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    Some of the 10 suspected mail bombs addressed to high-profile Democrats and others over the last few days were flawed and not capable of exploding, while others have yet to be fully analyzed, several investigators said Thursday.

    In some cases, the flaws were substantial. In others, more subtle, they said. 

    The news, expected to be detailed at a joint NYPD/FBI briefing in New York shortly, comes after investigators said the devices appeared poorly made and that it was unclear if they were hoaxes or simply cases of bad construction. Earlier in the investigation, officials in multiple states had described the items as live explosives and a number of senior bomb techs briefed on the probe said they had all the components necessary for successful explosions.

    Investigators cautioned that the analysis is far from complete, and they say anyone who encounters one of the parcels should treat it as dangerous.

    None of the 10 seized devices detonated, and no one has been hurt. 

    The latest development could lend credence to a theory NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo mentioned in an interview with CNN, where one of the devices was sent, Thursday morning. 

    "There’s a theory that the bombs were not intended to explode, but were intended to intimidate," Cuomo said. "If that is the intent, then this is having the desired intent. And it could actually be fueling the group that’s doing it." 

    There are no solid leads on a potential suspect or suspect at this point, multiple officials briefed on the investigation said Thursday afternoon. Authorities are looking into whether at least some of the packages were mailed from Florida.

    Officials didn't elaborate on the reasoning, but the return address listed on each one was the Florida office of congresswoman and ex-Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Investigators are looking into any past incidents involving her office to determine if there could be any connections to the current probe, but have said there is no suggestion she had involvement.

    As of Thursday afternoon, there have been 10 such packages. Three -- two addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden in Delaware and one addressed to Robert De Niro at a building he owns in Manhattan -- were discovered in a flurry of frenzied hours before 10 a.m. Thursday. 

    The others came in the prior 72 hours: two were addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters of California; ones were also addressed to Hillary Clinton, former President Obama, ex-Attorney General Eric Holder and former CIA Director John Brennan. The first in the series was a mailbox pipe bomb left at the Westchester County home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros. 

    According to sources, the explosive devices were made from PVC pipe and contained a timer (likely a digital alarm clock) to set off the detonator. The powder contained in the bombs comes from pyrotechnics. X-rays show there was likely shrapnel inside the PVC pipe, law enforcement officials say.

    Meanwhile, investigators are working to glean forensic clues to help identify who sent them, gathering fingerprints and DNA evidence while tracking the origin of the packages and the components used. While some have made note of the fact that the devices were not postmarked, multiple officials have said this was not uncommon, and that because of the soft packaging they could not go through automated sorting machines to have their postage canceled. 

    Larry Johnson, a former head of criminal investigations for the U.S. Secret Service who also served as a special agent in charge of the presidential protective detail, said it is highly likely that the person or people who built the bombs have been previously flagged by law enforcement.

    If you have info that could assist the #FBI's investigation of suspicious packages, call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324) or use http://tips.fbi.gov. 



    Photo Credit: News 4
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    A fire ignited at a popular Pacific Beach restaurant overnight while employees and customers were still inside. 

    The typically busy Denny's restaurant on the corner of Garnet Avenue and Mission Boulevard, which is open for 24 hours, had two employees and one customer inside when the fire erupted just after 12:30 a.m. Thursday. 

    Firefighters were able to get everyone out safely and knock down flames within 15 minutes of arrival, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said. 

    The blaze spread through the restaurant's walls and into the attic, making it challenging for crews to find the source of the fire, SDFD Battalion Chief Ed Kinnamon said. 

    It is the second fire to erupt at the Denny's location within two years. In January 2017, ten people were forced to evacuate when a fire sparked in the kitchen

    Investigators were still working to determine the cause of Thursday's fire but believe it may have also started in the kitchen. 

    San Diego County health officials were notified and would need to inspect the restaurant before it could reopen for business.

    No other information was available.

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



    Photo Credit: SDNV

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    UPDATE: Some Devices Flawed, Unable to Explode; Others Yet to Be Analyzed, Several Investigators Say

    Investigators seized three more suspected package explosives -- two addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden in Delaware and one addressed to Robert De Niro in New York -- early Thursday, bringing the total number of confiscated devices sent to high-profile Democrats and others to 10 in 72 hours.

    Multiple officials briefed on the investigation say there are no solid leads on a suspect as of Thursday afternoon. While there are no known devices still outstanding, they remain concerned there could be others still undiscovered.

    [[498426991, C]]

    Officials say they are looking into whether at least some of the packages were mailed from Florida. They also say the devices were poorly made and it is unclear if these were attempted hoaxes or simply a case of bad construction. 

    Ten have been seized in total since Monday, though most of the intercepts came Wednesday. Three more -- to Biden and De Niro -- came Thursday. News of the De Niro device broke first. That one was addressed to him and had been sent to a Greenwich Street building he owns that houses offices for Tribeca Films and Tribeca Grill. A building worker called police early Thursday because, after seeing Wednesday's news, he remembered seeing a similar package a day or so earlier. The device was safely removed from the property.

    Less than two hours later, the FBI and local police swarmed a postal facility in Delaware in connection with the bombing investigation. Sources had said authorities suspected a similar device may have been addressed to Biden. Nothing was found at his house, but investigators apparently tracked it down in a New Castle postal facility, officials said. It was said to be akin to the others. About an hour later, a second package addressed to Biden was confiscated at a postal facility in Wilmington, Delaware. Details on that one weren't clear. 

    [[498420761, C]]

    The De Niro device and at least the first Biden package had the same stamps and return address (that of Florida congresswoman and ex-Democratic National Committee chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz) as others reported on Wednesday.

    Two senior law enforcement officials say they are looking into whether some of the packages were mailed from Florida. They are also looking into any past incidents involving Wasserman Schultz's office and if any of those incidents could be connected to these devices. 

    As of early Thursday, there have been 10 such packages. In addition to Biden and De Niro, two devices in separate packages were addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters of California; ones were also addressed to Hillary Clinton, former President Obama, ex-Attorney General Eric Holder and former CIA director John Brennan. The first in the series was a mailbox pipe bomb left at the Westchester County home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros.  

    [[498425171, C]]

    None of the devices detonated and no one has been hurt. Authorities are examining the crude explosives and warning there could be more out there. NBC News obtained an X-ray photo of one of the bombs, which shows protruding wires that appeared to be connected to a cylindrical device.

    According to sources, the explosive devices were made from PVC pipe and contained a timer (likely a digital alarm clock) to set off the detonator. The powder contained in the bombs comes from pyrotechnics. X-rays show there was likely shrapnel inside the PVC pipe, law enforcement officials say.

    [[498486791, C]]

    Meanwhile, investigators examining the explosive devices are working to glean forensic clues to help identify who sent them, gathering fingerprints and DNA evidence while tracking the origin of the packages and the components used. While some have made note of the fact that the devices were not postmarked, multiple officials have said this was not uncommon, and that because of the soft packaging they could not go through automated sorting machines to have their postage canceled. 

    Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said on MSNBC Thursday that it's a plus the FBI has recovered so many of the package bombs. They will look into whether they were intended to function, how they were supposed to detonate and where the design came from. That could help find an online trail.

    Larry Johnson, a former head of criminal investigations for the U.S. Secret Service who also served as a special agent in charge of the presidential protective detail, said it is highly likely that the person or people who built the bombs have been previously flagged by law enforcement.

    If you have info that could assist the #FBI's investigation of suspicious packages, call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324) or use http://tips.fbi.gov. 

    [[498282861, C]]

    The reaction to the devices was swift and visceral, with high-level people on both sides of the aisle, including the president, pledging Wednesday no resources would be spared in taking down whoever was responsible.

    The tone became more partisan-charged over the course of the day, with some assailing the White House for its "violent political rhetoric." Upon news three more packages, including two addressed to Biden, were seized early Thursday, Brennan, who was the addressee on the CNN package, tweeted at Trump to "Look in the mirror" and "Clean up your act." 

    "Stop blaming others," Brennan tweeted. "Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful." 

    The president responded shortly thereafter, slamming "Fake News" as "a very big part of the Anger we see today in our society." 

    "Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST," Trump added.

    [[238427591, C]]



    Photo Credit: News 4
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    Point Loma Nazarene University has canceled all classes Thursday due to a possible threat to the campus, officials said.

    An alert posted on the university's website said the FBI informed the university about a possible threat.

    “This got brought to our attention by the FBI,” said Jill Monroe Director of Public Affairs. “We’re working with them to identify the source.” 

    All classes were canceled out of an abundance of caution, university officials said.

    Campus officials issued an update at 10:40 a.m. saying there have been no injuries and no reported incidents on campus or within the Point Loma neighborhood.

    This includes satellite campuses at Liberty Station, Mission Valley and Bakersfield, Monroe said.

    San Diego Police Lt. Eric Hays told NBC 7 the only thing the department can disclose is that it was an online threat. 

    The university located west of downtown is home to more than 2,000 undergraduate students.

    University officials told residential students to stay in their dorms but undergraduate students who wanted to leave campus were given that option, Monroe said.

    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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    Two people have died after apparently falling from Taft Point in Yosemite National Park, park officials stated Thursday.

    The bodies of the male and female park visitors were being recovered by park rangers Thursday morning.

    The deaths are under investigation, according to park officials.

    Authorities have yet to determine the identities of the park visitors, park officials stated.

    Taft Point features a lookout spot from the edge of a cliff that offers visitors expansive views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan and Yosemite Falls.

    Last month, an Israeli teenager visiting the park fell hundreds of feet to his death while hiking near the top of 600-foot-tall Nevada Fall. The death of 18-year-old Tomer Frankfurter was considered an accident, the Mariposa County coroner's office said.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: Amanda Lee Myers/AP

    In this Sept. 27, 2018, file photo a wedding couple are seen being photographed at Taft Point in California's Yosemite National Park. A Yosemite National Park official says two visitors have died in a fall from the popular overlook.In this Sept. 27, 2018, file photo a wedding couple are seen being photographed at Taft Point in California's Yosemite National Park. A Yosemite National Park official says two visitors have died in a fall from the popular overlook.

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    A trial date has been set for the San Diego County sheriff's deputy accused of sexually assaulting women while on duty. 

    “Obviously I wouldn’t be fighting this if I was guilty of any of these charges,” Richard Fischer said outside of a San Diego courtroom Thursday.

    Jury selection in the criminal case will begin February 25, 2019, more than a year after criminal charges were announced. 

    Fischer and his defense attorney Manny Medrano spoke with the media following a hearing on charges of assault and battery by an officer, oral copulation by force and burglary. Five felony counts involved three victims first reported by NBC 7 in August.

    Currently, there are two criminal cases involving 16 women who have alleged interactions with the sheriff's deputy where he inappropriately touched them while he was in uniform. 

    Multiple civil complaints have been filed against San Diego County and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

    In the first criminal case, there were 15 criminal counts involving 13 women. 

    The women accuse Fischer of hugging or kissing them without consent, groping their bodies and even forcing them to perform oral copulation. 

    Several of the women have testified that came into contact with Fischer because they were victims of a crime and had called the sheriff's department for help.

    Fischer is accused of committing the crimes while in uniform and on the job with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.  

    "The only way to clear my name, the only way to get the truth out is through a jury trial," Fischer said.

    According to criminal complaints, the first incident occurred on July 20, 2015. 

    Fischer was under investigation in November 2017 with formal charges announced in February 2018.

    Fischer has been ordered to stand trial on all charges. He is out on $750,000 bail and has been ordered by the judge to wear an electronic monitoring device. 

    To see a full timeline of the criminal case against Fischer, click here.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7

    San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Fischer talks with the media following a pre-trial hearing on October 25, 2018.San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Fischer talks with the media following a pre-trial hearing on October 25, 2018.

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    More energy options for San Diego ratepayers could soon be available if Mayor Kevin Faulconer's proposal for a community choice program moves forward. 

    The mayor announced his proposal on Thursday, and touted the push towards a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) plan as a pathway to clean energy by 2035.

    San Diego Gas & Electric currently provides all energy sources in the city of San Diego but CCA would offer San Diegans alternative utility options. 

    CCA would essentially allow for smaller public-owned utilities to take over the buying power of private utility companies -- SDG&E in San Diego's case -- on behalf of consumers. SDG&E would continue to operate power lines.

    Solana Beach is currently the only city within SDG&E's service territory to operate under CCA, which began this year, though San Diego and other cities have been considering the move for years. 

    Proponents say the move allows for fewer monopoly and cheaper energy costs for consumers as well as providing more opportunity for renewable energy sources. 

    Matthew Vasiliki, with Climate Action Campaign, said 19 CCAs across the state have already proven the idea.

    "All of them are more affordable than the monopoly utilities so it's a really important way for us to bring real relief to ratepayers right now, especially in San Diego right now where we have such ridiculous rates."

    NBC 7's media partner, Voice of San Diego, conducted a fact check similar claims made in 2015 and determined a CCA does allow for lower prices for ratepayers and more renewable sources. 

    The move towards CCAs is a huge move towards Mayor Faulconer's Climate Action Plan, which set a goal in 2015 for San Diego to become a city that relies 100 percent on renewable energy sources by 2035, advocates said. 

    But opponents like the Clear the Air Coalition, which includes members of SDG&E, argue creating CCAs are not necessary since functioning systems that offer renewable sources already exist.

    They also argue that it won't tackle the biggest greenhouse gas emission offenders and say it would create government bureaucracy that could negatively affect taxpayers.

    Exact numbers on what bills may look like under this new program are not yet known, but if the proposal is passed, consumers will be automatically opted into CCA and have a choice to opt out.

    Climate Action Campaign organizers said if the mayor's proposal is approved, it could still take at least two years for a viable plan to be put in place and for other energy sources to be available for consumers. 


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    A former Helix Charter High School student is suing a La Mesa police officer and the city for excessive force and violating her civil rights.

    In the suit filed Thursday, Brianna Bell, then a 17-year-old senior at the school, alleges La Mesa police Officer Scott Wulfing used excessive force when arresting and removing her from campus. The suit further alleges the city of La Mesa ignored similar actions by Wulfing and other officers and failed to discipline its officers.

    Bell, who has since graduated and is attending college out of state, was arrested Jan. 19 after she refused to leave the school. Bell was suspended from school for having pepper spray in her purse but was on campus for a scheduled appointment with the school’s principal, according to the complaint filed Thursday.

    After the meeting, the principal ordered Bell to leave the school, but she wanted to talk to one of her teachers before leaving, the suit said. That was when the principal, Paula Trevino, called the La Mesa Police Department to remove Bell from campus.

    La Mesa police Officer Scott Wulfing responded and asked Bell to leave or be arrested, Bell then handed the officer her cell phone and held out her wrists to be handcuffed, according to the suit.

    A video shared through social media shows Wulfing threw Bell down to the ground while escorting her off campus handcuffed. The suit alleges the handcuffs were on “painfully tight” and Bell told the officer he was hurting her when he “angrily pulled her in the direction he wanted her to walk.”

    The suit also alleges Wulfing “body-slammed” Bell to the ground and pulled her by her handcuffed arms to her feet and then body-slammed her again. The second time was caught on cell phone video.

    Bell was arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest but the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against her, according to the suit.

    A D.A. spokeswoman said the office does not discuss charging decision but said the office only accepts cases when they can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Bell is suing for unspecified damages, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery, and violating her civil rights.

    La Mesa Police Department declined to comment on the story because of pending litigation. In January, La Mesa police spokesman Lt. Chad Bell told NBC 7 the officer used force to “to prevent the student from escaping.”

    Wulfing has been on administrative duties since the incident.

    Attorneys for Bell have not returned NBC 7’s request for comments.


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    Complaints about San Diego’s water department continue to surface. During the past year, the San Diego Public Utilities Department has looked to wash off the stains from controversies involving high water bills, errant water meter reader employees, repair backlogs, and complaints about a lackluster customer service department.

    Customers who questioned their water bill say water department employees were quick to place blame on them and reluctant to investigate complaints. Such issues have led to a growing surge of distrust among ratepayers in San Diego.

    Rancho Bernardo resident Maria Villegas says her trust has faded. She says that water department workers were more concerned with placing blame than finding problems.

    Villegas says she was shocked when she opened her water bill in April of last year. It spiked from an average bi-monthly amount of $240 to a whopping $619.43.

    “I immediately called and they tried to say to me that it was just the way it is, that I must have a leak,” Maria told NBC 7 Responds.

    But Villegas said she didn’t have a leak. Her landlord had hired a plumber to check for leaks. Maria’s husband also shut off all water inside the house and then looked at the water meter to see if it was registering any water usage. The meter’s dial didn’t spin, meaning no water was flowing through the meter.

    Maria waited to see if the following bill went back to normal.

    Then the following month’s bill arrived in the mail. Villegas was floored to see the bill had increased to $681.63. She called the water department again and was told the same.

    “They tried to make me think it was just me,” said Maria.

    After a series of calls, Maria’s bill in October 2017 arrived in the mail. She opened it to find it had increased by $100 to $787. Again Maria says she was told there must be a leak in her house.

    “Even if we had a leak, we'd have to be leaking more water than we're using, does that make any sense?"

    Maria says the following bills went down slightly but were still more than double the average amount she and her husband paid.

    Meanwhile she continued to call the water department. And their response remained the same.

    “The biggest part is the whole thing of them letting us think that somehow it was all our fault.”

    She says her suspicions were later confirmed when the city changed out her water meter in March of this year. Their first bill with the new meter suddenly returned to pre-spike levels of $250 a month.

    The water department did later decide to reimburse Maria a total of $439 but she says it was not enough.

    Regarding Maria’s bill, city spokesperson Jerry McCormick told NBC 7 Responds, “City staff reviewed consumption data for this property and removed the meter for testing, replacing it with a new meter. While the staff was unable to identify abnormalities that would contribute to a miscalculation in the usage data, a one-time adjustment was applied to the customer’s account, consistent with the Public Utilities Department’s commitment to customer service.”

    “Any customer with questions or concerns about their water usage or bills are encouraged to call us and give us an opportunity to assist,” McCormick’s statement read.

    Customer service issues are at the center of a city auditor investigation. The Auditor’s report is due to be released in the coming months.

    Maria is not alone. In fact, her story is similar to dozens of people who have called NBC 7 Responds during the course of the team’s 14-month investigation into the city’s water department.

    From billing complaints to millions of dollars worth of questionable spending made by the water department, NBC 7 Responds wanted to know how the city is working to gain back customer trust.

    NBC 7 Responds dives into the department, detailing problems uncovered this past year.

    “Flood of Distrust: An NBC 7 Responds Special Report” airs Saturday, October 27 at 6:30 p.m. on NBC 7


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    It's unknown whether packages containing crude pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats and CNN were ever meant to explode, but while that investigation is underway San Diego bomb squads remain vigilant.

    Locally, there are two bomb squads: The San Diego Fire Department’s squad covers the city while the San Diego County Sheriff Department’s (SDSO) team covers everywhere else in the county.

    Bomb technicians with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and FBI are also notified when a suspicious package or device is reported.

    The SDSO says its bomb technicians respond to about 125 calls involving suspicious packages or devices every year. About a dozen of those calls turn out to be actual explosives.

    SDSO Bomb Squad Sergeant Greg Hampton told NBC 7 the cost of responding to these calls is not cheap. And while the county bomb squad's budget has stayed the same, the cost of equipment like protective suits and robotic devices has increased.

    Still, officials say San Diego County is fortunate because between the SDSO, city, ATF and FBI, the county always has enough resources to respond to these types of calls.

    Local bomb technicians said across the country, they've seen a rise in the number of cases involving homemade explosives. Investigators tell NBC News some of the devices used in these recent suspected mail bombs were most likely duds, with no possibility of exploding.

    At this point, they say there's no way of knowing if that was intentional or just a product of bad design.

    In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Bill Sweeney, Assistant Director at the FBI’s New York Office said, "This is a nationwide investigation involving multiple jurisdictions coast to coast."

    The 2017 Annual Explosives Incident Report says California and Washington had the highest numbers of actual explosion incidents reported by law enforcement in the country last year.

    SDSO and ATF spokespeople say the actual numbers are most likely higher.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7

    SDSO Bomb/Arson Unit was investigating a suspicious device found inside a vehicle involved in a bank robbery Friday evening in Carlsbad.SDSO Bomb/Arson Unit was investigating a suspicious device found inside a vehicle involved in a bank robbery Friday evening in Carlsbad.

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    A daycare-owner accused of physically abusing multiple kids at her in-home facility in Linda Vista was arraigned Thursday.

    Zakia Astanzai, 34, is accused of abusing a child in her care this summer, and another child during the summer of 2016. She was taken into custody Monday after a months-long San Diego Police Department investigation and charged with three felonies.

    Astanzai pleaded not guilty to corporal punishment and child abuse involving one child, and another corporal punishment involving another child.

    Unique Wilson, the mother of one of Astanzai's alleged victims, was in court and told NBC 7 seeing her son's abuser in handcuffs was a relief.

    Wilson told NBC 7 in August that she picked her 17-month-old son, Royal, up from Zakia and Benafsha Astanzai Family Child Care and found scratches and bruises all over his face.

    She said when she picked up her two sons from the daycare, both of them ran to meet her. At the same time, one of the caregivers approached her and started explaining the injuries on Royal’s face.

    A doctor's summary that Unique provided to NBC 7 noted the bruises are consistent with an injury such as a slap.

    According to charges filed by the San Diego County District Attorney's office, on or about Aug. 15, Astanzai inflicted "cruel and inhuman" punishment upon Royal and inflicted "unjustifiable physical pain."

    The San Diego Police Department investigated Unique's claims and took Astanzai into custody Monday. She was charged with felony corporal injury upon a child and felony child abuse for her alleged abuse of Royal.

    Unique says her son has been more aggressive since the alleged abuse and has suffered nightmares. She said he is going to start counseling in November.

    She says the charges against Astanzai give her some peace of mind, but she won't be happy until The Department of Social Servies (DSS) is reformed and the woman accused of abusing her child is locked up for good.

    A second felony corporal injury charge brought against Astanzai stems from a July 2016 claim involving a different child. A DSS investigation of the claim was inconclusive. The DA's office didn't say what led them to bring charges in that case.

    The DSS also investigated a 2017 claim against caregivers at the daycare alleging they failed to properly supervise a child resulting in questionable death and found it unsubstantiated.

    The DSS did not respond to NBC 7's request for comment.

    "Not all parents have the luxury of being at home with their children, so you put trust in the [child care] system that it's going to work, that the person you are entrusting your child with will take care fo your child," Deputy District Attorney Ramona McCarthy explained.

    Astanzai is being held on $200,000 bail. Neither her family or attorney offered any comment on charges at the arraignment.


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    Local law enforcement is cracking down on drivers under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, drugs, as well as distracted drivers, through a new task force. 

    San Diego police already have two machines, called Drager 5000, that can detect marijuana in the system of drivers, commonly known as the marijuana breathalyzer

    The Drager 5000 can also detect cocaine, methadone, methamphetamine, prescription drugs and other substances in drivers.

    "We're checking for active THC in the system," said Officer Mark McCullough with the San Diego Police Department. "The officer will rule out alcohol first and then they have a completely separate test for drugs, marijuana, and THC." 

    The California Office of Traffic Safety gave local law enforcement nearly $5 million of federal funds broken down into several grants. 

    "The funding will go towards DUI checkpoints, saturation patrols as well as increased enforcement at problem intersections," said Rhonda Craft, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety "To prevent speeding, distracted driving and other infractions known to cause crashes.” 

    Craft noted that in 2017, 36 people lost their lives and 4,608 were injured on roadways in the city of San Diego. 

    The task force will assist in a DUI checkpoint on Friday, October 26 at an undisclosed location within city limits between 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. 


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    A self-proclaimed cancer expert convicted of practicing medicine without a license is facing a huge lawsuit from a former patient who blames his treatment for her terminal illness.

    Judge Richard Whitney criticized so-called expert Robert Young for defrauding vulnerable patients for thousands of dollars before sentenced him to three years, eight months in custody.

    Young told patients that a special “alkaline diet,” along with massage and colon therapy, is the key to treating all disease and the best way to extend life.

    He is now defending his controversial therapies in civil court, where former patient Dawn Kali is suing him for fraud and other wrongdoing.

    Kali told the jury she was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago. She explained in detail how she rejected chemotherapy, radiation and other conventional Western cancer treatments and instead followed Young’s advice and alternative treatments.

    Kali said her cancer continued to spread, despite Young’s reassurances that his treatments, if followed strictly, would cure her disease.

    One of Kali’s attorneys, Bibi Fell, said her client now has stage four invasive breast cancer and has a life expectancy of about four years.

    Kali’s lawyers are asking the jury to award their client more than $10 million in general and punitive damages.

    In an interview outside the courtroom, Young defended his anti-disease regimes and claimed statistics show his special diet and other therapies can extend his patients’ lives for years, regardless of their illness.

    According to court documents, Young’s attorney disputes Kali’s allegations and says she knew that Young was not a medical doctor, and that she voluntarily chose to follow his alternative treatments.

    The defense also claims that Young’s treatments did not cause Kali's cancer, and still probably helped extend her life.


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    The fate of the old Chargers stadium has dogged politicians and tempted developers, and now it is in the voters’ hands.

    But as the Soccer City and SDSU West initiative campaigns battle for control of the Mission Valley plot of land valued between $73 million and $110 million, we asked if it’s common for voters to decide massive land deals like this.

    “It used to be very unusual,” said University of San Diego Law School property law specialist Mary Jo Wiggins.

    Wiggins explained now kicking these decisions to the voters is becoming a trend.

    “It gives average, everyday people an opportunity to have a voice through a vote,” Wiggins said.

    And both sides are working hard to capture that vote.

    Between Soccer City’s main campaign arm in support of Measure E and Friends of SDSU in support of Measure G, the two have spent well over $5 million on this ballot measure fight, according to campaign finance documents.

    Soccer City outspent Friends of SDSU four to one through the end of September.

    If approved, Measure G would sell 132 acres of the Mission Valley stadium area from the city to SDSU or any SDSU affiliate.

    If Measure E passes, the city would be able to lease 233 acres of the Mission Valley stadium land to Soccer City.

    “Soccer City is a win-win for everybody,” said Nick Merritt, a SDSU student and co-founder of Aztecs for Soccer City. “Because let’s be honest, Qualcomm Stadium’s an eyesore and nobody wants to look at it anymore.”

    SDSU West spokesperson Katy Temple called the land “invaluable” and said developing part of it for the benefit of San Diego State would have a lasting impact.

    “Our goals are very simple. To expand San Diego State through an open and transparent process to benefit the economy for generations to come,” Temple said.

    But Wiggins argues when it comes to major decisions like this, what’s popular or flashy isn’t always what’s best.

    “That's why we elect people. We elect people to read these reports, take testimony, put in all the factors and weigh it,” he said.

    But even if both measures fail, momentum is key.

    “It might give [either side] the opportunity to go to the politicians and say, ‘Look, the voters spoke and my measure got more votes,’” Wiggins said.

    And with less than two weeks to go, neither side is backing down.

    “San Diego State wants that land,” said Temple, “It’s an invaluable time, it’s invaluable land. They have said that they’re still going to try to get that land.”

    “It’d be really disappointing for me and the rest of San Diego if nothing happened,” said Merritt.


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    Reality TV star and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner penned an op-ed for The Washington Post in which she renounced her endorsement and support for President Donald Trump.

    "Sadly, I was wrong," Jenner wrote in the mea culpa, which was published Thursday afternoon. "The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president."

    Jenner had been a rare transgender supporter of the president and the Republican Party, and her politics earned her the ire of many LGBTQ advocates, who widely view the president's policies as harmful, NBC News reported.



    Photo Credit: Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP

    Caitlyn Jenner attends the Jeremy Scott Runway Show at Spring Studios during New York Fashion Week on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018 in New York.Caitlyn Jenner attends the Jeremy Scott Runway Show at Spring Studios during New York Fashion Week on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018 in New York.

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    President Donald Trump is calling for troops to be sent to the border as the latest caravan of Central American migrants head toward the U.S.-Mexico border but one critic calls the move unnecessary and a piece of “political theater.”

    The caravan, by some estimates, is now 7,000 people strong and the president is calling the group a national security threat. He is proposing to send 800 active-duty troops to the border in the coming weeks.

    “I don't think it's being done for law enforcement reasons,” USD’s Trans-Border Institute director Ev Meade said. “Unfortunately, it's largely part of a political theater on immigration policy right now, and I think it's probably unnecessary.”

    Meade doesn’t see the caravan has a security threat. Very few of the caravan members even make it into the U.S. and there is no evidence they pose any threats, he said. The group is mostly made up of mostly women and children.

    “There's just no indication that these are people who pose some kind of imminent threat to the United States, so I don't think the language of invasion or of a crisis is justified,” Meade said.

    In April, some 4,000 members of the National Guard were deployed to the border when another caravan of migrants approached the U.S.

    Threat or not, Terence Shigg, the president of the local chapter of the National Border Patrol Council, is welcoming any help he can get. He said the issue isn’t the caravan but a lack of resources for border patrol.

    “Even without this caravan, one of the things that we want people to understand is that the [asylum seekers] and refugees, they're still coming every day, Shigg said. “It's not as if there's been a hiatus and none have been showing up. We've still been dealing with this issue.”

    Even if active-duty troops are sent, they will not be dealing with hands-on law enforcement, such as making arrests.  The Posse Comitatus Act signed into law in 1878 by President Rutherford B. Hayes forbids the federal government from using the military to enforce U.S. laws within the borders of the United States.

    Instead, those troops will take on support duties freeing up Border Patrol agents to guard the border.

    It was not known how many of the 4,000 National Guardsmen sent in April are still working with the Border Patrol.



    Photo Credit: EFE/Getty Images

    Donald Trump tiene un mensaje para los inmigrantes que forman parte de la caravana.Donald Trump tiene un mensaje para los inmigrantes que forman parte de la caravana.

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    Law enforcement officials arrested the husband of a Vista woman who was reported missing a year ago under "suspicious" circumstances and charged him with first-degree murder.

    Maria Elena Guzman-Cordova, 38, was last seen leaving her home on North Santa Fe Avenue on Oct. 13, 2017. Her family reported her missing the following day.

    Guzman's husband, Hector Martinez, told police that Guzman left their Vista apartment that night to go for a walk after the two had had an argument. Martinez reported that Guzman didn't take anything with her.

    Her family told investigators that she suffered from depression and didn't have her medication.

    After nearly a year with and no leads, Guzman's family and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) held a news conference in late September to call for a renewal in the search.

    "It’s odd that someone would go missing under these circumstances, without taking a phone without taking their personal belongings, we’re definitely concerned, Maria’s family is concerned," SDSO Lt. Rich Williams said.

    Martinez told a Telemundo 20 reporter that it was possible his wife could have run away. When asked if he had a message for his wife who could see the news, Martinez promised her a better life if she returned.

    San Diego County Crime Stoppers and homicide detectives with the SDSO offered up to $1,000 for any information that led to an arrest in the case.

    On Thursday, more than a year after he told deputies his wife had gone for a walk, Martinez, 39, was arrested by deputies at his home in Vista.

    The department said Guzman's remains had recently been found near Palomar Mountain and said that evidence gathered over the course of their investigation linked Martinez to her death.

    Investigators believe Martinez transported Guzman's body to the Palomar Mountain area the day she was reported missing or the day before in a four-door white sedan or burgundy SUV.

    Martinez is charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bail in the San Diego Central Jail.

    Deputies are asking anyone with information about the incident to call the department at (858) 285-6330, or at (858) 565-5200 after hours. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477, or online at crimestoppers.org. The case number is 17153719.


    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 Trump administration is drafting an executive action that would make it exceedingly difficult for Central American migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border to gain entry, three sources familiar with the proposed measures told NBC News

    The exact details have not yet been finalized, the sources said. The news comes as President Donald Trump and national security adviser John Bolton have grown increasingly frustrated with the rising number of undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border and the Honduran migrant caravan currently making its way to the U.S.

    "The administration is considering a wide range of administrative, legal and legislative options to address the Democrat-created crisis of mass illegal immigration," a White House official said. "No decisions have been made at this time. Nor will we forecast to smugglers or caravans what precise strategies will be employed."

    One piece of the action under consideration would use an authority similar to that invoked by the travel ban to block entry to unauthorized immigrants who are not yet in the U.S., said the three sources. However, if these immigrants cross the U.S.-Mexico border and claim asylum, they would have the ability to apply for asylum.

    Other, more extreme measures under consideration include not allowing immigrants who are apprehended between ports of entry to claim asylum, said the senior administration official.



    Photo Credit: STR/AP, File

    In this Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, file photo, hundreds of Honduran migrants stand at the shore of the Suchiate river on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, in Tecun Uman, Guatemala.In this Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, file photo, hundreds of Honduran migrants stand at the shore of the Suchiate river on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, in Tecun Uman, Guatemala.

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    A man apparently trying to cross a busy Interstate 5 offramp on foot was hit by three cars and died at the scene, officials confirmed.

    A driver called 911 just before 8:30 p.m. to report they thought they ran someone over. CHP and a National City Fire Department crew responded to southbound I-5 offramp at Civic Center Drive and found someone underneath the car.

    Veronica Acuna told NBC 7 the man appeared out of nowhere attempting to cross the ramp from west to east and stepped into her vehicle's path. She hit him and he rolled up her windshield and landed on the street.

    Two more drivers swerved to avoid hitting Acuna and ended up hitting the man. The second one dragged him 50 to 75 feet. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

    A witness told NBC 7 the victim might be a homeless man who was living in the bushes on the side of the ramp. Police have not confirmed that or released the victim's identity.

    The offramp was closed for close to two hours as officers investigated the crash. It has since reopened.

    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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    Hundreds of drivers braved more than an hour's wait at a Chula Vista gas station so they could fill up on $1.99 fuel.

    The price was set as a promotion for the Yes on 6 campaign, which is driving state voters to support the repeal of a gas tax implemented by state legislatures last year.

    The passage of SB1 by lawmakers implemented a 12-cent and 20-cent per gallon hike on regular and diesel fuel, respectively, and increased vehicle registration fees anywhere from $25 to $175.

    State officials say the tax and added fees equate to $5.2 billion in state revenue that will go towards fixing aging highways, bridges, roads and other transit infrastructure.

    But Yes on 6 chairman and former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio says existing taxes are more than enough to handle California's aging transportation infrastructure and claims politicians are diverting the funds.

    “The existing gas tax is more than enough to fix roads, the problem is that politicians have diverted the money to everything but roads," DeMaio told NBC 7.

    DeMaio says giving drivers a chance at $1.99 per gallon gas illustrates the impact state taxes, mandates and fees have on consumers at the pump.

    "The working families need to understand that a lot of their budget is being taken out at the pump through higher gas taxes, fees and mandates, and we can do something about that by voting yes on Prop 6,' he said.

    DeMaio says that according to Survey USA, 65 percent of Californians support the gas tax repeal.

    A yes vote means you want the tax to go away and a no vote means you’d prefer if it stayed. DeMaio said that politicians recently changed the title of the proposition on the ballot from "Gas Tax Repeal" to "Transportation Taxes and Fees."

    Promotions like the one held Thursday in Chula Vista also give the yes campaign a chance to alert voters of the "misleading title."

    Driver Agustin Romero waited more than an hour to fill up his SUV's 25-gallon tank, but said it was "most definitely worth it," because he normally spends close to double what he spent Thursday.

    Romero said he'll vote yes on Prop 6 not just because he wants cheaper gas, and says there are other ways the state can gather revenue to fix roads.

    “I already paid a hefty price just for registration and that’s what it’s there for, so why ding us on gas when we’re already being hit hard at the DMV?" Romero said.

    DeMaio said that his campaign will soon announce how drivers can get a rebate on the added registration fees they've already paid this year if the proposition passes.

    Yes on 6 opposition coalition representative Catherine Hill told NBC 7 "The fact of the matter is if we let our roads continue to deteriorate it's going to be more costly to repair over the long run."

    She also claims there is a guarantee that revenue from the newest gas tax is going to local streets and roads.

    In May, the California Transportation Commission approved more than $300 million to be spent on projects in San Diego.

    The Valero station on Palomar Street voluntarily dropped their price to $1.99 for two hours, according to DeMaio.


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