CDC: Texas Leads Nation With West Nile Cases | KERA News

CDC: Texas Leads Nation With West Nile Cases

The CDC reports that Texas continues to lead the nation with nearly half of the reported West Nile Virus cases.

Officials said this is the worst year for West Nile since 2003 and they expect the number of reported cases to increase.

Dallas County alone had 12 of the 31 deaths in the state.

Thirty cities in Denton County have opted in to aerial spraying which will begin tomorrow night.

The impact of Dallas County’s aerial spraying will take more time to assess.

Dr. David Lakey of State Health Services says Human cases are lagging indicators so they won’t be evaluating human cases for some time.

Lyndsay Knecht, KERA News

Denton County West Nile Virus Aerial Spraying Municipalities Listing

CDC: West Nile cases rise 40 percent in 1 week

Federal health officials say that West Nile virus cases are up 40 percent nationally since last week and are on pace to rival the record years of 2002 and 2003.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 1,590 cases of the mosquito-borne disease and 66 deaths so far this year.

Health officials think that cases have peaked or are peaking now, but likely will continue through October. The disease first appeared in the United States in 1999, and health officials say this summer's hot, dry weather may have contributed to the current boom in cases.

The CDC also says it does not expect Hurricane Isaac to have much of an impact on cases in Southern states.


Isaac Evacuees Make It To Dallas Area

More than a dozen Hurricane Isaac evacuees are in the Red Cross shelter in DeSoto.

Red Cross volunteers are providing meals, snacks, cots and other necessities. The shelter at the Faith Bible Church on Pleasant Run will remain open as long as necessary.

BJ Austin, KERA News

New Orleans imposes dusk-to-dawn curfew for Isaac

Officials in New Orleans say they are imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew as Hurricane Isaac continues to lash the city on the seventh anniversary of Katrina.

Police cars have been patrolling the nearly empty streets since Isaac began bringing fierce winds and heavy rains to the city Tuesday night. The curfew was set to start Wednesday night and would last until further notice.

Rescuers in boats and trucks plucked a handful of people who became stranded by flood-waters in thinly populated areas of southeast Louisiana. Authorities feared many more could need help after a night of slashing rain and fierce winds that knocked out power to more than 600,000 households and businesses.


Levee in La. may be intentionally breached

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says coastal officials may intentionally break a levee on the east bank of flooded Plaquemines Parish to relieve pressure on the structure.

At a news conference in Baton Rouge, Jindal said there's no estimate on when that might occur. He says as many as 40 people are reportedly in need of rescue in the area.

He says Plaquemines Parish has ordered a mandatory evacuation for the west bank below Belle Chasse.

Officials say the evacuation was ordered out of concern that more storm surge from Isaac would be pushed into the area and levees might be overtopped.


New State Fair “Fried Food Finalists” Announced

Labor Day Weekend is coming up and that means a countdown to the State Fair of Texas.

It starts with the list of new “fried food” offerings.

Eight new dishes will compete on Labor Day for the top two fried delicacies of the 2012 State Fair.

Entries include: Chicken Fried Cactus Bites; Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll; Fried Pork Wing; and Deep Fried Divine Chocolate Tres Leches Cake.

The Fair opens September 28th.

Here’s the complete list:

Chicken Fried Cactus Bites
Deep-Fried Divine Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
Deep Fried Jambalaya
Deep Fried Mac-N-Cheese Slider
Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll
Fried Mexican Fire Crackers
Picnic on a Stick
Fried Pork Wing

BJ Austin, KERA News

Some Dallas Area Rapid Transit fares going up

Some Dallas Area Rapid Transit fares will increase as light rail service reaches Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The changes approved Tuesday by board members take effect Dec. 3 as DART extends the Orange Line from Las Colinas to airport property. A Blue Line extension will link Garland and Rowlett.

DART officials said the changes should make it easier and cheaper to transfer from buses to trains. Some fares decline under the new system, which consolidates three current fare classes into just local and regional fares.

A two-hour pass costing $2.50 will replace the current $1.75 single-ride ticket. The new pass covers any DART bus or train ride, plus the Trinity Railway Express between Union and CentrePort/DFW airport stations.

DART serves Dallas and a dozen nearby cities.


Ex-Texas trooper accused of stalking former wife

A North Texas woman whose ex-husband is charged with stalking her says a fake online dating posting led men to her door expecting sex.

Former Texas trooper Kevin Safford's trial continued Wednesday in Fort Worth. He and Lawana Siney divorced in 2009.

Attorneys for Siney allege Safford threatened her and was responsible for the bogus online profile.

The medical secretary from Saginaw testified Tuesday that men called her workplace and showed up at her house. Siney says the website posting invited men to walk right into her home.

Attorneys for Safford say he's innocent and suggested an ex-boyfriend of Siney might be responsible.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Safford was a Department of Public Safety trooper for four years before surrendering his peace officer's license in 2000.


Facebook rants over boss, others cost deputy job

A North Texas sheriff's deputy has lost his job over rants he posted against his boss and two other county employees.

A disciplinary letter obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram shows Richard "Bo" Aldridge accused Sheriff Dee Anderson of drinking and driving in his county vehicle. Anderson denied the allegation categorically.

The letter also showed Aldridge made derogatory comments against one of his opponents in his campaign for the Precinct 1 constable's job, which Aldridge lost. He also made derogatory comments against County Commissioner J.D. Johnson.

The Tarrant County Sheriff's Department's Disciplinary Review board recommended his dismissal, which Anderson agreed with. Aldridge didn't appeal the decision with the county's Civil Service Commission.


Comerica Makes First Donation To Dallas Mayor’s Grow South Community Fund

Comerica Bank is planting the first seed money in Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ new “Grow South Community Fund”. 

Mayor Rawlings says strong schools make strong communities, and Comerica’s $50,000 donation will go to four south Dallas schools:  Adamson and Lincoln High Schools; Zumwalt and Atwell Middle Schools.

Dallas School Superintendent Mike Miles says this is a great way to start a new school year.

“Everybody here knows we can’t do education alone,” Miles said.. “We need the parent. We need the community. We need foundations. And it’s great to have community partners step up like this."

The money will go for math coaching, a web-based writing program, language learning software and other programs for students and teachers.

The Mayor wants to raise $150,000 for the Grow South Community Fund this year to jumpstart programs that will enrich and improve South Dallas communities.  

BJ Austin, KERA News

Irving and Denton County: Ground and Aerial Spraying

Ground spraying for mosquitoes is scheduled Wednesday and Thursday nights in Irving.

Four neighborhoods are targeted:  two just north of Highway 183; two on the south side.

Denton County aerial spraying is on for Thursday and Friday nights, except over the cities of Denton, Argyle and Bartonville.

Bing Burton, Denton County Health Director, says they will not spray over Friday night football games.

The four metro counties report 726 human cases of West Nile virus.

BJ Austin, KERA News