A Letter from the Comptroller
- The city of Eastland in North Texas has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to further construction of a 92-acre “Green Campus” business park.
- Zachry Hospitality Corporation, owner of San Antonio’s Hilton Palacio del Rio, has begun work on a $33 million facelift and modernization for the signature Riverwalk property.
- In September, the Children's Hospital at Scott & White opened in Temple. The new facility is the result of a $40 million renovation of the former King's Daughters Hospital. Area officials expect it to pump $66 million a year into the local economy.
- J.P. Morgan Chase plans to add about 700 additional jobs at its mortgage servicing center in Lewisville.
We’ve finally seen off a brutal summer here in Texas – a dry, scorched summer tinged with the smell of smoke. Fires across the state have destroyed thousands of homes and aren't entirely beaten yet.
In this issue, we look at Texans who spend their days and nights defending their neighbors against fire. It’s a dirty and dangerous job, and many do it as unpaid volunteers.
Much of Texas still relies on volunteer firefighters, brave men and women who answer the call whenever fire threatens the lives and property of their neighbors. But today, many communities are moving from the volunteer model to full-time, professional departments. We look at the factors driving those decisions and what they mean for Texans.
We also examine the enormous costs of the drought of 2011. It's officially the driest single year for Texas since record-keeping began, costing the state billions in agricultural losses – and it will have other, equally far-reaching effects.
On a happier note, we examine some of the hottest sectors of the Texas economy – industries that are posting some of the state’s highest job growth rates and pay above-average wages.
And of course, despite the heat, millions of Texans really do love summer and wouldn’t think of wasting a weekend indoors. For some, that means baiting a hook and trying to catch one of those five-pound bass that Robert Earl Keen sings about. For others, it means heading to one of the many inviting urban oases that our cities have to offer. If reading about fishing tournaments and Texas’ green infrastructure gives you the urge to join ‘em, well, our work here is done.
Because, to borrow an old phrase, dogs and hard-working, hard-playing Texans do go out in our noonday sun. Just don’t forget the hat and sunscreen.