty Yee said in a statement.

    Under California's Unclaimed Property Law, banks, insurance companies, corporations and other entities are required to submit customers' property to the state controller's office when no activity is reported over a certain period of time, usually three years. The property is held by the state until a rightful claim is filed.

    There is no time limit or cost for filing a claim with Yee's office.

    About 580,000 claims were filed in the 2017-18 fiscal year totalling about $309 million. The average amount of money paid out was $534, according to the controller's office.

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

    California has billions in unclaimed cash held for safekeeping by the state until someone files a rightful claim.California has billions in unclaimed cash held for safekeeping by the state until someone files a rightful claim.

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    A new program is aimed at developing new technology to improve the travel experience for the 22 million people who fly in and out of the San Diego International Airport each year.

     The Airport Innovation Lab is a 16-week program that helps small businesses develop and test products and ideas to improve the overall airport experience.

    "It really is a way for us to reach back into the community and bring out some really innovative ideas that maybe haven’t been in the airport space before," said Rick Belliotti, the airport’s Director of Innovation and Small Business Development.

    The lab is located in the old Commuter Terminal, which closed in 2015. It looks just like a "mini-terminal," complete with a ticket counter, gate and baggage belt.

    "When we first set up the space, we thought that it would be very good for prototyping but in reality, the companies that are coming in desperately want to get into the terminals, and we want them there. So this space really serves more as a home base for them to operate out of," Belliotti said.

    Five ideas are currently being tested in the Airport Innovation Lab – four related to parking and one geared toward improving travel for vacation rental customers who can’t check-in right away.

    "What this company is doing is meeting you at the airport, collecting your bags for you, holding them, and then delivering them to you when you get to your rental property, and then on the backside, picking them up at your rental property and then delivering them to you at the airport," Belliotti said.

    One service developed through the Innovation Lab is already being used at Lindbergh Field as well as Newark Liberty International Airport. It’s a mobile app called "At Your Gate" that allows you to order from a number of different shops and restaurants throughout the airport and have your items delivered to you at your gate.

    "We want to put in all of the things that we can to help that passenger be relieved of stress, to enjoy their time here," Belliotti said.

    The services that are currently being tested will be evaluated at the end of the 16 weeks and those with high enough scores will be offered contracts with the airport.

    "We have to be ridiculously innovative and creative in how we do things because we do have a very small footprint, Belliotti said. "We’re hoping that the solutions that come out of the Innovation Lab not only help our passengers with their experience but also help us identify ways that maybe we can operate more efficiently on the airfield." 

    The airport will soon be looking for its next round of ideas to test. To learn more, visit here

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    Officials have identified the driver suspected of fatally hitting a woman in Jamul and then stopping to look at what he had struck before taking off. 

    Wissam Habeeb Yousif, 38 of Santee was arrested following the crash that left 65-year-old Ashley R. Bevers dead last Friday, the California Highway Patrol said.

    Bevers was crossing near the 13000 block of Campo Road near Jamul Feed & Supply around 7:18 p.m. when a Toyota Corolla traveling westbound hit her.

    According to CHP, Yousif stopped and got out of the car to see what he had hit, and then he got back in and drove away, according to the CHP.

    One witness to the crash said Bevers lived in the area where the crash happened and often took the bus to see her husband, who is in a convalescent home.

    "I was in complete shock," Jamie La Fortune said. "The lady walks by my house every single day with her walker."

    Bevers sustained major injuries and was taken Scripps Memorial Hospital where she died despite "aggressive attempts at resuscitation," according to the medical examiner.

    CHP was able to find and arrest Yousif with the help of surveillance video, but they did not disclose details of his arrest.

    They are not disclosing the name and location of the arrest at this time.

    Yousif was booked into San Diego County Jail on felony hit-and-run charges and released Saturday on $50,000 bail. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Saturday. 

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    Two suspects are wanted in connection to an armed robbery of a Verizon Wireless store in Bay Park Wednesday.

    Two men allegedly stole a wallet and cell phone from the store, according to the San Diego Police Department’s Robbery Unit.

    It appeared only an employee was robbed, not stealing anything else from the store, SDPD said.

    The two suspects were wearing masks.

    One of the men had a gun, but police don’t believe he ever fired it.

    The Verizon Wireless is located on Clairemont Drive.

    No other information was available at this time.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

    San Diego police lightsSan Diego police lights

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    A Lakeside woman pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday on charges stemming from a hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a 9-year-old boy riding a bicycle on his way to school.

    Courtney Webber was arrested on felony hit-and-run charges last Thursday night after a brief standoff at her Lakeside home, El Cajon police Lt. Stephen Kirk said. She was found hiding under her bed.

    The boy has a vertebrae fracture, a facial fracture, and a head injury, the District Attorney's Office said Wednesday. He was still being treated at Rady Children's Hospital as of Wednesday.

    Outside Webber's home was a blue Honda Fit that matched the description of a vehicle involved in the hit-and-run near the intersection of North Sunshine Avenue and West Main Street earlier that morning. 

    Investigators released a still photo of the suspect's vehicle, a blue Honda Fit, hours later, that came from a hotel surveillance system two blocks away from the crash site.

    The camera picked up the blue Fit as it was headed westbound on Main Street. Police said the driver had bleach-blonde hair and large hoop earrings. About 200 feet later and out of frame, the Webber drove through a red light and collided with the boy on his BMX bike, police said.

    According to DMV records, Webber's license was suspended from a drunken driving conviction in 2016.

    The boy was taken to Rady Children's Hospital in serious condition. 

    A witness who pulled over to help the boy told NBC 7 he was bleeding, unconscious and breathing very slowly.

    A Cajon Valley School District spokesperson told NBC 7 the boy was a student in the district but did not say which school. 

    In addition to the hit and run, Webber was also booked on possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia from a previous warrant, Kirk said.

    She was being held at Las Colinas Detention Center on $55,000 bond.

    “Given her driving patterns, given that she fled the scene, given the injuries that the young boy sustained, we do believe that she posed a risk to not only other motorists but also other pedestrians who may be walking in populated intersections," Deputy District Attorney Agustin Pena said.

    Webber is expected to appear in court next Thursday for a pre-trial hearing.

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    It’s pretty common for parents to meddle in their adult children’s love lives, but after one Florida woman used her single son to make a political statement about the #MeToo movement, her son felt he had to respond.

    Marla Reynolds Carr wrote Oct. 6 that her son Pieter Hanson, a 32-year-old Navy veteran from Orlando, won’t go “on solo dates” because of “false sexual accusations by feminists with an axe to grind.” 

    The tweet seems to refer to the sexual misconduct and assault allegations made against recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh vehemently denied the accusations at a hearing where Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, one of his accusers, recounted her experience.

    Supporters of #HimToo, which gained popularity during Kavanaugh’s hearing, argue that the judge is an innocent man falsely accused in a #MeToo climate that supports sexual assault survivors and vilifies all men.

    That tweet has since been deleted, and Hanson felt it misrepresented him. He created a Twitter account @Thatwasmymom to clarify how he feels. The account has now evolved into a platform for his outpourings of support for people fighting cancer and photos of cute cats.

    Dubbing himself “a proud Navy vet, Cat Dad and Ally,” Hanson said he supports women who have shared their experiences of sexual assault.

    “That was my Mom,” Hanson wrote in the account’s first tweet. “Sometimes the people we love do things that hurt us without realizing it. Let’s turn this around. I respect and #BelieveWomen. I never have and never will support #HimToo.”

    Since its creation on Tuesday, the account has gained more than 39,500 followers.

    Hanson’s clarification didn’t stop the wave of “This is my son” memes that erupted on Twitter in response to Carr’s original tweet.

    Twitter users have accompanied pictures of theirs pets, famous movie characters and TV personalities with “This is my son” descriptions parodying Carr’s original tweet.

    “Also, Twitter, your meme game is on point,” Pieter Hanson complimented. 

    Hanson’s older brother, Jon Hanson, 35, told "Today" the situation is “the ultimate gift” for teasing his younger brother, who he said is “overwhelmed and tired” because of the massive social media response.

    “But he’s being a really good sport, and trying to make it a positive thing,” Jon Hanson said. “It’s still so funny to me. I told the story so many times.”

    Jon Hanson also said this isn't the first time their mom has tried to score them a date using social media.

    “She’s done it to us, but nothing political before,” Jon Hanson, who is currently engaged, said. “But she’ll write things like, ‘Gosh, my sons are good guys. Why are they still single?’”

    Jon Hanson also tweeted a screenshot of a 2015 Facebook post in which their mom said she was “so proud” of Pieter Hanson, “one of the handsomest guys in the world.”

    Despite deleting her Twitter account, their mother has also been able to laugh at the situation, according to her older son.

    “I think we’re all getting a laugh out of it right now,” Jon Hanson said in an interview this morning. “I talked to her an hour ago. She is upset but we got her to laugh.”

    Pieter Hanson, a University of Central Florida business student with plans to open a brewery, is using his new handle to correct the misrepresentation shared in his mom’s tweet.

    A scroll down the @Thatwasmymom page will reveal photos of his cats Monkey and Chalupa and retweets of other people’s stories about battling and surviving cancer. Pieter Hanson’s younger brother Cooper is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivor. 

    In one of his more recent tweets, Peter Hanson called on his followers to help him maintain the good vibes and said he was “overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of love, positivity and cat photos.”

    “If you have positive things you want me to share let me know! Oh and more cats!” Hanson wrote.

    Photo Credit: Pieter Hanson
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    Pieter Hanson is pictured in a March 17, 2018, Instagram photo. The current University of Central Florida business student created a Twitter account to challenge his mother's political tweet.Pieter Hanson is pictured in a March 17, 2018, Instagram photo. The current University of Central Florida business student created a Twitter account to challenge his mother's political tweet.

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    Although media coverage of the #MeToo movement has typically focused on public figures, the movement has also reshaped how companies handle and work to prevent sexual harassment allegations on a daily basis, with varying degrees of success, according to a recent study.

    An increase in sexual assault allegations has caused company leadership to reconsider how employer and employee behavior affects the work environment.

    Last Friday, Oct. 5, marked the one year anniversary of the publication of The New York Times report detailing a series of sexual harassment allegations that had followed Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein for decades.

    The #MeToo movement, which gained prominence as a Twitter hashtag in October 2017, has since evolved into a cultural revolution promoting justice for sexual violence survivors. It has helped topple rich and powerful men like actor Kevin Spacey, CBS Corporation Chairman and CEO Les Moonves, NBC "The Today Show" anchor Matt Lauer and CBS anchor Charlie Rose. 

    One-third of company executives reported changing their behavior during the #MeToo movement, according to a study released Oct. 4.

    The study was organized by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and surveyed executives, managers and non-managers in 15 industries.

    Johnny Taylor, Jr., the president and CEO of the human resource organization, said that many of these respondents changed their conduct to avoid making others uncomfortable if there was a possibility that could be the result.

    “It’s really clear to say, these were not people who said they were engaged necessarily in inappropriate or even truly legal sexual harassment,” Taylor said. “But they said the perception is as important as anything, so they modified their behavior in response to it.”

    Among these positive reactions, Taylor said the organization also received responses like “I will never hire any of them,” implying that the respondent would no longer hire women because of an unfounded fear of increasing sexual assault allegations. About 5 to 10 percent of the responses could be classified as extreme.

    Taylor said that human resource department can use the data to “create better training interventions so that essentially there is no overcorrection or backlash to the #MeToo movement.”

    Taylor also noted that “what people say is sometimes different than what they do.”

    Chai Feldblum, the commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had a different opinion. 

    “That is clearly illegal,” Feldblum said. “Those people are putting their employers at legal risk. So it is a very short sighted and in fact dangerous response, as a matter of law.” 

    Feldblum added that often they “were the people who were not mentoring or hiring women before, and now they’re sort of using [the #MeToo movement] as an excuse.” 

    The EEOC has also released reports noting the positive impacts of the movement. 

    During the 2018 fiscal year—which lasted from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2018—the EEOC filed 41 lawsuits alleging sexual assault, a 50 percent increase from fiscal year 2017, according to an EEOC press release.

    Feldblum said the #MeToo movement has helped women be “more comfortable to begin to come forward and to vindicate the rights that they have to work” in a professional sphere.

    The human resource management survey found that 10 percent of respondents believed the zero-tolerance policies increasingly implemented by companies following the rise of the #MeToo movement were important in preventing sexual harassment.

    Both Feldblum and Taylor cautioned that zero tolerance policies can be too strict. The policies often call for the dismissal of individuals whose conduct may be inappropriate but does not rise to the seriousness of sexual harassment. Feldblum said the right level of discipline might be something short of dismissal.

    “We encourage employers to communicate that no act of harassment, however low-level, will be tolerated,” Feldblum said. “But then, send the message that incidents of misconduct, that after investigation, have been proven to be true, will receive timely and proportionate discipline.”

    If the punishment is too harsh, it could diminish the reporting because often someone wants the conduct to stop, not for the person to be fired, she said.

    Taylor said zero-tolerance policies can also hurt new younger hires, who still need time to adapt to professional culture. 

    “We’re trying to show them that the behaviors they engaged in May, just before graduation, aren’t acceptable in July in the workplace,” Taylor said. “And so that’s why training is so critical. These aren’t necessarily bad people, they’re just learning what it means to be working adults.

    Photo Credit: EFE

    The #MeToo, which gained traction in October 2017, has swept though the media industry and toppled leaders in all levels of the companies involved.The #MeToo, which gained traction in October 2017, has swept though the media industry and toppled leaders in all levels of the companies involved.

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    A shed collapsed onto a man hired to demolish it in La Mesa Wednesday, trapping him inside.

    Heartland Fire and Rescue was dispatched just after 1:30 p.m.

    By the time officials got to the scene, the man had no pulse, said Heartland Fire and Rescue spokesperson Sonny Saghera.

    He was transported to Sharp Memorial and his pulse was brought back, Saghera said.

    The worker is in his thirties.

    The incident happened on Johnson Drive.

    No other information was available at this time.

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

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, “There’s no place like the Fair.” The 2019 San Diego County Fair announced their theme for next year's fair and it's going to be “Oz-some.”

    San Diego County Fair invites guests to skip down the yellow brick road and enter a world inspired by L. Frank Baum’s Classic Tale, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

    The fair will officially open to the public at 4 p.m. on May 31, 2019, and will run through July 4, 2019. As usual, it will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays except for the last week of the fair.

    In addition to the theme being announced, the Toyota Summer Concert Series line up was released. Musical artists like, “You Look Like I Need A Drink” singer, Justin Moore, Grammy award winner “Smokey Robinson,” Grammy-nominated, Mariachi Sol de Mexico, and popular Tejano act, Grupo Intocable will be on stage next summer.

    Comedian acts this year include truTV’s hit series, Impractical Jokers, three-time Grammy-nominated comedian, Jim Gaffigan and 6,000-lifetime performer, Brad Upton.

    Ticket information about performances will be available soon but to see the list of performers click here.

    This past summer’s fair-themed “How Sweet It Is” brought a total of 1,565,933, lower than the record set in 2016 of 1,609,481, according to fair organizers. Read more about the 2018 fair by the numbers, including how many sweets were consumed.

    Photo Credit: San Diego County Fair

    Fireworks explode over the Fun Zone at the San Diego County Fair.Fireworks explode over the Fun Zone at the San Diego County Fair.

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    San Diego police responded to a body found in the water near Mission Beach Wednesday.

    At 10:20 a.m., a fisherman noticed a group of seagulls while roughly 2.5 miles offshore, SDPD Lt. Anthony Dupree said.

    When he investigated, he discovered the body of a man. The fisherman used his boat radio to call lifeguards who in turn notified the police.

    Lifeguards retrieved the body shortly after.

    The man was wearing board shorts when he died, Dupree said. There was a chain wrapped around his waist. It was less than a half-inch thick.

    “There is a chain on his waist and that's concerning... ," Dupree said. “It didn’t look heavy. One chain around the waist almost like someone would wear it as a belt. It's unusual to have a chain but we’re going to look into it.”

    He was not wearing any other clothes.

    The body didn’t appear to have endured any trauma, SDPD said. There were no signs of the body being weighed down either.

    “We have no idea how he got there,” Dupree said.

    The man may have been in his 30s or 40s, according to Dupree.

    The SDPD Homicide Unit is currently investigating it as a suspicious death.

    No other information was available.

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

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    San Diego police responded to reports of a stabbing at an East Village flooring warehouse and found a dead man.

    Officers responded to Bottom Price Flooring at 1015 G Street at around 3:45 p.m.

    The entrances to the warehouse were blocked by caution tape and a pool of officers and investigators was seen conferencing in the street outside.

    A representative for the warehouse landlord said the person found dead is believed to be the owner of the flooring business, a man known as Tony.

    The representative said Tony has operated his business at the location for 16 years and described him as a hard-working man who arrived for work every day at 6 a.m.

    One of Tony's regular customers stopped by the business at around 3:30 p.m. and found Tony with stab wounds, the representative said.

    SDPD's Homicide Unit is handling the investigation.

    No other information was available.

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

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    “It’s a very dog-friendly neighborhood, most of San Diego’s very dog-friendly,” says North Park dog owner Chris Witte. Witte brings it up because some North Park residents are concerned someone is trying to poison their dogs and they say the problem has been going on for more than a year.

    Witte says he was stunned when he found out someone might be leaving poison on the street for dogs to eat. ”You’re kind of stunned, that’s the initial reaction,” he tells NBC 7.

    On Tuesday, an elderly dog named Brownie was on a walk with her foster mom. “Brownie kind of lingered in an area a little too long, and she [the foster mom] realized she picked something up kind of munched on it,” Laura Oliver, the president of Lionel’s Legacy Senior Dog Rescue, says.

    After eating the greenish balled up piece of meat, Brownie was rushed to the vet. “They did confirm by looking at it they believed it was rat poison," Oliver says.

    For now, Brownie is OK, but Witte and other neighbors say this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. “It was in June, there was another one,” Witte says.

    The San Diego Humane Society has opened an investigation into the claims.

    And it isn’t just dangerous for dogs – other pets, wildlife and even children could fall prey to potential poisonings.

    “We also don’t want to make accusations,” Witte says. “We don’t want to be chasing anyone down, we just want to find out why and how and what.”

    The San Diego Humane Society encourages anyone who knows anything about potential poisonings in the area to reach out to them.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    President Donald Trump directly accused Hillary Clinton of engaging in a conspiracy with Russia to affect the 2016 election during a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, Wednesday night, NBC News reported.

    "There was collusion between Hillary, the Democrats and Russia," Trump said, just after his supporters had chanted "lock her up" about Clinton. "There was a lot of collusion with them and Russia and lots of other people."

    Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump or his operation colluded with Russia or obstructed justice afterward. But Trump allies in Congress and on cable news programs have argued that Democrats, Justice Department and FBI officials and the Clinton campaign conspired to frame him.

    Photo Credit: AP

    President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Erie Insurance Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in Erie, Pa.President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Erie Insurance Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in Erie, Pa.

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    Lung cancer deaths are 28 percent lower in California than the rest of the nation thanks to statewide policies against tobacco, according to a study from the University of California, San Diego published Wednesday.

    The study was conducted by researchers at UCSD’s School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center.

    Early efforts to stop the use of tobacco by the state saw fewer people start smoking and more people quit, researchers said.

    “It is clear that from the early days of tobacco control, young people in California became increasingly less likely to become addicted smokers,” said UCSD professor and the study’s lead author, John P. Pierce.

    In the 1980s, California highlighted the link between smoking and lung cancer and set up the nation’s first tobacco control program run by the state’s Department of Public Health, according to the study.

    Californians under 35 who do smoke consumed 30 percent less cigarettes than the rest of the country. They also had a 24 percent higher quit rate, said Dr. Scott M. Lippman, director of the Moores Cancer Center.

    Lung cancer deaths in California decreased from 108 per 100,000 people to nearly 63 from 1985 to 2013, said Lippman. This decline is 33 percent faster than that of the national average.

    “While quitting smoking has increased across the country, this does not explain why the decline in lung cancer has been so much faster in California,” Lippman said. “This can only be attributed to the success of tobacco control in this state, which has been so effective in convincing young people not to smoke.”

    More than 7,000 chemicals are found in tobacco cigarettes, and at least one percent of which are known to cause cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

    People who smoke are 15 to 30 times more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than those who don’t.

    Smokers make up 90 percent of all lung cancer cases in the U.S., according to the study.

    “Quitting smoking at any age will improve a person’s quality of life,” said Pierce. “But quitting before the age of 35 could help smokers avoid nearly all the negative health effects of smoking.”

    UCSD looked at survey responses from nearly one million people, 10 percent of which were California residents. The data ranged from 1970 to 2014.

    The research study was partly funded by the California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

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    One of San Diego County’s iconic piers is in desperate need of a multi-million dollar upgrade.

    A recent study revealed the white concrete bridges leading to the wooden pier structure do not meet California’s seismic standards. Oceanside City Councilmember Jack Feller said it will cost roughly $15 million to upgrade the bridges.

    In the meantime, city engineers said the bridges are safe enough to keep open while the city figures out how to fund a fix.

    “It was like, ‘OK, we gotta save this,’” Councilmember Esther Sanchez said. Both councilmembers said it was extremely important to the city to get the entire pier up to the state’s standards.

    “We have to find the money,” said Feller, who suggested using potential funds from Measure X if it passes on this November’s ballot. The half-cent sales tax increase is earmarked to go towards infrastructure improvements.

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    Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributor, is feared dead after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week and has not been seen since. Khashoggi has been a vocal critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Khashoggi went to the consulate to pick up paperwork in order to marry his fiancee.

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    A house caught fire in a Chula Vista neighborhood Wednesday, causing concern in neighbors who thought an elderly resident of the home may have been trapped inside.

    The fire started inside the home at 521 Oaklawn Avenue just before 5 p.m., according to the Chula Vista Fire Department.

    CVPD Battalion Chief David Albright said crews searched the home three different times and didn't find anyone inside.

    "We checked the house pretty thoroughly and we cannot locate the elderly female," Albright said. The chief said Chula Vista police officers are working to locate the woman to confirm she's not inside and to tell her about her home.

    Firefighters confirmed around 5 p.m. they had located the woman. Meanwhile, neighbors were relieved but still emotional.

    "I'm just happy that she wasn't in the house because the flames were really big and there was a lot of smoke coming out of there," a neighbor said while fighting back tears.

    The neighbor said the woman was "like everyone's grandma" and even used to watch her husband when he was an infant.

    Albright said a power outage affected the surrounding area and firefighters responded to multiple traffic accidents caused by nonfunctioning traffic signals, ringing alarms and elevator reFirefightersfghters responding to the house fire were slowed down by congested intersections as a result, Albright said.

    Crews extinguished the fire about 15 minutes after they arrived, Albright said.

    CVFD investigators are still trying to determine the origin of the fire.

    Albright said crews would be on scene for another three to four hours.

    Some neighbors were evacuated while the fire was still burning but they were allowed back in their homes, Albright said.

    According to San Diego Gas and Electric, the power outage affected nearly 800 customers. Power was expected to be restored at 5:30 p.m.

    The cause of the outage was unknown.

    No other information was available.

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

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