News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Rawlings Gives Final Approval for Aerial Spraying

Mayor Mike Rawlings declared a state of emergency and said the city would agree to the first aerial spraying of insecticide since 1966.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has declared a state of emergency because of escalating West Nile virus cases and deaths.

Mayor Rawlings says that allows him to approve aerial spraying for mosquitoes, the carriers of the virus. Rawlings told council members it's the right thing to do.

"I don't need more deaths on my watch because we did not take action," Rawlings said. Dallas officials say the request for aerial spraying over the entire city, not just north of I-30 where most cases are located.

Dallas County has given targeted cities until 5 p.m. today to decide whether or not to be included in the spraying. It’s expected to begin Friday evening.

LINK: Dallas City Hall 'West Nile' Info Site

Parkland Hospital Gets New Interim CEO

The board of Parkland Hospital has unanimously approved a former Tenet Healthcare Executive as the new interim CEO.

Bob Smith says he’s not a doctor, but he knows how to manage them and has a track record of turning around troubled hospitals.

He replaces Dr. Thomas Royer and is coming on board as Parkland faces an April deadline to improve patient care and hospital procedures or lose Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Federal monitors were recently critical of Parkland’s slow progress under Royer’s leadership.


Thousands lose electricity in North Texas storms

Crews have been working to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses in North Texas affected by thunderstorms.

Dallas-based Oncor says about 15,000 customers were still without electricity Wednesday afternoon. That's less than half the number of residences and businesses initially losing power overnight.

Utility officials say most of the outages are in the Dallas area, where rain and street flooding delayed some morning traffic.


Constable's funeral Saturday at A&M's Reed Arena

A funeral will be held Saturday at Texas A&M University for a law officer gunned down nearby while serving an eviction notice.

The College Station Police Department on Wednesday announced arrangements for Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann.

Bachmann was killed Monday by suspect Thomas Caffall III. Other officers fatally shot Caffall.

A bystander checking some property was also shot to death. Three police officers and a female bystander were wounded.

Viewing has been scheduled Friday evening at Christ United Methodist Church in College Station.

Bachmann's funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Reed Arena, which has a total seating capacity of 12,500.

Officer Rhonda Seaton says both remembrances are open to the public.


Government launches new immigration program

Young illegal immigrants are scrambling to get passports and other records they will need to apply for a new Homeland Security Department program to let them stay in the U.S. and get work permits.

The Honduran Consulate was crowded for most of the day Tuesday as immigrants applied for passports they'll need to help prove they are eligible for the Obama administration's new program.

Homeland Security on Tuesday announced details of which documents illegal immigrants will need to prove that they are eligible for the program. That proof can include passports, school transcripts and medical or financial records. Illegal immigrants can begin to apply Wednesday.

Critics of the program have called the policy backdoor amnesty and said they worry about fraud.


Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.