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    One of two people detained following a police pursuit held onto a dog and appeared to be negotiating with police before surrendering.

    Two people were taken into custody Tuesday after a police pursuit from National City ended in Escondido.

    National City Police Lt. Robert Rounds said officers initially responded to a call of a woman disturbing the peace on East 8th just after 1 p.m. 

    The woman drove away from the area and refused to pull over for police as she traveled northbound on Interstate 805 and then northbound on Interstate 15. 

    California Highway Patrol officers deployed spike strips on I-15 in Rancho Bernardo. 

    The driver continued to travel north and exited Hale Avenue where she drove through several red lights and eventually parked outside of a building at 728 E. Valley Parkway. 

    At 2:08 p.m. two people stepped out of the car. One person had their hands up and was immediately taken into custody. 

    The second person sat on the ground and held onto a dog. After several minutes of what appeared to be negotiations between the suspect and the officers, the leashed dog was handed over to police.

    Then, the person was taken into custody. 

    While the suspect was being handcuffed, a police dog appeared to be biting at his or her heels.  

    Rounds said the driver was witnessed taking pills as well as stabbing herself. She was being treated for wounds described as superficial, he said. 

    No other information was available.

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



    Photo Credit: SkyRanger 7

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    A teenager was charged Tuesday with murder and torture in connection to the beating and death of a man near Petco Park last month.

    Dominick Wells was one of four teens arrested after Edward Starland was found unresponsive downtown near the pedestrian bridge that connects Park Boulevard over Harbor Drive on Nov. 19.

    Starland, 56, died two weeks later on Dec. 3, according to the San Diego Police Department.

    Wells' bail was set a $1 million, according to the District Attorney's office.

    If convicted, Wells could face 25 years to life in prison.

    A witness said Starland and the group of teens were arguing when he was pushed to the ground and attacked, according to Lt. Matt Dobbs. The teens took off when the witnesses yelled at them.

    The witness then called 911 at around 2:10 p.m.

    SDPD's investigation led them to believe Wells and three teenage girls, ages 14, 15 and 17, were involved in the attack.

    No charges have been filed for the others at this time; however, they are in custody.


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    If you live in the City of San Diego, chances are your black city-issued trash container is past it’s life expectancy.

    According to Renee Robertson, program manager for San Diego’s Environmental Services Department, the average trash container in San Diego is over 13 years old. Robertson told NBC 7 Responds, that’s three years over what the warranty covers.

    “A lot of the cans are getting to the point where they are showing signs of major wear and tear,” said Robertson.

    And while cracks and normal wear and tear on a trash can may not be upsetting to many residents, there are ramifications to sticking with trashed trash cans.

    One problem: damaged cans are prone to ending up inside the trash truck. Robertson told NBC 7 Responds that approximately 600 trash cans get dumped inside the trash truck every year, that’s an average of 50 cans every month throughout the city.

    It’s a relatively small number, said Robertson, when considering there are over 190,000 households citywide.

    “Typically when the container falls into the trash truck it’s because it was damaged,” said Robertson. “We really encourage you to replace the container before it gets to this level.”

    When cans are dropped inside the trash truck crews are instructed to leave them there.

    “It’s not worth someone getting injured while trying to pull out a container that is wrapped in duct tape,” said Robertson.

    And, if your can is older than 10 years, or if city trash workers put a sticker on your can noting major damage, then you are responsible for placing the trash cans.

    Robertson suggests homeowners replace old cans and any with significant cracks in order to avoid losing them inside the back of a trash truck. Homeowners can buy a new can for $70 dollars at the Miramar landfill or have them delivered for an additional $25.

    “It comes out to seven dollars a year for the ten years,” said Robertson. “That’s a reasonable cost especially considering that we don’t charge for the overall cost of service.”

    As for the blue recycling cans and the green yard waste receptacles, replacements are free but delivery charges do apply if you are unable to pick them up.

    Click here for the city’s website for information on how to replace the trash containers.



    Photo Credit: Bob Hansen

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    The International Boundary Water Commission (IBWC) announced Tuesday that there has been another failure in a sewage collection main in the City of Tijuana resulting in a spill that the Commission has so far been unable to stop.

    The Mexican section of the IBWC told the U.S. section Tuesday that a massive amount of sewage - an estimated 6 to 7 million gallons per day - is flowing into the Tijuana River Valley and into the Pacific Ocean as a result of the break, the U.S. section said.

    Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina said Tuesday that he doesn't think officials in Mexico are being transparent about when the break actually occurred.

    “We don’t believe that this spill happened yesterday as the Mexican government is claiming. We think it happened right after the rain, so whether or not there’s a cover-up of the spill and whether or not we’ve had up to 30 million gallons spilled since the rain is something we’re concerned about," Mayor Dedina said.

    A two-day storm last Wednesday and Thursday pummeled San Diego County and Tijuana with rain, wind and lightning.

    A water contact closure for issued for Border Field State Park and the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge following a storm the week prior was extended Friday to include Imperial Beach, Silver Strand State Beach and Coronado.

    Closures typically last 72 hours after a storm, but there is no telling how long the current shoreline closures will remain in place following the sewage system failure.

    The cities of Imperial Beach and Chula Vista, as well as the Port of San Diego, the state of California and the Surfrider Foundation, are currently teamed in a lawsuit against the IBWC for alleged violations of both the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

    The lawsuit calls for the installation of sewage capturing infrastructure near the border that would keep sewage and contaminated runoff from spreading into San Diego waterways and reaching the ocean.

    “This is a totally fixable problem," Dedina said. "We’ve been asking for this for years. This is why we’re in court... We’re not asking to go to Mars, we’re not asking to go to the Moon, we’re not asking for mansions all over the beach, all we’re asking is to make sure that our kids can go to the beach 365 days a year.”

    Dedina said the city of IB has requested a federal investigation into the system break in Tijuana and has asked the Mexican government to fix the problem as soon as possible.

    Dedina said spills like this one are bad for business all over the South Bay.

    "Yesterday the Las Americas mall smelled like raw sewage, it smelled like a toilet. The whole stench of sewage permeated San Ysidro and the San Ysidro border crossing area and the Las Americas mall, so it’s not good for business and it’s not good for public health," he said.

    The mayor also cited concern for Border Patrol agents and Navy SEALS who are forced to work and train in contaminated environments.

    The IBWC is also being targeted in a lawsuit brought on by the San Diego Water Board.

    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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    A Dulzura man pleaded guilty to trying to poison and kill his wife Tuesday by repeatedly feeding her a dangerous chemical once used in rat poison, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's office.

    Race Remington Uto, 27, an active-duty Navy sailor, was arrested in March and faced three counts of attempted murder after a multi-agency investigation.

    More than two weeks before Uto's arrest, his wife was admitted to an area hospital with an unknown illness, SDSO Lt. Greg Rylaarsdam said. Medical staff was able to determine that the woman had an "extreme level of Thallium in her system."

    SDSO detectives believe Uto's wife had ingested the chemical in her food and drink over the span of months.

    The DA said his actions were premeditated.

    According to an affidavit, Uto's wife began feeling sick last September and eventually got so sick that she lost all of her hair and could barely move her limbs.

    Thallium is a heavy metal that was used as a rat poison and ant killer until it was banned in the 1960s.

    The chemical is so dangerous that it's considered a weapon of mass destruction by the U.S. government and can't be purchased over the counter anywhere in San Diego County.

    Friends and family of Uto's wife created a GoFundMe page to help her as she recovers.

    Uto will be sentenced on March 14, 2019, and could face 21 years to life, the DA's office said.



    Photo Credit: Ashley Matthews, NBC 7
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Crime scene tape was still up in front of the garage of the couple's Dulzura home on Friday.Crime scene tape was still up in front of the garage of the couple's Dulzura home on Friday.

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    Nearly 50 people remain at a Red Cross Evacuation shelter after flooding during last week's storm badly damaged their homes and apartments.

    Zury Guerrero says all she could do was grab her three kids and get out.

    “As soon as my opened my door water was just like pouring inside like crazy,” she said.

    Guerrero and others living on the ground level of their apartment complex on National Avenue were forced to move out.

    “My clothes, shoes, all that stuff got really damaged, you know I had to throw everything away because dirty water was coming in. It was horrible,” Guerrero said.

    A couple dozen people from the complex, including Rosalba Gaytan, are staying at the Red Cross’s emergency shelter set up at a Paradise Valley church.

    Gaytan says it’s a tough time of year, especially for children, to have lost everything.

    “Some of them have Christmas trees, they already have presents,” she said.

    Despite the hardship, she says staff at the shelter are doing what they can to make things easier on them.

    “They are so nice. They are helping us,” she said.

    The Red Cross worked with the landlord of the complex so that residents could get deposits and money back to help them find temporary housing.

    Candace Powell, a Red Cross volunteer and program lead for the case team, says the biggest need is trying to find short-term rentals for the next couple of months while their apartments are being repaired.

    “What our goal in casework is, is to try and help them figure out the next steps for the recovery,” Powell said.

    But that won’t be easy because the rent they have been paying is around $800 per month.

    Residents told NBC 7 they believe the City of San Diego should help with emergency funding because debris in Chollas Creek that flowed into their homes has been piling up for months, if not years, and had the city cleaned it up they would not be homeless.

    A City spokesperson said they are still investigating to determine if the city is liable in any way.

    Whatever the city can provide won’t be a quick fix, so the Red Cross is hoping landlords with affordable housing availability will contact them to help out, especially since Christmas is only a couple of weeks away.


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    The "exotic marketplace" inside the theme park's Adventureland is preparing for its delicious debut.

    Photo Credit: Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

    Located on the shores of Adventureland at Disneyland Park, The Tropical Hideaway will be the destination for extraordinary worldly eats when it opens. Menu items include warm steamed bao buns, chilled ramen salad, Sweet Pineapple Lumpia, Dole Whip and more. Disneyland Park is located in Anaheim, Calif. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)Located on the shores of Adventureland at Disneyland Park, The Tropical Hideaway will be the destination for extraordinary worldly eats when it opens. Menu items include warm steamed bao buns, chilled ramen salad, Sweet Pineapple Lumpia, Dole Whip and more. Disneyland Park is located in Anaheim, Calif. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

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    The newest source of drinking water in our county just reached a major milestone.

    Around 100 million gallons of seawater are pumped through the filters at the Carlsbad desalination plant every day. Within about three hours that water is purified and sent to the taps.

    After three strong years, the plant just produced its 40 billionth gallon of drinking water. That's enough water to fill a billion bathtubs, or fill every floor of the empire state building, 145 times.

    “We have a ticker in the control room that just spins away as gallons of water go out the door,” said Jessica Jones, a spokesperson for Poseidon, the company that operates the plant.

    Jones says the thought of producing a new water supply is exciting, and says this supply won’t run out if the state experiences another drought.

    Not everyone is lining the plant's parade route. Environmental groups like San Diego Coastkeeper and the Surfrider Foundation have opposed the plant from the beginning. A Coastkeeper spokesman told NBC 7 the plant uses too much energy and the county should rely on water conservation and wastewater recycling.

    A Surfrider spokeswoman says the plant has also been hit with numerous toxicity violations.

    “You have bugs that you work out,” Jones said. “So, we've gotten through that and improved our technology.

    Jones adds the plant is the first major infrastructure project in California to eliminate its carbon footprint.

    Poseidon says it expects to break ground on another plant in Huntington Beach in the next year.


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    Dozens of La Mesa residents filled Tuesday night’s City Council meeting to ask city leaders to support their fight against a parole office opening up in their community.

    The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is considering opening a new parole office at a vacant building on Grossmont Summit Drive just blocks away from Grossmont High School. Some parents say it’s not far enough away from the campus, and neighborhood residents fear the clients of the facility will bring trouble to the neighborhood along with them.

    Retired correctional officer William Goff lives in Mount Helix, about a 10-minute walk from the proposed office site. He describes his property as a little slice of heaven but fears this new facility might disrupt that.

    “Some of them, their habits are so bad we would parole them in the morning, I would come back in the evening for my night shift and they would be right back,” Goff said.

    Goff has 20 years of experience dealing with parolees and inmates and the idea doesn't sit well with him.

    Both the city and the Grossmont Union High School District told NBC 7 they learned about the plan at the end of last month. The CDCR said in a statement it is still in negotiations for a lease and is in talks with the city.

    Goff and dozens of other residents showed up the council meeting and expressed their concerns during a public comment period.

    “You need to work for us to make sure that our communities are safe. That our children are safe, that our families are safe,” La Mesa resident Stephanie Boethin told the council.

    Councilmembers said at the meeting that, according to the CDCR, the La Mesa location is not the only one being considered. Details on what other locations are being looked at were not shared.

    The CDCR said it is planning a community meeting of its own sometime in 2019.

    San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents the area, said in a statement that she stands with her concerned constituents.

    "I'm deeply troubled by the state proposal and I share the residents' concerns about the impact on public safety. Allowing convicted criminals to frequent an area that close to thousands of Grossmont High School students and quiet neighborhoods is a terrible idea," her statement read.

    Her office says it learned about the state's proposal on Nov. 28.


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    The season is slowly winding down and the playoff brackets are starting to take shape. The (10-3) Chargers currently hold the fifth spot (out of six) and face their hardest task of the season this Thursday.

    They will face the (11-2) Kansas City Chiefs, a team they haven’t beaten in nine straight meetings, at Arrowhead Stadium on a short week and with their starting running back banged up.

    Chargers running back Melvin Gordon has been out the last two weeks with a knee injury he sustained week 12 against the Arizona Cardinals. Gordon was a limited participant in practice on Tuesday, but it sounds like Gordon will be a game-time decision.

    “I'm hopeful,” explained Lynn. “I mean, he's one of our better players. I'd like for him to play. We're trying to win every game we can to get into the playoffs — but if he's not ready; he's not going to play.”

    Gordon has been working on the side during practices and on Sunday went through an intense workout like he would if he was going to play. He said he felt good, but said the workout was more to help his mental game so he is ready to go when he suits back up.

    "I've been grinding hard to get back and we're still trying to decide what we're going to do," Gordon said. "I know Coach (Lynn) is trying to be careful and doesn't want me to further hurt myself or things like that. So we'll see where that goes, but I'm a lot stronger and more confident than I was last week."

    During this process, Chargers coaches have preached patience with Gordon’s injury because they say there is still a lot of season left. Gordon has been a dual offensive force this year, running and receiving for a combined 1255 yards and 13 touchdowns.

    "I'd love to be out there," Gordon said. "I know it's a big game and I know the guys want me to be out there. We need all of the playmakers we can to beat K.C.; you know how explosive they are.”

    If Gordon can’t go then the team would have to look to rookie running backs Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome because of the concussion back up Austin Ekeler sustained at the end of the game against Cincinnati on Sunday.

    "They'll be good," Rivers said. "It's just over communicating with the noise on pass protection and what route they have, all of those things, more so reminding them and offering peace of mind to take a little bit off of them so they can play fast."

    Jackson showed up for the Chargers under the bright lights of Sunday Night football two weeks ago rushing for 63 yards and a touchdown. Newsome on the other hand, was a breakout star during the preseason but has only touched the ball five times in games that count.

    “They were born to do this,” explained Gordon, “They are running backs and by all means they can go in there and make plays if they are asked to.”

    It is no secret that Gordon has been a huge part of the offense this season and will be needed to try and control the clock to keep the Chiefs high powered offense on the bench. The Chargers will need Gordon on Thursday if they hope to accomplish something they haven’t done since December 29, 2013, and that is beat the Kansas City Chiefs.

     

    NUTS N’ BOLTS

    •Injury report: DNP: TE Sean Culkin (back), RB Austin Ekeler (neck/concussion), NT Brandon Mebane (not injury related), CB Trevor Williams (knee). Limited: RB Melvin Gordon (knee).



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    CARSON, CA - NOVEMBER 25: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at StubHub Center on November 25, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)CARSON, CA - NOVEMBER 25: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at StubHub Center on November 25, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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    The cleanup continues for a Golden Hill Pilates studio owner days after last week’s storm flooded his apartment that doubles as a popular Pilates studio.

    Bruno Bosardi’s Body Alchemist studio is on hold for now as he spends his days cleaning up the muddy mess left behind.

    What little carpet there is, is soaked with water. The rest of the floors are covered in mud. His refrigerator along with other appliances and equipment were tossed around like toys.

    “It pulled everything down,” Bosardi said. “Coming in here, I couldn’t believe what happened. I was thinking, ‘This is my life.’" 

    Bosardi, who’s been instructing Pilates for nearly 30 years, might actually be lucky to have his life considering how high the watermarks are on his walls.

    “It got this high!” Bosardi exclaimed, pointing to a line on the cabinet about 5 feet off the ground. “It was up to here.”

    He says, fortunately, his landlord warned him not to come home that night so he slept somewhere else.

    “If I would have not left I probably would have passed away. That garage door, the water, the pressure of the water folded it inside out,” he said.

    Between damaged gyro machines found floating in more than 2 feet of water and other machines rendered nonfunctional, Bosardi, estimates the damage at more than $75,000.

    While friends have started a GoFundMe page for Bosardi, he says the money raised won't help replace mementos like pictures and other personal items he’s lost.

    Bosardi said a gutter near his home failed and stormwater that came roaring down B Street flooded his home and studio.

    Bruno says the city came to clean the drain after the storm. A spokesperson for the City of San Diego sent a statement that reads in part, "The City of San Diego has a robust year-round maintenance program of inspection, cleaning and repair of its storm drains, pipes and infrastructure."

    While clean-up continues and repairs are made, Bosardi has a good group of friends and family helping him out with a place to stay.

    Friends have also organized two fundraisers to help him get back on his feet: One at the Lamplighter in Mission Hills on December 18, and another on Dec. 29 at the Coronado Playhouse where Bosardi also works.


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    New York Attorney General-elect Letitia James plans to launch sweeping investigations into President Donald Trump, his family and "anyone" in his circle who may have violated the law once she settles into her new job next month, NBC News reported.

    "We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well," James, a Democrat, told NBC News in her first extensive interview since she was elected last month.

    She outlined some of the probes she intends to pursue with regard to the president, his businesses and his family members. They include the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian official, any illegalities involving Trump's real estate holdings in New York and continuing to probe the Trump Foundation. 

    The White House, Trump Organization, an attorney representing the company and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani did not respond to requests for comment.



    Photo Credit: Mary Altaffer/AP, File

    In this Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, file photo, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James speaks during a news conference in New York.In this Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, file photo, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James speaks during a news conference in New York.

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    Nikki Haley, the departing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said in an interview for NBC's "Today" show that she used President Donald Trump's "unpredictable" nature to her advantage on the job.

    "He would ratchet up the rhetoric, and then I'd go back to the ambassadors and say: 'You know, he's pretty upset. I can't promise you what he's going to do or not, but I can tell you if we do these sanctions, it will keep him from going too far,'" Haley said.

    Haley also said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman doesn't "get a pass" for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But she stopped short of recommending giving Saudi Arabia anything more than stern talking-to.

    Haley said that she wants her nominated successor, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, to be "successful" and "time will tell how this works out."


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    Police looking for a 29-year-old Colorado mom who's been missing since Thanksgiving are hoping that newly released surveillance video showing her last sighting at a grocery store will help in finding her.

    Kelsey Berreth, who was reported missing by her mother on Dec. 2, was last seen in public with her 1-year-old daughter at a Safeway supermarket on Nov. 22 in Woodland Park, where she's lived since 2016.

    The video shows Berreth, dressed in dark pants and a light jacket with her hair pulled back, pushing a cart with her child in a carrier on top. Authorities said they have already received a number of tips in the case and they hope the new footage will lead to more.

    Patrick Frazee, Berreth's fiance, told police he saw Berreth Thanksgiving afternoon when they exchanged their daughter, police chief Miles De Young said Monday. Frazee is taking care of the young girl now at his home. 

    Frazee and Berreth were planning to marry and had been living in separate homes. Berreth would either sleep at Frazee's house or take the child to her home.

    Frazee told police he took care of the child during the day while Berreth worked as a flight instructor at Doss Aviation. Berreth's employer got a text from her phone Nov. 25 saying she needed to take off the upcoming week. Her phone was tracked as being 700 miles away in Gooding, Idaho, that day.

    De Young said Frazee is cooperating with police and is not a suspect in the case. Berreth's fiance could not be reached for comment by NBC.

    "At this point, he is the father of Kelsey's daughter, and we're gonna leave it at that," De Young told reporters. "So, this is a missing person's case."

    Cheryl Berreth, Kelsey Berreth's mother, said at a press conference that "this is completely out of character" for her daughter.

    "She loves her family and friends, and she loves her job," Cheryl Berreth said. "Kelsey, we just want you home. ... We won't quit looking."

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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

    Kelsey BerrethKelsey Berreth

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    Most people do it: Pick up their phones and, instead of calling someone, send a quick text message. Well, that text message could cost an extra tax if California state regulators get their way. Chery Hurd reports.


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    Retired Metro bus driver Jim Lucitt lost count of the assaults and insults he and other operators were subjected to during his 20 years on the job.

    The horror stories ranged from unruly behavior to attacks that posed serious safety threats to drivers and passengers. 

    "Most people don't have any idea what the job is like," Lucitt said. "You become the target of somebody’s agitation or aggression,and it's a very dangerous job."

    NBC4 obtained three years of internal agency reports that show operators were victims of assaults an average of 11 times per month. They document incidents in which they were choked, pepper-sprayed, splashed with hot coffee, punched, struck with bottles and threatened with box cutters and handguns.

    "People have urine thrown on them," said Lucitt. "They get the urine in a cup and they throw it on them, and they spit on them, and they open up their soda cans on them."

    In another disturbing case, a man approached a bus that was on a layover and began masturbating in front of the female driver. 

    "It could be anywhere from someone just verbally assaulting all the way on up to physical assault, even stabbing of operators, rape, urine, feces," said Art Aguilar, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1277, which represents drivers. "And, for what cause? I mean, dogs get treated better than some of these operators."

    Metro's security director said the agency is taking steps to protect drivers from such unprovoked attacks. Along with panic buttons that allow drivers to instantly summon police or deputies, many buses also feature new barriers to protect drivers. LA Metro is also testing live security cameras in 100 buses.

    "We can actually view streaming real-time video on the bus," said Metro security Director Alex Wiggins. "That way, if there is an issue on the bus, we'll be able to intervene in real-time.

    "Our operators are really on the front lines. They’re the first to interact with some individuals that may be in crisis."

    Congresswoman Grace Napolitano co-authored a bill to improve safety nationwide. Introduced in June, the bill never made it out of a subcommittee, but Napolitano plans to try again next year.

    "It requires transportation agencies to install barriers in order to prevent them within two years," Napolitano told the I-Team in August. "We will fight for this bill because we think it's important."

    Metro said is has voluntarily installed barriers on 1,500 of its roughly 2,500 buses, but the agency plans to include them on all buses.

    Until recently, the sheriff's department handled law enforcement on Metro buses, but the agency now shares that job with Los Angeles police. Officers and deputies are regularly riding buses.

    NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this article.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    A Metro bus traveling in Los Angeles on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016.A Metro bus traveling in Los Angeles on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016.

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    A new brick-and-mortar toy store in Maryland opened by a former Toys R Us manager is seeing success thanks to the diversity of its dolls and toys.

    Glendon Warner said he worked for Toys R Us when it went bankrupt. He decided to stock all he learned there into something new.

    Toys, Babies and More in Hyattsville has been open for about two months and has found a customer base during a time when brick-and-mortar stores struggle to compete with Amazon and other online shopping options.

    Warner sees that as an opportunity.

    “They don't think about people who still don't know how to use a website,” he said. “They don’t think about people who still want to walk around and still bring their kids into a store where they can see live toys.”

    Part of the draw is what he stocks on his shelves: Dolls of color. Dolls that reflect the diversity of the children who play with them can be hard to find.

    “I noticed that even when I was with Toys R Us,” Warner said. “Before the second week of December, you can't find African-American dolls."

    The diversity of the toys and dolls he offers has gained him some international sales.

    “My second sale was from Great Britain,” he said.

    Because of the diversity and the hard-to-find toys, Toys, Babies and More has a strong presence online.

    As word of his toy story spreads, so does his business, something of which he and his wife are very proud.

    “It's not easy, but when you have good family, you have God, anything is possible,” Claudine Warner said.



    Photo Credit: NBCWashington

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    Former Obama housing chief Julian Castro says he's taking a step toward a possible White House campaign in 2020 by forming a presidential exploratory committee. The Texas Democrat tells The Associated Press that he will announce a decision Jan. 12.

    The move Wednesday gives the 44-year-old former San Antonio mayor an early start to what's shaping up as a crowded Democratic field without a clear front-runner to challenge President Donald Trump.

    Castro indicated in an AP interview that his mind was all but made up.

    "I know where I'm leaning, for sure," said Castro, who has said for weeks that it was likely he would seek the nomination.

    An exploratory committee usually is a formality before a candidate launches a presidential campaign. It legally allows potential candidates to begin raising money.

    But just as important for Castro, the step gives him an early jump on bigger name Democrats who are considering running but are taking a slower approach.

    No potential contender is more ascendant than outgoing Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who lost last month in a surprisingly close race against Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. O'Rourke has excited donors and activists who are now prodding him to seek the presidency.

    Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey, along with former Vice President Joe Biden, are also potential candidates.

    Castro would be among the youngest candidates in the field and the most prominent Latino. He played down the attention that others are generating and pointed to past election cycles in which early favorites ended up faltering.

    "People might say right now, 'Well, hey, you're way down here in polling that's taken.' The most dangerous place to be right now is actually in the pole position," Castro said. "It doesn't bother me that in December of 2018 I'm not right up at the top of the list. If I decide to run, it would be because I believe I have a compelling message and I'm going to work hard and get to the voters and I believe I can be successful."

    Castro, who attended O'Rourke's election-night party in El Paso last month, said O'Rourke doesn't complicate his own chances.

    "He's talented. He ran a good race against Ted Cruz," Castro said. "I'll let him talk about his future."

    Castro said he has not spoken to former President Barack Obama about his potential candidacy but plans on consulting Democratic leaders. Obama has spoken to O'Rourke, who has said he won't make a decision on 2020 until after leaving Congress in January.

    Obama picked Castro to take over the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2014. Two years later, Castro was on the short list of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's potential running mates.

    For Castro, running for president would fulfill a destiny that Democrats have projected since he was elected San Antonio mayor at 34, followed by his star-making turn as the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

    He is the grandson of a Mexican immigrant and son of a Latina activist. His twin brother, Joaquin Castro, is a Democratic congressman from Texas. Julian Castro said the Latino community has been treated "like a pinata" under Trump and deserved a candidate in the field.

    "I'm also very mindful, especially now for the Latino community, that there's a particular meaning to my candidacy," Castro said. "We can't go through the 2020 cycle with nobody on that stage because of what's happened over the last couple of years."

    Young and telegenic, Castro rose to national prominence early in his career as a Latino leader from a state that Democrats are eager to retake after decades of Republican dominance. But in Texas, O'Rourke has eclipsed Castro after getting closer to a statewide victory than any Democrat in a generation. It now puts Texas in the formerly unthinkable position of having two Democratic presidential candidates in the same year.

    The last Texas Democrat to run for president was Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, who had a short-lived campaign in 1976.

    Maryland Rep. John Delaney is the only declared 2020 Democratic presidential candidate so far. Others are expected to announce their intentions in the coming weeks.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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    Julian CastroJulian Castro

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    Kimberly-Clark has issued a recall for U by Kotex Sleek Tampons, regular absorbency, for a quality-related defect, the company said Tuesday. 

    Consumers have reported tampons unraveling and/or coming apart upon removal, leading some users to seek medical attention to remove tampon pieces left in the body. Additionally, some consumers have reported infections, vaginal irritation, localized vaginal injury and other symptoms, the company said. 

    The affected products were manufactured between Oct. 7, 2016 and Oct. 16, 2018. A list of lot numbers of the affected products can be found on the Kimberly-Clark website. Additionally, consumers can check lot numbers on the U by Kotex website

    No other U by Kotex brands are associated with the recall, the company said. 

    Anyone with the affected products is urged to stop using them and to contact the Kimberly-Clark Consumer Service Team at 1-888-255-3499. Consumers who experience any vaginal infection, irritation or injury, or symptoms such as hot flashes, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting are urged to seek medical assistance. 



    Photo Credit: Kotex

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    Commuters heading north from the South Bay Wednesday faced gridlock on Interstate 805 after a driver crashed into a dump truck overnight. 

    The slowing begins south of the L Street exit and continues through the construction zone north of Bonita Road and E Street. 

    Around 11:30 p.m., a Nissan pickup truck and Toyota were traveling next to a construction zone when for some reason they collided, California Highway Patrol Officer Jason Sanchez said.

    The impact sent the truck into the construction zone, causing it to slam into the back of a parked dump truck.

    The driver of the pickup truck was rushed to a nearby hospital, Sanchez said. Officials said the man later died from his injuries.

    The drivers of the dump truck and the Toyota were not hurt. 

    CHP officers took the Toyota driver into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence. 

    Sanchez said a SigAlert was issued for the area. Construction crews who were delayed by the collision and the cleanup still have paving to do so some lanes will be blocked during the morning commute.


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