Good morning! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today in Texas. Questions about today’s coverage plans are welcome, and should be directed to Texas News Editor James Beltran at 972-991-2100.
A reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.
Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.
DALLAS — Fresh off a bruising year with allegations of an FBI investigation and prosecutorial misconduct, the Dallas County district attorney says he’s planning to fight back. Craig Watkins, in an interview with The Associated Press, denied being under federal investigation in a mortgage fraud case that threatened to dent the reputation of Texas’ first black district attorney and his advocacy for the wrongfully convicted. By Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 800 words, photos.
TORNILLO, Mexico — Mexican authorities say a long-delayed border bridge located about 40 miles east of El Paso will be completed by mid-summer. However, the rest of the project will likely take another six months. Crews started working last week on the Mexican banks of the Rio Grande to lay the foundations for the columns of the Tornillo-Guadalupe port of entry bridge. It was expected to be completed by June 2013 and the U.S. side of the project is almost finished. By Juan Carlos Llorca. UPCOMING: 450 words, photos.
DALLAS — Attorneys for former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent are expected to make their case that he was not drunk during a wreck that killed a practice squad player. The defense is expected to begin calling witnesses Friday morning. The 25-year-old Brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. By Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: 500 words, developing after court resumes at 9 a.m. CT, photos.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gov. Susana Martinez said Thursday the boy who was shot in the face and neck at a New Mexico middle school is heavily sedated and on a breathing machine, but his doctors are optimistic. Martinez told reporters the student remained in critical condition at a Lubbock, Texas, hospital and doctors have repaired slight damage to his heart. She also said his face and head are covered in pockmarks from the shotgun pellets, and both of his eyes were injured. By Russell Contreras. SENT: 570 words, photos.
FROM AP MEMBERS:
EXCHANGE-BOOTS AS ART
MERCEDES, Texas — The boots began appearing Christmas week, first on one street corner, then another. Five-and-a-half feet tall and crafted from aluminum, they are painted with the colors and logos of universities. The city will eventually have 25 such boots as part of a $58,000 Development Corp. of Mercedes branding initiative. “This is a neat project, I think, because they’re workable art,” said Hernan Gonzalez, executive director of the development corporation. “It’s like a metal sculpture.” By Elizabeth Findell, The Monitor. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos.
— HOUSTON-POLICE SHOOTING — An off-duty Houston police officer has shot and killed a man suspected in a string of robberies. SENT: 130 words.
— TRIPLE FATAL-DUST — The Kansas Highway Patrol says blowing dust caused an 11-vehicle pileup that left three people dead in northwest Kansas. SENT: 130 words.
— DAY CARE-SHOOTING — Police say a woman has been slain in the parking lot of a North Texas day care center in gunfire blamed on her estranged husband who then killed himself. SENT: 130 words.
— STEM CELL PROBE — The operator of a Brownsville clinic who was not licensed to practice medicine in Texas has been sentenced to five years in prison in a stem cell treatment case. SENT: 130 words.
— PAYROLL-TAX FRAUD — A sixth person has pleaded guilty in a $133 million tax fraud case in South Texas involving funds diverted from payroll and insurance programs. SENT: 130 words.
— TEXAS STORMS-DEATH — A driver who allegedly ignored barricades set up during Central Texas flooding has been indicted in the death of a passenger who was swept away. SENT: 130 words.
— OBIT-EX-CLOWN — Quail Dobbs, who spent 35 years as a rodeo clown before becoming a judge in West Texas, has died. SENT: 130 words.
— CLASS RING RETURNED — A burglary investigation has restored to a North Texas woman the high school class room she lost 20 years ago. SENT: 130 words.
— AUSTIN LAKES-DROUGHT — The two key Colorado River lakes near Austin began the year at their second-lowest levels since their dams were built in the 1940s. SENT: 130 words.
— LANKFORD PAROLE REVERSED — The Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole has reversed its earlier decision to grant parole to convicted killer Bryan S. Lankford in 2018. SENT: 130 words.
— EL PASO-WASTE DEPARTMENT FRAUD — A West Texas businessman has been sentenced to 18 months in prison in a bribery case involving municipal contracts to repair garbage trucks. SENT: 130 words.
RSP PERMIAN-IPO PRICING
NEW YORK — Independent oil and natural gas company RSP Permian, based in Dallas, has raised $390 million from an initial public offering of its common stock. The offering of 20 million shares was priced at $19.50 per share. SENT: 170 words.
Schlumberger’s fourth-quarter net income climbed 22 percent, led by an increase in drilling revenue and strong activity overseas. For the period ended Dec. 31, the world’s largest oilfield service company earned $1.66 billion, or $1.26 per share. That compares with $1.36 billion, or $1.02 per share, a year ago. By The Associated Press. SENT: 200 words.
ENTERGY-MISSISSIPPI RATE CHALLENGE
JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is asking a federal judge to return the state’s lawsuit against Entergy Mississippi to Hinds County Chancery Court. Hood filed suit against the power company December 2008, claiming it overcharged customers by buying electricity from affiliates at a higher rate than on the open market, then passing the inflated costs along to consumers. By Jack Elliott Jr. SENT: 380 words.
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