<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Sun, 30 Aug 2015 07:08:20 -0700 Sun, 30 Aug 2015 07:08:20 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Homeowner Watches Burglary on Cellphone]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 03:14:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/cellphone_home_burglary.PNG

A homeowner witnessed an intruder burglarize his North Hollywood home from his cellphone while he was away at work.

The incident happened Friday around 10:30 a.m. when a suspected burglar rang the door bell of a home armed with surveillance cameras. The system immediately sent an alert to homeowner Gregg Garfield's cellphone and began to feed real-time video of the burglary. The intruder kicked down the door and rummaged through the house, stealing jewelry and Garfield's gun as he watched and called the police.

"It was a scary situation. You feel violated. Someone is in your home," Garfield said.

Garfield was able to give the police details about every move the suspect made to help officers arrest him. The burglar escaped through the back of the home, however police combed the area and found the suspect a short time later.

Garfield said he was grateful the suspect was caught and no one was hurt during the burglary.

Police arrested two men in connection with the burglary and were looking for an additional suspect who may have been involved.

Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[Two Arrested After Fontana Auto Shop Raid]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 00:03:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/08.28.15_Fontana-Nitrous-Raid.JPG

Loaded guns, cash, marijuana and nitrous oxide tanks were seized Friday night in a raid on a Fontana auto repair shop.

Police said the shop was selling the nitrous oxide — also known as NOS — tanks for recreational drug use to young people in the area, and that their use had led to car collisions and even death.

"NOS is extremely dangerous,” said Officer Tim Brayshaw of the Rialto Police Department. “Originally it was a general anesthetic and over the years, it's what you see now. The kids have found a cheap way to get high."

Alycea Smith lives in nearby Colton. She said her 17-year-old sister asked her to pick her up in the parking lot of RCO Auto Repair in Fontana Friday night. Shortly after Smith arrived around 9 p.m., the police showed up and she said she’s worried her sister could be using nitrous oxide.

"I know that kids like to use it and use balloons," Smith said. "She's my little sister and I don't want her doing any of this stuff. One of the police officers showed me a picture of other kids in a car accident because of the NOS."

Investigators said drivers under the influence of NOS were the cause of several recent collisions.

"About a week and a half, two weeks ago, we had three-car traffic accident,” said Cpl. Cameron Nelson. “The person at fault was driving under the influence of NOS. The subject was actually driving and huffing NOS at the same time."

Nitrous oxide is used legally in dentistry and also car racing, which is why this auto shop was able to obtain these large tanks of the substance.

"Every contact we've had with anybody in possession of nitrous oxide who are inhaling it, they mention this business, stating that this is the place where it's being distributed from," said Officer Nicholas Parcher.

Police said the employees, two of whom were arrested Friday night, were illegally converting liquid nitrous oxide to gas and then selling it to teenagers and young adults, as a recreational drug.

"The problem is when you take NOS, when you inhale it, (it’s) no longer in a medical form where it’s mixed with oxygen and you can start with death, then coma, brain damage, heart attack, just goes downhill from there," said Brayshaw.

<![CDATA[Group Fight Turns Into Stabbing Near USC]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 09:00:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/usc_stabbing.PNG

At least one person was stabbed after a verbal argument turned into a fist fight near USC early Saturday morning.

The stabbing was reported near Figueroa and 30th Streets in University Park around 3:30 a.m. after at least one of the men used a knife to stab another man. The suspects involved in the fight then fled on foot, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The victim was transported to a hospital where he was undergoing surgery. The condition of the man was unknown.

Police said it was unknown if there was more than one stabbing victim.

Refresh this developing story for updates.

Photo Credit: OnScene]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Harassment of School Principal]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 02:35:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Elementary_Staff_Member_Anonymous_Writes_Racial_Epithets_About_Principle_1200x675_515445315562.jpg

Parents and community members were shocked to learn a school principal in Highland was the target of racial harassment.

Crecia Sims, principal of Lankershim Elementary School in Highland, said she was the recipient of racially-charged notes discovered on campus. Among the notes left for Sims, included a note thanking her for holding a staff meeting while calling her a racial slur. Another note told her to suspend more black students.

The string of notes left for Sims began after she became principal about one year ago.

School police were investigating the incidents to hopefully find the person responsible. Sims was also being provided extra security as a precaution.

Parents expressed outrage upon learning about the notes targeting Sims.

"All this racist stuff is unnecessary. We are all one," said Janae Allen, a parent of one of the students at Lankershim Elementary School.

A Majadi, president of the San Bernardino NAACP, defended Sims and condemned the person who wrote the notes.

"Parents love her. She's got a stellar record," Majadi said.

"To leave a note on the board telling her that we don't need a black principal at this school, she's not on our team, is disturbing," he said.

The San Bernardino City Unified School District released a statement that said, in part, harrassment and discrimination will not be tolerated.

<![CDATA[Coast Guardsmen Remember Katrina]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 20:50:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/katrina-coast-guard-rescuers-remember.jpg

As the whole country reflects on the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina a decade later, two Coast Guard rescue swimmers described seeing a submerged New Orleans and thousands in need of help.

Lt. Benjamin Berman and Aviation Survival Technician 1st Class Robert Williams, who are now stationed at the San Diego Coast Guard sector, said Friday that the images of destruction are still fresh in their minds.

"It was 10 years ago but there are constant reminders of it. Even just flying in the helicopter sometimes I'll just have memories while we are flying around," Williams said.

He was stationed at Corpus Christi, Texas, in 2005 and had only been a rescue swimmer for two years when he got the call for help.

Williams and his crew were on a helicopter bound for New Orleans an hour later. They arrived at night, and all he could see were flashlights dotting the ground. Before long, he realized those lights were held by people who needed rescue.

"It looked like a third-world country with people on rooftops and rivers flowing down places where cars should be driving, dogs swimming in the streets, people on top of cars floating down the streets, gas pipes that were broken and on fire," Williams said.

Berman lived in Mobile, Alabama, at the time. He flew in the first night Coast Guard crews came to the rescue, joining the branch's effort to save more than 33,500 people -- one of the largest rescue operations in Coast Guard history.

One disturbing sight that stuck with him, he said, was seeing a couple who died off Interstate 10, where he and his crew were trying to help survivors.

"That kind of affected me because they died together on the side of the freeway," he said. "It was kind of devastating. There was devastation everywhere of course, but walking up to that kind of devastation was pretty impactful."

Berman said he never forgets the anniversary of the day he was sent to New Orleans because he had to leave his 2-week old son. He now calls his boy his "Katrina baby."

Both Williams and Berman told NBC 7 in San Diego that they hope their efforts made an impact on survivors and that the people of New Orleans have come out stronger.

"It's sad though that a lot of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast has not recovered from Katrina, but I stand by them and hopefully they will come back around," Berman said.

Berman has returned every year since Hurricane Katrina, but Williams has not been back since the storm. He told NBC 7 he hopes to return soon.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Is Cellphone Insurance Worth the Price?]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 21:31:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/4-21-15-Broken-Cellphone.jpg

That moment when you see your precious cellphone or tablet fall to ground is enough to make anyone stress out — especially if it ends in a shattered screen.

In that worst-case scenario, can cellphone insurance really protect you?

The answer is most often no.

Businesses like U-Break-I-Fix in Studio City specialize in cellphone and tablet repairs.

"We see parents with their kids who dropped their iPads, that’s the most popular one," said repair technician Landon Mirisciotti.

Salespersons at many phone retail stores push insurance as the best way to pay repair costs, but at an average of $7 dollars a month plus the deductible you’ll pay, it may not be worth your money, Mirisciotti said.

"Most deductibles range from like $150 to $350," he said.

Julianne Pepitone, senior tech writer with NBCNews.com, echoes Mirisciotti’s skepticism about the necessity of cellphone insurance.

"Consumer reports generally does not recommend buying these," Pepitone said.

Cellphone repair data also shows it’s rare for new devices to have problems in the first three years.

If it does break or malfunction, the fix is usually inexpensive. Independent repair shops will replace broken screens for less than the cost of insurance.

"You’re looking at like $89.99," said Mirisciotti, less than your average deductible.

Purchasing renters or homeowners insurance often also covers the cost of a stolen phone if it is taken from your home.

But if you happen to drop your phone frequently, your best insurance may just be a strong cellphone case.

<![CDATA[Watch Live: NBC4 News]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 23:36:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc4-generic-open-nbcla.jpg

Android phone and tablet users can watch the livestream here.

We've launched our online livestreaming player so that you can follow along with our reporters and anchors during NBC4's on-air broadcasts.

The player above is a multiplatform tool. You can watch on your laptop at home, your computer at work and even your mobile phone.

Note: Live video will be available when the newscast begins.

Connect with NBC4 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. We're also in the iTunes App Store and Google Play store for Android devices.

Our anchors and reporters can be found on social media here.

And as always, we want to hear from you. If you have a story idea or feedback, email us at tips@nbcla.com.

<![CDATA[Car Gets Stuck In Torrance Sinkhole]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 06:24:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/torrance+sink+hole.JPG

"It's a first time for everything," Jason Como said about his car getting stuck in a sink hole, created by an overnight water main break in Torrance.

The water main break was reported just before 3:30 a.m. Sunday, near the intersection of Crenshaw and Artesia Boulevard, Torrance Fire Department officials say.

Officials stated that the sinkhole formed on the southbound side of Crenshaw Blvd. just south of Artesia Blvd.

"We were trying to drive home, back to Long beach... as we turned the corner we saw that there was a puddle, we treated it like a flood and slowed down and the next thing we know, our car sunk into the ground," Jason Como said.

The two occupants of the car were able to safely get out, uninjured, with the help of Torrance FD Firefighters onscene.

Torrance Municipal Water Department was requested on scene to repair the water main break, Torrance Fire Department officials said.

It is unknown how many customers were affected at this time.

Southbound lanes of Crenshaw Blvd. was closed until further notice.

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

Photo Credit: Loudlabs News]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds Attend Vigil for Slain Texas Deputy ]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 00:33:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/policia-asesinado-texas.jpg

Hundreds gathered at a vigil Saturday to mourn the loss of the sheriff’s deputy ambushed at a Texas gas station while filling up his patrol car the previous evening, NBC News reported. 
The crowd, gathered at the Houston Chevron station where Darren H. Goforth was gunned down, were led in prayer and observed a moment of silence for Goforth and the sheriff’s department. 
Many said that they were there to support police. Some said that they were frustrated with what they said was an increased hostility against all police. 
His wife, meanwhile, released a statement Saturday calling her husband her best friend. "There are no words for this," she said.
Saturday, Shannon Miles, 30, was arrested and charged with capital murder in the shooting of Goforth, a 10-year veteran on the force. 

Photo Credit: Harris County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Scholarships Memorialize Reporter Slain in Virginia]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 04:42:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/184*120/matan-reporteros_3.jpg

The family of Alison Parker, the TV reporter shot to death during a live report Wednesday morning in Virginia, is asking that people donate to memorial scholarship funds and charities in her name to honor the young journalist.

Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, both journalists at WDBJ7 in Roanoke, both died when police say a disgruntled former employee shot them during a live report about tourism. A third person, a woman Parker was interviewing, was injured in the shooting but survived. The suspected gunman later fatally shot himself as police closed in on him.

Parker's family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the following scholarship funds or organizations:

Alison B. Parker Memorial Fund at James Madison University
James Madison University, 220 University Blvd., Office of Annual Giving MSC 3603, Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Alison Bailey Parker Memorial Scholarship
Patrick Henry Community College Foundation, 645 Patriot Ave., Martinsvile, VA 24112

Valley Stars and Salvation Army of Roanoke

A public celebration of Parker's life is expected to be held at a later date after a private memorial service. A viewing for Ward is set for tomorrow, and a service for him will be held Tuesday morning in Roanoke.

Photo Credit: NBC NEWS
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<![CDATA[Pursuit Crash in Compton Leaves 2 Dead, 1 Injured]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 05:13:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/fatal+pursuit.JPG

Two people are dead after a short pursuit in Compton, early Sunday morning, officials say. 

The pursuit initiated just before 2:45 a.m. after an attempted traffic stop near the intersection of South Main Street and Rosecrans Avenue, California Highway Patrol officials said. 

During the pursuit, the compact vehicle made an illegal u-turn on South Broadway at West Redondo Beach Blvd when it crashed with an SUV, officials said. 

The two occupants of the pursued vehicled were declared dead at scene by paramedics, LA County Fire Department officials confirmed. The driver of the SUV was transported to Harbor UCLA Medical Center in unknown condition, officials said. 

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

Photo Credit: Loudlabs News]]>
<![CDATA[Huge Fire at Saudi Oil Workers' Compound Kills 7]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 05:05:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/AP859656548979.jpg

Seven people were killed and more than 200 injured in a giant fire that tore through an oil workers' residential compound in Saudi Arabia Sunday, The Associated Press reported.

Officials said that residents of "various nationalities" were affected by the early morning blaze, which broke out in the basement of the Radium compound in the eastern city of Khobar.

The compound is used by the state oil giant Saudi Aramco, which oversees petroleum production in the country, and was the site of a 1996 truck bombing at a dormitory for U.S. Air Force personnel that killed 19 Americans and wounded 372.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Venice Beach Shooting Leaves 1 Dead, 1 Injured ]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 06:34:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lagenerics-1-a-breaking-news-la-generic-graphic-april2014.gif

An overnight shooting in Venice Beach left one person dead and at least one injured, officials said. 

The shooting was reported just after 2 a.m. near the intersection of Rose Avenue and Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach, LAPD officials said. 

One person was pronounced dead at scene by LAFD paramedics and at least one person was located with gun shot wounds and  transported to a local hospital in unknown conditions, officials said. 

There was no suspect description available. 

What led up to the shooting was under investigation. 

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

<![CDATA[Obama Heads to Alaska for Historic Climate Change Tour]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 02:38:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_586127782641.jpg

President Barack Obama heads to Alaska Monday for a historic Arctic tour aimed at drawing attention to climate change, NBC News reported.

The three-day tour will include trips to a receding glacier and to coastal communities where he will talk to villagers about erosion threatening their shoreline and livelihood. 

The Arctic trip — the first ever by a sitting U.S. president — comes ahead of a major international summit in Paris at the end of the year, where he will push for a global deal to flight climate change.

Such an agreement, environmental policy experts say, could help secure his legacy as the first U.S. president to address global climate change in a substantive way.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[3 Adults Killed, Child Wounded in Tennessee Home Shooting]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 02:07:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/187062332.jpg

Two men and a woman were found shot to death inside a home in eastern Tennessee Saturday night, according to the local sheriff's office, NBC News reported. A child was also found inside the home with gunshot wounds and transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The alleged gunman was found "a short time" after authorities responded to the scene and he was taken into custody, according to a statement from the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office. The suspect had also been shot, but his wounds were not life threatening, the statement added.

Sheriff Wayne Anderson told local TV station WCYB that it appeared the suspect, who was not identified, was related to those living inside the home. 

"He made it up here where they live...and he just started shooting everybody," Anderson said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Fate of $16K Tree House Uncertain]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 01:12:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/150829-rossmoor-tree-house.jpg

An elaborate, three-story tree house in Orange County has gotten a temporary reprieve from building inspectors, but the high rise hide-out may not be out of the woods just yet.

Rossmoor resident Dr. Joni Doherty spared no expense to build the $16,000 tree house that features solar panels, redwood floors, handmade chairs and a top-floor club house.

The tree house was a dream she and her husband Jack Chen - a renowned surgeon - shared before he died in a surfing accident in 2013.

Her two sons wanted their father's memory to live on in the tree house.

Doherty didn't need a permit to build it. But six months ago, she received a letter from the Orange County Department of Public Works for code violations after a neighbor complained.

"They didn't actually have any specific safety issues in that code violation," Doherty said.

She is now applying for a permit and has support from hundreds of her neighbors, who have signed a petition.

"It's a labor of love," said her neighbor, Reina. "Everyone loves this tree house."

Doherty is hopeful and believes her husband is helping her keep their dream alive.

"I feel like he's actually in some way helped this sort of get to the point where it might actually work out, like a miracle," she said.

The next step will be a public hearing, which could take place in several months, she said. But until then, she's been reassured from a county supervisor the tree house will remain in place.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Charged in Killing of Texas Sheriff's Deputy]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 00:34:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/goforth-harriscounty.jpg

A 30-year-old man has been charged with capital murder in the "execution-style" shooting of a deputy at a suburban Houston gas station, authorities announced Saturday afternoon, NBC News reported.

Shannon J. Miles, 30, was arrested for the murder of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren H. Goforth, 47, who was pumping gas about 8:30 p.m. Friday when he was shot from behind. 

"We haven't been able to exact any details regarding a motive," Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman told reporters, calling Goforth's death a "senseless and cowardly act."

In an emotional news conference hours before Miles' arrest was announced, a visibly angry Hickman told reporters that "dangerous rhetoric" against law enforcement had "gotten out of control."

"We've heard black lives matter — all lives matter," he said. "Well, cops' lives matter, too."

Photo Credit: Harris County Sheriff's Office/NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[P.F. Chang's Worker Fatally Stabbed]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 04:33:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/PF+Chang+Best+082915.JPG

One P.F. Chang's kitchen worker was stabbed to death Saturday, allegedly by another, at the restaurant in Peabody, Massachusetts.

Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said 23-year-old Jaquan Huston used a knife to stab his coworker at the restaurant, located at the Northshore Mall.

Police responded just after 5:30 p.m. The victim, identified as 38-year-old Elivelton Dias of Salem, was rushed to Salem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, Blodgett said.

Huston was arrested at his home in Salem. He is scheduled to be arraigned on murder charges in Peabody District Court Monday.

"This was an isolated incident," said Blodgett. "It's a very difficult, sad situation."

Other staff members and witnesses are being interviewed as the investigation continues.

P.F. Chang's later released a statement on the incident:

"Tonight we lost an employee in a tragic incident at our Peabody restaurant. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our colleague. We will be mobilizing support to provide care to our colleague's family, as well as our fellow employees, during this difficult time. We are also cooperating with local law enforcement as they conduct their investigation."

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[SFPD Recovers Ex-Chili Pepper Guitarist’s Stolen Telecaster]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 19:10:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/th-GUITAR-SFPD.jpg

A valuable piece of rock history is back with its rightful owner, thanks to San Francisco police investigators.

A vintage 1966 Fender Telecaster that was owned by former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante was recovered this week by plainclothes detectives after the $30,000 instrument was stolen during a burglary on Aug. 16.

Frusciante had given the instrument to a friend who planned to loan it out to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later this month, according to police. That friend was reunited with the guitar on Thursday.

Police said the guitar exchanged hands three times over the course of the 10 days it was missing. No information was released regarding possible suspects.

Frusciante played with the Chili Peppers from 1988 until 1992, and again from 1998 until 2009.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

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<![CDATA[Happy 60th, Gumby! Citrus College Fetes an Icon]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 18:26:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/gumbyGettyImages-74017329.jpg

The middle of the last century saw a plethora of playthings that could bend and twist and easily amble down a staircase, one stair at a time. A trio of toy titans, all ending in the letter -y, whimsically enough, went on to become classics of a child's playroom.

And while we adore Slinky and Silly Putty, only Gumby has got a smile, a horsey pal named Pokey, and a complete mythology that, in many ways, resembles and satirizes and pays homage to our human world.

Citrus College in Glendora, recognizing, as many of us do, his sheer superstardom, will pay homage to Gumby in honor of his 60th anniversary. 

That's right: Gumby is going full museum, as in the Hayden Memorial Library Art Gallery, for a month-plus run.

The dates are Tuesday, Sept. 1 through Friday, Oct. 16, and the icon-awesome show will include a wealth of Gumbyology, including "original stop-motion puppets, sets, props, and archive photos," images that "cover the rich 60-year history of Clokey Productions/Premavision," the company behind the green dream that is Gumby.

Joe and Joan Clokey are the benefactors behind the sweet exhibit. Art Clokey, Joe Clokey's dad, the man who brought Gumby to a grateful world, also created the kid's classic "Davey and Goliath." 

If strolling the aisles of the gallery leaves you greedy for more Gumbying, get back to Citrus College from Friday, Sept. 18 through Sunday, Sept. 20. The Citrus College Gumby Fest Stop Motion Festival will include screenings, a 60th birthday bash for Gumby at 4 p.m. on Saturday, emerald-hued collectibles, and a number of free panels featuring speakers knowledgeable in the art of stop motion as well as kidly television.

Joe Clokey will also be on the grounds, presenting "Gumby Through the Years."

And, yes, you know your TV history: Gumby and Pokey were, at first, small-screen superstars before they made their successful way to the toy aisles of the nation. So to cast them as toys, among the other bendy favorites of the 1950s, isn't the full story. 

But, like Slinky and Silly Putty and the mid-century marvels that we still not only recognize but treasure today, Gumby made the perfect plaything for the age of optimism. We think of his big grin, and we picture him having adventures with Pokey at his side, and in general serving as a sweet ambassador of another more innocent age, one who still has clay-cool cred.

Any person anywhere who doesn't immediately shout out his name, complete with exclamation point on the end, upon encountering his image, whether it is on a toy shelf or on a movie screen or at a festival or in a gallery might need to reconnect with their childhood spirit.

Wait, though. Does such a person exist? The person who doesn't shout Gumby's name, gladfully and gleefully? Regardless if they're currently a kid, or were a kid when the pliant-of-limb legend made his "Howdy Doody" debut? We're dubious. 

Happy 60th, Gumby. We'll never not greet you with the fizzy excitement you have long earned as one of the cutest characters on the shelf.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Close Encounter With Hammerhead]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 21:03:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hammerhead-shark-la-jolla.gif

A group of kayakers captured their heart-pounding close encounter with a hammerhead shark off the San Diego coast Saturday — a sighting that prompted lifeguards to close down crowded beaches nearby.

Their incredible video shows the 8- to 10-foot shark circling and swimming under the watercraft off La Jolla Shores. Stalking the kayakers, the hammerhead followed them back to the beach as they paddled away, according to San Diego Lifeguards.

When officials saw the footage and noted the shark was exhibiting "aggressive behavior," they took immediate action.

They decided to clear the waters between La Jolla Cove and Scripps Pier, announcing the closure over loud speakers to thousands packed onto the sand. The beach will be closed for the rest of the day, according to Lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum.

"What we're going to do is evaluate tomorrow morning," he said at a news briefing Saturday afternoon. "If there's no other shark sighting by then, we'll probably lift the closure and open it as an advisory for the full 24-hour period."

People swimming near the shark were able to climb onto other kayaks and get safely to shore.

The animal was last seen just outside the surf line at the foot of Avenida De La Playa, at the south part of La Jolla Shores.

Lifeguard crews in boats and a helicopter soon began searching the waters for shark, but no more sightings have been reported. Officials say if they find it, they will track it and make sure it leaves the area before the waters are reopened.

The closure was a disappointment to many beachgoers, who sought the cool water on the unusually hot Saturday.

"They were just going to shut it down temporarily, but then they decided to shut it down for the entire day," said Gil Durazo, at La Jolla with his two sons. "So we kind of stuck it out for a little while but then decided, you know, we've been here long enough, we're just going to head home and jump in the pool for a little while."

Lifeguards say they brought the kayakers' footage to Dr. Andy Nosal, a marine biologist at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He said based on the size, species and behavior of the shark, lifeguards were right to close the beach.

"It's not uncommon for these types of sharks to be seen far off shore, but it's uncommon to see it so close to a popular beach like La Jolla Shores," said Lerum.

According to the lieutenant, a similar closure happened in La Jolla a couple years ago when a great white shark came concerningly close to the shore.

As for why the hammerhead was acting aggressively toward the kayakers, Lerum's best guess is food.

"Well sharks are very instinctive," he said. "Usually what causes them to act aggressively is their desire to eat, and so there may have been food in the area that we don't know of." He was not sure if the kayakers had fish on board.

Hammerheads rarely present a threat to humans, experts say. In fact, since scientists began keeping records in the 1950s, there have been just 32 documented hammerhead shark attacks, according to Mike Price, an assistant curator of fishes at SeaWorld.

However, a hammerhead bit into a local diver's hand earlier this month about 100 miles off San Diego's coast.

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<![CDATA[Calif. Hiker Found Alive After Missing for More Than a Week]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 15:26:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Missing_Hiker.jpg

A 62-year-old woman who vanished while hiking in California was found alive Saturday — more than a week after she was separated from the group she was traveling with, police said, NBC News reported. 

Miyuki Harwood was spotted by members of a search and rescue team not far from where she went missing near the Courtright Reservoir, about 100 miles east of Fresno, according to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

Police said Harwood was hurt, but they do not yet know the extent of her injuries. She was brought by helicopter to a nearby hospital, police said.

Harwood was last seen on Aug. 20 with a hiking group from the Sierra Club, based near Sacramento

Photo Credit: Fresno County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[LAFD Pilot Laid to Rest in Service ]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 14:59:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/209*120/LAFD5.jpg

Family and friends gathered Saturday to honor a Los Angeles County firefighter pilot who died earlier this month.

Steven Lee Robinson served on the air force for nearly 30 years. He passed away in his home on Sunday Aug, 9.

Robinson served the City as a firefighter, engineer, pilot and dispatcher and was assigned to Metropolitan Fire Communications at the time of his passing.

In 1998, Robinson was transporting a 12-year-old girl to Children’s Hospital when the helicopter he was on malfunctioned and crashed in Griffith Park.

The young girl as well as multiple firefighters were killed, but Robinson survived and sustained multiple injuries.

Robinson was not able to fly again but continued to serve the public as a dispatcher.

Multiple firefighters from the LAFD, LA and Ventura counties flew over in formation during the memorial service to honor Robinson’s passing.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Recovering After Being Stabbed Multiple Times]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 19:58:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dog93.JPG

Police are asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect who stabbed an American Staffordshire terrier Friday in Santa Paula.

Passersby spotted the dog  lying near the area of 14th and Saticoy streets bleeding profusely at about 6 p.m, according to Santa Paula police and Diane Rowley of the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, where the dog was taken.

The terrier, named T -Rex, suffered stab wounds to his neck, chest and face and was transported to emergency care in grave condition, Rowley said.

The owner of the dog alerted police of the incident after he came home from work and noticed a puddle of blood in front of his house, according to Rowley.

The dog was to undergo several surgeries and was reported in good condition.

The Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center will take over responsibility for the dog after his owner said he was unable to pay for the injured terrier.

Rowley said it is unknown if the dog will experience any hearing loss after one of the stab wounds he suffered was close to the dog’s ear.

If anyone has any information, they are asked to call the Santa Paula Police Department at (805) 525-5574.

Photo Credit: Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center ]]>
<![CDATA[10 Years Later, Thousands Still Live With Katrina Damage]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 05:48:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/jerry-reed-backyard-nola.jpg

Pulling up to Jerry Reed's house in St. Roch neighborhood is like stepping back in time to August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina ripped through the area, devastating everything in its path. The house appears very much the same today as then, a decade after the storm, NBC News reported.

The home's foundations are unearthed, its vinyl siding peels along ragged lines that demarcate clearly how high the floodwaters rose. "Ten years after the storm, I didn't ever think it would still be — this bad," said a somber Reed as he reflected on the 10th anniversary of one of the most powerful natural disasters to ever strike a major American city.

Reed, 66, is a Vietnam War veteran who fought for his country and won the Silver Star but feels he has been forgotten here at home. He is just one of thousands of homeowners in and around New Orleans who is unable to pay for damages that remain from Hurricane Katrina.

Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Donald Trump Holds Fundraiser]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 16:36:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Donald+Trump+082815.jpg

Donald Trump spoke Friday evening during a fundraiser at the home of a famed New England car dealer.

Ernie Boch Jr. hosted the Republican frontrunner in Norwood, Massachusetts. More than 1,000 guests were charged $100 to attend, but the candidate insists this isn't about raising money.

"This is not a fundraiser tonight," he said.

In fact, Boch says the party is not an endorsement, either — he says he's curious about the candidate and wants to know more. He said he hopes his guests have fun and come away with a better understanding of Trump.

"Whether they like him, fine, if they hate him, fine. I'm not going to try to convince anybody to vote for him or not to vote for him," said Boch. "I just want to have him over here and up close and personal."

Outside the iron gates of the sprawling mega mansion, dozens of protesters gathered, hoping to point out that Trump is pro-life.

"We're going to hold him accountable," protester Christian Miron said. "Donald Trump opposes a woman's right to safe, legal abortion care."

But some women told necn they don't vote solely based on reproductive rights.

"There's so many other issues out there that are important," said one attendee. "I'm concerned about kids in the inner city getting better education, and I'm going to ask Mr. Trump about that today."

Boch added that he thinks Trump "could tone down on some of the stuff he says about women."

"I'm pro-choice. I'm socially liberal and fiscally conservative," he said.

And Trump did soften his tone when asked about female voters.

"I cherish women," he said. "My daughter and my wife said, 'You have to talk about that,' because they know how I feel."

He used the issue to fire a shot at fellow Republican candidate Jeb Bush.

"Bush said he didn't want to fund women's health issues, and then he came back a few hours later and said he misspoke," said Trump.

Asked why he often attacks Bush, Trump got another jab in.

"I would say Jeb Bush is a frequent target because when this whole thing started, I thought he was going to be the primary competition," said Trump. "He's drifted very much to the middle of the pack and he's rapidly disappearing, so we're going to have to start looking at somebody else."

He also addressed recent gun violence.

"We have a problem with mental health in this country," said Trump. "Whave to take care of people and we have to find out who these people are."

With his feud with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh fresh in everyone's memory, Trump was asked his thoughts on the local leader.

"Honestly, I don't know him. I don't know him. He said something nasty about me and then I said, 'You failed on the Olympics.' And he failed," said Trump. "I hope he does a great job as mayor, but I really don't know him."

From there, he segued less than seamlessly into something sure to gain the favor of Patriots fans.

"I do know Tom Brady, who's great, Bob Kraft, who's great, and Coach [Bill] Belichick, who's great. Those people I know, but those are real winners," said Trump. "Leave Tom Brady alone, right? We love Tom Brady!"

Brady's former teammate, offensive tackle Matt Light loves the Donald, too.

"I think that what most people want in this country is somebody that's going to be honest, they're going to be open, and they're going to say it the way they see it," said Light. "And I can't see anybody else but Donald Trump fitting that bill."

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Sheriff's Deputy Gunned Down at Gas Station]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 12:01:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/Harris+County+Presser.jpg


Authorities were questioning a person of interest Saturday in the "execution-style" shooting of a uniformed Texas sheriff's deputy, while warning that "dangerous rhetoric" against law enforcement has "gotten out of control," NBC News reported.


"We've heard black lives matter — all lives matter," a visibly angry Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman told reporters. "Well, cops' lives matter, too."

The emotional news conference came after Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren H. Goforth, 47, was shot Friday night after coming out of the convenience store of a Houston Chevron gas station.

Goforth had just filled his patrol car when a man "walked up behind him and literally shot him to death," Hickman said overnight.

During Saturday afternoon's news conference, officials pleaded for help from the public. Hickman said no one had been taken into custody, and asked for any witnesses of the shooting to come forward.

Photo Credit: NBC News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Thai Police Arrest Suspect in Bangkok Tourist Shrine Bombing]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 03:09:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sketch19.JPG

Police in Thailand arrested a suspect in the deadly Bankok bombing that killed 20 people at a crowded Shrine earlier this month.

National police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri told Reuters that the suspect fit the description of a man seen on a surveillance video leaving a backpack at the scene.

Thavornsiri added that police raided an apartment used by the suspect in northern Bangkok and discovered possible bomb-making materials.

The bomb detonated at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok's commercial center on Aug. 17, killing 20 and wounding dozens more.

Photo Credit: Deputy Police Chief, Royal Thai Police]]>
<![CDATA[Egypt Sentences Al-Jazeera Reporters to Prison]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 02:46:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/451087480.jpg

An Egyptian court sentenced three Al-Jazeera journalists to three years in prison in a long-running trial criticized by press freedom advocates worldwide.
Judge Hassan Farid said he issued his verdict in the retrial because the three journalists were not registered with the country's journalist syndicate, brought reporting equipment into the country without permission and were spreading "false news," Reuters reported.
The case against Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed was opened in the wake of the 2013 military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
Greste, who was deported in February and sentenced in absentia, wrote on Twitter that he was shocked, outraged, angry and upset. 
Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Qatar-based Al Jazeera, said that the "verdict defies logic and common sense." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Appoints First Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 01:50:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/obama+climate.JPG

President Barack Obama appointed the country's first special envoy for hostage affairs following a review of the government's current hostage policies, the White House announced on Friday.

Former State Department official Jim O'Brien will be tasked with "one overriding goal," according to Secretary of State John Kerry, to whom O'Brien will report: "using diplomacy to secure the safe return of Americans held hostage overseas." 

O'Brien will also communicate directly with the families of hostages—a response to criticism from families of American hostages who complained that the U.S. government left them in the dark.

O'Brien will be part of a "fusion cell" made up of officials from the FBI, the State Department, the Pentagon and CIA.

He previously worked as a presidential envoy to the Balkans during the 1990s and a senior adviser to former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sarah Palin Lobs Softballs at Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 01:03:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP342668398395.jpg

Sarah Palin hosted Republican candidates Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz on her show, "On Point with Sarah Palin," for a friendly interview Friday that steered clear of the tough questions they faced duing their first debate earlier this month.

Trump criticized the current tax code, calling it "a joke," and slammed the "horrible" treatment of the country's middle class and veterans, vowing to improve their lives. "If I win … believe me, the vets will be taken care of," he said. Palin did not prompt him to explain what he would change.

She invited Cruz and Bush to sound off on the recent controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood, Hillary Clinton's email server scandal and the proposed Iran nuclear deal, which Cruz called "profoundly dangerous to our country."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrans Officials Pull Out of Golf Tournament After Audit]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 22:35:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/191*120/08.28.15_Golfing-Generic-lagenerics.JPG

Three high-ranking Caltrans executives said Friday they will pull out of a charity golf tournament scheduled for next week in Orange County, just a day after a state audit found a Caltrans engineer had been golfing when he should have been at work.

The engineer's use of paid time was something state officials began looking into after another agency employee initially blew the whistle.

That engineer was playing golf for several hours rather than working on 55 of his scheduled days over a year and a half period, the audit found.

State Sen. John Moorlach (R-Irvine) criticized the agency after the report was released.

“If you have 3,500 employees too many what else is there to do? Why not play golf?” he asked.

The tournament scheduled for Monday will be held at the private Dove Canyon Country Club. It is a charity event for the California Transportation Foundation, a group that raises money for children of fallen Caltrans workers.

But Moorlach also questioned the timing of the executives playing in the tournament after the release of the state audit.

“You know, I don't mind that state employees participate in a golf tournament. I just think it’s inappropriate they do it on a work day,” he said.

Caltrans sent NBC4 a flier about the golf tournament which says "participation is voluntary on personal time."

The agency also said in a statement that all employees must fill out timesheets and activity logs, that "we expect a days work for a day’s pay."

But Moorlach said what the audit uncovered is a reflection of Caltrans' inability to cut costs and overhead.

“It's costing us three times the national average to build roads,” he said. “We've got $77,000 per mile in administrative costs and we have the fourth highest gas tax, but we have the worst roads in the country.”

Among those planning to attend golf tournament were Malcolm Dougherty, the director of Caltrans, and two of his executives. All three had planned to use vacation time.

Late Friday afternoon they announced they were pulling out completely.

“I say, ‘thank you,’ Moorlach said. “The right move.”

<![CDATA[Carson Gaining Support for NFL Football]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 14:49:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/04-24-2015-carson-nfl-stadium-4.jpg

City officials and other supporters gathered Friday in favor of a plan to secure an NFL stadium in Carson that could bring two new teams to the Southland.

Six mayors from neighboring cities joined a news conference where officials unveiled a large banner that read "Future Home of Professional Football" and renamed a street "Stadium Way" at the proposed site the location.

The project includes a 168-acre stadium property next to the 405 Freeway that could house the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.

In April, Carson lawmakers unanimously voted to approve a Chargers-Raiders plan to build and share a $1.7 billion football stadium just north of Carson's civic center.

The relocation of the teams is still under consideration by the NFL and requires NFL owners' approval. The decision is predicted for the end of the year or the beggining of next year.

"This is not just about Carson and pro football," said Carson Mayor Al Robles at Friday's news conference. "This is about bringing pro football back big-time to Southern California."

An NFL team has not played in the Los Angeles area since 1994, when the Raiders and Rams relocated.


City News Service contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Manica Architecture]]>
<![CDATA[Mountain Lion Tranquilized After Auto Body Shop Visit]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:03:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/8-28-15-mountain+lion.jpg

A mountain lion was tranquilized after it hid under a truck at an auto body shop in Acton on Friday.

The California Department of Fish and Game was called just before 9 a.m. about a big cat under a truck at an auto body shop at the 400 block of Sierra Highway.

Hank Barkefelt, a worker at the auto shop, said he was surprised by the large cat. "I walked in, just a regular routine... and he knocked me down and took off," Barkefelt said. " I was lucky, very lucky."

The cat hid under a car and then walked across a street. Agents tranquilized the 75-pound mountain lion so they could safely move her and release her back to her habitat.

The mountain lion, believed to be 3 years old, is thought to have come down during the night, according to Janice Mackey of the California Department of Fish and Game.

Photo Credit: Ed Frommer]]>
<![CDATA[Legionnaires Disease Confirmed at San Quentin Prison]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 22:14:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/211*120/prisonmain.PNG

San Quentin Prison officials on Friday confirmed at least one case of Legionnaires' disease on prison premises, located on the shore of San Francisco Bay just east of Larkspur.

Officials said one prisoner had undergone tests at a hospital outside the prison facility after falling sick The tests confirmed that he had the potentially life threatening disease. He is currently in stable condition, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.

Two more inmates were hospitalized after displaying symptoms and were transported to an outside hospital for pneumonia-like symptoms, but no officials diagnosis has been made.

San Quentin has temporarily halted inmate intake as the investigation continues.

Prison officials had shut off all water to the prison Thursday, including to showers, toilets, sinks and the kitchen. Prisoners could be seen lining up with jars to receive water on the prison grounds Friday from the NBC Bay Area chopper. Water stations and a line of porta potties were also spotted.

According to a statement from CDCR Friday afternoon, the prison will resume the use of plumbed toilets inside the facility’s housing units and monitored use of water for cooking after consulting with health experts. Water sources such as bottled water and water tanks will continue to be consumed until it is deemed safe to resume normal water use.

Currently around 30 inmates are ill and have symptoms associated with Legionnaires' disease. The inmates have not been confirmed to have Legionnaires disease and were only being treated as a precaution, Dana Simas from CDCR said. All unconfirmed cases are being treated at San Quentin’s on-site medical unit, Simas said.

The CDCR is working with Marin County Public Health to identify the source of the problem. The prison will keep bringing in water until the problem has been fixed, Simas said.

Most cases of legionellosis or Legionnaires’ disease are caused by Legionella pneumophila, but all species of Legionella can cause the disease, according to the CDC. People contract Legionnaires' disease when they breathe in a mist or vapor (small droplets of water in the air) that has been contaminated with Legionella bacteria, which grows in warm freshwater environments.

Person-to-person transmisison does not occur with Legionnaires’ disease, the CDC says.

A recent Legionnaires' disease outbreak in the south Bronx sickened more than 120 people, killing 12 of them. Officials in New York identified a cooling tower at the Opera House Hotel as the source of that outbreak.

The largest outbreak — 449 cases — ever reported was traced to a cooling tower on the roof of a city hospital in Murcia, Spain in 2001. The bacterium is named after a 1976 outbreak, when people who attended the American Legion convention in Philadelphia caught the disease.

An estimated 8,000 to 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires' disease each year in the U.S.

John Zuchelli and Torey Van Oot contributed reporting.

<![CDATA[Vin Scully to Return to the Booth in 2016]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 21:18:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/Screen+Shot+2015-08-28+at+7.49.21+PM.png

It happened in an instant, but it may just be the best news Dodgers fans have received in quite some time.

In between the top and bottom half of the second inning of the opening game between the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, team owner Magic Johnson appeared on the jumbotron in a prepared video stating that he had an announcement for the fans.

Suddenly, Johnson's image gave way to ABC Late Night host Jimmy Kimmel who revealed cue cards that read, "Vin Scully will be back for at least one more season."

The crowd at Dodger Stadium immediately erupted as the Hall of Fame broadcaster was shown on the screen.

Scully, who turns 88 in November, has been calling Dodgers games since 1950 and next season will be his 67th with the team. Scully currently holds the longest streak of any broadcaster in all of sports to be with one team.

"I talked it over with my wife, Sandi, and my family and we've decided to do it again in 2016," Scully said. "There's no place like home and Dodger Stadium and we look forward to being a part of it with all our friends.

There was much speculation over the past few weeks as to whether or not Scully would return. Scully has taken a lesser role with the team in recent years, opting to not travel to the east coast and on most away games.

However, Scully has always said that if he was healthy enough to call the games and felt like he was still effective, then he would continue to remain in the booth.

Scully's year-by-year announcement means he will return to the booth in 2016, and beyond will still be in question. More than likely, Scully will continue to call games in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Arizona for SportsNetLA.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>