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    Patients at Children's National hospital got a surprise visit from a very lean, but still jolly, Santa Wednesday — former President Barack Obama.

    Obama made his way through the halls of Children's National carrying a big bag filled with goodies and wearing a red hat with white trim.

    "Ho, ho, ho!" he bellowed upon entering a room filled children and their families.

    "My reindeer, uh, they were stuck in some snow ... but I just wanted to make sure that I made the trip and I had a chance to see all you guys," he said.

    Obama handed out toys and gifts ranging from remote control cars to glittery nail polish.

    "Between the lip balm and the little blush, you all just going to be cute!" Obama told one girl after handing her some makeup kits.

    He then thanked the hospital's staff for all of their hard work.

    "We've had a chance to talk to some of the wonderful kids and their families and, at a time that obviously is tough for folks and as the dad of two girls, you know, I can only imagine in that situation to have nurses and staff and doctors and people who are caring for them and looking after them and listening to them and just there for them and holding their hand - that's the most important thing there is," he said.

    Photo Credit: Office of President Barack Obama
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Former President Barack Obama delivers gifts, greets patients and their parents, at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2018.Former President Barack Obama delivers gifts, greets patients and their parents, at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2018.

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    Facebook again aimed to convince its 2.3 billion users that it didn't allow more than 150 other companies to misuse their personal data on Wednesday night after its valuation fell by more than $28 billion on the stock market, NBC News reported.

    "In the past day, we've been accused of disclosing people's private messages to partners without their knowledge," said Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships, in a post on the company's blog. "That's not true — and we wanted to provide more facts about our messaging partnerships."

    It's the second blog post from the company since The New York Times reported Tuesday that Facebook for many years gave more than 150 companies extensive access to personal data. The post focused narrowly on the contention in the Times report that emerged as the most controversial: that Facebook gave four companies access to read, write and delete users' messages.

    Archibong said the companies — Spotify, Netflix, Dropbox and the Royal Bank of Scotland — were granted automated access to users' messages so Facebook users could send Facebook messages to other Facebook users without leaving the Spotify, Netflix, Dropbox or Royal Bank apps.

    Photo Credit: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, File

    In this undated file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone.In this undated file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone.

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    A new study out Wednesday found that nearly twice as many children died from gun injuries in 2016 than from cancer, making guns the second-leading killer of children in the U.S., NBC News reported.

    Only car crashes killed more children than guns, and the U.S. gun fatality rate for children — which rose 28 percent between 2013 and 2016 — is 36 times higher than in other developed nations, according to the study from a team at the University of Michigan's Injury Prevention Center .

    The nation is failing to protect children, wrote the executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine in an editorial that accompanied the report.

    "Children in America are dying or being killed at rates that are shameful," Dr. Edward Campion wrote.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

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    The San Diego Humane Society just got back from a 10-day deployment to Butte County where they rescued eight dogs and three cats. Once they're deemed healthy, they'll be put up for adoption.

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    A former Coronado firefighter was arrested in La Mesa this month on child molestation charges after pleading no contest to similar allegations to an incident that occurred in Hawaii.

    Mark Raymond Price, 56, is accused of sexually abusing a child in San Diego in 2013 and 2015 and sexually abusing the same child while on vacation in Hawaii last year, according to court documents and Kauai prosecutor Justin Kollar. 

    A city of Coronado spokesperson confirmed to NBC 7 that Price used to be a firefighter at the city's department but has not worked there since June. The spokesperson would not specify the circumstances under which Price left the department. 

    The victim, who will not be identified due to the nature of the accusations, came forward in Hawaii, leading to the first charge against Price. 

    In Kauai court, Price pleaded no contest to one charge of sexual assault in the second degree. He will be sentenced on March 31 and faces up to 10 years in prison, Kollar said. 

    "It’s a classic case of abuse of a child, is what it comes down to for us," Kollar said. "These types of cases are the ones that really shake us as people, and as parents, and as citizens to think that somebody who’s in a position of trust and authority would do this to someone that is supposed to be able to look up them for trust and support"

    When the Kauai deputy attorney's office was made aware of the charge against Price, they notified San Diego officials to conduct their own investigation, which resulted in four charges being filed against Price in San Diego. 

    Last Thursday, Price pleaded not guilty to one felony count of sex acts with a child under 10 years old and three felony counts of lewd acts on a child. Price will next be in San Diego Court on Jan. 15.

    The alleged sex acts occurred on at least two occasions in San Diego, one between May and Sept. 2013 and one in 2015, according to a complaint obtained by NBC 7. 

    Price was arrested by La Mesa police on Dec. 12 and was being held at the George Bailey Detention Facility on $500,000 bail. 

    In court, a judge ordered Price to stay away from and end all communications with the victim.

    No other information was available.

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

    Photo Credit: Getty Images


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    Undocumented immigrants seeking asylum in the United States will be told to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed, according to a new U.S. policy to which Mexico has agreed.

    Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen explained the new process in remarks to Congress Thursday, saying undocumented immigrants without the proper documentation will have to await approval to come into the U.S. until they are granted asylum by a U.S. judge. 

    "They will not be able to disappear into the U.S.," Nielsen said of those asking the U.S. for protection due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a social group.

    "They will have to wait for approval to come into the United States. If they are granted asylum by a U.S. judge, they will be welcomed into America. If they are not, they will be removed to their home countries."

    Neilsen said that Mexican officials have agreed to this policy change and the decision was a historic one for the country, which has traditionally refused to accept the return of any migrants who aren't Mexican.

    Mexico's Foreign Relations Department said Thursday the move is a temporary, humanitarian measure. The country will offer visas for those seeking asylum in the U.S. to stay on Mexican soil and apply for work and other government protections.

    Under current policy, people eligible for asylum may be permitted to remain in the U.S. and file for asylum within one year of their arrival. 

    Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said the agency has experienced a 121 percent increase in the number of asylum seekers at ports of entry across the U.S. 

    Almost 93,000 claims were processed by the CBP in the fiscal year 2018, a spokesperson told NBC 7 San Diego. 

    Applicants currently may be released into the U.S., often with ankle monitors, while their cases wind through an overwhelmed system of immigration courts.

    Jackie Wasiluk with CBP Public Affairs said the port of entry facilities were not designed to hold hundreds of people at a time while they seek asylum. She added that the agency is also charged with monitoring trade and travel and keeping illicit goods and drugs from crossing into the U.S.

    Judges granted asylum in 21 percent of their cases in the 2018 fiscal year, according to the Associated Press.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: NBC News

    Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen explained how Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen explained how "out of control" the situation has become at the border.

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    The mayor of an Alaskan town and her elderly mother were killed after they were struck by a tour bus near the National Mall in downtown D.C. Wednesday night, police say.

    The crash happened just before 10 p.m. near the National Archives building at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The Eyre bus was making a left turn onto Pennsylvania Avenue when it struck Monica Adams Carlson and her mother, 85-year-old Cora Louise Adams, as they were in the crosswalk, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

    Both women were taken to the hospital, where they died of their injuries.

    The pair were in D.C. to see the holiday decorations and loved visiting Washington, Carlson's brother-in-law, Steve Hites, told News4.

    "Both of them were avid lovers of Washington, D.C. The nations capital was a placed they loved to visit," Hites said.

    Carlson, 61, was the mayor of Skagway, Alaska, a town about 100 miles north of  Juneau with a population of about 1,100 people. Carlson was a write-in candidate who was elected to a 2-year term in 2017, according to the town's radio station KHNS-FM. 

    "She leaves some very large shoes to fill in a very small town where we all watch after each other very closely," Hites said.

    Carlson's mother was a resident of the lakeside town of Elbe in Washington state.

    Video from Wednesday's scene showed a tour bus parked on the street near a large area that was taped off by police.

    Several police cruisers had their lights on and officers could be seen stepping inside the bus.

    No further information about the crash has been released. 

    Eyre Bus, Tour & Travel, the company that operates the tour bus, released a statement expressing their sympathy to the family. 

    "We are cooperating fully with authorities in the investigation of this incident. Eyre places the safe transportation of our customers as well as those we share the road with as our number one priority." the statement went on to say. 

    It's not clear whether the traffic lights were red or green at the time. Police are reviewing traffic camera video to see if Carlson and Adams had the green light when they crossed.

    "We do know they were in the crosswalk based on the information that we have, but that's the other information that we're verifying is what the signal timing was for both the vehicle and the pedestrians that were involved in this crash," Assistant Police Chief Jeffery Carroll said.

    The driver of the bus was cooperating with the investigation. 

    Blaine Mero, office administrator for the Skagway Chamber of Commerce, says locals are in shock and grief over the news.

    Police say the crash was very similar to an incident that claimed the lives of two woman on Feb. 14, 2007. The woman were hit and killed by a Metrobus in the same intersection. Metro settled a lawsuit with one of the victim's husbands for more than $2 million. DDOT added a left-turn lane and left-turn arrow to the intersection following the crash. 

    The Associated Press contributed to this report

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

    Monica Adams Carlson was the mayor of Skagway, Alaska, a town about 100 miles north of Juneau with a population of about 1,100 people.Monica Adams Carlson was the mayor of Skagway, Alaska, a town about 100 miles north of Juneau with a population of about 1,100 people.

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    Severe loneliness may be particularly high at three stages in an adult’s life, a study done by UC San Diego found.

    The research found that moderate to severe loneliness persisted across an adult's life, but was particularly high during the late-20s, mid-50s and late-80s.

    Wisdom may be the cure, UC San Diego researchers said.

    Veronica McFarland had to overcome her feelings of sadness and loneliness following a stroke she had two years ago.

    “I now have aphasia,” McFarland said. “I have a tough time getting my words out.”

    Throughout her recovery, she said she dealt with feelings of depression and loneliness.

    And according to researchers, she’s not alone.

    The research sampled San Diego adults from their late 20s up to 101 years old and found that moderate to severe loneliness persisted across an adult's life, but was particularly high during the late-20s, mid-50s and late-80s.

    Approximately 75 percent of those surveyed reported feeling moderate to serious loneliness, researchers found.

    Previous studies found loneliness rates of 17 to 57 percent, so it's up by much more this year.

    People who are wiser are less lonely, researchers said. Wisdom was explained as having empathy, compassion and being self-reflective, even spiritual.

    These are all characteristics which McFarland said she's gained through her new journey, which now includes going to nursing school.

    “Forget about yourself and think about ways of giving back that's what helped me,” she said. “Finding something that you’re passionate about is the key.”

    McFarland credits her husband and her training as a U.S. Marine with giving her the strength to focus on her recovery.

    Keep in mind, the study sampled people who do not have dementia or suffer from mental illness, cancer or heart disease.

    The study was published Dec. 18 in the online issue of International Psychogeriatrics. 

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    As President Donald Trump struggles to get funding for his wall along the southern border, a wounded veteran is trying to crowdsource money himself — and it's rapidly gaining steam, though it's got a long way to go until it gets to its $1 billion goal.

    The "We The People Will Fund The Wall" campaign on GoFundMe had raised more than $5.5 million as of Thursday and was gaining hundreds of thousands of dollars by the hour as the president continues to press Congress to fund his signature campaign promise.

    The GoFundMe campaign is led by Brian Kolfage, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who lost three limbs in an explosion in Iraq in 2004.

    "If we can fund a large portion of this wall, it will jumpstart things and will be less money Trump has to secure from our politicians," he wrote.

    The page collects donations through GoFundMe but also lists an address for Kolfage where people can send checks, made payable to GoFund The Wall. The page attempts to answer several questions about the project's trustworthiness, including whether it's a scam — Kolfage asserts he uses his real name and information, so he's accountable. It meets GoFundMe's terms of service, a spokesman said.

    The page also says that organizers are contacting the Trump administration to secure a place where the money can be sent when the goal is reached and cites private donations for a recent restoration of the Washington Monument as precedent. The White House did immediately respond to a request for comment.

    "We will hold all funds and not release a single penny until we have all legal aspects covered to ensure our money goes only to the wall," the GoFundMe page says, adding that all the money would be refunded "if we don't reach our goal or come significantly close."

    Kolfage hasn't responded to a request for an interview, but he told The Washington Post that his campaign was "giving the people the power."

    A Facebook page touted on the GoFundMe as the campaign's official one stopped working on Thursday. NBC has reached out to Facebook for comment, but has yet to receive a reply.

    Kolfage has previously had activity banned on Facebook. According to a post he wrote on the Right Wing News website in October, Facebook took down the outlet's verified page, which Kolfage managed, as part of a crackdown on disinformation ahead of the midterm elections. He called it a "malicious coordinated" attack on what he and others have fought for.

    Kolfage lost his legs and part of his right arm in a mortar explosion while serving as an airman in Iraq. He received a Purple Heart and, after he began giving back to the community, the Wounded Warrior Project's George C. Lang award for courage.

    He attended the 2012 State of the Union address with former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who the year before called him a friend and an inspiration in her recovery from being shot in the head.

    Trump has been seeking $5 billion for his border wall in this year's budget, which only allocates $1.3 billion for it. He's threatened to shut down the government, whose funding runs out Friday night, and called Republicans to the White House Thursday for crisis talks on a bill that would keep the government funded through the first week of February.

    The money Kolfage has raised so far on GoFundMe is less than 1 percent of the campaign's goal, Kolfage wrote on the page, though giving has sped up as it's gotten more news coverage.

    He wrote that he's trying to have GoFundMe raise the maximum goal of $1 billion and calculated that, "If the 63 million people who voted for Trump each pledge $80, we can build the wall." That would be total over $5 billion, enough to cover a year of the funding Trump is seeking.

    The Better Business Bureau recommends that people hoping to assess whether a GoFundMe campaign is a scam reach out to GoFundMe on the site or the organizer themselves through the envelope next to their name. Anyone can report the campaign as well.

    Charity Navigator, which evaluates nonprofits, suggests several ways to learn more about fundraisers.

    Photo Credit: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images, File

    This Oct. 5, 2017, file photo shows prototype sections of a border wall between Mexico and the United States under construction near Tijuana, Mexico.This Oct. 5, 2017, file photo shows prototype sections of a border wall between Mexico and the United States under construction near Tijuana, Mexico.

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    A Texas grandmother who used a box cutter to fight off a pair of robbers at her Subway restaurant may have a new title: Houston's Toughest Abuela.

    Recently released video of the Sept. 22 robbery at a Subway on Westheimer Road shows two men in hoodies jump over the sandwich franchise's counter and confront 44-year-old Guadalupe Rojas, KPRC-TV reported. Rojas grabbed a box cutter and held her ground, refusing to turn over any cash.

    Security video shows one of the men grabbing a pan and striking Rojas over the head before punching her repeatedly. The station reported Rojas, who stands 4 feet, 9 inches tall, slashed one of the robbers.

    According to KPRC, Houston police are searching for the men in the video.

    "[The attack] taught me that I had to defend my family, because that is how I feel, that Subway is my family," said Rojas, who has worked at the restaurant for six years.

    "I was shocked to see my mom in that way," Aurelia Mejia told KPRC. Her sister, Edith, said they were both "super proud" of the grandmother of nine.

    The report said Rojas did not receive a raise for her actions, but she did receive more hours.

    Photo Credit: KRPC/NBC DFW

    Guadalupe Rojas, grandmother to nine, stood her ground against a pair of robbers inside a Houston Subway restaurant in September.Guadalupe Rojas, grandmother to nine, stood her ground against a pair of robbers inside a Houston Subway restaurant in September.

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    House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that President Donald Trump would not sign a bill that would fund the government into February because it did not include funding for his border wall. Ryan said he is going back to the House to work with members on a bill that the president would sign.

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    'Shake Your Tail Feather': The Blues Brothers -- fronted by Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, of course -- recently rocked their way through Harrah's Resort SoCal.

    Photo Credit: Alex Matthews

    As far as we can tell, their Dec. 8 show was the first time the legendary group has performed in the San Diego area -- ever.As far as we can tell, their Dec. 8 show was the first time the legendary group has performed in the San Diego area -- ever.

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    When you think of decorating for a party, you may consider helium-filled balloons as a necessity. However, some San Diego-area stores are reporting a shortage in the supply of helium and that could burst your creative bubble. 

    Local business owner Robert Costantino calls himself the "Balloon Guru."

    While he admits there has been a disruption of helium for some local businesses, his store has ample supply.  

    “I think it will be a temporary issue but the timing is unfortunate," Costantino said.

    Party supply stores across the U.S. may be hanging signs saying "out of helium" just weeks before the New Year.

    While most people associate helium with party balloons, the natural gas is used in the medical field in things like MRI machines. So, when there’s a shortage, distributors give the medical field the priority over balloons.

    The federal government’s Bureau of Land Management or BLM operates the nation’s Helium Program. It used to provide 40 percent of the helium in the U.S., but after its last auction in July, it is no longer selling helium to private companies.

    Joseph Peterson, BLM’s assistant field manager, told NBC Miami that “global economic uncertainty” is preventing helium from getting here as fast as it’s needed.

    Party City told NBC Miami:

    “The shortage of helium supplies has impacted many industries. While Party City isn’t immune to these challenges, we are working aggressively with our supply partners and regularly receive helium replenishment to serve our customers in stores.”

    Costantino said there are alternate ways to use balloons in your decorations including arches, columns or lettering. 

    You could opt to go with balloons but be warned.

    "You can celebrate without balloons but you wouldn’t be invited to any of my parties," Costantino said.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7/Telemundo 20

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    President Donald Trump again pushed for funding for his proposed border wall to be included in a spending bill that would keep the government from shutting down this weekend. Trump told lawmakers earlier he would not sign the stopgap bill without funding for his border wall with Mexico, which he has been promising to build since his presidential campaign.

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    Since 2015, San Diego’s Water Department has refunded water customers more than $8.3 million, according to new data obtained by NBC 7 Responds and media partner Voice of San Diego. 

    The bulk of the $8.3 million refund total was paid to the U.S. Navy, which received $4.7 million in October 2017 for years of water overcharges at the Naval base facilities in Point Loma. 

    A spokesperson for the city confirmed the refund was issued in late 2017 after it was discovered that water passing through the Navy’s water meter, tied to the Point Loma facility account, was delivered to water customers across the city. This resulted in the Navy paying for water it did not use. 

    The Navy did not respond to NBC 7’s request for comment but a city spokesperson said the issue stemmed from the “complexity of the [water] metering system” that services the Navy’s Point Loma facilities. 

    A city spokesperson added that the Navy's billing has been accurate since the refund was issued.

    The amount and number of refunds issued by the city’s Public Utilities Department have increased in recent years. 

    City data shows that in 2018, the city’s water department issued more than $1.1 million in refunds. More than half a million dollars was paid to customers for billing concerns or for what the city refers to as “exceptional high bill adjustments.”

    The city said “exceptional high bill adjustment” refunds went to customers who challenged their bill but after an investigation, the city couldn’t explain the reason for the recorded high water use. Residential water customers who paid their bills on-time regularly were more likely to receive the adjustments. 

    “[I was] very upset. You know it's not like I can go to another water company and say, ‘I'd rather have your water,’” said Maria Villegas out of Rancho Bernardo. 

    Villegas was one of the thousands of water customers that saw unexpected spikes on her water bills last year. 

    NBC 7 Responds spoke to Villegas as part of its year-long open investigation into the water department over allegations of mismanagement inside the department and hundreds of complaints about unusually high water bills, as well as the city’s response to those bills. 

    “Probably the biggest part is that whole piece of letting us think that somehow it was our fault,” said Villegas in October. 

    Villegas said customer service representatives for the water department repeatedly told her the high bills were caused by her excessive water use or a possible leak. Villegas said no leaks were found and she denied that her family had used more water. In fact, she said they had stopped watering their lawn as a way to conserve water during the drought. 

    That’s when Villegas contacted NBC 7 Responds for help. 

    Shortly after NBC 7 Responds published Villegas’ story, the Public Utilities Department contacted her and eventually refunded more than $1,800. 

    Villegas was not alone. Not counting the $4.7 million payment to the Navy, 2018 saw the largest amount of refunds paid out by the water department in the last four years. 

    Since January more than 2,200 water customers received refunds. A majority of those refunds were for unexplainable high water use. 

    “The Public Utilities Department routinely reviews customer billing information and proactively issues refunds when discrepancies or errors occur,” said Nicole Darling, a spokesperson for the city. “The department’s priority is to ensure that customers only pay for the water they use and not a penny more.” 

    The surge in city refunds comes with scrutiny over how San Diego’s Public Utilities Department has operated in the past. The department continues to face two City Auditor reviews and an internal investigation into the department’s “internal management structure.” 

    In November, NBC 7 Responds released “Flood of Distrust” - a 30-minute look into this year’s findings as the team continues to investigate the city’s Public Utilities Department. Watch Part One of the special below: 


    To watch the full special, click here.

    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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    A Good Samaritan discovered an abandoned container on the sand in Pacific Beach Thursday morning that, according to the fire department, turned out to be filled with heroin.

    Monica Munoz, spokesperson for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD), said the Good Samaritan dropped off the container just after 9:15 a.m. at the SDFD station on Grand Avenue.

    Per protocol, Munoz said firefighters called a Hazardous Materials team to come to the fire station to inspect the container – and whatever substance appeared to be inside.

    A few hours later, the SDFD confirmed the substance was heroin. The narcotics were picked up from the fire station by officials with the San Diego County District Attorney’s office, Munoz said.

    At this point, it is unknown how the container got onto the beach or why it was left behind.

    Photo Credit: Google Maps

    The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's station on Grand Avenue in Pacific Beach.The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's station on Grand Avenue in Pacific Beach.

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    The San Diego International Airport’s three-billion-dollar expansion plan has been in the works for some time and includes building more parking spaces for cars. 

    But with more travelers using ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber to get to the airport, NBC 7 Investigates wanted to know how many people will actually use those spaces. 

    In May, the airport finished building a new $128 million parking garage for Terminal Two. A new parking garage is in the works to be built for Terminal One. 

    After monitoring Terminal Two’s new parking garage during the month of November, NBC 7 found plenty of people were opting to leave their cars at home. 

    NBC 7 monitored the garage day and night throughout November and found hundreds of parking spaces available. On average, the parking garage was no more than 55-percent full each day. On the day before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days of the year, only 57-percent of the garage’s spaces were used. 


    Speaking with travelers departing or returning to San Diego, NBC 7 found a majority are choosing ride-share options over parking their own car at the airport. 

    “[Rideshare] is the future,” said Sergey Kiro. 

    “It’s faster and more convenient,” traveler Ceidy Flores told NBC 7. 

    Ride-share data for San Diego’s airport supports the trend. Since July, the airport started tracking rideshare pickups and dropoffs and found more than 355,000 people were using these services each month. By October, the number of passengers using rideshare services rose to more than 394,000. 

    To see how many people used rideshare services at San Diego’s Airport since July, look below or click here

    That's not even considering the impact from public transit options. In November, Mayor Kevin Faulconer proposed making Terminal One a transit hub for trolley and bus services, which could also have an impact on travelers parking at the airport. 

    “It's been quite a shock to the industry,” said Scott Brickner, the San Diego Airport’s Chief Financial Officer, responding to ridesharing impacts. “And so you think about things like autonomous vehicles and things that may disrupt more in the future.”

    With all of the transit options to the airport, NBC 7 asked Brickner why the airport feels it needs a second, new parking garage with 10,000 spaces. Brickner said Terminal Two’s new garage will provide parking spots when construction is underway in other parts of the airport when parking there is disrupted. 

    Brickner and Dennis Probst, who is tasked with overseeing the airport’s expansion project, believe the rapid increase in the use of ridesharing services are expected to level out eventually. 

    According to the airport’s initial plans, the new Terminal One parking structure was slated to be double the size of the new garage built for Terminal Two. Now, Probst said that plan is being rethought. 

    “In addition to watching what's going on around the country, we’re very carefully monitoring what's happening at the new [Terminal Two] parking terminal,” Probst said. 

    “Throughout the entire country, airports are actually being impacted by the rideshare pickup and drop-offs,” said Julie Dixon, a consultant who has worked in the transportation industry for nearly three decades. 

    Dixson said the impacts of ridesharing on airports can be seen firsthand, adding that San Fransisco’s airport was one of the first to experience the impact, given it’s where the concept of peer-to-peer ridesharing was born. 

    L.E.K., an international research firm, found airports across the globe are figuring out how to deal with these trends. 

    L.E.K. noted in their study that the Pittsburg International Airport had originally planned a new 5,000 space garage structure but after considering ridesharing trends, reduced the size to 3,500 spaces. 

    Brickner said planning ahead for the airport expansion is an expensive juggling act. 

    “To ensure that we are meeting the demand for parking in the future but we're not overbuilding or underbuilding,” Brickner told NBC 7. 

    Rideshare services are having an impact outside of San Diego’s airport also. 

    According to sales reports, released by the Port of San Diego to NBC7 Investigates, five paid parking lots surrounding the airport have also been affected by ridesharing. 

    Those parking lots, the “Park ‘N Fly” and “San Diego Park, Shuttle & Fly” parking lots, saw revenues decrease in the last three years. 

    This led the Port of San Diego to take the dramatic step of reducing those parking lots’ rental rates to 25-percent of the lots’ yearly revenues, just so that they could stay open.

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

    The San Diego International Airport recently built a new garage with 2,900 parking spaces for Terminal Two, costing $128 million.The San Diego International Airport recently built a new garage with 2,900 parking spaces for Terminal Two, costing $128 million.

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    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will step down at the end of February, according to a resignation letter he hand-delivered to President Donald Trump Thursday, a day after Trump overruled his advice against pulling troops out of Syria.

    Mattis, perhaps the most respected foreign policy official in Trump's administration, will leave by the end of February after two tumultuous years struggling to soften and moderate the president's hardline and sometimes sharply changing policies.

    In the letter, Mattis wrote of differences with the president on maintaining alliances, advancing an international order and using American power for a common defense. China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model at the expense of the United States and its allies, he wrote.

    "We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances," Mattis wrote.

    Trump has the right to a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with his on "these and other subjects," he wrote.

    His departure was immediately lamented by foreign policy hands and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, who viewed the retired Marine general as a sober voice of experience in the ear of a president who had never held political office or served in the military. Even Trump allies expressed fear over Mattis' decision to quit, believing him to be an important moderating force on the president.

    "Just read Gen. Mattis resignation letter," Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted. "It makes it abundantly clear that we are headed toward a series of grave policy errors which will endanger our nation, damage our alliances & empower our adversaries."

    Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California said that she was "shaken" by the news.

    "I am shaken by the news because of the patriot that General Mattis is," she said. "I think that everybody in the country should read his letter of resignation. It’s a letter of great patriotism, great respect for the president but also a statement of his values."

    The president tweeted in announcing Mattis' departure, which he characterized as a retirement, that a new defense secretary "will be named shortly."

    "During Jim's tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting equipment," he wrote. "General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations."

    Trump said Wednesday that the United States had beaten ISIS in Syria, but experts and former officials disagreed. They warned that Trump's surprise decision to withdraw troops from Syria would be seen as a victory for Russia and Iran and a betrayal of Kurdish and Arab forces fighting a seven-year war against the Damascus regime.

    Mattis met with the president Thursday afternoon to tell him he would be resigning and deliver the letter, a Defense Department spokesman said. A senior White House official told NBC News Mattis and the president had differences of opinion over some issues over the last few months but did not know whether Syria had specifically come up. 

    Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said earlier Thursday that Mattis had told him that this was not the time to leave Syria, and that "a replay of Iraq was very likely." Graham, who called the decision to remove troops from Syria an Obama-like mistake, had urged Trump to follow military advice in the fight against ISIS.

    Of Mattis, he tweeted Thursday, "He has been in the fight against radical Islam for decades and provided sound and military ethical advice to President Trump."

    Mattis and Trump had clashed over a number of international decisions. He defended the Iran nuclear deal just as Trump pulled out of it and was at odds with the president’s opposition to U.S. military exercises with South Korea in a concession to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

    Mattis, 68, is a Marine Corps general who retired in 2013 after serving as the head of the U.S. Central Command.

    He has a reputation as a battle-hardened, tough-talking Marine who was entrusted with some of the most challenging commands in the U.S. military. 

    Mattis was only the second retired general to serve as defense secretary, the first being George C. Marshall in 1950-51 during the Korean War. Marshall was a much different figure, having previously served as U.S. secretary of state and playing a key role in creating closer ties with Western Europe after World War II.

    Although his record in combat and his credentials as a senior commander are widely admired, Mattis had little experience in the diplomatic aspects of the job of secretary of defense upon taking the position.

    Born in Pullman, Washington, Mattis enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1969, later earning a history degree from Central Washington University. He was commissioned as an officer in 1972. As a lieutenant colonel, Mattis led an assault battalion into Kuwait during the first U.S. war with Iraq in 1991.

    As head of the Central Command from 2010 until his retirement in 2013, he was in charge of both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The Associated Press contributed to this article.

    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File
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    In this file photo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.In this file photo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.

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    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is resigning from the Trump administration at the end of February so President Donald Trump can have someone in the role with views on defense that are closey aligned with his own.

    Mattis told Trump he has "the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours" on subjects like how to "advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values," as well as alliance building.

    Read the full letter here:

    Photo Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP, File
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    This Oct. 23, 2018, file photo shows Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (left) and President Donald Trump at a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington.This Oct. 23, 2018, file photo shows Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (left) and President Donald Trump at a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington.

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    A Campo man pleaded guilty Thursday to a May attack on a school bus driver that was thwarted by the driver, a passerby, and a student’s grandmother.

    Matthew Barker, 37, ran onto a school bus that was picking up Campo Elementary School students at an apartment complex near the intersection of Jeb Stuart and Sheridan roads on May 25. He was armed with a knife.

    The driver stopped Barker before he could reach the students who were huddled near the rear of the bus.

    A woman who was accompanying her grandchild to school jumped in to help while a third person hopped onto the bus, pried the knife away from Barker and forced him off the bus, sheriff's officials said.

    On Thursday, Barker pleaded guilty to felony assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of misdemeanor child endangerment. 

    Barker’s son and daughter were on the school bus, their grandfather said.

    Two nights before the attack, Barker had called 911 telling them someone was trying to hurt his kids, Barker's father said. 

    His son also walked to a nearby U.S. Border Patrol station to reach out for help, according to his father.

    SDSO Lt. Greg Rylaarsdam told NBC 7 in May that Barker was detained by deputies but released because he didn't meet the criteria for involuntary transport to the County Mental health Center.

    Photo Credit: OnScene.TV

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