<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Dallas-Fort Worth News]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth https://www.nbcdfw.comen-usSun, 21 Jan 2018 10:46:46 -0600Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10:46:46 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Garland Store Clerk Killed During Robbery]]> Sun, 21 Jan 2018 09:30:01 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/garland+convenience+store+murder2.jpg

Police are trying to find two men they say robbed a Garland convenience store and killed the clerk.

Shortly before midnight Saturday night, Garland officers were flagged down by someone saying there was a shooting at a store in the 4700 block of Broadway Blvd. Officers found the male clerk inside shot and killed.

Detectives reviewed security video from the store showing two black males entering and trying to rob the clerk. They said the clerk was shot during a struggle with the suspects.

The suspects are described as black males, one being approximately six feet tall, the other about 5'9". Both men were wearing hoodies.

Information about the robbery and shooting can be sent to Garland Crime Stoppers at 972-272-8477 (TIPS).

<![CDATA[Three Dead in Grapevine Crash After Chase]]> Sun, 21 Jan 2018 09:15:07 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Grapevine-Ax-012118.jpg

Three people are dead after a chase that ended in a rollover crash after a chase through six cities that ended in Grapevine Sunday morning.

Haltom City police say it started around 3:30 a.m. with an attempted traffic stop in the 2800 block of North Beach – officers tried to pull over a driver suspected of driving while intoxicated, but the driver refused to stop.

During the chase, stop sticks were deployed but were unsuccessful.

Haltom City Police say the chase continues through North Richland Hills, Hurst, Bedford, Euless, Colleyville and ended in Grapevine.

Police said at the intersection of the State Highway 121 service road and Stone Myers Parkway, the driver went off the roadway, into a construction area. The Chevrolet SUV then went up an embankment of the William D Tate exit ramp where the driver lost control and the vehicle rolled down onto the northbound lanes of State Highway 360.

All three men inside were thrown from the vehicle and died.

Northbound 121 was shut down during the investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Lone Star Politics: January 21, 2018]]> Sun, 21 Jan 2018 08:58:48 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg

This week we focus on local elections as the primaries approach. State Senator Konni Burton weighs in on Governor Abbott’s new tax plan, unveiled as his re-election campaign gets underway. Lillian Salerno joins Lone Star Politics to discuss how she will beat out a crowd in the Democratic primary for Congressional District 32. We discuss the fundraising efforts by Governor Abbott’s challengers. Lone Star Politics airs Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.

<![CDATA[NBC 5 Video Vault: 1979 Cowboys Head to Super Bowl XIII]]> Sun, 21 Jan 2018 09:29:10 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/sb+13.PNG

Every week we highlight video from KXAS' extensive video archive. We take a look back at January 21, 1979 as the Dallas Cowboys were headed to Super Bowl XIII in Miami. The Portal to Texas History - NBC 5 News Collection

<![CDATA[Slight Risk for Severe Storms in North Texas Sunday]]> Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10:44:29 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/216*120/Severe+Threat+012018.jpg

Sunday will be another mild and windy day in North Texas with a slight risk of severe storms this afternoon and evening near Dallas and points east.

A dryline (the separation between humid air to the east and dry air to the west) will push through the area in the afternoon. Showers will begin to develop just ahead of the dryline this afternoon, with storms becoming a bit more organized by late afternoon/early evening.

There’s a marginal to slight risk for severe weather along and east of the Interstate 35E corridor.

While widespread severe weather is not anticipated, a few storms could have some gusty winds in excess of 60 mph as they race to the east. Be mindful of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes as well. Tornado risk is low but not zero.

There will still be a high wildfire threat this afternoon and early evening. This will mainly be areas to the west of the I-35 corridor. Please avoid outdoor burning and keep cigarette butts in your vehicle. The dry and dormant winter vegetation could turn into a rapidly-spreading wildfire if preventative measures aren't taken.

Highs fall back down into the 60s for most of next week.

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<![CDATA[Rangers Fan Fest Takes Over Globe Life Park]]> Sat, 20 Jan 2018 22:50:36 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Rangers_Fan_Fest_10P.jpg

Texas Rangers fans poured into Globe Life Park on Saturday for the team's annual Fan Fest. NBC 5 photojournalist Noah Bullard talked to the fans who are excited for the 2018 season.

<![CDATA[New Lanes Now Open on Westbound TX-183 in Dallas]]> Sat, 20 Jan 2018 21:11:47 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/tx+hwy+183.JPG

The westbound lanes of State Highway 183 have been re-opened at Interstate 35E in Dallas after a day-long construction closure.

Westbound traffic is now driving on a new bridge over the Trinity River and new mainlanes toward Irving.

The changes are part of the 28-mile Midtown Express Project.

The area was scheduled to be closed until Monday morning, but the traffic switch was completed early. In a tweet Saturday evening, Midtown Express informed drivers of the early opening and said, "Please pay attention to the new traffic pattern and drive safely."

Eastbound lanes were not affected by the closure.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Dallas Warrant Round-Up Targets Animal Offenders]]> Sat, 20 Jan 2018 19:43:49 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/animal+shelter+image.jpg

This weekend the Dallas Marshal's Office is partnering with Dallas Animal Services to conduct a warrant round-up targeting those with outstanding animal-related warrants.

The offenses include "animal at large" and "failure to surrender for quarantine."

Beginning Saturday, Dallas Animal Services officers will work with Deputy Marshals to address new and existing animal-related issues and offenses.

People with warrants are encouraged to come in and discuss their options on how to resolve their citation. The Dallas Marshal's Office said there are several ways to proactively take care of fines and fees to avoid jail time.

For those wanting to pay in person, the Court & Detention Services Municipal Building located at 2014 Main Street will be accepting payments.

Checks, cashier's checks or money orders can be mailed to: 2014 Main Street Dallas, TX 75284-0245.

For those wanting to pay online, click here. 

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Man Falls Down Ravine, Breaks Leg Running from Deputies]]> Sat, 20 Jan 2018 13:11:39 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/hutchins+ravine+rescue.jpg

A man had to be rescued after he fell down a ravine running from sheriff's deputies Saturday morning.

Deputies with the Dallas Sheriff's Office responded to a reported abandoned vehicle off of Dowdy Ferry Road near Hutchins. When they approached the truck, a man ran off from the deputies.

The man reportedly ran until he fell down a ravine, breaking his leg in the fall.

Firefighters from Hutchins Fire-Rescue were called in along with Hutchins police to help rescue the man. 

Crews put the man on a backboard and used ropes to pull the man up to a waiting ambulance.

Officials said the man was taken to Baylor University Medical Center for treatment. It is unknown what charges the man will face upon release from the hospital.

<![CDATA[Cochran Found Guilty in Murder of Zoe Hastings]]> Sat, 20 Jan 2018 20:10:16 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Hastings_Trial_5p_11818.jpg

A Dallas County jury returned a guilty verdict Saturday against Antonio Cochran in the 2015 murder of 18-year-old Zoe Hastings.

Jurors had deliberated for nearly 23 hours over several days before reaching a verdict.

Authorities say Cochran, 37, abducted Hastings — who went missing after she had stopped to return a rented DVD while on her way to church — drove her to a nearby creek bed and sexually assaulted her before killing her.

The Dallas County District Attorney's Office had previously reversed its plan to seek the death penalty after experts found Cochran is intellectually disabled.

The jury of eight women and four men found Cochran guilty of murder, not capital murder, which means they will return for sentencing on Monday.

Cochran faces up to life in prison.

Jurors spent much of Saturday in deliberations. After the jury asked another question Saturday morning, Judge Robert D. Burns issued a charge to the jury urging them to continue deliberations until there is a decision.

Cochran's murder trial began Jan. 11 with the victim's mother taking the stand where she talked about the night her daughter disappeared. She said family members used her daughter's laptop and "Find My Phone" technology to find the location of the missing teenager. When she and her husband arrived at that location, they were met by police and instantly knew that something was not right.

Cochran has a history of arrests and convictions dating back 15 years for crimes that include assault, theft and burglary.

As recently as February 2014, he was arrested in Bowie County, Texas, after being accused of raping a teenage girl in a car. The district clerk's office confirms that the case went all the way to a jury trial in January 2015 in which Cochran was acquitted.

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<![CDATA[Grindr App Assaults Being Investigated as Hate Crimes]]> Sat, 20 Jan 2018 22:44:41 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-625496254.jpg

Dallas police said a series of assaults stemming from meetings through an app for gay men are being investigated as hate crimes.

The department is investigating a series of assaults that happened in December where victims were lured to an apartment where they were robbed and beaten. The robberies and assaults have all involved Grindr, a smartphone app for gay men to meet other men in the area.

Community policing group "Take Back Oak Lawn" is reminding community members to be vigilant. The organization started after a similar string of assaults in the Oak Lawn area three years ago.

"We truly believe this is not a direct result of just an app or just a website, you know, or just a bar or just a place you went. This affects, unfortunately, people from all walks of life. It's very sad to see in this scenario that people are being targeted for their sexual orientation, and that's what makes this very heinous to us," said founding member Lee Dougherty.

Dougherty says the organization used Facebook to remind everyone to be vigilant, meet people in common places and let friends know who they're meeting and where they're going.

Dallas police said they had one person in custody, and detectives are working to identify additional potential suspects. The person in custody has not been identified, but previously police described a person in connection with the attacks as a 17-year-old Latin male.

Anyone with information related to these offenses is asked to contact Detective Jarc at (214) 671-3584 or their local police department immediately. If you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at (214) 373-TIPS, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information called into Crime Stoppers that leads to the arrest and indictment for this felony offense and other felony offenses.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Fire-Rescue Truck Hit by Semi]]> Sat, 20 Jan 2018 09:36:06 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas+Fire+Rescue+Semi+Crash.jpg

A Dallas Fire-Rescue truck was damaged Saturday morning after being hit by a semi truck.

At about 4:45 a.m. crews were blocking traffic for an accident that had previously occurred. An 18-wheeler swiped the side of DFR's Truck 3.

There was some damage on the DFR truck including the front bumper being partially removed. 

The interstate was completely closed while the second crash was investigated. There were no injuries reported in the crash.

The DFR truck was able to be driven away from the scene.

Photo Credit: Metro]]>
<![CDATA[Veasey: Shutdown Shows Republicans Have 'Failed']]> Sat, 20 Jan 2018 09:18:14 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Veasey__Shutdown_Shows_Republicans_Have__Failed_.jpg

Congressman Marc Veasey of Fort Worth talks to NBC 5 Today about the government shutdown and what it may take to end it.

<![CDATA[Driver in Custody After Pursuit Ends in Plano Crash: Police]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:41:59 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/209*120/Adam+Pigott.jpg

A 30-year-old Collin County man is in custody after police say he led officers on a pursuit Friday afternoon that ended in a multi-vehicle crash involving a school bus.

Several charges against Adam Pigott are pending while police continue their investigation.

Police said someone called 911 at about 2:30 p.m. to report a reckless driver in a pickup truck who was unable to maintain a single lane.

The caller reported that at one point a group of other drivers attempted to block the pickup truck with their vehicles on Bethany Drive in Allen, but the truck continued on its way.

Allen police then attempted to stop the truck but say Pigott would not pull over.

Near the intersection of Central Expressway and West Spring Creek Parkway, Pigott's truck collided with at least three vehicles, including a Plano ISD school bus.

The school district said later that one student was on board the bus at the time of the crash, and neither the student nor the bus driver was injured.

Police officers removed Pigott from his truck as it caught fire, and he was transported to Plano Medical Center in a stable condition.

Police previously told NBC 5 that the chase involved a suspected drunk driver, but further details on the investigation were not available Friday evening.

Photo Credit: Allen Police / NBC 5
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<![CDATA[Fort Worth Woman Last Seen With Suspected Killer Is Missing]]> Sat, 20 Jan 2018 22:13:15 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/Jasmine+Adams.JPG

As the search continues for the man suspected of killing a Dallas woman, another family has come forward fearful for their loved one.

Jasmine Adams, 21, was last seen by her family on New Year's Day. Her mother, Lora Bacy, says she moved out of their Fort Worth home to live with Brandon Sampson.

Bacy says Sampson showed up at her house to help Adams pack her belongings.

She had no idea Sampson was suspected by a Dallas family of harming another woman, 34-year-old Jacqueline Hughes.

"If I would've known, I wouldn't have let her go," Bacy said.

Hughes was last heard from on Christmas. Family members say her last known address was Sampson's home in Oak Cliff, where Hughes's body was found hidden inside the garage on Jan. 9.

Dallas police issued an arrest warrant for Sampson on Wednesday. He faces a homicide charge.

Earlier this week, Bacy says a detective showed up at her door wondering if she's heard from Adams.

She says her daughter isn't responding to calls or texts, and she is worried she's being held against her will.

"I just want her to come home. Just call me. Tell me something," Bacy said.

A missing person report has been filed for Adams.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and indictment of Brandon Sampson.

A wake for Jacqueline Hughes is Saturday at 11 a.m. followed by a home-going service at noon.

Both are happening at Mount Cavalry Church of God in Christ on Garza Avenue in Dallas.

Photo Credit: Family Photo/NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Two Generations Send Valentines to Military Overseas]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:32:28 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/sacshe+valentine.JPG

The kitchen at Mustang Creek Estates of Sachse retirement home was abuzz with young cooks Friday afternoon.

"It's kind of a widely known stereotype that teenagers are bad, and they go and do awful things and they don't spend time with their family," said Sachse High School senior Kelly Garcia. "We're trying to knock that stereotype out."

About a dozen girls volunteered their time to make Valentine's Day a little brighter for the senior citizens who live at Mustang Creek, as well as military members serving overseas, making cookies and Valentine's Day cards.

"Knowing they care about us older people and they care about him, even though he has memory loss," said Kathleen Ritchie, whose husband is a resident at Mustang Creek Estates.

"It's gonna look good no matter what," said Kylie Anderson, as she cut a handmade card. "It's made with love."

Garcia said she hopes their work inspires other young people to volunteer their time.

"There's something so great we can learn from our elders," Garcia said. "Giving back is something I love to do with my time. It's the least I can do with my time."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Exotic Animals Seized in Texas to Be Rehabilitated in Wylie]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:04:34 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/exotic+animals+tx.jpg

A collection of exotic animals seized by Texas law enforcement officers this week are now being cared for in North Texas.

A white tiger, a snow white tiger and two bears were rescued from an "undisclosed" location in Texas, according to In-Sync Exotics media representative, Angela Culver. 

"The animals were seized from people who did not have the proper permits and were housing them illegally," Culver told NBC 5.

The tigers were taken to In-Sync Exotic's sanctuary in Wylie, where they will live for the rest of their lives.

The two bears will live at the Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville.

Information about the people who illegally obtained the animals was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: In-Sync Exotics]]>
<![CDATA[Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo Celebrates Fiesta Night]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:27:27 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/Stock+Show+Fiesta+Night.jpg

The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is underway, and organizers are trying to attract a more diverse audience.

Friday night was the 35th annual Fiesta Night, hosted by the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and party-goers celebrated a heritage that's as much about the city's future as its past.

"Cowboy, vaquero, that's in our blood. Whether you're Anglo or Hispanic, that's kind of the common ground," said John Hernandez, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Abel Sanchez is a past president and one of the Fiesta Night founders. He was also the first Hispanic executive banker in Fort Worth. But despite blazing the trail, he thinks it's harder for young Hispanics entering the workforce today.

"The politics today have made it a little harder for professionals," Sanchez said.

New business owner Daniel Castaneda agrees there are still challenges.

"Once it comes to finance, private equity, real estate and some of those offices downtown, there's definitely a huge lack of diversity there and high barrier to entry," Castaneda said.

There is no question where Fort Worth is headed. The Latino population is growing faster than an auctioneer can count.

"Sixty-three percent of our students are of Hispanic origin," said Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner, who attended Fiesta Night. "The majority of those students come from homes where Spanish is the primary language."

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price added, "It's critical that they get great educations and be moved into the workforce and into society."

The city's future is counting on it.

The stock show added a Hispanic Advisory Committee 10 years ago. It also has a Best of Mexico celebration that's always the first rodeo to sell out, and last year started a new Dia de la Familia, which is coming up on Sunday.

<![CDATA[Government Shutdown Could Impact Mortgage Loans]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:26:21 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/irs+exterior+sign.JPG

A government shutdown would mean parts of major federal agencies, like the Internal Revenue Service, would shut down, and that could have a huge impact on home buyers.

After months and months of searching, Elena Snyder, finally found the perfect home.

"We've been back and forth with negotiations for a few weeks now, so we finally last night got the final negotiations signed off on," Snyder said.

The deal on the Arlington fixer-upper is ready to close quickly, but if the government shuts down, that may not happen.

"We need Social Security numbers confirmed, income confirmed," said Kelly Decker, with First United Bank Mortgage.

Decker says banks use the IRS in the loan process to vet things like your ID and income — especially for first-time home buyers like Snyder, who typically have loans that are backed by the federal government.

"It's going to take a little longer to get those loans funded. So if they had planned on moving trucks showing up on the last day of the month, it might mean they have to wait maybe another three, four, five days, depending on how long the shutdown takes," Decker said.

If the shutdown drags on, people selling their homes may take an offer from someone who has all cash versus someone who needs a loan and is stuck in limbo.

Snyder says it's one more stress in North Texas' competitive real estate market, but she's hopeful that a deal can happen in Congress to keep her dream for a home alive.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Uniting to Share Homeless Community’s Powerful Voice]]> Sat, 20 Jan 2018 06:50:39 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jonathan-Palant-and-Douglas-Buchanan-rehearse-with-the-Dallas-Street-Choir_photo-credit_Kimberly-Richard.jpg

Douglas Buchanan, a Baltimore-based composer, conductor, performer, and educator, knows the homeless community has a powerful voice. On January 20 at Moody Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District, the Dallas Chamber Symphony and the Dallas Street Choir will debut “Crossroads” — a piece Buchanan wrote to amplify that voice.

Buchanan is the son of Dr. Bruce Buchanan, the recently retired executive director of The Stewpot, and grew up working with those experiencing homelessness.

One year ago, Buchanan founded Voices Rise: A Baltimore Choir of Hope, inspired by Jonathan Palant’s creation and direction of the Dallas Street Choir at The Stewpot.

When Richard McKay, the artistic director of Dallas Chamber Symphony and Buchanan’s classmate at the Peabody Conservatory, approached Buchanan about an eighteen-month residency with an opportunity to create a piece for and about Dallas’ homeless community, Buchanan responded with enthusiasm.

“I think working with communities like the Dallas Street Choir and Voices Rise allows artists to realize that the small actions they make within a community can ripple outwards,” Buchanan said. “I think it helps to complete an empathetic suite for a musician.”

“Crossroads” is an homage to Dallas, The Stewpot as well as his parent’s work with the homeless community over the past three decades. Buchanan includes musical motifs referencing the Dallas Street Choir, Dallas Chamber Symphony, The Stewpot and his father.

Following the choir’s performance at Carnegie Hall this past summer, Palant is introducing another musical challenge to the Dallas Street Choir: singing an original piece with a hometown orchestra. “I think what makes this work special was the personal connection to it,” Palant said.

In three movements, Buchanan evokes the experience of homelessness, inspired by poetry.

“I knew I wanted to have a movement that represented in some way the streets of Dallas. Certainly, there could be something majestic about it, but I felt that there needed to be something that had some harshness or bite to it because I wanted to create an experience in the piece where you moved from something that was dense and a little biting to something much more accepting and open-armed musically,” Buchanan said.

The bluesy second movement incorporates Dallas’ musical history across the street from The Stewpot. Legendary blues player Robert Johnson recorded 13 songs at 508 Park Avenue on June 19 and 20, 1937. By conjuring up that potent history, Buchanan taps into the homeless community’s appreciation for blues music.

The third movement is titled “Inasmuch” — a reference to the scripture from the Book of Matthew his father uses in sermons about community ministries.

“Some of my music end up being like a stewpot where you have all of these diverse elements that are coming together and are sort of brewed together. They may not seem to fit together at first, but it’s this idea of having different styles that are coming together and these different outlooks that move toward unity, acceptance and love,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan’s residency with the Dallas Chamber Symphony includes working with emerging local composers and engaging with the public in exploring music making and listening. The Dallas Street Choir has been able to learn more about the creation of music through the commissioning of this piece.

“I think what they’ve learned about music making is process, of seeing and meeting a real-live composer. Having the opportunity to submit poetry, give it time and see that poetry returned set to music is a really neat experience,” Palant said.

Complementing the music of the concert is an installation of artist and Southern Methodist University professor Willie Baronet’s We Are All Homeless. Since 1993, Baronet has been purchasing signs from homeless people. “It really was my weird way with dealing with my own discomfort with the homeless,” Baronet said. “It was my way to engage.”

Baronet approaches someone with a sign with a simple question. “Hey, can I buy your sign?” Baronet explained. “A lot of times, they are curious. When they hear it is for an art project, they are excited.” He purchases the signs indiscriminately, allowing the seller to suggest a purchase price. He typically buys signs for $10 to $20. His collection now consists of over 1,400.

In 2014, he embarked on a 31-day cross-country trip to purchase signs in 24 cities. After interviewing over 100 people during his journey for the documentary Signs of Humanity, he has learned to value humanity in all its forms.

“I’ve learned how important it is to the homeless to be seen and heard and just how hard it is to be on the streets hours on end. It has taught me to be grateful for all the things I’ve taken for granted,” Baronet said.

He hopes his art will connect with the public. “It all starts with awareness. That’s why I’ve become passionate about this project. It helps them engage in a conversation they might not otherwise have,” Baronet said.

Palant wants people to recognize the value of the homeless community. “Any opportunity that the Dallas Street Choir has to engage a new audience demonstrates the good this community has within it,” Palant said. “With our voices, we are building bridges between communities. We are demonstrating our motto which is ‘homeless, not voiceless’. We are showing the broader community that while our members are experiencing homelessness, they are still active members of society.”  

“Crossroads: Exploring the Sounds Between” is a free community concert.

MORE:  Dallas Chamber Symphony - Crossroads

Photo Credit: Kimberly Richard
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<![CDATA[State Moves to Close Dallas Psych Hospital After Child Raped]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:15:58 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DMN_Timberlawn_4p_102717.jpg

Texas health officials are taking steps to close Timberlawn psychiatric hospital after a child said she was raped there.

The state's move to revoke Timberlawn's license, announced Friday, is one of the strongest steps it can take against health care facilities. The unusual effort speaks to Timberlawn's long history of safety problems — it was already the only psychiatric hospital on probation with the state.

"I think it was about time. If they're not going to correct their deficiencies, I don't know how you can leave it that way," said John MarDock, whose sister, Dr. Ruth MarDock, was killed in 2016 after being attacked by a patient.

Texas health officials said Friday that it would be up to Timberlawn and its owner, United Health Services, to transfer patients to other appropriate health facilities.

MarDock said his main concern is where the patients will go and whether they will get the quality care they need.

"There's a big patient population. I don't know where they go," he said. "Hopefully someone else will take it over and run it right. It's certainly a challenging problem."

In a letter to employees, Timberlawn's CEO said the hospital would shut down on its own due, in part, to a lack of patients and the cost of refurbishing the historic campus.

NBC 5's media partners at The Dallas Morning News reported in October that police were investigating the sexual assault of a 13-year-old by another patient. Government safety inspectors then swarmed the hospital.

MarDock's death was one of several blemishes on the hospital's safety record. In 2014 a patient who warned that she would take her own life died by suicide. In 2015 a patient said she was raped by another patient.

MarDock blamed his sister's death on the hospital's lack of security. Dr. Ruth MarDock had been a psychiatrist at Timberlawn for nearly 30 years.

"She knew everybody there. She was always good with people. It's easy to lame the murderer, but it shouldn't have been that free for him to roam the halls and get out of his room," her brother said.

In a statement to NBC 5 a Texas Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman said:

"Our focus has always been squarely on patient safety, and we have been holding Timberlawn accountable. That is our regulatory priority. Sometimes hospitals need to make business decisions based on their own circumstances and outlook moving forward."

MarDock said his family does not consider Timberlawn's closing as justice for Ruth.

"It's not going to make it right, just closing Timberlawn. It should have been corrected and she should have been able to go home that day," he said.

Read more from our partners at The Dallas Morning News.

<![CDATA[5 More Flu-Related Deaths Reported in Tarrant County]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:02:21 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/flu-vaccine-generic-hospital.jpg

The Tarrant County Health Department confirms Friday five additional flu-related deaths have been reported in the county.

The latest deaths bring the North Texas total number of deaths to 57 after Dallas County also declared two flu-related deaths Friday.

There have been 40 reported deaths in Dallas County, eight in Tarrant County, six in Collin County and three in Denton County.

Details about the patients has not been disclosed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the flu season nationwide is far worse than what they saw last year at this time.

Last year, 12 states had widespread cases, but this year the flu is widespread throughout the continental United States including Alaska. Hawaii is the only state without widespread flu, through the latest data from the CDC for the week ending Jan. 6.

More than 400 people have died from the flu around the country.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[LimeBike Sawed in Half, Bolted to Deep Ellum Pole]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:31:48 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/limebike-twitter-pole-dallas-deep-ellum.jpg

Bikeshare provider LimeBike says they are proud to serve the people and city of Dallas -- even after someone sawed one of their bikes in half and bolted it to a telephone pole overnight Thursday.

Via Twitter, the company said Friday they had sent operational leads to Deep Ellum to retrieve the bike.

The company credited local utility services for assisting in the removal before saying they were proud to be offering their bikesharing services in Dallas.


In the months since five bikeshare companies showed up in Dallas last year there have been numerous reports of customers abandoning the bicycles in unsightly positions — in the Trinity River, up in a tree, in an Oak Cliff lake.

Many of the bike companies allow customers to simply leave the bikes at their destination -- with the promise that they'll send a team to retrieve the bike.

It's not clear who put destroyed the bike and mounted it to the pole, or whether it was done as an art installation or out of frustration. This is the first report we're aware of where one of the estimated 20,000 rentable bikes had been cut in half and mounted to a pole.

Dallas City Manager TC Broadnax on Friday sent the companies a letter asking them to clean up their mess or that the city would start removing the bicycles and placing them at a central location for retrieval by the companies.

In his letter, Broadnax did not say if the city would impose a fine on the companies for recovering the abandoned bicycles.

Photo Credit: @Limebike/Twitter
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<![CDATA['Pleasant Grove Now’ Boosts Workforce Solutions]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 18:27:12 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/215*120/pleasant+grove+now.JPG

The grand opening of a new Workforce Solutions office drew a big crowd on South Buckner Boulevard Friday, partly because it was directly on target with a Dallas ‘Pleasant Grove Now’ crusade for jobs.

North Texas enjoys tremendous job growth and economic prosperity but the Pleasant Grove area of Southeast Dallas has lagged behind surrounding communities the past few decades.

‘Pleasant Grove Now’ is a drive to bring better employers, jobs and wages to the area.

“We’ve got great workers here and we need to bring business down here and we’ve got to bring the quality of life things with them, retail,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Workforce Solutions matches employers with people seeking jobs and job training.

The Pleasant Grove location is the eighth office in the Dallas area.

Bianca Martinez and Veronica Garcia were the first clients. They want to become bilingual teachers.

“I love children and I love my community and I’m looking really forward to accomplishing that,” Martinez said.   

They’ve already received high school diplomas through courses at the Eastfield College Pleasant Grove Campus down the street, but they need financial help for the next step of teacher’s aide training courses.

Workforce Solutions can help provide it.

“We came and talked to the people here and everybody was really nice and really helpful. And we’re really excited about everything,” Martinez said.

Pleasant Grove has good schools where young teacher aides would be welcome. It has good neighborhoods with nice parks and neighborhood watch crime fighting programs.

Bruton Terrace Neighborhood Watch President Ted Burns attended the Workforce Solutions ribbon cutting.

“We’re getting neighbors involved now in Pleasant Grove, where before they were not involved,” Burns said. “We’ve been working on this and wanting this to come here for a pretty good while.”

The new office was a rundown former city library.

“This is a shot in the arm for a community right here, just to get this building renovated,” said Dallas City Councilman Rickey Callahan, who represents Pleasant Grove.

Workforce Solutions is operated by the Dallas County Local Workforce Development Board, a nonprofit corporation in the State of Texas.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said North Texas has the best job growth in the nation right now and a goal is to see more workers enjoy wage growth because of it.

“It’s not going to be always that we are the number one place in America with the hottest economy. So we’ve to strike while the iron is hot.” Jenkins said.

The new Pleasant Grove Workforce Solutions office may help.

“It’s encouraging for people, so we can be successful and build our community,” Martinez said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Study: CTE Can Develop in Someone Without Concussion History]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 18:21:45 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Concussion_Study_4p_11918.jpg

Spring sports are about to begin for young athletes, but a new study may raise concerns about their safety.

A study published this week in Brain: a Journal of Neurology found repeated hits to the head, not just concussions, can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a debilitating brain disease commonly associated with former professional football players.

Researchers say the study shows the strongest evidence yet that CTE can develop in someone who's never had a concussion.

"We thought in the past, in order to get CTE, you have to have the repetitive concussions, but this study showed you don't have to have repetitive concussions to get CTE," said Dr. Khang Tran, chief medical officer at Medical City Plano.

Tran wasn't involved in the study but reviewed its findings.

"The brain is such an amazing organ. It can heal itself, but yet small injuries over time can lead to significant chronic damage, so it's just going to take time for us to understand the brain," Tran said.

The study took seven years and involved researchers from Boston University, the Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Medical School, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and Oxford University.

The researchers analyzed four human brains from teenagers and young adults who had been exposed to mild head impact but died from another cause after the impact.

They found early evidence inside the brain consistent with signs of CTE, including abnormal accumulation of tau protein. 

CTE is a neurodegenerative disease that can cause brain cell death, cognitive deficits and dementia.

The study's authors say about 20 percent of known cases of CTE had no record or report of concussion.

Tran says parents should use this data in their decision-making on youth sports for their children.

"I think it's just one data point that you need to have in order to make a decision whether your kid should play impact sports or not," he said. "But the study did show that quite significantly over time even sub-concussion impacts can lead to CTE." 

<![CDATA[2 More Flu-Related Deaths Reported in Dallas County]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:41:10 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/flu-vaccine-generic-hospital.jpg

Dallas County Health and Human Services Department confirms Friday two additional flu-related deaths have been reported in the county.

Officials said the latest deaths involve patients who were 81 and 17, both were high-risk with underlying health conditions. Further details about the patients has not been disclosed.

The latest deaths bring the North Texas total number of deaths to 57 after two new deaths were reported in Tarrant County Friday afternoon. There have been 40 reported deaths in Dallas County, eight in Tarrant County, six in Collin County and three in Denton County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the flu season nationwide is far worse than what they saw last year at this time.

Last year, 12 states had widespread cases, but this year the flu is widespread throughout the continental United States including Alaska. Hawaii is the only state without widespread flu, through the latest data from the CDC for the week ending Jan. 6.

More than 400 people have died from the flu around the country.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Fort Worth Pays Homeless People to Pick Up Trash]]> Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:14:26 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/fort+worth+skyline+downtown.jpg

The city of Fort Worth is paying homeless people to pick up trash as part of a unique program to clean up the city and turn lives around.

Frank Crist, 53, earns $10 an hour to pick up litter in the area southeast of downtown where many homeless people live. He also gets paid vacation and benefits. 

"It just makes you feel better keeping it cleaned up," he said. "It means a lot. I mean, with my record and stuff, I really had no other place that would hire me."

Crist served prison time for drugs and ended up on the street. He now lives at the Presbyterian Night Shelter, which hired him as part of a program called Clean Slate.

The city pays for it. The shelter runs it.

"It is a win-win," said Presbyterian Night Shelter CEO Toby Owen. "We want a clean neighborhood that speaks hope, that speaks dignity to our homeless guests. And it also provides income for these individuals so they can move out and be successful without living in a homeless shelter."

Last year, Clean Slate put 40 homeless people to work, Owen said. Approximately 3,856 tons of trash was collected by Clean Slate workers. And they don't just clean up trash on the street -- they also work as janitors for businesses.

Crist is about to move into an apartment — after 23 months in the shelter.

"It took me about a year, a year-and-a-half, but everything is coming together," he said. "It feels great. Didn't think it was ever going to happen again, but now it has."

Crist says he will continue to work for Clean Slate even after he moves into his new apartment. 

The city now spends about $48,000 a year on the program.

Owen said the shelter is working with the city to expand it next year.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Tarrant County Elections Administrator Fired After Two Weeks]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:51:52 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/nathan-neblett-inset.jpg

Tarrant County Elections Administrator Nathan Neblett was terminated this week after just two weeks on the job.

Neblett was fired by the Tarrant County Elections Commission on Tuesday, said Tarrant County Administrator G.K. Maenius. He started Jan. 2.

“It just wasn’t a good fit,” Maenius said.

Neblett did not immediately respond to a message on Facebook seeking comment.

He replaced Stephen Vickers who left last year.

Maenius said the county would make sure the elections department has the resources it needs to prepare for the March 6 primary.

"There's no smoking gun," said Tarrant County Republican Chairman Tim O'Hare. "Sometimes you hire somebody and you can see pretty early this isn't going to work. It was nothing more than that. I wish him the best."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/Tarrant County]]>
<![CDATA[Gov. Abbott Names New TPWD Chairman]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:00:24 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ralph-duggins-inset.jpg

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday Fort Worth's Ralph Duggins has been named presiding officer of the Parks and Wildlife Commission.

Duggins was first appointed to the commission in 2008 and reappointed in 2013. The commission manages and conserves the natural and cultural resources of Texas and provides hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Here's more from the governor's office on Duggins:

Ralph Duggins of Fort Worth is partner of the Fort Worth-Dallas law firm of Cantey Hanger LLP. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Colorado Bar Association. He is also a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a master of the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, and former member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee. He serves as a director of The Peregrine Fund and the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show. Additionally, he is former chairman of Cook Children's Healthcare System and Cook Children's Healthcare Foundation, a former advisory director for J.P. Morgan Chase - Tarrant County, and a former director of Lena Pope Home, Inc. and Lena Pope Foundation. Duggins received a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Methodist University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri.

Photo Credit: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department]]>
<![CDATA[Highland Park Road Work Will Slow Mockingbird Traffic]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:17:13 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Beach+Drive+Project+Phase+One+Detour+Sign.jpg

Road construction along Mockingbird Lane will make driving through Highland Park a little more congested beginning Monday.

Crews repairing the road at the intersection with High School Avenue will begin working at 7:30 a.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. each afternoon.

"Work crews will utilize a lane shift to permit two-way traffic through the work area; however, there will be short periods when traffic is temporarily stopped to allow relocation of roadwork equipment," organizers said.

The repairs are expected to be completed by Friday.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[NTE Construction to Close Sections of Tarrant Co. Highways]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:17:32 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/071312+detour+sign+generic.jpg

Construction of the $1.4 billion North Texas Express will force several road closures along Loop 820 in Fort Worth this weekend.

On Friday, Jan. 19 from 9 p.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20 the following closures will be in place:

  • The direct connector from eastbound I-820 to northbound and southbound I-35W will be closed. Traffic will be redirected to Meacham Blvd.
  • All lanes of westbound I-820 at I-35W will be closed. Traffic will be redirected to Western Center Blvd.
  • The on-ramp to westbound I-820 from Riverside Dr. will be closed. Traffic will be redirected to Western Center Blvd.
  • The off-ramp from northbound I-35W to Beach St. will be closed. Traffic will be redirected to the exit at Meacham Blvd.
  • The on-ramp to northbound I-35W from NE 28th St. will be closed. Traffic will be redirected to the entrance at Meacham Blvd.
  • Rolling full freeway closures on northbound I-35W tom the Trinity River to Northside Dr.
  • Rolling full freeway closures on northbound I-35W from NE 28th St. to NE 33rd St.
  • Rolling closures on eastbound Weatherford St. at I-35W.
  • Rolling closures on westbound Belknap St. at I-35W.
  • The direct connector from eastbound Spur 280 to southbound I-35W will be closed. Traffic will be redirected to SH 121.

On Saturday, January 20th from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. the following closures will be in place:

  • All lanes of northbound I-35W at Meacham Blvd. will be closed. Traffic will be redirected along the frontage road.

On Saturday, January 20th from 9 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday, January 21st the following closures will be in place:

  • The direct connector from eastbound I-820 to northbound I-35W will be closed. Traffic will be redirected to Meacham Blvd.
  • Rolling closures on eastbound Weatherford St. at I-35W.
  • Rolling closures on westbound Belknap St. at I-35W.

On Sunday, January 21st from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. the following closures will be in place:

  • All lanes of northbound I-35W at Meacham Blvd. will be closed. Traffic will be redirected along the frontage road.

On Sunday, January 21st from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday, January 22nd the following closures will be in place:

  • The direct connector from eastbound I-820 to northbound and southbound I-35W will be closed. Traffic will be redirected to Haltom Rd.

Drivers are encouraged to “Know Before They Go,” and visit www.northtarrantexpress.com for upcoming closures. To view detour maps, please visit the Alternate Route Map page.

Also, as lane closures are updated frequently, please visit the Lane Closures page daily for the most current information. Closures are subject to weather conditions, and construction activities may be postponed if necessary.

This work is weather-permitting.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Possible Measles Exposure at Waxahachie Movie Theater]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:33:50 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/measles38.jpg

The Texas Department of State Health Services is warning people who were at the ShowBiz Cinemas in Waxahachie on Jan. 9 that they may have been exposed to measles.

The health department said a moviegoer saw a movie at the theater that day and that anyone who was there may have been exposed. The exposure risk at the theater was for only Jan. 9 and there is no further risk at the theater, health officials said.

Those who visited the theater that day should monitor themselves for a rash or any other measles symptoms for up to three weeks. Symptoms include: A rash of flat, red spots that typically begins on the face before spreading to the neck, trunk and elsewhere. Other symptoms include a high fever over 101 degrees, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.

"Measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. Measles is so contagious that if someone has it, 90 percent of the people around that person who are not immune will also become infected," the health department said. "The measles vaccine is very effective, about 97 percent after two doses, but a few people who are vaccinated can still get sick, so even vaccinated people should monitor for symptoms."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles can be serious in all age groups but more so for kids under the age of 5 and adults over 20.

Common complications include ear infections, some of which can result in permanent hearing loss. Severe complications may include pneumonia, encephalitis leading to hearing loss or intellectual disability or even death. Pregnant women may give birth prematurely or have a baby with low birth weight.

People are contagious from four days before they get a rash to four days after it appears.

Anyone with these symptoms who was at the theater on Jan. 9 should contact their health care provider and tell them about the exposure to measles. It’s important to call in advance so the provider can take precautions to help prevent staff and other patients from being exposed to measles.

Though rare, more than 100 cases of measles are reported nationally each year, on average.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Rangers Sign 3 to Minor Deals With Spring Invites]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:41:05 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/texas-rangers-spring-cap-generic.jpg

The Rangers have signed three more players to minor league contracts that include invitations to major league spring training.

Texas announced Thursday that it has signed catcher Curt Casali and re-signed outfielder Jose Cardona and right-hander Tayler Scott. The trio is among 21 non-roster invitees to major league spring training with the Rangers.

Casali has appeared in the majors each of the past four seasons with Tampa Bay, hitting .199 over 161 games. The 31-year-old catcher has thrown out 26 of 85 attempted base stealers, or 31 percent, in his major league games. He spent most of last season at Triple-A Durham.

The 23-year-old Cardona, entering his eight season in the Rangers organization, and Scott are going to major league spring training for the first time.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mark Cuban Says Mavs to Accept Bitcoin Next Season: CNBC]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:21:53 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mark_Cuban_Says_Mavs_Tickets_Are_Very_Affordable_1200x675_1074351171629.jpg

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Monday Mavs fans will be able to buy tickets next season using cryptocurrency, according to a report by CNBC.

CNBC reports a Twitter user asked Cuban when they would be able to buy basketball tickets usign bitcoin and that he replied "next season."

The account for the user who asked the question, @13ac0n_, has apparently since been deleted.

According to CoinDesk, Cuban, who they reported has made investments in cryptocurrency, said they'd be adding the crypto payment ability to accept BTC and Eth and possibly some other crypto currencies.

<![CDATA[Dozens Displaced After Large Fire in Irving Apartment]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:46:05 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/irving-apartment-fire-011918.jpg

A large fire tore through an apartment building in Irving, destroying the homes of dozens of people Friday morning.

The fire was reported in the 4500 block of West Pioneer Drive shortly after 9:30 a.m.

Video captured from Texas Sky Ranger showed major damage to a large portion of the apartment building. Fire crews used several water cannons as flames soared from the roof of the building.

Firefighters from Dallas and Grand Prairie helped Irving Fire-Rescue battle the 3-alarm fire.

The American Red Cross was asked to help assist the 35-40 people displaced by the fire, officials said. Despite the damage, no residents or first responders were injured.

Investigators are working to determine what caused the fire.

<![CDATA[Why You Should Wash Your Car This Weekend]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:30:55 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ice-east-texas-i20-sign.jpg

If you've been out driving in the past week, there's a good argument that you should wash your car this weekend.

Crews across North Texas sprayed brine — a salt water solution — to pre-treat roads ahead of wintry weather Monday night. The Texas Department of Transportation says the mixture helps prevent ice an snow from sticking to road surfaces.

However, experts say mufflers, wiring and bolts underneath your car can erode if not cleaned. If that part breaks, it could be an expensive fix. Rusting can also lead to exterior cracks and chipped paint.

Here's what you can do:

• Wash your car from top to bottom: Make sure the car wash is equipped to clean your undercarriage.
• Don't brush: Brushes transfer dirt and debris
• Wipe it down: Inspect your car for paint flakes and specks, rust, oxidation or corrosion.
• Check the interior: Use a vacuum to clean salt and dirt from carpeting, mats and upholstery.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Deaths of Mom, Baby in Texas Fire Suspicious: Police]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:56:37 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Police+Lights+Generic+NBC4_2.jpg

A woman and her 8-month-old baby have been found dead in their Central Texas home after it caught fire and authorities say they consider the deaths suspicious.

Police in Taylor, located about 35 miles northeast of Austin, say the two were found dead Thursday. Police are investigating.

Firefighters had been responding to an unrelated call when they saw smoke coming from the home.

Police say that after firefighters breached the front door they found 30-year-old Amy Baylor and 8-month-old Aleigha Sealey dead inside a bedroom.

<![CDATA[Denton County Confirms Third Flu-Related Fatality]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:53:26 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/flu_1381790.JPEG

Denton County health officials have confirmed a third influenza-related fatality for the 2017-2018 flu season.

The patient was an adult, a Denton County Public Health spokeswoman said. No further identifying information was released due to patient confidentiality.

"First and foremost, flu season is not over," Dr. Matt Richardson, Director of Public Health, stated in a news release. "This fatality indicates that the flu remains a serious condition and highlights the need for further preventative action."

As of writing there have been 38 reported influenza-related deaths in Dallas County, six in Collin County and three in Tarrant County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the flu season nationwide is far worse than what they saw last year at this time.

Last year, 12 states had widespread cases, but this year the flu is widespread throughout the continental United States including Alaska. Hawaii is the only state without widespread flu, through the latest data from the CDC for the week ending Jan. 6.

More than 400 people have died from the flu around the country.

“We still anticipate several weeks of high influenza activity,” said Juan Rodriguez, DCPH Assistant Director and Chief Epidemiologist. “The flu vaccine still remains the most effective way of preventing the flu.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Dallas Man Charged With Series of Crimes in Boston Area]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:34:05 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/generic-police-lights23.jpg

Prosecutors say a group of friends from Texas who flew to Boston last spring for an NBA playoff game committed a series of vehicle thefts and burglaries while in Massachusetts before being caught at the airport with more than $50,000 in their luggage.

One suspect, 29-year-old Fredrick Williams, of Dallas, was held on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty Thursday to 27 charges.

Prosecutors say the group flew to Boston last May for a game between the Celtics and Cleveland and over two days stole vehicles in Boston, Woburn and Stoughton and broke into six businesses in Boston, Everett, Brockton and Cambridge to steal or try to steal safes or ATMs.

Prosecutors say Williams was seen on surveillance buying crowbars used in the crimes.

His lawyer says purchasing hardware "doesn't implicate him."

<![CDATA[Dallas Cracks Down on Bike Share Mess]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 18:22:46 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas-bike-share-litter.jpg

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax sent a clear message Friday to the five dockless bike share companies that operate in the city: clean up your mess.

In the months since the first rental bikes showed up in Dallas this past summer there have been numerous reports of customers abandoning the bicycles in unsightly positions — in the Trinity River, up in a tree, in an Oak Cliff lake.

There have been many more incidents of bicycles left lying in various states of disarray, including on their sides in large groups that seemingly stay that way for several days in a row.

Broadnax sent a letter Thursday night that establishes a Feb. 9 deadline for the companies to take “corrective actions.”

“Failure to comply and/or demonstrate improved compliance may result in the City having no choice but to begin the removal of bikes from the rights of way and be made available at a centralized location for retrieval by the bike share companies,” Broadnax noted.

“We will take those bikes, we will hold them, however those companies have every right to get those bikes back”, says Michael Rogers, Director of Transportation for the City of Dallas.

The city is already working on new regulations to keep the bike share program going.

“We’re looking at developing some type of policy or permit, we don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like, but we needed to have some compliance immediately”, says Rogers.

Garland-based VBikes recommends the city designate virtual parking spots, identifying specific locations where people should leave the bikes.

“It goes back to educating the public on how to park the bikes, and where to park the bikes, and doing it properly”, says VBikes Karl Haas.

 Another bike share operate, LimeBike, provided this statement:

Since launching in Dallas, we have been in constant communication with the city of Dallas to work together to integrate LimeBike as a convenient, sustainable transportation option for residents to enjoy, and will continue to collaborate with the city as it develops regulations for dockless bike-share as a new modern ride option.

We applaud and respect Dallas for welcoming innovative, technology-based transportation, paving the way as a leader for other cities to follow. We welcome the letter as an opportunity to examine both the successes and the challenges of dockless bike-share experiencing such rapid growth.

By doubling down on our operations efforts and enhancing our rider education on responsible parking habits, we strive to provide an affordable, accessible ride option, while also ensuring bikes are always maintained and parked responsibly. With more than 50 employees already managing our bikeshare system, we plan to double this number to 100 by the end of next month as we continue to scale our local operations team as fast as possible.

Over the past six months, LimeBike has provided a mobility solution for more than 60,000 Dallas residents, and we look forward to continuing to serve the Dallas community for many years to come.

The five bike share companies currently operating in Dallas are VBikes, LimeBike, Ofo, Spin and Mobike. Broadnax indicated that a sixth company, U-Bicycle, has “expressed interest in launching in Dallas.”

In his letter, Broadnax answered a question many people have likely asked themselves – just how many of these bikes are there in Dallas?

According to the City Manager, it is estimated that there are close to 20,000 bikes in Dallas.

Broadnax's Letter to Bikeshare Companies

Broadnax's Letter to Mayor, City Council

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>