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Here is the latest Texas news from The Associated Press

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Posted: Aug 18, 2013 5:30 AM

Updated: Aug 18, 2013 5:31 AM

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Drought, hail and blowing sand have robbed the world's largest contiguous cotton-growing patch of 50 percent of its acreage this year. Preliminary numbers released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that cotton producers in West Texas' South Plains are forecast to harvest 1.86 million acres, down from the 3.7 million they planted in the spring.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) The Texas prison system is paying $750,000 for climate-controlled barns for use in its pig farming program. The Austin American-Statesman reports the purchases come as the system faces lawsuits, criticism and complaints by inmates and guards about extreme heat. At least 14 inmate deaths have been blamed on extreme heat averaging 120 degrees in the past six years.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) If Texas A and M's scrimmage last night at Kyle Field was an indication, the Aggies have every intention of playing Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel in the August 31st opener against Rice. Manziel took the majority of snaps yesterday in the Aggies' first and likely only open scrimmage of preseason.

MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexican authorities say a key leader of the Gulf Cartel has been arrested after a major confrontation near the Texas border. An armed forces officer says the leader has been taken to Mexico City. Mexican media reported yesterday that it is Mario Armando Ramirez Trevino, leader of the Gulf Cartel in Reynosa, who is blamed for much of the violence in the city that borders McAllen.

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