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Texas News Scrawl | Chad Swiatecki,Antonio Salazar Escobar,Francisco Rivero,Christopher Flavelle,Charles R. Babcock,David Barron,Laylan Copelin,Ben Wear,Yue Wang,Kate Galbraith,John Wayne Ferguson,Laylan Copelin,Mary Ann Roser,David Barron,Kirk Ladendorf,Reeve Hamilton,Mary Schlangenstein,Terence Stutz,Ronnie Crocker,Vic Kolenc,David Barron,Michael Granberry,Sheyda Aboii,Barbara Soderlin,Chris Vaughn,Tim Hepher,Anurag Kotoky,Mike D. Smith,Lily Primeaux,

Photo by Karnegie Musa. Copyright 2011.

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Texas Music Scene spreads Lone Star sounds far and wide by Chad Swiatecki of Culturemap Austin. When he talks about helping to launch the new live music show Texas Music Scene, country music legend Ray Benson can’t help but reference another iconic music program and the cradle of country music, both with a bit of a tweak to the nose. “I tried to get Austin City Limits to do this type of show for years, something that’s all about Texas,” Benson said over the phone recently.

Powers of Attorney in Mexico: A Double-Edged Sword by Antonio Salazar Escobar and Francisco Rivero for Texas Lawyer. Every day, thousands of multinational companies rely on powers of attorney to conduct the day-to-day administration of their Mexican businesses. A company's ability to initiate and defend itself in litigation, pay taxes or issue checks are but some of the functions Mexican proxies (or poderes) facilitate. However, the failure to scrutinize powers granted and to monitor proxy-holders themselves may leave a company susceptible to abuse.

Texas Teen Fights For Benefits As Medicaid Contractor Says No by Christopher Flavelle and Charles R. Babcock of Bloomberg. Melody and Steve Lancaster’s 16- year-old foster son, who’s paralyzed from the neck down, needed a mechanized ceiling lift to help him get into the bathtub or his favorite beanbag chair. While Texas Medicaid officials had already paid as much as $13,000 for similar devices for others, the company that the state hired to look after the teenager’s health needs refused.

TV-radio notebook: Brown leaves FSN to launch CSN by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. It's déjà vu all over again for Murphy Brown. Thirty years ago, Brown was part of the team that launched Home Sports Entertainment, Houston's original sports network. This week, he signed on for another startup venture, Comcast SportsNet Houston, albeit with a considerably elevated job title - as vice president of production and executive producer.

Ex-Oiler files concussion lawsuit against NFL and its teams by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. An attorney representing three former NFL players, including former Oilers tight end Jimmie Giles, said Friday that he and his colleagues are taking a different legal tack to pursue their clients' claims against the NFL and its teams for what they believe to be the league's failure to inform players about the dangers of multiple concussions. Giles, who played for the Oilers in 1977 and went to the Buccaneers a year later in the trade that gave Houston the draft rights to future Pro Football Hall of Fame member Earl Campbell, joined former Buccaneers Arron Sears and Donald Smith in the suit, filed in a state district court in Tampa.

 In bid to encourage new power plants, Texas utility commission raises wholesale electricity price cap by Laylan Copelin of the Austin American-Statesman. Hoping to encourage construction of new power plants by increasing revenue for generators, the Public Utility Commission of Texas on Thursday voted to raise the wholesale price cap for electricity prices. The action — which takes effect Aug. 1 — raised the cap to $4,500 per megawatt hour, a 50 percent increase, but its proponents, commission Chairman Donna Nelson and Commissioner Rolando Pablos, tried to answer criticism the action will raise customers' bills dramatically.

Austin Council rejects $5.5 million temporary airport terminal for international F1 charter flights by Ben Wear of the Austin American-Statesman. The Austin City Council on Thursday night unanimously rejected a $5.5 million plan to build a temporary terminal extension to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to handle customs and immigration processing for international charter flights expected for November's Formula One race. Airport staff had pushed for the modular addition as a way to burnish the city's image as thousands of overseas visitors converge on the area for the race, and an incentive for airlines to schedule regular transatlantic flights to Austin.

More of Gulf of Mexico to Open for Drilling by Yue Wang of the Medill News Service. The Obama administration has announced plans to to expand drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico, even as lingering effects of the disastrous 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill are still felt along parts of the Texas coastline. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the new program opens up the vast majority of known offshore oil and gas resources for development.

Texas trio hoping to land college football's new title game by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. At each point of the Texas Triangle, efforts geared up Wednesday to attract college football's new national championship game to a state that cherishes the sport like no other. Groups in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio have expressed interest in entering the 12-year rotation for the title game that begins after the 2014 season, and bowl groups in all three cities also hope to land a spot in the six-city rotation that will host the two semifinal contests. 

Texas Regulators OK Wholesale Electricity Price Hike by Kate Galbraith and John Wayne Ferguson of the Texas Tribune. The highest wholesale prices on the Texas electrical grid will be allowed to rise by 50 percent starting in August, following a vote by state regulators. The Texas Public Utility Commission voted 2-0, with one abstention, to raise the "wholesale price cap," which electricity prices sometimes hit on hot summer afternoons

State Supreme Court rules injured workers can't sue for bad faith by Laylan Copelin of the Austin American-Statesman. A split Texas Supreme Court on Friday eliminated the rights of injured workers to sue workers' compensation insurance carriers that act in bad faith, saying such litigation interferes with the state's workers' compensation system. The 5-4 decision favored Texas Mutual Insurance Co. of Austin, the state's largest workers' compensation insurance carrier. The case was one in which Texas Mutual had initially denied an injured worker's claim, saying he was hurt playing softball and not at work, before the company eventually settled the case.

GM grass linked to Texas cattle deaths by CBS News.  ELGIN, Texas - A mysterious mass death of a herd of cattle has prompted a federal investigation in Central Texas. Preliminary test results are blaming the deaths on the grass the cows were eating when they got sick, reports CBS Station KEYE.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway buys Waco Tribune-Herald.  Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a company run by billionaire Warren Buffett, is buying the Tribune-Herald exactly one year after the firing of its editor, Carlos Sanchez. 

Movie of Josh Hamilton planned by ESPN.  Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton will have his life story scripted so it can be pitched as a feature film, according to deadline.com. The report states the production will be written and directed by Casey Affleck.

New study: Tort reform has not reduced health care costs in Texas by Mary Ann Roser of the Austin American-Statesman. A new study found no evidence that health care costs in Texas dipped after a 2003 constitutional amendment limited payouts in medical malpractice lawsuits, despite claims made to voters by some backers of tort reform. The researchers, who include University of Texas law professor Charles Silver, examined Medicare spending in Texas counties and saw no reduction in doctors' fees for seniors and disabled patients between 2002 and 2009.

Fresh off Senate run, James says he won't return to ESPN in fall by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. Craig James, the former CBS and ESPN football analyst who placed fourth in the nine-man Republican Primary race for the U.S. Senate, will not return to ESPN this fall but said he has been contacted by other networks to gauge his interest in returning to TV.

Austin-based SAM Inc. making mark with high-tech mapping, scanning technique by Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman.  The images that Surveying and Mapping Inc. captured on East Sixth Street in Austin last July are eerie and amazing. Every architectural façade of every building is captured in accurate detail and so is every traffic barrier, every streetlight and every cable supporting traffic lights at the intersections.

A&M System May Soon Learn Fate of Biosecurity Bid by Reeve Hamilton of the Texas Tribune. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Texas A&M University System will be holding simultaneous press conferences — the former in Washington, D.C., and the latter in Austin. HHS and A&M officials were unavailable Friday to comment on what could be a coincidence, but there are compelling reasons to believe it isn't.

US Airways Sees Progress Toward American Airlines Merger by Mary Schlangenstein of Bloomberg Businessweek. US Airways Group Inc. is making “great progress” toward a merger with American Airlines that would cure network failings at the AMR Corp. unit, chief executive Doug Parker said. American’s push to restructure in bankruptcy as a stand- alone carrier won’t be enough to fix weaknesses at the third- largest U.S. airline, including a loss of market share, Parker said at US Airways’ annual meeting in New York.

Loya Insurance fined $300,000 for deceptive practices by Terence Stutz of the Dallas Morning News.  AUSTIN — Loya Insurance Co., a leading auto insurer in Texas, has been fined $300,000 by the Texas Department of Insurance for unfair and deceptive business practices and for failing to file accurate information on the rates it charges its customers. A consent order issued by state Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman directed the company to submit to the department a report detailing how it determines its rates and discounts for the 210,000 drivers it insures in Texas.

Third Texas Tech Fund Firm Declares Bankruptcy by KWTX. SAN ANTONIO—A third company that was awarded taxpayer dollars through Gov. Rick Perry's business-hatching Emerging Technology Fund has gone bankrupt and NanoTailor's filing brings the total amount of failed investments to $2.5 million.

Stanford gets 110 years in prison by Ronnie Crocker of the Houston Chronicle. R. Allen Stanford’s speech Thursday to a judge and a courtroom full of aggrieved investors — a lengthy rationale for the collapse of his financial empire — apparently fell on deaf ears, as the disgraced businessman was sentenced to 110 years in federal prison. Stanford, 62, took a sip of water and drew a deep breath after learning that, absent a successful appeal, he’ll never leave prison.

 Call center has 200 job openings; bilingual population draws D.C. firm by Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times. A Washington, D.C.-based market survey company is opening a call center in El Paso to do phone surveys of consumers and others because of this area's large bilingual population. American Directions Group, formerly The Clinton Group, plans to add 150 to 200 part-time jobs in coming weeks, and have its East Side call center fully staffed by August, company officials said.

'Dallas' is back, y'all! by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. At the height of its 1980s popularity, the prime-time soap opera "Dallas" aired as many as 30 episodes in a season, which provided ample time for wordless emoting. "We used to have long, drawn-out close-ups, blah, blah, blah, freeze frames, meaningful looks," said actress Linda Gray, who played Sue Ellen Ewing, the long-suffering, occasionally spiteful, occasionally sloshed wife of the Man America Loved to Hate, Larry Hagman's J.R. Ewing.

Nasher architect Renzo Piano pleads for a solution from Museum Tower by Michael Granberry of the Dallas Morning News. Renzo Piano, the Italian architect who designed the Nasher Sculpture Center, said Thursday that he’s grieving over the storm of solar rays invading his prized creation from Museum Tower, its 42-story next-door neighbor, whose highly reflective glass has been a problem for months. Piano visited the Nasher on Wednesday, seeing the damage for the third time since it was discovered last fall.

SpaceX vehicle travels to Texas by KETK. MCGREGOR, TEXAS — Two weeks after Space Exploration Technologies’ (SpaceX) Dragon spacecraft made history as the first commercial vehicle to visit the International Space Station, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden traveled to McGregor, Texas to see the historic spacecraft before heading to SpaceX’s Headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The event includes the opportunity to see the historic Dragon spacecraft from last month’s mission to the space station.

After Hearing, White Stallion Coal Plant Keeps its Air Permit by Sheyda Aboii of State Impact. Representatives for environmental groups walked away disappointed from a meeting of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality this morning, after TCEQ made it clear that it would not  pull its air permit for the White Stallion Energy Center. This time, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) brought White Stallion representatives before the TCEQ over the existence of a second site plan for the proposed coal plant.

Rapid City panel OKs $500,000 as incentive for Texas company by Barbara Soderlin of the Rapid City Journal. A Rapid City economic development committee has authorized a $500,000 incentive package for WL Plastics, a manufacturer of high density polyethylene pipe and other products for the energy, industrial and municipal water markets. Local economic development officials say they are unable to discuss any pending deals, and it is isn't clear what presence WL Plastics is considering establishing in Rapid City.

Naval Air Station Fort Worth worried about wind turbines by Chris Vaughn of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. FORT WORTH—Capt. Robert Bennett is worried about a problem he doesn't have. Bennett's concern is the construction of a 250-foot-tall wind turbine near Naval Air Station Fort Worth without his input. 

Mexico tourism chief downplays violence, says Texas warning hasn’t slowed visitors by the Houston Chronicle. The Mexico Tourism Board says international tourism to Mexico increased in the past year, despite a travel advisory from Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s administration warning Texas families to stay out of Mexico during spring break because of escalating drug violence. The travel advisory, which urged citizens to “avoid traveling to Mexico” altogether, was issued in March by the Texas Department of Public Safety after grisly reports of drug-related border violence in Mexico alarmed the international community.

American Air CEO says not focused on merger for now by Tim Hepher and Anurag Kotoky of Reuters. BEIJING—American Airlines still plans to exit bankruptcy at the end of this year but is not concentrating on a merger currently despite pressure from unions to forge a combination with US Airways, American's chief executive said. "We are not focused on a merger. Right now we are focused on a successful restructuring," CEO Tom Horton said on the sidelines of an industry meeting.

Texas entrepreneurs pitch changeable shoe covers by Mike D. Smith of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. CORPUS CHRISTI—Perhaps concepts popped up just as suddenly in the minds of inventors like Steve Jobs, George Washington Carver or Thomas Edison. Anthony Ciccarelli's light bulb moment for his patent-pending idea came when his girlfriend's friend visited town.

Thanks to the Drought, Farmland Values Mostly Flat in Texas by Lily Primeaux of State Impact. If you’re a farmer in the Midwest, chances are your land values have gone up recently. A new survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Mo. says that irrigated farmland value in those areas grew more than 30 percent over the last year’s first quarter

Texas Is the Future by Binyamin Appelbaum of the New York Times. The Texas economy grew 3.3 percent in 2011, and the growth was broad-based. Not just oil, not just manufacturing. Texas now accounts for 8.7 percent of the nation’s economy, up from 7.4 percent a decade ago.

Lawton bank freezes $6.5 million in Comanche Nation funds by Andrew Knittle of The Oklahoman. LAWTON — A bank has frozen $6.5 million in funds belonging to the Comanche Nation amid a leadership dispute, court records show. Lawyers representing Texas-based International Bank of Commerce filed a complaint Friday in federal court, alleging that a series of recall hearings in April have left bank officials unsure as to who is authorized to use the accounts.

Travis County approves F1 permit amid concerns from neighbors by Farzad Mashhood of the Austin American-Statesman. Travis County judge Sam Biscoe this afternoon approved a so-called “mass gathering” permit that will allow a Formula One race to take place near Austin in November. Many residents complained about the expected traffic and noise of having 120,000 people thronging to the remote corner of the county on race day, while some favored the economic benefits of the event.  

Texas papers sold to Victoria Advocate backers by News & Tech. A group of investors that owns the Victoria (Texas) Advocate has purchased the Longview News-Journal, Marshall News Messenger and a group of east Texas weekly papers. No terms were disclosed for the transaction, which is expected to close this month.

Dallas' welcomes JetBlue with 5-acre ad by Ben Mutzabaugh of USA TODAY.  JetBlue just began flying to Dallas/Fort Worth on May 1, but passengers arriving at the Texas airport may be forgiven for thinking the airline is more entrenched there. That's thanks to a promotion that the carrier is announcing today that will be nearly impossible for fliers to miss … at least for those with a window- seat, anyway.

Area's wheat arrives before fierce storms by Jerry Lackey of the San Angelo Standard-Times. SAN ANGELO, Texas — The thunderstorm supercell that swept through parts of the Concho Valley last week damaged cornfields, but the wheat harvest was completed just in time, said David Holubec, who operates ranch and farm acreage two miles south of Melvin in McCulloch County. "We had hail at my place, but my son Seth farms another mile from us, and baseball-size hail fell, which knocked the windows out of the south side of the house, and the siding looks like someone took a sledgehammer to it," Holubec said

Concerns raised over spaceport proposal by Matthew Tresaugue of the San Antonio Express-News.  A proposed spaceport near Brownsville could harm endangered falcons, ocelots and sea turtles, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department told federal aviation regulators last week. The Texas agency raised the environmental concerns with the Federal Aviation Administration, which has the permitting authority for the private spaceport, even as state officials increased efforts to lure the SpaceX project. 

Aging threatens Texas farms, ranches by William Pack of the San Antonio Express-News. Russell Real is something of an exception. At 28, he's decided to stay on the farm his father started 34 years ago rather than pursue some hot new business trend like others of his generation. “I'm not looking for the next big thing. Money isn't everything,” Real said at his family's farm and ranch southwest of Seguin. 

Squeezing the Shale: Lubbock economy more diverse due to oil industry by Stacia Smith and Adam Young of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Lubbock has not become an oil town but the oil boom in West Texas and the region is having an impact. For example: Big Spring-based Desert Tanks, maker of oilfield fuel tanks, announced it’s expanding to Lubbock, according to John Osborne, CEO of the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance.

Falling oil prices show cracks in Midland-Odessa's economic armor by Mella McEwen of the Midland Reporter-Telegram. High oil prices -- the fuel of Midland-Odessa's economic engine -- have dropped sharply in recent weeks, closing Friday at $83.23 per barrel, the lowest level in about six months. Karr Ingham, the Amarillo economist who prepares the Midland-Odessa Regional Economic Index and its companion, the Texas Permian Basin Petroleum Index, said the petroleum index declined from March to April, the first decline in 29 months, while the average oil price recorded its first year-over-year decline since October 2009.

Dallas Has Its Own Indie Film Scene, and a Festival by Christopher Kelly of Texas Monthly. For a generation of young Texans eager to write and direct their own movies, the message has long been the same: head to Austin, that promised land of “Slacker” and South by Southwest and the ever-expanding Alamo Drafthouse franchise. With its high-profile residents — among them Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez and Terrence Malick — its myriad film festivals and the University of Texas film program, it is a city known for its worshipful devotion to a certain brand of independent-spirited cinema.

Medicaid recruiters scramble for Texas dental patients by Byron Harris of WFAA. They might be called bounty hunters.They're dressed as dental professionals, but they are recruiters whose job is to find Medicaid-eligible children for dentists to work on.

$33 Barrel Oil Now and Forever by Raymond J. Learsay for the Huffington Post. One month after President Obama was sworn into office the price of crude oil for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was $33/barrel. Many thought it an anomaly, but it was a much truer reflection of the real price of oil on a genuine supply demand criteria than oil's price today.

Can ban on Texas rivers appears to work by Colin McDonald of the Houston Chronicle. The new can ban in New Braunfels successfully reduced the amount of garbage being left in the Comal and Guadalupe rivers through Memorial Day weekend. But that did not leave everyone happy.

Eggstra! Eggstra! Huge find in Abilene chicken coop by Greg Kendall-Ball of the Abilene  Reporter-News. Like she has every day for years, Cookie Smith went out to the chicken coop on her farm on County Road 103 on Monday afternoon to collect the bounty from her three laying hens. She said her three hens — "just scrawny little things we picked up from a man in Clyde" — favor two nests in the coop.

'Prison Show' host resigns over decision to ban co-host by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. The host of KPFT's (90.1 FM) "Prison Show" has resigned, citing the Pacifica Radio station's decision to prohibit him from using former talk show host and convicted felon Jon Matthews as his co-host. David Babb, who has hosted the Friday night show since January 2011, said the station is sending the wrong message by not allowing Matthews, who was a prominent, conservative-leaning host on KPRC (950 AM) and KSEV (700 AM) prior to his 2004 guilty plea to charges of indecency with a child, to appear with him on KPFT.

Exxon Mobil considering Baytown expansion by Michael Graczyk of Bloomberg Businessweek. Exxon Mobil Corp. is considering a multi-billion-dollar expansion of its giant petrochemical complex east of Houston. The company estimated the expansion at its Baytown complex about 30 miles east of Houston would provide about 10,000 construction jobs, then 350 permanent jobs once new facilities are up and running.

U.S. Oil Boom Prompts Motiva to Change Port Arthur Strategy by Dan Murtaugh and Barbara J Powell of Bloomberg Businessweek.  Motiva Enterprises LLC had to adjust its strategy for the $10 billion expansion of the Port Arthur, Texas, refinery because of a boom in U.S. oil production, Bob Pease, the company’s chief executive officer, said. Pease, Saudi Arabian Oil Co. CEO Khalid Al-Falih and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) CEO Peter Voser were all in Port Arthur to show off the expanded plant, which more than doubled capacity to 600,000 barrels a day.

Hill Country peach crop should be a sweet one by Andrew Chung and Erin Coker of WFAA. FREDERICKSBURG, Texas — It seems like the machines are sorting an endless parade of peaches at the Vogel Orchard in Stonewall, Texas. For owner Jamey Vogel that sight — and sound — are beautiful. "This year we're running about two weeks ahead of schedule and it's because we had an early winter this year," said Vogel.

Investors eager to buy AMR, US Airways says by Andrea Ahles of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. US Airways says it has been approached by investors and equity firms eager to be part of its potential bid for American Airlines. In an interview Wednesday, US Airways Chief Financial Officer Derek Kerr said that if the carrier makes an offer for American's parent company, AMR Corp., it would not be contingent on financing.

United Airlines to cut 1,300 Houston jobs by Joshua Freed and David Koenig of Bloomberg Businessweek. United Airlines will cut 1,300 jobs and reduce flying in Houston after losing a fight to block Southwest Airlines Co. from adding international flights there. United uses Bush Intercontinental Airport to funnel passengers between U.S. destinations and to Latin America. 

Proposed SpaceX Launch Site in Texas Draws Concerns by Minjae Park of the Texas Tribune. The company behind the commercial spacecraft that landed successfully in the Pacific Ocean on Friday after a mission to the International Space Station wants to come to the Rio Grande Valley. But the launch pad it is considering building has raised concerns among environmentalists and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department because of the proposed site's proximity to endangered animals and other wildlife.

In Texas, Trial Lawyers Sink Money Into GOP Races by Morgan Smith of the Texas Tribune. “Trial-lawyer backed" is a label ready-made for Republicans’ attack ads in tort reform-happy Texas. But if the 2012 primaries are any guide, the plaintiffs’ bar is becoming less shy about investing in the Republican side of the ballot — and Republican candidates are not being bashful about accepting the money.

SpaceX Dragon Landing Caps "Grand Slam" Mission to Space Station, on Way Back to McGregor by Ker Than for National Geographic News. SpaceX 's cargo-laden Dragon space capsule parachuted back to Earth Thursday morning after a nearly flawless demonstration mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The unmanned capsule splashed down at approximately 11:42 a.m. ET in the Pacific Ocean, about 500 miles (800 kilometers) west of Baja California, and was picked up by waiting recovery ships.

Aviation school's relocation leaves Hondo grounded by Gary Cooper of KENS. They say everything is bigger in Texas; big trucks, big attitudes, and, of course, that legendary big sky. Hondo is a town that knows all too well what the big sky can do.

Insurance subsidies slammed by William Pack of the San Antonio Express News. The Environmental Working Group has taken aim at the nation's crop insurance program after releasing a report showing that a small number of farmers and ranchers received massive subsidies on their insurance premiums last year. Texas was home to many of the most highly subsidized farmers and ranchers, but agricultural interests in the state were suspicious of EWG and its proposed reforms. 

Wade Bowen's new album 'The Given' cracks iTunes' Top 5 Country by Carl Hoover of the Waco Tribune-Herald. Texas country singer-songwriter Wade Bowen, a Waco native, released his new album "The Given" this week and fans have given it a bump on iTunes. The album hit No. 1 status on iTunes' Country Albums chart for a brief time and, as of today, June 1, is No. 3, behind Luke Bryant's "Tailgates and Tanlines" and Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away."

After Bumper Crop, Texas Blueberry Farmers Want to Offload Their Giant Berries On You by Lauren Drewes Daniels of the Dallas Observer. Bailey's Berry Patch in Sadler, Texas, has experienced quite a few ups and downs the past year or so. Even before last summer's drought killed 65 percent of their bushes, in early spring one tall dark cloud sauntered over the farm and pummeled the delicate crop like a school-yard bully, leaving many bushes battered, bruised and broken.

Feathery Friday: Giant Egg Laid in Abilene by Sonia Smith of Texas Monthly. How many oatmeal cookies could you make out of a 145-gram egg? Well, that was the size of an egg one Abilene chicken laid on Monday. (Normal chicken eggs weigh 45 to 55 grams).

Texas Research Fund Will Re-Review MD Anderson Drug-Discovery Proposal by Jocelyn Kaiser of Science Insider. Reacting to charges of improper procedures, Texas's $3 billion cancer research fund has agreed to re-review a controversial $20 million commercialization award made in March to two Houston institutions. But it's not clear whether the plan will satisfy the critics, who are asking for a rigorous scientific review.

SpaceX's mission ends with a splashdown in the Pacific  by W.J. Hennigan of the Los Angeles Times. SpaceX’s Dragon space capsule successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on Thursday about 563 miles west of Baja California after spending nine days in outer space. The unmanned capsule hit the water at 8:42 a.m. PDT, marking the end of a historic mission carried out by the Hawthorne-based company, officially known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

Dell shifts server tactics to focus on cutting data centers' energy costs by Kirk Ladendorf of the Austin American-Statesman. Dell Inc. is taking its first step toward developing low-power ARM-based servers aimed at business customers that run massive data center operations. The Round Rock-based company said Tuesday that it is making limited shipments of low-power servers — for evaluation purposes — to a small group of customers.

Pipeline firm pays $1M for spills in 3 states by Josh Funk of Bloomberg Businessweek. A Texas-based pipeline company has agreed to pay more than a $1 million fine for three spills in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, as well as invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in safety and equipment upgrades, federal officials announced. Enterprise Products and its Mid-America Pipeline Co. subsidiary agreed to the fine as part of a consent decree filed in U.S. District Court in Omaha, according to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency.

You Can Change the Channel, but Local News Is the Same by Brian Stelter of the New York Times.  SAN ANGELO, Tex. — Call a reporter at the CBS television station here, and it might be an anchor for the NBC station who calls back. Or it might be the news director who runs both stations’ news operations.

Planetarium proposal calls for $240 million, 47-story tower near Capitol by Gary Dinges of the Austin American-Statesman. A nonprofit group, with help from a big-name developer with projects across the globe, is shooting for the stars, pitching plans for a $240 million, 47-story tower near the Texas Capitol that would include a planetarium, science museum and technology center. It would also be home to a mix of shops, restaurants and residences, plus more than 1,000 underground parking spaces.

Groundwater depletion in semiarid regions of Texas and California threatens US food security by Phsy.org. Groundwater depletion has been most severe in the purple areas indicated on these maps of (A) the High Plains and (B) California's Central Valley. These heavily affected areas are concentrated in parts of the Texas Panhandle, western Kansas, and the Tulare Basin in California's Central Valley.

For Many Illegal Entrants Into U.S., a Particularly Inhospitable First Stop by Manny Fernandez of the New York Times. EDINBURG, Tex. — For decades, the first stop for illegal immigrants making their way across the Texas border has often been a stash house or drop house, an apartment or rental home where they might spend hours or days in squalor waiting to be transported elsewhere. Often it is where they are held until their families pay the smugglers’ fees.    

Texas reaches out to land spaceport deal with SpaceX by Eric Berger of the Houston Chronicle. Even as SpaceX continued to make history on Friday by berthing its Dragon capsule to the International Space Station, the state of Texas has stepped up its efforts to woo the company here. State officials are developing an incentive package to encourage SpaceX to build a spaceport near Brownsville.

Texas-Arlington becomes 12th member of Sun Belt conference by Ryan Jones of the Times-Picayune. Sun Belt Conference concluded its annual meeting Wednesday in Sandestin, Fla., by announcing the addition of Texas-Arlington as its 12th member, pending approval from the University of Texas Board of Regents. UT-Arlington joins Texas State and Georgia State as recent additions that will begin Sun Belt play in 2013. They will replace departing members Florida International, North Texas and Denver.

Lockheed uses temporary workers at striking Texas plant by Reuters. Lockheed Martin Corp, the Pentagon's top supplier by sales, began using temporary workers on Thursday in place of striking employees at its plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to help meet scheduled deliveries of F-16 and F-35 fighter jets. Fewer than 10 temporary workers, hired through a contractor, were brought in to supplement the "contingency work force" that includes managers, said Lockheed spokesman Joe Stout.

Texas firm targets homeowners with foreclosed 2nd mortgages by Rick Jurgens of California Watch. Adding new uncertainty in the state’s ongoing mortgage crisis, a Texas company is aggressively pursuing hundreds of Californians to collect second-mortgage debt – on homes they’ve already lost through foreclosure. Many of these former homeowners believed their mortgage debt had been erased after their houses were taken by banks and lending companies.

Report Raises Concerns About Texas' Electricity Supply by Minjae Park of the Texas Tribune.  Some Texans could face blackouts in 10 years as a result of electricity shortages, according to a report released Tuesday by the power grid operator for most of the state. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ report on its long-term outlook forecasts that by 2022, Texas will need more electricity during peak hours than it can generate.