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Group buys former Armour meatpacking site in Stockyards

The 16.8-acre site of the historic, former Armour meatpacking plant in Fort Worth’s Stockyards has changed hands, and its new owners aren’t saying anything about their plans. Chesapeake Land Development Co., which bought the site

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Hulen Pointe Shopping Center sold

Hulen Pointe Shopping Center, located in southwest Fort Worth on South Hulen Street one mile south of Hulen Mall, has been purchased by Addison-based Bo Avery with TriMarsh Properties for an undisclosed price.

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Dallas-Fort Worth in top five commercial real estate markets in 2015

According to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015 report, just co-published by PwC US and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 5, with two other Texas cities, Houston and Austin ranking at No. 1 and 2 respectively. San Francisco ranks No. 3 and Denver No. 4.

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Social House Fort Worth plans to open mid-November

Social House has leased 5,045 square feet at 2801-2873 W Seventh St. in Fort Worth, according to Xceligent Inc.

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Fort Worth temporarily stops issuing new home permits in TCU area

The moratorium will give a committee and the City Council time to review a proposed overlay that will pare the number of permissible unrelated adults living in the same house.

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Dueling Medicaid events pit Perry vs. Castro bros.

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WILL WEISSERT,Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Top conservatives closed ranks Monday around their staunch opposition to expanding the Medicaid program in Texas, while rising Democratic stars gathered to urge them to embrace it — dueling ideological visions pitting the state's current political heavy hitters against its possible future ones.

Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn made a rare joint appearance at the Texas Capitol to condemn Medicaid expansion, a centerpiece of the White House-backed health care reform. Two hours later in virtually the same spot, Democrats Joaquin and Julian Castro held their own gathering to cheer extending federal health care coverage to the working poor and low-income Hispanics.

Texas has the highest rate of uninsured in the nation with about 6.2 million of its residents lacking health care coverage. Advocates claim extending Medicaid could provide up to 1 million Texans with some coverage.

Adding to the tension is the fact that the GOP controls every statewide office, but Hispanics are the fastest-growing demographic in Texas and tend to vote Democratic, meaning the Castros could one day help turn what is currently one of America's reddest states more blue.

Plus, some Republican governors around the country have reversed their past rejection of Medicaid expansion and now support joining a program in which the federal government will cover 100 percent of the costs for the first three years and 90 percent for seven years after that.

Perry, Cruz and Cornyn held a discussion with fellow Republicans, including U.S. Reps. Joe Barton and Michael Burgess, as well as state Rep. Lois Kolhorst, who chairs the Public Health Committee in the Texas House. All agreed to hold firm against expansion.

"Texas will not be held hostage to this fool's errand of adding more than a million Texans to a broken system," Perry said. "Medicaid expansion is, simply put, a misguided and an ultimately doomed attempt to mask the shortcomings of Obamacare."

Medicaid is already a jointly funded federal-state program. Perry said it accounts for about 25 percent of the state budget and that embracing expansion would eventually see that balloon to a third of all state expenditures.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst likened the promise of "free" federal funds for three years to a drug dealer offering gratis highs until an addict is hooked. Cruz, a tea party firebrand who upset Dewhurst in the GOP senatorial primary last summer, made a similar analogy.

"The federal government is much like an unscrupulous individual trying to convince a junior high kid to start smoking," he said. "They start by giving a few cigarettes and saying, 'Just try it,' and there's a bait and switch that's coming."

Outside the governor's Capitol office where the GOP leaders gathered, about 40 protesters marched in circles, their chants echoing throughout the marble interior. Some carried signs with Perry, Cruz and Cornyn depicted as The Three Stooges, and they alternated between chanting "Health care Now!" ''Let us in!" and "Perry, take the money now!"

Many stayed for the news conference organized by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his twin brother and U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro. Both urged Perry to negotiate with federal officials and win the flexibility to allow Texas to accept Medicaid expansion on its own terms.

Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, said expansion would provide coverage to about 1 million uninsured adults and 400,000 children in Texas, while boosting the state's economic output by $67 billion in four years and creating an estimated 231,000 jobs by 2016.

"We believe that expanding Medicaid is not only the moral thing to do, but, economically, it is the right thing to do," he said.

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, head of the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus, said that of 3.6 million uninsured Hispanics in Texas, 58 percent would be covered by Medicaid expansion.

"What we heard this morning is more of the same which is 'no' and 'manana.' Governor, 'No' is not a public policy response," Martinez Fischer said.

He added: "Manana is the busiest day of the week in the Texas Capitol. We never get to it."

 

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