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

September 20, 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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

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TOP STORIES:

BORDER AGENT ARRESTED-SUSPECT

LAREDO, Texas — Juan David Ortiz appeared to be living a typical, suburban life in a subdivision where rows of new homes abut surrounding fields of desert brush in South Texas. He and his wife were raising two children. He was a Navy veteran who became a Border Patrol agent, like one of his next-door neighbors and many others in the city. His neighbors would see him come and go, exchanging waves. Ortiz, 35, is now charged with four counts of murder in the killings of women who prosecutors in Laredo say were sex workers. The case has shocked the border community and baffled law enforcement. By Susan Montoya Brown. UPCOMING: 450 words.

TRUMP-BORDER WALL

WASHINGTON — Raising the specter of a government shutdown in just 10 days, President Donald Trump complained Thursday that a spending plan pushed by congressional Republicans is “ridiculous” because it does not include funding for a border wall with Mexico. Trump tweeted that he wants to know “where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill.” He added that “REPUBLICANS MUST FINALLY GET TOUGH” against Democrats he said are obstructing law enforcement and border security. Trump’s outburst could complicate GOP efforts to avert a partial government shutdown at the end of September. By Matthew Daly. SENT: 470 words, with photo.

ELECTION 2018-SENATE-TEXAS

ATHENS, Texas — Questions about Beto O’Rourke’s past investment in a controversial redevelopment project in his native El Paso are becoming so intense that even his mother is being pressed on it. The Democrat congressman is challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in November. O’Rourke says he’ll keep doing with what he believes helped get him this far — not going negative. By Paul J. Weber. UPCOMING: 800 words, with photos.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

TAIWAN-US-3D GUN LAWSUIT

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan said Thursday it is looking for the owner of a Texas company that sells blueprints to make untraceable 3-D printed guns who is wanted on an arrest warrant back home tied to an accusation that he had sex with an underage girl and paid her $500 afterward. The National Immigration Agency and Criminal Investigation Bureau confirmed that Cody Wilson was in Taiwan after arriving on the island earlier this month. Austin, Texas, police are working to find Wilson, the owner of Austin-based Defense Distributed. SENT: 300 words, with photo.

CHURCH SHOOTING-TEXAS LAWSUIT

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — All federal lawsuits against the U.S. Air Force over a Texas church shooting last year that left more than two dozen worshippers dead will be consolidated into one case, a judge says. Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra announced Wednesday that the lawsuits will be combined and handled by U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez, the San Antonio Express-News reported. Four lawsuits have been filed so far by victims or their relatives. More are expected. The lawsuits allege the Air Force was negligent for failing to report the convictions of gunman and former serviceman Devin Kelley, who opened fire Nov. 5 at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Kelley later killed himself. SENT: 310 words, with photo.

FLORIDA AIRPORT-LOCKDOWN

MELBOURNE, Fla. — A 22-year-old student pilot suspected of boarding a vacant passenger jet at a central Florida airport early Thursday has been charged with criminal attempt to steal an airplane, officials said. The Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating and trying to determine a motive, according to Orlando-Melbourne International Airport spokeswoman Lori Booker. She said the student pilot, whose name hasn’t been released, also faces a visa violation and criminal trespassing charges. Early Thursday, a man drove to the curb outside the airport, left his car running, hopped a fence and boarded an American Airlines Airbus 321 at a maintenance facility, Booker said. American is based in Fort Worth, Texas. SENT: 330 words.

With:

— FLORIDA AIRPORT-LOCKDOWN-THE LATEST

OIL PIPELINE-ETP LAWSUIT

BISMARCK, N.D. — The Texas-based company that built the Dakota Access oil pipeline says the Greenpeace environmental group should be held legally accountable for violating federal racketeering laws in three different ways. By Blake Nicholson. UPCOMING: 350 words.

CARNEGIE HEROES

PITTSBURGH — A receptionist who used a child’s booster seat to fight off a pit bull that was attacking a 12-year-old boy is one of 16 people being honored with Carnegie medals for heroism. The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, based in Pittsburgh, announced the winners on Thursday. The list also includes Andrew Miller, of Frisco, Texas, who saved a 62-year-old man being assaulted by a group of teens on a Washington, D.C. subway platform on May 12, 2017. SENT: 640 words.

IN BRIEF:

— OFFICER SHOT-SOUTH TEXAS — A South Texas police officer has been shot following a pursuit and struggle with a suspect who authorities say was known to smuggle people across the border into the U.S.

— POLICE CHIEF SUSPENDED — State records show a Texas police chief failed to discipline a sergeant accused of sexual misconduct and also helped the sergeant flush drugs down a toilet, potentially compromising criminal cases that relied on the drugs as evidence.

— PAROLE OFFICER-PAYOFFS — A former Southeast Texas parole officer faces up to 20 years in federal prison for accepting payoffs in exchange for letting other people provide urine samples for some convicts.

— TAYLOR SWIFT-STALKER — A 26-year-old Austin, Texas, man has been arrested on federal charges for allegedly sending threatening letters to pop star Taylor Swift and showing up at her record label in Nashville, Tennessee. With photo.

— GAS PRICES — Retail gasoline prices across Texas slipped a penny this week to settle at an average $2.60 per gallon.

SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-HOUSTON MUSEUM-IMPROVEMENTS

HOUSTON — Rebecca Rabinow fretted recently that when the Menil Collection reopens to the public after a six-month renovation, many visitors will wonder what took so much time. Of course, that’s the idea of the whirlwind update that has kept this Museum District hallmark shuttered since late February. The Houston Chronicle reports during a recent tour, the venerated museum corridors looked like a Piet Mondrian painting, covered with a patchwork of brown Masonite and geometrically pleasing lines of blue painter’s tape. Underneath that protective covering, the museum’s original pine floors looked as fresh as they did the day Renzo Piano’s landmark building opened 31 years ago. The doors reopen to the public Saturday. By Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle. SENT: 1,280 words, with photos.

SPORTS REFER:

FBN--COWBOYS-DEFENSE FIRST

FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys are winning with defense, an unusual development for a franchise with mostly offensive stars in recent years. DeMarcus Lawrence has been expecting it all along. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.

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