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Wildfire Moves Toward Jacksboro & Nightly Roundup

By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX – A fast moving wildfire near Jacksboro, northwest of Fort Worth, has claimed a handful of homes, forced more than a hundred evacuations, and is moving toward the town itself. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

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Winds around 20 mph paired with low humidity and warm, dry conditions created prime conditions for the wildfire that's scorched at least three thousand acres near Jacksboro.

Mark Stanford, with the Texas Forest Service, says the fast-moving flames are doing damage.

Stanford: We have reports of six homes lost, 150 evacuations.

Stanford says the fire is three to four miles southwest of Jacksboro a town of about 45 hundred and moving north-northeasterly toward the city limits. He says there's an all out effort to stop this fire.

Stanford: They're focusing their suppression efforts to prevent the fire from reaching Jacksboro. That's where the aircraft are focused.

So far, no reports of injuries.

Another Candidate In Dallas Mayor's Race

Dallas commercial real estate consultant Edward Okpa is in the race for Mayor.

He launched his campaign Friday morning outside City Hall.

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Okpa: You know sometimes our city has behaved like a river with a dam. My leadership is going to a sprinkler system. Because when we sprinkle our lawn, what happens? It goes green. We are better off when everyone of us can put food on the table.

Okpa says his international business experience and contacts will also help bring new jobs to Dallas.

Okpa, born in Nigeria, educated at Harvard, is the only minority in the Mayor's race.

Dallas councilman Ron Natinsky, Park Board Chairman Mike Rawlings, and former Police Chief David Kunkle are also in the race.

Dallas Ties to Tsunami-Stricken Sendai Japan

Mayor Dwaine Caraway has sent a letter of support and condolence to the Mayor of Sendai, (SIN-dye) Japan, an official Friendship City of Dallas.

Sendai is an area hard hit by Friday's 8.9 earthquake and tsunami.

Each year since 1996 the city of Dallas has sent a "runners" to participate in the Sendai International Half Marathon, including former Mayor Laura Miller. Mark Berry heads the Dallas Sendai committee.

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Berry: I'm trying to work today, but it's very difficult with the emotions and things that I'm feeling today. I've been involved with the half marathon, but I've also been involved in student exchange programs. I have a host family over there that I stayed with. I'm really trying to find out if those people are okay.

The Half Marathon is scheduled in early May. Berry says doesn't know if the coastal devastation will change those plans.

Former Texan Experiences Tsumani's Worst in California

The tsunami from the Japanese earthquake hit hard at Crescent City on California's far northern coast.

Former Dallas resident Aimee Bolander lives there now. She says the sirens began sounding about 7:30 this morning.

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Bolander: The tsunami did hit. It destroyed the harbor, which is horrendous for this community that's heavily dependent on the fish industry. At least 35 boats have been destroyed. This is a community that just kind of hangs on financially, so this is going to be devastating.

Bolander says since she moved from Dallas about a year ago, she's been in an earthquake and now a tsunami!

Crescent City was just about wiped out by a tsunami in 1964. Homes were rebuilt on higher ground and behind a "break wall" that prevented damage this time.

Officials say five people along the California-Oregon coast were swept out to sea. Four were rescued.

Prison For Driver With Drugs In Dashboard

A man caught with a quarter-million dollars worth of heroin in the dashboard of his pickup is going to prison for ten years.

20 year old Orbelin Martinez, Jr. was sentenced in a federal courtroom in Dallas this morning. Martinez was stopped by a State Trooper last summer on I-35 in Ellis County. Court documents say he aroused suspicion, and the Trooper asked for permission to search the truck.

A drug dog signaled the presence of narcotics. Using a fiber optic scope, officials discovered six kilograms of heroin behind the dashboard.

Dallas Health Officials Suggest Shots For Spring Break

Next week is Spring Break for many schools across Texas. Dallas County health officials say it's the perfect time to get children vaccinated for NEXT school year.

Health Department Director Zack Thompson says thousands of students will be on vacation next week, and it's a great idea to avoid the summertime rush to get necessary shots.

Dallas County clinics do not require appointments. The cost is ten dollars for the child's first visit, five dollars for returning patients. The cost can be waived for some low-income families.

Front Office Shake Up At Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg is "out". The Rangers announced today at spring training in Surprise, Arizona that Greenberg is leaving the organization.

Team President Nolan Ryan will add the title CEO to his door, and will oversee all baseball and business operations, according to a statement from the Rangers.

Greenberg was a high profile figure in the recent purchase of the Rangers from Tom Hicks. In a statement he says he leaves "with a heavy heart", but "committed to doing what's right for the franchise."

Greenberg says "differences in style" with Nolan Ryan and the other owners precipitated the sale of his interest in the team back to the ownership group, Rangers Baseball Express.

Email BJ Austin