<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usSun, 26 Mar 2017 08:18:13 -0700Sun, 26 Mar 2017 08:18:13 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Person in Custody After Armed Standoff With SWAT]]> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 08:10:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/canyoncountry-standoff-sunday.jpg

A person armed with a handgun who held of SWAT in a barricade Sunday overnight for hours was taken into custody and the Canyon Country neighborhood deemed safe.

At around 1 a.m., the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Santa Clarita station received a family disturbance call in the 15200 block of Poppy Meadow Street.

When the person brought out a handgun amid the disturbance, the wife and another family member related to the person ran from the home and called 911.

The armed person did not respond to SWAT commands.

By 7:15 a.m., the person was taken into custody and the neighborhood was safe, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station said.

Photo Credit: Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Empire State Building Dims for Earth Hour]]> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 08:00:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/empire-state-building-earth.jpg

The lights of the Empire State Building went dim Saturday for Earth Hour. 

New York City's iconic skyscraper went dark from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to bring attention to climate change. 

Landmarks across the globe, including the Eiffel Tower and the Acropolis, are dimmed at 8:30 p.m. local time. 

Earth Hour began in Syndey in 2007 and spread worldwide under WWF. 

This year, people are also encouraged to "go dark" on their Facebook page

Photo Credit: NBC New York]]>
<![CDATA[100 Iconic Marilyn Monroe Photos Up for Auction ]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:59:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Monroe-5-edit.jpg More than 100 Marilyn Monroe photos featuring the iconic star's early Hollywood career will be sold through Julien's Auctions online collection in an auction that ends Sunday.

Photo Credit: Julien's Auctions/Douglas Kirkland ]]>
<![CDATA[Local Nonprofit Raises Money for Free Hospice Care]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 20:08:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/OCHH.jpg

As the sun set at Sherwood Country Club Friday, amidst the giggly chatter and bottomless bubbly, an uncomfortable topic; death.

"Without this annual event, we can’t operate," said Our Community House of Hope founder, Teresa Wilson, who helped carefully craft an evening of fundraising big dollars for such a heavy topic.

With the eyes and ears of 250 potential donors in the room, the nonprofit hospice care has Jordan Snyder share his story. Wiping away tears, he speaks of his 66-year-old father, who died of lung cancer last week. He was in the care of OCHH.

"In the last few days, my mother and father, who never spoke, shared an emotional kiss," Snyder said. "My father belched out in tears. I was in shock. This wouldn’t happen in a place where patients share rooms with others."

The hospice care in Thousand Oaks can take four patients at a time and costs $35,000 a month to operate.

But this year, for the first time since the non-profit was founded in 2007, the founders have started charging families $150 per day for care.

“Our fundraising efforts in the past have been successful. But we need more,” Wilson said, adding that they will never turn a family away who cannot pay.

And, that comes at a cost.

"The caregivers are our biggest expense, and the rent," Wilson said. "We’re crossing our fingers that someone buys us a house this year."

The fundraiser left OCHOH feeling hopeful. By the end of the evening they raised an estimated $140,000, up $25,000 from last year.

Photo Credit: Marin Austin ]]>
<![CDATA[13 People Taken to Hospital for 'Unknown Illness' in Yucaipa]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 23:18:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/161*120/170325-yucaipa-incident.JPG

Approximately 20 people reported an "unknown illness" at the Oak Glen Christian Conference Center in Yucaipa on Saturday evening.

Crews from Cal Fire San Bernardino and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department were called to the Christian conference center located on the 39000 block of Oak Glen Road around 8:20 p.m., fire officials said.

Nearly two dozen people were overcome with an "unknown illness" and 13 people were taken to the hospital for treatment, according to Debbie Chapman of Cal Fire.

The ages and conditions of the victims were not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Cal Fire San Bernardino ]]>
<![CDATA[LA Kings on Brink of Playoff Elimination]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 22:24:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/199*120/Kings+Fall+to+Rangers.png

The Kings playoff chances are sinking faster than you can say, "Go Kings Go!"

Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh, and Rick Nash all scored as the New York Rangers shutout the Los Angeles Kings 3-0, on Saturday night at Staples Center.

L.A. needs every point they can pick up as their chances of making the NHL playoffs continue to sink with every loss they receive.

As of Saturday night, the Kings would need to win five more games in their final eight than the St. Louis Blues who have a favorable schedule down the stretch with two games each against the Coyotes and Avalanche. 

Once again, it was the offense that failed the Kings on Saturday night. New York's All-Star goalie, Henrik Lundqvist was out with an injury, and the Kings offense could not conjure a goal against backup goalie Antti Raanta.

"We had our chances and we didn't score. That's been a problem for us all year long," said the Kings best offensive player this season, Jeff Carter. "If I knew why, we wouldn't be in this situation, but when you don't score, you don't win too many games."

Raanta made 30 saves, shutting out the Kings for the 10th time this season despite L.A. firing more shots than the Rangers, 30 to 20.

After a scoreless first period, Stepan put the Rangers on the board when he knocked Brendan Smith's shot that bounced off the boards and right to Stepan on the left side of the net.

New York made it 2-0 in the third period just four seconds after Andy Andreoff was put in the penalty box for a double-minor for a high-stick to the face of Pavel Buchnevich. The Rangers captain blasted a slap shot as soon as the power play started and the puck bounced between Jonathan Quick's legs and into the net for the goal.

Nash added an empty-net goal late in the third period, it was his 21st of the season.

Quick took the loss, stopping just 17 shots. Kings' center Johnny Brodzinski made his NHL debut and attempted three shots on goal.

"We lost. That seems to be happening a lot lately," said Quick. "We just have to try and win the next one and not worry about the standings."

The loss puts the Kings nine points behind the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference with just eight games remaining in the season.


The Kings travel to Canada for a three-game road trip against Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver next week.

Please refresh this page for more stats, updates and player reactions…

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill]]>
<![CDATA[Photos: Pepper Spray and Punches at Trump Rally ]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 20:55:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/MAGA+Rally1.JPG An estimated 2,000 people people gathered in Huntington Beach Saturday for a "Make America Great Again" march and rally that turned violent.

Photo Credit: Troy McLaurin]]>
<![CDATA[Storage Plans For San Onofre Nuclear Waste Still Uncertain]]> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 07:49:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/San+onofre+nuclear+0622.jpg

Attorney Michael Aguirre calls the upcoming court hearing on the disposition of the nuclear waste at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station the “most consequential legal issue in San Diego history.”

The central question of the hearing, the former San Diego City Attorney said, is: “Should the court allow burial of 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste, expected to last thousands of years, on a San Diego beach?”

Both sides of the argument have filed numerous documents in preparation for the April 14 hearing before San Diego Superior Court Judge Judith Hayes.

Aguirre is asking the court to order the California Coastal Commission to revoke the permit they issued Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nuclear plant’s owners, to bury the waste on the property of the now-shuttered plant.

In the latest court filings on the case, Aguirre argues the Commission’s original hearing was unfair and its approval has created a dangerous situation in regards to the location of where the waste will be buried and how it will be buried.

Both the Commission and SCE have said they are employing sound planning and the best science to ensure the radioactive waste is safely buried.

To learn more about the storage plans, click here.

In October of 2015, the Coastal Commission approved a twenty year permit for the storage of 3.6 million pounds of radioactive waste above San Onofre State Beach. The Commission says the “concrete monolith” the materials will be buried in provides the best possible solution.


Aguirre and others are critical of the plan.


Specifically, Aguirre questions SCE’s plan to remove the remaining nuclear waste out of the cooling pools and place it in 100 stainless steel dry casks in a cement pad, just north of the two domes on the closed nuclear power plants property.  


Critics have said there will be no monitoring of temperature and humidity that could influence corrosion and degradation of the canisters. Most experts agree though that the radioactive materials have to be moved out the pools where the material is far more susceptible to outside forces like earthquakes, tsunamis and or a terrorist attack.


According to SCE, if all goes as planned, the radioactive fuel will be coming out of the pools in January 2018. This was originally scheduled to take place next month but has been pushed back.


SCE, which owns the plant along with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), has said the waste will be safely stored in what’s called the Holtec HI-STORM UMAX system, otherwise known as an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation. The power company assumes the Department of Energy will take custody of all the spent nuclear fuel in 2049.


Aguirre told NBC 7 “Just like the steam generators, they are charging ahead without considering the consequences.” He is referring to the steam generators that failed and eventually led to the closure of the plant.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Cuddle Cot Aims to Give Grieving Families More Time ]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 20:22:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/259*120/CuddleCot.jpg

Christina Browning wanted more time. When her daughter Maddison was delivered stillborn after 43 hours of labor in November 2011, Browning had just three hours with her infant daughter before Maddison’s body began to deteriorate.

Now Browning is channeling her grief to help other families in need. This week Browning donated a Cuddle Cot to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where Maddison was born. The refrigerated bassinet helps preserve a baby’s body after death.

"When your child dies … that’s it, that’s the end and I want people to be able to remember their babies the way they want to remember them," Browning told NBC4. 

About 24,000 babies are born stillborn in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Browning began fundraising on what would have been Maddison’s fifth birthday.

A Cuddle Cot costs nearly $3,000 and in February Browning met her fundraising goal.

Hospital officials said this will be the first and only Cuddle Cot to be available at a birthing hospital in Los Angeles County.

The cot case includes a commemorative plaque with Maddison’s name and the date she was born stillborn. The inscription reads: "If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever."

"I want to be able to honor her," Browning said of Maddison.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Special Needs Kids Take Laps in Sky at Fly Day Event]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 19:11:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2017-03-25-15h34m18s596.png

It was a Saturday filled with fun for kids, families, and aviators at the San Diego Jet Center who shared their love for all things flight.

The nonprofit organization, Challenge Air for Kids & Friends, Inc. (Challenge Air), hosted the “Fly-Day” event for children and young adults with special needs. The event was created in the hopes giving special needs children an unforgettable experience through the gift of flight.

Fly Days is a community-driven program that brings together special needs children, ground crew volunteers and volunteer pilots to provide them with the gift of flight and share their love of aviation.

Kids were escorted one by one down a red carpet and greeted by a plane. After taking some pictures in the cockpit with their co-pilots, it was time for takeoff.

San Diego Jet Center pilot and local air traffic controller Ian Lewis is a frequent flyer and often takes his family on rides through the clouds. Lewis said it's his pleasure to give back whenever he can.

"Anytime you can give an opportunity to kids that otherwise wouldn't get that opportunity, to come up and have the experience of a lifetime is memorable," Lewis said.

"A lot of what we do here in aviation, and in life in general, is based on assimilation," Lewis added. "Kids have to be able to see themselves doing something. If they can see themselves doing it, it's that much easier for them to accomplish that task when faced with the opportunity."

Challenge Air Co-Pilots agree.

One of Lewis' many passengers at the event were Michelle and her dad. More excited than afraid, Michelle didn't bat an eye when Lewis asked if she was ready to fly the plane herself.

At the end of their run, kids received a Fly Day Co-Pilot Certificate congratulating them on their freedom flight completion.

Fly Day events are hosted in 10 different cities throughout the United States. Challenge Air says their mission is to to change the attitudes of children with disabilities into attitudes of kids with capabilities.

Fly-Day is happening Saturday, March 25, at Brown Field from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is open to the public and is free for children and young adults with special needs.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Survey: Foreign Students Not Applying to American Colleges]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 19:02:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-496556750.jpg

Application and acceptance season is underway at America's colleges and universities. But this year, some institutions of higher learning may see a noticeable dip in attendance from one group purposely choosing to stay home: foreign students.

Applications from international students from countries such as China, India and in particular, the Middle East, are down this year at nearly 40 percent of schools that answered a recent survey by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

The number of foreign students topped 1 million for the first time in 2016. They generated some $32 billion dollars in revenue, which supported more than 400,000 jobs, according to the Association of International Educators.

Some education professionals warn a drop in international students could lead to faculty cuts, higher tuition and the loss of programs.

Photo Credit: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Group Vandalizes Menorah at SDSU's Chabad House]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 18:47:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sdsu+chabad+house+menorah+bright+0324.jpg

The menorah that stands on the lawn outside of San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Chabad House was damaged Friday morning by a group of men using one of its lower arms as a pull up bar, multiple witnesses tell NBC 7.

Chalom Boujnah, the resident rabbi at the Chabad House, says the group showed up to the house, located on the corner of Montezuma Road and Rockford Drive, shortly after midnight and began doing pull ups on the lower left arm of the menorah.

“I could hear three people egging the one person on and he was doing pull ups on the menorah. They were saying you know it is sacrilege, it is sacrilege. As they were leaving, they were saying the Jews are coming,” explains Omer Zalmanowitz.

Omer’s roommate was upstairs capturing it all on his cell phone. He said he could hear the group talking about a scavenger hunt, and asking people to take pictures of them in front of the menorah as proof they were there.

“We have a feeling that it is more like fraternity initiation or some sort of organization that have this type of mission”, said Adam Lavie, who witnessed the entire event.

Lavie said the group returned a total of three times within an hour. It was the third time the left arm of the menorah was broken.

Now the residents of the Chabad House are left with the task of replacing the menorah at a time when they aren’t easy to find. The menorah is usually used during Hanukkah celebrations in December.

A police report was filed. San Diego Police said at this time the incident is being investigated as ana ct of vandalism, not as a hate crime.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Bill Would Require State Colleges to Provide Abortions]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:32:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/College-student-generic-bac.jpg

A new bill might allow students at California's public universities and colleges to receive medical abortion pills at student health centers, NBC4's media partner KPCC reports.

The bill — currently in the California legislature — would require all public universities and community colleges in the state to provide the pregnancy-ending pills.

A medical abortion ends pregnancy in the early stages and requires taking two pills: mifepristone and misoprostol. The first pill stops the pregnancy from developing and the second causes bleeding that empties the uterus. Both drugs are included on the World Health Organization's Model List of Essential Medicines.

The bill introduced by Sen. Connie Leyva (D- Chino) would require the 10 University of California campuses, 23 Cal State University schools and around 70 community colleges that have student health centers to provide the pills. Leyva said increasing accessibility to the medication is an important step.

"If you have to travel off campus in order to receive this medication it’s going to be too costly, sometimes it’s too far to go, and it’s already a stressful situation," she told KPCC.

Read more at KPCC 

<![CDATA[Ranunculus Now: Flower Fields Abloom]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 13:51:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/flowerfieldsmarch25.jpg

In these heady days of flower-related sightings, blossom buffs are staying focused on a few key points before setting out to find the petals they seek.

One? A detailed map, one that pinpoints the location of a sudden blanket of wildflowers, is a plus. And two? When it comes to photographs shared on social media, the kind of photographs that inspire a day trip, flower finders want to know one thing in particular: The exact date on the snapshot.

Because flowers, whether wild or cultivated, don't hang around for long, and if a photo was taken two weeks back, the pretty petals in the frame may have since vamoosed.

So check out the dates on the most recent photographs shared by The Flower Fields in Carlsbad. Nope, these are not wildflowers, but carefully tended ranunculus buds, and there is an admission to enter the attraction should you wish to get closer to all of that saturated color.

It's saturated color, though, that's much sought after by many springtime lovers around Southern California. And the newest photos, which are dated Saturday, March 25, are bound to please people who've been waiting for the flowers to start hitting peak blossom.

Certainly many of the ranunculi seen in the March 25 snaps are doing just that. The Facebook post also includes a promise that "(i)t's only going to be better tomorrow!" as far as the bloom goes, meaning Sunday, March 26 will draw oodles of devotees who long to see the once-a-year sight.

There are a few photos up on Facebook showing the splendid petal action in Carlsbad, so eye all and decide if this is your year, and your moment, to commune with the famous Carlsbad ranunculi.

It needn't be said, but we'll say it: You'll want your camera nearby if you go.

The Flower Fields are open daily through Mother's Day 2017, which is on Sunday, May 14.

Photo Credit: The Flower Fields]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: CicLAvia, Culver City-Venice]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:35:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ciclaviaculvertovenice17.jpg

CicLAvia: How to appropriately honor the close of the first week of spring? You can leap through some daffodils, or blow some bubbles, or you can hop on your bicycle and ride between Venice and Culver City. Six miles of major streetage — hello Venice, hello Washington — will say "nope" to cars as cyclists, skaters, saunterers, and cartwheelers take to the asphalt, for free. Will people really cartwheel between Culver City and Venice on Sunday, March 26? It's an act as zingy as spring. Also zingy? CicLAvia is totally free.

Free LA Opera Open House: Ohhh, the Drama, capital D, hoo boy. And the longing looks, high notes, complicated love affairs, and eternal arias. Want to know the opera world a bit better, or meet it for the first time? There's an annual open house for that, one that takes people, adults and kids alike, on a costume-cool, wig-amazing, peek-backstage adventure. The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is the stunning setting, of course, the must-do list is lengthy (live singing performances are absolutely a part), and Sunday, March 26 is the date.

Vegan Street Fair: Summer is so tantalizingly close at hand, and yet? The major foodie on-the-boulevard bashes aren't yet a thing. Except, asterisk, this one, in North Hollywood, a late-morning-to-early-evening edible-tacular that's all about yummy eats based upon an array of plants. There's a beer garden, too, and an easy-to-reach spot: Chandler Boulevard, right near the North Hollywood Metro stop. Date/time? 11 a.m./Sunday, March 26 

Silent Film, Live Score: If you've always wanted to see Mexico's famous "El Autómovil Gris," a film that'll turn 100 in only two years, and you've longed to see it with tunes played right there, near the screen, you're in some luck: The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana has your rare chance on Saturday, March 25. Troker is at the instruments, doing the live score presentation, and the early-cinematic thrills are up on the big screen.

Earth Hour: Where will you be at 8:29 on Saturday, March 25? You might be standing near a lamp, with your hand on the switch, ready to shut it off for the following 60 minutes. For Earth Hour, at points around the planet, reminding humans of what it means to care for the planet. This means a number of big sites will go fully dark, including the Pacific Wheel at Santa Monica Pier. Of course, you can observe at home, too, by dimming the illumination in honor of the important moment.

Photo Credit: CicLAvia]]>
<![CDATA[Dems Take Aim at Trump Transparency With 'MAR-A-LAGO' Act]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:26:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_16327026097462-mar-a-lago.jpg

Democrats want to give President Donald Trump a transparency check in the form of a new bill with a mouthful of a name — and an acronym that takes an unsubtle dig at the president, NBC News reported. 

The "Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act" — or MAR-A-LAGO Act — would require the Trump administration to disclose the names of anyone who visits the White House or "any other location at which the President or the Vice President regularly conducts official business." 

The legislation, introduced in the House and Senate on Friday, calls for the creation of a publicly available database to be updated every 90 days.

Democrats said the move is necessary after visitor access records on the official White House website have not been updated since Trump took office, according to NBC News.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Vecaro LifeStyle Recalls Hoverboards Due to Fire Hazard]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 01:48:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/recalled-hoverboard.jpg

Three different types of Vecaro brand self-balancing scooters have been recalled, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The recall impacts the Glide 65, Drift 8 and Trek 10 scooters after at least three reports of the hoverboards smoking. Hoverboards have one wheel at each end of a platform and are powered by lithium-ion battery packs.

The lithium-ion battery packs in the self-balancing scooters/hoverboards can overheat, posing a risk of smoking, catching fire and/or exploding.

No injuries or property damage have been reported.

The hoverboards come in black, white, red, blue, gold, silver, graffiti print and flame print.

The products were sold at The Audio Shop and Stereo Zone in California and online at VecaroLifeStyle.com from November 2015 through November 2016 for between $300 and $400.

If you have one of these self-balancing scooters, you should stop using them and contact Vecaro for a free repair or a credit toward another product.

If you’re thinking of buying a hoverboard, the safety commission says you need to look for a mark or label that reads "underwriters laboratories standard UL 2272." That's the highest safety standard.

And if you do have a hoverboard that hasn't been recalled, here are three things you can do as a precaution:

  • Do not charge them overnight.
  • Do not charge them unattended.
  • Have working smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher nearby.

For more information on the recalled products, contact Vecaro toll-free at 855-637-4061 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at www.VecaroLifeStyle.com and click on Recall Notice at the bottom of the page for more information.

Photo Credit: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Makes Last-Minute Proposal to Keep Raiders]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:13:44 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/raiders-vegas.jpg

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is making last-minute attempts to keep the Raiders in the Bay Area.

Schaaf said Friday the city has presented the National Football League with a plan to build a new stadium using private funds.

"It lays it all out. It answers all the questions," Schaaf said. "The only question that remains is will the Raiders choose Oakland and stay home?"

Schaaf said a last-minute proposal to build a new stadium in Oakland was sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week.

"This is a better plan for the Raiders and the league than the plan in Las Vegas," Schaaf said.

The proposed new Oakland stadium would be built on 55 acres south of the Coliseum. The land is available immediately, according to Schaaf.

Renderings show a possible $1.3 billion stadium with  $600 million already secured through private funds from the Fortress Investment Group and NFL Hall of Famer and 49ers legend Ronnie Lott.

Schaaf said the Oakland proposal could be $700 million less than building in Nevada.

But it might be too late.

"It's frustrating that it has to come to this," said Chris Dobbins with Save Oakland Sports.

Fans fear the rumors that NFL owners will approve the Raiders' relocation to Las Vegas when they gather for annual meetings in Phoenix and vote on Monday.

"Normally one would not call a vote if you don't have the votes," Dobbins said.

Schaaf said at the end of the day, the Raiders are a privately-owned team and it is up to them if they would like to stay in Oakland.

"This is a decision that rests in the hands of Mark Davis, as well as the ownership of the NFL," Schaaf said.

Raiders owner Mark Davis needs 24 of the 32 NFL owners to sanction the team's third move in 35 years.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Aims to Close Community Center Flood Shelter]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:22:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/damian8.jpg

The city of San Jose has informed displaced flood victims staying at the "Seven Trees Community Center" that it plans to close the makeshift shelter on April 10, NBC Bay Area has learned.

Some of the 60 remaining residents expressed concern they would be left with no place to go after "losing everything."

The shelter was set up after the February flooding and essentially run by the Red Cross and the group "Home First."

San Jose's manager for homeless response, Ray Bramson, told NBC Bay Area that April 10 is the goal date to find alternative housing for the victims.

He says the city is working with Catholic Charities' and other community groups to find new places for the current shelter residents to live.

Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Statewide Tobacco Store Survey Reports Spike in E-Cigarettes]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:25:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/storefront3.jpg

A statewide survey set out to analyze the availability of healthy and unhealthy products around California revealed what some health officials report as a concerning trend in the availability of e-cigarettes.

For example, in San Mateo County, the survey found that the majority of stores carry liquor, e-cigarettes and cigarillos for less than the price of a candy bar – but not fruits and vegetables. 

"I think there are several reasons that we need to look further into," said Edith Cabuslay, a program services manager at San Mateo County Health System. "One of them is because e-cigarettes are unregulated. There aren't many restrictions to having them available in the community."

While 65 percent of stores selling cigarillos was a nearly 10 percent drop in availability since the last survey in 2013, the availability of e-cigarettes jumped from 31 to 54 percent of surveyed stores in San Mateo County.

Cabuslay said she was concerned with numbers indicating that local retail pharmacies are selling tobacco at a greater rate than the statewide average.

"Pharmacies, you know, trying to promote health, keeping people healthy and cigarettes are kind of against that," Half Moon Bay pharmacist Andrew Lai said. "It’s kind of hypocritical for a pharmacy that supposed to be promoting good health to be selling cigarettes or e-cigarettes." 

His store was one of a handful awarded by the county for their decision to never carry tobacco products. 

Part of the Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community campaign, the survey also looked at advertising trends. 

Storefront advertising was deemed less healthy locally than it was just three years prior with about 61 percent of advertisements designated as marketing "unhealthy" products and 9 percent deemed marketing for "healthy" products 

Cabuslay said that stores in closer proximity to schools had a higher amount of unhealthy advertising, a concern for her as a health official.

"Retailers play a very important role in our communities. They are our access to fruits and vegetables and other healthy products," Cabuslay said. "They play a key role in making sure we continue to be a healthy community in San Mateo County."

Just three years ago, 54 percent of surveyed stores in San Mateo County carried low or non-fat milk while just 37 percent of stores are now choosing to carry them.

"It’s something that we want to look further into, better understand why retailers might be more likely to sell unhealthy products than healthy products," said Cabuslay.

However, she imagines the short stock life and profit-margins of those healthier items play a role in the decision-making.

"[The study] is definitely a step in the right direction," Lai said. 

Photo Credit: Rebecca Greenway
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<![CDATA[Man Suspected in 9 Attempted Kidnappings Pleads Not Guilty]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:57:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Escondido+kidnapping+suspect+in+custody.jpg

A cyber security specialist suspected of attempting to kidnap at least nine young women in San Diego's North County pleaded not guilty on Thursday.

Spicer Van Allen Conant, 46, faces 16 felony charges including several counts of kidnap, attempted kidnap, contact with a minor with attempt to kidnap, as well  as possession of an unlawful assault rifle.

The prosecuting attorney, Garrett Wong told NBC 7 the contact with these women and young girls began back in May of last year. 

Wong argued in court Thursday, "Mister Conant, was clearly targeting young juveniles while they were at the school." 

But defense attorney Michael Earl argued the alleged kidnappings will be tough to prove in court.

"Kidnapping requires that you take someone against their will with force and fear," stated Earl. "And then after you take them with force and fear, they go a substantial distance. That didn't occur in any of these cases."

Police say he's contacted nine females--seven of them were minors. In each incident, he would ask for directions and then offer the women and girls money to get into his car.

Only two out of the nine females got into his car.

On Monday night, Escondido resident Totis Rodriguez, 27, was walking on Broadway near a Del Taco when Spicer Van Allen Conant, 46, approached her. He was parked in the lot near the eatery and Rodriguez said he blocked her in with his red convertible.

“I walked away from him and he said, ‘Do you need a ride?’ I said, ‘No, thank you,’” Rodriguez recalled. “He said, ‘Hop in, I’ll take you.’”

The stranger’s persistence didn’t sit well with Rodriguez.

“[I said], ‘No, no, no, no, thank you,’ and I panicked,” she added. “I was frightened, I was. I was frightened.”


Rodriguez said Conant “seemed like a normal guy” at first, but things turned.

“At the beginning, I thought it was okay. He was very vulnerable, nice – needs help. But, then his tone of voice changed and he wouldn’t let me walk through where I needed to walk through,” she said.

Thinking fast, Rodriguez grabbed her phone from her back pocket and snapped two photos of Conant. She memorized his license plate.

Rodriguez said a friend had warned her about this man in the area earlier on. That same friend encouraged her to call police to report her strange encounter with him.

She did just that.

One day later, Conant was arrested in Escondido.

After identifying him as a suspect in the attempted kidnapping of Rodriguez and other young women in the area, investigators placed Conant under surveillance.

He asked her for directions, then asked where she was headed.

On Tuesday, officers followed Conant as he drove to Escondido. Conant approached a group of five young women, most of them minors. Again, he asked for directions.


One woman, an 18-year-old, got into his car. At that point, fearing for the young woman’s safety, police officers pulled Conant over on 13th Avenue and Escondido Boulevard and arrested him on suspicion of attempted kidnapping.

While searching Conant’s red car, police found an illegal assault-style rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammunition in the trunk.

Another victim, Escondido mom Kirstin Rangel, told NBC 7 Conant approached her on Mission Avenue last spring to ask her for directions. She also described feeling “scared” during her encounter with him.

The EPD said Conant also allegedly approached a 15-year-old girl on Fig Street and Washington Avenue on May 9, 2016. She got away. Later that same day, he tried to offer a 16-year-old girl $10 for directions to the freeway. That girl got into his car but after driving with Conant for a few blocks, she got nervous and began texting someone. Conant dropped her off and drove away.

On March 15, Conant allegedly approached an 11-year-old girl as she walked to Mission Middle School, again asking for directions. She ignored him and walked away.

The EPD said investigators have reached out to other law enforcement agencies across San Diego County to determine if Conant targeted any other young victims in this manner. 

The investigation is ongoing.

He is facing up to 21 years in prison on convicted on all charges.

His bail is set at $2 million.

Photo Credit: NBC 7
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<![CDATA[CA Lawmakers, Scripps CEO React to Scrap of Health Care Vote]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:37:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-657423714.jpg

Hours after Republicans pulled the vote in the House of Representatives on their bill to replace Obamacare Friday, local congressmen and senators weighed in on why the bill failed to garner enough support.

Democratic Senator Kamala Harris gave a speech earlier this week in opposition to the bill.

In a statement Friday she said:

“This is a testament to the millions of Americans who stood up and spoke out to reject the idea that health care is a privilege and not a right. This sends a clear message to President Trump and Republicans. We will not cut the deficit by cutting care. We will not give tax breaks to insurers while giving higher medical bills to patients. We will not tell seniors, cancer patients, and women, ‘you’re on your own.’ Our constituents sent us to Washington to help improve the lives of all Americans, whether we’re Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. It’s time we do that.”

Congresswoman Karen Bass, a Democract representing LA, said in her statement that Democrats will keep standing up for people with pre-existing conditions and make sure that the marketplace provides coverage for those who need it. Her statement reads in part:

“Through the president’s proud negotiating tactics, the People’s House was left today to deliberate on a rushed bill that would have been more expensive than the president’s initial draft, yet still manage to abandon the same 24 million Americans by 2026. The pulling of this bill reflects the White House’s devastating inexperience and the inability of the Republican Party to effectively govern this body. I hope that the past weeks have sent the White House a strong message on behalf of the American people about their plans for the future of health care in our country.”

Democratic Rep. Susan Davis called the failure a “victory for the American people and our democracy,” in her statement. “It’s a testament to the power of the American people to have their voices heard on a bill that would have directly impacted their lives. I hope they will continue to weigh in and show this administration that its reckless policies will not pass muster with them. Clearly the American people didn't buy the Art of Repeal. The president just learned that health care's not just business - it's personal when people's lives are at stake.”

Democratic Rep. Juan Vargas called the failed bill “disastrous” and said it looks like it might be the beginning of the end of the Trump agenda.

“The Deal-Maker-in-Chief wasn’t able to deliver on one of his key promises,” Vargas said in the statement. “I’m glad they pulled the bill. Hopefully, this means that my Republican colleagues acknowledged how disastrous Trumpcare would be for millions of people across the country. It's time for us to come together to find bipartisan solutions and make improvements to our health care system that will lower costs and increase access to quality, equitable and affordable health care for all Americans."

Republican Congressman Darrell Issa said the millions of Americans who had their insurance plans cancelled and and suffered premium hikes under Obamacare are depending on lawmakers repealing and replacing the law.

“We must deliver relief from this law and return choice back to the people, however the [American Health Care Act] was an imperfect approach and I believe that we can do better,” he said in his statement. Issa said they will "go back to the drawing board” to get it right for Americans worried about rising costs.


Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder also made a statement regarding the pulling of the bill. He said the political fight has created a lot of uncertainty in the health care industry, but said that maintaining the status quo isn’t a good option either. His statement reads in full:

“Now that Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have pulled the new health care bill, the obvious question is what will happen next.

Clearly this is far from being over. The political battle waged over the last two months has created a great deal of uncertainty for everyone in the health care industry, including health care providers like Scripps Health.

At the same time, maintaining the status quo isn’t an attractive option. While extending insurance coverage to millions of more Americans under the Affordable Care Act has been a great accomplishment, we can all agree that the original legislation has some flaws that need to be addressed.

Perhaps this pause in the partisan firestorm in Washington offers the perfect opportunity to find consensus in this incredibly important debate.

I believe these priorities offer the keys to success: Making sure as many Americans as possible have insurance coverage; ensuring that coverage is affordable; and giving health care providers a seat at the table to hammer out the details since we are the ones who better understand the downstream impact of health reform legislation.

Just as Obamacare represented the will of the Democrats, Trumpcare or Ryancare represents the interests of the Republicans. Such partisan-based approaches will always be handicapped by the opposite party’s out-of-hand rejection.

Instead, we should all be joining forces to create AmericasCare – legislation based on compromise and flexibility.

Acting in a truly bipartisan effort will provide a foundation to sustain the provisions of a health care law for years to come and to fix the inevitable problems that will surface as we move from political legislation to real-world experience. And it will move us closer than ever to the goals we all share – insurance coverage for all Americans, better access to care and improved quality.”

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Sisters Speak for the First Time of Their Mother's Murder]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:28:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/kimberly+williams+and+daughters.PNG

Kimberly Williams was artistic and creative.

Her two daughters told NBC 7 Friday about the strong bond they shared with their mother and a project they're working on to preserve her legacy.

Williams and her brother were killed last week in a double-murder suicide at their Vista home by her ex-boyfriend.

Her daughters said their mother found inspiration from The Ulta Vista Botanical Garden for planting exotic species of plants in her own back yard. 

It is just one location where the Williams sisters are negotiating a memorial garden space to plant their mother's legacy.

"She was absolutely 100 percent fearless,” Kimberly’s daughter Candace said.

To daughters Candace and Victoria, their home, 100 years in the family, was once the safest, most comfortable place they ever knew. It has always been a gathering place for friends.

"You would come with your problems or come with your joy and she would be there right there sharing in it with you,” Candace said.

Here Kimberly practiced her passion. She grew peculiar plant species.

"It was bringing new life into the world, it was another challenge to make something grow nobody else could,” Kimberly’s daughter Victoria said.

Kimberly was gunned down with her brother Travis Whit last week. Investigating Sheriff's detectives say, ex-boyfriend, Richard Contreras shot both of them then turned the gun on himself.

“I didn't want it to be real. It didn't feel real. It still doesn't feel real,” Victoria said.

The Williams sisters are meeting the challenge of a future without their mother head on. They are raising money to create a memorial garden for Kimberly.

It is a way to commemorate a life as beautiful as the seeds she sowed.

"A piece of property where you could just be. A spot where you could sit and remember, sit and enjoy the beauty,” Candace said.

The memorial service for Travis Whitt was Friday afternoon. Family and friends are gathering in Oceanside to commemorate the life of Kimberly Williams with a paddle out Saturday.

If you would like to contribute to the Williams Memorial Garden fund you can do so at this gofundme page.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>