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    One month after NBC 7 Investigates reported on the death of a Solana Beach man and his family’s search for justice, an arrest has been made in the case.  

    On Monday, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department arrested L. Byron Culver III on felony and misdemeanor counts of battery, according to booking information on the Sheriff’s website. 

    An attorney representing Culver declined to comment about the arrest. 

    Culver is the descendant of the Culver family, known to have farmed much of what is present-day Irvine, California and the namesake of Culver Drive. 

    This past Mother’s Day, May 13, 2018, Solana Beach resident George Sloss and his fiance were at home when Culver knocked on the door. 

    Mendy Cox, Sloss’ fiance, said Culver had previously lent Sloss $62,000 and that day, Culver had come to collect a payment. But Cox said what followed was a fight that left Sloss bleeding and unconscious on the floor. 

    At one point, Cox said Culver kicked her as she tried to get him off of her fiance and to leave the house. 

    Days after the assault, George Sloss died from his injuries. NBC 7 obtained a copy of the Medical Examiner’s report, which found that Sloss died as a result of “blunt head trauma,” stemming from the Mother’s Day assault. 

    Sheriff’s Deputies initially arrested Culver for felony assault but last month the District Attorney’s office told NBC 7 Investigates they declined to file those charges. When asked for details, a spokesperson said the office would only file charges in cases they believe they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. 

    Cox and two of Sloss’ daughters from a previous marriage filed separate wrongful death lawsuits in civil court against Culver, in hopes of compelling the District Attorney’s office to press charges. In October NBC 7 Investigates broke the story. 

    After NBC 7’s reporting, a spokesperson confirmed the office had reopened the case and on Monday, Culver was arrested. 

    Culver’s arraignment on the new charges is scheduled for later this week. 

    Cox told NBC 7 on Monday that the District Attorney’s Office has been in touch with her since reopening the case and she is now optimistic that justice for her fiance will be served. 

    NBC 7 Investigates asked the District Attorney’s office after business hours for a comment on the arrest and what changed since the office’s original determination to not file charges but the office has not responded. 

    To read NBC 7 Investigates’ original reporting on this case, click here.


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    An in-depth analysis of a decade of killings of women in 47 major U.S. cities, including San Diego, reveals that almost half those women were murdered by an intimate partner.

    A closer look at homicide data in San Diego and four other cities found that 36 percent of the men accused of those deaths were publicly known to be a potential threat to their partner before the fatal attack.

    Those are the most significant findings of a new investigation by the Washington Post.

    According to the Post's report, 36 percent of 280 men implicated in a domestic killing in San Diego, Forth Worth, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City and St. Louis had a previous restraining order against their victims or had been convicted of domestic abuse or a violent crime, including murder.

    The Post also found that murders committed by intimate partners can be especially brutal because they often involve stabbings, strangulation and beatings.

    Data reviewed by the Post reveals that nearly 25 percent of the 2,051 women killed by intimate partners were stabbed, compared with fewer than 10 percent in all homicides. Violent choking is also almost unique to fatal domestic attacks on women, the Post reported. Six percent of women killed by intimate partners were strangled, compared to fewer than 1 percent in all homicides.

    The Post story also reports on efforts in San Diego to reduce domestic violence murders.

    "While some jurisdictions are focusing on precursors to homicide, San Diego County has made headway in its focus on domestic violence by also carefully examining the killings afterward," the Post reports. The newspaper described the work done by the county's "Fatality Review Team," which attempts to determine where the deadly relationship "went awry."

    The story also credits the city of San Diego's Family Justice Center, which opened in 2002, and the establishment of a domestic violence unit by San Diego Police.

    "(SDPD) was on the leading edge of programs that are now commonplace around the county..." the Post said. "The San Diego County District Attorney's office received a grant last year to create an algorithm to predict which cases have the potential to turn fatal."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

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    Three newly elected San Diego City Councilmembers were sworn in Monday morning, giving Democrats a 6-3 supermajority over Republicans.

    But it's not just the partisanship that makes this new council stand out.

    “Five strong women from diverse backgrounds are going to constitute a majority of our San Diego City Council,” District 1 Councilwoman Barbara Bry explained at the ceremony.

    The newest faces include Monica Montgomery, Dr. Jenn Campbell, and Vivian Moreno, all of whom lean Democrat. Councilmember Bry pinpointed to equity as a priority for this majority-female council.

    “Equity in terms of how we invest in our communities, equity in terms of how we treat all of our residents, and equity in terms of how we make all of our decisions,” Bry said.

    The supermajority makes it easier for the council to override any vetoes handed down by Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Though at an apparent disadvantage, the mayor said he's not deterred.

    “It's not about partisanship, it's not about republican or democrat, it's about doing what's right for the city, and when you put forward policies and action items in that vein, that's how we achieve success, that's what served us well before and that's how we're going to serve well together. Working together, all of us.

    Former chair of the San Diego Democratic Party Jess Durfee assessed the likely priorities of the council moving forward now that it's firmly in Democratic hands.

    “Focused on improvements to our neighborhood, whether those are recreational services, transportation, sidewalks, dealing with the homeless issue, all of those things that have been sort of set aside for other priorities in the past.

    In the new council's first afternoon session, District 9 Councilmember Georgette Gomez was unanimously voted the new council president.

    Notably absent from the ceremony was former council president and councilmember Myrtle Cole, who lost her seat to Montgomery, her former staffer.


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    Pacific Beach residents are on alert after an arsonist, who hasn’t been caught, sparked a potentially explosive situation by setting fire to multiple vehicles.

    A total of five vehicles parked on both Haines and Felspar streets were up in flames at around 5:45 a.m. Saturday.

    “It was insane,” said Kayla Biggs who heard yelling and screaming outside her house then came outside to find the fiery chaos.

    “I grabbed this hose and I dragged it all the way over here and over the fence,” she said pointing to the hose behind her house.

    On a work-van that was set on fire you can see the gas tank was opened and the area around it charred.

    Dillon rose came outside and noticed his truck up in flames with a gas canister on the roof.

    As he looked at the scorch marks on the side, he bent down to the wheel, noting his concern for the potential fire damage keeping him from doing his job delivering packages.

    “I don’t know if it affected the brake lines,” he said.

    An extinguisher used to help fight the fires remains nearby as a reminder.

    Now that the fires are out, neighbors are hoping the arsonist is caught.

    “We’re all hard working people and we're such a good neighborhood that it's just really hurtful,” Biggs said.

    “I just hope they find the guy, you know? Get some justice and put this to rest,” said Rose.

    The Metro Arson Strike Team is investigating the fires. They say no arrests have been made and at this time it appears these fires are isolated incidents.


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    Confusion has reigned in Washington in recent weeks after the Department of Veterans Affairs provided a series of inconsistent messages about delayed or incorrect payments to veterans covered by the GI Bill.

    As the issue gained steam, lawmakers demanded further answers, introduced a related bill and called for an investigation to find out what went wrong and what VA plans to do to fix the problem, NBC News reported. For many, behind this flurry of sternly worded letters and acts of oversight, however, lies an open question: Who should be held accountable for a series of missteps that left student veterans in dire financial circumstances?

    There’s also an attempt to discern whether this is a systemic issue at a beleaguered federal agency or mismanagement by a new administration.

    “The VA is responsible for executing the handshake that America makes with people in uniform,” Paul Rieckhoff, the founder and executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said. “When they screw up, it’s bigger than a bureaucratic issue.”



    Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images, File

    In this Nov. 11, 2016, file photo, veterans and others carry a large American Flag while marching in the nation's largest Veterans Day Parade in New York City.In this Nov. 11, 2016, file photo, veterans and others carry a large American Flag while marching in the nation's largest Veterans Day Parade in New York City.

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    Attention Jimmy Dean sausage lovers: check your freezer because your links might be under recall due to possible metal contamination.

    Kentucky-based CTI Foods LLC has recalled more than 29,000 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat pork and poultry products that may be contaminated with metal pieces, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said on Monday. 

    There haven't been any reports of "adverse reactions" thus far, but the government still classified the recall as a high health risk, defined as a "reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death." 

    Under recall are: 23.4-oz. pouches of “Jimmy Dean HEAT ’n SERVE Original SAUSAGE LINKS Made with Pork & Turkey” with a "use by" date of Jan. 31, 2019. The sausages have the case code A6382168, and a time stamp range of 11:58 through 01:49. The back of the packaging also includes the number “EST. 19085.” 

    The government was notified on Dec. 10 of five complaints of metal pieces found in the sausages. 

    Jimmy Dean said in a separate release about the voluntary recall that the consumers who complained had spotted small, string-like fragments of metal in the product.

    About 2,845 cases of the product were made at one plant location on Aug. 4.

    The sausages were shipped to an establishment in Tennessee then distributed to retail stores, the FSIS said. 

    It's not immediately clear how many states and which retailers sold the potentially contaminated product.

    Jimmy Dean spokesman Worth Sparkman said "there's always a little post investigation" and that the FSIS would eventually publish the list of retailers. A USDA spokeswoman confirmed that list will be posted on the FSIS website here when available. 

    Sparkman noted CTI Foods "wanted to get the news out" on the recall so that anybody who might have the product can look for it in their fridge and discard it.

    Consumers should throw away the affected sausages or return them to the store where they were purchased. 

    Those with questions can call the Jimmy Dean customer service line at (855) 382-3101. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET on weekdays. 



    Photo Credit: Jimmy Dean

    A photo of a Jimmy Dean sausage package under recall.A photo of a Jimmy Dean sausage package under recall.

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    Time magazine unveiled it's Person of the Year for 2018, honoring a group of journalists whose work has landed them in jail — or cost them their lives — "in the pursuit of greater truths."

    The magazine's editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal announced its choice of "The Guardians and the War on Truth" on the "Today" show Tuesday, and revealed the four magazine covers featuring Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, the Capital Gazette staff, and the wives of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.

    "Like all human gifts, courage comes to us at varying levels and at varying moments,” the magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote in an essay about the selection. “This year we are recognizing four journalists and one news organization who have paid a terrible price to seize the challenge of this moment."

    In honoring Khashoggi, Felsenthal noted it is the first year Time has named someone who is no longer alive as Person of the Year. Khashoggi, who lived in the U.S. and wrote for The Washington Post, was publicly critical of the Saudi crown prince. He was killed in what U.S. officials have described as an elaborate plot at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, which he had visited for marriage paperwork.

    Ressa is founder and executive editor of the Philippine digital news outlet Rappler and a vocal critic of the government of President Rodrigo Duterte. In return, she has faced several government lawsuits and threats of violence, according to The Associated Press. Ressa, who has worked with CNN, was the winner of two prestigious journalism awards this year, a Press Freedom award from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, and the International Center for Journalists’ Knight International Journalism Award.

    The gunman who opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper, in Annapolis, Maryland, killing five people, had a "vendetta" against the paper over an article it published in 2011 about criminal harassment to which he pleaded guilty to. But, a day after the massacre at the Maryland newspaper, Gazette staffers "did what it has done since before the American ­Revolution—they put the paper out," Time said in a statement.

    The other two honorees, Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, are currently imprisoned over their reporting in 2016 on the brutal crackdown by security forces on the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, which, according to the AP, left hundreds dead in the massacre. The U.N.'s top human rights body has said that genocide charges should be brought against senior Myanmar military officers over the crackdown.

    The magazine said the four individuals and the lone newspaper symbolize something bigger than themselves.

    "They are representative of a broader fight by countless others around the world — as of Dec. 10, at least 52 journalists have been murdered in 2018 — who risk all to tell the story of our time," Felsenthal wrote in his essay.

    Other contenders on Time's shortlist revealed Monday included President Donald Trump, families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, Meghan Markle, Russian President Vladimir Putin, special councel Robert Mueller, "Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler, Christine Blasey Ford, March For Our Lives Activists, and South Korea President Moon Jae-in.

    Time has made the designation every year since 1927. Last year, the magazine's editors chose "The Silence Breakers," the individuals who spoke up and sparked a national reckoning over the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault.

    Trump, who held the title in 2016, was also a runner up in 2017. He claimed ahead of last year’s announcement that he was turning the honor down, tweeting that Time "called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named" person of the year, if he agreed to an interview and photo shoot. "I said probably is no good and took a pass." Time disputed the president’s claim, calling his assertion "incorrect."

    "The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year," the magazine tweeted Friday night. "TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6."

    The year before that, 2016, was Donald Trump, who had just become president-elect after stunning the nation — and the world — by winning the White House race.



    Photo Credit: 'Today'

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    A two-year-old girl found near the U.S.-Mexico border has been held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody for two weeks while agents attempt to locate her mother, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

    The child was discovered with a group of six undocumented immigrants two miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border near Campo, about 50 miles east of San Diego, on Nov. 27.

    CBP said when the group was apprehended, the toddler was being carried by a teenager who told agents he had not seen the child's mother since the previous day. 

    The mother asked the teenager to carry her daughter when she became tired on the journey, he told CBP.

    The 17-year-old told agents that before crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, the group separated and he could no longer locate the child's mother, so he crossed into the U.S. with the child, the agency said. 

    ICE took the toddler to a San Diego-area holding facility for children, where she is being held while agents attempt to reunite the child and mother, according to CBP. 

    The agency did not specify what efforts were being made to locate the child's mother. 



    Photo Credit: John Moore/Getty Images

    In this July 22, 2018, file photo, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches over the U.S.-Mexico border at dusk in Nogales, Arizona.In this July 22, 2018, file photo, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches over the U.S.-Mexico border at dusk in Nogales, Arizona.

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    A Good Samaritan found a dog, near death and stuffed inside a trash bag in a dumpster in Long Beach in appalling condition, with rescuers now offering a reward to find the person or people responsible.

    Rescuers called it the worst case of animal abuse they've ever seen. The people who rushed the dog to the hospital are offering a $1,000 reward for any information. The rescuers say the dog was in such poor condition that, at times, they weren't sure she was alive.

    New video from inside an incubator shows Chloe can hardly lift her head up. Her tiny body was limp from fractures to her skull and ribs, along with a broken leg.

    "She would have died within three hours if the Good Samaritan had not found her," Diana Kliche, a rescuer, says.

    Rescuers rushed the one year old terrier-poodle mix to Long Beach Emergency Hospital Saturday afternoon after a passerby found the pooch in a dumpster on Walnut Avenue.

    "It was one of the worst cases of abuse I've ever seen," Kliche said. "She smelled, which we found out later was human urine. She had pieces of food --ham, spaghetti -- stuck to her fur."

    Kliche added, "I'm just devastated and heartbroken that someone would do this."

    Unfortunately, there don't appear to be any security cameras in the alley where Chloe was found. Long Beach Animal Care Services confirms it is investigating the incident and is asking anyone who saw anything to give them a call.

    "I'm very hopeful they find the person and they're prosecuted to the full extent," Kliche said. 


    A photo of Chloe, a dog found in a dumpster in Long BeachA photo of Chloe, a dog found in a dumpster in Long Beach

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    Connect, San Diego’s oldest startup accelerator, recognized seven companies with ground-breaking technologies on Nov. 29. Pared down from a pool of 23 finalists by a team of judges, this year’s winners designed products that are better, faster and stronger than the competition.

    Read more about the products that were given the title of “Most Innovative.”

    Formalloy
    Melanie Lang, co-founder and managing director of Formalloy, said, “It was a big surprise and honor” when her company was called to the stage to receive its award.

    Formalloy was recognized for its L-series 3-D printer, which uses a blue laser to manufacture complex metal components. Formalloy developed the product in 2017.

    Lang and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Riemann co-founded Formalloy in 2016. With Lang’s background in aerospace engineering, and Riemann’s in industrial machine design, the pair sought out to create a system that could be used to make components in the aerospace industry. In particular, they were looking to find a solution to the long lead times and expense of creating products for the industry with traditional manufacturing methods.

    Generally, 3-D printing has been more commonly used in the industry for prototyping, rather than developing actual parts. But speeding up the process could change that.

    “Now we see a shift where 3D printing is being used for actual parts,” Lang said. “Our tech helps accelerate that adoption.”

    Formalloy’s main claim is the ability to develop complex components significantly faster than other types of manufacturers. For example, Lang said, a component that might take a week to manufacture traditionally could be manufactured by the company’s system in a day.

    She gave the example of a rocket nozzle with internal coolant channels in its walls, made from a different material.

    “That would be very difficult to manufacture traditionally, so an additive process would be used,” she said.

    In fact, Formalloy had manufactured the nozzle as one of several research and development projects for NASA.

    “It was really exciting, especially being an aerospace engineer, getting to do work for NASA that’s going to help them move forward on what they’re going to send to space next,” Lang said.

    Right now, Formalloy has a team of four in San Diego, bolstered by subcontractors. The company is self-funded, bringing in money from R&D projects, as well as machine sales. Lang said the company plans to grow its workforce as it releases new products.

    Qubitekk

    Qubitekk’s Quantum Transceiver might sound like a gadget from a science fiction novel. But the device could shape up to be a critical component for cybersecurity.

    Right now, most utility companies use public key infrastructures to encrypt and decrypt information. However, the process can be relatively slow, compared with other methods of encryption.

    Qubitekk’s device uses quantum mechanics to create the secret keys needed to secure communications. Instead of using algorithms, the device uses pairs of entangled photons to accomplish this. The Quantum Transceiver, a piece of hardware installed onsite, is used to transmit and receive security keys.

    Corey McClelland, vice president of business development for Qubitekk, said the company is the only U.S. manufacturer of entangled photon cryptography; its primary competitor is in Switzerland.

    “Today, key management and certificate management is a maintenance overhead issue. It’s complicated, and takes a lot of time and energy,” McClelland said. “This takes that away.”

    McClelland said the company is focusing on utility companies in particular, because they have certificates that last for months before they are refreshed. It’s also a big market, at roughly $20 billion.

    Qubitekk was founded in 2012 by physicist Duncan Earl, who now serves as the company’s chief technology officer.

    “He worked at Oak Ridge National Labs for 18 years before he started Qubitekk back in 2012 with the idea that this would be a great application,” McClelland said. “He has a brilliant mind. It’s been a lot of fun to work with him.”

    Currently, the Vista-based company is working on a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The company conducted its first demonstration for Pacific Gas and Electric.

    In 2019, the company will implement its systems for a utility company in Tennessee, which McClelland anticipates could bring more business to the company.

    “People are waiting to see what happens in our installation,” he said. “It sounds like it will open a floodgate of companies who are ready to jump in and start installing the product.”

    Qubitekk currently has 14 employees, but McClelland expects that number to double by the end of 2019. The company is angel-funded, but is not currently seeking another round of funding.

    “That might change, depending on how quickly equipment orders come in,” McClelland said. “We’re planning for success.”

    Citadel Defense
    Product: Citadel Titan
    Citadel Defense’s technology uses machine learning algorithms to detect and classify drones that could pose a threat to combat troops. The system detects communications between unmanned aerial vehicles and controllers, and can be used to cause drones to leave the field.

    Primo Wind
    Product: EnergiPlant
    Primo Wind’s EnergiPlant is a small turbine that can be installed in public spaces. It can be used to power Wi-FI, charging, lighting and security cameras.

    Banyan Biomarkers
    Product: Banyan BTI
    Banyan Bio is based on research that found a way to detect concussions using biomarkers. The company’s product is a diagnostic blood test meant to help diagnose patients with concussions without the radiation exposure of a CT scan. The company recently gained Food and Drug Administration approval for its product as a breakthrough device in February.

    Biological Dynamics
    Product: Omniverita
    Biological Dynamics is pursuing FDA approval for the use of its cancer screening technology, Omniverita, for lung cancer. The system is able to isolate biomarkers, such as cell-free DNA, without sample pre-processing, allowing for test results in less than an hour. In June, Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs joined the company’s board.

    Stemonix
    Product: microBrain 3D Assay Research Plate
    Stemonix develops assays of microtissues that can be used for drug discovery, safety testing and disease monitoring. Its microBrain 3D assay research plate contains 384 “spheroids” made of neural cells that can be used for these purposes, as well as to test neurotoxicity. 



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

    Formalloy was recognized for its L-series 3-D printer, which uses a blue laser to manufacture complex metal components. Formalloy developed the product in 2017.Formalloy was recognized for its L-series 3-D printer, which uses a blue laser to manufacture complex metal components. Formalloy developed the product in 2017.

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    A San Diego company has found a way to harness the power of the sun and the wind on the small scale to provide energy to schools, parks and, in some cases, entire communities. 

    Miramar-based Primo Wind’s EnergiPlant is a miniature solar wind turbine that can be installed virtually anywhere. 

    "This is a system that can provide usable electricity without digging any trenches or connecting to grid power for small power items,” said Primo Wind Director of Operations Hayden Van Zanten. 

    The EnergiPlant looks like a large flower. The "leaves" collect solar power and a the wind turbine "bloom" captures energy day and night.

    Inside a bench at the base of the EnergiPlant is a bank of batteries where locals can plug in and charge electronic devices. 

    An EnergiPlant is installed outside the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, as an example of functional art. Another is powering an "Earth Bench" created by students at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista. 

    The technology is also being used to provide power to parts of the world where there is no access to electricity, or where power has been knocked out by natural disasters. 

    After Hurricane Irma, CEO Ned McMahon took one of the company’s larger EnergiTrees to Barbuda. It was the only power they had on the island. Units have also been deployed with U.S. Marines and Navy in the Arctic. 

    Each EnergiPlant can provide lighting to 25 houses. They can also provide power to a water pump sourcing water from a nearby stream. The turbine can also be used as a security system of surveillance cameras are installed beneath the leaves. 

    "We’re able to go in and provide security camera footage where this isn’t a lot of coverage. Say, parts of a University [Avenue], darker areas in a city park, areas like that," Van Zanten said. 

    Primo Wind is now working to get these systems to the areas that need them most. 

    They’ve created a philanthropic arm, called Primo Seeds, to raise money for equipment donation. Their first project will help Cornwall College in Montego Bay, Jamaica. 

    "It is a project that would send two of our systems to a school that needs security camera coverage, needs a portable power source that really doesn’t have a lot of power in. So we’re really excited about that," Van Zanten said. 

    It has taken Primo Wind six years and 11 different iterations of the EnergiPlant to get to this point. Van Zanten said it’s worth it. 

    "It’s been a long road and we’re continuing to improve but we feel like a lot of our hard work’s paid off."



    Photo Credit: Arunas Astramskas

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    Maria Butina, the accused Russian agent of influence who built ties to the National Rifle Association and influential Republicans, has agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with federal prosecutors, according to a plea agreement obtained by NBC News. The case was not brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. 

    Butina, 30, will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the law governing foreign agents operating in the United States, a felony that carries a five-year prison term. The estimated sentencing guideline range is from zero to six months in prison. As a noncitizen, she would face deportation after serving any prison sentence. 

    According to the documents, Butina — a former graduate student at American University in Washington, D.C. — will admit to conspiring with an unnamed American to act at the direction of a Russian official "to establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. politics…for the benefit of the Russian Federation." 

    The unnamed American has been identified by law enforcement officials as Paul Erickson, a longtime Republican activist who was in a romantic relationship with Butina. 

    Click through for the full report from NBC News.



    Photo Credit: AP

    FILE - In this Sunday, April 21, 2013, file photo, Maria Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization in Russia, speaks to a crowd during a rally in support of legalizing the possession of handguns in Moscow, Russia.FILE - In this Sunday, April 21, 2013, file photo, Maria Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization in Russia, speaks to a crowd during a rally in support of legalizing the possession of handguns in Moscow, Russia.

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    President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with Democratic Senate and House leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in the White House. Their discussion grew contentious over Trump’s demand for funding his proposed border wall.


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    The Brooklyn charges against a mother who was seen wailing on the floor of a social services office, her 1-year-old son in her arms, as a group of officers forcefully try to snatch the baby from her have been dropped, the district attorney's office said in a statement Tuesday. 

    Jazmine Headley, 23, had faced charges of resisting arrest, criminal trespass and other offenses stemming from the caught-on-camera fracas on the floor of the Human Resources Administration office on Bergen Street last week. The video, which showed her surrounded by officers trying to grab her baby as she clutched him to her chest, wailing, stirred outrage across the city and beyond. 

    Headley was expected to be released from Rikers, where she has been held since the encounter, Tuesday evening. A New Jersey fraud case against her remains open. 

    "Like everyone who watched the arrest of Jazmine Headley, I was horrified by the violence depicted in the video and immediately opened an investigation into this case. It is clear to me that this incident should have been handled differently," Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. "Continuing to pursue this case will not serve any purpose and I therefore moved today to dismiss it immediately in the interest of justice."

    "The consequences this young and desperate mother has already suffered as a result of this arrest far outweigh any conduct that may have led to it: she and her baby have been traumatized, she was jailed on an unrelated warrant and may face additional collateral consequences."

    The NYPD has called the video "troubling" and said it is reviewing the encounter. 

    New Jersey authorities planned to transfer Headley to Mercer County Wednesday morning, where she was charged with two counts of third-degree credit card theft and one count of fourth-degree trafficking in personal identifying information in March 2017, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said.

    Headley's lawyer maintains she wasn't involved in the theft, but was in a car with a man who stole cards. 

    Her attorney plans to ask the prosecutor's office to review the charges and consider dismissing them.

    In her own statement, Lisa Schreibersdorf, the executive director and founder of Brooklyn Defender Services, said the group was "filing a special application to ask the judge to release her on the New Jersey matter" on Tuesday. 

    At one point in the footage taken inside the HRA office, an officer is seen forcibly ripping the child from the mother's arms, but Headley doesn't let go. Other people in the crowded office screamed, "Oh my God!" and "Look what they're doing to her!" 

    At least one officer brandished a stun gun. 

    The NYPD said they were called after HRA officers and staff were unsuccessful in removing her from the facility. They cited disorderly conduct and said she was blocking the hallway. 

    Nyashia Ferguson, who shot the video, said on Facebook that Headley was asked to leave when she sat down on the floor because all of the chairs were full. 

    “Being poor is not a crime," Public Advocate and Attorney General-elect Letitia James said. "The actions of the NYPD in this video are appalling and contemptible."

    "No mother should have to experience the trauma and humiliation we all witnessed in this video,” she added.

    Department of Social Services Commissioner Steve Banks appeared to agree, saying Monday that two peace officers from HRA were put on leave and will be placed on modified duty when they return to work pending the department's investigation. 

    Headley, of Brooklyn, refused medical treatment for both herself and her son, police said. No officers were harmed.

    The boy, Damone, is in the custody of his grandmother, Jacqueline Jenkins, who spoke to News 4 New York Monday.

    "I can't believe the NYPD, how they handled it, the force of what they did to grab my grandson like that," she said. "He was like a rag doll." 

    She continued, "Maybe she should have given the baby up. But understand if they gave her space, she would have gone up and left." 

    Headley's attorney, Lisa Schreibersdorf of Brooklyn Defender Services, called it a "violent encounter where the child was being used as a pawn."

    Patrick Lynch, the president of the NYPD's rank-and-file union, said in a statement Monday that officers were put in an "impossible situation."

    "They didn't create the dispute at the HRA office -- as always, they were called in to deal with the inevitable fallout when the rest of our City government fails in its task," he said.

    He added, "The event would have unfolded much differently if those at the scene had simply complied with the officers' lawful orders. The immediate rush to condemn these officers leaves their fellow cops wondering: when confronted with a similar impossible scenario, what do you want us to do? The answer cannot be 'do nothing.'"


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    Don't stop: Classic rock titans Fleetwood Mac brought a landslide of hits to SDSU's Viejas Arena recently.

    Photo Credit: Allyson Ta

    The Dec. 8 show was the band's first time back in San Diego since 2014 -- and it was *the* hot ticket in town. (Stevie Nicks pictured)The Dec. 8 show was the band's first time back in San Diego since 2014 -- and it was *the* hot ticket in town. (Stevie Nicks pictured)

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    A fourth-grader in Alabama died by suicide after being bullied with racist taunts, according to the child's family.

    McKenzie Nicole Adams, 9, a U.S. Jones Elementary School student, was found dead in her home on Dec. 3 by her grandmother, according to Tuscaloosa News.

    Eddwina Harris, the girl's aunt, told Tuscaloosa News that the bullying her niece experienced stemmed from her friendship with a white boy at her school.

    "She was being bullied the entire school year, with words such as 'kill yourself,' 'you think you’re white because you ride with that white boy,' 'you ugly,' 'black b----,' 'just die'," Harris told the paper.

    If you or a loved one are looking for help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255



    Photo Credit: Eddwina Harris

    Photo of McKenzie Adams.Photo of McKenzie Adams.

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    Interstate 5 will have nightly closures as construction on the Voigt Drive overpass continues, according to Transnet.

    On Thursday and Friday, all northbound I-5 lanes from La Jolla Village Drive to Genesee Avenue will close from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.

    Transnet crews will set falsework to temporarily support the new bridge during this time.

    Southbound traffic from the junction of I-805 to La Jolla Village Drive will close from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. hours, according to the California Department of Transportation. This closure began Monday and will last through Friday.

    The overpass will connect Voigt Drive to Medical Center Drive. It has been under construction since Oct. 2016.

    The bridge was built through a partnership between the San Diego Association of Governments, Caltrans, and the University of California, San Diego.

    This comes in the middle of further I-5 construction to extend carpool lanes.



    Photo Credit: SANDAG

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    Julian residents will have a chance to vote to stop the dissolution of their all-volunteer fire department in a special election called for March 19, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday. 

    Residents in the unincorporated Julian and the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park regions lost their volunteer fire department when the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) was dissolved earlier this year due to financial struggles and aging facilities. 

    The plan was to transfer all fire protection and emergency medical services to the San Diego County Fire Authority. 

    However, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters said 26 percent of the 2,410 registered voters in the district sent in written protests to the proposed transfer. 

    Some community members told NBC 7 they feel they will be overlooked by a fire authority that is hundreds of miles away and that their volunteer fire department knows their community's needs better than an outside department. 

    Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham said the ability of anyone to continue an all-volunteer fire department with minimal funding is questionable.

    “The fact that the county is bringing $1.6 million to provide services in Julian is a sign of what it costs to run a modern fire department,” Mecham said.

    The special election will be by mail-in ballots and will be held on March 19, 2019.


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    The Ocean Beach Pier temporarily closed Tuesday morning for “safety challenges” following high surf and tide, according to lifeguards with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

    The surrounding waves could reach up to 6 feet, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

    Lifeguards said the water may “come up over the pier,” but shouldn’t damage the structures.

    There is also a high rip current risk, NWS said, but it should subside by Wednesday.

    The closure took effect at around 10:45 a.m.

    SDFD didn’t say when the pier will reopen at this time.


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    A man was arrested in Kearny Mesa Tuesday after leading officers on a slow-speed pursuit from east San Diego while on the phone with dispatchers, the San Diego Police Department said.

    SDPD attempted to pull over a black SUV for an "equipment violation" near state Route 94 and Euclid Avenue but the driver did not stop, SDPD Lt. Christian Sharp said. 

    The driver, a man in his 40s, merged onto the freeway with officers in pursuit but, in part because of traffic, the chase did not reach speeds higher than 40 miles per hour, SDPD said. 

    "We tried to keep the public back during this pursuit, just because we didn’t know how this person was going to react. Initially, yeah, the traffic kept speeds down," Sharp said. 

    During the pursuit, the driver was on the phone with an SDPD dispatcher claiming he was suffering from a "medical emergency," according to the department.

    The driver merged onto I-15 and continued northbound until eventually coming to a stop on the offramp of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard. Sharp said if the driver continued northbound, he would have hit spike strips deployed by the department. 

    "Once the vehicle came to a stop, we deployed spike strips again just in case he changed his mind and wanted to take off on us again," Sharp said. 

    The driver, who appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, at first refused to get out of the SUV but eventually surrendered to officers, Sharp said. He and a woman who was riding in the passenger seat were taken into SDPD custody. 

    Though neither were injured, both the driver and passenger were taken to a nearby hospital for a medical evaluation and would then be booked into San Diego County Jail. 

    The driver faces charges stemming from the pursuit and charges from outstanding arrest warrants of more than $100,000. The woman also faces charges from outstanding arrest warrants, Sharp said. 

    SDPD blocked the offramp for about an hour while working to detain the suspect. 

    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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