<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Texas News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcdfw.com/feature/texas-news http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.comen-usTue, 28 Mar 2017 11:27:08 -0500Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:27:08 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Texas Unemployment for February Up Slightly to 4.9 Percent]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:02:25 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/203*120/72107381.jpg

The Texas unemployment rate in February rose slightly to reach 4.9 percent, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

The latest figure compares with a January statewide jobless rate of 4.8 percent, according to a commission statement. Nationwide unemployment last month was 4.7 percent.

The Amarillo area had the lowest February jobless rate in Texas at 3.6 percent. The Lubbock and Austin-Round Rock areas both recorded 3.7 percent unemployment for the month, the statement said.

The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area recorded the state's highest unemployment last month at 8.8 percent, officials said.

The Texas economy expanded in February with the addition of 6,700 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs.

Texas employers added 222,400 jobs over the year, according to the commission.

The education and health services industry recorded the largest private-industry employment gain over the month with 11,700 jobs added.

Leisure and hospitality employment grew by 4,400 jobs in February, the commission reported. Manufacturing employment expanded by 3,900 jobs.

"Texas employers continue to keep our state's economy strong with private-sector employment expanding over the year with an overall job-growth of 189,200, including 12,300 jobs added in February," said Commissioner Ruth R. Hughs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rain Helps Firefighters Contain Panhandle Wildfire]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:38:07 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Panhandle-Wildfires.jpg

Stiff winds quickly spread a wildfire in the Texas Panhandle across 94 square miles before rain helped firefighters contain the flames.

The Texas A&M Forest Service says the wildfire spread Thursday across Ochiltree and Roberts counties in the northeast corner of the Panhandle near the Oklahoma border.

Firefighters were able to save at least three homes as the fast-moving flames forced the closure of roads and prompted authorities to call in air tankers to assist.

There were no apparent injuries.

The fire broke out in the same area ravaged earlier this month by two wildfires that burned more than 750 square miles and killed four people.

Texas ranchers are facing at least $21 million in agricultural damages from those earlier wildfires.

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<![CDATA[Fire at Tech's Practice Facility Near Jones AT&T Stadium]]> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:50:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/tt+fire.gif

Texas Tech University says nobody was injured in a fire Wednesday afternoon at the school's new sports performance center.

The fire started at about 5:30 p.m., and thick black smoke could be seen for miles from the Lubbock campus while firefighters contained the flames.

Campus officials said workers had been welding on the roof of the facility, which is under construction near the Jones AT&T Stadium, when a piece of hot metal landed on rubber roofing material below and ignited.

The extent of the damage and an estimate on the losses from the fire have not been released.



Photo Credit: KCBD-TV
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<![CDATA['Selena' Movie Turns 20: A Look Back on Her Life in Photos]]> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:13:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/selena-jlo-solit.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[TX Anatomy Teacher Accused of 'Sexual Contact' with Student]]> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:49:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/s-fowlkes-mug.jpg

A Texas high school anatomy teacher has been arrested for allegedly having an improper relationship with a student.

The Lockhart Police Department said 27-year-old Sarah Fowlkes of Lockhart High School "engaged in sexual contact" with a 17-year-old male student earlier this month.

Police told NBC Austin affiliate KXAN Fowlkes turned herself in on Monday and bonded out later that day.

Fowlkes' attorney Jason Nassour said, "You've got a young lady who was arrested on the statement of a 17-year-old kid with no corroborating evidence."

Nassour said his client is smiling in her mug shot because she is innocent.

He added that "this isn't a guilty person sitting there like they just got caught. When everything's fleshed out it won't be as it appears."

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Fowlkes has been employed with the Lockhart Independent School District since October 2014, according to KXAN.

She has since been suspended by the district pending an investigation.

Arrest Affidavit

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Photo Credit: Lockhart Police Dept./NBC 5
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<![CDATA[Two Men Ride Horses Inside a Texas Wal-Mart]]> Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:20:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_walmarthorse0321_1500x845.jpg

It's certainly not something you see every day, not even in a Wal-Mart.

This past weekend, two men rode their horses into a Houston Wal-Mart store.

Customers and workers were shocked to see the horses and their riders going up and down several isles.

The two were inside the store for at least a couple of minutes.

Woody Fields, one of the men on a horse and also the person who shot the video, says he and his friends ride every weekend and they just wanted to try something different.

"I wasn't trying to hurt nobody, or do anything destructive," said Fields. "It was just, like, you only live once, you know? That's all."

Wal-Mart issued a statement, saying, "we in no way condone yesterday's reckless stunt inside our store and are thankful no one was hurt by these actions."

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<![CDATA[Lawmakers Set to Tackle Texas 'School Choice Bill' at Capitol]]> Tue, 21 Mar 2017 08:21:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/texas+capitol+dome.jpg

The Senate Education Committee will hear testimony about the "School Choice Bill."

The proposed Senate Bill 3 would re-route millions of dollars from public schools to families who prefer private, religious or home school.

Leaders in the Texas Senate are backing the bill. It also has support from Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.

This is not the first time a version of “school choice” has been introduced during the Texas Session. Lawmakers in favor of the bill are hoping there is enough support and momentum to see the new policy confirmed.

Critics of the bill are fighting to block SB 3. Thousands have rallied for and against the idea of education savings accounts (vouchers) and tax credits that would be created under the bill.

SB 3 could reroute millions of tax dollars away from public school classrooms.

“I like the idea of school choice, but choice within the public school system and Dallas ISD has engaged in some really innovative choice schools,” said David Lee, whose daughter attends one of Dallas ISD’s “choice schools.” “First we need to think about funding the schools that we do have. That’s the conversation we need to have. We need additional funding for our schools.”

Judy Beverly, who was an in-school nurse for more than four decades, is concerned for the millions of students who are enrolled in public school.

“Everyone wants to take money away from the schools, and yet Texas does so poorly for their school children," she said. "For whatever reason, some moms and dads can’t get them to a ‘voucher school,’ and this new policy will take funding away from public schools. I don’t agree with that.”

Other concerns surround the lack of accountability over charter, private, and home school options.

“I think that schools need to operate under the same rules," Lee said.

Those in favor of the bill say providing parents with options will produce healthy competition.

“I think parents need to demand more. People don’t like change, and it can be scary, there are the unknowns and we like to be comfortable. I think to get to the next level we have to stretch ourselves,” said Shannon Braun who has a child currently enrolled in private school.

Braun's oldest daughter graduated from public school and attend University of Texas.

“I can see the difference, between what she was taught and what my son is being taught. In private school it’s not about the standardized tests, it’s about comprehension and teaching students how to become leaders,” she said.

Antanette Malone who recently enrolled her first grader into a Dallas charter school is happy with her decision.

“Charter school teaching is better because you’re not just focused on one aspect which is taking a test at the end of the year. You also get more parent involvement in charter schools,” she said.

Each parent has the same goal, making sure their child has a quality education.

The hearing for Senate Bill 3 starts at 9 a.m.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Senate Gives Final Approval to Anti-Abortion Bill]]> Tue, 21 Mar 2017 06:47:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Texas+state+capitol.jpg

The Texas Senate has given final approval to banning a commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure, sending it to the state House.

Monday's 21-9 vote came amid a silent demonstration by a small group of women in costume in the Senate visitors' gallery. They held up protest signs, but state troopers and Senate officials waiting nearby pulled them down, then escorted the women out.

The bill bans a procedure known as dilation and evacuation, which abortion-rights supporters contend is the safest and most common method used in second-trimester abortions.

Republicans are pushing efforts they say protect fetuses, which comes after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a major Texas anti-abortion law last summer promoted as protecting women's health.

Similar bans in four other states have been suspended due to legal challenges.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Senate OKs Curbing 'Wrongful Birth' Lawsuits]]> Mon, 20 Mar 2017 23:23:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Texas+state+capitol.jpg

The Texas Senate has preliminarily approved a "wrongful birth" bill prohibiting parents from suing doctors for malpractice after their child is born with severe disabilities.

Monday 21-9 vote means Conroe Republican Sen. Brandon Creighton's is just a procedural vote away from heading to the Texas House.

At issue is a 1975 case where the Texas Supreme Court ruled that parents were entitled to damages covering the extra cost of raising a child with disabilities after doctors failed to fully inform them about problems with the pregnancy.

Creighton says doctors still would have to disclose all important information to patients, who also can still sue for negligence. But he says doctors wouldn't be liable for delivering disabled children, thus discouraging abortions.

Opponents warn of physicians imposing "their own morality" on patients.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>