WEEK IN REVIEW
Monday Change for tech center
The Houston Technology Center, largely considered a founding father of tech startup assistance locally, is being folded into a new organization called Houston Exponential as part of an initiative to boost Houston’s appeal to technology investors and innovators. “Houston Technology Center, as it was established, met that existing need at that moment. But look at where we are right now,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “And quite frankly, we’ve been losing ground.”
Halliburton puts up fight
Halliburton said it sharply increased its revenue from a year earlier, showing that it doesn’t plan to cede its place as the world’s No. 2 energy services company to its Houston rival Baker Hughes, which merged in the summer with General Electric’s oil and gas division.
Kelly blasts O’Reilly
Megyn Kelly took on her former Fox News Channel colleague Bill O’Reilly in blunt terms, revealing she had gone to her bosses to complain about O’Reilly’s behavior and saying the size of a newly revealed $32 million settlement of harassment charges made by a Fox analyst was “jaw-dropping.”
Cranes finish journey
Three 270-foot-tall cranes arrived at Barbours Cut Container Terminal after a three-month trip from China. Once installed, they will give Barbours Cut seven cranes capable of loading and unloading the larger ships that can now traverse the expanded Panama Canal.
Tuesday Heights H-E-B ahead
After Heights residents struck down a century-old ban on off-premise alcohol sales in part to make way for H-E-B to expand into their neighborhood, the San Antonio-based grocery chain kept its end of the bargain, breaking ground on a two-story project that is expected to give a lift to local redevelopment.
Radio-TV rule falls
Federal regulators have voted to eliminate a longstanding rule covering radio and television stations, in a move that could ultimately reshape America’s media landscape. The regulation, which was adopted almost 80 years ago, requires broadcasters to have a physical studio in or near the areas where they have a license to transmit TV or radio signals. The rule had ensured that residents of a community could have a say in a local broadcast station’s operations.
Wednesday Foreign cattle sales climb
Seeing strong beef demand, Vietnamese producers have been investing in their herds. That’s why 10 Brahman bulls were loaded onto a cargo plane at Bush Intercontinental Airport for a trip across the Pacific. International sales of Texas cattle are not new, but they are increasing.
Big plant in the works
LyondellBasell said it planned to build a more than $2 billion petrochemical and plastics plant along the Gulf Coast, but a final decision on whether to go forward with the project is likely a year away.
‘Retail will rebound’
Executives from Weingarten Realty addressed fallout from Hurricane Harvey, announced a large lease with a prominent veterinary clinic and discussed headwinds facing the retail industry. “Generally speaking, retail comes back a lot quicker than other things,” president and CEO Drew Alexander said. “People need to replenish their closets and their freezers. Harvey was an incalculable, huge, unique amount of rain, but I do think the city and retail will rebound from it.”
Toyota changes course
Toyota Motor Corp. confirmed that a planned Mexico auto plant is being scaled back, but a top executive said the decision was driven by market needs and was not a political move. The investment for the Guanajuato plant will fall to $700 million from the $1 billion commitment announced in 2015. Annual production will decrease to half at 100,000, the company said, and instead of Corollas being assembled at the plant, workers there will build Tacoma pickups.
Open door for Amazon
Amazon said it will launch a service called Amazon Key next month that will let people allow the door to be unlocked when they’re not there so packages can be left inside.
Thursday Group 1 sets sales records
Group 1 Automotive dealerships in Houston and Beaumont set records for new vehicles sold during the weeks after Hurricane Harvey. Some doubled their typical new-vehicle sales for September. “We’ve never seen anything like that before, and I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again,” president and CEO Earl Hesterberg told investors during an earnings call.
Revenue up for waste giant
Houston-based Waste Management reported a 4.7 percent rise in revenue in its third quarter, with expected gains to come from processing Hurricane Harvey debris.
Sting from hurricanes
The financial damage from the hurricanes that struck Texas, Florida and the Caribbean in recent months crossed the Atlantic when German insurer Munich Re warned that virtually all of its profit this year would be wiped out by the horrendous cost of the disasters..
Friday Health plan breach
About 900 Texas Children’s Health Plan members were notified by mail that their personal and medical information may have been compromised in a security breach late last year.
Strong local presence
Houston-area companies made a strong showing on the Aggie 100 list of fastest-growing companies. Twenty-seven Aggie-owned or operated businesses in the greater Houston area earned spots on the list.
A crate carrying Brahman bulls is loaded into the Boeing 747 plane that will take them from IAH to Vietnam.
The Zhen Hua 13 brought giant ship-to-shore cranes to the Port of Houston Authority at Morgan’s Point last week.