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

January 17, 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. Jill Bleed is at the desk after 5:30 a.m.

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

SPACEX-PORT OF LOS ANGELES

HAWTHORNE, Calif. _ SpaceX said it will build test versions of its Mars spaceship in south Texas instead of the Port of Los Angeles in another blow to the local economy that comes days after the company announced massive layoffs. The decision was made to streamline operations, the Hawthorne, California-based company said in a statement. SENT: 380 words, photos. Moved on general, financial and technology news digest.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

BODIES DISCOVERED-OKLAHOMA

OKEMAH, Okla. _ The bodies of a pair of friends who had been the subject of search parties near their central Texas homes were found in shallow graves in rural Oklahoma, according to law enforcement authorities. A statement released by the Temple Police Department says a preliminary investigation indicates the bodies are those of Jenna Scott, 28, and Michael Swearingin, 32, who have been missing since Jan. 4. Police said their families have been notified. SENT: 280 words.

DURST-MURDER TRIAL

LOS ANGELES _ New York real estate heir Robert Durst is charged with one count of murder, but will have to defend himself in three killings at trial later this year in California. Los Angeles prosecutors won a victory Tuesday in persuading a judge to allow jurors to hear that Durst killed a man in Galveston, Texas, in 2001, dismembered his body and tossed it out to sea. Durst was acquitted of murder after testifying he shot Morris Black in self-defense, but prosecutors argued that Black’s death and the killing of Susan Berman in Los Angeles in 2000 were both part of an effort to cover up the slaying of Durst’s wife years earlier. “That man beat a murder in Galveston,” Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said. “He’s not going to get away a second time.” By Brian Melley. SENT: 700 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ DUBIOUS CAMPAIGN ACCOUNTS _ An Austin businessman has been indicted on multiple fraud, money laundering and other criminal counts accusing him of creating fake campaign accounts and skimming off the contributions. SENT: 120 words.

_ HOUSTON FIREFIGHTERS-PAY RAISE BATTLE _ A contentious battle between Houston and its firefighters over pay raises remains unresolved but the two sides say they’re open to figuring out how to implement a measure that would give firefighters pay parity with city police officers. SENT: 120 words.

_ BORDER PATROL-AGENT SLAIN _ The last defendant to face justice in the fatal 2014 shooting of an off-duty Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. SENT: 110 words.

_ GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-FREE RIDES _ A public transit agency in Central Texas is letting federal workers ride for free during the partial government shutdown. SENT: 70 words, photos.

_ FILM-SXSW LINEUP _ Harmony Korine’s “The Beach Bum,” Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut and a documentary on the breakout campaign of Texas politician Beto O’Rourke will premiere at the annual South by Southwest Film Festival. SENT: 140 words, photos. Moved on general, entertainment and political news services.

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If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to aptexas@ap.org

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