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UPS Had 'The Worst Christmas Ever'

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: UPS fails to deliver for thousands of customers, H1N1 claims 5 people in Texas, Dallas locals make the yearly YouTube roundup, and more.

UPS did not have a Merry Christmas this year. Thousands of customers unloaded their ire on social media to complain about gifts that were not delivered by Christmas.  UPS released a statement on Christmas Day apologizing for the delay, citing unexpectedly high volumes of packages.

UPS driver Larry Ledet from Houston tells USA Today that this year has been “the worst Christmas ever.” Ledet and other UPS drivers have been pulling 60-hour weeks to accommodate demand, and he says he expects be working until 10 p.m. today.

Luckily, some gifts don’t require shipping, such as apps for smartphones and tablets. Christmas Day is also one of the biggest downloading days for apps.

  • “No Refusal” has already begun in Tarrant County, and it will run into the New Year. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports that the county got a $300,000 grant to cover the extra costs of the program, which is meant to deter holiday drunk driving. “If you don’t consent to giving a sample of breath or blood, a search warrant will be obtained and one will be taken from you anyways," says Richard Alpert with the Tarrant County District Attorney's office. “And the program’s designed to help deter people from testing us on that point and encourage people not to drive while intoxicated.” Dallas County’s “no refusal” period will begin around New Year’s Eve.

  • CBS News profiled Euless man Dustin Wright, who recently died from H1N1 as a part of a segment on swine flu. It’s making a comeback with at least 5 dead in Texas alone. This year’s flu vaccine covers swine flu, but it seems that people have been lax about getting their yearly shot. The Center for Disease Control says that only 45 percent of Americans got the flu shot last year. Not only that, but the flu has been hitting Texas the hardest. There’s a new high dose flu vaccine available for older adults, and you can still get your shot at many pharmacies. 
  • There were many YouTube videos that made the rounds in the office this year, but it can be hard to remember all of them. YouTube’s yearly viral video roundup is out, and two videos by Dallas locals made the list: “Overly Attached Girlfriend” Laina Morris from Denton and epic bar mitzah kid Sam Horowitz from Dallas. The video includes references to many of the viral moments of 2013 – including screaming goats, Kid President, and the girl who curled her hair off -- set to the biggest songs of the year.

    You can find Laina at 1:25 and Sam at 2:28. Enjoy!

    (Hat tip to The Dallas Morning News.)

    • It seems like guitars and harmonicas are all over the Top 40 charts, from Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” to Flo Rida’s “Cruise.” The catchy little harmonica bit from Pitbull’s song “Timber is thanks to a local Rockwall man. Paul Harrington tells KERA’s Lauren Silverman that his kids were “roaring with laughter” once they heard his solo on the Top 40 track. Harrington only earned a flat $1,000 for the recording, but he doesn’t mind. 
Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.