Latest high-speed rail plans for Texas show slower speeds

(Information in the following story is from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, http://www.star-telegram.com)

DALLAS (AP) — The latest plans for high-speed rail service call for slower trains through the Dallas-Fort Worth region and would include a station near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The proposal would bring passengers from downtown Fort Worth to Arlington along the Interstate 30 corridor, then extend near the airport. Service then would proceed to downtown Dallas.

Top speeds would be around 125 mph, well below the 220 mph the trains are capable of traveling. Short distances between stations are one reason for the slower speeds.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the new route would make high-speed rail accessible to more people in North Texas.

The plans are part of a broader effort previously announced by private investors who want to build a 220-mile rail line from Houston to Dallas with no public funding.


Mediators call timeout on labor talks in Pantex Plant strike

(Information in the following story is from: Amarillo Globe-News, http://www.amarillo.com)

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — Federal mediators have ordered a brief break in labor talks as a strike at the Pantex nuclear weapons plant near Amarillo reached the one-month mark.

Scot Beckenbaugh, deputy director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, says the break will give officials from the Metal Trades Council and Pantex operating contractor Consolidated Nuclear Security an opportunity to review new information. Both sides will resume talks later this week, but Beckenbaugh says a time and place haven't been decided.

Saturday marked the 30th day of the strike, which began when the labor council rejected a management proposal to compare Pantex workers' benefits with those of other Texas Panhandle businesses, the Amarillo Globe-News reported.

Metal Trades Council members voted down a four-year contract proposal from Consolidated Nuclear Security on Aug. 8.


Abbott looks to lure top researchers to Texas campuses

(Information in the following story is from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott is emphasizing the importance of research in luring academic stars to Texas and elevating the state's universities as well as its economy.

The Governor's University Research Initiative is intended to attract elite researchers to Texas academic and health campuses by offering grants that are matched by schools for establishing labs and other costs.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that top priority goes to recruiting Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Prominent researchers can burnish a school's reputation, bring with them millions in federally funded research projects, offer the potential for private-sector startups, and are magnets for top graduate students.

The state Legislature set aside $38 million to fund the initiative for two years.


Philanthropist-investor Richard Rainwater dies at 71

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Richard Rainwater, the son of a North Texas grocer who went on to amass a fortune as an investment manager before becoming a billionaire investor and philanthropist in his own right, has died, according to his charitable foundation. He was 71.

A statement issued by the Rainwater Charitable Foundation says Rainwater died Sunday morning at his Fort Worth, Texas, home after a long battle with a rare neurological disease. He had been battling progressive supranuclear palsy since 2009 and had pumped millions into a campaign to find a cure.

The president of Rainwater Inc. also confirmed the death.

Among Rainwater's career achievements was conducting billionaire investor Sid Bass' acquisition of a major stake in the Walt Disney Co. and partnering with future President George W. Bush in the 1989 purchase of the Texas Rangers baseball team.


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