<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2016 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Sun, 07 Feb 2016 09:12:54 -0600 Sun, 07 Feb 2016 09:12:54 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Child Killed in Four-Vehicle Crash in Denton]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 04:46:12 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Denton_380_Mayhill_020716.jpg

A child was killed and two others were critically injured in a four-car crash in Denton Saturday night, police say.

Officers told NBC 5 that the crash happened at about 6:30 p.m. at U.S. Highway 380 at Mayhill Road.

Paramedics transported a 12-year-old male to Denton Regional Medical Center, where he died.

Emergency crews took the victim's 8-year-old and 4-year-old brothers to Children's Medical Center in Dallas where they remain in critical condition.

An adult female and adult male were transported taken from the scene to the hospital as well. Their conditions are not known.

Highway 380 between North Loop 288 and Geesling Road was reopened early Sunday morning.

Officers are trying to figure out what caused the collision.

No charges have been filed.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Police: Child, 5, Shoots Self]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 22:30:42 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/police-lights-night-shutterstock_6962211731.jpg

A 5-year-old boy accidentally shot himself with gun at paintball facility in Forney Saturday.

According to the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office, it happened at Official Paintball Games of Texas on Adams Trail.

It's unclear how the boy got a hold of the gun.

Paramedics took the child to a hospital in Dallas. The boy's condition is unknown at this time.

Investigators said a 6-year-old child who was with the boy at the time went for help after the shooting. He was not hurt during the incident.

<![CDATA[Cannabis Activists: Pot Could Help Cure 1 of NFL's Ills]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 08:03:25 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/CTE-split-stabler-seau.jpg

With much of the NFL world camped out in the San Francisco Bay Area in the days before Super Bowl 50, researchers released sobering news: late Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler had a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated blows to the head.

Later Wednesday, another late, great QB, Earl Morrall, also was revealed to have had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is associated with memory loss, impaired judgment and progressive dementia. Dozens of former players have been diagnosed, some who died in old age, like Frank Gifford, and a few who took their lives, like Junior Seau.

There is no known treatment for CTE, not least because there's no test that can point it out in the living — it's detected in post-mortem brain scans. But to one former player who's sure his nine-year career gave him the disease, there's an obvious treatment that isn't allowed in the NFL, even though it would be easy to score not far from Levi's Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday for anyone with a doctor's note: medical marijuana.

"If cannabis is implemented and (the NFL) can lead the science on this, they can resolve this brain injury situation in a big way," Kyle Turley said.

Turley is at the forefront of a vocal movement arguing that medical marijuana's pain-suppressing and possible neuroprotective benefits make it the only effective treatment for the effects that chronic concussive blows to the head have on football players. As co-founder of the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, Turley is the movement's most outspoken member, but it also includes other retired players and rapper/marijuana entrepreneur Snoop Dogg.

More players' brains are found to show signs of CTE with each year that passes. Researchers at Boston University have found evidence of CTE in 96 percent of the NFL players' brains they examined. At the same time, more states are allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana as a medicine – 23 so far, according to National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

California was the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana, and remains the only medical marijuana-legal state so far to host the Super Bowl. Nearly half of the medical marijuana identification cards issued in California were prescribed in the Bay Area, according to the Department of Public Health.

A small body of research suggests marijuana can heal head trauma, yet Turley wonders why the league isn't investigating the drug as a medicine. To advocates, hosting the Super Bowl in the region is almost hypocritical, given what they see happening to the heads of NFL players and the spiraling lives of some former players.

"The NFL's policy against medical marijuana is stupid and counterproductive," said Dale Gieringer, director of the California chapter of NORML, in an email calling the NFL out of touch with the laws of the state. "There's no doubt NFL players would be better off with medical access to marijuana."

The NFL did not comment for this story.

Jump to: 
Science, the Brain and Medical Marijuana
The NFL, CTE and Medical Marijuana

Hard-Knock Lives

Turley is a former defensive lineman who has been extremely outspoken about his medical struggles after playing for three NFL teams in nine years.

A New Yorker article from 2009 describes him blacking out at a Nashville concert, feeling much the same way he did when he was kneed in the head during a game years earlier. The former lineman had recently retired and was taking painkillers. He wound up in the hospital, where he said he briefly lost nearly all control of his body.

"Before quitting all the pills and committing to cannabis ... my life was a train wreck, plain and simple," Turley told NBC Owned Television Stations.

Today, Turley has eliminated all other chemicals from his system, from Aleve to Zoloft, he said. The San Diego resident has found strains of marijuana that relieve pain and other strains with effects comparable to the psychiatric pill Vicodin, but without the narcotic effects.

Medical marijuana has fairly well known, though not conclusively proven, pain relieving benefits. But to Turley, the drug also treats mental anguish he believes comes from CTE. There is very little research on that front, but the 40-year-old father insists marijuana has given him stability after recently feeling despondent and suicidal.

"The reality is I don't think about those things anymore. And if it wasn't for cannabis, I wouldn't be where I am mentally," Turley said.

Turley swears that marijuana use is rampant in the NFL – "from players to coaches to owners, marijuana is in the National Football League" – but only a handful of players have spoken out about using it. They emphasize the mental clarity it offers as much as the pain relief.

"I always healed fast, ahead of schedule; was never really very swollen; my mind was very sharp, and after concussions medicated with it," Nate Jackson told marijuana magazine High Times this week, discussing how marijuana helped him in his days with the Broncos in the 2000s.

It's not just young players who swear by pot, either. Jim McMahon, one of the heroes of the Chicago Bears' 1985 championship, revealed last month that he weaned himself off pharmaceutical drugs that left his head feeling fuzzy.

"This medical marijuana has been a godsend. It relieves me of the pain – or thinking about it, anyway," he told The Chicago Tribune.

But there isn't much medical research to back up their claims.

Science, the Brain and Medical Marijuana
Most medical marijuana advocacy is directed at the drug's pain-relieving qualities, which may be recognized by many states, but not the federal government. The FDA has not approved marijuana as a drug, though it notes there is widespread general interest in its potential as a less addictive alternative to painkillers.

But last year, the Journal of the American Medical Association found only some evidence that medical marijuana and similar drugs help chronic pain, less evidence for help with nausea and brain disorders and a risk of adverse effects, including nausea, fatigue and confusion. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says long-term marijuana use can affect learning, thinking and memory, and has been linked to mental illness and depression.

Advocates dispute those claims, and in the case of brain trauma, their case is bolstered, in some sense, by the fact that little research has been done on medical marijuana's effects on the brain.

The psychoactive chemical in medical marijuana, THC, was associated with a significantly improved mortality rate in patients who sustained traumatic brain injuries, according to a 2014 UCLA study. A study by Michigan State University researchers found that, in test tubes, THC reduced tau deposits, which indicate CTE and Alzheimer's.

Marijuana advocates cite these and some other studies when describing the drug's purported neuroprotective effects, saying it may be able to protect and heal brain cells in a way no other drugs can.

Other supporters only go as far as saying they intoxicate and sedate patients less than opiates do, and are easier on the stomach than anti-inflammatories, like Berkeley Dr. Frank Lucido, who says he has prescribed marijuana to two former NFL players. Asked about any neuroprotective effects, he noted they were unproven in humans.

Turley and others who do believe the drug can protect or restore neurological function mainly argue that more research needs to be done, and soon. A federal study found in 2012 that retired players were three times likelier to die of neurodegenerative diseases than the U.S. population on the whole.

"NFL pockets are deep enough to support a crash research program to determine that this combination of cannabinoids is effective in preventing the consequences of concussion," Harvard emeritus professor of Psychiatry Lester Grinspoon wrote in an open letter to the commissioner of the NFL in 2014.

For now, marijuana remains a problem in the NFL, subject to fines and suspensions during the season for repeat offenders, just as the federal government continues to classify marijuana as one of the most dangerous drugs.

Turley hopes his Gridiron Cannabis Coalition will help change that position, as much for the players as for Alzheimer's patients and others he thinks can benefit from cannabis.

"The attitude of the active players is the attitude of police forces around our country," Turley said. "It is absurd that this continues to be a reason for a player to be suspended or someone is arrested. We don't want to deal with this anymore."

The NFL, CTE and Medical Marijuana 
On Saturday, the NFL announced that Ken Stabler will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. If last year's ceremony is any indication, CTE will hardly be mentioned at all when he is honored.

The 2015 induction of Junior Seau, who was 43 when he killed himself, was marred by the league's initial refusal to let his family speak at the ceremony. The league cited a long-standing policy, but many noted that the family had sued the NFL, saying his suicide was at least partially caused by repeated hits to the head sustained in his playing days. His daughter eventually did speak, and did not mention Seau's brain.

Though the league settled concussion-connected lawsuits last year involving thousands of former players, about 200 opted out, including Seau's family. The suits claimed players weren't properly protected from concussions or informed of their risks.

The NFL did not admit liability in settling the suits. Since CTE has become associated with football, the NFL has also donated a substantial amount of money to research, including $30 million to the National Institutes of Health – its largest-ever donation to any organization.

As for medical marijuana use, there are signs that the league's position could change.

A representative for the the NFL Player's Association told NBC Owned Television Stations it is reviewing medical-marijuana policy, though didn't comment further. The union works with the NFL to set the league's drug policy.

And the league that doled out four drug-related suspensions to Ricky Williams – the electric running back whose career is now synonymous with marijuana in the game – has recently expressed more openness toward medical marijuana, if not the drug on the whole.

Commissioner Roger Goodell briefly addressed the issue in the run-up to last year's Super Bowl, saying the NFL could one day condone cannabis as a treatment but that its medical experts didn't yet consider its use proper.

If the league did decide to reverse course on the issue, it would still face a major hurdle: the federal ban on marijuana would mean players without contracts might gravitate to teams in states where medication was legal.

Not that that should stop the league from trying, said Turley, a fiery speaker about the cause.

"It would have been an amazing opportunity for the NFL to have dealt with this proactively, instead of allowing this to be another thing that shows their desire to really change things is very lackluster," Turley said.

Turley, Williams and McMahon will all talk about their experiences with marijuana this month at the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo in Dallas, the first marijuana conference in a state that hasn’t legalized marijuana medicinally, according to Rory Mendoza, the event’s organizer.

Their goal, for now is to slowly raise awareness about how the drug helped them, like a football team grinding out a long drive a few yards at a time.

And on Sunday, Turley will be watching the Super Bowl at home with family and friends, avoiding intoxicants and drugs – except the one he believes can save his life, which he long ago dedicated to football.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Jeb Bush Holds Town Hall in New Hampshire]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 09:11:29 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/JebBarbaraBush-AP_83444133525.jpg

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush holds a town hall in Salem, New Hampshire. Check here for a live stream.

Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Border Visit Will Cap Pope's Trip to Mexico]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 09:05:24 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/PopeNewYearsMass-AP_536323912620.jpg

Pope Francis brings his message of Christian hope and charity this week to Mexico, a country mired in crime and corruption, and to this border city once known as the world’s murder capital, where many residents are seeking renewal.

The trip will include the pope’s first visit to the U.S.-Mexico border. It comes amid a divisive debate over illegal immigration, with the rhetoric of U.S. presidential candidates focusing on building walls, separating communities and expelling unauthorized immigrants.

Bishop Mark J. Seitz of the Diocese of El Paso said he expects the pope to bring a different message.

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

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Debate in NH: Christie vs. Rubio, More Top Moments]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 08:44:22 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rubio-at-debate.jpg

Donald Trump was back, Carly Fiorina was out, excluded by the rules of the ABC News debate, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was drawing attacks after his strong showing in Iowa.

The GOP presidential candidates were on stage Saturday night for the final debate before the New Hampshire primary, where some of the Republicans must do well if they are to continue. Trump, who finished second behind U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the Iowa caucuses, returned after skipping the previous debate. 

Here are some of the liveliest moments of the evening. 

The debate got off to an awkward start as Dr. Ben Carson hesitated going onto the stage even as he was waved on. Trump lingered with Carson until they both entered, but then Kasich was left behind. A few minutes later Carson made a reference to expecting to be introduced second.

Rubio tried to defend his relatively short time in the U.S. Senate by saying if years spent as a senator were the measure of a candidate everyone on the stage should be rallying around Vice President Joe Biden. Biden represented Delaware for 36 years.

But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie quickly attacked Rubio for failing to make a single decision of consequence in the Senate for which he was held accountable and mocked him for giving his “30-second” prepared speech. Memorized speeches don’t get the snow plowed or help rebuild a state destroyed by superstorm Sandy, he said. And he criticized Rubio for listing the Hezbollah Sanctions Act as an accomplishment but failing to show up for the vote.

“That’s not leadership," Christie said. "That’s truancy.”

Rubio rejoined by telling Christie he had to be shamed into returning to New Jersey from New Hampshire during the recent blizzard. And he brought up New Jersey’s credit rating, downgraded nine times since Christie became governor.

But Rubio also continued to repeat himself several times with the same comments criticizing President Barack Obama.

"You see everybody. I want the people at home to think about this. That's what Washington, D.C., does," Christie rebutted. "The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information and then the memorized 25-second speech...Marco, the thing is this: When you're president of the United States, when you're a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn't solve one problem for one person."

Carson was asked about messages sent by Cruz’s campaign just before the Iowa caucuses, claiming falsely that Carson was leaving the race.

“I’m not going to use this opportunity to savage the reputation of Senator Cruz,” he said.

Carson said he owed it to his volunteers, one of whom died in a traffic accident in Iowa, to stay in the competition. And he added that he was disappointed in the display of what he called “Washington ethics” — doing what is needed to do to win, not what is right.

Cruz apologized, and blamed CNN for reporting that Carson was taking a break from his campaign.

But Carson responded that CNN’s initial tweet was quickly followed by a second one saying he was still in the race. Voters can make their own judgement, he said.

At the end of the debate, Trump got a dig in, saying Cruz had received Carson's votes.

Trump and Bush got into a sharp disagreement over eminent domain, the process by which the government can take private property for public good. Trump, who has benefited from it, defended it as a way to build roads and schools.

Bush countered with a jab at Trump's attempt to take a woman’s house in Atlantic City to use as a parking lot for limousines, next to one of his casinos.

"Jeb wants to be a tough guy,” Trump snapped.

The woman went to state court and ended up keeping her home.

Trump at one point said his team was unable to get tickets for the audience because they had gone to “donors, special interests, the people who put up the money.”

As the audience booed, he added, “The reason they’re not loving me is I don’t want their money.”

Trump makes a point of saying he is funding his campaign himself.

Carson showed his frustration at not getting as much time as the others.

"I’m not here just to add beauty to the stage," Carson said as he jumped into a discussion about the Middle East.

In his closing remarks he said the media had tried to ignore him

"I’m still here and I’m not going any place either," he said.

Cruz, asked about the heroin epidemic in New Hampshire, talked about the death of his half-sister, Miriam, from a drug overdose. He and his father, Rafael, tried to rescue her from a crack house, but failed, he said. After his sister’s death, he put her son, Joey, into a military school with a $20,000 loan on a credit card.

He joins Christie and Fiorina in discussing addictions from the vantage of their families. 

Christie talks about a law school friend who died after injuring his back and becoming addicted to Percocet.

Fiorina's step-daughter, Lori, died at age 35 after a struggle with alcohol and prescription pills.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Deadly Crash Closes NB I-35E in Dallas]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 07:38:33 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DALLASCRASHNEW.PNG

One person was killed in a fiery crash on Interstate 35E in Dallas Sunday morning, officers told NBC DFW.

All northbound lanes of I-35E at Ledbetter Drive were closed following the crash. Northbound traffic was diverted around the scene and onto the frontage road.

According to police, a driver, for an unknown reason, stopped in the middle of the Interstate. A white truck slammed into the back of the vehicle, causing the car to burst into flames.

The driver of the stalled vehicle was dead when officers arrived. The driver of the truck was taken to Methodist hospital in an undisclosed condition.

The identity of the deceased was not immediately released.

Officers did not say when the interstate would reopen.

Please check back for the latest on this developing story.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Spares Only Newlyweds' Bible, Marriage License]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:12:53 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/020616+Newlywed+Fire.jpg

A North Texas couple who married on Jan. 16 lost their home and almost everything inside after a fire tore through their apartment building on the 2700 block of West Royal Lane in Irving Saturday.

After sorting through their damaged apartment, Chris Lewis and his wife, Brittni, found their Bible and marriage license had been spared by a fire that destroyed most of their possessions.

The Bible's cover was slightly damaged, but the pages inside were untouched.

The marriage license wasn't burnt either.

"It's something that I'll always cherish and it will always remind me of the two most important things in my life, which is my wife and God," Lewis said. "The only thing we keep telling ourselves is that it happened for a reason. What's next for us is finding what that reason is."

Surrounding apartment units suffered smoke damage. Nobody was injured in the fire and the cause is under investigation.

If you would like to help the Lewis', a GoFundMe account has been established here.

Photo Credit: David Bridewell]]>
<![CDATA[Stock Show Crowns 2016 Grand Champion Steer]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 10:30:41 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/fwssrgrandchamp2.jpg

It's hard to believe but Saturday is the last day of the 120th Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

It's just as hard to believe how much work junior competitors put into their livestock throughout the year in preparation for the show.

On Friday, with hundreds, if not thousands of eyes focused intently on Watt Arena, the competitors thundered on to center stage.

The hours of hair drying, styling and grooming were complete and the Grand Champion was about to be crowned.

"It's the pinnacle, it's like winning the Super Bowl," said Jagger Horn of Abilene.

Days of judging narrowed the field of 1,380 down to just six, including Horn, who, with a high five, was crowned 2016's grand champion.

"I'm really excited and I'm sure 'Big Boy' is, too," said Horn.

Big Boy is, of course, his steer, who Horn has raised for the last 18 months. Big Boy is about 18 months to two-years-old and weighs more than 1,300 pounds.

The 14-year-old says he's excited to win because of how strong the competition was in the arena.

"I was out of my mind nervous, it was difficult and I was shocked and amazed that I did as well as I did," Horn said.

His parents, family and friends were all watching in the stands. His mother, Brek, said she couldn't be prouder of her son for his hard work and had a feeling as the afternoon wore on they might win.

The next time Big Boy is center stage will be in the West Arena for auction where he could sell for more than $200,000.

Big Boy went on to be sold at auction to Hillwood at the Sale of Champions in the West Arena Saturday.

The final price: $210,000.

"It's all just extra, this is the fun part, so we'll take whatever we get," Brek Horn said.

Jagger may be excited to win, but he says it'll be tough to say goodbye to Big Boy.

"It's sweet because I won, but it's bitter because I'll have to let him go tomorrow (Saturday)," Jagger said.

But they'll forever be grand champions.

Last year's grand champion steer went for $240,000.

<![CDATA[Dallas Store Serves Ice Cream With Special Twist]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 00:39:57 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/howdy-handmade-03.jpg

An ice cream store made for Texas opened on Lovers Lane in Dallas Saturday.

It's called Howdy Homemade, and it has three things going for it:

  1. The "world famous" Dr Pepper Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. Owner Tom Landis of Texadelphia restaurant fame concocted it.

    "Either God or the devil [helped with the idea]," he joked. "We think we've come up with a flavor here that Texans will love."

  2. The 14 special needs students who work there, like 19-year-old Coleman Jones, are in the Transitions program at Highland Park High School.

    "Since I'm the vice president here and I'm one of the people who run this place, I work with the students and help them transition into the work atmosphere," Jones said.

  3. A boss like Landis believes in his team and the value in those who are too often overlooked.

    "Maybe Coleman's not gonna be as fast as some, but this isn't an industry about speed as it is about being friendly when you come in," he said about calling the store Howdy. "That's just friendly, right?"

Landis is the sole investor in Howdy Homemade. He knows there may be more loss than profit for a while, but he's banking on the investment he puts in his team.

"This is not a business about food. It's a business about people first," he said. "Part of our goal here is to get us a place in the State Fair of Texas and really showcase our employees and what Texans can do."

"I believe this is a store where you can thrive," said Jones.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Could the Cowboys Land the Next Cam Newton?]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:57:19 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/paxton-lynch-newy-scruggs.jpg

The Cowboys hold the fourth pick in the draft and Paxton Lynch should be on their radar.

I caught up with the junior quarterback in San Francisco at Radio Row and asked him to name a current NFL quarterback that plays the game they way he does.

"I think that I'm close to Cam Newton in my opinion. Being big and athletic, those kinda quarterbacks. He's kinda one-of-a-kind, that's how I see myself as well -- 6 foot 7, almost 250 (pounds), but I can run around and throw also," Lynch said.

Most of the media compares Lynch to Pittsburgh's "Big Ben" Roethisberger, but he prefers to be compared to Newton.

His mother, Stacie, went to Texas Tech and gave birth to her son in San Antonio. She told me Newton is a player her son looks up to.

He is being represented by Leigh Steinberg, the agent who became a pop culture star when the Hollywood hit movie "Jerry Maguire" was made based off his life as a super agent representing some of the biggest sports stars in the world. 

Steinberg's last quarterback client taken in the first round was Big Ben in the 2004 NFL Draft.  The last quarterback Jerry Jones drafted was Troy Aikman in 1989 and his agent was -- Leigh Steinberg.

Lynch threw for 28 touchdowns last season as the Tigers went 9-4. He threw only four interceptions and surprisingly had just two rushing touchdowns. In 2014 Lynch ran for 13 scores.

He has some of the biggest hands you'll ever see for a QB and he will run and throw at the NFL Scouting Combine later this month.

Photo Credit: Newy Scruggs]]>
<![CDATA[Bridgeport Cheers For Super Bowl Player]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:08:25 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/N5P+SC+SUPER+BOWL+FESTIVITIES+VO+-+00000023.jpg Judge J.D. Clark declared Super Bowl Sunday "Colin Jones Day" in Wise County. The Carolina Panthers player grew up in Bridgeport.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[North Texas Cowboys Celebrate Championship Win]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 21:40:40 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ntx_cowboys_6pm_2-6-16_1200x675_617823811602.jpg

NBC 5 viewers helped send the North Texas Cowboys to Snoop Dogg's National Youth Football national playoffs in December.

On Saturday night, the 10-and-under team, celebrated their national championship victory in style.

Thanks to the generosity of a donor, the Cowboys hosted an awards banquet at the Carrollton Plaza Arts Center.

In December, the Cowboys won the state title, but scrambled to find a way to get to California. Most of the players come from underprivileged families and didn't have the money to pay for the trip.

Donations helped the team pay for tournament fees, travel, hotel, food and entertainment.

<![CDATA[Ben Carson Waits in the Wings in Debate Introduction]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 21:35:16 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/BenCarsonDebate-AP_47261554959.jpg

The Republican debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, got off to a bit of an awkward start on Saturday.

It began on a high note, when ABC moderator David Muir introduced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. 

Ben Carson's name, drowned out by applause, was called second. But instead of making his way onto the stage, he stood off to the side as the moderators continued on down the candidate list. 

Carson then started to make his way out, but suddenly stopped short when the moderators called out Ted Cruz’s name. 

Someone from backstage, who popped his head out from behind the curtain, tried shooing Carson to walk out, but to no avail. 

Donald Trump appeared in the wings after his name was called, but instead of coming to the stage, he stood back with Carson. Marco Rubio barreled past the two other candidates, smiling as he walked past them. Next came former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who gave the two a quizzical look before leaving Carson and Trump behind.

Social media lit up with reaction to Carson’s late entry onto the stage.

Others were more sympathetic to the GOP candidate and laid the blame elsewhere. 

But it didn't end there. Muir could faintly be heard calling out Ohio Gov. John Kasich's name, but that too, was drowned out by applause. Both Muir and fellow moderator, Martha Raddatz, who had their backs to the stage, then realized they were missing and gave Carson and Trump another call to the stage.

“Dr. Ben Carson, please come out on the stage, he’s standing there as well,” Muir said.

“And Donald Trump,” Raddatz said.

As the moderators took their seats, Kasich was still missing.

“Where’s Kasich?” someone could be heard saying.

“Yes, yes, we’re going to introduce Ohio Gov. John Kasich.” 

Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[GM Launches New Technology Center at UTA]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 19:35:02 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/stem_cell_6pm_2-6-126_1200x675_617825859840.jpg Saturday, General Motors helped launch a new kind of plant in Arlington where, instead of SUV's, they hope to manufacture future success stories. The automaker partnered with the League of United Latin American Citizens to open a new technology center on the UT-Arlington campus.]]> <![CDATA[GM Launches New Technology Center at UT]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 19:32:32 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/200*120/GM+STEM+LAB.jpg

General Motors helped launch a new kind of plant in Arlington Saturday where, instead of SUV's, they hope to manufacture future success stories.

The automaker partnered with the League of United Latin American Citizens to open a new technology center on the UT Arlington campus.

Students and community members will be able to use the space to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math.

There will be special focus on connecting with the Hispanic community, which LULAC said has a larger technology gap than most groups.

"How we stay relevant is by programs like this," said Raul Villarreal, area manager at the GM Arlington Assembly Plant and organizer of many outreach programs the company offers. "We're continuing to build on the building blocks. At the end of the day, it's what we do, we not only invest in ourselves, but also develop the communities we're in."

Students from Seguin High School were the first to use the new center, working with GM employees to learn more about computer coding.

<![CDATA[Eight Families Displaced by Irving Apt. Fire]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 21:22:53 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/200*120/LAS+COLINAS+APT+FIRE.jpg

Eight families watched their homes go up in flames Saturday morning as fire ravaged a Las Colinas apartment building.

It happened just before 5:30 a.m. at the Remington Hills apartment complex, which is located south of Texas Highway 114.

When Irving firefighters arrived on scene massive flames rose high above the building, lighting up the dark sky.

"We started an interior attack," said Battalion Chief John Sherburn. "But [the building] was far too gone."

Firefighters were pulled out and went into defensive mode, making sure the fire did not spread beyond the building.

Crews had the fire under control by about 7:30 a.m., but spent most of the day Saturday at the complex monitoring hot spots and demolishing the building.

"We're bringing it down to make it as safe as we can, so that reconstruction can commence in a safe way," said Sherburn.

Sherburn said one man was hurt getting out of the building. He was taken to the hospital to get checked out. Otherwise, everyone else was OK.

The American Red Cross is assisting eight families who were displaced by the fire.

The cause is under investigation.

<![CDATA[Lawyer Offers $1M in Kids' Tuition]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 18:14:15 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/02-06-2016-martin-burbank.JPG

Awe-struck parents of kindergartners at a Southern California elementary school were stunned to learn a stranger planned to pay for their children's college tuition. 

Fullerton lawyer Marty Burbank and his wife offered to pay the college tuition of 26 kindergarten students at Rio Vista Elementary School. Parents of students at the Anaheim school said they could not believe their children had been given the gift of a lifetime.

"I just can't believe it. I can't" said Maria Rodriguez, the mother of a student. "I don't believe someone would be this interested in paying the tuition of this many kids."

Burbank said he had considered buying himself a boat. He then decided there was more value in removing the financial burden that could have kept these children from attending college.

So, he decided to give them the guarantee of an education instead.

"Buying a boat was a very selfish thing for me, and I can do so much more to impact the lives of these kids," he said.

Burbank promised to pay each child's tuition, starting in 2032. He told the Orange County Register the tuition will probably amount to about $1 million, factoring in inflation rates. 

Virdiana Ortiz, another mother, was one of the many overwhelmed with gratitude toward Burbank for his generosity.

"I had never heard of him," she said. "For someone to do something like that..."

So, what's the catch? It's simple, if not beneficiary. Each year, the students must submit an essay or photo explaining what they would like to do when they grow up.

Some, like Rio Vista's Jonathan Juarez, seem to already have a plan.

Said Juarez: "I want to be a firefighter."

Photo Credit: KVEA]]>
<![CDATA[Fracking Could Come to Lewisville Lake]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 18:40:05 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Hickory+Creek+Fracking.jpg

A plan being considered by federal leaders could bring hydraulic fracturing to the northwest side of Lewisville Lake this spring.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency within the US Department of Interior, is in the process of determining whether to auction off drilling rights for the next 10 years to 259 acres in Hickory Creek on April 20 in Santa Fe, New Mexico as part of their quarterly leasing of federal lands for mineral extraction.

Donna Hummel, spokesperson for the BLM’s New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas district, said that her office has received interest from members of the oil and gas industry to pursue drilling on that land, and under the Federal Mineral Leasing Act, the office is required to weigh those requests.

Starting last August, they began the process of deciding whether to move forward with that auction; a process the BLM website said will conclude in late March before that April 20 auction date.

In the process, the BLM had a 132-page environmental impact study completed on the projects up for consideration, including the one at Lewisville Lake, where the report determined that “Proposed Action Alternative is not expected to have significant impacts on the environment.”

Hummel said a number of factors go into that including requirements from the agency that owns the land; in this case the Army Corps of Engineers.

Clay Church, representative for the Corps’s Fort Worth district said in the case of any projects that may impact the lake, safety is the top priority especially in relation to structures like the dam on the south side of the lake. Drilling has to be at least 1,000 feet from the water’s edge (at the lake’s usual 522 foot level) and 3,000 feet from critical structures.

Hummel said part of the process included a public review period on the project back in November for which they received no responses.

However some residents tell us they didn’t respond, because they’re just now finding out.

Postings about the possible leasing appeared on the New Mexico district’s website, which many said they never knew they’d have any reason to check out.

Jackie Vincent who lives further east along the lake shore said she only found out about the proposal this week when a friend shared an article from a local newspaper on her Facebook feed; an article that itself was only published late last week.

“Nobody seems to know,” said Vincent.

Rita Beving from the DFW chapter of the Clean Water Fund said she too is just learning of the situation, but has serious concerns about the safety of the environment near the important lake.

“Lake Lewisville provides water for hundreds of thousands of people in the DFW area we cannot have that asset put at risk,” she said.

Beving also expressed concern about the dam in Lewisville which is currently undergoing repairs for existing damage. She worries about unknowns like the seismic effects of the gas drilling and if that could create further issues.

Beving wants more studies targeted more specifically at this portion of land before the BLM makes any decisions.

The good news for her and others concerned is that there is still time.

The decision is currently in the public protest phase where anyone can send in letters of protest to the New Mexico office. Federal regulations require those only come in via fax or traditional mail though and that they are submitted by Feb. 19.

Protests can be sent to:

The Bureau of Land Management New Mexico Office
P.O. Box 27115
Santa Fe, NM 87502-0115
Or faxed to 505-954-2010

Hummel said those concerns will be taken into consideration, and at that point the BLM could chose to either send the land leases to auction, take no action on the request for auction, or determine (in rare cases) that the land never be available for auction.

However, Hummel stresses that there are definite benefits to the drilling leases her office gives out. Not only does the payment from the companies contribute to federal coffers, but a large portion also goes to the state of Texas.

Plus, the area in question does have existing drill pads that have been fracked in the past and many stress that operations are monitored closely and issues from the gas drilling method are unlikely.

Parts of Denton County have had issues with the gas drilling industry in recent years, especially the City of Denton where a ban on hydraulic fracturing was voted in by the people only to be overturned by the state last year.

To read the full environmental assessment click here.

Photo Credit: Brian Scott, NBC5]]>
<![CDATA[Bond Set for $1M for Brittany Harper of Crime-Spree Duo]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 16:48:10 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/CRIME_AP_155495423602.jpg

The girlfriend in the “modern-day Bonnie and Clyde” duo is being held on a bond worth more than $1 million, NBC News reported.

Brittany Nicole Harper was taken into custody early Friday in Escambia County, Florida, after a confrontation with police. She is charged with robbery, home invasion robbery, false imprisonment and grand theft auto.

Officers shot and killed her boyfriend, Blake Edward Fitzgerald, in the shootout, after he used her as a human shield when police opened fire, according to officials.

Authorities say the two went on a multi-state crime spree that may have started a week ago. They are suspected of multiple kidnappings and robberies.  

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Madeleine Albright Slams Sanders on Foreign Policy]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 15:28:16 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Madeleine+Albright+Sanders.png

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright slammed Bernie Sanders on Saturday, expressing concerns over the Democratic presidential contender's "lack of knowledge" about foreign policy.

"I've been very concerned about his lack of knowledge," Albright said, citing his answer to a question about which country poses the biggest threat to the U.S. right now.

"We have to have a president that is ready on Day 1 to deal with problems," she told NBC News in an exclusive interview. "I have never seen such a complicated international situation, and we can't afford learning on the job."

Photo Credit: NBC News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Life After Grand Champion Steer Bob Marley]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 13:02:20 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Madilyn+Priesmeyer-01.jpg

Judges at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo named the 2016 Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion steer.

But who can forget last year's Grand Champion? A steer named Bob Marley set a record in 2015 when it brought $240,000 at the Sale of Champions.

Teenager Madilyn Priesmeyer still can't believe her steer won and set a sale record.

"I kind of blanked out, and it didn't really hit me until a few weeks later what had happened and how huge it was," she said. "It was all so crazy."

"Most of the money went toward my education at Texas State. Some of it went to my brother's new steers this year," said the 18-year-old.

And, yes, the crossbreed that brought her her fame and fortune still crosses her mind.

"I miss him. I have a recent picture of him. He's all big now and crazy looking."

Big, she explained, because Bob Marley now eats whatever he wants. And, "crazy looking" because there's no need to fluff him and blow dry him anymore.

His show days over, and life on a ranch in Weatherford is good.

Madilyn hopes way in the future after college, she'll some day be back in the arena at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo watching her own kids show their grand champion, too.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Garland Fourplex Fire Leaves 1 Dead]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 08:34:50 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Garland_Fatal_Fire_feb6.16.jpg

A fire left one woman dead and at least one person injured in Garland late Friday evening, according to police.

Firefighters were called to a fourplex apartment near Northwest Highway and Arrowhead Circle at about 10:48 p.m.

According to a Garland fire spokesperson, two people were inside the home when it caught fire. A neighbor noticed the house was burning and tried to warn the couple inside.

One man was taken to the hospital with first degree burns. A woman was pronounced dead on the scene.

According to the spokesperson, some embers sparked a small fire in the attic of a nearby home. It was extinguished quickly.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Crews Battle Apartment Fire in Irving]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 10:15:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2016-02-06-08h58m20s189.png

Firefighters were called to battle a large fire inside an apartment in Irving early Saturday morning.[[367909531,R]]

The fire started inside an apartment at 1123 Meadowcreek Drive shortly before 5:30 a.m.

First responders evacuated residents of the complex as crews worked to extinguish the flames. Firefighters transitioned to a defense mode at about 6:30 a.m., according to an Irving fire spokesperson.

Firefighters told NBC DFW one person was taken to the hospital.The patient's condition was not immediately released.

As of 9 a.m., firefighters were still battling hot spots on the scene.

Please check back for the latest information on this story. As developments unfold, elements may change.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[FBI: Michigan Man Planned Attack on Church in Support of ISIS]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 12:51:38 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/khalil+abu+rayyan+twitter.jpeg

Federal authorities have arrested a Michigan man they say is an ISIS supporter who wanted to carry out an attack on a 6,000-member Detroit church, NBC News reported.

Khalil Abu-Rayyan, 21, of Dearborn Heights, allegedly had guns and a large knife and told an undercover FBI agent that he "tried to shoot up a church one day."

"I bought a bunch of bullets. I practiced reloading and unloading," he said in an online conversation, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Investigators did not specify which church Abu-Rayyan allegedly was eyeing but the FBI had been monitoring him for months because of his "increasingly violent threats" about committing acts of terror and martyrdom against churchgoers and police officers on behalf of ISIS.

Photo Credit: @khalilray21]]>
<![CDATA[Fort Worth Police Search for Violent Purse Thief]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 10:31:49 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Fort_Worth_Robbery_Suspect_020616.jpg

Fort Worth police are searching for the man who stole a woman's purse Wednesday evening.

According to police, a woman was walking out of a convenience store in the 6800 block of Bowman Roberts Road at about 6:15 p.m. when a man approached her from behind.

Just as she was getting into her car, the man grabbed her purse and threw her to the ground, police said. The man ran away to a car parked down the street, which may have been occupied by at least three other people.

The woman suffered minor injuries.

Police described her attacker as 25- to 30-years-old, 5 foot 11 inches tall, and weighing at least 175 pounds. He got away in a white, late-model four-door sedan.

Anyone with information on the incident or suspects is asked to call 911, or Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS (8477).

A reward of up to $1,000 will be offered to anyone who can offer a tip that leads to an arrest.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Man Sought in Deadly Oak Cliff Shooting: Police]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 22:51:04 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/210*120/dpd+Jesus+Anthony+Rodriguez.jpg

Police are searching for the person they say is responsible for a deadly shooting early Friday in North Oak Cliff.

Officers were called at about 12:30 a.m. to the 500 block of South Willomet Avenue, where witnesses said a shooting victim had just been rushed by family members to Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

The officers learned that the shooting victim had observed his mother being assaulted by a man, identified by witnesses as 26-year-old Jesus Anthony Rodriguez, so he and other witnesses pulled Rodriguez off and began assaulting him, police said.

Rodriguez then pulled out a handgun and reportedly fired in the air, causing the group to scatter in several directions. Rodriguez followed, firing and striking 16-year-old Jesus Ricardo Hernandez, police said.

Hernandez was pronounced deceased at Methodist Hospital.

Rodriguez has not been located since, and police are asking anyone who knows his whereabouts to call the homicide unit at 214-671-3661. Anonymous calls may be placed to Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS (8477).

Photo Credit: Dallas Police/NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Police Locate Missing Woman]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 04:04:43 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/1martin-missing020516.jpg

Dallas police say a missing woman has been located.

Agatha Martin, 89, was last seen at about 6:35 a.m. driving in the 8700 block of Halstead Court, reportedly toward the Walmart located at 9301 Forest Lane, police said.

Martin didn't return home.

According to a police update, Martin was located. Her condition was not released.

Photo Credit: Dallas Police/NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Ethan Couch Moved to Tarrant County Adult Jail]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:26:43 -0600

Right: Ethan Couch mugshot taken at the Tarrant County Corrections Center, Feb. 5, 2016.]]>

Right: Ethan Couch mugshot taken at the Tarrant County Corrections Center, Feb. 5, 2016.]]> http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ethan-couch-composite.jpg

Ethan Couch, the Texas teenager who used an "affluenza" defense in a fatal drunken-driving crash, was moved Friday afternoon from a juvenile detention center to the Tarrant County Correction Center in Downtown Fort Worth.

Couch, 19, is currently being held for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, pending a hearing Feb. 19 to determine whether his case will be moved from juvenile court to adult court.

Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said during a news conference Friday afternoon that a juvenile court judge signed a revised order of detention that allowed for Couch's housing change.

Anderson said the sheriff's department was notified of the housing change once Couch was under way Friday afternoon and that he arrived at the downtown corrections center at about 1:30 p.m.

Couch is still under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and his case is still continuing under the original judge's order, Anderson said. The move to the adult jail doesn't change his juvenile standing.

A continuation hearing related to Friday's housing move will be held on Feb. 12, Anderson said.

Anderson added Couch is considered a high-profile inmate and is being held in a single cell, away from the general population, for his safety and not because he's considered a threat. Couch, Anderson said, has been soft-spoken, very respectful and has asked for no special treatment or accommodations.

Before the move Friday, Couch had been detained at the Tarrant County Juvenile Detention Center in North Fort Worth since he was extradited back to the U.S. last month. Couch had fled to Mexico, along with his mother Tonya Couch, after missing a meeting with his probation officer.

Authorities believe Couch and his mother fled Texas in her pickup truck after an online video appeared to show Ethan Couch at a party where people were drinking. Couch had been sentenced to 10 years' probation in juvenile court for the 2013 drunken-driving crash, and the terms prohibit him from drinking or leaving Tarrant County, Texas.

If Couch's case is transferred to the adult system and if he violates his probation again, he could face up to 10 years in prison for each person killed in the 2013 crash, a total of 40 years.

Photo Credit: El Instituto Nacional de MigraciĆ³n, Tarrant County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Criminal Probe Into Ryan H.S. Hoax Call: Police]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:23:10 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/BR+HS+LOCKDOWN.jpg

A Denton Ryan High School student could face disciplinary action after an apparent hoax threat caused a lockdown at the school Thursday, police say.

Officers responded to the school in the 5100 block of East McKinney Street after someone placed a 911 call stating a person with a gun had entered a classroom.

Police conducted a search of the building and determined there was no danger, and investigators said all indications point to the call being a hoax.

A criminal investigation was launched, and police located the owner of the phone, a female student at Ryan High School. Police were then able to locate a male student who was allegedly in possession of the phone at the time of the phone call.

Denton Independent School District officials initiated disciplinary steps with the male student, police said.

The police investigation is continuing, and criminal charges are possible.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Mesquite Apartment Residents Displaced By Fire]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 22:08:32 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/fire187.jpg

Two apartment units are destroyed and a third is damaged after a two-alarm fire Friday afternoon in Mesquite.[[367875881,C]]

Firefighters were called at about 5:30 p.m. to the Hillcrest Apartments in the 2000 block of Hillcrest Street.

There were no injuries reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[North Texans Go Red for Heart Disease Awareness]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 17:10:44 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/200*120/GO+RED+FOR+WOMEN+DAY.jpg

You may have noticed a lot of people wearing red Friday. It was all part of the national "Go Red For Women" campaign that aims to raise awareness about heart disease.

To show their support, employees at Texas Health Resources donned their red and walked around the parking lot of their Arlington headquarters Friday morning.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease accounts for one out of every three deaths for women each year, making it the leading killer of women.

Texas Health Resources says the symptoms of heart disease are not always obvious and it's important for people to make healthy choices.

"Keeping your annual physical, your annual wellness check is very important to know where you are at a baseline, then to work off of that," said Pat Davenport, a registered nurse with Texas Health Resources.

Texas Health Resources says 80 percent of heart disease and stroke events can be prevented by making lifestyle changes.

<![CDATA[18 Dead After 6.4-Magnitude Quake Rattles Taiwan]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 03:27:04 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-508652296.jpg

More than 130 people were still trapped Sunday morning in the wreckage of a Taiwan apartment building that collapsed during a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Tainan the day before, officials said, NBC News reported.

At daybreak Sunday, the Central Emergency Operation Center in Taipei said 18 people had been killed and another 505 injured during the quake that struck southeast of Tainan just before 4 a.m. local time Saturday (3 p.m. Friday ET).

A total of 132 people are believed trapped in the collapsed building.

Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te said Sunday morning that there are still an estimated 103 people trapped deeper beneath the 16-story residential building Weiguan Jinlong.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[USWNT's Road to Rio Starts in Frisco]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 17:45:43 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/womens+soccer.jpg

Many fans of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team are still riding the World Cup Championship wave, but for the players that moment in history is behind them.

The group of athletes is now focused on what’s ahead -- the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio.

"As a captain it’s my job to make sure everyone is ready and focused,” said Carli Lloyd.

The team is in Frisco for two weeks as they try to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

"It’s magical,” said head coach Jill Ellis. “It’s another major world event for us and it comes around the heels of the World Cup.”

The fans that live in town couldn’t be happier.

"Pretty exciting because they are actually I believe the best team in the world for women,” said Rene Sanchez, who works a nearby Soccer City.

But the road to Rio won’t be a walk in the park, said 2015 FIFA player of the year Lloyd.

"We know that we have to take care of business, we know that there’s only two spots, we just have to take it one day at a time,” said Lloyd.

The U.S. team has a rare opportunity this year to be the first women’s team to win a world cup and then a Olympics back to back. They are also hoping to take home a fourth gold medal in a row.

This year includes a mix of veteran players, many young players and some new faces.

"This is the first time I’ve been in an actual international tournament with the team so I’m just so stoked to be here and be a part of this team right now,” said Lindsay Horan.

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has a long history of success at the Olympics, it’s a tradition this group hopes to continue.

"That’s why I go out and work every day, because I want to make that possible,” said Lloyd.

The U.S. team takes their first step toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in a tournament Feb. 10 at Toyota Stadium with a game against Costa Rica.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>