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

December 18, 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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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




SAN DIEGO _ The 14 defendants had been charged with entering the U.S. illegally. But there was a problem: When their cases were called in court, they could not show up because they had already been deported. Magistrate Judge William Gallo quickly concluded that none of the migrants could be prosecuted _ a decision that struck at the heart of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, which calls for treating illegal border crossing as a common crime. He dismissed all the charges and ordered all bond money returned. The same scene played out every day for several weeks in San Diego _ another example of judges challenging President Donald Trump’s moves on immigration in ways large and small. By Elliot Spagat. SENT: 950 words, with photos.


AUSTIN, Texas _ If the deep field of potential Democratic presidential contenders is on pins and needles as Beto O’Rourke decides his next move, it could be a long wait. The outgoing West Texas congressman’s team says he has no timeline or roadmap for deciding if he’d like to parlay a surprisingly close loss to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz into a White House try. People close to O’Rourke insist he hasn’t expanded staff or lined up consultants even as the interest in him intensifies. They say he’s spoken to top Democratic donors, but describe such discussions as fact-finding missions. The only big date on O’Rourke’s calendar is Jan. 3, when he finishes his congressional term. By Will Weissert. SENT: 850 words, with photo.


HOUSTON _ A judge has lifted a court order blocking the implementation of a new charter amendment which would give Houston’s firefighters pay parity with city police officers, but which Houston’s mayor says would cost the city up to $100 million and result in hundreds of layoffs. Tuesday’s ruling is in connection with a lawsuit by Houston’s police officers’ union that claims the amendment is unconstitutional and invalid. The measure was approved by Houston voters last month. The firefighters’ union says its members are woefully underpaid compared with Houston police and other U.S. fire departments. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. _ Fifty years ago on Christmas Eve, a tumultuous year of assassinations, riots and war drew to a close in heroic and hopeful fashion with the three Apollo 8 astronauts reading from the Book of Genesis on live TV as they orbited the moon. To this day, that 1968 mission is considered to be NASA’s boldest and perhaps most dangerous undertaking. That first voyage by humans to another world set the stage for the still grander Apollo 11 moon landing seven months later. Friday is the 50th anniversary since Apollo 8 launched. Mission Control is at Johnson Space Center in Houston. By Marcia Dunn. SENT: 1,270 words, with photos, video.



GALVESTON, Texas _ The Galveston County judge is calling on two local officials to resign after cyber scammers stole more than a half million dollars from the Southeast Texas county. An outside review, with results released earlier this month, determined no individual employee was to blame for the loss of more than $525,000 through an electronic payment scam. UPCOMING: 250 words.


BALTIMORE _ Baltimore’s former police commissioner has pleaded guilty to federal tax charges. News outlets report Darryl De Sousa pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of failing to file individual federal tax returns and admitted falsely inflating deductions. De Sousa faces up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine for each count at sentencing in March. The 30-year veteran of Baltimore’s police department took over after Kevin Davis was fired in January. He resigned days after he was charged in May. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has nominated Joel Fitzgerald, the police chief in Fort Worth, Texas, to fill the post. SENT: 140 words. Could develop.


_ SAN MARCOS-TEXAS-FIRE _ The deaths of five people killed in a July apartment fire near Texas State University have been ruled homicides.

_ SCHOOL OFFICIAL-BULLYING CLAIM _ The acting superintendent of a Houston-area school district has been named sole finalist to replace an administrator who resigned amid allegations he was a bully as a teenager.



DEVINE, Texas _ Wilbur the hedgehog leads a charmed life: A popular video on the animal lovers’ website, The Dodo. Custom-made crocheted little hats that rack up the likes on Instagram. Only the best in Target fruit strips for nibbles. The San Antonio Express-News reports and to think just this summer he nearly died by his mother’s own teeth. Now he nestles in the cupped hands and online posts of Melissa Schreiner, an animal lover in Eagle Pass who’s taken all sorts of creatures under her wing, with Wilbur poking his spiky little head above the pack. By Rene A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News. SENT: 1,310 words, pursuing photos.



DENVER _ The Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets have won 10 of their last 12 heading into Tuesday’s contest against the Dallas Mavericks. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m. CST.


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