AP-TX--Texas News Digest 1 pm, TX
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: email@example.com
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DOCTOR ON BIKE-FATALLY SHOT
HOUSTON — A man accused of killing one of former President George H.W. Bush’s doctors fatally shot himself during a confrontation with authorities in Houston on Friday morning, the city’s police chief said. Joseph James Pappas, 62, died from a single self-inflicted shot to the head, Chief Art Acevedo told reporters. Pappas had body armor on during the confrontation and shot himself after a second police unit arrived, Acevedo said. A city worker reported seeing Pappas in the area. Authorities on Wednesday had announced Pappas as a suspect in the July 20 death of Dr. Mark Hausknecht and had been searching for him. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 360 words, with photos.
HOUSTON — The U.S. government’s improvised system to reunite immigrant families it separated at the border has left hundreds of parents in limbo after they were deemed “ineligible” to get their children back. They include a man who had his 2-year-old daughter taken because agents didn’t believe he was the father, forcing him to submit DNA evidence. The Associated Press interviewed immigrants who remain separated from their children in multiple countries as well as their lawyers to capture the variety of ways the government has been unable to meet court-ordered deadlines to reunite families. By Nomaan Merchant, Julie Watson and Gisela Salomon. SENT: 1,200 words, with photos. NOTE: Stands for digest item previously listed as: IMMIGRATION-SEPARATING FAMILIES.
DALLAS — A years-long effort that included spending more than $8 million and formulating a blueprint of some 1,500 pages for how Austin uses its coveted land has ground to a halt. Mayor Steve Adler this week stopped the sweeping rewrite of Austin’s land-use code, known as CodeNext. He says “the process has been misunderstood and poisoned,” in part by misinformation and fabrication. By David Warren. UPCOMING: 650 words, photo.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA on Friday assigned the astronauts who will ride the first commercial capsules into orbit next year and bring crew launches back to the U.S. SpaceX and Boeing are shooting for a test flight of their capsules by the end of this year or early next, with the first crews flying from Cape Canaveral, Florida, by next spring or summer. Nine astronauts were named to ride the SpaceX Dragon and Boeing Starliner capsules — five on the first crew flights and four on the second round of missions to the International Space Station. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine made the introductions at Johnson Space Center in Houston. By Marcia Dunn. SENT: 640 words, with photos.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
AUSTIN, Texas— A Central Texas woman accused of trying to hide evidence in the 2014 death of her 2-year-old son and failing to find him medical care has pleaded guilty. Meagan Work pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and injury to a child by omission under a plea agreement in Travis County District Court on Thursday. The 24-year-old’s plea bargain eliminates the need for a jury trial, which had been scheduled for Aug. 20. Work’s felony case has been delayed for years due to misleading statements she made to investigators about Colton Turner’s disappearance. Her former boyfriend, 33-year-old Michael Turner, is serving 20 years in prison in the toddler’s death. 250 words.
BOSTON — Some of the most iconic items associated with the late President John F. Kennedy are going on the auction block. Eldred’s auction gallery in East Dennis, on Cape Cod, is taking bids Friday on a rocking chair that JFK used in the Oval Office, a tie clip in the shape of the PT-109 torpedo boat Kennedy commanded during World War II, and pens he used to establish the Peace Corps and sign a landmark nuclear arms treaty. JFK was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. By William J. Kole. SENT: 460 words, with photos.
BILLINGS, Mont. — The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montana says Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway has agreed to pay $200,000 and spend up to $750,000 on road repairs to settle damage claims from a train derailment in the Kootenai National Forest. The settlement announced Friday resolves a lawsuit brought against the railway last year over a 2011 derailment of a 18 cars from a train hauling wheat about 50 miles west of Whitefish. SENT: 120 words, will be updated.
DETROIT — A Michigan judge who held an extraordinary hearing before sentencing sports doctor Larry Nassar to prison for sexually assaulting female athletes refused to disqualify herself Friday if higher courts send it back to fix any errors. Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said some of her courtroom comments about Nassar last January were “perhaps inartful.” But she denied bias in the biggest sexual-assault scandal in sports history. She sentenced Nassar to at least 40 years in prison after listening to more than 150 victims describe the impact on their lives. Nassar was a doctor at Michigan State University and at USA Gymnastics. By Ed White. SENT: 260 words, with photos. Moving on news & sports lines.
— LBJ’S HOUSE-CLOSING — Former President Lyndon B. Johnson’s home on his Texas ranch will be temporarily closed due to structural issues. With photo.
— OFF-DUTY AGENT KILLED — A West Texas jury has found a man not guilty of murder in the stabbing death of an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent last year during a fight.
— SMUGGLED IMMIGRANTS-TRAILER — A Mexican trucker must serve 2½ years in a U.S. prison for trying to smuggle 53 immigrants in a refrigerated trailer through a South Texas border checkpoint.
— BROOKLYN DELI-STABBING — Police say a suspect in the fatal stabbing of a 20-year-old woman at a New York deli has been arrested in Texas.
— UP LODGE — A lodge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that was built during the Great Depression is going to a different Texas buyer after being auctioned off for nearly $1.3 million.
SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:
WICHITA FALLS, Texas — Wichita Falls officials and staff are finding their way around a frustrating problem with new signage around town. John Burrus, director of aviation, traffic and transportation, said they are dealing with numerous wayfinding signs created by an outsourced company that are misspelled or the wrong name. The Wichita Falls Times Record News reports the wayfinding signage project began in 2011, as part of the Pride in the Falls campaign. By Claire Kowalick, Wichita Falls Times Record News. SENT: 450 words, pursuing photos.
LOS ANGELES — Justin Verlander starts for AL West-leading Houston against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a rematch of last year’s World Series won by the Astros. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 9:10 p.m. CDT.
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