BC-TX--Texas News Digest 12 am, TX
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Jill Bleed is at the desk after 5:30 a.m.
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GEORGE HW BUSH
COLLEGE STATION, Texas _ Thousands waved and cheered along the route as funeral train No. 4141 _ for the 41st president _ carried George H.W. Bush’s remains to their final resting place on his last journey as a week of national remembrance took on a decidedly personal feel in an emotional home state farewell. Some people laid coins along the tracks that wound through small town Texas so a 420,000-pound locomotive pulling the nation’s first funeral train in nearly half a century could crunch them into souvenirs. Others snapped pictures or crowded for views so close that police helicopters overhead had to warn them back. Elementary students hoisted a banner simply reading “THANK YOU.” By Nomaan Merchant, Juan A. Lozano and Will Weissert. SENT: 1280 words, photos, videos, audio.
_ BUSH FUNERAL-PERFORMANCES _ Reba McEntire has sung “The Lord’s Prayer” at the Houston funeral service of former President George H.W. Bush. The Grammy winner followed the Oak Ridge Boys, who were one of the president’s favorite musical acts and who sang “Amazing Grace” during the service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston. SENT: 110 words, photos. Moved on national general and entertainment news services.
GEORGE HW BUSH-FUNERAL TRAIN
AUSTIN, Texas _ The locomotive was painted to resemble Air Force One, but George H.W. Bush joked that if it had been around during his presidency, he may have preferred to ride the rails rather than take to the skies. “I might have left Air Force One behind,” Bush quipped during the 2005 unveiling of 4141, a blue and gray locomotive commissioned in honor of the 41st president and unveiled at Texas A&M University. That same 4,300-horsepower machine left a suburban Houston railyard loaded with Bush’s casket for his final journey after almost a week of ceremonies in Washington and Texas. The train then embarked on a slow roll to his presidential library in College Station, passing thousands of people who stood along the tracks. Many of them held up their phones for pictures and watched from highway overpasses. By Will Weissert and David J. Phillip. SENT: 820 words, photos, video.
_ GEORGE HW BUSH-VIGNETTES _ Here are some scenes along the route as the train went from the Houston suburb of Spring to College Station. SENT: 450 words, photos.
SAN DIEGO _ U.S. Border Patrol arrests on the Mexican border jumped 78 percent in November from a year earlier to the highest level in Donald Trump’s presidency, with families and children accounting for a majority for a third straight month. The numbers are the latest sign that people who cross the border illegally are increasingly families and children traveling alone, a trend that began several years ago but has accelerated since summer. The Border Patrol made 25,172 arrests of people who came as families in November, nearly four times the same period last year, parent agency Customs and Border Protection said. There were 5,283 arrests of unaccompanied children, up 33 percent from a year earlier. Overall, the Border Patrol made 51,856 arrests on the Mexican border last month, up from 51,001, or 1 percent, in October and up from 29,085 in the same period of 2017. It was the fourth straight month-to-month increase. By Elliot Sagat. SENT: 440 words, photos.
WASHINGTON _ The Trump administration separated 81 migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border since the June executive order that stopped the general practice amid a crackdown on illegal crossings, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press. Despite the order and a federal judge’s later ruling, immigration officials are allowed to separate a child from a parent in certain cases _ serious criminal charges against a parent, concerns over the health and welfare of a child or medical concerns. Those caveats were in place before the zero-tolerance policy that prompted the earlier separations at the border. By Colleen Long. SENT: 800 words, photos. Moved on national political news services.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. _ Three U.S. senators want federal officials to publicly release information about the circumstances surrounding the death of a Honduran transgender migrant who was in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Roxsana Hernandez, 33, died in May at an Albuquerque hospital where she was admitted after showing symptoms of pneumonia, dehydration and complications associated with HIV. The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator has confirmed it has yet to complete an autopsy report. After arriving in the United States, Hernandez was taken into custody in San Diego and later transferred to El Paso, Texas, before being taken to the Cibola County Detention Center in western New Mexico. By Susan Montoya Bryan. SENT: 770 words. Moved on national general news services.
TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:
NEW YORK _ Democrats are hitting fast forward. The first major presidential campaign announcements could come before year’s end. The Democratic National Committee plans to announce a debate framework by then featuring 15 to 20 candidates. The first primary debate could happen as early as May, a full three months before the premiere debate of the 2016 cycle. And long-rumored White House hopefuls are already bowing out. Like it or not, the 2020 presidential season has arrived. For some potential contenders, there’s an increasing sense of urgency to be in the first wave of declared candidates in what will likely be a large, unwieldy field. And for the party as a whole, there’s a desire to move forward with what’s expected to be a nasty fight — and wrap it up in time to give the eventual nominee strong footing to take on President Donald Trump. By Steve Peoples, Bill Barrow and Will Weissert. SENT: 1200 words, photos.
WASHINGTON _ William Barr, who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, has emerged as a top contender for that job in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, two people familiar with the president’s selection process have said. At least one other contender who has received serious consideration from the White House, according to the person, is Rep. John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican. By Eric Tucker and Chad Day. SENT: 700 words, photos. Moved on national political news services.
_ SECRETARY OF STATE RESIGNING _ Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos has announced that he is resigning, effective Dec. 15, after two years in office. SENT: 90 words.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
BLACK GUN OWNERS-SHOOTING
ODENTON, Md. _ Gun-rights advocates like to say, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” Some black gun owners, though, are not so sure it’s a wise idea for them to try to be the good guy and pull out a weapon in public. Twice in the span of 11 days last month, a black man who drew a gun in response to a crime in the U.S. was shot to death by a white police officer after apparently being mistaken for the bad guy. Some African-Americans who are licensed to carry weapons say cases like those make them hesitant to step in to protect others. Andre Blount of Tomball, Texas, once pulled out his shotgun to help a neighbor who was being attacked by an armed white man. The police eventually arrived and defused the situation, he said. “For me, being a legally registered owner and having a concealed weapon permit, I feel like I have to be more careful than the next person,” Blount said. “Because if not, the only thing anyone sees is a black man with a gun.” By Jesse J. Holland. SENT: 730 words, photos.
NEW ORLEANS _ A Louisiana judge has ruled that a company building an oil pipeline through south Louisiana trespassed on the land of three people opposed to the project, but he allowed the work to continue while awarding the three only $150 apiece in compensation and damages. Opponents had hoped the judge would order the pipeline removed from the relatively small amount of land involved, a small fraction of a 38-acre (15-hectare) tract. Barring that, they had hoped for a major damage award to discourage other corporations from illegally taking land. Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the project owner, has said the 162-mile pipeline is expected to be operational by year’s end. By Kevin McGill. SENT: 620 words. Moved on general and financial news services.
_ WINTRY WEATHER-SOUTHERN PLAINS _ A winter storm packing freezing rain and snow is forecast to cut an icy path through the Southern Plains as a busy holiday shopping weekend unfolds. The National Weather Service says a storm system that caused heavy rain and flooding in southern California was forecast to produce freezing rain beginning in central New Mexico. SENT: 120 words.
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