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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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Judge to sentence Halliburton manager in oil spill
 

MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press
 
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former Halliburton manager faces a possible prison term when a federal judge sentences him for destroying evidence in the aftermath of BP's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
Anthony Badalamenti, of Katy, Texas, was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey. Badalamenti pleaded guilty in October to one misdemeanor count of destruction of evidence and faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
 
Badalamenti was the cementing technology director for Halliburton Energy Services Inc., BP's cement contractor on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. Prosecutors said he instructed two Halliburton employees to delete data during a post-spill review of the cement job on BP's blown-out Macondo well.
 
Halliburton cut its own deal with the Justice Department and pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanor charge related to Badalamenti's conduct. The company agreed to pay a $200,000 fine and make a $55 million contribution to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, but the latter payment wasn't a condition of the deal.
 
Tai Park, one of Badalamenti's lawyers, said in October that guidelines calculated by prosecutors call for Badalamenti to receive a sentence ranging from probation to six months in prison. Zainey, however, isn't bound by the sentencing guidelines.
 
Four current or former BP employees also have been charged in federal court with spill-related crimes.
 
On Dec. 18, a jury convicted former BP drilling engineer Kurt Mix of trying to obstruct a federal probe of the spill. Prosecutors said Mix was trying to destroy evidence when he deleted a string of text messages to and from a BP supervisor.
 
Mix faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing is set for March 26.
 
BP well site leaders Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges stemming from the deaths of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon. Prosecutors claim Kaluza and Vidrine botched a key safety test and disregarded abnormally high pressure readings that were glaring signs of trouble before the April 2010 blowout of BP's Macondo well triggered a deadly explosion.
 
Former BP executive David Rainey was charged with concealing information from Congress about the amount of oil that was gushing
from BP's well before the company sealed it.
 
Prosecutors said Badalamenti instructed two Halliburton employees to delete data from separate runs of computer simulations on centralizers, which are used to keep the casing centered in the wellbore. The data could have supported BP's decision to use six centralizers instead of 21 on the Macondo project, but prosecutors said the number of centralizers had little effect on the outcome of the simulations.
 
Halliburton notified the Justice Department about the deletion of the data, which couldn't be recovered.

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Did the College Football Playoff Committee get it right?