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    It will be a sea of big, colorful hats in San Diego's North County as horses take their marks for the start of the 2018 Del Mar Racing season on Wednesday.

    Hat-adorning attendees will be a part of a tradition dating back to the Del Mar Racetrack's opening in 1937, when Bing Crosby greeted guests as they entered the track "where the turf meets the surf."

    This year's Opening Day festivities begin the minute the gates open at 11:30 a.m.

    The famous Opening Day Hat Contest will bring hundreds of guests sporting their flashiest, most ornate toppers to the Plaza de Mexico just inside the Stretch Run admission gates between 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The contest is free to watch, and those who are interested in participating can register at the event for free.

    One by one, contestants will strut their stuff, showcasing their fancy, elaborate hats as they compete to win their share of more than $5,000 in total prizes.

    The competition includes five categories, with contestants judged on creativity and style: "Most Glamorous," "Best Racing Theme," "Funniest/Most Outrageous," "Best Fascinator," and "Flowers/All Other."

    This year, first place winners in each category will receive a $300, plus a Studio Savvy gift basket valued at $250. Second place winners will walk away with $200, while third place winners score $100. 

    The biggest winner of the day – the Bing Crosby Grand Prize winner – will receive a one-night stay at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar and a multi-course dinner for two with wine pairings at Del Mar’s lavish Addison Restaurant. This prize is worth more than $1,000.

    According to organizers, the Opening Day contest was officially established in 1995. Each year, the competition is fierce with hardcore hat enthusiasts turning out by the droves to show off their creations.

    Many spend months meticulously designing that perfect hat to match their Opening Day attire flawlessly. Year after year, hundreds of participants enter the Hats Contest, making it the place to see and be seen on Opening Day.

    Tickets to Del Mar Opening Day cost $15 per person; the first horse race is at 2 p.m.

    The 2017 Del Mar Racing season runs through Sept. 3, with the track closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. General Stretch Run admission tickets cost $6 per person. On most Fridays and Saturdays throughout the season, entertainment includes a concert on the Seaside Stage after the final race of the day.

    SoundDiego shares details on those concerts here. For the full calendar of events going down at the track this season, visit the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club website.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

    Lauren Jenkins and her surfboard hat took home a prize, too.Lauren Jenkins and her surfboard hat took home a prize, too.

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    Northbound lanes of Interstate 805 near Imperial Avenue have been shut down as police investigate a deadly crash. 

    California Highway Patrol (CHP) said a pedestrian was struck and killed just before 4 a.m.

    A Sig Alert was issued at about 5 a.m. and traffic was being diverted off the freeway at 47th Street. 

    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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    If you cross the bridge from the convention center and head towards Petco Park, you are in for a treat this year during Comic-Con. 

    'The Experience' is an interactive, 20 booth attraction featuring everything from Marvel to DC Comics to Ghostbusters to Jurassic Park. 

    The exhibit starts Thursday and will run until Sunday. It is put on by Granddesign Media with the help of the San Diego Padres. 

    "We're transforming a three-acre blacktop lot at the Lexus Premier Lot," said Christie Decker of Granddesign Media. "We'll have food trucks, a beer garden and a lounge for VIPs along with activations." 

    Guests will have the opportunity to go through a "Sacred Lies" themed escape room, or get a photo opportunity hooked up to harnesses in an activation for "Cloaks and Daggers." 

    NBC 7 will also have a booth in the attraction, so stop by and say hello! Attendees can take photos with the popular Jurassic Park Jeep Wrangler.  

    It's free to get in, and those with Comic-Con badges will get special VIP treatment. 

    Downtown San Diego will be fully alive on the first day of Comic-Con Thursday. 

    There are a lot of other exhibits outside the convention center all over the Gaslamp District and downtown. Click here to see the full list. 

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    Eight people were detained following a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raid of a suspected hash oil lab and marijuana grow operation hidden among Kearny Mesa office buildings last Friday.

    The case will soon be turned over to local prosecutors.

    Last week, DEA narcotics agents served warrants and raided at least three building, leaving the buildings boarded up and empty.

    Agents confiscated truckloads of marijuana, and they also called out HAZMAT to assist with a potentially explosive Butane Hash Oil Lab.

    People who work in nearby buildings said they saw agents pull several people out of the building and secure their hands with zip ties.

    “Tenants and other businesses at the park are quite happy because there was quite a bit of traffic in and out of the building at all hours of the day,” a person who wished to remain anonymous, said. “Trash and litter everywhere, which really just impacted us as other businesses in the park."

    While eight people were detained in the raid, it’s unclear how many were arrested. The names of those arrested will not be released because the investigation is ongoing, a DEA spokesperson told NBC 7.

    The defendants are expected to be prosecuted by the City Attorney's Office or the District Attorney's Office.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    A woman accused of repeatedly stabbing a man after getting into an argument with him over his Chihuahua made her first appearance in court Wednesday.

    The woman, identified as 35-year-old Amanda Brady, pleaded guilty to charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

    Police say Brady was on her balcony looking down on 9th Avenue Monday morning when a dog jumped out of the arms of its owner who was walking on the street.

    The dog made a yelp sound which angered the woman and an argument ensued over what happened to the Chihuahua and whether or not it was injured, according to police.

    That’s when Brady began stabbing the man repeatedly in the upper leg and thigh.

    "She slashed the victim on his leg, threatened him," the Deputy District Attorney said. "The victim didn't require any medical attention for his wound. The defendant ran off and hid the knife."

    The Deputy DA argued Brady's $30,000 bail should be raised to $50,000 but a judge kept it at $30,000 and called the incident out of character given Brady's lack of criminal history.

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    Hours after the county Medical Examiner's (ME) office released a composite sketch of an unknown victim of a deadly hit-and-run earlier this month, the office got a tip leading to the victim's mother who was able to identify the victim as her daughter.

    The ME's office released the sketch weeks after the woman was hit and killed by at least one hit-and-run driver while walking in westbound lanes of State Route 94 near 29th Avenue on July 8.

    A forensic artist working with the ME's office put the sketch together based on photos the victim had in her purse at the time of her death.

    Though they had several clues, the ME's office couldn't confirm her identity until Wednesday. 

    Investigators say fingerprint evidence was analyzed and matched a woman who had previous contact with law enforcement, but they do not believe any of the information she gave officers at the time of that contact is actually true.

    The ME's office said the woman's identity would be released after her family has had time to notify other relatives. The office did not say where the woman was from.

    The California Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash.

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    The mother of a man killed Monday while riding his bike blocks away from her home is still in shock and says her son was fighting to turn his life around for himself and his daughter.

    Police say Jason Wilcox, 40, was crossing Pepper Drive eastbound at Second Street in unincorporated El Cajon at around 10:30 p.m. when he was hit by an oncoming truck.

    Wilcox didn’t have the right away and the truck wasn’t able to slow down or swerve after he rode into its path. The posted speed limit on Pepper is 40 mph.

    Surveillance cameras at a corner gas station captured the violent collision.

    Wilcox’s mom said her son recently fell on hard times. He had lost his job and became addicted to drugs, but just before the accident he reached out to her for help and was serious about getting his life back on track.

    "I had hoped he would get off drugs, get his life together and get his daughter back," Vicki Wilcox said. “He was a good person. He has a lot of friends. They were still calling although he didn't see them as much."

    Wilcox was pronounced dead at the hospital.

    The driver of the Ford F-150, a 60-year-old man, stopped and gave CPR to Wilcox until paramedics arrived at the scene. He is not being charged in connection with the crash.

    The California Highway Patrol is investigating.

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    San Diego Comic-Con International officially starts Thursday, but authorities have already been very busy adding new security measures.

    The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) has added some new resources, in both human and canidae form.

    SDPD K-9 units will be making their rounds both inside and outside of Comic-Con sniffing for anything out of the ordinary.

    The dogs are golden retrievers and labs, very friendly and work best maneuvering through crowds independently. 

    “It’s fine having the extra dogs and it does give more of a feeling of safety for us,” said San Diego native and avid Comic-Con attendee Nick Cincotta.

    This dogs will make their way in and out of the crowds and the handler will always be nearby.

    SDPD couldn't specify how many dogs are in this program, but did say each one goes home with their handler who is also an officer with SDPD.

    The dogs have also been used recently at the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon, as well as Pride Fest.

    SDPD said you can expect the dogs at any local event that brings in large crowds.

    Extra human security personnel will also be present, especially along Harbor Drive which is now closed to vehicle traffic and will be filled with people.

    Harbor Drive will remain closed -- to bikes and scooters, too -- from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, between First Avenue and Park Boulevard.

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    Concern is mounting in Clairemont as plans are coming together for a new apartment complex for homeless seniors.

    The Ivy Senior Apartments development is slated to be built on Mount Alifan Drive just west of Balboa Avenue. It will have wrap-around services for once homeless, at-risk senior residents trying to make a life for themselves.

    Developers say the 52-unit facility will be secure with strict rules and screening requirements, but neighbors are skeptical about the proposal.

    Michael Doering was one of the Clairemont residents voicing their concerns at an informational meeting hosted Wednesday by Wakeland Housing and Development, the studio apartment developer.

    “We don't want to become the capital of homelessness in San Diego,” Doering said. “What’s going to happen when they go outside the facility, into our community, into our neighborhood with mental issues?”

    Seven of the 52 units at the complex are reserved for people with mental health issues.

    The development hopes to help the homeless and mentally ill through supportive services, modeling strategy after the Talmadge Gateway on Euclid Avenue where there is onsite job training, healthcare and mental health services.

    Rebecca Louie of Wakeland said the new project will allow residents to thrive and have a positive impact on the surrounding community.

    “They’re really judging people who've been homeless based on maybe how they’ve seen them acting while there homeless versus how there acting once they’re housed. Having a home makes all the difference,” Louie said.

    Jeffrey Najarian said he went from being homeless because of the cost of cancer treatments to gainfully employed, and he credits housing projects like Ivy.

    “I got into a supportive housing project in 2007 and it changed my life,” he said. “Within nine months I went back to work, and for the last nine years I've worked as a behavioral health advocate.”

    The ball is rolling on the building's transformation. Wakeland has already purchased the property where an office building currently sits, but the project still has to go through plan approval.

    Wakeland hopes to have it open by late 2021 or early 2022.

    If you're wondering what the company's success rate is with its tenants, it classifies success by retention and says it has a 90-percent retention rate.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    More than 9 in 10 undocumented immigrants in the European Union make use of at least one people smuggler during their journey, according to law enforcement agency Europol.

    NBC News tracked one Afghan migrant, Zubair Nazeri, for a year on a leg of his journey, from Serbia into Western Europe. Smugglers led him through minefields and across the deadly waters of the Mediterranean, making parents sedate their babies and using code words along the way.

    "I must have used the word 'game' more than 1,000 times in the last two years," said Nazeri, 25.

    European criminal organizations are moving assets into people smuggling, which they see as low risk and highly profitable, according to Europol spokesman Jan Op Gen Oorth. The under-the-table business intersects with document forgery, money laundering and drug smuggling.

    Photo Credit: NBC News
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    Zubair NazeriZubair Nazeri

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    A family of five was evacuated from their North Park home early Thursday when a fire sparked in the attic.

    When San Diego Fire-Rescue (SDFD) crews arrived at about 3:30 a.m. to the two-story home near Landis and Mississippi streets, smoke could be seen pouring out of the home, the SDFD said.

    The residents inside, a mother and father, three kids and a dog, were all safely evacuated and no injuries were reported.

    SDFD crews discovered the fire was coming from the attic and began to attack the blaze. Firefighters had to cut open the walls to extinguish the fire. 

    One neighbor witnessed the firefighters at work said he is thankful for their quick action.

    "These guys are amazing. It’s been amazing seeing them operate and do what they do," Brooks Loro said." Hats off to the fire department."

    Flames were tempered before 5 a.m. but some smoke was still smoldering.  

    Portions of the home were damaged but the home was not destroyed, SDFD Deputy Chief Steve Wright said. 

    Firefighters remained on scene checking for any hot spots and investigating what may have caused the fire. 

    No other information was available.

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

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    The head of the state's Department of Environmental Conservation has been ordered to lead a multi-agency investigation into the near-simultaneous shark attacks on two children at Long Island shores about 4 1/2 miles apart, Gov. Cuomo said in a statement Thursday.

    Cuomo said state personnel are already working closely with Suffolk County and local authorities on the probe into Wednesday's unprovoked attacks on the 12-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy at Sailors Haven and Atlantique Beach.

    In the boy's case, he was boogie boarding at Atlantique Beach before noon when he suddenly stumbled out of the ocean. A lifeguard ran to him and found what appeared to be a shark bite; the tooth was still wedged in the boy's leg.

    It was taken for analysis to help try to identify the shark species. 

    In the Sailors Haven attack, the girl, said she was waist-deep in the water off Sailors Haven.

    "The water was cold, so I didn't really feel anything," she told reporters. "And then I saw something like next to me, and I kind of felt pain. And I looked and I saw, like, a fin, kind of. I don't know how to describe it." 

    "It was just like a quick kind of pull," she said later. "I was kind of in like shock, almost, 'cause it pulled and I kind of looked at it and I was like, 'Oh, my gosh." 

    She ran out to her mother with a bloody leg, and the two ran to the lifeguards, who bandaged it and helped them.

    "I kind of thought it was a dream," she said. "I didn't really think it was actually happening until, like, I was just like, 'Well, this just happened.'"

    Most Fire Island beaches were shut down Wednesday as authorities investigated. The town of Islip said its beaches reopened Thursday; added security will include more eyes on the shores and jet ski riders. A chopper will also circle the water for an aerial protective view, a spokeswoman said.

    Both children have been released from the hospital and are expected to be OK.

    Shark sightings aren't uncommon on Long Island or at the Jersey Shore, but unprovoked attacks are rare. Since 1837, only 10 shark attacks have been reported in New York. Fifteen have been reported in New Jersey and one in Connecticut.

    Photo Credit: JASON HAGER/News 4
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

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    Mosquitoes in Santee have tested positive for West Nile virus, the first time this year the virus has been detected in San Diego.

    No people or birds, the main carriers of West Nile virus have tested positive in San Diego County, this year, county officials said. The virus was detected in Aedes mosquitos during routine testing.

    Many people bitten by infected mosquitos will never experience any symptoms. However, those who do may experience headache, fever, nausea, rashes, fatigue or swollen glands, according to the statement.

    In rare cases, the virus can make a person extremely sick and become deadly.

    Last year two residents in San Diego County tested positive for West Nile virus but both recovered. The state of California had 600 positive West Nile cases and 44 deaths. 

    San Diego County officials encourage residents to protect themselves from mosquitos by using insect repellent or wearing pants and long sleeves when outdoors and removing standing water, like water fountains and rain gutters, which can be possible breeding sources.

    The county's Vector Control Program (VCP) makes aerial drops on possible mosquito breeding areas once every three to four weeks and treats certain areas by hand to prevent spread. 

    Increased mosquito activity, being bitten during daylight hours, dead birds and mosquito breeding sources can be reported to the Vector Control Program at (858) 694-2888 or by emailing

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    TGI Weekend! Calling all superheroes! San Diego Comic-Con is back, ready to transform the Gaslamp into a pop-culture paradise filled with costumed fans. If dressing up (without the tights) is more your style, you'll want to be in the sea of big hats at Del Mar Racing's opening week. There's also an opportunity to nosh on pizza and sip on beers in Point Loma, watch movies on an open rooftop and more. So, Get up. Get out. Play!  

    Thursday, July 19
    San Diego Comic-Con 2018

    9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Thursday through Sunday), San Diego Convention Center
    The largest pop-culture event in the country will bring thousands of costumed guests from around the world -- and "universe" -- to San Diego. What started as a small convention in 1970, with about 100 guests celebrating the comic arts, has grown to become one of the largest celebrations of not only comics but movies, television and more. The event has grown so large, it has spilled into the Gaslamp Quarter, where dozens of production studios will be offering immersive experiences to guests, even those without a ticket to the main event. Check out our guide of things to do without a badge here for more. And, if you are attending San Diego Comic-Con this year, may the force be with you. 

    Del Mar Racing
    11:30 a.m. (through September 3), Del Mar Racetracks
    It’s time for big hats and bright colors -- Del Mar Racing season is upon us. Gates at the Del Mar Racetrack open at 11:30 a.m. with a first post time of 2 p.m. most days during this year’s summer racing season, which runs from July 18 to September 3 "where the turf meets the surf." This season, the tracks are hosting plenty of special events to coincide with the races, like a day filled with Burgers and Brew, a Gourmet Food Truck Festival, and a Craft Beer Festival. Check out the full schedule of events at Del Mar Racing here. The races’ Summer Concert Series returns this year with a lineup that includes Matisyahu, Aloe Blacc and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. The concerts are free with an admission ticket to the races, which start at $5

    7 p.m., Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
    More than a year after the release of their fifth studio album, "After Laughter," The punk rock group, Paramore is taking that album on the road and making a stop in San Diego along the way. The band’s "After Laughter Summer Tour”" rolls through Chula Vista’s Mattress Firm Amphitheatre for one night only. Opening for the group is Foster the People, the band behind the hit "Pumped up Kicks." Tickets to catch both Paramore and Foster the People in concert start at $22.

    'Disney's Newsies'
    8 p.m. (through August 4), Moonlight Amphitheatre (Vista)
    Bring a picnic and enjoy a play under the stars on a warm summer night at the outdoor Moonlight Amphitheatre in North County’s Brengle Terrace Park. Next up for the theatre’s seasonal offerings is "Disney’s Newsies," a musical retelling of the 1899 Newsboy strike, when a group of delivery boys challenged some of the newspaper industry’s biggest owners of the time. The talent on stage is accompanied by a live full pit orchestra behind, or rather, below the scenes. The theatre’s lawn seats, which start at $17, are perfect for a group who wants to bring their own charcuterie and mingle before the show. A lawn chair is provided with an admission ticket. Stadium-style seats are also available starting at $35. Newsies runs through August 4 and then, the Moonlight Amphitheatre will present "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

    Nighttime Zoo at the San Diego Zoo
    9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (through September 3), San Diego Zoo
    The San Diego Zoo comes to life at night during the summer. Upbeat music will course through the park and entertainers, like twirling acrobats and stilt-walkers, will hold special evening performances for Nighttime Zoo. Keepers will share stories about the animals they care for and there will be special animal encounters for guests. Nighttime Zoo runs through Sept. 3 and is included with a general admission ticket.

    Friday, July 20

    Food Truck Fridays
    4 to 8:30 p.m., Balboa Park
    Delectable treats will once again flood historic Balboa Park every Friday night this summer for the popular Food Truck Fridays series. A lineup of about a dozen food trucks will rotate each week through September 28 at Plaza de Panama ready to feed hungry guests as a variety of live music, like Mariachi and orchestral sounds, waft through the air. Some of the dining possibilities include Bosnian Grill, Monster Crafts, Pierogi Truck, Super Q and Yo Yo Bento, Beachin’ Boba, Devil Dogs BBQ, Sushi Uno and more. Visitors are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit in front of the Botanical Building as they eat, or enjoy craft beer, wine and cocktails inside nearby restaurants. Booths will be set up with activities for kids and Balboa Park will introduce a "living room" area filled with giant lawn games. Surrounding museums will extend hours to accommodate guests and the San Diego Museum of Art will offer $5 admission after 5 p.m.

    Salsa Under the Stars 
    6 p.m. to 9 p.m., The Headquarters at Seaport
    Hit the courtyard at The Headquarters at Seaport for this Friday night salsa dancing session under the stars. Manny Cepeda and his orchestra will provide the toe-tapping tunes; no partner or experience necessary to join this fun, free event.

    El Cajon’s Dinner and a Concert Series
    6 to 8 p.m., Prescott Promenade
    The El Cajon Business Association is again hosting its summer-time, weekly Dinner and a Concert Series. The idea is for visitors to enjoy dinner at one of El Cajon’s many participating restaurants, like Main Tap Tavern and the Palms Restaurant, and then stroll to Prescott Promenade for a free concert in the park. Guests can turn in their dinner receipts for a chance to win a Taylor-brand guitar when a big raffle is held in October, at the end of the Dinner and a Concert Series season.

    Sunset Luaus on the Bay
    6 to 9 p.m. (through August 31), Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa
    Take in a Polynesian Luau experience without traveling to a tropical shore this summer. The Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa hosts a traditional luau at their hotel adjacent to Mission Bay on Tuesdays & Fridays through August 31. Guests will be adorned with a lei before being treated to Mai Tais and an all-you-can-eat buffet filled with Polynesian-inspired dishes, like a Spicy Bay Shrimp and Grilled Pineapple Salad, a Guava Chicken dish with grilled pineapple and shredded coconut and a Lakua Roast Pig, just to name a few. During dinner, island music and torch dances will make you feel like you’ve traveled to Hawaii, Tonga, or another island paradise. Come as early as 3:30 p.m. to make your own lei on the hotel’s patio. Tickets cost $72 for adults and $32 for children 5 to 12.

    Brad Paisley
    7:30 p.m., Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
    Singer-songwriter Brad Paisley is bringing a bit of the countryside to San Diego. The Grammy-award winning country music star will perform at Chula Vista’s Mattress Firm Amphitheatre for one night only on Friday. Tickets to the concert start at $18.

    Rooftop Cinema Club: 'Pulp Fiction' 
    7:30 p.m. (Thursday through Saturday), Manchester Grand Hyatt
    Enjoy a screening of some of your favorite movies while a picturesque sunset over San Diego Bay peeks over the screen. The UK-based Rooftop Cinema Club’s first San Diego location takes guests to the roof of the Manchester Grand Hyatt for a unique film-viewing experience. This Friday, Rooftop Cinema Club is screening the 1994 Quentin Tarantino hit, "Pulp Fiction," starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman. The outdoor movie theatre has showings every day of the week except Monday and Tuesday. Tickets start at $17 and include a deck chair and access to the terrace an hour early for sunset photos.

    Saturday, July 21

    Over the Line Tournament
    7:30 a.m. (Saturday and Sunday), Fiesta Island
    San Diego’s summer tradition, the Over the Line Tournament, returns to Fiesta Island for a day filled with wacky costumes and outrageous fun. The game is similar to baseball except each matchup lasts three or four innings and no one has to run the bases; the goal is to hit the ball "over the line." The tournament is an all-day event -- games will run until the sun sets on both days, and then it will all pick up again next weekend. For more information on what’s allowed and what isn’t and how to get to and from the free event, click here

    Little Italy Mercato
    8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Little Italy
    Every Saturday, more than 200 tents line the streets of Little Italy, spanning five blocks and showcasing an array of farm fresh produce, meats, flowers and artisan craft goods from local vendors. The Mercato has moved back to its original location along W. Date Street from Front Street to Kettner Boulevard. Grab a crepe as you stroll, or sit in the Piazza Famiglia while enjoying music from local artists. This has been a neighborhood tradition for years and has become one of the biggest farmers markets in San Diego.

    Insect and Ladybug Festival 
    9 a.m. to 5 p.m., San Diego Botanic Garden
    Thousands of critters are taking over the San Diego Botanic Garden for an event that teaches young ones and adults alike about the insect world. Live insects, lizards, snakes and ladybugs will be on display to give guests a close-up look at the fascinating creatures as bug experts answer any questions that arise. The event is free with a paid admission ticket to the San Diego Botanic Garden, which costs $18 for adults and $10 for kids 3 to 18.

    South Bay Salsa Festival
    12 to 7 p.m., J Street Marina
    Celebrate Latin culture at the South Bay Salsa Festival that promises non-stop Salsa dancing and festive Latin sounds. For the third year in a row this 21-and-up festival will take over the J Street Marina with Latin cuisine vendors, cultural art activities and more. Tickets can be purchased at the event for $25. While you're there, be sure to say "hi" to the NBC 7/Telemundo 20 team!

    San Diego Pizza and Beerfest
    7 to 10 p.m., Liberty Station
    Pizza and beer — it's practically a match made in heaven, something the organizers of San Diego Pizza and Beerfest know all too well. This festival will give guests the opportunity to sample a selection of more than 100 craft beers while noshing on slices of tasty 'za from 15 local restaurants. Tickets to the festival start at $35 and pizza slices will cost about $3 to $5 a piece. There will also be two stages for live performances that will fill the air with music as the beerfest continues into the evening.

    'The Tempest'
    8 p.m. (through July 22), The Old Globe
    To kick off the 2018 Shakespeare Festival in San Diego, The Old Globe presents "The Tempest," the playwright’s tale of a mother who has been living on a deserted island for a dozen years with her daughter and exacting revenge on her enemies using dark magic. The Tempest is being staged at the Lowell Davies Festival outdoor theatre through July 12. Tickets start at $30.

    Sunday, July 22

    Summer Movies in the Park
    Times Vary, Locations Vary
    Across the county this summer, cities are taking part in movie screenings at their local outdoor parks. Almost every day of the week, San Diegans can find a different free outdoor movie screening thanks to the county-wide initiative. The full calendar of screenings for the summer can be found here. Bring a picnic, chairs and a blanket to enjoy the movie of your choice typically starting at sunset. 

    Wonderspaces: With Creative License
    10 a.m. to 10 p.m., B Street Pier (San Diego)
    A unique type of art gallery has moved into an inconspicuous building on the waterfront. It’s the second year the traveling art exhibit called Wonderspaces has stopped in San Diego. This time, Wonderspaces has curated 15 installations from different artists for an immersive experience that takes guests inside the art. With a $24 ticket ($14 for children over three) guests will experience a short virtual reality thriller, walk through thousands of light points, leave their mark on the art, and more as they wander through the rooms of wonder. Tickets for July just became available and guests will need to reserve a spot in advance to attend. 

    Sunday Organ Concert
    2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Spreckels Organ Pavilion at Balboa Park
    Enjoy a free, hour-long organ concert Sunday at Balboa Park’s famed Spreckels Organ Pavilion. At the keys, the audience will find Raul Prieto Ramirez, the city’s newest San Diego Civic Organist and Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society. Prieto Ramirez hails from Spain and, as he told NBC 7, hopes to keep the program interesting – from Bach to Queen – at the historic Spreckels Organ.

    Liberty Station Concerts 
    5 to 7:30 p.m., Liberty Station
    Once a month through the summer, Liberty Station is hosting a free outdoor concert from local musicians on their grassy North Promenade (2848 Dewey Road). Headlining this month’s event is Earl Thomas, a Grammy-award nominated rock ‘n’ roll and r&b musician who has covered popular tracks by Tom Jones, Etta James and more. Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact will be this week’s opening act. Jade’s sound is described as beach city soul. Bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy this live outdoor concert. 

    Dr. Seuss's 'The Lorax'
    7 p.m., The Old Globe
    The Old Globe’s talented cast and crew brings to life Dr. Seuss's "The Lorax," the story of-of a small, fuzzy creature, The Lorax, who decides to speak up for the voiceless -- all the trees in his Truffula Forest. Tickets to the colorful and upbeat performance on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, which runs through August 12, start at $30 for children and $40 for adults.

    Free or Cheap Things to Do in San Diego
    Times and locations vary

    Looking to save some cash, but still enjoy the city? In San Diego, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy for free or on the cheap. Go for a hike at Torrey Pines State Park or Cowles Mountain, stroll Balboa Park, try a new craft brewery, admire the murals of Chicano Park or read a book at a downtown park. Get out there and explore America’s Finest City.

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    An 86-year-old pipe exploded in the Flatiron District as Thursday's morning rush got underway, sending thick steam billowing over Manhattan, leaving a crater in the middle of Fifth Avenue and igniting concerns over asbestos contamination.

    More than two dozen buildings in the "hot zone" were evacuated after the 6:30 a.m. blast near Fifth Avenue and 21st Street, and officials warned they would likely remain evacuated for several days. Environmental test results are still pending, authorities say, but they are working under the assumption that they will show up postive for asbestos contamination. Anyone in the immediate vicinity at the time of the blast should bag their clothes and shower.

    The FDNY decontaminated about 100 first responders a few blocks from the scene, and people were seen walking with masks over their faces on Sixth Avenue, apparently concerned about what might be in the air. If asbestos is confirmed, the entire area would have to be decontaminated, which could take a few days, authorities said. The blast also affected a gas line, water main and electrical power, which may also take several days to restore. 

    Steam was still spewing rapidly from the ground 120 minutes into the emergency response as authorities tried to isolate the source of the blast. Debris, including chunks of asphalt, littered the nearby streets and cars that happened to be at the scene of the time were entirely encased in mud.

    The steam turned white, then gray, then black and continued to alternate colors, indicating the possible presence of a fire underneath the ground. Water also filled the street near the hole in the ground. Five minor injuries were reported.



    Overnight doorman Patrick Tentes was working through his daily routine at 141 Fifth Avenue when he noticed the back room of his building was incredibly humid. Checking the basement, he found it was even hotter. “It was just like a sauna, it was over 100 degrees in there, super humid and steamy,” he said.

    Soon after 6.30 a.m., Tentes was coming out of his building’s elevator on his way to the front desk when he saw the lights flicker and felt the room shake. “I ran upstairs and when I got up the stairs and got out the door there was steam everywhere, it looked like an explosion happened ... and an explosion had happened.”

    Outside, thick steam and mud were spraying with force, he said, and he tried to stay away from the windows. “There was a bunch of mud spraying the door, it didn't seem stable, I was scared.”

    The heavy steam looked like smoke and initially brought to mind concerns of a possible sinister cause, especially for people who lived in the area during the 9/11 terror attacks. 

    "My whole body was shaking, I didn't know what was going on at the moment," said one man.

    The blast comes almost exactly 11 years to the day of a steam pipe explosion near Grand Central. That rush-hour explosion on July 18, 2007, shot debris 40 stories in the air, raining mud on midtown. In that case, authorities said an 83-year-old underground pipe near the transit hub failed. 

    A cause of Thursday's blast remains under investigation. Authorities say no Con Edison work was being done in the area at the time. 

    Subway service and traffic in the area is affected. Get real-time updates from all your key transit sources below. 

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

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    A man was found dead after a fire sparked at an El Cajon home Thursday.  

    Heavy smoke and flames could be seen pouring from the home near the intersection of Magnolia and Washington avenues when firefighters arrived at about 5:15 a.m., the Heartland Fire Department (HFD) said. 

    One person was found dead at the scene.

    Heartland FD said the man may have been disabled making it challenging to get out of the home when the fire erupted. 

    A neighbor who heard others' screams for help ran inside before firefighters arrived to try to find the man who lived there.

    "At first it wasn't that big, it got bigger fast," Don Campbell said. 

    Campbell said he was overwhelmed by smoke and didn't know which direction to go so he left it to fire crews.

    "I keep looking over there because I want to see that, god willing, they'll bring him out and everything will be alright," Campbell said. 

    Firefighters had the blaze knocked down in less than 20 minutes. Investigators remained on scene to investigate the cause of the blaze. 

    No other information was available.

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

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    rioCommunity activists in National City shut down a council meeting Wednesday for the second day in a row. The group demanded answers to their many questions about a man who died in police custody last month.

    The group vowed to continue disrupting city council meetings and said it plans to begin networking with national Black Lives Matter groups to protest if the National City Police Department doesn’t release body-worn camera footage from Earl McNeil’s death.

    McNeil, 40, went to the NCPD building looking for help on May 26, according to his family. He ended up in police custody with bruises, comatose and severe brain damage. McNeil's family said he was a San Diego resident who suffered from mental illness. He died in the hospital after being in a vegetative state for days with brain damage.

    The NCPD released a statement following McNeil's death that said he called them from outside the police station and was paranoid and combative.

    Police said they found a controlled substance on McNeil and attempted to arrest him, and added they restrained him using a wrap.

    They said he stopped breathing while they were transporting him to the county jail and officers called paramedics.

    In addition to the release of body-worn camera footage, the protest group is demanding the Medical Examiner’s death report be released and wants the NCPD to identify the officers who came in contact with McNeil that night.

    “I believe when we look back in history at the most egregious things done to people of color, and diversity, it didn’t end with civility. We did not walk and say ‘We would like slavery to end, please.’ There was a civil war,” activist Tasha Williamson said.

    Williamson was arrested during a council meeting in June after she accused NCPD Chief Manuel Rodriguez of smiling while she demanded justice for McNeil during a public comment portion of the meeting. She was nearly arrested a second time at Wednesday’s meeting.

    Despite a heavy police presence, activists at one point forced the council chambers to clear. The crowd eventually calmed down enough for the meeting to resume.

    At least three people were arrested during Tuesday’s meeting. The group interrupted the meeting several times and forced council members into multiple recesses.

    McNeil had a very lengthy criminal history including more than a dozen arrests involving drugs and weapons. However, he did not have any weapons on him the night he died.

    Editor's Note: A previous version of this article referred to demonstrators staging riots in the streets in their pursuit of information in the investigation. NBC 7 could not attribute that development to a specific community leader and has corrected the text. We greatly regret the error. 

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    Several neighborhoods in Chula Vista are on alert after an increase in parked car burglaries this week. 

    One of the most affected areas is the neighborhoods near Proctor Valley Road and Northwoods Drive, and Mount Miguel and East H streets.  

    Chula Vista police say the thieves choose cars parked on the streets or in front of their homes where they see valuable things from outside. Then they break the glass and take the objects.

    The break-ins are very annoying to residents who say that the worst thing is pay to fix their broken windows. 

    "I was walking to my car, I parked it around here. I noticed a patrol, saw the glass along the sidewalk and noticed that there were many cars with their broken glass, and mine was one of them," Bryan Crosby said.

    "Broken glass inside the car, and the open glove box. But they did not take anything," he said.

    It was not the best way to start his day, he said, and what bothered him the most was that he never leaves valuables in his car.

    "I do not know what they are looking for, surely something easy, electronic," he said.

    Crosby said that in his street, Monday at dawn at least 10 cars had their windows smashed.

    "This brings us a sense of discomfort, you want to feel safe in your neighborhood, in your area, and the truth is that this is something unpleasant," Maria Teresa Nuncio said. 

    For some families it is impossible to avoid parking on the street.

    "The problem is that here we only have the right to put two cars, then people like us who have more than two cars, we have to leave them on the street," said Nuncio.

    CVPD gave recommendations on how to prevent becoming a victim of car burglaries:

    • NEVER leave valuables in view, even if your car is locked!!
    • Always lock your car.
    • Park in well-lit areas.
    • Install an audible alarm.
    • Completely close car windows.
    • Park in attended lots, when possible.
    • Avoid parking between large vehicles.
    • Take out removable radios/face plates.

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    Authorities have released photos of the man they believe crashed through a barricade during the San Diego Pride Festival last week, nearly striking a traffic officer before leading police on a chase through three cities. 

    Matthew Haney, 40, ignored a uniformed traffic controller's directions last Saturday and drove straight through a barricade at 6th Avenue and El Prado, near Balboa Park, during one of the largest single-day civic events in the region, according to the San Diego Police Department (SDPD). 

    The traffic officer had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit. 

    Police don't believe the act was malicious but Haney did not stop after crashing through the barricade. Instead, he continued driving, side-sweeping a parked car with a woman who was six months pregnant inside, police said.

    The woman was taken to the hospital with complaints of back pain.

    With police in pursuit, Haney got onto southbound Interstate 5 to eastbound state Route 94, SDPD said. He then merged onto SR-125 and exited the freeway on Lemon Avenue. 

    At one point, Haney struck an SDPD K-9 unit police cruiser, SDPD said.

    Then, he ditched the black Honda Odyssey minivan he was driving outside of La Mesa Arts Academy.

    Police searched for hours but could not find Haney. 

    Crime Stoppers released photos of the suspect and a detailed description Thursday in the hopes of finding information that could lead them to Haney's arrest. 

    Haney has blond hair and brown eyes. He is about 6 feet tall and weighs 160 pounds, SDPD said. 

    Anyone with information that leads authorities to an arrest may be eligible for a $1,000 reward, Crime Stoppers said. To submit a tip call (888) 580-8477 or visit Crime Stoppers online

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    Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, said Thursday he wished President Donald Trump had not met alone with Vladimir Putin of Russia.

    In an extraordinary acknowledgement, the nation's spy chief said he had no idea what was said in the Helsinki summit Monday between Trump and the Russian president, NBC News reported.

    "If he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, I would have suggested a different way," Coats, a former Republican senator from Indiana, told NBC News' Andrea Mitchell at the Aspen Security Forum. "But that's not my role, that's not my job…it is what it is."

    Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

    This March 6, 2018, file photo shows Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats in Washington, DC.This March 6, 2018, file photo shows Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats in Washington, DC.

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    The father of two Parkland school shooting survivors was fatally shot at his own North Lauderdale convenience store during a robbery, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

    Ayub Ali, a father of four, died Tuesday. Just five months prior, his son and daughter survived the mass shooting that killed 17 and injured 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

    According to a BSO report, Lauderdale Lakes BSO deputies and Tamarac Fire Rescue paramedics found the injured 61-year-old store clerk when they arrived at Aunt Molly's Food Store, located at 1691 S. State Road. Ali was transported to Fort Lauderdale's Broward Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

    The suspect forced Ali to his store's back office, where he was shot.

    "He took money from the cash register and left. The thief returned shortly after and shot Ali," BSO said in a statement. "The suspect wore a black vest, reddish-orange shorts with a black and white stripe on the sides, reddish-orange slides and a skull cap with 'Miami' stitched on the front."

    The convenience store reopened Thursday and loyal customers placed a makeshift memorial for Ali, who was born in Bangladesh.

    Parkland's Bangladeshi community has stepped up to support Ali's widow and children. On Feb. 14, Ali's daughter was in a classroom in MSD's 1200 building, where the massacre occurred, according to a family friend.

    At a gathering on Wednesday, Ali's 22-month-old son called out for his dad.

    "This is the biggest part that hurts me. They have to be without their dad for the rest of their life," Ali's friend Alex Rios told NBC 6.

    Anyone with information is urged to contact BSO homicide detective James Hayes at 954-321-4231 or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477. Anonymous tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.

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    Actor Sam Jones, known around the world for his portrayal of Flash Gordon, attended 42 comic conventions all over the world last year - and he wouldn't have it any other way.

    Jones, who will turn 64 this August, was made famous in the cult classic "Flash Gordon" movie in 1980. 

    The former U.S. Marine lives in San Diego with his family now and has been a local for 13 years. 

    On Thursday, he was in the Gaslamp Quarter meeting fans and gladly posing for selfies on the sidewalks. 

    “It’s part of what we owe the fans. They take the time to either watch us on TV or pay the ticket at the movie theater to watch it. I think it’s up to us to give them their due,” Jones explained.

    He also credited his attitude to his training as a U.S. Marine. He said any actor who hides from fans is in the wrong business. 

    As for the San Diego Comic-Con convention, he enjoys the crowds and the activities outside the primary venue.

    He considers the fact that fans still want to pose with him a blessing. 

    His character, Flash Gordon, was one of the few superheroes who did not have superpowers. 

    A vulnerable superhero, Flash Gordon had to rely on his wit and athleticism. 

    “I’m a human being with all the good and the bad, all the ups and downs, all the challenges,” he said.

    Fans can meet up with Jones at two locations Thursday night.  He'll be bartending at Werewolf from 9 to 10:15 p.m. and The Waterfront Bar & Grill from 10:45 p.m. to 12 a.m.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

    Sam Jones talks with NBC 7 in the Gaslamp Quarter outside of the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con convention.Sam Jones talks with NBC 7 in the Gaslamp Quarter outside of the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con convention.

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    President Donald Trump vowed Thursday that if his dealings with Russian leader Vladimir Putin don't "work out, I'll be the worst enemy he's ever had."

    Trump made the statement during an interview at the White House with CNBC's Joe Kernen that will air in full Friday at 6 a.m. ET on "Squawk Box."

    In the same interview, Trump blasted his predecessor, President Barack Obama, for having been a "total patsy" for Russia — while claiming he has been "far tougher on Russia than any president in many, many years."

    But Trump also said he valued the opportunity to improve the United States' relationship to Russia, even after American intelligence agencies have said that Russia repeatedly tried to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    US President Donald Trump (2L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin wait ahead a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. The US and Russian leaders opened an historic summit in Helsinki, with Donald Trump promising an US President Donald Trump (2L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin wait ahead a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. The US and Russian leaders opened an historic summit in Helsinki, with Donald Trump promising an "extraordinary relationship" and Vladimir Putin saying it was high time to thrash out disputes around the world.

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    Three San Carlos neighbors said the old wooden fence that their properties shared was on it’s last leg, rather fence post. They agreed that the time had come for a new fence.

    “We had a wood fence here and the neighbors next door decided they wanted to do vinyl, we were going to do our bathrooms first but then said, well, let’s just share the cost,” said one of the neighbors, Howard Bregstein.

    The neighbors said after some debate they decided to go with a vinyl fence. And, after some additional debate, opted to purchase the fence from Missouri-based Ply Gem Fencing.

    Including installation, the fence cost the neighbors more than $21,000 and the job was completed in October 2016.

    But, by June of the following year, Howard says he and his neighbors noticed something strange about the fence.

    “We started to see streaks in the fence,” Howard said. “We inspected all of the fence and it was funny because only in the direct sunlight was the streaking, and anything in the shade was perfect.”

    Howard wasted no time.

    He called the building supply company where he bought the fencing from. He brought in samples of the damaged fence. The supplier then contacted Ply Gem Fencing on Howard’s behalf. The response wasn’t what Howard and his neighbors wanted to hear.

    “[The supplier] got a letter which they emailed to me saying [Ply Gem] is denying the claims, saying it’s environmental,” said Howard.

    Howard said there are no environmental issues in his neighborhood that would cause streaking on his fence. He suspected it was a manufacturing glitch.

    “I said, ‘look, we are not by the water, we are not getting any salt air, we aren’t in any fire zone. Nothing I see other than direct sunlight that was causing the issue,” Howard told NBC 7 Responds during an interview.

    “I read her the riot act. I said this is not the end but is just the beginning,” he said.

    Howard ended up calling NBC 7 Responds for help. A week or so later, Howard got a phone call.

    “They [said] they are going to replace the fence at no charge and they are going to do the labor at no charge,” said Howard.

    In a statement, Ply Gem, however, said the decision to replace the fence was from a customer satisfaction standpoint rather than replacing a bad product.

    “Ply Gem Fence and Railing representatives visited the home[s] to examine the fence that was listed in their claim. After a thorough inspection and review, including lab tests, it was determined that the claimed streaking was caused by foreign matter in the air in that location. The streaking is not permanent and can be removed by cleaning with an everyday household product. For this reason, the streaking is not a product issue and is not covered under warranty,” a spokesperson wrote.

    “However, Ply Gem values our customers and as a one-time customer accommodation is willing to provide replacement fence pickets in an alternative color that may not show the visual effects of the airborne foreign matter in that neighborhood,” wrote a spokesperson from Ply Gem in an email to NBC 7 Responds.

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    Sporting spandex, capes, wigs, masks and makeup, fans descended on San Diego Comic-Con International 2018. The 49th annual pop culture and comic book convention is known for inspiring incredible costumes. Here's a look at some of those get-ups.

    Photo Credit: Samantha Tatro

    A Star Wars fan poses in his costume at San Diego International Comic-Con 2018.A Star Wars fan poses in his costume at San Diego International Comic-Con 2018.

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    Flooding damage has closed the Oceanside Department of Motor Vehicles until further notice, officials said Thursday.

    An irrigation system leak flooded the office's front entrance. As a result, staffers have had to move some exams and appointments to other DMV offices in the county.

    "I got excited when I saw the lot empty, but now I know I have to go stand in line somewhere else. So I'm not happy," said Carlsbad resident Diana Tuite.

    Customers were turned away in Oceanside to nearby offices like the one in San Marcos that's located 11 miles away. 

    By mid-morning, the line was out the door. 

    “We apologize for any inconvenience this unexpected closure may have caused our customers," said DMV spokesperson Jaime Garza. "We are working as quickly as possible to repair the flood damage to our front lobby." 

    The Oceanside DMV is typically open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the week on Plaza Drive.

    People looking to visit the DMV in the Oceanside area are being advised to go to the San Marcos Rancheros, Poway or Temecula offices.

    The San Marcos, Poway, and Temecula field offices will be open Saturday, July 21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    More information on the office’s reopening can be found on the DMV’s website as it becomes available.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    Celebrities spoke on panels hosted at convention centers, hotels and yachts on July 19, 2018, the first day of Comic-Con International 2018. Guests and celebrities also enjoyed pop-up events and lounges hosted by media companies. See Thursday's highlights below.

    Photo Credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

    Left to right, Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker and Tosin Cole attend BBC America's Left to right, Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker and Tosin Cole attend BBC America's "Doctor Who" press line at Hilton Bayfront at Comic-Con International 2018 on July 19, 2018, in San Diego, California. The science fiction show continues for an 11th season that features Whittaker as the 13th Doctor in the fall.