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AP-TX--Texas News Digest 12 am, TX

September 26, 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: aptexas@ap.org. Ken Miller is at the desk after 5:30 a.m.

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

TEXAS EXECUTION

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Texas inmate who taunted a jury to sentence him to death is scheduled to be executed Wednesday evening for torturing and drowning an East Texas woman in his bathtub and then stuffing her body into a barrel. Troy Clark was condemned for the May 1998 slaying of a former roommate, Christina Muse of Tyler. Authorities said that Clark, a drug dealer, had worried that Muse, 20, would snitch on him. The 51-year-old Clark would become the 17th inmate put to death this year in the U.S. and the ninth given a lethal injection in Texas, the nation’s busiest capital punishment state. Clark’s the first of two inmates set to receive lethal injection this week. Daniel Acker was scheduled to be executed Thursday for fatally running over his girlfriend. At least eight other Texas inmates have planned execution dates in the coming months. By Juan Lozano and Michael Graczyk. UPCOMING: 600 words by 2 a.m. Will be updated. Execution scheduled for after 6 p.m.

TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:

ELECTION 2018-TEXAS SENATE-FACT CHECK

AUSTIN, Texas — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz accused Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke of making offensive comments about police officers during their first debate of the Texas Senate race. The attack came amid heightened attention in Texas on fatal shootings involving police officers. Last month, a white Dallas police officer shot and killed her unarmed black neighbor, whose apartment she says she mistook for her own. The officer, who was fired from her job Monday, is free on bond after being booked on a preliminary charge of manslaughter in the slaying of 26-year-old Botham Jean. By Paul J. Weber. SENT: 430 words, photos.

CONGRESSIONAL TRIP-INDICTMENT

HOUSTON — An ex-Houston businessman has been indicted on U.S. charges of concealing that a 2013 trip by some members of Congress to Azerbaijan was paid for by that country’s government. A total of 10 members of Congress — six Democrats and four Republicans — went on the trip, including four from Texas: Democrats Ruben Hinojosa and Sheila Jackson Lee and Republicans Steve Stockman and Ted Poe. Also on the trip were Democratic Reps. Gregory Meeks and Yvette Clarke of New York, Danny Davis of Illinois and Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, as well as Republican Reps. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma and Leonard Lance of New Jersey. Bridenstine, Stockman and Hinojosa no longer serve in Congress. Bridenstine is administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. SENT: 260 words. Moved on general and political news services.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

3D GUN-LAWSUIT

AUSTIN, Texas — The founder of a Texas company that sells blueprints for making untraceable 3D-printed guns has resigned from the firm after being arrested on charges of having sex with an underage girl, the company has announced. Cody Wilson tendered his resignation to his own company Friday evening to tend to “personal matters,” said Paloma Heindorff, director of development for Austin-based Defense Distributed. The company is at the center of a lawsuit filed by several states trying to shut down the firm. Investigators allege Wilson met the 16-year-old in Austin through the website SugarDaddyMeet.com. Wilson was arrested in Taiwan and extradited over the weekend. By Will Weissert. SENT: 550 words, photos.

HOMELESS BEATINGS

LOS ANGELES — A Texas man was arrested on suspicion of killing three people and seriously injuring four in a 2½-week-long string of attacks targeting sleeping homeless men in Southern California, Los Angeles police have said, while authorities in Houston investigated him for the disappearance of his aunt and uncle. Ramon Escobar, 47, who was believed homeless himself, likely targeted victims to rob them, Los Angeles police Capt. William Hayes told reporters. He said Escobar is from El Salvador and is a “deportable felon” but did not provide additional information. By Christopher Weber. SENT: 650 words, photos.

BANDIDOS GANG-SENTENCE

SAN ANTONIO — A federal judge in San Antonio has sentenced a former leader of the violent Bandidos Motorcycle Club to life in prison after being convicted of racketeering charges alleging multiple murders, attempted murders and other crimes. SENT: 270 words, photos.

MEXICO-ACAPULCO POLICE DISARMED

MEXICO CITY — Authorities in southern Mexico have disarmed and placed under investigation the entire police force in the once-glittering resort of Acapulco, claiming the local cops were infiltrated by drug gangs. Local police in several parts of Mexico have been disbanded because they were corrupted by drug cartels. In the northern border state of Tamaulipas, one of the hardest hit by drug violence, almost all local police forces state-wide have been disbanded since 2011. SENT: 320 words, photos. Moved on international general news services.

NEAR COLLISION-SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT

Federal safety officials blame two Air Canada pilots for coming within 10 to 20 feet of crashing their jetliner into a plane on the ground last year in San Francisco. The Air Canada pilots were apparently confused because one of two parallel runways was closed and dark before the late-night incident. The crew was seconds from landing their Airbus A320 jet on a taxiway where other planes loaded with passengers were waiting to take off. “We could not have gotten literally or figuratively any closer to having a major disaster,” said the safety board’s vice chairman, Bruce Landsberg, during a hearing in Washington. By Airlines Writer David Koenig. SENT: 660 words, photos. Moved on general and financial news services.

IN BRIEF:

— TODDLER DEATHS-HOT VEHICLE — A 20-year-old Texas mother whose two toddlers died after they were left for hours inside a hot vehicle has pleaded guilty. SENT: 130 words, photos.

— GIRL FATALLY SHOT-ROBBERY — A Houston-area man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder in the fatal shooting of a 4-year-old girl when he was 17. SENT: 120 words.

— GALVESTON-HOUSTON-TRANSIT ENDS — The only public bus transportation service between Galveston and downtown Houston is ending due to low ridership. SENT: 100 words.

— CHEMICAL WEAPONS-DESTRUCTION — The U.S. Army is again shipping liquid hazardous waste from a chemical weapons destruction plant in Colorado for disposal in Texas. SENT: 130 words.

— GULF OIL SALE — The U.S. Interior Department says the next Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale will offer about 78 million acres — about the same amount as the sale in August. SENT: 130 words. Moved on general and financial news services.

— CHILD ENTICEMENT — Prosecutors in Connecticut say a Houston man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for enticing minors into engaging in sexual activity over the internet. SENT: 120 words.

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