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BC-TX--Texas Enterprise Digest, TX

February 7, 2019

Here is the list of enterprise stories in Texas. If you have questions, please call Texas News Editor Kim Johnson at 972-991-2100 or, in Texas, 800-442-7189.

For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.



MOVING ON Saturday, Feb. 9:


DALLAS _ For the role-playing exercise, one teen asks another teen what’s going on, saying she hasn’t been acting like herself. The reply is brusque: “Leave me alone.” The scene that played out in a ninth-grade classroom at a Dallas charter school is part of a program implemented by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to help teens recognize the signs of depression in themselves and others. It’s one of a growing number of efforts to help students identify and deal with mental health issues. “It’s kind of like ‘Mental Health 101.’ So they talk about depression and anxiety and just common mental health issues, and then I think the most important thing is they talk about what to do if you feel that way,” said Tony Walker, senior director of student support services at Uplift Education, the Dallas-area public charter school network that brings the UTSW program in for its ninth-graders. By Jamie Stengle. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.


ROCKPORT, Texas _ Some education officials in Southeast Texas districts still recovering from Hurricane Harvey are concerned about how they’re being treated by the school finance system following the devastating 2017 storm. The Austin American-Statesman reports leaders of some school districts say they still need post-Harvey help, including financial and for mental health support for the community, as legislators focus on fixing school finance. UPCOMING: 350 words, pursuing photos.

MOVING ON Sunday, Feb. 10:


FORT WORTH, Texas _ Executives with a Texas company that already uses high-tech towers to monitor 200 miles of unpopulated border in Arizona crossings say they’re eager to expand the technology to Texas, New Mexico and California. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports since 2015, Elbit Systems of America has built and operated 55 border towers under a $145 million contract with the federal government. UPCOMING: 300 words, pursuing photos. Moving on news & business lines.


PLANNING NOTE: Monday, Feb. 11:

EL PASO, Texas _ The White House says President Donald Trump will hold his first campaign rally of the year on Monday, Feb. 11, in El Paso. Details TBD.




AUSTIN, Texas _ Texas’ election chief on Thursday defended giving prosecutors a list of 95,000 potential noncitizens on the state’s voter rolls before vetting the information, which turned out to wrongly include scores of people who were naturalized before casting legal ballots. Secretary of State David Whitley deflected sharp questions from Texas lawmakers over whether his office made mistakes in his first public comments since his office in January called into question the citizenship of tens of thousands of voters since 1996. Nearly 58,000 of those voters were said to have cast a ballot at least once, but those numbers quickly unraveled . By Paul J. Weber. SENT: 640 words, with photos. SENT on Thursday.


The force-feeding of immigrant detainees inside a Texas detention facility could violate the U.N. Convention Against Torture, the Geneva-based United Nations human rights office said Thursday. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is concerned that force-feeding could constitute “ill treatment” that goes against the convention, which the United States ratified in 1994, spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told The Associated Press. By Garance Burke. SENT: 270 words, with photo. SENT on Thursday.


President Donald Trump’s call for a ban on late-term abortions is unlikely to prevail in Congress, but Republican legislators in several states are pushing ahead with their own tough anti-abortion bills that they hope can pass muster with the Supreme Court. Two bills proposing to outlaw abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, advanced out of House and Senate committees in the Mississippi Legislature this week. GOP Gov. Phil Bryant is pledging to sign either into law. Efforts to pass similar bills are underway in Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee. By David Crary. SENT: 780 words, with photos. SENT on Thursday.


LOS ANGELES _ Kacey Musgraves, Dave Matthews and Lukas Nelson saluted the outlaw king of country music Willie Nelson with tributes and performances at a famed Los Angeles studio. The Recording Academy’s Producers and Engineers Wing honored Nelson on Wednesday night ahead of Sunday’s Grammy Awards. The 85-year-old Texas singer-songwriter was a man of few words when he was presented with a plaque, jokingly asking if he was graduating. By Kristin M. Hall. SENT: 360 words, with photos. SENT on Thursday. Note Grammy Awards are Sunday.


DALLAS _ Exxon Mobil is making a big bet on the future of exporting natural gas. Exxon and Qatar Petroleum announced Tuesday that they will go ahead with a $10 billion project to export liquefied natural gas from a plant on the Texas Gulf Coast. The companies said construction at the Golden Pass plant in Sabine Pass would start before April, and the export operation is expected to begin running in 2024. By David Koenig. SENT: 510 words, with photo. SENT on Tuesday.


NEW YORK _ J.C. Penney will no longer be selling major appliances, ending its three-year run. The Plano, Texas-based department store chain also says on its company blog that furniture will only be available on its website and store locations in Puerto Rico. By Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 260 words. SENT on Wednesday.


United Airlines will woo high-fare passengers by retrofitting more than 100 planes to add more premium seats on key routes. The airline also plans to start using a new 50-seat jet with mostly premium seats on some key business-travel routes. United announced the moves Wednesday. By year end, it hopes to begin flying new 50-seat Bombardier CRJ 550 jets between Chicago and smaller markets with many business travelers, such as Bentonville, Arkansas, the home of Walmart. By David Koenig. SENT: 350 words, with photo. SENT on Wednesday.



FOR USE Sunday, Feb. 10, and thereafter:


BAYTOWN, Texas _ The discordant sounds of 35 musicians tuning their instruments echoed through a rehearsal room at Lee College in Baytown. The Houston Chronicle reports the players, gathered from around the area, were dressed casually. One had spent his day doing surgery. Another came after a shift at a chemical plant.Baytown, a city better known for oil refining than for high culture, might seem an unlikely place for such an endeavor. Yet the Baytown Symphony Orchestra’s weekly Tuesday night rehearsal was getting under way _ among musicians who knew these sessions might soon come to an end. By Emily Foxhall, Houston Chronicle. SENT IN ADVANCE: 1,480 words, with photos.


BRYAN, Texas _ Bryan High School baseball coach James Dillard often smiles while watching his son play baseball for the Brazos Valley Pride. That’s because it’s like looking in a mirror, as 12-year-old Tag Dillard is learning the game from Randy Malazzo, the same coach that 42-year-old James Dillard played for almost three decades ago as a member of the Bryan North Little League Braves. The Eagle reports the time machine is complete every time Dillard’s son reaches third base, and Malazzo puts his arm around his latest pupil. By Robert Cessna, The Eagle. SENT IN ADVANCE: 1,110 words, pursuing photos. Moving on news & sports lines.


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. _ Three broadly defined avenues of research tied to health, sustainability and data analysis have been announced by the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in an effort to forge a standout identity and prioritize collaboration. Described by UA as “signature research areas,” they are: Harnessing the Data Revolution; Enriching Human Health and Community Vibrancy; and Promoting a Resilient and Sustainable Future. Together they will “highlight the role of research and discoveries at the U of A in a way that distinguishes us from other institutions at the national and international level,” Jim Coleman, UA’s provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, announced in late January. By Jaime Adame, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. SENT IN ADVANCE: 799 words.


FOR USE Monday, Feb. 11, and thereafter:


AUSTIN, Texas _ On an October afternoon last year, Darcy Donovan found herself alone in the Rundberg neighborhood of North Austin, miles away from home and four days into a bender that had torn her from her latest stretch of sobriety. The Austin American-Statesman reports she had lost her job and blown $400 during this relapse. Losing three family members in a period of about a year caused her to spiral. Just a few months ago, officers would have had no other option but to arrest her for public intoxication. But, after the Austin Sobering Center opened in October, they had another choice _ one that local leaders say is better. By Taylor Goldenstein, Austin American-Statesman. SENT IN ADVANCE: 2,080 words, pursuing photos.


FRISCO, Texas _ Soft piano music and dim lights set the mood in the kindergarten classroom. The Dallas Morning News reports Kristina Cappe, a health and wellness coach at Frisco Independent School District’s Pink Elementary School, stands in front of 22 children, each sitting on their own pink mat. “Is everyone ready for yoga?” she asks. “We’re going to take our fingers and put them on our belly and we’re going to imagine our belly is a balloon.” When she has the kids arch their backs into cat pose, she tells them to meow as they exhale. They all giggle and join in. By Charles Scudder, The Dallas Morning News. SENT IN ADVANCE: xxx words, pursuing photos. Moving on news & sports lines. Not for online use in the Dallas market.

^The AP, Dallas

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