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Bridge collapse on I-35 north of Austin

SALADO, Texas (AP) — Emergency crews are responding to a reported bridge collapse along an interstate in Central Texas.

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Amazon begins Prime Now program in Dallas area

If you just have to have it now, as in one hour, you can, at least in the Dallas area, as Amazon.com Inc. announced Thursday it will offer Prime Now.

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Monty Bennett: Businessman, water district activist

Monty Bennett’s name will not appear on the ballot for the Tarrant Regional Water District board of directors yet he remains a powerful backstage player whose influence could shape the direction of the district’s business for years to come.

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Price appeal: Condos going up on Near Southside

Chris Brassard and Omar Diaz had apartments in mind when they built a 12-unit complex on May Street just south of West Magnolia Avenue on Fort Worth’s Near Southside. Then their leasing agent, Will Northern of Northern Realty Group, suggested they consider selling the units as condominiums.

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Texas jobless rate falls as employers add workers

Texas unemployment fell to 4.3 percent during February for the sixth straight month of declines, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

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Halliburton adding to North American fracking crews

David Wethe
(c) 2014, Bloomberg News.
HOUSTON — Halliburton Co. expects continued improvement in the North American hydraulic fracturing market and is "immediately" adding crews to begin work later this year.

The world's largest provider of the service that blasts water, sand and chemicals underground to free trapped hydrocarbons, expects third-quarter operating profit margins in the region to be near 20 percent, the company said Monday in a statement. Second-quarter earnings were 32 percent above the results from the same period last year. Sales climbed 10 percent to $8.1 billion.

After two years of falling prices for fracking services from a glut in equipment, prices in the United States are expected to increase 2 percent this year and another 4 percent in 2015, according to a May 16 report by PacWest Consulting Partners.

"You're seeing tightening in overall frack capacity," Luke Lemoine, an analyst at Capital One Southcoast in New Orleans, said in a phone interview. "People are going to like this, coupled with the large North America beat."

Halliburton reported earnings that were in line with the 91-cent average of 30 analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The board of directors for the Houston-based company recently authorized an additional $4.8 billion stock buyback for a total of $6 billion.

The company boosted its operating profit margin in North America to 18.2 percent from 17.5 percent a year earlier and increased revenue there 14 percent. Lemoine was expecting margins in the region of 17.8 percent.

"We continue to be excited about the North America market, and although there may be near-term choppiness in certain international markets, we see a strong pipeline of opportunities," Chief Executive Officer Dave Lesar said in the statement.

The average number of drilling rigs active on land rose 5.6 percent in the U.S. to 1,781 in the quarter as producers seek to boost output from shale formations, according to Baker Hughes Inc.

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