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September 19, 2018 - 12:00 am

SPECIAL ELECTION-TEXAS

GOP scores upset to replace convicted Texas state senator

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Republican Pete Flores has upset Democrat Pete Gallego (gah-YEY'-goh) in a runoff, capturing a reliably blue state Senate seat vacated by a former lawmaker sentenced to 12 years in prison on federal fraud charges.

San Antonio Democratic Sen. Carlos Uresti resigned in June after being convicted of helping an oilfield service company he co-owned run a Ponzi scheme. His term expires in 2020, and the district stretches from Democrat-heavy San Antonio to the Big Bend.

Gallego, a former congressman and state representative, and Flores, an ex-game warden who lost to Uresti in 2016, advanced to the runoff after none of the eight candidates won a majority of the votes cast during July's opening round of balloting.

Flores victory extends the Republican majority in the Texas Senate to 21-10.

BORDER AGENT ARRESTED-WOMEN KILLED

Vigil held for women allegedly killed by Border Patrol agent

LAREDO, Texas (AP) — Dozens of relatives of four women who investigators say a U.S. Border Patrol supervisor killed have held a vigil in South Texas to remember the women.

They gathered Tuesday evening in a downtown Laredo park and held small candles and photos of their loved ones as they prayed, cried and exchanged hugs.

Many said they were still in disbelief and described feelings of numbness, saying the women didn't deserve to die.

Juan David Ortiz was arrested Saturday while hiding in a hotel parking garage. Investigators believe he fatally shot four women during separate attacks after taking each of them to desolate areas outside of Laredo. Investigators say a fifth victim escaped and contacted authorities.

Ortiz is facing several charges, including four counts of murder.

PRISON GUARD-INMATE DEATH

Texas guard charged with assaulting prisoner who later died

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas prison guard is charged with assaulting an inmate who later died from his injuries.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Tuesday that D'Andre Glasper, who resigned from the job, has been charged with aggravated assault by a public servant.

Authorities say Glasper injured inmate Gary Ryan during an Aug. 30 confrontation in the showers of the Estelle Unit in Huntsville. Ryan hit his head on the shower floor. The prisoner was taken to a Houston hospital, where he died on Sept. 12.

The department's Office of the Inspector General said the inmate had spit on Glasper earlier on Aug. 30 and that the guard was told to stay away from the prisoner.

The 22-year-old Glasper is free on a $50,000 bond. Court records didn't list an attorney for him.

INTERIOR-METHANE RULE-THE LATEST

The Latest: States sue over Trump pollution rollback

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Attorneys general from California and New Mexico are suing the Trump administration over its rollback of a rule aimed at reducing pollution from energy drilling on federal lands.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in California on Tuesday. It came just hours after the U.S. Interior Department announced it was rescinding a methane pollution rule proposed under President Barack Obama.

Methane, the main component of natural gas, is frequently wasted through leaks or intentional releases during oil and gas drilling.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says the Trump administration was getting rid of a commonsense measure that would reduce pollution and waste.

Spokeswoman Sarah Lovenheim says it's the 24th lawsuit Becerra has filed against the Trump administration over environmental issues.

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MARTINEZ-TRUMP

New Mexico Gov. Martinez attends White House Hispanic event

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has traveled to Washington to attend a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration hosted by President Donald Trump.

The nation's only Latina governor attended a White House Hispanic Heritage Month event on Monday, days after Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of Albuquerque strongly rejected Trump's invitation over his policies and his previous comments about Latinos.

Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who is running for New Mexico governor to replace Martinez, cited Trump's previous comments he made about Latinos during the 2016 presidential campaign. She also cited Trump's denial about lives lost in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria last year.

Martinez, a once a rising star within the Republican Party, criticized Trump's campaign rhetoric about Mexican immigrants but has warmed up to him in recent months.

AIR FORCE-TRAINER CRASH

Air Force training aircraft crashes near San Antonio mall

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — An Air Force training aircraft has crashed into a vacant field near a San Antonio shopping mall.

An Air Force spokeswoman said the crash happened just before 4 p.m. Tuesday at a vacant field near Rolling Oaks Mall in northeastern San Antonio, about 3½ miles northwest of Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Sgt. Ave (AH'-vay) Young said both pilots aboard the single-engine AT-6 Texan II flying out of Randolph ejected safely.

No damage or injuries were reported on the ground. Young said no cause for the crash or other details were immediately available.

AERIAL TRAMWAY CLOSED

El Paso's landmark Ranger Peak aerial tram closed to public

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — El Paso's landmark Wyler Aerial Tramway, which has carried passengers to the peak of the Franklin Mountains for the past six decades, has been closed to public use indefinitely.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced Tuesday that it has closed the Wyler Aerial Tramway after an engineering study found that the 2,400-foot-long, single-span cable tram with no support towers had exceeded its life expectancy.

The tramway was built originally to carry engineers and maintenance workers to the television transmitters perched atop 5,600-foot Ranger Peak. The Parks and Wildlife Department says it had passed annual inspections but was no longer fit for public use.

About 45,000 visitors each year had boarded the tramway gondolas for a ride to a 360-degree view of El Paso, Ciudad Juarez and southern New Mexico.

SEAWORLD-SEC

SeaWorld, former execs must pay $5 million to settle claim

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — SeaWorld and two former executives have agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle fraud claims that they misled investors over the negative impact the 2013 documentary "Blackfish" had on business.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday announced the proposed settlements which are subject to court approval.

The SEC's complaint alleged SeaWorld and former CEO James Atchison made misleading and false statements or omissions in SEC filings, earnings releases and calls about the documentary's impact on the company's reputation and business.

"Blackfish" chronicled the life of Tilikum, an orca that killed a SeaWorld trainer during a performance in Orlando in 2010.

After the movie's release, SeaWorld faced a declining stock price and attendance.

A SeaWorld spokesman says the company neither admits nor denies the allegations under the settlement.

TEXAS POLICE SHOOTING-TRUCK ALARM

Prosecutor: Texas man mistaken as thief shot with hands up

DALLAS (AP) — A prosecutor says a Dallas-area man mistaken for a thief last year as he tried to unlock his own truck had his hands in the air and was begging not to be shot when a police officer shot him twice.

Dallas County prosecutor Bryan Mitchell told jurors Tuesday during opening statements in the trial of former Mesquite officer Derick Wiley that Lyndo Jones was struck in the back as Jones backed away.

Wiley, who was subsequently fired from the department, is charged with aggravated assault in the Nov. 8 shooting. Jones sustained injuries that required repeated hospital stays.

Authorities have said Jones was shot after officers responded to a report of someone breaking into a vehicle, setting off its alarm.

An attorney for Wiley says he was forced to make a split-second decision.

HOUSTON CRIMES-JUVENILE SUSPECTS

Constable: Children, 12 and 11, suspects in Houston crimes

HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities say 12- and 11-year-old children arrested over the weekend in Houston are part of a group of juveniles responsible for a series of robberies, carjackings and other crimes.

Harris County Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap said in a statement Tuesday that a 14-year-old was arrested a day earlier and that the investigation may yield additional arrests.

Heap says the three children were arrested for their involvement in an attack Sept. 9 on a 76-year-old man who was out for an evening walk. He says the man was beaten with his walking cane by suspects who demanded money at gunpoint before running away.

Authorities are not releasing the names of the suspects because they're juveniles.

Heap says the children may be connected to more than two-dozen crimes reported since May.

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