Five stories that have North Texas talking: The crumbling house that’s falling into a lake will be set on fire today; Republican convention officials get a grand tour of Dallas; Ruby Dee’s special Dallas connection; and more.
Bowe Bergdahl, the Army sergeant who’s been recovering in Germany after five years as a Taliban captive, is now at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He returned to the United States early Friday to continue his medical treatment. A Pentagon spokesman said Bergdahl flew to Brooke Army from Ramstein Air Base. While at the Texas Army base, Bergdahl "will continue the next phase of his reintegration process," said the spokesman, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby. "Our focus remains on his health and well-being," he said. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "is confident that the Army will continue to ensure that Sgt. Bergdahl receives the care, time and space he needs to complete his recovery and reintegration," the spokesman said in a statement. The Idaho native was expected to be reunited with his family in San Antonio. He was captured in Afghanistan in June 2009 and released by the Taliban on May 31 in a deal struck by the Obama administration in which five senior Taliban officials were released from detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. [The Associated Press]
- The owner of a vacant luxury house teetering on a crumbling 75-foot cliff over a Central Texas lake has decided to burn the house and clear the lot of the debris. The house will be burned Friday morning, said Tom Hemrick, Hill County's emergency management coordinator. Then a long-reach excavator will be used to clear the debris before the foundation slab is removed. The 4,000-square-foot house is on a cliff overlooking Lake Whitney on the Brazos River at White Bluff Resort, 60 miles south of Fort Worth. The house has been crumbling into the lake as the cliff on which it's perched has given way. The house was condemned and evacuated about two weeks ago. [The Associated Press]
- A North Texas man is seeking more than $1 million in damages after he says surgeons mistakenly removed his healthy kidney instead of his cancerous one. Glenn Hermes of Arlington told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that a pathology report was misread, causing the error. A portion of his remaining kidney has been removed because of the cancer, further limiting his kidney function. Hermes filed a lawsuit this week against his urologist and a radiologist for malpractice and gross negligence. He's waiting to see if he will need dialysis, a transplant or expensive drugs to maintain his health. But Hermes must be cancer-free for five years before he's eligible for a transplant, and there's no guarantee the operation would be successful. [The Associated Press]
- Republicans choosing the 2016 site for their national convention found out Thursday why Dallas is called “Big D." KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports: "At the American Airlines Center, members of the site selection walked the red carpet as they entered. They were met by cheerleaders for the Dallas Mavericks and Stars and by two elephants, representing the Republican Party’s mascot. 'I didn’t wake up this morning thinking I was going to pet a few elephants on my way into the arena. But that was a nice touch,' National Republican Party Chair Reince Priebus said. 'Only in Dallas.' They watched Ronald Reagan’s 1984 nomination in Dallas play on the Jumbotron; then confetti and balloons dropped from the rafters." The GOP plans to decide in August which city will host the 2016 convention. Competitors include Denver, Cleveland and Kansas City.
- The actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee had a special connection to Dallas. She died Wednesday at her New York home at the age of 91. Dee starred on Broadway. She acted in films. She emceed the March on Washington in 1963. But in the early ‘80s, she worked in Dallas with KERA Television to produce a show with her husband, Ossie Davis. It was called With Ossie & Ruby. While in North Texas, she formed a long-lasting friendship with an impressionable young producer at KERA. Read more from KERA’s Eric Aasen about Bob Ray Sanders’ connection with Dee.