Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Mexican Food: The Short List No, we're not going to debate the difference between Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mexican and Texican food. Just know these establishments are the pinnacle of Texas Mexican fare. No brag, just fact. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Burgers Texas Burgers. . While a hamburger is merely sustenance and gratification for a meal, the memory a good Texas burger can give rise to Homeric odes. The short list. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Texas Business reports: FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla—iTalk Inc., a provider of advanced communications and mobile broadband services, acquired ITG, Inc., an established 17-year-old Texas-based international telecommunications company.
Texas Business reports: EL PASO, Texas—U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin officials commissioned the first U.S. Department of Defense grid-tied microgrid integrating both renewable resources and energy storage at Fort Bliss, Texas. The project was funded by the DoD's Environmental Security Technology Certification Program.
Texas Business reports: HARLINGEN, Texas—Construction is expected to begin early next year on the new La Paloma Power Plant, to be located in the Harlingen Industrial Park in Harlingen, Texas located along the US-Mexico border near the Gulf of Mexico, in deep South Texas.
Texas may have built a reputation as the energy capital of America, but in some parts of the state, like Midland and South Texas, the oil and gas boom has actually driven electric prices up — substantially.
When Ralph Carrasco was considering adding a chimney to his new home in far east El Paso County’s Montana Vista subdivision in November, he got some startling news from his builder, and it was not about the estimated price of the project. The area’s giant utility monopoly was looking to set up shop less than a half-mile from his house.
Texas Business reports: DALLAS—Generational Capital Markets Inc., a mergers and acquisitions advisor for privately-held businesses, announced HD Supply Waterworks, acquired substantially all the assets of their client, Water Products of Oklahoma Inc., Arkansas Water Products LLC, and Municipal Water Works Supply LP (collectively doing business as "Water Products").
Texas Business reports: The Texas Comptroller's office announced announced another round of grants for 11 community colleges and technical institutes totaling $3 million, which will be used to purchase equipment and train students to enter the workforce.
Texas Business reports: A Texas region containing four of the world's largest wind farms showed an increase in land surface temperature over nine years that researchers have connected to local meteorological effects of the turbines.
Texas Business reports: AMARILLO—enXco, an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company, and Cielo Wind Power LP announced that enXco signed a purchase agreement to acquire from a Cielo affiliate the development assets for the Spinning Spur Wind Project.
Texas Business reports: DALLAS—Energy Transfer Partners LP closed its previously announced agreement with AmeriGas Partners LP to sell its propane operations, consisting of Heritage Operating LP and Titan Energy Partners LP in exchange for approximately $2.85 billion.
Texas Business reports: HOUSTON—Quanta Services Inc. announced that it has been selected by American Electric Power to provide transmission infrastructure services for two AEP Transmission Company subsidiaries.
Texas Business reports: DALLAS—Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the first Texas Greenhouse Gas (GHG) permit for the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant in Llano County, Texas.
Texas Business reports: HOUSTON—Direct Energy, one of North America's largest competitive energy and energy-related services providers, has finalized its acquisition of residential and commercial energy retailer First Choice Power for $270 million in cash, plus additional working capital.
Texas Business reports: GAINESVILLE—Wind Energy Services Company (WES), a provider of composite repair and maintenance services for wind farm operations, established partnering agreements with three turbine component manufacturing facilities, all entities of the Molded Fiber Glass Companies.
Texas Business reports: Duke Energy announced agreements with Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to provide wind turbines for the two phases of Duke Energy's Los Vientos Windpower Project in Willacy County, Texas.
Texas Business reports: HOUSTON and NEW YORK—The Riverstone/Carlyle Global Energy and Power Funds, a group of energy-focused private equity funds managed by Riverstone Holdings LLC announced that one of its indirect special-purpose subsidiaries, Sapphire Power Holdings, has completed the acquisition of a 778-megawatt portfolio of gas-fired power generation facilities from the Morris Energy Group, a private power generation company headquartered in Eatontown, New Jersey.
ERCOT in level 1 emergency through 7 PM Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), system operator for the state’s bulk transmission grid, initiated Energy Emergency Alert Level 1 this afternoon due to responsive reserves below 2,300 megawatts (MW). Capacity is expected to be very tight over the peak today, and ERCOT operators are closely monitoring the situation.Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—The Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. (ERCOT), system operator for the state’s bulk transmission grid, initiated Energy Emergency Alert Level 1 at 1:45 p.m. today due to responsive reserves below 2,300 megawatts (MW).
Texas Business reports: The Shaw Group Inc. renewed a contract with STP Nuclear Operating Company to provide maintenance and modification services, including craft labor management, to operating units 1 and 2 of its nuclear power facility.
Texas Business reports: Texas Tech, Sandia National Laboratories and Group NIRE will operate a facility that will primarily perform research and development (R&D) work in turbine-to-turbine interactions and will evaluate innovative rotor technologies.
Texas Business reports:San Antonio—Summit Power Group’s Texas Clean Energy Project (TCEP) will enter into a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the country’s largest municipally owned natural gas and electric utility, CPS Energy.
Texas Business reports:GRAPEVINE—Greenhunter Energy Inc., a diversified renewable energy company focused on water resource management, biomass power generation, wind and solar energy projects, closed a non-brokered private placement of 522,500 units of GreenHunter Energy Inc. at a price of $2.00 per unit, for aggregate gross proceeds of $1,045,000.
Texas Business reports: Baltimore-based Constellation Energy, signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire 100 percent of StarTex Power, a Houston retail electric provider with approximately 170,000 customers.
Texas Business reports:San Antonio—Here Enterprises Inc., a developer of wind energy, is moving forward with its objective of generating profitable and clean wind energy at its Cycle Ranch project in Floresville, Texas.
Texas Business reports: TXU Energy plans to install 70 electric vehicle charging locations in Dallas/Fort Worth and 50 in Houston by the end of 2012 with half in place in the eVgo Network by this summer, officials announced.
Texas Business reports: The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which initiated controversial rolling blackouts in early February, released the final list of forced outages during last month’s severe weather event.
Texas Business reports: Nuclear Innovation North America LLC (NINA), the nuclear development company jointly owned by NRG Energy Inc. and Toshiba Corporation is reducing the scope of development units 3 and 4 at the South Texas Project expansion to allow time for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and other nuclear stakeholders to assess the lessons that can be learned from the events in Japan.
Texas Business reports: Kentucky’s Dynastar Ventures Inc., a direct selling company focused on the sale of electricity and natural gas services to commercial and residential customers, reached an agreement to buy My Affordable Energy LLC, a Texas-based direct selling company focused on selling energy services.
Texas Business reports: Oncor, the electric transmission and distribution company serving most of North Texas, is in the process of temporarily turning off power across its service territory to compensate for unexpected generation loss in the areas of the state served by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
Texas Business reports: The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has instructed utilities to begin rotating outages to compensate for a generation shortage due to numerous plant trips that occurred because of the extreme weather.
Uvalde Water District Rule Check Texas Business notes this Texas Attorney General's Opinion that discusses whether the conflict of interest provisions of chapter 171, Local Government Code, required two board members of the Uvalde County Underground Water Conservation District to disclose their respective interests and abstain from voting on a district rule.
Fighting the Power Lines to Protect Hill Country Vistas Texas Business notes this story by Kate Galbraith of the Texas Tribune: As Robert Weatherford's Ford Expedition climbs and dips through the Hill Country, over creeks beds and past oak-coveredslopes, he explains the sensitivities of the residentswho populate this rugged yet placid area of Central Texas.Full Story »
Atmos energy bills likely to increase Texas Business notes this story by Jessica Langdon of the Wichita Falls Times Record News: Atmos customers in Wichita Falls as well as in other areas will likely see some slight increases to their monthly bills.Full Story »
Is Longhorn Electricity Worth It? Texas Business recommends this story by Kate Galbraith of the Texas Tribune: When Longhorn football kicks off at home a week from Saturday, so will a brand-new marketing effort aimed at peddling, of all things, green electricity.Full Story »
August heat sparks record electricity use Texas Business notes this story from the McAllen Monitor: McALLEN — The demand for electricity on Texas’ largest electric grid surged through another milestone Monday, the fourth straight week of record-setting usage.Full Story »
Texas Business recommends this story by Zeke MacCormack of the San Antonio Express-News:A controversial 345-kilovolt transmission line proposed between Gillespie and Lampasas counties isn't needed to meet the state's current electric demands.
Texas Business recommends this story by Laylan Copelin of the Austin American-Statesman:Two state lawmakers Monday warned the board the Pedernales Electric Cooperative that its recent actions, including the firing of General Manager Juan Garza, will require legislative action to protect members.
TexasBusiness.com notes: Texans consumed a record amount of electricity Wednesday, according to the operators of the state's electric grid. Usage hit 63,594 megawatts between 4 and 5 p.m., exceeding the previous record of 63,400 megawatts, recorded July 13, 2009, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, reports Mitch Mitchell of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
TexasBusiness.com notes:WEATHERFORD – Summer in Texas usually feels like hell, but no one ever thought it would get this bad.A water-main break left this city of 28,000 without running water Monday. Faucets dried up and toilets wouldn't flush. People flocked to emergency locations for cases of bottled water to get them through what Parker County declared "a local state of disaster,” reports Tara Luna and Scott K. Parks of the Dallas Morning News.
TexasBusiness.com notes: Xcel Energy is asking consumers to cut back on using electricity to make sure the utility can keep the lights on and especially air conditioners running, reports Kevin Welch of the Amarillo Globe-News.
Texas Longhorns have joined the energy business TexasBusiness.com notes this story by USA Today: As college sports programs seek to plug into new revenue streams the University of Texas may have made an electrifying leap to the front of the pack. Texas today announced a partnership with the Dallas-based Branded Retail Energy Company to create Texas Longhorns Energy (TLE). The goal is to provide what's being billed as "100% renewable energy" to Texas alumni and fans in deregulated areas of the state. Every time a new customer signs on the Longhorns athletic department will get a cut. Full Story »
Rain hinders Pantex operations No public safety issues spotted from floods Heavy rains caused tens of millions of dollars in damage to equipment and buildings at the Pantex Plant, hampering and possibly delaying key nuclear weapons work, officials confirmed Friday. The National Nuclear Security Administration is still compiling damage estimates, but officials plan to seek more federal funding to repair the damage, reports Jim McBride of the Amarillo Globe-News. Full Story »
Landowners back power route Miles of open country. Fields of pasture and mesquite. Maybe cultivated farmland or a fence. Little to gaze at except open range. Eyes peering just west of San Angelo, however, are about to find a new element in the skyline: transmission lines, something that the state of Texas has deemed necessary as the state’s population and electricity needs increase, reports Matthew Waller of the San Angelo Standard -Times. Full Story »
Border States Electric exits Mexico EL PASO -- Border States Electric, a North Dakota-based distributor of electrical products, sold its Juárez branch, reports the El Paso Times. The branch sale to ABSA del Norte was completed June 30.Full Story »
Cut line halts Hallsville internet and phone usage HALLSVILLE — The Internet came to a standstill and telephones in much of the city went silent for much of Wednesday after construction crews cut an AT&T fiber-optic line, reports Robyn Claridy of the Longview News-Journal.
PUC poised to finalize power line The Public Utility Commission of Texas is expected to release its final order soon clearing the way for a new 375-kilovolt transmission line across two West Texas counties, reports the San Angelo Standard-Times. Full Story »
Texas Mulls More Nuclear Reactors Seventeen years ago, Texas turned on its last nuclear reactor, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth. In another decade, several more reactors could get built here — if events in Washington go the power companies' way, reports Kate Galbraith of the Texas Tribune. Full Story »
Plans for Santa Teresa power plant downsized The solar plant to be built in Santa Teresa for El Paso Electric Co. has been substantially downsized and the technology changed because the builder could not get sufficient financing, reports Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times.Full Story »
The Texas News Scrawl is a handy reference to stories Texas Business recommends from other news sources. Some of the stories that Texas Business currently suggests include: Southwest Airlines wants American Airlines’ two gates at Love Field; Rule could mean lights out in Texas; Free encyclopedia called in lawyers after 300 'sock puppet' accounts were traced to Texas firm; The economics of Marfa; Famed Austin Nightclub Is Sold; Cinemark opening Movie Bistro in El Paso; Blockbuster Fades Out, But Some Texas Zombie Stores Will Live On; IBM debuts major new Austin design studioMexican Coke to Go the Way of Dublin Dr Pepper;and more.