Category Archives: LA Top Stories

TSA to Give Officers Partial Pay for Work During Government Shutdown

TSA to Give Officers Partial Pay for Work During Government Shutdown


The Transportation Safety Authority announced Friday that it will issue a partial paycheck to most employees as thousands of federal workers are set to go without being paid for the second time in a row, marking nearly a month since their last paycheck.

TSA Administrator David P. Pekoske said the agency scraped together limited funds from varying sources in order to pay a portion of their workforce.

Employees “at the I-band and below,” who worked in an exempted status for any amount of time from Dec. 23 to Jan. 5 will receive 40 hours of pay “to alleviate some financial strain,” the TSA said. Employees in pay bands J and above, which are senior level positions with higher pay rates, will not receive a partial payment Friday. 

“Challenging times require challenging decisions. While our aim is to pay everyone for their work, during this period of lapse in funding and because of legal and financial constraints, we needed to make decisions on how best to support the workforce using the limited funds we had,” the agency said in statement to NBC News. “As such, it was determined that where we could, we would provide partial pay to employees and we focused on employees in the lower pay bands to help alleviate the financial strain they may be experiencing.” 

However, the TSA said Federal Air Marshals (FAMs), of all pay bands, will not receive a partial payment. The agency the FAMs account didn’t have sufficient funding available to provide “meaningful partial payment” for Air Marshals. Instead, the TSA will issue 2018 performance awards for all FAMs “at the I-band and below.” 

Pekoske acknowledged in a tweet Friday morning that “anything short of full paychecks are a partial measure, and in no way compensates the #TSA workforce for the financial burden many are experiencing.” But, he added, whenever funding is restored, “pay and travel reimbursement processing will be our highest priority.”

The money for the TSA payments came from a combination of unlapsed FY2018 funds the agency had in “certain specific accounts” and the reallocation of some funds from other accounts, the agency said.

The shutdown began three days before Christmas when President Donald Trump and top Democratic leaders in Congress reached a stalemate over Trump’s demand for a $5.7 billion wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Unions that represent air traffic controllers, flight attendants and pilots are growing concerned about safety with the shutdown well into its fifth week. Airline executives say they are worried that long airport lines could scare off passengers. The economic damage, while small, is starting to show up in their financial reports.

Federal workers say going without pay is grinding them down, and they’re not sure how much longer they can take it.

“At work, the morale is really low,” said Tyler Kennard, an air traffic controller in San Diego. “It’s actually more stressful now with this government shutdown than it was when I was in a war zone in Iraq doing the same job.”

The retired Marine, who got his start in air traffic control in 2005 when he was based at Marine Corp Base Pendleton, told NBC San Diego that he’s worried about how the family will pay for gas, mortgage, their daughter’s braces and their four-year-old son Tucker’s hospital visits.   

During his nearly decade and a half in the profession, he has been through three other government shutdowns but missed his first paycheck during the most recent.

“This is the one that’s hit us the hardest ’cause this is the first time where it’s gone where we haven’t got paid,” Kennard said.



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Parolee Pursuit on Inland Empire Freeways Ends in Gunfire

Parolee Pursuit on Inland Empire Freeways Ends in Gunfire


A chase in the Inland Empire ended in a hail of gunfire Wednesday night in Fontana.

The pursuit began in Apple Valley at around 7:44 p.m., according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Jeff Allison, SBSD Public Information Officer at the scene, said the pursuit began after officers performed a check on a parolee and the parolee fled. 

It continued on the 15 and 10 freeways. Deputies opened fire at the end of the chase, according to the sheriff’s department.

When Newschopper4 Bravo arrived over the scene, the pursuit vehicle had three bullet holes visible on the driver’s side of the windshield, along with multiple bullet holes in the driver’s side window. The driver of the pursuit vehicle was still in the car at that stage in an apparent standoff.

Soon after, officers moved in and removed the man from the vehicle. An ambulance arrived a short time later to treat the man for his wounds. It was not immediately clear how severe the driver’s injuries were or why the police were chasing the vehicle.

The driver was transported to the hospital, but his condition remains unknown.



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LA Honors MLK: The Kingdom Day Parade in Photos

LA Honors MLK: The Kingdom Day Parade in Photos


The Kingdom Day Parade began Monday morning on its 3-mile route at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue. The theme was “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Democracy.” Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will be the grand marshal.

Scroll down to see how South Los Angeles honored the life of a civil rights icon.



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2 Dead After Massive Tree Crushes Point Loma Heights Home

2 Dead After Massive Tree Crushes Point Loma Heights Home


Two people were killed when a tree estimated to be 75 to 100 feet tall crushed a home in the Point Loma Heights neighborhood of San Diego on Monday.

The tree with a trunk about as wide as a person landed on the home at the intersection of Santa Monica Avenue and Santa Barbara Street near Ocean Beach.

Two people were believed to be sleeping in a bed on the upper floor when the tree came down at about 6:15 a.m., according to San Diego police Lt. Christian Sharp.

The two victims, who have not yet been identified, were possibly guests from the East Coast who rented the home through a home-sharing app, according to SDPD. 

Neighbor Jamie Campbell described being woken by a “very large gust of wind” and the moment her husband realized the massive tree had collapsed. 

“‘The tree, the tree!’ he was screaming,” Campbell said.

Her husband was the first person to get to the home to check on the occupants and immediately called 911 when he noticed the destruction, Campbell said. 

When SDPD arrived, a neighbor was using a ladder to try to reach the occupants through a window,  Sharp said.

The massive tree caused significant damage to the structure of the home and was hindering crews from reaching the victims inside, Sharp said. 

Officers were able to rescue one person who was downstairs at the time.

“There’s so much damage to that house that we would have to go back in there, remove the tree and have to be able to clear some of the other areas,” Sharp said.

Crews were also dealing with a gas leak within the home, preventing them from going inside.

Live power lines had gone down up to a half-block away from the crushed home, Sharp said. 

San Diego Gas & Electric was called to deal with both situations. While gas was easily shut off, by 11 a.m. crews were still working to repair damaged power lines. 

A neighbor identified as John said he heard the tree crack early Monday. He estimated that the Torrey pine, one of four large trees in the neighborhood, was anywhere between 75 feet to 100 feet tall. 

“This tree has just been waiting to be blown over,” John told NBC 7. “When I looked out the window, I could tell the tree – it’s gone.”

Sharp said he did not know of any problems with the tree prior to its collapse and said the accident was unusual.

“We don’t see this sort of damage and with the fatalities, it’s very rare in San Diego,” he said. 

Brandon Bellis with Three Men and a Tree Inc. talked with NBC 7 about how important it is for homeowners to maintain trees on their property.

“You need to do annual checkups on your trees. There’s always something that needs to be done,” he said.

Three Men and a Tree Inc. clean up trees and check their structures to avoid breaking over time or during stormy conditions.

“I don’t think I’d use the Point Loma tree as an example,” Bellis said. “Perfectly manicured tree, it’s kept up with every year. I think this was just something, a case from rain, I don’t think it was anybody’s fault.”

The tree collapsed during a high wind warning for San Diego, which predicted that gusts along the coast could reach 25 miles per hour. It followed about a week’s worth of rain in the region that dumped inches of rain along the coast

NBC 7 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen said that while typically a 25 mph gust would not be strong enough to topple a tree, if the tree was already on soft ground and had root issues, gusty winds could contribute.

Bellis said he saw the tree one day before the incident while out driving.

“It builds up, builds up, and it gets heavier and heavier, and then it becomes a problem,” Bellis told NBC 7. “They break and you never know where it’s going to break exactly, but if the tree’s close to your house … it probably should be kept up annually.”

Maintenance can cost between $100 to $200, he said. This can include structure pruning, weight reductions, and even some removals, though Bellis cautioned against removing trees.

“The whole canopy [in San Diego] is 60 to 70 shy of what it should be,” he said. “[Removing trees] is going to be an offset to the environment.”

Bellis suggested replacing trees that need to be removed.

No other information was available.

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



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Get Ready to Howl at the Super Blood Wolf Moon

Get Ready to Howl at the Super Blood Wolf Moon

The Super Blood Wolf Moon is at our door.

This lunar phenomenon with a quirky name will be visible Sunday night across the country, for those without cloud cover.

It’ll be an unmissable event for American stargazers, since it’s the only lunar eclipse that will be seen over the United States all year, according to Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a NASA partner.

“Super blood moon” is a term given to lunar eclipses that occur when the moon is at its closest to Earth, making it appear bigger in the sky — a “super moon.” And during a lunar eclipse, when the moon is in the Earth’s shadow, it turns red. That’s because it’s mostly red light that bends around the Earth, while blue light is scattered by the atmosphere, making it appear blue.

The Super Blood Wolf Moon Is Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

[NATL] The Super Blood Wolf Moon Is Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Last January, a Super Blue Blood Moon captivated people across the country. That one got the “blue moon” moniker because it was the second full moon of the month, a rare occurrence that gave us the phrase “once in a blue moon.”

Sunday’s moon is the first of January, and it’s referred to as a wolf moon because of Native American folklore, according to Space.com. Each month’s full moon had a name, and January’s came from the packs of wolves that would howl outside Algonquin villages. Other full moon names include the worm moon (March) strawberry moon (June), and harvest moon (September).

Viewing this weekend’s Super Wolf Blood Moon might require a later bedtime.

The moon will begin to darken at 9:36 p.m. ET, but it will dramatically change color about an hour later, at 10:33 p.m. ET, when it moves into the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra, according to JPL. That’s what’s called a total eclipse. Because the moon is closer to Earth, it may appear darker than in other lunar eclipses.

That phase of the eclipse lasts until 1:50 a.m. ET, and the moon will completely exit the penumbra, the Earth’s partial shadow, by 2:48 ET.

After that, it’ll be a long wait for the next lunar eclipse that will be visible in North America. It’s coming on July 5, 2020, according to NASA, and it will only be a partial eclipse. The next total lunar eclipse is coming to our skies on May 26, 2021.

Super Blue Blood Moon Totality In One Minute

[NATL] Super Blue Blood Moon Totality In One Minute



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Wrong-Way Drivers Cause 2 Major Crashes on 91 Freeway

Wrong-Way Drivers Cause 2 Major Crashes on 91 Freeway


Two separate crashes involving wrong-way drivers, one of them fatal, occurred on the 91 Freeway early Sunday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The driver of a car was killed in a single-vehicle crash after driving west in the eastbound lanes in Anaheim at around 5 a.m., according to the CHP. The driver drove through the HOV lanes before colliding with the center divider, causing the car to burst into flames. An investigation will be conducted to determine whether the driver was intoxicated, the CHP said.

Another wrong way driver caused a five-car pileup on the 91 Freeway in Anaheim Hills a few hours earlier. The driver crashed head-on with several vehicles, causing a domino effect, according to the CHP. Four people were taken to the hospital with what was described as severe injuries. One of the drivers in the pileup was intoxicated, according to the CHP



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Giuliani Says Moscow Trump Tower Talks Lasted Until November 2016, Longer Than Known

Giuliani Says Moscow Trump Tower Talks Lasted Until November 2016, Longer Than Known

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow remained an “active proposal” as late as November of 2016, months later than known previously.

Giuliani, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said that the president has told him he can “remember having conversations” with his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, about the project well into 2016.

Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the timeline of his involvement in the proposal, admitting that he worked on it through June of 2016. He initially said it ended at the beginning of that year.

“It’s our understanding that they went on throughout 2016,” Giuliani said of the discussions, adding that there “weren’t a lot of them, but there were conversations. Can’t be sure of the exact date,” he said, referring to written questions Trump and his lawyers have answered from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.

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