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South By Southwest Puts New Austin Bike-Sharing Program on a Roll

Austin’s fledging bike-sharing program, B-Cycle, took off during the 2014 South by Southwest festival, racking up nearly 17 times its normal usage and setting a U.S. daily bike-share usage record. Thanks largely to SXSW, Austin B-Cycle, just four months old, shows signs of rivaling San Antonio’s 3-year-old program. 

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In Power Line Dispute, Rancher Questions Wiggle Room

RHOME — Johnny Vinson is not your typical underdog. At 82, he is a rancher who has sold more land than most rural Texans could imagine owning. And he has plenty left to stand on, including more than 3,500 acres in Wise County that have ample room for dozens of gas wells, grazing cattle, a ranch house and staff living quarters. 

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S&P Wins $21.8 Million San Marcos Schools Contract

Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District awarded a $21.8 million contract to Satterfield & Pontikes Construction (S&P) for major renovations and upgrades to six of its facilities. Work will include renovations for energy efficiency, handicap accessibility, interior and exterior upgrades, and site improvements as well as construction of additional new space. 

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Old Drilling Logs Help Researchers Map Brackish Water

Daniel Ortuño pulled a small piece of Texas history from a shelf in a building at the University of Texas at Austin. The yellowing piece of paper said that on Dec. 19, 1951, John L. Boyd began drilling a 1,350-foot-deep oil well through 17 layers of shale and limestone in Crockett County in southwest Texas.


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Farmers fighting wind erosion and continued drought

Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – During the first week of April, parts of the North, East, Central and Rolling Plains regions received from 0.5 inch to 2 inches of rain, according the National Weather Service and reports from Texas A&M extension service personnel. 

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Goals, Saves and Circuits Propel UT Robot Soccer Club

Five toddler-sized robots shuffle toward the net, pursuing a red sphere slightly larger than a baseball, intent on pushing it across the goal line. A few stumble, some veer away. But one persistent player taps the ball just far enough – goal! 

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Texas to Give $2.2 Million to Texas A&M University Wind Energy Center

Texas Business reports: The Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) will advance $2.2 million to the Texas A&M University (TAMU) Wind Energy Center for a collaborative project that brings together researchers from universities across the state to develop and increase the capacity of offshore wind energy technology, and help bring it to market. 

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Texas Expands Closure of Oyster Harvesting Due to Algae

Texas Business reports: The Texas Department of State Health Services is temporarily closing bays along the Texas coast from Matagorda Bay to Corpus Christi Bay to the harvesting of oysters, clams and mussels because of elevated levels of an algae that can produce a toxin in some shellfish. DSHS previously closed the Galveston Bay system to harvesting effective March 13 for the same reason. Commercial and recreational harvesters should not harvest oysters, clams or mussels from these areas until further notice. 

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Regulations Could Harm Texas' Bid for Tesla Plant

Gov. Rick Perry, far from shy in his efforts to reel in jobs from other states — especially California — often declares Texas “wide open for business.” 

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Arming U.S. Agents in Mexico Stalling Trade Agreement

LAREDO — Call it one of the most heralded binational agreements between the United States and Mexico you have probably never heard of.

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Immigrant entrepreneurs contribute significantly to Texas’ economy.

From 2006 to 2010, there were 256,849 new immigrant business owners in Texas, and in 2010, 24.9 percent of all business owners in Texas were foreign-born. Furthermore, from 2007 to 2010, immigrants in Texas founded around 31.3 percent—almost one in three—of all new businesses in the state.

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Texas Comptroller Office Distributes $553 Million in Monthly Sales Tax Revenue to Local Governments

Texas Business reports: AUSTIN--The Texas Comptroller's Office announced that state sales tax revenue in February was $2.2 billion, up 5.8 percent compared to February 2013. 

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Austin Natural Pet Food Company Moves to Become a National Brand

In less than four years, Austin-based Nulo has grown from premium pet food startup to a regional brand available at Texas Whole Foods Markets and some other retailers.


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Cotton acres expected to be way up over 2013

Texas Business reports:  COLLEGE STATION – From all indications, 2014 Texas cotton plantings will be a double-digit percentage increase over those in 2013, according to a Texas A&M extension service agronomist. 

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UT Austin to Become Partner in Construction of World’s Largest Telescope

Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—The University of Texas System Board of Regents Friday authorized UT Austin to spend $50 million in research reserves to participate in building the Giant Magellan Telescope, which will be the world’s largest telescope when it’s completed in 2020.

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Most peaches, other fruits, probably not damaged by freeze

Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – The buds of many peach and other fruit trees were not open enough to be damaged by the latest cold front that stormed through Texas, according to a Texas A&M extension service expert. 

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Retail Sales Growth Slows

Texas Business reports: Retail sales signaled continued growth in February, albeit at a slower pace, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. The sales index remained in positive territory but plunged from 20.7 to 5, its lowest reading in seven months. Inventories rose at a slower pace than in January. 

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Crop prospects not good at this time

Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – Dry topsoil and low subsoil moisture, along with cooler than normal soil temperatures, are having a chilling effect on spring planting, said Travis Miller, Texas A&M extension service agronomist and Texas A&M University soil and crop sciences associate department head, College Station. 

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Texas Service Sector Activity Expands but at a Slower Pace

Texas Business reports: Texas service sector activity continued to reflect expansion in February, according to business executives responding to the Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey. The revenue index, a key measure of state service sector conditions, remained positive but fell from 18.1 to 9.8. 

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Retail Sales Growth Picks Up

Texas Business reports: Retail sales climbed again in January, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. Thesales index rose from 17.4 to 20.7, signaling stronger growth. Inventories rose at a slower pace than in December. 

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West Texas and Coastal Bend ag producers facing challenging conditions

Texas Business reports: COLLEGE STATION – The new year has found many Texas farmers and ranchers in West Texas and the Coastal Bend regions facing the same conditions they have experienced over the last three years: drought. 

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UT Austin Engineer Converts Yeast Cells into ‘Sweet Crude’ Biofuel

AUSTIN--Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering developed a new source of renewable energy, a biofuel, from genetically engineered yeast cells and ordinary table sugar. This yeast produces oils and fats, known as lipids, that can be used in place of petroleum-derived products.


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Research Lays Out Theory for Metamaterials That Act as an Analog Computer

Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—A new study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, The University of Texas at Austin and University of Sannio in Italy shows that metamaterials can be designed to do “photonic calculus” by working like an analog computer. 

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UT Researchers Design First Battery-Powered Invisibility Cloak

Texas Business reports: AUSTIN--Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have proposed the first design of a cloaking device that uses an external source of energy to significantly broaden its bandwidth of operation. 

 
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Texas to Give $1.75 Million to Minimus Spine

Texas Business reports:  The state of Texas plans to give an Austin medical company $1.75 million, according to officials. 

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