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

September 27, 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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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




HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Texas inmate scheduled to be executed Thursday evening has insisted he didn’t fatally run over his girlfriend in a jealous rage more than 18 years ago. Daniel Acker was condemned for the March 2000 slaying of Marquetta George of Sulphur Springs. Prosecutors said he ran over George with his truck in rural northeast Texas because he believed she had been unfaithful to him. The 46-year-old Acker would become the 18th convicted killer put to death this year in the U.S. and the 10th given a lethal injection in Texas. Acker would be the second Texas inmate put to death in as many days. By Michael Graczyk and Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 620 words, with photos. Will be updated.


DALLAS — Decades of additional weather data has led federal officials to reconsider rainfall totals in Texas that define 100-year weather events and caution that extreme rainstorms will strike the state more frequently. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday released a study finding that in the Houston area, for instance, 100-year estimates increased from 13 inches to 18 inches for a 24-hour period. Rainfall previously classified as 100-year events are now more frequent 25-year events. By David Warren. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 400 words.



MIAMI — Forecasters say Tropical Storm Kirk is on a path to dump heavy rains that could bring dangerous flooding to the eastern Caribbean. National Hurricane Center officials say the storm’s center should move across the Lesser Antilles by Thursday evening on its current track. Forecasters expect it to gradually weaken into a tropical depression after it crosses the island chain. SENT: 120 words. Developing.


HOUSTON — A so-called “robot brothel” being proposed for Houston is getting pushback from local officials and community groups, with the mayor saying the city is reviewing its ordinances to determine if they address public safety and health concerns potentially associated with the business. Mayor Sylvester Turner says he’s not trying to be the “moral police” but that this is not the type of business he wants opening in the city. Canada-based Kinky S Dolls says it’s opening a “love dolls brothel” in Houston. It opened a similar venue in Toronto in 2017. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: 450 words.



HALTOM CITY, Texas — Some immigration-rights activists in North Texas say they’re surprised and disturbed that a city manager called police as they stood outside the official’s office earlier this month. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Haltom City was one of a dozen Tarrant County cities targeted by the group United Fort Worth. UPCOMING: 250 words.


BISMARCK, N.D. — An American Indian tribe that has led opposition to the Dakota Access oil pipeline, operated by a Texas company, for more than two years has formally pledged its support for protests against three other pipeline projects. The Standing Rock Sioux Council approved resolutions this month supporting efforts by other tribes to oppose the Enbridge Line 3 project in Minnesota, the Keystone XL pipeline in Montana and South Dakota, and the Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana. The resolutions do not come with any promise of money or other aid but are a payback of sorts for other tribes’ support of Standing Rock’s struggle against Dallas-based Dakota Access. By Blake Nicholson. SENT: 280 words.


— GAS PRICES — Texas and nationwide retail gasoline prices increased this week.

— PEOPLE-PLACIDO DOMINGO-HARVEY-HOUSTON — Opera star Plácido Domingo took the stage for the gala reopening of a Houston venue that suffered about $100 million in Hurricane Harvey flood damage last year. With photo.

— CASE DISMISSED-DEPUTY — A former Houston-area deputy has been acquitted in a 2011 videotaped traffic stop in which he was accused of kicking a handcuffed driver who was on the ground.

— ARKANSAS-CORRUPTION SENTENCING — Former Arkansas state Sen. Jon Woods has reported to a federal prison in Texas to begin a more than 18-year prison sentence for bribery .

— HURRICANE FLORENCE-COWBOYS — A team of people led by a Virginia man called the “Hurricane Cowboy,” in a reference to Harvey last year in Texas, is working to rescue animals in the Carolinas abandoned during Hurricane Florence.

— DETROIT MEDICAL CENTER-WAYNE STATE — A roughly century-old partnership between a Detroit hospital and university medical school that was at risk of being severed will continue under a newly approved deal.



SAN ANTONIO — A summer spent working at an H-E-B floral department exposed teenagers Hannah Taylor and Ashley Walker to a sad fact of the nearly $105 billion global flower industry. The San Antonio Express-News reports 45 percent of the blooms stocked by retail flower shops — including the lilies flown in from the Netherlands and the roses imported from Colombia and Ecuador — are thrown out before ever reaching a customer. They knew the problem had to do with stagnant water because both Taylor and Walker had earned their Texas floral design certifications and conducted water-quality research. They wondered if a simple aeration system could stir that water to help. It was the basis of a research project. By Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News. SENT: 930 words, with photos.



AUSTIN, Texas — Julius Whittier, the first African-American football letterman at the University of Texas whose family later sued the NCAA on behalf of college players who suffered brain injuries, has died. The school announced his death Thursday, citing family. No cause of death or age was given. Whittier was among the first black athletes to receive a scholarship to Texas. The Longhorns had the last all-white national championship team in 1969. Whittier was an offensive tackle for the Longhorns from 1970-71 and moved to tight end as a senior in 1972. He earned a law degree from Texas and became a prosecutor in Dallas. By Jim Vertuno. SENT: 140 words, will be updated. Pursuing photos.


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