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BC-TX--Texas News Digest 1 pm, TX

May 2, 2019

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: aptexas@ap.org. David Warren is at the desk.

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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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TOP STORIES:

VOTING RIGHTS-TEXAS

AUSTIN, Texas _ Texas’ bitter voting rights battles begins a key new phase Thursday when a federal court considers whether to punish the state ahead of the 2020 Census by requiring approval of new election maps. By Paul J. Weber. UPCOMING: 400 words.

SCI--SPACE STATION

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. _ The International Space Station is back up at full power, after the successful replacement of a failed electrical box. Flight controllers completed the repair work Thursday, operating the station’s big robot arm by remote control. It set the stage for an early Friday morning launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, by SpaceX. Astronauts train at Johnson Space Center in Houston. By Marcia Dunn. SENT: 130 words, with photo. Will be updated.

ON THE MONEY-MAX FLIGHTS

The grounding of Boeing 737 Max jets likely means that fare increases this summer will be larger than already expected and airlines will struggle to handle disruptions such as storms that shut down hub airports. With Max jets grounded after two deadly overseas accidents, U.S. airlines will operate about 200 fewer daily flights than planned through the heart of the peak summer season. That’s around 35,000 seats lost every day. Dallas-based Southwest, Fort Worth-based American and United, with headquarters in Chicago, are the three U.S. airlines that used the Max before regulators grounded the jet in mid-March. By David Koenig. SENT: 800 words, with photos.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

MAYORAL ELECTIONS-TEXAS

DALLAS _ Three of the largest cities in Texas will hold mayoral elections Saturday. Nine candidates are pushing to replace Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who cannot run again due to term limits. The state of the police department has been a campaign issue as chronic understaffing and a fractured relationship with minority communities has hurt the image of the force. The race in San Antonio also has drawn a large field of candidates as city councilor Greg Brockhouse appears to be a leading challenger to Mayor Ron Nirenberg. Much of the debate has centered on Chick-fil-A being denied a permit to operate at the city’s airport. And the field of candidates is much smaller in Fort Worth, where incumbent Betsy Price faces a Democratic challenger. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words

RIO GRANDE-NATIVE FISH

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. _ With conditions along the Rio Grande improving this spring, students are preparing Thursday to release more native fish into the river as part of ongoing conservation efforts. This follows a year in which the endangered silvery minnow population tanked and the river nearly went dry through Albuquerque. UPCOMING: 300 words.

OPIOID LAWSUIT-WEST VIRGINIA

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ West Virginia has settled its lawsuit against the opioid distributor McKesson for $37 million. A Thursday news release from Gov. Jim Justice and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says it’s thought to be the country’s largest state settlement against a single pharmaceutical distributor. By Anthony Izaguirre. SENT: 480 words.

PIPELINE-EMINENT DOMAIN

FALLS CHURCH, Va. _ Much to Gary Erb’s chagrin, a natural gas pipeline now cuts across his 72-acre homestead in Conestoga Township, Pennsylvania. Erb is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to end what he and his lawyers say has become a common practice in the pipeline industry: taking the land first, and paying later. Attorneys say similar cases have occurred in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, McNamara said. The pipeline affecting Erb was built by Tulsa, Oklahoma-based energy company Williams. By MATTHEW BARAKAT. SENT: 860 words, with photos.

PRIVATE PRISON CONTRACTS

JACKSON, Miss. _ A private prison in Mississippi could be in danger of closing after the Federal Bureau of Prisons awarded contracts to imprison noncitizens convicted of some felonies. CoreCivic says Thursday that it’s seeking other users for the 2,200-bed Adams County Correctional Center near Natchez, which employs 380 workers. A spokesman says the Tennessee company hasn’t decided yet whether it will close after the contract expires July 31. Geo Group of Boca Raton, Florida, says it’s won contracts for 5,000 beds for the next 10 years, including plans to reopen the 1,800-bed North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin, Michigan. The other 3,200 beds are in two Geo-managed prisons in Reeves County, Texas. SENT: 130 words. Will be updated.

IN BRIEF:

_ ELDERLY WOMAN-SLAIN _ A North Texas man has been charged with capital murder in the death of a 91-year-old acquaintance who police say was attacked and her vehicle taken. With photo.

_ BEHIVES DESTROYED-VANDALISM _ Investigators south of Houston are trying to determine who killed more than 500,000 bees by setting hives on fire, toppling some over and tossing others into a pond. Pursuing photos.

_ EXXON MOBIL-BAYTOWN _ Exxon Mobil says it plans to spend $2 billion to expand a chemicals plant next to the Houston Ship Channel and that the project will create 2,000 temporary construction jobs. Pursuing photo

_ FORD-CALL CENTER-HOUSTON _ Ford Motor Company plans to open a customer service call center in Houston that will mean about 500 jobs.

SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-LUNCH DEBTS-PAID

AUSTIN, Texas _ A 14-year-old Austin boy is raising money to wipe out lunch debt in Austin district schools. The Austin American-Statesman reports Ben Hofer, an eighth grader at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, decided to tackle the lunch debt for three Austin district campuses for a school service project, Project Citizen. The original goal for his semester-long “LunchCounts!” project was to raise $3,200 to pay off the lunch debts. But Ben exceeded the amount and now is trying to reach $7,000 to help pay off the debts at more schools. By Melissa B. Taboada, Austin American-Statesman. SENT: 570 words, with photo.

SPORTS REFER:

BBA--ASTROS-TWINS

MINNEAPOLIS _ The Minnesota Twins send Jose Berrios to the mound to try to take the four-game series from Houston at Target Field, with Brad Peacock pitching for the Astros. By Dave Campbell. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. NOTE: game started 12:10 p.m. CDT.

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