Fri August 17, 2012
Farmers Branch Plans Citizen Alerts For Aerial Spraying
Farmers Branch is waiting to find out when planes will spray for mosquitoes. The suburb was not on last night’s schedule. Neither were border cities Addison, Carrollton, Coppell and northwest Dallas.
To keep residents informed, Farmers Branch is putting special West Nile and aerial spraying messages on its local AM radio frequency: 1670, and on a dedicated phone line.
“This is a very emotional issue where feelings run high on both sides,” said Stacy Wright, the city’s environmental health director.
Wright says it’s important get the latest information about aerial spraying to residents immediately.
BJ Austin, KERA News
Texas unemployment rate rises to 7.2 percent
The Texas unemployment rate is up for the second consecutive month to 7.2 percent despite job growth.
The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday reported that the state added 17,800 nonfarm jobs in July. But that wasn't enough to keep up with rising population, causing the jobless rate to tick up from 7 percent in June.
The reversal comes after Texas saw eight consecutive months of falling unemployment through April.
Education and health services accounted for seven out of every 10 new jobs in Texas last month. The leisure and hospitality sector took the biggest hit, shedding 6,500 jobs.
The national unemployment rate is at 8.3 percent.
Police investigating Medicaid 'recruitment' claims
Police are investigating allegations that a Dallas dentist is running a scheme to offer cash and gifts to have children come in for dental work funded by Medicaid.
The allegations reported by Dallas television station WFAA include claims from children and parents that they were "recruited" by dental practices.
One 17-year-old girl tells the station that she was offered $10 by a recruiter for one local practice. Keke Gray says she was taken to All About Dentistry in an unmarked van and given seven fillings.
Other children and parents have also come forward with complaints about other dentists.
The owner of All About Dentistry, Dr. Hamid Farahani, did not immediately return phone messages from The Associated Press.
Federal law prohibits the solicitation of Medicaid patients.
Jury convicts Texas teacher in student-sex case
A jury has convicted a suburban North Texas high school teacher accused of having sex with five 18-year-old students at her home.
The jury took less than an hour to find Brittni Nicole Colleps guilty Friday. She was charged with five counts of having an inappropriate relationship between a student and teacher. The second-degree felony is punishable by two to 20 years in prison per count.
Sentencing was scheduled for Friday afternoon.
Authorities say the 28-year-old former Kennedale High School English teacher had sex with the students at her Arlington home over two months. Prosecutors rested their case Thursday; the defense rested without calling any witnesses.
Kennedale is a town of about 7,300 residents near Arlington, eight miles southeast of Fort Worth. The high school has about 3,200 students.
Woman wounded in College Station gunfire improving
A Houston woman seriously wounded this week when a man began shooting at a Brazos County constable trying to serve eviction-related court papers is improving.
Friends of 51-year-old Barbara Holdsworth posted Friday on a website devoted to her recovery that she remains in intensive care but is awake at times, off life support and able to interact with family and hospital staff.
Holdsworth was helping her daughter move into a house in the neighborhood close to the Texas A&M campus Monday when she was shot twice.
Three College Station police officers also were injured in the attack that killed Constable Brian Bachmann and another man, 51-year-old Chris Northcliff. Northcliff was checking on some property nearby.
Bachmann's funeral is Saturday.
The gunman, 35-year-old Thomas Caffall III, was killed by police.
Body found in burning trash bin in Dallas
Dallas police say a body has been found in a burning trash bin.
Investigators say the body was discovered early Friday when officers responded to reports of a trash container on fire. The area is near the Fair Park neighborhood.
Authorities are trying to identify the victim.
Further details were not immediately available.
West Nile Survivor Meeting
Tomorrow survivors of West Nile and Encephalitis are holding a special meeting to share treatments for recovering.
The meeting follows this year’s outbreak of West Nile contracted by at least 230 in Dallas County. Medical professionals say a vast majority of those sickened by the mosquito-borne illness have the most serious, neuroinvasive form.
Becky Dennis is a survivor and member of Encephalitis Global. Dennis says treatment is available for those who develop serious disabilities.
Dennis: Short-term memory loss, difficulty concentrating, some may even have physical issues like weakness or balance issues. Probably half have not been able to return to work. With treatment they can get quckly it helps in the recovery process because your brain is really eager to learn how do I heal myself. But if they’re not introduced to some of the therapies some of them will not have as optimal of a recovery.
The meeting for West Nile survivors and family members is free. It will be held from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. tomorrow in the north end building's Room 101 at LifePoint Church in Plano. An infectious disease specialist and a neuropsychologist will discuss therapies.
Shelley Kofler, KERA News