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    Students can now wear tribal regalia or recognized objects of religious or cultural significance as an adornment during school graduation ceremonies thanks to a new California law.

    Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1248 into law in September, but it came a little too late for Jacob Brown.

    Brown graduated in June from El Capitan High School in Lakeside.

    Brown, a member of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, wanted to wear his tribal sash and eagle feather when he walked at graduation, but school policy prohibits students from adding anything to the school-issued caps and gowns.

    "When you get a feather, you earn that, it's part of you," said Brown, who explained the feather represents years of hard work and is a symbol of accomplishment.

    Used extensively in Native American cultural ceremonies, the eagle and eagle feathers, including eagle feet, are sacred to most Native American people, including the Kumeyaay.

    "I was so heartbroken and devastated we couldn't even celebrate," said Nancy Brown, Jacob's mom. "Even just a few decades ago natives didn't really graduate at all, so that's why it's such a huge celebration when they do."

    AB 1248 was authored by San Diego Assemblymember Todd Gloria.

    Gloria said as a Native American, the issue was personal, but took on a broader meaning.

    "This started out as a concern within the Native American community, but through the legislative process what we've come to understand is there were other communities that were impacted: African American students who'd want to wear a Kente cloth," he said.

    Gloria introduced a nearly identical version of AB 1248 during the 2017 legislative session, but it was vetoed by the governor.

    "We settled on some language that still provided some level of discretion for local administrators, particularly when they saw what could be augmentations to the cap and gown that incite violence," Gloria said.

    The Grossmont Union High School District sent NBC 7 a statement saying it would comply with the new law and address any specific needs for graduation.

    "People don't come in just one size shape and color," added Nancy Brown. "Everyone is different."

    Some of those differences can now be acknowledged and embraced during one of life's most defining moments.


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    More than a thousand U.S. Marines from Camp Pendleton have been deployed the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego Thursday, a U.S. Marines spokesperson confirmed.

    Official U.S. military vehicles used to transport troops were spotted near the pedestrian crossing at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

    NBC 7 has learned 1,100 Marines are beginning their work with Operation Faithful Patriot in support of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

    The Marines are part of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 7, 1st MEF, according to the Pentagon. 

    The troops will be used to reinforce staffing in the event large groups move to cross the border into the U.S., CBP officials said in a prepared statement.

    The Department of Defense estimates that more than 7,000 troops will be positioned in California, Arizona and Texas in support of the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection.

    The troops included in the deployment are from Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Detrick, Maryland; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Meade, Maryland; Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia; Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington;U.S. Transportation Command; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia; and Peterson Air Force, Colorado.

    The border mission will have a larger U.S. military footprint than the combined efforts in Iraq and Syria.

    The White House has said the U.S. may send up to 15,000 troops to the border in order to deter a caravan of Central American migrants that is moving north from Honduras through Mexico. 

    At one point, the United Nations estimated there were 7.200 people in the caravan.


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    A man who admitted to peeping into the homes of unsuspecting women in Pacific Beach was sentenced this week to 364 days in jail, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office confirmed.

    James Hubbard, 48, entered a plea deal two weeks ago with City Attorney Mara W. Elliott’s office. He pleaded guilty to three counts of peeping and prowling, which carried a nearly 1-year sentence.

    Hubbard’s so-called “Peeping Tom” streak began on Sept. 11 when a witness spotted him looking into apartment windows on Hornblend Street in the PB community.

    On Sept. 25, a woman living on Thomas Avenue saw Hubbard peering into her kitchen window as she walked into the room wearing only her underwear. Elliott said the woman screamed for her roommate, who then saw Hubbard looking into a neighbor’s window. Hubbard was arrested at that time and ultimately released from custody.

    On Oct. 4, a woman who lives on Olive Avenue was sitting in her living room pumping breast milk for her infant when she saw Hubbard staring at her through her window.

    On Oct. 9, Hubbard decided to return to the home on Thomas Avenue where he had been arrested on Sept. 25. The female residents had installed surveillance cameras, which captured video of Hubbard standing on the patio and peeping through the sliding glass doors, Elliott said.

    Hubbard stole a towel from the home and was arrested once again that day.

    Three days later, on Oct. 12, Hubbard returned for a third time to the Thomas Avenue address. Again, home security cameras caught him looking into the windows.

    Hubbard was once again taken into custody and booked into jail, this time not eligible to post bail.

    Elliot said that although Hubbard’s crimes are classified as misdemeanors in the state of California, her office takes these types of cases seriously.

    “Aggressive prosecution and severe punishment at the misdemeanor level will hopefully deter Mr. Hubbard and like-minded individuals from committing more egregious acts in the future,” Elliot added in a press release.


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    Actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband, former Fox News correspondent Adam Housley, confirmed Thursday that their niece, Alaina Housley, was one of 12 victims killed in the Southern California mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill. 

    "Alaina was an incredible young woman with so much life ahead of her and we are devastated that her life was cut short in this manner. We thank everyone for your prayers and ask for privacy at this time," the couple said in a joint statement to NBC. 

    The Los Angeles Times reported Adam Housley arrived at Los Robles Medical Center, the nearest hospital from the bar, around 3:30 a.m. PT searching for information on his niece but was not allowed through. He told the Times her Apple Watch and iPhone still showed her location inside the Thousand Oaks bar.

    “My gut is saying she’s inside the bar, dead,” he said. “I’m hoping I’m wrong.”

    Mowry-Housley, a co-host on the daytime talk show “The Real,” and Housley had taken to social media overnight frantically searching for information.

    Mowry-Housley had responded to a tweet from a college student who was looking for her suitemate. The student, Ashley, posted photos of Alaina and described what the 18-year-old Pepperdine University freshman was wearing when she was last seen at the country music event at Borderline Bar & Grill.

    “Ashley this is her aunt Tamera Mowry-Housley. Can you please DM me your information?” she replied to the post.

    [[500067301, C]]

    The suitemate responded that she had been in touch with Mowry-Housley’s husband and that Alaina was the only friend missing from their group of girls who went line dancing Wednesday night.

    Adam Housley wrote on Twitter that he was "staying positive and praying and hoping and wishing there was more I could do."

    The “Sister, Sister” star posted an update at about 9 a.m. ET that Alaina had not yet been located. “It’s been 7 hrs,” she added. 

    By Thursday afternoon, the couple confirmed they had "just learned that our niece Alaina was one of the victims of last night’s shooting at Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks." 

    "Our hearts are broken," they said. 

    [[500067361, C]]

    Pepperdine University released a statement saying the college was "devastated" to report the loss of one of its students.

    "Our hearts are broken with the news of this profound loss. We offer our deepest condolences to the Housley family and ask that our community join us in keeping Alaina’s family, friends, and loved ones in their prayers during this incredibly difficult time," the university tweeted.

    Alaina Housley graduated in June from Vintage High School in Napa and turned 18 a month later. According to social media posts, by August, the college freshman had moved into the dorms at Pepperdine University in Malibu. 

    Twelve people, including a Ventura Country sheriff's deputy, were shot and killed late Wednesday at the bar. The attacker, identified as a decorated 28-year-old Marine Corps veteran from the area, was found dead in an office at the bar after shooting himself, investigators said.

    [[500015631, C]]

    Borderline is a popular hangout for students from local colleges, including Pepperdine University, Moorpark and Cal State Channel Islands. Pepperdine confirmed in a tweet that “multiple” students were at the bar Wednesday night and the university is “working to identify and provide support to those students.”

    Ventura County set up a family reunification center down the highway from the Borderline, which the sheriff's department says is staffed with chaplains and Red Cross workers. 

    Outside the center, Thousand Oaks City Councilman Rob McCoy and senior minister at GodSpeak Calvary Chapel, told reporters that families still waiting  for information on those who are unaccounted are "just hoping against all odds." 

    "The longer they wait it appears to be inevitable to many of them and you just hug them," he said.

    [[500064332, C]]

    Mowry-Housley’s identical twin sister, Tia Mowry, also took to social media to express shock over the news and pleaded for information about Alaina’s whereabouts.

    "Alaina Housely we are praying. We love u! If you know anything or any information please let us know. We love you! #borderline," Mowry wrote on her Instagram page. 

    [[500067251, C]]

    An emergency hotline is available at 805-465-6650 for family and friends looking for information.

    CORRECTION (Nov. 8, 2018, 4 pm. ET): The headline on an earlier version of this story misspelled Tamera Mowry’s last name.



    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.

    In this file photo, Tamera Mowry (L) and Adam Housley attend Entertainment Weekly's Screen Actors Guild Award Nominees Celebration sponsored by Maybelline New York at Chateau Marmont on January 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Inset) The couple's niece, 18-year-old Alaina Housley, was killed in a mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks.In this file photo, Tamera Mowry (L) and Adam Housley attend Entertainment Weekly's Screen Actors Guild Award Nominees Celebration sponsored by Maybelline New York at Chateau Marmont on January 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Inset) The couple's niece, 18-year-old Alaina Housley, was killed in a mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks.

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    Jack in the Box Inc., headquartered in San Diego, plans to lay off 66 corporate employees, effective Jan. 4. The positions being eliminated are in areas including IT, finance & accounting, supply chain, and in the human resources and legal departments, company spokesperson Brian Luscomb said.

    The reason for the lay-offs is twofold. First, the company, which was once about 20 percent franchised, is now about 94 percent franchised. Second, up until March, Jack in the Box owned Qdoba Mexican Eats, and supported both brands with a shared-services approach. Some of those employees rolled off the Jack in the Box payroll with the sale, but others remained as the company still had contractual agreements to support Qdoba until it staffed up.

    “We’ve been anticipating these position eliminations for quite some time,” said Luscomb. “It’s not new news to the investment community or to our employees. All of the employees who will be impacted have known about this for several weeks, some even longer.”

    The severance package the terminated employees will receive will offer a baseline of six months’ wages, regardless of how long the person was employed. Employees could also receive additional severance, said Luscomb, depending on their length of service, up to a maximum of 26 weeks. Additionally, the package includes a component for medical coverage and outplacement assistance.

    “We’ve been very transparent with employees about the need to restructure and reduce G&A. We’ve discussed with everyone here what we expect our future will look like as we roll off agreements that require us to support QDOBA,” said Luscomb.

    Jack in the Box has made a number of headlines recently. Last month, news surfaced that the company's franchisees were demanding the current CEO, Leonard "Lenny" Comma, and the rest of the leadership team, be replaced following a vote of "no confidence.”

    A few weeks later, Jana Partners, a New York-based hedge fund, disclosed it had trimmed its holdings in Jack in the Box, down to 1,831,007 shares from 2,050,325 shares during the second quarter. The activist investor also signed a confidentiality and standstill agreement in which the hedge fund agreed to keep confidential certain business information regarding the chain restaurant. The agreement expires on Dec. 14 unless the two parties terminate it sooner.

    Late last year, Jack in the Box sold fast-casual brand, Qdoba, to New York-based private equity fund, Apollo Global Management Group, for $305 million.+

    There are over 2,200 Jack in the Box restaurants nationwide, and about 100 in San Diego. Qdoba, also a San Diego-based company, will be recruiting locally to staff up.



    Photo Credit: Brad Graves - SDBJ Staff
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    Jack-in-the-Box is headquartered in San Diego.Jack-in-the-Box is headquartered in San Diego.

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    Working together to complete a 15-mile relay, student swimmers from a school in Del Mar earned their fifth world record in open-ocean swimming, and their second world record achieved this year.

    The swim team at Sea Change Preparatory school – dubbed the “Zombie Patrol – completed a swim to the Santa Barbara oil rig in 14 hours. The students each swam in 30-minute intervals and were accompanied by school staff throughout the relay.

    With that, the kids earned their fifth world record.

    The team is comprised of eight students. The youngest swimmer, a non-verbal student with autism, is 14 years old.

    The team set another world record in June, which involved a first-ever swim between the islands of Ischiua and Di Santo Stefano, off the coast of Naples, Italy.

    Recently, the team received news that they have secured a coveted slot to swim the English Channel in July 2019. This will be the second time that the team will compete in this grueling 21-mile course.

    Training for the English Channel swim is underway now and will continue throughout the school year, with students and staff hitting the water three days a week without wetsuits or fins, in keeping with international competitive swimming guidelines.

    "We are so proud of what our kids are able to accomplish, but more importantly, the kids are proud of themselves," said John Allcock, who co-founded the school along with his wife, Cheryl. "Each swim we complete is really a testament to the fact that these kids can do anything they set their minds to."

    Sea Change Preparatory is a private school located steps from the beach in downtown Del Mar. The school features a high-quality, individualized academic curriculum, an inspired fitness program centered on world-class swimming, global travel, fine arts and music.


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    A woman was injured while hiking on Cowles Mountain on Thursday morning and needed to be rescued, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said.

    The 35-year-old woman injured her ankle near the Boulder Lake trailhead, SDFD spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.

    The woman was transported by ambulance to an area hospital.

    Her condition was not disclosed but her injury was not life-threatening.

    No other information was available.



    Photo Credit: Monica Garske

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    San Diego law enforcement agencies used social media Thursday to mourn the loss of innocent lives taken in the massacre at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, including that of a Ventura County sheriff’s sergeant.

    “Our hearts are heavy for the families of the 12 killed and those injured this morning in #ThousandOaks,” tweeted San Diego Police Department Chief David Nieslit. “One of those killed was @VenturaSheriff Sgt. Ron Helus. Let us #neverforget the ultimate sacrifice he made running towards the sound of gunfire to save lives. #Hero.”

    Both the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department sent their thoughts, prayers and condolences to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

    San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore released this statement on the heels of the tragedy:

    "We stand with the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, the people of Thousand Oaks, and all of those grieving today's tragedy. We honor the ultimate sacrifice of the hero Sgt. Ron Helus who, along with the other first responders, rushed in at their own great peril to save countless lives of people they did not even know,” said Gore.

    Meanwhile, the San Diego Deputy District Attorney’s Association also posted a message on Twitter offering condolences to all of the victims, survivors and families of the victims involved in the shooting.

    The City of Vista said it would fly the U.S. flag at half-staff at all of its facilities through Saturday at sunset as a mark of respect for the victims of the mass shooting.

    The shooting began at around 11:15 p.m. at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks during a “College Night” event filled with young patrons from nearby colleges such as Pepperdine, Moorpark and Cal State Channel Islands.

    Authorities said a hooded gunman, now identified as former U.S. Marine Ian David Long, 28, entered the bar with his face partly covered and deployed a smoke device.

    He then used a handgun to open fire on the crowd, killing 12 people, including Helus and Coronado native Justin Meek, before taking his own life.

    Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said Helus died a hero. The 29-year veteran of the department was about a year away from retirement, Dean said.



    Photo Credit: Wally Skalij/Getty Images
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    Witnesses console each other near the Borderline Bar.Witnesses console each other near the Borderline Bar.

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    Diane Nelson was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2009.

    Since her diagnosis, Diane has tried several treatments in an effort to slow the disease from progressing.

    In 2015 Diane’s neurologist told her about a new treatment. If successful the treatment, a series of infusions over the course of two-years, would make Diane’s condition more manageable and would end the need for future treatments.

    But like most medical procedures, the treatment came with a hefty price tag.

    “I had to go through an approval process with my insurance company,” Diane told NBC 7 Responds. “And, then I found a foundation to cover my out of pocket expenses.”

    The foundation, The Multiple Sclerosis Assistance Fund, agreed to pay $7,825 of Diane’s treatment.

    In 2015, Diane received her first round of infusions.

    Before getting the second phase of the treatment, Diane was forced to switch medical providers to Sharp Healthcare. But she nor her insurance provider notified The Assistance Fund of the change.

    In 2017 she underwent the second round of infusions.

    Then in June Diane said she received a bill in the mail from Sharp Healthcare for $7,825, the amount that The Assistance Fund had pledged to pay.

    “I had no idea how I would pay,” Diane said.

    Diane says because providers was changed that The Assistance Fund had not received any follow-up on her second treatment and the funds that were set aside for her instead went to someone else in need.

    Meanwhile, bills for the treatment arrived at Diane’s Rancho San Diego home.

     “I’m on Social Security and disability so I could maybe afford $10 a month, otherwise, well, I could just die.”

    Diane says Sharp HealthCare said they submitted an appeal to The Assistance Fund but because the foundation said the appeal deadline had already expired.

    Diane says the stress weighed heavy on her and her health.

    Until one day, while inside her doctor’s office she saw a commercial on the television screen that gave her some much-needed hope.

    “I saw this thing on TV with NBC 7 Responds and I thought, well, what do I have to lose,” said Diane.

    Diane contacted NBC 7 Responds and we got to work.

    In May, after NBC 7 Responds contacted Sharp HealthCare, Diane’s insurance company, and The Assistance Fund, Diane received another bill in the mail.

    However, this time instead of listing $7,825 in the amount owed, the new amount was at zero.

    “I was so relieved, like able to really breathe again,” Diane said. “The [NBC 7 Responds Team] really came through for me.”

    In a statement CEO for the Assistance Fund, Mark McGreevy, wrote, “Patients are at the center of everything we do. We aspire to see a day when no one goes without the medication they need due to their inability to pay. In Diane’s case, we were ready and willing to cover her copay for her supported MS medication, but when no claim was submitted we were obliged to use the funds that had been allocated to Diane to support other patients. We are more than happy to sort out this issue and address Diane’s needs.”

    Diane told NBC 7 Responds in a follow-up interview that despite the billing mishap the treatment was a success and helped address the constant fatigue and other symptoms she experienced since her diagnosis.

    Added Diane, “NBC 7 Responds was amazing. They are my A-Team.”



    Photo Credit: Bob Hansen

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    Jason Coffman speaks to the media after finding out his son Cody Coffman was among those shot and killed inside the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. “This is so hard,” he said tearfully.


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    A former Coronado High School student has died after a shooting at a Thousand Oaks bar and grill during a popular college night event, according to Cal Lutheran University. 

    Justin Meek, 23, was working as a bouncer when gunfire erupted at Borderline Bar & Grill during its weekly "College Country Nights" popular with the 18-and-up crowd late Wednesday, according to friends and the university. 

    His sister was also at the bar at the time of the shooting, according to family friend Laurie Ruiz De Castilla, who was at a prayer vigil for Meek on Coronado Island Thursday afternoon. 

    "They've been looking for him. I know his sister is good, she got out so that's good news," Castilla said.

    Twelve people were confirmed dead early Thursday, including a Ventura County sheriff's deputy, as family members gathered at a reunification center awaiting word about their loved ones, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office (VCSD) said.

    Cal Lutheran University said they were informed by the family that Meek, a graduate of their school, had died in the shooting. 

    "Meek heroically saved lives in the incident," a statement from the university said. 

    A 2014 graduate of Coronado High School, Meek was described as an active member of the community and an avid Coronado "Islander," the school's mascot. 

    "There's never been a better "Islander" in his Tiki uniform that could get the crowd and spirit going," Sue Shirey said. "They haven't been able to replace him since."

    The prayer vigil was held for Meek at a Coronado community park Thursday afternoon and a candlelight vigil would be held at Spreckels Park on the island at 7 p.m., Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey said on Facebook

    "My thoughts and prayers are with Justin, his family, and all of the other victims," he said. 

    Meek's father was a Navy man set to retire this weekend and move to the Los Angeles area to be closer to his children, according to friends of the family. A party was planned for his retirement on Coronado Island this weekend.

    "Everyone will rally around them to help them get through with whatever they need," Castilla said. "We're close-knit, we're all like family here in Coronado."

    Cal Lutheran was also holding a vigil for Meek at their chapel on Thursday. A prayer would be held later that evening. 

    "We will pray, begin to comfort one another in our grief, and hold the families, friends and loved ones of the victims in our hearts. Cal Lutheran wraps its arms around the Meek family and other families, and around every member of this community of caring," the statement said. 

    Borderline Bar & Grill is less than seven miles from Cal Lutheran and is close to several colleges and universities, including Pepperdine, Moorpark and Cal State Channel Islands. 

    "It's been a bad night. Wednesdays (are) the most popular because it's college night, just a bunch of lively kids, different colleges all the way from Ventura, all the way down to the Valley," bar regular Carl Edgar said. 

    Patrons described breaking windows and diving under tables in an attempt to escape gunfire. 

    "Everyone was under the table so it was hard to get under there. By the grace of God I got to the front door," said Sarah Rose DeSon of Whittier, a communications major at Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo.

    VCSD Sergeant Ron Helus was one of the first officers to enter the bar after reports of gunfire. He was met by gunfire as he confronted the shooter, Sheriff Geoff Dean said. 

    Hundreds of people were inside when the gunman, identified by law enforcement as 28-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Ian David Long, began shooting. He first shot a security guard outside and several employees upon entering before turning to the right and opening fire on the crowd, Dean said. 

    Long served with the USMC from August 2008 to March 2014 and was deployed to Afghanistan as a machine gunner in 2010. He used a legally purchased Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun equipped with an extended magazine, Dean said.

    According to the VCSD sheriff, the extension is illegal in California.

    Law enforcement officials have not identified a motive for the shooting. The Federal Bureau of Investigations was working with VCSD investigators. 

    San Diego County is less than 150 miles south of where the shooting occurred and local law enforcement and officials offered their support Thursday morning. 

    San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore called Sgt. Ron Helus a hero who, "along with the other first responders, rushed in at their own great peril to save countless lives of people they did not even know."

    The American flag outside the Vista Civic Center, "as a mark of respect for the victims of the Thousand Oaks tragedy. The City offers its deepest condolences to the victims and their families," the city shared on social media. 

    California Senator Toni Atkins thanked law enforcement for their quick actions to save others.

    "I grieve with the Thousand Oaks community and all Californians on the senseless death of so many of their loved ones."

    This story will be updated as information becomes available. Please refresh this story for the latest. 


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    A prayer vigil was held on Coronado Island on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, for 23-year-old Justin Meek, who was killed in a shooting at a Thousand Oaks bar and grill.A prayer vigil was held on Coronado Island on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, for 23-year-old Justin Meek, who was killed in a shooting at a Thousand Oaks bar and grill.

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    Families were frantically searching for those unaccounted for as the identities of victims emerged in the aftermath of the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting Wednesday evening in Ventura County, the deadliest mass shooting since Parkland.

    Victims of the Borderline Bar shooting in Thousand Oaks, Nov. 7, 2018.Victims of the Borderline Bar shooting in Thousand Oaks, Nov. 7, 2018.

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    Fulfilling President Donald Trump's midterm promise to crack down on undocumented immigrants crossing the Southwest border, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security published a rule on Thursday that will make it harder for immigrants to claim asylum if they are caught crossing the border between designated ports of entry.

    Senior administration officials told reporters on a conference call that the president has the legal authority to do so because of sections of immigration law that allow the president discretion over who is admitted into the United States — the same language the administration used to support its travel ban in court.

    The officials said the plan is to force more immigrants who wish to claim asylum to do so at designated ports of entry, NBC News reported.



    Photo Credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

    Border Patrol officers keep watch before U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen inaugurates the first completed section of President Donald Trump's 30-foot border wall in the El Centro Sector, at the US Mexico border in Calexico, California, on Oct. 26, 2018.Border Patrol officers keep watch before U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen inaugurates the first completed section of President Donald Trump's 30-foot border wall in the El Centro Sector, at the US Mexico border in Calexico, California, on Oct. 26, 2018.

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    The Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun that a Marine Corps veteran used to kill at least 12 people, including a sheriff's sergeant, in a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, was bought legally, the Ventura County sheriff said Thursday. But a comprehensive ban on the large-capacity magazine with which it was equipped is being blocked by a federal lawsuit brought by the state affiliate of the National Rifle Association.

    The California State Sheriff's Association and other law enforcement groups are supporting the NRA lawsuit and none had comment after the sergeant was killed.

    To be sure, it appears that the gunman would have been unable to have legally obtained a large-capacity magazine in California regardless of the court fight. He would have been a child when California first prohibited magazines larger than 10 rounds in 2000 and grandfathered in ones people already owned. But Thursday's shooting drew attention to the legal battle.

    After the San Bernardino shooting, voters approved extending the ban to all magazines, with the new law to go into effect in July 2017. But that the lawsuit brought by the California Rifle and Pistol Association halted its implementation.

    The veteran, identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, shot his way into the western-themed Borderline Bar & Grill and killed at least 12, including Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus. Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department and a member of its SWAT team, was one of the first officers to rush into the bar filled with college students. He exchanged gunfire but was struck multiple times and later died at the hospital.

    Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said that the Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun was designed to hold 10 rounds and one in the chamber.

    “The weapon did have an extended magazine on it,” Dean said. “We do not know at this time how many rounds were actually in the weapon or how many rounds the magazine could actually hold because it's still being processed as part of the evidence.”

    It is believed that Long shot and killed himself, the sheriff said.

    Supporting the California Rifle and Pistol Association’s lawsuit blocking the ban on larger magazines are the California State Sheriff’s Association, the Western States Sheriff’s Association, the California Reserve Peace Officers Association and other law enforcement groups.

    The California sheriff’s association and the reserve peace officers association did not respond to request for comment about their participation.

    Jim Pond, the executive director of the Western States Sheriff’s Association, when asked if he had a comment in light of Helus’ death, said, “I don’t at this time because I’m really unaware of the events surrounding that one. So until I get some more information we won’t have any information at this point.”

    In a brief that the groups submitted, they argued that a ban on the grandfathered magazines would not increase public safety because it would affect only law-abiding gun owners and that magazines holding more than 10 rounds are not “large-capacity” but are standard-issue on commonly owned pistols and rifles.

    California is one of nine states and the District of Columbia that have enacted a ban on large-capacity magazines. In California, it is generally illegal to buy, make, sell, give, lend or import a magazine able to accept more than 10 rounds, according to the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

    After voters approved extending the prohibition, owners who had been grandfathered in would have had to destroy the magazines, send them out of state, sell them to a federally licensed firearms dealer or turn them in to police.

    “There’s just a lot of data that shows that large-capacity magazines are particularly attractive to mass shooters and to individuals committing crimes against law enforcement,” Ari Freilich, staff attorney for the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, told the Sacramento Bee last year. “They do not have legitimate self-defense value.”

    An extended magazine could have given the Thousands Oaks gunman 30 shots, perhaps even more if he reloaded, former New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton, an MSNBC contributor, told NBC News.

    The Sacramento Bee reported that it was unclear how many larger-capacity magazines remained.

    Implementation of the extended ban was halted by a federal judge until a final ruling in the lawsuit was issued.

    Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who created the Giffords Law Center after she was shot and six others were killed, said in a statement Thursday that she was heartbroken and angry.

    “Voters made clear Tuesday night that the days of the NRA blocking action to strengthen our gun laws are over,” she said. “Now is the time to come together and pass legislation that will start putting our country back on the right track. Legislation that will prevent guns from landing in the wrong hands. Legislation that will save lives.”

    The Gun Violence Archive, an independent research and data collection organization established in 2012, called the Thousands Oaks shooting the 307th mass shooting of 2018. The group defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are shot or killed, not including the shooter.

    “Do we really want to raise our children in a country where mass shootings are a weekly occurrence?” Giffords asked. “A country where every single day in America, more than 90 people are killed with guns? This level of gun violence doesn’t happen in any other high-income country.”



    Photo Credit: KNBC

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    A wind-driven fire has burned between 8,000 and 10,000 acres in the Newbury Park area as pf 3:30 p.m.

    Dubbed the "Hill Fire," the fire began while much of Southern California is under a red flag warning.

    It was first reported just before 3 p.m.

    Mandatory evacuations have been issued for Camarillo Springs and Vallecito Trailer Park.

    An evacuation center has been set up at Borchard Community Center at 190 Reino Road in Newbury Park.

    A second smaller fire scorched about 30 acres at the same time at Woolsey Canyon in the northern San Fernando Valley, near the former site of a large Rocketdyne facility.

    This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    A fast-moving brush fire erupted near Newbury Park Nov. 8, 2018.A fast-moving brush fire erupted near Newbury Park Nov. 8, 2018.

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    Wells Fargo unveiled three new community murals at their Chula Vista branches Wednesday, one of which honors the grandparents of the city's mayor.

    The mural, now on display at the Wells Fargo on H Street, pays tribute Felix and Urbana Casillas, two of Chula Vista's earliest residents and grandparents of Mayor Mary Casillas Salas.

    The mural also features historical views of downtown Chula Vista, aviator Roland Tyce at the Chula Vista Airport, the Chula Vista Feed Store, and the Carnegie Library.

    Along with the murals, Wells Fargo presented a $15,000 grant to the South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC). The grant will support SCEDC’s mission of promoting education and encouraging economic development in the South San Diego County Region.

    Salas attended the unveiling of the mural and, because of the family ties, was also gifted with a two framed keepsake replicas of the art. The mayor's roots in the South Bay run five generations deep, according to the city's website.

    The other two new murals also feature historical images of early Chula Vista residents. One is located at the Otay Ranch Wells Fargo branch, the other at Bonita Point. Those pieces feature Otay Valley residents Raul and Jesusita Castro, the Toledo Family produce farm, the Sweetwater Fruit Packing Company, the National City and Otay Railroad, and local agricultural scenes.

    To date, Wells Fargo has installed 60 unique murals across San Diego County and more than 2,400 murals across the country as part of the company's Community Mural Program.



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

    The mural at the Chula Vista Wells Fargo branch on H Street features some of the city's earliest residents, including the grandparents of Mayor Mary Casillas Salas.The mural at the Chula Vista Wells Fargo branch on H Street features some of the city's earliest residents, including the grandparents of Mayor Mary Casillas Salas.

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    Voter turnout soared in the 2018 midterm elections, according to an early projection in a new study, potentially reaching the highest level in over 50 years.

    An estimated 48.1 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, over 113 million people in total, according to research by University of Florida Professor Michael McDonald, who runs the U.S. Election Project. If that holds it would be the highest rate since 1966, when 48.7 percent of voters participated, NBC News reported.

    The numbers are subject to change as states continue to report final vote counts, especially places like California, where voters can mail in their choices all the way up to Election Day and large numbers of ballots have yet to be counted.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Voters prepare to cast their ballots at the Tuttle Park Recreation Center polling location, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio.Voters prepare to cast their ballots at the Tuttle Park Recreation Center polling location, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio.

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    Deputies in Spring Valley are searching for a teenager who never showed up to school Thursday.

    The San Diego County Sheriff's Department says 14-year-old Jeremiah left his Spring Valley home at around 5 a.m. and hasn't been seen since.

    Jeremiah never made it to school at Grossmont High School, according to the SDSO.

    The boy's mother told deputies he's not the kind of child that runs away.

    Anyone with information can call the SDSO at (619) 660-7090.

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


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    They're near coffee shops, laundromats, even schools. Many San Diego Massage parlors are offering services far beyond just a massage. And NBC 7 Investigates found a public website describing in graphic terms what is supposedly happening inside these locations. 

    For $19.99 a month, the website “RubMaps” publishes reviews for massage parlors offering sex services for sale. 

    Searching the website, NBC 7 Investigates found 243 parlors listed in San Diego County and, according to the reviews on the website, 173 of those parlors offer sex services for a price. Each “review board” includes information on which women provide what sex acts, how much customers tipped the workers and a “candid” explanation of the customer’s experience. 

    RubMaps did not respond to NBC 7 Investigates’ requests for comment.

    An online company statement maintains that the website is, “wholly committed to raising awareness of the human trafficking issue...In the event we become aware of any incident of trafficking, we take swift internal action and cooperate enthusiastically with state and federal law enforcement officials." 

    NBC 7 Investigates is providing the general location of the parlors, according to the RubMaps website, but is not releasing specific details on each parlor. Using ArcGis mapping software, NBC 7 Investigates found 16 of the 173 parlors that are allegedly offering sex services for sale are within 1,000 feet of a public school. 

    To see the map, look below or click here.

     

    Advocates for the women in these kinds of places say many are too afraid to ask for help, like 27-year-old Yalin Shao from Taiwan. 

    “They told me it was only [a] massage,” Shao said during a taped interview with the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition (BSCC). “It’s not only a massage.” 

    Shao said she read an advertisement in Mandarin for a massage job promising “high wages” here in California. But what she found was the job consisted of working for tips in exchange for sex. 

     

    Advocates for victims of sex trafficking say from the moment victims respond to advertisements like the one Shao read, the organizations behind recruiting these victims will often use fraud, force, and coercion to keep them working in the massage parlors. 

    “They are stuck in this web of control,” said Brad Myles, the CEO of the Polaris project. Polaris is a national organization formed with a goal of disrupting human sex trafficking. 

    In a recently released report, Polaris found an estimated 9,000 “Illicit massage businesses that front for commercial sex operations” are in operation across the country today and foster a “widespread acceptance of selling of women for sex”. 

    “Very little attention is placed on the criminal network that might own that [parlor] location and many other locations,” Myles told NBC 7 Investigates. 

    RubMaps, according to Polaris’ report, is the number one massage parlor locator in the country, attracting more than 325,000 unique visitors a month. Polaris says the men involved call it a “hobby” but in reality, it provides buyers, “a sense of community and invincibility that feeds this harmful behavior.” 

    “I was very depressed all the time, I was ready to die,” Yalin Shao told advocates. 

    Yalin Shao said she used to work for a massage parlor in San Diego and provided outcall services to hotels across Southern California. 

    In July 2013, Shao was arrested by undercover officers for the San Diego Police Department on charges she “agreed to engage in an act of prostitution”, according to court records. 

    Shao spent time in jail and faced prosecution when her public defender, who was familiar with the sex trafficking industry, first notified the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition of Shao’s situation. The non-profit organization was then able to get Shao out of the criminal justice system and into a shelter and therapy program. 

    “I want to change my future,” Shao told advocates for the BSCC. “I want to be more positive. I want to be successful.” 

    Shao has since returned home to Taiwan but warns the industry she left behind is still operating here in San Diego and the United States. 

    “As far as the locations I mean you can find them anywhere,” said Michael Pritzker, owner of Happy Head Massage. “It doesn't have to be in a bad neighborhood.” 

    Pritzker owns eight massage parlors in San Diego County and says they operate legally, with no sex services being offered. Pritzker is vocal about the need for people to recognize that many of the women in this industry are victims, not prostitutes. 

    “When they come here, everything is pretty much taken from them,” Pritzker said, including the women’s travel documents like passports and identification papers. Even their money. 

    Polaris found often times, the women working for these parlors end up living in the building where the business is run out of. Other than customers, rarely do the women come into contact with anyone else, according to Polaris’ study. Polaris found the women are isolated, often don’t speak English and are moved to different locations frequently. 

    “Not only does it serve to provide buyers with ‘fresh’ faces, it keeps the women disoriented and prevents them from forming bonds with each other,” the report said. 

    “They’ve created these complex webs of manipulation and deception,” Myles told NBC 7 Investigates. “Lies and debt bondage and other ways to keep the women under threat.” 

    Experts and advocates say once victims are recruited, they are charged by the trafficker for expenses to get into the country. This service is a debt the victims must pay off by working in the parlors. 

    Shao told BSCC Advocates the owners of the parlor she worked for would threaten her, or her family’s safety if she ever tried to leave. 

    “[They threatened to] send a guy to rape me or grab my money or they would break my arm, my legs,” Shao said. 

    “A very large percentage of the women in massage parlors that are trafficking their victims in southern California are from South Korea,” Pritzker said, adding that he’s seen other victims arrive from China and Thailand. 

    Polaris confirms that what is happening in San Diego County is a microcosm of what is occurring across the country. 

    “You will probably see some that are Korean-owned, some that are Chinese-owned and some that might be Vietnamese-owned,” Polaris CEO Brad Myles said, the majority being owned by “Chinese criminal networks.” 

    “It’s organized crime,” Myles said. “Where the workers are frightened witnesses for police investigations and owners hide behind shell companies. Very little attention is placed on the criminal network that might own that location and many other locations.” 

    Prosecutors and police sources have told NBC 7 Investigates that the owners of these parlors are difficult to prosecute because the victims arrested are considered to be “poor witnesses” because they are frightened, confused and come from countries where there is mistrust of law enforcement. 

    NBC 7 Investigates asked local law enforcement, the San Diego City Attorney and District Attorney’s offices if they are specifically looking into Rubmaps. None of the agencies would confirm they are investigating or have investigations using information on the website. 

    Specifically, a spokesperson for the San Diego Police Department said they take such crimes seriously but, “haven’t had any recent complaints about the [web]site, nor have they had any investigations involving the [web]site.” 

    Disclosure: JW August, one of the Producers for this story, volunteers for the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition.


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

    NBC 7 Investigates found reviews for massage parlors posted on the website NBC 7 Investigates found reviews for massage parlors posted on the website "RubMaps" claiming explicit sex acts were offered for a price.

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    San Diego police are asking the public for help identifying a man who robbed the same Mountain View gas station twice in five months.

    The first incident happened in early June when the man entered the store on the 2500 block of National Avenue at around 4 a.m. and pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money from the register.

    He returned to the gas station five months later on Nov. 3, at around the same time, and again pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money. In both cases, he stole cash and several packs of cigarettes.

    The suspect was last seen fleeing the store on foot headed north, according to SDPD.

    Surveillance cameras positioned above the register recorded the man as he cleaned out the register and threw the cigarettes in a bag.

    He is described as 35 to 40 years old, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 9 inches tall, and 170 or 180 pounds. SDPD said he had a light complexion with acne on his face.

    In the latest robbery, he was wearing blue jeans, a blue and white plaid-colored long sleeve shirt, and a black baseball cap and had a blue bandana covering his face.

    He wore blue jeans and a black hooded sweatshirt in the first robbery, SDPD said.

    Anyone with information can call SDPD's Robbery unit at (619) 531-2299 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers online or at (888) 580-8477.


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