<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - National & International News]]>Copyright 2017https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/national-internationalhttp://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.pngNBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worthhttps://www.nbcdfw.comen-usMon, 20 Nov 2017 17:11:56 -0600Mon, 20 Nov 2017 17:11:56 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Justice Dept. Sues to Block AT&T-Time Warner Merger]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 16:42:40 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dojGettyImages-578529965.jpg

The Justice Department sued on Monday to block AT&T's merger with Time Warner, calling it an "illegal" combination that harms consumers and stifles innovation, DOJ officials said.

AT&T and Time Warner announced their $85 billion merger last year but the closing has been dragged out by the government's anti-trust review.

It is the latest salvo in a drama more than one year in the making, CNBC reported. Earlier this month, reports circulated that the government had demanded AT&T sell Turner Broadcasting, operator of the CNN news network, or DirectTV as a condition of approval, though the government pushed back at those reports.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[CBS Suspends Rose, PBS Halts His Show Following Allegations]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 17:08:13 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_17039477182204.jpg

PBS says it is immediately halting distribution of Charlie Rose's interview program and CBS News suspended him following The Washington Post's report of eight women who accused the veteran newsman of multiple unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate behavior.

The women, three of whom spoke on the record in the deeply-reported story, accused Rose of groping them, walking naked in front of them and relating an erotic dream.

Rose told the Post that he was "deeply embarrassed" and apologized for his behavior.

Rose's PBS show features his in-depth interviews with newsmakers. The 75-year-old journalist is one of three hosts of "CBS This Morning" and is also a contributor to "60 Minutes."

Photo Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Gun Theft From Legal Owners Is on the Rise, Fueling Violence]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 12:28:47 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/missingpieces-poster.jpg

Hundreds of thousands of firearms stolen from the homes and vehicles of legal owners are flowing each year into underground markets, and the numbers are rising. Those weapons often end up in the hands of people prohibited from possessing guns. Many are later used to injure and kill.

A yearlong investigation by The Trace and more than a dozen NBC TV stations identified more than 23,000 stolen firearms recovered by police between 2010 and 2016 — the vast majority connected with crimes. That tally, based on an analysis of police records from hundreds of jurisdictions, includes more than 1,500 carjackings and kidnappings, armed robberies at stores and banks, sexual assaults and murders, and other violent acts committed in cities from coast to coast.

"The impact of gun theft is quite clear," said Frank Occhipinti, deputy chief of the firearms operations division for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. "It is devastating our communities."

Thefts from gun stores have commanded much of the media and legislative attention in recent years, spurred by stories about burglars ramming cars through storefronts and carting away duffel bags full of rifles and handguns. But the great majority of guns stolen each year in the United States are taken from everyday owners.

Thieves stole guns from people’s closets and off their coffee tables, police records show. They crawled into unlocked cars and lifted them off seats and out of center consoles. They snatched some right out of the hands of their owners.

In Pensacola, Florida, a group of teenagers breaking into unlocked cars at an apartment complex stole a .22-caliber Ruger handgun from the glovebox of a Ford Fusion, then played a video game to determine who got to keep it. One month later, the winner, an 18-year-old man with an outstanding warrant for his arrest, fatally shot a 75-year-old woman in the back of the head who had paid him to do odd jobs around her house. She had accused the gunman of stealing her credit cards.

In Gilbert, Arizona, a couple left four shotguns out in their bedroom and two handguns stuffed in their dresser drawers even though they had a large gun safe in the garage. They returned home to find their sliding backdoor pried open and all six of the weapons missing. Police recovered one of the shotguns eight months later on the floor of a getaway car occupied by three robbers who held up a gas station and led officers on a harrowing chase in the nearby city of Chandler.

In Atlanta, a thief broke through a front window of a house and stole an AK-47-style rifle from underneath a mattress. The following year, a convicted felon used the weapon to unleash a hail of bullets on a car as it was leaving a Chevron gas station, sending two men to the hospital. Two months later, the felon used the rifle to fatally shoot his girlfriend’s 29-year-old neighbor. A 7-year-old girl who witnessed the killing told police the crack of the gunfire hurt her ears. She ran home crying to her mother.

After the Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs mass shootings, attention fell on exotic gun accessories and gaps in record keeping. Last week, a new measure intended to shore up the federal background check system was introduced by eight U.S. senators. But many criminals are armed with perfectly lethal weapons funneled into an underground market where background checks would never apply.

In most cases reviewed in detail by the Trace and NBC, the person caught with the weapon was a felon, a juvenile, or was otherwise prohibited under federal or state laws from possessing firearms.

More than 237,000 guns were reported stolen in the United States in 2016, according to previously unreported numbers supplied by the National Crime Information Center, a database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that helps law enforcement track stolen property. That represents a 68 percent increase from 2005. (When asked if the increase could be partially attributed to a growing number of law enforcement agencies reporting stolen guns, an NCIC spokesperson said only that "participation varies.").

All told, NCIC records show that nearly two million weapons have been reported stolen over the last decade.

The government’s tally, however, likely represents a significant undercount. A report by the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning public policy group, found that a significant percentage of gun thefts are never reported to police. In addition, many gun owners who report thefts do not know the serial numbers on their firearms, data required to input weapons into the NCIC. Studies based on surveys of gun owners estimate that the actual number of firearms stolen each year surpasses 350,000, or more than 3.5 million over a 10-year period.

"There are more guns stolen every year than there are violent crimes committed with firearms," said Larry Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade group that represents firearms manufacturers. "Gun owners should be aware of the issue."

On a local level, gun theft is a public safety threat that police chiefs and sheriffs are struggling to contain. The Trace requested statistics on stolen weapons from the nation’s largest police departments in an effort to understand ground-level trends. Of the 80 police departments that provided at least five years of data, 61 percent recorded per-capita increases in 2015 compared to 2010.

The rate of gun thefts more than doubled in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Madison, Wisconsin; and Pasadena, California, our analysis found.

More than two-thirds of cities experienced growth in the raw number of stolen-gun reports, not accounting for population change.

There were 843 firearms reported stolen in St. Louis in 2015 — a 27 percent increase in reports over 2010.

"We have a society that has become so gun-centric that the guns people buy for themselves get stolen, go into circulation, and make them less safe," said Sam Dotson, a former St. Louis police chief.

Identifying the precise nexus between stolen firearms and other forms of crime is a question that has flummoxed researchers and journalists for years, in part because of strict legal limits on the public’s access to national data. The ATF is barred under a rider to a Department of Justice appropriations bill from sharing detailed crime gun data, which could include information about whether a weapon was stolen, with anyone outside of law enforcement.

The Trace and NBC sidestepped federal restrictions, in part, by obtaining more than 800,000 records of both stolen and recovered firearms directly from more than 1,000 local and state law enforcement agencies in 36 states. Matching the serial numbers of guns contained in the two sets of records enabled our reporters to identify crimes involving a weapon that had been reported stolen.

The trend is unambiguous: Gun theft is on the rise in many American cities, and many of those stolen weapons are later used to injure and kill people.

A research paper published this year, using responses from the Harvard and Northeastern survey, estimated that three million Americans carry loaded handguns in public every day. About nine million people carried a handgun at some point during the month before the survey was conducted, researchers found. Six percent of respondents who said they carried a gun had been threatened with a firearm in the previous five years.

In the past two decades, dozens of states have passed legislation easing restrictions against carrying in public. Some, like Georgia, have made it possible to legally carry a concealed weapon in restaurants and churches. At least a dozen, including Missouri, Arizona, and West Virginia, have done away with all training or licensing requirements, meaning anyone legally allowed to own a gun can carry it concealed in public.

People who owned guns for protection or carried a gun in the previous month were more than three times as likely to have experienced a theft in the previous five years, according to a study published this year that was based on the Harvard and Northeastern survey results. People who owned six or more guns and stored their guns loaded or unlocked — or kept guns in their vehicles — were more than twice as likely to have had their firearms stolen.

In Texas, gun owners have reported thousands of thefts. Austin alone tallied more than 4,600 reports of lost or stolen guns between 2010 and 2015, more than 1,600 of which were swiped from cars, The Trace and NBC found. Over that same period in Austin, lost and stolen guns were recovered in connection to at least 600 criminal offenses, including more than 60 robberies, assaults, and murders.

Many gun-rights advocates, including Jerry Patterson, a former Texas state senator, believe that owners have a responsibility to guard their weapons from theft.

"You’re negligent if you don’t exercise good judgment," he said. "There’s too many guns in the hands of dumbasses that don’t know how to use it, don’t know how to store it."

In Houston about a decade ago, someone broke into Patterson’s truck, making off with a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver. "Now I don’t leave handguns in the car," he said.

Instead, Patterson now keeps a shotgun under the back seat.

"It’s harder to steal a long gun discreetly," he said.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police recently tasked a team of top of law enforcement officials to develop a program that police officers and sheriff’s deputies can use to press gun owners into safeguarding their weapons. At the organization’s annual conference in Philadelphia in October, the team premiered a public service announcement that showed a burglar stealing a gun from an unlocked car and then embarking on a robbery spree.

"We leave our cell phones in our cars, and we go crazy. But you leave your firearm and it’s like we forget," said Armando Guzman, a chief of police from Florida who was one of the principal architects of the prevention effort. "Look at the consequences."

Most states don’t require gun owners who leave weapons in a car or truck to secure them against theft. Kentucky’s law specifically says that owners may keep firearms in a glove compartment, center console, seat pocket, or any other storage space or compartment regardless of whether it is "locked, unlocked, or does not have a locking mechanism."

Homes are generally a more secure place to store firearms, but even indoors, guns can be a magnet for thieves.

Researchers at Duke University and The Brookings Institution found in 2002 that thieves were more likely to break into homes in areas where gun ownership rates were high. The researchers concluded that instead of being a deterrent to crime, guns enticed thieves looking for a lucrative score.

In a large share of the burglaries in which a gun was stolen, it appeared that was the only item taken, suggesting that the thief knew the house had a gun in it and went after it, said Philip Cook, a professor at Duke who co-authored the study.

"That’s why people who put up signs that say, ‘This house is protected by Smith & Wesson,’ are taking a chance, just like people who put NRA stickers on their cars are taking a chance," Cook said. "It signals that this might be worth breaking into."

Of the nearly 150,000 records of stolen weapons analyzed by The Trace and NBC in which the type of gun was listed, 77 percent were handguns.

Law enforcement officials and researchers say that stolen guns are usually sold or traded for drugs. "Guns are the hottest commodity out there, except for maybe cold, hard cash," said Kevin O’Keefe, the chief of the ATF’s intelligence division. "This is a serious issue."

Most stolen guns were recovered within the same city or state as the scene of the theft, sometimes years or even decades later, The Trace and NBC found.

The Trace and NBC identified more than 500 guns that were stolen and then crossed state lines, sometimes traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles, before turning up at the scene of a crime. Many of those guns followed trafficking routes that are well known to law enforcement, flowing from states with looser laws to states with stricter ones.

A Smith & Wesson stolen from an unlocked pickup truck in Florida was recovered in connection to a shooting in Camden, New Jersey. A revolver stolen in Hampstead, New Hampshire, found its way to Boston, where police stopped a gunman at a high school graduation. A .380-caliber Jimenez pistol stolen from a house in Hammond, Indiana, came into the possession of an 18-year-old gang member in Chicago, who tossed it onto a front porch while he was running from police.

In South Carolina, a former state trooper reported his .40-caliber Glock stolen from his unlocked pickup in 2008. The gun was recovered during a drug arrest and the former trooper got it back, only to have it stolen from his truck again in 2011. Four years later, New York Police Officer Randolph Holder, 33, was responding to reports of a shooting in East Harlem when he encountered Tyrone Howard, a 30-year-old felon who had been in and out jail since he was at least 13. Howard pulled out the stolen Glock pistol and fatally shot Holder in the head.

Few states require gun owners to report theft

When a gun store is burglarized, it must report any missing firearms. Under federal law, licensed firearms dealers have to maintain records — including the make, model, and serial number of each gun in their inventory — and provide them to investigators so they can attempt to recover the weapons.

Everyday gun owners are not held to the same record keeping requirements. Only 11 states and the District of Columbia have a version of a law that requires gun owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm to police. Law enforcement officials say stolen-gun reports help them spot trends, deploy resources, and get illegal weapons off the street.

Keane, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s senior vice president, said that while gun owners should lock up their weapons when they’re not in use, he opposes penalizing gun owners who don’t report a theft. "The focus has to be on criminals," he said. "If they’re using stolen firearms then there should be severe consequences from that."

Law enforcement experts and advocates of gun-violence prevention say that the attention should be on preventing thefts from happening in the first place.

Massachusetts is the only state where gun owners must always store firearms under lock and key, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. California, Connecticut, and New York require guns to be locked in a safe or with a locking device in certain situations, including when the owner lives with a convicted felon or domestic abuser.

All four states experience theft rates well below the national average, according to NCIC data.

"There ought to be some obligation in the law for gun owners to responsibly secure their firearms," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat. "Congress should not only be looking at this issue, they ought to be acting on this issue."

— Daniel Nass, Max Siegelbaum, Miles Kohrman, Mike Spies of The Trace contributed to this story.

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<![CDATA[48 Years Ago, the Manson Family's Killing Spree Began]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 07:20:29 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/AP_16205020607358.jpgCharles Manson was the ringleader of a killing cult dedicated to creating "Helter Skelter," an effort aimed at igniting an apocalyptic race war

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[WH: US Increases Pressure on North Korea With Designation]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 15:56:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_NK_TILLERSON_REAX_112017-151121369698300002.jpg

During a White House press briefing Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism is part of a plan to increase pressure on the country.

<![CDATA[Moore Accuser Details How Ala. Senate Candidate 'Seduced Me']]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 08:05:09 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/Screen+Shot+2017-11-20+at+8.22.28+AM.png

The woman who alleges that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore had sexual contact with her when she was 14 and he was 32 says she feels "like a weight has been lifted" since she came forward, after waiting for nearly four decades.

Leigh Corfman appeared on the "Today" show Monday for her first television interview since accusing Moore, the Republican candidate vying to fill the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Moore has denied that he's committed sexual misconduct after Corfman and eight other women alleged sexual misconduct.

Asked about Moore's denial — he's said he doesn't know Corfman — she was skeptical: "I wonder how many mes he doesn't know."

Corfman said she has, over the years, told friends and her children her story: Going to Moore's house in 1979, where he laid blankets on the floor and "proceeded to seduce me," she said, recounting the meeting to Savannah Guthrie.

Moore took off her clothes down to her underwear, Corfman said, took off his own pants, touched her over her underwear and tried to get her to do the same. She said she felt uncomfortable, got dressed and had him take her home.

"I was a 14-year-old child trying to play in an adult's world," she explained, adding that it wasn't what she expected after reading Harlequin romance novels. "I was expecting candlelight and roses and what I got was very different."

Some of Moore's defenders have questioned why Corfman and the other accusers hadn't come forward with their stories before, suggesting they were motivated by politics.

Moore made national headlines in 2003 for defying a Supreme Court order order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments he commissioned for the Alabama Judicial Building when he was chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He recently beat the candidate President Donald Trump supported in the U.S. Senate primary and faces Democrat Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney known for prosecuting the Ku Klux Klan, in the December special election.

Moore has lost support from many Republicans in Washington since Corfman and other women came forward. The White House said Trump has found the accusations "very troubling."

Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, has said he won't step down from the race, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called for. She's also alleged that Corfman was paid for speaking to The Washington Post, which first reported Corfman's story earlier this month.

In Monday's interview, Corfman, a longtime Republican, denied both that coming forward was a political act and that she's been paid for speaking up.

"If anything this has cost me," she said. "I've had to take leave from my job, I have no tickets to Tahiti and my bank account has not flourished. If anything it has gone down."

Corfman said that she immediately told two friends about the incident after it happened, and later told her family. "I spent a lot of time every time he came up railing against him and what he had done to me when I was 14 years old," she said, but noted that she was a single parent of small children.

She did eventually tell her children about her story, once they were in junior high and elementary schools, but they decided together not to come forward so as not to have the kids be ostracized.

But after the Post persuaded her to go on the record about what happened after speaking to three other women who alleged sexual misconduct with Moore when they were much younger than him, Corfman said she's received lots of "amazing" support. More women have since come forward.

Though she cut off contact with Moore after the blanket incident, Corfman said it left her feeling guilty and without some self-confidence. "It took away a lot of the specialness of interactions with men," she said.

Shown a photo of herself at 14, Corfman said, "She sure did have a lot of promise ahead of her and she didn't deserve to have a 32-year-old man prey on her."

Photo Credit: "Today" Show
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<![CDATA[Turkeys Drumstick, Wishbone to Get President Trump’s Pardon]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:10:45 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/turkeys5.jpg

Two turkeys will be pardoned by President Donald Trump on Nov. 21, just ahead of Thanksgiving. After their presidential pardon spares them, Drumstick and Wishbone will spend the rest of their lives living at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

<![CDATA[Trump Designates North Korea a State Sponsor of Terror]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 15:28:53 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+NK+STATE+SPONSOR+THUMB.jpg

President Donald Trump designated North Korea a state sponsor of terror during a cabinet meeting Monday. Citing repeated nuclear threats, support of international terror and Kim Jong Un's suspected involvement in the assassination of his half brother as reasons for the designation, Trump also said on Tuesday the Treasury Department will announce new, larger sanctions on North Korea.

<![CDATA[Sharon Tate's Sister: Manson's Followers 'as Evil Today as They Ever Were' ]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:44:12 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/205*120/GettyImages-457623452.jpg

Debra Tate got the call from Corcoran State Prison around 8:30 p.m. Sunday -- the man who ordered the killing of her sister was dead.

It wasn't a surprise. She'd been expecting it for at least a week after hearing about Charles Manson's poor health.

But it still took some time for her to process her feelings. After the phone call Sunday night, Tate said she prayed.

"I said a prayer for his passing, and I thought about it for a moment," Tate said in an interview with NBC4. "I don't have any animosity. One could say I've forgiven them. But that does not mean I've forgotten. I know very well they're still capable of those heinous types of acts."

The 83-year-old murderous cult leader's death came nearly five decades after a group of his followers broke into Sharon Tate's mansion in Los Angeles' Benedict Canyon, killing the actress and four others in the house. The Aug. 9, 1969 slayings marked the start of the Manson family murders.

Most of the Manson cult members who carried out the killings remain in prison. Tate said she will devote the rest of her life to keeping them there. She has served as a spokeswoman for victims' family members at parole hearings and published a coffee table book celebrating the life of her sister, who was 26 when she was killed.

"This is only one man," she said. "One tentacle on the octopus. There are others out there that actually committed the heinous acts. Those people, I have much more concern over than I do Charlie -- as far as, who the monsters are. Charlie had no desire to get out of jail. These people do, and they're still as evil today as they ever were."

Patricia Krenwinkel is California's longest-serving female inmate at age 69. She chased down and stabbed coffee heiress Abigail Folger after the Tate mansion break-in.

Leslie Van Houten was recommended by a parole board last year for release, but Gov. Jerry Brown overturned that decision. She was granted parole again in September, with a final decision expected from the governor.

Charles "Tex" Watson has been denied parole 17 times. Bruce Davis continues to serve out two life sentences. Bobb Beausoleil remains behind bars in Oregon. 

Tate was there when Manson was denied parole for a 12th time in 2012. 

Tate was there when Manson was denied parole for a 12th time in 2012. She plans to continue the crusade for victims' families at future parole hearings.

"I will never stop trying to influence others to help me keep them behind bars for the rest of their natural days," Tate said.

Tate said she remains in "close communication" with family members of other victims.

"We all share a common thread."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[6-Foot Croc Spotted Sunbathing on Florida Beach]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:34:30 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/112017+crocodile+captured+hollywood+beach.jpg

A 6-foot crocodile was spotted sun bathing on a Florida beach Monday morning, drawing dozens of onlookers as it sat in the surf.

Police responded to Hollywood Beach near N. Surf Road and Haynes Street after witnesses reported seeing the crocodile walking along the shore around 7:30 a.m.

Officials said marine patrol earlier saw the crocodile near the Dania Beach Pier.

Video footage showed the croc lying on the shore line, its head facing toward the sky as waves rolled over its body. 

At one point it moved further into the water before returning above the surf. 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers responded to the scene as Beach Safety officials kept beachgoers and onlookers away from the animal.

Officers were eventually able to capture the croc on the beach.

Photo Credit: NBC 6
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<![CDATA[Donald Trump Through the Years]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 06:45:00 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Trumpthumb.jpgWhat Donald Trump's presidency will look like is unclear to many observers. He has not previously worked in politics, and has made contradictory statements on policy issues in several areas during his campaign. Despite the unknowns, Trump has an extensive public profile that, along with his real estate empire and the Trump brand, grew domestically and internationally over the last few decades. Here is a look at his personal and career milestones and controversies.

Photo Credit: AP, Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[In Photos: Total Devastation in Puerto Rico After Maria]]>Fri, 29 Sep 2017 09:19:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/AP_17271040483244.jpgThe island territory of more than 3 million U.S. citizens is reeling in the devastating wake of what Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello called "the most devastating storm in a century."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa]]>
<![CDATA[What Ever Happened to the Other Manson Family Cult Members?]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 06:52:04 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/515106948-Manson-Family-Atkins-Krenwinkel-Van-Houten.jpg

Charles Manson, who died Sunday, didn't carry out many of the horrifying crimes he's known for — they were executed by his cult, the so-called Manson Family.

NBC News examined where its most prominent members are today, including Patricia Krenwinkel, California's longest-serving female prisoner

The 69-year-old was denied parole 13 times. She helped murder the LaBianca family and stabbed coffee heiress Abigail Folger when the Manson Family members broke into the home of Sharon Tate. Leslie Van Houten also remains behind bars, where she is described as a model prisoner, like Krenwinkel.

Charles "Tex" Watson and Bruce Davis — once Manson's "right hand man" — both became ministers in prison as well, but Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975 but was never charged with murder, was granted parole in 2009.

Photo Credit: Bettmann Archive]]>
<![CDATA[Boy, 9, Behind Viral Christmas Card Wish Loses Battle With Cancer]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:25:37 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000010274707.JPG

A terminally ill Maine boy who spurred thousands of people around the world to send him homemade Christmas cards for his last holiday lost his battle with cancer on Sunday. 

Jacob Thompson's family announced on Facebook early Monday that the 9-year-old died after a 4-year battle with neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer that begins in nerve cells and generally affects infants and young children.

When doctors told Thompson's parents that their son might not live to see Christmas this year, his parents asked strangers to send Jacob homemade cards to help him celebrate the holidays early.

Their request then went viral.

"It's just amazing that one little boy has touched lives from all around the world," Michelle Simard, Jacob's mother, told necn.

At one point, Jacob received more than 10,000 pieces of mail in a day, according to a Maine Medical Center spokesperson.

His room at the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Portland was also transformed into the North Pole, and when word spread that his favorite things were penguins and police officers, law enforcement from around New England responded with a procession of hundreds of police cruisers that started in Boston and ended at his hospital.

The Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut also helped with a Christmas surprise by giving Jacob a chance to hold a real penguin.

In a Facebook post announcing Jacob's death, his family thanked those who took the time out to send him a card or present for his last Christmas celebration.

His family also suggested to those who would like to donate in Jacob's honor to do so for Operation Gratitude, "to a penguin rescue group, or pay it forward in your community," including blood and platelets donations.

"Each and every person who sent Jacob a Christmas card, a gift, a Facebook message or video, or a prayer made a difference in the final days of his life," his family said in a statement. "You brought Jacob joy, and you brought us all optimism for the future."

Photo Credit: necn
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<![CDATA[Site of 2 Super Bowls Implodes With Cloud of Smoke]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 12:39:18 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Georgia_Dome_Implosion_-151118319648600002.jpg

Nearly 5,000 pounds of explosives were used in a scheduled demolition of the Georgia Dome, former home to the Atlanta Falcons and the site of two Super Bowls.

<![CDATA[Donald Trump's Presidency in Photos]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 09:51:41 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-872519720.jpgTake a look at significant events from President Donald Trump's time in office, including the signing of the travel ban, Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the Supreme Court, the launch of 59 missiles at Syria's government-held Shayrat Airfiled and more.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>