<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcdfw.com/the-scene/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 Fri, 01 Aug 2014 22:12:05 -0500 Fri, 01 Aug 2014 22:12:05 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Sausage Gravy Recipe From Chef Scott Jones]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:36:52 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/chef-scott-jones.jpg

As the Taste of Dallas hits North Texas this weekend, NBC 5 invites guests to sample a dish whipped up by Chef Scott Jones of Jack's Modern Southern Kitchen in Dallas.

Jack's Modern Southern Kitchen features meals that combine Louisiana Cajun-style flavor with Texas family recipes. The family business uses locally owned products to create its dishes.

Chef Jones shared a classic recipe for Jimmy's Italian Sausage Gravy on Buttermilk Biscuits with NBC 5 as he prepares for the Taste of Dallas at Fair Park.

First, you'll need the necessary ingredients:

I pound hot Italian Sausage
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup diced red onion
8 oz cremini mushrooms (sliced)
2 TBS Olive Oil
4 TBS Flour
4 Cups Half and Half

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat add olive oil – when olive oil is hot, add mushrooms, saute mushrooms until brown and caramelized. Add colored peppers and onions. Saute until tender.
  2. Remove vegetables from pan. Reserve for later.
  3. Place pan back on burner.
  4. Add Italian Sausage. With the back of a spoon (preferably wooden) break up sausage and separate. When sausage is brown – add flour and stir to combine and cook for one minute. Slowly add Half and Half while stirring to sausage.
  5. Add vegetables back to sausage and simmer until gravy has thickened. Garnish with basil and parsley.
  6. Finally, serve over buttermilk biscuits. 

NBC 5 is proud sponsor of the Taste of Dallas. This year's event will feature more than 50 restaurants and more than 70 vendors July 11-13 at Fair Park Dallas. Admission is $12 for an individual ticket. Chidren aged five and under are free.

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<![CDATA[Summer Season Ignites Laziness Feeling]]> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 13:11:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/summerlaziness-11a.jpg Studies have shown that when the weather is nice, people tend to focus more on what they'd rather be doing and not the task at hand.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Six Flags Over Texas' Newest Attraction]]> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 13:05:04 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/kevin-williams-on-batman-ride.jpg

NBC 5 got a sneak peek at Six Flags Over Texas' newest attraction, which doesn't open to the public until the Fourth of July.

The Batman roller coaster is a stable at the theme park, but later this week everyone will have the chance to ride it backwards.

For a limited-time, Six Flags is switching gears and running the Batman coaster backwards. It's the same ride, but a completely different experience.

Riders won't be able to see the twists, turns and loops coming.

NBC 5's Jeff Smith admitted he was too scared to check it out since he is not a coaster fan, but his photographer Kevin Williams did it, and gave the experience rave reviews.

The ride has a top speed of 50mph and has a top height of 110 feet, with 2,700 feet of roller coaster track.

But some of rides can be a little less amusing when some bugs fly by. In fact, keeping bugs away from the coasters is a daily fight for Six Flags employees.

Park employees showed NBC 5 what they do to keep the wasps, bees and gnats away from visitors as the summer months heat up.

Getting hit in the face by a bug or a wasp is a concern for everyone who likes coasters, since there's nothing you can do about it when you're strapped in hundreds of feet in the air.

Six Flags Over Texas has five full-time employees on its Landscape Team. They usually deal with two wasp nests a week, most of them are small and can be batted down.

"There's a lot of us out here that are behind the scenes that do a lot of work, that people don't know about," said landscape foreman Lowell McKenzie.

The team uses bug spray and broom handles to remove the nets, and occasionally have to stop a ride until a swarm dissipates.

Experts say getting hit by bugs is a roller coaster rite of passage.

"It's going to happen," McKenzie said. "There's no predicting where a bug is going to be flying. Usually you just have to let them dissipate on their own. You can't do much about them when they're swarming."

The landscape team did advise that to help keep bugs away, park visitors should not dump leftover drinks in the bushes near the rides when in line, because that draws the bugs.  



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Big Tex Voted Best Quirky Landmark]]> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 19:56:39 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/big-tex.jpg The State Fair of Texas icon has been named "Best Quirky Landmark" by USA Today.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Security Guard Evolves Into Art Ambassador]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 07:47:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/art-curator-cowboys-stadium.jpg

One passionate Dallas Cowboys fan helped curate 58 pieces of world-class contemporary art housed at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

But, what Jerry Jones and his family really want you to know is that the man who made it all happen, Phil Whitfield, is now the toast of the art world.

Whitfield is the stadium's art ambassador. Anyone who visits the stadium remembers his name.

"I bleed silver and blue," Whitfield said with a smile.

Whitfield, who says he was born a Cowboys fan, became a stadium security guard in the early 90s and quickly caught the eye of the Jones family.

"The Joneses knew I was a caring person. Once you care about people, the rest is easy," Whitfield said.

Gene Jones, Jerry Jones's wife, said Whitfield has been there from the beginning. From Super Bowls to family firsts.

"He's part of our family. We feel blessed that we have his energy and enthusiasm about what we're doing," Gene Jones said.

When 58 world-class artists flew in to install their works at the stadium, the Joneses turned to Whitfield.

"I said, 'Art? Me do art?' I thought I was the most unlikely person to do art but come to realize it ended up being a blessing in disguise," Whitfield said.

Whitfield was each artist's right-hand man while their works were installed at the stadium.

"Some nights were all night. I did whatever it took to satisfy them," Whitfield said.

As a result, Whitfield can tell you how each artist installed their piece, what they liked for dinner and just about everything related to their history.

"I've heard he even became like a counselor. They'd be working on a big piece of art and would say, 'This isn't working just right' and he'd say 'Oh, it's looking great. You're doing a super job," Gene Jones said of Whitfield.

Whitfield said the experience helped foster a passion for art.

"Artists are a different group," Whitfield said. "I am just going to say that. They really don't care if you have a blue shoe or a green shoe on. They really don't. They don't care if you're tall, handsome or not handsome. They care about the passion you have for art."

Whitfield now gives stadium tours to school children, celebrities and even former presidents. 

Gene Jones said they now receive calls from galleries who have heard about Whitfield's curating talent.

Whitfield believes that life lead him to this artistic point, but passion ties him to the art of AT&T Stadium.

"I kind of pinch myself when I walk in the door. Life has not changed. Life is real simple. You care about people, it comes from the heart, people are going to know it came from the heart," Whitfield said.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[North Texans Cheer on Team USA at World Cup]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 00:32:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/North-Texas-Londoner.jpg North Texans gathered at The Londoner in Dallas to watch fellow Texan Clint Dempsey and Team USA at the World Cup.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Crowds Excited for George Strait's Last Concert]]> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 23:15:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/215*120/483158367.jpg George Strait will perform in front of nearly 100,000 people at AT&T Stadium for the last concert on his farewell tour.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hall of Fame Horse Trainer Shares Triple Crown Insight]]> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 06:57:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/horses-grand-prairie.jpg As California Chrome approaches the race that could give him a Triple Crown win, a North Texas trainer shares his feedback on what could happen on Saturday. Jack Van Berg almost had his Triple Crown win back in 1987 with one of his horses named Alysheba. They won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but failed to dominate the Belmont Stakes. He said it doesn't matter how prepared you and your horse could be, luck has to be on your side in order to win.

Photo Credit: Christine Lee, NBC 5 Grand Prairie Reporter]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Student Achieves Valedictorian Dream]]> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 06:27:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/high-school-valedictorian.jpg

A young man who immigrated to the United States when he was 12 is graduating from a Dallas high school at the top of his class.

Jorge Rodriguez Santana didn’t know a word of English when he was forced to start a new life after his mother moved he and his sister from their home in Mexico.

“I didn’t know any English," Sandana said. "I didn't know how to communicate. It was really difficult to begin a new life in the United States."

He’s able to continue his studies as an undocumented student through the Federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The program allows temporary visas to undocumented students who arrived in the United States as children.

Santana graduates from Emmett J. Conrad High School as valedictorian — his dream. His good grades and determination also earned him a $11,500 scholarship from Carter Financial Management.

Santana will be the first in his family to attend Texas A&M University next year and plans to become an architect. 



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Twins Graduate as High School Valedictorian, Salutatorian]]> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 12:36:16 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/twins-graduate-high-school.jpg

Twin brothers received the highest recognition from a Dallas high school Monday night as they graduated as valedictorian and salutatorian.

James and Matthew Madison graduated this spring with top honors from James Madison High School in South Dallas.

Menique Hopkins Madison saw her twin boys in the cap and gown for the first time, minutes before the graduation ceremony.

“The expectation was not val and sal, but it was the expectation of always doing your best and not competing with anyone else,” Madison said.

That’s the lesson she taught them long before she and her husband William decided to pull them from their schools in the suburbs and enroll them in Madison High School.

They wanted the boys to learn in an urban and diverse environment.

“I said that's exactly what two young African-American males need and they need a strong black male teacher and they received that,“ said Madison.

Even though the boys excelled together, they have their differences.

Matthew Madison, salutatorian, is outgoing while James Madison, valedictorian, is more of the quiet type. However, they’re both equally proud of each other.

“He's right behind me and I feel like we are a team so we are just gonna do this together,“ said James Madison.

"It’s great to have someone alongside me to, yeah, share in this big night and the big honor,” Matthew Madison said.

After graduation, the two plan to continue their studies at different universities. James Madison plans to attend the University of Texas in Austin while Matthew Madison will attend the University of Texas at Arlington.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Colonial Greets Golf Guests With New Entrance]]> Fri, 23 May 2014 06:22:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/parking11.jpg

A big change this weekend for golf fans arriving via shuttle bus at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth.

This is something golfers have been looking forward to all year, the chance to play for a $6.4 million purse at the 68th annual event at the Colonial Country Club.

"It's just a great tournament to come to, it's the old school," said Walter Maynard of Sumervil County.
 
This old school event, serves as the longest-running PGA event to take place on the same golf course, but has made some changes and tweaks.

Fans walking in or taking shuttle busses from remote parking lots will find themselves arriving at a new main entrance. The entrance is positioned closer to University Drive and has fans entering the course in the middle of the hole four fairway.

"We sit down, we look at our event and we say how can we blow it up, how can we make it better," said Michael Tothe, the tournament director.

Tothe said they were starting to outgrow their space, but by taking over the nearby city park they hope to gain even more fans with new experiences.
 
"There's always, 'Well, what can I do at a golf tournament? I'm not a golf fan'," Tothe said. "Now there's activities, young and old, men and women, children of all ages to come and enjoy and I think that was really the driving factor behind Frost Park."
 
Frost Park is free to the public, including nightly concerts after the action on the links wraps up. But for most of the crowd at Colonial on Wednesday's pro-am tournament day, it was about the golf.
 
"It's always enjoyable for me to come out and watch them play," said Ernie Jackson, of Fort Worth.
 
"All the pros, I enjoy watching their swings and I try to mimic it myself sometime," Jackson said.
 
The Colonial wraps up Sunday.


Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Largest Water Slide in the World Opening in North Texas]]> Wed, 21 May 2014 13:16:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/wahoo-racer-image.jpg

The largest multi-lane water slide in the world resides in North Texas, adding fuel to the saying "everything is bigger in Texas." Six Flags Hurricane Harbor has built a two-tiered slide that stands nearly 60 feet high.

The Wahoo Racer sends riders through a winding stretch inside colorful tubes that shoot them into six race track-styled lanes. The riders splash into the water head-first on aerodynamic water toboggans, diving into the water at speeds of up to 40 feet per second.

Time will be tracked during each water course, challenging contestants and motivating them to reach the red flag to make a win.

“No other water park in North Texas offers this much thrilling variety," Six Flags Hurricane Harbor's president Steve Martindale said. "We are committed to delivering a bigger, better and wetter experience to guests of all ages."

Wahoo Racer is one of the many additions that will be included in Hurricane Harbor's multi-year enhancement project.

The park added a new retail location, season pass processing area and remodeled restrooms.

The brand new water slide will open on Memorial Day weekend, May 24 to 26.

On the Web: Wahoo Racer at Hurricane Harbor

NBC 5's Tim Ciesco also contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Six Flags Hurricane Harbor]]>
<![CDATA[Comic Con Starts in Dallas]]> Fri, 16 May 2014 23:27:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas-comic-con-2014.jpg

Don't be surprised if you are downtown and see people dressed as characters right out of movies and comic books. Dallas Comic Con kicked off on Friday at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center.

There are events for the comic , sci-fi and horror enthusiasts. Celebrities like William Shatner will be present signing autographs. Michael Rooker, of Walking Dead Fame, had a big line in front of him this afternoon.

"I like Dallas and i like comic-con ,so the two make a really good one," said Rooker.

"It is awesome. Dallas is my favorite one in Texas from all of the ones I have been too," added Tate Koch, who came dressed as Emma Frost from X-Men."

The convention ends on Sunday.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Fans Line Up to See "The Fault in Our Stars" Actors]]> Sat, 10 May 2014 01:05:16 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/fault-in-our-stars.jpg

Thousands of people waited outside of Gilley's in Dallas to see the stars and author of the book "The Fault in Our Stars," which is now a movie.

Dallas was one of four cities that won a Tumblr contest, "Demand Our Stars,"  where the actors and book author will travel to meet fans.

Many North Texas teens were touched by the plot of the book, which centers around the love story between two cancer patients.

In the film, Shailene Woodley plays the main character, Hazel Grace Lancaster, and Ansel Elgort plays her love interest, Augustus Waters.

“I am such a fan of the book, and it is so exciting to finally share it with people, because I know how many lives it has touched,” Woodley said.

And because of the theme, nurses from North Texas were invited to walk the red carpet as well.

“It is amazing. I would never have thought. It is nice that a book like this is popular,” said Kristen Berry, a nurse from Children’s Hospital.

The stars and the author walked the red carpet while fans screamed.

“I am grateful that people have responded to the book so generously,” said author of the book, John Green.

Fans got books and posters signed, then got to head inside to see a clip of the movie, and chat with the actors and author. 

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<![CDATA[Plano's Suburbia Music Festival This Weekend]]> Mon, 05 May 2014 09:13:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/suburbia-music-festival.jpg

This weekend an estimated 20,000 people per day will flood Plano for the first-ever Suburbia Music Festival.

Live Nation Entertainment is hosting the two-day event at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve.

Anthony Nicolaidis, a Live Nation employee, said the idea for the festival came to him 18 months ago when he was going for a jog in the park.

“This is a beautiful spot. This is an oasis in the middle of Dallas-Fort Worth,” Nicolaidis said.

He began to work with Live Nation Chief Operating Officer Danny Eaton to collaborate on creating the event.

Nicholadis even asked local high school students what bands they would want to see perform.

“I just asked them what kind of music they like. They put together a list and we booked about three to four of them,” he explained.

The line-up includes major acts, such as Grammy-nominated Alabama Shakes, house music producer David Guetta and hip-hop artist J. Cole.

Within the park, crews have spent a week building three stages. They also teamed up with AT&T Stadium's catering company, Legends, and brought in several local food trucks and vendors.

“I think the main thing for us is we’re going to be outside and you’re going to experience the freedom of being outside, but we are going to provide all the creature comforts you could possibly have in a setting like this,” said Eaton. “It’s like a festival where you can get out here and feel like you’re in the middle of the country, but you can go home and sleep in your own bed at night. And there’s a lot to be said for that.”

Safety is a concern with 20,000 people expected per day for the festival. Organizers said they’re prepared. They have teamed up with the Plano Police Department, fire department and medical services who will be onsite the entire weekend.

Alcohol will be sold at the event.

Overall, Eaton said he hopes the festival will turn into a major event known throughout the country over the next few years.

“This is going to be way fun, which is what this is all about by the way. The reason we’re doing this is for fun,” Eaton said.

For further rules on what patrons can and cannot bring, along with road closures for the weekend, click here. 



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Two Arlington Teams Earn National Titles]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:41:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Goodman-Step-Team-041514.jpg

Not many people can say they’re national champions -- and even fewer can say they won that title by the time they were in fifth grade. The step team at Goodman Elementary School in Arlington can though.

They won the U-12 division at the National Step Show Alliance Championships this past weekend in Chicago. They beat out five other teams who qualified for the prestigious competition.

“It was really exciting,” said Paola Maqueda, a fifth-grader and co-captain of the GES Steppers. “And we liked it a lot.”

Their routine combines dancing, an intricate series of stomping and clapping in rhythm, even jumping on each other’s shoulders at one point. And the judges and teams in Chicago almost didn’t get to see it.

“At first we had the heavy shoulders of how are we going to get there?” said Christy Heath, one of the team’s coaches.

The GES Steppers qualified for nationals but didn’t have the money to get to Chicago. They turned to the community for help, which stepped up in a big way. The team received more than $11,000 in donations.

“It means a lot because they took the time to donate,” said Maqueda.

The team said that support is what pushed them to work hard and ultimately come out on top.

“It’s still kind of surreal,” said Heath. “It hasn’t set in yet. The effort they put in is tremendous.”

The team arrived back at school Tuesday with a big trophy.

“It means that we tried our best and we had fun,” said Tearra Seal, a fifth-grader and co-captain of the GES Steppers.

But just to make sure everyone knows how appreciative they are, they’re spending the next few days writing thank you notes to everyone who donated.

They weren’t the only step team from Arlington that went to Chicago and brought back a national title. The Bowie High School “Souljahs” won their division as well.

After not placing during last year’s competition, the team said they came back this year ready to work harder. To prepare for the competition, the team practiced upwards of four hours, six days a week. They said they’re glad the hard work paid off.

“It was the happiest moment of my life,” said Trey Boston, a senior on the team. “I never cried so hard. I’ve never been so happy. It was just worship and good feelings.”

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<![CDATA[Free Music Festival During Final Four Weekend]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 18:46:22 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/music-fest1.jpg NBC 5's Kristi Nelson provides you with everything you need to know before heading out to the weekend-long music festival at Dallas' Reunion Park.

Photo Credit: Reginald Hardwick]]>
<![CDATA[Five Booker T. Washington Students Headed to Julliard]]> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 00:25:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Julliard.jpg Four dancers and one theater student chosen to attend the prestigious school for the arts in New York in the fall.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[How to Prepare for St. Patrick's Parade]]> Sat, 15 Mar 2014 01:10:18 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GreenvilleParade031612_722x406_2211010417.jpg Check out how to prepare for the 35th annual Dallas St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, March 15, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Are These the 5 Worst Christmas Songs?]]> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 11:30:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/kid-yelling-with-headphones.jpg

It's a holiday tradition to turn on tunes while trimming the tree, but after hearing just one of these awful excuses for "holiday classics," we're more likely to trim off our ears to keep from hearing them again. Here are five of the terrible tunes we hope to avoid this year.

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer - Elmo and Patsy

It might have been funny when we were six, but this "comic" salute to octogenarian homicide via arctic mammal seems idiotic now. We're all for having fun during the holiday season, but this piece of hokey sonic sludge irks every time a DJ thinks it's time for "something lighter" after a four minute version of the sluggish Bob Seger version of "Little Drummer Boy."

 Last Christmas - Wham!

We'd imagine the conversation went something like this: "Hey guys, it's your manager. Holiday season is coming up and the label really thinks a Christmas song will be a big hit. I know you're working on that broken heart song, do you think you could just insert the word Christmas into it? Like, instead of, 'Last year, I gave you my heart,' it could be, 'Last Christmas, I gave you my heart?' Would mean huge sales for the holidays! Thanks, guys!"

Seriously, listen to this song; the lyrics could change with all the holidays -- "Last Halloween," "Last Valentine's Day," "Last Veteran's Day," etc. -- and it wouldn't change the fact that it's a whiny love song about being dumped. Where's the love, togetherness, or family in this Holiday song? Get over it, guys.

The Christmas Shoes - NewSong

We originally read the story of "The Christmas Shoes" in a chain e-mail. It didn't touch our stony hearts then, and the NewSong adaptation into this schmaltzy piece of sickening trash actually made us turn against this tale of a kid that begs for shoes in order to get his mom well-dressed for the afterlife. Yes, we know Jesus is the reason for the season, and we don't dispute the fact that if we'd read it in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book, we'd be a little more likely to be emotionally effected -- still, it's a strange thought that the kid is more worried about how his mom will look when she's dead than spending time with her on their last Christmas together.

Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid

Is it really a good idea to remind everyone feasting on fruitcake and Christmas ham that African children are dying of starvation and won't see snow? This product of the '80s not only gives us the guilty Debbie Downer feeling after we hear it, the video provides photographic evidence of the largest gathering of mullets ever. With the amount of money these pop stars spent on their hair, we'd bet they could have fed Africa three times over. Thanks for killing our Christmas cheer, Bob Geldof -- go spray your hair with the guys from Duran Duran.

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney

Absolutely the worst holiday song ever, this massive pile of nonsense isn't just the worst thing ever written by a Beatle (yes, we're including Ringo's solo stuff), it's the only song we've ever heard that can use just two notes to raise our blood pressure to near heart attack levels. The lyrics are useless, the synth line sounds like a kid playing on a new Casio keyboard they just got for their seventh birthday, and it's mixed all together with some ridiculous choral portions that serve only to remind us that Paul was able to convince others to join in on this affront to all good musical sense.

We've heard urban legends that the song was written to win a bet against someone who challenged Paul to write a holiday song in just five minutes, but as much as we'd like to excuse the song for rushed composing, it's still a terrible song that shouldn't have been released. We just don't understand why people like this horrific holiday tune that makes us simply have a terrible Christmastime.

You think these are bad? Check out Five Terrible Animal-Theme Holiday Songs here and share your least favorites.

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<![CDATA[Two North Texas Schools Finalists in "Smash" Contest]]> Mon, 25 Mar 2013 18:58:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/SmashHS032513.jpg

 

Two North Texas schools are finalists in the "Make a Musical" contest to have their performance space renovated.  

Jasper High School and J.L. Long Middle School are among the 30 finalists in the contest that is a partnership between NBC’s show "Smash", Lowe's and iTheatrics, assisting schools across the nation to improve their theaters. 

The five schools who get the top votes will receive gift cards of up to $3,000 from Lowe's.

Students and teachers at J.L. Long Middle School in Dallas and Jasper High School in Plano say money is needed to make big repairs to succeed in their craft.

"With all the budgets cuts that have happened over the years, every little bit counts," Renee Harris, the theater arts teacher at Jasper High School said.

"The stage is constantly used and so we need help revitalizing it," Russ Sims Teacher, the drama teacher at J.L. Long Middle School said.

Sims and his students have had to deal with ripped stage curtains, water damage and a precarious screen overhead.

"It's live action and you're on the stage and you're moving from place to place and you don't want to trip over it," Emery Weis, a student said.

Students at Jasper High School performed their production of "Oliver" on the stage located in the school's cafeteria. 

If Jasper High School wins, its first priority is to cover the overhead windows to create blackout conditions during the shows and to include more indoor lighting.

The overall improvements will benefit the audience, too.

“We want to make our show the best we possibly can so we can reach our audience and that's what we're here to do and love doing that," Katelyn Deibert, a student said.

If you want to vote visit makeamusical.org, voting ends April 10.

 

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<![CDATA[Dallas Blooms Returns to the Arboretum]]> Sat, 02 Mar 2013 15:41:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DallasBlooms030113.jpg

 

The blooming buds of spring will be showcased at the 29th anniversary of Dallas Blooms at the Dallas Arboretum.

The floral festival kicks off this weekend featuring half-a-million blossoms including tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and thousands of other annuals and perennials. The festival even blooms more than 100 Cherry Blossom trees for a 10-day period.

"Having these tulips in place this time of year is really special because it's not something you commonly see in this part of the country," said Dallas Arboretum Vice President Dave Forehand.

The botanical team includes more than two dozen workers that get the colorful efflorescence planted within two weeks; and much of the flora was shipped to North Texas all the way from Holland.

"I just like coming out and seeing the colors,” said Jenny Livergood, a Dallas Arboretum visitor. “It's just the freshness and the beginning of the spring."

Dallas Blooms runs through April 7.

Admission to the festival is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $10 for kids aged 3 to12 years old.

 

 



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Museum of Art Free Admission, Membership]]> Tue, 22 Jan 2013 05:16:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas-museum-of-art-2012-722.jpg

The Dallas Museum of Art is now free to visitors.

Both the admission and membership prices for the DMA are free starting January 21, 2013.

The change was announced in December during a special news event.

Maxwell L. Anderson, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, published a video message addressing the change.

Anderson said current museum members will be transitioned to a new "Partners" status, which will give them special benefits including free admission to special exhibitions, free parking, and exclusive programs.

“Visitors literally bring life to the Dallas Museum of Art. Their participation in our galleries, exhibitions, education initiatives, and public programs activates the DMA and is the cornerstone of a vibrant cultural community,” Anderson said in a press release. “Through a return to free general admission and the new Friends & Partners program, we can open the doors of the Museum and show appreciation to our visitors for the many ways their participation matters to the DMA. We believe that by increasing access to the Museum and by finding new ways to say ‘thank you,’ we can fundamentally change the role museums play in a global society.”  

The free general admission will also offer visitors to become "Friends" of the museum and earn credits based on their participation with the museum. Those credits could allow "Friends" to become "Partners" as well.

“New technologies and online participation are already an integral part of many visitors’ daily lives,” said Rob Stein, the DMA’s Deputy Director, who, along with Anderson, is spearheading technology initiatives at the Museum. “As part of our new approach to visitor engagement, we want to provide our audiences with enhanced ways to feel connected to the Museum and to share their opinions with us and each other. In doing so, we hope to build a virtual community that is as strong as our physical one. The DMA Friends program uses technology to demonstrate to our visitors that the DMA recognizes the value they bring to the Museum when they engage deeply in sharing their creativity and ideas with us.”

The DMA previously was free to visitors until 2001. The 2013 change is being called a "reinstatement of the policy."

More information on the changes is posted to the museum's official site.

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<![CDATA[Mothers Inspire Hathaway in Les Misérables]]> Mon, 17 Dec 2012 11:35:25 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap2012121709h14m19s210.jpg Bobbie Wygant talks with Anne Hathaway, who is playing Fantine in the big-screen adaptation of Les Misérables.]]> <![CDATA[Kimbell Exhibit Blends Past and Present]]> Wed, 19 Dec 2012 17:28:10 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/kimbell40thanniversary.jpg

For the last 40 years, The Kimbell Art Museum has been collecting and displaying pieces of art in Fort Worth, with an emphasis on conservation.

In the new exhibit, "The Kimbell at 40: An Evolving Masterpiece," the museum is putting on the largest display ever of its permanent collection from Oct. 7 to Dec. 30.

More than 220 pieces from the collection will be on display throughout the museum -- and it's all free.

Going further, the Kimbell has produced a brand-new app for iPad that allows visitors to get additional information about 32 selected works from the collection.

"Conservation is one of the most important and fascinating things we do here at the Kimbell, and it's so rare that we have the opportunity to share this type of behind-the-scenes information with our visitors," Museum director Eric M Lee said. "With the iPad app, we're able to deliver in-depth research, descriptive images and intriguing discoveries too extensive to be included on the gallery wall labels, in an innovative format that allows for personalized exploration of the collection."

The app is a significant update to the labels, audio tours, or other interactive informational options as it allows visitors to access background text, zoomable images, and more for works by Caravaggio, Monet, Picasso, Michelangelo and others at their own pace.

The free app will be available for public use on 20 iPads available for public use at the museum.

NBC 5 is a media sponsor of "The Kimbell at 40" exhibit.

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<![CDATA[Time To Help Angels Running Out]]> Sun, 09 Dec 2012 00:56:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/northparkangeltree.jpg NBC 5 Salvation Army Angel Tree gifts must be returned by December 10.]]> <![CDATA[Plano Christmas Parade Draws Thousands]]> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 15:02:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/girl+plano+2012+parade.jpg

Tens of thousands of people attended Plano's annual Christmas Parade.

The Early Lions Club puts on the annual event.

"It's a tradition in Plano we think is very special that we enjoy doing every year," resident Mark Sims said. "The kids look forward to it. We get doughnuts and hot chocolate."

The marching bands of all nine Plano high schools performed in the parade, which had dozens of floats from civic groups and churches. Boy Scouts and other groups handed out candy to children.

The Lions say 4,200 people were in the parade.

Before the parade, which NBC 5 sponsors, the Lions held a pancake breakfast with Santa Clause where people donated canned goods to the Plano Food Pantries.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[23,000+ Runners Take Part In 2012 Dallas Marathon]]> Mon, 10 Dec 2012 01:30:22 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/2012dallasmarathon.jpg More than 23,000 runners took part in the 2012 Metro PCS Dallas Marathon. The winner was Vladmir Saronov of Russia.]]> <![CDATA[Marathon Is Opportunity for W. Dallas Businesses]]> Sat, 08 Dec 2012 11:53:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallasskyline120712.jpg

A previous version of this story had the incorrect start time for the Dallas Marathon. The marathon starts at 8 a.m. NBC 5 regrets the error.

The Dallas Marathon may be taking its cues from one of James Brown's signature lines.

Brown used to say "let's take it to the bridge" during his songs -- and the marathon's new route crosses the Trinity River into the West Dallas loop and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

The change means a big single-day marketing opportunity for West Dallas businesses.

"It's the Super Bowl for all of us in this area," said Mike Babb, owner of Babb Bros BBQ. "Right now, it's a big deal."

About 25,000 runners are expected participate in the Dallas Marathon, formerly the Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon. Thousands more will line the streets as spectators.

West Dallas Loop organizers say the visitors will see the new hot spot for growth in Dallas.

"It's really just been in the last six months, if you will, that there's been an enormous amount of activity in terms of openings," said Jeff Herrington of West Dallas Loop. "They're going to be passing through and seeing a West Dallas that's transforming."

New businesses such as restaurants, health spas, and retail stores are along the west loop. There are plans to highlight them with micro-parties featuring food, live music, entertainment and children's activities.

Businesses plan to put their best foot forward during the marathon to build a lasting new customer base.

"For a long time it's been Kessler Park, Bishop Arts, the Methodist hospital and, now, it's another brand new community," said Dustin Thibodeaux of the Clairevista Vitality Club.

The marathon starts at 8 a.m. Sunday.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Adventure Show Holds DFW Casting Call]]> Fri, 07 Dec 2012 19:07:52 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/bear-grylls-adventure.jpg

Feeling adventurous? A new reality show is looking for outgoing people, and there's a casting call in Dallas.

"We're going throughout the country looking for teams of two people; people who are up for the challenge, people who are outgoing, whether you're family members, whether you're co-workers, whether you're buddies. We're looking for people who already have a connection and people who are willing to give it their all for what is definitely going to be the ultimate reality survival competition," said Bear Grylls of his upcoming adventure show to air on NBC.

To be eligible, contestants must be a legal U.S resident who is at least 21 years old as of Feb. 1, 2013. They also must have a United States passport that's valid as of Feb. 1, 2013 through Oct. 15, 2013.

The North Texas casting will be Sunday, Dec. 9 at the Gilley's at 1135 South Lamar St. in Dallas, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show relies on pairs, and it's important that both people attend the casting call for the team to be considered.

Full details, the application and requirements are posted on NBCBearShow.com.
 

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<![CDATA[Mary J. Blige Cancels Dallas Concert, Again]]> Fri, 07 Dec 2012 17:21:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/maryjblige2.jpg

Mary J. Blige fans will be sad to hear the singer has canceled her Sunday concert and won't be rescheduling this time.

Blige was scheduled to take the stage at the American Airlines Center in November, but that show was rescheduled for Sunday, December 9.

The AAC reports The Liberation Tour with special guest Brandy has been canceled. Ticket holders can receive a refund from the point of purchase.

Reason for the postponement were not immediately released.

Unfortunately the singer's website was still urging fans to buy tickets for the canceled concert. And the singer's Twitter account touted tickets to the Dallas concert as well.

Blige has no other scheduled tour dates in 2012, but according to EW.com she's expected to join the Rolling Stones at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Saturday night.
 



Photo Credit: FilmMagic]]>
<![CDATA[Rockwall Tops Fastest-Growing Retail Market List]]> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 16:50:23 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rowlettretail120412.jpg

Rockwall County is the fastest growing retail market in the state, according to a recent survey.

The county's retail market the most out of the state's 50 largest counties, according to the Texas Retail Survey.

The rankings are based on sales data information between 2006 and 2011.

"We were able to experience a 17.9 percent growth over the last five years, which is really remarkable, especially in these economic times," said Sheri Franza, Rockwall Economic Development Corp. president and CEO. "One of the things that this survey tells is that Rockwall is quickly becoming a place where people want to live and shop and set up business."

"I love Rockwall, I'm from Rockwall and I love putting my money where I live," said Cathy Trepte, who was buying jeans at a local boutique Tuesday..

Shop owners said they've seen more people coming to spend money in the city in the last few years.

"The growth that I have seen just in the last 10 years has just been unbelievable," said Amy Butler, of Groovy's Rockwall.

The city's economic development corporation said it's not just shopping. As the fastest growing county in the state, Rockwall is trying to push its lifestyle as "the total package" to attract transplants and visitors.

"There's just a draw to Rockwell," Butler said. "People from all over the nation and surrounding area come to Rockwall for the diversity that it has, but it also has a small-town feel."

Collin and Denton counties placed ninth and 21st on the list, respectively.

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<![CDATA[Perot Museum Hopes To Educate, Fill A Need]]> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 16:50:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2012-12-01-13h54m18s140.jpg

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a spectacle inside and out, yet there were more jaw-dropping sights to be seen outside the museum Saturday as two acrobats danced to music while rappelling down the side of the museum. 

Minutes later, the museum opened and hundreds of people went in to explore Dallas’ latest wonder.

“It’s big,” said Qwun Davis, referring to the building and not the dinosaur bones he’s surrounded by in one exhibit.  “I like the outside.  I don’t really know how it (the building) stands up because it’s all placed weird.  It’s cool.”

On all five floors, and in all 11 permanent exhibit halls, there’s something to engage or challenge the mind and boddy.

“I just think they’re going to learn so much,” said Ann Hardaway moments after watching her 7-year old daughter Charlotte play meteorologist in front of a map, camera and teleprompter.  “I think they’ve (the museum) done a really good job putting all the information together.  They’ve touched on all the things kids can understand layman-wise.”

“It’s spectacular and it’s engaging, “ said Walt Davis, who’s touring the museum with his wife and grandsons.  “It draws you in and you do things and you learn things as you go along.

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is all about inspriring young people to want to learn about science and it’s what Ross Perot said needs to happen.

“In our country, we don’t have near enough scientists and engineers,” Perot told NBC 5 shortly before the museum opened.  “80 percent of our PhDs at all of our elite engineering schools like Cal Tech and MIT come from two countries, China and India. Is that amazing?  We’ve got to create those engineers right here.”

Organizers hope the museum is unlike any other and amazes all who enter.

“It’s more than we ever expected,” said former teacher, and Ross Perot’s wife, Margot Perot.  "It’s going to mean a lot to people of all ages so I hope people come again and again."

The five adult Perot children made a $50 million gift to get the museum named in Margot and Ross Perot’s honor.

For more on the museum and to order tickets on line visit perotmuseum.org.
 

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<![CDATA[Perot Nature and Science Museum Opens Today]]> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 16:50:23 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/perotmuseumdallas.jpg

Dallas's newest museum, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, opens Saturday.

The museum, which has been under construction since 2009, will showcase 11 exhibit halls filled with interactive, hands-on learning that is spread out over 180,000 square feet.

In the sports hall, you can compare your form to professional athletes at the motion lab.  On the running wall, you can race a T-Rex, cheetah or even Cowboys running back Felix Jones while learning about your body in motion and velocity.

"The exhibits are finishing up.  The exhibits are fast and furiously getting ready for opening day," said Jennifer Scripps, director of business and partnership development.

Movie star Owen Wilson is a narrator in the Expanding Universe Hall.

"A lot of people know the voice.  You have to tell them, 'He's from Dallas.  It's Owen Wilson'  It's a lot of fun in the Universe Hall.  That's next to the dinosaur hall," said Scripps.

In the T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall visitors will see the first-ever installation of the Alamosaurus.  You can also compete against an opponent in the "Predator vs. Prey" game to see how adapting to your surroundings is the key to survival.

"I hope people come and have fun.  This is a world-class science museum, and our community is in for a treat," said Scripps.

Tickets are $10 for kids, $15 for adults.  Annual memberships are also available. The museum is located along Woodall Rogers Freeway at Field Street.

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<![CDATA[Snowball Express Arrives in North Texas]]> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 17:03:09 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/SnowballExpress.jpg

This story was originally published in 2012. Since that time, details may have changed.

It is a gathering unlike any other across the country, and it only happens in North Texas.

Throughout the day on Friday, more than 1,700 children and military spouses arrived at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as part of the seventh annual Snowball Express, a event for the families of fallen service members.

American Airlines brought in nine charter planes full of families. Others arrived on regular flights, some flying from as far away as Guam, Puerto Rico and Germany.

The loads of planes were greeted with thunderous applause and cheers from dozens of volunteers, American employees, Patriot Guard Riders, military members and even regular travelers.

"It's the least we can do for these kids, for these families who have given so much," said Capt. Jim Palmershem, an American pilot who flew the first flight of the day from Nashville and Arkansas.

The Strattons arrived on a charter from Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. The family of three children and mother, Jennifer, from Stafford, Va., are attending their third Snowball Express.

"The first event we went to, my daughter, Delaney, looked around at all the people and she said, 'They haven't forgotten daddy.'" Jennifer Stratton said. "And I said, 'No they haven't.'  This is one of those weekends where it's America at its best. We just love coming to Texas and that Texans remember our fallen heroes."

The Snowball Express isn't just a warm greeting at DFW Airport.

"We do a thing called the 'Walk of Gratitude,' said Dan Ronan, a member of the board of directors of the Dallas-based charity Snowball Express. "And this is a chance for the community to come out and to try and show people how much they appreciate the service and sacrifice these families have made."

"On Sunday morning, about 10:30, we'll kick off with about 2,000 folks that we can cheer on and let them know how much we appreciate them," Palmershem said.

The Syversons from Carlisle, Penn., have attended every Snowball Express after Army Maj. Paul Syverson was killed by a mortar in Balad, Iraq, in 2004. His daughter Amy, who was just 2 months old at the time, said she enjoyed coming to North Texas for the events.

"It's really great to be here with everyone's support," she said. "It's really nice."

Her mother, Jackie, echoed the sentiment.

"It's a cool honor, because holidays are hard in their own way," she said. "And then when the kids get to come here and do something really cool like this and be around other kids who are like them, it works out great. It's just a really cool way to start the holidays, it means a lot to us."

It also means a lot to the volunteers, who spend hours coordinating the massive five-day operation.

Bridget Johnson, an American operations agent, helped decorate a part of Terminal C for the arriving planes. A former military member herself, Johnson said she can't think of a better way to honor the families.

"We didn't pay the ultimate sacrifice, and these families did," she said. "It means a lot for us to be able to give back."

"It's about creating some happy times around Christmas time," Palmershem said. "I'm not sure who gets more out of it, the kids or the volunteers. But we're just so glad to be here and be a part of this and looking forward to a great weekend here in Dallas-Fort Worth."

Jennifer Stratton said she knows her husband would be happy to hear that his family gets a holiday treat away from home and a chance to remember the families that have lost a loved one in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

"He would be happy to know that America doesn't forget their heroes," she said.

The Walk of Gratitude will begin at 10:30 on Sunday along East Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards. The public is encouraged to line North Main Street for the walk. Click here for more information.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[White House Holiday Decorations ]]> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 15:14:26 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/Michelle-Obama-Christmas.jpg With the holiday season just around the corner, Christmas trees and piles of present decorate the White House. Take a look at some of its best decorations.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Auction of Rare Handbags Draws Fashionistas]]> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 16:50:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/purseauction112812.jpg An upcoming accessories auction in Dallas features rare designer bags, including a Hermes diamond Birkin handbag.]]> <![CDATA[Shoot Better Holiday Lights Photos]]> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 15:02:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/ed49ea10db8c4743be1c23c7552aed58.JPG.jpg

Feel like your holiday light photos aren't shining as brightly as you'd hoped? Check these tricks for making those lights look clearer.

Hold the Flash Back
Using your camera's flash could wash out those twinkling lights. Snap your pictures without the flash to ensure the lights you're seeing are provided by the designed strands you're trying to capture. Most modern cameras have good sensors for detective what values to set exposure, even in the auto settings. Conversely, if you're more focused on what's not lit -- the kids in front of a Christmas tree, for example -- add that flash. Better yet, take one photo each way and see which one turns out better. Don't know how to turn off your camera -- or camera phone's -- flash? Now's the perfect time to learn.

Slow and Steady
Lowering your shutter speed will let more light into the camera, which could make those lights brighter -- but might add blur if the camera is moved. Try investing in (or borrowing) a tripod to keep your camera rock solid while the photo is taken. This slow and steady approach will make your photos clearer.

Dusk to Dusk
Use the twilight time to shoot your photos outdoors rather than waiting until it gets darker. You can often catch some of the color in the sky instead of a black sky, which will look a little nicer, plus you'll have some natural light that can illuminate decorations you might lose when only the strands are shining.

iPhone Home
The camera you're most likely to carry with you is on your phone -- but it's got some faults you'll need to overcome. First, many cameras on phones aren't able to make settings on shutter speed, ISO settings, or any of the advanced elements you might want to try. The more recent your phone is, the better the camera is likely to be -- but that's no gaureentee you'll get a good image. Also, while they're small enough to fit in your pocket, the tiny size of modern phones leads to blurry photos as you stuggle to shoot straight. You may want to check out alternate camera apps on the various app stores to make sure your camera's functions are accessible, too.

Once you've taken those shining shots, share them with us by e-mailing them to isee@nbcdfw.com and view other Holiday Photos here.

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<![CDATA[Vanity Plates to Be Auctioned in Houston]]> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 16:50:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/my-plates-colleges.jpg

First there was FERRARI, followed FT WORTH and T-DALLAS, RANGERS and COWBOYS along with 27 other custom, high-profile Texas license plates.  Now, My Plates is ready for their next auction.

On Jan. 25, 2013, at Reliant Center in Houston, My Plates will auction off another vanity plate -- HOUSTON.

HOUSTON isn't the only plate to be auctioned, the company will also auction off nine other plates -- though exactly what those plates are they won't say just yet. The other plates to be auctioned will be announced over the next few weeks, though if history is any indicator, then ASTROS, ROCKETS and TEXANS may be good bets.

Of a mind to make a bid?  T-DALLAS sold for $1,500, FT WORTH for $5,000, RANGERS for $10,000, COWBOYS for $11,500 and FERRARI for $15,000. So take your checkbook.

With a win, you'll get the plate for 10 years along with first right of refusal for every renewal period thereafter -- which will come every 10 years.  The owner could, essentially, own the plate forever or, since they are transferable, sell it to a collector.

"Texas has had personalized license plates since 1965 but only recently added a 7th character for personalization.  That 7th character opened up a very valuable inventory of plate messages for the State, messages deemed too valuable to sell at regular market prices," said My Plates in a news release Wednesday. "Proceeds benefit chosen charities and the state's general revenue fund, which helps pay for services for all Texans.  My Plates will donate its auction proceeds to charity."

In the first auction, My Plates said Texans spent $139,400 on 33 plates, $78,195 of which went to the state's general fund.  Since Nov., 2009, Texans have bought more than 120,000 My Plates -- bringing more than $14 million into the state's general revenue fund.

The Great Plate Auction 2013 is open to the public with free admission inside the Hall B rotunda at Reliant Center. Register your interest at www.myplates.com/auction



Photo Credit: MyPlates.com]]>
<![CDATA[A Light Show to the Beat of Christmas]]> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 15:02:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/christmas-lights-112712.jpg

Some people decorate their home with a few Christmas lights for the season.

Then there is Marty Pasieka.

Pasieka's front yard in Flower Mound has a 22-foot tall Christmas tree made of more than 4,000 lights. It stands next to 10 smaller Christmas trees that glow red, green and white.

And he's just getting started with the Christmas spirit.

Pasieka has synchronized the lights to blink to the beat of five different Christmas songs. Passers-by can hear the music if they pull up a few yards from the house and tune in to the radio station he's programmed the music to play through.

"This is just my second year doing this so, definitely, the palette is -- there's a lot more on there," he said. "Half empty or half full, definitely there is a lot more that I can do."

Pasieka said he has plans to expand the Christmas display from the current 10,000 lights.

"I have a few ideas," he said.

But he doesn't want to give too many of his secrets away, so Pasieka is keeping his plans quiet.

Meanwhile, his neighbors can't stop gushing about the display.

"My wife and I always pull up and stop," one man yelled out his window, before driving off.

Pasieka said it took him a few months to build the frame to hold the lights, and it takes a few days to program the lights to blink to the beat of the music. The computer work takes more time, he said.

"That takes a lot more time," he said. "You have to separate it by seconds, hundredths of a second, tenth of a second, to kind of look at it and, you know, see what you like, see what it looks like."

Pasieka also put on a light show for Halloween, with one sequence set to "Gangnam Style."

Pasieka jokes that decorating his lawn is just a hobby. His real job? A baggage handler for Southwest Airlines.

If you want to swing by and see the display, the family lives in the 4900 block of Marcus Drive in Flower Mound. The lights are on Sunday through Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, the lights are on from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Cyber Monday Boosts McKinney Salsa Shop]]> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 16:50:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/151066003.jpg

Local businesses are also getting a piece of the pie on one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.

The owner of Loco Cowpoke Salsa Shop in downtown McKinney, which sells salsas and other products made in Texas, said his online sales doubled this year on Cyber Monday.

Randy Abshier said he woke up Monday morning to more than a dozen Internet orders. On Cyber Monday, about 50 percent of his sales came from the Internet, with the other half coming from foot traffic.

"I’m by far using the computer today way more than I do on a typical day," he said.

Shipments are going around the country, to Massachusetts, Missouri, even around the world.

"It's pretty much out of control through the first of the year," Abshier said.

Abshier and his wife opened their shop four years ago. After about a year, their shop went partially digital.

"I never really thought about the online piece of the business," he said.

Now, about 20 to 25 percent of his business is online sales, he said.

In 2005, a trade organization dubbed the Monday after Thanksgiving as "Cyber Monday" to promote online holiday shopping. Research firm comScore has predicted shoppers will spend $1.5 million on Cyber Monday this year, up 20 percent from the year before.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>