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Moves by Jeb Bush add to talk of 2016 candidacy

WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush's decision to release a policy-laden e-book and all his emails from his time as governor of Florida has further stoked expectations among his allies that he will launch a presidential bid.

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Ebby Halliday acquires Fort Worth’s Williams Trew

Williams Trew Real Estate of Fort Worth has been acquired by Dallas-based residential real estate brokerage Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc.

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Taking the Cake: Sundance had pursued Cheesecake Factory for many years

The Cheesecake Factory had been on the white board over at Sundance Square management for some time

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Fort Worth businessman to lead Abbott, Patrick inauguration efforts

Fort Worth businessman Ardon Moore will chair the committee running inauguration festivities for Gov.-elect Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick in January, it was announced on Friday.   Moore, president of Lee M. Bass Inc. in Fort Worth, is a vice chairman of the University of Texas Investment

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Meridian Bank Texas parent acquired by UMB Financial for $182.5M

Kansas City, Mo.-based UMB Financial Corp., the parent company of UMB Bank, said Dec. 15 it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Marquette Financial Companies in an all-stock transaction.

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Researchers find elevated levels of heavy metals

 

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington say there are elevated levels of arsenic and other heavy metals close to natural gas extraction sites in the Barnett Shale area of North Texas, according to a news release from the school Friday.

Several scenarios — including disturbances from fracking, lower water tables from drought, removal of water used for fracking or industrial accidents such as faulty gas well casings — could release the dangerous compounds into shallow groundwater.

"This study alone can't conclusively identify the exact causes of elevated levels of contaminants in areas near natural gas drilling, but it does provide a powerful argument for continued research," Brian Fontenot, the lead author on the new paper, said.

Arsenic, barium, strontium and selenium occur naturally at low levels in groundwater. But the release says fracking activities could elevate their levels.

The results from the peer-reviewed study were published online by the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Elevated levels for most of the metals were not found outside active drilling areas or outside the shale.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, uses chemicals along with water under high pressure to crack open rock formations and release oil and natural gas.

Samples were gathered from 100 private water wells of varying depths within a 13-county area in or near the Barnett Shale during four months in summer and fall of 2011.

Additionally, the paper recommended further research on methanol and ethanol levels in water wells after 29 of the 100 wells in the study contained methanol. The highest concentrations were in the areas of fracking activity.

The samples were compared to historical data on water wells from the Texas Water Development Board groundwater database for 1989-1999, before natural gas drilling activity ramped up.

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