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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Jul. 19, 2012

Housing starts in June highest in 4 years
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Housing starts jumped 6.9 percent in June to a three-and-a-half year high, underscoring the residential real estate's slow recovery as a bright spot in a sputtering economy. Construction of homes and apartments rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000 in June, the Commerce Department said. That exceeded analysts' estimates and was the highest level since October 2008. More

Builder confidence rises 6 points in July
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose six points to 35 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for July. This is the largest one-month gain recorded by the index in nearly a decade, and brings the HMI to its highest point since March of 2007. "Builder confidence increased by solid margins in every region of the country in July as views of current sales conditions, prospects for future sales and traffic of prospective buyers all improved," said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. More

Housing comeback: Builders say things are looking up for home construction
The Associated Press via The Register-Guard    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Builders are putting up more new houses than they have in nearly four years, a long-awaited recovery that could help energize the U.S. economy. From areas like Phoenix that are finally arising from the housing bust to Chicago and Minneapolis, where strong economies have lifted demand, the outlook for home building looks healthier than at any time since sales and prices collapsed in 2007. "We've been hoping for this for a long time," said Celia Chen, a housing economist at Moody's Analytics. "It looks like things are turning." More

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Early voting in run-off begins Monday    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many Texans vote early. Texas enables residents to vote in the days and weeks before an election to make the voting process more convenient and accessible. There are two ways to vote early: By showing up in person during the prescribed early voting period or by voting by mail. More

After arson, Governor's Mansion restoration is complete
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Four years after an arsonist nearly burned down the Texas Governor's Mansion, Gov. Rick Perry and his wife, Anita, stood a few feet from its iconic front porch and announced that a painstaking restoration of the 156-year-old structure is complete. The governor flashed a broad smile when he walked up to the microphone on the hot July morning, telling reporters he had been looking forward to this day. More

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Imagine Homes to offer DOW POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingles for all new construction
Business Wire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
DOW POWERHOUSE™ has announced a major new collaboration with Imagine Homes, a San Antonio-based homebuilder leading the nation in new high performance green building technology, to offer the cutting-edge DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle roof system to all new home buyers in Imagine Homes' six San Antonio area residential communities. Additionally, DOW POWERHOUSE will be a standard feature on all homes in the Willis Ranch community, scheduled to open in September 2012. More

Texas banking on $5 billion in extra revenue for current budget
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At least $5 billion in unanticipated revenue will flow into Texas' state coffers during the current two-year budget, according to new figures from the comptroller's office. That money will help lawmakers fill some holes in the budget and perhaps avoid an early fight over tapping the state's $8 billion rainy day fund next year. But so far the extra money would not be enough to undo cuts to public education and other state services. More

Ex-West Texas construction manager gets prison
The Associated Press via Amarillo Globe-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A former West Texas construction manager has been sentenced to more than two years in prison in a kickbacks scheme for school projects. A federal judge in Midland sentenced Carl James Woodruff of Midland. Woodruff, who in September pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering, must make nearly $3 million in restitution. More

Texas leaders to discuss policies at energy summit
The Associated Press via Ventura County Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State leaders and private-sector energy experts will meet at the Irving Energy Summit to discuss developing Texas' natural resources. Officials also will discuss whether the current electricity infrastructure is sufficient to supply power to businesses and residents statewide. Last month, the Texas Public Utility Commission voted to raise the price cap on wholesale electricity rates by 50 percent later this summer. More

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Leander set to let developer bring senior, mixed-income housing to town
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
City officials are welcoming a developer's plan to turn 52 acres into mixed-income and senior housing, saying there are too few developments to meet the current demand. "It adds a different level of housing," Mayor Chris Fielder said about Connelly's Crossing, which would crop up behind the Leander Public Library on South Bagdad Road and would also include park space and single-family homes. More

Apple's new Austin campus
Austin Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"A" is for Apple Inc. The red marker points to the raw land on which Apple is expected to expand. The buildings just below the red marker are currently occupied by Apple. Records at the Travis County Clerk's Office show that McShane Development Co. LLC, through its Riata Vista LP entity, sold three tracts of land to Apple on June 21. More

Master Brick announces the addition of MB2 BioClay!

This innovative product is quickly becoming the first choice for builders, architects and homeowners across the country. For more information on BioClay or any of the Master Brick products call 855-208-4639. MORE

Natural gas, chemical plant accidents pollute Texas, group says
Dallas Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Environmental Integrity Project has issued a report that concludes petrochemical companies released 100,000 tons of pollution in Texas from 2009 to 2011 during accidental or other non-routine events. The EIP and another fellow environmental watchdog group Earthjustice say they'll sue the Environmental Protection Agency if the EPA doesn't crack down on petrochemical companies. More

Los Indios Bridge tolls take plunge
Valley Morning Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The cities of Harlingen and San Benito have revised their revenue projections as the number of crossings at the Free Trade Bridge at Los Indios continues to drop. Fear of continuing violence in Mexico's drug war has resulted in plunging tolls, officials said. In Harlingen, officials have projected revenues of $135,775 for the upcoming fiscal year, down from $187,743 this year, Assistant City Manager Gabriel Gonzalez said. More

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Apprehensions for immigration violations drop
The Associated Press via    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The government says apprehensions of people for federal immigration violations have dropped to the lowest level in 40 years, reflecting a decline in the northbound traffic of illegal immigrants from Mexico. At the same time, the number of suspects booked by the U.S. Marshals Service for criminal immigration offenses has gone up dramatically, a function of tougher law enforcement on the U.S. side of the border. More

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Obama proposes $1 billion for science, math teachers
The Associated Press via Corpus Christi Caller-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration has unveiled plans to create an elite corps of master teachers, a $1 billion effort to boost U.S. students' achievement in science, technology, engineering and math. The program to reward high-performing teachers with salary stipends is part of a long-term effort by President Barack Obama to encourage education in high-demand areas that hold the key to future economic growth — and to close the achievement gap between American students and their international peers. More
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