• By CONSUMER REPORTS
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Wood wins the prize as America’s favorite hard-surface flooring type, outselling vinyl, porcelain tile and every other option, according to market-research firm Mintel’s 2016 report on residential flooring.

  • By MARY BETH BASSETT
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Trash on the beach is never pretty. But thanks to a local art project, the island’s beachside trash receptacles will become a lot more pleasing to look at.

  • By BRUCE WILLIAMS
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DEAR BRUCE: I contacted a real estate agent to sell my condo. He already had a buyer and sold the property without placing it on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

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  • By TOM BASSING Special Correspondent
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NASA has notified Ad Astra Rocket Co. that the agency is picking up the final year of a three-year contract under which the Webster-based startup is developing next-generation space propulsion.

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We buy homeowners insurance to protect against the high drama of our greatest fears: tornadoes ripping off the roof, fire racing up the stairs or floodwaters lapping at the front porch. But in reality, the worst rarely happens.

  • By MARY BETH BASSETT
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At the start of each fiscal year, the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau sets ambitious goals for its sales team. This year, the team achieved and exceeded expectations two months before the deadline.

  • By CONSUMER REPORTS
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Americans love to drive. More than 75 percent of adults carry a driver’s license, including 40 million who are 65 and older, according to Consumer Reports.

  • Staff Reports
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Patrick F. Doyle has been elected to Texas First Bank’s board of directors, Matthew T. Doyle, chairman of the board, announced last week.

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Investors in tax sale properties can get notifications about sheriff’s sales by signing up for the Interested Buyer Notification Program, according to the Galveston County Tax Office.

  • By MARY BETH BASSETT
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If you’re like me, when friends or family come to visit, you want to show them all the fun things to do and see on the island. Thanks to the Island Pass, seeing and doing many of those fun things can cost a lot less.

  • By BRUCE WILLIAMS
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DEAR BRUCE: I am a 74-year-old widow who is very independent. The balance on my mortgage is about $141,000, and I pay $740 plus $240 HOA fees a month. I have about $100,000 in equity in my condo. I also currently have $50,000 in a checking account earning 1.5 percent yearly and $20,000 in an…

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Island residential sales rose 14 percent in the first six months in nearly every section of the city, showing particular strength in West End lots where aging inventory is inspiring plans for new homes.

  • By CONSUMER REPORTS
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Given all the new gas grill styles and features, it just might be time for you to ditch your old flame, says Consumer Reports.

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Steak out: Texas City readers hungry for Golden Corral to open in the building formerly occupied by Ryan’s might have to curb their appetites. A manager answering the phones at the island Golden Corral on Thursday said the Searcy family, which owns Golden Corral restaurants in Galveston and …

  • By CONSUMER REPORTS
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Popcorn has the crunchy, salty appeal of chips or pretzels, but you can have 3 cups of the air-popped snack for slightly fewer calories than you’ll find in one sourdough pretzel.

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Building buy: A long vacant building on a highly visible parcel in Galveston has a new owner and soon will have new tenants and a fresh look. Members of the island’s Sullivan family have acquired the 73,801-square-foot Del Papa Distributing Co. complex, 6702 Broadway, with plans to consolida…

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The executive director of a recently formed maritime business group hopes his organization can influence decision-makers on a variety of issues, especially a controversial plan for dealing with toxic waste pits near the Houston Ship Channel.

  • By CONSUMER REPORTS
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More than 212,000 adults and half a million children were accidentally poisoned by prescription and over-the-counter medication during 2015. Having a medicine cabinet packed with unsecured pills on every shelf is a big risk: It makes it too easy for you to grab the wrong meds or for anyone i…

  • By GALVESTON REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
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The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Task Force is pleased to announce Stephen Freeman, founder and CEO of Playsmint LLC, as the keynote speaker at the Workforce Development Breakfast set for 7:30 a.m. July 25 in the ballroom at the San Luis Hotel, 5222 Seawall Bl…

  • By BRUCE WILLIAMS
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DEAR BRUCE: I worked for a large company for 19 years in sales. I was the top producer for the past 10 years. Within a week’s time, they removed me from my largest account, asked me to cover an area they have struggled in, removed the salesman from that account and gave him my territory. Whe…

  • By MARY BETH BASSETT
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With 32 miles of coastline, there are quite a few options for those looking to soak their feet into the sand and play on Galveston’s shores. But, the reality is, all beaches are not created equal. Some are just flat out more fun!

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Sixth Street’s latest tenant is expected to open this month and commercial neighbors along the street hope it will draw even more crowds to the business district.

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Tyrannosaurus snub? It’s a rare day when island-born billionaire Tilman Fertitta doesn’t get his way in business. So, it’s not surprising that business reporters last week were abuzz about Ignite Restaurant Group‘s rejection of a $55 million bid by Landry’s Inc., of which Fertitta is preside…

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Managing sand may not seem glamorous, but for Galveston, a science-based plan to maintain healthy beaches reaps many benefits. And, for the Galveston park board, developing such a plan has earned it a prestigious regional award.

  • By CONSUMER REPORTS
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The hottest developments in consumer electronics these days are as close as your ears. Headphone engineers are using some of the coolest cutting-edge technology to create portable earphones that are totally free of wires (finally!).

  • By BRUCE WILLIAMS
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DEAR BRUCE: About three years ago, we invested $52,000 in energy stocks. We were getting around $300 monthly in dividends. Gradually, the stocks went down in value and eventually the money for our monthly payment started coming from the stocks themselves.

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Joint’s jumping: Texas City has some new bragging rights — it’s home to the largest trampoline park in the United States. Last week, Friendswood attorney and developer Jerome Karam opened the 55,000-square-foot Altitude Trampoline Park franchise at the Mall of the Mainland, 10000 Emmett F. L…

  • By CONNOR BEHRENS Correspondent
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A new movie theater will open at the site Star Cinema Grill occupied for 10 years at 1020 W. NASA Parkway before announcing in 2015 it would move to Baybrook Mall. Star Cinema Grill owns the new business, also.

  • By CONSUMER REPORTS
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For back pain, new guidelines from the American College of Physicians recommend starting with treatments such as acupuncture, massage and yoga, and turning to drugs or surgery only when those more active therapies don’t work.

  • By GINA SPAGNOLA
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The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce workforce and education committees have been collaborating for a solution to address the needs of employers and employees in our region. We have heard from employers who can’t find the right workers, workers who can’t find the right jobs, and those …

  • By MARY BETH BASSETT
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Last month, the Galveston City Council appointed three new trustees to the Galveston Park Board and reappointed another. In light of these appointments, it seems as if now is a good time to review the role of the park board’s nine-member board and the many responsibilities it has.

  • By BRUCE WILLIAMS
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DEAR BRUCE: What would the new tax reform mean for me? I am a single father and make $35,000 a year. Does this mean it would change how much money I get back when I file my taxes? And if so, would I get more back or less? — Ben

  • By CONSUMER REPORTS
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Not all back injuries are created equal. Here are some of the most prevalent conditions and symptoms from Consumer Reports.

  • By MARY BETH BASSETT
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For many of us, this Fourth of July holiday is a long weekend — take that Monday off, and you have four days of vacation. Lucky for us islanders, we get all the fun without all the traveling!

  • By BRUCE WILLIAMS
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DEAR BRUCE: In a recent column, you referred to “well-established, large firms that have continuously been paying dividends for a good many years and showing 2 percent to 4 percent growth a year on average.” My question is, would you consider Vanguard a good example of that? — E.R.

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Retail rising: Inquiring readers want to know about that retail center rising across the street from the University of Texas Medical Branch, 427 Market St., on the island. As previously buzzed, J.T. Bolger, the developer, is constructing two buildings, each 6,500 square feet. Bolger is build…

  • By CONSUMER REPORTS
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Homestays — rooms, apartments or homes rented directly from the owner, typically for vacation accommodations — are certainly nothing new. But a handful of websites, including Airbnb (the largest, with more than 3 million global listings), HomeAway, VRBO and FlipKey, have made them easier tha…

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Resort report: Longtime Biz Buzz readers may recall an intriguing rumor circulating in June 2006 that Hyatt Regency Hotels Corp. was planning a massive $300 million resort on the island’s West End. If there were real plans for such a resort, they likely got scuttled by Hurricane Ike in 2008,…