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    Authorities made the grisly discovery of a man's body inside a hot tub in Encinitas Tuesday, confirmed the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

    The body was found around 9:15 a.m. near the intersection of Leucadia Boulevard and Fulvia Street, according to the Encinitas Fire Department and the Sheriff's Department. That's located just east of North Coast Highway 101 and Beacon's Beach.

    There might have been a medical condition that caused his death, said Sheriff's Lt. Matthew Glisson. He does not believe the man passed away because he was in the hot tub.

    They are still working to piece together exactly what happened leading up to the man's death.

    No further information was immediately available.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images/File

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    A San Diego-based Telemundo 20 journalist visiting her family in central Mexico said she couldn’t move her feet as the wall of her family’s home collapsed before her eyes during Tuesday’s terrifying 7.1-magnitude earthquake.

    “It felt like the whole house was coming down; it felt like the Earth was opening up beneath our feet,” Fabiola Berriozabal, a digital media producer with T20, recounted in a FaceTime video interview with NBC 7. “We couldn’t move or stand up.”

    Berriozabal said she was finishing breakfast with her mother, brother, and grandparents on the patio of her mother’s home in Tepoztlan – a town in the Mexican state of Morelos, south of Mexico City – when, suddenly, the Earth began to shake violently.

    “I panicked, and then I saw my brother’s eyes panicking, and then I realized how big [the earthquake] was,” she explained. “Next thing I know, the pipe is coming down, there’s water falling from the top of the roof.”

    From where the family was sitting on the patio, Berriozabal said it looked as if her mother’s entire home was tumbling down.

    “The house just looks like it’s falling towards us,” she said.

    At that point, Berriozabal said her grandmother turned to the family and said, “Please, save yourselves; leave me here.”

    “It tells you how strong it felt,” she explained. “I was scared because you could actually feel it, like in the bottom of your feet. I couldn’t stand still; I couldn’t stand up. It’s just like being thrown around and rattled. We wanted to move away from the house and we really couldn’t until it stopped.”

    Together, Berriozabal and her family were able to get themselves to safety, to a grassy area near the patio but away from the home.

    When they looked up, they realized a large wall that was once attached to the home had come crumbling down.

    “This was a wall,” she said, showing it in pieces, in the video interview.

    Walking through her family’s home, Berriozabal couldn’t help but feel emotional. Inside, large cracks ran down the walls and debris – including chunks of walls exposing the raw brick beneath – was strewn about the residence.

    Photo frames displaying family pictures, which once hung on the walls, were on the ground lying along the length of a staircase.

    “It’s actually really sad,” she said. “That’s a huge crack; you can see how open it is.”

    Holding back tears, Berriozabal said she couldn’t describe the pain of seeing her family’s home damaged in this way. Her mother has lived there for nearly 20 years.

    Berriozabal walked over to a wall where pen markings recorded the heights over the years of she and her family members – a wall that holds so many special family moments.

    “Memories,” she lamented. “It’s a home.”

    Berriozabal said this was the worst earthquake she’s ever experienced. It happened to hit on the anniversary of Mexico’s devastating 1985 quake, which killed 9,500 victims.

    She said she’s grateful her family was not hurt, and her grandparent echoed those feelings. Calmly sitting together on a couple of patio chairs on the lawn near a swimming pool, the couple told NBC 7 they felt fortunate their family was there to help them and thanked God for protecting them.

    “It was very strong,” her grandmother said. “Thank God we are here together.”

    Berriozabal said police officers were going around to homes in her mother’s neighborhood checking the safety of the structures. For now, her family will not be able to sleep in the home.

    At this point, she said she’s not sure if her mother’s home can be salvaged or if it will need to be taken down and completely rebuilt.

    She said neighbors were also devastated by the disaster. One family, trying to keep their young son calm, said they planned to sleep in their car.

    Berriozabal said that family’s little boy was crying after the earthquake because he had seen so many adults around him crying.

    The temblor – which comes less than two weeks after an 8.1-magnitude quake killed about 100 people across southern Mexico – was centered in the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles southeast of Mexico City, per the U.S. Geological Survey.

    In densely-populated Mexico City, the quake caused buildings to sway sickeningly and sent panicked people streaming into the streets. Many fled their office building, hugging on the streets to help calm one another down.

    For the latest updates on the deadly quake, click here.

    Photo Credit: Fabiola Berriozabal

    The damage from the earthquake in Tepoztlan, in the Mexican state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, on Sept. 19, 2017.The damage from the earthquake in Tepoztlan, in the Mexican state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, on Sept. 19, 2017.

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    “I was upset when I got the letter,” Lillian Fisher said. 

    Lillian, a woman of many talents, said she doesn’t like being accused of not paying her bills. She said that’s what happened when she received a letter, claiming she owed more than $400 in late payments to DirecTV. 

    “Your delinquent account has been turned over to this collection agency,” Lillian said the letter read. 

    Lillian said she couldn’t believe she had been turned over to collections when she either pays with a check or through auto-pay, coming right out of her bank account. 

    “I knew I didn’t owe anything, I always pay my bills as they come,” Lillian said. 

    When Lillian called DirecTV, she said they told her to ignore the bill. Lillian said that didn’t sit well with her, given she didn’t know what to do with the collections notice. 

    “I hope it’s just a mistake,” Lillian said. 

    Lillian contacted NBC 7 Responds and we reached out to AT&T, the company that now owns DirecTV. 

    AT&T researched the problem and Lillian said the company told her they found out the collections notice was technically correct, it was just sent to the wrong customer. Lillian’s bill was fine but she said her name was mixed up with another DirecTV customer. 

    AT&T apologized for the mistake, the misdirected bill was forgotten and the collections agency has stopped contacting Lillian.

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    That big stadium in Mission Valley that the Chargers used to call home just got a new moniker.

    The naming rights for the Q went up for grabs earlier this year when Qualcomm's deal with San Diego lapsed. Fox Sports College Properties then began accepting bids on behalf of the City of San Diego, a process that continued till the start of this month.

    On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council voted to accept a $500,000 deal with the San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU) that is good through the end of 2018 and will rebrand the facility as SDCCU Stadium.

    Under the terms of the deal, San Diego retains 75 percent of the revenue ($375,000), per the sponsorship agreement with Fox Sports Net.

    San Diego State University Aztecs football home games will be played at the stadium on Sept. 30, Oct. 14 and 21, and Nov. 18 and 25. The stadium will also be the site for concerts by U2 this Friday and Coldplay on Oct. 8, as well as the SDCCU Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28.

    While the stadium offers 70,500 seating capacity, an MTS Trolley stop, a massive parking lot and is situated near major freeways, it's old (opened in 1967) and lacks video board and messaging capability. It has enjoyed former incarnations as San Diego Stadium and Jack Murphy Stadium.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

    The aging Mission Valley stadium in March 2016.The aging Mission Valley stadium in March 2016.

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    One person was shot inside a home in Chula Vista Tuesday night in a possible officer-involved shooting.

    The incident occurred at 10:28 p.m. on the 700 block of Monterey Avenue across E. J Street, according to the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD).

    At this time, 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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    Firefighters, police and local volunteers pulled at least 25 bodies, all but four of them children, from a Mexico City school partially flattened by a powerful earthquake Tuesday, NBC News reported. 

    At least 217 people were killed by Tuesday's magnitude-7.1 quake and scores of buildings were destroyed.

    Crews wearing hard hats worked their way through pancaked concrete slabs in what had been the Enrique Rebsamen school in the south of the capital. Family members and teachers searched through lists of children to try to work out who was unaccounted for.

    Dr. Pedro Serrano, one of the volunteers, told The Associated Press that he managed to crawl into the crevices of the tottering pile of rubble. He made it into a classroom, but found all of its occupants dead.

    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Gerardo Carrillo

    Volunteers and rescue workers search for children trapped inside at the collapsed Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.Volunteers and rescue workers search for children trapped inside at the collapsed Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.

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    A driver crashed into the bedroom of home in Point Loma, and also crashed into a car in the driveway early Wednesday morning. 

    The crashed happened on Nimitz Boulevard, at Evergreen Street just after 5 a.m. 

    San Diego Police said the driver is a 64 years-old woman, who suffered minor injuries. 

    Three people live inside the home: a mom, dad and their son. One of them was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

    The family's car was severely damaged. 

    Police said it did not appear the driver was under the influence of alcohol, but believe excessive speed may have been a factor in the crash.

    Officers said other drivers have crashed into the same home at least two other times. 

    A guardrail had been installed to help prevent such crashes.

    This morning, the driver crashed right through that guardrail.

    The family will be staying with neighbors temporarily. 

    No other information was available.

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

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    A passerby jumped in and helped rescue a driver who was critically burned in a high-speed crash in Escondido Wednesday.

    The car was traveling along Bear Valley Parkway at speeds over 100 mph just before 3 a.m. when the driver lost control, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    The car veered off the road and slammed into a tree with such force the vehicle went up the tree and slid down, officers said.

    When emergency crews arrived at the crash near Eldorado Drive, the car’s horn was still honking and the tires were still spinning at 100 mph.

    A passerby saw the collision and turned his vehicle around to try and help the driver.

    One person was pulled from the wreckage. The driver was conscious and breathing when he was taken to UC San Diego with what were described as third and fourth-degree burns. 

    No other information was available.

    The neighborhood is located east of Interstate 15 and southwest of State Route 78 or San Pasqual Valley Road.

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

    Photo Credit: Angelos Papazis, NBC 7

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    Luna Grill Restaurants LLC, the San Diego-based company that operates 38 fast-casual Mediterranean restaurants in two U.S. states, announced Sept. 18 that New York-based private equity fund PWP Growth Equity had purchased a minority stake in the company.

    Financial terms were not disclosed.

    In a statement, the company said the funds will go toward expansion, both in the areas in which it has restaurants - across Southern California and in the Dallas/Forth Worth, Texas, area - and new geographies.

    Sean and Maria Pourteymour founded Luna Grill in 2004.

    They position the restaurants as a "luxe-casual" option, differentiating from the booming fast-casual model with meals made to order and served to the table, and an absence of disposable tableware or flatware.

    “This investment will allow us to continue the rapid yet measured growth we have experienced over the past few years," CEO Sean Pourteymour said.

    PWP Growth Equity, which focuses on investing in lower middle-market companies, has also invested in Black Bear Diner and MOD Pizza, as well as a number of businesses in other industries. Chip Baird and David Ferguson co-founded the firm, which is affiliated with Perella Weinberg Partners.

    Last year private investment firm CapitalSpring funneled nearly $30 million in financing into Luna Grill. Local investor ClearVision Equity Partners has also backed the company.

    San Diego-based investment bank W Partners advised Luna Grill on the transactions with PWP and with CapitalSpring.


    Photo Credit: Luna Grill/Facebook
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    Most pet parents will do anything for their four-legged family members including the latest trend in pet care: USDA-grade, gourmet dog food.

    According to the American Pet Product Association, consumers spent $67 billion on their pets in 2016 – including $28 billion on food.

    “I prefer the foods where quality proteins are at the top of the list because if you look at animals in the wild, they eat a largely protein-based diet,” said Patricia Ungar, DVM, a veterinarian at Kensington Veterinary Hospital. “They get a little bit of carbs; if they’re a hunting dog or hunting cat they’re going to eat what they catch. It’s going to have mostly protein and whatever their protein’s eaten before they got it.”

    Ungar told NBC 7 USDA-grade pet food is taking off because some pets have health complications in large part because of poor breeding standards.

    One company selling USDA-grade dog food is California-based Just Food for Dogs, which recently opened its 10th store in the state in Del Mar. The company prepares all of the meals in the store, with a focus on high-quality ingredients and balanced, whole foods.

    A 7-ounce bag of dog food there can run around $4 to $5, and the portions depend on your dog’s weight.

    But, if that price per meal is a tad steep, don’t fret. Ungar said some dogs can eat anything and live perfectly healthy lives. It all depends on your dog’s health conditions, and if their health might benefit from a cleaner diet.

    NBC 7’s Gaby Rodriguez, accompanied by her pup, Luna, tried the gourmet dog treats herself during a newscast. She said the treats weren’t bad, including one that tasted like unseasoned chicken.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Moment RF
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    Corgi puppyCorgi puppy

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    This may be the most delicious news you hear all day: San Diego Restaurant Week (SDRW) starts this Sunday, showcasing more than 190 eateries across our dining scene over the course of eight delicious days.

    Back for seconds this year, the fall 2017 edition of SDRW runs from Sept. 24 through Oct. 1, with its familiar, scrumptious set-up: participating restaurants will offer special two and three-course, prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner. Two-course lunch menus are priced at $10, $15 or $20 per person, while three-course dinner menus are priced at $20, $30, $40 and $50 per person.

    The popular culinary event spans eateries across more than a dozen regions in San Diego County including downtown San Diego, La Jolla, Little Italy, Central San Diego, Mission Bay and Beaches, North County Inland and Coastal, South Bay and Point Loma/Harbor Island, to name a few communities.

    Cuisine varies, too, with every type of food imaginable on the SDRW menus -- from American and California fare to Mexican, Hawaiian, French, Italian, Chinese and more.

    As always, no special passes are required to attend SDRW. Just pick the participating restaurant that sounds good to you, go there and ask for the SDRW menu. Really, it’s easy as pie.

    A small sampling of eateries participating in SDRW 2017 include: Decoy Dockside Dining (North County Inland); Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria (North County Coastal); Puesto at the Headquarters (downtown); Peohe's Coronado Waterfront (Coronado); Farmer's Table (East County); Great Maple (Uptown); Duke's La Jolla (La Jolla); Indigo Grill (Little Italy); The Patio on Lamont (Mission Beach); The Prado (Balboa Park); Sea 180 Coastal Tavern (South Bay); Tom Ham's Lighthouse (Point Loma/Harbor Island); Cafe Coyote (Old Town); Crazee Burger (Hillcrest).

    The very long list of participating SDRW eateries – as well as photos and mouthwatering menus – can be seen in full on the SDRW website. Foodies can even score a few recipes so they can try their hand at cooking some delicious dishes at home, created by eateries like The Marine Room, Tidal and Pisco Rotisserie & Cevicheria.

    Enjoy the week, foodies -- every last bite of it.

    Photo Credit: Puesto

    Puesto at The Headquarters will offer its tasty, gourmet tacos during Restaurant Week.Puesto at The Headquarters will offer its tasty, gourmet tacos during Restaurant Week.

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    Carlsbad police released a sketch Wednesday of a suspicious man prowling around the North-Coastal area, peeking into windows and sneaking inside homes.

    The Carlsbad Police Department will ask the public to help identify the prowler at a community meeting, set for 6 p.m. at the Carlsbad Senior Center located at 799 Pine Avenue.

    Police said the man was reportedly peering into windows while residents sleep. On a few occasions, he crawled into residents' homes through unlocked windows.

    Once he came across residents, the prowler fled their homes, according to Carlsbad police. Officers are currently using a multi-faceted approach to hunt the alleged prowler down.

    Their methods include crime scene investigations, crime analysis, extra patrols and developing a composite sketch, said CVPD officers. Police would like the community to take a close look at the sketch and help identify a suspect if possible.

    The community can help solve these crimes by being the "eyes and ears" of their neighborhood, said police. It's also important to report suspicious activity and secure doors and windows that might provide easy access to a prowler.

    Home security tips are available on the City of Carlsbad's website. No further information was available.

    Photo Credit: Carlsbad Police

    The prowler has reportedly been peeking into windows while people are sleeping inside their homes throughout the north-coastal area of Carlsbad.The prowler has reportedly been peeking into windows while people are sleeping inside their homes throughout the north-coastal area of Carlsbad.

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    An active-duty, Coronado-based U.S. Navy SEAL accused of possessing dozens of images of child pornography pleaded guilty in Virginia Wednesday, confirmed NBC 7's affiliate station.

    More than five months after filing a not guilty plea, Petty Officer 1st Class Gregory Kyle Seerden, 31, of San Diego pleaded guilty to one count of child pornography production, reported the affiliate station Wavy 10.

    Seerden's ex-wife previously told NBC 7 that this isn't the first time he's been under investigation for inappropriate contact with a minor. A 2014 case was closed because of insufficient evidence. 

    In another case, a woman accused Seerden of sexually assaulting her while she was intoxicated at his hotel on the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story (JEBLCFS). She reported the incident to a gate sentry on Jan. 17.

    During that period, he was on temporary duty in Virgina while assigned to SEAL Team One based in Coronado, California.

    Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents later seized Seerden's iPhone 7 as part of an investigation into the alleged sexual assault. As they reviewed its contents, they discovered images of child pornography.

    The investigation alleged that 78 disturbing images were found on his phone, including some depicting bondage of children, according to legal documents.

    Among other sensitive material, investigators came across a video that appeared to show a man masturbating next to a sleeping girl who looked about 5 or 6 years old, according to legal documents. Investigators said the face of the male was not visible.

    Seerden was then extradited to Virginia in April, according to the District Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

    If convicted, Seerden faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 to 30 years, according to the affiliate. His sentencing is currently set for January.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

    Petty Officer 1st Class Gregory Kyle SeerdenPetty Officer 1st Class Gregory Kyle Seerden

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    California is suing the Trump Administration over border wall projects in San Diego and Imperial counties.

    “No one gets to ignore the laws. Not even the President of the United States,” Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Wednesday.

    Becerra announced the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court as he stood in Border Field State Park. The suit alleging the Trump Administration failed to comply with state and federal environmental laws, was filed on behalf of the public and the California Coastal Commission.

    The suit also alleges the Trump Administration violated the 10th Amendment and the separation of powers doctrine and relied on a federal statute that does not authorize the proposed projects, the state attorney general said. 

    "In California, that's not going to fly," Becerra said. 

    The Trump administration last week waived environmental laws and other reviews to replace a small stretch of the border wall in Calexico, California, the second time it has exercised that authority in less than two months.

    Last month, Homeland Security waived reviews for a 15-mile stretch in San Diego.

    The Calexico waiver marked the seventh time the government has waived environmental reviews under a 2005 law. That law exempts the government from the National Environmental Protection Act, which calls for extensive reviews of environmental impacts, and a host of other laws.

    DHS would waive 37 federal statues as well as regulations related to those statutes, he said.

    That move would violate “numerous state and local laws” in California and San Diego County, he said. 

    "If it happens in our backyard we demand that it be carried out the right way and follow the rule of law," Becerra said. "If you want to do business in California - and that includes the President of the United States - be prepared to follow the law." 

    The government plans to award a contract in November and begin construction in February.

    This is not the first time Attorney General Becerra has sued the Trump Administration.

    California was also the first state to challenge the administration on its policy of denying funds to cities that limit cooperation with enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.

    The state of California and city of San Francisco filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice over President Trump's sanctuary city restrictions on public safety grants.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

    An image of the U.S.-Mexico border captured by NBC 7 in February 2017.An image of the U.S.-Mexico border captured by NBC 7 in February 2017.

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    Authorities seized nearly $700 million worth of cocaine and heroin in the past 45 days, a record amount of drugs in the time period. 

    On Wednesday, the stacks of drugs were offloaded from the Coast Guard's Cutter Stratton. The drugs amount to more than 50,000 pounds of cocaine and heroin. 

    This fiscal year, Coast Guard officials have seized more than 450,000 pounds of cocaine -- surpassing last year's numbers. 

    Authorities have been able to seize as many drugs as they have because of the U.S. and allied forces' presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, officials said. Officials have been able to remove more narcotics from drug transit zones off South and Central America. 

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, California's 50th Congressional District and Chairman of the U.S. Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee and U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft announced the historic drug removals.

    Sessions said drug deaths across the country hit 60,000 in 2016.

    The work the Coast Guard is doing helps to keep these drugs off the streets and to prevent future deaths, Sessions said.

    "Look, we’re facing a tremendous challenge. In 2015, we had 52,000 people die from drug overdoses in the country. Numbers the likes of which we’ve never ever seen before," Sessions said.

    During the press conference, Sessions also took the opportunity to discuss how some states want to be known as sanctuary states.

    "One of the sad thing is we have this disagreement over sanctuary cities and sanctuary states and the refusal of certain jurisdictions to cooperate with our colleagues, mostly our ICE agents, who have the responsibility under the law, the duty, to arrest people who are in our country illegally," Sessions said. 

    "I find it almost unbelievable that sttaes and cities would object to that," Sessions added. "Why in the world would they want to object to the law being followed?"

    He said authorities should deport people in the U.S. illegally, especially if they had comitted crimes. 

    "Why they shouldn't be deported is beyond me," Sessions said. 

    Wednesday, the Coast Guard handed over more than 600 suspected smugglers to the Department of Justice. 

    Zukunft said they have been able to triple removal rates of drugs such as these, but they still have more work to do. 

    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

    Authorities seized nearly $700 million worth of cocaine and heroin in the past 45 days.Authorities seized nearly $700 million worth of cocaine and heroin in the past 45 days.

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    A few local businesses are struggling to bounce back after a series of main pipes broke in San Diego, swamping stores with muddy water and shutting down water utility services last week.

    There were a total of four water pipe ruptures with three that burst in the Morena area. The resulting change in pressure throughout the pipe triggered another main break on Interstate 8, blasting a 20-foot high geyser into the sky.

    The water wreckage closed down roads, created traffic jams and shut down businesses. One stretch of stores along Morena was sectioned off following the main breaks, as crews worked to repair the pipes.

    The Morena Pet Hospital is one of the hardest hit businesses that took the full brunt of damages. As of Tuesday, the location had reopened for business but the outside still resembled a construction zone.

    Dr. Crystal Steib said crews are roping off areas of the hospital and fixing different sections at a time. Their doggie boarding section now doubles as a storage room for files since their bookshelves suffered water damage.

    "We have half the number of exam rooms that we usually have," said Steib. "We don't have a place to put any of our files."

    Other businesses along Morena have not had to wait as long for water services to return. Avian Exotic Animal Hospital had water services repaired the same day of the water main ruptures. 

    "Today is the first day where we've had running water," Steib told NBC 7 on Tuesday. "Intermittently, they would turn it on and try to get it running again and then find a new leak."

    Dr. Steib and her staff said they were fortunate not to have any of their equipment damaged.

    "Luckily, none of our equipment was damaged so we're still able to function as a hospital and--fingers crossed--our water continues to stay running so we can continue with the cleaning process," added Steib.

    After the pipes broke, the store manager of Bird Rock Coffee, Joseph Rusk, had his hands full. He hastily worked to salvage coffee and drain water levels in the cafe. Their water was turned on the next day, but they're still resolving other issues.

    "We still are checking the moisture level of those coffees," said Rusk. "So we're not 100 percent sure right now, but right now it's not looking like too much is damaged."

    His cafe remained closed for business this week.

    "Most of it is affecting our retail business. We are closed for business. We did have to tear out dry wall," said Rusk. "We are having to repair those things and it's all at the insurance level right now of getting everything proofed."

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    A Bucks County man was sentenced to 30 to 87 years in state prison Wednesday on multiple counts of child rape and related charges for years of housing and sleeping with underage Amish sisters.

    Lee Kaplan, 52, of Feasterville, was convicted in June on 17 counts. Last year, police found nine daughters of Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus inside Kaplan's small house. Savilla Stoltzfus was also living with Kaplan and the girls.

    Two other young girls were also in the house. They were fathered by Kaplan, a Cheltenham native, with the oldest of the Stoltzfus daughters. She was 14 when her parents "gifted" the daughters to Kaplan.

    In July, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus were led away in shackles and handcuffs in front of 30 members of their former Amish community after their sentencing on child endangerment charges before Judge Jeffrey Finley in Doylestown. They have been in prison since June 16, 2016. 

    Daniel Stoltzfus, 44, who pleaded no contest, must serve 3½ years before he is eligible for parole, while his 43-year-old wife must serve at least three years. They will get credit for time served.

    "It would be higher if I had the ability to do so," Judge Jeffrey Finley said to both parents of his sentences for them. "This goes beyond the aggravated sentencing range."

    Finley said he could not comprehend why the Stoltzfus couple decided that giving their nine daughters to Lee Kaplan, of Feasterville, was a good solution to their money troubles.

    Daniel Stoltzfus continued to live in Lancaster County during the more than four years while his daughters lived with Kaplan, who fathered two children with the couple’s eldest daughter. She was gifted to him at 14. Savilla Stoltzfus eventually moved in with Kaplan as well.

    All told, nine of the Stoltzfus' children, two babies fathered by Kaplan and Savilla Stoltzfus lived in Kaplan's small Cape Cod-style home on Old Street Road.

    The case garnered national attention last summer when details of life inside the Kaplan house initially came to light.

    In an interview with NBC10 the week of Kaplan's arrest in June 2016, a FedEx delivery man said Kaplan didn't often wear his shirt to answer his front door, and his house "stunk ... like cat piss."

    "He doesn't talk much. I tried joking with him, but he'd just stare at you with a blank face," said Brendan Cragg, who's been delivering packages in the neighborhood for the last 10 years. "He'd come to the door with no shirt on, that big beard. I knew he was crazy. It kind of stunk in there, I thought, like cat piss. I thought he was a hoarder."

    A tip from a neighbor eventually led police to search Kaplan's house, where they found the girls — and a massive, elaborate miniature train collection in the basement.

    That train collection was apparently part of an eBay business Kaplan ran out of his home. A business called "The Brass Caboose" that buys and sells miniature trains has the same address as Kaplan's house on Old Street Road in Feasterville.

    "I thought about him all weekend," Cragg said. "I wish looking back I would have said something. But you don't really know what's going on (inside the house). I never saw anyone else in there."

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    San Diego’s USS Midway Museum has landed in high ranks: travelers have named it one of the top museums in the United States.

    The long-serving U.S. Navy aircraft carrier-turned-museum, which sits along San Diego’s downtown waterfront at 910 N. Harbor Drive, was ranked No. 5 on the Traveler’s Choice awards list released this week by the well-known travel website, TripAdvisor.

    The list touted some of the highlights of the USS Midway Museum, including how travelers can explore the galleys and sleeping quarters aboard the real carrier, “naturally located in Navy Town, USA.”

    According to TripAdvisor, the rankings were determined through an algorithm that looked at the quantity and quality of travelers’ reviews and ratings for museums over a one-year period. The list also highlighted admission prices and tours.

    The USS Midway is in good company. Other U.S. museums that made the top 10 cut include:

    • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (ranked No. 1 for the third year in a row)
    • The National WWII Museum in New Orleans
    • The Art Institute in Chicago
    • The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City
    • The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
    • The Getty Center in Los Angeles
    • The American Museum of Natural History in New York City
    • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City
    • The NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Titusville, Florida

    To see the full list of top-ranked museums, click here.

    The USS Midway Museum was established as a nonprofit organization in 1992, and opened as a museum in San Diego in June 2004. Visitors are invited to enter the floating city at sea and walk in the footsteps of the 225,000 Navy sailors who worked and lived on the Midway over its service life.

    The museum features more than 60 exhibits and a collection of 29 restored aircraft. Visitors can enjoy a self-guided audio tour, narrated by USS Midway sailors, and also test out two flight simulators.

    It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). General admission at the gate costs $20 for adults, $17 for senior citizens, $15 for students, $10 for retired military (with valid ID), $10 for kids ages 6 to 12 and free for children age 5 and younger. Active duty military service members and law enforcement officials also get in free, with a valid ID.

    Admission includes the Docent-led Island Tour – on the superstructure above the flight deck – open to visitors who are at least 42-inches tall. 

    The Midway turned 72 years old on Sept. 10. To keep up with the museum’s latest happenings, visit its website here.

    Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

    The USS Midway Museum is located along downtown San Diego's waterfront.The USS Midway Museum is located along downtown San Diego's waterfront.

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    Images of smuggling attempts at their finest.

    Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    On Sept. 9, 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at an immigration checkpoint in Niland, California, discovered 25 packages of methamphetamine stashed inside the gas tank of a Nissan Altima being driven by a 25-year-old U.S. Citizen.On Sept. 9, 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents working at an immigration checkpoint in Niland, California, discovered 25 packages of methamphetamine stashed inside the gas tank of a Nissan Altima being driven by a 25-year-old U.S. Citizen.

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    Crews rescued a man trapped in a burning vehicle and rushed him to a hospital with life-threatening injuries in Escondido Wednesday, confirmed California Highway Patrol (CHP).

    Neighbors came outside and tried to help the 22-year-old man when they heard his car strike a tree and catch fire on Bear Valley Parkway, south of San Pasqual Valley Road around 2:40 a.m., said CHP officers.

    When they got to his car, neighbors watched helplessly as flames consumed his vehicle with the man trapped inside. The authorities were quickly alerted.

    Once Escondido Fire crews arrived, they extinguished the flames and discovered the driver was still alive. Crews pulled him out of the car and began treating him, said CHP officers.

    Eighty percent of his body was badly burnt in the fiery collision, according to CHP. An air ambulance flew the man to UC San Diego Medical Center.

    CHP officers said alcohol or drugs are not suspected factors in this crash. The man was driving his 2007 Honda Civic south on Bear Valley Parkway at an unknown speed, when he veered across the road and struck a tree.

    During an investigation of the scene, the roadway was shut down but reopened at about 6:30 a.m., according to CHP. The man was later identified as a resident of Oceanside.

    An investigation remains underway to find out what led to the crash. No further information was available. 

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    A Tony Award-winning actress, Broadway star best known for her work in "Hamilton" and an actress from Disney's "Freaky Friday" the musical will each play the title role of Donna Summer in various stages of her life in the La Jolla Playhouse's new world premiere musical. Performances start Nov. 7. 

    The musical will tell the life of Donna Summer - the voice of a generation, and the queen of Disco - through the lens of her final concert. 

    LaChanze, who won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical in 2006 for her role in "The Color Purple," will take on "Diva Donna." Ariana DeBose, known for her work in "A Bronx Tale" and "Hamilton," will play "Disco Donna." Storm Lever, seen in Disney's "Freaky Friday" musical, will play "Duckling Donna." 

    “Led by three powerhouse actresses in the title role, the cast of this dazzling new musical is poised to give full, glorious voice to the story and music of Donna Summer,” said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley in a statement.

    The score features more than 20 of the singer's classic hits, including "Love to Love You, Baby," "Bad Girls" and "Hot Stuff." 

    Playhouse Director Emeritus Des McAnuff, known for bringing "Jersey Boys" and "The Who's Tommy" to life, helms the world premiere production. Olivier Award-winning Sergio Trujillo ("Jersey Boys", "Memphis", more) will choreograph.

    The musical features a book by Colman Domingo, Robert Cary and McAnuff. Musical supervision by Ron Melrose.

    The creative team also includes UC San Diego faculty member and former La Jolla Playhouse Artist-in-Residence Robert Brill ("His Girl Friday," "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots") as scenic designer, Tony Award-winning Paul Tazewell ("Side Show," "Hollywood") as costume designer; multiple Tony Award winner Howell Binkley ("Jersey Boys," "Come From Away") as lighting designer; Tony Award winner Gareth Owen ("Come From Away," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame") as sound designer; Bill Brendle for orchestrations; Victoria Theodore as music director and conductor; Shirley Fishman as dramaturg; Tara Rubin in casting; and Andrew Neal as stage manager.

    “In addition to our Director Emeritus Des McAnuff, SUMMER also reunites Playhouse audiences with a ‘dream team’ of designers whose work has been seen in dozens of memorable productions," Ashley said in a statement.

    Rounding out the cast are Mackenzie Bell as “Giorgio,” Kimberly Dodson as “Dara/Amanda,” Anissa Felix as “Adult Mary Ellen,” Drew Foster as “Brian,” Ari Groover as “Ami,” Afra Hines as “Maid/Michael,” Aaron Krohn as “Neil,” Jenny Laroche as “Pastor/Norm,” Wonu Ogunfowora as “Mary Ellen/Brooklyn,” Rebecca Riker as “Bob/Don,” Christina Robinson as “Adult Dara,” Ken Robinson as “Andrew Gaines,” Jessica Rush as “Joyce,” Kaye Tuckerman as “Pete” and Jared Zirilli ("Lysistrata Jones") as “Bruce Sudano,” along with swings Aurelia Michael and Andra Caston.

    The show runs until Dec. 17. Tickets start at $58. To purchase tickets, call Playhouse Patron Services at (858) 550-1010 or buy them online by clicking here. 

    Photo Credit: Courtesy of La Jolla Playhouse
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    From left: LaChanze, Ariana DeBose, Storm Lever.From left: LaChanze, Ariana DeBose, Storm Lever.

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    Two retired police canines passed away last week after serving with the Escondido Police Department for several years.

    Hunter began his career as police K-9 in July 2006 with Escondido Police Officer Baeder, the department said.

    At one point, Hunter alerted police to 160 kilos of cocaine from inside a travel trailer. 

    According to police, Hunter was adored by the other officers, some of whom liked to sneak him treats when Officer Baeder wasn't paying attention.

    Hunter retired from duty in April 2013 and lived with Officer Baeder until he passed away on Sept. 14. 

    K9 Utah passed away on Sept. 15. He worked with Officer Banks since starting his career in June 2008. 

    Police said Utah was a friendly dog and loved to nudge officers to pet him.

    He retired in Sept. 2013 and lived with Officer Banks until his death.

    Utah and Hunter helped officers arrest more than 500 suspects during their careers, police said.

    Photo Credit: Escondido Police Department

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    Shortly before Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination last summer, his campaign chairman offered to provide private briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire with Kremlin ties, his spokesman confirmed to NBC News.

    The offer appeared in emails between then campaign chairman Paul Manafort and one of his employees, some of which suggested Manafort was seeking to use his role to make money, the Washington Post reported. The spokesman, Jason Maloni, said the emails, which had been turned over to congressional committees, showed nothing improper.

    The Post said the billionaire was Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch in Putin's inner circle. NBC News has reported that Manafort had business dealings with Deripaska, who was once denied entry to the United States because of alleged mafia links.

    "If he needs private briefings we can accommodate," Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016, email, the Post reported.

    Photo Credit: Matt Rourke/AP

    FILE - Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena, July 17, 2016, in Cleveland.FILE - Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena, July 17, 2016, in Cleveland.

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    The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) reported one of its police cars rear-ended on Interstate 8 eastbound, where it merges into Interstate 805.

    The event took place in Mission Valley at approximately 5:16 p.m., and an HOV SigAlert was issed for 30 minutes after, according to the police report.

    Both vehicles are reportedly in the far right shoulder lane, according to SDPD.

    Minor injuries were also reported.

    No further information is available, check back for updates.

    Photo Credit: Monica Garske

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    Deputies arrested the owner of an illegal marijuana dispensary in El Cajon Wednesday, months after shutting down his covert operation in Spring Valley.

    The Sheriff's Rancho San Diego Crime Suppression Team and Area Detectives executed a search warrant on Windridge Drive, near Merritt Drive around 7 a.m., according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO).

    Steve Tooma, 35, was arrested and charged with opening or maintaining a drug house, criminal conspiracy and possession of marijuana for sales. Deputies took Tooma into custody and booked him into San Diego Central Jail shortly after his arrest.

    Last July, deputies shut down his illegal marijuana dispensary known as the Wax Room, or Spring Valley Greens, on Campo Road in Casa De Oro. Multiple residents living nearby expressed concern about the store.

    Just this month, San Diego police also raided two illegal pot dispensaries claiming to be part of a Native American church in Miramar and Lakeside.

    SDPD police Lt. Matt Novak told NBC 7 that police and the city attorney's office have shut down more than 60 dispensaries since March. The authorities are working to close all businesses without legal permits.

    Despite their efforts, some illegal marijuana dispensaries are still making up to $15,000 a day in San Diego, without paying taxes, permitting fees or adhering to general rules, said Novak.

    NBC 7 Investigates recently created a map of medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego, showing where legal and illegal stores are currently operating.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    Finding a parking spot can be a common problem in many urban neighborhoods, but one local community is dealing with an additional set of challenges.

    A parking concern.. around the airport. 
    The San Diego street.. neighbors say people have been leaving their cars-- 
    as long as two weeks. 

    Neighbors on some San Diego streets say travelers catching flights have been leaving their cars parked for as long as two weeks.

    People in Bankers Hill are growing frustrated by the amount of street parking spaces taken up by airline passengers traveling in and out of San Diego International Airport.

    "You don't even know any of the people or any of these cars," said neighbor Ryan Ruiz. "We pay to live here and someone is parking right in front of your house. It's very annoying." 

    San Diego parking regulations allow drivers to leave cars on city streets for up to 72 hours at a time. However, since the city doesn't actively pursue violators, homeowners must call in and report violations: only then will someone respond and start the 72-hour clock.

    While airport travelers might worry about someone stealing or damaging their car, they said they believe the chances of the car getting towed are low.

    NBC 7 reached out to representatives from the city, the police department and council member Chris Ward's office. None of them are aware of anything with serious momentum at this point to change the parking rules in Bankers Hill. 

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    Closures are planned for this weekend that will affect tens of thousands of people who use the world’s busiest border crossing.

    San Diego's bustling San Ysidro border crossing with Tijuana, Mexico, will be closed to southbound cars for 57 hours, starting Saturday, Sept. 23 at 3 a.m. until noon on Monday.

    Car traffic into Mexico will be rerouted to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

    "We're asking people to plan ahead and consider taking public transportation like the trolley system or buses," said Ramon Riesco, projects director of the Southern Border. 

    The closure is part of the final phase of the $741 million expansion of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

    Changes will include the renovation of the historic customs house, additional northbound lines, and a new pedestrian processing building on the east side of the junction.

    “After the major closure this weekend we will have three lanes open southbound,” said Cory Binns of Caltrans. “So we do expect some delay during that period.” 

    Binns added they are planning to have four lanes open before the busy holiday season. 

    They added the gate usually has six lanes. They are hoping to open four lanes by Nov. 12. 

    Construction will not affect pedestrians or travelers crossing into the U.S. from Mexico.

    From Nov. 13 to May 2019, only four lanes will be open at the San Ysidro checkpoint.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    El cruce fronterizo en San Ysidro, visto desde el lado mexicano. Dos personas perdieron la vida el domingo, huyendo desde el interior de una furgoneta que atravesó a toda velocidad el puesto de control.El cruce fronterizo en San Ysidro, visto desde el lado mexicano. Dos personas perdieron la vida el domingo, huyendo desde el interior de una furgoneta que atravesó a toda velocidad el puesto de control.

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    The man shot and killed after he charged at a Chula Vista police officer and stabbed him multiple times Tuesday night had previous run-ins with the police.

    David Scott, 27, was convicted of two violent felonies in separate incidents, according to court records. 

    NBC7 has learned the suspect in that Chula Vista officer involved shooting
    had a history of mental illness and run-ins with police.
    Court records indicate 27-year-old David Scott was convicted of two violent felonies in separate incidents.

    Tuesday night, Scott stabbed an officer multiple times while the officer was investigating a neighbor dispute on Monterey Avenue, near East J street. That's just east of Hilltop Middle school in Chula Vista.

    A homeowner reported a neighbor had thrown a softball-size chunk of concrete over the fence, which hit him in the shoulder.

    Two officers came to Scott's home to investigate and he charged at them. The officer who was being stabbed fired his handgun in self-defense, police said. 

    "He was under a surprise--an unexpected extraordinarily violent assault. We are so grateful he had the proper training, strength, and wear with all to fight through and win this fight," said CVPD spokesperson Vern Sallee. 

    The officer suffered multiple stab wounds--four to six times in the head and in the arm. He was taken to UC San Diego Hospital in Hillcrest.

    He is a two-year veteran with the department.

    Scott was hit twice by gunshots and died at the hospital.

    In court documents obtained by NBC 7 Wednesday, Scott pleaded guilty in 2008 to assault with a deadly weapon. The records did not indicate whether the victim was a police officer.

    In 2010, Scott was sentenced to two years in prison for driving drunk and seriously injuring two people, according to court documents.

    "We saw the news and it was pretty crazy. It's just two houses see all this stuff happening," Neighbor Emilio Braito said.

    Both officers who responded had operating body-worn cameras. 

    Chula Vista police say the video will be downloaded and reviewed as part of the investigation.

    It will be up to the District Attorney to determine whether it's released.

    The officer was given more than 30-stitches to close the wounds. He was expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday.

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    An Oceanside woman on vacation in Mexico City is struggling to sleep after Tuesday's deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

    Alyne Tamir was on a small tour boat when the quake hit. Tuesday's quake struck on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that killed thousands. More than 200 are dead, and recovery efforts continue.

    “The water just started shaking and churning and the boat started toppling and water was filling the boat, so it was very unexpected,” Tamir told NBC 7.

    After about 30 seconds, the boat captain announced it was an earthquake and told everyone to remain calm.

    Tamir said the fear didn’t really set in until they returned to shore.

    “It was scary after the fact. When I got off the boat and onto land, and I heard all of the news of what had happened, I realized how serious it was,” Tamir said.

    Cell phone and internet service have been spotty, and while on the phone with NBC 7 Wednesday, Tamir was told by officials to get off the phone due to concerns about possible gas leaks.

    Although Tamir said there haven’t been any major aftershocks, she is still a little shaken.

    “We're all safe, for now. But, I mean, you never know. I'm on the 15th story of a hotel, so it's not comfortable going to sleep at night, you know?"

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    The MCAS Miramar Air Show returns to San Diego’s skies with incredible aircraft performances this weekend, Friday through Sunday.

    This air show’s theme this year is "A Salute to Vietnam Veterans" to recognize and honor Vietnam veterans for their service. The world-famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels will perform from 2:05 to 3:05 p.m., finishing each day with an F-35B demo.

    The show is in San Diego’s Miramar neighborhood, located 15 miles north of Downtown San Diego.

    Gates open 8 a.m. to the public with remote-control flyers and paramotors, with the action starting 9 a.m. Shows end at 4:20 p.m. every day.

    General Admission is free but prices can go upwards of $235 dollars for preferred seating, depending what package you choose.

    All motorists are advised to access the air show through the Main (East) Gate from the MCAS Miramar (Miramar Way) exit on I-15 or the North or West Gates from the Miramar Road exit on I-15 or I-805.

    Drivers must have a valid driver’s license, current registration and proof of insurance to bring their vehicle onto the military base. If it’s a rental car, valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and car rental agreement will be required.

    Security personnel will direct you from the gate to your parking area.

    Bicyclists can access the show through the Main Gate via Kearney Villa Road, but the road will be is closed from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the Blue Angels, so motorists will be directed to the West Gate from Miramar Road or North Gate from Clayton Drive.

    Once on base, bicyclists will be routed by traffic control to the Bicycle Parking Pavilion (BPP) near the flight line.

    Attendees with certain tickets should be aware of different parking areas:

    • Grandstands & Box Seat ticket holders: use the North, East/Main or West Gates.
    • Preferred Parking: requires special passes and can enter from Harris Plant Rd. off of Kearny Villa Rd.
    • Chalet Ticket Holders: enter through south gate.
    • Handicapped Parking: Use the West or North Gate.
    • Bus Parking: use the West Gate.
    • Bicycle Pavilion (BPP): located near flight line Air Show Entry Gate #2. Bicyclist may enter through any gate and follow signs to the BPP.

    Ridesharing and taxi pickup drop-off stations are available to ease traffic and parking.

    For further information on directions, parking and an event map click here.

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    When San Diego native Jennifer Allen first comes on stage as Ursula, the villain in Disney's "The Little Mermaid," she makes walking and singing in her elaborate and exquisite costume look easy.

    But there's a lot of preparation and work that goes into wearing the 50-pound costume for several hours on stage six days a week. 

    "It's so beautiful, and it's enormous," Allen, who grew up in Bird Rock, La Jolla, told NBC 7 in her dressing room Wednesday morning. "But I put her on and I say, 'you're gorgeous.'" 

    In the first act, the costume -- a detailed corset, plus a lengthy skirt and tentacles, secured on a thick belt -- weighs 50 pounds. By Act 2, it weighs about 60 pounds.

    "They add an element to it," Allen explained.

    And while it's challenging to sing, move and act in the costume, Allen said, it's something she prepares for. Eventually, she said, you get used to wearing it. 

    "It's every day that you're on the road or doing a show that you have to plan your day that ends up to your performance at night," Allen said. "There's a lot of discipline."

    Allen has been in the musical version of the popular Disney movie musical for two years now. She first stumbled upon the role by complete chance. 

    She was working on a different production, a workshop of Prom the Musical, with a choreographer who later recommended her for the role of Ursula. The tour had just lost their Ursula and needed someone to quickly step in. 

    "Two years later, I have an accidental job, which is always the most fun kind of thing to have happen," Allen said. "Something falls into your lap, so I'm very grateful for that."

    Two years may seem like a long time to play the same role, Allen said, but the character of Ursula is such a complex and fun role. 

    "I have to say, the role is that satisfying," Allen explained. "It's really fun. It can change and shift every day, there's a lot of improvisation capabilities within the role."

    The musical, with music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken and book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Doug Wright, has a book that dives much deeper into the plot than the movie does, Allen explained. 

    "It goes much deeper, it has a lot of colors to it that I really enjoy finding every night in a different way with different audiences," Allen said. The relationships between Ariel, Ursula, Price Eric and King Triton are examined in greater depth.

    Allen is a third generation Bird Rock resident. Her family built a home in the La Jolla community decades ago, and every time she comes home, she still drives by the house. 

    Growing up, Allen performed with the San Diego Junior Theater, Starlight, the Old Globe and more. Her mother, Priscilla Allen, was a beloved San Diego actress, so acting came to Jennifer naturally. 

    "It just was something that was naturally present, from probably before I can remember," Allen said. "It was the thing I could immediately do well. Not perfectly, but it was the skill set that I had."

    Her mother performed at the Civic many times, Allen said, and she's seen many shows there as well.

    But she's never performed on the stage, often used for touring productions, the San Diego Opera and other large productions. 

    Stepping on the stage again is intense, Allen said. 

    "There's a lot of intense things that connect me with my childhood here," Allen said.

    Still, her extended family and family friends will all be there in the audience, cheering her on as she belts out Ursula's iconic songs.

    Disney's "The Little Mermaid" is in San Diego through Sunday. For tickets, click here. 

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

    San Diego Native Jennifer Allen, Brandon Roach and Frederick Hagreen in Disney's San Diego Native Jennifer Allen, Brandon Roach and Frederick Hagreen in Disney's "The Little Mermaid."

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    Take a behind-the-scenes look at the elaborate and intricate costumes of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" musical, in San Diego through Sunday.

    Photo Credit: Samantha Tatro

    Ursula's costumeUrsula's costume

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    Cutting up a credit card can feel liberating, especially if you’ve spent years diligently paying off the debt.

    However, Consumer Reports says there are times when you might not want to cut that card out of your life completely. 

    Like if you’re planning to apply for a mortgage because one of the things that bankers look for is your credit utilization ratio.

    That’s essentially the balance you owe on your credit cards compared to the amount you can actually borrow.  Lenders like this number to be less than 30 percent. Cancel an lose its available credit and your utilization ratio goes up and you’re not as attractive a candidate.

    You also want to keep the card if it’s the only one you have because another thing lenders look for is diversity.  They like to see that you have various credit types like an installment loan, a credit card, a store card and if you cancel the one credit card that you have, that’s going to reduce your mix and it’s not going to look as good.

    You also want to keep time on your side.

    A longer credit history helps boost your credit score so if you are looking to close one of several cards you carry, you should give the ax to the one you got most recently.

    In fact, the only time when you might consider closing a card you never use is if there’s an annual fee -- because that’s just a waste of money.  But as long as there’s no fee, Hutheesing says there’s really no harm in keeping those accounts open. Your best bet with a credit card is to stick it in your dresser drawer and just put it away if you’re not going to use it.

    And keep in mind, canceling a credit card will have an impact on your credit score for about 6 months. So you might want to reconsider closing that account if you plan to apply for any type of loan in the next few months.

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    The City of El Cajon is working with San Diego County to take steps to combat one of the worst Hepatitis A outbreaks in decades.

    Since the outbreak began, 16 people have died and two other deaths are being investigated as being related to Hepatitis A. There have been 444 confirmed cases with an additional 44 cases that are considered suspicious, according to county officials.

    Given the incubation period of 15 to 50 days, health officials expect the outbreak to continue an additional six months.

    Most of the cases have been from Downtown San Diego, El Cajon, Santee, La Mesa, and the adjacent unincorporated areas, county officials said.

    The City of San Diego has been taking precautions--power washing sidewalks, setting up free vaccination clinics and putting handwashing stations at high-risk areas.

    Now, El Cajon is also taking steps to combat the virus.

    The city currently has 38 handwashing stations/sinks at city parks and has approved stations for the following locations:

    • Prescott Promenade
    • County Library
    • Trolley Stations
    They will also be power washing sidewalks, curbs and benches where homeless people congregate. City restrooms will also be cleaned using cleansers effective against Hepatitis A. 

    The city has also requested MTS to power wash the trolley station platforms. 

    The El Cajon Police Department's Homeless Outreach Team will administer Hepatitis A vaccinations in-the-field, along with County nurses.

    According to the city, they have administered approximately seven hundred vaccines to high-risk individuals in El Cajon.

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    Crews were responding to a house fire in Otay Mesa Wednesday night.

    The fire began at approximately 9:45 p.m. on Vista San Francisquito across Vista San Guadalupe, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

    When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found flames and smoke coming from the home.

    At this time, there is no word on injuries.

    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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    Short-term vacation rentals are one step closer to being regulated here in San Diego.

    The hotly debated issue took center stage at a public forum in Pacific Beach Wednesday night where the City Attorney herself weighed in.

    Most in attendance told NBC 7 they are feeling the effects of short-term rentals first hand.

    "I own property in Ocean Beach and the slum lord next to me has made that a short-term vacation rental, which has been a nightmare for me. Barking dogs, parties, down the line," said Wayne Simnitt.

    But others said they hoped for a little peace between homeowners and those using their properties for short-term vacation rentals.

    San Diego City Councilmembers also weighed in on proposals on the table.

    "Other councilmembers are imposing their will when they're far removed from what you and I are experiencing," said Councilmember Lorie Zapf who represents beach communities including Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Point Loma.

    A plan, introduced this week by four councilmembers--David Alvarez, Mark Kersey, Scott Sherman and Chris Ward--would require three-night minimum stays, occupancy limits, as well as setting up a system for enforcement and keeping renters under certain rules regarding noise, trash, and parking.

    Councilmembers Barbara Bry and Zapf introduced their own plan--to allow short-term rentals in owner-occupied homes. Also, limiting rentals when the owner is absent to 90 days a year and to keep the number of renters at two per guest room.  

    "The policymakers ultimately make the rules and we've got policies coming forward for consideration, some of which I believe are going to be viable," said San Diego City Attorney, Mara Elliott.

    On October 23, the council will discuss the proposals from councilmembers.

    A vote will most likely be made during that meeting on how to regulate short-term vacation rentals and how they will be enforced moving forward.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    A Coronado High School water polo coach Randy Burgess is fighting back against accusations he had an inappropriate relationship with a middle school boy back in 2011.

    "It’s a ridiculous allegation. I enjoy young people. I enjoy the way they go through the process of education whether it’s the athletic arena or classroom," Burgess said. "Beyond that, no!"

    The Coronado Unified School District issued a statement that reads, in part:

    "When the allegations became known, the District followed policy and protocol by taking immediate action to protect the safety and security of District students and staff."

    The district put Burgess on paid administrative leave in April of this year when the allegations surfaced while they investigate.

    Burgess’ petition for reinstatement claims the suspension is illegal because "no criminal charges have been filed."

    Court documents show the alleged incident happened multiple times in a public place.

    Burgess says claims that it happened in a poolside bathroom at Coronado High a "total fabrication."

    "There are scores, if not hundreds of people using the facility. It's a very obvious place," Burgess said. "Someone would recognize if an adult was going into a restroom facility with a minor."

    Police issued a statement that read, in part:

    "We have determined that the City is in possession of records; however, those records are exempt from disclosure...The Coronado Police Department is a division of the City of Coronado, which is subject to the Public Records Act under Government Code Section 6250 et seq. Any documents in the City's possession are subject to this Act. As a result, any information provided to the Police Department related to an investigation is generally exempt from public disclosure."

    people are taking to a Facebook page named "We Side With Randy" to show their support.

    Olympic silver medalist Layne Beaubien is also showing support for his former Coronado High School water polo coach.

    "When I heard this whole thing, it was unfathomable. It’s not just the water polo program. He's a teacher and has been a mentor for thousands of kids," said Beaubien.

    Burgess said the allegations have already hurt his reputation, costing him a job to work with a national water polo team.

    He added he just wants his reputation back, as well as his job at Coronado High.

    That will be decided next month on October 19.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7