<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Dallas-Fort Worth News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.comen-usSun, 23 Apr 2017 07:35:03 -0500Sun, 23 Apr 2017 07:35:03 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Predominantly Black Churches and a Push For Social Justice]]> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 23:44:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cory+image1.jpg

Since the time of slavery, faith and social justice have been woven into the fabric of black churches in America.

"On one level we are spiritually nurturing and saving souls, but on the other level we have the responsibility to speak truth to power," said Frederick Haynes, senior pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church in Oak Cliff.

You can often find Haynes preaching scripture and a bit of public policy from his pulpit. His congregation of nearly 9,000 families includes socially active people of faith who turn to prayer and protest to drive change.

"My own sense of what a pastor, what a preacher, is supposed to do goes back to scripture, first. Secondly, I'm a black person, I'm a black man. I'm a black preacher...with a ministry that dares to move beyond worship on Sunday to impact what's going on by way of the structures and the systems that mess with people during the week."

For 34 years as the senior pastor at Friendship West Haynes has seen children grow into adults in a city that is heavily segregated. Data from the city of Dallas shows that poverty disproportionately impacts minority communities in Dallas.

Haynes calls addiction, crime, and mental illnesses plaguing Dallas' minority communities wolves chasing his flock. So he fights them where that evil thrives - in the streets. His faith demands it.

"I have never divorced Jesus from justice. My theology says faith without works is dead. My theology says that God is concerned about justice for the oppressed. Jesus did not confine his ministry to sanctuary. How can I say I'm following him and I'm spending all my time in the sanctuary and I'm never out in the street?" he asked.

That belief is shared by many of the socially-active people of faith who have frequently taken to the streets of downtown Dallas to call for police reform and better educational opportunities. Many of them no longer read from the Civil Rights playbook.

"I'm encouraged when I see the Next Generation Action Network and Black Lives Matter getting out there, and basically saying 'we're praying with our feet,'" Haynes said. "They believe in non-violence, but they also will get in your face in a way Dr. King never would have."

Haynes has been a fixture at the rallies in Dallas, often using a bullhorn to address his other congregation - protesters. That has caused some friction between the pastor and members of his own congregation, as well as other leaders of large, predominantly black, churches.

"Most recently the concern has been, 'we do that too much' and people don't want to hear about politics when they come to church on Sunday. In light of where we are, in Oak Cliff, we have a responsibility to witness in the hood in a way that transforms it. That means we have to be concerned about the personal plight of people and public policy," the pastor said.

Prayer and protest have lead to healing and change in Dallas. Haynes is confident that his church, and other minority ministries in North Texas will continue to use their faith to pursue social justice.

"Faith can build bridges and tear down walls," Haynes said. "What we do in the sanctuary must flow over into how we live in the streets. Change lives to change the community."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Police & Firefighter Associations Fire Back at Dallas Mayor]]> Sun, 23 Apr 2017 00:04:23 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas+police+fire+pension1.jpg

Eleven different Police & Firefighters Associations have now responded to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings' letter to taxpayers.

In the open letter to Mayor Rawlings, the groups accuse him of misleading taxpayers over the current pension crisis.

A portion of the letter reads "the Mayor has turned his back on the men and women who risk their lives to protect Dallas. The Mayor has used scare tactics, bullied police and fire fighters and provided false testimony during Texas legislative hearings."

Mayor Rawlings issued a letter to taxpayers saying the proposed bill would put the taxpayers on the hook for more than $1 billion dollars over the next 30 years. Rawlings went on to say the city would be forced to either give up some services or deal with a tax hike.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Emergency Preparedness Items are Tax Free This Weekend]]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 14:57:19 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/185*120/batteries.jpg

This weekend, midnight Saturday to midnight Monday, is Texas' 2nd annual Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday.

What that means is you can purchase certain emergency preparation supplies and pay no sales tax.

These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a sales price:

  • Less than $3000
    • Portable generators
  • Less than $300
    • Emergency ladders
    • Hurricane shutters
  • Less than $75
    • Axes
    • Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
    • Can openers - nonelectric
    • Carbon monoxide detectors
    • Coolers and ice chests for food storage - nonelectric
    • Fire extinguishers
    • First aid kits
    • Fuel containers
    • Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
    • Hatchets
    • Ice products - reusable and artificial
    • Light sources - portable self-powered (including battery operated)
    • Examples of items include: candles, flashlights and lanterns
    • Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
    • Radios - portable self-powered (including battery operated) - includes two-way and weather band radios
    • Smoke detectors
    • Tarps and other plastic sheeting

These supplies do not qualify for tax exemption:

  • Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
  • Camping stoves
  • Camping supplies
  • Chainsaws
  • Plywood
  • Extension ladders
  • Stepladders
  • Tents
  • Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
  • Services performed on, or related to, emergency preparation supplies

There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase, and you do not need to issue an exemption certificate to claim the exemption.

The holiday, which occurs annually on the Saturday before the last Monday in April and ending at 12 midnight on the last Monday in April, was approved by the state legislature during the 2015 session and is referenced in Sec. 151.3565 of the state's tax code.

Here's more from Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts:

Additional Charges Affect Purchase Price

Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation supply being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation supply can be purchased tax free during the holiday.

For example, you purchase a rescue ladder for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, for a total sales price of $309. Because the total sales price of the ladder is more than $300, tax is due on the $309 sales price.

For more information, contact the Comptroller's Tax Help line at 1-800-252-5555.

Online: Texas Comptroller's Website

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lyrid Meteor Shower Tonight]]> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 21:56:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Time_Lapse_Perseid_Meteor_Shower_1200x675_743163971660.jpg

As the sky clears out tonight, you can catch a very good meteor shower … and all you have to do is get away from city lights, pull out your favorite lawn chair or blanket, and look up!

The Lyrid meteor shower will peak tonight with 10 to 20 meteors per hour possible.

The Lyrid meteors radiate from between the Lyra and Hercules constellations.

This constellation pair will be high in the night sky tonight. Plus, without a moon in the sky, the conditions will be ideal for viewing.

Just make sure you bundle up! Temperatures will drop into the 40s overnight tonight.

<![CDATA[NBC 5 Team Volunteers For Comcast Cares Day]]> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 21:08:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/new+david+jumping.gif

Saturday, tens of thousands of Comcast employees around the world volunteered for the 16th annual Comcast Cares Day.

The company website says it’s an effort to “make change happen as we celebrate our year-round commitment to volunteerism.”

In North Texas, NBC 5 and Telemundo 39, both Comcast-owned television stations, partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas for an event called “Math Blazers.”

“It’s part of our STEM initiative to introduce young people, and our teenagers, to the incredible world of math—and we do it in a fun way!” said Charles English, President of Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas.

English helped host a lengthy rollcall of NBC 5 & Telemundo 39 volunteers at a Boys and Girls Club in Grand Prairie.

NBC 5 volunteers included members from our digital team, long-time floor directors, morning anchors and producers, reporters, meteorologists (both early morning and late night), those who work behind the camera and the ones who want to keep it that way.

The best part for NBC 5 President and CEO Tom Ehlmann “Oh, it’s just being with the kids,” Ehlmann said after a morning of volunteering in the classroom. “The kids are having a blast and it’s just very contagious.”

Together, they all flexed their brains to work on math skills.

"We can also create fun with math,” English said. “Math does not have to be boring! And as I'm always encouraging our young people—math can literally take you places.”

English explained the importance of volunteers dedicating time to help young students with their math skills. “Many of our high school students are struggling with the math portion of the SAT, and we are going to try and intervene and correct that at the first grade level, second grade level, and by the third grade they are going to pass that state exam called the STAR!” English said with enthusiasm.

The pinnacle of the volunteer event—was a math relay in the gym. It included a series of physical tests (pushups, jumping jacks, and jumping rope) leading up to a series of math problems using a white board to answer.

“So that puts them in a sense of competing with their colleagues—but that’s the real world we’re introducing them to as well: that you succeed with success, and success comes from work,” English said.

As for the hardest working volunteer during Comcast Cares Day in North Texas?

NBC 5 Chief meteorologist David Finfrock was a standout among his co-workers. He did jumping jacks or pushups with every child in his relay lane.

Comcast Cares Day focuses on getting employees to dedicate time to volunteering in their communities. For NBC 5, volunteering is a part of our culture all year.

“We do a lot of events and our employees are asked to volunteer at a lot of events throughout the year,” said Ehlmann. “We do over 200 community events and it's just what we do as a local television station. It's important to us to serve the community and to give something back.”

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[I-35W Northbound in Fort Worth Closed Sunday]]> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 21:28:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/i-35w+image.jpg

Work on the North Tarrant Express project will force crews to close the northbound lanes of I-35W from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

The closure will be in place between Western Center Boulevard and Heritage Trace Parkway.

Drivers will be forced to exit at Western Center Boulevard and continue on the frontage road to Heritage Trace Parkway.

Anyone needing to head north on State Highway 287 will be able to access the on ramp just north of Basswood Boulevard. 

Crews have also shut down the westbound lanes of I-820 at the I-35W/I-820 interchange overnight. That closure started at 9 p.m. Saturday night and will last until 10 a.m. Sunday morning. Drivers will be detoured off to Western Center Boulevard.

Everything should be back open for the Monday morning commute.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[High School Senior Prepares to Graduate Without Father]]> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 22:40:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/syria+visa+problem.jpg

A Keller High School senior is preparing to graduate next month, but her Syrian father won’t be there to watch her walk across the stage because the U.S. government won’t grant him permission to visit.

Jasmine Kayal, 17, was born in the U.S. and is an American citizen. She lives in Keller with her mother and two brothers.

Her father, Dr. Hayan Kayal, a neurosurgeon, now lives in the relative safety of Iraq after he fled the violence in Syria.

His family said he has visited every few months for about two weeks at a time and has followed every immigration rule.

Dr. Kayal last visited in February after a federal judge suspended President Trump’s travel ban and was featured in an NBC 5 news report.

“I’m happy to visit my family here now,” he said in an interview after he landed at DFW International Airport.

He returned to Iraq a few weeks later, his visa expired, and the U.S. government denied his request for a new one, his family said.

Jasmine Kayal's high school graduation is May 27th.

"He's my dad,” she said. “This is really important to me."

The visa issue is separate from the travel ban, which has been blocked by two federal judges.

But the result is the same. He is unable to come to the U.S.

In an emailed statement, the State Department said it reviews every visa request on a case-by-case basis.

“The Department of State makes every effort to facilitate legitimate travel by international visitors,” a spokesperson wrote. “However, we are also fully committed to administering U.S. immigration law and ensuring the integrity and security of our country’s borders.”

Jasmine Kayal said her father is not a security risk.

"He's not a terrorist,” she said. “I understand the concern. It's all about the safety of everyone, the American people, even us here. But some people, they just want to be here with their families."

Jasmine Kayal plans to go to college and eventually become a doctor like her father.

She said she does not know when she will be able to see him again.

It's not clear how many visa requests such as Kayal's have been denied. The government has not released any numbers.

Dr. Kayal plans to go to a U.S. Consulate in Iraq next week to ask for permission again, his family said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Hail Damages Thousands of Cars in Plano]]> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 23:56:11 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/plano+hail+damage.jpg

North Texans are cleaning up from Friday night’s devastating hail storms.

Hail damaged homes and shattered windows across parts of North Texas.

In Plano, they also put dents in thousands of cars, some of them never even driven.

Saturday, instead of selling cars, workers at Subaru of Plano spent the day moving them indoors.

Hail crushed windows and dented so many cars, the dealership was unable to sell them Saturday, a day they had planned an Earth Day celebration.

“You can't trust mother nature obviously,” said general manager Ronnie Cohen.

Cohen says all 400 cars on the lot are damaged in some shape or form.

“Tears, and not tears of joy,” he said. “I mean everything was ruined.”

Raking up instead of raking in the sales, dealerships are in a holding pattern until insurance companies can assess the damage.

Some will be resold and others at Huffines Hyundai Plano totaled out.

“When I drove up I said wow,” explained the store’s general manager Roosevelt May.

Golfball-sized hail left pock marks and crushed sunroofs. To May, it’s par for the course this time of year.

“It’s just kind of part of living in North Texas. We know we're going to have hail the question is how big? How bad is it going to be when it hits?” May said.

The hits keep coming.

Dealerships were dealt a similar blow last year.

“It’s actually worse than it is last year,” Cohen said.

The silver lining: Discounts for customers once cars are back on the market.

Insurance adjusters are expected to be out bright and early Monday morning.

Cars could go on sale by Monday afternoon. Some are expected to be discounted by as much as $15,000.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Garland Ambulance Hit by Suspected Drunk Driver]]> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 15:39:18 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/garland-ems-crash-suspect.jpg

A Garland ambulance is heavily damaged after being hit by a suspected drunk driver Friday night.

The Garland Firefighters Association posted a photo of the damaged truck on its Facebook page on Saturday. They said the unit was the department's newest ambulance and was blocking five firefighters who were feet away.

"We hate to lose any equipment but we would sacrifice any of them to keep one firefighter or citizen safe," the post said.

The group said this crash shows why police and fire crews block off an extra lane of traffic for accidents and is a reminder for people not to drink and drive.

<![CDATA[Altercation on Video Grounds American Airlines Employee]]> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 22:35:53 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/american-airlines-flight591.jpg

A video posted online appears to show an American Airlines employee get into a shouting match with a passenger on a flight bound to Dallas-Fort Worth.

The flight, American 591, was headed from San Francisco to Dallas-Fort Worth on Friday. The incident captured on video occurred before the flight took off from San Francisco International Airport.

The video shows a woman crying holding a baby and a member of the flight crew looking out from the flight deck. The woman was crying reportedly because the American Airlines employee took her stroller. The person who posted the video said the employee "violently" took the stroller, hitting her and narrowly missing her baby.

One passenger on the DFW-bound flight is seen standing and demanding the name of the employee.

A man in American Airlines uniform comes on the plane and while speaking to a member of the flight crew a male passenger stands up to the employee saying "Hey bud, you do that to me and I'll knock you flat."

The American employee shouts back pointing at the man, "You stay out of this."

A flight attendant showed the passenger back to his seat saying that it was an "accident."

The woman travelling with the children was booked on the next flight to DFW in first class.

American Airlines immediately responded releasing the following statement at 10:30 p.m. Friday:

We have seen the video and have already started an investigation to obtain the facts. What we see on this video does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers. We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family and to any other customers affected by the incident. We are making sure all of her family's needs are being met while she is in our care. After electing to take another flight, we are taking special care of her and her family and upgrading them to first class for the remainder of their international trip.

The actions of our team member captured here do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values necessary for customer care. In short, we are disappointed by these actions. The American team member has been removed from duty while we immediately investigate this incident.

Photo Credit: Surain Adyanthaya]]>
<![CDATA[Dozens of Dallas Voters Receive Ballots They Didn't Request]]> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 23:59:07 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas+county+mail+in+ballot.jpg

More than 50 voters in West Dallas have now contacted the Dallas County Elections Department, saying they received mail-in ballots for the May 6 elections which they did not request.

"There is an issue here, and this is something we need to address," said Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole.

"Somebody is completing this application in their behalf, signing as an assistant," Pippins-Poole said.

People who have reported receiving a mail-in ballot say someone then shows up at their house offering to help fill out the ballot.

"The elections department, we don't make house calls," Pippins-Poole said. "We don't come to your home to pick up any ballots. We don't come to your home to even assist you with your ballot."

The Dallas County district attorney recently launched a criminal investigation, and the elections department added staff to answer phones and carefully review mail-in ballots and applications.

"What happens is we have some elections that somebody might win by 20 votes," said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who was concerned enough to send a letter Thursday to the elections department, asking that the integrity of each mail-in ballot in Dallas be verified.

After speaking with the elections administrator, Rawlings expressed confidence in the steps being taken.

"I believe our system is a good system," Rawlings said. "Everybody is on this thing, and I think if there are any issues, we can know and right the ship real quick."

On Friday, the Dallas County Elections Department released the advice for voters who receive a mail-in ballot they did not request.


  • Voters should contact the Elections Department if they received a mail ballot and did not request one. To report your complaint, call 214-819-6359; email it to dallascountyvotes@dallascounty.org; or fax it to 214-819-6303.
  • If a voter received a mail-in ballot and did not request one, the voter should keep the mail ballot and not dispose of it.
  • Voters can cancel their mail-in ballot and vote in person in two ways:
  1. You can surrender your mail-in ballot at the polls during early voting or on election day, or;
  2. You can surrender your mail-in ballot to the elections department at 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway, 8th Floor, Dallas, Texas 75207. The elections department will cancel and adjust its files for the voter to vote in person.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dr. Robert Jeffress On Faith and Influence in Politics]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 23:49:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/robert+jeffress.jpg

We continue Beyond Belief, our week-long series on faith in North Texas, by talking to Dr. Robert Jeffress.

He's the outspoken and controversial senior pastor of the 14,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas.

Jeffress delivered Donald Trump's pre-inauguration sermon and is a member of the president's Faith Advisory Council. We talked about the role of faith leaders in our current political climate and why he so often chooses to cross the line between politics and religion.

"A lot of people need to remember that the word 'politics' means to influence, and when people say, 'I don't think pastors or Christians ought to get involved in politics,' what they're saying is we shouldn't try to influence the culture in which we live. And yet Jesus said the opposite, said we are to be salt in this culture. Jesus didn't say isolate yourself from the culture. He said influence the culture. And one way we influence culture is by the people for whom we vote. When we vote we're helping to determine the moral and spiritual direction of our country," Jeffress said.

Last year, as the Trump campaign ramped up Jeffress even made a four-minute video titled "Why I'm involved in politics," and posted it to the First Baptist Dallas website.

"It was pastors who led the way for the abolition of slavery, and it was pastors who were at the forefront of the civil rights movement. What if pastors back then had said, 'I'm not getting involved?' We would not have a country today," Jeffress said in the video.

Jeffress was an early and vocal supporter of Trump, even though he has said he will never officially endorse a candidate.

"I said to my church, 'I am going to get involved in this election because there are some key issues involved for Christians, but I promise you'll never hear a word about it from the pulpit on Sunday mornings.' And I kept that pledge. I never talked about any candidates from the pulpit. I never made any endorsements from the pulpit, and I think people appreciated that," Jeffress said.

And he got involved, introducing Trump at campaign stops.

In broadcast interviews he was asked at times to explain Trump's actions or even to explain his own support for the candidate.

Asked whether he thought he personally influenced the 2016 presidential election, Jeffress said, "I'll let other people determine that, but I hope that I was one voice that helped motivate people to get out and vote."

Jeffress has been criticized for some things he's said, including his comments on other religious practices.

"First of all, my job as a pastor is not to speak my opinion. It's to speak what the word of God says. And the Bible is very clear that there is only one way to God – and that's through faith in Jesus Christ. All other ways are fraudulent ways, and they mislead people and hurt people, so I'll never stop saying that. That doesn't mean I hate anyone. I don't hate anyone. The reason we share with people that Christ is the only way to be saved is not out of hatred, it's out of love and wanting to see as many people in Heaven as possible," Jeffress said.

He went on to say, "So I think it's wrong to characterize such views as hateful. They're not hateful at all. We don't hate LGBT people, either. We welcome them into our church. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come and attend First Baptist Dallas. But that doesn't stop us from saying that God designed sex to be between one man and one woman in a marriage relationship, and any sexual behavior outside of that is wrong and hurtful according to the word of God."

Jeffress says he maintains a relationship with President Trump and has been pleased with the Trump administration so far – especially the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

But is there anything Trump could do that might lose Jeffress's support?

"I think if he were to renege on a major promise, like a conservative judiciary, it would certainly cause me to rethink my support at that point in time. But I have no indication that he's going to do that," Jeffress said.

Still, Jeffress says people may be confused about what he really represents.

"I think people have the wrong idea of me – that I'm just so immersed in politics, that's all I think about and that's all I talk about. People who are members at First Baptist Dallas know that's not the case. Very rarely do I talk about controversial issues. I'm talking about what the Bible teaches about everyday life," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Establishment Challenges Dallas Council Incumbent]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 20:17:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Council-Race-Dist-14-042117.jpg

It's a boat-rocker versus the establishment in the bitter race for the Dallas City Council District 14, but the boat rocker is the incumbent.

Powerful establishment people are lining up behind challenger Matt Wood to unseat Councilman Philip Kingston in the district covering much of Downtown and Uptown Dallas.

Kingston, an attorney first elected in 2013, says his second re-election campaign has been energized by the attack campaign waged against him for being too negative.

"If you have a record like mine, and you really can't attack my record, then you have to make up stuff," Kingston said.

A Super PAC has raised big money for website video and mail ads accusing Kingston of rude behavior.

"I think they really messed up," Kingston said. "They showed there is a shadowy group of people out there who want to get rid of me."

Matt Wood, also an attorney, said he is uncomfortable with the attack campaign being waged against Kingston by the Super PAC.

"The effort of the Super PAC has been sort of a mixed blessing, honestly," Wood said. "I've had to apologize for some of the things that they've done that I've had nothing to do with."

Wood said he has waged a positive campaign trying to show why he would be a better voice on the City Council to pursue many of the same things Kingston supports.

Wood has been endorsed by former Dallas Police Chief David Brown, The Dallas Morning News and many Dallas business and civic leaders.

"I think I'm just more of a collaborator," Wood said. "He often likes to find points of tension and argue for things as opposed to getting neighborhoods together."

Kingston opposed Mayor Mike Rawlings's plan for operation of Dallas Fair Park by pushing for competitive bids instead. Kingston supports taking a cut of Dallas Area Rapid Transit sales tax money to help solve a Dallas Police and Fire Pension System crisis, which the mayor strongly opposes. The DART money support helped Kingston win endorsement from the Dallas Police Association.

"I'm really running against 50 years of bad government in Dallas," Kingston said. "And all the people who make money off of abuse of our city government are the ones who funded the PAC and the ones who funded Mr. Woods."

Wood said he supports good government, too.

"I think we need watchdogs and we have several of them on the council. That's a good thing. That's not all that we need. We need some people who can work together," Wood said.

Early voting for municipal contests in Dallas and other North Texas cities begins Monday for the Saturday, May 6, elections.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Main Street Arts Festival is Prepared for Any Weather]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:36:07 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Main+Street+Arts+Fest+2017.jpg

The largest arts festival in Texas, the Main Street Arts Festival in Fort Worth, opened on Thursday and once again weather is a factor for the four-day festival.

Since Thursday, tents full of art have lined Main Street from the Convention Center to Belknap Street, and several side streets in-between, but all eyes are on possible storms Friday night.

Organizers say they are in constant contact with the City of Fort Worth, the National Weather Service and a team of storm spotters who will help them give visitors and vendors plenty of advanced warning.

"We're hoping that that does not happen this year, but we do have an extensive weather plan in place if that were to [happen]," said Claire Armstrong with Main Street Arts Festival. "These guys are pros. They've been throgh ti all, so they know how to act if it happens."

Businesses along Main Street will also open their stores and restaurants to folks who need to get out of the elements.

Artists and vendors hope heavy-duty tents keep their displays safe.

"As you can see my structure is pretty solid," said artist Dakota Pratt. "So I won't be too concerned."

Organizers expect as many as 400,000 people to attend the festival over the next four days; attendance records could be broken if the weather doesn't turn foul.

There are more than 200 artists from around the country are exhibiting their works in various mediums and more than 25 food vendors are are on hand to feed the thousands of visitors.

In addition to the artists, hundreds of performers will take to four concert stages over the four-day festival.

The festival opens at 10 a.m. each of the four days, ending at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

<![CDATA[LGBTQ Community Finds Spiritual Home at Wilshire Baptist]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:06:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Wilshire+Baptist+Church+042117.jpg

Faith and sexuality are rarely used in the same sentence, but one Baptist church in Dallas is jump-starting the conversation.

Late last year, Wilshire Baptist Church became one of the first churches in North Texas to grant full membership to the LGBTQ community.

Every week, ministers say they're seeing new faces in the pews, people like Matthew King.

King served in southern Baptist churches for years.

He says he was shunned when he divorced his wife of 27 years and came out as a gay man.

"I used to feel condemned," he said. "Once I did come out, there was no place for me to come and serve. Didn't feel comfortable worshiping. I felt just kind of shameful."

Unwilling to turn the page on his calling in life, King kept his faith. He spent the past nine years searching for a church that would accept him and allow him serve.

"They wanted me to be a member but not really fully to the point where I could do it," he said.

Then in November, Wilshire Baptist Church voted to give gays and lesbians full membership rights.

It didn't sit well with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which broke its ties with the church. Since the decision, about 200 of the church's 1,500 members have left.

"We hate to hear that. We don't want people to leave, but at the same time if that's their conviction, we bless them to do that," said minister Tiffany Wright.

The decision has also been a light guiding many people back to church.

"Overwhelmingly from guests and new members, we just hear, 'Thank you for making this be a part of who you are,'" Wright said.

King joined the church in January.

"For me they put feet to their words. It wasn't just, 'Oh, we accept you.' They've given me an opportunity to serve," King said, allowing him to fulfill his purpose in life in a place where body and soul can finally be at peace.

While it has lost about 200 members, Wilshire Baptist says it's added about 30 new members and is seeing new faces every week.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Man Accused of Setting 2 Fires, Stealing 2 Vehicles]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 19:25:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Sean+Murphy+fires.jpg

A man in Collin County is being accused of setting not one, but two fires after stealing two vehicles and leading police on a chase Friday.

Officials said Sean Murphy started the day by stealing a truck in Sherman that he drove to Weston. He then entered a home and stole a SUV as the woman living there barricaded herself in a room and called 911.

During a chase with police, Murphy crashed the SUV and took off on foot toward a nearby neighborhood. There, police said, he set fire to a workshop behind a home and the garage of another home.

Ned Harris says he lost a lifetime of tools that he stored in his workshop, which burned to the ground.

"It's just unreal that someone would so something like this but thank goodness our house is still standing and i think it's only their garage i think that's the loss," said his wife Linda Harris.

NBC 5 has learned a neighbor managed to talk to Murphy until deputies arrived and took him into custody. Those who spoke to Murphy said he told them he started the fires to divert people who were following him.

Murphy was in the Collin County jail Friday, charged with two counts of arson.

Photo Credit: Collin Co. Sheriff's Office / NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Man Accused in Deadly Easter Shooting Arrested in Texas]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:39:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Luis+Rodriguez+042117.jpg

A man accused of shooting two people on Easter Sunday in Lawrence, Massachusetts, leaving one dead, has been arrested in Texas.

Forty-year-old Aracelys Valdez Deleon of Lowell and an unidentified 25-year-old Lawrence man prosecutors called her companion were shot around 8 p.m. outside the La Cava nightclub. The man survived, but Valdez Deleon was pronounced dead after being airlifted to Lawrence General Hospital.

On Friday, the Essex County District Attorney's Office announced that 24-year-old Luis Rodriguez of Haverhill had been arrested overnight in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

Rodriguez faces charges including murder, assault and battery with a firearm and illegal firearm possession. He was ordered held without bail after being arraigned as a fugitive from justice at the Hopkins County Law Enforcement Facility in Texas.

According to the district attorney's office, Rodriguez has indicated that he will not waive extradition. The district attorney will seek a governor's warrant to enforce his return to Massachusetts, a process that can take as long as three months.

It was not immediately clear if Rodriguez had an attorney.

Photo Credit: Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Did You Miss Jury Duty? Don't Fall For This Phone Call]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 23:51:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/texas+courtroom+generic+2.jpg

People around North Texas have been getting phone calls saying they face federal charges for missing jury duty and are being ordered to federal court to pay some hefty fines. But NBC 5 Responds discovers why you shouldn't pay.

"My name is Jimmy Morgan, sir. I'm with the federal marshal's office," says a voice coming through a phone call to Shane Carpenter.

Carpenter says the call gave him chills.

"I panicked. I couldn't, couldn't think at the moment," Carpenter said.

His employer records all his phone calls and captured this one where a man says two warrants had been issued for his arrest.

They asked for almost $2,000 in fees and federal charges for failing to appear in court for jury duty.

"I have been having issues receiving my mail, so that's the first thing I thought of when he told me that I didn't receive a jury summons," Carpenter said.

The caller wanted Carpenter to show up at the actual federal courthouse with $2,000 in U.S. Treasury bonds.

The caller said that Carpenter would give a full refund of the amount of the fine back.

Carpenter called police and the court clerk, who told him it was a scam even though he was told to come to the actual federal building.

Even though the courthouse told Carpenter don't fall for it, he still worried. They had his personal info and wanted him to come to a real office. But that's the whole point – to raise doubt and hope you are scared into meeting them and forking over the cash.

"They didn't win this situation. They didn't scam me. They didn't get any money out of me. I may have fell for it at first, but I knew it was a scam," Carpenter said.

He turned over the recording to police, who are investigating, but there were several red flags in that call to pay attention to:

  • If you miss jury duty you'll be ordered back to court. Only there, standing before a judge, will you get a possible fine.
  • Fines aren't refundable, and anyone who says, "Give us money, and we'll give you a check back for the same amount," is usually up to no good.
  • The costs were just too high. If an amount seems outrageous, hang up and look up the number yourself. Then call them back.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Crashes Close WB 183 in NRH; SB 35E in Denton]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:00:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/police+lights+generic+crop.jpg

Two separate crashes closed two major North Texas highways Friday afternoon.

North Richland Hills police closed westbound Texas 183 west of Precinct Line Road due to a major crash.

Following the crash, one person was taken to the hospital in an unknown condition. The cause of the crash is unknown.

Westbound 183 was reopened just before 6 p.m.

In Denton, southbound Interstate 35E is closed at Teasley Lane after a car crashed into a center dividing wall.

It is not known if any other vehicles are involved or if there were any injuries.

Denton police said just before 6 p.m. that the crash is clearing but that the backup is expected to remain for some time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Beyond Belief: Mustard Seed Helps Woman Sow New Future ]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:25:17 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mustard20.jpg

Often times, the life we planned is not the life we live.

 Embracing change takes faith. And, many believe with faith, faith even as small as a mustard seed, nothing is impossible.

 Marcie Finney Ditto holds on to that belief as she spends hours at a day at her kitchen table carefully designing jewelry.

  "An artist's touch or a surgeon's hand that has to be down to the finest touch," is how she describes her craft.

 It was the touch of someone else's hand that led Marcie to leave her graphic design career to grow a jewelry business from home in Fort Worth.

 "I was sitting on my back porch in prayer, and I was given a vision of a finished piece," she says. "And I just kind of prayed and went, am I supposed to do this? How am i supposed to do this?"

 The piece she saw in her mind was a pendant with a vine resting in mustard seeds.

 "I saw the seeds, and I saw them in housing and, it had a vine shape on it, and so I sketched it out, drew it out. And, like any creative artist, you try to get as close as you can what you saw."

 She knew immediately, though, the meaning of the mustard seed and its powerful symbol of faith. 

 "I've always loved the verse in Matthew which is basically, if you have faith as small as mustard seed, if you carry that faith with you, you can move mountains in your life and nothing is impossible," she said.

 Marcie carried that faith and with no formal training in designing or making jewelry left her graphic design career to launch Mustard Seed Jewelry in 2015 with $500.

 "I was 36 at the time, so when you find your gift,  it's gonna happen to you at any time in life," she says.

 Marcie makes every piece - necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings and pendants - by hand.  

 "I am doing about 40 pieces in a day is my production level," she says. "One at a time."

 The five-pound bag of seeds Marcies uses is stored in her pantry.  The seeds are the heart and soul of her jewelry, but she is just as careful about the other components.

 Her stylish pieces are crafted with American-produced recycled metal. She sets shiny crystals in place with a toothpick. And, mustard seeds, are in every piece.

 "That's why this is more than just a pretty piece of jewelry. It's something people look down at and they go, oh, yeah, 'I'm on purpose today' or 'Oh, yeah, I can keep going,' she says.

 Marcie’s business is going so well, she’ll soon the operation from her kitchen table to new space. She’s building a new workspace and showroom in her back yard to keep up with demand.

 "I think initially, it's the shiny factor. I think it's a very beautifully well-designed piece which is the God in it that I love in that I wasn't formally trained to do this," she says. "Then you get into the conversation, and you understand it is a conversation piece for the greater good. And you're talking about how your faith is inspired and how your faith can inspire other people by wearing it. And I think that's huge. "

Marcie packs her jewelry in beautiful blue boxes. Each purchase comes with note cards that include the mustard seed scripture found in Mathew and, surprisingly, $2 in cash tucked in an envelope. Marcie calls it seed cash, and she gives it to her customers for them to pass on and sow goodness.

 "When you sow something in kindness and love, even if it's small, it can be increased into something you didn't believe could happen," she says.

 They are more demonstrations of Marcie's own faith.

 "I look at the seeds here, and I get emotional because it had to be greater than me to be able to do 10,000 pieces in a year.  I look at it and think that's not possible, and it happened," she says tearing up.

 Those 10,000 pieces were made and sold in 2016 online and at events hosted by nonprofits.  And, here's where Marcie again sows those seeds of goodness. She gives 30% back to the nonprofit. Last year, it added up to $47,000 in donations to local charities.

 "I definitely feel a solid, steadfast beautiful feeling in my heart that this is what my life is purposed for."

 A life built on faith and the powerful message in the mustard seed. 






<![CDATA[Neighbor Describes People Rescued From Home Explosion]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:41:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/House+Explosion+042117.jpg

Looking at the Dawson home off Texas Highway 31, it appears the only things left untouched by the explosion are the house number and the carport.

The damage continued across the street at the First Assembly of God.

Monday, worshippers turned into construction workers by fixing windows that were blown out of the church.

“God wasn’t across the street last night, he was over here!” said Richard Rains, who lives down the road from the explosion.

“I mean, as big a boom, and you can see the wreckage of the house, it’s a miracle they come out in one piece,” said Rains.

Rains was one of the first people to arrive after the blast.

“I turned in there [to the house], shined my headlights, got out, and tried to see if I could find anybody. Found two in that front room there,” Rains said.

Among the five people trapped inside the home were the homeowners, Dwain and Cathy Spruiell.

“Has anybody heard how Dwain and Cathy are doing?” asked a man passing by, who also helped with the rescue Sunday night into Monday morning.

Dawson Police Chief Michael Carter said the Spruiells are in stable condition.

A friend of the Spruiell family also said Dwain and Cathy have numerous broken bones.

Soon after the blast, more and more people arrived to help with the rescue— including first responders and firefighters from several different departments.

“Pried the window out and got them out,” said Rains, about the first two people they found. “It was a couple firefighters jumped in there and helped them get out.”

Rains said, with a team effort, all five people trapped inside were rescued.

“It was pretty hair-raising there for a little bit, you know. Not knowing you’re going to find them alive or dead, that’s the worst part. But luckily everybody was found, everybody was alive, everybody got saved, you know?” said Rains.

NBC 5 asked Carter what went through his mind as he pulled up to the house Sunday night.

“I was praying there weren’t any casualties. I’m very happy to say that everybody was out and they are all alive. Looking at this, it’s amazing what God can do. So we all prayed and so they’re out — that’s good,” Carter said.

Carter also updated the investigation into what caused the blast. He said they’ll need to take the roof off of the house to allow investigators to get in and safely take a closer look. It could be a week until they know the exact cause.

We’re also learning more about the conditions of the family inside that home. They range in age from their late 60s to late 80s. Dwain Spruiell and his wife, Cathy Spruiell, are in Dallas’ Parkland Memorial Hospital in stable condition, along with Cathy’s sister Margaret Rowland, of McKinney.

William Gilcoat and his wife, Sandra Gilcoat, of Houston, have been treated and released from the hospital. Rowland and the Gilcoats were visiting the Spruiells when the home exploded.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Faith and Finances Can Go Hand in Hand]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:17:41 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Church+Business+042117.jpg

Delatorro McNeal is a motivational speaker. He's also a man of faith.

More and more companies are listening to his message and buying into his connection of faith and finance.

His words are fast, based in faith, but circle back to finances.

"I think every single one of us are meant to figure out what [is] our calling into the marketplace and help solve problems for people and be compensated for it," says McNeal.

He's traveling the world, hired by churches and some companies to motivate employees and give them a plan of action. A way to help them make more money.

"I think the Bible is the coolest faith-based business book ever written ... I believe it's a great tool to use in business," said McNeal.

McNeal said the stories, motivation, and inspiration found in the Bible are the best stories and motivators for employees to find their inner strength and use it to make more money.

He doesn't think money is an bad word for the religious.

"I think the disconnect comes in where it's all about the Bentley, it's all about the million-dollar home. Blessing is a wholeness word. It means you have enough to take care of yourself and your family, those you love and care about," said McNeal.

So he travels the world sharing the message to use your God-given talents well and use the money to take care of your family, give back to others and spread positive energy.

He's finding a way to share God's message, not just in church but in the marketplace that so many of us rely on.

"I dont have to hit you upside the head with chapter or verse to let my light shine," McNeal said.

McNeil knows many people look at his philosophy with some hesitation but said step one is admitting you make a living using a gift God gave you and if you embrace that then rest falls into place.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys' Shaquelle Evans Suspended for Drug Violations]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 15:48:58 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-491501169.jpg

Shaquelle Evans of the Dallas Cowboys has been suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the team said Friday.

Evans, who was signed to the team's practice squad in January, will not be paid while under suspension.

He will be eligible to return to the Cowboys’ active roster on Monday, Oct. 2 following the team’s Oct. 1 game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Evans was a fourth-round pick by the Jets in 2014; he's spent the last three years with three teams and has not yet played in a regulation game.

While under suspension, Evans is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hiring Freeze Leaves TX Agencies Understaffed]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 15:00:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/se+quema+gobernador+de+Texas.jpg

Incompetent nurses. Jail escapes. Investment swindlers.

All are supposed to be investigated by state workers whose job is to protect the public. But many investigative jobs across Texas remain unfilled after Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state hiring freeze in January, according to a review by The Dallas Morning News.

In some cases, vacancies have persisted for more than two months despite pleas from officials of state agencies asking for exceptions to the freeze in the name of public safety.

Click here to read more from our media partners at the Dallas Morning News.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[N. Texas Olympic Gold Medalist Carly Patterson is Pregnant]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 15:46:18 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/131859200.jpg

North Texas Olympic gold medalist Carly Patterson has a new title, mommy-to-be.

Patterson, from Allen, announced the happy news on her Instagram account.

Patterson and her husband, Mark Caldwell, showed the world sonogram photos while announcing she's 15 weeks pregnant.

In another post full of photos celebrating the baby news, Patterson talks about the couple's struggle to get pregnant and announces Baby Caldwell is due in October.

Patterson won the gymnastics all-around gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She was the first woman to win that Olympic title since Mary Lou Retton.

Patterson also brought home silver medals with the U.S. team and on balance beam at the 2004 Olympic Games.

Patterson was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2009.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Marine Sentenced for Lying about Combat Injuries]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:18:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Brandon+Blackstone.jpg

A Fort Worth man was sentenced 21 months in prison Friday for lying about his military service to get a mortgage-free house and monthly veterans' benefits.

Brandon Blackstone must also pay more than $300,000 restitution and other penalties for money he was not entitled to receive.

“This crime is just completely repulsive,” U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn said as she issued the sentence in Dallas Friday morning.

With tearful family members in the courtroom, Blackstone apologized to the judge.

“I’m so sorry for all the problems I’ve caused,” Blackstone said.

But Judge Lynn called the situation “shameful.”

Blackstone wore Kaufman County Jail clothes as he appeared in court Friday. He was already in custody and will receive credit for time he has served.

Blackstone claimed to have received a Purple Heart when his Humvee drove over a bomb in Iraq and it exploded.

"I was blown up while I was there," he said in a 2012 interview with NBCDFW. "I had to be medevaced home."

He offered more details about the explosion in a YouTube video.

"The one (Humvee) behind me got totally destroyed," he said. "I suffered a head injury and a head laceration that caused traumatic brain injury."

Blackstone pleaded guilty last year to making up the story.

In court Friday, Blackstone’s attorney said the man still suffers mental illness from his military service. The lawyer asked that Blackstone be confined in the Fort Worth Federal Prison that provides medical care, but the Judge said that would be up to prison authorities.

Last year NBCDFW reported that the sister of another Marine who served in the same unit claimed Blackstone stole his story.

Lezleigh Kleibrink, of Trophy Club, said what Blackstone claimed happened to him really happened to her brother, Casey Owens.

Owens did receive a Purple Heart after the Humvee he was in blew up.

Owens somehow survived but lost both legs, broke almost every bone, and injured his brain, too.

"He was absolutely a hero," his sister said.

The truth is Blackstone never received a Purple Heart.

He came back to the U.S. after a month overseas – not with a war injury but with appendicitis, and a story.

"It was Casey's story, minus his legs being gone," Kleibrink said.

Blackstone accepted a mortgage-free house, and monthly veterans' benefits he later admitted he did not deserve.

Owens tried to adjust to life back home. Even without legs, he skied in Colorado.

But his sister says he had trouble coping. He died in 2014.

"In a very manic moment, he took his life," she said.

Kleibrink said she is no longer angry but still wonders why Blackstone lied.

"It just brings all of this back up," she said. "Now I'm left sitting here looking at pictures. This is all I have left."

In court Friday, Judge Lynn said she regrets that Blackstone’s sentence will also punish his family but she urged him to make things right by making an example of himself after his time in prison.

“Serve your sentence honorably,” Lynn told Blackstone.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Grand Prairie Police Officer Plays Hopscotch]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:17:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/vlcsnap-2017-04-21-10h53m59s476.png

The country is enamored with a video posted to Twitter Wednesday of a little girl and a police officer playing hopscotch together.

Detective Lyle Gensler of the Grand Prairie Police Department drove through a neighborhood Wednesday on his way to lunch and waived at a little girl he saw playing on the sidewalk.

Gensler told Storyful when she waived back, he got the idea to join her game.

He posted a video of the two of them playing together on his Twitter account, saying "We can do what we want on our breaks, correct? Child's game, phooey! #hopscotch."

Gensler's Twitter page explains he is a former Marine from California who now lives in Texas. His bio explains he shows "the human side of [his] profession."

Photo Credit: Lyle Gensler, Grand Prairie PD
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<![CDATA[Dallas Crash Expected to Cause Delays]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:16:16 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/vlcsnap-2017-04-21-11h56m36s483.png

Dallas Fire Department confirms reports of a crash in Dallas involving multiple cars and a tractor-trailor.

The crash is at West Mockingbird Lane and Lemmon Ave. A light pole was knocked down as a result of the incident and landed on more vehicles.

At this time, no serious injuries have been reported.

Traffic delays are expected in the area until the scene can be restored.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Interstate 35 Reopens After Crash in Corinth]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:57:50 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/i35e-corinth.jpg

Officials said Interstate 35E has reopened in Corinth after a crash shut the interstate down Friday morning.

All lanes of southbound I-35E were closed near Corinth Parkway due to the crash, according to 35Epress officials.

Authorities said traffic was detoured off the interstate at the Corinth Parkway exit until they reopened all lanes just before 10 a.m.

No further details have been released.

Photo Credit: Texas Department of Transportation]]>
<![CDATA[Join The Dallas Morning News for a Reddit 'Ask Me Anything']]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:48:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TDMN-for-DFW.jpg

Always wanted to ask the editor and publisher of The Dallas Morning News a question? Now's your chance.

The Dallas Morning News is partnering with Reddit to host a Ask Me Anything with publisher Jim Moroney, publisher this Friday at 10:30 a.m.

CLICK HERE to read more from our media partners at The Dallas Morning News.

Photo Credit: The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Friday's Severe Weather Right on Schedule]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:30:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/219*120/SAM4.PNG

Today is a Weather Alert Day at NBC 5. A cold front will push south through North Texas triggering thunderstorms with the potential to turn severe.

In order for a storm to be considered severe it must have hail over one inch in diameter, winds greater than 58 mph and/or be capable of producing a tornado.

The Storm Prediction Center's convective outlook for today (also called a severe weather risk map) has a slight and enhanced risk of severe storms in North Texas.

April and May are the most active months for severe weather in North Texas. Today's severe weather is right on schedule. This is a look at severe weather climatology over the past 30 years.

This is where severe is most likely to happen on this day based on past weather events. The bull's-eye for severe storms almost lines up perfectly with the convective outlook for today with the highest risk centered over Oklahoma and North Texas.

When storms move through this evening there is a small threat for a tornado mainly north of DFW. As the storms form into one line and push southeast, the tornado threat diminishes.

Looking at past tornado climatology, the bull's-eye is centered over Oklahoma and North Texas.

Here is the chance for tornadoes today. Again, it almost lines up perfectly.

Continue to stay weather aware. The worst time of year for severe weather will be over in about a month and a half.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Four People Injured in Crash Outside Fort Worth School]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:55:59 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/fw-school-crash1.jpg

Police said at least four people, including three students, were injured when two vehicles collided in front of a Fort Worth school Friday morning.[[420068273,C]]

Fort Worth police said an SUV T-boned a Chevy sedan, while the sedan was turning into the school entrance. It happened outside the Fort Worth Can Academy Westcreek in the 6600 block of Westcreek Drive at about 8:00 a.m.

Police said there were four people in the smaller car, three of them students. The driver was ejected, then pinned under the car.

[[420086213, C]]

Authorities said four people were transported to hospitals, one in critical condition, two serious and one with minor injuries.

Dr. James Ponce, Chief of Schools for Texans Can Acadmies, said, "We're keeping our thoughts and prayers with their families."

He added that staff was taking care of any fellow students who were shaken up by what they saw, and students weren't the only ones to witness the trauma.

[[420072533, C]]

"I hate the fact that that did happen. I knew it was going to happen sooner or later," said Dawn Baublit, who works in home healthcare across the street.

Her own car was badly damaged in a recent hit and run while it was parked on Westcreek Drive, across from the school.

"It's kind of like a curve and they do drive very, very fast," Baublit said. "They've come up on the curbs, hit quite a few vehicles."

But unlike nearby Southwest High School, there are no school zone signs posted outside the Can Academy campus.

"It should be a school zone because they do drive erratically," Baublit said. "We don't have enough officers out here patrolling the area."

Now she hopes the damage done to metal, mind and body will bring change and finally slow traffic down.

Fort Worth police say speed was likely a factor in the crash, based on what witnesses are saying.

A spokesperson for the City of Fort Worth's public works department told NBC 5 they put in school zones automatically for public schools that are part of an independent school district.

But since Texans Can Academy is a charter school, school administrators have to request the school zone themselves.

Dr. Ponce said, "Texans Can is always agreeable to do anything to make the schools safer. If that means having a school zone in front of the school, we welcome that."

The city does now expect to send out a crew to take a look.

School principal Ku-masi Lewis released the following statement regarding the crash:

Three of our students were involved in an automobile accident this morning on their way to school. They are in the care of medical professionals and their injuries are being evaluated.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and with the family and friends of all who are involved.

Our focus at this time is to care for our students in class and make sure they are receiving any counseling resources and care needed.


Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Dallas Homeowner Shoots, Wounds Two Suspected Burglars]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 06:10:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lasater-shooting.jpg

Police said a homeowner shot two people trying to burglarize a Dallas home early Friday morning. [[420058013,C]]

Dallas police said they responded to a burglary call in the 14600 block of Lasater Road at about 4 a.m.

Police said they found one of the suspected burglars on the ground and transported the person to Baylor University Medical Center in unknown condition.

The second suspected burglar fled the scene, according to police. A K-9 unit and a police helicopter assisted officers in the search.

Authorities said the homeowner was not injured.

No further details have been released.

Photo Credit: Metro
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Students Saving the Earth One Trashion Show at a Time]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:15:19 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/trashion-show-denton.jpg

The many items we throw away without hesitation will soon be on display.

It's all a part of a Trashion Show taking place this weekend. The outfits will be modeled by environmentally conscious Denton students. 

The designers are young yet mindful. They've used garbage to create their unique designs. But it's more than fashion, there's education behind it.

Each team has researched their material to find out what happens to it once it's thrown away, and how it affects the environment.

Scrap Denton is behind this push to reuse items, combining trash with fashion all while inspiring the youth.

"It's a fun way to educate the public about reducing waste," said Kari Meyercord-Westerman, Scrap Director. "You're learning something about their longevity and how they don't just go away. They sit in a landfill somewhere."

The sixth annual Trashion Fashion Show will take place at the Denton Redbud Festival this Saturday.

The event is free. The winners will have their creations displayed in Scrap for the entire month of May.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Beyond Belief: LGBT Community Finds Faith, Love at Church]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 06:23:23 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/bb-church2.jpg

Cathedral of Hope in Dallas is called a vibrant, inclusive and progressive place of worship.

Congregants reach their hands to heaven with hearts on display. Some are heavy and most are filled with hope.

“This is an incredible place; a ‘Church Called Hope,’” Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas said.

It’s a church where no one is turned away.

“It doesn’t matter who you are,” Brodie Devoll said. "We are all his children and we are all sharing his love."

“Historically it is known as a congregation where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender folks are able to worship openly and freely,” Cazares-Thomas said.

“This church is telling them it’s OK. Just be yourself. We love you anyway and that in itself is a miracle,” Devoll added.

In their hope, they pray that love will always prevail.

“It’s a life-saver. It’s one of the things I hear most often from folks who come into this church. Is that ‘Cathedral of Hope literally saved my life.’ That’s a miracle,” Cazares-Thomas said.

For 37 years, Cathedral of Hope has served as a safe haven for the LGBT community.

“It really has and continues to be a sanctuary,” Cazares-Thomas aid.

It started with 12 members, just like the 12 apostles who were the closest to Christ and has grown into a congregation of thousands.

“Well, I think God works in mysterious ways,” Cazares-Thomas smiled.

Devoll understands why the numbers have grown.

“Knowing that you have a place here to come when the outside world may not be showing you that [love] is incredible,” he said.

The church has faced hate head-on, prayed for healing and learned about a love that surpasses suffering.

“During the AIDS pandemic when close to 3,000 members of this particular congregation lost their lives to AIDS complications,” Cazares-Thomas said.

Through it all, they leaned on love.

“God is still speaking and God is still being revealed in new ways,” Cazares-Thomas added. “If your religion teaches you to hate anybody, then it is time for you to get another religion.”

Deep in the heart of Texas there is love.

“We believe that God is love and love is God,” Cazares-Thomas said.

And for Cathedral of Hope, love is what really matters.

“You know that you are coming home to your family,” Devoll added.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Five Injured in Navarro County House Explosion]]> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 03:00:19 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/House_Explosion_Aerials_1200x675_926595651592.jpg

Authorities said five people were rescued after a Navarro County home collapsed due to an explosion Thursday night.

Dwain and Cathy Spruiell were hosting their family for a mini-reunion Thursday night when the explosion rocked their home in the 500 block of Texas 31 in Dawson.

"They just said the blast just came and caught them off guard. Everything was flying, computer parts, all over them. My mom and uncle were thrown almost to the road," said Angie Beene.

Angie's mother, Margaret Rowland, and three other victims suffered major injuries to their lower body. Beene said she is relieved her family members survived. She praised their friends and neighbors who pulled them from the rubble.

"I talked to a couple of gentleman who were first on scene, and they were the ones that were pulling the rubble off of our family," Beene said. "I'm extremely thankful. It's my mom. [She] is my world and my kids love her."

The home collapsed on Rowland, her sister Cathy, brother, Bill, and their spouses. They were in the center of the home when the blast occurred. The group suffered serious lower leg injuries as well as broken ribs, arms, and legs. They face more surgeries next week, but are expected to survive.

First responders were forced to sift through remnants of the collapsed house to rescue the survivors, according to Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner.

“It’s kind of gone from a rescue or a recovery operation now to an investigation to try to determine the cause of this incident,” Tanner said.

Tanner added that authorities would interview the family to determine the cause of the explosion.

The home has been in the Spruiell family for decades. Jennifer Boyd saw pictures on TV and immediately knew it was her gradparents' home. She said losing it hurts.

"It was full of memories. Not just the physical part of it, but all the memories we made their as kids. Growing up, all our cousins, everybody that was there, it's a huge loss to our family," she said.

Investigators have yet to determine what caused the explosion. Beene said the family recently had their gas lines checked.

"They were told everything was fine, and, now, here we are. An explosion and possible loss of life of 5 family members?" Beene asked, rhetorically. "We're upset."

<![CDATA[Fort Worth Police Deploy 'Dirt Bikes']]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:09:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/fwpd-dirt-bikes.jpg

This week, Fort Worth police started training with new lifesaving equipment, but it may not be what you expect.

Don’t be surprised if you see officers on dirt bikes.

“The Tarrant Regional Water District was nice enough to give us eight duel sport motorcycles for us to use on the trails here in Fort Worth, parks and whatever might come up [such as] search and rescue,” Fort Worth police officer Walter May said.

Officers in the motor unit have trained across the city traversing the parts of trails in parks, motocross tracks and even Texas Motor Speedway.

“These bikes will go places nobody else can go,” May said. “Go places and get a search and rescue area, we can cover the ground so much faster than officers walking.”

Police said search and rescue efforts could see the biggest boost from the donations.

“Just recently we had someone on the trail, they had a phone, they got hurt and they didn’t know where they were and there was a lot of manpower used most of it on foot,” May said. “We could cover that ground a whole lot quicker and find them quicker.”

The off-road motorcycles will also be used to patrol in hard-to-reach areas.

“A lot of homeless people have been hanging out under the bridges and in different areas,” May said. “Right now we don’t have a big crime problem on the trails but that is something we are trying to prevent.”

The donation is worth more than $95,000.

“With all the building [Tarrant Regional Water District] are doing between Gateway Park and Downtown, I believe I heard there is going to be 1000 acres of parkland down there so they are looking ahead and they know they are going to need some help with that,” May said.

Each is equipped with lights and sirens.

“There’s not a whole lot of cities that use them, but the ones that do use them quite a bit,” he added.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Walk Off 1-0 Over Royals in 13th]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 04:19:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-670931794.jpg

Delino DeShields is stuck in a crowded platoon for playing time in left field. In one of his rare starts for the Texas Rangers so far this season, he had the biggest hit.

DeShields had an RBI single with one out in the 13th inning, sending Joey Gallo home from second base as the Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 1-0 on Thursday night, the deepest a game has ever gone in the Texas ballpark before a run was finally scored.

"Joey had a great at-bat ... I wanted to be able to be the one to get the job done," said DeShields, who started for only the fourth time this season, the third time in left."

It was only the third game in the 24 seasons of the Rangers' ballpark to go to extra innings scoreless. This was the longest of those games, all 1-0 wins for Texas.

Gallo pulled a double into the right-field corner off Travis Wood (0-1), the third Royals reliever after starter Danny Duffy went 7 1-3 innings. DeShields, just 1-for-13 on the season to that point, then hit a sharp single to left on the 10th pitch of his at-bat — only a few pitches after slicing a ball just foul down the right-field line.

"I felt like I was on everything. If anything, he probably didn't know what to throw. He probably thought he could get lucky or something," DeShields said. "I was locked in."

Gallo's double was the first hit for Texas since Jonathan Lucroy's leadoff double in the fifth.

"He is going to strike out some, but that was a big at-bat for him," manager Jeff Banister said. "Every time he steps up to the plate there is a competitiveness in him that he wants to get a job done."

That was also the first hit in the game since Royals leadoff hitter Alex Gordon's one-out single in the eighth.

"I think what you saw tonight was two struggling offenses facing off against some pretty darn good pitching, on both sides," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Kansas City (7-8) has scored a majors-worst 41 runs so far this season.

While the Rangers (6-10) have now scored 73 runs, the two-time defending AL West champs have an AL-low .206 batting average and were coming off a 3-6 West Coast Road trip that dropped them to the bottom of the division standings.

Dario Alvarez (1-0), the seventh Texas pitcher, struck out three in two innings after walking the first batter he faced on four pitches.

Andrew Cashner , the first Texas-born Rangers starter since 2008, pitched six innings in his first home start. Six relievers then combined for 11 strikeouts and one walk while allowing only one hit over seven innings.

Long Scoreless
In those other extra-inning home wins for Texas after being scoreless through nine innings, Robinson Chirinos had an RBI single in the 12th inning to beat the Houston Astros on April 11, 2014; and Rusty Greer's RBI single in the 11th inning was the difference in a win over Toronto on Aug. 25, 2000.

Good Pitching or Bad Hitting?
"It's a little bit of both," Royals 3B Mike Moustakas said. "Obviously they've got some good arms and they've got some good pitchers over there. ... When your pitchers give you that kind of performance, we've got to do whatever we can to tack one across."

Not Much at Third
Before Gallo scored, the only runner to reach third base had been Lucroy. The Texas catcher advanced to third on a deep flyout by Carlos Gomez before getting stranded there in the fifth.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre took some grounders and his throws to first base were caught by Banister. "He looked much better today than last time he went through this exercise," the manager said. ... Demoted closer Sam Dyson, on the 10-day DL with a bruised right hand, threw a simulated inning.

Royals: Yost said OF Jorge Solor, who strained his oblique muscle during the final week of spring training, is close to starting a rehab assignment in the minor leagues.

Up Next
Rangers: Cole Hamels makes his fourth start of the season still without a decision. The lefty has exited all of his starts in position for a win, but the Rangers have lost each of those games.

Royals: RHP Nate Karns has a 1.54 ERA through his first two starts, allowing two earned runs in 11 2-3 innings without getting a decision in either of those games.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Pension Crisis Factors into Upcoming City Council Election]]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 23:03:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lee+kleinman.jpg

Voters in North Dallas are getting ready for an upcoming city council election. This month, the Dallas Police Association sent mailers to voters in the 11th district, urging them to "turn their backs" on incumbent councilman, Lee Kleinman.

"I want people to make a decision for themselves, but make an informed decision," said Dallas Police Association president, Mike Mata. "We're endorsing Candy Evans."

Evans is a a real estate blogger who is running against Kleinman.

"We're at a catastrophic point right now," Mata said, pointing to officers leaving the Dallas Police Department because of the city's pension crisis. "Loyalty goes two ways. We are loyal to the city, but the city has to be loyal to the police and fire," Mata said. "If not, they are going to wake up one day and the police and fire will be gone, and it will be their own doing."

On Thursday evening, Kleinman was knocking on doors in his district. "Most people are asking about the pension and roads," Kleinman said. "They are really concerned that the pension bailout is going to raise property taxes."

Evans spend Thursday evening at a voter forum in Richardson.

"We need to have stronger controls on the pension board," Evans told the crowd. "We need to respect them (first responders), get back on track, and go forward in a more harmonious way." 

Election day is Saturday, May 6th. Early voting starts April 24th.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Earth Day Texas to Bring Opposing Voices Together]]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 23:22:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/earth+day+texas.jpg

Where can you find the head of the Environmental Protection Agency sharing the spotlight with the very environmentalists who denounced his appointment?

The answer is Earth Day Texas, April 21-23 at Fair Park in Dallas.

"We're this open platform for discussion. We're unobstructed by politics and fueled by community engagement," said Earth Day Texas CEO Ryan Brown.

The three-day event is the largest Earth Day celebration in the country. The goal is to bring together people from two worlds that would seem to be opposed to one another: corporations and environmentalists.

"There's not a place that you can bring these folks together and get them in the same room, have that conversation, and hopefully precipitate some change or some policy move," Brown said. "This is a catalyst for it."

Visitors to Fair Park this weekend can hear eco-warriors talk conservation, go SCUBA diving, and learn how to live little in the tiny house village.

"It's cut down on my waste, it's cut down on my consumption," said Andrew Whittle, as he stood in the kitchen of his tiny home.

Whittle said the growing popularity of tiny homes is in conflict with what he calls the country's "go big" attitude. That apparent conflict has changed his life.

"Progress comes from conflict. A lot of the times when people have the need to fight for what they believe in good things come from it," he said.

Organizers have pulled out all the stops, literally. Big Tex has been moved from his familiar State Fair of Texas perch. In his place is the "Smart Flower" – a series of solar panels in the shape of sunflower that rotate and move with the sun.

"It sparks all kinds of unique conversations and brings out people of all ages who are looking to do the right thing environmentally, save money and look into energy independence," said Von Schafer, from Smart Flower North America.

Admission is free to Earth Day Texas.

MORE: Earth Day Texas

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[American Airlines Tries to Learn From United's Mistakes]]> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 19:38:50 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/american-airlines-flight591.jpg

American Airlines continues to piece through the accounts regarding an altercation between passengers and a flight attendant at San Francisco International Airport. Thom Jensen reports.

Photo Credit: Surain Adyanthaya]]>
<![CDATA[MedStar Host Event for Girl With Rare Blood Disorder]]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 22:01:59 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/bone-marrow-drive.jpg

People in Fort Worth came together Thursday night to hopefully save the life of a 8-year-old girl.

People got their cheeks swabbed at the MedStar facility to see if they are a potential match to Hallie Bea.

Hallie suffers from Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a rare blood disease and she requires a bone marrow transplant to beat the disease.

The drive was organized by MedStar and Delete Blood Cancer.

Even if people were not a match, they were able to register as donors, simply by swabbing their cheeks.

For more information you can visit the Delete Blood Cancer website.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>