BC-AP-TX--Texas News Digest, AP


Associated Press

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Texas news at 7:00 p.m. CDT.

Christopher Sherman is on the desk, reachable at 972-991-2100. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.


— Electricity Markets-Texas.

— JFK-John Connally's Suit.

— Cuban-Insider Trading.

— Supreme Court-Affirmative Action.

— World Food Prize.

— Airman's Wife-Toddler Death.

— Agriculture Commissioner.

— Venezuela-Guyana-Ship.

— High School Suicide.

— Former Officer-Sex Assault.

— Texas Storms.



MIDLAND, Texas — In the oil fields of Texas and North Dakota, communities that are enjoying the most prosperous economic boom in a generation are increasingly thinking about the days after the surge in drilling is over. Cities like Midland, Texas, are mindful that the runaway riches will eventually run out. So they are taking steps to ensure their towns make a soft landing. By Ramit Plushnick-Masti and James MacPherson. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide whether to block key aspects of the Obama administration's plan aimed at cutting power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming. The justices said they will review a unanimous federal appeals court ruling that upheld the government's unprecedented regulation of carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases. By Mark Sherman and Dina Cappiello. SENT: 660 words.


— GREENHOUSE GASES-TEXAS — Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has welcomed a U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear the state's arguments against federal rules to block greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and refineries.



AUSTIN, Texas — A decision may come early next year on how Texas plans to ensure its energy reserves meet rising demand for power amid the state's booming economy and population growth. Brandy Marty, the newest member of the Texas Public Utility Commission, said Tuesday its members were waiting on two reports to better track power capacity and future power needs statewide. By Will Weissert. SENT: 500 words.



AUSTIN, Texas — Your eyes instinctively seek the holes in the vintage 1960s men's business suit. Emergency room staff at Dallas' Parkland Hospital removed it from seriously wounded Texas Gov. John Connally in the rush to save his life from the same burst of gunfire that killed President John Kennedy. Now Texas state archivists are preparing the suit and white cotton shirt worn by Connally on Nov. 22, 1963, as the centerpiece for an exhibit to mark next month's 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination. It will be the first public display of the clothing since 1964. By Michael Graczyk. SENT: 500 words, photos.


DALLAS — A government lawyer told jurors that billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had an unfair and illegal advantage over other investors when he dumped $7.9 million in shares of an Internet company and then lied about why he sold. One of Cuban's lawyers answered that the government's case depended on an unreliable witness who refused to testify in person. He accused the Securities and Exchange Commission of twisting evidence and "trying to win at all costs" to prevail in a lawsuit against a high-profile defendant. Jurors in federal court in Dallas were expected to begin deliberations late Tuesday or early Wednesday. By David Koenig. SENT: 679 words.


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court seemed prepared Tuesday to uphold a voter-approved ban on taking account of race in college admissions. The court heard arguments over a 2006 change to the state constitution to prohibit the University of Michigan and other state schools from any consideration of race when they decide whom to admit. The justices' focus was more on whether they could craft a narrow ruling to uphold Michigan Proposal 2 or would have to overrule earlier cases that protect minorities' rights to participate in the political process. By Mark Sherman. SENT: 820 words, photos.


NEW ORLEANS — A former Halliburton manager pleaded guilty Tuesday to destroying evidence in the aftermath of the deadly rig explosion that spawned BP's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Anthony Badalamenti, 62, of Katy, Texas, faces a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and a $100,000 fine after his guilty plea in U.S. District Court to one misdemeanor count of destruction of evidence. His sentencing by U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey is set for Jan. 21. By Michael Kunzelman. SENT: 660 words.


HOUSTON — A fee collected from developers by the city of Houston that was supposed to go toward new park lands has netted more than $11 million — but no new parks. The Houston Chronicle reports that a 2007 ordinance was intended to expand green space in a sprawling, sometimes congested city. Developers could either donate land for parks or pay a $700 fee per unit constructed. SENT: 350 words.


It's not your imagination. There really is a tighter squeeze on many planes these days. The big U.S. airlines are taking out old, bulky seats in favor of so-called slimline models that take up less space from front to back, allowing for five or six more seats on each plane. The changes, covering some of the most common planes flown on domestic and international routes, give the airlines two of their favorite things: More paying passengers, and a smaller fuel bill because the seats are slightly lighter. By Joshua Freed. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, video, at-a-glance box.


DES MOINES, Iowa — The World Food Prize Foundation is confronting both opposition to genetically modified crops and the divisive issue of global warming as it gathers hundreds of experts and national leaders to talk this week about how to feed a growing global population. By awarding this year's prize to three biotechnology pioneers, the nonprofit foundation infuriated environmental groups and others opposed to large-scale farming. By David Pitt. SENT: 817 words, photos.


ABILENE, Texas — A military judge has refused to change venue for the court martial of a Dyess Air Force Base airman facing charges of neglecting a toddler who died. The Abilene Reporter-News reports that on Tuesday, the trial's first day, judge Col. Donald Eller refused the motion by the defense of Christopher Perez. Perez is charged with dereliction of duty, child endangerment and adultery. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 330 words.


ARLINGTON, Texas — Winding trails through the thick trees and brush within Arlington's newly opened Southwest Nature Preserve lead past ponds brimming with bass and sunfish and up to a high sandstone bluff with cacti and glittering rocks coated with soft green moss. Though long an attraction for fishing and nature enthusiasts, the 58-acre heavily wooded site in southwest Arlington is now open to the public. The city will hold a grand opening ceremony Saturday for the 58-acre nature preserve off Bowman Springs Road south of Interstate 20 that has been eight years in the making. By Susan Schrock, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. SENT: 600 words, photos.


— PERRY — Gov. Rick Perry will be promoting the Texas economy and businesses in London and Israel later this week. SENT: 130 words.

— TEXAS STORMS — The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for South Central Texas through Wednesday morning as a cold front moves through the area carrying the possibility of heavy rains. SENT: 130 words.

— CHURCHES-GRAFFITI — A man accused of trespassing has been charged with using spray paint to vandalize at least four North Texas churches. SENT: 130 words.

— SKIPPED SENTENCING-DEATH — Deputies have shot and killed an armed fugitive during a North Texas standoff as he faced returning to prison. SENT: 130 words.

— KYLE FIELD-GRASS — Texas A&M football fans who want to tromp on the same playing surface as Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel can buy some Kyle Field grass. SENT: 130 words.

— GALVESTON-HOMEOWNER SLAIN — Galveston police say a homeowner has been fatally shot during an apparent robbery and officers detained two potential suspects. SENT: 130 words.

— WIFE'S DROWNING-CHARGES — Prosecutors are considering whether a Texas man accused of killing his wife in Colorado should be tried a third time. SENT: 130 words.

— EL PASO-CUSTODY DEATH — A man who died in police custody has been identified as a female impersonator who hours earlier performed at a West Texas club. SENT: 130 words.

— OBIT-WISE COUNTY JUDGE — A North Texas community leader has died after collapsing while at a commissioners court meeting. SENT: 130 words.

— JAIL ESCAPE-CIGARETTE — An inmate who fled the Dallas County jail in apparent search of a cigarette has been sentenced to three years in prison for escape. SENT: 130 words.

— OIL FACILITY-FIRE — Authorities say nobody has been hurt in a fire at an East Texas oil storage facility near Tyler. SENT: 130 words.

— SKIPPED SENTENCING-DEATH — An armed fugitive who skipped sentencing in a burglary and theft case and faced returning to prison for 45 years was fatally shot Tuesday by deputies during a standoff. SENT: 130 words.

— AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER — Humorist and erstwhile politician Kinky Friedman says he's going to run for Texas agriculture commissioner as a Democrat. SENT.

— VENEZUELA-GUYANA-SHIP — The Texas company that chartered an oil research ship seized last week by Venezuela said it expects the vessel and its international crew to be released soon. SENT.

— HIGH SCHOOL SUICIDE — A student at an Austin high school has shot and killed himself as others gathered nearby for lunch. SENT.

— FORMER OFFICER-SEX ASSAULT — A former Houston police officer accused of raping a woman handcuffed in the back of his patrol car has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. SENT.



DENVER — Off to a 5-0 start under fiery coach Patrick Roy, the Colorado Avalanche try to keep it going against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night. By Pat Graham. Game time is 7 p.m. MT. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos.


If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to aptexas@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. If you have questions about the Texas AP news report, please contact News Editor James Beltran at 972-991-2100 or jbeltran@ap.org.

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