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BC-TX--Texas News Digest 12 am, TX

May 9, 2019

Good morning! Here’s a look at AP’s general news coverage in Texas at this hour. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the Dallas AP at 972-991-2100, or, in Texas, 800-442-7189. Email: aptexas@ap.org. Jill Bleed is at the desk after 5:30 a.m.

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Central.

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.




HOUSTON _ Juan de León Gutiérrez told his mother he was calling from a warehouse in Mexico, hidden by a human smuggler who had been paid to take the teenager into the United States. “He told me he had something of a headache, perhaps because he was hungry and had not been able to sleep,” said his mother, Tránsito Gutiérrez de León. The 16-year-old died on April 30 after officials at a Texas youth detention facility noticed he was sick, becoming the third Guatemalan child to die in U.S. custody since December. The death has heightened scrutiny of the U.S. government’s ability to adequately care for the surge in migrant families and children crossing the border in recent months. The two earlier deaths _ of children aged 7 and 8 _ had already prompted border authorities to change practices to ensure that sick immigrants were getting the proper medical care. By Nomaan Merchant and Sonia Perez D. UPCOMING: 890 words by 1 a.m.


DALLAS _ The production of oil and natural gas in West Texas is booming but it’s coming at a cost to residents who are regularly exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution, according to a report issued by an environmental group. The Environmental Integrity Project noted in a report released Thursday that the Permian Basin, which extends into New Mexico, is one of the most productive hydrocarbon regions in the world, thanks largely to the advent over the past decade of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. In another two years the basin will account for about 40 percent of all U.S. production, the group said. But a consequence of that production is dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide in the air around Odessa and other locations, according to the report, which adds that pollution levels in much of Ector County, where Odessa is located, exceed standards set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. By David Warren. UPCOMING: 670 words by 1 a.m.



WASHINGTON _ The number of migrants apprehended at the Southern border topped 100,000 for the second month in a row as the Trump administration manages an ever-increasing number of Central American families streaming to the U.S. that hardline policies have failed to stem. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost has told senators that apprehension numbers were “off the charts,” and she’s had to divert agents to care for children. As she spoke, images of Border Patrol agents holding small children flashed behind her. In one, an agent feeds a little girl a bottle. By Colleen Long. SENT: 730 words, photos.


LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. _ Immigration officials will train dozens of U.S. border patrol agents to start screening immigrants arriving on the southwest border for asylum amid a surge in the number of families seeking the protection, a government official said. L. Francis Cissna, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said his agency will train about 60 border agents over the next few months to join in conducting the screenings on the U.S.-Mexico border. The first group of 10 agents will start receiving training in Los Angeles next week. By Amy Taxin. SENT: 400 words.



WASHINGTON _ Federal privacy regulators have received a sympathetic hearing from Congress for their request for greater powers and funding to police privacy, as lawmakers warned that fines against big companies may be inadequate to change their conduct. The Federal Trade Commission is negotiating a record fine to punish Facebook for alleged violations of users’ privacy. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, said even a large fine “is inconsequential for a company the size of Facebook” while potentially damaging smaller businesses. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 750 words, photos. Moved on general, financial, political and technology news services.



HOUSTON _ It was a scene that has repeated itself countless times in the Houston area: heavy rainfall made area roadways impassable and flooded homes, schools and businesses. The Houston area was drying out after severe thunderstorms a day earlier caused flash flooding, inundating streets and stranding students at some schools. A break in the weather was expected to be short-lived as more rainfall was predicted over the next few days. Meanwhile, heavy rain elsewhere in the state caused flash flooding in numerous parts of northern, central and western Texas, causing one death in Austin. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 790 words, photos, video. Moved on general and weather news services.



KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ Rain swamping the nation’s midsection forced people from their homes in Kansas, stranded dozens of Texas children at school overnight and strained levees along the surging Mississippi River in Illinois, Missouri and elsewhere, prompting yet more flash flood concerns. The flooding began in earnest in March, causing billions of dollars of damage to farmland, homes and businesses across the Midwest. Rivers in many communities have been above flood stage for more than six weeks following waves of heavy rain. By Heather Hollingsworth and Jim Salter. SENT: 710 words, photos video.


DALLAS _ Electricity demand in Texas is expected to hit record levels this summer, and with a thin margin of reserve power, the operator of the state’s grid says it may have to ask businesses and consumers to conserve. Officials at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, are not ruling out rolling blackouts, although they say other measures are more likely including importing power from other grids. ERCOT has predicted that demand will rise as high as 74,853 megawatts. That’s 1,300 megawatts higher than the record set last July 19. By David Koenig. SENT: 350 words. Moved on general and financial news services.


_ MARINE COMMANDER-FIRED _ The Marine Corps says it has relieved a commanding officer who oversaw a battalion based at Camp Pendleton, citing a ‘loss of trust and confidence’ in his ability to lead. Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, a native of Helotes, Texas, joined the Marine Corps in 2000 and had been on multiple deployments, including to South Korea and Iraq. SENT: 90 words.

_ TERROR GROUP-MAN CHARGED _ Federal authorities say an 18-year-old Texas man has pleaded guilty to recruiting fighters on behalf of a Pakistan-based terrorist group. SENT: 120 words.

_ MISSING COLLEGE STUDENT-VERDICT _ A Texas jury has sentenced a 28-year-old man to life imprisonment for the murder of a college student. SENT: 130 words.


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