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

September 20, 2018

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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.




LAREDO, Texas — Janelle Ortiz dreamed of becoming famous. Melissa Ramirez imagined a day when the street wasn’t home and drugs not her preoccupation. Claudine Anne Luera just ached to see her children do better than she had. All the women, bound by difficulties in life, met an eerily similar death: Shot in the head and left on rural Texas roadsides in killings police say came at the hands of a U.S. Border Patrol agent whose reasons are unknown. By Susan Montoya Bryan and Matt Sedensky. SENT: 880 words, photos.


DALLAS — The owner of a Texas company that makes untraceable 3D-printed guns is wanted on an arrest warrant tied to an accusation that he had sex with an underage girl and paid her $500 afterward. Austin police Cmdr. Troy Officer said the department is working with national and international law enforcement to located Cody R. Wilson, who missed a scheduled flight back to the U.S. from Taiwan. Wilson didn’t reply to a phone message from The Associated Press seeking comment. By Ryan Tarinelli. SENT: 410 words, photos.


DALLAS — Houston officials will spend up to $1.4 million to purchase ballistic vests for firefighters as they join a growing number of cities buying the vests to better protect firefighters who are more often encountering active-shooter or other deadly situations. Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena said in a statement that, “We must now also consider protection against violent acts.” Houston joins a growing number of fire departments — Boston, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh among them — that have purchased the vests. John Montes with the National Fire Protection Association says firefighters and paramedics in many cases no longer wait for police to defuse a deadly situation before entering. By David Warren. SENT: 550 words.


— ELECTION 2018-HOUSE-TRUMP PAC — President Donald Trump’s biggest super PAC plans to pump another $1 million into a Dallas congressional race where it has already announced spending $1.5 million. SENT: 130 words.

— ELECTION 2018-HOUSE-HINDU SYMBOL — Republican leaders in suburban Houston have apologized for an advertisement likening the Hindu deity Ganesha to the GOP’s elephant symbol amid a congressional race featuring an Indian-American Democrat. SENT: 130 words.

— TRUMP-WALL — President Donald Trump says the Sept. 11 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, renewed his resolve to push for his stalled southern border wall. SENT: 130 words, photos.



Twice in less than a year, the federal government has lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children after placing them in the homes of sponsors across the country, federal officials have acknowledged. The Health and Human Services Department recently told Senate staffers that case managers could not find 1,488 children after they made follow-up calls to check on their safety from April through June. That number represents about 13 percent of all unaccompanied children the administration moved out of shelters and foster homes during that time. By Garance Burke. SENT: 720 words, photos.



DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has agreed to contribute $10 million to help further the cause of women in sports and raise awareness about domestic violence after an investigation substantiated numerous incidents of sexual harassment and improper workplace conduct within the franchise going back more than 20 years. Investigators hired by the outspoken billionaire said there was no evidence to show Cuban knew of the most explosive allegations involving former team president Terdema Ussery. But the report faulted Cuban for not firing two employees when there were clear signs he should have. By Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 800 words, photos. Moved on general and sports news services.


HOUSTON — The Houston Texans have fired back at an East Texas school superintendent who wrote: “You can’t count on a black quarterback,” in the comment section of an online news article where he was criticizing quarterback Deshaun Watson. Lynn Redden is superintendent of the Onalaska Independent School District in the Piney Woods, about 75 miles north of Houston. In his post in the comment section of a story written by the Houston Chronicle and posted on Facebook, Redden referred to the last play of Sunday’s game, in which Watson let the clock run down before completing a pass to DeAndre Hopkins in a 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 600 words, photos. Moved on general and sports news services.


BALTIMORE — Federal prosecutors in Maryland say three men, including two from Texas, are facing charges in a $364 million investment scheme that entrapped more than 400 victims nationwide. SENT: 220 words.


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. SENT: 760 words, photos. Moved on general and financial news services.


BISMARCK, N.D. — Five years and almost $100 million later, cleanup is complete on a massive oil pipeline leak in North Dakota that has been called one of the biggest onshore spills in U.S. history, industry and state officials said. The spill by Texas-based Tesoro, now known as Andeavor, was found by a Tioga farmer in September 2013. Crews had been working around the clock to clean it. By James MacPherson. SENT: 370 words. Moved on general and financial news services.


— DEA PLANE CRASH-STREET — Authorities say a small plane operated by the Drug Enforcement Administration crashed on a street in suburban Houston, hitting two vehicles and injuring one person. SENT: 120 words, photos.

— POLICE SHOOT FUGITIVE — Police say a fugitive family violence suspect has been shot dead after he lunged at officers with a sharp-edged object. SENT: 120 words.

— TEXAS-GUINEAN SLAVE — The son and daughter-in-law of a former West African leader have been indicted on charges that they enslaved a girl from their native country while living in Texas. SENT: 130 words.


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