Filner agrees to resign

After only eight months as mayor, Bob Filner has agreed to resign in the wake of multiple sexual harassment accusations.

So far, 18 women have come forward to publicly accuse Filner of sexual harassment, and a former aide filed a lawsuit against him and the city, seeking damages. The city has agreed to pay for some of Filner’s legal fees in exchange for his resignation. They will also cover any damages awarded in the lawsuit brought against him.

It is fortunate that Filner has finally agreed to resign. A person who cannot control or manage their own personal life should not be allowed to control and manage a city.


Officials warn about lottery scam

A new lottery scam that targets the elderly is offering millions but instead gives nothing.

A San Diego couple lost about $30,000 to the scheme, which used an official San Diego County seal on a letter, and a photocopy of a check for $2.5 million made out to the couple. The letter told them that to get the money, they first had to pay taxes on the prize, which they did, also revealing their bank account information and Social Security numbers to the scammers, who then took everything.

It is unfortunate that these scammers are trying to take advantage of the elderly and of veterans. This sad story is a good reminder to be very skeptical and not to send money and personal information to people without first ensuring that your information will be safe and that things are legitimate.


Filner’s sexual harassment debacle

While the rates of sexual harassment have fallen in recent years, it is still a pervasive problem, especially in the workplace.

Scandals such as the recent call for the resignation of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner remind us that the problem is not going away by itself, and that the harassment can hurt more than just the person who is being harassed. In the case of businesses, sexual harassment cases can divide teams, destroy trust, damage reputations, and potentially make the business lose money.

An accusation of sexual harassment, whether it is true or not, can be destructive. Either the allegations are true, and women are being treated in an abusive manner, or the allegations are false, and a dark shadow is cast over someone’s reputation.


20-year-old Wrongfully Fired

It’s important to know your rights as an employee.

20-year-old Anthony worked as a cook and dishwasher at a Mountain Mike Pizza franchise near Antelope, CA, for six months. Anthony also suffers from bipolar disorder. During the time he was employed at the pizza place, his disorder did not affect his work performance. On one of his days off, Anthony had a breakdown and had to be hospitalized overnight, causing him to miss his shift the next day. His boss asked him to bring in a doctor’s note, which said “Crestwood Psychiatric Clinic” at the top.

As soon as Anthony’s employer found out about his bipolar disorder, she allegedly cut his hours to zero, while still keeping him on as a technical employee. She told him that she had no hours for him. This went on for about three weeks, until Anthony sat down with her. Then, he said, she accused him of threatening her, the company, and another employee.

Anthony had the presence of mind to contact the California Labor Board after he got fired, since he felt that his former employer was violating California labor laws. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against in the workplace, make sure to use the proper legal channels to report the incident and take action.


Security heightened for running events in San Diego County

Plans are under way Tuesday to beef up security at San Diego’s famed Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and Marathon in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon explosions that killed at least three people and injured more than 140.

The Competitor Group puts on San Diego’s annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and Marathon, which this year is scheduled to take place on June 2.

Last year’s half marathon was the sixth largest in the United States, with 17,604 finishers, and the marathon was the 10 largest in the country, with 7,106 finishers, according to U-T San Diego.

Competitor Group CEO Scott Dickey said it was too early to say just what sort of precautions will be taken this year.

On Monday, two fiery blasts went off within seconds of each other near the finish line of this year’s Boston Marathon, knocking runners and spectators off their feet. More than 120 San Diegans were among the 23,000 runners who took part in the marathon.

Because of the blasts, law enforcement officials in the San Diego area went on heightened alert, though there were no known specific threats to the region.

“We’re working very closely with our local and federal law enforcement counterparts,” said Jan Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. “These appear to be tragic, isolated events in Boston. We have no indication there is any (local) threat … . If that changes, we will immediately let the community know.”

Likewise, the San Diego Police Department’s personnel were being extra vigilant due to the bombings, SDPD public information officer Gary Hassen said.

He declined to disclose whether the department had increased or shifted patrols, or instituted any other out-of-the-ordinary measures.

“We do not discuss security (publicly),” he said.

Unlike at airports in Los Angeles and Orange counties, administrators at Lindbergh Field made no immediate changes since the Transportation Security Administration had not directed them to do so, according to airport spokeswoman Rebecca Bloomfield.

Calif. using emergency system to assess threats

California officials from San Diego to the San Francisco Bay Area are calling for increased vigilance at major sporting events and other gathering places in response to deadly explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom says there’s no indication of any threats to California. But he says the events are a reminder to remain vigilant and report anything unusual to law enforcement agencies.

The California Emergency Management System’s assistant secretary says there’s no known California connection to the explosions in Boston.

The San Francisco Police Department is on heightened alert and will be rethinking security logistics for the upcoming San Francisco Marathon and Bay to Breakers foot races.

Airports in Los Angeles, Van Nuys and Ontario are in a heightened state of vigilance with increased patrols.


CHP Reveals Cause of I-5 Police Car Crash

Investigators have released new information on Sunday’s fiery crash involving a San Diego police patrol car.

According to California Highway Patrol investigators, the crash occurred after a police officer traveling south on Interstate 5 near Palm Avenue drifted onto the right shoulder and struck a sign.

The on-duty officer then turned to the left, hitting a gray Dodge Challenger according to the CHP.

The force of the impact pushed both cars into the center divide.

The patrol car burst into flames. Both drivers were able to get out of their vehicles and were treated for minor injuries officials said.

The names of the SDPD officer or additional victim involved in the crash have not been released. SDPD Officer Dan Lasher gave some details about the officer’s condition to NBC 7 San Diego Sunday.

“He was conscious and talking at the scene, but they were talking about a possible head injury, so he was taken to a local hospital to be checked out,” Lasher said.

CHP investigators said it’s not known why the patrol car drifted onto the right shoulder.

San Diego crime rate hits 30-year low

The crime rate in San Diego County has fallen to its lowest number in 30 years, according to a new report from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). This reportedly places San Diego third on a list of safest large cities in the U.S., which is determined based on the number of violent and property crimes in the region.

According to SANDAG’s “Thirty Years of Crime” report, violent crimes (which include homicide, aggravated assault, rape and robbery) have steadily dropped since it peaked in 1992. This was the case despite a concurrent decrease in the ratio of officers to citizens. The authors of the report believe the reasons for this are two-fold. First, county officials have aggressively investigated and prosecuted gang activity in recent years. And second, recent state and local laws have significantly increased the jail time and other penalties for violent crimes.

However, there has reportedly been an increase in violent crimes in recent years. There were 82 homicides in 2011, which was a 22 percent increase from 2010. Although the majority of these crimes were reportedly motivated by domestic abuse, the number of reported domestic violence incidents in 2011 dropped by 6 percent from 2010 numbers, hitting its lowest number since the late 1980s. It is unclear whether the number of domestic violence-related homicides plays into the overall number of domestic partner incidents, though.

On the whole, property crimes such as theft and burglary made up the largest percentage of the crime that took place in San Diego last year.


San Diego baseball player involved in alleged DUI hit-and-run

Matt Bush, a San Diego native and aspiring professional baseball player was reportedly involved in a series of hit-and-run accidents last month, which resulted in the serious injury of a motorcyclist. This is just the latest of a series of similar incidents for the 26-year-old, who has seen his once-promising baseball career stall as a result of his issues with alcohol.

According to police reports, the series of alleged DUI accidents began when Bush crashed a teammate’s SUV into another vehicle. The driver of the second vehicle later told police that he had been hit by a SUV matching the description of the one driven by Bush, which had backed up at a red light to make an illegal U-turn following the crash.

Later that day, the same SUV crashed into the back of a motorcycle, causing its 72-year-old rider to suffer serious injuries. Bush reportedly fled that scene as well.

He was later apprehended by police, at which time he told police that he had been involved in yet another accident, in which he had collided with a pole, between the crash with the first vehicle and the motorcycle. Bush was arrested and charged with multiple criminal offenses in connection with the series of alleged DUI hit-and-run accidents. In addition, the motorcyclist reportedly plans to file a personal injury lawsuit against Bush and the owner of the SUV involved in the crashes.

The arrest is just one in a line of alcohol-related incidents that have derailed Bush’s once-promising professional baseball career. In 2004, Bush was the top overall pick in the MLB draft, but has spent the last two years playing for a minor league team after multiple ‘reported alcohol issues.’ Hopefully, he is able to get these issues under control and get back to his former and future baseball success.


ICE on the lookout for drug smugglers crossing into San Diego

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office is taking action to combat drug smugglers that are luring Tijuana citizens to participate in alleged drug trafficking operations that move narcotics across the U.S. border into San Diego.

According to ICE officials, the Tijuana ‘drug lords’ are placing ads in local newspapers alerting citizens of what appear to be reputable employment opportunities involving transporting company vehicles across the border. These jobs later turn out to be fronts for drug trafficking operations, often resulting in the innocent drivers being arrested and charged with federal drug crimes when they reach California.

Since 2011, ICE has apprehended and arrested nearly 40 such drivers at the San Diego border. This reportedly led to the seizure of 100 pounds of methamphetamine, 75 pounds of cocaine and more than 3,300 pounds of marijuana.

To alert Tijuana residents of the potential of arrest and criminal penalties, ICE has placed ads of its own into the two main newspapers in Tijuana. “Warning! Drug traffickers are announcing employment for drivers to cross to the United States,” the ads read. “Don’t be a victim of the smuggler’s trap.”

ICE says that, in most cases, the drivers suspected that something was amiss. However, needing gainful employment, they were willing to overlook the inconsistencies and irregularities for the promise of a much-needed paycheck.

For example, one Tijuana man told officers that he had searched the vehicle, suspecting that his new employer may have been up to something illegal. Despite his search, he did not find the 30 pounds of cocaine that were packed into the gas tank, which ultimately led to his arrest when he reached the U.S.

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