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Texas Gas Prices Stable For Holiday & Nightly Roundup

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX –

Retail gasoline prices remained largely stable going across Texas going into the Thanksgiving Day holiday this week.

The weekly AAA Texas survey released Wednesday finds regular-grade gasoline averaging $2.50 per gallon across the state, two cents above last week's average but 14 cents below the national average. The $2.64 national price average is a penny higher than last week.

The state's costliest gasoline is, as usual, in El Paso where it fell a penny to $2.61 per gallon. The cheapest gas is in Houston and Galveston, where regular-grade averages $2.45 per gallon. That's a penny more than last week in Galveston but unchanged in Houston. The biggest increase from last week was a nickel a gallon to $2.52 in Amarillo.

Salvation Army's iconic kettles now credit ready

There could be less jingle in the Salvation's Army's hallmark red kettles this season.

The charity is testing kettles that take debit and credit cards. The growth of so-called "plastic kettles" comes as fewer shoppers carry cash.

Last year Salvation Army tested the credit machines in Dallas and Colorado Springs, Colo. This year the plastic kettles will be tested in 30 cities.

In Colorado Springs, fundraising last year went up $64,000 from the year before, an 11 percent increase. About $5,000 of the increase was from donors using credit or debit cards at the kettles.

Next to the metal red kettles are wireless card readers that resemble do-it-yourself readers at gas stations. The machines print two receipts, one for the donor and one to drop in the kettle. Salvation Army pays credit-processing fees -- same as any retailer.

Shuttle Atlantis leaves space station, headed home

Atlantis and its seven astronauts have left the International Space Station.

The shuttle undocked early Wednesday morning, ending its one-week visit. Pilot Barry "Butch" Wilmore was at the controls. Atlantis is now aiming for a Friday morning landing back at NASA's Florida spaceport.

Two of Atlantis' crew members are especially eager to get home. Astronaut Nicole Stott has been in orbit since late August. She says she misses her husband and 7-year-old son, being in the sunshine - and pizza.

NASA's new dad in space, Randolph Bresnik, wants to see his baby daughter as soon as possible after the shuttle lands. Abigail Mae Bresnik was born Saturday night in Houston, shortly after his first spacewalk.

Strip club owner's dog pound in Newt's name opens

A North Texas shelter for pit bulls has opened this week, thanks to a Dallas topless club owner's contribution after Newt Gingrich's conservative group snubbed her donation.

The former U.S. House speaker's political organization was set to give Dawn Rizos an "Entrepreneur of the Year" award last month. But the group reneged, saying it had mistaken her business for another. Rizos, who owns the Dallas topless club The Lodge, was refunded the $5,000 fee required to receive the award.

Disappointed, Rizos says she decided to "make something positive out of his bad manners."

She redirected the money to Animal Guardians of America's sanctuary for rescued dogs in Celina, about 35 miles north of Dallas. Gingrich didn't attend the opening of "Newt's Nook - A Home for Pit Bulls."