BC-TX--Texas Enterprise Digest, TX
Here is the list of enterprise stories in Texas. If you have questions, please call Texas News Editor Kim Johnson at 972-991-2100 or, in Texas, 800-442-7189.
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MOVING ON Saturday, Feb. 2:
AUSTIN, Texas _ Backers of film and video game productions in Texas would like to see legislators earmark $60 million or more as a boost to the state’s entertainment industry. The Austin American-Statesman reports the taxpayer-funded effort, called the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, narrowly escaped an attempt to kill it by some lawmakers during the 2017 Legislature. States including New Mexico, Louisiana and Georgia have mounted similar efforts to compete for such productions. UPCOMING: 300 words, pursuing photos.
MOVING ON Sunday, Feb. 3:
GALVESTON POLICE-PENSION FIGHT
GALVESTON, Texas _ A new billboard along a busy highway in Southeast Texas says Galveston is “home of the worst police retirement in Texas” in a message related to a law enforcement pension dispute. The Galveston County Daily News reports the billboard, along northbound Interstate 45 for the next month, was leased by the Galveston Municipal Police Association in what union officials say is an effort to spark dialogue to fund the officers’ retirement system. UPCOMING: 300 words, with photos.
FOR IMMEDIATE USE:
HOUSTON _ What started as an online fundraiser to provide President Donald Trump with donations for his southern border wall has morphed into a foundation whose members vow to build a wall themselves. The “We The People Will Build the Wall” campaign has surpassed $20 million since it was created in December by Air Force veteran and triple amputee Brian Kolfage. The campaign has received almost 350,000 donations even as wall opponents derided the effort and after the longest government shutdown in U.S. history ended with Congress refusing Trump’s demand for billions in wall funding. By Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 810 words. SENT on Thursday.
Immigrants have gone on hunger strikes over the past month to protest conditions inside detention facilities, prompting officials to force-feed six of them through plastic nasal tubes at a Texas location, The Associated Press has learned. More detainees are refusing food at the El Paso Processing Center than at any other ICE facility, and lawyers say some detainees are losing weight rapidly after not eating or drinking for more than 30 days. Detainees, a relative and an attorney told the AP that nearly 30 men in the El Paso, Texas ICE detention center, mostly from India and Cuba, have been striking there to protest what they say is threats from guards. They are also upset about lengthy lockups while awaiting legal proceedings. By Garance Burke and Martha Mendoza. SENT: 1,070 words, with photo. SENT on Thursday.
MIAMI _ A new element has joined the flood of migrants clamoring to get into the U.S. _ Nicaraguans fleeing political unrest and violence. In recent years, Nicaraguans had been only a small drop in the wave of Central Americans trying to migrate to the U.S., mostly from poor and crime-wracked nations of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Now doctors, taxi drivers and other Nicaraguans are streaming in and applying for asylum or at least temporary protection, saying they fear they will be persecuted if forced to return home. “Previously we nearly never saw Nicaraguan asylum seekers,” said Alan Dicker of the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee in El Paso, Texas, which helps detained migrants pay bail. By Gisela Salomon and Claudia Torrens. SENT: 1,150 words, with photo. SENT on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON _ Hundreds of U.S. universities made strong returns on their financial investments last year, but experts worry the gains could be jeopardized by increased spending at many schools. A survey of more than 800 colleges and universities found that their endowments returned an average of 8.2 percent in fiscal year 2018, down from the previous year’s average of 12.2 percent but a major improvement over two sluggish years before that. Harvard University remained the wealthiest school in the nation with an endowment valued at more than $38 billion, while the University of Texas system jumped Yale University to take the No. 2 spot with just under $31 billion. By Collin Binkley. SENT: 610 words, with photo. SENT on Wednesday.
WORKSPACES FOR WOMEN
MINNEAPOLIS _ Entering the year-old workspace ModernWell feels like coming into a comfortable spa. Clean lines give way to cozy touches like footstools covered with faux fur and a roaring fire surrounded by comfortable armchairs. Women type away on laptops at tables scattered throughout. There is not a man in sight. ModernWell is one of a growing number of women-only and women-focused workspaces around the country. Another fast-growing space is The Riveter, with five locations in Seattle and Los Angeles and plans to open in Austin, Texas, in March. By Michelle R. Smith. SENT: 960 words, with photos, video. SENT on Tuesday.
MEXICO CITY _ The population of monarch butterflies wintering in central Mexico is up 144 percent over last year, experts said Wednesday. The data presented by Andrew Rhodes, Mexico’s national commissioner for protected natural areas, was cheered, but scientists quickly warned that it does not mean the butterflies that migrate from Canada and the United States are out of danger. This winter, researchers found the butterflies occupying 14.95 acres of pine and fir forests in the mountains of Michoacan and Mexico states. The first monarchs crossed into Mexico more than a week later than usual on Oct. 20 owing to rain and cold along the Texas-Mexico border. By Christopher Sherman. SENT: 440 words, with photo. SENT on Wednesday.
WEEKEND MEMBER EXCHANGES/MOVED IN ADVANCE:
FOR USE Sunday, Feb. 3, and thereafter:
EXCHANGE-BLACK FUNERAL HOMES
HOUSTON _ When Carolyn Hoxie’s mother died, Edward Loche was among the first to know. The Houston Chronicle reports he has buried several of Hoxie’s relatives over the years. Though Hoxie’s family moved out of Fifth Ward, they always sought the services of Ross Mortuary. For more than 35 years Loche has been part of a tradition of black funeral directors in the United States that offer a trusted service to generations of African-American families seeking dignity for their deceased loved ones. But as family-owned black funeral homes go under, or sell out to mortuary conglomerates, Loche’s story, the tradition of a family unit caring for their community’s dead, is becoming a rarity. By Ileana Najarro, Houston Chronicle. SENT IN ADVANCE: 1,900 words, with photos.
SAN ANTONIO _ Remember “Cheers,” the TV sit-com about the bar where everybody knows your name? The San Antonio Express-News reports the Club Room of the Beethoven Maennerchor, the storied German singing society headquartered in King William, does that cozy concept one better. “Here, everybody knows your name _ and your stein,” David Uhler, the choral group’s vice president, said as he lifted his own mug of frosty brew to his lips. By Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, San Antonio Express-News. SENT IN ADVANCE: 990 words, with photos.
FOR USE Monday, Feb. 4, and thereafter:
STRAWN, Texas _ For 30 years, chicken fried steak lovers have been making the drive to dine at Mary’s Cafe in Strawn. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the restaurant was acclaimed for having the state’s best chicken fried steak. Besides six-man football, the cafe has been the primary reason to visit the town 75 miles west of Fort Worth. But Strawn residents have been patiently waiting for the one thing that could dramatically change their town of 654. That’s the 4,400-acre Palo Pinto Mountains State Park. By Bill Hanna, Fort Worth Star-Telegram. SENT IN ADVANCE: 970 words, with photos.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas _ Saying goodbye to the generations of children Jean Meadors taught was the hardest thing she recently did. The Owen R. Hopkins public librarian is known throughout the community for her popular story telling series “Miss Jean’s Story Time Kids,” which has been a tradition at the public library for more than 30 years. Meadors last month celebrated her last story time event at the site with dozens of families eager to listen to the librarian one last time before her retirement. By Meagan Falcon, Corpus Christi Caller-Times. SENT IN ADVANCE: 410 words, with photos.
^The AP, Dallas