<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Dallas-Fort Worth News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Fri, 29 Aug 2014 01:05:17 -0500 Fri, 29 Aug 2014 01:05:17 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Water Conservation Relaxed for 1.6M in North Texas]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:08:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Plano+fire+hydrant.jpg

It turns out water conservation was too successful this summer for some cities in the North Texas Municipal Water District.

To help keep water with enough chlorine for safe drinking flowing through the pipes, the district board Thursday approved an emergency measure to relax twice-monthly watering limits.

"Our consumers have really stepped up to the plate and helped us, but we need to move that water through the system to maintain that chlorine residual," said NTMWD spokesperson Denise Hickey.

The NTMWD serves 1.6 million people in 60 cities and parts of nine North Texas counties.

Plano and other cities have opened fire hydrants to move the proper amount of fresh chlorinated water into neighborhoods' pipes from the treatment plant when old water sat in the pipes too long.

Wasted water rushing down the street is shocking to neighbors who've been told they must conserve.

This summer, milder weather combined with rain further reduced the amount of water being used, on top of the water conservation restrictions.

"So that combination has helped the district to help our member cities reduce the amount of flushing of the hydrants they have to do to maintain water quality," Hickey said. "And moving back to once-a-week will help move the water in the system to maintain the optimal levels."

The switch is not because the North Texas drought is over. Lavon Lake, the NTMWD primary water source, is still 11 feet low, but it has held steady during the summer.

So the NTMWD is asking customer to use some more water, but not too much. The plan approved Thursday reverts to once a week lawn watering restrictions. District cities are expected to follow with their own watering rules.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[North Texas Teen Shooting Victim Plays Football Again]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 23:10:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-000043.jpg

A North Texas teenager who barely survived after he was shot last October surprised many by marking a major milestone Thursday night: playing football again.

Corey Dooley, 16, played for South Grand Prairie High School in a game against Dallas Skyline.

"Football is my everything,” he said before the game. “It's all I want to do."

His mother, Nicole Rishard, said she can’t believe how far he’s come.

"Thinking about what happened, it's amazing to see him back out there,” she said.

Last October, the two were allegedly shot by Rishard’s estranged husband, Richard Richard, who is now in jail awaiting trial.

Dooley was shot in his chest, back, hip and stomach.

Doctors gave him just a 30 percent chance of surviving. But after nearly three weeks in the hospital, he beat the odds.

"A couple months ago, I couldn't even walk,” he said. “And now I'm out here running full speed routes by the grace of God."

His coach, Brent Whitson, marvels at his progress.

"I saw him in rehab at 97 pounds. Six-foot-one, 97 pounds,” Whitson said. “And today he's back at 160 [pounds]. He's almost 100 percent from the standpoint of speed and strength and still has that great smile."

Dooley said football means everything to him, and he dreams of one day playing in the NFL.

“This is what I love,” he said. “This is what I want to do when I get older.”

His mother and other family members, including his father, NBC 5 photographer C.J. Johnson, rooted him on from the stands.

“Wow, wow,” his mother said. “I can't believe I'm back here in the stands watching him out there on the field suited up, playing football again."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Did Dallas Co. Fail to Notify People Exposed to HIV?]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 23:15:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-000054.jpg

A state report obtained by NBC 5 Investigates questions whether the Dallas County Health Department failed to notify people who may have been exposed to HIV because the county failed to track and follow-up on hundreds of HIV cases as the state requires.

The report expresses “deep concern” about Dallas County’s HIV surveillance program. Texas Department of State Health Services officials wrote, "Throughout the past year, Dallas has demonstrated an inability to manage routine HIV surveillance workload."

"It's extremely troubling if it occurred as laid out," said Kirk Myers, who runs a nonprofit, Abounding Prosperity, that offers HIV testing in neighborhoods with the highest infection rates. "We see a lot of people that are impacted by HIV daily, and so we need all of the resources in Dallas County we can get to respond to this epidemic appropriately."

When someone tests positive for HIV, the lab typically notifies the state. The state then assigns the case to the local county health department for follow-up. The county is supposed to collect detailed information about the patient and report back to the state.

But in Dallas County, the state found 209 adult HIV cases and 139 pediatric cases went "unreported" from 2009-2012; the largest number of unreported cases in Texas.  By "unreported," they mean Dallas County did not collect required patient information and send it to the state. That information is crucial because it also helps the county begin notifying the HIV patient's previous sexual contacts to warn them of the risk.

The state now worries Dallas County's unreported cases "may represent newly diagnosed HIV cases for which no public health follow-up was ever initiated."

A spokeswoman for the Department of State Health Services said the state is still analyzing records to see if anyone who was exposed was not notified as they should have been.

"Knowing who has been diagnosed with the disease, newly reported with the disease, gives you a chance to find that person's contacts to see if they're infected," said Dr. George Rutherford, an HIV researcher with the University of California at San Francisco.

Rutherford once served as California's state epidemiologist and said quick notification is even more important today because drugs can now be given immediately to fight the virus.

When local health departments do not report cases to the state in a timely manner they also miss out on additional federal funding to treat patients.

"You lose opportunities. It's the land of missed opportunities. You lose opportunities for prevention. You lose opportunities for treatment," Rutherford said.

The Dallas County Health and Human Services Department turned down our requests for an interview. But a spokeswoman did tell NBC 5 Investigates that some cases are "problematic and more time-consuming," because patients give incorrect information, they move, decide they don't want to be contacted or labs make errors inputting information.

The spokeswoman said, "All unreported cases and any cases in which a public health follow-up was not initiated have been addressed and will be closed at some point depending on when the public health follow-up is completed."

This not the first time the health department has come under fire in recent months.

"If our data is wrong then we're screwing up all over the place — that's how serious this is," said Ben Martinez, AIDS activist.

In June, NBC 5 Investigates uncovered another state report that found Dallas County health workers "admitted to entering false (STD) data" in order to "increase the agency's performance numbers."

The Dallas County district attorney's office is now conducting a criminal investigation.

A state inspector general found that false data was entered "under the direction of Lashonda Worthey," the county's STD-HIV prevention manager.

A Dallas County Health Department letter we've obtained shows Worthy was demoted in June even though the county health department's own review "did not substantiate that (Worthey) gave such a directive (to enter questionable data)." The county did find she "failed to effectively supervise staff." Worthy has not responded to our attempts to reach her.

It turns out Worthy was also responsible for supervising the HIV surveillance program that's now accused of falling behind on hundreds of cases.

As of last month, the state said Dallas County was down to about 85 unreported HIV cases. The state said it should know by the end of the year if anyone exposed to HIV in Dallas County was not notified in a timely way. The state's analysis of records is still underway.

In June, the state put Dallas County's HIV surveillance program under heightened state monitoring for at least six months.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Lake Highlands on Alert After Home Break-ins]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 23:02:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-000035.jpg

A neighborhood in Lake Highlands is on alert and neighbors are keeping a close eye on their surroundings. There have been at least two break-ins, and in one case, the thieves were still inside as the homeowner returned home.

It happened in the L Streets neighborhood near Shadow Way and Audelia in North Dallas.

Ginger Greenberg said her husband was coming home and found the door from the garage to the house locked, which the family never locks.

"So we are pretty sure he surprised the burglars when they heard the garage door opening," she explained. "And they ran and locked the back door and left while he was coming in the front door."

Once inside, the family found their home ransacked. The burglars had broken in through a back window.

"Every time I shut my eyes to go to sleep I just kept imagining people in my room, taking out drawers," Greenberg said.

That scary feeling lingers days after the break-in.

Among the items stolen were her son's iPad, which the family was later able to recover.

"My husband had the iPhone app on his iPad and started sending messages to it saying that it was stolen, and that the police had been contacted," she explained. "They called my husband and were able to track the iPad down, and, of course, we asked to police to go with us."

Homeowners have banded together as a result, communicating through a Facebook group.

The Greenberg family has an alarm that wasn't on at the time, but they are now making sure it is always on with all the doors locked at all times.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Denton Approves First Waiver in Drilling Moratorium]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:31:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Drilling+Denton+County.jpg

A Colorado-based gas drilling company will be allowed to start planning for and preparing the sites of five fracking wells on the west-side of Denton.

On Monday, the Denton Zoning Board of Adjustments approved a waiver for the company to their current gas drilling moratorium.

City Intergovernmental Relations Officer Lindsey Baker described the wavier as primarily administrative.

"It allows staff to review their (Vantage’s) amendments to the already existing site plan,” said Baker.

The site plan for the wells at 10343 W. University Drive was originally approved in 2012, but as they prepared the site their permits expired and the city enacted the moratorium in May.

Baker said the amendments the company wants to make to the site plan would help them come into further compliance with the city’s existing gas well ordinance and allow them the right to start the process of applying for permits.

However, the city stresses this does not mean there will be new drilling.

"The board of adjustments did not issue any permits, did not approve any permits and it did not authorize any drilling,” said Baker. “No drilling has been authorized.”

Vantage already has one existing drill operation less than a half mile west of the sites in question.

Baker said that site was approved and went up just before the moratorium so they were allowed to continue.

This is, however, the first major challenge to Denton’s moratorium since it went into effect in early May.

The move by council was a result of public outcry after fracking wells went up very close to homes in the Vintage neighborhood, violating city ordinance.

The moratorium would provide council time to work with the drilling industry to on a tougher set of local rules, but within weeks of the start, a citizens’ petition was presented and approved by the city asking for an all-out ban on fracking.

After a marathon council session on July 15, members elected to let voters decide on the November ballot whether or not hydraulic fracture drilling will be allowed at all in the city.

While the moratorium is set to expire on September 9, the council is expected to meet and likely extend it until the voters make their decision.

"We really just got to wait and see what happens,” said Baker.

Adam Briggle with the Denton Drilling Awareness Group, the team pushing for the ban, said his group expected challenges like this to the moratorium, and that this is evidence more will likely be on the way if things stay the course.

"It's going to be full of loopholes and variances and ways to get out of it. So if we really want to protect our neighborhoods and our health and safety, the ban is the only way to go,” said Briggle.

NBC 5 reached out to Vantage Energy for comment Thursday, but so far, they haven't returned our calls.

Our partners at the Denton Record Chronicle report that the company told the Zoning Board of Adjustments that the moratorium posed “unique and undue hardship” that could cost them around $14.4 million without the waiver to move forward at thek five sites.

The land is on the far-western boarder of the city and appears to be well outside of the city required distance from homes.

The DRC also reports the land is owned by former Dallas Cowboy Brian Baldinger, who lives out of state and invested in the property some years ago. Baldinger played for the Cowboys from 1982-1987 and is currently a sports broadcaster.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Six Flags Announces New Justice League Ride for 2015]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:45:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/6+flags.jpg

Finally, some “justice” for fans of Six Flags Over Texas, who have been on pins and needles waiting to learn more about the mystery ride the park is currently working on.

Thursday, Six Flags announced a new ride for the 2015 season called “Justice League: Battle for Metropolis.”

It’s an interactive, 3D dark ride, where riders will use laser guns to shoot targets throughout the 20,000 square foot building.

The premise of the ride is that Batman and Superman need your help to rescue the other members of the Justice League, who have been kidnapped by several mega-villains from the DC Comics universe.

Construction is underway on the old Adventure Theatre building, which will be expanded to accommodate the new ride.

“We really think this is going to hit the ball out of the park, having an attraction that everyone will enjoy,” said Steve Martindale, President of Six Flags Over Texas. “We think that this ride will have a lot of repeat riders, because it’s something that every time you ride it’s going to be a little bit different. It’s really a ride that you play.”

Park enthusiasts said they can’t wait to get on it.

“We think that the new Justice League attraction will be a great addition to the park and appeal to guests of all ages,” said Trevor Eitel, Founder of Texas Thrill Seekers, which is a Texas-based coaster enthusiast group. “We’re really excited for the 2015 season and to see how the new ride turns out.”

Justice League: Battle for Metropolis is set to open in Spring of 2015. Park officials also wanted to assure fans that the popular Roaring Rapids attraction will be back once construction is complete.

<![CDATA[Several Acres Scorched in Dallas Grass Fire]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:57:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/175*120/fire141.jpg

Dallas Fire-Rescue says a grassfire Thursday evening burned about 15 acres and lasted for several hours.

The fire came about 10 yards away from some homes along Brierwood Drive around 5 p.m.

Fire investigators said the cause might be from a vehicle dragging something on the ground, sending sparks to the side of the LBJ Freeway near Saint Augustine Drive.

Large amounts of dry brush fueled the fire, and flames reached as high as 20 to 30 feet in the air. The wind then blew the fire from the LBJ toward the homes.

Neighbors said the grass was about three-feet high but was cut just last week.

Firefighters said the fire would have been a lot worse if the grass had been uncut, and it likely would have damaged some of the homes.

Nobody had to evacuate their homes, and there were no injuries.


NBC 5's Holley Ford contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Seat Fight Forced AA Flight to Land]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:12:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/American_Airlines_generic.jpg

A fight over a reclined seat was what forced an American Airlines flight to divert to Boston on Wednesday night, federal and local prosecutors said Thursday, just days after a heated fight over a seat recliner forced a United Airlines flight to divert earlier in the week.

A French man who was on the American flight en route from Miami to Paris on Wednesday now faces federal charges in that altercation, after prosecutors say he became furious at the passenger who reclined the seat in front of him and then angrily grabbed a flight crew member.

Sixty-year-old Edmund Alexandre of Paris was arraigned at Massachusetts General Hospital on charges of interfering with a flight crew. Prosecutors recommended $500 cash bail and the judge imposed personal recognizance.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said Alexandre became upset when the passenger in front of him reclined her seat. When a flight crew member tried to calm him, he allegedly became angrier and followed the crew member down the aisle of the plane and grabbed him by the arm. The D.A. said an air marshal on board American Airline Flight 62 subdued Alexandre and handcuffed him while the plane landed at Boston's Logan Airport.

Officials say Alexandre was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment of a pre-existing condition. His next court date is Dec. 29. Alexandre is being represented by attorney Janet Macnab, who did not immediately return a call.

Earlier this week, two United Airlines passengers got into a heated argument over one passenger using a Knee Defender, a device that prevents another person from reclining in an airline seat, which resulted in the plane, which was traveling from Newark, New Jersey, to Denver, being diverted to Chicago.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Students Make Videos for TEXpress]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:28:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-000028.jpg North Lake College and University of North Texas students are creating videos for the TEXpress project. Both schools are getting paid $7,500 for the students' efforts, and the winning entry will be promoted in future advertising campaigns. To vote, go to http://www.texpresslanes.com/pricing/hov-discounts/you-be-the-judge-contest and select your favorite video by 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 21.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Baylor Football Back on Campus After 8 Decades]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:03:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mclane-stadium-baylor-05.jpg

Baylor football is back on campus for the first time in nearly eight decades.

When the 10th-ranked and Big 12 champion Bears open sparkling new McLane Stadium on Sunday night against SMU, they will play their first game on the Waco campus since Nov. 9, 1935.

"Going across the bridge and the river and seeing the stadium get a little bigger was awesome," receiver Levi Norwood said, referring to the route most fans will take to get there.

The Bears closed out 64 seasons at Floyd Casey Stadium, about four miles from campus, on a bitterly cold Saturday last December. They beat Texas for their school-record 11th win and took their first outright league title since the 1980 Southwest Conference.

"(As recruits) we were being sold on hope and vision. Now there's reality. You can come in and see the Heisman, you can see the Big 12 championship trophy, you can see our bowl trophies, and now you're going to see that stadium," fifth-year senior offensive tackle Troy Baker said. "It's actually here and it's happening."

Baker grew up in Waco, and remembers as a kid going to high school games at Floyd Casey that drew more fans than Baylor games. That certainly changed over the past few seasons, especially after Robert Griffin III was playing for the Bears and won the school's only Heisman Trophy three years ago.

Only a handful of tickets remain for Baylor's regular-season finale against Kansas State in December. Every other game this year at the 45,140-seat stadium along Interstate 35 and the Brazos River is sold out, including a school-record 28,000 season tickets and an unprecedented demand by students for tickets. Some $30 general admission tickets on the berm for the opener were listed Thursday on Stubhub for $113.40, with several other seats for more than $500.

Baylor players have been in the horseshoe-shaped $266 million stadium for two scrimmages, and inside their new locker room that is 50 yards long. They are ready to play there before a raucous crowd.

"They're extremely anxious, without question," coach Art Briles said. "It's hard to talk about what's going to happen on Sunday because there's so many unknowns with how many boats are going to be in the water, how many people are going to be on the bridge, how many people are going to mingling outside of the stadium. The stadium, the atmosphere inside, they're all unknowns to everybody."

Some fans will get to the game by walking across a 775-foot long pedestrian bridge over the Brazos River. Others will arrive by boat, with only a few having assigned slips in the marina.

Officials anticipate plenty of extra fans without tickets to be around the stadium Sunday, and along the riverfront from downtown, to share the experience and atmosphere.

A statue of Griffin will be dedicated on the stadium's South plaza more than three hours before kickoff, and the Washington Redskins quarterback is scheduled to attend. Soon after that ceremony, Bryce Petty and the current Bears will arrive by crossing a 100-foot pedestrian bridge over the basin.

"To be able to trot out there as the quarterback of the 2014 Bears and open up a new stadium is huge for me," said Petty, the Big 12 offensive player of the year last season. "It's a privilege for all of us, but it's one that's humbling too. ... We want to protect that palace with everything that we've got."

A couple of other facts about Baylor's new stadium:

-- The stadium is named in honor of Drayton McLane Jr. and his family.  The former Houston Astros owner is a 1958 Baylor graduate and former regents chairman. The McLane family gave Baylor its largest capital gift ever in March 2012, four months before Baylor regents voted to move forward with stadium construction.

-- The stadium is designed with the flexibility for expansion to 55,000 seats.

Photo Credit: Frank Heinz, NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Midlothian Residents Protest Religious Plaque Removal]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:01:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/midlothian-plaque-protest.jpg

Dozens of people gathered Thursday near the Midlothian Independent School District Administration building to rally in support of plaques on Mountain Peak Elementary and Longbranch Elementary schools.

The plaques were part of the buildings' dedications 17 years ago in 1997, however, religious wording has caught the attention of the Madison, Wisc.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.

In June, the foundation sent Midlothian ISD a letter informing them a complaint was made with FFRF about the plaque on Mountain Peak Elementary. The organization requested the school take it down, citing what foundation attorney Sam Grover said is a violation of the Constitution – more specifically, of the separation of church and state.

Midlothian ISD Attorney John Hardy responded. In his letter, he states the plaque will be removed from Mountain Peak Elementary. The district said both plaques were subsequently covered, but this week someone removed the covering.

On Thursday, Midlothian ISD Superintendent Dr. Jerome Stewart announced the plaques would remain uncovered while the district seeks legal advice from outside counsel. While the district isn't elaborating, NBC 5 has learned the Liberty Institute in Plano has looked into the case. The institute has not been retained as counsel for the district but said in a statement:

"Liberty Institute applauds Midlothian ISD Superintendent Jerome Stewart for allowing the religious plaques to remain uncovered on school campuses."

The Liberty Institute statement continued with a quote from its litigation director, Hiram Sasser:

"Our preliminary investigation of the Midlothian plaque issue leads us to believe the school district created a limited public forum for plaques relating to the topic of the building dedication. The plaque at issue is thus private speech and the First Amendment prohibits the government from censoring private speech simply because of its religious viewpoint."

The Freedom From Religion Foundation does not see it that way. Staff Attorney Sam Grover says it's a clear violation of the Constitution.

"The establishment cause of the First Amendment stands for the principle that the state must remain separate from church, from religion," Grover said. "Midlothian Independent School District is a public school district, so it represents the state, and therefore it can't take a position on religion. It can't endorse one religion over another, and that's what these plaques do."

The plaques include a Latin phrase meaning "glory to God alone" as well as two crosses. There is also a mention of the Holy Christian Church.

After 17 years, many people at Thursday's rally were asking, "why now?"

"As with many of the letters we write, it takes a local complainant who's disturbed enough by the violation to write to us before any action gets taken," Grover said. "What often happens in aggressively religious communities like this one is that a violation can go on for many years, sometimes decades, before anyone who's not in the majority faith finally gets up the nerve to contact us."

People at Thursday's rally would agree with one point: it is a religious community. Lisa Huski said her daughter carries a Bible to class, and her family is proud of their faith.

"No, it's not about a plaque. It's about God being in our children's schools. It's about us standing up for the fact that God's in our school," Huski said. "If the plaque is there or not there it's kind of not the issue. The issue was and is and will continue to be that God is in our schools and that we support our district in keeping it that way."

Tammy Wimbush agreed.

"Everyone has different beliefs, different issues," Wimbush said. "It's just a dedication of the building to pray over all the children, and that's all it was, something simple. And there's so many times we're told to look away if we don't like it. So this time we're feeling like if you don't like it, look away. It;s our turn to say that's how we believe."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cyclospora Cases Traces to Cilantro From Mexico]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 23:06:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cilantro1.jpg

Some of the Texas cyclosporiasis cases have been traced back to fresh cilantro from Mexico, according to federal health officials.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said Thursday the its investigation has linked the cases in four restaurants to fresh cilantro from Puebla, Mexico.

Texas DSHS says a total of 21 people got sick and all of them reported eating food containing cilantro within two weeks of becoming ill.

The FDA and DSHS traced the cilantro from all four restaurants to Puebla, Mexico. While investigators could not find cilantro contaminated with cyclospora they say there's a strong enough "epidemiological link" between the illnesses and the cilantro to draw the conclusion.

Russell Jones, chief epidemiologist for the Tarrant County Health Department, said health officials believe the outbreak is over, but they still don't know exactly how the cilantro was contaminated.

"We don't know if it happened on the farm, processing, somewhere in transit," Jones said. "Cyclospora is usually found in contaminated water. Fecal contaminated water. And it's a human parasite, so it normally doesn't come from an animal, but a person. Maybe it's irrigation water, water used from processing. Somewhere the product came in contact with contaminated water."

State health officials said they are choosing not to release the names of the restaurants, saying it wasn’t their fault the cilantro was bad.

At Roy Pope Grocery in Fort Worth, owner Robert Vega said he's lucky to only buy local produce. However, he said many larger chains and restaurants don't have that option.

"A lot of it has to do with how things are going in California, whether it could be a drought or too much rain or high demand, and that's usually what brings more produce from Mexico," Vega said. "The only thing I can say is, as a consumer, is that you wash everything and that you thoroughly cook everything. Those are the two biggest keys."

In October 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also linked a cyclospora outbreak to cilantro from Puebla, Mexico.

The Texas DSHS reported a total of 166 confirmed cyclospora cases in the state, but only 126 cases were considered part of the outbreak.

Dallas County reported the majority of this year's cases with 38, 19 cases were confirmed in Tarrant County and 12 in Collin County.

Recent data from the Texas DSHS suggests that the outbreaks have ended.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness that is caused by the microscopic parasite cyclospora cayetanensis and causes prolonged diarrheal distress. People can become infected with cyclospora by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with the parasite.

NBC 5's Amanda Guerra and Bianca Castro contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[FWPD Seeks Man Suspected in Robbery]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:29:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/fw-robbery-082814.jpg

The Fort Worth Police Department asked for the public's help in identifying a man they suspect robbed a bank Wednesday afternoon.

Police said a man walked into a BBVA Compass bank in the 6800 block of South Hulen Street at about 2:35 p.m., handed over a note and walked out with an undisclosed amount of money.

Police described the man they're looking for as between 60 and 70 years old, 5'5" and 100 pounds. He was wearing a cap, glasses, plaid shirt and jeans and drove away in a brown Dodge Neon, they said.

Anyone with information about this incident was asked to call the Fort Worth Police Department robbery unit Det. M. Baggott at 817-989-3330 or Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS (8477).

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Balch Springs Woman's Death a Homicide, Police Say]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:04:50 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/crime-stock-police-scene-tape-car-2.jpg

The death of a 51-year-old Balch Springs woman is being investigated as a homicide, police say.

According to police, officers were requested to perform a welfare check when the woman didn't show up for work.

When officers arrived at the woman's residence at the Quail Village Apartments, they found her deceased and notified crime scene investigators.

Her name is being withheld until her family has been notified of her death.

At this time the medical examiner has not revealed the woman's cause of death.  The investigation into the woman's death is ongoing.

The murder is the second unsolved homicide in about four months at the same apartment complex.

In April, 24-year-old Erika Soto-Garcia was shot outside her apartment.

Balch Springs Police Lt. Brent Hurley said investigators do not believe the crimes are related but detectives are asking the public for any information that might help solve both cases.

NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Tips on Dealing With Bullying]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:10:17 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/School+Hallway+082814.jpg Bullying can be an issue was children return to the classroom. Dr. Nadine Connell, Assistant Professor of Criminology at UT Dallas, talks about how parents can help their child deal with a bully.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Sundance Square Closed While ESPN Sets Up]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:39:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/sundance-close-map.jpg

Streets near Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth will be closed during the next few days so ESPN can begin setting up their College Game Day set.

Officials said sections of Third, Fourth and Main streets will be closed from 9 a.m. Thursday until 3 p.m. Saturday.

ESPN will kick off the college football season in the Metroplex because of the 2014 Cowboys Classic, which pits Florida State against Oklahoma State, 7 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Several top-25 college teams play Thursday night, including Texas A&M.

ESPN will be back in Sundance Square to conclude the college football season for the College Football Playoff championship game Jan. 12, 2015.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Human Skull Donated to Thrift Store]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:34:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/013012+human+skull+generic.jpg

Police asked for the public's help to locate whoever donated a human skull to an Austin, Texas, thrift store.

Homicide Detective Derek Israel said Wednesday that foul play was not suspected in the person's death. He said he just wants to know how the skull came to be in an unspecified container left at the store.

Goodwill staff discovered the skull while sifting through donations July 16. A spokeswoman said it could have been gifted up to a week prior to its discovery.

Israel said the skull is from an adult. No other details about it have been released.

This is at least the fourth skull to be donated to the international nonprofit this summer. Three were donated in July to a Goodwill store in Bellevue, Wash.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DISD to Discuss Using Firms to Fill Jobs]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 08:11:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DISD+Board+061814.jpg

The Dallas Independent School District School Board will discuss a request Thursday night to spend $300,000 over three years on search firms to hire cabinet-level positions in the district.

A request submitted to the trustees stated the money would be used to hire the search firms to help fill "hard to staff" positions such as chief academic officer, chief administrative officer and others on as "as needed" basis.

The proposal doesn't state the specific jobs DISD wants to fill nor the total number of positions to hire.

The district proposed a similar deal recently that cost $170,000 and hired only seven positions, five of which were principals.

The DISD School Board meets at 6 p.m. Thursday at DISD Headquarters.

Photo Credit: 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[Church Members Approaching Students Upsets Parent]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:51:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Grapevine+Colleyville+school+bus.jpg

A Grapevine church’s attempt to promote its student ministry ran into trouble when three church members approached students as young as 11 and invited them to a back-to-school bash without their parents' permission.

“They’re luring children in under false pretenses,” mother Brandy Oliver said.

Oliver said on Monday the men approached her two daughters, ages 11 and 13, as they left Grapevine Middle School, claiming to be “with the school.”

She said the men were handing out popsicles just off school property and asked children for personal information.

"One of the gentlemen actually handed his phone to my older daughter, my 13-year-old, and had her put her Instagram information in first," she said.

Oliver, who was waiting in a nearby parking lot, confronted the men.

"They said they were with a nonprofit organization,” she said.

A flyer they handed the girls included the date, time and location of a “back to school bash” Wednesday night, but did not mention any church name.

Andy Boyd, a spokesman for Fellowship Church in Grapevine, said the men were working for the church's student ministry known as "the Mix."

“Every member of our Mix Ministry team is background checked, and in all community outreach with students we do not solicit personal information,” the church said in a written statement.

On Monday, the church said its student ministry team was near Grapevine Middle School to “simply hand out invitation to our Wednesday night student event.”

Boyd did not respond to a question about the mother’s claim that the men did not properly identify themselves and why the flyer did not mention the church.

Megan Overman, a spokeswoman for Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, said the incident was concerning to administrators but that the district has talked with church leaders and are hopeful there won’t be any more problems.

Overman said the district called police to report what happened and Oliver also filed a report.

Oliver said she was not satisfied with the church’s explanation and doesn’t think it’s appropriate for adults to talk to young children on their way home from school without their parents’ permission.

"This isn't about being a church or any kind of an organization,” she said. “It's about adults approaching minors for their personal information for any reason."

Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling said officers filed a report on the incident but quickly determined no crime was committed.

The Fellowship Church made national news in January 2012 when Pastor Ed Young and his wife, Lisa, held a "sexperiment" in which they promoted healthy sex lives from a bed on the church's rooftop.

The two, who founded the church, also wrote a book called "Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Father of House Explosion Victims Speaks Out]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:41:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/OC++house+explosion.jpg

Martin Rodriguez said he’d just arrived at work Tuesday morning when his brother called and told him to rush home immediately.

He didn’t know it at the time, but his Oak Cliff home on Champagne Drive had just erupted into flames, all while his wife and five children were still inside.

“She told me she was cleaning the table in the kitchen when she heard the explosion. She started running to the girls’ room because they were already screaming,” Rodriguez said in Spanish.

“She went to the room, they were screaming. The windows were already broken. She pulled the girls out of there. First one and then the other.”

The girls were 3-year-old Janet and 8-year-old Jenny.

Rodriguez also had three sons in the house: 18-year-old Fernando, 17-year-old Martin and 11-year-old Louis.

Neighbors told NBC 5 they saw someone who they believed to be Martin continuously running back inside the house to help his siblings.

All five family members were rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas and have a combination of burns on their hands, legs and backs.

Rodriguez said his sons Martin and Louis suffered the worst injuries.

By Wednesday afternoon, Louis was undergoing his second surgery.

“They tell me they’re very positive. I’m very proud of them. They were very brave. I get my strength from them,” father Martin Rodriguez said.

Remarkably, he said the two girls should be released from the hospital sometime Wednesday.

Firefighters suspect a gas leak led to the explosion, which leveled the home.

Martin Rodriguez said his family had been living in the home for several years and does have insurance.

“With God’s help everything is going to be OK. The first thing for me right now is my family. We know God is going to help us little bit by little bit. We’ll worry about everything else later,” he said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[FBI Investigating Hack on U.S. Banks]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 22:34:09 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453531334.jpg Federal authorities are investigating hacking attacks against JPMorgan and other banks, according to published reports.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DPD Checking Officer's Actions Before Chase, Shooting]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:59:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Miesha+Kilson.jpg

Miesha Kilson says a Dallas police officer abandoned her as an argument with the father of her children turned violent on a roadway.

The incident with the officer began after an argument between Kilson and the father of children, Steven Douglas.

Police said Douglas rammed his car into Kilson's, ripped off the window and took his kids at gunpoint.

"I looked up, and I saw that cop car. It was at my window, and [the officer] leaned over his passenger window and said, 'What's going on?' And I said, 'Get him! Get him!'" said Kilson.

Kilson said she was on the phone with 911 asking for help when she said the officer stopped and then left.

"He turned and looked up at him and drove off, and I was on the phone with cops the whole time screaming 'Ma'am, a cop just left!'" Kilson said.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said the department is looking into the allegations and, if true, finds them disappointing.

The Dallas Police Department confirmed dashcam video shows Officer Les Richardson at the scene, but police won't say what else is on that video.

Police said after the kidnapping, Douglas' mother met up with him and took the children to her home. Kilson, NBC 5 was told, left a voice mail as the chase unfolded, saying, "I love you. I love you, OK baby."

Police said Douglas led them on a chase toward Balch Springs. Moments later, officers said Douglas pointed a gun at them and was shot and killed.

Kilson said she wonders if the first officer could have stopped Douglas sooner.

"That was your job and you left me," she said.

Richardson is on paid administrative leave while Internal Affairs looks into the allegations. His attorney did not have a comment for this story.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Venomous Caterpillar Encounters on the Rise]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:48:09 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Caterpillar.jpg

At first glance, they may look harmless. But the fat, furry caterpillars known as puss, or asp, caterpillars come with a warning: their fur is venomous.

"It's the pain. It is instant and immediate, and it's very intense," said Dr. Glenn Hardesty, ER physician at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.

Hardesty describes the sting from first-hand experience as more painful than the sting of a bee, a jellyfish and even a scorpion.

It can also cause vomiting, convulsions and a drop in blood pressure.

"During certain times of the year, they become more prevalent, and we are in a time of year when they become more prevalent," said Hardesty.

Reports of ER visits from people who've been stung by the caterpillars, which are commonly found in North Texas, are on the rise in Central and East Texas.

Hardesty suggests looking around for them when you're working outdoors, though they are known to fall out of trees.

Also, talk to you children about the dangers, as children are often tempted to pick them up.

Should you come into contact with the caterpillars, the spines, hairs and toxins can be removed with tape.  Place the tape over the sting and remove. Use a new piece of tape and repeat several times.  After that, flush the area with soap and water.  Monitor the sting; should the condition worsen, seek medical attention.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Mansfield PD Makes Big Changes, Gets New Chief]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:36:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mansfield+TX+police.jpg

For many years now, law enforcement responsibilities in Mansfield have been shared between two agencies – the Mansfield Police Department and the Mansfield Marshals.

Although each of them have their own unique functions, a lot of what they do during the day overlaps. They say that can get complicated.

“There’s a lot of tasks that I do, and then Chief Fowler is doing the exact same task,” said Chief Marshal Tracy Aaron.

City leaders felt that didn’t make much sense and decided to simplify things by combining the two agencies.

“It just makes better sense to combine those resources and provide that service to the citizens in the most cost effective way,” said Police Chief Gary Fowler.

That also means combining two chief positions into one. Fowler decided he would step back and become an assistant chief.

“I’ve been with the city for 24 years and I’ll hopefully stay six more so I can get to 30,” said Fowler. “But this is a long term plan. And that’s where Chief Aaron falls in.”

Aaron will take over as police chief Thursday.

“I really believe it’s going to be a smooth transition,” said Aaron. “You know, a lot of chiefs come in and they never have the opportunity to have an assistant chief with the wealth of knowledge Chief Fowler brings to the table.”

City officials said no one else will lose their job as part of the transition. Apart from the new chief, the only other change they believe citizens will notice is that all the Marshal vehicles will be replaced with police ones.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Odor Slam Leads Rangers Over Mariners 12-4]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:01:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers082714.jpg

Rougned Odor hit a third-inning grand slam to back Colby Lewis, and the last-place Texas Rangers beat Seattle 12-4 Wednesday to take two of three from the Mariners.

Erasmo Ramirez (1-6), recalled from Triple-A Tacoma for the start, allowed 10 runs and nine hits in three-plus innings. Seattle, which began the day a half-game ahead of Detroit for the second AL wild-card spot, had been the only major league team not to allow 10 or more runs in a game this season.

Lewis (9-11) allowed seven hits, struck out seven and walked one in his second complete game of the season and second in August. He had been 0-3 since pitching a five-hit shutout at the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 5.

Texas, a big league-worst 52-80, won a series for only the third time since the All-Star break. The Rangers took two of three from the Yankees from July 28-30 and also at the Chicago White Sox from Aug. 4-6.

Tomas Telis, who made his big league debut Monday, put the Rangers ahead in the second with a three-run double for his first major league RBIs. He scored on Leonys Martin's single for a 4-0 lead.

After Mike Zunino homered in the bottom half, tying Seattle's record for catchers with 19 homers. Odor made it 8-1 in the third with his first career slam.

Elvis Andrus chased Ramirez with an RBI double and scored on Adrian Beltre's sacrifice fly off Dominic Leone, giving a Seattle opponent double-digit runs for the first time since a 12-2 win by St. Louis last Sept. 15, a game Ramirez also started. Martin hit a two-run homer in the sixth against Joe Beimel after Telis singled.

Kendrys Morales hit a two-run double in the bottom half.


Rangers: OF Alex Rios got the day off. Texas manager Ron Washington said Rios will continue to play with a bruised and swollen right thumb.

Mariners: OF Chris Denorfia, scratched on Tuesday because of a stiff neck, was much improved on Wednesday. He was available but did not play. ... C Jesus Sucre cleared concussion tests after taking a foul ball to the face mask Tuesday but also didn't play.


Rangers: Nick Tepesch (4-8) is slated to start Thursday at Houston, seeking to rebound after tying his season high for runs allowed with six in a 6-3 loss to Kansas City last weekend.

Mariners: Felix Hernandez will get his 12th start of the season on extra rest Friday in the series opener against Washington. Hernandez is 6-0 with a 1.83 ERA with extra rest this year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Northwest ISD Preps for Big Growth in Coming Years]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:39:39 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NISD+growth.jpg

The 2014-2015 school year just started Tuesday for students in the Northwest Independent School District, but already school leaders are looking to the coming years as big growth numbers are projected.

On Monday night, the eve of the new academic year, the NISD School Board received its latest demographic and growth report from Templeton Demographics.

District Communications Director Emily Conklin said that included some big enrollment outlooks for Northwest with growth expected to reach 25,200 students by 2018 and more than 32,000 by 2023.

In this year alone the district said enrollment surpassed the 20,000 student mark, making it the second-fastest growing in the DFW area.

To compensate for the big numbers the NISD is planning to open its third full high school next year off U.S. Highway 287 and Blue Mound Road near Haslet.

V.R. Eaton High School, as it will be called, is already well into construction, and leaders hope to actually start moving into the school sometime in the spring semester.

Carri Eddy, who has been named principal at Eaton, said the new campus is just one of many they are working on to address the district growth pattern.

"A year after Eaton opens we're looking at adding another middle school, and then we'll continue to build the neighborhood schools," said Eddy.

Dennis McCreary, assistant superintendent for facilities, planning and construction, said the current construction has been in the planning phase since 2009, as they've had a large growth outlook for some time.

"To make sure that we're prepared for the growth and lots of visioning, so not just thinking about today but also thinking about tomorrow and where the growth will be," said Eddy.

The new high school, with a construction cost of about $92 million, will be three floors with state-of-the-art green technology implemented, including a geothermal heating and air system.

The district has brought the community in heavily on the planning for the new building with future students most recently selecting things like the color scheme and mascot: the Eagles.

Eventually, Conklin said the plan is to make the Haslet-area campus a super-campus like their location in Justin, featuring an elementary, middle and high school, as well as support buildings.

Since 2000, the Northwest ISD has grown from a little over 5,000 students, more than doubling in the last decade alone, according to the district's website.

The district spans 234 square miles and services 14 communities in three counties with two current high schools, an accelerated high school, five middle schools and 17 elementary schools.

This will be the first school year in about a decade they haven't added a new building as they take on the big high school building scheduled to open in August 2015.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Arlington Police Searching for Steak Thief]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:19:11 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ribeye1.jpg

Arlington police are searching for a man accused of shoplifting from a grocery store.

Officers said the man in the surveillance photo stole a basket full of rib-eye steaks from the Tom Thumb near the intersection of South Bowen Road and West Park Row Drive on July 27.

The man is described as Hispanic, 35-40 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing approximately 175 pounds. He was wearing a white shirt with white and blue shorts with a floral design.

If you have any information, please call Crime Stoppers at 817-469-8477.

Photo Credit: Arlington Police Dept.]]>
<![CDATA[Interstate 30 Reopens in Fort Worth]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:55:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/190*120/fw-sf1.jpg

Officers have reopened Interstate 30 in Fort Worth, just east of downtown Wednesday afternoon.

The westbound lanes of I-30 at Beach Street were shut down for more than an hour due to police activity.

The exact cause behind the closure has not been released.

Photo Credit: Scott Friedman]]>