<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Dallas-Fort Worth News]]>Copyright 2016http://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-usWed, 07 Dec 2016 10:19:23 -0600Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:19:23 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Donate Pajamas, Get A New Hairdo]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:11:46 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/salon-tmsg-120716.jpg

Need a haircut? Want to get it for free? Head to Shears of Steele salon in Roanoke on Thursday.

Shears of Steele is the student-run salon at Steele Accelerated High School in the Northwest Independent School District. Student stylists kicked off their Holiday Cut for a Cause on Tuesday and continue it Thursday.

Clients who donate a new pair of pajamas get their hair cut and styled for free.

The pj’s will be donated to children receiving care at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth.

Shears of Steele is at 606 N. Walnut St. in Roanoke.

The salon is open on Thursday from 9 a.m. through 11 a.m., and 1-3 p.m.

Contact the salon by phone at 817-698-5820 or email at shearsofsteele@nisdtx.org for more.

<![CDATA[Bus Crashes into Tree at Dallas Love Field]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:16:14 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/bus-crash-love-field1.jpg

An employee shuttle bus crashed into a tree at Dallas Love Field Wednesday morning, city officials say.

According to city officials, the driver of a LoveHub bus veered off the road and crashed into a tree along the 8000 block of Herb Kelleher Way at about 9 a.m.

The driver told police he swerved to avoid hitting a driver that cut him off.

One passenger was on board at the time and was transported to a hospital with a possible head injury, according to authorities.

Authorities said the driver was also transported to a hospital with undisclosed injuries.

No further details have been released.

Check back and refresh this page for the latest update. As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Firefighters Rescue Man From Burning Fort Worth Home]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 08:41:51 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/fwfd-rescue.jpg

Firefighters said they rescued a man from a fire at a Fort Worth duplex Wednesday morning. [[405220495,C]]

Fort Worth firefighters said they responded to a call about a fire at the home in the 2100 block of Andrew Avenue at about 3:25 a.m. and found heavy fire and smoke.

As they began attacking the fire, crews said they learned of a possible person trapped inside the home. Firefighters said they searched the home and found a man in a bedroom toward the back of the home. The rescued the man through a window.

Authorities said the man was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and transported to a hospital.

Firefighters said the man had been sleeping with his bedroom door closed, which likely saved his life. The door sustained heavy damage, but slowed the fire enough for firefighters to find him.


A second person, who escaped the home before firefighters arrived, was treated at the scene and released.

Six residents of the duplex, which was heavily damaged by the fire, were displaced. The Red Cross responded to assist.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Photo Credit: Metro
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<![CDATA[Dallas Council to Hear Police, Fire Pension Concerns]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:37:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DFR-DPD-img.jpg

Dallas City Council members will be briefed Wednesday on the looming concerns regarding the Dallas Police and Fire Pension system that prompted Mayor Mike Rawlings to suggest the city is moving toward the threat of bankruptcy.

The Dallas Police and Firefighter Pension fund faces a possible $4 billion in future unfunded benefits after decades of promising too much with risky real estate investments that returned too little.

This week, Mayor Rawlings sued the pension fund to temporarily stop lump sum withdrawals being made by panicked retirees.

In 2015, pensioners withdrew approximately $80 million from the fund.

During a 15-week period from mid-August to Nov. 24, 2016, pensioners withdrew $493,973,732.

A judge denied Mayor Rawlings’ request for a temporary restraining order and, instead, deferred any action until after a pension board meeting set for Thursday.

<![CDATA[GM Set to Put Life-Saving Technology in 20 Models]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:32:49 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GMC_Rear_Seat_Reminder.jpg

General Motors was the first manufacture to put technology inside of a vehicle that specifically reminds the driver to check the back seat.

They are now putting that technology in 20 more models.

In 2015, 24 children died after being left in hot vehicles. In 2016, the number of deaths increased to 39.

“GM’s Rear Seat Reminder feature is an initial step to use technology to help remind drivers to check their rear seat before exiting the vehicle under certain conditions,” GM's Global Safety vice president Jeff Boyer said. 

GM's Rear Seat Reminder was initially only available in the 2016 Acadia, but now the new life-saving technology will be in the following 20 models:

• 2017 Buick Lacrosse
• 2017 Cadillac CT6, Escalade and Escalade ESV
• 2017 Chevrolet Colorado, Cruze, Cruze Hatchback, Malibu, Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe
• 2017 GMC Acadia, Canyon, Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL
• 2018 Cadillac ATS, CTS, CTS-V and XT5
• 2018 Chevrolet Equinox

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Re-Sign OF Carlos Gomez: Reports]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 05:36:05 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-6110400641.jpg

The Texas Rangers reportedly re-signed outfielder Carlos Gomez on a one-year deal late Tuesday night.

FanRag's Jon Heyman reported that Gomez and the Rangers agreed to a deal worth $11.5 million, pending a physical.

The 31-year-old Gomez, a two-time All-Star selection and Gold Glove winner, replaces the void in center field left by free agent Ian Desmond.

The Rangers, short on outfield depth after Desmond's departure, had been rumored to be interested in trading for the Reds' Billy Hamilton, the Cubs' Jorge Soler and others.

The Rangers signed Gomez Aug. 20, two days after he was released by the Houston Astros.

In 33 games with the Rangers, Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with 8 home runs, 24 RBI and 5 stolen bases.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[North Texas Prepares For Plummeting Temperatures ]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 09:46:40 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Frozen-Pipes.jpg

North Texas is watching the weather this week as meteorologists expect temperatures to take a nosedive.

Rafael Marquez took the forecast seriously and took a trip to Lowe’s in West Dallas to stock up on essentials to keep his home safe and warm.

“I check on the outside pipe lines because the inside is OK and I cover the water hose lines and this little cover here is for my faucet so it won't freeze," Marquez said with a bag full of insulation items.

Mechanics say there are several steps drivers can take to make sure cars are winter-ready.


Under the hood, make sure oil has been changed with the correct viscosity of oil for the weather. Mechanics also remind checking to make sure the vehicle has the correct antifreeze and batteries can withstand colder temperatures.

Checking air pressure in tires is also important to make sure they are properly inflated.

Many people will use space heaters to keep their homes warm. They are effective and inexpensive, but can be dangerous if not used correctly.

“I think the most important thing is make sure the area is clear. You don’t want to have anything like a Christmas tree too close. So you just want to make sure that it is clear of other things,” Lowe’s manager Cari Alvarez said. “Also don’t put anything on top of it or don’t set it on anything that might be unsafe.”

Fire safety specialists suggest having at least a three-foot space around the space heater with nothing in that area. Every year, space heaters should be inspected for damage, cracks and frayed cords from storage.

Many newer models of space heaters have safety features that could help limit the risk of fires.

"We have now an anti-tip device. Let's say a pet or it accidentally gets knocked over, it is automatically going to shut off and then also if it happens to get too hot it will also shut off," Alvarez said.

To avoid damage to freezing pipes home owners and renters are encouraged to leave water dripping from faucets to keep water moving.

“Just a little bit is going to help so it doesn’t freeze on the inside of your pipes. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Just a tad and that is really going to help you out,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez is a fan of simple faucet covers to help keep waterlines safe.

“This is only $2 and this is really going to protect you in case your pipes do freeze. It could be up to $2,000, $3,000, $4,000,” she said. “By spending $2 now, you are going to protect yourself in the future.”

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Police Officer Shoots Man After Pursuit, Standoff]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:35:36 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dpd-shooting-1207161.jpg

Authorities said a Dallas police officer shot a man who led officers from multiple departments on a pursuit and fired a gun at them outside a Garland hotel early Wednesday morning.

Lewisville police said they responded to a burglary call at the Regal Buffet in the 200 block of North Interstate 35E at about midnight and saw the man suspected in the incident driving away.

Lewisville and Farmers Branch officers pursued the 48-year-old man south on I-35E to Interstate 635, according to police. He then exited near Jupiter Road in Garland and stopped in the parking lot of the Regency Hotel.

Police said the man ran into the hotel, followed by officers. The man then fired at least one shot at officers, but didn't hit anyone.  

The officers stopped following the man and set up a perimeter outside the hotel. Authorities said Dallas police officers responded to assist.

Police said the man then came out on his own. Officers told him to drop his gun, but he refused. A Dallas police officer then shot the man.

The man was taken into custody and transported to a nearby hospital with injuries that police said were not life threatening.

No officers were injured.

Lewisville police said they collected a bag of cash at the scene.

Photo Credit: Metro]]>
<![CDATA[North Texas Sailor, 93, Remembers Attack at Pearl Harbor]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 04:07:55 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jim+hardwick.jpg

Seventy-five years after the day that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said would live in infamy, Dallas native Jim Hardwick sifts through black and white pictures from the 1940s.

"I think I'm it," he said about his place in history. "I don't know another one."

Hardwick, 93, is certainly one of the last North Texans who can give a first-hand account about what happened at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

It was a Sunday morning. Hardwick, a Navy sailor, was wrapping up a weekend celebrating his 18th birthday, and he and his friends were resting on a beach when they got word of the attack.

"We didn't know what the hell was going on. We heard the explosions. We arrived there after the torpedo attack," he recalled. "But the horizontal bombers were coming in when we entered Pearl Harbor, heading for our ship. Over on my right I saw the Arizona going down, the California, the Oklahoma and West Virginia and all of Battleship Row."

It was surreal, Hardwick said.

"Billowing clouds of smoke and fire. Bodies floating in the water," he recalled.

More than 3,500 Americans were killed or wounded that day, and the surprise attack led to America entering World War II.

"I thought I couldn't be father away from the war than Pearl Harbor, Hawaii," Hardwick remembered thinking.

He arrived on the sunny beaches of Pearl Harbor on Nov. 19, 1941.

"I read in the paper that when you were 17, with your parents' consent, you could join the Navy, so that's what I did," he said.

He was assigned to the U.S.S. Honolulu.

"Monday mornings we'd set out for war games around the islands, for gunnery practice or whatever, and Friday the fleet came into Pearl Harbor. And you were given shore leave or liberty, and that was your weekend," he explained. "Then, on Monday, you were back out at sea for drills. All of that was certainly well known by the Japanese, and they chose Sunday morning for the attack. They knew the whole fleet would be sitting there like sitting ducks."

Hardwick's ship, the Honolulu, was hit with a 500-pound bomb, but remarkably no one died.

The crew was ordered to stand guard, as Hardwick put it, "Waiting for the next shoe to drop."

"We were on our battle stations waiting to see what happened. We waited and waited and waited, but nothing else happened," he said.

The attack was over.

Hardwick received a medal for his actions at Pearl Harbor.

He has dozens of medals for his service. Behind each medal is a memory, a story that with each passing day become more difficult to tell.

"The last reunion had five out of a crew of 1,000," Hardwick said. "None of them were Pearl Harbor survivors. I was the only one in the group."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Denton Council Votes to Ban Handheld Devices Behind Wheel]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 04:09:09 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/distracted+driving1.jpg

Denton is the latest North Texas city to take a hard stand against distracted driving.

Tuesday night, the City Council voted 6-1 to expand Denton's texting while driving ordinance into an all-out "hands-free" ordinance, placing a ban on texting, talking and any other handheld use of a device while driving.

"I lost a brother in a car accident," said Denton City Councilwoman Kathleen Wazny, who fought for the ordinance. "I know how much it hurts, and this was a personal fight for me."

The ordinance reads, in part, that "an operator of a vehicle may not use a wireless communication device for any purpose while operating a vehicle on any street or highway within the city of Denton."

While the use of hands-free devices will be allowed behind the wheel, drivers will only be allowed to use handheld devices if the vehicle is stopped.

The ordinance does spell out a few exceptions for emergencies.

"I always wonder now about the fact that if this was in place and truly was tough and enforced, could it have prevented what happened to my girls?" said James Shaffer, of Denton, who lost his wife and daughter to a distracted driver. "I'll never get that answer, but I'm glad that maybe other people won't have to have those kind of conversations and have those concerns."

The new ordinance will take effect on June 1, 2017, and fines can run up to $500.

The council began considering the expansion over the summer as the current ban turned two years old.

At that point, Denton police reported only 39 tickets being written for texting and driving once the original ordinance went into effect in May 2014.

Originally, Denton leaders had considered an all-out device ban, but stopped short at the time.

In just the past year, though, several neighboring communities, including Little Elm, Argyle and Lake Dallas, have all taken the hard stand against distracted driving, leaving many in Denton wondering if the time was right to do the same.

The city's Traffic Safety Committee recommended taking the step, and in October, Denton police presented new figures showing 191 distraction-related driving accidents since 2014 and 70 crashes where a phone had been a likely factor.

Currently Texas is one of only four states without a statewide texting while driving ban.

A copy of the ordinance is below, although before they voted, council members changed the word "initiating" to "answering" in one section, and the phrase "the City's public roadways" to "the public roadways within the City."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Salvation Army in Desperate Need of Bell Ringers]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 22:34:01 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Salvation+Army+bell+ringer.jpg

The Salvation Army helps people in need over the holiday season.

But now the nonprofit is in need itself. Directors of North Texas service centers say they’re desperate for bell ringers.

Right now, the Salvation Army has about 50 fewer bell ringers this year compared to 2015.

“I'm concerned,” said Steve Thomas, director of the Salvation Army Lewisville Service Center. “You see the buckets over there, the kettles over there that are unmanned right now, and I just have a handful out there right now.”

Thomas says filling his schedule this season has been next to impossible.

“We're having a real problem,” he said.

Tuesday night, there were just two bell ringers for 20 Salvation Army locations in and around the Lewisville area. Thomas says 400 shifts need to be filled between now and Christmas.

“We put out literally thousands of emails, hundreds of letters have gone out requesting organizations, churches, nonprofits, schools, any group that will volunteer,” said Thomas.

They’re calls he hopes don’t fall on deaf ears, especially since every dollar helps hundreds of people every day.

“They definitely help people get back on their feet,” Dustin Thompson said, while ringing a Salvation Army bell outside a Hobby Lobby in Lewisville.

Thompson once relied on the organization to get by. This Christmas, he’s giving back the gift of time.

“Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the sound of the bell,” he said.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Program is asked to call his or her local branch. A list of the 15 locations across North Texas can be found here.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Finalists Compete to Replace Retiring Dallas City Manager]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 04:11:52 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/city+manager+candidates.jpg

Five finalists for the job of Dallas city manager shuttled between private interviews with City Council members Tuesday afternoon and meetings with citizens Tuesday evening.

It's part of the process to replace retiring City Manager A.C. Gonzalez, who announced in May that he would step down in January.

The City Council could take action as soon as Friday to select a winner or again narrow the field, which began with more than 100 applicants.

Dallas leaders have big expectations for a new chief executive who will face major finance and infrastructure problems.

But Dallas is also one of the nation's largest cities with a city manager form of government, and Gonzalez was paid $400,000 a year. It is a plum job.

Dallas City Council members have scheduled a Friday morning meeting for possible action on a replacement.

Here is background of the five finalists along with comments about them from their hometown press:

  • T.C. Broadnax is city manager of Tacoma, Washington, a port city with population of about 200,000 people and 2,200 employees. A Dec. 5 article in the Tacoma News Tribune said Broadnax should have a legitimate shot at the Dallas job. "T.C.'s annual performance reviews come off like Hallmark cards, with City Council members seemingly trying to outdo one another in effusive praise. Critiques are minimal," the paper said.
  • Jelynne LeBlanc-Burley is a San Antonio consultant who recently left the city owned electric company after previous experience as a San Antonio assistant city manager. San Antonio Woman Magazine published at 2015 article with the headline, "Jelynne LeBlanc-Burley: Ready For the Future." "…she has been implementing customer-focused policies that utilize both technological and human resources to improve service, help people in need, conserve energy and look to the future," the article said.
  • Jim Twombly has been Tulsa city manager since 2009. The city has population of about 400,000 with 3,600 employees. An Oct. 19 Tulsa World newspaper article said new Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum is planning to change managers, but the new mayor had praise for Twombly. "Jim (Twombly) is an incredibly sharp guy," Bynum said. "I think he's just been a great asset to the city. … Wherever he ends up, Jim is going to be a great asset."
  • For about a year, Maura Black Sullivan has been chief executive officer of Chattanooga, Tennessee, the smallest finalist city with a 2010 population of about 173,000. She served previously as interim executive director of the Memphis Housing Authority. A Dec. 15, 2015, article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press quoted Mayor Andy Berke praising the new CEO. "Not only does Maura have decades of experience in Municipal Government, she has a passion for service," the article said.
  • The one insider among the finalists is Assistant Dallas City Manager Mark McDaniel. He served as Tyler city manager before coming to Dallas in 2014. A Nov. 29 D Magazine Front Burner blog article about the finalists suggested McDaniel's short time in Dallas might be an advantage. "He's an insider-y outsider… …Odds he'll be hired: bet the house," the article said.

Several Dallas City Council members have said they strongly favor an outsider for Dallas city manager now.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[City Moving Ahead with Fort Worth Multipurpose Arena]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 04:22:35 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Fort+Worth+Arena2.jpg

It doesn't look like much now, but by 2019 a big parking lot next to the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum will turn into the new Fort Worth Multipurpose Arena. It will be home to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, major concerts and sporting events.

There's already major progress underway on a six-story parking garage next door, and on Tuesday night the City Council moved ahead with the next phase of the project.

On Jan. 1, the city will take over the rest of the land where the arena is going. They have to demolish one more building on the lot, then construction gets started.

The arena is set to open in 2019 and nearby neighbors are preparing with mixed excitement and some concerns.

Lafarris Albee has been sitting on the same front porch on Montgomery Street since she was 11 years old.

"Mother and Daddy bought this house," she said.

The view has changed a lot since then and now it's due for its biggest shift yet, with the arena set to be built on a parking lot across the road.

"Traffic flows into the neighborhoods and that's a big concern for everybody," said her husband, Dave Albee.

The 2,200-space parking garage is set to be ready for the 2018 Stock Show, but neighbors worry folks will try to park on nearby streets for free instead.

"When the Stock Show has three rodeos, it is tough to get out," Dave Albee said.

Already, new businesses are jumping on the momentum in the neighborhood. Taco Heads opened on Montgomery back in January.

"Having the arena right across the street, that brings on the weekends 20, 30,000 fans and we're pretty excited about that," said Taco Heads' co-owner, Jacob Watson.

Watson sees an even bigger significance in having a major entertainment venue for a neighbor.

"I think Fort Worth is really turning the corner in terms of becoming a major city," Watson said. "You don't have to go to Dallas. We have all of what you need right here in Fort Worth."

The Albees agree. Even if it means more noise and traffic, they say you can't stop progress.

"No you can't," said Dave Albee.

And that's just how they like it.

"This arena is good for Fort Worth," Dave Albee said.

To address neighbors' parking concerns, the City Council is set to approve a pilot program next week that would put up resident-only parking signs on the streets nearest the new venue.

They'll be testing it out during next month's Stock Show at the Will Rogers Memorial Center next month, and if it works, extend it for the new venue.

The arena is a public-private partnership. The city owns it, but it's managed by a private nonprofit.

Half of the cost to build it comes from private donations. The public is paying for $225 million, and that money is generated by parking, ticket sales and rentals of livestock stalls and pens, along with tourism in a three-mile radius of the arena.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Bush Institute Connects Veterans to Resources]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 04:22:55 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Col.+Miguel+Howe.jpg

A new military initiative at the George W. Bush Institute focuses on psychological affects of war on veterans and their return to civilian life.

According to the institute, when the general public thinks of a service member injured while fighting in a conflict zone, they likely think of visible wounds – like limb loss or severe burn – however some men and women return with symptoms of the invisible wounds of war: post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, or both.

The message from Col. Miguel Howe, the director of the Military Service Initiative at the Bush Institute, is that with proper care, these wounds are treatable and warriors can continue to lead on and off the battlefield.

"Those who return home with the invisible wounds of war – post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and others – may find it challenging to tackle the barrier their injury presents to meaningful transition to civilian life," Howe said.

He is leading the effort at the Bush Institute to work with community partners to better the mental health care available for returning veterans.

"For a lot of reasons connected to the broader issue mental health care, we, as a nation, have a lot of work to do to improve the high quality of care," Howe said.

He says stigmas and stereotypes exist within and outside of the military community, and military members hesitate to ask for help because they believe that it will make them look weak, that their families and friends won't understand, or that it will negatively impact their employment opportunities.

He also says some feel that if they do ask for help, it will affect their ability to find a job.

"When they take off that uniform, we still need that leadership in our businesses, in our communities, in our families and across our nation," Howe said.

And while the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, he says, is doing what it can, the Bush Institute is pushing for better care and resources in the private and non-profit arena.

"We now see almost 45,000 nonprofits across the country who have emerged to serve and support military families," he said.

Metrocare Services' Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic in Addison is one of those nonprofits.

It opened in June and has already counseled hundreds of families, accepting each case regardless of someone's ability to pay.

"The VA, in many cases, is not a place where the veteran themselves would like to go. Or the VA might be, in some cases, challenged to get people in in a timely fashion, so it's critical to fill that gap," said Dr. John Burruss, CEO of Metrocare Services.

Click here for more information on the wellness work at the Bush Center.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Merry Meltdowns 2016]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 04:23:29 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*160/84337c84db4240dd81c349a4bc2279d1.JPG.jpg North Texans shared their photos of kids crying on Santa's lap in 2016. See the gallery at nbcdfw.com.

Photo Credit: mandi]]>
<![CDATA[Eight North Texas Musicians Secure Grammy Nominations]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 16:13:58 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/local-grammy-noms.jpg

Eight artists with North Texas ties have been nominated for a Grammy Award.

First up was 26-year-old Arlington native Maren Morris, who is nominated for four awards: Best New Artist, Best Country Solo Performance (My Church), Best Country Song (My Church) and Best Country Album (Hero).

“I’ve grown up watching the Grammys, and they are such a pinnacle for an artist. I’m so honored to be nominated by my peers who I am so inspired by every day,” said Morris in a statement on her website.

After the nominees were announced Morris said she was "shook" on Twitter.

Morris followed up her first tweet with another on being this week's musical guest on Saturday Night Live.

Soulful Fort Worth-native Leon Bridges released his debut album "Coming Home" in June 2015, for which he was nominated for Best R&B Album of the Year.

Bridges ended up losing to D'Angelo and The Vanguard but is back this year with another nomination -- this time for Best Music Video for the song "River."

He faces still competition in Houston native Beyonce (Formation), Coldplay (Up & Up), Jamie XX (Gosh) and OK Go (Upside Down & Inside Out).

Arlington's two-time Grammy Award-winning a cappella group Pentatonix are once again nominated for a gold statue.

In 2015 and 2016 the vocalists took home the Grammys for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella.

In 2017 the group is nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for the song Jolene, a collaboration with country legend Dolly Parton.

Pentatonix vocalist and beatboxer Kevin Olusola jumped on Twitter Tuesday to thank fans, and Dolly Parton, for making it happen.

Grammy Award-winning songwriter Shane McAnally has penned songs for superstars Kacey Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, among others. 

So far he's won two awards, both in 2014 where he won Best Country Album (Same Trailer Different Park by Kacey Musgraves) and Best Country Song (Merry Go Round, sung by Kacey Musgraves). 

McAnally scored another nomination in 2014 for Best Country Song (Mama's Broken Heart, sung by Miranda Lambert).

In 2015 he was again nominated for Best Country Song (American Kids, sung by Kenny Chesney). In 2016 he was nominated twice more for two Best Country Album nominations (Pageant Material by Kacey Musgraves and Montevallo by Sam Hunt).

In 2017 he is again nominated for Best Country Song (Vice, sung by Miranda Lambert) along with fellow songwriters Miranda Lambert and Josh Osborne.

The 59th annual Grammys will air live on CBS from Los Angeles on Feb. 12, 2017.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Dallas Stars Recall Forward Jason Dickinson from Texas Stars]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 16:24:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-519675532.jpg

Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced Tuesday that the club has recalled forward Jason Dickinson from the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League.

Dickinson, 21, has registered 10 points (4-6=10) in 13 games with Texas this season, while he ranks sixth on the team with a +6 plus/minus rating.

The forward began the 2016-17 season on the injured non-roster list with a hip injury.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound native of Georgetown, Ont. was selected by Dallas in the first round (29th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Dickinson has appeared in one career NHL contest, making his debut and scoring his first career NHL goal (1-0=1) on April 7, 2016 against Colorado.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Three Innovative North Texas Nonprofits Awarded $100,000]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:56:19 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/21st-Century-Horizontal---HiRes.jpg

NBC 5 / KXAS and Telemundo 39 / KXTX, in partnership with the NBCUniversal Foundation, awarded three local nonprofit organizations a 21st Century Solutions grant.

The grants total $100,000 and will help each organization propel their high-impact, forward thinking initiatives all across North Texas. The winning organizations have innovative programs that feature a STEM initiative for young girls, a rescue program for at-risk youth in the juvenile justice system, and a high-tech volunteer initiative.

“We are proud to work with the NBCUniversal Foundation and award a 21st Century Solutions grant to three deserving local organizations that work hard to strengthen our communities and make a positive impact,” said Tom Ehlmann, President and General Manager of NBC 5. “The winning organizations are committed to finding the best solutions for our community and we are honored to support them as they work to make North Texas a better place to live and work,” concluded John Trevino, President and General Manager of Telemundo 39.

The following organizations are the recipients of a 21st Century Solutions grant:

Girls, Inc. of Tarrant County – $50,000

Girls Inc. of Tarrant County’s Real Life Experiences for Girls was awarded $50,000 to support its goal of encouraging girls ages 8-16 from diverse backgrounds to choose STEM education. This grant will help Girls Inc. to continue to provide supportive leadership and mentoring programs to achieve education and career goals.

Heart of a Champion – $25,000

Heart of a Champion’s One Heart Project Texas Mentoring Initiative was awarded $25,000 to help transform the lives of approximately 250 juvenile offenders through a comprehensive intervention program supported by trained mentors dedicated to each juvenile while in facility and upon release. The program combines a social and emotional intelligence educational curriculum with workforce development and complete aftercare and sustainable solutions including job acquisition, microfinancing and entrepreneurial training and opportunities.

VolunteerNow – $25,000

VolunteerNow’s Enhancing VOLY.org to Expand and Strengthen the Collective Impact of Volunteers on the DFW/North Texas Community program was awarded $25,000 to support the investment of technology, human and marketing resources to continue program enhancements, maintenance, and promotion of their market-driven Software-as-a-Service technology for Voly.org. The technology connects non-profit organizations and the community through volunteerism as a community solution.


For the fifth consecutive year, the 21st Century Solutions grant challenge is awarding a total of $1.2 million to 30 nonprofits in 10 markets across the country served by the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, including Dallas-Fort Worth. Each of the NBCUniversal-owned stations promoted the initiative locally and created a community panel to review and select the final grant recipients. One winning organization and two runners-up are being awarded grants in each city. To see the full list of winners, click here or visit nbcuniversal.com.

The 21st Century Solutions grant challenge supports initiatives designed to address emerging and ongoing community challenges in new and creative ways. By focusing on social innovation, the program encourages non-profit organizations to drive bold, innovative ideas to make our local communities stronger. Winners are being awarded in the following categories: Media, Technology for Good, Civic Engagement, Jobs and Economic Empowerment, Education, and the Environment.

About NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth / KXAS

NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth / KXAS is the NBC Owned television station serving the communities of North Texas with quality news and entertainment programming on NBC 5, COZI TV (Digital 5.2), online at NBCDFW.com and our other digital and social media platforms.

About Telemundo 39 Dallas-Fort Worth / KXTX

Telemundo 39 / KXTX is Telemundo’s local television station serving the Spanish-speaking community throughout North Texas. Owned by NBCUniversal, Telemundo 39 delivers award-winning local breaking news, weather, entertainment and sports programming across a variety of platforms, including on air, online at Telemundo39.com and via mobile and social media channels.

<![CDATA[Mexican Cousins Get Life Over Southlake Cartel Slaying]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:21:54 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ledezma-cepeda.jpg

Prosecutors say two 60-year-old cousins from Mexico must serve life terms in U.S. prisons for helping set up the 2013 Texas slaying of an attorney who once led a drug cartel.

Jesus Gerardo Ledezma-Cepeda was sentenced Tuesday in Fort Worth.

Ledezma-Cepeda in May was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder for hire in what prosecutors say involved electronic stalking of the victim.

Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa was in his parked vehicle in downtown Southlake when he was fatally shot. His attacker remains at large.

Prosecutors say Ledezma-Cepeda and his cousin, Jose Luis Cepeda-Cortes, helped arrange the killing. Cepeda-Cortes was convicted of interstate stalking, conspiracy to commit murder for hire and tampering with documents or proceedings. He was sentenced last week to life in prison.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[SUV Slams Into an Arlington Walgreens]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 04:24:37 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/182*120/walgreens+crash.JPG

Arlington police are investigating after an SUV slammed into a Walgreens Tuesday afternoon.

It happened at about 12:30 at the Walgreens located Lamar Boulevard and Davis Drive.

Police say a woman lost control of her Cadillac SUV and drove through the  front doors of the store.

No one was injured.

Check back and refresh this page for the latest update. As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: Arlington Police Dept. via Twitter
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<![CDATA[1 Dead After SUV Plunges Over Bridge in Fort Worth]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 22:23:42 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/fw.png

A Fort Worth man has died after his SUV traveled off an Interstate 35W bridge Tuesday in Fort Worth.[[405040125,R]]

The Tarrant County medical examiner identified the driver as 46-year-old Stephen Dean.

Fort Worth fire officials said an 18-wheeler was going northbound on Interstate 35W near southeast 28th Street at about noon when it struck a concrete median barrier, sending the barrier into the southbound lanes.

Accident investigators have not yet determined whether the SUV was struck by the barrier, the tractor-trailer or another vehicle, or if it went off the bridge trying to avoid a collision.

All lanes in both directions of I-35W were closed for several hours while investigators worked at the scene. Traffic resumed after 6 p.m., according to North Tarrant Express.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Faith Johnson Appointed as New Dallas County DA]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 17:30:36 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas-county-da-faith-johnson.jpg

Faith Johnson, a former judge and prosecutor in Dallas County, has been appointed the county's new district attorney by fellow Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.[[405044695,R]]

Abbott made the appointment Tuesday to replace Susan Hawk, the former district attorney who held the position until she resigned Sept. 6 to focus on her mental health. During her tenure as district attorney, Hawk, who is also a Republican, took two extended leaves of absence and was hospitalized three times for depression.

“Throughout her career, Faith has proven herself a dedicated public servant, most notably as a criminal prosecutor where she attained the status of Chief Felony Prosecutor during her time in the Dallas County District Attorney's Office,” said Abbott in a prepared statement Tuesday. “As a former prosecutor, district judge, and while serving on the Department of Public Safety Commission, Faith has shown a commitment to law enforcement and the rule of law. She has devoted herself to defending some of our most vulnerable Texans, and I am confident that in her new role as District Attorney, Faith will continue to fight for the people of Dallas County and ensure that justice is served.”

Johnson's term will expire Dec. 31, 2018, "or until a successor shall be elected and qualified."

According to a statement on the website for her law firm, FaithJohnsonLawFirm.net, Johnson was the first black woman to be named chief felony prosecutor with the Dallas County District Attorney's Office and "has handled thousands of felony cases ranging from drug possession and theft to sexual assault, child abuse and capital murder."

With the governor's appointment, she is also the first black woman to be named the Dallas County District Attorney.

"Johnson is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Bar Association, and the U.S. Christian Chamber of Commerce, among other professional organizations. She is secretary and a board member of The Potter's House of Dallas, and a past board member of several non-profit organizations. In 2014, Ms. Johnson was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Public Safety Commission, where she is one of five Commissioners who oversee homeland security, border patrol, and terrorism in Texas," according to her online biography.

"I think that for the governor, she (Johnson) is the right choice," said criminal defense attorney Heath Harris. "The question is going to be, is she the right choice for the citizens of Dallas County?"

Criminal defense attorney David Finn called the choice wise and pragmatic.

"It signals to me that the governor’s office and the governor want somebody that is a viable candidate in the general election in two years, given the demographics of Dallas County," Finn said.

Elected officials, organizations and community leaders offered the following statements in response to Faith Johnson's appointment as Dallas County District Attorney:

“Governor Abbott has made an exceptional choice with the appointment of Faith Johnson for Dallas County District Attorney. I would like to commend the Governor for his deliberate effort to bring forth the best candidate to serve the great people of Dallas County. Throughout Faith’s career she has exhibited the utmost professionalism and a steadfast commitment to upholding our rule of law. I have no doubt that she will thrive in this new position and dedicate herself to protecting the rights of all citizens in our community. I look forward to working with Faith to make our community safer and stronger.”
U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)

“The Governor’s appointment of Faith Johnson as Dallas District Attorney demonstrates his unwavering commitment to the integrity of the judicial system in Texas. Faith’s hard work and many years of dedicated public service make her the ideal candidate to head the District Attorney’s office. Faith will bring new ideas and fresh leadership, seeing beyond the obvious for a brighter future for Dallas County. I am confident in Faith’s ability to uphold the duties of this office and serve as a tireless advocate on behalf of the people of Dallas.” – Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas)

“Governor Abbott’s decision to appoint Faith Johnson as Dallas District Attorney is a testament to what he values in public service. Throughout her career, Faith has exhibited a strong commitment to the Dallas community and to Dallas law enforcement. The Dallas Police Association could not be more pleased with the Governor’s appointment and we look forward to working with Faith as she assumes this important role.” – Frederick Frazier, President, Dallas Police Association

"Faith Johnson's impressive public service record and commitment to upholding the rule of law makes her an excellent choice to serve on behalf of the people of Dallas County. As a former district judge and prosecutor, she exhibited the utmost integrity and fought to ensure justice was served. I applaud Governor Abbott's appointment and his choice is affirming to women and people of color that there is indeed a place for all Americans in his administration. I believe that Faith will restore stability to the Dallas County District Attorney's office and exact due process of the law in a fair and unbiased method! That is always a win for Dallas County and ultimately for Texas!" – T.D. Jakes, Bishop, The Potter’s House

Offering a contrary opinion to the appointment, Lone Star Project Director Matt Angle released the following statement.

"It’s disappointing that it took Governor Abbott months to do his job and appoint a District Attorney in Dallas County. Predictably, Governor Abbott has chosen a partisan appointee in a county that overwhelmingly rejected every countywide Republican on the ballot in 2016, and overwhelmingly rejected Greg Abbott himself just two years ago. The newly appointed District Attorney was turned out of office herself not too long ago, so she has her work cut out for her. She must bring fair and effective prosecution to a county that consistently rejects the divisive and destructive agenda embraced by her own party leaders in Dallas, in Austin and in Washington." – Matt Angle, director, Lone Star Project

NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff, Julie Fine, Ashleigh Barry and Todd L. Davis contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Faith Johnson Law Firm/NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Restaurant Hosts Luncheon to Give Toys to Kids]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 10:13:43 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/joe-t-garcia-luncheon.jpg

Fort Worth’s famous Joe T. Garcia’s restaurant served up more than its tasty Mexican food on Monday.

It added a helping of holiday cheer to boys served in a leadership program.

The Garcia-Lancarte family which owns the restaurant hosted its annual Christmas luncheon benefiting HOPE (Helping Other People Excel) Farm.

Every guest brought an unwrapped toy for the boys supported by the 26-year-old nonprofit.

HOPE Farm was founded in December 1990 by former Fort Worth police officer Gary Randle and former Department of Public Safety investigator Noble Crawford Jr.

Tell Me Something Good, too. Email us at isee@nbcdfw.com.

<![CDATA[Texas Honors Girl, 9, for Making Playgrounds Accessible]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 04:25:21 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jayci-friend-wheelchair.jpg

A 9-year-old Aledo girl who believes "every kid deserves a chance to play" headed to Austin Tuesday to accept a statewide award.

Jayci Stubblefield, a student in the Aledo Independent School District, decided to take action after seeing that one of her best friends, Rylea Lambert, couldn't join her on the playground to swing during recess. Rylea has cerebral palsy and gets around in a wheelchair.

Soon after, Jayci launched a campaign to get a wheelchair accessible swing at the McCall Elementary School playground. She lobbied her principal and the Aledo Education Foundation, selling t-shirts and bracelets to raise money.

And it all worked!

McCall Elementary School got the new swing and playground materials a few months later. Coder, Vandagriff and Stuard Elementary Schools followed suit.

For all her work, Jayci was named to receive the J.C. Montgomery Jr. Child Safety Award.

A website for the award states that “the award recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of individuals in Texas and organizations in the state that exemplify innovation, efficacy, community involvement, and dedication to the safety of all children."

"This ceremony acts as a bridge to connect these people and organizations to build upon one another's strengths and create a comprehensive knowledge around best-practices to improve child safety in the state,” the statement said.

Jayci’s mom, Charlisa Stubblefield, said Jayci "got pretty emotional and cried happy tears after a big smile. She said, ‘Mamma, these are happy tears.’”

The 2016 Award will be presented at the sixth Annual J.C. Montgomery Jr. Child Safety Award ceremony at the state capitol in Austin, Texas.

<![CDATA[1 Hurt After Crash Involving Loaded School Bus]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 04:25:52 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/school-bus-crash5.jpg

Authorities said one person was injured in a crash involving a school bus operated by Dallas County Schools Tuesday morning.

Firefighters were called to the scene on eastbound Interstate 20 near Bonnie View Road at about 8:30 a.m.

A spokesman with Dallas County Schools told NBC DFW a truck had struck a car, which then slid into a loaded school bus heading for Skyline High School.

None of the 28 students on board were hurt, officials said.

One person was taken to a hospital, according to Jason Evans, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman.

No further information was released.

Dallas County Schools operates buses for 12 school districts across North Texas. The bus system had been the subject of safety concerns in recent reports by NBC 5 Investigates.

Check back for the latest on this developing story. As details unfold, elements may change.

<![CDATA[Firefighters Battle Fire at 115-Year-Old Dallas Home]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:38:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/south-blvd-fire.gif

Firefighters battled a fire at a 115-year-old two-story home in Dallas Tuesday morning.

Investigators said they think the fire started in a fireplace and spread to the walls of the home in the 2900 block of South Boulevard at about 3 a.m.

One firefighter suffered minor burns on his face and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. Another firefighter injured his shoulder trying to break through the fence around the house. He was treated and released at the scene.

No other injuries were reported.

Authorities said two men and two women were inside the house at the time of the fire, but they all made it out safely.

Firefighters said a second crew of firefighters replaced the original responders at about 4:30 a.m.

The homeowner told firefighters the house, which was 80 percent damaged, was under renovation.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Photo Credit: Metro NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Cowboys Give Back Through Charity]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 06:35:46 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-hospital.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys took some time off from preparing for the New York Giants by giving back to the community.

Fresh from clinching a playoff berth, Cowboys players visited local hospitals and spent part of the morning with children and their families.

“It's always unbelievable to come to the hospital and be huge heroes, you know to these kids and also those kids [become] heroes to us,” Dez Bryant said.

"The players are very fortunate to do what they do and also have the opportunity to use that platform to give back to various charities whether it is their own or something through our team effort,” Cowboys spokeswoman Emily Cruz Robbins added.

Many of the players have their own personal charities and the organization gives back as a whole.

“That's within our hearts," Bryant said. "It's just something that we feel that we should do and you know we enjoy it and when the opportunity presents itself, we take advantage of it."

The Cowboys work with the Salvation Army every year to raise money for those in need.

“We have helped raise, in 20 years, over $2.1 billion in the red kettles that we kick off at Thanksgiving,” Cruz Robbins said. “That's just one part of what we do."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Missionaries Share Personal Journey About Mentally Ill Teen]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 16:40:21 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Thomas-Johnson-scene.jpg

A North Texas couple is on a crusade to help those in need share their very personal story about mental illness.

Dave and Lisa Stephenson took in a troubled teen who would later be accused of murder.

The uplifting photos in their home represent the chronicle of people who have been helped by the couple.

However, not all of the images have a happy resolution.

Two years ago, they first met Thomas Johnson.

"The high school football coach saw us on the sideline, came up afterwards and said, 'Can y'all help one of my former players?'" recalled Dave Stephenson.

They thought their rural Farmersville home would be the perfect setting for a troubled South Dallas teen.

Thomas had been a standout football player at Texas A&M until the day he mysteriously walked away from campus and never returned.

In short order, he was arrested for car theft and jailed.

Even so, the Stephensons were more than willing to help.

"Without much of a background and never going into a jail and never knowing much about what to do, we just trusted God and said 'if this is where you want us and we'll to the best of our abilities try to help him in wherever he wants to go in life,'" said Dave Stephenson.

His wife, Lisa, described Johnson as gentle, mild-mannered and polite, but says at times he would exhibit odd behavior.

"He would either stare into space and not be engaging or looking at us or he would just laugh about something when there was nothing funny," said Lisa Stephenson.

Looking back, Lisa Stephenson says she questions if that could have been a sign. What was Johnson thinking about?

She says about eight weeks in, Johnson abruptly left and returned home to Dallas.

His father said Johnson complained of hearing voices, so he took his son to a psychiatrist.

Johnson was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Two months later, while under psychiatric care, the unimaginable happened.

Johnson was accused in one of the most brutal murders in recent memory.

Police say Johnson used a machete to kill a perfect stranger, David Stevens, whose wife was so consumed by grief, that she then took her own life.

"He wasn't capable of that. The Thomas we knew was not capable of bludgeoning somebody like that," Dave Stephenson said.

The couple watched the news coverage on Oct. 12, 2015.

Three days after the murder, the Stephensons visited Johnson in jail.

His mental state at that time still haunts them.

"He was just like he was sitting in our living room, 'how are you doing?' that he liked her haircut," said Dave Stephenson. "That's when we knew for certain that he was mentally ill."

"I mean, he was completely normal as if he didn't even remember that it had happened," Lisa Stephenson said.

But it did happen.

His family says beneath the calm surface of his outward behavior, there was an escalating turbulence that resulted in tragedy.

"They could hear a voice telling them to do things or even a voice commenting on how they're behaving or even several voices conversing with each other," said Dr. Hicham Ibrahim, a psychiatrist with the O'Donnell Brain Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Ibrahim has been treating patients who have mental illnesses for nearly two decades.

Although he has no affiliation with Johnson's case, he tells NBC 5 that there are warning signs with a delusional patient and some can be easy to miss.

"Behaving inappropriately, reacting inappropriately, particularly change in how it used to be and how it is now. This is kind of the stuff that families can really point to," said Ibrahim.

He says increased awareness and proper treatment from the onset is key.

"They're really able to lead productive and fulfilling lives. We've seen patients who are treated well, have done really well in their lives," he said.

After months of silence in jail, Johnson was transferred to a mental health facility in Vernon, Texas, and has been writing to his missionary family.

The letters give Dave and Lisa Stephenson hope and healing.

"That's really all we wanted was for him to get help. We don't expect him not to pay for what he did. That's not what it's about," Lisa Stephenson said. "We want him to have a shot at having as normal of a life as he can have. That may be in prison for the rest of his life, but at least he's not going to be in prison in his brain, as well," she said.

Johnson was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial for the murder.

Doctors at UT Southwestern will soon be opening an early psychosis clinic to address the problem of not identifying people with schizophrenia early enough.

MORE: DMN: Couple who once lived with jailed A&M star is fighting to reach him again DMN: Patti Stevens, wife of slain White Rock runner killed self, authorities say

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Mosque Wants to Thank Stranger Who Left Signs of Support]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 22:37:34 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/homamosque2.JPG

Leaders at the Islamic Association of Allen are searching for a woman who anonymously posted signs around the mosque with filled words of kindness.

They read, "You are loved," "You are welcome here," "You are a beautiful thread in the fabric of America," and "We love you."

Those simple words have made a big impact.

"This is the true face of this country," said Imam Arsalan Haque. "It shows not everybody thinks the same way, not everybody out there hates us."

For mosque outreach coordinator Ali Subhani, it is a mystery he is dying to solve.

"We played detective for a couple of hours," Subhani said, trying to track down the kind stranger to say thank you.

They reviewed surveillance video and found footage of the woman quickly pounding the signs into the ground Friday morning.

"But we haven't been able to identify her," Subhani said. "There were a lot of smiles on people's faces."

It is not the only mystery mosque members have on their hands.

They're also trying to track down a woman who penned a heartwarming handwritten note and dropped it off recently.

It reads, in part, "I am white suburban middle-aged lapsed Catholic. I am your neighbor, I am not your enemy. I do not view you as suspicious."

She signed it simply, "Peace, Peggy."

"There are a lot of Peggy's in Texas, I can tell you that much," Subhani said, laughing.

Haleh Banani is a psychologist who attends the Allen mosque. She said the note and signs brought tears to her eyes.

"I've seen a lot of clients feel anxiety. People who are nervous about going outside, considering taking off their hijab – the head covering – because they feel that there's hate. They feel they might be targeted," Banani said.

But the simple acts of kindness show words can heal as much as they can hurt.

"The number of people who are kind outnumber those who are filled with hate," Banani added.

The mosque, built just last year, is on Allen Central Drive.

Subhani said it is always open to any members of the community who wish to learn more.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[DCS School Bus Provider Needs Drivers]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:27:16 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas+county+schools+bus1.jpg

Dallas County Schools, the school bus provider for 12 North Texas school districts, needs immediate help to fill 154 vacant bus driver positions.

In an effort to increase interest in the positions, which start at $15.50/hour, DCS is offering bonuses to current drivers if they can recruit qualified candidates, in addition to hiring bonuses to the new drivers.

“DCS especially needs drivers who care about children, have a commercial license already and want to go to work in a job that has many benefits,” said Carey Marin, a DCS spokesperson. “If you live in the area, are a teacher, a coach, or retired, we need you.”

Marin said the on-boarding process takes about two to three weeks and involves approximately 100 hours of training.

For months, NBC 5 Investigates has reported on safety concerns surrounding Dallas County Schools, including the discovery of nearly 500 tickets issued to bus drivers for running red lights.

Those tickets, as well as other moving violations, resulted in approximately $80,000 in fines that DCS paid for using taxpayer money.

NBC 5 Investigates also uncovered that Dallas County Schools never followed up with any of the bus drivers after the violations, even those who had committed multiple infractions, which means they were never held accountable for their mistakes, despite a policy that said they should be suspended for first and second offenses and fired for the third offense.

That changed following the NBC 5 Investigates reporting – 13 drivers were fired and an additional 229 drivers were suspended.

The union that represents the Dallas County Schools drivers puts the blame for the drivers’ mistakes on DCS management.

Union organizer Kenneth Stretcher said DCS runs a thinly-staffed school bus operation where schedules are so tight drivers are forced to speed.

"The drivers are put into a situation where they have to be at a certain place at a certain time," Stretcher said. "If you want these drivers to drive carefully you can't put them in a situation where you have to speed or where they have to take short cuts like that."

In addition to offering hiring bonuses for new drivers, Dallas County Schools is taking part in four job fairs in the next two weeks:

Wednesday, December 7

  • TWC-Job Fair, 801 S State Highway 161 Suite 500, Grand Prairie, TX 75051

Thursday, December 8

  • The Job Opportunity, 1610 Malcolm X Blvd, Dallas, TX

Wednesday, December 14

  • Southwest Workforce, 7330 S. Westmoreland Rd, Dallas, TX

Thursday, December 15

  • The Job Opportunity, 1610 Malcolm X Blvd., Dallas, TX

The job fairs run from 9 a.m. to noon, according to DCS.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[FBI Moves to Seize $5 Million Linked to Colleyville Murder]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 04:06:38 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Colleyville-Murder-Gormans-.jpg

The FBI has filed court papers to seize $5 million in life insurance benefits linked to a group of Irish Travelers and the bizarre murder of a 72-year-old housekeeper in Colleyville two years ago.

In a court document filed in Tarrant County District Court, an FBI agent claims the beneficiaries, which include the victim’s son and daughter, are suspects in insurance fraud or the murder itself.

The victim, Anita Fox, of Alvarado, was murdered while she was cleaning a house in Colleyville on Sept. 23, 2014.

Police said the motive was insurance fraud; Fox had several life insurance policies worth $5 million.

“The beneficiaries are suspected of engaging in fraud and/or the murder,” an FBI agent wrote in a motion seeking to seize the insurance proceeds.

Fox's daughter and son-in-law, Virginia and Mark Buckland, were beneficiaries. Fox's son, Al Fox III, has also claimed the money.

None of them has been charged with any crime.

Family's Response

Mark Humphries, the attorney for the Bucklands, of Mansfield, said his clients had nothing to do with the murder, have fully cooperated with police and have passed lie detector tests.

Asked about the allegations in the seizure document, Humphries said, “The FBI considers the insurance company to be a victim in this case, so they're trying to protect their victim.”

He said if the federal government is successful in seizing the money, the couple will continue to fight to get it.

“Seizing it and holding it are two different things,” Humphries said.

Matthew McCarley, an attorney for Al Fox III, said his client believes the Bucklands were somehow involved.

"(The FBI document) mirrors what we've alleged," McCarley said. "They took out $5 million in life insurance on a lady who was a housekeeper. She didn't want that insurance. That's our position."

McCarley said the Bucklands sold one of the policies to an Irish Traveler.

Joe Gorman, a member of the Irish Travelers, committed the murder, police said. He died of natural causes near Houston after detectives had zeroed in on him but before any charges were filed.

His son, Bernard Joseph Gorman Jr., previously identified in a report as Gerard Gorman, was later charged with Fox’s murder. Police said he drove the getaway vehicle while his father walked up to the house where Fox was working and stabbed her.

The younger Gorman has pleaded not guilty and is out on bond awaiting trial.

The Irish Travelers are a nomadic group that travels the country doing odd jobs and is sometimes linked to crimes including insurance fraud, according to law enforcement officials.

A dispute involving the beneficiaries and the insurance companies led to several lawsuits.

The cases – now consolidated into one -- is still pending.

FBI Investigation

Last week, an FBI agent based in Columbia, South Carolina, wrote in the court document that he started investigating insurance fraud involving Irish Travelers in North Augusta, South Carolina, two months before Fox’s murder.

A North Augusta insurance agent who wrote Fox’s policies, Charles Mercier, told the FBI that he had lied to insurers to get Fox’s policies approved and in one application, falsely claimed she owned a mobile home park, made $300,000 a year, had a net worth of $2 million, and had $900,000 in the bank, the FBI agent said.

Mercier, who has not commented on the case publicly and has not been charged, could not be reached for comment. Court documents do not list an attorney for him.

<![CDATA[Dak Spotted Shopping for Salvation Army/NBC 5 Angels]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 04:07:45 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/196*120/dak-shopping.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback just keeps getting better and better.

Dak Prescott was spotted in a Frisco Target on Sunday night. But this was no ordinary shopping trip.

When employee Stuart Newton approached him to see if he could help, Prescott said he was shopping for gifts for several angels he adopted from The Salvation Army/NBC 5 Angel Tree program.

How great is he?

First, he's led the Cowboys to win after win after win - so far, with an 11-1 season.

Then, he was caught on camera picking up trash on the sidelines during a game.

And now, he's buying Christmas gifts to donate to children and seniors in need across North Texas.

Newton's wife, Brooke, posted a photo of him with Prescott during his shopping trip on Facebook.[[404852805,C]]

We can't get enough of Dak!

Photo Credit: Stuart Nelson via Facebook
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<![CDATA[Bars Celebrate 'Repeal Day' That Ended Prohibition]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 04:08:49 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/birdcafe.jpg

If you enjoy the occasional cocktail, beer or glass of wine, then you have this day in history to thank for it. Prohibition was repealed 83 years ago Monday, on Dec. 5, 1933. Now, many bars are marking the date with special "Repeal Day" celebrations.

Flappers and bootleggers crowded into a makeshift speakeasy at the Bird Café in Fort Worth's Sundance Square Monday night and they fit in perfectly in the space. The building was built in 1889, and managers believe it actually was a speakeasy for a time during prohibition.

But this night was all about the repeal and everything was on-theme – from the food, all of the era, to the cocktails, all classics from the 1920s and 1930s.

That is a trend that's made a strong comeback. Lots of local bars are putting a focus on crafting their drinks just as carefully as they do food, sourcing natural ingredients. And at Bird Café, they are even making their own liqueurs and syrups in the kitchen for just the right taste.

"We opened up here three years ago, and we put craft cocktails really forward on our menu and we're noticing that people are asking for them by name and asking for ones that we don't necessarily have that are classics and almost challenging us to make something that they'll like," said Bird Café bar manager Amber Davidson.

The party Monday included a jazz band and drink specials, including 33-cent champagne pours in honor of the year of the repeal: 1933.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[String of Car Burglaries Reported Saturday in Weatherford]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:11:39 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/weatherford-surveillance-video-car-burglaries.jpg

Weatherford police are looking for at least two people who they say are responsible for nearly 20 vehicle burglaries Saturday night.

Just after 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Weatherford police said they began receiving reports from residents on the city's southwest side of vehicle burglaries.

In all, 19 reports were received including 16 vehicle burglaries, one home burglary, one theft of a firearm and one stolen vehicle. According to reports, most if not all of the burglarized vehicles were left unlocked.

“The majority of all vehicle burglaries are crimes of opportunity. Approximately 70 percent of all vehicle burglaries in the City of Weatherford occur because the vehicle has been left unlocked either in a driveway, street or parking lot," said Interim Deputy Chief Chris Crawford. "We are actively working these cases and we hope that with the public’s help, we can identify the suspects involved and recover the property taken from these innocent victims.”

Police believe, due to the proximity of the incidents and the time frame involved, that the cases are all related.

"Among the items stolen from one of the burglaries was a gray in color Kel-Tec .32 caliber semi-automatic handgun. In addition, a silver two-door 2001 Cadillac Eldorado passenger car was stolen from a residence on Westbriar Drive. The Cadillac displayed a temporary license plate of 23C9067 on the rear of the vehicle," Weatherford police said in a news release.

Surveillance video recorded at one of the homes shows at least two people breaking into a car. Despite the video evidence, detectives said they still have no solid leads and they're asking for the public's help in identifying the people involved.

Parker County Crime Stoppers has also designated these burglaries as the Crime of the Week. Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest or indictment of the individuals that perpetrated this crime. If you have any information please contact Parker County Crime Stoppers at 817-599-5555 or 1-800-942-STOP, or visit the Parker County Crime Stoppers website at www.pccs.tips to learn more ways to submit a tip. Your information and identity will remain anonymous.

Photo Credit: Weatherford Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Audit Faults $2.3 Million Research Study for Vets With PTSD]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 04:09:37 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/chair+spin+ptsd+va.jpg

Texas taxpayers spent $2.3 million to spin veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder in a chair for a research study that wasn't valid and may have put the vets at risk, according to an audit.

The review, by the inspector general of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, was highly critical of the contract with an Irving health clinic called Carrick Brain Centers. It has since been renamed to Cerebrum Health Centers.

The contract was the focus of an investigation by NBC 5 and The Dallas Morning News last year.

The audit found the agency failed to properly oversee the contract, that the clinic billed for services it did not provide and "put the health and safety of participants at risk" by doing human research without scientific safeguards.

The agency is asking the company to refund $278,000 for items that it said were clearly in violation of the contract, including billing for patients who were not from Texas.

In a statement, Cerebrum president Jimmy Matthews noted the audit found no evidence of fraud.

"Our success and reputation with veterans speaks for itself and we remain committed to care for those who have served our nation," he said.

For a full report on the audit, read more from NBC 5's media partners at The Dallas Morning News.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Authorities Arrest Motorcyclist in Dallas After Chase]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:56:55 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas-co-chase1.gif

Police said they arrested a motorcyclist who led them on a chase through Dallas County Monday morning.

Garland police said a man on a motorcycle — later identified as 38-year-old Ronald Powdrill — led officers on a chase through Garland at about 10 a.m.

After 15 to 20 minutes, police said Powdrill left his motorcycle and ran through a yard — where he was chased by a dog.

Powdrill then ran into a grocery store in the 10800 block of Ferguson Road in Dallas. Police said they arrested him inside the store a few minutes later.

No further details have been released.

Check back and refresh this page for the latest update. As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Dies After Being Found Shot at Dallas Home]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 06:16:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/kiest-fatal-shooting.jpg

Police said a woman died from a gunshot wound after officers found her at a home in Dallas early Monday morning.

Dallas police said they found the woman shot in the head in the 1300 block of East Kiest Boulevard at about 3:40 a.m.

The victim was transported to a hospital where she later died.

Shortly after officers arrived, police said a vehicle damaged by several bullet holes pulled up near the home. Police took a man and woman from that vehicle in for questioning.

Police said they think the woman was possibly shot at another location and brought to the home on Kiest.

No further details have been released.

Photo Credit: Metro
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<![CDATA[North Texas Lawmakers File Gun Legislation]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 22:08:41 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/texas+capitol+building1.jpg

Open carry and campus carry were among the most heated battles in the last legislative session, but Texans can now carry openly with a license and public universities must allow guns on campus, though schools can create gun free zones.

Now, Texas lawmakers are again submitting bills on both sides of the issues for the upcoming session.

State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, has already proposed two pieces of legislation. One bill calls for public universities to be able to opt out of campus carry completely.

He is also working to limit open carry as well. Anchia has proposed a bill that says cities with more than 750,000 people can pass an ordinance prohibiting open carry.

Plus, Anchia is trying again with a bill that has failed in the past. The proposal requires the seller of a gun in a person-to-person sale to get a background check on the buyer.

Meanwhile, State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Hurst, is again trying with a gun bill that didn't get passed in the last session. His bill says Texans who are legally permitted to carry handguns would not need a license.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Wild Horses Relocated from Military Base to North Texas]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 06:54:30 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/feral-horses-graze-ts600.jpg

Hundreds of wild horses from a Louisiana military base are being relocated to North Texas in what is being called a life-saving effort.

The Humane Society of North Texas is playing host to some extraordinary equine at their Decatur location in Wise County.

"It's an honor to work with the Army and be a part of this," Humane Society of North Texas Executive Director, Sandy Shelby said. "It is kind of historic."

The first 50 of a herd of nearly 400 horses are in North Texas. The horses were taken from Fort Polk Joint Readiness Training Center, which is an Army base in Louisiana.

"They've been there for many, many, many years. And the army realized with weaponry and vehicles and all the things that go on on an Army base, it's not a safe place for either the military people or the horses,” Shelby said. “So they decided they needed to be relocated."

Shelby explained that the horses are well-known in that part of Vernon Parish and are known to many locals as “Trespass Horses.”

"Sadly what was happening was a lot of the people who were ‘kill buyers’ were raising their hands wanting to come in and get these horses,” Shelby said. “To make money off of them to ship to Mexico for meat… which is really, really sad."

The Humane Society of North Texas stepped in. They contact the US Army and worked out a plan to get the horses moved safely off the base. They will move the horses at around 50 at a time for the next two years.

"This was our first group, so we are working on getting them adopted," Shelby said. “They deserved a good home.”

The horses have had little human interaction and volunteers said they need a special home.

“Whoever comes in that wants to get involved in this does need to be an experienced horse person,” Shelby said. “We'll keep [the horses] as long as we need to until every last one of them gets a home."

The Humane Society estimates the rescue effort will cost over $50,000 and is asking those who cannot adopt make a donation to help feed and house the horses while they await adoption.

Adoption and donation information: Humane Society of North Texas

Photo Credit: Humane Society of North Texas]]>
<![CDATA[New Program to Serve Needs of Foster Care Children]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:45:05 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/foster+care+center.jpg

Children's Health has opened its new, state-of-the-art Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence in Dallas.

The 15,000 square-foot facility is the only integrated foster care program of its kind in North Texas, and officials say it brings together experts in pediatric medicine, behavioral health, research and child welfare to deliver rehabilitative, recovery-focused care.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was on hand for the ribbon cutting.

According to the hospital system, more than 46,000 children in Texas are in foster care each year, with the vast majority entering due to substantiated or high risk for serious abuse or neglect.

National studies indicate that up to 80 percent of children in foster care have at least one chronic medical condition, while 25 percent have three or more chronic conditions.

Foster parent Melinda Nelson shared her story at the event Monday.

She adopted two brothers who dealt with post traumatic stress disorder from their past.

She says because the state foster care children are on Medicaid, few providers offer the special services for foster children, some of whom suffer from severe mental health illnesses.

"There are a lot of foster families out there that struggle with that, and trying to get the help that these children need – as well as the love that they need and the attention that they need – it's daunting at times," Nelson said.

At the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence, children will have access to doctors and nurses, who will manage their medical needs and work with Child Protective Service as they go from foster home to foster home.

Children's Health says it is actively working with legislators to influence foster care policy in the state of Texas.

The aim is to improve long-term health outcomes for this vulnerable population of youth.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>