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: email@example.com
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NEW ORLEANS — Lawyers for three University of Texas professors have asked a federal appeals court to revive their lawsuit challenging a law allowing concealed handguns on university campuses. Two of the professors were in the New Orleans courtroom Wednesday as attorney Renea Hicks argued that there is a very real fear the free exchange of ideas in the classroom would be endangered if instructors and others worry that some students are armed. Jason LaFond of the Texas Solicitor General’s office said a lower court’s dismissing of the suit should stand. By Kevin McGill. SENT: 360 words, with photo.
— CAMPUS CARRY-TEXAS-THE LATEST
IMMIGRATION-WHAT THEY CARRY
MATAMOROS, Mexico — Migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border often arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs. But the few belongings they bring often include evidence intended to help them seek asylum, including audio recordings, crime-scene photos, police paperwork and even medical examiner records. Immigrant families hope these documents help demonstrate to U.S. authorities the dangers they are trying to escape back home. By Emily Schmall. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: 1,100 words, with photos, audio.
HOMELAND SECURITY-CENTRAL AMERICA
GUATEMALA CITY — U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is creating an office within the department to help the governments of Central America and Mexico get information about reunifying families following their separation by the Trump administration. Nielsen met Tuesday in Guatemala with the foreign ministers of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and discussed the separated families and reunification effort. By Colleen Long. SENT: 390 words, with photos.
BORDER PROTECTION-de BLASIO
WASHINGTON — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his security detail violated both Mexican and U.S. immigration laws by crossing the border on foot during a visit near El Paso, Texas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection alleges in a letter obtained by The Associated Press. The mayor’s office flatly denied the allegation. By Colleen Long. SENT: 420 words, with photos.
SUPREME COURT-CONGRESS-THE WOOING
WASHINGTON — Brett Kavanaugh’s wooing of the Senate is a time-honored tradition, including awkward grip-and-grin photo ops and light conversation that skirts the contentious issues that lie ahead. As GOP Senate leader, McConnell, R-Ky., is the master kingmaker who will champion Kavanaugh’s nomination on the floor. Also meeting with Kavanaugh is Sen. Lindsey Graham, a former military prosecutor who has become golf buddies with Trump, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, whose job it will be as the Senate Republican whip to keep the GOP in line and ensure the simple majority vote that would confirm Kavanaugh. By Anne Flaherty. SENT: 550 words, with photos.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
AUSTIN, Texas — Rising oil prices and economic growth has Texas officials projecting a bigger financial cushion to pay for Hurricane Harvey, school safety and health services for the poor. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Wednesday raised his revenue estimate by nearly $3 billion. He warned that a trade war or a U.S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement could sour that outlook between now and January. That’s when the Texas Legislature will return facing a list of big expenses. SENT: 130 words. A longer version is not planned.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-SLAYING
AUSTIN, Texas — AUSTIN — Prosecutors say eyeglasses found near the body of a University of Texas freshman in 2016 are consistent with an unusual prescription belonging to the 20-year-old man accused in her death. In opening statements Wednesday, prosecutor Guillermo Gonzalez listed items that authorities say belonged to the 19-year-old victim that were found at various places where police say Meechaiel Criner was staying. Criner is on trial for capital murder in the strangling death of Haruka Weiser, a dance major from Portland, Oregon. UPCOMING: 300 words, photos.
SANTA FE, Texas — School leaders have authorized more than $1.5 million in security upgrades, including the installation of panic buttons, at a Southeast Texas high school where a gunman killed 10 people and wounded 13 others earlier this year. A teenage suspect remains in custody in the May shootings at Santa Fe High School. SENT: 130 words, with photos. UPCOMING: 250 words.
OIL PIPELINE PROTEST-SHOOTING
BISMARCK, N.D. — A Denver woman who pleaded guilty in a shooting during protests in North Dakota against the Dakota Access oil pipeline faces sentencing Wednesday afternoon. Red Fawn Fallis could get up to 15 years in federal prison. The pipeline is operated by a Dallas-based company. By Blake Nicholson. UPCOMING: 250 words.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A discrimination complaint has been filed against an Anchorage lawyer who’s defending an Alaska homeless shelter from a discrimination complaint. Attorney Kevin Clarkson is representing the Downtown Hope Center after Samantha Coyle filed a complaint with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission in February, claiming it refused her entry because of her gender identity, KTUU-TV reports. The First Liberty Institute, based in Plano, Texas, is representing Clarkson in the complaint against him amid concerns about alleged intimidation efforts. SENT: 320 words.
— TEXAS EXECUTION — The state’s highest criminal appeals court has refused to stop the scheduled execution next week of an inmate convicted of fatally shooting a San Antonio convenience store owner nearly 14 years ago. With photo.
CHILD SHOT-STEPSON — Authorities in Southeast Texas are trying to determine if the 4-year-old stepson of a sheriff’s sergeant shot himself in the head with the law enforcement officer’s service weapon.
— MOSQUE FIRE — Prosecutors say a Texas man accused of torching a mosque made plans to create a “rogue unit” to monitor and possibly confront Muslims at the Islamic center in Victoria.
— LESSER PRAIRIE CHICKEN-SURVEY — A grouse that has been the focus of an ongoing legal battle over whether it warrants federal protection has seen its numbers increase by nearly 30 percent over the past year according to aerial surveys for the lesser-prairie chicken in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
— LAS CRUCES-BISHOP — The Vatican announced has announced that Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantú, who was born in Houston, is leaving for California.
— ALLIGATOR CAPTURED-POND — An alligator that was hanging out in a northern Indiana retention pond has been captured after being lured to shore with a frog by a boy who formerly lived in Texas.
SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:
HOUSTON — An assortment of nesting dolls or “matryoshka” sit on glass shelves at the Russian Cultural Center. The Houston Chronicle reports some are in traditional Semenov style, hand-painted in traditional red, gold and black with leaves and vines wrapping around the wooden exteriors. These nesting dolls serve as an iconic symbol of Russian culture and tradition. But, Sophia Grinblat, executive director of the Russian Cultural Center near Rice Village, smiles knowingly as she explains nesting dolls appeal more to foreigners. With the upcoming Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, tensions between the U.S. and Russia have only escalated. By Elizabeth Myong, Houston Chronicle. SENT: 810 words, with photos.
HOUSTON — Houston’s Lance McCullers looks for his fifth straight win when he opposes Oakland’s Chris Bassitt when the Astros and Athletics continue a four-game series. Houston won Tuesday night’s game 6-5 in 11 innings. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7:10 p.m. CDT.
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