AP-TX--Texas News Digest 5 pm, TX
AP-TX--Texas News Digest 5 pm, TX
Aug. 24, 2018
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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HOUSTON — Officials say that Texas overall is in a much better place a year after Hurricane Harvey made landfall. The storm killed nearly 70 people, damaged more than 300,000 structures and caused an estimated $125 billion in damage. Parts of Houston remained flooded for weeks after Harvey. But Houston's mayor says the city has made great strides the past year. While some residents are still cleaning out their homes, the mounds of debris that lined many city streets are long gone. Houston officials say that overall, the city is running normally but that they're aware that pockets of Houston are still struggling to recover and they remain focused on ensuring that the city will become more resilient before the next major storm. In Texas, nearly $14 billion has been distributed to those impacted by the storm through federal disaster assistance, loans and National Flood Insurance Program payouts. About $5 billion in federal housing aid is set to be distributed in the state later this year. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 500 words, photos.
BC-US--HARVEY-YEAR LATER-DONATIONS — Nonprofit organizations are still rebuilding homes, buying new furniture, and filling in the wide gap between what affected families need and what they received from official channels. By Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 400 words.
TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:
GUNS IN SCHOOLS
WASHINGTON — The Education Department has said that it is weighing whether to allow states to use federal funds to purchase guns for schools, prompting a storm of criticism from Democratic lawmakers and educators. A senior Trump administration official has told The Associated Press that the agency is reviewing legislation governing federal academic enrichment grants to see if the money can be used to procure firearms. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly, said the agency received several letters asking it to clarify what those funds could be used for and began researching the issue. One of the requests for clarification came from Texas, where many school districts allow staff to carry weapons on campus. The Texas Education Agency said in a statement that it asked Washington for guidance in April after schools started asking whether they can use the grant money to cover the cost of guns. By Maria Danilova. SENT: 600 words, photos.
PHOENIX — The Honduran mother said she felt repeatedly pressured to sign documents she wasn't given time to read, so she lashed out at an immigration officer, telling him it shouldn't be this hard to get her son back. The officer put his hands in a motion imitating choking someone and told her that's what he'd do to her if she were his wife, the woman said in an interview. She spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity over fears about her safety. By Astrid Galvan. SENT: 800 words, photos.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
TEXAS OFFICER-MURDER TRIAL
DALLAS — A former Texas police officer has testified at his murder trial that he had no choice but to use deadly force the night he opened fire on a car filled with unarmed black teenagers leaving a house party, killing a 15-year-old passenger. Roy Oliver, who is white, was fired from the Balch Springs Police Department after the April 2017 gunfire that killed high school freshman Jordan Edwards. The shooting was thrust into a national conversation on the killing of African Americans by police. By Ryan Tarinelli. SENT: 550 words, photos.
American Airlines is dropping money-losing flights between Chicago and Shanghai, and Hawaiian Airlines will suspend its only route to China because of low demand. The airlines announced those and other route changes this week. The decisions reflect growing competition from Chinese carriers and rising fuel prices that have made once-marginal routes unprofitable. American, the world's largest carrier, said it will end Chicago-Shanghai service in October. The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline recently decided to cut flights between Chicago and Beijing, also in October. In a podcast on the airline's website, vice president of network planning Vasu Raja said the routes "have been colossal loss makers." SENT: 300 words. Moved on national general, financial and travel news services.
AIR FORCE JET CRASH-TEXAS
DEL RIO, Texas — The U.S. Air Force says a fatal plane crash involving a flight instructor last year in Texas was the result of a "total hydraulic failure" of the jet's engine. The San Antonio Express-News reports that investigative documents were released Wednesday about the crash that killed Capt. Joshua Hammervold in November. SENT: 280 words.
CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox rookie pitcher Michael Kopech has apologized for racist and homophobic tweets he posted as 17-year-old and has since deleted. The tweets from 2013 surfaced Tuesday as Kopech made his major league debut. Kopech grew up in Mount Pleasant, Texas, and attended Mount Pleasant High School. SENT: 240 words, photos. Moved on general and sports news services.
MUSIC REVIEW-RYAN CULWELL
The list of legendary musicians who migrated from Texas to Nashville to make it big is so long you'd think the journey was easy. It is not. Just ask Ryan Culwell, whose 2015 album, "Flatlands," was so good it seemed to rise with the heat right out of the Texas dust. But it might have had more glowing reviews than turns on the radio, this being the state of commercial country music these days. But now, after supporting himself with a series of odd jobs, including a turn as a Nashville pedal-tavern driver, the Texas native is back with another fine record. His latest, "The Last American," may not be quite as Texan as "Flatlands," but it fits the present moment better. By Scott Stroud. SENT: 250 words, photos. Moved on national entertainment news services.
— OBIT-TRENT SEIBERT — Investigative journalist Trent Seibert, who brought his skills to several major U.S. daily newspapers as well as to news websites he founded and led, has died. He was 47. SENT: 120 words.
— FRAUD CHARGE DISMISSED — A Texas appeals court has dismissed mortgage fraud charges against an heir to a Dallas oil fortune, citing prosecutorial misconduct by a former Dallas County District attorney. SENT: 130 words.
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