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TAB News Briefs
Nov. 6, 2008
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Austin City Council to Vote on Mandatory Home Energy Audits
from The Austin American-Statesman
Starting next summer, Austin homeowners would be required to have their homes checked for energy efficiency before selling their property under an ordinance being considered today by the City Council. Homeowners would also be required to share the result of their efficiency audit, likely to cost between $200 and $300, with potential homebuyers. More

StrucSure

Report: Real Estate Texas’ Third Most Important Industry
from The Dallas Morning News
Texas is best known for its oil well and high-tech business. But real estate is a close third. That’s what a new report by Texas A&M University’s Real Estate Center found. Real estate is the third most important private industry in Texas, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real estate industry accounts for almost 8 percent of the state’s gross domestic product, A&M’s new report says. More

What Dallas Business Leaders Would Tell Obama
from The Dallas Morning News
If you found yourself on an elevator with President-elect Barack Obama, what would you say to him? That's the scenario this reporter set for an array of business people, giving them two minutes to speak their minds. Due to space limits, their spiels were cut to a one-story ride. The diversity of their concerns shows just how tough a job lies ahead for the new president. But there is an overarching message: Cut the political bull. Surround yourself with the best and the brightest. Move quickly but cautiously. More

Harris County Leadership to get Bipartisan Look
from The Houston Chronicle
It was all a matter of timing. More precisely, the time the votes were counted. What looked early like something close to a Democratic sweep of countywide offices was really just a matter of which votes were counted first. As the hours slipped by, the Republicans turned the tables in a few races. The margins grew slim. For people whose names were all but eclipsed on a historic night in American politics, it was an agonizing wait.The final lesson was that in spite of the late-night rally, it was a tough night to be a GOP incumbent. Especially at the courthouse, where only three Republican judges prevailed. More

Net Access Impacts Home Sales
from The Associated Press via The El Paso Times
In less than a decade, broadband has gone from a luxury to a must for many people, and for some of them, it's started to influence their real-estate decisions. Homes that have broadband are winning out over more remote ones that don't. Areas with better and faster broadband are becoming more desirable than ones with slower access. More

Speaker Race Heats Up as House Split Remains a Question
from The Austin American-Statesman
Texas House members, almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans after Tuesday's election, jostled Wednesday to be next in line to challenge House Speaker Tom Craddick, a Midland Republican whose bid for a fourth term as House leader was further complicated by the new razor-thin margin. As about 65 Democrats met behind closed doors for several hours, they contemplated what a recount in a cliffhanger race might mean to their fortunes. More

Texas Legislature to Revamp Business Tax
from The Midland Reporter-Telegram
State Sen. Kel Seliger said Wednesday the 81st Legislature convening Jan. 13 in Austin will put its usual emphasis on education and health care funding, but drug and alcohol rehabilitation in prisons, U.S.-Mexico border security and the possible revival of the Trans Texas Corridor also will grab attention. Seliger was re-elected Tuesday to a second, four-year term with a 91-percent margin over a Libertarian opponent. Addressing 60 people at the 100th town hall meeting he has held in 4 1/2 years in office, the Amarillo Republican laughed and said “chaos” when asked what he expects. “We’re going to fight over money,” he added. More

Hutchison Mum on Challenge to Perry
from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The day after the historic presidential election, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison was mum on her future plans. For months, she has campaigned for fellow Republicans and delayed any announcement of whether she’d make a bid to become Texas’ governor in 2010 - potentially setting up a partisan primary battle between her and GOP Gov. Rick Perry - after Tuesday’s election. On Wednesday, her staff had little to say. "Sen. Hutchison believes Texans deserve a little break from campaigning," spokesman Matt Mackowiak said. "There will be plenty of time to talk about 2010." More

House District 105 Race too Close to Call; Provisional Ballots to be Counted
from The Dallas Morning News
The balance of power in the Texas House of Representatives will likely come down to who wins the still-too-close-to-call House District 105 seat, which covers most of Irving. Republican Incumbent Linda Harper-Brown is leading with 25 votes, but elections officials said there are still 280 provisional ballots to count. And that process likely won’t be finished until Monday. More

Stabilizing Governor’s Mansion Almost Done: Restoration to Begin Soon
from The Brownsville Herald
State officials say they are almost finished stabilizing the fire-damaged Texas Governor's Mansion and hope to start restoration efforts early next year. State Preservation Board officials on Wednesday took reporters through portions of the historic home, which was nearly destroyed by a June 8 blaze authorities say was started by an arsonist. More

Tarrant County Voted Red, But Some Areas Deep Blue
from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Throughout the county, Republican presidential nominee John McCain held the support of more precincts than he lost, and he won the county as a whole with 55.6 percent of the vote, less than Bush’s 61 percent in 2004. But Obama did pick up wins in more than 150 precincts in Tarrant County, mostly the heart and east side of the county, election records show. More

After Close Race, McCaul Wins District 10
from The Cypress Sun
U.S. Congressman Michael McCaul declared victory at around 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4. after 53 percent of precincts had reported final numbers. After a long race with narrowing margins, the incumbent Republican McCaul defeated Democratic candidate Larry Joe Doherty and Libertarian candidate Matt Finkel. More

New Potter County Sheriff Mulls Deputy
from The Amarillo Globe-News
Potter County's newest elected sheriff is not wasting any time getting acclimated to his new post. Brian Thomas, who won the position Tuesday night, said he will spend the next two months familiarizing himself with the department and area law enforcement officials in preparation for taking over in January. "We all know I haven't been a sheriff," said Thomas, a 44-year-old Amarillo police corporal. "I'm open to taking different ideas and bringing them all together." More

Smith County Voter Numbers Lower Than Expected
from The Tyler Morning Telegraph
The unofficial voting totals are in and they’re not as big as expected. Smith County voters continued their record-breaking ways as they settled local, state and national campaigns without any major snafus at the polls, but Smith County Elections Administrator Karen Chaney said she was surprised by the final numbers. More





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