Photo by Karnegie Musa. Copyright 2011.
Stories from other sources that Texas Business recommends:
Amid drought, wine grapes save a cotton farmer by Karen Brown of CBS News. MEADOW, Texas - Out on the plains of the western part of the Texas panhandle, farmers face a stark choice as drought consumes their famous cotton crops: diversify or suffer. To visit the Bingham family farm, in one of the remotest parts of the panhandle, "you have to use your odometer," according to Cliff Bingham.
Drought continues stranglehold of Wichita Falls by Lynn Walker of the Wichita Falls Times Record News. Despite some showers in the past week, drought tightened its grip on the Wichita Falls area and lake levels continued to decline. The U.S. Drought Monitor, which is run by the federal government, placed Wichita County and counties to the east in the Extreme Drought category, second only to the Exceptional Drought category.
Texas-based Kinder Morgan coal plans pushed back by Marqise Allen of The Daily News. Construction for Kinder Morgan's planned 100-acre coal export terminal at Port Westward has been pushed back several months as the company has announced it won't be applying for the necessary permits from Oregon's Department of Environment Quality until early 2013. The Texas-based company originally planned to submit project proposals to the agency by the end of the year.
Madison Dearborn's Canning takes stake in Texas newspaper group by Becky Yerak of the Chicago Tribune. The recent sale of several small newspapers in Texas has a Chicago angle. Chicago private equity executive John Canning, an investor in Chicago Sun-Times owner Wrapports LLC, is one of about a dozen investors in AIM Media Texas LLC, headed by former Sun-Times Media Chief Executive Jeremy Halbreich.
Mexico hotel giant puts its IT in Texas by Patrick Thibodeau of Computerworld. The U.S. has been shipping application development work offshore for years, but cloud computing may help make America a data center services exporter. Take Grupo Posadas, a large hotel group in Mexico.
Why the Las Brisas Coal Plant Air Permit Was Reversed by Terrence Henry of StateImpact Texas. In May, a Travis County District judge sent a letter to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) saying that he intended to revoke an air permit for a proposed coal plant in Corpus Christi. This week Judge Steven Yelenosky of the 345th Judicial District Civil Court made the order official, setting back construction on one of the few coal plants still being planned in Texas.
University Of Texas To Review Report On Gas Fracking Impacts by Jim Efstathiou Jr. of Bloomberg. The University of Texas at Austin will assemble a group of independent experts to review its February report on gas fracking after reports said the professor who led the study is on the board of a gas driller. The review could be completed in weeks, Steven Leslie, university provost and executive vice president, said in a statement
A&M's Outsourcing Plans Have Workers Concerned by Reeve Hamilton of the Texas Tribune. When the Texas A&M University System announced that its flagship would gain $260 million in new revenue and savings in the next 10 years by outsourcing its building maintenance, landscaping and dining services, Chancellor John Sharp said the plan was an unprecedented way to raise money in financially struggling higher education. “Today’s announcement means more money will be available to recruit, pay and retain faculty and researchers,” he said at a news conference on June 21.
Baylor's accidental doc dump provides grist for bias suit by Karen Sloan of the National Law Journal. Baylor University School of Law garnered some unwanted attention in April when an administrator accidentally emailed a spreadsheet containing names, undergraduate grade-point averages, Law School Admission Test scores and scholarship awards to about 400 admitted students. Now, those data are fuel for an age discrimination lawsuit by a would-be Baylor law student who claims admissions officials wrongfully denied him a seat in the fall class and a full-ride scholarship.
Texas Professor On the Defensive Over Fracking Money by Terrence Henry of StateImpact Texas. A University of Texas at Austin professor came under scrutiny yesterday after revelations that he did not disclose significant financial ties to a drilling company while leading an academic study of hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”). A report by the Public Accountability Initiative, a non-profit watchdog group, revealed that Dr. Charles “Chip” Groat, professor at the Jackson School of Geosciences at UT Austin, also sits on the board of Plains Exploration and Production Company.
Calif. Court Clears Path for Suit against Texas Corporation for Desecrating Jewish Cemetery by Jacob Edelist of The Jewish Press. The California State Supreme Court on Monday upheld a lower-court decision that gave class-action status to a lawsuit alleging mass desecration of grave sites at Eden Memorial Park, 11500 Sepulveda Blvd, Mission Hills, CA, a Jewish cemetery which is under the care of the Texas-based Service Corporation International, thus clearing the way for injured families to seek hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, the LA Daily News reports. Service Corporation International (SCI) claims to be “North America’s most trusted provider of end-of-life arrangements and services.”
Police can keep your cash, car and other property, regardless of whether you've been convicted of – let alone charged with – a crime by Craig Malisow of the Houston Press. It was the BMW's missing license plate that led the troopers to the guns, drugs and cash inside the car. The driver, stopped on I-45 outside Conroe, might have just gotten a citation and been sent on his way that March day in 2011 had he not fibbed to the cop about his criminal record.
Future of shopping strip, Heart of Texas Music store uncertain by Ashley Goudeau of KVUE. AUSTIN -- Some say South Austin is the heart of the Capitol City, where Austin's famous music scene came to life, thanks in part to the "Godfather of Guitars" Ray Hennig and his iconic Heart of Texas Music store.
Sharing stories from the underbelly of Austin's music scene by Arden Ward of Austin Culturemap. One of a musicphile's best local resources for a glimpse into Texas's diverse music culture is KUT's Texas Music Matters.
Pain in Midwest Could Be Texas Farmers' Gain by Carlos Morales of KUT News. Though Texas has partly recovered from extreme drought conditions thanks to heavy rains, the Midwest is enduring one of its worst dry spells in decades. And as conditions in the Midwest drive food prices up, some say Texas farmers stand to benefit.
El Paso Plant’s Old Smokestacks Have Avid Fans by Shefali Luthra of the Texas Tribune. Robert Ardovino grew up within four miles of El Paso’s smokestacks — remnants of the copper smelter run by ASARCO. “I experienced everything that was wrong with that company,” Ardovino said of ASARCO, which in 2009 settled one of the largest environmental bankruptcies in U.S. history, after being accused for years of polluting and contaminating El Paso’s air and soil.
American Airlines, flight attendants reach contract agreement by Jason Whitely of KHOU. DALLAS – The Association of Professional Flight Attendants said on Friday that it has agreed to send a new contract offer from American Airlines to its membership for a ratification vote. The union, which represents all of American’s flight attendants, is the last labor group to reach an agreement with the airline as it struggles to cut costs and emerge from bankruptcy.
Texas Struggles to Keep Up With Power Demand by Kate Galbraith of the Texas Tribune. It is almost August. That means Texans are avoiding the heat, air conditioners are cranking and electrical power demand is going through the roof.
Statesman publisher Williams leaving to lead Cox Media Group's TV group by Laylan Copelin of the Austin American-Statesman. Jane Williams, publisher of the Austin American-Statesman, has been promoted to senior vice president for parent company Cox Media Group's television markets amid a major restructuring of the company's broadcast properties. A native of Atlanta, Williams came to Austin almost 18 months ago after a long career with Cox in television ad sales.
Texas power deal seen as breakthrough for US banks by Danielle Robinson of Reuters. Yield-hungry institutional investors snapped up a US $330m financing from Texas-based power company Panda Temple Power this week, the first time in six years that funds have bought into a project financing leveraged loan with construction risk. The deal is seen as a major breakthrough for US banks, which are trying to develop institutional investor interest in taking construction risk in project finance bonds and loans, as cash-strapped lenders retreat from capital-intensive project financing.
Blamed over Stanford, SEC's Texas office plots comeback by Aruna Viswanatha and Sarah N. Lynch of Reuters. FORT WORTH—Convicted Texas financier Allen Stanford haunted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Fort Worth office long after he was arrested in June 2009. The office was battered by scathing criticism from Congress and within the agency for allegedly missing or ignoring clues for years that Stanford was running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.
Feature Film Shoots Movie in Texoma Town by Ashley Prchal for KTEN. WHITEWRIGHT, TX—A small town in Texoma will soon receive international recognition when it's seen on the big screen in a feature film. The small town of Whitewright, Texas is being put on the map.
Kino Lorber nabs 'Revisionaries': Film unit acquires rights to Scott Thurman's documentary by Dave McNary of Variety. Kino Lorber has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to Scott Thurman's documentary "The Revisionaries," which explores the power struggle inside the Texas State Board of Education. The film premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, where it won a special jury prize for best documentary.
Company no longer considering 50-acre Pflugerville plot for data center by Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman. An Austin company that announced plans last fall to build a big data center in Pflugerville is now looking for a new site. WindData said it is no longer considering its proposed 50-acre site in Pflugerville "due to complications uncovered in our due diligence process."
Vinita manufacturer to shift operations to Texas by the Shawnee News-Star. VINITA, Okla.—Leaders in Vinita say 180 people will be out of work after a manufacturing plant moves its operations to Texas. J.C. Kinder, the executive director of the Vinita Area Chamber of Commerce, says the Cinch Connectors plant will move to McAllen, Texas, before the end of the summer.
Bikinis, Texas: Businessman Buys Bankersmith, Texas, Renames After Brand by the Huffington Post. Doug Guller, Founder and CEO of ATX Brands, has announced plans to purchase the former ghost town of Bankersmith, Texas and rename it something (hopefully) much more appealing to the average tourist: Bikinis.
In Bankruptcy, American Airlines Looks At All Options by Wade Goodwyn of NPR. Imagine going into bankruptcy with billions of dollars in cash still in your bank account. That's what American Airlines did last November.
Folks taking a shine to Western-style silversmith by Linda Stewart for the Wichita Falls Times Record News. IOWA PARK — Matt Litz is a man of many talents. By day, he is a welder. When he comes home in the evening, he becomes a silversmith, transforming pieces of sterling silver or gold into jewelry and works of art.
Wind energy industry faces stiff headwind by Kevin Welch of the Amarillo Globe-News. Two large wind energy projects in the Texas Panhandle are racing against a looming Dec. 31 deadline when a critical federal tax credit expires, threatening to toss an already tumbling industry into freefall. Project leaders are confident about the immediate future, but they and the companies that build the components used in wind farms are worried about next year.
Going on, Cane Sugar and All, After Dr Pepper by Jason Cohen of Texas Monthly. Jeff Kloster is a soft-drink evangelist, a Pied Piper of pop. He also used to be “a Pepper.”
Western Refining to pay fine for New Mexico air pollution violations by Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times. Western Refining has agreed to pay a $444,000 fine to the state of New Mexico for air pollution violations at its Gallup, N.M., refinery, the New Mexico Environment Department announced. Gary Hanson, a spokesman for the El Paso company, said the fine was part of an extension the company received on a state order in effect when it acquired the refinery as part of its $1.4 billion purchase of Giant Industries in 2007.
Of American Airlines' possible merger partners, only one makes much sense by Andrea Ahles of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. After months of going solo, American Airlines' parent, AMR Corp., is looking for a someone to dance with. The only problem for the Fort Worth company is that there may be only one airline available, industry analysts say.
In Oil Boom, a Housing Shortage and Other Issues by Kate Galbraith of the New York Times. MIDLAND, Tex. — In the desolate outskirts of this thriving West Texas oil town, two men recently showed off a new 400-square-foot wood cabin they hope to rent out for $1,500 a month. A planned expansion includes spaces for 30 recreational vehicles and nine additional cabins — and maybe more.
Carcinogens in Texas River Spark Lawsuit by Cameron Langford of Courthouse News. HOUSTON—International Paper and Waste Management of Texas polluted the San Jacinto River for decades by abandoning retention ponds filled with dioxin waste from IP's paper mill, a dozen crab fishermen claim in Harris County Court. Lead plaintiff Dao Van Pho sued International Paper Co., Waste Management and its predecessor, McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp., seeking punitive damages and medical monitoring for their exposure to dioxin.
AMR union to vote on revised contracts by Andrea Ahles of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Tentative agreements with American Airlines' mechanics and store clerks don't save any additional jobs but offer members immediate raises and less expensive healthcare compared with what the airline offered in May, union officials said Wednesday. Contract details are being shared with union members this week in advance of ratification votes.
Bailey to succeed Allen as KTRK sports director by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. Former Bryan and Lubbock sportscaster Greg Bailey was named Tuesday to succeed Bob Allen, who is leaving KTRK (Channel 13) at year's end, as sports director of the Disney-owned station. Bailey, 43, who has been sports director at NBC affiliate WCNC in Charlotte since 2007, will join KTRK in late August as sports director and weekday sports anchor, the station said.
Mexican Drug Cartel Laundered Money Through BofA, FBI Alleges by Alexander Eichler of the Huffington Post. A federal probe into Los Zetas, a Mexican drug cartel, claims that the group has been laundering money through accounts at BofA.
How One Drought Changed Texas Agriculture Forever by John Burnett of NPR. In Texas, there is still the drought against which all other droughts are measured: the seven-year dry spell in the 1950s. It was so devastating that agriculture losses exceeded those of the Dust Bowl years, and so momentous that it kicked off the modern era of water planning in Texas.
Grain Sorghum, Cotton Crops Struggling in South Texas by KIII News. KINGSVILLE—Grain sorghum and cotton are the two big crops here in South Texas, but the farmers that produce those crops are having an extremely difficult year. They say it just hasn't rained at the right time for their crops.
Austin-based Asure Software buys Massachusetts company; stock price soars by Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman. Shares of Austin-based Asure Software Inc. skyrocketed early Thursday when the company disclosed it had acquired PeopleCube of Framingham, Mass. The two companies were competitors in workplace management software, but they also have complementary product offerings.
Jonestown businesses drying up as Lake Travis recedes by Marques G. Harper of the Austin American-Statesman. JONESTOWN — For the second straight summer, bookings have ebbed at Gary and Margo Mermelstein's rental property on Easy Street along with the water in nearby Lake Travis. Guest numbers and revenue have dropped for the Jonestown couple since 2010, when their reservation calendar and the lake were full.
Stubb's barbecue sauce company grows into success story in its own right by Brian Gaar of the Austin American-Statesman. While it shares a name with the famous restaurant, the barbecue sauce company named after the late C.B. Stubblefield has grown into a success story in its own right. Headquartered in Austin, Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q produces barbecue sauces, rubs and marinades and sells its wares across the country in every major grocery chain.
Stray Mexican Cattle captured in Texas by KTSM News. AUSTIN — Stray livestock wandering between Chihuahua, Mexico, and Texas continue to present animal health concerns along the Rio Grande River in far West Texas, according to health officials. A total of 96 head of cattle originating from Mexico were recently captured and transported to government pens for inspection and testing.
Downtown El Paso's Big Bun closes after 40 years by Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times. Big Bun Hamburgers, a downtown fixture for more than 50 years, has closed its location at 500 N. Stanton. The restaurant's lease ended this month, and it moved out Saturday, said Joe Nebhan, who owns the building where Big Bun was located.
Austin-based BreakingPoint Systems agrees to be sold for $160 million by Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman. Austin-based BreakingPoint Systems Inc. has agreed to be sold to a California company for $160 million in cash in a deal that is expected to close in the third quarter. Ixia, based in Calabasas, Calif., is the buyer.
Space Coast losing new launch site to Texas? by Jerry Hume of Bay News 9. CAPE CANAVERAL—SpaceX is looking beyond Florida to locate a new rocket launch site. The Space Coast is competing with Texas and Puerto Rico for the new launch pad, and it appears Texas has the edge.
'Dallas' puts spotlight back on Texas; ranch sees tourism surge by the Abilene Reporter-News. In 1978, executives from Lorimar Studios knocked on the door of a mansion in the Texas community of Parker that sat on what was then known as Duncan Acres. The executives wanted to use the home as the setting for a new television series. The show, called "Dallas," not only tremendously impacted the history of television but also forever altered the world's thoughts on Texas
No stranger to changes, A&M primed for a big one today by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. COLLEGE STATION - Even for an institution that clings so tightly, so fervently, to its traditions, there have been moments when Texas A&M has stepped into the unknown and shocked the world - and, perhaps, even itself. A&M's affiliation with the Southeastern Conference, which begins Sunday, could be one of those moments, even though it doesn't rival such seismic shifts as the decision to admit women and to end mandatory membership in the Corps of Cadets during the turbulent 1960s.
Julio César Chávez Jr.-Andy Lee fight was success for El Paso by Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times. The city's $487,000 investment of taxpayers' money in the recent Julio César Chávez Jr.-Andy Lee fight in Sun Bowl Stadium paid off because it drew a large TV audience even though attendance at the fight was lower than expected, a city official and fight promoter said. However, the estimated $3.5 million economic impact officials said the fight had on the city may be exaggerated, an economist's evaluation shows.
Texas Music Scene spreads Lone Star sounds far and wide by Chad Swiatecki of Culturemap Austin. When he talks about helping to launch the new live music show Texas Music Scene, country music legend Ray Benson can’t help but reference another iconic music program and the cradle of country music, both with a bit of a tweak to the nose. “I tried to get Austin City Limits to do this type of show for years, something that’s all about Texas,” Benson said over the phone recently.
Powers of Attorney in Mexico: A Double-Edged Sword by Antonio Salazar Escobar and Francisco Rivero for Texas Lawyer. Every day, thousands of multinational companies rely on powers of attorney to conduct the day-to-day administration of their Mexican businesses. A company's ability to initiate and defend itself in litigation, pay taxes or issue checks are but some of the functions Mexican proxies (or poderes) facilitate. However, the failure to scrutinize powers granted and to monitor proxy-holders themselves may leave a company susceptible to abuse.
Texas Teen Fights For Benefits As Medicaid Contractor Says No by Christopher Flavelle and Charles R. Babcock of Bloomberg. Melody and Steve Lancaster’s 16- year-old foster son, who’s paralyzed from the neck down, needed a mechanized ceiling lift to help him get into the bathtub or his favorite beanbag chair. While Texas Medicaid officials had already paid as much as $13,000 for similar devices for others, the company that the state hired to look after the teenager’s health needs refused.
TV-radio notebook: Brown leaves FSN to launch CSN by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. It's déjà vu all over again for Murphy Brown. Thirty years ago, Brown was part of the team that launched Home Sports Entertainment, Houston's original sports network. This week, he signed on for another startup venture, Comcast SportsNet Houston, albeit with a considerably elevated job title - as vice president of production and executive producer.
Ex-Oiler files concussion lawsuit against NFL and its teams by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. An attorney representing three former NFL players, including former Oilers tight end Jimmie Giles, said Friday that he and his colleagues are taking a different legal tack to pursue their clients' claims against the NFL and its teams for what they believe to be the league's failure to inform players about the dangers of multiple concussions. Giles, who played for the Oilers in 1977 and went to the Buccaneers a year later in the trade that gave Houston the draft rights to future Pro Football Hall of Fame member Earl Campbell, joined former Buccaneers Arron Sears and Donald Smith in the suit, filed in a state district court in Tampa.
In bid to encourage new power plants, Texas utility commission raises wholesale electricity price cap by Laylan Copelin of the Austin American-Statesman. Hoping to encourage construction of new power plants by increasing revenue for generators, the Public Utility Commission of Texas on Thursday voted to raise the wholesale price cap for electricity prices. The action — which takes effect Aug. 1 — raised the cap to $4,500 per megawatt hour, a 50 percent increase, but its proponents, commission Chairman Donna Nelson and Commissioner Rolando Pablos, tried to answer criticism the action will raise customers' bills dramatically.
Austin Council rejects $5.5 million temporary airport terminal for international F1 charter flights by Ben Wear of the Austin American-Statesman. The Austin City Council on Thursday night unanimously rejected a $5.5 million plan to build a temporary terminal extension to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to handle customs and immigration processing for international charter flights expected for November's Formula One race. Airport staff had pushed for the modular addition as a way to burnish the city's image as thousands of overseas visitors converge on the area for the race, and an incentive for airlines to schedule regular transatlantic flights to Austin.
More of Gulf of Mexico to Open for Drilling by Yue Wang of the Medill News Service. The Obama administration has announced plans to to expand drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico, even as lingering effects of the disastrous 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill are still felt along parts of the Texas coastline. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the new program opens up the vast majority of known offshore oil and gas resources for development.
Texas trio hoping to land college football's new title game by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. At each point of the Texas Triangle, efforts geared up Wednesday to attract college football's new national championship game to a state that cherishes the sport like no other. Groups in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio have expressed interest in entering the 12-year rotation for the title game that begins after the 2014 season, and bowl groups in all three cities also hope to land a spot in the six-city rotation that will host the two semifinal contests.
Texas Regulators OK Wholesale Electricity Price Hike by Kate Galbraith and John Wayne Ferguson of the Texas Tribune. The highest wholesale prices on the Texas electrical grid will be allowed to rise by 50 percent starting in August, following a vote by state regulators. The Texas Public Utility Commission voted 2-0, with one abstention, to raise the "wholesale price cap," which electricity prices sometimes hit on hot summer afternoons
State Supreme Court rules injured workers can't sue for bad faith by Laylan Copelin of the Austin American-Statesman. A split Texas Supreme Court on Friday eliminated the rights of injured workers to sue workers' compensation insurance carriers that act in bad faith, saying such litigation interferes with the state's workers' compensation system. The 5-4 decision favored Texas Mutual Insurance Co. of Austin, the state's largest workers' compensation insurance carrier. The case was one in which Texas Mutual had initially denied an injured worker's claim, saying he was hurt playing softball and not at work, before the company eventually settled the case.
GM grass linked to Texas cattle deaths by CBS News. ELGIN, Texas - A mysterious mass death of a herd of cattle has prompted a federal investigation in Central Texas. Preliminary test results are blaming the deaths on the grass the cows were eating when they got sick, reports CBS Station KEYE.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway buys Waco Tribune-Herald. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a company run by billionaire Warren Buffett, is buying the Tribune-Herald exactly one year after the firing of its editor, Carlos Sanchez.
Movie of Josh Hamilton planned by ESPN. Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton will have his life story scripted so it can be pitched as a feature film, according to deadline.com. The report states the production will be written and directed by Casey Affleck.
New study: Tort reform has not reduced health care costs in Texas by Mary Ann Roser of the Austin American-Statesman. A new study found no evidence that health care costs in Texas dipped after a 2003 constitutional amendment limited payouts in medical malpractice lawsuits, despite claims made to voters by some backers of tort reform. The researchers, who include University of Texas law professor Charles Silver, examined Medicare spending in Texas counties and saw no reduction in doctors' fees for seniors and disabled patients between 2002 and 2009.
Fresh off Senate run, James says he won't return to ESPN in fall by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. Craig James, the former CBS and ESPN football analyst who placed fourth in the nine-man Republican Primary race for the U.S. Senate, will not return to ESPN this fall but said he has been contacted by other networks to gauge his interest in returning to TV.
Austin-based SAM Inc. making mark with high-tech mapping, scanning technique by Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman. The images that Surveying and Mapping Inc. captured on East Sixth Street in Austin last July are eerie and amazing. Every architectural façade of every building is captured in accurate detail and so is every traffic barrier, every streetlight and every cable supporting traffic lights at the intersections.
A&M System May Soon Learn Fate of Biosecurity Bid by Reeve Hamilton of the Texas Tribune. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Texas A&M University System will be holding simultaneous press conferences — the former in Washington, D.C., and the latter in Austin. HHS and A&M officials were unavailable Friday to comment on what could be a coincidence, but there are compelling reasons to believe it isn't.
US Airways Sees Progress Toward American Airlines Merger by Mary Schlangenstein of Bloomberg Businessweek. US Airways Group Inc. is making “great progress” toward a merger with American Airlines that would cure network failings at the AMR Corp. unit, chief executive Doug Parker said. American’s push to restructure in bankruptcy as a stand- alone carrier won’t be enough to fix weaknesses at the third- largest U.S. airline, including a loss of market share, Parker said at US Airways’ annual meeting in New York.
Loya Insurance fined $300,000 for deceptive practices by Terence Stutz of the Dallas Morning News. AUSTIN — Loya Insurance Co., a leading auto insurer in Texas, has been fined $300,000 by the Texas Department of Insurance for unfair and deceptive business practices and for failing to file accurate information on the rates it charges its customers. A consent order issued by state Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman directed the company to submit to the department a report detailing how it determines its rates and discounts for the 210,000 drivers it insures in Texas.
Third Texas Tech Fund Firm Declares Bankruptcy by KWTX. SAN ANTONIO—A third company that was awarded taxpayer dollars through Gov. Rick Perry's business-hatching Emerging Technology Fund has gone bankrupt and NanoTailor's filing brings the total amount of failed investments to $2.5 million.
Stanford gets 110 years in prison by Ronnie Crocker of the Houston Chronicle. R. Allen Stanford’s speech Thursday to a judge and a courtroom full of aggrieved investors — a lengthy rationale for the collapse of his financial empire — apparently fell on deaf ears, as the disgraced businessman was sentenced to 110 years in federal prison. Stanford, 62, took a sip of water and drew a deep breath after learning that, absent a successful appeal, he’ll never leave prison.
Call center has 200 job openings; bilingual population draws D.C. firm by Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times. A Washington, D.C.-based market survey company is opening a call center in El Paso to do phone surveys of consumers and others because of this area's large bilingual population. American Directions Group, formerly The Clinton Group, plans to add 150 to 200 part-time jobs in coming weeks, and have its East Side call center fully staffed by August, company officials said.
'Dallas' is back, y'all! by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. At the height of its 1980s popularity, the prime-time soap opera "Dallas" aired as many as 30 episodes in a season, which provided ample time for wordless emoting. "We used to have long, drawn-out close-ups, blah, blah, blah, freeze frames, meaningful looks," said actress Linda Gray, who played Sue Ellen Ewing, the long-suffering, occasionally spiteful, occasionally sloshed wife of the Man America Loved to Hate, Larry Hagman's J.R. Ewing.
Nasher architect Renzo Piano pleads for a solution from Museum Tower by Michael Granberry of the Dallas Morning News. Renzo Piano, the Italian architect who designed the Nasher Sculpture Center, said Thursday that he’s grieving over the storm of solar rays invading his prized creation from Museum Tower, its 42-story next-door neighbor, whose highly reflective glass has been a problem for months. Piano visited the Nasher on Wednesday, seeing the damage for the third time since it was discovered last fall.
SpaceX vehicle travels to Texas by KETK. MCGREGOR, TEXAS — Two weeks after Space Exploration Technologies’ (SpaceX) Dragon spacecraft made history as the first commercial vehicle to visit the International Space Station, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden traveled to McGregor, Texas to see the historic spacecraft before heading to SpaceX’s Headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The event includes the opportunity to see the historic Dragon spacecraft from last month’s mission to the space station.