Top San Diego news stories of 2017

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SAN DIEGO – Here’s a look back at the top San Diego moments of 2017.

Dean Spanos announces San Diego Chargers will move to LA for 2017 season

The Chargers announced they were leaving San Diego to move to Los Angeles beginning with the 2017 NFL season, owner Dean Spanos confirmed in a letter posted to the team’s website on January 12.

Chargers fans burn memorabilia outside the team headquarters to protest the team’s move to Los Angeles.

January storms flood San Diego County and topple hundreds of trees

A strong Pacific storm brought heavy precipitation in January that caused flooding, thunderstorms, damaging winds and big waves to San Diego County.

Toppled tree on Charmant Street in University City on Jan. 22, 2017.


Tens of thousands turn out for Women’s March in San Diego

A large crowd estimated by police at between 30,000 and 40,000 people stepped off the San Diego Civic Center complex at City Hall on January 21, 2017 in support of women’s rights.

Women’s March in downtown San Diego.

SeaWorld San Diego hosts final killer whale show

Crowds packed the SeaWorld San Diego stadium to watch the final killer whale show in January. Hundreds of people waited in line for hours to see Shamu perform for one last time as show performers.


Winter storm floods Petco Park

A picture posted on social media February 27 showed the Major League ballpark field underwater. A team spokeswoman said the rain fell so quickly the drainage was slow to keep up. Field crews said the stadium was not damaged from the standing water.


Imperial Beach residents ask for federal investigation into Mexican sewage spill

San Diego political and environmental leaders encouraged the public in February to pressure federal officials to investigate a huge sewage spill in Mexico that has fouled beaches and other areas of southern San Diego County.

Over the course of 2017, several local governments filed intents to sue the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission.

A massive sewage flow from Tijuana contaminated San Diego beaches from Imperial Beach to Coronado in February 2017.


California desert ‘super bloom’ delights nature lovers

A wildflower “super bloom” erupted in a Southern California’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park throughout the month of March.

Wildflower blooming in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California. Dune Sunflower (yellow), Desert Sand Verbena (pink), Dune Primrose (white).

7 injured, woman killed in mass shooting at University City pool; gunman killed by police

Seven people were injured and one woman died after a shooting at a University City apartment complex pool on April 30. The gunman was killed by San Diego police.

Police investigate a shooting at a pool in University City apartment complex on April 30, 2017. (Photo: Andrea Beckwith)

Potato Chip Rock snaps off! Poway’s mayor pulls off April Fool’s joke

News of the seemingly fragile Potato Chip Rock breaking off on April 1 had people throughout San Diego County commenting on social media.

At the end of a long explanation, the mayor of Poway said the repair would be completed ahead of schedule and that they “welcome visitors for many more April Fools Days to come.”

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus posted an altered picture of the Potato Chip Rock as a prank on April Fool’s Day.


North County woman ‘fighting for her life’ after shark attack

A mother of three children was placed in a medically induced coma and “had a long (road) ahead with several surgeries to go” after being attacked by a shark in late April.

Leeanne Ericson, 35, was swimming in the surf off the coast of Camp Pendleton about 6:30 p.m. when a shark tore off the back of her thigh “from her glute to her knee,” her mother said.

Months later, doctors announced Ericson was able to walk again.

Steve Fisher passes torch to Brian Dutcher after 18 years with Aztecs

Steve Fisher, who is credited with breathing life into the San Diego State University men’s basketball program and making the team a conference and national power, retired April 11.



Head coach Steve Fisher of the San Diego State Aztecs (Getty Images)

Snow covers San Diego mountains during unusual May storm

An unusual May rainstorm prompted an unusual a general advisory for the coastal waters and mountains in San Diego County.

(Credit: Marina Latorre)

Coast Guard offloads 18 tons of seized cocaine in San Diego

The drug haul, intercepted in international waters off the coasts of Central and South America from March through June, was unloaded by the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Waesche at 10th Avenue Marine Terminal in Barrio Logan.

Over the last two years, the Coast Guard has increased personnel and resources to known drug transit zones and investigative resources to reduce the threat of organized crime in the U.S.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, homported in Alameda, California, offloads approximately 18 tons of cocaine at 10th Ave Marine Terminal in San Diego on June 15, 2017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Davonte Marrow/Released)


Hollywood A-listers descend on Comic-Con

Dozens of Hollywood’s biggest stars made the pilgrimage to San Diego in July to attend Comic-Con 2017.

The casts and filmmakers from Marvel Studios’ attend the San Diego Comic-Con International 2016 Marvel Panel in Hall H on July 23, 2016 in San Diego, California. ©Marvel Studios 2016. ©2016 CTMG. All Rights Reserved. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

City honors ‘Star Wars’ legend Mark Hamill by renaming street in his honor

Street signs that honor “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill were unveiled on July 31 in Clairemont, where he went to middle and high school.

A sea of people filled the neighborhood to witness the moment.

San Diego police officer uses a lightsaber to help Mark Hamill unveil an honorary street sign in Clairemont on July 30, 2017.


USS Rafael Peralta commissioned in Coronado

The Navy’s latest destroyer entered service in late July during a ceremony in Coronado, where the vessel was named in memory of a Marine from San Diego who was killed in action in 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq.

Baby tiger found during smuggling attempt at Otay Mesa border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers rescued a Bengal tiger cub from a teenager who attempted to bring it into San Diego from Mexico in August.

LaDainian Tomlinson, Terrell Davis inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame

Retired San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson and ex-Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis, who played at Lincoln High School, were among seven new members inducted August 5 into the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2017.

LaDainian Tomlinson reacts as he and presenter Lorenzo Neal unveil Tomlinson’s bust during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 5, 2017 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

San Diegans view rare solar eclipse

Thousands of San Diegans enjoyed viewing the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse at events around the city as 57 percent of the sun was blocked by the moon.

Went to Cabrillo to view the eclipse. Had glasses but decided to take a colander after Heather’s piece this morning. Worked out great!!!

City steps up fight against deadly hepatitis A outbreak

The City and County of San Diego teamed up to fight an outbreak of hepatitis A that was linked to over 500 people and killed 20 of them.

The declaration of a local health emergency helped county workers and volunteers to provide over 113,000 free vaccinations against the virus, which is spread by person-to-person contact and poor sanitation.


Hundreds rally in Chicano Park to ‘defend’ murals

White rights activists wanted to take down historic Chicano murals depicting Latino themes from the park, which was just named as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior in January of this year.

Hundreds of people showed up in Chicano Park in early September for what was planned to be a peaceful gathering of solidarity to defend the park against what they said were expressions of hatred to immigrants and minorities in San Diego.

An hour into the rally emotions quickly escalated when an expected group of citizens showed up for what they call a “Patriot Picnic.”

San Diego police officers divided the two groups in order to keep violence from breaking out.

White Supremisist demonstrators are escorted to their cars by police officials during a solidarity rally at Chicano Park on September 3, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)


Father of son with autism deported under tougher immigration enforcement

The father of two teenagers, including a special needs student at Scripps Ranch High School, was deported to Mexico Thursday following U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials ruling.

Family reacts to news that Gaston Cazares will be deported to Mexico Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017.

Fire destroys ship in San Diego Harbor

A fire engulfed the 120-foot ship Norton Sound in the San Diego Harbor in late September. Thick plumes of dark gray smoke billowed into the skies above Seaport Village for several days.

San Diegans among the shooting victims of Las Vegas massacre

A San Diego attorney Jennifer Irvine died in the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival on October 8.

Days after the shooting, stories of other San Diegans who attended the event emerged, including Taylor Winston, who stole pickup truck to ferry 30 critically injured people to the hospital.

Sheri Sletten in the moments following the Las Vegas massacre.
(Photo credit/John Locher)

Diver finds body in barrel floating in San Diego Bay

A decomposed body was found stuffed inside a sealed barrel chained to a block in the San Diego Bay in mid-October, police said.

Two men were arrested two months later for the murder of a 28-year-old Chula Vista music producer.



Border wall prototypes unveiled in Otay Mesa

Eight different prototypes of President Trump’s border wall were unveiled at the U.S. border with Mexico in October.

The prototypes will “help us create a ‘design standard’ for operational walls,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello said. “The new designs would be added to our menu of existing designs, and allow us to tailor a specific wall design to the unique demands of individual areas of the border.”



120 pets abandoned following Hurricane Harvey flown to San Diego

Around 120 dogs and cats were flown to San Diego County on November 7 from overcrowded shelters in the hurricane-stricken Houston area.

No building permits approved for gym where 21 kids were injured

No building permits were approved for the construction done to the building that housed an indoor gym where 21 children and two adults were injured when a platform collapsed in mid-November.

More than 200 structures destroyed or damaged in Lilac Fire, including horse training center

A fast-moving brush fire destroyed buildings as it burned in Bonsall along Interstate 15 near state Route 76.

The fire, dubbed the Lilac Fire, started around 11:15 a.m. on December 7 and ended up scorching 4,100 acres.

Volunteers rescue horses at a stable during the Lilac fire in Bonsall, California on December 7, 2017.
Local emergency officials warned of powerful winds on December 7 that will feed wildfires raging in Los Angeles, threatening multi-million dollar mansions with blazes that have already forced more than 200,000 people to flee. / AFP PHOTO / Sandy Huffaker

Procession from Ventura to San Diego honors fireman killed in Thomas Fire

A five-county procession took place December 17 for Cal Fire engineer Cory Inverson of San Diego who died battling the Thomas Fire,

Iverson was killed near Fillmore, falling victim to thermal injuries and smoke inhalation, according to autopsy results.

The Thomas Fire was the second-largest wildfire in modern California history.



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