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

May 17, 2018

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. David Warren is at the desk after 6 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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.




HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A condemned Texas inmate who insisted he wasn’t involved in a San Antonio “lovers’ lane” killing more than 14 years ago was executed Wednesday evening for the slaying. Juan Edward Castillo, 36, received lethal injection for the fatal shooting and robbery of a 19-year-old man that testimony showed was carried out by Castillo and several friends on a secluded road where the victim was enticed by the promise of drugs and sex. Castillo became be the 11th convicted killer executed this year in the U.S. and the sixth in Texas. By Michael Graczyk. SENT: 750 words, photos.


— TEXAS EXECUTION-DATES — Texas prison officials have received court documents setting execution dates for two prisoners from the Fort Worth area, bringing to eight the number of inmates set for lethal injection in the coming months. SENT: 130 words.


— SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-TEXAS LEGISLATURE — The Texas House has established a working group to further try and prevent sexual harassment in the Legislature. SENT: 130 words.



HOUSTON — Tensions between many Texas cities and counties and Gov. Greg Abbott over the use of the state’s $11 billion rainy day fund to pay for costs associated with Hurricane Harvey resurfaced Wednesday after a group of local officials sent a letter to the governor asking for money. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who was among the nearly 60 leaders of communities hit hard by Harvey who sent the letter to Abbott, said Wednesday that it wasn’t intended to be antagonistic toward the governor but to highlight that many local governments need help. The letter sent Tuesday asked that Abbott tap the fund to help match federal grants that can be used on flood mitigation projects. But Abbott sent a letter to Turner saying federal funding from $5 billion that was awarded to the state last year as part of initial disaster assistance is available to help local communities pay their portion of the mitigation grants. Abbott also said Houston hasn’t submitted any applications to the state for flood mitigation projects and has spent only $5 million of a $50 million loan Texas gave the city shortly after Harvey hit last August. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 650 words.


HOUSTON — Houston leaders have approved new rules outlining additional community benefits companies seeking tax breaks for development projects will need to provide in order to get financial incentives from the city. The new benefits Wednesday — including improved training and affordable housing for the local workforce — are geared in part toward helping development in economically challenged communities. The discussion in Houston over its tax abatement program is similar to others being held in other cities around the country over how communities can get the most from programs that offer tax breaks to spur economic development. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 480 words.


HOUSTON — A Jordanian-born man accused in a pair of deaths that authorities describe as honor killings is claiming in the lead-up to his trial that court-appointed prosecutors in Houston have financial incentives to seek the death penalty. The Houston Chronicle reports that defense attorneys are seeking to remove pro tem prosecutors from the high-profile Houston case before Ali Irsan stands trial later this month. SENT: 230 words.


— DEADLY SHOOTING-NORTH TEXAS — Authorities say a man walked into a rural North Texas home and shot his ex-wife’s three children and her boyfriend dead before killing himself. Denton County sheriff’s Capt. Orlando Hinojosa says the gunman also shot his ex-wife, but she survived and is receiving hospital treatment. Hinojosa said he didn’t know her condition but he didn’t think her wounds were life-threatening. SENT: 100 words, photos.

— TRANSGENDER MYSTERY — Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a transgender woman whose body was found in a creek bordering a northeastern Dallas residential neighborhood. SENT: 130 words.

— SCHOOL BUS STOP-ASSAULT — Houston police are investigating a black 13-year-old boy’s report that he was abducted after he stepped from a school bus by five white teenagers, taken to a vacant house and attacked. SENT: 130 words.

— ANIMAL PROTEST-SOCIAL MEDIA — Texas’ largest public university is defending its Facebook page after animal-rights activists filed a First Amendment lawsuit over claims the school is censoring critical comments. SENT: 130 words.

— BACK TO SCHOOL-MAN ARRESTED — Police say a 25-year-old man duped two Dallas high schools for nine months by posing as a 17-year-old student and Hurricane Harvey evacuee in order to play basketball. SENT: 130 words.

— SOUTH TEXAS-PUBLIC CORRUPTION — The former city manager of the South Texas town of Crystal City has been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison on conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud and theft counts arising from a corruption probe. SENT: 130 words.

— MAYOR-DEVELOPER-PUBLIC CORRUPTION — A former Dallas-area mayor and her now-husband have been indicted in a public corruption case alleging fraud and bribery while she was in office. SENT: 130 words.


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