AP-TX--Texas News Digest 12 am, TX
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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GEORGE HW BUSH
WASHINGTON — Washington is bidding its final farewell to former President George H.W. Bush, his funeral at Washington National Cathedral drawing world envoys, the four remaining ex-presidents, and President Donald Trump. The ceremony late Wednesday morning will cap three days of remembrance by dignitaries and ordinary citizens alike. The Republican president oversaw the post-Cold War transition and led a successful Gulf War, then lost re-election in a generational shift to Democrat Bill Clinton. Joining American notables and representatives from more than a dozen countries is an electrician and fix-it man, Mike Lovejoy, who has worked at Bush’s Maine summer estate since 1990. Bush’s remains will be returned to Houston to lie in repose before burial Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station. By Calvin Woodward, Laurie Kellman and Ashraf Khalil. UPCOMING: 1230 words, photos, audio, video by 2 a.m. Will be updated. Viewing to end at 6 a.m.; service to begin at 10 a.m.
— GEORGE HW BUSH-THE LATEST
— GEORGE HW BUSH-LAURA BUSH — Former first lady Laura Bush said her tour of the White House Christmas decorations made for a “sweet visit” during a somber week. By Darlene Superville. SENT: 280 words, photos.
GEORGE HW BUSH-SULLY
WASHINGTON — It’s often said that if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. At the end of his life, Sully the service dog was President George H.W. Bush’s. The yellow Labrador Retriever visited the president’s remains in the Capitol rotunda alongside other people in wheelchairs that benefited from the Americans With Disabilities Act that Bush signed in 1990. John Miller, the president and CEO of America’s VetDogs, said the Bush family contacted Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the late president’s wife of 73 years, Barbara, died in April. America’s VetDogs chose Sully in part for his calm temperament. By Laurie Kellman. SENT: 370 words, photos.
GEORGE HW BUSH-RACE
George H.W. Bush got elected president after a campaign marked by the infamous Willie Horton ad, about a black murderer who raped a white woman while on a weekend furlough from prison. On the other side of the racial ledger, Bush appointed Gen. Colin Powell as the first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And while Bush replaced civil rights hero Thurgood Marshall with another black man to maintain the racial status quo on the Supreme Court, he picked Clarence Thomas, a conservative whose views are at odds with those of much of black America. Lionized upon his death as a man of decency and civility, Bush has a mixed and complicated legacy when it comes to race. By National Writer Errin Haines Whack. SENT: 1100 words, photos.
AP WAS THERE-BUSH-SUPERMARKET SCANNER
WASHINGTON — One last time, for the record: It was not an ordinary supermarket scanner. A February 1992 newspaper story reporting that President George H.W. Bush was baffled by a supermarket barcode scanner when he visited a grocers’ convention in Florida fed into impressions that the president was out of touch, just as he was dealing with a reeling economy and fending off a primary election challenge at the outset of his re-election campaign. But although Bush had remarked that some of the machine’s features seemed “amazing,” it hardly looked like his first time in a supermarket checkout line. Mostly, Bush seemed to be politely listening to National Cash Register executives making their pitch. SENT: 680 words, photos.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A member of the notorious “Texas 7” gang of escaped prisoners has been executed for the fatal shooting of a suburban Dallas police officer during a Christmas Eve robbery nearly 18 years ago. Joseph Garcia received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the December 2000 shooting death of 29-year-old Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins. By Juan A. Lozano and Michael Graczyk. SENT: 620 words, photos.
TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:
— ELECTION 2020-BIDEN — Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden says he believes that he is the most qualified person in the country to be president. SENT: 130 words, photos. Moved on general and political news services.
HOUSTON — While the Trump administration focuses attention on migrant caravans trying to cross the southern U.S. border in California, migration is surging at the opposite end of the border in South Texas. Last weekend in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, Border Patrol agents caught 1,900 people trying to cross the southern border illegally. Border agents in the Rio Grande Valley are apprehending around 680 people a day, compared to up to 145 arrests in San Diego, across the border from Tijuana, Mexico, where an estimated 6,000 people are waiting to cross. By Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 450 words.
— BORDER-TROOPS — The Pentagon says Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has approved plans to extend the deployment of active-duty U.S. troops at the southern border with Mexico until January 31. By Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 130 words.
TIJUANA, Mexico — U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the San Diego sector has experienced a “slight uptick” in families entering the U.S. illegally and turning themselves in to agents since the caravan of Central American migrants arrived in Tijuana two weeks ago. Thousands of migrants on the Mexico side of the border are living in crowded tent cities in Tijuana after a grueling weekslong journey through Mexico on foot and hitching rides with the goal of applying for asylum in the U.S. Frustrated with the long wait to apply, with the U.S. processing 100 requests at most each day, some migrants are trying to cross over clandestinely. By Marko Alvarez. SENT: 650 words, photos.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — An exhausted Alonzo Juan Jose sat still on a cot inside a shelter in southern New Mexico. For six days, the 24-year-old migrant from Huehuetenango, Guatemala, and his 5-month-old daughter, Allison Yajaira Juan Miguel, slept on a concrete floor while in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention. Now they were moments away from a good night’s rest following a nearly month-long journey through Mexico, to an El Paso Port of Entry, to the refuge of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Cathedral in Las Cruces. “I just want her to sleep,” Juan Jose said in Spanish as he rocked his daughter. And more migrants like the father and daughter duo are coming. Volunteer shelters along the U.S. say they getting hit with an expected surged of new migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. who will need temporary housing. Nonprofit groups and churches — especially along the U.S.-Mexico border — are racing to get donated clothes, diapers, cots and meals for Central American migrants as the holidays approach and resources begin to dwindle. By Russell Contreras. SENT: 860 words, photos.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
LONDON — Brazilian doctors are reporting the world’s first baby born to a woman with a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor. Eleven previous births have used a transplanted womb but from a living donor, usually a relative or friend. Uterus transplantation was pioneered by Swedish doctor Mats Brannstrom, who has delivered eight children from women who got wombs from family members or friends. Two babies have been born at Baylor University Medical Center in Texas and one in Serbia, also from transplants from living donors. By Medical Writer Maria Cheng. SENT: 430 words, photos.
XCEL ENERGY-ZERO CARBON
DENVER — A utility serving 3.6 million electricity customers in eight states, including Texas, said it will try to eliminate all its carbon emissions from electrical generation by 2050. Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke acknowledged that not all the technologies the company needs to meet that goal are available yet on a commercial scale, but he said he is encouraged by advances in clean energy technology. “If we put our minds to it,” Fowke said, “we will find the best solution to get us there.” SENT: 300 words. Moved on general and financial news services.
CHARTER BUS CRASH-ARKANSAS
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Most of the youth football players and adults who were injured when a charter bus rolled off an interstate and overturned in Arkansas have been released from hospitals, officials said, as authorities identified the bus driver and a child who was killed. Saline County Deputy Coroner Allen West has confirmed that 9-year-old Kameron Johnson died when the bus crashed in the darkness along Interstate 30 near Benton, Arkansas. The elementary school-aged children from the Orange Mound Youth Association in Memphis were returning home after playing in a weekend tournament in the Dallas area. By Adrian Sainz. SENT: 500 words, photos.
NEWTOWN SHOOTING-CONSPIRACY LAWSUITS
HARTFORD, Conn. — The father of a boy who was killed in the 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut has filed another defamation lawsuit against conspiracy theorists who accused him of being an actor. Lenny Pozner filed the suit last week in Wisconsin against James Fetzer and Mike Palacek, who co-wrote a book, “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook.” The lawsuit, which also names the book’s publisher, says Pozner has had to move several times because of harassment from people who believe the conspiracy theories. Pozner and other victims’ families earlier this year filed similar defamation lawsuits in Texas and Connecticut against Alex Jones, host of the conspiracy-driven Infowars website. By Pat Eaton-Robb. SENT: 300 words. Moved on national general news services.
LAS VEGAS — Nevada is suing the federal government in a bid to stop announced plans to ship plutonium from South Carolina to a former U.S. nuclear proving ground north of Las Vegas. In a statement, outgoing Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt repeated a vow that the state will fight the Department of Energy plan to store radioactive bomb-making material at the Nevada Nuclear Security Site. The lawsuit was filed Friday. Sandoval says Nevada won’t stand for the threat the shipments could pose to public health and safety. Security site spokesman Gregory Wolf says the Energy Department has been ordered by a federal judge in South Carolina to move plutonium from the federal Savannah River complex by January 2020. The material will be “temporarily staged” at the Nevada National Security Site and the government’s Pantex Plant in Texas, two facilities that already handle and process plutonium, before eventually being sent to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico “or another facility,” the statement said. By Ken Ritter. SENT: 550 words, photos.
— STUDENT PROGRAM-THEFT — A former Texas Christian University employee must serve five years in prison for embezzling at least $210,000 from a federal program that helps low-income students prepare for college. SENT: 130 words.
— FILM-LANDMARK THEATRES SOLD — Representatives from the Cohen Media Group say the company has purchased Landmark Theatres, the nation’s largest independent theater chain, which has been under the ownership of Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban’s 2929 Entertainment since 2003. SENT: 120 words, photos. Moved on general, financial and entertainment news services.
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