Top News & Analysis Texas

More

  • J.C. Penney Co. said Tuesday that for the entire month of November families can have a portrait done for free. The free portrait service is available at 530 Penney stores that have portrait studios. Penney operates more than 1,100 stores.

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-- Regions Financial Corp. on Tuesday posted sharply higher third-quarter earnings, as the regional bank set aside less cash to cover loan losses. Regions reported net income of $301 million, or 21 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30.

  • One of the reports adds that the Marcellus reserves that lie below parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York are far larger than recent government estimates, while another said the powerful combination of resource, cost and location is altering natural gas prices and market trends across the nation.

  • MORGANTOWN, W.Va.-- Drive through the coalfields of Central Appalachia, and signs of the siege are everywhere. Only a few generations ago, coal miners were literally at war with their employers, spilling and shedding blood on West Virginia's Blair Mountain in a historic battle for union representation and fair treatment.

  • NEW YORK-- Standard& Poor's Ratings Services on Friday lowered its rating on solid waste services company Waste Connections Inc. because of its plan to acquire R360 Environmental Solutions Inc. for about $1.3 billion in cash. S&P lowered its corporate credit rating on Waste Connections one step from "BBB" to "BBB-," which is still investment grade.

  • Texas- based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,410 rigs were exploring for oil and 427 were searching for gas. A year ago, Baker Hughes listed 2,013 rigs. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Alaska gained five rigs while Arkansas, Colorado and North Dakota rose by two each.

  • AUSTIN, Texas-- The Texas Supreme Court on Friday upheld the state's much-maligned business tax that provides the second-biggest source of general revenue, preserving current rules for now before lawmakers potentially overhaul the law next year.

  • AUSTIN, Texas-- The Texas unemployment rate has fallen sharply to 6.8 percent in September, down from 7.1 percent in the largest one-month drop in nearly 30 years. The Texas Workforce Commission said Friday that the state added 21,000 nonfarm jobs, led by a gain of 13,600 jobs in professional and business services.

  • MONTGOMERY, Ala.-- Alabama's unemployment rate dropped in September after climbing for the four previous months. Robert Bentley said Friday that Alabama's rate fell from 8.5 percent in August to 8.3 percent in September. Alabama's unemployment rate had been rising since measuring 7.2 percent in April, but September's figure reverses that trend.

  • The hard-rocking country music star made a whirlwind run around the eastern U.S. on Thursday, announcing shows at Boston's Fenway Park, Chicago's Wrigley Field and on the University of Georgia campus in the space of 12 hours. Aldean will make the first appearance by a country music performer at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

  • HOUSTON-- Copano Energy priced a public offering of 6 million common units at $32.13 apiece. Copano Energy LLC said Friday that it is giving the underwriters a 30- day option to buy up to an additional 900,000 units. Shares of Houston- based Copano Energy LLC dropped $1.28, or 3.8 percent, to $32.08 in morning trading.

  • NEW ORLEANS-- Gamblers lost nearly $199.7 million at Louisiana's state licensed casinos in September, up from $188 million for August and $196.6 million for September of last year.

  • DALLAS-- Celanese Corp., which makes specialty materials and chemicals, said Friday that it increased its share buyback program by $264 million. Celanese, based in Dallas, has been facing lower pricing in its acetyl intermediates business, a weakened European economy and slower growth in Asia. Shares of Celanese fell 83 cents to $37.38 in morning trading.

  • HOUSTON-- KMG Chemicals Inc. said Thursday that its chairman, company founder David Hatcher, will retire in December and be replaced by another member of the company's board. KMG Chemicals shares fell 12 cents to $17.98 in morning trading Friday. They have traded in a 52- week range of $12.69 almost a year ago to $19.72 in early July.

  • NEW YORK-- Earlier this month, NBA rookie Royce White disclosed that he is afraid to fly and said he expects to travel by bus to play in at least some of the basketball games for his team, the Houston Rockets.

  • HOUSTON-- Schlumberger's exposure to global markets separated it from the pack as the world's biggest oilfield service company posted a 10 percent jump in net income during the third quarter.

  • NEW YORK-- Three small, silver spoons elegantly engraved with the words "Waldorf Astoria" have come full circle: Stolen eight decades ago by an employee of the famed hotel, they passed through two Brooklyn homes and another three in New Jersey.

  • In a scene reminiscent of the Dust Bowl days, choking dust suspended on strong wind gusts shrouded Interstate 35, which links Dallas and Oklahoma City to Kansas City, Mo. Video from television station helicopters showed the four-lane highway virtually disappearing into billowing dust on the harsh landscape near Blackwell, plus dozens of vehicles scattered in the median and on the shoulders.

  • NEW YORK-- The fungus found in tainted steroid shots matches the one behind the national meningitis outbreak that has killed 20 people, federal health officials said Thursday.