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    Jeremy Kappell, who was fired as chief meteorologist at NBC affiliate WHEC in Rochester, said he made what sounded like a racial slur on accident by tripping on his words and never got the chance to publicly apologize before he was let go over the weekend. Kappell has since taken to Facebook to apologize.

    Kappell told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday that he was talking too fast during a recent forecast while trying to pronounce Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s name. "This is the way it looked out in Martin Luther c--- King Jr. Park," he had said on air Friday. Kappell said he had "mashed together incorrectly" the words "king" and "junior."

    Kappell was fired after outrage grew online, including from Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren. Kappell also has supporters, including NBC's Al Roker and Craig Melvin who both said it seemed Kappell had flubbed.

    "For him to be called a racist — it just makes me very sad. I was sickened. We teach our children the message of loving others,” Kappell's wife, Lisa, told "Today."

    Similar on-air slip-ups — involving the same word — have also happened with two other local weathermen and a former ESPN host, "Today" reported. 


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

    An image of Jeremy Kappell.An image of Jeremy Kappell.

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    In a tweet Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump again threatened to cut off funding to California from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, citing concerns over forest management.

    "Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest [sic] fires that, with proper Forrest Management [sic], would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money," the president tweeted.

    It wasn't immediately clear if he had signed an order to FEMA. NBC has reached out to FEMA and the White House for comment.

    Soon after the president's tweet, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., tweeted, "Californians endured the deadliest wildfire in our state's history last year. We should work together to mitigate these fires by combating climate change, not play politics by threatening to withhold money from survivors of a deadly natural disaster."

    Gov. Gavin Newsom, who Tuesday laid out plans for new wildfire safety initiatives, also responded in two tweets:

    "Mr. President -- Just yesterday, @OregonGovBrown, @GovInslee, and I sent a letter asking the federal government to work with us in taking on these unprecedented wildfires. We have been put in office by the voters to get things done, not to play games with lives."

    Followed by:

    "Disasters and recovery are no time for politics. I’m already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses. The people of CA -- folks in Paradise -- should not be victims to partisan bickering."

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, also condemned the threat.

    ".@realDonaldTrump’s threat insults the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires last year & thousands more who lost their homes. @GOPLeader must join me to condemn & call on POTUS to reassure millions in CA that our govt will be there for them in their time of need."

    Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco, also spoke out on Twitter.

    ".@POTUS seems to have forgotten, yet again, that The federal government manages 57 percent of the forests in California. The state manages 2 percent. Private owners are responsible for 39 percent. Maybe this colorful map can help! #FactCheckTrump."

    Trump previously threatened to take away funding from California in November, days after the deadly wildfire in Butte County broke out.

    The November tweets caused backlash from state and local officials, as well as the International Association of Fire Fighters.

    The president's assertions have been repeatedly questioned by fire experts.

    Brian Rice, president of the California Professional Firefighters Association, in November called Trump's earlier statements about forest management "dangerously wrong."

    "The president’s assertion that California’s forest management policies are to blame for catastrophic wildfire is dangerously wrong," said Rice, head of the 30,000-member organization. "Wildfires are sparked and spread not only in forested areas but in populated areas and open fields fueled by parched vegetation, high winds, low humidity and geography. Moreover, nearly 60 percent of California forests are under federal management, and another two-thirds under private control. It is the federal government that has chosen to divert resources away from forest management, not California."

    "With the federal government mired in a self-imposed shutdown, the president has little standing to lecture anyone else about dysfunction. Instead of threatening innocent fire victims, the federal government should try working with California – and all Western states – to responsibly address the wildfire threat we face," the California Professional Firefighters said in a statement Wednesday. 

    Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday laid out a plan for new investments related to wildfire safety.



    Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP

    President Donald Trump speaks with California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom during a visit to a neighborhood destroyed by the wildfires, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Paradise, California.President Donald Trump speaks with California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom during a visit to a neighborhood destroyed by the wildfires, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Paradise, California.

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    President Donald Trump made his case for a crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border in a speech to the country Tuesday night. But Trump and members of his administration have repeatedly made false statements about immigration, legal and illegal, to bolster a need for a wall — or at least steel slats — and baseless assertions that Mexico will pay for it, recently through the new trade deal.

    Here are some claims from Trump’s speech, which he delivered as the federal government remained partly closed over a budget impasse caused by his insistence that he get $5 billion to build along the border. (Click here for NBC News' fact check of the Democratic response.)

    CLAIM: There is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border.

    FACTS: Border crossings have been falling for years. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported just over 300,000 apprehensions for illegal border crossings in 2017, the lowest in more than 45 years and down from more than 1.6 million in 2000, according to FactCheck.org.

    The number rose in 2018 to nearly 400,000. And about 51,00 people were caught at the southwestern border in October and November 2018, more than in earlier months, according to CBP data from the 2019 fiscal year, NBC News reported.

    Two-thirds of undocumented immigrants arrived in the United States legally — often by flying in — and then overstayed their visit, according to a report from the Center for Migration Studies. And immigrants who overstay their visas have outnumbered those crossing the southern border illegally every year since 2007, more than 700,000 in 2017, according to NBC News. 

    A growing percentage of people coming across the border are migrants from Central America who are seeking asylum. They are being driven by gangs, violence and poverty.

    CLAIM: The Southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. Every week 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our Southern border.

    FACTS: Trump’s claim that a wall would stop the flow of illegal drugs is discounted by most experts. And most illegal drugs — including the opioids that the Centers for Disease Control says kill 130 people in the U.S. each day — do go through ports of entry, as Trump has claimed in the past and which would not be affected by a wall. A DEA report in 2018 said: "Majority of the flow is through … legal ports of entry." The U.S. Customs and Border Protection told NBC News reporter Jacob Soboroff that, “Drug smugglers feel there are opportunities to mix in” at ports of entry. The vast majority of hard narcotics including fentanyl comes into this country through ports of entry or in the mail from China, Soboroff reported.

    CLAIM: "Last month, 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the United States, a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in 3 women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico."

    FACTS: NBC News said that in December, according to data from the White House, about 32,000 “family units” and 5,000 “unaccompanied minors” were caught at the border. It further noted that there had been a surge of children and families apprehended. In October and November 2018, 10,265 unaccompanied migrant children and 48,287 migrants traveling as families were stopped at the border.

    As far as sexual assaults against women, Trump's figure comes from Doctors Without BordersAmnesty International has estimated it is as high as one in 6 women.

    CLAIM: Among examples Trump gave of undocumented immigrants committing terrible crimes, he said, "America's heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien who just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country." 

    FACTS: Trump was referring to the December killing of Newman, California, Police Cpl. Ronil Singh, allegedly by Gustavo Perez Arriaga, an immigrant who police say entered the country illegally.

    There is no evidence that immigrants commit more crimes; immigration populations have been growing as the rates of crime, and violent crime, have dropped, The Marshall Project reported. Most studies have found no connection between immigrants and crime or have shown that immigrants revitalize neighborhoods.

    CLAIM: Democrats asked for a steel wall.

    FACTS: The president offered Democrats a steel border fence instead of a concrete wall, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told NBC's "Meet the Press."

    CLAIM: Senate Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, have voted for border barriers in the past.

    FACTS: Schumer and 25 other Senate Democrats did vote for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which authorized building a fence along about 700 miles of the border between the United States and Mexico. Trump characterized the fencing as "such a little wall, it was such a nothing wall," and during his campaign promised a concrete wall. He has since called it a fence and dismissed comments that he had abandoned a wall.

    CLAIM: "The wall will also be paid for, indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico."

    FACTS: The revised North American Free Trade Agreement has not been approved by Congress, and would not take effect until 2020 at the earliest. There are no funds earmarked for the border wall, and any revenue raised by tariffs would have to be appropriated by Congress, NBC noted. And Trump campaigned on the promise that Mexico would pay for the wall.

    Emilie Mutert contributed.



    Photo Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    A television monitor in the White House press briefing room broadcasts President Donald Trump's address on border security in Washington, D.C., U.S., on, Jan. 8, 2019.A television monitor in the White House press briefing room broadcasts President Donald Trump's address on border security in Washington, D.C., U.S., on, Jan. 8, 2019.

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    Prosecutors in New Jersey are investigating how a 27-year-old man who walked into a police station, apparently high on drugs, wound up unresponsive while being transported by police to the hospital -- then declared dead two days later. 

    Protesters swarmed Paterson City Hall Tuesday night, demanding answers in the death of Jameek Lowery.

    "What did those cops do? What are they not telling us?" one protester asked. 

    "It's still hurting, I'm just lost. I'm hurt," said his mother. 

    Lowery first called 911 at around 2:45 a.m. on Saturday, saying he had taken ecstasy and was paranoid, according to a preliminary investigation by the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office. EMS responded and took him to a local hospital, but Lowery became erratic there and left. 

    At around 3:40 a.m., Lowery again called 911, this time from a Wendy's restaurant near Broadway and Memorial Drive, saying people were trying to kill him, the prosecutor's office said. He walked into the Paterson Police headquarters nearby at 111 Broadway, appearing agitated. 

    While inside police headquarters, he called 911 yet again. Lowery live streamed to his Facebook page from inside the police station, shouting in an apparent fit of paranoia, "Please don't shoot me. This officer by the wall, I see you, they're trying to kill me. They right there!" 

    The video didn't show anyone by the corner that Lowery was focused on -- only a shadow -- and the two officers in the video told him that nobody was there. 

    "I'm just paranoid, that's it," Lowery acknowledged, continuing to shout frantically. 

    He ranted, at times incoherently, "I see y'all trying to kill me. Why are you trying to kill me? What'd I do, officer? ... I said I need help, I need help, go to the hospital, somebody trying to kill me. Somebody help me."

    "Somebody call my mom. The cops trying to kill me, they think I'm a witness, they think I'm f---ing with the FBI. That's what they think."

    "Watch out, if I'm dead by the next hour or two, they did it," he shouted in the video. "I didn't touch them at all." 

    When the officers assured him an ambulance was on the way, he responded, "Yo, they're gonna kill me in the ambulance." 

    The officers maintained their distance while Lowery recorded on his cellphone, and attempted to calm him from afar: "All right, just relax," one told him. When he told them he was dehydrated and needed water, someone is heard telling him, "The hospital has water." 

    EMS arrived and an ambulance transported him to the hospital, a ride that took about 5 to 12 minutes, according to police and fire records. Sometime in that ride, he lost consciousness. 

    "Per initial reports and information, police used physical force and compliance holds to secure Mr. Lowery in the ambulance," the prosecutor's office said in a statement. 

    When Lowery arrived at the hospital, he was unresponsive. Hospital records didn't indicate any acute trauma, but his parents and friends said he ended up bloodied and bruised when they saw him at the hospital. His mother said he had stitches on his mouth and bruises on his neck as if somebody had choked him; he did not have those injuries in the Facebook video. 

    He was pronounced dead in the early morning hours of Monday, Jan. 7. The state medical examiner will determine the cause and manner of death for Lowery, the prosecutor's office said. 

    Hundreds angered by Lowery's death surrounded City Hall Tuesday night. And councilman Luis Velez joined for an independent investigation. 

    Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said in a statement, "I completely support a full investigation into Saturday evening’s events. In the meantime, I have expressed my condolences to the family of Mr. Lowery, who are suffering during this difficult time." 



    Photo Credit: Facebook/Lowery family

    Jameek Lowery livestreamed himself from the Paterson police station, then was transported to a hospital, where he showed up unresponsive, the Passaic County prosecutor's office saidJameek Lowery livestreamed himself from the Paterson police station, then was transported to a hospital, where he showed up unresponsive, the Passaic County prosecutor's office said

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    Angelinos can now obtain free or discounted entry to various museums and attractions in the city with the help of their Los Angeles Public Library card.

    This program, named “Discover & Go”, will allow Los Angeles residents 18 years or older, to obtain their passes via the library’s website.

    LA residents can visit the LAPL website and request a pass with their library account.

    Once the pass is obtained, which will have the name and the date for which it is valid, the cardholder must print it and take it with him on the chosen day.

    Reservations can not be canceled once the pass is printed or downloaded.

    Some institutions only allow the reservation of one pass per year and only library cards that are up to date and within the postal codes 90000 - 93599 are eligible.

    "Your Los Angeles Public Library card is already the best card in Los Angeles and now, with Explore L.A., it’s getting even better," city librarian John F. Szabo said in a statement.

    "In the library, we believe in giving all our users the equal opportunity and access to knowledge. Explore L.A. is a natural extension of that and we're proud to partner with all these wonderful museums and cultural institutions to help make that goal a reality, " Szabo added.

    With the LAPL card, users will have 18 local cultural institutions.

    Each of them offers a specific number of passes per month through Explore LA and that number of tickets is replenished at the beginning of each month.

    To reserve your passes for any of the participating sites, visit the LAPL website.

    Here is the list of museums participating in the program:

     

    • Autry Museum of the American West
    • Battleship IOWA
    • Catalina Island Museum
    • Chinese American Museum
    • Craft and Folk Art Museum
    • Discovery Cube Los Angeles
    • GRAMMY Museum
    • The Hammer Museum
    • Japanese American National Museum
    • Kidspace Children’s Museum
    • La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
    • La Plaza de Cultura y Artes
    • Los Angeles Conservancy
    • Los Angeles Zoo
    • The Museum of Jurassic Technology
    • Museum of Tolerance
    • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
    • Skirball Cultural Center

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    Dog Haus, that started-in-Pasadena haute hot-doggery, has gained a reputation for giving away free Haus Dogs, the boutique chain's signature menu offering, with each new store opening.

    So committed to this tradition is the company that even a reopening qualifies for the gourmet giveaway. Proof? You only need head for the USC-close Dog Haus, the one that just observed "a short semester off," on Friday, Jan. 11.

    For that's the day the Figueroa munch-porium reopens, after a few shuttered months, and that's day that you can walk out with a free Haus Dog. (Assuming you don't gobble it right there, within a minute of first holding it in your hands.)

    One more step? To score that freebie, you'll want to open the Dog Haus app and check in at the store.

    Find your fancy free frankfurter from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (so, yep, just remember eleven, as in the 11th of January, starting at 11 in the morning and ending at 11 that night, and you're good).

    Also on board for this old-but-made-new-again Dog Haus? Hangover Sunday, on Sunday, Jan. 13. The first 50 people at the USC location on that date will receive a complimentary burger called The Hangover, when, yes, they check in with the app.

    What's on the burger? A fried egg, for starters, and Haus chili, and some other savory additions. Holding it all in place? A grilled King's Hawaiian roll.

    So hello again, Dog Haus o' Figueroa Boulevard, and hi to you, opening day Haus Dog giveaway fun. And hey there, Hangover Sunday, with your fried egg and chili and awesome bread and giveaway mindset.



    Photo Credit: Dog Haus

    Dig a loaded-up Haus Dog? You can score one, without paying a thing, as the Dog Haus location near the University of Southern California says hello again on Friday, Jan. 11.Dig a loaded-up Haus Dog? You can score one, without paying a thing, as the Dog Haus location near the University of Southern California says hello again on Friday, Jan. 11.

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    "Free," as a concept, can easily wash over a person like a warm wave, and put all other pertinent thoughts to the side, as we happily bask in the amazing free-a-tude of any given situation.

    So while Museums Free-for-All Day is definitely free, free, free — let's throw down a few more frees here, just to emphasize the point: free, free, free, free — you'll absolutely want to wade into your museum-enjoying plan knowing a few things before you go.

    Like?

    Well, real talk: Parking might cost something, depending upon the venue, even if the admission at the door is waived.

    Also? While the annual treat presented by SoCal Museums happens over two days — Saturday, Feb. 2 and Sunday, Feb. 3 in 2019 — not every art/science/cultural institution on the big list will be open both days.

    Though some will be. Check ahead, is all we're saying here.

    Also? Special exhibits aren't included in your free entry, as a rule.

    Finally? You may need to reserve a timed ticket in advance, like at the Getty Villa. Best do so, well ahead of time, so you're not sad, that you didn't. 

    That's solid advice, if we may say so ourselves.

    So, knowing all of these super-duper-important things, we now draw back the curtain and reveal all of the museums. Unless you already hopped over to the event site, to take a peek for yourself.

    That's some rad initiative on our part, and we aren't sore in the least if you did.

    As mentioned, the Getty Villa is on board, and The Autry Museum of the American West, and the California African American Museum, and the Orange County Museum of Art, and so many other treasure-filled places that we, as a community, do treasure.

    Also?

    The Academy Museum of Arts and Sciences is doing a Saturday-only pop-up at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, next door. (Indeed, the movie museum is still under construction.)

    Still basking in the notion of free-ness? Best shake that off, for a moment, and plan your pay-nothing cultural outings on the first weekend of February now.



    Photo Credit: The Autry Museum of the American West

    The Autry Museum of the American West will waive admission on Saturday, Feb. 2. Find more local favorites on the Museums Free-for-All participant list.The Autry Museum of the American West will waive admission on Saturday, Feb. 2. Find more local favorites on the Museums Free-for-All participant list.

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    Attention Disney fans, it seems the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim is getting a makeover.

    New year, new castle? Well, not so much. The iconic castle will go through some slight changes, with construction continuing through the spring, according to Disney officials.

    If you were planning a trip to the resort sometime soon, you might not be able to see the castle in its entirety.

    "Sleeping Beauty Castle is the heart of Disneyland Park and is simply being refreshed. It will remain the same beloved icon it is today when the refurbishment is complete," said Kim Irvine, art director with Walt Disney Imagineering.

    On the bright side, Disneyland recently announced a 3-day ticket deal for residents of certain SoCal cities.



    Photo Credit: Heather Navarro

    Sleeping Beauty's Castle is pictured here at Disneyland during the summer of 2018.Sleeping Beauty's Castle is pictured here at Disneyland during the summer of 2018.

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    A well-known retired sportscaster from Sweden is accused of groping a teenage boy at a park in Broward County.

    Coral Springs police said 85-year-old Bo Gunnar Hansson approached a 13-year-old boy at Fern Glen Park on Jan. 3 and tried to assist him on the monkey bars without permission.

    Hansson grabbed the victim's legs and continued to touch him up to his leg closer to his "private" parts, prosecutors said. The victim became uncomfortable, so he jumped off the monkey bars, and Hansson followed him to the sit-up benches.

    Police said Hansson told the victim to do sit-ups and held onto his feet. When he touched the victim over his pants and groped him, the victim got up and ran away, according to an arrest report.

    Hansson is also accused of another incident the next day at a park in Margate, where he allegedly approached two teenage boys and asked them about their workout routines. Hansson also allegedly tried to grab one of the teen's shirts and asked to see his muscles.

    "It's concerning that the suspect has been at multiple parks here approaching these juveniles," Coral Springs Police Sgt. Carla Kmiotek said. "He did speak with detectives, admitted to having contact with them but not inappropriate, based on his description of events."

    Hansson faces a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor, according to an arrest report. A judge imposed a $100,000 bond, GPS monitor ankle bracelet, ordered no contact with the victim or any minors and to surrender his passport.

    Hansson is one of the most famous TV personalities in Sweden, where he was a longtime sports journalist and commentator who covered the Olympics, World Cups and other big sporting events.

    "We don't see any prior history, obviously being that he's not from here we're still looking into any potential incidents prior to this," Kmiotek said.

    Anyone with information about the suspect should call Coral Springs police at 954-346-1222.



    Photo Credit: Coral Springs Police Department

    Bo Gunnar Hansson, 85, is accused of lewd and lascivious acts on a teen boy at a park in Coral Springs.Bo Gunnar Hansson, 85, is accused of lewd and lascivious acts on a teen boy at a park in Coral Springs.

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    The Happiest Place on Earth is about to get "hoppier': next week, San Diego's Ballast Point Brewing Co. will debut its highly-anticipated craft brewpub in the heart of Downtown Disney.

    One year ago, Ballast Point and Disneyland Resort announced plans to open the brewery and restaurant in the Downtown Disney District. The project was one of several new venues joining a lineup of ambitious upgrades to Downtown Disney. It's also Downtown Disney’s first-ever on-site brewery, and Ballast Point’s first location in Orange County, California.

    On Wednesday, craft beer-meets-Disneyland Resort fans finally got the news they'd been waiting for: Ballast Point Brewing Co. confirmed the restaurant, located at 1540 S. Disneyland Dr., would open its doors on Jan. 16.

    The 4,000-square-foot restaurant features a glass-enclosed bar and dining room, as well as a 3,000-square-foot patio with cabana-style seating.

    At the bar, patrons will find more than 50 styles of beer across 100 tap lines, including Ballast Point fan favorites such as Sculpin IPA, Grapefruit Sculpin and Fathom IPA. The restaurant is also pouring limited-edition brews exclusive to the Downtown Disney location. Behind the scenes, the brewpub houses a 3-barrel brewing system.

    In the kitchen, the chefs are whipping up Southern California-inspired dishes including salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and burgers. Ballast Point said the brewpub also aims to be family-friendly, given that it’s in Disney territory. The kids menu includes Crispy Chicken Tenders, a Corn Tortilla Quesadilla and Grilled Cheese. To check out the full menu, click here.

    The Downtown Disney District restaurant will be open seven days a week from 10 .am. to midnight.

    In a press release, Ben Dollard, president of Ballast Point, said the company is looking forward to tapping into the scene at Disneyland and Anaheim, California, and introducing new guests to the brew brand.

    Patrick Finnegan, vice president of Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney said Ballast Point will be a fresh addition to the dining landscape in the district.

    “Ballast Point is the perfect Southern California brand to bring its unique blend of great beer, good food and a family-friendly atmosphere,” Finnegan said in a press release.

    Ballast Point Brewing Co. currently operates several tasting rooms in San Diego: its Miramar headquarters, as well as locations in Little Italy, Scripps Ranch, and Linda Vista. The company also has facilities in Temecula and Long Beach, California.

    In May 2016, the company announced it was expanding to Virginia, investing $47.8 million in establishing its brewing operation on the East Coast. Today, the company runs a tasting room and restaurant in Daleville, Virginia.

    In summer 2017, the company announced plans to expand to Chicago’s Fulton Market area. That location is now up and running.

    In March 2017, the Colorado-based Brewers Association named Ballast Point Brewing Co. among the 50 overall largest production breweries in the United States. The company ranked No. 13 in the nation, with Stone Brewing Co. on its tail at No. 17, and San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing Co. at No. 47.



    Photo Credit: Ballast Point Brewing Co.
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Behind the bar, patrons will find more than 50 styles of beer across 100 tap lines.Behind the bar, patrons will find more than 50 styles of beer across 100 tap lines.

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    The LA-exclusive line-up of dishes include healthy tips from Magic Johnson.

    Photo Credit: Denny's

    The Gold Medal Greek Salad, one of the SoCal-area offerings, includes kalamata olives, roasted cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, croutons, and romaine lettuce. Magic's tip? The Gold Medal Greek Salad, one of the SoCal-area offerings, includes kalamata olives, roasted cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, croutons, and romaine lettuce. Magic's tip? "Add Greek-seasoned grilled chicken for extra protein!"

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    A man accused of driving while under the influence of nitrous oxide and causing a crash that killed an 11-year-old girl at a Boyle Heights taco stand pleaded not guilty Wednesday to two felony counts.

    Joe Louis Perez, 23, was charged last Oct. 5 with one felony count each of gross vehicle manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of a drug causing injury, along with allegations of causing great bodily injury.

    He is accused of being under the influence of nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, about 7 p.m. Nov. 10, 2017, while driving on Whittier Boulevard in Boyle Heights.

    According to prosecutors, he crashed his car into a parked vehicle in the 900 block of South Marietta Street, forcing the parked vehicle onto a curb, where it struck a group of people gathered at the taco stand.

    The crash killed 11-year-old Elektra Yepez and injured her mother and two aunts.

    Perez was arrested at the scene following the crash, but was not immediately charged and was released from custody. He was subsequently re-arrested last Nov. 1 and released on bond, according to jail records.

    He is due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on Feb. 15, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.

    Perez faces up to 13 years and eight months in prison if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney's Office.


    El accidente mató a Elektra Yépez, de 11 años, y también lesionó a su madre y dos tías.El accidente mató a Elektra Yépez, de 11 años, y también lesionó a su madre y dos tías.

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    California Gov. Gavin Newsom is launching an effort to modernize the state's embattled Department of Motor Vehicles.

    Newsom on Wednesday appointed Marybel Batjer to lead a "strike team" focused on finding new DMV leadership and recommending reforms to improve service. Batjer is the secretary of the state government operations agency and will retain that job during her six-month role at the DMV.

    The DMV has been under fire for long lines and voter registration errors. It’s under a state audit. Its former director, Jean Shiomoto, retired last month.

    Newsom says the agency has been "chronically mismanaged" and is failing in its mission to serve customers.

    Newsom didn't announce an expected price tag for modernizing the agency.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Un cartel de la Oficina del Departamento de Vehículo Automotores (DMV) de California, el 9 de mayo de 2017. (Foto: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Un cartel de la Oficina del Departamento de Vehículo Automotores (DMV) de California, el 9 de mayo de 2017. (Foto: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has agreed to deliver a classified briefing to U.S. House lawmakers on Thursday on his recent decision to lift sanctions on companies linked to a Russian oligarch and Vladimir Putin ally, marking the start of an aggressive new focus on Mnuchin by newly empowered House Democrats, according to two top Democratic aides. 

    Mnuchin, who served as the Trump campaign's national finance chairman in 2016 before being confirmed to President Donald Trump's cabinet, has largely escaped investigative scrutiny, NBC News reported.



    Photo Credit: AP

    FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2018, file photo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talks with reporters at the White House, in Washington. Mnuchin says that the negative market reaction following the Federal Reserve's rate hike was FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2018, file photo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talks with reporters at the White House, in Washington. Mnuchin says that the negative market reaction following the Federal Reserve's rate hike was "completely overblown." (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

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    Today marks one year since a heavy storm unleashed rain causing mudslides in the hillsides of Montecito that had just been ravaged by wildfire. Twenty three people were killed, 100 homes were destroyed and many more were damaged. Scenes from around the coastal community show areas hit hard by the Jan. 9, 2018, mudflow and the cleanup after the deadly storm.

    Photo Credit: AP

    This combination of photos shows debris and mud covering the entrance of the Montecito Inn, top, after heavy rain brought flash flooding in Montecito, Calif., on Jan. 9, 2018, and a similar view after clean up on Monday, Jan. 22, bottom. (AP Photo/Daniel Dreifuss)This combination of photos shows debris and mud covering the entrance of the Montecito Inn, top, after heavy rain brought flash flooding in Montecito, Calif., on Jan. 9, 2018, and a similar view after clean up on Monday, Jan. 22, bottom. (AP Photo/Daniel Dreifuss)

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    "Fuzzy." "Wuzzy." "Adorable." "Huge." "Soft." "Strong." "Fuzzy and wuzzy."

    Animal lovers can often return to the descriptive terms they adore the best, when it comes to describing those beautiful beings making this planetary journey with us.

    But photographer Joel Sartore's animal-amazing images can inspire a whole plethora of words, from "majestic" to "comical" to "sassy" to "expressive."

    For Mr. Sartore has turned his lens on oodles of animals over the years, and we do mean "oodles." The photographer's "... life mission is to photograph every species living in the world's zoos and wildlife sanctuaries," a calling that has sent him around the globe.

    Now you can eye dozens of the resulting snapshots, which include astounding and moving tributes to tigers and insects and koalas, too, at "National Geographic Photo Ark."

    It's currently on view at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City. But don't wait too long; the exhibit's final day is on Sunday, Jan. 13.

    The price to behold all of this beastie-beautiful wonder? It's free to see.

    While there are almost 100 photos in the exhibit, Mr. Sartore is behind what the space calls "... an archive of global diversity," a capacious collection that features "... portraits of more than 8,000 species."

    He is, in short, a friend to these furry ones, a human with an eye for animal expressiveness and huge heart, too, one that clearly connects with our noble co-earthlings.

    While the portraits may keep you enthralled, there are other areas to explore while at the exhibit, including a documentary short and a place to snap a pic with an animal in the background.



    Photo Credit: Joel Sartore/National Geographic

    Thrill to photographer Joel Sartore's animal portraits, part of a larger project from the National Geographic Society, at the Annenberg Space for Photography.Thrill to photographer Joel Sartore's animal portraits, part of a larger project from the National Geographic Society, at the Annenberg Space for Photography.

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    A professional skateboarder from San Diego's North County is facing federal criminal drug charges following a raid at his home where authorities discovered heroin, methamphetamine and hundreds of Xanax pills.

    Rob Lorifice, 30, was arrested along with two others during a Sept. 26, 2018, raid by deputies with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department at Lorifice’s home in Encinitas.

    "It was pretty shocking news, because a lot of kids looked up to him," Connor Douglas, a local skateboarder said. "Kind of a bummer to see him go down that road."

    According to a newly-filed criminal complaint, authorities forced entry on Lorifice’s door and found the longtime professional vert skater upstairs, attempting to flush narcotics down the toilet.

    Next to the toilet officers found a “small blue chunk of a crystalline substance” and near the sink sat a plastic baggie with a “golf ball-sized chunk of a white crystalline substance,” according to the complaint. 

    In addition, deputies found several hundred Xanax pills, an ounce of heroin, and an ounce of meth inside an open safe in one of Lorifice’s closets. Inside a safe in the other closet was a stack of money and a passport.

    Scattered throughout the master bedroom of Lorifice’s home, deputies retrieved small plastic baggies, Roxicodone pills, Xanax, marijuana, mushrooms, packing materials, as well as a digital scale.

    In all, deputies seized 231.6 grams of heroin, 193 grams of meth, and 196 grams of marijuana, as well as $16,824 from the skateboarder's home.

    Three other people were found in separate rooms inside the house. Two of the unidentified people, according to the federal complaint, admitted to buying meth from Lorifice and using drugs inside the house.

    Another man by the name of Tom Herbert was also arrested in a third bedroom. In that room, officers found heroin, Xanax and a bundle of cash with Herbert’s name on it.

    In an interview following the arrest, Lorifice denied selling the drugs, stating that “the narcotics [were] left at his house by someone...and he was afraid to get rid of them,” reads the federal complaint.

    Lorifice rose to the top ranks of professional vert skating.

    According to news reports, the Encinitas native was a local at the Magdalena Ecke YMCA skatepark since he was 6 years old, turning pro in his sport at the age of 16.

    Lorifice grew up watching Ecke locals Tony Hawk and Andy MacDonald skate the vert ramp. He soon followed in their footsteps, and by the time Lorifice was 22 had won four X Games medals for vert and on the MegaRamp.

    Young skateboarder Connor Douglas, who has professional aspirations of his own, called the news of Lorifice's arrest shocking and disappointing.

    "It's kind of a bummer to see him go down that road," Douglas said.

    Lorifice's neighbors told NBC 7 the skater's professional decline coincides with a rapid increase in alleged drug deals that have taken place up and down their street in recent years.

    Lorifice is charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. A federal arrest warrant was also issued on Jan. 7 for Lorifice’s arrest. He is now out on bail awaiting his next court appearance later this month.

    Calls to Lorifice for a comment on this story were not returned.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Rob Lorifice flies over the heads of cameramen during the Skateboard Big Air Final on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at the X Games, held at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Adam Lau)Rob Lorifice flies over the heads of cameramen during the Skateboard Big Air Final on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at the X Games, held at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Adam Lau)

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    A man became caught in the jetty in Ocean Beach after attempting to rescue his dog from the rough waters Wednesday afternoon.

    The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department got a call at 1:49 p.m. about a needed water rescue near Abbott Street and West Point Loma Boulevard.

    SDFD was able to retrieve the man caught in the jetty and began performing CPR life-saving measures, the agency said.

    Officials at the scene said the man’s dog was OK.

    The man, said to be in his 50s or 60s, was then transported to UCSD Hillcrest. He was “struggling” for a while, said Sgt. Stirk with the San Diego Police Department.

    He was unconscious, and he was not breathing, according to SDFD.

    A high surf advisory was issued for San Diego County beaches Wednesday. Wave sets as tall as 14 feet were expected in the southern parts of the county. The advisory will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Thursday.

    "Know your limitations,” San Diego Lifeguards Sergeant Bruce Jamieson advised. “Obviously people want to come out and see the big surf, but, yea. Know your limitations. If you’re not comfortable in the water, don't go in the water on a day like today.”

    No other information was available.

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



    Photo Credit: Google Maps

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    A white Ferrari slammed into a strip mall in West Hills on Wednesday.

    The newer model white luxury vehicle crashed into a strip mall on the 22800 block of Victory Boulevard at approximately 4:03 p.m., according to Los Angeles Police Department Media Relations.

    Newchopper4 Alpha over the scene at approximately 5 p.m., and debris was visible around the vehicle.

    The Ferrari jumped the curb and went through the parking lot before stopping in front of a Baja Fresh and Jamba Juice, according to the LAPD.

    LAPD said an ambulance was requested for the driver.



    Photo Credit: Newschopper4 Alpha

    A Ferrari sports car crashed into a strip mall in West Hills on Jan. 9, 2019.A Ferrari sports car crashed into a strip mall in West Hills on Jan. 9, 2019.

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    As many Californians are struggling to understand the REAL ID rules amid the government shutdown, the California Department of Motor Vehicles said Wednesday that an extension has been granted.

    Even though the Department of Homeland Security website may not reflect the extension date of April 1, 2019, the extension was confirmed with the California DMV. The shutdown is making the notification process slower, hence the reason users won't see it on the website.

    Starting Oct. 1, 2020, every state will require residents to have REAL IDs for air travel or for entering federal buildings. The security changes came after 9/11, in order to make it harder for terrorists to travel domestically inside the U.S.

    The DMV had issued 2.3 million REAL IDs in California before receiving a notice that something had gone wrong. The California DMV only required one document proving residency, while the federal government said two would be required. 

    The millions of REAL IDs were still deemed valid, however, but going forward, all California residents must show two forms of residency to obtain a REAL ID starting April 2019.  

    Until April 2019, Californians flying out of the state will be able to use their driver's license or California ID, according to the DHS website

    TSA lists acceptable forms of ID as driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards, U.S. passports, U.S. passport cards, and more.

    So what will you need to travel?

    DHS says you will only need your driver's license or state ID. But if you'd like to be extra cautious, you can bring your driver's license and another form of federal ID, like a passport. This is only if you do not have a REAL ID. 

    The good news is that you can use the two forms of ID even after the 2020 deadline if you have not yet received your REAL ID.

    How do I get a REAL ID?

    • You will have to make an appointment to visit a DMV office. 
    • You have to complete the application online before your visit.
    • You need to bring forms of identification, proof of social security, and two paper copies (no digital versions) of proof of residency. You will need two "proofs" of California residency starting April 2019. Find specific information here. 
    • Pay the $36 fee.
    • You can also use the DMV's digital checklist here


    Photo Credit: California DMV
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