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Texas news at midnight CST.
Diana Heidgerd is on the desk after 5 a.m. CST, reachable at 972-991-2100. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-836-9477. If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to email@example.com. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 1-888-273-6867.
BADLY BURNED BOY
HOUSTON — A Southeast Texas man is waiting to learn if he will be tried as an adult for allegedly dousing a boy with gasoline as a teenager in 1998. A three-day hearing in Conroe was held this week to determine if 28-year-old Don Willburn Collins will be tried for murder in the death of Robert Middleton. Collins was 13 at the time. State District Judge Kathleen Hamilton was expected to issue her ruling Thursday morning. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 650 words from hearing scheduled for 8:30 a.m. CST.
AUSTIN, Texas — The last abortion clinics in Beaumont and McAllen are going to close because of tough new restrictions placed on the procedure by Texas lawmakers. The owner of Whole Woman's Health Clinic, Amy Hagstrom Mill, said Thursday that Republican lawmakers had made it impossible to keep the clinics open. By Chris Tomlinson. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words from 12 p.m. CST news conference.
STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS:
TEXAS GOVERNOR'S RACE
AUSTIN, Texas — After her easy victory in the Texas Democratic primary, Wendy Davis, one of the brightest stars of the 2014 campaign, is now embarking on her mission to win the governor's office and revive her party's fortunes in the heart of conservative America. Already, Texas politics has never seen anyone like her: a dynamo with a trailer park-to-Harvard Law story who makes nationwide donors swoon. But Davis' chances in the general election in November remain a longshot: she faces a Republican opponent, Greg Abbott, the state's attorney general, who would be formidable even without the advantage of Texas' solidly conservative electorate. By Paul J. Weber. SENT: 800 words, photos.
— GOVERNOR'S RACE-DAVIS — Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis says she's not disappointed turnout among her party's primary voters wasn't stronger — even amid a major organizing push. SENT: 130 words.
AUSTIN, Texas — Firebrand U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who previously refused to endorse colleague John Cornyn, has reversed course and formally offered his support after a resounding Cornyn victory in Texas' Republican primary. Cruz congratulated Cornyn via Facebook, writing "John is a friend and a good man" who he was "proud" to endorse. By Will Weissert. SENT: 350 words, photos.
AROUND THE STATE:
DISABLED CRUISE SHIP
MIAMI — About three dozen passengers who sailed on the ill-fated Carnival Triumph cruise ship that drifted at sea for days are hoping to collect thousands of dollars apiece as a result of lingering medical and mental problems they say were caused by their nightmarish experience. Their lawsuit, the first to go to trial since the February 2013 cruise that departed Galveston, Texas, is being vigorously defended by Miami-based Carnival Corp., which contends the passengers cannot show such problems as kidney stones, post-traumatic stress disorder and scratchy throats are linked to unsanitary conditions or the fire that disabled the engine. By Legal Affairs Writer Curt Anderson. SENT: 1120 words, photos.
DALLAS — Federal prosecutors have moved to dismiss most of an indictment accusing a Dallas man linked to the hacking collective Anonymous of posting an Internet link to stolen information. Barrett Lancaster Brown still faces three separate indictments that carry the specter of decades of prison time. By Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 350 words.
TEXAS TEACHER KILLED
CARLSBAD, N.M. — The boyfriend of a Dallas-area teacher found dead in southeastern New Mexico has been arrested after telling investigators they fought before he bludgeoned her and then used his car to drag her unconscious body with a rope tied around her neck, police said. SENT: 360 words.
WASHINGTON — Essay optional. No penalties for wrong answers. The SAT college entrance exam is undergoing sweeping revisions. Changes in the annual test that millions of students take will also do away with some vocabulary words such as "prevaricator" and "sagacious" in favor of words more commonly used in school and on the job. The test should offer "worthy challenges, not artificial obstacles," said College Board President David Coleman at an event in Austin, Texas. By Education Writer Kimberly Hefling. SENT: 100 words, photos. Listed on previous digest as SAT UPGRADE
MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULTS
WASHINGTON — The Senate is heading for a showdown over legislation to curb sexual assaults in the military by stripping senior commanders of their authority to prosecute rapes and other serious offenses. A highly anticipated vote sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, could come as early as Thursday. The Pentagon's top brass firmly opposes the measure, arguing officers should have more responsibility, not less, for the conduct of troops they lead. Gillibrand has won the support of 54 of her Senate colleagues. However, she'll likely need 60 votes to clear a procedural hurdle that could prevent the Senate from even voting on her bill. She wants case information from four major U.S. bases, including Fort Hood in Texas. By Richard Lardner. SENT: 840 words.
NEW YORK — Exxon Mobil says it will cut capital spending by 6 percent this year but still boost production of liquids such as oil by 2 percent. The nation's biggest oil company said it will spend $39.8 billion on energy projects and other costs this year, down from $42.5 billion last year. Irving, Texas-based Exxon says if it doesn't make acquisitions, annual spending will average less than $37 billion from 2015 to 2017. SENT: 330 words.
— ERCOT-ENERGY SUPPLY — The operator of the electric distribution grid for most of Texas says the launch this summer of new generating plants will ease high demand in the coming months that could require conservation measures. SENT: 130 words.
— TRADING CHILD PORN — Federal prosecutors say a Dallas man found with more than 2,500 images and videos of child pornography has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. SENT: 110 words.
— MEXICO-DRUG WAR — A Mexican judge has denied drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman an injunction against any extradition to the United States. SENT: 130 words.
— FAULK AWARD-DECHERD — Retired A.H. Belo Corporation CEO Robert Decherd and his wife, Maureen, have been named recipients of the John Henry Faulk Award for Civic Virtue. SENT: 130 words.
— DALLAS AIRPORT GATES — Virgin America wants two gates at Dallas Love Field that American Airlines is giving up. SENT: 130 words.
— BROWN PALACE SOLD — Denver's historic Brown Palace Hotel has been sold to Crow Holdings Capital Partners, part of Dallas real estate giant Trammel Crow. SENT: 130 words.
— TEXAS CHEERLEADER-PROM — It took 10,000 retweets but a Houston-area teenager got his dream date for the high school prom: A Houston Texans cheerleader. SENT: 130 words. Moving on general and sports news services.
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