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

December 31, 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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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 STORY:

STATE LEGISLATURES-2019

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. _ Big-dollar decisions about health care and education will top the agenda in many state capitols as lawmakers convene for their 2019 sessions with a closer balance between Republicans and Democrats. Some states will be considering anew whether to expand government-funded health coverage to more people after Democrats put a sizable dent in Republican statehouse dominance during the November elections. Others will be wrestling with how to boost salaries for teachers and funding for their public schools. By David A. Lieb. 1,500 words, photos.

OKLAHOMA LAWMAKER-THREATS

OKLAHOMA CITY _ An Oklahoma legislator settled his lawsuit against a Texas political consultant over a tracking device the lawmaker found on his pickup truck. Federal court records show Republican state Rep. Mark McBride settled his lawsuit earlier this month against Austin, Texas-based political consultant George Shipley. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. By Sean Murphy. 350 words, photos.

REFORM-MINDED PROSECUTORS

RICHMOND, Va. _ At least eight reform-minded prosecutors will take office in cities around the country next month. These prosecutors won elections in Virginia, Massachusetts, Texas and Missouri by promising to eliminate cash bail, stop prosecuting simple marijuana possession cases and to try alternatives to jail for drug abusers. By Denise Lavoie. 975 words, photos.

EXCHANGE-CHILDREN CHAINED-NEW HOME

SAN ANTONIO _ When LaKenya Shaw began to sing at a Northeast Side church one day in 2016, Theresa Nealy knew. The voice in her head told her that Shaw, a stranger, was destined to be the mother of two young siblings rescued from horrific abusive conditions and desperately in need of a home. By Elizabeth Zavala of the San Antonio Express News.

EXCHANGE-TENNESSEE TAMALE GUY

(Information in the following story is from: Johnson City Press, http://www.johnsoncitypress.com)

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. _ Friends and metal fans in Texas, who listened on Thursdays to his Sweet Nightmares radio show on KPFT 90.1 FM knew him as the Herminator. People here who crave authentic Mexican food know him as the Tennessee Tamale Guy. Last year, when Hurricane Harvey hammered Houston, the Herminator’s house was lifted off its foundation. By Nathan Baker of the Johnson City Press.

IN BRIEF:

ARMED MAN ARRESTED-PROPHECY-TEXAS _ A waitress in suburban San Antonio says an armed man who said he was on his way to a church to fulfill “a prophecy” when he was arrested had asked her for directions to a church.

BANK FRAUD-SENTENCING _ A Vermont couple police say stole $1.6 million in loans through bank fraud have been sentenced to prison.

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