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AP-TX--Texas News Digest 1 pm, TX

September 26, 2018

Good afternoon! 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

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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




AUSTIN, Texas — Ted Cruz is talking again about chaos in Washington, only this time he’s not the one causing it. Five years ago, the same Ted Cruz rode a wave of tea party outrage to the Senate with the declared intention of wreaking havoc on status quo. And he did, for establishment Republicans as much as President Barack Obama — helping to spark a government shutdown, calling the chamber’s majority leader a liar and inciting a pack of conservatives that later toppled House Speaker John Boehner. After an anonymous New York Times op-ed piece and journalist Bob Woodward’s book portraying a reckless president, polls have shown the GOP’s ability to hold the House increasingly in doubt. Cruz finds himself in a surprisingly close race against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, a member of the U.S. House. By Will Weissert. SENT: 810 words, with photo.


HUNTSVILLE, Texas — An inmate who taunted a jury to sentence him to death is scheduled to be executed Wednesday evening for torturing and drowning an East Texas woman in his bathtub and then stuffing her body into a barrel. Troy Clark was condemned for the May 1998 slaying of a former roommate, Christina Muse of Tyler. Authorities said that Clark, a drug dealer, had worried that Muse, 20, would snitch on him. The 51-year-old Clark would become the 17th inmate put to death this year in the U.S. and the ninth given a lethal injection in Texas. By Juan A. Lozano and Michael Graczyk. SENT: 610 words, with photos. Will be updated.


LOS ANGELES — A man who was deported from the United States six times was expected in court Wednesday to face charges after police say he killed three people and injured four in attacks targeting sleeping homeless men in California. Investigators believe Ramon Escobar, 47, began attacking the men at random on Sept. 8, shortly after he arrived in California from Houston, where he’s considered a person of interest in the disappearance of his uncle and aunt. Escobar, who was believed homeless himself, likely targeted victims to rob them, Los Angeles police Capt. William Hayes told reporters Tuesday. By Christopher Weber. SENT: 650 words, with photos, video. Will be updated.



MIAMI — Kirk has reformed as a tropical storm in the eastern Caribbean, and forecasters say it’s gaining strength. The system was downgraded to a tropical depression earlier this week. But the National Hurricane Center says it has reorganized and is moving. Kirk’s projected track shows it weakening into a tropical depression again along a path south of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba and Jamaica. SENT: 130 words. Could develop.


DALLAS — The jury is deliberating in the trial of a former suburban Dallas police officer charged with aggravated assault in the shooting an unarmed black man. Mesquite police fired Derick Wiley after the November 2017 shooting that wounded Lyndo Jones, who had been sitting in his pickup prior to the shooting. Jones was shot two times in the back after he started to run away on foot. The jury began deliberating Wednesday. SENT: 130 words. Could develop.


Shortly after last year’s shooting massacre on the Las Vegas strip, Ohio Gov. John Kasich convened a working group to explore possible reforms to state gun laws. A Republican, Kasich wanted to be sure the panel’s members clearly supported the Second Amendment. Yet it also was to be bipartisan, with members from across the political spectrum. The panel’s work accelerated after the Valentine’s Day slaughter at a high school in Parkland, Florida, and it eventually produced a legislative package of what Kasich labeled “sensible changes that should keep people safer.” The legislation was introduced by a Republican lawmaker in the GOP-dominated Legislature. It went nowhere. By Ryan J. Foley. SENT: 1,870 words, with photos.




ELOY, Ariz. — A small city in Arizona has ended its role in an unusual contract that allowed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to run a family detention center in Texas. Eloy already had a contract with ICE and the private detention company CoreCivic for a detention facility in Eloy when it entered the contract involving the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley. The new contract was approved in 2014 to allow the government to bypass a procurement process and open the Texas site quickly during a surge of children and families coming across the border. SENT: 150 words, will be updated.


NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge has thrown out rules for fish farms in the Gulf of Mexico, saying that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration didn’t have authority to make them. The Center for Food Safety represents groups that sued NOAA. It calls the lawsuit “the test case for similar rules planned off all other U.S. coasts.” By Janet McConnaughey. UPCOMING: 600 words.


— DALLAS OFFICER-MISTAKEN APARTMENT — The family of a 26-year-old black man who authorities say was fatally shot by a white Dallas police officer after she mistook his apartment for her own intends to file a federal lawsuit claiming excessive use of force. With photos.

— HARVEY-FLOOD CONTROL-MAPS — Harris County has earmarked $14.5 million for updated flood plain maps more than a year after deluges from Hurricane Harvey swamped parts of Houston. With photo.

— TODDLER-FACE GLUED — Investigators say a West Texas man has been arrested on charges that he beat his 1-year-old daughter and glued shut her eyes and mouth. Pursuing booking photo.

— CHURCH UNDER BRIDGE-MAGNOLIA SILOS— The stars of TV’s “Fixer Upper” have invited a congregation that worships under a Texas highway bridge to use the lawn of nearby Magnolia Market at the Silos for services during road construction. Pursuing photos.

— AMAZON-WHOLE FOODS DELIVERY — Amazon continues to expand delivery from its Whole Foods grocery stores, announcing new service in 10 cities while broadening delivery areas where it’s already operating. Whole Foods is based in Austin.



HOUSTON — Tatiana Mala-Niña says good entertainers know their audience. The Houston Chronicle reports so when the 31-year-old drag queen reads to children at the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library, she brings all the shiny glitz and glamour to satisfy their curiosity. But, in reality, the Drag Queen Story Hour that Mala-Niña performs with is a lightning rod. The program, which is growing nationally, aims to provide children positive and unabashedly queer role models. Critics, especially in Southern cities, are turning out to protest the events. By Ana Goni-Lessan, Houston Chronicle. SENT: 380 words, with photos. NOTE: One-year anniversary of story hour is Saturday, protests expected.



TORONTO — The Houston Astros had long left the ballpark and were back at their hotel when they clinched their second straight AL title at about 2 a.m. when Oakland lost in Seattle. The Astros this afternoon wrap up their series at Toronto. By Ian Harrison. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.


— BBA--ASTROS-BLUE JAYS. UPCOMING: 600 words, with photos. Game starts at 3:07 p.m. CDT.

— BBA--ASTROS-McCULLERS-FAN — Houston pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. has offered advice and a free playoff ticket to an 8-year-old special needs girl who apparently was yelled at by another fan for loudly cheering at an Astros game. SENT: 130 words. Moving on news & sports lines.


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