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

January 3, 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

A reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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




DALLAS — A 3-year-old whose body was found in a culvert near her suburban Dallas home little more than a year after she was adopted from an Indian orphanage died from “homicidal violence,” according to autopsy findings released Wednesday. Officials determined Sherin Mathews was a victim of homicide. Her adoptive parents, Wesley and Sini Mathews, remained jailed Wednesday. The father is charged with felony injury to a child, while the mother’s charged with abandoning a child. By David Warren. SENT: 490 words, with photos.



SAVANNAH, Ga. — A brutal winter storm dumped snow in Tallahassee, Florida, on Wednesday for the first time in nearly three decades before slogging up the Atlantic coast and smacking Southern cities such as Savannah and Charleston, South Carolina, with a rare blast of snow and ice. Forecasters warned that the same system could soon strengthen into a “bomb cyclone” as it rolls up the East Coast, bringing hurricane-force winds, coastal flooding and up to a foot of snow. At least 16 deaths were blamed on dangerously cold temperatures that for days have gripped wide swaths of the U.S. from Texas to New England. By Russ Bynum. SENT: 940 words, with photos, video, audio.




NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Niagara Falls is one place the nation’s deep freeze is as much seen as it is felt. Mist from the surging waters has been freezing instantly on everything it touches, coating trees, walkways, cliffs and overlooks in a dreamy, brilliant white. “It’s outstanding. As cold as it gets, it’s a year-round attraction,” Paul Tabaczynski said during a visit to the spectacle Tuesday. A Buffalo, New York, native, he lives in Dallas now but remembered to dress in layers — flannel over a T-shirt and a lined sweatshirt that passes for his winter jacket in Texas. By Carolyn Thompson. SENT: 430 words, with photos.


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Buoyed by electoral victories during President Donald Trump’s first year in office, Democrats will be waging a renewed battle to wrest control of Congress from Republicans this year. Yet the contests with the greatest long-term consequences for Congress could be elsewhere on the ballot —for governors and state legislators who will shape the boundaries of congressional districts. The Democratic Governors Association is targeting races in Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Republicans are targeting many of the same states while also hoping to flip Democratic governorships in Minnesota and elsewhere, and protect turf in Arkansas, South Carolina and Texas. By David Lieb. SENT: 1,110 words, with photos.


NEW YORK — You may know Samantha Brown from her years as a Travel Channel host for shows like “Great Hotels,” ″Green Getaways” and the “Passport” series about Latin America, China and Europe, among others. She’s back with a new series on PBS called “Places to Love,” launching Saturday with 13 weekly episodes through March. Brown recently talked about the show’s philosophy, some individual episodes and the challenges of succeeding as a woman on television. “When you are producing a show totally based on flowers being in bloom, it is a nail-biter,” she said. Luckily, Texas bluebonnets were in bloom in all their glory. By Beth J. Harpaz. SENT: 760 words, with photo.


— DALLAS POLICE-PANHANDLING POLICY — Dallas police are changing the way they enforce the city’s panhandling ordinances after concerns involving free speech.

— PEOPLE-CHIP AND JOANNA GAINES — The Central Texas couple behind HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” will be fixing up a nursery once again.



HOUSTON — Ejected from his motorcycle after his tires hit a patch of oil, Michael Cassidy landed on a fire hydrant with such force doctors described it as splitting him up the middle. The Houston Chronicle reports emergency responders worked heroically to save Cassidy, but by the time Life Flight arrived at Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, he was fighting for his life, vital signs fading, both brain and heart starving for more blood. Transfusions couldn’t keep up with the loss. Doctors ad a new tool available that gave hope for Cassidy — a catheter that opens a balloon in the body’s main artery. It’s known as an “internal tourniquet.” By Todd Ackerman, Houston Chronicle. SENT: 1,050 words, with photos.



DALLAS — The Mavericks, on an NBA-best four-game winning streak that has lifted them out of last place in the Western Conference, play host to the defending champion Warriors, who have the league’s best record. By Dave Jackson. UPCOMING: 650 words, with photos. Game starts 7:30 p.m. CST.


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