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BC-TX--Texas Enterprise Digest,ADVISORY, TX

July 5, 2018

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.

For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.




WASHINGTON — Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, caught a sharp admonition from President Donald Trump to “knock it off” after his ethics problems dominated cable television. Welcome to the Trump Cabinet, where broad opportunities to reshape the government and advance a conservative agenda come with everyday doses of presidential adulation, humiliation, perks and pestering. Every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., up to a dozen Cabinet members have Bible study. Energy Secretary Rick Perry usually attends. Perry has told allies that he wants to stay in his lane and build relationships on Capitol Hill while frequently turning up in the West Wing. By Jonathan Lemire, Catherine Lucey and Zeke Miller. SENT: 2,670 words, with photos.


— TRUMP-THE CABINET-ABRIDGED version, 880 words


WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is rescinding Obama-era guidance that encouraged schools to take a student’s race into account in order to promote diversity in admissions, a U.S. official said Tuesday. The shift would give schools and universities the federal government’s blessing to take a race-neutral approach to students they consider for admission. The Supreme Court in 2016 gave affirmative action policies a narrow victory by upholding a University of Texas program that takes into account race in deciding whom to admit. That decision was authored by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retires this month. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 920 words, photos. SENT on Tuesday.


LOS FRESNOS, Texas — Gabriel Canas, a bus driver from El Salvador who fled his homeland after members of MS-13 stormed his bus, did an initial screening interview for asylum under the worst circumstances. He hadn’t spoken to his 9-year-old daughter since the Border Patrol separated them two weeks earlier. And in that time, he had been moved repeatedly from one detention facility to another. His case illustrates an overlooked effect of the separations: Some immigrants complain that they stumbled through their first asylum interviews when they were deeply distraught over losing their children. By Elliot Spagat and Emily Schmall. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. SENT on Wednesday.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Water levels at New Mexico’s largest reservoir are dropping and more rivers around the state are being reduced to a trickle as residents, farmers and water managers anxiously await the start of summer rains that could offer some short-term relief to the dry conditions. The federal drought map released Thursday shows every square mile of New Mexico is dealing with some form of drought as neighboring states across the American Southwest are faring just as poorly. By Susan Montoya Brown. SENT: 450 words, with photos. SENT on Thursday.


NEW YORK — Amazon’s Prime Day deals are coming to the aisles of Austin-based Whole Foods as the online retailer seeks to lure more people to its Prime membership after a recent price hike. This year’s sales event, starting July 16, will be six hours longer than last year and will launch new products. Amazon hopes to keep Prime attractive for current and would-be subscribers after raising the annual membership fee by 20 percent to $119 and to $12.99 for the month-to-month option. Outside of Prime Day, Amazon has added special discounts for Prime members at its more than 460 Whole Foods U.S. stores and has been adding new TV shows and movies on its video streaming service. By Joseph Pisani. SENT: 440 words, with photos. SENT on Tuesday.


NEW YORK — Carlos Garcia was three years into his first job in technology at Merrill Lynch when he first learned what a 401K retirement savings account was. He was floored when he learned that a colleague had already saved $30,000 in three years, and the company had matched it. The concept of making money off money was foreign to Garcia, an MIT graduate who was born in Texas to immigrants from Mexico. His story is not uncommon among U.S. Hispanics, who lag behind other demographic groups when it comes to saving for retirement. By Alexandra Olson. SENT: 1,140 words, with photos. SENT on Monday.


LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — America’s oldest nuclear power plant will shut down on Sept. 17, but the Oyster Creek plant near the New Jersey shore will stay right where it is for the next 60 years. Officials with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a briefing Monday on shutdown plans for Oyster Creek, which opened in 1969. They said Chicago-based Exelon plans to remove the remaining nuclear fuel rods from storage pools and put them into dry storage within 5½ years of the shutdown date. The NRC is considering applications to erect a national nuclear waste depository either in Texas or New Mexico. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 520 words, with photos. SENT on Monday.



FOR USE Sunday, July 8 and thereafter:


DICKINSON, Texas — It took more than $300,000 and nearly a year to repair the M.I. Lewis Social Service Center after Hurricane Harvey caused severe flood damage. But the more than 50-year-old nonprofit agency, which has helped thousands of people pay rent or get access to food, is open again. The Galveston County Daily News reports the center, in a space at the First Presbyterian Church of Dickinson, 215 FM 517 E., was flooded with 4 feet of water during Harvey, which struck in late August. The center’s grand reopening celebration is set for Monday, July 9. By Connor Behrens, The Galveston County Daily News. SENT IN ADVANCE: 490 words, with photos.


HOUSTON — When James Douglas told his teachers during career day in high school in the late 1950s that he wanted to be a lawyer, they didn’t believe his dreams could come true for the African-American student. The Houston Chronicle reports Douglas went on to attend law school at Texas Southern University, become associate dean for Syracuse University’s College of Law and now is a professor of law back at his alma mater. Douglas to join the NAACP in 1981, when he moved back to Houston after stints in Boston and Syracuse, New York. Douglas, now 74, has served three years as president of the NAACP’s Houston branch, which this month is celebrating 100 years as an organization. By Brooke A. Lewis, Houston Chronicle. SENT IN ADVANCE: 1,200 words, with photos.


FOR USE Monday, July 9 and thereafter:


IMPERIAL, Texas — Inside a high-tech lab in a modular building in the West Texas desert here, a young scientist peered through a microscope at a slide of live and multiplying algae. The San Antonio Express-News reports she was on the prowl for “grazers,” a sort of cellular-level locust that could wreak havoc on the multimillion-dollar crop proliferating in thick green ponds outside. It’s the equivalent of a cotton farmer walking rows in search of disease-carrying bolls, explained Rebecca White, the 38-year-old microbiologist who runs one of the world’s few commercially viable algae farms. By Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News. SENT IN ADVANCE: 1,800 words, with photos.


VICTORIA, Texas — When it comes to fake excuses for jury duty, Judge Eli Garza says prospective jurors shouldn’t even try to pull one over him. The Victoria Advocate reports after all, the district judge routinely checks Google to stay up to date on trending excuses. When he hears one, his answer is invariably the same: “Please have a seat.” But, more importantly, those answering the call for duty should understand serving on a jury is not necessarily a chore. By Jon Wilcox, Victoria Advocate. SENT IN ADVANCE: 1,150 words, with photos.


OKLAHOMA CITY — Jeffrey Meek is the resident costume designer for Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma City. Now in his 19th season with Lyric, Meek hits his creative peak nowadays not at Halloween but in the summer, when Lyric shifts from producing modest musicals at its intimate Plaza District theater to mounting large-scale, fully-orchestrated summer shows in the 2,477-seat theater at the Civic Center Music Hall. By Brandy McDonnell, The Oklahoman. SENT IN ADVANCE: 1,120 words.

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