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Written by Matt Joyce

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Austin’s largest hotel is quickly taking shape in downtown. Developers of the JW Marriott Austin say they’re moving up the previously announced opening date by a couple of weeks to February 20. 

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We have good news for peach enthusiasts in the Hill Country, East Texas, and beyond: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension reports that most Texas peach orchards survived the April 15 freeze without damage.

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Supporters of the National Park Service and its parks and historic sites in Texas are gearing up for 2016, the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service. 

The Galveston-Bolivar ferry remains closed Monday morning as a result of an oil spill in Galveston Bay. The Texas Department of Transportation, which runs the ferry, says the U.S. Coast Guard requested that ferry service be suspended in the aftermath of the Saturday afternoon spill.

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If you’re getting ready to hit the road for a spring trip, be sure to check out the Texas Department of Transportation’s “Wildflower Sightings” website. The page identifies the locations of particularly scenic wildflower spots around the state.

 

One of the wild things about the South by Southwest conference is the number of celebrities who show up in Austin.  

Borger is turning 88! And to celebrate, the Hutchinson County Museum is hosting a birthday celebration with a panel of women who lived through the boomtown’s early years. The celebration will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the museum. 

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Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose has launched a fundraising campaign to rebuild its gift shop, which was recently destroyed by a fire. 

The Alamo opens a new exhibit this weekend that examines the sometimes-overlooked history of Hispanic defenders of the Alamo. Standing Their Ground: Tejanos and the Alamo opens Saturday and runs through June 6.

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Looking for something tasty in Texas? The 2014 semifinalists in the James Beard Foundation's awards for best chefs and restaurants would be a good place to start. The newly released list is populated with Texas people and places throughout.

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The Aegean Islands; Baden, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina … and the Texas Hill Country? What do the humble oak-covered hills of Central Texas have in common with these exotic locales? A thriving wine industry, of course.

 

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The Big Squeeze contest for young accordionists kicks off this weekend under a new format designed to diversify the genres of music represented in the annual competition.

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