• Outdoors notebook: Texas again ranks high in sales of boats

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Texas in 2014 ranked second to Florida in sales of new powerboats, motors and accessories. Texas boaters spent $1.3 billion last year, up 11.9 percent from 2013. Florida boaters spent $2.3 billion, up 22.5 percent from 2013. Other top-10 boating states in terms of new boat expenditures were Michigan ($762.4 million), Minnesota ($601.5 million), New York ($597.8 million), North Carolina ($580.2 million), Wisconsin ($560.3 million), California ($546.8 million), Louisiana ($529.9 million) and Alabama ($457.7 million). Nationwide expenditures totaled $35.4 billion. Now that many more Texas lakes are full, boaters may spend even more money this year.

  • Austin American-Statesman Lori Hawkins column

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    Joel Rojo says he wouldn’t have launched a startup if it weren’t for mentors who convinced him he could do it. Now, the 25-year-old Harvard-educated software developer wants to do the same for others. Rojo is the Austin winner of a new entrepreneur-in-residence program created by CODE2040, a San Francisco-based nonprofit. CODE2040 was founded three years ago to focus on drawing more African Americans and Hispanics into the tech workforce. Through the one-year program, Rojo and two other entrepreneurs, one in Chicago and one in Durham, N.C., will receive a one-year stipend and free office space. The program, which is backed by Google, seeks to empower minority entrepreneurs to build companies and help others.

  • Artist of the Week: Emmit Brooks

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    LAS CRUCES >> Emmit Brooks has been called "an icon of Southwest recording" by award-winning singer, songwriter and musician Steve Smith. That just might be an understatement. In a music business career that has spanned nearly six decades, Brooks has been a performer himself and has worked with thousands of musicians in his studios in Las Cruces. He's shared stages with country legends Patsy Cline, George Jones, Webb Pierce and Homer and Jethro. It all began, he reflects now, when his mom agreed to get him a Sears Roebuck guitar, with the provision that he was to agree that music was not to be his career.

  • The digital divide: Fewer Internet options means fewer homes in Grayson County connect online

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    As most of the world progresses towards constant connectivity, Grayson County could be left on the wrong side of the digital divide. Higher-volume cities like Sherman and Denison see more Internet options available to them, and might find cheaper prices and better signal strength. It’s the smaller rural towns however, and the people in them, who could be barred from broadband. In January, the Federal Communications Commission ruled to increase the speed of broadband they believe all households across the nation should be able to purchase and access. They designated 25 megabits per second for downloads and three megabits per second for uploads as the magic number for their benchmark speed, also known as 25/3.

  • Lake Texoma continues to rise and rains are predicted to continue

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    Lake Texoma is inching ever closer to the spilling point Saturday. A statement from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Saturday morning said the “Current elevation of Lake Texoma at ( 9 a.m.) is 638.8 feet and rising. The pool is forecasted to rise to 640 by (Monday) and crest at 640.3 by (Tuesday). This projection was made considering ongoing releases and NO additional rainfall in the drainage basin above Denison Dam.” The statement said officials are releasing water from the lake through both hydropower generators are being made “at full capacity (9,000 cfs).” “The aggregate release from Lake Texoma, including the generators and flood conduits, is 45,000 cfs.

  • University of Central Oklahoma graduate is from North Pole — really

    By Beth Stephenson, For The Oklahoman | Published: Sat, May 23, 2015

    Joyclin Jaksons recently graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma. She said being from North Pole, Alaska, caused some confusion in Oklahoma.

  • AccuWeather's Chinese venture involves Wichita office

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    AccuWeather has signed a 20-year deal with a Chinese meteorological company that will heavily involve AccuWeather’s Wichita office. The partnership with Huafeng Media Group, the commercial weather media company owned by the China Meteorological Administration, will allow businesses and residents in China to get more and better weather information. “AccuWeather is pleased to introduce Huafeng-AccuWeather, a groundbreaking endeavor with China to serve the China market,” said Barry Lee Myers, CEO of AccuWeather. “AccuWeather’s technical and meteorological innovations, including our unique forecasting products and longer-range forecasts, will provide new value to the people of China.

  • Texas ban against texting while driving stalled in Senate

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    A years-long effort to ban texting while driving in Texas is in limbo in the Senate, one vote shy of having enough members agree to bring it to the floor for debate. As the clock keeps ticking toward the deadline to debate bills on the Senate floor, state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, is looking for one more person to support the measure. “We are so very, very close,” said Zaffirini, who has worked on this bill for years and said she remains “hopeful” it will be considered by the upper chamber. “It would be a shame for it to not pass. “It will [prevent] death, injuries and reduce property damage,” she said. “It’s difficult to believe anyone opposes it.

  • Appraisal Services Target FHA EAD, AMC Utilization

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    A new service is designed to help lenders connect to the electronic portal for government loans, while appraisal management companies are vying for business. An appraisal technology firm was acquired. A May 7 news release indicated that Mercury Network, a valuation vendor management platform for the mortgage industry, was acquired by Serent Capital from Oklahoma City-based a la mode inc. Daily volume at Mercury Network reportedly exceeds 20,000 appraisal transactions. Serent's acquisition is expected to further enhance the value of Mercury Network's offerings by bringing additional resources to support technology innovation.

  • Cash award big school honor

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    Awards are great for schools but even better when they include some cash meant to help out teachers and their instruction to students. That’s exactly the case for Pauls Valley’s Jackson Elementary as it closed out this school year with a monetary award given for some improved test scores at the state level. The recent award from the Oklahoma Department of Education was for the school’s third-graders closing the gap between subgroups in their scores in both reading and math. The award includes $45,175 for the school, which was one of six in the state honored for this achievement. For Principal Mitzi Winters the award brings a big smile. “It’s like a big Christmas present in May for my teachers,” W

  • UTA program draws youths to science and engineering with help from robots

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    Julisa Chavez, 11, traces her interest in robotics to a girls’ Lego building set she played with when she was much younger, when boys her age were “building race cars and stuff.” “I started building random things, like hearts and girly stuff, like flowers, out of Legos,” Chavez, a sixth-grader at Harmony Science Academy in Euless, said as she concentrated on an intricate plastic-and-metal robot at the East Arlington Branch Library on a recent Tuesday. Her team was among four student groups building small motorized robots and writing programs to make them do something helpful, like grasp an object and carry it to a doll patient.

  • Healthcare cyber security is crucial for Oklahoma patients

    By Matthew Moore | Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    Data breaches have dominated many of the headlines lately, and every industry has cause for concern. The healthcare sector is an especially high value target, as it stores both the medical and financial data of patients. Just as patients trust providers and facilities with their health and wellbeing, they also look to these individuals and institutions to manage their information securely. Medical data is worth more to identity thieves, who are able to sell this information for 10 times what they can get for a stolen credit card number on the black market. Personal medical information can be used to obtain prescription medications to resell or file false claims with insurance companies through fake provider numbers.

  • Mom's Facebook Shaming Video of 13-Year-Old Goes Viral

    Published: Fri, May 22, 2015

    Video of a mother shaming her 13-year-old daughter for having a hidden Facebook account has gone viral, ABC News reports. Val Starks found out that her daughter had a secret Facebook account on which she said she was 19 years old and used a photo of herself in a bra as her profile image. She confronted her daughter about the account and the adult men who had asked to be her friend, bringing up the dangers of Internet predators.

  • Obama tweets draw racist, hateful comments

    Published: Fri, May 22, 2015

    Sometimes it's the "anti-social media." President Obama's new Twitter account is drawing a slew of racist and sexist comments that include calls for his suicide or his lynching, USA TODAY reports. Using the Twitter handle POTUS -- the acronym for President of the United States -- Obama's messages are pretty basic.

  • Renew Online, Skip the Trip to DPS Office This Summer

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is encouraging residents to get ahead of the summer rush at driver license offices across the state by renewing their license or identification card early or online. The summer months tend to be one of the busiest times at driver license offices, and many Texans are eligible to skip the trip to the office completely via online renewal of their license, identification card or change of address at Texas.gov. “Texas driver license offices are especially busy during the summer when students and families are on vacation,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw.

  • Colorado Springs teams do not place at Go Code competition

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    Teams from Colorado Springs did not place Thursday in the statewide Go Code app-building competition to use data from state sources to help businesses and others make better decisions. Unite, a team of employees from The Gazette, is developing an app to help entrepreneurs and startup businesses more easily find college interns. Quizata, which includes two Magneti Marketing employees, a software developer from Auto Truck Group and a Pine Creek High School student, is developing an app to use quizzes that help potential Colorado visitors come up with a story about a vacation they would like to take and made data from quiz-takers available to tourism marketing agencies.

  • Facebook looking at North Fort Worth for huge data center

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    A project worth nearly $1 billion that’s in the works for North Fort Worth hopes to lure social media giant Facebook to Texas. Fort Worth has already approved financial incentives for the 110-acre data center project planned near Interstate 35W in the AllianceTexas development. Plans filed with the city call for a four-building complex at the northeast corner of Alliance Gateway and Park Vista Boulevard, east of Alliance Airport. Developers of the project and Fort Worth have closely guarded who will use the 750,000-square-foot data center, which would be one of North Texas’ largest such projects. But documents filed with the state of Texas and the identity of the planning team working on the project indicate i

  • Google Fiber launches effort to address digital divide

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    Google Fiber launched a national fellowship program on Thursday to deploy more than a dozen workers to address digital divide issues in its eight U.S. markets, including Austin. In Austin, as in each Google Fiber city, two fellows will be chosen to work with area nonprofits to reach residents and provide computer literacy help for one year. Sixteen total fellows will be deployed. Fellows will be hired this summer, attend training at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters in July and earn an annual salary of $33,000 plus benefits. In Austin, digital access group Austin Free-Net and workforce assistance group Skillpoint Alliance will each get a new fellow through the program.

  • Changes dominate animal health industry

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    Consolidation of care clinics, less income for pet care and regulatory delays for medicines are among the findings of a new study examining the animal health industry's future. Ron Brakke, of Brakke Consulting in Dallas, spoke to 30 industry professionals from the area during an animal health round table Thursday afternoon at the Innovation Stockyard, located in the Bond Incubator at Missouri Western. The firm specializes in serving companies involved in animal health and nutrition, pet care and veterinary services. Mr. Brakke's address focused on trends impacting animal health and pet care. His subtopics included trends in animal population, changing economics of U.S. households and a lack of emerging new product categories.

  • AT&T boosting cell service for Rocklahoma

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    Pryor — As thousands of people come together for Rocklahoma, AT&T* is bringing in extra network support to make sure its customers can stay connected. The company is setting up a cell tower on wheels (COW) to accommodate what’s expected to be a large number of smartphone users at the annual music festival. The improved coverage will provide customers with faster and more reliable connections as the event runs through May 24. “Events like Rocklahoma are full of memorable moments that our customers want to share through text messages, pictures and status updates on social media,” said Jan Collier, Vice President and General Manager, AT&T Oklahoma and Arkansas. “Our team is hard at work to help provide great coverage a