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November 25, 2018 - 12:00 am


Fights, escapes, harm: Migrant kids struggle in facilities

HOUSTON (AP) — Records obtained by The Associated Press highlight some of the problems that plague government facilities for immigrant youth.

In one facility, a 6-year-old tried to run away after another boy threw his shoes into the toilet. Three employees had to pull the boy off a fence and carry him back into a building.

In another, a 20-year-old woman who'd lied that she was 17 sneaked a needle out of a sewing class and used it to cut herself.

About 14,000 immigrant children are currently detained in more than 100 facilities nationally, including about 5,900 in Texas. The Trump administration presented the facilities as caring, safe places for immigrant children.


Tijuana mayor declares "humanitarian crisis" over migrants

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city.

Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum says that the Mexican federal government has provided little assistance and he is not going to commit the city's public resources to dealing with the situation.

Gastelum said on Grupo Formula radio Friday that Tijuana does not have the necessary infrastructure to adequately attend to the migrants.

On Thursday, his government issued a statement saying that it was requesting help from the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Gastelum says: "I am not going to spend the money of Tijuana (citizens)."


Man shot, wounded by Texas police

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (AP) — Authorities say a 34-year-old man was shot by police in North Texas after pointing a shotgun at officers.

Grand Prairie police on Saturday identified the man as Daniel Benitez and say he is expected to survive. A department statement says officers were dispatched early Saturday in regards to a person with a weapon at a Grand Prairie residence, where Benitez came out of the home holding a shotgun and a child.

Authorities say the child was released to police uninjured and the man went back into the residence, then came out pointing the firearm at police. The officers fired their weapons, hitting Benitez.

The department says witness told officers that Benitez intended to commit "suicide by cop." The agency statement did not say how many officers opened fire.


Former Texas police chief arraigned on murder charges in NY

SODUS, N.Y. (AP) — A former Texas police chief is being held without bail in a western New York jail after being charged with the murders of two people.

The Wayne County sheriff's office says Timothy Dean was arraigned Friday in connection with the Oct. 22 shootings in Sodus. The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester says the former Sunray, Texas, police chief pleaded not guilty.

The jail didn't have information Saturday on whether Dean has a lawyer who can comment on the case.

The shootings killed Amber Washburn and Joshua Niles, the ex-boyfriend of Dean's wife, Charlene Childers.

She's jailed on conspiracy and weapons charges. A Sunray police officer, Bron Bohlar, is being held on a conspiracy charge.

Police have said the 32-year-old Dean carried out the shooting, while the others helped plan it.


Endangered white rhino on display at South Texas zoo

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The newest member of a South Texas zoo is an endangered white rhino that goes by the name Bebop.

The Brownsville Herald reports that 5-year-old Bebop has joined other endangered white rhinos on display at Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville. The new rhino arrived at the zoo in March from the Center for Conservation of Tropical Ungulates in Punta Gorda, Florida, but underwent quarantine before being introduced to the exhibit.

Zoo executive director Patrick Burchfield says zoo staff is excited to have breeding-age rhinos on site. Burchfield says Gladys Porter Zoo is part of a species survival program for the white rhino.

Zookeepers have placed Bebop in enclosures close to the zoo's other female white rhinos, Abby and Julie.

Burchfield says the zoo hopes Bebop will successfully breed with the females.


Government climate report warns of worsening US disasters

WASHINGTON (AP) — A massive new federal report warns that extreme weather disasters, like California's wildfires and this year's hurricanes, are worsening in the United States.

The White House report quietly issued Friday also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump.

The National Climate Assessment was written long before the California fires and the hurricanes. It warns of more, stronger and longer disasters triggered at least in part by global warming.

Report co-author Katharine Hayhoe says it shows the dangerous weather that scientists said will happen in the United States is already happening.

The report is mandated by law. It also details how people's health and different parts of the economy are being hurt.


Fires, floods and other disasters await new governors

Governors have a wide range of priorities they want to tackle in the coming year, from tax reform to education.

Yet it's a topic that receives less attention on the campaign trail and in their speeches that could determine their success — natural disasters.

In the last two years alone, storms and natural disasters have killed scores of people, damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes and cost tens of billions of dollars.

Wildfires in the West and hurricanes in the South have been especially destructive, and scientists say climate change is making this more common.

As the severity escalates, governors are finding they have to make disaster planning a priority or risk the consequences of inaction defining their terms and enraging voters.


Some families split up at border still detained months later

PHOENIX (AP) — Half a dozen families who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border and then reunited are still detained in Texas.

Immigrant advocates say the government is violating a longstanding legal agreement that bars it from detaining kids past 20 days. They say families with young children who already endured the trauma of separation should not also be held for so many months.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the average length of families' stay at the South Texas Family Residential Center is 17 days and that only families with deportation orders are sometimes held longer.

The families were separated after the Trump administration early this year announced a zero-tolerance policy.

A federal judge in San Diego forced the government to reunite the families by the end of July, although some still remain separated.


Eldorado: Lake Charles riverboat may move ashore

(Information from: The Advocate,

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The owner of two Louisiana riverboat casinos says it may move one near Texas onto land, but probably will leave its Baton Rouge boat afloat.

The Advocate reports that Eldorado Resorts chairman and CEO Gary Carano said in a conference call this month that the company is considering moving the Isle of Capri in Lake Charles. He says work could begin in the second half of 2019, with a land-based opening in 2020.

But he says it's highly unlikely that Eldorado will move the Belle of Baton Rouge's casino into the 80,000-square-foot (7432.2 square-meter) atrium next to the riverboat.

The Baton Rouge market has been slumping since July 2017, while gamblers from Texas have helped boost the three Lake Charles riverboat casinos.

A law passed this year lets riverboat casinos move onshore.



3.8 million Texans projected to have driven over holiday

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — AAA Texas has projected that 3.8 million Texans will have hit the roads over the Thanksgiving weekend, nearly 5 percent more than last year.

The travel group said Friday those drivers can expect to pay $2.27 on average for a gallon of gas, just about what they paid last year. That's about 31 cents lower than the national average and about 7 cents lower than last week.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said travelers can also expect to see state troopers patrolling for drunk drivers, speeders and passengers without seatbelts.

Last year over Thanksgiving, troopers issued more than 73,000 traffic citations and warnings, including 8,449 for speeding. Police also arrested 324 suspected drunk drivers and gave 1,005 seat belt/child safety seat citations as well as 235 felony arrests.

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