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TXDOT funds $31.8M from Proposition 1 fo SETX projects

SOUTHEAST TEXAS -- The Texas Transportation Commission has approved nearly $32 million in Proposition 1 funding for two upcoming projects in Southeast Texas.

Williams Brothers Construction Co., Inc. was awarded a $29.9 million contract to reconstruct I-10 at FM 364 (Major Drive) in Beaumont. The project will reverse the current configuration resulting in IH 10 being rebuilt as an overpass over FM 364. The project will begin in October and is scheduled to be completed by March 2017.

John Reed and Company, LLC was awarded a $1.8 million contract to relocate the SH 146 exit ramp from IH 10 eastbound in Baytown. The project will consist of moving the exit ramp 1,000 feet to the west which will assist in alleviating traffic backing up onto IH 10. The project will begin in the fall and take approximately four months to complete.   

Proposition 1, which dedicates a portion of oil and gas tax revenue to the state highway fund, was approved last November by 80 percent of Texas voters. The 200 planned Proposition 1 projects will result in more than 800 miles of rehabilitated highways; nearly 500 miles of new highway lanes; 114 bridges replaced, widened or rehabilitated; and an additional 159 miles of passing lanes on rural highways. Metropolitan Planning Organizations and TxDOT districts worked together and with the public to formulate the list of projects.   

TXDOT announces I-10 closures for repairs

BEAUMONT (TXDOT) -- Tonight and Tuesday night, August 3-4, the ramp to I-10 eastbound from US 69 southbound will be closed for repairs, 8pm-4am.

ORANGE (TXDOT) -- Tonight-Wednesday night, August 3-5, crews will be working along I-10 east and westbound from Adams Bayou to the state line making repairs, 7pm-6am. Expect alternating lane closures.

Delta says it's banning shipment of hunting 'trophies'

NEW YORK (AP) -- Delta Air Lines had a major change of heart about shipping hunting trophies, announcing Monday afternoon that it would no longer accept lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies.

As recently as May, the Atlanta-based airline had said that it would continue to allow such shipments — as long as they were legal. At the time, some international carriers prohibited such cargo.

The move comes after an American dentist killed a well-known lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe last month in an allegedly illegal hunt, setting off a worldwide uproar. The dentist, Walter James Palmer, lives in Minnesota, which is a major hub for Delta.

Delta is the only U.S. airline to fly to Africa. Several foreign airlines announced similar bans last week.

Delta would not answer questions from The Associated Press about why the decision was made now and how many hunting trophies it has shipped in recent years. The company only issued a 58-word statement noting that prior to Monday's ban, "Delta's strict acceptance policy called for absolute compliance with all government regulations regarding protected species."

Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry consultant, noted that the airline was probably responding to pressure following the news of Cecil's killing. The airline was the subject of a petition on to ban such shipments.

"I don't think there was much of this shipment taking place, so there is minimal revenue loss and big PR gain for them," he said.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Texas Attorney General turns himself in at Dallas-area jail

COLLIN COUNTY -- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been booked at a Dallas-area jail on felony charges alleging that he misled investors before becoming the state's top lawyer.

Paxton arrived at the Collin County jail Monday to be processed on two counts of first-degree securities fraud and a lesser count of failing to register with state securities regulators.

The 52-year-old Republican was fingerprinted and photographed before being released on bond. Questions about Paxton's financial dealings have shadowed the tea party conservative since he took office in January.

Paxton joins former Gov. Rick Perry as the second high-ranking Texas official in the past year to be indicted while in office. Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Boston Bombing victim to speak at LIT Real American Heroes salute

BEAUMONT – Jeff Bauman, a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing who later was able to identify the bombers, will be the speaker for the LIT Foundation Salute to Real American Heroes on Sept. 10, 2015.

The annual event, which provides scholarships for students in the Department of Public Service & Safety, is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church.

Bauman was waiting at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon for his then-girlfriend Erin Hurley when he saw Tamerlan Tsarnaev. In his book “Stronger,” he says that he felt like something was not right with Tsarnaev; everyone surrounding him was happy and celebrating, but Tsarnaev was not part of that group. The next time Bauman looked, Tsarnaev was gone and his backpack had been left behind.

Bauman lost both his legs in the bombing, and when he woke up after his surgery, he immediately wanted a pen and paper, writing, “bag, saw the guy, looked right at me.” He was then able to provide a detailed description of Tamerlan, which eventually led to a photo being disseminated quickly.

Bauman is now married to Erin, and they have a daughter. He has written a book about the bombing and his recovery called "Stronger."

Tickets to the event are $50 each. Dinner will be provided by the Sabine Area Restaurant Association and Cooks 2 Doz. Inc.

All first responders and active military who are in uniform plus a guest will be treated to dinner.

To buy tickets or make first responder/military reservations or for more information on sponsorships available, see the Web site at, or call (409) 839-2983.

GasBuddy: Texas prices for gas drop 4.5 cents

TEXAS -- Average retail gasoline prices in Texas have fallen 4.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.45/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 13,114 gas outlets in Texas. 


This compares with the national average that has fallen 5.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.65/g, according to gasoline price website

(KFDM -- In Southeast Texas, the lowest prices were down in most places about 10 cents from two weeks ago.  The lowest price in the area when KFDM did a survey about noon on Monday was $2.21 at the Citgo on College.  

That was also the lowest price listed in Port Arthur at the Raceway on Twin City Hwy.

The lowest price in Orange was $2.29 and in Vidor it was 2.27.)

Including the change in gas prices in Texas during the past week, prices yesterday were 89.0 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 11.3 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.

The national average has decreased 11.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 84.5 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.


"Prices in 47 out of 50 states declined for both gasoline and diesel in the last week, bringing the national average for a gallon of gasoline to its lowest summer price since 2009, while diesel fuel sees its lowest outright price since October 2010," said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst.

"While 84% of stations in the U.S. were selling gasoline at over $2.50/gal a month ago, today that number has dropped to 54%. A sharp drop in the price of crude oil over the last several weeks has resulted in big declines at the gas pump. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil has lost some $10 in value since early June at the hands of economic concerns in China and the prospects of Iranian crude adding to the global glut of oil as demand begins to fall ahead of the cooler months," DeHaan noted.




GasBuddy is the premiere source for real-time local gas prices. Founded in 2000, developed as an initiative to provide consumers access to local, current gas prices. Through the website and the free GasBuddy mobile app, users can find and share gas prices with fellow drivers, saving big money at the pump.


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