TEXAS TECH SYSTEM-TUITION
Tuition going up for Texas Tech System students
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Regents of the Texas Tech University System have approved a nearly 4 percent tuition hike for the 2014-2015 academic year.
System officials say the tuition increase approved Tuesday during a conference call adds up to almost $183 more for 15 semester credit hours. A student with a 30-hour academic year would pay almost $366 more.
Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis says tuition and fees were held flat last year so a "modest" increase was sought to invest in faculty and staff. He says the additional funds will also help continue the quality education and college experience that students expect.
Texas Tech's overall tuition and fees for the 2014-2015 academic year are estimated to be about $9,600.
Energy XXI buying EPL Oil & Gas for about $1.53B
HOUSTON (AP) - Energy XXI is buying EPL Oil & Gas Inc. for about $1.53 billion in a deal that the companies say will create the biggest publicly-owned independent oil producer on the Gulf of Mexico shelf.
The transaction is a cash-and-stock deal. EPL stockholders can choose to receive $39 per EPL share, a 34 percent premium to the company's Tuesday closing price of $29.11. They can also elect to receive 1.669 common shares of Energy XXI, or a combination of cash and stock.
The companies put the deal's total value at $2.3 billion, including debt.
Energy XXI (Bermuda) Ltd. shareholders are expected to own about 77 percent of the combined company, with EPL stockholders owning the remaining 23 percent.
CORPUS CHRISTI-PLANT FIRE
4 workers hurt in Corpus Christi gas plant fire
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - Four contract workers have suffered burns in a flash fire at an Enterprise Products Partners LP natural gas processing plant in South Texas.
Company spokesman Rick Rainey says the accident happened Tuesday afternoon at the Enterprise Products Shoup (shoop) plant in Corpus Christi. Rainey told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that the workers were changing a component designed to filter the gas stream when the fire happened.
Rainey on Wednesday said the cause of the fire remains under investigation. Plant operations weren't interrupted.
Emergency officials say two workers were taken to a Corpus Christi hospital. The other two workers were flown to San Antonio Military Medical Center. Details on the victims weren't immediately released.
Texas Panhandle park reopens following wildfire
CANYON, Texas (AP) - A state park in the Texas Panhandle has reopened following a wildfire that scorched about 15 acres and closed the site for a day.
The Texas A&M Forest Service says Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Canyon reopened to visitors Wednesday morning.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department spokesman Mike Cox says the more than 20,000-acre park was shut down Tuesday as firefighters extinguished the blaze.
Park officials say about 80 campers departed Monday night as crews responded to the fire accidentally started hours earlier and blamed on a backpacker's stove.
The Randall County Sheriff's Office says fire crews put out the blaze and departed Tuesday night. Sheriff's deputies and Texas A&M Forest Service personnel remained in the area overnight as a precaution.
4 arrested in slaying of Texas couple near church
WOODVILLE, Texas (AP) - Four ex-relatives of an East Texas man have been accused of killing him and his new wife as he sought custody of his 5-year-old daughter.
The Tyler County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday said the suspects formerly were related to Nathan Bradley Maddox of Zavalla (zuh-VAL'-uh). Maddox and his wife, Krystal, were gunned down Jan. 18 outside a church after a supervised visit with his daughter.
A grand jury Tuesday indicted Maddox's ex-wife Kristen Westfall, her parents Letha (LEE'-thuh) and Paul Westfall, and her brother, Cameron Westfall. Chief Deputy Phil Ryan says the Westfalls are jailed on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity leading to killings during a custody dispute.
Letha Westfall had custody of her granddaughter, who's now with Child Protective Services.
1 dead, 1 wounded in Dallas drug deal gone wrong
DALLAS (AP) - One man has been killed and another wounded in a shooting outside a Dallas gas station.
Police believe the two men who were shot late Tuesday night were trying to sell drugs. Investigators are looking for a suspect.
Police say one man was dead at the scene. The second man was wounded but managed to drive away and later stopped to call 911. He underwent surgery at a Dallas hospital and should survive.
The name of the man who died wasn't immediately released.
Man, wife, his son charged in Texas drug ring
WACO, Texas (AP) - A Central Texas man, his wife and his 26-year-old son have been charged in a drug and money laundering case linked to California.
Prosecutors say 58-year-old Phillip Larry Koss, 60-year-old Le'Ann Koss and Conner Phillip Koss, all from Waco, face a court appearance next week.
A federal grand jury in Waco on Tuesday indicted the trio on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute marijuana. They're also charged with money laundering.
The Koss residence was raided last November in the investigation of marijuana secured in California for distribution in Texas.
Online McLennan County jail records Wednesday don't list attorneys for the trio. Father and son are held on bond of $400,000 apiece. Bond for Le'Ann Koss is $300,000.
Some children at Houston-area swim school get sick
SPRING, Texas (AP) - At least nine children at a Houston-area swim school have been treated for breathing trouble after a possible chlorine problem.
Klein Fire Department Chief David Bessolo (BES'-uh-loh) says a pool chlorination system apparently malfunctioned Tuesday night at the FINS swim school in Spring. He says the sick children were treated for symptoms not believed to be life-threatening.
Swim school owner Bill Goudeket (GOO'-duh-kay) says the business would be closed Wednesday while he conducts his own investigation. He apologized for the incident and says the chorine system is automatic and monitored.
Goudeket says he believes a child might have put something in a pool jet, such as a toy, and briefly clogged the system.
Bessolo says hazardous materials experts checked the pool following the incident and the chlorine levels were normal.
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