BC-TX--Texas News Digest 1 pm, TX
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
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HUNTSVILLE, Texas _ A member of the “Texas 7” gang of escaped prisoners who’s scheduled to be executed Thursday evening should be spared because he didn’t fatally shoot a suburban Dallas police officer during a Christmas Eve robbery more than 18 years ago, according to his attorneys. Patrick Murphy, 57, is slated to receive lethal injection at the penitentiary in Huntsville. He was among the inmates who escaped from a South Texas prison in December 2000 and then committed numerous robberies, including the one in which they shot 29-year-old Irving police Officer Aubrey Hawkins 11 times, killing him. By Juan A. Lozano and Michael Graczyk. SENT: 680 words, with photos. Will be updated.
HOUSTON _ The chief executive of a Houston-area petrochemical storage company has apologized more than a week after a fire erupted, causing school closures , an order for residents to stay indoors and the partial closure of a critical commercial waterway. Intercontinental Terminals Company CEO Bernt Netland said in a brief video posted Wednesday to YouTube that he’s “very sorry” for the fire’s effect on the area southeast of Houston. SENT: 130 words, with photos. Could develop.
BAYLOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION
WACO, Texas _ A federal judge has ruled that a law firm must turn over hundreds of records that lawyers say are expected to give a fuller accounting of how Baylor University responded to sexual assault allegations made by students. Judge Robert Pitman in an order issued Thursday says Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton must produce all materials related to its internal review that resulted in a 2016 summary report finding an “institutional failure at every level.” Jim Dunnam, an attorney for plaintiffs who’ve filed federal claims against the school, says the order is a “monster step forward in revealing the truth of what happened.” SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 400-500 words. Moving on news & sports lines.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
UT SPIRIT GROUP-HAZING
AUSTIN, Texas _ The University of Texas has suspended the Texas Cowboys, a spirit group best known for firing “Smokey the Cannon” at home football games, for six years after an investigation into hazing at a retreat the night before a new member was fatally injured in a wreck on the way back to Austin, the Austin American-Statesman reports. The suspension, along with a two-year probationary period after reinstatement, was handed down Wednesday by UT’s dean of students office. The Cowboys have the option of accepting the sanction, appealing or requesting a formal hearing, according to a partially redacted copy of UT’s discipline report. UPCOMING: 300 words. Moving on news & sports lines. Pursuing photos.
POLICE SHOOTING-DEFENDANT SENTENCED
LAS VEGAS _ A 19-time felon whose sentencing was delayed a day when he was shot by Las Vegas police while trying to escape from custody was told he’ll spend the rest of his life in prison without parole. Christopher Gregory Ganci stood shackled in court Thursday with his left arm bandaged, surrounded by heavily armed police guards and a medic. He told Clark County District Court Judge Douglas he wasn’t a violent criminal and deserved another chance. Prosecutor John Giordani says Ganci was convicted of felonies in Arizona, California, Illinois and Texas before being found guilty in February in Las Vegas of armed robbery, kidnapping, battery and conspiracy. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 350 words.
QUINCY, Mass. _ At a sea turtle hospital housed at an old New England shipyard, a biologist leans over a table and uses a needle to draw blood from a sick loggerhead before tagging its flailing flipper. These were the first tentative steps toward a return to the ocean for this juvenile nicknamed Honey Bun and hundreds of other loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley and green turtles stranded this winter on Cape Cod beaches. Cape Cod is believed to have one of the largest annual turtle strandings in the world. There are occasional strandings in Florida, Texas and as far north as the Chesapeake Bay. By Michael Causey. SENT: 940 words, with photos, video.
_ AMAZON-TEXAS-EXPANSION _ Amazon plans to add 800 high-tech jobs at its Austin hub. With photo.
_ INTERSTATE LIGHTS-RATS _ Gnawing rats are being blamed for a blackout on a section of Interstate 30 in Texarkana.
SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:
TEMPLE, Texas _ East of Temple, down a series of winding country lanes, there is an old farm, and dozens of tiny hooves. The Temple Daily Telegram reports Shelby Michalewicz started Tiny Hooves Rescue and Petting Zoo about four years ago, after she and her husband moved to her family’s old farm. Originally, she had planned to have a career as a veterinarian. Then life happened — Michalewicz married and had a baby, but she still kept searching for her purpose. By Mariel Williams, Temple Daily Telegram. SENT: 720 words, pursuing photos.
NOTE: MLB opening day.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. _ The Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros open the season with AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell facing the runner-up for the award, Justin Verlander. By Fred Goodall. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 3 p.m. CDT.
ARLINGTON, Texas _ The Rangers, with new manager Chris Woodward, play their season opener at home against the Cubs. Chicago’s rotation includes two of the Rangers’ former aces, though Jon Lester starts the opener. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING. 700 words, photos. Game starts 3:05 p.m. CDT.
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