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Texas News Scrawl | John Council,Claire Suddath,Jamie Laughlin,Allen St. John,Mose Buchele,Kate Galbraith,Matt Goodman,Laurel Brubaker Calkins,Molly Hennessy-Fiske,Justin Cheatham,Brenda Sapino Jeffreys,Vic Kolenc,Susan McFarland,Kirk Ladendorf,Brittany Semadeni,Julien Aguilar,Todd Martens,John T. Davis,Kiah Collier,Chris Moran,Steve Campbell,David Barron,Dathan Hull,Camille M. Doty,Randy Lewis,Elinor Mills,David Barron,Courtney Zavala,Brantley Hargrove,Joy Sewing

Photo by Karnegie Musa. Copyright 2011.

Stories from other sources that Texas Business recommends:  

Carnival Cruise Ship Ordered Held in Texas in Shipwreck Suit by Laurel Brubaker Calkins of Bloomberg Businessweek.  A Carnival Corpcruise ship was ordered held in a Texas port by a U.S. judge in a $10 million lawsuit filed by the family of a German tourist who died aboard the Costa Concordia shipwreck off the coast of Italy. An arrest warrant was issued yesterday for the MS Carnival Triumph, a cruise liner based in Galveston, Texas, according to the lawsuit also filed in federal court in Galveston by the family of Siglinde Stumpf.

Arbitration Shoot 'Em Up: Vacatur of $7.3 Million Award Will Lead to 5th Circuit Showdown by John Council of Texas Lawyer.   A federal judge's recent decision to vacate an arbitration award has set up a crucial question for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: How far can an arbitrator go to resolve a dispute in a way not contemplated in a contract between parties? Lynne Liberato, who represents the plaintiff in Timegate Studios Inc. v. Southpeak Interactive, et al., a vacatur proceeding, says the question is fundamental for the 5th Circuit because "if the vacatur isn't affirmed, then virtually no vacatur can be affirmed."  

Q&A: The Attorney's Bizarre and Entertaining Motion Against BP by Claire Suddath of Bloomberg Businessweek.  “Buddy Trahan needs a ride.”  That’s not the first line of a book. It’s a legal document.

Real World Is Casting In Dallas On April 7: Start Planning Your Stereotype Persona by Jamie Laughlin of the Dallas Observer.  Grab your pigs' hearts and go off your meds, because Real World's casting department is coming to find local talent for Season 28. The round-up happens April 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Red Rock Bar and Grill (18110 Midway Road, #208, Dallas).

Stretching the fuel lifespan by the Santa Maria Times. If you’ve ever driven through West Texas on Interstate 10, you’ve seen the Permian Basin in all its stark beauty. After you leave the hustle and bustle and big-rig traffic of El Paso, heading east, you encounter mile after mile of what appears to be almost nothing — desert desolation. 

Black Gold, Texas Tea: Earl Scruggs, Dead at 88, Exalted the Banjo by Allen St. John for Forbes. What do you call a guy who hangs around musicians? A banjo player.

EPA Rule May Spur Rush to Build Coal Plants in Texas by Mose Buchele of KUT News. The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced rules limiting carbon pollution from new power plants nationwide. As Mose Buchele of KUT News reports for StateImpact Texas, plants may start scrambling to begin construction before the regulations take effect.

Texas Farmers Watered Crops Knowing They Wouldn't Grow by Kate Galbraith of the Texas Tribune. Last summer, during the height of the drought, West Texas farmers kept watering their cotton crops despite knowing they wouldn't grow. They needed to do so to qualify for federal crop insurance.

Fort Hood Neighborhood Gets Solar Power Tuesday by Matt Goodman of CBS-DFW.com FORT HOOD—Tucked away just to the east of the on-post neighborhood it’ll soon help power, four gravelly acres have been claimed by about 3,000 solar panels. To hear project organizers tell it, the hope is that the new solar park will spark an interest in renewable energy –– not just at this behemoth Central Texas Army post, but at military facilities across the nation.

Pink slime' maker suspends some plant operations by the Associated Press. LUBBOCK, TEXAS — The maker of "pink slime" suspended operations Monday at all but one plant where the beef ingredient is made, acknowledging recent public uproar over the product has cost the company business. 

 Petrobras America Sues Over Broken Chain on Gulf Oil System by  Laurel Brubaker Calkins of Bloomberg. Petrobras America Inc. sued marine chain-maker Vicinay Cadenas SA for at least $180 million over losses allegedly caused by a broken chain that let parts of a floating oil production system sink and drift away in the Gulf of Mexico last year. The Houston-based unit of Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA accused Vicinay of hiding “unauthorized and defective repair welds’’ in a set of marine chains the Spanish firm designed and built to serve a floating production system at the company’s Cascade and Chinook oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico.

Couple Turns Their Goats Into Gold by KWTX. WACO—The Caprino Royale Farmstead Dairy in Waco is a place with an original name and even more original goats. "I'm kind of a James Bond fan so we took a play off of the movie Casino Royale and put Caprino Royale because 'caprin' is the technical name for goats," said Eric Tippit, owner of Caprino Royale.

Domino effect consumes a Texas town by Molly Hennessy-Fiske of the Los Angeles Times. HALLETTSVILLE, TEXAS - The older man in the Dallas Cowboys cap and plaid western shirt swirled dominoes across the glossy card table. Dozens of players did the same and a cacophony rose from the tables arranged across the Knights of Columbus Hall. "Are you enjoying beating us old folks?" 70-year-old Louis Eames asked above the din.

Rockwall Council looks at city airport by Justin Cheatham of the Rockwall Herald-Banner. ROCKWALL — Rockwall Municipal Airport will be receiving a feasibility study approved by the city council March 19, and funded by the Rockwall Economic Development Corporation. 

Bankruptcy Filings Drop In Texas by Brenda Sapino Jeffreys of Texas Lawyer.  Bankruptcy filings dropped by double-digits in Texas in 2011 compared to 2010, but lawyers nonetheless are staying busy. Business and consumer bankruptcy filings in Texas totaled 51,955 in 2011, down 10.8 percent from 58,242 in 2010, according to data made public on Feb. 7 by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Former El Paso Electric top exec looking for a job, sells stock for $2.7M by Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times. David Stevens, who early this month left his job as El Paso Electric's chief executive officer to take what company officials said was another job with an undisclosed company, apparently has no other job. Stevens, in an email he sent this week to various people and which was obtained by the El Paso Times, said he's job hunting.

Can the Texas Rangers' new $26 hot dog pinch hit? by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  The sad thing is ... I'll have to try this. Your two-time AL Champion Texas Rangers will not only be rolling out the most expensive Japanese baseball import ever in Yu Darvish this spring, but the most expensive hot dog in the history of gluttony as well. 

Austin leads nation in job creation since 2004 by Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman.  Even before Apple Inc. showed up with its proposal to create 3,600 new jobs in town, Austin has been doing better than almost any other major urban area in the country at expanding its employment base. Revised employment figures released a few weeks ago confirmed the trend. Austin ranked No. 1 among the nation's 50 largest metro areas in job growth over the past eight years

Texas City Manager Trims Payroll by Laying Himself Off by Susan McFarland of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. KELLER -- Keller City Manager Dan O'Leary decided that someone from the top management ranks at City Hall had to go. So the person he laid off was himself. 

Apple's Austin expansion not a 'done deal' unless city approves incentive by Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman. Austin could still miss out on a proposed Apple Inc. expansion that would create 3,600 jobs if the city doesn't sign off on proposed incentives for the company, say city leaders and economic development officials. Responding to claims that Apple was always going to locate its Americas Operations Center here and no incentives were needed, the city's top business recruiters say they believe Apple did, in fact, have multiple potential sites for the facility — with Phoenix among those in contention. 

Fort Hood: Nearly 100 Structures Set For Demolition by Brittany Semadeni of KWTX.  FORT HOOD—Work has already gotten underway to demolish a total of about 70 structures, making room for a new family housing unit. According to Fort Hood officials, maintaining many of the 70-year-old structures in recent years has proven to not be cost-efficient.

Opponents in Border County Aim to Stop Coal Rail Plan by Julián Aguilar of the Texas Tribune. If members of the Maverick County Environmental and Public Health Association live by the adage that when it rains it pours, in their eyes the next set of thunderstorms could come in the form of rail cars loaded with low-grade coal running through the border county. The group has spearheaded a fight against a company whose Mexican investors and American subsidiaries want to mine about 6,300 acres of land for low-quality coal within the county.

At SXSW music festival, money talk abounds by Todd Martens of the Los Angeles Times. A six-story-tall Doritos vending machine served as the backdrop for performances by artists such as Snoop Dog, White Denim and Mystikal at last week's South by Southwest Festival and Conference in Austin, Texas. It was perhaps the most impressive display of corporate sponsorship at the annual festival, which started out 25 years ago as a way to showcase indie bands but has since become a massive, mainstream music event.

Second CyrusOne data center in Austin completed by Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman.  CyrusOne has completed its second data center in Austin with the possibility of more to follow.The Houston company, which is a subsidiary of Cincinnati Bell, now has nine operating data centers in Texas, with a 10th nearing completion in San Antonio.

Burleson hopes to get boost from campground's water park by Elizabeth Campbell of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. With gas prices climbing, Burleson hopes to cash in on those who decided to have a staycation when the city's first water park opens. Pirate's Cove is scheduled to open May 4 next to the North Texas Jellystone Park Camp and Resort.

Glen Campbell at Rodeo Austin by John T. Davis of Austin360.com. Glen Campbell brought his “Goodbye Tour” to Rodeo Austin on Sunday for a genuinely moving performance. As has been widely reported, Campbell is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and has announced that this will be his last tour

War between United, Southwest looms over Houston by Kiah Collier and Chris Moran of the Houston Chronicle. A proposal by Southwest Airlines to offer international flights from Hobby Airport has triggered an intense lobbying duel with United Airlines, which still wields considerable local clout as the successor to Houston-based Continental. If it gets city approval, Southwest says it would spend an estimated $75 million to $100 million to build a new international terminal equipped with full-scale Customs facilities, as well as to improve the aging airport's domestic terminals.

Waiting for whiskey at Fort Worth's first distillery by Steve Campbell of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  FORT WORTH -- A heady mash of corn, wheat and malted barley is cooking in one of five 1,000-gallon fermenters, and clear "white dog" whiskey is cascading out of two 500-gallon copper stills at Fort Worth's first distillery. The raw whiskey will likely age for three years or until "it's ready" in 53-gallon charred oak barrels at Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. before the bourbon is ready to be bottled.

TV-radio notebook: Barkley bashes Baylor's threads by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle.  I spent six years in Waco, working for the Waco Tribune-Herald and Texas Football magazine, and not once did I see a building, an article of clothing or any other object that remotely approximates the shade of alleged green and gold or neon yellow or whatever in the name of Technicolor was supposed to be the color of the Baylor Bears' uniforms Thursday. Noted fashion critic Charles Barkley has never seen the like, either.

Some Austin businesses forced to close due to SXSW by Jim Bergamon of KVUE News and  photojournalist Dathan Hull.  AUSTIN -- The City of Austin estimates SXSW generates about $167 million. Some business owners say, while they love the event and realize its economic importance to the city, they just wish they could turn a profit instead of taking a loss.

Cameron gets $1M for events center by KXAN. CAMERON, Texas—U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson Friday announced a $1 million Economic Development Administration grant to the Cameron Economic Development Corporation to provide key infrastructure that will support the construction of a special events center.

Duplass brothers stay true to Austin roots by Matthew Odam of the Austin American-Statesman. Mark and Jay Duplass cracked jokes as they finished each other's sentences in a hotel room last fall. But they would soon be crying, Mark promised.

Springsteen gives SXSW fans lesson in making music by Reuters.  AUSTIN— Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen told young musicians that in this new age of digital music in which he can carry all the songs he's ever loved on a player in his pocket, two things haven't changed: inspiration and the power of creativity. In a keynote address at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival here, the "Born to Run" singer took the audience on a journey through his musical history.

Victoria native plans film festival by Camille M. Doty of the Victoria Advocate. Anthony Pedone wants to start a new art movement in the Crossroads. The 41-year-old Victoria native has received some support from film enthusiasts from Europe, New Zealand, New York, California and other cities across the world to help make the dream a reality.

Following Woody Guthrie's footsteps from Oklahoma to Texas to California by Randy Lewis of the Los Angeles Times. Over the weekend, the Woody Guthrie centennial celebration included a stop in Pampa, Texas, a town of about 18,000 in the Texas panhandle where Guthrie’s family lived for a time in the 1930s.

SXSW: 'Hot-spot honeypot' hacker's heaven by Elinor Mills of CNET.  AUSTIN, Texas--Some funny things were happening at the South by Southwest conference here today. My virtual private network connection kept getting disabled, and even stranger, on a friend's laptop a window popped up showing an animated cartoon cat flying through the air with a rainbow in its wake.

Austin works to become hub for mobile Internet industry by Lori Hawkins and Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman.  After an hourlong wait to pay his bill at a restaurant, Rick Orr was convinced there had to be a better way to close a tab. The solution Orr and business partner David Lemley came up with: a mobile application that lets bar and restaurant patrons pay their bills using their smartphones.

TV-radio notebook: CSN Houston taking shape by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. One of the things I hear from old-time Home Sports Entertainment hands is their desire for a Houston network that would replicate HSE's local emphasis of the mid-1980s, before the network began its migration toward a Dallas-Fort Worth-oriented world.

The Next Round: Defense Team Sees Appellate Issues Aplenty in Stanford Case by Brenda Sapino Jeffreys of Texas Lawyer. R. Allen Stanford won't be sentenced until June, but his criminal-defense attorneys say Stanford's competence to stand trial leads a list of numerous grounds for appeal.

Lawsuit says banks ripped off customers: Fort Hood National Bank, First National Bank of Texas, First Convenience Bank, First Community named in lawsuit by Courtney Zavala of KPRC. HOUSTON -A lawsuit filed in Harris County alleges that several banks overcharged their customers, including some members of the U.S. military. “I ended up being almost between $300 to $500 negative,” said retired Army Staff Sergeant Jesus Sanchez.

Texas Lawmakers Bravely Stand For Astronauts' Rights ... To Hawk Space Souvenirs by Brantley Hargrove of the Dallas Observer. NASA was perturbed when Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell auctioned his checklist from the ill-fated mission through Dallas-based Heritage Auctions back in December. So perturbed, in fact, that NASA general counsel asked the auctioneer to halt the nearly $400,000 sale so that proof of ownership could be determined.

Texas boot makers keep tradition alive by Joy Sewing of the Houston Chronicle. EL PASO – Ask any Texan where cowboy boots were born, and they’ll proudly answer, “Texas.” Of course, there are conflicting accounts – some say Kansas is the birthplace of cowboy boots. But the reason they came to be is the same.

East Texas murder movie to premiere at Austin festival by Melanie Torre of KLTV.  CARTHAGE—The story about East Texas mortician Bernie Tiede, and the elderly woman he cared for and eventually murdered, will premiere as a movie next week at South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin.

Seeking boots, beer and media buzz at Austin's SXSW by Reuters. At Allens Boots, where cowboy footwear comes in ostrich, crocodile and elephant skin, salesman Bryan Perez is prepping for the annual South by Southwest festival invasion.  As tens of thousands of people head to the Texas capital for the music, film and interactive conferences that kick off on Friday, Perez expects to educate visitors from Europe, Asia and big U.S. cities like New York on how cowboy boots are supposed to fit (snug in front with wiggle room in back for the heel).

Texas regulators look at raising wholesale electricity prices to spark new power plants by Laylan Copelin of the Austin American-Statesman. The Texas Public Utility Commission on Wednesday signaled a willingness to address looming electricity shortages by allowing wholesale prices to hit new highs during peak demands for power. The three commissioners agreed that wholesale electricity prices, now capped at $3,000 per megawatt-hour during peak demand, must be raised to encourage investors to build more generation plants.

 American Airlines parent will freeze, not terminate, pensions by Gregory Karp of the Chicago Tribune.  AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines, reversed course on Wednesday, saying it is willing to freeze pensions at current levels, rather than terminate them as the company reorganizes under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

City to pay Texas developer $7.5 million in airport dispute by Chris Roberts for the San Francisco Examiner.   A big payout over a development dispute at San Francisco International Airport has turned into a big bill for city taxpayers. 

Stanford Convicted by Jury in $7 Billion Ponzi Scheme by Clifford Krauss of the New York Times. HOUSTON — A federal jury convicted R. Allen Stanford, a Texas financier, on 13 out of 14 counts of fraud in connection with a worldwide scheme that lasted more than two decades and involved more than $7 billion in investments.

Brownsville joins South Texas economic development alliance by Steve Clark of The Brownsville Herald. "Strength in numbers" is the philosophy behind the newly formed South Texas International Economic Development Alliance, which includes a Brownsville contingent.

36 Hours: Austin, Tex. by Rachel Lee Harris of the New York Times. The laid-back capital of Texas has long been a haven for countercultural types, with tattoo artists, bohemian coeds and techies biking side by side along the glistening shores of Lady Bird Lake. But these days, Austin is more chic than shabby. New upscale restaurants — many that rely on local, organic ingredients — are popping up all over the city, along with bars featuring artisanal concoctions.

Jet Aviation acquires Enterprise Jet Center FBO by Arab News. Jet Aviation has acquired the Enterprise Jet Center FBO at Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas, adding the 14th FBO to its global network of premium aircraft service and support facilities.  Enterprise Jet Center is one of the largest and most modern FBOs, or “fixed-base operators,” at Houston Hobby Airport, providing fuel, catering, aircraft cleaning and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to private aircraft.

Accord Reached Settling Lawsuit Over BP Oil Spill by John Schwartz of the New York Times. Judge Carl J. Barbier of Federal District Court in New Orleans issued an order late Friday night stating that the two sides “have reached an agreement on the terms of a proposed class settlement which will be submitted to the court,” and announcing that the first phase of the trial, scheduled to begin on Monday, is adjourned indefinitely while the next steps are worked out.

Small high-tech firm moving from California to Fort Worth by Chris Vaughn of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  FORT WORTH -- A small technology company from California that says it has harnessed the power of subatomic particles to improve battlefield safety and the detection of dangerous materials is relocating to Fort Worth.  Kaonetics Technologies, with fewer than a dozen employees, was founded by a reclusive inventor in Inyokern, Calif., a remote city roughly halfway between Bakersfield and Las Vegas.

No LCRA water for rice growers by Matthew Tresaugue of the San Antonio Express-News. A Central Texas river authority will withhold water from rice farmers for the first time because of insufficient supply in the Highland Lakes, two large reservoirs near Austin. The Lower Colorado River Authority declared Friday that the combined storage of the lakes fell just short of the required 850,000 acre-feet of water before a midnight deadline.

Cowboy Culture Takes Over America's Fourth-Largest City by Greg Flakus of Voice of America. Houston, Texas, is a city known for its modern architecture, complex road system and urban sprawl. But for three weeks every year it reconnects with its rural roots and cowboy past. The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo starts this week as horses have invaded the city.

Southwest and AirTran gets federal certificate to operate as one by Hugo Martin of KDAF. Another airline merger took a key step forward Thursday when the Federal Aviation Administration approved a certificate to allow Southwest Airlines and its subsidiary AirTran Airways to operate as one. The certificate is a crucial development in Southwest Airlines' $1.4-billion purchase of Orlando, Fla.-based AirTran, which was first announced in 2010.

Austin tech startup raises $1.5 million to launch first app by Lori Hawkins of the Austin American-Statesman.  An Austin mobile development startup that's building an app to connect business professionals has raised $1.5 million from private investors. Can We Studios, founded last year by marketing executive Brooke Braswell and tech entrepreneur Dan Kloiber, will use the funding to launch its first app, CanWeNetwork.

Texas "gunboats" to patrol Rio Grande border with Mexico by Reuters. Texas unveiled the second of six new 'interceptor' gunboats on Thursday, similar to Navy swift boats that plied the rivers of Vietnam during the Vietnam War, to patrol the waterways of the Mexico border. The Texas Department of Public Safety, which oversees the Texas Highway Patrol and the Texas Rangers, said the 34-foot shallow water crafts would be deployed on the Rio Grande and the Intercoastal Waterway, which separates the Texas mainland from Padre Island.

Dallas' AT&T Caps Unlimited Data Plans by Greg Benswinger of the Wall Street Journal. AT&T Inc. is effectively ending unlimited data plans, saying that it will no longer let customers use more than a set amount of data per month without penalty. Under a new policy, AT&T will slow download speeds for unlimited 3G and 4G smartphone customers who exceed 3 gigabytes and 4G LTE users who exceed 5 gigabytes of data in a given month.  

WikiLeaks will publish Stratfor correspondence by the Austin American-Statesman. Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks announced Sunday that it would expose email correspondence from the Austin-based global geopolitical analysis firm Stratfor, detailing the work of the company for clients. WikiLeaks did not disclose how it obtained the emails, but Stratfor acknowledged in December that its data servers were breached on two occasions by a group of hackers known as Anonymous.

Contract Lawyer Sues Firm and Clients Seeking Payment by Miriam Rozen of Texas Lawyer.  Dallas' 5th Court of Appeals has decided that a suit a contract lawyer filed against a firm and five of its clients over allegedly unpaid wages can go forward — an opinion the plaintiff's counsel says merits the attention of all Texas firms and attorneys who hire contract lawyers. As a result of the 5th Court ruling, 191st District Judge Gena Slaughter issued Feb. 13 orders reopening Malcolm Pipes v. D. Hemingway, et al. and setting a Sept. 4, 2012, trial date.

Actor John Schneider hopes little 'Doonby' makes a big impact  by David Martindale for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. John Schneider said something in character two years ago while shooting Doonby, a Texas-based independent film currently in limited release, and the line has stuck with him ever since.

Texas' Coal-Fired Power Fell Sharply in January by Kate Galbraith of the Texas Tribune. The amount of Texas electrical power produced by coal has plunged so far this year, and cheap natural gas appears to be the cause. A report this week by Potomac Economics, a consulting company that serves as an official monitor for the Texas electricity market, showed that coal-fired electricity production dropped by 30 percent in January compared with January 2011.

Apollo Group Said to Be Near Deal to Buy El Paso Oil Unit for $7 Billion by Cristina Alesci of Bloomberg. Apollo Global Management LLC (APO) is leading a group that is near a deal to acquire El Paso Corp.’s oil-exploration business for about $7 billion. 

Consumers Hit by High Rates After Deregulation by Darrell Preston of Bloomberg. Houston consumers were supposed to get lower electricity rates from deregulation. Instead, they pay some of the nation’s highest prices, partly because of bonds Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recently sold for a local utility.

TCEQ will take another look at Matagorda coal-fired plant by Matthew Tresaugue of the Houston Chronicle.  The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will accept new evidence as part of a court-ordered review of the air pollution permit for a coal-fired power plant to be built in Matagorda County. The three-member commission, however, stopped short Wednesday of ordering a trial-like hearing of the evidence, as opponents of the White Stallion Energy Center wanted.

Another Texas Icon's Caught Between Dublin Bottling Works, Plano-Based Dr Pepper: Big Red by Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Observer.  Ever since Jack Perkins got his Dublin Bottling Works soda fountain at Maple & Motor, well, let's say I've had way too many cane-sugar soft drinks in recent weeks.

American Airlines aims to bolster routes, fleet by Reuters.  Bankrupt American Airlines aims to boost revenue by $1 billion annually by beefing up its international routes and fleet to lure more well-heeled business travellers.

Firm Alleges Number-Napping Left Clients Incommunicado by Angela Morris of Texas Lawyer. Feb. 15 was the day the music died at the Fort Worth office of a busy personal-injury and criminal-defense firm. The phones just stopped ringing. When The Dunham Law Firm investigated, it learned someone allegedly had "transferred" the office's phone number to a new phone provider without its permission.

Another One Bites the Dust? Permit Expires for Joslin Power Plant say Environmental Groups by  Mose Buchele of StateImpact. A petroleum coke power plant planned near the Gulf Coast community of Point Comfort has lost its permit to build, according to environmental groups. Petroleum coke is a fossil fuel used like coal.

Vampire bats in Texas? Texas State researcher says it's possible -- and now is the time to prepare by Patrick Beach of the Austin American-Statesman. To the growing list of unwelcome effects of global warming or climate change or whatever your politics dictate you call the phenomenon, you may add this: Vampire bats are threatening to invade Texas. he bats are native to South and Central America and Mexico, and a move north is a distinct possibility in coming decades.

Dallas IFF's First Film Announcement is Texas-Heavy by Jette Kernion of Slackerwood. The Dallas International Film Festival has announced 15 of the films in its 2012 lineup, and not only does Texas make a great showing, but Austin is well represented

Kyle energy storage company at center of key debate over power rates by Laylan Copelin of the Austin American-Statesman. KYLE — Central Texas-based Xtreme Power, an energy storage company, got a real-world test of its battery technology last year at a ribbon-cutting for one of its sites in Hawaii. With dignitaries looking on, eight of 12 electricity-generating windmills unexpectedly tripped off.

Texas senator pushes Fort Worth-made F-16 sale by William Lowther for the Tapei Times. Members of the US Congress are again pushing US President Barack Obama to put the sale of F-16C/D aircraft to Taiwan back on the front political burner.The move comes as Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平) completed a highly publicized visit to the US and as Obama’s re-election campaign gets underway.

Missing newspapers raise concerns from The Daily Texan by Sarah White of The Daily Texan. An undetermined number of copies of Friday’s Daily Texan appear to have disappeared from news boxes across campus, according to the operations manager for Texas Student Media. Frank Serpas III, Texas Student Media operations manager, said he was concerned when he discovered the missing papers, which are printed and distributed by the Austin American-Statesman.

UMHB breaks ground on new stadium by Tanner Clark of the Belton Journal.  Last Friday marked the beginning of a long road of growth and development for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. The groundbreaking ceremony for a new 10,000 capacity stadium and connected state-of-the-art student union building brought in trustees, alumni and spectators from all across the country. 

Mike Leach loses appeal in suit vs Texas Tech by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. LUBBOCK, Texas — The fight between Mike Leach and Texas Tech isn't over yet. Leach's attorney vowed to keep fighting after the Texas Supreme Court on Friday rejected the former coach's appeal in his wrongful termination lawsuit against Texas Tech. 

TSA opens new body scanner at Midland International Airport by Kathleen Petty of the Midland Reporter-Telegram. Passengers now will have the option of being screened with a body scanner at Midland International Airport after the Transportation Security Administration installed new technology there this week. “This is the wave of the future,” said Shawn Lawler, the Federal Air Marshal Service’s assistant federal security director of law enforcement for the West Texas Region. “It can find anything ... Absolutely it will provide a safer environment.” 

TV-radio notebook: Astros to call on former players in 2012 booth experiment by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. Milo Hamilton's announcement Wednesday that he will leave the radio booth after the 2012 season starts the clock ticking on yet another makeover project for the Jim Crane-era Astros. Team president George Postolos has a year to decide how to arrange the Astros' post-Milo radio future and how incumbents Brett Dolan and Dave Raymond figure into his plans for 2013 and beyond.

Stanford Operations Run by CFO Davis, Not Boss, Manager Says by Laurel Brubaker Calkins of Bloomberg Businessweek. R. Allen Stanford left daily operating decisions to his finance chief, who volunteered to “lay himself off” for a $650,000 lump-sum payout as regulators were closing in on the company in February 2009, a former manager testified.

Keystone Pipeline Sparks Property Rights Backlash by Jay Root of the Texas Tribune. As the White House and Congress battle it out over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, the Canadian company that wants to build it is still using its land-seizure powers to get property easements for the ambitious project. And it’s ruffling some feathers in a politically conservative patch of Texas.