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This just in: a night in the lives of D-FW's 10 p.m. newscasts (Tues., Nov. 28)

Oh, the weather outside is .... well, we'll soon see for ourselves.

D-FW weathercasters and anchors all took their chill pills Tuesday night, warning viewers to brace for that most wonderful time of the year -- an "Arctic Blast."

That's the universally accepted term now on all four major news stations, with a little "Wintry Mix" added for good measure.

Of course it' could get lots better for those yearning to see a shivering nightbeat reporter pull a Valerie Williams. She's the former Belo8 reporter who found herself barely able to talk while doing a frigid weather standup in the 1990s. Chortling anchors Tracy Rowlett and the late Chip Moody loved it, figuratively throwing snowballs at her by asking more questions after she tried to sign off.

Williams did a lot of award-winning work during her time at Belo8, but this is the one image that sticks. Records are made to be broken, though, so maybe Belo8's newest lady of the night, Chris Hawes, can give viewers something to remember if the temperatures indeed plunge to sub-freezing in the next few days.

Anchor Karen Borta got things off to a rousing start on CBS11's 10 p.m. newscast.

"You've got about one more day to get ready for the arctic blast," she warned viewers before reporter Joel Thomas reported in shirtsleeves from downtown Fort Worth. Appearances are misleading, though, because "the big one" is coming, promised a weather official.

NBC5 anchor Mike Snyder promised "a blast of icy arctic air" before yielding to calmer, cooler David Finfrock, who never has a blast with his weathercasts. Finfrock throttled down to "cold front" in preparing North Texans for a sharp drop in temps.

Belo8 anchor Gloria Campos tried "bitter blast" on for size. Meteorologist Pete Delkus, who was used to far worse in his previous venue, Cincinnati, played along in his weather segment.

"Look at this arctic blast sliding in," he said as his weather map magically showed an arctic blast sliding in. Delkus sprinkled in some "wintry mix," too, and even raised the spectre of a "hard freeze." But he also "covered my butt," as he put it, by advising that a change in the storm track could keep the area dry but still cold.

Fox4 weather guy Dan Henry had "Arctic Blast" plastered in big bold letters. He then warned of a possible "Triple Threat" -- namely arctic air, severe storms and heavy winds. Reporter Brandon Todd earlier ran down various cold weather preparations. Fire wood sales are up, de-icing trucks are ready and outdoor water faucets are being capped with insulators. In the North Country, it's known as a nice spring day.

Other news butted in on this penultimate night of the 20-day November "sweeps."

Fox4 veteran Shaun Rabb was the only reporter to do anything of note with the Rev. Jesse Jackson's call to ban the n-word under all circumstances. He visited Dallas on Tuesday to spread the word about his latest initiative.

Rabb followed up by interviewing young blacks who said they now were thinking twice about using the n-word after comedian Michael Richards' recent racial tirade at a Los Angeles comedy club. A white student at predominantly black Paul Quinn College told Rabb he's often called the n-word but doesn't respond in kind because it would be deemed racist coming from him.

On Belo8, newcomer Shelly Slater had a lengthy piece on the "Mean Girls" phenomenon. "Bullying is big," she told viewers, who then got the chance to see not one, not two, not three, but four Shellys simultaneously on-screen.

How so? Slater, standing before a still shot of high school hallway lockers, used herself to illustrate how one meanie had told all but one member of her clique to dress in white. While talking, she evolved into three Shellys in white and then a lone outcast Shelly in black. It actually worked pretty well, but once is enough.

Belo8 reporter Dan Ronan had far more new information than rival stations on the much-chronicled Albert Sterling "murder-for-hire" plot, in which he allegedly commissioned a hitman to kill his pregnant wife. The hitman instead squealed on Sterling, who is being extradited from New Mexico. But Sterling's attorney told Ronan that the guy in fact is a thief who invented a cover story after being caught. We'll see.

CBS11's Sarah Dodd, set to become Dallas police chief David Kunkle's fifth wife on Dec. 8, scored an exclusive one-on-one with incoming Dallas County district attorney Craig Watkins, a huge upset winner earlier this month. Watkins didn't say all that much, but it's a notch on the reporter's belt before her off-camera life changes dramatically.

NBC5 had a scoop, too, courtesy of dogged night creature Scott Gordon. Anchor Jane McGarry teased it with typical NBC5 understatement.

"An eerie story," she said. "Thieves forced a North Texas family from their home. Tonight we have an eerie crime alert from Frisco."

Did we mention the story was eerie?

Gordon played along, telling McGarry that "the plot is straight out of a horror movie."

Basically, a man on a business trip had his car stolen at the airport after leaving his keys in it. An undercover police officer then learned that the thief intended to use the keys to burglarize the man's home, where his wife and three young daughters also resided. They were relocated to a neighbor's house, and police later arrested the culprit, who headed a luxury car theft ring known as "Operation Dough Boy."

Belo8's Hawes reported on the same theft ring, but Gordon had the personal touches that literally brought the story home.

Tuesday night's howler came from a reliable provider, NBC5 reporter Brian Curtis. His "Filthy Feet" story got a creepy buildup from anchor Snyder, who said, "You know, many of us take off our shoes to go through the airport security. Some of us even go b-a-a-arefoot. But as we are about to learn, that barefoot stuff is a health hazard."

A doctor agreed, telling Curtis that the "disgusting" practice can spread athlete's foot, nail fungus, etc. As an alternative, passengers should either keep their socks on or wear disposable foot covers provided by most airports. Curtis then laid it on real thick.

"Mom always told you to wear clean underwear," he said. "Now there's something else you should add to the list."

Oh shaddup.

Epilogue: NBC5 sports anchor Newy Scruggs, who gets a far shorter segment than Dale Hansen, Mike Doocy or Babe Laufenberg, received an extra 30 seconds beyond his usual skimpy two minutes Tuesday night. That still left him about 45 seconds shy of his rivals. But Scruggs did get a chance to throw in a brief commentary on how high school football players are getting "way too polished" in their media interviews. He also got to use one of his starved-for-air sports reporters, Cash Sirois.

Was it coincidental that Scruggs got the additional time on the same day unclebarky.com detailed his unhappiness with the situation? It would be pretty to think so.

Unlike Monday night, Scruggs ended his sportscast with a big smile. But his small gain left NBC5 without enough time to do the usual brief "kicker" story before giving way to the Tonight Show.

Instead, McGarry quickly blurted, "For all of us at NBC5, thanks for being with us."

Snyder, who usually gets the last word, instead could be seen biting his lip. He looked almost as unhappy as Scruggs did the night before.