<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth https://www.nbcdfw.comen-usTue, 19 Jun 2018 20:57:04 -0500Tue, 19 Jun 2018 20:57:04 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Texas DPS Trooper Involved in Incident East of Dallas]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 20:33:51 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/Hunt+county+incident.JPG

The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating after one of its troopers was involved in an incident in Hunt County Tuesday evening. 

The incident happened just after 6:30 p.m. near the intersection of Interstate 30 and Division Street in Greenville. 

A witness told NBC 5 a driver of an SUV took off during a traffic stop on I-30, and the trooper held onto the vehicle as it went up on two wheels over the Interstate divider. 

The chase eventually ended a short distance away. 

The condition of the trooper and the suspect are not yet known.

NBC 5 is expecting to learn more from a press briefing in the coming hours by the Texas Department of Public Safety. 

The Hunt County Sheriff's Office said it is assisting Texas DPS in the incident.

Check back and refresh this page for the latest update. As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Woman's Body Found in Fort Worth Neighborhood: Police]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:26:13 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/fw-body-found.jpg

Fort Worth police are continuing to investigate the mysterious death of a woman whose body was found partially undressed in a TCU neighborhood early Tuesday morning.

Investigators said Tuesday afternoon that officers were dispatched to the 4900 block of Bellaire Drive earlier in the morning where a passerby spotted the woman's body in a grassy area adjacent to the roadway.

The woman, who was topless and appeared to have been shot, is believed to be in her 30s. No other information about her identity or her cause of death has been revealed including whether she was killed at the location or if her body was dumped there.

Police did say they do not believe there is an immediate threat to the area and they also do not believe the woman has any ties to the university or the residential area. Also, police said no disturbance or "shots fired" calls were reported in the area.

Bellaire Drive is closed between Briarhaven Road and Hulen Street as investigators work in the area.

Anybody with information about the woman is asked to call the Fort Worth Homicide unit at 817-392-4330.

Photo Credit: Tim Ciesco]]>
<![CDATA[FW Catholic Charities Taking in Children Separated at Border]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 20:55:22 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/FW-Catholic-Charities.jpg

Catholic Charities of Fort Worth said they have received and are assisting children who have been separated from their parents at the border. 

They are currently housing elementary to middle school aged kids. Catholic Charities has not released how many children they have, when they arrived and if more would be in the coming days.

Catholic Charities of Fort Worth has a foster program partnered with the federal government and they regulalrly take in children the government sends them.

<![CDATA[Cruz's Flip-Flop on Family Separation Shows Threat to GOP]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 17:14:31 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/U.S.-Mexico-Families-Separated-061918.jpg

Ted Cruz has staged a dramatic about-face on the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policies, laying bare how politically damaging the issue of separating children from parents accused of crossing the border illegally is becoming for Republicans facing voters this fall.

The Texas senator, who has become a frequent ally of President Donald Trump, initially blasted criticism of the White House crackdown.

"When you see Democrats saying, `Don't separate kids from their parents,' what they're really saying is don't arrest illegal aliens," he said last week

But he's softened substantially, telling reporters in Washington on Tuesday, "All of us are horrified at the images we're seeing." He said he's talked with the White House about legislation he plans to introduce to stop the separations, though its exact language hasn't yet been released.

It is striking that a leading conservative insurgent could flip-flop in a deep-red state where hardline immigration policies are exceedingly popular. But the change underscores the chorus of politicians and civic and religious leaders from both parties across the county who say such measures are unacceptable -- even as the Trump administration has vowed to stand by them.

Cruz's push for legislation comes as Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic congressman giving up his seat to challenge Cruz in November, has moved quickly to criticize the family separations and, in the process, raise his national profile. O'Rourke led a Father's Day march to a Texas desert tent city which federal authorities hastily erected to house immigrant children.

"There's an open question right now about who we are and what we stand for and what we're going to do in the face of this injustice and this inhumanity," O'Rourke said by phone.

A former punk rocker, O'Rourke has waged a high energy campaign and often outraised Cruz. He remains a longshot since Texas hasn't elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994, but family separation may be proving too thorny a topic even for a Republican facing a relatively easy path to midterm re-election.

"The needle that Cruz is trying to thread is he wants to end separation but also maintain rule of law," said Matt Mackowiak, a Texas GOP strategist who added, "He's recognizing that this separation issue is explosive."

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new policy that refers all cases of illegal entry -- even those when people crossing sought asylum to remain in the U.S. -- for criminal prosecution. The government previously limited prosecution for many family entrants, partly because children aren't charged with a crime and can't be detained with their parents.

Texas is 39 percent Hispanic and has become the epicenter of the debate, with a former warehouse fitted with metal caging in the Rio Grande Valley housing more than 1,000 immigrant children. Roughly 750 miles to the west in the pecan-growing town of Tornillo, near El Paso, more youngsters are being held in the tent encampment where O'Rourke led Sunday's march.

O'Rourke is offering House anti-family separation legislation similar to Democratic-led efforts in the Senate. He's long courted Trump supporters, saying he can understand their frustration with Washington's status quo. But O'Rourke says there's no room for agreement with the White House on this issue.

"President Trump made the decision to take their young children from them, inflicting horrific trauma on those kids and on those parents alike and absolutely undermining our values and our idea of who we are as a country," he said. "But, at this point, it is now the United States of America that is doing this. It is now on all of us to change it."

O'Rourke said the effort won't make him appear soft on crime since existing federal law already stipulates that anyone crossing the U.S. border and seeking asylum not be treated "like common criminals."

"It's not a question of if you're for law and order. We all are," O'Rourke said. "It's following our own laws and also making sure that we're not torturing these families."

Cruz is beginning to echo that sentiment, saying, "We can stop this. The legislation I'm filing this week would prohibit separating families, would mandate that kids should stay with their parents."

He said his bill would double the number of federal immigration judges to ensure that asylum cases are heard within two weeks.

"If the claim is not valid, and many of those coming here illegally don't have valid claims for asylum, then within 14 days that claim should be processed and they should be returned to their home country," Cruz said. "During that expedited process, we can and should keep families together, keep children with their moms and dads and we need to stand up temporary shelters."

Neither Cruz nor O'Rourke's legislation are likely to advance as congressional Republicans continue to grapple with larger immigration packages, which some fierce conservatives are rejecting as "amnesty."

Mackowiak said immigration and border crackdowns rarely are losing issues for Texas Republicans, but family separation "is very uncomfortable for a lot of us."

"Separating families is dicier," he said "even here."

Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas County Judge in Talks to Accept Migrant Children]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 17:37:07 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/clay+jenkins.png

Dallas County is actively looking for sites to house migrant children who have been separated from their parents at the Texas border.

"What we need right now is a relief valve from the tent cities and the dark Walmart building," said Dallas County Commissioner's Court Judge Clay Jenkins Tuesday. "I bet you I can get a lot of people out there to make this a little less painful for the children."

Edison Middle School in West Dallas is among the places being considered for housing. On the Dallas County Commissioner's Court, there are differences in opinion.

"We are in the process. We are going to see if the federal government comes through," said Elba Garcia, who sits on the Commissioner's Court and supports Jenkins' efforts. "We'll move from there."

"I still say Dallas has the highest child poverty rate in the country," said John Wiley Price, who did not support bringing migrant children to Dallas. "And so I want to try to take care of these children first."

The effort follows a rally on Thursday night protesting the treatment of unaccompanied minors on the border, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is actively working to prepare Dallas for a possible influx of children.

Jenkins said he's willing - and hopes Dallas residents are willing - to open up local shelters, if needed. He said the first step though, is being asked for help by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

"Now that we have green light from @DHSgov @HHSGov, we need site choices," Jenkins tweeted Monday. "Camps, retreats, centers with dorms, dining halls and space to play are ideal."

"Locations will be leased by the feds at market rates," Jenkins added. "Private sector offers are encouraged. Let's come together and do for these children what we would want done for our children if the roles were reversed - until the kids are back in their parents loving embrace."

The judge himself cannot simply invite migrant children into the city.

Jenkins has been in touch with ORR and said, if asked for help, he would round up the organizations who offered help the last time there was a surplus of border children in 2014. Back then, Jenkins helped scout locations and worked with ORR to narrow down the search in case they were utilized. It turned out, they weren't needed. 

If ORR requests help, Jenkins would once again scout out about a dozen potential shelter locations, such as empty schools or government buildings.

ORR would then send a team out within 48 hours to narrow the sites down.

The number of migrant children and exactly when this could happen is still up in the air.

NBC 5's Noelle Walker contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[DPD Traffic Enforcement Declines with Fewer Officers]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 18:24:28 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DPD-car-061918.jpg

Dallas Police traffic enforcement citations are down sharply, according to records obtained by NBC 5 in a public information request.

For instance, in May 2018 police wrote 7,625 citations compared with 17,462 in May 2013 -- a decline of 56 percent.


In 2013 police recorded 161,905 citations, but wrote just 108,003 in 2017 -- a decline of 33 percent. Partial information for 2018 showed additional decline.

Dallas City Council member Mark Clayton said he sees more drivers running red lights, and suspected traffic enforcement had declined. He said police clearly have higher priorities, like violent crime, which has been declining in Dallas, but he wants traffic enforcement too.

"It becomes an issue where if there's no consequence to even the basics like running traffic signals, that just breeds bigger problems," Clayton said. "I think it reflects where we are as a department, it's not a priority."

Since 2010, the Dallas Police Department has shrunk by more than 600 officers to 3,034, according to an April 2018 report to the Dallas City Council.

"Every single division, every single unit, loses manpower," said Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata.

He provided information that showed the traffic division declined from 36 officers in July 2015 to just 18 in December 2017.

"When you lack traffic enforcement, the average citizen increases speed, which then increases accidents," Mata said.

Aside from his role as union president, Mata also serves as a Dallas Police Patrol Sergeant in the Northeast Division.

He said patrol officers do not have spare time to write tickets with the smaller police force.

"When you run somebody, write them a ticket, that individual could have felony warrants out. He could be a dangerous felon. So those are the byproducts also of getting those individuals," Mata said.

A request for an interview sent to the police department Tuesday morning received only a telephone confirmation that the traffic division is smaller than it was.

A request for detailed revenue information from the city Tuesday received only a confirmation that municipal court revenue is down with fewer tickets.

City of Dallas records show court revenue was budgeted to be $18,701.471 in fiscal year 2016-2017 and was reduced to $16,191,471 in the fiscal year 2017-2018. The budget document stated that projected declines in police citation activity may result in ongoing revenue declines.

"It's not about the money," Clayton said. "It's just a public safety issue."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Mother and Daughter Open Up About Transplant Streamed Live]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 17:39:47 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mother-Daughter-Kidney-Transplant-061918.jpg

A North Texas mother and daughter spoke on Tuesday about their kidney transplant surgery that was streamed live on Facebook.

It was something that many North Texans had never seen.

"The atmosphere was quite different," said Richard Dickerman, one of the surgeons at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

Thousands of people watched the surgery on the social media site.

When Jessica Gutierrez from Cedar Hill was in stage 4 kidney failure, she found out her mother was her match.

"It was perfect… perfect donor… perfect recipient," Dickerman said.

Her mother, Maribel Gutierrez, said she didn't hesitate to give her daughter her kidney.

"I feel the decision that I took was the right decision… I love her so much… I want her to have a quality life," she said.

Jessica and Maribel are both out of the hospital and recovering.

"I can't ever pay for what she did for me. It's truly a blessing what she did for me," Jessica said.

Jessica said she is feeling energized, and forever thankful for her mother.

"She's definitely my hero, my life-savor, my mother… my gift," she said.

The two were happy to share their surgery online for the world to see, and they hope it will inspire others to donate their organs.

"There's people out there who definitely need it and would be so grateful," Jessica said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Happy 40th Birthday Dirk! My, How You've Changed]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 17:58:03 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+DIRK+NOW.gif Dirk Nowitzki turns 40 on June 19, 2018 -- he joined the Dallas Mavericks at age 19, and my how he's changed through the years!

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Family Separations at the Border Alarm Child Welfare Experts]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 20:06:02 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ninos+separados+frontera+llanto.jpg

The sights and sounds are wrenching: A boy's cries of "Papa! Papa!" for the father he had been separated from. Children placed in chain-link cages in an old Texas warehouse. Parents begging to know what will happen to their children.

Child welfare has always been a challenging profession; state and local agencies across America make difficult decisions every day to separate children from their parents. But those agencies have ways of minimizing the trauma that aren't being employed by the Trump administration in separating immigrant families at the Mexican border.

"There are no principles of good child welfare that are being used in this process," said Angelo McClain, CEO of the National Association of Social Workers.

Among other things, child welfare agencies often try to arrange visits between parents and children and keep communication open.

McClain and many of his professional colleagues nationwide are alarmed by what is happening at the border, citing research demonstrating that family separation can cause long-term trauma for children, including depression, anxiety, feelings of insecurity and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Their worries center on the more 2,300 children who have been separated from their parents this spring as part of a Trump administration effort to deter illegal border crossings. Federal officials have not specified how long the youngsters will be held.

McClain knows child welfare intimately. He spent five years in a foster-care group home in Texas as a teen, then went on to become a child abuse investigator in that state.

"After we removed children from their homes, I would visit them every day in their foster home," he said. "I was the link back to their parents -- I'd get messages back and forth. We had ways to mitigate the trauma."

As soon as feasible, parent-child visits were arranged. And parents could offer advice to the children's caregiver -- their food preferences and bedtime rituals, for example.

The wave of family separations at the border, undertaken as part of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward those caught illegally trying to enter the country, is not facilitating any continued parent-child communication.

The best option is to keep a fragile family together in the first place, said Mike Arsham, a senior official at New York City's child-welfare agency.

If that's not possible -- for example, when a single parent is jailed -- the agency tries to find relatives who could care for the children until they are reunited with their parents.

"We give the child whatever reassurance we can that this separation will be as temporary as possible, without giving them false promises," Arsham said. "They want to know if they can still have their circle of friends and their most treasured belongings."

If there are no relatives available, the next option is to find a foster family willing to take the child, he said. Larger group facilities are generally considered the last resort.

The entire child-welfare system in the U.S. purports to be guided by the principle of "the best interests of the child." Ashram, however, said it is clear to him that the family-separation policy at the border "is not primarily motivated by the well-being of the children."

Oversight of the separated children is being handled by the Department of Health and Human Services, which has defended its operations.

Steven Wagner, acting assistant secretary at HHS' Administration for Children and Families, said younger children under HHS care are being placed in "permanent shelters" where they receive education, clothing, medical and mental health services, and recreational and entertainment opportunities.

"They're under constant supervision and observation, so that we can address any health or medical concerns that arise while they're in our care," he said.

However, the separation policy was branded "wrong and immoral" in a joint statement Tuesday from 14 prominent charitable and social service organizations, including Catholic Charities USA, Girl Scouts of the USA, United Way Worldwide and the YWCA.

The groups called on HHS to restore connections between the children who are in custody and their family members who are awaiting processing by immigration authorities.

"The standards of care for these children must be equal to that expected in our current child welfare system," the groups said.

Among the child welfare experts dismayed by the separations is Sandy Santana, executive director of Children's Rights, a watchdog organization that has successfully sued numerous states to force improvements in their child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Under longstanding practice in the U.S., children should be removed from their home only if a parent is unfit or poses a danger to the child, Santana said. Neither of those circumstances seems prevalent in the wave of border separations, he said.

Under normal practice, Santana said, the goal of a child welfare agency should be to minimize harm to the child in cases where separation is deemed necessary.

"The trauma can have life-long consequences for these kids, so a good system tries to return the child to the parent as soon as possible when safety is not an issue," he said.

Even a substandard agency would be expected to draw up a plan addressing foster children's eventual reunification with their parents.

"The federal government has no plan for reuniting the children with their families," Santana said. "It is deliberately inflicting trauma on children to punish their parents."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Texas GOP Releases New Platform]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 19:52:15 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dan-patrick-gop-convention-dallas-2016.jpg

The Republican Party of Texas has written its new platform, a long list of policy stances representing the GOP's official views for the next two years.

The platform was written this week in San Antonio, where more than 8,000 delegates met for their 2018 state party convention. On Friday, they spent hours debating it before splitting into groups and voting on the platform, as well as five legislative priorities for 2019.

 The delegates approved all 331 platform "planks," or policy stances, and every legislative priority, Travis County Republican Party Chairman Matt Mackowiak told The Dallas Morning News. The party now supports decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana and opposes the removal of any Confederate monuments from Texas soil.

Read more from our media partner The Dallas Morning News.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Arkansas-Texas Tech Game at CWS is Postponed Until Wednesday]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 19:33:25 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Texas+Tech+logo+at+CWS1.jpg

 The College World Series game between Arkansas and Texas Tech has been postponed because of the threat of rain in the Omaha area Tuesday night.
   The Razorbacks and Red Raiders will play their Bracket 2 winners' game on Wednesday. The Bracket 1 losers' game between North Carolina and Oregon State will follow.
   Two CWS games have had weather problems. Arkansas' win over Texas on Sunday was interrupted for 2 hours, 49 minutes. The Monday game between Oregon State and Washington had a 4-hour, 31-minute delay.

The College World Series game between Arkansas and Texas Tech has been postponed because of the threat of rain in the Omaha area Tuesday night.

The Razorbacks and Red Raiders will play their Bracket 2 winners' game on Wednesday. The Bracket 1 losers' game between North Carolina and Oregon State will follow.

Two CWS games have had weather problems. Arkansas' win over Texas on Sunday was interrupted for 2 hours, 49 minutes. The Monday game between Oregon State and Washington had a 4-hour, 31-minute delay.

<![CDATA[Gators Top Longhorns 6-1 in CWS Win ]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 19:27:07 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/University+of+Texas+Longhorns.jpg

Jackson Kowar struck out a career-high 13 in 6 2/3 innings, Jonathan India hit a three-run homer and defending national champion Florida eliminated Texas from the College World Series with a 6-1 win on Tuesday.

Kowar (10-5) held the Longhorns scoreless on five hits, mixing his changeup with a fastball still touching the mid-90s deep into his season-high 121-pitch afternoon.

The Kansas City Royals' first-round draft pick struck out the side in the third and sixth innings and broke his previous high of 11 Ks he set against TCU in the CWS last year. He became the first pitcher with 13 strikeouts in a CWS game since 2010 and, according to ESPN, the first in 40 years to do it in fewer than seven innings.

India, the No. 5 overall pick by the Cincinnati Reds, singled to make it 1-0 in the first inning and he broke the game open with his three-run homer in the sixth.

Texas starter Blair Henley (6-7) struggled with his control and lasted only 2 2/3 innings, the second-shortest of his 22 career starts. He gave up four hits, walked four and threw a wild pitch.

Florida (48-20) came into the game after a 6-3 loss to Texas Tech in its CWS opener. The Gators had committed 16 errors in their last 11 games and had batted .186 and scored a total of eight runs in their previous three games.

The Gators played error-free against the Longhorns, and their offense had 10 hits.

Kowar didn't allow a base runner past second until the seventh, when Jake McKenzie singled leading off and ended up at third on Masen Hibbeler's double with none out. Kowar struck out Tate Shaw and Ryan Reynolds and left to applause from both Florida and Texas fans. Jordan Butler came on and struck out David Hamilton.

Chase Shugart took over for Henley and kept it a 1-0 game until there were two outs in the sixth. Nelson Maldonado's RBI single came before India's 21st home run of the season made it 5-0. Nick Horvath homered for Florida in the eighth.

Texas (42-23) broke through for a run in the eighth on DJ Petrinsky's one-out single.

The Longhorns struck out a season-high 15 times against Kowar, Butler and Michael Byrne, the most for the program since fanning 17 times against TCU in 2017.

Florida plays another elimination game Thursday against the loser of the Tuesday night game between Arkansas and Texas Tech. The Gators still need three wins to reach the best-of-three finals for the second year in a row.

The season is over for Texas, which lost 11-5 to Arkansas on Sunday and went 0-2 at the CWS for only the sixth time in its record 36 appearances.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Protesters Rally Outside Pence Fundraiser in Philly]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 19:32:54 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Pence+Arrives+Philly.jpg

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Hotel as Vice President Mike Pence spoke amid national outrage over the separation of migrant children from their parents along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pence touched down in Philadelphia early Tuesday evening to attend a fundraiser at the Rittenhouse Hotel with Scott Wagner, the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania.

Outside the event, hundreds of protesters descended on Center City during the Stop Separating Families rally to oppose President Donald Trump’s immigration policy. Several laid out children's shoes in solidarity with the families being torn apart at the border.

The crowd chanted "City of brotherly love says no," and "Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here" during the protest. One woman also walked through the crowd for at least an hour with a speaker playing the sounds of a baby crying.

Tensions began to rise later during the protest when a federal security detail car tried to move down Walnut Street. Some of the protesters blocked the car and police stepped in, leading to a confrontation, officials said. The crowd chanted, "Our streets" for about 15 minutes until police were able to move them.

Police say one person was arrested during the incident.

An unapologetic Trump doubled down on his policy earlier in the day, declaring that the U.S. "will not be a migrant camp" on his watch.

But images of sobbing children held in fenced cages fueled a growing chorus of condemnation from both political parties and even four former first ladies. The children are being held separately from parents who are being prosecuted under the administration's "zero-tolerance" policy for illegal border crossings. 

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro joined other attorneys general throughout the country in signing a letter opposing the practice. 

"The family separation policy is un-American and violates the core principles and values of our nation,” Shapiro said in a statement after sending a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “President Trump has the sole authority to rescind his policy and should stop using children as leverage in political battles.”

Delaware Gov. John Carney also denied a request to send National Troop guards down to the border. 

In a series of tweets Tuesday, the Democratic governor said he "can't in good conscience send Delawareans to help" given a Trump administration policy that has torn apart families seeking asylum when attempting to cross the border.

Carney's announcement was followed up by similar sentiments from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who signed an executive order in the afternoon banning state resources from being used to separate families of immigrants.

Tuesday night's event benefits the Republican Governors Association, and Pence and Wagner both spoke. The association did not release details on how many people attended the private event or how much they paid to get in.

Wagner is challenging the re-election bid by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who began June with a nearly 10-to-1 cash advantage after Wagner spent heavily to win a three-way Republican primary last month.

The fundraiser was closed to the public and media, but NBC10 covered the demonstration. Follow us for complete coverage.

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<![CDATA[University of North Texas Offering Free Language Classes]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 19:34:18 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lang+classes.jpeg.jpg

The University of North Texas is offering month-long Russian and Chinese classes completely free for high school juniors and seniors, and community college and UNT students.

The program is called STARTALK, a language-immersion course funded by the National Security Agency to encourage the teaching of critical-need languages. 

The Chinese and Russian classes each have 24 students who were selected based on their academic performance, letter of recommendation from a teacher and interest in learning Chinese or Russian.

The classes are held on the UNT campus from June 4 to June 29 and are taught completely in the new languages. Classes run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In that time, students do things like morning exercise, traditional cooking classes, crafts, music, dance and field trips.

At the end of the course, UNT students have the opportunity to earn up to six credit hours. STARTALK said it believes if more students learn critical-need languages, it will solidify national security and global economic competitiveness for years to come.

<![CDATA[Big Tex Wants You... to Work at the State Fair of Texas]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 18:21:45 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Big-Tex-2016-02.jpg

The State Fair of Texas is hiring.

A number of seasonal jobs are up for grabs in areas including vending, games, guest services and more.

The State Fair of Texas provides more than 6,000 seasonal job opportunities each year.

Minimum wage is now $10 an hour at the fair, up from $8.50 last year.

You can apply on the State Fair's website BigTex.com/jobs.

The State Fair of Texas runs from September 28 through October 21.

Photo Credit: Mike Richard, NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Criticism Leads to Sports League Fallout: Parents]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 18:22:09 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Anna-Sports-Group-social-media-061918.jpg

Two families in Anna say they believe their children were black-balled after parents complained about how the non-profit Anna Sports Group handled the background check of a volunteer coach.

Monday, NBC 5 reported the arrest of volunteer baseball coach Jason Conn last week. Records showed the arrest happened after a misdemeanor hunting violation in January. Conn is facing two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Anna Sports Group said that's when it learned Conn was a felon with multiple Collin County drug convictions that date back to 2002.

Conn, 38, coached 8- and 9-year-old boys for Anna Sports Group. It said he passed a background check two years ago. Monday, the president of Anna Sports Group, Clark Miller, told NBC 5 the background check covered the last 10 years and missed the older convictions.

"We made a mistake. We own the mistake. We're disappointed in ourselves. We are very upset with our process," Miller said.

Most of the drug offenses occurred in 2002, including possession of a controlled substance and manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance. Court records also showed violations including a DWI arrest in 2005 and evading arrest in 2008.

Tuesday, two families who said they questioned how the Anna Sports Group handled Conn's background check learned their kids' registrations for the fall were canceled.

"We're not really aware or sure that background checks were really being done and if they are being done are they overlooking them?" asked David Upton.

After Upton posted his concerns about Anna Sports Group's background checks, he said he received emails notifying him that his two sons' fall registration was canceled.

The emails from Anna Sports Group said, "It’s clear by your statements and comments both current and past that you do not have confidence in the leadership and management of the Anna Sports Group. We never want our athletes and parents to feel uncomfortable and lack confidence in our volunteers and our programs. We always want to make sure the relationship between ASG and its athlete parents is productive and positive and this is not the case here. Therefore, we are canceling your registration for the upcoming fall football season and refunding your registration fee. Your fee will be refunded directly to the card to which it was originally charged or mailed by check."

"I feel it was pure retaliation for us being outspoken about the leadership," Upton said. "That's purely what was behind the emails."

Another parent, Cindy Silva, said she received similar emails Tuesday morning after she criticized Anna Sports Group online.

"I feel like it was just out of being spiteful," said Silva. "Let's take her kids out of it."

She said her 6- and 8-year-old were disappointed they couldn't play this fall with their friends in Anna.

"Instead of talking to us parents, he took it out on the kids," Silva said. "You don't do that to the kids, it's not their fault."

Miller told NBC 5 by phone on Tuesday he canceled two family registrations because he believed the families would not want to play with Anna Sports Group. When asked if the families requested the refund, Miller said they had not.

NBC 5 asked why Miller canceled registrations if the parents didn't request them.

"It might have been a bad decision on my part," Miller said.

He also insisted he didn't cancel the registrations of other families that complained.

Tuesday afternoon, Silva said Miller offered to reinstate her kids in the program.

Upton said he's hopeful for the same offer. He said he never wanted his kids to lose a chance to play sports in Anna, but he wanted the leadership to offer more answers.

"We just want the organization to protect them and give them the opportunity to play for their community," Upton said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend Appliance Repair Makes for a Costly Lesson]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 17:47:37 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/broken-freezer-responds.jpg

Xiao Bentley invested in Gobi Mongolian restaurant off Interstate 35 in Denton where diners pick their protein, veggies, and sauce, and then cook the meal on a large grill.

The restaurant goes through a lot of chicken, beef and seafood, which is why Bentley panicked one morning when she walked into the freezer and the termperature was moving toward the dangerously warm zone.

Bentley said she went online and found a 24-hour repair company to come help over the weekend.

Appliance Repair Squad agreed to come out immediately and the tech told her he would have to go to the supply house for the needed part.

Bentley told NBC 5 Responds that the tech said she had to pay $400 for the part before he could order it -- so she paid him.

But Bentley said the tech didn't come back, saying the part wasn't in stock and he would keep trying to get it.

"I bought a temporary freezer from Walmart. It’s a small freezer. I put everything there, just so every day we order, we just order one or two days, and even three, I just did the thing like that," said Bentley.

After losing food to spoilage and incurring the cost of a new freezer, Bentley had spent thousands of dollars.  A week later there was still no part and Betley demanded a refund. The company promised one, but Bentley said she never got a check.

We reached out and the owner of Appliance Repair Squad apologized, saying he mailed the check and it must have gotten lost in the mail.  He promised to hand-deliver a refund by the end of the week -- which he did.

Remember, if possible, ask a company to pay for a needed part, especially for an emergency repair, as the item should be fixed that day.

If the company refuses, ask to go along to the part supply house and make payment yourself or to call and pay with a credit card.

Credit card payments give you the best protection for those purchases.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Living In Pain: North Texas Boy's Fight With Sickle Cell]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 17:12:17 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/sickle-cell-awareness-darian-smith.jpg

Living with constant pain is a reality for people with sickle cell disease, an inherited disease of hemoglobin, a molecule that carries oxygen within red blood cells. 
Patients with sickle cell disease have red blood cells containing abnormal hemoglobin, which causes the cells to become stiff and form a sickle or crescent shape.
Because it is difficult for sickle shaped cells to pass through small blood vessels, the flow of blood is sometimes blocked, and oxygen does not reach nearby tissues. 
A bone marrow transplant is the only known cure for sickle cell disease, but finding a well-matched donor hasn't been easy for 8 -year-old Darian Smith of Garland.
He was diagnosed at ten days old and doesn't know when he will experience his next episode of pain, called a sickle cell crisis.
"When I feel it coming, it starts off like someone is punching me and when it gets bad, like it's like a hammer inside by body, punching nails," he says.
His parents, Charda Ransom and and Darian Smith Senior say their son has spent most his life in and out of the hospital.
He's on medicine to ease the pain but they know, it's only temporary.
"For for him to be completely healed from this disease, he needs a bone marrow transplant."
African Americans are under-represented on the bone marrow registry, accounting for only 7% of all registrants, according to DKMS.org. 
Because a patient's best chance of finding a matching bone marrow donor is with someone of similar ancestry, African Americans with sickle cell disease have a harder time finding a bone marrow match.
In the United States, most people with sickle cell disease are of African ancestry.
"The numbers in the registery just aren't overhwleming enough for him to find a match," says Ransom.
About one in every 365 black children is born with sickle cell disease and Darian's parents hope their son's story will encourage others to join the donor registry.
"So I could be like a regular kid," says Darian.
To see if you're elibile to become a donor, click here.

Living with constant pain is a reality for people with sickle cell disease, an inherited disease of hemoglobin, a molecule that carries oxygen within red blood cells. 

Patients with sickle cell disease have red blood cells containing abnormal hemoglobin, which causes the cells to become stiff and form a sickle or crescent shape.

Because it is difficult for sickle-shaped cells to pass through small blood vessels, the flow of blood is sometimes blocked and oxygen does not reach nearby tissues. 

A bone marrow transplant is the only known cure for sickle cell disease, but finding a well-matched donor hasn't been easy for 8-year-old Darian Smith of Garland.

He was diagnosed at 10-days-old and doesn't know when he will experience his next episode of pain, called a sickle cell crisis.

"When I feel it coming, it starts off like someone is punching me and when it gets bad, like, it's like a hammer inside by body, punching nails," he recalled.

His parents, Charda Ransom and and Darian Smith Sr. said their son has spent most his life in and out of the hospital.

He's on medicine to ease the pain, but they know it's only temporary relief.

"For for him to be completely healed from this disease, he needs a bone marrow transplant."

Black people are under-represented on the bone marrow registry, accounting for only 7 percent of all registrants, according to DKMS.org

Because a patient's best chance of finding a matching bone marrow donor is with someone of similar ancestry, black people with sickle cell disease have a harder time finding a bone marrow match.

In the United States, most people with sickle cell disease are of African ancestry.

"The numbers in the registery just aren't overhwleming enough for him to find a match," said Ransom.

About one in every 365 black children is born with sickle cell disease and Darian's parents hope their son's story will encourage others to join the donor registry.

"So I could be like a regular kid," said Darian.

To see if you're eligible to become a donor, click here.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Marijuana Legalization Advocates Hopeful for 2019]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:58:21 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Marijuana-plant-061918.jpg

Groups in Texas that are for the legalization of marijuana are optimistic 2019 is their year. They are focused on persuading lawmakers to change low-level marijuana possession from a criminal penalty to a civil offense.

Photo Credit: KXAN]]>
<![CDATA[Understanding the Migrant Crisis]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:49:54 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/192*120/GettyImages-978851876.jpg

Immigration is a hot topic and questions have been raised about how the migrant crisis should be handled. NBC 5's Kristi Nelson chatted with Dallas immigration attorney Pallavi Ahluwalia to get a better understanding of what is happening along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Photo Credit: Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rep. Cummings on Family Separation: 'We Are Better Than That!']]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:41:29 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+ELIJAH+CUMMINGS+061918.00_00_21_09.THUMB.jpg

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) slammed the Trump administration’s practice of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday in an emotional speech during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. “We will not do that. We are better than that. We are so much better,” Cummings said.

<![CDATA[Trump Campaign Manager: Time to Fire the Attorney General]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:31:14 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_18166576558735-Brad-Parscale.jpg

President Donald Trump's campaign manager on Tuesday called on his boss to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"Time to fire Sessions End the Mueller investigation," Brad Parscale wrote in a tweet. "You can’t obstruct something that was phony against you The IG report gives @realDonaldTrump the truth to end it all."

The "IG report" Parscale referred to is the Department of Justice inspector general's report that faulted then-FBI Director James Comey for violating protocol in publicly discussing the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email and his handling of a related disclosure about information found on former Rep. Anthony Weiner's laptop, NBC News reported.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Warning About Fake James Avery Jewelry]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:39:09 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/James-Avery-Jewelry-for-web.jpg

Before you buy your next piece of James Avery jewelry, here's a warning for customers.

Apparently there are fraudulent websites that are using the Texas-based company's images and claiming to offer Avery's designs with deep discounts or coupons.

The company also warns about ads posted on Facebook that are directing people to the fraudulent sites.

James Avery only sells their designs in James Avery retail stores, select Dillard's locations and online only at JamesAvery.com and Dillards.com.

Company officials are urging customers who see a suspicious ad or website claiming to offer discounts or coupons of their designs to report them by emailing riskmanagement@jamesavery.com.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Guatemalan Migrant Sues Trump Administration for Taking Son]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:03:16 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/familyseparationGettyImages-978717868.jpg

A mother from Guatemala had her 7-year-old son taken from her after they were detained having illegally crossed the border. She has since been released from custody but immigration officials won't tell her where her son is. 

Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration Tuesday, asking the judge to order the government to reunite mother and child and other relief related to her case. She did not ask the court to declare the government's current overall practices illegal. 

Her lawyer, John Shoreman of Washington, D.C., said her case "challenges the United States government's forcible separation of a parent from her young child, notwithstanding the threat of irreparable psychological damage that separation has been universally recognized to cause young children."

Photo Credit: Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call]]>
<![CDATA[Person of Interest Sought in Sexual Assault Investigation]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:13:15 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/denton-county-sketch.jpg

The Denton County Sheriff's Office released a sketch of a man they say may have information on a possible sexual assault.

In a tweet, the sheriff's office said they need help identifying a man in a sketch who may have information about a sex assault at Jordan Moore Park, near Lake Ray Roberts, in early June.

The man is described as a white male with dirty blonde hair and a goatee in his late 20s. He smokes cigarettes and goes by the name of Ant or Regele and could be driving a black four-door pickup with orange cab lights.

If you know who this person is, contact investigator Haiduk with the Denton County Sheriff's Office at 940-349-1668.

Photo Credit: Denton County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[United Methodist Clergy, Members File Complaint Against AG]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 13:40:50 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jeff-sesions.jpg

A group of more than 600 United Methodist clergy and members are bringing church law charges against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a fellow Methodist, urging "some degree of accountability" over the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration crackdown that has separated thousands of children from their parents along the U.S.-Mexico border, NBC News reported.

The group accuses Sessions of violating Paragraph 270.3 of the denomination's Book of Discipline. He is charged under church law with child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination and "dissemination of doctrines contrary to the standards of doctrine of the United Methodist Church."

The signees of the letter also criticized Sessions for invoking Romans 13, a Bible verse, to justify the Trump administration's policy. Two churches to which Sessions purportedly belongs did not immediately respond to phone calls from NBC News.

Photo Credit: Susan Walsh/AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Consumer Confusion Over 'Use By' Dates on Food]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 09:55:00 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/responds-food-labelling.jpg

A confusing system of food labeling has led to consumers throwing away billions of dollars worth of food products every year, and much of that food is completely safe to eat.

As a result, the U.S. grocery industry is taking steps to simplify food labels, with the goal of reducing waste and helping households save money.

"A lot of people confuse quality and safety," food research scientist Linda Harris said. "That's a big problem."

Harris is the chair of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis. She said most food is perfectly safe to eat past the date on the label. That's because most dates on food are not "expiration" dates. They actually tell consumers when peak freshness or flavor drops off.

"The date is meant to signal quality," Harris said. "It's not a safety issue."

Some consumers may be surprised to learn federal law requires an actual expiration date on only one food product: baby formula. Every other date you see on food is voluntary, under federal standards.

"It's not illegal to sell a product past its 'best-by' date," she said.

So, even the beef with no date at all meets federal criteria.

Without clear government guidelines, we're bombarded with terms:

  • Best By
  • Expires On
  • Use By
  • Best Flavor By
  • Sell By
  • Enjoy By

The meanings vary, and so does the science used to calculate the date. Megan Stasz of the Grocery Manufacturers Association says that's a problem for ordinary shoppers.

"What the confusion leads to is consumers unnecessarily throwing away some food when it might still be good to eat," Stasz said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates as much as 40 percent of all food grown, produced and shipped in the U.S. will never be eaten. That amounts to about 218 pounds of food per person per year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It will end up in landfills, in part because consumers don't understand the labels.

That should change this summer. The Grocery Manufacturers Association is telling companies to start using either "Best if Used By" or "Use By."

"Rather than having 10 or 20 phrases on your food products now, you'll just see one of two," Stasz said.

Most products will get "Best if Used By", since the association said most food "is safe to use or consume" after the date.

The remaining few product date labels will read "Use By." Stasz said that's reserved for highly perishable food, that could pose a health risk after the date on the label. "Maybe something like a sliced deli meat or raw shellfish that would have that food safety concern over time," she said.

Food experts are hungry to teach families about the new labels and help them stop wasting so much food.

"In turn, that can help them save money, which I think is a win for everybody," Stasz said.

The new labels are voluntary, and federal law remains mostly silent. If you ever suspect you were sold spoiled food, you may report it locally.

Online: Texas Department of State Health Services

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[The Longest Day Event for The Alzheimer's Association]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:24:53 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/The_Longest_Day_2018.jpg

Sarah Ethridge from the Alzheimer’s Association is the Special Events Coordinator for the Longest Day for the Alzheimer’s Association of North Central Texas. She's here to talk about a fundraiser that can impact many.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[TDMN: Rent-a-Center, GameStop Put Up for Sale]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 14:08:08 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Rent-a-Center_Tactics_5p_103117.jpg

Rent-a-Center and GameStop are both selling their companies. Dallas Morning News Retail Reporter Maria Halkias joins us to talk about the sales. Both companies have been around a while and expanded, but have had rough years.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Arrests Made in Mesquite Double Murder]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:17:44 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/suspects19.jpg

Two men face capital murder charges following fatal shootings last week in Mesquite that police believe were drug related.

Cassius Shakembe Williams, 20, and Rozman Rah-saan Shannon Jr., 21, each face two counts of capital murder, police said. The bonds for all four charges were set at $500,000 for each charge.

Police responded to reports of gunfire about 4 p.m. on June 12 in the area of Gus Thomasson Road and Whitson Way. Police found two gunshot victims who were later identified as Jacob Bradley Hollett, 19, of Mesquite and Dalton James Prater, 18, of Fate, police said.

Hollett was found in the driver's seat of a gray Nissan with several gunshot wounds, police said. He was hospitalized and died of his injuries.

Prater was found shot to death in the driver's seat of a red Dodge pickup truck, police said.

Investigators believe the shooting was the result of a drug robbery after the suspects met with the victims with the intention of buying marijuana from the victims, police said.

One suspect produced a handgun and demanded drugs, police said. It appears Hollett attempted to drive away, but was shot numerous times, police said.

Prater was sitting nearby in the red pickup truck and was then shot several times by a suspect, police said. The two suspects then drove away from the scene, police said.

Sources have confirmed to NBC 5 that Williams is the son of former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Erik Williams.

Photo Credit: Mesquite Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Volunteers Work to Preserve Collin County Cemetery]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 18:39:28 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Corinth-Cemetery.jpg

A group of volunteers in Collin County are working to preserve some of the county's earliest history by cleaning up one of its oldest cemeteries.

The Friends of Corinth Cemetery of Collin County recently formed through social media.

Organizer Tim Montgomery said he'd driven past the cemetery for nearly two decades, noticing the disrepair.

“Everyday I’d pass this cemetery and think what a shame nothing’s been done with it," said Montgomery. 

He searched to find it was owned by a church that ceased to exist back in 1920. Since then, he found little evidence anyone had taken responsiblity. 

But when he posted a plea for help on Facebook, he realized he wasn't alone in his desire to restore it to its former reverence.

A small group of volunteers got started on the clean-up effort Monday, clearing weeds around the grave markers. More than 40 have joined a Facebook community and are expected to gather for a first official meeting Thursday. 

They're now looking for gardners, arborists, landscapers and people who can help with headstone restoration and fence repair.

“My goal is to number one clear the lot, to restore the headstones and the footstones, to mark the family plots somehow someway so that we know who’s there," said Montgomery.

He knows they're some of Collin County's earliest settlers. Among them, there's the superintendent of the area's first school which once sat nearby.

Somewhere in an unmarked grave lies a man named Hardy Mills who's murder went down in local history. The man charged with his death, Ezell Stepp, was the last hanged in the county and now lies in a more reverent grave elsewhere in town. 

Still, it's those whose stories are still to be discovered that have pulled in Montgomery and the other volunteers. 

"There are babies. There's a family out here that had a baby every year and every year it died. There are probably some civil war veterans out here," said Montgomery. 

They're stories he hopes to uncover and preserve as development grows around the cemetery, so that those who will someday live there will know of those who came first. 

Those interested are welcome to join a group meeting at Taco Crush in McKinney Thursday at 7 p.m. or follow them on their Facebook page.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-ICE Director: Some Migrant Family Separations Are Permanent]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 11:19:06 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/father-and-boy-from-honduras.jpg

Migrant parents separated from their children at the border are sometimes unable to relocate their child and remain permanently separated, a former head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told NBC News.

"Permanent separation. It happens," said John Sandweg, who served as acting director of ICE under the Obama administration from 2013-2014.

A parent can quickly move from detention to deportation, but a child's case for asylum or deportation may not be heard by a judge for several years because deporting a child is a lower priority for the courts, Sandweg said.

Parents may then have trouble navigating U.S. immigration and judicial systems while back in their home countries and their children might be adopted by someone else after entering the foster system.

Sandweg's comments undercut the White House's stance that the separation of women and child migrants under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy is only temporary.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>