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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Sep. 4, 2012


TAB News Briefs
Sep. 4, 2012
TAB Quick Links >    Home     Education     Legislative     Publications     Calendar     Sunbelt Builders Show     Resources



Texas sees rising tide of property-rights cases
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The case of Julia Trigg Crawford versus the Keystone XL oil pipeline will soon return to the headlines. Crawford, a northeast Texas farmer, is fighting to keep TransCananda, the pipeline's owner, from invoking the right of eminent domain to cross her property. A Lamar County judge ruled against her last month, but Crawford says she plans to file an appeal soon — probably to the state's 6th Court of Appeals in Texarkana. "We feel good about a panel of judges" hearing the case for the court, she says. More



Don't miss the Sunbelt Builders Show next week
TAB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Make plans to attend the premier event for residential construction industry professionals in the Southwest. The Sunbelt Builders Show™, which will be held Sept. 13-15 at the Austin Convention Center, is known for its exciting trade show, thought-provoking speakers and plenty of networking opportunities. This year's Show is packed with valuable information that will help you do business smarter and increase your bottom line. The Opening Session will feature Lance Armstrong. More

Grants available to rebuild after fire:
Applications due to Texas land office by Sept. 28

KXAN-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Grants will be available to use for people who lost their home in the 2011 Bastrop fires. The money will be coming from $31.3 million in community development block grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. More

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Texas county hails crackdown on house squatters
Bryan-College Station Eagle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Officials in the Fort Worth area say they have made strong moves to ward off a wave of squatters trying to claim homes through obscure state law known as "adverse possession." Adverse possession allows someone to take ownership of otherwise unclaimed land after a period of time, typically 10 years. It is sometimes used to settle boundary disputes between longtime landowners. But dozens of people in North Texas tried to use adverse possession to file claims on foreclosures or temporarily empty homes. More

Panel urges wildfire division funding
KXAN-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Austin's Public Safety Commission is fired up when it comes to preventing the city from burning up. Members say budget planners and the city council have largely ignored their suggestion to fund a new Wildfire Mitigation Division — a group of the Austin Fire Department specifically set aside to battle those blazes. Proposals show it could cost $2 million dollars. But the council will finalize the budget next week, leaving little room for changes until next year. More

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Experts: Texas creating jobs, but faces challenges
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although Texas is a leader in creating jobs and recruiting businesses to relocate, state officials shouldn't assume that Texas can remain the envy of other states, a special committee on economic development was told. Several witnesses warned that economic development is more than just incentives and that long-term problems in education, transportation, water and health care — as well as increasing competition from other states — could undercut Texas' advantages in economic development. More

Construction workers file wage claims with state of Texas
KOSA-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some Midland construction workers are taking their complaints to the state after claiming that the man they were working for did not pay them. The Texas Workforce Commission says that in the past week 2 claims have been filed against Above & Beyond construction out of Amarillo. More

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Texas to open 85 mph toll way in November
The Associated Press via KXAN-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas will soon open a stretch of highway with the highest speed limit in the country. Construction crews have begun posting 85 mph speed limit signs for the pending section of toll road between Austin and San Antonio. An official with the State Highway 130 Concession Co. confirmed to The Associated Press that the signs have begun going up. More

Coalition unites behind balanced approach for state budget
Houston Chronicle Texas Politics Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Belt-tightening in both good and bad times is starving the state's future, particularly when it comes to health care and education, according to a new coalition that formed to educate lawmakers "as to what Texas people need and want." Austere budgets have ruled the day in recent years when economic hard times influenced Texas lawmakers to cut billions from the state budget, including $5.3 billion last year needed to keep public education on pace with enrollment growth. More



State deal revives Galveston development
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The former owner of the largest and most controversial development ever planned for Galveston Island signed a deal with state officials recently that revived the moribund project. The Texas General Land Office, negotiating for the School Land Board, entered into a limited partnership making Marquette Cos. the managing partner. The Land Board bought the land a year ago for $10 million after Marquette defaulted on a $36 million loan. More

US House committee chair throws support behind locals in fight to keep salamanders off endangered species list
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Just hours before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was to hold a public hearing about the proposed listing of four Central Texas salamander species as endangered, the head of a U.S. House committee that oversees the Endangered Species Act threw his support behind local officials' fight to keep the species off the list. More

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Monte Cristo viewed as key new corridor
The McAllen Monitor via The Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A four-lane expansion to a section of Monte Cristo Road is part of a larger vision to build an east-west alternative to Expressway 83 for Hidalgo and Cameron counties. Hidalgo County Precinct 4 is completing plans to expand a 1-mile stretch of Monte Cristo between Kenyon and North Alamo roads using about $7 million. But Hidalgo and Cameron county officials view Monte Cristo as an eventual alternative to U.S. 83, providing direct, high-speed connectivity to Valley International Airport in Harlingen and greater access to the northern causeway for South Padre Island. More

US unemployment aid applications decline
The Associated Press via El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, and a private survey showed businesses stepped up hiring in August. The data sketched a brighter outlook for the job market just before the government reports on August employment. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 365,000, the Labor Department said. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up to 371,250. More

Master Brick announces the addition of MB2 BioClay!

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Texas: Nearly 50 percent of all construction workers live in poverty
Beaumont Enterprise The Bayou Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas leads the way in job growth, for sure. But it also reigns supreme in another category: The number of full time construction workers who live below the poverty line. This is big news for Southeast Texas, which is usually near the top in Texas when it comes to unemployment rates (both seasonally adjusted and otherwise). The reason: The large number of construction workers that work in and around the local industrial infrastructure. And with Keystone coming, even more will toil for big oil. More

Mortgage rates steady, continue to help housing recover
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages changed little this week and remained slightly above record lows reached earlier this year. The low rates have aided a modest housing recovery. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year loan slipped to 3.55 percent, down from 3.59 percent. Recently, the rate fell to 3.49 percent, the lowest since long-term mortgages were first offered in the 1950s. More

ODL Offers Impact-Rated Doorglass
ODL Severe Weather® Doorglass is certified for use in a range of entrance systems to meet Texas wind-borne requirements and provides safety and security while maximizing natural light. ODL offers a wide variety of impact-rated Doorglass including: Decorative Doorglass, Light-Touch® Enclosed Blinds, Grilles Between Glass, and Privacy and Clear Glass. www.odl.com


On new FHFA plan, mortgage rates will mandatorily rise up to 0.25 percent
The Mortgage Reports    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Soon, conforming mortgage applicants will be subject to higher mortgage rates. It's part of the Federal Housing Finance Agency's plan to render Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac less competitive in the marketplace. Thinking about doing a refinance? Save money by acting now. More

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Stage 1 water restrictions a fading memory for most in North Texas
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At this time last year, almost all of Tarrant County was under Stage 1 water restrictions that mandated which two days a week residents could water their lawns. That lasted until May. "I think there is more work to be done," said Linda Christie, the water district's director of government and community relations. Christie said conserving water to postpone adding new water supplies is one-tenth as expensive as relying on new sources, such as the $2.3 billion integrated pipeline in the design and planning stages with the city of Dallas. More

Build your career
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Apartment and condominium market shows continued improvement in 2nd quarter
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Multifamily Production Index, released by the National Association of Home Builders, improved for the eighth consecutive quarter with an index level of 54. It is the highest reading since the second quarter of 2005. The MPI, which measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condominium market on a scale of 0 to 100, rose from 51 in the first quarter to 54 in the second quarter. More



Which is greener, new construction or retrofitting?
EarthTechling    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sure, old buildings can be drafty and inefficient, and were often constructed with no more knowledge of such newfangled green concepts as passive solar orientation than there were constructed with built-in hovercraft parking. But new buildings, no matter how painstakingly green, tend to have a significant carbon footprint, simply by virtue of the fact that they're new. More
A sub-floor you can stand on- and behind.
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Kerdi-Board Waterproof Building Panels
The Schluter®-KERDI-BOARD system serves as a substrate, building panel, and bonded waterproofing solution. It can be used to create an absolutely flat substrate with precise corners that is immediately ready for tile. Available in seven thicknesses, it can also be used as a building element to construct free-standing structures for tile coverings. Booth #418 at Sunbelt Builders Show.
BuildwithPropane.com Offers Tools for Builders
BuildwithPropane.com is dedicated to providing the tools builders need to develop projects with clean burning propane. The site hosts more than 20 online continuing education courses for builders through the Propane Training Academy as well as other resources like product and technical guides and information on incentives. MORE


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