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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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State education board tightens rules for textbook panels

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Board of Education imposed tighter rules Friday on the citizen review panels that scrutinize proposed textbooks, potentially softening the ideological battles over science and religion that have long plagued the debate about what students learn in school.

Tension over the issue has been building for years in the country's second most populous state, where the textbook market is so large that changes can affect the industry nationwide. Critics complain that a few activists with religious or ideological objections have too much power to shape what the state's more than 5 million public school students learn.

The 15-member education board has the final say on textbook content, but the citizen review groups influence its decisions. Among the changes approved Friday is a mandate that teachers or professors be given priority for serving on the textbook panels for subjects in their areas of expertise.

Election defeats have weakened the board's bloc of social conservatives, who made headlines in recent years when pushing for deemphasizing evolution in science books and requiring students to evaluate whether the United Nations undermined U.S. sovereignty. The citizen review panels also have been dominated in recent years by social and religious conservatives who object to evolution and climate change entries in science textbooks.

But the catalyst for revamping those panels came last summer, when two ardent evolution skeptics — a nutritionist and a chemical engineer — caused a tumultuous fight by challenging a proposed biology textbook that didn't include information on creationism.

"We don't need lay people making these highly specific and technical decisions on these books," Thomas Ratliff, a Republican board member pushing for the new mandate, said during the board's meeting in November.

Ratliff said Friday that another proposed rule would allow the board, with a majority vote, to have panels of outside experts scrutinize any objections raised by the citizen panels as a further check on their power.

Though modest, the changes approved Friday could have a major impact in Texas, where Republican Gov. Rick Perry bragged during his 2011 presidential campaign that students were taught both evolution and creationism. The previous year, the education board approved a social studies curriculum in which children learned that the words "separation of church and state" were not in the Constitution and were asked to evaluate whether the United Nations undermines U.S. sovereignty.

All the proposed changes deal only with textbook reviews and won't stop larger clashes by education board members about textbooks. They also won't affect panels that vet proposed curriculums.

One proposal requires all portions of proposed books to be reviewed by at least two panel members, so that a single volunteer couldn't raise objections. Other rules would let panelists submit majority and minority reports about proposed materials to the board, and restrict board members' contact with reviewers so as not to unfairly influence them.

A more ambitious plan that would have allowed the education board to remove panelists for inappropriate behavior failed Wednesday night on a 9-6 vote
 

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