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

July 03, 2019 - 12:58 pm

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. David Warren is at the desk.

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

For up-to-the minute information on AP's coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.




SAN DIEGO _ Before the rise of social media, Border Patrol agents gathered in parking lots at the end of their shifts for what was known as "choir practice" — a chance to share what they saw that day and anything else on their minds. T.J. Bonner, who led the National Border Patrol Council during much of his 32-year career as an agent, recalled the defunct tradition while trying to explain a secret Facebook group for agents that included sexually explicit posts about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and questioned the authenticity of a recent photo of a father and daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande. By Elliot Spagat. SENT: 830 words, photos, video.




MINNEAPOLIS _ When President Donald Trump's administration announced a $12 billion aid package for farmers struggling under the financial strain of his trade dispute with China, the payments were capped. But many large farming operations had no trouble finding legal ways around them, records provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act show. The government paid out nearly $2.8 million to a Missouri soybean-growing operation registered as three entities at the same address. More than $900,000 went to five other farm businesses, in Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and two in Texas. Three other farming operations collected more than $800,000. Sixteen more collected over $700,000. And the data list more than 3,000 recipients who collected more than the $125,000 cap. By Steve Karnowski and Balint Szalai. SENT: 1,110 words, photos. ABRIDGED VERSION: 840 words, photos.



MINNEAPOLIS _ The Trump administration's Market Facilitation Program is meant to compensate farmers for income they've lost due to the U.S. trade war with China. Data provided to The Associated Press from the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Freedom of Information Act gives some insights into where the money goes. Here's how the program works: Farmers didn't have to prove their losses on their 2019 crops and livestock, just their production. The program sets a $125,000 cap in each of three categories of commodities: one for soybeans and other row crops, one for pork and dairy, and one for cherries and almonds. Farmers can claim payments in more than one category. Individual farmers who produce both soybeans and hogs, for example, could collect up to $250,000 if their production of each was high enough. By Steve Karnowski. SENT: 690 words, photos.


HOUSTON _ A new law that legalized hemp in Texas is having some unintended consequences for law enforcement and resulting in the dismissal of marijuana cases. The new law authorized the creation and sale of hemp in Texas. Marijuana and hemp are different strains of the same plant with the difference being their levels of THC, the chemical that makes people high. Under the new law, which follows recently approved federal guidelines, a plant is hemp is if has less than 0.3 percent of THC and it is marijuana if it has more than 0.3 percent. But the problem is that most crime labs in Texas can’t test for THC concentrations, putting law enforcement in a bind over how to determine if someone has marijuana or not. Previously, labs simply tested for the presence of THC. As a result, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston announced on Tuesday that it will stop accepting marijuana cases of 4 ounces or less that don’t have a lab test result showing its THC concentration. Texas is not alone as other states that have also legalized hemp have run into the same marijuana testing problems. By Juan A. Lozano. UPCOMING: 600 words.



ATLANTA _ A government spokesman says President Donald Trump's administration is evaluating vacant properties near five U.S. cities as potential permanent sites to hold unaccompanied migrant children. Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Mark Weber said Wednesday that property is being assessed in and around Atlanta; Phoenix; Dallas; Houston; and San Antonio, Texas. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words.


SEATTLE _ A federal judge in Seattle on Tuesday blocked a Trump administration policy that would keep thousands of asylum-seekers locked up while they pursue their cases, saying the Constitution demands that such migrants have a chance to be released from custody. U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman ruled Tuesday that people who are detained after entering the country illegally to seek protection are entitled to bond hearings. Attorney General William Barr announced in April that the government would no longer offer such hearings, but instead keep them in custody. It was part of the administration's efforts to deter a surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. By Gene Johnson. SENT: 750 words, photo.


MIAMI _ A nonprofit organization has begun sheltering migrant teenage girls at a new Florida facility with a federal government grant. The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants says the teens arriving in Lake Worth, Florida receive classroom education, and mental health and legal services until they are reunited with relatives in the U.S. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words.


_ MISSING MIGRANT CHILD: U.S. Border Patrol agents are searching for a missing 2-year-old girl in the Rio Grande near the Texas town of Del Rio. With photos.



SALEM, Ore. _ When Democrats won a supermajority in the Oregon Legislature last November, it seemed they had a clear path ahead to combat global warming, enact gun control and pursue other liberal goals. Instead, it's been a bumpy road. Eight months after Democrats toasted their victories, they have learned the limits of power during the Oregon Legislature's most acrimonious session in memory: Republican lawmakers boycotted the Senate — twice — even fleeing the state after Democratic Gov. Kate Brown ordered police after them. By Andrew Selsky. SENT: 750 words, photos.



NEW YORK _ Corri Smith is planning to hire a full-time project manager for her public relations firm and make her part-time assistant full-time. But she has a wary eye on the economy. "It's been a long time since we've had some trouble in the economy. It can't all be wonderful — something will happen," says Smith, owner of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Black Wednesday. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. SENT: 970 words, photos.


_ CHILD FATALLY SHOT-ROBBERY ATTEMPT: Sheriff's officials say two gunmen who were demanding money shot and killed a 2-year-old boy and seriously wounded his father at a residential complex north of Houston.

_ DEPUTY KILLED-TRAFFIC STOP: A Texas sheriff's deputy has been killed after he was struck by a passing pickup on Interstate 10 while conducting a traffic stop.



ARLINGTON, Texas _ The grieving Angels, who won their first game after the death of Tyler Skaggs, try to win again when they play the Rangers in the second game of what is now a three-game series. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 7:05 p.m. CT.


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