Texas / South Central News

Important Facts about Texas Fertilizer Blast May Be Sealed in Lawsuits

Valuable health and safety information about the 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, could be hidden from the public forever because a judge has approved confidentiality agreements for more than a dozen lawsuits relating to the case. The agreements …

Fertilizer Makers Place Blame on City in West, Texas, Explosion

Two fertilizer companies sued following a deadly Texas explosion are claiming the small town deserves blame for failing to properly train volunteer firefighters and first responders, who made up most of the 15 people killed by the blast. El Dorado …

Primary-Enforced Texting Laws Save Drivers’ Lives: University Research

New research appears to confirm that laws against texting while driving do reduce traffic fatalities if they are primary enforcement laws. Primary texting bans are associated with a three percent reduction in traffic fatalities among all age groups, which is …

Federal Disaster Declarations to Help Farmers in 10 Arkansas Counties

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has made disaster declarations for farmers and ranchers in 10 Arkansas counties who suffered losses due to storms that began in the affected areas June 29. Vilsack issued disaster declarations in response to flood …

Austin Police Officers Sue for Discrimination After Reassignments

Some Austin, Texas, police officers are suing the city for what they say was race and age discrimination in job assignments. The Austin American-Statesman reports 18 officers filed the lawsuit Wednesday. The officers say they were forced out of the …

Fees Plus Commissions Allowed for Retail Insurance Agents in Texas

Retail insurance agents in Texas are allowed to charge certain fees in addition to a commission in relation to selling an insurance policy, but those fees must be disclosed to the customer. “Texas is one of the few states that …

Texas Jury Awards Municipal Utility $30M in Overcharge Case

A Central Texas jury has delivered a nearly $30 million verdict against the Lower Colorado River Authority. A Comal County jury returned the verdict in favor of New Braunfels Utilities. The Austin-based river authority manages water resources and provides electricity. …

Louisiana Private, Non-Farm Employment at All-Time High

The Louisiana Workforce Commission says the state in June set records for both private sector and total nonfarm employment, according to seasonally adjusted employment data released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private sector employment reached a record 1,635,600 …

LevelFirst Adds Taylor as Senior Underwriter/Broker in Dallas

LevelFirst, a wholesale broker and managing general agency based in Dallas, Texas, announced Ryan Taylor has joined the company as a senior underwriter/broker. Taylor brings 10 years of wholesale experience to the company. He will be responsible for underwriting all …

Assessors in Louisiana Seek Updated Valuation Rules for Oil Wells

A group of Louisiana tax assessors is advocating for a series of property valuation changes that, if approved, could significantly increase property tax rates for oil and gas well operators, as well as revenues for local governments. The proposed rules …

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