Take a look at the news in and around Odessa on Thursday, Jan. 18. Find complete local news coverage in the Odessa American every day, online at oaoa.com and our daily E-Edition at myoaoa.com.

1. City officials could hire an outside consultant to study an economic development zone for downtown Odessa, after an internal study suggested such a strategy aimed at helping to pay for downtown improvement might produce modest returns to invest in the area.

2. The three candidates vying for the State Senate District 31 spot squared off at an Ector County Republican Women’s forum at the Odessa Country Club Wednesday talking about everything from taxes and education reform to the quest for limited government.

3. A man who reportedly sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl from his church multiple times will face a pre-trial hearing at 10 a.m. today.

4. The Odessa Police Department has identified a person of interest in an aggravated robbery Tuesday at 7-Eleven, 3900 Tanglewood Lane.

5. The Odessa Police Department charged a woman Tuesday after she reportedly cut her wife with a knife at a bus stop.