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Posted: Feb 7, 2014 2:30 AM

Updated: Feb 7, 2014 2:31 AM

DALLAS (AP) The operator of the electric grid that lights most of the state is appealing to customers to use less electricity because of the extreme cold. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking Texans to reduce their electricity usage through noon Friday. ERCOT also warned of an increased risk of rotating blackouts in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.

(Information in the following story is from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com)

HOUSTON (AP) A Houston suburb near the NASA Johnson Space Center plans to erect a 130-foot-tall statue of an Apollo astronaut. The statue planned by the City of Webster itself will be 80 feet tall on top of a 50-foot pedestal that will house a space museum on Interstate 45 and NASA Parkway. Houston sculptor and painter David Adickes has been commissioned for the statue. His work includes the 67-foot Sam Houston statue in Huntsville.

DALLAS (AP) Passenger traffic and a key revenue measure are up at Southwest and AirTran. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Company says today that passengers flew 7.41 billion miles last month, up 2.2 percent from January 2013. Most of the increase was due to longer trips the average rose to 961 miles. The number of paying passengers rose just 0.3 percent.

WACO, Texas (AP) A convicted felon has been sentenced to life in prison for stealing a gold ring from a mentally impaired man who received the jewelry after working 10 years at a fast-food restaurant. The Waco Tribune-Herald reports jurors earlier Wednesday convicted Ruben Alaniz of Riesel (REE'-s'l) of aggravated robbery of a disabled person.

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