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AP-OK--Oklahoma News Digest 1:30 pm, OK

September 19, 2018

Hello! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Oklahoma. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Oklahoma City bureau at apoklahoma@ap.org or 405-525-2121.

Oklahoma Administrative Correspondent Adam Kealoha Causey can be reached at acausey@ap.org or 405-996-1589.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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 Central.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

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

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TOP STORIES:

DEADLY ROSE DISEASE

NEW ORLEANS — An incurable rose disease once hailed as a possible way to eradicate an invasive plant is causing major damage to the nation’s $250-million-a-year rose business. Dr. David Byrne of Texas A&M University is leading a $4.6 million multistate project to study the virus and the wind-blown mite that spreads it, and to find roses that aren’t susceptible. He says one rose producer spent $1 million getting rid of rose rosette disease, and some smaller nurseries have had to destroy 10,000 plants. The virus has been found in at least 30 states. In Texas, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden removed 2,000 plants. The virus recently spread in northwest Louisiana. By Janet McConnaughey. 760 words, with photos.

FROM AP MEMBERS:

OKLAHOMA-HOSPITAL DONATIONS

PAULS VALLEY, Okla. — An Oklahoma hospital has received enough donations to stay open temporarily, but its CEO says the facility still faces many financial problems. The Pauls Valley Regional Medical Center put out the call this week for donations to help it meet payroll, and CEO Frank Avignone says it received enough to keep the doors open for now. 250 words.

IN BRIEF:

— ABORTION BILLBOARDS-OKLAHOMA — An abortion-rights group says billboard along busy interstates in the Oklahoma City that say God and people of faith support women who have had abortions are supported by two Jewish rabbis and ministers of several non-denominational churches.

— MEDICAL MARIJUANA-OKLAHOMA-RULES — An Oklahoma city has passed ordinances to regulate medical marijuana that have drawn criticism from backers of the measure to legalize medicinal use of the drug.

— COURTHOUSE THREAT-GUILTY PLEA — An Oklahoma City man has been sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison for a child pornography charge and for falsely reporting to authorities that his ex-wife wanted to blow up a county courthouse.

— CITY WORKERS-BEE SWARM — A swarm of thousands of bees sent a pair of Oklahoma City workers running for cover, and both were stung in the process.

SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-BLUE BELL-EXPANSION

AUSTIN, Texas — Three years after a health scare that nearly spelled the end of the line for a beloved Texas brand, Blue Bell has rebounded — and is, in fact, growing and expanding. The Austin American-Statesman reports the Brenham-based company, which got its start 111 years ago, shut down production for a time in 2015 and recalled 8 million gallons of ice cream after reports of listeria started coming in. In all, 10 people fell ill. Three died. During the shutdown, the company deep-cleaned its three plants — in Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma — replaced some equipment and reworked procedures. Texas regulators, as of this year, closed an enforcement agreement with Blue Bell that allowed operations to resume with expanded monitoring. By Gary Dinges and Sebastian Herrera, Austin American-Statesman. SENT: 1,200 words, with photos.

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If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to apoklahoma@ap.org and follow up with a phone call to 405-525-2121.

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The AP-Oklahoma City

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