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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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Up in the air? 'Mad Men's' characters are adrift at midseason

At midseason, 'Man Men's' characters are all up in the air. 

Todd Leopold

CNN

(CNN) -- Cue "Thus Spoke Zarathustra."

The first half of the seventh, and final, season of "Mad Men" ends Sunday night with the characters continuing to grope with a new world -- one with a computer in its center. The computer may not be HAL, and the world is a far cry from the fictional future of "2001: A Space Odyssey," but as the show's many references to that film have made clear, the characters are in transit, trying to get their bearings.

What direction will they go?

You've got Don Draper (Jon Hamm), who has spent these early months of 1969 demoted from creative director to copywriter (copywriter!) in hopes of forcing him out of Sterling Cooper & Partners altogether. He's been spending his weeks jetting back and forth between the agency in New York and Los Angeles, where his wife, Megan, has been pursuing her acting career.

As a couple, they're adrift. Indeed, about the only time this season Don's felt the grounding of family is during an outing with daughter Sally (Kiernan Shipka), which ended with an actual profession of love, and a trip to Burger Chef with Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) and Pete (Vincent Kartheiser).

And Peggy? She's a manager, essentially No. 2 to the grouchy and limited new creative director, Lou Avery (Allan Havey). She's smarter than he is but gets no respect.

Between spending his nights with his orgiastic hippie friends and his days wondering about life, Roger (John Slattery) has practically checked out. Bert (Robert Morse) is a figurehead. The guy pulling the strings appears to be Jim Cutler (Harry Hamlin), who's as sleek and deadly as a certain "2001" computer.

No wonder Ginsberg (Ben Feldman) cut off his nipple. It's almost the only way to relieve the pressure.

The reviews for this year have ranged from respectful to laudatory. Even though ratings have been down from last season, there's a sense that "Mad Men" has found its footing again. About the only episode that really took hits was "The Monolith," which had the most heavy-handed references to "2001" -- but, then again, what other show would bother with such references at all?

"Mad Men" being "Mad Men," there are all kinds of theories about how this half-season will conclude. Megan is going to cross paths with Charles Manson; Don will mount an office coup. You have to wonder how the moon landing will figure into things -- especially since it appears the series' timeline is nearing July 1969.

Fans, however, will have to hang on. The second half won't air until next spring. The series could end on a down note, but keep in mind: In 1969, miracles do happen.

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