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

March 19, 2019

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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

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TOP STORIES:

PETROCHEMICAL FIRE-TEXAS

HOUSTON _ Authorities say a drop in water pressure caused a large fire at a Houston-area petrochemicals terminal to intensify overnight and spread to additional storage tanks and officials on Tuesday weren’t sure how long it will take to put out the blaze. The Deer Park Office of Emergency Management says the fire spread early Tuesday to two additional tanks, bringing to eight the total number of tanks overwhelmed by flames at Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park, about 15 miles southeast of Houston. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 250 words, developing. Pursuing photos, video.

With:

_ PETROCHEMICAL FIRE-TEXAS-THE LATEST

_ PETROCHEMICAL FIRE-TEXAS-Q&A

ELECTION 2020-BETO O’ROURKE-PENNSYLVANIA

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. _ Former West Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke is making a big impression in Pennsylvania, a late-voting state that may yet play a role in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest. O’Rourke spoke Tuesday for 50 minutes to a crowd of hundreds in a Penn State auditorium, promising a grassroots campaign and taking questions, including one accusing him of spouting platitudes, instead of actual policy positions. By Marc Levy. SENT: 130 words, with photos. Developing.

US-MEXICO-ASYLUM

SAN DIEGO _ The first scheduled hearings under a new Trump administration policy to make asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their cases wind through U.S. immigration courts will be held Tuesday in San Diego. The initial appearances come three days before a federal judge in San Francisco hears arguments by advocacy groups to halt enforcement of the policy, which went into effect Jan. 29 in San Diego and was expanded last week to Calexico, California. By Elliot Spagat. SENT: 130 words. Will be updated, 400 words.

DRY SOUTHWEST-RIO GRANDE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. _ Climatologists are scheduled Tuesday to talk about the extreme drought’s effect on one of North America’s longest rivers and what water supplies along the Rio Grande are expected to be this year. By Susan Montoya Brown. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 400 words.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

NATIVE AMERICAN INMATES-LONG HAIR

AUSTIN, Texas _ A federal judge has ruled in favor of three Native American inmates in Texas who had filed a lawsuit against state officials arguing that their religious liberties were violated when the Texas Department of Criminal Justice refused to allow the trio to grow their hair long. The three contended their Native American spiritual beliefs regard hair as an extension of the soul, something to be cut only when in mourning, the Houston Chronicle reported. State attorneys had argued the longer hair would pose a security risk and make it easier for inmates to escape from understaffed prisons. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ GERMANY-US-NATO _ Hundreds of U.S. soldiers have begun arriving in Germany in the first test of a rapid deployment strategy meant to bolster NATO’s presence in eastern Europe in the event of Russian aggression or other emergencies. U.S. Army Europe says 350 soldiers from the Fort Bliss, Texas-based 1st Armored Division arrived in Berlin Tuesday as part of a group of 1,500 arriving this week. With photo.

_ FRAUD SCHEME _ A Tennessee man with a criminal history in Alabama and Texas has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for defrauding investors out of $3 million.

_ UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI CHANCELLOR _ Former University of Mississippi Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter is one of four finalists to lead the University of South Florida, while another finalists is SMU Provost Steve Currall.

SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-SPRING BREAK-SPACE DAY

BROWNSVILLE, Texas _ Joaquin Garcia and his wife, Crystal, drove all the way from McAllen with their 3-year-old daughter, Camilla, for one reason. “We wanted to take our daughter to Space Day,” Joaquin said. The Brownsville Herald reports the Children’s Museum of Brownsville hosted Space Day on Saturday as part of its Spring Break Spectacular to highlight the museum’s newest show: “Sun, Earth, Universe Exhibit.” By Mark Reagan, The Brownsville Herald. SENT: 400 words, pursuing photos.

SPORTS REFER:

BKC-NIT--SOUTH DAKOTA ST-TEXAS

AUSTIN, Texas _ After missing the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years, Texas (16-16) hosts South Dakota State (24-8) in the first round of the NIT. UPCOMING: 150 words, with photos. Game starts 8 p.m. CST.

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