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  • U.S. home construction is making a comeback that could invigorate the economy's still-weak recovery. Builders last month started construction on single-family houses and apartments at the fastest rate in more than four years, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

  • HOUSTON-- Kinder Morgan Inc. said Wednesday its third-quarter net income rose nearly 32 percent as the nation's largest natural-gas pipeline operator benefited from its acquisition of El Paso Corp in May.

  • OWENSBORO, Ky.-- An Owensboro, Ky. man has been sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $1.6 million in restitution for a scheme to defraud investors in three states. Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. also Tuesday ordered 28- year-old Cory B. George to forfeit contents of three bank accounts totaling about $484,000 to be applied toward final restitution.

  • NEW YORK-- Halliburton Co. said Wednesday its third-quarter net income fell 12 percent as drilling activity declined and costs rose in its core North American business. Halliburton is a major provider of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," services that unlock oil and natural gas from underground shale deposits.

  • SUMNER, Texas-- Oil has long lived in harmony with farmland and cattle across the Texas landscape, a symbiosis nurtured by generations and built on an unspoken honor code that allowed agriculture to thrive while oil was extracted. In the minds of some landowners approached by TransCanada for land, the company has broken the code.

  • CHICAGO-- Houston, San Francisco and South Florida are bidding for the 2016 and 2017 Super Bowls. NFL owners will vote next May between San Francisco _ the 49 ers are building a new stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., _ and South Florida for the 50th Super Bowl in 2016. The loser of that race will then compete with Houston for hosting the 2017 game.

  • HOUSTON-- Offshore energy services contractor Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. said Tuesday that it will sell three pipeline installation vessels and related equipment in two separate transactions valued at $252.8 million.

  • ABC, NBC and the CW all debuted new dramas last Wednesday to varied receptions. It finished a strong second behind CBS' long-running "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" at the 10 p.m. ET slot. Despite that showing, long-slumping NBC can boast about its best showing for an early TV season in a decade.

  • 2. "NCIS," CBS, 18.51 million. 4. "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 15.18 million. 5. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 14.23 million.

  • A source familiar with Super Bowl XLVII told The Associated Press the Grammy-winning diva will take the stage at the halftime show on Feb. 3, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The 31- year-old sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 in her hometown of Houston when the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers.

  • NEW YORK-- Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP said Monday that a subsidiary has purchased the remaining 65 percent equity interest in PL Midstream LLC from Boardwalk Pipelines Holding Corp. for $269 million. The holding corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Loews Corp. and the parent of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners' general partner.

  • HOUSTON-- A former attorney in Houston who portrayed himself as a real estate investment tycoon has pleaded guilty in a $7.8 million Ponzi scheme. Federal prosecutors in Houston say 67- year-old Billy Frank Davis pleaded guilty Monday to wire fraud. Investigators say more than 20 investigators were scammed.

  • HOUSTON, Oct 12- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said its latest analysis of seismic faults near PG&E Corp's Diablo Canyon nuclear station in California showed the coastal plant could withstand an earthquake generated by an offshore fault identified in 2008, according to a statement on Friday.

  • HOUSTON, Oct 12- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said its latest analysis of seismic faults near PG&E Corp's Diablo Canyon nuclear station in California showed the coastal plant could withstand an earthquake generated by an offshore fault identified in 2008, according to a statement on Friday.

  • CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct 12- NASA has signed an agreement with a California- based startup to develop and market a nasal spray for motion sickness, the U.S. space agency said on Friday. NASA will work with privately owned Epiomed Therapeutics of Irvine, California, on the nasal spray, which has been shown to be a fast-acting treatment for motion sickness.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 12- Privately held manufacturer Ameriforge Group Inc is up for sale and has hired investment bank Harris Williams& Co to advise on the process, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The firm, which has 21 plants and multiple brands, could be worth between $750 million and $800 million, one of the sources said.

  • Texas- based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,411 rigs were exploring for oil and 422 were searching for gas. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained four rigs while Alaska, New Mexico and Oklahoma gained one apiece. Arkansas, Colorado, North Dakota and Wyoming lost one rig apiece.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of LinnCo LLC, a subsidiary of oil and natural gas developer Linn Energy LLC, rose nearly 4 percent in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq. The Houston company raised about $1.1 billion in its initial public stock offering, selling 30.3 million shares for $36.50 each. Trading under the "LNCO" symbol, shares added $1.30 to $37.80 in afternoon trading.

  • OKLAHOMA CITY-- Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corp. says it will close its office in Houston and transfer operations to Oklahoma City. The oil and gas company has about 500 employees in its Houston office, which now serves as the operations center for Devon's oil and natural gas fields in south and east Texas and Louisiana.

  • HOUSTON-- KMG Chemicals' fiscal fourth-quarter net income more than tripled, as it lowered expenses and saw sales strengthen in its electronic chemical division. The Houston company earned $3.9 million, or 33 cents per share, for the three months ended in July 31. That's up sharply from $1.2 million, or 10 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.