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

March 1, 2019

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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

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TOP STORY:

BAYLOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION

WACO, Texas _ A Central Texas jury on Thursday found a former Baylor University football player not guilty of raping another student in 2016, the latest case linked to a scandal that rocked the nation’s largest Baptist university and led to the departure of several top leaders. The McLennan County jury deliberated about two hours in Waco before acquitting Shawn Oakman of sexual assault. SENT: 370 words, photos. Moved on general and sports news services.

TEXAS EXECUTION

HUNTSVILLE, Texas _ A Texas inmate was executed Thursday evening for the killings nearly 30 years ago of his estranged wife’s parents and her brother, who was a police officer. Billie Wayne Coble received lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the August 1989 shooting deaths of Robert and Zelda Vicha and their son, Bobby Vicha, at separate homes in Axtell, northeast of Waco. By Juan A. Lozano and Michael Graczyk. SENT: 870 words, photos.

TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:

ELECTION 2020-BETO O’ROURKE

AUSTIN, Texas _ Beto O’Rourke’s advisers have begun speaking to Democratic political strategists about positions in a national campaign as the former Texas congressman promises to announce a decision on a 2020 presidential run soon. A person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday that O’Rourke’s team is having early, formal staffing discussions. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal the discussions before a campaign announcement. The development comes a day after O’Rourke announced he had made a 2020 decision and would let everyone know his plans “soon.” By Will Weissert. SENT: 450 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-CASTRO-TEXAS

LAS VEGAS _ Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro said Thursday that his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas, is considering a big run of his own in 2020 — a bid for U.S. Senate against Republican John Cornyn. “He’s considering that, but he really has not made a decision about whether he’s going to do that. I would imagine he would make a decision at some point soon,” Julian Castro told The Associated Press during a campaign stop in Nevada. By Michelle L. Price and Paul J. Weber. SENT: 410 words, photos.

TRUMP-BORDER SECURITY

WASHINGTON _ Senate opponents of President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border moved within a hair Thursday of having enough votes to prevail, and one Republican suggested he could face a rejection by the GOP-led chamber if he doesn’t change course. Trump’s move would “turn a border crisis into a constitutional crisis,” veteran Sen. Lamar Alexander said on the Senate floor. But he stopped just short of saying he’d support a resolution blocking the president’s move. Had Alexander pledged his vote, it would probably be enough for the Senate to pass a measure repealing the emergency declaration. By Alan Fram and Andrew Taylor. SENT: 800 words, photos.

Also:

_ LEGISLATURE-NEW MEXICO _ New Mexico will continue taxing contractors that manage national laboratories in the state, even when they have nonprofit status. The management group that took over Los Alamos National Laboratory last year includes nonprofit organizations such as Battelle Memorial Institute, the Texas A&M University System and the University of California. SENT: 110 words. Moved on general, financial, political and science news services.

IMMIGRATION:

IMMIGRATION-CHILD’S DEATH

HOUSTON _ The mother of a migrant toddler who died shortly after being released from the nation’s largest family detention center sued the tiny Arizona city on Thursday that for years was paid by the U.S. government to run the facility in name only. The lawsuit from Yazmin Juarez of Guatemala alleges that her 1-year-old daughter, Mariee, developed a respiratory illness at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, and medical staff provided inadequate treatment before releasing her three weeks later. By Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 720 words.

Also:

_ IMMIGRATION-STILLBIRTH _ A Honduran government official says a woman who delivered a stillborn baby while in custody last week has been released from detention. SENT: 130 words.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

SPACE X CREW-CAPSULE

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. _ SpaceX closes in on human spaceflight with this weekend’s debut of a new capsule designed for astronauts. The six-day test flight will be real in every regard, beginning with a Florida liftoff Saturday and a docking the next day with the International Space Station. But the Dragon capsule won’t carry humans, rather a test dummy in the same white SpaceX spacesuit that astronauts will wear. NASA doesn’t expect this crucial shakedown cruise to go perfectly. But the lessons learned should improve safety when two NASA astronauts strap into a Dragon as early as July. Astronauts train at Johnson Space Center in Houston. By Aerospace Writer Marcia Dunn. SENT: 900 words, photos, video. Moved on science and financial news services.

OIL PIPELINE-LAWSUIT

BISMARCK, N.D. _ The Native American tribe leading the fight against the Dakota Access oil pipeline says an Army Corps of Engineers document shows the agency concluded the pipeline wouldn’t unfairly affect tribes before it ever consulted them. The February 2018 draft memo that the tribe supplied to The Associated Press says the Corps performed additional study ordered by a federal judge and “identified no new information.” A Dallas company operates the line. By Blake Nicholson. SENT: 600 words, photos. Moved on general and financial news services.

IN BRIEF:

_ GIRL IN CLOSET-INDICTMENT _ A North Texas woman who was rescued from trash- and feces-strewn closet as a child and later spoke publicly about her abuse has been indicted on child sex abuse charges. SENT: 130 words.

_ AIRLINES-FINES _ The government has fined American Airlines and Delta Air Lines for several instances where passengers were stuck on planes that spent over three hours on airport tarmacs. SENT: 110 words. Moved on general, financial and travel news services.

_ WATER PARK FATALITY _ A public filing says a Kansas water park where a 10-year-old boy was decapitated has cash flow troubles. SENT: 140 words.

_ DEADLY FIRE-NORTH TEXAS _ Three people are dead and a fourth is hospitalized in critical condition after a fire at a North Texas home. SENT: 110 words.

_ DOUBLE HOMICIDE _ A Mississippi man and a Texas woman have died on the Mississippi Gulf Coast after a police chief says they were the targets of a “violent attack.” SENT: 130 words.

_ GERMANY-US-DISPUTED PAINTING _ A German court has rejected a bid by the heirs of a Jewish French art collector to seize a painting that a Houston museum has loaned to Germany. SENT: 120 words. Moved on international general news services.

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