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

January 4, 2019

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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

CHILDREN FOUND DEAD-TEXAS

TEXAS CITY, Texas _ The father of one of three children found shot to death in Southeast Texas was charged Friday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, police said, but has not been named a suspect in the killings. Texas City Police Department said in a statement that 27-year-old Junaid Hashim Mehmood was arrested late Thursday, just hours after the slain children and their wounded mother were discovered by officers in an apartment in Texas City. The mother, 24-year-old Kimaria Nelson, had been shot in the head. SENT: 260 words, with photos, video. Developing.

CHILD SHOT-HOUSTON

HOUSTON _ LaPorsha Washington and her four daughters drove early Sunday morning to a grocery store on the eastern outskirts of Houston. Each daughter was in their assigned seat in the family car, with 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes sitting behind her mother in the back seat. The family didn’t give the truck a second thought until it swung around from behind to the driver’s side of the vehicle and opened fired. Washington was shot in the arm. Her daughter Jazmine was shot in the head and died at the scene. Authorities on Friday continued searching for the man accused of killing Jazmine. By Juan A. Lozano. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

PENTAGON-BORDER

WASHINGTON _ The Department of Homeland Security has asked the military to provide more help securing the U.S.-Mexico border, a defense official said Friday amid a political standoff over President Donald Trump’s demand for more money to build a border wall. The acting secretary of defense, Pat Shanahan, has not decided how to respond to the DHS request, but in the past the Pentagon has provided help when asked. At one point last fall there were nearly 5,900 active-duty troops along the border in Texas, Arizona and California to assist border patrol agents and to erect wire barriers. That number now is about 2,350. By Robert Burns. SENT: 240 words.

HEALTH OVERHAUL-LAWSUIT

WASHINGTON _ The new Democratic-controlled House has moved toward defending former President Barack Obama’s health care law against a federal court ruling that the statute is unconstitutional, part of the party’s effort to use the issue to embarrass Republicans. The House has filed papers seeking to intervene in the case, Democrats announced Friday, which by itself is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the litigation. A federal judge in Texas said last month that the law was unconstitutional because Congress repealed its fines on uninsured people. The suit has moved to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, and in the meantime the law’s provisions remain in effect. By Alan Fram. SENT: 370 words, with photo.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

ARMING TEACHERS

TAMAQUA, Pa. _ Some parents are going to court to block a Pennsylvania school district from allowing teachers to carry guns in school. A new lawsuit says that Tamaqua Area School Board members “endangered their community” when they approved a policy to arm teachers and other school employees. Teachers are allowed to carry weapons in several states, including Texas, Missouri and Ohio, while a number of other states are considering it. By Michael Rubinkam. SENT: 130 words. Will be updated. Pursuing photos, video.

OIL PIPELINE-ETP LAWSUIT

BISMARCK, N.D. _ An American Indian activist named in a federal racketeering lawsuit filed by the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline against opponents denies fostering any illegal activity through an allegedly militant protest faction. Krystal Two Bulls also denies evading service of the lawsuit _ a tactic Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners says is preventing it from serving three other people it added as defendants five months ago. By Blake Nicholson. UPCOMING: 400 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ ELECTION 2020-JULIAN CASTRO _ Former Obama administration housing chief and ex-San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro plans to visit New Hampshire, host of the nation’s first presidential primary, after his expected announcement next weekend that he’ll seek the Democratic nomination in 2020.

_ JAILED LEGISLATOR-FREED _ A Houston-area lawmaker and attorney who was convicted of illegally soliciting clients and won re-election while in jail has been freed just days before the Texas Legislature convenes.

_ TEXAS SHIP CHANNEL-EXPANSION _ An Illinois company has won a $92 million contract to deepen and widen the Corpus Christi Ship Channel to accommodate larger oil tankers. With photos.

_ FIRED CITY MANAGER _ A Houston-area city has agreed to pay $145,000 to settle a free-speech lawsuit with its former city manager who took the job after he was fired from the southwest Missouri city of Joplin in the wake of a deadly tornado.

SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-INMATES-BETTER PARENTS

SAN ANTONIO _ The nine male inmates dressed in orange jumpsuits and slippers sat in two rows inside a brightly lit classroom at the Bexar County Adult Detention Center. The San Antonio Express-News reports they were there to learn how to be good fathers, so once released from jail they might better provide their kids with things that could have been missing from their own childhoods. Crucial elements, like love. Positive attention. A sense of being valued. By Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, San Antonio Express-News. SENT: 840 words, pursuing photos.

SPORTS REFER:

HKN--CAPITALS-STARS

DALLAS _ Washington visits the Stars a night after Alex Ovechkin scored his 30th goal in a 5-2 loss at St. Louis. Dallas is looking for its third win in the finale of a four-game homestand. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m. CST.

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