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26-story mixed-use tower planned at Taylor & Fifth in downtown Fort Worth

Jetta Operating Co., a 24-year-old privately held oil and gas company in Fort Worth, and a related entity plan a 26-story mixed-use tower downtown at Taylor and Fifth streets on a site once owned by the Star-Telegram.

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UPDATE: Six candidates file for two Water Board seats

Six candidates have filed for the two open seats on the Tarrant Regional Water Board, setting up a battle that could potentially shift the balance of power on the board and the priorities of one of the largest water districts in Texas.

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Fort Worth breaks ground on $8.6 million South Main renovation

Fort Worth Near Southsiders and city officials broke ground Monday on the 18-month rebuild of South Main Street between Vickery Boulevard and West Magnolia Avenue.

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Fort Worth Chamber names Small Business of the Year winners

A trampoline recreation business; an oilfield services company; a longtime aviation maintenance firm; a maker of electrical wiring harnesses. Those were the wide variety of businesses that received the 2015 Small Business of the Year Award from the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

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Body-camera maker has financial ties to former Fort Worth police chief, others

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Taser International, the stun-gun maker emerging as a leading supplier of body cameras for police, has cultivated financial ties to police chiefs whose departments have bought the recording devices, raising a host of conflict-of-interest questions.

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Pentagon said to seek 34 of Lockheed's F-35s instead of 42

 

F-35 flys over Fort Worth. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Tony Capaccio
(c) 2014, Bloomberg News


WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will request 34 Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 jets in its budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, eight fewer than previously planned, according to officials.

The fiscal 2015 request, to be released on March 4, will include funds to buy 26 of the Air Force's model, six of the Marine Corps' short-takeoff and vertical-landing jets and two of the Navy's version for aircraft carriers, according to the officials familiar with the plans who asked not to be identified because the budget hasn't been made public.

Even with the decrease from past plans, the defense budget reflects pledges by officials to do all they could to insulate the costliest U.S. weapons program from federal budget cuts. Marillyn Hewson, chairman and chief executive officer of Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed, predicted in a Feb. 10 interview that its F-35 program is "going to continue to grow and become a larger part of our portfolio."

While the budget request will be down from the 42 fighters the Defense Department had projected it would buy next year, it's an increase from the 29 the Pentagon requested and Congress approved for the current fiscal year.

"It would be inappropriate to comment or speculate prior to the formal budget release," Lockheed spokeswoman Laura Siebert said in an e-mail when asked about the F-35 plans.

The projected price tag of $391.2 billion for an eventual fleet of 2,443 F-35s is a 68 percent increase from the estimate in 2001, measured in current dollars. The number of aircraft is 409 fewer than called for in the original program. The Pentagon's chief tester has repeatedly questioned the plane's progress, finding last month that the fighter wasn't sufficiently reliable in training flights last year.

The five-year defense budget plan through 2019 also calls for 55 F-35s for the U.S. military in fiscal 2016, seven fewer than planned, and adds a projection for 96 of the jets in 2019. The figures don't include purchases by other nations that are partners for the F-35. Among them are Britain, Norway, Australia, Italy and Canada.

Subcontractors on the F-35 include Northrop Grumman Corp., BAE Systems and United Technologies Corp.'s Pratt & Whitney military engine unit.

Under last year's bipartisan budget agreement, the Pentagon must reduce its total budget request by about $43 billion to stay within a cap of about $498 billion for fiscal 2015.

The spending request, not including spending on war operations, will be about $496 billion, with plans for it to increase to about $535 billion in fiscal 2016, officials said.

"Will there be cuts across the board?" Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said this month in outlining the general approach he's taking to hitting the budget cap. "Of course there will. You can't do it any other way. Are there going to be adjustments across the board? Of course."

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