AP-TX--Texas News Digest 1 pm, TX
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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DALLAS — A Texas prosecutor says a man convicted in three California murders but long suspected in dozens of deaths now claims he was involved in about 90 killings nationwide. Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland said Thursday that 78-year-old Samuel Little was charged this week in the 1994 death of a Texas woman. Bland says investigations are ongoing, but that Little has now provided details in more than 90 deaths nationwide dating to about 1970. During Little’s 2014 trial in Los Angeles, prosecutors said Little was likely responsible for at least 40 killings since 1980. By David Warren. SENT: 150 words, UPCOMING: 400 words, with photos.
WASHINGTON — The number of U.S. active-duty troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border has “pretty much peaked” at the current total of 5,800, the Pentagon’s No. 2 official said Thursday. That is far below the 10,000 to 15,000 that President Donald Trump initially said would be needed to secure the border against what he called an “invasion” of migrants. Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan was asked about the military mission one day after his boss, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, visited troops near McAllen, Texas, and defended the use of the military for border security. Mattis said that within a week to 10 days, the troops currently deployed along the border in Texas, Arizona and California will have accomplished all the tasks initially requested by Customs and Border Protection, although he said additional requests were expected. By Robert Burns. SENT: 510 words, with photos.
TIJUANA, Mexico — Members of a migrant caravan started to meet some local resistance as they continued to arrive by the hundreds in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, where a group of residents clashed with migrants camped out by the U.S. border fence. About 100 migrants declined offers of rides to shelters and had camped out late Wednesday by the steel border fence at Tijuana’s beach area, when a similar number of local residents marched up to the group shouting, “You’re not welcome,” and, “Get out!” Police kept the two sides apart. By Elliot Spagat and Maria Verza. SENT: 1,010 words, with photos, video.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
SEX ABUSE LAWSUIT-CHURCH
AUSTIN, Texas — Several women are suing a Catholic priest in Austin who they say subjected them to sexual harassment and abuse in recent years, including allegations of groping and inappropriate behavior while taking confessions. The lawsuit was filed by six women on Wednesday and lists Bishop Joe Vasquez, the Catholic Diocese of Austin and Father Isidore Ndagizimana as defendants. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: 300 words.
GALVESTON BAY-OYSTER REEF
GALVESTON — Environmentalists have announced plans for a 50-acre man-made oyster reef in Galveston Bay in the area that was damaged by hurricanes Ike in 2008 and Harvey last year. The Houston Chronicle reports the oyster reef will be built this winter. UPCOMING: 250 words.
NEW MEXICO TOURISM-FUTURE
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The “New Mexico True” tourism brand developed by outgoing Republican Gov. Susana Martinez may be expanded under Democratic Gov.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham. The expansion may come amid pressure for New Mexico to join other western state in creating an Office of Outdoor Recreation. The brand uses images of New Mexico’s popular tourist attractions in billboards and commercials in Texas, Arizona, New York and Illinois. By Russell Contreras. SENT: 450 words, with photos.
PLANO, Texas — Plano-based retailer J.C. Penney has withdrawn profit guidance and lowered its sales expectations for the year. Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer’s health, declined 5.4 percent. Analysts were calling for a 0.5 percent decline, according to FactSet. The department store has been trying to turn things around, bringing back big appliances like washing machines, adding year-round toy shops and improving its e-commerce operations. That has yet to show a substantial effect. SENT: 440 words, with photos
— TEXAS EXECUTION-APPEAL — Texas’ highest criminal court has ordered a new trial for a death row inmate because his attorneys ignored his wishes to claim he was innocent and argue that the slayings of his wife and mother-in-law were due to a conspiracy involving a local mayor.
— HARVEY-WATERWAY CRUISERS — Six tourist boats in a Houston-area community are getting a new home after being damaged during Hurricane Harvey. With photo.
— WWII SAILOR-TEXAS — A 26-year-old Texas sailor killed during the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor will be buried in Dallas on the 77th anniversary of the attack. With photo.
SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:
DALLAS — Three weeks before his team’s fossil finds were to go on display at one of the world’s most famous natural history museums, Louis Jacobs stood in a basement lab at Southern Methodist University sanding the lower jaw of a 72-million-year-old sea monster. The Dallas Morning News reports his colleague Michael Polcyn sat nearby, dabbing sealant on a model of the animal’s upper jaw and skull. White dust hovered in the air. Plaster tailbones, skulls and teeth topped every counter. Jacobs and Polcyn, along with staff, students and volunteers, worked for months getting ready for the biggest show of their careers — at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. By Anna Kuchment, The Dallas Morning News. SENT: 2,060 words, with photos.
LOS ANGELES — Coming off a win over NBA champion Golden State, the Los Angeles Clippers go for their third straight victory when the host first-place San Antonio. By Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 9:30 p.m. CST.
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