Good morning! Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today in Texas. Questions about today's coverage plans are welcome, and should be directed to 972-991-2100.
A reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.
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BASTROP, Texas — A summer military training exercise that has aroused alarm among archconservative Texans begins Wednesday outside the Central Texas town of Bastrop. Summer military training exercises are common, and Jade Helm 15 will extend across seven Southwestern states. However, marking Texas one of two "hostile" territories for training purposes prompted conspiracy theories of martial law and firearms confiscations. Gov. Greg Abbott gave a nod to the panic when he directed the Texas State Guard to monitor the operation. On Tuesday, Abbott's staff said monitoring will consist of daily briefings in Austin. However, civilian volunteers say they'll shadow military movements around Texas. SENT: 130 words. By Paul J. Weber. UPCOMING: Will develop.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — When firefighters responded to a call about smoke coming from a home in Tyler, they found inside the burned body of a 93-year-old woman who lived there alone. Authorities determined Cecelia Schneider had been beaten and stabbed with a knife from her own kitchen before her body and her bed separately were set on fire. Her missing car, wrecked and abandoned, was found later that day. Clifton Lamar Williams, a 21-year-old man whose fingerprint and blood were found inside the car, was arrested about a week later. On Thursday, Williams, now 31, was set for lethal injection for Schneider's July 2005 slaying. By Michael Graczyk. UPCOMING: 500 words by 11:30 a.m. AP Photo.
ONLINE SAFE ZONES
BOSTON — Michele Velleman needed to sell a Zumba dance fitness kit, a cellphone and a table through Facebook. So she found buyers on Facebook and made the trades at — where else? — the police station. "It is always a little nerve-racking when you go to someone's house. It's in the back of your mind: 'I hope this person is OK and everything turns out all right,' said Velleman, 44, a pharmaceutical executive assistant for a pharmaceutical company who lives north of Boston in Georgetown. Online safe zones" like the one Velleman uses are popping up at police stations nationwide as authorities try to clamp down on crime associated with online trade between strangers. More than 100 police departments now provide space in their lobbies or parking lots where people can make their deals and know that police are only feet away."The citizens have eaten it up," said police Capt. Mike McCoy in Fulshear, Texas, west of Houston. By Denise Lavoie. SENT: 694 words, with photos.
— GOP 2016-RAND PAUL-TEXAS — Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is returning to Texas for a campaign rally in the part of Texas where he grew up. Paul will speak at a "Stand With Rand Rally" on Wednesday afternoon at a downtown Houston hotel.
— MAN-DEATH-SNAKE — Investigators say a man found with puncture wounds on his wrist and a snake in his vehicle has died at a Texas hospital.
— SECURITY GUARD KILLED — A security guard has been fatally shot at a condominium complex in southeast Houston.
— HOUSTON-SUSPECTS KILLED — An armed man accused of attempting to rob a north Houston liquor store has been killed during a struggle with a store employee.
— CADDO DRUG INVESTIGATIONS — Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator and Shreveport Police Chief Willie Shaw say two drug investigations brought 14 arrests.
— PHARR-STASH HOUSE — Three men linked to a South Texas stash house must each serve nearly 22 years in prison for holding Mexican immigrants for ransom.
EARNS-DELTA AIR LINES
DALLAS — Delta Air Lines' second-quarter profit nearly doubled, to $1.5 billion, as huge savings on fuel offset weak growth in revenue. The company predicted a record quarter when it next reports financial results, in October. Profits are soaring as airlines keep planes full by not adding too many new flights. That has caught the attention of the U.S. Justice Department, which is investigating whether the airlines are illegally working together to prop up prices by limiting the number of flights. By David Koenig. SENT: 420 words, with photo.
LOS ANGELES — It's no secret that Jennifer Aniston has long been J.J. Watt's celebrity crush. The Houston Texans star had just never connected with her. Until now. Watt finally met the "Friends" star on Monday in Los Angeles, where they are represented by the same talent agency. He was there speaking to the agency's employees and was asked if there was anything they could do for him. Watt didn't hesitate, bringing up his self-described "lifelong goal" of meeting the 46-year-old actress, whom he's mentioned frequently on his social media. She happened to be in the building that day and they were brought together. By Beth Harris. SENT: 290 words.
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