<![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, 25 Apr 2014 03:30:49 -0500 Fri, 25 Apr 2014 03:30:49 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man Arrested in Connection to Fatal Shooting in March]]> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 00:37:51 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dpd-shooting-regency-01.jpg

Dallas police say an 18-year-old man was arrested on Thursday in connection to a fatal shooting that took place last month.

According the arrest affidavit, Jonathan Umana-Amaya, 18, was arrested in the 1500 block of Cheyenne Road in connection to the shooting of Jose Esquivel on March 22.

Police said a source provided credible information about the incident on Thursday that led to Umana-Amaya's arrest. That source told authorities that Umana-Amaya confided that he set up Esquivel and planned to rob him.

The source said Esquivel stated that the suspect was going to have to shoot him, according to affidavit. Umana-Amaya then shot Esquivel, according to the source.

Back on March 23, a witness voluntarily went to the Dallas Police Department and stated that she and a friend went to 9700 block of Abernathy Avenue, where the shooting occurred, to engage in a drug deal, according to the affidavit.

The witness told police that Esquivel exited his vehicle and entered another vehicle. In the affidavit, she stated that when Esquivel exited the suspect's vehicle, he was shot by the driver.

Umana-Amaya is being charged with capital murder.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Grand Prairie Police Investigate Fatal Crash]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 23:53:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/grand-prairie-crash.jpg

One person is dead after a wreck in Grand Prairie Thursday night.

The Grand Prairie Police Department is investigating the crash that happened along Wildlife Boulevard.

A witness said they spotted a Chevrolet Camaro wrapped around a tree at about 7:30 p.m.

Two adult men, who have not been identified, were inside the car. The passenger was found dead, while the driver was found unconscious with severe injuries. He was airlifted to the hospital.

Police believe the two men were traveling along the two-lane road when the driver lost control and slammed into a tree.

The investigation is ongoing.

<![CDATA[Boutique Offers Free Dresses to Military Brides]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 23:02:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/military-brides.jpg A North Richland Hills boutique that features donated dresses offers military brides the opportunity to walk down the aisle in a free gown.]]> <![CDATA[Virgin America Plane Lands at Dallas Love Field]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 23:27:41 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/virgin-america-plane-landing.jpg

A Virgin America plane landed at Dallas Love Field Airport at about 7:15 p.m. Thursday. If the airline gets its way, more planes could be seen frequenting Love Field gates later this year. 

The airline wants two coveted gates that American Airlines had to give up as part of its merger with US Airways. There is speculation that Virgin America will take over those two gates.

Virgin said it will make a big announcement on Friday about expanding its Dallas operations, but would not elaborate.

“They’re a really premier airline, they have a fantastic program so it’s great to see another airline that’s so amazing right in the middle of Dallas,” said Tim Garippa, frequent traveler from Dallas.

If the airline indeed moves to Love Field, it would leave behind its gates at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Travel experts think it would be good for prices and competition at Love Field.

“Southwest is not going to get beat by price, so if Virgin America comes in with a little lower prices, we’ll see Southwest match those,” said travel agent Steve Cosgrove.

Southwest wants those gates as well. Southwest said it had no statement about the issue.

The city of Dallas released a statement regarding gate operations at the airport:

The City of Dallas is aware of the interest among several carriers to operate out of two of the 20 gates at Dallas Love Field. As of today, there has been no decision regarding any carriers operating at these gates.

As we approach the end of the Wright Amendment restrictions, as well as complete our $500 million Love Field Modernization Program, the City of Dallas is committed to providing the very best passenger experience and looks forward to serving both the traveling public and our airline partners. There is a briefing scheduled for Monday April 28, 2014 to the Transportation and Trinity River Project Committee to outline the operation of gates at Dallas Love Field.

Virgin America is expected to make an announcement Friday at 8:45 a.m. at a business near Love Field. 

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[8th Annual Dog Bowl]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:29:23 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/194*120/b3fec68dc14b4e2d8b3102c4e6639de3.jpg

It's almost time for the 8th Annual Dog Bowl in Dallas!

Your four-legged friends can run around unleashed on the field of Fair Park's Cotton Bowl, Sunday, May 4 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The event will have a pet/owner look-alike contest, live music and splash pools for your pooch to cool off.

Dog Bowl is free, but it costs $10 to park within the gates of Fair Park, or you can take the DART Rail Green Line to the Fair Park & MLK Stations.

<![CDATA[Experts Urge Caution When Choosing a Storm Shelter]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 23:09:51 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Shelter_damage_investigative_piece.jpg

There’s a proverbial storm brewing in the tornado shelter industry.

The industry is currently unregulated, yet with North Texas no stranger to tornadoes the industry is booming. That means consumers need to be careful when choosing a shelter and an installer. In this burgeoning market, great care is necessary to protect families in the event of a tornado, and their investment since shelters can cost thousands of dollars.

Fort Worth residents Viola and Troy Franklin learned this lesson the hard way and lost $4,792 in the process.

When tornadoes tore through North Texas in April 2012, Viola cowered in her closet as the sirens blasted.

“It was after that I was like, ‘I need a shelter,’” said Franklin. “I want to be safe.”
So last year the couple decided to by one.

They settled on an $8,500 shelter from North Texas Garage Floor Storm Shelters, who they found online. The company’s website states: “Our storm shelters have quickly become the #1 selling tornado shelters on the market today.”

The company also has a Better Business Bureau seal of accreditation, so the Franklins believed they were in good hands.

In May 2013 the Franklins signed a contract and put down a deposit of $4,792. The first payment would be nonrefundable and installation would begin a month later. But one year later, they’re still waiting.

“I still do not have anything but a drawing in my garage and a bucket,” said Troy Franklin.

The Franklins said the company never delivered. Instead, the company’s owner, Ray Jones, delivered excuses. In text messages he blamed traffic, permitting issues, his father’s health and the weather.

Finally, right before Thanksgiving, Jones told the Franklins he would give them a refund if the work wasn’t done the Tuesday after the holiday.

The work was not complete and the couple didn’t get a refund. So the Franklins turned to the NBC 5 Investigates Consumer Unit.

We called Jones. While his company’s website has the BBB seal of accreditation, the BBB website shows the company is not accredited and has a rating of D+.

“We are not registered with the BBB and that shouldn’t be on my website,” Jones admitted.

Jones told NBC 5 permitting problems and weather were to blame for the year of missed deadlines, but he did offer to refund the Franklins $4,000 of the original $4792.

The Franklins are suing in small claims court because they want a total refund.

While the federal government does not endorse any specific type of shelter, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has set safety standards for them. Experts advise consumers work with shelter companies that meet those standards.

“If you’re going to invest in one of those why wouldn’t you want the peace of mind that it’s been tested and certified and will actually protect your family in the way it’s intended. Otherwise you may not be any better off than you were without it,” said John Waskow, director of regional operations for Architectural Testing.

At their facility in Southlake, engineers with Architectural Testing evaluate shelters and make sure they meet the FEMA criteria by launching two-by-four wooden planks at speeds of 100 mph at various parts of the structure.

The planks simulate debris that can hit a shelter in the event of a tornado. If the shelters can withstand this testing, they pass.

“When you get into an actual tornado there’s no telling what’s going to be coming at you, and so that’s why we really scrutinize these shelters on how they performed because it may not be a two-by-four that hits them. It may be a tree stump or a tractor. There’s just no telling,” said Andy Cost, Architectural Testing’s laboratory manager.

If they fail, manufacturers need to tweak the shelter’s design and retest.

“We invest a lot in testing,” said Sam Hensen, the engineering manager for the southeast region for Simpson StrongTie, a company testing a shelter prototype with Architectural Testing. “When you test a product you know exactly how it’s going to perform,” Hensen said.

While the testing can cost thousands of dollars for manufacturers, it insures peace of mind for consumers who have spent thousands of dollars to buy the shelter and have it installed. There are ways for consumers to check if the shelter they’re buying has passed the rigors of this testing.

When NBC 5 spoke with Jones, he also admitted neither his company, nor the shelters he sells, are members of the NSSA or the ATSA, but said they were working on it.

After her experience, Viola Franklin has this advice for other consumers, “Do your homework, but not just once. Keep looking.”

As they wait for their case to go through small claims court, they had another tornado shelter installed a few short weeks after they signed a contract. They spent $10,000 for a shelter that has been tested and approved.

While the steel structure nestled in the corner of the Franklin’s garage would be their calm in the center of a storm, they hope that day will never come.

“I’ll be real happy if I never have to run into a shelter,” said Troy Franklin.

Consumer Tips

Consumers should look for both shelters and manufacturers who are members of either the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) www.nssa.cc/ or the American Tornado Shelter Association (ATSA) -- www.americantornadoshelterassociation.org.

Both of these nonprofit organizations require members to abide by the government standards and pass these tests.  Shelters which have met these standards are labeled, and manufacturers and installers should be able to provide certification and testing documents.

The Texas Attorney General’s website said it’s normal for contractors to ask for partial payment in advance. But don’t pay in full until the work is complete. Make sure you read the contract before signing and don’t leave any parts blank. You should also ask for references from satisfied customers.

<![CDATA[Lake Dallas Bridge Structurally Deficient]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:17:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lake-dallas-bridge.jpg

The American Road and Transportation Builders Association lists the South Denton Drive bridge as one of the most heavily traveled of the state’s 1,283 bridges in need of major repair.

According to a recent study, the bridge that crosses Interstate 35E at South Denton Drive in Lake Dallas, is near the top of the list when it comes to Texas bridges in bad shape.

The association lists the bridge third of the most traveled “structurally deficient” bridges in the state.

The bridge was built in 1960 in the spot just before southbound travelers hit Lewisville Lake. These days you can see rust marks and bent metal on the underside as well as misshapen and aged guardrails on top.

Kimberly Sims, public information officer for the 35Express construction project, said the bridge is inspected and worked on yearly and she is confident it’s safe to travel over.

Sims believes the main reason it made the ARTBA’s list is due to age and growth of the community around it. The bridge was designed at a time when traffic in Lake Dallas was much lighter and it’s not made for the current traffic that it’s taking on.

“This area is one of the fastest growing areas in the Metroplex so we have to have additional capacity,” said Sims.

The rapid growth in the area is the main reason the bridge is one of more than 70 along the I-35E stretch from Denton to I-635 that’s slated to be repaired or replaced during the 35Express project.

Sims said the South Denton Drive bridge will be completely removed in the next year or two and replaced with a road that will go under the freeway.

The ARTBA’s study was created using data from the 2013 National Bridge Survey released by the Federal Highway Administration. It lists about 63,000 bridges nationwide that need serious work. There are approximately 1,283 bridges in the Lone Star State that need about $8 billion in work.

Also in the top 10 most traveled that are structurally deficient were two bridges in Dallas County: Hutton Branch at I-35E and Hackberry Creek at state Highway 114.

Three Tarrant County bridges also made the list: Nixon Street at I-35W, DART/FWWR & 36th Street at 35W, and DART/FWWR at state Highway 121.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[FDA Could Regulate E-Cigarette Sales]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 18:59:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ecigarette+woman+smoking.jpg A FDA proposal released Thursday would regulate the sale of e-cigarettes for the first time. The federal agency is looking to ban the sale of popular "vaping" products to minors, as well as force manufacturers to disclose ingredients.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vigilant Man Saves Neighbor From Burglary]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 18:46:11 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vigilants_arrested.jpg

Hector Martinez was taking a nap with his baby daughter on April 8 when his dogs woke up.

"Right after the dogs were barking I heard the glass break," he said. "I got up off the bed and looked outside the window. I noticed the guy was on the side of the house, after he finished breaking the window, I saw that he crawled in and knew that he had no business doing what he was doing."

That man, police said, was 24-year-old Dalyn Williams.

Martinez said when the home alarm sounded, Williams jumped over the fence onto his property. His mother-in-law, Maria Martinez, said she felt helpless.

"We was terrified over here, especially because we have the babies and my other granddaughter," she said. "I go to my room and open the window and the guy was over there running. And the police pass, so my son-in-law call the police and say, ‘No! Come back, because the guy is in the alley.’"

Minutes later police arrested Williams and his suspected 24-year-old accomplice Sehavica Johnson.

Neighbors, including Harold Rogers who lives next door to the house that that broken into, are relieved.

"I may have to, at our next barbecue, invite them for a burger and a hot dog," he said.

<![CDATA[Local "Vape" Stores React to FDA Proposal]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:27:41 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/481986975.jpg

A FDA proposal released Thursday would regulate the sale of e-cigarettes for the first time.

The federal agency is looking to ban the sale of popular "vaping" products to minors, as well as force manufacturers to disclose ingredients.

The proposal has a 75-day public commentary period.

When Chris Adams opened his Plano-based business Xtreme Vapes in 2013, he says his only obstacle was finding a landlord.

"At the time, there was no regulation at all," Adams says.

He and his wife are in the business of selling battery-operated e-cigarettes, vaporizing devices, and the nicotine-laced liquid used inside of them. Adams says he became a believer in the product after he claims it helped him ditch his pack-and-a-half-a-day cigarette habit.

"I've tried gums and patches and everything else," agreed employee Marcus Sandefer.

Posted on Adams' door is a clear sign of a policy he's instated himself: "WE ID".

While the city of Plano has not placed regulations on e-cigarette sales like, for example, its neighbor Frisco, Adams says he's set his own precedent.

However, it soon may not be a choice.

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration released proposed guidelines to regulate the industry for the first time.

It would basically make the rules about selling nicotine products similar to involving tobacco.

The lengthy proposal would ban e-cigarette sales to minors, prohibit distributing free samples, require warning labels about the presence of addictive nicotine and force manufacturers to disclose the ingredients of their products.

Adams says there is concern within the North Texas "vaping" community about the impact on business.
However, he's in favor of regulation, especially to make sure stores are not selling liquid product from overseas, which he fears may be harmful.

"I honestly think it's going to be a good thing. Because there are shops that don't do the research that other stores do and just pick a liquid and sell it."

The proposal would not restrict online sales and television advertising.

There is also a 75-day public comment period, meaning the proposal is not yet law.

There are currently no long-term studies proving that e-cigarette use is safer than traditional cigarettes, nor is there enough research to prove the products can help a person quit smoking.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[West Nile Virus Found in Cedar Hill]]> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 00:42:18 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/flower_mound_west_nile_virus.jpg

Thursday night at 10 p.m., trucks will spray an area in Cedar Hill after a mosquito carrying the West Nile virus was found in one of the five traps in the area.

According to the city's website, the trucks will go through the Highpoint area, and other neighborhoods between F.M. 1382 and west of Highway 67.

People in the said they were not prepared for it yet, but will now start thinking about wearing mosquito spray, and dumping any standing water near their homes.

“I was surprised to hear it coming out quite this early. But we saw a few mosquitoes around in the backyard the other day, so we know they are here. So, might as well get a jump on it and start spraying,” said Cedar Hill resident, Charles Davenport.

The trucks will go through a second time on Monday night.

Dallas County Health Department is also reminding you about the four D’s, which are dress in loose, long clothing, drain standing water and limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn.

They also recommend you use mosquito spray with deet, picaridin, or eucalyptus.

<![CDATA[Mosquito Carrying West Nile Found in Cedar Hill]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:46:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/West+Nile+Virus2.jpg Trucks will spray an area in Cedar Hill Thursday night after a mosquito carrying the West Nile virus was found in a trap.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Former Officer Indicted for Shooting Unarmed Teen ]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:35:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cms588.jpg

Former Dallas police officer Amy Wilburn has been indicted on a charge related to the shooting of Kelvin Walker, a source confirms to NBC 5 News.

Wilburn was fired in late December after shooting 19-year-old Walker inside a stolen vehicle. A witness stated that Walker had his hands up when Wilburn fired a shot and wounded Walker.

The charge will be announced until Tuesday when it is released publicly.

NBC 5 News is following the developing story and will provide further information as new details arrive.

<![CDATA[FDA Proposes E-Cigarette Regulations]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:50:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vaping-ecigs-smoking-san-di.jpg

An FDA proposal released Thursday would regulate the sale of e-cigarettes for the first time.

The federal agency is looking to ban the sale of popular "vaping" products to minors, as well as force manufacturers to disclose ingredients.

The proposal has a 75-day public commentary period.

When Chris Adams opened his Plano-based business Xtreme Vapes in 2013, he said his only obstacle was finding a landlord.

"At the time, there was no regulation at all," Adams said.

He and his wife are in the business of selling battery-operated e-cigarettes, vaporizing devices and the nicotine-laced liquid used inside of them.

Adams said he became a believer in the product after he claims it helped him ditch his pack-and-a-half-a-day cigarette habit.

"I've tried gums and patches and everything else," agreed employee Marcus Sandefer.

Posted on Adams' door is a clear sign of a policy he's instated himself: "WE ID".

While Plano has not placed regulations on e-cigarette sales like neighboring Frisco, Adams said he's set his own precedent.

However, it soon may not be a choice.

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration released proposed guidelines to regulate the industry for the first time.

It would basically make the rules about selling nicotine products similar to  involving tobacco.

The lengthy proposal would ban e-cigarette sales to minors, prohibit distributing free samples, require warning labels about the presence of addictive nicotine and force manufacturers to disclose the ingredients of their products.

Adams said there is concern within the North Texas "vaping" community about the impact on business.

However, he's in favor of regulation, especially to make sure stores are not selling liquid product from overseas, which he fears may be harmful.

"I honestly think it's going to be a good thing. Because there are shops that don't do the research that other stores do and just pick a liquid and sell it."

The proposal would not restrict online sales and television advertising.

There is also a 75-day public comment period, meaning the proposal is not yet law.

There are currently no long-term studies proving that e-cigarette use is safer than traditional cigarettes, nor is there enough research to prove the products can help a person quit smoking.

<![CDATA[Search for Murder Suspect Locks Down 2 DISD Schools]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:02:41 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dpd-cruiser-generic722.jpg

Two schools in the Dallas Independent School District were locked down Thursday due to police activity in the area.

Fred F. Florence Middle School and John W. Runyon Elementary School were both on lock down briefly while police searched a nearby neighborhood for an unnamed murder suspect.

Just after 4 p.m., the Dallas police said a person was taken into custody at a home on the 1500 block of Cheyenne Road.

The home is across the street from the elementary school and just a few blocks from the middle school.

After the arrest, both schools were cleared to reopen.

Further details about the murder suspect were not immediately available.

<![CDATA[Weekend Lane Closures Along LBJ Freeway]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:15:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/closures.jpg

Drivers who tend to travel through westbound Interstate 635 between Webb Chapel Road and Josey Lane may want to find alternative driving routes this weekend.

From 10 p.m. Saturday until 2 a.m. Sunday contractors will be installing large overhead sign structures for the Phase Two opening of the new tolled TEXpress lanes. This installation will close down westbound I-635 between Webb Chapel Road and Josey Lane.

Other streets and entrances will also be affected. The westbound entrance ramp from Marsh Lane along with the frontage roads between Marsh and Webb Chapel, and Josey to Denton, will all be closed. Drivers can re-enter the westbound lanes through the entrance ramp from Josey Lane.

Signs and message boards will be placed along the roadway to alert drivers about the closure. Motorists should be cautious and consider traveling through different routes to avoid delays.

Weather may postpone this weekend's scheduled installation plans. To stay informed about traffic and lane closures go to the LBJ TEXpress website.

<![CDATA[Burleson Makes Outdoor Water Restrictions Permanent]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:01:53 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/water-sprinkler-091411.jpg

With a change to the city's water conservation plan, the City of Burleson is making outdoor watering restrictions permanent.

Since the city purchases their water from the City of Fort Worth, they must follow Fort Worth restrictions.  Fort Worth, last month, made the maximum twice per week restriction permanent, year round, so Burleson must follow suit.

The rules for the restrictions are as follows:

If your residential address ends in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) you can use an irrigation system to water your landscape on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If your residential address ends in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) you can use an irrigation system to water on Thursdays and Sundays. All nonresidential water locations (apartment complexes, businesses, industries, parks, medians, etc.) may water on Tuesdays and Fridays. Monday is a no-water day.

Since 2009, Burleson has banned watering with irrigation or sprinkler systems, 10 a.m. — 6 p.m., year round. This includes residential and nonresidential customers.

That restriction is in place because up to 30 percent of the water sprayed on lawns during the heat of the day can be lost to evaporation.

Lawns and landscaping may be watered on any day with a handheld hose, drip irrigation, soaker hose or tree bubbler. Irrigation using alternative water sources — a well or reclaimed or reused water — are excluded from the irrigation restrictions.

Residents should be aware that Burleson is still under Stage 1 Water Restrictions.  The recently adopted Drought Contingency Plan includes some changes to Stage 1 restrictions. 

Fort Worth wholesales water to the following cities, where similar restrictions are expected to be made permanent: Aledo, Bethesda, Benbrook, Burleson, Crowley, Dalworthington Gardens, Edgecliff Village, Everman, Forest Hill, Grand Prairie, Haltom City, Haslet, Hurst, Keller, Kennedale, Lake Worth, Northlake, North Richland Hills, Richland Hills, Roanoke, Saginaw, Sansom Park Village, Southlake, Watauga, Westover Hills, Westworth Village, Westlake, White Settlement, DFW Airport and Trophy Club.

Photo Credit: NBCDFW.com]]>
<![CDATA[USDA Designates 240 Texas Counties as Disaster Areas]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:29:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/drought5.jpg

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 240 counties in Texas as primary natural disaster areas due to the lingering drought.

On Wednesday the USDA made a list that named all natural disaster areas. The entire list of counties can be found on the USDA website.

All farm operators in those areas can apply for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA's Farm Service Agency. These loans are created to help farmers cover part of their losses due to the recent drought.

"Our hearts go out to those Texas farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation's economy by sustaining the successes of America's farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. We're also telling Texas producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood."

The application can be filled within the first eight months after the declaration has been made. Certain requirements will have to be met to qualify for any loans.

The FSA will overlook each application and will take into consideration the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability of each applicant, said the USDA in a news release.

Aside from the EM loan the FSA has many other programs that assist eligible farmers recover their losses. Anyone interested in finding out more about these programs can go to the USDA FSA online page.

<![CDATA[Dallas Postal Workers Protest Staples]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:06:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*213/POSTT.jpg

Postal workers gathered Thursday outside a West Dallas Staples to protest what they described as a “backroom deal” between their employer and the office supply chain.

Wearing T-shirts and holding signs, about a dozen protesters picketed outside the store, which could soon begin providing mail services and selling U.S. Postal Service products under the partnership.

Read more on the story from our partners at The Dallas Morning News.

Photo Credit: William Darnell, The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Tarrant Co. Receives Nearly $1M for HIV/AIDS Housing]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:15:53 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/For+rent+generic+sign+722.jpg

The following is from a news release from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, released Thursday, April 24, 2014.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $29 million in grants to assist more than 1,200 extremely low-income persons and families living with HIV/AIDS annually, including a $993,216 grant to Tarrant County's Community Development Division in Texas.

This funding will provide these households with a stable living environment, which is essential to accessing healthcare and HIV related services.

In addition to housing assistance, these local programs will provide access to the needed supportive services such as life skills, job readiness services and employment training.

The funding is offered through HUD's Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) and will renew HUD's support of 26 local programs in 18 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"These grants will give our local partners a vital resource to keep low-income individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS healthy," said Secretary Shaun Donovan. "Having a place to call home can make all the difference to someone who might otherwise be homeless or on the brink of homelessness."

Tarrant County, Community Development Division, will use its HOPWA permanent supportive housing renewal grant of $993,216 to continue operating its facility-based housing and tenant-based rental assistance programs.  The programs link participants to supportive services including case management, chemical dependency counseling, and professional skills development. 

The program will annually support operating costs for 60 single-room occupancy (SRO) units, tenant-based rental assistance to 22 households, in addition to serving 75 households with coordinated supportive services.  (For more information contact: Patricia Ward, Director, 817-850-7940, Email:  pward@tarrantcounty.com)

The HOPWA program is both a formula entitlement program and a competitive grant program.  Ninety percent of HOPWA funds are distributed by formula to cities and states based on the number of AIDS cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HUD's formula grants are managed by 137 local and state jurisdictions, which coordinate AIDS housing efforts with other HUD and community resources.

Overall, these resources assist over 60,000 households annually to provide stable housing and reduced risks of homelessness for those living with HIV and other challenges.  Ten percent of HOPWA funds are set aside to fund competitively awarded grants.

This year, HUD continues a policy the Department enacted in last year's competition - encouraging communities to integrate local coordination and planning with local Continuum of Care (CoC) activities.  Each of the 26 applicants have committed to coordinating with local CoCs within their primary service area in supporting local HIV/AIDS housing and service needs.  This enhanced coordination effort is envisioned to promote integrated and comprehensive approaches to addressing the supportive housing needs of these special needs populations.

Many of the projects receiving renewed funding provide for specialized models in outreach and service delivery, including efforts that target help to persons who have been homeless or are at extreme risk of becoming homeless.  The awarded programs are designed to increase coordination with the homeless assistance grant programs as well as other federal resources provided at the local level. These grants offer innovations in HIV care to increase job readiness and employment opportunities for persons in stabilized care. 

The grants announced Thursday also support the Obama Administration's Opening Doors, strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, and National HIV AIDS Strategy/ HIV Care Continuum, which identifies housing as a key component to reducing viral transmission.

In addressing goals under these strategies, HUD will contribute a variety of housing resources to promote better integration of housing interventions into comprehensive HIV care systems. Housing assistance and related services funded by HOPWA are an essential part of the comprehensive system of care for low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS.  A stable home environment is vital for these households to access consistent medical care and maintain their health.  Furthermore, secure housing can be a platform for improved quality of life.

<![CDATA[Hundreds Say Goodbye to Teen Killed in Hit-and-Run]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:54:59 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ethan-vasquez.jpg

Hundreds of family members said goodbye to 13-year-old Ethan Vasquez on Thursday at the Lakeside Baptist Church in Dallas.

Ethan Vasquez was killed after police say two felons in a stolen car ran a stop sign and crashed into the vehicle carrying him and his mother, Sandy.

Sandy Vasquez attended the service today in a wheelchair, as she had just been released from the hospital a day before and is still recovering from serious injuries suffered in the crash.

Ethan's father, Sgt. Victor Vasquez of the Cedar Hill Police Department, told mourners he would have moved "Heaven and Earth" to save his son. During his eulogy for his son, he said "I was so excited to see the man he was going to become" and fought back tears while he said, "he was so special to me."

About 400 friends, family members, and police officers with Cedar Hill and Dallas police departments packed the church.

Ethan Vasquez's siblings also spoke about their brother.

"I wish I could see him for a moment," Ethan's older brother said, "I cannot imagine life with Ethan."

The gifted and talented student was remembered as an intelligent young man that built his own computer.

Photo Credit: Vasquez family photo]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Church Burglary Suspects Recorded on Video]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:24:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/camera10.jpg

The Dallas Police Department is asking the public to help them identify two men who were involved in the burglary of a church Sunday night.

A surveillance camera recorded two men as they entered the storage building of the Burning Bush Baptist Church located at 4943 Bonnie View Road. At around 8:40 p.m. the recording showed the men pulling up to the church in a white van.

The vehicle appears to be a recent model Dodge Ram van and is used as a fleet vehicle. The van is identified as having windows down the length of the passenger side but none along the driver side, said officials.

Officials have not said what was taken from the church.

The Dallas Police Department is asking people to contact Detective Hartger at 214-671-4501 if they have any information that may lead to the identification of the two men.

<![CDATA[Cyclist Struck by A-Train South of Denton]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:03:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dcta-a-train-cars-new.jpg

A bicyclist in Denton has been hospitalized Thursday after being struck by the A-Train.

According to the Denton County Transportation Authority, the bicyclist was hit at about 9:15 a.m. near the Lakeview Boulevard crossing.

The crossing is adjacent to a crossing for the Denton Katy Trail.

Officials with the DCTA said the train had just finished its morning schedule and that no passengers were onboard at the time of the collision.

The DCTA is conducting an investigation into the incident. The DCTA said that "early indications are that all signals functioned properly and the engineer followed proper procedures. The area where the incident occurred is now clear and A-train service is running on schedule with minimal delays."

"This incident is incredibly unfortunate and serves as a reminder that pedestrians and bicyclists should use caution near rail crossings and obey all crossing warning devices," stated Jim Cline, DCTA President. "We have complete faith in the safety of our operations and the abilities of our crew."

The cyclist was taken to a nearby hospital in an unknown condition.

Check back and refresh this page for updates.

Photo Credit: DCTA]]>
<![CDATA[Food Pantry Helps 400 Needy Families]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:52:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/food-pantry-donations-042414.jpg

Hundreds of low income families received a boost Thursday at the CitySquare Opportunity Center in Dallas.

CitySquare's Food Pantry teamed up with Feed the Children to give 400 families food and personal care items.

This was the second year for the event and families headed out early to start lining up at the CitySquare Opportunity Center several hours before the food was to be handed out. The first family was there at 5:30 a.m.

Many of the families we spoke with say anything they can receive is helpful.

“I think it’s a blessing,” said Jessie Armstrong, who was one of the families selected to receive items.

All of the items donated were brought to the facility in a huge semitrailer. Volunteers unloaded everything in large piles to make it easier to hand it out.

"We are going to have a box of hygiene,” said CitySquare food pantry director Teresa Castaneda. “We are going to have a box of food, a box of makeup, and then we will have produce as well.”

The volunteers formed a line and filled each family’s car with the items starting at 8 a.m.

“This is kind of to supplement for a week for low income families,” said Castaneda. “Where they don’t get SNAP, or they don’t have a job, just to supplement for the month.”

Many needy families were already thinking about others when they came to pick up their food.

“Some of my neighbors, somebody else need something, I can help them too when they can’t do it by themselves,” said Armstrong.

CitySquare organizers said volunteers are always needed to help out. Click here to find more information on how you can volunteer.

<![CDATA[Mavs Stun Spurs, Shock the Rest of Us Too]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:06:58 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/486335659.jpg

The Mavericks have their first playoff win in six tries and three years.

And we have ourselves a series.

Shocking? Well, raise your hand if you predicted the Mavs breaking their 10-game losing streak to the Spurs by beating San Antonio on its home court by a whopping 21 points.

Me neither.

Continuing their season-long dramatic trend of winning when they should losing and losing when they should win, the Mavs absolutely bullied the NBA’s best team with physical defense and relentless offense. Though we’re never comfortable with a Mavs’ team prone to blowing big leads this season, the final nine minutes of this game were garbage time. Unheard of.

In fact, the 21-point win is the biggest ever for a No. 8 seed on the road against a No. 1. Just as surprising, Dallas did it with defense. The Mavs forced 24 turnovers against a team that averaged only 14 during the regular season. San Antonio’s minus-23-point margin off turnovers is its worst in 10 years.

Pulling off that kind of performance with Dirk Nowitzki producing only 16 points is most remarkable of all. He had lots of help. Monta Ellis attacked. Shawn Marion defended. And even reserve DeJuan Blair had strip-and-steal of Tim Duncan, punctuated by a fast-break dunk.

Even for the Mavs, it was over when Dirk produced a three-point play for a 21-point lead with nine minutes remaining.

I’ll admit, I didn’t see this coming. I thought the Mavs would be lucky to win one game in this series. And after coughing up a late lead in Game 1 I figured they’d be demoralized. But, instead, Dallas took strength and confidence from leading most of Game 1 and the Spurs obviously turned their escape into Fool’s Gold.

Truth is at the 7-minute mark of the 4th quarter in two games the Mavs have held leads of 10 and 23. For all but six minutes they’ve clearly been the best team in this series. They’d be foolish now not to believe they can actually win the series.

But don’t be fooled, Game 2 will be by far the Spurs’ worst game of this series. The Mavs are playing harder and better than San Antonio, but if their effort or execution slips even a little the momentum will do a 180.

Last night was glorious. I thought Devin Harris needed to start to give Dallas a chance. I was wrong. Then again, who wasn’t?

Not even Mark Cuban expected what he saw in San Antonio.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[West Nile Testing Begins Next Week in Denton]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:47:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/WNV+Trap+042314.jpg

Denton announced the city is at West Nile Risk Level 2. Local cities including Denton will begin testing for mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus; traps go out next week and testing begins the following week.

Environmental Services Director Ken Banks said the city will place its first mosquito traps of the year next week; eventually setting out as many as 20 at a time.

Samples will then start going to the state lab on May 1 to identify any positive West Nile virus hits.

The city has moved to West Nile Risk Level 2 which is the base level for the season to alert residents that mosquitoes and the illness could be present in the area.

Banks said on an average year like 2013 Denton will spend about $30,000 on West Nile prevention.

He said residents can help keep the costs down by draining standing water and taking their own preventative measures so the city doesn’t have to do mass spraying.

Denton County confirms they, along with neighboring counties will begin trapping and sending samples the following week.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Police Search for Girlfriend of Fatally Shot Man]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:41:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jordan-ridgell-scott-delagarza-042414.jpg

Dallas police say they are asking for public help in the search for the girlfriend of a man that was found fatally shot on Preston Oaks Road.

The Dallas Police Department said they are looking for 29-year-old Jordan Ridgell after they found her boyfriend, Matthew Scott De La Garza, fatally shot on Wednesday.

De La Garza's brother, Jason Brightman, shared a photo (seen above) of De La Garza and Ridgell with NBC 5 on Wednesday.

Police said Ridgell was last seen walking away from her residence alone on April 22 and has not been seen since.

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts or location of Jordan Ridgell, they are asked to contact the Dallas Police Department at 214-283-4813.

Photo Credit: Jason Brightman]]>
<![CDATA[Mosquito Pool Tests Positive for WNV in Dallas County]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:44:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mosquito-Testing-110313.jpg

Dallas County health officials confirm that a mosquito has tested positive for carrying West Nile virus.

An official with Dallas County Health and Human Services told NBC 5 that the department will release information Thursday on the county's first detected West Nile virus mosquito of the season.

The mosquito tested positive for West Nile virus in the High Point area of Dallas County -- the area north of Farm-to-Market Road 1382 and west of U.S. Highway 67.

The month of May is typically when the West Nile virus season begins, but recent rain and warm temperatures may have prompted an early start to the season.

Dallas County health officials started preparations on April 1 by deploying mosquito traps.

Any area where the virus is detected will be sprayed within 48 hours, according the Dallas County health officials. The health department will begin ground spraying Thursday night and crews will spray the area again on April 28.

In 2012, 20 people died from complications related to the West Nile virus in Dallas County.

Last year, there were two deaths reported in Dallas County connected to the virus.

In Denton, the city announced that it is at a West Nile Risk Level 2 on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Family and Friends Remember Teen Killed in Crash]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 05:56:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ethan-vasquez.jpg

Family members and classmates gathered on Wednesday to remember a 13-year-old boy killed in a car wreck.

Ethan Vasquez, of Dallas, died on April 15 when officers said two men crashed into his mother’s car in the M Streets area. The teen was fatally injured and his mother, Sandy Vasquez, was severly injured. 

Vasquez attended William B. Travis Academy in Dallas where classmates said he was heavily involved in stage production and was a friend to everyone he met.

Several of Vasquez’s friends spoke at Wednesday’s memorial service, where at least 300 people were in attendance.

“Ethan really was one of the greatest kids I knew. He was always so kind, always happy and smiling. So patient,” said one student.

“I can only imagine what he would’ve accomplished here on earth. But I don’t think any of us can imagine what our little angel can do in heaven. You lit up our hearts Ethan, you lit up our stage, your presence was light and now we know you are lighting up the stages in heaven,” said another.

Sandy Vasquez was released from the hospital just hours prior to his son’s memorial service.

Victor Vasquez, the teen's father, is a police officer for Cedar Hill.

“I have no words to express the loss our family is suffering at this moment,” Victor Vasquez told the overflowing crowd at the service.

After a slide show that displayed pictures of Vasquez growing up, his father said, "This was the zany, crazy world of E. You can’t help but love him. He has an infectious laugh. His smile will melt your heart and you’ll never forget him.”

Vasquez’s funeral will be Thursday, April 24, at Lakeside Baptist Church.

Dagoberto Castanon and Rogelio Avila were arrested in Lee County, Fla., in connection to the crash. Both are currently in jail awaiting extradition to Texas. 

Photo Credit: Vasquez family photo]]>
<![CDATA[Boy, 14, Sexually Assaulted While Walking to School]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:58:18 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Generic-Dallas-Police-car.jpg

Dallas police are searching for a man who they say sexually assaulted a mentally challenged teenage boy in southeast Dallas Wednesday morning.

The 14-year-old victim was picked up in the 500 block of North Jim Miller Road by a man and then driven to the 7900 block of Wes Hodges Road, according to Maj. Jeff Cotner of the Dallas Police Department.

Once there, the man sexually assaulted the teen, according to Cotner.

"We certainly want everybody in the southeast community to be aware of this offense. We want them to take steps for awareness," Cotner said at a news conference Wednesday.

The teen provided police with a detailed description of the attacker and his vehicle. The suspect is described as a black man, 25 to 30 years old, with tattoos, possibly of crosses, on both forearms.

He was driving a black two-door Chevrolet truck with six or seven wooden cabinets in the bed of the truck, police say.

The teen suffers from a diminished mental capacity, according to Cotner, and will occasionally leave his school and walk home during the day.

When the boy had left school Wednesday and returned home, his mother told him to walk back to school, police said.

It was during his walk back to school, around 11 a.m., when the man approached the boy, according to police.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 ]]>
<![CDATA[Alvarado Woman Gives Birth Along Road]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:45:18 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/birth-along-side-of-road.jpg

An Alvarado woman gave birth along the side of the road when her baby wouldn’t wait to make it to the hospital.

"I was hoping we were going to make it somewhere and I was trying to keep the baby in,” said Ewa Staniszewska.

Her husband pulled off to the side of Farm-to-Market Road 917 and County Road 616 and called 911.

Paramedic Donny Hallmark of Johnson County Emergency Services District 1 arrived minutes later.

"A lot of times when we run these calls they don't actually deliver,” Hallmark said.

Staniszewska said she was panicking until Hallmark and the other first responders got there.

“Thank God he was there,” she said. “I don’t know what I would have done without them being there.”

The baby wasn’t due for another month, and Staniszewska went into false labor just hours earlier.

So when she thought she was going into labor again, she decided to take a bath to relax.

Suddenly, she said, she realized she needed to get to the hospital.

But the baby had other plans.

She tried to make herself as comfortable as possible — in her PT Cruiser.

"The baby was out within two or three minutes and just started crying right away,” she said. “It was amazing."

Hallmark said in 10 years as a paramedic, this emergency delivery was a first.

“It really happened fast,” Hallmark said. “We really didn’t have time for much.”

One of his colleagues updated dispatchers about what had happened.

“Advise CareFlight we now have two patients,” the firefighter said in a recorded radio transmission.

The newborn, named Daniel Christopher, is a healthy 5 pound 1 ounce baby boy. 

“We all breathed a pretty good sigh of relief,” Hallmark said. “She did great.”

Staniszewska said she wanted to thank the medics who helped her. She and her son are doing fine, and she has no plans to repeat the experience.

"Once in a lifetime,” she said. “I'm not going to do it again."

Both mother and baby are doing well and resting in the hospital.

Photo Credit: Ewa Staniszewska]]>