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    One person is dead after a crash with a downed tree in San Marcos, the San Diego Sheriff's Department said. 

    The deadly crash happened near the intersection of N. Twin Oaks Valley and E. La Cienega roads at about 5:30 a.m. 

    It was not clear if the tree landed on the vehicle or if the car crashed into the downed tree. 

    The person was declared dead at the scene. No one else was inside the vehicle. 

    A stretch of N Twin Oaks Valley Road between E. La Cienega Road and Del Roy Drive was shut down in both directions and deputies and crews with the San Marcos Fire Department worked to remove the tree and vehicle from the roadway. 

    No other information was available.

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

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    NBC Bay Area has learned that authorities investigating the deadly Camp Fire have tied its origin to the failure of a single steel hook that held up a high voltage line on a nearly 100-year-old PG&E transmission tower.

    The fire began at the base of a transposition tower, which serves to redistribute the electricity on the system to balance the load and assure safety. The tower has two arms holding out the “jumper,” a part of the line that’s being shifted to another point at the top of the tower.

    The arms each hold electrical insulators, which resemble a series of white discs. Authorities believe the fire started with the fracturing of a steel hook that holds up the insulators to the arms above. It is one of those hooks, sources with knowledge of the investigation say, that failed in high winds the morning of Nov. 8.

    “PG&E failed to maintain the tower, and they have an obligation to do that -- and it means they are liable for this disaster,’’ said attorney Dario de Ghetaldi, who is suing the utility over the fire.

    Cal Fire would not comment for this story, citing the ongoing investigation. PG&E would not address our information on the apparent cause, instead sending us a statement saying, “The cause of the Camp Fire is still under investigation. We continue to focus on assessing infrastructure, safely restoring power where possible and helping our customers recover and rebuild.”

    But Frank Pitre, another attorney who has sued over both wildfires and the San Bruno gas explosion, worries the hook failure is just more evidence that PG&E is simply not able to deal with the risk posed by its system.

    “That’s a red flag,” he said, a warning that parts of the system could fail due to corrosion and fatigue from decades of service.

    “You have to a have a rigorous system of inspection, particularly when you have systems that are 50 years old or more. You can’t just visually inspect these things.’’

    De Ghetaldi says PG&E should have done those detailed inspections after 2012, when five towers collapsed during a winter wind storm. “They should have taken a serious look at the entire circuit,” he said, “after those five towers collapsed in 2012, and it appears they didn’t do that. That’s a big problem for PG&E. And it’s a big problem for the people who were killed, who were made homeless, and who were harmed in many ways.”

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    A hooded man with a bandana over his face entered a Lemon Grove fast food joint on Wednesday afternoon and robbed the restaurant at gunpoint, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said. 

    The man pointed a black pistol at customers and employees and demanded cash after he barged into the Jack in the Box on the corner of Broadway and Kempf Street at about 2 p.m., SDSO said. 

    He jumped over the county and took money from the cash register before running out of the fast food restaurant. It was not clear how much money was taken from the business. 

    He then hopped into a cream-colored sedan with tinted black windows and took off southbound on Lemon Grove Avenue. 

    The man wore several layers that concealed his identity. He had a baseball cap and a hood covering his head and wore a black and white bandana over his face, according to SDSO. The suspect was also wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and a red flannel. 

    A $1,000 reward is being offered for tips that lead to an arrest. SDSO asked tipsters to call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

    No other information was available.

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

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    Moments after a Michigan man made the heart-wrenching decision to take his wife off life support, she started breathing on her own.

    Michele De Leeuw, 57, was rendered nearly brain dead by a heart attack in August while at home with her husband. Days later, one of her doctors told her husband, Karl De Leeuw, that, "the woman that you know as your wife is not there anymore," he said.

    Less than four months later, she's made an almost full recovery, NBC News reported.

    Photo Credit: Courtesy: Myles De Leeuw

    Michele De Leeuw recovers in the hospital, with her friend by her side.Michele De Leeuw recovers in the hospital, with her friend by her side.

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    A man is in grave condition after being attacked near a freeway bridge in San Diego’s Midway District, police confirmed.

    At around 5 p.m. Wednesday, officers with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) were called to 3900 Rosecrans Street – near the Interstate 5 overpass – to investigate reports of an assault.

    There, police discovered a 57-year-old man suffering from trauma to his upper body. SDPD Lt. Anthony Dupree said the man was taken to a local hospital but is not expected to survive his injuries.

    Dupree said a witness told police that the victim had been on the ground when an unknown man began to hit him with some sort of object. The attacker fled the area before police arrived.

    Investigators cordoned the area near the bridge. Apparent blood splatters could be seen on a concrete wall as officers placed evidence markers around the scene of the violent attack.

    The suspect was described by police as a man in his 20s wearing a yellow poncho and blue jeans. As of 8:45 a.m. Thursday, he remained at large.

    Given the victim’s dire prognosis, homicide investigators are handling the case. The victim’s name has not yet been released. Anyone with information on this attack can reach out to police at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

    The scene of the attack in the Midway District on Dec. 5, 2018.The scene of the attack in the Midway District on Dec. 5, 2018.

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  • 12/06/18--12:07: Get NBC 7 San Diego on Roku

  • NBC 7 is now available on Roku. Similar to the previously launched NBC 7 Apple TV app, our new Roku app lets you browse current news videos, get the most up-to-date forecast from First Alert 7 and watch our top stories on your TV whenever you want. 

    The app refreshes with new videos throughout the day, giving you access to the latest local story highlights, breaking news, weather and consumer investigative reporting from our award-winning journalists.

    You can download the NBC 7 app from the Roku Channel Store and stream on-demand content on your Roku TV or a Roku streaming player for free. 

    Simply search for "NBC 7" in the Roku app using your remote and the on-screen keyboard.

    For those looking to get their news in Spanish, the Telemundo 20 San Diego Roku app is also available in the Roku Channel Store. 

    We hope you enjoy our new app. Please rate it in the Channel Store and send us your feedback.  Your comments will help us improve the app experience.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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  • 12/06/18--11:16: Sports Arena Gets a New Name

  • What's in a name? A lot, apparently.

    As San Diego music fans get used to working North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre into their vocabulary (the Chula Vista venue previously known as Mattress Firm, Sleep Train, Cricket, and Coors Amphitheatre), here's yet another name change for locals to grapple with: On Tuesday, Dec. 4, the San Diego City Council and Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer approved a new naming rights and sponsorship agreement for the Sports Arena venue that officially changes its name from Valley View Casino Center to Pechanga Arena San Diego.

    In documents filed with the city, the San Diego Sports Arena -- which opened in 1966 and is currently operated by AEG Management SD, LLC (AMSD) -- entered into a new $400,000-per-year naming rights agreement with Pechanga Development Corporation (d/b/a Pechanga Resort and Casino), effective from Nov. 6, 2018 to May 31, 2020 (and at which point, if AMSD renews their Sports Arena operating sublease, will automatically be extended to May 31, 2023).

    City of San Diego Supervising Public Information Officer Arian Collins described the new sponsorship agreement as a win for America's Finest City.

    "As part of the agreement, the City will receive approximately $40,000 in annual revenue for its General Fund to help pay for police, fire, park, libraries and other City services," Collins told SoundDiego.

    The Midway District venue's previous naming rights agreement with San Pasqual Casino Development Group, Inc. (a wholly-owned entity of the San Pascual Band of Mission Indians) -- which led to the "Valley View Casino Center" branding in October of 2010 -- officially expired on Nov. 30.

    Aside from San Diego Gulls, San Diego Seals and San Diego Sockers games, there are currently quite a few blockbuster concerts on the docket for the newly named venue:


    • Dec. 14: 91x's Wrex the Halls with Death Cab for Cutie, Third Eye Blind and more.
    • Dec. 29-31: LED Presents OMFG NYE 2019 with Kaskade, Illenium, Porter Robinson and others
    • Jan. 9, 2019: Disturbed
    • Jan. 29, 2019: Elton John
    • Jan. 30, 2019: A$AP Rocky
    • Feb. 7, 2019: Marc Anthony
    • Feb. 10, 2019: 2CELLOS
    • Feb. 16, 2019: Panic! At the Disco
    • Feb. 21, 2019: Justin Timberlake
    • March 5, 2019: Muse
    • March 7, 2019: YG
    • March 31, 2019: Michael Buble
    • April 6, 2019: 5th Annual San Diego Soul Music Festival featuring Maze, Keith Sweat, and more
    • July 8, 2019: Shawn Mendes
    • July 16, 2019: Hugh Jackman
    • Sept. 10, 2019: Carrie Underwood

    Photo Credit: Alex Matthews

    Valley View Casino Center has officially been renamed Pechanga Arena San Diego (Muse shown here performing at the venue in 2016).Valley View Casino Center has officially been renamed Pechanga Arena San Diego (Muse shown here performing at the venue in 2016).

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    Scripps Ranch High School was placed on lockdown Thursday afternoon due to an investigation into a bomb threat, according to the San Diego Unified School District.

    SDUSD police were investigating the threat with the assistance of the San Diego Police Department, a district spokesperson said.

    It was not clear if the threat was believed to be credible. 

    No other information was available.

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

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    There's nothing quite like twinkling holiday lights to make you feel the spirit of the season. In San Diego County, there are many neighborhoods that go all out for the holidays, creating dazzling displays for all to enjoy. Here's a look at a few of those must-see neighborhoods.

    Belardo Lights
    "Belardo Lights," tucked in Tierrasanta at 5306 Belardo Dr., between Camino Playa Catalina and Callejon Quintana, boasts a dazzling computerized Christmas lights display. This year, the lights are up through Dec. 27, from 6 p.m. 10 p.m. nightly, synchronized to festive music played on 106.1FM. This display, running since 2006, is hosted by Randy Schimka. It was inspired by his son, Brandon, who has Autism and, as a youngster, was very interested in the lights and decorations around the neighborhood. The father and son duo work on the lights display together year after year.

    Jingle Bell Hill
    El Cajon
    "Jingle Bell Hill," also known as "Pepper Drive Lights," features dozens of homes decked out for the holidays. This El Cajon neighborhood is nestled off State Route 67 and Pepper Drive and can be accessed from two areas: Pepper and Rockview drives (west entrance) or Pepper and Lindenwood drives (east entrance). If you can't physically make it to Jingle Bell Hill this year, here's the next best thing: a livestream of the neighborhood lights can be seen here. 

    Tinsel Town
    Located just off State Route 67 at 10248 Paseo Palmas Dr., Lakeside's "Tinsel Town" will be going strong this year with lights galore. Stars and strings of lights connect the rooftops of this neighborhood to one another making this little community quite unified. The lights are on from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly.

    Starlight Circle
    In Santee, this massive lights display known as “Starlight Circle” draws crowds year after year. Located on East and West Glendon circles off Magnolia Avenue, visitors can see elaborate, handmade Christmas displays spanning dozens of homes. Many of the displays follow a theme – from “Star Wars” and superheroes to “Toy Story” and “Sesame Street.” Sometimes, the residents will sell hot cocoa, kettle corn, cookies and other holiday treats, for visitors to enjoy as they stroll the neighborhood. The lights are usually on from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly.

    DB Christmas
    Roe Drive in Santee
    Also in Santee is “DB Christmas,” a dazzling display created by Michael Balazs each year at his home at 9773 Roe Dr. The lights – in honor of Balazs’ late father, who died from cancer in 2009 – include thousands of multi-colored strings, spiraling Christmas trees, lawn displays that read “HOPE” and “CURE,” and even holograms of Santa Claus projected on the windows of the home. Balazs’ display is synced to holiday music played on 98.5FM; he collects donations from spectators to support charities such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on behalf of his father. Balazs said he gets his holiday cheer from his dad, who loved Christmas. These lights are on nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

    Christmas Card Lane
    Rancho Penasquitos
    A San Diego favorite, Christmas Card Lane in Rancho Penasquitos typically runs nightly from dusk to 10 p.m., through New Year’s Eve. The holiday lights can be seen lining homes on Ellingham, Oviedo and Renato streets off Black Mountain Road. This is a neighborhood where you’ll want to take your time admiring the lights.


    Candy Cane Lane
    Boasting lights aplenty, this jolly display in Poway runs down part of Stoutwood Street, near Brookstone Drive. Some homeowners set up bonfires and little stands on their driveways selling hot cocoa, cookies and popcorn as visitors stroll through the area.

    Christmas Circle
    Chula Vista
    Over in the South Bay, the must-see holiday attraction is Christmas Circle. For six decades, residents on Whitney and Manakato streets, between First and Second avenues and south of H Street, have decked out their homes in bright lights and pretty decorations. The free displays are powered up nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and usually stay put until a day or two after Christmas.

    Fairway Village
    Carmel Mountain Ranch
    Each year, Carmel Mountain Ranch also spreads holiday magic of its own via Fairway Village, a neighborhood located on the east and west sides of Stoney Gate Place. There, around 80 homes are decked out in Christmas lights through New Year's Day. Visitors will sometimes find residents playing holiday movies outside, carolers and dancers. On the Saturday evening before Christmas, this neighborhood typically holds a block party featuring hot chocolate, cider, music, lights, cookies, snacks and more. Santa has also been known to make an appearance -- depending on the workload at the North Pole, of course.

    Christmas on Knob Hill
    San Marcos
    This display, located at 1639 Knob Hill Rd. in San Marcos, has been lighting up the North County neighborhood since 1988. Over the decades, it has grown to more than 85,000 lights, powered up nightly through Dec. 30 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors will also see 100 plastic holiday figures, 80 snowmen and 100 candy canes, to name a few of the bells and whistles. Santa Claus visits Knob Hill each year and, this season, he’ll be there from Dec. 14 through Dec. 23, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., listening to Christmas wishes and spreading cheer.

    The Forward House
    Bankers Hill
    Built in 1905 for Mayor John Forward Sr., The Forward House in Bankers Hill houses a business called American Security Mortgage Company. Each holiday season, the large home located at First Avenue and Ivy Street turns into a Christmas bonanza, decked out in endless lights and decorations. The magic shines through New Year’s Eve.

    Garrison Street Lights
    Point Loma
    Over in Point Loma, off Rosecrans and Garrison streets, locals will find the Garrison Street Lights display. Filling a block with festive décor, the display typically runs nightly through New Year’s Eve.

    There you have it: a small sampling of some holiday displays lighting up San Diego County this season. Did your favorite festive neighborhood make the list? Share details of your favorite spots for these types of displays in the comments thread below. Happy Holidays!

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

    Starlight Circle in Santee.Starlight Circle in Santee.

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    Police have given the all-clear after a phoned in bomb threat forced the evacuation of CNN's offices in New York.

    Police said a man with a southern accent called CNN about 10 p.m. Thursday and said five bombs had been placed throughout the facility inside the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle. The NYPD asked the public to avoid area. 

    Security officers evacuated the building as a precaution and called police. A preliminary search by in-house security did not turn up anything, but the NYPD was searching as a precaution. 

    No evidence of any device was found, police said. The all clear was given just before midnight. 

    The threat came less than an hour after Trump tweeted about "FAKE NEWS," which he has often labeled CNN.

    "FAKE NEWS - THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE," Trump tweeted just after 10 p.m.

    The cable news network had to air taped programming as the facility was evacuated, on-air personnel including Don Lemon and Brian Stelter tweeted.  

    The timing wasn't lost on many. One person noted on Twitter, "A CNN building was just evacuated because of a bomb threat not even half an hour after Trump calls the media the enemy of the people again." 

    "Trump tweets 'FAKE NEWS - THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!' Now the CNN building is being evacuated and taped programming is airing," said another. 

    It's not clear, however, whether the unsubstantiated phone threat was aimed at CNN in particular. 

    CNN host Chris Cuomo tweeted that everyone was "fine" after being ordered to leave the building: "Thanks for all the well-wishing, but even more so for not making stupid jokes empowering such a threat. People will re-enter ASAP. Onward." 

    In October, the building was partially evacuated after a suspicious package containing a crude pipe bomb was delivered to the company.

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

    After the building was determined safe, NYPD officers walk from the area of Time Warner Center in New York Thursday night after a bomb threat was called into the building and occupants were evacuated, including CNN employees.After the building was determined safe, NYPD officers walk from the area of Time Warner Center in New York Thursday night after a bomb threat was called into the building and occupants were evacuated, including CNN employees.

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    Elisa Scanlan had her eye on a stately 14-foot Nordman fir at the Pinery Christmas Trees lot in Del Mar.

    “My husband is 6-foot-8, so he likes a big tree,” Scanlan said. “This one is pretty big.”

    Scanlan and Christmas tree shoppers throughout the county will also pay a higher price this year for the tree of their choice at independent retailers

    “It’s not like the prices jumped $30 in one year, but they have definitely increased,” said Mike Osborne, co-owner of Pinery Trees and a second-generation industry veteran.

    Osborne said his premium, high-quality Christmas trees, 6- to 7-feet tall, are selling for about $95 to $130 this season. That’s approximately a 30 percent price increase compared to four years ago.

    Owners of the Mr. Jingles Christmas Tree lots also said the price they pay for trees has skyrocketed this year and selection is limited especially with taller trees.

    Osborne of Pinery Trees cited the high cost of farm labor in the Pacific Northwest as one reason for the price hikes.

    He also said fewer seedlings are surviving the increasingly hot summer temperatures in growing areas where some tree farmers can lose 30-50 percent of their crops to the wilting heat.

    It also takes six to 10 years to grow a mature Noble or Nordman fir tree. Osborne said some farmers are switching to more profitable crops, such as hazelnuts and grapes, that can be harvested more often.

    He sees a dim future for some popular species of Christmas trees, including the Nordman and Grand firs.

    “They’re going to be all but extinct in the next couple of years,” Osborne said.

    In general, Osborne said Christmas tree prices will continue to climb while the supply of taller trees continues to shrink.

    But he has some reassuring words for Scanlan and other shoppers who can’t imagine Christmas without a fresh, beautiful, high-quality tree.

    “You’re always going to see live Christmas trees,” Osborne said.

    For those who don’t want to, or can’t afford a high-quality tree, some big-box retailers still sell 6- to 7-foot trees for about $50. But Osborne cautions that those trees are of considerably lesser quality.

    Artificial trees are also an option. For example, Costco sells a 9-foot artificial “pre-lit” tree for $450.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    Sabine Weber-Ford’s wish for the holidays last year was to spend time with her mom and step-dad who live in Germany. 

    Weber-Ford bought two tickets on German airline Lufthansa for just under $4,000 in September 2017. 

    On Dec. 3, 2017, two weeks before the flight, Weber-Ford got some bad news. 

    “My mom called me and said she has an immune deficiency disorder,” she said. “The medication she was prescribed attacked her bones and she had broken bones in her back. She needed surgery. I was sad for a number of reasons. We were all so excited for them to come.” 

    That day Weber-Ford called Lufthansa to cancel the flight. 

    She said a Lufthansa employee told her that she had two options, reschedule the flight for a later date or have her mom’s doctor write a note in order to be issued a refund. 

    “At that point, I didn’t know if my mom would ever be able to fly again so I decided for the refund," Weber-Ford said. "It was a lot of money.” 

    Weber-Ford’s mom sent her the note from the doctor. A day later Weber-Ford received a call from Lufthansa. 

    “The agent told me that the tickets were non-refundable,” she said. “We were floored. We were absolutely floored.” 

    Weber-Ford’s mom sent a complaint to Germany’s consumer protection office. Here in the U.S., Weber-Ford called Lufthansa repeatedly in hopes of speaking to a supervisor. 

    "There was never a chance to talk to someone higher up,” she said. “It was always just the agents at the call center, no other options.”

    Weber-Ford didn't know where else to turn. 

    “We were at our wit’s end, watching NBC News one night and there (NBC 7 Responds) was,” she said. 

    Weber-Ford went on to NBC 7 Responds website and left a message as well as uploaded documentation. 

    On a Saturday morning, three weeks later, Weber-Ford got the news she had been hoping for. 

    “I was sitting on my couch one weekend,” she said.”I was looking at my credit card account and there was the refund. We had totally lost hope until that day.”

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    Flooding forced the evacuation of residents at the Alpha Project’s homeless shelter in the East Village Thursday.

    The Alpha Project said the flooding caused significant damage. Buses came to the shelter to pick up residents and relocate them, but the Alpha Project wasn’t sure where they were going to be taken.

    The Red Cross later confirmed it was opening a shelter in National City for evacuees. That shelter is located Paradise Valley Seventh Day Adventist Church at 2701 East 8th Street.

    A resident told NBC 7 that all of his clothes and personal items he had inside were lost. He said all he had now were the clothes on his back.

    “I served two years in the Army. I’m a vet. I’m strong. That’s the way I was trained. I will move on from this," he said.

    For more information on Thursday's storm, click here.

    No other information was available.

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

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    Two people needed to be rescued from a boat by the U.S. Coast Guard off the coast of Oceanside on Thursday because of rough seas from the latest storm, the agency said.

    The Coast Guard received a distress call from the crew of the 35-foot sailing boat, Julia B Lewis, which was about 30 miles off Oceanside's coast, around 5 p.m. Wednesday.

    "There was nothing mechanically wrong with the vessel," Coast Guard fireman Taylor Bacon said. "A mix of rough seas and wind made it very for the vessel to navigate."

    There were three people on board and two — an 80-year-old man and a 25-year-old man — were experiencing seasickness, the Coast Guard said.

    The elderly man had also sustained a head injury but was stable, according to the agency.

    Coast Guard Cutter Halibut arrived on scene around 8:15 p.m. and attempted to rescue the stranded mariners off the disabled boat but was unsuccessful because of the rough seas and weather, the agency said.

    The Halibut's remained on the scene overnight to attempt to tow the boat to shore once the weather permitted.

    The 80-year-old man's condition worsened overnight and the 25-year-old man was exhibiting symptoms of dehydration so the Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter around 8:15 a.m. to get the men to shore.

    The men were medevac to Coast Guard headquarters in downtown San Diego and transported to Balboa Naval Medical Center. They were reported to be stable.

    The third person, a 54-year-old man, remained on the boat, which is scheduled to be towed to Avalon Harbor in Catalina Island.

    Photo Credit: Coast Guard Fireman Taylor Bacon

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    The holidays are a time for cheer and this year the 41st annual Balboa Park December Nights will kick off the season. 

    The free celebration is Friday, Dec. 7 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 8 from noon to 11 p.m.

    It's Balboa Park's biggest event of the year. vendors, and performances by dancers, musicians and actors, December Nights will be a full-sensory experience. Each little nook of Balboa Park will offer something fun to do.

    "Santa is going to be here in seven locations around the park," said John Bolthouse, Executive Director of Friends of Balboa Park. "There's going to be traditional music from around the world, conveying how other cultures celebrate the holidays." 

    This year, decorations will be set up to celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa as well. 

    Beloved traditions, such as the International Christmas Festival at the House of Pacific Relations Cottages, as well as presentations from the San Diego Junior Theatre and the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, are a couple of highlights.

    A favorite for the kids is the historic Balboa Park Carousel, which will be decorated. Tickets are $3 a person. 

    The carousel has been in Balboa Park since 1922 and is the fastest carousel in the United States: while most only go 7 miles per hour, this one goes 13 miles per hour. 

    "You'll be able to ride a giraffe, or horse, or tiger as they go around the carousel dressed in holiday garb," added Bolthouse. 

    In 2017, the Friends of Balboa Park purchased the historic carousel.  As its new owner and operator, they will ensure that it remains an historic park landmark for many more years to come.

    December Nights started in 1978 as part of "Christmas on the Prado" in Balboa Park, a small holiday celebration put together by a dozen institutions along El Prado. The crowds and event grew over the decades and, in 2002, it was renamed December Nights.

    Each year, it signals the start of the festive season in San Diego, drawing families from all over the county to the heart of the city. It continues to be the largest free community event in San Diego. For more information on December Nights 2018, visit the event website.

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    Another storm swept San Diego County Thursday, just one week after the county's first major storm of the season. Here's a look at that rain around San Diego.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

    Some trails in the South Bay were closed due to the rain.Some trails in the South Bay were closed due to the rain.

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    Multiple rescues were underway on Coast Highway in Oceanside as pooling rainwater grew into a small, sidewalk-to-sidewalk river stretching several blocks and stopped cars in their tracks.

    A small car first became disabled in the middle an intersection, but that didn't stop other drivers from trying to make it through.

    Another car was seen near the side of the street and a crew with a life raft was helping the driver to safety. A low-sitting Corvette was also seen stopped in the roadway for several minutes.

    The pool nearly swallowed a Volkswagen coupe. At one point, water was up to its door handles, CHP officers at the scene said.

    The cars remained where they were stopped, hazard lights flashing, waiting for the flooding to subside or a tow truck to take them away.


    At one point, an SUV towing a surfer riding in the wake cruised down the road.

    The city of Oceanside said the following roads were closed:

    • Vista Way at Coast Highway
    • Cassidy at Coast Highway
    • Vista Way and Valley Glen
    • College and Vista Way
    • Calle Montecito

    Flooding was reported in several other areas of the county. At around 5:15 p.m. the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning until 8:30 p.m. and said locations likely to flood include Chula Vista, El Cajon, National City, La Mesa, Poway, Imperial Beach, Ramona, Coronado, Alpine, and Mission Valley.

    According to the CHP, the following highways experienced flooding but were not closed:

    • State Route 94 at 30th Street in Golden Hill
    • I-15/SR-94 interchange in South Park
    • 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-15 in South Park
    • Westbound SR-78 at Melrose Way in Vista
    • Westbound SR-78 at the I-15 connector in Oceanside
    • Hacienda Drive at La Tortuga Drive in Vista

    The Sheriff's  Department said both directions of State Route 94 in Rancho Jamul were closed.


    At the intersection of 19th Street and Commercial Avenue in Logan Heights, three cars were submerged in water and two dirvers had to be rescued by firefighters.

    A driver also had to be rescued from her inundated car in Lemon Grove.

    The city of Coronado said 1st Street and A Avenue was flooded, and said the intersection of Pomona Avenue, 10th Street and Glorietta was not closed but should be avoided.

    Carlsbad police closed lanes of eastbound Carlsbad Village from Harding Street to I-5, and shut down Marron Road and Jefferson Street.


    The city of San Marcos said Via Vera Cruz and Discovery Street were closed due to flooding, as well as Bent Avenue at San Marcos Boulevard and Discovery Street. Click here for closure updates in San Marcos.

    In Alpine, the Via Viejas Dip was closed between Nido Aguila and Palo Danzanta, the county Department of Public Works said.

    The city of Chula Vista warned drivers of extreme flooding on Bonita Road west of I-805, Main Street west of Melrose, and the intersection of Main Street and Third Avenue.

    Flooding was also reported in Vista and Fallbrook.

    The MTS said flooding forced the closure of the Fashion Valley and Plaza Bonita stations.

    Check out NBC 7's live traffic map to see what highways you should avoid.

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

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    An annual toy drive kicks off Friday with drop-off sites opening across San Diego County including the studios of NBC 7 and Telemundo 20. 

    The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program was founded in California in 1947. The first toy donated was a handmade doll. 

    Over the years, the organization has donated 548 million toys to 251 million children. 

    This Friday, the bins will be empty and in need of new toys for this year's toy drive.

    From 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 will help collect new and unwrapped toys in the Walmart parking lot located at 3382 Murphy Canyon Road.

    If you want to participate, please make sure you are not donating a realistic looking toy weapon or food item as those are not accepted. 

    Also, if you can, consider donating a toy or item for a pre-teen or teenager as they are groups in need of donated items. Some ideas for this age group range from hand-held electronics to board games, bath gift sets, backpacks, sporting equipment or hair dryers/straighteners.

    For a full list of drop locations throughout the county click here.

    If you're interested in helping but aren't interested in doing the shopping, you can also donate online.

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    White House chief of staff John Kelly's long-expected departure will occur in the days ahead, four sources tell NBC News.

    His tenure has been marred by controversy since he became chief of staff in the summer of last year, amid reports of tension with the president and West Wing staff.

    Reports of recent clashes with first lady Melania Trump made his already tenuous position only more so.

    Among the leading candidates to replace him is Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers.

    Photo Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images, File

    This Oct. 11, 2018, file photo shows White House chief of staff John Kelly in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.This Oct. 11, 2018, file photo shows White House chief of staff John Kelly in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.

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    A distraught mom has sent a letter to Amazon pleading with the company to help stop the bullying she says her 6-year-old daughter has experienced from sharing the same name with its virtual assistant device Alexa.

    “Mr. Bezos, I write to you as a father and human being rather than the CEO of Amazon,” she said. “We are not asking for wealth or recognition from this request. We just want to correct an error we believe was a giant mistake.”

    The Lynn, Massachusetts, woman, who wanted to be known by her first name Lauren to protect her child's identity, wrote to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos last week after saying she witnessed her 6-year-old daughter being bullied at school and in public, with kids ordering her daughter to complete tasks and laughing at her.

    “Kids are telling her, ‘Turn on my T.V., tell me today’s weather…,” Lauren wrote in the letter. “They laugh at her and treat her like a servant, and this has been an ongoing issue, everywhere we go.”

    The letter went on to describe that everywhere the family goes, people acknowledge the name her daughter shares with the Amazon device, and often makes jokes asking if her daughter “Can do the same things the Alexa device does?” The letter was originally sent three weeks ago, but Lauren sent it again early last week, and told NBC 4 she got an apology from a member of technical support on behalf of the CEO. 

    Lauren says these incidents have occurred numerous times throughout the last year, constantly making her daughter Alexa upset, and she was at a loss of what to do. “It’s the world we live in,” she said. “And people mean no harm. But Alexa is a person, not a machine, and people have to stop referring to her like she is one.” She says companies should not be using women's names to name their products. 

    Lauren claims her daughter is not the only Alexa that this has happened to, and says she is aware of at least one other seven-year-old whose mother shared the same grievance as her. With 11 million Amazon Echo and Dot products now in homes worldwide since its launch in 2014, Alexa is inescapable.

    Many women around the world have reported how problematic it is to share their name with the Amazon homing device. An article in The Seattle Times found four women who considered changing their own names just to escape the jokes. Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported a story of a woman whose daughter named Alexa often thinks her mom is talking to her, when in fact she is trying to address the artificial intelligence.

    “This is everywhere,” Lauren wrote to Bezos. “You’ve already ruined the name, but you don’t have to continue to hurt these girls and women. I ask, make an apology and start a movement. I am.”

    An Amazon representative named Patricia, from Amazon's Tech Support Customer Relations Team, replied to Lauren's letter last week "on behalf of Jeff Bezos." She apologized for the experiences Lauren and her family had been going through.

    "I'm very sorry to hear about the experience you're having. I definitely understand this has been frustrating," Patricia wrote. "I really appreciate the time you've taken to voice your concern and let us know about the issues you've run into. I have sent your feedback on to our internal teams. Thanks for making sure we're aware of your experience."

    Lauren said that she assumes this will be the only response from the email she sent, but said it was a start.

    Amazon did not respond to NBC New York's request for comment. 

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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