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This just in: A night in the lives of D-FW's 10 p.m. newscasts (Thurs., Nov. 2)

NBC5's Mike Snyder, CBS11's Tracy Rowlett and Belo8's Dale Hansen. All had their moments on the first night of the November "sweeps."

Car porn, "dirty purses" and an allegedly naughty "Beer-Burgers-Babes" billboard for an area watering hole.

It smells like a ratings "sweeps" period, and it is. The four-week November shootout started Thursday night, with D-FW's 10 p.m. weeknight newscasts the main repositories for showy stories that might "shock" or "surprise" you. It sounds like a job for unclebarky.com, which will be tracking all the non-weather related lows and highs in the country's sixth-largest TV market. We begin with Thursday night, Nov. 2, when all four stations led with chilly weather forecasts before things heated up.

CBS11 and NBC5 must have gotten their station consultants tangled. Both had ludicrous and lengthy stories on the health dangers posed by women's handbags.

"Did you ever stop to think where your purse goes during the day?" asked CBS11 anchor Karen Borta, also the reporter on this pseudo-shocker. The station commissioned a microbiologist to test the ratty things for bacteria content. Turning up: E-coli, salmonella, and, in one case, "vomit and fecal matter." All can pose serious health risks, viewers were told. If so, imagine the horrors of men's wallets.

"OK, Karen," a grinning Tracy Rowlett responded after successfully suppressing a giggle fit. Mind-readers must have had a field day.

Over on NBC5, reporter Meredith Land handled the "Purse Alert" story. Setting out with 22 medical swabs from Baylor Medical Center, she vetted purses both inside and out. A pathology lab then made "several disgusting discoveries." But unlike CBS11, no fecal material showed up. It's tough getting scooped like that.

Belo8 countered with reporter Rebecca Lopez's prominently played "exclusive story" on a man who was ticketed for playing a porn movie in his car while driving. The alleged offender, Robert Nelson, said it would be really difficult for any other motorists to see much of anything. But Lopez found someone willing to take umbrage, which is a flimsy, dime-a-dozen staple of stories like these.

"Ruby Salazar says she would be offended if her four-year-old son, Gordon, saw something like that while driving down the road," Lopez told viewers.

Even more easily offended was Heather Duffie of Lewisville, a mother with two young children who complained to NBC5 about that aforementioned "Beer-Burgers-Babes" billboard that displays two servers in short shorts and form-fitting tops. This merited a thin-soup story by reporter Susan Risdon, even though the outfits were barely daring at best.

Television stations love to present the illusion of a scared or aggrieved citizenry, even it it's only one or two people who just want to be on TV. NBC5 reporter Scott Friedman's story on missing police badges, IDs and uniforms had some interesting information in it. But it was marred by those mike-in-the-face snippets from everyday people who seemingly are coached to say what the story demands.

"Me a single mother. Anything can happen," said one interviewee about the prospect of fake policemen running amuck.

"Oh, you're kidding me, really?" said another supposedly concerned citizen who might just as easily have been commenting on those nefarious dirty purses.

NBC5 continues to present a fast, furious and still No.1-rated newscast characterized by high story counts and a heavy emphasis on crime. Thursday's 10 p.m. program raced through 28 stories, not including the weather and sports segments. Also, if you go to NBC5's website, you can "hear what a whooping cough sounds like," advised anchor Mike Snyder.

CBS11's Bennett Cunningham, Belo 8's Janet St. James and Fox4's Jeff Crilley had solid reports on Thursday's 10 p.m. newscasts.

There was some good work, too, including the following:

***Fox4 reporter Jeff Crilley had a sturdy, suitably understated report on a sensational topic -- a 14-year-old high school girl who admittedly made a mistake by posing nude for her boyfriend. Now her pictures are all over the Internet and on cell phones, causing the girl to switch schools to no avail.

***Belo8's Jim Douglas had a substantial story on sex offenders trying to rehabilitate themselves while others of their ilk run "rampant" through the community in one camouflaged offender's view.

***CBS11 consumer reporter Bennett Cunningham offered an interesting if overly gimmicky expose on companies that keep their complaining customers at bay with interminable phone waits. He has the direct lines for many of those companies, and they're available on the CBS11 website.

***And Belo8 medical reporter Janet St. James did a followup story on an intriguing "Before, During and After" diet regimen that requires copious water-drinking.

Old reliable Snyder had the blooper of the night after NBC5 reported on a study that said eating out too much can make you heavier. In fact, it can cause "1,200 pounds in weight gain every year," he told viewers before co-anchor Jane McGarry nudged him. Make that 12 pounds, Snyder amended.

Finally, Belo8 tried to milk Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban's mocking reference to sports anchor Dale Hansen. In a piece on the NBA's new conduct rules, Cuban told reporter Gary Reaves, "Dale, I'm sorry. Whatever you want me to do, please just tell me and I'll follow the Hansen code of conduct."

Anchor John McCaa encouraged viewers to stay tuned for Hansen's response. But it only amounted to this: "Mark Cuban deserves an Emmy, by the way, for acting like he listens to me or likes me."