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    Fun fact: Did you know that the Queen Bee Market, the bi-annual two-day shopping event that features handmade items from more than 100 local and national artisans and is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, is owned by two San Diego-based sisters?

    Dubbed the “Etsy comes to life” event, the Queen Bee Market has been owned and managed by North County natives and sisters, Kellie Dooley and Allison Gharst, since 2015.

    According to a news release, although the company was originally founded in 2010, Dooley and Gharst have helped it grow since acquiring it by expanding to new markets, including Las Vegas, growing it to a bi-annual occurrence and hosting more vendors at each expo.

    Additionally, the sisters have made it their mission to make sure Queen Bee Market supports local charities, says the release. This year, the company partnered with The Animal Pad, an all-breed dog rescue that focuses on dogs in high-kill shelters and dogs from the streets of Mexico. Representatives from The Animal Pad were present at the two-day event collecting donations as well as helping dogs get adopted on-site.

    The expo, which features original artwork, dolls, furniture and jewelry, took place Dec. 14 and 15 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, and it will make its return to San Diego on April 26-27.

    The San Diego market expects 2,000 to 4,000 attendees this time around, as the event has had a steady growth of approximately 15 percent each market, according to the sisters. In the near future, Queen Bee Market will be expanding to Seattle.

    Photo Credit: Queen Bee Market
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    The two-day Queen Bee Market features handmade items like artwork, dolls, furniture and jewelry created by over 100 local and national artisans.The two-day Queen Bee Market features handmade items like artwork, dolls, furniture and jewelry created by over 100 local and national artisans.

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    Special counsel Robert Mueller is nearing the end of his historic investigation into Russian election interference and is expected to submit a confidential report to the attorney general as early as mid-February, government officials and others familiar with the situation tell NBC News.

    "They clearly are tying up loose ends," said a lawyer who has been in contact with the Mueller team.

    The sources either did not know or would not say whether Mueller has answered the fundamental question he was hired to investigate: Whether Trump or anyone around him conspired with the Russian intelligence operations to help his campaign.

    Photo Credit: AP

    FILE - In this June 21, 2017, file photo, special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.FILE - In this June 21, 2017, file photo, special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.

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    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi reacted to President Donald Trump’s refusal to back a bill averting a government shutdown Thursday. Schumer said Trump that between the possible shutdown, the falling stock market and the resignation of Defense Secretary of Jim Mattis, Trump is “plunging the country into chaos.”

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    President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will retire in February 2019. Mattis submitted a letter to Trump saying the president deserves a secretary of defense with views more close to his on things like alliances and building an international order. The move comes after Trump abruptly announced that U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Syria, where they’d been fighting ISIS.

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    Visitors to the Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego, California will pay a higher fee as rates will increase for the second time in two years.

    The national park includes access to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse which can be seen on the peninsula from San Diego Bay. Other popular points of interest are the tidepool trail and the old military buildings along the edge of Point Loma. 

    Beginning Jan. 1, the National Parks Service will charge $20 per vehicle at the gate. Just last year, the single-day vehicle fee was increased by $5.  In 2017, the fee per car was $10. 

    Four fee-free days are planned for 2018: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15), the first day of National Park Week (April 21), National Public Lands Day (Sept. 22) and Veterans Day (Nov. 11).Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15), the first day of National Park Week (April 21), National Public Lands Day (Sept. 22) and Veterans Day (Nov. 11).

    The cost for a vehicle single-day pass in 2015 was raised from $5 to $10 in November 2015. It was the first fee increase for the park since it began charging a fee in 1988.

    Cyclists and pedestrians will be charged $10, an increase from the 2018 rate of $7. In 2015, the fee per pedestrian and cyclist was $5.

    Motorcycle riders will also be charged an additional $5 with their daily rate increasing from $10 to $15 in 2019. 

    Those opting to purchase an annual pass will pay $35 in 2019, up from the $30 annual pass fee in 2018. 

    Chief of Interpretation and Education Elizabeth Skinner said the additional fees will provide funds to be used for projects and activities to improve the experience of those visiting the park, according to a written statement.

    She also said all of the revenue from the fee increases stay within the National Park Service with 80 percent of the revenue going to the Cabrillo National Monument.

    A number of projects are currently in progress funded by the additional revenue from rate increases. They include the restoration of vegetation and repairs to the Bayside Trail, creating a new park film and documenting the oral history of WWII survivors as well as creating and putting in new educational materials for park visitors. 

    Skinner said there is also a project underway to preserve the pavement and restripe the parking area. 

    For those looking to visit without paying a fee, there are five days in 2019 that have been identified as "fee-free" days. They include:

    • Jan. 21 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    • April 20 – Start of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger Day
    • August 25 – National Park Service Anniversary
    • Sept. 28 – National Public Lands Day
    • Nov. 11 – Veterans Day

    Learn more about the Cabrillo National Monument here.

    Photo Credit: Mario Lopez

    Cabrillo National Monument is the most southwesterly spot in the contiguous United States.Cabrillo National Monument is the most southwesterly spot in the contiguous United States.

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    An Escondido woman caught in the crossfire of a gang shooting almost two years ago would have forgiven her killer, her husband said Thursday after the gunman's sentencing.

    Dionicio Torrez, who was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted murder along with a number of special allegations, will spend the rest of his life in prison, a judge ordered Thursday. 

    Torrez was a documented gang member when he opened fire on Grand Avenue in Escondido in March 2017. Police said the shooting happened after a rival gang member wrote graffiti on the defendant's "turf."

    One of the stray bullets killed Catherine Kennedy as she was driving home from church.

    Kennedy volunteered at St. Timothy’s parish with the youth ministry program and had just been involved in a confirmation class.

    The stray bullet from the shooting struck Kennedy in the head and she lost control, crashing her vehicle into another. 

    "The tragedy of this is how much Cathy had spent her life trying to make the world a better place, in contrast to this gang violence that is just tearing at our society and killing people," her husband, Kevin Kennedy told NBC 7 on Thursday.

    Kevin Kennedy was at the sentencing hearing inside the courtroom in Vista along with other family members as well as relatives of the defendant.

    The victim's brother-in-law said there were no winners in this case, only losers.

    After the hearing, the judge said he hopes both families would find peace.

    A 16-year-old friend of Torrez who was also convicted of criminal charges in the case was sentenced to 480 days in juvenile custody. 

    Photo Credit: NBC 7
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    Donicio Torrez shown at his sentencing hearing on Dec. 20, 2018.Donicio Torrez shown at his sentencing hearing on Dec. 20, 2018.

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    A man was killed early Thursday after being struck on the face and head with a frying pan, allegedly by a housemate, at an independent living facility in El Cajon.

    The El Cajon Police Department (ECPD) said the housemates -- who lived in separate bedrooms at the home in the 1200 block of Naranca Avenue -- were heard arguing prior to the deadly assault, according to witnesses.

    As the conflict escalated, the suspect, identified by police as Brad Payton, 24, of El Cajon, allegedly grabbed the blunt household object and hit the victim.

    When officers arrived at the housing facility at around 5 a.m., they discovered the victim bleeding in a bedroom, suffering from multiple injuries to his face and head. Medics were called to the home and the victim was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital.

    Officials later confirmed the victim had died at the hospital. His name has not yet been released by police.

    The ECPD said Payton is the sole suspect in the case. He was found by officers at the facility and was arrested on the spot. Police said he and the victim knew one another. Investigators said Payton will be booked into jail on one count of murder.

    NBC 7 spoke with neighbors who said the home where the assault happened serves as a halfway house. Several neighbors said there had been ongoing disturbances at the property.

    “There are people, all around the clock, in and out,” one neighbor, who did not want to be identified, told NBC 7. “They come out screaming at each other at two or three in the morning.”

    That neighbor said the activity surrounding the home is worrisome, especially since there are children in the neighborhood. Naranca Elementary School is located a short distance away.

    She said residents from the home have asked her for money and have also knocked on her door asking to borrow random items like a pen.

    She said Thursday's assault takes her concern to a higher level.

    “I’m terrified. A frying pan? What if, one day, I answer the wrong thing and they go off on me, or my kid, or my dogs barking?” she added.

    Records obtained by NBC 7 show the property provides "transitional housing to single and low-income individuals with a physical or mental disability."

    NBC 7 reached out to the owner of the home, Living Solutions and Services, Inc, but they did not comment on the case.

    Another neighbor who has lived in the area for about a year told NBC 7 she often hears screaming coming from the home and said police frequent the property.

    "There’s activity on a weekly basis," the woman, who also did not want to be identified, told NBC 7. "The El Cajon PD are here at least two or three times a week, addressing issues at the house."

    "This does not surprise me -- that something actually took place because it’s a violent household," she added.

    The woman said she has seen residents of the living facility throwing items onto the driveway and knocking on neighbors' doors. She believes about six people share the home, but she said she has never seen anyone supervising the facility.

    "It lacks residential supervision. You can’t put that many people with mental health issues under the same roof and expect them to behave accordingly," she said. "It doesn’t work."

    The assault victim’s parents, Karen and Mike McCarthy, spoke with NBC 7 Thursday as officers cordoned the home where their son had been living.

    Karen said her son was "developmentally disabled" and had been living at the facility for about four to five months. 

    "He doesn't like to follow rules, so this is where he ended up," she added.

    The McCarthys live in Pine Valley and said they visited with their son weekly. Karen said her son never had a problem with violence; she also said she was unaware of the recurring disturbances at the living facility mentioned by neighbors.

    "That's news to us," she told NBC 7.

    Karen said her son liked the location of the group home and never mentioned anything about any issues with his housemates. The parents said their son would talk about minor bickering over typical roommate things, but it was never anything serious.

    The McCarthys said the living facility is supervised by a "house manager."

    "It was my understanding that there was a house manager here but I called this morning – I spoke to him just recently – and he was at work. And, it’s like, ‘Well, how could you be the house manager if you’re at work?’" said Karen. "He said he was here and he heard nothing."

    NBC 7 reached out to the County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency to gather more information about the facility and how supervision at these types of homes may be regulated.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

    The scene of the assault at the home in El Cajon on Dec. 20, 2018.The scene of the assault at the home in El Cajon on Dec. 20, 2018.

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    The slow response by San Diego County leaders to come up with a plan to administer vaccinations in the midst of a deadly Hepatitis A crisis may have contributed to the virus’ spread, according to an audit by the state of California.

    It took the county and the city six months from when the Hepatitis A outbreak was first recognized in March 2017 to ramp up vaccination implementation and sanitization efforts, and only after a local state emergency was declared, according to the state audit.

    The county "did not consistently set measurable targets and timeframes for administering vaccinations to the at-risk populations early in its response, nor did it determine the quantities of key resources—primarily, nursing staff—needed to carry out the vaccination program," the state auditor, Elaine M. Howle, wrote.

    The audit also criticized the county's failure to create a group of leaders to coordinate response efforts. County leaders told auditors this would be implemented in the future. 

    The report, titled "By Acting More Quickly, the County and City of San Diego Might Have Reduced the Spread of Disease," did, however, praise the county’s efforts at identifying the populations at risk and the proper response efforts that should be implemented. 

    The state auditor recommended the county of San Diego should update its emergency plan by April 2019 and the city and county should revise a contract to clarify each jurisdiction's role in responding to public health matters. 

    Early on, city and county leaders appeared at odds with selecting the best methods to combat the crisis. 

    The city was not without fault, though, in its response to the outbreak. The state auditor noted in her report that the city should have taken additional steps to understand what needed to be done to halt the problem.

    In one example, the state auditor said it took the city three months after discussing solutions with the county to install hand washing stations, opening more restrooms and sanitizing streets.

    According to the audit, the city did not believe the outbreak was as serious as it was until a local emergency declaration from county public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten in Aug. 2017, which was too late.

    "If the city had had more information, it might have more quickly understood the need for the sanitation measures," the audit said.

    Wooten did not implement an emergency declaration earlier because "the county wanted to work with the city first before it resorted to mandating compliance," according to the audit. 

    The outbreak, mainly affecting the at-risk homeless population and drug users, first began in November 2016 but was recognized in March of the following year, after a spike in Hepatitis A cases.

    By the time San Diego's Hepatitis A outbreak was declared over in January, it was considered the worst outbreak in more than 20 years in the United States, according to Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown. 

    Cases in Colorado and Arizona were also linked to San Diego's Hepatitis A outbreak. At one point, the county warned restaurant workers that they may have been exposed.  

    In total, there were 584 cases of Hepatitis A reported during the outbreak in San Diego County. That included 398 hospitalizations and 20 deaths before county leaders ended the public health emergency in late January. 

    A county spokesperson said the findings in the state audit report were consistent with their findings released in an after-action report.

    "The hepatitis A outbreak that occurred in San Diego County was unprecedented, and resulted in hundreds of illnesses and 20 deaths. Any event of this magnitude should be reviewed in hindsight. The County of San Diego appreciates the thorough review done by the independent State Auditors. The findings contained in the report prepared by the State Auditors are generally consistent with the County’s May 2018 Hepatitis A Outbreak After Action Report. Therefore, we want to reiterate our commitment to making the recommended improvements so that as a region we are better prepared to respond to any future health emergency."

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    A man accused of attacking a San Diego County sheriff's deputy in Encinitas over the weekend and sending him to the hospital made an appearance in court Thursday. 

    Suspect Frederick Gramcko, 53, pleaded not guilty in a Vista courtroom to charges of attempted murder of a peace officer. Judge James E. Simmons Jr. denied Gramcko bail, saying he is a danger to the community. 

    According to the San Diego District Attorney's Office, the deputy attacked sustained a broken nose, arm and leg. He was taken to the Scripps Encinitas hospital and has since been released. 

    The incident started when deputies received a call Saturday that a man was hitting a red-light camera with a baseball bat shortly after 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

    At the same time, a Sheriff's deputy was driving by and saw Gramcko attacking the camera, investigators said.

    The deputy approached Gramcko and ordered him to drop his bat, but Gramcko refused, investigators added. The deputy attempted to use a stun gun on Gramcko but it malfunctioned and Gramcko swung the bat at the deputy several times, attempting to hit him in the head. 

    The deputy then attempted to use his baton on Gramcko. Gramcko and the deputy ran westbound on Encinitas Boulevard onto the Shell gas station parking lot, according to investigators. 

    "When the deputy caught up to the suspect, he turned around and attacked the deputy and a physical altercation between them ensued," San Diego Sheriff's Office Detective Adrian Moses said. "Other deputies arrived on scene and the suspect was ultimately detained and handcuffed."

    Gramcko was restrained in a Wrap device — a thick nylon blanket that prevents a suspect from kicking and moving around — and taken to Scripps La Jolla hospital for treatment before being booked into the Vista Detention Facility on charges of attempted murder of a peace officer.

    On Thursday, the District Attorney's Office said Gramcko's actions were premeditated. His next court hearing is scheduled for January 2nd. 

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    Three cars collided in National City Thursday, sending at least nine people to nearby hospitals with various injuries.

    The collision occurred just before 1 p.m on Paradise Valley Road and Plaza Boulevard, according to National City police.

    A Scion was traveling at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control and veered into oncoming traffic. The Scion crashed head-on into a Hyundai which then collided into a Subaru, Lt. Robert Rounds said. 

    Four people inside the Scion were sent to the hospital, Rounds said. 

    Officials at the scene confirmed that one patient was taken to Rady Children's Hospital.

    The driver and three passengers in the Hyundai were sent to the hospital, police said. 

    The driver in the Subaru was also rushed to a nearby hospital, according to police.

    National City police, San Diego police and San Diego Fire-Rescue crews responded to the scene.

    The crash occurred in the Paradise Valley neighborhood which is located east of Interstate 805 and north of State Route 54. Paradise Valley Road was reopened in both directions just before 4 p.m.

    No other information was available.

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

    Photo Credit: Melissa Adan/NBC 7

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    San Diego’s Public Utilities Department is responding quickly to recent reports on the possibility of the city’s water lines being made out of lead. 

    Last week, as reported by NBC 7, San Diego’s Water Department had informed California’s Water Board that it couldn’t identify the materials used to make two-thirds of its service lines. 

    The city’s disclosure differed from statements it had made to NBC 7 and media partner Voice of San Diego last year. At that time, a senior water department chemist said there were no lead pipes in the city’s distribution system. 

    But a new state law requires cities and counties to identify what water pipes are made of and replace any unidentified pipes, or pipes found to be made of lead. 

    When using the numbers the city provided to the state earlier this year, replacing two-thirds of its water lines could cost millions, if not a billion dollars. 

    After NBC 7 and Voice of San Diego’s story last week, the city’s Chief Financial Officer, Rolando Charvel got involved. Charvel directed water department workers to find out exactly what those water lines are made of. 

    On Wednesday, Charvel told Voice of San Diego that he believes the number of potential lead lines is more like 3,000, which is less than one percent of the city’s 192,000 service lines. 

    Charvel said that’s only an estimate but the city is confident the numbers will be far less than what was reported to the state. 

    “The financial exposure related to lead service lines is very insignificant,” Charvel said. 

    City officials said the high number of unknown service lines reported to the state water board stemmed from city records that are not in an electronic format. Workers will have to sort through paper records to determine the materials used in each pipe. 

    Other cities in California are in the same boat. 

    Last week, NBC 7 also reported on the city of San Luis Obispo telling state officials it does not know what materials were used in 98 percent of its lines. 

    Katie Ferber, a spokesperson for San Luis Obispo, said city workers were also in the process of digitizing records and the city believes the “vast majority” of its 15,000 service lines are made of polyethylene and copper, not lead. 

    All California water agencies have until July 2020 to confirm and report their final numbers to the state. At that time, agencies will be required to come up with a plan for how to replace lines where the materials are unknown or made of lead.

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    Police were pursuing a suspect Thursday evening in a possible home burglary.

    The suspect was leading police on a chase on the freeway that ended on a surface street.

    The suspect then ran away from police on foot around Spring Street.

    Police were able to apprehend the suspect a short time later in the canyon near the Trolley Station. 

    This is breaking news, please update as information becomes available.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    A suspect fired shots at deputies from inside a home in Pauma Valley Thursday evening prompting a heavy SWAT response.

    The San Diego Sheriff's Department said deputies responded to a home on Adams Drive and were shot at from someone inside. As they retreated, the suspect continued firing, the SDSO said.

    No deputies were injured, according to the department.

    The SDSO said nearby residents should shelter in their home. Anyone else should avoid the area if possible, deputies 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: NBC 7

    San Diego County Sheriff's DeputiesSan Diego County Sheriff's Deputies

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    A San Marcos resident looking to make some extra cash by selling a used cell phone was robbed at gunpoint during a meet up with a potential buyer, deputies said.

    The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said the victim organized the transaction on a popular phone app on Dec. 3.

    When the victim arrived at the agreed meeting location along Gopher Canyon Road, the first suspect got into their car, took the keys out of the ignition and pointed a gun at the seller. The suspect then demanded his cell phone, wallet and other valuables.

    The suspect also took cell phones from the seller’s 4 and 5-year-old children in the back seat, according to deputies,

    Meanwhile, a second suspect opened the trunk of the seller’s car and took recently-purchased gifts.

    The first suspect got out of the car with the keys and discarded them away from the car, deputies said.

    Investigators identified the first suspect as 27-year-old Brian Chase. They later searched his apartment and found stolen property from the robbery. Chase was arrested Dec. 12 and is being held without bail at the Vista Detention Facility.

    Deputies are still trying to identify the second suspect, and Crime Stoppers has offered up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest.

    SDSO detectives form the Vista Street Narcotics and Gang Detail and Vista Gang Enforcement Team are investigating the incident.

    Anyone with information about the second suspect is asked to call the SDSO’s Vista Station at (760) 940-4551 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477.

    No other information was available.

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

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    Plans to open a state parole office near a high school in a La Mesa neighborhood are no longer on the table, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) said.

    The CDCR told the city this week the vacant building on Grossmont Summit Drive where they were considering opening an office doesn't meet the state's needs.

    The decision comes days after the La Mesa City Council heard an earful from unnerved residents worried the office would bring unwanted crime to their part of town.

    The vacant building is just blocks away from Grossmont High School and some parents said that was too close. 

    San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents the area, said in a statement that she stood 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.

    The CDCR said it will be looking at other locations in the East County.

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    Quincy, the diabetic koala that was fitted with a glucose monitor earlier this summer, was euthanized last week following a bout of pneumonia, the San Diego Zoo announced Thursday.

    The koala developed pneumonia a few weeks ago and despite comprehensive medical treatment, its health continued to decline, the zoo said. Zoo veterinarians decided to euthanize the koala last Thursday because of the severity of his disease.

    "Quincy was well known to the public for being one of only a few koalas that have been diagnosed with and treated for diabetes," the zoo said in a statement to NBC 7.

    He was diagnosed with Type  1 diabetes in February and was transferred from the Los Angeles Zoo to the San Diego Zoo in May for his medical care.

    In June, Quincy was fitted with a continuous glucose monitor to improve his quality of life. Prior to being equipped with the device, zookeepers would have to prick his ears multiple times per day to test his blood glucose levels.

    Koalas sleep most of the day and are solitary animals, making it hard for zookeepers to monitor Quincy's blood sugar levels without disturbing him.  

    Quincy became a mascot of sorts for many people living with diabetes, especially children. 

    "They have something to relate to," Janet Gidner told NBC 7 in June. "They can see that a cute little koala can take on the disease.”

    Her two children, Addie, 12, and Nolan, 7, both have Type 1 diabetes.

    "(Quincy's) story touched countless people around the globe who are living with diabetes," the zoo said.

    It was unclear if Quincy developed pneumonia as a complication of his diabetes. The results of a necropsy are pending.

    Photo Credit: Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo

    Quincy with his Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitoring system.Quincy with his Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitoring system.

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    A suspect was on the loose and two people were in custody Thursday night following a chase in Escondido, police said.

    The chase started around 9:15 p.m. near the intersection of East Lincoln Avenue and North Ash Street when officers attempted to pull the car over for a traffic violation, Escondido police Lt. Bode Berreth said.

    The driver fled, ran two red lights and at one point was driving at speeds of up to 70 mph, Berreth said.

    The chase ended when the driver ditched the car at a dead end in the area of North Broadway and Reidy Canyon Place in unincorporated Escondido, he said.

    Police took the two passengers, a man and a woman, into custody. The woman has a parole violation and will be booked on that charge, Berreth said.

    The male passenger has not been charged at this time.

    Police called off the search after 10:30 p.m. No description of the suspect was released.

    Photo Credit: NBC7

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    Congress passed two bills this week that help address the ongoing issues faced by student veterans after the Department of Veterans Affairs struggled to pay GI Bill benefits, NBC News reported.  

    The Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act, which passed Thursday, aims to ensure veterans received all the money they were owed. The Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, passed late Wednesday, would further protect recipients from suffering consequences because of VA's delay. Both bills await President Donald Trump's signature to become law.

    Thousands of student veterans received late or incorrect housing payments this past semester because of computer problems at VA, forcing them into difficult financial circumstances. Many also did not receive their tuition payments, which put them at odds with their schools.

    Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, File

    In this November 15, 2018, file photo, U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie delivers remarks during a conference with federal, state and local veterans leaders in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.In this November 15, 2018, file photo, U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie delivers remarks during a conference with federal, state and local veterans leaders in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.

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    A Sunrise man is facing a federal charge of mailing a threatening communication to the home of the family of David Hogg, a Parkland shooting survivor and one of the most visible activists in the March for Our Lives movement.

    Warren Stanley Bond, 78, is accused of mailing a letter to Rebecca Boldrick, Hogg’s mother, at their Parkland home in June.

    Last month, Bond agreed to a Risk Protection Order stemming from the same incident. The order, also known as a red flag law, allows law enforcement officers or family members to petition the courts to temporarily remove guns from a person who is a threat to themselves or others. The law was one of several gun-control legislations passed in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

    The petition for the RPO states that on June 25, Boldrick and her husband called the Broward Sheriff’s Office to report getting a threatening letter in the mail. According to the report, it was a white, self-adhesive envelope addressed to Boldrick. There was no return address on it. Inside the envelope, Boldrick discovered a white letter-size sheet of paper with ten words typed in large black font. The warning read, "Keep F------ with the NRA and you will be DOA."

    Since the Valentine's Day massacre, David Hogg, along with several other Parkland survivors, have made countless media appearances, grilled lawmakers about gun reform during town halls, and sparked massive walkouts and peaceful protests at schools across the country. Their efforts have drawn international attention. In November, they were awarded the International Children's Peace Prize for their youth-led organization March for Our Lives. 

    According to the RPO petition, a BSO detective and a Postal Inspector focused their investigation on Bond, and when questioned, Bond admitted he sent the letter. The report says he told the investigators, "Yep! That is exactly what I told her, and you know what, I believe it today."

    The RPO petition noted that Bond had a concealed weapons permit in Florida and owned a firearm. He reportedly told investigators he had been a member of the NRA but recently cancelled his membership.

    Bond was arrested Thursday and appeared in federal court. He has no prior history of arrests. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

    He is scheduled to appear in court again Friday and has told the federal court he plans to hire an attorney.

    Boldrick told NBC 6 she’s "relieved he was caught. There should be consequences when you threaten to kill someone," Boldrick said in a text message.

    The Hoggs' home was also the target of a "swatting" prank in June, when someone called 911 falsely claiming to be heavly armed in order to get police to respond to the home.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    David Hogg, Parkland shooting survivor and activist givess an interview before the kick off of the 50 Miles More walk against gun violence which will end with a protest at Smith and Wesson Firearms factory on August 23, 2018 in Worcester, Massachusetts.David Hogg, Parkland shooting survivor and activist givess an interview before the kick off of the 50 Miles More walk against gun violence which will end with a protest at Smith and Wesson Firearms factory on August 23, 2018 in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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    Just days before Christmas, a Long Island family is desperately trying to get the body of their veteran husband and father back home from China after he mysteriously died on a flight there from New York.

    On Friday, Dec. 7, retired Lt. Col. Norman Easy, a health care executive, boarded a China Eastern Airlines flight at JFK Airport and headed to Shanghai for a business trip. He travels frequently, according to his family, but wife Nixtia panicked when the father of four didn't let her know he'd landed in China.  

    "He always communicates with us, and I didn't hear nothing from him," said Nixtia.

    When he didn't show up for a meeting on Monday, his company dispatched a team to find him. 

    "One of the police officers who happened to be at the airport when he died [also] happened to be at the police station when the team got there," his son Marcus told News 4 New York. 

    What the officer told the team was devastating. 

    "He said that someone matching my dad's description passed away on the plane," Marcus said. "They weren't allowed to verify that it was him but they're 100 percent sure it was him." 

    Since then, the Easy family say they've been getting the runaround from the Chinese government. They can't find out how he died, and they can't get his body.

    "Just a good man who's done so much for his family -- not just for his family, but for the country and gave up almost 30 years of his life," said daughter Caitlin. "I just feel like the treament he's been receiving is so heartbreaking."

    Family members said they were told on Wednesday that Easy's wife had to sign a waiver saying she doesn't object to anything in the police report -- a report she said she hasn't even seen -- before China will return his body. 

    "The fact that they're not willing to give us his body or death certificate or even the police report until we sign this waiver is just ridiculous," said Caitlin. 

    Easy's birthday is Christmas Eve. The family can't start to grieve until they have his body home, but they were determined to find out.

    "Something is off. We don't know what it is," said Marcus. "We gotta figure it out and get him home." 

    Photo Credit: News 4 NY

    Lt. Col. Norman Easy's family is in the middle of a heartbreaking battle to get his body backLt. Col. Norman Easy's family is in the middle of a heartbreaking battle to get his body back

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