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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources July 1, 2010

Official says pipeline that caused Cleburne explosion not marked
The Dallas Morning News    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The natural gas pipeline that exploded June 7 near Cleburne, killing a man and injuring eight others, was not marked at all when utility crews began digging in the area, a top federal official says. Deborah Hersman, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told Capitol Hill lawmakers last week that investigators combing the blast site found the "ruptured pipeline was not marked" as required by federal law. Hersman also blamed a failure to identify gas lines for a June 8 explosion in the Texas Panhandle that killed two workers. More

Alex unleashes tornadoes, floods in Upper Valley
The Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Rain and wind should lessen across the Rio Grande Valley as Hurricane Alex moves west across Mexico and weakens. Forecasts call for 6 inches to 1 foot of rain across the Valley, with 20 inches in some places. Low-lying areas and places with poor drainage could be inundated with 3 feet to 5 feet of water. Officials also cautioned residents to beware of flash flooding. More

Education Commissioner a no-show at hearing
The Austin American-Stateseman Postcards Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Rep. Scott Hochberg, chairman of an appropriations subcommittee overseeing the education budget, was not too pleased that Education Commissioner Robert Scott stood up the committee. Scott's absence, Hochberg said, reminded legislators once again that "the commissioner only works for one person and he's the person who lives in that other house." That other person would be Gov. Rick Perry, who appointed Scott. Scott, however, maintains that he was invited but his attendance was never certain, said TEA spokeswoman Debbie Graves Ratcliffe. More

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Austin F1 promoter has globe guessing
The Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on
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An eccentric billionaire calls him a family friend. Millionaires want to throw money at him. He always flies coach but now attracts jet-setters. He can bring a dead cell phone back to life. Without using a charger. No disrespect to the star of the Dos Equis beer commercials, but he is, for the moment, the most interesting man in the world. Ever since late May, when it was announced that Austin would become the U.S. stop for a Formula One Grand Prix race, fans from Singapore to Istanbul have been asking the $250 million question: Who in the world is Tavo Hellmund? More

Some time today, BP spill expected to become Gulf's biggest
The Associated Press via The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
BP's massive oil spill will become the largest ever in the Gulf of Mexico by Thursday based on the highest of the federal government's estimates, an ominous record that underscores the oil giant's dire need to halt the gusher. The oil that's spewed for two and a half months from a blown-out well a mile under the sea is expected to surpass the 140 million gallon mark, eclipsing the record-setting Ixtoc I spill off Mexico's coast from 1979 to 1980. Even by the lower end of the government's estimates, at least 71.2 million gallons are in the Gulf. More

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Senators back congressional oil spill inquiry
The Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Senate Republicans on Wednesday advanced legislation that would create a congressionally appointed panel to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, based on complaints that a competing presidential commission has an environmentalist tilt. More

Ballistics tests run: Workers at El Paso City Hall unfazed by violent incident
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
he bullets that hit El Paso City Hall on Tuesday — apparently from an AK-47 rifle — could have easily come from a shooting about half a mile away in Juárez, officials and experts said. El Paso police would not disclose anything on the shooting Wednesday, but said ballistics tests are being conducted on two bullets found at City Hall. Five bullets hit the west side walls, one hit the north end of the building and another went into an office. No one was injured. More

EPA rejects air permits of 122 Texas plants
The Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday invalidated the air quality permits of 122 plants across Texas, throwing out one of the state's key environmental permitting processes. The action sparked complaints from representatives of the petrochemical industry who called the move a "backdoor" attempt to bring the facilities under federal greenhouse gas regulation. Gov. Rick Perry blasted the move. More

Texans can apply for US health insurance pool
The Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many uninsured Texans with medical conditions will be able to sign up for health insurance beginning today under a new federal program. The so-called high-risk pools are intended to provide insurance to the previously uninsurable. The pools, which will cost $5 billion nationally, were introduced as part of the sweeping health care law passed by Congress in March. Coverage will begin Aug. 1 if people apply by July 15, officials said. More

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Texas' energy-efficient appliance rebate system a 'complete failure,' state lawmaker says
The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A state lawmaker criticized a system to help Texans receive rebates for energy-efficient appliances as a "complete failure." The program run by Comptroller Susan Combs' office this spring frustrated thousands of Texans for several hours on April 7, when they tried to call phone lines and access a website to reserve the rebates. "Why can't somebody have seen this?" Rep. Chente Quintanilla, D-Tornillo, asked during a House hearing on privatization. "I know the comptroller is a smart person. Did they just give it out and say, 'Do it,' and forget it?" More

The push for gambling, and the pushback
The San Antonio Express-News Texas Politics Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Sam Houston Race Park's Andrea Young today pressed the case for slots machines as a necessity for Texas tracks to compete with neighboring states that already have expanded gambling. She also said the expansion would add nearly $1 billion to Texas coffers when fully implemented at Texas tracks. "Texans need slot machines at race tracks for one reason — to give us the ability to compete with racetracks in our surrounding states," said Young, representing her track and others in Texans for Economic Development. More

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