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March 17, 2009
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Maytag Recalls 1.6 Million Refrigerators
from Remodeling Magazine
Builders and remodelers whose customers use refrigerators from Maytag or its sister brands will want to check their refrigerator's serial numbers in the face of a widespread recall from the appliance manufacturer. Maytag announced that it is recalling 1.6 million refrigerators across seven of its brands due to an electrical issue that could pose fire risk. More


U.S. Housing Starts Rebound
from Reuters
New U.S. housing starts unexpectedly rebounded in February, surging 22.2 percent, according to data on Tuesday that provided a rare dose of good news for the recession-hit economy and fractured housing market. More

Senate Typo Delays Voter ID Vote
from The Dallas Morning News
The Senate postponed action on the hotly debated voter ID legislation Monday because of a printing error in the Senate "green book" - the daily agenda that lists all Senate committee meetings for the day as well as bills pending before the chamber. The measure, tentatively adopted by senators last week, will now be up for consideration on Tuesday. More

Democrat Assures Straus He’s Planning No Coup
from The Austin American Statesman
Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, had to tell Speaker Joe Straus on Monday that he was not trying to overthrow the speaker. The Statesman’s Gardner Selby started hearing chatter late last week that Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, was circulating a list of signatures to remove Straus. Martinez Fischer told Selby on Monday that he first heard the rumor from a Straus aide last week. More

Bernanke Says Recession Could End This Year
from The Associated Press via Dallas Morning News
America's recession "probably" will end this year if the government succeeds in bolstering the banking system, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Sunday in a rare television interview. In carefully hedged remarks in a taped interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," Bernanke seemed to express a bit more optimism that this could be done. More

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Recession Hitting Texas Full Force This Year
from The Austin American Statesman
Texas ducked the worst of the economic fallout during most of 2008, but the recession hit the state hard as the current year began, according to a new report from economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Austin and Dallas could feel some of the worst pain as the economy continues to decline this year, the report said, because they have more exposure than other large Texas cities to cyclical industries, such as construction and financial services. More

Texas’ GOP Senators Fight to Retain Control of Federal Judge Nominations
from The Dallas Morning News
Two weeks before Barack Obama won the presidency, Texas senators did what they'd done many times before. They invited lawyers to apply for lifetime appointments as federal judges. Scores of applications poured in. A legal panel handpicked by the Republican senators – said to consist almost entirely of well-connected Republicans, with nary a plaintiff lawyer among them – narrowed the field. But with Democrats in complete control of the federal government, Texas Democrats say, that process will no longer do. More

Building Wind Power Lines Could Create Thousands of Jobs
from The Dallas Morning News
The Public Utility Commission's $5 billion project to build transmission lines to bring West Texas wind power to North Texas and Houston could create thousands of jobs. Oncor alone expects to hire "a couple thousand" contract workers to erect the lines it's responsible for, chief executive Bob Shapard said Monday. The North Texas utility, a unit of Energy Future Holdings, will do $1.34 billion of the entire project. More

Abandoned Neighborhoods Pose Problems for Residents Left Behind
from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
As builders find it harder and harder to cover the overhead expenses of building a subdivision, with model homes and a sales staff, many are exiting neighborhoods altogether, leaving the unfortunate early buyers to live amid the unfinished mess of empty lots and half-finished homes. More

Gambling Debate Heats Up Over Seven Proposals
from El Paso Times
Casino gambling at resorts and Indian reservations. Video slot machines at racetracks. It's all on the table at the Texas Legislature. Lobbyists for the different gambling factions are working to win support. Opponents want to stop the proposals from gaining momentum. For both sides, the next couple of weeks could be crucial. More

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