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

March 12, 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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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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TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:

IMMIGRATION-CHILD DETENTION-SOUTHWEST KEY

HOUSTON _ The nation’s largest provider of facilities for detaining migrant children on behalf of the Trump administration has announced that its founder and CEO is stepping down after months of criticism. Southwest Key Programs said in a statement that Juan Sanchez will retire. The Austin, Texas-based nonprofit collects hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to run facilities along the southern border. By Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 420 words, photos.

MEDICARE FOR ALL-POLITICS

WASHINGTON _ “Medicare for All” has become catnip for Democratic presidential candidates and many lawmakers, yet Republicans prepping for next year’s congressional races are also flocking to it — for entirely different reasons. GOP strategists say they’ll use proposals to expand government-run health insurance to pummel Democrats for plotting to eliminate job-provided coverage, raise taxes and make doctors’ office visits resemble trips to the dreaded Department of Motor Vehicles. If Republicans can define the health care issue on their terms — and they face significant obstacles — that would be a stunning turnabout. By Alan Fram. SENT: 1000 words, photos. Moved on political, financial and health news services.

TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:

_ ELECTION 2020-BETO O’ROURKE _ Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is making his first trip to Iowa of the 2020 campaign, visiting the state that kicks off presidential voting amid intense speculation that he’ll enter the race for the White House. SENT: 130 words.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

MEXICO-PENAL COLONY

MEXICO CITY _ Mexico has announced that it has transferred all the inmates from the infamous Isla Marias prison, the last island penal colony in a hemisphere once dotted with remote island jails like the one depicted in the movie “Papillon.” About 584 of the prisoners have been moved to mainland jails in the northern border state of Coahuila, and 68 were taken elsewhere or released. By Mark Stevenson. SENT: 550 words, photos. Moved on international general news services.

POLLUTION INEQUITY

WASHINGTON _ African-Americans and Hispanics breathe in far more deadly air pollution than they are responsible for making, a new study said. A study looked at who is exposed to fine particle pollution — responsible for about 100,000 American deaths a year _ and how much different races are responsible for the pollution based on their buying, driving and living habits. “These findings confirm what most grassroots environmental justice leaders have known for decades, ‘whites are dumping their pollution on poor people and people of color’,” said Texas Southern University public affairs professor Robert Bullard, who was not part of the research. Bullard, often called the father of environmental justice, is African-American. By Science Writer Seth Borenstein. SENT: 580 words, photos. Moved on national general, health and science news services.

NUCLEAR PLANTS-BAILOUT

HARRISBURG, Pa. _ Legislation designed to pump hundreds of millions of ratepayer dollars into Three Mile Island and Pennsylvania’s other nuclear power plants has been introduced and could usher in heated debate over whether the plants deserve what critics call a bailout. The debate in Pennsylvania’s Capitol will run up against a June 1 deadline in the nation’s No. 2 nuclear power state. Pennsylvania’s five nuclear power plants are owned by Texas-based Talen Energy, as well as Exelon, FirstEnergy, PSEG Inc. of New Jersey and 14 rural electric cooperatives. By Marc Levy. SENT: 740 words, photos. Moved on national general, financial and political news services.

EXCHANGE-DOCTOR OFFICES-VACCINATIONS

DALLAS _ Dr. Albert Karam knows how important vaccines are for children. He’s seen firsthand how immunizations virtually eradicated measles, the disease that made him seriously ill as a child in the 1960s. While sick with measles, he recalled, he screamed and cried whenever someone turned on the lights, and his skin darkened from hemorrhaging. Karam’s Dallas pediatrics office has a policy of not taking unvaccinated patients. It’s something he firmly believes in _ he said he can’t risk unimmunized children spreading illness to infants too young to have been inoculated. He has had the policy since he started his practice in 1985, he said. Now, he sees more of his peers turning away unvaccinated patients _ a policy that gained acceptance by the American Academy of Pediatrics a few years ago. By Dana Branham, The Dallas Morning News. SENT: 1700 words, photos. Not for online use in Dallas area.

IN BRIEF:

_ DISABLED VEHICLE-DEADLY CRASH _ Authorities have released the name of a driver accused in a hit-and-run that killed three men who were changing a tire along a Dallas freeway. SENT: 130 words, photo.

_ SKYDIVING FATALITY-COLORADO _ Authorities say a 17-year-old Texas man has died in a skydiving accident in Colorado. SENT: 90 words.

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