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November 16, 2018 - 12:00 am

STABBING DEPUTY-SHOT

Georgia: Deputy fatally shoots man who stabbed him at hotel

(Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says a deputy shot a man who stabbed him multiple times.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Richmond County Sheriff's Deputy Stephan Psillos shot 25-year-old Jack Darrel Fields Jr. of El Paso, Texas. Fields was pronounced dead at the scene. The wounded deputy was taken to Augusta University Medical Center for treatment.

A GBI news release says the sheriff's office was called to a Residence Inn on Thursday night. Psillos responded and encountered Fields in the hotel's lobby.

The statement says Psillos attempted to place handcuffs on Fields, but Fields resisted arrest. It says Fields then pulled a knife from his coat pocket and attacked Psillos, stabbing him several times. Psillos fired his service weapon, striking fields.

An investigation is ongoing.

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ELECTION 2018-TEXAS CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Texas Democrat attends House orientation amid contested race

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones has been in Washington attending orientation for new members of Congress despite Republican incumbent Rep. Will Hurd continuing to hold a lead of 1,000-plus votes in their contested race to represent a sprawling West Texas district.

The race is close enough that Ortiz Jones could seek a recount and still has a couple of weeks to do so. She's more than 1,000 votes behind Hurd out of 209,000 counted.

Ortiz Jones hasn't so far, but also hasn't conceded. Instead, she's saying she's working to ensure that "every vote is counted."

The 800-mile district runs from San Antonio to El Paso and is a perennial battleground. Hurd, who was first elected in 2014, has already declared victory.

ELECTION 2020-CASTRO

Julian Castro says O'Rourke's future no factor in 2020 bid

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Julian Castro says whether he runs in 2020 won't be influenced by whether Texas' other big Democrat, Beto O'Rourke, also makes a bid for the White House.

Castro said Friday he hasn't talked to O'Rourke about what's next after losing a surprisingly close U.S. Senate challenge to Republican Ted Cruz.

Castro was the nation's housing secretary under President Barack Obama and is the former mayor of San Antonio.

The 44-year-old Castro has said he's likely to run for president and expects a crowded field of Democratic contenders. O'Rourke said during his Senate campaign that he didn't see himself running for president, but that hasn't quieted speculation since losing to Cruz by fewer than 3 percentage points.

Castro was speaking in San Antonio at a conference on Mexican American civil rights.

BALTIMORE-POLICE COMMISSIONER

Baltimore mayor picks Fort Worth chief as next top cop

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore's mayor has chosen a Texas police chief as her nominee to lead the city's troubled force, seeking to reign in a soaring pace of homicides and boost public trust in a tattered department.

Mayor Catherine Pugh on Friday picked Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, saying he's led a large police department and was "well versed on training and community engagement." Her spokesman confirmed that she expects Fitzgerald will start working as acting leader in coming days.

He will need to be confirmed by the Baltimore City Council.

Recent years have been tumultuous for Baltimore's police department, where upheaval and leadership instability has become the norm. Fitzgerald would be the fourth leader this year alone.

Baltimore is struggling to implement a consent decree mandating sweeping police reforms.

SERIAL KILLER-INVESTIGATION-THE LATEST

The Latest: 2 Georgia slayings solved after man confesses

DALLAS (AP) — Authorities in Georgia say they have closed the decades-old slayings of two women based on confessions by a man being held in Texas who says he killed as many as 90 people over four decades.

Two Bibb County investigators traveled to Decatur, Texas, to question 78-year-old Samuel Little.

The Bibb County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that one victim was killed in 1977 and another in 1982. In the 1982 case, a woman's body was found in the backyard of a Macon home. She had been strangled. Police identified her as Fredonia Smith.

The 1977 victim was never identified. Her skeletal remains were found at the edge of some woods in a local backyard.

The Bibb County Sheriff's Office says Little gave them specific details and information" linking him to both slayings, and Smith's family was notified about the new developments.

Little was already serving a life sentence in California when he was interviewed by a Texas investigator that resulted in the confessions.

Authorities in Louisiana say they've closed two longstanding murder investigations because of confessions by a man being held in Texas who says he killed as many as 90 people over four decades.

An internal Louisiana State Police memo obtained by The Associated Press says 78-year-old Samuel Little provided details on two killings in the Gulf Coast town of Houma "that only the murderer would have known."

Fifty-nine-year-old Dorothy Richard was found dead in 1982 and the body of 40-year-old Daisy McGuire was discovered in 1996. Both had been strangled.

The memo says Little has confessed to other killings in Louisiana and those claims are being investigated.

Little is being held on a murder charge in West Texas.

He was already serving a life sentence in California when he was interviewed by a Texas investigator that resulted in the confessions.

MIGRANT CARAVAN-TROOPS

Migrants won't see armed soldiers on border

SAN DIEGO (AP) — As thousands of migrants in a caravan of Central American asylum-seekers converge on the doorstep of the United States, what they won't find are armed American soldiers standing guard.

Instead they will see cranes installing towering panels of metal bars and troops wrapping concertina wire around barriers while military helicopters fly overhead, carrying border patrol agents to and from locations along the U.S.-Mexico border.

That's because U.S. military troops are prohibited from carrying out law enforcement duties.

What's more, the bulk of the troops are in Texas — hundreds of miles away from the caravan that started arriving this week in Tijuana on Mexico's border with California after walking and hitching rides for the past month.

PRISON RECORDINGS-THE LATEST

The Latest: Attorney: US Attorney's Office in Kansas stalled

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A court-appointed attorney investigating the use of secretly recorded conversations between prisoners and their attorneys says he was stunned and disappointed when he realized the U.S. Attorney's office in Kansas was not cooperating with his investigation.

David Cohen, an Ohio attorney who was appointed by a federal judge to investigate the matter, testified Friday that he initially believed federal prosecutors were gathering information to help his investigation. He said it was only after several months that he realized that was not true.

Cohen was responding to testimony earlier in the day from Tom Beall, who was acting U.S. attorney in Kansas in the early months of the investigation into whether prosecutors had improperly listened to the recordings.

Beall insisted that his office had not tried to delay or circumvent Cohen's investigation.

Cohen testified at a hearing on a motion to declare the government in contempt for its conduct during the probe.

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HISTORY CURRICULUM-TEXAS

Texas education board OKs retaining Clinton, Keller lessons

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas' Board of Education has approved future changes to the history curriculum that retain lessons on Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller, as well as instruction about how Moses influenced America's Founding Fathers and how clashes over states' rights helped cause the Civil War.

Members gave formal approval Friday to edits "streamlining" how Texas' 5.4 million public school students learn history beginning next year.

They had voted in September to cut Clinton and Keller, but reversed course earlier this week. After discussion Friday, the board approved directing students to consider "the central role of the expansion of slavery" in causing sectionalism, disagreement over state's rights and the Civil War.

Board-sanctioned curriculums can affect what's published in textbooks. Texas is a large enough market that its curriculums can influence other states' materials.

CHURCH SHOOTING-TEXAS-HARASSMENT

Woman who called Texas shooting a hoax committed to facility

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — A judge has committed a 56-year-old woman to a psychiatric facility after she and her boyfriend told a Texas church where a gunman killed more than two-dozen worshippers that the massacre was a hoax.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that U.S. District Judge Richard Farrer on Tuesday ordered that Jodie Mann be committed to a federal prison for mental health treatment. Court records indicate Mann also goes by the name "Conspiracy Granny."

Mann has already spent some months under mental evaluation after she and Robert Ussery in March confronted the pastor at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs , east of San Antonio.

The two face a variety of charges.

Authorities say the man who opened fire at the church last November died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound .

ABILENE NEWSPAPER-FIRE

Reporting goes on after Abilene Reporter-News building fire

ABILENE, Texas (AP) — The staff of a West Texas newspaper has relocated to a nearby building as the reporting continues following a fire that damaged the publication's home.

Personnel from the Abilene Reporter-News were at work Friday at The Grace Museum a day after fire heavily damaged the newspaper's nearly 100-year-old structure. Nobody was hurt.

Editor Greg Jaklewicz , in an email to The Associated Press, said the cause of the fire remains under investigation but was likely electrical. Jaklewicz says restoration crews have begun cleanup. The newspaper's press appears undamaged but will be tested.

The print edition of the Abilene Reporter-News, plus the San Angelo Standard-Times, which was printed in Abilene, will be printed at the Wichita Falls Times Record News facility. All three newspapers are owned by Gannett.

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