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

March 31, 2019

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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

TRUMP-HEALTH CARE-LAWSUITS

WASHINGTON _ After losing in Congress, President Donald Trump is counting on the courts to kill off “Obamacare.” Two federal judges in Washington, D.C., last month blocked parts of Trump’s health care agenda: work requirements for some low-income people on Medicaid, and new small business health plans that don’t have to provide full benefits required by the Affordable Care Act. But in the biggest case, a federal judge in Texas ruled last December that ACA is unconstitutional and should be struck down in its entirety. That ruling is now on appeal. At the urging of the White House, the Justice Department has saidit will support the Texas judge’s position and argue that all of “Obamacare” must go. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. SENT: 950 words, with photos.

ELECTION 2020-DEMOCRATS-MONEY

The fiercest battle for campaign cash is playing out between the presidential candidates who might not be on your radar. Ahead of Sunday’s fundraising deadline for the first quarter, the underdogs of the Democratic primary were in a mad dash to coax as little as $2 from grassroots donors. It’s all part of their bid to clear a new threshold from the Democratic National Committee to earn one of 20 highly coveted spots in presidential debates that begin in June. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s campaign said he raised more than $6.2 million in his first day, more than surpassing the individual donor requirements. By Bill Barrow, Hunter Woodall and Sara Burnett. SENT: 900 words, with photos.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

FORT WORTH-HISTORIC TORNADO

FORT WORTH, Texas _ It’s been nearly 20 years since a tornado lumbered through downtown Fort Worth and experts say the deadly storm left behind more than just destruction, according to experts. Experts say the March 28, 2000, twister, which caused an estimated $400 million in damage, triggered a valuable opportunity for business redevelopment and more housing, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Insurance Council of Texas records show the tornado that killed two people in Fort Worth was the 21st costliest storm in state history. SENT: 360 words, with photos.

INSIDER Q&A-EVGO-CEO

NEW YORK _ Cathy Zoi has been promoting clean energy in the power sector for decades, with leadership posts in business and government. Then in 2016, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation exceeded the power sector for the first time, and Zoi pivoted to accelerate the transportation sector’s transition to clean energy. Zoi is CEO of Los Angeles-based EVgo, which has developed the nation’s largest public network of DC fast-charging stations for electric vehicles. She says the company is working closely with EV manufacturers to install chargers in the next generations of cars. GM leases to both Uber and Lyft drivers. Zoi says the company is working with them in areas including Boston, Baltimore and Austin. By Cathy Bussewitz. SENT: 760 words, with photo.

NO APRIL FOOLS-HUMORLESS ROBOTS

WASHINGTON _ A robot walks into a bar. It goes CLANG. Alexa and Siri can tell jokes mined from a humor database, but they just don’t get them. Linguists and computer scientists say this is something to consider on April Fools’ Day: Humor is what makes humans special. When people try to teach machines what’s funny, the results are at times laughable but not quite in the way intended. “Artificial intelligence will never get jokes like humans do,” said Kiki Hempelmann, a computational linguist who studies humor at Texas A&M University-Commerce. “In themselves, they have no need for humor. They miss completely context.” By Seth Borenstein. SENT: 960 words, with photos.

ALABAMA BICENTENNIAL

MONTGOMERY, Ala. _ In 1961, Alabama marked the 100th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War with white women dressed in hoop skirts parading through a coliseum and a re-enactment of the inauguration of the Confederate president at the state Capitol. The state’s 2019 bicentennial celebration is very different, with a frank discussion of the horrors of slavery sharing space on a schedule with a Civil War re-enactment promoted by a Confederate heritage group and scores of other events, many focused on civil rights. Marvin Dulaney, a retired University of Texas historian, says it’s vital for any Southern state to present its full history, including the antebellum period, the Civil War and beyond. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 710 words, with photo.

IN BRIEF:

_ TEXAS OFFICER SHOT _ A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper remains hospitalized while recovering from being shot during a Dallas-area traffic stop that led to 15-hour standoff and a suspect arrested.

_ SISTERS KILLED-WRECK _ Officials say three sisters from Huntsville and a friend have died in a two-vehicle accident in Central Texas as they traveled to watch a drill team competition in San Antonio.

_ DEADLY ATM ROBBERY _ Prosecutors say four Houston men face up to life in federal prison for their roles in the 2016 slaying of an armored car guard during an ATM robbery.

SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-OIL-GAS BOOM-CENTRAL TEXAS

BURTON, Texas _ Spring wildflowers in the hills northwest of Houston are painting roadsides blue, orange, yellow, pink, white and purple, a prolific display borne from heavy fall and winter rains. The Houston Chronicle reports travelers who spend a night or two out beyond the city limits normally see another show after sundown, as abundant stars cross overhead. But things have not been normal lately. The night sky is lit up like a sports arena by flares and the glare of massive drilling rigs. By Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle. SENT: 1,919 words, pursuing photos. Moving on news & business lines.

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SPORTS REFER:

BBA--ASTROS-RAYS

ST PETERSBURG, Fla. _ Yonny Chirinos covered splendidly for Tampa Bay’s taxed bullpen, Austin Meadows hit his second homer and the Rays took three of four games from the Houston Astros with a 3-1 victory Sunday. The Rays had planned to use an opener for the first time this season, but manager Kevin Cash instead turned to the 25-year-old Chirinos rather than push his fatigued relievers. Chirinos pitched seven innings, allowing one run, two hits and no walks while striking out six. The only run came on Jake Marisnick’s homer in the sixth. By Mark Didtler. SENT: 440 words, with photos.

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