AP-TX--Texas News Digest 1 pm, TX
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: email@example.com
Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.
AUSTIN, Texas — President Donald Trump on Wednesday is scheduled to discuss the new hurricane season with governors whose states are still reeling from deadly and destructive storms last year, including Texas, where parts of Houston were swamped by Hurricane Harvey. Trump will be at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington. By Paul J. Weber. On merts/developing from Wednesday afternoon briefing.
HOUSTON — A new report on the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey says the U.S. has never experienced the amount of rainfall across such a vast area as that brought by the storm when it struck Texas last August. The report released this week by the Harris County Flood Control District says more rain fell over a five-day period, and on such a broad area, than at any time since records have been kept. The area extends roughly from Victoria in South Texas northeast to Houston and over to the Louisiana border — a region approximately the size of Massachusetts. About 300 words.
WASHINGTON — Tropical cyclones around the world are moving slightly slower over land and water, dumping more rain as they stall, just as Hurricane Harvey did last year, a new study found. This isn’t about how powerful a storm’s winds are, just how fast it chugs along. Storms in the last few years — before 2017′s Harvey, which came ashore in South Texas — were moving about 10 percent slower globally than in the late 1940s and 1950s, according to a study published in Nature Wednesday. By Seth Borenstein. SENT: 490 words, with photo.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A new report finds that high-tide flooding is happening across the United States at twice the rate it was just 30 years ago and predicts records for such flooding will continue to be broken for decades as sea levels rise. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said high tide flooding, sometimes called sunny-day or “nuisance flooding,” tied or set records last year in more than a quarter of the 98 places the agency monitors. Sabine Pass in Texas had 23 days of high-tide flooding last year, while Atlantic City, New Jersey and Boston had 22 each. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 330 words, with photos.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
BAYLOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ highest criminal appeals court has reinstated the 2015 sexual assault conviction of a former Baylor University football player whose case ignited a scandal that engulfed the nation’s largest Baptist school. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said Wednesday that a lower court erred by overturning the conviction of Sam Ukwuachu (oo-kuh-WAH’-choo) based on text messages between the victim and a friend that had not been allowed in trial. Ukwuachu was sentenced to six months in jail, but served an abbreviated sentence. The ruling allows him to continue appealing his conviction, but not on the text message issue. By Jim Vertuno. SENT: 410 words. Moving on news & sports lines.
HOUSTON — A divided Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has decided a condemned killer who the U.S. Supreme Court ruled was improperly assessed as eligible for execution is mentally appropriate to be put to death. In a 5-3 ruling Wednesday with one judge not participating, the state’s highest criminal court says it’s reviewed the case of convicted killer Bobby James Moore under guidance from the Supreme Court following its March 2017 decision and has found Moore is not intellectually disabled. The Supreme Court last year said the state court used outdated standards in reaching its earlier decision on Moore, condemned for a 1980 Houston slaying. By Michael Graczyk. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: 400 words.
NEW YORK — Civil rights lawyers sued the U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday to try to stop plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, calling it an unconstitutional attempt to discriminate against immigrants. The Manhattan federal lawsuit blames racial animus for the recent announcement that the census will include a citizenship question for the first time since 1950. The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and others. It alleges census participation will be depressed, diluting the economic and political power of residents in places like New York City; Prince Georges’ County, Maryland; Houston; San Antonio, Texas; and Miami-Dade, Broward and Orange in Florida. By Larry Neumeister. SENT: 430 words.
WASHINGTON — On college campuses across the U.S., the Chinese government supports more than 100 institutes that teach language and culture. For critics, like Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, it’s a threat to academic freedom and a spy risk. In February, FBI Director Christopher Wray voiced concern that China could be using professors or students to collect intelligence at universities naive about the risks. He told a Senate intelligence committee hearing that the FBI was monitoring Confucius Institutes, although he highlighted no evidence of wrongdoing. Since then, universities have announced the closure of three institutes in Texas and Florida. By Mathew Pennington. SENT: 1,010 words, with photos. Will be updated following hearing Wednesday afternoon.
GALVESTON, Texas — Investigators say a Southeast Texas county appears to be the victim of a $525,000 email scam after government funds meant for a Houston construction company to pay for road repairs were sent to a wrong account. The Galveston County Daily News reports an unknown entity pretending to be the construction firm sent Galveston County officials a request to pay the money to a new account, which was then done. County Treasurer Kevin Walsh says the error wasn’t detected until the company asked why it was taking so long to get paid. UPCOMING: 225 words.
SAN ANTONIO-DISMEMBERMENT KILLING
SAN ANTONIO — A jury in San Antonio has convicted a suspect of murder in the killing of a 35-year-old man who was beaten with baseball bats and dismembered before parts of his body were grilled on a barbecue. The jury took about three hours Tuesday to find Daniel Moreno Lopez guilty in the 2014 horrific slaying. Investigators say Lopez helped kill Jose Luis Menchaca, who had stabbed him days before during a drug deal that went bad. UPCOMING: 250 words.
BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan — A trio of astronauts from Russia, the United States and the European Space Agency blasted off Wednesday for a mission on the International Space Station. A Russian spacecraft carrying Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA, Sergey Prokopyev of Russian space agency Roscosmos and the ESA’s Alexander Gerst, from Germany, lifted off as scheduled from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz booster rocket. The Soyuz MS-09 ship has successfully entered a designated orbit and is set to dock at the space outpost Friday. Mission Control is at Johnson Space Center in Houston. SENT: 200 words, with photos.
SMALLBIZ-SMALL TALK-TEEN ENTREPRENEURS
NEW YORK — Not being taken seriously is an obstacle many young entrepreneurs face. Taylor Toce started Velo IT Group, a technology services company, in 2006 at age 17. Toce says he was brave but ignorant; he was surprised by a lawsuit by an ex-staffer. He settled the case, which helped him realize his Dallas-based company needed an employee handbook spelling out policies. Carl Dorvil was 20 and at Southern Methodist University when he started a tutoring service, Group Excellence. Dorvil recalls donating tablet computers to a school district, hoping for requests for tutors. Dorvil and district officials had a miscommunication about when the schools would use the devices. Group Excellence was left without income it expected. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. SENT: 980 words, with photos.
— HOUSTON-AIRPORT THREAT — Officials say police have detained “an impatient passenger” who made comments about explosives in a bag that prompted the bomb squad to close the international terminal at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport for nearly an hour.
— POLICE SHOOTING-PEARLAND — Houston-area police responding to reports of gunfire in a business parking lot have fatally shot a suspect after authorities say he pointed a firearm toward an officer.
— WACO-OFFICER TRIAL — The trial has started for a Waco police officer fired after grabbing a handcuffed man by the throat during a 2016 traffic stop.
— TEXAS EXECUTION-NEW SENTENCE — A Houston man on death row for nearly 31 years for the slaying of a woman and her 2-year-old son has accepted a plea deal giving him back-to-back life prison terms.
— HUSBAND KILLED-FUGITIVE — A Minnesota woman accused of killing her husband and a Florida woman before leading authorities on a cross-country manhunt and her capture in Texas has been indicted by a grand jury in Florida.
— SEVERE WEATHER-TEXAS — Baseball-size hailstones smashed windshields, skylights and windows as thunderstorms swept through the Dallas-Fort Worth area. With video.
SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:
DALLAS — The 1930 Craftsman-style bungalow looks like any other on the block of this Fair Park neighborhood. Its white clapboard is perhaps brighter, more intact, its yard more manicured, but it is no less humble than any other home along Warren Avenue. The Dallas Morning News reports a woman named Juanita Craft lived here from 1950 until her death in August of 1985, when she was 83. During that time, and well before, Craft reshaped Dallas like few others before or since, gathering in this house a flock that became a family that became an army of makers of good trouble. Craft was the first black woman to vote in Dallas County and organized chapters of the NAACP. By Robert Wilonsky, The Dallas Morning News. SENT: 870 words, pursuing photos. Not for online use in the Dallas area.
FRISCO, Texas — Geoff Swaim is the only tight end on the Cowboys roster with a catch in a regular-season game, and he has nine in his career. The retirement of 15-year mainstay Jason Witten came suddenly, and left behind a young crew of potential replacements. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.
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