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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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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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San Antonio’s Shore Terminals Wins $32.3 Million Energy Storage Contract

Texas Business reports:  A San Antonio firm won a $32.3 million military contract, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

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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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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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TxDOT, San Antonio Transportation Leaders Unveil Plan for More Than $800 Million to Fund Major Road Projects

Texas Business reports:  SAN ANTONIO—Noting San Antonio drivers waste more than 40 million hours annually sitting in traffic on some regional roadways, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, VIA Metropolitan Transit, city of San Antonio and Bexar County leaders today unveiled a plan to allocate more than $800 million to fund expansions of I-10, US 281 and Loop 1604. 


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TxDOT, San Antonio Transportation Leaders Unveil Plan for More Than $800 Million to Fund Major Road Projects

Texas Business reports:  SAN ANTONIO—Noting San Antonio drivers waste more than 40 million hours annually sitting in traffic on some regional roadways, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, VIA Metropolitan Transit, city of San Antonio and Bexar County leaders today unveiled a plan to allocate more than $800 million to fund expansions of I-10, US 281 and Loop 1604. 


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San Antonio’s CoStar Wins $9.8 Million Contract Change

Texas Business reports:  A San Antonio firm won a $9.8 million military contract change, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.


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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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Texas Service Sector Activity Strengthens Further

Texas Business reports: Texas service sector growth picked up in January, according to business executives responding to the Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey. The revenue index, a key measure of state service sector conditions, rose slightly from 16.8 to 18.1, its highest reading since February 2012. 

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TxDOT Taking Steps to Further Explore High-Speed Rail

As the potential for high-speed rail projects in Texas draws more interest than it has in decades, the Texas Department of Transportation is moving forward this week on two different efforts to give the concept a fair shake.


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Officials Discussing Texas-Mexico High-Speed Rail Line

A high-speed rail line connecting San Antonio and Monterrey, Mexico, could be less than a decade away from welcoming its first passengers, according to federal and Texas officials who met with Mexican officials in Washington, D.C., recently to discuss the project. 

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Bison Ranching Creating New Challenges, Changes in Texas

Donnis Baggett’s relationship with bison began about the same time his relationship with his wife did.

After he married Beverly Brown in 2004, Baggett sold his cattle ranch and started raising bison with his bride, whose family owned the Lucky B Bison Ranch in Bryan. At the time, it was a fairly novel hobby. Now, the Lucky B is booming, one of many bison ranches in Texas.

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Keystone XL Southern Leg Nears Activation

Time is quickly running out for Texans fighting the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.

As its operator prepares to start pumping crude oil underground from Cushing, Okla., to refineries on Texas’ Gulf Coast, citizen activists are calling for more testing of the line, saying that months-old warning letters sent by federal regulators to the pipeline's operator provide reason for concern about the line’s integrity. 

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