<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Breaking News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/breaking http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:14:58 -0500 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:14:58 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Swarm of Bees Stings 22 Saginaw Students]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:51:19 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ambulance-kids-bees.jpg

School officials confirm 22 students were stung by a swarm of bees outside Saginaw's Highland Middle School Tuesday morning during PE class.

Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District spokeswoman Kristin Courtney said a group of sixth-grade students, 21 boys and four girls, were outside the school in the 1000 block of Bailey Boswell Road in Fort Worth when they were attacked while playing soccer.

Courtney said the bees had built a hive inside an underground irrigation valve box, which was disturbed when one of the students stepped on the box cover.

Officials told NBC 5 the 22 children were stung at least once, some as many as 12 times. MedStar officials said they transported four children to Cook Children's Medical Center, including one who had a severe reaction to the sting.

All of those hospitalized were released Tuesday night.

One student, Isaac Armendariz, was stung on the ear and his arm.

"It was pretty weird.  Just a whole bunch of people started running, chasing, the coaches were like, super calm and everything. They were trying to get us all situated and trying to get us away from the bee hive," Armendariz said.

According to Courtney, the district's integrated pest management coordinator euthanized the remainder of the hive. Officials will continue to monitor the area for bees before declaring it safe for students.

Animal control officers are awaiting tests on the bees to see if they were Africanized killer bees, but the pest management coordinator said that based on the bee's behavior they do not appear to be killer bees.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[2nd Ebola Patient Arrives at Emory Hospital]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:14:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Vinson-Emory-021.jpg

A Dallas nurse who tested positive for Ebola after caring for a patient who died of the disease arrived Wednesday evening at the Atlanta hospital where two other Americans have recovered from the virus.

Amber Joy Vinson, 29, the second nurse diagnosed after caring for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at a Dallas hospital, arrived at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta at about 8:30 p.m. ET.

She will be treated in the special isolation unit where three other American Ebola patients have been treated, the hospital said Wednesday night — Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who both were successfully treated and discharged, and a third unidentified American still being treated there.

Vinson was flown by ambulance plane to Atlanta from Dallas, where she had been treated in isolation since Tuesday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the hospital where she works. She had reported a fever Tuesday and been immediately isolated there within 90 minutes, officials said.

Medical records provided to The Associated Press by Thomas Eric Duncan's family show Vinson was actively engaged in caring for Duncan in the days before his death. The records show she inserted catheters, drew blood and dealt with Duncan's body fluids.

Another Dallas nurse who treated Duncan and is currently battling the virus, 26-year-old Nina Pham, is in good condition at Texas Health Presbyterian and will stay in that hospital for now.

On Wednesday night, sources confirmed to NBC 5 that local leaders and the CDC are considering plans to move Pham from Presbyterian Hospital to Emory University Hospital.

The decision will ultimately be up to Pham and how she's feeling. A decision is expected as early as Thursday morning.

CDC: New Diagnosis "a Serious Concern"

Pham and Vinson are two of the 77 hospital workers who are being monitored for Ebola symptoms after caring for Duncan before he died Oct. 8.

Both worked on Sept. 28, 29 and 30, days when Duncan experienced "extensive production" of diarrhea and vomiting, the CDC said Wednesday. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to contaminated objects such as needles. 

Still, it is not clear how Pham or Vinson contracted the virus, leading the CDC to call the new diagnosis "a serious concern."

Vinson flew to Dallas from Cleveland one day before she showed symptoms of Ebola, in violation of CDC guidelines, the CDC said Wednesday. She had also taken a Frontier Airlines flight from Dallas to visit her mother and fiance in Akron, Cleveland officials said.

The Cleveland Clinic and The MetroHealth System had employees on the Frontier flight from Dallas to Cleveland, returning from a nursing conference in Texas. In a joint statement with University Hospital, both health systems have placed those employees on plaid leave while their health is being monitored.

"We are confident that these nurses are at low risk of exposure since we understand that the Dallas nurse did not have symptoms at the time. We have taken this measure as an extra precautionary step for our employees, patients, and visitors," they said.

Although Vinson had reported no symptoms or fever, she should not have flown on a commercial flight since she was being monitored, Frieden said.

The agency now wants to talk to all 132 people who flew on that Fronter Airlines flight to Dallas Monday night. It does not believe Vinson could have spread the virus to anybody on that flight, however, because the CDC says people people are not contagious before symptoms develop.

Officials Brace for More Possible Cases

More cases could surface among those who helped treat Duncan before he died, Dallas health and city officials cautioned Wednesday. Health officials are once again completing "contract tracing" to identify people who may have been exposed, in what they call a "two-front fight" against the virus.

Another 75 hospital workers are being actively monitored for symptoms, along with several dozen more people who may have had contact with Duncan or a close associate outside the hospital. However, those who may have been exposed before he was hospitalized are nearing the end of the monitoring period and are now less likely to show symptoms.

"We are preparing contingencies for more, and that is a very real possibility," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Wednesday.

He and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings reassured residents, however, that the system in place to monitor potential exposures and identify symptoms was working and that officials would contain the virus' spread.

"The only way we are going to beat this is person by person, moment by moment, detail by detail," Mayor Rawlings said. "It may get worse before it gets better, but it will get better."

"This is not going to be a situation where we’re going to put protective orders on 75 heath care workers," Jenkins added. "The system right now is working. If they have any temperature or any loose stool or any other symptom, they immediately go to isolation in the hospital, and they are tested."

Jenkins hailed Vinson for the "grit and grace" with which she had confronted her diagnosis, comparing her determination to Pham's. "We pray that, like Nina, she will get on a good track," Jenkins said.

"Breach of Protocol" Blamed for 1st Nurse's Infection

The CDC has said Pham's infection was the result of a "breach of protocol" and warned in recent days that more cases could surface among other workers who may have been exposed during Duncan's care.

The confirmation of a second case lends support to nurses' claims this week that they have inadequate training and, in some cases, protective gear, to take care of Ebola patients. It also highlights the need to quickly determine how the health care workers contracted the virus and how many of the other 75 who treated Duncan are at risk.

"They're not prepared" for what they are being asked to do, said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, a union with 185,000 members.

Based on statements from nurses it did not identify, the union described how Duncan was left in an open area of the emergency room for hours. It said staff treated Duncan for days without the correct protective gear, that hazardous waste was allowed to pile up to the ceiling and safety protocols constantly changed.

DeMoro refused to say how many nurses made the statement about Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, but insisted they were in a position to know what happened.

"We are looking at every element of our personal protection equipment and infection control in the hospital," said Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer for Texas Health Resources, which operates Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

The second case may help health officials determine where the infection control breach is occurring and make practices safer for health workers everywhere.

For example, if both health workers were involved in drawing Duncan's blood, placing an intravenous line or suctioning mucus when Duncan was on a breathing machine, that would be recognized as a particularly high-risk activity. It also might reveal which body fluids pose the greatest risk.

Frieden said initially that safety measures in place at the hospital should have prevented the virus' spread. But some have questioned how ready and equipped the hospital in Dallas was to treat Duncan and prevent spread of the illness there and whether patients should instead be routed to special facilities that have successfully treated Americans who fell sick with Ebola while abroad.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Horn High School Locked Down]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:36:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Horn+High+School+Lock+Down1.jpg

John Horn High School in Mesquite was locked down Thursday after one student said another had a gun in his backpack.

Police learned that one student had threatened another and partially displayed what appeared to be a gun.

The student, his bag and his locker were searched, but no gun was found.

The school was being kept on lock down while a thorough search was conducted, during which the students did not change classrooms but were allowed to use the restroom or have lunch in small groups.

"Though there was an exhaustive search, no gun was found. We commend our students for handling this situation in a calm manner, and thank our parents for their understanding," said Elizabeth Fernandez, director of communications and marketing for the Mesquite Independent School District.

The student alleged to have the weapon was taken into custody by police.

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<![CDATA[First U.S. Ebola Case Confirmed in Dallas]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 17:03:53 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ebola-dallas.jpg

A person who arrived in Dallas from Liberia a week ago tested positive for Ebola Tuesday, becoming the first person diagnosed in the U.S. with the potentially deadly virus, the City of Dallas confirmed.

The patient was hospitalized and placed in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Sunday after symptoms appeared four days earlier, on Sept. 24. Hospital officials listed him in serious condition Wednesday after previously being listed in critical condition.

Because the patient showed no symptoms of the virus when he arrived in the U.S. Sept. 20, there was no risk to fellow airline passengers, according to CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.

"We’ve stopped every Ebola outbreak that’s ever occurred in Africa expect for this one," he said. And this one could have been stopped  if we had gotten in there earlier.

The CDC will ensure that the patient will be treated in a way that minimizes the risk of spreading infection, Frieden said. He also said a team is in Dallas to identify anyone the patient might have infected and monitor them for 21 days.

"We will stop Ebola in its tracks in the U.S.," he said.

Dallas County Health Director Zachary Thompson told NBC 5 that they are focused on 12 to 18 people who had close, physical contact with the patient while symptomatic in Dallas. He said about 10 epidemiologists from the county and CDC are investigating the patient's friends and family.

"The number that is on the ground right now to do the contact investigation is adequate," Thompson said. "If that number was to expand, we'd ask for additional resources."

Thompson said medical professionals have tested one of the patient's relatives, but did not say whether it was a "suspected case."

"I wouldn't be surprised if there was a second confirmed case," he said. "We know that several family members had very close physical contact with this patient."

The Dallas Fire-Rescue ambulance crew who transported the infected man to the hospital tested negative for Ebola, but they will be monitored for symptoms as the incubation period passes, Dallas city officials said. If symptoms develop, they too will be isolated and investigators will determine who they came into contact with and monitor those people for symptoms.

"I have no doubt that we will control this importation or this case of the Ebola so that it does not spread widely in this country," Frieden said. "It is certainly possible that someone who had contact with this individual, a family member, or other individual, could develop Ebola in the coming weeks, but there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here."

Officials also pulled the ambulance used to transport the man from service. The number of people in the DFR crew being monitored is not known, but a traditional ambulance crew complement is two. Firetrucks can carry an additional five first responders.

The Ebola diagnosis was confirmed Tuesday after specimens were sent from Presbyterian Hospital to the Texas public health laboratory in Austin, the Texas Department of State Health Services said Tuesday. The Austin lab, which was certified last month to test for Ebola, tested the specimen and sent the sample to the CDC in Atlanta for further confirmation.

The Dallas patient will continue to be treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, according to Dr. Edward Goodman, hospital epidemiologist at Presbyterian. On Wednesday morning, the hospital listed the patient's condition as serious.

After receiving the Ebola diagnosis, the city activated its Emergency Operations Center and is on Level 2: High Readiness. State and federal health officials said Tuesday there are no other confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola virus in the state, though.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is expected to hold a news conference at noon Wednesday to discuss the Ebola diagnosis.

According to the City of Dallas, the patient moved to Dallas a week ago, but health officials with the CDC said the patient only came to Dallas to visit family. The unidentified man's nationality is not yet known, but NBC 5 confirmed the man is a father who previously lived in the United States. His last known residence was in the Liberian capital city of Monrovia.

President Barack Obama was briefed about the diagnosis in a call from Frieden, the White House said.

Word of the infection alarmed the local Liberian community.

"People have been calling, trying to find out if anybody knows the family," said Stanley Gaye, president of the Liberian Community Association of Dallas-Fort Worth. "We've been telling people to try to stay away from social gatherings."

Dallas Patient the Fifth Ebola Patient Treated in U.S. This Year

The patient is the fifth person treated for Ebola in the country this year after missionaries Dr. Kent Brantly, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Rick Sacra all contracted the virus while working in West Africa.

Brantly and Writebol have fully recovered after they were given experimental drugs and treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta in August.  Sacra was treated at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and was released Sept. 25. He had been working in Liberia on behalf of SIM. The identity and condition of the fourth patient has not been released. It is believed that they are still being treated at Emory Hospital.

Writebol issued a statement Tuesday after learning of the new diagnosis in Dallas on Tuesday.

"We are sad for the family of the patient and pray for recovery to good health," she said. "It is a mercy that the best medical care is available. We also pray for the safety of the medical staff attending to the patient."

How is Ebola Spread?

Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease spread through close, direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids of a living or dead person who had contracted Ebola. The virus is only contagious when symptoms are present, and it is not spread through the air, through food or water.

Symptoms for Ebola virus involve a fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and unexplained hemorrhage. Symptoms appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure but the average is eight to 10 days.

If someone exposed to Ebola has not shown symptoms for 21 days they are not expected to develop Ebola.

According to the CDC, recovery from Ebola depends on the patient's immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for about 10 years.

The CDC said the United States is well-equipped to manage and treat Ebola and that the chances of an outbreak like the one in West Africa is extremely low.

NBC 5's Ben Russell, Scott Gordon Jeff Smith and Todd L. Davis contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Highland Park MS, McCulloch Inter. Evacuated]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:38:17 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/hp-middle-mcculloch-intermediate.jpg

Students at Highland Park Middle School and Arch H. McCulloch Intermediate School have been evacuated due to smoke in the building.

The schools are in the same building at 3555 Granada Drive in Dallas.

NBC 5 has learned all of the students and faculty were able to get out of the building without injury.

Firefighters searched for the source of the smoke but no sign of fire was found. It was later determined that the city was conducting a smoke test in the sewage system, and smoke from that test entered the school.

The area was determined to be safe and the students were allowed to return to class.



Photo Credit: Highland Park Independent School District]]>
<![CDATA[SWAT Search Ends at Fort Worth Elementary]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 06:21:51 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/sagamore-hills-es-broken-window.jpg

Classes resumed at Fort Worth's Sagamore Hill Elementary School Thursday after an overnight break-in and a subsequent search for the intruders by Fort Worth SWAT officers.

According to officials, someone entered the school at 701 South Hughes Avenue at about 2:45 a.m. Thursday after breaking one of the front windows.

Fort Worth ISD security personnel were alerted to the break-in and could see two men inside the school. One of the suspects covers the lower part of his face with a towel in one piece of surveillance video, the other does not. A second video shows them running down a hallway of the school.

Officers with K-9 dogs searched the school but couldn't locate the burglars.  As dawn approached, and with the location of the intruders unknown, it was decided that SWAT officers would conduct a thorough search of the building to make sure it was safe for students and faculty.

"The building is very large. It has a lot of small spaces, crawl space, ceiling and basement areas, so it was felt that it was needed to have our SWAT team. They have special training, special tactics, special equipment," said Tracey Knight, with the Fort Worth Police Department.

Officials said SWAT found no one inside the school and, at about 9:20 a.m., turned control of the building over to the school district.

District officials said they do not yet know if anything is missing from the school, though they planned to audit inventory Thursday afternoon.

While the search by SWAT was underway, students arriving for class Thursday morning had been directed to a nearby church before being bused to the Wilkerson Greines Athletic Center. Instruction was to be given at the athletic center until the elementary school was cleared by police.

“It’s a scary situation,” said David Frazier Sr. “You don’t think something like that could happen, but you never can underestimate what goes on people’s minds and stuff.”

With the building declared safe, about 50 students were bused back to the Sagamore Hill campus to resume class. Other students showed up after that with their parents, but some parents pulled their kids from school.

“I still feel that the school is not safe right now,” said Stephanie Rodriguez. “He (her son) won’t be back until Monday probably.”

FWISD said more than 700 students attend this school in grades K – 5.

Some parents said once administrators told them what was going on, they decided to take their children home instead of to the athletic center. The district said any student who went home with a parent and didn't return to school Thursday will not be counted absent, though they were still asked to report to their normal classroom.

The police activity and change in plans from the district didn’t bother parents though, as they said it was a good thing.

“It was good to see that everyone was reacting so swiftly and doing everything they needed to do to make sure everybody’s safe,” said Cindy Lopez, a neighbor.

NBC 5's Jeff Smith, Ellen Bryan and Chris Van Horne contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Jeff Smith, NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[I-35E Reopens in Lancaster After Fiery Crash]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:16:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/truck-fire-091614-01.jpg

All lanes of Interstate 35E near Belt Line Road have reopened in Lancaster after a tractor-trailer crash and fire earlier Tuesday.  

According to investigators, the truck jackknifed and then crashed into the center wall where it caught fire. 

The driver was able to escape the cab before it and the empty trailer were consumed by flames.

The tractor-trailer was the only vehicle involved in the crash.

In the first few minutes following the crash traffic was backed up an estimated four miles, according to Chopper 5 photojournalist Ames Meyer.

Across the access road, people at several businesses heard a loud boom when the crash happened.

They all ran outside and Ted Brooks called 911.

“Unlike something I have ever seen. Just how instantly it started on fire and how fast it was burning,” said Brooks.

Jonathan Haynes ran across the access road and was able to look across the retaining wall and see that the driver had gotten out.

“He was walking. Basically told him you need to move this thing is going to blow up,” said Haynes.

Police are investigating what caused the accident.

I-3E5 reopened just after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.
 

 


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<![CDATA[Erratic Driving, Obscene Gestures Lead to Chase, Arrest]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:31:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/garland-chase-kasi-jones.jpg

The female driver who led Garland police officers on a slow-speed chase Monday morning arrested and charged with evading arrest and assault on an officer.

According to police, 911 operators received reports of a woman driving erratically through the parking lot of a Bank of America in the 5600 block of Broadway Boulevard while cursing at customers and making obscene gestures at about 9 a.m.

While officers drove to that call, 911 operators began receiving reports of a woman doing the same thing at a nearby Citibank in the 3400 block of Broadway Boulevard.

Officers caught up with the woman, later identified as 30-year-old Kasi Jones, at Citibank and attempted to make a traffic stop, but Jones refused and drove away — all while making obscene gestures and cussing at the officers.

At 1st Street and Broadway, Garland police officers used stop sticks to deflate the Jones' tires. She continued for a short while on two rims and two good tires before eventually stopping at the Belmont at Duck Creek apartments in the 6200 block of Duck Creek Drive.

Police said the Jones parked her vehicle and exited the truck as officers surrounded her vehicle. When she refused to comply with demands to stop and surrender, Garland police said an officer used a stun gun to temporarily disable her.

Jones was then taken into custody, but police said she assaulted one of the officers while being put into the squad car.

Bond has not yet been set.

No injuries were reported in connection with the chase. 

Initial reports indicated the woman was suspected in a hit-and-run at one of the banks. Garland police said late Monday morning that a complainant has not yet come forward in the case.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Frisco PD Sheds New Light on Dhawan Deaths]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 19:11:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dhawan-Family-scene-090514.jpg

In a news conference Friday, the Frisco Police Department shed new light into the investigation into the deaths of Pallavi and Sumeet Dhawan.

The couple's bodies were found Wednesday after a family member requested a welfare check after being unable to reach both the husband and wife.

Officers arrived at the home and found 43-year-old Sumeet Dhawan in a downstairs bedroom, on the bed, with a blunt force trauma injury to his head, according to the medical examiner.  The body of 39-year-old Pallavi Dhawan, police said, was recovered from the family pool with no identifiable trauma to her body.

Frisco Assistant Chief Darren Stevens said a note was found at the home, but that the contents of that note would not yet be disclosed.  He added that the note was being assessed for information and authorship.

No guns were found in the home, but Stevens added that many items that are normal in a home could be used as a weapon.

Frisco police would reveal little else, saying it was early in the investigation and that they were trying to respect the privacy of the surviving Dhawan family. 

Stevens said it would be inappropriate to qualify the deaths as a murder-suicide and that they would reveal no further information without first disclosing that information to the family.

In a statement released Friday, the Dhawan family said:

"We are devastated by the continued tragic loss to our family. In this time of unimaginable sorrow, we would like to grieve with our family and friends, and request everyone to respect our privacy. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers."

Pallavi was charged in January with the murder of her 10-year-old son Arnav Dhawan, after police found his body in a bathtub in the home, surrounded by bags of melting ice. All along Pallavi has maintained her innocence and said she never hurt her son, who had special needs — a sentiment that was echoed in her sworn affidavit.

The Dhawans said the boy, who had several underlying medical conditions, had died of natural causes, and Pallavi was preserving her son's corpse until Sumeet returned home from a business trip in India. In their culture, the family said, the father must deliver a final blessing.

The medical examiner said the boy's cause of death was undetermined, with natural disease being the most likely factor.

A grand jury had just begun to hear her case, with Arnav's father Sumeet Dhawan providing testimony last week.

NBC 5's Ben Russell, Scott Gordon, Catherine Ross, Frank Heinz and Todd L. Davis contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Several Police Cars Damaged in Chase]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 17:30:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/chse-grand-prairie.jpg

As many as 11 cars were reportedly damaged Friday during a police chase with the driver of a stolen work truck, police say.

NBC 5 has learned the chase began after a Grand Prairie Independent School District maintenance truck, towing a flatbed trailer loaded with a commercial-grade lawn mower, was stolen from Dubiski Career High School.

Officers spotted the vehicle and attempted to stop the driver, but the driver refused.

Officers pursued as the driver of the truck struck as many as 11 vehicles, pushing some motorists into others as he tried to escape.  The collisions involved as many as seven police vehicles.

Stop sticks were eventually deployed to try to stop the driver, but he continued on riding on just the rims.

As the chase drew to a close, the driver made one last attempt to elude police by driving eastbound in the westbound lanes of West Pioneer Parkway near South Carrier Parkway

With four deflated tires mostly shredded and ripped away, the driver of the stolen truck crashed into an oncoming red pickup truck and was taken into custody a short time later.

Police have not confirmed the number of police cars damaged in the chase, but initial, unconfirmed reports put that number as high as seven.

NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff tweeted that an officer was injured the crash.

The officer's injuries were minor and not life-threatening.

NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Finley JH Evacuated Over Bomb Threat]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 16:59:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/waxahachie-finley-jh-threat.jpg

Students at Finley Junior High School in Waxahachie were evacuated to a nearby church following a bomb threat Thursday afternoon.

School officials said a written note was found about 2:40 p.m. in a campus restroom, so students were evacuated to the Church of Christ while police and fire responders searched the building.

Nothing suspicious was found in the search, so the all-clear was given about 3:30 p.m., and students were dismissed from the church.

All after-school and evening activities were canceled at Finley Junior High.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the WISD superintendent thanked the Waxahachie police and fire departments for their assistance.

Classes will resume as scheduled on Friday morning.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Pleads Guilty in Alanna Gallagher Murder]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 22:41:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lodatto-gallagher-holder-new.jpg

Tyler Lane Holder, the Saginaw teen accused of sexually assaulting and suffocating 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher, is headed to prison after striking a plea deal with prosecutors Thursday.

Holder reached pleaded guilty Thursday to three separate charges, including the little girl's murder, arson and attempted capital murder. Prosecutors said Holder must serve at least 50 years before he can be considered for parole.

Gallagher's body was found by children on a residential street July 1, 2013, covered with a tarp. Her head was covered with plastic grocery sacks, and her wrists and ankles were bound with duct tape.

A few weeks later, on July 19, 2013, the family's home and car were set on fire. The investigation into both crimes led police to Holder, who lived not far from the Gallagher family. Holder initially told police he had no contact with the child, but DNA later linked him to the crime.

On July 23, investigators arrived at Holder's home with arrest and search warrants. When investigators told Holder he was being arrested, police say he pulled a gun from behind his back and opened fire, striking Arlington Detective Charles Lodatto, part of a special task force investigating the girl's slaying.

Lodatto was hit in the femoral artery, but survived the shooting and has returned to work, prosecutors said.

“Today a dangerous killer was brought to justice,” said Deputy Chief District Attorney Bob Gill. “This heinous and unusual crime was solved through the extensive joint efforts and expertise of the Saginaw Police Department, the FBI and the Tarrant County DA’s Office-initiated Major Case Investigative Team. Because of their diligence, Tyler Holder will never pose a danger to another child. The family of Alanna Gallagher and Officer Charles Lodatto are very satisfied with this resolution of the cases.”

Holder must serve at least 50 years in prison under his plea deal, prosecutors said Thursday.

That is because he is sentenced to life for the murder charge, 20 years for the arson charge and 40 years for the attempted capital murder charge. The murder and arson charge are being served concurrently, but the attempted capital murder charge will be served consecutively, or after the first two charges are satisfied.

"This means that Holder will have to finish serving his time or be granted parole on the murder and arson charge before he begins serving his time on the attempted capital murder charge," prosecutors said.

Holder was originally charged with capital murder in connection with the girl's death. That charge was reduced to murder, prosecutors said, to expedite the trial and avoid a legal loophole.

"In Texas, defendants who are age 18 and over and convicted of capital murder, receive an automatic life sentence with no possibility for parole. In late 2012, however, the United States Supreme Court declared mandatory life sentences unconstitutional for defendants under age 18," prosecutors explained. "Because Holder was 17 when he committed the offense of capital murder, prosecutors were left without a sentencing option for a capital murder conviction."

Holder's trial was originally scheduled to start in October.

NBC 5's Chris Van Horne and Scott Gordon contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Crash Slows SB Central at Knox-Henderson]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:22:26 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/pipes-tractor-trailer.jpg

Two southbound lanes of Central Expressway were closed Tuesday afternoon following a crash, Dallas police said.

Police said the right two lanes of U.S. 75 were closed at Knox-Henderson after a tractor-trailer lost its load.

When Chopper 5 arrived at the scene, the flatbed tractor-trailer was spotted on the roadside with most of its load of pipes intact. A number of pipes, which had fallen from the truck, had been removed from the roadway and placed in the service lane.

Traffic was moving slowly past the site.

No injuries have been reported.

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<![CDATA[Dallas Officers Tackled, Bitten During Traffic Stop]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:31:17 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tlmd_dfw_generic_dallas_police_2.jpg

Two Dallas police officers were injured Tuesday after being tackled and bitten following a traffic stop, police say.

According to police, an officer pulled over a driver and was then tackled. The person who tackled the officer then ran into a nearby apartment complex.

Several other Dallas officers arrived to search for the person.

The driver was eventually found but put up a struggle as officers attempted to take him into custody. Police confirm that one officer was bitten on the arm when the man was subdued.

The officer who was bitten was transported to an area hospital for treatment.  The officer who was tackled was also injured.  Her condition is not  yet known. 

Check back and refresh this page for the latest update.

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<![CDATA[Hospitals Treat 16 After Bus Crash]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:48:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/wax-bus-ax.jpg

All but one of the 12 children hospitalized Tuesday morning after a school bus tipped onto its side in Waxahachie have been sent home.

Waxahachie Independent School District officials said 20 children — all thought to be 10 and 11 years old — were on the bus that crashed at about 6:50 a.m. near Farm-to-Market Road 879 and Ike Road on the way to Clift Elementary School.

Officials said something in the back of the bus distracted the driver, causing him to look away from the road. While making a turn, the rear wheel of the bus left the road, the driver swerved into the opposite lane, overcorrected and the bus tipped as it came to rest in a ditch.

Damien Beck, 11, was in the back of the bus. He said he said the bus started swerving a little, then went faster before it flipped over.  Without seat belts on the bus, the students were thrown from their seats.

“Everybody flew to the top," said Beck, who held onto his seat and forced the exit door open. “The exit door, I couldn’t open it. So had to like, push it, kick it, it still wouldn’t open and then I kept on trying and I opened. And everybody escaped from the bus."

“This is my first time hearing that and I’m proud of him. I’m proud of him for doing that," said Monica Shope, Beck's aunt.

The bus was the only vehicle involved, police said.

Fernando Rocha, 10, suffered two broken ribs and will spend the night at Children's Medical Center in Dallas.  He is the last student to remain hospitalized following the crash.

“Fernando has two broken ribs. He has a bruise on one kidney and they believe there might be a bruise on the liver also,” said Carmen Castillo, the fifth grader’s aunt.

His 8-year-old brother, a third grader, was also on the bus and was sent home after getting stiches.

“He’s got a lot off glass and debris still in there and they’re hoping that there’s not any more damage to his muscle of ligaments or anything like that,” said Castillo. “But the main worry, of course, is about the children getting better and how they’re going to feel about getting on a bus to go back to school when they do return.”

“[We are] very lucky no one was going in the opposite direction, because you did notice he did cross into that opposite lane there," said Sr. Trooper James Colunga, with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Randy Sachs, media relations for Children's Medical Center of Dallas, said the hospital treated eight children for head and neck pain and abdominal problems. He said they would remain in the hospital for X-rays and evaluation during the next few hours.

Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie officials said they treated the driver and seven children brought by ambulance. Three of those children were brought to the hospital for evaluation by their parents.

"I want to applaud the emergency crews for their quick action to help our students and families," Waxahachie ISD Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Glenn said in a news release. "The safety and security of our students will always be our No. 1 priority."

The driver was not identified by police.

Waxahachie is located about 25 miles south of Dallas.

Stay tuned to NBC 5 for the latest updates. NBC 5's Kevin Cokely, Jeff Smith, Josh Ault contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Garland Apartment Fire Displaces 19]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:30:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/garland-fire-090214.jpg

Garland Fire Department officials said a fire at an apartment complex displaced 19 residents Tuesday morning.

Garland Capt. Merrill Balanciere said they're still investigating what caused the fire that damaged 16 residences at The Broadway Apartments at 5106 Broadway Blvd. at about 4:10 a.m.

The Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents, officials said.

No one was injured in the fire, Balanciere said.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Police Investigate Murder of 5-Year-Old Girl]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:51:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/sontera-apts-scene-083114.jpg

Dallas police are investigating the murder of a 5-year-old girl whose body was found in a vacant apartment Sunday afternoon at the Sontera Palms Apartments at 9505 Royal Lane in northeast Dallas. 

Dallas police said Kathrine Alejandra Gonzalez turned 5 Aug. 24.  

Police discovered her body inside an empty, ground-floor apartment at 2:30 p.m. Sunday – several hours after the girl was reported missing.

Many neighbors said they worked to help find the little girl even before police were called at about 11:30 a.m.

When police arrived, maintenance workers informed them there were a large number of vacant apartments at Sontera Palms. After obtaining a key, officers began what they described as a systematic search of all vacant units – eventually discovering the girl’s body inside a unit at the back of the complex.

Witnesses said the girl’s relatives were visibly distraught after learning of the girl’s death.

Police said they took several people to Dallas Police Headquarters for questioning, but have not reported any arrests in the case. 

The Dallas Police Department asked the public for anyone with information on this offense to contact Detectives at 214-275-1300.

NBC 5's Frank Heinz contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Jocelyn Lockwood, NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Big-Rig Carrying Wine Catches Fire on I-35W]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:41:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/wine-truck-fire.jpg

A big-rig carrying 41,000 pounds of wine caught fire on Interstate 35W in Fort Worth Thursday morning, closing the highway for more than three hours.

Fort Worth Fire Department Public Information Officer Richard Harrison said the truck, carrying 1,200 cases of wine, was in the northbound lanes when it caught fire along the 7400 block of North Freeway at about 5:30 a.m.

For more than three hours, the highway remained closed to traffic while the fire was put out and the debris removed. At 8:50 a.m., the Fort Worth Police Department tweeted that I-35W was once again open to traffic.

The driver sustained minor injuries, but was not taken to the hospital. No other vehicles were involved in the incident.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Earlier in the morning, some drivers trying to get out of the traffic jam were reportedly turning around and heading south in the northbound lanes, causing more backups in the area.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Students Returning to School After Gas Leak]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:39:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dowell-ms-evac-buses.jpg

Students and faculty were evacuated from Dowell Middle School in McKinney due to a gas leak Wednesday morning.

According to the district, more than 1,000 students and faculty were taken to nearby Boyd High School as a precaution.

In a statement released to the media Wednesday, the district said "the gas leak was not a result of the construction currently taking place at the school, and district officials are currently addressing the issue."

At about 10 a.m. officials with the school tweeted that the gas leak was addressed and that it was safe for students to return to class.

The district said they hope to have all students back on the Dowell campus by noon and that sack lunches will be provided.

District officials initially said parents could pick up students at Boyd High School, but later said it was not necessary.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[NB, SB I-35E in Corinth Back Open After Power Line Repairs]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:40:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/209*120/35e-CORINTH.jpg

The northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 35E near Corinth Parkway have reopened after crews made repairs to power lines.

Officials confirmed to NBC 5 crews had to shut down the interstate in both directions because some Denton County residents are unable to contact 911.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, a single power line was dragged to the ground, across all lanes of traffic, after somehow being snagged by a passing rock hauler.

Witnesses at a nearby business said it appeared the truck was trying to dump its load along the roadside and just accidentally hit the line, pulling it down.

Lt. Jim Gregg with the Corinth Police Department said the truck was working with the 35Express project and it appears the driver was not injured. He also said no other injuries were reported from the incident but it did lead to some other small crashes on side-roads throughout town.

The lanes were closed as drivers were diverted from the highway onto the frontage roads. Northbound drivers were allowed to pass the scene while drivers on the southbound side were being detoured onto side roads for about an hour and a half.

Kimberly Sims, Public Information Officer with the 35Express project, said they are gathering the details of what happened but they were pleased crews were able to remove the line from the road quickly and get traffic moving again.

The roadway closed for a second time just after 5 p.m. while crews, working on foot and in cherry pickers, fixed the line to restore 911 services in the area.

The road was back up and slowly moving to full speed within about 10 minutes of that work starting.

NBC 5's Frank Heinz and Holley Ford contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Mesquite PD Chase Ends on Hwy 80]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:06:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cha-se-Ends-082514.jpg

Mesquite police say they were involved in a chase with an armed man that came to an end on U.S. Highway 80 in Sunnyvale Monday afternoon.

Mesquite Police Sgt. Brian Parrish said police were investigating James Ledenham for vehicle burglary and got a tip that he was at a Wells Fargo Bank in Mesquite.

Police say when officers arrived at the bank, Ledenham put a gun to his head and fled the area in his pickup.

Chopper 5 showed the white pickup trying to elude stop sticks placed in the highway at least twice.

The two driver's side tires were flattened, slowing the chase down along the shoulder, Ledenham slowly took the next exit and came to a stop near State Highway 352 in Sunnyvale.

Mesquite police officers communicated with Ledenham by phone.

Eastbound and westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 80 were shut down as Mesquite SWAT arrived on the scene to assist.

Ledenham surrendered to police and was taken into custody without incident. No word on what charges Ledenham might face. At 4 p.m. Monday, police said Ledenham was in Mesquite police custody and being "evaluated."

NBC 5 will update this story with more information as soon as it's available.  As this story is developing, elements may change.



Photo Credit: Chopper 5]]>
<![CDATA[DPD Chase Ends With Crash, Officer-Involved Shooting]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:50:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/169*120/douglas5.jpg

A police chase along U.S. Highway 175 ended with a crash and a Dallas police officer fatally shooting a man in Pleasant Grove Monday morning, Dallas police say.

The car chase started with a family disturbance call and ended when the man crashed the green pickup he was driving into a minivan at Lake June Road and North Prairie Creek Road, police said. A woman and child in the minivan were not seriously injured.

Dallas police said Steven Douglas, 29, then got out of his pickup and started walking toward an auto repair shop nearby.

Dallas police Maj. Jeff Cotner said employees of a garage near the crash scene also told police the man was armed and was coming toward them. 

Douglas stumbled as he reached the repair bays, and as he was falling, Cotner said he pointed his gun at Dallas Police Officer Rogelio Moreno.

Moreno fired his weapon at Douglas. According to Dallas police, Moreno was not injured, but Douglas was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cotner said a pistol was recovered at the scene.

While witnesses had said Douglas was shot in the back, Cotner said when officers interviewed them, they told detectives they did not witness the shooting.

Mothers Speak Out After Crash, Shooting

Two North Texas mothers are feeling the complete opposite emotions following Monday's chase and shooting.

One mother, Rene Douglas, is in mourning. Her son, 29-year old Steven Douglas, is dead after police shot and killed him. Police said he took his two kids at gunpoint, hit a car during a police chase and pointed a gun at officers as they closed in on him.

"Now he's gone. Now I got to bury him. It's not supposed to be where a mother buries their child," she said.

She said she'll remember the father of two as a good father and loving son.

Meanwhile, the Umanzor family is feeling relieved.

Their relatives were watching the news and saw Juda Umanzor's white minivan in the wreck.

Umanzor said she was driving home after picking up groceries with her 2-year-old son. She was going through a green light when she was T-boned by the truck Steven Douglas was driving.

Umanzor said she was very scared, and her first instinct was to grab her son and get out of the car.

She soon heard gunfire, and she called her husband.

"I was worried about the little one," said Oscar Umanzor.

The two were safe and not hurt.

"We're happy because, you know, the guy ran away the other side. He didn't go back after them. He could have taken them," said Oscar Umanzor.

Meanwhile, the officer involved in the shooting, Rogelio Moreno, was placed on routine paid administrative leave as this shooting is investigated.

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<![CDATA[Charter Bus Catches Fire on U.S. 75]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:08:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/charter-bus-fire.jpg

Dallas Fire-Rescue responded to a bus fire along U.S. Highway 75 south of Royal Lane Tuesday morning.

Evidence of a fire and fire suppression chemicals are evident at the scene.

The bus, with the markings of charter company Regiomontanos, is in the southbound service lane; three lanes of U.S. 75 are passing on the left.

Dozens of passengers are standing in the service lane, flanked by police cars to protect them from passing motorists.

No injuries have been reported and no further details have been confirmed.

Check back and refresh this page for the latest update.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Divers Find Body in Lake Lewisville]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:06:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lewisville-fd-lake-search.jpg

The body of a missing fisherman was recovered from Lake Lewisville Monday morning.

A game warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department confirmed a search was taking place near a fishing pier at Willow Grove Park.

The man's body was found at about 11:15 a.m.

While officials have also not confirmed the man's identity, Capt. Cliff Swafford with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said the man was wading or fishing in shallow water along the shoreline when he apparently went over a drop off and drowned.

The investigation into the man's death is being conducted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Further details have not yet been confirmed.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[DFR Snuffs 3-Alarm Fire Inside Comerica Tower Restaurant]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 09:15:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/comerica-bank-buildin-fire.jpg

Dallas Fire-Rescue battled a 3-alarm fire inside the Comerica Bank Tower building in downtown Dallas Tuesday afternoon.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m., smoke could be seen billowing up several stories from the first floor of the 60-story building at 1717 Main Street in downtown. 

Initial reports are that the fire started at the Dallas Chop House, on the building's first floor, in the restaurant's vent hood. 

By 3 p.m., much of the visible smoke had ceased, though plenty of firefighters remained at the scene and positioned on ladder trucks above the restaurant. 

At about 3:30 p.m., fire officials reported the fire had been contained.

"The fire did not affect the main building, however the alarm system was tied into the restaurant. So the only thing that did happen was the alarm system went off, causing some of the occupants to evacuate," said Jason Evans, spokesman for Dallas Fire-Rescue.

The fire department also evacuated some of the lower floors, though the fire was contained to the restaurant's kitchen. Most of those who were evacuated have returned to the building as firefighters continue to vent smoke from the building.

No injuries have been reported.

Officials closed the intersection of Main and St. Paul streets while firefighters battle the fire.

At 787 feet, Comerica Bank Tower is the third-tallest building in the city.

In a statement released Tuesday evening, Nafees Alam, vice president of DRG Concepts, the parent company of Dallas Chop House said:

Everyone is safe and sound. We are grateful to the Dallas Fire Department for their service. The damage from the kitchen fire is concentrated in the kitchen and, of course, will be repaired immediately. Our goal is to have Dallas Chop House open to serve guests by September 1, if not sooner. We are grateful to everyone for their interest and for their good wishes as we make these repairs and get all of our employees back to serving guests.

NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff and Amanda Guerra contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Lumber Truck Fire Closes Highway]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:37:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lumber-truck-fire-2.jpg

A flatbed truck is hanging partially off a bridge along U.S. Highway 175 near Seagoville after crashing and catching fire Friday morning.

Sgt. Lonny Haschel, with the Texas Department of Public Safety, said the truck blew a tire as it crossed a bridge on U.S. Highway 175 southeast of Farm-to-Market Road 1389. The blowout caused the driver to lose control, Haschel told NBC 5, and the truck's trailer went through the guardrail and onto the bridge wall where it came to rest hanging over the edge.

The driver, who was not seriously injured in the crash, was able to escape before fire consumed the cab. The driver was transported to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas for treatment.

No other vehicles were involved and no other injuries were reported.

Evidence of the intensity of the fire can be seen on the charred roadway and in the remains of the burned out cab. Part of the truck's load of lumber spilled into the creek below, where burned grass and smoldering wood were doused by firefighters.

Both lanes of eastbound U.S. 175 are open to traffic. Drivers in the westbound lanes are being allowed exit the highway onto the grass; the backup stretches nearly a mile.

The westbound lanes of the highway are expected to be closed for several hours. Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation are en route to assess the roadway and bridge for damage.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Missing 82-Year-Old Dallas Man Found]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 07:46:52 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/critical-missing-john-gough.jpg

Dallas police say a missing 82-year-old has been found.

Police said John Gough left his home on Parkshire Avenue in North Dallas at about 8 p.m. Thursday and had not been seen overnight.

Officials said at about 7:45 a.m. that Gough had been found.

Further details have not yet been released.
 



Photo Credit: Dallas Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Rescued After Power Pole Crashes Onto Car]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:21:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/plano-downed-line.jpg

A driver had to be rescued from a car after a power pole and live electrical wires crashed down onto the vehicle Thursday morning in Plano.

According to Plano spokesman Steve Stoler, a power line was hit by a contractor that led to four power poles falling down and hitting two cars on Custer Road between Plano Parkway and 15th Street.

Live power lines trapped the driver inside one of the vehicles, but rescuers were able to quickly secure the live wires and free the motorist.

Custer Road remains closed in the area.

No injuries have been reported.

Officials have not released any greater detail about what led to the incident.

Check back and refresh this page for the latest information on this breaking story.

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<![CDATA[Man Intentionally Slams Car Into Home, Pins Wife: Police]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:00:52 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/scottey-davis-inset.jpg

A Cedar Hill man was arrested early Tuesday morning after police say he became angry after an argument and intentionally slammed his car into his home, trapping his wife in the rubble.

Police said they were called to a home on the 100 block of Bristol Drive at about 4 a.m. after the man, later identified by police as 48-year-old Scottey Davis, drove his sedan through a wall and into a bathroom, trapping his wife in the debris.

"All this debris was on her, and she's screaming," said neighbor Diane Knott. "Blood curdling scream."

Firefighters freed the man's wife from the debris and she was transported by CareFlite to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. She underwent surgery on her leg Tuesday, though her current condition is not known.

Cedar Hill city spokesman Corky Brown said the couple had been arguing and the dispute escalated. Neighbors said arguing was nothing new, but it never got this bad.

"I thought I was dreaming at first," said neighbor Ciara Hamilton. "But when I woke up I realized I wasn't."

"We just stood there and waited for help to come. That's about all we could do," said Knott.

The crash caused a section of the brick wall to collapse, part of it crashing down on the man's windshield and hood of the car. The collision left behind a huge hole in the front of the couple's home while bricks and other debris littered the front yard.

Police said there were several children inside the home when the incident happened, but none of them were injured.

Davis was arrested and later charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, police said. He is currently being held in the DeSoto Regional Jail. A bond amount has not been revealed.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighter Falls, Injures Back Fighting Church Fire]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:59:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/st-paul-church-fire.jpg

A Sachse firefighter suffered minor injuries Tuesday morning while battling a 2-alarm fire at a church in the Collin County town of St. Paul.

Wylie Fire Chief Brent Parker said a person who lived near the church was walking his dog along the 1700 block of Parker Road when he spotted flames coming through the roof of the building and called 911.

Firefighters arrived and reported a large column of flames behind the steeple, shooting through the roof. Firefighters began attacking the fire on both sides of the building as the fire was spreading through the T-shaped building's attic, Parker said.

Parker said one of the firefighters from Sachse suffered minor injuries to his back when he fell off a ladder as a rafter collapsed beneath him.  He was transported to Medical Center Plano to be evaluated. The firefighter, Parker said, was trying to spray water into the attic to help stop the spread of the fire.

The fire was eventually put out, but investigators have not yet determined how or where the fire started.

Parker said firefighters conducted a search and found no one inside. No injuries, other than to the firefighter, have been reported.

NBC 5 has learned the church houses two different congregations, one English-speaking and one Spanish-speaking.

A senior pastor with Iglesia Cristo es Rey, or Christ is King Church, tells NBC5 his congregation has about 40 to 45 members. He says no church members were in the building when the fire started. He is not sure where the congregation will gather for upcoming services.

The English-speaking congregation makes up Amazing Grace Fellowship and runs a food pantry on site. Cynthia Rumore, pantry director, says smoke from the fire ruined some of the produce and food inside their building. Some of the food will have to be thrown away. However, she said they serve 400-500 clients a month and do not want to turn away someone in need because of the setback.

“My God is bigger than all of this - and I know he has a plan," she said.

Officials with the church told NBC 5 they do have insurance.

Firefighters from Wylie, Murphy, Sachse, Lucas and Plano assisted in putting out the fire.

NBC 5's Josh Ault and Catherine Ross contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Killed in Crash Along State Highway 78 in Wylie]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:01:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/wylie-fatal-crash-072314.jpg

The driver of a tractor trailer is facing a charge of intoxication manslaughter after a fatal crash in Wylie Wednesday morning.

Shortly before 11 a.m., a major crash was reported on the 400 block of state Highway 78 and West Kirby Street.

"The first thing I heard was all the screeching of the tires as the driver tried to stop and the Diesel and then all the sudden everything just rattled and you heard a really loud boom," said Gary Peters who witnessed the accident.

Police said the driver of a sedan pulled in front of a fully-loaded dump truck and was struck on it's side. 

Peters said he rushed to help. "I had to call my wife because I started crying and stuff because I've never been sitting there holding somebody or seen somebody die," Peters said.

The doors to the four-door Nissan sedan were locked, and Peters grabbed a sledge hammer and shattered the window to get to the couple inside.

The passenger in the sedan, 83-year-old Jonel Brown McGehee, was killed. The male driver of the car, 77-year-old Dannie Jackson, was injured and transported to Medical Center Plano in an unknown condition.

While investigating the crash officers reported finding what appeared to be a small bottle of vodka on the driver, 67-year-old Alton Batts. 

Batts was placed under arrest and charged with intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony, police said.

The crash remains under investigation.
 



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighter Arrested, Accused of Molesting Family]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:22:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Richard-Frederick-Adams-Sr.jpg

A firefighter is behind bars in Parker County after being accused of sexually abusing two family members, aged 8 and 11, police say.

Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14, according to the Parker County Sheriff's Office.

The children were abused multiple times in 2014, according to investigators. All of the alleged offenses took place in Parker County.

The children reported the assault shortly after it occurred. That fact helped authorities move forward with the case quickly, said Lt. Mark Arnett with the sheriff's department.

Adams, who lives in Weatherford, is currently listed on the Hudson Oaks Volunteer Fire Department website as a member of their staff.

Adams has been suspended from their department pending the outcome of the investigation, the department said Wednesday morning, adding that they had no other information.

Adams previously worked for the Fort Worth Fire Department from 1977 to 2009, when he retired with the rank of firefighter.

Adams is being held on $150,000 bond.

NBC 5's Ellen Bryan and Elvira Sakmari contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Parker County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[One Dead After Shooting at Fort Worth Convenience Store]]> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 23:10:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/shooting-fw.jpg

Fort Worth police are looking for a man who shot and killed another man outside a Fort Worth convenience store Tuesday afternoon.

Fort Worth police say the victim got into a verbal altercation with another man in the drive through of the Que Paso food store on NW 28th Street

Police say the gunman pulled onto the 2700 block of McKinley Avenue, got out of his vehicle and shot the victim numerous times. Police say he got back into his car, pulled back into the parking lot and ran over the victim with his car, then drove away eastbound on NW 28th Street.

The victim was transported to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth in critical condition, where he later died, police said.

Editor's Note: Reports by the Fort Worth police that indicated the victim had been stabbed multiple times and hit with a vehicle were later retracted by the department.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Breaks Out at Dallas' Former Statler Hilton]]> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 12:12:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/statler-fire-062714.jpg

Dallas firefighters quickly put out a fire in the basement of the former Statler Hilton Hotel Friday morning.

Dozens of firefighters could be seen in front of the hotel on Commerce Street, along with 14 construction workers who were evacuated from the building. No smoke or flames were visible from Chopper 5.

Initial reports indicated smoke was visible coming from the 4th floor, but fire officials said smoke had traveled through the duct work and that the fire was contained to the basement.

The 19-story hotel has been under an extensive $175 million renovation.  The hotel sat abandoned for a decade before being targeted for new development.

Traffic along Commerce Street in front of the hotel is being diverted through downtown.

No injuries have been reported and the cause of the fire is not yet known. At this time there is no further confirmed information.

We will update this story with more information as soon as it's available.  As this story is developing, elements may change.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Armed Man Gunned Down by Dallas Police]]> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 14:27:19 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/hodge-inset-scene.jpg

Dallas police shot and killed a man late Thursday night who had randomly fired a gun while walking through a neighborhood and threatening people, police say.

Officers received several reports of an armed man shooting a gun near Great Trinity Forest Way and Wadsworth Drive at about 10:19 p.m.

Officers arrived and confronted the man, later identifed as 33-year-old Rodney Hodge, and ordered him to drop his weapon, police said at a news conference Friday morning.

Police said they tried to talk to Hodge and assured him that they didn't want to hurt him as he paced back and forth along a fence line adjacent to Great Trinity Forest Way. 

Officials said there was no indication Hodge engaged in conversation with them and that he wouold periodically move away from the fence to sit or lay down in the roadway.

After a short time, Hodge began walking westbound on Ledbetter while officers pursued from a short distance while taking cover behind patrol vehicles and ballistic shields, police said.

Hodge continued his walk, turning onto Greencrest Drive where he pointed his gun at a group of people on their front porch, police said.  He continued on foot toward Lantana Drive, where he began walking toward a house before he stopped, turned around and walked directly toward the officers with his gun in his hand.

Officers again ordered Hodge to drop his weapon and, as he approached two pedestrians who sought cover between two parked cars, three officers fired their weapons.

The officers were identified as Sgt. Edward Tena, Sr. Cpl. Joseph Bowling and Dameon Samson.

Tena is a 10 year veteran of the department, Bowling a 12 year veteran and Samson a four year veteran. All three officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, as is normal in all officer-related shootings. 

No officers were injured in the incident, and no other injuries have been reported with regard to the random gunfire.  Police have also not said how many shots Hodge is believed to have fired.

Shantae Johnson, who identified herself as a member of Hodge's family, told NBC 5 that Hodge had received a phone call earlier in the evening that had changed his mood.

"When he changed, he was just walking up and down the loop. I mean, he said his goodbyes and dropped down to his knees," Johnson said.

Johnson said she doesn't know where he got the gun or why he would do what police say he did.

"He ain't never harmed nobody, flipped out on nobody. He was just a good person, an outgoing person. So this really didn't even have to happen," Johnson said.

Many people in the neighborhood said they knew him.

“He’s been around here forever,” said a friend who didn’t want to be identified. “At the end of the day we lost a good person. But like I say, God don’t make no mistakes, so. He’s going to watch over us.”

Dallas police officers have been involved in 21 fatal shootings in the last two years, five of which have taken place this year.

NBC 5's Ellen Bryan contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/ Ashley Hodge]]>
<![CDATA[1 Shot in SW Dallas Apartment]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 11:10:09 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas-shooting-mv-062014-01.jpg

Dallas police are investigating a shooting on the 5800 block of Mountain Valley Lane, near Keeneland Parkway and Loop 12, at the Mountain Valley Apartments.

According to Maj. Max Geron with the Dallas Police Department, one person has been shot.

The condition of the victim is not yet known.

Police officers are in the area searching for the gunman.

At this time, no further information has been confirmed.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Statewide Amber Alert for Missing Teen Discontinued]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 12:17:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/amber-alert-eric-castillo-phoebe.jpg

Officials in DeWitt County have discontinued a state-wide Amber Alert for an abducted 13-year-old girl, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Phoebe Nichole Hughes was found safe.

Officials did not reveal any circumstances surrounding her disappearance, but at the time of the Amber Alert they said they believed she was in immediate danger.

At the time of the Amber Alert, police were also looking for 34-year-old Eric Castillo, whose last known location was Cuero. Cuero is located northwest of Victoria, between San Antonio and Houston.

The canceled Amber Alert notification contains no information about Castillo.

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<![CDATA[Mom Accused of Driving With Kids on Car Out of Jail]]> Sat, 21 Jun 2014 05:57:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/kisha-young-mughsot.jpg

Four children were hospitalized Tuesday evening after they were thrown from a moving car being driven by an intoxicated parent, Crowley police say.

Kisha Young, 39, let six children ride on the hood and trunk of her Chevrolet Malibu because their clothes were wet; the group, including another adult, had been swimming at the Creekside Community Pool, according to police.

The children, ranging in age from 8 to 14, slipped off the car and were flung into the road after Young took a corner too fast along the 400 block of Angler Drive, witnesses said. Young initially didn't realize the kids were injured until she got to the end of the block. She turned around and drove back to help, appearing panicked, witnesses said.

Demi Garcia was in the front yard of her home with her father when they both witnessed the kids fall off the car.

“Then the mom started backing up after my dad ran over there to the kids. Cause they were trying to lift up the little girl,” she said.

Four of the children riding on the trunk were seriously injured and transported to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth.

"Well of course we don't know what they were thinking," said Crowley police officer C.C. Meadows. "However, they weren't thinking safety."

All of the injured children have been treated and released except for a 12-year-old girl who was taken by CareFlite to an area hospital due to a severe head injury.

"But from what I saw I never saw her move. They had to do everything to get her on the stretcher and everything like that so it was really, really scary," said Holly Powell who stepped outside her home and saw the 12-year-old girl lying unconscious in the street.

Neighbors said they were shocked by what happened.

“Anybody, they can’t be in their right mind to do that with their own kids!” said Geneva Carpenter, who lives on the street where the incident happened.

“Who in their right mind think[s] a little kid can hang on to a hood? You can’t hang onto a hood,” Carpenter said.

Police said Young was arrested and charged with intoxication assault, a third degree felony. She posted $110,000 bond and was released from jail on June 20.

Officials have not revealed the second adult's name and are still investigating the incident. Police said additional charges are pending on both adults.

Child Protective Services has been contacted and is expected to investigate.

NBC 5's Amanda Guerra and Ben Russell contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Mom Also Charged After Toddler Son's Death]]> Sat, 07 Jun 2014 05:56:50 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/claudia-johnson-clezel-mughni.jpg

The mother of a 14-month-old boy who died Tuesday after regularly being punched in the stomach is now facing charges alongside her boyfriend, records show.

Dallas County jail records show Claudia L. Johnson was being held Friday on a charge of injury to a child by omission.

Police on Wednesday arrested Clezel Montague Mughni on a charge of injury to a child in the boy's death.

Johnson's 2-year-old daughter underwent emergency surgery Tuesday afternoon after police said she too had been punched in the stomach by her mother's boyfriend. Authorities on Thursday charged Johnson plus added another injury to a child charge against Mughni, who remains jailed, for the girl's alleged beating.

Johnson originally told police her son had been ill, but later changed her story to say she had witnessed Mughni, a large man who stands 6 feet 1 inches tall and weighs about 325 pounds, strike her son with a closed fist at least 30 times over a two-month period when he thought the boy was misbehaving. The woman said her boyfriend always struck her son in his stomach or his side.

In an interview with police, Mughni said the boy had been punched in the stomach and spanked a few times for whining.

The Dallas County medical examiner discovered the boy suffered numerous injuries including a skull fracture, multiple rib fractures, both old and new, liver damage, split intestines, two black eyes and multiple injuries to the legs, buttocks and arms.  The medical examiner said Johnson's injuries are the result of blunt force trauma and were consistent with the reports from Mughni and the witnesses.

No attorney was listed for Johnson, whose bond was set at $25,000 related to the death of her son, Marquis Johnson. An attorney for Mughni didn't immediately return a message Friday.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[I-30 Reopens After Fatal Crash]]> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 10:12:50 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/i-30-fatal-crash.jpg

Several lanes of westbound Interstate 30 east of Downtown Dallas were closed Thursday morning due to a fatal crash.

Police said a disabled driver with a flat tire was struck by a passing motorist. That driver, a Hispanic male, ran from the crash on foot and is being sought by police. 

The female driver of another car swerved to avoid the crash and was killed when she drove into the path of an 18-wheeler. 

Other than the fatality, the conditions of the other drivers involved in the crashes are not yet known but one motorist was seen being loaded onto an ambulance.

The crashes closed the westbound lanes of I-30 between North Jim Miller Road and Ferguson Road for several hours Thursday morning, forcing commuters off the heavily-traveled road at S. Buckner Boulevard.

Officials said shortly before 6 a.m. that they do not expect all lanes to reopen for several hours. By 8:30 a.m., two lanes of westbound I-30 had reopened to traffic.

NBC 5's Josh Ault contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>