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Ex Rangers manager Washington apologizes for 'breaking wife's trust'

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Former Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington says he is embarrassed for 'breaking his wife's trust.'

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New arena at Will Rogers takes shape


The proposed Will Rogers Memorial Center arena continues to take shape as voters head for a Nov. 4 election to decide whether to approve new taxes to help pay for the $450 million facility.

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Overland Sheepskin opening Sundance Square store in Fort Worth

The store is expected to open by the holidays, Sundance said.

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Texas Health Southwest breaks ground on $40M expansion

A $40 million expansion of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth is under way, with groundbreaking ceremonies held this week.

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Home health firm relocates to Ridglea from downtown

Southwest Home Health Services has leased new headquarters space in the Ridglea East Building in West Fort Worth, setting a plan in motion to relocate Oct. 1 from the downtown.

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Transportation deal reached in Austin

CHRIS TOMLINSON,Associated Press


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers reached a deal Friday to increase funding for roads and bridges — if voters approve a constitutional amendment in November 2014.

Republican Sen. Robert Nichols, the author of the measure, said negotiators from the House and Senate had agreed to divert revenue from the Rainy Day Fund and only needed to fix a few details about how to maintain a minimum balance in it. Ultimately the Legislative Budget Board would determine what that balance should be and have authority to cut off funding for transportation if more money is needed for the fund.

Experts say Texas needs an additional $4 billion in the state budget to maintain the current road network, but the Republican majority refuses to consider raising taxes. Instead they have proposed taking an estimated $848 million in oil and gas taxes that would normally flow into the Rainy Day Fund to help pay for transportation. Nichols said the money would only be spent on non-toll roads and bridges and could not be spent to pay off debt.

But the dedication of oil and gas revenues to the fund is set out in the Texas Constitution, so in order to divert that money lawmakers must pass a constitutional amendment. That requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers and the approval of a majority of voters.

Sen. Tommy Williams, the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Texas residents will get to vote on the measure in 2014, after they vote on tapping the Rainy Day Fund for water projects this November.

"It's appropriate that we give voters time to look at this," he said.

Members of the House and Senate have been debating for weeks on the diversion of funds. Senate negotiators wanted a minimum balance for the Rainy Day Fund written into the state constitution, while House negotiators wanted to maintain the current flexibility for tapping it. Allowing the 10-member Legislative Budget Board to study what the minimum balance should be and to decide how to maintain it would go into law, but not the constitution, under the deal announced Friday.

The House and Senate are scheduled to meet again Monday to give final approval. The second special session of 2013 ends on Tuesday.

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Arena
What do you think of the new plans for a new Will Rogers arena and changes at the Convention Center?