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    A aspiring paleontologist in the second grade has won Google's annual Doodle for Google contest.

    Sarah Gomez-Lane, of Virginia, had her drawing of dinosaurs selected and transformed into an animation on the search giant's homepage. In it, dinosaurs play the trumpet, eat blueberries and more.

    Sarah responded to the prompt "What inspires me ..." Google says her school in Falls Church, Virginia will be awarded $50,000 to spend on technology, and Sarah will get $30,000 toward a college scholarship.

    "When they called my name, I felt happy and surprised," she said when she learned she had won. "I'm going to call my principal. He's going to say 'Yay!'"

    On video, a Google employee said she hoped the Doodle would inspire kids and adults alike.

    "I just hope that when people see the Doodle, they also are inspired to think about — not only what they dreamed of and wished for when they were kids — but to also just take a second to enjoy the simple things in life," she said.



    Photo Credit: Google
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    Sarah Gomez-Lane's animated Google Doodle includes a dinosaur playing a trumpet.Sarah Gomez-Lane's animated Google Doodle includes a dinosaur playing a trumpet.

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    A wanted homicide suspect was arrested in San Diego County after a lengthy pursuit that began in Anaheim and crossed county lines via Interstate 5, according to police.

    The pursuit began when Anaheim police officers spotted a grey Honda Accord that they believed belonged to a person tied to a recent killing, APD said. 

    The driver did not stop and took off southbound, leading APD officers on I-5 towards San Diego County and crossing into the region before about 8:30 a.m.

    As the chase entered the Del Mar area, the suspect bailed out of his vehicle on southbound I-5 near Via de la Valle, where officers detained the suspect, California Highway Patrol officer Jim Bettencourt said. 

    It was not initially clear what charges the suspect would be facing. 

    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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    Two people in a taxi cab were arrested after a gun was fired into a Midway District convenience store during a robbery on Tuesday morning, police said. 

    Officers spotted the taxi cab fleeing on Rosecrans Street from a 7-Eleven where, while attempting to rob the store, at least one of the suspects fired a shot from a handgun, the San Diego Police Department said. 

    The taxi cab did not stop and continued on city streets until it reached the intersection of N. Harbor Drive and Nimitz Boulevard, where the cab pulled over. 

    The two people inside the cab were into custody, SDPD said. 

    No injuries were reported at the 7-Eleven. Robbery detectives were responding to the convenience store to investigate the incident. 

    No other information was available. please refresh this page for updates to this developing story. 



    Photo Credit: Monica Garske

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    For the first time, the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will stop in Carlsbad this Saturday to offer both limited edition sweet treats and exclusive merchandise.

    Photo Credit: Hello Kitty Cafe Truck

    The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will stop in Carlsbad this Saturday to offer both limited edition sweet treats and exclusive merchandise to fans. Here's a look at some of the merchandise and sweet treats available for purchase.The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will stop in Carlsbad this Saturday to offer both limited edition sweet treats and exclusive merchandise to fans. Here's a look at some of the merchandise and sweet treats available for purchase.

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    Just two years ago, startup TuSimple landed a permit from the California DMV to test its autonomous trucks. Now, with $55 million in funding the company plans to hit the gas, by growing its fleet of self-driving trucks from 11 to 40.

    TuSimple said the growth was primarily driven by demand from 12 customers, including unnamed Fortune 100 companies. Currently, the company makes three to five trips per day for its customers through three routes in Arizona. The company plans to add an additional route from Arizona to Texas in 2019 — all fully autonomous.

    "Exactly one year after debuting our prototype system at CES 2018, we're now running up to five commercial trips a day in Arizona, expanding our fleet and moving quickly toward our goal of creating the first commercial self-driving truck," Dr. Xiaodi Hou, founder, president and chief technology officer of TuSimple said in a news release.

    TuSimple has offices in Beijing, San Diego and Arizona. The company hosts its research and development teams at University Towne Center, where it had about 30 employees as of 2017.

    The company also announced partnerships with major trucking suppliers on Jan. 7. For example, TuSimple will work with engine-maker Cummins Inc. to integrate its autonomous technology with the powertrain, the components of the truck that generate power and deliver it to the road.

    “We are making tremendous progress towards the commercialization of our technology and trucking ecosystem with key Tier 1 partners like Cummins. The viability and power of our autonomous truck solutions is being proven daily on highways and local streets,” Hou said.



    Photo Credit: TuSimple
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    This will make your mouth water: six San Diego-area restaurants -- from a healthy organic eatery to an empanada shop -- have been named among the top 100 in the United States to grab some grub.

    Yelp released its list of the "Top 100 Places Eat in the U.S." Tuesday and, for the second year in a row, San Diego restaurants nabbed 6 percent of the rankings.

    The annual list highlights delicious dining destinations across the nation based on reviews written by Yelp users, including both the ratings and volume of those reviews.

    This year, the local eateries that made the cut vary widely in culinary specialties. Foodies will find an organic eatery known for its greens, a beloved taco shop, a phenomenal pho spot, a Creole-inspired bistro, a Middle Eastern restaurant, and an empanada kitchen.

    For 2019, the tasty lineup names these local spots, listed in order of ranking:

    • No. 17: Crafted Greens (El Cajon)
    • No. 29: Chuy’s Taco Shop (San Diego)
    • No. 69: Tahini (San Diego)
    • No. 72: Bud & Rob’s New Orleans Bistro (San Diego)
    • No. 75: Pho Guys (Vista)
    • No. 94: Empanada Kitchen (San Diego)

    Crafted Greens, located at 745 Jamacha Rd. in El Cajon, offers healthy dishes with ingredients sourced from local farms. The menu includes salads like the Nicoise with Ahi and Guacamole Greens, plus sandwiches, flatbreads, soups and plates boasting a choice of protein like grass-fed steak and two hot or cold sides. The restaurant is open daily starting at 11 a.m.

    Representing for the stellar Mexican food in San Diego is Chuy’s Taco Shop, located at 6663 El Cajon Blvd., near Montezuma Road. Yelp users rave about the generous portions and fair prices here, with standouts like carne asada fries and chips on the menu, as well as tortas, giant burritos and, of course, tacos. This shop opens daily at 7:30 a.m., and at 8 a.m. Sundays.

    Tahini specializes in Middle Eastern street food, with shawarma bowls and housemade sauces taking the spotlight. Falafel, chicken or steak shawarma comes in either fresh-baked pita, bowl or salad form, and specialty sauces include Cilantro Tahini, Cucumber Yogurt and Garlic Sauce, to name a few. Tahini is located at 9119 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. in Kearny Mesa; it’s open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    Inspired by Creole cuisine from The Big Easy is Bud & Rob’s New Orleans Bistro, located at 815 F. St. in downtown’s East Village. Yelpers praised the food’s authenticity, including items like the Seafood & Sausage Gumbo, Po Boy Sandwiches, and Fried Catfish. The bistro is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; it reopens for dinner from 3:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. On Saturdays, it’s open from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It is closed Sunday and Monday.

    Up in Vista, foodies will find phenomenal pho (say that three times fast) at Pho Guys, located at 1876 Hacienda Dr. In addition to hearty pho dishes built around star ingredients like filet mignon, oxtail, and shrimp, Yelp users seemed to be drawn to the egg rolls and spring rolls too. This eatery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; it’s closed on Sunday. Bonus: there's a drive-thru here.

    Finally, those hankering for Argentine eats can try Empanada Kitchen at 819 C St., also in San Diego’s East Village. The menu boasts empanadas of all varieties – from traditional beef to a Sweet Corn & Basil option – at $3.50 to $4.50 a pop. Yelpers seem particularly pleased with the dough used for the empanadas here, with one patron describing the “doughy, flakey crust” as something that “melts in your mouth.” This eatery is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. On Sundays, fans can find Empanada Kitchen at the La Jolla Open Aire Market.

    According to Yelp, the San Diego-area restaurants are in good company. Here's a peek at the eateries across the U.S. that earned the top 10 spots on this year's list:

    1. Bangers & Brews (Bend, Oregon)
    2. Tender Smokehouse (Celina, Texas)
    3. Ciao! Pizza & Pasta (Chelsea, Massachusetts)
    4. Gyromania (Santa Clarita, California)
    5. BROKEN MOUTH - Lee's Homestyle (Los Angeles)
    6. Bajamar Seafood & Tacos (Las Vegas)
    7. Tommy Tamale Market & Cafe (Grapevine, Texas)
    8. Xicamiti La Taquería Bistro (Golden, Colorado)
    9. ACHILLES -(Santa Clara, California)
    10. Yardie Spice (Homestead, Florida)

    For a look at all 100 places, click here.

    Last year, six San Diego County restaurants made Yelp's Top 100 list, too. Those spots were: Yoshino Japanese Deli (No. 23); T Deli (No. 42); Sunny Side Kitchen (No. 45); Beyer Deli (No. 59); Pizzamaniac (No. 87); Classics Malt Shop (No. 95).

    In 2017, two San Diego County restaurants made the cut. In 2016, eight local eateries ranked among the top 100.

    Now, let's eat, San Diego.



    Photo Credit: Photo by Noel M. via Yelp

    Pho Guys, located at 1876 Hacienda Dr., speciliazes in hearty pho dishes built around star ingredients like filet mignon, ox tail and shrimp.Pho Guys, located at 1876 Hacienda Dr., speciliazes in hearty pho dishes built around star ingredients like filet mignon, ox tail and shrimp.

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    Cheers are in order: the San Diego Brew Festival returns this weekend, showcasing the finest suds in the beer biz – and the brewers who pour their soul into the craft.

    The event, now in its 8th year, will take over Ingram Plaza at Liberty Station from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. On tap will be 150 beers from 70 breweries including samples from local favorites like Helix Brewing Co., Amplified Ale Works, Green Flash, Alpine Beer Company, Chula Vista Brewery and Ballast Point, to name a few.

    The daytime party includes a tasty little area dubbed “Food Truck Alley,” a showcase of some of San Diego’s most popular food trucks, including Mastiff Sausage Company, Cousins Maine Lobster and Eat Your Heart Out. As always, live music will make the fest extra lively.

    General admission tickets cost $45 and include access to the festival from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., plus unlimited beer tastings. For $10 more, a VIP ticket gets you into the event an hour earlier. Organizers say proceeds from the San Diego Brew Festival will benefit Noah’s B-ark, Inc., an organization that rescues dogs from shelters and helps place those pets into permanent homes.

    To find your favorite brewers at the festival, check out this map here or below.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    San Diego has become the largest city in the state of California to ban Styrofoam products after city council voted 6-3 to pass the restrictive ordinance.

    The San Diego City Council voted to approve a law that restricts the use of products made with polystyrene and plastic foam, like take-out containers, coolers and egg cartons. 

    The ordinance will likely go into effect in April and fines for violating the law will be $200 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses. 

    The vote followed more than an hours-worth of public comment where local restaurant owners and other opposing groups pleaded with the council to oppose the impending ban.

    Restaurant owners argued the alternative, environmentally-friendly containers would cost them nearly twice as much and would force them to pass the additional cost on to their customers.

    "[Lawmakers] don't think about the small business owners, how prices are going to increase, or how we're going to be impacted with the supplies and the money we have to spend," said Andres Rodriguez, the owner of Antojitos Colombianos in Logan Heights.

    Some restaurant owners, like Mikey Knab, the operation's manager at Kensington's Ponce's Mexican Restaurant, said he is for the environmental benefits of the ban.

    He told NBC 7 the restaurant switched to more environmentally-friendly materials last year and has seen a decline in prices due to an increase in demand. 

    The Environmental Services Department is to provide a list of safe alternative containers. 

    Restaurants can petition the department for a hardship waiver, which will be awarded on a case-by-case basis for restaurants that would have financial difficulty making the switch to alternative products. 

    Any restaurants that currently have a contract with styrofoam companies can petition the Environmental Services Department for a waiver so that agreements are not broken.

    The ordinance will also require businesses to only provide plastic utensils and straws upon request.

    The council first voted 5-3 in October to ban Styrofoam products in the city and Tuesday's second vote solidified the ordinance into law.

    [[497640801,C]]


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    During the past two years, President Donald Trump and his administration have made misleading or false claims about the United States’ southern border and the need for a new border wall or barrier. NBC 7 looks closer into those claims and the facts surrounding them.

    CLAIM:

    FACT: Trade experts said no, Mexico will not pay for the wall or a border barrier through the new U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal, according to a report in Politico. At this point, the USMCA is not in effect yet, nor has Congress approved it. The deal includes no language about a barrier along the border. Trade experts also say there is no connection between the size of the country’s trade deficit with Mexico and the total costs to build the wall.

    In regards to the completed work on the wall: On October 26, 2018, DHS Secretary Nielsen unveiled a renovated portion of a “border barrier” in Calexico.

    CLAIM:
    “Nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border,” - Sarah Huckabee Sanders, January 6, 2019 

    FACTS: The figure used is for suspected terrorists that were detained across the globe and not just at the southern border with Mexico. 

    In addition, as reported by NBC News, Customs and Border Protection found only six immigrants who were suspected terrorists were arrested on the U.S. Mexico Border. 

    CLAIM:
     

    FACT: According to the DEA’s 2018 Threat Assessment, a majority of drugs coming into the country are hidden inside cars and trucks that pass through Ports of Entry. “The [southwest border] remains the primary entry point for heroin into the United States...A small percentage of all heroin seized by CBP along the land border was between Ports of Entry,” the report read. 

    CLAIM:
     

    FACT: The number of undocumented immigrants arrested along the southern border has decreased since 2000, according to Customs and Border Protection data. 

    FACT: Since 2007, the majority of illegal immigrants in the United States have allowed their visas and permits to expire, according to the Center for Migration Studies.

    CLAIM:
     

    FACT: The number of Mexican immigrants living in the United States illegally has declined by more than one-million since 2007, according to a recent Pew Research Study. The study also found there were more apprehensions of non-Mexicans than Mexicans at U.S. borders in the fiscal year 2017. 

    To read more, click here.



    Photo Credit: AP
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    A migrant from Honduras looks from the border fence into the U.S. side before jumping to San Diego, Calif., from Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Discouraged by the long wait to apply for asylum through official ports of entry, many migrants from recent caravans are choosing to cross the U.S. border wall and hand themselves in to border patrol agents. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)A migrant from Honduras looks from the border fence into the U.S. side before jumping to San Diego, Calif., from Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Discouraged by the long wait to apply for asylum through official ports of entry, many migrants from recent caravans are choosing to cross the U.S. border wall and hand themselves in to border patrol agents. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

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    A professional skateboarder from San Diego's North County is facing federal criminal drug charges following a raid at his home where authorities discovered heroin, methamphetamine and hundreds of Xanax pills.

    Rob Lorifice, 30, was arrested along with two others during a Sept. 26, 2018, raid by deputies with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department at Lorifice’s home in Encinitas.

    According to a newly-filed criminal complaint, authorities forced entry on Lorifice’s door and found the longtime professional vert skater upstairs, attempting to flush narcotics down the toilet.

    Next to the toilet officers found a “small blue chunk of a crystalline substance” and near the sink sat a plastic baggie with a “golf ball-sized chunk of a white crystalline substance,” according to the complaint. 

    In addition, deputies found several hundred Xanax pills, an ounce of heroin, and an ounce of meth inside an open safe in one of Lorifice’s closets. Inside a safe in the other closet was a stack of money and a passport.

    Scattered throughout the master bedroom of Lorifice’s home, deputies retrieved small plastic baggies, Roxicodone pills, Xanax, marijuana, mushrooms, packing materials, as well as a digital scale.

    In all, deputies seized 231.6 grams of heroin, 193 grams of meth, and 196 grams of marijuana, as well as $16,824 from the skateboarder's home.

    Three other people were found in separate rooms inside the house. Two of the unidentified people, according to the federal complaint, admitted to buying meth from Lorifice and using drugs inside the house.

    Another man by the name of Tom Herbert was also arrested in a third bedroom. In that room, officers found heroin, Xanax and a bundle of cash with Herbert’s name on it. 

    In an interview following the arrest, Lorifice denied selling the drugs, stating that “the narcotics [were] left at his house by someone...and he was afraid to get rid of them,” reads the federal complaint.

    Lorifice rose to the top ranks of professional vert skating.

    According to news reports, the Encinitas native was a local at the Magdalena Ecke YMCA skatepark since he was 6 years old, turning pro in his sport at the age of 16.

    Lorifice grew up watching Ecke locals Tony Hawk and Andy MacDonald skate the vert ramp. He soon followed in their footsteps, and by the time Lorifice was 22 had won four X Games medals for vert and on the MegaRamp.

    Today, Lorifice is charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. A federal arrest warrant was also issued on Jan. 7 for Lorifice’s arrest. 

    Calls to Lorifice for a comment on this story were not returned.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Rob Lorifice competes in the Skateboard Big Air Rail Jam Final during X Games 15 at Staples Center on July 31, 2009, in Los Angeles, California.Rob Lorifice competes in the Skateboard Big Air Rail Jam Final during X Games 15 at Staples Center on July 31, 2009, in Los Angeles, California.

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    A Navy veteran from California has been in custody in Iran for more than five months, his family said Tuesday.

    Michael R. White, of Imperial Beach, was captured by authorities in late July, when he was there to visit his Iranian girlfriend, the vet’s mom, Joanne White, told NBC News.

    The State Department is “aware of reports” of White’s detainment but declined further comment, officials said. It was not immediately known how long White had been out of the Navy.



    Photo Credit: Courtesy Joanne White

    Michael R. WhiteMichael R. White

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    The partial government shutdown has impacted government employees who are not getting paychecks, but now it could affect the craft beer industry too. 

    Every new beer label requires approval from the federal government. But the federal offices that handle that process are currently part of the government shutdown. 

    "The Tax and Trade Bureau requires government mandated things on beer labels like alcohol content," said Austin Pinder, head brewer at Bay City Brewing Company in Point Loma. "It also requires that the content on the packaging is unoffensive." 

    Pinder said this process is already lengthy, but once the government opens again, it could create a backlog of two to three weeks. 

    Bay City Brewing Company comes out with up to 30 new beers a year. Other start-up craft breweries that are trying to get off the ground in the competitive San Diego market could be hurt by the delay in approval. 

    Pinder added that if lawmakers do not make a deal soon, it could affect the whole San Diego craft beer economy. 

    "With the government shutdown you have people in our city dependent on paychecks that may not be getting them," said Pinder. "Craft beer is a luxury item." 

    There is no word yet on when the shutdown will end.  


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    Extra friends and family at home are what make the holidays the holidays. But sometimes those guests can also leave your house feeling cramped, especially when it comes to sleeping arrangements.

    That’s where air mattresses come in! Consumer Reports just tested several air mattresses from names like Aerobed, Coleman, Insta Bed and King Koil and has some recommendations, buying advice, plus one mattress that might leave you feeling a little “deflated.”

    Consumer Reports says its latest tests of air mattresses found you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to get a good night’s sleep. Testers looked at both double and single height air mattresses, an important distinction you’ll want to consider.

    Double height mattresses tend to cost a little bit more but they’re easier to get out of compared to single height mattresses. Testers weigh, measure, inflate and deflate both types of mattresses. Then they get down to what’s really important. Otherwise known at Consumer Reports as the deflection test. Testers place a weighted disc on the air mattress then measure how much the mattress sinks. The more it sinks, the less support you have. Mattresses with a small amount of deflection provide the most support.

    CR found not all double height mattresses deliver. The $120 King Koil sank almost 6 inches! Not only is the King Koil the most expensive mattress that CR tested, it sank the most in the deflection tests. It also is the heaviest mattress so if you’re trying to move it around your house it can be a little inconvenient.

    In the end, the Simmons BeautyRest double height air mattress for $68 is CR’s top-rated mattress. And if a single height mattress will do consider the Coleman for $27 dollars! It performs well and stores easily.

    Another word of advice from CR -- You want to buy an air mattress that comes with a pump so you’re not scrambling at the last minute when guests come over trying to blow it up yourself.

    Consumer Reports says you might want to keep pets like cats and dogs and anything sharp or pointed away from the air mattress. In its tests it took very little force to puncture a hole in any of the air mattresses.

    “All Consumer Reports Material Copyright © 2019_ Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED”


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    President Donald Trump addressed the nation Tuesday to make his case for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Top Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer responded, urging Trump to end the government shutdown.


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    San Diego is a city divided when it comes to rooting for the Los Angeles Chargers.

    That divide took a turn for the worse when someone directed their hate for the team toward the online review page of a local restaurant still celebrating fandom with its patrons.

    The scene inside Cali Comfort BBQ in Spring Valley on Sunday for the Chargers playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens didn’t look very different from watch parties hosted there when the team was playing at Qualcomm Stadium.

    “It was really busy. Standing room only,” Rauscha Gibson, an employee at the restaurant, said. And to the surprise of some, and to the dismay of others, it’s been that way at Cali Comfort since the team shipped north.

    Someone apparently rubbed the wrong way by the BBQ joint’s continued powder blue zeal decided they’d write a false and inflammatory review on the popular consumer website Yelp in an effort to smear the restaurant and dissuade future customers.

    The review posts were offensive and even included unflattering pictures of other restaurants.

    The joint’s owner Shawn Walchef admits the move hit him hard, but he and others across the county never stopped loving the team.

    “You know, whether they’re in Los Angeles or they’re in Anchorage, Alaska, we’re going to keep cheering for our team,” Walchef said.

    He said his restaurant community’s fanhood shouldn’t bother anyone this much, and said the Yelp reviewer went too far.

    “We might get a bad review and that’s totally legitimate but if you have never been to our restaurant and you’re just upset because we continue to cheer for the team that we’ve always cheered for and you write a fake review, that’s taking it a step too far,” he said.

    Shawn says he contacted Yelp to get the review removed. His restaurant averages 4.5 stars on the site.

    But that poster also shared the review on Twitter and told others to do the same.

    Walchef called the petty smear campaign “heartbreaking.”

    “Because of all the things to fight over, San Diego fights over a team,” he said. “This is a game. We’re talking about an NFL football game.”

    On the bright side, Walchef says his customers have ignored the fight and the bad review, except for those who took it upon themselves to denounce the inconsiderate reviews on social media.

    Walchef expects his restaurant to be standing only next Sunday, too. Cali Comfort’s doors will be open at 7 a.m.


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    The full text of President Donald Trump's first Oval Office address, according to a transcript released by the White House.

    My fellow Americans: Tonight, I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.

    Every day, Customs and Border Patrol agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country. We are out of space to hold them, and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country.

    America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation. But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages. Among those hardest hit are African Americans and Hispanic Americans.

    Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl. Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.

    In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings. Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country, and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.

    This is a humanitarian crisis -- a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.

    Last month, 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the United States -- a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims, by far, of our broken system.

    This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.

    My administration has presented Congress with a detailed proposal to secure the border and stop the criminal gangs, drug smugglers, and human traffickers. It's a tremendous problem. Our proposal was developed by law enforcement professionals and border agents at the Department of Homeland Security. These are the resources they have requested to properly perform their mission and keep America safe. In fact, safer than ever before.

    The proposal from Homeland Security includes cutting-edge technology for detecting drugs, weapons, illegal contraband, and many other things. We have requested more agents, immigration judges, and bed space to process the sharp rise in unlawful migration fueled by our very strong economy. Our plan also contains an urgent request for humanitarian assistance and medical support.

    Furthermore, we have asked Congress to close border security loopholes so that illegal immigrant children can be safely and humanely returned back home.

    Finally, as part of an overall approach to border security, law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier. At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall. This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It’s also what our professionals at the border want and need. This is just common sense.

    The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year -- vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress. The wall will also be paid for, indirectly, by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.

    Senator Chuck Schumer -- who you will be hearing from later tonight -- has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past, along with many other Democrats. They changed their mind only after I was elected President.

    Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis. And they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation.

    The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security. My administration is doing everything in our power to help those impacted by the situation. But the only solution is for Democrats to pass a spending bill that defends our borders and re-opens the government.

    This situation could be solved in a 45-minute meeting. I have invited Congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done. Hopefully, we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.

    Some have suggested a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences, and gates around their homes? They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside. The only thing that is immoral is the politicians to do nothing and continue to allow more innocent people to be so horribly victimized.

    America’s heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien, who just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country.

    Day after day, precious lives are cut short by those who have violated our borders. In California, an Air Force veteran was raped, murdered, and beaten to death with a hammer by an illegal alien with a long criminal history. In Georgia, an illegal alien was recently charged with murder for killing, beheading, and dismembering his neighbor. In Maryland, MS-13 gang members who arrived in the United States as unaccompanied minors were arrested and charged last year after viciously stabbing and beating a 16-year-old girl.

    Over the last several years, I’ve met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I’ve held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. So sad. So terrible. I will never forget the pain in their eyes, the tremble in their voices, and the sadness gripping their souls.

    How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?

    To those who refuse to compromise in the name of border security, I would ask: Imagine if it was your child, your husband, or your wife whose life was so cruelly shattered and totally broken?To every member of Congress: Pass a bill that ends this crisis. To every citizen: Call Congress and tell them to finally, after all of these decades, secure our border.

    This is a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice. This is about whether we fulfill our sacred duty to the American citizens we serve.

    When I took the Oath of Office, I swore to protect our country. And that is what I will always do, so help me God.Thank you and goodnight.

    ----

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

    Good evening. I appreciate the opportunity to speak directly to the American people tonight about how we can end this shutdown and meet the needs of the American people.

    Sadly, much of what we have heard from President Trump throughout this senseless shutdown has been full of misinformation and even malice.

    The President has chosen fear. We want to start with the facts.

    The fact is: On the very first day of this Congress, House Democrats passed Senate Republican legislation to re-open government and fund smart, effective border security solutions.

    But the President is rejecting these bipartisan bills which would re-open government – over his obsession with forcing American taxpayers to waste billions of dollars on an expensive and ineffective wall – a wall he always promised Mexico would pay for!

    The fact is: President Trump has chosen to hold hostage critical services for the health, safety and well-being of the American people and withhold the paychecks of 800,000 innocent workers across the nation – many of them veterans.

    He promised to keep government shutdown for ‘months or years’ – no matter whom it hurts. That’s just plain wrong.

    The fact is: We all agree that we need to secure our borders, while honoring our values: we can build the infrastructure and roads at our ports of entry; we can install new technology to scan cars and trucks for drugs coming into our nation; we can hire the personnel we need to facilitate trade and immigration at the border; and we can fund more innovation to detect unauthorized crossings.

    The fact is: the women and children at the border are not a security threat, they are a humanitarian challenge – a challenge that President Trump’s own cruel and counterproductive policies have only deepened.

    And the fact is: President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must re-open the government.

    Thank you.

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: 

    My fellow Americans, we address you tonight for one reason only: the President of the United States – having failed to get Mexico to pay for his ineffective, unnecessary border wall, and unable to convince the Congress or the American people to foot the bill – has shut down the government.

    American democracy doesn’t work that way. We don’t govern by temper tantrum. No president should pound the table and demand he gets his way or else the government shuts down, hurting millions of Americans who are treated as leverage.

    Tonight – and throughout this debate and his presidency – President Trump has appealed to fear, not facts. Division, not unity.

    Make no mistake: Democrats and the President both want stronger border security. However, we sharply disagree with the President about the most effective way to do it.

    So, how do we untangle this mess?

    There is an obvious solution: separate the shutdown from the arguments over border security. There is bipartisan legislation – supported by Democrats and Republicans – to re-open government while allowing debate over border security to continue.

    There is no excuse for hurting millions of Americans over a policy difference. Federal workers are about to miss a paycheck. Some families can’t get a mortgage to buy a new home. Farmers and small businesses won’t get loans they desperately need.

    Most presidents have used Oval Office addresses for noble purposes. This president just used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear, and divert attention from the turmoil in his Administration.

    My fellow Americans, there is no challenge so great that our nation cannot rise to meet it. We can re-open the government AND continue to work through disagreements about policy. We can secure our border without an expensive, ineffective wall. And we can welcome legal immigrants and refugees without compromising safety and security.

    The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a thirty-foot wall.

    So our suggestion is a simple one: Mr. President: re-open the government and we can work to resolve our differences over border security. But end this shutdown now.

    Thank you.



    Photo Credit: AP Images

    Left: President Donald Trump speaks from the Oval Office in the White House, Jan. 8, 2019, in Washington. Right: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, of N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speak on Capitol Hill following the president's address on Jan. 8, 2019, in Washington.Left: President Donald Trump speaks from the Oval Office in the White House, Jan. 8, 2019, in Washington. Right: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, of N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speak on Capitol Hill following the president's address on Jan. 8, 2019, in Washington.

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    A Kentucky elementary school teacher has been removed from her school and faces charges of assault after she was seen on video dragging a student with autism down a hallway, NBC News reported.

    In the minute-long video, shared Sunday on Facebook by the child's mother, Angel Nelson, the female teacher pulls the boy by his wrists down the hall in front of other students lined against a wall. The incident happened on Oct. 24, according to Nelson.

    “Do you want to walk?," the teacher, identified as Trina Abrams by county court, asks the boy, to which he responds, "No."

    At one point in the video, Abrams appears to try to get the boy to stand up but he refuses so she continues to drag the child along the floor.



    Photo Credit: Google Maps

    Wurtland Elementary School in Greenup County, Kentucky.Wurtland Elementary School in Greenup County, Kentucky.

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    San Diego taxi drivers say they are under attack near the airport and the Harbor Police Department is trying to take reports from as many of them as possible.

    In the last few weeks, at least 18 taxi cabs have been hit by what police say could be BB gun shots or rocks. Drivers have no clue where the shots are coming from.

    "I'm coming from Point Loma, on my way to the [airport] holding lot, I hear a noise between Sheraton and the second light," driver Asage Obgn said. When he got to the lot, he noticed his windshield was broken.

    Obgn said he was hit at around 7 p.m. Saturday night.

    Harbor police arrested a suspect on Saturday and charged him with two misdemeanors. According to investigators, there is at least one outstanding suspect.

    Drivers say they’re being targeted along Harbor Avenue near the San Diego Airport, often times at night with customers in their cars.

    "These are dents on the body or window of the car,” Alex Tegegma said pointing to his cab. “There are 11 now, there could be more."

    Tegegma and other drivers say the frequency makes them think it’s not just some accident. Since they’re unsure what’s hitting their car, they’re unsure of what kind of danger they’re really in.

    "They must be using a stone that breaks the window, or they're using maybe a gun -- whatever it is we don't know. This is really, really dangerous for us and the customers," Driver Abdulahi Noor said.

    The Harbor Police Department is asking anyone with information regarding the incidents or possible suspects to contact them at (619) 686-6596.


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    The two leading Democrats in Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, gave their party's official response to President Donald Trump's prime-time address on Tuesday night. Here is the NBC News fact-check of their remarks.

    CLAIM 1: DEMOCRATS WANT TO RE-OPEN GOVERNMENT

    Pelosi: "On the very first day of this Congress, House Democrats passed Senate Republican legislation to re-open government and fund smart, effective border security solutions."

    The facts: House Democrats did pass spending bills to re-open government as their first act upon taking control of the chamber. But the bills were more of a provocation than real legislation; Democrats knew they would not be taken up by the Senate or signed by Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in no uncertain terms that any bill that didn't have obvious support from the White House and Senate majority would not come to his floor for a vote.

    "The Senate will not waste its time considering a Democratic bill which cannot pass this chamber and which the president will not sign," McConnell said.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Left: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Dec. 20, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Right: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Oct. 4, 2018, in Washington, D.C.Left: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Dec. 20, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Right: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Oct. 4, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

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    Jurors in San Bernardino heard emotional testimony from the mother of Joseph McStay in the McStay family murder trial family Tuesday.

    In court, Susan Blake described her interactions with Charles "Chase" Merritt, who is accused of killing the family of four and burying their bodies in the high desert.

    As you can imagine, this has been heartbreaking for the mother.

    On Tuesday, she told jurors about the moment she found out her family was gone.

    "Obviously, the hardest thing, my son had to tell me that they found them in the desert," Blake said in court.

    Blake requested that only her voice be recorded.

    The mother of Joseph McStay talked about the emotional moments in November of 2013, when her other son Mike told her that Joseph, his wife summer and their two young sons Gianna and Joseph Jr. were located north of Victorville, buried in two shallow graves. 

    "He told me that they found their bodies and they were dead, all of them," Blake said.

    Blake also talked about the days before and after her son and his family mysteriously disappeared from their North San Diego County home in February of 2010.

    She told jurors about Joseph McStay's business associate, who is accused of the murders. Blake said he was the first one to alert her that no one could get a hold of Joseph.

    She also claimed that she asked Merritt to help spread the word about the missing family members, but he quote "refused."

    Prosecutors allege Merritt killed the McStays because he was embezzling thousands of dollars from Joseph McStays custom fountain business. Blake says during the months following the disappearance, Merritt constantly tried to get money from Joseph McStay's business account to complete jobs.

    At times, Blake claimed, Merritt was aggressive and combative.

    "He asked for funds to keep the business going, at the time, I would do anything to help my son. I'm probably not in my right mind anyways at that time."

    Blake told jurors that she gave Merritt more than five thousand dollars to complete jobs in the months after the family went missing.

    Investigators say Merritt was paid $17,000 by a customer after work had been completed on a job.

    Blake said Merritt promised to pay her back the money he borrowed, but she never received any money.

    The trial continues Wednesday with jurors expected to hear testimony from Mike McStay, Joseph McStay's brother.


    The mother of Joseph McStay, who provided emotional testimony at the McStay murder trial in San Bernardino on Jan. 7, 2019.The mother of Joseph McStay, who provided emotional testimony at the McStay murder trial in San Bernardino on Jan. 7, 2019.

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