<![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 Sat, 25 Oct 2014 00:41:38 -0500 Sat, 25 Oct 2014 00:41:38 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[First Flu Cases of the Season Reported in North Texas]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:39:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Nasal+flu+spray.jpg

Dallas County Health and Human Services reported three cases of the flu for the 2014-2015 flu season on Friday. Tarrant County is reporting one positive flu test so far this season.

"These early flu reports tell us that the virus is circulating in the community and citizens need to protect themselves by getting a flu vaccine," said DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson.

Fifty-eight flu-related deaths were reported in Dallas County during last year’s flu season.

“There’s a big scare with Ebola recently. The flu is actually a lot easier to contract and a lot easier to spread,” said Dr. Jonathan Clarke, with Preston Hollow 24 Hr. Emergency Room. “So this is a viral illness that can affect very large parts of the community, is very easily transmissible and is much more dangerous to public health than something like Ebola.”

Clarke said signs and symptoms of the flu are very similar to other viral illnesses that are common this time of year.

“Primarily, it’s an upper respiratory illness, so you’re going to have cough congestion, sore throat, maybe some sneezing, fever, chills, body aches,” Clarke said. “Less frequently, some people will have nausea and vomiting. That’s more prevalent in children.”

Vinny Taneja, director of Tarrant County Public Health, said getting vaccinated is your best defense.

“The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent getting the flu, however, there are things that everybody should do on an everyday basis and it will not only prevent the flu but many other diseases,” said Taneja. “Wash your hands throughout the day, and, very important, with warm soap and water. People get complacent, and they start using alcohol hand sanitizers. Alcohol hand sanitizers are great as a supplement not as a replacement for hand washing.”

Taneja also encourages anyone who is sick to stay home to help prevent the spread of flu.

NBC 5 learned this year’s flu vaccine contains a flu strain taken from Tarrant County Public Health. It’s an H3N2-like virus.

The vaccine you’ll get this year is either a trivalent or quadrivalent vaccine, meaning it will protect against three or four strains of the virus. For children 2 to 8 years of age, the CDC recommends a live attenuated influenza vaccine, which is basically a nasal spray of weakened but live flu virus.

Taneja recommends the nasal spray for adults as well and suggests it may be more effective.

“I usually use the example of practicing boxing,” Taneja said. “If you take the flu shot, it’s like practicing boxing against a punching bag so you can hone your technique. But if you actually have a live sparing opponent in you ring, then you get a better learning experience and that’s how the flu mist works. It’s a live opponent and your body tends to have a better response.”

Clarke cautions against the mist, however, for those with chronic medical conditions or those around people with chronic medical conditions. For those people, he recommends the flu shot.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[New Dallas Landmark Bridge Taking Shape]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:44:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/241*120/MMD-Bridge-Redering2.JPG

The next dramatic addition to the Dallas skyline is taking shape on the banks of the Trinity River and also in Tampa, Florida. The twin arches of the new Margaret McDermott Bridge will carry hike and bike trails alongside Interstate 30.

The $113 million project was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who also designed the nearby Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

The scale of the arches is enormous. They’ll soar 328-feet-high with a length of 1,311 feet. That's longer than four football fields.

"It's definitely going to be another icon for the City of Dallas," said Duane Milligan, who oversees the project for the Texas Department of Transportation.

The two arches and their bridge decks are being fabricated by Tampa Steel Erecting in Florida. It's the same company that built Spaceship Earth, the giant geodesic sphere at the center of Disney's EPCOT theme park.

Company president Bob Clark says the Margaret McDermott Bridge is just as challenging. "It is probably as difficult as they would come," Clark said.

The steel arches are being fabricated in 78 sections, some of which are up to 60-feet-long. Because of the fluid design, no two pieces are identical. And they must join together perfectly.

"Some of the tolerances are to within an eighth of an inch, some to a sixteenth of an inch," said Jeff Ames of Tampa Steel Erecting.

Before they leave Tampa, the sections are connected, then unconnected, just to make sure there are no surprises in Dallas.

The finishing touch is a gleaming coat of white paint formulated to last years in the searing Texas sun.

In a matter of weeks, the first sections will begin their 1,100-mile road trip to Dallas on flatbed trucks. "We don't want any bugs hitting them. No scratches," said Ames.

Once the pieces are in Dallas, cranes will lift them onto concrete abutments being poured inside the river levees.

The supports have a sculptural 'V' appearance. The arches will then rise piece by piece.

The first one, on the south side of I-30, should start going up by January.

The Margaret McDermott Bridge is scheduled to be finished in the spring of 2017.

Photo Credit: Texas Department of Transportation
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<![CDATA[I-35E Makeover Enters 2nd Year in Denton County]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:48:18 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Interstate+35E+construction.jpg

Crews have now been working for a year on improving a 30-mile stretch of Interstate 35E from Farmer's Branch to Denton, but there is about 2 1/2 years to go.

Project leaders broke ground on the $1.4 billion first phase of the project in October 2013.

On Friday, AGL Constructors took community leaders and elected officials on a tour of the project to show off the progress after one year.

The biggest work has been on bridges and frontage roads from Interstate 635 to University Drive.

Project Manager Gary Geppert said they are working on 75 bridges, including rehabs, upgrades and complete rebuilds.

Among the most noticeable changes is the area over Lewisville Lake where AGL said 195 of the 310 drill shafts are now in place to construct a new bridge over the lake. They plan to set beams for the structure soon.

In addition, the team pressed their efforts to keep an open line of communication with the public and keep everyone affected by the project informed on its progress.

AGL said it has held more than 120 presentations, including 15 meetings just for businesses on the stretch and nine for the communities in the three sections of the project. They also plan to continue those regularly throughout the scope of the project, which is projected to last through mid-2017.

"I think they've done a real good job of keeping people informed and just keeping things going,” said Denton County Judge Mary Horn, who has been working to get the project off the ground for years.

Several of the city representatives along the stretch told contractors that their residents had been fairly comfortable with the process so far and they'd heard, overall, few complaints or issues from the public.

"People have questions and as long as you provide them an answer that's basically all they want to know,” said Corinth city councilman Joe Harrison. "You know, it hurts while they're building it cause we have problems. But long range, you've got to look for the long range."

While traffic disruptions have stayed to a minimum so far, the main impact in the first year may be on businesses along the frontage roads.

Several have been forced to relocate due to the expansion of the road.

Chasin’ Tail Bar-B-Que in Hickory Creek just announced that they are readying to move from their location on the south-bound frontage road to a building across the interstate in Lake Dallas.

"By the end of November, early December we should be open and operating there,” said co-owner Brooke Asbell.

Asbell said at the beginning of the project they weren’t sure what would happen to the store if they would survive the process.

However, one year in, Asbell said they have not only found a new home, but have found the construction to be a good neighbor. He said few customers have reported disruptions in traffic and he’s actually gained more customers from some of the hundreds of workers taking on the construction.

“I think they like that we’re still here for now,” he said.

AGL said there are some major undertakings readying to start.

In Corinth they plan to completely close and reconstruct the Corinth Parkway bridge - a project expected to take about eight months and start first quarter of next year.

Right after that a similar project will take place on the Post Oak Bridge just to the north, but city leaders said they are preparing for the traffic changes.

However, some growing pains and disruptions are expected with these projects, and elected officials on the tour agreed.

AGL said it hopes to leave the area better than it found it, so not only are workers taking on the construction but also trying to help in the community by fixing up parks along the way, hosting blood and school supply drives, and working on more public education like online videos to help the public better understand what happens in the construction zone.

After the first phase of the project, Denton County leaders, AGL and TxDOT hope to begin work on phase two. Right now, they are looking for funding sources and hoping to have those in place by 2025 at the latest.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Ebola Survivor to See Isolated Dog Soon]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:04:04 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Bentley-Thumb-102414.jpg Dallas Ebola survivor, Nina Pham, returns to Dallas Friday night and will get to see her dog, Bentley over the weekend. Bentley has been in isolation since Pham was diagnosed with the virus.

Photo Credit: City of Dallas via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Vehicle Flipped After Dallas Bank Robbery]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/210*120/crash56.JPG

Dallas police are investigating a serious crash Friday afternoon that followed a bank robbery nearby.

Police said the suspect fled the Comerica Bank branch in the 11100 block of Garland Road in East Dallas just after 4 p.m.

The suspect then lost control of his vehicle and crashed at the intersection of Easton Road and East Lake Highlands Drive, coming to a rest upside-down.

The suspect was transported to a hospital for treatment of unknown injuries.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

<![CDATA[Tarrant County Native Wins 2014 Harold Taft Scholarship]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:47:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/102414+Holly+Mallinson+Taft.jpg

A North Richland Hills native won the scholarship named for NBC 5's first chief meteorologist Harold Taft.

Holly Mallinson is studying atmospheric sciences at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

The award was created by NBC 5 and the Lone Star EMMY Educational Foundation.  Mallinson will be recognized at the Lone Star EMMY Awards Gala in Houston on Saturday, October 25.

Students must attend a Texas university or they must have four years of high school in Texas prior to college. Scholarship applicants and winners must study meteorology, atmospheric sciences or a related field.

Past recipients include Jorge Torres, chief meteorologist at KOB-TV, the NBC affiliate in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Mallinson is researching severe wind climatology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. After earning her Bachelor's degree, she wants to pursue graduate school and focus on severe weather climatology.

"You'll find few people who think Calculus III is easy and thermodynamics is nothing to sneeze at either," wrote Mallinson in her application letter. "But despite hours spent deriving equations and analyzing skew-T diagrams, I love it.  I majored in atmospheric sciences because I love weather."

NBC 5 /KXAS-TV made the Harold Taft Scholarship possible thanks to a generous donation several years ago. The namesake of the program is Harold Taft, who served as Chief Meteorologist at NBC 5 (WBAP and KXAS-TV) from 1949 until 1991. 

NBC 5 Chief Meteorologist David Finfrock serves as chair of the committee for the Scholarship program.

Photo Credit: Holly Mallinson]]>
<![CDATA[Nina Pham Ready for Reunion With Bentley]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:04:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Bentley-Thumb-102414.jpg

Dallas nurse Nina Pham has been declared Ebola-free and is eager to reunite with her dog Bentley.

National Institutes of Health in Maryland announced Pham is Ebola-free, and she was discharged from NIH Friday. She's expected to return to Dallas Friday night.

"I ask for my privacy and for my family's privacy to be respected as I return to Texas and try to get back to a normal life and reunite with my dog Bentley," Pham said at a news conference outside NIH on Friday.

A team of specially-trained veterinarians started testing the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for the virus Monday, sending samples from his waste to a lab.

So far, Bentley has tested negative for the virus, but he'll remain in isolation until Nov. 1.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Friday, "Although Bentley remains under quarantine until the end of the month, Nina will be able to visit, hold and play with him tomorrow."

Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed said Pham might be allowed to see Bentley, but won't be able to cuddle with her dog until he has cleared quarantine. Syed said no reunion plan had been made yet.

The City of Dallas tweeted new pictures Thursday night (seen above). The city said vets will run one more test before the end of a 21-day quarantine period to ensure he doesn't have the virus.

The City of Dallas posted a YouTube video featuring an interview with one of the vets caring for Pham's dog and video of Bentley playing with a new toy fox bought by one of his doctors.

Pham is one of two nurses who fell ill with the potentially deadly virus after caring for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at a Dallas hospital.

In response to the outpouring of support around the world for Bentley, the city of Dallas partnered with Dallas Companion Animal Project to establish the Dallas Pet Emergency Transition Services (PETS) fund. The donations will help Bentley and other pets in similar emergency situations in the future.

To donate visit DallasAnimals.org and click "You Can Help" or CLICK HERE to donate to the Dallas PETS (Pet Emergency Transition Services) Fund.

Photo Credit: City of Dallas via Twitter
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<![CDATA[Nurse Nina Pham Speaks Outside of NIH]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:02:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/pham-speaks-nih.jpg

Below is a statement from Dallas nurse Nina Pham from outside of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center Friday after she was declared Ebola-free. 

"Good afternoon. I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today.

I would first and foremost like to thank God, my family and friends. Throughout this ordeal, I have put my trust in God and my medical team. I am on my way back to recovery even as I reflect on how many others have not been so fortunate.

Of course I am so incredibly thankful for everyone involved in my care from the moment I became ill and was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas up to today, my discharge from the Clinical Research Center of NIH. I would especially like to thank Dr. Kent Brantly for his selfless act of donating plasma to me. As a nurse, I have a special appreciation of the care I have received from so many people, not just doctors and nurses, but the entire support team.

I believe in the power of prayer because I know so many people all over the world have been praying for me. I do not know how I can ever thank everyone enough for their prayers and their expressions of concern, hope and love. I join you in prayer now for the recovery of others including my colleague and friend Amber Vinson and Dr. Craig Spencer.

I hope that people understand that this illness and this whole experience has been very stressful and challenging for me and for my family. Although I no longer have Ebola, I know that it may be a while before I have my strength back. So with gratitude and respect for everyone's concern, I ask for my privacy and for my family's privacy to be respected as I return to Texas and try to get back to a normal life and reunite with my dog Bentley. Thank you everyone."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Pham Free of Ebola; Returns Home Late Friday]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:59:51 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457790040.jpg

Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who contracted Ebola treating a patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, said Friday she feels fortunate and blessed to be free of the deadly virus and is looking forward to seeing her dog Bentley.

Pham, 26, made the statements during a news conference Friday after being discharged from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Flanked by her family and a number of doctors who aided in her recovery, Pham walked out of the NIH Clinical Center to cheers Friday and read a short statement where she thanked those who prayed for her and treated her.

"I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today," Pham said in a brief statement. "Throughout this ordeal, I have put my trust in God and my medical team."

She was introduced to the crowd by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who said when Pham was admitted on Oct. 16 that it was their goal that she would walk out of their hospital healthy. On Friday, that goal was realized.

"Our patient Nina Pham is free of Ebola virus," Fauci said, adding that five tests showed that Pham has no more of the virus in her body.

While wearing the colors of Pham's nursing school, Texas Christian University, Fauci called her a "courageous and lovely person," saying that she also represents the nurses and health care workers who put themselves on the line caring for sick patients.

Pham took no questions and left NIH bound for the White House where she, her mother and sister would meet President Barack Obama in the Oval Office along with several of her doctors.

Pham boarded a CareFlite airplane at Baltimore-Washington International Airport Friday evening bound for Fort Worth, where her family has a home.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Pham will be reunited with her dog Bentley, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, on Saturday.

“I’m excited to welcome her home and I know Bentley will be glad to see her. Although Bentley remains under quarantine until the end of the month, Nina will be able to visit, hold and play with him tomorrow. I know that will be good for both of them," said Jenkins in a statement Friday.

Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed clarified Jenkins' statement, saying Pham might be allowed to see Bentley, but won't be able to cuddle with her dog until he has cleared a 21-day quarantine. That should happen on Nov. 1. Syed said no reunion plan has been set yet.

Pham's Remarkable Recovery

Nurse Nina Pham made good progress in battling the disease at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas before being transferred to NIH. In Maryland, Pham thanked Fort Worth Dr. Kent Brantly for the "selfless act of donating plasma" as his blood may have aided in her recovery since it carries antibodies against the Ebola virus.

Before being transferred from Dallas, Pham's condition had been listed as good and she appeared lively in a video posted on YouTube. After her transfer to Maryland she was reassessed and listed in fair condition, but doctors were quick to say her condition hadn't deteriorated. On Wednesday, Pham was upgraded to good condition.

Fauci, one of the most highly-regarded immunologists in the world, said they used no experimental drugs in Pham's treatment and was not able to say with any certainty whether the donation of Brantley's plasma was instrumental in her recovery.

No matter how it happened, Pham's co-workers were overjoyed to learn of her recovery and discharge.

“The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas family is thrilled that Nina Pham is Ebola-free and on her way home. Her colleagues and friends eagerly look forward to welcoming her back. Her courage and spirit, first in treating a critically ill Ebola patient and then in winning her own battle against the disease, has truly inspired all of us,” said Texas Health Resources CEO Barclay Berdan in a statement.

After her discharge Friday, Pham expressed thanks to those who cared for her and aided in her recovery while asking for prayers for those still battling the disease, including her co-worker Amber Vinson and New York City Dr. Craig Spencer who was diagnosed with the disease Thursday.

"I believe in the power of prayer because I know so many people all over the world have been praying for me. I do not know how I can ever thank everyone enough for their prayers and their expressions of concern, hope and love. I join you in prayer now for the recovery of others including my colleague and friend Amber Vinson and Dr. Craig Spencer," Pham said.

Spencer is in stable condition and is being treated at Bellvue Hospital in New York. He is believed to have had close contact with only three people, all who are quarantined and asymptomatic.

Pham is believed to have contracted the virus, along with Vinson, while caring for patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died from the disease on Oct. 8.

Pham, the first health care worker to contract the disease in the U.S., was treated for Ebola at Presbyterian Dallas for several days before being transferred to the NIH campus.

Vinson, the second health care worker who tested positive for the virus, was confirmed to have Ebola on Oct. 15 and was transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta from Presbyterian the same day. Vinson's family reported earlier in the week that she was clear of the disease, a statement hospital officials confirmed Friday though they have not said when Vinson will be discharged.

"Amber Vinson is making good progress in her treatment for Ebola virus infection. Tests no longer detect virus in her blood. She remains within Emory's Serious Communicable Diseases Unit for continued supportive care. We do not have a discharge date at this time," the hospital said Friday.

“Nina is a real hero and a devoted nurse who represents all the brave health care workers who’ve put their lives on the line to help others. We are thankful for everyone who cared for Nina at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. "We are also happy to hear the positive prognosis for her colleague Amber Vinson and we look forward to welcoming Amber home soon too."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and hospital officials have not yet been able to determine exactly how Pham and Vinson contracted the often fatal disease.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dallas Police Look for Missing Man Armed With Handgun]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:05:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/juan-guerrero-gonzalez.jpg

Dallas Police Department officials said they have safely located a man who was reported missing earlier Friday.

Juan Guerrero-Gonzalez, 29, had last been seen armed with a handgun and threatening to harm himself at about 9:45 p.m. Thursday in the 10,000 block of Royal Lane, according to police.

Further information on where or when the man was located hasn't been released, but police said he was found safe.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Police: Woman Fatally Stabbed in Home, 2 Children Inside]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:54:58 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/marietta-shaw-stabbed.jpg

Dallas police said they're investigating a stabbing that left one woman dead in an Oak Cliff apartment complex Friday morning.

Neighbors told NBC 5 that Marietta Shaw, who was fatally stabbed at the Ridgewood Terrace apartments in the 400 block of South Walton Walker Boulevard, was a mother of two daughters, 4 years and 2 months old.

Family friend Ebony Smith said Shaw, 24, had been seeing the father of her 2-month-old daughter off and on, but they had been fighting recently. According to Smith, he stopped by the apartment to visit them Friday morning.

"Emotionally, I don't know what to feel," Smith said. "It's someone I've known for a really long time."

Police are interviewing a person of interest as they continue their investigation.

Stay tuned to NBC 5 for the latest updates.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Police: 2 Injured in Home Shooting]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:17:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/wilmer-pd-shooting.jpg

Police said they are investigating after two people were shot in their home early Friday morning.

Wilmer Police Department officials said two men were shot at a home in the 400 block of North Dallas Avenue.

One man was shot in the leg, and the other in the lower back, according to police. Both men were transported to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas in stable condition.

Police said they think two people were involved in the shooting.

Officials with the Dallas County Sheriff's Department said they are assisting in the investigation.

Stay tuned to NBC 5 for the latest information.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Midlothian Ramp Reopens After Fatal Wreck]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 05:59:52 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/midlothian-truck-wreck.jpg

A ramp in Midlothian was reopened Friday morning after being closed most of Thursday because of a fatal 18-wheeler wreck.

The driver was heading north on the ramp from U.S. 67 to U.S. 287 at about 7:07 a.m. when the truck tipped over, according to police.

Authorities said they pronounced the driver dead at the scene. His name was not yet released.

No other vehicles were involved in the wreck.

Investigators said they are trying to determine if speed or the truck's weight were responsible for the wreck.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Arlington to Shut Off Major Water Valve for Repair]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:07:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/water-off-arlington.jpg

Hundreds of people in Arlington will have their water shut off for a large portion of the day Friday while crews try to fix a broken valve.

Officials said repair crews will shut off water access at the northwest corner of West Sublett Road and South Bowen Road from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Affected streets include:

  • 2600-3100 block of W. Sublett Road
  • Wind Drift Trail
  • Dover Gardens Drive
  • Sterling Green Trail
  • Autumn Wheat Trail
  • Terra Drive
  • Royal Circle
  • Downing Court
  • Princess Anne
  • Coach Lane
  • Queen Elizabeth
  • Hampton Drive
  • Prince of Wales
  • Victoria Station
  • Royal Coach Lane
  • Prince Edward

Officials said the 16-inch valve must be shut off because of its size.

City of Arlington officials apologized for the inconvenience in a statement, adding that they only shuts off the water when it is necessary.

For more information:


Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Arlington Police Searching for Serial Bank Robber]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:51:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Arlington+Tx+bank+robber.jpg

Arlington police are asking for the public’s help to catch the suspect in a recent string of armed robberies.

Investigators say on October 9, he robbed the bank inside the Kroger store off of West Lamar Boulevard in North Arlington.

Then five days later, he hit the Capital One Bank in the 2200 block of North Collins Street.

In each case, police say he walked up to the counter, demanded money, then showed the bank employee a handgun.

“It’s very important that we find this person and get him off the streets for the safety of the public,” said Sgt. Jeff Houston, spokesperson for the Arlington Police Department. “Anytime there’s a weapon involved, it’s a very serious matter."

The man is also a suspect in two other armed robberies that occurred around that same timeframe – one in Fort Worth and one in Crowley.

He’s described as a black male, 25-35 years old, 5’6” – 5’9” tall, 160 pounds, with a goatee.

In addition to surveillance photos, police have also released descriptions of several cars that may be connected to the robberies.

They include:

  • Blue GMC or Chevrolet SUV
  • White Dodge Avenger or 200
  • Red Hyundai passenger car

“Somebody out there knows this guy,” said Houston. “He’s either talked to somebody or they’re going to recognize the pictures that we’ve provided. It’s critical that if somebody does see him or knows him, or thinks they know who he is, that they call us and let us know.”

Anyone with information is urged to call the Arlington Police Department at (817) 459-5678. You can also leave tips anonymously by calling Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at (817) 469-TIPS.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Denton Tells Frenchy's to Take Down American Flags]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:03:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Frenchys+flags+Denton.jpg

Well-known Denton businessman and community advocate Andre "Frenchy" Rheault has been told to remove dozens of American flags from his company's fleet yard as they actually violate city code.

The code states that a property in the city limits may only fly one American flag, one Texas flag and one miscellaneous flag, according to Lancine Bentley, Denton's community improvement services manager.

"That's the same ordinance everyone in this town follows," said Bentley. "It's there for everybody."

However, for more than 20 years, Rheault said he's been flying anywhere between 20 and 40 American flags on the Dallas Drive property along with others on his company vans, plus a mural of the flag on top of the building.

"They've been here for 20-plus years, and for code enforcement to come along and say we're going to start enforcing the law now?" said Rheault.

Bentley said the city has been working for a while now to get caught up on code enforcement issues across town and currently they're taking on commercial property issues.

“We were going to get to Dallas Drive eventually,” she said.

However, the city arrived at Frenchy’s property due to a complaint, Bentley said.

Upon inspection they discovered several issues, including illegal ground signs, lack of a certificate of occupancy to operate at the site, parking on an unapproved surface and the flags, which fall under “too many wind devices without a permit.”

Rheault said he worked with the city on most of the issues and complied by doing things like removing the signs and repaving certain areas of the lot, but he said he will not be taking down the flags.

"I told them I wasn't going to take down the flags. They were going to have to take me to court," he said.

Rheault, whom most know as Frenchy, is a Vietnam veteran who, in addition to running a lawn and tree service in the city, volunteers and donates time and funds to many veterans services.

"I'm patriotic all the time,” said Rheault. "They say I have too many flags? There is no such thing as having too many flags."

Bentley said they’ve sent Rheault several notices that he needs to get the property into compliance.

She also said he has the option to buy a $90 permit up to three times a year that will let him fly as many flags as he wants for 30 days.

"Ninety days out of the year you can have above the three that you're allowed to have,” Bentley said.

However, Bentley said under current city ordinance there is no way Rheault can continue flying all of his flags year-round.

Rheault received a citation in the mail Thursday telling him to appear in court on the matter in early December.

Since news of the situation hit social media, many have begun stepping up in support of Rheault, even starting a petition Thursday that was up to more than 2,500 signatures online by the evening.

Rheault said he’s contacted several city leaders asking them to step in and do something about the situation.

"I didn't want it to go this far,” he said. “I’m Denton’s biggest fan. I just wanted to fly my flags.”

Bentley said her department has little choice on this matter, as ordinance has to be applied across the board. She said any changes to the rules will have to come from the city council.

Rheault said he plans to see this one through now that it has started.

“I'm not taking my flags down,” he said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Girl's Seizures Seemingly Subside After Medicinal Oil Trial]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:03:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Glut+1+medicinal+oil.jpg

A North Texas family is touting a "miracle oil" and praising researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas for healing their little girl, who was having chronic seizures.

Spend a day with 6-year-old Chloe Olivarez and it is hard to keep up with her. Chloe's mother, Brandi Olivarez, says she never thought she would see this day.

"I don't even know that a year ago she would have been able to," Olivarez said.

Just two years ago, Brandi Olivarez had no idea what was wrong with her daughter. Video from Children's Health in Dallas shows doctors monitoring Chloe to figure out why she was having hundreds of seizures a day.

"We were looking at buying a wheelchair and diapers, because she wasn't able to be potty trained at that point," Brandi Olivarez said.

A helmet protected Chloe's head because she fell often.

"We were watching her go down this progressive slope, and she was just continually declining," Brandi Olivarez said.

Tests revealed Chloe had Glut 1 deficiency. That is a metabolic disease that depletes the brain of needed glucose, which makes most people unresponsive and slow to develop.

"It was kind of bittersweet. Finally understanding what she actually had, what we were fighting and the next step. It doesn't have a cure," Brandi Olivarez said.

But their timing was impeccable. Dr. Juan Pascual, a professor of pediatric neurology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, had just wrapped a groundbreaking study on mice with Glut 1, using an edible oil.

Pascual enrolled Chloe in his first human clinical trial, and within hours of ingesting the oil, her seizures started to subside.

"I had never seen anything like it," Pascual said.

"Speech was the first, other than seeing the seizure activity on the EEG, you could tell. She wasn't having seizures where she was hitting the floor anymore, and then speech was the next thing. Her speech, she immediately started using sentences," Brandi Olivarez said. "So then. with prolonged use, we have increased muscle tone. She's about to run a mile without stopping now."

The medicinal oil is derived from castor beans called Triheptanoin, which is used in many cosmetics in the United States. It has no smell and no taste.

All 14 participants in the study drank the oil four times a day in varying doses, and 70 percent of them saw a significant decline in seizures and improved neuropsychological performance.

The study is published in JAMA Neurology.

"Some days are very rough and some days are very happy, and I have to say that this was one of the happiest days of my life," Pascual said.

Chloe's family says watching her progress has been remarkable.

"We owe him everything. Now, we have a very vibrant, sassy little girl and I can't express my gratitude for everything they've done for us because it's been amazing to watch her," Brandi Olivarez said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[New Ebola Treatment Plan in Place in North Texas]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:40:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/clay-jenkins-ebola-emerg-meeting.jpg

The new plan for treating any future Ebola patients in North Texas is ready to run, even as the odds are improving it will not be needed.

Methodist Health System's Campus for Continuing Care on Campbell Road in Richardson is the location designated by Gov. Rick Perry Tuesday for a North Texas Ebola treatment center.

The unit is ready to operate, said Dr. Sam Bagchi, Methodist Health System Chief Quality Officer.

Bagchi said a positive patient test result for Ebola at another hospital would activate the unit in Richardson.

Parkland Hospital and UT Southwestern Medical Center will provide staff to help operate the treatment center. Bagchi said all the necessary people could be in place within 12 hours notice.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said other hospitals in the region must still be prepared to accept possible Ebola patients and put them in temporary isolation.

“All of them need to be ready because people might wander in without an ambulance,” Jenkins said. “Ambulance drivers are being directed to take West African travel history fevers to [Texas Health] Presbyterian [Hospital Dallas] until further notice.”

Presbyterian Hospital is where Ebola was first reported in the United States with Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died there Oct. 8.

Presbyterian nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson somehow contracted the disease while caring for Duncan, and the nurses were transferred to treatment locations in other states before the new Methodist Richardson location was established.

As of Thursday, 109 possible Texas contacts of the three patients were still being monitored for possible Ebola symptoms.

The number of people being monitored for a 21-day possible incubation period will decline over the next two weeks, through Nov. 7, depending on when they last had contact with one of the Ebola patients.

“We are winning the battle against Ebola here in Dallas, but the battle is not over and we’ve got to stay vigilant until it is,” Jenkins said.

Duncan’s fiancée and her family completed monitoring Sunday, but she is still looking for a new permanent home after the apartment where Duncan had been staying was decontaminated and most of the family's possessions were incinerated.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Lewisville Special Needs Students Shine with Starfish Cafe]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:09:22 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Lewisville+Starfish+Cafe.jpg The ongoing café is not only a learning tool and training ground for Lewisville ISD special needs students, but it's also a business.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Crowley Police: 2 Men Tried to Abduct Multiple Kids]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 05:33:19 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/crowley-school-bus.jpg

Crowley police warned their community after a reported child abduction attempt Thursday morning in the Mesa Vista neighborhood.

Police said two men in a white truck approached two children, ages 10 and 11, while they waited for the school bus to Deer Creek Elementary School at about 7 a.m. and asked the children if they wanted a ride to school.

When they declined, the passenger opened the door and said that he wanted to "take them on a ride of a lifetime," police reported. When children again refused to get in the truck, the men drove away. The children reported the incident to their bus driver, who called police.

The men tried again at another bus stop, according to police.

The passenger was described as a white male in his 30s, heavy set with a short, full black beard and a possible scar on his cheek. He was wearing a green hat with a fishhook on the bill.

The driver was described only as a white male, and he was driving what was believed to be a white Ford Superduty quad-cab truck with wood piled in the bed and a chrome grill on the front end.

Police reminded parents to talk to their children about basic safety when going to and from school and to pay attention to their surroundings for suspicious people.

Crowley police asked that anyone with information about this alleged incident contact them at 817-297-2276.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Stolen Storm Drain Grates Leave Holes in FW Streets]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:52:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Stolen-Storm-Grates-102314.jpg

More than 15 storm drain grates are missing in Fort Worth, causing dangerous holes in some streets.

City officials believe thieves are stealing the grates and selling them as scrap metal.

According to Storm Water Management, barriers have been placed around the holes at several different locations, warning people about the hazards.

The locations are:

4300 block of Oak Park Lane

2500 block of Oak Hill Circle

2900 block of Oak Hill Circle

“It is a five-foot hole that if somebody is not paying attention, they can fall into,” said Juan Cadena, superintendent of Storm Water Field Operations near one of the locations.

For people who live near the affected streets, it is quite a headache.

Avery McGrath rides his bike to Texas Christian University, and says the first time he came across the barriers, he almost fell in the hole.

“It gets scary, especially when I am riding behind cars. I have to swerve in,” said McGrath.

“For drivers, of course, it’s terrible, but for kids, as well dogs, pets. People are crazy. They will do anything for a quick buck,” said Marilyn McGee, who also lives nearby.

This is not a cheap problem to fix.

Each grate costs about $500, and it take between six and eight weeks to manufacture them.

Fort Worth police officers are investigating.

Photo Credit: Julie Fine, NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Special Visitors Inspire Irving JROTC Cadets]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:16:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Irving+HS+JROTC.jpg Mary Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Eisenhower, was among a small group of speakers sharing their stories and motivating Irving High's JROTC cadets. A partnership with American Airlines and Sky Ball provided this opportunity for the high schoolers to see and hear from their role models.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>