Five stories that have North Texas talking: Nina Pham and her dog, Bentley, visit Dallas Animal Services; Barrett Brown is to be sentenced Tuesday; a nativity scene goes up at the Texas Capitol; and more.
Dallas Animal Services had some special visitors Monday. Nina Pham, the Dallas nurse who recovered from Ebola, and her dog, Bentley, showed up to tour the building. They presented the shelter with an early Christmas present – a check for nearly $1,500 from Bentley T-shirt sales. (They also “checked out some very adorable, very adoptable dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.”) Dallas Animal Services helped take care of Bentley while he was under quarantine. Pham was reunited with her dog, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, last month. Did you know Bentley has his own Facebook page?
- A Dallas man whose online activities linked to hackers landed him under federal indictment is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday in federal court. Barrett Lancaster Brown, 33, was a writer often quoted on the workings of Anonymous, the worldwide hacking collective that has staged cyberattacks on governments and businesses. He cultivated attention and followers on the Internet but came under federal investigation for posting a link to data stolen from an Austin, Texas-based defense contractor, Stratfor. FBI agents arrested him two years ago, shortly after he posted YouTube videos threatening an agent by name. [Associated Press]
- Defense attorneys have rested their case in the punishment phase of the trial of a former North Texas public official convicted of capital murder in a revenge plot against prosecutors. Attorneys for Eric Williams wrapped up their effort to save the former Kaufman County justice of the peace from death row at the end of Monday's proceedings. Prosecutors may call rebuttal witnesses Tuesday morning in state district court in Rockwall, followed by closing arguments to the Rockwall County jury. Prosecutors want the death penalty for Williams for the fatal shooting of Cynthia McLelland. The bodies of her and her husband, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, were found last year at their home near Dallas. Williams also is accused of killing Mike McLelland and an assistant prosecutor two months earlier. [Associated Press]
- A decade ago, about 600 Chinese students attended high school in the United States. Today, there are more than 38,000. For many, it’s their first time away from home and their first time in new country. Meet one teen who’s making the transition at a school in Garland. It's the focus of the latest installment in a KERA American Graduate series called Generation One. We feature Niuying Cao, a 10 th grader who goes by Arron. She attends International Leadership of Texas, a public charter high school in Garland. Read more here.
- For the first time, a nativity scene has gone up at the Texas Capitol in Austin. KVUE-TV reports: “’It's just to bring the joy and the hope of the birth of Christ to everyone and to use the public square as a place to do that,’ said project spokesperson Trey Trainor. The nativity scene is privately funded, and the state has not contributed any money to the display or endorsed it. … Nativity scenes have sparked controversy and legal battles in other Texas counties. In Athens, a group threatened to sue if a nativity scene wasn't removed from the Henderson County Courthouse in 2012. … Trainor said they haven't experienced any backlash for this specific project so far.”