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

August 12, 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. Terry Wallace is at the desk.

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

2018 MIDTERMS-MONEY

HOUSTON — Thara Narasimhan, who hosts an Hindu radio program in Houston, has already given $1,200 to a Democrat running against Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, who once drove around his solidly conservative Texas district with a “NEVER HILLARY” bumper sticker on his pickup. Her plans to donate even more bewilder friends. “It’s not the question of why I have to support a failing candidate,” said Narasimhan, mingling at a fundraiser for Democrat Sri Kulkarni on a sweltering Texas summer night. “Unless you put some faith in it, you’re not going to make it work.” By Paul J. Weber. SENT: 880 words, photos.

TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:

SCHOOL RATINGS

AUSTIN — School districts across Texas will receive letter grades this week under a new rating system that has public school officials grumbling. The Austin American-Statesman reports the Texas Education Agency on Wednesday will label school districts A-F and campuses with ratings of “met requirement” and “improvement required.” UPCOMING: 300 words.

OBIT-BABE SCHWARTZ

AUSTIN, Texas — A.R. “Babe” Schwartz, a longtime liberal state senator with a reputation of being one of the most formidable orators in the Texas Legislature, has died at age 92. His son, New York Times climate reporter John Schwartz, said his father died Friday in Houston after years of health problems. A.R. Schwartz served in the Texas House from 1955 until 1960, when he won a seat in the Texas Senate. He remained in the Senate until losing his bid for re-election in 1980. SENT: 300 words.

BORDER PATROL-JOBS

COLUMBUS, N.M. — The U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the largest law enforcement agency in the country, has hundreds of vacancies for law enforcement officers to fill nationwide, and El Paso and Columbus, New Mexico, are among the areas where there are job openings. The Albuquerque Journal reports starting salaries range from $33,394 for Customs and Border Protection officers and $41,187 for Border Patrol agents, with opportunities for agents to earn $51,484 with overtime. SENT: 130 words. Wil be expanded.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

CHURCH SHOOTING-TEXAS-GUNMAN’S WIFE

SAN ANTONIO — The wife of the man who opened fire at a Texas church last November says he tied her to their bed before leaving for the shooting in which more than two dozen people were killed. SENT: 600 words.

EXCHANGE-POLICE ROBOTS

DALLAS — There’s a robotic battalion in North Texas on standby, ready to combat crime and defuse potentially deadly situations. The Dallas Morning News reports when they can, police departments prefer to send this team in. It’s safer — and can be more effective — to have robots handle suspicious packages, stray grenades, barricaded people and more. In July 2016, the Dallas Police Department’s bomb squad used one to transport C4 that was detonated to end an hours-long standoff and kill the man who had earlier gunned down five officers in a downtown ambush. By Claire Z. Cardona, The Dallas Morning News. SENT IN ADVANCE: 1240 words, with photos. Not for online use in the Dallas market.

EXCHANGE-RACING FAMILY

VICTORIA, Texas — Three-quarters of the Fitch household have now raced their cars at the Texana Raceway in Edna. The Victoria Advocate reports Jason Fitch, 41, of Inez, has been racing his stock car in area events for as long as his kids — Jaycee, 11, and Kylie, 16 — can remember, and now they’re following in his footsteps without skipping a beat. Kylie is relatively quiet in the moments leading up to the race, going back and forth between the family’s mobile car workshop and her blue, well-worn stock car. Eventually, she and Jason are called to a drivers’ meeting as race preparations start ramping up. By Matthew Westmoreland, Victoria Advocate. SENT IN ADVANCE: 510 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

— HOT VAN-DEATH — One of three women charged in the July 2017 hot-van death of a resident at a Southeast Texas center for people with developmental disabilities has been sentenced to probation. SENT: 130 words.

SPORTS REFER:

MARINERS-ASTROS

HOUSTON — Dallas Keuchel will pitch for the Houston Astros as they try to avoid a four-game sweep by the Seattle Mariners. Erasmo Ramirez is scheduled to come off the disabled list to start for Seattle in place of struggling ace Felix Hernandez who was demoted to the bullpen on Thursday night. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Starts at 1:10 p.m.

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