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AP-TX--Texas News Digest 5 pm, TX

February 6, 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. Terry Wallace is at the desk.

A reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

— ADDS Sexual Misconduct-Congress.

— ADDS Congress-Herbicide.

— ADDS Trump-Intelligence Pushback.

— ADDS FIU-Greek Life.

— ADDS Newspaper Reborn.

— ADDS Car Sale-Slaying.

— ADDS Teen’s Body-Morgue Limbo.

— ADDS McFadden-Investment Lawsuit.

— ADDS UN-US-Mexico-Migrant Deaths.

— ADDS Southwest Airlines-GoFundMe.




DALLAS— A Dallas district judge previously reprimanded for questioning whether a 14-year-old girl was really a rape victim is in the spotlight again after calling out a victim of domestic violence who had appeared in her court during a candidate forum. Judge Jeanine Howard is running for re-election and facing a challenger. During the forum Monday night she identified a woman sitting in the audience by name and told the audience about her appearance in her court. Howard has been sanctioned for the previous incident in 2014. By Claudia Lauer. SENT: 460 words.


LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan sheriff says former U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics coach John Geddert is facing a criminal investigation after complaints were filed in the wake of the sexual abuse cases against Larry Nassar. The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that people have recently come forward with complaints against Geddert. Sheriff Thomas Reich declined to elaborate because the investigation was ongoing. Some of the female athletes abused by Nassar trained in Texas. By David Eggert. SENT: 500 words, photos, video. Moving on general and sports news services.





WASHINGTON — The House passed legislation Tuesday to overhaul how members of Congress and their staffs report sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, a response to reports about the current system’s tangle of confusing guidelines and culture of secrecy. Under the new legislation, lawmakers will be required to reimburse the Treasury within 90 days for any harassment settlements made with taxpayer funds, including members who’ve left office; if they don’t, their wages could be garnished. Reps. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, and Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., both announced late last year they wouldn’t seek re-election: Kihuen after he was accused by two women of inappropriate sexual behavior as a state lawmaker and on the campaign trail, and Farenthold after renewed criticism over his use of taxpayer funds to settle a harassment claim. He pledged he’d pay back the $84,000, but has not yet done so. By Juliet Linderman and Kevin Freking. SENT: 680 words, photos. Moved on national political news services.


WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers are threatening to cut off U.S. funding for the World Health Organization’s cancer research program over its finding that the herbicide Roundup is probably carcinogenic to humans. House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said Tuesday that the 2015 conclusion by the International Agency for Research on Cancer was fundamentally flawed and relied on cherry-picked science. The Texas lawmaker from San Antonio said he has serious concerns about anti-industry bias and a lack of transparency within the program, which is based in Lyon, France. By Michael Bieseckers. SENT: 600 words, photos. Moved on national political and financial news services.


WASHINGTON — Top intelligence and law enforcement officials warn that last week’s release of a congressional memo alleging FBI surveillance abuse could have wide-ranging repercussions: Spy agencies could start sharing less information with Congress, weakening oversight. Lawmakers will try to declassify more intelligence for political gain. Confidential informants will worry about being outed on Capitol Hill. The GOP-produced memo released last week contends that when the FBI asked a secret court for a warrant to do surveillance on a former associate in then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign, the bureau relied too heavily on a dossier compiled by an ex-British spy whose opposition research was funded by Democrats. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, who is a member of the House intelligence committee and a former covert CIA officer, said the memo is not a rebuke of the FBI rank-and-file or special counsel Robert Mueller. By Deb Riechmann. SENT: 900 words, photos. Moved on national political news services.


— SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY-ABBOTT — Gov. Greg Abbott wants the state’s top criminal investigators — Texas Rangers — to begin handling sexual misconduct complaints against lawmakers, judges and other elected officials. SENT: 120 words.

— GEORGE P BUSH-ENDORSEMENT — Donald Trump Jr. has endorsed George P. Bush’s re-election bid for Texas land commissioner, repaying Bush for breaking with his powerful political family and supporting Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid. SENT: 130 words.



AUSTIN, Texas — The attempted suicide rate inside Texas prisons has doubled in four years, a trend that some experts call “concerning” and others see as a positive sign the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is getting more serious about tracking mental health issues. It’s not entirely clear what’s behind the shift. Some experts point to staff turnover and an increasingly mentally ill prison population. But according to TDCJ, the four-year increase all stems from a 2013 push for better suicide prevention training that could have broadened the understanding of what counts as an attempt, the Houston Chronicle reports. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words by 6 p.m.


NEW YORK — Don’t expect to see “lady Doritos” on store shelves. The company behind the cheesy chips said Tuesday that it’s not developing a line of Doritos designed specifically for women, despite widespread online speculation that it was. The phrase “lady Doritos” trended on social media after based PepsiCo’s longtime CEO Indra Nooyi said on a podcast that unlike men, women don’t like to lick their fingers after eating a bag of Doritos — made by Plano, Texas-based Frito-Lay. By Joseph Pisani. SENT: 200 words, photos. Moved on general, food, financial and lifestyle news services.


BISMARCK, N.D. — A New York City woman who suffered a serious arm injury in an explosion while protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota is suing the federal government to obtain evidence for a civil rights lawsuit she plans against law enforcement. Sophia Wilansky’s lawsuit seeks the return of shrapnel and clothing taken from her while she was hospitalized following her November 2016 injury, or an opportunity to have the items analyzed. She filed the federal lawsuit Friday against the FBI and other federal agencies. The line is operated by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners. By Blake Nicholson. SENT: 530 words.


BISMARCK, N.D. — An environmental activist from Seattle has been sentenced Tuesday to serve one year in prison for targeting an oil pipeline in North Dakota. Michael Foster in October 2016 cut through a chain link fence and turned a shut-off valve on the Keystone Pipeline as part of a four-state protest to draw attention to climate change and support demonstrations against the Dakota Access pipeline, operated by a Dallas company. He was convicted last October of conspiracy, criminal mischief and trespass but acquitted of reckless endangerment. By Blake Nicholson. SENT: 500 words.


MILWAUKEE — The body of a 14-year-old girl remains in the Milwaukee County morgue nearly two months after she died because of a dispute between her mother, who is charged in her death, and her father in Texas. SENT: 400 words.


MIAMI — Florida International University has banned alcohol from all fraternity and sorority events for the rest of the school year. The FIU suspensions followed the death Nov. 3 death of Andrew Coffey, a Florida State University fraternity pledge. The suspensions also come after a string of other deaths at fraternity parties and initiations at Penn State, Texas State and Louisiana State universities. SENT: 280 words. Moved on national general news services.


WEARE, N.H. — Weeks after Weare’s only newspaper shut down, a resident came to librarian Mike Sullivan with a proposal: Why doesn’t he start one? Sullivan jumped on the idea and, for the past year, has been producing Weare in the World. The four-page publication comes out every week and is heavy on community events and calendar listings. The newspaper is the latest example of a library stepping into what Sullivan describes as a news desert to cover community news. David Beard, a journalist who is finishing up a Harvard University research fellowship and has written about the paper for the Poynter Institute, said similar projects have been undertaken elsewhere. In South Dakota, there is the Black Hills Network that takes information from 13 libraries. NOWCastSA, which describes itself as public television for the internet, is run out of a San Antonio library. By Michael Casey. SENT: 600 words, photos. Moved on national general and financial news services.


HOUSTON — Light peeking through stained glass windows illuminated the melancholy faces of the men of United Orthodox Synagogues as they put on their traditional tefillin and tallit to prepare for the temple’s last morning prayer. The Houston Chronicle reports after suffering damage from three floods in as many years, the synagogue’s board of directors made a decision to demolish the sanctuary, school wing and offices. More than 150 congregation members gathered or tuned in to a web stream for the Feb. 4 final service. The board of directors is exploring all viable options for a new building, such as rebuilding with elevated facilities or moving to a new location. By Autumn Rendall, Houston Chronicle. SENT: 900 words, photos.


— WINTER WEATHER-PLAINS — Freezing rain and sleet are forecast across parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas, leaving roads slick and hazardous in the region. SENT: 100 words.

— CAR SALE-SLAYING — Houston police say a man and his 16-year-old girlfriend have been accused of stabbing a driver more than 50 times while stealing his for-sale car then dumping his body. SENT: 130 words.

— POLICE SHOOTING-HOUSTON — A burglary suspect who attempted to carjack several motorists last week before being fatally shot by Houston police had a prior run-in with officers who shot him as he waved a machete. SENT: 130 words.

— TEEN’S BODY-MORGUE LIMBO — The body of a 14-year-old girl remains in the Milwaukee County morgue nearly two months after she died because of a dispute between her mother, who is charged in her death, and her father in Texas. SENT: 130 words.

— MCFADDEN-INVESTMENT LAWSUIT — An Arkansas judge has rescheduled the trial date for former Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden’s lawsuit against his ex-financial adviser and a bank. SENT: 130 words. Moved on general and sports news services.

— PRINCIPAL CHARGED-UNREPORTED ABUSE — A second elementary school principal for a Texas school district has been arrested on a charge she failed to report a case of abuse to law enforcement. SENT: 130 words.

— NEW MISSOURI-KANSAS CITY CHANCELLOR — An official from the University of Texas at San Antonio will be the new chancellor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. SENT: 130 words.

— UN-US-MEXICO-MIGRANT DEATHS — The U.N.’s migration agency has tallied a 3-percent increase last year in the number of migrants who died trying to enter the United States from Mexico, despite signs of a sharp drop-off in crossings overall in the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency. The agency tallied 191 migrant deaths in Texas alone, amounting to a 26-percent jump in the state. SENT: 130 words.



DALLAS — Southwest Airlines appears to be backing down from a demand to get credit for money donated to a fired employee’s GoFundMe account. The change of heart comes after a union accused Southwest of abusing the generosity of the man’s co-workers. Southwest fired Dallas mechanic Ken Hackett a year ago and accused him of helping organize a boycott of overtime assignments. In December, an arbitrator ordered the airline to reinstate Hackett with back pay minus any income he earned from other sources. By Airlines Writer David Koenig. SENT: 340 words.



NEW YORK — The Houston Rockets, coming off their nationally televised romp in Cleveland, look for their fifth straight victory when they visit the Brooklyn Nets. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 6:30 p.m.


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