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

December 14, 2018

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

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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




WASHINGTON _ A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl found with her father and dozens of other migrants along a remote stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border suffered seizures and spiked a high fever in immigration custody and later died at a hospital in El Paso, Texas, federal officials said. Her death raises questions about how apparent her sickness was. A Border Patrol form completed shortly after she was detained said she showed no signs of sickness. The form, obtained by The Associated Press, said she not sweating, had no tremors or visible trauma and was mentally alert. “Claims good health,” the form reads. The girl’s father appeared to have signed the form. By Colleen Long, Astrid Galvan and Sonia Perez D. SENT: 900 words, with photo. With:



AUSTIN, Texas _ When it comes to a 2020 presidential run, Texan Beto O’Rourke is still playing hard to get. The Democratic congressman murmured “No decision. No decision on that,” when pressed about launching a White House bid during a town hall Friday in his native El Paso. O’Rourke gave up his House seat and narrowly lost to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. Since then the 46-year-old has said he will finish his term Jan. 3, then make up his mind about 2020. By Will Weissert. SENT: 100 words, will be updated. 500 words.


HOUSTON _ While Texas led the nation in the number of inmates executed in 2018, the use of capital punishment in the state continues to decline, according to a new report out Friday. The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty said in its year-end review report the drop can be attributed, in part, to prosecutors and the public continuing to turn away from the death penalty. In recent years, reform-minded district attorneys have been elected in some of Texas’ most populous counties. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 570 words.



WASHINGTON _ Three states resumed executions of death row inmates in 2018 after long breaks, but nationwide, executions remained near historic lows this year, according to an annual report on the death penalty released Friday.The report by the District of Columbia-based Death Penalty Information Center says 25 executions were carried out in 2018, the fourth consecutive year in which there have been fewer than 30 executions nationwide. By Jessica Gresko. SENT: 670 words, with photo.



NEW ORLEANS _ NASA is moving a massive liquid hydrogen tank to Huntsville, Alabama, for testing as part of its plans to eventually return to the moon. The 149-foot long tank is part of the Space Launch System. The version moved Friday from NASA’s facility in New Orleans is a test model, meaning it won’t actually be launched into space. It will travel by barge up river to Alabama where it will undergo strenuous testing designed to mimic the conditions of traveling into space. Mission Control is at Johnson Space Center in Houston. By Rebecca Santana. SENT: 270 words, with video.


KERRVILLE, Texas _ A 20-year-old Texas mother whose two toddlers died after she left them inside a hot vehicle overnight has been sentenced to 40 years in prison. The Kerrville Daily Times reports that Amanda Hawkins was sentenced Wednesday for the June 2017 deaths of her two daughters in Kerrville, which is about 65 miles northwest of San Antonio. Hawkins pleaded guilty in September to two counts of child abandonment and endangerment, and two counts of injury to a child. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words. NOTE: Wednesday sentencing is correct.


_ WWII AVIATOR-TEXAS _ The remains of a World War II aviator from Houston missing since a 1945 crash in the Philippines have been located and identified. With photo.

_ SERIAL KILLER INVESTIGATION _ A 78-year-old Texas inmate who authorities say confessed to killing dozens of people over four decades has been indicted on a murder charge in the 1981 death of a Kentucky woman.

_ BANK FRAUD-LOANS _ Prosecutors say a Dallas-area businessman who led a $29 million bank fraud loan scheme and advised clients to lie about their finances has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.

_ COLLEGE STUDENT KILLED _ A 30-year-old Mississippi man has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the fatal off-campus shooting of a 22-year-old Michigan State University student who was from Texas.

_ ALABAMA-CENSUS LAWSUIT _ A federal judge says out-of-state voters can intervene in Alabama’s lawsuit trying to exclude people living in the country illegally from being counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. U.S. District Judge David Proctor ruled Thursday that Latino voters from California, Florida, Arizona and Texas can join in the case, as can an advocacy group.

_ OIL PIPELINE-LANDOWNERS _ North Dakota landowners who unsuccessfully sued the Texas-based developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline over land easements have lost their appeal.

_ OKLAHOMA CITY-STREETCARS _ Oklahoma City’s new streetcar system has opened to the public, and rides are free in the system that uses drivers employed through Herzog Transit Systems, which has handled passenger rail in Kansas City, Missouri, and Fort Worth, Texas. With photo.



AUSTIN, Texas _ Harry Whittington was a longtime Austin lawyer and a largely behind the scenes player in Texas Republican politics in 2006 when he became a central actor in what came close to being a life-or-death drama involving then-Vice President Dick Cheney. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports Whittington, then 78, was quail hunting on a South Texas ranch with Cheney and others when the vice president accidentally shot him in the face and torso after some birds took flight. Whittington lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital. He suffered what at the time was called a minor heart attack because some of the lead shot hit near his heart. Now it’s part of the movie, “Vice,” due for release on Christmas. By John C. Moritz. SENT: 520 words, pursuing photos. Moving on news & entertainment lines.



SHENANDOAH, Texas _ Mount Union and Mary Hardin-Baylor, who are both 14-0, meet Friday night for the Division III national championship. By Jeremy Rakes. 500 words.


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