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Texas has old, new candidates to offer as presidential hopefuls

The Republican Party has long been riven between its establishment and conservative wings, a split that plays out every four years in the race for the White House.

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Two from Fort Worth appointed by Gov. Abbott to university boards

Steve Hicks, a University of Texas System regent who has been a vocal opponent of regents who have criticized the system’s flagship campus in Austin, was reappointed to the board by Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday. 

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Fort Worth draws closer to deal with Lancaster developer

City staff are planning to introduce the developer Feb. 3 at a meeting of the City Council's Housing and Economic Development Committee.

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Compass BBVA names Happel CEO for Fort Worth

BBVA Compass has appointed Brian Happel, most recently the Fort Worth city president, its chief executive officer of Fort Worth.

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Two Fort Worth Baylor medical properties acquired

Baylor Surgical Hospital of Fort Worth and Baylor Surgical Hospital Integrated Medical Facility are among three facilities acquired by Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT II Inc.

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New rail hub opens along border in New Mexico

JUAN CARLOS LLORCA, Associated Press


SANTA TERESA, N.M. (AP) — A sprawling, $400 million railroad hub opened Wednesday in southern New Mexico with the promise of transforming the border area into an international industrial trade zone.

The hub is one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. and is expected to spur development on both sides of the border with Mexico. Tax breaks and other factors have prompted more than 50 companies to move to the area in recent years.

Because the area has been designated a foreign trade zone, freight from overseas can be loaded directly onto trains from West Coast ports for processing and shipment to Mexican factories and for distribution by rail across the U.S.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and her Mexican counterpart Cesar Duarte, the governor of Chihuahua, Mexico, were among the officials on hand for the ceremony that opened the Union Pacific project almost a year early.

"This not only brings freight," U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said referring to the locomotives and freight cars that served as a backdrop to the ceremony. "This brings new businesses, new jobs, new hope. This is a new chapter in southern New Mexico."

The hub spans 2,200 acres and includes fueling facilities and crew-change buildings. It's located minutes away from the Santa Teresa Port of Entry, which was recently upgraded to handle commercial traffic from industrial parks in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

By the time the hub reaches capacity in 2025, it will provide hundreds of permanent jobs — a much-needed boost as federal statistics show New Mexico continues to trail the rest of the U.S. in job growth, despite an oil and gas boom in southeastern New Mexico.

"This brings more jobs, 600 permanent Union Pacific jobs," Martinez said.

After the ceremony, Martinez stressed the importance of diversifying the state economy, which is heavily dependent on federal labs and the military.

New Mexico is tied for last with Kentucky in percent of job growth and is just one of four states where non-farm payrolls contracted or showed negative growth.

"When you have such dysfunction in Washington you start to reduce those (federal) jobs," Martinez said.

The new rail facility is already causing stress on surrounding communities, Udall said, noting the need for housing, management of water resources and development of a labor force.

Known as the Santa Teresa Intermodal Ramp, the hub can handle up to 225,000 containers a year and is poised to beat the initial estimate of 150,000 units in its first year, Union Pacific CEO Jack Koraleski told the crowd of railroad and government officials and business people at the grand opening.

Intermodal transport involves the use of freight containers that can be transported on trucks, railroad cars or ships. The hub opened to truck traffic in April.

At the end of the ceremony, officials used rubber mallets to hammer golden railroad spikes into holes drilled on a wooden plank — the railroad equivalent of using oversized scissors to cut ribbons.

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