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    Residents living near Marine Corps Air Station Miramar were concerned this morning when they spotted thick, black smoke in the air over the base. 

    Using Twitter, MCAS Miramar officials reassured the community that the smoke was from a training exercise for their airfield firefighters.

    [[502780841,C]]

    Commuters driving along Interstate 15 saw the smoke hanging in the air on the east side of the military base. 


    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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    Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he does not want to be White House chief of staff, just hours after multiple reports said he was President Trump's leading choice for the job.

    "It's an honor to have the President consider me as he looks to choose a new White House chief-of-staff," Christie said in a statement to The New York Times. "However, I've told the President that now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment. As a result, I have asked him to no longer keep me in any of his considerations for this post."

    Christie met with Trump Thursday night about the White House chief of staff job and was considered a "top contender" for the role, sources told NBC News earlier Friday.

    Christie's candidacy was being boosted both publicly and privately by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a source told NBC.

    Axios and Bloomberg also reported Friday that Christie was a top contender, and a Washington Post reporter tweeted that the paper was about to report the same thing when his statement landed. 

    Christie, one of the most unpopular governors in recent American history, was nonetheless an outspoken supporter of the president's, and for a time led his transition team.

    At one point he was also considered to be in the running for attorney general. 

    But analysts questioned whether Christie could actually fit in the administration given his history with the president's son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner.

    In 2005, as U.S. attorney in New Jersey, Christie put Kushner's father in prison on tax and other charges. 



    Photo Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP, File

    This Oct. 26, 2017, file photo shows then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speak to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington after attending a speech by President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on the opioid crisis.This Oct. 26, 2017, file photo shows then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speak to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington after attending a speech by President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on the opioid crisis.

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    Warning: Graphic images and video may be shown as part of the district attorney's news conference. Viewer discretion is advised.

    The San Diego County District Attorney's Office ruled officers acted reasonably under the circumstances in eight officer-involved shootings and four in-custody deaths. 

    Twelve letters were released Friday to local law enforcement agencies informing them of the results of the DA Office’s review. 

    "Our job is to deliver equal justice that is fair under the law for everyone," said District Attorney Summer Stephan, adding that the release of any video in these cases must be respectful to the families of those who have died or have been injured as well as to the officers involved.

    In all of the incidents, the officers bear no criminal liability for their actions, Stephan said.

    The DA will provide video and other details regarding the following investigations: 

    Kristopher Birtcher - October 19, 2017 

    A stun gun was deployed and maximum restraints used after Kristopher Birtcher was resisting San Diego County sheriff's deputies' attempts to detain him. The incident took place near the Hobby Lobby on Grand Avenue in San Marcos.  Deputies believed he was under the influence of drugs and gave him Naloxone to treat what they believed was a drug overdose. Birtcher's condition worsened on the way to a hospital where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room.

    James Lacy - August 7, 2017

    James H. Lacey was shot and killed in Banker's Hill after he reportedly threatened to shoot two deputies who were trying to evict him from his 2nd Avenue apartment. The 47-year-old was shot by two San Diego County sheriff's deputies.

    Oscar Leal - February 28, 2018

    Oscar Leal, 37, was arrested by SDSO deputies for being under the influence of a controlled substance after he called 911 several times and was being taken to the Vista Detention Facility when he began to behave oddly, the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office said. At the jail, Leal became unresponsive.

    Alexander Ochoa - September 22, 2017

    Oceanside police encountered Alexander Ochoa, 26, who they say was armed with a knife on Marron Road near College Boulevard, in the parking lot of the Kohl's Department store. Bean bags and K-9 officers were deployed before Ochoa pulled out a handgun, officers said. Officers opened fire, killing Ochoa.

    Osbaldo Ramirez - March 17, 2018 

    Osbaldo Ramirez Jimenez, 50, died at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido from gunshot wounds suffered in the encounter with police in the parking lot of the Valley View Casino & Hotel. Escondido police were the first officers to encounter Ramirez as they responding to a family disturbance on Timber Glen. Ramirez fled the neighborhood in a car and refused to yield for law enforcement officers. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) and San Pasqual Tribal Police were called to help. At least one law enforcement officer fired, fatally injuring Ramirez.

    Paul Silva - February 22, 2018

    Paul Silva, 39, was schizophrenic but was not on his prescribed medication when his mother called San Diego police to have him taken to a medical facility for treatment, the family said. Silva was taken to the Central Jail downtown and handed over to San Diego County sheriff's deputies. The family's attorney said a stun gun was used on Silva while he was in custody. Silva was removed from life support weeks after his arrest.

    Jose Trujillo - July 25, 2018

    San Diego County sheriff's deputies opened fire on Jose Trujillo after a pursuit that reached speeds over 100 miles per hour. The pursuit began in Vista at about 8:45 p.m. when Trujillo refused to yield to deputies. During the pursuit, officials say Trujillo called 911 and informed the dispatcher that he had a loaded 9mm handgun and wanted to commit "suicide by cop." When the vehicle reached the Los Penasquitos Lagoon, Trujillo got out of the vehicle. Two deputies opened fire and shot Trujillo in the upper torso. 

    Robert Westbrook - September 8, 2017

    Robert Westbrook, 31, was shot by a deputy after he allegedly refused to follow commands, pulling out a replica handgun in the confrontation. State Route 125 was closed for hours as a result of the incident. San Diego County sheriff's deputies were initially called to check on the welfare of a man who was threatening to harm himself. Westbrook was found inside a parked car on the freeway. Deputies say Westbrook stepped out of the car with a handgun. That's when the deputy opened fire, striking and injuring him. 

    Other cases to be discussed involve Paul Rivera, Jason Santana, Guillermo Corrales and Javier Gomez.

    NBC 7 will live stream the news conference beginning at 11 a.m. 



    Photo Credit: San Diego County District Attorney's Office

    Summer Stephan will present the results of investigations in a number of cases involving local law enforcement.Summer Stephan will present the results of investigations in a number of cases involving local law enforcement.

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    A former employee at Valley Center High School was arrested Monday on suspicion of multiple counts of online sexual exploitation of children and sending harmful material to minors. 

    Steven L. Duncan, 65, was taken into custody by members of the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. 

    He's accused of receiving images from underage children. No details were given about the images involved in the allegation.

    Duncan was once employed at Valley Center High School and investigators said he was known to be in communication with or following former students through social media. 

    Victims live in the U.S. and other countries, officials said. 

    Anyone who believes they have information regarding Duncan and the allegations may call the task force at (858) 715-7100.

    Valley Center High School is located on Cole Grade Road and serves approximately 4,000 students.

    This is a developing story.


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    Deputies were called to Santana High School in Santee Friday morning to investigate an alleged threat of violence, the sheriff’s department confirmed.

    San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) Lt. Karla Menzies said a parent called 911 at around 11 a.m. to report that her daughter had received some sort of message saying someone had threatened to shoot up the school.

    As of 11:10 a.m., the school was not on lockdown as deputies headed to the campus. By 11:20 a.m., the SDSO said deputies had searched the school and deemed it safe.

    Seventeen years ago, Santana High School was the scene of a mass shooting. On March 5, 2001, Santana High School freshman Charles “Andy” Williams, 15, opened fire at the school, killing two students – Brian Zuckor, 14, and Randy Gordon, 17 – and wounding 13 others.

    Friday also marked the 6th anniversary of the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 first-graders and six teachers dead. A bomb threat Friday morning forced the evacuation of that school. Police there said the threat was not believed to be credible but officials took it seriously.

    Menzies said a school resource officer would continue to investigate Friday's incident at Santana High School.

    NBC 7 reached out to Grossmont Union High School District spokesperson Catherine Martin for additional details. Martin said deputies had investigated and "deemed the threat unfounded."

    No one was hurt.



    Photo Credit: AP

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    A federal jury has found an Imperial Beach man guilty of traveling to Atlanta to have sex with a 9-year-old girl.

     

    The jury on Thursday convicted 39-year-old Craig Alan Castaneda of Imperial Beach, California, after a three-day trial.

    An undercover FBI agent posted an ad on Craigslist in April 2015 posing as a mother seeking a "teacher" for her 9-year-old daughter. Prosecutors say Castaneda responded, describing his prior experience molesting children, including one as young as 4.

    Castaneda continued to correspond with the undercover agent for several weeks and made plans to travel to Atlanta. In one of the last messages before boarding a plane, he instructed the "mother" to buy sex toys and lubricant.

    FBI agents arrested Castaneda when he arrived at the Atlanta airport on May 2, 2015.



    Photo Credit: Fairfax Media via Getty Images

    File photoFile photo

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    Parents at two elementary schools this week were informed that drinking water on their children’s campuses tested positive for lead. 

    Earlier this week, San Diego Unified School District workers found lead in water from four water fountains at Garfield Elementary School. The amount of lead in one of the four fountains was found to be above the federal limit, according to a letter sent home to Garfield parents

    To read the District's testing results for Garfield Elementary, click here.

    On Friday, the district informed parents of students at Ocean Beach Elementary school that they had also found lead in the drinking water at the school’s fountains. 

    To read the District's testing results for Ocean Beach Elementary, click here.

    NBC 7 Investigates has been tracking the testing of water in San Diego County’s schools for more than a year. 

    Samer Naji, a spokesperson for the district confirmed the findings. 

    Naji told NBC 7 Investigates that the amounts of lead detected in water from most of these fountains were below federal guidelines or 15 parts-per-billion but were above the San Diego Unified School District standard for taking action or 5 parts-per-billion. The only fountain that had more than 15 parts-per-billion of lead was at Garfield. 

    Naji said the District was finalizing a report showing the test results, as well as a letter that will be sent home to Ocean Beach Elementary School parents. 

    A meeting has been scheduled for parents at Garfield Elementary School for Tuesday, December 18. 

    San Diego Unified said students at both campuses were provided bottled water if there wasn’t a water fountain close by that did not test positive for lead. 

    The American Academy of Pediatrics has found no amount of lead in water is safe for children to drink.


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    A National City family’s home was burglarized just weeks before the holidays and what made things more tragic is that the father is undergoing treatment for cancer.

    Adrian Ortega was diagnosed with stage 4 testicular cancer in May. The cancer spreading and his health continues to decline.

    Thursday, his wife Jessica Tolentino received more terrible news from her aunt.

    “She's like well the lights on, the door is open she was like, ‘I’m not gonna go in. I don't know who is in there,’ so she called the cops,” Tolentino said.

    Thieves broke into her home and took just about everything they can get their hands on — Christmas presents, diapers, an Xbox, important documents and Ortega’s cancer medication.

    "They took random stuff and they took stuff that couldn't be replaced, like videos when he was in the Army, all of his Army pictures, his dog tag, memorabilia he kept from the army," Tolentino told NBC 7.

    Ortega’s two-door Honda Acura RSX was also stolen. Tolentino is due to give birth to the couple’s third child next month.

    During a time where many people are joyous, Tolentino said the family is going through a lot.

    “It doesn’t even feel like Christmas,” she said. “Our spirits are so down.”

    Ortega’s cousin posted a GoFundMe to raise funds to help the family through this tough time.


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    On any given Thursday night at the Mad House Comedy Club in downtown San Diego, standup comedian Brian Apprille takes the stage and makes people laugh.

    Apprille is incredibly animated on stage and is a master of impressions, but in May of 2009 viral meningitis and a disease called Ramsey Hunt Syndrome paralyzed half his face and nearly stole his smile.

    "I went into like a very dark place. I was depressed and I didn't want to die but I didn't want to exist if that makes sense,” he said.

    For Apprille, the physical impairment and its emotional impact were equally devastating.

    “Your sense of self dies,” he said. “So you're dealing with the loss of who you were and what your life was.”

    Embarrassed and self-conscious, his standup career came to a standstill.

    “I couldn't go on stage with my face drooping,” Apprille said. “My eye didn't close for over nine months. That's when I first started getting some healing. I had total hearing loss in my left ear and it just shattered my world."

    Apprille said he also struggled in public.

    “People thought I was drunk,” he said. “People thought I was angry. People think I'm antisocial. I just can't express myself with my face the way that I normally used to.”

    But with time, Apprille developed an ability to find humor in his challenges and quickly realized that humor was the key to rediscovering the zeal he had lost.  

    "I said I have to go out and make fun of this because there's no other way for me to feel better. I have to in order to remove the power that it had over me and get out of that depression,” he said.

    Apprille started testing out his facial paralysis jokes on family and friends. After some fine-tuning, he began incorporating them in his material. Finally, he said he was ready to get on stage again.

    “When I first start doing the joke it gets really quiet in the room because it's kind of a serious topic. But when everyone sees that I'm OK with it and I found a positive twist to it, everyone kind of laughs and goes along with it,” he said.

    The ability to joke about his disability has helped Apprille heal emotionally and now he's now using his platform to create awareness and support.

    His friend and fellow comedian Lisa Gilbert said he is inspiring people everywhere.

    "It's anywhere from 50 to 2,000 people that are looking at you,” she said. “And if it's a big audience then you're on a big screen with your face with paralysis and all on that big screen. Yeah, that's very vulnerable. But Brian does it with grace."

    Friend Matin Atrushi, also a comedian, said he admires Brian for his talent and courage.

    "He just lets people know what is happening in his life. And that it's OK. He's doing OK. And he’s making people laugh, which he loves," Atrushi said.

    Apprille is currently in the process of auditioning for "America's Got Talent" and was even considered as a replacement voice actor on "The Simpsons."

    Off the stage, Apprille attended a support group near Los Angeles for people suffering from facial paralysis and Bell’s Palsy. The experience connecting with others who could relate to his situation was life-changing.

    “I saw this big community of people who could just walk into a room and look at somebody and go, ‘I know,’ without saying a word,” Apprille said.

    The experience was so meaningful that it inspired Apprille to start a support group for people with facial paralysis and their loved ones, the first of its kind in San Diego.

    “I've been able to touch so many people's lives with my story, and those relationships and those comments and those hugs -- you can't really put a price on that,” he said.

    Apprille has also launched a podcast called Unique Smiles, to reach out to an audience he uniquely understands.

    "I remember what it was like when I first got Ramsey Hunt Syndrome and how low I was and how sad and how alone I felt and to find those other people and just have that human connection of kindness, it makes all the difference in the world," he said. “I also want to encourage people that they can still chase their dreams and still live an amazing life and still be great no matter what you look like as far as that or how you feel about yourself,” he said.

    Rediscovering laughter has also helped him restore his health. He's lost 152 pounds. He jokes about that too.

    “I think in life if you can laugh at whatever is causing you pain you remove the power that it has over you,” he said.

    Apprille's facial paralysis and the daily pain he suffers will likely never go away. And while his condition may have partially stolen his smile, finding the humor in his reality has helped him rediscover the joy of living.

    "If you'd told me ten years ago that I would consider this a blessing I would say you're crazy. But it really has been a blessing. It's changed my life tremendously," he said. “And if I can help be that face of facial paralysis and raise awareness for people then I'm so happy and so blessed to do so.”

    To join the San Diego Support Group for Facial Paralysis, send an email to facialparalysisgroupsan@gmail.com.

    You can follow Apprille on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook.


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    Former Padres outfielder Xavier Nady may be retired after playing 15 years in the major leagues but he still knows how to step up to the plate when needed.

    Nady donated a package full of signed cards, photos, baseballs and a pair of batting gloves he used as a pro to a 10-year-old Northern California boy named Colton who lost his prized baseball memorabilia collection in the fast-moving Camp Fire.

    The Camp Fire is the most destructive wildfire in California history and for Colton it will be remembered as the awful thing that destroyed his home, including the 51 signed baseballs he kept tucked away in his room.

    A friend of Colton's family recently put a message up on a closed Facebook group of "Physician Moms" with roughly 70,000 members worldwide asking for anyone with baseball connections to help get the boy a ball or two.

    Namrita Kapoor, a San Diego mom and doctor, saw the message and even though she didn't know anyone involved felt the need to do something.

    Kapoor reached out to a friend, who reached out to another friend, who happened to be Nady.

    Not only did Nady play professional baseball, but like young Colton, he is a fan of the game. During his playing days, he collected autographs from teammates and players he admired.

    Kapoor knew Nady would help out, but she never expected such a large donation.

    "I just thought maybe one or two baseballs," she said. "So I look in the package and it was just the most thoughtful sweet thing, especially the handwritten letter to Colton."

    Nady didn't just donate his own autographed items, he threw in signed baseballs from other players such as Chipper Jones, Eric Hosmer and Stephen Strasburg.

    Kapoor says Nady's generosity is proof of the good that can come through the power of social media when people make connections in an effort to help one another.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    The first deadline to sign up for health insurance for 2019 through California's health insurance exchange is quickly approaching.

    Those who want to have their health insurance coverage to start on Jan. 1, 2019, must sign up on Covered California by midnight on Friday, Dec. 21.

    Unlike the federal open-enrollment period, which ends Dec. 15, California's open enrollment continues through Jan. 15.

    So far, roughly 1.2 million people have renewed their insurance through Covered California. That number is slightly lower than last year's. The agency said the reason could be a lack of awareness.

    Though the open enrollment period started Oct. 15, the agency decided to wait until after the mid-term election to start advertising. Another reason for lower enrollment is the removal of the individual mandate penalty. 

    The original Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," required everyone to have insurance or pay a penalty. The Republican Congress, in December 2017, removed the penalty effective Jan. 1, 2019.

    "While we know that the financial help offered through Covered California is the big motivator for many people to enroll, with the penalty removed we do expect some consumers to roll the dice and go without health coverage," Covered California executive director Peter V. Lee said.

    The agency said enrollment is expected to drop between 7 to 18 percent because of removal of the mandate.

    The high cost was another reason why some are forgoing health insurance. Trey Barkley, 32, went without insurance last year after his company stopped providing health insurance for its employees.

    "I could not afford it," he said. "The cost was too much for me per month because I ended making just enough money that it was going to cost way out of my range."

    Barkley was referring to subsidies offered by Covered Calfornia. About 90 percent of people enrolled through Covered California qualify for some sort of subsidy, which covered an average of 80 percent of their monthly premium, the agency said.

    According to its research, 82 percent of uninsured people do not know that they qualify for financial assistance. 

    "Being covered means you are protected from medical bills that can range from tens of thousands of dollars into the millions," Lee said. "That's why it is so important to take a look their options and find out if they are eligible for financial assistance to help bring that coverage within reach."

    Craig Gussin, a licensed health insurance underwriter with the Auerbach & Gussin Insurance and Financial Services in Carlsbad, said high-deductible policies are available for as little as $1 a month for qualified California residents.

    Gussin said the Bronze-level plans typically offer three doctor visits per year for $75 per visit. Those basic plans have a $6,300 deductible, and typically pay 100 percent of medical costs after the patient has paid a total of about $7,000 in "out-of-pocket" costs.

    Despite that high deductible and co-pay, such basic coverage can help the policyholder avoid crushing medical debt and possible bankruptcy from an unexpected major illness or accident.

    Nearly 250,000 people are uninsured in the San Diego-Carlsbad area, of that more than 102,000 are eligible for coverage through Covered California. Statewide, an estimated 1.1 million uninsured people are eligible to enroll in Covered California or Medi-Cal, the agency said.

    Gussin said his typical customer pays about $50 to $100 a month for a more comprehensive Covered California policy with a lower deductible. Some families qualify for premium subsidies of up to $1,000 a month on a $1,800 premium.

    Barkley said he plans to look at Covered California's site again this year to see if he qualifies for any subsidies now that his girlfriend has health coverage through her work.

    Covered California has a Shop and Compare tool for people to see if they qualify for any assistance.



    Photo Credit: CoveredCA

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    A veteran-owned business in Chula Vista was the target of thieves this week who took more than $20,000 worth of power tools.

    Edgar Deleon owns FedVet Construction, 3513 Main St. His work trailer, parked at his business’ parking lot, was broken into early Monday morning.

    His surveillance camera was able to catch one of the thieves in the act shortly after midnight. A man was seen pushing a tool cart next to the trailer and using a bolt cutter to break into the trailer.

    "It was a bit frustrating,” Deleon said. “I was shocked. I was upset as much as anyone would."

    The tools are professional-grade tools that cost him thousands. Deleon, a Navy veteran, said he put his savings into the business, mostly on the high-end tools.

    "It was more of disappointment because we worked so hard to get these tools,” he told NBC 7.

    The suspected thieves, however, returned to the scene of the crime a few days later. Thursday afternoon, the camera caught the same pickup truck circling the parking lot.

    “It was the same truck and one of our employees saw the truck and got that plate,” Deleon said.

    Both the surveillance video and truck's license plate number have been turned over to the Chula Vista Police Department, but Deleon said the theft has put a damper on his holiday spirit.

    "It' Christmas time people have different agendas,” he said. “If it was a money thing, If it was someone we knew, if they needed money, all they had to do is ask.”

    Chula Vista police are still looking for the people behind the theft.

    Anyone with any information was urged to contact the CVPD at (619) 691-5151.



    Photo Credit: Courtesy: Edgar Deleon

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    Strangers, friends and family gathered at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Bankers Hill on Friday evening to honor the 20 first-graders and six staff members killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School six years ago.

    A bell rang 26 times during the ceremony, a ring for each person who lost their life Dec. 14, 2012.

    Victoria Koenitzer shared her experience living through a mass shooting at the service. She was a student at UC Santa Barbara in 2014 when the Isla Vista shooting happened.

    "Tidbits of my own experience linger and they just become more prominent when another shooting happens," Koenitzer told NBC 7.

    Two of Koenitzer's friends were killed. She wants people to know what it was like that horrific day and every day after.

    “I hope there's someone out there, even just one person in the audience who hears one thing that I said and it might stick with them," she said.

    For Kasey Zahner, remembering Sandy Hook takes her back to hearing about the shooting.

    "The idea that first graders would be murdered in their classrooms was unimaginable," she said.

    Her group, San Diego Moms Against Gun Violence, started as a response to Sandy Hook.

    "Seeing the images of these children for me as a mother, I have a 6-year-old and an 18-month-old, imagining sending my daughter off to school one day and not return,” Zahner said. “Schools should be a safe place. Church should be a safe place. Movie theatres should be a safe place."

    In addition to remembering the Sandy Hook shooting victims, the vigil was also a call to end gun violence in the U.S.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    Luxury fashion company Prada has pulled a set of monkey trinkets from its lower Manhattan store amid outcry that the items depict blackface.

    In a statement Friday, Prada said that the images have been removed from the windows of its flagship in Soho and that it "abhors racist imagery." 

    But it added that the items -- which are part of the brand's Pradamalia line and depict a monkey with a black face and bright red lips -- are "certainly not blackface."

    "Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery," the company concluded in its statement. "In this interest we will withdraw the characters in question from display and circulation."

    Backlash to the items grew quickly after Chinyere Ezie, an attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, posted to Facebook that the items bore a resemblance to blackface imagery used in Jim Crow-era minstrel shows and illustrations.

    "I don’t make a lot of public posts, but right now I’m shaking with anger," she wrote.

    She was in such disbelief that she sent the photos to family and friends to verify what she was seeing. 

    "I messaged my mother of all people, 'Hey, is this blackface?'" she said. "Everyone who saw those images was as shocked as I was." 

    [[502794611, C]]

    Ezrie added that when she confronted store workers, they told her "a black employee had previously complained about blackface at Prada, but he didn't work there anymore."

    Since Ezie's post Thursday, thousands of people have tweeted using the hashtag #BoycottPrada. Groups have also begun picketing outside the store. 

    "That's unacceptable," said Brittany Cooper, a passerby in the area. "That's blatantly obvious that's blackface." 

    "Prada is trash for this," said Althalie Paynting. "They know better. We all know better. I'm a white person; we know better." 

    Ezie also was unmoved by Prada's explanation and apology.

    "That sounds no more realistic than people who say Confederate flags are about southern heritage," she said. "We have an obligation to be educated about historical legacies of racism." 

    New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, also a candidate for public advocate, has also called on the store to donate proceeds to anti-bigotry groups. 

    "The question is who the hell approved this," he said. "They have to apologize. They need to come out and say we fucked up."  

    [[374756761, C]]



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

    The Prada storefront in Soho, after items that some on social media said resembled blackface were removed from the display.The Prada storefront in Soho, after items that some on social media said resembled blackface were removed from the display.

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    To help make sure you stay informed on the most shared and talked about stories in San Diego County, each Saturday we'll revisit five stories from the previous week and capsulize them in this digest with the most recent updates.

    300 Take Option for Early Retirement From Sweetwater Union High School District: Teachers Union

    A San Diego-area school district is struggling to revise a budget that's estimated to be $30 million in debt by the end of the 2018-2019 school year. The teachers union is working with the district in offering early retirement options for some of its members. On Thursday, Artie Ojeda reported that 300 district employees have agreed to the early retirement, including nearly 100 teachers that may leave the classroom by the end of the month.

    Trashed Trash Cans Frustrate San Diego Residents

    Did you know, hundreds of trash containers get dropped into trash trucks every year leaving residents forced to buy new ones? Consumer Bob talked with San Diego’s Environmental Services Department about the average lifespan for that trash container you use every week.

    Flooding Wipes Out Man's Pilates Studio and Connected Apartment

    A gutter failed and stormwater roared down B Street, flooding the home and pilates studio owned by Bruno Bosardi. Water filled the rooms and caused thousands of dollars in damage. “It got this high!” Bosardi told NBC 7's Omari Fleming, pointing to a line on the cabinet about 5 feet off the ground. “It was up to here.” See just one of the stories involving storm damage we covered this week.

    Almost Half of All Women Killed in US Were Killed by Their Partner: Report

    An in-depth analysis of a decade of killings of women in 47 major U.S. cities, including San Diego, reveals that almost half those women were murdered by an intimate partner. A closer look at homicide data in San Diego and four other cities found that 36 percent of the men accused of those deaths were publicly known to be a potential threat to their partner before the fatal attack. Here's Mark Mullen's report. 

    Lead in Your Water Lines? City of San Diego Says It Doesn't Know

    Our investigative team produced a startling piece this week about the pipes used to move water through the city of San Diego. NBC 7 Investigates and Voice of San Diego found the city does not know the material used in two-thirds of all water service lines in the city. The city was required to provide the data after a state law was passed last year. However, as Tom Jones reports, the city is still working to be in compliance with that law. 


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    A teen was stabbed nine times after an argument turned physical Friday night outside an Egger Highlands home, according to the San Diego Police Department.

    Two 19-year-old men were standing in the doorway of the suspect’s house just before midnight when they began to fight.

    The victim thought he was being punched, but it turned out he was being stabbed with a knife, said SDPD.

    He was stabbed in his chest, stomach, and both of his arms, officers said.

    SDPD arrived at the scene near Imperial Beach and arrested the suspect.

    Police identified the suspect as Homero Lunaosuna.

    The victim, who has yet to be named, was taken to a nearby hospital with no life-threatening injuries, SDPD said.

    The knife was recovered by police.

    The SDPD Southern Division is investigating the incident.


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    Thousands of San Diegans helped lay wreaths at five local cemeteries Saturday in part of a nationwide day of remembrance.

    Wreaths Across America started as a way to honor fallen soldiers during the holiday season and bring grieving family members comfort, but has grown to include any veteran gravesite with a cross, indicating the Christian faith.

    More than 3,000 people attended the event at Miramar National Cemetery where parking spots ran out by 9 a.m., forcing many guests to walk more than a mile or catch a shuttle.

    "You place a rock if there's a Star of David for people of Jewish faith, you set a stone on the top of the headstone. And for Christians... you place the wreath which celebrates Christmas which is very appropriate," said Jim Bradford, a Cub Scout leader from Pack 594 in the Del Sur area.

    Some of the participating cemeteries include Fort Rosecrans, Miramar National Cemetery, and Greenwood Memorial Park.

    Since 2006 the Worcester Wreath Company has donated all of the wreaths.


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    A Poway teen was killed in a car crash Thursday on her way home from finishing her first quarter of college, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    Kim Huynh, 18, died just north of the Murrieta Hot Springs Road overpass on Interstate 215, CHP said.

    A friend of Huynh’s mother created a GoFundMe page to help cover memorial costs and any expenses for the family in the meantime.

    The page said Kim worked diligently at the University of California, Riverside. She had just finished her first quarter of classes and was on her way home for the holidays.

    Kim’s sister, April, was in the car with her at the time of the crash, according to the GoFundMe page.

    The crash happened at around 8:15 p.m., and Huynh died 15 minutes later, officials said.

    The accident occurred roughly halfway through the 80-mile trip from UCR to Poway.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7
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    CHP patrol car on the scene of a fatal incident on SR-78CHP patrol car on the scene of a fatal incident on SR-78

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    More than 300 people were welcomed back to an East Village homeless shelter after it flooded, forcing them to evacuate for a week.

    The group was taken to the SDCCU Stadium in Mission Valley amid the countywide flooding.

    “We had one goal, which is to help get people back to the bridge shelter, because it’s more than just a roof over their head, there’s so many services that happen there,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

    Those services included help with jobs, housing, and mental health, he added.

    “We’re only 24 inches away from each other, and yet our folks live here with peace and dignity,” said Bob McElroy, CEO of the Alpha Project, a local non-profit that owns the shelter.

    Faulconer toured the downtown facility on 16th Street and Newton Avenue with McElroy.

    “It was a logistical effort,” Faulconer told NBC 7. “This has been a 24/7 operation over the last week, and to see the smiles on people’s faces, it makes it all worthwhile.”

    Faulconer, McElroy, and some of the shelter’s residents said they were grateful for the crews that made the move and clean-up possible, including those with the city, the SDCCU Stadium, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

    “The night I was standing inside the tent with knee-deep water, I felt a little nervous, but when I saw the city crews roll out… just the precision, the teamwork was phenomenal,” McElroy told NBC 7.

    McElroy said “resilience” wasn’t a good enough word for it all.

    “The enthusiasm from all the different agencies, all the different city departments that came together and say we’re going to make sure that these folks get back in their place as fast as they can, I mean, that to me, is just a tremendous blessing,” McElroy told NBC 7.

    Restrooms, showers, and mattresses have all been fixed or replaced, according to the city.

    Donations poured in from around the county as San Diegans helped replace many of the personal belongings that were destroyed during the flooding, the city said.

    “To see the community all acknowledge them as human beings and that they want to help them,” McElroy said. “This renewed my faith in humanity, believe me.”

    Two residents who spoke with NBC 7 echoed this sentiment.

    “Fantastic. The generosity I’ve seen here, the dedication from Bob and his team is an amazing adventure. The people are dedicated to helping us,” said resident Ed Bidwell.

    Mary Foster, another resident, said she hadn’t seen anything like flooding in San Diego before. “I’m just thankful that we got out safely,” she added.

    The large Christmas tree in the tent shelter was a beacon of hope for Foster.

    “It felt great to come back, you know, I didn’t want to leave, but it’s great to come back and see the Christmas tree still here,” she said.

    The shelter closed for nine days after a rainstorm on Dec. 6 caused significant damage.


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    As the migrant crisis continues to play out along the U.S.-Mexico border, dozens of people on Saturday joined in prayer in solidarity with the migrants while another group rallied in support of President Donald Trump’s policies.

    At the Posada without Borders event held at Border Field State Park. Faith leaders and other supporters recreate the story of Joseph and Mary as they seek shelter before the birth of Jesus.

    For minister Jennifer Guerra Aldana, the crisis at the border hits especially close to home. She is originally from Guatemala and came to the U.S. as a child.

    “It brings my own emotions of ‘Am I also not welcome?’ if those who are like me and come from the land where I'm from are not being received in this way,” she said.

    Auxiliary Bishop John Dolan with the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego was also part of Saturday's Posada. He said that the diocese has helped house and place dozens of migrants over the last several weeks.

    Just a few miles away, a couple dozen people were rallying to show their support for the president.

    “Build that wall! Build that wall!” the group chanted, repeating Trump's popular mantra. This crowd waved U.S. flags near the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

    These demonstrators called for Congress to fund the border wall. They also pushed back on critics of the administration's border policy. One demonstrator placed the blame squarely on the migrants

    “Why would they drag their innocent little children, go thousands of miles?” Vaughn Becht said. “If they really love their children why would they put them through that?”

    Both groups at the border demonstrations remained peaceful.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    A San Diego County sheriff's deputy was hurt Saturday afternoon in Encinitas while trying to take a man who was attacking a red-light camera into custody, authorities said.

    Deputies received a call about the man attacking the red-light camera with a baseball bat shortly after 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

    A deputy approached the man to take him into custody and the deputy was injured in the ensuing struggle, the SDSO said. 

    The deputy possibly has broken bones but did not sustain any critical injuries, the agency said.

    The man was taken into custody for resisting arrest and assault with a deadly weapon.



    Photo Credit: Courtesy: Michael Hadland

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    The annual closure of Children's Pool Beach for harbor seals pupping season started Saturday.

    The beach and the surrounding area will remain closed until May 15.

    The rope that serves to keep the public at a safe distance will also be removed since the entire beach is closed.

    Children's Pool Beach was opened in 1932 after Ellen Browning Scripps paid for a seawall to built so that inexperienced swimmers can enjoy the beach. Seals started to use the relatively calm water for the beach to rear their pups in the 1990s.

    The city started closing the beach in 2014 after environmentalists complained that beachgoers were disturbing the marine mammals. The California Coastal Commission issued a permit allowing the beach to close to protect the seals.

    A group advocating for beach access called Friends of the Children's Pool sued the city arguing that the closure violated the California Coastal Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act.

    A lower court sided with the group but the issued was resolved in the city's favor earlier this year when an appeals court reversed the decision, allowing the city to close the beach for 5 1/2 months each year.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    A man was killed Saturday night when he was hit on a highway in Oceanside, according to the Oceanside Fire Department.

    The collision happened shortly before 10 p.m. on westbound state Route 76 at Douglas Drive, the agency said.

    Westbound 76 was shut down and all traffic diverted to Douglas Drive. 

    It was unclear what caused the accident.

    This is a developing story, please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.


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    Six in 10 Americans say President Donald Trump has been untruthful about the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, while half of the country says the investigation has given them doubts about Trump’s presidency, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

    The survey, conducted a month after the results of November’s midterm elections, also finds more Americans want congressional Democrats — rather than Trump or congressional Republicans — to take the lead role in setting policy for the country. 

    And just 10 percent of respondents say that the president has gotten the message for a change in direction from the midterms — when the GOP lost control of the U.S. House of Representatives but kept its majority in the U.S. Senate — and that he’s making the necessary adjustments.

    “The dam has not burst on Donald Trump,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, whose firm conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. “But this survey suggests all the structural cracks [that exist] in the dam.”



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, Files

    President Donald Trump (L) and Robert Mueller (R)President Donald Trump (L) and Robert Mueller (R)

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    A man was rushed to the hospital with a head injury after his scooter collided with a car Saturday in the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego police said. 

    The man, identified by police only as a 30-year-old, was riding a scooter on the sidewalk near the Balboa Theatre just after 11 p.m. when he entered an intersection and collided with a Toyota Prius. 

    The Prius was traveling southbound on 4th Avenue and had the green light, officers, said. 

    The scooter rider ran the red light and broadsided the Prius, according to the SDPD. 

    He was rushed to a nearby hospital with a head injury, according to police. 

    Investigators said there is no indication alcohol was involved in the incident. 

    No details were given on the type of scooter or if the rider was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.


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    To help make sure you stay informed, each Sunday we'll revisit five stories from the previous week and capsulize them in this digest with the most recent updates.

    Today's collection highlights some of the positive news events that happened this week. 

    Clients, Locals Support North Park Barbershop After Racial Slur Vandalism

    On Wednesday, husband and wife Christopher and Melissa Cage arrived at their barbershop and salon in North Park to find hateful graffiti scrolled in front of their small business; they didn't let it get them down. Danny Freeman visited the couple a few days later and found out they were receiving support from people they didn't even know.

    [[502824341,C]]

    Father, Son Stranded Overnight on Borrego Springs Hiking Trail: SDSO

    A father and son were grateful for help from emergency services after they found themselves stranded on a hike in the desert last Sunday. The pair were able to find cell service and call for help before deciding to bunk for the night on Juniper leaves over large rocks. Luckily they had a had a lighter and were able to start a small fire. See Artie Ojeda's interview with the dad after he safely returned to the family's campsite.

    [[502407021,C]]

    Theatre Box's TCL Chinese Theatre, Sugar Factory Restaurant Open in Gaslamp Quarter

    If you've been wondering what is being developed in the two-story building taking up an entire block of the Gaslamp Quarter on Fifth Avenue and G Street, you won't have to wait any longer.  The Theatre Box entertainment complex celebrated its grand opening on Friday night with celebs and all sorts of fan fare.

    [[502839531,C]]

    'Small-Format' Target Store Planned for Spring Valley

    The community of Spring Valley in San Diego’s East County will soon be home a new, small Target store. The retail giant announced plans Tuesday to open a “small-format” store at 935 Sweetwater Road, near the Jamacha Road intersection, in 2020.

    [[502584251,C]]

    NBC 7's Marianne Kushi traveled to NYC to take in some of the sights and discovered some amazing storefront displays. She shared the video with us. There's a lot more than the tree in Rockefeller Center! Grab your cup of coffee and stay through to the Saks Fifth Avenue Lightshow! 

    [[502711592,C]]

    [[502502441,C]]


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    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Sunday said President Donald Trump is preventing a deal to avert a partial government shutdown because of a “temper tantrum” over his demand for more funding to build a border wall.

    Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” just five days before funding deadline to keep several key federal agencies open, Schumer, D-N.Y., said that he and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are standing firm in their offers to Trump and that it’s up to the president to come to the table.

    "We Democrats, Leader Pelosi and I, offered the president two options as to how to avoid the shutdown,” he said.

    “We should not let a temper tantrum, threats, push us in the direction of doing something even our Republicans colleagues know is wrong," Schumer said.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 11: U.S. President Donald Trump argues about border security with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the Oval Office on December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 11: U.S. President Donald Trump argues about border security with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the Oval Office on December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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    A house party left one shot and another stabbed in El Cajon Saturday night, according to the El Cajon Police Department.

    The shooting suspects left the party and came back “a short time later” in a car, police said.

    The suspects then reportedly fired shots from the car, hitting a woman in her 20s, before speeding off, according to ECPD.

    She was shot in the abdomen.

    The woman was taken to a nearby hospital and is “stable,” authorities said.

    Meanwhile, a fight inside the house resulted in one person being stabbed, said police.

    It is not clear the extent of this victim’s injuries at this time.

    The party on Andover Road grew violent just before midnight.

    ECPD is investigating the incidents.


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    At least two cats have been sealed into buckets and abandoned near a Manhattan animal shelter — both of which might have been taken away with the trash if staff hadn’t noticed them, the organization says.

    Staff members at Animal Haven Shelter, a SoHo-based nonprofit, were shocked Thursday when staff members found a cat sealed into a bucket that had been placed near a public trash can, the organization said in an Instagram post.

    Staff found another cat sealed inside a bucket back in November. The pail was placed next to the back door of the shelter's building, Animal Haven said in another post.

    “Staff isn’t left speechless that often anymore, but when morning kennel went to move what appeared to be just an empty bucket on the side of our building near the back door, they were shocked to see a tiny eye looking back up at them,” the shelter wrote after the first incident in November.

    “Yes, believe it or not but someone left an innocent cat in a bucket outside our door overnight," the shelter added. 

    The cat abandoned in November, dubbed Sage, was ultimately “safe and sound” after the ordeal. The cat found last week, however, is “in bad shape and, needless to say, is terrified,” Animal Haven said.

    The shelter posted surveillance video to Instagram after the Thursday incident and said it shows a man placing the bucket by the trash before walking off down the sidewalk.

    The shelter is now asking passersby to keep an eye out for buckets or containers that could contain cats.

    “We have contacted the police, but we’re asking that everyone in the vicinity of our shelter in SoHo PLEASE keep your eyes out for any suspicious buckets or containers like the ones in these photos!” the shelter wrote.

    “If anyone recognizes the person in this video, contact us immediately. And if you are ever desperate to surrender an animal, please reach out to us directly,” it added.



    Photo Credit: Animal Haven
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    Colin Kroll, the co-founder of HQ Trivia and Vine, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday, NBC News reported.

    Police responded to a 911 call for a welfare check at the Spring Street apartment on Sunday, a New York Police Department Spokesman told NBC News. Kroll was 34, police said.

    Police found Kroll unconscious and unresponsive in a bedroom of the apartment, the spokesman said.

    He was pronounced dead on the scene, police said.



    Photo Credit: Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Variety, File

    This Jan. 9, 2014, file photo shows Colin Kroll in Las Vegas, Nevada.This Jan. 9, 2014, file photo shows Colin Kroll in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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    A car crashed into a building in Hyde Park on Sunday, leaving two people dead and causing a portion of the building to collapse, police say.

    The LAPD says it will require and "extended extrication" to remove the vehicle to due safety concerns about the one-story building located at 3339 W. 66th Place collapsing further.

    This is a developing story. Refresh the page for updates.


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    International water investigators will meet with Mexican counterparts Monday to discuss clean-up and repair efforts after a huge sewage spill in the Tijuana River Valley.

    The meeting is expected to last most of the day and will mainly cover funding for continued repair of Mexico’s sewage infrastructure.

    “It’s reached its life cycle,” explained Lori Kuczmanski, the Public Affairs Officer for the IBWC. “The pipes are 50 to 60 years old. They’re outdated and just old and ruptured.”

    An estimated 6 to 7 million gallons of sewage began pouring into Imperial Beach every day from Dec. 11 until it was stopped on Dec. 14, IBWC said.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego