BC-TX--Texas News Digest 1 pm, TX
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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HOUSTON _ Vice President Mike Pence has arrived in Texas. Pence’s stops will include spending time with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Houston. He arrived late Friday morning, first stopping at a facility Homeland Security Investigations, a division of ICE, to thank ICE agents for their service. Pence will then deliver remarks at Rice University’s Baker Institute on the political turmoil and economic crisis in Venezuela. SENT: 130 words. Will be updated. With photos.
WASHINGTON _ President Donald Trump headed to California on Friday in a renewed push to make border security a central campaign issue for his 2020 re-election. Trump, talking to reporters as he left the White House to head out west, denied that he changed his mind about shutting down the border with Mexico, a threat he backed off on Thursday. Trump said he reversed course because he saw Mexico get tougher in stopping illegal immigrants from moving north. By Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 610 words, with photos, video. Will be updated.
CALEXICO, Calif. _ The White House has touted a 2-mile stretch of fencing President Donald Trump is visiting Friday as the first section of his proposed border wall to be built. In reality, the newly fortified structure commemorated with a plaque bearing his name and those of top immigration and homeland security officials was a long-planned replacement for an old barrier. It is one of a handful of projects that total $1 billion to replace existing barriers and build new ones across the border. SENT: 650 words, with photos.
ELECTION 2020-BETO O’ROURKE
The Republican Jewish Coalition, backed by GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, is accusing Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke of “demeaning” the memories of Holocaust victims by likening President Donald Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants to that used in Nazi Germany. In a statement Friday, Executive Director Matt Brooks said O’Rourke “should be embarrassed to resort to Nazi name-calling against President Trump instead of putting forward serious ideas for voters to consider.” By Alexandra Jaffe. SENT: 130 words, with photo. Could develop.
AUSTIN, Texas _ A Texas gun rights activist has alarmed firearm-friendly lawmakers after going to the homes of Republicans he blamed for taking no action on expanded gun law bills. By Clarice Silber. UPCOMING: 500 words, pursuing photos.
CHEMICAL PLANT FIRES-TEXAS
AUSTIN, Texas _ Two major chemical plant fires near Houston just 17 days apart closed schools, leaked toxic chemicals into coastal waters and killed one worker. But what might not occur in the months to come are big industry crackdowns in oil-friendly Texas. By Paul J. Weber. UPCOMING: 400 words, with photos.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
EL PASO, Texas _ Police in West Texas have identified 16 people they say vandalized a museum that celebrates the work of U.S. Border Patrol agents. The El Paso Police Department says a two-month investigation led to warrants for the activists. Members of the group posted stickers on museum’s walls and left explicit notes in the guestbook on Feb. 16. The group posted video of the incident, which it describes as a protest against the detention of migrant children in Tornillo, New Mexico. That detention center has since been closed. By Cedar Attanasio. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words.
TEXARKANA, Ark. _ Texarkana is one of several Arkansas cities considering creating designated areas where outdoor drinking will be allowed following the passage of a new state law that changes alcohol regulations. The Texarkana Gazette reports that the Arkansas Legislature this week approved a bill that waives existing rules prohibiting public drinking within entertainment districts. A spokesman for Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he’ll sign the bill into law. 250 words.
_ UNITED EXPRESS-BLACK COCKPIT SCREENS _ A United Express flight from Tennessee to Houston was cut short when screens in the cockpit began going dark while overheating, so the plane made an unscheduled landing instead at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
_ HENDERSON POLICE CHIEF _ The police chief in Nevada’s second-largest city who formerly served in Texas is on unpaid leave, amid reports that she balked at signing a separation contract that would have her resign in May and agree not to disparage Henderson, Nevada.
SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:
EXCHANGE-GUIDE DOGS-FUN DAY
SAN ANTONIO _ Until her senior year, Melissa Padron, 27, had been using a white cane to navigate through life — tapping it in front of her as she attended classes at Texas A&M in College Station. The San Antonio Express-News reports six years ago, she applied for a dog through Guide Dogs for the Blind, a national nonprofit that breeds guide dogs and pairs them with visually impaired people for free. The San Antonio native was matched with Cameo, a sweet, young Labrador-golden retriever mix, who was been with her ever since. Both recently took part in a fun day in San Antonio. By Silvia Foster-Frau, San Antonio Express-News. SENT: 670 words, with photos.
BKW--FINAL FOUR-OREGON-BAYLOR PREVIEW
TAMPA, Fla. _ Kim Mulkey rejects the notion that being the No. 1 overall seed makes Baylor the team to beat in the women’s Final Four. The Lady Bears (35-1), who are riding a 27-game winning streak and have trounced four opponents in the NCAA Tournament by an average of 38 points, face Final Four newcomer Oregon (33-4) in Friday’s national semifinals. The winner advances to Sunday’s championship against either UConn or Notre Dame. Mulkey, who’s won titles as a player and an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech in addition to guiding Baylor to a pair of NCAA crowns, said it would be a mistake to assume the Lady Bears are clearcut favorites. By Fred Goodall. SENT: 970 words, with photos. Game starts at 6 p.m. CDT.
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