Texas

News, policy discussions, and major events happening in or related to Texas, told from an Austin perspective

The state added 47,900 jobs in October
Photo Courtesy of Bill Jacobus

Texas total nonfarm employment was up by 47,900 jobs in October, according to a Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) press release. This number accounts for an impressive third of the 151,000 jobs the entire U.S. economy added in the same period.

“Every major industry added jobs in October with notable increases in Construction employment” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken.

TWC also released that the unemployment rate stayed steady at 8.1 percent, a substantial percentage and a half less than the country’s, which is currently at 9.6.

Image courtesy of the Office of Representative Charlie Gonzalez

Hispanic Caucus Elects New Chair

San Antonio Democrat Charlie Gonzalez has been elected chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  My SA news reports the Caucus unanimously picked Gonzalez.  The six-term lawmaker says he plans to reach out to five newly elected Hispanic Republicans and ask them to join the caucus.  Gonzalez starts his new leadership role when the 112th Congress convenes in January.

Fort Hood firefighters are working to put out an approximately 700-acre fire burning in a training range at the army post. It started around 2 p.m. today.  The fire is burning at the Dalton Mountain Training Range, in the north end of the post, and is currently moving south to the Lone Star Range. 

Read the press release from the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office, here.

Drinks like Four Loko must eliminate the alcohol or face substantial penalties
Photo Courtesy of Jon Raedle

Four Loko-lovers may need to start looking for the next alcoholic fad as "blackout in a can" is changing its formula.  The move comes in response to the considerable heat brought by the U.S. government following several incidents across the country involving the alcohol and caffeine-infused drink.

The federal government warned four companies that manufacture caffeine-spiked booze products to stop selling the drinks or deal with the threat of litigation and seizure of assets. The companies have 15 days to comply with the Food and Drug Administration-penned (FDA) letter.

Four Loko and Joose
Image courtesy Kyle James http://www.flickr.com/photos/jameskm03/

The national hysteria over the caffeinated alcoholic beverage Four Loko is reaching a fever pitch with bans looming or already enacted in Boston, New York, Michigan, Washington state, and Pennsylvania.

Now there's speculation that the controversial drink may have been consumed by the driver of an SUV that crashed and killed a 14-year-old girl in North Texas, reports My Fox Dallas-Fort Worth:

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