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

March 24, 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

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

PETROCHEMICAL-FIRE-TEXAS

HOUSTON _ Officials say an emergency dike has been repaired and a damaged petrochemical tank stabilized during cleanup Sunday of leaking oil products that closed part of the Houston Ship Channel. Authorities are still trying to determine what caused a March 17 fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company’s Deer Park facility that damaged or destroyed several petrochemical tanks. SENT: 350 words, with photos.

With:

_ PETROCHEMICAL-FIRE-TEXAS-THE LATEST

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

AMERICAN AIRLINES-BOEING CANCELLATION

NEW YORK _ Fort Worth-based American Airlines is extending cancellations of flights through April 24 due to the grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft, as federal regulators continue to investigate two deadly crashes involving the plane model. American has 24 Boeing 737 Max aircraft in its fleet, and said Sunday that it will be canceling about 90 flights a day. Not every flight that was previously scheduled to be on a Max aircraft will be canceled, and some flights scheduled to fly on other aircraft types may ultimately be canceled. The airline said it will contact affected fliers directly. SENT: 130 words.

PLASTIC BAG BAN-OKLAHOMA

OKLAHOMA CITY _ Oklahoma lawmakers are considering legislation to prevent cities and towns from imposing a fee on single-use plastic and paper bags, a measure that officials in one Oklahoma community say encroaches on their search for an innovative way to protect the environment from the problems of carelessly discarded bags. Oklahoma is one of at least five states where lawmakers are considering pre-empting local governments from taxing or banning plastic bags that are used to carry everything from groceries to clothing and cosmetics, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website. Eleven other states, including Texas, Arizona and Florida, already have pre-emptions laws in place. By Tim Talley. SENT: 690 words.

ANTI-DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE-PASTORS SUIT

AUSTIN, Texas _ A conservative Christian group has dropped its lawsuit attempting to overturn Austin’s anti-discrimination ordinance that extends employment protection to sexual orientation and gender identity. The U.S. Pastor Council dismissed its federal lawsuit against the city of Austin on Tuesday, the Austin American-Statesman reported. The Houston-based council filed its lawsuit in October, alleging that Austin’s ordinance is unconstitutional and invalid because it doesn’t include a religious exemption for 25 member churches in the city that refuse to hire LGBT people. SENT: 380 words.

SANTA MUERTE-CATHOLIC CHURCH

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. _ A New Mexico archbishop is renewing his call for Catholics to stop worshipping the skeleton folk saint known as La Santa Muerte, or “Our Lady of Holy Death,” saying he fears some mistakenly believe the Grim Reaper-like figure is a Roman Catholic Church-sanctioned saint. Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester recently told The Associated Press he believes some Catholics may be fooled into venerating Santa Muerte even though the focus on death runs counter to the church’s teachings. Shrines and statues of the skeleton figure — typically depicted wearing a black nun’s robe and holding a scythe — can be found in New Mexico, California, Louisiana, Texas and elsewhere. By Russell Contreras. SENT: 450 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ OFFICER-WIFE SLAIN

_ DEADLY DOG ATTACK-CLINIC _ Police say a Dallas-area woman was mauled to death by her two pit bull terriers as she tried to feed them at a veterinary clinic where the dogs were in quarantine for a prior attack.

SPORTS REFER:

BBA--ASTROS-VERLANDER

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. _ Justin Verlander thinks the free-agent process is broken. Still, he says that’s not why he decided to sign a new deal with the Houston Astros rather than test the market. “I can’t see a better situation,” Verlander said Sunday after the Astros announced a three-year contract that added $66 million in guaranteed money for 2020 and ’21. By Chuck King. SENT: 450 words, with photos.

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