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    While no warnings were in effect in San Diego County Thursday, the region was not clear of fire danger yet, weathercasters said, as humidity levels had little time to recover and windy conditions remain. 

    NBC 7 meteorologist Dagmar Midcap said conditions will be dangerous through Friday afternoon. Until then, Santa Ana winds will continue to whip the county and humidity will stay between 5 and 15 percent in the mountains and deserts.

    With the fire danger warning expired, a small vegetation fire was sparked overnight Thursday near the base of Cowles Mountain in Santee. No cause had been determined. 

    "Even though the red flag warning expired and the high wind warning expired [Tuesday], conditions remain at borderline critical fire weather condition status," Midcap said.

    Midcap said humidity should return to seasonal levels on Friday.

    San Diego Gas & Electric cut power to more than 10,000 customers throughout the county as a wildfire prevention measure during the red flag warning period.

    While power was restored to the majority of the more than 10,000 San DiegoGas & Electric customers who had their power shut off amid red flag warning conditions, nearly 4,000 customers may still be without electricity Thursday.

    The utility company said they shut off power as a safety precaution. 

    "We are not out of the woods yet," the utility's Twitter account informed customers on Wednesday. "Our meteorology team anticipates winds of 30-45 mph, with isolated gusts of 50-60 mph this morning."

    Communities that remained affected on Thursday were in East County, including Santa Ysabel, Mount Laguna, Pine Hills, East Ramona, Ranchita, Borrego Springs, Palomar Mountain, Dulzura, Campo, Jamul and Cuyamaca.

    Several San Diego County school districts canceled classes Tuesday and Wednesday due to the lack of power and on Thursday one district, Spencer Valley School District in Santa Ysabel, remained closed. 

    During the red flag warning period, which started Sunday and was extended to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, firefighters fought several small brush fires across the county but all remained less than an acre.

    The San Diego Fire Department said a catalytic converter was to blame for two spot fires Tuesday and Wednesday in the same spot along Los Penasquitos Canyon in Carmel Valley.

    fire in Fallbrook briefly threatened nearby structures on Tuesday but was stopped by crews.  

    Firefighters with San Diego Fire-Rescue Department aggressively tackled each wildfire that sparked, sending twice the average crew size, and had the fires out quickly. 

    Crews have been on alert since the beginning of the Santa Ana conditions last week and several agencies, including San Diego Fire-Rescue, have increased staffing levels as a result. 

    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

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    The San Diego Symphony is one step closer to developing a permanent venue for performances featuring a top-notch stage located in a familiar, scenic spot overlooking the bay.

    The project, called “Bayside Performance Park,” includes an outdoor stage in Embarcadero Marina Park South, behind the San Diego Convention Center – the same site where the Symphony has hosted its popular "Bayside Summer Nights" concert series since 2004.

    Through this plan, the stage will become a permanent fixture.

    On Nov. 8, the California Coastal Commission voted to unanimously approve the development. Senator Toni Atkins expressed excitement over the decision on Twitter.

    “This will enrich our city’s cultural experience and further activate an underused space!” Atkins posted on her social media account.

    According to the San Diego Symphony, the estimated cost of the project is $45 million – all of which will be funded by the non-profit organization. So far, the Symphony has raised $6 million and expects to raise the remainder without a problem.

    The Symphony’s vision for Bayside Performance Park is two-fold: to serve as an “acoustically superior stage” for Symphony performances and to become a year-round community gathering space for a wider range of other performances when not in use by the Symphony.

    According to the nonprofit's proposal, the venue will take up about 3.5 acres of the existing nearly-11-acre park space. It would be open to the public during non-event hours, approximately 85 percent of the year.

    The covered stage – set to be designed by SoundForms, a company based in London, England – will boast a technologically-advanced sound system. It’ll include 13,000-square-feet of performance space and a fabric-wrapped shell design acoustically-engineered to minimize the “bleeding” of sound.

    All seating would be temporary, with an adjustable capacity of up to 10,000 seats. When not in use, the lawns surrounding the stage will be clear and open to the public.

    The Symphony estimates that average attendance at Bayside Performance Park would be 3,131 people per event but more could be accommodated, with the maximum capacity of 10,000 seats only utilized up to six times per year.

    The development would also add a new "bay viewing deck" at the back of the stage for public use during non-event hours. Also included in the project: 66 new, permanent restrooms, new lighting, park enhancements and a "reconfigured" parking lot. A public promenade around the venue would be widened by an additional 4 feet and would also be open to the public at all times.

    Currently, the Symphony assembles and disassembles its stage every year for its summer concert series, along with bleachers, seating, ticketing booths, food stands and portable bathrooms. This project would replace all of that in the form what the Symphony refers to as the “park inside the park.”

    The Symphony hopes the stage – with its dramatic, shell-like look – will eventually become a landmark along the famous San Diego waterfront and a plance that the nonprofit can present as a gift to the region.

    On Jan. 9, the Port of San Diego approved several items to advance the project, including approval of a Port Master Plan Amendment (PMPA) and authorization of a binding letter of intent with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.

    Now that the project has been voted on by the Coastal Commission, a media relations representative for the Symphony told NBC 7 that the next step is for the Port to adopt the certified PMPA and amended South Embarcadero Public Access Plan. The Port staff expects to take this to the Port Board for consideration on Dec. 11.

    After that, in early 2019, the Port Board is expected to approve a real estate agreement with the Symphony. Then, in February 2019, the Coastal Commission is expected to approve the final acceptance of the adopted PMPA.

    If all approvals go according to plan, construction of Bayside Performance Park could begin any time after fall 2019.

    To learn more about the Bayside Performance Park proposal, click here.

    The San Diego Symphony performed its first concert in December 1910. Today, the Orchestra performs more than 140 concerts annually, offering a wide range of musical experiences that add to San Diego’s arts culture.

    Photo Credit: Tucker Sadler Architects
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    A rendering of the San Diego Symphony's proposed Bayside Performance Park.A rendering of the San Diego Symphony's proposed Bayside Performance Park.

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    Donovan tends to do things on his own terms.

    The white horse who lives on a Malibu ranch was rescued from a rough life of mistreatment about a dozen years ago in Sacramento, which explains why he's always been leary of humans.

    So, it wasn't a surprise to Wendell Phillips, co-owner of Spunky’s Rescue Ranch, that Donovan didn't budge when flames from the 98,000-acre Woolsey Fire started licking at the Decker Canyon property. Phillips and three other horses had to evacuate without Donovan when the fire, which started in Ventura County before quickly burning into LA County and toward the ocean, got dangerously close.

    "I let the horses go and opened the house up and opened the sanctuary up so everybody would have a chance," Phillips said.

    Phillips left food and water out for Donovan, who remained standing near his usual spot near the fenceline.

    His desperate strategy worked. Donovan was there on the hillside when he returned, his white coat standing out against the charred landscape.

    "He's got a couple little burns on his nose and his tail's a whole lot shorter than it used to be," said Phillips.

    And, there's more good news. During the frantic hours of the evacuation, Phillips said he learned Donovan was going to be adopted.

    As of Thursday morning, the Woolsey Fire had scorched through 98,362 acres and was 57 percent contained. It has destroyed an estimated 504 structures and damaged another 96.

    Three deaths have been reported in connection with the fire.

    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    Donovan the horse is pictured at a rescue ranch in Malibu.Donovan the horse is pictured at a rescue ranch in Malibu.

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    Bust out those skates and get ready to hit the ice: the Rady Children’s Ice Rink returns to Liberty Station this Saturday, offering a chance to ice skate for a great cause.

    The rink opens on Nov. 17 and, while it's one of many ice rinks opening across San Diego County this season, this one stands out because its proceeds will support children fighting cancer.

    Net proceeds will benefit the Thriving After Cancer (TAC) program in the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital.

    TAC and its program coordinators work with children and their families to help link them to services and provide education about healthy lifestyle choices, ensuring the best possible outcome for each child.

    According to Rady Children's Hospital, 75 percent of kids treated for cancer will become long-term survivors.

    Tickets to the rink start at $15 for adults and $13 for children; this price includes a pair of rental skates and a helmet. Discounts are offered for military service members with a military I.D., Rady Children's Hospital employees and groups of 10 people or more. Tickets are good for in-and-out access throughout the day.

    The rink will open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. throughout the holiday season until Jan. 6, 2019. The only days it will be closed will be on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days.

    Rady’s Children Hospital is able to present the ice skating rink with the support from SENTRE Inc., NBC 7 San Diego, the ARTS DISTRICT at Liberty Station and many sponsors. To donate to the Rady Children's Ice Rink, click here.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

    This season's Rady Children's Ice Rink at Liberty Station is open from Nov. 17, 2018, to Jan. 6, 2019.This season's Rady Children's Ice Rink at Liberty Station is open from Nov. 17, 2018, to Jan. 6, 2019.

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    To address an on-going trend of San Diego teens being recruited for drug smuggling, a local group is organizing a meeting to inform parents throughout the county of potential dangers.

    The Institute for Public Strategies (IPS) will host a multi-agency presentation at the Chula Vista Library Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

    “It is vital that we inform our youth that smuggling drugs has dramatic consequences,” said Mary Loeb, a juvenile prosecutor in the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

    Even when teens are caught smuggling drugs at the border, the institute said, their work isn’t over. Drug cartels can use them for recruiting their peers.

    “Just because you are not smuggling drugs does not mean you are not criminally responsible,” said Loeb.

    IPS described the teens who are targeted for smuggling and recruitment as typically socioeconomically disadvantaged or often alone.

    A lifestyle centered on “prestige, partying, and social status” may be a draw for teens, the experts said.

    “Drug cartels are falsely promising easy money and protection, but there is nothing easy or safe about this lifestyle,” said Loeb.

    Assistant U. S. Attorney Sherri Walker Hobson spoke with NBC 7 about this “disturbing trend” she’s seen throughout the county.

    “These kids are 14, 15, 16, 17 years old. They just see the $400 that they’re making. They don’t look at the big picture,” said Hobson.

    Some of the most common places for recruitment are schools, public transit stops, libraries, clubs, and near the border, IPS said.

    Social media and video game chatrooms may also be used to recruit teens, according to the organization.

    The presentation at the Chula Vista Library will include several federal and local law enforcement agencies, IPS said.

    Parents can hear facts, real-life stories, resources, and alternatives to prevent teens from smuggling drugs, according to the organization.

    “We can’t arrest ourselves out of this situation. This is a community problem,” Loeb said.

    In March, three teens were found with hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of fentanyl, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    In May, a former Chula Vista high school senior was charged with recruiting other students to smuggle drugs into the country from Mexico.

    He was caught after he and four other teens were found with meth or fentanyl strapped to their bodies during the previous summer.

    One of the teens told federal agents that he successfully crossed the border with drugs 15 or 20 times, sometimes twice in one day.

    In July, NBC 7 Investigates spoke with one teen who, with two others, was caught smuggling $150,000 worth of drugs.

    “I just wanted to get it because I could go party with it,” said the teen identified as David. “My parents, yeah, they gave me a roof, food, and everything, but they wouldn’t give me money for party.”

    It was reported that David made $2,500 per trip. That was about 10 percent of the drugs' value.

    David said he did it at least 30 times before he was caught.

    In August, a teen was arrested after 11,490 fentanyl pills were found in a car. The teen said he was asked to drive the car by a friend who walked across the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Earlier this month, the U.S. Attorney's Office highlighted South Bay school students as prime recruits for drug cartels.

    Many of these teens, if convicted, would face a decade or more of prison.

    Anyone with information about teen recruitment is asked to call San Diego’s Drug Enforcement Administration at (858) 616-4100.

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    Witness accounts and graphic photos of a Navy SEAL out of control while deployed to Iraq, U.S. Navy prosecutors said in military court at Naval Base San Diego.

    Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher arrived at court Wednesday in his uniform and handcuffs.

    U.S. Navy prosecutors accuse Gallagher of premeditated murder for the stabbing death of an injured ISIS fighter who they estimate was about 15 years old.

    The stabbing happened in Mosul, Iraq in May 2017.

    Gallagher is also charged with aggravated assault for shooting Iraqi civilians. Prosecutors want those charges increased to attempted murder.

    On Wednesday, the Navy outlined its evidence including cell phone photos that show Gallagher holding the severed head of the fighter during a reenlistment ceremony.

    That evidence is considered privileged and was not shown in court because it could be used as propaganda by enemies of US troops.

    The government also said it had a video of the Iraqi fighter before he was killed.

    An NCIS investigator testified about interviews with witnesses to the alleged stabbing death and other possible crimes.

    Gallagher's private defense attorney questioned conflicts in dates and testimony in court and Asked if investigators were able to determine if the ISIS fighter could have died from injuries suffered in an airstrike.

    The defense says Gallagher was turned in by his subordinates because he was too tough on them.

    Gallagher was arrested on Sept. 11 at the Camp Pendleton Intrepid Spirit Center.

    He is also accused of encouraging members of his platoon to stay quiet about what happened in Iraq, the Navy Times' Carl Prine reported. Those conversations allegedly took place in and around San Diego between April and September when he was arrested, he reports.

    Prine reports the NCIS investigation targets several SEALs who deployed to Iraq between 2017 and early 2018 as well as senior enlisted and commissioned leaders in Naval Special Warfare Group 1.

    The Navy SEALs Fund Brotherhood Beyond Battlefield has launched a fundraising campaign for Gallagher who served eight tours of duty with six as an elite special forces operator.

    Gallagher has served 19 years in the U.S. Navy and more than 14 years as a Navy SEAL, his attorney said.

    In 2017, Gallagher was ranked as the top SEAL chief and his platoon was ranked as the top SEAL platoon, the website said. 

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    The White House is looking for ways to remove an enemy of Turkish President Recep Erdogan from the U.S. in order to placate Turkey over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, two senior U.S. officials and two other people briefed on the requests told NBC News

    Trump administration officials last month asked federal law enforcement agencies to examine legal ways of removing exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen in an attempt to persuade Erdogan to ease pressure on the Saudi government, the four sources said. Gulen has been living in Pennsylvania since the late 1990s.

    Career officials at the agencies pushed back on the White House requests, the U.S. officials and people briefed on the requests said. 

    "At first there were eye rolls, but once they realized it was a serious request, the career guys were furious," said a senior U.S. official involved in the process. 

    The FBI and a spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment, as did a lawyer for Gulen. The departments of state, justice and homeland security did not respond to requests for comment.

    Photo Credit: Chris Post/AP, File

    In this July 2016 file photo, Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen speaks to members of the media at his compound, in Saylorsburg, Pa.In this July 2016 file photo, Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen speaks to members of the media at his compound, in Saylorsburg, Pa.

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    Java enthusiasts, we’ve got some buzz for you: a popular coffee company from Northern California is setting up shop in San Diego.

    Blue Bottle Coffee, founded in Oakland, California, will open at the highly-anticipated One Paseo complex in Carmel Valley in spring 2019, Eater San Diego confirmed. The location will feature both indoor and outdoor seating and will also serve as a training lab for baristas who will teach coffee education classes.

    But that’s not the only Blue Bottle coming to town.

    According to Eater, the company will open a second location later next year in downtown San Diego as part of the Tower 180 development on First Street and Broadway.

    The cafés will offer Blue Bottle’s full drinks menu – from espresso creations to News Orleans-style iced coffee – plus pastries and toasts topped with fresh, seasonally-driven ingredients.

    Blue Bottle opened in 2002. Last year, it sold a majority stake to Nestlé but remains independently operated. The company has really picked up steam over the past 16 years, opening dozens of shops across the globe, from the Bay Area to New York and Japan. A location in Seoul, South Korea, is also in the works.

    Photo Credit: Blue Bottle Coffee/Facebook

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    As the first members of the migrant caravan arriving in Tijuana begin the asylum process, we take a look at what you need to know about the thousands of people making the journey to the U.S. through Mexico. 

    What is the migrant caravan? 

    Thousands of migrants have been traveling by foot or by vehicle from Central American countries through Mexico to the U.S.-Mexico border. Small groups who have obtained transportation have arrived in Tijuana ahead of the rest of the caravan. Many say they are fleeing rampant poverty, gang violence and political instability.

    How many will arrive in the Tijuana/San Diego area? 

    Buses and trucks began bringing migrants to the Tijuana area on Sunday, Nov. 12. The numbers of new arrivals each day could be in the hundreds until the majority of the caravan arrives. 

    As of Thursday, it was estimated there were 1,660 migrants in the Tijuana area.

    What's the asylum process? 

    People who fear for their safety in their home country due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a group can request legal protection in the U.S. 

    To be eligible, an individual must apply for asylum within a year of their arrival to the U.S.

    Customs and Border Protection officers say they will process the migrants seeking asylum as space is available in the San Ysidro and Otay Port of Entries. The agency's employees also monitor shipping and trade, stop illegal drug and human smuggling and screen pedestrian and vehicle traffic through one of the busiest land border crossings in the world.

    Under current regulations, an applicant is allowed to stay within the U.S. while the case is pending. People requesting asylum are held in detention centers until they can be interviewed. Then, when they are released to the U.S. and waiting for a court hearing, they are outfitted with ankle monitors. 

    President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 to deny asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally. The plan was immediately challenged in court.

    What are U.S. troops doing along the border? 

    Here is how the U.S. government describes the duties of the thousands of military personnel deployed to the border: "Department of Defense personnel are installing concertina wire, and pre-positioning jersey barriers, barricades, and fencing as requested by CBP under Operation Secure Line."

    Who is helping the migrants? 

    Various religious organizations in Tijuana and San Diego have been preparing for the caravan's arrival. NBC 7 spoke with the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego who suggested donations may be dropped off at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in UTC area, 4321 Eastgate Mall.

    The group organizing the caravan, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, has a crowdfunding website collecting donations.

    Border Angels is providing a way for people interested in donating goods to order items from retail stores and request they be shipped to the organization's San Diego headquarters.

    Photo Credit: Telemundo 20/NBC 7

    A pickup truck carries migrants along the road near Tijuana.A pickup truck carries migrants along the road near Tijuana.

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    Two elite Navy SEALs and two Marine Raiders were charged with felony murder in the June 2017 strangulation death of U.S. Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, NBC News reports.

    The U.S. Navy brought the charges against the four service members on Tuesday, painting a gruesome picture of the effort to kill Melgar, 34.

    The suspects are accused of driving to Marine quarters to obtain duct tape, breaking into Melgar's room while he was sleeping, restraining him with the duct tape, and strangling him in a chokehold. The four U.S. service members, which include two members of the famed SEAL Team Six, killed Melgar "while perpetrating a burglary," according to their charge sheets.

    In addition to felony murder, the charges against the four men include conspiracy, obstruction of justice, hazing and burglary.

    Photo Credit: U.S. Army

    A U.S. Army official photo shows Staff Sgt Logan J. Melgar, the Green Beret who died under suspicious circumstances in Mali in June.A U.S. Army official photo shows Staff Sgt Logan J. Melgar, the Green Beret who died under suspicious circumstances in Mali in June.

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    Five years after bringing swift justice to Gotham-themed San Francisco as Batkid, Miles Scott is enjoying a much more typical life for a 10-year-old boy.

    Back in 2013, the shy youngster and leukemia survivor from Tulelake, California, captivated the Bay Area and beyond, busting criminals in the city by the bay, rescuing the San Francisco Giants mascot and earning a key to the city as part of his day-long Make-A-Wish Foundation experience.

    Scott, now 10 and in the fifth grade, has taken a break from his crime-fighting duties to return to school, play baseball and help out on his family's farm, according to Make-A-Wish, the nonprofit organization that grants dream-come-true wishes to children suffering from critical illnesses. 

    Undoubtedly the best part of Scott's young life is the fact that he's been in remission from leukemia for the last five years, according to Make-A-Wish. He was first diagnosed with the cancer at the age of one.

    While Scott enjoys his normal life nowadays, his life was anything but five years ago Thursday. Donning his Batkid mask, a flowing cape and an all-black superhero ensemble, Scott stymied villains such as the Riddler and the Penguin to the cheers of thousands of people who crowded the streets of San Francisco to partake in the wish.

    Scott's memorable day received the attention of, among others, the San Francisco Chronicle, which transformed its front page to showcase the wish, and even then-President Barack Obama, who delivered a special message via Vine to the crime-fighting boy.

    More than 16,000 people RSVP'd to volunteer to help with the spectacle, according to Make-A-Wish. The number of tweets featuring the hashtags #SFBatkid or #Batkid soared beyond 545,500. The entire phenomenon was said to be discussed in at least 117 countries. 

    Scott's monumental day was so illustrious it inspired a full-length documentary coined "Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World."

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Leukemia survivor Miles, 5, dressed as BatKid, runs the bases as part of a Make-A-Wish foundation fulfillment at AT&T Park November 15, 2013 in San Francisco. The Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area foundation turned the city into Gotham City for Miles by creating a day-long event bringing his wish to be BatKid to life. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)Leukemia survivor Miles, 5, dressed as BatKid, runs the bases as part of a Make-A-Wish foundation fulfillment at AT&T Park November 15, 2013 in San Francisco. The Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area foundation turned the city into Gotham City for Miles by creating a day-long event bringing his wish to be BatKid to life. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

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    Two separate cases involving rape allegations against Kellen Winslow Jr., one from a 2003 incident, were combined and the former NFL player again pleaded not guilty to all charges on Thursday. 

    Winslow, now 35 years old, is charged with forcible rape and rape of an unconscious woman in connection with the assault of an Escondido High School teenager when he was a student at the University of Miami in June 2003, according to prosecutors.

    He is also charged with kidnap, forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and forcible sodomy charges stemming from allegations that he raped or attempted to rape at least four women over the age of 50 over a three-month span, court documents said.

    A judge ruled that the two cases would be consolidated on Thursday with the condition that the two be separated by a trial judge at a later date. 

    The defendant denies the allegations against him and his defense attorney, Harvey A. Steinberg, has said his client looks forward to the day he is vindicated.

    Jane Doe, who testified against Winslow during a preliminary hearing, said the athlete and his friend raped her after a night of partying with friends while a third person recorded the alleged assault with a camera. 

    She recalled yelling, "Stop," but Winslow didn't until he was pulled off of her by the friend.

    "Having a dream of somebody pressing against you and seeing a camera is what it’s like imprinted in my head," she said. 

    Winslow was first arrested on June 7 after a report of a possible burglary in Park Encinitas, a senior community located on North El Camino Real, east of Interstate 5 and north of Encinitas Boulevard.

    At the time, he faced first-degree burglary charges, which have been dropped to misdemeanors.

    He was later accused of sexual assault, kidnapping and sodomy in connection with incidents dating back to March 17, according to court documents. 

    The complaint revealed Winslow had entered the senior community on June 7. Prosecutors said Winslow intended to rape an 86-year-old woman who was sleeping inside her home.  

    The complaint accuses Winslow of attacking a 54-year-old woman and a 59-year-old woman on March 17 and May 13, respectively, in his SUV. 

    One of the women accusing Winslow of rape testified that she was choked and told she would be killed if she screamed.

    He had attempted to rape a 71-year-old woman and burglarized her property on June 1 and had indecently exposed himself in public on May 24, the DA's office said.

    Three of the crimes occurred within a mile to 1.5 miles from Winslow's home, prosecutors established.

    Winslow pleaded not guilty and was initially held without bail based on "clear and convincing" evidence he poses a threat to the community and is considered a flight risk.

    The judge later set bail at $2 million, which was met.

    If convicted on all counts, Winslow could be sentenced to life in prison. 

    Winslow, the son of former San Diego Chargers great Kellen Winslow Sr., grew up in San Diego and graduated from Scripps Ranch High School before playing his college football at the University of Miami. 

    His NFL career started with the Cleveland Browns in 2004 and included stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and New York Jets.

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    A smoldering electric fan caused an elementary school in Paradise Hills to evacuate, a fire official said.

    Students at Paradise Hills Elementary School was evacuated around noon after people reported smelling and seeing smoke on campus, San Diego Unified School District spokeswoman Maureen Magee said.

    There was no fire and students were evacuated as a precaution, she said.

    The school had a scheduled half day Thursday and students were dismissed at the scheduled time, 12:30 p.m. Magee said.

    Investigators determined an electrical problem with the fan caused the smoke, SDFD spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.

    Photo Credit: Google Maps

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    President Donald Trump will travel to California on Saturday to meet with people affected by the state's deadly and historic wildfires, according to the White House.

    Details about locations President Trump will visit were not immediately available.

    The visit was announced as the death toll in the Northern California Camp Fire grew to 56. Hundreds more remain unaccounted for in the most destructive and deadliest wildfire on record in California,which devastated the town of Paradise.

    Nearly 9,000 homes have been destroyed.

    In Southern California, firefighters were taking advantage of calmer wind conditions to increase containment of the 98,000-acre Woolsey Fire. Three deaths were reported in connection with the fire, which began Nov. 8 in Ventura County before burning into Los Angeles County and the Malibu area, destroying at least 500 structures.

    Hundreds of thousands of residents across the state have been forced to evacuate. 

    The visit will be on the heels of Trump's statements about "forest management" in California. As the fire roared through California communities, he tweeted: "There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests."

    But scientists who research fire behavior said forest management did not play a major role. They said both nature, including years of drought and strong Santa Ana wind gusts that can quickly spread flames and embers, and humans share some blame. 

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke joined Gov. Jerry Brown this week on a visit to Paradise. 

    "Now is not the time to point fingers," Zinke said. "There are lots of reasons these catastrophic fires are happening."

    Brown said he spoke with Trump, who promised federal assistance.

    "This is so devastating that I don't really have the words to describe it," Brown said.

    The fires' causes remain under investigation. Both broke out at about the same time and place that two utility companies reported equipment problems.

    Fall is historically one of the most dangerous times of the year for wildfires in California. Seven of the state's 10-most destructive wildfires occurred in October -- many fueled by monster winds, including Santa Ana gusts.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    PARADISE, CA - NOVEMBER 15: An aerial view of a neighborhood destroyed by the Camp Fire on November 15, 2018 in Paradise, California. Fueled by high winds and low humidity the Camp Fire ripped through the town of Paradise charring over 140,000 acres, killing at least 56 people and destroying over 8,500 homes and businesses. The fire is currently at 40 percent containment. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)PARADISE, CA - NOVEMBER 15: An aerial view of a neighborhood destroyed by the Camp Fire on November 15, 2018 in Paradise, California. Fueled by high winds and low humidity the Camp Fire ripped through the town of Paradise charring over 140,000 acres, killing at least 56 people and destroying over 8,500 homes and businesses. The fire is currently at 40 percent containment. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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    A young woman is in grave condition after ramming her car into a rod iron fence in Barrio Logan, causing the vehicle to flip over.

    The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said the 19-year-old was traveling southbound on Harbor Drive at South 32nd Street at around 11:40 p.m. Wednesday when, for unknown reasons, she unsafely maneuvered her Toyota Corolla to the right and plowed into a fence. The car rolled over before coming to a halt.

    Police said the driver, who was alone in her car, was rushed to a local hospital with life-threatening internal injuries. Her name was not released.

    The crash is under investigation but police said the teenager was not driving under the influence. No one else was hurt.

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    The New Jersey couple and a homeless veteran at the center of a long-running $400,000 GoFundMe controversy have been charged with conspiracy and theft by deception for an alleged scheme that "hoodwinked an awful lot of people," authorities said Thursday.

    GoFundMe said immediately after charges were filed that all 14,000 donors to the campaign last year would be refunded in full.

    NBC10 first reported that Johnny Bobbitt Jr. and the South Jersey couple, Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico, would all face criminal charges of conspiracy and theft by deception on Thursday for the GoFundMe campaign that began in 2017.

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    Burlington County, New Jersey, Prosecutor Scott Caffina alleged the three conspired with one another to make up a story and raise more from online donors. The GoFundMe campaign garnered national headlines and news segments, eventually raising more than $400,000.

    Authorities believe the three met at least a month before the campaign was launched, possibly on one of many trips McClure and D'Amico made to SugarHouse Casino.

    Bobbitt was homeless and often stayed near an Interstate 95 off-ramp near the casino.

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    Caffina said that, within hours of the three launching the campaign on the GoFundMe website last November, McClure texted a friend that the majority of the story was fabricated.

    "Ok, so wait. The gas part is completely made up. The guy isn't," McClure allegedly texted the friend after the campaign went live Nov. 10 with a photo of a smiling McClure and Bobbitt.

    "So shush about the made up stuff," she added, according to Caffina.

    D'Amico and McClure turned themselves in Wednesday to Burlington County prosecutors, the source said. On Thursday, James Gerrow, another attorney for McClure, released a statement on her behalf.

    “I’m confident that in the end the evidence will reveal that Kate had only the best intentions," Gerrow said. "She was used by Mr. D’Amico and Mr Bobbitt and she thought throughout that this money was going to a homeless veteran. She was unaware that they had concocted this scheme. It wasn’t until September when meeting with prosecutors that she came to realize that she had been used by both of them.”

    The backbone of the story was that Bobbitt used $20 to help McClure get gas when her car ran out on I-95 at the Girard Avenue exit. McClure and D'Amico then launched a GoFundMe page to supposedly raise money for Bobbitt, and the page brought in over $400,000 from 14,000 contributors.

    At first, the account led to appearances for Bobbitt and McClure on national TV programs. But it turned into a dispute over the money.

    Bobbitt accused the couple of dipping into the funds and using them as a "personal piggy bank" to bankroll a lifestyle they couldn't afford.

    Bobbitt later sued the couple over mismanagement of the funds and a judge ordered sworn statements to determine what happened to the cash, which Bobbitt's attorney, Chris Fallon, said had disappeared.

    The couple denied any wrongdoing and accused Bobbitt of spending $25,000 in less than two weeks last year on drugs as well as paying for overdue legal bills and sending money to family.

    The couple's lawyer, Ernest Badway, later said Bobbitt had gotten about $200,000. But Fallon said his client had received only about $75,000.

    The couple also bought Bobbitt a camper with some of the cash and parked it on land McClure's family owns in New Jersey. But Bobbitt became homeless again after D'Amico told him in June that he had to leave the property.

    In September, police raided the couple's home in Florence, New Jersey, hauling away a new BMW on a flatbed truck. Badway said that all the couple's personal and business financial statements, along with jewelry and cash, were seized in the raid.

    At that point, officials said the couple was under investigation, though no charges had been filed.

    D'Amico was arrested in September in Burlington County on an unrelated $500 warrant for an October 2017 traffic stop, according to officials. At the time, he was driving on a suspended license and also had a broken tail light. He also failed to appear in court on two separate occassions, according to court records.

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    Photo Credit: Burlington County Prosecutor's Office
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    Pictured left to right: Mark D'Amico, Johnny Bobbitt, Jr., and Kate McClurePictured left to right: Mark D'Amico, Johnny Bobbitt, Jr., and Kate McClure

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    A dog trapped in a Chula Vista storm drain for several days was rescued Thursday.

    Sammy, a small dog that appeared to be a Pomeranian mix, had been missing from his home in Eastlake since Monday, his owners said.

    They thought he was in the storm drain and looked for him until they could pinpoint his exact location.

    Then, they called the Chula Vista Fire Department for help. 

    Firefighters brought out their heavy equipment to North Creekside Drive and pinpointed the location of Sammy through his barks.

    They found the dog inside an 18-inch pipe underground. 

    "The dog was healthy. He was a little bit scared," said Battalion Chief Sean Lowery.

    The rescuers were able to push Sammy through the pipe to a secondary point in order to get the dog to the surface, he said. 

    “The owners were ecstatic,” he added. 

    Chula Vista police were also called to help with traffic control. 

    The crew is specifically trained to access something in a confined space.

    The neighborhood is located south of Otay Lakes Road and east of Hunte Parkway. 

    No other information was available.

    Photo Credit: Chula Vista Fire IAFF Local 2180 Instagram
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    An image taken from the Chula Vista Fire IAFF Local 2180 Instagram feed.An image taken from the Chula Vista Fire IAFF Local 2180 Instagram feed.

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    A natural gas leak Thursday morning in Escondido forced two businesses to evacuate and rerouted traffic to a local hospital, police said.

    The leak was discovered around 10 a.m. in the 2400 block of Auto Parkway and Citracado Parkway near Palomar Medical Center Escondido, Escondido Fire Department spokesman Jeff Murdock said.

    The leak was caused by a gas line break and San Diego Gas and Electric crews were working on repairing the break, he said.

    Crews were able to stop the leak about an hour after the break, he said.

    Traffic was rerouted around the area while gas was actively flowing from the break but one lane of traffic has been reopened he said.

    Two nearby businesses were evacuated and traffic to Palomar Medical Center Escondido was rerouted, Escondido police Sgt. Mike Graesser said.

    Repairs are estimated to last around four years, Murdock said.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

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    San Diego police officers descended on a neighborhood in La Jolla Thursday after a man allegedly attacked a woman with a pickaxe.

    San Diego Police Department (SDPD) officer Billy Hernandez said the alleged domestic violence incident happened at a home in the 2500 block of Ellentown Drive. Throughout the 11 a.m. hour, officers could be seen surrounding the home, trying to contact the suspect.

    Hernandez said, at this point, the status of the suspect and victim's relationship is unclear. The woman declined medical help.

    As of 12:10 p.m., Hernandez said officers remained at the scene waiting for the suspect to surrender.

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

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

    NBC 7 News Chopper captured this aerial view of the police activity in the La Jolla neighborhood.NBC 7 News Chopper captured this aerial view of the police activity in the La Jolla neighborhood.

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    President Donald Trump’s support has put Congress within reach of passing the most sweeping set of changes to the federal criminal justice system since the 1990s, when fear of crime drove the enactment of draconian sentencing practices that shipped hundreds of thousands of drug offenders to prison.

    This is no small feat. Reformers have been trying to get this done for years, but something always got in the way: partisan bickering, election-year politics, ambushes by opponents. Amid Washington gridlock, the First Step Act stands out.

    The measure, which could go to a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress between now and January, contains several changes to the way the federal government treats drug offenders, both those who are in prison now and those who will face a judge in the future, NBC News reports.

    Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

    U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Paul Cell, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, during a signing ceremony for H. R. 5682, First Step Act, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Paul Cell, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, during a signing ceremony for H. R. 5682, First Step Act, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.

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