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Texas News Scrawl | Kate Galbraith,Juan Aguilar,Hollie O'Connor, Jeff Stebbins,Cindy Boren,Matt Brooks,David Maly,Mike Copeland,Adrian Omar Ramirez,James Nash,Darrell Preston,Linda Nguyen,Ben Mutzabaugh,Kelly Holleran,

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Stories from other sources that Texas Business recommends: 

Texas coal plant scales back operations by Kate Galbraith of The Texas Tribune. Luminant, a major Texas power-generation company, plans to shut two of three units at one of its 1970s-era coal plants during the winter and spring, the company told the Texas grid operator this week. That removes about 1,200 megawatts, or more than 1 percent of capacity, from the already strained Texas power grid.

Report: Mass Deportation Could Cost Texas Billions by Julián Aguilar of the Texas Tribune. A study released Thursday by the Center for American Progress concludes that the Texas economy would suffer a net economic loss in the billions if group deportations of illegal immigrants occurred at even moderate levels. The progressive think tank concluded that even if as few as 15 percent of Texans living in the state illegally were removed at once, it would mean an annual $11.7 billion loss for Texas’ gross state product, increasing to more than $77 billion if all 1.65 million estimated illegal immigrants were removed from the state.

Revitalizing the Alamo is Subject of Heated Debate by Hollie O'Connor of the Texas Tribune. At a recent Alamo Plaza Better Block event, Robert Benavides led about 20 people on a tour of the landmark, where in addition to historical markers and re-enactors of the site’s infamous battle, there were also street vendors selling art, crafts and food. Benavides, a member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, which educates the public and preserves sites and artifacts related to Texas' independence, was bothered by the commercial presence at the event, as were other organization members.

Texas petitions EPA to relax ethanol standards by Jeff Stebbins of KFDA. AMARILLO—The ongoing historic drought decimated crops across the nation, and now Texas corn growers are asking the federal government to ease up on current ethanol production requirements to offset the cost of doing business. In 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency instituted the Renewable Fuel Standard Program, which set a minimum on the amount of alternative fuels to be blended with traditional gasoline.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Rays, Texas Rangers are ‘smartest spenders’ in sports by Cindy Boren and Matt Brooks of the Washington Post. In major professional sports, the “winning is everything” mentality is frequently trumpeted as a way to measure a franchise’s success. But wins are merely a piece of the pie when it comes to running a truly successful team.

KUT expansion to make waves with new station by David Maly of the Daily Texan. On-campus radio station KUT may soon be able to boast two frequencies and say it has a station dedicated solely to news. Should someone want tunes, he or she had better change to KUT’s music channel.

Dunkin Donuts to open 5 new Central Texas stores by Mike Copeland of the Waco Tribune-Herald. Dunkin Donuts wants to increase its presence in Texas and has signed agreements with franchise groups to build about 100 restaurants in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Central Texas, including Waco. A franchisee called Medallion Donuts LLC plans to place at least five Dunkin Donuts locations in Waco, College Station, Temple and Killeen between 2013 and 2017

San Marcos Rivers Could See Decrease In Tourism by Adrian Omar Ramirez of The University Star. The San Marcos City Council passed an ordinance in May banning the public consumption or display of alcohol in city parks. Drinking alcohol on the river is a pastime enjoyed by some Texas State students, residents and tourists year-round.

Suddenly California Has The Hottest Job Market In The Country by James Nash and Darrell Preston of Bloomberg. California, which sent a delegation to Austin last year to find out how the Lone Star State had beat it in employment growth, surged ahead of Texas to lead the nation in job creation for the last two consecutive months. California added 365,100 nonfarm jobs in the year ending in July, a 2.6 percent increase and the state’s largest 12-month gain since 2000. 

A Baylor Professor’s Palladium Palace by Linda Nguyen of Baylor Lariat. Who needs Extreme Makeover when you have these guys? Lorin Matthews, associate professor of physics, and her husband Christopher Matthews live in a home they completely renovated themselves. What’s more?

US Airways: No non-disclosure agreement with AA by Ben Mutzabaugh for USA Today. US Airways says that despite comments to the contrary from pilots, it has not agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with American Airlines parent AMR. At least two news organizations cited a memo from the U.S. Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) that said US Airways' management had agreed to sign the NDA

 Job superintendent sues roofing company over unpaid projects by Kelly Holleran of the Southeast Texas Record. The superintendent of a roofing project claims he was not fully paid for work he performed. Ward Gregory Woodworth filed a lawsuit Aug. 10 in Jefferson County District Court against Monument Constructors, doing business as Monument Roofing Systems, and the Texas Workforce Commission.

Investors, retailer want to remake two blocks in Downtown El Paso by Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times. Ever since El Paso multimillionaire Paul Foster spent millions of dollars renovating the 100-year-old Mills Building Downtown, the question has lingered: Would other private investors follow his lead and really get Downtown redevelopment moving?

Ann Richards Film Recalls a Woman and Her Era by Christopher Kelly of the New York Times. There are a number of moments in the new documentary "Ann Richards' Texas" that evoke the famous dictum: The more things change, the more they stay the same. That is certainly true in American politics. Early in the film, the directors, Keith Patterson and Jack Lofton, explore Ms. Richards's 1990 race for Texas governor against the wealthy businessman Clayton Williams, who suffered a major public-relations setback after questions arose over how little he paid in federal income tax.

Could the market regulate what the EPA cannot? by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. CORPUS CHRISTI — Gov. Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott and operators of Texas' dirtiest coal-fueled power plants are breathing easier, having thwarted an effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to help humans breathe easier. A U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday that the EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule exceeded the agency's authority and sent the rule back for revision. Basically, the rule would have required 28 states, especially Texas, to stop polluting themselves and neighboring states quite so much.

Jefferson County could need $1.5M to entice American Airlines by Dan Wallach of the Beaumont Enterprise. Attracting American Airlines to serve the Jack Brooks Regional Airport will require a revenue guarantee, said Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick. On Thursday, Branick led a contingent of four people, along with its Dallas-area based consultant, to visit American Airlines, also based in Dallas, to pitch the idea of re-establishing air service here.

Mega Carthage football stadium screen — largest in state — almost installed by Sherry Koonce of the Longview News-Journal. CARTHAGE — The Carthage High School Bulldogs — Texas’ 3A football champions of 2008, 2009 and 2010 — have scored a new first. Bulldog Stadium will have the largest Jumbotron screen of any high school in Texas when the season opens Aug. 31 against Gladewater, according to district officials.

From incubator program, UT grad student turning idea into a real company by Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman.  At some point in the creation of a new company, the founders are supposed to come to a "Go" or "No Go" decision. They make a hard, evidence-based calculation on whether their intriguing business idea has a shot at making money in the real world.

Range Wins Appeal in Suit Against Texas Landowners by Tom Korosec of Bloomberg Businessweek. Range Resources Corp. (RRC)’s lawsuit against Texas landowners who accused it of contaminating their water by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, can’t be halted under a state law that bans litigation meant to stifle public protest, an appeals court said. The landowners, Steven and Shyla Lipsky, sued Range in June 2011 in state court after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued an administrative order saying the gas driller was responsible for contaminating their water with dangerous levels of methane and benzene, which can cause cancer.

Texas Supreme Court Will Hear Franchise Tax Argument by Mark Dewey of KUT. The Texas Supreme Court says it will listen to global food giant Nestle’s argument that the Texas business Franchise Tax is unfair. In its court filing, Nestle argues that because retailers and wholesalers pay a lower tax rate than manufacturers like Nestle, the so-called “margin tax” should be thrown out.

Local exterminators seeing increased business after West Nile outbreak by Adam Shear of KXXV. WACO - Local pest control companies say they have been fielding a lot more calls recently because of the West Nile Virus spreading in Central Texas. With 29 confirmed cases of West Nile in McLennan Co. and another 10 in Bell Co., many pest control services are seeing an increase in interested customers

'Pork chopper' isn't wildly popular, nor particularly effective, state official says by Kelley Shannon for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. AUSTIN — When Texas legislators allowed hunters to pay to shoot feral hogs from helicopters, they made national headlines with the "pork chopper" law. Now, a year after the law took effect and the hoopla has died down, shooting hogs from the air isn't wildly popular and the animals are finding ways to avoid the gunners, meaning helicopter hunting is not particularly effective for feral hog control, a state official said

Sunkist, Lone Star Citrus go exclusive on grapefruit by Mike Hornick of The Packer. Sunkist Growers has reached an agreement to source Texas grapefruit exclusively from Mission-based Lone Star Citrus Growers. Production is expected to start in late September or early October. 

Lubbock Fantasy Maid Service expands, addresses rumors by Paige Skinner of the Daily Toreador. It has made local, state, national and international news, with even Jay Leno addressing it during the “The Tonight Show.” It is the — what some consider controversial — Lubbock Fantasy Maid Service which offers residents to pay maids to clean a house, while dressed in lingerie, topless or completely nude.

Texas judge rules in favor of TransCanada in eminent domain case by Steven Mufson of the Washington Post. A judge in Lamar County, Texas, ruled Wednesday night that TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline has the right of eminent domain, rejecting a plea by farm manager Julia Trigg Crawford and dealing a blow to landowners and environmentalists who have been trying to block construction of the pipeline. The ruling by Judge Bill Harris removes yet another potential obstacle for TransCanada, which already has permits from the Army Corps of Engineers for the southern leg of the pipeline, which starts in Cushing, Okla., and runs to Port Arthur, Texas.

Shafter silver mine water discharge concerns neighbors by Alberto Tomas Halpern of Big Bend Now. PRESIDIO COUNTY – Cibolo Creek Ranch owner John B. Poindexter fired the first shot Wednesday in what may become a new water war in Presidio County. Speaking at a Presidio County Underground Water Conservation District meeting in Marfa, Poindexter voiced concern at the Rio Grande Mining Company’s discharge of water from its well.

UT regents’ panel votes 4-1 to authorize purchase of radio station by Ralph K.M. Haurwitz of the Austin American-Statesman. A committee of the University of Texas’ governing board today approved the Austin flagship’s proposal to acquire a second public radio station for $6 million. But in a rare development, the vote was not unanimous.

Sale of Capitol complex property falls through amid opposition by Laylan Copelin of the Austin American-Statesman.  The controversial sale of a piece of the Capitol complex has fallen through, but the General Land Office has put the parking lot west of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum back on the market. Sealed bids are due at noon Aug. 29.

H&M will make its Texas outlet mall debut at Grapevine Mills by Bloomberg Businessweek. Clothing retailer Hennes & Mauritz, or H&M, will open in Grapevine Mills mall on Aug. 30. It will be the first outlet center in Texas for one of the leading chains in the cheap chic fashion business.

Samsung to Spend $4 Billion to Boost Texas Chip Output by Jun Yang of Bloomberg Businessweek. Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest maker of memory chips, said it will invest about $4 billion in its Texas factory to boost output of processors increasingly used in smartphones and tablet computers. The investment will help convert the production of memory chips to logic products, including processors that power mobile devices, at the Austin, Texas, plant, Samsung said in a statement

Mexico may feed off Texas pipelines by Dudley Althaus of the San Antonio Express-News. MEXICO CITY — Mexico may someday realize its potential as a natural gas superpower; but in the lengthy meantime, the country's gnawing energy craving may feed off Texas pipelines. Mexico energy planners are pressing ahead with an $8 billion expansion of the country's 5,500-mile natural gas pipeline system, focusing on central and northern industrial cities.

 Life Partners Holdings gets relief in Texas ruling by Reuters. Life settlement company Life Partners Holdings Inc said that a Texas district judge refused to grant state officials the right to block the company from doing business or appoint a receiver. The company, which has been accused of accounting fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, had said on Thursday that the Texas Attorney General had filed a lawsuit against the company and two of its directors.

Dog Food Served To Prisoners, Company Reaches Settlement by Carla Gillespie of Food Poisoning Bulletin. The company that started a chain reaction of meat sales that culminated with dog food being served to inmates in the federal prison system has reached a settlement with the federal government. John Soules Foods Inc. of Tyler, Texas entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on July 22, 2012, ending a three-year investigation.

Kindred buying Texas based home-health, hospice company by Carolyn Tribble Greer of Business First. Kindred Healthcare Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire IntegraCare Holdings Inc., a Grapevine, Texas-based company that provides home health, hospice and community services in 47 locations across Texas. Louisville-based Kindred is buying the company for $71 million in cash, plus a potential of paying $4 million more, based on 2013 earnings.

Baylor Regents ‘rise up’ student fees by Maegan Rocio of the Baylor Lariat. Tighten your belt buckles. The Baylor University Board of Regents voted to increase graduate and undergraduate tuition and students fees for the 2013 -2014 school year.  

American Airlines' flight attendants OK contract by the Huffington Post. DALLAS — Flight attendants at American Airlines voted to approve a new contract offer from the airline, which is seeking to cut costs in bankruptcy protection. The results released Sunday showed attendants voted to accept the contract by 59.5 percent to 40.5 percent, according to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

Taking a bite out of the dinner sales circuit by Laylan Copelin of the Austin American-Statesman.  I've been getting a lot of dinner invitations lately. So many that I could take my wife out to restaurants several times a month and never pick up a check.

New publisher named at The Eagle; Wilson takes over Waco newspaper by The Eagle. Eagle publisher Jim Wilson has been named to the same post at the Waco Tribune-Herald. Wilson, who served in Bryan-College Station for five years, will be replaced by Crystal Dupre, publisher of the Star in Meridian, Miss. She will report to Wilson in her new position.

'3 Ways to Kill a Mook' will show at Wichita Falls theater by Lana Sweeten-Shults of the Wichita Falls Times Record News. Every mook has his day. Take Sunday, when "3 Ways to Kill a Mook" makes its big-screen debut during a private, invitation-only screening at Cinemark 14 in Parker Square.

Life Partners Judge Grants Temporary Restraining Order by Andrew Harris and Kelley Shannon of Bloomberg Businessweek. Life Partners Holdings Inc. and its Life Partners Inc. unit, an investor-financed buyer of insurance policy death benefits, were barred by a judge in Texas from dissipating assets or destroying records. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sued the company on Aug. 15, claiming the policy interests it sold were unregistered securities and that Life Partners misled investors about the life expectancies of the insured to generate revenue.

AMR’s American Denied Court Leave to Toss Pilot Contract by David McLaughlin and Mary Schlangenstein of Bloomberg Businessweek. AMR Corp.’s American Airlines was denied approval from a federal bankruptcy judge to cancel its pilot contract and impose cost reductions after the union refused to accept concessions. AMR didn’t prove that a successful reorganization depended on being able to end restrictions on domestic airline-marketing accords and pilot furloughs, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane in Manhattan said

U.S. Postal Service issues new Texas stamp by KVUE News. AUSTIN—The U.S. Postal Service issued a new series of stamps Thursday; one of them is all about Texas. The 10 stamps feature the state flags of state from Texas to Wyoming along with the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Imposter--How A Frenchman Convinced A Texas Mother He Was Her Son by Peter Simek of D Magazine. At this year’s Dallas International Film Festival, Bart Layton’s documentary, The Imposter, easily sold out its screenings, winning deserved buzz off a talked-about debut at Sundance. You can’t help but talk about The Imposter after seeing it; it is one of those films that solves riddles only to pose new ones, that peels back a mystery only to suggest a litany of even more baffling questions.

Alcoa to sell Texas plant assets, land by Reuters.   Aluminum company Alcoa Inc  said it will sell land and other assets at its Rockdale, Texas plant to the Lower Colorado River Authority, a non-profit public utility and conservation body. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Alcoa said it will retain ownership of its smelter and aluminum powder operations in Rockdale.

Fort Worth TWU Workers Could Take Tulsa Jobs by John Stancavage of Hispanic Business. On the surface, the Transport Workers Union's approval of a new contract with American Airlines last week would appear to have saved about 1,400 Tulsa jobs. But for existing local workers, it's more complicated than that.

China's Sinopec eyes stake in Texas power project by Reuters.  Oil giant Sinopec Group along with Chinese banks are in talks to put up to $1 billion in a Texas clean energy project, in what would be one of the biggest investments by Chinese companies in the U.S. power sector. The Chinese group is looking to acquire an equity stake in and provide financing to the roughly $2.5 billion Texas Clean Energy Project, which is being developed by Seattle-based Summit Power Group.

Contractor files another lawsuit in Montgomery Plaza dispute by Sandra Baker of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. FORT WORTH -- Thos. S. Byrne, the Fort Worth general contractor, filed another lawsuit Tuesday to try to collect nearly $6.6 million it says it's owed for converting the former Montgomery Ward building on West Seventh Street into condos. The suit, filed in state district court in Tarrant County, asks that a judge allow the company to move forward with foreclosure proceedings on 93 condos at Montgomery Plaza, which have been sold, but not until its dispute with the developer is settled in arbitration.

State insurance agency worker blocked consumers' emails by Tim Eaton of the Austin American-Statesman. A Texas Department of Insurance staffer ordered the blocking of hundreds of emails sent to the insurance commissioner from Texas consumers, official records show. Last month, the Texas Department of Insurance said the agency's Internet security measures might have been triggered by a flood of emails to Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman, resulting in the rejection of hundreds of messages from Texas consumers.

'A Pain in the Behind': Council Gets Briefed on Zebra Mussels by Eric Nicholson for the Dallas Observer. When zebra mussels found their way to Lake Ray Roberts last month, or, more precisely, when wildlife officials found that they had found their way there, Dallas let out a collective "Oh, crap." The invasive bivalves were easy to ignore when they were the plague of the Great Lakes and the Upper Midwest.

Houston helps Olympic ratings surge for NBC by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. Thanks in part to a significant increase in Houston, NBCUniversal's 17-day coverage of the London Olympic Games outdistanced the Beijing Games of 2008 to become the most-watched television event in the nation's history. Viewership across NBC network affiliates, including KPRC in Houston, and its cable channels totaled 219.4 million viewers, up from 215 million in Beijing.

Spartanburg-based Synalloy Corp. acquires Texas company for nearly $26M by Upstate. Spartanburg-based Synalloy Corp. announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase storage tank maker Palmer of Texas for nearly $26 million. Synalloy, which produces steel pipes and specialty chemicals, said the transaction will complement its existing business.

Hurst's only bowling alley closes by Terry Evans of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. HURST -- The only bowling alley the town has ever is closed. "This is like having to move away from home," said Joy Murrell, who was manager of AMF Hurst Lanes for a decade and has been bowling there for 35 years.

At Lake Texoma, A Man, His Boat House, and a Decades-Long Fight With the Corps of Engineers by Eric Nicholson of the Dallas Observer. Charles Paternostro was 14 when, in the mid-'50s, his father purchased an acre of land on a five-story cliff overlooking Lake Texoma and built a modest, three-bedroom home. The family lived in Dallas full-time but spent their weekends at the reservoir, boating and swimming and fishing.

BP looks to positives in effort to sell Texas City refinery by Emily Pickrell of the Houston Chronicle. Refineries don't often have curb appeal, all-new kitchens, quaint charm or many of the other amenities folks use to sell houses. So, in marketing its Texas City refinery, BP has to turn to other selling points - including a Gulf Coast location convenient to shipping and energy infrastructure and $1 billion in renovations.

Relief well to examine cavern by Robert Stewart of the  Advocate. A Houston company whose salt cavern may be the cause of a giant sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish has hired a Louisiana company to drill a relief well to examine the cavern, the Texas company’s spokesman said Sunday. Texas Brine Co. LLC has contracted Riceland Drilling of Lafayette to drill the well, said Sonny Cranch, spokesman for Texas Brine.

A 'lucky' dog inherits a fortune of antiques by Casey Norton of WFAA. FORT WORTH, Texas — Fine china, world-class silver and antique furniture are packed tightly into a Fort Worth showroom. Hard to believe it all belongs to a dog named "Lucky."

Passion for horses drives Wichita Falls farrier by Ellee Watson for the Wichita Falls Times Record News. When Nichole Smith was little, she wanted a pony. She knew she couldn't pay for one herself, so she made a deal with her parents. "I made a bet that I wouldn't watch TV for a year," said Smith, a Wichita Falls farrier.

IAG may look to buy stake in American Airlines by Reuters. British Airways parent International Airlines Group (IAG) may consider taking a stake in its oneworld alliance partner American Airlines, a move that could block any takeover of American by IAG rival Delta. "We would consider taking a stake in American Airlines if that is something that American would welcome," an IAG spokeswoman said on Sunday.

Larry McMurtry auction draws book lovers by Maggie Galehouse of the Houston Chronicle.  ARCHER CITY - There are far more books than people in this low-slung Texas town, which boasts one traffic light and little more than 1,800 souls. But author and bookseller Larry McMurtry started narrowing the gap Friday.

Paul Quinn College In Texas Removes All Pork Products From Campus by Annan Susman of The Huffington Post. The healthy food movement is taking over in a big way, and colleges are not being left behind. Kombucha and kale chips stock campus stores, attempting to curve bad food habits. Paul Quinn College in Texas even instituted a ban on pork.

Phillips 66 Reports Process Upset at Refinery in Borger, Texas by Dow Jones. A process upset was reported Wednesday at the joint-venture Borger Refinery, owned by Phillips 66 and Canadian oil company Cenovus Energy in Borger, Texas, a report filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ said. The filing didn't specify the unit involved in the upset, but listed Area C and D as sources of the emissions that lasted just over three hours.

London Broadcasting Company Announces MundoFOX Affiliation by KIII News. CORPUS CHRISTI—London Broadcasting Company Inc., the owner and operator of Texas-based media properties, announced that it will affiliate and broadcast the new MundoFOX television network for the Coastal Bend of South Texas. The new Spanish-language network will cater to the U.S. Hispanic market and can be seen beginning Monday, August 13, 2012 on KIII-TV 3.3 digitally over-the-air.

Going Private, Space Industry Eyes State’s Open Spaces by Shefali Luthra of the New York Times.  When XCOR Aerospace, a private California rocket-building company, was looking for a wide-open place to test rocket engines and space planes, it found an ideal site in Midland. “There’s nothing in the desert for hundreds of miles,” said Mike Massee, a spokesman for the company.

Texas craft beer brewing big profits by Casey James of KXAN. AUSTIN—If you're in the business of making beer - Texas is the place to be. Last year, Texas craft brewers produced 133,000 barrels of beer in 2011. That's a 46 percent increase from the year before.

Austin-based Newgistics buys Colorado fulfillment business by Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman.  Austin's Newgistics Inc., which handles small package delivery logistics for business clients, has purchased a Colorado-based fulfillment business to add to its services. The Austin company, which reported a profit of $21.4 million on revenue of $174.6 million for 2010, bought AtLast Fulfillment of Aurora, Colo., which provides shipping and warehousing services for online retailers.

This Is What A $60 Million High School Football Stadium Looks Like by Cork Gaines of Business Insider. Allen High School in Allen, Texas will play their first home game in their brand new $60 million football stadium later this month. The stadium, which holds 18,000 is expected to be sold out all season, with over 8,000 season tickets sold. 

TABC Changes What it Means to Be a Beer by John Wayne Ferguson of the Texas Tribune. Until recently, beer drinkers who took their time to read the labels on their bottles or cans may have encountered some head-scratching fine print concerning Texas. Underneath the name of Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Lager, for instance, was the note “In Texas, malt liquor.”

NRG Sees Reversal of Coal-to-Gas Switch for Texas Power by Mark Chediak of Bloomberg Businessweek. NRG Energy Inc., the best performer on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Utilities Index today, said rising natural-gas prices are reversing the trend of power plants switching from using coal in Texas. “Particularly in Texas, with the combination of that and some heat-rate recovery, we have seen the reversal of that coal- to-gas switching that we experienced in January,” Chief Operating Officer Mauricio Gutierrez said on a conference call with analysts.

Texas commissioner responds to complaints from homeowners regarding costly policies by Kelley Shannon for the Abilene Reporter-News. AUSTIN — Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman has responded to suggestions from hundreds of consumers who wrote complaining about costly homeowners policies, while her agency Tuesday blamed a staff error for the blocking of some consumer emails. "I, too, am interested in commonsense, market-based solutions that could provide immediate relief for homeowners," Kitzman wrote to the consumers, adding that her agency is continually working on approaches to "this challenging issue."

MetroPCS Claims World's First Voice-over-LTE Service by Stephen Lawson of IDG News. MetroPCS said late Tuesday it had launched a commercial voice-over-LTE service, claiming a win in the international race for the next generation of mobile voice. The fifth-place U.S. carrier said it was making VoLTE-capable phones available for the first time and had made the first sale of a VoLTE handset at a store in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area.

National Instruments unveils new testing system for wireless networks by Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman. National Instruments Corp. is developing new equipment to speed up the way the wireless industry tests new mobile devices and networks. The Austin company announced a new system Tuesday that it says will be faster than the conventional instrument systems now being used.

Schools of Dead Fish Litter Lake Texoma by Ashley Prchal of KTEN.  OKLAHOMA, Texas—Schools of dead fish floating in Lake Texoma have lake goers concerned that the water may not be safe. "Fish kills are always difficult to see and understand," says Matt Mauck, Regional Supervisor, Durant Fish Hatchery.

FAA Tells Court It May Fine American Airlines Over Safety by Alan Levin of Bloomberg Businessweek. The Federal Aviation Administration said it notified a court overseeing the bankruptcy of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. that the agency might seek penalties against the carrier for safety violations. The cases, several of which have never been disclosed, may lead to as much as $162.4 million in fines against American and affiliated companies.

Minor earthquakes seen near Texas injection wells by Deborah Zabarenko of Reuters. Dozens of small earthquakes occurred in central Texas over a two-year period, and 23 of them were close to injection wells where waste water from energy extraction was pumped deep underground for disposal, a new study reported. The study used temporary seismographs to detect earthquakes of magnitude 1.5 or higher in a geologic area called the Barnett Shale, a swath of land the size of England that includes Dallas and Fort Worth.

Texas Oil Boom Fueling Trucker Bonuses Propels Odessa by Kathy Warbelow of Bloomberg Businessweek. Truckers can get $5,000 signing bonuses from companies serving Odessa, the West Texas center of a new Lone Star State oil boom and the nation’s fastest-growing city. Housing is so tight that the local school district put deposits down on 15 apartments, to ensure that new teachers moving to the area would have places to live.

John Wayne film fest set for Snyder, Texas by Charles Ealy of Austin 360. The John Wayne Film Fest returns to Snyder, Texas, for the second year on Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Held at the town’s historic Ritz Theater on the square, the festival highlights some of Wayne’s most legendary films on the big screen.

New East El Paso complex will mix public housing, apartments by Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times. A 188-unit, $20 million apartment and town house project billed as the "wave of the future" for public housing by El Paso Housing Authority officials is expected to begin construction this year on the far East Side. What makes the project different is that for the first time in El Paso, a housing project will mix public housing with regular, market-rate apartments.