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

September 19, 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. Jill Bleed is at the desk after 5:30 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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.




NEWARK, Ohio — The U.S. border wall with Mexico is frequently in the news, but few people have a chance to visit it up close, or to see details of the various sections. Kenneth Madsen, an Ohio State University geography professor and border wall expert, hopes his new photo exhibit will help bring the border closer to people at a time of heated discussion about the role of the wall, and of barriers in society overall. “Up Close with U.S.-Mexico Border Barriers” opens Wednesday at the LeFevre Art Gallery on the Ohio State campus in Newark, 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Columbus. The free exhibit of 33 poster-sized pictures features border wall photos and maps. One of the exhibit’s goals is creating awareness about the wall, which can include low-grade sections in rural areas meant to stop vehicles and much stronger barriers in cities meant to stop people, Madsen said. By Andrew Welsh-Huggins. SENT: 620 words, photos.



ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Citing President Donald Trump’s policies and comments about Latinos, members of the influential Congressional Hispanic Caucus boycotted a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration hosted by Trump at the White House. In a letter to the president, caucus Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a New Mexico Democrat whose district includes Albuquerque, also cited Trump’s denial that nearly 3,000 lives were lost in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria last year. By Russell Contreras. SENT: 330 words, photos.


BILLINGS, Mont. — The Trump administration has rolled back an Obama-era rule that forced energy companies to capture methane — a key contributor to climate change that’s released in huge amounts during drilling on U.S. and tribal lands. A replacement rule from the Interior Department rescinds mandates for companies to reduce gas pollution, which Trump administration officials say already is required by some states. Within hours of the announcement, attorneys general for California and New Mexico filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to reinstate the 2016 rule. By Matthew Brown. SENT: 520 words, photos. Moved on general, financial, political, science and small business news services.


— SPECIAL ELECTION-TEXAS — Republican Pete Flores has upset Democrat Pete Gallego in a runoff, capturing a reliably blue state Senate seat vacated by a former lawmaker sentenced to 12 years in prison on federal fraud charges. SENT: 130 words.



LAREDO, Texas — Dozens of family members of four women who investigators say a U.S. Border Patrol supervisor killed gathered in South Texas to remember the women at a vigil. In a park near San Agustin Cathedral in downtown Laredo, they held small candles and photos of their loved ones while praying, crying and exchanging hugs. Many described still being in disbelief and experiencing numbness, saying the women didn’t deserve to die. By Susan Montoya Bryan. SENT: 250 words, photos.


ORLANDO, Fla. — SeaWorld and two former executives have agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle federal fraud claims that they misled investors about the negative impact the 2013 documentary “Blackfish” had on business. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed the complaint in federal court in New York as well as the proposed settlements, which are subject to court approval. The SEC’s complaint alleged SeaWorld and former CEO James Atchison made misleading and false statements or omissions in SEC filings, earnings releases and calls about the documentary’s impact on the company’s reputation and business from December 2013 to August 2014. By Mike Schneider. SENT: 320 words. Moved on general, financial and entertainment news services.


HOUSTON — An East Texas school superintendent who wrote “You can’t count on a black quarterback” in the comment section of an online news article says he thought it was a private message. Lynn Redden is superintendent of the Onalaska Independent School District in the Piney Woods, about 75 miles north of Houston. In his post on the Houston Chronicle’s website, Redden referred to the last play of Sunday’s game in which Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson held the ball as time expired. SENT: 220 words. Moved on general and sports news services.


DALLAS — A Dallas-area black man mistaken for a thief last year as he tried to unlock his own truck had his hands in the air and was begging not to be shot when a police officer shot him twice, a prosecutor said. Dallas County prosecutor Bryan Mitchell told jurors during opening statements in the trial of former Mesquite officer Derick Wiley that Lyndo Jones was struck in the back as Jones backed away. SENT: 310 words.


— AERIAL TRAMWAY CLOSED — El Paso’s landmark Wyler Aerial Tramway, which has carried passengers to the peak of the Franklin Mountains for the past six decades, has been closed to public use indefinitely. SENT: 130 words.

— AIR FORCE-TRAINER CRASH — An Air Force training aircraft has crashed into a vacant field near a San Antonio shopping mall. SENT: 90 words.

— PRISON GUARD-INMATE DEATH — A former Texas prison guard is being accused of assaulting an inmate who has died from his injuries. SENT: 130 words.

— HURRICANE VICTIM ID THEFT — A Maryland man is accused of stealing hurricane victim’s identities as part what the Secret Service describes as an $8 million effort to scam a Federal Emergency Management Agency program. A Secret Service affidavit says 30-year-old Tare Stanley Okirika used stolen Social Security and personal identifying information from hurricane victims in Georgia, Florida and Texas to file fraudulent disaster relief claims. SENT: 130 words.

— HOUSTON CRIMES-JUVENILE SUSPECTS — Authorities say 12- and 11-year-old children arrested over the weekend in Houston are part of a group of juveniles responsible for a series of robberies, carjackings and other crimes. SENT: 130 words.


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