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High-Speed Rail Effort Gets $75M Shot in the Arm

Also, a hearing date is set for examination of Planned Parenthood's practices in Texas.

The JR Central N700 Series, a Japanese Shinkansen bullet train developed by two railway companies in Japan.

The company looking to build a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston has a new CEO — and $75 million for the effort, all from Texas investors.
 
The new CEO of Texas Central Partners, Tim Keith, is from Dallas and was previously at RREEF/Deutsche Bank Infrastructure Investments, where he spent 10 years and was global chief executive officer.
 
“This project is another step in the long history of Texas leading the way nationally,” Keith said in a statement. “I am excited to work with this group of visionary Texan investors who are putting their money and support behind the project.”
 
Among those investors — who combined for $75 million in its first development funding round — are John Kleinheinz, developer Jack Matthews and Drayton McLane Jr., the former Houston Astros owner. The money "will be used to support ongoing development activities," the company said.
 
And the company released a series of statements from people backing the effort, including the mayors of Houston, Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth, as well as state Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, and Democratic state Reps. Sylvester TurnerYvonne Davis and Rafael Anchia.
 
Also on that list was state Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, who said the fundraising numbers show that “Texans are willing and eager to invest in a private sector, free market solution to moving Texans across our great state.”

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Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is awarding more than $100,000 to Real County to help it deal with the lingering effects of Texas’ recent drought.
 
The funds will go toward improvements to the southwest Texas county’s water infrastructure, as a local well’s effectiveness decreased because of the drought. The money, which comes from a disaster relief fund block grant, will go toward connecting that well to another water system and ensuring it won’t run out of water in the future.

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The Senate Health and Human Services Committee has posted a hearing notice for July 29 “to examine the business practices and regulatory structure of Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas, and to investigate whether state or federal laws are being broken by Planned Parenthood and/or its affiliates in Texas in regards to the donation and/or sale of fetal tissue.”

Committee chairman Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, has also released a letter he sent this week to a couple of Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas asking for their attendance at the hearing.

Disclosure: John Kleinheinz is a major donor to The Texas Tribune. Planned Parenthood was a corporate sponsor of the Tribune in 2011. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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