Firefighters responding to a two-alarm fire on Hancock Street near Hickock Street in Point Loma found a little more than they bargained for Nov. 10.
While knocking down the flames in an industrial area with multiple businesses and storage areas, firefighters stumbled on an extensive marijuana-production facility, which is now part of a police investigation, according to officials with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
The blaze damaged several buildings in the complex, including an auto body shop, a machine shop, an office building and a storage facility being used by SeaWorld San Diego, said authorities.
The fire is believed to have been triggered by an electrical problem, although investigators were continuing to study surveillance video. Despite initial concerns of hazardous materials, none were found at the site.
Damage was estimated at about $500,000 for all of the affected business. No injuries were reported and the flames were extinguished in about 20 minutes, said fire officials.
Bomb threat suspect sent to mental hospital
A man who allegedly made a bomb threat to a police officer at Robb Field in Ocean Beach has been committed to a state mental hospital after a judge found the defendant wasn’t mentally competent to stand trial.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Fred Maguire ordered the commitment for Kreighton John Kilgore, 27, after reviewing Kilgore’s psychiatric evaluations. Kilgore will be housed at Patton State Hospital, and doctors will notify the judge if Kilgore regains his mental competence.
Police received a call July 20 from a woman who said a man told her about a bomb in a mailbox and that he had threatened her. A police officer responded and Kilgore told him about a bomb, though no explosives were found.
Kilgore is also charged with battery of a police officer when he allegedly spit on the officer during his arrest.
— Neal Putnam
NTC Foundation fetes Phase 2 milestone Nov. 15
In a high-profile grand-opening event featuring District 2 City Councilman Kevin Faulconer, NTC Foundation officials celebrated completion of the $23 million development on Nov. 15.
The project, which involved the redevelopment of eight historic Navy buildings that were once part of the former Naval Training Center, is a milestone, considering the difficult economic times, according to Alan Ziter, executive director of the NTC Foundation.
“You can build a community center based on arts and culture — and family programming; it can survive and thrive,” said Ziter.
The civilianized sprawl, known today as Liberty Station, has become a mecca for arts and cultural entities, including museums, dance studios and art studios.
Even as the grand opening of Phase 2 was being celebrated, NTC Foundation officials noted the fact that the eight redeveloped buildings were already 60 percent full with new tenants.
Robber with personalized plates pleads guilty
A Point Loma bank robber whose getaway car bore a license plate with his own last name pleaded guilty Nov. 1 to armed bank robbery.
Robert Nathan Alm, 27, admitted he robbed Chase Bank at 3609 Midway Drive on Jan. 14, in which nearly $3,000 was stolen. Someone wrote down the getaway vehicle’s personalized license plate: ALMDUDE.
The maximum sentence is 25 years in federal prison, but the judge is likely to give him a lesser sentence because of federal sentencing guidelines.
Sentencing is set for Feb. 11 before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Mitchell Dembin. Alm is being held without bail.
— Neal Putnam Liberty Station to fete Convair with new exhibit
The NTC Foundation at Liberty Station is preparing to curate another permanent exhibit honoring Reuben H. Fleet and the impact contractor Consolidated Aircraft Corp. (later Convair) had on San Diego, its economy and the lives of San Diegans during World War II and beyond.
The exhibit, being installed now at the former Naval Training Center inside the historic NTC Command Center at 2640 Historic Decatur Road, will be the focus of an event Nov. 17 at 10:30 a.m., during which former Consolidated Aircraft employees and their families are asked to bring artifacts and stories from their experiences with the company. Historian Jennifer Garey will be on hand to view artifacts and record stories for consideration in the exhibit. The NTC Foundation will dedicate a bench in the Sybil Stockdale Rose Garden in the name of William F. Chana, a test pilot for Consolidated Aircraft and author of the book “Roger, Over & Out.”
Founded by Reuben H. Fleet in 1923, Consolidated Aircraft became one of the most significant aircraft manufacturers in American history. It built some of the most important aircraft in aviation history, including the PBY Catalina, B-24 Liberator, Convair 880 airliner, F-102 Delta Dagger and the reliable Atlas missile, which was vital in launching America into space.
For more information, contact the NTC Foundation at (619) 573-9300.
PLA honors outstanding community partners
The Point Loma Association (PLA), long an active beautification organization bringing dedication, civic service and cohesion to the Peninsula, honored a host of community partners and contributors during its annual PLA Awards Dinner gala on Oct. 4.
Here are winners of this year’s beautification awards:
• Point Loma Seafoods — outstanding architecture
• La Playa Trail Association — Chinese Fisherman's Monument (Ned Daugherty, designer)
• Silver Gate Yacht Club — Sailor on the Mast Sculpture (Designers P.J Dixon, James Nelson, Brian Thomas)
• Southwestern Yacht Club — sea artwork
• Sharon Zell — Hope Garden
• Westy’s Antiques and Tavern — creative signage
• Dr. Dave De Rosier Dental Office — attractive signage
• Con Pane Rustic Breads and Café — attractive signage
• Karen Davis was honored with the special Lighthouse Award for her efforts on the Mean Green Team and beautification efforts.
Man who drowned near OB Pier identified
The county Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the man whose body was discovered floating southwest of the Ocean Beach Pier by a fisherman on Aug. 11. The man has been identified as Lawrence Kenneth Booth, 34, of Pacific Beach.