Articles on this Page
- 12/24/18--23:32: _One Trapped in Susp...
- 12/25/18--05:52: _GoFundMe Says Donat...
- 12/25/18--10:22: _In Photos: Christma...
- 12/25/18--06:47: _What San Diego City...
- 12/25/18--09:33: _Joy From Giving Las...
- 12/25/18--12:53: _Community Activists...
- 12/25/18--13:52: _Good Samaritans Hel...
- 12/25/18--17:49: _South Bay Activist ...
- 12/25/18--16:04: _Woman Trapped in Wr...
- 12/25/18--21:50: _San Diego’s Feel-Go...
- 12/25/18--22:14: _Woman Killed in Chr...
- 12/25/18--22:38: _Where, How to Recyc...
- 12/25/18--23:12: _Argument Over Suspe...
- 12/25/18--21:57: _Trump Doesn't Visit...
- 12/26/18--04:43: _'Staring Contest' A...
- 12/26/18--05:28: _Cop Fends Off Menac...
- 12/26/18--06:09: _Christmas Storm Bri...
- 12/26/18--07:11: _5 of 2018's Biggest...
- 12/26/18--07:47: _Holiday Return Poli...
- 12/26/18--08:30: _Top 2018 Space Stor...
- 12/24/18--23:32: One Trapped in Suspected DUI Rollover Crash in South Bay
- 12/25/18--05:52: GoFundMe Says Donations in Alleged Homeless Scam Returned
- 12/25/18--10:22: In Photos: Christmas 2018 Around the World
- 12/25/18--06:47: What San Diego City Services Are Open on Christmas Day 2018
- 12/25/18--09:33: Joy From Giving Lasts Much Longer Than Joy From Getting, Study Shows
- 12/25/18--13:52: Good Samaritans Help Driver in Rollover Crash
- 12/25/18--17:49: South Bay Activist Granted Christmas Eve Pardon by Governor
- 12/25/18--16:04: Woman Trapped in Wreck for 1-Plus Hours in Scripps Ranch Crash
- 12/25/18--21:50: San Diego’s Feel-Good Stories of 2018
- 12/25/18--22:14: Woman Killed in Christmas Eve Crash Was Preschool Teacher
- 12/25/18--22:38: Where, How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree
- Carmel Valley Recreation Center, 3777 Towns gate Dr. (lower parking
- Encanto, Cielo Drive at Woodman Street;
- Golden Hill Recreation Center, 2600 Golf Course Dr.;
- La Jolla, Kate Sessions Memorial Park, corner of Mt. Soledad Road and Loring Street;
- Logan Heights, Memorial Recreation Center, 2902 Marcy Ave.;
- Miramar, The Greenery at the Miramar Landfill, 5180 Convoy St. (north of state Route 52);
- Mission Bay, Sea World Drive at Pacific Highway;
- Oak Park, Chollas Lake, 6350 College Grove Drive (in Gloria's Mesa parking lot);
- Ocean Beach, Robb Field Recreation Center, 2525 Bacon St.;
- Otay Mesa/Nestor, Montgomery Waller Community Park (lower parking lot on the southeast corner of Palm Avenue and Beyer Boulevard);
- Rancho Bernardo Recreation Center, 18448 W. Bernardo Dr.;
- Rancho Penasquitos, Canyonside Recreation Center, 12350 Black Mountain Rd.;
- San Diego State University, Parking Lot 17C off of Alvarado Rd.;
- Scripps Ranch Recreation Center, 11454 Blue Cypress Dr.;
- Tierrasanta, De Portola Middle School, 11010 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.;
- University City, Swanson Pool, 3585 Governor Drive.
- 12/25/18--23:12: Argument Over Suspected Drug Use Leads to Shooting in Skyline
- 12/25/18--21:57: Trump Doesn't Visit Troops at Christmas, a First Since 2002
- 12/26/18--04:43: 'Staring Contest' Among 2020 Dems in Early Voting States
- 12/26/18--06:09: Christmas Storm Brings Snow to San Diego Mountains
- 12/26/18--07:11: 5 of 2018's Biggest Court Cases
- 12/26/18--07:47: Holiday Return Policies: Some Naughty, Some Nice
- 12/26/18--08:30: Top 2018 Space Stories: InSight on Mars, Asteroid Rendezvous
At least one person was hurt in a rollover crash Monday night in the South Bay where alcohol was suspected to be involved, authorities said.
The crash happened around 10:15 p.m. on the southbound Interstate 5 off-ramp to Coronado Avenue, the California Highway Patrol said.
Two cars crashed into each other and one of the cars overturned. At least one person was trapped inside the car, the CHP said.
It took around 20 minutes for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department to extricate the trapped victim, according to the CHP.
The extents of the victim's injuries were unknown at this time, but it was considered to be major, the CHP said.
CHP officers believe alcohol was involved in the crash.
This is a developing story. Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.
Photo Credit: NBC 7
Anyone who donated money to a charity GoFundme campaign for a homeless man that prosecutors now say is a scam has had their money refunded, according to the popular crowdsourcing website.
"All donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded," GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne told NBC News in an email.
The campaign raised more than $400,000 for a homeless veteran who was said to have given his last $20 to a stranded driver on a Pennsylvania freeway ramp in November 2017.
But a year later, prosecutors said the story was made up and hit the veteran, supposed motorist and her boyfriend with theft-by-deception charges.
Photo Credit: Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office
From left: Johnny Bobbitt Jr., Katelyn McClure and Mark D’Amico
Christmas celebrations come in all shapes and sizes, from the Vatican to Afghanistan and beyond. Take a look at how people marked the holiday in 2018 across the globe.
Photo Credit: Getty Images, AP
Once you’ve opened the gifts, cleaned up the wrapping, cleared the brunch table and said goodbye to the guests, you may be looking for things to do on Christmas Day. Here’s a quick look at the holiday scheduled for the offices and services of the city of San Diego.
Feeling like a round of golf? You’re in luck. Torrey Pines and Balboa golf courses will be open until 3 p.m. on Tuesday. Mission Bay golf course will be open until 5 p.m. Holiday rates will apply.
If you’re considering a visit to Balboa Park, you should be aware that all public buildings will be closed. Now, some museums may be open.
If you or a family member want to try out a new skateboard, you will be able to at city skate parks all day. They’re open for use.
Libraries and city recreation centers will be closed. This includes all city pools.
The Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center and the Tecolote Nature Center will be closed.
Even though city administrative offices are closed for the holiday, there is still help available for individuals dealing with domestic violence. You can call 911 or the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-888-385-4657.
Remember, parking meters, time restrictions for parking on streets and yellow zones within the city of San Diego will not be enforced. However, those red, white and blue zones are still enforced every day.
Other places open on Christmas Day:
The Japanese Friendship Garden is open at 10 a.m. with the last admission given at 4 p.m., according to the garden's website.
The San Diego Zoo is open on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is also open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seaworld San Diego is open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. LEGOland California in Carlsbad is open on Christmas Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Photo Credit: NBC 7
The holidays are a time for giving and receiving presents, gifts and cheer.
Two new studies conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University show that giving to others makes us happier than giving to ourselves.
“If you want to sustain happiness over time, past research tells us that we need to take a break from what we’re currently consuming and experience something new,” says study co-author Ed O’Brien, of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
In an experiment, 96 college students were given five dollars each day for five days. The students were told to spend the money on exactly the same thing each day.
Some participants were assigned to spend the money on themselves and some on others such as a charity donation or a tip jar at a coffee shop.
The results of the daily spending challenge showed that students who had spent money on themselves self-reported that they felt decreasingly happy over the five-day period.
Participants who gave their money to someone else, however, continued to feel the same level of joy on the fifth day as they did on the first day.
Research findings were published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Foster children, homeless residents and low-income families received gifts, free clothing and a warm Christmas breakfast in Encanto Tuesday morning.
Reverend Shane Harris, former president of the National Action Network and community activist, hosted the breakfast.
The annual "Christmas With the Rev" event saw a big turnout this year. San Diego City Council President Pro Tem, Barbara Bry, was among the special guests to attend.
Wrapped brand new toys were presented to children, along with clothes for the homeless.
A hot meal was served to all that attended the event on Imperial Avenue in San Diego. A festive Christmas tree with lights was prominently featured in the middle of the room.
Last year, the event served over 150 people, and over 50 children received Christmas toys, Rev. Harris said.
A South Bay driver is saying it was a Christmas miracle that good Samaritans came to his rescue after his car rolled over off the road.
It happened Tuesday morning on Tocayo Avenue and Oro Vista Road in Nestor.
According to the driver, the wet roadways from the morning rain caused the back wheels of his truck to spin out as he was attempting to drive onto the freeway.
The Dodge Ram pickup truck rolled off the road and into a drainage canal.
"I was heading to San Diego to visit family for Christmas," said Angel Gonzalez of San Ysidro. "I'm very thankful for all of the people who stopped to help and rescue me."
Gonzalez had scrapes and cuts but made it out okay. He was able to walk to his home nearby.
Rachel Ortiz spent a year in state prison and four years on parole for a felony drug conviction.
That was 40 years ago.
After completing her sentence, the San Diego native turned her life around.
Ortiz helped organize farm workers in North California and the Central Valley, lobbied for land-use improvements and the removal of junkyards from San Diego's Barrio Logan neighborhood, and, most importantly, she says, founded the Barrio Station youth program.
"It's a highly respected organization," Ortiz told NBC 7. "We have quality services for the kids, and the impact we have had on empowering communities is super, super important.
Ortiz is one of 143 Californians pardoned by Gov. Jerry Brown on Christmas Eve. In one of his last acts as Governor, Brown also commuted the prison sentences of 131 inmates.
A pardon can restore many of the privileges a person loses when convicted of a felony.
In his pardon message for Ortiz, the governor complimented the Chula Vista resident for her "exemplary behavior" and her "productive and law-abiding life" since her release from prison in 1966. Ortiz had been convicted of possession of a controlled substance.
For Ortiz, the significance of the governor's pardon is recognition for how she turned her life around.
"It means that I've done well with my life and I'm being recognized for it," she said. "I don't care about the notoriety that it gets me in the community. What it means to me is that I've been forgiven."
Photo Credit: NBC 7
A woman was trapped for more than an hour after the car she was in overturned in a crash Tuesday afternoon in Scripps Ranch, police said.
The crash happened shortly before 2 p.m. when the car she was in spun out of control near the intersection of Scripps Poway Parkway and Sunshine Peak Court, San Diego police Officer Dino Delimitros said.
The car crashed into a tree and the tree fell, initially trapping both the male driver and the woman, he said.
The two were in town visiting relatives and sight-seeing, Santhosh Kathiresan said. He's friends with the two and was traveling behind them when the two crashed.
The slippery roads caused the car to spin out of control, he said.
San Diego Fire-Rescue firefighters were able to get the driver out of the car and transported him to an area hospital with major trauma, though the extent of his injuries was unknown, Battalion Chief David Pilkerton said.
About an hour and 15 minutes after the crash, first responders were able to get the woman out of the wreck.
She was airlifted to the hospital with unknown injuries.
This is a developing story. Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.
Photo Credit: Melissa Adan, NBC 7
We love a feel-good story and, in 2018, we saw plenty of them in San Diego. We can’t forget the police officer trying to land skateboarding tricks in Ocean Beach, the 105-year-old SDSU graduate who finally received his printed diploma, the return of “Top Gun” to San Diego and the happy, local couple who tied the knot at Costco in Mission Valley.
Here’s a look back at the stories that made us smile this year.
Balboa Park Welcomes New Civic Organist
The year began with the addition of a new San Diego Civic Organist at Balboa Park’s iconic Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Raul Prieto Ramirez, a musician from Spain, took on the noteworthy role, playing his first concert at the Organ Pavilion on Jan. 7, 2018. Known for his showmanship, Ramirez became the eighth person in history to hold the esteemed position. He can often be seen performing at those free 2 p.m. Sunday concerts at the Pavilion, wearing custom-made shoes for the job.
In early February, foodies got some deliciously good news: San Diego-based cooking aficionado Sam Zien – better known as “Sam the Cooking Guy” – planned to open a taco-centric spot within the Little Italy Food Hall, a new dining hub in Little Italy. In the summer, Zien made good on that promise, debuting a small eatery called Not Not Tacos. The restaurant, specializing in elevated tacos boasting unique ingredients, is a fixture at the Little Italy Food Hall at the Piazza della Famiglia.
Ocean Beach Skateboarders Think They’re Busted, Officer Surprises Them
Skateboarders in Ocean Beach shared a very cool moment with a San Diego Police Department officer – and a witness was there to capture it on video. The skaters were busting out some tricks near Bacon Street when an officer approached them. Instead of telling them to move along, the officer hopped on a skateboard and attempted to do a kick-flip as the skateboarders cheered him on.
Maverick Returns: ‘Top Gun’ Sequel Begins Filming in Coronado
It’s been three decades since “Top Gun” was released and, this past May, Maverick returned to film the sequel, right here in San Diego. “Top Gun 2” filmed for a week straight at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado. Tom Cruise tweeted a photo of himself in his famous lead role, in a flight suit, looking at a fighter jet. And guess what? The caption, of course, included the words, “feel the need.”
California’s Best Beer Named at State Fair
San Diego’s craft beer culture is alive and well. Over the summer, 10 local breweries brought home first-place honors from a statewide beer competition. Among those in the winner’s circle: Eppig Brewing; Rip Current Brewing; Karl Strauss Brewing Company; Owl Farm Unique. Cheers to that.
105-Year-old SDSU Graduate Receives College Diploma
In 1935, La Mesa native Bill Vogt graduated from San Diego State University but, after a credit dispute with a professor, did not receive his printed diploma. More than eight decades later, Vogt – now 105 years old – finally got his hands on that special piece of paper thanks to a little bit of help from the university’s Alumni Center. “I never thought I would see that document anywhere,” he told NBC 7.
The Story of Little Italy’s ‘Godfather’
In October, we met Nick Pecoraro, a longtime Little Italy resident lovingly referred to by some locals as “The Godfather.” Pecoraro has lived in his gilded, yellow house in Little Italy for the past 51 years and can often be seen sitting on his front porch, watching passers-by. Time and time again, he has refused to sell the house that he loves, even as the community around him has grown from a tiny immigrant village to a booming destination.
Lucky Mega Millions Ticket Sold in Del Cerro
Talk about the luck of the draw. In October, a Mega Millions ticket matching five out of six winning numbers was purchased at a Chevron gas station in Del Cerro. The lucky ticket was one of seven sold in California that matched five out of six numbers and, before taxes, was worth a whopping $562,472.
Couple Gets Married Inside Costco in Mission Valley
They say you can find anything at Costco but one couple scored the ultimate gem: true love. In late November, San Diego couple Julian Parris and Margot Schein tied the knot at the warehouse retailer in Mission Valley – the very place where they had shared their first date exactly three years earlier. The couple got married in front of a small group of friends, family and Costco employees. At the end of their sweet ceremony, they were gifted with personalized Costco nametags as a wedding day keepsake.
Clients, Locals Support North Park Barbershop After Racial Slur Vandalism
A story that began with hate blossomed into love at a barbershop on 30th Street in North Park owned by married couple, Melissa and Christopher Cage. The Cages arrived at their small business, Originality Barber and Salon, on Dec. 12 to find an ugly racial slur painted on the sidewalk in front of their shop. Instead of being angry, the couple pressed on, saying that if they came face-to-face with the vandal, they would offer that person a hug.
Neighboring business owners came together to help the Cages wash away the hateful words and locals dropped by the barbershop to show their support. They Cages told NBC 7 they felt the love and would not let the unfortunate incident stop them from achieving success and providing haircuts to everyone – regardless of their sex, race, religion or sexual orientation. Love wins.
Photo Credit: Danielle Radin/NBC 7
La excéntrica boda Margot Schein y Julian Parris.
Virginia Turcotte, a 65-year-old preschool teacher, was identified Tuesday as the woman killed in an accident in Serra Mesa on Christmas Eve.
She taught pre-school at the First United Methodist Church of San Diego for more than 25 years. She is described as a matriarch. Parents loved her. Turcotte's work with the children touched many lives, her son David Johnson said.
As a teacher, a parent and grandparent, Turcotte seemed to subscribe to the "Mary Poppins" problem-solving philosophy, "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun."
"She was super creative she was wonderful to be around the entire house was filled with arts and crafts," Johnson said.
That was no exaggeration. In every corner of her home, in the trunk of the car, in every pocket she owned was a craft, a game, a toy and of course lots of squirrels.
"It just matched her personality she was just kind of squirrelly she was very fun," Johnson said.
Turcotte was killed just after a Christmas Eve celebration with her family. She was in a Ruffin Road crosswalk on the way to her parked car. She was struck by this white Hyundai. Behind the wheel was a 16-year-old boy.
"It's hard to say distracted driving looking at text just inexperienced driver," Johnson said.
The damage to the car is the terrifying illustration of the impact. She could not be revived.
To her husband of 25 years, she was everything.
"She was his best friend,” Johnson said.
She was also everything to her sons, daughter, four grandchildren and countless students.
"Everybody looked up to her," Johnson said. "All the parents loved her. The kids loved her and always gave her hugs."
There won't be a Christmas that goes by without her fond memory.
The 16-year-old driver stayed at the after hitting Turcotte. Police are still trying to determine what caused the accident. So far there have been no charges.
Photo Credit: David Johnson
Virginia Turcotte (in pink) with her family.
Now that Christmas has come and gone, the city of the San Diego is starting its annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program.
Starting Wednesday, San Diego residents can drop their clean, undecorated Christmas trees to any of the 16 drop-off locations within the city to recycle it.
The trees will be turned into mulch, compost and wood chips. By recycling the trees, it reduces the amount of trash going into the Miramar Landfill, according to the city's Environmental Services Department.
The recycling also helps the city meet its sustainability goals, the department said. There is also a benefit for residents as well. The mulch, compost and wood chips are available for pick up to residents for free at Miramar Landfill.
Drop-off locations are:
The recycling program runs through Jan. 23. After Jan. 23, residents can drop off their trees at Miramar Landfill, where trees are accepted year round.
Residents outside the city of San Diego may also recycle their trees by using their green yard waste bin on designated collection day. Make sure to cut trees down to at least four feet to fit into the container.
Photo Credit: NBC 7
A shooting at a home in Skyline left residents there shaken Tuesday evening but no one was wounded, police said.
The shooting happened around 7:30 p.m. in the 900 block of Hagmann Court near Keiller Neighborhood Park, San Diego police Officer John Buttle said.
The incident started when residents told the suspect, who was sitting in a Silver BMW smoking what was believed to be narcotics in front of their home, to stop smoking, Buttle said.
The residents and the suspect got into a shouting match and, at some point, one of the residents ripped off the front plate of the car, the officer said.
The suspect got out of the car and fired three to six shots then fled in the car. The residents then called 911.
When police arrived, the residents gave police the license plate, which was registered to a car at home on nearby Di Marino, Buttle said.
Officers went to the home to talk to the suspect, but the suspect was not among the 15 people that were inside the home at the time, he said.
The registered owner of the BMW lives at the home but was not home at the time of the incident, the officer said. The suspect was just using the car, he said.
The suspect was still on the loose. Police have not released the description of the suspect and the shooting was not believed to be gang-related.
Photo Credit: NBC 7
President Donald Trump on Tuesday became the first president since 2002 who didn't visit military personnel at Christmastime, NBC News reported.
He took part in a long-running practice of presidents who called troops stationed around the country and the world on Christmas Day, but broke from a recent tradition of actually visiting troops and wounded warriors. He did so in 2017, when he visited wounded troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Dec. 21.
Based on a check of NBC logs, President Barack Obama visited troops at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, in Kaneohe Bay, every Christmas he was in office, from 2009 to 2016. President George W. Bush visited wounded warriors at Walter Reed from 2003 to 2008, according to a check of news releases.
Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP, File
In this Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump meets retired U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. John Peck and his wife Jessica as Trump visits with wounded service members and their families during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Trump this year became the first president to not visit with troops at Christmastime since 2002.
Heavyweight contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 are looking for office space and on-the-ground staff in Iowa and New Hampshire, key early contest states, NBC News reported.
But no major candidate has definitively signaled plans to jump run for the nomination — including the so-called "three Bs" topping some early polls, who have been all but absent in both states: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas.
While operatives in Iowa and New Hampshire expect activity to ramp up in January, there's been surprise at the slow start in states where presidential politics can be a full-time occupation.
"The whole field has been in a staring contest to see who moves first. And there's a real hesitation for anyone sign on with a candidate now, because you don't know who else is going to get in," said Sean Bagniewski, chairman of Iowa's Polk County Democrats.
New Hampshire candidate tracker:
Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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From left: Potential Democratic presidential contenders former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas.
A New York City police officer is being praised for his brave and restrained response when a group of intoxicated homeless men went after him inside a subway station, where the officer was working alone.
It happened late Sunday night, when a cop on a solo foot post inside the East Broadway subway station on the F line was told by a woman that she was being harassed by a group men inside the station, according to NYPD.
The officer approached the men, who were visibly intoxicated, and asked them to leave the station, police said. The men refused to leave and became combative, and started tussling with the cop, cellphone video taken by a bystander shows.
"Stand back. I don't want to hurt you," the cop shouted repeatedly at the men as they approached him, waving his baton at them.
The officer kicked one of the men to fend him off, and another tried to go after the officer -- but ended up tumbling onto the tracks, the video showed. Police said the officer requested power be turned off to the tracks and for backup to arrive.
The man was taken off the tracks, and the four others were taken into police custody.
On Monday morning, Christmas Eve, officers returned to the same subway station and saw the men there again. They were taken into custody in local law violation of being outstretched in the station, police said. The district attorney has declined to prosecute the case, however, angering the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.
"Had it gone the other way, we might have had a seriously injured or dead police officer instead," said union president Patrick Lynch. "It's wrong that they were not charged for attacking him."
Meanwhile, the officer seen in the video, Syed Ali, was honored by Brooklyn councilman Chaim Deutsch on Christmas Day for his "quick action to defend civilians and himself against five individuals attacking on a subway platform."
Deutsch said the officer showed restraint for not reaching for his gun.
Mayor de Blasio also tweeted praise for Ali's "extraordinary professionalism and bravery," and said the NYPD would increase its presence at the station.
Photo Credit: Councilman Chaim Deutsch
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NYPD officer Syed Ali honored at the NYPD Transit Task Force in North Brooklyn
A Christmas Day storm turned Mount Laguna into a winter wonderland.
2018 was a big year in San Diego courthouses; from a federal indictment trial against a sitting congress member to a mom who used her daughter to sell drugs to high-schoolers, here are five of the biggest court cases to happen in San Diego County this year, many of which you'll want to watch in 2019.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, Margaret Hunter Indictment Trial
East County Congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife and former campaign manager, Margaret Hunter, were indicted in August with using more than $250,000 in campaign funds to finance family trips to Italy and Hawaii, golf outings, fast food purchases and more.
The 48-page indictment said the Hunters attempted to conceal the eight years of spending in federal records, while their household budget was awash in red ink.
Rep. Hunter has appeared in court four times this year, the latest of which confirmed the pair's trial will begin in September.
Despite his indictment, Hunter won re-election in U.S. House 50th District, though the margin between him and Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar was the slimmest the congressman had faced since his tenure began in 2008.
Each time, the couple has arrived to U.S. District Court separately and with their own lawyers, to a crowd of protesters, which, on at least one occasion, chanted with signs, bunny suits and hazmat inflatables.
Both Rep. Hunter and Margaret Hunter pleaded not guilty to the charges at their first court appearance on Aug. 23.
"I've done nothing wrong and I say bring the trial now. Let's do this," he told the media shortly after the charges were brought against him.
The congressman has been adamant that he will be cleared of all wrongdoing and, at one point, appeared to throw blame at his wife, who managed their campaign finances. He later told NBC 7 that he wants prosecutors to leave his wife alone, contradicting his previous remarks.
The Hunters appeared in court twice in September for two brief status hearings before his trial date was set at a hearing on Dec. 3.
Adam Shacknai Found Liable in Rebecca Zahau's Death
In 2011, Rebecca Zahau was found hanging from an outdoor balcony at the Spreckels mansion on Coronado Island, prompting years of speculation around the circumstances surrounding her death, despite a decision by the San Diego Sheriff's County Department and a medical examiner that her death was a suicide.
Five years later, her family filed a civil lawsuit against the man they thought responsible for her death, Adam Shacknai, and a jury agreed, according to the verdict in a civil trial that concluded in April.
Adam Shacknai is the brother of Zahau's former boyfriend, millionaire Jonah Shacknai, and was the last person to see Rebecca alive.
Jurors were asked to answer two questions in this civil trial: Did Adam Shacknai touch Rebecca Zahau before her death with the intent to harm her? The jury's vote was yes 9 to 3.
For the wrongful death verdict, did that touching cause the death of Rebecca Zahau? The jury's vote was also yes 9 to 3.
They determined Shacknai owed Zahau's mother, Pari Zahau approximately $5,167,000 in damages.
Shacknai said he would continue to fight the false allegations against him.
After the trial, SDSO said they would look at the evidence presented and determine whether a new investigation should be launched. Their review concluded in early December and the investigators upheld their determination that Zahau's death was a suicide.
"There are many theories out there (about Zahau's death), but all the evidence points to one logical conclusion, and that's a suicide," one SDSO investigator said.
Mom Used Daughter to Sell High Schoolers Drugs
When Kimberly Quach was sentenced to 11 years and eight months in prison -- the harshest penalty possible per her plea agreement -- the judge called her conduct "sickening and criticized her for teaching children how to become drug dealers.
Quach pleaded guilty to charges of selling illegal drugs to minors in May, including one charge that she used a minor, her daughter, to sell marijuana to students at Cathedral Catholic High School.
Her boyfriend, William John Sipperley, faced similar charges and was sentenced to six years and four months in prison.
Quach and Sipperly were caught when investigators uncovered text messages between the pair that discussed paying Quach's daughter a percentage.
In a tearful testimony at her sentencing in August, Quach said, "I have no words to express the remorse that I have for my actions."
Former NFL Player Kellen Winslow Jr Sex Assault Trial
Kellen Winslow Jr., the son of former San Diego Chargers great Kellen Winslow Sr. who had an NFL career of his own, now stands trial on sexual assault charges alleging he raped or attempted to rape at least four women over the age of 50.
He is also accused of raping an Escondido High School student in 2003.
Winslow has pleaded not guilty to all allegations against him. If convicted he could be sentenced to life in prison as his trial continues next year.
In jarring pre-trial testimony, the woman accusing Winslow of raping her while the two were teenagers said the assault was "imprinted in my head."
She recalled seeing a man standing in front of her while Winslow had sex with her, she testified. A third person was filming.
The other charges against Winslow stem from a series of rapes that occurred from March to June 2018 within a two-mile radius in North County, according to charges filed against the former Pro-Bowler.
One of the alleged victims told the court that she was choked and told she would be killed if she screamed.
Winslow's lawyer, Defense attorney Harvey A. Steinberg said Winslow looks forward to being vindicated.
Former Deputy Faces Accused of Assault by More Than a Dozen Women
Former San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Fischer will stand trial next year on charges of assault and battery by an officer, oral copulation by force and burglary stemming from allegations from more than 15 women.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges and has said "obviously I wouldn’t be fighting this if I was guilty of any of these charges."
Throughout the year, more and more alleged victims of Fischer came forward to accuse him of sexual assault while he was on duty and in uniform.
Many say they called 911 or were in custody when Fischer inappropriately touched them. Some alleged incidents stemmed as far back as 2015, according to charges against him.
Fischer was placed on unpaid administrative leave in February 2018.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP
U.S. retailers expect to handle about $72 billion worth of holiday returns this year, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation. That’s 10 percent of their total holiday sales.
An analysis of current holiday return policies by ConsumerWorld.org, a consumer education website, finds that most major retailers are nice, and a few are even innovative.
“My number one tip is to take back your return items in pristine condition with all the packaging and tags, and with a receipt or gift receipt,” Edgar Dworsky, founder and editor of Consumer World, told NBC News BETTER. “Without proof of purchase, you may only get the lowest price the item has sold for in the past 90 days, or you might be offered nothing at all. Remember, there is no automatic right to return something, unless it’s defective.”
Consumer World’s 15th annual Holiday Return Policy Survey highlights some unusual and noteworthy policies. Among them: Amazon will pay the return shipping on items purchased using Alexa; Target REDcard holders get 30 extra return days; Many retailers have shortened the holiday return window for Apple products to 15 days starting on Dec. 26. This matches Apple’s standard corporate return policy.
Photo Credit: AP
Space fans had plenty to celebrate in 2018, including the launch of three new NASA missions and the debut of SpaceX’s giant Falcon Heavy rocket. In case you missed any of the action, here are particularly noteworthy space stories, according to NBC News MACH.
NASA’s InSight lander arrived at Mars on Nov. 26 after a six-month journey of more than 300 million miles. The dramatic landing was NASA’s first on Mars since 2012.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached the asteroid Bennu on Dec. 3 and will spend about a year surveying and mapping the 1,600-foot-wide asteroid. The spacecraft had already detected water on the space rock — a discovery that lends support to the idea that asteroids and comets could have brought water to Earth.
SpaceX’s massive Falcon Heavy booster nailed its maiden flight on Feb. 6. The rocket, which is designed to carry astronauts to the moon and Mars, can lift a heavier payload than any American rocket since NASA’s Saturn V, the behemoth booster that ferried Apollo astronauts to the moon half a century ago.
Photo Credit: AP, File
In this image provided by NASA, Mars InSight team members Kris Bruvold, left, and Sandy Krasner rejoice, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, inside the Mission Support Area at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., after receiving confirmation that the Mars InSight lander successfully touched down on the surface of Mars. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)