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Southlake Denies Permit For Gas Drilling Site & Midday Roundup

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – Leaders of a Fort Worth-area city has refused to grant a natural gas drilling permit for a site near Texas Highway 26. The Southlake City Council voted Tuesday night to deny a permit, without prejudice, to XTO Energy. The company can reapply.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the Joe Wright drill site was first proposed more than a year ago. Some residents opposed the original proposed pipeline route.

XTO seeks to drill up to 21 wells in a pasture, in a proposal that includes a new pipeline route.

Southlake in mid-January imposed a six-month moratorium on new natural gas drilling and pipeline applications, amid environmental concerns. That vote did not affect XTO's pending drilling requests.

The company last month won a permit for up to 18 wells on Milner Ranch.

Texas Senate votes to ban synthetic marijuana

The Texas Senate has voted to ban the production, sale and possession of several new forms of synthetic marijuana.

The bill by Sen. Florence Shapiro of Plano bans new chemical compounds that mimic the main active ingredient in marijuana. The chemicals are often sprayed on herbs and sold to be burned as incense or smoked. Some popular names include K2, Spice, Genie and Fire & Ice.

The drugs have become popular with teens, particularly in North Texas. Shapiro says taking them can create severe problems, including hallucinations, elevated heart rates, chest pains and seizures. The Texas Poison Center Network received more than 550 calls related to the drugs in 2010.

A bill now goes to the House, where a similar bill is pending.

Critical Texas wildfire conditions by weekend

Recent cooler weather that helped ease the fire danger across Texas is expected to give way to hot, dry conditions by the weekend.

The Texas Forest Service on Wednesday reported that critical fire weather conditions are likely Saturday and Sunday as winds begin to pick up during hot, dry conditions.

Crews monitored a more than 2,400 acre wildfire in Sutton County.

The Texas Forest Service says 180 of the state's 254 counties have burn bans in place.