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AP-TX--Texas News Digest 1 pm, TX

July 12, 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

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

IMMIGRATION-SANCTUARY CITIES

AUSTIN, Texas — A Mexican diplomat says a Texas sheriff told him he would continue enforcing the law “without regard to the consequences” after his deputies arrested 14 immigrants during a traffic sting in a Hispanic neighborhood, most of whom have already been deported. Carlos González Gutiérrez, the consul general of the Mexican consulate in Austin, said the sheriff also all but rebuffed an offer to train deputies on working with Mexican nationals at a time when Texas police are more empowered to ask about immigration status under a new anti-“sanctuary cities” law that the Trump administration has called a model for the country. By Paul J. Weber. UPCOMING: 600 words.

CENSUS LAWSUITS-ALABAMA

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Latino voters and civil-rights groups have asked to join a lawsuit to defend the practice of including people in the country illegally in U.S. Census counts. Alabama sued the Census Bureau in May, arguing the predicted 2020 Census numbers will cause the state to lose a congressional seat and an electoral vote to a state with a “larger illegal alien population.” The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a motion Thursday on behalf of groups seeking to join the case as defendants. They say they live in states that could lose congressional seats and federal funding if the count doesn’t include all residents — California, Florida, Texas and Arizona. SENT: 330 words.

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AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

RACIAL KILLING

SAVANNAH, Ga. — After spending more than half their lives in prison for a crime their lawyers insist they had no part in, three former U.S. soldiers learned Thursday that they are finally free from prosecution. A Georgia prosecutor said her office told a judge it won’t seek a new trial in the decades-old slaying. “You didn’t realize how big a weight was sitting on your chest. Now that it’s over, it’s like I can breathe,” one of the men, Mark Jones, said in an interview Thursday from Port Aransas, Texas, where he now lives. Jones, Kenneth Gardiner and Dominic Lucci were released in December, after the Georgia Supreme Court ruled prosecutors wrongly withheld a police report that would have helped their defense. By Jeff Martin and Russ Bynum. SENT: 630 words.

CONFEDERATE NAMES-SAN ANTONIO

SAN ANTONIO — A school district in San Antonio that changed the name of Robert E. Lee High School amid concerns associated with the Confederacy will be selling about 1,600 old Lee-branded items via online auction. UPCOMING: 250 words, with photos.

IN BRIEF:

— SENATE RACE-TEXAS — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says his Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, more than doubled him in fundraising over the past three months — continuing a surprising donation losing streak and potentially tightening a November race that once looked like a slam-dunk.

— MELANIA TRUMP-JACKET-MISSIONS VANDALIZED — Three people have been indicted in Texas on vandalism charges after slogans were found spray-painted on historic missions in San Antonio.

— WOMAN-NEW BOYFRIEND-SLAIN — Prosecutors say a North Texas man must serve life in prison with no chance for parole in the 2016 shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend.

— GAS PRICES — Texas and nationwide retail gasoline prices are up a penny per gallon this week.

— RESCUED-HARBOR SEALS — Two harbor seals rescued in California but too sick or hurt to be returned to the wild have a new home at a nature-friendly exhibit in Texas. With photos.

SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-TEXAS COTTON-WEEDS

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Scientists at Texas A&M University are hopeful they’ve developed the kryptonite for what’s been a losing battle against herbicide-resistant weeds now choking cotton fields across the southern U.S. The San Antonio Express-News reports if it works as well in the San Angelo test field as it has in a campus greenhouse, the technology could prove revolutionary to a crop that in some regions has become vulnerable to weeds that have developed resistance to three generations of pesticides. By Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News. SENT: 1,290 words, pursuing photos.

EXCHANGE-ERIE LIGHTHOUSE

ERIE, Pa. — A $300,000 investment in 2017 in a 145-year-old Erie, Pennsylvania, asset appears to be paying off. Attendance is up markedly at Presque Isle Lighthouse, said Michael Sullivan, executive director of the lighthouse located near Beach 9. The weather also has been a factor. Sullivan said less rain so far this summer has meant more days to visit Presque Isle State Park and the lighthouse. Visitors signing the logbook in the lighthouse gift shop during the holiday week came from as far away as Texas, California and even Switzerland and Norway. By Valerie Myers, Erie Times-News. ESNT: 720 words, with photos.

SPORTS REFER:

BBA--ATHLETICS-ASTROS

HOUSTON — Oakland’s Trevor Cahill will come off the disabled list to start against Houston’s Charlie Morton when the Athletics and Astros wrap up a four-game series. Oakland has won two of the first three games. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 600 words, with photos. NOTE: Game starts at 1:10 p.m. CDT.

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