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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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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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Cousins Properties to sell 777 Main tower in downtown Fort Worth

Cousins Properties Inc. has confirmed plans to sell the 777 Main office tower in downtown Fort Worth, according to a news release from the Atlanta-based real estate investment firm.

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Glen Garden sale closes, distillery on tap

Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. closed late Wednesday on its purchase of the historic Glen Garden Country Club in southeast Fort Worth, with plans to convert it into a whiskey distillery and bucolic visitor attraction.

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Five from 'Texas' killed, including two from area

 

BETSY BLANEY,Associated Press


LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Five members of a popular summer musical production, including three West Texas A&M University theater students, have been killed in a car accident in the Texas Panhandle, officials said Tuesday.

Four of the dead were dancers in the production of "Texas" — a musical that has been performed every summer at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park south of Amarillo for 48 years — while the fifth worked in the box office, according to Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation Executive Director Kris Miller.

Eric Harrison, 21, and Clinton Diaz, 20, were juniors and Andrew Duncan, 20, of Wichita Falls, was a senior at the school in Canyon, said Royal Brantley, director of West Texas A&M's theater program.

"This has been devastating to our theater family," Brantley said.

The five were returning from an end-of-the-year party Monday night when the accident occurred, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Christopher Ray said. Diaz, the driver, disregarded a stop sign and as the vehicle was attempting to turn onto U.S. 287 near Dumas, about 40 miles north of Amarillo, when it pulled in front of a southbound 18-wheeler and was hit broadside on the passenger's side, a news release late Tuesday said.

The 18-wheeler's load came off the trailer and came to rest on top of the car's driver side, the release said.

Alcohol is suspected as a factor in accident, Ray said. All five were pronounced dead at the scene.

"It's a tragedy," Brantley said. "It doesn't matter how you slice it."

Amanda Starz, 20, of Timonium, Md., and Julian Arredondo, 24, of Haltom were also killed in the wreck, Ray said. TCU spokeswoman Lisa Albert said Arredondo got his bachelor's degree in fine arts in acting and graduated from the Fort Worth school in 2011.

Diaz, who had a smile "a mile wide," was a graduate of Tascosa High in Amarillo and had just transferred from Abilene Christian University, Brantley said. In a recent production at the school "he brought the house down every night. He was so funny," he said.

Harrison, who graduated from Fossil Ridge High in the Fort Worth area, was "an amazing student and a very gifted actor," Brantley said.

"If there was to be a leader among our many theater majors, it was Eric," he said.

Members of the production spent the night at the foundation's offices in Canyon, comforting each other and awaiting more details on accident, Miller said.

Tuesday night's performance was cancelled.

Timothy Johnson, 30, of Houston, who sat directly behind Diaz, was taken to Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo, where he was listed in critical condition, the public safety department's release late Tuesday said.

The driver of the 18-wheeler, Theron Arthur McSay, 70, of Fort Collins, Colo., was in stable condition at the same hospital, according to the release.

The Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation produces the musical, which draws up to 65,000 spectators each summer. The last performance of the summer was scheduled for Saturday.
 

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